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April 30, 2016

Peterson: Volunteers keeping clergy abuse in spotlight

CALIFORNIA
The Mercury News

By Gary Peterson, gpeterson@bayareanewsgroup.com
POSTED: 04/30/2016

They stood quiet as church mice outside Oakland's Cathedral of Christ the Light. They spoke only to those passers-by who engaged them. Their presence was their message, and the message is that molestation of children by clergy didn't disappear with the final credits of "Spotlight."

In the past two months, lawsuits filed against the Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, have accused once-local priests -- the Rev. Emmerich Vogt and the Rev. Milton Eggerling -- of sexual abuse. Vogt's attorney has denied the allegations. Eggerling is deceased.

"Between these two priests, they worked in the Diocese of Oakland, the Diocese of San Francisco and the Diocese of San Jose," said Melanie Sakoda, one of three volunteers from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which held the half-hour event Tuesday.

The Boston Globe's Spotlight team blew the lid off the Catholic Church's dirty not-so-little secret in a series of stories in 2002. In February, a movie celebrating that journalistic effort won the Academy Award for best picture.

By comparison, Sakoda and her fellow volunteers are more selective and low-key when it comes to whom they spotlight and what they seek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Florence church youth volunteer kissed and fondled teen boy, police say

SOUTH CAROLINA
WBTW

By Eric Walters
Published: April 29, 2016

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A youth group volunteer at a Florence church has been arrested for sexually assaulting a minor.

According to Florence Police Major Carlos Raines, a 15-year-old boy claimed Leo LaSalle Comissiong, 20, of Florence kissed and folded him through his clothes.

The incident happened in February at the NewSpring Church on North Cashua Drive, Raines said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Inquiry announces decisions in core participant applications.

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

22 April

In January this year, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse invited applications for core participant status in relation to four of its investigations. For further information on core participants please read this document. Having considered each application received, the Chair granted some applications on paper and in March preliminary hearings were held to consider further submissions. The Inquiry has today announced the results of those applications and the documents relating to the decisions can be found on each of the investigations pages via the links below.

A total of 94 applications were received. Of these, 80 were granted, nine were declined and five remain to be considered. Where an organisation has made applications in relation to more than one investigation, this is counted as one application.

The Inquiry granted 18 applications from organisations and 59 applications from individual complainants, victims and survivors. Two groups, Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS) and the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA) also were granted core participant status, both of whom represent a large number of complainants, victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. One application from a perpetrator was granted.

Lord Greville Janner

Out of a total of 36 the Inquiry granted 34 core participant applications - 27 individual complainants and seven organisations and institutions. Two applications were declined.

The Anglican Church

Out of a total of 43 the Inquiry granted 34 applications as core participants - 24 to individual complainants, victims and survivors, Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group, eight organisations and institutions and one perpetrator, Peter Ball. Five further applications are still being considered by the Chair. Four applications were declined.

Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale

Out of a total of 15 the Inquiry granted 13 applications as core participants - eight complainants, victims and survivors, five organisations and institutions. Two applications were declined.

Lambeth Council

Out of a total of six, the Inquiry granted five applications as core participants - Shirley Oaks Survivors Association group representing hundreds of complainants, victims and survivors, and four organisations and institutions. One application was declined.

The Chair may designate a person as a core participant at any time during the course of the inquiry provided that person consents to being so designated. In deciding whether to designate a person as a core participant, the Chair must in particular consider whether:

* The person played, or may have played, a direct and significant role in relation to the matters to which the inquiry relates
* The person has a significant interest in an important aspect of the matters to which the inquiry relates
* The person may be subject to explicit or significant criticism during the inquiry proceedings or in the report, or in any interim report

A person ceases to be a core participant either on a date specified by the Chair in writing or at the end of the inquiry.

It is not necessary to be a core participant in order to provide evidence to the Inquiry. A witness may provide evidence to the Inquiry either by providing a witness statement or documents. Witnesses also may be asked to attend to give oral evidence during a public hearing. Witnesses may be legally represented if they wish and section 40 of the Inquiries Act 2005 gives the Chair the power to award expenses and legal costs to those who provide the Inquiry with evidence, whether they are core participants or not.

A core participant has a formal role as defined by legislation. Core participants are individuals, organisations or institutions that have a significant interest in the work of the Inquiry.Their role is restricted to the particular Inquiry investigation for which they have been granted core participant status, not the entire Inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Chair announces five outstanding core participant decisions in the Anglican Church investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

29 April

On Friday 22 April the Inquiry announced all of the core participant application results apart from five from the Anglican Church investigation which remained to be considered. These have now been decided and of the five applications from complainants, victims and survivors, two have been granted and three have been declined. This means that of the overall total of 94 core participant applications received, 82 were granted and 12 were declined.

In the Anglican Church investigation, a total of 43 applications were received. The Inquiry granted 36 applications as core participants - 26 to individual complainants, victims and survivors, one to Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group, eight to organisations and institutions and one perpetrator. 7 applications were declined.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Hundreds report sex abuse to royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Amanda Banks - The West Australian on May 1, 2016

More than 320 WA institutions have been reported to the royal commission into child sex abuse, which has held almost 600 private sessions to hear the stories of WA victims.

Details of the extent of the commission’s investigations in WA were revealed yesterday as the inquiry announced it had been so inundated with requests for private sessions that it had set a September 30 cut-off for applications from people wanting to tell their story.

Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan said demand for private sessions, which started almost three years ago, had exceeded expectations and showed no signs of easing.

Nationally, the commission has spoken to 5111 people who have told their stories of sex abuse in institutions. It has accepted another 1544 people who are in a queue for private sessions. Over the past year, an average of 37 people a week sought the private hearings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

MO--Member of Toledo-based church group is sentenced

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

for immediate release: Saturday, April 30, 2016, 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)

Yesterday, a serial predator priest - who for years belonged to a Toledo-based Catholic group – was sentenced to 40 years for crimes in Michigan. For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope he stays behind bars for as long as possible.

[BishopAccountability.org]

[Detroit Free Press]

[WILX]

We're grateful that Fr. James Francis Rapp was charged again, pled guilty to more child sex crimes.

Fr. Rapp has already been convicted on other child sex charges and is imprisoned in Oklahoma. So it would have been easy for law enforcement to look the other way when more victims surfaced.

But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed more child sex charges against him for molesting kids at Jackson Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson in the 1980s.

Once a child molester is convicted, many people who could be helpful get complacent. They assume his sentence will stand, his appeals will fail, and he’ll be kept away from kids for many years. But often, child molesters – especially clerics – get top notch defense lawyers, exploit legal technicalities, and escape with little or no jail time. Then, when other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers find this out, it’s too late for them to really make a difference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Slowik: Sexual predators use power to silence victims with fear, lies

ILLINOIS
Daily Southtown

Ted Slowik
Daily Southtown

It's difficult to grasp the power that child sex predators hold over their prey. The fear they instill in their victims and the convincing lies they tell are keys to understanding people like Dennis Hastert, who U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin said was a "serial molester."

The stunning revelation of Hastert as the highest-ranking American politician known to have publicly admitted to sexually abusing minors deserves exploration of tough questions. How could a monster with such dark secrets achieve such power? Why did his victims remain silent for so long? What motivates victims to pursue compensation from those responsible for their suffering?

For help finding answers, I reached out to Tim Placher, an attorney and teacher who won awards for his Southtown columns describing his experience being abused by a priest as a teen.

Placher agreed to share his insight with readers and offer the perspective of a survivor who surrendered his privacy in pursuit of accountability.

Threads connect Placher's abuse by the late Rev. Richard Ruffalo to the teen boys abused by Hastert, including Scott Cross, brother of former state representative and Illinois House Majority Leader Tom Cross. Their experiences happened in the 1970s and included despicable acts committed by men of power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

St. George's sex-abuse scandal: Rev. 'Howdy' White's trail of trauma

UNITED STATES
Providence Journal

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

Jacqueline Tempera
Journal Staff Writer

Posted Apr. 30, 2016

In December 1966, the Charleston Daily Mail noted the ordination of Howard W. White Jr. as an Episcopal priest in West Virginia.

White, like all other Episcopal ordinates, vowed to follow the teachings of Christ and be "a wholesome example" to his people.

White's first assignment, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Martinsburg, West Virginia, lasted less than a year. He moved, and moved again, from parishes to elite boarding schools, from prep schools to churches, from state to state and within states. New Hampshire. Rhode Island. Virginia. North Carolina. Pennsylvania.

Along the way, White's accusers say, he left trail of wrecked and broken lives. The allegations of sexual abuse span decades and distance.

A godson. A boy who says he lived with White in a rectory and fled to the streets. A teenage parishioner who says White molested her at the same church. A former St. George's School student. All between 10 and 15 years old. Two of whom have recently stepped forward in North Carolina.

In 1974, St. George's in Middletown quietly fired the Rev."Howdy" White after he admitted sexual misconduct, but did not report him to authorities despite a mandatory reporting law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Ex-Naperville priest gets prison for child sex crimes in Michigan

ILLINOIS
Naperville Sun

Bill Bird
Naperville Sun

A former Roman Catholic priest once assigned to St. Raphael Church in Naperville was sentenced Friday to between 20 and 40 years in prison for sexually abusing students in the 1980s while a high school teacher in Michigan.

James Rapp, 75, served in the Roman Catholic Church Diocese of Joliet between 1987 and 1990. That included his tenure at St. Raphael Church, at 1215 Modaff Road in Naperville's West Highlands neighborhood.

Rapp is completing a 20-year term in an Oklahoma prison for sexually molesting children while serving as a priest in that state. He was convicted Friday of a total of six counts of criminal sexual conduct while a priest, teacher and athletic coach at Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson, Mich., located in the south-central part of the state about 40 miles west of Ann Arbor.

A judge heard more than two hours of testimony from six men who described in detail how Rapp molested them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

KS--Predator priests in K.C. are “outed;” Victims respond

KANSAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, March 4, 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)

In the new issue of his church newsletter, Archbishop Joseph Naumann is finally admitting that two of his priests are accused of sexually exploited adults.

[The Leaven]

But there’s another Kansas City Kansas archdiocesan predator – Fr. Paul Hosler – who has committed the same devastating, manipulative self-serving sexual misconduct. Naumann continues, however, to keep silent about Fr. Hosler, as he done for years.

We suspect there are several other similar offenders still in eastern Kansas parishes. We hope their victims will come forward soon too.

The two “outed” wrongdoers today are:

--Fr. Anthony Kiplagat, who’s reportedly fled back home to Kenya from his parishes in Osage City and Scranton, &

--Fr. George Seuferling, who faces multiple allegations, was suspended more than four years ago, and now is reportedly being defrocked (a process that involves the Vatican and often takes years).

Perhaps the most tragic part of these latest grudging and partial disclosures is that – just like the Fr. Shawn Ratigan case in Kansas City Missouri – innocent parishioners were hurt because a bishop opted for secrecy instead of openness and put his own comfort and convenience ahead of the safety and well-being of his flock. It’s just heart-breaking.

And now, Naumann’s taking the easy way out by trying to defrock Fr. Seuferling. Instead, Naumann should be ordering him into a treatment center, giving his personnel file to law enforcement, visiting his old parishes, and begging victims to call police so he might be prosecuted. That’s what a caring shepherd would do.

Our hearts ache for the victims of all three priests. We especially ache for those who were manipulated and betrayed by Fr. Seuferling after Naumann knew of his sexual misconduct but kept silent (and refused to handle those reports properly and put Fr. Seuferling in a facility so he couldn’t hurt others.) And we ache most especially for anyone he hurt in El Buen Pastor, a community in El Salvador that has worked with Good Shepherd Catholic Community in Shawnee Kansas for more than 20 years.

We worry that Fr. Seuferling will hurt others in the future, especially because, as Naumann admits, he’s disobeyed previous restrictions in the past, so why should he obey any restrictions now? And of course we worry that the other two clerics will also hurt others again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Vatican Intervention

UNITED STATES
Amazon

This is the true story of the bizarre, historic case of Andrew Lee Sullivan.

He exposes the hidden and outrageous world of a budding Catholic institute. A discarded insider and captive in an apartment near Rome, the once broken priest with suicidal tendencies survives. He shares his ordeal and bares his soul with raw sincerity.

In 1979, an idealistic and naïve Sullivan leaves California and joins a wannabe religious order named Miles Jesu. Two tragic but unclear realities threaten his future. The young man has a condition that retards the proper development of his emotional life. The eighteen year old unwittingly joins a cult. These two menaces trigger gradual human destruction. Life deteriorates into a victim’s futile attempts to endure a virtual sociopath.

Then a miracle of overwhelming love bursts in the soul of Father Sullivan. Secrets of the power of love, Jesus’ love transform him. All hell breaks loose. Breakneck emotional development surges. His only path to human salvation is to escape into the Vatican and face his worst fears. He must risk his future and unmask the cult to seize his freedom. Sullivan must face the consequences of feeling divine and human love for the first time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Kincora abuse victim to appeal court ruling

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Alan Erwin
PUBLISHED
30/04/2016

An abuse victim is to appeal his failed legal attempt to have claims that senior politicians, businessmen and high-level British state agents connived in a paedophile ring at a notorious Belfast care home examined by a Westminster inquiry.

Earlier this month the High Court dismissed Gary Hoy's bid for a judicial review into the decision to keep the Kincora scandal probe within the remit of a Stormont-commissioned body.

But the 54-year-old's legal team will now mount an urgent attempt to have that verdict overturned. Judges at the Court of Appeal yesterday listed the renewed challenge for a hearing next month.

Mr Hoy's solicitor, Claire McKeegan of KRW Law, said later: "The applicant and all survivors of abuse at Kincora are vulnerable individuals and should not have to relive the trauma of that abuse by going through this process more than once.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Fiscalía apeló la preventiva domiciliaria del sacerdote

ARGENTINA
La Opinion

[Prosecutor Ruben Martinez presented yesterday an appeal against the decision to grant home detention priest Nestor Monzon (47) of Reconquista who is accused of sexual abuse of minors.]

El fiscal Rubén Martínez presentó ayer un recurso de apelación contra la decisión de otorgar prisión preventiva domiciliaria al sacerdote Néstor Monzón (47) de Reconquista.

La apelación realizada por el funcionario del Ministerio Público de la Acusación, se enmarca en la investigación en la cual el sacerdote está imputado por el delito de "abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante, agravado por la condición de ser un ministro de un culto religioso reconocido y por producir un grave daño en la salud de la víctima".

Recordemos que el miércoles último, el sacerdote Monzón, tuvo malas noticias, ya que la Abadía Benedictina del Niño Dios, en Victoria, Entre Ríos, donde el hombre iba a cumplir una condena domiciliaria de 60 días no aceptó recibir al sacerdote abusador. "El cura Monzón no ha estado, no está, ni va a estar en la Abadía", fue la respuesta del abad benedictino Carlos Oberti a la prensa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Priest suspended after flashing teen

WISCONSIN
WHBY

A retired priest in the Green Bay Catholic Diocese is banned from performing church services, after Brown County prosecutors charged him with exposing himself to a teen.

Court records accuse Rev. Richard Thomas of repeatedly flashing the boy last month. Prosecutors say it was happening when the child walked past the retirement home where Thomas lives in Allouez.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Fake Nuns Try to Save Spanish Sex Priest

SPAIN
The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Two devotees have undergone chastity exams to defend their sect’s ex-Catholic prelate, who stands accused of telling female followers his ‘holy’ semen would purify them.

ROME — Some people will do anything for love—even deny it.

Or at least that’s what it appears two Spanish pseudo-nuns have done in an attempt to save Feliciano Miguel Rosendo, a priest who has been accused of forcing them to take part in orgies by claiming his semen was holy and represented the “body of Christ” and would “purify” them.

The nuns reportedly agreed to virginity tests in the Spanish town of Tui to prove that they hadn’t had carnal relations with the prelate, despite eyewitness accounts that imply at least some sexual contact.

Rosendo was arrested in December 2014 on charges of sex abuse and tax crimes associated with the Order of Saint Michael Archangel, a Roman Catholic sect whose choir performed for Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 during his apostolic voyage to Madrid. After allegations of sexual escapades and money laundering surfaced, the Vatican relieved Rosendo of his duties—after which the prelate simply changed the name of his sect to the Voice of Serviam and apparently carried on with business as usual, unusual as it might have been.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

In Newfoundland, hope is on the rise

CANADA
Catholic Register

Fr. Raymond de Souza
April 29, 2016

ST. JOHN’S, NFLD. – There it was, on the front page of the St. John’s Telegram, a detailed discussion of the sacramental seal of the confessional, and rather fairly done too.

For what reason? It was not for lack of news. My first ever visit to Newfoundland coincided with a number of major stories. There was the inaugural budget of the new Liberal government, which raised taxes on everything that moved, cut services and still booked a whopping $1.8 billion deficit (more than 20 per cent of total government spending). The Liberals will take the heat, but it was the Progressive Conservatives in power from 2003-2015 who deserve the blame, having squandered the oil boom. Then there was the resignation of the CEO of Nalcor, along with the entire board of directors. Nalcor is the Newfoundland crown corporation established in 2007 to manage the province’s energy industry. And for good measure, St. John’s was hit with the worst April storm in its history — 49 cm of snow and howling winds that rendered the city impassable. If a visitor needed reminding that Newfoundland really is in the middle of the north Atlantic, closer to Iceland than to Vancouver Island, the “spring” storm was sufficient.

So with all that going on, why were Catholic matters on the front page? It was coverage of the Mount Cashel trial. Yes, more than 25 years after the revelations of the horrific abuse at the Irish Christian Brothers orphanage, it is in the courts again. The Christian Brothers in Canada have long since been liquidated, the government of Newfoundland has paid compensation to the victims, the Mount Cashel building itself has been torn down and a supermarket built on the site — but there is a new trial. A civil trial, a test case brought on behalf of victims, charging that the Archdiocese of St. John’s itself should be held “vicariously liable” for the abuse at the orphanage, even though it was not an archdiocesan entity, either according to civil law or canon law. The trial will resume hearing testimony in June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

'Deetman intimideerde om parlementaire enquête kerkmisbruik te voorkomen'

NEDERLAND
Volkskrant

Wim Deetman heeft bestuursleden van de slachtofferorganisatie KLOKK (Koepel Landelijk Overleg Kerkelijk Kindermisbruik) onder druk gezet om een parlementaire enquête over seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk te voorkomen. Deetman, die namens de kerk zelf het misbruik had onderzocht, zou tijdens een gesprek in Den Haag de bestuursleden hebben 'geïntimideerd'. Hierop besloten ze, volgens het radioprogramma Argos, de Tweede Kamer niet langer om een enquête te vragen.

Vier bestuursleden van KLOKK bevestigen in het programma Argos, dat zaterdag op NPO Radio 1 wordt uitgezonden, dat ze door Deetman onder druk zijn gezet en erkennen te hebben toegegeven aan de 'intimidatie'.

Uit e-mails die Argos in handen heeft zou blijken dat de secretaris van Deetman, Bert Kreemers, al langer druk uitoefende op Klokk om de eis van een parlementaire enquête te laten varen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Deetman raadde parlementaire enquête dringend af

NEDERLAND
1 Limburg

[Wim Deetman asked board members of victim advocacy Klokk in a compelling way to abandon a parliamentary inquiry. The allegation was made on the NPO Radio 1 program Argos which is broadcast Saturday afternoon. Deetman led a committee that investigated abuse in the Catholic Church.]

Wim Deetman vroeg bestuursleden van slachtofferbelangenorganisatie KLOKK op dwingende wijze af te zien van een parlementaire enquête.

Dat blijkt uit een onderzoek van het NPO Radio 1-programma Argos dat zaterdagmiddag wordt uitgezonden.

Tienduizenden kinderen

CDA'er Deetman leidde een commissie die onafhankelijk onderzoek deed naar seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk. Het misbruik kwam in 2010 naar buiten. Tienduizenden kinderen bleken in de jaren 50, 60 en 70 op katholieke seminaires en internaten door geestelijken te zijn misbruikt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

DIE SCHATTENSEITE DER KIRCHE

PARAGUAY
Cafe Paraguay

DANIEL WIENS KEINE KOMMENTARE 29. APRIL 2016

Verschiedene Pressemitglieder der Zeitung „La Nación“ haben im vergangenen Monat eine eigene Untersuchung durchgeführt, wobei sie sich auf einen Fall der katholischen Kirche gestürzt haben, um die Wahrheit ans Licht zu bringen – ähnlich wie im aktuell sehr berühmten Kinofilm „Spotlight“.

Es geht in dieser Untersuchung um einen argentinischen Pfarrer der katholischen Kirche, namens Carlos Ibáñez, der in Argentinien mit sexuellen Missbrauch angeklagt wurde. Warum das für Paraguay relevant ist? Dieser Pfarrer ist 1993 nach Paraguay geflohen, wurde tatsächlich festgenommen und ins Gefängnis gesetzt, aber trotzdem nach einem Jahr frei gelassen. Die katholische Kirche entnahm ihn aus dem Gefängnis, und so konnte er weiterhin seinen Ruf als Pfarrer in Paraguay ausleben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Deetman intimideerde slachtoffers om enquête te voorkomen

NEDERLAND
NRC

[Wim Deetman pressured board members of the victim organization called Klokk to avoid a parliamentary inquiry into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Deetman investigated abuse on behalf of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands.]

Wim Deetman heeft bestuursleden van slachtofferorganisatie KLOKK onder druk gezet om een parlementaire enquête over seksueel misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk te voorkomen. Deetman, die namens de Kerk zelf het misbruik onderzocht, deed dat tijdens een gesprek op 30 maart 2012 in Den Haag. Na te zijn „geïntimideerd” door Deetman besloten de bestuursleden de Tweede Kamer niet langer om een enquête te vragen. Die was daarmee van de baan.

Dat onthult radioprogramma Argos deze zaterdag. Vier bestuursleden bevestigen door Deetman onder druk gezet te zijn, en te zijn gezwicht.

Uit e-mails in handen van Argos blijkt ook dat de secretaris van Deetman, Bert Kreemers, al langer druk uitoefende op KLOKK. Zo mailde hij KLOKK-voorzitter Guido Klabbers dat er wat hem betreft „genoeg onderzocht” was. „Ik gun het jou van harte dat mevrouw Arib, mevrouw Gesthuizen en meneer Dibi dat onderzoek [van de commissie-Deetman] nog eens dunnetjes overdoen, maar ik heb niet de innerlijke overtuiging dat ze nog met iets nieuws komen.” Volgens Kreemers is de Tweede Kamer „geen onderzoeksinstituut” en horen onder ede „een farce”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Greek Orthodox Priest’s Sex Abuse Conviction Upheld

MAINE
The Greek Reporter

By Evgenia Choros - Apr 29, 2016

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld the conviction of a former Greek Orthodox priest on sex charges involving a former altar boy.

Adam Metropoulos, 53, of Bangor was sentenced a year ago to 12 years in prison. The Bangor man is currently serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for four counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

The Superior Court found Metropoulos guilty on four felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor following a jury-waived trial in March 2015. The charges stemmed from the former priest’s sexual assault on a 15-year-old altar server at the church in 2006 and 2007. The former altar boy at St. George Greek Orthodox Church said that he was sexually assaulted by Metropoulos as a teenager. The man, now 23, testified that Metropoulos “stole his life.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

'You're a sinner': how a Mormon university shames rape victims

UTAH
The Guardian (UK)

Maria L La Ganga in Provo, Utah and Dan Hernandez
Saturday 30 April 2016

Madi Barney sat sobbing in the Provo, Utah, police department. It had been four days since the Brigham Young University sophomore had been raped in her off-campus apartment.

She was scared – terrified – that the officials at her strict, Mormon university would find out and punish her.

Nonsense, the officers told her, they’ll never know, and they won’t hurt you. But a month or so later, there she was with her attorney in Brigham Young University’s Title IX office – a place where rape victims are supposed to get help – and offered an ultimatum by a university official.

Barney was told the school “had received a police report in which ‘A) it looks like you’ve been raped and B) it also looks like you may have violated the honor code’”, she recounted, and that “I was going to be forwarded to the honor code office unless I let them investigate me. I said absolutely not.”

The university has told Barney that she cannot register for future classes. She is no longer welcome at the institution her father attended before her, along with aunts and uncles and two cousins, a university that devout families consider the Harvard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Pastor Held for Sexual Abuse in West Godavari District

INDIA
New Indian Express

ELURU: The police have taken a pastor into custody on the charges of sexual harassment of girls at Nimmalagudem village in Buttayagudem agency mandal of West Godavari district on Friday.

According to the police, Chode Suresh of Nimmalagudem village in Buttayagudem village was running an unauthorised children’s home at Nimmalagudem village since 2010. He sheltered Class 10 and Intermediate girls from Ramannagudem and Nimmalagudem villages in the mandal.

Recently, said the police, he began sexual harassment of Class 10 and Intermediate girls. A fortnight ago, a Class X girl went back home unable to bear the harassment and told her family members about his behaviour. With this, the other parents too brought back their children from the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

'If there is a hell, you deserve to be first in line,' victims speak in former priest's sentencing

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Benjamin Raven | braven@mlive.com

JACKSON, MI — James Rapp's Friday, April 29 sentencing wasn't just about how long the former high school priest and coach would spend in prison.

It was about giving the 75-year-old former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest's victims a chance to tell their stories and confront the man they once viewed as an authoritative, respected figure.

Six of James Rapp's victims provided gripping, detailed testimonials of how the former priest and coach abused them and affected their lives. Some remained anonymous, but others made the choice to make themselves known in court.

Rapp, who is currently serving a 40-year prison term in Oklahoma where he pleaded no contest to lewd molestation, was sentenced to up to 40 more years in prison by Jackson County Circuit Judge Susan Beebe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Former Michigan priest sentenced for sexual abuse, will serve up to 40 years

MICHIGAN
KRON

JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – Six of James Rapp’s victims came forward to talk about how the former Lumen Christi wrestling coach and priest changed their lives forever.

“I wish we were here under different circumstances today to put a person like him to sleep…I know to this day that I could have been a different person had this not happened,” said victim Andrew Russell.

“He knelt besides a bed I was in. He had a bed. Held my hand, said the Lord’s prayer and then climbed in bed with me and had his way with me,” said another victim John C. Wood.

The 75-year old Rapp pleaded no contest to three counts of first degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and three counts of second degree Criminal Sexual Conduct back in March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Ex-Priest Gets 20-40 Years In Prison For Sexual Assault

MICHIGAN
NDTV

Associated Press

JACKSON, MICHIGAN: Victims confronted a former Roman Catholic priest in court on Friday as he was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for sexually abusing students at a Michigan high school in the 1980s.

A judge heard more than two hours of testimony from six men who described in detail how James Rapp molested them. Rapp coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson.

"His crime and position was a murder on my soul," Andy Russell said. "He's a monster and his path of destruction extends far further than it ever should have."

The Associated Press doesn't typically identify victims of sexual abuse, but Russell has talked publicly to the Jackson Citizen Patriot about what happened at the school.

In February, Rapp, 75, pleaded no contest to criminal sexual conduct. He was in prison in Oklahoma for similar crimes when he was charged in Michigan last year. He worked in Philadelphia; Salt Lake City; Naperville, Illinois; Duncan, Oklahoma; Jackson, Michigan and Lockport, New York before he was defrocked as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

April 29, 2016

DPPs reject proposal for more oversight at royal commission discussion

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

April 29, 2016

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

Australia's most senior public prosecutors have rejected a suggestion that their decisions should be subject to judicial review at a discussion about how the criminal justice system manages sexual abuse cases.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse invited Directors of Public Prosecutions from each state and territory as well as victims' rights advocates to the meeting to examine the question of external oversight of DPPs and whether there should be avenues for victims to seek a review of a decision not to prosecute.

The DPPs rejected the necessity for a judicial review of the reasons for their decisions, saying findings could be reviewed internally if necessary.

They also unanimously argued against a suggestion that an independent inspector be appointed to audit the processes of the DPPs in each state and territory.

Most DPPs undertake internal audits, with the results published in their annual reports.

Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan suggested greater oversight and transparency would improve public confidence in the criminal justice system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Charged, retired priest says he was 'already seeking treatment'

WISCONSIN
Fox 11

[with video]

BY ANDREW LACOMBE, FOX 11 NEWS FRIDAY, APRIL 29TH 2016

ALLOUEZ (WLUK) — A volunteer with a support group for people abused by priests is raising questions after Rev. Richard Thomas, a retired Diocese of Green Bay priest, was charged Thursday for allegedly exposing himself four times last month to a 16-year-old boy when the boy was walking to school.

Thomas was living in Grellinger Hall, a home for retired priests in Allouez.

According to the criminal complaint, Thomas told investigators at the time of his arrest that "he is already seeking treatment."

"Why was he already in it if this was his first experience with some kind of sexual impropriety?" asked Alice Hodek.

Hodek is the Green Bay coordinator the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

"I'd like to know if there have been allegations against him before," said Hodek.

In a statement, the diocese says it is fully cooperating in the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Kincora victim to appeal failed attempt to have abuse examined by Westminster inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish News

An abuse victim is to appeal his failed legal attempt to have claims that senior politicians, businessmen and state agents connived in a paedophile ring at a notorious Belfast care home examined by a Westminster inquiry.

Earlier this month the High Court dismissed Gary Hoy's bid to judicially review the decision to keep the probe into the Kincora scandal within the remit of a Stormont-commissioned body.

But his legal team are now to mount an urgent attempt to have that verdict overturned.

Judges at the Court of Appeal yesterday listed the renewed challenge for a hearing next month.

Mr Hoy's solicitor, Claire McKeegan of KRW Law, said later: "The applicant and all survivors of abuse at Kincora are vulnerable individuals and should not have to relive the trauma of that abuse by going through this process more than once.

"They are entitled to an investigation which has the powers to get to the truth. An urgent appeal has been lodged seeking to achieve exactly that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Former priest/teacher gets up to 40 years behind bars for criminal sexual conduct

MICHIGAN
WLNS

JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – A former Roman Catholic priest has learned his sentence after pleading no contest to sexual abuse charges that date back to the 1980s.

James Rapp pleaded no contest back in February.

On Friday 75-year-old Rapp was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison for three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct.

Defense attorney Alfred Brandt told a Jackson County judge back in February that Rapp coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach at Lumen Christi High School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Assignment History– Rev. John Paul McManus, S.S.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: John P. McManus was ordained for the Society of St. Sulpice in 1940. He worked in the Archdioceses of Baltimore MD, Washington DC, San Francisco CA, Detroit MI, and Seattle WA. Most of his career was spent as a faculty member for seminaries, including almost 20 years at St. Edward's minor seminary in Kenmore WA. He died in 1986. McManus's name was included on the Archdiocese of Seattle's list January 15, 2016 of clergy and religious with admitted, established or credible allegations against them of sexual abuse of a minor.

Ordained: 1940
Died: June 21, 1986

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Former high school priest sentenced to 40 years for 6 counts of criminal sexual conduct

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Benjamin Raven | braven@mlive.com

JACKSON, MI — A former Jackson Lumen Christi High School priest was sentenced to 40 years in prison before a barrage of cameras, friends and families of his victims.

The sentence came Friday, April 29, in a Jackson County Circuit courtroom after six of James Rapp's victims provided more than two hours of gripping, detailed testimonials of how the former priest and coach abused them and affected their lives.

Some remained anonymous, but others made the choice to make themselves known in court.

Photos of victims were placed on a table in front of Jackson County Circuit Judge Susan Beebe and in plain sight of Rapp, his attorney Alfred Brandt and Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaiti, who prosecuted the case.

All but one of the photos were black and white and ranged in date from the 1970s to the early 1990s. They represent the victims at the age they were abused by Rapp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

Vatican prosecution witnesses testify at 'VatiLeaks' trial

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Register

BY JUNNO AROCHO ESTEVES, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
April 29, 2016

VATICAN CITY – The first witnesses called by the Vatican prosecution in a case involving leaked documents testified about suspicious secret meetings and excessive photocopying of sensitive documents.

Three former and current staff members of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See took the stand in the Vatican courtroom in late April during the trial of Spanish Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, his former executive secretary and assistant, Nicola Maio, and Francesca Chaouqui, a member of the former Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA).

The defendants are accused of leaking documents about Vatican finances and financial reform to Italian journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.

Stefano Fralleoni, former accountant general of the prefecture, took the stand April 26, and said COSEA's investigations into the Vatican's finances, including those of the prefecture, caused a "fracture" within the office's staff. Fralleoni said he felt he was considered an "enemy" by Vallejo Balda and Msgr. Alfredo Abbondi, another official who worked at the prefecture.

Although not members of the commission, Abbondi and Maio often would meet behind closed doors with Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui, which led to further suspicions and tensions among the prefecture staff, Fralleoni said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Justice for Irene: Former priest on trial for 1960 beauty queen murder

TEXAS
News 4

[with video]

BY DELAINE MATHIEU, NEWS 4 SAN ANTONIO

SAN ANTONIO — It was one of the oldest cold cases in Texas: the murder of Irene Garza in McAllen in 1960. Now, as a former priest awaits trial for the crime, there are concerns by some who question if Irene will get justice.

She was a beauty queen from McAllen who melted hearts all over the Rio Grande Valley.

"That's the way I remember her," said Carlos Cantu, a family friend. "She was just very very special because of her beauty and she had a very soft voice when she spoke, you know."

Timeline

She was only 25 when she died. Her brutal murder on Easter Weekend in 1960 sent fear through the streets of this South Texas town.

It would take 56 years before the only suspect in the case, ex-priest John Feit, would be charged for the crime. The 83-year-old was extradited from Arizona in March after newly-elected Hidalgo County District Attorney, Ricardo Rodriguez, took on the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

French cardinal admits errors on abuse, meets with archdiocesan priests

FRANCE
National Catholic Reporter

Catholic News Service | Apr. 29, 2016

LYON, FRANCE
A French cardinal under judicial investigation over his handling of sexual abuse accusations against clergy admitted making mistakes and unveiled new anti-abuse measures at a meeting with local priests.

"The cardinal has accepted the archdiocese committed errors in managing and nominating certain priests and has reiterated how important it is for victims of sexual abuse by clergy to see their right to truth and justice recognized," the Lyon archdiocese said.

The statement was published in French newspapers following a Monday meeting between Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and 220 priests from the eastern archdiocese, which has been hit hard by abuse accusations.

France's Catholic La Croix daily said the three-hour closed meeting in a Lyon suburb included testimony from at least one victim. It said participants described the atmosphere as "fraternal but noncomplacent" and said some priests had made "virulent criticisms" of the cardinal's conduct, while others urged clergy to "stick together."

In its statement, the archdiocese said the gathering had "unanimously determined to reinforce the struggle against pedophilia in the church," by strengthening clergy formation and "establishing new criteria" for future appointments. The statement said a "listening cell" would be set up for victims to discuss their needs with clinical psychologists, and a "college of experts," meeting twice monthly, would "study and analyze" the cases of accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

MI--Predator priest/wrestling coach sentenced today; Victims respond

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, April 29,2016

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)

Today, a serial predator priest who is in prison in Oklahoma will be sentenced for more crimes in Michigan. For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope he gets the most stern sentence possible.

[WILX]

We're grateful that Fr. James Francis Rapp was charged again and pled guilty to more child sex crimes.

Fr. Rapp has already been convicted on other child sex charges and is imprisoned. So it would have been easy for law enforcement to look the other way when more victims surfaced.

But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed more child sex charges against him for molesting kids at Jackson Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson in the 1980s.

Once a child molester is convicted, many people who could be helpful get complacent. They assume his sentence will stand, his appeals will fail, and he’ll be kept away from kids for many years. But often, child molesters – especially clerics – get top notch defense lawyers, exploit legal technicalities, and escape with little or no jail time. Then, when other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers find this out, it’s too late for them to really make a difference.

So we’re glad Schuette was prudent, pro-active and successful here. Now, the odds that Rapp will ever walk free are even slimmer. And more of his victims feel vindicated.

There are two important lessons. First, these days, police and prosecutors are often more aggressive and creative about pursing child predators, even in older cases. (The old adage “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” fits here.) More law enforcement officials should follow Schuette’s example and consider going after even elderly child molesting clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Ex-youth leader at Colonial Heights church sentenced to 25 years for abusing 7 boys

VIRGINIA
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2016

By MARK BOWES Richmond Times-Dispatch

A former volunteer youth group leader at Immanuel Baptist Church in Colonial Heights has been sentenced to serve 25 years for sexually abusing seven boys between 12 and 17 years old he met through the church’s youth organization.

Jeffrey D. Clark, 46, molested the majority of the victims after they said Clark gave them alcohol, marijuana or sleeping medication, prosecutors in Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights said.
Clark molested two of the victims, 12 and 16, in Colonial Heights, including one incident that occurred in the youth room at Immanuel Baptist Church at 620 Lafayette Avenue.

The five other boys, 12 to 17, were abused in Chesterfield County, where Clark lived in the 3400 block of Burnettedale Drive.

The abuse occurred between 2010 and 2015 and ranged from fondling to sodomy, authorities said.

“The young men who came forward were very brave and courageous,” said Chesterfield Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Erin Barr. “They saved a number of future victims from ever having to experience the trauma of sexual abuse by this man. They should be recognized for that along with the friends and family who believed them and stood by them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

Church Shielded Abusive Priest, Man Says

NEW YORK
Courthouse News Service

By NICK DIVITO

MINEOLA, NY (CN) — A New Yorker filed suit against a Catholic Church on Long Island that he says keeps his abuser in active ministry, despite mounting complaints.

Sean Kiefaber says he was between 5 and 7 years old from 2001 to 2003 when the Rev. Gregory Yacyshyn sexually molested him during after-school youth programs at the St. Francis of Assisi parish in Greenlawn, N.Y.

The Diocese of Rockville Center ordained Yacyshyn in 1998, and St. Francis is one of three parishes where Yacyshyn has worked over the years, according to the complaint, filed Monday in Nassau County Supreme Court.

Newsday quoted the diocese this week as saying it "intends to address the claims vigorously in a court of law."

Kiefaber's suit comes about three months after a woman named Kaitlyn Monghan brought similar claims against the Rockville Center diocese, the St. Francis parish and the Rev. Yacyshyn. The priest is not a defendant to Kiefaber's suit, however, which takes aim only at the parish and diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Missbrauchsfälle: Wieviel Transparenz will die Kirche?

DEUTSCHLAND
SRF

[Abuse cases: How much transparency will the Church allow?]

Klaus Mertes deckte 2010 einen der grössten Missbrauchsfälle in der katholischen Kirche auf. Über Jahre hinweg hatten zwei Patres am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin hunderte von Schülern missbraucht. Mertes machte die Fälle öffentlich und wurde bald darauf in einen kleinen Ort im Schwarzwald versetzt.

Als Klaus Mertes Kolleg-Rektor in Berlin war, haben sich ihm zwei ehemalige Schüler anvertraut. Er hat daraufhin sämtliche Schüler der betroffenen Jahrgänge des Canisius-Kollegs angeschrieben und nach ihren Erlebnissen mit Patres gefragt. Es stellte sich heraus, dass Hunderte missbraucht wurden, ohne dass es Konsequenzen für die Übeltäter gegeben hätte.

Mertes übernahm die Verantwortung für das Vertuschen und das Schweigen in seiner Kirche. Er brach ein Tabu, ging an die Öffentlichkeit und entschuldigte sich für seine katholische Kirche. Er erhielt jede Menge Preise, darunter in der Schweiz den Herbert-Haag-Preis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Verjährte Sex-Übergriffe: Schweizer Bischöfe zahlen 300'000 Franken in Fonds

SCHWEIZ
cath.ch

[Les évêques suisses versent 300'000 francs pour les victimes d'abus sexuels]

[Swiss victims of sexual assault in a church environment whose cases are time-barred and who many of are of an advanced age will soon receive a financial contribution from the Catholic church. The Swiss Bishops' Conference (SBK) and the religious communities and the Roman Catholic Central Conference (RKZ) have so far pledged 460,000 francs for this fund.]

Zürich, 28.4.16 (kath.ch) Opfer von sexuellen Übergriffen im kirchlichen Umfeld, deren Fall bereits verjährt ist und die zum Teil in vorgerücktem Alter sind, sollen bald einen finanziellen Beitrag seitens der Kirche erhalten: Die Schweizer Bischofskonferenz (SBK), die Ordensgemeinschaften und die Römisch-Katholische Zentralkonferenz (RKZ) haben bisher 460’000 Franken für diesen Fonds zugesagt, wie Giorgio Prestele, Präsident des Fachgremiums sexuelle Übergriffe im kirchlichen Umfeld, gegenüber kath.ch sagte.

Sylvia Stam

Mit einer halben Million soll der Fonds für verjährte Fälle geäufnet werden, sagt Giorgio Prestele, Präsident des Fachgremiums sexuelle Übergriffe im kirchlichen Umfeld der SBK. Die Bistümer hätten einen Beitrag von 300’000 Franken zugesagt. «Diese Rückmeldungen sind sehr rasch gekommen, das war überhaupt kein Thema!», betont Prestele. Nun hat auch die RKZ, der Zusammenschluss der kantonalen Körperschaften, einen Betrag von 150’000 Franken zugesichert. Die als Verein organisierte Vereinigung der Höhern Ordensobern (VOS’USM), die über wenig finanzielle Mittel verfügt, hat 10’000 Franken zugesagt. Prestele hofft für die fehlenden 40’000 Franken auf Ordensgemeinschaften, von denen man annehmen kann, dass sie über Geld verfügen, etwa Klöster grösserer Wallfahrtsorte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Un prêtre mis en cause pour des abus sexuels sur mineurs dans les années 1990

FRANCE
La Vie

[A priest of the Bayonne diocese in France is indicted for sexual abuse of minors in the 1990s.]

Une nouvelle affaire de pédophilie remonte à la surface, cette fois dans le diocèse de Bayonne. Le P. Sarramagnan fait ainsi l’objet d’une enquête judiciaire pour agression sexuelle, rapporte Le Point. Mgr Marc Aillet a saisi la justice le 15 avril, soit trois jours après la réunion des évêques de France, le 12 avril, sur la thématique ultra-sensible des cas de pédophilie en son sein. Mais le prêtre incriminé animait encore le 6 février une Journée diocésaine organisée pour des collégiens.

Dans les années 1990, le prêtre aurait agressé un mineur de 12 ans, puis une jeune fille majeure en 2007. Alertés depuis vingt-cinq ans, les évêques successifs n’en avaient jamais informé la justice avant le signalement au procureur de la mère d’une victime, fin 2015, selon Mediapart, qui s’étonne de ce que le prêtre avait encore des responsabilités en paroisse et comme adjoint au directeur diocésain de l’enseignement catholique à Bayonne, « il y a encore quinze jours ».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Sexueller Missbrauch erschüttert die Kirche

FRANKREICH
Deutschland Funk

[Sexual abuse shakes the Church in France.]

Von Bettina Kaps

Aymeri Suarez-Pazos weiß, dass er schwere Vorwürfe formuliert, aber der Vorsitzende des französischen Selbsthilfevereins AVREF ist sich seiner Sache absolut sicher. Übersetzt bedeutet das Kürzel AVREF "Hilfe für Missbrauch-Opfer in religiösen Bewegungen und für ihre Familien".

"Wir wissen, dass es viele Bischöfe gibt, die pädophile Pfarrer schützen. Und ausgerechnet auch jene Bischöfe, die sich neuerdings als Weltmeister des Bedauerns und des Mitleids mit den Opfern darstellen. Überall können neue Skandale aufbrechen. Es ist durchaus möglich, dass jetzt viele Opfer Klage einreichen werden."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

‘Finish line’ near in diocese bankruptcy

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., April 27, 2016

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

ALBUQUERQUE – The Diocese of Gallup may be just one week away from obtaining a confirmation hearing date for its Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

Attorneys for the diocese filed a proposed plan of reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court March 21. The plan outlined how the Gallup Diocese, insurers and other Catholic entities will contribute more than $21 million to fund the plan, with much of it going to compensate 57 individuals who filed clergy sex abuse claims in bankruptcy court.

“This is a complicated plan because of the number of funding sources,” Susan Boswell, the diocese’s lead attorney, told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma during a court hearing Tuesday. "It just has been a long process, believe me I know, and a lot of work, but I do think that we are at the finish line.”

Although attorneys were continuing to make minor changes to the plan and its disclosure statement, Boswell said those changes should be finalized before next week’s hearing.

As part of the plan of reorganization, the Gallup Diocese has been filing settlement agreements with the participating parties in the bankruptcy case. As of Thursday, the diocese had filed settlement agreements with insurers in the case, two Franciscan provinces and the Diocese of Phoenix. Settlement agreements with Catholic entities within the Diocese of Gallup such as its own parishes, the Catholic Peoples Foundation and the Southwest Indian Foundation have also been filed.

A settlement agreement with St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School has yet to be filed. In addition, the Gallup Diocese has yet to file the non-monetary commitments it has been negotiating with clergy sex abuse claimants for several months.

Boswell and fellow diocesan attorney Thomas Walker told the court those documents would be filed soon.

Thuma expressed optimism that all the final pieces of the plan would be ready next week so he can schedule the confirmation hearing.

Abuse claimant concerns

Attorneys James Stang and Ilan Scharf, who serve as legal counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors that represents the interests of clergy sex abuse claimants, raised two issues of concern to their clients.

“There are a number of survivors who live in the Phoenix area who’ve expressed an interest in attending the hearing but cannot afford to do so — the confirmation hearing,” Stang said. He asked Thuma to approve a video link setup in Phoenix’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court or in a private law office.

Scharf also asked Thuma to approve the employment of William L. Bettinelli, a former California Superior Court judge, as the case’s abuse claims reviewer, and allow Bettinelli to begin reviewing the abuse claims immediately rather than waiting until the plan of reorganization is confirmed. Scharf had filed documents regarding Bettinelli’s employment April 8.

“The reason for that is that many of the claimants are elderly,” Scharf said. “This case has lasted a long time, and the people who are litigating cases have been waiting a very long time, and in addition to people who have been waiting for years or decades for resolution here.

“We can essentially save about 90 days after the effective date before we get money out the door to the survivors,” Scharf added.

With no objections to Scharf’s requests, Thuma indicated he would sign an order authorizing Bettinelli’s employment and immediate review of the abuse claims.

Thuma scheduled the next court hearing for 1:30 p.m. May 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Information on the trial for dissemination of reserved information and documents, 29.04.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bollettino

Vatican City, 29 April 2016 – Yesterday, Thursday 28 April, at 3.30 p.m. a further hearing was held in the ongoing trial for the dissemination of reserved information and documents in Vatican City State Tribunal, according to information provided by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. It was attended by the members of the Tribunal (Professors Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Piero Antonio Bonnet, Paolo Papanti-Pelletier and Venerando Marano), the Promoter of Justice (Professors Gian Pietro Milano and Roberto Zannotti), and the defendants Ángel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui and Nicola Maio, with their respective legal representatives Emanuela Bellardini, Laura Sgrò and Rita Claudia Baffioni. The defendants Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi were absent, but their legal representatives Lucia Teresa Musso and Roberto Palombi attended.

The hearing was dedicated fully to the examination of two witnesses, Paola Monaco and Paolo Pellegrino, who at the time of the events in question were secretary of the Cardinal Presiden and archivist of the Prefecture of Economic Affairs of the Holy See respectively. Both witnesses were interrogated by the members of the Tribunal, the Promoter of Justice and the counsels for the defence. Following the interrogations, the report of the examination was read and approved.

The hearing ended at approximately 8 p.m. The next hearing will take place on Saturday, May 7 at 9.30 a.m., with the possibility of continuing in the afternoon, and will be dedicated to further examination of witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Former Lumen Christi Teacher & Priest sentenced today on child sex abuse charges

MICHIGAN
WILX

Jackson-- A former teacher and priest at Lumen Christi Catholic High School charged with sexually abusing boys will learn his fate today.

James Rapp will be sentenced this afternoon on sexual charges stemming from child abuse cases in the 1980s.

Rapp was a teacher, priest, and wrestling coach at the high school in Jackson County from 1980 through 1986, and that is when prosecutors say the abuse happened.

He was convicted in 1999 for sexually abusing boys in Oklahoma when he was a pastor there.

An investigation into Rapp for crimes in Mid-Michigan started in 2013 when two victims came forward and reported the abuse to the Jackson County Sheriff's office. Lumen Christi's principal calls the abuse a horrible tragedy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Coalition of Jewish leaders backs Child Victims Act, demand end to New York’s statute of limitation

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY REUVEN BLAU, LARRY MCSHANE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, April 29, 2016

A coalition of more than 130 Jewish leaders now back the Child Victims Act which would eliminate the statute of limitation in New York — allowing countless child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults

The show of support on Thursday comes just days before advocates of the bill plan a two-day lobbying effort in Albany to win passage of the long-languishing legislation.

“After decades of denial, coverups and darkness across New York State, light is finally being shone on the scourge of child sexual abuse,” read the petition signed by scores of high-profile leaders.

“The lasting and far-reaching damage caused by abusers is intolerable, and it is incumbent upon all the citizens of New York State to work to reduce it.”

The writers also acknowledged the role played by religious institutions in blocking the legislation in past years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

"Vatileaks" trial day 11

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) It was a busy Thursday afternoon as two witnesses were questioned in the ongoing so-called Vatileaks trial in which confidential documents were released to the press without authorization.

Listen to Alexander MacDonald's report:

Paola Monaco and Paola Pellegrino described how relationships in the office of COSEA, the commission which regulates the Vatican, suffered from a climate of division and tension. Monaco and Pellegrino described a breakdown in relations with Monsignor Vallejo Balda which at first were cordial but descended into a relationship characterized as continuously critical and verbally abusive, including accusations of incompetence.

Neither witness stated explicitly that confidential documents were misappropriated but that they expected this would happen.

The witnesses confirmed people coming and going without control and conspiratorial meetings behind closed doors. Pellegrino recounted having thought of warning Mgr Vallejo about one of the accused, Chaouqui, but said the environment was one that required silence. She also recounted the priest’s continuously aggressive behavior and the vast quantities of documents which were photocopied. Documents were published with the stamp “sub secret” which in the original did not have such a designation and there were other alleged information violations. Passwords to computers, held in sealed envelopes in the custody of Mgr Vallejo, were found open in his office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Sodalicio anunció intervención del Vaticano en caso Luis Figari

PERU
El Comercio

[The Sodality of Christian Life (SVC), through its Superior General Alessandro Moroni, announced that the Vatican accepted the request to intervene directly in the reform process of the community. In addition, they will be responsible for issuing a statement regarding the future of its founder Luis Figari within the movement. According to the statement posted on Facebook, the Holy See will issued in the coming days a statement regarding allegations of alleged sexual abuse, physical and psychological perpetrated by members of the movement, including founder Luis Figari.]

El Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (SVC), a través de su superior general Alessandro Moroni, anunció que el Vaticano acogió el pedido de intervenir directamente en el proceso de reforma de la comunidad. Además, serán los encargados de emitir un pronunciamiento respecto al futuro de su fundador Luis Figari dentro del movimiento.

Según indica el comunicado del Sodalicio publicado en Facebook, la Santa Sede emitirá en los próximos días un pronunciamiento respecto a las denuncias sobre presuntos abusos sexuales, físicos y sicológicos perpetrados por miembros del movimiento, entre ellos Luis Figari.

“La Santa Sede ha acogido nuestro pedido de intervenir directamente en el proceso de reforma de la comunidad. Estamos a la espera del decreto que nombre oficialmente al prelado que nos acompañará en el gobierno durante este tiempo. Nos han pedido que permanezcamos algunos días más en Roma, esperando recibir este importante documento, donde se harán explícitas también las medidas que las autoridades pontificias decidan sobre el caso de Luis Fernando Figari”, informa el comunicado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Church review into abusive Bishop refuses to explicitly consider bullying of victims in its Terms of Reference

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

Posted: Thu, 28 Apr 2016

Church review into abusive Bishop refuses to explicitly consider bullying of victims in its Terms of Reference

A victim of clerical abuse has refused to give evidence to a Church review of the Bishop Peter Ball case, after it declined to explicitly mention intimidation of victims in its Terms of Reference.
The Revd Graham Sawyer was seriously abused as a young man by former Anglican bishop Peter Ball and gave evidence at the trial at which the bishop was jailed last year, aged 83.

It took decades to bring Ball to justice and Reverend Sawyer asked that, given the role played by bullying in delaying justice in the Ball case, the Review into the matter set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury specifically address "bullying, intimidation and threats" made to victims. He asked for this request to be considered by Archbishop Welby personally.

Sharing Reverend Sawyer's concerns about the limits of the Review's Terms of Reference, the National Secular Society had also asked for the Review's Terms of Reference to be expanded to include "specific reference" to the "extent of historic and current bullying by senior figures in the Church of alleged victims and whistle-blowers."

However the Review has declined to do so, and the Review's chair, Dame Moira Gibb, told the National Secular Society that they will not make any changes to the Terms of Reference. She told the NSS that the Terms of Reference will not be amended "as we think they are sufficient to allow us to cover these issues."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Royal Commission closes registrations for private sessions

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

29 April, 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is closing registrations for private sessions on 30 September 2016.

Private sessions allow survivors of child sexual abuse in an institution to share their story directly with a Commissioner in a private setting.

The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said the strong demand from survivors to share their story has resulted in a queue of people waiting to meet with a Commissioner.

“The rate at which people come to the Commission seeking a private session shows no present sign of diminishing. It has averaged 37 per week over the past 12 months,” Justice McClellan said.

“If the present demand for private sessions continues throughout the life of the Commission, unless we close off applications well before we complete our final report, many people who may seek a private session will be disappointed.”

“In our view it would be intolerable for a survivor to be accepted for a private session only to find we could not meet with them,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

€23m in redress paid to Magdalene laundry survivors

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Friday, April 29, 2016Gordon Deegan and Conall Ó Fátharta

Some 624 women held in Magdalene laundries have to date received a lump sum payment of more than €23m under a government redress scheme.

The payments work out at an average of €36,858.

According to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, some 807 applications have been received under the Magdalene Laundries Restorative Justice Ex-Gratia Scheme.

She said 103 applications were refused, as the women had not been admitted to one of the 12 specified institutions.

Ms Fitzgerald said 11 applications were received from women who are now resident in the US.

“Eight of these women have received their lump- sum payments and the other three applications were refused as the women had not been admitted to a relevant institution,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

ILLINOIS AG MADIGAN CALLS FOR ELIMINATION OF CHILD SEX CRIMES STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

ILLINOIS
WLS

By Sarah Schulte
Thursday, April 28, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- On the heels of the Dennis Hastert case, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to eliminate the statute of limitations for people accused of molesting children.

Illinois took a huge step in 2014 when the statute of limitations for sex abuse crimes was partially eliminated. However, Madigan and the victims' group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) say the law doesn't go far enough. They hope the publicity surrounding the Hastert case will push lawmakers to make more changes.

Often, it takes high profile sex abuse cases - such as Roman Catholic priests, Penn State's Jerry Sandusky and now, Dennis Hastert - to change the law. Two years ago, the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases in Illinois was abolished, but, not completely.

"You have until your 18th birthday plus 20 years to report, so after your 38th birthday, in most cases you are out of luck," Madigan said.

Madigan said it is time to lift the conditions attached to the current law and eliminate the statute of limitations for felony child sex abuse cases altogether.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

High-profile child abuse case sees call for elimination of statute of limitations

UNITED STATES
Herald Democrat

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat

When former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison this week, the banking charges to which he pleaded guilty in federal court were likely the least of what captured people’s attention about the case.

Government officials allege that Hastert, a former Illinois high school wrestling coach, practiced his creative accounting to help cover up allegations that he abused some of the young athletes entrusted to his care.

Though Hastert didn’t specifically admit to abusing children, he did say at the sentencing, “I know I’m here because I mistreated some of my athletes as a coach,” according to a report on CNN.com.

One of those alleged victims spoke out in court about how the abuse has impacted his life over the years.

Afterward, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she thinks the statute of limitations should be eliminated when prosecuting alleged child sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Lawyers: Eliminating statute of limitations on child sex crimes problematic

ILLINOIS
nwi.com

Dan Petrella Lee Springfield Bureau Chief

SPRINGFIELD — After former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in federal prison for violating banking laws in an attempt to cover up decades-old sexual abuse allegations, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on lawmakers to eliminate the statute of limitations on felony sex crimes against children.

But legal defense experts say doing away with restrictions on how long after an alleged crime someone can be charged could undermine the fairness of the legal process and put innocent people at risk of prosecution.

“It is very, very dangerous,” said William Schroeder, a criminal law professor at Southern Illinois University. “There are reasons for the statute of limitations.”

Chief among those reasons is that the memories of both alleged victims and alleged perpetrators become less reliable over time, Schroeder said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

PD Editorial: End arbitrary limit on sexual assault charges

UNITED STATES
The Press Democrat

THE EDITORIAL BOARDBY

Less than a decade ago, Dennis Hastert stood second in line to the presidency. On Wednesday, the former House speaker stood before a federal judge who called him a “serial child molester.”

It was an appropriate description of the 74-year-old Hastert, who has acknowledged sexually abusing four teenage boys while working as a high school wrestling coach in Illinois 30 years ago. “I want to apologize to the boys I mistreated,” he said. “They looked (up) at me and I took advantage of them.”

Yes, he did. But the abuse was not the primary reason for his conviction nor for the sentence he received of 15 months in federal prison. His conviction was for bank fraud related to the secretive withdrawal of hush funds to cover up his past actions. It’s equivalent to sending Al Capone to prison on tax evasion charges. It results in jail time but not justice.

Hastert would have faced much more serious charges and a longer prison sentence if not for one thing — the statute of limitations for criminal sexual misconduct in the state of Illinois. It expired long ago.

Such limitations also are at the heart of the cases against actor and comedian Bill Cosby, who has been accused of sexual misconduct and rape by more than 50 women. Many of the accusations date back decades, meaning the statutes of limitations have expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Retired priest accused of exposing himself to a minor, charged

WISCONSIN
Fox 1

GREEN BAY — A local retired priest faces multiple charges after he allegedly exposed himself to a minor.

Father Richard Thomas, 78, of Green Bay, was charged with four felonies Thursday.

The Green Bay Catholic Diocese released the following statement:

The Diocese of Green Bay received a report of misconduct involving Father Richard Thomas, a diocesan priest. Upon receiving this report, the diocese notified civil authorities. Following the policies of the Diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct, Father Thomas, a senior (retired) priest, has been restricted from performing any public ministry pending the outcome of the civil authorities' investigation. This is an ongoing investigation and the Diocese is fully cooperating. The Diocese asks for prayers for all involved in this matter. The Diocese remains committed to the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Its policies include permanently removing from ministry any clergy who have a substantiated allegation of abuse of a minor against them. In addition, the Diocese requires all clergy, employees, and volunteers in all parishes, schools and diocesan offices to complete mandatory background checks and training on keeping children safe. Since 2003, 35,284 background checks have been completed and 37,054 people have completed the "VIRTUS - Protecting God's Children" program. (Data reported October 2015) If you know of an incident of sexual abuse of a person who is now under the age of 18 by a priest, deacon, employee or volunteer, please immediately call the civil authorities and then the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Archdiocese responds to protests, says it was 'extremely saddened' by 'angry mob'

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole, Pacific Daily News April 29, 2016

A week after Catholic Church members held a heated protest at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport, the Archdiocese of Agana’s Chancery Office issued a statement responding to that demonstration and others at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona.

The archdiocese was “extremely saddened by the actions of the angry mob” at the airport, the statement said.

Giuseppe Gennarini, Claudia Gennarini and Rev. Angelo Poschetti arrived the night of April 21. The Gennarinis and Poschetti are high-level U.S.-based officials of the Neocatechumenal Way.

“This is not the warm Hafa Adai spirit that the Chamorro people are well-known for,” the archdiocese’s statement said.

The Gennarinis and Poschetti are board of guarantors’ members for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Guam.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

LDS Church outlines how it prevents child sexual abuse, makes donation

UTAH
Deseret News

By Tad Walch, Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 28 2016

SALT LAKE CITY — An official Mormon website has published the most comprehensive review yet of how the LDS Church works to prevent child sexual abuse in its congregations.

It characterized child sexual abuse as a societal plague and said the church's first priority when it learns of abuse is to help the victim and stop the abuse.

"Every victim is a boy or girl who is suffering deeply," the statement said. "We must do everything we can to protect and love them. We urge our local leaders and members to reach out to victims, comfort and strengthen them, and help them understand that what happened was wrong, the experience was not their fault, and that it should never happen ever again."

The long statement was published Thursday as an approved resource on the official news website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, the church's Young Women general president, also addressed child abuse on Thursday when she presented $125,000 in donations from the church to two child advocacy programs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

More than a 100 church leaders gather for safety, security seminar in Warner Robins

GEORGIA
The Telegraph

BY BECKY PURSER
bpurser@macon.com

More than a 100 pastors and other church leaders gathered at Southside Baptist Church on Thursday for a seminar about safety and security at places of worship.

The daylong seminar was offered by Warner Robins police in partnership with Training Force USA, a training organization based in Tallahassee, Florida. Several Warner Robins police officers also attended the seminar.

Seminar topics ranged from non-custodial parents who might want to go to a church and take a child home to a loud outburst in the sanctuary, said Jennifer Parson, public information officer for Warner Robins police.

“We’re also talking about active-shooter situations and natural disasters and how to create that safety plan and be prepared for anything,” Parson said.

Other topics included domestic and workplace violence, development of safety-security and child-protection policies, recognizing high risk areas in places of worship and offices, and insurance and liability issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

April 28, 2016

Priest accused of flashing teenage boy

WISCONSIN
WBAY

By Jorge Rodas and Emily Matesic
Published: April 28, 2016

A local priest appeared in Brown County court on Thursday accused of flashing a teenage boy multiple times last month.

The priest’s bail was set at $750 cash, though prosecutors asked the court for $5,000.

Father Richard Thomas was arrested Wednesday on four felony counts of exposing himself to a minor.

Thomas’s attorney entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf as the Catholic priest appeared via video conference from the Brown County Jail for his initial appearance.

According to the criminal complaint, Thomas exposed himself to a 16-year-old boy on March 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Court to decide on making residential school compensation process public

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

LORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

A court is being asked to decide whether the secret nature of the compensation process for people who were abused as children at one of Canada’s Indian residential schools allowed government lawyers to persuade adjudicators to deny compensation unfairly to those who suffered.

Depending upon the outcome of the case, compensation claims from many of the schools’ survivors may have to be reopened just as the nine-year Independent Assessment Process (IAP) is winding down.

An indigenous man who says a priest sexually abused him over a number of years at one of the most notorious schools is asking the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to allow the public release of secret documents that could explain why he was denied a cash settlement.

He also wants government lawyers, whom he accuses of withholding evidence that could have backed up his story – and possibly the stories of other claimants who allege abuse at St. Anne’s Indian Residential School in Fort Albany, Ont. – to be compelled to testify about why they acted as they did.

The man, who is known to the court as H-15019, attended St. Anne’s in the 1970s. People who were sent to that school report being tortured in a homemade electric chair, forced to eat their own vomit, raped and sexually molested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Seminary demonstration stays peaceful, no arrests

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole, Pacific Daily News April 29, 2016

Three Guam Police Department officers were present Thursday morning at a peaceful protest held by Catholic Church members who continue to take issue with who owns the property of a Yona seminary.

The officers posted themselves between the demonstrators and the entrance gate to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. There were just over a dozen protesters. The demonstration never became heated, and no arrests were made. One Guam lawmaker present at the protest said the community’s public safety resources might have been more useful elsewhere.

Law enforcement presence was expected. Police were called to a demonstration held at the seminary on Tuesday after protesters walked into the seminary, which is on private property, and requested to see the archbishop. Prior to Thursday’s protest, GPD spokeswoman Capt. Kim Santos said police planned to come to the demonstration.

The Yona seminary is a registered nonprofit corporation. Who controls the property has been a controversial subject among local Catholics.

Archbishop Anthony Apuron has said in issued statements that the archdiocese controls the property. However, some church members have disagreed, saying the Neocatechumenal Way controls the property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Lawsuits accuse reinstated St. John's priest of sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune APRIL 28, 2016

A well-known St. John's Abbey monk, the Rev. Timothy Backous, is accused of sexually abusing two boys decades ago in lawsuits filed Thursday in St. Paul.

It was the second time in recent weeks that a St. John's monk was sued after being suspended from ministry and then cleared by the abbey. The Rev. Thomas Andert, former abbey prior, also was sued by two men after being cleared by the abbey last November.

Both monks were former headmasters at St. John's Preparatory School.

"St. John's claimed to have done a thorough and complete investigation in both cases," said victims' attorney Jeff Anderson at a news conference Thursday. Instead, he said, it was "an investigation designed by them to protect the accused offender."

One of the suits announced Thursday stemmed from incidents during a 1990 St. John's boys choir trip to Europe. The other suit was filed by a man who alleges that he was abused by Backous as a young teen at the prep school in early 1980s.

The abbey suspended Backous from ministry last year while investigating the choir trip, then reinstated him last November after finding the allegations unsubstantiated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Maine supreme court upholds Greek Orthodox priest’s sex abuse conviction

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BANGOR — The Maine supreme court has rejected the appeal of a former Greek Orthodox priest who was convicted of sexually abusing a child.

The justices let the conviction of Adam Metropoulos, 53, stand on Thursday. The Bangor man is serving a 6½-year sentence for four counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

Metropoulos was convicted and sentenced a year ago. A former altar boy at St. George Greek Orthodox Church said he was sexually assaulted by Metropoulos as a teenager. The man, now 23, testified that Metropoulos “stole my life.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Md. bishop charged with sexual abuse, assault charge

MARYLAND
WUSA

[with video]

Debra Alfarone, WUSA

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) -- A 22-year-old Prince George's County woman told prosecutors her boss, Pastor Michael C. Turner of The Miracle Center of Faith Missionary Baptist Church, made unwanted sexual advances to her and sexually abused her during February and March of this year.

In her complaint, she says she worked at the Capitol Heights church for about 4 weeks. During this timeframe, and for 3 of them, Turner sexually harassed her and touched her without her permission. She says, "He would just literally rub his hands all over my body and push his body up against my body."

But, in the end, she says what happened in his private office one day is what made her speak to prosecutors and file a report, "He pushed me onto his couch and he had got on top of me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Abuse inquiry to cap private sessions

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

AAP

The child sexual abuse royal commission has announced it will close off applications for private sessions in September - more than a year before its final report is due.

The decision was announced on Friday by commission chair Peter McClellan who said requests for private sessions were still high but other constraints meant accepting applications beyond September 30 could see abuse survivors disappointed and this would be "intolerable".

More than 5000 private sessions, where people met with a commissioner and gave personal accounts of the abuse they endured, have been held across the country since the commission started in 2013.

They have been crucial to the public investigations into church, state and other institutions where shocking levels of child abuse were exposed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Child abuse royal commission to halt private sessions for survivors

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Jane Lee
Legal affairs, health and science reporter

It has spoken to 5111 survivors in private sessions, with 1544 waiting for future sessions. Over the past year, it has held about 37 private sessions a week.

But now, the child abuse royal commission is winding down its private sessions with survivors.
The commission, which is due to deliver its final report in December 2017, will stop accepting survivors' applications to tell their stories to commissioners in private hearings after September 30.

The chairman of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Justice Peter McClellan, will make the announcement at a hearing in Sydney on Friday.

"There can be no exceptions for any application received after that date," his prepared statement says. "I know this will mean that some people will be disappointed. For that the commissioners are sorry."

Survivors will still be able to send written accounts to commissioners and receive help from commission officers to do this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

IL-- "End the statute of limitations on child sex crimes"

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Barbara Blaine of SNAP (312 399 4747), April 28, 2016

If one in four homes were burglarized in Illinois, lawmakers would be jumping into action.

If one in eight cars were stolen in IL, lawmakers would be climbing over one another to propose solutions.

But one in four girls and one in eight boys are sexually violated as children in Illinois. So where’s the legislative uproar?

And most child molesters, unlike Denny Hastert, never get caught. The relatively few who are caught, like Denny Hastert, hurt several or many kids and perpetrate for years undetected, in part because it takes them so long to be able to tell. Telling is not simple. It usually takes years before victims realize what happened to them as children was criminal and abusive, and that it still cripples them years later. Then it takes strength and courage to come forward. When they do, they are usually told, “You’re too late.” Those who committed the crimes go scot-free. Those who concealed the crimes go scot-free. And those who suffered the crimes keep suffering.

We applaud Attorney General Lisa Madigan for speaking out for statute of limitations reform.

We applaud every lawmaker – and there were plenty of them – who opined in recent days just how awful Hastert’s crimes were.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

IL--Statement by victim of Chicago's Fr. Wellems

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement Eric Johnson of Colorado, repeatedly sexually abused as a child by Fr. Bruce Wellems

Although Wellems has publicly admitted to sexually abusing me as 7 year old boy when he was 15, he remains active as a suspended priest, and as an influence with At-Risk Youth. Although his faculties in the Archdiocese have been temporarily suspended; as a Claretian, he is allowed to appear as a leader and have contact with kids.

By the time I found the courage to tell my Mother about Wellem's sexual abuse, I was well past the Stature of Limitations. Guilt, Confusion, Depression and Shame eat at you to a point so low that you have a choice; Continue to be self destructive and die, or share your story.

It took me decades to begin to heal and share my abuse. And when I did share, it was too late to hold him accountable. I remember vividly how Wellems used me for blow jobs, hand jobs, ejaculations, and other reprehensible acts for his own pleasure. He was in High School, I was in 2nd grade. Picture it. However, because of the short Statute of Limitations, I had no recourse. I had no route to regain my self-respect and dignity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

ITALY UNCOVERS ISLAMIST PLOT TO ATTACK VATICAN AND ISRAELI EMBASSY

ITALY
Newsweek

BY JACK MOORE ON 4/28/16

Italian authorities arrested four people suspected of extremism on Thursday and issued arrest warrants for two more operating in Syria, according to the Milan prosecutor.

Authorities said one of the suspects is a Moroccan-born national living in Italy who had received orders from the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) to conduct an attack in Rome during the Holy Year, a period announced by Pope Francis that lasts from December 2015 to November 2016.

The man, who authorities named as Abderrahim Moutahrrick, is reported to have received a WhatsApp message from ISIS-held territory that read: “Dear brother Abderrahim, I send you... the bomb poem... listen to the sheik and strike,” in reference to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli said that Moutahrrick planned to attack the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome and told one of the other suspects, 23-year-old Moroccan-born Abderrahmane Khachia, in a monitored conversation: “I want to hit Israel in Rome.” Authorities arrested Khachia in the northern Italian city of Varese and Moutahrrick was living in the city of Lecco, north of Milan in the province of Lombardy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

End statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases: victim advocates

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

William Lee
Chicago Tribune

A day after former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to prison in a federal banking case tied to the decades-old sexual abuse of a high school wrestler he coached, victim advocates say it's time to get rid of the deadlines for prosecuting child sex crimes.

In handing down the 15-month prison sentence on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin repeatedly slammed Hastert as a "serial child molester" after he acknowledged there were several sex abuse victims; but prosecutors have noted that Hastert could not be charged with sex crimes in those cases because the statute of limitations had long passed.

In front of the Chicago Archdiocese's Gold Coast headquarters, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests pushed for state and federal reform regarding statutes of limitations on sex crimes against children, and called on the public to pick up the phone and ask their elected officials to act.

SNAP wants Illinois to join the handful of states that have completely removed statutes of limitations for child sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Civil Lawsuits Filed Against Reinstated Priest, St. John's Abbey

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Scott Theisen
Updated: 04/28/2016

Two civil lawsuits against a recently reinstated priest accused of sexual abuse have been filed.

St. Paul attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant announced the filing of the suits Thursday morning. The Rev. Timothy Backous and St. John's Abbey are named in both lawsuits on behalf of two men known as Doe 413 and Doe 188.

One man claims he was abused by Backous at St. John's Prep School between 1982 and 1983 when he was 16 years old.

The other man claims he was abused during a 1990 choir trip to Europe when he was as a member of the St. John's Boys Choir. He was 12 to 13 years old at the time.

Anderson and Bryant also discussed the internal investigations into Doe 188's allegations in 1991 and 2015 in which St. John's cleared Backous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Lawsuits accuse Backous of abuse

MINNESOTA
St. Clouid Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com April 28, 2016

Two lawsuits filed Thursday in Stearns County accuse former St. John's Prep headmaster Rev. Timothy Backous of sexually abusing two children, one in the early 1980s and another in 1990.

The lawsuits don't describe specifics of the abuse, other than to say one victim was 12 or 13 at the time and was a member of the Boys Choir and the other victim was 16 or 17 and was a Prep School student.

Backous has been accused previously of sexually abusing a boy during a 1990 European tour by the choir. St. John's Abbey in 1991 looked into the allegations and found them to be unsubstantiated. The parents of the boy who accused Backous of sexual misconduct renewed the allegations in June 2014, and the Abbey retained an independent, third-party investigator to review the claim.

The claims again were determined to be unsubstantiated.

The abbey issued a statement Thursday that said the allegations against Backous are "without merit and false" and that the abbey will "fully and aggressively defend against the false claims.

Jeff Anderson, who is suing the abbey and Backous, said the abbey's investigations have been far less than thorough. The abbey indicated that it had interviewed eight of the nine chaperones who were on the choir tour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Video: Two Sex Abuse Lawsuits Filed against Recently Reinstated St. John's Monk Father Tim Backous

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson and Associates

Backous Worked in Prominent Roles at St. John’s and Duluth after St. John’s ‘cleared’ him of allegations in 1991 and 2015

Doe 188 Complaint
Doe 413 Complaint
Backous Timothy Timeline
Backous Photo
Sketch by Patricia Chiapusio-Riedl
Statement of Patricia Chiapusio-Riedl
Media Advisory

What: At a news conference tomorrow in St. Paul, attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant will:

• Announce the filing of two civil lawsuits naming St. John’s Abbey and Father Timothy Backous as defendants. One suit is being brought by Doe 413, a survivor who was sexually abused by Backous at St. John’s Prep School in approximately 1982-1983 when he was 16 years old. The second lawsuit is being brought by Doe 188, a former member of the St. John’s Boys Choir who was abused by Backous on a choir trip to Europe in 1990 when Doe 188 was 12 to 13 years old.
• Discuss St. John’s internal investigations into Doe 188’s allegations. St. John’s cleared Backous of Doe 188’s allegations after investigations in 1991 and 2015.
• Encourage survivors of sexual abuse by Fr. Timothy Backous, and others, to come forward safely and confidentially before the Child Victims Act window legislation expires on May 25, 2016.

WHEN: Thursday, April 28, 2016, at 11:00 AM CT

WHERE: Jeff Anderson & Associates
366 Jackson Street, Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101

Notes: The event will be live-streamed online with links available on our homepage shortly before the event at www.andersonadvocates.com

Timothy Backous has been a long time priest and monk of St. John’s Abbey with prominent positions as Prep School Headmaster director of campus ministry, and athletic director, and who has been heavily involved in the St. John’s Boys Choir over the years. Backous was most recently assigned by St. John’s to work as Vice President of Mission Integration and Benedictine Sponsorship for Essentia Health in the Diocese of Duluth. When the parents of a child he abused in 1990 made their son’s allegations public in 2014, St. John’s placed Backous on temporary administrative leave pending an investigation. In November 2015 St. John’s announced they finished a “thorough and complete investigation” and found that the allegations were “unsubstantiated.” This was the second time St. John’s cleared Backous of the 1990 abuse allegations. The first was in 1991 when it initially learned of them from the boy’s parents.

St. John’s Abbey, Timothy Backous, and many of his colleagues including Reverend Billy Graham of the Diocese of Duluth made much fanfare about the fact that Backous had been ‘falsely’ and ‘wrongfully’ accused. Graham wrote in the Duluth News Tribune that Backous had been ‘victimized’ by his accuser, and that St. John’s ‘comprehensive’ investigation proved the allegations were nothing but lies.

During the pendency of the 2015 investigation, while Backous was on leave, Jeff Anderson, one of the attorneys representing the two survivors filing the new lawsuits, brought forward information from an independent witness that walked in on Backous lying on a bed with a child in a dark room during a trip with the St. John’s Boys Choir in 1990. The witness was a chaperone on the trip. It was the same trip the 1991 allegations against Backous stemmed from. However, nobody from St. John’s ever spoke to the chaperone in 1991 before finding the allegations against Backous “unsubstantiated,” and Backous was placed back in ministry with no restrictions. In fact, the chaperone didn’t learn of the allegations until she read about them in 2015. St. John’s Abbey chose not to thoroughly investigate Backous in 1991, and chose to again reinstate Timothy Backous to ministry in 2015 after a second internal “thorough and complete investigation” cleared him again.

“This is a repeat performance of gross malfeasance by St. John’s,” Anderson said. “Two investigations in one year, Tom Andert and Tim Backous, and two findings that allegations were ‘unsubstantiated.’ St. John’s chose to believe the wrong people again, the offenders, and chose to protect them again.

Survivor Doe 413’s complaint also refers to Brother John Kelly, who is on the list of credibly accused and is supposed to be living under restrictions at St. John’s. In addition to sexual abuse by Backous, John Kelly attempted criminal sexual conduct upon Doe 413 when he was a student at St. John’s Prep School in the early 80’s. At the press conference on Thursday, Anderson will discuss the fact that despite his “restrictions,” John Kelly continues to seek and pursue contact with the victim.

Also to be released will be the complaints, pictures of Backous, and the statement of the independent witness who came forward to report that she had walked in on Backous in bed alone with a child.

• A copy of the complaints will be available at the press conference and on our website and the event will be live-streamed online with links available on our homepage shortly before the event at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office: 651.583.7633 Cell: 612.817.8665
Contact Mike Bryant: Office: 320.259.5414 Cell: 800.359.0061

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Vatican flags more than 540 ‘suspicious transactions’ in 2015

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Ines San Martin
Vatican correspondent April 28, 2016

ROME— More than 540 suspicious financial transactions in the Vatican were flagged in 2015, leading to the suspension of eight of those transactions totaling over $10 million, and the freezing of four accounts at the Vatican bank worth another $8 million.

Those figures came from an annual report released Thursday by the Vatican’s financial watchdog unit, the Financial Information Authority, which was launched under emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

In terms of the number of red flags raised, the total of 544 from 2015 represents a substantial increase from 147 in 2014 and 202 in 2013.

However, only 17 of those cases led to reports forwarded to the Promoter of Justice in the Vatican City State’s tribunal for investigation, which means that, upon review, only a handful was judged possibly to be the result of criminal activity.

“We’re talking about suspicion, not evidence,” said René Brülhart, President of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority, in presenting Thursday’s report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

5,000 suspect accounts identified in Vatican Bank clean-up

VATICAN CITY
Times of India

Vatican City, April 28, 2016 (AFP) -
A clean-up of the Vatican bank has been completed, with the final tally of suspect accounts that had to be closed nearing 5,000, the Holy See's financial watchdog said Thursday.

Unveiling the 2015 annual report of the Financial Information Authority (FIA), its director Tommaso Di Ruzza said a three-year examination of the scandal-hit Institute of Religious Works (IOR), as the bank is officially known, was now finished.

"We took a very strict line towards any accounts that were not in compliance (with Vatican legislation) and now finally the process of closures is done," Di Ruzzo told a Vatican press conference. "A total of 4,935 were closed and that is a final figure."

The FIA was established in 2010 by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI to bring the Vatican's financial institutions into line with international standards designed to reduce the risk of accounts being used for nefarious purposes.

IOR account holders in the past have included mafia figures and it became notorious around the world because of a 1980s scandal centred on the death of banker Roberto Calvi, whose corpse was discovered hanging under Blackfriars bridge in London.

At the same time as it established the FIA, the Vatican signed up for external evaluation by Moneyval, a European body that combats money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Moneyval reported in December that the Vatican had addressed most of its structural weaknesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Texas church asks members to pay $500 to drink pesticide ‘elixir’ to cure erectile dysfunction

TEXAS
Raw Story

BETHANIA PALMA MARKUS
28 APR 2016

A bizarre “non-religious” church in Texas is set to hold an event this weekend in which participates will drink a potentially-fatal chemical found in pesticides because the organization’s leader claims it holds the power to heal conditions including erectile dysfunction, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Jim Humble, the archbishop of Genesis 2 Church of Health and Healing, hawks “Miracle Mineral Supplement” as a cure-all for cancer, AIDS, arthritis, malaria, acne, erectile dysfunction and other ailments, the Chronicle reports. The catch? It’s made from sodium chlorite — a chemical used in pesticides, fracking and fabric bleaching.

It can be deadly if swallowed. Yet participants will fork over $500 a head for a three-day seminar at a Houston-area hotel to learn about the supposed health benefits of the “the world’s most important broad-spectrum, nontoxic anti-microbial agent.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Justices uphold Bangor ex-priest’s conviction on sex assault charges

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted April 28, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of a former Greek Orthodox priest on sex charges involving a former altar server in a one-page memorandum of decision that did not explain the reasons for the decision.

Adam Metropoulos, 53, of Bangor was sentenced a year ago to 12 years in prison with all but 6½ years suspended, to be followed by three years of probation.

Metropoulos, who was the priest at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor for 14 years, is incarcerated at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, according to the Maine Department of Corrections inmate locator. His earliest possible release date is May 14, 2020.

Superior Court Justice Ann Murray in March 2015 found Metropoulos guilty on four felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor following a jury-waived trial. The charges stemmed from the former priest’s sexual assault on a 15-year-old altar server at the church in 2006 and 2007.

Before the trial began, Metropoulos pleaded guilty to one count of felony possession of sexually explicit materials — for nearly 400 sexual images including many involving children — found on his computer. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor violation of privacy for filming a relative taking a shower just days before his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Rabbis With a Conscience Make History

UNITED STATES
Verdict

28 APR 2016 MARCI A. HAMILTON

So far in the 21st century, U.S. religious leaders are best known for negative positions like their demands for a “free exercise right” to discriminate against the beleaguered minority of LGBTQ individuals, a First Amendment right to discriminate against their own ministers, a right of secular employers to deprive women of reproductive health care choices in their employment benefit plans, and, last but not least, child endangerment, from starvation, to neglect to sex abuse. Small wonder that institutional religious affiliation has been dropping. At the same time, the headlines persistently cover religiously-fueled global terrorism, which is a sobering reminder of the atrocities that religion can justify, as we know from even a cursory study of world history.

Others have tried to paint the contemporary push for extreme religious liberty as a new “Great Awakening” when in fact it has been a time of global darkening for the vulnerable, including LGBTQ individuals, women, and children.

The Supreme Court has abetted some of this by failing to stand up for its power to interpret the First Amendment and instead letting Congress, via the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, unilaterally set free exercise standards. Moreover, the Court acquiesced in RFRA’s allowing the courts to become unaccountable policymakers, letting a majority of Justices hand employers an unnecessarily broad right to discriminate against their employees well beyond the category of clergy in Hosanna Tabor. Finally, at least while Justice Antonin Scalia was on the Supreme Court, a majority significantly narrowed the indispensable separation of church and state by carving back the Establishment Clause’s standing doctrine and opening doors to and more.

Thus, the Court with Scalia responded to the era of darkening by reinforcing the voices of negativity, discrimination, and oppression. A majority often seemed to have abandoned the pose of blind (fair) Lady Justice and instead flirted with theocracy. The one bright spot has been the Supreme Court’s majority affirming the fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry, but the hysterical voices in dissent in Windsor and Obergefell no doubt mobilized and empowered the ugly developments we now see in North Carolina and

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

AG Madigan wants GA to eliminate statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children

ILLINOIS
Capital Fax

Thursday, Apr 28, 2016

* In the wake of Dennis Hastert’s sentencing yesterday, this press release landed in my in-box…

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) [yesterday] called on Illinois lawmakers to eliminate the statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children.

Madigan and ICASA’s Executive Director Polly Poskin have long supported the removal of the current statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes against children. Illinois law should allow children who have been victims of sexual assault and abuse the time to come forward and report their crimes. Survivors of sexual assault crimes during their childhood should be afforded the time it takes to process their assault and come forward to report their crimes to authorities.

“Sexual assault continues to be pervasive in society, affecting far too many children and families across Illinois,” said Madigan. “When a prosecutor cannot indict an offender for these heinous acts because the statute of limitations has run, it raises serious moral, legal and ethical questions. We have long supported extending the time period for prosecutors to file sexual assault and abuse charges, and we urge the Legislature to eliminate the statute of limitations on all sex crimes involving children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

St. George’s board committee meets with victims’ group

RHODE ISLAND
Boston Globe

By Bella English GLOBE STAFF APRIL 28, 2016

After a private meeting with a group of victims, a committee of the board of trustees at the embattled St. George’s School has agreed to get training on the “lifelong impacts” of childhood sexual abuse, and will enter into reparation talks with some alumni who were allegedly assaulted as students at the elite prep school in Middletown, R.I.

According to a statement posted Monday night by the victims’ group SGS for Healing, trustees will also consider concerns about headmaster Eric Peterson, who has been criticized by some alumni for his handling of abuse complaints. An independent investigation of the school is due from attorney Martin Murphy in June, and the trustees agreed to take action on “issues raised regarding Peterson” within 30 days of the report’s release.

The agreements came at a meeting held Saturday in Boston between five members of SGS for Healing and five members of the school’s board of trustees. It was the first time the two groups have met since St. George’s became embroiled in a sex abuse scandal in December, with some allegations dating to the 1960s.

The trustees, according to the statement, also agreed to inform victims about actions regarding Zane Dormitory, named for a former headmaster, Tony Zane, who has also been criticized for his handling of allegations of sexual abuse by staffers. Victims have asked that the dorm be renamed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Bishop Ronald Mulkearns helped write rules on abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

APRIL 29, 2016

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne

Ronald Mulkearns helped draft a protocol for dealing with alleg­ations of criminal behaviour by clergy while running the nation’s worst diocese for pedophile priests and brothers.

The former bishop of Ballarat, who died this month, was ­appointed to the special issues committee run by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference ­despite failing to deal with some of the world’s worst abusers.

Mulkearns presented a draft protocol to the conference in November 1989. It was to be observed if accusations of criminal behaviour, ­including pedophilia, were made against priests. The protocol, which was tendered to the child sex abuse royal commission, states that bishops have a responsi­bility to protect the reputation of individuals and the image of the church as a whole.

It states that bishops and major superiors must have ­regard to the welfare of any complainant, victim and accused, and safeguard individuals’ reput­ations and their right to privacy.

“They must safeguard the good name of the church as a whole and act to prevent or remedy scandal,” it said. “They must have a pastoral solicitude for those involved in criminal behaviour­, mindful of the words of the Lord who came ‘to seek out and save what was lost’ (Lk 19:10).”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Attorneys to Discuss Civil Lawsuits Naming Reinstated Priest, St. John's Abbey

MINNESOTA
KAAL

Scott Theisen
Updated: 04/28/2016

Attorneys plan to discuss the filing of two civil lawsuits against a recently reinstated priest accused of sexual abuse.

St. Paul attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Bryant will have a news conference Thursday morning to discuss the suits naming the Rev. Timothy Backous and St. John's Abbey. The attorneys are representing two men known as Doe 413 and Doe 188.

One man claims he was abused by Backous at St. John's Prep School between 1982 and 1983 when he was 16 years old.

The other man claims he was abused during a 1990 choir trip to Europe when he was as a member of the St. John's Boys Choir. He was 12 to 13 years old at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Vatican Watchdog Says Suspicious Transactions Almost Quadrupled

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

By FRANCIS X. ROCCA
April 28, 2016

ROME—The Vatican’s financial watchdog registered 544 suspicious transactions in 2015—almost four times as many as the previous year—but officials said Thursday it reflected greater vigilance rather than any rise in illicit financial activities.

The Financial Information Authority, or AIF, said it turned over 17 of those cases, mostly involving potential money laundering, to Vatican prosecutors.

“I would like to see the figure zero,” René Brülhart, the AIF’s president told reporters. “But it doesn’t reflect reality. Wherever you have financial transactions, financial activity, you always see something potentially suspicious.”

Mr. Brülhart said the Vatican’s oversight system uses a “rather low reporting threshold,” in part to raise awareness of potential problems. He said it was a “fair assessment” that none of the suspicious activity was related to the financing of terrorism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Maryland Baptist Bishop Arrested, Accused of Sexually Assaulting 22-Year-Old Woman

MARYLAND
NBC Washington

[with video]

A 22-year-old woman says the prominent bishop of a Baptist church in Prince George's County repeatedly stalked, harassed and made unwarranted sexual advances toward her at the church.

Bishop Michael C. Turner Sr., the senior pastor at The Miracle Center of Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland, has been charged with second-degree assault, fourth-degree sex offense and harassment, according to court documents obtained by News4's Jackie Bensen.

The woman said during the four weeks in February and March that she worked at the church, Turner, 61, repeatedly assaulted and harassed her in his private office, the copy room and the elevator.

"On many occasions he would repeatedly touch me all over my body with his hands, press on my body with his body and his private parts...kiss me on my forehead, and hold me captive in his office and copier room," the woman said in a written statement to police.

She said she was frightened to tell anyone because she was afraid of him and afraid of losing her job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Pope Francis marks a comeback for “old-time curialists”

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Editor April 28, 2016

Contrary to popular mythology, the Vatican is hardly a sprawling bureaucracy comparable to, say, the roughly three million people who work for the federal government in the United States. All in, we’re talking about a work force of under 5,000, which means it’s more akin to a village than an empire.

In such a small world, personnel is always policy: Choices about who gets the most important jobs inevitably drive how decisions are made.

Pope Francis has been running the show for three years now, and at first blush, it’s tempting to say that almost nothing has changed on the personnel front. As of today, almost three-quarters of the officials who lead important departments are still hold-overs from the reign of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Pédophilie dans l'Eglise: les secrets bien couverts des «petits gris» de Saint-Jean

FRANCE
Mediapart

Accusé d'actes de pédophilie et d'agression sexuelle sur majeur, un ancien religieux de la communauté Saint-Jean, qui a reconnu les faits en 2015, est jugé ce vendredi à Chalon-sur-Saône. Des documents consultés par Mediapart révèlent que des supérieurs de cette fraternité contestée savaient tout du mal-être et des agissements de leur frère, mais n'ont jamais alerté les autorités.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Saône-et-Loire : un nouveau frère de la communauté de Saint-Jean va comparaître pour agressions sexuelles

FRANCE
France 3

Ce vendredi 29 avril 2016, Régis Peillon va comparaître devant le tribunal correctionnel de Chalon-sur-Saône pour agressions sexuelles sur deux victimes françaises, un mineur et un adulte. Il portait alors l'habit et appartenait à la communauté de Saint-Jean, déjà entâchée de scandales du même ordre

Par Maryline Barate

Une nouvelle fois, la communauté de Saint-Jean, basée à Rimont en Saône-et-Loire, voit un des ses anciens membres comparaître devant la justice. Régis Peillon, 57 ans, sera jugé demain par le tribunal correctionnel de Chalon-sur-Saône. Il est accusé d'avoir agressé sexuellement un mineur et un majeur alors qu'il était « frère Jean-François Régis » dans cette congrégation.

Un religieux qui avait été déjà été repéré par sa hiérarchie pour des actes de pédophilie
L’agression sur mineur a eu lieu au prieuré de Murat, dans le Cantal, qui accueille de nombreux camps de jeunes. Ce lieu d'affectation, décidé par les reponsables de la communauté, indigne progondément l'AVREF, l'association d'aide aux victimes des dérives de mouvements religieux en Eruope et à leurs familles. En effet, ce religieux venait d'être rappatrié du prieuré d'Abidjan où il avait reconnu avoir touché 10 à 15 jeunes garçons africains pour vérifier "si leurs organes sexuels étaient bien développés ", d'après ses propres mots couchés dans document interne de la congrégation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Two more paedophile cases hit French Catholic church

FRANCE
RFI

A priest in the French Basque country was accused of sexually assaulting a teenager on Wednesday and a former monk was to appear in court on Friday in ongoing revelations of paedophilia in the French Catholic church. Lyon Archbishop Philippe Barbarin is currently under investigation for allegations that he covered up cases of sexual assault on minors in his diocese.

The mother of the alleged victim filed a case for sexual assault on her son in the 1990s against a priest in Bayonne on Wednesday and he has been relieved of his functions.

In a letter published on the diocese's website Bayonne Archbishop Marc Aillet said he had notified the legal authorities of the case on 15 April and promised to cooperate with the investigation.

The priest has already tried to commit suicide twice - once after being investigated for allegedly molesting his nephew on a camp in Poland, the other time during a scandal over the molesting of a teenage girl in 2007.

He went into therapy after that attempt and on arriving in the diocese Archbishop Aillet met him and assigned him to tasks that did not involve contact with children, according to his letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Last tranche of abuse reports

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

The final tranche of reports from the national safeguarding board is expected to be released next week, The Irish Catholic understands.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) has now completed reviews of safeguarding practice and procedures in almost every Church body that comes under its authority.

The few exceptions who have not yet been reviewed include some religious orders whose exclusively female memberships are aging and declining in numbers, and who have no ministry with children, as well as a small number of religious orders currently subject to investigation under the Northern Ireland Historical Inquiry.

Reports by the board into child safeguarding practices within these orders cannot be produced publicly until after the Northern inquiry has reported its findings, which will happen next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Danger of Church colluding in false abuse impression

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

by Michael Kelly
April 28, 2016

The watchdog set up to monitor the Church’s adherence to stringent child protection rules has published a new set of ‘standards’. Amongst other things, the document aims to redress a perception that a priest who is accused of abuse is treated unfairly. These concerns have been particularly evident when a priest has been stood aside, forced to leave his home and months, or even years later, is found to have no case to answer.

The new standards from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) are currently being rolled out across all 26 dioceses and, evidently, have been well received.

I can say without fear of contradiction that the Catholic Church in Ireland is now governed by some of the strictest policies and procedures in the country when it comes to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.

The heightened sense around safeguarding is only to be welcomed and it is to the Church’s credit that such a comprehensive job of work has been undertaken.

In parishes and communities up and down the country there is a veritable army of volunteers charged with implementing safeguarding policies – it has, in fact, been one of the largest lay-led initiatives in the Catholic Church in Ireland in decades. Literally thousands of Catholic parishioners have volunteered their time and energy to ensure that the Church is a safe environment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne mis en cause dans une nouvelle affaire de pédophilie

FRANCE
Metro News

EGLISE CATHOLIQUE - Les faits remontent à 1990. C'est la mère de l'une des victimes, neveu du prêtre, qui a porté plainte auprès du parquet de Clermond-Ferrand.

L'Eglise catholique fait-elle face à une nouvelle affaire de pédophilie ? Dans les Pyrénées-Atlantiques, un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne est en tout cas mis en cause pour des faits de pédophilie remontant à 1990 et vient d'être suspendu de toute fonction ecclésiastique, informe l'AFP d'après le parquet de Bayonne.

Mercredi soir, l'affaire a également été signalée dans une lettre à ses "chers diocésains" par l'évêque de Bayonne, Mgr Marc Aillet, connu pour ses positions conservatrices et qui mène une croisade contre l'avortement. Ces nouvelles accusations apparaissent trois mois après l'affaire de pédophilie du diocèse de Lyon où un prêtre a été mis en examen pour agressions sexuelles le 25 janvier 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Une affaire de pédophilie met en cause un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne

FRANCE
La Republique des Pyrenees

Une affaire de pédophilie met en cause un prêtre du diocèse de Bayonne. L'information a été livrée par l'évêque Marc Aillet sur le site du diocèse de Bayonne, ce mercredi soir.

"Mgr Aillet prend la parole au sujet d'une affaire de pédophilie dans notre diocèse." C'est sous ce titre que le site Internet du diocèse de Bayonne, Lescar et Oloron publie une lettre de l'évêque Marc Aillet adressée aux diocésains. Il y évoque en détail l'affaire mettant en cause le prêtre Jean-François Sarramagnan.

Monseigneur Aillet commence par placer le contexte. "En octobre 2007, il avait fait une tentative de suicide, alors qu’il était curé de la paroisse St-Etienne de Bayonne, en raison d’une affaire avec une jeune fille, pour laquelle la justice s’est prononcée." Au cours de l'entretien qu'il eut avec l'évêque en 2009, l'abbé Sarramagnan l'informa "de faits plus anciens, qui s’étaient produits dans le cadre familial, au cours de l’été 1990, et qu’il porta à la connaissance de son frère et de sa belle-sœur".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

French church hit by new paedophile priest scandal

FRANCE
The Local

A priest in south-western France has been accused of sexually abusing a minor, the latest in a long line of alleged paedophilia in French churches.

It was the mother of the victim who spoke out, claiming that her son - the nephew of the priest - was abused two decades ago.

The assaults allegedly occurred in Bayonne, in south western France, when the victim was a teenager.

Bayonne Bishop Marc Aillet (pictured below), who is known for his conservative positions and leading a crusade against abortion, said in an open letter to his diocese on Wednesday said he had reported the matter to the Bayonne prosecutor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Financial Information Authority presents Annual Report

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) A press briefing was held on Thursday morning, in the John Paul II Hall of the Press Office of the Holy See, for the presentation of the Annual Report of the Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (the Financial Information Authority, AIF), on the activities of financial reporting and supervision, both with regard to prudential decisions and for the prevention and combatting of money laundering and the financing of terrorism during Year IV, 2015.

Present at the briefing, in addition to the Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, were the President of the AIF, Dr René Brülhart, and the Director of the AIF, Dr Tommaso Di Ruzza.

Below, please find the official Press Release regarding the 2015 Annual Report of the Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria:

AIF press release | Annual Report 2015 | Effective regulatory framework

The Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria(AIF) of the Holy See and the Vatican City State has presented its Annual Report for 2015. The report reviews the activities and statistics of AIF for the year 2015.

2015 has seen an effective implementation and application of the regulatory framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State. Furthermore, international cooperation of the Vatican competent authority with its foreign counterparts to fight illicit financial activities has been intensified.

“The full implementation and application of Regulation No. 1 has shown the effectiveness of the regulatory framework of the Holy See and Vatican City State,” said René Brülhart, President of AIF. “International cooperation remains a key commitment of AIF. Additional Memoranda of Understandings with competent authorities of other jurisdictions were signed and the exchange of information on a bilateral level has increased significantly.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Vatican crackdown on tax cheats flagged in oversight report

VATICAN CITY
Montreal Gazette

Associated Press

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican's financial watchdog says it received 544 reports of suspicious financial transactions last year, thanks in large part to beefed-up efforts to flag potential tax cheats who are using the Vatican bank to hide money.

In its annual report, the Financial Information Authority said Thursday it passed 17 cases on to Vatican prosecutors for possible investigation, up from seven a year earlier. In December, European evaluators urged prosecutors to actually bring charges in some of those cases since no indictments have been handed down.

Since 2011, 36 out of 900 suspect transactions have been forwarded to prosecutors for possible follow-up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Vatican financial watchdog registers three-fold increase in suspicious activity in 2015

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 28, 2016

VATICAN CITY
The Vatican’s financial watchdog agency registered a three-fold increase in suspicious transactions undertaken in the city state’s financial institutions in 2015, marking 544 activities as questionable and freezing or halting movement of a total of some $2.4 million and 15.3 million Euros.

The Financial Information Authority, or AIF, says it also made 17 reports to the Vatican’s Office of the Promoter of Justice for possible review of crimes such as fraud, tax avoidance, tax evasion, and “more serious financial crimes … such as market disruption in foreign states.”

The watchdog agency revealed the statistics with the release of its fourth annual report Thursday. The agency, which was started by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 but continued and strengthened under Pope Francis, has been working to bring the Vatican’s diverse set of financial organizations into compliance with international standards.

Thursday’s release comes as the city state’s financial dealings have again been in the spotlight, with news in recent weeks that the Vatican had suspended an external audit it had contracted with the international firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Gymnasium lässt Heiligenstatue entfernen

DEUTSCHLAND
General-Anzeiger

27.04.2016 BONN. Die Skulptur vor der Kirche sieht dem ehemaligen Schulleiter und 2010 verstorbenen Missbrauchstäter, Pater Stüper, täuschend ähnlich. Nun wurde sie entfernt.

Das Aloisiuskolleg (Ako) hat eine seit Jahren heiß umstrittene Statue vor dem Eingang seiner Kirche entfernt. Offiziell war sie als Statue des Heiligen Jeremias ausgewiesen, inoffiziell wurde sie als „Stüper-Denkmal“ gehandelt. „Der Respekt vor den zahlreichen Betroffenen von sexualisierter Gewalt und Machtmissbrauch und ihr Schutz haben mich nach langem Abwägen zu dieser Entscheidung kommen lassen“, schreibt Rektor Pater Johannes Siebner an die Mitarbeiter, Eltern und Jesuitenbrüder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Wurde Kardinal Pell von Mitarbeitern getäuscht?

AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

Drei frühere Kirchenmitarbeiter in Australien haben die Glaubwürdigkeit von Kurienkardinal George Pell im Missbrauchsskandal infrage gestellt. Medienberichten zufolge zeigten sich die drei ehemaligen leitenden Mitarbeiter des Schulamtes der Erzdiözese Melbourne am Mittwoch vor der Missbrauchskommission "geschockt", "enttäuscht" und "verärgert" über die Aussage von Kardinal Pell im vergangenen Monat.

Pell hatte erklärt, er sei als damaliger Weihbischof von Melbourne bei den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen den Pfarrer Peter Searson vom Schulamt "hintergangen" und nur unvollständig informiert worden. Die Leitung des Schulamtes habe den Fall zum Schutz des damaligen Erzbischofs Frank Little "vertuschen" wollen, so der Kardinal in seiner von Rom aus per Videoschaltung getätigten Aussage. Trotz wiederholter Missbrauchsvorwürfe war der inzwischen verstorbene Searson jahrelang im Amt geblieben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Guilty plea over Geelong orphan abuse

AUSTRALIA
Bay 939

Rob McLennan / 28 April 2016

A former Christian Brother who abused children at a Geelong orphanage has admitted to a dozen charges of indecently assaulting young boys.

William Stuart Houston worked at St Augustine's in the 1960's. He left the Christian Brothers in the 1990's.

The County Court yesterday lifted a supression order that had prevented the media from identifying the 77-year-old.

The charges are believed to relate to male victims during Houston's time at St Augustines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Illinois Attorney General Wants to End Statue of Limitations on Sex Crimes

ILLINOIS
WJBD

4/27/2016

SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - The Illinois attorney general is calling on state legislators to eliminate the statute of limitations for child sex crimes in the wake of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's sentencing.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault issued a statement Wednesday, the day Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in a federal hush-money case. He pleaded guilty to breaking banking law while trying to pay someone millions to conceal sexual abuse.

Prosecutors contend the abuse occurred while Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach decades ago, but too much time had passed to bring charges for the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Gauteng MEC expresses shock at reports of sexual abuse by pastors

SOUTH AFRICA
Sowetan Live

Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza has reacted with anger at the reports of abuse of women by Gauteng faith leaders.

On Monday‚ two national dailies‚ the Sowetan and Daily Sun‚ with chilling pictures‚ reported stories of two Gauteng pastors sexually and physically abusing young women in their teens and early 20s.

Mayathula-Khoza said the actions of Pastor Fezile Gxokwe of Mount Olive Church of Poortjie in Sedibeng were an indictment to gains achieved so far with freedom of women.

She also welcomed the arrest of another pastor who assaulted two teenage girls and a young lady in Carletonville‚ in the West Rand‚ whose sordid story was carried in the Sowetan.

“We welcome the arrest of the wicked man who prey on girls whilst masquerading as a man of God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Pennsylvania judge orders three priests to trial in sex abuse case

PENNSYLVANIA
Reuters

HARRISBURG, PA. | BY DAVID DEKOK

A Pennsylvania judge on Wednesday ordered three Franciscan friars to stand trial on charges they endangered boys by assigning a fourth cleric they knew to be a sexual predator to work at a Catholic high school in the 1990s.

Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner ordered Fathers Giles Schinelli, 73; Robert D’Aversa, 69, and Anthony Criscitelli, 61, to stand trial in Blair County Court of Common Pleas in Hollidaysburg, Pa., on felony charges of endangering the welfare of children and conspiracy. No date for the trial was set.

"We're obviously pleased at the court's ruling and are ready to take the case to trial," Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye, the prosecutor, said in a phone interview.

Lawyers for the three priests could not be reached for comment.

The three are accused of enabling Brother Stephen Baker, a member of their order, to sexually assault numerous boys at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. According to testimony, they assigned him to jobs where he would have contact with boys despite knowing he was an active pedophile. Baker committed suicide in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Repeated Violations

UTAH
Slate

By Dahlia Lithwick

Brigham Young University made national headlines this month when it was revealed that female students who reported being raped could be suspended or expelled for violating the school’s onerous honor code. The details of the case are infuriating. Whether or not the school is technically in violation of Title IX remains to be seen, but the school is clearly violating the spirit of the law in a way that does untold damage to rape survivors and makes future rapes more likely.

BYU, a private university in Provo, Utah, is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A handful of students came forward at a rape awareness conference earlier this month to describe their experiences with the school’s honor code policy. The Salt Lake Tribune then picked up and expanded upon the story, reporting that the practice of expelling rape victims for violations of the university’s honor code dates back decades. A petition with more than 110,000 signatures is calling for the school to amend the honor code to afford amnesty to the victims of sexual assault. BYU says it is “studying” its policies around investigating the victims of sexual assault for conduct that may represent small honor code violations.

The BYU honor code is far more restrictive than most other university codes. Created by BYU students in 1949, it forbids students from drinking, using drugs, wearing tight clothing, gambling, drinking coffee, homosexual conduct, engaging in premarital sex, or being in the bedroom of anyone of the opposite sex. Code violations may lead to expulsion. The problem? This code is on a collision course with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination at any schools that receive funds from the U.S. government. Title IX requires that sexual assaults be counted and investigated; it certainly does not contemplate that any young woman fighting to protect her civil rights will be tossed out of her school for violating an honor code, a threat that is clearly antithetical to the promise and goals of Title IX.

The aforementioned online petition was launched earlier this month by 20-year-old BYU student Madi Barney, who reported last September that she was raped in her off-campus apartment by a man who is not a BYU student. According to police documents, the alleged attacker, Nasiru Seidu, admitted to Barney during a phone conversation that he had raped her. He now claims the sex was consensual. After agonizing for four days over whether she could report the assault and afford to be charged with an honor code violation, Barney went to the police and not the university. Seidu was arrested in September and is awaiting trial. But the school got ahold of her police report when sheriff’s deputy Edwin Randolph turned it over to the BYU Honor Code Office. Both her alleged attacker and Randolph were charged with witness retaliation, but the charges were later dropped. (A court petition filed by a prosecutor in the case described Seidu and Randolph as “friends,” something that Randolph denied.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

The Sexual Predators in Evangelicals’ Backyard

UNITED STATES
Love, Joy, Feminism

April 25, 2016 by Libby Anne

There’s something we need to talk about. Opposition to trans bathroom access is perhaps most pronounced among evangelical Christians, a group whose inability to deal with sexual abuse in their own communities rivals that of the Catholic church. Evangelicals claim they oppose trans bathroom access because of the threat this access poses to women and children. Why, then, are they so quick to turn a blind eye to the abuse of women and children in their own communities?

When 15-year-old Tina Anderson was raped by a church elder and became pregnant, the church leadership believed her rapist’s claim that the interaction was consensual and punished Tina by making her confess to sexual immorality in front of the congregation, sending her away for the duration of her pregnancy, and forcing her to give her baby up for adoption. Meanwhile, her rapist was allowed to retain his position in the church’s children’s ministry.

For decades, Christian homeschool families overlooked warning signs and allowed Bill Gothard to maintain his leadership position in IBLP and his contact with and control over the teenage girls he hired as his personal secretaries. The IBLP Board of Directors was aware that Gothard had crossed lines and done things that were inappropriate and yet they took no action. Meanwhile, the many dozens of girls who suffered harassment and sexual molestation at Gothard’s hands suffered in silence, knowing that they would not be believed if they told someone what was happening.

There was a time I thought such abuses were rare, perhaps confined to more fundamentalist groups and certainly not characteristic of evangelicals as a whole. I’m no longer so sure of this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

How a church avoided responsibility for its ties to a child molester

ALABAMA
Reveal: The Center for Investigative Reporting

By Amy Julia Harris / April 27, 2016

The day care owner was arrested in 2010 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Three young girls said Robert Frost, the owner of Christian’s Day Care and Learning Academy, had molested them for years at his church day care. They reported that Frost would sit them on his knee, slip his hands beneath their clothes and violate them.

The consequences for Frost came quickly. At trial, he was criminally charged with first-degree sexual abuse, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The family of one of Frost’s victims then sued the organization they thought was in charge of the day care: Wooten Chapel Freewill Baptist Church.

They had good reason to think the church was responsible. Frost’s day care was registered under Wooten Chapel’s name. The church’s pastor was the day care’s contact person.

Several of the day care workers were longtime Wooten Chapel congregants and taught Bible study at the church. Frost offered parents discounts if they attended the church’s worship services. And kids were transported to the day care in the church’s white van.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Sexual assault awareness key to understanding, lawyer says

TEXAS
Baylor Lariat

By Kalyn Story

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Baylor has held several opportunities for students to get involved and educated on the issue. Although the month is ending, sexual assault awareness remains relevant.

Justin Smith, 2010 Baylor Law School graduate and current partner vat Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Law Firm in Longview, has tried several sexual abuse and assault cases. Smith said he believes it is a much bigger problem than people realize.

“It is great that we have Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but we don’t need a month, we need 12 months,” Smith said. “We need 365 days of awareness and support for victims. Victims are affected for much longer than a month, and we need to be aware all the time.”

Smith said he is glad America is recognizing sexual assault as a problem now, but he believes sexual assault awareness had been virtually nonexistent until recently. Specifically, he cites the realization of abuse within the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts as helping open up the discussion about sexual assault. Despite this, Smith said he doesn’t want the conversation to stop there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Clerical abuse victims lose bid to stop judge from hearing financial compensation case

MALTA
Independent

A court has turned down a request by the victims of clerical sex abuse to have their compensation case reassigned.

Lawrence Grech, Joseph Magro, Leonard Camilleri, David Cassar, Noel Dimech, Angelo Spiteri, Raymond Azzopardi, Charles Falzon, Philip Cauchi and Joseph Mangion had filed a case for compensation after Godwin Pulis and Carmelo Scerri had been found guilty of sexually abusing them at the St Joseph Home in Santa Venera in the late 80s.

The accused were sentenced to five and six years in prison and were later defrocked. Their sentences were confirmed on appeal.

The compensation case had been assigned to Mr Justice J.R. Micallef but the plaintiffs had requested the judge to recuse himself. They argued that since he was the President of the catholic Radju Maria radio station he could not be impartial. The judge had turned down the request and the plaintiffs then filed a separate constitutional application requesting the case to be reassigned.

The application was filed against the Attorney General, the Missionary Society of St Paul, the Archdiocese of Malta, Godwin Scerri and Charles Pulis. The men claimed a breach of their fundamental right to a fair hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Constitutional Court says judge need not recuse himself on clerical abuse case

MALTA
Malta Today

Matthew Agius 28 April 2016

A Constitutional court has turned down a request that it order a judge to recuse himself from hearing a case asking for damages for clerical sex abuse, due to his involvement in church-related organisations.

Judge Mark Chetcuti delivered the judgement in the Constitutional case filed this May by eleven victims of clerical sex abuse, after Judge Joseph R. Micallef had turned down their request that he abstain from deciding the claim.

The plaintiffs had been seeking redress after suffering abuse at the hands of priests whilst they had been children in Church care in the late 80s and early 90s. Carmelo Pulis and Godwin Scerri, both now defrocked, had been jailed, for 5 and 6 years respectively, for their cruelty and abuse against the boys in July 2011, confirmed on appeal in November 2012.

But when the subsequent civil case for damages against the Archdiocese of Malta was assigned to Mr. Justice Micallef, a staunch Catholic and president of the Malta Radio Maria Association, the men filed a request that the judge recuse himself, citing a perceived risk of pro-church bias on the part of the judge.

Micallef did not uphold their request and the men had then, in April 2015, filed urgent Constitutional proceedings, claiming a breach of their right to a fair trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Court rules in favour of judge hearing clerical sex abuse case, fundamental right to fair hearing 'not breached'

MALTA
Times of Malta

by Keith Micallef

Mr Justice Joseph R Micallef will continue to preside a case filed by victims of clerical sex abuse at Dar San Ġużepp in the late 1980s, who are seeking compensation from the Church.

The victims had questioned the judge’s impartiality on grounds that he presides the Radju Marija Foundation, which they claimed had strong links with the ecclesiastical authorities.

However, Mr Justice Micallef had turned down their request to stop hearing the case, forcing the plaintiffs to file an application before another court.

In a judgment this morning, Mr Justice Mark Chetcuti rejected the victim’s request saying that their fundamental right to a fair hearing had not been breached.

In July 2011, Charles Pulis and Godwin Scerri, both members of the Missionary Society of St Paul’s, were sentenced to six and five years’ imprisonment respectively for sexually abusing 11 boys in their care at St Joseph's Home in Sta Venera in the late 1980s. The sentence had been confirmed on appeal in November 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Upstate sex abuse victim spurred by Jerry Sandusky scandal comes forward, wants law to be passed

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY LARRY MCSHANE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Only the 2011 arrest of Penn State pervert Jerry Sandusky convinced an upstate sex abuse victim to end decades of silence about his own nightmarish abuse.

“Something happened — I said to myself, ‘You know what? I have to come forward,’” recalled Jack Cesare, a former upstate Catholic schoolboy molested by a predatory janitor while in grammar school.

Sandusky, tried and convicted in Pennsylvania, will die behind bars. The man who raped 13-year-old Cesare in Albany lived another 20 years and died a free man, a beneficiary of New York State law.

The 1977 assault inside the St. Teresa of Avila School was never addressed in its aftermath, with Cesare too humiliated to say anything until long after the statute of limitations in his case expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

April 27, 2016

Information on the trial for dissemination of reserved information and documents, 27.04.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bollettino

Vatican City, 27 April 2016 – Yesterday at 3.30 p.m. a new hearing began in the ongoing trial for the dissemination of reserved information and documents in Vatican City State Tribunal, according to information provided by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. It was attended by the members of the Tribunal (Professors Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Piero Antonio Bonnet, Paolo Papanti-Pelletier and Venerando Marano), the Promoter of Justice (Professors Gian Pietro Milano and Roberto Zannotti), and the defendants Ángel Lucio Vallejo Balda, Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, Nicola Maio and Gianluigi Nuzzi, with their respective legal representatives Emanuela Bellardini, Laura Sgrò, Rita Claudia Baffioni and Roberto Palombi. The defendant Emiliano Fittipaldi was absent, but his lawyer Lucia Teresa Musso was present.

The examination of witnesses began during the hearing, which was dedicated fully to the testimony of the first, Stefano Fralleoni, who was the Accountant General of the Prefecture of Economic Affairs of the Holy See at the time of the events in question. He was interrogated by the members of the Tribunal, the Promoter of Justice and the defendants' lawyers. Finally, the report of the proceedings was read and approved. The hearing was adjourned at approximately 6.45 p.m.

The next hearing will take place on Thursday 28 April at 3.30 p.m., during which the interrogation of admitted witnesses will continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Cardinel George Pell’s fight for justice

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt

HIS critics still claim — falsely — that Cardinal George Pell tried to save his church by covering up for paedophiles.

Yet Pell today is in an open war with Vatican officials who seem to be covering up for crooks.

You might call that ironic. I call it a lesson to Pell haters that he’s not the kind of man they take him for.

Last week Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, from the Vatican’s powerful state secretariat, ordered Vatican officials not to co-operate with the PricewaterhouseCoopers audit overseen by Pell into church finances.

To the public it must suggest the Godfather films weren’t too wrong and criminals have their fingers on the Vatican’s billions.

But to Pell’s critics it should suggest he’s not actually a man who’d do nothing about criminals in his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

PA--Judge: Trial vs. Catholic officials will go forward; Victims respond

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 27, 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’re grateful that the trial of three Pennsylvania Catholic officials who repeatedly ignored and hid child sex abuse reports against a cleric will go forward.

[ABC News]

[PennLive]

Church officials claimed they did nothing wrong because they sent Brother Stephen Baker to a doctor who essentially cleared him to stay on the job. We’re not buying it. We’re glad the judge didn’t either.

Catholic bureaucrats have made this claim about thousands of predators: “A doctor said he was ok.” But in most cases, bishops carefully pick devout Catholic doctors who will provide the “diagnosis” bishops seek. Or they give doctors inaccurate and inadequate information about the predator. Or they pick general practitioners who know little or nothing about sexual deviants. So it’s “garbage in, garbage out.”

Church officials often use these carefully-chosen professionals for “cover” to keep sexually troubled priests, nuns, brothers and seminarians in parishes and schools, and later feign shock when abuse reports surface.

We are saddened but not surprised that Franciscan officials didn’t tell principal William Rushin about Brother Baker’s crimes. And we hope that anyone with knowledge or suspicions of wrongdoing by Franciscans, especially Anthony Criscitelli, Giles Schinelli and Robert D’Aversa will speak up now.

No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in the Altoona area - to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted 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 8:54 PM

Assignment History– Rev. Raoul Gauthier

CANADA/UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Raoul Gauthier was ordained for Canada's Diocese of Gravelbourg in 1933. He assisted in several Saskatchewan parishes before going on leave in 1939. He reappeared in 1940 as a hospital chaplain in the Diocese of Crookston MN, in the United States. After four years in Crookston, he was sent to a hospital chaplaincy in the St. Cloud diocese. It is unclear where Gauthier spent 1948-53. During 1953-78 he was chaplain at St. Michael's Hospital in Sauk Centre, MN, except for a period 1968-69 when he was at a "clergy retreat center" run by the Servants of the Paraclete in Nevis. In 1979 Gauthier was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct after he admitted to fondling a developmentally disabled man. He fled shortly thereafter to Canada. He died in 1995, never having been extradited to the Unites States. Gauthier's name was included on the Diocese of St. Cloud's list January 3, 2014 of clergy involved in incidents of likely claims of sexual abuse of minors.

Ordained: 1933
Retired: 1979
Died: 1995

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Judge orders 3 friars to stand trial in sex abuse case

PENNSYLVANIA
WTAE

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa —Three Franciscan friars must stand trial on charges linked to their role in supervising a suspected sexual predator accused of molesting more than 100 children, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The decision comes after additional testimony in their preliminary hearing on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.

Giles Schinelli, Robert D'Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli assigned or supervised Brother Stephen Baker when he served at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown in the 1990s.

The defense had argued that it's too late to file charges and that their clients did their best to supervise Baker given what they knew.

More than 90 students have settled lawsuits for more than $8 million claiming Baker molested them, mostly while acting as a sports trainer. Baker fatally stabbed himself in the heart days after a diocese settled claims by former high school students in Warren, Ohio, that they had been abused in the late 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

UPDATE: Magisterial district judge rules that charges against Franciscan leaders can proceed

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

HOLLIDAYSBURG – Blair County Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner has ruled that sufficient evidence has been presented and charges can move forward against all three Franciscan leaders accused of allowing Brothers Stephen Baker to be around children at Bishop McCort High School or other locations – even though they allegedly knew he was suspected of having sexually abused students previously.

The Attorney General's Office rested its case Wednesday at the Blair County Courthouse against the Revs. Giles A. Schinelli, 73; Robert J. D'Aversa, 69; and Anthony M. Criscitelli, 62 – Third Order Regular, Province of the Immaculate Conception, minister provincials – who are accused of conspiracy and endangering the welfare of children.

The attorneys for the Franciscan leaders are expected to present their cases after the lunch recess.

Earlier Wednesday, Former Bishop McCort High School Principal William Rushin testified that no one ever told him about Baker.

"I should have been notified," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Lawton Priest Convicted of Sex Crimes

OKLAHOMA
Texomas Homepage

[with video]

LAWTON, Okla.

A Lawton Catholic priest who previously plead guilty to sexual battery, has now been removed from his post.

Father Jose Alexis Davila was convicted of his crime in 2012 while working in San Diego.

New reports claim he arrived in Lawton in December of 2015 having been deemed "fit to minister."

Archbishop Paul Coakley says "new information" about the allegations against Davila led to his removal from Blessed Sacrament and Saint Mary's Catholic School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Judge orders Mpls. priest to stand trial

PENNSYLVANIA
KARE

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered three Franciscan friars, including one with Minnesota ties, to stand trial on charges linked to their role supervising another friar accused of molesting scores of children.

The decision comes after more testimony Wednesday in their preliminary hearing on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.

Anthony Criscitelli, who recently served at St. Bridget's Parish in Minneapolis, Giles Schinelli and Robert D'Aversa assigned or supervised Brother Stephen Baker when he served at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown in the 1990s. Prosecutors say they enabled him.

The defense argued that it's too late to file charges and said their clients did their best to supervise Baker given what they knew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

‘The Club’: An effective study of abusive priests in exile

UNITED STATES
Chicago Sun-Times

Bill Goodykoontz | USA TODAY Network

Chilean writer and director Pablo Larraín moves away from films about the Pinochet regime with “The Club,” in which he takes on the Catholic Church.

It’s an interesting movie, odd and disturbing by design. But it’s also effective.

Four men and a woman share a house in a small coastal village. They train a greyhound and mill around. Over time, we learn why they are there.

They are disgraced priests, sentenced, basically, to the house to keep them both out of trouble and out of the public’s notice. They have committed various offenses against the church, which, as someone notes later in the film, are also crimes. (“Has it ever occurred to you that you’re a criminal?”)

The woman, Mother Monica (Antonia Zegers), looks after the priests, keeps things in order — and has sins of her own.

Another priest arrives, and Mother Monica explains the house rules and curfews to him. It’s a monastic existence, you might say, though the irony is uncomfortable. Lots of prayer and meditation, some TV and not much else, other than working with the dog.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Ariotti: “No era oportuna la publicación, fue nomás lo que le dije a Sarah Cartes”

PARAGUAY
La Nacion

[con audio]

[The Apostolic Nuncio, Eliseo Ariotti, spoke about the case of censorship of the series of publications that the research team of the newspaper La Nacion brought to light under the name of "Dark Church", which exposed Argentine priests accused of sexual abuse of children were hiding in Paraguay and protected by by authorities of the Catholic church in Paraguay.

Monsignor Ariotti told Channel 13 RPC he made a phone call to the owner of the Nacion Communications - Sarah Cartes Group - but did not specifically request that the investigation be stopped but "to be allowed to clarify what happened."]

El Nuncio Apostólico Eliseo Ariotti habló sobre el caso de censura de la serie de publicaciones que el equipo de investigación del diario La Nación sacó a la luz bajo el nombre de “Iglesia Oscura”, en la que se dejaba al descubierto como sacerdotes argentinos denunciados por abuso sexual a niños eran escondidos en Paraguay por autoridades de la iglesia católica en nuestro país.

Monseñor Ariotti reconoció a Canal 13 RPC que realizó un llamado telefónico a la propietaria del Grupo Nación de Comunicaciones Sarah Cartes, pero que no pidió expresamente que la investigación se dejara de publicar, sino “que se me permita aclarar lo que pasó”.

Ariotti dijo que le comentó a Sarah Cartes que estas publicaciones lo dañaban moralmente, pero que no expresó que le dañaban la carrera.

“No era oportuna la publicación, fue nomás fue lo que le dije a Sarah Cartes”, siguió la alta autoridad de la Iglesia Católica en nuestro país.

En otra parte de la entrevista, en Nuncio Apostólico dejó en claro que los periodistas de La Nación primero le debían entregar los documentos con los que contaban antes de publicarlos.

“¿Por qué si periodistas de LN sabía de documentos no vinieron a pasármelos?. Solo en abril me pidieron aclaraciones del caso que estaban investigando. Este caso debía ser primeramente estudiado, los documentos eran fotocopias y mensajes de mail”, lamentó en otro momento Nuncio Ariotti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Un cura pedófilo no es aceptado en la Abadía de Victoria de Entre Ríos

ARGENTINA
La Nacion

[The Benedictine Abbey of the Child Jesus in Argentina agreed not to receive into its midst the pedophile priest Fabian Nestor Monzon, 47, He was detained and accused of seriously outrageous sexual abuse, aggravated because he was minister of a religious cult. Abuse caused serious damage to the health of the victim, a child under 3 in Reconquista.]

José E. Bordón

SANTA FE.- Tolerancia cero de la iglesia argentina para los casos de abusos de menores comprobados que hayan cometido sacerdotes. La Abadía Benedictina del Niño Dios, de Victoria, Entre Ríos, no aceptó recibir al sacerdote pedófilo, Fabián Néstor Monzón (47 años), detenido e imputado por abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante, doblemente agravado por la condición de ser un ministro de un culto religioso reconocido, y por producir un grave daño en la salud de la víctima, una menor de 3 años, en la parroquia de un barrio de Reconquista, al norte de la provincia.

"El cura Monzón no ha estado, no está, ni va a estar en la Abadía", fue la respuesta que dio a conocer el abad Carlos Oberti, de la comunidad benedictina de Victoria. Además, la comunidad no está en condiciones de recibir a un sacerdote en esta situación", dijeron desde la Abadía.

El abad Oberti mantuvo una comunicación con Jorge Lozano, obispo de Gualeguaychú, que tiene jurisdicción sobre Victoria, y juntos acordaron dar a conocer un pronunciamiento público respecto de este espinoso asunto. De ese modo, los benedictinos procuran quedar al margen de una polémica desatada en torno a la decisión de la Justicia santafesina, que rechazó un pedido de la fiscalía de mandar al cura Monzón a la cárcel, y en su lugar resolvió permitirle ir a un retiro espiritual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Un periodista paraguayo le escribió a Francisco sobre los curas argentinos acusados de abusos

PARAGUAY
Clarin

[Journalists of the newspaper La Nacion of Paraguay rallied yesterday in front of the newspaper because of as decision by the company to suspend the publication of a series of reports on pedophile priests accused in Argentina who received ecclesiastical protection of the Church of Paraguay .

At the same time, the journalist Paul Noah, co - author of the research, released an open letter to Pope Francis in which remarked that he hoped the pope received his complaint and take care of the matter. The journalist told the pope that the only thing he could do was banish the practice of moving accused priests and encourage people to continue fighting against the arkness which many want to keep in the church.

The Union of Journalists denounced the apostolic nuncio (Vatican representative), Monsignor Eliseo Ariotti, who encouraged suspension of publication because it was "inconvenient" for the church. The newspaper's management said there was no censorship because the series of notoes on priests who ministered in the country was published and there was the expected reaction from church authorities.]

Periodistas del diario La Nación de Paraguay se manifestaron ayer frente a las instalaciones del periódico por la decisión de la empresa de suspender las publicación de una serie de informes sobre curas argentinos acusados de pedofilia que recibieron protección eclesiástica de la Iglesia de Paraguay.

A la vez, el periodista Pablo Noé, el coautor de la investigación, divulgó una carta abierta dirigida al papa Francisco en el que remarca: "Espero, papa Francisco, que llegue esta denuncia a sus manos y que se tomen cartas en el asunto. En este tipo de situaciones no importan las cuestiones superfluas ni las medias verdades. Lo único que se puede hacer para desterrar este tipo de prácticas es seguir el camino que usted marcó, que desde el ejemplo nos impulsa a seguir peleando contra la oscuridad en la que mucha gente quiere mantener a la Iglesia".​

En otro tramo de la carta al papa, Noé dice: "Por la influencia histórica, por la preponderancia que tiene usted como líder mundial, por la necesidad de que los modelos a seguir sean contundentes, le ruego humildemente que pueda dar una mirada al trabajo de investigación publicado en este medio. Estoy convencido de que servirá como un esfuerzo más para hacer de este un mundo mejor, que es el mensaje que más me impactó de su pontificado".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Principal: Franciscans didn't mention sex abuse allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLIve

By The Associated Press
on April 27, 2016

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former principal of a Roman Catholic high school testified Wednesday that he was never told by a Franciscan religious order that a friar he hired as a teacher had been accused of child sexual abuse.

William Rushin spoke at the preliminary hearing of three Franciscan friars accused of allowing Brother Stephen Baker to hold jobs where he molested children or posed a threat to children.

The hearing will determine whether Giles Schinelli, Robert D'Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli will stand trial on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.

William Rushin was principal of Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown from 1989 to 1997.

He said he hired Baker as a religion teacher and Baker eventually volunteered as an athletic trainer.

When asked if he would have hired Baker had he known of the allegations, Rushin replied, "Obviously, it would have been inappropriate to have someone like that working with children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Australian paedophile priest pleads guilty to child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Stuff

LOUISE HALL

A notorious paedophile priest in Australia has pleaded guilty to historical child sex offences on the eve of his trial.

On Wednesday, Vincent Gerard Ryan, 78, pleaded guilty to attempted homosexual intercourse with a male aged between 10 and 18, indecent assault on a male and gross indecency with a male under 18.

Ryan had been due to face a two-week trial in the Downing Centre District Court. The offences occurred in the mid-1980s in the Hunter region of New South Wales. The victim was aged between 13 and 15.

The Catholic priest, commonly known as Vince Ryan, has previously spent 14 years in jail for preying on 35 boys aged six to 14 between 1972 and 1991. He was released from Long Bay jail in 2010.

In a statement, Bishop Bill Wright of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, welcomed Ryan's guilty pleas.

"While a small consolation, I am grateful that Ryan's victim and others were spared the ordeal of a trial. Ryan's past crimes continue to throw a dark shadow onto the Diocese's present and I am terribly saddened that there is yet another child whose innocence was robbed by the sins of this man," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Catholic priest found guilty of luring boy, 11, to his office with computer games then drugging him and raping him on the floor

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS and NELSON GROOM FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

A Catholic priest working at a notorious boarding college enticed a Year 7 student into his office with computer games then raped him on the floor.

Michael Scott Aulsebrook, 60, of Traralgon, was found guilty of one count of rape after he fought the charge in the Victorian County Court. He has also admitted to sexually assaulting two other children.

During his trial, the jury heard Mr Aulsebrook invited the boy into his office at Salesian College Rupertswood after lights-out with an offer to play on his computer, then gave his victim a soft drink that had been spiked with a sedative.

The boy woke up on the floor while Mr Aulsebrook was raping him and pushing his face into the floor.

'He felt a large amount of pain,' prosecutor Andrew Grant said during the trial.
Afterwards, Aulsebrook said to the boy: 'Get out of my sight. You disgust me'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

The Latest: Lawyer Denies Charge That Friar Endangered Kids

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC News

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. — Apr 27, 2016

The Latest on a hearing to decide whether three Franciscan friars should stand trial on child endangerment and other charges for their role in supervising another friar accused of molesting more than 100 children (all times local):

——

3:05 p.m.

A lawyer for one of three Franciscan friars ordered to stand trial in Pennsylvania in a child endangerment case says there is no evidence his client did anything wrong.

Giles Schinelli, Robert D'Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli assigned or supervised another friar accused of molesting scores of children at a Catholic high school in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the 1990s.

They now face trial on charges of conspiracy and child endangerment.

Attorney Charles Porter Jr. says Schinelli investigated an allegation against Brother Stephen Baker and had him examined by a doctor, who found he had no sexual disorder. Given that, the attorney says there's no evidence of criminal intent.

The attorneys for the other two men declined to comment after the hearing, as did all three friars.

Baker killed himself in 2013.

———

2:35 p.m.

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered three Franciscan friars to stand trial on charges linked to their role supervising another friar accused of molesting scores of children.

The decision comes after more testimony Wednesday in their preliminary hearing on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.

Giles Schinelli, Robert D'Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli assigned or supervised Brother Stephen Baker when he served at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown in the 1990s. Prosecutors say they enabled him.

The defense argued that it's too late to file charges and said their clients did their best to supervise Baker given what they knew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Principal: Franciscans didn't mention sex abuse allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
WRAL

HOLLIDAYSBURG, PA. — A former principal of a Roman Catholic high school testified Wednesday that he was never told by a Franciscan religious order that a friar he hired as a teacher had been accused of child sexual abuse.

William Rushin spoke at the preliminary hearing of three Franciscan friars accused of allowing Brother Stephen Baker to hold jobs where he molested children or posed a threat to children.

The hearing will determine whether Giles Schinelli, Robert D'Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli will stand trial on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.

William Rushin was principal of Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown from 1989 to 1997.

He said he hired Baker as a religion teacher and Baker eventually volunteered as an athletic trainer.

When asked if he would have hired Baker had he known of the allegations, Rushin replied, "Obviously, it would have been inappropriate to have someone like that working with children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Police presence expected at seminary protest

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole, Pacific Daily News April 28, 2016

Police plan to check on protesters expected at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona Thursday, after two protests occurred in the past week.

Following a heated protest at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport last Thursday, the Guam Police Department was called to another protest at the seminary Tuesday.

Police will be making occasional checks at the seminary Thursday in anticipation of the protest, according to Capt. Kim Santos, GPD spokeswoman.

After dozens of silent protests in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña for the past year or so, the protests in the past week have not been as silent.

Police have not been present at the silent protests, hand billing or prayer demonstrations hosted by the Laity Forward Movement or the Concerned Catholics of Guam at various local churches, according to Robert Klitzkie, former senator.

Robert Klitzkie and members of Concerned Catholics and Laity Forward have been calling attention to Archbishop Anthony Apuron, some calling for his resignation, consistently over the past two years. Apuron’s ties with the Neocatechumenal Way have angered some local Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

MO--Victims prod new bishop to end honoring disgraced prelate

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 27, 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)

Bishop Edward Rice, the new head of the Springfield diocese, should publicly urge a statewide Catholic men’s group from honoring perhaps the most disgraced US prelate ever, his predecessor, Cardinal Bernard Law

Yesterday, we suggested other steps he should immediately take, steps that are frankly more important than this one about the Knights of Columbus.
http://www.snapnetwork.org/mo_new_bishop_named_victims_respond

But if he’s too timid to warn his flock about predator priests, this request – stop Catholics from honoring a proven wrongdoer – is as quick and simple as it gets.

A large statewide Catholic group that met last weekend just gave a scholarship named after law, who was forced to resign because of widespread abuse cover ups.

The Missouri Knights of Columbus donated money to a student for his education as the “Cardinal Bernard Law Youth Scholarship.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

OK--Archbishop says he’ll remove convicted priest; Victims respond

OKLAHOMA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 26, 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’re thrilled that caring and courageous parishioners challenged a reckless and secretive archbishop, and that a convicted predator priest will not head a parish with an elementary school.

[News OK]

[KFOR]

Frankly, we don’t believe Archbishop Paul Coakley’s claim to have found “new information” about Fr. Jose Alexis Davila. We believe Oklahoma City Catholic officials buckled under public and parishioner pressure. And it shouldn’t take outraged moms and dads to keep a predator priest out of the pulpit.

We renew our challenge to Coakely: disclose whether you’ve secretly welcomed other sex offender clergy into your archdiocese and hold an open public meeting to answer questions about your secretive and irresponsible decisions.

Sadly, we predict in a few months, Fr. Alexis Davila will quietly be re-assigned to a church again. Remember, since 2012, he’s been sent to Nevada, Utah and to four Oklahoma parishes. In a few years, we predict, he’ll be discovered again working around unsuspecting families and vulnerable teenagers.

We hope that anyone in any of the four states where Fr. Alexis Davila’s been who has information or suspicions about his crimes or cover ups by his supervisors will come forward now.

This case reminds us that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted 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 11:09 AM

Vatican Suspends Auditing Contract with PwC

ROME
Accounting Today

ROME (APRIL 26, 2016)
BY MICHAEL COHN

The Vatican’s Holy See has suspended its contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers but stressed that the suspension is not due to problems with PwC’s work.

The Vatican has been struggling to straighten out its finances and appointed the former chairman and CEO of Deloitte & Touche Italy last year to oversee a cleanup of its scandal-scarred bank (see Former Deloitte Italy CEO Appointed to Audit Vatican). Pope Francis has pledged to replace the bank’s top management, which has been plagued for years by accusations of corruption, financial mismanagement and money laundering. However, the suspension of the auditing contract with PwC may be a sign that the struggle to properly audit the Vatican’s finances is far from over.

A spokesperson for PwC’s Italian firm declined to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Church did not ‘weasel’ out of residential school settlement

CANADA
The Catholic Register

BY MICHAEL SWAN, THE CATHOLIC REGISTER
April 27, 2016

A $21-million shortfall on a $25-million fundraising campaign was a fiasco, but it wasn’t an attempt to weasel out of the legal or moral obligations Catholics have in the wake of the residential schools tragedy, Grouard-McLennan Archibishop Gerard Pettipas told The Catholic Register.

This newspaper first reported the shortfall in January of this year, but a Globe and Mail report that hit the front page April 19 has raised accusations that the 50 Catholic organizations party to the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement used legal trickery to sidestep their obligations.

“It isn’t accurate,” said Pettipas, who chairs the board of 50 Catholic Entities who are party to the settlement. “There was a cash contribution.

There was in-kind payment. There was a best-efforts campaign. We did all those. There wasn’t any weaselling out.”

As the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was pending last year there was a disagreement between the federal government and Catholic lawyers over whether or not the Catholic Entities had fully paid the last $16.6 million of $29 million owing in cash contributions to healing programs that would be run by First Nations organizations. The government contended the Catholic entities had paid $15 million and still owed a final $1.6 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Parents protest, priest removed

OKLAHOMA
KSWO

[with video]

By Allie Haddican, Reporter

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A priest who was convicted of an assault and battery charge in California, and who has been serving at a church here in Lawton, has been removed from his position on Tuesday. This was following public outcry over his appointment.

The news of Father Jose Alexis Davila’s removal from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church came just days after details of the crime surfaced. He had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault and battery charge for inappropriately touching a 19-year-old woman in 2011. The priest completed his probation requirements and the charges were dismissed last October.

In a statement on Saturday, Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley says because of this, he believed Father Davila could return to the ministry.

But in another statement from the Archbishop Tuesday night, he says that new information he received made it necessary to remove Father Davila from all work at Blessed Sacrament, and at the other churches he served in Elgin, Apache and Sterling.

St. Mary’s Catholic School is right next door to Blessed Sacrament. Students and parents stood silently holding signs across the street from where the Oklahoma City Archbishop was meeting with school staff about Father Davila. They were holding a silent protest over Father Davila’s position there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Archdiocese Relieves Controversial Priest

OKLAHOMA
Lawton Constitution

Wed, 04/27/2016

Mike Andrews

A priest who had been convicted of assault and battery for an incident with a parishioner in San Diego in 2011 and had been hired to serve churches in Lawton, Elgin, Apache and Fletcher has now been relieved of his duties by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City said in a statement: "After a continued investigation by archdiocesan staff, I became aware late Monday of new information regarding the allegations against Father Alexis Davila that made it necessary for me to remove him from pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Father Davila left the archdiocese on Tuesday."

Davila had been hired to assist at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Lawton and in March had been named administrator at Saint Ann Church, Elgin, and missions to Mother of Sorrows Church, Apache, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Sterling. He had been named to become pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Lawton effective June 28.

The statement said that Coakley had traveled to Southwest Oklahoma to meet with concerned parishioners, parents, staff and clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Vincent Gerard Ryan: Convicted paedophile and former priest pleads guilty to further offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nick Dole

A notorious paedophile from the New South Wales Hunter region who has already served a 14-year sentence could be sent back to prison.

Former priest Vincent Gerard Ryan has pleaded guilty to three charges, including an act of gross indecency and attempting sexual intercourse with a boy in 1984.

He was due to face trial on seven offences but the remaining charges were dropped following his guilty plea.

Bishop of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, Bill Wright, described the guilty plea as a "small consolation".

"I am grateful that Ryan's victim and others were spared the ordeal of a trial," he said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Ex-Salesian College Catholic priest guilty of rape

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

April 26, 2016

Shannon Deery
Herald Sun

A FORMER Catholic priest linked to one of the state’s most notorious alleged paedophile rings has been found guilty of rape.

Former Salesian priest Michael Aulsebrook is now behind bars for the second time after a County Court jury returned their guilty verdict today.

Aulsebrook was found guilty of raping an 11-year-old boarder at Salesian College, Rupertswood, in 1988.

He had lured the boy into his office by letting him play computer games, then drugged him and attacked him.

The boy woke to found himself being raped by Aulsebrook.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Priest Michael Aulsebrook found guilty of raping boy at Salesian College Rupertswood

AUSTRALIA
The Age

April 27, 2016

Adam Cooper

A Catholic priest found guilty of raping a student at a notorious boarding school outside Melbourne has also admitted sexually assaulting two other children, it can now be reported.

Michael Aulsebrook, 60, was on Wednesday found guilty by a County Court jury of raping an 11-year-old boy at Salesian College Rupertswood, in Sunbury, in 1988, when the priest was the boarding co-ordinator at the school.

Aulsebrook pleaded not guilty to one charge of rape. The jury had begun their deliberations on Tuesday morning.

Aulsebrook is one of a number of priests who taught at Salesian College Rupertswood who have been convicted of sexually assaulting children at the school.

It is is understood that Aulsebrook is no longer practising as a priest. He has previously served time in jail for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy in 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Vic priest found guilty of school rape

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

A Catholic priest working at a notorious Salesian College in the late 1980s enticed a Year 7 student into his office with computer games then raped him on the floor.

Michael Scott Aulsebrook, 60, of Traralgon, has been found guilty of one count of rape after he fought the charge in the Victorian County Court.

During his trial, the jury heard Aulsebrook invited the boy into his office after lights-out with an offer to play on his computer, then gave his victim a soft drink that had been spiked with a sedative.

The boy woke up on the floor as Aulsebrook was raping him and pushing his face into the floor.

"He felt a large amount of pain," prosecutor Andrew Grant said during the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

How has Pope Francis performed?

VATICAN CITY
The Commentator

Tim Hedges

When the then Cardinal Bergoglio came to the papacy three years ago, no one really knew what to expect. At his investiture I wrote in these pages: “A new pope begins with a huge well of optimism and confidence which will last a while but not forever. Francis needs to reassure the faithful.”

So, in three years, how has he done?

The concerns three years ago were about child abuse in the clergy and corruption in the Vatican. As to the first, Francis has shown himself willing to listen to the victims and ready both to apologise and to punish the guilty.

Work began on reforming the Curia, the Vatican’s government, almost on the new pope’s first day. He appointed a Council of Cardinal Advisers to restructure the government, many of them outsiders. Francis has made dramatic changes to the IOR, the Vatican Bank, which had too often received money from criminal sources. IOR is now subject to international banking and money laundering norms.

So far, so good. But Francis is such an odd incumbent of his office, people started wondering about him. He, in turn, seems to have encouraged their curiosity.

Odd? Yes: he is the first Jesuit pope, after his order had been persecuted by many of his predecessors. He is the first from the southern hemisphere, indeed the first non-European since an obscure Syrian in the 8th century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

East Bay minister charged with 23 counts of child sex abuse

CALIFORNIA
SFGate

By Kimberly Veklerov Updated Tuesday, April 26, 2016

An East Bay minister has been charged with 23 counts of sexually abusing a teenage parishioner over a three-year period.

The Contra Costa County district attorney’s office charged Fernando Maldonado, a 32-year-old Concord resident, on Monday with 12 counts of lewd acts with a minor, 10 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and one count of sodomy of a minor.

The alleged abuse occurred from September 2012 to mid-2015 and involved one victim at the two churches in which Maldonado presided as a minister, said Sgt. Dave Mathers, a detective in the Martinez Police Department. The churches were Morello Avenue Baptist Church in Martinez and the Grace Bible Church of Pleasant Hill, where church leaders and congregants, including the alleged victim, moved after the church in Martinez closed, Mathers said.

Authorities have been conducting interviews to determine whether there were additional victims, said Paul Graves, deputy district attorney of Contra Costa County and the prosecutor for the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Sex abuse lawsuits continue to stack up against Hawaii's Catholic Church

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Nearly 150 victims of child sex abuse have filed lawsuits against Hawaii's Catholic Church and other local institutions in the past four years.

This includes more than two dozen lawsuits that were filed within the last two weeks to beat Sunday's deadline to sue.

Many of these cases date back to the 1950s, but state lawmakers passed legislation twice to extend the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims.

Randall Rosenburg will represent the vicitms in court.

"They've been damaged and dealing with the damage in the shadows for decades," Rosenburg said. "They were immensely grateful for the opportunity to come forward and in many cases we were able to resolve their cases and get them some relief and some closure."

Hawaii news Now has learned that the Hawaii Archdiocese and other religious organizations have agreed to pay about $20 million to victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

East Bay minister charged with 23 counts of sexually abusing teen girl

CALIFORNIA
Daily Democrat

By Katrina Cameron, kcameron@bayareanewsgroup.com
POSTED: 04/26/16

MARTINEZ -- An East Bay minister was charged with 23 counts of sexually abusing a teenage girl over a three-year period, police said.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office charged Fernando Maldonado, 35, of Concord, on Monday, said Martinez police detective Sgt. Dave Mathers. He has been charged with lewd acts with a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and sodomy of a minor.

The alleged victim is now 17, police said Saturday. They have not released the girl's city of residence.

The investigation began when the victim reported the alleged abuse April 18 to Martinez police, the agency leading the investigation. The abuse began when Maldonado was a minister and the victim was a parishioner at Morello Avenue Baptist Church in Martinez, police said.

Maldonado is a former resident of Martinez. Morello Avenue Baptist Church has since been shut down, Mathers said. Maldonado left that church to become a minister at Grace Bible Church in Pleasant Hill in 2014, where the victim began attending the church and the abuse continued, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Albany church faces $5M suit for 30-year-old sex abuse allegation

NEW YORK
Albany Democrat-Herald

Neil Zawicki
Albany Democrat-Herald

An unnamed plaintiff has sued the Albany First Assembly church for alleged sexual abuse suffered between 1984 and 1987. The National Council of the church as well as the Oregon Ministerial District Network are also named as defendants.

Attorney Gilion Dumas said the lawsuit stems from alleged events involving Ralph Wade Gantt and Todd Clark, two men who had worked as leaders with an all-boys’ church group called the Royal Rangers, which is similar to the Boy Scouts.

Gantt and Clark were both convicted of sexual abuse in 1988 in an unrelated case that did not involve the church, and both men served time for their convictions. The suit does not name the men as defendants, but rather argues that the church leadership is culpable under Agency Law, which allows victims of such crimes to sue an organization because it controls the alleged offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

New video evidence supports boy’s claims of sexual assault on Buffalo school bus

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By Jay Rey | News Staff Reporter
on April 26, 2016

The little boy who claimed to be sexually molested by a student nearly twice his age while on a Buffalo school bus with no bus aide late last year was telling the truth all along, new video evidence shows.

While his claims had been dismissed based on initial reviews of footage from the bus camera, investigators have recovered additional video from the bus that captured the 6-year-old being sexually abused by the older student during the ride from their Catholic school on the West Side, the boy’s mother told The Buffalo News.

Three separate sources familiar with the investigation corroborated this new development in the case.

In fact, video showed the sexual abuse took place on the bus on more than one occasion, the mother said.

“He was sexually assaulted on that bus not one time, but five times,” the mother said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Cardinal George Pell’s evidence to Child Abuse Royal Commission ‘quite wrong’, top official

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

April 27, 2016

Shannon Deery
Herald Sun

A SHADOW has been cast over Cardinal George Pell’s evidence to the child abuse royal commission with a former senior Catholic official stopping just short of calling him a liar.

A former director of Victoria’s Catholic Education Office (CEO) today told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse parts of Cardinal Pell’s evidence were “quite wrong”.

In his testimony to the commission in March, Cardinal Pell said he was the victim of a widespread deception, lasting decades, that kept him in the dark about child abuse.

He said senior church officials, including a cousin, kept details about allegations of abuse from him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Information 'not withheld' from Pell

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The former deputy director of the Catholic Education Office says he was shocked and angry when he heard Cardinal George Pell say he was deceived by the CEO during his time in Melbourne.

Education consultant Peter Annett was deputy director of the Archdiocese of Melbourne's education office when Dr Pell was auxiliary bishop with responsibility for education.

On Wednesday he told the child abuse royal commission at one stage in the late 80s a number one priority for the office was that notorious paedophile priest Peter Searson be removed from the parish of Doveton.

Mr Annett is one of four former education officers responding to evidence given by Cardinal Pell from Rome in March that the CEO withheld information about Searson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Cardinal George Pell’s evidence challenged by three Catholic officials

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

APRIL 27, 2016

Dan Box
Crime reporter
Sydney

Three former Catholic Church officials have directly challenged evidence from Cardinal George Pell, who claimed to have been “deceived” and made the victim of a “cover-up” over the activities of a paedophile priest.

The former Melbourne Catholic Education Office officials told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today they were in “shock, “disappointed” and “angry” at the Cardinal’s claims, which were “quite wrong”.

Giving evidence to the commission last month, Cardinal Pell, now a senior Vatican official, accused the Education Office of keeping from him reports of violent and sexual misconduct by the late Peter Searson.

Father Searson, who sexually abused children, threatened parishioners with a gun and allegedly stabbed a bird to death with a screwdriver, was able to continue working as a priest for years despite repeated complaints about him, the inquiry heard.

Cardinal Pell told the commission he had been “deceived” about Searson’s activities during late 1980s and early 1990s, when he was a bishop in Melbourne with responsibility for the Doveton parish where the priest worked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Pell's claim he was deceived 'is wrong'

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
27 APR 2016

Three former Catholic education officers have denied Cardinal George Pell's claims their office deceived him about the activities of a violent and sexually abusive priest.

Former Catholic Education Office director Monsignor Thomas Doyle and his deputy Peter Annett told the sex abuse royal commission of their shock, disappointment and anger on hearing Dr Pell allege the office withheld information about pedophile priest Peter Searson in the 1980s.

Cardinal Pell, an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne in the '80s, told the royal commission in March education officials were fearful of telling him the full story about Searson because they knew he would be "decisive" and not accept the status quo.

In giving his evidence from Rome where he is now the Vatican's finance chief, Dr Pell also said he thought the education office at the time was protecting Archbishop Frank Little.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Cardinal George Pell 'wrong' to blame others for sex abuse cover up, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

April 27, 2016

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

Senior Catholic education officials have spoken of their shock and anger at Cardinal George Pell's evidence to a royal commission that staff had covered up complaints about a paedophile priest.

Cardinal Pell told the royal commission last month that staff from the Catholic Education Office deceived him by failing to give a full account of allegations about Father Peter Searson.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse has heard evidence that Father Searson, who died in 2009, killed a bird in front of children, showed them a dead body in a coffin, held a gun to the heads of parishioners, threatened to stab a child and repeatedly molested youngsters during confession.

Senior staff from the Catholic Education Office in Victoria strongly rejected Cardinal Pell's evidence that he was not made fully aware of Father Searson's behaviour while parish priest of Doveton in Melbourne in the 1980s.

Former deputy director of the Catholic Education Office Peter Annett told the royal commission parishioners and staff at Doveton's Holy Family school would have been "cheering from the rooftops" if Cardinal Pell, then an auxilliary bishop in the Melbourne Archdiocese, had worked to convince then-archbishop Frank Little to remove Father Searson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Monsignor denies George Pell kept in dark about alleged paedophile Peter Searson

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By James Hancock

A former director of Catholic Education Melbourne has firmly denied claims by Cardinal George Pell that management deceived him about the actions of accused paedophile priest Peter Searson.

Monsignor Thomas Doyle was one of four former officers of the Catholic education office to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today.

Earlier this year while speaking from Rome, Cardinal Pell accused management of the Melbourne Archdiocese of keeping him in the dark about allegations against Searson.

The inquiry heard the Doveton parish priest was accused of sexually abusing children from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Searson died in 2009 without conviction for child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Cardinal Pell's credibility is on the line as Catholic church strikes back

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

David Marr

When George Pell dumped on Melbourne’s Catholic Education Office in March the question was: would the church strike back or hunker down behind the cardinal? On Wednesday the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse gave the answer: strike back hard.

At issue is Pell’s credit. Time and again as he has defended his record as a priest in Ballarat and bishop in Melbourne, the cardinal’s best answer to his accusers has been: my word can be trusted against yours.

That’s not looking so good now.

To recap: when Pell came to Melbourne as an auxiliary bishop in 1987 there was an erratic and violent priest called Peter Searson terrifying children at the parish school in Doveton.

He hit them. They fled screaming from the presbytery. He packed a gun. He hung round the boys’ toilet. He sat little girls on his lap during confession. He took gruesome delight in showing kids a corpse in a coffin. He stole parish funds.

Father Searson was plainly nuts, but the Catholic Education Office couldn’t get rid of him. They’d run complaints up to the then archbishop of Melbourne, Frank Little, but nothing would be done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

April 26, 2016

UPDATE: Oklahoma priest convicted of sex crime removed from parish

OKLAHOMA
KFOR

APRIL 26, 2016, BY LORNE FULTONBERG

LAWTON, Okla. – A priest working in a southwest Oklahoma parish, despite pleading guilty to sexual battery, has been removed from his post.

In a statement obtained by NewsChannel 4, Archbishop Paul Coakley said he made the decision after learning “new information” about the allegations against Fr. Jose Alexis Davila.

“I am grateful for the support and cooperation of parishioners, parents, staff and clergy in Lawton and Elgin who met with me today, and for Father Chapman’s continued service to the faith community at Blessed Sacrament and Saint Mary’s Catholic School,” Coakley said. “We are committed as an archdiocese to maintaining a safe environment in every parish and institution so that families feel safe and welcome to practice their faith. Consequently, we will continue to review and seek ways to improve our current procedures.”

Davila was convicted of his crime in 2012, when he was working in San Diego.

He arrived in Lawton in Dec. 2015, despite his record, having been deemed “fit to minister.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

Assignment History– Rev. Emmerich W. Vogt, O.P.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Emmerich William Vogt was ordained in 1978 for the Order of Preachers, Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus - Western Dominican Province. He served parishes in the Oakland CA diocese and in the the San Francisco CA, Portland OR and Los Angeles CA archdioceses. He also taught on the high school and college levels. He was Provincial of the Western Dominican Province 2006-2011. Vogt was accused in a February 2016 lawsuit of having sexually abused an altar boy in Portland OR, over a 10-year period.

Ordained: 1978

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Convicted priest booted from OKC

OKLAHOMA
The Worthy Adversary

April 26, 2016 Joelle Casteix

But where is he now? That’s an important question …

From NewsOK:

Tuesday, in a prepared statement, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said the Rev. Jose Alexis Davila was removed from his pastoral work in the archdiocese after more investigation was conducted into the priest’s past.

Considering the archbishop claimed to have done an exhaustive investigation, I can only conclude that the real issue was parishioner pushback.

Why? Because all you needed to do to learn the full story of Davila is do a Google search and read this blog. And it doesn’t cost a nickle.

But on to the important question: Where is Davila now?

From OKC Archbishop Coakley’s statement:

After a continued investigation by archdiocesan staff, I became aware late Monday of new information regarding the allegations against Father Alexis Davila that made it necessary for me to remove him from pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Father Davila left the archdiocese on Tuesday. (emphasis mine)

So we don’t know where he is. We don’t know if he’s allowed to be a priest. We don’t know where he’s living or working.

Coakley just passed the trash down the road. He had options: He could have forced Davila to live in a monastery, away from vulnerable populations (women, children). He could have made Davila live a life of prayer and penance.

But he didn’t. So now, we need to keep looking for Jose Alexis Davila. And hopefully, if he turns up in another parish, Catholics and parents will be as brave and strong as the people of Lawton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Protesters urge local dioceses to acknowledge sexual abuse victims

CALIFORNIA
KRON

OAKLAND (BCN) — A small group of protesters today urged Catholic Church officials in the Bay Area to reach out to anyone who may have been abused by priests after two priests who previously worked in the region were recently accused
of sexually abusing children.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests organized the protest, which took place outside of The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

The group is asking Oakland Bishop Michael Barber, San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath and San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to acknowledge victims of sexual abuse in light of new allegations in lawsuits filed against two priests who previously worked in the Bay Area.

In February, the Rev. Emmerich Vogt, who has worked at several churches and organizations in both Oakland and San Francisco since the 1970s, including Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, was accused of sexual abuse by an Oregon man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 PM

Priest leaves Oklahoma archdiocese amid new allegations

OKLAHOMA
News OK

Carla Hinton Published: April 26, 2016

LAWTON — A priest who in 2012 pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sexual battery charge involving a young woman has been removed from his role as pastor of several Catholic churches in Oklahoma.

Tuesday, in a prepared statement, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said the Rev. Jose Alexis Davila was removed from his pastoral work in the archdiocese after more investigation was conducted into the priest's past.

Davila had been serving at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and St. Mary's Catholic School, both in Lawton, supporting the parish's pastor, the Rev. Michael Chapman. Davila was to eventually become the Lawton church's pastor because Coakley had appointed him to the position effective in June. Davila had been serving in a pastoral role at churches in Elgin, Apache and Sterling as well.

"After a continued investigation by archdiocesan staff, I became aware late Monday of new information regarding the allegations against Father Alexis Davila that made it necessary for me to remove him from pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Father Davila left the archdiocese on Tuesday," Coakley said in his statement.

Diane Clay, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said before coming to Oklahoma, Davila pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in 2012 in San Diego and was sentenced to probation for three years and community service, which he completed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

OH--Columbus predator priest passes; Victims respond

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 26, 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)

Kids are safer now because a Columbus predator priest has passed away. We hope this news will bring some comfort to those he assaulted.

[Columbus Dispatch]

We are relieved that Fr. Ronald J. Atwood cannot hurt anyone else. We hope his passing will enable others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Atwood or cover ups by his colleagues and supervisors to step forward.

Even though Fr. Atwood can’t be criminally charged, it’s possible that others who ignored or concealed his crimes might be prosecuted. So we urge current and former church members and staff to share whatever knowledge or suspicions they might have about Fr. Atwood or his colleague with law enforcement immediately.

We hope anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered, Fr. Atwood’s crimes, or cover ups by his church colleagues or supervisors, will call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

We hope that Bishop Frederick Campbell will personally visit each parish where Fr. Atwood worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to speak up. We also hope he’ll do the same at any place where a recently-outed Pennsylvania predator priest, Msgr. Harold J. Burkhart worked. (That predator, Msgr. Harold J. Burkhart, spent a quarter century in Columbus but has virtually never been “outed” in the Columbus area.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

NY--Second abuse case filed vs. priest still on the job

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 26, 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)

Long Island’s Catholic bishop must suspend a priest who now faces two pending child sex abuse lawsuits. Or other church officials must discipline and denounce him for his recklessness.

[Newsday]

Today, a second civil case has been filed charging that Fr. Gregory Yacyshyn molested a second child a few years ago.

[SNAP]

We know of just one other priest – Fr. Alex Anderson of St. Louis - who is still in a parish despite multiple accusers. (Three men say he molested them but only one has sued, however.)

[SNAP]

However, we have learned recently that two US priests who are convicted sex offenders are being put back on the job – Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul and Fr. Jose Alexis Davila.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Jewish Leaders: Extend Time For Child Sex Abuse Victims to Sue Their Abusers

NEW YORK
Forward

Forward Staff
April 26, 2016

Jewish leaders and rabbis from a range of denominations have come out in support of legislation that would give New York State child sex abuse victims more time to sue those they hold responsible for their abuse.

Over the last few days, more than 50 leaders and activists, including some 30 rabbis, signed a letter in support of the Child Victims Act. The measure, first introduced years ago by Margaret Markey, a New York State Assembly Democrat, would extend the statute of limitations for civil suits against alleged sexual abusers of children and against institutions that fail to act against such abuse under their roofs.

The bill would also provide a one-year window during which past victims could go to court whose chance to sue their alleged abusers has already expired.

A companion bill sponsored by Markey would eliminate the current statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions of alleged child sex abusers.

Currently, child sex abuse victims must file suit against those they hold accountable for their abuse by the time they are 23. But many experts say that it can take decades—well into adulthood—for someone who has been abused as a child to understand what has been done to them, come to terms with it and act on their understanding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Rehabilitating a disgraced priest: a thought-experiment

OKLAHOMA
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler Apr 26, 2016

After it emerged that a priest with a history of sexual abuse is serving as a pastor, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City is “assessing the situation.” With all respect to Archbishop Coakley—for whom I have generally had a high opinion—I think he should be assessing himself. In light of this case, actually all the American bishops should be assessing themselves. Because what happened in Oklahoma illustrates why so many people believe—rightly, I would argue—that their bishops still don’t “get it.”

When the news first came out, Archbishop Coakley issued a statement explaining why he thought it was reasonable to assign Father José DaVila to a parish, five years after the Venezuelan-born priest had entered a guilty plea to charges of groping a young woman in California. He said that the priest understood that his behavior had been “inappropriate,” and “accepts the consequences of his lapse of judgment.” He said that the Oklahoma City archdiocese had investigated the priest thoroughly, including “lengthy interviews with leaders from dioceses in which Father DaVila has served.” (Notice the plural: dioceses; this priest has bounced around a bit.) And he emphasized that Father DaVila, like all others serving in the Oklahoma City archdiocese, would be bound by a strict code of behavior.

What’s wrong with that statement? Let me count the ways.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Boy's kin being asked to withdraw case: UCA

INDIA
Times of India

TNN | Apr 27, 2016

Mangaluru: A Christian organization has appealed to Most Rev Aloysius Paul D'Souza, bishop of Mangaluru, to ensure that the family of a 9-year-old-boy is not pressured to withdraw a case filed against a priest who allegedly assaulted the kid.

Parish priest Andrew D'Costa was charged with assaulting the boy after he failed to answer questions on the Bible, during his first communion catechism class in Our Lady of Fatima Church, under Vittal police station limits. The incident occurred on April 12 and the case was registered on April 18. The parents of the 9-year-old boy said the priest got furious with the victim during the first communion catechism as he failed to answer some Bible-related questions. Later, he beat him black and blue with a stick.

After the boy narrated the incident to his parents, who are from a poor economic background, they filed a case against the priest. However, even after a week, police have not arrested the priest who according to sources is being treated at Fr Mullers Hospital, Fathima ward no. 631.

United Christians Association (UCA), which has submitted a letter to the bishop said it is extremely unfortunate that one of the priests from Peruvai has committed the grievous crime on a minor boy under his religious custody. UCA has alleged that the family is being threatened to withdraw the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Pell's knowledge of priest under spotlight

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Four people who worked at the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne at the time Cardinal George Pell alleges the office kept him in the dark about a notoriously abusive priest will give evidence at a hearing on Wednesday.

The former education officers made statements to the child abuse royal commission after Cardinal Pell gave evidence from Rome last March that the Catholic Education Office withheld information from him.

Dr Pell was Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 1989 with responsibility for education, when complaints were flooding in about the bizarre, abusive and sexualised behaviour of Father Peter Searson at the parish of Doveton.

Allegations against Searson included that he was threatening children at the Holy Family Primary School - he brought a hand gun to school, showed a body in a coffin to children and held a knife to a little girl's chest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Emotional trip for Jurds

AUSTRALIA
Armidale Express

By DANNIELLE MAGUIRE
April 27, 2016,.

FOUR generations from one family have been left with the scars from child sexual abuse.

Grandmother Claire Jurd had to bury a son, Peter Jurd has lost a brother, Claire-Anne Jurd has had to confront adulthood without a father, and little Indi will never know her grandfather.

Together, they tied a ribbon for the man missing from their family – Damian Jurd, who took his own life after being sexually abused by former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell.

Damian spoke up about what happened to him, however, charges laid in 1987 against the defrocked priest went to a committal hearing and were dismissed by a magistrate.

It was reported the magistrate thought Damian, who was 15 at the time, was not as credible a witness as the priest.

The abuse took its toll on Damian, who ended his life in 2001.

He was just 28-years-old.

Nearly 10 years later and on Thursday, his family travelled from Tamworth to Armidale to honour Damian’s memory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

At Brigham Young, a Cost in Reporting a Rape

UTAH
New York Times

By JACK HEALY APRIL 26, 2016

PROVO, Utah — Before she could move into the dorms at Brigham Young University or sign up for freshman classes, Brooke first had to sign the college’s Honor Code.

Part moral compass and part contract, the Honor Code is a cornerstone of life for the nearly 30,000 students at the Mormon-run university. It points students, faculty and staff members toward “moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” prizing honesty, chastity and virtue. It requires modest dress on campus and prohibits drinking, drug use, same-sex intimacy, indecency and sexual misconduct.

But after Brooke, 20, told the university that she had been raped by a fellow student at his apartment in February 2014, she said the Honor Code became a tool to punish her. She had taken LSD that night, and told the university about an earlier, coerced sexual encounter with the student who she said later raped her. Four months after reporting the assault, she got a letter from the associate dean of students.

“You are being suspended from Brigham Young University because of your violation of the Honor Code including continued illegal drug use and consensual sex, effective immediately,” the letter read.

In the past few weeks, Brooke and a handful of other female students have come forward, first at a rape-awareness conference and then in The Salt Lake Tribune, to say that they had faced Honor Code investigations into whether they drank alcohol, took drugs or had consensual sex in the time surrounding their assaults.

“They treated me in such an un-Christlike way, like I was some sinner,” said Brooke, who agreed to be identified by her first name. “There was no forgiveness and mercy.”

Their accounts have brought a national debate over colleges’ disparate treatment of sexual-assault survivors crashing onto this faith-driven campus, where Mormon students gather from around the globe, women’s skirts must fall to their knees and men’s beards are outlawed. The furor has raised criticism over how the university treats survivors of sexual assault as it also seeks to uphold a moral code that lies at the heart of its identity.

Some experts in law and gender issues on college campuses said Brigham Young’s approach was troubling.

They said the fear of being investigated, suspended or losing a scholarship could keep students from reporting sexual assaults to the university, potentially letting perpetrators escape campus discipline.

“You’re creating a systemic unwillingness or barrier for victims to come forward and access the resources of the university for fear that they’re going to be punished,” said Brett A. Sokolow, executive director of the Association of Title IX Administrators, an industry group named for the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.

Brigham Young’s policy on sexual misconduct urges students to come forward even if they have broken school policies. It says any violation is addressed separately from a sexual-assault investigation.

Carri Jenkins, a university spokeswoman, said its priority was to support and safeguard students who report sexual violence.

“Brigham Young University cares deeply about the safety of our students,” she said in an email. “When a student reports a sexual assault, our primary focus is on the well-being of the victim.”

Sometimes, though, “facts come to light that a victim has engaged in prior Honor Code violations,” she said, adding that those facts can be investigated.

Many other colleges, secular and religious, have “amnesty clauses” that protect victims who might worry about getting in trouble for infractions surrounding their attack, like taking drugs or drinking in a dorm room. Last year, Maryland passed a law protecting students who report or witness sexual assaults from being cited for violating drug and alcohol rules.

“All schools, including B.Y.U., know that alcohol and drugs are often involved in sexual violence,” said Adele P. Kimmel, a senior lawyer at Public Justice, a nonprofit that advocates social-justice issues. “If you’re a school that wants to send a message to students that you’re serious about preventing sexual violence, you should have an amnesty policy.”

Madeline MacDonald, a sophomore at Brigham Young studying computer science, did not hesitate to go to the university in December 2014 after what was supposed to be a date with someone she met on Tinder turned into an assault. Ms. MacDonald, who agreed to allow her full name to be published, said the man — not a B.Y.U. student — drove her to a water tower off campus, undressed, groped her and masturbated against her after she told him “no” several times.

The next day, she went to the university’s Title IX office, which fields sexual-assault reports, and gave them a detailed account of what happened. She recently learned that an investigation was opened by the university’s Honor Code office that same day.

“There was a good two weeks where I had no clue what was going on and no one would talk to me,” she said.

Ms. MacDonald said the university eventually agreed that she had been sexually assaulted and offered support services. Separately, she got a call telling her she would face no discipline under the Honor Code.

Brigham Young always seemed like the natural path for Ms. MacDonald, who grew up in Seattle. Her family members were alumni, and they would wake her up singing the university’s fight song.

She said she had decided to stay at Brigham Young, despite her experience. “This is a really awful policy,” she said.

The federal Education Department urges colleges to make sure their discipline policies do not discourage students from coming forward to report sexual assaults. The policies also should remind survivors that their drinking or drug use is never an invitation for sexual violence, the agency says.

Madi Barney said she was so worried about facing Honor Code sanctions at Brigham Young that she waited four days last September before she went to the Provo police to report that she had been raped in her off-campus apartment by a man she knew, who was not a student.

“I just remember sobbing and telling the police officer I couldn’t go forward because B.Y.U. was going to kick me out,” Ms. Barney, 20, said.

But Ms. Barney’s police report made its way into the university’s hands anyway, after Nasiru Seidu, the man charged with assaulting her, gave it to an acquaintance who worked as a Provo County sheriff’s deputy, according to court records. The deputy, Edwin Randolph, passed it to the college.

Mr. Seidu and Mr. Randolph were charged with witness retaliation; the charges were later dropped.

The university later contacted her to say it wanted to meet with her. Last month, the university’s general counsel, Stephen Craig, emailed Ms. Barney’s lawyer to say that while B.Y.U. had not sought the police report, it was nevertheless “under an obligation to itself and to its students to investigate credible reports of Honor Code violation.”

“I understand that this is disappointing to you and to Madison,” Mr. Craig wrote to the lawyer. “The university nonetheless enforces its Honor Code.”

On March 4, Brigham Young’s lawyer wrote to say that Ms. Barney could finish the semester, but that the university would block her from enrolling in any more classes “until the Honor Code issues are resolved.”

Ms. Barney took her final exam at Brigham Young this month, and has decided she does not want to return.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Pell surprised at suspension of Vatican audit

VATICAN CITY
CathNews New Zealand

The Vatican’s finance chief, Cardinal George Pell, has expressed surprise at the suspension of an independent audit of the Vatican’s finances.

The Vatican’s Secretariat of State suspended the audit by international accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers last week.

This is four months after the Vatican had announced PwC was to perform the audit.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, said that the audit had been paused because there are “underway detailed studies of some aspects relative to the agreement” reached with the firm.

According to media reports, the problem was not connected to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which had just begun its work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Lawsuit says Catholic priest sexually abused Long Island man

NEW YORK
Newsday

Updated April 26, 2016
By Bart Jones bart.jones@newsday.com

A Long Island man said Tuesday he was sexually abused as a boy by a Roman Catholic priest — the second case brought against the priest since last year.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre, which has not removed the Rev. Gregory Yacyshyn from active ministry, said it “intends to address the claims vigorously in a court of law.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Indian priest investigated for abuse in Canada not charged

INDIA/CANADA
UCA News

Ritu Sharma, New Delhi
India April 26, 2016

An Indian Catholic priest sent back to India from Canada following an investigation into alleged abuse has been cleared after a police inquiry.

Father Ashok Mascarenhas, a member of the Bangalore province of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate — known as the Pallottines, was suspended in March and sent back to India in early April after complaints against him initiated a police inquiry in Canada.

He was serving as an associate pastor at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Fort Saskatchewan, Edmonton Archdiocese, since 2013.

"Somebody had complained against Father Mascarenhas of showing interest in the personal lives of people, but that could not be proved," Father Pedro Camilo Simoes, provincial of the congregation's Bangalore province, told ucanews.com.

The priest was being investigated for allegations of undisclosed abuse. Since he was not charged, police in Canada could not release the nature of the investigation.

A letter issued by Lorraine Turchansky, director of communications and public relations for the Edmonton Archdiocese, informed parishioners that the investigation into complaints made against Father Ashok Mascarenhas has concluded and that no criminal charges were filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

French cardinal admits mistakes in child sex abuse cases

FRANCE
Crux

By Associated Press
April 26, 2016

A French cardinal said his diocese has made “some mistakes” in the management and nomination of certain priests amid allegations that he had covered up child sex abuse cases.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin stressed the “importance” for the victims “to see their right to truth and justice recognized” in a statement issued Monday following a meeting on the issue with 220 priests from the Lyon region.

Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon and one of the highest-ranking church officials in France, is among six church officials targeted by complaints for not reporting child sex abuse cases to judicial authorities.

The French Catholic Church has decided this month to set up a new independent commission made up of secular experts in charge of advising bishops and helping them handle child sex abuses cases.

Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, president of the French bishops’ conference, announced in mid-April a series of measures to fight pedophilia inside the French church, amid growing concerns over newly-revealed child sex abuse cases, especially in the Lyon diocese run by Barbarin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

OK--SNAP to prelate: “Disclose other imported predators”

OKLAHOMA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Orange County, SNAP volunteer western regional director, 949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com

Oklahoma’s top Catholic official should tell his flock if he’s imported other proven, admitted or credibly accused predator priests into his archdiocese. And an Oklahoma pastor should apologize to his flock for three self-serving or misleading comments he made about a proven predator.

Both should also urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered any misdeeds or crimes by the convicted criminal, Fr. Jose Alexis Davila, to call police.

Fr. Michael Chapman pastors Blessed Sacrament parish in Lawton, where Fr. Alexis Davila has been worked.

[Blessed Sacrament parish]

About Fr. Alexis Davila, Fr. Chapman said he “believes Davila when he tells him the contact was inadvertent,” “believes Davila pleaded guilty to minimize embarrassment to himself and the church” and should be given “a second chance,” according to KFOR TV.

[KFOR]

This kind of reckless attitude – believing a criminal’s “spin” and giving every conceivable benefit of the doubt to a proven sex offender – is a key reason why priests keep assaulting kids, teens and adults and keep getting second, third and fourth chances to hurt others in the church.

Would a woman, the police and the prosecutors pursue criminal charges over “inadvertent” contact? Would you plead guilty to two sex charges just to “minimize embarrassment” to yourself and your colleagues? That defies common sense.

In fact, a San Diego prosecutor said in court that Fr. Alexis Davila is accused of “touching the victim in three areas against her will when they were alone. He reportedly touched her buttocks, her breast and “put his finger in her vagina.”

Fr. Chapman’s comments rub even more salt into the already-deep and likely still-fresh wounds of the 19 year old Fr. Alexis Davila assaulted in San Diego.

He should apologize for his insensitive siding with an admitted criminal over that criminal’s victim and for making comments that will likely deter others who see, suspect or suffer child sex crimes and misconduct from reporting to authorities.

But the bigger culprit here is Archbishop Paul Coakley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Assignment History– Rev. Peter B. Murphy

IOWA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Peter B. Murphy was ordained for the Sioux City IA diocese in 1955. He assisted in parishes in Emmetsburg, Fort Dodge, Whittemore and Sioux City before going on leave of absence1960-63. He was assigned to a Denison parish in 1963-64, then was on leave thereafter until his death in 1980 in Jemez Springs, NM. During his "leave" he did fill-in assistant work in parishes. In March 2016 he was named publicly as having sexually abused an Iowa boy during 1959-60.

Born: January 13, 1931
Ordained: June 4, 1955
Died: November 8, 1980

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Columbus priest accused of sexual abuse dies of cancer

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By JoAnne Viviano
The Columbus Dispatch • Tuesday April 26, 2016

A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a minor when he worked at a Columbus school and two parishes in the 1970s has died, according to a spokesman for the Diocese of Columbus.

George Jones said that the Rev. Ronald Atwood, 72, died on Saturday. He had cancer.

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

After a diocesan board investigated, the diocese sent documentation to the Vatican requesting that Atwood be defrocked. At the time of his death, he was on leave.

Atwood’s death comes less than a month after Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian announced that he had reached a five-figure financial settlement with the Columbus diocese in February 2015 regarding a claim against Atwood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Worshippers seek healing for Kansas City diocese torn apart by sex abuse

MISSOURI
Kansas City Star

BY RICK MONTGOMERY
rmontgomery@kcstar.com

They held small stones in their palms in a solemn procession to the altar at St. James Catholic Church in Liberty.

About 100 worshippers lined up to place the stones at the base of a wooden cross. It was to symbolize letting go of a burden they’ve carried. Then the procession wound around two basins of water, where they washed their hands.

For the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, the service Thursday night was the eighth in a series called “Healing Our Parishes through Empathy.” Bishop James V. Johnston Jr., installed in November, presided.

“If there are victims of sexual abuse here that was brought about by clergy, priests, bishops or anyone serving in the church,” he told the gathering, “I want to say, personally, that I am sorry.

“And before you I repent. I repent of any actions or inactions on the part of any bishops or priests or others who harmed you.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Case for the defense of Cardinal Pell heard in Australia

AUSTRALIA
Crux

By Andrew Rabel
Special to Crux April 26, 2016

MELBOURNE – In general, Australian media and public opinion have not been kind to Cardinal George Pell, basically turning the 75-year-old Vatican financial czar into the country’s leading symbol of child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.

That campaign reached a crescendo in February, when Pell testified before a Royal Commission via video link from Rome about his time as a priest in the city of Ballarat and later as the Archbishop of Melbourne.

A satirical song by a local comedian calling Pell “scum” and a “coward” went viral, while the tone of press commentary was almost unrelentingly accusatory.

Less noticed, however, has been an emerging “case for the defense” in the Australian press, in some cases composed of people who’ve known Pell a long time, and who’ve been pushing back against what they see as a campaign of defamation tantamount to a public lynching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Francis: Spirit works in laypeople, 'is not property of the hierarchy'

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 26, 2016

VATICAN CITY
Pope Francis has again sharply denounced the culture of clericalism among priests in the Catholic church, calling it "one of the greatest deformations" that must be confronted by the global faith community and saying it helps "diminish and undervalue" the contributions that laypeople make.

The pontiff has also strongly reaffirmed the right of laypeople to make decisions in their lives, saying that priests must trust that the Holy Spirit is working in them and that the Spirit "is not only the 'property' of the ecclesial hierarchy."

In a letter to Cardinal Marc Ouellet in his role as the head of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, released by the Vatican Tuesday, Francis says he wants to speak to the members of the commission about how to better serve what he terms "the Holy Faithful People of God."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

MO--New bishop named; Victims respond

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 26, 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)

The diocese once headed by Cardinal Bernard Law is now headed by Bishop Edward Rice. We are disappointed by Rice’s promotion.

He comes from the St. Louis archdiocese, which has a troubling track record on abuse. An admitted predator priest (Fr. Vincent Bryce) is still on the job in St. Louis, along with a priest who’s faced three accusers (Fr. Alex Anderson). It’s an archdiocese that has, for years, quietly let bishops from across the US to send their predator priests here where those priests have sometimes molested again.

It’s an archdiocese that is letting a twice accused predator priest (Fr. Joseph Jiang) live with virtually no supervision near the parish where he allegedly molested a boy just a few years ago.

Throughout all of this, Rice has been conspicuously and irresponsibly silent. So we are not confident he’ll be any more honest or proactive in Springfield than he’s been in St. Louis. In a worldwide institution, surely Francis could have found a more courageous and compassionate man for this job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

WA--Yakima bishop refuses to list predators; Victims respond

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release - Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 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)

Yakima Catholic officials are now refusing to follow the lead of 30 other US bishop by posting names of predator priests on a church website this month. Shame on them for putting their comfort above the healing of victims and the safety of kids.

[Yakima Herald]

[BishopAccountability.org]

Weeks ago, Bishop Joseph Tyson’s staff suggested he might post these names. We are deeply disappointed.

Tyson’s public relations staffer, Msgr. Robert Siler, said “the diocese does not see a pressing need (to post the names) at this present time.”

How about suicide prevention? How about easing the pain of victims who were assaulted as kids by these priests and are still mired in shame, silence and self-blame?

Unacknowledged wounds are tough and slow to heal. Many victims feel better when their perpetrators are “outed.” Many feel even better when bishops – who recruited, educated, ordained, and shielded these offenders – admit they are predators and post their names.

And, more important, kids are safer when predators are “outed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Law firm McConnell Kelly to create up to 10 jobs with £2.5m expansion in Bangor and Belfast

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By John Mulgrew
PUBLISHED
25/04/2016

A Northern Ireland criminal law firm is growing its operations as part of a £2.5m expansion.

McConnell Kelly Solicitors has worked with more than 100,000 clients over the last 25 years, including representing victims at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

It's seen an upsurge in business and is now expanding its team of 25, based in east Belfast and Bangor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Holy See Press Office communiqué on the contract with auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 26.04.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bollettinoi

Vatican City, 26 April 2016 – The Holy See Press Office issued a communiqué today with regard to the contract with the auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in which it offers the following clarifications. The suspension of auditing activities is not due to considerations linked to the integrity or quality of the work initiated by PwC, let alone the intention of one or more entities of the Holy See to block the reforms in progress.

However, issues have emerged regarding the meaning and scope of certain clauses of the contract and their methods of implementation. Such elements will undergo the necessary examination. The decision to proceed in this way was taken after suitable consultations between the competent bodies and experts in the field.

It is hoped that this phase of reflection and study may take place in an atmosphere of serenity and collaboration. The commitment to adequate economic and financial auditing remains a priority for the Holy See and for Vatican City State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Vatican spokesman says suspending audit not about ‘blocking reforms’

ROME
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Editor April 26, 2016

Despite a recent decision to suspend a contract with the global firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers for an audit, the Vatican’s Press Office on Tuesday released a statement insisting that the “commitment to adequate economic and financial auditing remains a priority.”

“The suspension of auditing activities is not due to considerations linked to the integrity or quality of the work initiated by PwC, let alone the intention of one or more entities of the Holy See to block the reforms in progress,” said the statement.

“Issues have emerged regarding the meaning and scope of certain clauses of the contract and their methods of implementation,” the statement said. “Such elements will undergo the necessary examination. The decision to proceed in this way was taken after suitable consultations between the competent bodies and experts in the field.”

“It is hoped,” the statement added, “that this phase of reflection and study may take place in an atmosphere of serenity and collaboration.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Pédophilie, une victime du P. Preynat témoigne

FRANCE
La Croix

[Vincent Berger, 44, a psychoanalyst and victim of Father Bernard Preynat, told his story Monday to Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and 220 priests of the Lyon diocese in France.]

Victime du P. Bernard Preynat, Vincent Berger, 44 ans, psychanalyste, a témoigné à sa demande lors de la rencontre qui a réuni lundi 25 avril l’archevêque de Lyon, le cardinal Philippe Barbarin, et 220 prêtres du diocèse, au Centre Valpré, à Écully (métropole de Lyon). La Croix l’a rencontré à la sortie de cette réunion.

Pourquoi avoir décidé de témoigner ?

Vincent Berger : « D’une part, j’ai été moi-même victime du P. Bernard, en 1979, 1980 et 1981, lorsque j’étais scout. D’autre part, après avoir été longtemps ingénieur informaticien, je suis aujourd’hui psychanalyste. J’ai voulu décortiquer le processus qui amenait les pédophiles à passer à l’acte. J’ai surtout voulu faire passer le message aux prêtres qu’un pédophile ne passe pas à l’acte si on lui vient en aide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

CA--Bishop claims “abuse is over” while he lets predator work elsewhere

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Statement by 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)

San Diego’s top Catholic official is making the self-serving and deceptive claim that the church’s child sex abuse and cover up crisis is over while he passively sits back and lets a convicted predator priest work in another parish.

Shame on Bishop Robert McElroy.

[San Diego Reader]

Hoping to boost parochial school attendance by exploiting recent sex scandals at a public school, McElroy claims “Catholic schools still have one big advantage” because “We’ve had our big sex scandal. It’s in the past."

"I promise that your kids are safe with us,” McElroy tells San Diego parents while he lets Fr. Jose Alexis Davila work at four Oklahoma parishes while giving parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public no warning whatsoever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

PA--Victims blast Catholic official over abuse remarks

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 26, 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)

Ill-considered comments by a Pittsburgh professor who once headed a national Catholic abuse panel help show why the church’s child sex crimes and cover up scandal continues.

[Tribune-Review]

Nicholas Cafardi is at the Duquesne University law school. For years, he was on – and once headed – the National Review Board, a “toothless tiger” of a committee hand-picked by bishops to purportedly oversee whether Catholic officials kept their promises about safeguarding kids.

Because of his experience, Cafardi should know better than to make comments like “I think 95 percent of the dioceses are following (the rule on removing predator priests).”

Cafardi has no way to know this. And by making this claim, he encourages complacency. Complacency endangers kids. Only vigilance protects kids.

And if 95% of US bishops are removing predator priests, how does Cafardi explain Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul? He admitted molesting a young teen, was accused of molesting another, was sued by both (and both settled for six figure sums). But just weeks ago, Vatican officials lifted his suspension and he’s set to be put back on the job next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Indian parish closed over bust of dead priest accused of murder

INDIA
UCA News

Father Selvaraj had been charged with the 2013 killing of a seminary rectorApril 26, 2016

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore has closed down a parish after parishioners installed the bust of a dead priest who was accused of killing another priest three years ago.

The canonical decree of the archbishop, issued April 21, ordered the immediate closure of St. Paul the Hermit Church.

A bust of Father Chowrappa Selvaraj, who died in March, had been installed in the church by parishioners. He was one of six priests police accused of murdering seminary rector Father K.J. Thomas three years ago.

Father Anthony Swami, archdiocesan spokesman, said Archbishop Moras met with a delegation of parishioners and was willing to revoke the order but "closure was the only option as their action violated church teachings," said Father Anthony Swami, archdiocesan spokesman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Church paedophile cases: French cardinal recognises 'errors' in nomination of priests

FRANCE
International Business Times

By Lara Rebello
April 26, 2016

The Archbishop of Lyon who was accused of covering up for a priest found guilty in numerous sex abuse cases has finally admitted to "errors in management and nomination of certain priests".

A statement was released following a closed-door meeting of 220 priests to discuss the accusations, which claimed that the church and Cardinal Philippe Barbarin were involved in covering up cases of paedophilia in the area.

"The cardinal recognised that the diocese committed errors in the management and nomination of certain priests," the statement read.

"We failed to fulfill our obligation to investigate and to seek the truth," Yves Baumgarten, vicar-general of the diocese, said during a press conference. Lyon has been at the centre of a shocking sex scandal after complaints surfaced accusing Bernard Preynat of preying on young scouts who were under his supervision over 25 years ago. The priest finally confessed to his crimes and was charged in January.

Now, the focus of the investigation has shifted to Cardinal Barbarin, who has been accused of failing to inform prosecutors about the sex abuse, despite being informed about Preynat's crimes in 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

'Without hesitation,' Bishop Rice accepts appointment to lead Springfield-Cape Girardeau

MISSOURI
St. Louis Review

SUBMITTED ON APRIL 25, 2016

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Edward M. Rice the bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. The appointment was announced by the Vatican at 5 a.m. St. Louis time on April 26. Bishop Rice currently is auxiliary bishop of St. Louis.

When a representative of the Vatican called about the appointment, Bishop Rice was praying Evening Prayer at Holy Redeemer Church, where he lives.

"Without hesitation, I said 'yes'." Bishop Rice said in an interview.

It's fitting that Bishop Rice learned of his new appointment during prayer. After he was ordained bishop in 2011, he was told by Archbishop Carlson that he'd likely serve in St. Louis for a few more years and then get his own diocese. "I've been praying for my future diocese ever since," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

FRENCH BISHOPS NAME SENIOR CIVIL SERVANT TO HEAD INDEPENDENT ABUSE PANEL

FRANCE
The Tablet

26 April 2016 | by Tom Heneghan

'I'm not an enemy of the Church' says new commissioner criticised by conservative Catholic bloggers

The French bishops have named a respected senior civil servant to head their independent commission on sexual abuse of minors, prompting arch-conservative Catholics to try to discredit him as too liberal for the post.

Traditionalist Catholic bloggers denounced the decision to name Alain Christnacht at the head of a commission of experts such as retired judges, doctors, psychologists and parents to advise bishops on how to deal with abuse cases.

The bishops created the commission after it emerged that Cardinal Philippe Barbarin had reacted slowly to past abuse cases in his Lyon archdiocese and then mishandled the public debate that followed. The bloggers said Alain Christnacht, a classic French "mandarin" who was briefly chief of staff to a justice minister after she pushed through the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2013, was known as someone who "fought against the doctrine of the Church".

Christnacht, who describes himself as a liberal Catholic and has worked often with Socialist politicians, hit back in interviews by saying critics who say one cannot be Catholic and left-wing do not share "the position of the pope". "I'm not an enemy of the Church," said the nominee, who has long advised the bishops on issues linked to France’s official secularist policy of laïcité. "It would be curious if the bishops, who know me, would have appointed an enemy of the Church."

Christnacht, 61, has also been on the board of the French Scouts and Guides, the large Catholic scouting association, since 2007. Church sources said the traditionalist reaction was expected and would not affect his appointment. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin met 220 priests of his Lyon archdiocese on Monday to discuss the abuse scandal and the Church's reaction. A victim of an abusive priest addressed the closed-door meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice named Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

MISSOURI
Fox 2

BY KEVIN S. HELD

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A local auxiliary bishop has been appointed to lead a neighboring diocese.

In an announcement Tuesday morning (local time) in Rome, Pope Francis appointed Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis Edward Rice to the position of Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

Bishop Rice will be the seventh bishop of the diocese.

Bishop Rice was ordained a priest in January 1987 and served as a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis since that time: he was associate pastor at Our Lady of the Presentation Parish (1987-1991), religion teacher at St. Mary’s High School (1991-1995), director at Cardinal Glennon College Seminary (1995-2000), pastor at St. John the Baptist (2000-2008) and eventually that church’s director of vocations (2008-2010). Pope Benedict bestowed the title of monsignor on then-Fr. Rice in July 2008 and auxiliary bishop in December 2010.

Bishop Rice will be installed in the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese on Wednesday, June 1 in Springfield. Meanwhile, a farewell mass and reception is scheduled at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on Monday, May 23 at 5 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

NV--More charges for predator preacher; Victims respond

NEVADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, April 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)

A convicted predatory preacher who has worked in Nevada faces more child sex charges after five more victims of his have stepped forward.

Rev. Otis Holland is behind bars for assaulting kids. Earlier, he claimed that some of his alleged victims were “in love with him” and “jealous.”

Now others are speaking up about their suffering at the hands of this clergyman. We applaud them for their courage.

[News3LV]

No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted 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 7:32 AM

Barbarin reconnaît «des erreurs dans la gestion et la nomination de certains prêtres»

FRANCE
Le Progres

Le cardinal Barbarin a reconnu que le diocèse de Lyon avait commis «des erreurs dans la gestion et la nomination de certains prêtres», selon un communiqué publié à l’issue d’une réunion du clergé lyonnais sur le sujet.

L'EGLISE A MANQUÉ À "SES OBLIGATIONS"

Dans un communiqué ce lundi, «Le cardinal a notamment reconnu que le diocèse avait commis des erreurs dans la gestion et la nomination de certains prêtres».

«Il est apparu que, dans la connaissance de certains faits, on n’avait pas tous les éléments. Nous avons manqué à nos obligations d’investigation, de recherche de la vérité», a souligné lors d’une conférence de presse à l’évêché Yves Baumgarten, vicaire général modérateur du diocèse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Pédophilie : le cardinal Barbarin reconnaît des «erreurs»

FRANCE
Le Figaro

VIDÉO - Devant deux cent vingt prêtres du diocèse de Lyon réunis lundi après-midi à huis clos, Mgr Barbarin, fragilisé par des affaires d'agressions sexuelles, a admis «des erreurs dans la gestion et la nomination de certains prêtres».

Fragilisé par des affaires de pédophilie et d'agressions sexuelles dans son diocèse de Lyon, qu'on lui reproche de ne pas avoir dénoncées à la justice, le cardinal Barbarin réunissait, ce lundi, les prêtres de l'évêché pour évoquer le sujet et montrer qu'il s'en empare. Deux cent vingt prêtres en activité ont participé à cette réunion qui se tenait à huis clos, dans la chapelle du Centre Valpré d'Ecully, en banlieue lyonnaise. Selon l'invitation qui leur avait été adressée, il s'agissait de faire le «point sur les affaires en cours», les décisions «déjà prises» et les «orientations nouvelles» en matière de nomination et d'accueil de religieux au sein du diocèse.

D'après un communiqué publié à l'issue de cette rencontre, le cardinal Barbarin a reconnu que le diocèse de Lyon avait commis «des erreurs dans la gestion et la nomination de certains prêtres». «Il est apparu que, dans la connaissance de certains faits, on n'avait pas tous les éléments. Nous avons manqué à nos obligations d'investigation, de recherche de la vérité», a souligné lors d'une conférence de presse à l'évêché Yves Baumgarten, vicaire général modérateur du diocèse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Waterloo firm ordered to reimburse federal government $874,000

CANADA
Kitchener Post

By Gordon Paul

A Waterloo firm that worked as a court-appointed monitor overseeing the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement has been ordered to reimburse the federal government $874,000.

Crawford Class Action Services led a two-year investigation into the conduct of law firm Bronstein & Co. and concluded it did a substandard job representing more than 1,400 people making claims under the agreement.

Last October, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Brenda Brown ordered Bronstein to reimburse the federal government $1.25 million as "special costs."

Earlier this month, Brown ordered Crawford to reimburse the government $874,000 for "unreasonable or unnecessary amounts" billed to the government for the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Oklahoma City archbishop 'assessing situation' after concerns raised about Lawton priest

OKLAHOMA
News OK

by Carla Hinton Published: April 25, 2016

A Roman Catholic leader said Monday he is "assessing the situation" regarding a Lawton priest who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor involving a young woman.

The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, issued the second of two prepared statements about the Rev. Jose Alexis Davila on Monday evening.

The archbishop's remarks came as some parishioners of Lawton's Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church began voicing their concerns about Davila after news of his misdemeanor surfaced recently.

Diane Clay, archdiocesan spokeswoman, said Coakley had received emails and telephone calls from some parishioners of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church about Davila after recent media reports that Davila pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in 2012 in San Diego.

Clay said most of the parishioners voicing their uneasiness were those whose children attend St. Mary's Catholic School in Lawton. Clay said as pastor or parish priest of a church tied to a school, the priest is part of the school environment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Police Called to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Timothy Mchenry

Just this last week, the leader of the Neocatechumenal way in the U.S., Guiseppe Gennarini, landed on Guam to attend meetings at the seminary.

Guam - Tensions continue to boil over between catholic protesters and members of the Neocatechumenal way. In fact police had to respond to a protest at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary today.

Protest is their only medium to voicing their concerns says Marilu Martinez, who, along with dozens of protesters, gathered outside of the mater day seminary where police were called after a couple of protesters walked onto the seminary property.

"So we walked in, very peacefully, we weren’t damaging property or anything like that but somebody did meet us at the entrance and said if we did not leave, they would call the police on us, but we discussed that we felt we had every right to remain on the property since we are Catholics, just like they had the right to be there themselves being Neocatechumenal (way)," said Martinez.

Martinez refused to leave and thus the police were called. She maintains their right to be on the property since she was told the seminary belongs to the archdiocese of Guam, to which she is a member.

"Because the archbishop has always claimed and even the Neocatechumenal representatives claimed and it was even published in the Umatuna, the seminary still belonged to the archdiocese. We are the archdiocese, as far the as the Catholics when you talk about the church, we are the church, so we felt like why are we outside the property?” said Martinez.

Just this last week, the leader of the Neocatechumenal way in the U.S., Guiseppe Gennarini, landed on Guam to attend meetings at the seminary. He was greeted with an angry mob of protestors at the airport. Since then protests have continued at the Redemptoris Mater. There has been controversy surrounding the ownership of the Redemptoris Mater. Some believe that the archbishop gave the property to leaders of Neocatechumenal way and they fear a Neocatechumenal take over of Guam's catholic churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

French Cardinal Barbarin recognizes ‘errors’ in handling of sex abuse cases

FRANCE
France 24

A French cardinal accused of covering up for a paedophile priest, in a scandal that has rocked the local Catholic Church, admitted Monday to “errors in the management and nomination of certain priests”.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, made the admission in a statement after a meeting at the bishop’s residence in Lyon to discuss accusations the church failed to report several child sexual abuse cases in the area.

The meeting, which was held behind closed doors and attended by some 220 priests, heard from a victim of Bernard Preynat, a priest who has admitted sexually abusing scouts under his supervision over 25 years ago.

Several complaints have been brought against Barbarin for failing to inform the authorities about Preynat and other priests targeted by abuse allegations in his diocese.

The media-friendly cardinal, one of the top figures in the Church in France, has vehemently denied any cover-up.

“The cardinal recognised that the diocese committed errors in the management and nomination of certain priests,” the statement issued after Monday’s meeting said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Women recount tale of torture by 'Gauteng man of God'

SOUTH AFRICA
News 24

2016-04-26

Johannesburg – He kidnapped, beat and raped three young women and threatened to kill their families. And he was a pastor who had promised them spiritual guidance.

The three young women, aged 17, 18 and 25, spoke out about their alleged ordeal at the hands of the man who had offered help with their personal problems and even jobs.

They met him while he was doing a religious “crusade” in Merafong and other surrounding areas, The Carletonville Herald reported on April 18.

The parents of the 17-year-old suggested that she move in with the pastor and his wife after concerns about her behaviour.

But then the church leader began abusing her, leaving her young body marked with welts, she said. Soon after, the girl’s 18-year-old friend was persuaded to move in too and the abuse continued, reported the Herald community newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

30 Days Left for St. Cloud Diocese Survivors of Child Sex Abuse To Act To Protect Rights

MINNESOTA
Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
April 25, 2016

So many Survivors have had the chance to come forward and right so many past wrongs. There is still much more to do. 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 25, 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 7:01 AM

Ohio seminary approves changes to strengthen admissions

OHIO
Catholic Review

April 25, 2016

By Tim Puet
Catholic News Service

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Three initiatives designed to strengthen the admissions process at the Pontifical College Josephinum have been approved by the school's board of trustees.

The initiatives include a formal recommendation to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to establish a national database listing all applications to each seminary and houses of formation in the United States; hiring a qualified private investigative agency to assist in verifying the integrity of all applicants, including a review of their social media postings; and interviews for all applicants with a representative of the seminary's admissions committee and the seminary's director of psychological evaluation and counseling.

School officials planned to have the new practices in place for the 2016-17 academic year.

The admissions changes were proposed by Monsignor Christopher Schreck, the seminary's rector-president, in March in response to criminal allegations against Joel Wright, 23, a former seminarian at the Ohio school and the Diocese of Steubenville.

Wright was arrested in San Diego in January on federal felony charges. He pleaded guilty April 13 to one charge of attempted enticement of a minor as part of a plea agreement in which he said he traveled to Mexico with the intent of molesting children. He is to be sentenced July 1. The charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
eminary-approves-changes-to-strengthen-admissions-process#sthash.PPGHFjCk.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Catholic Diocese of Yakima won’t list names of abusers on website

WASHINGTON
Yakima Herald

By Jane Gargas
jgargas@yakimaherald.com

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Lay Advisory Board of the Catholic Diocese of Yakima will not be listing the names of local clergy on its website who have had credible claims of sexual abuse leveled against them.

The board last month discussed listing priests’ names on the diocesan website and took no action nor made any recommendations to Bishop Joseph Tyson.

The seven-member group, which meets quarterly, investigates any allegations of sexual misconduct in the local Catholic church.

The subject arose after the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle published a list of clergy and other church personnel accused of sexually abusing children on its website in January. The 77 names were those who either admitted abuse, had credible claims made against them or claims established to be true, the Seattle Archdiocese said.

In an email sent last week to the Yakima Herald-Republic, Monsignor Robert Siler, Yakima Diocese chancellor, explained that the lay advisory board concluded that the names of credibly accused priests here already had been made public, either released in notices by the diocese, listed in this newspaper or named in the legal system.

“While the Bishop will continue to consult widely (including the Board) as to the advisability of making any further public release of names, the Diocese does not see a pressing need to do so at the present time,” Siler wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Denby Fawcett: The Sad Story Of Child Sex Abuse In Hawaii

HAWAII
Honolulu Civil Beat

By Denby Fawcett

Editor’s Note: Civil Beat generally does not use anonymous sources, as noted in our long-standing policy. We’re making an exception for this and other stories about lawsuits filed by child sexual assault victims because we believe it is important to hear the victim’s perspective, and the fact that court records, including a settlement with the Catholic Church, do not reveal their identities.

The Hawaii deadline for victims of child sex abuse to sue was Sunday. In the four years leading up to the deadline, about 150 people filed legal complaints saying they were sexually molested as children. Most victims accused Catholic priests of being their abusers.

But not all were priests. Teachers and other professionals also have been named in the lawsuits. Twenty-six plaintiffs say the now-deceased Kamehameha Schools psychiatrist Robert McCormick Browne drugged and sexually molested them as children when the school sent them to Browne for therapy.

Hawaii lawmakers made it possible for sexual abuse victims to seek justice by extending the deadline for civil suits in 2012 and again in 2014 until the April 24 cutoff.

Most of the alleged incidents happened between the early 1950s and late 1980s.

Attorney Randall Rosenberg, who has filed suits for 56 claimants, says: “This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of others out there in Hawaii who have been abused. And now with the deadline passed we are unable to help them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Church defenders should thank media who exposed child abuse

IRELAND
The Irish News

Fionnuala O Connor
26 April, 2016

NUALA O’Loan knows how an organisation protects its own and belittles accusers.

She knows all about institutional cover-up, having skilfully unmasked precisely that in policing here.

In return she took insults and threats but media comment was a strong ally. So it is sad to see her in a recent university conference attacking Irish media treatment of the Catholic Church - in a bizarre location.

Boston: scene of this year’s vivid Oscar-winning Spotlight, on the local Church’s handling of paedophile priests over many years.

The media failing there was not exposing the crimes decades earlier, despite having considerable evidence.

Boston-Irish Catholic communal identification, plus fear and awe of the overweening Cardinal Bernard Law, trumped honesty, and the press duty to challenge power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

A summary of the Mount Cashel civil trial so far

CANADA
The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on April 25, 2016

That first day of trial at Courtroom No. 2, Newfoundland Supreme Court, the sides were aligned on either side of the aisle on stiff-backed, wooden benches that resemble the pews of a church.

“Why are they here?” several people asked The Telegram.

The “they” in this instance are the handful of staff and top-ranking clergy, including Archbishop Martin Currie, of the Archdiocese of St. John’s, known as the entity, RC Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s who have attended the trial daily.

Those wondering why the church was there were former residents of the infamous Mount Cashel boys’ orphanage — a name forever associated with a physical and sexual abuse scandal — and their supporters.

The civil case that pits John Doe against the Episcopal Corp. has four John Does — men all in their 70s who, as test cases, represent 60 former Mount Cashel residents, clients of Budden and Associates’ law firm. There are also about 20 others who could be affected by the outcome represented by other lawyers in St. John’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Spain: Catholic nuns undergo virginity test to prove priest's innocence in sex abuse case

SPAIN
International Business Times

By Ananya Roy
April 26, 2016

Two Catholic nuns underwent independent virginity tests to prove that a priest – who was arrested on sexual abuse offences – was innocent and had never indulged in any sexual activities with them. Feliciano Miguel Rosendo, the leader of a Roman Catholic order in Spain was accused of sexually abusing nuns and subsequently was arrested.

The priest led the Mandate and Order of Saint Michael Archangel in the Galician town of Tui in Spain. According to reports, Rosendo was arrested in December 2014 after a nun had alleged that he forced her and other nuns to have sex with him, claiming that "his semen contained the body of Christ".

Marta Paz – regarded as Rosendo's "right-hand woman" – and Ivana L were also arrested along with the priest in 2014, The Local reported. Meanwhile, a report in Spanish daily El Mundo said that both Paz and Ivana underwent virginity tests conducted by three experts and submitted the report in a Galician court to prove Rosendo's innocence.

Experts at Madrid's Official College of Physicians concluded that both the nuns "have an intact hymen with no signs of having had sexual relations, recent or old. We can rule out that they had sex with vaginal penetration and there has been no deflowering".

Rosendo's lawyer, María Teresa Quintana-Drake, was quoted as saying that although there are many witnesses to prove her client's innocence, they had no proof. The virginity tests will help prove Rosendo did not commit the alleged sexual crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

April 25, 2016

Archdiocese of OKC circulates Davila’s expungement record, misleads press/parishioners

CALIFORNIA/OKLAHOMA
The Worthy Adversary

April 25, 2016 Joelle Casteix

In an attempt to mislead parishioners and the public and clear them of wrongdoing in hiring a priest who plead guilty to a sexual offense, the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is circulating the priest’s “expungement document.”

In this document, Fr. Jose Alexis Davila’s record of unlawful sexual touching is expunged. It is dated in 2015, after Davila should have completed the terms of his three-year probation.

What is an expungement?

An expungement document gives a person convicted of a crime a “fresh start.” It allows a person who was punished for an offense to tell prospective employers that they have not been convicted of a crime.

It is NOT a “Certificate of actual innocence,” which is a document stating that the actual crime didn’t happen.

Usually, a certificate of expungement is a part of a plea agreement: offender agrees to plead guilty, avoids trial, and is granted an expungement after probation is served.

Why is this expungement irrelevant?

This expungement is irrelevant because Davila is a priest who works with children and vulnerable adults. He is not an accountant, a warehouse worker, or a plumber.

As a priest, Davila should not only be held to a higher standard, but he is also subject to ZERO TOLERANCE and promised by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

San Diego priest who pleaded guilty to sexual battery finds new home at Oklahoma parish

OKLAHOMA
Raw Story

SARAH K. BURRIS
25 APR 2016

Fr. Jose Alexis Davila was convicted of inappropriately touching a 19-year-old woman in San Diego in 2011. Like most priests who have been caught or convicted of sex acts, Davila went to another church. The problem, however, is no one at the church was told about his crimes.

When the church of the Blessed Sacrament in Lawton, Oklahoma was introduced to Davila they were told only that “he has pastoral experience in the United States” but nothing about his criminal past or even the name of his previous church. None of the members hand any idea he was convicted for groping a teenager, according to KFOR News.

“We’re very alarmed by this,” said David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “This is precisely the pattern that’s been in the Catholic Church for decades and it’s amazingly irresponsible.”

Following Davila’s conviction, the church decided he was worthy of being reinstated and “fit to minister” to the public again. His sentence from the judge was three years probation and 150 hours of community service.

It seems, after serving his time, he left for another place his past wasn’t known. He’s now serving the small communities of Elgin, Apache and Sterling in Oklahoma. The combined population of these cities is a little over 4,000 people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Victims' group displeased with archbishop's response to concerns about Lawton priest

OKLAHOMA
News OK

by Carla Hinton Published: April 25, 2016

A victims' group is dissatisfied with a Roman Catholic leader's rationale for employing a priest who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor to serve at Oklahoma parishes.

The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said his staff conducted a full investigation of the Rev. Jose Alexis Davila before he was appointed to serve as an associate pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Lawton in 2015.

Davila was then moved to Elgin in March as administrator when one of the archdiocese's international priests returned home, Diane Clay, archdiocesan spokeswoman, said Monday. She said he continued helping at Blessed Sacrament and Coakley recently appointed him to serve as the church's pastor, effective in June.

Clay said before coming to Oklahoma, Davila pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge in 2011 in San Diego and was sentenced to three years probation and community service, which he completed.

In a recent statement released to the media, Coakley said his staff's investigation included a background check and lengthy interviews of leaders from Davila's former employers in the dioceses where he served.

"While Father Davila's actions with an adult parishioner five years ago occurred in the presence of others at his office in California, he understands that those actions were perceived as inappropriate. He accepted the consequences of his lapse in judgment," Coakley said in his statement.

However, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a support group for clergy abuse victims, said Coakley's remarks about Davila are "misleading."

David Clohessy, St. Louis director of SNAP, said Monday Coakley's statement included several "deceptive" points. Clohessy said his group takes exception to Coakley describing the San Diego incident regarding Davila and a 19-year-old female parishioner as a "lapse in judgment" and "perceived as inappropriate." The group claims the incident was "criminal and hurtful."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Le cardinal Barbarin en opération déminage auprès de ses troupes

FRANCE
Liberation

Par Bernadette Sauvaget — 25 avril 2016

Contesté aussi dans les rangs de son clergé, Philippe Barbarin a annoncé un nouveau dispositif de lutte contre la pédophilie dans son diocèse. Mais se refuse à tout mea culpa personnel.

Le cardinal Barbarin en opération déminage auprès de ses troupes
Il faut bien éteindre l’incendie. Au centre d’un scandale lié à la non-dénonciation de plusieurs affaires de pédophilie, le cardinal archevêque de Lyon, Philippe Barbarin, a réuni, lundi, les prêtres de son diocèse. L’occasion d’annoncer de nouvelles mesures. Conformément à ce qu’a prévu la Conférence des évêques de France, il a mis en place une cellule d’écoute et d’accueil des victimes, une initiative que doivent prendre tous les diocèses. Réputé faire régulièrement cavalier seul, Barbarin ne faillit pas à sa réputation. Il a aussi créé un conseil d’experts, chargé de l’épauler dans les affaires les plus délicates. L’archevêque de Lyon ne fera pas donc appel à celui qui a été mis en place au niveau national, présidé par l’ancien directeur de cabinet de Christiane Taubira, Alain Christnacht.

Réunis à huis clos, les 220 prêtres présents (chiffre supérieur ce qui était attendu) ont notamment écouté le témoignage d’une victime. «Cela a été un moment très fort», raconte-t-on dans l’entourage de Barbarin. Mais la rencontre a été surtout l’occasion de s’expliquer. Quelques figures de poids du clergé lyonnais avaient décidé de demander des comptes à Barbarin. «Les échanges ont été francs et directs», rapporte son entourage, sans en dire plus. En fait, consigne a été donnée aux prêtres de ne pas répondre aux questions des journalistes à l’issue de la réunion. Les mesures annoncées ne constituent pas vraiment non plus un mea culpa. Selon les termes du communiqué officiel, le cardinal Barbarin a «reconnu que le diocèse avait commis des erreurs dans la gestion et la nomination de certains prêtres». S’il y a faute, elle serait donc collective.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

French archbishop admits ‘errors’ in handling of child sex abuse cases

FRANCE
GMA News (Philippines)

Published April 26, 2016

LYON, FRANCE - A French cardinal accused of covering up for a pedophile priest, in a scandal that has rocked the local Catholic Church, admitted Monday to “errors in the management and nomination of certain priests.”

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, made the admission in a statement after a meeting at the bishop's residence in Lyon to discuss accusations the church failed to report several child sexual abuse cases in the area.

The meeting, which was held behind closed doors and attended by some 220 priests, heard from a victim of Bernard Preynat, a priest who has admitted sexually abusing scouts under his supervision over 25 years ago.

Several complaints have been brought against Barbarin for failing to inform the authorities about Preynat and other priests targeted by abuse allegations in his diocese.

The media-friendly cardinal, one of the top figures in the Church in France, has vehemently denied any cover-up.

“The cardinal recognized that the diocese committed errors in the management and nomination of certain priests,” the statement issued after Monday's meeting said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

MEDIA FLOAT NEGATIVE PIECE ON CHURCH

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue replies to a critical article on the Catholic Church:

Last week I saw an article on a British website, The Conversation, that was critical of the Church. I did not respond, but I will now: it has been picked up by Newsweek and was posted on the front page of Yahoo.

The author, Brendan Canavan, teaches marketing in England. He seeks to account for the alleged collapse of Catholicism and, fortunately, provides links to articles that support his position. I say “fortunately” because in point of fact the support is often thin, non-existent, or even contradictory.

He says the Church is one of the “most profitable brands in history.” This may come as a shock to a marketing professor in the U.K., but the Church is not a “brand.” As for its alleged “profitability,” the author links to an article that details how unprofitable it is today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Court hears of investigation into alleged historical sexual abuse by Plymouth teacher and four colleagues

SCOTLAND
Plymouth Herald

By Neil Shaw | Posted: April 25, 2016

A detective today told a jury that an investigation was launched into alleged historic sexual and physical abuse at a boarding school run by the Christian Brothers, including a man who taught in Plymouth for three decades, in the 1970's and 1980's.

Acting detective sergeant Andrew Gilmour told the High Court in Glasgow that the probe was started after a former pupil claimed that he had been abused while he was a pupil at St Ninian's.

The jury was told this was the second time allegations had been made about abuse at the school. Around 2000 to 2002 four former pupils went to police with allegations, but no one was ever charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Convicted former pastor Holland to appear in Henderson courtroom

NEVADA
KSNV

BY CRAIG FIEGENER MONDAY, APRIL 25TH 2016

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) — Former pastor Otis Holland, who was convicted earlier this year on 17 counts of sexual assault in Las Vegas, is scheduled to appear this morning in a Henderson courtroom for his preliminary hearing.

Holland is charged with 22 felonies including, use of a minor in pornography, child sexual assault and lewdness.

After his conviction in January, five new victims came forward with allegations of abuse within Henderson's jurisdiction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

PA--AG: “Credible abuse accusations now come from every PA diocese”

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, April 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)

A prosecutor in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office now says that in recent weeks, credible allegations of clergy child sex crimes have surfaced involving “virtually every diocese in the state.”

[Tribune-Review]

Meanwhile, it’s been two months since the AG’s office released results of a grand jury investigation showing that more than 50 Altoona Catholic priests molesting hundreds of kids while their church colleagues and supervisors ignored or hid the crimes.

What’s Altoona Bishop Mark Bartchak done over the past eight weeks to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded? Virtually nothing.

He’s taken down a couple of banners in one church that had the names of his predecessors. That’s it.

[Church Militant]

And meanwhile, over the weekend, we learned about a second convicted US predator priest who has recently and quietly been put back on the job, twice, despite the allegedly “binding” national church “zero tolerance” policy. Two bishops have broken that pledge by letting Fr. Jose Alexis Davila work in their parishes.

In 2012, Fr. Davila was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to stay away from a 19-year-old he victimized in the San Diego Diocese. Catholic officials there were harshly criticized for putting him back in a parish after he admitted his guilt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Fife Christian Brothers trial: Detective reveals previous investigation

SCOTLAND
The Courier

A Fife boarding school at the centre of a child abuse trial had been investigated a decade before charges were brought, a court was told.

Acting detective sergeant Andrew Gilmour told a jury that an investigation was launched into St Ninian’s School in Falkland between 2000 and 2002, but no one was ever charged.

The High Court in Glasgow heard the probe was started after four former pupils went to police with allegations about events at the school, which was run by the Christian Brothers in the 1970s and 1980s.

Mr Gilmour said that he and four colleagues began working on the current investigation from October 2013 after a former pupil made an abuse claim.

He was asked by prosecutor Kath Harper what he did and replied: “We contacted the congregation of the Christian Brothers who ran the school and asked for information on who was at the school.”

Miss Harper asked: “Did you get information from the Christian Brothers about that,” and the police officer replied: “Not from the Christian Brothers. We received information after a number of months from a firm of solicitors who were acting for them.”

The court was told that the police were given a list of more than 100 former pupils and tried to contact them, but found some had died and others were untraceable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Man tells Fife Christian Brothers abuse trial he woke up without pyjama bottoms

SCOTLAND
The Courier

A former pupil at a Christian Brothers school in Fife told a jury he remembered waking up in his dormitory with no pyjama bottoms on.

The 50-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told prosecutor Kath Harper: “I woke up on one occasion, no in fact two occasions with no jammie bottoms on. They were on the floor.”

When asked if he put them on the floor himself, the man replied: “No.”

Miss Harper asked: “Did you feel anything unusual,” he replied: “I was erect.”

The man was giving evidence as the trial relating to allegations of historical child sexual abuse at St Ninian’s School in Falkland continued at the High Court in Glasgow.

John Farrell, who was a Christian Brother, denies indecently assaulting the man – when he was aged between 13 and 16 – on various occasions between March 3, 1980 and May 28, 1982, by removing his lower clothing when he was sleeping and handling his private parts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

OK--Victims blast OK City archbishop over convicted priest

OKLAHOMA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, April 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)

Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley is both endangering and misleading his flock and the public. Over the weekend, Coakley released and factually wrong, incredibly deceptive and hurtful statement about the convicted cleric who assaulted a teenager but is being promoted to head three Oklahoma churches.

[KFOR]

Here’s where Coakley is factually wrong.

--He claims the crimes happened at the priest’s office when they did not.

[10 News]

--He claims others were present when they were not.

[10 News]

Here’s where Coakley is deceptive and hurtful:

--He writes of “Father Davila’s actions,” not crimes.

--He describes a 19 year old as “an adult parishioner.”

--He says “those actions were perceived as inappropriate,” rather than “were criminal and hurtful.”

--He describes Fr. Davila’s deliberate crimes as a “lapse in judgment.”

Finally, in a startling act of hypocrisy, Coakley writes “It is important that we operate in an open environment.” Yet he secretly imports a convicted criminal into his archdiocese and gives him access to unsuspecting families, then quietly promotes him, all with virtually no warning to parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners or the public.

But put aside Coakley’s words. Look at his actions. He’s putting innocent people at risk of sexual violence because he claims he wants to give a convicted sex offender a “second chance.”

We hope Oklahoma Catholics and citizens won’t stand for this. We hope they speak out and insist that this repeated recklessness stop. We hope demand an open public meeting with Coakley about Fr. Davila. And we hope they beat the bushes looking for current or former Lawton church staff and members who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Davila and beg those individuals to call police, prosecutors and independent groups like ours.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

UT--Convicted perp priest later worked in Utah

UTAH
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestsr

For immediate release: Monday, April 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)

Just a couple of years ago, a California priest who pled guilty to “sexual battery” against and “unlawful sexual touching” of a teenager was quietly sent to work in Utah, Catholic officials now admit. Worse, he’s just been put in charge of three Oklahoma churches apparently with no warning to parishioners.

[CBS 8]

We call on Utah Catholic officials to explain their recklessness and secrecy and aggressively seek out anyone he may have hurt in the state.

In 2012, Fr. Jose Alexis Davila was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to stay away from a 19-year-old he victimized in the San Diego Diocese. Catholic officials there were harshly criticized for putting him back in a parish after he admitted his guilt.

[BishopAccountability.org]

Later that year, Fr. Alexis Davila was gone.

[BishopAccountability.org]

But late last month, Coakley said he was putting Fr. Alexis Davila at three Oklahoma parishes. Since December 2015, Fr. Alexis Davila has apparently worked at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Lawton, OK.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Ultra-Orthodox Jews Take to Facebook to Combat Sex Crimes

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Judy Maltz Apr 23, 2016

Reporting sexual abuse is no longer as taboo as it once was, thanks in part to a group of young Haredi Israelis fed up with the silence about such crimes in their community.

The scene captured by the surveillance camera shows an ultra-Orthodox man trying to force himself on a young boy in the narrow entrance of an apartment building.

It happened last month, on Purim, in the Israeli town of Bnei Brak. Within a few hours, the footage was posted on Facebook. Almost immediately, the assailant was identified, and two days later, he was under arrest.

That would not have been the normal course of events 10 years ago, five years ago or even six months ago. But reporting sexual abuse is no longer as taboo as it once was in the ultra-Orthodox community, and among those who deserve credit for this change is a group of young Israeli crusaders fed up with the long-standing silence about such crimes in their midst.

Their newfound organization is aptly named Lo Tishtok (Thou Shalt Not Be Silent) — a reference to what they say is their unwritten 11th commandment. It was their organization that was first to receive the incriminating footage recorded on the surveillance camera, forwarded by an anonymous resident. “We immediately posted it on our Facebook group,” recounts Tzviki Fleishman, one of the founders of Lo Tishtok, “and asked that if anyone recognized the man in the picture to let us know. It didn’t take much time before someone identified him.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

"Pope Francis personally stopped canonization of Stepinac"

VATICAN CITY
B92

Pope Francis personally stopped the canonization of Croatian Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac after a letter sent to him by Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej.

This has been stated by former Croatian Ambassador to the Vatican Filip Vucak.

According to him, a joint committee of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches will begin discussing the issue "before the summer" - but he said he could not predict when a decision might be made.

Vucak told the Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti that Patriarch Irinej in his letter clearly said he believed Stepinac was a high priest who supported the NDH - the WW2-era Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia - who forcibly converted Orthodox believers (into Catholicism), and supported "racial" laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Two Spanish nuns submit virginity tests to support former Catholic priest accused of forcing 'Sisters to take part in orgies and told one his semen contained the body of Christ'

SPAIN
Daily Mail (UK)

By SIMON TOMLINSON FOR MAILONLINE

Two nuns submitted virginity tests in a bid to clear a former Catholic priest who was accused of sexual abuse, it has been reported.

Feliciano Miguel Rosendo was arrested in December 2014 over allegations he forced Sisters to take part in orgies and boasted that his semen 'contained the body of Christ'.

Rosendo led the Mandate and Order of Saint Michael Archangel, whose choir sang for Pope Benedict when he visited Madrid in 2011.

He was later expelled from the Roman Catholic diocese for 'inappropriate behaviour'.
While many of the sect's 400 followers left after his expulsion, a core group of supporters stayed and continue to protest his innocence.

Rosendo was arrested after a member claimed he told her 'his semen contained the body of Christ and this way he would purify her', it was reported by The Local which cited Spanish daily El Mundo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Cops vs. Coakley: You be the judge

OKLAHOMA/CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

April 25, 2016 Joelle Casteix

Let’s play a game of “Who to believe …”

In 2012, Fr. Jose Alexis Davila plead guilty to unlawful sexual touching.

We learned this week that Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley put Davila back in a parish.

Let’s see what Coakley had to say:

While Father Davila’s actions with an adult parishioner five years ago occurred in the presence of others at his office in California, he understands that those actions were perceived as inappropriate. He accepted the consequences of his lapse in judgment.

Let’s see what San Diego prosecutors had to say in 2012 about the crime (and remember … Davila ended up with a GUILTY PLEA):

Skeels told Commissioner Corinne Miesfeld that the defendant is accused of touching the victim in three areas against her will on Dec. 30. He touched her buttocks, put his finger in her vagina and touched her left breast, the prosecutor alleged.

Police said the alleged assault happened at Davila’s home in Southcrest while the two were alone. The defendant turned himself in two days later.

How stupid does Coakley think we are?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Oklahoma City: Where Zero Tolerance Means Zip …

OKLAHOMA
The Worthy Adversary

April 25, 2016 Joelle Casteix

What exactly does it take to get a priest removed?

What does it take to get OKC Archbishop Paul Coakley to warn parishioners about a priest’s past?

What does it take to get a religious community to stop minimizing a guilty plea to a sex crime?

Fr. Jose Alexis Davila has now been exposed across San Diego and the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City as the man who plead guilty to unlawful sexual touching and battery in 2012. He sexually assaulted a woman in his home.

What did Archbishop Paul Coakley do? Well, he:

* Admitted that parishioners were not informed of Davila’s past

* Said he did a complete background check … and therefore knew Davila was an offender

* Issued a statement that said the event took place in front of other people and was a cultural misunderstanding (It wasn’t …)

* Allowed his priests to minimize the crime

* Went back on all of the US Bishops’ promises of Zero Tolerance by unilaterally deciding that Davila was fit for ministry, and

* Treated parishioners like stooges, assuming that they don’t need to know that a sex offender is leading their parishes.

It’s appalling and criminal. Coakley should be ashamed and removed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Affaire Preynat : les interrogations des prêtres face à Barbarin

FRANCE
Lyon Capitale

[This Monday, April 25, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin meets all priests of the diocese at Écully. The pedophilia cases affecting the Church, including that of the father Preynat, will be at the heart of the meeting.]

Par Florent Deligia

Ce lundi 25 avril, le cardinal Philippe Barbarin réunit tous les prêtres du diocèse à Écully. Les affaires de pédophilie qui touchent l’Église, dont celle du père Preynat, seront au cœur des échanges. Quelles sont les interrogations qui animent aujourd’hui ces prêtres ?

Suite à l’affaire Preynat, les prêtres ne parlent pas à la presse et renvoient systématiquement vers l’archevêché.Mais, en off, les langues se délient. Certains ne supportent plus l’omerta “et ne se sont pas engagés pour ça”. Alors que des prêtres à Saint-Étienne ou Paris n’hésitent pas à prendre position publiquement sur l’affaire Preynat, mais aussi sur d’autres affaires de pédophilie qui ont pu toucher l’Église, à Lyon c’est le silence.

Selon nos informations, il n’y a pas eu d’interdiction, mais les vicaires généraux ont fait passer la consigne de se rapprocher d’eux avant de répondre aux journalistes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Affaires de pédophilie : Barbarin réunit les prêtres de son diocèse aujourd'hui

FRANCE
Le Progres

[Pedophilia Affairs: Cardinal Barbarin met today (Monday) with the priests of his diocese to review cases of sexual abuse in the Lyon diocese.]

Dans une ambiance qui s’annonce lourde, le cardinal Barbarin réunit lundi les prêtres de son diocèse de Lyon pour faire le point sur les affaires de pédophilie et d’agressions sexuelles qui le fragilisent et éclaboussent l’Eglise. La réunion se tiendra à huis clos.

Selon l’invitation adressée aux prêtres, il s’agira de faire le «point sur les affaires en cours», les «décisions prises» et de plancher sur des «orientations nouvelles» pour les critères de nomination et d’accueil de religieux au sein du diocèse.

Après des semaines de révélations en cascade et cinq plaintes accusant le cardinal Barbarin de n’avoir pas dénoncé ces agressions à la justice, cette réunion permettra de prendre le pouls des religieux de terrain, ceux qui sont en contact direct avec les ouailles et ont pu échanger sur la réponse, souvent jugée insuffisante, de l’Eglise à ces scandales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Pédophilie: un ancien prêtre en garde à vue

FRANCE
Le Figaro

[A former priest of the Tarn-et-Garonne who came from the Lyon diocese was taken into custody yesterday in Montauben and charged with statutory rape, according to the Republic prosecutor. He disappeared last week after an article in Mediapart.]

Un ancien prêtre du Tarn-et-Garonne, venu du diocèse de Lyon et aujourd'hui revenu à la vie laïque, a été placé en garde à vue hier à Montauban pour atteinte sexuelle sur mineur, a annoncé ce vendredi la procureure de la République. L'ex-prêtre avait disparu à la suite de la publication la semaine dernière d'un article de Mediapart faisant état de la plainte d'un père pour "faits d'emprise" sur son fils, ce qui avait entraîné l'ouverture d'une enquête préliminaire du parquet. Dans cet article, il était aussi fait état d'attouchements de l'homme, alors qu'il était encore prêtre, sur un adolescent de Toulouse. C'est une amie du suspect qui avait signalé sa disparition, a précisé la procureure Alix-Marie Cabot-Chaumeton, lors d'un point-presse.

"Des recherches avaient été entreprises jusqu'à hier 16 heures, où il a été découvert à l'intérieur de son domicile, allongé et endormi", a déclaré Alix-Marie Cabot-Chaumeton. L'homme "a indiqué qu'il était parti de chez lui à Finhan, petite commune proche de Montauban, suite à l'article du samedi 16 paru dans Mediapart", a-t-elle poursuivi. "Il a laissé une lettre chez son voisin et il est parti à pied à travers champs et cela durant trois jours", a encore précisé la procureure. Dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi, "il est revenu chez lui épuisé". Balayant les "faits d'emprise", Alix-Marie Cabot-Chaumeton a plutôt cité des révélations d'une amie de l'ex-prêtre: "il a été placé en garde à vue parce qu'il avait fait des déclarations à une amie comme quoi il aurait commis des atteintes sexuelles sur une personne de 15 ans en 2005".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Israeli, Haredi FaceBook Group, Lo Tishtok Goes After Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

Haaretz reports there is a new Israeli Facebook based, all-volunteer Haredi group supporting victims of sex abuse.

The scene captured by the surveillance camera shows an ultra-Orthodox man trying to force himself on a young boy in the narrow entrance of an apartment building.

It happened last month, on Purim, in the Israeli town of Bnei Brak. Within a few hours, the footage was posted on Facebook. Almost immediately, the assailant was identified, and two days later, he was under arrest.

That would not have been the normal course of events 10 years ago, five years ago or even six months ago. But reporting sexual abuse is no longer as taboo as it once was in the ultra-Orthodox community, and among those who deserve credit for this change is a group of young Israeli crusaders fed up with the long-standing silence about such crimes in their midst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Bay Area minister arrested in teen sex assault

CALIFORNIA
The Press Democrat

ASSOCIATED PRESS | April 24, 2016

MARTINEZ — Police in Northern California say a minister has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a teen girl over a three-year period.

Martinez Police spokesman Aaron Roth tells San Francisco television station KRON 32-year-old Fernando Maldonado, of Concord, was arrested last week on numerous counts of sexual assault charges, including unlawful intercourse with a juvenile younger than 14.

Police arrested Maldonado four days after the girl went to police to report the abuse she said started in 2013.

Maldonado used to work at Morello Baptist Church in Martinez. He later became a minister for the Grace Bible Church in Pleasant Hill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Tough to build Jehovah's Witness sex-abuse case

CALIOFRNIA
San Diego Reader

By Dorian Hargrove, April 24, 2016

On Friday, April 29, an attorney for Osbaldo Padron will ask a judge to impose severe sanctions on the Jehovah's Witness Church for refusing to turn over documents. The documents allegedly show the church was aware of sexual abuse committed over decades by a San Diego–based church leader on young boys, such as Padron.

The request for sanctions is the latest development in a childhood sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the church in several countries in recent years. In San Diego, the case is the ninth against church leader Gonzalo Campos; seven settled out of court.

In 2013, according to a 2014 article in the Union-Tribune, a judge ordered the Jehovah's Witness Church, also known as the Watchtower, to pay José Lopez $13.5 million for covering up sexual abuse he suffered at the hands Campos. In Lopez’s case, he was seven years old in 1986 when Campos sexually abused him in a bathroom during a Bible-study outing.

Campos’s history of molestation of young boys went beyond the eight victims, according to Padron's 2013 lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Compensation payouts to children sexually abused by clergy could be increased to up to $120,000 under a new review of the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By AAP and LUCY MAE BEERS FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

Compensation payments to people sexually abused as children by clergy could be increased to more than $100,000 under the Catholic Church's much-criticised Melbourne Response scheme, a victims' advocate says.

A review to be released in coming days is expected to recommend lifting the current $75,000 cap on compensation payments to victims in the Melbourne archdiocese.

Clergy abuse victims advocate Helen Last said the cap could be increased to $100,000-$120,000.

'That would be a big improvement for survivors in terms of the damages and injuries that they've sustained that are lifelong, and as a matter of a statement of contrition and a desire to reform,' the In Good Faith Foundation chief executive told AAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Raped by iconic high school basketball coach, ex-Queens resident can’t sue in N.Y.

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O'KEEFFE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, April 25, 2016

Many childhood sexual abuse survivors dream about confronting their predators in a court of law.

Jimmy Carlino actually got that opportunity five years ago, when legendary New York basketball coach Bob Oliva pleaded guilty in a Boston courtroom to two counts of rape of a child.

“I now realize I lost my childhood to Bob Oliva,” Carlino said, sobbing as he read an emotional victim impact state on April 4, 2011, after the Christ the King Regional High School icon — who coached Lamar Odom, Jayson Williams and dozens of other players who went on to Division I and NBA teams — acknowledged that he had sexually abused the then-14-year-old during a 1976 trip to Massachusetts.

Carlino, a former Queens resident, may have had an opportunity to confront his sexual predator, who now lives in South Carolina and was sentenced to five years of probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Informes de virginidad para exculpar al ex líder de Orden y Mandato

ESPANA
El Mundo

JOSÉ MANUEL VIDALMadrid
NATALIA PUGASantiago de Compostela

25/04/201

Dos antiguas seguidoras de Feliciano Miguel Rosendo, fundador de la Orden y Mandato de San Miguel Arcángel y que se encuentra en prisión desde diciembre de 2014, han presentado al juzgado que instruye la causa por asociación ilícita, contra la Hacienda Pública y por abuso sexual, sendos «informes de virginidad» para demostrar que esta última acusación es falsa. El obispo de Tui-Vigo suspendió la orden al saltar al escándalo.

Marta Paz, que era la mano derecha de Rosendo en la congregación religiosa, e Ivana L. pretenden así desmontar las acusaciones de otras dos seguidoras de Orden y Mandato, que acusan al ex líder de la organización de abusos sexuales reiterados y otras vejaciones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Spanish nuns prove virginity in bid to clear leader of order

SPAIN
The Local

Two nuns submitted "virginity tests" to a Galician court in an attempt to prove the leader of their religious order was innocent of sexual abuse, recently released court transcripts show.

Marta Paz and Ivana L. presented evidence of their virginity to a court in the Galician town of Tui after their leader, Feliciano Miguel Rosendo, was arrested and held without bail for crimes including sex abuse in December 2014.

Rosendo lead the Mandate and Order of Saint Michael Archangel, whose choir sang for Pope Benedict when he visited Madrid in 2011. Rosendo changed the name of the sect after he was expelled from the Roman Catholic diocese of Tui for "inappropriate behaviour".

The majority of the sect’s 400 followers left after Rosendo was expelled from Tui, but a core group of supporters claim his innocence to this day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Falls rector takes up indigenous call to action

CANADA
Niagara Falls Review

By Ray Spiteri, Niagara Falls Review
Sunday, April 24, 2016

A first-of-its-kind appointment has been made by Anglican Diocese of Niagara Bishop Michael Bird in naming Canon Valerie Kerr as an archdeacon for truth, reconciliation and indigenous ministry.

A Mohawk woman of the wolf clan, Kerr has been an ordained Anglican priest for more than 10 years, and is currently the rector of St. John the Evangelist in Niagara Falls.

Kerr will be charged with helping Bird implement the Anglican Church of Canada’s commitment to truth and reconciliation in the Diocese of Niagara.

This ministry will include teaching, building relationships, and fostering healing and reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

The appointment comes as the Anglican Church of Canada seeks to live into the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action, and confront the ways in which it has embodied colonial attitudes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

St William's sex abuse: Demonstration held at St John of Beverley church

UNITED KINGDOM
By Hull Daily Mail

Posted: April 24, 2016

VICTIMS of historic sex abuse have held a demonstration at a Beverley church today.

Joined by their lawyer, they handed out leaflets to residents as they visited the Roman Catholic Church of St John of Beverley, in North Bar Without.

It follows numerous convictions following sexual abuse cases at St William's approved school in Market Weighton, where the victims are yet to receive an apology or compensation.

Both establishments are part of the Diocese of Middlesbrough hence the location of the demonstration.

The leaflets read: "St William's was opened in about 1960 by the Diocese of Middlesbrough as a community home for young boys aged between 13 to 16 years.

"They were sent there by many local authorities that had trust in them to care for children but that was never the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

April 24, 2016

Daily Beast on Jeyapaul Story: "This May Be the Worst Case We’ve Ever Seen. What Does a Priest Have to Do to Get Kicked Out of the Catholic Church?"

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Noting that the Vatican has placed convicted rapist Father Joseph Jeyapaul back into a parish, Barbie Latza Nadeau (and Daily Beast) write,

This may be the worst case we’ve ever seen. What does a priest have to do to get kicked out of the Catholic Church?

Nadeau quotes David Clohessy of SNAP, who states,

I say this carefully and only after considerable thought. The Jeyapaul case is the worst case we've seen.

As I noted several days ago, Megan Peterson, whom Jeyapaul was convicted of raping in the parish he pastored in Greenbush, Minnesota, when she was fourteen years old, has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block his reappointment to parish ministry in India. As Nadeau states, Jeyapaul has admitted to raping at least two girls in his Greenbush parish. She writes,

After being charged with the abuse, which included rape and forcing at least one of the girls to perform fellatio on him, he fled home to India, where he was eventually arrested on an Interpol warrant. He was then extradited back to Minnesota, where he admitted his heinous crimes and entered a plea bargain in which, in exchange for a lighter sentence, he copped to molestation of one of the girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

SCHUMER PUSHES TO PASS PROVISION IN ADAM WALSH REAUTH ACT THAT WOULD GIVE CHILD VICTIMS OF SEX CRIMES & ABUSE MORE TIME TO SUE THEIR ABUSER

UNITED STATES
Charles E. Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced today that a new provision was added to his bill, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2016, that would allow children who were victims of crimes such as sex trafficking, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and other crimes related to child pornography to sue their abuser for the pain and suffering they caused – for up to 10 years after the child turns 18. Current law only provides a statute of limitations extension for three years after the child turns 18. Schumer, today, said that is not long enough and added that this provision is particularly important for cases of child pornography, where a minor may not find evidence of the exploitation online until later in life.

“The sands of time should not fall in the favor of criminals – especially sexual predators. This provision rightfully extends the chance a child victim of sexual abuse or pornography has to take action against those who caused them harm,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “I have always supported fully funding the Adam Walsh Act because it protects our kids, but the provision we added today gives it even more teeth by rightfully extending the window in which a civil action can be brought against an abuser. The three years provided under the law right now is just not long enough.”

Schumer is the lead democratic sponsor of The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act and is vowing to push for passage of this critical legislation which includes important provisions to protect children from sexual exploitation and violent crimes.

Amongst other protections, the legislation provides funding for the U.S. Marshals that help track down and apprehend fugitive sex criminals. Second, the legislation extends the statute of limitations for federal civil claims against abusers. The current statute of limitations for civil suits is only three years after the child turns 18. Schumer says that statute of limitations for civil claims must be extended to 10 years, which is the current standard for criminal cases. Additionally, The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act includes key provisions of Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act to ensure rape kits are preserved and to establish a bill of rights for sexual assault survivors.

Schumer said that passage of The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act would allow more time for a victim to sue for pain and suffering, ensure law enforcement is funded to go after fugitive sex offenders and provide rights to sexual assault victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Is a ‘governance gap’ emerging under Pope Francis?

ROME
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Editor April 23, 2016

Pope Francis just keeps on truckin’ as the most compelling moral point of reference in the world today, most recently capping a last-minute trip to the Greek island of Lesbos to make a statement on refugee rights by bringing 12 of those refugees back to Rome with him, thereby offering Europe a pointed lesson about welcome.

Through both word and deed, Francis has a remarkable knack for finding ways to move the ball on the social and political causes he cares about most.

Francis has become so globally visible and consequential, it’s sometimes easy to forget that he wasn’t elected to the papacy in March 2013 primarily to solve Europe’s refugee crisis, or to fight climate change, or to pave the way for Cuba and the U.S. to restore diplomatic relations.

When the cardinals huddled in the conclave three years ago, their diagnosis was instead that internal ecclesiastical governance had been adrift in the Vatican for quite a while, really since the late John Paul II years, and among other qualities they wanted a new pope who would get the system under control, choking off future scandal and making sure Rome set a positive example for the Church rather than offering a case study in what not to do.

Of late, however, there have been reminders that Francis’ success on the global stage is not really matched by comparable breakthroughs as a manager.

Over the past quarter-century, two areas above all have generated persistent scandal and heartache for the Vatican, and were waiting for a new pope to take up: The child sexual abuse scandals, and money.

In terms of the abuse scandals, a recent report by the Associated Press reveals that a new tribunal within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was created by Francis to handle “abuse of office” charges against bishops accused of covering up abuse cases, essentially is going nowhere.

The tribunal, billed as a dramatic move by Francis in the direction of accountability, has been mired from the beginning in conflicting jurisdictions and unclear lines of authority, and so far has not taken up a single case.

In a similar vein, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the body created by Francis to lead the charge on reform from the abuse scandals, has experienced chronic difficulties in getting things moved through the system in a timely fashion, including authorizations to appoint new members and acquiring the necessary bureaucratic materials for new staff.

All of that, and more, has led some critics of the pope’s response to the abuse scandals to wonder if he’s truly serious about reform.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

5,5-Milliarden-Deckungslücke in der katholischen Pensionskasse

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

[There's a 5.5 billion euro shortfall in the pension fund of the German Catholic Church.]

„Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“: Deckungslücke in der „Kirchlichen Zusatzversorgungskasse“ könnte der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland finanzielle Verwerfungen bis hin zur Zahlungsunfähigkeit ganzer Bistümer bescheren.

Frankfurt (kath.net) Eine Deckungslücke von 5,5 Milliarden Euro sei bei der „Kirchlichen Zusatzversorgungskasse“ (KZVK) im vergangenen Herbst bekannt geworden. Dies berichtete die „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“ am Donnerstag. Damit sei eine der größten nichtstaatlichen Versorgungseinrichtungen Deutschlands „ein Sanierungsfall“. Die KZVK gehört zum „Verband der Diözesen Deutschlands“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Prügelpriester und Kirchenkriminalität

DEUTSCHLAND
Kritisches Netzwerk

Bis zum Jahr 2010 waren der Katholischen Kirche die Abgründe ihrer Schwarzen Pädagogik seit dem Mittelalter keiner Rede wert. Das änderte sich erst, als die Missbrauchs-Skandale vergangener Jahrzehnte durch publizistische Paukenschläge aus dem Berliner Canisius-Kolleg, aus dem nördlich von Garmisch-Partenkirchen gelegenen Kloster Ettal und bald auch aus dem Bistum Regensburg in der breiten Öffentlichkeit ruchbar wurden. Über Jahre wurden dort Internats-Zöglinge schwer misshandelt, mit Rohrstöcken traktiert, sexuell missbraucht und in einem Klima der Angst gefangen gehalten. Generationsweise mussten Kinder dran glauben, dass Gewalt und Vergewaltigung gottgegeben seien.

Seitdem gaben sich einzelne Bistümer einige Mühe, die Straftaten aufzuklären und deren Opfer als solche anzuerkennen. Nicht so in Regensburg: Dort wurde zunächst gemauert und geleugnet. Doch ließ sich die vorgeblich saubere Fassade nicht lange aufrecht erhalten, denn zuviel Schmutz und Schmerz lagen dahinter verborgen. Das Grauen drängte ans Tageslicht. Es roch nach Lüge und Vertuschung. Den Meldungen Betroffener folgten abwimmelnde Serienbriefe, die neben der Bekundung geschäftsmäßig signalisierter allgemeiner Betroffenheit die Glaubwürdigkeit der Beschwerdeführer bezüglich konkreter Tatverhalte generell in Zweifel zogen. Auf manche wirkte die Abweisung wie weitere entwürdigende Demütigung nach all den Jahren der Traumatisierung und Verdrängung.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Where Do Priests Accused Of Abuse Go?

Carbonated.TV

by Amna Shoaib

Like UsChurches in South America are buzzing with priests who were transferred there from places like US and UK. But many of these priests have a dark, unknown past.

A lot has changed in US and UK in the past several decades. As society distances itself from the hold of religious institutions, the power of clerical authorities has waned in the developed countries. This has weaved new patterns on or social fabric, but one undeniably positive thing to have come out of this change was that priests and religious figures are no longer immune to the law of the land.

After exhaustive investigations revealed that priests often targeted vulnerable children in the church, the altar boys, governments were swift to take action. The zero tolerance policy came about as the result of the change in societal values discussed above. This policy means that churches no longer welcome priests accused of molestation.

So where do these priests go?

The Catholic Church, if it cannot protect its priests in developed countries, conveniently sends them to places where they will not have to face the consequences of their actions.

A recent report by The Global Post sheds light on this chilling new trend of the Catholic Church of sending accused priests to places like Peru and Brazil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Priest Convicted Of Sex Crime Serving In Elgin

OKLAHOMA
The Lawton Constitution

Sun, 04/24/2016

Mike Andrews

“Without excusing or justifying his behavior, I think he can now safely and appropriately return to ministry.”
PAUL S. COAKLEY
ARCHBISHOP OF OKLAHOMA CITY

Named to become pastor at Lawton’s Blessed Sacrament Church in June

A priest who was convicted in California of sexual battery and sentenced to three years probation is now serving as administrator at Saint Ann Church, Elgin and missions to Mother of Sorrows Church, Apache, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Sterling. He has been named to become pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Lawton effective June 28.

According to the website of Blessed Sacrament, JosÈ Alexis D·vila was hired here in December and was appointed as administrator of the Elgin parish March 29.

News reports in San Diego state that Davila pleaded guilty to inappropriately touching a 19-year-old woman in 2012 and served three years of probation.

Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said that Davila had been serving in his hometown parish in Venezuela before returning to Oklahoma to serve in Lawton. Before going to Venezuela he had served in churches in Utah and in the same San Diego parish he served in when he was convicted.

A blog post on the Blessed Sacrament Parish website posted in December said that "Father (JosÈ Alexis D·vila) will be with our parish to assist Father Chapman. Reverend JosÈ A. D·vila was ordained in the Diocese of Cabimas, Venezuela on December 15, 1984. He most recently served as Pastor of Cristo Redentor, in Ojeda, Venezuela. However, he has pastoral experience in the United States. Several years ago Father D·vila's family immigrated to the USA due to political persecution in Venezuela. To avoid any further persecution and to be closer to his family, Father D·vila, with permission of his Bishop in Cabimas, sought to serve in this Archdiocese."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Locally Convicted Priest Working in Oklahoma

CALIFORNIA/OKLAHOMA
NBC San Diego

By Brie Stimson and Matt Rascon

More than four years after being convicted of groping a 20-year-old woman in San Diego, a priest is behind a Catholic pulpit again.

Father Jose Alexis Davila had been at St. Jude’s Shrine of the West in Southcrest only two months when he was arrested in 2012. He was later reinstated at St. Jude’s but left by the end of the year.

"Without excusing or justifying his behavior, I think he can now safely and appropriately return to ministry,” Paul S. Coakley, the Archbishop of Oklahoma City where Davila now works, said.

“Some actions such as the sexual abuse of a child are so grievous that the perpetrator must be permanently removed from ministry. This was not one of those actions.”

Joelle Casteix, with Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), has followed Davila's case since the original sexual assault charges against him.

“If he knew about Davila’s background and still allowed him to be a priest, that is reckless endangerment, and it should definitely be held accountable,” Casteix said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Where does SFU stand in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese Sex Abuse Scandal?

PENNSYLVANIA
Troubadour - Saint Francis University

Matt Fraley, Contributing writer • April 24, 2016

Where does SFU stand in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese Sex Abuse Scandal?

Three Franciscan friars have been charged in connection to the child abuse case in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.

On March 15, three Third Order Regular (TOR) friars from the Immaculate Conception Province based in Hollidaysburg were charged with criminal conspiracy and endangering the welfare of children. All three were former provincials for the province.

According to a statement released by the Attorney General’s Katherine Kane’s office, Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli are accused of providing Stephen Baker, a friar in the Immaculate Conception Province, access to children by allowing him to teach at Bishop McCort Catholic High School. These men oversaw Baker and knew that he posed a safety threat to the children, Kane said.

According to WGAL News, Stephen Baker worked from 1992 to 2010 as a religion teacher at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, where he is accused of sexually abusing more than 80 children. In 2013, Baker took his own life.

Schinelli, D’Aversa and Criscitelli could face up to 14 years in prison each, if convicted.
This is just one piece of a growing case involving the whole Altoona-Johnstown diocese. People from around the diocese have been filing reports that priests abused them.

In a New York Times article published on April 4, one woman who attended the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel in Loretto claimed that a priest sexually abused her when she was younger.

Were SFU students ever at risk? How has this impacted the university?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Loyola School on Upper East Side covered up teacher who molested seven girls in 1970s, 1980s — but victims can’t sue

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O’KEEFFE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, April 23, 2016

Louis Tambini was a legendary figure at Loyola, a history teacher, coach and athletic director who worked at the small Catholic school on the Upper East Side for more than 30 years.

Tambini was also a creep who molested seven girls who attended the school in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Officials at the Jesuit-run school failed to notify authorities, parents or alumni when they learned about the sexual abuse allegations, according to a report commissioned by the current Loyola administration and prepared by the Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft law firm. But despite evidence that Loyola officials covered up the abuse for decades after they learned of the allegations in December 1982, the victims can’t file lawsuits against the school because New York’s statute of limitations expired decades ago.

The statute of limitations in New York, considered one of the strictest in the nation, bars sex abuse survivors from pursuing criminal charges or civil damages after their 23rd birthday.

“This report really does memorialize how an institution can use a strict and draconian loophole in New York State law to keep the matter quashed until the statute of limitations runs out,” said attorney Mike Reck, who represents one of the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

North Aurora pastor charged with child sex abuse

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

Kerry Lester

A North Aurora pastor who is listed on the Illinois sex offender registry now faces a new charge of child sex abuse from Kane County prosecutors.

Ralphael Robinson, 39, pastor at Kingdom Church on the 100 block of South Lincolnway, is charged with one count of criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Prosecutors said Saturday in a news release that Robinson, who lives in Aurora, sexually abused a child while at the church last Monday.

Police issued a warrant for Robinson's arrest on Friday. But officials say he surrendered himself that day at the Aurora Police Department.

Kingdom Church's website does not include Robinson's 2004 sex abuse conviction of a minor as part of the pastor's biography. But on the state database, Robinson is listed as a sexual predator who abused a 16-year-old when he was 25d.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Sex Offender Pastor Allegedly Abused Girl in Church

ILLINOIS
Patch

The 39-year-old North Aurora pastor was previously convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Aurora, IL

By SCOTT VIAU (Patch Staff) - April 23, 2016

A North Aurora pastor, who is also a convicted sex offender, has been charged with sexually abusing a child in a church.

Ralphael J. Robinson, 39, of the 1700 block of Felten Road in Aurora and a pastor at Kingdom Church in North Aurora, was charged with one count of criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Robinson allegedly sexually abused his victim, whom he knew, April 18 at his church, located in the 100 block of South Lincolnway, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

Robinson was previously convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Illinois Sex Offender Registry. He was 25 at the time of the offense and his victim was 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

How many years, hearings before an admitted child molester is jailed?

WEST VIRGINIA
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Samantha Perry

Timothy Probert is a bastard. I’ve waited two years, four months, 13 days and roughly 17 hours to write those words.

Under the guise of a Christian face, Probert used a carefully manipulated role of prominent community member and child of God to gain the trust of adults and then sexually molest their children.

What could be worse?

lll

Since late 2013 I have covered this case as an impartial journalist — all the while knowing the evil acts perpetrated within Probert’s home. I have done my best to report the facts — and only the facts — when covering the story.

It’s not been easy.

In our role as journalists we learn things — know things. We hear the off-the-record comments. We read detailed case reports and court documents. We see the victims and their families in the courtroom. We report the facts and testimony, but some information can not be shared. And that knowledge can eat at us from the inside.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

The Vatican Just Put a Convicted Rapist Back in a Parish

ROME
The Daily Beast

Barbie Latza Nadeau

This may be the worst case we’ve ever seen. What does a priest have to do to get kicked out of the Catholic Church?

ROME—Just what is it that the Vatican does not get about predator priests? Apparently a lot.
Father Joseph Jeyapaul is a priest from India who admitted to raping two adolescent girls in Minnesota when he served the Crookston, Minnesota, diocese from 2004 to 2005.

After being charged with the abuse, which included rape and forcing at least one of the girls to perform fellatio on him, he fled home to India where he was eventually arrested on an Interpol warrant. He was then extradited back to Minnesota where he admitted his heinous crimes and entered a plea bargain in which, in exchange for a lighter sentence, he copped to molestation of one of the girls.

Jeyapaul was suspended from the priesthood and served a year and a day in prison in Minnesota, then was deported back to India after his release last July. The Minnesota diocese where he worked also settled a civil lawsuit with the victims in which one accused him of systematic abuse in the confessional of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenbush, Minnesota, where he would then tell the girl it was her fault, that she had made him “impure.”

How much more proof would one need that the man cannot be trusted with minors?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Altoona-Johnstown bishops' actions on abuse claims called into question

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

BY BRAD BUMSTED | Saturday, April 23, 2016

HARRISBURG — Sitting through Mass with the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr. presiding was surreal for Elizabeth Williams.

She felt a chill.

“I just wanted to get up and leave. But I felt I could not,” said Williams, a physician's assistant.

Her anxiety stemmed from knowing she was about to confront Maurizio with allegations that he had molested boys at a shelter for street kids in Honduras.

Maurizio, a former Roman Catholic priest in Somerset County, visited the shelter on mission trips and provided financial support through a nonprofit. After the Mass on Nov. 11, 2009, Williams, the former president of ProNino USA, and Stephen Beer, a board member of the group that helps Latin American street children, met Maurizio in the rectory of Our Lady Queen of Angels in Central City, Somerset County, and told him boys “were reporting inappropriate sexual harassment or abuse.”

The priest was “quiet and calm,” Williams, 46, recalled. Maurizio “denied it happened and expressed concern about his future,” she said.

They met with former Bishop Joseph Adamec and other officials of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese the next day. Williams later returned to Altoona and met with former Vicar General Michael Servinsky and other diocese officials. She brought videos of boys saying they'd been molested and describing the acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Priest convicted of sex crime finds home in Oklahoma parish

OKLAHOMA
KFOR

APRIL 23, 2016, BY LORNE FULTONBERG

LAWTON, Okla. -- A priest who pleaded guilty to sexual battery charges in San Diego is the newest chaplain at a Catholic church in Lawton.

Fr. Jose Alexis Davila joined Blessed Sacrament in Lawton in December, despite a criminal misdemeanor for inappropriately touching a 19-year-old woman in 2011. The church introduced him to the congregation, but never mentioned his criminal past -- or even his last job, writing only that "he has pastoral experience in the United States."

"We’re very alarmed by this," said David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "This is precisely the pattern that’s been in the Catholic Church for decades and it’s amazingly irresponsible."

Following Davila's conviction in 2012, San Diego news outlets reported he was quietly reinstated and deemed "fit to minister." A judge sentenced him to three years probation and 150 hours of community service. He worked briefly at another parish before leaving the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

April 23, 2016

PARAGUAY: Obispos sabían que cura acusado de abuso se ocultó en Paraguay

PARAGUAY
Entorno Inteligente

[The Paraguayan Church was aware of the case of the Argentine priest Carlos Ibanez, investigated for alleged sexual abuse of 10 young people in Bell Ville, Córdoba (Argentina), but said no complaints about the priest was presented in our country. The Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See in Paraguay, Monsignor Eliseo Ariotti, and the Archbishop of Asuncion, Monsignor Edmundo Valenzuela, held an early press conference to speak on the subject. The newspaper La Nacion published yesterday the first installment of what will be a series of publications that aims to show the "system of silence" of the church to cases of sexual abuse involving priests.]

Hoy.com.py / La Iglesia paraguaya estaba al tanto del caso del cura argentino Carlos Ibáñez, investigado por supuesto abuso sexual a 10 jóvenes en Bell Ville, provincia de Córdoba (Argentina), pero asegura ninguna denuncia sobre el sacerdote fue presentada en nuestro país. Ratifica que hay "tolerancia cero" con los padres acusados de violadores.

El nuncio apostólico de la Santa Sede en Paraguaya, Monseñor Eliseo Ariotti, y al arzobispo de Asunción, Monseñor Edmundo Valenzuela, ofrecieron una tempranera conferencia de prensa para referirse al tema. El diario La Nación publicó ayer la primera entrega de lo que será la serie de publicaciones que pretende mostrar el"sistema de silencio? de la Iglesia ante los casos de abusos sexuales que involucran a los propios curas.

Ariotti indicó que las autoridades eclesiales del país estaban al tanto del caso del sacerdote Carlos Ibáñez desde hace un año y activaron el protocolo de referencia. El nuncio sostuvo que se recogieron elementos y se alertó del hecho al obispo de Córdoba, pero aclaró"nunca fue presentada en Paraguay una denuncia contra Ibáñez".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Hubo orden de arresto en 1992, pero la policía no lo encontró

ARGENTINA/PARAGUAY
La Capital

[The first warrant of a judge in Bell Ville against the priest Carlos Ibáñez was released on July 7, 1992 and was signed by the then Judge Oscar Roque Bertschi. The charge was called by the magistrate: "Corruption of minors and repeated and persistent transmission of venereal disease." Local police then went looking for the priest but could not find him.]

La primera orden de detención de un juzgado de instrucción de Bell Ville contra el sacerdote Carlos Ibáñez salió el 7 de julio de 1992 y fue firmada por el entonces juez Oscar Roque Bertschi.

La carátula de la causa fue titulada por el magistrado: "Corrupción de menores reiterada y continuada y transmisión de enfermedad venérea". La Policía local, entonces, salió a buscar al sacerdote para capturarlo pero no lo halló.

Miguel Angel Viqueira fue el juez de la niñez que en la misma ciudad de Bell Ville recibió las primeras denuncias contra el cura. El equipo periodístico de La Nación de Paraguay llegó en estos días hasta el domicilio del ex juez quien, ya jubilado, se animó a contar lo que recordaba del caso.
"De lo que me tocó participar, puedo confirmar que hubo denuncias concretas contra el padre por parte de unos 10 chicos, por supuestos abusos sexuales", manifestó el ex magistrado. "Lo que me correspondió, como en ese entonces mandaban las leyes, fue asistir a estos jóvenes para darles un acompañamiento psicológico y emocional junto a sus familias, ya sea para los trámites de estudios clínicos, porque se denunció que varios de ellos fueron afectados por sífilis, o para avanzar en los estrados judiciales. Eso sirvió para que el juez investigador (Oscar Bertschi, que siguió atendiendo el caso) pueda presentar sus alegatos", expresó Viqueira.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Ariotti: "Iglesia no pudo hacer nada sin pruebas"

ARGENTINA/PARAGUAY
Ultima Hora

[The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Eliseo Ariotti, tried to minimize complaints about journalistic investigations that have to do with the Cordovan priest accused of sexual abuse in their country. He said the church was aware of the case but could not do anything without documents and evidence.]

El Nuncio Apostólico, monseñor Eliseo Ariotti, intentó minimizar las denuncias e investigaciones periodísticas que tienen que ver con el cura cordobés acusado de abuso sexual en su país. Aseguró que la Iglesia tenía conocimiento del caso, pero que no pudo hacer nada sin documentos y pruebas.

"La Iglesia está haciendo todo lo posible para aclarar el hecho hace más de un año. La Conferencia Episcopal presentó al papa Francisco un protocolo de acción para luchar contra estos casos, para aclarar la situación tan penosa en la vida social, no solo en la vida de la Iglesia", manifestó en conferencia de prensa monseñor Eliseo Ariotti.

Dijo que las autoridades eclesiales tenían conocimiento del caso hace recién un año, y criticó que, si Carlos Ibáñez está viviendo en Paraguay hace 24, nadie hizo llegar antes ninguna denuncia a la Iglesia, informó el periodista Miguel Franco a ULTIMAHORA.COM.

"Recogieron elementos para poner a conocimientos de las autoridades que conocían al cura cordobés", dijo respecto a las autoridades de la Iglesia Católica en Paraguay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Arzobispo de Asunción pide perdón por admitir a sacerdote argentino acusado de abusos

PARAGUAY
La Prensa

[The archbishop of Asuncion, Monsignor Edmundo Valenzuela, apologized Saturday to the Catholic faithful for allowing an Argentine priest accused of child molestation in 1992 to exercise priesthood in Paraguay with forged titles. "We apologize because we are very innocent." He said in Paraguay they trust people too much even when they are foreigners. He said they must learn to be more suspicious.]

Asución, Paraguay.

El arzobispo de Asunción, monseñor Edmundo Valenzuela, pidió perdón este sábado a la feligresía católica por haber permitido que un sacerdote argentino acusado de abuso de menores en 1992 en su país siguiera ejerciendo el sacerdocio en Paraguay con títulos fraguados.

"Pedimos disculpas porque somos muy inocentes. En el Paraguay confiamos demasiado en la gente, más todavía cuando es extranjera. Hay que aprender a ser más suspicaces", dijo el prelado en declaraciones a periodistas al referirse al sacerdote argentino Carlos Ibáñez Morino, denunciado en su país por abuso sexual de al menos 10 jóvenes en 1992.

Ibáñez Morino fue suspendido en sus funciones por el obispo de Córdoba, al noroeste de Buenos Aires, pero continuó ejerciendo en Paraguay con títulos falsos hasta semanas atrás, cuando fue denunciado por la prensa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Georgetown and the Sin of Slavery

WASHINGTON (DC)
New York Times

Editorial

The reparations movement, which calls for compensating the descendants of generations of enslaved Americans going back 250 years, has failed to gain traction in this country for a variety of reasons.

Most Americans see slavery as an artifact of the distant past that has no bearing on the nation’s present. And even people who are sympathetic to the reparations idea — and who acknowledge the continued imprint of slavery on society — have often argued that there is no way to distinguish descendants who have provable claims to compensation from those who do not, partly because enslaved people usually went unnamed in the United States census, which rendered them faceless in the historical record.

Bankers, merchants and manufacturers all profited from the slave trade, as did companies that insured slaving ships and their cargo. And more than a dozen universities have acknowledged ties to slavery. Even so, some will find ways to paper over the role that slavery played in their founding and early history.

Such denials are impossible in the harrowing history of slavery at Georgetown University that Rachel Swarns recounted recently in The Times. In 1838, the Jesuits running the college that became Georgetown sold 272 African-American men, women and children into a hellish life on sugar plantations in the South to finance the college’s continued operation. On that fact, there is no dispute.

The sale by the Jesuits stands out for its sheer size and the directness of its relationship to the existence and fortunes of one of the country’s top Catholic universities. The names of the people who were taken from the Jesuit plantations in Maryland and shipped to New Orleans are known. The fact that some of their descendants have already been found makes this a particularly salient case in the emerging effort to confront one of history’s worst crimes against humanity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

SNAP Says Convicted Sex Offender Priest Serving In Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA
News on 6

LAWTON, Oklahoma - A survivor's group says a priest who pleaded guilty in California to fondling a teenage girl in 2011 is now an administrator of three parishes in southwest Oklahoma.

KFMB, the CBS affiliate in San Diego, reports Father Jose Alexis DaVila, who admitted to abusing a 19-year-old woman, is working at at three churches in Caddo and Comanche counties.

David Clohessy, executive director for SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - is outraged DaVila vanished and resurfaced in Oklahoma.

A Lawton church's website stated on March 29, 2016 Father Jose Alexis DaVila had been assigned as an administrator of St. Ann Church in Elgin, the Mother of Sorrows Church in Apache and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Sterling.

"I think it's inappropriate, I think it's insulting. We believe this priest shouldn't be a priest at all, this priest should be behind bars," Clohessy told KFMB.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

New nuncio to U.S. says he’s ready to listen and learn

UNITED STATES
Crux

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service April 22, 2016

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the new nuncio to the United States, said he’s ready to learn about the Catholic Church in the country and will try his best to be Pope Francis’ emissary, particularly in promoting a church that is close to those who suffer.

The archbishop, who had a private meeting at the Vatican with Pope Francis April 21, gave interviews the next day to the English and the Italian programs of Vatican Radio.

The 70-year-old French native has been in the Vatican diplomatic corps for almost 40 years and said a nuncio’s job is to help the pope fulfill his ministry of building up the local churches, respecting their diversity, while keeping them united with the universal church.

“The difficulty or the challenge,” he said, is “to listen, to be careful about what’s going on, to understand, to exercise dialogue — I think that’s very important — to discover the beauty, the richness of the culture of the people, the way the people live (and) to help the inculturation of the Gospel in a particular culture.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Missbrauch: Betroffene an BP Fischer: „Wir werden Ihnen keine Träne nachweinen“

OSTERREICH
OTS

[At least 16,000 victims of clerical abuse have been identified in Austria.]

Treffen mit Betroffenen verweigert, aber Privatjustiz der Kirche noch schnell mit Goldenem Verdienstzeichen legitimiert.

Wien (OTS) - Bundespräsident Fischer hat kurz vor Ende seiner Amtszeit noch schnell ein würdeloses Zeichen gesetzt und unter Beisein von Kardinal Schönborn die „Klasnic-Kommission“ mit dem "Goldenen Verdienstzeichen der Republik“ ausgezeichnet.

www.katholisch.at/aktuelles/2016/04/15/bundespraesident-fischer-ehrt-klasnic-kommission

Die Kommission hat sich aus Sicht der Betroffenen kirchlicher Gewalt vor allem für den Schutz der Täter engagiert: „Die Klasnic-Kommission wurde von der Kirche eingesetzt, um teure Klagen abzuwenden und Opfer auszuhorchen“, moniert Sepp Rothwangl von der Plattform Betroffener kirchlicher Gewalt. „Sie hat den Opfern Almosen ausbezahlt, ihre intimen Daten klammheimlich mit der Bischofskonferenz geteilt und die Täter gedeckt, anstatt ein Justizverfahren gegen selbige zu unterstützen.“ Und sie habe eine Vernetzung Betroffener verhindert und damit eine zivil- und strafrechtliche Verfolgung massiv erschwert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Priest Collared For Requesting Oral Sex In The Park, Sheriff Says

FLORIDA
The Huffington Post

Ron Dicker
General Assignment Reporter, The Huffington Post

He wasn’t looking for a religious experience.

A Florida priest was busted for asking a male undercover officer in a public park to give him oral sex, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office says.

A Sheriff’s spokeswoman told The Huffington Post Friday that the clergyman, Stephen Glenn Charest of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, bluntly told the detective, “I want you to suck my c—k.”

Charest was charged with soliciting another for lewdness. According to arrest records, the 66-year-old priest was booked on April 19 and released April 20.

“I can’t believe it, I really can’t,” parishioner Shirley Schultz told ABC Action News. “He is so nice, nice with the kids, everything. My whole family, they are shocked over it. It hurts, it really hurts, it is a shame.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

North Aurora pastor charged with sexually abusing child

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

A North Aurora pastor who is a convicted sex offender listed on the state's registry has been charged with sexually abusing a child, according to Kane County prosecutors.

Ralphael Robinson, 39, the head pastor at Kingdom Church, faces one count of criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

The alleged abuse took place at the church, which is located on Lincolnway and described in its promotional materials as a "multi-cultural truth assembly." Prosecutors said Robinson knows the victim and the charges indicate that he had a "position of trust" in her life.

According to a biography posted on the church's now-defunct website, Robinson runs Kingdom with his wife, Tamika. It also says that he has a master's degree in Christian education and a doctorate in divinity, but does not provide the names of the schools where he studied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

PASTOR CHARGED WITH SEX ABUSE OF CHILD IN NORTH AURORA

ILLINOIS
WLS

NORTH AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- A pastor at a North Aurora church is charged with sexually abusing a child according to the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.

Police say Ralphael Robinson, pastor of the Kingdom Church in the 100-block of South Lincolnway, allegedly sexually abused a victim under the age of 18 at the church.

Robinson is charged with one felony count of criminal sexual assault and one felony count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. His bail was set at $100,000 and if he makes bond he will be prohibited from having contact with the victim or any person under the age of 17, the State's Attorney's Office says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Pastor charged with sexually abusing minor at North Aurora church

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

Luke Wilusz
@lukewilusz

A North Aurora pastor has been charged with sexually abusing a child at his church.

Ralphael J. Robinson, 39, is charged with criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Robinson, a pastor at Kingdom Church, sexually abused someone younger than 18 at the church last Monday.

After a warrant was issued Friday for his arrest, Robinson turned himself in at the Aurora Police Department the same day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Pastor Charged With Sexually Abusing Child At North Aurora Church

ILLINOIS
CBS Chicago

(CBS) — A pastor has been charged with sexually abusing a child at his North Aurora church, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

Ralphael Robinson, 39, of Aurora is a pastor at Kingdom Church and is accused of sexually abusing the victim there last Monday, the state’s attorney’s office said.

A warrant for Robinson’s arrest was issued on Friday and he surrendered to Aurora Police that day. Robinson is charged with one count of criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Robinson appeared in court on Saturday and his bond was set at $100,000. His next court appearance is set for April 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Fue suspendido por la iglesia, pero siguió como sacerdote

ARGENTINA/PARAGUAY
La Nacion

[Carlos Ibanez, a priest suspended by the church for allegedly sexually abusing minors, continued as a priest by officiating at masses, baptisms and other functions.]

El sacerdote argentino Carlos Ibáñez, denunciado en su país a principios de los ’90 por supuestamente haber abusado de unos 10 adolescentes, está actualmente suspendido “ad divinis” por el Obispado de Villa María, Córdoba. A pesar de ello, Ibáñez siguió oficiando misas, bautismos y casamientos durante años en varias capillas de nuestro país.

Si bien Ibáñez pudo zafar de las denuncias en su contra en el ámbito penal, ya que no se presentó en Argentina para afrontar los cargos gracias a las dos negativas de la Justicia paraguaya para extraditarlo, como mostramos en nuestra publicación de ayer, su situación con relación a la Iglesia quedó absolutamente definida.

El sacerdote Ibáñez está suspendido por la causa que se le abrió a principios de los ’90 en Bell Ville, provincia de Córdoba, como consecuencia de las 10 denuncias de adolescentes que aseguraron haber recibido pagos por mantener relaciones sexuales con Ibáñez cuando él se desempeñaba como sacerdote de la parroquia Virgen de Fátima. La carátula, contundente, decía: “Corrupción de menores reiterada y continuada y transmisión de enfermedad venérea”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

“Nunca fue presentada en Paraguay una denuncia”

ARTENTINA/PARAGUAY
La Nacion

[The Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See, Archbishop Eliseo Ariotti, said this morning at a press conference that the church authorities were aware of the case of the priest Carlos Ibanez (investigated for allegations of sexual abuse of at least 10 young people in Bell Ville province of Cordoba, Argentina) from a year ago and that the reference protocol was activated. No complaints had been made about the priest in Paraguay, he said.]

El Nuncio Apostólico de la Santa Sede ante nuestro país, monseñor Eliseo Ariotti, dijo esta mañana en conferencia de prensa que las autoridades eclesiales estaban al tanto del caso del sacerdote Carlos Ibáñez (investigado por denuncias de abuso sexual de al menos 10 jóvenes en Bell Ville, provincia de Córdoba, Argentina) desde hace un año y que se activó el protocolo de referencia.

“Este caso estaba en conocimiento desde hace un año y se recogieron elementos para poner a conocimiento de las autoridades. Se alertaron, pero quiero determinar que nunca fue presentada en Paraguay una denuncia (contra Ibáñez)”, dijo inicialmente Ariotti.

Añadió que las autoridades eclesiales “está haciendo todo lo posible para aclarar, para luchar contra estos casos y aclarar la situación tan penosa de este problema moral.”

“No debemos instaurar un momento de vamos a buscar ahora a los culpables. Debemos intentar colaborar con la madurez de la vida eclesial, encontrar los problemas, mejorar la situación”, agregó el representante de la Santa Sede.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Un cura cordobés acusado de pedofilia se escondió en Paraguay hasta que prescribieron las causas

ARGENTINA/PARAGUAY
La Nacion

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

[Carlos Richard Ibanez Morino, a priest in Bell Ville, Argentina, was investigated for allegations of sexual abuse of at least ten young people in the early '90s. The Diocese of Villa María suspended him and he went to Paraguay, where continued to serve as a priest.]

Carlos Richard Ibáñez Morino, sacerdote de Bell Ville, acumuló diez denuncias en su contra de jóvenes; la justicia intentó la extradición pero nunca la consiguió.

Gabriela Origlia LA NACIONSÁBADO 23 DE ABRIL DE 2016 •

CÓRDOBA.- Carlos Richard Ibáñez Morino era sacerdote en Bell Ville, estaba investigado por denuncias de abuso sexual de al menos diez jóvenes a comienzos de los '90. El Obispado de Villa María lo suspendió en su cargo y él se fue a Paraguay, donde igual siguió ejerciendo como cura.

Llegó en 1992 y, hasta hace unas semanas, continuó oficiando misas y trabajando con jóvenes. La historia la revela el diario paraguayo La Nación. No era el único, según el medio, habría al menos cinco sacerdotes argentinos denunciados por abuso sexual que estuvieron escondidos y amparados por la Iglesia paraguaya.

La primera orden de detención contra Ibáñez data de julio de 1992; la causa era "corrupción de menores reiterada y continuada y transmisión de enfermedad venérea". Buscado por policía, nunca lo encontraron.

El entonces juez de Menores, Miguel Viqueira, fue quien recibió las primeras denuncias. Al diario paraguayo le dijo: "Puedo confirmar que hubo denuncias concretas contra el padre por parte de unos 10 chicos, por supuestos abusos sexuales".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:26 AM

CA--Convicted San Deigo sex offender priest resurfaces in parishes

CALIFORNIA/OKLAHOMA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, April 22, 2016

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Orange County, SNAP volunteer western regional director, 949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com)

A San Diego priest who vanished after pleading guilty to committing “sexual battery” against and “unlawful sexual touching” of a teenager has just been put in charge of three Oklahoma churches apparently with no warning to parishioners.

This is a stunningly irresponsible and hurtful move by both Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley and by San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy.

In 2012, Fr. Jose Alexis Davila was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to stay away from a 19-year-old he victimized in the San Diego Diocese. Catholic officials there were harshly criticized for putting him back in a parish after he admitted his guilt.

[BishopAccountability.org]

Later that year, Fr. Alexis Davila was gone.

[BishopAccountability.org]

But late last month, Coakley said he was putting Fr. Alexis Davila at three Oklahoma parishes. Since December 2015, Fr. Alexis Davila has apparently worked at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Lawton, OK.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

Priest convicted of sex crime in San Diego resurfaces in Oklahoma

CALIFORNIA/OKLAHOMA
CBS 8

[with video]

By Abbie Alford, Reporter

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A convicted San Diego priest who pleaded guilty to fondling a teenage girl in 2011 is now serving in parishes in Oklahoma City.

Father Jose Alexis DaVila admitted to abusing a 19-year-old woman and now he is involved with three churches. It's a move that is being called both stunning and hurtful.

Blessed Sacrament's website in Lawton Oklahoma says as of March 29, Father Jose Alexis DaVila left to serve the following parishes in Oklahoma: Saint Ann Church, Elgin and Missions, Mother of Sorrows Church in Apache, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Sterling.

When the church welcomed DaVila in December, it made no mention the priest served in San Diego. DaVila was an associate pastor from Saint Jude's Shrine of the West in Southcrest.

David Clohessy, executive director for SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests - is outraged DaVila vanished and resurfaced on another pulpit in the Sooner State.

"I think it's inappropriate, I think it's insulting. We believe this priest shouldn't be a priest at all, this priest should be behind bars," said Clohessy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Ooty diocese denies reinstating priest punished in US for minors’ abuse

INDIA
Hindustan Times

The Ooty diocese on Friday denied that it had reinstated controversial Indian priest Joseph Jeyapaul, who served a sentence in the US for abusing minor girls.

Father Sebastian Selvarajan, secretary of Bishop House, Ooty and spokesperson for the Diocese, told Hindustan Times that Jeyapaul was not given any job or assignment or reinstated as was being alleged. He has been simply given a residence, a permit to stay, that is all, he said.

The diocese came under fire after a 26-year-old Minnesota woman sued it , alleging that Jeyapaul, who had sexually abused her and another girl while working at their local church, was reinstated to ministry after consultations with the Vatican.

Selvarajan said the diocese would legally tackle the federal lawsuit filed in Minnesota.

Asked if Jeyapaul would cooperate with investigations and subsequent action by authorities, Selvarajan said, “he has cooperated with the authorities in the past and why are you asking this question at all?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Elite boarding school cancels 'healing' event on sex abuse

RHODE ISLAND
Fox News

Published April 23, 2016 Associated Press

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – An elite New England boarding school where dozens of alumni have reported sexual abuse is canceling a gathering it billed as a "healing" event to address sexual abuse after many victims objected.

St. George's School headmaster Eric Peterson this week announced the event would be held during the school's reunion weekend in May on its campus in Middletown, Rhode Island.

But many victims said it was inappropriate because of an ongoing investigation into abuse and cover-ups at St. George's.

The president of the board of trustees announced Friday the event was canceled. She says officials are planning other ways to acknowledge the abuse during reunion weekend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Catholics hold peaceful protest

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

A group of Catholics held a peaceful demonstration Thursday night at the Guam airport, protesting the arrival of Giuseppe Gennarini, who is said to be the highest official of the Neocatechumenal Way in the United States.

Gennarini, along with his wife Claudia, arrived aboard United Airlines Flight 197 which landed on Guam at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday from Japan.

The protesters were from the Concerned Catholics of Guam (CCOG) and the Laity Forward Movement (LFM) who staged their "reception" event at the arrival area at the airport.

According to the members of the groups, they want to let Gennarini know “in no uncertain words and through protest signs that we Catholics in Guam do not appreciate nor welcome the presence, influence and indoctrination that the NCW is making in Guam – havoc, dissension, division within our Catholic faith.” According to the groups, further protest events will be announced and held during Gennarini’s stay on Guam.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

St. George’s cancels “healing” session on sex abuse scandal during alumni weekend

RHODE ISLAND
Boston Globe

By Bella English GLOBE STAFF APRIL 23, 2016

After threats of boycotts and other protests from angry victims of sexual abuse, St. George’s School is altering its plans to hold a “Hope for Healing” session on its Rhode Island campus during an alumni reunion weekend next month.

On Wednesday, headmaster Eric Peterson wrote to alumni about a gathering to “address this deeply troubling and painful chapter in our school’s history.” The session was to be held in the chapel of the Episcopal prep school, during Alumni Weekend, scheduled for May 6-8.

But late Friday afternoon, board chairwoman Leslie Heaney sent out a second letter to alumni, stating that the initial letter about the proposed “Hope for Healing” session had “upset many survivors.”

“With the investigation into sexual abuse at St. George’s still ongoing, survivors and Day One have expressed their feelings that it is premature to talk about healing,” Heaney wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

AFN Chief to urge Pope to rectify church’s role in residential schools

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 22, 2016

The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations says he will urge the Pope to press Catholic groups that ran Canada’s Indian residential schools to renew their efforts to raise money for healing programs that he says could provide real help to those who were abused.

Perry Bellegarde has been trying for some time to arrange a meeting with the Pope to ask for an apology for the church’s role in what happened at the schools, and also for a repudiation of the church’s 1493 papal bull and its “doctrine of discovery,” which gave Christian explorers the right to claim any lands they found that weren’t inhabited by Christians.

“So this is a third reason, because there’s a moral obligation on behalf of the church to do what’s right,” Mr. Bellegarde said this week of the failed fundraising bid. “I am going to be writing to Pope Francis and asking him to rectify this matter.”

The more than 50 Catholic orders that ran many of the schools were allowed to walk away from their commitment, written into the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, to try to raise $25-million for healing programs – a pledge crafted to demonstrate the church’s interest in reconciliation.

Pierre Baribeau, their lawyer, says they did their best – that a professional fundraising firm was engaged to run a national campaign to collect money, mostly from corporations but also from Catholic organizations. It was, in his words, “a fiasco.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Catholic brothers cared for boys at night, teacher tells abuse trial

SCOTLAND
The Times

The trial of five former staff members at a school run by a Catholic religious order who are accused of abusing dozens of boys over three decades has begun hearing evidence.

John Farrell, 73, Paul Kelly, 63, Edward Egan, 78, Michael Murphy, 76, and William Don, 61, are charged with 121 counts of physical and sexual abuse against pupils at St Ninian’s School, in Falkland, Fife, between 1967 and 1983.

They deny all the charges against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Report released on abuse scandal in Sodalitium Christianae Vitae

PERU
Angelus

April 21, 2016 - Catholic News Agency

On Saturday an ethics commission created to investigate and offer proposals surrounding accusations of abuse against the founder of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae released its report, which detailed an internal culture of extreme “discipline and obedience to the founder.”

This culture was “forged on the basis of extreme physical demands, as well as physical punishments, constituting abuses which violated the fundamental rights of persons,” the commission wrote in its April 16 report.

The Ethics Commission for Justice and Reconciliation was formed in November 2015 at the request of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae. It is formed of two lawyers, a bishop, a psychiatrist, and a journalist.

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a society of apostolic life which was founded in 1971 in Peru, and granted pontifical recognition in 1997. Alejandro Bermúdez, executive director of CNA, is a member of the community.

An apostolic visitor from the Vatican is currently investigating allegations of sexual abuse, mistreatment, and abuse of power against Luis Fernando Figari, founder of the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Two Dozen More Lawsuits Alleging Child Sexual Abuse Expected

HAWAII
Honolulu Civil Beat

Most of the claims target the Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii and its religious affiliates. The deadline for such cases expires Sunday.

APRIL 22, 2016 · By Chad Blair

With a legal window scheduled to close Sunday, an estimated 25 lawsuits were expected to be filed at 1st Circuit Court in Honolulu by closing time Friday — the last business day to register the complaints.

Most of the cases list the Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii or its affiliates, and concern allegations of sexual assault.

The plaintiffs are anonymous adults who say they were abused by priests when they were children.

As Civil Beat reported earlier this month, more than 60 people had already filed such lawsuits, and about half of those have been settled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Queens pol pushes for bill to aid child sex abuse victims

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

A Queens Assemblywoman has announced plans for two days of lobbying in Albany to push for a bill that would make it easier for sexually abused children to bring lawsuits as adults.

The proposed Child Victims Act would eliminate the civil and criminal statutes of limitations in New York for child sex abuse. And it would create a one-year window for victims who have been time-barred in the past to file criminal charges or civil claims.

On May 3, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) and other proponents of the bill will hold a roundtable discussion on child sexual abuse in sports, families, schools and youth groups.

The next day, a roundtable will focus on abuse in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Former pastor of northwest Minn. churches found guilty of sexual contact with kids

MINNESOTA
DL-Online

By Becky Jacobs

BAGLEY, Minn. – A Clearwater County District Court jury found a former pastor in northwestern Minnesota guilty Wednesday of having sexual contact with children.

The Rev. Scott Morey, Shevlin, Minn., was charged in 2014 with eight first-degree, three second-degree and three fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.

All of the convictions are related to incidents with two minor children, according to a news release from the Clearwater County Attorney’s Office. The 43-year-old was acquitted of one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

After receiving the verdict, Judge Eric Schieferdecker revoked Morey’s bail and remanded him into custody of the Clearwater County Sheriff.

Morey had been a pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Winger, Minn., Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bejou, Minn., and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in McIntosh, Minn. He resigned as pastor at the churches on Dec. 12, 2014, according to the Rev. Lawrence Wohlrabe, bishop with Northwestern Minnesota Synod ELCA in Moorhead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

New group launches to combat sexual abuse

WISCONSIN
WTMJ

[with video]

Rebecca Klopf

A new group in Milwaukee has started to combat sexual assaults of minors. The community coalition is from the Office of Violence Prevention.

Just this week a dean, a teacher, and a pastor, all charged with having inappropriate relationships with underage children.

Alice Belcher says something needs to be done.

That's why she has teamed with other sexual assault groups in Milwaukee to create a new community coalition.

"The problem has been a lot of people don't know that we are here and have been doing this work," says Alice Belcher, Christian Woman Prospective Ministries founder. "So we decided instead of doing things disjointedly we would together as a new coordinated community response team."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Victim decries court ruling that allows admitted child sex abuser to remain free

WEST VIRGINIA
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

By SAMANTHA PERRY Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — An emotional outburst by a victim and his mother followed the ruling of a judge Friday to allow an admitted child sex abuser to remain free on bond.

Fayette County Judge Charles Vickers declined to revoke the bond of Timothy Probert, 57, of Princeton, who pleaded guilty in Mercer County Circuit Court Monday to 37 charges related to child sexual abuse.

“What about the kids who live beside him?” the victim yelled to the judge following the adjournment of the hearing.

“You didn’t even hear about his trustworthiness!” the victim’s mother screamed, as she began crying hysterically.

Vickers was assigned to the case in 2015 after Mercer County Circuit Court judges Omar Aboulhosn, Derek Swope and William “Bill” Sadler recused themselves citing conflicts of interest. ...

Probert, who was arrested in 2013, is a former youth volunteer at Westminster Presbyterian Church and mentor for the Working to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect (WE CAN) program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Child sex abuse victim's one-man fight for justice

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY CHAUNCEY ALCORN, RICH SCHAPIRO NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, April 22, 2016

A Connecticut screenwriter who says he was preyed upon by a notorious Jesuit priest brought his campaign for justice to the Upper East Side Friday.

Neil Gumpel called for an end to the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases in a one-man demonstration outside the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Park Ave.

“It just sickens me they’re allowed to flaunt this statute of limitations stuff,” said Gumpel, 58, who is seeking an official apology from the Jesuits.

“The night that happened to me, I as a person was pretty much murdered.”

Gumpel says he was beaten, strangled and raped by the Rev. Roy Drake during a college tour at the Maine Maritime Academy in 1974.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Priest Jeyapaul's victim Megan speaks to TNM: Church ignores sex crimes, or worse, hides them

INDIA
The News Minute

Geetika Mantri| Saturday, April 23, 2016

On Tuesday, Megan Peterson, a US citizen and a victim of sexual assault at the hands of church priest Joseph Jeyapaul, filed a lawsuit against him at the Minnesota federal court. Jeyapaul was accused of rape and sexual assault, pleaded guilty and was sentenced for a jail term spanning a year and a day. He was then deported to India in July 2015. However, barely six months later, he was reinstated as the head of the diocese of the commission for education in Ootacamund with the Vatican’s approval.

Megan Peterson, her attorney Jeff Anderson and the organisation SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) have since been trying to draw attention to the case. “I felt abused and degraded and victimsed all over again. it felt like a slap in the face to myself and to the other survivors of clergy sex abuse across the globe,” she had said in a statement earlier, speaking about Jeyapaul being reinstated to the ministry.

In an exclusive and detailed interview to The News Minute, Megan tells us why this case needs more attention and asks that Jeyapaul not be reinstated.

Q: You have fought a long and hard legal and personal battle against Jeyapaul. What do you have to say about him being reinstated as a priest and head of the diocese of commission for education in India?

Megan: Reinstating Jeyapaul back into priesthood is a disservice and a danger to children in India. Children are put at risk by putting a convicted, admitted sex offender back into the ministry and at a position of authority. I don’t want another child to go through what I have been through.

Q: What is your message to Bishop Amalraj, who reinstated Jeyapaul to the ministry?

Megan: Reverse your decision, disclose who in the Vatican approved such a reckless move, put Fr. Jeyapaul in a remote, secure treatment center for sex offenders where he’ll be very closely monitored. Aggressively seek out others he has hurt and prod them to call police.

Q: Do you think there should be more dialogue in India about this case so as to set a precedent for the Indian Church as well?

Megan: Absolutely! Open dialogue, transparency and accountability of officials and offenders are key in moving forward and protecting others. By having these discussions, survivors in India may also feel safer, supported and therefore encouraged to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

April 22, 2016

Abolish time limits on childhood sex abuse cases

UNITED STATES
San Diego Union-Tribune

April is Sex Abuse Awareness Month. In light of this fact, it’s time we re-examine our state laws — particularly those that pertain to sexual abuse. More specifically, we need to take a hard look at the laws that can limit or bar a sex abuse victim’s ability to bring a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and/or the institutions that failed to protect him/her. These laws are referred to as statutes of limitations. Though in place for a reason, statutes of limitations on childhood sex abuse cases frequently act to protect predators and harm victims.

Children who have been sexually abused face a lifetime of psychological issues. The trauma inflicted on them in their youth reverberates into adulthood. Often it takes years for victims of childhood sex abuse to come to terms with what happened to them. Their struggle is real: a childhood sex abuse victim is more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to help him/her deal with their emotional pain and low self-esteem. They may have difficulty forming meaningful relationships with coworkers and may find themselves in and out of romantic relationships due to trust issues.

In addition to the human cost of childhood sex abuse, there is a real cost to society. A 1996 Department of Justice study of child molestation victims determined that childhood sex abuse costs society an average of $23 billion annually.

There is one clear way that we can lessen the toll that childhood sex abuse takes on our society: increase and/or eliminate statutes of limitations on childhood sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Pédophilie dans l’Église : La conspiration du silence

FRANCE
France Inter

[Pedophilia in the church: The Conspiracy of Silence]

[avec video]

La stratégie de l'étouffement qui était à l'oeuvre depuis des décennies au sein de la hiérarchie catholique n'est plus tenable. A la lumière des récentes affaires de pédophilie impliquant des prêtres en France, l'enquête de Laetitia Saavedra en démonte le fonctionnement, en révèle la mécanique.

Depuis cette déclaration du pape en septembre dernier, l’église de France est confrontée à plusieurs scandales. L’affaire la plus emblématique est celle du cardinal Barbarin, qui est visé par une enquête pour non dénonciation d’agressions sexuelles sur des mineurs. Cette enquête de Laeticia Saavedra va démêler les fils de ce scandale, elle a rencontré l’homme à l’origine des premières révélations.

Une affaire lyonnaise

Il s’appelle Alexandre Dussot, il a 42 ans, et il est issu de la bourgeoisie catholique de Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon. Entre 9 et 12 ans, il a été agressé sexuellement par le père Preynat, prêtre de cette paroisse et fondateur du groupe de Scouts Saint Luc. Avec deux autres anciens scouts, il a créé une association de victimes La Parole libérée. Les faits sont prescrits mais Alexandre s’en souvient comme si c’était hier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Priest dismissed after allegations of sexual misconduct briefly worked at St. Joseph's

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Needham

Posted Apr. 22, 2016

NEEDHAM

The Archdiocese of Boston recently announced that it has dismissed Thomas H. Maguire from the clerical state. According to his assignment history Maguire served at 10 Massachusetts parishes, including Saint Joseph Parish in Needham.

A March 31 press release from the Archdiocese of Boston stated that Maguire’s dismissal followed “allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct in the presence of minors.”

In 1998, Maguire served as a Temporary Parochial Vicar at Saint Joseph Parish for a brief period between Feb. 1 and March 30.

The initial allegation came in 2012 while Maguire was serving as Pastor at Saint Helen Mother of the Emperor Constantine in Norwell. The inappropriate conduct was alleged to have occurred around that time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Former Mid-Missouri pastor pleads guilty to sex crimes

MISSOURI
Columbia Tribune

By THE TRIBUNE'S STAFF
Friday, April 22, 2016

A former Mid-Missouri pastor on Tuesday pleaded guilty to several sex crimes for having sex with at least three underage girls and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Travis R. Smith, 45, of California, Mo., pleaded guilty to two counts each of second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy and one count of sexual abuse. He appeared in Laclede County Circuit Court, where his case was transferred on a change of venue in 2015.

While he was a pastor and youth minister at First Baptist Church in Stover, Smith admitted to forcing himself on at least one teenage girl and having sex with two others. In one case he was accused of pinning down a 16-year-old girl and raping her in 1998. Smith also admitted to having sex with her again in early 1999 in the back of a friend’s truck.

The other cases happened in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Convicted Priest Resurfaces in Oklahoma

CALIFORNIA/OKLAHOMA
The Worthy Adversary

April 22, 2016 Joelle Casteix

So we can assume that OK City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley doesn’t bother with that whole “background check” thing.

Why?

A former San Diego priest who vanished after he pled guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery and “engaging in unlawful sexual touching” in 2012 has resurfaced in parishes in Oklahoma.

Fr. Jose Alexis Davila was sentenced to three years’ probation in 2012 and ordered to stay away from the 19-year-old victim. The Diocese of San Diego was harshly criticized for allowing the priest back in a parish.

By October of that year, Davila was gone.

Thanks to a tip from a reader, I learned that Davila was assigned to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Lawton, OK in December 2015—in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Limerick Diocese in High Court claims

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

Anne Sheridan
21 Apr 2016

FOUR sets of civil proceedings in relation to at least two priests and Bishop Eamon Casey have been entered in the High Court. They relate to a number of claims involving different parties in the Limerick Diocese, span-ning several decades.

The series of proceedings were initiated last November, with the latter two proceedings entered this February.

One of the cases is being taken by a Limerick woman against Bishop Eamon Casey, who was based in Limerick from 1955 to 1960, when he served at St John's Cathedral as curate.

Bishop Casey, 88, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Limerick on June 17, 1951, and he is believed to have suffered a number of health setbacks in recent years.

Well known Limerick solicitor Tommy Dalton, when contacted by the Limerick Leader, confirmed that he had issued a summons on behalf of the woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Limerick woman takes action against Bishop Casey

IRELAND
Irish Times

A Limerick woman has initiated civil proceedings in the High Court against Bishop Eamon Casey, among four cases regarding various members of the clergy in the Limerick diocese over several decades.

The proceedings against Bishop Casey, now 88, and living in a nursing home in Co Clare, are listed among four sets of civil proceedings in relation to at least two priests, regarding a number of claims in the Limerick diocese.

A summons has been issued on both Bishop Casey, and the Bishop of Limerick, Dr Brendan Leahy – in his representative capacity as the current head of the diocese.

One of the cases is being taken by a Limerick woman against Bishop Casey, who was based in Limerick from 1955 to 1960, when he served at St John’s Cathedral as curate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Argentine priest accused of sexually abusing 3-year-old girl

ARGENTINA
Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Prosecutors in Argentina are accusing a Roman Catholic priest of sexually abusing 3-year-old girl.

The Public Ministry in Santa Fe province said Wednesday that local prosecutors are asking for Nestor Monzon to be formally investigated. Under Argentine law, the request by prosecutors is the precursor to charges that must be decided on by a judge.

Monzon was detained late Tuesday after the parents of the child reported him to authorities. The priest led a parish in the provincial capital some 500 miles (800 kilometers) northeast of Buenos Aires.

Local TV footage showed images of the priest being arrested by police officers while a neighbor shouted insults and accused him of the abuse. Prosecutors are also probing whether Monzon abused the girl's 5-year-old cousin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Mutmaßlicher Missbrauchsfall verjährt

DEUTSCHLAND
Main Post

[The Würzburg public prosecutor completed the investigation of suspected abuse of a 17-year-old girl by a high church officials. The case is time-barred.]

Zu spät hat die Staatsanwaltschaft Würzburg offenbar vom Verdacht des Missbrauch einer 17-Jährigen durch einen hochrangigen Vertreter des Bistums erfahren, um sie noch verfolgen zu können. Dies bestätigte Thorsten Seebach, Sprecher der Behörde. Nach einer Prüfung des falles wurde die Akte geschlossen. Der Fall von 1988 ist verjährt.

Die heute 44-jährige Alexandra Wolf beschuldigt den früheren Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Bistums, sie zum Oralverkehr gezwungen zu haben. Der Beschuldigte bestreitet das.

Mutmaßliches Opfer: „Ich fühle mich wie erneut missbraucht“ (30. März 2016)
Der Fall kam erst durch Medienberichte an die Öffentlichkeit. Zuvor war das Bistum intern zu der Ansicht gekommen, „die behauptete Straftat“ sei „nahezu auszuschließen“. Die Behandlung des Falles trug dem Bistum den Vorwurf der Vertuschung ein, den man zurückwies. Doch der heutige Missbrauchsbeauftragte, der Kriminologe Klaus Laubenthal, hält die Vorwürfe für plausibel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Sexueller Missbrauch: Weg mit den Verjährungsfristen!

DEUTSCHLAND
Main Post

[Abuse officer of the church as the perpetrator? If the recent allegations ever turn out to be true, one dimension would be achieved and that would leave people just stunned and in disbelief. The new case in the diocese Würzburg seems, however, to nourish an old prejudice: The church covered up rather than work up the allegations disclosed.]

Christine Jeske

Ein Missbrauchsbeauftragter der Kirche als Täter? Wenn sich die jüngsten Vorwürfe jemals als wahr herausstellen sollten, wäre eine Dimension erreicht, die einen nur noch fassungslos und ungläubig werden ließe. Der neue Fall im Bistum Würzburg scheint indes ein altes Vorurteil zu nähren: Die Kirche vertuscht, anstatt die Vorwürfe offen aufzuarbeiten.

Dabei hatte die katholische Kirche doch vor sechs Jahren so sehr Transparenz gelobt: Ende Januar 2010 wurde auch in Deutschland der Umfang des sexuellen Missbrauchs bei Kindern und Jugendlichen in kirchlichen Einrichtungen in der Öffentlichkeit bekannt. Die deutschen Bischöfe mussten reagieren. Sie hatten keine Wahl und reformierten ihre Leitlinien. „Sexueller Missbrauch vor allem an Kindern und Jugendlichen ist eine verabscheuungswürdige Tat.

Dies gilt besonders, wenn Kleriker oder Ordensangehörige sie begehen“, heißt seit 2010 ein neuer Passus der 2002 eingeführten Richtlinien. Und: „Die Täter fügen der Glaubwürdigkeit der Kirche und ihrer Sendung schweren Schaden zu. Es ist ihre Pflicht, sich ihrer Verantwortung zu stellen.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

„Herzstück unseres Frankenlandes“

DEUTSCHLAND
POW

[After desecration of the a crypt in the church dedicated to St. Kilian, Bishop Dr. Friedhelm Hofmann held a penitential right at the tomb in Neumünster. The tomb had recently been vandalized.]

Nach Schändung der Kilianskrypta: Bischof Dr. Friedhelm Hofmann eröffnet mit Bußritus Gruft im Neumünster – Gebet um Heilung und Tauferneuerung – Frage des Bischofs: „Steht eine solche Entgleisung nicht doch in einem weiteren Zusammenhang mit öffentlichen Kampagnen gegen die Kirche?“

Würzburg (POW) Bischof Dr. Friedhelm Hofmann hat die Kilianskrypta in der Neumünsterkirche nach der Beseitigung der Schmierereien am Donnerstagabend, 21. April, wieder eröffnet. Mit einem Pontifikalgottesdienst und einem Bußritus gab er das „Herzstück unseres Frankenlandes“ wieder frei für die Öffentlichkeit. „Heile die Verletzungen, die uns die Schändung der Grabstätte der Frankenapostel zugefügt hat. Heile die Verletzungen, die Menschen einander zufügen, und lass sie ihren Hass überwinden“, betete der Bischof beim Bußritus in der Kiliansgruft. Beim Taufgedächtnis besprengte er die geschändete Kiliansgruft mit Weihwasser, deckte anschließend den Altar neu ein und entzündete die Altarkerzen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Unholy war: Florida pastor makes claim of rape against bishop of 5th largest Christian church

FLORIDA
The Weekly Challenger

An unholy war over claims of pedophilia and graft in the nation’s fifth largest Christian church has taken a vicious new turn with the main accuser publicly naming a man who, he claims, was molested by the church’s top bishop.

The new allegation from Florida Pastor Earl Carter was angrily denied by the alleged victim himself as well as his parents and the hierarchy of the 6-million-strong Church of God in Christ, including its top man Bishop Charles Blake.

‘It hurts,’ Sidney Lassiter III — who admits he was molested as a child, but not by Blake — told Daily Mail Online in an exclusive interview.

‘I have been trying to put the horrible thing that happened behind me for years. I repressed my memories for a long time and now it has all been made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Roses and Thorns: Scholarship name should be addressed

MISSOURI
Springfield News-Leader

Darryl Gates, Springfield April 12, 2016

A NICE BIG THORN:To the Knights of Columbus Missouri-wide. They just awarded a youth scholarship to whom I assume is a fine young man out in Bolivar. The only problem is that it is the Cardinal Bernard Law Scholarship. Certainly at this point in time and infamy, one would think that the Knights would be able to come up with a better name for a "youth scholarship."

Perhaps Keith Milson, State Deputy up in St. Louis, might want to comment since this is a state function?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

MO--Catholic group has scholarship named after Cardinal Law

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, April 21, 2016

For more information: David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, bblaine@snapnetwork.org)

Victims blast big Catholic group
It honors “disgraced” church official
Scholarship is named after Boston’s Cardinal Law
He was forced to resign due to “horrific” abuse cover ups
Years ago, he headed diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
SNAP: “Such callousness encourages secrecy and hurts victims”
Group asks St. Louis archbishop to force K of C to apologize & stop

A large statewide Catholic group that meets this weekend just gave a scholarship named after a disgraced Catholic official who was forced to resign because of widespread abuse cover ups and a victims’ group is crying foul.

The Missouri Knights of Columbus donated money to a student for his education as the “Cardinal Bernard Law Youth Scholarship.” http://www.mokofc.org/programs/youth-activities/scholarships-grants

[News-Leader]

In 2002, Law became the first US bishop to resign for quietly moving predator priests. He’s been called “the poster child” for the church’s abuse scandal.

[Washington Post]

[WBUR]

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson is the Knights’ honorary state chaplain. They have an office in Maplewood (7318 Manchester Rd, 314 647 5529) and Jefferson City (573 584 3200). They are the “world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization” with 1.8 million members. http://www.kofc.org/un/en/news/releases/1point8_20100505.html

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says honoring those who conceal abuse encourages others to conceal abuse.

“Archbishop Robert Carlson is Missouri’s highest ranking Catholic official,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s director. “He should denounce this callousness and insist that the group apologize and rename the scholarship.”

“Ignoring wrongdoing encourages more wrongdoing,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director. “And honoring a prelate who knowingly endangered hundreds of kids for decades makes victims who haven’t reported their abuse less likely to do so. It deepens the already deep feelings of hopelessness that so many of us already feel.”

“Keith Milson of St. Louis is the statewide head of the Knights. He is an engineer for MSD, so he’s not dumb. And he’s been involved with the Missouri State High School Activities Association, so he should care about kids,” said Clohessy. “So how can he and Archbishop Carlson and thousands of Catholics across Missouri turn a blind eye to the widely-understood and clearly-documented harm that Cardinal Law did to so many families?”

In 2003, the national Knights of Columbus loaned $38 million to Law and the Boston archdiocese to settle child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

IN--Indy pastor is deceptive in abuse case, group says

INDIANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, April 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)

Indianapolis Presbyterian officials are “blaming the messenger” and being deceptive in an abuse case. We’re very sad that he and his staff are doing damage control instead of pastoral outreach.

[Fox 59]

Pastor Robert E. Hock of Southport Presbyterian Church (317-534-2900) is being deceptive and hurtful by describing child sexual abuse as being "between two teenagers." That’s minimizing a horrific crime. That's like calling a bank robbery a financial transaction between two adults.

If a 19 year old forces himself on a 13 year old, is Pastor Hock implying that this is OK? He and his lawyers and his public relations team knows that the power difference, not the age range, is what matters in sexual violence.

If a 42 year old rapes a 22 year old, will Pastor Hock call it “between two adults?” If a CEO sexually harasses a custodian, would Pastor Hock call this “between two adults?”

The word “between” implies consent. But there can be no consent when an older, more sophisticated person sexually exploits a younger, more vulnerable person.

And the word “teenagers” implies equality. In this case, there is not equality. The accused predator has far more power than his victim.

Pastor Hock says no abuse happened on church property, or at a church-sponsored event and no church employee was the offender. That’s his lawyer and his PR person talking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

South Kansas City man is charged with child molestation

MISSOURI
Kansas City Star

BY TONY RIZZO
trizzo@kcstar.com

A south Kansas City man has been charged with sexually molesting a child younger than 14.

Jackson County prosecutors charged 48-year-old James M. Burton with sexual molestation of a child, sexual misconduct and two counts of statutory sodomy. A judge set his bond at $100,000.

The incident reportedly occurred earlier this month in the garage of Burton’s home, according to court documents.

It was reported to police April 8 after the girl told her mother that Burton “touched my privates,” according to the allegations outlined in court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Kansas City parish maintenance worker charged with child molestation

MISSOURI
Fox 4

Click here to read the complete letter from St. Peter’s Parish.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man who worked as a maintenance supervisor at St. Peter’s Parish, 6415 Holmes Rd., has been charged with statuatory sodomy, sexual molestation and child molestation in Jackson County. The victim in the case is a girl, less than 14-years-old, who told her mother that ‘Mr. Buzz touched my privates.’

Mr. Buzz is a nickname James Burton, 48, is called by those who know him around his south Kansas City neighborhood. The girl says the abuse happened in Burton’s garage and that Burton touched her, asked her to touch him and sodomized her. From the girl’s description of what happened, technicians took swabs of spots in the garage that will be tested for semen. Burton denied ejaculating in the garage, as the girl seemed to describe.

The parish sent out a letter Thursday morning to inform parishioners that Burton had been charged with these offenses. Parish leaders said the alleged abuse did not take place on parish or school grounds. Burton is also not a member of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

MO--Another new KC Catholic abuse case; Victims respond

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, April 22, 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)

Another KC Catholic worker is accused of child sex crimes. Bishop James Johnston should visit the affected parish this weekend and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police so the predator can be convicted and kept away from kids for a long time.

[KSHB]

James Burton, a custodian at St. Peter’s parish, is charged with molesting a child.

It’s ironic that just hours after another church “healing service,” more child sex crimes by a Catholic employee are disclosed. Bishop James Johnston is desperately trying to “turn the page” and “move forward” and imply that the diocese’s abuse and cover up is largely over. It’s not. And it’s disingenuous to pretend it is.

Church officials claim they this quiet at the request of law enforcement. We hope but doubt that’s true. But what matters now is whether they help police and prosecutors build a strong case. We beg them to use church bulletins, parish websites, pulpit announcements and other ways to aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Burton or cover ups by colleagues.

We fear Bishop Johnston will act just like Bishop Finn, and sit passively back, letting the burden of keeping this predator away from kids fall on his victims and the police. That’s wrong. It’s tempting, but it’s irresponsible.

Here’s Bishop Johnston’s chance to chart a new course. We hope he will. But we’re not optimistic.

No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted 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 3:19 PM

Fife Christian Brothers trial: Teacher says she saw no evidence of abuse

SCOTLAND
The Courier

A teacher who worked at a Christian Brothers school where pupils were allegedly sexually and physically assaulted told a court she never saw any sign of abuse.

Margaret Nicol, 67, who taught part-time at St Ninian’s School at Falkland in Fife, from 1976 to 1981, told the High Court in Glasgow that she never saw anything untoward.

She was asked by prosecutor Kath Harper: “What would you have done if you had seen any evidence of the pupils being physically or sexually abused?” and replied: “I would have gone to their social workers, but at no stage did I see anything that caused me concern. “

The jury was told that St Ninian’s was a List G boarding school which took boys from Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, Dundee and Edinburgh.

The court was told that the school was run by the Christian Brothers and there were a number of lay people including teachers and domestic staff.

Mrs Nicol was asked by Ms Harper: “Who looked after the boys at night,” and replied: “I know the Brothers were there at night, but none of the other staff were.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Iglesia admite que se le “escaparon” antecedentes de sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
La Nacion

[The Catholic Church admits that priest Carlos Ibanez "escaped" from Argentina to Paraguay. Oscar Gonzalez, vicar general of the Asuncio archdiocese in Paraguay, said institutional weakness was the main cause in ignorance of clergy history. He said Ibanez did not have a direct relationship with the church but was devoted to teaching.]

Tras la investigación sobre el blindaje a sacerdotes argentinos acusados de abuso sexual y el silencio de la iglesia paraguaya frente a este suceso, salió al paso de las declaraciones, Oscar Gonzalez, vicario general de la Arquidiócesis de Asunción, reconociendo la “debilidad institucional” como causal principal en el desconocimiento del historial de los clérigos.

En conversación con la emisora radial 970 AM, la Arquidiócesis de Asunción sentó postura. Ante la consulta del periodista de la radioemisora -¿Como pudo actuar impunemente el Sr. Ibañez en el país por 20 años?, Gonzalez, manifestó que el cura investigado – Carlos Ibañez – hizo algunas celebraciones en algunas capillas del país pero, “nunca tuvo relación directa con la iglesia. Él se dedicaba mas bien a la docencia”

“La costumbre que tenemos es de encontrarnos en celebraciones masivas pero no nos conocemos entre todos, la confianza hace que entremos en las celebraciones sin conocer a todos”, se excusó.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Revelan que curas argentinos acusados de abusos a menores se ocultaron por años en Paraguay

ARGENTINA
Clarin

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

[La Nacion has revealed that Argentine priests accused of child abuse have hid for years in Paraguay.]

Al menos cinco sacerdotes argentinos denunciados por abuso sexual estuvieron escondidos en territorio paraguayo, amparados por la Iglesia de ese país. Así lo denuncia el diario La Nación de Paraguay.

En un informe del que hasta ahora se publicó solo una primera parte (de cinco previstas), el diario hace foco en el caso del sacerdote argentino Carlos Richard Ibáñez Morino, investigado por denuncias de abuso sexual de al menos diez jóvenes en Bell Ville, provincia de Córdoba, a principios de los 90.

Mirá también: La Iglesia reabrió la causa diocesana contra un cura acusado de abuso

Según La Nación de Paraguay, Ibáñez llegó a Paraguay en 1992 y aún cuando pesaba sobre él una suspensión de parte del obispado cordobés, igual ejerció sus funciones como sacerdote, oficiando misas, trabajando con jóvenes y “paseándose por varias comunidades religiosas” hasta hace apenas unas semanas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Neocatechumenal Way, seminary drama will continue

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Joe R. San Agustin April 23, 2016

Archbishop Anthony Apuron claims that his deed of restriction, filed secretly with the Department of Land Management, in November 2011, did not transfer ownership and control of the seminary property in Yona. Not true. In my analysis, the advancement of the NeoCatechumenal Way’s agenda and the enthronement of its cultic religion on the Catholics of Guam is at the center of all this hoopla.

The Way, in the mid- to late-1990s, convinced Apuron that a seminary in Guam will enhance his leadership of the Church in the Pacific region. Thus, the establishment of a Redemptoris Mater Seminary … in Guam in December 1999 became a necessary prelude.

Serendipitously, the former Accion Hotel was put up for sale at a very low price of $2 million. Its value today, however, has been pegged at between $40 million and $75 million. The Archdiocese of Agana took out a bank loan to buy that property, which was shortly thereafter paid in full by a donor.

The archdiocese now has a seminary fully paid for, with The Way operating it. The title to the seminary property, however, was not in the name of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary corporation, something The Way wanted done to ensure perpetual ownership of the property.

In September 2011, the Archdiocesan Finance Council was asked by Apuron to agree to the transfer, since the council’s consent was required, as well as Vatican concurrence. The council voted against the transfer; Vatican approval/concurrence was not obtained. Even the archdiocese’s own legal counsel at that time advised against the transfer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Melbourne's most reclusive Jewish sect lets cameras in

AUSTRALIA
The Age

[with video]

April 22, 2016

Beau Donelly

Melbourne's most secretive Jewish sect, the ultra-Orthodox Adass Israel community, has opened its doors to the public for the first time.

Made up of about 200 families who live over a square kilometre block in Ripponlea, the conservative religious group honours ancient rituals dating back to biblical times and follows the strictest interpretation of the commandments in the Torah.

The men wear mink fur hats and black silk coats. Women cover their hair in public. Boys and girls are segregated from kindergarten. Arranged marriages are common. Children in some families number in the teens. During the Sabbath, they refrain from using electricity – no phones, cars, lights. They don't own televisions. Most shun the internet. ...

The documentary briefly touches on the child sex-abuse scandal that has in recent years plagued the ultra-orthodox community's reputation.

A court last year ordered the Adass Israel Girls School in Elsternwick to pay more than $1 million to a woman abused by former principal Malka Leifer, who fled overseas with the help of school authorities after allegations against her first surfaced.

In the film, retired importer and Adass elder Shlomo Abeles defends the community's handling of the Leifer case, saying she was removed "the second we found out about it".

"Whatever way we got rid of her, it's correct or not so correct, but we got her away from the kids," he said. "We didn't want her in the community trying to abuse any more kids."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Sex inquiry to meet for further talks

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Melissa Cunningham

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a directions hearing next week to make further orders regarding the response of Catholic Church clergy to complaints of child sexual abuse in Ballarat.

The hearing to be held in Sydney on Wednesday and comes after former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns died at the age of 85 earlier this month following a long battle with colon cancer.

Bishop Mulkearns headed the Ballarat diocese between 1971 and 1997, when Catholic clergy, including teachers, abused hundreds of children.

Many clergy sex abuse survivors believe he could have stopped much of the horrific abuse that occurred in the region. He was bishop of the Ballarat diocese for almost 30 years.

The inquiry has previously heard the bishop moved priests, including notorious paedophile Gerald Ridsdale around the diocese despite being told they had abused children, and also destroyed documents in Ridsdale's file.

The inquiry announced on Friday no participants of the commission raised any submissions in relation to his part-heard evidence which will now be taken into account by the commission as it stands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Priest accused of raping woman in US reinstated in Tamil Nadu

INDIA
India Today

Posted by Nivedita Dash
New Delhi, April 22, 2016

An Indian priest, who pleaded guilty last year of molesting a minor in the United States, has been rehabilitated by the Vatican in a church in Tamil Nadu.

The case came to light when the complainant, an American woman named Megan Peterson, who was allegedly raped by Father Jeyapaul when she was just 14, sued the Indian Church and claimed damages.

Megan Peterson, in her complaint, said she feels "abused, degraded and re-victimized all over again."

While the Ootacamund (Ooty) Diocese in Tamil Nadu has remained silent so far, Megan Peterson herself has spoke exclusively to India Today putting forth her terrifying tale.

"It's a well known fact that perpetrators or sexual molesters generally don't stop at one victim. Infact there are multiple incidents involving him during his short stay in Minnesota. So, without a doubt children are at risk of being wounded by Father Joseph Jeyapaul," Peterson told India Today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Sacerdotes con casos de abusos sexuales, ocultos en Paraguay

ARGENTINA/PARAGUAY
La Nacion

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

[At least five Argentine priests accused of sexual abuse were hidden in Paraguayan territory covered by the local Catholic Church while being sought by Argentina Justice.]

Al menos cinco sacerdotes argentinos denunciados por abuso sexual estuvieron escondidos en territorio paraguayo, amparados por la Iglesia local y con una llamativa actitud del Poder Judicial, mientras eran buscados por la Justicia argentina. Hasta hace poco, uno de ellos seguía ejerciendo y otro continúa normalmente con cargos eclesiásticos.

El equipo de La Nación Investiga presenta desde hoy una serie de publicaciones que mostrarán el “sistema del silencio” de la Iglesia frente a los abusos sexuales cometidos por clérigos.

CAPITULO I: LA HISTORIA DE CARLOS IBÁÑEZ

Desde 1992, Paraguay cobijó al sacerdote argentino Carlos Ibáñez, investigado por denuncias de abuso sexual de al menos 10 jóvenes en Bell Ville, provincia de Córdoba, Argentina, a principios de los ’90. Estando suspendido por el obispado cordobés, Ibáñez igual ejerció sus funciones como sacerdote, oficiando misas, trabajando con jóvenes y paseándose por varias comunidades religiosas en nuestro país, hasta hace apenas unas semanas. Con la carta eclesial como respaldo, Ibáñez se metió de lleno al mundo académico, donde logró un status importante, pero que esconde otra trama: gran parte de los títulos que presenta son falsos.

LA HISTORIA DE CARLOS IBÁÑEZ

Corrían los años 1991 y 1992 cuando las vidas de al menos diez adolescentes argentinos cambiaron para siempre. Todos ellos eran pobladores de la tranquila ciudad de Bell Ville, un sitio anclado en la provincia de Córdoba. Por ese entonces, conocieron al sacerdote Carlos Richard Ibáñez Morino, un diocesano que llegó a la ciudad poco antes para ocuparse de la iglesia Virgen de Fátima.

Según la denuncia oficial a la que tuvo acceso el equipo de La Nación Investiga, una tarde del mes de diciembre de 1991, Tomás y Carlitos (utilizamos nombres ficticios para resguardar la identidad de los denunciantes reales) conversaban en las inmediaciones del predio del ferrocarril de Bell Ville, cuando se acercó a ellos el padre Carlos y los invitó a acompañarlo a un dispensario.

Entonces subieron al Fiat 147, color blanco –que el padre Carlos usaba para movilizarse en la ciudad– hasta llegar al lugar de destino: un consultorio llamado “Juan XXIII”, ubicado sobre la calle Echeverría Nº 102. Allí, en las habitaciones del local, ambos adolescentes tuvieron un encuentro sexual con el sacerdote. La paga para ambos fue de 550.000 australes, moneda que en ese entonces se utilizaba en Argentina.

Este relato forma parte de la denuncia presentada ante el Juzgado de Bell Ville. Si bien fue el principio, no tardarían en aparecer otros casos similares, engrosando la carpeta de denuncias en contra del sacerdote, y en la medida que transcurría el tiempo, la bomba seguiría creciendo. Para mediados de 1992, resultó imposible detener el escándalo y estalló ante la conservadora sociedad de esta ciudad cordobesa, con un total de 10 denunciantes, todos por abuso sexual contra el cura Ibáñez. Cuando la Justicia local intervino, ya era tarde. Gracias a algunas ayudas extras que habrían surgido desde el seno de la Iglesia, Carlos Ibáñez pudo huir de Bell Ville y se refugió en otro país: Paraguay. Aquí llegó a oficiar misas, casamientos, bautismos y se hizo docente de varias universidades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Media Release – April 22, 2016

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

JESUITS OF THE NORTHEAST PROVINCE ARE RE-VICTIMIZING A CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM

Jesuits of the Northeast Province are insensitive and re-victimizing Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood clergy sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a deceased, serial, pedophile Jesuit priest

Jesuits admit to having credible information from approximately five (5) persons (besides the victim) about Neal E. Gumpel’s childhood sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ and still refuse to settle Neal E. Gumpel’s claim reasonably

Jesuits have refused to reasonably settle the childhood sexual abuse claim of Neal E. Gumpel

What
A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, parishioners of a Jesuit-sponsored parish, and the general public that the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), has insulted and re-victimized a childhood sexual abuse victim of a Jesuit priest by refusing to settle his claim reasonably. The Jesuits have already settled at least one public claim against Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ.

When
Friday, April 22, 2016 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm

Where
On the public sidewalk outside the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue (between East 83rd and East 84th Streets), New York, NY 10028 – 212-288-3588

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its Co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

Why
The Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) knows that Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, was a serial molester of minor boys. The Province settled at least one public claim against Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, in the past. Neal E. Gumpel’s credible factual account of having been sexually abused as a minor child by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, when Fr. Roy Alan Drake was a professor and Jesuit priest at Maine Maritime Academy, was credibly supported by approximately five (5) individuals, in addition to Neal E. Gumpel. Now, the Northeast Province of the Jesuits, which has found that Neal E. Gumpel’s claim is credible, has insulted and re-victimized Neal E. Gumpel by refusing to reasonably settle his claim. Demonstrators will ask parishioners and the general public to voice their outrage to the Jesuits of their parish and the Northeast Province (whose headquarters are around the corner on East 83rd Street) and demand of the Northeast Jesuit leadership that they treat Neal E. Gumpel with compassion, fairness, and justice.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Singing Monk Sacked Amid Increase in Serious Crimes

CAMBODIA
Cambodia Daily

BY BEN SOKHEAN AND ALEX WILLEMYNS | APRIL 22, 2016 | អានជាភាសាខ្មែរ

The chief monk of Kompong Speu province last month became the latest senior clergy member to be faced with a sex abuse case in his jurisdiction, with one of his monks jailed for attempting to rape a 9-year-old girl.

Coming little more than a year after an ex-monk shot dead his former pagoda chief just a few kilometers away from the pagoda now at the center of the sex abuse allegations, it was a sign that a severe moral sickness was going untreated among the clergymen provincial chief monk Dou Vandoeun had been tasked with managing.

The monk chief took no responsibility for the case, dismissing the attempted rape as an aberration, a crime committed by a “bad” monk, and he was neither disciplined nor told by his superiors to bring his monks in line.

Yet the same kid-glove treatment was not afforded to Dou Vandoeun on Thursday, with religious authorities deciding to strip him of his position for singing on stage at a post-Khmer New Year concert at his pagoda on Sunday night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Laurie Goodstein on Why the Catholic Abuse Story Remains a Story (and Minnesota Survivor Megan Peterson Files Lawsuit As Her Abuser Father Jeyapaul Is Returned to Ministry)

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Recommended: New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein's "Times Insider" report today on why the sex abuse story in the Catholic church remains a story. Be sure to listen to the podcast discussion between Goodstein and Susan Lehman about Goodstein's report.

As Goodstein explains both in the podcast and in her written report, one of the most significant revelations from the Pennsylvania grand jury report regarding the horrific, long-covered-up abuse in the diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is that blatant, prevalent abuse of minors by clerics in this diocese was covered up for such a very long time because "there is a web of corruption that goes well beyond the church." The grand jury has found that there was longstanding collusion between public officials, police, district attorneys, and church officials to cover up abuse of minors by Catholic clerics. As Goodstein notes, this is a new wrinkle in the story of the abuse crisis in American Catholicism.

As she also notes, the Pennsylvania findings suggest that the story of sexual abuse of minors by clerics in the Catholic church in the U.S. remains a story because these findings have "elevated the story once again." As with any revelations of abuse by pastoral officials, these have encouraged more people who had remained silent to come forth. In her podcast discussion with Lehman, Goodstein says that anytime she writes a story about abuse in the Catholic church in the U.S., she receives a spate of communications from abuse survivors who are encouraged by the report to speak out.

She writes,

Pennsylvania shows how the sexual abuse story in the Catholic Church has evolved. The reporting now is often about accountability: Are bishops abiding by the reforms they agreed to in 2002, in response to the eruption of cases set off by the scandal in Boston? The American bishops agreed to report allegations to the authorities and to remove all credibly accused priests from ministry. They agreed to establish prevention programs in parishes and schools, teach children and adults about warning signs, and conduct background checks on employees.
Have they? The biggest church abuse-related stories in the United States in very recent years have been about bishops in Kansas City, Missouri and Minnesota who failed and eventually lost their positions.

And speaking of Minnesota: the story of Father Joseph Jeyapaul, who was convicted last year of sexually molesting a teenaged girl in the diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, is back in the news. I've commented on this story previously — here, here, here, and here. As I've noted, my husband Steve and I have followed this story with concern because he grew up in the Crookston diocese and has close family ties to the parish in which Jeyapaul raped Megan Peterson when she was 14 years old. As Jean Hopfensperger notes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, another girl identified as Jane Doe 121 also filed a criminal complaint against the diocese in 2008, alleging that Jeyapaul raped her when she was 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Catholic Diocese in India Reinstates Priest Who Admitted Child Sex Abuse

MINNESOTA/INDIA
Wall Street Journal

By KENAN MACHADO
Apr 22, 2016

A Roman Catholic diocese in southern India said Thursday it consulted with the Vatican before reinstating a priest who pleaded guilty last year to the sexual abuse of a minor in the U.S.

The suspension of the priest, Father Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, 61 years old, was lifted by Bishop Amalraj Arulappan from the Diocese of Ootacamund in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, earlier this year, Father Sebastian Selvanathan, a spokesman for the diocese said.

Father Jeyapaul was deputed to serve in the Diocese of Crookston in Minnesota in the U.S. in 2004. He returned to India in September 2005 and two years later, criminal charges were filed against him in the U.S. accusing him of sexually abusing a girl between 2004 and 2005. Father Jeyapaul was suspended from the Indian diocese in 2010.

He was arrested in India in March 2012 and extradited to the U.S. where he was held jail in Roseau, MN. In May 2015, he pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct, according to court documents.

He was released from jail, after having been jailed for three years and four months, and was deported from the U.S. in July 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Ottawa freed Catholic groups from residential-school obligation to ensure other promises met, draft reveals

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY AND SEAN FINE
OTTAWA and TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 21, 2016

The Canadian government released Catholic groups from an obligation to try to raise $25-million for aboriginal healing so that it could hold the groups to other promises they made in the historic 2007 residential schools agreement, a draft of their agreement reveals.

In return for paying $1.2-million for healing programs, the 50 Catholic entities wanted to be released from any and all of their obligations under the residential schools settlement agreement, government officials told The Globe and Mail. Those include being required to disclose documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that investigated what went on at the schools, participating in compensation hearings and taking part in planned reconciliation events, said the officials, who spoke under condition of anonymity.

Under the final deal struck in October, however, the Catholic groups agreed to continue with all but the financial obligations, the officials said.

Although the Liberals refuse to disclose the final agreement, a draft copy was given to The Globe by Archbishop Gérard Pettipas of Grouard-McLennan in Grande Prairie, Alta. The draft was undated and unsigned.

The government confirmed the document sent by Archbishop Pettipas was a draft of a final agreement signed on Oct. 30, but refuses to say how close it is to what was eventually signed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Teaneck rabbi’s blog posts provoke controversy

NEW JERSEY
Jewish Standard

BY JOANNE PALMER April 21, 2016

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck is no stranger to controversy.

A lawyer and the rabbi of the biggest, oldest, and arguably the most prominent Orthodox synagogue in town, Rabbi Pruzansky has strong views, which he often lays out strongly and at some length in his blog, rabbipruzansky.com.

Over the years, Rabbi Pruzansky has angered many people — and made many friends — with harshly worded attacks on Yitzhak Rabin, soon before he was murdered; on President Obama’s re-election, which he blamed on stupid greedy people wanting “free stuff”; on the Jewish Week, which he compared to the Nazi propaganda rag Der Sturmer (although later he said the comparison of course was purposely ludicrous), and on Israeli Arabs, for whom he advocated severe mass punishment, possibly including deportation. Earlier this year, dismissing Hillary Clinton as a “liar, a crook, an active participant in the largest pay-for-play scheme in the history of mankind…,” he also called her “an awful speaker, shrill when she tries to be passionate…” Instead, he endorsed Donald Trump.

In that endorsement, on March 17, he touched on a theme that has resurfaced in the last few weeks — the theme of victimhood, which he sees as an occasionally improperly assumed mantle. “People have had enough of the moral posturing of the faux victim, which has resulted in nothing less than in the increase of the numbers of faux victims and even the possible causes of victimhood,” he wrote in that March post. “People are tired of having to whisper the truth because murderers, evildoers, or sinners will have their feelings hurt by it, even unintentionally.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

How Orthodox Israelis are battling sexual harassment

ISRAEL
Al-Monitor

Rape and sexual harassment have preoccupied the Israeli public over the last year. A post by a female journalist who had been working with Knesset member Yinon Magal accusing him of sexual harassment eventually led to his resignation from the Knesset. Former Minister and Knesset member Silvan Shalom also resigned following sexual harassment allegations by a series of women. Actor Moshe Ivgy has also been paying dearly career-wise in recent months for alleged sexual harassment.

For quite some time now, complaining to the legal authorities has seemed to no longer be a necessary step in the public investigation of such matters. The complaints traditionally filed with the police are now often replaced by social media posts. One apt example is the Facebook page One Out of One, to which testimonies by women who have been sexually harassed are posted.

For the past 13 years, the Takana Forum has been operating quite discreetly in the national-religious community. "Takana" means both a rule and a remedy, and the forum addresses complaints against authority figures wielding power in the religious sector — spiritual leaders, influential officials or educators.

The forum typically appoints three or four of its members to handle reported harassment complaints. In each case, a panel of forum members hears the accused's side as well as the accuser's, and decides if and what sanctions to impose.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Our view: Give child abuse victims path to justice

PENNSYLVANIA
GoErie

The state House of Representatives -- spurred by the litany of horrors contained in the state grand jury report on child sex abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown -- with overwhelming support advanced legislation that would allow victims of such abuse to reach deep into the past to seek civil damages for harm they suffered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Furor as Florida pastor, who claims presiding bishop of fifth largest Christian church where Denzel Washington worships is a gay pedophile, names 'rape victim' in bombshell video

FLORIDA
Daily Mail (UK)

By MARTIN GOULD FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

An unholy war over claims of pedophilia and graft in the nation’s fifth largest Christian church has taken a vicious new turn with the main accuser publicly naming a man who, he claims, was molested by the church’s top bishop.

The new allegation from Florida Pastor Earl Carter was angrily denied by the alleged victim himself as well as his parents and the hierarchy of the 6-million-strong Church of God in Christ, including its top man Bishop Charles Blake.

‘It hurts,’ Sidney Lassiter III — who admits he was molested as a child, but not by Blake — told Daily Mail Online in an exclusive interview.

‘I have been trying to put the horrible thing that happened behind me for years. I repressed my memories for a long time and now it has all been made public.

‘All I want is to heal and for my family to heal and now this comes up. It’s like picking at a scab.’
Lassiter, 32, a church minister in Richmond, Virginia, told Daily Mail Online a now-dead worker in the Church of God in Christ — known by the acronym COGIC — molested him when he was 12 or 13. He has been through therapy for years to cope with the incident.

His father, Sidney Lassiter Sr., a COGIC elder from Suffolk, Virginia, mentioned in passing that a member of his family had been molested as a child during a conversation with a friend, Denise Hall. She allegedly reported that to Carter, who then claimed online that Bishop Blake was the molester.

‘Earl Carter needs to get his facts straight,’ Lassiter told Daily Mail Online. ‘I hate to say this because I was always taught to respect my elders, but this man is just ignorant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Church reaffirms apology to Qld victims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

BY JAMIE MCKINNELLAAPAPRIL 22, 2016

The bishop of Rockhampton has restated an apology to the victims of abuse at a notorious Queensland orphanage after a royal commission found inadequate training of staff contributed to their pain.

A report by the sex abuse royal commission was released on Thursday after last year examining the St Joseph's Orphanage Neerkol, near Rockhampton, which was operated by the Sisters of Mercy between 1940 and 1975.

The commissioners found punishments administered by nuns and other staff were "cruel and excessive" and contravened regulations.

The state government had also failed to supervise and protect the children because it didn't properly train inspectors or provide adequate scrutiny of the orphanage.

The commission accepted Sister Berneice Loch, who became the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy in 1991, and retired Rockhampton Bishop Brian Heenan, didn't receive training in how to detect and respond to complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Neocatechumenal Leader Met by Angry Mob of Catholic Protesters

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Protesters were chanting and yelling, "Gennarini Go Home!"

Guam - An angry mob of protesters hounding the leader of the neocatechumenal way in the us, Guiseppe Gennarini last night at the AB Won Pat International Airport.

The protesters, yelling in Gennarini's face, say they've had enough and they won't back down to someone they believe is trying to overthrow their beliefs.

It was a riotous scene of angry mobsters made up of mostly Catholic man' amko last night. At first just a few dozen showed up with signs. Just outside the arrival gate at the airport, the protesters were chanting and singing.

But as soon as Gennarini and his followers walked out the double doors, it turned into violent screams. Some were even yelling words like, "Satan go home! You're satan!"

But not a word from the rattled and unwelcomed visitors. Gennarini, who's responsible for spreading the neocatechumenal way in the United States and now Guam, is being blamed for causing the division within the Catholic Church on Guam.

Many Catholics accuse him of manipulating Archbishop Anthony Apuron into giving away the disputed Redemptoris Mater Seminary to the Gennarinis for the purpose of perpetuating their teachings---teachings that go against the traditions of the local church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Alain Christnacht conseiller des évêques sur les abus sexuels

FRANCE
La Croix

[Alain Christnacht has been asked to advise French bishops on sexual abuse. He will chair the national commission of independent experts in assessing situations where priest have committed sexual abuse.]

Nicolas Senèze (avec Gauthier Vaillant)

Ce haut fonctionnaire a été nommé pour présider la commission nationale d’expertise indépendante pour conseiller les évêques dans l’évaluation des situations de prêtres ayant commis des abus sexuels.

Son passage au cabinet de Christiane Taubira gêne une partie des catholiques.

Avec Alain Christnacht, c’est à un habitué des missions difficiles que les évêques de France viennent de confier la commission nationale d’expertise indépendante annoncée la semaine dernière pour les conseiller dans l’évaluation des situations de prêtres ayant commis des abus sexuels.

Et des missions délicates, ce grand serviteur de l’État en a mené de nombreuses. En Nouvelle-Calédonie notamment, où il été un des artisans des accords de Matignon (1988) mettant un terme aux affrontements sur le territoire où il est nommé haut-commissaire en 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Clearwater County pastor found guilty of criminal sexual conduct

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By FORUM NEWS SERVICE
April 21, 2016

BAGLEY, Minn. — A Clearwater County pastor was found guilty by a jury Wednesday of 13 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two male juveniles.

Scott Morey, 43, of Shevlin was arrested in January 2015 and charged with multiple counts of felony criminal sexual conduct for acts that allegedly occurred between 2009 and 2014.

Morey was a pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Winger, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bejou and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in McIntosh. Morey resigned as a pastor at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America churches in December 2014 during the investigation.

Morey was convicted on seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, three counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and three counts of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree, according to a release from the Clearwater County attorney’s office. Morey was acquitted on one count of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

South side church leaders react to claims of failing to report a sexual abuse

INDIANA
Fox 59

APRIL 22, 2016, BY KYLE HICKS - DIGITAL PRODUCER

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 21, 2016) – Leaders of an Indianapolis church have responded to claims that they failed to report a sexual abuse.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, claims leaders of the Southport Presbyterian Church knew about an incident involving two of its members and did not take appropriate action.

Church leaders say they were not involved in the incident, other than trying to provide help and ensure the victim and families involved were supported.

The church says the incident occurred between two teenagers at a mutual friend’s house in a private gathering that included several youth. And the only connection to the church is that both individuals go there.

Church officials say they were informed of the incident several days afterward by an individual who heard about it from someone other than the victim.

Church officials say they talked to the individuals involved and offered support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Priest investigated, sent back to India

CANADA
Sherwood Park News

By Ben Proulx, Sherwood Park News
Thursday, April 21, 2016

A priest withdrawn from duty and sent back to India — after an RCMP investigation that netted no charges — was being investigated for allegations of undisclosed abuse, the Archdiocese of Edmonton has confirmed.

Parishioners at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Fort Saskatchewan, just north of Strathcona County, were told on March 19 that Father Ashok Mascarenhas — who had been with the church since 2013 — has been withdrawn from service at the church, after complaints spurred an RCMP investigation.

“The Archdiocese of Edmonton was informed this week by the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP that their investigation into complaints made against Fr. Ashok Mascarenhas has concluded, and that no criminal charges will be laid,” reads the letter to parishioners, sent by Lorraine Turchansky, director of communications and public relations of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton.

“Nevertheless, the Archbishop has determined that there was not full adherence to the code of ministerial conduct expected of all ministers of the Gospel.

“For this reason, the decision to remove Fr. Ashok from priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Edmonton remains in effect. He has returned to his native India, where he is under the care of his religious community.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Maintenance supervisor at St. Peter Parish charged with child sexual abuse

MISSOURI
KSHB

[with video]

41 Action News Staff , Cynthia Newsome
Apr 21, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas City man who was employed at an area church has been charged with child sexual abuse.

James Burton was charged with two counts of statutory sodomy, one count of child molestation and attempted sexual misconduct, according to court documents.

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said in a statement the alleged abuse did not occur on any diocesan property and the victim is not a student at any diocesan school.

Burton is employed as a maintenance supervisor at St. Peter Parish in Kansas City. On Friday, April 8, the diocese was alerted to an allegation of abuse against Burton. It was confirmed that there were ongoing investigations pending with the Missouri Children’s Division and law enforcement. The diocese said Burton was immediately placed on administrative leave from St. Peter Parish. The diocese said to maintain the integrity of the ongoing police investigation, neither Burton nor the parish community was made aware of the reason for his leave at that time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Neerkol orphanage findings and the place of compassion

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Frank Brennan | 21 April 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has now published its Case Study 26 on the Neerkol Orphanage in Rockhampton.

The Commission finds that the response by the bishop and by the Sisters of Mercy to victims making complaints prior to 1996 was often inadequate and lacking in compassion. It also makes a damning finding that the bishop was dishonest in a letter he sent to the diocese.

I still have a problem with this commission making findings on issues like the want of compassion. When it reported on the Ellis Case, I said the royal commission (being appointed by the state rather than the church) had no business finding that Cardinal Pell 'did not act fairly from a Christian point of view'. I thought they should simply have found that the Cardinal did not act fairly. Similarly I wonder about the competence, utility and power of a royal commission to make findings on compassion. Sure, the Christian churches espouse compassion as a Christian virtue, but I don't see that it is something usefully to be assessed or mandated by a royal commission. To find how compelling the commissioners' findings on compassion were, I would first want to know how compassionate each of them is, and that's basically none of my business. They are royal commissioners performing a legal task for the state. Would the commission make findings that other institutions (like Swimming Australia or the State Department of Child Welfare) did not act compassionately?

The word 'compassion' or 'compassionate' appears 21 times in this case study report. I have no problem with church people or other individuals adversely judging church leaders for a lack of compassion. There may even be a case for politicians doing it, and then arguing the toss on whether they are more compassionate than the people they are criticising. But I don't think it's the job of a royal commission. If it is the job of the royal commission, why do they stop at compassion? Why not also offer judgments about whether the responses are loving, merciful and self-sacrificing? I think by over-reaching itself in this way, the commission actually blunts its findings about the adequacy of responses, including compliance with protocols and sensitivity to the needs of victims. The issue is not whether church leaders measured up to the ideals of the Christian virtue of compassion but whether they measured up to the standards properly expected by the Australian community, regardless of people's religious commitments and views. You would hope that church leaders would do more to assist victims than merely to comply with community standards. To date, the commission has unearthed countless instances where the church leaders have not even complied with those community standards. But I am uneasy about a royal commission making assessments about virtue which go beyond the laws and protocols which might be set down for all institutions and for all individuals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Abuse victims question system

WEST VIRGINIA
Clinton Herald

PRINCETON, W. Va. — As rows of victims and their family members watched in stoic silence, a former church volunteer quietly uttered the word “guilty” when asked how he was pleading to a myriad of child sexual abuse charges.

Timothy Probert, 57, of Princeton, pleaded guilty Monday morning to 37 charges related to the sexual abuse of teen boys while he served as an elder and youth volunteer at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bluefield, West Virginia and as a mentor for a program working to eliminate child abuse.

Probert’s plea brought an end to a more than two-year legal struggle that roiled a small city near the Virginia border and saw three judges recuse themselves from the case due to conflicts of interest.

Probert entered the plea before retired Fayette County Judge Charles Vickers, who was assigned to the case in 2015 after Mercer County Circuit Court judges Omar Aboulhosn, Derek Swope and William “Bill” Sadler recused themselves. According to the Bluefield, West Virginia Daily Telegraph, all three judges signed a letter to the West Virginia Supreme Court citing conflicts of interest. Steve Canterbury, administrative director for the high court, told the Daily Telegraph there were no additional details as to the specific conflicts of interest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

April 21, 2016

THE JOURNALIST AND THE BISHOPS: CNS EDITOR FIRED FOR TWEETING OPPOSITION TO LGBT DISCRIMINATION

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

BY PATRICIA MILLER APRIL 21, 2016

If anyone needed more evidence of just how cynical the U.S. Catholic bishops’ manipulation of the principle of “religious freedom” is, look no further than last week’s dismissal of Tony Spence, the editor in chief of Catholic News Service, for tweeting his opposition to bills that would codify LGBT discrimination.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops built its “religious liberty” campaign, which was largely responsible for creating the broad, corrupted definition of religious liberty that has resulted in a wave of anti-LGBT bills across the country, around the idea that religious liberty is the “first, most cherished liberty”—and that to deny it is a violation of core American values:

Freedom is not only for Americans, but we think of it as something of our special inheritance, fought for at a great price, and a heritage to be guarded now. We are stewards of this gift, not only for ourselves but for all nations and peoples who yearn to be free. Catholics in America have discharged this duty of guarding freedom admirably for many generations.

Even as the Catholic hierarchy bewails the lack of respect for “religious freedom,” they demanded that Spence resign for daring to publicly oppose anti-LGBT legislation that the bishops back under the “religious freedom” rubric.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

BEATING UP 10-YEAR-OLD BOY LANDS PRIEST IN SOUP

INDIA
Bangalore Mirror

By Deepthi Sanjiv, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Apr 22, 2016

On the complaint of a 10-year-old boy's parents, the Vittal police of Dakshina Kannada district booked a priest for beating the child during a catechism class.

Speaking of the incident to Bangalore Mirror, Childline (Padi) director Renny D'Souza said the priest identified as Andrew D'Costa attached to the Lady of Fathima Church in Peruvai is accused of beating up the child. "The incident reportedly took place on April 15, and it was brought to our notice on April 18," he said.

Before their first Holy Communion, a child is made to learn a lot of prayers. This child was reportedly slow in learning the prayers, which infuriated the priest, resulting in him beating the boy. The parents brought the issue to Childline.

A team from Childline visited the boy's house, examined his bruises and recorded statements of the boy as well as his parents. The team also tried to meet the priest, but could not as he was not available. Childline will submit a report of the incident to the district child protection officer on Friday, it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Priest beats up boy for failing Bible quiz, absconds

INDIA
The Times of India

Mangaluru: A Catholic church priest was charged with assaulting a boy after he failed to answer questions on the Bible, during his first communion catechism class in Our Lady of Fatima Church, Mangaluru. Police said the priest is absconding.

The incident occurred on April 12 and the case registered on April 18. The parents of the 12-year-old boy said parish priest Andrew D'Costa got furious with the victim during the first communion catechism as he failed to answer some Bible-related questions. Later, he beat him black and blue with a stick.

After the boy narrated the incident to his parents, who are from a poor economic background, they filed a case against the priest. Police said the priest was booked under the Juvenile Justice Act and IPC 324.

Rev Fr William Menezes, public relations officer, Mangaluru Diocese, told TOI the accused priest confessed he had reprimanded the boy, but denied manhandling him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Exclusive: FBI finds photos of naked All Saints student in child porn case

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By John O'Brien | jobrien@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Federal investigators have discovered 10 photos of a naked student at a local elementary school on the cell phone of an accused child pornographer, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.

The photos show the child sitting on the toilet and standing naked in a bathroom at All Saints Elementary School in Syracuse, the sources said.

FBI agents have not found photos of any other All Saints students, the sources said.

The pictures were found on the phone of Emily Oberst, an aide at the school and daycare center, the sources said. Oberst was one of two people charged last month with sexually exploiting three children for the purpose of producing child pornography.

The photos of the All Saints student were among the pictures Oberst sent to Jason Kopp, the sources said.

Oberst and Kopp were indicted on charges of sexually exploiting three children to make child pornography. The All Saints student was one of those three victims, the sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Orthodox Shomrim Patrol Faces New Questions After Brooklyn Bribery Scandal

NEW YORK
Forward

Josh Nathan-KazisApril 20, 2016

In Boro Park, Brooklyn, there are two police forces.

One drives cars with flashing lights, is dispatched over walkie-talkies, and has a blue-and-black shield for a logo.

The other is the New York City Police Department.

The Shomrim security patrol, as the local civilian force is known, is in part a pastime for traditionally observant Jewish men who like dressing up as cops, and in part a dead-serious police force that’s accrued immense power in this insular, Yiddish-speaking Brooklyn neighborhood.

The group’s 100-plus members rush through Boro Park streets in black SUV’s and police-style cruisers, responding to emergencies reported to their private emergency hotline. In one 2010 incident, they beat a man bloody before cops arrived. When the police do show up, Shomrim snap pictures as police arrest the suspects the Shomrim have, at times, already detained.

Now, a sprawling FBI investigation into corrupt relationships between Orthodox activists and the NYPD is drawing new attention to longstanding concerns about the group’s influence in the neighborhood, and its unusually close ties to the NYPD’s 66th Precinct in Boro Park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

7 Victims Claim Sexual Abuse at Loyola School in NYC

NEW YORK
Jeff Anderson and Associates

To Reveal Truth, Abuse Survivor Releases Investigative Report to the Public

Investigative Report

(New York, NY) - Longtime teacher, coach and athletic director, Louis Tambini, abused girls at a prominent Jesuit, Catholic School in New York City. The yearlong investigation conducted by lawyers and school officials concluded with a report confirming both the reports of abuse and a lack of response by church and school officials.

The Report Findings:
* Investigation was sparked by a social media post on school Facebook page.
* Church and School officials protected Tambini for years before law enforcement was notified.
* Victims are barred from seeking justice in court because Statute of Limitations may prevent them.
* Tambini was quietly allowed to leave the school.

“The recent revelations memorialized in this report help us all to understand the gravity and urgency of the child protection movement,” according to New York City, Attorney Mike Reck of Jeff Anderson Associates. “Through the power of social media, one brave survivor of Tambini’s acts has sparked an investigation that shines a light on these dark acts. The mission of this survivor is shared by us advocates to ensure that a measure of justice is imposed on those responsible for the past and that children of the future are protected.”

One of the survivors interviewed by the investigators has chosen to release this report publically so that others will know they are not alone and in the hope that transparency will aid in the healing.

Contact: J. Michael Reck: Office: 646.649.4960 Cell: 714.742.6593
Jeff Anderson: Office: 651.927.7872 Cell: 612.817.8665

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

NY--Seven were victimized at NYC Catholic school; SNAP responds

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, April 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)

At least seven youngsters were sexually abused at a Jesuit school in New York, and Catholic officials have been keeping it secret for a year, according to a report being released today by a victim. We applaud that victim’s courage.

[Jeff Anderson and Associates]

http://www.andersonadvocates.com/Posts/News-or-Event/2102/7-Victims-Claim-Sexual-Abuse-at-Loyola-School-in-NYC.aspx

Cardinal Timothy Dolan should denounce and discipline Jesuit officials for their reckless and callous secrecy. He should use pulpit announcements, church bulletins and parish websites to warn others about Louis Tambini. He should insist that Jesuits do a thorough mailing to all current and former Loyola students, staff and alum, accurately describing the wrongdoing by those who committed and conceal this abuse and begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police.

The Jesuits should do all of this and more. But ultimately a bishop is responsible for the safety of his flock and for the actions of religious order clerics he allows to work in his diocese. So Dolan can’t duck, dodge and deny here. He must take clear, strong, public steps to expose wrongdoers, warn parents, protect kids and help victims.

No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in New York City – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted 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 5:52 PM

NY--Victims blast internal Jesuit abuse report

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, April 21, 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)

The so-called “investigation” into abuse at a Catholic school is an arrogant sham designed for “damage control.” Shame on the Jesuits for hiring more lawyers instead of just telling the truth and contacting law enforcement.

The “report” shows that for at least a decade – and maybe three decades – Catholic officials hid abuse reports against Louis Tambini, a popular teacher and coach.

The private lawyers hired by the Jesuits arrogantly claim none of the wrongdoing they found could be prosecuted. That’s immoral and irrelevant. It’s the duty of every adult to tell police about known or suspected child sex crimes and cover ups. It’s law enforcement’s job – not the job of church-hired private lawyers – to decide whether any adult who committed or concealed child sex crimes can be prosecuted.

These “hired guns” echo the disingenuous excuse Catholic officials often spout – the claim that “societal understanding” of abuse in “that era” is a reason no one called the cops. That’s bogus. In the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, these highly educated Jesuits and their boatloads of expensive lawyers and public relations staffers all knew that raping or fondling or sodomizing a kid was illegal and should immediately prompt a call to police. But they chose to protect their own comfort, convenience and careers instead of protecting kids and helping victims.

This report is more proof that even now, Catholic officials work very hard – and usually with success - to keep child sex crimes and cover ups covered up. That’s one reason why New York’s archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations must be reformed and why every person who saw, suspected or suffered abuse and cover up should call secular authorities, not church officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Fourth priest of local parish accused of sex abuse

MINNESOTA
Advocate Tribune

Following the release of the names of 16 credibly accused New Ulm Diocese priests of sexual abuse on March 29, a joint press release dated April 15 from the New Ulm Diocese and law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates names an additional three priests credibly accused of sexual abuse––and yet another, Fr. Bernard Steiner, served amidst local parishes.

By Scott Tedrick
News Editor

Posted Apr. 21, 2016

Following the release of the names of 16 credibly accused New Ulm Diocese priests of sexual abuse on March 29, a joint press release dated April 15 from the New Ulm Diocese and law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates names an additional three priests credibly accused of sexual abuse––and yet another, Fr. Bernard Steiner, served amidst local parishes.

According to the release, Fr. Steiner was ordained in February 1961, for the Diocese of New Ulm. He served as pastor of St. James, Dawson and the mission of St. Isidore, Clarkfield from 1965-1969 and from 1981 - 1982 as an Administrator St. Andrews in Granite Falls. Additionally, he was pastor of St. James and Dawson from 1978-1981; St. Clara, Clara City from 1982-1987; and was Administrator at the Sacred Heart and Raymond parishes from 1982 to 1987,
According to the release, the credible case of abuse occurred at the Church of St. Paul in Comfrey, Minnesota in the 1970s. Steiner retired from assigned ministry in 2005.

With the Steiner revelation, a total of four of the 19 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse served in either pastoral or administrative capacities at area churches, including all four at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Granite Falls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

TX--Austin CEO resigns from board; Victims urge action

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, April 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)

A spokesperson for the Austin-based Whole Foods Market claims the company’s CEO John Mackey is "no longer serves on Mr. Marc Gafni’s board and has no connection to (his) San Francisco-based Center for Integral Wisdom.”

Gafni, a former rabbi, has generated controversy by admitting to sexually abusing a youngster and essentially blaming her by saying "She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her."

[New York Times]

We hope it’s true that Mackey’s distancing himself from Gafni. If so, however, we disagree with the public relations staffer who claims “there’s nothing else to say on this matter."

NOTE – The comments made in an email yesterday, Wednesday, April 20, to San Francisco activist Nancy Levine from Whole Foods public relations staffer Robin Rehfield Kelly - Robin.Rehfieldkelly@wholefoods.com.

Mackey should apologize for his callousness and publicly announce his resignation from the board. He should also remove the link to Gafni's CIW site on his Whole Foods blog.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Brothers, sisters, fathers: Religious orders key to child protection

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
4.21.2016

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a continuing effort to protect children, the Catholic Church's focus is now turning to religious orders of men and women.

Much of the attention had been on how dioceses and national bishops' conferences have been responding to victims and protecting children.

But, religious orders and congregations are sometimes left out of that picture, even though they, too, have a duty to make sure every person in their care is safe. Also, the majority of the more than 300,000 Catholic schools and orphanages around the world are run by religious brothers and sisters whose charisms are to promote human dignity and Gospel values.

Pope Francis last year authorized the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate and judge claims of "abuse of office" by bishops who allegedly failed to protect minors and vulnerable adults from sex abuse. But that form of censure "wasn't extended to superior generals, and it should be," said Father John Fogarty, superior general of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

HAVE YOU SEEN CHISDAI BEN-PORAT?

CANADA/UNITED STATES
Jewish Community Watch

Canadian citizen Chisdai Ben-Porat pleaded guilty to indecent assault without the consent of others (18 Pa. C.S. § 3126) in 2014. His passport was taken from him and he was escorted to the Canadian border by U.S. Immigration upon his release. He was required to register as a sex offender in Pennsylvania under Megan’s Law and undergo a sex offender evaluation and treatments. Since moving back to Canada, authorities have been unable to locate him. He was last known to be in Montreal.

A civil lawsuit is being filed in conjunction with the child sexual abuse conviction. Until he is found, the victim’s family is unable to bring the lawsuit. If you see him, please contact JCW by phone at (718) 841-7056 or by email at info@jewishcommunitywatch.org

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Child abuse a Calvinist problem, podcast says

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

BOB ALLEN | APRIL 21, 2016

Child abuse isn’t just a Catholic problem, it’s also a Calvinist problem, according to an April 20 podcast sympathetic to the so-called “young, restless and reformed” movement popular among evangelicals belonging to denominations including the Southern Baptist Convention.

Mortification of Spin, a weekly podcast from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals — a coalition of pastors, scholars, and churchmen seeking to recover and promote biblical doctrines central to the Protestant Reformation — this week examined highly publicized scandals involving celebrity preachers accused of turning a blind eye at the expense of victims of child sexual abuse.

While they don’t say so explicitly, the program’s three cohosts appear to have in mind last week’s appearance at the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, Ky., by C.J. Mahaney, a T4G founder who for years has faced unanswered allegations of mishandling abuse as a pastor and ministry leader in a lawsuit thrown out of court on a legal technicality.

“When we’re dealing with pastors and elders, we’re not dealing with legal burden of proof,” Carl Trueman, a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary said, referring to a qualification in 1 Timothy 3:7 that an overseer “must be well thought of by outsiders so that he may not fall into disgrace and into a snare of the devil.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Vatican unexpectedly suspends independent financial audit

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Rosie Scammell

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has put a stop to the work of international auditors just months after they were hired to review the city-state’s bookkeeping — a move said to have surprised Pope Francis’ handpicked financial czar, Cardinal George Pell.

The suspension earlier this month of the audit, well underway by the global firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, was also viewed as threatening the pope’s broader efforts to clean up the Vatican’s murky finances.

Italian Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, a top official in the Secretariat of State, announced the move in an internal Vatican letter dated April 12. In the note, Becciu said that previous orders by Pell to cooperate with PwC had been revoked by “superior provision,” according to the Catholic news site Crux.

The decision came just four months after PwC was appointed to review the financial statements at the heart of the Catholic Church. That moved followed years of scandals and misfeasance and the disclosure by the Vatican that 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in assets had not been declared by its various departments.

The Vatican did not provide further details about why the audit was suspended. Chief spokesman Federico Lombardi told RNS on Thursday (April 21) that an analysis was underway of “some aspects of the agreement” with PwC. The firm said it would not be able to comment on a client.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Vatican’s suspension of major PwC audit exposes internal rift

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome
Thursday 21 April 2016

The Vatican has suspended its first audit by a major accounting firm in a move that raises new questions about the Catholic church’s commitment to cleaning up its finances. The Vatican’s chief spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said the audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers had been halted pending an analysis of “certain aspects” of the auditing arrangement.

The surprise decision has exposed a deep rift between the church’s old guard – a powerful Italian bureaucracy resistant to greater transparency – and supporters of financial reform, led by the Australian cardinal George Pell. Pell, a controversial senior figure, was handpicked by Pope Francis to lead the drive for reform.

The Holy See’s finances have long been seen as a mystery, with Pell himself acknowledging in 2014 that “hundreds of millions of euros” had been discovered “tucked away” and off the city-state’s balance sheets.

In 2014, when Pell was chosen to become secretariat of the economy, a new role, Francis endorsed a plan for the Vatican to adopt globally accepted accounting standards and better internal controls, transparency and governance of the church’s vast finances. That included a decision to allow “senior and experienced experts” in financial administration to help manage and oversee the church’s finances.

But what was then seen as the first major structural reform of Francis’s papacy is facing stiff headwinds, despite a recent spate of embarrassing revelations about the alleged mismanagement of church funds by senior officials, including claims in two recent books that describe lavish living arrangements for senior clergy members in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Suspension of Vatican audit casts doubt on reform

VATICAN CITY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew in Rome

An external audit of Vatican finances being carried out by global firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has been suspended by the Holy See.

The move raises further questions about whether Pope Francis continues to encounter internal resistance in carrying out reforms of the Vatican’s often haphazard and chaotic administration.
Since his election in 2013 the pope has made cleaning up the Holy See’s finances one of the key elements of his reform process.

To that end, he created two new bodies in 2014, the Secretariat for the Economy and the Council for the Economy, which were to exercise “oversight for the administrative and financial structures” of the Holy See and the Vatican City state.

It now seems that the Secretariat for the Economy, which is headed up by Australian cardinal George Pell, is on a collision course with the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, the traditional engine at the heart of Holy See administration.

This week, two senior figures at the Secretariat of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, wrote to all Vatican entities to tell them that the ongoing audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers had been “suspended immediately”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Sexual abuse survivor suing diocese for reinstating priest who molested her

UNITED STATES
Christian Times

CB Condez
21 APRIL, 2016

A survivor of sexual abuse is going to take legal action against a diocese in India for reinstating the priest that sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.

According to New York Daily News, Minnesota attorney Jeff Anderson, the legal counsel of abuse victim Megan Peterson, will be filing a case against the Diocese of Ootacamund. Peterson believes that letting the offender, Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, go back to priesthood is akin to giving him the green light to prey on children once more.

"We hope Catholics in Minnesota, India and elsewhere bombard their bishops with calls and emails until this irresponsible move is reversed," said David Clohessy, director of advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "This may well be the worst case of callous and reckless actions by Catholic officials we've seen in 15 years."

The now 26-year-old Peterson, who is a member of SNAP, was a choir member and altar server at a church in Minnesota during her early teenage years. At 14, she was sexually violated by Jeyapaul in his parish office, and continued to abuse her in the following months. The priest, according to the report, even went so far as to blame his victim and made her confess for making him "impure." The school counselor and law enforcement officials were subsequently informed and, in 2010, he was charged for assaulting not only Patterson but also another girl. He fled to India but was arrested and extradited to the U.S. in 2012. A plea deal was reached and charges filed by Patterson were dropped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Bishop Peter Ball victim steps away from Church investigation into clergy sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Harry Farley JUNIOR STAFF WRITER 21 April 2016

A victim of clergy sex abuse will not cooperate with a Church review because "bullying and silencing" were not in the terms of reference.

Peter Ball was jailed for 32 months after he was found to have abused his position as the Bishop of Lewes in southern England.

Rev Graham Sawyer announced his decision in a letter to Dame Moira Gibb, who chairs an independent review of how the Church of England handled allegations made against Peter Ball, former Bishop of Lewes.

Ball, now 84, was jailed in October for abuses against teenagers and young men in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Sawyer, who waived his right to anonymity before Ball's trial, said he objected because his alleged treatment by current senior Church officials would not be covered in the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Feds move to extend civil rights for sex abuse victims

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

April 21, 2016 Joelle Casteix

Finally there is some good news.

A reauthorization bill in the US Senate has a new provision that extends the federal civil rights of victims of child sex crimes, including child sexual abuse and child pornography.

Last week, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to reauthorize the Adam Walsh Act, a federal program enacted in 2006 that required states to classify sex offenders according to their crimes. The act also required states to implement a registration mechanism to monitor and control offenders’ whereabouts after (or in lieu of) jail time.

But the new provision added by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and supported by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) goes a step further in protecting the civil rights of victims by allowing them to use the courts to expose their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Plea deal for pastor accused of sex crimes

MISSOURI
Lake News

By LAKE SUN
newsroom@lakesunonline.com

Posted Apr. 21, 2016

Laclede County

The outcome of a trial for a pastor accused of sex crimes involving teenagers took a last-minute turn when he pleaded guilty to the charges while the jury was deliberating following a two day trial in Laclede County on a change of venue.

Travis Ray Smith, 45, of California, will spend a total 4 years in prison on concurrent sentences for three different cases. The former pastor of a church in Stover and Pilot Grove, will be required to complete the Missouri sex offenders program wile in prison and register as a sex offender when he is released.

Smith's trial got underway earlier this week in Laclede County. The plea deal was offered the jury had started their deliberations.

It was the second time Smith had been on trial for the same charges. The first proceeding, in December of 2015, was declared a mistrial after questions were raised regarding comments made by a potential juror about the defendant that that potentially tainted the entire jury panel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Outside audit suspended: has civil war erupted at the Vatican?

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (UK)

by Ed Condon
posted Thursday, 21 Apr 2016

The blocking of the PricewaterhouseCoopers audit puts the Pope's legacy as a reformer in peril

Yesterday, it was reported that the Vatican had suspended the independent audit of its finances by the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The company had been engaged only on December 5 of last year, and for the process to be halted this quickly, even temporarily, seems like a remarkable setback for Pope Francis’s crusade to haul the administration of the Curia, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

As he broke the news, the always well informed journalist Ed Pentin linked the story to an article in yesterday’s Italia Oggi newspaper, which claimed that manoeuvres were underway to replace Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, a Frenchman and the current president of the IOR, or Vatican Bank, whose term was not expected to come to an end in the immediate future. According to the article, the move to replace De Franssu was also a proxy move against Cardinal Pell, the prefect for the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, who has been the major, if not sole, agent of real reform in the Vatican finances, and who has been the constant target of a campaign of leaks and gossip since taking office in 2014.

It has been suggested that curial officials are desperate to see Cardinal Pell removed and both the presidency of the IOR and the job of auditing the curial finances return to Italian hands, before the new rigours of full transparency get past the point of no return.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of yesterday’s news was the manner in which the suspension of the PwC audit was announced: by means of a letter circulated to all curial departments from the Secretariat of State and signed by Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, who oversees the day-to-day running of the Roman Curia from that department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

NY TIMES DECIDES ABUSE STORIES

NEW YORK
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on bias at the New York Times:

Yesterday, New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein wrote a blog titled, “Sex Abuse and the Catholic Church: Why Is It Still a Story?” Because reporters, especially those at the Times, love to cover such stories, even if almost all of the abuse occurred decades ago. By contrast, stories of abuse happening right now in the public schools are of little interest.

It’s actually more profound than this. Two months ago, the Times did a story on a seminarian from Ohio who was arrested for seeking out young Mexican girls to molest. Yet the Times did not run a story today on yesterday’s sentencing of a middle school teacher from West Harlem who was convicted of sexual abuse.

In October 2015, Adiyemi Prowell was charged with sexually assaulting six students. When school officials initially learned of his predatory behavior, they did nothing. Here’s how it affected one student.

An 11-year-old girl who was molested in 2012 tried to get out of his class, but was denied. Her grades suffered so much that many thought she had a disability. In the fall of 2013, Prowell was removed from the classroom, and shortly thereafter the victim’s parents learned of what had happened: their daughter opened up to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

New Yeshivah structure revealed

AUSTRALIA
Australian Jewish News

YESHIVAH–BETH Rivkah Colleges (YBR) will be governed by parents under the new structure that will be announced by the Governance Review Panel (GRP).

The proposal by the GRP – which was set up to restructure the Yeshivah Centre and its associated entities in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – will state that the members of YBR will be the parents, and that five of the nine board members will be elected by parents, with at least one of those board members being a vocational Chabad rabbi.

The other four board members will include Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner and three members appointed by Yeshivah Centre Limited (YCL), the centre’s overarching roof body.

A third organisation, Chabad Institutions of Victoria Limited (CIVL), will be established to operate the Kollel, Chabad Youth, Ohel Chana and shuls.

For all three organisations – YBR, YCL and CIVL – each board member must be halachically Jewish, while each board must comprise a majority of Chabad-adherent members and have at least three vocational rabbis, defined as a rabbi engaged full time in a religious vocation such as a pulpit rabbi, a Jewish studies teacher or someone retired from such a position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Sexueller Missbrauch von Kindern: Vorwürfe in Mainzer Kita bisher nicht bestätigt

DEUTSCHLAND
Focus

[The allegations of sexual abuse among children in a Catholic kindergarten in Mainz have not been confirmed by the investigations so far.]

Die Vorwürfe sexueller Übergriffe unter Kindern in einer katholischen Kita in Mainz haben sich nach den bisherigen Ermittlungen nicht bestätigt. Der polizeiliche Abschlussbericht liege inzwischen vor, bestätigte die Staatsanwaltschaft Mainz.

Demnach haben sich die Vorwürfe nach dem bisherigen Ermittlungsstand nicht erhärtet - dies war bereits das Ergebnis des Berichts zum vorläufigen Abschluss der Ermittlungen der Polizei vom November 2015. Darin hieß es auch, es hätten sich bislang überwiegend entlastende Erkenntnisse ergeben. Bei den Vorwürfen ging es um mutmaßliche sexuelle Übergriffe und Gewalt unter Kindern.

Der Skandal begann mit dem Brief einer Mutter: Darin war von massivem Missbrauch der Kinder die Rede, berichtet der SWR online. Die Mutter schrieb, mehrere Jungen hätten über Monate hinweg ihre Vorhaut zurückziehen müssen, damit ihnen andere Kinder auf den Penis schlagen konnten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Milliarden-Loch in Pensionskasse der katholischen Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

[The Catholic Church in Germany is threatened with major financial turmoil: The pensions fund of the dioceses is missing 5.5 billion euros. At worst, it would result in insolvency of individual dioceses.]

20.04.2016, von DANIEL DECKERS

Die „Kirchliche Zusatzversorgungskasse“ (KZVK) des katholischen Verbands der Diözesen Deutschlands, mit 1,1 Millionen Versicherten und 150.000 Rentenempfängern einer der größten nichtstaatlichen Altersversorgungseinrichtungen in Deutschland, ist ein Sanierungsfall. Im vergangenen Herbst stellte sich heraus, dass die Bilanz der KZVK in einem Umfang von 22,5 Milliarden Euro zum 31. Dezember 2014 eine Deckungslücke von 5,5 Milliarden Euro aufweist.

„Veränderte Annahmen zur langfristigen Entwicklung der Verzinsung auf den Kapitalmärkten, die sich aus der Politik der EZB ergeben“, so ein Sprecher der KZVK gegenüber der F.A.Z., hatten eine Neubewertung der Verpflichtungen und die Bilanzierung eines Ausgleichspostens erforderlich gemacht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Federal government killed appeal of residential-school settlement ruling

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SEAN FINE AND GLORIA GALLOWAY
TORONTO and OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2016

The Canadian government abandoned an appeal of a controversial court ruling that let the Catholic Church out of its responsibility to raise millions of dollars for aboriginal healing programs, court documents show.

The appeal was dropped just six days after the Trudeau government took office.

The revelation comes in a week when the Liberal government has repeatedly said that it had no options for appeal. It did not mention, however, that an appeal had been commenced and then withdrawn.

The abandonment of the appeal means that a major element of Canada’s historic 2007 settlement – the contribution of the Catholic churches, which ran most of the residential schools, to the aboriginal community – was brought to an end by a lone Saskatchewan judge, in an informal hearing called a Request for Directions.

The ruling by Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Neil Gabrielson on July 16 found that the former federal Conservative government had inadvertently released 50 Catholic entities from their contractual responsibility to try to raise up to $25-million for aboriginal healing pro- grams. He ruled that there was a “meeting of the minds” between a federal lawyer, Alexander Gay, and a lawyer for the Catholic entities, Gordon Kuski, on a re-lease from all obligations. He also found that Mr. Gay should be presumed in this dispute to have had the authority to negotiate on be-half of the Canadian government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Cardinal Pell a 'Bit Surprised' By Suspension of Auditors

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

BY EDWARD PENTIN 04/21/2016

Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, has said he was “a bit surprised” by the decision of the Secretariat of State to suspend an independent audit of the Vatican's finances.

In a short statement released this morning, he said he anticipates the audit will “resume shortly” after “discussions and clarification" of some issues, and added that the work of the “internal auditor which covers all areas has not been interrupted.”

Yesterday the Register reported that the Secretariat of State had sent a letter this week to all Vatican entities saying the first external audit aimed at raising the Vatican’s finances to international anti-money laundering standards had been suspended.

The Vatican had hired accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers in December to conduct the audit on the instructions of the Council for the Economy, the 15-member monitoring body set up to oversee the work of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy.

The move to suspend the initiative has been seen as a move not only to undermine the work of Cardinal Pell and the department he runs, but moreover the Council for the Economy which was responsible for appointing the auditors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Pulling plug on audit means gut-check time for Vatican reform

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Editor April 20, 2016

When Pope Francis’ landmark project of financial reform was announced two years ago, one lynch-pin was the idea that the world would no longer just to have to take the Vatican’s word for it in terms of how much money it has and where it’s going.

Instead there would be a credible audit carried out according to generally accepted business standards in the 21st century. That step, officials said, would represent a revolution in the direction of transparency and accountability.

As it turns out, it’s now a revolution delayed.

Crux has learned that on April 12, Italian Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu sent a letter to all Vatican entities informing them that an audit being performed by the global firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) has been “suspended immediately,” and that any letters of authorization those entities have already issued to permit the transmission of financial data to PwC are to be revoked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

El naufragio del Sodalicio, por Franco Giuffra

PERU
El Comercio

[With grief and indignation, Catholics in Peru are now down to our own chapter of the global abuse and pedophilia scandal that has plagued the Church in many countries over the past thirty years. It was not just a matter of the United States, Ireland or Canada. The same epidemic was also among us.]

Con pena e indignación, los católicos en el Perú estamos conociendo ahora nuestro propio capítulo del escándalo mundial de abuso y pederastia que ha asolado a la Iglesia en muchos países en los últimos treinta años. No era solo un asunto de Estados Unidos, Irlanda o Canadá. La misma epidemia estaba también entre nosotros.

Y con los mismos síntomas: personajes nefastos vinculados al clero o, en términos más amplios, a la conducción de grupos o entidades religiosas, aprovechando su condición de líderes, pastores o superiores, para obtener favores sexuales de menores de edad. Con idéntica dinámica de encubrimiento y distracción, en una mezcla escurridiza entre las sanciones eclesiales y la justicia penal. Hechos terribles que nunca se dan a conocer a menos que una investigación externa los consiga desentrañar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

PAEDO VICAR OF PECKHAM JAILED FOR RAPING WOMEN AND HARASSING GIRLS

UNITED KINGDOM
Southwark News

OWEN SHEPPARD (21 April, 2016) CRIME

A church youth-leader from Peckham has been locked up for fifteen years for raping and sexually assaulting two “vulnerable” teenagers from his congregation.

Timothy Storey, 35, of Peckham Grove, was sentenced in Woolwich Crown Court on Friday for three counts of rape and one of assault by penetration.

The court heard how the Oxford-educated and ordained trainee vicar manipulated his victims into meeting up with him via sexting and social media messages.

The two young women Storey was found guilty of raping had given evidence following an appeal by Scotland Yard in May 2014. At that time, the paedophile had just been handed a three-year sentence for grooming girls aged ten to sixteen, and encouraging them to perform sexual acts via social media.

Storey made both of his “insidious” attacks on the two women, who were over the age of consent, in 2008 and 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Florida schools allow this ex-con ‘sports pastor’ to roam campuses — and stalk students on Facebook

FLORIDA
Raw Story

Tom Boggioni

A Florida school district is under fire for allowing a pastor who leads prayers with sports teams at the schools, to roam freely in and out of locker rooms, proselytizing students and then stalking them on Facebook where he gives them tips on sex and their lifestyles.

According to The Friendly Atheist, David Gaskill of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is being allowed access to students by the School District of Hillsborough County where he not only leads teams in prayer but also accosts them in school parking lots and takes selfies with shirtless athletes which he posts on his personal Facebook page.

In testimony that Gaskill gives to congregations, he explained that he found Jesus while in jail on seven felony counts, admitting that his drug addiction was so bad he was buying cocaine by “the kilo.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has compiled extensive documentation of Gaskill’s contacts with students –most of which he has since deleted from Facebook — saying he is “behaving like a religious predator seeking out vulnerable prey.”

In a letter to the school district, the FFRF wrote, “It is clear that Gaskill has unlimited access to preach, pray, and proselytize to student-athletes whenever he desires. He is involved with every sport at multiple schools within HCPS. He shows up, sometimes invited by coaches but often on his own, at team events, including practices and games, and he is allowed to be in the dugout or on the field with the players at these events. He has the same level of access as a coach even though he has no affiliation with the school.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

South side church accused of failing to report claims of sexual abuse

INDIANA
CBS4Indy

[with video]

BY CHARLIE DE MAR

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (April 20, 2016)--An Indianapolis church is under fire for allegedly failing to report accusations of sexual abuse.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, claims leaders of the Southport Presbyterian Church knew about an incident involving two of its members and did not take appropriate action.

A church member is partly responsible for blowing the whistle and bringing the allegations to light.

Last August, "Jane" heard that a 15-year-old was allegedly sexually abused at the hands of a 19-year-old. Both were members of the Southport Presbyterian Church.

"I went to the board of elders and tried to talk with them and I felt that their response minimized what happened to the young child," said Jane.

Jane took the information to leaders at her church and assumed they would take the appropriate steps and call police. However, Jane says that never happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Wisconsin Film Festival: 'The Club' looks unflinchingly into the heart of religious corruption

WISCONSIN
The Capital Times

ROB THOMAS | The Capital Times | rthomas@madison.com

In the Oscar-winning “Spotlight,” there’s a scene in which one of the reporters is horrified to discover that a halfway house for pedophile priests is located just around the corner from his house.

Pablo Larrain’s “The Club” goes inside a house like that. Just as the Chilean director didn’t flinch from looking at the dark heart of political corruption in films like “Tony Manero,” he peers into the darkness of religious corruption in this new film. The film played Monday at Sundance Cinemas as part of the Wisconsin Film Festival.

The “retreat,” as the Catholic Church euphemistically calls it, is in a seaside house painted the yellow of caution tape. The four priests who live there are supposed to be doing penance, but they mostly drink, watch television and run their greyhound in the local dog races. And they don’t think or talk about what they’ve done. Larrain films the workings of the house in soft lights and blurred colors, a haze that’s physical as well as moral.

That peace is shattered when a new priest arrives at the house. One of the priest’s victims, full of vengeance and alcohol, has followed him, and stands outside the gates screaming in graphic detail all the things the priest made him do when he was an altar boy. The new priest kills himself.

This brings the attention of the Catholic Church; in particular, a hard-charging reformist from the Vatican named Father Garcia (Marcelo Alonso) who starts grilling the priests about their crimes. He threatens to close the house and expose the priests, but his motives, like so many in the film, are murky. We’re not even sure what the priests’ crimes even are — one claims that he was a political prisoner of the Pinochet era, not a sex criminal. But the truth has remained buried for so long that we may never dig it out.

The priests all seem like wounded, desperate men, more pathetic than truly evil. The most chilling member of the house is actually Sister Monica (Antonia Zegers), the nun who runs the house and keeps the men in line. She has a beatific smile, but beneath that smile is a heart of utter ruthlessness that goes to great lengths to preserve the house. That smile haunted me long after the film was over; it encapsulates the blandly superior façade of the Church that concealed such moral rot.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Priest paroled, to start third term

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Nashua Telegraph

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI
Staff Writer

CONCORD - The state adult parole board on Tuesday granted a formerly high-ranking Catholic priest's request for parole after he served his minimum two-year sentence on two of his 2014 theft convictions.

The Rev. Edward J. Arsenault III, 54, was paroled to his third state prison sentence, which he will begin serving on April 21, the adult parole board's executive assistant Andrea Goldberg said. He will be eligible for release in two years.

Arsenault, who remains a Catholic priest, was not present at the parole board hearing at the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord. He was represented by his attorney, Cathy Green, of Manchester, and communicated with the board on a conference telephone call by speaker phone, Goldberg said.

"He said that he was doing well and had no disciplinary" issues, Goldberg said after the brief parole hearing. Arsenault has been serving his sentence at the Cheshire County House of Corrections in Westmoreland since May 22, 2014, a state corrections official has said.

Arsenault was president and CEO of the St. Luke Institute in Maryland - one of the premier treatment centers for clergy and religious leaders in the country - when allegations surfaced in 2013 that he misused funds and had an inappropriate relationship with an adult man. He resigned the St. Luke post and Manchester Bishop Peter Libasci placed him on administrative leave while the criminal investigation into the allegations ensued.

Arsenault pleaded guilty on April 23, 2014, to three felony theft charges for stealing nearly $300,000 from Catholic Medical Center, the diocese, and the estate of the late Monsignor John Molan, who had been his mentor.

He was sentenced to concurrent four- to 10-year sentences with two years suspended from the minimum of each on two of the convictions. He will complete these terms on April 21 and immediately begin serving a third four- to 10-year sentence with two years suspended from the minimum that day, Goldberg said.

The diocese initiated the process of laicizing - or defrocking - Arsenault after his conviction. The Vatican has not yet made a determination, a diocesan spokesman has said.

Kathryn Marchocki can be reached at 594-6589, kmarchocki@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_KMar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Catholic priest arrested for soliciting sex from male undercover deputy

FLORIDA
ABC Action News

[withv video]

Michael Paluska, Camille Spencer

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - A Polk County church is in crisis mode, after their priest was arrested Tuesday and charged with soliciting oral sex from a male undercover detective.

Stephen Glenn Charest, 66, of Lake Wales is the pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church .

Members of the church said Father Glenn had a great personality and was a positive addition to the church.

According to the church's Facebook page Fr. Glenn had just been appointed as their head priest on March 8.

The post said, "The community of Holy Spirit would like to say a heartfelt thank you that God has placed Fr. Glenn Charest in the midst of our lives. Through the past three years we’ve seen the dedication, care, pastoral support and love you have for people…so we say thank you Fr. Glenn for becoming our pastor.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

US woman slaps Indian bishop with lawsuit

INDIA
UCA nEWS

Christopher Joseph, Kochi
India April 21, 2016

A diocese in southern India has started consulting legal experts after a 26-year-old woman in the United States filed a lawsuit against its bishop for "reinstating" a priest she said sexually abused her.

Megan Peterson filed a federal lawsuit in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 18 against Bishop Arulappan Amalraj of Ootacamund for allegedly reinstating Father Joseph Palanivel Jayapaul, who was convicted of abuse.

"It was like a slap in the face," Peterson said in a video published on the website of her lawyer Jeff Anderson after learning Father Jayapaul was reinstated to active ministry.

Anderson said the suit is against the bishop and the diocese for creating a "dangerous" situation because of their decision to "reinstate" a "convicted predator priest" to the ministry.

Father Jeyapau, who served in the Crookston Diocese between 2004 and 2005, was arrested in India in 2012 and extradited to the U.S. on charges of sexually abusing two girls, including Peterson. He pleaded guilty to one count of sexually abusing a minor while working in Crookston. He was deported to India immediately after having already served the year and a day prison term handed down.

The case involving Peterson was dropped after a plea deal.

The 61-year-old priest's suspension, imposed in 2010 after the sex abuse accusations came to light, was revoked on Jan. 16 after consultations with the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, diocesan officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Ex-Qld bishop 'placed children at risk

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Retired Rockhampton Bishop Brian Heenan placed children at risk of abuse by a pedophile priest because of his inadequate response to complaints, a royal commission has found.

The sex abuse royal commission examined St Joseph's Orphanage Neerkol, near Rockhampton, which was operated by the Sisters of Mercy between 1940 and 1975.

The commission has found the sadistic punishments dished out by some nuns were "cruel and excessive" and against regulations.

In April last year, 13 men and women - now aged from their 50s to 80s - recalled to a Rockhampton court the abuse they endured, including public floggings and having their genitals beaten.

Allegations of sexual abuse first emerged in the 1990s.

In a report released on Thursday, commissioners Justice Jennifer Coate, Professor Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray found Bishop Heenan failed to provide an adequate response to a complaint of sexual abuse at the hands of the disgraced former member of his clergy, Reginald Durham, in 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Sen. Chuck Schumer pushes to extend statute of limitations for sex crimes victims

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O’KEEFFE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The sands of time should not protect sexual predators, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Wednesday.

The New York Democrat has added a provision to his Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2016 that would extend the statute of limitations in federal civil cases for victims of sexual abuse, sex trafficking and other crimes related to child pornography.

“Justice should not come with an expiration date,” Schumer told the Daily News.

Current law prohibits victims of child sex crimes from filing civil litigation after their 21st birthday in federal court.

Victims of child sex crimes are currently barred from filing civil litigation after their 21st birthday in federal court against people who exploited them after. Schumer's bill would extend the statute of limitations to their 28th birthday.

Victim advocates say it takes many years and sometimes decades for many survivors of sexual exploitation to publicly acknowledge the abuse they suffered. Victims of child pornography may not know that they were exploited until long after their 21st birthday. The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act, named after the murdered son of “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh, will provide $56.8 million over the next two years for U.S. marshals to track down and apprehend fugitive sex offenders. The bill also calls for rape kits to be preserved and calls for a bill of rights for sex-assault survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

BLOW FOR POPE'S REFORMS AS AUDIT INTO VATICAN FINANCES FORCED TO HALT

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet

21 April 2016 | by Christopher Lamb in Rome

Letter from Secretariat of State announced the decision to halt cooperation with auditors PwC

The first external audit of Vatican finances by an internationally respected accountants has been halted.

In what will be seen as a blow to Pope Francis’ reforms, a letter on 12 April was sent to Holy See departments informing them the work of PricewaterhouseCoopers has been "suspended immediately".

The letter, reported by Crux, was written by Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, one of the top officials at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State and explains that any permission to hand financial data to PwC has now been revoked.

Australian Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, had commissioned PwC to review the Vatican accounts, work which had previously been done by an Italian firm. The audit by PwC was the first of its kind and was going to provide a complete picture of Holy See finances including a valuation of all its assets.

But in his letter Archbishop Becciu said that Cardinal Pell’s instruction for Vatican bodies to co-operate with the firm had been overruled by "superior provision". A spokesman for Pell said he was "surprised" by the suspension of the Vatican audit but expects it to resume shortly.

It leaves open the question as to whether this came from the Pope, his advisory body of cardinals or the 15-body council for the economy, led by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, which oversees the work of Cardinal Pell’s department.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Editorial: Protecting our Children

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic Standard - Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Earlier this week, the Washington Post criticized our Holy Father, Pope Francis – and by extension the Catholic Church – for having “fallen short of his own promise: to come fully to terms with decades of child sex abuse by clergymen and the institutional cover granted to them by bishops and cardinals.”

It is clear that the scourge of child sex abuse has touched every segment of society. It has occurred within the Church – for which we continually express our sorrow and contrition – it has also occurred in public schools, juvenile detention facilities and youth groups, and it affects people of all backgrounds, occupations, and faiths. In fact, the Post itself highlights the breadth of this society-wide problem in its own reporting on this issue, which you can read here. Without minimizing or deflecting from the responsibility of Church authorities for what happened in the Church, it is likewise essential that we realize the full scope of this plague in our communities and of the failures in addressing this evil throughout society.

In the face of the destructive crime of sexual abuse, which robs children of their innocence and can leave behind substantial emotional and spiritual scars, the priority of us all must be to do everything we can to prevent it and help survivors to heal. The Church – and specifically the Archdiocese of Washington – has for many years been resolute and worked hard to institute safeguards, to deal openly and decisively in rooting out perpetrators, to help survivors to heal, and also to foster reassurance that our churches and schools offer a safe and secure environment. Just as important, the pro-active steps the archdiocese has taken can guide the rest of society as it considers how to address this darkness.

Since 1986, fifteen years before the extent of the child abuse scandal came to light, the archdiocese has had a comprehensive child protection policy. Under this policy overseen by the Office of Child and Youth Protection, seminarians, clergy, teachers, other employees and volunteers who work with children undergo comprehensive criminal background checks and are required to be trained in child protection. The children in our schools and programs receive safe-environment lessons to learn to recognize inappropriate behavior and teach them what to do if someone acts inappropriately toward them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Church bus driver charged with child sex abuse

OHIO
WHIO

CINCINNATI — A registered sex offender is now charged with abusing two young boys he met while volunteering as a Dayton church bus driver.

Jory Leedy, 46, of Franklin, was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Cincinnati for two counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving a minor, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Each charge against Leedy is punishable by up to life in prison.

Leedy is accused of sexually abusing the boys, who were 7 and 8, he met through volunteer work as a fill-in volunteer bus driver for Target Ministries of Dayton that served low-income people in the Dayton area. He allegedly gave a fake name to the family and began visiting the boys’ home, taking them to church and on trips to Cincinnati Reds games, Kings Island and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. He is accused of abusing the boys over a two-year span. He said if they told anyone, he wouldn’t take them places or buy games and clothes for them, according to the federal indictment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Joel Osteen Church Caught In Child Sex Abuse Probe!

TEXAS
Radar Online

Posted on Apr 20, 2016

Joel Osteen and his Lakewood, Texas, megachurch continue to dominate the pop religion realm in America, with several bestselling books, a Sirius radio station, and arena events across the country. But do his legions of fans know what goes on behind closed church doors?

RadarOnline.com has learned that in 2010, Lakewood was at the center of a Child Protective Services investigation after a church volunteer was accused of “inappropriate” sexual conduct with a special needs child at the facility!

According to court documents obtained by Radar, Alvaro Daniel Guzman “was a volunteer in the special needs children’s ministry at Lakewood,” known as the Champions Club, in 2010.

On February 13, 2010, a fellow volunteer “allegedly witnessed [him] touching the child assigned to [him] in an inappropriate fashion.” The woman relayed her claims to her superiors, the documents state, and they “advised her that she should contact Child Protective Services and report to them what she had witnessed.”

READ The Explosive Complaint

Before long, “CPS began an investigation into the allegation,” and on February 17, “Lakewood staff met with [Guzman] and advised [him] he would no longer be allowed to serve as a volunteer because an allegation of inappropriate touching had been made against him.” On February 25, the documents state, Houston Police detectives “interviewed Lakewood staff regarding the alleged incident.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Nuns performed acts of sadism on children, Australian inquiry finds

AUSTRALIA
Stuff (New Zealand)

JAMIE MCKINNELL
April 21 2016

Sadistic nuns at a notorious Australian orphanage in Queensland dished out abuse in a toxic environment that festered due in part to inadequate government scrutiny, supervision and training, a royal commission has found.

The child sex abuse royal commission last year examined cruel treatment of 13 former residents of St Joseph's Orphanage, which was operated by the Sisters of Mercy between 1940 and 1975.

The men and women – now aged from their 50s to 80s – recalled abuse at Neerkol, ranging from public floggings and being walked on in high heels to being made to drape urine-soaked sheets over their heads.

Commissioners Justice Jennifer Coate, Professor Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray explored the responses of the Sisters of Mercy, the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton and the Queensland government to complaints, which had often fell on deaf ears.

The commission found punishment administered by some nuns was "cruel and excessive" and was against regulations in place at the time.

But some victims did not report sexual abuse because they had "little or no opportunity" to speak with department inspectors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Diocese shelters priest with abuse charges

INDIA
The Times of India

TNN | Apr 21, 2016

Udhagamandalam: Fr Jeyapaul Joseph Palanivel, the priest with a history of child sexual abuse charges and now accused of sexually abusing an American woman, has been given a residence by the Ootacamund diocese which refuses to divulge where he is.

"We cannot disclose the whereabouts of Fr Jeyapaul Joseph Palanivel," said diocese spokesman Fr Sebastian Selvanathan on Wednesday.

He also refused to divulge the whereabouts of Ooty bishop A Amalraj.

Jeyapaul, who served as a priest in Crookston township of Minnesota in 2004 and 2005, was arrested in India in 2012 on charges of sexually abusing two girls in a congregation. He was extradited to the US. After serving his sentence for a year and one day, he was deported to India last year. Recently, advocacy group SNAP (Survivors Net work of those Abused by Priests) announced that one of the sexual abuse survivors in the US has sued the priest and the diocese.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) said the bishop of Ooty has not had any communication with them over the reinstatement of Jeyapaul. "Any priest facing allegations will be dismissed immediately and if allegations are found to be true legally, the church will defrock the priest," said CBCI public relations officer Gyan Prakash Topno.

The Ooty diocese spokesman, meanwhile, said he was unaware of the sexual abuse charge by the American woman. Vidya Reddy of Tulir, Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, said if an institution was assisting in a cover up, it should also be considered guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Rockhampton Catholic leaders respond to sex abuse report

AUSTRALIA
The Morning Bulletin

UPDATE 4.40PM: ROCKHAMPTON Bishop Michael McCarthy and Sister Berneice Loch from the Sisters of Mercy, have released a joint statement following the release of the Neerkol report.

"In response to the publication of the Royal Commission's final report into St Joseph's Orphanage, Neerkol, we commend the courageous survivors who shared their heartbreaking stories that have enabled the Royal Commission to prepare this important report," they wrote.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them and we hope the Royal Commission process may assist in their healing.

"Since last year's hearing, the Diocese of Rockhampton has implemented a number of changes including the formation of a Child Safeguarding Committee to oversee all aspects of Child Protection within the Diocese, as well as the appointment of a Diocesan Child Protection Officer.

"The Sisters of Mercy have built on the measures that we have made available to survivors since 1997 through the offering of a wide range of assistance and support to meet their identified needs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Neerkol orphanage probe raises systemic abuse issues

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

April 21 2016
Jamie McKinnell

Sadistic nuns at a notorious Queensland orphanage dished out abuse in a toxic environment that festered due in part to inadequate government scrutiny, supervision and training, a royal commission has found.

The child sex abuse royal commission last year examined cruel treatment of 13 former residents of St Joseph's Orphanage at Neerkol, near Rockhampton, which was operated by the Sisters of Mercy between 1940 and 1975.

The men and women - now aged from their 50s to 80s - recalled abuse at Neerkol, ranging from public floggings and being walked on by high heels to being made to drape urine-soaked sheets over their heads.

Commissioners Justice Jennifer Coate, Professor Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray explored the responses of the Sisters of Mercy, the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton and the Queensland government to complaints, which had often fallen on deaf ears.

The commission found punishment administered by some nuns was "cruel and excessive" and was against regulations in place at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Further hearing dates in Case Study 35

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

21 April, 2016

The Royal Commission will hold a further day of hearings in relation to Case Study 35 (Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne) in Sydney on Wednesday 27 April 2016 at 11:15am.

The purpose of the hearing is to receive the evidence of four former officers of the Catholic Education Office, who have provided statements to the Royal Commission following the evidence of Cardinal George Pell from Rome in March.

All witnesses will be appearing in Sydney with some legal representatives appearing from Melbourne via video link.

Venue: Hearing Room 1, Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney.
Time: 11:15am – 4pm AEST
Date: Wednesday 27 April 2016. If necessary, the hearing may continue on Thursday 28 April 2016.

The directions hearing will be streamed live via webcast on the Royal Commission’s website here.

Join us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Report into St Joseph’s Orphanage released

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

21 April, 2016

The Royal Commission’s report into Case Study 26 - the response of the Sisters of Mercy, the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton and the Queensland Government to allegations of child sexual abuse at St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol, was released today.

The report follows a public hearing held in April 2015 which inquired into the experiences of a number of people who were resident at St Joseph’s Orphanage, Neerkol operated by the Sisters of Mercy, between 1940 and 1975.

The Royal Commission heard evidence from 12 former residents of the orphanage who detailed the serious emotional, physical and sexual abuse by priests, nuns and grounds workers. Another survivor, who was not a former resident at the orphanage, also gave evidence of sexual abuse that she suffered by the parish priest, in Rockhampton.

Former residents gave evidence to the Royal Commission that they did not tell anyone about the abuse at the time it was occurring. Some did not tell anyone because they had no-one to tell and did not think they would be believed.

The Royal Commission heard evidence about the degrading treatment of the children at the orphanage by some of the Sisters and employees and the appalling conditions in which the children lived. The Commissioners found that the punishment administered by some nuns and employees was cruel and excessive and did not accord with the regulations in place under the relevant legislative framework.

The Commissioners also heard about a lack of Queensland departmental policies or procedures for reporting abuse by officers of the department.

The Commissioners were satisfied that the Queensland government had failed to adequately supervise and protect the children in the orphanage by not ensuring adequately trained staff were employed as department inspectors and by not ensuring adequate scrutiny over the circumstances in which the children were living.

Between 1993 and 1996, four former residents of the orphanage brought their experiences of sexual abuse directly to the attention of the Bishop Heenan and Sister Loch. Additionally, in 1993, another survivor who had not resided at the orphanage but who had been abused by the parish priest Father Durham, complained to Bishop Heenan.

The Commissioners are satisfied that Bishop Heenan and Sister Loch’s lack of training in detecting and responding to child sexual abuse undermined their capacity to deal effectively with complaints of child sexual abuse by former residents between 1993 to 1996.

By late 1996, the Queensland Police Service was investigating allegations of child sexual abuse against a number of former priests and lay workers who had worked or provided services at the orphanage.

By early 1997, criminal proceedings started against both parish priest Father Durham and former orphanage employee, Mr Baker. In early 1997, the Sisters formed the Professional Standards Steering Committee (PSSC) which formulated processes and guides for the response to, and prevention of, child sexual abuse. This is now known as the Professional Standards Office (PSO) and continues to operate today, providing assistance to former residents who experienced physical and sexual abuse at the orphanage.

The Commissioners are satisfied the Diocese and the Sisters settled compensation claims with former residents despite legal advice they were in a strong position to defeat the claims because of the age of the claims.

Read the full report here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Royal commission into child sexual abuse concludes notorious Queensland orphanage run by ‘sadistic nuns’

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

AAP

SADISTIC nuns at a notorious Queensland orphanage dished out abuse in a toxic environment that festered due in part to inadequate government scrutiny, supervision and training, a royal commission has found.

The child sex abuse royal commission last year examined cruel treatment of 13 former residents of St Joseph’s Orphanage at Neerkol, near Rockhampton, which was operated by the Sisters of Mercy between 1940 and 1975.

The men and women - now aged from their 50s to 80s - recalled abuse at Neerkol, ranging from public floggings and being walked on by high heels to being made to drape urine-soaked sheets over their heads.

Commissioners Justice Jennifer Coate, Professor Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray explored the responses of the Sisters of Mercy, the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton and the Queensland government to complaints, which had often fell on deaf ears.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

April 20, 2016

Narrating Medicine: The Long Lasting Impact Of Child Abuse

UNITED STATES
WBUR - CommonHealth

One day when we were in first grade and sitting on a rickety wooden bench under a large oak tree in her backyard, my best friend’s mother called her to come inside.

A few minutes later, I heard wailing like an animal being gutted. Squinting my eyes and looking perplexed, I turned to my friend’s younger sister who was sitting beside me. She whispered, “She’s just getting beat.” Beat? What’s that, I wondered. She explained. Depending on the severity of their perceived wrongdoings, they were administered one of three levels of physical punishment: a stick, a belt or a big slab of wood. Their parents had moved from Ireland to our small suburb in New Jersey.

The Catholic schools the parents had attended as children in Ireland were very strict and the nuns reportedly beat them until their knuckles bled. Here, as parents in New Jersey, they told their daughters to strip naked and mercilessly receive corporal punishment. (I learned this from her sister, and over the years, from my friend.)

This was not a onetime event. These were repeated, deliberate acts.

The occurrences did not seem to have predictable patterns, so my friend, I’ll call her Heather, couldn’t prepare herself for them. And the negative psychological effects for her were deep. Over time, Heather became highly anxious, constantly got in trouble at school, and started a pattern of severe substance misuse that led to even further problems, particularly violations at the hands of men and boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Why did a priest equate the 'sin' of a woman's adultery with paedophilia?

AUSTRALIA
Daily Life

April 21, 2016

Ruby Hamad

This week, a Melbourne Catholic priest compared priests who sexually abuse children to women who have extra-marital affairs. Apparently trying to make a point about mercy in the face of public outrage, Father Bill Edebohls, head of schools in his parish in East Malvern, referenced the tale of the adulterous woman spared from stoning by Jesus with the words, "He who is without sin. Let him cast the first stone at her."

"For our generation, where adultery is not regarded as a crime – and many have lost the moral sense of the destructive harm adultery does to family and community... we probably don't get the power of the gospel story," he wrote.

"Remember this was a sin, a crime that carried the death penalty... Maybe to get the real drama and effect of the story we ought to replace the adulterous woman with a paedophile priest. Then we might begin to understand the mob eager to stone and the outrageous and profligate mercy and compassion of God ever ready to forgive," he concluded.

It's not the first time a clergyman's words have minimised clerical child abuse by reminding everyone that women are the real enemy; Cardinal George Pell once called abortion a "worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Notice given of abuse allegation against suspended priest

MISSOURI
St. Louis Review

By Joseph Kenny | jkenny@archstl.org | twitter:@josephkenny2

Parishes where suspended archdiocesan priest Father Thomas Graham served are being notified of a decades-old but recently reported allegation of sexual abuse against him.

The sexual abuse, deemed credible by the archdiocese’s Review Board, occurred in the 1980s at St. Alban Roe Parish in Wildwood, where Father Graham was serving as pastor. The Review Board advises the archbishop on matters related to sexual abuse by clergy and other archdiocesan personnel in order to provide assistance to those who have been abused and to ensure that those who have done harm are not allowed to do so again.

Due to a separate allegation from the 1970s, Father Graham, 82, is already on permanent administrative leave and is canonically suspended, which prohibits him from engaging in priestly ministry, including presenting himself publicly as a priest, wearing clerical attire, offering Mass publicly or administering the sacraments.

In 2006, the Missouri Supreme Court reversed a conviction of Father Graham, who had been found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison a year earlier for sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Sodalicio: Moroni presentó en Roma informes sobre abusos

PERU
El Comercio

[Alessandro Moroni, current superior general of the Sodality of Christian Life, traveled to Rome to bring the final report of the Ethics Commission for Justice and Reconciliation which investigated suspected sexual, physical and psychological abuse allegedly committed by founder Louis Fernando Figari and other sodality members.]

El actual superior general del Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, Alessandro Moroni, viajó a Roma y llevó consigo el informe final de la Comisión de Ética para la Justicia y la Reconciliación convocada por el Sodalicio y que acumuló toda la información en torno a la denuncia sobre los abusos sexuales, físicos y sicológicos perpetrados presuntamente por miembros de esta institución, entre ellos su fundador Luis Fernando Figari.

A través de un video grabado en Roma, Moroni señaló que llegó a esta ciudad para ponerse a disposición de la Iglesia. “He traído el informe de la comisión ética, que a pesar del primer dolor que me causó describe con mucha claridad el sufrimiento de las personas que hemos herido”, señaló el superior general del Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana.

Agregó que también presentará el reporte preliminar de los investigadores extranjeros y que el informe del visitador apostólico está en poder de la Santa Sede. “En estos momentos tan complicados pedimos oraciones. Estamos en manos de la Iglesia, que son las mejores manos”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Two former Waseca church leaders face allegations of child sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
Wanseca County News

By NANCY MADSEN nmadsen@stpeterherald.com

Waseca’s Church of the Sacred Heart parish and school were named in two lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by two church leaders.

“The claims being brought forward do not involve anyone currently at our parish or anyone active in ministry in the Diocese of Winona,” an April 15 letter to parishioners from the church's current priest, Father Gregory Leif said.

In one lawsuit, Sister Benen Kent was accused of abusing possibly two minors from 1958-61, when she was at Sacred Heart parish. Kent died in 2003. Abuse by her involving at least two girls was publicized and the subject of a lawsuit against the Sisters of St. Francis in Rochester. That order was responsible for the administration of Sacred Heart School beginning in 1905.

In the other, Father Joseph Mountain was accused of abuse from 1988-95. He was priest at the church then. Mountain is now retired.

The diocese has not yet included the two on a list of those credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Retired St. Louis Catholic priest faces new allegations of abuse

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • A retired Roman Catholic priest who has previously been accused of sexual abuse is facing new allegations.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is informing the region's Catholic community that a new allegation was recently reported against the Rev. Thomas J. Graham. The alleged abuse occurred in the 1980s St. Alban Roe Catholic Church in Wildwood.

According to a statement from the archdiocese, Graham is already on permanent administrative leave which prohibits him from engaging in ministry.

In 2005 Graham was convicted for allegedly engaging in oral sex with a teenager at the Old Cathedral downtown in the 1970s. He was sentenced to 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

NY--Victims blast NYC prosecutors for inaction on proposed bill

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 20, 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)

Only one New York City prosecutor is brave, wise and caring enough to advocate repealing the state’s archaic child sex abuse deadline that endangers kids and helps predators.

[New York Daily News]

This is yet another reason why fixing the predator-friendly civil statute of limitations is crucial – because often, prosecutors are timid about taking on tough child sex cases against powerful institutions. When this happens, victims of horrific childhood sexual violence need and deserve the chance to expose wrongdoers in civil courts.

And often, prosecutors charge only those who commit abuse, not those who conceal it. So the perpetrator is exposed but the enablers - those who conceal the crimes – get off scot-free.

Often, supervisors and colleagues who protect child molesters are exposed only through civil lawsuits. And when they are exposed, others who are tempted to keep quiet about or cover up child sex crimes are deterred.

We applaud Queens District Attorney Richard Brown for his courage and compassion in backing this sorely-needed, long-overdue reform that will better safeguard New York children. We hope other New York prosecutors start moving more aggressively to stop child rapists.

It’s true that, over time, memories fade, witnesses die and evidence gets stale. (That’s true of all kinds of crime, not just child sexual abuse, so should we stop all prosecution of all crimes, because prosecuting criminals is tough?)

It’s also true that over time, scientific and forensic advances make some prosecution easier. And over time, more and more victims of one child molester gain the strength and courage to step forward, so sometimes dozens of devastated young adults are willing to pursue charges against a serial predator but can’t in New York because of an arbitrary, rigid and tight deadline.

And it’s true that some types of criminal cases are harder to win. That doesn’t mean, however, that those crime victims should all be barred from any kind of justice.

Over time, we’ve changed laws and practices to better address more complex crimes like terrorism, drug cartels and financial fraud. We can and must do the same with child sex abuse and cover ups.

Now the burden is on Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (headed by Robyn Pangi). One in four girls in their jurisdictions will be molested. So will one in eight boys.

So if these prosecutors aren’t backing the one reform most sought by crime victims, what ARE these prosecutors pushing in Albany to stop his horror?

Imagine if one in four NYC cars owned by women were stolen, or if one in eight NYC apartments rented by men were burglarized. Prosecutors would jump into action.

But one in four girls and one in four boys in New York City are raped, sodomized or fondled.

No matter what prosecutors, lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted 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 3:38 PM

Ex-Arkansas pastor charged with rape gets 2 life sentences

ARKANSAS
Associated Press

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — A former Arkansas children's pastor has been given two life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole in the rape of two young girls.

The Jonesboro Sun (http://bit.ly/1SmgsEB ) reports 39-year-old Anthony Waller pleaded guilty and was sentenced Tuesday.

Waller is a former employee of what used to be First Assembly of God Church in Jonesboro. Police say the girls were repeatedly raped in several locations, including the church.

Waller still faces 50 counts of video voyeurism and one count of child pornography.

A police detective testified he found 400,000 images of child pornography and videos of young females inside the church bathroom on an external hard drive of Waller's. The detective says he found holes in the ceiling of the church bathroom and a place for a hidden camera nearby.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

AR--Victims challenge church where abuse happened

ARKANSAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 20, 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)

A Jonesboro church employee was sentenced yesterday for repeatedly raping the two girls but still faces charges of video voyeurism and child pornography.

[Associated Press]

Now, we challenge First Assembly of God Church staff and members to aggressively reach out to find others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Anthony Waller.

Why?

Because church officials gave Waller access to kids
Because Waller faces more charges
Because police and prosecutors need help pursuing predators
Because the more law enforcement knows about a criminal the more appropriately he can be sentenced.

Current and former First Assembly of God members and employees have both a civic and moral duty to “beat the bushes” to find and help other with information or suspicions about Waller and prod them to call police.

It’s immoral of them to sit back, do nothing, and leave the burden of keeping Waller away from kids to his victims and our court system.

Want more reasons they must act?

Because the girls were raped at the church
Because police found 400,000 images of child pornography and video of girls on Waller's computer
Because some of the videos of the young girls were taken inside the church bathroom
Because holes were found in the church bathroom’s ceiling and a place for hiding a camera nearby
Because often child predators exploit technicalities and escape conviction
Because once convicted, often child predators get light sentences and later abuse again

It’s especially crucial that church staff and members seek out those who’ve left the church. Those families, who suddenly stopped coming to services, are most likely the ones whose kids were hurt or who suspected abuse, took action and were punished or ostracized or criticized.

All too often, in these cases,

--church officials and members do little or nothing to help police and prosecutors nail predator
--there are others in the church who ignored or hid these crimes
--those supervisors, colleagues and congregants can sometimes be prosecuted, and
--when they ARE charged and convicted, it deters other adults in other institutions who are tempted to disregard or conceal knowledge or suspicions of child sex crimes.

So First Assembly staff and congregants, summon some strength and do what the Bible taught us - go out into the cold and the dark and the rain and find the lost and wounded sheep. It’s what Jesus would do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

IN--Victims write Indy church re abuse case

INDIANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 20, 2016

For more information: David Clohessy 314-566-9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org

Abuse case sparks controversy
Victims write to Indy congregants
Group says child was abused by older teen
It wants open public meeting and more training
SNAP: “We suspect police weren’t promptly called”

A support group for abuse victims believes a child was recently molested by a member of an Indianapolis church and urging congregants to prod church staff to be more forthcoming about the incident.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing to hundreds of members of Southport Presbyterian Church church says the organization “strongly suspects that law enforcement wasn't promptly or properly notified” about the alleged abuse of a youngster in the church by an older teenager.

SNAP is “begging” church members to share any information or suspicions about possible child sex crimes or cover ups with police or prosecutors immediately,” saying it’s their “civic and moral duty.”

“All of us must share what we know, believe or have heard about possible child sex crimes with the experienced, impartial professionals in law enforcement,” the letter says. “When church members or staff take it on themselves to try and handle sensitive matters like sexual misconduct quietly and internally - even if they're well-intentioned - it's almost always a recipe for disaster.

“Several concerned individuals have asked for our help, so we thought this letter would be a positive first step,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, the organization’s outreach director. “We work to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and deter the cover ups, and we hope some congregants will help us do this here.”

Church officials, SNAP says, should

---pay for “on-going counseling for the victim(s) from independent sources chosen by his/her family,”
---provide mandatory training for all staff and volunteers on how to prevent abuse and respond appropriately abuse reports, and
---hire an independent outsider or outside agency to “launch a thorough inquiry into which church staff and/or members knew what and when” and “include clear recommendations for making the church a safer place for all, now and in the future.”

Church members, SNAP says, should ask their youngsters “if anyone in the church - congregant, volunteer or staff member - ever touched them in a way that made them feel uncomfortable” and should “reach out to former church members and staff” and ask the same question.

“Often, when a youngster is hurt by a predator in a church, his or her family stop coming to services,” the letter contends. “Rarely do they explain why. So think about families who once came to church regularly and suddenly stopped coming. And contact them in a sensitive, loving way.”

“In every case of suspected child sex crimes, it’s safest and easiest to do nothing. But that’s irresponsible and endangers kids and helps predators,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s director. “That temptation – to passively sit back and trust others to take action – is what we hope our letter will help overcome.”

Instead, SNAP advocates calling “independent, experienced and unbiased secular officials with any information or suspicions at all,” Clohessy said.

“It's our job to share what we know or suspect about abuse with law enforcement,” the letter says. “It's THEIR job to investigate and, if appropriate, to act. So do not assume that what you have seen, heard or suspected about wrongdoing is too vague, too old or too insignificant to be helpful.”

Church members should “ignore church staff or elders who caution against ‘gossip,’ because while "gossip is sometimes hurtful” silence about child sex abuse reports is “much worse” because “those who commit or conceal child sex crimes count on silence.”

And congregants should “resist talk of forgiveness," SNAP advises. “Forgiveness is healthy but only AFTER the innocent are protected, predators are exposed and wrongdoers are held responsible. Premature forgiveness endangers kids and protects predators.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Ooty church denies that priest who molested minors has been reinstated

INDIA
Scroll.in

Officials of the Catholic Church in the Tamil Nadu region of Udhagamandalam have denied that they have reinstated a priest who recently served a prison sentence for sexually abusing a minor in the United States.

A lawsuit filed on Tuesday in a federal court in Minnesota, US, claims that the Diocese of Ootacamund (or Ooty, as it is known colloquially) has put Indian children at risk by reinstating Joseph Jeyapaul, a priest who spent one year in a US jail for sexually abusing a girl during his posting at a church in Crookston, Minnesota, between 2004 and 2005.

Jeyapaul returned to India in late 2015 after serving his sentence. In January, the Diocese of Ootacamund, as the church refers to its administrative district in Udhagamandalam, lifted his suspension from the ministry after getting approval from the Vatican. News of his reinstatement prompted a 26-year-old American woman, who was allegedly raped by Jeyapaul in 2004, to file a lawsuit against the Diocese. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a US-based advocacy group, also condemned the Vatican’s decision to lift the suspension of the “predator priest” as an “irresponsible” move that would endanger more children.

An official at the Ootacamund Diocese, however, told Scroll.in that Jeyapaul has not been reinstated in a manner that would endanger children. “He is not reinstated, he has just been granted a residence for his stay,” said Father Selvanathan, the media spokesperson for the Ootacamund Diocese. “He will not hold any post or have any responsibilities.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Diocese in India weighs lawsuit filed in Minnesota

INDIA/MINNESOTA
New Zealand Herald

Thursday Apr 21, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) A Catholic diocese in southern India is consulting attorneys about a lawsuit filed against it in the U.S. after it re-assigned a priest who was convicted of child sex abuse in Minnesota.

The federal lawsuit was filed in Minnesota this week on behalf of Megan Peterson, who says the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul abused her in 2004 when he served at her church in Greenbush, Minnesota. Peterson was 14 or 15 years old at the time.

Peterson said at a news conference Tuesday in Minnesota that she felt "abused, degraded and re-victimized all over again" when she learned that Bishop Arulappan Amalraj lifted Jeyapaul's suspension in February after consulting with the Vatican.

"Children deserve to be protected in India and nobody is doing this at this point," Peterson said.

Her lawsuit seeks unspecified damages in excess of $75,000 from the Ootacamund Diocese in India's Tamil Nadu state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Confession sacred but other options to act on abuse: witness

CANADA
The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on April 20, 2016

Mount Cashel civil trial recessed until June

The confidential seal of the confessional cannot be broken by a priest, but there are other options for a priest who hears of a sexual abuse allegation there, a witness suggested in Newfoundland Supreme Court today.

The priest risks ex-communication if he divulges what was said to him in confession, Fr. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer from the Washington D.C. area, told claimants' lawyer Geoff Budden in the Mount Cashel civil trial.

The seal means nothing the confessor says in confession can be revealed in any way.

The John Doe lawsuit against the RC Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s seeks compensation and involves four test cases that claim the church should be held liable for the physical and sexual abuse of boys at the orphanage by certain Christian Brothers during the period late 1940s to early 1960s. The test cases represent about 60 claimants in the case being pursued by Budden and Associates.

The church contends it did not run the orphanage, therefore is not responsible for actions of the lay order Christian Brothers there.

Doyle said the most ordinary option taken by priests being told of abuse has been to tell the confessor to avoid the situation and to take penance.

Another option – in the case of a boy telling a priest in confession about being abused at an institution — would be for a priest to advise the boy to go to an authority at the institution and reveal what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Vatican Audit Suspended, Secretariat of State Announces

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

by EDWARD PENTIN
04/20/2016

VATICAN CITY — Just over four months since the Vatican announced that the Vatican would be subjected to an external audit by one of the world’s leading accounting firms, the Secretariat of State has said that it is pulling the plug on the initiative.

The Vatican announced the decision to suspend the audit, carried out by accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, in a letter sent to all Vatican entities this week.

On Dec. 5, the Vatican revealed that Pope Francis’ had brought in the auditing firm on the advice of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy in a bid to reform Holy See finances and make them more transparent after a number of scandals. The audit began immediately after the announcement.

News of the audit’s suspension comes as an article appeared in today’s Italia Oggi newspaper alleging that a possible replacement for Jean Baptiste De Franssu, the current president of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), colloquially known as the Vatican Bank, had turned down an offer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

We still suffer while it's business as usual for Yeshivah's Trustees

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

I am writing this post having just completed one of the four weekly therapy sessions which I am currently undergoing in Israel.

Earlier this morning I read an article in The Guardian entitled “What does depression feel like? Trust me – you really don’t want to know”. Much of it resonated with me, perhaps more than any other article I’ve read about depression. I set off for my therapy session feeling empowered, positive and happy.

Just before entering my session, a friend forwarded me an email from the Board of Trustees of Yeshivah, which included the updated recommendations of their Governance Review Panel (GRP) and the proposed governance restructure at Yeshivah. I couldn’t get myself to read it at that stage; I preferred to push it off a little. I’ve become accustomed to the negative impact these emails have on me so I try to read them when I’m in a safe space.

As I lay on the treatment bed and commenced my session, I spoke to my therapist about how uplifted I had felt this morning, mainly as a result of reading The Guardian article. I then mentioned the Yeshivah email. What happened next was quite unexpected. My heart started beating uncontrollably, my legs were shaking and I was overcome with emotion. All indications had been that the GRP were going to recommend the ongoing involvement of the Trustees in the new governance structure and I knew when I got this email that my worst fears were being confirmed. My body reacted involuntarily to the realisation that after everything that had happened over the last few years, and despite the pleas of so many victims, the seven remaining Trustees of Yeshivah are still refusing to simply go. Rather, they are proposing to formally embed themselves in the running of the Yeshivah Centre for the next few years, and in the case of Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner, for life (as per the previous GRP recommendations, which I didn’t expect would change).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Sex Abuse and the Catholic Church: Why Is It Still a Story?

UNITED STATES
New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
APRIL 20, 2016

I have interviewed many survivors of child sexual abuse over many years, but this was the first time I had ever interviewed a survivor who was also a politician. State Representative Mark Rozzi sat behind his office desk at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. As he spoke he fidgeted with a small figurine he kept on his desk — a little dog with four heads, all snarling — a gift from a fellow survivor. We were discussing his long fight trying to pass legislation to make it easier for survivors to press charges and file lawsuits against their abusers.

Well into the interview I asked him to tell me what had happened to him as a child. “The abridged version,” I said. I had read his story elsewhere, but needed to hear it directly from him, even though I knew it would not play a big part in the article I planned to write. I figured that as a politician, he would have a well-practiced, pithy rendition.

Twenty-five minutes of unrelenting trauma later, we had still gotten only as far as high school. Then, just as Mr. Rozzi was saying, “I’m going to tell you something I have never talked about to a reporter” — at that very moment — there was a knock at the door and his executive assistant came in to tell us that another legislator was waiting in the vestibule. Interview over.

As I rushed to gather up my notebook, laptop and recorder, I realized I had no idea what he was about to reveal, but I had just gotten the answer to another question I am often asked: Why does the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church never seem to go away? Why is it still a story? It has been 31 years since National Catholic Reporter, an independent Catholic publication, broke the first story, about a serial abuser in Louisiana. It has been 22 years since I reported my first article about abusive priests (out on an Indian pueblo in New Mexico, for The Washington Post). Why is the news media still covering this?

The answer lies with the victims. Many, like Mr. Rozzi, are resilient and accomplished. (He is a businessman, a husband and a father, as well as a legislator.) Some are basket cases, unable to hold down a job or romantic relationship. But no matter where they are on this spectrum, the abuse they suffered is often so searing that it is the formative experience of their lives. Even if they have supportive family and friends, a financial cushion and plenty of time in therapy — all big “ifs” — they never entirely leave it behind.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Ottawa called out on residential-school settlement shortfall

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 18, 2016

The federal government must pick up the tab for more than $20-million in compensation to survivors of Indian residential schools after its lawyer allowed the Catholic Church to renege on its obligations, according to the former national chief whose advocacy resulted in the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history.

Phil Fontaine, who has spoken publicly about the abuses he suffered as a child at one of the schools, helped to negotiate the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and says the government must ensure that its terms are met.

“The government is ultimately responsible for meeting all of the financial obligations,” Mr. Fontaine told The Globe and Mail on Monday in response to the news that miscommunication by a federal lawyer allowed the Catholic Church to walk away from its promise to try to raise $25-million to pay for healing and reconciliation programs for the survivors.

“I don’t know about legally, but there’s a moral obligation here,” Mr. Fontaine said. “We’re dealing with close to 80,000 survivors and it’s important for them that they be treated fairly and justly.”

The 50 Catholic organizations – known legally as the Catholic entities – that ran many of the schools collected a combined $3.7-million as part of a seven-year campaign in which their lawyer says they made their “best efforts” to raise $25-million as spelled out in the settlement agreement. The entities also had to pay an additional $29-million in cash and to provide $25-million in “in-kind” services – obligations that have been met.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

N.W.T. aboriginal leaders angry after Catholic groups released from raising money

CANADA
CBC News

By Hilary Bird, CBC News Posted: Apr 19, 2016

Northern aboriginal leaders say they are furious that a court ruling let Catholic groups off the hook from fundraising tens of millions of dollars for healing programs for former students of residential schools.

The 2006 Indian Residential School Settlement required Catholic groups to pay compensation for its role in the abuse and trauma inflicted on thousands of aboriginal children.

The agreement required the Catholic entities to pay $29 million in cash to the now defunct Aboriginal Healing Foundation, $25 million in "in-kind" services, and to try and fundraise $25 million for healing programs for former students.

Pierre Baribeau, a lawyer for the Catholic groups told CBC that raising $25 million was simply a goal and that the settlements agreement states the Catholic groups were only obligated to put in their "best efforts."

The Catholic entities were able to raise about $4 million of that $25 million goal.

"We had a very difficult time convincing public corporations to consider giving money to a Catholic-related foundation," Baribeau said.

"Unfortunately, we did not get as much as one would have expected. The efforts were there and a lot of money was put into the campaign also."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Residential-school survivors speak out about Catholic Church’s settlement shortfall

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

JULIEN GIGNACERIC ANDREW-GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2016

Vivian Ketchum, 51

Attended Cecilia Jeffrey residential school in Kenora, Ont., in the early 1970s.

News of the Catholic entities’ unfulfilled financial obligations made Vivian Ketchum “extremely angry,” she said. The money, she believes, could be used for a 24-hour youth crisis centre in Kenora, where indigenous youth suicide is epidemic.

“Why walk away from the table? Our youth are dying,” she said. “That’s basically what I’ve got to say.”

Ms. Ketchum was 5 or 6 when she was taken – under circumstances she doesn’t remember – from her home in Northern Ontario to the nearby residential school in Kenora.

She said she was abused by a “house mother,” who hit her with a shoe when Ms. Ketchum hid from a dentist appointment she feared. The blow broke one of the girl’s pinkie fingers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Legal misstep lets Catholic Church off hook for residential schools compensation

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Apr. 17, 2016

A miscommunication by a federal lawyer allowed the Catholic Church to renege on its obligation to try to raise $25-million to pay for healing programs for the survivors of Indian residential schools.

Of that amount, the Church raised only $3.7-million, and a financial statement suggests less than $2.2-million of that was actually donated to help former students cope with the trauma inflicted by the residential schools.

The legal misstep occurred when Ottawa was pressing the Church to pay the entirety of a related cash settlement stemming from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action deal in Canadian history.

The failing fundraising effort by the Church, which represented almost a third of its obligation under the settlement, was playing out as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was travelling the country hearing gut-wrenching stories about what occurred behind the walls of the institutions that operated in Canada for more than 100 years.

The landmark settlement agreement required 50 Catholic groups that ran the schools, known in court documents as the Catholic entities, to pay a combined $79-million for their role in the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Bishop Peter Ball victim withdraws from church abuse review

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A clergyman abused by a former bishop has said he will not cooperate with a review into the Church of England's investigations.

Peter Ball, 84, was jailed in October for offences against 18 teenagers and young men in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

One of his victims, Rev Graham Sawyer, said he had taken the decision because "bullying and silencing" were not in the terms of reference of the review.

The Church said the Ball case "was a matter of deep shame and regret".

In February, it was announced Dame Moira Gibb was chairing an independent review of the Ball case to consider what information was available to the Church, who had it and when.
'Worrying signal'

Mr Sawyer waived his right to anonymity before Ball, former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, was sentenced to 32 months in prison.

He said he objected to the fact the treatment he received from current senior officials in the church would not be covered by the terms of reference of the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Video: Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Indian Bishop for Reinstatement of Convicted Predator Priest Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson and Associates

Bishop Amalraj, with permission from Pope Francis, returned Jeyapaul to ministry after his sexual abuse conviction in Minnesota

Joseph Jeyapaul Timeline
Peterson Complaint 4-18-16
5-8-2010 Jeyapaul Support Letter - 500 signatures
Jeyapaul - Petition to Enter Guilty Plea
Jeyapaul Photos

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:23 AM

Is Francis making it harder for liberals to stay on the payroll?

UNITED STATES
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Editor April 19, 2016

Some Catholics cheered last week, while others were either depressed or outraged, when news broke that Tony Spence, editor of the Catholic News Service (CNS) since 2004, had resigned unexpectedly. The move followed a controversy over three Tweets he posted about religious freedom bills, which critics saw as promoting a pro-LGBT agenda.

CNS is the official news agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Spence told media outlets he was informed on Wednesday, April 13, by general secretary Monsignor J. Brian Bransfield that he had “lost the confidence” of the conference.

The ouster came after several Catholic blogs and news outlets seen as sharply conservative took Spence to task. Spence, 63, had served in the bishops’ conference for twenty-five years in a variety of roles, and now says he’s returning to his native Tennessee to ponder other options.

Those inclined to a political reading of things may see Spence’s situtation in tandem with other notable departures at the bishops’ conference, including the resignation of the late Sister Mary Ann Walsh as the bishops’ spokesperson in summer 2014, and the more recent exit of Helen Osman as the conference’s Secretary for Communications.

All three had reputations as moderates, perhaps leaning a bit to the left. Some will style these transitions as a long-overdue opportunity for clarity at the conference, while critics will see them as an ideological putsch, but in any event a change in direction seems fairly evident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Un profesor de Religión admite que abusó de nueve niños, pero no entrará en prisión

ESPANA
La Verdad

ALICIA NEGRE | MURCIA
19 abril 2016

Roberto P. S. admitió este martes ante la Audiencia Provincial de Murcia que abusó de nueve niños de siete años durante 2011. Lo hizo durante su etapa como profesor de Religión en el colegio católico San Vicente de Paul de la pedanía murciana de El Palmar.

El acusado llegó a un acuerdo de conformidad con las partes y, tras asumir los cargos, será condenado a un año de prisión por cada niño. La Fiscalía le reconoció las atenuantes de reparación del daño y dilaciones indebidas.

Una condena de nueve años de cárcel que, sin embargo, tras la última reforma del Código Penal, no le obligará a entrar en prisión. La norma, tras la reforma, establece que las condenas que individualmente no superen los dos años, podrán ser suspendidas siempre que el reo no cuente con antecedentes penales -Roberto P.S. no los tiene- y que las circunstancias lo aconsejen. El tribunal deberá fijar un plazo y, en el caso de que el procesado vuelva a delinquir, tendrá que cumplir estos nueve años de cárcel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Fury as teacher admits abuse of NINE children yet walks free

SPAIN
The Local

A Spanish Catholic teacher who admitted to molesting nine young children won't set foot in jail because of a legal loophole.

Catholic school teacher Roberto P. S. admitted before a Murcia judge on Tuesday that he did indeed molest eight girls and one boy