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March 31, 2016

Pennsylvania one of lowest reported child abuse rates in country

PENNSYLVANIA
Your4State

[with video]

ERIE, Pa.

Child abuse is an ever growing problem, especially in Pennsylvania, where it's believed to go vastly under reported.

The "Protect our Children" committee said the commonwealth has one of the lowest rates of reported child abuse in the nation.

"There are predators out there who have focused on children and had multiple victims. It was kept quiet," Janet McKay, executive director of the Victims Resource Center in Wilkes-Barre said.

Advocacy groups allege Pennsylvania has developed a culture of cover-ups. High-profiles cases like in Altoona-Johnstown, where a grand jury found Diocese members abused hundreds of children, and a similar scenario involving Penn State's football coach Jerry Sandusky highlight the issue.

In both cases, people high up in the organization allegedly knew of the child abuse and did what they could to conceal it from law enforcement and school administrators.

The cases have inspired a recent push for legislative change in the commonwealth. Advocates hope to change the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Twin Cities Archdiocese close on reorganization plan

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan St. Paul · Mar 31, 2016

An attorney for the bankrupt Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Thursday that the church has developed a broad outline of a reorganization plan.

Attorney Richard Anderson told a federal judge that the church hopes to bring the plan forward before the end of May. He indicated it would include financial contributions from the archdiocese, insurers and other parties, but he did not offer details.

The church could file a plan without the support of the unsecured creditors committee, which represents sex abuse victims, Anderson said.

Mike Finnegan, an attorney for sex abuse victims, criticized the archdiocese for not sharing the plan with victims.

"It's alarming abuse survivors have not seen any part of a plan of reorganization yet," Finnegan said. "And it's very, very concerning to us that the archdiocese would broadcast that they might be filing a plan without the survivors' consent."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Join us Monday for a live chat on the statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Lancaster Online

Join us at noon on Monday for a live chat with state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County, who has been fighting to reform the Pennsylvania civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse.

As a teenager, Rozzi was abused by a Roman Catholic priest. He noted recently that the pattern of priestly abuse and cover-up has been seen in Boston, Philadelphia and, more recently, in the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

"The only way this ends is if we make it loud and clear to child rapists and those who harbor them, that they can no longer hide," he said.

You can send questions for Rozzi to scassidy@lnpnews.com or @SuzCassidyLNP. You also can leave questions in the comments section of this post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

FULL SHOW POST: Rod Matthews Parole & Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

MASSACHUSETTS
WGBH

Nearly 30 years after the 14-year-old beat a classmate to death with a baseball bat in the Canton woods, Rod Matthews is asking to be set free. The mother of the victim, Shaun Ouillette, says she forgives but opposes his the killers release. Northeastern University Criminology Professor James Alan Fox (@jamesalanfox) and Canton Police Chief Kenneth Berkowitz (@ChiefBerkowitz) both testified at the hearing yesterday, on two different sides.

The numbers continue to climb in the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal, with more than a dozen new names involved in settlements just made public. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian joins survivor Allan Bruce, speaking out in his first TV interview.

And why those of us in Massachusetts don't have to look to the south to find bigotry and hate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Honoring Our Most Innocent Victims

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Ross Ellis
Founder and CEO, STOMP Out Bullying; National bullying and cyberbullying prevention expert

This April marks the 33rd anniversary of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is a time dedicated to child abuse education, awareness and prevention.

The issue, which is in the media every day causes one to shiver at the thought of what happens to our children, yet it is the most ignored issue because it’s so ugly.

Well it’s even uglier for the children who are being abused.

Just this week, a foster parent on Long Island was accused of sexually abusing the kids in his care. A 17-count indictment earlier this month alleges that 59-year-old Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu sexually abused seven foster boys in his care and even had sex with his dog. Now investigators suspect there are far more victims. Gonzales-Mugaburu fostered some 140 boys there over 20 years.

Social worker Debi Edwards had alerted the authorities about this, but nobody would listen. And that’s not too uncommon either.

Full disclosure: As the founder and CEO of Love Our Children USA, I have seen this happen time too often.

Just last month, the movie Spotlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture along with Best Original Screenplay. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the film follows The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the country and its actual investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests.

According to fellow child abuse expert Roger Canaff, “The newest miserable chapter of the Roman Catholic clergy abuse crisis has come to light. A particular diocese- Altoona-Johnstown, in southwest Pennsylvania has been revealed as shrouded in darkness for decades, with predictably abysmal results. We don’t know this because the Church took it upon itself to publish a candid and self-reflective report. Instead, we know it because of a civil grand jury armed with a search warrant. Last week, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office released the deeply disturbing report of that investigative body, detailing the sexual abuse of children at the hands of mostly diocesan priests (priests who serve within a geographical area). In many cases, either written admissions of predatory priests were uncovered, or the men made admissions before the grand jury itself.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Abuse survivors urge Mahaney be disinvited from conference

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Adelle M. Banks | March 31, 2016

(RNS) A prominent advocacy group for victims of clergy sexual abuse is urging organizers of a Kentucky Christian conference to disinvite speakers who have been accused of concealing abuse.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, sent a letter Thursday (March 31) to leaders of Together for the Gospel, a biennial pastors’ conference, asking them to drop the Rev. C.J. Mahaney and other leaders once affiliated with Sovereign Gospel Ministries from its list of speakers.

“(W)e beg you to consider the implications towards the Gospel message if victims of horrific, life-scarring sexual abuse … are ignored and hurt again for the sake of the popularity of a preacher and the financial success of a conference,” SNAP wrote to several conference leaders, including the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mohler could not be reached immediately for comment.

The April 12-14 meeting in Louisville is expected to attract 8,000 participants.

Mahaney withdrew from the 2014 conference, saying a civil lawsuit “continues to generate the type of attention that could subject my friends to unfair and unwarranted criticism.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Child porn and ecstasy: Former St Benedict's Catholic School deputy head admits to charges

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Paul Wright
March 31, 2016

The former deputy head of a leading independent Catholic school is facing jail after pleading guilty to possessing hundreds of child pornography images and the illegal drug ecstasy (MDMA). Peter Allott, 37, taught at the prestigious £15,000-a-year St Benedict's Catholic Independent Day School in Ealing when he was targeted by officers from a child abuse unit.

His arrest in December 2015, which saw his phone and hard drive confiscated, came following intelligence an individual had been using video conferencing facilities to share indecent images of children with others around the UK. He was found with more than 200 illegal child abuse images and videos in his possession.

Allott, of Marchwood Crescent in Ealing, appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on Thursday (31 March) where he admitted three charges of possessing, showing and making indecent images of children, one charge of possessing extreme pornography and another of possession of class A drug ecstasy.

His guilty pleas have plunged St Benedict's into yet another scandal as it tries to restore its damaged reputation. In 2009, its former headmaster David Pearce was jailed for eight years for abusing five boys over a period of 36 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Vaticano apre inchiesta sull'attico di Bertone.

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
L'Espresso

L'Espresso mostra le lettere che lo inchiodano

Vaticano apre inchiesta sull'attico di Bertone. L'Espresso mostra le lettere che lo inchiodano
Tarcisio Bertone

Il Vaticano ha aperto un’inchiesta sull’attico di Tarcisio Bertone, e ha già iscritto nel registro degli indagati due persone: Giuseppe Profiti, ex presidente del Bambin Gesù e manager vicinissimo al cardinale, e l’ex tesoriere Massimo Spina. L’istruttoria penale è scaturita dalle rivelazioni del saggio "Avarizia", pubblicato da chi scrive , e ora rischia di sconvolgere nuovamente gli assetti della curia romana: i giudici di papa Francesco ipotizzano infatti reati gravissimi («peculato, appropriazione e uso illecito di denaro», si legge nelle carte d’accusa) e hanno già trovato i riscontri documentali che dimostrano che i lavori di ristrutturazione dell’appartamento sono stati pagati dalla Fondazione dell’ospedale pediatrico "Bambin Gesù".

Lavori costati in totale ben 422 mila euro ("Avarizia" sottostimava la cifra a 200 mila euro), che sono stati fatturati nel 2014 non alla società italiana che ha materialmente effettuato il restauro (La Castelli Re, fallita a luglio del 2015), ma a una holding britannica con sede a Londra, la LG Concractor Ltd. Controllata sempre da Gianantonio Bandera, titolare della Castelli Re e amico personale di Bertone.

I soldi destinati ai bambini malati sono stati, in pratica, utilizzati per la ristrutturazione, e poi girati a Londra. Oltre alle sette fatture pagate al costruttore attraverso i conti Ior e Apsa della Fondazione, però, i magistrati di papa Francesco hanno in mano anche lettere firmate che inchiodano l’ex segretario di Stato di Benedetto XVI alle sue responsabilità: Bertone, che ha finora sostenuto di essere all’oscuro di eventuali finanziamenti di terzi, è invece sempre stato a conoscenza che i soldi del restauro del suo appartamento venivano (anche?) dall’ente di beneficenza dell’ospedale vaticano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Vatican probes ex-managers over apartment refit

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

The Vatican has begun a probe against two ex-managers accused of diverting funds from a children's hospital to renovate a Rome penthouse. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's lawyer says he never asked for the luxury refit.

The Italian magazine L'Espresso's report that a church probe was proceeding against the two former hospital managers was confirmed in part on Thursday by Vatican deputy spokesman Greg Burke.

Without elaborating, Burke said former chairman Giuseppe Profiti and former treasurer Massimo Spino were "under investigation."

L'Espresso said the renovations had cost 422,000 euros ($480,000), rather than the 200,000 reported previously.

Burke did not confirmed the magazine's specific claim that the ex-managers of the Vatican-owned clinic, Ospedale Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus in Italian), were suspected of embezzling and misusing funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

MA--Boston Cardinal criticized over priest's defrocking

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 31

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Boston Catholic officials are announcing that a predator priest has been defrocked. But they refuse to announce when they pay settlements to victims of predator priests.

[Reuters]

Just days ago, attorney Mitchell Garabedian announced several settlements involving child molesting clerics in Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s archdiocese. Despite repeated pledges to be “open” about predator priests, O’Malley did not disclose these settlements.

So when they decide “This predator isn’t part of us anymore” Catholic officials are sometimes forthcoming. But when they decide “This predator is credibly accused” they are often secretive.

And Catholic officials have promised to suspend accused predator priests. But O’Malley ignored that pledge too, like he ignored his “openness” pledge. Instead, when abuse reports surfaced, he let Fr. Thomas Maguire take a “voluntary leave.”

[Boston archdiocese]

And instead of being honest about what the priest allegedly did, O’Malley said Fr. Maguire had "inappropriate behavior in the presence of minors." So parents had to wonder “Did Fr. Maguire make off-color jokes?” or “Did he steal $50 from a teenager?” or “Did he show an R-rated movie to high schoolers?”

Instead of telling the truth, O’Malley did what Catholic officials have done for decades. He minimized child sexual abuse and kept Catholics and citizens in the dark using deliberately vague language.

Later, O’Malley claims, more or clearer abuse reports were made against Fr. Maguire. We see no evidence, however, that O’Malley ever disclosed this fact. Again, where’s the “openness” we’ve repeatedly been promised and that the US church abuse policy supposedly mandates?

We hope the defrocking of Fr. Maguire will bring some comfort to his victims. But O’Malley’s duty doesn’t end here.

Kids are safest when child molesters are jailed. So O’Malley must go to every parish where Fr. Maguire worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police. He must spread the same message through clear notices in parish bulletins, on church websites and in pulpit announcements. That’s what a truly caring shepherd would do.

Catholic bishops can’t recruit, educate, ordain, transfer and shield predator priests and then suddenly walk away – saying “He’s not our guy anymore” – and let parents, police, prosecutors and the public fend for themselves. O’Malley and his staff, knowing what Fr. Maguire has done, have a duty to help prod others who could put this predator behind bars behind bars.

And O’Malley should turn over every shred of information he has about Fr. Maguire to police. He should insist that every other Boston cleric should do the same, whether they have actual knowledge or just suspicions about this predator.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Boston – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Abuse survivors want conference speaker removed

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

BOB ALLEN | MARCH 31, 2016

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is asking organizers of an upcoming religious conference to revoke a speaking invitation to a pastor accused of concealing multiple sex crimes.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said March 31 that allowing controversial Pastor C.J. Mahaney to speak at the April 12-14 Together for the Gospel gathering in Louisville, Ky., would “be tantamount to re-victimizing sex abuse victims” and send a message to would-be whistleblowers: “Don’t bother speaking up. No one will care.”

“It’s reckless and callous when clergymen give prominent positions to colleagues who face charges of concealing child sex crimes,” said SNAP director David Clohessy.

SNAP leaders called on conference organizers Mark Dever, Albert Mohler and Ligon Duncan to withdraw this year’s invitation to Mahaney, a T4G founder who sat out the last conference two years ago due to publicity over a class-action lawsuit alleging he and others sheltered at least 15 child molesters while pastor of a Maryland church and director of a church-planting network now known as Sovereign Grace Churches.

“Every time an accused or admitted complicit church official is honored, it discourages victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from exposing predators, warning parents and protecting kids,” said Pam Palmer, a former member of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., whose daughter was molested by a teenager while Mahaney was pastor of the church in 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Papal apology still top of mind in TRC Calls to Action

CANADA
Catholic Register

BY DEBORAH GYAPONG, CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
March 31, 2016

OTTAWA - While many within the Catholic Church and other denominations have apologized for their role in Indian residential schools, many are still awaiting the one voice that would speak loudest — Pope Francis.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commissions called for the Pope to apologize for the Indian residential schools on Canadian soil within a year of the June 2015 publication of the TRC’s Calls to Action. It is one of two of the 94 calls that had a time limit, TRC Commissioner Marie Wilson said March 30 at an Ottawa news conference.

“We heard many survivors say ‘My Church has not apologized to me,’ ” she said. Asked if an apology from Pope Francis would be enough, she responded, “I’m certain it won’t be enough. It’s all just movement forward.”

“No one thing will be perfect for everyone,” she said. “But we have to keep trying.”

Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, the apostolic nuncio to Canada, said a request to Pope Francis for an apology in Canada for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential schools has gone to the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Memorial for longtime Haverhill priest planned

HAVERHILL (MA)
Eagle Tribune

A Mass in memory of longtime local priest the Rev. Frederick Sweeney will happen April 9 at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Church, Lincoln Avenue, across from Trinity Stadium.

Sweeney, former pastor of St. John the Baptist, died in early March.

After the Mass, the church will provide coffee and desserts.

Sweeney was a whistle blower in the the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. When he became pastor of St. John the Baptist in the early 1980s, he began collecting information about former pastor Ronald Paquin, who was later convicted of assaulting boys and spent years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

March 31, 2016 - The Holy See Dismisses Thomas H. Maguire from the Clerical State

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

(Braintree, Massachusetts) March 31, 2016 -- The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that the Holy See has dismissed Thomas H. Maguire from the clerical state. As a result of the Holy See’s decision, he may no longer function in any capacity as a priest.

Thomas H. Maguire was ordained in May 1976. In October 2012, Maguire was removed from public ministry following allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct in the presence of minors (click here). These matters were referred to law enforcement, investigated and could not be substantiated.

Subsequently other victims came forward to report inappropriate sexual conduct which had occurred in the mid 1990’s and before. These matters were also reported to law enforcement but fell outside of the criminal statute of limitations. The Archdiocese continued to investigate the complaints and determined that they were credible. A church process under canon law was undertaken and has concluded that Maguire is guilty of abuse of a minor.

We are grateful to the victims who had the strength to come forward. Their courage assisted the Church in seeking justice for the inappropriate conduct which occurred years before the initial allegation in 2012. We pray for all those affected by this matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Vatican defrocks former Norwell priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Norwell

By Lane Lambert
The Patriot Ledger

NORWELL – The Vatican has defrocked a former pastor of the Saint Helen Mother of the Emperor Constantine parish in Norwell for the abuse of a minor.

Boston Archdiocese spokesman Terrence Donilon said at noon Thursday that Thomas H. Maguire has been "dismissed from the clerical state."

"He may no longer function in any capacity as a priest," Donilon said.

Maguire had been pastor at the Norwell parish for 11 years, from 2001 to 2012. He went on voluntary leave in October 2012, when he was accused of inappropriate behavior in the presence of minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Massachusetts priest defrocked for sexually abusing minor - archdiocese

MASSACHUSETTS
Reuters

A suburban Boston priest has been defrocked by the Vatican after an investigation by the Roman Catholic church found him guilty of child sexual abuse, the Boston Archdiocese said on Thursday.

The priest, Thomas H. Maguire, was serving as pastor of Saint Helen Mother of the Emperor Constantine church in Norwell, Massachusetts, about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Boston, when he was accused in 2012 of inappropriate sexual activity with minors. Maguire was suspended from priestly duties at that time.

Police investigated that allegation but did not find evidence of a crime.

However, following the news of Maguire's suspension, other people came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse dating to the mid-1990s and earlier, the Boston Archdiocese said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Dr Morris Fraser: Paedophile psychiatrist worked with children after abuse conviction, study finds

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A new study has found that a doctor in Belfast was able to continue working with children after he had been convicted for child abuse in the 1970s.

Dr Morris Fraser was the senior psychiatric registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital's child guidance clinic in Belfast.

He also wrote the book Children in Conflict, about how the Troubles in Northern Ireland affected children.

The study into Fraser's activities was produced by academic Dr Niall Meehan.

It highlights a catalogue of failures by the authorities that enabled Fraser to remain on the medical register despite being convicted twice - in 1972 in London and in 1974 in New York - for child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Deputy head of at £15,000-a-year Roman Catholic school where Julian Clary and Lord Patten went faces jail for having hundreds of child sex abuse images on his iPhone

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By JOSEPH CURTIS FOR MAILONLINE

The deputy head of an independent Roman Catholic school is facing jail after he admitted possessing hundreds of images of child sexual abuse.

Peter Allott, 37, kept the material on his iPhone and a hard drive which were found in his office at the £15,000-per year St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London.

More than 260 images and videos were found on the devices, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.

Allott was arrested last December by officers from the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command acting on intelligence that an individual had been using video conferencing facilities to share indecent images of children with others.

The former Tory councillor admitted possessing, showing and making category A indecent images of children and possessing extreme pornography.

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

When damage control does damage

UNITED STATES
The Mennonite

3.31. 2016 Written By: Stephanie Krehbiel

Last week, in their coverage of the Luke Hartman case, The Mennonite shared two letters. One came from the pastors of Lindale Mennonite Church and announced that they have had knowledge since August 2014 of an abusive relationship in which Luke Hartman caused serious trauma to another member of the congregation. Another letter, from Virginia Mennonite Conference minister Clyde Kratz, attempted to explain the “difficult pastoral scenario” presented by Hartman’s alleged behavior, and to reassure readers that the conference takes sexual exploitation seriously.

Despite the pastoral laments, exhortations to prayer, and expressions of sadness, these letters read as damage control documents. Kratz makes this clear in the opening paragraph, where he moves swiftly from “lament[ing] the brokenness” caused by Hartman’s alleged actions to, “Luke does not have ministerial credentials associated with Virginia Mennonite Conference.” The subtext here is clear: We’re sad, but we’re not responsible. Kratz reminds readers that in the state of Virginia, clergy are not mandatory reporters, but then he assures us that VMC is, “planning a series of consultations that can assist pastors in the challenges of difficult pastoral cases.”

Few things are less comforting to those who understand the urgency of the devastation presented by sexual abuse in congregations than hearing that pastors are planning a “series of consultations” to deal with a problem that apparently cannot even be named outright.

Based on their timing, we can reasonably conclude that these letters appeared because Luke Hartman was in extremely public legal trouble when they were written. I read fear in these letters: fear of losing control of the narrative around Hartman’s case, fear for their own reputations, fear of who may speak next without pastoral permission. These letters generate far more questions than they answer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Disgraced parish priest Stephen Crabtree jailed for indecent assault of girl, 15

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph & Argus

A disgraced Church of England priest who intimately touched and imitated sex with a 15-year-old girl has been jailed for three years.

Stephen Crabtree, of Ollerdale Avenue, Bradford, carried out the offences when he was working at a parish in the East Lindsey area of Lincolnshire in the early 1990s, after forming "an inappropriate relationship" with the victim following the breakdown of his marriage.

The 59-year-old admitted six charges of indecent assault on dates between April 1992 and April 1993. He was today jailed for three years and placed on the sex offenders' register for life at Lincoln Crown Court.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told him: "She was extremely vulnerable at that age and you took advantage. You knew she was 15 years old. You engaged in that relationship behind her parents back breaching their trust and the trust of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Rome--Victims blast papal priorities: “Money matters more than kids”

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 31

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

By investigating spending on Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s shamefully luxurious apartment, Pope Francis takes another step toward protecting Vatican finances. Sadly, he’s refused, for three years, to take a single similar step toward protecting children’s safety.

[Religion News Service]

With this act, Francis is telling the world’s Catholic officials “You may get in trouble for hiding funds.” But he won’t take a similar act to tell those officials “You may get in trouble for hiding predators.”

This is not the first time Francis has cracked down on financial corruption.

In 400 cases, Pope Francis took decisive and effective action to prevent possible financial crimes or wrongdoing.

According to a recent article in the Jesuit weekly America, he set up a commission which found “there was little or no oversight” and that Vatican officials “failed to prevent abuses.”

So just weeks later, “Francis received alarming reports from the commission and immediately ordered the blocking of some 400 (bank) accounts of (those pushing) the causes of beatification and canonization held at the Vatican Bank.”

[America Magazine]

Think about that! In just a few weeks, a papal commission issued an “alarming report” and Francis took “immediate” steps that “blocked” potential misconduct because top Catholic officials had “failed to prevent abuses.”

Impressive!

Now contrast that with the seemingly endless talk from the papal abuse commission and the seemingly endless apologies and promises from Francis himself on the continuing crisis of clergy sexual violence and cover up.

Blocking a bank account is a tangible, effective move. Francis did this in 400 cases. Can you name 400 similar tangible, effective moves he made regarding abuses cases? Or cover ups? How about one tangible, effective move on abuse or cover up? Can you name one that actually stopped wrongdoing?

All those who counsel ‘patience’ and try to reassure us that real reforms on child sex crimes and cover ups are on the way should ponder the stark and disturbing contrast between how quickly and effectively Francis acts when it comes to church money and how slowly and ineffectively he acts when it comes to our children.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, seek justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and more truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Calls Mount for Reform of Predator-Friendly Sex Abuse Laws

NEW YORK
Forward

A shocking child sex scandal involving the alleged abuse of 34 students at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys was back in the headlines this week, three years after The Forward first uncovered the story.

The Daily News highlighted how, because of state law, justice is out of reach for the former students, who say top administrators groped them — and far worse.

In New York, criminal and civil cases of child sexual abuse must be brought before a victim’s 23rd birthday. On Tuesday, The News, as The Forward did in January, called for an overhaul to the statute of limitations law.

“New York is America’s most predator-friendly state,” the paper editorialized. “New York’s sex crime statutes of limitations are worse than inconsistent and illogical. They are the enabling legislation of monsters.”

The Forward echoed that sentiment in its January call to arms.

It cited both the Yeshiva case and another on roiling the Jewish-American diaspora: that of the alleged molestation of the Sara Kabakov, who wrote in The Forward that she was abused, starting at age 13, by her former rabbi and spiritual guru Marc Gafni.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Doctor ‘allowed to work’ after child sex abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
UTV

Calls have been made for an investigation into the case of a child psychiatrist linked to Kincora Boys’ Home who was allowed to keep working as a doctor even after being convicted of child sexual abuse.

Dr Morris Fraser was a senior psychiatric registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in the 1960s and 70s.

A new report has shown that he was allowed to remain on the British medical register for more than two decades after being convicted on sex abuse charges in both London and New York.

Its author Dr Niall Meehan also cites sources linking Fraser to abuse at Kincora, which has long been at the centre of allegations about a paedophile ring involving high-profile political and military figures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Paedophile child psychiatrist revelations - Amnesty demands investigation by UK child abuse inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Amnesty International

“It’s too late to save the children abused by Fraser. It’s not too late for the truth to come out.” – Patrick Corrigan

Amnesty International has called again for allegations of involvement by UK security services in child abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home in Northern Ireland to be investigated by the Westminster child abuse inquiry.

The latest Amnesty call comes as a new report reveals that Dr Morris Fraser, a child psychiatrist who has been linked to Kincora, and who was convicted of sexually assaulting a child while working for a Belfast hospital in 1972, was allowed to remain on the British medical register for 24 more years during which he was convicted on abuse charges on two further occasions.

Report author Dr Niall Meehan cites a number of sources linking Dr Fraser to abuse at Kincora Boys’ Home. Allegations have persisted for decades that a paedophile ring at Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast was linked to the British intelligence services.

Last year the Independent on Sunday revealed that a Freedom of Information request to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) regarding Fraser’s activities in Northern Ireland was turned down for reasons of “national security”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Is India A Haven For Paedophilic Priests? Vatican Allows Convicted Priest To Enter Ministry in Ooty

INDIA
Bayside Journal

By Abhishek Raghunath

The Catholic Church has lifted its suspension on Father Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, 61, who has been accused and convicted of sexually abusing two underage girls in the United States, and will allow him to re-enter Ministry in Ootacamund (Ooty) in Tamil Nadu in South India.

Jeyapaul had been accused by the two girls from Minnesota in 2004 and 2005 of sexual assault.

According to one girl’s report, “…he proceeded to kiss her repeatedly, pulling her on top of him and at one point touching her beneath her clothing.”

According to the second girl’s report, “Fr Jeyapaul had ‘rubbed up against her’ in the rectory at Middle River, in the confessional at Middle River, and had then fondled her breasts, exposed himself to her, and forced his penis into her mouth.”

The girls were 14 and 15 years old when Jeyapaul sexually assaulted them.

He left Minnesota in 2005 under the pretext of visiting his ailing mother in India. He didn’t return. In India, the Bishop of Ooty, Arulappan Amalraj sent him to a monastery for a year of prayer. After his year in the monastery, Jeyapaul used to work in the Bishop’s office in Ooty until 2010 where he used to help Amalraj of Ootacamund Diocese with the appointment of teachers in 40 schools in the region. During this period, Jeyapaul was a fugitive in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

Incumbent upon Church to make reparation to abuse victims

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish News

On March 15 the Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia) presented a Report at Stormont – What Survivors Want from Redress.

This document, compiled by survivors, with the help of local and international experts, is a vitally important statement addressed to both Church and State.

I was privileged to be invited to Stormont to stand with the victims and survivors of institutional abuse on that important occasion. I too am a survivor of child abuse and I am one of the victims of former priest James Donaghy, a convicted paedophile and sexual predator.

Those represented on March 15 suffered at the hands of both Church and state in the north of Ireland. Those present included victims of Termonbacca, Nazareth House, Rubane, Kincora and Rathgael, to name but some.

The anguish of those abused in these Church and state-run institutions is similar. The devastation and ongoing trauma is the same. The Christian community and wider society has an inescapable obligation and duty, to address victims’ and survivors’ needs as outlined in the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

National--Victims want pastors disinvited from huge Protestant conference

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 31, 2016

For more information: David Clohessy (314) 566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Pam Palmer (240) 994-1278 cell, palmerp@live.com

Abuse victims want preacher disinvited
He’s accused of concealing child sex crimes
But he is to speak at major Protestant conference
Group says his role “will deter others from reporting abuse”
SNAP: “And it rubs salt into wounds of those hurt on his watch”

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging organizers of a major religious conference to revoke a speaking invitation to a controversial pastor who has allegedly concealed child sex crimes by at least 15 accused offenders.

Rev. C. J. Mahaney is the former head of a denomination called once called Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) but now known as Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC). It has roughly 70 churches across the US (mainly in eastern states) and in Australia, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Great Britain, Germany and Mexico.

Next month, he is slated to be a plenary presenter at the biennial international Together for the Gospel (T4G16) conference in Louisville. http://t4g.org/, http://t4g.org/speakers/

It’s expected to draw at least 8,000 participants to Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center on April 12-14.

But in October, 2012, amended in January, 2013 and again in May, 2013, Mahaney was accused in civil lawsuits of ignoring and hiding known and suspected child sexual abuse by church staff and members while he led SGM and Covenant Life Church in Maryland.

In a letter sent today to the T4G organization, leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are asking them to rescind their permission to let Mahaney and other SGM/SGC officials speak at their event.

“It’s reckless and callous when clergymen give prominent positions to colleagues who face charges of concealing child sex crimes,” said SNAP director David Clohessy. “It actually makes churches more dangerous. It discourages other church members and staff who see, suspect or suffer child sex crimes from speaking up. It emboldens those who commit and conceal child sex crimes.”

“Common sense and common decency would lead T4G officials to say ‘Look C. J., we’re just going to wait until this litigation is resolved before holding you out as a moral figure,’” said Pam Palmer of Hagerstown, a former SGM member whose daughter was sexually abused in 1993 by a teenager. “That would show compassion and prudence. But instead, these ministers all want to act as if these serious and pending charges don’t exist.”

At least three prominent clergymen co-founded T4G. They are Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Mark Dever, President of 9Marks and Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and Ligon Ducan, Chancellor/CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary in McLean, Virginia.

Besides Mahaney, several current SGC/SGM officials will be speaking at breakout sessions at the conference. The include Mark Prater, Executive Director, and Ian McConnell, Director of Church Planting and Mission.

SNAP wants them disinvited too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Vatican confirms investigation into financing of Cardinal Bertone's apartment

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 31, 2016

VATICAN CITY The Vatican has opened an investigation into the financing of the restoration of former Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s large apartment, targeting two former executives at a children’s hospital owned by the city-state for possible redirection of funds towards the project.

Gregory Burke, the deputy director of the Vatican press office, told reporters in a short briefing Thursday that the cardinal himself was not under investigation but that two former officials of the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome are.

Both Giuseppe Profiti, a former president of the hospital, and Massimo Spina, a former treasurer, are subject to an ongoing investigation, Burke said.

Thursday’s confirmation follows reports in Italian press that the two executives were being investigated for the use of some 400,000 Euro towards restoration of Bertone’s apartment, based on reporting done by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi in his November 2015 book Avarizia (“Avarice”).

While Bertone has not admitted any guilt in the matter, he made a large donation of 150,000 Euro to the hospital last December after the book’s publishing in a bid to make amends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Vatican probes funding of cardinal’s lavish apartment

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

Josephine McKenna | March 31, 2016

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has launched an investigation into the funding of its former secretary of state’s apartment restoration.

The investigation involves two executives from Rome’s Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital — former chairman Giuseppe Profiti and former treasurer Massimo Spina — on allegations that they misappropriated hospital funds to pay for the restoration of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s apartment while he was Vatican secretary of state.

Greg Burke, deputy director of the Vatican press office, confirmed the probe Thursday (March 31). He said Bertone was not under investigation.

The latest news came after a report published in the weekly magazine L’Espresso that the two executives were being investigated on allegations they used $455,000 of hospital funds for the restoration of Bertone’s lavish top-floor residence.

Italian journalist and author Emiliano Fittipaldi, who writes for the magazine, claimed funds designated for sick children were diverted for the apartment’s restoration through a London-based holding company controlled by Gianantonio Bandera, a friend of Bertone’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

The Vatican is investigating the financing of the restoration Cardinal Bertone's apartment

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

Prosecutors from the Vatican are investigating the former president and former financial director of the Bambino Gesu Hospital for using 422,000 Euros from the hospital foundation to restore Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's attic.

The former officials of the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome are Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina, who could be in hot water if they are charged with committing the crime of "misappropriation” by using hospital funds "illicitly”.

The ex-president, Profiti says that the payment was made as an investment because the private apartment of the cardinal was used to host high-level meetings to seek donations. He said, it was part of the strategic plan of the Bambino Gesu Foundation because the presence of Cardinal Bertone rose to 70 percent from collecting donations.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said he did not know that the Foundation was covering these expenses and is not on the list of those being investigated. He says he has paid nearly 280,000 Euros from his own pocket.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Cash for Cardinal's luxury pad sparks Vatican probe

VATICAN CITY
The Sun Daily

VATICAN CITY: The Vatican has opened an investigation into the financing of renovations at a luxury penthouse occupied by Italian cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former number two in the Holy See hierarchy, officials said Thursday.

Spread across hundreds of square metres at the top of the Palazzo San Carlo and boasting a huge terrace with magnificent views over Rome, Bertone's sumptuous retirement pad has became synonymous with the kind of clerical extravagance Pope Francis has vowed to stamp out.

Now it is set to cause further embarrassment to the famously frugal pontiff after it was confirmed that a probe has been launched into how €200,000 worth of the renovation costs came to be paid by a Foundation linked to Rome's Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) children's hospital, which is run by the Vatican.

Bertone himself is not under investigation but officials are examining the conduct of the hospital's former chairman, Giuseppe Profiti, and its former finance chief, Massimo Spina, a Vatican spokesman said.

The probe follows revelations by investigative journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, who is one of two reporters currently on trial in a Vatican court for obtaining classified documents which provide evidence of waste, irregularities and extravagance in the Holy See's finances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Vatican investigates claim hospital funds used to refurbish cardinal's flat

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail

VATICAN CITY, March 31 (Reuters) - The Vatican said on Thursday it is investigating two former officials over claims money meant for a children's hospital was used to refurbish a cardinal's luxury apartment.

Costly work at former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's flat -- seeming to clash with Pope Francis's recommendations that church officials live as modestly as he -- caused a scandal when allegations emerged that the Bambino Gesu Hospital foundation had helped foot the bill.

Giuseppe Profiti, former manager at the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu, and its ex-treasurer Massimo Spina are being investigated, Vatican press officer Greg Burke said, confirming a report in Italian magazine L'Espresso.

Efforts to track down the two men, who no longer work at the hospital, were not immediately successful.

A lawyer for Bertone, who is not being investigated, said in a statement on Thursday the cardinal had never asked for or authorised any payment from the hospital foundation relating to his apartment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Cllr Mannix Flynn demands former Magdalene laundry is preserved as a memorial- 'Nobody has the private ownership of the history here'

IRELAND
Mirror

BY KATHY ARMSTRONG

Cllr Mannix Flynn said it is important that the history of the Magdalene laundries is preserved for future generations

A former Magdalene Laundry should be snapped up by the state and preserved as a memorial, Cllr Mannix Flynn has said.

The building in Donnybrook, Dublin is up for sale and expected to sell for up to €3 million.

It was formerly run by the Religious Sisters of Charity and was sold by the order in the late 1990s and then run as a private laundry until 2006.

The building, which dates back to the late 18th century, is mostly still intact and contains reminders of it’s dark history, including ledgers, old machinery, religious iconography and some of the dorms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

Victim of abuse at hands of Church Minister 'told Bishop of Grimsby' of offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Grimsby Telegraph

The victim of "appalling abuse" at the hands of Church of England minister told the then-Bishop of Grimsby of the offences, a court heard.

Stephen Crabtree carried out the offences in the early 1990s after forming "an inappropriate relationship" with the 15-year-old victim following the breakdown of his marriage.

Crabtree, 59, who now lives in Bradford, West Yorkshire, admitted six charges of indecent assault on dates between 1992 and April 1993. He was jailed for three years and placed on the sex offenders' register for life.

Lincoln Crown Court heard the victim later told the then-Bishop of Grimsby what happened between them and was advised to report the matter to police.

She then spoke to an officer in the area in which she was then living but decided not to take the matter further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Seven McLeod County priests credibly accused of sexual abuse, two were in Silver Lake for 28 years

MINNESOTA
Hutchinson Leader

Updated: 10:35 am, Thu Mar 31, 2016.

BY JEREMY JONES jones@hutchinsonleader.com

Nearly half of the 16 priests identified Tuesday by the New Ulm Diocese to have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor served in McLeod County. Six of them were in Winsted.

The names were jointly disclosed by the law firm of Jeff Anderson & and Associates and The Diocese of New Ulm.

Mike Finnegan of Jeff Anderson & Associates said Thursday the information was released as part of the litigation of two lawsuits filed against the diocese by Lori Stoltz and Kim Schmit. Schmit was sexually assaulted by her parish priest in Willmar in 1968.

"Those lawsuits and several others sought the release of these names and the documents of abuse," Finnegan said. "After some court decisions we had a dialogue with the diocese and came to this. So it came out of litigation and ended up in a discussion."

The named priests are: Michael Skoblik, Douglas Schleisman, Rudolph Henrich, Louis Heitzer, Charles Stark, Dennis Becker and Robert Clark. Of the seven, Becker and Clark are listed in released documents to be still alive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Thabiti Anyabwile and C.J. Mahaney: A Twitter Tale of Willful Blindness

UNITED STATES
Watchkeep

Willful blindness: When a leader turns a blind eye

Leaders inhabit a bubble of power, and they are both mentally and physically cut off from the reality most people would recognize. Reality is the obligation to tell the truth, “the reality most people would recognize” is the imperative, if they witness improper or unlawful behaviour, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But just because willful blindness is endemic doesn’t mean it’s irresistible. Roy Spence, a Texan advertising executive, refused to work with Enron even as the rest of the world beat a path to its door. How did he see what others missed? He thought a lifetime of seeing through the eyes of the powerless gave him different perspectives. “My sister had cystic fibrosis and I used to push her wheelchair to school every morning. I could see people pitying us, oblivious to the richness of our relationship. It made me ask, then as now: If they’re missing so much about us, what I am missing about them?” That internal dialogue is what Hannah Arendt called thinking.

SNAP: Member of controversial church charged with abuse

A member of a controversial church has been arrested for child sex crimes committed over nearly 11 years when he worked in “children’s ministry.” We hope kids at the church weren’t hurt. And we fear that other church members or staff knew of or suspected the abuse but kept silent. Why? Because that’s the pattern in this troubled denomination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

NY STATE ABUSE BILL NEEDS REVISION

NEW YORK
Catholic League

Bill Donohue is appealing to New York State Senator Brad Hoylman to amend his bill on eliminating the statute of limitations for sexual abuse. Below is the text of his letter; it is being sent to all New York lawmakers:

In your March 30 column in the Daily News, you say, “Until every childhood sexual abuse victim has the opportunity to confront their abuser in court, the headlines will remind us that our business is unfinished.” This is so true. That is why I implore you to amend your bill on this subject to include all childhood victims: Your bill does not address those who have been abused in the public schools.

As you say, your bill would “eliminate the statute of limitations for civil actions for certain sex offenses committed against a minor,” allowing a “one-year ‘look back’ period in which past claims could be resolved.” That is a commendable position, but its application is limited to private institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Plaintes contre Barbarin : où en est-on ?

FRANCE
Europe 1

[Two separate investigations are now aimed the diocese of Lyon. Two priests are charged with sexual assault and church officials are accused of having covered up the abuse.]

Deux enquêtes distinctes visent désormais l'évêché de Lyon : deux prêtres sont poursuivis pour agressions sexuelles et les responsables accusés de les avoir couverts.

Depuis mardi, une cinquième plainte pour non-dénonciation d'agressions sexuelles commises par des prêtres vise le cardinal Barbarin, responsable de l'évêché de Lyon. Un nouvel élément dans le scandale de pédophilie autour du diocèse, qui comporte désormais plusieurs volets judiciaires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Missbrauchsfall beschäftigt Staatsanwalt und Bistumsbeauftragten

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

Der unabhängige Missbrauchsbeauftragte des Bistums Würzburg zeigte sich verwundert über die Verfahrenseinstellung seitens der Kirche.

Würzburg (kath.net/KNA) Nach der Einstellung des kirchlichen Untersuchungsverfahrens wegen eines Missbrauchsvorwurfs gegen einen hochrangigen Würzburger Priester kommt neue Bewegung in den Fall. Am Dienstag leitete die Staatsanwaltschaft laut einem Bericht des Bayerischen Rundfunks Ermittlungen ein. Dabei geht es nach den Worten von Oberstaatsanwalt Boris Raufeisen um mögliche Straftaten und ihre etwaige Verjährung. Der «Spiegel» hatte am Wochenende über den Fall berichtet, der sich im Jahr 1988 im Würzburger Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten zugetragen haben soll. Betroffen ist ein damals 17-jähriges Mädchen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Mutmaßliches Opfer spricht Jahrzehnte später über Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Augsburger Allgemeine

[In 1988, a priest sexually abused her, says Alexandra Wolf. She is now making her story public.]

1988 sei sie als Teenager zum Sex gezwungen worden – von einem Priester, sagt Alexandra Wolf. Im Spiegel machte sie ihre Geschichte öffentlich. Nun spricht sie über die Reaktionen. Von Christine Jeske

Ihr Vater bereitete sich in einem Kurs im Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten gerade auf die Weihe zum Diakon vor. Seine damals 17-jährige Tochter begleitete ihn. Was dann geschehen sein soll, erzählte sie über ein Vierteljahrhundert später dem Spiegel-Redakteur Peter Wensierski.
Er übermittelte dieser Redaktion die Fragen an Alexandra Wolf. Sie antwortete sofort. Peter Wensierski veröffentlichte seinen Artikel unter dem Titel „So ein bisserl liebevoll“. Der Satz stammt aus dem kirchlichen Untersuchungsbericht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Alexandra Wolf beklagt "zweiten Missbrauch"

DEUTSCHLAND
BR 24

[Alexandra Wolf accused a priest of the diocese of Würzburg of sexual abuse. She laments what she sees as a cover-up by the church.]

Alexandra Wolf beschuldigt einen Geistlichen des Bistums Würzburg, sie 1988 zum Oralsex gezwungen zu haben. Nun äußert sich die mittlerweile 44-Jährige im BR - und beklagt einen "zweiten Missbrauch" durch die Vertuschung.

Von: Barbara Markus

Von Erbrechen bis Panikattacken

Mit ruhiger Stimme sprach die mittlerweile 44-Jährige über die psychischen und körperlichen Folgen dessen, was ihrer Darstellung nach 1988 im Würzburger Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten geschehen ist: der Missbrauch durch einen hochrangigen Geistlichen, den damaligen Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Bistums:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Bergoglios Schweigen

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutschlandfunk

[Pope Francis and Clergy Sexual Abuse in Argentina - BishopAccountability.org]

[Bergoglio's silence: The pope has repeatedly promised zero tolerance for clerics who sexual abuse children but critics accused him ove covering-up abuse in Argentina.]

Null Toleranz gegenüber Klerikern, die sich an Kindern vergehen. Das hat Papst Franziskus schon mehrmals versprochen. Kritiker werfen dem Argentinier aber jetzt vor, dass er als Erzbischof in Buenos Aires selbst Missbrauchsfälle verschwiegen habe. Ein aktuelles Gerichtsverfahren erinnert an die Vergangenheit.

Von Victoria Eglau

"Als ich dreizehn war, wurde ich von einem katholischen Geistlichen missbraucht – in der Schule des Marianisten-Ordens in Buenos Aires, die ich damals besuchte. Zehn Jahre lang konnte ich das nicht in Worte fassen, konnte es keinem erzählen."

Dem Argentinier Sebastián Cuattromo gelang es schließlich doch, über seine traumatische Erfahrung zu sprechen. Aber nicht nur das: Cuattromo, heute 39, zeigte seinen ehemaligen Lehrer, den Ordensbruder Fernando Picciochi, im Jahr 2000 an, gemeinsam mit einem Mitschüler, an dem sich Picciochi ebenfalls sexuell vergangen hatte. Bevor es jedoch zum Prozess kam, floh der katholische Geistliche in die USA, wo sein Opfer ihn selbst aufspürte: Dank Cuattromos Hinweis wurde der Ordensbruder festgenommen und nach Argentinien ausgeliefert. 2012 verurteilte die Justiz Fernando Picchiochi wegen wiederholter sexueller Nötigung Minderjähriger zu zwölf Jahren Gefängnis.

"Das Wichtigste an meiner Geschichte ist, dass der sexuelle Missbrauch, den ich erlitten habe, mehr als zwanzig Jahre später von der Justiz anerkannt wurde. Das hat einen hohen Symbolwert. Denn ein großer Teil der Fälle von Kindesmissbrauch bleibt ungesühnt." Sebastián Cuattromo brachte seinen Peiniger dank seiner eigenen Hartnäckigkeit vor Gericht. Von der katholischen Kirche erhielt er keine Unterstützung. In Argentinien haben sich in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten etwa 50 katholische Geistliche an Kindern vergangen. Diese Zahl hat die US-amerikanische Internetplattform Bishop Accountability veröffentlicht, die Dunkelziffer liegt vermutlich höher. Ein Teil wurde verurteilt, ein Teil entging der Bestrafung.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Christian Brothers deny dodging sex abuse compensation

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Charlotte King

The Christian Brothers religious order has refuted allegations it is dodging compensation claims from former sex abuse victims.

The order said it had paid over $20 million in compensation through litigation in the last year.

A former student from the St Alipius boys school in Ballarat and his lawyer accused the order of using smoke and mirrors tactics to avoid paying compensation for past abuse.

The survivor, Ron Kochskamper, and his lawyer, Vivian Waller, complained that Christian Brothers were not willing to back a defendant they provided to be sued — Brother Robert Best — with their assets, making it impossible for victims to achieve adequate compensation.

The order has now confirmed that Mr Kochskamper will be provided with a trustee so that legal action can go forward, and this trustee will be financially backed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Plaintiff’s residency questioned in defamation verdict against Paul Kendrick of Freeport

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A $14.5 million defamation verdict against a Freeport man who accused the founder of an orphanage in Haiti of being a serial pedophile hinges on where the plaintiff was living when he filed the lawsuit.

Orphanage founder Michael Geilenfeld acknowledged Wednesday in federal court in Portland that he was in Haiti when he filed the lawsuit. But he said he considered Iowa to be his “home base” in the decades when he ran the orphanage, and he testified that he always planned to return to his home state.

“I was called to Haiti,” Geilenfeld said. “I was born in Iowa and have never let go of my Iowa identity.”

But lawyers for Paul Kendrick, who has relentlessly leveled sexual abuse allegations against Geilenfeld, questioned whether the case belonged in federal court at all, since Geilenfeld was living outside the U.S. at the time.

Geilenfeld would not qualify to sue if he was living in Haiti with no specific time frame for returning to the U.S., but the fact that he maintained ties to Iowa and planned to return will have to be weighed by the judge, said Linda Simard, a law professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.

She said the judge will have to figure out Geilenfeld’s “subjective intent” by looking at the facts and testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Pair indicted on 28 counts for sexual exploitation of a child

NEW YORK
WSYR

LIVERPOOL (WSYR-TV)

A Liverpool man and a teacher’s aide at All Saints school have been indicted for sex exploitation crimes against a child.

The 28-count indictment charges Jason Kopp, 40, and Emily Oberst, 23, with various counts of conspiracy to sexually exploit a child, sexual exploitation of a child, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

The indictment also charges Kopp, individually, with eight counts of sexual exploitation of children, nine counts of distribution of child pornography, and two counts of possession of child pornography.

Kopp is accused of producing and distributing images depicting a female born in 2014 and a male born in 2013.

As for Oberst, the indictment charges her, individually, with two counts of sexual exploitation of children and four counts of distribution of child pornography. Oberst is accused of producing and distributing images depicting a female born in 2014 and another female born in 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Yeshiva University High School students whose sexual abuse was covered up by administration want changes to statute of limitations law

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O’KEEFFE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, March 30, 2016

They got an apology, but they never got justice.

Thirty-four former students at the prestigious Yeshiva University High School claimed in a bombshell $680 million lawsuit that administrators had covered up abuse for decades.

One victim claimed Rabbi Macy Gordon, his Judaic studies instructor, sprayed the pain remedy Chloraseptic on his genitals in 1980 and then violently shoved a toothbrush in his rectum, according to court papers. Another claimed he was attacked by Gordon, who attempted to give him a “mishey” — pinning a boy down and rubbing toothpaste on his genitals.

A federal judge tossed the lawsuit in 2014 — not because the plaintiffs’ claims against the school in Washington Heights were without merit, but because of a persistent obstacle to justice for child victims of sexual abuse in New York State. The statute of limitations had expired.

“We lost for one reason, and one reason only,” said Barry Singer, one of the plaintiffs in the case. “(The school) disputed none of our allegations and we still lost. The only thing to do now is to change the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations protects institutions; it does not protect children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

KENTUCKY ARCHDIOCESE SUED OVER HUNDREDS OF LEWD PHOTOS

KENTUCKY
Church Militant

by Joseph Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • March 30, 2016

LOUISVILLE (ChurchMilitant.com) - The scandal of a Kentucky priest accused of accessing child porn is escalating even after the cleric was sentenced for the crimes.

Following a Tuesday ruling slapping Fr. Stephen Pohl with almost three years in prison, in addition to supervised release and a nearly $8,000 fine, the parents of a young boy are suing the archdiocese of Louisville alleging negligence on their part in reigning in priests accused of sexual misconduct.

In a lawsuit filed with the Jefferson Circuit Court, Richard and Christeena Gallahue claim the priest had taken inappropriate photographs of their son, a student at St. Margaret Mary School, and allege the archdiocese failed to report the misconduct and were careless in their monitoring of Pohl, who had used church computers to view pornography.

The accusations imply a failure on the part of the Louisville church hierarchy to keep a pledge made promising increased efforts to expose abusive priests within the archdiocese. The promise had been made after nearly $26 million was paid out in 2003 to 243 individuals believed to have been molested by diocesan clerics. The suit additionally describes the conduct of Abp. Joseph Kurtz of Louisville — current president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — as "outrageous and intolerable because it offended generally accepted standards of decency and morality."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Archdiocese shares tips for child abuse prevention

KENTUCKY
The Record

Parish bulletins around the Archdiocese of Louisville this month will include tips and reminders about protecting children from abuse. The archdiocese provided the bulletin announcements — in Spanish and English — for the month of April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In a memo sent to parishes, Dr. Brian B. Reynolds, chancellor of the archdiocese, wrote, “Ensuring that our parishes and schools are safe environments for children and youth requires the commitment of all of us.”

The bulletin announcements note that on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, “we celebrate the dignity of every human being as a child of God. This dignity is violated by the crime of sexual abuse, and that is why the church seeks to reach out to victims and survivors of sexual abuse with the healing mercy of God who enfolds all in his loving care.”

The announcements also note, “Every adult has a moral responsibility to report suspected child abuse. In Kentucky, state law requires that any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child is neglected or abused must immediately report the abuse. Sexual abuse of minors is a pervasive societal problem, and only concerted and sustained efforts by all adults in every segment of society can help to protect children and youth.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Principal of Mountain View Christian School in Sequim accused of child rape, molestation

WASHINGTON
Q13 Fox

BY Q13 FOX NEWS STAFF AND JAMIE TOMPKINS

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- Douglas Allison, 55, the principal of Mountain View Christian School in Sequim, has been arrested on charges of child rape and child molestation, the Clallam County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Detectives arrested Allison at his home Tuesday night, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

"Allison was arrested following an investigation into a disclosure made by a 10-year-old female student at the school that she had been sexually assaulted by Mr. Allison," the sheriff's office said.

The victim said Allison had sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions at the school since the beginning of the school year, the release said.

"During the ensuing investigation, detectives discovered a second victim, an 11-year-old female student at the school. The second victim disclosed to Detectives she had been sexually assaulted in similar fashion by Allison," the release said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Spotlight producer and writer discusses journalism's role in social activism

PENNSYLVANIA
The Daily Pennsylvanian

By ARIA KOVALOVICH

Oscar-winning producer and co-writer of “Spotlight” Josh Singer squinted as he walked up to the podium of Annenberg’s Zellerbach Theater. “I am more used to being in a dark room staring at a screen than public speaking, but I guess this is a dark room,” he said.

The Harvard Law graduate-turned-screenwriter-and-producer returned to his native Philadelphia on Wednesday to speak at Penn’s Levin Family Dean’s Forum in a discussion entitled, “How Hollywood is Spotlighting Social Change.”

Singer was joined by “Spotlight” actor Neal Huff as well as a faculty panel comprised of church and state scholar of law Marci Hamilton, child traumatologist Steven Berkowitz and professor of English and cinema studies Peter Decherney, whose most recent book is a short history of Hollywood.

“Spotlight” tells the story of the Boston Globe team that exposed the Roman Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse of children by priests. The movie won this year’s Academy Awards for best picture and best original screenplay.

The three scholars on the panel outlined their field’s stake in the national discussion of clergy sexual abuse of children. Each applauded “Spotlight” for being a large impetus for immediate and future positive change for the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

DA says Alabama pastor's child sex abuse indictment involves family member, not church

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Jonathan Grass | jgrass@al.com

A pastor in Jackson County was arrested on a seven-count grand jury indictment Monday night. Although the sensitive nature of the case prevents prosecutors from divulging much at this point, the district attorney's office has released what it can.

Jeffrey Allen Elkins, 55, is charged with five counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old and two counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes. He is a pastor at the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ in Bridgeport.

Jackson County District Attorney Charlie Rhodes said the charges involve one victim who is a family member of Elkins. He said the alleged crimes do not involve his role at the church.

Rhodes could not say when the alleged incidents occurred because of the investigation and the victim's privacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Evangelicals in Spain denounce “false pastor” accused of sexual abuses

SPAIN
Evangelical Focus

The Evangelical Council in the region of Asturias expresses clear condemnation and “solidarity with those who suffer any type of spiritual abuse.” Prosecutor asks 22 years of jail for the man.

Several media in Spain informed about the case of an alleged evangelical pastor who has been accused of sexually abusing two minor girls. It would have happened in 2012 and the victims informed the police after one of them fell pregnant. The trial will be held in Gijón (region of Asturias) on 21-22 April.

The public prosecutor asks for 22 years of prison for the defendant, who is a Dominican national.

EVANGELICALS CONDEMN SPIRITUAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE

The Evangelical Council of Asturias (CEDPA), the official representative of the evangelical churches in the northern Spanish region, said in a statement: “In the light of such situations, we only can denounce. Our ethical position is clear. We condemn these type of actions, no matter who practices them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Former Stoneham Priest's Alleged Victim Apart of Boston Archdiocese Settlement

MASSACHUSETTS
Patch

By JOE LIPOVICH (Patch Staff) - March 30, 2016

BOSTON, MA - The Archdiocese of Boston has settled for several hundred thousand dollars and counseling services for seven people who said they were sexually abused by priests, one of whom alleged sexual abuse from a former Stoneham priest, according to multiple reports including the Boston Globe.

A victim of the now-defrocked Rev. Richard Coughlin reached settlement with the Archdiocese, who served in both Stoneham and Lynn from 1953 to 1965. Wicked Local Stoneham reports that Coughlin was affiliated with St. Patrick's Church in Stoneham at the time of the abuse.

The agreements came with no admission of liability.

“The monetary settlement allows the survivor to validate their claim and heal," attorney Mitchell Garabedian told Patch. "By coming forward survivors empower themselves and other survivors to make the world a safer place for the children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Brilliant depiction of journalism

UNITED STATES
The Statesman (India)

Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Live Schreiber
Director: Tom McCarthy
Producer: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Michael Sugar
Spotlight

Based on the investigation of the infamous scandals caused by the cases of widespread and systematic sexual abuse committed by the Catholic archdiocese of Boston, 'Spotlight' is a film grounded in reality and painstakingly researched in minute details. It boasts of stellar performances and an intriguing story, throwing light on some of the greatest crimes committed by the Church over the years. It is brilliant in the depiction of analytical journalism and of the deep rot that has permeated and tainted the society created by men who claim to be the messengers of God.

The film follows The Boston Globe's 'Spotlight' team and its investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. It is based on a series of stories by the actual Spotlight Team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. In 2001, The Boston Globe hires a new editor, Marty Baron. Baron comes from Florida and is a complete outsider in the 'small townish' Boston. After Baron reads a Globe column about a lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, accusing Cardinal Law (the Archbishop of Boston) of knowing that a priest was sexually abusing children and doing nothing to stop him, he urges the Spotlight team to investigate. As the team notch their investigations a gear up, we come to know that it is not a case of only one priest but a widespread problem.

We all know what the story is, we all know what happened but what Tom McCarthy does very successfully is that he manages to keep the audience hooked, completely in loop with the journalists themselves. The kind of closed room, stuffy feel which Takayanagi as the cinematographer gives is one of the main reasons for the audience to feel hooked to the story; almost as if they were there. The screenplay by McCarthy and Josh Singer is the real hero in this movie. Devoid of swashbuckling, quotable dialogues and monologues, the screenplay is what defines Spotlight's reality. Hans Zimmer's score although good, feels a little too loud or a tad forced in places.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Church settles sex abuse lawsuits, including against an Orange County priest

CALIFORNIA
The Orange County Register

BY TONY SAAVEDRA / STAFF WRITER

Seven people who leveled sexual abuse allegations against clergy – including one priest who spent time in Orange County – settled lawsuits against the Boston Archdiocese this week for $778,500.

Richard T. Coughlin, a now-defrocked priest who ran the All-American Boys Chorus in Costa Mesa, is among the ex-clergy named in the lawsuits settled this week.

Coughlin came from Boston to the Diocese of Orange in 1965. He was suspended in 1993 after at least six people from Southern California accused him of sexual abuse. Lawsuits against Coughlin have resulted in more than $3 million in settlements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Austin Diocese Implicated in Child Abuse Suit

TEXAS
The Austin Chronicle

BY SARAH MARLOFF, FRI., APRIL 1, 2016

On March 10, Father Milton Eggerling became the seventh Austin-based priest to be accused of sexual abuse (according to the Database of Publicly Accused Priests in the United States). Attorney Tahira Khan Mer­ritt filed a civil suit for her client, John Doe 120, who claims he was sexually abused by Eggerling from the ages of 11 to 16.

Due to Eggerling's death in 2008, and Texas' statute of limitations – the abuse allegedly happened from 1973 to 1978 at what is now known as St. Louis King of France Catholic Church on Burnet Road – Doe cannot pursue criminal charges. Instead, the civil suit looks to hold the Austin Diocese accountable for placing not only Doe but hundreds of other children in Eggerling's care. "The lawsuit alleges negligence and gross negligence against the diocese and its bishops because they knew, or should have known, of Eggerling's propensity to molest boys," Merritt states in the press release. The suit seeks unspecified damages and monetary relief of more than $1 million.

Doe was just shy of 12, a student and altar boy at St. Louis when he first met Eggerling. Doe served mass to Eggerling, who tipped the boy $5. Coming from a less than ideal home life, Doe embraced Eggerling's attention, according to Doe's attorney. "The boy confided in the priest, and rather than helping him, Eggerling used that to manipulate Doe," Merritt tells the Chronicle. The priest's attention continued. Soon he was taking Doe on trips to Barton Springs and the movies, claims the suit, all the while talking to the boy about masturbation and attempting to convince him that it was all right to change into (and out of) swim trunks in the priest's presence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

I ANSWER ONLY TO GOD

PENNSYLVANIA
Church Militant

The horrific story coming out of central Pennsylvania in the past couple of weeks is almost beyond words — the sexual abuse of hundreds of boys at the hands of priests and religious covered up not just by various bishops and religious superiors, but done actually in collusion with local government authorities.

It's all spilling out now in not just one, but two grand jury reports, convened to investigate this very issue. The scope of the original investigation was somewhat narrow, but, as happens quite often, one thing led to another, each covered-up fact led to the revelation of many more, and suddenly, you have not only the crime, but the larger cover-up.

We’ll leave the details of the original stories and the growing list of subsequent ones aside for the moment, but they can be read about and viewed here on Church Militant. The focus of this Vortex is how this all came about — and the how really gets down to a who.

His name is George Foster, a 55-year-old advertising man who is a devout Catholic, completely dedicated to the Church and Her teachings — all of them. For years, he had been gathering information on not just the abusers but those covering it all up, the broad, overarching network of cover-up involving bishops, religious superiors and government officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

National activist calls for resignation of Springfield bishop over handling of recent priest abuse case

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

By Stephanie Barry | sbarry@repub.com

HUNTINGTON — Olan Horne, a nationally recognized activist for survivors of priest abuse, has been through the resignations of a pope and a cardinal. He is now calling for the resignation of a local bishop in the wake of a recent announcement by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

Horne said he and a local deacon ushered the family of the victim of the late Rev. Paul Archambault through a series of meetings with diocesan officials and found the response lacking.

Horne blames retired Bishop Timothy McDonnell for sweeping Archambault's history under the rug and accuses current Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of stonewalling the family and resisting transparency. Horne insists Rozanski should step down. The diocese has defended its handling of the Archambault case and said Rozanski will remain.

Horne has accused the local church of a cover-up reminiscent of the Boston priest abuse scandal, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

March 30, 2016

Another clergy sex abuse victim says Archdiocese is denying therapy

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

[with video]

BOSTON —Yet another survivor of clergy sex abuse has come forward saying the Archdiocese of Boston is breaking its promise to pay for the counseling needed to try to repair the damage from being molested.

“I was told for the rest of my life, if I needed help, if I needed therapy, they would provide it,” the victim told 5 Investigates’ Mike Beaudet.

But it was an empty promise from the Archdiocese of Boston, according to the survivor, who settled his abuse claim with the church in 2006. He spoke on the condition he not be identified.

“To this day I still haven't gotten any help from them, and it’s beyond repair. I'll never ask them for anything,” he said.

He suffered years of abuse at the hands of Father William Cummings at St. Catherine of Genoa Church in Somerville starting when he was 11 years old.

He says he needs intensive inpatient treatment but it was denied by the Archdiocese. His longtime therapist tells 5 Investigates "...(my patient) was so devastated by this outcome that within a number of weeks he had attempted suicide."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 PM

Take part in a new survey regarding access to support services

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

31 March 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to investigate how survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions and their families access support services.

AIFS invites all victim/survivors of institutional or non-familial child sexual abuse to take part in an online survey about their views and experiences of accessing support services.

Parents and carers of victim/survivors are also invited to participate.

For more information and for the link to the survey, please see www.aifs.gov.au/survey-victims-survivors-and-parents-carers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Former Ottawa priest convicted of molesting altar boys in 1969-74

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

BY TOM SPEARS
FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2016

They were altar boys mostly aged nine to 11, given a gold star each time they attended mass, and sometimes invited to see Rev. Jacques Faucher in private.

Let’s practise a prayer, he’d say to one. Let’s watch a hockey game, he said to another. To a third: Let’s look at my stamp collection.

Then he would sit them on his knee and start touching them.

Faucher, 79, was convicted Wednesday of six counts of indecent assault and gross indecency, all involving young boys from the former Notre-Dame-des-Anges parish near Tunney’s Pasture. The charges date from 1969 to 1974, when Faucher was a priest there.

He was convicted of molesting three of five boys who testified against him. Judge Pierre Roger acquitted him on charges involving two other boys, not discounting their stories but saying there was a reasonable doubt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Lawsuit claims Navajo children were abused by Mormons

NEW MEXICO
The Freethinker

Spencer W Kimball, pictured above, was a Mormon “prophet” who masterminded a programme that placed thousands of young Native Americans in the homes of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1947 and 2000.

The Indian Student Placement Programme that drew in some 40,000 children stemmed from the Mormon belief that America’s indigenous people had fled from Israel in the year 600 BCE and had split up into two groups: the Nephites, a righteous and civilised people; and the Lamanites, an “idle, savage and bloodthirsty” people who, after hardening their hearts, were cursed by God with a “skin of blackness” and thus became “loathsome.”

Kimball, raised in southeastern Arizona, was called as an apostle – or one of the top leaders – of the Mormon Church in 1943. Then-president George Albert Smith gave Kimball a special assignment to:

Watch after the Indians in all the world.

Kimball served as the 12th President of the Church from 1973 until his death in 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Former Stoneham priest named in settlement

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Stoneham

By Rich Tenorio
rtenorio@wickedlocal.com

Posted Mar. 30, 2016

STONEHAM

A man who alleged he was sexually abused by a former Stoneham priest was one of seven people who was part of a settlement with the Archdiocese of Boston.

“The world is a safer place for children,” said attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who announced the settlement between the archdiocese and individuals who said they were sexually abused by priests.

In the 10 total settlements and a combined amount of $778,500, reported on Monday, the archdiocese agreed to provide money and counseling for the seven individuals, one of whom said that now-defrocked Rev. Richard T. Coughlin abused him over a five-year period, from 1957 to 1962.

The individual is a male who is approximately 68 years old.

At the time of the alleged abuse, Father Coughlin was affiliated with St. Patrick’s Church in Stoneham and belonged to the Archdiocese of Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Defense: Convicted priest has paid $70K for fines, victims

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A suspended Pennsylvania priest convicted of sexually assaulting poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras has paid $70,000 in fines and restitution, his attorneys said in a court filing.

The filing was in response to a motion by federal prosecutors on Friday seeking to freeze the assets of the Rev. Joseph Maurizio.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines said the 71-year-old priest had transferred 42 acres of land and his home for $1 to his niece in November, after he was convicted, and has continued trying to transfer money from his financial accounts to her since his March 2 sentencing. Haines cited a recorded phone call Maurizio made from jail to his niece on March 8 that involved draining his bank accounts, according to her motion.

But defense attorney Thomas Farrell told The Associated Press last week that Maurizio's niece was his power of attorney and was making the asset transfers only so she could pay a $50,000 fine and $20,000 restitution on the priest's behalf.

U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson gave Maurizio's attorneys until April 1 to respond to Haines' allegations and they did that Tuesday, complete with a copy of two checks dated Saturday, for the fine and restitution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Defense: Convicted priest has paid $70K for fines, victims

PENNSYLVANIA
WTAE

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. —A suspended Pennsylvania priest convicted of sexually assaulting poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras has paid $70,000 in fines and restitution, his attorneys said in a court filing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines said the 71-year-old priest had transferred 42 acres of land and his home for $1 to his niece in November, after he was convicted, and has continued trying to transfer money from his financial accounts to her since his March 2 sentencing. Haines cited a recorded phone call Maurizio made from jail to his niece on March 8 that involved draining his bank accounts, according to her motion.

But defense attorney Thomas Farrell told The Associated Press last week that Maurizio's niece was his power of attorney and was making the asset transfers only so she could pay a $50,000 fine and $20,000 restitution on the priest's behalf.

U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson gave Maurizio's attorneys until April 1 to respond to Haines' allegations and they did that Tuesday, complete with a copy of two checks dated Saturday, for the fine and restitution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Diocese seeks to defrock priest after sex-abuse allegations

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By JoAnne Viviano
The Columbus Dispatch • Wednesday March 30, 2016

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus is seeking to defrock a priest in the wake of an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the 1970s when he served at a Catholic high school and two churches.

The Rev. Ronald Atwood was placed on administrative leave by Bishop Frederick Campbell in July 2013, a day after the diocese received a complaint that he had abused someone while assigned to Bishop Ready High School on the West Side, St. Stephen the Martyr Church on the Southwest Side and St. Peter Church on the Northwest Side from 1976 to 1979.

About a week later, a diocesan board determined that the allegation appeared to be credible, the diocese said in a statement released on Tuesday. Following efforts to determine whether anyone else wanted to come forward, the diocese determined that Atwood should be defrocked.

Documentation seeking the defrocking has been sent to the Vatican and Atwood, who has been a priest in the diocese since 1969 and remains on leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Sex abuse allegations 'credible’ against deceased Northampton priest Paul Archambault

MASSACHUSETTS
Daily Hampshire Gazette

By MICHAEL MAJCHROWICZ
@mjmajchrowicz
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Allegations that a deceased Northampton priest had abused a teenage boy were credible, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said Tuesday in announcing an end to a lawsuit brought in 2013.

The diocese announced that it had reached an undisclosed settlement with a man who said the Rev. Paul J. Archambault sexually abused him beginning when he was 13 and that the priest’s name had been added to an official list— which is maintained by the diocese — of clergy who face credible abuse allegations.

The man who accused Archambault was 20 years old when he asserted in the lawsuit that the priest had sexually assaulted him more than four dozen times in locations such as St. Patrick’s Church in South Hadley, at a spiritual retreat they attended together in Vermont, and at Archambault’s Northampton home, according to court documents. The man said the alleged assaults continued for four years.

The Gazette generally does not release the names of victims of sexual assault.

According to the diocese, Archambault was first assigned to St. Theresa Church in South Hadley in 2005. After a year and a half, he relocated to Baystate Medical Center in 2007 where he was a chaplain. He made his final relocation to St. Mary’s Church in Hampden in 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

The French Catholic church and its pedophilia scandal

FRANCE
Affairs Today

Again the Catholic Church gets tangled up in various scandals of pedophilia. However this new controversy seems to have reached the top of the hierarchy,the person in question: Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon.

A controversy which seems to tell us more about a social division in France rather than a criminal case. ‘Most of the cases, thanks God!, are time barred.’ said the Cardinal Barbarin interviewed about the recent scandals of pedophilia. Even though the Cardinal will apologise later on for those terrible words, his statements represent a certain mindset within the French Catholic Church and its supporters. The facts of pedophilia against young scouts go back to the late 1980s. Father Bernard Preynat admitted the charges against him in January 2015, however, he was removed from office in August 2015. Another case of pedophile abuse committed by a priest was revealed in an interview published by the conservative newspaper Le Figaro, with events dating back to the 1990s. The controversy has focused on the person of Cardinal Barbarin. Some victims of the pedophile priests have decided to lodge charges against him, mainly for not revealing the facts which he certainly knew since 2007. The Preynat father told the police that the facts he is accused of were known by the high clergy in 1991. In addition, a communication error of the Cardinal himself led him to admit that he knew the facts since 2007 while his diocese had officially stated that he had been made aware of the cases in 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

#PÉDOPHILIE Philippe Barbarin, archevêque de Lyon, est visé par une cinquième plainte

FRANCE
L'Obs

[A fifth complaint was formally filed Tuesday against Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, according to "Le Parisien".]

Une cinquième plainte a été formellement déposée mardi à l'encontre de Philippe Barbarin, archevêque de Lyon, selon "Le Parisien".

Pierre, cadre dans un ministère, reproche à Barbarin d'avoir maintenu dans ses fonctions le prêtre Jérôme Billioud qui avait abusé de lui alors qu'il était adolescent, dans les années 1990.

Quatre autres plaintes pour non dénonciation d'actes pédophiles commis par le père Bernard Preynat ont déjà été déposées.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Canadian Journalism Foundation honours Boston Globe Spotlight Team with Special Citation

CANADA
CNW

TORONTO, March 30, 2016 /CNW/ - Boston Globe Spotlight Team reporters Sacha Pfeiffer, Michael Rezendes and Walter Robinson will be honoured at the CJF Awards in Toronto on June 16 with a Canadian Journalism Foundation Special Citation for exemplary journalism.

The reporting team won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for its investigative series exposing widespread child abuse by numerous priests and the systemic cover-up by the Catholic Church in Boston. The Spotlight Team's courageous journalism was portrayed in the movie Spotlight, which won best picture and best original screenplay at this year's Academy Awards.

"At the CJF, we believe that exceptional journalism needs to be honoured," says John Cruickshank, chair of the CJF and outgoing publisher of the Toronto Star. "The work of the Boston Globe reporters highlights the painstaking time and effort that goes into investigative journalism and the profound impact it can have on people's lives. Their work is an inspiration and serves as a reminder of why rigorous journalism is necessary."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Former Gatineau priest Jacques Faucher found guilty of sexually assaulting 3 boys

CANADA
CBC News

Former Roman Catholic priest Jacques Faucher, of Gatineau, Que., has been found guilty of sexually molesting three choir boys in the 1970s.

Faucher was retired in 2013 when Ottawa police laid 14 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency against him. The offences were alleged to have involved five victims and occurred between 1969 and 1974.

On Wednesday, in an Ottawa courtroom, Justice Pierre Roger found Faucher guilty on six of the 14 charges involving three of the five victims.

One of the three victims, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, was in court for the verdict.

'I wasn't alone for these 40 years'

"It's mixed feelings today. I feel good because Faucher was found guilty of the accusations [involving] me, but also a little empty because two of the five of us who went forward, he was found not guilty for them," the man said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

French diocese offices searched in paedophile priest case: source

FRANCE
Yahoo! News

Lyon (AFP) - French investigators searched the offices of the diocese of Lyon on Wednesday over the alleged cover-up of a paedophile priest, a source close to the probe said.

The diocese said in a statement that the Archbishop of Lyon, Philippe Barbarin, who is under fire over his handling of the affair, "has said repeatedly that he is prepared to cooperate openly with the investigation".

The search of the offices is linked to the prosecution of Bernard Preynat, a priest who has admitted sexually abusing scouts that he was supervising in the Lyon area of central France more than 25 years ago.

Preynat's victims have filed a formal complaint against Barbarin and other leading clergy, accusing them of failing to inform the police of the priest's acts when he became aware of them in 2008.

"As part of the preliminary investigation opened by the Lyon prosecutor, the diocese of Lyon has today handed over to investigators material which could shed light on these tragic events," the diocese said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Retired Ottawa priest found guilty of sex crimes against children

CANADA
CFRA

A retired Ottawa priest has been convicted of sex crimes against children.

Back in 2013, Jacques Faucher was charged with six counts each of gross indecency and indecent assault in relation to several victims, including a seven-year-old boy, who were attacked between 1969 and 1974, while Faucher was working as a Catholic priest.

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast says he suspended Faucher and prohibited him from representing himself as a Catholic priest when he was charged by police and given the outcome of the trial, that suspension and prohibition will be in force indefinitely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

N.J. diocese settles decades-old church sex abuse claims

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Greg Adomaitis | For NJ.com

CAMDEN — A Boston-based lawyer announced Monday that settlements have been reached with the the Diocese of Camden regarding two sexual assault claims dating back decades.

Allegations against Rev. Joseph Brennan, who was assigned to the St. Maurice Church in Brooklawn, and Rev. Phillip Matthews, who served at the Mount Carmel Church in Berlin, were among the 16 men named Monday in lawyer Mitchell Garabedian's updated list of the accused.

Garabedian was portrayed by actor Stanley Tucci in the 2015 film "Spotlight" that detailed the sex abuse scandal within the Boston Archdiocese.

According to bishop-accountabilty.org, Brennan allegedly abused a child at a Brooklawn parish between 1957 and 1959. Matthews was accused of abusing a child in 1966. Neither men — both of whom have since died — had been previously identified as being accused of sexual misconduct prior to Monday's announcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

IL--Another Chicago predator cleric case settles

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president and founder of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)

Once again, Chicago area Catholic officials have paid a settlement to a victim of a child molesting cleric but told no one about it.

The painful, slow “drip, drip, drip” of clergy sex abuse and cover up cases continues, in Chicago and across the US. But we learn about the most recent case not from Catholic officials – who persist in their selfish and seemingly endless secrecy - but from a brave victim and his attorney.

Officials at the Darien-based Carmelites (630-971-0724, 630-971-0050, provincialoffice@carmelnet.org) have resolved a child sex abuse case involving Brother Damien “Patrick” Chong, who was associate pastor of St. Gelasius Church on Chicago’s south side from 1991 to 1997.

[Boston Globe]

In 2013, Br. Chong was deemed “credibly accused” of child sex crimes by Catholic officials in California

[BishopAccountability.org]

But neither the Carmelites, nor Chicago archdiocesan officials, did outreach to find others who might have been able to criminally charge Br. Chong.

[SNAP]

Instead, the Chicago Carmelites quietly moved him to Massachusetts and let him stay on the job until well into 2014 at a mall chapel.

[BishopAccountability.org]

These facts confirm the distressing reality that we in SNAP keep exposing and that few in society realize: little has changed in the Catholic hierarchy when it comes to clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

What should happen now? Catholics and citizens should ask the Carmelites and Chicago Archbishop Blasé Cupich:

--“How many other cases have you secretly settled or know about involving Chicago clerics?”

--“Are credibly accused child molesting clerics from elsewhere being allowed to work now in the Chicago archdiocese?”

--“Why, despite decades of pledges of ‘openness,’ did you choose to say nothing about this new settlement? Why

is the settlement being announced by the victim and his attorney and not by the Carmelities or archdiocesan staff?”

Now, Carmelites and Cupich should aggressively seek out others he has hurt. Specifically, Cupich should also go to every place where Br. Chong worked, and beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police. Br. Chong is deceased and can’t be prosecuted. But we believe it’s possible that other church officials might still be criminally charged for ignoring or concealing his child sex crimes. This won't happen as long as the Carmelites and Archbishop Cupich and his colleagues continue to say and do as little as possible.

The first US predator priest attracted national headlines a full 30 years ago. All US bishops promised to be “transparent” about clergy sex crimes a full 14 years ago. It’s appalling that even now, Catholic officials are breaking their pledges and being secretive even after an abuse report is deemed credible and a settlement has been paid. And it’s appalling that deeply wounded child sex abuse victims must publicly prod Catholic officials to do what the Gospel parable of the lost sheep mandates that they do – leave the rest of the flock, go out into the dark and the cold, seeking the one wounded individual who was assaulted as a child by a priest and is still suffering as an adult.

We hope this settlement will provide some comfort to Br. Chong’s victim. We also hope it will encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward, expose predators, protect kids, deter cover ups and start healing.

Remember this settlements – and who disclosed it, the victim and his attorney – the next time someone claims that Catholic officials are “open” and “transparent” about clergy sex crimes and cover ups these days. It’s just not true.

Catholics and citizens must continue to rely on courageous victims, determined journalists and our secular justice system to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about known, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Chicago – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted and cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Enquête préliminaire : le diocèse a remis des documents à la justice

FRANCE
lyon.catholique.fr

[Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said the Lyon diocese has turned over records to justice.]

Dans le cadre de l’enquête préliminaire ouverte par le parquet de Lyon, le diocèse de Lyon a été amené à remettre aujourd’hui aux enquêteurs venus effectuer une perquisition les éléments dont la Justice souhaitait disposer pour faire la lumière sur ces événements douloureux.

Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin a exprimé à de nombreuses reprises sa volonté de coopérer en toute transparence avec la justice : il se tient à sa disposition avec confiance. Il renouvelle le vœu que la Justice puisse agir dans la sérénité indispensable à la manifestation de la vérité et à l’apaisement de la souffrance des victimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Perquisitions à l'évêché de Lyon dans une enquête pour pédophilie

FRANCE
RTS

Une perquisition a eu lieu mercredi dans les locaux de l'évêché de Lyon dans le cadre d'une enquête contre des responsables du diocèse pour non-dénonciation d'agressions sexuelles.

"Dans le cadre de l'enquête préliminaire ouverte par le parquet de Lyon, le diocèse de Lyon a été amené à remettre aujourd'hui aux enquêteurs venus effectuer une perquisition les éléments dont la justice souhaitait disposer pour faire la lumière sur ces événements douloureux", a confirmé le diocèse dans un communiqué.

Plaintes de victimes

Cette enquête a été ouverte parallèlement à l'inculpation fin janvier d'un prêtre pour des agressions sexuelles commises il y a plus de 25 ans sur des scouts qu'il encadrait dans la banlieue de Lyon. Des victimes ont porté plainte contre des responsables religieux, dont le cardinal Philippe Barbarin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Prêtre pédophile : les enquêteurs ont perquisitionné à l'évêché de Lyon

FRANCE
Le Parisien

30 Mars 2016

Une perquisition a eu lieu ce mercredi matin dans les locaux de l'évêché à Lyon (Rhône) dans le cadre d'une enquête ouverte pour non-dénonciation d'agressions sexuelles à l'encontre de responsables du diocèse, dont le cardinal Barbarin.

Cette enquête a été ouverte parallèlement à la mise en examen, fin janvier, du père Bernard Preynat, pour des agressions sexuelles commises il y a plus de 25 ans sur des scouts qu'il encadrait dans la banlieue de Lyon. Des victimes ont porté plainte contre des responsables religieux, dont l'archevêque de Lyon, qu'ils accusent de ne pas avoir informé la justice des agissements passés de ce prêtre lorsqu'il en a pris connaissance en 2007-2008, selon ses propres dires.

«Dans le cadre de l'enquête préliminaire ouverte par le parquet de Lyon, le diocèse de Lyon a été amené à remettre aujourd'hui aux enquêteurs, venus effectuer une perquisition, les éléments dont la justice souhaitait disposer pour faire la lumière sur ces événements douloureux», a confirmé le diocèse dans un communiqué. «Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin a exprimé à de nombreuses reprises sa volonté de coopérer en toute transparence avec la justice : il se tient à sa disposition avec confiance», a ajouté le diocèse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

Police Search Lyon Diocese in Sex Abuse Cover-up Probe

FRANCE
ABC News

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PARIS — Mar 30, 2016

French investigators have searched Catholic church offices in Lyon amid allegations that a renowned cardinal and others had covered up a priest's sexual abuse of boy scouts.

The office of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin says in a statement Wednesday that the headquarters of the Lyon diocese were searched as part of a preliminary investigation into the case, and that church officials have handed over documents "to shed light on these painful events."

Barbarin's spokesman Pierre Durieux says the search is over but would not elaborate.

Barbarin is among six church officials targeted in a case prompted by allegations that a priest had molested boy scouts in the 1980s. Barbarin, who wasn't a cardinal at the time, says he never concealed abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

BBC, CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND SEXUAL ABUSE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue has written an in-depth analysis of sexual abuse at the BBC, and the BBC’s coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. He explains the similarities and dissimilarities, focusing on why the scandals occurred and how the top brass in each institution reacted. He concludes that while the BBC got off easy in a recent report on its problems, its coverage of the Church’s problems was patently unfair. To read his article, click here.

Donohue holds a Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of several books on civil liberties, social issues, and Catholicism.

Excerpt:

Overview
The Dame Janet Smith Review Report on BBC serial rapist Jimmy Savile has many strengths and weaknesses. Her greatest strength is her ability to understand the sociological underpinnings of Savile's predatory behavior and the reasons why his conduct was not taken seriously at work. What makes this particularly commendable is that her training is in law, not social science: she is a former judge.

Smith's greatest weakness is her readiness to exculpate the BBC hierarchy: she wants us to believe that no one in a senior management position ever knew anything about Savile's sexual offenses. What makes this so remarkable is Savile's long history of abuse: he worked at the organization for more than 25 years—molesting some of his victims on the premises of the BBC -- and he bragged about his exploits in public.

To come to this conclusion, Smith sets the evidentiary bar quite high. A less legalistic examination would not have been so forgiving.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Vatican official in Seattle discusses WA sex abuse

WASHINGTON
KING

Michael Konopasek, KING March 30, 2016

SEATTLE -- - A Vatican official visiting Seattle is speaking out about the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church and the crucial role Pope Francis played in restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

Papal spokesperson Rev. Thomas Rosica talked about the crisis in the Seattle area. It’s the first-of-its-kind response since the Archdiocese of Seattle spent $9 million in a settlement with abuse victims earlier this year.

Rosica is the English language spokesperson at the Holy See Press Office. He splits his time between Toronto and Vatican City, working to spread the message of Pope Francis around the world.

“He’s a wonderful Pope, and he’s doing things that haven’t been done for a long time,” said Rosica. “Francis came along and said we must acknowledge what has gone wrong. We must put everything in place that [sexual assault] doesn’t happen again. There’s now a Pontifical commission that’s established, headed by American Cardinal Sean O’Malley, which deals with [the sex abuse crisis] on a world level. This is not just an American problem as some would like to think. This is a worldwide problem.”

The Archdiocese of Seattle earlier this year accused 77 members of its clergy of sexually assaulting children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Operation Midland: Harvey Proctor criticises child abuse inquiry for ruining life

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former MP, cleared of being part of an alleged VIP Westminster paedophile ring, said the Metropolitan Police's inquiry "irreparably ruined my life".

Harvey Proctor, 69, had his home raided and was questioned as part of Operation Midland, which closed last week with no charges brought.

He said the Met had enabled him to be "wrongly depicted as a paedophile, child abuser and child murderer".

The Met has said it was "absolutely right" to investigate the claims.

The Home Office said decisions on investigating allegations were a matter for police forces. ...

Peter Saunders, founder of the charity National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), said Mr Proctor's anger was understandable, but it was "not helpful to attack the police".

"I don't think what's happened with Harvey Proctor has been entirely helpful to the whole process, but I hope it doesn't in any way deter victims and survivors - or complainants as Mr Proctor would call them - from coming forward where there are serious allegations," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Top Funders Target ‘Uneven’ Anti-Abuse Policies

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

[Jewish Funders Network program]

03/29/16

Steve Lipman
Staff Writer

A Los Angeles-based Jewish think tank will unveil an innovative approach next week to help reduce the problem of sexual abuse in the Jewish community, The Jewish Week has learned.

Jumpstart, a “philanthropic research & design lab” launched eight years ago, will announce on Sunday a Funders Pledge that will commit at least a dozen influential philanthropists to support only those Jewish schools and camps that take specific steps “to prevent, report, and investigate sexual abuse of minors.”

The announcement, to be made at the Jewish Funders Network annual conference in La Jolla, Calif., follows a study conducted over the past year about policies and procedures of Jewish day schools and camps to prevent sexual abuse.

According to the survey’s preliminary findings, directors of day schools and overnight camps “report an uneven patchwork of policies and procedures to prevent and respond to incidents of child sexual abuse.”

The Jumpstart study was conducted by sociologist Steven M. Cohen and abuse expert Shira Berkovits in consultation with the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) and the RAVSAK network of community Jewish day schools. It did not seek to measure the extent of sexual abuse in those Jewish institutions, but rather asked about their awareness of the problem and acts they have taken to combat it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Sex abuse claim filed by Navajo siblings

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., March 25, 2016

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

GALLUP – Attorneys representing two adult siblings from the Navajo Nation filed a childhood sexual abuse lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Navajo Nation’s Window Rock District Court Tuesday.

The brother and sister, referred to in the complaint as RJ and MM, allege they were sexually abused in several Mormon foster homes in Utah while participating in the church-sponsored Lamanite Placement Program, also known as the Indian Placement Program, between 1976 and 1983. Their attorneys are Bill Keeler, of Gallup, along with co-counsel Leander “Lee” James and Craig Vernon, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Patrick Noaker, of Minneapolis.

“We want justice, and we want other kids not to be abused,” MM said during a news conference at Keeler’s law office Thursday.

MM and her brother were accompanied by Keeler and Vernon. In addition to seeking monetary damages, the lawsuit is seeking a change in LDS Church policy regarding the reporting of abuse allegations and the implementation of measures to bring healing to Navajo people harmed by the placement program.

Vernon said the lawsuit was filed in the Navajo courts because RJ and MM were recruited for the placement program while they were children on the Navajo Nation, and RJ alleges he repeatedly disclosed the abuse to LDS Church representatives on the reservation.

‘Curse doctrine’

Keeler and Noaker previously filed three clergy sex abuse lawsuits in tribal court against the Diocese of Gallup and two Franciscan provinces on behalf of three Navajo men who alleged they had been sexually abused as minors by a Franciscan priest.

Although all three plaintiffs eventually settled their cases, the first plaintiff saw a legal victory when the Navajo Nation Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s dismissal and remanded the case back to district court. In its decision, the Navajo Nation Supreme Court stated, “Our courts have a duty, in parens patriae, to ensure allegations of harm to our children are fully heard and not dismissed on mere technicalities.”

Keeler said that decision “kind of set the parameters” for this new case against the LDS Church.

Vernon, a former Mormon, said the Lamanite Placement Program, which operated from 1947 to the mid-1990s, was rooted in church doctrine in the Book of Mormon. According to Mormon belief, he said, Native Americans are the descendants of Lamanites, people who fled Israel 600 years before Christ and hardened their hearts to God, causing them to be cursed with dark skin.

“That is really at the core of this Lamanite Placement Program,” Vernon said. In the church, he explained, native children were taught they had dark skin because of this “curse doctrine,” and they could “literally break the curse” by becoming Mormon and assimilating into a Mormon Gospel centered life.

Difficult circumstances

The lawsuit details RJ and MM’s allegations of abuse. RJ, who entered the program at age 10, alleges he was sexually abused in his first Mormon foster family. After reporting the abuse to a couple who had served as missionaries on the Navajo Nation, RJ was removed from that home. He alleges, however, he was repeatedly abused in subsequent foster homes. RJ claims he disclosed the sexual abuse to his LDS placement program caseworker on the Navajo Nation each summer.

In MM’s case, she alleges she was 11 years old when she was raped by an adult man, a friend of her foster family, during her first placement. From sixth grade to 10th grade, MM did not experience any further sexual abuse. However, during her junior and senior years she was placed with her brother in a home where she claims their foster father sexually molested her.

In Thursday’s news conference, RJ said he didn’t think he was believed as a child when he disclosed the abuse. He said he also had to deal with Navajo reluctance to discuss sexual abuse.

“In the Navajo culture, we consider it taboo,” he said. “You’re not supposed to talk about it. You’re supposed to leave it hush-hush.”

RJ and MM agreed the circumstances of their large family posed further difficulties. Their father was an alcoholic, RJ said, and their “desperately poor” mother put at least five of her 12 children in the placement program with the hope that they would get a good education and have a good life. According to RJ and MM, four of the children were abused in the program.

Change in policies

“I believe this is really the tip of the iceberg in this program,” Vernon said of RJ and MM’s allegations of being “circulated from one bad family to another bad family.”

With the lawsuit, the plaintiffs and their attorneys are advocating for a change in LDS Church policies regarding the reporting of suspected child sexual abuse.

Citing published church policies, Vernon said LDS Church leaders are instructed to contact their Mormon bishop with reports of abuse rather than contact law enforcement, and Mormon bishops are instructed to call a church helpline to learn about local reporting requirements and securing legal advice. According to Vernon, the church’s written policy discourages Mormon officials from contacting law enforcement.

“Where is calling the police?” he said.

The lawsuit also calls for the LDS Church to acknowledge and address the “social and cultural harm” caused by the Lamanite Placement Program. The lawsuit seeks letters of apology to the plaintiffs and the Navajo Nation from church officials, and it calls for the LDS Church to establish and fund a task force to work with the Navajo Nation to encourage people who were harmed by the program to come forward and receive help.

Vernon said the lawsuit has yet to be served on the LDS Church. However, he said, church officials are aware of the allegations and have already interviewed RJ and MM.

According to Utah news reports, Kristen Howey, an LDS spokeswoman, released the following statement Thursday: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind and works actively to prevent abuse. This lawsuit was filed earlier today. The Church will examine the allegations and respond appropriately.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Lawsuit Shines “Spotlight” on Sexual Abuse of Navajo Children within the Lamanite Placement Program

NEW MEXICO
Noaker Law

(March 23, 2016 – Gallup, New Mexico). Two enrolled members of the Navajo Nation filed suit against LDS Family Services and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the “Mormon” or “LDS” Church, stemming from child sexual abuse that occurred during the Church’s “Lamanite Placement Program” in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Click Here for File-stamped Copy of Complaint For Personal Injury filed in Navajo Nation District Court, Window Rock District, Case No. WR-CV-36-16. . . .

The specific quote from the Book of Mormon (that the Mormon Church teaches was translated by its founder, Joseph Smith) reads: And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. (2 Nephi 5:21, Book of Mormon).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Bishops condemn exposing children to pornography

AUSTRALIA
The Catholic Leader

March 30, 2016

AUSTRALIA’S Catholic bishops have called pornography exposure among children “a form of abuse” in a submission published by a Senate inquiry last week.

The Bishops’ Commission for Family, Youth and Life of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference made a submission to a Senate inquiry into the harm done to children through online pornography.
The submission said children “have a right to be children” away from harms “inflicted on them by being exposed to pornography”.

BCFYL acting chair Bishop Peter Comensoli said the inquiry was important because “it focuses on the harm done to some of the most vulnerable people in our community”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

AFFAIRE PREYNAT : BARBARIN RENCONTRE LES VICTIMES

FRANCE
Tonic Radio

[Case Preynat: Cardinal Barbarin is meeting with the victims.]

C'est probablement la première conséquence des conseils donnés par Guillaume Didier et son agence de communication de crise, Vae Solis Corporate.

Le cardinal Barbarin a d'abord demandé pardon aux victimes présumées du père Preynat mercredi dernier. On apprend dans le Parisien que l'archevêque de Lyon a également débuté des rencontres avec les familles de ces victimes. Des rendez-vous que certains attendaient en vain, visiblement depuis des mois, parfois des années.

Pas de quoi apaiser les familles qui n'avaient que faire d'explications ou d'un pardon. "On lui demande de reconnaître qu'il n'avait pas pris la mesure du problème et qu'il a commis une faute", a expliqué à nos confrères un couple, parents d'anciens scouts de Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Im Kinderheim Gleink sollen Buben missbraucht worden sein

OSTERREICH
Nachrichten

[Boys were allegedly abuse at the Austrian Cleink children's home.]

STEYR. Mahnwache ehemaliger Klosterzöglinge brachte neue Vorwürfe ans Tageslicht: Erzieher sollen Kinder nicht nur verprügelt, sondern zu sexuellen Handlungen gezwungen haben.

Seine helle Knabenstimme im Chorgesang hätte die Aufmerksamkeit von Pater L. auf ihn gezogen, erinnert sich Herbert P., der von 1973 bis 1976 im Kinderheim in Steyr-Gleink untergebracht war. Mindestens einmal, meistens aber an zwei Tagen in der Woche habe er die Stiege hinauf in die Gemächer des Priesters der Herz-Jesu-Missionare gehen müssen zum "Probesingen", wie der Mann über fünfzig den sexuellen Missbrauch von damals bitter nennt, den er dem Ordensgeistlichen vorwirft. "Ich habe meine Kinder großgezogen", sagte der Familienvater im Rückblick, "nur eines haben sie beklagt, dass ich sie nie richtig herzlich umarmt habe." Denn bei Berührungen auch gegenüber seinen eigenen Kindern sei er zeitlebens gehemmt gewesen nach den leidvollen Erfahrungen in Gleink, begründet Herbert P.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Speedskater Bridie Farrell, 'molested' by Olympian Andy Gabel, says N.Y. law 'doesn't protect children'

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O’KEEFFE, CHRISTIAN RED NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Andy Gabel had already won dozens of medals in international speed skating competitions, including a silver at the 1994 Olympics, when he moved to upstate Saratoga Springs to prepare for the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Bridie Farrell was a star-struck 15-year-old with Olympic aspirations when Gabel arrived in her hometown — and she was thrilled when one of speed skating’s biggest stars took her under his wing.

But Farrell says that what began as a series of generous acts by Gabel — picking Farrell up at 5 a.m. every day for practice, offering her advice on such things as how to properly align her skates — culminated in an uncomfortable encounter on a dead-end street. Gabel, seated beside her in his parked car, asked Farrell if he could kiss her, she says.

She says the speed skating star, then in his 30s, repeatedly molested her in 1997 and 1998, sexual abuse that would leave her feeling lost and depressed years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

New York's outdated statute of limitations robbing child sex abuse victims of justice

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY BRAD HOYLMAN SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The story that a Long Island foster parent allegedly got away with abusing children for two decades should make our blood boil. The question remains: Is Albany going to do anything about it?

Tragically, reports of child sexual abuse are familiar New York headlines. At the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, a recent report identified more than 60 former students abused by more than 22 employees since the 1960s. At Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, famed football coach Philip Foglietta was accused of abusing more than 10 students during his 40-year tenure.

In each case, the abuse tragically continued unabated for decades, in part because authorities don’t trust kids or regard them as reliable witnesses.

By the time many of these survivors came forward as adults to report the crimes, it was too late. New York’s antiquated statute of limitations robs them of their chance at justice. They have to file their cases by their 23rd birthday.

Such Draconian laws place New York State among the worst states in the nation for statutes of limitation. Justice cries out for us to fix this. Under the Child Victims Act, child sex abuse survivors would get just that.

This legislation I sponsor in the state Senate would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil actions for certain sex offenses committed against a minor. For survivors, the bill would also create a one-year “look back” period in which past claims could be revived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Parents file lawsuit against Roman Catholic Bishop of Louisville related to Stephen Pohl case

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The parents of children who attended St. Margaret Mary School have filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Louisville, fighting to keep roughly 200 pictures of children and other evidence from being destroyed and alleging that the church was grossly negligent and displayed "outrageous conduct" when it hired and retained a priest who would later plead guilty to a child pornography charge.

The investigation began after a child told his mother Pohl took pictures of him that made him feel "weird." When the child's parents confronted Pohl, they say they saw similar pictures of another child and reported that to police.

Father Stephen Pohl, who pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison, plus supervised release and a $7,500 fine in criminal court Tuesday afternoon.

The lawsuit was also filed Tuesday.

"We trusted them. We placed our trust in them and that our children would be safe under their care," said plaintiff Christeena Gallahue.

According to the lawsuit, Gallahue went to St. Margaret Mary School in August 2014 to pick up her children, when she saw her 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter sitting on the steps being photographed by Stephen Pohl, who used to be the pastor there. The lawsuit states that Pohl, "acted very nervous and startled, all of which was out of character for Pohl." He allegedly told the mother that he would send her the pictures that he took, but he never did. The following month, the 7-year-old began "acting defiantly," according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Parents of St. Margaret Mary student file lawsuit against Archdiocese of Lou.

KENTUCKY
WHAS

[with video]

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) – On the same day as Pastor Stephen Pohl’s sentencing two parents came forward with a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Richard and Christina Gallahue said their son was one of the children Pohl took pictures of and the Archdiocese did not report Pohl even though they knew that it was happening.

“We trusted the leaders of the church to protect our children. They took a pledge to protect them, we thought they'd be safe and we expected that when they were under their care,” Christeena Gallahue said.

“There is not any policy or procedure in place to deal with the issue of pornography, accessing pornography through wifi equipment owned and operated by the archdioceses. Hopefully if nothing else, this lawsuit will accomplish that,” William McMurry, an attorney for the Gallahue family, said.

The Gallahues said they think there should be some type of system in place that helps prevent this from happening again to someone else's child. They're also asking that all of the pictures and evidence not be destroyed so they can see how long this has been happening and the types of pictures that were taken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Parents to have option of viewing photos ex-pastor took of their children

KENTUCKY
WAVE

[with video]

By Joey Brown, Digital Content Manager

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Parents of St. Margaret Mary students whose children can be identified in photos found on Fr. Stephen Pohl's digital devices will be offered the option of viewing the pictures within the next few weeks, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Pohl was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Tuesday for accessing child pornography while pastor at St. Margaret Mary parish in St. Matthews. Judge David J. Hale sentenced him to 33 months in prison, a $7,500 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release. The prison sentence is four-months shorter than had been recommended. There is no parole in the federal criminal justice system.

Prosecutors stressed that although no pornographic pictures of children who attend St. Margaret Mary were located on Pohl's digital devices, parents remain concerned about the content of the photos and identities of the students who are depicted in them. For that reason, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI are in the process of identifying students in photos that were recovered from Pohl's seized devices. They will contact the parents of identifiable students soon by mail. A general list will not be published or distributed.

As a mother to two students at St. Margaret Mary School, Jill Higginbotham said there will be some build-up as parents wait to see if their children were photographed, including her own.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Willmar women speak out as New Ulm Diocese priests accused of sexual abuse are named

MINNESOTA
West Central Tribune

By Shelby Lindrud on Mar 29, 2016

WILLMAR -- The names of 16 former priests of the New Ulm Diocese, who have been identified as being credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, were released Tuesday by the diocese and the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates. The New Ulm Diocese was the last diocese in the state of Minnesota to release the names of priests accused of sexual abuse.

“We recognize the knowledge and release of the names helps the victims and survivors in the healing process,” said Monsignor Douglas Grams in an interview with the Tribune. Grams is the vicar general of the New Ulm Diocese, and was speaking on behalf of Bishop John LeVoir and the diocese.

“Bishop LeVoir and I, on behalf of the church, apologize to all the victims and survivors of abuse by priests,” Grams said.

The men on the list are Cletus Altermatt, Dennis Becker, Gordon Buckley, Robert Clark, J. Vincent Fitzgerald, John Gleason, Joseph Heitzer, Rudolph Henrich, Harry Majerus, Francis Markey, William Marks, John Murphy, David Roney, Douglas Schleisman, Michael Skoblik and Charles Stark.

All but three of the priests on the list are deceased, according to the diocese, and none of those living continue in ministry. Becker was removed from ministry in 2015, Clark was removed in 2002 and Schleisman was laicized in 1994.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

UPDATE: Support group for people abused by clergy members

IOWA
KTIV

[with video]

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -
A support group for men and women abused by clergy will offer a way for victims to talk about their experiences.

SNAP, or "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests," will hold a confidential support meeting, Tuesday night, at El Fredo's Pizza, in Sioux City, starting at 7:00 p.m.

Organizers say victims, family members and supporters are encouraged to attend.

SNAP member Tim Lennon will be there. Lennon says he was abused by Father Peter Murphy, of Sioux City's Blessed Sacrament Parish, in 1959 and 1960.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Newcastle Anglican diocese public hearing put back to August so it can be held in Newcastle

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE MCCARTHY
March 29, 2016

THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has confirmed a two-week public hearing into Newcastle Anglican diocese will be held in the city of Newcastle itself.

The hearing will now start on August 1, and not the originally planned June 20, after the commission was unable to make appropriate arrangements for a hearing in Newcastle at the earlier date.

In a short statement on Tuesday the commission said the hearing would run from August 1 – 12, with further details closer to the hearing date.

In a Newcastle Herald article on March 15 announcing the public hearing, Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson said he hoped the royal commission would sit in Newcastle so that “the wider community can understand what’s gone on”.

“I welcome the opportunity for Newcastle to have this important inquiry into the church’s life and into serious matters that have been raised over many years concerning the abuse that took place,” Bishop Thompson said.

"It provides the opportunity to understand the culture and conduct that allowed perpetrators to work in our church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Lawmaker expects Assembly to vote on bill allowing sexually abused children to bring lawsuits as adults

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY KENNETH LOVETT NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ALBANY — The sponsor of a bill that would make it easier for sexually abused children to bring lawsuits as adults believes the Assembly will take up the measure this year — the first time since 2008.

Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) said she is hopeful her bill will come to the floor for a vote before the legislative session ends in June.

Markey’s bill would also open up a one-year window for people abused as kids to bring civil lawsuits in cases where the current statute of limitations had already expired — a measure opposed by the Senate Republicans, the Catholic Church and even some Democrats in her own chamber.

Markey’s bill is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan). Hoylman said he’s using the Daily News’ Tuesday front page — part of a series highlighting New York’s worst-in-the-nation law that requires victims of child sexual abuse to come forward by the age of 23 or lose legal recourse — to urge his colleagues to co-sponsor the bill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Equal justice for all kids on sexual abuse

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

With cases of sexual abuse of minors involving institutions and individuals of all backgrounds — public, private and sectarian schools; foster-care agencies and foster parents; teachers; priests; rabbis; football coaches, and on and on — a reform of New York’s antiquated and nationally out-of-step statutes of limitations on sex crimes against minors must be sweeping and fair:

• Laws must be consistent for all offenses, in criminal and civil courts alike.

Allowing a victim to press criminal charges or to file a civil suit forever for some crimes but limiting them from going to court for other, very similar sex offenses is nonsensically unjust.

To cite one example, there is no statute of limitations if a predator repeatedly penetrates a child with an object and causes injury — meaning that such a victim could go to court or seek criminal charges at any point in his or her adult life. But if the same predator inflicts the same repeated penetration but does so without physical injury, the victim must seek action by the age of 23.

• Since child sex abuse victims can need decades to come to terms with their victimization, equalized statutes of limitations must be extended, if not forever, then at least into a reasonable period of adulthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Evidence mounts of missed red flags in case of former Tokyo teacher facing U.S. child

JAPAN
The Japan Times

BY SIMON SCOTT
MAR 30, 2016

When James France heard the news of the recent arrest of Frank Selas, his former scoutmaster at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo, on child sex abuse charges in the U.S., he was not shocked. Instead, he felt a mix of regret and curiosity.

“I found myself wanting to know exactly what he had done. What did he actually do to the kids?” he says. “I wanted to know because we were in close proximity to this person, and I think I wanted to know how potentially bad it could have been. It’s like knowing that you were just diving in the proximity of a great white without realizing it.”

Selas, aka Frank Szeles, who was a fourth-grade teacher at the Catholic boys’ school from 1970 until 1972, had been on the run for 37 years when he was finally taken into custody at his home in Bonita, California, on Jan. 25.

Warrants for his arrest were issued in 1979 for two counts of obscene behavior with a juvenile. The alleged abuse took place on a camping trip for boys in Louisiana hosted by Selas, and one boy was reportedly hospitalized. A grand jury indictment in the southern U.S. state last month saw additional charges leveled against Selas — two counts of aggravated rape, three counts of sexual battery and eight counts of felony indecent behavior with juveniles — meaning that police believe there were at least eight victims in total across the state of Louisiana.

Priests accused of abusing kids named

MINNESOTA
The Journal

March 30, 2016
By Clay Schuldt - Staff Writer , The Journal

ST. PAUL - After months of dialogue, the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates and the Diocese of New Ulm jointly disclosed on Tuesday the names of 16 former priests who were mutually identified as being credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while they were assigned as priests.

The list includes these priests - Cletus Altermatt, Dennis Becker, Gordon Buckley, Robert Clark, J. Vincent Fitzgerald, John Gleason, Joseph Louis Heitzer, Rudolph Henrich, Harry Majerus, Francis Markey, William Marks, John Murphy, David Roney, Douglas Schleisman, Michael Skoblik and Charles Stark.

Thirteen of the accused have died, and all but one was previously named in media reports. Fitzgerald, Heitzer, Henrich and Majerus had credible accusations made against them while working in another diocese, but had no credible accusations made against them while serving in the New Ulm Diocese.

In conjunction with release of the list, attorney Jeff Anderson & Associates held a press conference in St. Paul on Tuesday morning. During the event two women, Kim Schmit and Lori Stoltz, spoke on the abuse they experienced from Roney.

Schmit said that as a youth in 1968 Roney forced her into a corner and abused her after school. She reported the incident to her parents who then complained to the diocese. Schmit's family was informed actions would be taken against Roney; however, the diocese simply relocated him to another parish where he continued to abuse other victims. Schmit later became friends with Stoltz, and both were horrified to learn they had been abused by the same priest despite diocese promises.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Abuse Complaints 'Credible' Against Former St. Clair Shores Priest

MICHIGAN
Patch

BETH DALBEY (Patch Staff) - March 29, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES, MI – Sexual abuse allegations against a former Catholic priest who served parishes in Farmington, Royal Oak, St. Clair Shores have been “found to be credible” after an internal review of complaints against him, the Archdiocese of Detroit said in a statement Tuesday.

Richard Lauinger, 85, left the priesthood in 1975, the diocese said. He was ordained in 1956.

During his 19 years as a priest, he served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows in Farmington, Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, and Christ the King and St. Eugene in Detroit; and as co-pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Clair Shores.

Diocese spokesman Ned McGrath told WWJ the complaints were turned over to the Wayne and Oakland county prosecutor’s offices for review. He declined to release details about when the alleged abuse took place, how many allege victims stepped forward or the age of the alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Special Report: Symbols of Suffering

MAINE
WHDH

[with video]

Reported by Kelli O'Hara

KENNEBUNK, Maine (WHDH) -
Sex abuse victims said they were forced to relive their trauma after learning their church was honoring the priest who they said abused them.

At Saint Martha's in Kennebunk, Maine, a plaque on the wall thanks dozens of people for their donations. One of the names on the plaque is Father James Vallely.

Vallely, who was a priest at the Maine Archdiocese starting in 1952, was accused of sexually abusing at least nine children before he died in 1997. Despite the accusations, he was never prosecuted or defrocked. The church listed him on the plaque for donating money for its stained glass windows.

"It goes to show the lack of compassion," said Jim Tremble, a former altar boy. Tremble said he was 13 years old when Vallely raped him in the backseat of his car. "I was threatened after it was over and I never said a word."

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian is representing Tremble and others who are suing the Archdiocese, saying Vallely abused them. He said he wants to know why Vallely's name was allowed to remain on the wall until recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Diocese of Pittsburgh settles in priest sex-abuse case

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Peter Smith
Of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Diocese of Pittsburgh last year reached a "five-figure" settlement with a man over his claim that he was sexually abused as a youth in the 1980s by a priest whom then-Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua brought into the diocese despite knowing his past sexual predatory behavior and risk of repeating it.

The out-of-court settlement, reached in October, was announced this week by Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who said his client was assaulted by the Rev. John P. Connor, a New Jersey priest who worked in the North Hills section of Pittsburgh in the 1980s.

Allegations of Connor's serial attacks on youths before and after his Pittsburgh tenure were documented in a 2005 grand jury report on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where the late Cardinal Bevilacqua later brought Connor.

But this settlement provides the first allegation that Connor also used his time in the Diocese of Pittsburgh to groom and sexually assault at least one youth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

New details emerge about abusive priest's history with Springfield Catholic diocese

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

By Stephanie Barry | sbarry@repub.com
on March 29, 2016

SPRINGFIELD — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield on Tuesday night released new details about the disciplinary history of the late Rev. Paul Archmbault, subject of a recent civil settlement who committed suicide in 2011 when confronted about the abuse of a teenage boy, officials have said.

Archambault fatally shot himself with one of his own guns at Our Lady of Hope rectory. He did not leave a note, according to police. But, diocesan officials on Tuesday conceded the suicide was likely prompted by a confrontation over the abuse. It has not been publicly disclosed who reportedly confronted the priest.

The 42-year-old Archambault had been ordained just six years earlier. A lawsuit filed in 2013, when the victim was 20, states that he began sexually assaulting the victim, "John Doe," when the boy was 13; the molestation continued for about four years. The complaint alleges the abuse took place at a Chicopee parish, a shrine to the Virgin Mary in Vermont and at Archambault's father's home in Northampton.

The victim is a Chesterfield native but has not been named in court records or by the diocese. As a policy, The Republican typically does not name victims of sexual abuse.

The diocese deemed the allegations against Archambault "credible" and settled with the victim for an as-yet undisclosed money judgment in late January. The settlement was announced earlier on Tuesday. Church officials have made a point to note that Archambault knew the victim and his family long before the priest was ordained.

Plaintiff's lawyer John Connor argued the diocese ignored previous "red flags" raised by parishioners about Archambault's behavior around children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Former priest, 85, accused of sexually abusing minors decades ago in Detroit area

MICHIGAN
The Oakland Press

POSTED: 03/29/16

The Archdiocese of Detroit says it has received complaints of sexual abuse of minors by a former priest. The allegations stem from the time the priest was in ministry.

Allegations against Richard Lauinger, 85, have been brought forward to the Archdiocesan Board of Review and are found to be credible, a statement by the organization said.

Lauinger was ordained in 1956 but he left the priesthood in 1975 and all ties with the diocese were severed.

Lauinger served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows, Farmington; Christ the King, Detroit; Shrine of the Little Flower, Royal Oak; St. Eugene, Detroit; and as co-pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland; St. Clair Shores.

Ned McGrath, Director of Communications for the diocese, said the organization started receiving complaints against Lauinger in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

March 29, 2016

Former Deerfield pastor charged with sex abuse may avoid trial

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Karen Berkowitz
Pioneer Press

A former Deerfield pastor charged with the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl will be undergoing an evaluation, and it's likely his criminal case will be resolved without a trial, a Lake County prosecutor said Tuesday.

Assistant State's Attorney Jason Grindel provided the update to Lake County Circuit Court Judge Victoria Rossetti during a status hearing for Samuel Kee, who is charged with criminal sexual abuse of a minor.

Kee, 39, was pastor of teaching and discipleship at the North Suburban Evangelical Free Church in Deerfield on Oct. 14, 2015, when he voluntarily walked into the Deerfield police station to confess to an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl in the summer of 2014. Kee was charged Oct. 15, 2015, and pleaded not guilty during a court appearance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Solicitation charge dismissed against former EMU VP

VIRGINIA
Mennonite World Review

Mar 29, 2016 by Tim Huber, Mennonite World Review

A judge dismissed a charge of solicitation of prostitution against former Eastern Mennonite University vice president of enrollment Luke A. Hartman on March 29, roughly a week after a Harrisonburg, Va., congregation acknowledged its pastors knew of an alleged “abusive relationship” involving him about a year and half before he resigned from his position in January.
Hartman was arrested Jan. 8 on a misdemeanor charge. Rockingham County Judge William Eldridge said there wasn’t enough evidence to show “a specific act that was elicited.”

Hartman has been a speaker at several Mennonite Church USA youth conventions.

A March 20 letter from Lindale Mennonite Church pastors and elders to congregants says an “abusive relationship” was brought to the staff’s attention in August 2014 and that “the victim . . . has been deeply traumatized by Luke Hartman. . . . We are grateful that the victim had the courage to step forward despite her overwhelming fear.”

The letter says lead pastor Duane Yoder and associate pastor Dawn Monger have been “walking with the victim” and “attempting to hold [Hartman] accountable for his actions.” The letter does not indicate what Hartman is alleged to have done. It states pastors have worked “to keep the victim safe” and that “professional counseling was provided.”

The letter does not indicate this information was shared with EMU.

In response to questions, EMU released a statement to MWR on March 29:

“In August 2014, Lindale (Va.) Mennonite Church leaders alerted Eastern Mennonite University institutional leaders about a situation concerning an inappropriate sexual relationship between Luke Hartman and a church member. The relationship had taken place some years prior to Luke Hartman’s employment as vice president for enrollment at EMU.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Diocese of Pittsburgh settles sex abuse case for undisclosed 'five-figure' sum

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

BY MATTHEW SANTONI | Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Diocese of Pittsburgh reached an undisclosed “five-figure” out-of-court settlement late last year with an alleged victim of a sexually abusive priest who served in Allegheny County from 1985-88, his attorney announced this week.

Boston-based attorney Mitchell Garabedian said the settlement was reached in October over his client's alleged sexual assault by John Connor, who was a chaplain at Sewickley Valley Hospital and then a priest at St. Alphonsus Church in Pine. His client, now in his 40s, was 12 to 14 years old when the abuse took place between 1985 and 1986 in Connor's car, a Pittsburgh movie theater and on a Bradford Woods basketball court, Garabedian said.

The statute of limitations for criminal charges has expired, Garabedian said, but he was publicizing the civil settlement and others to urge the Catholic Church toward greater transparency. “My client should be proud of himself for having the courage to report sexual abuse,” said Garabedian, whose work representing victims of abusive priests was portrayed in the movie “Spotlight.”

“In doing so, my client has empowered himself, other clergy sex-abuse victims and children everywhere,” he said. “It's time to end the secrecy surrounding clergy sexual abuse, and the only way to do that is reporting the known perpetrators.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Abuse settlement reached in case of priest who committed suicide

MASSACHUSETTS
WWLP

Mark Wiernasz
Published: March 29, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese has reached a settlement concerning an abuse allegation of a minor by the late Father Paul Archambault. According to a statement from the Diocese of Springfield, Fr. Archambault committed suicide in 2011 apparently after being confronted with the abuse allegations.

A native of Northampton, Fr. Archambault had been assigned or did ministry work in Holy Name of Jesus in Chicopee, St. Mary in Hampden, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Northampton, St. Theresa in South Hadley, and Our Lady of Sacred Heart in Springfield. He had also served as a hospital chaplain. The Diocese did not say whether the victim was male or female, but had known Fr. Archambault for many years prior to his ordination as a priest.

In the statement, Bishop Mitchell Rozanski said, “I want to extend to all victims my sincere apology for what they had to endure. I want to assure them and the entire community of my fervent resolve to continue to address this terrible plague upon our Church through our ongoing screening, education and awareness efforts. We must never let our guard down; rather we must all remain vigilant.”

The diocese has now added Fr. Archambault’s name to the official list of clergy with credible claims of abuse. Reports of abuse by clergy or someone working for the Catholic Church should be reported to local law enforcement, as well as the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 413-452-0624 or the confidential line at 1-800-842-9055.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Attorneys file documents idicating convicted Somerset County priest's family paid $70K in fines, restitution

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

BY PAUL PEIRCE | Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Attorneys for a Somerset County priest convicted of molesting boys in a Honduran orphanage filed documents Tuesday in federal court in Pittsburgh indicating that his family has paid $70,000 in court-ordered fines, costs and restitution, effectively ending a dispute with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Last week, U.S. Attorney David Hickton's office had asked a judge to freeze $1.2 million in assets held by the Rev. Joseph Maurizio for 60 days, alleging he was quietly transferring money and other property to relatives since March 1, when he was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines alleged in a motion that Maurizio, 70, had made no attempt to pay the fines, costs and restitution stemming from his conviction, despite Judge Kim Gibson's order to begin making payments within 10 days of his sentencing.

Maurizio's attorneys, Steven P. Passarello of Altoona and Thomas Farrell of Pittsburgh, in their court filing provided copies of bank drafts of $70,000 that relatives withdrew from the priest's accounts Friday and forwarded via certified mail to the federal clerk's office in Pittsburgh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

"Schade, dass erst jetzt so aufgeklärt wird"

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutschlandradio Kultur

[In recent years, numerous cases of abuse in the famous chorus of the Regensburger Domspatzen have become known. However, many of those responsible are struggling today to find a reasonable deal, but others seek enlightenment on what happened.]

Von Lisa Weiß

In den letzten Jahren sind zahlreiche Missbrauchsfälle im berühmten Chor der Regensburger Domspatzen bekannt geworden. Doch viele der Verantwortlichen tun sich bis heute schwer, einen angemessenen Umgang zu finden, andere aber bemühen sich um Aufklärung.

Chorprobe bei den Domspatzen. Knapp 80 Jungen stehen oder sitzen im großen Chorsaal, die kleinen vorne, die großen hinten. Domkapellmeister Roland Büchner ist am Klavier, gibt eine Stelle vor - die Schüler singen nach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt nach Missbrauchsvorwurf

DEUTSCHLAND
BR 24

[The public prosecutor's office is now investigating an allegation that a priest, who later became abuse officer for the Wurtzburg diocese, sexually abused a teenage girl.]

Von: Barbara Markus
Stand: 29.03.2016

Das Ermittlungsverfahren wegen sexueller Nötigung hat der Würzburger Oberstaatsanwalt Boris Raufeisen dem BR bestätigt. Auslöser war ein Bericht des "Spiegel" über Vorwürfe einer heute 44-Jährigen. Ihrer Aussage zufolge soll sich der Kleriker im Jahr 1988 an ihr vergangen habe. Der Missbrauch an der damals 17-Jährigen soll sich bei einem Treffen im Würzburger Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten im Rahmen der Diakonatsausbildung des Vaters ereignet haben.

Mögliche Verjährung wird überprüft

Zur Person des Beschuldigten liegen Erkenntnisse des Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Bistums vor, so Oberstaatsanwalt Raufeisen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

MA--Another MA predator priest case settles

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Catholic officials are disclosing that a clergy sex abuse and cover up case has settled. We hope that this resolution will prod others with information or suspicions about child sex crimes by Fr. Paul J. Archambault to come forward and get help from independent sources.

[MassLive]

He is the 48th publicly accused child molesting cleric in the relatively small Springfield diocese. (BishopAccountability.org)

We are grateful that Bishop Mitchell Rozanski took the initiative to announce the settlement. His colleague - Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley – often refuses to do this, and refused to do so yesterday in several cases.

[SNAP]

At the same time, however, we’re disappointed that Bishop Rozanski lists so few proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics on his website. And we’re disappointed the bishop uses lines and language designed to distance himself from this predator and that reveal more about the victim than he should (like disclosing that “Fr. Archambault knew the victim’s family personally for many years before ordination”). There’s nothing to be gained, save a little public relations advantage, by revealing such information.

We hope this settlement will bring some comfort and closure to the brave young man who had the wisdom to understand he’d been hurt, the courage to speak up, and the strength to seek justice in the courts. We commend him for his bravery and are confident he has done the right thing and will inspire others who are suffering to come forward.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Springfield – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Attorney: Columbus Catholic Diocese reaches settlement with alleged abuse victim

OHIO
10TV

COLUMBUS, Ohio - An attorney tells 10TV the Catholic Diocese of Columbus has reached a settlement with a man who says he was sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s.

Father Ronald Atwood was removed from the church in July 2013, one day after the dioceses received a complaint that he had abused a minor.

The man who filed the lawsuit claims the abuse happened between 1975 and 1980 in Atwood's office at Bishop Ready High School in west Columbus.

Tonight, SNAP, or Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is calling on the Catholic Diocese to reveal when victims come forward.

An attorney for Atwood's accuser, who is now in his mid-50's, told 10TV his client didn't want to talk about the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

MI--Detroit priest is accused of abuse

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

In an extraordinarily vague and short announcement, Detroit Catholic officials admit that a priest is a credibly accused child molester. But they refuse to disclose his whereabouts or aggressively seek out others he has hurt. Shame on them.

[Detroit Free Press]

We hope that others with information or suspicions about Fr. Ronald Lauinger will come forward and seek help from independent sources.

Archbishop Allen Vigneron and Ned McGrath, one of his public relations officials, won’t say whether Lauinger hurt boys or girls, when or where the crimes happened or disclose any real helpful information. They won’t say when church officials first received a report of these crimes or how long it took church officials to substantiate them. They are doing the absolute bare minimum while leaving other kids in harm’s way by being so secretive.

We urge Vigneron, McGrath and other Detroit church staff to change their minds and disclose Lauinger’s whereabouts so that parents can be warned and families can be protected.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Detroit – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

New Ulm Diocese names 16 priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Tim Nelson Mar 29, 2016

The Diocese of New Ulm has released a list of 16 priests it says have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children in and out of the diocese.

All but three of the priests have died, the diocese said, and all but one have already been identified in media reports.

The list was released in conjunction with a St. Paul law firm, where two women spoke about their own experiences.

Kim Schmit said she was a school girl in 1968 when she was a victim of abuse at her church in Willmar.

"I was standing there waiting for my taxi after release classes when the priest approached me, backed me into the corner, into the dark," she said. "It only happened once for me, and I went home and told my mom. And my parents went and confronted, and they promised something would have been done. But nothing was done."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

'Credible' Abuse Claim Against Ex-Royal Oak Priest: Church

MICHIGAN
Patch

By BETH DALBEY (Patch Staff) - March 29, 2016

ROYAL OAK, MI – Sexual abuse allegations against a former Catholic priest who served parishes in Farmington, Royal Oak, St. Clair Shores have been “found to be credible” after an internal review of complaints against him, the Archdiocese of Detroit said in a statement Tuesday.

Richard Lauinger, 85, left the priesthood in 1975, the diocese said. He was ordained in 1956.

During his 19 years as a priest, he served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows in Farmington, Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, and Christ the King and St. Eugene in Detroit; and as co-pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Clair Shores.

Diocese spokesman Ned McGrath told WWJ the complaints were turned over to the Wayne and Oakland county prosecutor’s offices for review. He declined to release details about when the alleged abuse took place, how many allege victims stepped forward or the age of the alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Springfield Diocese Adds Priest Who Committed Suicide To List Of ‘Credibly Accused Clergy’

MASSACHUSETTS
New England Public Radio

by: Sam Hudzik
MARCH 29, 2016

The Catholic Diocese of Springfield has settled a lawsuit over child sexual abuse by a priest who committed suicide in 2011.

The diocese says it appears that Father Paul Archambault killed himself shortly after he was confronted about the abuse. Those allegations came out in lawsuit in 2013, two years after the priest’s death.

In a statement, the diocese says it “now recognizes this victim’s allegation as credible.”

“[The abuse] took place at a time when it was really the height of the clergy abuse scandal — being in the press and becoming public, which was extraordinary from our point of view that this was happening at that very same time where supposedly there was such heightened awareness of the issue,” said John Connor, a lawyer for the victim.

The diocese has added Archambault’s name to its public list of “credibly accused clergy.” That list includes the names of 17 priests and former priests from the Springfield diocese, which includes the four western Massachusetts counties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Diocese identifies priest who was accused of sexual abuse worked in St. Peter

MINNESOTA
St. Peter Herald

By NANCY MADSEN nmadsen@stpeterherald.com

The Diocese of New Ulm and a St. Paul law firm identified one priest who served in St. Peter among 16 who were credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while they were assigned as priests.

Father Harry Majerus, who was pastor of Church of the Immaculate Conception in St. Peter, had a credible accusation during his time with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which was reported in the media in 2014. There are no credible accusations against him during his time in the Diocese of New Ulm, including while at the St. Peter church, a March 29 news release from the diocese and Jeff Anderson and Associates said.

Majerus was the last pastor of Church of the Immaculate Conception, as it merged with the Church of St. Peter in 1991. Majerus, who was ordained in 1942 and worked in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of New Ulm until 1987, died in 1995.

“It is important that we recognize the credible accusations made against these men and acknowledge the terrible harm done by abuse in Church ministry,” said Bishop John LeVoir of the diocese in the news release. “On behalf of the Church, I apologize for the grave offenses committed against the vulnerable by those who were ordained to serve our communities. We are grateful to the survivors who have come forward already and encourage those who have not yet come forward to do so.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

In Cuba and Argentina: Pres. Obama 2, Pope Francis 0

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on March 29, 2016 by Betty Clermont

President Barack Obama traveled to Cuba and Argentina last week.

In Cuba, Obama met with 13 Cuban dissidents at the US Embassy in Havana. They gave him the names of political prisoners the day after Cuban President Raul Castro said there were none in his island nation. Obama said the US continues to have “deep differences” with the Cuban government in the area of human rights and democracy. “My hope is that by listening and hearing from [the dissidents] that we can continue to refine our policy in such a way that ultimately the Cuban people are able to live freely and prosperously.”

In an earlier speech, Obama stated that equality under the law, the right to criticize the government, to protest peacefully, to practice faith peacefully and publicly, and to choose governments in free and democratic elections, are universal “rights of the American people, the Cuban people, and people around the world.”

Pope Francis visited Cuba September 19-22, 2015. He refused to meet with dissidents and kept silent about political prisoners and other victims of the Castro regime. His only mention of “freedom” was in regards to that of his Church.

Obama honored the victims of the 1976-1983 Dirty War in Argentina on March 24, the 40th anniversary of the military coup.

Pope Francis has not returned to his native land although he has made four trips to Latin America. His two predecessors had quickly returned to Poland and Germany, respectively, to massive acclaim by their compatriots. But when asked by a reporter on Feb. 18, “Holy Father, when are you going to go to Argentina?” – Pope Francis avoided the subject.

The Dirty War

A brutal junta initiated the Dirty War resulting in the “disappearance” of approximately 30,000 Argentines. Even those only suspected of being a dissident were kidnapped, tortured and murdered. The kidnappings – or disappearances – were preferred by the dictators to open bloodshed on their own populace for the practical effect of subduing outright civil war because the friends and families of the disappeared worked and hoped for the release of their loved ones. Because the barbarity was largely hidden, this was called the Dirty War.

Shortly before Obama’s arrival in Buenos Aires, his administration announced that US government documents relating to this period would be declassified. The Nixon/Ford Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger supported the coup. Perhaps the newly unclassified documents will show a more direct US involvement in Argentina similar to the role we played in the 1973 military coup ousting the democratically-elected Chilean Pres. Salvador Allende by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Former St. Margaret Mary Pastor and Priest sentenced on child porn charges

KENTUCY
WDRB

[with video]

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Priest, Father Stephen Pohll, who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges was sentenced today.

Ted Shouse, Pohl's Attorney says, "He's relieved this has come to an conclusion."

Pohl spoke to the court saying he apologizes to the St. Margaret Mary Parish, the Archbishop, his family and friends and the public. He said he deeply regrets the sadness caused by this.

He went on to say, "I pray forr God's mercy and forgiveness" and that his actions "may have God's healing and peace."

Shouse says, "I think it was sincere. It was honest and it comes from Father Pohl's heart."

20 people also wrote letters in support of Pohl for the judge to read before sentencing. Some asked the judge to have mercy on Pohl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Priest sentenced to prison on child porn charges

KENTUCKY
Courier-Journal

Matthew Glowicki, @MattGlo

March 29, 2016

Former pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish Stephen Pohl has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for viewing child pornography.

U. S. District Court Judge David Hale sentenced Pohl, 57, at a sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon.

Pohl, a first-time offender, poses a low risk for repeating his crime and is undergoing sex offender treatment, said his attorneys Ted Shouse, Annie O'Connell and John H. Harralson in a court filing last week.

In January 2016, the Roman Catholic priest admitted to accessing the pornographic images of nude underage boys on computers at the church rectory and office between January and August 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Fmr. St. Margaret Mary pastor sentenced to 33 months in prison on child porn charge

KENTUCKY
WHAS

WHAS11.com staff , Associated Press and Bethanni Williams, WHAS
March 29, 2016

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- A former pastor at St. Margaret Mary was sentenced to 33 months in prison on March 29.

In January, Stephen Pohl pleaded guilty to to one count of accessing child pornography with the intent to view. Pohl admitted to looking at explicit images on computers in his work and living areas at St. Margaret Mary.

Since the judge accepted a plea deal in this case Pohl will also have to register as a sex offender.

Police seized Pohl's computer during an investigation that started after a student told his parents he felt "weird" about some photos that Pohl had taken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Boy's parents sue archdiocese over priest

KENTUCKY
Courier-Journal

Andrew Wolfson, @adwolfson March 29, 2016

The parents of a boy photographed by the Rev. Stephen Pohl at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church has sued the Archdiocese of Louisville, saying that for decades he engaged in the bizarre practice of taking pictures of clothed children in sexual poses and that the church should have put a stop to it.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Jefferson Circuit Court, also says Pohl’s misconduct shows the archdiocese broke the promises it made to ferret out abusive priests when it paid $25.7 million in 2003 to 243 men and women who were molested as children at Catholic schools and churches.

“Such promises are proven by the conduct of Father Stephen Pohl to be hollow assurances,” attorney William F. McMurry says in the complaint filed on behalf of Christeena and Richard Gallahue Jr. “Sadly, these past lawsuits have done nothing to change the leadership culture, and the children of the church remain at serious risk of sexual abuse and exploitation by priests.”

McMurry was co-lead counsel in the priest abuse settlement, which at the time was the largest paid by an archdiocese out of its own pocket.

The suit was filed as Pohl was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court to 33 months in federal prison for accessing child porn from computers at the rectory and office of St. Margaret Mary, where he was a pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Springfield diocese names late priest to list of abusers

MASSACHUSETTS
The Eagle

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has reached a settlement with a man who said a priest sexually abused him as a minor.

The diocese announced Tuesday that it has added the name of the late Rev. Paul Archambault to its list of clergy with credible claims of abuse. The list is posted on the diocesan website.

The diocese says according to legal filings in the case, it appears that Archambault took his own life after being confronted with the allegations in 2011.

The diocese is asking parishes where Archambault served to alert those communities. Those include: Holy Name of Jesus, in Chicopee; St. Mary's Church, in Hampden; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, in Northampton; St. Theresa, in South Hadley; and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, in Springfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Late priest named to list of abusers

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. —The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has reached a settlement with a man who said a priest sexually abused him as a minor.

The diocese announced Tuesday that it has added the name of the late Rev. Paul Archambault to its list of clergy with credible claims of abuse. The list is posted on the diocesan website.

The diocese says according to legal filings in the case, it appears that Archambault took his own life after being confronted with the allegations in 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Archdiocese of Detroit: Child sex allegations 'credible'

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

AP

The Archdiocese of Detroit says child sexual abuse allegations against a former priest have been found to be credible.

The Catholic administrative body for southeastern Michigan made the announcement Tuesday after an internal board reviewed allegations against Richard Lauinger. The 85-year-old was ordained in 1956 and left the priesthood in 1975.

Diocese spokesman Ned McGrath said Lauinger hasn't lived in Michigan since 1985 but declined to say where he is now. The Associated Press called two phone numbers assigned to someone with the same name and age and left messages.

McGrath said the complaints were turned over to the Wayne and Oakland county prosecutor's offices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Names of 16 Priests Accused Of Abuse Released By New Ulm Diocese

MINNESOTA
KEYC

By Kelsey Barchenger

The names of multiple priests accused of sexually abusing children while working for the New Ulm Diocese has just been released.

Just within the last hour the New Ulm Diocese has released the names of 16 of its priests accused of sexually abusing children from the 1940s through the '90's. Of these 16 men, 13 are deceased.

New Ulm is the last of the state's six dioceses to release such a list.

This morning, two of the victims of abuse along with their attorneys spoke out at a press conference on the matter, saying this is not only a big first step in their over two year court battle to get these names released, but it's also a chance for other victims to come forward.

Mike Finnegan said, "It's extremely important to them–number one for child protection that there's no more secrets around sex abuse in the Diocese of New Ulm and number two to reach out to all the survivors that are out there suffering secrecy, silence and shame that they know they can get help and they can come forward confidentially but time is running out."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Diocese of New Ulm releases names of priests credibly accused of sex abuse

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

By Leah Buletti lbuletti@mankatofreepress.com

NEW ULM — After a lengthy legal battle, the Diocese of New Ulm and a St. Paul law firm have jointly released the names of 16 priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse while assigned as priests.

Of the 16 men, 13 are deceased and all but one — Cletus Altermatt — have been named in prior media reports.

The names were released at a news conference Tuesday morning held by the law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates, during which two victims shared their stories.

"In order for kids to be safe, the names of the credibly accused need to be out there," attorney Mike Finnegan said after the conference.

The release of names is also important so survivors know it's safe to come forward, Finnegan said. More priests are expected to be added to the list now that it's public, something that has happened after other dioceses in the state have released lists.

The Diocese of New Ulm was the last one in the state to release its list of names.

For several years, attorney Jeff Anderson and his firm have been filing lawsuits in several Minnesota district courts, including in Brown County, on behalf of victims claiming they were sexually abused by priests. Many lawsuits included requests to have the lists released to the public and similar lists created by dioceses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, St. Cloud, Winona, Duluth and Crookston have been released either voluntarily or through court order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Disclosures of Names of Priests Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Diocese of New Ulm

In March 2016, the Diocese of New Ulm, working in close cooperation with the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates, disclosed the names of 16 men they mutually identified as being credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while they were assigned as priests.

The disclosure of names is the result of discussions and sharing of information between the Diocese of New Ulm and Jeff Anderson & Associates, which both recognize that the disclosure of names is an important part of the healing process for many victims and survivors of abuse.

Of these 16 men, 13 are deceased and all but one has been previously named in media reports.

Four of the 16 men, J. Vincent Fitzgerald, Joseph (Louis) Heitzer, Rudolph Henrich and Harry Majerus, do not have credible accusations against them stemming from incidents reported to have occurred in the Diocese of New Ulm. However, the four men have been credibly accused of abuse in other dioceses and all four men worked at some point in what is now the Diocese of New Ulm.

The Diocese of New Ulm and Jeff Anderson & Associates will continue to work closely together to promote healing for victims and survivors and protect children and young people.

To find out more, please see the joint statement released on March 29, 2016.

These men have been identified as having credible accusations of abuse against them.
You may see a man’s assignment history by clicking on his name in the list below.

* Fr. Cletus Altermatt – deceased 1978
* Fr. Dennis Becker – removed from ministry in 2015
* Fr. Gordon Buckley – deceased 1985
* Fr. Robert Clark – removed from ministry in 2002
* Fr. J. Vincent Fitzgerald – deceased 2009
* Fr. John Gleason – deceased 1998
* Fr. Joseph (Louis) Heitzer – deceased 1969
* Fr. Rudolph Henrich – deceased 1992
* Fr. Harry Majerus – deceased 1995
* Fr. Francis Markey – deceased 2012
* Fr. William Marks – deceased 1979
* Fr. John Murphy – deceased 2001
* Fr. David Roney – deceased 2003
* Douglas Schleisman – laicized 1994
* Fr. Michael Skoblik – deceased 1989
* Fr. Charles Stark – deceased 1991

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Names of 16 accused priests in New Ulm Diocese released

MINNESOTA
Bemidji Pioneer

By Forum News Service

ST. PAUL -- The names of 16 priests accused of sexual abuse while working at the Diocese of New Ulm were released Tuesday morning.

The law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates and the Diocese of New Ulm jointly disclosed the names of 16 men during a news conference Tuesday morning in St. Paul. The men were mutually identified as being credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while they were assigned as priest.

The 16 names released include: Cletus Altermatt,Dennis Becker, Gordon Buckley, Robert Clark, J. Vincent Fitzgerald, John Gleason, Joseph (Louis) Heitzer, Rudolph Henrich, Harry Majerus, Francis Markey, William Marks, John Murphy, David Roney, Douglas Schleisman, Michael Skoblik and Charles Stark.

“On behalf of the Church, I apologize for the grave offenses committed against the vulnerable by those who were ordained to serve ourcommunities. We are grateful to the survivors who have come forward already and encourage those who have not yet come forward to do so,” said Bishop John LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm in the news release.

“The Diocese of New Ulm is demonstrating a willingness to be transparent about clergy who have abused children,” said attorney Jeff Anderson in the news release. “This agreement to release information is an important step in transparency and child protection and safety. We will continue to work together to put this commitment into action, and we encourage other possible survivors to step forward.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Victims Speak Out On Priests Named By New Ulm Diocese

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

[with video]

March 29, 2016 By Ashley Roberts

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A list of former priests accused of sexually abusing children while they worked in the Diocese of New Ulm has been released.

Tuesday morning, survivors encouraged other victims who may be out there to come forward.

The list, released for the first time, includes the names of 16 men accused of sexually abusing children when they served as priests. Out of that number, only three are still alive.

Attorneys say disclosing their names is an important part of the healing process for the victims.

At some point, all of the men accused worked for what is now the Diocese of New Ulm. Attorney Jeff Anderson says the allegations date back to the early 1950s.

Tuesday morning, we heard from victims Lori Stoltz and Kim Schmit. They say one of the priests, who is accused of sexually abusing at least 30 victims and died in 2003, abused them as children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

STATEMENT ON REV. PAUL J. ARCHAMBAULT

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

The Diocese of Springfield has reached a settlement with an individual regarding their claim that while a minor they had been sexually abused by the late Rev. Paul J. Archambault whom they had known personally for many years prior to his ordination.

Based on the legal filings in this case, it now appears that after being confronted with these allegations in 2011, Rev. Archambault took his own life.

In light of this, the Diocese of Springfield now recognizes this victim’s allegation as credible and accordingly has added Rev. Archambault’s name to the official list of clergy with credible claims of abuse found on the diocesan website (http://diospringfield.org/wp-content/uploads/2016-
List-of-accused-priests-for-website-1.pdf).

We are also asking parishes where Rev. Archambault was assigned, or conducted ministry, to issue a direct notification alerting those communities as to this finding.

These include Holy Name of Jesus, Chicopee, St. Mary, Hampden. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Northampton, St. Theresa, So. Hadley and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Springfield. We urge all victims of abuse, or those who may have knowledge of abuse, to always report these concerns to the appropriate law enforcement and child protective service agencies. We also encourage you to call the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 413-452-0624 or the confidential line at 1-800-842-9055 to report abuse by clergy or a person working for the Catholic Church. State law requires that abuse and/or neglect of a minor be reported to the MA Dept. of Children and Families at 1-800-792-5200 or through law enforcement.

BISHOP STATEMENT ON REV. PAUL J. ARCHAMBAULT

Today I have added the late Fr. Paul Archambault’s name to the list of clergy with credible allegations of abuse. This is yet another sad reminder of the pain and tragedy caused by these deliberate acts, which not only cause such tremendous harm to victims, their families and close acquaintances but also violates the trust of our people and impugns the integrity of the majority of clergy and religious who faithfully minister in the Catholic Church.

This matter was made even more sad and tragic by the fact that when faced with the consequences of his actions, Father Archambault elected to take his own life.

I want to extend to all victims my sincere apology for what they had to endure. I want to assure them and the entire community of my fervent resolve to continue to address this terrible plague upon our Church through our ongoing screening, education and awareness efforts. We must never let our guard down; rather we must all remain vigilant.

In this Year of Mercy, our church seeks forgiveness for the past actions of clergy as well as our failure to adequately address past abuse claims. And in the name of our local church I echo this request. Finally, let we reiterate the need for anyone who has an awareness of abuse, past or present, to step forward and report it to local law enforcement officials . And if this involves a member of the Catholic clergy or a person in ministry to the Catholic Church, I also ask that you report it to our confidential hotline, 1-800-842-9055.

List of Credibly Accused Clergy Within the Diocese of Springfield

The following is a listing of all diocesan priests, deacons, and religious order priests who have had one or more credible allegations of sexual abuse of a child made against them while they were living. This list includes former priests who left the priesthood prior to reports having been made.

All have had their faculties to function as clergy removed.

Laicized priests who had initially been placed under the sanctions of the Essential Norms*:

Alfred Graves
Edward Kennedy
Richard Lavigne
Richard Meehan

Priests currently living under sanctions of the Essential Norms*:

Michael Devlin
Richard Kirouac
David Farland
Francis Lavelle
Ronald Wamsher

Deceased priests who had been placed under the sanctions of the Essential Norms*:

Paul Archambault
Andre Corbin
Clarence Forand
John Koonz
Charles Joseph Sgueglia
Charles Sullivan
Former priests:
Albert Blanchard
John R. Russell

Deacon permanently removed from ministry:

James Martone

With regard to the matter of former Springfield Bishop Thomas L. Dupre, Church law dictates specifically that any allegations of misconduct brought against a bishop must only be addressed by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

*Under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People’s “Essential Norms,” “when even a single act of sexual abuse by a priest or deacon is admitted or is established after an appropriate process in accord with canon law, the offending priest or deacon will be removed permanently from ecclesiastical ministry.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield adds another name to its list of priests accused of sexual abuse

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
MassLive

By Stephanie Barry | sbarry@repub.com
on March 29, 2016

SPRINGFIELD — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has added a new name to its list of priests accused of sex abuse, acknowledging that the Rev. Paul Archambault's suicide was likely prompted by a confrontation over abuse allegations that led to a court settlement.

Archambault was 42 when he fatally shot himself with his own handgun at Our Lady of Sacred Heart rectory on Rosewell Street on July 3, 2011. It was a Sunday afternoon. His body was discovered by his brother in a closet after he missed a scheduled Mass at a church in Hampden, according to police records. He had not left a note.

The suicide, just six years after Archambault was ordained by former Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell, prompted an outpouring of shock and grief in the Catholic community. Church officials are now attributing the suicide to allegations of sexual abuse.

Two years after his death, Archambault was named in a lawsuit filed in Hampshire Superior Court by a 20-year-old Chesterfield man who said Archambault began sexually abusing him at 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

UPDATED (11:10 A.M.): Judge Dimisses Case Against Former EMU Administrator

VIRGINIA
DNRonline

Posted: March 29, 2016
By PETE DELEA

A Rockingham County judge dismissed the case against a former Eastern Mennonite University administrator accused of soliciting an undercover police officer for sex.

Luke Hartman, 46, of Harrisonburg, was one of 10 people charged on Jan. 8 with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution by the Harrisonburg Police Department.

During trial today in Rockingham County General District Court, Judge William Eldridge said there wasn't enough evidence.

"There is not a specific act that was elicited by Mr. Hartman," said Eldridge. "I follow the law no matter what. The law is the law."

During the case, an undercover police officer testified that she had two phone calls with Hartman before he arrived at a city hotel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

VA--Accused Mennonite official walks free

VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29

Statement by Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

A Mennonite official who was accused of soliciting a prostitute is walking free. We are heartsick by this news. Now more than ever, those who saw, suspected or suffered his sexual wrongdoing must come forward and call police and prosecutors so that others will be protected.

[DNRonline]

In a Harrisonburg courtroom this morning, a lawyer for Luke Hartman successfully argued that his comments to an undercover police officer, posing as a prostitute, were sufficiently vague that he couldn’t be prosecuted. (His intent, however, seems clear: he had two phone conversations with a woman he thought was a prostitute, went to meet her, and gave her $80.)

It’s very likely that those who have been hurt by Hartman will feel hurt again by this development. We deeply sympathize with them. We encourage them to remember the wisdom of Martin Luther King who said “No lie lives forever.” We also encourage them to continue to focus on their recovery no matter what happens or doesn’t happen in the legal arena. It’s very possible to heal from sexual trauma. But it takes focus and determination. We stand ready and anxious to help in any way we can.

It’s also very likely that others who know Hartman – either through Lindale Mennonite Church or Eastern Mennonite University – have knowledge or suspicions about his sexual misdeeds. We beg them to search their consciences, find some courage, pick up the phone, and share their information or suspicions with law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Affaire Preynat: Les faits reprochés par d'anciens scouts déclarés non-prescrits

FRANCE
20 Minutes

[Case Preynat: The allegations by former scouts against the Father Bernard Preynat are non-prescribed and court proceedings will continue.]

20 Minutes avec AFP
Publié le 29.03.2016

La procédure judiciaire peut continuer. Les faits de pédophilie reprochés à un prêtre du diocèse mis en examen le 27 janvier à Lyon ont été déclarés non-prescrits par le juge d’instruction et la procédure se poursuit, ont indiqué lundi des sources proches de ce dossier qui ébranle le diocèse.

La défense du père Bernard Preynat avait saisi le magistrat en arguant qu’à l’époque des cas retenus par la justice, soit entre 1986 et 1991, le délai de prescription était de trois ans pour les faits d’agressions sexuelles sur mineur reprochés au religieux, qui encadrait alors un groupe de scouts dans la banlieue lyonnaise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Paul Kendrick of Freeport rejects settlement in defamation case against him

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

BY SCOTT DOLAN STAFF WRITER
sdolan@pressherald.com | @scottddolan | 207-791-6304

Freeport resident Paul Kendrick has rejected the possibility of an out-of-court settlement in the defamation lawsuit against him, leaving the fate of the case uncertain, as his appeal of a $14.5 million verdict against him is on hold.

Kendrick lost at trial in U.S. District Court in Portland last summer, but an appellate court in Boston issued a ruling last month that put the entire case in question by asking whether it ever belonged in federal court at all.

Kendrick said in an email Tuesday that he wants a scheduled two-day hearing to go forward on Wednesday and Thursday before Judge John Woodcock Jr., who presided over the trial, to decide whether the federal court trial venue was correct.

Kendrick was accused of defamation after he began a widely disseminated email campaign in January 2011 in which he accused the American founder of an orphanage in Haiti of sexually abusing the boys in his care. Kendrick widened the campaign against the founder, Michael Geilenfeld, to include Hearts with Haiti, the North Carolina charity that raises donations to fund his orphanage.

The Portland jury did not believe seven former orphanage residents in Haiti who testified about sexual abuse, and found that Kendrick was reckless and negligent in making the accusations. It awarded actual damages of $7.5 million to Hearts with Haiti, and $7 million to Geilenfeld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Names of 16 priests accused of abusing children in New Ulm Diocese released

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Gallery: New Ulm Diocese releases names of accused priests

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune MARCH 29, 2016

The names of 16 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children in the New Ulm Diocese were released Tuesday morning, marking the final Minnesota diocese to make public a list of its clergy offenders.

Attorney Jeff Anderson made public the names at a news conference in St. Paul, following more than two years of demands for their publication. Already, victims advocates say the list is incomplete.

Anderson introduced two women abused by the same priest in the New Ulm Diocese and exhorted other child sex abuse victims to come forward before the deadline set in the Minnesota Child Victims Act for people to file old claims.

“They can do something in the next 58 days … to bring a claim against the diocese or the institution,” Anderson said. “The clock is ticking.”

The New Ulm list is significant because former St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt had served in the New Ulm Diocese before his promotion to the archdiocese. Nienstedt stepped down last June after the Ramsey County Attorney’s office filed charges against the archdiocese, claiming it failed to protect children from pedophiles.

The list of names was agreed upon by the diocese and Anderson, who sued the New Ulm Diocese. At least three are still alive, including the Rev. Robert Clark, the Rev. Dennis Becker and the Rev. Douglas Schleisman, according to Anderson’s office. Anderson said his office would likely make other names public later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

PA--Abuse case vs. Pgh priest settles

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik has settled – and kept silent about - another child sex abuse and cover up case against a child molesting Catholic cleric who worked/lived in Wexford and Sewickly. Catholics and citizens should ask him “How many other cases have you secretly settled in your nine years as head of the Pittsburgh diocese?”

In the early 1980s, Fr. John P. Connor was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in New Jersey. Prosecutors and diocesan attorneys struck a deal that if Connor admitted to the abuse stayed out of trouble for a year his record would be erased. He was sent to a treatment center for child molesting clerics at Southdown Institute in Canada.

Despite this, Pittsburgh Catholic officials quietly let Fr. Connor come to Pennsylvania and quietly work at St. Alphonsus Church in Wexford from 1986-88. Ironically, this was right around the time then-Fr. Zubik, a Sewickly native, was named administrative secretary to then-Pittsburgh Bishop Anthony Bevilaccqua. We find it very hard to believe Zubik – a top diocesan official and Sewickly native -didn’t know a predator priest was living in his hometown.

Now, Bishop Zubik must disclose Fr. Connor’s whereabouts and aggressively seek out others he has hurt. And Zubik must address a key, troubling question: Why, despite decades of pledges of “openness,” is the settlement against him being announced by the victim and his attorney and not by Bishop Zubik and his staff?

Bishop Zubik should also go to every place where Fr. Connor worked, and beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police. We believe it’s possible Fr. Connor might still be criminally charged for child sex crimes. But not if Bishop Zubik and his colleagues continue to say and do as little as possible.

(A photo of and more information about Fr. Connor is available at BishopAccountability.org)

The first US predator priest attracted national headlines a full 30 years ago. All US bishops promised to be “transparent” about clergy sex crimes a full 14 years ago. It’s appalling that even now, Bishop Zubik and his colleagues are breaking their pledges and being secretive even after an abuse report is deemed credible. And it’s appalling that deeply wounded child sex abuse victims must publicly prod Bishop Zubik to do what the Gospel parable of the lost sheep mandates that he do – leave the rest of the flock, go out into the dark and the cold, seeking the one wounded individual who was assaulted as a child by a priest and is still suffering as an adult.

For the safety of kids, Bishop Zubik should also post the names of all accused predators on his diocesan web site. About 30 US bishops have done this. This is the absolute bare minimum every bishop should do to safeguard the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth. It’s just wrong for bishops to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, transfer and shield child molesting clerics and then do little or nothing to warn the public about them once abuse reports against them are made.

We hope this settlement will provide some comfort to Fr. Connor’s victim. We also hope it will encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward, expose predators, protect kids, deter cover ups and start healing.

Remember this settlements – and who disclosed it, the victim and his attorney – the next time someone claims that Catholic officials are “open” and “transparent” about clergy sex crimes and cover ups these days. It’s just not true.

Catholics and citizens must continue to rely on courageous victims, determined journalists and our secular justice system to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about known, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics.

We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Pittsburgh – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted and cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

NOTE – About 14 years ago, Fr. Connor went reportedly sent to live in a retirement home for priests in New Jersey. Bishop Zubik should disclose whether this did, in fact, happen and whether Fr. Connor is still there or not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

National--Obama talks about “Spotlight” film

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We’re grateful that President Obama is drawing more attention to an award-winning film about journalism and the Catholic clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis. But it should be noted that neither he nor any other US official has taken a single step to deal with that continuing crisis.

Six months ago, Pope Francis spoke to Congress, a body that has refused, over decades, to take a single action to investigate or expose clergy sex abuse and cover up by Catholic priests, bishops, nuns, seminarians and brothers.

Individual members of Congress have TALKED about the crisis. (In 2005, then-Senator Rick Santorum, for instance, cited Boston’s “liberalism” as a cause of the crisis: “When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.")

[BishopAccountability.org]

But no federal institution or official has ever taken action about – or even investigated – this horrific, on-going scandal.

When dozens of baseball players were charged with illegal use of steroids, Congress held hearings. But Congress has held NO hearings whatsoever about the 6,427 US accused predator priests that bishops admit are accused of sexually assaulting more than 100,000 children. And again, no president or attorney general or other federal official has taken action to expose or prevent these horrific crimes.

Kids are safest when those who commit and conceal child sex crimes are behind bars. When that can’t happen, those who commit and conceal child sex crimes should at least be exposed and deterred.

That’s what an independent, thorough government-sponsored inquiry can do. It’s also the very least that our federal government should do, since it has completely refused to take even a single meaningful step in response to the Catholic church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis.

We applaud the governments that have conducted investigations and issued reports about this continuing crisis, including Ireland, Australia, Canada and Belgium.

We applaud the local US jurisdictions that have done such investigations: New York (Westchester County Grand Jury Report, June 19, 2002 and the Suffolk County Grand Jury Report, February 10, 2003), New Hampshire (Attorney General’s Report with investigative archive, March 3, 2003), Maine (Attorney General’s Report, February 24, 2004. See also the attorney general's investigative materials released on May 27, 2005 and July 8, 2005), Boston (Reilly Report and Executive Summary, July 23, 2003), three in Philadelphia, PA (Report of the Grand Jury, September 25, 2003, unsealed September 15, 2005, made public March 29, 2011, another Grand Jury Report, September 15, 2005, and a third, Report of the Grand Jury, dated January 21, 2011, released February 10, 2011). G

(Just a few weeks ago, Pennsylvania’s attorney general released the latest grand jury report on clergy sex crimes and cover ups. It focused on the Altoona diocese and concluded that “Nothing has changed.”)

[SNAP]

We applaud non-profits that have done investigations, like CRIN, the Child Rights International Network (Child Sexual Abuse and the Holy See: The Need for Justice, Accountability and Reform, January 15, 2014) and Amnesty International.

We applaud the international bodies that have done investigations, like the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations on the Second Periodic Report of the Holy See 2/5/14 and Holy See, Second Report 10/22/12 and CRC, List of Issues 7/9/13.) and the Committee Against Torture (Concluding Observations June 17, 2014).

But since the first US pedophile priest made national headlines 30 years ago (Fr. Gilbert Gauthe, Diocese of Lafayette Louisiana), Congress and the federal government have done virtually nothing.

We hope this changes soon. Specifically, we hope federal officials will launch a thorough investigation into this continuing crisis like the Australian government has.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:39 PM

WHY CRUX‘S KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS “PARTNERSHIP” IS PROBLEMATIC

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

BY KAYA OAKES MARCH 28, 2016

On March 14 of this year, the Boston Globe announced it would be pulling the plug on Crux, the Catholic news website it launched in 2014. Crux was headed by John Allen Jr., a veteran church reporter who had previously written for National Catholic Reporter, CNN, NPR and many other outlets, most of them operating independently of the Catholic church.

Allen has also written several books about the Vatican, including a 2000 biography of then-cardinal Ratzinger that was seen by many as critical of the former prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In spite of some readers holding the opinion that Allen’s work veers toward the liberal side, Allen has strived for neutrality as a journalist, thus making him a logical pick to head the Globe’s venture into Catholic journalism.

In its brief existence, Crux quickly became an important voice in church news. Because most secular outlets only give limited coverage to religion news, it can be difficult for readers to find stories about the Vatican and the pope that aren’t slanted in one way or another. National Catholic Reporter is run by lay people, as is Commonweal. Both tend to attract what could be described as more liberal contributing writers, but because of their editorial freedom, they are able to wrestle with issues like women’s ordination, marriage equality, and birth control. Religion News Service also covers the Catholic church, and is run by a secular nonprofit, as is this website. (Full disclosure: I have written for all of the above, as well as for America magazine.)

Other models of Catholic church news sources, however, fall under Vatican jurisdiction. This sometimes skews their ability to have complete editorial control. America magazine is supported by the Jesuits, and its former editor, Thomas Reese, SJ, was pressured into resigning due to objections to magazine content from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the time headed by the same Cardinal Ratzinger. As a news outlet supported by a religious society, the magazine tends to strive for a neutral point of view. Matt Malone, SJ, its current editor in chief, banned the terms “conservative” and “liberal” from the magazine in 2013, when he stated that terms like “left” and “right” are “counterproductive” in a Catholic context. US Catholic, published by the religious order of Claretians, often aims for a similar middle ground.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Obama highlights ‘Spotlight’ in call for more accountability journalism

WASHINGTON (DC)
Boston Globe

By Kevin Freking ASSOCIATED PRESS MARCH 29, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday again bemoaned the political environment surrounding this year’s presidential elections and called on journalists to hold candidates and themselves to a higher standard, highlighting the work that was the basis of the movie “Spotlight” as an example of the kind of journalism Americans want to see.

“Hollywood released films about getting stuck on Mars, and demolition derbies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and you even had Leo DiCaprio battling a grizzly bear. And yet it was a movie about journalists spending months meticulously calling sources from landlines, and poring over documents with highlighters and microfiche, chasing the truth even when it was hard, even when it was dangerous. And that was the movie that captured the Oscar for best picture,” Obama said.

“I’m not suggesting all of you are going to win Oscars,” Obama told the crowd at the Toner Prize presentation. “But I am saying it’s worth striving to win a Toner.”

“Spotlight,” which won best picture at the Academy Awards, was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Media Advisory: Diocese of New Ulm's List of Credibly Accused Priests to be Released Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 29)

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Joint Statement 3-29-2016
List of Credibly Accused Priests in the Diocese of New Ulm
Photos of Credibly Accused Priests in the Diocese of New Ulm
6-20-03 Germain Kunz Memo
Kunz, Germain Assignments

Two abuse survivors will speak publicly and address the release of names

WHAT: At a press conference Tuesday in St. Paul, two sexual abuse survivors and Jeff Anderson & Associates, working in conjunction with the Diocese of New Ulm, will:

· Jointly release a list of names of priests with credible allegations of child sexual abuse who worked in the Diocese of New Ulm;

· Provide a history of where the clerics worked in the Diocese of New Ulm and throughout Minnesota; and

· Encourage other survivors of sexual abuse in the Diocese of New Ulm and in Minnesota to come forward under the Child Victims Act by May 25, 2016.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 11:00AM CT

WHERE: Jeff Anderson & Associates
366 Jackson St. Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101

NOTES: The press conference will be live-streamed from our website at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office: 651.318.2650 Cell: 612.817.8665
Contact: Mike Finnegan: Office: 651.318.2650 Cell: 612.205.5531
Contact: Mike Bryant: Office: 320.259.5414 Cell: 800.359.0061

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Names of New Ulm Diocese Priests with Credible Sex Abuse Allegations to be Released

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Dave Aeikens

The names of New Ulm Diocese priests who have credible allegations of child abuse will be released Tuesday.

A St. Paul law firm led by Jeff Anderson is working with the Diocese to release the information.

The release is expected to include a history of where the priests worked in the Diocese of New Ulm and in Minnesota.

Survivors will be encouraged to come forward before the May 25 deadline under the Child Victims Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Covenant Life Member & Children’s Ministry Worker, Larry Ellis Caffery, Arrested on Nine Counts of Child Sex Abuse & Two Counts of False Imprisonment

UNITED STATES
Brent Detwiler

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Larry Ellis Caffery was born on March 11, 1950. He married Candace (Candy) Charlene Smith on May 9, 1970. They had three boys. Larry and Candy divorced in 1985.

Four years later, Larry married Glenna Sue McLarney-Shazer on June 30, 1989. Larry and Glenna had two children together. Their son was born on March 24, 1997. Their daughter was born on February 24, 1999.

This information comes from Caffery’s autobiographical book, Years of Grace, Life of Mercy. The book was first printed on Februay 1, 2005 by PublishAmerica. It was reprinted on April 13, 2010 by Tate Publsihing.

The back cover of the book gives this overview.

Have you ever been angry with God because of something that happened in your life? Did you take that anger out on a stranger, coworker—or worse—a loved one?

Have no fear! God is still there for you. Author Larry E. Caffery is living proof of just that. Come along as he walks through Years of Grace, Life of Mercy.

Larry had problems with anger that dictated daily siutaions in his life. He was reckless and many times lived a life on the edge. As a result, his family fell apart. Larry also became angry at God because of the many trials and tributaions in his life, including the death of his twelve-year old son and two suicide attempts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

As CJ Mahaney Is Honored at T4G 2016, An Alleged Pedophile From Covenant Life Church Is Arrested and Charged

UNITED STATES
The Wartburg Watch 2016

“Always remember that what was done to you has nothing to do with YOU. It all has to do with a sick perverted abuser that wants/wanted power- You are not at fault and you were/are a target- but it is not because of who you are that you were/ are abused. You are worthy, beautiful, kind, smart and deserving of love, care, passion, and nurturing! xo dr. p”
― Patti Feuereisen, Invisible Girls: The Truth About Sexual Abuse–A Book for Teen Girls, Young Women, and Everyone Who Cares About Them link

Just what is it about Covenant Life Church, CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries that seems to attract accusation after accusation of child sex abuse? What is it about the leaders in the Neo Calvinist movement that inspires them to call those who don't think this is normal of having a Javert like obsession? How do these men (and their women) ignore the mess that has been caused by one of their own? Is it worth the contributions that some of them have received? And what about the earnest young men at T4G 2016 who will give CJ a standing ovation for …what exactly?

I was sick to my stomach when I learned of this latest situation coming out of Covenant Life Church. And for those who are so quick to say that it has nothing to do with CJ, zip your lip and check out the timeline. Thankfully, Brent Detweiler uncovered the information and is to be commended for exposing the accused pedophile at Covenant Life Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

MD--Member of controversial church charged with abuse

MARYLAND
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

A member of a controversial church has been arrested for child sex crimes committed over nearly 11 years when he worked in “children’s ministry.” We hope kids at the church weren’t hurt. And we fear that other church members or staff knew of or suspected the abuse but kept silent. Why? Because that’s the pattern in this troubled denomination.

[court document]

Last week, Larry Ellis Caffery of Damascus Maryland was charged with multiple counts of child sex abuse and false imprisonment in Montgomery County, Maryland. He belongs to Covenant Life Church (CLC) in Gaithersburg. CLC is part of a denomination once called Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM). Since 2012, it has faced a series of lawsuits charging a conspiracy to commit and conceal child sex crimes by church staff and members. The cases have drawn national attention:

[Time]

[Washingtonian]

Caffery joined CLC in 1996, was a member at least until 2010, may still belong to the church, and “takes part in the children’s ministry program” there, according to his autobiography.

In a book that was reportedly edited, in part, by a CLC pastor, Caffery wrote about his fear of sexually abusing any daughters he might have. This comes from Brent Detwiler, a former CLC co-founder and 25 year SGM board member. (He left SGM “as a matter of conscience” in 2009 and has “spent ten years trying to bring about internal reform of an ethical nature.”)

[Brent Detwiler]

The abuse charges against Caffery cover a period from February 2004 until December 2014. At least some of this time, he worked at CLC. That’s one reason we fear that Caffery may have hurt kids in the congregation.

Often, law enforcement focuses just on those who commit child sex crimes. But it’s crucial that they also address those who conceal child sex crimes, especially in churches with troubling track records of ignoring or hiding – and thus enabling – more child sex crimes. That’s the case here. So we strongly urge police and prosecutors to dig deep and search for evidence that current or former staff or members at CLC knew about or suspected Caffery’s crimes but refused to call 911.

No matter what happens with these charges against Caffery, we strongly urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups at in SGM churches – especially at Covenant Life Church – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted and cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

NOTE – SGM has changed its name and is now called Sovereign Grace Churches (SGC).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

OH--Abuse case vs. Columbus priest settles

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 29

Statement by Judy Jones, SNAP associate Midwest director, 635 433 2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com

Another child sex abuse and cover up case against an ex-Columbus child molesting Catholic cleric has just settled. Now, Columbus church officials must disclose his whereabouts, put him in a treatment center and aggressively seek out others he has hurt.

[Columbus Dispatch]

Fr. Ronald J. Atwood was suspended in July 2013 after he was accused of sexually abusing a child at Bishop Ready High School and/or St. Stephen the Martyr and St. Peter parishes in Columbus between 1976 and 1979.

In 1999, Fr. Atwood was charged with public indecency in a public park known for sexual activity and the following year, he pled ‘no contest’ to urinating on a tree and paid a fine.

But troubling questions remain: Where is Fr. Atwood? Who’s monitoring him? And why is the settlement against him being announced by the victim and his attorney and not by Columbus Bishop Frederick Campbell and his staff?

For the safety of kids, Bishop Campbell should also post the names of all accused predators on his archdiocesan web site. About 30 US bishops have done this. This is the absolute bare minimum every bishop should do to safeguard the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth. It’s just wrong for bishops to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, transfer and shield child molesting clerics and then do little or nothing to warn the public about them once abuse reports against them are made.

Bishop Campbell should also go to all parishes where Fr. Atwood worked, and beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police. We believe it’s possible Fr. Atwood might still be criminally charged for child sex crimes. But not if Bishop Campbell and his colleagues continue to say and do as little as possible.

(A photo of and more information about Fr. Atwood is available at BishopAccountability.org)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Assignment Histories for 16 Clerics Named in Recent Settlements by Attorney Mitchell Garabedian

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Sixteen Priests and Brothers Added to Attorney Mitchell Garabedian's List of Accused Clerics, March 2016

Assignment Records Researched by BishopAccountability.org

On March 28, 2016, Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian added 16 priests and religious brothers to his website's list of accused clerics named in civil claims resulting in settlements or arbitration awards. Below we provide assignment histories and other information for some of these clerics. Six of the 16—Rev. Joseph J. Brennan, Rev. Richard J. Butler, Bro. Damien (Patrick) Chong, O.Carm., Rev. James L. MacGuinness, Rev. Philip A. Mathews, and Bro. Timothy O'Sullivan, C.F.C.—have not been publicly accused until now.

Ten of the accused clerics added to Garabedian's list today worked during all or part of their priesthood in the Boston archdiocese. However, as indicated below, six of the ten are not included in Cardinal O'Malley's published list of accused priests.

This page supplements our previous collection of assignment records for the 19 new clerics named by Garabedian when he posted his original list of 117 accused clerics on January 19, 2011 and the 12 new clerics he named on April 11, 2012. He added five newly accused clerics, a nun, and a lay choir director to his list in September 2013. On October 31, 2014 Garabedian added 13 names. A complete list of all the clerics named by Garabedian clients is provided on the law firm's website.

Click on the linked names in red below to view assignment histories.

1. Rev. Ronald J. Atwood (Diocese of Columbus). Recent settlement involved his alleged abuse of a minor at Bishop Ready High School, Columbus OH, 1975-1970.

2. Rev. James E. Braley (Archdiocese of Boston). Included in Cardinal O'Malley's published list. Braley's status on the list from 2012 to early 2016 was "Administrative Leave; Case in Process" (see 1/2013 version of O'Malley's list). Braley's status changed in March 2016 to "Found unsubstantiated; Restricted; Senior Priest."

3. Rev. Joseph J. Brennan (Diocese of Camden). Recent settlement involved his alleged abuse of child at a Brooklawn NJ parish 1957-59. Died 1976. Not previously identified as accused.

4. Rev. Andrew P. Brizzolara, C.S. (Missionaries of St. Charles/Scalabrinians). Worked in the archdioceses of Boston, New York, Hartford, and Washington DC. Has faced two allegations of abusing children in the Boston archdiocese, in 2004 and in the recent settlement, but is omitted from Cardinal O'Malley's list of accused clergy.

5. Rev. Richard J. Butler (Archdiocese of Boston). Allegedly abused child in Cambridge MA but is not included in Cardinal O'Malley's list of accused priests as of 3/28/2016. Died 2012. Not previously identified as accused.

6. Rev. Joseph F. Byrne (Archdiocese of Boston). Worked also in the diocese of Fall River MA. Named by at least two alleged victims. Included in Cardinal O'Malley's list as of 3/28/2016 in two categories: Category E, Cases Involving Deceased Clergy for Whom Criminal or Canonical Proceedings Were Not Completed But The Existence of Allegations Has Been Publicized, and List of Unsubstantiated Cases. Died 2014.

7. Bro. Damien (Patrick) Chong, O.Carm. (Carmelite).Worked in the dioceses/archdioceses of Cleveland, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston. Recent settlement involved alleged abuse of a child at a Carmelite high school in Encino CA (Los Angeles archdiocese). Died 2014. Not previously identified as accused.

8. Rev. John P. "Jack" Connor (Diocese of Camden). Worked also in the diocese of Pittsburgh and archdiocese of Philadelphia. Recent settlement involved alleged abuse of a child in the Pittsburgh diocese.

9. Rev. Richard T. Coughlin (Archdiocese of Boston, Archdiocese of Los Angeles). Worked also in the diocese of Orange in CA. Permanently restricted. Included in Cardinal O'Malley's list under Category A, Cases That Have Been Concluded Canonically, Either By Dismissal or Sentence to Life of Prayer and Penance, or Criminally, Either By Plea or Conviction.

10. Rev. Robert G. Gibney (Archdiocese of Newark). Recent settlement involved his alleged abuse of a child 1961-63 at a Vailsburg NJ parish. Died 2012.

11. Rev. Randal Gillette, C.P. (James R.) (Passionist). Worked in the dioceses/archdioceses of Newark, Boston, Mexico City, Pittsburgh, and New York. Allegedly abused children in the Boston archdiocese (1, 2) but was omitted from Cardinal O'Malley's list of accused priests.

12. Rev. James L. MacGuinness (Archdiocese of Boston). Allegedly abused a child in Roxbury MA but is not included in Cardinal O'Malley's list of accused priests as of 3/28/2016. Died 1955. Not previously identified as accused.

13. Rev. Philip A. Mathews (Diocese of Camden). Recent settlement involved his alleged abuse of a child in 1966 at a Berlin NJ parish. Not previously identified as accused.

14. Bro. Timothy O'Sullivan, C.F.C. (Congregation of Christian Brothers). Allegedly abused a minor at Bergen Catholic in the Newark NJ archdiocese. Not previously identified as accused.

15. Rev. Joseph J. Rocha, O.P. (Dominican). Worked in the dioceses/archdioceses of Washington DC, Boston, Nashville, and Providence. Recent settlement involved alleged abuse of minor at St. Stephen's Priory, Dover MA, which is within the Boston archdiocese. Not included in Cardinal O'Malley's list of accused clerics.

16. Rev. Martin J. Walsh (Archdiocese of Boston). Walsh has been accused of child sex abuse by at least two people: a victim who died in 1997, and the victim involved in the recent settlement. Yet as of 3/28/2016, Walsh is included in Cardinal O'Malley's List of Unsubstantiated Cases. Died 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Louisville priest scheduled to be sentenced on child porn charges

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville priest who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges is scheduled to be sentenced.

Father Stephen Pohl accepted a plea deal in January. He faces years in jail, lifetime supervision, and he'll also have to register as a sex offender.

Earlier this year, Stephen Pohl appeared in federal court to change his plea to guilty. He did this to avoid a trial.

Pohl used to be a pastor at St. Margaret-Mary Parish. Court documents show the investigation started after a student told his parents Pohl took pictures of him and it felt "weird."
A search warrant turned up photos of students at the parish's school. But the pictures were not considered child pornography. Investigators also discovered Pohl viewed child porn online.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Former priest to be sentenced on child porn charges

KENTUCY
WLKY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —A former Catholic priest is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court Tuesday after he admitted to viewing child pornography.

Stephen Pohl pleaded guilty in January to accessing child pornography.

Prosecutors are calling for a sentence of 33 months in prison and Pohl's attorneys have supported that motion.

But the judge can impose a longer prison term.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Christian Brothers accused of dodging Ballarat child sex abuse compensation claims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Charlotte King

A religious order implicated in a notorious child sex abuse ring in Victoria has been accused of refusing to assist victims achieve adequate compensation.

A survivor and his lawyer said the Christian Brothers, who ran the St Alipius Boys School in Ballarat, were adopting a smoke and mirrors approach to avoid paying up.

Ron Kochskamper was nine years old when he started at St Alipius in 1965.

"So here I come as a bright, fresh-faced child, ready to go to school. And here are these hardened paedophiles. Basically, I didn't have a hope. We were lambs to the slaughter," he said.

For decades, Mr Kochskamper said he repressed his memories of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Child Abuse In NEPA

PENNSYLVANIA
PA Homepage

[with video]

By Valerie Tysanner | vtysanner@pahomepage.com, Adam McGahee | amcgahee@pahomepage.com

(WBRE/WYOU) As we head into child abuse awareness month this April, we're talking a look into why so many cases go unreported in the commonwealth.

It doesn't matter where you live...particularly in Pennsylvania where child abuse is believed to be vastly under reported. It has one of the lowest rates of reported child abuse in the nation. Advocacy groups say we have a culture of cover ups.

The recent allegations against the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, accused of covering up the abuse of hundreds of children, inspired a recent legislative push...to change the statute of limitations.

Therapists like Laura Jacoby, who works at Children's Service Center, believe child abuse is under reported because not all signs of abuse are noticeable. "Neglect...a child not having the appropriate clothes, housing necessities or water" Jacoby says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Santa Maria church youth leader accused of child sex abuse

CALIFORNIA
KSBY

[with video]

Santa Maria police on Monday arrested a 25-year old man on suspicion of the continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Police say the suspect, Daniel James Moreno, is a youth leader at a local church and also coaches youth sports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Santa Maria Man Arrested for Child Abuse

CALIFORNIA
edhat

Source: Santa Maria Police Department

On the morning of Monday, March 28, 2016 at approximately 0040 hours, SMPD Officers responded to a confidential residence in the City of Santa Maria. Upon their arrival, Officers contacted 25 year old Santa Maria resident, Daniel James Moreno. Moreno was arrested for the continual sexual abuse of a child under Penal Code section 288.5. Moreno was subsequently booked at Santa Barbara County Jail.

Over the course of the investigation, investigators have learned that Moreno is a youth leader in a local church and he also coaches youth sports, therefore, we are seeking out persons who might have further information concerning this investigation or other related crimes.

This investigation is ongoing and the SMPD requests any information be directed to the Investigations Division at 805-928-3781.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

EXCLUSIVE: N.Y. law couldn't protect adopted son of accused pedophile after he revealed details

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY EDGAR SANDOVAL, SHAYNA JACOBS, LARRY MCSHANE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, March 28, 2016

The law couldn’t protect the adopted son of an accused pedophile during eight years of sexual abuse — or after he finally revealed the details of his secret torment.

The 30-year-old victim discovered recently that his sordid tale was useless to police or prosecutors under New York State’s oft-maligned statute of limitations law.

“The detectives told me they couldn’t do anything about my case, because it’s old,” said the frustrated man. “It made me angry. ... How can someone rape children and not face consequences later?”

The law requiring victims to come forward by age 23 with their abuse charges means the man’s foster father, Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, can’t be charged with abusing him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

The 1-2 Punch the Catholic Bishops Have Delivered to Clergy Sex Abuse Victims

UNITED STATES
Verdict

29 MAR 2016

MARCI A. HAMILTON AND STEVEN BERKOWITZ

Spotlight is a motion picture with a purpose: to deliver the truth of how every adult that could have halted the sex abuse by Catholic priests in the Boston Archdiocese did not. Children were betrayed by priests, bishops, parents, lawyers, journalists, and the buddy culture of men in power. The message: these kids did not have a chance, and it is no wonder they are angry and suffer from severe post-traumatic stress, among many other related problems.

After one walks out of the theater, the inevitable next thought is: we must do better by our children. The same thought has entered Pennsylvania’s consciousness following the three Philadelphia District Attorney grand jury reports on abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, and the Attorney General grand jury reports on abuse at Penn State, and in the Altoona-Johnstown Archdiocese. Yet, one continues to see deep frustration on the faces of survivors from all corners of Pennsylvania as the bishops hit high gear lobbying against the victims’ access to justice through statute of limitations reform.

The Reports tell us that adults in power shredded children’s lives. True. Only the bishops and their insurers, however, have routinely leveled an additional, knock-out blow to each victim, either through scorched earth litigation tactics or by lobbying to keep the perpetrators from justice. The trauma these survivors (and their families) already suffered is compounded by the litigation and legislative tactics of the bishops.

The sex abuse alone can cause lifelong debilitating effects, including PTSD and depression, unemployment, alcohol, drug, or sex addiction, and suicide. Children can’t process sex abuse when it happens, and it is simply a scientific truth that multiple factors including shame, guilt and changes in their neurobiology delay victims’ disclosure of abuse until well into adulthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

Alistair Lexden: Condemned in secret by persons unknown. The Church of England’s scandalous treatment of Bishop Bell

UNITED KINGDOM
Conservative Home

By Alistair Lexden

Last updated: March 28, 2016

Lord Lexden is the Conservative Party’s official historian. His website can be found here.

Until a few months ago, the formidable reputation of George Bell, Bishop of Chichester for nearly 30 years and runner-up for the Archbishopric of Canterbury in 1944, seemed totally secure. Within the Church of England he had long been revered as one of its greatest bishops, learned, devout and inspiring. More widely, he was famous for his courageous stands in international affairs. Before 1939 .no one did more to sustain and defend German Christian leaders and Jews of all kinds in the face of Nazi persecution. During the Second World War, he led the protests against the bombing of entire German cities which killed so many civilians. This brought him much criticism to which Churchill contributed richly, but no one questioned his deep Christian integrity. “The Church”, he said in 1943,” has still a special duty to be a watchman for humanity, and to plead the cause of the suffering, whether Jew or Gentile”.

On 22 October last year, everything changed. The Church of England’s media centre issued a statement announcing that, under an out of court settlement, compensation (later revealed to be £15,000) had been paid to an unnamed individual who had claimed to have suffered sexual abuse at Bishop Bell’s hands in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, said “we face with shame a story of abuse of a child”. Yet neither he, nor anyone else among the Church authorities, has divulged any information about the nature of the alleged uncorroborated abuse, where exactly it is supposed to have taken place, the manner in which investigations were conducted or the expertise possessed by the anonymous individuals who examined the undisclosed evidence and apparently found it convincing.

George Bell has been condemned in secret by processes whose character is totally unknown. Today’s Church authorities have denied natural justice to one of the most eminent of their predecessors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

Jackson Co. pastor arrested for sexual abuse of a child

ALABAMA
WTVM

By Steffany Means, Digital Content Producer

JACKSON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -
A Jackson County pastor was arrested Monday night for sexual abuse of a child charges.

Jeffrey Allen Elkins, 55 of Bridgeport, has been arrested on a seven-count grand jury indictment.

Elkins is facing five counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12-years-old and two counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes.

He is a pastor at a church in Bridgeport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 AM

Settlements don’t absolve Catholic sex abuse

WASHINGTON
The Olympian

The Olympian Editorial Board

Accounting for the horrific sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and nuns over the last half-century continues in the Archdiocese of Seattle. The legal settlement last week of eight abuse claims was the latest installment of a slowly unfolding story that the church could expedite with complete disclosure of files it holds on offenders.

The archdiocese in January released a public list of 77 clergy and others accused of sexual assault against children. Included were about 25 who had served in Catholic Church posts in Thurston and Pierce counties, most recently in 2003.

The archdiocese said in a January news release that the clergy and church staff named in the list, who lived or served in Western Washington since 1923, were implicated in allegations of sexual abuse of children that were either “admitted, established or determined to be credible.’’

Those welcome disclosures were tempered by a statement that the list of locations — which included Saint Martin’s Abbey, school and college in Lacey, as well as Saint Michael’s Church in Olympia — did not necessarily mean that abuse had occurred at all of the sites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 AM

Local woman tries to fill bus with victims to rally lawmakers

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

[with video]

By Carolyn Donaldson | cdonaldson@wtajtv.com
Published 03/28 2016

Duncansville, Blalir County

One local woman's fight to change the statute of limitations in case of child sexual abuse is heading to Harisburg.

Michele Gonsman of Duncansville, who is a victim herself, is trying to fill a bus with victims for a rally Monday, April 11th at the Capitol rotunda. Spurred on by the recent catholic church priest abuse scandal, Gonsman has set up meetings with elected leaders from Blair and Cambria counties.

As Gonsman says, "By doing this, I've gotten so many messages on Facebook, or emails - just people that I have known or don't even know are reaching out to me and telling me their story and I said to my friend the other day - this is so much bigger than us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 AM

Ex-Crespi Carmelite student gets 5-figure settlement for alleged sexual abuse

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Daily News

By Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News

For nearly four decades, Allan Bruce said he held a closely guarded secret involving the Catholic Church.

While a student at the private Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Bruce said he was repeatedly fondled — sometimes plied with alcohol beforehand — by a religious brother from 1984 to 1986. Bruce, then a Saugus resident, claims Brother Damien Chong sexually abused him at least 30 times in his quarters after inviting him to sleep there after football practice.

“I think the betrayal was the hardest part; he was supposed to be my friend and look after me and that wasn’t what happened,” the 47-year-old Bruce, who lives in Massachusetts, said by phone Monday. “I didn’t tell my parents or anybody. One, I didn’t think they would believe me and two, the school probably wouldn’t believe me either. I was just a C student from Saugus.”

Bruce was awarded a five-figure out-of-court settlement against the Carmelite Fathers and Brothers religious order last March involving the late Brother Chong — one of 16 Catholic priests, religious brothers, nuns or employees nationwide accused of alleged sexual abuse in which settlements were reached in the last few years and made public on Monday. The exact amount of Bruce’s settlement was not disclosed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 AM

Monsters enabled by New York’s sex crime statutes of limitations

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

The spotlight at the moment is on a Long Island foster care house of horrors where an accused predator took in dozens of boys over the course of two decades and allegedly subjected many of them to sexual abuse.

The spotlight has shone elsewhere before — many elsewheres.

More than 20 teachers at the prestigious Horace Mann School in the Bronx sexually abused more than 60 students.

The football coach at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn abused at least a dozen boys, according to a suit that the school has settled.

Thirty-four former students at Yeshiva University High School for Boys have reported being abused by the school’s then-principal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 AM

Roseville priest reinstated after investigation of sex abuse allegations

MINNESOTA
Lillie News

By: Mike Munzenrider

Roseville priest reinstated after investigation of sex abuse allegations

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced March 17 the reinstatement of a Roseville priest who took a leave of absence in August following accusations of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick, pastor of Saint Rose of Lima and Corpus Christi Roman Catholic churches, was accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1980s. He denied the allegations, the archdiocese release said, and took the leave of absence voluntarily.

At the time of the leave of absence, the archdiocese termed the allegations “credible” and “not manifestly false or frivolous.”

The most recent statement from the archdiocese said that law enforcement investigators closed the Fitzpatrick case “based on a lack of evidence and the statute of limitations.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 AM

Expanding abuse victims' Pa. rights deserves support

PENNSYLVANIA
Sharon Herald

STATE REP. Mark Rozzi has been pushing for years to change state laws in an effort to broaden the rights of victims of child sex abuse, to little effect.

Part of the problem may have been that the issue had been fading in the public consciousness. The subject was making major headlines around 15 years ago, when a scandal erupted over sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and the mishandling of such cases by religious leaders, and then more recently with the Jerry Sandusky case involving Penn State. Since then the church has insisted it learned from its mistakes and that the days of protecting predator priests are long over, and changes were made to child abuse laws in response to the Sandusky situation.

But the issue is back at the forefront thanks to an investigation by the state attorney general’s office that alleged terrible corruption in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Rozzi, himself a teenage victim of sexual abuse by a priest, is looking to use the news as impetus to win support for his effort.

A grand jury found that two bishops who led the diocese helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by more than 50 priests and other religious leaders over a 40-year period starting in the mid-1960s. The report went on to portray the church as holding such sway over law enforcement that it helped select a police chief. One diocesan official told the grand jury that the police and civil authorities would often defer to the church when priests were accused of abuse, the report said. Following the grand jury report, three ex-leaders of a Franciscan order were charged with allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to take on jobs that enabled him to molest more than 100 children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Pedophilia victims urge N.Y. to scrap statute of limitations on certain child sex abuse charges

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY LARRY MCSHANE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It wasn't until after his 33rd birthday that the crippling flashbacks began for Michael DeSantis.

The one where he’s a grammar school kid, innocently riding his skateboard to the apartment of a parish priest. Once inside, he’s raped by one cleric and forced to perform oral sex on another.

Or the one where a voice commands, “Give him God’s love,” before forcing the boy to service a third priest.

Or the time he was targeted by yet another priest inside Our Lady of Mercy Church in upstate Colonie — his family parish, where he was an altar boy and his mother worked for years.

The married father of five, first sexually violated when he was 9, is among a growing number of pedophilia victims urging the state to scrap its statute of limitations on certain child sex abuse charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 AM

March 28, 2016

Columbus Catholic diocese settles with man abused from 1975-80

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By JoAnne Viviano
The Columbus Dispatch • Monday March 28, 2016

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus has agreed to a financial settlement with a man who says he was repeatedly sexually abused as a teenager by a priest who worked at a diocesan high school, said an attorney who represents the man.

Mitchell Garabedian of Boston said his client was 16 when he was first abused by the Rev. Ronald Atwood in 1975. The abuse, he said, continued until 1980 and happened in Atwood's office at Bishop Ready High School on the West Side and at various locations during road trips to places such as Illinois, Michigan, Kansas and Missouri.

Garabedian said the settlement "in the low five figures" was reached in February 2015. He released the details on Monday along with information about cases he's settled since early last year involving 15 other priests and religious brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

Camden diocese settles abuse claims

NEW JERSEY
Courier-Post

Jim Walsh, @jimwalsh_cp March 28, 2016

CAMDEN – The Diocese of Camden has made financial settlements to resolve claims of clergy sex abuse involving parish priests in the 1950s and 1960s, a lawyer said Monday.

The payments took place after two men alleged they were sexually assaulted in separate incidents when they were children, said attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston. He gave no details but said each settlement was “in five figures.”

One man, now in his 70s, alleged the Rev. Joseph Brennan sexually abused him from 1957 to 1959 at the former St. Maurice Parish in Brooklawn, Garabedian said.

The man was 12 to 14 years old at the time, Garabedian said.

The other, now about 60, said he was abused in 1966 by the Rev. Philip Mathews, who was assigned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Berlin Borough.

Both of the priests are deceased.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Striking at the statute

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

The Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests -- which has chapters in Chicago, Rockford and Peoria -- is calling on Illinois lawmakers to expand the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases to allow victims to file criminal charges retroactively. They made the request after it was revealed last week that an accuser is expected to testify at former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's sentencing next month.

Hastert pleaded guilty last October to violating bank laws as he sought to pay $3.5 million to ensure someone stayed quiet about past misconduct allegations, which dated back to when he coached wrestling at Yorkville High School. In this particular case, there are no charges of sexual abuse because it's outside the statute of limitations in place more than 30 years ago. "Hastert might have been exposed years earlier had Illinois lawmakers reformed the state's archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations," network officials say.

Gov. Pat Quinn in 2014 signed a law that removes the statute of limitations for abuse occurring after Jan. 1, 2014, but survivors of abuse before that time are still subject to the law that was in place at the time of their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

The Many Faces of Resilience

UNITED STATES
The Good Men Project

Peter Pollard

In my 15 years as a child-protection social worker, what ultimately impressed me even more than the unimaginable trauma and loss I became privy to, was the remarkable survival instinct that enabled the boys and girls I worked with to move forward with their lives (though admittedly using what I frequently viewed as less-than-perfect coping strategies.)

Then I remembered that healing is a personal, life-long process and that we each use the tools that fit our lives.

I’ve often said, “what’s really extraordinary, given what I’ve learned about people’s lives, is not that so many are doing so poorly, but that so many are actually able to get up in the morning, put one foot in front of another and function at all.”

Resilience is a remarkable characteristic we humans possess.

It’s always easy to identify others’ problems. And in assessments, reports and service plans, I certainly regularly referenced substance abuse, dysfunctional relationship choices, issues with anger- management and violence as “problems” that the adults and adolescents with whom I worked needed to address. I’m pretty certain that my observations were generally accurate, over time I realized that even those behaviors that seemed to me to be solely self-destructive (or in some instances damaging to others), often also served a self-preserving purpose for them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Boston Archdiocese to pay settlements to 7 who say priests abused them

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston.com

By Amanda Hoover

The Archdiocese of Boston has reached settlements with seven people who say priests sexually abused them for years, according to The Boston Globe. The settlements involve cash and counseling services.

“To a survivor, a settlement represents that the archdiocese has admitted that a claim is valid, has substance, and is credible,” the accusers’ attorney, Mitchel Garabedian, told the Globe. “A settlement helps a survivor try to rid himself or herself of the unnecessary guilt and shame felt as a result of being sexually abused.”

Still, the church’s agreements with the alleged victims lacked any admission of liability. For many survivors, the archdiocese’s response is discouraging.

“What upset me the most through this process was going to the ivory towers of the legal defense people in Boston, and no one from the church ever showing up,” Wayne Rogers, 54, who says he was abused at St. Peter’s Parish in Cambridge as a boy, told the Globe. “No apology. No admitting guilt.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Boston Archdiocese Settles With Alleged Abuse Victims

MASSACHUSETTS
Patch

By MIKE CARRAGGI (Patch Staff) - March 28, 2016

BOSTON, MA - The Archdiocese of Boston has settled for several hundred thousand dollars and counseling services for seven people who said they were sexually abused by priests, the attorney for the victims said.

The agreements came with no admission of liability.

“The monetary settlement allows the survivor to validate their claim and heal," attorney Mitchell Garabedian said. "By coming forward survivors empower themselves and other survivors to make the world a safer place for the children."

Two other cases involving priests from outside of the Archdiocese of Boston but who worked in the city were also settled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Boston Archdiocese Settles With 7 Alleged Victims Of Clergy Abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
WBUR

By SIMÓN RIOS

BOSTON The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has settled with seven victims of alleged clergy abuse by diocesan priests.

That’s less than half of the total number of abuse settlements made by Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian in recent months.

Garabedian says three additional priests from religious orders were involved in settlements in Massachusetts. Alleged victims received nearly $800,000 between the 10 settlements.

Garabedian says his clients now have a sense of validation.

“There isn’t a client I’ve ever had who wouldn’t trade all the money in the world for not being sexually abused–but they’re trying to move on, they’re trying to cope with it,” he said in an interview on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Former Waltham Priest Included in New Abuse Settlement

MASSACHUSETTS
Patch

By ALEX NEWMAN (Patch Staff) - March 28, 2016

WALTHAM, MA - A former Waltham priest has been named in a settlement between the Archdiocese of Boston and seven people who said they were sexually abused by priests.

Father Martin Walsh was posted at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted when he abused a 13-year-old boy in 1975, Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney for the alleged victims, said.

According to Garabedian the abuse occurred in a cabin in Sunapee, NH. The accuser is now in his 50s.

Walsh, who died in 2007, is one of three priests included in the settlement listed as "unsubstantiated cases" on an archdiocesan website that tracks accusations against clergy, according to the Boston Globe.

But Garabedian says the church's settlement, which he describes as "well into the five figures," substantiates his client's claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

Does the Hierarchy Even Know?

UNITED STATES
Catholics4Change

WRITTEN BY KATHY KANE

Essential Norm #12 From the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

“No priest or deacon who has committed an act of sexual abuse of a minor may be transferred for a ministerial assignment in another diocese/eparchy. Every bishop/eparch who receives a priest or deacon from outside his jurisdiction will obtain the necessary information regarding any past act of sexual abuse of a minor by the priest or deacon in question. Before such a diocesan/eparchial priest or deacon can be transferred for residence to another diocese/eparchy, his diocesan/eparchial bishop shall forward, in a confidential manner, to the bishop of the proposed place of residence any and all information concerning any act of sexual abuse of a minor and any other information indicating that he has been or may be a danger to children or young people. In the case of the assignment for residence of such a clerical member of an institute or a society into a local community within a diocese/eparchy, the major superior shall inform the diocesan/eparchial bishop and share with him in a manner respecting the limitations of confidentiality found in canon and civil law all information concerning any act of sexual abuse of a minor and any other information indicating that he has been or may be a danger to children or young people so that the bishop/eparch can make an informed judgment that suitable safeguards are in place for the protection of children and young people. This will be done with due recognition of the legitimate authority of the bishop/eparch; of the provisions of CIC, canon 678 (CCEO, canons 415 §1 and 554 §2), and of CIC, canon 679; and of the autonomy of the religious life (CIC, c. 586).”

A few years ago I did some research concerning Essential Norm 12. A spokesperson from the Office of Child Protection of the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops explained it to me. This norm is refers to “removed” priests. An example would be those who have accepted a life of prayer and penance and might be moving into a residence located in another Diocese. Those residences could include community, convent or monastery with supervision. I was hoping it would include treatment centers such as St John Vianney, but it does not because those abusive priests are coming for treatment and not residence. This was confirmed by the Philadelphia Archdiocese Office of Child and Youth Protection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

GA--Governor will veto “religious freedom” bill; Victims respond

GEORGIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, March 28, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

The dispute over these so-called "religious objection" laws – here and elsewhere – involves more than adults with differing beliefs. It also involves innocent young kids and wounded adult victims who suffer when claims of “religious freedom” are used to protect clerics who commit and conceal heinous child sex crimes.

[New York Times]

Time and time again, in civil courts across the US, unscrupulous church officials cite Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) laws to block child sex abuse lawsuits and prevent records about child molesting clerics from being disclosed. These self-serving church officials – fixated on protecting their careers, comfort and reputations – exploit these laws to make sure their reckless and callous decisions to hire, promote, transfer and protect child predators are not exposed or scrutinized.

We urge every lawmaker to resist pressure to vote for these bills. We applaud the legislators who are filibustering now in Missouri. And we urge judges to help make sure that these laws don’t help corrupt church officials keep hiding their complicity in child sex crimes.

Remember: In the US, we adults are free to believe whatever we want. But we’re not free to do whatever we want, especially when the safety of precious children and vulnerable adults is at stake.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

ATTENTION: MEDIA OF PITTSBURGH, PA

PENNSYLVANIA
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE – MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2016

Boston Attorney releases the names of 16 priests and religious brothers accused of sexually abusing minor children from as far back as the 1940s

Archdiocesan, diocesan, and religious order priests and religious brothers sexually abused minor children from east to west coasts of the United States

REV. JOHN CONNOR

Rev. John Connor, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, PA, was assigned to St. Alphonsus Parish, Wexford, PA from 1986-1988. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child in Fr. Connor’s car, in a movie theater in Pittsburgh, PA, and on a basketball court in Bradfordwoods, PA. Fr. Connor was removed from ministry in 2002. A settlement was reached between the victim/survivor and the Diocese of Pittsburgh, PA, in October, 2015.

Contacts
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617- 523-6250
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

ATTENTION: MEDIA OF BOSTON, MA AND NEW ENGLAND

MASSACHUSETTS/NEW ENGLAND
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE – MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2016

Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian releases the names of 16 priests and religious brothers accused of sexually abusing minor children from as far back as the 1940s

Archdiocesan, diocesan, and religious order priests and religious brothers sexually abused minor children from east to west coasts of the United States

Rev. James Braley, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, MA, was assigned to St. Peter’s Parish, Cambridge, MA, from 1974-1976. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child in the rectory of St. Peter’s Parish, Cambridge, MA; at a hotel in Yarmouth, MA; at the priest’s residence in Yarmouth, MA; and the priest’s residence in Centreville, MA. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Archdiocese of Boston was reached in May, 2015

Fr. Andrew Brizzolara, C.S., a priest of the Missionaries of St. Charles religious order (also known as the Scalabrinians), was assigned to St. Tarcisius Parish, Framingham, MA, from 1979-1982. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child in Fr. Andrew’s car in various locations in Framingham, MA and in Fr. Andrew’s bedroom in the rectory of St. Tarcisius Parish. Fr. Brizzolara is currently living in a nursing home run by the Missionaries of St. Charles. A settlement was reached between the victim/survivor and the Missionaries of St. Charles in January, 2015.

Rev. Richard Butler, a deceased priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, MA, (died in October, 2012), was assigned to Blessed Sacrament Parish, Cambridge, MA, from 1967-1968. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child in the sacristy of Blessed Sacrament Church, Cambridge, MA. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Archdiocese of Boston was reached in June, 2015.

Rev. Joseph Byrne, a deceased priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, MA (died in June, 2014), was assigned to St. Matthew’s Parish, Dorchester, MA, in 1969. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child in the sacristy of St. Matthew’s Church, in the restroom of St. Matthew’s Church, and Fr. Byrne’s car. A settlement was reached between the victim/survivor and the Archdiocese of Boston in June, 2015.

Br. Damien Chong, O. Carm., a religious brother of the Carmelite religious order, was assigned to Crespi Carmelite High School, Encino, California, from 1984-1986. He was accused by a former student of Crespi Carmelite High School of sexual abuse when he was a minor child. Br. Damien Chong, O. Carm. was most recently assigned to Our Lady of the Scapular Priory in Peabody, MA. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Carmelite Fathers and Brothers was reached in March, 2015.

Rev. Richard T. Coughlin, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, MA, was assigned to St. Patrick’s Parish, Stoneham, MA, from 1957-1962. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child at a cottage in Alton Bay, New Hampshire; at a hotel in Alton Bay, New Hampshire; at hotel rooms in New York City and Lake George, NY; at a cottage in Falmouth, MA; and in Fr. Coughlin’s car. He has been permanently removed from ministry. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Archdiocese of Boston was reached in April, 2015.

Rev. Randal Gillette, C.P., a priest of the Passionist religious order, was assigned to St. Gabriel’s Passionist Monastery and Retreat House in Brighton, MA, from 1971-1974. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child at the rectory of St. Gabriel’s Monastery and Retreat Center in Brighton, MA. A settlement was reached between the victim/survivor and the Archdiocese of Boston in June, 2015.

Rev. James L. Mac Guinness, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston who is believed to be deceased, was assigned to St. John’s Parish, Roxbury, from 1938-1940. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child at the rectory of St. John’s Parish, Roxbury. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Archdiocese of Boston was reached in December, 2014.

Rev. Joseph Rocha, OP, a priest of the Dominican religious order, was assigned to St. Stephen’s Priory, Dover, MA, from 1968-1969, and accused of sexually abusing a minor child in Fr. Rocha’s bedroom at St. Stephen’s Priory. Fr. Rocha left the priesthood in 1990. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Dominican Fathers and Brothers was reached in November, 2015.

Rev. Martin Walsh, a deceased priest of the Archdiocese of Boston (died in 2007), was assigned to Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Parish, Waltham, MA in 1975. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child at a cabin in Sunapee, New Hampshire. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Archdiocese of Boston was reached in December, 2014.

Contacts
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617- 523-6250
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

ATTENTION: MEDIA OF CAMDEN, NJ AND PHILADELPHIA, PA

NEW JERSEY/PENNSYLVANIA
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE – MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2016

Boston Attorney releases the names of 16 priests and religious brothers accused of sexually abusing minor children from as far back as the 1940s

Archdiocesan, diocesan, and religious order priests and religious brothers sexually abused minor children from east to west coasts of the United States

REV. JOSEPH BRENNAN

Rev. Joseph Brennan, a deceased priest of the Diocese of Camden, NJ, (died in 1976), was assigned to St. Maurice Parish in Brooklawn, NJ, from 1957-1959. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child in the bathroom of St. Maurice Church and in Fr. Brennan’s bedroom in the rectory of St. Maurice Parish. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Diocese of Camden, NJ, was reached in January, 2016.

REV. PHILIP MATHEWS

Rev. Philip Mathews, a priest of the Camden, NJ, Diocese, was assigned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Berlin, NJ, in 1966. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child at a hotel in Atlantic City, NJ in 1966. Fr. Mathew’s present whereabouts are unknown. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Diocese of Camden, NJ, was reached in February, 2015.

Contacts
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617- 523-6250
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

ATTENTION: MEDIA OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK CITY

NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE – MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2016

Boston Attorney releases the names of 16 priests and religious brothers accused of sexually abusing minor children from as far back as the 1940s

Archdiocesan, diocesan, and religious order priests and religious brothers sexually abused minor children from east to west coasts of the United States

REV. ROBERT GIBNEY

Rev. Robert Gibney, a deceased priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey (died in 2012), was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in the Vailsburg section of Newark, New Jersey, from 1961-1963. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child at the child’s family summer home in New Jersey. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, was reached in November, 2014.

BR. TIMOTHY O’SULLIVAN, C.F.C.

Br. Timothy O’Sullivan, C.F.C., was assigned as a teacher at Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, New Jersey, from 1972-1973. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child in his classroom at Bergen Catholic High School. Br. Timothy O’Sullivan left the Irish Christian Brothers and is no longer a religious brother. A settlement between the victim/survivor and Bergen Catholic High School was reached in December, 2015.

Contacts
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617- 523-6250
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

ATTENTION: MEDIA OF COLUMBUS, OHIO

OHIO
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE – MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2016

Boston Attorney releases the names of 16 priests and religious brothers accused of sexually abusing minor children from as far back as the 1940s

Archdiocesan, diocesan, and religious order priests and religious brothers sexually abused minor children from east to west coasts of the United States

REV. RONALD ATWOOD

Rev. Ronald Atwood, a priest of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, was assigned to Bishop Ready High School, Columbus, Ohio, from 1975-1980. He was accused of sexually abusing a minor child in Fr. Atwood’s office at Bishop Ready High School and in various locations during road trips to Illinois, Michigan, Kansas, and Missouri. A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, was reached in February, 2015.

Contacts
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617- 523-6250
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

ATTENTION: MEDIA OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

CALIFORNIA
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE – MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2016

Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian releases the names of 16 priests and religious brothers accused of sexually abusing minor children from as far back as the 1940s

Archdiocesan, diocesan, and religious order priests and religious brothers sexually abused minor children from east to west coasts of the United States

BR. DAMIEN CHONG, O. CARM.

Br. Damien Chong, O. Carm., a religious brother of the Carmelite religious order, was assigned to Crespi Carmelite High School, Encino, California, from 1984-1986. He was accused by a 46 year-old former student of Crespi Carmelite High School of sexual abuse. Br. Damien Chong, O. Carm. was most recently assigned to Our Lady of the Scapular Priory in Peabody, MA.

A settlement between the victim/survivor and the Carmelite Fathers and Brothers was reached in March, 2015.ontacts:

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617- 523-6250
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Recent priest abuse settlements

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

MARCH 28, 2016

This list contains settlements reached since December 2014 that involve allegations of sexual abuse by priests and members of religious orders. The list includes the accused, dates of the alleged abuse, where the clergy were assigned at the time, when the settlement was reached, and whether the accused is deceased. The information was provided by Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who represented the claimants.

Rev. Ronald Atwood
1975-80
Bishop Ready High School, Columbus, Ohio
February 2015 settlement with Diocese of Columbus

Rev. James Braley
1974-76
St. Peter’s Church, Cambridge, Mass.
May 2015 settlement with Archdiocese of Boston

Rev. Joseph Brennan (died 1976)
1957-59
St. Maurice Church, Brooklawn, N.J.
January 2016 settlement with Diocese of Camden, N.J.

Rev. Andrew Brizzolara
1979-82
St. Tarcisius Church, Framingham, Mass.
January 2015 settlement with Scalabrinian Missionaries

Rev. Richard Butler (died October 2012)
1967-68
Blessed Sacrament Church, Cambridge, Mass.
June 2015 settlement with Archdiocese of Boston

Rev. Joseph F. Byrne (died June 2014)
1969
St. Matthew’s Church, Dorchester, Mass.
June 2015 settlement with Archdiocese of Boston

Brother Damien Chong
1984-86
Crespi Carmelite High School, Encino, Calif.
March 2015 settlement with Carmelites

Rev. John Connor
1986-88
St. Alphonsus Church, Wexford, Pa.
October 2015 settlement with Diocese of Pittsburgh

Rev. Richard T. Coughlin
1957-62
St. Patrick’s Church, Stoneham, Mass.
April 2015 settlement with Archdiocese of Boston

Rev. Robert Gibney (died 2012)
1961-63
Sacred Heart Church, Vailsburg, N.J.
November 2014 settlement with Archdiocese of Newark

Rev. Randal Gillette
1971-74
St. Gabriel’s Passionist Monastery and Retreat House, Brighton, Mass.
St. Anthony’s Church, Revere, Mass.
June 2015 settlement with Archdiocese of Boston, Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., and the Passionists

Rev. James L. MacGuinness (believed deceased)
1938-40
St. John’s Church, Roxbury, Mass.
December 2014 settlement with Archdiocese of Boston

Rev. Philip Mathews
1966
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Berlin, N.J.
February 2015 settlement with Diocese of Camden, N.J.

Brother Timothy O’Sullivan
1972-73
Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, N.J.
December 2015 settlement with Bergen Catholic High School

Rev. Joseph Rocha
1968-69
St. Stephen’s Priory, Dover, Mass.
November 2015 settlement with Dominicans

Rev. Martin Walsh (died 2007)
1975
Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church, Waltham, Mass.
December 2014 settlement with Archdiocese of Boston

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Lawyers argue over local priest files

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com March 28, 2016

Attorneys representing a man suing the Diocese of St. Cloud argued Monday that a Stearns County judge should order the diocese to immediately release personnel files of priests with credible allegations of sexual misconduct against them.

Jeffrey Anderson told Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen that there is an ongoing threat to safety because the diocese hasn't turned over the files. He criticized the diocese for stalling on turning over the files.

The diocese's attorney, Thomas Wieser, argued that the names and work histories of those credibly accused have been public knowledge for more than two years and that Davick-Halfen should instead issue a protective order that would prevent sensitive information in those files from getting to the public.

Davick-Halfen took the matter under advisement and plans to issue a decision in early April.

The request for the priest files is part of a "public nuisance" claim against the diocese in a lawsuit involving the Rev. James Thoennes.

A former student at a Foley elementary school in January 2015 sued Thoennes, accusing him of abusing the student years after the diocese knew Thoennes had abused other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

New Settlements Reached In Clergy Sex Abuse Cases In Boston Area

MASSACHUSETTS
WBUR

Ten recent settlements were made involving people who say they were sexually abused by Catholic clergy. Seven settlements were with the Archdiocese of Boston, according to lawyer Mitchell Garabedian.

The settlements were reached for cases from the 1930s to the 1980s and in all totaled over $750,000 in cash and counseling.

Guest

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org

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The Boston Globe: Boston Archdiocese Settles With Seven Alleged Victims Of Clergy Abuse

“The Archdiocese of Boston has agreed to settlements involving cash and counseling with seven people who say they were sexually abused by priests, sometimes for years, according to the attorney for the alleged victims. Two other settlements with religious orders have been reached in cases involving priests who allegedly abused victims while they worked in the archdiocese, according to the attorney, Mitchell Garabedian. Another, separate settlement with the Carmelite Order involved a brother who had been accused of abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles before being assigned to a chapel at the Northshore Mall in Peabody.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

MA--More Boston predator priest cases settle; Victims respond

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, March 28, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Cases against several child molesting Boston area Catholic clerics have just settled, one of who was allowed to keep working in Massachusetts for years – until 2014 - after having been credibly accused of abusing a child in California.

[WBUR]

[Boston Globe]

Cardinal Sean O’Malley has never explained why he let Brother Damien P. Chong quietly work at the North Shore Mall in Danvers, despite the admission by Catholic officials in California that Br. Chong was “credibly accused” of child sex crimes.

We hope this settlement, however, will provide at least one of Br. Chong’s victim some comfort.

We also hope that this settlement will focus attention on O’Malley’s continuing recklessness, callousness and deceit.

The Globe reports that three priests involved in the settlements - Fr. James Braley, Fr. Joseph Byrne, and Fr. Martin Walsh - are listed as “unsubstantiated cases” on an archdiocesan website. “Another priest whose case was settled, Fr. Richard Butler, is not listed on the (archdiocesan) website -- either as unsubstantiated or in any of the other categories,” according to the Globe.

But don’t hold your breath waiting for O’Malley to explain why his accused predator priest list continues to be found lacking.

Finally, shame on O’Malley and his public relations man Terrence Donilon for their admitted “practice” of not commenting “on individual settlements with survivors.” So much for the Catholic hierarchy’s claims of being “transparent.” O’Malley and Donilon don’t even bother to try to explain or justify such secrecy.

So Boston Catholics and citizens must continue to rely on courageous victims, determined journalists and our secular justice system to warn parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public about known, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Former youth pastor faces child porn charges

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

A former youth pastor faces child pornography charges in the Town of Tonawanda.

Town of Tonawanda police announced Monday they charged Scott D. Stockton, 44, after a year-long investigation.

Stockton was arrested and charged Friday with two counts of promoting a sexual performance of a child younger than 17 years old and one count of possession of a sexual performance of a child.

Stockton, who is free on bond, is scheduled for a felony hearing in Tonawanda Town Court at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Department of Homeland Security investigators participated in the investigation, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Former youth pastor accused of sharing and possessing child porn

NEW YORK
WIVB

By Evan Anstey, News 4 Digital Producer
Published: March 28, 2016

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — After a year-long investigation, police in the Town of Tonawanda have charged a former youth pastor with felonies related to child pornography.

Scott Stockton, 44, is known in the area for his pastoral work and youth mentoring in churches and schools. Police say he received, shared and possessed images of child porn.

Stockton is accused of two counts of promoting a sexual performance of a child younger than 17, and one count of possessing a sexual performance by a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Boston Archdiocese settles with 7 alleged victims of clergy abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

Recent priest abuse settlements

By Brian MacQuarrie GLOBE STAFF MARCH 28, 2016

The Archdiocese of Boston has agreed to settlements involving cash and counseling with seven people who say they were sexually abused by priests, sometimes for years, according to the attorney for the alleged victims.

Two other settlements with religious orders have been reached in cases involving priests who allegedly abused victims while they worked in the archdiocese, according to the attorney, Mitchell Garabedian. Another, separate settlement with the Carmelite Order involved a brother who had been accused of abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles before being assigned to a chapel at the Northshore Mall in Peabody.

In all, the 10 settlements paid $778,500 and involved allegations of sexual abuse in every decade from the 1930s through the 1980s, Garabedian said. The attorney also reached agreements in six other cases across the country, including four in New Jersey.

The agreements carried no admission of liability.

Terrence Donilon, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston, said the church “is committed to addressing cases of clergy abuse in a compassionate and just manner. As a matter of practice, we generally do not comment on individual settlements with survivors.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

$2 million lawsuit filed in Manitoba sex-abuse case

CANADA
Mennoite World Review

Mar 28, 2016 by Mennonite World Review staff

A Winnipeg, Man., woman who was sexually assaulted by a Mennonite Brethren youth pastor in 1996 has filed a $2 million lawsuit alleging his church fostered a climate that aided in the abuse of children.

The Winnipeg Sun reports Brian Douglas Porisky, 56, pleaded guilty to sexual assault in October and was sentenced to six months in prison for kissing and fondling the women, at the time 14 years old, when he was youth pastor at The Meeting Place.

The lawsuit goes further, alleging repeated intercourse and other sexual acts at church functions and Porisky’s home — allegations that have not come up in court. The Sun reports the lawsuit says the church “failed to recognize that a certain percentage of pastors would become sexually deviant and would make sexual advances on children,” failed to instruct pastors about these possibilities and taught the woman that pastors are “chosen representatives on earth of God and have special powers.”

The lawsuit says MB rules and ideologies created an opportunity for Porisky to exert power and authority, and that he “was aware of the low risk of getting caught due to his power, and therefore, [the church] put the plaintiff at risk of being abused.”

The Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba is named as a co-defendant. MBCM executive director Elton DaSilva said in a March 11 statement to MBCM churches that The Meeting Place learned of some of the issues at the time and acted promptly, including dismissal of Porisky and counseling for the female.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Bistum weist Missbrauchsvorwürfe ab

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

[The Diocese of Würzburg rejects allegations that a cleric who sexually abused a girl had been protected. The man, who was later abuse officer for the diocese, is alleged to have sexually abused a 17year-old girl at the Himmelpforten retreat house. The priest denies the allegations.]

The magazine Der Spiegel considers the diocese in a report, they did not clean determined and allow the minister to influence the process. The man who was himself later Abuse Officer, raises a woman before she in 1988 to have forced a 17-year-old in the retreat house Himmelpforten to oral sex. 2012 , parents should have contacted the diocese. The priest denies the allegations.

Das Bistum Würzburg weist Vorwürfe zurück, dass ein des sexuellen Missbrauchs beschuldigter Geistlicher geschützt worden sei. Das Magazin Der Spiegel hält der Diözese in einem Bericht vor, sie habe nicht sauber ermittelt und den Pfarrer Einfluss auf das Verfahren nehmen lassen. Dem Mann, der später selbst Missbrauchsbeauftragter war, wirft eine Frau vor, sie 1988 als 17-Jährige im Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten zum Oralverkehr gezwungen zu haben. 2012 sollen sich die Eltern an das Bistum gewandt haben. Der Priester bestreitet die Vorwürfe.

Der Diözese sei es "von Anfang an um eine saubere und minutiöse Aufarbeitung" gegangen, teilte sie am Ostersonntag mit. So habe Bischof Friedhelm Hofmann die Vorwürfe zeitnah an den Missbrauchsbeauftragen der Diözese, den Strafrechtsprofessor Klaus Laubenthal weitergegeben. Dieser habe eine kirchliche Voruntersuchung empfohlen, da der Missbrauchsverdacht begründet sei. Das sehe er auch heute noch so, sagte er dem Spiegel. Die Untersuchung sei in München durchgeführt worden, um eine Befangenheit auszuschließen. Dabei habe der Psychiater Norbert Nedopil ein forensisches Gutachten erstellt, in dem er einen Missbrauch nahezu ausschließt. Der Vorwurf könne "begründet nicht aufrecht erhalten werden". Zu einer persönlichen Aussage sei die Frau nicht bereit gewesen, ihre Schilderungen seien schriftlich vorgelegen. Im Spiegel-Bericht heißt es, die Frau habe doch aussagen wollen, sie sei aber nicht gehört worden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Warum Georg Ratzinger Domkapellmeister wurde

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg Digital

[For Georg Ratzinger it was providential that he succeeded Theobald Schrems as music director of the Regensburg Cathedral boys choir. In fact, Georg Zimmermann was assigned as Director of Music but Zimmermann's penchant for "pederasty as the ancient Greeks" paved the way Ratzinger.]

Von Robert Werner

Für Georg Ratzinger war es Vorsehung, dass er Nachfolger von Theobald Schrems wurde. Tatsächlich war aber Georg Zimmermann als Domkapellmeister vorgesehen. Recherchen von regensburg-digital belegen: Zimmermanns Hang zur „Knabenliebe wie bei den alten Griechen“ ebnete Ratzinger den Weg.

Die Wege des Herrn sind unergründlich. Was für viele Gläubige eine göttliche Fügung darstellt, betrachten andere im Kontext von Protektionismus und gesellschaftlicher Entwicklung. Georg Ratzinger glaubt und sagt indes, dass erst drei Menschen in die Ewigkeit abgerufen werden mussten, damit sein Weg nach Regensburg ins Amt des Domkapellmeisters offen wurde. Untersucht man die damaligen Ereignisse und Zeitumstände am Ende der Ära Theobald Schrems, zeichnet sich das Bild eines unsäglichen Krisenmanagements ab, in das Georg Ratzinger verwickelt wurde – zu Zeiten, in denen Missbrauchsvorfälle in den Einrichtungen der Domspatzen systemgefährdende Ausmaße annahmen und Georg Zimmermann untragbar wurde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Efforts to combat child sexual abuse are being stepped up

ISRAEL
Jerusalem Post

Research conducted in 2010 showed that the national rate of sexual abuse victims up to age 14 was 1.7 per thousand in 2010.

Just be listening to the itensity with which Manny Waks talks, one begins to appreciate the ardor with which he approaches his work of tackling child sexual abuse within Jewish society.

Waks was a victim of such abuse growing up in the Chabad community of Melbourne in the late 1980s and early ’90s, and this experience along with the obstacles he encountered bringing his story to light led him to become a leading activist for dealing with the problem as it manifests inside Jewish communities around the world.

“Those who experience sexual abuse themselves are often the ones most passionate about dealing with it because others don’t fully understand or get it,” he told The Jerusalem Post last week. “The impact is profound and long term from a number of perspectives, and so often we are the ones who end up taking the mantle.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

When confronted with evil, don't abandon truth

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By George Foster Mar 27, 2016

It is both a sad and important time for the Catholic faith. The faithful have been rudely awakened to a horror that has besieged both sanctuary and home.

During the centuries, there have been scandals and problems that have plagued our church. However, the recent problems have seemed to crush our hearts.

This is a crisis of faith to many people in the church.

Many say this has driven them from their faith or has seriously affected their beliefs.

It is a time of sadness and anger and frustration, at what has been done by sick individuals and by what has not been done by people in authority.

During these times, we are forced to reconcile with the fact that many of our priests and bishops have been Judas rather than Christ. But remember, Judas did not corrupt Christ, he betrayed him.

The question is what are we going to do now?

We are living in the Easter season at a time when we recall how the king of kings was unjustly put to death by people of authority.

From this tragic tale, comes one of the greatest evolutions known to man, Catholicism.

It has been said our parents were one of the greatest generations to live. They fought a great war so their children and future generations would have the joys and privileges we have today.

Today, maybe we have all failed to protect what has been given to us by this sacrifice. We were entrusted with a beautiful faith, filled with sacramental graces and an unchanging clarity of teaching.

We recall the baptismal waters and oils at our birth; our children singing and reading at Mass; Christmas plays and the celebration of Christ’s birth; confirmation with our friends and school plays; our first Communion; and many happy, blessed weddings.

Even in death, we see the beauty of returning home to God surrounded by incense and prayer.

These are the things we know and understand as truth, this is just part of the beauty of our Catholic faith. I know we sit and talk with our families about this defilement and how it has affected each and every one of us. It is not the beauty of God’s faith that has hurt us, rather the ugliness of sin when we fail to live that faith.

We cannot abandon truth when we are confronted with our evil of the day.

Are we really going to stand by and let child molesters and perversion steal from us all that is good? Can we forget the sacrifices of our parents? We must not flee from this evil but engage in battle as our forefathers did. They fought for the freedom to freely worship their faith, and now we must fight to defend the essence and the sanctity of our Catholic faith.

Our generation must restore the purity of our church for ourselves and our children. We must cleanse the sanctuary of these thieves and demand accountability for past actions.

You and I are the church militant. So as God commands, “Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians)

Keep the faith! It is our time, our responsibility. If we do not, we also fail like the ones we now hold in such low esteem.

I, for one, will not lose so beautiful a faith or have it stripped from me by a bunch of cowards who prey on their flock. Don’t let the perverse actions of these traitors rob you or your loved ones of this great gift of our faith.

Easter is springtime in the church, and it is Christ’s church.

It is time to clean our altars and renew our hearts for it is Jesus Christ who is our example.

It is Christ to whom we look when we judge the worthiness of our faith – not the examples of us, the faulty humans who inhabit it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Klitzkie Requests Corrected Certificate of Title for Yona Property, If Any Exists

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Roselle Romanes

Klitzkie doesn't believe any paperwork ever existed.

Guam - The battle continues over the controversial certificate of title for the Yona multi-million dollar property under the Archbishop of Agana.

Despite a statement from the Department of Land Management regarding the disputed Yona seminary’s ownership, former Senator Bob Klitzkie says he’s still unconvinced and is now filing a Sunshine Law request. In a letter addressed to Director of Land Management Mike Borja, Klitzkie is requesting to see all public records including the petition and other associated documents Borja claims to have given to the Office of the Attorney General of Guam. Klitzie says he doubts any of that paperwork ever existed. According to a letter from Borja in January, Land Management has prepared and forwarded a petition, and other associated documents to the AG's Office with instructions for the petition to be filed in the Superior Court in an effort to correct the certificates of title.

"I have a filed a Sunshine Law request. I want to see those drafts because there's no pending litigation. Kristen Finney says nothing further has to be done. What I'm doing is calling Mike Borja's bluff. I want to see the petitions etc and said he has drafted. I want to see what it looks like. See what he has. What I hope to get out of this is I want to get the Redemptoris Mater Seminary back in the patrimony of the Catholic church, back into the Archdiocese's property," says Klitzkie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

$500,000 for Diocese of Hamilton refugee program lost gambling, church says

CANADA
Hamilton Spectator

By Christopher Reynolds

Police have launched an investigation into a Chaldean Catholic priest from London, Ont., after church officials reported more than $500,000 slated for the Diocese of Hamilton refugee sponsorship program was lost to gambling.

Father Amer Saka, a priest working at the St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in London, is under investigation after telling his bishop, Emanuel Shaleta, that funds intended to help new Canadians had instead vanished in vice, Shaleta said.

"He called me on the phone and . . . said he lost all the money. I said, 'How?' He said, 'Gambling,'" Shaleta said on Saturday, referring to a conversation he said took place Feb. 23.

"We believe that Father Saka has a serious gambling problem and that these funds may have been used for that purpose," he said. "Since there is an investigation going on, we cannot confirm what he's saying."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Priest allegedly gambles away refugee money

CANADA
CHML

Posted: March 28, 2016

A London-area priest is under investigation after more than a half million dollars earmarked for the Hamilton Diocese refugee sponsorship program has gone missing.

Father Amer Saka was working with a sect of the church that helps Catholics from Iraq and surrounding areas resettle in Canada.

Bishop Emanuel Shaleta says Saka has confessed to gambling the money away.

Father Saka has been suspended pending the investigation by London Police.

No charges have been laid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Shocking! Rabbi Blames Mother for Incest Committed By Her Husband

ISRAEL
YouTube

[note: This video is in Hebrew but English subtitle can be read by clicking onto the closed captioning icon.]

Published on Mar 27, 2016

Israel Channel 2 released this shocking report of child sexual abuse and cover-up in The Haredi community in Israel.

Please Share and LIKE JCW on Facebook to expose and combat child sex abuse in our community. https://www.facebook.com/JewishCommun...

***In Israel, ALL adults are mandated reporters. Anyone with a reasonable suspicion of a child being abused or endangered (or having been abused in the past, if the victim is still under 18) is legally obligated to report it to the authorities, either directly or via a reliable third party professional or agency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Spotlight's Sacha Pfeiffer, Walter Robinson speak with Spectator

NEW YORK
Columbia Spectator

BY CATIE EDMONDSON AND J. CLARA CHAN | SPECTATOR SENIOR STAFF WRITERS | MARCH 28, 2016

Hailed for its powerful depiction of investigative journalism, the film ‘Spotlight’ tells the story of how the Boston Globe’s investigative team uncovered the continued sexual abuse of children in the Roman Catholic Church.

The team’s coverage of the scandal—a series of 600 articles spanning a period of two years—won them a Pulitzer Prize. But the film, which won the Oscar for best picture, served as a high-profile ode to the power of local, investigative reporting at a time when large-scale layoffs in newsrooms have become unsurprising, with expensive investigative teams being the first to go.

At the heart of the story are the journalists and editors on the Spotlight team themselves—among them, Sacha Pfeiffer, currently a columnist and reporter for the Globe and Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson, the Globe’s editor at large. Pfeiffer and Robinson sat down with Spectator on Friday to talk investigative journalism, the importance of outsiders, and whether journalists can really have friends.

On how the Catholic Church investigation changed how they approach reporting:

Robinson said that the experience made him realize that more time needed to be devoted to looking for victimized populations who have been run over by institutions.

“Those are the kinds of stories you don't really need a whistleblower to find—you can just walk out the door literally and just look around you and you find those types of stories,” Robinson said. “I think we're sort of more sensitized after dealing with so many people in the case of the church that had been victimized, more sensitized to the fact that often, journalists are the only voice for the people when they're getting swooped.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

New Archbishop leads Easter mass at the Basilica in Minneapolis

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - For the Twin Cities Catholic community, this Easter Sunday wasn’t just about the resurrection of Jesus. The appointing of a new leader signifies hope and opportunity for the future of the archdiocese.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda presided over Easter services Sunday at the Basilica. His message was one of forgiveness and re-birth. And with bankruptcy proceedings underway and lawsuits claiming sexual abuse, it's been a rough couple of years for the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

“Even though we were sinners, even though we were lost, even though we were fallen, Our God loves us so much that he wants us to share in the inheritance of his son."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

PASTOR RAPES VICTIM IN CHURCH

LIBERIA
The New Dawn Liberia

Believer Authority Christian Church in Ganta where the crime allegedly occurred Pastors, Imams and leaders of religious bodies are not only to preach to their flocks, but equally under obligation to live exemplary and morally upright. However, when a “man of God” decides to sexually abuse a 12-year-old girl as the Head Pastor of the Believer Authority Christian Church [BACC] in Ganta, Nimba County has been accused; the congregation he leads is left dumbfounded.

Pastor John Bestman, 38, allegedly raped his 12-year-old victim in his office at the church located in the Public Work Yard community in Ganta last Thursday, 24 March, and subsequently arrested the following day by police.

According to police charged sheet, Pastor Bestman has been charged with rape and sent to the Ganta Magisterial Court for trial. His wife, Madam Annie Bestman, who happens to be Mother of the Church, has also been arrested and jailed for allegedly attacking state security officers who had gone to arrest her husband at the Believer Authority Christian Church compound.

Families members told our Nimba County correspondent Pastor Bestman and the victim live in the same yard where he sent her in the church room to wash his drinking glass, and subsequently followed her into the room with 150 Liberian Dollars offer before allegedly committing the ungodly act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Directly Accountable

OHIO
Slate

By Nora Caplan-Bricker

n the early 1990s, Brian Williams, a youth pastor at Delaware Grace Brethren Church in Ohio, allegedly tried to put his hand down the pants of a teenage girl named April Jokela. Years later, Jokela’s mother testified in court that when she complained to church officials, they told her, “Let’s just keep this quiet to protect our brother.”

In the early 2000s, Williams allegedly told 18-year-old Robin McNeal, during a meeting in his office, that “most men view women as a thing to be fucked.” She said he also told her that “he probably could get away with having sex with me right then and there in his office.” The woman, whose married name is Robin Weixel, testified that she reported Williams to church officials but that they made no record of it.

In 2004, the leadership of Delaware Grace started a second church, Sunbury Grace Brethren Church. They chose Williams to be its senior pastor.

In 2008, according to court testimony, Williams forced 15-year-old Jessica Simpkins to perform oral sex during a counseling session in his office. Then he blocked the door and vaginally raped her. Williams subsequently pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Like many sexual assault victims, Simpkins also pursued a civil suit against the church. In a criminal case, “the perpetrator is only going to be held accountable to the state, not the victim,” says Joanne Doroshow of the Center for Justice and Democracy at New York Law School. “Sometimes, the civil justice system is the only way for a perpetrator to be held directly accountable to the victim for the trauma and the pain that they’ve caused.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Bill would revive sex abuse victims' right to sue

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Peter Hall
Of The Morning Call

Bill to revive sex abuse victims' right to sue likely to spawn court fight

A movement to revive the legal rights of older sexual abuse survivors in Pennsylvania is gaining momentum in Harrisburg in the wake of new charges that Catholic Church officials conspired to hide sexual predators in their midst.

Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, has been fighting for four years to pass legislation that would create a two-year window for sexual abuse survivors to file lawsuits against pedophiles and the institutions that harbored them, no matter how long ago they suffered the abuse. The current law in Pennsylvania requires victims to file civil lawsuits by age 30 and criminal charges by age 50.

Rozzi is calling for legislation similar to statute of limitations reform passed in eight other states. If it is successful, it will set the stage for a court fight over whether it violates the state Constitution.

Opponents, including the group that represents Catholic dioceses and bishops in Pennsylvania, say such a measure would illegally strip those accused of wrongdoing of a defense they're entitled to under the state Constitution. The bill would change the rules by adding more time to the clock after it had already run out, they say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Male religious orders may not be accountable to Catholic Church

PENNSYLVANIA
Virgin Islands Daily News

By PETER SMITH Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH — Even as the leadership of a Hollidaysburg, Pa.-based Franciscan province is called to account in criminal court for its handling of a sex offender, the case is raising a broader question:

Just how accountable are male religious orders for following the U.S. Catholic Church’s zero-tolerance policy adopted in 2002?

Such orders are typically authorized by the pope and consist of priests and brothers who make specific vows, typically to poverty, chastity and obedience, with some orders having additional vows.

While dioceses, their bishops and priests are usually the most public face of a church in a given community, religious orders frequently provide the personnel to work in parishes, schools, hospitals, social-service agencies and retreat houses.

The orders have overlapping jurisdictions and hierarchies from regular dioceses and bishops. That has created conflict for centuries at times — such as with the reluctance of missionary orders to turn over the keys of the churches they started to ordinary bishops once they’re up and running. With brothers answering to their superiors but needing bishops’ authorization to work in a diocese, such crossed lines of authority can complicate a coordinated response to a predator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Lash Honored

NEW JERSEY
Observer-Tribune

The Rev. Monsignor Kenneth Lash, a priest of the Diocese of Paterson, will accept the "Servant Leader Award."

Ordained in 1962, Lasch retired as pastor from St. Joseph Church, Mendham in 2004 after 21 years of pastoral care. He also was pastor of St. Therese Parish, Paterson, from 1976-1978.

Lasch first met the Sisters of Christian Charity, sponsors of Assumption College for Sisters, while a student at Bayley –Ellard Regional High School in Madison. Lasch went on to complete degrees from Seton Hall University and Immaculate Conception Seminary, South Orange, , as well as earning a Doctorate in Canon Law from St. John University, Rome, Italy.

Enjoying an active retirement, Lasch serves as the weekend associate priest at St. Luke Parish, Long Valley. He is the co-founder of Road to Recovery, founded in 2008 as an advocacy initiative for victims for clergy sexual abuse. He is also a member of Catholic Whistleblowers, a support organization for those who experienced abuse, since 2013. Additionally, Lasch volunteers as a pastoral counselor to HIV-positive clients at Hope House, Dover.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

March 27, 2016

Convent ‘paid pocket money’ to toy-packers

IRELAND
The Sunday Times

JP O’Malley Published: 27 March 2016

WOMEN housed by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Waterford packaged board games for the global toy franchise Hasbro in return for “pocket money” as recently as 2012, The Sunday Times can reveal.

Many of the women packaging popular Hasbro board games such as Mouse Trap, KerPlunk and Buckaroo! in Waterford had previously worked in a Magdalene laundry run by the religious order and continued to live in sheltered housing after it closed in 1996.

“In the 1980s, Hasbro entered into an agreement with the Good Shepherd Sisters in Waterford to provide materials for packaging by our residents,” said the Good Shepherd Sisters in a statement. “The residents who participated in this activity were regularly given what was then known as their ‘Hasbro money envelope’. ”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Convent paid 'pocket money' to laundry survivors to pack toys as recently as 2012

IRELAND
Newstalk

Women resident in the Good Shepherd Sisters convent in Waterford were given 'pocket money' in exchange for packing board games as recently as 2012, the Sunday Times reports.

The paper says many of these women are survivors of Magdalene laundries who continued to live in sheltered housing after their closure.

Between the 1980s and 2012, multinational toy manufacturer Hasbro provided materials for packaging and residents involved would receive payment in return.

Several women who packaged the games and spoke to the Sunday Times, said payment was as low as 50p per week, often with long working hours.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

With no successor in sight, Newark archbishop could remain in post past 75

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Laura Herzog | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

NEWARK — Following the unexpected Minnesota placement of the presumed future archbishop of New Jersey's largest archdiocese, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers could now remain in his post past age 75 — the canon-law age at which bishops must submit their resignations.

This isn't "unusual," according to religious experts.

According to canon law, bishops are asked to submit their resignation at age 75, but it is up to the pope to determine when he accepts that resignation. But, Newark Archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness said, bishops can no longer be active in their posts after age 80.

Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda, a well-regarded canon lawyer with degrees from Harvard and Columbia universities and ample experience in Rome, was named Coadjutor Archbishop of the Newark Archdiocese in September 2013. This essentially meant he was set to succeed Myers when he turned 75 in July.

Instead, Pope Francis surprised members of the Newark Archdiocese Thursday when he announced he was appointing Hebda Archbishop in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. In June, in light of a sex scandal that rocked the Twin City Archdiocese, Hebda was named the interim leader, but he said at the time that he thought the post was temporary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Pope Francis's reforms polarise the Vatican

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Caroline Wyatt
Religious affairs correspondent

Rarely has a pope been more popular with the people.

A survey of Pope Francis's standing around the globe shows that he is seen positively by well over half the world. Some 54% say their opinion of him is favourable and just 12% see him unfavourably.

That means that his overall rating in the WIN Gallup International poll, or net score, this Easter is 41% (with rounding taken into account) - higher than any secular world leader. ...

Honeymoon over

Within the Curia, the Pope has polarised opinion, much as he has done between more conservative and liberal Catholics, even though he has not changed Catholic teaching and remains a staunch and vocal opponent of abortion, recently terming it a crime and "an absolute evil".

While his focus on mercy and interpreting the gospel with compassion have been welcomed by many, not all of Pope Francis's reforms are proving so popular and some are encountering stiff internal resistance. Any honeymoon period within the Curia for this pope is long since over. ...

Outside the Curia, some - especially those on the more liberal side of the Church - say that more substantial and concrete progress will be needed in Francis's fourth year in office on the main challenges facing this papacy if there is truly to be a "Francis Revolution".

They cite the four most pressing issues as:

* reforming the Curia

* dealing with the long and shameful history of cover-up of child abuse within the Church
trying to ensure financial rigour at the Vatican

* shaping the Church's approach towards homosexuality in a way that alienates neither the growing Church in the developing world, nor the faithful in much of the developed world where same sex marriage is legal and increasingly unremarkable

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Anglican Bishop of Newcastle backs abuse victims at Easter

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By TIM CONNELL
March 27, 2016

ONE of the Hunter’s top Anglicans has used Easter to back the alleged victims who will testify at Royal Commission hearings into sexual abuse in the church.

The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Greg Thompson, told an Easter Sunday congregation at Christ Church Cathedral to resist “fence-sitting” and to “bear witness” to society’s wrongs.

“In the time of the Royal Commission, it is our role to listen to the survivors,” Bishop Thompson said.

“To seek to understand the journey they have taken to come and tell their story.”

With the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse due to hold public hearings in Newcastle this year, Bishop Thompson said it was part of the Christian ethos to “stand with those who need help”.

“Really, to witness is more than being a bystander,” he told the congregation.

“We are asked to walk the talk.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Spotlight on journalism and finding purpose in work

SINGAPORE
The Straits Times

Lydia Lim
Associate Opinion Editor
PUBLISHED MAR 27, 2016

In a culture of consumption, the idea of service to something greater than oneself could go out the window

As we stepped out of the cinema, a colleague exclaimed: "I want to go back to reporting."

We had just watched Spotlight, this year's winner of the Oscar for Best Picture and a fine film on the power of journalism to uncover the truth. Like many of us, this colleague had started out as a reporter with The Straits Times but has since been promoted to another role in the paper.

The film Spotlight centres on the true story of a team of investigative journalists at The Boston Globe newspaper, who in 2001 and 2002 exposed the Catholic Church in Boston's cover-up of child sexual abuse by priests. They later won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Journalism.

So inspiring is the film that after watching it, newspaper journalists around the world have felt affirmed in their choice of profession - despite grave financial pressure from the Internet that has cost many their jobs and ongoing pressure from other sources, including politicians.

One journalist wrote to Mr Martin Baron, The Boston Globe editor who pushed for a fuller investigation into the matter and went to court to secure the release of crucial documents, to say "the story that inspired the movie serves as a wonderful, wonderful reminder why so many of us got into this business in the first place and why so many stayed despite all the gloom and doom and all the left hooks that landed squarely on our chins along the way".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

COLUMN: Investigative journalism in the Spotlight

SOUTH CAROLINA
SCNow

Posted: Sunday, March 27, 2016

Don Kausler Jr. Editor

When an editor’s battery is running low, words from Pulitzer Prize winners are a great way to recharge. In a recent four-day period involving two trips to Columbia, anecdotes from journalists that won three prizes were perfect antidotes.

At a program during the S.C. Press Association’s annual meetings, a threesome from the Post and Courier in Charleston shared inside stories of “Till Death Do Us Part,” an in-depth look at South Carolina’s domestic violence problem. That preceded an entertaining talk by 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist Kathleen Parker.

But the highlight was a talk at the University of South Carolina journalism school by Walter Robinson.

Who? He’s better known as “Robby” Robinson.

Who? Michael Keaton portrayed him in “Spotlight,” the Oscar-winning movie about The Boston Globe’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning series about child sex abuse by Catholic priests in the Boston area.

Robinson was the leader of the four-person team that exposed the abuse and the church’s cover-up. His inspirational speech spotlighted the movie and investigative reporting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

A guide to decoding Catholic reaction to Pope Francis

ROME
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor March 27, 2016

ROME – For more than a quarter-century, from 1978 to 2005, St. John Paul II was one of the most popular figures in the world, with high poll numbers and adoring crowds. To this day, his funeral Mass eleven years ago is considered the most-watched broadcast event in the history of television.

Yet as is always the case with strong leaders, he was also sometimes polarizing inside the institution he led.

In particular, more liberal Catholics often charged that too much power accumulated in the Vatican on John Paul’s watch, and that the Church had become too rigid and dogmatic. Yet because it’s buried deep in Catholic DNA to hesitate to criticize a pope outright, a sort of lexicon developed to allow people to make these points in oblique fashion.

If you heard a given theologian or bishop talk about the importance of “collegiality,” for instance – referring to the idea that all the bishops should govern the Church together as a college, rather than an absolute monarch in Rome – it often meant they were on the liberal side of arguments about John Paul II. The same went for calls for the Church to be more “pastoral,” usually meaning not quite so stringent about doctrine and discipline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Of Men in Foolish Hats and Housecoats

UNITED STATES
A Room with a Pew

3/27/2016

Paul Fericano

One of the healthiest and most powerful ways to address the seemingly endless folly of organized religion is to use the tools of social and political satire to reveal it. When the Catholic church, for example, attempts to make the problem of clergy sexual abuse invisible in its own history, it not only confounds everyone’s ability to see the problem in the present, but it holds itself up to be mocked. For years religious leaders and their attorneys have played hardball with victims in an attempt to spin the truth and rewrite the moral narrative. On this issue alone the sovereign farce that has become church practice and policy toward survivors has trumpeted the arrival of its own court jesters.

Throughout history, satire has always provoked curious and uncomfortable laughter while attempting to deflate and expose the pompous and duplicitous. At the same time, it has often managed to entertain and offend just about everyone in the process. The offending comes with the territory. It’s a big reason why this type of humor is one of the most misunderstood art forms. History is riddled with the self-righteous and indignant bodies of satire’s often difficult targets, as well as with those who’ve rushed to defend them. But illuminating dark secrets often comes at a great price. Satirists have risked everything, including bodily injury and death, to follow the advice of Horace and “tell truth with a laugh.”

Today, as the number of victims worldwide continues to grow at an alarming, but unsurprising rate, some would feign offense by arguing that such humor ridicules and trivializes the pain and suffering of victims of clergy sexual abuse. It’s a specious argument at best. But more to the point, it’s an argument that serves to enforce the church’s unwritten body politic that states: if we don’t acknowledge a problem it doesn’t exist.

Keeping itself concealed and mysterious while dressing itself in bright and colorful vestments is one of religion’s greatest illusions. Anyone who has ever been hurt by the church understands this.

The real issue is not about making fun of clergy sexual abuse. It’s about making sense of it. This is no easy task. If I were a stand-up comedian I'd be the guy dressed in Franciscan robes wearing a shoulder holster ("He's in the bell tower! And he's got an altar boy!").* The problem is that the clergy in charge who claim to be sensible are often men who make little or no sense at all. Pope Francis doesn’t escape this criticism. His canonization of Pope John Paul II in 2014, conveyed one of the most disturbing messages that any religious leader could send to victims of clergy abuse. By making a saint of a pope who deliberately turned his back on and helped perpetuate the worst modern crisis in Catholic history, Francis appeared to join the ranks of those who talk and act like they get it, but really don’t.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Chicago Pastor Accused Of Unholy Abuse Against Underage Girl

CHICAGO (IL)
The Daily Beast

Brandy Zadrozny

A prominent preacher on Chicago’s South Side has been charged with sexually abusing a minor—but he’s still in the pulpit this Easter.

Prominent pastor Rev. George Waddles Sr. will be preaching Easter Sunday at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church on Chicago’s South Side—as he has for the last 29 years—despite evidence that he may have sexually molested a young girl in his office during counseling sessions.

Waddles has pleaded not guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a felony that carries a potential seven-year prison sentence.

According to Cook County prosecutors, who laid out their case during a bond hearing in September 2015, the 67-year-old Rev. Waddles had known the alleged victim since she was a toddler. The girl—whom The Daily Beast is not naming because she is a minor and an alleged victim of sexual abuse— and her family had dutifully attended services multiple times a week and her mother even taught Sunday school at Zion Hill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

‘No Cover-Up’ - Seventh-Day Adventists Vow To Report Child Molesters And Other Criminals Who Might Be In Their Ranks

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

March 27, 2016

Edmond Campbell

The leadership of the local Seventh-day Adventist Church has vowed that they will not cover up instances where their members are involved in illegal activities, such as molesting children or abusing their spouses.

For decades, the Christian community has been accused of shielding members involved in criminal acts, with the Catholic Church in particular being accused of covering up instances where senior members have molested children.

But president of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Everett Brown, says under his administration pastors and congregants have been instructed not to cover up crimes, especially against children.

"We have told our pastors that, listen, the time for hiding is over - you have a legal responsibility to do this," Brown stated during a Gleaner Editors' Forum last Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Diocese of Winona Survivors of Child Sex Abuse Have 60 Days To Act To Protect Rights

MINNESOTA
Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
March 26, 2016

Time is running out. Survivors of sexual abuse have until May 25th, 2016 to seek justice against their attackers. The Window is limited by the statute of limitation that was expanded by the Child Victims Act. Anyone who was sexually abused by an employee of the diocese, or who believes the diocese is liable for their abuse have until May 2016.

Those with claims must act within that time.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Jeb Barrett: 'Spotlight' — a call to action

COLORADO
Daily Camera

By Jeb Barrett
POSTED: 03/26/2016

I was elated when the award-winning movie "Spotlight" receive the Best Picture Oscar. This movie faithfully exposes one of the most heinous crimes — the sexual violation of thousands of children by Catholic clerics and the widespread cover-up of these crimes by Catholic officials.

The film shows, in a moving and suspenseful way, what the investigative team at Boston Globe did: uncover the systematic concealing of abuse by secretly moving predator priests without warning congregations, communities, or civil authorities. As a society, we have naively trusted institutions that exercise illicit influence over police departments, courts and legislatures — something that needs to end wherever it still exists. Thanks to brave survivors in Boston, and now throughout the world, coming forward with the support of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) and others, we know this is a worldwide problem, a pervasive crime against humanity.

Some say that I am so passionate and vocal about this issue because of serial abuse and molestation I suffered as a youngster by authority figures. However, my concerns today are not about my own pain. I'm worried about the tens of thousands of victims who have never had chance that I've had to expose their perpetrators and the corrupt institutions and unhealthy cultures that protects pedophiles, hebephiles and ephebophiles, rather than our most vulnerable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

March 26, 2016

Questions grow about pastor's $16M in debts

FLORIDA
Orlando Sentinel

Paul Brinkmann
Orlando Sentinel

Orlando pastor declares he is unable to pay $16 million in debts

Questions are growing about $16 million in debt racked up by Orlando Baptist Church's former pastor, David Janney, who resigned in February amid a sex scandal.

A former member of the church, Arlene Miranda, filed suit Dec. 10 accusing the church of forcing her to shut up about her sexual encounter with Janney, who is married.

Three days after Miranda's lawsuit, Janney filed for personal bankruptcy in federal court. Most of the debts date to 2007 or 2008, and they include some large foreclosures filed by banks.

New lawsuits are being filed against Janney this week. On March 22, a financial company filed a claim in the bankruptcy seeking to deny Janney his chance at washing his hands of at least $3.6 million. Miranda also filed a second lawsuit, this time aimed at church officers, alleging that they tried to cover up her alleged affair.

"When I saw how much money he owes, I thought, 'How can a pastor of a church have that much debt?'" said Miranda's attorney, Mayanne Downs. "And also, where did it all go? There appears to be a pattern of irregular financial activity, coupled with the sexual abuse that we've alleged."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Secret archive of paedophile crime kept by Catholic Church's insurers

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

March 27, 2016

Rory Callinan
Investigative journalist

Victims of some of the worst sexual abuse perpetrated by the Catholic Church are being denied access to a vast archive of clergy crime, as the church continues to ensure the offending is kept secret, despite the files being handed over to the royal commission.

The nearly 2000 files – which include evidence about at least 63 offenders – have been amassed by the church's insurers, but the church appears intent on paying millions of dollars in victims compensation settlements to ensure the documents are not made public.

Angry victims and their lawyers have called on Catholic Church Insurance Ltd to make the archive public to enable investigation of potential criminal cover-ups and to assist victims in dealing with their abuse and to seek compensation.

The information was collected in the 1990s as the insurance company took steps to manage the risk posed by an increasing number of victims coming forward to claim compensation.

The insurer's inquiries aimed to determine exactly when church authorities were first alerted to a paedophile behaviour by clergy. The dates were vital as the insurer did not have to provide coverage for crimes committed after the date church authorities had official "knowledge" an individual was an abuser.

Such information is also of extraordinary value to victims seeking to find out what the church knew about their alleged abuse and subsequent liability, as well as for criminal investigations into the concealment of crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Italian Cardinal suspends Milan priest accused of sexual abuse of teenager

ITALY
Deutsche Welle

Father Alberto Paolo Lesmo has been stripped of his duties as parish priest in the Milan neighborhood of Muggiano by Cardinal Angelo Scola (photo), according to a statement issued by the archbishop's office in Milan on Saturday.

"Cardinal Scola and his colleagues express their distress and their pain, and pray for the victim, those close to him and for Father Lesmo," according to the church statement.

The church said Lesmo had been under police investigation since 2013 but that he hid that information from the archdiocese. The church has launched its own investigation into the allegations.

The alleged abuse occurred between 2009 and 2011. The alleged victim was a teenage boy who prostituted himself to fund his cocaine addiction.

The Cardinal appealed to parishioners for "unity" during these troubled times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese loses argument in legal case over paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE MCCARTHY
March 25, 2016,

A NSW Supreme Court judge has rejected a Catholic Church application to suppress the names of senior church officials with knowledge of a notorious Hunter paedophile priest, in a woman’s case that the church should have stopped him from raping her from the age of five.

Justice Desmond Fagan criticised Maitland-Newcastle diocese for providing the woman with church documents about paedophile priest Denis McAlinden with the names of church officials blacked out, including a 1976 letter from the late Monsignor Patrick Cotter in which the monsignor acknowledged McAlinden’s “inclination… towards the little ones”.

In the letter Cotter told incoming Bishop Leo Clarke that McAlinden had “an inclination to interfere with young girls”. Cotter told the bishop he put the allegation to McAlinden who “agreed it is a condition that had been with him for many years”.

Cotter's letter included that McAlinden held a strong wish to depart for Geraldton "because it would afford a good cover-up for his resigning the parish”.

The woman suing the estate of the late Leo Clarke and the trustees of Maitland-Newcastle diocese alleges she was sexually abused by McAlinden between 1974 and 1984, from the age of five.

“This letter, given its date towards the beginning of the period in which the (woman) complains she was sexually abused, is very close to the heart of the (woman’s) case,” Justice Fagan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

`Affair priest' Fr Ciaran Dallat to return to west Belfast ministry

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish News

Bimpe Archer
26 March, 2016

A PRIEST who left his west Belfast parish amid accusations he had a two-year relationship with a woman is to return after Easter.

Fr Ciaran Dallat "stepped aside" from ministry a year ago to seek "spiritual guidance and counselling", promising to "repair the hurt and damage that I have caused" ahead of an anticipated return.

It followed revelations of the affair with a Co Down businesswoman in her forties.

There was some surpise on Thursday when the cleric appeared in full robes at the Chrism Mass in St Peter's Cathedral to take part in the service where priests renew and reaffirm their vows and commitment to the bishop and wider church.

One parishioner who contacted the Irish News expressed disappointment that the parish had not prepared them with an announcement ahead of Fr Dallat's inclusion in the ceremony.

Fr Dallat was a popular priest and, following his temporary departure last year, a group of parishioners mounted a campaign for his return.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Church accused of deceitfulness as priest who had affair secretly resumes role

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Deborah McAleese
PUBLISHED
26/03/2016

The Catholic church is facing a backlash after it "quietly" reinstated a priest who had a sexual relationship with a parishioner.

Fr Ciaran Dallat, who stepped aside last year following an affair with a woman who allegedly became pregnant, has resumed his duties after "spiritual guidance and counselling".

Parishioners were unaware of the decision to bring Fr Dallat back, until they spotted the west Belfast priest taking part in the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday at St Peter's Cathedral.

A statement from the Diocese of Down and Connor said yesterday that after he voluntarily stepped aside in March last year, Fr Dallat had undertaken "a time of reparation, spiritual guidance and counselling" in the hope that he would be able to "resume the exercise of priestly ministry".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Assignment Record– Rev. Bennnett "Ben" Colucci, O.F.M. Cap.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Bennett "Ben" Colucci was ordained for the Capuchin Franciscans in 1957. He spent his career in Washington DC, Pittsburgh PA, the dioceses of Arecibo, San Juan and Ponce in Puerto Rico, Denver CO, and Salina KS. Colucci was removed from ministry in Denver in 1993 for "reported misconduct" and was transferred to KS. He retired in 2005. In 2015 a woman reported to the Capuchins that Colucci sexually abused her in the 1980s when she was a student at Marycrest High School in Denver, where Colucci was working. The Order deemed the allegation credible.

Ordained: 1957
Retired: 2005

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Flowers laid in memory of Ross laundry women

IRELAND
New Ross Standard

PUBLISHED
26/03/2016

The third annual Flowers for Magdalene's memorial ceremony took place in St. Stephen's Cemetery, New Ross, recently drawing people from across the region.

A large crowd gathered despite the inclement weather conditions to lay flowers in homage to women who died behind the walls of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Magdalene Laundry. With the demolition of St Aidan's Industrial school, which formed part of the Good Shepherd campus in New Ross, in December 2015, the communal grave in St Stephen's cemetery offers the only visual reminder of the Magdalene legacy in New Ross.

It is estimated that at least 1,663 former Magdalene women are buried in cemeteries across Ireland, many of them in unmarked graves.

The memorial marked International Women's Day and was held in unison with commemorations at other Magdalene locations throughout the country. This year a flag designed by Nancy Rochford-Flynn for the commemoration was raised by laundry survivor Maureen Sullivan, to place Ireland's once anonymous daughters within their rightful position in society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Tochter eines Diakons wirft Missbrauchsbeauftragtem Missbrauch vor

DEUTSCHLAND
Focus

Schwere Vorwürfe in Würzburg: Eine 44-jährige Frau beschuldigt den ehemaligen Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Bistums des Missbrauchs. Der Mann soll sie zum Oralverkehr gezwungen haben.

Der Fall soll sich bereits 1988 ereignet haben. Damals soll der Geistliche das Mädchen im Kloster Himmelspforten missbraucht haben. Das berichtet der „Spiegel“.

Der Beschuldigte streitet den Missbrauchsvorwurf ab, der heutige Missbrauchsbeauftragte, Kriminologe Klaus Laubenthal, hält diesen laut „Spiegel“ jedoch für „plausibel“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Bistum soll möglichen Missbrauchsfall vertuscht haben

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

[A woman raises abuse allegations against a former abuse officer of the diocese of Würzburg. The church holds the situation secret after consultation with the accused. The former commissioner for abuse in the is suspected of sexually abusing the woman in 1988 at the Himmelpforten monastery. Now 44, she was the daughter of a deacon. Klaus Laubenthal, the present abuse officer of the diocese, considers the allegations plausible. He wrote in a report to the Bishop of Wurzburg, Friedhelm Hofmann, there were "several indications" that the woman was a victim of sexual violence. It appears from church documents that the vicar general decided together with the accused not to notify the public prosecutor.]

Eine Frau erhebt Vorwürfe gegen den früheren Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Bistums Würzburg. Die Kirche hält den Fall geheim – nach Rücksprache mit dem Beschuldigten.

26. März 2016

Der ehemalige Missbrauchsbeauftragte des Bistums Würzburg steht in Verdacht, 1988 eine Frau sexuell missbraucht zu haben. Die 44-Jährige Tochter eines Diakons beschuldigt den Mann, sie im Kloster Himmelspforten zum Oralsex gezwungen zu haben.

Klaus Laubenthal, der heutige Missbrauchsbeauftragte des Bistums, hält den Vorwurf für plausibel. Er schrieb in einem Gutachten an den Würzburger Bischof, Friedhelm Hofmann, es gebe "mehrere Anhaltspunkte", dass die Frau "Opfer sexueller Gewalt wurde".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Italian priest suspected of paying teen for sex suspended

ITALY
The Daily Star (Lebanon)

Agence France Presse

ROME: The archbishop of Milan has suspended a 46-year-old priest charged with paying a teenage boy for sex, a statement said Saturday.

Cardinal Angelo Scola appealed to parishioners for "unity" as he announced he was suspending Father Alberto Paolo Lesmo from his duties as parish priest in the Milan neighborhood of Muggiano.

"Cardinal Scola and his colleagues express their distress and their pain, and pray for the victim, those close to him and for Father Lesmo," it said.

It said it had only recently learnt that the priest was the subject of a probe launched in 2013 as he had hidden it from his superiors.

The alleged abuse occurred between 2009 and 2011. The alleged victim, a cocaine addict, was a teen at the time and prostituted himself to fund his habit.

The archdiocese has opened its own investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Best picture illuminates evil of child abuse: Here's hoping 'Spotlight' helps with healing

ILLINOIS
Herald & Review

THERESA CHURCHILL H&R Senior Writer

“Spotlight” may have been the best picture of 2015 according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but you wouldn't know it by the amount of buzz the film generated in Decatur.

It never played here, as far as I know, except for the special showing the Avon Theatre gave to Herald & Review employees and their families earlier this month.

Sad to say, the audience for a movie about public service journalism is dwindling, especially if you're counting the number of print journalists working these days.

I admired the tenacity of the Boston Globe's investigative reporters, as depicted in the film, as they worked long hours to uncover the systematic child sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic priests in the Boston Archdiocese.

Their series of reports won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003.

More importantly, the story caused hundreds of other victims around the country to come forward about similar crimes committed against them, often while they served the church as altar boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Burlington woman one of 8 to receive settlement from Seattle Archdiocese

WASHINGTON
Q13 Fox

MARCH 25, 2016, BY JAMIE TOMPKINS

SEATTLE -- A Burlington woman is speaking out, no longer afraid to share a painful childhood secret of sexual abuse.

Mary Lynch says a priest named Father Michael Cody sexually molested her when she was 8 years old. She never told a soul, until a Sedro-Woolley woman came forward in May of 2015, accusing Cody of sexual abuse. The Archiodecese payed her $1.2 million to settle.

“I didn't think anybody else had been victimized by him because I’d never heard his name before,” says Mary.

With the help of her attorney, Michael Pfau, Mary, along with 7 other women, were awarded a settlement of over $9 million from the Seattle Archidiocese.

The archdiocese says Michael Cody abused all 8 girls between 1968 and 1974 at churches in Burlington, La Conner, Swinomish and Bellingham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Chicago Archdiocese Sued Again For Ex-Priest Daniel McCormak

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

(STMW) — A new lawsuit was filed Friday alleging sexual abuse by convicted child molester and defrocked priest Daniel McCormack and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The plaintiff — a man identified only as John J. Doe — filed the suit Friday in Cook County Circuit Court against the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The man claims in the suit that McCormack engaged him in sexual and abusive relationships from 2003 to 2004 while the priest was a basketball coach at St. Agatha’s Parish on the West Side.

McCormack was removed from the priesthood in November 2007 and pleaded guilty that year to abusing five other children at St. Agatha’s. He was sentenced to five years in prison and has been staying at a state-run mental health facility since his release from prison in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Suffering in final months, a pastor loved his people

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

These remarks were delivered March 19 at a memorial Mass at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church for Father Virgilio Elizondo, who died March 14. The Bexar County medical examiner listed the cause of death as suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The large crowd gathered here this morning is only a fraction of the thousands and thousands of people whose lives were touched by Father Virgil, our brother. On behalf of his family, I thank all of you here and everyone who is mourning his loss with us — including his many friends and colleagues at the University of Notre Dame and the people he served at his various priestly assignments, including this parish community, whom he served for 20 years.

I thank Father Juan Alfaro, Father Jorge Campos and the parishioners of Santa Rosa de Lima. I also thank his family for sharing “Uncle V” with us.

Since Monday, many people — especially my brother priests and bishops — have been sharing stories about him with me. While there are not words enough to memorialize him now, three characteristics stand out in these stories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Victims of alleged sexual abuse by Catholic priests drop legal action against Salford Diocese

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

26 MAR 2016

BY NEAL KEELING

Legal action brought by Former students of St Bede’s College was stopped without reaching any conclusions, out of court settlement or apologies

Legal action against Salford Diocese by alleged victims of sexual abuse has been dropped.

Former students of St Bede’s College in Whalley Range, Manchester, were suing church bosses over claims they were sexually abused by Catholic priests.

But the court process has now been discontinued without any out of court settlement or apology.

Although a lawyer for the former pupils says she is in the process of negotiating a formal apology.

The decision to stop the legal case comes despite three ex-pupils waiving their right to anonymity in January to talk publicly about their suffering at the hands of senior staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

March 25, 2016

Former Uxbridge church elder strikes plea deal in $3.4M Ponzi scheme

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

By Brian Lee
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Mar. 25, 2016

WORCESTER – A former church elder who took about $3.4 million from about 25 people in a Ponzi scheme from 2010 to 2014 entered a plea deal this week with a federal prosecutor that calls for 24 to 41 months in prison and more than $1.6 million restitution.

Charles L. Erickson of Uxbridge waived the indictment and pleaded guilty to wire fraud Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Mr. Erickson, who will be sentenced June 28, faced up to 20 years' incarceration. He is also subject to 36 months of supervised release, according to terms of the plea agreement in the court.

The criminal complaint by FBI Special Agent Bryan McKay in September said Mr. Erickson began collecting money around 2010 from investors for trading futures contracts. Those are contracts between two parties to buy or sell an asset for a price agreed upon today, with delivery and payment occurring at a future point, the delivery date.

Mr. Erickson recruited investors, many from Connect Community Church in Ashland, where he was a church elder. He said he believed the Holy Spirit gave him a proprietary system for day trading a particularly volatile futures contract on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Feds trying to stop convicted Central City priest from liquidating assets

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

[U.S. District Attorneys File Motion to Restrain Assets of Fr. Joseph Maurizio]

JOHNSTOWN -- Federal prosecutors want a judge to freeze the assets of Central City priest who owes $70,000 in fines and restitution after he was convicted of sexually assaulting poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

According to documents filed Friday, prosecutors say Joseph Maurizio transferred 42 acres of land to his niece in November, after he was convicted, and has continued trying to transfer his assets to her in a phone call from jail since his March 2 sentencing. Maurizio was also ordered to spend more than 17 years in prison.

The judge has not ruled on this motion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Convicted priest’s lawyers take blame for missed payments

PENNSYLVANIA
KSN

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Federal prosecutors want a judge to freeze the assets of a Pennsylvania priest who owes $70,000 in fines and restitution after he was convicted of sexually assaulting poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr., 71, transferred 42 acres of land and his home for $1 to his niece in November, after he was convicted, and has continued trying to transfer money from his financial accounts to her since his March 2 sentencing, according to the motion filed Friday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Haines.

But defense attorney Thomas Farrell said in an email that Friday’s motion “shows a lack of common courtesy” because the transfers are being made so the niece — who is the priest’s power of attorney — can pay the penalties.

Farrell, one of two attorneys representing the priest on appeal, said the attorneys are to blame for not providing clearer instructions to the niece “on when and how the payments should be made” and said she has been making arrangements to pay the penalties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

PA--Victims praise prosecutors for blocking priest’s financial deceit

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, March 25, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We applaud prosecutors who are trying to keep a convicted predator priest from illegally protecting his wealth. We hope they succeed.

[Tribune-Review]

According to the Tribune-Review, “The U.S. Attorney's office asked a federal judge in Johnstown Friday to freeze the assets of Fr. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr. who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for molesting boys at a Honduran orphanage, alleging he is transferring his property to relatives.

Shame on Fr. Maurizio’s niece, Christine Shaulis, for her selfish and deceitful involvement in these illegal financial transfers. And shame on Fr. Maurizio’s Catholic supervisors for letting him create a self-run “charity” in the first place.

Sadly, bishops let many priests set up their own unaccountable ‘charities’ and then act surprised when the priests are exposed as predators who commit both sexual and financial crimes. Altoona Catholic officials owe their flock explanations, apologies and real reforms to prevent priests from amassing private wealth they can use to attract victims and conceal crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Pope hears tales of suffering, abuse at Colosseum Easter ritual

ITALY
GlobalPost

AFP

Tens of thousands of faithful bearing candles prayed at an Easter ritual at Rome's ancient Colosseum on Friday, where they and Pope Francis were told of the suffering of rejected migrants, sexually abused children and slaves.

Security was tight at the former gladiator battle ground, where a small group of believers carried a cross between 14 "stations" evoking the last hours of Jesus's life during the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession.

Francis, 79, sat under a red canopy next to a large cross as he listened gravely to a lengthy meditation written by Italian Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti. ...

The archbishop also denounced "the wounds of children desecrated in their intimacy" through paedophilia, and the fate of women who become "objects of exploitation".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

Australian Ex-Bishop: The Church Loses Credibility Due to Pedophilia Cases

AUSTRALIA
Latin American Herald Tribune

SYDNEY – Australian former bishop Geoffrey Robinson said on Friday the Catholic Church has lost “almost all credibility” due to the cases of pedophilia and called on Pope Francis to demand the resignation of every bishop who failed to properly address child abuse cases.

“Every bishop who has ever been responsible for the abuse of a child, because he did not do what he should have done, should be asked to resign,” said the author of books like “Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church” in an interview with Australian ABC Radio.

Robinson, who was a key player in the Australian Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse cases by members of clergy between 1994 and 2003, stressed the need of “death and resurrection” in the Church during Easter.

He also added that the church needs to “get rid of obligatory celibacy” and demanded a role for women in the church. Catholic teaching must rethink about their teachings on sexuality, which should include a new look on homosexuality and “the concept of what is natural.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Bistum Würzburg: Ein Kommentar

DEUTSCHLAND
Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier
- ein Blog von Claudia Adams

Werter Bischof Ackermann,
werter Beauftragter der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz für Fragen sexuellenMissbrauchs Minderjähriger im kirchlichen Bereich,

Als sich am 29.01.2016 die Betroffene aus dem Bistum Würzburg an mich wandte, wusste ich noch nicht, dass es sich hierbei um einen Skandal handeln sollte, der die von Ihnen versprochene „Aufklärung“ sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche auf einzigartige Weise widerlegen würde.

Erst im Laufe der Recherche wurde die Dimension einer absolut heuchlerischen Vorgehensweise der Katholischen Kirche offensichtlich. Kircheninterne Akten, die belegen, was die Katholische Kirche unter dem Begriff „Aufklärung“ versteht.

Der SPIEGEL enthüllt in der heutigen Ausgabe das, was dem Leser zugemutet werden kann.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

„So ein bisserl liebevoll“

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Chronologie - Wurtsburg diozese]

[A woman has accused the former abuse officer of the Wurtzburg diocese of sexual abuse when she was a teenager.]

Eine Frau beschuldigt ausgerechnet einen ehemaligen Missbrauchsbeauftragten als Missbrauchstäter. Interne Akten der Kirche zeigen, wie der Mann geschont wurde.

Ein Spät­som­mer­tag im al­ten Zis­ter­zi­en­ser­klos­ter Him­mels­pfor­ten. Das Bis­tum Würz­burg hat ka­tho­li­sche Fa­mi­li­en am Wo­chen­en­de zu Kur­sen und ge­müt­li­chem Bei­sam­men­sein ein­ge­la­den. Auch Alex­an­dra Wolf und ihre El­tern sind ge­kom­men. Die 17-Jäh­ri­ge ging ih­rer Er­in­ne­rung nach ge­ra­de ei­nen Flur des jahr­hun­der­te­al­ten Ge­bäu­des ent­lang, da sprach sie ein Pries­ter an und bat sie in ein Be­spre­chungs­zim­mer. Der Geist­li­che Fried­rich Stein(*) woll­te mit der Ju­gend­li­chen über ihre El­tern re­den, über ih­ren Va­ter vor al­lem, der sich auf die Wei­he zum Dia­kon vor­be­rei­te­te.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Chicago Heights native works to protect children from abuse

ILLINOIS
Daily Southtown

Erin Gallagher
Daily Southtown

Protecting Roman Catholic children from sexual predators is a full-time job for this Chicago Heights native.

As the newly-appointed Archdiocese of Chicago's director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, Mary Jane Doerr has a candid, but optimistic view of the challenges she faces.

"We know we are working for the dark side of the church, but we are the ones shining light on it," Doerr said.

Doerr, 62, oversees three offices within the archdiocese, including the Assistance Ministry Office, which provides support for victims of sexual abuse and their families. She encourages people who have been victims to come forward, because "it's never too late," she said.

"The archdiocese wants to hear their stories and support their health and wellness," Doerr said. "That's an important part of this ministry."

Workers in the office have served more than 500 victims and their families and "they are very good at it," she said. Taking the ministry in a new direction, they are helping victims rejoin the church, a process they call "helping them find a place in the pew."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

U.S. attorney's office asks judge to freeze assets of convicted Somerset priest

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

BY PAUL PEIRCE | Friday, March 25, 2016

The U.S. Attorney's office asked a federal judge in Johnstown Friday to freeze the assets a Roman Catholic priest from Somerset County who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for molesting boys at a Honduran orphanage, alleging he is transferring his property to relatives.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Haines alleges the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr., 70, has been liquidating his assets since he was sentenced March 1 by turning over the property to relatives.

In the four-page motion she said the priest already has deeded 42 acres in Paint Township and Windber, Somerset County, to relatives for $1 and has had made plans in telephone discussions with his niece, Christine Shaulis, to transfer his bank accounts, “leaving those accounts with a zero balance.”

The conversations were captured on audio recordings from the Cambria County Prison in Ebensburg where Maurizio is being held, Haines said.

“Accordingly, the United States requests an order restraining the sale, transfer or dissipation of assets for a period of 60 days ...,” Haines states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Money and Saint-Making

VATICAN CITY
America

Vatican Dispatch

April 4-11, 2016 Issue
Gerard O'Connell

Continuing his reform of Vatican finances, Pope Francis issued a decree on March 4 approving new norms relating to the administration of the “goods,” mainly money, of the causes for beatification and canonization of saints in order to ensure full transparency and accountability in this area.

He took this decisive step after the commission he set up in July 2013 concluded that there was little or no oversight on how the considerable sums of money collected for a particular cause were spent. The commission’s report revealed that the system approved by St. John Paul II in 1983 lacked effective oversight and failed to prevent abuses. John Paul II beatified 1,138 persons and declared 482 saints, and it was known in Rome during his pontificate that money had been an important factor in advancing some of them.

In early August 2013, Francis received alarming reports from the commission on this matter, and he immediately ordered the blocking of some 400 accounts of the postulators of the causes of beatification and canonization held at the Institute for the Works of Religion (commonly called the Vatican Bank). That was but the first step; the new norms are the latest.

That there were abuses in the system was long known. It became public knowledge when two Italian journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, drawing on the commission’s leaked report, published books that revealed that while hundreds of thousands of euros were collected for a particular cause, there was little or no control over how this money was spent. The average cost for a beatification was around 500,000 euros (US $550,000). Fittipaldi, for example, highlighted the high costs for the cause of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Most of the 450 postulators are religious, but Nuzzi cited the report as revealing that two lawyers (laypeople, both named) handled a disproportionate share of the 2,500 causes, with 90 cases each. Moreover, the family of one of them was among the three printers given contracts by the congregation to print the position papers (sometimes several volumes) for the causes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Church credibility ‘almost lost’

AUSTRALIA
Gympie Times

Daniel Burdon | 26th Mar 2016

POPE Francis has been urged to ask for the resignation of all Catholic bishops who have failed to properly address child sexual abuse cases.

Australian Roman Catholic Bishop Geoffrey Robinson made the call yesterday in an effort to restore "trust and credibility" in the Church.

Bishop Robinson told ABC Radio National every bishop who was responsible for the abuse of a child "because he did not do what he should have done" should be asked to resign.

If Pope Francis was to act on Bishop Robinson's urging, hundreds of bishops worldwide could resign.

Bishop Robinson said the church had lost "almost all its credibility" and had to be seen to be confronting the problem.

He also called for more women to be allowed involvement in the Church at senior levels and an end to the Catholic rule of mandatory celibacy for priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Good Friday ribbons to remember children's suffering at hands of Father Peter Searson

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 25, 2016

Beau Donelly

A retired teacher who tried to stop a paedophile priest from assaulting her students has returned to her old school to pay tribute to the victims of clerical sex abuse.

Former Holy Family teacher Carmel Rafferty led a group of people back to the Doveton parish adjoining her old primary school on Friday to tie colourful ribbons to the fence in a mark of respect to survivors.

"The church is paying attention to the suffering of Jesus on Good Friday, but we're paying attention to the abused," Ms Rafferty said.

"We're sending a message of recognition," she said.

"This is a way we can show our heartfelt concern to the victims, survivors, their families, and to those who have never disclosed their suffering to anyone."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Priest indicted on prostitution charge

ITALY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Milan, March 25 - Milan prosecutors have indicted Father Alberto Paolo Lesmo, accusing him of paying with cash and drugs for sex with a minor, ANSA sources said on Friday.

Prosecutors said that between 2009 and 2011, Lesmo paid a boy aged between 14 and 17 for sex, at times also paying with illegal drugs.

Another person not connected to the Church has also been indicted in the case, and prosecutors said that on one occasion that suspect raped the minor involved.

A preliminary hearing date has not yet been set.

Milan Archbishop Angelo Scola suspended Lesmo on Friday from his duties as parish priest at Santa Marcellina Church in the Milan neighborhood of Muggiano, as well as deacon of the neighboring Baggio district.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Churches, charities and councils should fund £13.5m support scheme for abuse victims, says MSP

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith / Thursday 24 March 2016

Charities, churches and other institutions where child abuse took place should be required to pay into a fund to help support victims, according to an MSP.

Labour's Graeme Pearson said institutions in which child abuse is known to have taken place could help provide the fund for survivors of abuse while an inquiry into what happened to them takes place.

The Scottish Government has announced a £13.5m survivor support fund, which will prioritise the needs of older historic child abuse victims, some of whom are not expected to live to see the end of the four year inquiry.

As the Herald reported yesterday, the inquiry has already cost more than £600,000 and the final cost will run into the tens of millions of pounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Bishop George Bell: Archbishop defends abuse claim payout

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has defended the decision to name former Bishop of Chichester George Bell as an alleged paedophile.

The Church of England settled a civil claim made by a woman who says she was abused by the late Rt Rev Bell in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Archbishop Welby said he was a "great hero" for his wartime actions but the abuse claim apology was "correct".

Bishop Bell's supporters have criticised the church's investigation.

'Appalling shock'

Bishop Bell was well known for championing the people of Germany during World War Two and made a speech in the House of Lords in February 1944 opposing Churchill's policy of saturation bombing.

Archbishop Welby told BBC Radio Kent: "He did extraordinary work during the Second World War, and in the run up to the war and in the years after the war, but someone came forward who said that they had been abused by him.

"On the balance of probability, at this distance, it seemed clear to us after very thorough investigation that that was correct and so we paid compensation and gave a profound and deeply felt apology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Child sexual abuse: a female voice

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

March 25, 2016

This article is written by a female survivor of child sexual abuse in an institutional setting in the Australian Jewish community.

Dr. Michelle Meyer is CEO of Tzedek, an advocacy service for survivors of child sexual abuse, is promoting her voice, both as an opportunity for her to tell her story but also in the hope that it will encourage others to speak up. And whilst this story took place in the Australian Jewish community, it is also an international story.

A victim tells her story:

The Catch 22 of Case 22.

Established in 2013, the work of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues throughout the nation. As it does so, my community struggles to find its feet on the shifting sands.

In the wake of the Royal Commission’s case study #22 – its probe of the the Yeshivah/Beth Rivkah community – rabbis have stood down, boards have been dissolved and reconstituted, committees were appointed and policies and procedures have been revisited and reviewed. New legislation and safeguards have also been implemented.

But as the fallout continues and the school and community hasten to recalibrate, a number of issues have been overlooked, two of which are: the lack of the female voice in the narrative, and the cultural stigma attached to having been sexually abused.

The lack of the female voice in the narrative

With all due respect to the Royal Commission and with high regard to the tight parameters and terms of reference that it must work within, the absence of female witnesses leaves the investigation of events at the Yeshivah-Beth-Rivkah schools incomplete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Church acknowledges reports of abusive relationship with Hartman

UNITED STATES
The Mennonite

3.24. 2016 Written By: Gordon Houser and Hannah Heinzekehr

In a March 20 letter to congregants, the staff and board of elders of Lindale Mennonite Church, Linville, Va., acknowledged that staff have been aware of reports of an abusive relationship with congregation member Luke Hartman since August 2014.

On Jan. 8, Hartman was charged with solicitation of prostitution. Hartman’s trial was due to start March 15, but, according to WHSV news in Harrisonburg, Va., new information was received from Virginia State Police, and the trial was rescheduled for March 29. Hartman served as Vice President for Enrollment at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, a role he resigned from on Jan. 12. He was also a frequent speaker at Mennonite Church USA conventions.

The Lindale letter states that a member of the congregation responded to a Jan. 11 statement from the Anabaptist-Mennonite chapter of the Survivors Network of Abuse by Priests (SNAP Menno) inviting any individuals who may have experienced abusive behavior from Hartman or others within Mennonite Church USA to report the behavior to police, local crisis centers, civil attorneys or independent survivor groups like SNAP.

“Someone from our congregation contacted SNAP about an abusive relationship that was brought to our attention in August 2014,” said the Lindale letter. The letter states that pastors have been in contact with both the victim and Hartman and that “there were disciplinary measures set in place and professional counseling was provided.” No further details about these measures were provided in the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

FROM ROME: SISTER ANDREA WELCOMES ARCHBISHOP HEBDA'S PERMANENT APPOINTMENT

MINNESOTA
St. Catherine University

Today is an exciting day for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis! Together with the entire St. Catherine University community, I am delighted to welcome Archbishop Bernard Hebda to his permanent appointment as Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis! Our excitement and happiness on learning this news must reach all the way from Rome, where St. Catherine students, campus ministry leaders, Chaplain Fr. John Forliti, and I are celebrating Holy Week at the liturgies of our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

We look forward to welcoming Archbishop Hebda to our cities on a permanent basis and to working with him as spiritual leader of our Archdiocesan and University faith communities.

Already encouraged by his intelligent and wise engagement over the past months, the University looks forward to many fruitful years of engagement with our new Archbishop. Since his arrival in our Archdiocese some months ago, Archbishop Hebda has worked tirelessly to address the many challenges we face and has been an enthusiastic, pastoral and thoughtful supporter of our mission at St. Catherine and of my service as president. Notably, Archbishop Hebda has encouraged St. Catherine’s commitment to social justice, and offered me counsel and direction as we work to strengthen our Catholic identity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

LDS Church named in lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of Navajo children in foster program

ARIZONA
Fox 13

[with video]

BY MARK GREEN AND LAUREN STEINBRECHER

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. -- Two members of the Navajo Nation have sued The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, alleging the church placed Native American children in Mormon foster homes where they were sexually abused and that LDS leaders did not take adequate steps to protect those children.

The lawsuit, filed in Navajo Nation District Court on March 22, names The Corporation of the President of the LDS Church, The Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the LDS Church, LDS Family Services and the LDS Church itself.

The allegations stem from a foster care program formerly carried out by the LDS Church and its subsidiaries called the "Indian Placement Program" or the "Lamanite Placement Program" (LPP). The two plaintiffs, a brother and sister, state they and another sibling experienced abuse while in the program in Utah from 1976-1983.

“It was kind of a series of ongoing sexual abuse situations of varying degrees while in this program,” said Craig Vernon, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Navajo Siblings File Lawsuit Against LDS Church For Alleged Sexual Abuse As Children

ARIZONA
Gephardt Daily

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., March 24, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Two Navajo siblings have filed a lawsuit against the LDS Church alleging they were sexually abused decades ago as children while they were in a church program that placed them with Mormon foster families.

The lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seeks unspecified damages; changes in church polices regarding reports of sexual, including the practice of telling leaders not to testify in cases involving abuse; the creation of a task force to address social and cultural harm to Navajos who were in the Indian Student Placement Program; and a written apology.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Navajo Nation court.

Attorney Billy Keeler said the brother and sister, his clients, told at least two leaders about the abuse, but nothing to protect the children while they were in the program, in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Archdiocesan leaders express joy, gratitude for Archbishop Hebda’s new role

MINNESOTA
The Catholic Spirit

Maria Wiering | March 24, 2016

Auxiliary Bishop Cozzens calls appointment ‘an early Easter’

“Brilliant.” “Humble.” “Holy.” The words were used repeatedly by leaders in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to describe Archbishop Bernard Hebda, whom Pope Francis named their archbishop March 24.

Father Charles Lachowitzer, the archdiocese’s moderator of the curia, said the news brought him “great joy.”

“As we were going around doing the listening sessions a few months ago, the archbishop’s relationship with the people and his graciousness, his kindness, his humility, his faith, all of these things were immediately responded to by many of the people, saying ‘Can we keep you here?’” he said. “From those first listening sessions it was obvious that if he were selected by the Holy Father to be our next archbishop, we couldn’t have done any better.”

Since June 2015, Archbishop-designate Hebda has been serving as the archdiocese’s apostolic administrator, a position he assumed was temporary, as he was previously named coadjutor archbishop of Newark and expecting to lead that archdiocese upon the retirement of Archbishop John Myers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

No longer administrator, how might Hebda change as Twin Cities archbishop?

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Mar. 24, 2016

Bernard Hebda woke up Tuesday morning a prelate with two temporary titles -- apostolic administrator to the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese and coadjutor archbishop in Newark, N.J. -- attached to his name. By the day’s end, a third replaced both: archbishop-designate of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

“I am humbled once again by Pope Francis’ confidence in me in calling me to this local church, which has been so influential and important in the upper Midwest,” he said during a press conference held inside the Cathedral of St. Paul.

The announcement Thursday morning of Hebda’s appointment as the 11th archbishop of the Twin Cities answered one question: Who would succeed Archbishop John Nienstedt who resigned last June under the shadow of an ongoing clergy sexual abuse scandal and related bankruptcy filing and criminal charges. But the announcement raised another: Who will Hebda, no longer just a passerby in the historically important archdiocese, become as a now-rooted resident?

“How will he present himself as an archbishop, now that he’s got the powers of office and permanence?” asked Charles Reid, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis whose said his initial impressions of Hebda have been fairly positive, viewing him as careful and conciliatory. “Will he change now that he’s an archbishop?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

End statute of limitations on abuse claims

PENNSYLVANIA
The Times

By Calkins Media

The news couldn’t have been more sickening or disgusting. A grand jury report recently accused two former Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese bishops of covering up or failing to act swiftly enough on sexual abuse claims against more than 50 priests from 1966 until 2011.

The report says the late Bishop James Hogan and former Bishop Joseph Adamec kept filing cabinets with 115,042 secret documents detailing victims’ abuse claims. It tells how church officials transferred the accused priests to other parishes, and intervened when local and state police made inquiries, starting in the mid-1960s.

Three ex-leaders of a Franciscan religious order have been charged in connection with the investigation for allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to take on jobs, including a position as an athletic trainer at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, which enabled him to molest more than 100 children.

The news brought back memories of similar scandals in Boston and Philadelphia, which shocked and outraged Catholics and non-Catholics alike across the country. Catholic Church officials were quick to apologize for the grand jury report, expressing their deep concerns for the victims of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Why the French cardinal shouldn’t resign over the sex abuse scandal

FRANCE
Crux

By Amicie Pelissie Du Rausas
Special to Crux March 24, 2016

PARIS – While the French Church does not always live harmoniously with its anti-clerical state and culture, it has been mostly spared the accusations of financial mismanagement and sexual abuse that the Church in other European countries has known.

Our régime of laïcité — a strict separation between Church and state, in which the public square is declared religion-free — has meant, for example, close state supervision over Catholic educational facilities.

Yet as a third case of clerical sex abuse came to light last week in the Archdiocese of Lyon, French Catholics have been wondering if they are not so different after all.

Proceedings opened Jan. 27 against Father Bernard Preynat, charged with “sexual aggression and rape of minors” between 1986 and 1991 at Lyon’s Saint-Luc parish, where he ran a large Catholic Scout group over two decades. (See a French op-ed in La Croix and a report in Le Monde.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

March 24, 2016

Assignment Record– Rev. Gerald Simonelli

ILLINOIS
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Gerald "Fr. Jerry" Simonelli was ordained for the Joliet diocese in 1990. He assisted at parishes in West Chicago, Bolingbrook and Glen Ellyn, then pastored parishes in Romeoville, Addison and Bloomingdale. He was removed from ministry in May 2010 after a 21-yr-old man accused him of "inappropriate conduct" that occurred more than two years previously. Bishop Sartain stated Simonelli's removal was due to "homosexual activity" and that he was "unfaithful to his vows on more than one occasion."Simonelli's name appears on the diocese's June 24, 2015 list of "Diocesan Priests With A Credible Allegation(s) of Sexual Abuse of Minors Made Against Them While Serving in the Joliet Diocese." The list notes there to be a continuing canonical process.

Ordained: 1990

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

N.J. Catholics 'devastated' after Archbishop's successor moves west

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

NEWARK — News that Archbishop Bernard Hebda has left New Jersey for good has left Catholics in the Garden State wondering who will eventually lead the state's largest Archdiocese.

"I was devastated," Fr. Alex Santora of Our Lady of Grace in Hoboken said of how he felt when he learned of Pope Francis's decision Thursday to appoint Hebda the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

"I think I can speak for a lot of priests that I've talked to who feel that (Hebda) raised the expectations for what could be in our Archdiocese."

Hebda came to New Jersey in 2013, when Pope Francis named him Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, and successor to current Archbishop John J. Myers, who is expected to retire in July.

Hebda's personality and style, Santora said, instilled a "sense of excitement" amongst local clergy members about the impending "transition" to Hebda's leadership. "Now, that has been dashed."

Last year, while still serving in Newark, Hebda was appointed to also serve as Apostolic Administrator in the Twin Cities. Hebda was brought in amidst a sex scandal in Minnesota that saw the resignation of former Archbishop John Nienstedt. The appointment led to speculation that Hebda would not remain in Newark, though he assured local Catholics that the post was temporary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Victorian Legal Services Commissioner v Lewenberg (Legal Practice) [2016] VCAT 439 (23 March 2016)

AUSTRALIA
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

VCAT REFERENCE NO. J144/2015

CATCHWORDS
Application by Legal Services Commissioner pursuant to s 4.4.13(2) and (3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act 2004; Two charges of professional misconduct pursuant to s 4.4.3(1)(a) or alternatively misconduct at common law pursuant to s 4.4.3(1), Guilty Plea to unsatisfactory professional conduct only, Statement of Agreed Facts. Professional misconduct proven.

APPLICANT
Victorian Legal Services Commissioner

RESPONDENT
Alex Lewenberg

WHERE HELD
Melbourne

BEFORE
Judge Jenkins, Vice President

HEARING TYPE
Hearing

DATE OF HEARING
15 March, 2016

DATE OF ORDER
23 March 2016

CITATION:
Victorian Legal Services Commissioner v Lewenberg (Legal Practice) [2016] VCAT 439
ORDERS

PRELIMINARY ORDER

Pursuant to s 17 of the Open Courts Act 2013, the Tribunal orders that any material or information arising from this proceeding which could reasonably lead to the identification of the name of the Complainant, also referred to as AVB, shall not be published or broadcast or be made available to the public. In making this Order the Tribunal is satisfied that it would be contrary to the public interest for the name of the Complainant to be published.

FINDINGS

The Tribunal finds Alex Lewenberg guilty of Charge 1, namely, that he engaged in professional misconduct within the meaning of s 4.4.4(a) of the Legal Profession Act 2004, in that the conduct of Alex Lewenberg on 6 September 2011 at the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria at Melbourne, namely, uttering certain words to which he admitted, constituted conduct consisting of a contravention of Rule 30 of the Profession Conduct and Practice Rules 2005.

The Tribunal finds Alex Lewenberg guilty of Charge 3, namely, that he engaged in professional misconduct within the meaning of s 4.4.4(a) of the Legal Profession Act 2004, in that the conduct of Alex Lewenberg on 6 October 2011 at 340 Little Lonsdale Street in Melbourne, namely, uttering the words in a telephone conversation, to which he admitted, was conduct consisting of a contravention of Rule 30 of the Profession Conduct and Practice Rules 2005.

The hearing is adjourned to 6 April 2015 to hear submissions in respect of determinations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Catholic bishop calls for resignation of bishops who failed to address child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

An Australian bishop has called on Pope Francis to request the resignation of every bishop who has failed to properly address cases of child sexual abuse.

Roman Catholic Bishop Geoffrey Robinson said there needed to be "death and resurrection" in the church this Easter to restore trust and credibility.

"Every bishop who has ever been responsible for the abuse of a child, because he did not do what he should have done, should be asked to resign," Bishop Robinson, now retired, said in an interview with ABC Radio religion specialist Noel Debien.

His suggestion would mean the resignation of hundreds of bishops worldwide.

"The church has lost almost all credibility," he said.

"It has got to be seen to be confronting anything and everything which has contributed."

Bishop Robinson also said the church must "get rid of obligatory celibacy" and called for a shift in the role of women in the church.

"Women must be brought into every level of the church in a far, far greater way than they are," he said.

He also said Catholic teaching on sexuality must be "looked at again from the beginning" — including homosexuality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Spotlight! On Big Investigations & Getting Journalism Right

NEW YORK
Shawangunk Journal

Editorial

I finally saw this year's Oscar-winning Best Picture, Spotlight, all about the Boston Globe's lengthy and airtight investigation into the predator priest scandals that have racked the Catholic Church, and especially the ways in which dioceses were part of a systemic cover up. One leaves the theater reminded of the continuing importance of journalism as a key tool of not only democracy, but the maintenance of human decency. But also of the difficulties involved in the job.

Three things shone through for me and others I know who are in this business. First, the frustrations involved in getting things right when dealing with truly serious stories. Sometimes you have to hold on to smaller pieces of information, and keep working one's material to get at something bigger. Other stories happen which force one to put the story dearest to one's heart on hold. And thirdly, we are all human, and all prone to letting big news connections slip by us because we don't recognize their importance, or can't handle them at certain points in our lives. Yet with work and honesty, they do find the light of day, eventually.

In other words, finding and telling truths is an ongoing process. It takes time.

All of this reminds us of some of the bigger stories that have surfaced around here in recent years, as well as some that need the attention of a full investigative team... or at least enough time and smarts to make them work. And how with each of these stories, there are subjects that look forward, as well as those that if followed overturn our shared pasts. And convoluted presents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Presumed successor to Newark Archbishop Myers just got another job

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

NEWARK — A papal appointment to a post halfway across the country has got local Catholics questioning who the next leader of the state's largest archdiocese will be.

Pope Francis announced Thursday his appointment of Archbishop Bernard Hebda as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Hebda had previously served as the Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, and was scheduled to replace Archbishop John J. Myers when he retires.

In a statement released Thursday, Myers said he was surprised by the appointment.

"Our Holy Father Pope Francis has often said that our God is a God of Surprises," Myers said in a statement. "Today is surely a perfect example of that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Archdiocese confirmed once again as owner of Seminary property

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

Archdiocese of Agana Statement

The Department of Land Management issued new Certificate of Titles on March 15, 2016, once again confirming that the legal and sole owner of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Guam in Yona (former Hotel Accion property) is the Archbishop of Agana.

The Department of Land Management issued Certificates of Title Nos. 136387, 136388, 136389 and 136390 for the purpose of memorializing the Declaration of Deed Restriction recorded on November 22, 2011 to the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary of Guam and the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Theological Institute. As part of this formal process, the Director of Land Management and Registrar of Titles, Michael Borja, determined that the proper way to proceed with this memorialization was to cancel the former Certificates of Title Nos. 135922, 135923, 135924 and 135925, which did not include the Declaration of Deed Restriction, and issue new Certificates of Title. The issuance of the new Certificates of Titles did not change the Department of Land Management’s certification of ownership; the Archbishop of Agana is the owner of the property, and the certification is dated March 15, 2016.

While dissenters and opposers of the Archbishop have claimed that the now cancelled certificates of title were “bogus”, the Department of Land Management diligently acted to address the concerns over the memorialization. According to Monsignor David C. Quitugua, Vicar General, “The release of these new certificates did not change the ownership of the Seminary Property, but more accurately describes all the pertinent information recorded; the owner of the Seminary property is the Archbishop of Agana, A Corporation Sole; that has not changed since the day the property was acquired for the seminary.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Archdiocese: Archbishop still in control of property

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno, gdumat-ol@guampdn.com March 25, 2016

The Department of Land Management’s cancellations and issuance of new certificates of title for a former hotel didn’t change the property’s ownership, according to the Archdiocese of Agana in a recent statement.

The statement was released in connection with the former Accion Hotel, which once was valued at between $40 million and $57 million before it was donated to the Archdiocese of Agana and turned into a seminary.

“While dissenters and opposers of the archbishop have claimed that the now canceled certificates of title were ‘bogus,’ the Department of Land Management diligently acted to address the concerns,” according to the March 18 archdiocesan statement.

“The Archbishop of Agana is the owner of the property, and the certification is dated March 15, 2016,” according to the archdiocesan statement.

The March 18 statement from the archdiocese is in response to recent concerns raised by Robert Klitzkie, a former part-time judge and former two-term island senator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

WA--Victims urge more disclosures in wake of settlement

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

The settlement of more clergy sex abuse and cover up cases in Seattle shows how little is changing in the Catholic hierarchy. Deeply-held secrets about clerics who commit and conceal sexual violence are pried loose and made public only when brave victims seek justice in court. Without continuous pressure from determined outsiders, prelates like Archbishop Peter Sartain continue to sit on secrets that could make kids safer, expose the truth and bring real healing.

We hope the courageous women who were sexually assaulted by Fr. Michael Cody feel some long-overdue, sorely-needed and well-deserved comfort for their achievement: pulling back more of the on-going, destructive secrecy that still pervades the Catholic hierarchy. We applaud them for finding the strength to report their suffering and having the wisdom to seek justice in court.

It’s worth noting that Catholic bishops have claimed, in hundreds of horrific cases, that they put predator priests back on the job because therapists told them they could.” The Cody files show that this isn’t always true.

We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Seattle – will protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted and cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Hebda named archbishop of Twin Cities archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Tim Harlow and Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune staff writers MARCH 24, 2016

The Rev. Bernard Hebda has been named archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, church officials announced Thursday morning.

Hebda has been the acting leader of the archdiocese since June 15, after Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned in the wake of a clergy sex abuse scandal, a series of related lawsuits and investigations, and a bankruptcy filing.

Hebda, 56, was appointed Thursday morning by Pope Francis.

Hebda said he was “humbled by this expression of Pope Francis’s confidence and honored to serve this Archdiocese with its rich history and its long tradition of extraordinary priests, zealous religious and empowered laity, all working to put their faith into action.”

Hedba has been splitting his time between the Twin Cities and Newark, N.J., where he was on track to succeed Archbishop John J. Myers this year. Instead, Hebda will oversee the Twin Cities archdiocese.

In a news conference Thursday morning, Hebda said when he flew into the Twin Cities Tuesday he had no idea he would be named archbishop designate today. “I would have brought a better suit and made sure I had haircut,” he joked.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda greeted parishioners after celebrating his first mass at the St. Paul Cathedral Sunday July 12, 2015 in St. Paul.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda greeted parishioners after celebrating his first mass at the St. Paul Cathedral Sunday July 12, 2015 in St. Paul.

He said his nine months as apostolic administrator of the archdiocese has helped him appreciate the archdiocese’s influence and importance in the Upper Midwest, “as well as a taste of those challenges that have molded its recent history.” ...

“This is a disappointing choice for an archdiocese that deserves better and by a pope who knows better,” wrote David Clohessy, director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).

“Just weeks ago, Hebda stayed silent and did nothing while [former archbishop Nienstedt] quietly moved out of state and resumed ministry, causing a firestorm of justifiable outrage and controversy.” Nienstedt had been asked to help a parish priest in Michigan, but left after his connection to the Twin Cities abuse scandal was revealed.

“He will do little or nothing to better protect kids and expose those who commit or conceal sex crimes and misconduct in Minnesota,” Clohessy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Pittsburgh native to lead troubled Minnesota archdiocese

PITTSBURG (PA)
Tribune-Review

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Pittsburgh native who has been the interim leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been officially appointed to the position, the Vatican announced Thursday.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda, 56, has been overseeing the archdiocese since Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned last year, after prosecutors filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for failing to protect children from a priest later convicted of molesting two boys. Nienstedt denied wrongdoing in that case and was not charged.

Hebda's installation Mass is scheduled for May 13.

David Zubik, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, said in a statement, “As a native of the church of Pittsburgh, Bernie is much loved and admired by the faithful, the religious, the deacons, and the priests of the diocese. He will lead the Church of St. Paul-Minneapolis with great pastoral zeal and with a huge loving heart.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been under fire since 2013, when a former church official went public with concerns about its handling of abuse cases. That same year, a state law opened a three-year window for victims of past sex abuse to file lawsuits. The archdiocese has declared bankruptcy and more than 400 victims have come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Goddard Inquiry: Children abused 'on industrial scale'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

"Physical and sexual abuse on an industrial scale... remained unchecked for decades" at children's homes in south London, a report by victims says.

The report detailing allegations by 600 people will go before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

At a preliminary hearing earlier, the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association was given "core participant status".

Its leader Raymond Stevenson said child abuse in the Lambeth Council-run homes had been a "reversal to the dark ages".

The abuse had resulted in the "shedding of thousands of tears", he said, and called it a "shame on the establishment" and "institutionalised evil".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

MN--Victims blast new Twin Cities archbishop

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, March 24

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

The new Twin Cities archbishop is a slightly friendlier version of the old Twin Cities archbishop.

This is a disappointing choice for an archdiocese that deserves better and by a pope who knows better.

Just weeks ago, Hebda stayed silent and did nothing while his corrupt predecessor quietly moved out of state and resumed ministry, causing a firestorm of justifiable outrage and controversy.

Just three months ago, we urged Hebda to reach out to victims of a predator priest whose conviction was upheld. He ignored us:

[SNAP

And consider these developments from just six months ago in Hebda’s home diocese:

[Star Tribune]

Consider Hebda’s depressing defense of a corrupt colleague’s opulent and expensive home:

[NorthJersey.com]

Consider his obsession with public relations and with promoting complacency:

[SNAP]

Hebda’s the consummate insider, a savvy politician. He’s a typical Francis appointee – a glad-handing milquetoast who toes the party line with a smile instead of a scold. He benefits from being judged by the extraordinarily low bar set by Archbishop John Nienstedt.

But he will do little or nothing to better protect kids and expose those who commit or conceal sex crimes and misconduct in Minnesota.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Cardinal Apologizes to Sexually Abused Children 25 Years Later

FRANCE
Telesur

The Cardinal has been caught up in a scandal over abuses that took place 25 years ago, long before he became archbishop of Lyon in 2002.

A French cardinal accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests apologized to victims during a mass, his diocese said Thursday .

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, quoting Pope Francis, said Wednesday he was "obliged to assume all the evil committed by some priests and personally apologize for the damage they have caused by sexually abusing children."

He said he apologized even though he was not in power in the diocese "when the abominable acts took place".

Barbarin has been caught up in a scandal over abuses that took place 25 years ago, long before he became archbishop of Lyon in 2002.

A priest in his diocese, Bernard Preynat, was charged in January after victims came forward with claims he had sexually abused Scouts between 1986 and 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

On the opening of the Vatican archives regarding Argentine dictatorship, 23.03.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 23 March 2016 – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., in response to questions from journalists, confirmed this morning that for some time Pope Francis has expressed his intention to open up for consultation the Vatican archives relating to the period of dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983). This naturally presupposes the cataloguing of the material.

This task is proceeding in a regular fashion and it is expected to be completed during the coming months, after which the times and conditions for consultation may be studied, in agreement with the Argentine Episcopal Conference. So far, Fr. Lombardi explained, the intention is to respond to specific legal questions requested by rogatory or matters of a humanitarian nature.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Archbishop Bernard Hebda 'honored' to head Minn. diocese

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Mar 24, 2016 / 07:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has named Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda as the new head of the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese – a surprise move for the archbishop, who was expected to take over the diocese of Newark in July.

In a March 24 press release, Archbishop Hebda said that he was “humbled by this expression of Pope Francis’s confidence.”

He also said he was honored to serve in a diocese with such a “rich history and its long tradition of extraordinary priests, zealous Religious and empowered laity, all working to put their faith into action.”

Archbishop Hebda has been serving as apostolic administrator for the Minneapolis archdiocese since June 15, 2015, when the former archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, stepped down after the diocese was charged with mishandling cases of child sexual abuse.

On June 5, 2015, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis was charged with six counts of failing to protect minors, specifically with regard to the actions of the now-former priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who is currently serving a five year prison sentence for sexually abusing two minors and possession of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Religion's tax break is a cross we shouldn't have to bear

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 25, 2016

Meredith Doig

Religious groups are not taxable. No wonder there’s no transparency in how their billions of dollars are spent.

Whether or not you are a practising Christian, Easter is a time to think about religious traditions.

The ongoing proceedings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse​ and the cover-ups so long perpetrated within religious institutions are added reason to do so this year. So, too, is the trial at the Vatican of two investigative journalists for accessing secret Vatican documents about financial corruption and incompetence.

There's a lot to reflect on here, for the religious and the non-religious alike. Right now, we are also embroiled in the politics of the forthcoming federal budget and no issue is more important or more entangled in obfuscation than that of tax reform. The confluence of these things is worth considering, because the tax-exempt status of religious organisations in this country is a much-neglected topic and one which ought finally to be seriously addressed.

I believe in the application of reason to public policy, as distinct from the application of lobbying by special interest groups. But the application of reason requires considerable transparency. Special interests work hard to shield their interests from the public gaze and lobby behind closed doors.

Religious organisations are among such special interest groups. Under Australian law, religious organisations are exempt from taxation. This exempts something of the order of $30 billion a year from taxation. The Catholic Church accounts for half of that. It is bigger than all the others combined, pulling in about $16 billion annually.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

A church that protects sexual predators isn’t much church at all

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

OPINION

BILL LEONARD | MARCH 24, 2016

“This was like God showing up.” That’s how one victim of clergy sexual abuse in the Boston archdiocese described his family’s response when a priest came to visit. He added fatefully, “When a priest paid attention to you it was a big deal.” Unfortunately, in this case and hundreds like it, such attention was actually a way of “grooming” Catholic children for abuse.

Those stories come tumbling out in the Oscar-winning motion picture Spotlight, an account of a group of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe who uncovered multiple cases of clergy abuse and the efforts of certain members of the church hierarchy to cover up the practices year after year. It is a lesson in ecclesiastical evil, individual and institutional, with implications for all Christian communions.

Spotlight is the name of the Globe’s four-person research team. Lapsed Catholics all, they were charged by the paper’s new editor, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) with in-depth research into accounts of clerical abuse surfacing in the Boston area. The reporters, led by Walter (Robby) Robinson (Michael Keaton), initially resisted, suggesting that it was only a case of “a bad apple” priest or two. They warned the new editor that his willingness to sue the archdiocese in order to secure church records would be political suicide in a Catholic town like Boston. And indeed it was. In one of many powerful scenes, Baron visits with Boston prelate Bernard Cardinal Law (Len Cariou), who gives the Jewish editor a copy of the Catechism and tells him: “This city flourishes when its great institutions work together.” To which Baron responds that newspapers are at their best when they “stand alone.”

Ultimately, the Spotlight team digs in, documenting case after case of serial child molestation by multiple priests, most moved from parish to parish, or sent to church-based half-way houses, “protected” by church officials. Small cash settlements were provided, paid after pledges of secrecy from the families. In the end, their Pulitzer Prize winning story was released in 2002, detailing the extent of the abuse and tracing protectionist actions all the way to Cardinal Law. Forced out of his archbishopric, Law was transferred to Rome and installed as Archpriest at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, an office he holds to this day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Francis appoints Hebda to replace Nienstedt in St. Paul-Minneapolis

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 24, 2016

VATICAN CITY
Pope Francis has appointed a new leader for a Catholic archdiocese in the American Midwest where mismanagement of clergy sexual abuse cases led to the dual early resignations of the former archbishop and an auxiliary bishop last June.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda will now lead the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota, canceling his former appointment to take over the archdiocese of Newark, N.J., in July.

Hebda, a Pennsylvania native, had been serving as the apostolic administrator of the Minnesota archdiocese since Archbishop John Nienstedt’s resignation in June 2015.

Nienstedt resigned alongside Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché ten days after prosecutors in his archdiocese brought criminal charges against the archdiocese "for its failure to protect children."

Hebda’s new appointment comes as a bit of a surprise. He had previously been appointed as the coadjutor archbishop in Newark, meaning he would have automatically replaced current Newark Archbishop John Myers as head of the archdiocese at his retirement, expected to come when he turns 75 in July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Pope Names Bernard Hebda Archbishop of Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Dave Aeikens

Bernard Hebda will stay as the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Pope Francis on Thursday morning appointed Hebda, who has been Apostolic Administrator of the archdiocese since June 15, according to a news release from the archdiocese.

Hebda, who had been a Coadjutor Archbishop in New Jersey, came to Minnesota after the resignation of Archbishop John Nienstedt after criticism of how the archdiocese handled allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Hebda's installation Mass is planned for 2 p.m. May 13 at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

When Hebda arrived he had to rebuild trust among those he served. He conducted his first mass in July and he met with the priests in Minnesota.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Hebda named Archbishop of Archdiocese of St. Paul/Mpls

MINNESOTA
KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Pope Francis announced Thursday morning that Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda has been appointed as Archbishop of the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Hebda has been serving as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese since June of 2015, since former Archbishiop John Nienstadt stepped down in the midst of a clergy sex abuse scandal. The appointment was intended to be temporary, but the Vatican apparently believes Hebda is the man

In a news release Hebda said he was “humbled by this expression of Pop Francis’ confidence and honored to serve this Archdiocese with its rich history and its long tradition of extraordinary priests, zealous Religious and empowered laity, all working to put their faith into action.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Pope names priest who was expected to succeed Newark archbishop to Minneapolis instead

NEW JERSEY
NorthJersey.com

BY STEFANIE DAZIO
STAFF WRITER

The priest who had been expected to take over the archdiocese of Newark has been appointed by the pope to become the next archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Bernard A. Hebda had been appointed coadjutor or assistant archbishop of Newark in late 2013. It was believed he would take over the Newark archdiocese when the current archbishop, John J. Myers, reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Hebda wrote a letter to his new archdiocese, where he had served as apostolic administrator about nine months ago while Pope Francis mulled over the naming of a new archbishop there.

“The Pope and the Holy Spirit evidently had different plans for me than I had anticipated, and I am humbled and honored to be named your shepherd,” Hebda said.

It wasn’t immediately clear who would take over Newark’s archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Interim archbishop elevated to lead Twin Cities archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Beaumont Enterprise

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The interim leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been officially appointed to the position, the Vatican announced Thursday.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda, 56, has been overseeing the archdiocese since Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned last year, after prosecutors filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for failing to protect children from a priest later convicted of molesting two boys. Nienstedt denied wrongdoing in that case and was not charged.

Hebda's installation Mass is scheduled for May 13.

The archdiocese has been under fire since 2013, when a former church official went public with concerns about its handling of abuse cases. That same year, a state law opened a three-year window for victims of past sex abuse to file lawsuits. The archdiocese has declared bankruptcy and more than 400 victims have come forward.

"I know from my nine months in the Archdiocese that there is much work yet to be done to overcome the significant challenges we continue to face, but I am firm in my conviction that the Lord is truly present here, even in our struggles," Hebda said in a letter to congregants. "The exceptional staff and leadership team at the Archdiocese, along with our strong priests, committed religious (order members), and dynamic lay leaders are all reasons for great hope."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

No 'glorious summer' after our 'winter of discontent': Archbishop Hebda named Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

03/24/2016

Jennifer Haselberger

In announcements sent out early this morning, temporary administrator Bernard Hebda informed the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis that he has been given the job of Archbishop permanently. The decision of the Holy Father was made while the Archdiocese continues its meanderings through bankruptcy, while the Archdiocese is battling criminal charges against it as a corporation, and in the wake of several concerning decisions by Hebda including his failure to prevent Archbishop Nienstedt from assuming a ministerial position at a parish in Michigan, the delayed removal of a priest under investigation for possible possession of child pornography, his decision to return Reverend Paul Moudry to ministry, and his being caught off guard when criminal charges were filed against the Franciscans.

Here is Archbishop Hebda's statement to priests:

Dear Brothers,

Please pray for me as I prepare to begin my service as the next Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. I am humbled by the Holy Father’s confidence in me and pray that I will be able to be a shepherd who imitates the One who “came to serve rather than to be served,” as we will remember at this evening’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper. I particularly hope and pray that I as bishop will be able to be the “father, brother and friend” that Saint John Paul envisioned in Pastores Gregis

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Statement of The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark, On the Appointment of The Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda As Ninth Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis

NEW JERSEY
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark

Our Holy Father Pope Francis has often said that our God is a God of Surprises.

Today is surely a perfect example of that.

I have been both privileged and blessed to have worked closely with Archbishop Bernard Hebda here in Newark over the last two and a half years. And I also can say that I have been doubly blessed because of our strong personal relationship that began when he was a Seminarian at the Pontifical North American College.

For more than two decades we have shared many common ministries – from service to the seminarians at the Pontifical North American College and on the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in Rome, to our roles as Shepherds of dioceses and members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is a great Priest, and a great Bishop.

While it may have been difficult for him at times to manage the travel and commitments of serving in two large Archdioceses these past months, he embraced this call from the Holy See willingly and prayerfully. His tireless, positive approach to dealing with the challenges presented him will be one of the graces that he will share with the people of the Twin Cities.

In our many conversations about what we had both assumed would be a temporary assignment in St. Paul-Minneapolis, Archbishop Hebda has always spoken with great affection and admiration for the people of St. Paul-Minneapolis – his new local Church. The parishioners and general community of the Twin Cities have experienced what the people of Newark already have come to know – a happy spiritual leader who loves people, loves priests and Religious, and who loves God and His Church.

The people of this local Church of Newark are truly grateful for all that he has done here since 2013, and he will be missed. At the same time, we pray that God will continue to bless him as he enters this new chapter in a life of service to the Church as the new Shepherd of this local Church of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Pope Francis Names Archbishop Bernard Hebda Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Thursday, March 24, 2016

Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

Today at 6:00 a.m. local time, Pope Francis formally announced Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda’s appointment as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Archbishop Hebda has been serving as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese since June 15, 2015. During that time, he has also been serving the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, as Coadjutor Archbishop, and was scheduled to replace Archbishop John J. Myers when he is expected to retire in July.

Upon being told of his appointment, Archbishop Hebda said he was “humbled by this expression of Pope Francis’s confidence and honored to serve this Archdiocese with its rich history and its long tradition of extraordinary priests, zealous Religious and empowered laity, all working to put their faith into action.”

In addition to serving the Archdioceses of Newark and Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop Hebda was Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan and has served at the Vatican and in parishes in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Archbishop Hebda’s Installation Mass is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.

Because today marks the beginning of the solemn time of the Triduum in the Catholic Church, Archbishop Hebda will hold a brief news conference at 9:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Paul, located at 239 Selby Avenue.

For more information on Archbishop Hebda’s appointment and background, go to www.archspm.org/newabp and www.thecatholicspirit.com.

Read the Statement of The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark, On the Appointment of The Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda As Ninth Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Letter to the Faithful from Archbishop-Designate Hebda

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Thursday, March 24, 2016

Source: Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Archbishop-Designate

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

When I arrived in Minnesota for the first time last June, I was but a visitor -- assigned as Apostolic Administrator to help with the operations of the Archdiocese until Pope Francis named a new Archbishop. In the nine months since then, I have been blessed to witness your deep faith and your commitment to Christ’s Church, His people, and the Eucharist. I consider many of you friends.

That is why it is with joy that I tell you of Pope Francis’ decision to appoint me as the next Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The Pope and the Holy Spirit evidently had different plans for me than I had anticipated, and I am humbled and honored to be named your shepherd.

I know from my nine months in the Archdiocese that there is much work yet to be done to overcome the significant challenges we continue to face, but I am firm in my conviction that the Lord is truly present here, even in our struggles. The exceptional staff and leadership team at the Archdiocese, along with our strong priests, committed religious, and dynamic lay leaders are all reasons for great hope. You all seem to work tirelessly to serve Christ and His people no matter where they are found and for that I am most grateful.

It has already been an honor serving you and I very much look forward to continuing to serve you and this vibrant community for as long as the Lord sees fit.

Now more than ever, I will be counting on your prayers and support. Be assured of my prayers for you, your families, and this local Church.
Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Apostolic Administrator and Archbishop-Designate
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Hebda named archbishop of Twin Cities archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Tim Harlow Star Tribune MARCH 24, 2016

The Rev. Bernard Hebda has been named archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, church officials announced Thursday morning.

Hebda has been the acting leader of the archdioceses since June 15, 2015 after Archbishop John Nienstedt resigned in the wake of a clergy sex abuse scandal, a series of related lawsuits and investigations, and a bankruptcy filing.

Hebda, 56, was appointed Thursday morning by Pope Francis.

Hebda said he was "humbled by this expression of Pope Francis's confidence and honored to serve this Archdiocese with its rich history and its long tradition of extraordinary priests, zealous religious and empowered laity, all working to put their faith into action."

Hedba has been splitting his time between the Twin Cities and Newark, N.J., where he was on track to succeed Archbishop John J. Myers this year. Instead, Hebda will oversee the Twin Cities archdiocese.

Hebda joined priesthood in 1989 when he was ordained at the St. Paul Cathedral in his native Pittsburgh. In 1996, he was appointed to work in the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in Rome, which is responsible for the interpretation of the church's laws, especially the Code of Canon Law. He served in that position until 2009 when he was named as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, Mich., by Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Lawyer Alex Lewenberg slammed by VCAT over ‘shocking’ conduct

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

[Victorian Legal Services Commissioner v Lewenberg (Legal Practice) [2016] VCAT 439 (23 March 2016)]

March 23, 2016

Shannon Deery Herald Sun

A VETERAN lawyer who told a child sexual abuse victim that Jews shouldn’t help police prosecute other Jews, regardless of their crimes, has been found guilty of professional misconduct.

In a damning judgment handed down by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal yesterday Alex Lewenberg’s conduct was slammed as “truly shocking”.

The finding could lead to career-ending sanctions for the controversial lawyer who has previously had his practising certificate cancelled for unprofessional conduct.

VCAT acting president Judge Pamela Jenkins said comments made by Mr Lewenberg constituted a most serious breach that had no place in 21st century law.

“For (Mr Lewenberg), as a legal practitioner, to suggest that members of the Jewish community or indeed any community or religious affiliation, should close ranks and decline to assist in the prosecution of charges of this nature is truly shocking,” she said.

“If such a position had been adopted by other Jews, it not only would have had the capacity to hamper the prosecution of a child sex offender but, also, previously, to have allowed Mr Cyprys’ offending to continue for longer than it might otherwise have done.

“It is discreditable for (Mr Lewenberg), practising law as he does in a 21st century secular society, to nevertheless proselytise his misguided concept of religious or cultural solidarity, thus effectively allowing such views to take precedence over his professional obligation to uphold the principle of equality before the law.

“I draw the only reasonable inference that (Mr Lewenberg) not only espouses such views but that he practises law in accordance with them.”

Mr Lewenberg admitted two charges of misconduct at common law, but unsuccessfully contested charges of professional misconduct at a VCAT hearing last week.

It took Judge Jenkins just a week to find him guilty of the charges.

On two separate occasions: the first while in court; and the second during a covertly recorded phone conversation, Mr Lewenberg told a child sexual abuse victim that Jews shouldn’t help prosecute each other.

The Jewish victim had helped police in their prosecution of notorious Jewish paedophile David Cyprys, who Mr Lewenberg was representing at a bail application hearing in 2011.

Cyprys was jailed for the abuse of a string of children aged seven to 17 in the 1980s and 1990s.

During the bail hearing, Mr Lewenberg turned to Cyprys’s father and said: “It is most disappointing when a person who has nothing to do with the case and being a fellow Jew does wilfully seek to hinder another Jew in his defence of criminal charges.”

In a subsequent conversation with the victim, Mr Lewenberg, fresh from representing Cyprys, reiterated that: “I am not exactly delighted that another Yid would assist police against an accused, no matter whatever he is accused of. There is a tradition, if not a religious requirement, that you do not assist against (the people of Abraham).”

Mr Lewenberg did not dispute making the comments, but said they were taken out of context.

The matter will return to court next month to hear submissions in relation to appropriate sanctions for Mr Lewenberg.

In 1989, Mr Lewenberg was fined $3000 and his practising certificate was cancelled for unprofessional behaviour.

A Supreme Court judge found while there was no suggestion Mr Lewenberg had gained financially from the behaviour, he could not be trusted in his dealings with other solicitors.

Mr Lewenberg had behaved disgracefully and dishonestly, had shown no remorse, and was unfit to be a solicitor, the judge said.

But on appeal, the cancellation of Mr Lewenberg’s certificate was reduced from three years to two years.

shannon.deery@news.com.au

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

‘Father Cody is dangerous': Seattle Archdiocese settles sex abuse case for $9.1 million after damning letters surface

WASHINGTON
Washington Post

[with copy of the letter from a psychiatrist]

Justin Wm. Moyer March 24

After being sued by eight women who alleged they were molested by a priest four decades ago, the Seattle Archdiocese has settled for $9.1 million.

The settlement, reported by the Seattle Times, came Wednesday after a damning psychiatrist’s letter, among other documents, surfaced last year reporting Michael Cody, the priest at the center of the suit, was a pedophile who needed to “be removed from parish work as soon as possible.” The letter, part of correspondence among church officials expressing concerns about Cody, was written in 1962; the women were abused between 1968 and 1975.

“He told me that he was suffering from an abnormal sexual attraction toward young girls,” psychiatrist Albert M. Hurley wrote. “… He has molested at least eight girls twelve years of age or younger. As you know, there have been complaints about his hostility and temper in the various parishes where he has served. He also complains of feelings of severe depression, during which time he prays that God will allow him to die rather than continue this behavior.”

Hurley was explicit about his diagnosis, saying Cody was a pedophile who showed “sadistic tendencies” to boys he knew and talked of killing others and himself.

“It is likely that if external controls on his acting out are made, and this cycle of aggression and depression sufficiently interrupted, then he can once again assume a useful and productive life,” the psychiatrist wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

After meeting with church leaders, youth pastor resigns

IOWA
KCCI

[with video]

BOONE, Iowa —A Boone pastor has resigned after meeting with church leaders about allegations from a former member of the church's youth group.

The pastor has not been criminally charged in connection with the case, but Ames police told KCCI that they are actively investigating what was reported to them and looking for him.

Police said that on Monday a 19-year-old woman came forward about her relationship with Grace Community Church's Youth Pastor Joel Waltz.

"We believe the misconduct happened over a several year time period. We believe the victim was a minor when some of the acts occurred," said Ames police spokesman Commander Jason Tuttle.

The girl, whose name has not been released, also reportedly described the relationship in detail to church leaders, saying it started when she was in youth group and continued after she graduated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Historical victims of abuse in care homes urged to come forward

SCOTLAND
The National

MARCH 24TH, 2016

JANICE BURNS

SURVIVORS of historical child abuse have been urged to come forward and share their experiences as a four-year investigation into allegations surrounding youngsters in care launches a call for evidence.

Susan O’Brien QC, chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, together with other panel members Glenn Houston and Professor Michael Lamb, made the announcement in Glasgow yesterday and outlined how it will take evidence.

They have already heard from a small number of seriously ill or very elderly survivors but the invitation has now been extended to all victims.

Those who suffered abuse as children in residential or foster care and who wish to provide evidence to the inquiry are being urged to make contact by email, post or, from Tuesday March 29, through freephone number, 0800 0929 300.

O’Brien also confirmed that survivors providing evidence in this way would become known as “applicants”, with the first private evidence-gathering meetings taking place from late April. The word “applicants” has been chosen because these are survivors who have applied to assist the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Abuse investigation set to be Scotland's biggest and costliest public inquiry

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

THE public inquiry into child abuse in state care is set to become the biggest and most expensive in Scottish history.

It was revealed yesterday that Scotland’s Child Abuse Inquiry (CAI) had already cost more than £600,000 in just two months and is predicted to dwarf previous high-profile hearings by millions of pounds.

Launching the first official call for evidence for the inquiry, chairwoman Susan O’Brien QC said: “Be clear from the outset that this is a complex inquiry and it will be expensive.”

One of Scotland’s largest inquiries, investigating C. difficile infections in the Vale of Leven Hospital, cost £10.7 million, while the Penrose inquiry into contaminated blood products cost over £12m.

With estimates based on inquiries elsewhere suggesting there may be more than 50 million pages of evidence to sieve through, a source close to the CAI predicted costs during the hearing’s four-year lifespan will eclipse all that have gone before.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Inquiry launches formal call for evidence

SCOTLAND
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

The Chair of the Inquiry today launched the Inquiry's first formal call for evidence, inviting survivors of abuse to come forward and share their experiences.

Those who suffered abuse as children in residential or foster care and who wish to provide evidence to the Inquiry are being asked to make contact by email, post or, from Tuesday 29 March, through a dedicated Freephone number, 0800 0929 300.

Survivors who provide evidence in this way will be known as “applicants”. The description “applicants” has been chosen because these are survivors who have applied to assist the Inquiry. The first private evidence gathering meetings will take place from late April.

Applicants will initially have the opportunity to have their evidence heard in private and recorded anonymously by experienced and specially trained lawyers. There will also be public hearings and names can be public if applicants want them to. Rules providing for applications for anonymity have also been published on the Inquiry’s website.

The Inquiry expects public hearings to begin in November 2016, with the first looking at the current provision of psychological support for abuse survivors in Scotland.

Ms O’Brien aims to provide an interim report on the first public hearings next year as that may enable the Inquiry to make recommendations that could improve the situation for survivors before publication of the Inquiry’s final report. It is likely that interim reports will be published for subsequent public hearings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Chair of Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry launches call for evidence and says probe aims to protect children yet to be born

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

BY PAUL WARD

SUSAN O'Brien QC says investigation will address seven decades of abuse of children in faith-based organisations, children's homes, foster care, long-term hospital care and boarding schools.

THE inquiry into the abuse of children in care is not just to provide answers for survivors but to protect "some Scottish children yet to be born", its chair said as she launched a call for evidence.

Susan O'Brien QC described the scale of the inquiry as "huge" as it aims to look over seven decades of abuse of children in faith-based organisations, children's homes, foster care, long-term hospital care and boarding schools.

Some elderly and ill witnesses have started giving evidence to the inquiry team but a formal call for evidence was launched in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Those who wish to provide evidence are being asked to make contact by email, post or through a dedicated freephone number - 0800 0929 300 - from March 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Archdiocese of Seattle settles 8 clergy abuse cases

WASHINGTON
KIRO

SEATTLE —
The Archdiocese of Seattle announced Wednesday a settlement has been reached with eight women sexually abused as children by Michael Cody, a priest who served in parishes in Whatcom & Skagit counties between 1968 and 1974.

The eight cases were settled for $9.1 million.

From Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle >>

“I deeply regret the abuse by Michael Cody against these victims and I hope this monetary settlement, and the counseling we have provided them, will bring healing and give them a measure of closure so they can move forward. It also is my hope that these individuals will accept my offer to meet with me so I can offer them my personal apology.”

Cody, now deceased, was ordained in 1958 and has not served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Seattle since 1979. He was a parish priest throughout Western Washington.

The women who participated in the settlement were abused while Cody served at the following parishes:

St. Charles Parish, Burlington;
Sacred Heart Parish, La Conner;
St. Paul Mission, Swinomish; and,
The Church of the Assumption, Bellingham.

Anyone with knowledge of sexual abuse or misconduct by a member of the clergy is asked to call the hotline at 1-800-446-7762.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Seattle Archdiocese settles 8 abuse cases for $9 million

WASHINGTON
KOMO

SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Archdiocese will pay just over $9 million to eight women who were sexually abused as children by a former priest in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

The abuse occurred between 1968 and 1974 at churches in Burlington, La Conner, Swinomish and Bellingham, according to a news release from the archdiocese.

Lawyers for the women said in a news release Wednesday they hope the resolution will be part of the healing process.

"I feel privileged to have helped represent these women and to have experienced their courage and determination," attorney Rand Jack of Bellingham said. "They have stood up for themselves and other victims of sexual abuse."

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain said in a statement Wednesday he deeply regrets the abuse by Michael Cody, a former priest who died last year.

"Our first priority is the protection of children and healing for past victims," Sartain said. "It is my firm commitment to build on the good efforts of the past and continue to take steps that will truly help victims of clergy sexual abuse to heal. This $9 million settlement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to acknowledge and address the devastating impact of clergy sexual abuse, and to encourage victims to come forward."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Utah Supreme Court gives OK for ex-FLDS woman to sue UEP trust

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By ERIN ALBERTY | The Salt Lake Tribune

The Utah Supreme Court on Wednesday said a polygamous sect's charitable trust can be held liable for Warren Jeffs' role in forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry.

The ruling sends the case back to a lower court where the former child bride, Elissa Wall, may seek up to $40 million.

"As trustee ... Jeffs was called upon to administer the trust in accordance with the doctrines and principles of the FLDS church. Those doctrines and principles, according to [Wall's] allegations and evidence in the record, included the arrangement of plural, underage marriages," Wednesday's ruling states. "Thus, as abhorrent and troubling as this may appear to be, there is a basis in the record for the conclusion that Jeffs' acts were aimed in part at advancing the interests of the trust as he perceived them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

'It's disgusting': Church spends more to restore church than compensate victims of paedophile priests

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 24, 2016

Cameron Houston and Chris Vedelago

A Bayside church linked to historical clerical abuse and destroyed by an arsonist last year will be rebuilt at an estimated cost of $20 million – almost double the total compensation paid by the Archdiocese of Melbourne to 326 victims of paedophile priests.

The decision to restore St James Church in Gardenvale to its former glory has incensed victims of Father Ronald Pickering, who preyed on more than a dozen boys while he served at the church from 1978 to 1993 before fleeing to Britain.

A property claims manager at Catholic Church Insurance, Effie Valavanis confirmed the restoration of the 123-year-old church was the "largest single property claim in CCI history".

The project to rebuild the heritage-listed church will include the replacement of the choir loft, organ, stained glass windows and mosaics all destroyed by the deliberately lit fire days before Easter last year.

"It's disgusting they want to rebuild this place after what happened," said one of Pickering's victims, who received an ex gratia payment $50,000 from the Melbourne archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Former fugitive pastor hit with 22 more charges in Henderson

NEVADA
Clay Center Dispatch

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — A former Las Vegas-area church pastor already convicted and facing life in prison for sexually assaulting teenage girls in his congregation appeared in court on more charges Wednesday in a similar but new case in Henderson.

Otis Holland remained in custody while Justice of the Peace David Gibson scheduled an April 25 preliminary hearing on 22 felony charges including child sexual assault, lewdness, battery and use of a minor in pornography.

Prosecutor Robert Langford said the new case involves five victims.

Holland, 59, faces sentencing April 6 in Clark County District Court after a jury found him guilty in January of 15 similar charges of child sexual assault and lewdness, but also including conspiracy to destroy evidence and bribing a witness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Ohio Ruling Expected on Capping Awards for Juvenile Sexual Abuse Victims

OHIO
Public News Service

March 24, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An Ohio Supreme Court decision is expected soon that could impact the amount of financial compensation child sexual abuse victims can receive.

Jessica Simpkins was raped at the age of 15 by her church pastor – a man hired by Grace Brethren Church in Sunbury despite the knowledge that he had previously sexually abused two girls.

In a civil suit, a jury awarded Simpkins $3.5 million for pain and suffering, but the amount was reduced to $250,000 due to a state law that caps damages.

She says she's being re-victimized and took the case to the Ohio Supreme Court.

"I just feel like they're protecting the church,” she states. “When they had the accusations made against him previous, if they wouldn't have let him start this church, it would never have happened. "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Ohio seminary’s rector wants tougher admissions policy

OHIO
Catholic Philly

BY TIM PUET
Catholic News Service

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNS) — The rector-president of the Pontifical College Josephinum is proposing changes in its admission process in an effort to verify the integrity of applications from those desiring to enter the seminary.

Msgr. Christopher Schreck announced the proposals publicly March 21. He had made the suggestions five days earlier in a memorandum to trustees and officials of the college and to bishops and vocations directors of the many dioceses across the nation who send students to the Josephinum, the only seminary outside of Italy with pontifical status.

The memorandum includes three proposals: creation of a national database for seminary applicants; hiring private investigators to review applications; and two in-person, pre-admission interviews of applicants by college admissions committee members and the college’s director of psychological evaluation and counseling.

The database was proposed several weeks ago by Msgr. Schreck to the executive director of the U.S, Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated life and Vocations. It would track all formal applications to U.S. dioceses, seminaries and religious orders and list the status of such applications as being either admitted, deferred, rejected or withdrawn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

French cardinal apologies to sex abuse victims

FRANCE
RFI

A French cardinal accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests apologised to victims during a mass Wednesday, according to the website of his diocese.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said he was "obliged to assume all the evil committed by some priests and personally apologise for the damage they have caused by sexually abusing children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Is tragedy a laughing matter?

AUSTRALIA
ABC - The World Today

ELEANOR HALL: The Melbourne International Comedy Festival kicked off last night, with some traumatic childhood experiences as the subject matter.

Our reporter Rachael Brown was curious about how you could turn this into comedy. She went along to a show about the royal commission into the church to find out.

(Sounds from Cardinal Sins comedy show).

FRANK HAMPSTER: Corporal punishment, he said "you can get a tap on each hand". You could audibly hear David Ridsdale from the back of the court go, "what about six of the best?" You know?

(Audience laughs)

RACHAEL BROWN: Frank Hampster's memories from the alter are being laid bare on stage

The former altar boy had never spoken about his sexual assault by a Ballarat priest in the ‘80s, until being called before the royal commission last year.

(Sounds from Cardinal Sins comedy show).

FRANK HAMPSTER (singing): I can't recall that, that didn't happen; can you repeat the question once more?

RACHAEL BROWN: How do you find comedy in child sex abuse?

FRANK HAMPSTER: Well comedy was my only means of defence, I was six years old when I was first exposed to, by a person that was a priest in Ballarat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

8 women settle with Seattle Archdiocese for $9.1 million in priest sex-abuse cases

WASHINGTON
Seattle Times

By Jessica Lee
Seattle Times staff reporter

Eight women who sued the Seattle Archdiocese alleging sexual abuse by former priest Michael Cody, a known pedophile, have reached a $9.1 million settlement with church officials, the archdiocese announced Wednesday night.

Cody, who died last year, served in various Catholic parishes in Western Washington during the 1960s and into the late 1970s and preyed on children for years, though church officials knew he was sick, according to documents from what’s known as Cody’s “secret file” in the archdiocese.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain said he hopes the multimillion-dollar settlement helps bring closure to the women and demonstrates the church’s commitment to address “the devastating impact of clergy sexual abuse, and to encourage victims to come forward.”

Of the eight women, Cody sexually abused six of them while he served at St. Charles Parish in Burlington, Skagit County, from 1968 to 1972. He abused the other two while he was assigned to Assumption Parish in Bellingham from 1972 to 1975, according to a statement from the women’s legal team.

“I deeply regret the abuse by Michael Cody against these victims and I hope this monetary settlement, and the counseling we have provided them, will bring healing and give them a measure of closure so they can move forward,” Sartain said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Mount Cashel back in spotlight

CANADA
The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on March 24, 2016

Abuse claims scheduled for month-long trial

Roughly seven decades ago, the Roman Catholic archbishop patted the heads of some boys as he passed them in the hallway. Among them was a St. John’s man who is set to stand up in court in less than two weeks in a case about whether the church had a role in operating the infamous Mount Cashel orphanage.

The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s, no longer represented by its longtime local lawyer, is scheduled to head to court April 4 to fight four test cases — representing about 60 claimants of physical and sexual abuse by some members of the Roman Catholic lay order, the Christian Brothers, dating back to the late 1940s, ’50s and mid-1960s.

The second defendant previously named was the New York-based Christian Brothers Institute Inc., but because the organization declared bankruptcy in 2011, that action was discontinued.

The Roman Catholic Church contends it was not involved in the operation of the orphanage.

The St. John’s man’s childhood memory of the archbishop visiting is of that one occasion. But to him, one of the four people testifying about their own alleged abuse at the hands of the Brothers, the role of the archdiocese was clear in the orphanage’s operation. He recalls there was a Roman Catholic parish priest in residence on the property and he held mass every morning and night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Seattle Archdiocese Will Pay $9.1M To 8 Women Who Alleged Former Priest Michael Cody Sexually Abused Them

WASHINGTON
International Business Times

BY VISHAKHA SONAWANE @VISHAKHANS ON 03/24/16

The Seattle Archdiocese will pay $9.1 million to eight women who said they were sexually abused by a former priest as children, according to reports Wednesday. Michael Cody, who died last year, allegedly abused them between 1968 and 1974 at churches in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain issued a statement saying he regretted Cody’s actions.

“Our first priority is the protection of children and healing for past victims,” Sartain said in the statement, according to the Associated Press (AP). “It is my firm commitment to build on the good efforts of the past and continue to take steps that will truly help victims of clergy sexual abuse to heal. This $9 million settlement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to acknowledge and address the devastating impact of clergy sexual abuse, and to encourage victims to come forward.”

Cody was named in at least one other lawsuit. Last May, the archdiocese agreed to pay $1.2 million to a woman from Skagit County’s Sedro-Woolley city. She had alleged that Cody molested her in late 1960s and early 1970s. According to the evidence showed during a trial, in 1962 the Seattle archbishop had received a letter from a psychiatrist diagnosing Cody as a pedophile who had sexually abused young girls, the AP reported. Cody was then reportedly transferred from King County to Skagit County.

“The evidence regarding Father Cody is overwhelming, and I don't think the archdiocese wants more bad publicity," Michael T. Pfau, a Seattle attorney for the women, reportedly said after the settlement. “The direct involvement of former Archbishop Thomas Connelly in placing this pedophile in parishes with full knowledge of his danger to children is truly disturbing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Under-fire French cardinal 'personally apologises' to sex abuse victims

FRANCE
Yahoo! News

AFP
March 24, 2016

Lyon (AFP) - A French cardinal accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests apologised to victims during a mass on Wednesday, according to the website of his diocese.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, quoting Pope Francis, said he was "obliged to assume all the evil committed by some priests and personally apologise for the damage they have caused by sexually abusing children."

He said he apologised even though he was not in power in the diocese "when the abominable acts took place."

Barbarin said he met Wednesday with priests, deacons and members of the community in the city of Lyon to discuss a case which even prompted the government to weigh in.

Former victims of a priest accused of sexually abusing them 25 years ago claim Barbarin did not report him or remove him from duty when he learned of his past in 2007.

Barbarin has since faced other accusations of failing to remove two other priests who had histories of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

March 23, 2016

Diocese abuse settlement exceeds $21M

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., March 22, 2016

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

ALBUQUERQUE – After weeks of delays, attorneys for the Diocese of Gallup filed their proposed plan of reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Monday.

The Gallup Diocese and other participating parties — insurers and Catholic entities — have agreed to contribute more than $21 million to fund the plan, much of which will go to compensate 57 individuals who filed clergy sex abuse claims. Catholic Mutual will also issue an unknown claims certificate for $1.8 million that will insure any abuse claims that may be filed in the future.

Possible additional claims money from an insurance liquidation case may further boost the plan’s total funding to nearly $24 million.

The diocese’s attorneys filed the plan and disclosure statement at 2 a.m. MST Monday, just hours before a hearing in front of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma. Susan Boswell, the diocese’s lead bankruptcy attorney, had promised Thuma the plan would be on file before Monday’s hearing.

Missing from the proposed plan are any details of the non-monetary terms of the diocese’s settlement agreement with abuse claimants. Non-monetary provisions include commitments by the Diocese of Gallup that can range from public apologies to the public release of abusers’ personnel files.

Boswell, along with James Stang, the legal counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors that represents abuse claimants, told Thuma the non-monetary terms were still being negotiated. Both said they hoped the document would be finalized by Friday.

Funding sources

The following is a list of the participating parties and their financial contributions to the plan of reorganization, beginning with the largest funding source.

Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America and Catholic Relief Insurance Company of America, collectively referred to as Catholic Mutual: $11,550,000. Catholic Mutual’s additional $1.8 million Unknown Claims Certificate will have a maximum term of eight years.

Diocese of Gallup: $3,020,000. The diocese sold a number of parcels of real property in two auctions in September. However, according to plan documents, the auction sale of 64 parcels of land that make up La Vega Estates, located near San Rafael, did not close. The loss of that $38,500 sale took a bite out of the diocese’s total auction profits of $160,660.

To raise significant money for its contribution, the Gallup Diocese will obtain a loan from the Catholic Order of Foresters, to be secured by its Gallup Catholic School and Sacred Heart Retreat property. That loan commitment is in the principal amount of at least $2.3 million.

St. John the Baptist Franciscan Province of Cincinnati: $1,850,000. Prior to the mid-1980s, this Franciscan province provided the majority of Franciscan friars to the Gallup Diocese, including some clergy sex abusers.

New Mexico Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association: $1,850,000. The association provides protection to the Gallup Diocese for insurance policies the diocese had with the now insolvent Home Insurance Company.

Catholic Peoples Foundation: $665,000. This nonprofit is a fundraising organization for the Diocese of Gallup.

St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School: $550,000. This Catholic school and charitable organization became embroiled in a property dispute with the diocese. In exchange for the $550,000 payment, the Gallup Diocese will quit claim the disputed property in Thoreau to St. Bonaventure.

Southwest Indian Foundation: $515,000. This diocesan nonprofit will purchase the Diocese of Gallup’s Catholic Indian Center property and then lease space back to the diocese. According to court documents, the diocese may possibly move all or part of its operations into the CIC property.

Parishes in the Gallup Diocese: $500,000. Local parishes are contributing money to the plan.

Diocese of Phoenix: $300,000. No explanation was provided regarding Phoenix’s participation.

Franciscan Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Albuquerque: $300,000. This province has provided Franciscan friars to the diocese since the mid-1980s.

In addition, the diocese’s plan of reorganization may receive money from the Home Insurance Company Liquidation, subject to approval by the New Hampshire court overseeing the liquidation case.

The Diocese of Gallup is seeking approval for its proposed plan from clergy abuse claimants and U.S. Bankruptcy Court. A follow-up hearing has been scheduled for April 26.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

VA--Victims group discloses a "disturbing letter"

VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims' group discloses a “disturbing letter”
It shows church kept abuse report hidden
Support group blasts Mennonite officials for “secrecy”
SNAP: “Suspected crimes must be reported to police”

WHAT
Holding signs and photos, abuse victims and their supporters will

--disclose a letter showing that church officials hid suspected crimes for a year and a half,
--give a copy of the letter to police, and
--urge anyone who sees, suspects or suffers abusive crimes to tell secular officials, not church officials.

WHEN
Wednesday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Harrisonburg Police Department headquarters, 101 N. Main Street, (corner of W. Elizabeth and N. Main across from the old Post Office), Harrisonburg, VA

WHO
Two members of a support group called SNAP*, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

WHY
On Sunday, officials at Lindale Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg gave congregants a letter about Luke Hartman, a Mennonite church leader and former Eastern Mennonite University vice president who faces charges of soliciting prostitution.

[WHSV]

In the letter, church officials admit that “an abusive relationship . . .was brought to our attention in August 2014” involving a victim “who has been deeply traumatized by Hartman.” They claim they initiated “disciplinary measures” and have been “attempting to hold Luke accountable for his actions.”

Leaders of SNAP believe Lindale pastors and board members “had a civic and moral duty to call police immediately about this report” and “have no business trying to handle alleged crimes quietly and internally.” The group is urging law enforcement to investigate whether church officials broke any laws, especially “their obligation to report suspected violent crimes” to secular officials.

In January, when Hartman was arrested for soliciting prostitution, SNAP urged others who might have seen, suspected or suffered any misdeeds by him to come forward. The group has since heard from others who he hurt. Hartman was caught in a sting operation by Harrisonburg Police Department and Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office.

“We said weeks ago that we believe Eastern Mennonite University, Mennonite Church USA, and Virginia Mennonite Conference officials may have withheld information concerning Hartman’s possible criminal behavior,” said Barbra Graber of Harrisonburg. “Now, tragically, it appears our suspicions may be confirmed. We’re very sad that church superiors apparently gave him continued access to vulnerable students, staff and church members for more than a year.”

“We urge Mennonite church institutions and agencies to use every possible means to aggressively seek out and support victims, witnesses and whistleblowers in reporting to a trained law professional or independent agency what they suspect or know about violent misconduct of any Mennonite church worker, ordained or lay,” said David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP. “It’s not enough to prosecute Hartman. Those who conceal reported crimes – as well as those who commit them – must be investigated and, if possible, pursued.”

SNAP is also upset that the Lindale church officials’ letter to congregants made no mention at all of police and prosecutors. “They didn’t call law enforcement officials in 2014 or 2015 and even now, aren’t urging others to call law enforcement,” said Graber. “It’s is incredibly irresponsible, risky and arrogant for Lindale’s pastoral staff and board of elders to try to handle this ‘in house.’ A seminary degree does not train one to conduct criminal investigations.”

*Even though “Priests” is in its title, SNAP, The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) is open to persons of faith or no faith who were sexually violated by anyone inside or outside a faith community. SNAP is the world’s oldest and largest support group for sexual abuse survivors and their loved ones. It was founded by victims of Catholic priests in 1988 and now has more than 21,000 members in over 79 countries. See the Oscar winning Best Picture, “Spotlight,” about SNAP’s role in helping to uncover the clergy abuse crisis in Boston.

CONTACT: Barbra Graber 540-214-8874, mennonite@SNAPnetwork.org, David Clohessy 314 645 5915 home, 314 566 9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Welsh churches unite in forum to safeguard children and vulnerable adults

WALES
Anglican Communion News Service

[ACNS] The Church in Wales has joined with other Christian denominations in the country as well as expert and survivor organisations in a new forum to safeguard children and vulnerable adults and to ensure that all churches in Wales are safe places for them.

The Welsh Christian Safeguarding Forum brings together the safeguarding officers from churches throughout Wales and has been established to share and develop best practice and to give Christian organisations a stronger voice on safeguarding issues in Wales.

In addition to the churches’ safeguarding officers, the forum includes representatives from the group Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MASCAS), as well as the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS). A CCPAS Associate, Simon Plant, will chair the new forum.

“The Church in Wales is doing all it can to ensure churches are safe places for children and all vulnerable people and we welcome the Forum as a chance to strengthen our work and share good practice with other denominations – particularly in how we respond to survivors of abuse,” the Church in Wales’ head of safeguarding, Elaine Cloke, said, “All the safeguarding officers have shown enthusiasm and commitment to the Forum and we all hope it will give us a stronger voice to lobby the Welsh Government on those areas of safeguarding which are devolved – the quantity and complexity of which have increased rapidly over the past few years.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Pedophile priest, Peter Ball, was disgraced out of the church of England

UNITED KINGDOM
360nobs

The pedophile priest was jailed for thirty-two months last year after he admitted to sexually abusing eighteen teenagers and young men over 15 years.

Peter Ball formerly served as the Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester when he perpetuated the acts. He also duped the congregation he was serving in after impersonating his identical twin brother.

Recent investigations reveal that in 1990’s when he served as a bishop in Cornwall, he might have led services as Michael Ball, a bishop in Cornwall in the 1990’s.

The 83 year-old traveled across the country conducting services under the guise of his identical twin brother Micheal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Víctima de Karadima criticó rol de Iglesia a un año de llegada de Barros a Osorno

CHILE
Cooperativa

[A year after the arrival of Bishop Juan Barros to Osorno, one of the complainants in the case of priest Fernando Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz , again criticized the role of the Church during this period. Cruz said the church still does not listen to people although the church produced the problem. He added that the pope is a sadness because he doesn't care what has happened in Osorno.]

A un año de la llegada del obispo Juan Barros a Osorno, uno de los querellantes del caso Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz, criticó nuevamente el rol de la Iglesia durante este período.

Cruz manifestó que "me parece tremendo que la Iglesia no escuche, que la Iglesia haya producido este problema y que tengan a un obispo impuesto, encubridor comprobado, liderando a una diócesis que no se lo merece".

"El papa es una tristeza, porque francamente no le importa. Le dijo tonta, izquierdista o zurda a la gente de Osorno, jamás ha pedido perdón. Entonces en el fondo se ríen de nosotros", añadió.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Melbourne churches prepare for arson attacks

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Archidiocese of Melbourne have alerted churches linked to paedophile priests to be cautious of potential arson attacks over Easter.

The warnings come after a fire at a Balwyn church earlier this month and three other church fires around the same time last year.

Shane Healy, spokesman of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne was urged by the Vicar General to issue a wide message to all churches liked to paedophile priests to be vigilant towards possible attacks.

More than half a dozen churches have been attacked by arsonists over the past 13 months, many of them linked to child-abusing priests.

The latest, St Bede's in Balwyn North two weeks ago, was connected to paedophile Terrence Pidoto, who served as an assistant priest in the early 1970s and was jailed for seven years in 2007 for abusing four boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Assignment Record – Rev. Robert J. Kelly

PENNSYLVANIA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Robert J. Kelly was ordained for the Altoona-Johnstown PA diocese in 1974. He assisted at parishes in State College, Johnstown, Geistown, Altoona, Bellwood, and Gallitzen, and was pastor in Lockhaven and Philipsburg. He spent several years at the North American College in Rome and, for a short time, was a prison chaplain. In 1993 a man reported to the diocese that Kelly sexually abused him from ages 12 to 14 during 1975-77, when Kelly was assigned to Our Lady of Victory in State College. Kelly's accuser said the priest offered him alcohol, and that the abuse occurred at the parish, on drives to the mountains, and at a movie theater. Kelly was quietly sent by Bishop Adamec to treatment then given another parish assignment. He was also sent to a Charleston SC convent as chaplain in around 1993-94. Per the PA Attorney General's March 2016 Grand Jury Report, Kelly also attempted sexual advances on a 14-year-old boy in 1978. The Grand Jury called "horrifying" the fact that Adamec returned Kelly to parish ministry. By 1994 Kelly was the diocese's Director of the Society for the Propogation of the Faith and Holy Childhood Association and in 1999 he was named pastor of SS Peter and Paul in Philipsburg; he remained in both positions until his removal in February 2015 by Bishop Bartchak during a review of previous allegations.

Ordained: 1974

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Twin Cities Priest Removed from Ministry

MINNESOTA
KSTP

A Twin Cities priest has been removed from the ministry because of a child sex abuse case in Pennsylvania.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced Rev. Bradley Baldwin of the Church of St. Gerard in Brooklyn Park is on a leave of absence.

Baldwin hasn't been charged in the Pennsylvania case, but his name does appear in documents of the investigation.

The church is working to clarify his role in supervising a friar who molested more than 100 kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Child abuse victims feel ‘betrayed’ by Scottish Government plans

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

CHRIS MARSHALL
Tuesday 22 March 2016

SURVIVORS of historical child abuse say they feel “betrayed” by the Scottish Government over plans to support victims of attacks dating back more than 50 years.

Campaigners met with education secretary Angela Constance on Monday to push for compensation for those abused earlier than 1964.

The Scottish Government plans to lift the three-year time bar which currently prevents survivors taking civil actions against their alleged abusers.

But the move would not apply to pre-1964 cases, meaning many older survivors would be unable to receive compensation or justice for what happened to them.

Following Monday’s meeting, the group In-Care Abuse Survivors (Incas) expressed disappointment at a Scottish Government offer to provide discretionary payments from a £13.5 million support fund, which is also funding a number of different initiatives.

Spokesman Alan Draper said the education secretary had “failed miserably” in her promise that pre-1964 survivors would be able to secure compensation equal to those able to take action through the courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Abuse inquiry progresses against backdrop of anger

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith / Tuesday 22 March 2016

Education secretary Angela Constance has had another ill-tempered meeting with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, as the Scottish Government's inquiry into historic abuse prepares to take another step forward.

The chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, Susan O' Brien QC will today [Weds] launch her first formal call for evidence.

However the latest step in the inquiry, which will take four years and cost an unknown amount, takes place against an acrimonious backdrop of concerns from some abuse survivors about its scope.

Meanwhile, the unrelated legal issue of whether people can take civil action against the institutions or individuals who abused them is not part of the inquiry but is also causing tension.

Survivor group representatives met with Angela Constance on Monday, calling for the government to honour a commitment to seek an equable solution for any victim who was abused prior to 1964.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Child abuse inquiry outlines how it will take evidence

SCOTLAND
BBC Scotland

By Reevel Alderson
BBC Scotland's social affairs correspondent

The inquiry into historical allegations of child abuse in Scotland is to outline how it will take evidence.

Chaired by QC Susan O'Brien, it will take four years to investigate the extent of abuse of children in care, and identify any systemic failures.

But many survivors have continued to be critical of its terms of reference, which they have said prevents thousand of victims from giving evidence.

The Scottish government said the inquiry was the widest it had set up.

Although the inquiry is due to launch its formal call for evidence, it has already heard from a small number of seriously ill or very elderly survivors.

At the launch in Glasgow, it will invite other victims to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Justice flawed for kids, disabled: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Annette Blackwell - AAP on March 23, 2016

A "one size fits all" approach to cross-examining child sex abuse victims can make their evidence seem unreliable in criminal trials, an inquiry has been told.

The director of the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute, Terese Henning, told the sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday legal requirements of the rules of evidence could impose barriers for child witnesses, including those with disabilities, and mean they are stereotyped as unreliable.

Children can be worn down by cross-examination and might agree with questions when they don't understand them, Ms Henning said.

"So the nature of the questioning may produce unreliable evidence from them when they are in fact reliable witnesses," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

NY Archdiocese removes Hudson Valley priest

NEW YORK
Washington Times

By - Associated Press - Wednesday, March 23, 2016

RHINEBECK, N.Y. (AP) - A longtime priest from the Hudson Valley has been removed from the clergy following an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse from decades ago.

The Archdiocese of New York says allegations of sexual abuse made last year against Peter Kihm have been found to be “credible” by both law enforcement and the Archdiocesan Review Board.

Kihm last served as a priest at the Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck. He was suspended and removed as priest there in January 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Spotlight on journalism at UD

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Saranac Hale Spencer, The News Journal

March 22, 2016

Walter Robinson, who led the Boston Globe's investigative team that broke the story about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, has been getting emails from new victims every week since the movie “Spotlight” came out in November.

He's learned that movies can sometimes have more impact than the written word, Robinson said in a speech he gave at the University of Delaware’s Mitchell Hall on Tuesday night about the movie that dramatized the paper's investigation.

That's a humbling admission for someone who has worked in newspapers his whole life. Robinson, a tall, white-haired man who speaks with a thick New England accent, is 70 and is now an editor-at-large for the Globe.

The reaction to the initial stories was huge, he said, noting the end of the movie depicted what actually happened when the reporters came in to work and were inundated with phone calls from victims who wanted to tell their stories. The Globe heard from 300 victims and they interviewed every one of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Melbourne's Xavier College renames sports hall following child abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Tuesday 22 March 2016

The name of a high-profile Melbourne Jesuit is being removed from a sports complex at the prestigious Xavier College after child abuse allegations.

Four former Xavier College students have made complaints about inappropriate touching during interviews with the late Father Patrick “Paddy” Stephenson, the college says.

The school believes the complaints could be based on misunderstandings but college rector Father Chris Middleton said historical abuse at the college meant it was appropriate to rename the Stephenson centre at the Kew campus as the Xavier sports centre.

The school does not believe the complaints against Stephenson have been substantiated but have not dismissed the allegations as wrong, he said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The Jesuits believe that, on the available evidence, there is room for genuine misunderstanding as to his intentions, as is explicitly acknowledged by one complainant.

“This being said, given that abuse has occurred at Xavier, and that many victims of abuse suffered further at the hands of institutions such as the church and the Jesuits by not being believed and/or responded to, we accept that it is appropriate to change the name of the Stephenson centre.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Preventing crime in the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
The Observer

Raymond Ramirez | Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Investigating theft and other irregularities in corporations often starts with an analytical device known as the fraud triangle. This method examines three classic elements of criminal activity: opportunity, pressure/motivation and rationalization. Corporations typically claim that opportunity is the element over which they have the most control. Accordingly, companies focus on limiting opportunities for crime with measures like heightened security.

Businesses often assume pressure and motivation are beyond their control and characterize financial pressures, such as high medical bills, as personal matters. Individual rationalizations may include a bonus that was expected but not received or payback for a poor work environment. In fact, the focus on aggressive short-term earnings targets may create the very pressure that could drive people to consider criminal options.

Companies that operate under realistic market conditions, emphasizing sustainable growth and employee well-being, reduce pressures that skew behavior towards crime. Competent and trusted companies apply lessons learned to detect illegal behaviors, shut them down in their early stages and implement additional controls and structural changes to limit further damage.

The pedophile priest scandals, as detailed in the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” investigation, and the recent grand jury report on the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, illustrate extreme examples of the fraud triangle run amok. In the Altoona-Johnstown cases, more than 50 priests and other Church employees molested hundreds of children over four decades in the central Pennsylvania diocese. In many cases, their superiors knew of the abuses but did not remove the priests or notify law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Pervert music teacher Peter Dollimore spared jail: Recorder reduces curfew so paedophile can continue choir practice

UNITED KINGDOM
Maldon Standard

Adam Cornell, Senior Reporter

A MUSIC teacher who downloaded and distributed the most vile and explicit videos of children being sexually abused has avoided jail.

Church organist Peter Dollimore spent his public life performing at concerts, teaching the piano, including to children, and helping at art festivals in north Essex.

In private, former IT engineer Dollimore, 63, used his computer skills to download extreme pornographic movies of girls as young as 10 and share them in paedophile chat rooms.

Dollimore, of Church Road, West Mersea, admitted several counts of downloading images and one count of sharing images and movies and was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday.

Recorder Richard Christie QC said he could have jailed Dollimore but sending him on an internet sex offender treatment programme would be more effective.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Pittsburgh Diocese Offers Apology To Those Hurt By The Church

PENNSYLVANIA
WESA

[audio]

By VIRGINIA ALVINO

The leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said Monday the church is human and wants to apologize for any pain its leaders may have caused.

Bishop David Zubik held a special Service of Apology at St. Paul's Cathedral in Oakland open to anyone who may have experienced emotional or physical pain from the church.

90.5 WESA's Virginia Alvino talked to Larkin Page-Jacobs about the service's message and why some sexual abuse victims find it troubling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Lynn Accuses DA’s Appeal of Playing to Emotions, Not Facts

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Legal Intelligencer

Gina Passarella, The Legal Intelligencer
March 22, 2016

Monsignor William Lynn, whose conviction for endangering the welfare of children molested by other priests was vacated last year, attacked in court papers Tuesday the Philadelphia District Attorney's appeal of the reversal as "breathtakingly dishonest."

Lynn said in his answer in opposition to District Attorney R. Seth Williams' petition for appeal to the state Supreme Court that the appeal hinged on two "inaccurate" and "unproven" allegations: that one of the abusive priests was diagnosed as a pedophile and that Lynn reassigned that priest as part of scheme of concealment. Lynn argued the record shows the priest in question was never diagnosed as a pedophile and that Lynn had no power to reassign the priest.

Lynn's conviction was overturned in December in a nonprecedential opinion from the Superior Court that found the trial court abused its discretion by allowing evidence of abusive conduct of 21 priests Lynn had never been involved with. The Superior Court ordered a new trial and the District Attorney's Office appealed. Lynn said in his filing Tuesday that the District Attorney's Office was trying to overcome the Superior Court's ruling on the evidence by painting the case as "high-profile" and based on emotion.

"The level of unprofessionalism is alarming and one can only conclude that petitioner's efforts are not directed toward seeking a petition consistent with the Rules of Appellate Procedure, but to drive this court to a decision grounded in emotion," Lynn said in his brief, filed by his attorney, Thomas Bergstrom of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Statement Regarding Rev. Bradley Baldwin, TOR

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

From Archbishop Bernard Hebda

Since learning one week ago that the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had indicted three former provincial ministers of the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis (TOR), stemming from their supervision of a Friar in that community who had been accused of committing the sexual abuse of minors, the Archdiocese has been in consultation with the Province. Some of those discussions have focused on Rev. Bradley Baldwin, TOR, a member of that Order and pastor of the Church of Saint Gerard in Brooklyn Park.

Earlier today we were notified that Rev. Bradley Baldwin had accepted his Provincial Superior’s request that he take a leave of absence from ministry (see the following statement from Very Rev. Patrick Quinn, TOR, Minister Provincial) pending further clarification of his level of supervision concerning the Friar in question. While the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had not charged Fr. Baldwin, his name appeared in the documents of the Grand Jury investigation as having played, in a previous assignment, some intermediary role in facilitating communication between Provincial leadership and the Friar in question. It seems to us that the parameters of that role are not clear from the documentation and need to be further clarified and I have asked for a preliminary investigation to be commenced.

Father Baldwin had served in parish ministry in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis from 1994 to 2000 and then again from 2010 to present. The Archdiocese has no record of any allegations of misconduct against him and I am unaware of anything in his file that would suggest that his ministry here has been anything less than exemplary.

Until the investigation is concluded, a temporary administrator will be appointed to cover administrative duties at Saint Gerard and to assist with finding priests to help with Masses and the sacramental needs of the parish.

Statement from Very Rev. Patrick Quinn, TOR, Minister Provincial

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Brooklyn Park priest on leave pending Pennsylvania investigation

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Pamela Miller Star Tribune MARCH 22, 2016

A Franciscan priest who serves a Catholic church in Brooklyn Park has taken a leave pending an investigation in Pennsylvania of an alleged cover-up of sexual abuse of minors by a brother in his order.

The Rev. Bradley Baldwin, priest of the Church of St. Gerard, accepted a request Tuesday to take the leave from his order, the Franciscan Friars, according to a news release from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The leave will be in effect “pending further clarification of his level of supervision concerning” Brother Stephen Baker, who killed himself in 2013 after news reports that he sexually abused scores of boys in the 1980s, interim Archbishop Bernard Hebda wrote in a notice posted on the St. Gerard’s website.

It’s the second known Minnesota connection to the Baker case. Last week, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office charged the Rev. Anthony Criscitelli, 61, most recently of the Church of St. Bridget in north Minneapolis, with failing to properly supervise Baker despite knowing of the allegations against him. Two other members of the order also were charged with the same counts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

A film that dares to suggest that paedophile priests may be capable of holiness

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Damian Thompson

A feature film about priests who abuse children is being released on 25 March. Which happens to be Good Friday.

Geddit? The sacrifice of the innocents. A conspiracy of religious hierarchs. Hand-washing by the secular authorities. I’m sure I can think of some more analogies if you give me time, but that’s enough to be going on with. Enough, certainly, for the distributors to boast that the movie is ‘controversially slated to be released on Easter [sic] Good Friday’.

As publicity stunts go, this isn’t subtle. But the film is. The Club, directed by the Chilean Pablo Larraín, sets out to perplex us from the first frame until the last.

It’s one of the finest films I’ve seen for years: a masterpiece of ambiguity that dares to suggest that the abuse of children by priests, though always morally repugnant, is psychologically and socially complex. If it wasn’t, the Church would have found a way to extinguish this fire long ago. As it is, nothing seems to work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

March 22, 2016

What will it take for female victims of sexual abuse to be believed? Sexual abuse and the court of public opinion

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Temima G. Shulman
Award winning and seasoned writer

The Center for Integrity Wisdom held its annual board meeting this week, by invitation only. It is a good bet that leading some of the sessions was the Center’s master spiritual teacher, Marc Gafni.

Gafni, 55, has created a following in post-modern spirituality, called the Unique Self, where he offers the wisdom of many faiths and philosophies in order for each person to access their unique self.

But he has also created a following of a different sort: Alleged sexual abuse victims by the tens, over three decades’ worth, from different ends of the globe, who want to see justice done. Gafni, also known as Mordechai Gafni, help found the California-based CIW, and continues to garner support for himself and the organization from the likes of John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, and media personality Arianna Huffington.

The alleged victims, who live in the US and Israel, seem to have two common denominators: They are female and have spoken up after the statute of limitations expired on their individual cases against Gafni. Some allege abuse when they were as young as 13. Their story reappears in the media every few years, usually following a story about a new enterprise of Gafni’s or a new alleged victim speaking out. Some stories seem to attest to his brilliance and charisma, and others to his ability to defy justice and continue life with a new alibi. And just as quickly as the stories appear, and garner an endless stream of responses, they die fast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Syracuse suspect in baby porn case was All Saints Elementary employee

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By Patrick Lohmann | plohmann@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The 23-year-old woman who is accused of producing child pornography with an infant is an employee at a Syracuse elementary school.

School officials have declined to answer any questions about her employment or background.

Emily Oberst of Syracuse is accused of helping Jason Kopp, 40, of Liverpool, to sexually exploit a baby girl, according to federal prosecutors.

Oberst also allegedly sent explicit photos of the child to Kopp, including one labeled "4 John March 16". John was the pseudonym of an investigator who authorities say caught Oberst and Kopp.

Oberst lists her employment on Facebook as being with an after-school program at All Saints Elementary School, and her mother, Janet, describes having Emily volunteer at the school from the age of 15 to 19, according to biographies on the school's website.

School officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment Monday and asked a Syracuse.com reporter to leave the premises. Principal Rosalie Pollman said through an aide that she was "with students" all day Monday and could not comment. ...

All Saints is a pre-kindergarten to sixth-grade independent school that opened in September 2006. It's located in rented space in the former St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic School, at 112 S. Wilbur Ave., near West Fayette Street.

The school was established after the Catholic Diocese closed St. Patrick's School, and parents worked to establish the All Saints school. It offers a "Catholic curriculum" but cannot label itself a Catholic school without the blessing of a local bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

DA looks into allegations of possible sex abuse at All Saints Elementary amid baby porn case

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By Douglass Dowty | ddowty@syracuse.com

Syracuse, NY -- The Onondaga County District Attorney's Office is probing whether any students at All Saints Elementary School were physically abused, an official confirmed.

Their probe comes amid a federal child pornography case against school aide Emily Oberst, 23, who was fired Monday after being charged with sexually exploiting a 16-month-old girl.

Oberst, of Syracuse, is accused of helping Jason Kopp, 40, of Liverpool, sexually exploit the young girl for pornography.

A letter sent to All Saints parents Monday warned that students might also be victims.

"Unfortunately, this morning in a meeting with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we learned that there may be additional victims of Miss Oberst's criminal activity, including students at All Saints," the school's letter read. ...

All Saints is housed in an old parochial school building at 112 Wilbur Ave., but is not sanctioned by the Syracuse Catholic Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

All Saints principal: FBI may contact parents about photos

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By Patrick Lohmann | plohmann@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The principal of All Saints Elementary said in a statement Tuesday that the FBI may be contacting parents of students regarding photos that could be connected with a federal investigation into a part-time aide at the school.

Principal Rosalie Pollman also said she is praying for the parents of the aide, Emily Oberst, "who are being told of other crimes their daughter has (allegedly) committed."

Oberst, who was fired by the school, was arrested over the weekend for allegedly allowing a 40-year-old man, Jason Kopp, to exploit a 16-month-old girl. Oberst, 23, of Syracuse, and Kopp, of Liverpool, were charged this weekend with sexual exploitation of a child and distribution of child pornography.

Pollman would not say anything further about what the photos were or what they might have depicted or what "other crimes" Oberst may have committed. She said she could not comment because of an ongoing investigation and stressed that she was speaking as an individual and not on behalf of the elementary school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Shock, sadness, anger: All Saints Elementary School parent reacts to child porn case

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By Samantha House | shouse@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Shocked. Sickened. Saddened.

That's how Michael Collins and his wife felt when they heard a teacher's aide at their son's school, All Saints Elementary School, was accused of sexually exploiting a baby.

When they learned the FBI was investigating whether Emily Oberst had victimized students, their disgust turned to fear.

"You hurt for the girl, the victim. That's where your heart goes," Collins, of Westvale, said Tuesday. "And then you're also angry because that person happened to work with your child very closely."

Oberst, 23, of Syracuse, and Jason Kopp, 40, of Liverpool, were charged this weekend with sexually exploiting a baby girl and sharing photographs of the abuse on an online messaging app. The child pornography was shared with an undercover federal officer on Kik, according to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Oberst was fired after her arrest. She and Kopp are in the Onondaga County Justice Center without bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

Syracuse All Saints Elementary warns students may have been victims in federal child-porn case

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By Patrick Lohmann | plohmann@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, NY -- Parents of students at All Saints Elementary School were told late Monday that their students may have been victims of "criminal activity" allegedly committed by an employee recently charged in a child pornography case.

The letter, which was obtained by Syracuse.com, said the FBI told staff Monday morning that "there may be additional victims of Miss (Emily) Oberst's criminal activity, including students at All Saints" and that some parents may be contacted by the FBI. Oberst was also fired "effective immediately," the letter said.

Oberst was charged over the weekend for allegedly allowing a 40-year-old man to sexually exploit a 16-month-old child. It was later learned she worked at the elementary school and began volunteering there beginning at age 15. Her mother is also a teacher at the school, according to the school's website.

School officials declined to comment despite repeated requests Monday, and the letter was the first contact parents had after news of Oberst's arrest became public on Saturday.

The letter said officials could not confirm the identities or the number of students who may be involved.

The full text of the letter is below.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

Parents waiting to see if their children are victims in sex abuse case

NEW YORK
CNY Central

BY LAURA HAND TUESDAY, MARCH 22ND 2016

SYRACUSE, N.Y. --- Parents are anxiously waiting to hear if their children were targeted as victims, by a now-fired aide at All Saints School on Tipperary Hill. This, as the principal tells us she's concerned about the future of the school, in light of the criminal case.

A school aide, 23 year old Emily Oberst, from Syracuse was arrested last week for trading pictures on the Kik phone app with 40 year old Jason Kopp, from Liverpool. The criminal complaint filed in Federal Court says Kopp also shared pictures with an officer of the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which began the investigation. Both Oberst and Kopp are being held at Syracuse's Justice Center with no bail.

The school's board sent a notice to parents, that Oberst has been terminated, and also advised that the FBI is investigating whether there are additional victims, including students at All Saints.

An outreach worker from McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy spent time at the school on Tuesday. Maureen Foran-Mocete tells us the agency has lots of resources, including information, counseling and reading lists, both on-line and in person, to help in abuse cases. She says 90% of such cases involve people the victim knows, and will sometimes try to protect. She also offers strategies for parents, to talk to their children about what is going on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Msgr. Lynn fights retrial appeal as 'breathtakingly dishonest'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

by Justine McDaniel, STAFF WRITER

Lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn have asked the state Supreme Court to reject prosecutors' appeal of a court decision granting Lynn a new trial, calling the request "breathtakingly dishonest."

In court documents filed Tuesday, lawyers for Lynn, who was granted a new trial in December after being convicted for his role in supervising pedophile Catholic priests, contend that there are no grounds for appeal under state rules.

A Superior Court panel overturned Lynn's conviction and granted a new trial after finding that evidence about priests not involved in Lynn's case swayed the jury.

In its petition, filed less than two weeks ago, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office argued that the jury needed to hear historical evidence of child-abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

But Lynn's attorney, Thomas A. Bergstrom, argued that the case does not meet the general standards for appeals because the Superior Court's decision was an unpublished opinion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

State high court asked to reject appeal in priest abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Washington Times

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Attorneys for a Roman Catholic church official are asking the state Supreme Court to reject prosecutors’ appeal of a decision granting him a new trial.

Monsignor William Lynn’s attorneys on Tuesday called the request “breathtakingly dishonest,” saying there were no grounds for an appeal under state rules, The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1pHmvLC) reported.

Lynn was the first U.S. church official charged for keeping accused priests on the job. A Philadelphia jury found in 2012 that he endangered an altar boy by sending a known pedophile priest to the boy’s parish in the late 1990s. The priest was at the top of a list of known or suspected predators that Lynn prepared while he was secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, a post he held from 1992 to 2004.

The Superior Court has twice thrown out the conviction after finding that Lynn, 65, was wrongly charged or did not get a fair trial.

The Philadelphia district attorney’s office argued in its appeal to the state’s highest court that jurors needed to hear historical evidence of child abuse in the archdiocese. But defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom accused prosecutors of using emotions and the case’s high profile to persuade the court to hear a “passion-based” appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

OH--Catholic seminary makes contradictory claims

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Statement by Judy Jones, SNAP associate Midwest director 636 433 2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com

Columbus Catholic officials seem to be blaming seminarian Joel Wright for fooling them. This seems like a convenience dodge.

Catholic officials want to have their cake and eat it too. They claim they did everything right with Joel Wright. (“Due diligence was carried out,” they claim.) But they also claim they’re proposing possible changes in the future. It’s hard to square these two contradictory claims.

It’s also worth noting that school officials can’t even bring themselves to mentioned Joel Wright by name in their news release. That’s not encouraging.

All the policies, protocols, procedures and pledges aside, the simple fact is that for several reasons, the pressure on Catholic officials to attract and keep seminarians – even sexually troubled ones – is greater than ever and the “costs” or penalties of making risky choices are less than ever. So we strongly believe that at Catholic seminaries across the world, sexually troubled men like Wright will continue to be accepted, child sex crimes will continue to happen and cover ups of those crimes will happen too.

But what we know for sure is that Catholic officials – in Vermont, Ohio and Kentucky – should be doing aggressive outreach to find and help others who

--might be able to help prosecutors convict Wright and

--might have been hurt by Wright and are suffering in shame, silence and self blame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Josephinum hoping to add stricter screening process of applicants

OHIO
NBC4i

WORTHINGTON, OH (WCMH)– Leaders at the Pontifical College Josephinum say they hope to have new admissions screening procedures in place in time for the 2016-2017 school year. The proposed changes come two months after a former Josephenium seminarian was arrested on federal charges that he was attempting to travel to Mexico to rape young girls.

At a morning news conference, Father John Allen, Vice President for Advancement at the Josephinum said the admissions policy changes, “will enable the Josephinum to add an important level of professional expertise and competence to the selection process and to the admission of future seminarians and ultimately with future priests.”

The proposals include:

-an additional independent background check to review references, records and social media activities of applicants

-the creation of a national database of applications to dioceses and seminaries

-adding a personal interview of all applicants by a member of the Josephinum admissions office and the seminary’s director of psychological services.

Allen said, “We’re taking the Josephinum admissions process to a higher level.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Msgr. Lynn's Lawyers: D.A. "Breathtakingly Dishonest"

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2016

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

It's supposed to be a sober exchange of appeal briefs. But the battle now before the state Supreme Court over the fate of Msgr. William J. Lynn has turned into a brawl.

Lynn is the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, who was convicted in 2012 on one count of endangering the welfare of a child, namely Danny Gallagher, the "lying, scheming" former altar boy also known as "Billy Doe."

In December, the state Superior Court, for the second time in three years, overturned Lynn's conviction, and ordered a new trial. Lynn, serving a three to six year prison term, has remained in jail, pending an appeal by District Attorney Seth Williams to the state Supreme Court.

The first time the state Superior Court reversed Lynn's sentence, in December 2013, the D.A. appealed to the state Supreme Court for a review. Meanwhile, Lynn got out jail on house arrest. In April 2015, the state Supreme Court ruled in the D.A.'s favor, and Lynn was sent back to jail, where he remains. So the D.A. hopes that lighting strikes twice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Lawsuit names Baptist church in 30-year-old abuse case

GEORGIA
Baptist News

BOB ALLEN | MARCH 22, 2016

A Cooperative Baptist Fellowship pastor in Georgia has voiced regret and sadness about his church’s handling decades ago of allegations of sexual abuse within a Boy Scout troop it sponsored.

A lawsuit filed March 17 in Fulton County State Court accuses First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga., of neglect leading to the rape in 1985 of a now 46-year-old man.

Robb Lawson, who says in his lawsuit he didn’t come to terms with his mental and emotional harm until last year, claims that church leaders knew about allegations of abuse by the congregation’s scoutmaster, a church member, in the early 1980s but did not report it to police or the Boy Scouts of America.

Church leaders removed the man as scoutmaster, but he continued to participate in troop activities, including the camping trip where Lawson says his abuse occurred. The former scoutmaster remained active in the church, serving as a deacon until the allegations about him became public just recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Rhinebeck priest removed from ministry in wake of sexual abuse allegations

NEW YORK
Daily Freeman

[with copy of a letter from the archdiocese]

By Ariél Zangla, azangla@freemanonline.com ArielAtFreeman on Twitter

RHINEBECK >> A Dutchess County parish priest has been removed from ministry permanently after decades-old sexual abuse allegations against him were found to have merit.

Law enforcement and the New York Archdiocesan Review Board examined the allegations against Rev. Peter Kihm and found them to be credible, Bishop Dominick Lagonegro wrote in a March 14 letter to parishioners of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rhinebeck. As a result of that review, he said, Kihm cannot return to ministry.

Kihm also requested, and has received, a “return to the lay state” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Lagonegro wrote.

“This means that he will never again be able to serve as a priest here in this archdiocese or anywhere else in the world,” the bishop wrote.

Kihm was suspended on Jan. 25, 2015, as the parish priest at the Good Shepherd and St. Joseph churches in Northern Dutchess based on allegations that, approximately 30 years ago, he sexually abused an underage male. He was suspended by church officials pending an investigation by law-enforcement officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Kontroverse um Buch über Missbrauch im Stift Kremsmünster

OSTERRICH
Nachricten

[After the abuse cases in Kremsmünster, former students of the Austrian school have published results of a study on the situation in book form so it is available for research purposes.]

KREMSMÜNSTER. Nach den Missbrauchsfällen im Stift Kremsmünster und deren Aufarbeitung in einer Studie des Münchner Instituts IPP pochen ehemalige Schüler auf die Veröffentlichung der Ergebnisse in Buchform, damit diese zu Forschungszwecken verfügbar ist

Das IPP, das eine vergleichbare Studie auch für die deutsche Abtei Ettal erstellt hat, strebt dies an, das Stift ist aber dagegen.

Nach dem Auffliegen der Affäre 2010 hatte das Stift das Münchner Institut mit einer Studie zur Aufarbeitung beauftragt. Das für das Kloster wenig schmeichelhafte Ergebnis wurde in einer Pressekonferenz präsentiert und auf der Homepage des Stiftes veröffentlicht. Mittlerweile ist das Dokument dort zwar noch abrufbar, man muss aber bewusst danach suchen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Historie Aktuelles

DEUTSCHLAND
Missbrauchsopher Josephinium Redemptoristen

[Abuse victims of Aloisiuskolleg Bonn ask the media to be more courageous and do more research.]

Auf vielfachen Wunsch sammeln wir hier wichtige ältere Nachrichten, die wir unter "Aktuelles" bisher veröffentlicht haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Inquiry consults Welsh victim and survivor groups

WALES
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuser

22 March

Following the successful meeting with Welsh stakeholders in Cardiff last month, the Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Hon. Dame Lowell Goddard was in Colwyn Bay today to meet with Welsh victim and survivor groups and begin the process of ensuring the Inquiry meets the needs of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in Wales. Hosted by the Amethyst North Wales Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), the meeting was also attended by Inquiry Panel member, Professor Sir Malcolm Evans, and Michael May from the Inquiry’s Victims and Survivors’ Consultative Panel (VSCP) as well as organisations supporting victims and survivors of child sexual abuse from across Wales.

During the course of the meeting, the Inquiry Chair updated stakeholders on the plans for the Inquiry’s office in Wales, including arrangements to support Welsh victims and survivors as they engage with the Inquiry. The meeting also discussed how the Inquiry can most effectively raise public awareness of its work in Wales.

Hon. Dame Lowell Goddard said,

“I would like to thank the Amethyst SARC North Wales for hosting our meeting today and also to pay thanks to all the other key stakeholders from across Wales for taking the time to contribute to this important dialogue with the Inquiry. The importance of these organisations, who work tirelessly to support victims and survivors of child sexual abuse throughout Wales, cannot be underestimated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Judge issues new plea for sex abuse victims to help inquiry reveal truth

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Standard

MARTIN BENTHAM

The judge heading the Government’s inquiry into historical child sex abuse today issued a new appeal to victims to come forward before a “milestone” first hearing into paedophile targeting of children’s homes in Lambeth.

Justice Lowell Goddard said that those who had suffered exploitation had been left with “permanent scars” but could now help uncover why “so many crimes went unreported and undetected” for years.

She added that the inquiry also wanted to give victims the chance to “share their experience with us” and to establish the scale of the abuse.

Justice Goddard’s comments came as she prepared to begin her inquiry into historical abuse in Lambeth with a preliminary hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Priest Abuse: An Alleged Victim's Story

PENNSYLVANIA
StateCollege.com

[video]

Centre County Report's Jaclyn Gross talks with a local man who claims a priest abused him as a teenager in Altoona. Bob Conway says the Rev. Raymond Waldruff was respected and admired, but began using overnight trips to abuse him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Youngstown Catholic Diocese to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month

OHIO
WFMJ

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -
The Diocese of Youngstown has announced that its parishes, schools and institutions will observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

According to a news release from the diocese, communities are being encouraged to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness strategies and activities and promote prevention.

The announcement comes just days after three Franciscan friars were charged in Pennsylvania with allowing a suspected sexual predator to hold jobs where he molested more than 100 children.

Friars Robert D'Aversa, Anthony Criscitelli and Giles Schinelli are accused of assigning or allowing Brother Stephen Baker to remain at Bishop McCort High School, where he molested scores of students from 1992 to 2000.

Baker killed himself in 2013 when Ohio church officials announced settlements involving students molested there in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Spotlight and the right for Catholics to be angry

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By KIERAN TAPSELL
March 22, 2016

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has issued a statement about Spotlight, the film about the cover up of child sexual abuse in Boston.

The bishops agreed with Father Richard Leonard that Spotlight is “an occasion for holy, righteous anger and every adult Catholic should see it”.

I saw the film, and I was angry, not so much about the past but by what is happening right now. A cover up ordered by canon law in 1922 continues to this day.

In 1996, when Irish bishops wanted mandatory reporting to the police of all allegations of child sexual abuse, they were told they could not because it conflicted with canon law. In 1998 Cardinal Castrillón, the Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, told the bishops they should not put anything in the way of victims going to police, but bishops were not to do the reporting.

In 2002, he and Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, now in charge of reforming the Roman Curia, publicly stated bishops should be prepared to go to jail rather than report a paedophile priest to police.

In 2002 American bishops wanted mandatory reporting under canon law for all allegations, but the Vatican refused. It only agreed to a dispensation from the pontifical secret where civil laws required reporting. It was more concerned about bishops going to jail than the welfare of children.

That dispensation was extended to the whole church in 2010. But where there are no civil laws requiring reporting (as is the case in six Australian States and territories for most cases), the pontifical secret over these allegations still applies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

SC--Victims “out” another predator priest

SOUTH CAROLINA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims “out” another predator priest
He was cited in new PA grand jury report
And he is the 14th accused child molesting SC cleric
Group urges Catholic bishop to “come clean & end slow torture”
Church officials refuse to do “real outreach,” support group says
SNAP warns: “Recently suspended cleric could be put back to work”

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose that
--a predator priest recently suspended because of abuse allegations in Pennsylvania also worked in SC,
--he’s the 14 alleged predator priest to have worked in the state, and
--at least seven civil lawsuits are pending against predator priests in SC, including one filed last October.

The group will prod
--Charleston Catholic bishop to permanently post on parish websites the names of all predator priests who have worked or lived – or now work or live – in the diocese.
--“anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered sexual misdeeds, crimes or cover ups” in the state to “call police, expose wrongdoing and protect others.”
When:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.

Where:
In Charleston, outside the Charleston Catholic diocese headquarters (“chancery”), 901 Orange Grove Road (corner of St Charles Ct.)

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:

Two weeks ago, Pennsylvania’s attorney general released a 150 page grand jury report detailing clergy sex crimes by 50+ clerics against hundreds of kids that were covered up for decades by Altoona area Catholic officials.

[PennLive]

On Friday, three of those officials were arraigned on charges of concealing child sex crimes in the Altoona area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Bishop Zubik holds ‘Service of Apology’ for those ‘harmed by the church’

PENNSYLVANIA
WPXI

[with video]

PITTSBURGH — Bishop David Zubik told a crowd of about 80 Monday night that the church messed up, choosing to publicly to apologize to those who were “harmed by the church in any way.”

The “Service of Apology” was held at 7 p.m. inside St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland. According to diocesan officials, the timing of the service had nothing to do with recent allegations against the Roman Catholic Church in nearby Johnstown and Altoona.

“I'm sorry for the church. I'm not expecting that's going to make it easier for people, but I hope at least it's going to help,” Zubik said. “When people say to me, ‘Do you feel you've done enough?’ Never. I think we need to work together from all sides.”

The Pittsburgh Diocese in 2007 settled with 32 people who claimed they were abused by as many as 17 priests. The total amount was $1.25 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Case Study 23: Knox Grammar School application ruling

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will deliver a ruling on an application by a party for non-publication orders in relation to the Royal Commission’s Case Study 23: Knox Grammar School public hearing.

The non-publication orders have been sought by Mr Christopher Fotis, who gave evidence in Case Study 23 on 28 April 2015.

The public hearing commenced on 23 February 2015 and inquired into the response of Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga, New South Wales to concerns raised about inappropriate conduct by a number of teachers towards students at Knox Grammar School between 1970 and 2012.

For more information on Case Study 23 into Knox Grammar School please visit the Case Study 23 webpage.

What: Case Study 23: Knox Grammar School application ruling
Date: Wednesday 23 March 2016
Time: 4.30pm AEDT start
Location: Royal Commission Hearing Room 1, Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney

The hearing will be streamed live via webcast on the Royal Commission’s website at www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Editorial: Bill to expand rights of abuse victims deserves support

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

State Rep. Mark Rozzi has been pushing for years to change state laws in an effort to broaden the rights of victims of child sex abuse, to little effect.

Part of the problem may have been that the issue had been fading in the public consciousness.

The subject was making major headlines around 15 years ago, when a scandal erupted over sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and the mishandling of such cases by religious leaders, and then more recently with the Jerry Sandusky case involving Penn State. Since then the church has insisted it learned from its mistakes and that the days of protecting predator priests are long over, and changes were made to child abuse laws in response to the Sandusky situation.

But the issue is back at the forefront thanks to an investigation by the state attorney general's office that alleged terrible corruption in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Rozzi, himself a teenage victim of sexual abuse by a priest, is looking to use the news as impetus to win support for his effort.

A grand jury found that two bishops who led the diocese helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by more than 50 priests and other religious leaders over a 40-year period starting in the mid-1960s. The report went on to portray the church as holding such sway over law enforcement that it helped select a police chief. One diocesan official told the grand jury that the police and civil authorities would often defer to the church when priests were accused of abuse, the report said. Following the grand jury report, three ex-leaders of a Franciscan order were charged with allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to take on jobs that enabled him to molest more than 100 children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Tackling child abuse: easy as ABC?

UNITED KINGDOM
Lexology

Bolt Burdon Kemp

A new initiative launched by the Department for Education aims to tackle child abuse and neglect.

The initiative, called “Together We Can Tackle Child Abuse”, is being championed by local authorities and NHS trusts throughout the country.

One of the issues raised by the initiative is the failure of people to report suspected child abuse or neglect. It has been noted that, of those who suspect child abuse, one third does not act on their suspicions because they are worried about being wrong.

Together, we can tackle child abuse aims to encourage members of the public to report suspected abuse or neglect even when they are not certain it has taken place.

ABC – spotting signs of abuse and neglect

The initiative has highlighted that, in 2014/15, approximately 400,000 children in England were supported by local authorities after someone noticed they needed help.

Abuse of children can involve sexual acts, physical assaults or emotional harm. Neglect involves the maltreatment of a child by failing to care for them appropriately.

By using a simple acronym – ABC – the new DfE initiative provides the following guidance on how to spot the signs of abuse or neglect by reference to the effects on a child’s appearance, behaviour and communication:

* Appearance – such as frequent unexplained injuries, consistently poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or a parent regularly collecting children from school when drunk

* Behaviour – such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired

* Communication – such as sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

On sex abuse, has the pendulum swung too far?

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic World Report

March 22, 2016

Attitudes about how the Church is handling cases of clerical sex abuse are frequently rooted in a misunderstanding of rule of law and evidentiary standards.

Enza Ferreri

Last month Peter Saunders, the British man who founded and leads the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), was removed from the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, “apparently following a 15-0 vote of no confidence.”

The chorus of some mainstream media has been quick to describe this as a sign that the Vatican doesn’t intend to do enough against child sex abuse, or that Pope Francis is failing to do so. However, this attitude of utter condemnation of the Church is misplaced and based, in part, on a misunderstanding of rule of law and evidentiary standards.

I will start with some background on the role that Peter Saunders, NAPAC, and other activists like them have had in events in the UK.

Since 2012, Britain has been shaken by a flood of allegations of child sex abuse, the majority of which go back decades, against important figures in the public eye, both dead and alive. The police have investigated practically all claims, however improbable, and often in the total absence of evidence, launching one operation after another.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Anglican Church paid $80,000 to former Swan Homes resident over child sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

March 21, 2016

DANIELLE LE MESSURIER
PerthNow

ANOTHER Swan Homes resident has received $80,000 from the Anglican Diocese of Perth in recognition of harm suffered during his 13 years at the orphanage.

The man was awarded the maximum compensation payment on March 2.

The 86-year-old, who asked not to be named, claimed he was subjected to regular “sexual, physical and emotional abuse” during his time at the Anglican Church-run orphanage in Middle Swan by former housemaster Leonard Gordon Darcey and another man who worked at the home.

The Sunday Times reported last year that another Swan Homes resident had received $80,000 in financial redress from the Anglican Church.

The Anglican Diocese of Perth this week declined to answer questions or provide any further comment regarding Swan Homes. One of the questions the church won’t answer is how many former Swan Homes residents have come forward alleging they were victims of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Paedophile bishop 'duped congregations by impersonating his identical twin brother - who was also a bishop'

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By STEPHANIE LINNING FOR MAILONLINE

A paedophile bishop is feared to have duped congregations across the country by conducting services while impersonating his identical twin brother.

Peter Ball, 83, the former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, was jailed for 32 months last year after he admitted sexually abusing 18 teenagers and young men between 1977 and 1992.

The Old Bailey heard how Ball, of Langport, Somerset, hand-picked vulnerable victims to commit acts of 'debasement' in the name of religion, including praying naked at the altar and submitting to beatings.

An investigation has now been launched into claims he might have deceived church-goers by impersonating his identical twin Michael, who was a bishop in Cornwall during the 1990s.

The Diocese of Truro is looking into evidence that Ball conducted services in his brother's place.An independent review is under way into the way the Church of England responded to the case.

The Right Reverend Tim Thornton said that there was no evidence that the Diocese gave Peter Ball permission to lead any services in Cornwall in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

FBI to probe Syracuse elementary school in child porn investigation

NEW YORK
CNY Central

SYRACUSE -- One of the people arrested last week in a federal child pornography sting was a worker at Syracuse's All Saints Elementary School.

Emily Oberst, 23, of Syracuse, was arrested last Friday by the FBI. Jason Kopp, 40, of Liverpool was also arrested. Federal agents accused the pair of sexually abusing a toddler and posting images and videos of the crime online. Oberst and Kopp are both being held in the Onondaga County Justice Center without bail.

The school says Oberst was terminated. The letter to parents goes on to say the school is cooperating with authorities but got stark news from the FBI Monday. "We learned that there may be additional victims of Miss Oberst's criminal activity, including students at All Saints. At this time, we can neither confirm the identities nor the numbers of students who may be involved." The letter also informs parents that they may be contacted by federal agents as the investigation continues.

The letter, signed by the All Saints Board, promises to keep parents informed as it gets new relevant information.

An undercover federal investigator out of the Metropolitan Police Department - Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force began communicating on the Kik app with a user later identified as Jason Kopp. A federal criminal complaint states, In an exchange of texts Kopp shared numerous images of an infant child "which depict the lewd and lascivious exhibition of her genitals." Other images show Kopp "engaged in acts of sexual abuse of the child." ...

All Saints is an independent school with no affiliation with the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse. The school's website says it does "teach Catholic values and a Catholic curriculum."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Abuse victim's lawyer hits back at Establishment critics of Church apology

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

Joel Adams, Reporter Argus_JoelA

A SOLICITOR specialising in child sexual abuse cases has criticised a group of Establishment figures for not treating her client with the respect she deserves.

Tracey Emmott represents a woman who was abused by wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell in the 1940s and 50s, and who received compensation and an apology from the Church of England last year.

This weekend the self-titled George Bell Group criticised the Church’s handling of the case, and called upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to apologise for blackening Bishop Bell’s name over the case.

Ms Emmott said: “It is disappointing that my client’s account continues to be so relentlessly challenged in what appears to be nothing short of a campaign to discredit and invalidate her evidence which has already been considered by independent experts as part of her legal claim.

“My client is not being afforded the dignity and respect she deserves and the closure she has been seeking.”

The George Bell Group includes the bishop's biographer, a London judge, the Dean of an Oxford college, Frank Field MP and several peers and churchmen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Diocese of Gallup offers to settle sex abuse claims

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Monday, March 21st, 2016

Attorneys in the Diocese of Gallup’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed a reorganization plan Monday that contains cash contributions of $21 million from nine sources to settle claims filed by 57 alleged victims of clerical sexual abuse.

An attorney who represents abuse victims estimated Monday that payments would average about $350,000 per claimant, though amounts likely would vary depending on circumstances.

The settlement is subject to approval by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma of Albuquerque, and a voting process will allow claimants to approve or reject the plan.

Under the plan, insurers are on the hook for at least $13.4 million, or about 64 percent of the total settlement. The Diocese of Gallup would contribute $3 million and may have to sell its chancery offices in Gallup, subject to the terms of a loan agreement with a bank.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Nearly 100 Parishioners Gather For Bishop Zubik’s “Service Of Apology”

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Pittsburgh

[with video]

By David Highfield

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A “Service of Apology” was held Monday evening by Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Bishop David Zubik.

It was for people hurt by the church in any way, including those sexually abused by clergy.

Cameras were not allowed inside the service at Saint Paul Cathedral in Oakland, but nearly 100 people gathered to hear what Bishop Zubik had to say.

“Some of the people said they’re coming because they’re angry that I closed a church building,” said Bishop Zubik. “Other people are angry because a priest didn’t treat them kindly in the sacrament of confession. Some people are coming because they’ve been abused by someone in the church.”

In fact, it was three weeks ago that a grand jury report alleged two bishops from the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese helped cover up the sexual abuse of children by more than 50 priests over decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik begs forgiveness for church as Holy Week begins

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

BY JASON CATO | Monday, March 21, 2016

Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik stood Monday night at the pulpit inside St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland and begged for forgiveness of the sins of the Roman Catholic Church.

Lee Cabot sat in the front row to absorb the words he had waited to hear for most of his life. In the 1970s, a Bellevue priest wrongly interpreted church rules and punished his late mother after her husband abandoned the family, he said.

“Because of what he did, our whole family fell apart,” said Cabot, 47, of Oakland.

Cabot clutched a framed photograph of his mother, Marianne Liptak, who died in 2002.

“My mother never returned to the altar until the day she died,” Cabot said. “She died thinking she was a disgraced Catholic.”

Zubik hosted a special “Prayer Service for Apology” as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy called upon by Pope Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Arson fears prompt Catholic Church security warning ahead of Easter

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 22, 2016

Beau Donelly

The Catholic Church is bracing for possible arson attacks on Melbourne parishes linked to paedophile priests, 12 months after vandals torched three suburban churches.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne has told its parishes to be vigilant following an attempted arson attack on St Bede's Church in Balwyn North earlier this month. An intruder broke into the church and poured accelerant onto the altar, but is believed to have fled before lighting the fire because an alarm went off.

In an email to the 214 churches in the Melbourne Archdiocese, vicar-general Monsignor Greg Bennet warned of the risk of arson, saying the Balwyn church's alarm system was all that foiled "what would have been another catastrophic fire". It coincides with the one-year anniversary of three as-yet-unsolved fires at churches where paedophile priests worked.

The internal email said the arson squad was investigating the latest attack and that police had advised all churches be vigilant, "especially those where there has been a history of sexual abuse cases".

Notorious paedophile priest Terrence Pidoto served as an assistant priest at the Balwyn parish in the early 1970s. He was jailed in 2007 after being found guilty of eleven child sex abuse charges including rape and indecent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

'I only answer to God. Bishops don't bother me.'

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

MARCH 22, 2016

by Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer

The three veteran investigators were speechless.

For just a few months, they had waded into a probe of clergy sex abuse in central Pennsylvania. They didn't yet know much. But they had heard about a man near Altoona named George Foster.

Foster, they were told, had long been "making noise" about eliminating abusive priests in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown - writing letters in the local papers, meeting with church leaders. Daniel Dye, the deputy attorney general leading the investigation, knew he was someone worth meeting.

But Dye and the two agents with him were not prepared for what they saw as Foster arrived at a Pittsburgh hotel to meet them for a cup of coffee in late 2014.

Foster came carting an armload of manila folders. Each was labeled. "Victim 1." "Victim 2." And so on. Others bore the names of priests. Inside were detailed accounts from victims and others.

Years' worth.

"You kept files?" Dye asked incredulously.

"Oh, yeah," he told them. "People have been coming to me for years."

"Why didn't you ever take these files to the police?" Dye asked him.

"Well," Foster said, "some of what's in here, I'm getting from the police."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2016: Catholic child sex abuse victim turns tragedy to comedy

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

March 22, 2016

Shannon Deery
Herald Sun

IT’s no laughing matter, but a former altar boy has turned the “tragedy’’ of child sexual abuse into a comedy.

Born and bred in Ballarat, Frank Hampster was abused by a Catholic priest in the 1980s.

Until being summonsed to give evidence to the child abuse Royal Commission last year, he had never spoken publicly of his experiences.

Now he is drawing on them for his fourth Melbourne International Comedy Festival show called “Cardinal Sins”.

Hampster said he had witnessed first hand how abuse was covered up by senior priests.

“Some of the royal commission testimony was laughable, so I had to keep rewriting the show,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

A pedophilia scandal is engulfing the oldest Catholic institution in France

FRANCE
The Week

Robert Zaretsky

A miracle did not occur in Lourdes last week.

Instead, on March 15, the French media descended on the pilgrimage site in southwestern France, which is hosting a conference of the country's bishops. The journalists came to grill Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who, as bearer of the ancient title "primat des Gaules," is France's most prominent Catholic cleric. As the cardinal of Lyon, France's second largest city, he runs a diocese rocked by a series of sexual abuse scandals. (The diocese of Lyons is also the oldest Catholic institution in France, stretching back to the Gallo-Roman period.) With the cicada-like clatter of clicking cameras, Barbarin declared he had "never, never, never" hid any act of pedophilia committed by his priests. Staring hard through his severe wire-rimmed glasses, Barbarin observed that none of these acts had happened under his watch. Besides, he noted, these crimes had passed the statute of limitations, so they could not be prosecuted.

"Dieu merci," he added with a sigh.

Rarely have so few words cut so deeply into the hearts of so many. With what seemed greater concern over legal liabilities for the church than the emotional scars of the victims, Barbarin compounded his clergy's sins of commission with a stunning sin of omission. The whole episode, since baptized the French "Spotlight," may well have consequences as seismic for the French church as the Boston case had for its American counterpart.

The events in question stretch back 40 years. In 1971, a young and charismatic priest, Bernard Preynet, became leader of a troop of Catholic Boy Scouts near Lyons. During the 20 years he remained at this post, hundreds of adolescents passed through. La Parole Libérée (The Liberated Voice), an association formed by victims, charges that Preynet sexually abused as many as 60 youths. (The Tribune de Lyon offered a more conservative estimate, quoting an anonymous source, himself a victim, stating that Preynet "had abused 20 kids.")

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

March 21, 2016

Josephinum proposes admission changes to weed out predators

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By JoAnne Viviano
The Columbus Dispatch • Monday March 21, 2016

In the wake of the arrest of a former student, the leader a Roman Catholic seminary on the Far North Side has recommended a trio of admissions policy changes, including the creation of an applications database that would be available to seminaries nationwide.

The Pontifical College Josephinum announced the proposals publicly on Monday, about seven weeks after former Josephinum seminarian Joel A. Wright, 23, was arrested in San Diego on federal allegations that he planned to travel to Mexico to rape 1- to 3-year-old girls.

The proposal includes: 1) the creation of a national database of formal applications to seminaries, dioceses and religious orders; 2) reference, social media and records reviews of applicants by private investigators led by someone with high-level FBI experience; and, 3) in-person interviews of applicants by representatives of the Josephinum's admissions committee and its director of psychological evaluation and counseling.

“We’re trying to be a leader in this area, even nationally,” said Monsignor Christopher Schreck, rector and president. “We’re also trying to do our utmost to close any loopholes in our admissions process. It’s already a rigorous process, but this makes it even more rigorous.”

The database would allow seminaries to review whether potential students had been rejected at other schools and why. Schreck said seminaries have been discussing such a project for several years, trying to work out details and legalities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 PM

OH--Catholic seminary makes promises; Victims respond

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, March 21, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home,davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

It’s all well and good to promise “we’ll do better in the future.” Catholic officials, when facing abuse scandals, excel at pledging improvement. They’re usually very poor, however, at follow through.

It’s hard to believe that church officials in Columbus, Steubenville and Vermont were unaware that dozens of seminaries had rejected Joel Wright. And Catholic officials have been talking about better seminary screening for decades. So it’s hard to be enthusiastic about this latest promise.

Behavior in the present is more important that pledges in the future. And right now, officials at the Josephenum and in the Columbus diocese must use their websites, mailing lists and bully pulpits to find others with information or suspicions about Wright’s crimes and get them to call police and prosecutors. That will make the biggest difference in the short term.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

Bistum Münster: Erneut versagt - Diakon wird wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs zu 3,5 Jahren Haft verurteilt und informiert weder Bischof Genn noch die Diözese darüber

DEUTSCHLAND
Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier

[A deacon of the Munster diocese was sentenced to 3.5 years is prisons for sexual abuse but neither the bishops nor the diocese were told about it.]

Pfarrer Gregor Wolters informierte seine Gemeinde in den Gottesdiensten in Nordkirchen, Südkirchen und Capelle, dass es sich bei dem wegen Missbrauch Verurteilten 75-Jährigen Nordkirchener um Diakon Manfred Z. handelt. „Ich habe telefonischen Kontakt mit Z. gehabt“, so der Pfarrer in den Gottesdiensten. Z. habe ihm bestätigt, dass es die Gerichtsverhandlung gegeben habe und er zu dreieinhalb Jahren Haft verurteilt worden sei.

„Er hat mir gesagt, er habe mich und die Diözese informieren wollen. Er hat es aber nicht getan.“ Die Diözese habe auch keinen Hinweis von der Staatsanwaltschaft erhalten. Gregor Wolters teilte der Gemeinde mit, er habe Z. mit sofortiger Wirkung von allen kirchlichen Funktionen suspendiert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

Church: New records confirm ownership of seminary land

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Jasmine Stole | Post News Staff

The Archdiocese of Agana issued a statement on March 18 following the issuance of new certificates of title from the Department of Land Management and church officials said the new certificates “once again” confirm the archbishop owns the Yona land under the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

The statement from the archdiocese contradicts what former Sen. Robert Klitzkie said about the new certificates of title. Klitzkie told the Post that the new titles, now with memorials that state the Declaration of Deed Restriction is in favor of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary as a nonprofit corporation, means that the property belongs to the seminary, not the archbishop. Klitzkie’s letter to Department of Land Management about the erroneous certificates of titles prompted the department to issue new certificates.

The Declaration of Deed Restriction states that the property shall be dedicated, to and for the use, of the seminary, a nonprofit corporation.

The archdiocese’s statement from March 18 said the four former certificates of title for the Yona property were canceled and the canceled certificates of title “did not include the Declaration of Deed Restriction.” However, the canceled titles did include the Declaration of Deed Restriction in the memorials section. The change in certificates is under the “in favor of” column. Department of Land Management changed the certificates in that respect and removed Archbishop Antony Apuron and replaced it with Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Josephinum proposes admission changes after former seminarian child sex crime charges

OHIO
NBC4i

[with copy of the proposals]

[with video]

By Olivia Fecteau
Published: March 21, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Pontifical College Josephinum announced proposals to change its admission process Monday, in response to the arrest of a former seminarian on charges he planned to rape children.

The changes were outlined Monday in a letter from Monsignor Christopher Schreck to the Board of Trustees, archbishops and bishops, members of the admissions committee and school officials. Schreck noted the discussion and proposed changes stemmed from the arrest of Joel Wright in late January.

Wright was a former seminary student who was arrested in San Diego after investigators said he planned to travel to Mexico to adopt a child for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Operation Midland: Child abuse inquiry ends with no charges brought

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A Met Police inquiry into claims a VIP Westminster paedophile ring abused children in the 1970s and 1980s has closed without charges being brought, Scotland Yard has announced.

The controversial Operation Midland ended as ex-MP Harvey Proctor was told he faces no further action over claims against him of child abuse and murder.

He called on four Met chiefs to resign, but the force said it had been right to look into the single source claims.

The inquiry has cost over £1.8 million.

Mr Proctor, 69, who was MP from 1979 to 1987 for the Essex constituencies of Basildon and then Billericay, was interviewed under caution last August as part of the Operation Midland. He had always vehemently denied the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Radio host hopes to change statute of limitation laws regarding sexual abuse

TENNESSEE
WKRN

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 36-year-old old radio host and homeless advocate in Murfreesboro just recently filed a police report regarding alleged sexual child abuse that occurred decades ago when he was a young child.

Since so much time has passed, his alleged accuser will not face any charges.

However, there’s a bill that is making its way through the state legislature that would give underage victims more time to report allegations.

WGNS radio host Scott Walker often has to read the news about child sex crimes.

“Many times I do report that,” Walker told News 2. “The good thing about that is there’s closure for many of the victims in those cases because someone has been arrested, somebody has been convicted in a lot of the cases.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Josephinum to overhaul selection process after former student arrested on sex crimes

OHIO
10TV

Read The Full Memo: Page 1 | Page 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio - 10TV News @ 6: 10 Investigates exposed problems that lead to changes at the Josephinum. What they are & what it could mean for the future of the Catholic seminary program nationwide.

Story highlights:

* Josephinum College propose sweeping changes today for seminary students
* 10 Investigates exposes loopholes and lack of oversight at Josephinum Catholic seminary
* Seminarian Joel Wright awaits trial for intent to have sex with a minor

It started with the unthinkable. A seminary student at the Vatican’s only school for priests outside Rome was trolling online to find children for sex.

But that wasn’t all. The student, Joel Wright, had left the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus en route to Mexico to buy children so he could act out his fantasies.

Homeland Security officers were in San Diego waiting with handcuffs and Josephinum officials immediately kicked Wright out of the seminary. That was January.

Since then, Wright’s case remains pending in Southern California, but his arrest for aggravated sexual abuse and other charges raised many questions: How can they be sure this won't happen again? And why is this still a problem in the Catholic Church a decade after clergy sex abuse was uncovered?

After meeting with 10 Investigates twice last week, the Josephinum announced on Monday they are instituting changes to make sure something like this could not happen again.

Monsignor Christopher Schreck, Rector and President of the Josephinum, sent a letter Monday to the school’s board of trustees, school officials, area Catholic Archbishops and Bishops, and the school’s Admissions Committee.

The proposed changes include:

* Pushing for the creation of a national database to “track all formal applications as dioceses, seminaries, and religious orders.”
* The use of private investigators who will better screen applicants including a review of their online history.
* The requirement of an in-person interview by the college’s Admission Committee and meeting with the school’s psychologist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Why The Movie “Spotlight” Makes Me Feel Guilty

RHODE ISLAND
Bruce DeSilva's Rogue Island

I finally watched the Oscar-winning movie Spotlight tonight, and I had three strong emotional reactions: admiration for The Boston Globe’s investigative team, pride in the profession I labored in for more than four decades, and . . . guilt.

Why guilt?

One day in the 1970’s, I fielded a phone call in the newsroom of The Providence Journal. The caller was a local woman who told me that her ten-year-old son had been repeatedly molested by a Roman Catholic priest in one of the city’s parishes.

Later that week, I sat down with her and her son across from their kitchen table and listened to their story. It was both chilling and hard to accept. Her son said he wasn’t the only one—that two of his friends also had been abused. I asked the woman if she or the other parents had reported this to the Providence Police. She said they’d tried but that the police just scoffed and warned them that it was a crime to file a false police report.

As a journalist, I was skeptical by nature; but by the time I left them that evening, I believed what they’d told me was true. The next day, I consulted with an editor, one of the top guys who ran the paper. He labeled the story rubbish before I could even finish relating it.

I told him I understood why he was incredulous but that I thought it was worth looking into. He forbade it. No way the paper was going to slander a priest, he said. Besides, he added, even if the story were true, no one in Rhode Island (the most heavily Roman Catholic state in the union at the time) would believe it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Appeals court suggests harsher sentence for priest who embezzled from archdiocese

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Khalil AlHajal | kalhajal@mlive.com

DETROIT, MI -- The Michigan Court of Appeals has sent a church embezzlement case back to Wayne County Circuit Court for the possible re-sentencing of a priest originally ordered to serve one year in prison in two-month increments over five years.

Timothy Kane, 59, who served as a pastor at St. Benedict, St. Gregory, and the Church of the Madonna in Detroit between 2008 and 2014, was convicted of embezzling $131,400 from a charitable fund of the Archdiocese of Detroit known as the Angel Fund.

Kane and Dorreca Brewer, 36, of Jackson were accused of conspiring to submit fraudulent applications for grants from the fund, meant for needy families in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

French survey finds majority support for resignation of Cardinal Barbarin

FRANCE
Catholic Culture

March 21, 2016

A French newspaper survey has found that 63% of the public believes that Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon should step down, because of complaints that he failed to removed an accused clerical abuser from active ministry.

However, among the practicing Catholics included in the survey, a solid majority believe that Cardinal Barbarin is innocent of wrongdoing and should remain in office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Gallup Diocese Files Plan to Compensate Abuse Victims

NEW MEXICO
Wall Street Journal

By TOM CORRIGAN

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., on Monday unveiled a $22 million reorganization plan, the bulk of which will be used to compensate 57 clergy sexual-abuse victims.

The plan, filed Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque, N.M., lays out how the diocese expects to repay its creditors, the vast majority of whom say they were sexually abused by the diocese’s clergy decades ago.

The Diocese of Gallup, which serves about 60,000 parishioners in New Mexico, Arizona and several Native American reservations, filed for chapter 11 protection in late 2013. The filing halted more than a dozen lawsuits related to sexual-abuse allegations.

“It is impossible to overstate the tragedy of the abuse that was inflicted on the children and teenagers of the diocese,” lawyers for the diocese said Monday in court papers.

The bankruptcy plan, which is subject to the approval of Judge David Thuma, was largely drawn up in court-ordered mediation sessions after initial talks with the diocese’s insurance carriers and other participants broke down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Israel Becoming a 'Refuge for Pedophiles,' Warns Advocate for Child Sex Abuse Victims

ISRAEL
Haaretz

At a Knesset pre-hearing, groups working to prevent the abuse suggested there may be a 'significantly higher proportion' of cases in the ultra-Orthodox community.

Judy Maltz - Mar 21, 2016

Israel has become a safe haven for Jewish pedophiles from around the world, a leading advocate for child sexual abuse victims warned Monday at a Knesset committee pre-hearing on pedophilia in the ultra-Orthodox community.

“Sex offenders tend to move from country to country to avoid jail, but what makes Israel unique is the Law of Return, which essentially grants unhindered access to anyone who is Jewish to come here without any real screening,” said Manny Waks, the chief executive officer of Kol v’Oz, a newly formed nonprofit that aims to prevent child sexual abuse in the global Jewish community.

The Law of Return grants automatic citizenship in Israel to those who meet its definition of a Jew.

Waks was raised in Melbourne, Australia where he attended Yeshiva Centre, a school run by the Chabad movement. Years later, he reported that he had been sexually abused by two members of the staff there. Waks and his family, who have since been featured in several Australian documentaries, were ostracized by the local Chabad community for coming out publicly with their story.

Along with representatives of several other groups active in preventing child abuse in the Jewish community, Waks met today with MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, chair of the Knesset Special Committee for the Rights of the Child.

The full committee is expected to convene for a special session on the topic after the Passover break.

Among those accused of sexual abuse who have fled to Israel, Waks cited the prominent case of Malka Leifer, the former principal of a religious girls’ school in Melbourne, who allegedly assaulted eight of her charges. She is now under house arrest, and the Australian authorities are seeking her extradition. Waks noted several other cases of pedophiles and alleged pedophiles from the United States, Britain and the Netherland who had fled to Israel either after being charged or to avoid being charged. Some have already been extradited back to their home countries where they are serving jail sentences.

“It seems to us Israel is increasingly becoming a refuge for pedophiles and alleged pedophiles,” said Waks. “It’s an easy get-out-of-jail card for them.” Waks, who is married with three children, recently moved back to Israel, where he was born and served in the army.

According to research data he cited, one in five children in Israel experiences sexual abuse.

“There’s a range of factors that suggest there may be a significantly higher proportion within the ultra-Orthodox community,” said Waks. “I think any closed community would have increased cases, because these cases are silenced. They’re swept under the carpet. Not only that, but in the Haredi community, they don’t even talk about sex, so how can they talk about sexual abuse?”

His new organization, he said, will be lobbying the Knesset to change the statute of limitations so that victims of sexual crimes can have more time to file complaints.

Also present at the meeting with Shasha-Biton were the heads of a new Israeli group called “Lo Tishtok” (Thou Shall Not Be Silent) that aims to give voice to ultra-Orthodox victims of sexual abuse. Launched as a Facebook page five months ago, the group already has close to 4,200 followers and is planning to become a nonprofit.

Yitzhak Kadman, the executive director of the National Council for the Child, said he had noticed signs of “the beginnings of a revolution” in attitudes toward child sex offenders in the Haredi world. “I was actually astonished by the amount of openness I’ve seen recently,” he said at the meeting.

Israel may be a preferred destination for Jewish sex offenders, said Kadman, but it has also become a place of refuge for their victims. “We are seeing many of them leave their home countries and come to Israel, perhaps because they are looking for a way to get a fresh start,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

‘Decent guy’ youth pastor charged with sexually abusing 5-year-old girl at his home

MAINE
Raw Story

TRAVIS GETTYS
21 MAR 2016

The arrest of a Maine youth pastor on child sex abuse charges has shocked some congregants — but at least one neighbor suspected he “seemed a little different.”

Lucas Savage was arrested Friday evening and charged with unlawful sexual contact after investigators said he sexually abused a girl younger than 5 years old at his own home in Clinton, reported WCHS-TV.

The 37-year-old Savage is co-director of Youth Haven Ministry and a member of Canaan Calvary Church, which has in the past financially supported his youth ministry but maintains a separate board of directors.

Savage and his wife were deeply involved in the church, where they helped organize events and coached youth soccer.

“I trusted him with my daughter,” said Kristine Rice, whose 11-year-old daughter participated in Youth Haven programs and played soccer for Savage’s team through the Canaan Community Sports program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Nun recounts rape, abuse by priest in memoir backed by Catholic Church

ITALY
Religion News Service

Josephine McKenna | March 21, 2016

ROME (RNS) The Catholic Church, under scrutiny for its response to clergy sex abuse scandals, is backing the publication of an Italian nun’s shocking account of her rape as a teenager and years of subsequent abuse by her parish priest in Milan.

The 40-year-old nun, who has not been identified, claims the unnamed priest raped her when she was 14 and continued to abuse her for another seven years.

The sensational book is titled, “Giulia and the Wolf: A Story of Sexual Abuse in the Church,” and it is due to be published in Italy on March 31 by Ancora, a Catholic publishing house.

The memoir is also being published with the backing of the Archdiocese of Milan, one of the largest and most influential in Italy, and a priest, the Rev. Hans Zollner, who is a member of Pope Francis’ panel on fighting clergy sexual abuse, has written the preface. ...

The idea to publish the book came after Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, head of the Vatican anti-abuse panel, spoke about clerical sexual abuse on a visit to Milan.

According to reports, the abusive priest worked for years in the Milan archdiocese and died recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Settlement proposed in Gallup diocese bankruptcy case

NEW MEXICO
The Eagle

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Attorneys for a New Mexico diocese have submitted a proposed settlement for a bankruptcy case that has spanned more than two years.

Attorneys for the Diocese of Gallup on Monday filed a reorganization plan that would use cash contributions of $21 million from nearly a dozen sources to settle claims filed by 57 alleged victims of clerical sexual abuse.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1RdVcBg ) the settlement would also be used to establish a trust to pay for future claims.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Thuma will consider the proposal at a hearing next month. The plan must also be approved by the claimants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

$21 million settlement announced in Diocese of Gallup bankruptcy

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Monday, March 21st, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Attorneys in the Diocese of Gallup Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed a reorganization plan today that contains cash contributions of $21 million from 11 funding sources to settle claims filed by 57 alleged victims of clerical sexual abuse.

The settlement also will be used to establish a trust to pay for future claims filed against the diocese.

And it will pay legal and professional costs in the 28-month-old case that have totaled more than $3.5 million. The two primary law firms in the case have agreed to a $416,000 reduction in fees, the lead attorney for the diocese, Susan Boswell of Phoenix, told a judge on Monday.

Boswell outlined major features of the reorganization plan for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma of Albuquerque at a hearing this morning.

The reorganization plan and other details of the settlement agreement will be considered by Thuma at a hearing scheduled next month. The plan also must be approved by members of a committee representing claimants in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Southeast MO pastor accused of raping 4 year old

MISSOURI
KFVS

Written by Amber Ruch, Digital Content Executive Producer

NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -
A southeast Missouri pastor is accused of raping a then-4 year old.

Keith Frye, 54, of Lilbourn, Mo., was charged with first degree statutory rape.

According to court documents, on Monday, March 14 the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department was contacted by an investigator for the Department of Social Services Children's Division in connection with a possible sexual assault of a child.

The investigator stated a hotline call reported the alleged sexual abuse.

On Wednesday, March 16, the child was examined and interviewed. The child told authorities the incidents happened more than once.

The incidents allegedly happened between March 8, 2015 and March 7, 2016 when the child was 4 years old. The child is now 5 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

CA--Victims urge outreach by Oakland/San Jose bishops in case of recently exposed predator priest, again demand abuser names be made public

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, East Bay Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175,melanie.sakoda@gmail.com)

In a lawsuit filed recently in the state of Texas Father Milton Eggerling was accused of child sexual abuse for the first time in public. The priest was accused of molesting an altar boy in Austin in the 1970s, beginning when the boy was 11 and continuing for five years.

[American-Statesman]

The attorney for the victim, Tahira Khan Merritt, said that Eggerling, who was ordained in 1954, was a priest for a long time and likely had more victims. She also said that her client filed the lawsuit hoping that others would come forward.

[American-Statesman]

[BishopAccountability.org]

Eggerling worked for many years under the supervision of the Dioceses of Oakland and of San Jose. All of the parishes in the Oakland Diocese where Eggerling worked also had attached schools.

1970-1971: Saint Felicitas, San Leandro, Diocese of Oakland

1971-1973: Corpus Christi, Piedmont, Diocese of Oakland

1979-1983: Providence Hospital, Oakland, Diocese of Oakland

1983-1984: Saint Augustine, Oakland, Diocese of Oakland

1984-1987: Our Lady of the Rosary, Palo Alto, Diocese of San Jose

1991-1993: Saint Patrick, Rodeo, Diocese of Oakland

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Archdiocese: Sex abuse claims against Dutchess priest 'credible'

NEW YORK
Poughkeepsie Journal

Nina Schutzman, Poughkeepsie Journal March 21, 2016

A longtime Dutchess County priest who was suspended in 2015 after decades-old sexual abuse allegations came to light has officially been removed from the clergy, according to the Archdiocese of New York.

Allegations of sexual abuse made against Peter Kihm have been found to be "credible" by both law enforcement and the Archdiocesan Review Board, said Bishop Dominick John Lagonegro in a letter to parishioners of the Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck, where Kihm last served as a priest.

Kihm, who requested "a return to the lay state...will never again be able to serve as a priest here in this archdiocese or anywhere else in the world," Lagonegro said in his letter.

A "return to the lay state" means that Kihm is no longer officially a priest.

When Kihm was suspended and removed as priest of the Good Shepherd Church in January 2015, the allegation involved a minor -- one person -- and "more than one occurrence" that happened about 30 years ago, according to Journal archives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Vier Vorwürfe übermittelt

DEUTSCHLAND
POW

[Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal, contact person for the Wurzburg diocese for victims of sexual abuse, said today that about 4,500 full-time and volunteer church workers have so far had prevention training. He received in the last year four allegations of sexual-related abuses that he said were below the thresthold of criminality.]

Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal, Ansprechpartner in der Diözese Würzburg für Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs, legt Jahresbilanz 2015/2016 vor – Rund 4500 haupt- und ehrenamtliche kirchliche Mitarbeiter bisher bei Präventionsschulungen

Würzburg (POW) Vier Vorwürfe wegen sexualbezogener Missbrauchshandlungen und wegen Grenzüberschreitungen unterhalb der Schwelle der Strafbarkeit wurden im zurückliegenden Jahr an Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal, Ansprechpartner in der Diözese Würzburg für Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs, übermittelt. Das teilte Laubenthal am Montag, 21. März, in Würzburg mit. In den beiden vorausgehenden Jahren waren es ebenfalls jeweils vier Vorwürfe, die an Laubenthal herangetragen wurden. Präventionsbeauftragte Schwester Dagmar Fasel berichtete von rund 4500 kirchlichen Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern, die seit 2013 an Präventionsschulungen teilnahmen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Fears former bishop paedophile Peter Ball impersonated his identical twin brother

UNITED KINGDOM
Western Daily Press

A probe has been launched into claims a notorious paedophile bishop impersonated his identical twin brother - by carrying out services in his place.

Former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball, 83, was jailed last year after he admitted sexually abusing teenagers and young men.

But there are now fears he took the place of his twin Michael Ball, who was also a bishop and a friend of Prince Charles, by duping congregations in other parts of the UK.

The Diocese of Truro is now looking into the evidence that Ball conducted services in Cornwall, where Michael, had been a Bishop in the 1990s.

An independent review is currently under way into the way the Church of England responded to the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

New group seeks to clear name of bishop accused of paedophilia

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
21 March

A new group of senior church people, lawyers, academics and politicians has been launched to defend the late Bishop George Bell, who has been accused of being a paedophile.

The George Bell Group has been set up after the Church of England disclosed it had apologised and paid damages following a civil sex abuse claim.

The allegations date from the late 1940s and early 1950s and concern sexual offences against an individual who was at the time a young child.

Bishop Bell, born in 1883 and who died in 1958, became Bishop of Chichester in 1929. He was revered as a leading light on the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church and at one time was even in the running to be Archbishop of Canterbury. He was one of the first to speak out against the Nazi threat before the Second World War.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

No date set for bishop to testify to sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By Melissa Cunningham

No date has been set for former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns to continue his evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Bishop Mulkearns made his much-anticipated appearance at the child sexual abuse inquiry via videolink from the nursing home in which he now lives in February.

He told the inquiry he was “terribly sorry” he did not take the mounting sexual abuse allegations about offending clergy seriously and admitted he did not know how to handle the situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Baptist pastor sentenced to 50 years for hiring mistress and her husband to set his wife on fire

MISSOURI
Raw Story

Tom Boggioni
21 MAR 2016

A Baptist pastor from Missouri has been sentenced to 50 years in prison last week for hiring his mistress and her husband to burn his house down with his wife inside of it, reports the Riverfront Times.

Donald Lafferty, 71, who was sentenced to 50 years in prison after a jury convicted him on charges of attempted murder, arson, armed criminal action and financial exploitation of the elderly after investigators discovered he had embezzled $87,000 from his 89-year-old mother.

The January 12, 2013 fire at Lafferty’s home had become a cold case despite investigators finding evidence of arson.

The case was reopened in April of 2014, after investigators uncovered evidence that Lafferty had forged power-of-attorney documents and transferred his mother’s life saving into an account controlled by him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Protesters Denounce Brooklyn Yeshiva For Employing Alleged Child Abusers

NEW YORK
Gothamist

BY EMMA WHITFORD

A small group of protesters gathered on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights on Sunday to denounce the longtime employment of allegedly abusive teachers at Oholei Torah, one of the largest and most prestigious boys yeshivas in Brooklyn's Chabad network. The protesters—including members of the Lubavitch community, survivors, and alumni—held signs that read "What would the Rebbe say?" and "Abuse isn't chinuch [education]." A row of strategically-parked yellow school buses blocked them from the yeshiva's front entrance, where parents, teachers and rabbis ducked through the light snow into Oholei Torah's annual gala dinner.

"The culture of violence is being celebrated tonight," said Chaim Levin, an alumnus of the school and a survivor of sexual abuse. Earlier this month, Newsweek published a lengthy investigation into physical and sexual abuse across Brooklyn's Chabad yeshiva network. Victims, Levin among them, accused Oholei Torah's longtime principal, Rabbi Hershel Lustig, of deftly covering up child abuse and employing two known abusers.

In 2013, Rabbi Velvel Karp allegedly tossed a student so hard into a pane of glass that the child sustained a concussion. Multiple alumni told Newsweek that Karp often hit his students across the face, and even hung boys out of his fourth-floor classroom window by their shirts.

Another current teacher, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Zalmanov, allegedly hit a student so hard that the boy slammed into a closet, smacking his head on hardwood. According to the boy's mother, Zalmanov showed little remorse. "For chutzpah [impudence], I patsh [smack]," he allegedly said.