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July 31, 2016

Pope Francis confirms he will take no action against Cardinal George Pell while police investigate alleged child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun

POPE Francis has confirmed he will take no action against Cardinal George Pell while an ongoing police investigation into alleged child sex offences continues.

Breaking his silence on explosive allegations levelled at the Cardinal last week, Pope Francis said he would only act at the conclusion of the criminal investigation.

“One must not judge before the justice system judges,” the pope said.

“If I were to make a judgment in favour or against Cardinal Pell that would not be good because I would be making a judgment first.

“There is doubt and there is that clear principle of law: in doubt, pro reo,” he said, a Latin term meaning a defendant cannot be convicted if there are doubts about their guilt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 PM

Pope Francis: allegations against George Pell in hands of justice

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Pope Francis says he won’t address child molestation allegations against Cardinal George Pell until a police investigation has concluded.

The pope told reporters on a plane returning from World Youth Day in Krakow that the accusations against Cardinal Pell, Francis’ top financial adviser, ‘‘are in the hands of justice.”

He said that the Cardinal deserved the benefit of the doubt, adding that ‘‘once justice has its say, I will speak. “

Cardinal Pell last week urged a criminal investigation into the ABC and rogue Victorian police whom he alleges may be involved in a “conspiracy to pervert the course of justice”, amid new claims the Cardinal molested two boys as a priest in the late 1970s.

The ABC’s 7.30 had reported the claims that Victorian police were investigating multiple allegations of child sex abuse by the cardinal dating back to the 1970s. Two former St Alipius students, Lyndon Monument and Damian Dignan, told the program that Cardinal Pell would abuse boys at the Eureka swimming pool in Ballarat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Pope Francis 'doubts' sexual abuse case against Cardinal George Pell

AUSTRALIA
ABC News (Australia)

Pope Francis says there are "doubts" over the case being made against Vatican finance chief George Pell, Australia's most senior Roman Catholic, for alleged child abuse.

"There are doubts. 'In dubio pro reo'," he said, using a Latin expression meaning that a defendant may not be convicted by the court when doubts about his or her guilt remain.

"We must avoid a media verdict, a verdict based on gossip," he told journalists aboard the papal plane during the return trip from Poland, where he had headlined a Catholic youth festival.

The ABC's 7.30 program aired the details of the sexual abuse allegations against Cardinal Pell last week.

Victoria Police has confirmed it has been investigating a number of complaints for more than a year, but has not sought to interview the Cardinal, who currently serves as the Vatican's treasurer, reporting directly to the Pope.

Cardinal Pell has vehemently denied the allegations, accusing the ABC of mounting a smear campaign against him and saying the broadcaster had "no licence to destroy the reputation of innocent people".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Pope holds off position on Pell claims

7 News

Pope Francis says he will wait until Australian justice takes its course before taking a position on Cardinal George Pell, who is under investigation in his homeland over sexual abuse allegations.

But the pope, speaking to reporters aboard the plane returning to Rome form Poland on Sunday, said Pell, now the Vatican's powerful economy minister, should not undergo a trial by the media or by rumour.

Victoria state Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said on a Melbourne radio station program on Thursday that Victoria police had been investigating allegations against Pell for more than a year.

"It's in the hands of the justice system and one cannot judge before the justice system," the pope said in answer to a question.

"Justice has to take its course ...and justice by the media or justice by rumour does not help. After the justice system speaks, I will speak," he said.

He said Pell had a right to the benefit of the doubt like all those accused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Let's not rush to judge Cardinal Pell, Pope Francis says

Catholic News Agency

Aboard the papal plane, Jul 31, 2016 / 03:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In response to news that Australian authorities are investigating multiple allegations of child abuse leveled against Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis cautioned against gossip and making judgements before all the facts are known.

“We must wait for justice and not make a first judgement ourselves, a media trial … because this doesn't help,” Pope Francis said July 31 during his in-flight press conference from Krakow to Rome. “The judgement of gossip and then, one can... We don't know what the result will be; but be attentive to what justice decides. Once justice speaks, I will speak.”

The Pope was asked about Cardinal Pell, whom he appointed prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy in 2014, by the AP's Frances D'Emilio. He began his response by noting that “the first information that arrived was confusing. It was news from 40 years back that not even the police made a case about at first. It was a confusing thing.”

Pope Francis then said that the accusation have been “sent to justice” and are now in the hands of justice. “And one mustn't judge before justice judges, eh?”

“If I were to say a judgement in favor of or against Cardinal Pell, it wouldn't be good because I (would) judge before. It's true that there there is doubt, and there's that clear principal of the law: in dubio pro reo.”

The Pope referred to the legal principle that a party who is accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty, which has been a foundation of law since at least the first Christian millenium.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Francis asks media to withhold judgment on Cardinal Pell abuse claims

National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jul. 31, 2016

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE TO ROME
Pope Francis has asked the press to withhold judgment on reports that senior Vatican official Cardinal George Pell had inappropriate sexual contact with minors in the past, saying allegations against the prelate are still being investigated by Australian authorities.

In a short press conference aboard the papal flight back from Poland Sunday, the pontiff said the allegations against Pell "are in the hands of the justice system and one must not judge before the justice system judges."

"If I were to make a judgment in favor or against Cardinal Pell that would not be good because I would be making a judgment first," said the pope, responding to a question about what actions he may consider taking against the church official.

"There is doubt and there is that clear principle of law: in doubt, pro reo," said Francis, referring to the Latin term for the concept that a defendant cannot be convicted if doubts about his guilt remain.

"We must wait for the justice system and not make a premature judgment, [or] a judgment in the media, because this does not help," said the pope.

"Stay attentive to what the justice system decides," he continued. "Once the justice system speaks, I will speak."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Pope says will withhold judgement on Cardinal Pell over sex abuse

Channel News Asia

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE: Pope Francis said on Sunday that he will wait until Australian justice takes its course before taking a position on Cardinal George Pell, who is under investigation in his homeland over sexual abuse allegations.

But the pope, speaking to reporters aboard the plane returning to Rome form Poland, said Pell, now the Vatican's powerful economy minister, should not undergo a trial by the media or by rumour.

Victoria state Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said on a Melbourne radio station programme on Thursday that Victoria police had been investigating allegations against Pell for more than a year.

"It's in the hands of the justice system and one cannot judge before the justice system," the pope said in answer to a question.

"Justice has to take its course ...and justice by the media or justice by rumour does not help. After the justice system speaks, I will speak," he said.

He said Pell had a right to the benefit of the doubt like all those accused.

Victims groups have called on the pope to sack Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official to be accused of sexual abuse, or for him to resign.

Pell is seen as a test case for the pope because he has vowed zero tolerance for sexual abuse in the Church has said he would sack bishops found guilty of committing abuse or covering it up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

The Latest: Pope on Pell: Let Justice Take Its Course

New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
JULY 31, 2016

KRAKOW, Poland — The Latest on the pope's visit to Poland (all times local):

11:30 p.m.

Pope Francis says he won't address child molestation allegations against a top Vatican Cardinal who is one of his most-trusted aides until justice officials in Australia have made a determination.

The pope told reporters on the plane Sunday returning from World Youth Day in Krakow that the accusations against Cardinal George Pell, Francis' top financial adviser, "are in the hands of justice."

He said that the accused deserved the benefit of the doubt, adding that "once justice has its say, I will speak. "

Pell, who has long been dogged by allegations of mishandling cases of abusive clergy when he was archbishop of Melbourne and later Sydney, more recently has been accused of child abuse himself when he was a young priest. Two men, now in their 40s, said he touched them inappropriately under the guise of play at a swimming pool during the late 1970s, according to Australian media who reported the men have given statements to Victoria police.

Pell, 74, has denied any inappropriate behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Church protests continue in Hagåtña

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

Despite the press conference held by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, on Wednesday, July 27, protests have continued outside the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica.

Yesterday, July 31, a group of about 75 people continued their protest against the Catholic Church calling for, among other things, the defrocking of Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Members of the protests belonged to the Concerned Catholics of Guam (CCOG), the Laity Forward Movement (LFM) and Silent no More – the three major organizations that have been calling on church officials to act on their concerns.

'Rather disingenuous'

Vanjie Lujan, secretary of CCOG, stated that in his address, Hon failed to address their concerns in a “real material way” and said that while she appreciates Hon’s retraction of comments made by Apuron and the archdiocese, he failed to mention the Redemptoris Mater Seminary (RMS). Further, Vanjie said she and others want the church to be more transparent with the use of funds raised through the Archdiocese Annual Appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Child sex abuse talks continue

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Robert Q. Tupaz | Post News Staff

This morning the committee on public safety and the judiciary is to resume a public hearing on Bill 326-33 which seeks to eliminate the statute of limitations for civil claims involving sexually abused children. Tomorrow, the committee will hear the nomination of a magistrate hoped to help with the caseload at the Superior Court of Guam.

Before the nomination hearing of Benjamin Sison to the post of magistrate on Tuesday, the committee will continue its hearing from last Thursday during which 13 people provided testimony in support of Bill 326. In testimony provided, each speaker asked lawmakers to pass the bill and to pass it quickly so that victims can bring their abusers to justice and to prevent abusers from hiding behind institutions that may protect them.

Included among those who testified in support of Bill 326 were Walter Denton, Roy Quintanilla and Roland Sondia, who were joined by John “Champ” Quinata, the brother of the late Joseph “Sonny” Quinata. Denton, Quintanilla, Sondia and Sonny Quinata are all alleged child sex abuse victims of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, when they were altar servers at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Agat in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Vatican representative vows to move city from “evil past”

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Olivia Shying
@oliviashying

31 Jul 2016

THE first Vatican representative to meet with clergy abuse survivors on Ballarat soil has vowed to do all humanly possible to help move the city forward from its “evil” past.

President of the commission for child protection of the Gregorian University Father Hans Zollner vowed to continue to work with survivors deeply affected by the scourge of abuses.

His words comes days after alleged victims of Cardinal George Pell claimed he groped their genitals in the 1970s.

Father Zollner personally backed Cardinal Pell’s March vow to work publicly to assist survivors to make the city a leading healing centre for victims impacted by the Catholic Church's scourge of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy.

Father Zollner said Cardinal Pell’s pledge had been personal – not one officially backed by the Vatican, making it unclear if this vow would go ahead without the Cardinal.

He said research into the links between abuse, suicide and poor mental health must be done to help heal this community’s deep wounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Cardinal George Pell’s trial by media achieves justice for no one

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Miranda Devine

Just when you think the demonisation of Cardinal George Pell can’t get any worse, it does. And with every allegation, as flimsy and contagious as they are, comes the damaging insinuation that where there’s smoke there’s fire.

The fanfare around ABC’s 7.30 program last week would make you think Pell has been accused of the most heinous crimes, that he is the master paedophile sitting atop the global paedophile ring that is the Catholic Church.

Some people believe this sick fantasy, or have convinced themselves it is vaguely plausible. Others don’t care about the injustice because they hate Pell, who is that most unloved creature of our times, a conservative Catholic, implacably wedded to Church teachings and unwilling, like his more fashionable brother priests, to accommodate the great causes du jour, same sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia.

Victoria Police has been examining the three-decade old allegations for at least 18 months, without attempting to interview Pell, who offered to be interviewed after allegations leaked in February, on the eve of Pell’s testimony to the child abuse royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

John Pirona's death was the catalyst for a royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
31 Jul 2016

FOUR years ago the suicide of Belmont North child sexual abuse victim John Pirona was the catalyst for a royal commission.

On Tuesday the first of back-to-back Hunter public hearings into the Anglican and Catholic churches starts - the 42nd and 43rd hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

It has held more than 5500 private sessions with survivors, taken more than 31,000 calls and received more than 18,000 letters and emails. It has referred more than 1600 matters to authorities including the police, leading to prosecutions and investigations across Australia.

The royal commission has funded 24 research projects relating to institutional child sexual abuse in Australia, including how juries assess information during trials, the response of specialist police investigation units to child sexual abuse, the use of evidence during child sex trials, sentencing issues, mandatory reporting laws and specialist prosecution units and courts.

The royal commission has recommended a national redress scheme for abuse survivors that is estimated to cost more than $4 billion, with institutions contributing the bulk of the money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Newcastle royal commission public hearing to reveal widespread abuse in Anglican diocese

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
31 Jul 2016

MEN and women involved with Newcastle Anglican diocese’s St Alban’s Children’s Home knew children were being sexually abused, the royal commission will hear.

A public hearing starting on Tuesday is expected to hear evidence that a woman walked into a room more than once where a child was being sexually abused by men, but turned and left the room.

The extent of sexual abuse of children by two men – priest Peter Rushton and youth worker James Brown – is expected to be revealed, along with knowledge within the diocese of that offending.

Former Church of England Boys Brigade members have made statements to police about sexual abuse while on camps. One former member told police about a “f...ing room” at the boys home where Rushton took him and molested him.

The public hearing will be told of child sex allegations about Rushton and others made directly to bishops and senior clergy, but not acted on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Andrew Bolt: Coverage of Don Dale and George Pell proves ABC bias is now a menace

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
July 31, 2016

TWO explosive ABC reports last week proved this biased state broadcaster is now a public menace.

First, the ABC falsely presented the restraint by detention staff of a violent youth as the torture of a near-innocent boy.

Next, it presented Australia’s top Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, as a sexual predator of children, based on the highly unreliable memories of people recalling ambiguous events more than 30 years old.

The consequences have been devastating.

In a knee-jerk response to the first report, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a royal commission into the Northern Territory’s juvenile justice system.

Activists are already exploiting this to turn attention from the deadly dysfunction of Aboriginal society — the most urgent problem — to the inflammatory excuse of white cruelty to black children.

In response to the second report, Pell’s church is being vilified just as it prepares to speak against the planned vote on same-sex marriage — the ABC’s great crusade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

July 30, 2016

Bishop: Priest sends apology to parish

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Ken Stickney, kstickney@theadvertiser.com July 30, 2016

BREAUX BRIDGE — A local Catholic priest, charged with 500 counts of possession of child pornography this week, sent word to his parish that he is sorry for his actions and for the pain and embarrassment he caused his church and diocese.

The Most Rev. J. Douglas Deshotel, bishop of Lafayette, passed along those regrets from the Rev. F. David Broussard, placed on leave at St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church, during Dehotel's brief homily at the 4 p.m. Saturday Mass at that downtown church. About 300 parishioners, virtually a full house, pressed into the parish hall where Mass was offered. The church building itself is closed for remodeling.

Deshotel, named Lafayette's bishop in February, will preside over all St. Bernard's Masses this weekend.

The bishop told parishioners he "had a visit" with Broussard this week — the priest was charged with having pornographic images of children on his personal computer and booked at St. Martin Parish Jail on Tuesday — and asked if Broussard wanted to tell his parishioners anything. That, Deshotel said, was when Broussard expressed his sorrow and offered his apology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Goddard inquiry: Outrage as bishop jailed for sex offences given public funding for legal team

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Robert Mendick, chief reporter Ebba Brunnstrom
30 JULY 2016

A disgraced bishop jailed for a string of sex offences has been given public funding for a legal team at the Government’s child sex abuse inquiry, The Telegraph can disclose.

The decision to pay for lawyers, costing taxpayers up to £200 an hour, to defend the reputation of Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Gloucester and of Lewes, has outraged his victims.

Ball is the first convicted sex offender to be granted taxpayer funds, setting a precedent that could pave the way for dozens of paedophiles to get the same deal.

He received the legal funding because he “may be subject to explicit criticism by the inquiry”.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, the largest in British legal history, will run into the next decade at a potential cost of hundreds of millions of pounds.

Ball, 84, was sentenced last October to 32 months in jail after pleading guilty to indecent assault and misconduct in a public office over the grooming of young men for sex. He has been called a “sadistic sexual predator”. One of his victims later committed suicide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Woman of God screamed Bible verses as she beat her children

KANSAS
The Freethinker

A court heard this week that Odalis Sharp, above – a mother of ten from Topeka, Kansas – severely abused her children by beating them, screaming at them and calling them names.

According to this report, the court ruled this week that a number of her children should remain in the custody of the Kansas Department for Children and Families after three of them described the abuse they had suffered at the hands of Sharp.

The deranged woman first came to media attention when she and her family sang for a bunch of armed nuts who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon earlier this year.

The children told the Shawnee County District Court judge how their their siblings would scream in the pain when their mother tried “beat the fire” out of them and fill their mouths with liquid soap.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Support given for bill that would lift statute of limitations

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 30, 2016

Guam is on its way to becoming the first U.S. territory to allow victims of child sex abuse to sue their perpetrator at any time, without restriction, on retroactive cases.

As of Friday, there was no opposition to a bill that would remove time restrictions for suing child sex abusers. A public hearing on the bill is scheduled to resume Monday.

“We cannot continue to expect the church to fix itself in this regard,” Chalan Pago resident Gerard Taitano told senators on Thursday. “We must hold child sex abusers and their enablers accountable for their actions. Serious moral, legal and ethical questions arise whenever a prosecutor cannot adequately indict child sex predators or their enablers.”

Other U.S. jurisdictions are considering expanding or eliminating statutes of limitations on rape and child sex abuse, because of high-profile sex abuse allegations, including those involving members of the Catholic church.

In Guam’s case, the recent allegations involve the archbishop, the highest leader of the local Catholic church. The alleged sex abuses, according to his accusers, happened when Apuron was still parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Agat during the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Survivors must have a stronger voice in Goddard abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Guardian

Despite public inquiries over the last two decades, such as the Waterhouse inquiry and the Utting report into child abuse in care homes, the institutions of government have failed to deliver justice for survivors or tackle child abuse. And official inquiries have repeatedly absolved central government and the establishment from guilt. Yet there is still no indication of when the £18m Goddard child abuse inquiry will hear evidence regarding high-level abuse and coverups at Westminster.

The inquiry’s truth project began this week but, sadly, the testimonies given to it by survivors will have no direct legal consequences and will only be used as ballast to the final inquiry report; a form of window dressing that may leave many survivors not only bound to secrecy about their testimony but also deeply distressed.

In announcing the initial inquiry two years ago, the then home secretary, Theresa May, declared its remit was to look into institutional responses to all child sex abuse allegations, whatever the circumstances. With estimates of the number of child abuse survivors stretching into the millions, many thought this was a clear signal the government would try to bury the Westminster scandals by casting the net too wide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

NZ judge could become Britain's top paid public servant

UNITED KINGDOM
Stuff (New Zealand)

KATIE KENNY
July 30 2016

A New Zealand judge is on her way to becoming Britain's highest paid civil servant according to estimates of her pay and perks.

Dame Lowell Goddard, a former New Zealand High Court judge, is leading the Government's Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA).

The IICSA was announced in July 2014 by then-British Prime Minister David Cameron. It was set up to address a number of previously covered-up cases of child abuse in hospitals, care homes, churches, and schools.

The Telegraph reported the 67-year-old could receive more than £5 million [NZ$9m] in pay and perks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Goddard Inquiry: New Zealand judge becomes Britain’s highest paid civil servant with £5m pay package

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Robert Mendick, chief reporter
29 JULY 2016

Dame Lowell Goddard, the New Zealand judge heading the Government’s child sex abuse inquiry, could receive more than £5 million in pay and perks amid fears hearings will drag on for a decade, The Telegraph can disclose.

Dame Justice Goddard’s remuneration package, which includes numerous free flights home and a £110,000 a year rental allowance, has catapulted her to the top of the public servants’ paylist.

Campaigners described the flight and accommodation allowances as “highly questionable”.

The judge earns a basic salary of £360,000 a year. But that is topped up with the rental allowance, an additional £12,000 a year for utilities bills and a car and driver for official business - all paid for by the Home Office.

The four free return business class flights to New Zealand every year for her and her husband is a further perk reckoned to be worth £40,000 annually. Business class return flights to new Zealand typically cost £5,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Charges against Dillingham Orthodox priest dropped

ALASKA
KTOO

By Hannah Colton, KDLG
July 27, 2016

The attempted sexual assault case against a Dillingham parish priest has been dismissed by the prosecution.

A grand jury in Anchorage did not return an indictment on the felony charge this week, and the prosecutor dismissed both charges against Father Michael Nicolai.

Nicholai, originally from Kwethluck, has served several years as the priest at the St. Seraphim of Sarov Church in Dillingham, carrying much respect from his parishioners and church leadership.

Dillingham Police were called to the parish home early July 16 with an allegation of domestic violence. Based on an investigation, police charged Nicholai with attempted second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree assault. Both charges have now been dropped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Pope Francis at Auschwitz But Not Where Catholics Slaughtered 700,000 Serbs, Jews and Roma in WWII

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on July 30, 2016 by Betty Clermont

From the barbarity in Croatia during World War II, there is a direct historical link to the atrocities committed in Argentina’s Dirty War, and certainty of the Catholic Church’s collusion. It’s time for Pope Francis to open his secret archives and make amends.

Jasenovac in Croatia was the third largest World War II concentration camp in Europe by number of victims. It was operated by the Catholic and Nazi-allied Ustasha government. Wartime Croatia has been called “one great slaughterhouse.”

The prisoners – mostly Serbs, Jews and Roma

had their throats cut with specially designed knives, or they were killed with axes, mallets and hammers; they were also shot, or they were hung from trees or light poles. Some were burned alive in hot furnaces, boiled in cauldrons, or drowned in the River Sava.

Here the most varied forms of torture were used. Finger and toe nails were pulled out with metal instruments, eyes were dug out with specially constructed hooks, people were blinded by having needles stuck in their eyes, flesh was cut and then salted. People were also flayed, had their noses, ears and tongues cut off with wire cutters, and had awls stuck in their hearts. Daughters were raped in front of their mothers; sons were tortured in front of their fathers.

Said plainly, in the concentration camps at Jasenovac and Stara Gradiska, the Ustasha surpassed all that even the sickest mind could imagine and do in terms of the brutal way people were murdered. …

More than 74,316 children were killed. During the Second World War, the only place where there were special camps for children was Croatia. …

Estimates of the total numbers of men, women and children killed there range from 300,000 to 700,000.

“700,000 in a total population of a few million, proportionally, would be as if one-third of the US population had been exterminated by a Catholic militia.”

For the Ustasha (Ustase, Ustaša), “relations with the Vatican were as important as relations with Germany because Vatican recognition was the key to widespread Croat support.” (Phayer, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965 (2000) p. 32)

Ante Pavelic, the “Butcher of the Balkans,” had already been convicted in France for planning the 1934 assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia and French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou when he was received in a private audience by Pope Pius XII in May 1941 shortly after becoming dictator of Croatia. “After receiving the papal blessing, Pavelic and his Ustasha lieutenants unleashed an unspeakable genocide in their new country. But Pius XII refused to cut his ties with Catholic Croatia and in 1943 once again imparted the papal blessing on Pavelic, who by that time was a genocidal killer.” (Phayer, Pius XII, The Holocaust, and the Cold War (2008) p. 219)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Church Admits Hiring Sex Offender; Denies Other Allegations In Lawsuit

WYOMING
K2

By Tom Morton July 29, 2016

The largest church in Casper admits it hired a janitor, knowing he was convicted of third-degree sexual assault, who later assaulted a teenage girl.

But Highland Park Community Church, 5725 Highland Drive, said the court should dismiss the lawsuit filed by a woman who was sexually assaulted by James Jaure at the church four years ago because it “did not breach any duty owed to the Plaintiff” and other reasons, according to its response filed this week by its attorneys Ryan Schwartz and Amy Iberlin of the Casper firm Williams, Porter, Day, & Neville.

The church also asked for a jury trial.

The woman, who was 15 at the time of the assault, has been “irreparably injured and suffered damages” through loss of enjoyment of life, loss of income and earning capacity, emotional and psychological distress, social problems, and medical and counseling expenses, according to her complaint filed June 30 by her attorneys Michael Shickich of Casper and Emily Rankin of the Spence Law Firm in Jackson.

She also seeks punitive damages to deter corporations such as the church from tolerating such behavior in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Reporting child porn not necessarily a law

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Dominick Cross, dcross@theadvertiser.com July 29, 2016

Although Louisiana is one of at least 38 states that does not have a Reporting Child Pornography law on the books, if a computer technician finds child porn while repairing a computer, it is unlawful not to report it to authorities.

So far, Utah, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota do have such a law; Oregon and Florida have taken a look at doing so.

Still, it was a complaint alerting the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations’ Special Victims Unit that a computer under repair allegedly had child porn images on it that led to the arrest Wednesday of the Rev. Felix David Broussard, pastor of St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge.

Following an investigation, Broussard was placed under arrest and booked into the St. Martin Parish jail for violating Louisiana Revised Statute 14:81.1 – Pornography involving juveniles (500 counts).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Editorial: Silence is the abuser's ally

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

In the wake of child pornography charges lodged against a Breaux Bridge parish priest this week, the Diocese of Lafayette has expressed its commitment to transparency in such cases.

Monsignor Curtis Mallet, vicar general, said Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel wants his flock to know he and church leaders take seriously accusations, that parishioners at St. Bernard Catholic Church and the diocese should know their spiritual shepherd is following state law and Pope Francis' mandates, expressed in June, when it comes to crimes against vulnerable children.

That marks a step forward for this diocese, historically tight-lipped about its priests and credible accusations of sex crimes involving children.

The arrest of the Rev. F. David Broussard, St. Bernard’s pastor, represents an accusation; he has been charged, not convicted and should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Broussard was charged with 500 counts of possession of child pornography after that many images were found on his personal computer.

In a Wednesday news conference — a news conference in itself marked diocesan progress toward openness — Deshotel said the diocese cooperated with state investigators; State Police confirmed Friday that investigation remains "open." Broussard is on leave.

In the U.S., acknowledgement of both widespread sex abuse and church cover-ups began to rise some three decades ago in Louisiana, including within the Lafayette diocese. Two years ago, court records connected to a Minnesota lawsuit revealed the names of at least 10 local priests credibly accused in child molestation cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Parents demand George Pell portrait is taken off Mentone school hall

AUSTRALIA
The Age

[with video]

Neelima Choahan, Timna Jacks

Parents at a Catholic primary school in Mentone are agitating to have a portrait of Cardinal George Pell removed from their school hall after allegations of sexual abuse emerged against the priest recently.

On Wednesday night, ABC's 7.30 aired detailed allegations made by former students of St Alipius primary school in Ballarat, who alleged Cardinal Pell would play with them in the swimming pool and molest them by touching their genitals under water.

Cardinal Pell has rejected the accusations, which are being investigated by Victoria Police.

Parents at St Patrick's Parish Primary school say they have been asking for the painting to be taken down for "years", but the new allegations have brought matters to a head.

All four of Claire Bilos' children have been at the school in the last 12 years. Her daughter Renee is currently in grade 6, and Ashleigh is in grade 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Joan Isaacs: Catholic abuse victim’s book ‘To Prey and To Silence’ warns about dangers of grooming

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Debra Killalea
news.com.au
@DebKillalea

WHEN Joan Isaacs told her parish priest she was being sexually abused, he advised the then teenager to “find a man her own age”.

Aged just 15 and full of shame and fear, the young Joan bravely revealed the months of grooming and sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of local priest Francis Edward Derriman.

But despite reporting it, nothing happened, then there was silence — and lots of it.

What began as a fight for justice turned into a 40-year battle for the truth after endless stonewalling from the Catholic Church.

It would take a Royal Commission, years of therapy as well as the love and support from her family before she could even begin to heal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Abuse claims against Cardinal George Pell start to resemble a smear campaign

AUSTRALIA
Sunday Herald Sun

Miranda Devine, Sunday Herald Sun

JUST when you think the demonisation of Cardinal George Pell can’t get any worse, it does. And with every allegation, as flimsy and contagious as they are, comes the damaging insinuation that where there’s smoke there’s fire.

The fanfare around ABC’s 7.30 program last week would make you think Pell has been accused of the most heinous crimes, that he is the master paedophile sitting atop the global paedophile ring that is the Catholic Church.

Some people believe this sick fantasy, or have convinced themselves it is vaguely plausible.

Others don’t care about the injustice because they hate Pell, who is that most unloved creature of our times, a conservative Catholic, implacably wedded to Church teachings and unwilling, like his more fashionable brother priests, to accommodate the great causes du jour: same-sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia.

Victoria Police has been examining the three-decade-old allegations for at least 18 months, without attempting to interview Pell, who offered to be interviewed after allegations leaked in February, on the eve of Pell’s testimony to the child abuse royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

July 29, 2016

Dillingham parish priest charged with attempted sexual assault

ALASKA
Bristol Bay Times

July 29th Dave Bendinger, KDLG

A Russian Orthodox priest has been suspended from his duties after allegations of domestic violence and attempted sexual assault.

Dillingham Police have charged Michael Nicolai with attempted sexual assault.

Nicolai is the priest at Saint Seraphim of Sarov, Dillingham's Russian Orthodox church. He has been suspended from his duties.

Police responded to the parish home behind the church early on July 16 after a woman reported that she had been assaulted, said Dillingham Police chief Dan Pasquariello. He was taken to jail that day, and released on bail on July 18.

"The officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance," he said. "They went there, they interviewed all parties involved, they made an arrest. The information they gathered, after conferring with the district attorney, led them to charge Father Nicholai with attempted sexual assault and a physical assault."

The investigation revealed that Father Michael had been drinking that night, and the victim said he had been viewing pornography, which led to arguments and eventually an assault. Officers found ripped clothing and undergarments which corroborated the victim's initial description of the nature of the assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Court upholds priests 'seal of confession' in sexual abuse case

LOUISIANA
WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A win for the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Baton Rouge today in a legal case that centered around a church doctrine prohibiting a priest from revealing what is said inside a confessional.

A state appeals court affirmed that Father Jeff Bayhi does not have to reveal any conversation between him and a woman who claims she was sexually abused by a now deceased parishioner.

Rebecca Mayeux claimed in a lawsuit against the Church that she told Bayhi about the alleged behavior in 2008 and that those statements between the two should be included during any trial proceedings. Mayeux was 14 at the time.

However, attorneys for Mayeux say the court ruling today allows her to testify what was said in the confessional.

The ongoing court case has been the subject of a series of reports by the News 2 Investigative Unit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Priest’s lawsuit against news station accusing him of child molestation has been dismissed

LOUISIANA
Louisiana Record

Dawn Geske Jul. 29, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. — The lawsuit against a television station by a priest over an inaccurate graphic that aired, labeling him as child molester, has been dismissed.

The case was dismissed by a District Judge Wilson Fields against WBRZ-TV. The priest, Rev. Jeff Bayhi, filed the case in regards to a graphic that was aired saying that he abused a parishioner at the age of 14. The graphic also stated that Bayhi died during the time of the investigation.

The graphic aired inaccurately and was corrected at the end of the news broadcast. The 14-year-old girl was abused, but not by Bayhi. She did relay this information to Bayhi during a confessional, which Bayhi is sworn to secrecy from reporting through his priest commandments

Through the lawsuit Bayhi was looking to receive compensation as well as hold the news station accountable for its actions. The station aired the graphic as part of a news story that focused on secrecy of the confessional and allegations of sexual abuse by a now deceased parishioner George Charlet Jr. The graphic didn’t include Bayhi’s name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

In custody in Israel, fugitive rabbi indicted for sexual assault

ISRAEL
JTA

(JTA) — A rabbi who was extradited back to Israel from South Africa was indicted for several sexual assaults, including of a teenage girl.

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, 79, was arrested in April in Johannesburg and extradited to Israel earlier this month prior to his indictment at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Friday, Army Radio reported.

Berland, who has denied the allegations against him, is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. Prosecutors said he abused his status within the girl’s community. He is also accused of trying to engage in sexual acts with four women who came to him seeking his advice and help, the radio station reported.

Berland, founder of the Shuvu Bonim religious seminary in Israel, fled to South Africa for a year before he was extradited to Israel earlier this month. He was arrested in April in Johannesburg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Leaks add a bitter flavour to allegations against Cardinal Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

FRANK BRENNAN
The Australian July 30, 2016

Wednesday night’s 7.30 program on ABC television carried allegations against Cardinal George Pell that, if true, are devastating: life-ruining for victims such as Damian Dignan and Lyndon Monument; confronting for all citizens committed to the wellbeing of children; and earth-shattering for Catholics who still have faith in their church. The ABC report is also troubling for those of us concerned about due process and the rule of law.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can all say it would have been better if onlookers such as Les Tyack in the Torquay Surf Club — claiming to have credible evidence of unseemly behaviour by an adult such as Pell towards children — went to the police promptly rather than waiting 30 years. As it was put on 7.30, “One summer day, (Tyack) says he witnessed a strange incident, so strange it later compelled him to go to police.” The incident is alleged to have occurred in the mid-1980s.

Pell has been the focus of attention during the long-running Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He was grilled publicly for days on end about what he knew about abuse committed by others when he was a priest in Ballarat and when he was auxiliary bishop in Melbourne.

The commission has been so focused on Pell that it decided to make the abuse by Peter Searson its primary focus when investigating abuse by Melbourne priests. This was not because Searson was the worst abuser but because he worked in the region of the archdiocese where Pell had supervision as auxiliary bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Police obfuscation undermines child sex abuse inquiry: Frank Brennan

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

One of Australia’s most respected Catholics has lashed out at Victoria Police’s handling of the George Pell sex abuse alle­gations, reigniting a long-running feud about the way the force has treated the church.

Father Frank Brennan has warned that “police obfuscation’’ and “media titillation’’ has the potential to undermine the child sex abuse royal commission and to inflict further damage on victims.

Father Brennan has also ­lamented that a key “witness’’ to allegedly sexual behaviour by Cardinal Pell towards children took nearly 30 years to report the matter to police,

In an article published in today’s The Weekend Australian, Father Brennan has warned that if Cardinal Pell were found to be an abuser, he should be ousted from the Vatican.

“Make no mistake, if Pell is a child abuser, I want him out of the Vatican and out of the way of children,’’ he says. “But if he’s not, I want the Victoria Police to come clean and get back to routine policing, rather than media titillation, for the wellbeing of all of us.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Rabbi Eliezer Berland indicted for sex offenses

ISRAEL
Jerusalem Post

Rabbi Eliezer Berland was indicted by the Jerusalem District Attorney, Friday morning at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court for sexual assault.

The charges included assault against minor and using his position as a service and educational worker to assault others.

The induction came after a three year manhunt for the rabbi.

His followers demonstrated outside the court house in support Berland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Rabbi Berland indicted on sexual assault charges

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

Ido Ben Porat, 29/07/16

The Jerusalem District Attorney's office today (Friday) filed an indictment in the city's Magistrate Court against Rabbi Eliezer Berland on charges of indecent acts without consent, indecent acts towards a minor by exploiting a disciplinary and educational relationship, and aggravated assault.

In the indictment, Rabbi Berland is named as having served as the Rabbi and leader of the "Shuvu Banim" community and Yeshiva in Jerusalem, many of whose members were concentrated near his residences in Jerusalem and Beitar Ilit.

As part of the obligations associated with his position, he held meetings for purposes of religious and spiritual guidance and instruction with male and female members of his community, and others, in his house and other places.

The indictment states that Rabbi Berland took advantage of these meetings and his status on numerous occasions to commit sexual acts - without consent and while exploiting a disciplinary and educational relationship - with women and female minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

How the Vatican Can Shed Light on the Holocaust

UNITED STATES
New York Times

By GERALD POSNER
JULY 29, 2016

On Friday, Pope Francis is to become the third Roman Catholic pope to visit Auschwitz. John Paul II was the first Polish pope in the church’s 2,000-year history. Auschwitz is less than an hour from where he was born, and his 1979 visit was poignant. Every bit as dramatic was the 2006 visit by the German-born Benedict XVI who had at 14 been a member of the Hitler Youth.

But Francis’ visit could be the most significant ever if he uses the symbolic backdrop to break with the policies of six predecessors over 70 years and order the release of the Vatican’s sealed Holocaust-era archives.

The debate over the church’s secret wartime files is not new. The Vatican is the only country in Europe that refuses to open all of its World War II archives to independent historians and researchers. The issue is more than simply an academic debate over the appropriate rules for public disclosure of historically significant documents. The church’s files are thought to contain important information about the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. The Vatican had eyes and ears in the killing fields: tens of thousands of parish priests who sent letters and reports to their bishops, who in turn forwarded them to the secretary of state in Vatican City. One of the monsignors in charge of reviewing those thousands of reports was Giovanni Battista Montini, later Pope Paul VI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Bankruptcy judge rules Twin Cities archdiocese not hiding assets

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Peter Cox Jul 29, 2016

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has rejected a request to consolidate the assets of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a blow to clergy sexual abuse victims who have filed claims in the court as creditors.

Creditors had argued that the archdiocese had taken steps to hide and shield assets including changing corporate documents, painting over cemetery signs, removing references to the archdiocese on the Catholic Cemeteries' website, and creating new foundations to divert revenue.

In his decision, Judge Robert J. Kressel said creditors had failed to provide sufficient facts to support the motion to consolidate.

"There is no doubt that the Catholic Church is hierarchical in its organization and authoritarian in doctrinal matters," Kressel wrote. "But those characteristics are insufficient for a court to ignore its corporate legal structure. The typical substantive consolidation is reserved for situations where the finances of two or more debtors are so confusingly intertwined that it is impossible to separate them."

Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing the creditors group, said the amount available without assets from parishes, schools and other entities is substantially smaller.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Goddard Inquiry begins to sift through Church’s evidence

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Gavin Drake

Posted: 29 Jul 2016

THE Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has begun a “rapid evidence assessment” as part of its investigation into the Anglican Churches in England and Wales, the Inquiry’s Counsel, Ben Emmerson QC, said this week.

Mr Emmerson made his com­ments on Wednesday at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand, Lon­don, where Justice Lowell Goddard was holding a series of preliminary hearings into the Inquiry’s different strands.

He revealed that the Inquiry’s research team was sifting through information and evidence from 114 different sources. Among them was the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, which had sup­plied over 7000 items of evidence relating to the diocese of Chichester and the case of Bishop Peter Ball, which are being used as case studies by the Inquiry.

”Initial analysis of the evidence so far received is well under way,” Mr Emmerson said. This would lead to “additional requests for informa­tion” being made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Ex-priest accused of 1982 indecent assault

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

A 73-year-old former Catholic Marist Brother has been accused of indecently assaulting a boy when he was teaching at a WA primary school more than 30 years ago.

Police say the arrest by Rockingham detectives comes after an extensive investigation into the alleged offending against the boy, who was aged 10 at the time of the first incident in 1982.

The man has been charged with two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14 years of age and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court later on Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Police must interview Pell

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

29 Jul 2016

Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer Frank Brennan has called for Victoria Police to travel to Rome immediately to interview Ballarat’s Cardinal George Pell over allegations of child sexual abuse.

In an opinion piece for public affairs publication Eureka Street the outspoken priest said the whole saga wreaked of injustice and incompetent policing. He also called for the Victorian Government to take resolute action and demand Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton get to the bottom of the leaks.

It followed two alleged victims coming forward who say Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric groped their genitals in the 1970s. Another says he saw the priest expose himself to young boys.

Damian Dignan and Lyndon Monument disclosed their alleged abuse on ABC’s 7.30 Report this week. Cardinal Pell has maintained his innocence and released a robust rebuttal, accusing Victoria Police and the ABC of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

“If Damian Dignan, Lyndon Monument and George Pell are to receive justice Graham Ashton should commission his SANO Taskforce to travel to Rome immediately,” Father Brennan said. “More police obfuscation and media titillation merely risks undermining the standing and outcomes of the present royal commission and further unnecessary suffering for victims seeking justice and closure.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Cardinal George Pell won’t be asked to stand down from Vatican post, church insiders say

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
July 29, 2016

CARDINAL George Pell will not be asked to stand down from his powerful Vatican post while a police investigation into alleged child sex offences continues, church insiders say.

But the cardinal could be forced to step aside if the alleged abuse is reported to the church’s internal Towards Healing scheme.

There have been calls for the cardinal, who works closely with Pope Francis as the Vatican’s finance chief, to stand down this week following explosive allegations he fondled two boys while swimming with them in the 1970s.

Cardinal Pell has emphatically denied the allegations.

Victoria Police has not ruled out laying charges as a result of the investigation but are awaiting advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

New witnesses for inquiry into former Bishop of Lewes

UNITED KINGDOM
Sussex Express

Huw Oxburgh
huw.oxburgh@jpress.co.uk
Friday 29 July 2016

Victims and alleged victims of the former Bishop of Lewes will give evidence to the Goddard inquiry into child sexual abuse despite initially being turned away.

In all six complainants – either allegedly abused or established to have been abused by disgraced bishop Peter Ball – will be allowed to give evidence after being named as ‘core participants’ in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), also known as the Goddard inquiry.

They were provisionally denied this status as they were over 18-years-old at the time of the offences and alleged offences, falling outside of the inquiry’s initial remit. This decision was later reversed and confirmed at a preliminary hearing of the inquiry on Wednesday (July 27).

Set-up in 2015 in the wake of the Jimmy Saville case, the Goddard inquiry aims to investigate the extent to which UK institutions have failed to protect children. Chaired by Dame Lowell Goddard it is looking at a number of institutions including the Anglican Church.

Following the preliminary hearing, Graham Tilby the Church’s national safeguarding adviser said: "We welcome today's (July 27) update on the investigation into the Anglican Church in England and Wales and the acknowledgement from the Inquiry that the material already submitted is relevant and useful. We note that the Inquiry has received a substantial amount of material from us and other core participants and the analysis of this is now underway as is the process of identifying possible witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Archbishop Hon details some of the biggest issues he faces

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 29, 2016

By Krystal Paco

He's been on the job as Guam's interim archbishop for over a month. While he's expected to make right the wrongs of the previous church administration, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai says he has plenty of work ahead of him.

It's a multimillion dollar question: who owns the Redemptoris Mater Seminary? According to the Vatican-appointed apostolic administrator, the Yona property is owned by the Archdiocese of Agana. "The archdiocese owns that property. No doubt of it. And then there's a certain ambiguity who has the right to use it. And on this matter, I'm going to have a review of it," Archbishop Hon stated.

Hon isn't new to Guam. He was here on island last year with Reverend Father Tadeusz Nowak and Archbishop Martin Krebs. Back then, he observed issues with communication at the Agana archdiocese, an issue he says still needs to be worked on today. "We recognized certain difficulties in this archdiocese in terms of communications, within the church or the church with the society," he stated.

Hon's appointment as Guam's interim archbishop follows allegations of molestation against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who has since been placed on leave. Hon tells KUAM News he continues to reach out to the alleged victims. He also clarifies he wasn't aware he was in the presence of one of the alleged victims who was picketing outside the Hagatna Cathedral moments before Sunday morning mass. "Unfortunately at that time I did not notice the presence of Mr. Walter Denton, so I did not ignore him. I'm sorry if by chance I could not recognize him or did not realize he was there. Create certain pain to him, I'm sorry for that," he apologize.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Australian bishop exposes cover-up of serial abuse

AUSTRALIA
Church Times

by Muriel Porter, Australia Correspondent

Posted: 29 Jul 2016

THE Bishop of Newcastle, New South Wales, the Rt Revd Greg Thompson, has publicly condemned his diocese’s previous handling of sexual-abuse cases, accusing former diocesan personnel of removing documents and covering up serial offending.

Speaking on a current-affairs programme on national television, Bishop Thompson said that “this is what ‘mates looking after mates’ looks like in the Church at times. And that is an appalling thing to say for a Christian person.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Editorial: Justice proves elusive in case of Monsignor Lynn

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

The long legal saga involving the highest-ranking Catholic church official ever charged and convicted in connection to the church’s child sex abuse scandal is nearly over.

The questions and moral dilemma that have swirled around this most controversial case? Far from it.

Msgr. William Lynn has now been behind bars for three years after being convicted of a single charge of endangering the welfare of children for his actions involving a suspected predator priest.

Make no mistake, Lynn was never charged as an abuser. His “sin” – in legal terms – was connected to his role as secretary of the clergy for the archdiocese of Philadelphia, where he served under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. It was in that role that he faced charges connected to his supervisory role over a priest accused of sexually abusing children. In effect, the district attorney alleged Lynn enabled pedophile priests, assigning them to new parishes, where they likely molested more children.

A grand jury report gave a damning version of church policy in connection with problem priests, in effect saying the church routinely moved predator priests from one parish to another, with no warning to parishioners about the priests’ past, thus putting more children at risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

El cardenal Pell, en la encrucijada tras ser acusado de abusos sexuales en Australia

AUSTRALIA
Religion Digital

Cameron Doody, 28 de julio de 2016

(Cameron Doody).- "Cuando la situación llega al nivel de acusaciones que, bajo cualquier estándar razonable, se merecen que se les dé crédito, creo que tiene que dar un paso atrás". El psicólogo forense y ex-sacerdote Terry Laidler se ha referido así a la posición cada vez menos sostenible del cardenal George Pell, Prefecto de la Secretaría para la Economía de la Santa Sede, tras la emisión de un programa televisivo australiano que reveló que la fiscalía australiana le está investigando al cardenal por múltiples delitos de abusos sexuales a menores supuestamente cometidos entre la década de los 70 y la de los 90.

El espacio The 7.30 Report informó este miércoles que la policía del estado de Victoria, tras un año de investigaciones, ya ha mandado a la fiscalía un dossier que contiene al menos ocho declaraciones de testigos, víctimas y familiares afectados por abusos que habrían sido perpetrados por el cardenal Pell, tanto durante su período de párroco en la Victoria rural en los 70 y 80 como en su etapa de arzobispo de Melbourne, la capital del estado, en los 90.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

WA Marist brother accused of assaulting boy, 10

AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

DANIELLE LE MESSURIER, PerthNow
July 29, 2016

A FORMER Marist brother has been charged over the alleged indecent assault of a 10-year-old boy at a WA primary school.

Police will allege the man, now 73, was employed as a teacher when he indecently assaulted the boy for the first time in 1982.

He was arrested by Rockingham Detectives and charged with two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14 years of age.

The man is due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court on July 29.

In a statement, the Marist Brothers’ Province of Australia said the allegations were serious and appropriately before the courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Judge Rejects Including Parishes in Twin Cities Archdiocese Bankruptcy

MINNESOTA
KSTP

A federal judge has declined to include parishes and other church properties among assets in the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel ruled Thursday on the request by a committee representing clergy abuse victims. The committee wanted to consolidate the assets of various entities in the archdiocese, which would have meant more money to pay victims' claims.

Kressel wrote that the victims' attorneys failed to show that the benefits of consolidation outweighed the harm to those entities.

Jeff Anderson, an attorney for victims, issued a statement accusing the archdiocese of hiding assets and promised an appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Investigation launched into historical rape case against a vicar in Bradford

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph and Argus

POLICE have confirmed they are investigating an historical rape claim against a vicar.

The victim, who is now a priest, alleges he was repeatedly raped at the age of 16 by the vicar in Bradford in 1984.

The victim says he made verbal allegations to the Right Reverend Peter Burrows, The Bishop of Doncaster, as well as the Right Reverend Stephen Croft, the former Bishop of Sheffield, and now Bishop of Oxford; and the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, a former Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, and now the Bishop of Leicester, between July 2012 and February 2013. He is accusing them of failing to act.

The priest has also alleged that the Archbishop of York John Sentamu and the Right Reverend Glyn Webster, the Bishop of Beverley, were also made aware when they were copied in to a letter sent to the Right Reverend Croft in June 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

There is one point where the Pell cheerleaders are right

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

John Silvester

Is there a more polarising figure in Australia than Cardinal George Pell?

His clipped speech, at times imperious language, and senior position in a church that failed lamentably to deal with paedophiles in its own ranks has left him detested by many.

But that is a long way from declaring him a criminal, a predator and child molester.

Pell is the subject of a police investigation that he sexually assaulted young boys at the Ballarat public swimming pool in the 1970s.

Earlier this week two complainants told their story to the ABC and the response has been explosive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Ugandan pastor accused of sexual abuse

UGANDA
News 24

Kampala - A Ugandan pastor allegedly sexually abused several women in his congregation in an effort to make them "fertile", the Daily Monitor reports.

The suspect, from the country's Lira district, was arrested on Tuesday after several allegations of sexual assault were made against him. He could face charges of extortion due to his collection of money from the public in exchange for "blessings".

The investigating officer, Francis Liiga Francis, said the suspect was attached to the Pentecostal Ministries. He said several complaints had been received from market vendors who claimed the church leader had been extorting money from them.

Victims alleged the man wanted 15 000 Ugandan shillings from them, with the promise of banishing all their financial and personal problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

OUR VIEW: Church must take further steps to address allegations

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

The Archdiocese of Agana recently announced changes in addressing sexual abuse allegations. Now, church leaders must turn rhetoric into reality.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, appointed by the Vatican to temporarily oversee the archdiocese, said on Wednesday, July 27 he recants and retracts statements made by Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Three former altar boys and the mother of a deceased former altar boy accused Apuron of sexually assaulting the boys in the 1970s.

Apuron, who has not been charged with any crime, made statements that essentially called the accusers liars.

The accusers, through their attorney, filed a $2 million libel and slander lawsuit against Apuron, the archdiocese and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Australian Police Investigating Cardinal Over Sex-Abuse Allegations

AUSTRALIA
Wall Street Journal

By FRANCIS X ROCCA
July 28, 2016

Australian police are investigating a senior cardinal at the Vatican over accusations that he sexually abused minors several decades ago.

The case stems from accusations that Australian Cardinal George Pell, the chief of a finance body recently established by Pope Francis, sexually abused children on various occasions in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

The police commissioner of the Australian state of Victoria told a Melbourne radio station on Thursday that authorities have been investigating the accusations for more than a year and are continuing with their inquest,

The comment came in response to an Australian television program broadcast earlier this week that reported the accusations.

The police commissioner, Graham Ashton, said he had referred the charges to prosecutors, who would consider possible indictments. However, the state’s Office of Public Prosecutions said its director returned the file to the police for them to decide on any charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Bishop sought 'transparency' in putting priest on leave

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

A grim Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel stepped up to the podium in the John XXIII Room in the Immaculata Center Wednesday afternoon.

Deshotel had to address child pornography images allegedly found on the personal computer of the Rev. F. David Broussard, pastor of St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge.

Broussard was arrested earlier in the day by the Louisiana State Police for possession of child pornography, some 500 images and 500 counts worth. He was released from the St. Martin Parish jail later the same day on $25,000 bond.

Deshotel put Broussard on administrative leave from his priestly duties and called the press conference.

In June, Pope Francis issued a decree, in the form of an apostolic letter, that bishops can and should be removed if they actively or passively sanction sex abuse in their dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Priest asks for sanctions against group withholding information about accusers

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Nassim Benchaabane St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • A St. Louis-area priest urged a federal court Thursday to rule that an advocacy group has defied a court order to hand over private information about people who accused him of sexual abuse of a minor and to impose sanctions.

The Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests has fought an order from a federal judge in St. Louis to hand over emails, text messages and contact information of people who accused Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang of sexually abusing a boy in a Catholic school bathroom on charges that were later dropped.

Jiang filed a civil lawsuit against the boy’s parents, police and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Davis, alleging they conspired against him for monetary gain, and that police officers went after him because of his religious and racial background.

SNAP had until July 22 to comply with the order, which also required turning over all records of donations attorneys for SNAP have made to the organization. The order said federal law does not guarantee privacy in the production of pre-trial evidence.

Clohessy said the order was too broad and that it sought all communications about anything discussed between SNAP and the group’s lawyers for 10 years. His group joined an emergency motion filed by other people who have made accusations against Roman Catholic priests asking that the order be stayed. They said their rights would be violated if SNAP handed over the information and pointed to a state court ruling that SNAP may qualify as a rape crisis center, entitling it to keep certain communications with its clients private.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Crown requests 15 months jail time for priest guilty of theft

CANADA
Windsor Star

DAVE BATTAGELLO, WINDSOR STAR

Published on: July 28, 2016

A priest found guilty of stealing up to $234,000 from his own church should be sentenced to jail for 15 months, a Crown prosecutor said Thursday during a sentence hearing in Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Given how Rev. Robert Couture created a “lavish lifestyle” for himself that included a new car, vacations, a hefty retirement account and extensive wardrobe, assistant Crown attorney Tom Meehan also asked the court to sentence the priest to two years probation.

He added the priest should be forced to pay back $178,624 for his crime — or reimburse the church to the greatest extent possible.

During his trial last fall, the court heard that from 2002 to 2010, Couture stole for his personal use between $170,000 and $234,000 from Ste. Anne Parish in Tecumseh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

George Pell at the Ballarat pool: 'Everything he did was done with a grandeur'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Chris Johnston

Cardinal George Pell was a larger-than-life figure at the Eureka pool in Ballarat through the summers of the late 1970s. This was when – it is now sensationally alleged – he sexually abused two boys in the pool.

"A big, strong, good-looking man," says Paul Tatchell​, a former mayor of Moorabool shire and himself a victim of rape by a notorious Catholic priest in Ballarat – Edward Dowlan​ – in the bad old days. Pell was on Richmond's reserves list to play footy 20 years before. He gave up sport for the church. But he had kept in shape.

"He was never short of admirers," says Tatchell. Pell, now the Vatican's head of finance, would have been 38, 39 years old. "He was in very good nick. Everything he did was done with a grandeur – and he reckoned he went all right."

Many of the Catholic schools nearby used Eureka as their pool, but the best time to be there was summer school holidays and Pell was always there then, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Documents detail sex, harassment complaints against Nienstedt

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Laura Yuen Jul 29, 2016

A Twin Cities priest's summer trip with John Nienstedt was about to get excruciatingly uncomfortable.

The priest had joined the then-bishop of New Ulm, Minn., on a visit to Nienstedt's second home, not far from Lake Huron in Michigan. It was July 2004. At the time, the 37-year-old man considered Nienstedt, 20 years his senior, a close platonic friend.

One night, after the two men attended a private event near Detroit, the priest offered to drive the roughly 60 miles home. Nienstedt had drunk too much, he figured.

In the car, the priest would later recount to investigators, Nienstedt spoke affectionately and placed his hand on the priest's neck. The bishop then began to massage it, according to the priest.

"I felt extremely awkward and did not know what to do," he said, according to a document released by Ramsey County last week. The priest considered the gesture an unwelcome sexual advance.

Court document: Concerns from a diocesan priest

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

July 28, 2016

Bishop: 'Child pornography is a plague'

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Dominick Cross, dcross@theadvertiser.com July 28, 2016

A Breaux Bridge priest accused of possessing child pornography was held in high regard in the parish, according to Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, of the Diocese of Lafayette.

The Rev. F. David Broussard, pastor of St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge for the past two years, was arrested Wednesday by Louisiana State Police on 500 counts of possession of child pornography.

Broussard also is the chancellor of St. Bernard School in Breaux Bridge.

“As we know, in our society, child pornography is a plague,” Deshotel said. “It runs the gamut of all strata of society.”

Deshotel spoke at a news conference Wednesday regarding charges that Broussard possessed child pornography on his personal computer.

“It’s something that has to be addressed right at the beginning as soon as it’s known,” he said. “Which is why I was happy to cooperate with the state officials in dealing with that for the protection of young and innocent people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Why 'cover-up culture' serves church poorly

AUSTRALIA
Sunshine Coast Daily

Bill Hoffman | 29th Jul 2016

REQUIREMENTS for celibacy and the exclusion of women from the priesthood were areas the Catholic Church could consider as it grapples with issues of child sexual abuse.

Former Dean of the North Coast Parish of the Catholic Church, John Dobson, speaking in the wake of the latest allegations levelled again Cardinal George Pell, said psychologists dealing with offending priests have raised issue with the benefits of enforced celibacy.

Father Dobson said once people were set up as direct representatives of God it opened a lot of doors to odd places.

And he said only fools would argue women lacked the gifts and abilities to make them suitable for priesthood.

Father Dobson said problems in the church were more about institutional culture rather than individual evil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Call over submissions on Mother and Baby Homes

IRELAND
RTE News

Advocacy groups assisting people affected by Ireland's treatment of unmarried mothers and their children have urged the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes to be proactive in inviting submissions to its key investigation committee.

Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) and the Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) say they have discovered that people who thought they had made a submission for the purpose of the commission's investigation had in fact just met with the body's confidential committee.

In a joint statement, the groups have urged the commission to explain to those affected the different powers of both committees.

They welcomed yesterday's interim report from the commission, which persuaded the Government to extend the timeline for its three reports, allowing them all to be published in February 2018 instead of adhering to the original staggered timeline which envisaged the final report alone being published on that date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

LA--Priest arrested on child porn charges

LOUISIANA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 27

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 Lafayette priest has been arrested on child porn charges. Now, it’s up to his Catholic supervisors and colleagues to aggressively seek out anyone with suspicions or knowledge of any crimes by him and beg them to call law enforcement.

[KATC]

It’s not enough for church employees to claim they’re “cooperating with authorities.” (In our experience, that usually means they’re doing the bare minimum to avoid being charged with obstruction of justice.) Catholic officials gave this volunteer access to kids. So they owe it to parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public to use their vast resources to actively help law enforcement solve this case and to find and help others who may have been hurt by this volunteer.

Specifically, we call on Bishop Daniel Deshotel to personally visit Fr. David Broussand’s parish this weekend (and any other church where he may have been) begging victims, witnesses or whistleblowers to call police. Deshotel should also put announcements in church bulletins, parish websites and other diocesan publications and outlets.

We have serious doubts about Lafeyette’s bishop:

[SNAP]

It was 32 years ago, in this same Diocese of Lafayette, that the first US predator priest, Fr. Gilbert Bauthe, created national headlines.

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 5:07 PM

Priest charged with child porn out on bail

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Dominick Cross, dcross@theadvertiser.com July 28, 2016

An official at the St. Martin Parish jail confirmed Thursday morning that the Rev. Felix David Broussard, arrested and booked Wednesday on 500 counts of possessing child pornography, was released later the same day on $25,000 bond.

Broussard, pastor of St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge for the past two years, was arrested by Louisiana State Police.

Broussard, the 50-year old priest was ordained for the Diocese of Lafayette on June 12, 1993, according to a biography on the St. Bernard church website. His pastoral assignments in Acadiana included Parochial Vicar of St. Mary Magdalen in Abbeville; Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy in Opelousas; St. Joseph/St. Michael in Iota/Egan, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary/St. Francis Cabrini in Kaplan, and St. Joseph/St. Jules in Evangeline/Petit Mamou.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Victims respond to freeing of Catholic official

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 27

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

The impending freedom of Msgr. William Lynn – only the second US Catholic official to be convicted of essentially enabling child sex crimes – will no doubt feel like yet another blow to hundreds of wounded Philly area abuse victims and thousands of betrayed Philly area Catholics.

[PhillyVoice]

Needless to say, it’s more important than ever that people with knowledge or suspicions about complicity by Lynn or other church officials call secular authorities.

And needless to say, no matter how uphill it might seem, we hope prosecutors seek a new trial. Vigorously pursuing those who act recklessly, callously and deceitfully with kids’ safety is one sure way to make kids safer and more recklessness, callousness and deceit is deterred.

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 2:51 PM

Abuse case vs. Vatican’s #2 moves forward; SNAP responds

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 27

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

Police have sent to prosecutors their investigation into the second most powerful Catholic official on earth. Eight brave individuals – most of them alleged child sex abuse victims - have given sworn statements. Three are courageously disclosing their names and giving credible interviews to a credible, mainstream news source in a new 30 minute program.

[ABC News]

One man says he hopes these developments will prompt others with information about Cardinal George Pell’s wrongdoing to come forward. We share that hope. Despite Pell’s power, it’s crucial that others with suspicions or knowledge of his wrongdoing find the strength to speak up to secular authorities, not church figures.

After a lengthy investigation, police have deemed eight accusers’ accounts are credible enough that they’re giving the evidence to prosecutors. That speaks volumes.

Pell refuses to be interviewed about the serious allegations. That too speaks volumes.

We commend the compassion and courage of Les Tyack, Lyndon Monument, Damian Dignan, Darreen Mooney, and forensic psychologist and former priest Terry Laidler who agreed to be interviewed for the program.

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 2:49 PM

Judge rejects bid to tap parishes, others in Twin Cities archdiocese bankruptcy

MINNESOTA
Star Trubune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JULY 28, 2016

Parishes and other church properties cannot be included among the assets in the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel denied the request by a committee representing clergy abuse victims to consolidate the assets of various entities in the archdiocese, which would have the effect of increasing the money available to settle the victims' claims.

The argument by victims' attorneys "failed to sufficiently show that the benefits of consolidation outweigh the harm to creditors," Kressel's ruling said.

Victims' attorney Jeff Anderson issued a statement protesting the ruling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Rape jokes about nuns, suggestions to read Lolita and seedy handwritten notes: How a sick priest groomed a girl, 15, for sex before driving her to the bush and assaulting her

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Belinda Grant Geary For Daily Mail Australia

A woman who was groomed and sexually assaulted by a chaplain when she was a young girl has spoken out about how she was silenced by her abuser and the Catholic Church.

Joan Isaacs, 63, was fifteen-years-old when a 'charismatic' chaplain of the Sacred Heart Convent at Sandgate, Brisbane, started paying her and a select few of her classmates 'special' attention.

Father Francis Edward Derriman passed the school children notes about musicians, gave them nicknames, and challenged the religious ideas that restricted their lives - all in an attempt to carefully construct an image of a man who was 'different' and could be trusted.

'Father Derriman was not handsome. But what he did have was a strong charisma and a power over people,' Ms Issacs wrote in her autobiography, To Prey and to Silence.

'He made them feel good. He made them feel special.'

Derriman told them he was dying of a terrible lung disease but insisted they keep it a secret. She said he positioned himself as a vulnerable and lonely man who needed their help and support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Medien: Missbrauchsverdacht gegen Kardinal Pell

AUSTRALIEN
religion@orf

Medienberichten zufolge ermittelt die Polizei im australischen Teilstaat Victoria gegen Kurienkardinal George Pell wegen des Verdachts sexuellen Missbrauchs, wie Kathpress berichtet.

Nach Angaben des Fernsehsenders ABC vom Mittwoch sind die Ermittlungen eingeleitet worden, nachdem Zeugen vor dem Untersuchungsausschuss der australischen Regierung entsprechende Vorwürfe erhoben hätten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Vatican finance minister rejects latest abuse allegations

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s finance minister, Cardinal George Pell, has strenuously rejected the latest claims that he sexually abused children many years ago as a priest.

Pell — an Australian who is third in the Vatican hierarchy, after Pope Francis and Secretary of State Pietro Parolin — is the most senior figure in the Catholic Church to be accused of sexually abusing minors.

“The allegations are untrue. I deny them absolutely,” 75-year-old Pell told journalists in Rome on Thursday (July 28).

This week, a TV report by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said police in the state of Victoria were investigating claims that Pell had touched boys inappropriately and, in a separate incident, appeared naked in front of three boys at a surfing club locker room in the late 1980s.

“Untested allegations should be put through the proper procedures,” Pell said. “I’m quite prepared to cooperate. … I won’t cooperate with trial by the media. I think it’s unjust and inappropriate.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Man abused foreign students at Catholic school, police say

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

EBENSBURG — A former house parent at a central Pennsylvania Catholic school has been charged with sexually attacking two Chinese international students he supervised.

John Bowman Thornberry, 28, of Mills River, N.C., declined to comment when reached Tuesday by The Associated Press. He was charged Monday by the Ebensburg police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

Thornberry has lived in North Carolina since he was removed from his job overseeing Chinese international students at Bishop Carroll High School in February.

That's when school officials alerted authorities upon learning of the accusations during a meeting with the foreign students.

During the meeting, some students spoke of their treatment by Thornberry, including one who asked school officials, “How can you respect someone who puts their hand down your pants?”

That boy eventually told police Thornberry fondled him after first taking him to a part of the building beyond the view of surveillance cameras. A second boy told authorities he fought off a molestation attempt by Thornberry that made the student feel “disgusting and meaningless.” Officials are trying to locate at least one other boy who also may have been molested by Thornberry since December 2014, four months after the school hired Thornberry, according to the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

http://www.guampdn.com/story/news/2016/07/28/man-my-brother-raped-archbishop-apuron/87650568/

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 29, 2016

The younger brother of a man allegedly molested by Archbishop Anthony Apuron told lawmakers Thursday he remembers when his brother, Joseph Anthony “Sonny” Quinata, came home crying.

“Senators, I know my brother was raped by Archbishop Apuron. He was sodomized. He was only 9 years old,” John Michael “Champ” Quinata said as he testified on a bill that would lift the statute of limitations, allowing victims of child sex abuse to sue their alleged perpetrators at any time.

Quinata’s mother, Doris Concepcion, first came forward with abuse allegations against Apuron in May, saying “Sonny” told her, just before he died 11 years ago, that Apuron had molested him in the late 1970s.

Apuron also has been accused of molestation or rape by three other former Agat altar boys — Roy T. Quintanilla, Walter G. Denton and Roland Sondia. Apuron was parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at the time of the alleged attacks. The accusers said he assaulted them during sleepovers at the church rectory. Apuron has denied the allegations.

“Pass this bill. Protect the boys and girls and help my brother Sonny, Roy, Roland and Walter, and others like them to go after their abusers and the institutions that protect them or cover for them for their past crimes and to deter any other potential abusers from doing the same,” Champ Quinata said. “Healing cannot begin without justice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

News Release: Judge Denies Consolidation Request in Archdiocese Bankruptcy Case

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Judge Denies Consolidation Request in Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis Bankruptcy Case

Creditors Committee, Survivors to Appeal Decision

Order Denying Substantive Consolidation
Timeline - ADSPM Maneuvers Post-CVA

(Minneapolis, MN) – In an order issued today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota, Judge Robert J. Kressel denied a motion to consolidate assets in the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis bankruptcy case.

On May 23, 2016, the creditors committee moved to consolidate several entities into the bankruptcy estate. Included in this motion was an outline of the complicated and deceptive legal maneuvers taken by the Archdiocese after the Minnesota Child Victims Act was passed in May 2013 to divert and shelter funds from sexual abuse survivors.

These deceptive actions taken by the Archdiocese to hide and shield assets include, among others, changing corporate documents, painting over cemetery signs, removing references to the Archdiocese the Catholic Cemeteries website, and creating new foundations to divert revenue.

“The Archdiocese hid assets that could and should be available to survivors the same way they hid sexual offenders and their misconduct for years,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson. “We won’t stand by while the Archdiocese uses bankruptcy to hide its assets and we will continue to fight against this injustice.”

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office/651.927.7872 Cell/612.817.8665
Contact Mike Finnegan: Office/651.927.7872 Cell/612.205.5531

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Brother of late Sonny Quinata details sibling's alleged molestation

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 28, 2016

By Krystal Paco

John "Champ" Quinata details the night his older brother Joseph "Sonny" Quinata was allegedly molested by Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Champ was only 8 years old when he recalls Sonny came home from Apuron's house. Sonny said he was touched by Apuron and that he was in pain.

The boys were both altar boys at Mt Carmel Parish where Apuron was a priest at the time. The boys tried to tell others what had happened, but no one listened.

Today, at the public hearing for a substituted version of Bill 326 which lifts the statute of limitations for child sex crimes, Champ said "Finally, people are listening."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Brother shares Sonny Quinata's story at public hearing

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 28, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Justice shouldn't have an expiration date - that sentiment echoed all morning at the Guam Legislature during a public hearing for a substituted version of Bill 326. The legislation would lift the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, and its introduction follows recent public accusations of molestation made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

And as was revealed today, one of the alleged victims almost took his secret to the grave.

Annabelle Cruz is a longtime social worker, and says that it's not unusual for child victims of sexual abuse, especially boys, to go their whole lives without sharing their stories. Cruz and a dozen others testified in support of a substituted version of Bill 326. "Most child victims, especially male child victims, won't tell. The majority of male victims will not tell. In fact, they would go to their grave having never opened their mouth because of the implications of disclosure."

A perfect example of this can be seen with alleged victim Joseph "Sonny" Quinata. Quinata passed away, but it was only on his death bed did he allegedly tell his mother, Doris Concepcion, that he was molested by Archbishop Apuron. Sonny along with Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Roland Sondia were all altar boys at Mount Carmel Parish in Agat when they were allegedly molested by Apuron, who was a priest at the time.

Testifying on Sonny's behalf was his younger brother, John Michael Quinata. Quinata was only 8 and Sonny was 9. That morning, Quinata remembers Sonny coming home from a sleepover at Apuron's house, saying, "He said, 'father Apuron touched me.' He said he was hurting badly and could not use the bathroom. I did not understand what he was saying at the time. I was eight years old. What did he mean by the bathroom or the pain? I knew when he came home that morning, he changed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Cardinal George Pell accused of 'grabbing' young boys at swimming pool in latest scandal to hit Vatican

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph (UK)

Jonathan Pearlman, sydney
28 JULY 2016

Cardinal George Pell, one of the most powerful figures in the Vatican and Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, is facing a police investigation over an alleged series of child sexual assaults, including claims he inappropriately “grabbed” boys at a swimming pool in the state of Victoria.

In a statement issued by his office in Rome, Cardinal Pell, the Vatican’s finance chief, emphatically denied the allegations, accusing police and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of “conspiring” to destroy his reputation.

He accused police of illegally leaking “inaccurate and unfounded” allegations.

"I have done nothing wrong," he said. “I bear no ill will and have no desire to cause them [the alleged victims] harm but what they say about me is not true.”

Two former students at St Alipius, a school in the town of Ballarat, have publicly accused the cardinal of abuse dating back to the 1970s during sessions at a local swimming pool. Cardinal Pell was responsible for education in the area and regularly visited the students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Cardinal George Pell child sex claims before public prosecutor

AUSTRALIA
Australian

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

Victoria Police yesterday opened the door to charging Cardinal ­George Pell with child sex offences as senior Catholics stridently backed the faith’s third most senior figure amid a fresh wave of devastating publicity over alleged abuse.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton yesterday made clear that charging Cardinal Pell was a live option for the force after confirming the Office of Public Prosecutions was investigating multiple allegations against the Vatican’s Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

The Australian has seen no evidence in the public realm to support charges against Cardinal Pell and Mr Ashton has declared that the force will be guided by the ­direction of the OPP.

Cardinal Pell yesterday called for a criminal investigation into the ABC and police after the ­national broadcaster reported ­allegations that the Vatican’s treasurer had molested two boys at a pool in Ballarat, western Victoria, in the late 1970s.

Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher yesterday backed Cardinal Pell, who has denied allegations he is a sex offender.

All publicly known allegations of criminal wrongdoing against Cardinal Pell have so far not led to any charges although police are also examining alleged abuse at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne, the church’s heartland in Victoria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

George Pell, a man always proper and prudent

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESS LIVINGSTONEThe Australian
July 29, 2016

Like any red-blooded 25-year-old male on the verge of taking a vow of lifelong celibacy, George Pell regarded that requirement of his chosen career with consternation, which he poured out to his closest friend in Rome in 1966 during an afternoon walk over the bridges that cross the Tiber.

As a student approaching ordination as he was then, and for decades afterwards, the most difficult aspect of mandatory celibacy, a discipline he supports for Catholic priests, was not living without sex but “living without the love and close companionship of a wife and children’’.

That’s what he said during an interview for his biography in 2002. His perspective has not changed.

The many family members, friends, colleagues and staff — and their children — to whom he is unswervingly loyal know the appalling conduct of which he has been accused is not in his nature.

Nor would his conscience allow it. Even in informal situations he is proper and prudent, albeit with a reputation, in his younger days, for tough tackles on the football field and pummelling other seminarians with news­papers on picnics.

How and why these claims have emerged 40 years after the alleged events is a mystery, especially to anyone who remembers the controversies of 2002 — the year, by sheer coincidence, I was writing his biography for Sydney publisher Duffy & Snellgrove.

It was in August 2002 that Pell stood aside as archbishop of Sydney while retired Victorian supreme court judge Alec Southwell inquired into claims that as a young seminarian, he had molested a boy at a holiday camp on Phillip Island in 1961. He was exonerated.

The uproar, with the story on every front page and every news and current affairs program, was intense.

In that glare, others with something to say would surely have come forward, to the police or to one of many character assassins who were circling.

Piecing together his life, it was clear that high spirits, pillow fights on camp and yes, tossing games in the local pool, in full public view, were the young Pell’s style.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Commissioner Graham Ashton has puts Cardinal Pell on notice

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton has put George Pell on notice. He made it clear yesterday that charges against the cardinal, while not inevitable, are a live option.

Details of multiple allegations against Pell are sitting in the Office of Public Prosecutions, which will guide police on whether to proceed against the world’s third most senior Catholic.

On what The Australian has seen this week, it would seem highly unlikely charges will flow from the allegations of two Ballarat men highlighted by the ABC report — in the same way that the most serious claims of sexual wrongdoing in the past against Pell have fallen over.

To this end, the cardinal’s decision to go thermonuclear against Victoria Police and the ABC was ill-judged. First, the response simply threw kerosene on the campfire; second, there is no obvious evidence to suggest police had anything to do with the airing of the stories, although it would be unsurprising if the force was somewhere in the shadows.

In this instance, the cardinal’s problem is not a legal one but one of perception.

This is not seeking to diminish the complaints of the men but to acknowledge the profound difficulty any court would have in prosecuting allegedly submerged water activity that it is claimed happened nearly 40 years ago.

By waging a war with police, Pell is effectively daring detectives and police hierarchy to push the button and charge him with an offence or offences and let the courts decide.

There is a high-profile precedent in Victoria. Just more than a decade ago, police charged state Labor minister Theo Theophanous with rape on Christmas Eve — killing his career — only for the case to collapse in awkwardly spectacular fashion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Priest alleges Doncaster bishop and other church officials 'failed to act' on rape claim

UNITED KINGDOM
Doncaster Free Press

Sarah Marshall, Multimedia Reporter
sarah.marshall@jpress.co.uk
Thursday 28 July 2016

A priest has accused the Bishop of Doncaster and other church officials of failing to act on allegations that he was repeatedly raped by a vicar when he was 16-years-old.

The victim says he made verbal allegations to the Right Reverend Peter Burrows, The Bishop of Doncaster, as well as the Right Reverend Stephen Croft, the former Bishop of Sheffield, and now Bishop of Oxford; and the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, a former Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, and now the Bishop of Leicester, between July 2012 and February 2013.

The priest has also alleged that the Archbishop of York John Sentamu and the Right Reverend Glyn Webster, the Bishop of Beverley, were also made aware when they were copied in to a letter sent to the Right Reverend Croft in June 2013.

Responding to the allegation concerning Bishop of Doncaster, Peter Burrows, a spokesman for the Diocese of Sheffield said: "The Diocese of Sheffield takes the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults very seriously indeed. We are, of course, unable to comment on the detail of live investigations and complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Priest charged with stealing repays money, told to go home

CONNECTICUT
WTNH

SEYMOUR, Conn. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest charged with stealing more than $30,000 from the Connecticut church where he served as pastor will have his criminal record wiped clean if he returns to his native Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A judge has approved the Rev. Honore Kombo‘s request for accelerated rehabilitation, a form of probation under which a defendant can have criminal charges dismissed if they comply with all terms.

Related Content: Seymour priest accused of stealing, attorney says he tried to pay it back

The New Haven Register reports that the judge approved the deal because the 50-year-old Kombo has already repaid the money to St. Augustine’s parish in Seymour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Cardinal George Pell pleads for ‘fair go’ after fresh sex abuse allegations surface

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun

CARDINAL George Pell, under fire over fresh allegations of sex abuse against him, has pleaded for a “fair go”.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton confirmed on Thursday that a Victoria Police investigation into sex abuse allegations against the cardinal was continuing while the Office of Public Prosecutions analysed a brief of evidence.

In February, the Herald Sun revealed that the world’s third-most powerful Catholic was being investigated by Taskforce Sano, which probes cases arising from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

On Wednesday night, two men whose claims are being investigated came forward with their allegations that during the summer of 1978-79, when they were boys, the then Father Pell groped them at Ballarat’s Eureka Pool.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Australian Police Investigate Abuse Accusations Against Cardinal George Pell

AUSTRALIA
New York Times

By BRETT COLE
JULY 28, 2016

SYDNEY, Australia — Cardinal George Pell, the de facto Vatican treasurer and Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric, is being investigated in connection with multiple allegations of child sexual assault that date back four decades, a top police official said on Thursday.

The official, Graham Ashton, chief police commissioner of the Australian state of Victoria, confirmed a report by the government-run Australian Broadcasting Corporation that detectives were investigating and had submitted an account of the allegations to Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions.

“We investigated and are still investigating,” Mr. Ashton said in an interview with the radio station 3AW in Melbourne, when asked about an inquiry.

The Victoria police have established a task force that is looking into such allegations in both religious and nongovernmental organizations.

Earlier, the police had refused to indicate whether Cardinal Pell was the subject of the investigation, which the ABC reported on Wednesday. But in an email, the police said, “Detectives are investigating allegations of historical sexual assaults committed in Ballarat East between 1976 and 1980 and East Melbourne between 1996 and 2001.”

The email added: “A brief of evidence has been prepared and presented to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice. Once the advice from the D.P.P. is received it will be reviewed. However, as with any investigation, it remains a decision for Victoria police as to whether charges will be laid.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

George Pell: Vatican unlikely to respond to child abuse allegations until police investigation complete, expert says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Myles Wearring

The Vatican is not likely to respond to child abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell until the outcome of police investigations, according to a Vatican expert.

"The Vatican will want to wait and see how any investigation proceeds," Christopher Lamb, correspondent for Catholic journal The Tablet, told Lateline.

"I don't think they'll be taking any kind of actions or any steps before that legal process concludes."

Mr Lamb, currently in Krakov, Poland to cover World Youth Day, said the allegations against Cardinal Pell had "certainly been on the radar here".

"I know that people will be monitoring it, be looking at it," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Perrault's life in Morocco years after St. Francis

CONNECTICUT
Republican-American

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Priest was hiding overseas

BY MICHAEL DOOLING REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

A quarter century after he fled New Mexico, and 51 years since he left Naugatuck, Arthur Perrault is no longer a priest with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

"His faculties have been revoked," said Santa Fe's former archdiocesan chancellor, the Rev. Timothy Martinez, when contacted several years ago.

The archdiocese was asked for, but did not provide, a list of parishes where Perrault served.

The Rev. Thomas Zotter, who replaced Perrault as St. Bernadette's pastor, told the Republican-American that the late Helen M. Keller, who had served both priests as an assistant, once mailed something to Perrault with an address in Morocco.

Perrault's signature is on file with the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office in New Mexico, after he needed to sell a house he owned in Albuquerque in 1994. He sold it to his assistant, Keller, and her husband. The 20-year mortgage he held provided a monthly payment to him of $469.69, according to the records.

The contract was signed by Perrault and notarized in Gibraltar, a British territory at the southern tip of Spain and is a short ferry ride from Tangier, Morocco.

After Helen Keller died in 2003 her brother, Richard Rawe, was appointed personal representative in her will. To sell her house, the county required a replacement warranty deed signed by Perrault; again his signature was notarized in Gibraltar. Rawe told the Republican-American in an email that once the deed was signed, it was transmitted to him through an intermediary named Dan Paulos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

The Fall

CONNECTICUT
Republican-American

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A priest charmed his flock, but victims say he had a dark secret

BY MICHAEL DOOLING
REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Editor's note: Part 2 of a two-part report about the Rev. Arthur Perrault, a Bristol native and one-time Connecticut priest from 1964-65 who decades later fled the country after multiple allegations of sexual abuse in New Mexico.

When the Rev. Arthur Perrault left St. Francis Church in Naugatuck he was sent to Via Coeli, a residential treatment facility run by the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, N.M.

The center, outside Santa Fe, originally treated priests with emotional and addictive problems including drug dependency and alcoholism. In the 1950s, the church began to refer pedophile priests there, with increasing frequency.

The center's history is documented in letters from its founder, who urged the church to remove such men from the priesthood, and in depositions made public after lawsuits began to be filed in New Mexico in the 1990s.

Perrault remained in New Mexico after Via Coeli. Less than a year after leaving St. Francis, Perrault became active in parish work in Albuquerque. He is mentioned, again and again, in editions of the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican from 1966 well into the 1980s: officiating at a marriage ceremony, moderating a YWCA "Girls into Women" conference on sex education, teaching religion and ethics at St. Pius X High School, running a youth choir.

The Archdiocese of Hartford officially transferred Perrault to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in 1967 although he had been removed from Connecticut more than a year earlier.

All ties to the Archdiocese of Hartford ended in August 1967, said Maria Zone, communications director. In an email, Zone said the archdiocese could not release further information or comment about Perrault because personnel information is kept confidential.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Discovery of former priest and accused pedophile conjures memories of 'the talk'

CONNECTICUT
Republican-American

Sunday, May 22, 2016

BY MICHAEL DOOLING
REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

A new assistant pastor, Rev. Arthur J. Perrault, arrived at St. Francis Parish in Naugatuck in September 1965.

Two weeks ago, Perrault, an accused pedophile, was found living in Morocco. He had fled his New Mexico parish in 1992 after lawsuits alleging sexual abuse were filed against him and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

The news rattled memories among those who knew the priest in Naugatuck. Perrault's brief stint there, and his abrupt departure within two months, went almost unnoticed, except by a group of eighth-grade boys who feared him.

Father Perrault brought the boys of the class of 1966, who wore white shirts and blue ties monogrammed "SFS," to dimly lit and secluded areas in the church, or to the principal's office after school when the hallways and classrooms were empty.

These meetings were always one-on-one. Word on the playground before school, and at recess, was that "Father Art" was having "The Talk" with every boy in class about how babies are made.

There they were, awkwardly alone, face-to-face with a veritable stranger who was determined to educate them about the subject, or least part of the subject. Perrault was less descriptive of sperm and egg and concentrated more on describing the mechanics and hydraulics of the male anatomy.

Then the priest inquired how knowledgeable each boy was, how familiar he was with his own body, and what he had experienced, said class members who recall the uncomfortable conversations.

The boys told no one beyond their friends — no teachers, no adults, no parents. It was just too embarrassing, they decided.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Defying Judge, SNAP Won’t Budge

MISSOURI
CBS St. Louis

Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)
July 27, 2016

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) continues to refuse a federal court order to hand over the names of alleged sexual abuse victims.

SNAP founder David Clohessy says the judge could possibly find him in contempt and fine him, but he says the victims’ names can’t be divulged.

“We’re concerned about the emotional well-being of people, some of whom may be suicidal,” Clohessy said, “and we’re worried about the health and well-being of kids who are molested, and being molested right now, who are pondering – should I tell my school counselor? Should I tell my school therapist? And now they’re worried their privacy won’t be protected.”

A judge ordered the names released in response to a lawsuit by Father Joseph Jiang. Jiang alleges SNAP conspired to direct alleged victims to an attorney known for filing civil suits against the church– in exchange for financial donations the lawyer allegedly made to SNAP.

Clohessy denies he’s involved in a conspiracy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Awaiting new trial, Msgr. William Lynn to be paroled Oct. 16

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Joseph A. Slobodzian, STAFF WRITER

As he awaits a possible retrial, Msgr. William J. Lynn will be paroled Oct. 16 after three years in prison for his now-overturned conviction in the Catholic clergy sex abuse case.

In a motion filed Wednesday for Lynn's immediate release on bail, defense lawyer Thomas A. Bergstrom wrote that Lynn, 65, learned last week from the state Board of Probation and Parole that he will be paroled effective Oct. 16.

Bergstrom wrote that Lynn should be released on his original bail of $250,000, adding that the parole board's decision "was a recognition that he was not a danger to the community."

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright set a hearing on the motion for Tuesday.

Lynn's bail motion followed Tuesday's ruling by Pennsylvania's Supreme Court rebuffing the district attorney's appeal of December's new-trial order by Superior Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Breaux Bridge residents react to child porn charges against priest

LOUISIANA
KATC

[with video]

By Travis Guillory

Residents of Breaux Bridge react to charges of child pornography against Fr. David Broussard.

According to Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, there were at least 500 images of child porn found on Broussard's personal computer, and there has never been a complaint filed against him.

The bishop said Fr. Broussard took his computer in for repairs, and the technician fixing the computer reported the child pornography to the authorities. It's something that has left many residents and parishioners shocked.

Joey Broussard said, "He seemed like a good priest and everything. It's shocking that something like this would happen. You never know what happens behind closed doors."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Understanding the Vatican’s structure for financial management

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Dr. Jeff Mirus
Jul 27, 2016

Over the last several years, the effort to make the administration of Vatican funds more transparent—and the administrators more accountable—has reached center stage in the ongoing process of curial reform. Economic and financial reform have become increasingly important with rising concerns about money laundering, particularly in support of terrorism. In addition, it has become clearer to those inside the Vatican that, in some cases, curial congregations had become economic fiefdoms with insufficient consistency in accounting and financial management.

None of this is surprising. Governments and major organizations (i.e., conglomerates, universities, etc.) always have multiple levels of budgeting, financial administration, procedural control, income and expenditure. Over time bad habits can develop in some sectors, or at least there can be turf wars over control of budgets and the accountability between one sector and another. CatholicCulture.org has steadily reported on Vatican efforts at financial reform under Pope Francis, but I do not believe we have presented a snapshot of the overal Vatican financial structure to provide greater context. I’d like to do that now—in the very broad strokes of a non-specialist (and so subject to improvement).

Institute for the Works of Religion

The biggest financial scandals over the past generation have occurred in the Vatican’s Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), which is essentially a bank for Catholic institutions worldwide. Like all banks, the IOR has separate accounts, owned by the account holders, for a wide variety of Catholic entities, including embassies, congregations, dioceses and religious orders around the world. While about 80% of its funds are in the Catholic institutional accounts, the IOR also has individual accounts, such as employee accounts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Cardinal George Pell under pressure to face child sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Liz Burke
news.com.au
@lizeburke

CALLS have been made for Cardinal George Pell to stand down from his senior role at the Vatican and return to Australia to face allegations of child sex abuse made against him.

Speaking about the allegations on Melbourne’s 3AW radio, commentator Neil Mitchell said Pell needed to return to Australia.

“George Pell needs to step down from his role at the Vatican and come back to Australia,” Mitchell said this morning.

“He has reportedly accused Victoria Police and the ABC of acting effectively illegally against him, conspiring against him.

“He needs to come back and prove that. Deal with it, and deal with the now detailed public allegations and accusations of assaulting children. Allegations he denies.

“I think he has to come back and confront it — step down from the Vatican, leave of absence.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

'The ABC has no licence to destroy the reputation of innocent people': Cardinal George Pell demands an investigation into 7.30's 'inaccurate' claims he abused two boys

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Frank Coletta, Lucy Mae Beers and Brianne Tolj For Daily Mail Australia

Cardinal George Pell has accused Victorian police of 'conspiring' against him after revelations he faces multiple child abuse allegations after two men came forward claiming they were groped by the Catholic cleric in the 1970s.

But Victoria Police deny some officers leaked information to the media about the ongoing investigation into Australia's highest ranking Catholic.

Cardinal Pell called for a fresh review after ABC television on Wednesday night aired a story saying he was being investigated over multiple allegations related to inappropriate behaviour involving children.

The cardinal denies all of the allegations made by the complainants and says he's being subjected to trial by media on the back of leaking 'by elements of the Victoria Police to the ABC'.

The Victorian Police have denied they leaked the allegation to the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Meanwhile, in Victoria: Police chief denies leaking George Pell abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

RICK WALLACE
JournalistMelbourne
@rickwallaceoz

Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton got out of the blocks early today to fend off claims of conspiracy from Cardinal George Pell as the issue of the sexual abuse claims against the cleric flared again.

Cardinal Pell responded overnight to ABC reports containing interviews from alleged victims of abuse at his hands in the 1970s to deny all allegations. He also accused rogue police and the national broadcaster of a “conspiracy to pervert the course of justice”.

The Vatican-based cardinal has also called for a criminal investigation be carried out into his claims.

But Mr Ashton said on radio yesterday morning: “We (Victoria Police) haven’t provided the ABC with materials.

“Anyone who saw that show last night on the ABC it was clear that the source of that information was the victims,’’ he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Pell 'exposed himself to boys in 1980s'

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

JULY 28, 2016

Angus Livingston

Les Tyack says he saw a naked George Pell expose himself to three young boys in the Torquay surf club changerooms in the late 1980s.

The businessman said he told his wife and some friends about the incident 15 years ago and gave a statement to Victoria Police five years ago.

But he went public this week in a bid to encourage others to come forward.

"I thought there may be other situations that people have witnessed and have thought about it but never done anything about it," Mr Tyack told AAP on Thursday.

"I've got nothing against the church, nothing against anyone."

Mr Tyack said he regretted not talking to the boys or telling people at the surf club straight away about Cardinal Pell, who was then a senior priest in Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Pope’s top financial adviser accused of sex abuse of boys

AUSTRALIA
The Times (UK)

Bernard Lagan, Sydney
July 28 2016
The Times

The head of Vatican finances, the Australian Cardinal George Pell, is being investigated by police over allegations that he sexually abused boys while a young priest.

Commissioner Graham Ashton, chief of police in the Australian state of Victoria, said today that charges could be laid against Cardinal Pell, 75.

Mr Ashton confirmed the police investigation after the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Wednesday broadcast the allegations against the cardinal, who was called to the Vatican in 2014 by Pope Francis to take charge of the Vatican’s finances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Pell accuser first aired concerns four years ago

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Beau Donelly

A Torquay man who made explosive allegations about Cardinal George Pell exposing himself to children first contacted police about the incident almost four years ago, before the child abuse royal commission started.

And the Ballarat swimming pool at the centre of separate historic child abuse allegations levelled against Cardinal Pell by two other men has been the subject of a police appeal for information about alleged sex crimes in the late 1970s.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton confirms Cardinal George Pell is under investigation for a series of child sex abuse allegations.

In an interview with the ABC's 7.30 program on Wednesday night, Les Tyack​ accused Cardinal Pell of exposing himself to three young boys in the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club change rooms in 1986-87.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Australian police investigate Vatican treasurer over abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
Reuters

SYDNEY | BY JANE WARDELL AND TOM WESTBROOK

Cardinal George Pell, the Australian-born Vatican treasurer, is being investigated in relation to multiple allegations of child abuse in his home country, Victoria state police said.

Victoria state Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said on a Melbourne radio station program on Thursday that Victoria police had been investigating allegations against Pell for more than a year.

"The investigation is ongoing," Ashton told Radio 3AW, confirming an Australian Broadcasting Television report on Wednesday that detailed allegations of abuse dating from the 1970s to the 1990s in interviews with alleged victims.

In a statement issued in Rome on Wednesday, Pell's office said he "refutes all the allegations made on the program".

ABC said it has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members who were helping with the investigation. The broadcaster said it received no information from police for its story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

PHILLY PRIEST JAILED BY ‘LYING, SCHEMING ALTAR BOY’ FREED

PENNSYLVANIA
Newsweek

[with video]

BY RALPH CIPRIANO ON 7/27/16

Monsignor William Lynn, who was convicted by the testimony of an alleged sex abuse victim whom a Newsweek story described, in its headline, as a “lying, scheming altar boy” earlier this year, is a free man.

Lynn was incarcerated at the State Correctional Institute at Waymart, Pennsylvania, where he served as prison librarian, checking books in and out for fellow inmates as well as keeping track of periodicals. He was paid 19 cents an hour.

In a one-page decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said on Tuesday that it would not review the reversal of Lynn’s conviction by a lower appeals court. The state’s highest court wrote that the Philadelphia district attorney’s “petition for allowance of appeal is denied.”

After serving 33 months in jail, and 15 months under house arrest, the 65-year-old monsignor could be on a bus to Philadelphia as early as Wednesday, his lawyer said. “It’s been a long time coming,” said Thomas Bergstrom. “We’ll file a bail motion first thing in the morning.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Church official seeks bail after new trial granted

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

AP

PHILADELPHIA - A former Philadelphia church official imprisoned over his handling of abuse complaints is seeking bail after Pennsylvania's highest court granted him a new trial.

Monsignor William Lynn has served nearly three years of his three- to six-year sentence for child endangerment. He's due to be paroled in October.

But defense lawyer Thomas Bergstrom filed a bail petition Wednesday seeking the immediate release of the 65-year-old Roman Catholic priest.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed the trial judge had allowed too much testimony from church victims not directly linked to Lynn's case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Christian Brothers refuse to apologise for child sex abuse

SCOTLAND
The Courier

by Aileen Robertson
July 28 2016

The religious community behind a Fife sex abuse scandal has refused to apologise to victims.

Following the conviction of two former teachers of St Ninian’s in Falkland, the Congregation of Christian Brothers Trustees issued a statement expressing its “deep regret” at incidents of abuse.

The Courier offered the Catholic organisation the opportunity to clarify its position however their lawyer said they had nothing to add.

Despite the lack of apology, a victim who spoke to police as part of the St Ninian’s investigation said he has already forgiven his abusers.

Dave Sharp, 57, said: “Dealing with the anger I have carried around my whole life has helped me move on because anger got me a 20-year drug addiction and at least two spells in prison, and finding the will to forgive my abusers through the love of God was a major part in turning my life around.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Act II of the divine drama of George Pell

AUSTRALIA
Crikey

With forces inside and outside the Vatican conspiring against George Pell, Pope Francis is in a bit of a pickle, writes Vaticanologist Michael Hewitt-Gleeson.

Last night, ABC’s 7.30 showed several men who accused Cardinal George Pell of sexual assault. The Sano Task Force of Victoria Police has been investigating multiple complaints of sexual abuse by Pell. They range from the 1970s to the 1990s, when Pell established the Catholic Church’s response to sexual abuse allegations. Pell describes the claims as “totally untrue and utterly wrong” and has asked for an investigation into whether a conspiracy exists against him between Victoria Police and the ABC.

What will Pope Francis do with him now? Will Pell come back to Australia? And what would that mean for the Vatican power structure?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Victoria Police must interview Cardinal George Pell for sake of justice

AUSTRALIA
The Age

EDITORIAL

The presumption of innocence is fundamental to our legal system and to natural justice.

Cardinal George Pell, the third highest-ranking leader of the Catholic Church, is accused by a number of people of child sexual abuse, for which he has been under investigation for more than a year by Victoria Police's Taskforce Sano, established following the state parliamentary inquiry that was a precursor to the federal Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Cardinal Pell, who lives in the Vatican and was previously the Archbishop of Sydney and, before that, of Melbourne, must be presumed innocent unless and until he is proved guilty. The accusations against him are receiving heightened attention following a report on the ABC's 7.30 program on Wednesday evening, in which fresh allegations were aired, including by two men who claim he serially sexually abused them in Ballarat decades ago.

Cardinal Pell has consistently maintained his innocence and following the 7.30 program has released not only a robust rebuttal, but an accusation, which he wants officially investigated, that Victoria Police and the ABC are guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. The ABC says its sources are witnesses and survivors of abuse, not the police, a claim backed by the police. Whatever the case, the allegations are consequential and Cardinal Pell's guilt or innocence must be established. The statement from his office said "there has [sic] been no requests made by the [Sano] Taskforce to interview the Cardinal".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Apuron, accusers need a day in court

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

We appreciate the efforts of the apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, in resolving the issues what have disrupted the local Catholic Church. As we have stated, as a secular newspaper we do not have a position on such internal church matters as church finances, the ownership of church property – including the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona – the influence of the Neocatechumenal Way or the assignment of priests.

But criminal behavior, particularly when it involves victims, must be investigated and those who are guilty must be prosecuted regardless of their station in the church or any other group or organization. Criminal law is in place for the protection of the members of the community, and criminals cannot be allowed to escape prosecution because they are clergy or hold any other position of influence.

Allegations of abuse

The allegations of child sexual abuse made recently against Archbishop Anthony Apuron by Roy Quintanilla, Doris Concepcion, Walter Denton and Roland Sondia are of a crime that is most heinous. The archbishop has not yet been afforded due process, and due to Guam’s statutes of limitations, it is entirely possible that he will never be charged in a court of law, so his guilt or innocence cannot be determined in that forum.

The alleged victims, though, have apparently devised a strategy that will bring the allegations against Apuron into court by filing a civil case accusing the archbishop of libel and slander for claiming their accusations are malevolent fabrications. In the course of a trial, the veracity of the accusations would have to be addressed. While not as desirable as a criminal trial with the possibility of criminal penalties, there would be some semblance of justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

'TRUST' champions victims of clergy abuse in new play

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Alyssa Zaczek, azaczek@stcloudtimes.com
July 27, 2016

"When trust is betrayed, community breaks down," James Hanson said. "We struggled for a long time to come up with a title, but 'TRUST' seemed so perfect because it's what human life is based on."

Hanson and his friend and artistic partner, John Woehrle, will bring a story of broken trust to The Black Box Theatre in St. Cloud this August in the form of Woehrle's stage play "TRUST."

The play follows Michael, a seemingly well-adjusted graduate of a fictional Minnesota university, whose life and family are devastated by the lingering effects of abuse by a trusted member of the clergy.

Woehrle, a Minneapolis-based playwright and actor, developed the script at the Self-Reliant Actor Workshop he teaches at MacPhail Center for Music, a class in which Hanson, a professor of religion and victim of childhood clergy abuse, was a student.

As Woehrle and Hanson forged a close friendship with one another, Woehrle found himself inspired by Hanson's harrowing real-life story of abuse and shattered trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Opinion: Hon's disregard for justice is odd

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Tim Rohr
July 27, 2016

On June 6, Pope Francis removed the authority of Archbishop (Anthony) Apuron to administer the Archdiocese of Agana and named Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai temporary administrator.

Why did Pope Francis do this?

For the last three years, Pope Francis and the Vatican authorities who oversee our region have received a steady stream of documentation about the mounting problems in the Archdiocese of Agana:

* the illicit removal of and the public mistreatment of Fr. Paul Gofigan and Msgr. James Benavente,
* the canonically (and possibly civil) illegal alienation of the mega-million dollar Yona property,
* the misleading of Guam’s Catholics about the true nature of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary,
* the gross lack of formation evident in the priests ordained from that institution,
* the revelation that Apuron had been hiding a priest in our diocese for over a decade who had been twice credibly accused of child molestation and banned from the diocese where the molestation allegedly occurred,
* the arrest of Fr. Luis Camacho and the later discovery that he had been secretly scuttled off to a diocese in the Middle East, and even
* the May 17 allegation of sexual abuse against Apuron by Roy Quintanilla.

However, none of the above had yet caused the pope to act. On May 31, that changed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

George Pell exposed himself to young boys at surf club, says Victorian man

AUSTRALIA
Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Thursday 28 July 2016

A man has spoken publicly about allegedly seeing Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, expose himself to a group of young boys at a surf lifesaving club in the late 1980s.

Les Tyack, from Victoria, who reported the alleged incident to police and also provided a statement to the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, has gone public with his story in the hope it will support survivors who have also spoken out about coverups and abuse by members of the hierarchy of the Catholic church.

Tyack told Guardian Australia: “I witnessed Pell involved in a situation where he very clearly exposed himself to three young boys at Torquay Life Saving Club in the summer of 1986 or 87.”

Tyack has also spoken to the ABC’s 7.30 program, which reported police are investigating multiple child abuse allegations against Pell along with Tyack’s allegation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Victoria's top cop says sex abuse charges against George Pell still a possibility

AUSTRALIA
The Age

[with video]

Tom Cowie, Latika Bourke

Charges could still be laid against Cardinal George Pell over a string of allegations of child sex abuse going back decades, says Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton.

Mr Ashton appeared on radio on Thursday morning responding to explosive allegations aired on ABC 7.30, as well as subsequent claims by Cardinal Pell of a "conspiracy" to pervert the course of justice.

In the interview with radio station 3AW, Mr Ashton confirmed Cardinal Pell was the subject of an investigation by the Sano Taskforce that involved multiple allegations over a long period of time.

On Wednesday night, 7.30 aired detailed allegations made by former students of St Alipius primary school in Ballarat, who alleged Cardinal Pell would play with them in the swimming pool and molest them by touching their genitals under water.

Mr Ashton said charges against the Cardinal were still a possibility and that detectives were waiting on an opinion from the Office of Public Prosecution on whether the inquiry should continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Pell abuse saga reeks of incompetent policing

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Frank Brennan | 28 July 2016

Wednesday night's ABC 7.30 program carried allegations against Cardinal George Pell which, if true, are devastating: life ruining for victims like Damian Dignan and Lyndon Monument; confronting for all citizens committed to the wellbeing of children; and earth shattering for Catholics who still have faith in their church.

George Pell - Still from ABC reportThe ABC report is also troubling for those of us concerned about due process and the rule of law — not as academic notions for lawyers but as the secure bulwarks of a society in which everyone's rights and interests are protected.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can all say it would have been better if onlookers like Les Tyak in the Torquay Surf Club claiming to have credible evidence of unseemly behaviour by an adult like George Pell towards children went to the police promptly, rather than waiting 30 years. As it was put on 7.30, 'One summer day, [Mr Tyak] says he witnessed a strange incident, so strange it later compelled him to go to police.' The incident is alleged to have occurred in the mid-1980s. Mr Tyak went to the police in 2015.

George Pell has been the focus of attention, like no other, during the long running Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He has been grilled publicly for days on end about what he knew and did not know about abuse committed by others when he was a priest in Ballarat and when auxiliary bishop in Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Cardinal Pell calls for investigation into police over sex abuse ‘smear’

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Wednesday 27 July 2016

Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, has for a second time called for an investigation into Victoria police to determine whether there has been a “conspiracy to pervert the course of justice”.

But the force’s top police officer denies any leaks by his officers, saying it’s “clear” the sources of sexual abuse complaints against Pell are the complainants.

The cardinal’s concerns stem from a report aired by ABC television’s 7.30 program on Wednesday canvassing allegations made by two men who have accused him of inappropriate behaviour involving children going as far back as the 1970s.

He strongly denies the allegations, saying he is the victim of a “scandalous smear campaign” and trial by media.

“It seems there has been leaking of information and allegations by elements of the Victorian police to the ABC,” a statement released on his behalf said. “The cardinal calls for an investigation to assess whether any actions of elements of the Victoria police and the ABC program amount to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Abuse investigation involving Vatican finance controller

AUSTRALIA
RTE News

The Vatican’s Australian-born finance controller is being investigated in relation to multiple allegations of child abuse in his home country, police have said.

Victoria state Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told a Melbourne radio station programme that Victoria police had been investigating allegations against Cardinal George Pell, the for more than a year.

"The investigation is ongoing," Mr Ashton told Radio 3AW, confirming an Australian Broadcasting Television report yesterday that detailed allegations of abuse dating from the 1970s to the 1990s in interviews with alleged victims.

In a statement issued in Rome yesterday, Cardinal Pell's office said he "refutes all the allegations made on the programme".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Pell facing historical abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Victorian police are prepared to send officers to Rome to interview Cardinal George Pell about historical sexual abuse allegations made against him.

Two men have come forward to say Australia's most senior Catholic cleric groped their genitals in the 1970s, while another says he saw the priest expose himself to young boys.

Victoria Police has sent a brief of evidence to the Office of Public Prosecutions and is waiting to hear if charges should be laid.

The Cardinal strongly denies the accusations and says Victoria Police and the ABC must be investigated to determine whether their actions amount to a "conspiracy to pervert the course of justice".

Lyndon Monument and Damian Dignan told the ABC's 7.30 program on Wednesday that Cardinal Pell groped them while they swam at Ballarat's Eureka Pool during the summer of 1978-79.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Cardinal calls for 'fair go' over allegations

AUSTRALIA
Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)

Cardinal George Pell says he's entitled as an Australian to get "a fair go" over historical sex abuse allegations and has promised to co-operate with authorities.

Two men have come forward to say Australia's most senior Catholic cleric groped their genitals in the 1970s, while another says he saw the priest expose himself to young boys.

Victoria Police has sent a brief of evidence to the Office of Public Prosecutions and is waiting to hear if charges should be laid.

"The allegations are untrue. I deny them absolutely," Cardinal Pell told reporters in Rome.

"I've got no intention of adding to the discomfort or the harm of the people who made the allegations, but they're not true.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

July 27, 2016

George Pell allegations: Catholic Archbishop of Sydney slams 'trial by media'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Bill Code

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has slammed what he calls the trial by media of Cardinal George Pell, following revelations on the ABC's 7:30 program that Australia's most senior Catholic is being investigated over claims of sexual misconduct.

"The allegations against Cardinal George Pell aired on the ABC's 7:30 Report were extremely distressing for all parties, are as yet untested, and have been emphatically denied," Archbishop Anthony Fisher said in a statement.

"The community deserves the rule of law be respected. Trial by media benefits no-one."
The program revealed Victorian Police were examining complaints made against Cardinal Pell relating to alleged events in the 1970s and 80s.

Specifically, claims Cardinal Pell touched two boys inappropriately in the late 1970s, and another accusation he stood naked in front of three young boys for a period of about 10 minutes in a surf club changeroom, causing an adult witness concern.

Cardinal Pell has emphatically denied the allegations in a series of statements.

"The ABC has no licence to destroy the reputation of innocent people and Cardinal Pell, like all those who have allegations against them that have not been tested by the courts, is entitled to the presumption of innocence," his office reiterated on Thursday.

7.30 has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

George Pell calls for probe into ABC, Victoria police over molestation claims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

JARED OWENS
Reporter
@jaredowens

George Pell has urged a criminal investigation into the ABC and rogue Victorian police whom he alleges may be involved in a “conspiracy to pervert the course of justice”, amid new claims the Cardinal molested two boys as a priest in the late 1970s.

Last night ABC’s 7.30 reported the claims that Victorian police were investigating multiple allegations of child sex abuse by the cardinal dating back to the 1970s. Two former St Alipius students, Lyndon Monument and Damian Dignan, told the program that Cardinal Pell would abuse boys at the Eureka swimming pool in Ballarat.

Cardinal Pell, now a senior Vatican official, has issued a statement in which he “refutes all the allegations made on the program” and pleaded for “a fair go”.

“The ABC has no licence to destroy the reputation of innocent people and Cardinal Pell, like all those who have allegations against them that have not been tested by the Courts, is entitled to the presumption of innocence not immediate condemnation. He is entitled to a fair go,” his Rome office said in a statement.

The Cardinal’s statement drew attention to apparent “leaking of information and allegations by elements of the Victorian Police to the ABC”.

“This is consistent with previous patterns of improper and illegal disclosure of information from such sources to a variety of media outlets. Such information has in the past repeatedly been demonstrated to be inaccurate and unfounded,” it said.

“The Cardinal calls for an investigation to assess whether any actions of elements of the Victoria Police and the ABC program amount to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.”

The Cardinal stressed that he did not wish to harm the men making the allegations.

“I bear no ill will and have no desire to cause them harm but what they say about me is not true,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Calls for George Pell to come home after new sexual abuse allegations go public

AUSTRALIA
3AW

Two men have gone public with details of their abuse allegations levelled at Cardinal George Pell.

The men have given a statement to a Victoria Police taskforce, claiming Cardinal Pell groped them in a public pool in the 1970s.

Cardinal Pell has strongly denied the allegations describing claims he'd sexually abused anyone as totally untrue and completely wrong.

Neil Mitchell says - "He needs to come back and prove that. Deal with it."

Some allegations linked to the Cardinal have now reportedly been referred to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Pell Wants Investigation Into Police, ABC Over Child Abuse Accusations

AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Libby-Jane Charleston Associate Editor

Australia's most senior Catholic Cleric, Cardinal George Pell has called for an investigation into Victorian police following accusations of child abuse; accusations he has strongly denied.

Pell has accused police of 'conspiring' with the ABC to pervert the course of justice. The allegations surround accusations of child abuse involving alleged incidents in the 1990s when he was Archbishop of Melbourne. Such allegations were first brought to light by News Corp in February.

The ABC's 7.30 program reported it had obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members. The allegations arose from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and focuses on complainants from Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne.

The case has now reportedly been referred to the Office of Public Prosecutions following an investigation by Victorian police taskforce SANO.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Church reveals 7,000 documents to abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Wed 27 Jul 2016
By Antony Bushfield

The Church of England has sent more than 7,000 documents to the UK's independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

At a preliminary hearing in London the chair, Dame Lowell Goddard, was told all of the documents were relevant to her investigation.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is looking into whether the Church and public bodies have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.

A separate inquiry is being held in Scotland.

Giving an update on the progress Ben Emmerson QC said "wide-ranging requests" had been made to the Archbishop's Council for documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry could last for a DECADE: It's already racked up costs of £18m - now it's feared probe could become another Chilcot

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Rebecca Camber, Crime Correspondent For The Daily Mail

The official inquiry into child sex abuse could run for a decade – and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds, it emerged last night.

The probe is receiving up to 100 fresh allegations every week – a quarter of them referred to the police.

The largest inquiry in British legal history had already been earmarked to last around five years.

But a lawyer for some of the alleged victims yesterday said it could now take ‘at least ten years’.

It sparked fury from campaigners and raised fears the probe could become ‘another Chilcot’, the Iraq war inquiry that took six years to complete – longer than British troops were in the country.

The independent child abuse inquiry has already spent almost £18million of public money and has yet to publicly question a single witness or victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Inquiry into child sex abuse investigating 7,000 submissions relating to Anglican church

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

James Macintyre 27 July 2016

Preliminary hearings are being held by the Goddard inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice this week.
The inquiry into child sex abuse in England and Wales is investigating 7,000 submissions of evidence relating to the Anglican church, according to the counsel to the inquiry.

In a preliminary hearing today at the Royal Courts of Justice, Ben Emmerson QC updated Justice Goddard, who is chairing the inquiry which could last at least another five years.

He said that 114 sources of information were being considered, along with case studies relating to church abuse, including in the Chichester Diocese.

The Anglican section of the inquiry is expected to focus to a considerable extent on abuse by the former Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball, who was jailed last year over crimes committed in the 1980s. A legal representative of Ball was in court today.

Emmerson said that more than 7,000 items of disclosure had been received from the Archbishop's Council, and from police forces and survivors including 'core participants'. So far 188 applicants have been granted core participant status by Goddard. Of these, 36 relate to the Anglican church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Mother and Baby Homes commission granted extension to finish reports

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Eilish O'Regan
PUBLISHED
27/07/2016

The Commission which is investigating Mother and Baby Homes has been granted an extension of time to complete its three reports.

The Cabinet, which granted the extension, said all reports will not now be completed by February 2018.
The extension is to accommodate” the large number of witnesses coming forward,” said a spokesman.

However, the delay will disappoint many women who, because of their age, were hoping for a speedy conclusion to the proceedings.

The Commission said it wanted to ensure all new information discovered is accurately recorded to give a full understanding of the social history involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

No examination of illegal adoptions by Mother and Baby Homes Commission

IRELAND
RTE News

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes will not be asked to examine illegal adoptions that took place outside such institutions.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said the plight of the dwindling number of survivors of the Protestant-run Bethany Home was one reason she had asked the Commission to advise on whether the investigation's scope should be widened.

Following allegations about the deaths of 800 babies at the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway, the commission of investigation was set up in January 2015.

How the babies were buried as well as widespread malnutrition in this and other Catholic Church-run homes prompted the last government to establishment of the commission.

The three members of the commission, who are examining 18 homes, have spoken to at least 150 witnesses and expect that to rise to above 500.

It was charged with producing three reports - a Confidential Committee Report on individuals, a Social History Report and a Final Investigation Report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Over 400 potential witnesses come forward after mother and baby homes appeal

IRELAND
Journal

MORE THAN 400 potential witnesses came forward following a public call-out by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission.

As such, the commission has been granted an extension to the time frame for the publication of two of the three reports it is preparing.

The cabinet signed off on the extension today.

The commission said it remains committed to completing its investigations within the three year time-frame provided in the terms of reference. All reports are now due to be completed by February 2018.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said the extension will not delay the government’s response to the commission’s findings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Furious George Pell demands Victoria Police investigation as ABC airs abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Latika Bourke

London: A furious Cardinal George Pell has demanded an inquiry into the Victorian Police, accusing "elements" of the force of "conspiring" with the ABC to pervert the course of justice, relating to allegations of child sexual abuse, which he emphatically denies.

Speaking from Rome where he is based at the Vatican, Cardinal Pell said he refused to be put to a "trial by media" and said the ABC had "no licence" to destroy his reputation.

Cardinal Pell said since the allegations were first aired nearly six months ago, police had not sought to interview him.

"These disclosures and consequent publicity by the ABC clearly are apt and calculated deliberately to influence and compromise relevant judicial and prosecutorial processes," his office said. Victoria Police said it would not be providing any further comment.

The ABC's 730 program on Wednesday night aired a "special report" citing Victorian Police Commissioner Graham Ashton confirming a year-long investigation into Cardinal Pell, relating to "multiple allegations" of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Archbishop of York and bishops 'failed to act' on rape claim

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A priest has accused the Archbishop of York and four bishops of misconduct after they "failed to act" on allegations he was raped by a vicar.

The victim claims no-one responded when he brought the alleged offences to light.

A complaint is being reviewed by the Church of England, his lawyer said.

Clergy representatives said they were unable to comment on the claims published in the Guardian as they formed part of an active investigation.

The priest said all five men were aware of his claims he had been repeatedly raped by a vicar when he was 16 in 1984, but none of them acted.

He said he made the allegations verbally to the Right Reverend Peter Burrows, the Bishop of Doncaster; the Right Reverend Steven Croft, the former Bishop of Sheffield, and now Bishop of Oxford; and the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, a former Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, and now the Bishop of Leicester, between July 2012 and February 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Leaders: Judge at head of abuse inquiry brings credibility

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

AS Lady Smith takes over the reins of an inquiry sullied by claims of government interference, for victims’ sakes there must be no repeat

The Scottish Government had a clear choice in front of it in recent weeks as it faced the fall-out from the two resignations from Scotland’s independent public inquiry into the abuse of children.

The inquiry, launched in March, was to be a thorough and painstaking investigation into the inhumane and cruel abuse inflicted on children and any systemic failures which allowed it, in a range of institutions including care homes, churches and independent boarding schools, going back decades.

It was right forthe government to set up the inquiry to deal with the allegations of abuse and maltreatment which simply would not go away and continued to resurface when people who had been victims found the courage and felt the time was right for them to speak out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Breaux Bridge priest arrested on 500 counts of child pornography

LOUISIANA
KLFY

BREAUX BRIDGE, La. (KLFY) – An Acadiana priest has been arrested for possessing over 500 images of child pornography charges, according to the Louisiana State Police.

Father Felix David Broussard, a priest at St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge, was arrested today and booked into St. Martin Parish jail on 500 counts of pornography involving juveniles.

Broussard was released on $25,000 bond, according to The Associated Press.

Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel of the Diocese of Lafayette said Broussard was “immediately” placed on administrative leave active priestly ministry.

Master Trooper Brooks David said the State Police’s Special Victims Unit received a complaint earlier this month alleging that a computer that Father Felix David Broussard had primary access to, contained images indicative of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Bishop of Lafayette Diocese speaks on priest arrested for child pornography

LOUISIANA
KLFY

Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel held a news conference at 2 p.m. from the Diocese of Lafayette on the arrest of Reverend F. David Broussard.

The Diocese said Broussard, who was a priest at St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge, was arrested earlier today by Louisiana State Police on 500 counts of child pornography.

The Associated Press reported, “neither the news release (from the diocese) nor online court and jail records indicated whether he has a lawyer who could comment on the allegations.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

La. priest arrested on 500 counts of possession of child porn

LOUISIANA
Fox 10

LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) -
The Diocese of Lafayette reported one of its priests was arrested Wednesday on child porn charges.

According to the diocese’s website, Rev. Felix David Broussard, 50, a priest in Breaux Bridge, was arrested by Louisiana State Police on charges of possessing child pornography.

Officials with the Louisiana State Police say the investigation began in July 2016 after a complaint was filed.

"During the course of the investigation, over 500 images of child pornography were identified on the computer," reads a press release. "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

UPDATE: Porn images found by computer technician

LOUISIANA
KATC

[with video]

Updated: Jul 27, 2016

The images of child pornography that led to the arrest of a Breaux Bridge priest were discovered - and reported - by a computer technician.

Lafayette Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to release the information the diocese has about the incident. The Diocese wants to be transparent and provide the public with all information it has as it receives it, he said.

The priest, F. David Broussard, has been relieved of his position at St. Bernard Church in Breaux Bridge, which includes oversight of a school there. Deshotel says there has never been a complaint against Broussard of any kind, only compliments.

"He was, the irony is, a very well-loved pastor in his parish," Deshotel said.

Deshotel said the computer in question, which allegedly contained more than 500 images of child pornography, was brought to a repair shop. The technician working on it found the images, and as is required, called the police.

Deshotel said he learned of the investigation yesterday, when State Police came to talk to him about it. He said as soon as he learned that Broussard had been arrested he issued a press release and called the press conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

SNAP Network urges officials to seek out victims

LOUISIANA
KATC

A survivor group has issued a statement about the news today that a Catholic priest was arrested on child pornography charges.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called on Lafayette Bishop Daniel Deshotel to seek out any people who may have been abused by F. David Broussard, the priest arrested Wednesday after a repair technician allegedly found more than 500 images of child pornography on his computer.

During a Wednesday press conference, the bishop said no complaints had ever been received against Broussard, who was ordained in 1993. As part of his position as the priest administrator of St. Bernard Church, he also oversaw St. Bernard School, the bishop said.

In a release from David Clohessy, the international director of SNAP, said Deshotel must visit the parish immediately to seek out any possible victims or witnesses.

"Specifically, we call on Bishop Daniel Deshotel to personally visit Fr. David Broussand’s parish this weekend (and any other church where he may have been) begging victims, witnesses or whistleblowers to call police," Clohessy said. "Deshotel should also put announcements in church bulletins, parish websites and other diocesan publications and outlets."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Information Release from the Diocese of Lafayette

LOUISIANA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette

July 27, 2016
by Diocese of Lafayette

The Diocese of Lafayette was informed and saddened to learn on July 27th that the Louisiana State Police arrested the Reverend F. David Broussard on charges of possessing child pornography. The Diocese takes these allegations very seriously and is cooperating fully in every way possible with the investigation. Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, on learning of the allegations, immediately placed Father Broussard on administrative leave from active priestly ministry.

The Bishop and staff are providing pastoral care to the congregation of Saint Bernard Parish in Breaux Bridge, and will preach at all Masses at Saint Bernard Parish this weekend. The prayers of the diocesan community are requested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Louisiana priest arrested on child porn charge

LOUISIANA
Dallas Morning News

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette says one of its priests has been arrested on a charge of possessing child pornography.

In a news release on its website, the diocese said it was informed by State Police on Wednesday of the arrest of the Rev. F. David Broussard, who served the church parish of St. Bernard in Breaux Bridge.

The diocese said Broussard was placed on administrative leave. Neither the news release nor online court and jail records indicated whether he has a lawyer who could comment on the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Breaux Bridge priest arrested on 500 counts of child pornography

LOUISIANA
The Advocate

BY RICHARD BURGESS AND LANIE LEE COOK | rburgess@theadvocate.com lcook@theadvocate.com JUL 27, 2016

The pastor of St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge was arrested Wednesday on 500 counts of possessing child pornography, images believed to have been found when he brought his personal computer in for repairs, according to the Diocese of Lafayette and State Police.

The Rev. F. David Broussard, who also oversees St. Bernard School, has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, said Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel.

Deshotel said Broussard, 50, has served as pastor at St. Bernard for two years and has served as a priest for 23 years.

The bishop said there have been no previous complaints involving child pornography or sexual abuse against Broussard.

"Never any complaints to any of us from anyone. In fact he was a much loved pastor, the irony is a very loved man in the parish," Deshotel said. "... "No complaints have been made that anything physical or any kind of physical abuse occurred."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Priest 'loved' by parish arrested for child porn

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Dominick Cross, dcross@theadvertiser.com July 27, 2016

A Breaux Bridge priest arrested Wednesday for alleged possession of child pornography on his personal computer was held in high regard in the parish, according to Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, of the Diocese of Lafayette.

The Rev. F. David Broussard, pastor of St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge, was arrested by the Louisiana State Police for 500 counts of possession of more than 500 images of child pornography.

Broussard is also the chancellor of St. Bernard School in Breaux Bridge.

At this juncture in the investigation, Deshotel said, there have not been any reports of abuse of children directly by Broussard.

“No complaints have been made that any kind of physical abuse occurred,” Deshotel said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Assessor do Papa investigado por abuso sexual de crianças na Austrália

AUSTRALIA
RTP

O diretor financeiro do Vaticano, George Pell, está a ser investigado pela polícia australiana por alegados abusos sexuais a crianças, revelou hoje um canal australiano, acusações que os chefes da Igreja Católica consideram "totalmente falsas".

As novas alegações contra George Pell, que estão a ser investigadas pela polícia no estado de Vitória, abrangem duas décadas, revelou a `Australian Broadcasting Corporation`.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Medien: Ermittlungen gegen Kardinal wegen Missbrauchsverdacht

AUSTRALIEN
KathPress

Melbourne, 27.07.2016 (KAP) Medienberichten zufolge ermittelt die Polizei im australischen Bundesstaat Victoria gegen Kurienkardinal George Pell wegen des Verdachts sexuellen Missbrauchs. Nach Angaben des Fernsehsenders ABC vom Mittwoch sind die Ermittlungen eingeleitet worden, nachdem Zeugen vor dem Untersuchungsausschuss der australischen Regierung entsprechende Vorwürfe erhoben hätten. Diese betreffen laut ABC auch Vorfälle, die sich während der Amtszeit Pells als Erzbischof von Melbourne ereignet haben sollen.

Der Polizeipräsident von Victoria habe die Ermittlungen gegen Pell bereits vor vier Wochen gegenüber ABC bestätigt, heißt es. Polizeichef Graham Ashton habe damals betont, "wenn nötig" werde er Beamte nach Rom schicken, um den Kardinal zu verhören. Derzeit sei dies jedoch nicht erforderlich. Zum Stand der Ermittlungen sagte Ashton, diese seien "sehr lebendig".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Bill De Blasio Must Not Let ultra-Orthodox Jewish Votes Override His Duty to the Law

NEW YORK
Haaretz

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic boys, taught by untrained and unlicensed teachers, don’t reach the legally required public school levels in English and math. It’s time for New York’s mayor to enforce the law.

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie Jul 27, 2016

Mayor De Blasio, stop ignoring the welfare of Jewish children. Stop supporting policies that condemn them to a lifetime of poverty and illiteracy. Stop depriving them of the possibility of an honorable livelihood. Stop making them dependent on all manner of government handouts.

The children that I am referring to are ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic boys who attend New York City yeshivas. There are at least 39 of these yeshivas where boys under the age of 13 get no more than 90 minutes of English and math a day. These subjects are taught by untrained and unlicensed teachers at the end of a long day otherwise devoted exclusively to religious studies, in which the language of instruction is usually Yiddish.

Many of these children cannot speak proper English or do simple mathematical calculations. They are being denied the decent education that is the right of every American child and that the City of New York is obligated to provide. And as Mayor, it is your job to see that it is provided.

Yes, I know. The ultra-Orthodox community votes, and votes in large numbers. A very high percentage of the community votes for you, following the instructions of their religious leaders. And many of these religious leaders are terrified at the prospect of exposing their children to secular subjects, seeing those subjects as temptations that might ultimately draw those children away from their religious community.

But Mr. Mayor, you have no choice here. You must ensure that these children are educated for two major reasons. First, it is the right thing to do. If ultra-Orthodox children choose to venture beyond the confines of their own community and to find their place in the larger world, that is a choice that they are entitled to make. If they do so, they will need the skills that only education can provide. And if they should choose to remain in their own community, they will still need the skills to support their families and escape the humiliating dependence on welfare payments to which so many have been condemned.

Second, New York State law requires that adequate education be offered to every single child, without exception. The law states that instruction given in private schools or in home schooling must be “substantially equivalent” to the education provided in public schools. It is an outrage and an embarrassment that you and previous mayors, bowing to political pressure, have chosen to ignore this law. The children involved have paid the price, and so too has the citizenry of New York. When a law of such import is ignored, it breeds disrespect for all laws and for the officials charged with enforcing them.

But as you know, Mr. Mayor, it is no longer possible to look the other way. Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED), founded in 2012, identified the 39 yeshivas that, in its view, offer substandard education. A year ago, it demanded that the city’s education department investigate them. You have not yet responded to their demand, but YAFFED has made it clear that it will not let you off the hook. You and your education officials must give a proper accounting of what is being done for these children.

I know the pressure that you are under.

Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the rebbe of the Kiryas Joel-based segment of the Satmar Hasidim, has viciously attacked those who challenge the right of his students to remain ignorant of secular subjects. “We should pray,” he said in a speech to his followers, “that these evil doers should not lay their hands on the Jewish children here in America.” And mainstream Jewish organizations, which should have the courage to speak out, have mysteriously remained silent.

Some American Jews even claim that freedom of religion, guaranteed by the constitution, allows the yeshivas the unrestricted right to teach what they please, even if that means no secular education at all. But as others have noted, this is a misreading of the constitution, not to mention an affront to common sense.

There are certain things that the state can reasonably compel its citizens to do, and meeting appropriate educational standards is one of them. Freedom of religion does not give parents the right to deny their children the medical care they need to live, the seat belts they need to be safe, or the basic educational literacy they need to survive in society. Mr. Mayor, please remember that every single state has educational requirements similar to those in New York. And just as they are enforced elsewhere, they must be enforced in New York City as well.

Mr. De Blasio, I am confident that the people of New York City and New York State support the law as it now stands. And while you should enforce the law because it is your duty to do so, you should know how the overwhelming majority of Jews, including Orthodox Jews, view this matter. They see no religious reason why observant Jews should not also study secular subjects and learn the skills required to participate in the workplace and support their children. In fact, for almost all of the Jewish community, this is pretty much of a no-brainer.

New York’s Yeshiva University is evidence of that, and so too are the many yeshivas where the study of secular subjects is encouraged. Most Jews in New York, like most Jews everywhere, believe what was taught by Maimonides, the great 12th century Jewish scholar, taught: “He who dedicates himself to studying Torah but does not work, and instead lives off charity, profanes the name of God and disgraces the Torah.”

Mr. Mayor, do not abandon the yeshiva students of New York. Make sure their schools teach what they are supposed to teach. Enforce the law.

Eric H. Yoffie, a rabbi, writer and teacher in Westfield, New Jersey, is a former president of the Union for Reform Judaism. Follow him on Twitter: @EricYoffie

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Senior judge Lady Smith to head Scottish child abuse inquiry

SCOTLAND
BBC News

Senior judge Lady Smith has been appointed as the new chairwoman of the Scottish government's child abuse inquiry.

It follows the resignation of Susan O'Brien QC, who quit the post earlier this month citing government interference in the inquiry.

A second member of the three-person panel, Prof Michael Lamb, also resigned over similar concerns.

The inquiry will examine historical allegations of child abuse in Scotland.

It is expected to last four years, and will look at the extent of abuse of children in care and identify any systemic failures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

Lady Smith to lead independent public inquiry.

SCOTLAND
The Scottish Government

A senior judge, the Right Honourable Lady Smith, will lead Scotland’s independent public Inquiry into the abuse of children in care from next month.

Lady Smith’s appointment was announced by Deputy First Minister John Swinney in a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee. Lady Smith has been a Judge since 2001 and was appointed to the Inner House in November 2012.

Mr Swinney said:

“I am pleased that Lady Anne Smith has accepted my invitation to be Chair of Scotland’s independent public Inquiry into the abuse of children in care. Lady Smith will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the leadership of the Inquiry, from her significant service both as a QC and as a judge, her extensive involvement in the work of tribunals and as President of the Scottish Tribunals and her role in leading the Scottish Partnership on Domestic Abuse.

“Her leadership, independence and sensitivity will be key to the Inquiry’s progress. It is in the nature of Lady Smith's background as an experienced Judge that the Inquiry will be taken forward without fear or favour to identify how individuals and institutions failed many of Scotland’s most vulnerable children. We must ensure children are effectively protected as a result of what we learn from the Inquiry.

“This is one of Scotland’s widest-ranging public inquiries ever, examining not only the abuse of children formally placed ‘in care’ in institutions, but also allegations of abuse in foster care, in long-term hospital care and in boarding schools. At the request of a number of survivors, I have agreed to consider the scope of the terms of reference. In the coming weeks I will give this matter further thought, including discussion with Lady Smith, and also taking account of last year’s consultation responses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

Appointment of new Chair

SCOTLAND
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

The Rt Hon Lady Smith has today been appointed by Scottish Ministers as Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Lady Smith, a senior Scottish judge, will take up her role from 1 August 2016.

Further information on the appointment of Lady Smith can be found on the Scottish Government’s website: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scottish-Child-Abuse-Inquiry-2796.aspx

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

Senior judge Lady Smith named new head of child abuse inquiry

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

A SENIOR judge has been appointed to lead the independent public inquiry into the abuse of children in care, weeks after its previous chair quit following claims she had made comments that were “offensive” to survivors.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced the Right Honourable Lady Smith will fill the vacancy at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, praising her “leadership, independence and sensitivity”.

The appointment comes almost a month after her predecessor Susan O’Brien QC resigned, with formal proceedings to remove her from the high-profile role and Mr Swinney having said her comments “raised serious concerns”.

In her resignation letter, Ms O’Brien said she could “not reassure the public that this inquiry will be conducted independently of government”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Cardinal George Pell 'facing sex abuse charges after two men claim he groped them at a pool in 1970s'

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By LUCY MAE BEERS and BRIANNE TOLJ FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AAP

Cardinal George Pell is facing multiple child abuse allegations after two men came forward claiming they were groped by the Catholic cleric at a pool in the 1970s.

The men, who were in a Victorian primary school at the time, say Cardinal Pell, 74, abused them while they were swimming at Ballarat's Eureka Pool during the summer of 1978-79, an allegation the cardinal strongly denies.

One of the men, Lyndon Monument, told ABC's 7.30 he was reluctant to speak up because of the power Cardinal Pell held.

'I didn't like it, but because it was a church and he was George Pell, we just - you just weren't game to ever say anything, you know what I mean,' Mr Monument told 7.30.

The two men, now in their 40s, have given separate statements to Victoria Police's special Taskforce Sano last year.

ABC reported that several other complaints have been made against Cardinal Pell to the taskforce, including an alleged incident involving two boys in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Report: Key Vatican aide investigated for child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Deutsche Welle

Australian police are investigating Vatican finance chief George Pell over sexual abuse allegations, according to the Australian national broadcaster ABC. The cardinal denied the claims as "totally untrue."

Complaints against Pell go back to late 1970s, when he served as a priest in his home town of Ballarat, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on Wednesday.

Two men told the company that Pell molested them in a Ballarat swimming pool when they were children. Another person alleged that he had seen Pell exposing himself to young boys in a beach changing room in the 1980s.

ABC claims it had obtained eight police statements from the alleged victims, witnesses and family members. Police and prosecutors have yet to decide whether the documents warrant formal charges against the 75-year old cardinal, according to the reporters.

'Smear campaign'

Victoria police declined to comment, according to the AFP news agency.

At the same time, Pell accused ABC of running a "scandalous smear campaign" against him.

"The cardinal does not wish to cause any distress to any victim of abuse," his Rome office said in a statement. "However, claims that he has sexually abused anyone, in any place, at any time in his life are totally untrue and completely wrong."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

George Pell sex files: police sought advice from prosecutors

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne

Victorian prosecutors were asked by police to review sex abuse claims against Cardinal George Pell but sent the file back to detectives without recommendations.

The police file was sent to the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions in the past month but was returned by director John Champion, who advised officers any decision on charges was their call,the Herald Sun reported last night. The revelation came after the ABC broadcast statements from two men last night accusing Australia’s most senior Catholic of abusing them as boys.

Cardinal Pell, who wrote to Victoria Police in May asking if they wanted to interview him, hit back immediately. “The accusations are sheer fantasy and completely implausible,’’ he told The Australian from Rome.

It was reported in February that Victoria Police’s Sano Taskforce was investigating Cardinal Pell over allegations spanning from his time as a priest in Bal­larat in the 1970s to his time as archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s, allegations which he has strongly denied.

Cardinal Pell called for an ­investigation into the leaks at the time and claimed they was designed to cause damage to the Catholic Church and to him just a week before he was to give evidence to the child sex abuse royal commission in February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Cardinal Pell vigorously rejects sex abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
Crux

Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s top financial officer, is facing multiple allegations of sexual abuse in his native country, according to a new report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

As he has in the past when suggestions of impropriety have arisen, Pell has vigorously denied the allegations while expressing sympathy and concerns for victims of clerical abuse.

According to a program on the ABC network, Pell faces accusations from the Australian cities of Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne dating from the period in the 1970s, 80s and 90s when Pell served as a priest and, later, as the Archbishop of Melbourne.

Pell today is the Prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, a new body created by Pope Francis to oversee his project of financial reform.

According to ABC, a police taskforce in the state of Victoria - which includes Melbourne - called SANO, set up to investigate complaints coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has been examining the allegations against Pell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Cardinal George Pell rejects claims he sexually abused two men

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Rebekah Cavanagh, Herald Sun
July 27, 2016

CARDINAL George Pell has rejected claims by two men that he sexually abused them.

Two men, now in their 40s, came forward to detail to the ABC their claims that Cardinal Pell touched them inappropriately in Ballarat’s Eureka pool in 1978-79.

Another man also claimed he saw the cardinal exposing himself to three boys in the change rooms at the Torquay Surf Club in the summer of 1986-87.

The claims are among several that the Herald Sun revealed back in February were being investigated by Victoria Police’s Taskforce Sano, set up to probe allegations emerging from a state parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.

Within the past month, the force referred a brief of evidence on Cardinal Pell to the Office of Public Prosecutions for consideration, asking for an opinion on whether to lay charges against the world’s third-most powerful Catholic.

Sources told the Herald Sun Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion had declined to give an opinion and referred the file back to police, saying it was their decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

George Pell: The swimming pool allegations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

George Pell: The surf club allegation

7.30 BY LOUISE MILLIGAN AND ANDY BURNS
UPDATED WED JUL 27

One of the earliest complaints against Cardinal George Pell being investigated by Victoria Police goes back to the summer of 1978-79 when he was Episcopal Vicar for Education in the Ballarat diocese.

One of the schools he was responsible for was the now notorious St Alipius primary school, where the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse has heard a ring of paedophile Christian Brothers abused many children.

Whilst there is absolutely no suggestion that George Pell was involved in that paedophile ring, former St Alipius students Lyndon Monument and Damian Dignan allege that the Cardinal repeatedly touched their genitals and anuses while playing a game in Ballarat's Eureka pool, where he would throw them and other boys up into the air.

"I'm disgusted, bitter, angry. I just want him to come back and look me in the eye," Mr Monument told 7.30.

Many of the former St Alipius pupils who have spoken to 7.30 say he was often seen at the school throughout the 1970s.

"He was always like the godly figure we had to look up to, and we'd even get told in class, 'Brush your hair and tuck yourself in,'" Mr Monument said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

July 27, 2016 News Release

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

Press Conference
July 27, 2016
Dulce Nombre De Maria Cathedral-Basilica, Hagatña

Today, I want to address Mr. Roy Quintanilla, Mrs. Doris Concepcion, Mr. Walter Denton and Mr. Roland Sondia regarding their allegations of child abuse against Archbishop Apuron while he was a priest in the parish of Agat in the 1970s. I also want to address anyone who may be out there who has been harmed by any Church official. This is an extremely serious matter and I am treating it as such.

I want to personally welcome today those members of the media who have made the time to attend this press conference. I am committed to serving in the Archdiocese in an open and transparent fashion, and I appreciate your attention to these important matters.

Let me first make it clear that the Holy Father appointed me the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese after learning of the allegations against Archbishop Apuron. Because this is a serious matter regarding a Bishop, only the Holy Father has the authority to investigate and according to Church law it must be submitted to the Holy See (Cfr. Christus Dominus 21, Canon 401§2). I do not have the authority to investigate Archbishop Apuron in this matter. My obligation is to ensure that all of the documentation related to this matter reaches the proper offices of the Holy See. This I have done promptly and with due diligence. I forwarded all of the statements by the plaintiffs to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the competent authority of the Holy See in matters of reported sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, including Bishops and Archbishops. The Congregation has diligently kept the Holy Father informed about the process in order to receive his prompt advice or directives. I will report on the progress of this matter as information becomes available to me.

I would also like to say a few words regarding the reactions of the Archdiocese to the reports made by the plaintiffs and other commentators, such as Mr. Tim Rohr. These statements were published on the Archdiocesan website and released to the press regarding the motivation of plaintiffs in making their reports public and about Mr. Rohr’s intentions in raising questions about the financial matters of the Archdiocese. Immediately after I arrived on Guam, I ordered the removal of these statements from all Archdiocesan media organs, including the website of the archdiocese and that of the archdiocesan newspaper.

Let me be clear that in no way do my priest counselors nor I endorse the contents of these statements. Under my administration, it should now be very evident that such statements did not, and do not – in the least – represent the opinion of the Archdiocese of Agaña on the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against any member of the clergy, including a Bishop, nor do they represent the opinion of the Archdiocese on those who raise questions about the handling of church finances.

As I mentioned previously, I take all reports of sexual misconduct by officials of the Church very seriously and I have not, do not, and will not consider a person presenting such reports as malicious or calumnious, or motivated by a desire to attack the church or any other improper purpose. Instead, the Archdiocese should always assume and believe that the intent of those who make allegations of sexual abuse is to bring to light serious claims of abuse. I am gravely troubled by what the plaintiffs have brought forward here. Archbishop Apuron’s prior statements were not consistent with the gravity with which the Church approaches all allegations of abuse. I recant and retract all such statements. I also specifically recant and retract all statements implying or suggesting that Mr. Rohr was part of a conspiracy involving an improper and clandestine real estate transaction, or that he had any improper motives in raising questions about the financial matters of the Archdiocese.

I have requested the clergy to celebrate Masses and to organize prayer gatherings for those who were wounded by the Church in the past and to show support for all those who are currently suffering as a consequence. I myself in prayer meetings and Masses prayed explicitly for them and in my messages I asked the people of God to pray continuously for them. I also appointed Fr. Patrick Castro, OFM. Cap. as a priest contact person to offer support and pastoral care to all those who have reported sexual misconduct by a Church official.

I also pledge to do all in my power to ensure a safe environment in the Church for all, especially the most vulnerable. In this regard the Archdiocese has been making concerted efforts: it has now completely revised the policy for responding to reports of sexual misconduct by an official of the Church, which now includes a clause for the eventuality of the Archbishop (Ordinary) being accused; he must recuse himself from the proceedings. The Moderator of the Curia, in this case Fr. Jeffrey San Nicolas, is then obliged to inform the Holy See of the matter through the Apostolic Delegate in Pacific Oceania, in this case Archbishop Martin Krebs.

The Moderator is further obliged to send all of the pertinent information related to the matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, through the same Apostolic Delegate and to follow the directives of the Holy See. The revised policy was created by a panel of professional and lay persons who helped draft the revision and will be involved in its enactment; a new coordinator of the response for such allegations has also been appointed in the person of Deacon Leonard Stohr; the policy also foresees training programs. The revised policy will be published in the Archdiocesan media and will also be made available to the press.

Besides the roles of Fr. Patrick Castro and Deacon Leonard Stohr, I, as pastor appointed by Pope Francis for the care of souls in the Archdiocese of Agaña, would like to express my sincere desire to personally meet with Mr. Quintanilla, Mrs. Concepcion, Mr. Denton and Mr. Sondia. I will travel personally to meet with those who are off-island, if they wish, or the Archdiocese will arrange for their travel to Guam to meet with me. I kindly ask them to please contact me, or my secretary Mrs. Liza Weisenberger at the Chancery to make arrangements: Tel. 1.671.562-0000, Fax 1.671.477-3519.

Thank you and God bless you

+Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB
Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agaña
July 27, 2016

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Father Paul Gofigan and Monsignor James Benavente both restored

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 27, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Clearing their names at today's press conference hosted by apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, were Father Paul Gofigan and Monsignor James Benavente.

As announced by the archbishop today, both have been restored.

Father Gofigan was removed three years ago for not following a directive of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, while Monsignor Benavente was removed two years ago for alleged financial mismanagement. "We never really left," Gofigan stated. "But at least the atmosphere of oppression is gone. And I can feel it."

He added, "I believe that sentiment goes around with a lot of priests. That culture of fear. That culture of oppression. Today I feel that that heavy burden has been finally released and my name is cleared. My name has been dragged through the mud. One thing I've learned is patience."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

TX--Victims urge church outreach in abuse case

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 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)

A Ft. Worth Catholic volunteer is being investigated on three child sex abuse reports. Ft. Worth’s bishop must go to that church this weekend and aggressively prod anyone with information or suspicions to call police.

[Fox 4]

[CBS DFW]

It’s not enough for church employees to claim they’re “cooperating with authorities.” (In our experience, that usually means they’re doing the bare minimum to avoid being charged with obstruction of justice.) Catholic officials gave this volunteer access to kids. So they owe it to parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public to use their vast resources to actively help law enforcement solve this case and to find and help others who may have been hurt by this volunteer.

Specifically, we call on Bishop Michael Olsen to personally visit St. John the Apostle parish this weekend (and any other church where the volunteer may have been) begging victims, witnesses or whistleblowers to call police. He should also put announcements in church bulletins, parish websites and other diocesan publications and outlets.

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 8:24 AM

NJ--Victims urge archbishop to act on abuse in waning days

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Statement by Mark Crawford, NJ State Director, SNAP 732-632-7687

The head of New Jersey’s largest Catholic jurisdiction, Newark Archbishop John Myers, is 75, the age at which prelates submit their resignations to Rome. We hope Pope Francis replaces him quickly.

In the days ahead, Myers should take five steps to better protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.

[NJ.com]

Specifically, Myers should:

· have a letter read at all parishes on Sunday calling on anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered abuse to come forward, contact secular authorities and seek help.

· post names and work histories of all archdiocesan and religious clergy who have worked within the archdiocese and have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse on the church websites and in the archdiocesan newspaper, the Advocate, so kids will be safer.

· publicly release the files of all clergy who are proven, admitted or credibly accused abusers, so others will be safe and those who have been harmed will know they are not alone.

· order the church lawyers and lobbyists of the Catholic Conference to stop opposing statute of limitations reform for those sexually abused as children and support the passage of better child safety laws, eliminating any statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.

· ensure all diocesan and religious order priests in the archdiocese who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse no longer have access to children and are in a secure and permanently supervised environment.

We don’t know Archbishop Myers will do going forward. But we know what he has not done in the 15 years he has had the opportunity to act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Maitland-Newcastle

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

27 July, 2016

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing to inquire into the response of Catholic Church authorities in the Maitland-Newcastle region to allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy and religious. The public hearing will commence on 29 August 2016 in Newcastle.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

1. The experience of survivors of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and religious in the Maitland-Newcastle region.

2. The response of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Father Vincent Ryan.

3. The response of the Marist Brothers to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Marist 4. Brothers including Francis Cable (Brother Romuald) and Thomas Butler (Brother Patrick).

4. The impacts of child sexual abuse on survivors, families, and the community in the Maitland-Newcastle region.

5. Any related matters.

Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 8 August 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Blogger Tim Rohr backs down from legal action against Archbishop Hon

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 27, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Following his retraction of statements made by previous church administration, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai also retracted statements made against blogger Tim Rohr. For the last three years, Rohr has documented Guam's church controversies on his blog JungleWatch.

In a statement from Rohr, he says he accepts Archbishop's Hon retraction and will no longer pursue legal action against him.

Instead, his fight continues with another opponent, namely the priests who made such libelous statements against him, Father Edivaldo Oliveira and Father Adrian Cristobal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Archbishop disavows predecessor’s statements on sex abuse

GUAM
Washington Post

By Grace Garces Bordallo | AP July 26

HAGATNA, Guam — Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the temporary administrator appointed to Guam by the Vatican in early June, is disavowing the church from statements made by his predecessor, who is facing sexual abuse allegations.

In a news conference in Guam on Wednesday, Hon said former Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s prior statements were not consistent the way the church approaches allegations of abuse. He said he recants and retracts all of Apuron’s statements.

Apuron had strongly denied the accusations.

“As I mentioned previously, I take all reports of sexual misconduct by officials of the Church very seriously and I have not, do not, and will not consider a person presenting such reports as malicious or calumnious, or motivated by a desire to attack the church or any other improper purpose. Instead, the Archdiocese should always assume and believe that the intent of those who make allegations of sexual abuse is to bring to light serious claims of abuse,” Hon said at a news conference.

“I also pledge to do all in my power to ensure a safe environment in the church for all,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

George Pell investigated over multiple allegations of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC - 7.30

Read Cardinal Pell's full statement here.

[with video]

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 27/07/2016

Reporter: Louise Milligan

Police are investigating multiple child abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell. Cardinal Pell has emphatically denied the allegations.

Transcript

SABRA LANE, PRESENTER: Tonight, a special report. Rightly or wrongly, over the course of the child abuse royal commission, one figure has emerged as a lightning rod for the anger of Catholics. Cardinal George Pell has been grilled over what he knew about clergy abuse of children in the Church's care. Tonight, 7.30 changes the focus of that discussion to reveal a series of allegations levelled against the Cardinal himself. Victoria's Police Commissioner recently confirmed his Taskforce Sano is investigating George Pell over multiple allegations. We can reveal that investigation has been going for more than a year and involves a number of complainants spanning decades. 7.30 understands that file has been sent to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice. The Cardinal has issued a statement saying he emphatically and unequivocally rejects any allegations of sexual abuse against him. 7.30 acknowledges the Cardinal is entitled to a presumption of innocence and that the allegations are yet to be tested by any court. In an investigation over several months, reporter Louise Milligan and producer Andy Burns spoke to scores of witnesses and other sources, piecing together the complaints being examined by the police. Many of those they spoke to are concerned that the full picture may never emerge and that's why they've decided to tell their story publicly. Because of the nature of the story, a warning that it contains details that may distress some viewers.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The town of Ballarat has long been a staunchly Catholic place and Catholic Ballarat's favourite son was a strapping young priest called George Pell.

LYNDON MONUMENT: George Pell was like a father figure. He was the biggest figure in the Church in Ballarat.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: It was to be a brilliant career. Archbishop of Melbourne, ...

GEORGE PELL, CARDINAL: We place ourselves in the presence of God, our loving father.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: ... Archbishop of Sydney, ...

GEORGE PELL: And suffering and evil will not have the last word.

LOUISE MILLIGAN: Now Cardinal based in the Vatican, he's one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Claims of Pell abusing emerge

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

27 Jul 2016
Allegations of Ballarat’s Cardinal George Pell sexually abusing children in the 1970s through to the 1990s have emerged.

Alleged victims told the ABC’s 7.30 Report program Cardinal Pell abused them as children in locations across Victoria including in Ballarat, Toquay and Melbourne.

The program revealed Victoria Police's Taskforce SANO has been examining allegations from complainants for more than a year, and is looking into incidents that allegedly happened during Cardinal Pell's time as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.

The program has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members who are helping the taskforce with its investigation.

Cardinal Pell has categorically denied the accusations.

He described the claims as "totally untrue and utterly wrong".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirms order for new trial in Msgr. Lynn case

PENNSYLVANIA
PhillyVoice

BY JERRY GAUL
PhillyVoice Staff

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has denied an appeal to again reinstate the conviction of Monsignor William J. Lynn.

State justices issued an order on Tuesday that affirmed the ruling by state Superior Court judges in December that overturned the conviction of the first Roman Catholic church official in the United States to be charged with child endangerment and ordered a new trial.

Lynn was serving a 3- to 6-year sentence in a Northeast Pennsylvania prison.

However, Lynn could be released as early as Wednesday, according to BigTrial.net.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Thomas A. Bergstrom, Lynn’s lawyer, told the legal blog. “We’ll file a bail motion first thing in the morning.”

Last December, a panel of state Superior Court judges ruled that the trial court had "abused its discretion" when admitting evidence against Lynn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Mormon church fights subpoena for president Monson

UTAH
Local News 8

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -
Attorneys are battling over whether Mormon Church President Thomas S. Monson should be required to testify in a case about alleged sexual abuse that occurred within a now-defunct church program that placed thousands of American Indian children with Mormon families.

Lawyers for four people suing the religion say Monson has "unique information" because he was a high-ranking leader in the religion during the time the abuses occurred.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disagrees in a new court filing, saying Monson's duties in the 1960s-1970s didn't include oversight of the program. Monson became president in 2008.

The four alleged victims accuse religious leaders of not doing enough to protect them from their abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Apuron's accusers say will continue with lawsuit

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Jul 27, 2016
By Krystal Paco

According to Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Roland Sondia, they weren't invited to today's press conference in which Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai retracted previous statements made by the Archdiocese of Agana and Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Despite today's retraction, the alleged victims of the Archbishop Apuron's sexual abuse will be moving forward with the libel and slander lawsuit against the church and Apuron in hopes of getting the truth.

It's a step in the right direction. Quintanilla, "I think it's good that he felt compelled for whatever reason to retract those statements be it a lawsuit was what motivated them to retract it. Nonetheless, I'm glad he did." Sondia added, "This should've been done when he took over as the apostolic administrator."

And Denton noted, "It also has to stem from the pressure that he's received from not only the victims, but the people of Guam and all the protestors coming out there every Sunday."

Today's retraction however isn't enough for the three men - all former Agat altar boys who allege they were molested by Anthony Apuron nearly four decades ago. While it's too late to pursue criminal charges, they say they'll proceed with suing the church and Apuron for libel and slander in hopes of forcing Apuron to appear before a judge. "And if it's going to take a month, a year, whatever it takes, we're going to continue to fight for this," Sondia said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Police investigating Cardinal George Pell child abuse allegations: report

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Emily Woods

Police are investigating child-abuse allegations against Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, the ABC has reported.

The allegations have now been referred by Victoria Police to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice, the ABC reports.

The ABC's 7.30 program has revealed that Taskforce Sano has been examining allegations from complainants in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne for more than a year, and is looking into incidents that allegedly happened during Cardinal Pell's time as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.

The program has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members who are helping the taskforce with its investigation. The allegations were repeated on 7.30 on Wednesday night, and include:

* that Cardinal Pell would touch the genitals of children while swimming in a public pool in Ballarat in the late '70s
* that he was naked in the change rooms on a regular basis in front of children
* that he exposed himself to three young children in another change room, at the Torquay Surf Club in 1986 or 1987.

Cardinal Pell vehemently denied the allegations, with his office saying he "emphatically and unequivocally rejects any allegations of sexual abuse against him".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Police are investigating child abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell who rejects them

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

CATHOLIC cleric George Pell has denied claims that he sexually abused children as police revealed they are investigating a series of child sex abuse allegations against him.

The ABC 730 program revealed that Victoria Police are investigating several complaints from the 1970s to the 1990s from complainants in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne for more than a year.

Victoria Police’s Taskforce SANO, which investigates complaints from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, is looking into the allegations.

The allegations relate to a period when Cardinal Pell was the Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.

ABC 730 stated it had eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family relatives, who are assisting the Victorian taskforce.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Archbishop Hon retracts Apuron's statements, takes all allegations seriously

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 27, 2016

By Krystal Paco

The church previously called Archbishop Anthony Apuron's accusers liars whose motive was to oust Apuron and destroy the Catholic Church. Now, face-to-face with a $2 million lawsuit, the church is taking back their words and hoping to correct the wrongs made by previous church leadership.

And for the first time ever since his appointment to Guam over a month ago, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai addressed the press.

While plaintiffs in the libel and slander lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana and Archbishop Apuron are looking to clear their names, so is the apostolic administrator. Archbishop Hon announced, "Archbishop Apuron's statements were not consistent with the gravity with which the church approaches all allegations of abuse. I recant and retract all such statements."

Last Friday, Archbishop Hon was officially served the $2 million libel and slander suit filed earlier this month against the archdiocese and Apuron. While he's not listed as a defendant, the suit names Archbishop Hon for failing to retract previous statements made by Apuron and then-church leadership. He continued, "Immediately after I arrived on Guam, I ordered the removal of these statements from all diocese media organs, including the website of the archdiocese and that of the archdiocesan newspaper."

Instead, he offers a different message to alleged victims, saying, "I take all reports of sexual misconduct by officials of the church very seriously and I have not, do not, and will not, consider a person presenting such reports as malicious, or calumnious, or motivated by desire to attack the church or any other improper purpose."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Abuse focus on NSW Hunter region

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Annette Blackwell - AAP on July 27, 2016

The Hunter Valley in NSW, best known for its wine industry, is about to become the focus of major inquiries into pedophile activity by Anglican and Catholic clergy.

On Wednesday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse confirmed that within weeks of an inquiry into an alleged pedophile ring operating in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle it will open an investigation into the Catholic Church in the Hunter.

The Anglican inquiry starts on Tuesday and will run until August 12.

It will concentrate on what senior Anglican clergy did to stop priest Peter Rushton and a network of pedophile clergy accused of preying on children for decades.

These hearings are not the first to concentrate on child abuse in the Hunter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Archbishop Hon: Guam's church should assume any abuse allegations are serious

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 27, 2016

A Vatican-appointed archbishop currently overseeing the local Catholic Church said Wednesday he recants and retracts statements made by Archbishop Anthony Apuron that were aimed at those who accused Apuron of sexual misconduct.

Apuron, the local church leader who currently isn’t in charge of daily operations, had called those accusations malicious and calumnious.

“The archdiocese should always assume and believe that the intent of those who make allegations of sexual abuse is to bring to light serious claims of abuse,” Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai said in his first press conference since Pope Francis appointed him in June to temporarily oversee the Catholic Church in Guam.

Hon’s recanting and retraction of Apuron’s statements came days after Hon’s name was included as a defendant in a libel and slander lawsuit filed by three former altar boys and the mother of a fourth altar boy who accused Apuron of sexually assaulting them in the late 1970s in Agat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Royal Commission announces Catholic public hearing from August 29

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
27 Jul 2016

THEY are Hunter child sex offenders the Catholic Church protected for decades – priest Vince Ryan and Marist Brothers Thomas Butler and Francis Cable.

They are now the focus of a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse public hearing into Maitland-Newcastle diocese, starting on August 29.

The royal commission formally announced the details of a hearing on Wednesday after the Newcastle Herald reported on Saturday the Hunter would be the focus of back-to-back royal commission hearings – into the Anglican Church from August 2, and then the Catholic Church.

The royal commission will sit in Newcastle four years after the Herald’s Shine the Light campaign for a royal commission, and four years after the suicide of child sex victim John Pirona, whose death became the catalyst for the campaign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Cardinal George Pell faces claims he groped boys in Victoria in 1970s

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AAP
July 27, 2016

Two men have come forward claiming Cardinal George Pell groped them at a Victoria pool in the 1970s.

The men, who were in primary school at the time and have given a statement to Victorian police, say Cardinal Pell abused them when he would frequent Ballarat’s Eureka Pool during the summer of 1978-79.

One of the men, Lyndon Monument told ABC’s 7.30 he was reluctant to speak up because of the power Cardinal Pell held.

“I didn’t like it, but because it was a church and he was George Pell, we just - you just weren’t game to ever say anything, you know what I mean,” Mr Monument told 7.30.

The two men, now in their 40s, have given separate statements to Victoria Police’s special Taskforce Sano last year.

Cardinal Pell, who was a priest in Ballarat in the 70s has denied the allegations, saying claims he has sexually abused anyone, at any place and at any time were “totally untrue and completely wrong”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

George Pell child abuse allegations under investigation

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

EMILY WOODS
27 Jul 2016

Police are reportedly investigating child-abuse allegations against Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, the ABC has reported.

The allegations, previously covered by Fairfax, have now reportedly been referred by Victoria Police to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.

Taskforce Sano, which has been investigating complaints coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has been examining the allegations against Australia's most senior Catholic cleric.

The ABC's 7.30 program has revealed the taskforce has been examining allegations from complainants in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne for more than a year, and is looking into incidents that allegedly happened during Cardinal Pell's time as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.

The program understands that the case against Cardinal Pell has been referred by Victoria Police to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Police reportedly investigating child abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Two men have reportedly come forward claiming Cardinal George Pell sexually abused them at a Victorian pool in the 1970s.

The men, who were in primary school at the time, say Cardinal Pell abused them when he would frequent Ballarat's Eureka Pool during the summer of 1978-79, according to the ABC.

The men have reportedly given a statement to Victoria Police.

One of the men, Lyndon Monument, told ABC's 7.30 he was reluctant to speak up because of the power Cardinal Pell held.

"I didn't like it, but because it was a church and he was George Pell, we just - you just weren't game to ever say anything, you know what I mean," Mr Monument said.

The two men, now in their 40s, have given separate statements to Victoria Police's special Taskforce Sano last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Multiple accusations of child abuse levelled against Australian Cardinal George Pell

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Ben Brennan - Yahoo7 News on July 27, 2016

Police in Victoria are investigating multiple child abuse accusations against Australian Cardinal George Pell.

The ABC reports Taskforce SANO has been investigating allegations against Australia’s most senior Catholic for a year. The claims originate from his home town of Ballarat, as well as from Torquay and Melbourne.

Cardinal Pell has unequivocally rejected the claims as totally untrue.

Taskforce SANO was set up to investigate claims stemming from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

It has reportedly passed its case to Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.

According to ABC, two men in their forties say the Cardinal touched them inappropriately at Ballarat’s Eureka swimming pool in the summer of 1978-79.

Torquay businessman Les Tyack also gave a statement to the royal commission saying that in 1986-87 he found Cardinal Pell naked in the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club change rooms with three boys aged between eight and 10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Two men claim Cardinal Pell groped them

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Two men have alleged Cardinal George Pell groped them in a Ballarat pool in the 1970s, claims Cardinal Pell has "emphatically denied".

Source: AAP
27 JUL 2016

Two men have told Victoria Police they were abused as children by Cardinal George Pell when he was a priest in Ballarat in the 1970s.

Speaking to ABC's 7.30, the men say Cardinal Pell would grope them while they swam at Ballarat's Eureka Pool during the summer of 1978-79.

He would also often change in front of them.

"He'd undress and then he would say to us to undress," Lyndon Monument told 7.30 on Wednesday.

"So we would undress and then he would teach you how to dry your testicles and in between your bum and stuff like that."

Cardinal Pell was a priest in Ballarat in the 1970s and 80s before going on to become the Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney.

He is now a cardinal in the Vatican.

Cardinal Pell has "emphatically and unequivocally" denied abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Two men claim Cardinal Pell abused them

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Rebekah Cavanagh and wires, The Daily Telegraph

CARDINAL George Pell has rejected claims by two men that he sexually abused them.

Two men, now in their 40s, came forward to detail to the ABC tonight that Cardinal Pell touched them inappropriately in Ballarat’s Eureka pool in 1978-79.

The claims are among several which the Herald Sun revealed in February were being investigated by Victoria Police’s Taskforce Sano.

We can now reveal the force referred a brief of evidence on Cardinal Pell to the Office of Public Prosecutions for consideration within the last month, requesting an opinion on whether or not to charge the world’s third most powerful Catholic.

But the Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion declined to give an opinion and referred the file back to the police, saying it was a decision for them.

The case spans four decades, with the Ballarat-born cardinal accused of abusing children — now adults aged in their late 20s to early 50s — between 1978 and 2001.

The two men who told the ABC tonight they had made statements to the police, say he touched them inappropriately in the summer of 1978-79 when he was playing a throwing game with them at the town’s Eureka pool.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Top pope aide investigated for Australia child sex abuse: report

AUSTRALIA
Times Live (South Africa)

AFP | 27 July, 2016

Vatican finance chief George Pell is being investigated by Australian police over child sexual abuse allegations, a report by the national broadcaster said Thursday, as the leading Catholic cleric denounced the claims as "totally untrue".

The new allegations against Pell being probed by police in Victoria State span two decades, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported, and came just months after the cardinal admitted he "mucked up" in dealing with paedophile priests in the state.

When he was the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney in 2002 Pell was accused of historic sex abuse claims but was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

The ABC said it had obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members helping the police investigation. The report included claims Pell touched two boys inappropriately in a pool in the late 1970s.

But the 75-year-old strongly denied the allegations in a statement to the ABC, saying "claims that he has sexually abused anyone, in any place, at any time in his life are totally untrue and completely wrong".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

George Pell: The surf club allegation

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with copy of a statement from the office of Cardinal Pell]

7.30 By Louise Milligan and Andy Burns

When local businessman Les Tyack walked into the Torquay Surf Club change rooms one day in the summer of 1986-87, he encountered a scene that struck him as "very odd" — George Pell with three boys he estimates were aged between 8 and 10.

"I said, 'Hi George', and at that time he was towelling, had the towel going across his shoulders drying his back, but he was facing three young boys standing about three or four metres across from him," Mr Tyack told 7.30.

He thought it was "a little strange", but he put his gear onto the bench and had a shower.

"I was in the showers for probably five to 10 minutes and when I came out the boys had got dressed," Les Tyack said.

"But Pell just had the towel over his right shoulder, still facing the boys, and the boys were looking at him, there was no communication between them, but Pell was looking at the boys they were looking at him."

"I immediately thought this is not right, there is something amiss here."

Mr Tyack says the thing that disturbed him was that the naked Pell had stood there for 10 minutes facing the boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

George Pell's career in the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Cardinal George Pell has been one of most prominent and controversial figures in the Australian Catholic Church for decades. Take a look at his career from regional Victorian priest to one of the most senior people at the Vatican.

Pell's introduction to the Church

George Pell was born in 1941 in Ballarat and grew up in the western Victorian city, where he attended the Loreto and St Patrick's colleges.

He began his studies into priesthood at Corpus Christi College in Werribee and later travelled to Rome to study at the Propaganda Fide College. In 1966 he was ordained as a Catholic priest and began his work in the Ballarat Diocese.

Over the next 20 years he was heavily involved in Catholic Church organisations, including the Catholic education sector.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

George Pell subject of Victoria Police investigation into multiple allegations of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

7.30 BY LOUISE MILLIGAN AND ANDY BURNS
UPDATED WED JUL 27

Police are investigating multiple child abuse allegations levelled directly against Australia's most senior Catholic cleric Cardinal George Pell, the ABC's 7.30 program has revealed.

Key points

* Victoria Police investigating multiple complaints of sexual abuse by Cardinal George Pell
* Complaints range from the 1970s to the 1990s, when Pell established the Catholic Church's response to sexual abuse allegations
* Pell describes the claims as "totally untrue and utterly wrong"

Victoria Police's Taskforce SANO, which investigates complaints coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has been examining the allegations by complainants from Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne for more than a year.

They include allegations about incidents which allegedly happened during Cardinal Pell's time as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.

7.30 understands that the Pell case has been referred by Victoria Police to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.

7.30 has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members who are helping the taskforce with their investigation.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton confirmed last month that the taskforce was investigating multiple allegations against the Cardinal and, if necessary, detectives would fly to Rome to interview George Pell, although the Chief Commissioner said "it had not been put as necessary to me at this point in time".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Cardinal George Pell calls child abuse allegations a smear campaign

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Guardian staff
Wednesday 27 July 2016

A Victoria police taskforce has reportedly been investigating Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and a top Vatican official, for more than a year and has referred child abuse allegations to prosecutors.

Pell has consistently denied the allegations and said claims he abused young children in Victoria are “totally untrue and completely wrong”.

The ABC has reported police are investigating multiple allegations of abuse by Pell in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne.

Pell’s office has made a statement to the ABC denying the allegations and describing them as “nothing more than a scandalous smear campaign”.

“If there was any credibility in any of these claims, they would have been pursued by the royal commission by now,” the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

July 26, 2016

Pennsylvania high court denies appeal, Msgr. Lynn set for second prison exit

PENNSYLVANIA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jul. 26, 2016

A decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tuesday opened the door for Msgr. William Lynn to exit state prison as he awaits a new trial for his role in the supervision of a sexually abusive priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese.

The state Supreme Court rejected a petition from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to review an appeal court’s overturning of Lynn’s 2012 conviction for endangering the welfare of a child. Lynn, the archdiocesan secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, was the first U.S. church official convicted for his handling of sexual abuse allegations.

In December, a three-judge Superior Court panel vacated the conviction and ordered a new trial after it found the trial court “abused its discretion” by allowing the prosecution to enter as evidence 21 supplemental cases of sexual abuse -- some dating back to 1948, or three years before Lynn was born.

The Superior Court ruling was the second time in two years it reversed the priest’s conviction. A week later, Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams appealed that ruling, which the state Supreme Court denied Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

Editorial: Children's interests are not served by outing clerical abuse

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“God weeps,” Pope Francis said during his visit to Philadelphia last September. The topic was the church’s sad response to the sexual abuse of children by priests. “I commit to the careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected.”

Some careful oversight should be directed to the U.S. District Court in St. Louis. There a priest charged in 2014 with the sexual abuse of a minor has gone on a fishing expedition. To try to prove that Father Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang is a victim of an elaborate conspiracy, his lawyers are seeking emails that could identify victims in unrelated cases.

The lawsuit was filed against the city and two city police officers who investigated the claims of a boy who said Jiang had abused him on two occasions in 2011 and 2012. Jiang was charged in April 2014 with two counts of statutory sodomy, but 14 months later, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce dismissed the charges without explanation. She said her “office remains hopeful that charges will be refiled in the future.” Jiang filed his lawsuit shortly after the charges were dismissed.

Also named in the lawsuit were the boy’s parents; the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests; and two of SNAP’s local officers, David Clohessy and Barbara Doris. Because the city is a defendant, the suit was filed in federal court. That’s where things get tricky.

Breaking- Berland Admits Forcible Rape of a Married Woman on Recording

UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

Israel’s Mako news service posted a hetefore unrevealed three-year-old recording of Rabbi Eliezer Berland saying:

Totally, she was raped from beginning to end.

After, it she asked is it permitted, she asked after the first time I raped her if she is permitted to her husband [or whether she was an adulterous wife who had to be divorced].

Beyond any doubt she is permitted to her husband.

She did not understand what happened. She asked me, “What happened? What happened here?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Pa. Supreme Court rejects Philly D.A.'s appeal in church sex-abuse case

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

JULY 26, 2016

by Joseph A. Slobodzian, STAFF WRITER

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic church official convicted for a supervisory role over priests accused of sexually abusing children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, must have a new trial.

The ruling came as the high court rejected an appeal by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, which challenged a lower court's order of a new trial.

The unsigned one-sentence order confronts District Attorney Seth Williams with the thorny question of how to retry the landmark case after an appellate ruling that removed one of the pillars of the prosecution.

Lynn, now 65 and serving a three- to six-year prison term, was not accused of molesting children. He was accused of child endangerment because prosecutors say that as archdiocesan secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, he reassigned pedophile priests to new parishes, where they preyed on more children.

To establish that Lynn was part of a longstanding cover-up of pedophilia in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, prosecutors introduced historical information on clergy sex abuse: about two dozen examples, some dating to the 1940s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Ongar woman Teresa Cooper 'vindicated' by report on drugging and abuse at girls' home

UNITED KINGDOM
Guardian

Joseph Flaig, Reporter, covering the Epping Forest district. Call me on 07795 316 211 / @JosephFlaigEFG

A woman says she has been vindicated after a report confirmed that teenage girls were drugged and abused emotionally, physically and sexually at a “frightening, violent and unpredictable” home for girls.

The review, which found cruelty was sometimes “normalised” at the Church of England-run Kendall House between the 1960s and 1980s, was carried out after years of campaigning from Ongar mother-of-three Teresa Cooper, who was sent to the home aged 14.

Ms Cooper has suffered lasting health problems ever since but had no existing conditions or illnesses when she was placed in the home.

Dr Sue Proctor, who investigated abuse by Jimmy Savile at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, led the investigation and said that the truth would not have been revealed without Ms Cooper’s efforts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Msgr. Lynn A Free Man

PENNSYLVANIA
Big Trial

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2016

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Msgr. William J. Lynn, the central figure in the prosecution of the Philadelphia archdiocese for sex abuse, is a free man.

That’s because today, the state Supreme Court, in a one-page decision, announced it would not review a second reversal of Lynn’s conviction by the state Superior Court.

After serving 33 months in jail, and 15 months under house arrest, Lynn could be on a bus to Philadelphia as early as tomorrow.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Thomas A. Bergstrom, Lynn’s lawyer. “We’ll file a bail motion first thing in the morning.”

Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, was convicted in 2012 on one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to three to six years in jail by the trial judge in the case. M. Teresa Sarmina.

The alleged victim in the case, however, was Danny Gallagher, aka “Billy Doe,” who had all kinds of credibility problems, as recounted in a Jan. 29th Newsweek cover story headlined "Catholic Guilt: The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy Behind A Lurid Rape Case.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Pa. Justices Won't Reinstate Lynn Conviction

PENNSYLVANIA
Law.com

The state Supreme Court has denied the Philadelphia District Attorney’s attempt to reinstate the conviction of Monsignor William J. Lynn, the first Catholic Church administrative official convicted over sexual abuse committed by other priests.

The justices issued a one-page order Tuesday denying the prosecutor’s appeal in Commonwealth v. Lynn. The District Attorney’s Office had asked the court to reverse a decision from the Superior Court that had vacated Lynn’s child endangerment conviction, and ordered a new trial in the case.

A spokesman for District Attorney R. Seth Williams said the office is currently reviewing the decision.

Lynn’s attorney, Thomas A. Bergstrom of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, said he was pleased with the decision and will work to get Lynn released soon.

“We are hopeful we will be able to get a motion filed and an order to get him released from custody as soon as we can, because right now he is an unconvicted and un-sentenced prisoner,” Bergstrom said. .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Priest charged with indecently assaulting young boy

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

Donal O'Regan Donal O'Regan
26 Jul 2016
Email: donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

A PRIEST has appeared in court charged with multiple counts of indecently assaulting a young boy over a three-year-period.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Judge Marian O'Leary at Limerick District Court this morning.

Sergeant Michael Reidy gave evidence of arresting the accused prior to court for the purpose of charge.

He said the defendant, whose aged in his early 60s, made no reply as each of the eight charges were put to him.

The offences are alleged to have taken place at a location in East Limerick over a three year period in the late Eighties and early Nineties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Priest charged with eight counts of indecent assault against boy

IRELAND
Breaking News

26/07/2016

A priest has been remanded on bail, charged with indecently assaulting a boy, writes David Raleigh.

The accused who cannot be named appeared before a sitting of Limerick District Court this morning.
He is charged with eight counts of indecent assault against the boy, contrary to Common Law, and Section 62 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861.

The offences are alleged to have taken place on dates between September 1, 1988 and August 1, 1990.
Detective Garda Mike Reidy, Roxboro Road station, gave evidence that he "met the defendant by appointment before the court at 10.15am and formally arrested him".

"In reply to all of the charges he had nothing to say...no reply to the charges," Dtc Gda Reidy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Valley of the damned: the cruel spot where two different churches made the ‘epicentre of organised paedophilia’

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Candace Sutton
news.com.au

IT was a cruel game played out by vile abusers in an idyllic and retile valley which in the coming weeks will be revealed as the nation’s “epicentre for organised paedophilia”.

The game of “spotlighting”, ostensibly a weekend camping pursuit by young Anglican boys and their religious leaders was actually a guise for child sexual abuse.

Revelations of how Anglican priests and their paedophile gang chased boys and raped them in the wilds of the Hunter Valley will unfold in coming weeks.

And the Hunter Valley, known for its vineyards, its coal industry and its fertile soil for crops, will emerge as something more sinister.

This valley of the damned is now being recognised as a playground for not only priests from the Catholic Church practising systematic abuse, but their Anglican counterparts.

It is the Anglican Church’s turn to be exposed for its widespread practice of grooming and sexually assaulting young Hunter Valley boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Fomer 'house parent' accused of sexual assault

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

Ebensburg, Cambria County, Pa.

A former 'house parent' for Bishop Carroll Catholic School's international exchange program is accused of sexual assault.

John Thornberry, 28, is facing several charges after two international exchange students said he inappropriately touched them.

Ebensburg Police say they were informed on February 9, 2016 that an incident had accused by Bishop Carrol's CEO, Jerome Stephens and upon investigating the found the initial incident happened back in December of 2014.

The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese operates an international exchange student program and provides dormitory-style living for the students involved on Bishop Carroll High School's campus. Thornberry was hired in August of 2014 and passed all clearances mandated. As a house parent, he lived on campus and would help with homeworks, transportation and keeping account of the exchange students.

Victim one told police that Thornberry touched his penis and he knew that he had previously touched another student, victim two. Victim two, a former student, said Thornberry said he wanted to see his penis and had tried to touch him when he was alone in his room. Victim two said he was about to fight off Thornberry. Victim two now attends a different high school in the United States. Police say they believe there is a third victim, but are unable to reach him because of returning to his native country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

St. John's administrator fighting lawsuit

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

Lou Raguse, KARE July 25, 2016

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. - One of St. John's University's top administrators is temporarily giving up some of his duties in the wake of a 23-year-old sex abuse allegation.

Father Doug Mullin is currently the vice president in charge of student development, which includes overseeing the athletics department. He will continue with his VP duties, but has moved out of the dorms, where he was a long-time faculty resident. And he temporarily will step back from public priestly ministry.

Mullin strongly denies the accusation, and St. John's University and St. John's Abbey are aggressively fighting the claim on his behalf.

Attorney Jeff Anderson served St. John's Abbey with the lawsuit just prior to the May deadline for the Minnesota Child Victims' Act, which extended the statute of limitations temporarily and allowed victims to file old sex abuse lawsuits.

But St. John's Abbey fired back, asking a judge for a dismissal even before the plaintiff publicly filed the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff, who is referred to as "Doe 304," was a former student at St. John's Prep, a boarding school for grades 6-12. In 1993, Mullin was the Dean of Students at St. John's Prep. The plaintiff, now in his late-30s, claims in the lawsuit Mullin sexually abused him when he was 15.

A spokesman for St. John's Abbey provided a written response, stating in part:

Fr. Mullin adamantly denies the allegation. Saint John’s Abbey has full confidence in Fr. Mullin’s denial and, by filing the complaint in court—at Fr. Mullin’s request—is seeking to restore his good name," said Br. Aelred Senna. "Fr. Mullin has voluntarily stepped back temporarily from public priestly ministry and also from his longtime role as Faculty Resident in the residence halls at the University. Saint John’s University has full confidence in Fr. Doug Mullin’s innocence and expects him to be completely vindicated in this matter. Fr. Mullin continues in his Vice-Presidential role with Saint John's University, as would any other employee facing an unproven allegation of wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Abuse victim ‘appalled at intimidation’ by church

ITALY
The Guardian

Catherine Deveney
Sunday 17 July 2016

A British man who travelled to Verona in an attempt to forgive the Catholic missionary who sexually abused him at Mirfield seminary in Yorkshire almost 50 years ago is being prosecuted in the Italian courts on three counts of “trespassing, stalking and interference in private life”.

Mark Murray, 60, who filmed his encounter with Father Romano Nardo at the Verona headquarters of the Comboni missionaries in April last year, said he was “appalled and disgusted” when a letter summoning him for criminal proceedings in Verona on 14 September arrived at his home in Wales last week.

“The Combonis know these ‘crimes’ are not true. They are trying to intimidate me. It’s all about power and control. They are trying to send out a message to say, ‘Don’t dare take us on’.”

In 2014, the Observer reported exclusively on widespread abuse at Mirfield in the 1960s and 70s after a group of 11 British men settled out of court with the missionary order, receiving sums of between £7,000 and £30,000.

Murray, who has suffered lifelong psychological problems as a result of his experiences, received the maximum sum after revealing a horrifying litany of sexual and emotional abuse that included having a cross carved in his chest with a finger nail. “This has all had a massive effect on my emotional wellbeing,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School charged with institutional sexual assault

PENNSYLVANIA
Office of the Attorney General

7/26/2016

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's office today announced criminal charges have been filed against a former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School accused of the sexual assault of an international exchange student.

John Bowman Thornberry, 28, is also charged with the attempted sexual assault of a second international exchange student.

The alleged incidents occurred while Thornberry worked as a house parent in a residence hall for students of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, located in Ebensburg, Cambria County. The school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

"This is a disturbing case of a trusted school official violating the very students he was obligated to watch over and care for," Attorney General Kane said. "It is unacceptable for anyone to harm a child."

Thornberry's arrest is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Ebensburg Police Department. The investigation began after an administrator from Bishop Carroll Catholic High School contacted authorities to report the allegations involving Thornberry.

According to a criminal complaint filed in support of the charges, as a house parent Thornberry was tasked with assisting students with homework assignments and transportation. He was also responsible for accounting for students' whereabouts when they were outside the classroom.

The alleged sexual assault and the alleged attempted sexual assault occurred between December 2014 and February 2016. The alleged incidents occurred in the school residence hall where the student victims were living, investigators stated in a criminal complaint.

The Office of Attorney General assumed jurisdiction of the case following a referral from Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan.

The Office of Attorney General has investigated other incidents of child sexual abuse involving individuals associated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The 37th statewide investigating grand jury in March released a report that detailed the sexual abuse that hundreds of victims endured at the hands of priests and other religious leaders associated with the diocese. The abuse occurred over a period of at least 40 years.

Thornberry, of Mills Rivers, N.C., is charged with one count each of institutional sexual assault, criminal attempted sexual assault, attempted indecent assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of a child. Thornberry is awaiting a preliminary arraignment.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Ebensburg Police Department for its work on this investigation.

The case will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye of the Office of Attorney General's Criminal Prosecutions Section.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the Office of Attorney General at 888-538-8541.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Former Catholic high school employee charged with sexual assault of students

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

A former employee of a high school in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese has been criminally charged with sexually assaulting a student.

The Attorney General's Office on Tuesday announced criminal charges in connection to the sexual assault of a minor on a former employee of a high school in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.
Mark Pynes/PennLive

The Attorney General's Office on Tuesday released the criminal complaint against John Bowman Thornberry, 28, a former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg, Westmoreland County.

Thornberry is accused of the sexual assault of an international exchange student. He is also charged with the attempted sexual assault of a second international exchange student.

The alleged incidents occurred while Thornberry worked as a house parent in a residence hall for students at the school.

"This is a disturbing case of a trusted school official violating the very students he was obligated to watch over and care for," Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in a written statement. "It is unacceptable for anyone to harm a child."

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown earlier this year was the focus of a grand jury investigation into systemic clergy sex abuse. The two-year investigation uncovered the widespread sexual assault of hundreds - possibly thousands - of children across the diocese, and its coverup by church officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Former Bishop Carroll employee charged with sexual assault

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

BY RON MUSSELMAN TUESDAY, JULY 26TH 2016

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office announced Tuesday that criminal charges have been filed against a former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School accused of sexually assaulting an international exchange student.

John Bowman Thornberry, 28, of Mills Rivers, N.C., also is charged with the attempted sexual assault of a second international exchange student.

The alleged incidents occurred while Thornberry worked as a house parent in a residence hall for students of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, located in Ebensburg, Cambria County.

The school is affiliated with the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Thornberry is awaiting a preliminary arraignment.

"This is a disturbing case of a trusted school official violating the very students he was obligated to watch over and care for," Kane said. "It is unacceptable for anyone to harm a child."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Archbishop Hon to hold first press conference

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 26, 2016

Nearly two months after the Vatican sent him to temporarily oversee the Catholic Church in Guam, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai will not only hold his first press conference but also confirmed that a revision of the local church’s policy for responding to sexual abuse accusations would include language on how to respond to allegations against the archbishop himself.

Hon’s first press conference set for Wednesday morning also comes five days after his name was included as a defendant in a libel and slander lawsuit filed by former altar boys who accused Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of sexually assaulting them in the late 1970s.

Former altar boys Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Roland Sondia, along with Doris Concepcion, mother of another former altar boy, Joseph Quinata, accused Apuron of sexually molesting altar boys when he was parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Agat.

Through their attorney David Lujan, the former altar boys revised on Friday their $2 million libel and slander lawsuit, naming other defendants and citing more examples in which the local church allegedly defamed them after they made their allegations against Apuron public.

The accusers said Hon, who has temporarily assumed Apuron’s duties in Guam, should be held equally accountable for past statements by the church because the church has not retracted or repudiated any of the statements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Senior Anglican clergy accused of failing to act on rape allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
@harrietsherwood
Tuesday 26 July 2016

The archbishop of York and four serving bishops have been accused of misconduct by a Church of England priest who claims they failed to act on allegations he was repeatedly raped by another vicar when he was 16.

The priest says none of the five senior clergy properly responded to his disclosures, made verbally and in writing, of the rapes which he alleged took place in 1984.

“Michael” – whose identity is known to the Guardian, but who wishes to remain anonymous – filed the complaints under the C of E’s clergy disciplinary measure (CDM) against John Sentamu, the archbishop of York and second highest-ranking figure in the church; Peter Burrows, the bishop of Doncaster; Steven Croft, a former bishop of Sheffield, and now bishop of Oxford; Martyn Snow, the bishop of Leicester; and Glyn Webster, the bishop of Beverley.

All five have contested the complaints because they were made after the church’s required one-year limit.

Spokespersons for Sentamu and the four bishops said they could not comment on a matter that was the subject of an internal church process and a police investigation.

Sentamu has previously said he was “deeply ashamed” that the church failed “both to watch and to act, where children were at serious risk” in a separate abuse case concerning a C of E dean.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Archbishop of York and four bishops accused of failing to act over historic rape claims

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

James Macintyre 26 July 2016

The Archbishop of York and four bishops have been accused of misconduct by a Church of England priest who claims they failed to act on allegations that he was repeatedly raped by another vicar in 1984, when he was 16.

The Guardian reported that the anonymous priest filed the written and verbal complaints under the CofE's clergy disciplinary measure (CDM) against John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York; Peter Burrows, the bishop of Doncaster; Steven Croft, a former bishop of Sheffield, and now bishop of Oxford; Martyn Snow, the bishop of Leicester; and Glyn Webster, the bishop of Beverley.

All five have contested the complaints on the grounds that they were made after a one-year time limit for complaints that is required by the church.

The priest, known only as 'Michael', has filed a misconduct complaint against the alleged rapist, who is currently the subject of a police investigation into Michael's claims.

The alleged rapist, who continued to work as a CofE priest for at least a decade after the alleged offences, is now retired, though he is still licensed to officiate as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

No tears for a dead monster: Pedophile Paul Ronald Goldsmith’s victims face lifetime of trauma

AUSTRALIA
Mercury

PATRICK BILLINGS, Mercury
July 23, 2016

PEOPLE are told not to speak ill of the dead. So the joy that victims of Paul Ronald Goldsmith experienced on learning of his death was admittedly a “bizarre feeling”.

But their lives have not been normal since the man dubbed Tasmania’s worst paedophile unleashed his reign of terror in the 1970s.

Goldsmith died two months ago in Tanzania where he fled to in 2012, reportedly with troubling plans to work with disadvantaged children.

It is not known how the 71-year-old died.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade wouldn’t elaborate for privacy reasons after confirming the death on Monday. However, the Mercury has been told he had broken his leg which may have led to complications in the impoverished East African country.

Goldsmith, a trainee Catholic priest-turned-successful insurer, was jailed in 2005 for sexually abusing 20 teenage boys aged between 13 and 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

SPECIAL REPORT: “Spotlight” Victim in Savannah

GEORGIA
WSAV

[with video]

By Andrew Davis
Published: July 25, 2016

It was a crowning moment for the director, producers and actors. February 2016, “Spotlight” wins the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Behind the movie is the story of the victims, abused by men they trusted, their priests.

One of those victims now lives in Savannah.

Michael Corbett was a teenager, just 17, and thinking about becoming a priest himself.

Those thoughts, and his life was changed forever by Father Robert Gale in a Boston rectory back in 1993.

“He went to the bedroom and stripped down to his underwear,” explained Corbett. “But did it so he was standing right in front of me the whole time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Hearing set on legislation lifting statute of limitations on child sex abuse

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 26, 2016

By Krystal Paco

A continued public hearing for legislation that would lift the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases is set for Thursday. Last month, dozens rallied in support of Bill 326, stating "justice shouldn't have an expiration date".

Among the bill's supporters were Archbishop Anthony Apuron's alleged victims - Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia, and Doris Concepcion on behalf of her late son, Joseph "Sonny" Quinata. The bill's author, Senator Frank Blas Jr., says a substituted version will be heard on the measure based off recommendations from the last public hearing. Some of the changes include ensuring the bill is specific to sexual abuse and not any other crimes along with preventing "frivolous suits" from being filed.

The hearing starts at 10am at the Legislature's Public Hearing Room in Hagatna.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Vatican and Bank of Italy sign key agreement after years of mistrust

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail

VATICAN CITY, July 26 (Reuters) - The Vatican and the Bank of Italy on Tuesday signed a cooperation agreement aimed at regularising their relations and ending years of Italian mistrust over the operations of the Holy See's bank.

The agreement, signed by BOI Governor Ignacio Visco and Rene Bruelhart, the Vatican's top financial regulator, comes after years of financial reforms, most of them under Pope Francis, to bring the Vatican and its troubled bank up to international standards to guarantee transparency and combat money laundering. (Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Crispian Balmer)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Former teacher at Trent Vale school abused troubled boys at previous school in Scotland

UNITED KINGDOM
Stoke Sentinel

STAFF at a Stoke-on-Trent school said today they were 'horrified' to discover a former teacher had abused pupils at a previous school where he worked more than three decades ago.

Paul Kelly had preyed on boys at a St Ninian's School in Falkland, Fife, which educated youngsters from troubled backgrounds.

But the offences may never have come to light had it not been for the tenacity of one victim, who made a complaint to diocesan officials in 2013.

It led to one of the biggest abuse inquiries of its kind to be carried out by Police Scotland, with Kelly among several former staff to be charged with sex offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Goddard inquiry truth project to hear first testimony on child sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville
Monday 25 July 2016

The first of hundreds of people are to begin giving testimony to a public inquiry into child sexual abuse, in an unprecedented national “truth-telling” project designed to catalogue decades of suffering.

More than 2,000 people have contacted the Goddard inquiry to say they have suffered abuse, and 600 have consented to take part in the truth project.

The inquiry was set up in 2015 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal to gather evidence on historical institutional child abuse in Britain. The inquiry is also seeking victims who were abused and who reported the abuse to a person in authority but the report was either ignored or not acted on properly.

Dru Sharpling, the Goddard inquiry panel member overseeing the truth project, encouraged anyone who had suffered child sexual abuse within an institution, a private organisation or at the hands of a person of public prominence to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Survivors must have a stronger voice in Goddard abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Phil Frampton

Despite public inquiries over the last two decades, such as the Waterhouse inquiry and the Utting report into child abuse in care homes, the institutions of government have failed to deliver justice for survivors or tackle child abuse. And official inquiries have repeatedly absolved central government and the establishment from guilt. Yet there is still no indication of when the £18m Goddard child abuse inquiry will hear evidence regarding high-level abuse and coverups at Westminster.

The inquiry’s truth project began this week but, sadly, the testimonies given to it by survivors will have no direct legal consequences and will only be used as ballast to the final inquiry report; a form of window dressing that may leave many survivors not only bound to secrecy about their testimony but also deeply distressed.

In announcing the initial inquiry two years ago, the then home secretary, Theresa May, declared its remit was to look into institutional responses to all child sex abuse allegations, whatever the circumstances. With estimates of the number of child abuse survivors stretching into the millions, many thought this was a clear signal the government would try to bury the Westminster scandals by casting the net too wide.

There were also indications the inquiry would have no powers to order key documents and witnesses. Only survivors’ brave and outspoken opposition prevented May’s appointment of Lady Butler-Sloss and then Fiona Woolf from heading the inquiry. Survivors’ groups such as Whiteflowers, to which I belong, organised vigils, protests and lobbies to focus the inquiry on the establishment and delivering justice for victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Clock ticking for Guam's Catholic church to respond to libel and slander lawsuit

GUAM
KUAM

[with court document]

Updated: Jul 26, 2016
By Krystal Paco

There are new developments to report in the alleged child sex abuse scandal that's has rocked the local Catholic Church. Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana have been served.

Four people have come forward accusing Apuron of sexual molestation, which he has denied.

Because the statute of limitations has run out to pursue criminal charges, the accusers filed the libel and slander lawsuit in hopes of forcing him to appear before a judge.

Signed, sealed, and hand delivered - the Archdiocese of Agana and Archbishop Apuron are now both in receipt of the libel and slander lawsuit against them. According to a declaration of service that was filed at the Superior Court of Guam, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai received the legal papers on Friday, but didn't want to take them. According to Christopher Allen, a special process server for the courts, "Mr. Savio Fai refused to sign receipt of documents and tried to give the documents back to me. I promptly left the area, leaving the documents in Mr. Fai's hand. Nothing further."

On Monday, the same court official served Apuron via Alina Fantanote, who is of "suitable age and discretion and who resides with the defendant."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Pastor Bob Cotton calls for harsher penalties for people who conceal child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

Krystal Sellars
26 Jul 2016

A Hunter Valley pastor is leading a push for legislative change for harsher penalties for people who fail to report child sexual abuse to police.

Pastor Bob Cotton from Maitland Christian Church says the current penalty for concealing a serious indictable offence – a maximum of two years’ imprisonment – is inadequate punishment for those who cover-up the sexual abuse of children.

Pastor Cotton said he was spurred into action after a close friend, who had been abused by Anglican church worker James Michael Brown in Kurri Kurri, died of drug and alcohol abuse.

“The ancillary offences do not fit the facts of the cases, and ‘conceal serious indictable offence’ does not reflect the criminality,” Pastor Cotton said.

“It is only a local court matter and frankly, it is an insult to the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Church Volunteer Accused Of Abuse

TEXAS
CBS 11

[with video]

July 25, 2016 By Robbie Owens

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBS11) – A search for answers—and perhaps a child predator—is underway in North Richland Hills. Police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church.

The accusations became public over the weekend after a statement from the Fort Worth Diocese was read at each mass.

In part, the statement references having received “reports very recently of sexual abuse of children by a layman who is a member…” The accused has been described as a volunteer at the church, although a name has not been released. According to the statement, “…abuse is alleged to have occurred over the last seven or so years.”

Three children have brought accusations. Two of the incidents allegedly occurred on church property, perhaps “during evening prayer meetings.”

An alleged third incident involving the suspect occurred in Colleyville, but, North Richland Hills Police are leading the investigation into all of the incidents and Monday told reporters that they intend to move cautiously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Police investigating child sex abuse cases involving North Richland Hills church

TEXAS
Fox 4

Police are looking into claims of sexual abuse at a church in North Richland Hills after the congregation made the allegations public during its weekend services.

During every mass at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church on Sunday, a letter was read.

The letter said: “The Diocese of Fort Worth has received reports very recently of sexual abuse of children by a layman who is a member of St. John the Apostle parish. The abuse is alleged to have occurred over the last seven or so years.”

North Richland Hills police say it was over the last three to seven years.

"Allegations that happened several years ago,” said investigator Keith Bauman. “Too early to say this has it’s been an ongoing situation.”

Police say the allegations involve three children ages 5 to 10 — children who are now in their teens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Unnamed Church Volunteer Under Investigation for Sexual Abuse of Children During Services

TEXAS
NBC DFW

[with video]

By Jeff Smith

A volunteer is accused of sexually abusing children at a North Richland Hills church.

Police are investigating three complaints of sexual abuse of children, two of which allegedly happened at Saint John the Apostle Church on Glenview Drive.

All three complaints involve children who, at the time of the alleged misconduct, were between the ages of five and 10. Now, officers say the victims are teenagers.

"We've had allegations of sexual misconduct and we take them seriously. But we also need information and evidence to move forward," said North Richland Hills Police Investigator Keith Bauman. "There are three specific situations that we are looking into."

Two instances of sexual misconduct allegedly happened inside the Catholic church during evening prayer meetings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Hon: Revised policy to address accusations against archbishop

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 26, 2016

Nearly two months after the Vatican sent him to temporarily oversee the Catholic Church in Guam, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai confirmed on Sunday that a revision of the local church’s policy for responding to sexual abuse accusations would include language on how to respond to allegations against the archbishop himself.

At least four individuals publicly accused Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of sexually molesting altar boys in the 1970s when Apuron was parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Agat.

But since the public accusations in May and June, the local church or the Vatican has not released any detail about any investigation into Apuron.

Church law states only the Vatican can investigate an archbishop, but it’s unclear whether an investigation has even started.

Apuron hasn’t been charged with any crime and remains archbishop, but he’s been temporarily stripped of his administrative authority over the Archdiocese of Agana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

July 25, 2016

Mountain Home priest accused of rape free without bond

IDAHO
Idaho Statesman

BY BILL ROBERTS
broberts@idahostatesman.com

The Rev. Victor Jagerstatter was charged Monday with raping a Mountain Home Air Force Base airman while the airman lay passed out in the early morning hours of July 9.

Jagerstatter, 39, is a Catholic priest at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish. He was released on his own recognizance despite the prosecutor’s request for a $20,000 bond.

Nearly 100 parishioners from the Mountain Home church and others in Weiser and Caldwell overflowed into the courtroom. Many were wearing “I Stand with Fr. Victor” badges. Others carried posters which read “Fr. Victor is innocent.”

They recited the Lord’s Prayer and sang “Amazing Grace” in the hallway outside the basement courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

Court Docs: Airman says he woke up to Mountain Home priest attempting oral sex

IDAHO
KMVT

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (KBOI) -- Editor's Note: The following story contains sensitive content

The victim in an alleged rape involving a Mountain Home priest says he woke up to Victor F. Jagerstatter attempting to give him oral sex, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Court documents state that on July 9, the victim, an Airman at the Mountain Home Air Force Base, was intoxicated and passed out in a room he rented from Jagerstatter's house on 13th Street North after a night of drinking. Sometime after he passed out from intoxication, the court documents state, the victim woke up and saw Jagerstatter kneeling beside his bed moving toward him attempting oral sex.

"The victim screamed and Victor Franz Jagerstatter asked him if he wanted breakfast," the affidavit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Details emerge in Mountain Home priest sex arrest

IDAHO
KIVI

Steve Bertel
Jul 25, 2016

MOUNTAIN HOME - A Mountain Home priest made his initial court appearance Monday afternoon in the Elmore County Courthouse after police say he sexually assaulted a man.

On Friday, Mountain Home Police arrested 39-year-old Victor Jagerstatter for sexual abuse and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

The charge has since been changed to rape, according to the Idaho State Respository.

Jagerstatter is a priest of the Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Parish in Mountain Home. The parish serves Mountain Home, Glenns Ferry, Grandview and Bureau.

Jagerstatter was booked into the Elmore County Jail about 11 a.m. Friday, according to a jail supervisor.

Court documents released Tuesday say the victim -– a member of the U.S. Air Force stationed at the Mountain Home Air Force Base -- reported to Base family advocacy officials that he had been sexually assaulted. The case was investigated by Special Agent Keith Tyler of the Office of Special Investigation.

According to the document, the victim told Tyler he was renting a room from Jagerstatter on East 13th Street North in Mountain Home. He attended a party on July 8th, drank alcohol, then returned to his rented room and passed out about 3 a.m. the following morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Plaintiffs amend suit against Apuron

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

The lawsuit filed against Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana was amended Tuesday, July 19, and now references a number of additional statements made by the archdiocese which the plaintiffs see as strengthening their case of slander and libel.

On July 1, a group of four accusers – Roland Sondia, Walter Denton, Edith Doris Concepcion and Roy Quintanilla – filed a suit for libel and slander against the archdiocese and Apuron.

The newly added statements were released by the archdiocese in response to allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct made against Apuron. In these statements, the allegations are referred to as "nonsense," described as "another malicious and calumnious accusation against the Archbishop" and that "the true nature of the plaintiffs' suit is to destroy the Catholic Church and discredit the archbishop by whatever means."

In the amended suit, the plaintiffs allege that the various statements issued by the archdiocese were prepared and released on behalf of Apuron by Rev. Edivaldo Da Silva Oliveira, the media relations coordinator of the archdiocese and personal secretary of Apuron.

The amended suit notes that none of the statements released by the archdiocese have been retracted and that the statements continue to represent the position of the archdiocese and Apuron. Further, it states that all statements released prior to archbishop Hon's appointment are equally attributable to him as to his predecessors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Archbishop may not have “properly” reported paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Sophie Morris and Nick Butterly - The West Australian on July 26, 2016

The most senior Anglican in Australia has backed church officers who revealed that the Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft may have failed to properly report details about a notorious paedophile priest in NSW.

Primate of the Anglican Church, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, even offered a prayer of support and gratitude for those who last week said there was no record that Archbishop Herft had referred complaints about the paedophile to police.

He gave no public backing to Archbishop Herft and said the allegations of abuse, aired on the ABC last week, were “shocking and distressing”.

“We pray for the perpetrators of abuse and those involved in covering up this criminal behaviour that they might acknowledge the evil and damage that they have done and be brought to justice with repentance and a will to change their lives,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Child sexual abuse: Is Pa. pro-child or pro-predator?

PENNSYLVANIA
Lancaster Online

ELIZABETH EISENSTADT-EVANS | COLUMNIST

“It’s not over,” said state Rep. Mark Rozzi on Monday, moments after throwing the grand jury reports on sexual abuse of children on the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

The Berks County lawmaker, himself a victim of abuse, was most likely referring to his ongoing battle to retroactively extend the period in which victims of decades-old childhood abuse could sue those who molested them, dropping the statute of limitations in criminal cases and extending the window for civil ones from age 30 to 50.

HB 1947, which overwhelmingly passed the House this past spring, was stripped of the retroactivity language when it arrived in the state Senate after lobbying by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and other groups. They argued that the provision was unconstitutional, unfairly targeted private institutions like churches and would result in the closure of parishes and ministries. Both the Diocese of Harrisburg and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which opposed the House legislation, sent out letters to be read from the pulpit and included in parish newsletters.

“The constitutionality defense is an issue that bishops typically raise when they find themselves between a rock and a hard place,” says Marci Hamilton, an attorney specializing in the constitutional separation of church and state and a resident senior fellow in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Apuron accusers revise slander lawsuit

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Steve Limtiaco, slimtiaco@guampdn.com July 25, 2016

The former altar boys who accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexually assaulting them have revised their $2 million libel and slander lawsuit, citing more examples in which the local church allegedly defamed them after they made their allegations public.

The revised lawsuit also argues that Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon, who has temporarily assumed Apuron’s duties in Guam, should be held equally accountable for past statements by the church because the church has not retracted or repudiated any of the statements.

The revised lawsuit accuses Apuron and the church of making defamatory statements against the accusers, despite knowing, “there had already been a history of sexual abuse committed by priests in the Agana Archdiocese.”

Since May, three former Agat altar boys and the mother of a deceased former altar boy have come forward to publicly accuse Apuron of sexually assaulting the boys when he was parish priest in the late 1970s.

Roy Quintanilla stated his allegations on May 17, followed a couple of weeks later by Doris Concepcion, who said her deceased son, Joseph A. Quinata, had told her Apuron molested him. Walter G. Denton in early June stated Apuron had raped him during a sleepover, and Roland Sondia in mid-June stated Apuron had molested him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Catholic archbishop fights child abuse charge

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide will ask the NSW Supreme Court to dismiss a criminal prosecution alleging he failed to report child abuse by a priest.

Archbishop Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic official worldwide to be charged with such an offence, had unsuccessfully argued that the prosecution was “unjustly oppressive” to him, and “will culminate in an unfair trial”, court documents show.

His appeal will be heard before a Supreme Court judge in September, days after the end of two royal commission hearings into child abuse within the Catholic Church, including in the archbishop’s former diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in NSW.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will devote two public hearings into abuse within the Newcastle area over the next few months, with the city’s Anglican Church also under investi­gation. The commission is expect­ed to hear evidence of a ­potential pedophile ring involving former Anglican officials.

The diocese’s bishop, Greg Thompson, last year apologised to abuse victims who suffered in “a culture that ­intimidated them and kept them silent’’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

The Demographic Both Party Platforms Missed: Child Sex Abuse Victims

UNITED STATES
Verdict

25 JUL 2016

MARCI A. HAMILTON

The wild ride of this year’s presidential election has left many looking for landmarks that will guide their choice for the next president. One place to figure out who stands for what lies in the 2016 Republican and Democratic Platforms. So I decided to explore how each party deals with children.

It would not have been irrational to assume that this would be the year when the epidemic of child sex abuse might find its way onto a platform. After all, Spotlight won the Oscar Award for Best Picture. Institutions in every category that have recklessly dealt with the sexual abuse of children continue to fall over themselves as they choose between defensive silence, self-serving denials, and lame mea culpas. Indeed, there have been so many institutions outed, it is impossible to name them all here.

Suffice it to say that tony prep schools, universities, sports, and religious organizations have had some problems. Pitched battles between fragile adult survivors of abuse and the Catholic bishops over statutes of limitations for child sex abuse and rape have dominated politics and headlines.

And talk about a demographic: 20-25 percent of the American public is sexually abused as children. That is an “interest” that might well persuade a voter to cross party lines, depending on the Party’s message on child sex abuse. For this large number of Americans, however, the Platforms just nibble around the problem.

One needs to cast a wide net for “children” in each Platform to find some indication of how the Party views the epidemic of child sex abuse. Neither uses the phrase “child sex abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Thousands Protest Outside Remand Hearing for Rabbi Suspected of Sex Crimes

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Yair Ettinger Jul 25, 2016

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, the leader of Israel's Shuvu Banim Hasidic community, was brought to court for a hearing on extending his police detention on Monday. The police asked the court to extend Berland’s detention by another few days for questioning in order to complete their investigation.

Berland is suspected of sexual and other offenses and was arrested when he returned to Israel last week from South Africa under an extradition agreement. 

Some 1,000 of his followers protested his arrest outside the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court in support.  Some of his supporters carried pictures of the rabbi or signs, with slogans such as "The people are with the saint."  

Berland, 79, is one of the leaders of the Bratslav Hasidic movement in the country and is considered a holy man by his followers.  

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

9-Year-Old Boy Starved and Chained in Church for Stealing Soup from His Step Mother

NIGERIA
Ghana Star

By Esther Tagoe - Jul 23, 2016

The Nigeria Security Forces have rescued a nine-year-old boy who was chained at a church. Korede Taiwo, was chained for weeks at the Key of Joy Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ in Ajiwo, Ogun state, Nigeria.

A statement released by the security forces said that the boy was rescued at about 10:30AM on Friday. The case has since been transferred to the appropriate authorities for further investigation, the statement said.

According to the statement released by the Security Forces, the boy was chained because he repeatedly stole (soup) from his stepmother. The step-mother, Kehinde reported to his father, Taiwo Francis, a Pastor in the church. Francis reportedly chained the boy to a log of wood inside a room within the church premises.

The statement added that security officials patrolling the area were informed by a resident that a boy is being held in chains in the church. They moved in following the tip-off.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Boy was held in chains for weeks in a Nigerian church

NIGERIA
The Freethinker

The shocking picture above was taken shortly after the nine-year-old was rescued on Friday by Nigerian security forces from the Key of Joy Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ in Ajiwo, in the state of Ogun.
According to this report, Korede Taiwo was chained for weeks at the church and starved.

A statement released by the security forces said the boy had been punished because he repeatedly stole soup from his stepmother, Kehinde. She reported the theft to his father, Taiwo Francis, a pastor in the church. Francis then chained the boy to a log of wood inside a room within the church premises.

The statement added that security officials patrolling the area were informed by a resident of the boy’s plight and he was then rescued, despite opposition from church members.

According to the statement:

The boy was tired and pale, he was not able to talk when we rescued him. On getting to the church there was serious resistance by members, led by the pastor’s wife Kehinde.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

What’s Underneath the Vatican Power Struggle Over Economic Reforms

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

NEWS ANALYSIS: Cardinal George Pell’s Secretariat of the Economy has had its wings clipped in recent weeks, in terms of its authority to oversee the Vatican’s financial operations.

BY EDWARD PENTIN
07/25/2016

VATICAN CITY — The Secretariat for the Economy has suffered two blows to its authority in the past few weeks in what inside sources say is a concerted effort to obstruct revealing financial information and possible misconduct in the Roman Curia.

However, some of the decisions have helped to clarify roles in the financial reform process and, together with new monitoring procedures, could significantly help to root out mismanagement and corruption in the long term.

On June 10, the Vatican announced it was ending an external audit of the Holy See’s finances by the accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers. The audit, which cost around €500,000 ($550,000) to complete, had already been suspended in April, just four months after it had begun, on the grounds that the Vatican wanted to obtain “clarifications.”

The Vatican said in its June 10 statement that the financial scrutiny would now be executed by the Vatican’s own auditor general, and that PwC would henceforth “play an assisting role” and be “available to those dicasteries that wish to avail themselves of its support and consulting services.” It argued that having an external audit carried out by its own auditor general is “normally the case for every sovereign state.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Stiftung baut ehemaligem Erzbischof Alterssitz für 1,2 Millionen Euro

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche Zeitung

[The charitable Joseph Foundation built a 1.2 million-euro retirement home for former Bamberg Archbishop Karl Braun. The deal is controversial because the foundation also builds home for needy families.]

Von Matthias Drobinski, Bamberg

Seinen 85. Geburtstag feierte der Bamberger Alt-Erzbischof Karl Braun bescheiden und daheim, am 13. Dezember 2015. Zum Fest berichtete der Bamberger Fränkische Tag, Braun lebe "eher zurückgezogen in seinem Haus in Wildensorg", westlich der Domstadt. Das sei ein "Tribut an das Alter", heißt es in dem Porträt, aber auch "ein selbst auferlegtes Muss als Emeritus, der seinem Nachfolger auf dem Bischofsstuhl das tägliche Feld zum Beackern überlässt". Braun, der mehr als zehn Jahre Bischof von Eichstätt war und dann bis 2001 Erzbischof von Bamberg, sagte, er mühe sich nun, "tiefer in das Mysterium einzudringen", in das Geheimnis des Glaubens. Der Artikel trägt den Titel: "Der Mystiker von Wildensorg".

Es ist schön dort. Man fährt durch Bambergs romantische Gassen nach Westen hinauf. Der Ort ist beschaulich mit viel Grün, ein Teich macht ihn verwunschen. Man schaut übers fränkische Land; die Villen der wirklich reichen Leute stehen jenseits der Hügelkuppe, wo man die Stadt zu Füßen hat. Das Haus des Erzbischofs ist schmal, aber weit nach hinten gebaut, vorne wohnt der alte Herr, unterm Dach ist die Kapelle. Hinten leben die drei Schwestern, die ihn versorgen. Im Vorgarten wächst ein Rosenbaum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Argentina: The Irish priest, ex-minister and $9m in a convent

ARGENTINA
Irish Times

Stephen Collins

An Irish priest has been given a key role in an investigation into an astonishing corruption scandal that has convulsed Argentina for the past month.

The case, which involves a former government minister attempting to stash about US$9 million (€8.2 million) mostly in cash at a small convent near Buenos Aires, has rocked the country’s political system.

Fr Tom O’Donnell (64), from Templeglantine, west Limerick, has been appointed to lead the Catholic Church’s investigation into the affair. The Pallotine missionary is the parish priest of St Patrick’s parish in Mercedes, about 70km from Buenos Aires.

Fr O’Donnell told The Irish Times that his investigation team had a narrow focus on how the nuns at the convent came to be embroiled in the affair, but they would be co-operating fully with the civilian authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Amended complaint filed by accusers against Archbishop Apuron

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 25, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Archbishop Anthony Apuron's accusers - Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia, and Doris Concepcion on behalf of her son Joseph "Sonny" Quinata - have filed an amended complaint for the libel and slander suit against Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana. The new complaint adds paragraphs alleging it was Father Edivaldo Oliveira, who prepared and released video and press release statements on behalf of the archdiocese and Apuron.

The statements denied all allegations of molestation made against Apuron and called the accusers out for a malicious smear campaign to oust the archbishop and destroy the Catholic Church. Added paragraphs also name apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who has yet to retract the previous statements.

No word on whether the defendants have been served the legal documents, which were initially filed on July 1. According to archdiocese spokesperson Monsignor Bibi Arroyo, they are being represented by Attorney John Terlaje.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Statement from the Attorney-General - Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse

AUSTRALIA
My Sunshine Coast

The Palaszczuk Government is working through a number of recommendations to respond to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, including the removal of the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse claims.

We welcome the indication from the LNP that it would support any progress of this issue.

The recommendation as proposed applies to both government and non-government entities and so consultation would be important. As such, the government would welcome bipartisan support from the LNP on the Royal Commission recommendation.

The Palaszczuk Government has said it also wants the Australian Government to progress a national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

As he exits, Newark Archbishop Myers opens up; criticizes secular culture

NEW JERSEY
The Record

BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

NEWARK — As he prepares to submit his mandatory letter of retirement this week, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers sat for an interview and reflected on his often controversial 15-year tenure as New Jersey’s highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Myers offered advice to Pope Francis on conducting himself before the media and challenged Governor Christie’s personal stance on birth control, as well as the governor’s hard line in barring Syrian refugees, even very young ones, from entering the state.

And in rare remarks, the archbishop offered a full-throated defense of his decisions in episodes in which he faced harsh criticism: his handling of two priests — one in Wyckoff — who were accused of sexually assaulting children, and the church’s $500,000 investment in upgrading his Hunterdon County retirement home.

Some of what Myers had to say is covered in what may be his last pastoral letter to his flock: “To Whom Shall We Go?” in which the 74-year-old prelate laments the secularization of society and implores people of all faiths to deeply immerse themselves in their religion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

8 Steps to Take to Protect Children From Sexual Abuse at the Hands of Rabbis

UNITED STATES
Algemeiner

Many Orthodox rabbis and institutions are affiliated with one or more major Orthodox umbrella groups. These groups include the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel of America, Torah Umesorah, the Rabbinical Council of America and the National Council of Young Israel.

Over the last several years, I have tried to convince several of these groups, numerous prominent rabbis and the Jewish Federations of North America to take even minimal steps to protect Orthodox children from the rampant sexual abuse found in our communities. My efforts went nowhere.

Most of the time, my phone calls and emails were ignored. In the rare instance that I was actually able to have a conversation with a rabbi or leader of one of these groups, they would not agree to do anything to protect our kids.

To my knowledge, none of these major Orthodox groups or the Jewish Federations have any publicly posted a set of child protection rules. Rabbis who do want to protect the children in their care have little or no direction from their affiliated organizations as to how to make their institutions safe for children.

In the absence of any guidance on this issue from most of our religious or Jewish lay leadership, I have written a set of child safety recommendations that all rabbis and Orthodox institutions can and should implement immediately.

I urge anyone interested in stopping the unrelenting plague of child sexual abuse in Orthodox communities to send this list to your rabbi, principal, board of directors, or president of your synagogue, school or yeshiva. If they stall, delay, make excuses or refuse to, ask them why protecting our children from sexual abuse is not a priority for them.

1) Publicize the names of the hundreds of Orthodox child molesters who are known to rabbis.

Frequently, victims or their parents report to their rabbi when a child has been sexually abused. In many instances, rabbis cover up the molester and demand that the victim remain silent about their abuser. Parents and employers can’t protect the children in their care if they don’t know who the predators are that deliberately target Orthodox kids for sexual abuse. “The List” on my website is a good place to start for this information.

2) Ban and excommunicate anyone known to have harmed children in the past.

Many studies show that there is no drug or therapy that cures child sex offenders from their desire to sexually abuse children. They are never safe around kids, and they should never have access to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Five sex offences reported EVERY week in mosques, temples and churches

UNITED KINGDOM
Express

By LAURA MOWAT

According to the shocking figures obtained by a Freedom of Information Request by The Mail on Sunday, 725 crimes were reported in the past year with 368 of them relating to children.

Spokesman for the charity Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, Phil Johnson, said: “We’ve seen numbers increase dramatically in the past few years because of the Jimmy Savile effect, but those that go to the police are in the minority.”

Most cases were in churches but the figures also included offences at mosques and Sikh temples.

Graham Wilmer, of The Lantern Project, which supports child sex abuse victims, added that based on the number of those who do not report crimes, the real number of offences could be ten times higher.

Justin Humphreys, Head of Safeguarding at the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service, believes reporting of sexual abuse has improved since the Jimmy Savile case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Archbishop Hon speaks out about allegations against clergy

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 25, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Over a month on the job and Guam's interim apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, is speaking out on the allegations of possible sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy. Archbishop Hon was appointed by the Vatican to lead the Agana Archdiocese in the midst of allegations of rape and molestation made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who has since been placed on leave.

While he's yet to address island media, Archbishop Hon is providing weekly messages to the faithful via the Umatuna Si Yu'os, the catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of Agana. This week, he addresses the divide in the church as a result of the allegations of sexual abuse by clergy. "Everybody wants to have good and holy priests. There is no doubt about it. Unfortunately, when scandals break out, we priests appear suspicious of committing something bad or of covering it up," he wrote.

Hon further notes that the vast majority of priests are not sex abusers, and that no one is immune from trials and temptations. "sometimes, priests do fall." He adds that the Agana Archdiocese is learning a lesson and making efforts to improve policy for responding to allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by a church official. The current policy, he says, is being revised by experts and will be approved by the Presbyteral Council.

"It will include clear provisions for the event of accusations against the Archbishop himself. Hopefully the policy will heighten awareness and promote transparent and respectable moral behavior."

Although sinful clergy can validly celebrate sacraments, Hon states it doesn't mean they should be active pastors. "It all depends on the gravity of the matter and the situation of the pastor concerned." He closes with asking for prayer for the bishops, priests, and deacons so they may remain with Christ.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Former County Durham Archdeacon to stand trial accused of abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre

UNITED KINGDOM
Chronicle Live

BY LAURA HILL

A former County Durham archdeacon will appear in court today as part of one of the UK’s biggest investigations into historic sex abuse.

George Granville Gibson, a former Archdeacon of Auckland, has denied eight counts of sexual assaults against two men dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.

Gibson will stand trial at Durham Crown Court accused of eight charges of indecent assault.

The retired cleric was charged in 2014 as part of Operation Seabrook, one of the UK’s largest investigations into historic sex abuse.

He has denied the charges against him.

Gibson held a number of posts with the Church of England before serving as Archdeacon of Auckland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

July 24, 2016

Police investigate child abuse claims at Tarrant County church

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

By Julieta Chiquillo Follow @jmchiquillo jchiquillo@dallasnews.com
The Dallas Morning News

Published: 24 July 2016

North Richland Hills police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by a volunteer at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, officials said.

A deacon read a letter about the investigation to parishioners during Saturday and Sunday services at the church on 7341 Glenview Drive, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The letter stated that several children reported that the abuse happened on church property during evening prayers, according to the Star-Telegram. No priest or deacon is involved in the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Sex offender sues Monsey rabbi after 'slanderous' tweet

NEW YORK
News 12

MONSEY - A Rockland rabbi is facing a slander lawsuit over a tweet that identified a level 3 sex offender in Monsey.

The lawsuit was delivered to Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, written in Hebrew and filed in Israel, where Yona Weinberg currently lives. Weinberg served time in state prison for having sex with a child under the age of 14.

A longtime educator in Rockland, Horowitz posts parenting videos on YouTube and produces children's books to help parents talk to kids about sex abuse. He says he has no plans to stop warning the community about sex offenders on social media.

"I have a responsibility to the children and their parents and there's no way I'm going to give up on that," says Horowitz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Sexual abuse investigation underway at North Richland Hills church

TEXAS
Star-Telegram

BY DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR.
ramirez@star-telegram.com

An investigation into sexual abuse of youths at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church is underway, police and church officials said Sunday.

A letter concerning the investigation was read at a Saturday mass and Sunday morning services at the church, 7341 Glenview Drive.

The investigation is the early stages, Detective Keith Bauman said Sunday in a telephone interview.

No one has been arrested.

According to the letter, the allegations involve a church volunteer accused of sexual abuse, some of which took place on church property during evening prayers, several children reported.

The investigation does not involve a priest or a deacon, according to the letter.

The letter from Bishop Michael Olsen was read by Deacon Rigoberto Leyva from the central offices of the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Officials from the Diocese of Fort Worth received reports from a member of St. John about 10 days ago and alerted police. The abuse is alleged to have occurred over the past seven years, according to the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Richard P. McGann

CONNECTICUT
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Richard P. McGann was ordained for the Hartford archdiocese in 1970. He assisted throughout the 1970s at St. Gregory's in Bristol CT, then served several years as chaplain at Hartford Hospital. During this time he was in residence at a local parish. Through most of the 1980s McGann was Director of Pastoral Ministry at St. Paul's Catholic High School in Bristol while living at St. Gregory's. In 1989 he was named pastor of Our Lady of Mercy in Plainville. He was still there in 2005 when quietly placed on Administrative Leave. In 2011 it was revealed that, in 2009, a man had received a settlement from the archdiocese. The man had accused McGann of sexually abusing him over a two-year period in the 1970s at St. Gregory's in Bristol and on out-of-town trips, beginning when he was 12-years-old. The man was convicted in 1986 of murdering his grandfather at age 23 and was serving a 60-year sentence.

Ordained: 1970

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers poised to retire

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

After a 15-year run as spiritual leader to more than a million Roman Catholics in New Jersey, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers is expected to submit a letter to Pope Francis this week seeking the pontiff's permission to retire.

On Tuesday, Myers turns 75, the mandatory retirement age set by canon law. It remains to be seen how swiftly Francis will move to replace him. Some bishops continue to work a year or more after they reach 75.

"The pope can do what he wants," said Christopher Bellitto, a church historian and professor of history at Kean University. "He can accept immediately, or he can say, 'Thanks for the letter. I'll let you know.'"

Given that Francis had previously appointed a coadjutor bishop for the archdiocese, Bellitto said he suspects the pope will move more quickly than he might have otherwise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Apuron accusers demand answers

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Steve Limtiaco, slimtiaco@guampdn.com July 24, 2016

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai has refused to meet with the former altar boys who have accused Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron of rape and molestation, according to attorney David Lujan, who outlined several concerns in a letter this month to the attorney for the Archdiocese of Agana.

Since May, three former Agat altar boys and the mother of an altar boy have accused Apuron of sexual assault in the late 1970s, when he was parish priest in Agat. They accused Apuron publicly, at several tearful press conferences near church property and in an interview with the Pacific Daily News.

The accusers include Roy T. Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia and Doris Concepcion — the mother of deceased former altar boy Joseph Anthony Quinata.

Apuron, whose duties on Guam are temporarily in the hands of Hon, pending a church investigation, has not been seen in Guam since Hon was appointed and he has not issued any public statements. Apuron and the archdiocese have denied some of the allegations and have not specifically addressed others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Dillingham parish priest charged with attempted sexual assault

ALASKA
KOLG

[with audio]

By DAVE BENDINGER

Father Michael Nicolai has been suspended from his duties at the Russian Orthodox church after allegations of domestic violence and attempted sexual assault.

KDLG: Dillingham police have charged a local parish priest with attempted sexual assault. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger has more.

Father Michael Nicolai is the priest at Saint Seraphim of Sarov, the Russian Orthodox Church in Dillingham. Early on Saturday July 16, police were called to the parish home behind the church by his wife, who reported she had been assaulted.

Dan Pasquariello is the chief of Dillingham Police.

“The officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance. They went there, they interviewed all parties involved, they made an arrest. The information they gathered, after conferring with the district attorney, led them to charge Father Nicholai with attempted sexual assault and a physical assault.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

LNP to remove time limit on sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Child sexual abuse survivors will be able to seek damages from their abusers at any time if Queensland's LNP is restored to government.

Queensland's Liberal National opposition has promised to remove the three-year limit on lodging civil claims against alleged abusers if they are elected.

Opposition leader Tim Nicholls said the current three-year limit from a survivor's 18th birthday denied them the opportunity to claim damages and seek justice.

'We want to empower child sex abuse survivors to seek the justice they deserve, no matter how long ago the alleged offence occurred,' Mr Nicholls said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

A Fox News Alumnus and Anarchy in the Vatican: A Timely Convergence

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on July 24, 2016 by Betty Clermont

Pope Francis appointed Greg Burke director of the Vatican Press Office on July 11. Burke was a Fox News correspondent from 2001 until he was hired as a senior communications adviser in the Vatican in 2012.

Burke is an Opus Dei numerary, i.e. an avowed celibate. On July 13, Pope Francis appointed another American close to Opus Dei, Kim Daniels, to the Secretariat of Communications. Daniels was “Sarah Palin’s personal domestic policy czar” in 2010. Daniels is a co-founder and director of the U.S. branch of Catholic Voices. Right-wing National Review editor, Kathryn Jean Lopez, is the other co-founder and director. Lopez regularly lectures at Opus Dei‘s Catholic Information Center on K Street, Washington D.C. Jack Valero, co-founder of the worldwide Catholic Voices, is also Press Officer for Opus Dei in the UK.

“In recent weeks in the Vatican chaos reigns supreme … The infinite war between factions, the continuous clashes between the leaders of the Roman Curia, the strategies for the replacement of the president of the Vatican Bank,” Emiliano Fittipaldi wrote in a July 14 article titled “Santa Anarchia” in the prominent Italian weekly news magazine, l’Espresso.

The Vatileaks trial that ended on July 7, “was a total debacle: strategic, communicative, political,” concluded Fittipaldi, one of the five defendants tried for leaking Vatican secrets that were published. Not only because the trial publicized “the financial obscenities” during the reign of Pope Francis exposed in Fittipaldi’s book, Avarice: Documents Revealing Wealth, Scandals and Secrets of Francis’ Church, “but also because the management of the scandal showed a surprising internal disorganization and an inability to build winning communication strategies” in addition to exposing “new struggles between opposing factions,” Fittipaldi wrote.

These opposing factions, according to Fittipaldi, “are likely to pass sleepless nights to the new head of communications, Greg Burke.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Five new sex offences each week: Reports of abuse in UK churches, mosques and Sikh temples have risen by 20 per cent in the past year – and half of them involve children

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Charlotte Wace For The Mail On Sunday

At least five new church sex offences are reported to police each week – and half of them involve children, according to shocking new figures.

Statistics from forces across the UK reveal that the number of sex offences reported to have taken place in religious buildings has risen by 20 per cent in the past year.

The figures, released to The Mail on Sunday under Freedom of Information laws, showed that in the past three years, 725 such crimes were reported, with 368 of them relating to child abuse.

Most cases were at churches but the figures also included offences at mosques and Sikh temples.

Phil Johnson, spokesman for the charity Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, said: ‘We’ve seen numbers increase dramatically in the past few years because of the Jimmy Savile effect, but those that go to the police are in the minority.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Patty Wetterling brings clout to board working to prevent clergy abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jenna Ross Star Tribune JULY 23, 2016

A board that reviews troubled Catholic priests in the Twin Cities archdiocese — once faulted for being insular and ineffective — has a new makeup and a high-profile member: Patty Wetterling, the state’s best-known advocate for child safety.

Wetterling’s reputation, built on her work since her 11-year-old son Jacob was abducted in 1989, adds another layer of credibility to the archdiocese’s Ministerial Review Board as it grapples with the aftermath of a clergy abuse scandal.

“A lot went wrong,” Wetterling said by phone last week. She is optimistic about the “intent and structure” of the board, she said, which is “trying to ensure that the church is doing all that it says it’s doing going forward.”

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi touted Wetterling’s appointment at a news conference Wednesday announcing that his office was dropping criminal charges against the archdiocese. He also announced he was releasing documents showing an effort to quash an investigation into alleged sexual improprieties by former Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Defrocked Southern Illinois priest who founded Camp Ondessonk has died

ILLINOIS
The Southern

MOLLY PARKER

ELIZABETHTOWN -- A one-time ambitious, popular Southern Illinois priest who spearheaded the creation of Camp Ondessonk in 1959, and nearly 50 years later was defrocked by the Vatican after allegations surfaced he sexually abused youth campers when he was director, has died.

Robert Vonnahmen, 85, was reportedly quietly buried in Elizabethtown in early May. It doesn’t appear that an obituary was written on Vonnahmen’s behalf, at least not one that is available online or otherwise readily accessible.

Vonnahmen’s death was announced this past week by the St. Louis chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. In the 1990s, Vonnahmen was at the center of a Catholic Church sex abuse scandal that rocked Southern Illinois, and ultimately resulted in the removal of 14 priests, including Vonnahmen, and one permanent deacon, from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville, which oversees parishes in roughly the bottom third of the state.

In a statement, SNAP Director David Clohessy accused local Catholic officials of neglecting to make known the passing of a man he referred to as “one of Southern Illinois’ most notorious pedophile priests.”

Clohessy said he heard about Vonnahmen’s death by word-of-mouth, from an individual associated with the church. Clohessy said that same person told him Vonnahmen was buried in Elizabethtown a few days after his death. The newspaper was unable to confirm any information about Vonnahmen’s arrangements from church officials or others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

July 23, 2016

Documents in Settlement of Curtis Wehmeyer Case Reveal Vatican Interference in Investigation of Allegations about Archbishop Nienstedt's Sexual Improprieties

MINNESOTA
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

WHAT HE'S SAYING: Well, there you have it at the top of this posting. Archbishop Nienstedt's full statement in response to the revelations contained in documents in last week's settlement of the Curtis Wehmeyer case in St. Paul-Minneapolis can be found appended to this article by Marino Eccher in Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Nienstedt's response:

I am a heterosexual man who has been celibate my entire life.

The screen shot at the head of the posting is the header from an article by Jean Hopfensperger in the Star Tribune.

WHAT HE'S ALSO SAYING:

John Nienstedt, the former archbishop of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, said accusations of sexual misconduct against him were part of a false smear campaign in response to his opposition to gay marriage
~ Marino Eccher's report in Twin Cities Pioneer Press again

And:

He called the allegations "a personal attack against me due to my unwavering stance on issues consistent with Catholic Church teaching, such as opposition to so-called same sex marriage," and went on to say that he saw the allegations as retribution for decisions he made as a supervisor and leader of the archdiocese.
~ Laura Yuen and Peter Cox, MPR News

WHAT DOCUMENTS DISCLOSED IN LAST WEEKS'S SETTLEMENT REVEAL:

A July 2014 memo from the Rev. Daniel Griffith, who at the time was in charge of the archdiocese's department focused on protecting children, accuses the apostolic nuncio — the Vatican's representative to the United States — of ordering the investigation to end abruptly, without following up on all the leads investigators had uncovered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

Long Island church sued for allowing sexual assault of 4-year-old by priest's perv teenage son

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
BARBARA ROSS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, July 22, 2016

A 4-year-old Long Island boy was sexually assaulted last year by the former parish priest’s teenage son on the grounds of a Greek Orthodox Church as the little boy’s 6-year-old sister watched in horror, a lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan alleges.

The victims’ parents say the attack took place in May 2015 after Sunday services at Holy Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church in Brookville.

To protect the identities of the children, the Daily News is not naming the parents.

In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the parents say that while they chatted with the parish priest, the priest’s son, then a teenager, sodomized, fondled and ejaculated on their half-naked son as his sister “helpless observed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Church critics protest at ITC

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

Members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam (CCOG) and the Laity Forward Movement (LFM) staged a wave protest at the ITC Intersection in Tamuning on Friday, July 22, reiterating their call for a more responsive apostolic administration and the defrocking of Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

The new protest action, according to Lou Klitzkie of LFM, was prompted by a new memo issued by the Archdiocese of Agana, involving the Archdiocese Annual Appeal (AAA).

The memo, signed by the Apostolic Administrator Savio Hon Tai Fai and addressed to "all pastors, rectors and parochial administrators,” indicated that the AAA failed to meet its collection target of $250,000 for 2016.

According to the memo, the AAA collection for this year hit only $85,552.44, falling far below the goal.

Fai asked that the memo be read during Mass to encourage generous tithing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Globe’s Robinson of Spotlight Team to speak for literacy group

RHODE ISLAND
The Westerly Sun

July 23, 2016

By NANCY BURNS-FUSARO Sun Staff Writer

WESTERLY — Walter “Robby” Robinson was in Idaho, taking a quick break between interviews with the local Public Radio affiliate and his talk at The Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.

For a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, Robinson, who led the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team in uncovering the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, is extraordinarily modest.

“I don’t think of myself as a writer,” said Robinson, whose character was played by Michael Keaton in the movie “Spotlight,” the film that depicted the investigation and won Best Picture at the 88th annual Academy Awards in February.

Robinson will be the guest speaker Wednesday at Watch Hill Chapel in a benefit appearance for the Literacy Volunteers of Washington County. The organization selected Robinson as its Joyce S. Ahern Summer Speaker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Victims fight court order in civil suit involving once-accused priest

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Valerie Schremp Hahn St. Louis Post-Dispatch

UPDATED at 11:31 p.m. with SNAP's intent to join other victims in emergency motion to stay judge's order

ST. LOUIS • People who made accusations against Roman Catholic priests filed an emergency motion in federal court on Friday, saying that their rights will be violated if a survivor's group follows a judge's order to hand over personal information of accusers in another case.

Meanwhile, late Friday night, the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests filed a document saying they will join with the other victims in their emergency motion to stay the order.

SNAP is among those being sued by the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, who is seeking damages. He had been named in Lincoln County and St. Louis in charges that were later dropped.

The victims who filed the emergency motion are not connected to the Jiang suit but said they were assaulted by other priests, but they have privacy concerns because of the judge's order in the Jiang case.

David Clohessy, director of the group, said earlier Friday night that group leaders didn't know yet what they would do or how the victims' motion would affect the judge's order involving the group. They had until midnight Friday to decide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Brave victim speaks out to reveal years of harrowing child abuse he suffered at Catholic order school

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

BY JAMES MONCUR

DAVE Sharp spoke out after a Catholic priest and a teacher were found guilty of a string of offences against troubled youngsters in the 70s and 80s.

A VICTIM of horrific child abuse has told of his hell at a residential school run by Catholic order the Christian Brothers.

Traumatised Dave Sharp spoke out after Catholic priest John Farrell and teacher Paul Kelly were found guilty of brutalising young boys in the 70s and 80s.

Farrell, 73, and 64-year-old Kelly preyed on troubled youngsters at St Ninian’s in Falkland, Fife.

Dave, 57, has been fighting for justice for nearly 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson subpoenaed for deposition in sex abuse lawsuits

UTAH
Fox 13

JULY 22, 2016, BY BEN WINSLOW

SALT LAKE CITY -- Attorneys have subpoenaed Thomas S. Monson, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to give a deposition in a series of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of Navajo children who participated in a church-run placement program.

Lawyers representing four people who claim to have been sexually abused while participating in the LDS Church's "Lamanite Placement Program" or "Indian Student Placement Program" in the 1960s and 1970s issued a deposition subpoena to the church leader. FOX 13 learned of the subpoena when attorneys for the church filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City to have it quashed.

"In justification of their discovery demand, Defendants claim that President Monson has 'unique information' concerning the jurisdictional facts in this case. Nothing could be further from the truth," LDS Church attorney David Jordan wrote. "The only connection President Monson has to this case is that he happened to be a senior leader of the LDS Church during the time period Defendants allege they were abused. Defendants do not claim that President Monson, in his role as an LDS Church leader, had responsibility for the administration of the ISPP. Nor do Defendants suggest that President Monson has personal knowledge of their participation in the ISPP or of their alleged abuse."

A letter from the alleged victims' attorney, Craig Vernon, argues that President Monson's testimony is relevant. He cites the situation surrounding former LDS Church General Authority George Lee, who was excommunicated from the church in 1989 and accused of sexual abuse. Vernon argues Monson was a high-ranking Mormon church leader at the time, and would be in a position to testify about complaints against Lee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Closings, mergers on hold

MINNESOTA
Leader-Telegram

Associated Press

Change will come a little more slowly to Catholics in the Winona Diocese.

Implementation of a proposed diocese-wide reorganization plan — Vision 2016 — originally set for July 1 has been temporarily put on hold. Diocesan spokesman Ben Frost said that “the timeline for implementation has been extended slightly. We hope to communicate updates on Vision 2016 later this summer.”

“This year we have seen the passing of five of our priests, the retirement of one and impending retirements on the horizon. These are contributing factors to the delayed implementation of the Vision 2016 plan for many parishes,” Frost said.

The diocese has had to deal with a number of other challenges in recent months.

That includes 115 claims of sexual abuse brought under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, and last month’s resignation of Chancellor and Vicar General Richard Colletti after the revelation of a 30-year-old improper relationship with an adult woman. Colletti played a key role in the development and implementation of Vision 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Former Maine youth pastor indicted on sex abuse charge

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

Posted July 22, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine — A former Canaan youth pastor was indicted this week by a Kennebec County grand jury on an unlawful sexual contact charge involving a minor.

Lucas Savage, 37, of Clinton could spend up to 10 years in prison on the Class B felony charge if found guilty.

Savage, who was arrested in March in the town of Mercer, allegedly abused the victim, who according to the indictment list was under the age of 12, at his residence. Savage worked as a youth pastor at Youth Haven Ministries at the time of the alleged crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Good friend of accused priest: 'I won't believe those accusations'

IDAHO
KBOI

[with video]

BY KELSEY MCFARLAND & KBOI NEWS STAFF SATURDAY, JULY 23RD 2016

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) — Community members close to a Mountain Home priest who was accused of sexual abuse and exploitation of a vulnerable adult speak on his behalf as the allegations spread.

As a result of the allegations, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise has put Father Jagerstatter on administrative leave.

We spoke to some members of the Roman Catholic Church as they were heading in for prayer this evening, and they say they don't believe the allegations.

Mountain Home Police say 39-year-old Victor Jagerstatter was arrested Friday. Formal charges have yet to be filed, so prosecutors aren't releasing any details of the allegations.

But the executive director of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise did release this statement:

"The Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise has learned of the arrest of Rev. Victor Jagerstatter, Parish Administrator of Our Lady Good Counsel in Mountain Home. The Diocese will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in their investigation. Due to the seriousness of the allegations, Fr. Jagerstatter has been placed on administrative leave. We hold up in prayer all those involved in this matter."

"Yeah I mean he seemed like a good guy nothing you would expect from him really," Pedroza said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Mountain Home priest arrested on sex abuse, exploitation charge

IDAHO
Idaho Statesman

Mountain Home Police arrested Victor Jagerstatter, 39, Friday on suspicion of sexual abuse and exploitation of a vulnerable adult, police said, but they gave no further information.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise issued a statement to KBOI-TV Friday evening, saying the diocese "has learned of the arrest of Rev. Victor Jagerstatter, Parish Administrator of Our Lady Good Counsel in Mountain Home. The Diocese will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in their investigation. Due to the seriousness of the allegations, Fr. Jagerstatter has been placed on administrative leave. We hold up in prayer all those involved in this matter."

Police said the investigation is ongoing. Jagerstatter was booked into the Elmore County Jail at 11 a.m. Friday, according to a jail supervisor. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

July 22, 2016

Mountain Home priest arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse

IDAHO
Idaho Press-Tribune

The priest over the Roman Catholic parish in Mountain Home, formerly of Weiser, was arrested Thursday, according to Mountain Home Police.

The Rev. Victor Jagerstatter was arrested Friday and booked into the Elmore County Jail on suspicion of sexual abuse and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Jessica Kuehn, deputy prosecutor for Elmore County, confirmed Jagerstatter's arrest and that he is the parish priest over Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mountain Home. Formal charges will be filed Monday, and no further information is available at this time.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise's offices were closed Friday afternoon. Emailed requests for comment were not returned.

According to the Diocese website, Jagerstatter was ordained June 8, 2006. In addition to Mountain Home, his current assignment includes Our Lady of Limerick in Glenns Ferry, St. Bridget in Bruneau and St. Henry in Grand View.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Editorial: Rep. Rozzi, HB 1947 not going away

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is learning that while a key aspect of House Bill 1947 might be going away, its biggest booster is not.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-126, of Berks County, the man who authored the controversial language in the bill that would have retroactively extended the window for victims of child sexual abuse that occurred decades ago to sue the molesters and those that employed them, took his case to the church this week.

Rozzi knows a little something about the church and sexual abuse. He was an altar boy and a victim decades ago. Now he’s a state representative.

His colleagues in the House gave HB 1947 a stunning, resounding victory in a 190-15 vote to extend the age when victims could sue their tormentors and those who employed them or enabled them from age 30 to age 50.

Gov. Tom Wolf indicated he supported the controversial language in the bill, which would also lift the statute of limitations for criminal charges in such cases. Wolf said if it wound up on his desk, he would sign it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Mansfield pastor accused of sexually assaulting 8-year-old

TEXAS
WFAA

[with video]

Deanna Boyd, Star-Telegram , WFAA July 22, 2016

MANSFIELD - The pastor of a Mansfield church has been jailed, accused of inappropriately touching an 8-year-old congregation member.

Jose Luis Pizarro, 40, faces a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Pizarro, pastor of Iglesia de Dios Nuevo Amanecer, is being held in the Mansfield Jail with bail set at $500,000.

According to a Mansfield police new release, police began investigating the case on Tuesday after receiving information that the 8-year-old girl had made an outcry about the alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

Man arrested on sexual abuse and exploitation charge

IDAHO
Mountain Home News

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mountain Home Police arrested Victor Jagerstatter, a local parish priest, on Friday for adult sexual abuse and exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The investigation is on-going and no more information will be released from law enforcement officials at this time. Any questions regarding this case should be directed to the Elmore County Prosecutor's Office at 208-587-2144.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Mountain Home priest arrested on sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult

IDAHO
KMVT

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (News Release) - A Mountain Home priest is accused of sexual abuse and exploitation of a vulnerable adult, according to the Mountain Home News.

Mountain Home Police arrested Victor F. Jagerstatter, 39, Friday for sexual abuse and exploitation of a vulnerable adult, according to a news release.

This investigation is on-going, and no more information will be released at this time.

Anyone with questions about this case, may contact the Elmore County Prosecutor's Office at 208-587-2144.

Police told CBS affiliate KBOI 2News that Jagerstatter will be arraigned in Elmore County court on Monday.

Officials reached could not confirm if this Victor F. Jagerstatter is the same man who is a Roman Catholic priest for Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mountain Home, Our Lady of Limerick in Glenns Ferry, St. Bridget in Bruneau and St. Henry's Catholic Church in Grandview. A picture of Jagerstatter is listed on the Roman Catholic Diocese website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

TWIN CITIES ARCHBISHOP HAD SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CONVICTED PRIEST

MINNESOTA
Church Militant

by Joseph Gallagher • ChurchMilitant.com • July 22, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL (ChurchMilitant.com) - Evidence is surfacing that Minneapolis-St. Paul archbishop John Nienstedt was a practicing homosexual who had an ongoing relationship with convicted ex-priest Curtis Wehmeyer, and Vatican officials tried to keep it a secret.

Archbishop Nienstedt was head of the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis during the child sex abuse scandal of defrocked priest Curtis Wehmeyer. Wehmeyer is currently serving time after being convicted of molesting three boys. The archdiocese itself became the first in the nation's history to be criminally prosecuted by the state, but it dropped all six charges of child endangerment on July 20 after reaching a settlement with the archdiocese.

On July 20, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office issued a press release stating that it would be disclosing the case's internal court documents. Among the hundreds of pages, evidence surfaced suggesting Nienstedt and Wehmeyer were in a sexual relationship that was concealed from the public by Vatican officials, particularly by former papal nuncio Carlo Maria Vigano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Former Canaan Youth Pastor Indicted for Sex Crime Against Young Girl

MAINE
WABI

JUL 22, 2016

CATHERINE PEGRAM

A former youth pastor in Canaan accused of sexually abusing a young girl was indicted Friday by a Kennebec County grand jury.

Lucas Savage of Clinton is charged with unlawful sexual contact.

The Kennebec County District Attorney says earlier this month Savage rejected a plea deal in the case.

Savage was the director of ministries for the Youth Haven Ministry when he was arrested in March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Abuse survivors warned over legal actions

IRELAND
RTE News

Lawyers representing the Department of Education and the State have written to people who were sexually abused in schools as children warning them to withdraw legal cases against it or potentially face significant costs.

The letters cite recent High Court judgments which found that a European Court of Human Rights ruling of State liability in the Louise O'Keeffe case was not applicable in other actions currently before the courts.

The letters say the State parties are prepared to bear their own costs in proceedings to date, but only on the strict condition that the cases are withdrawn within 21 days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Documents show Vatican official allegedly stopped Minnesota investigation

MINNESOTA
Religion News Service

Affidavit of Thomas E. Ring - Redacted
July 7, 2014 Memo

By Emily McFarlan Miller

(RNS) A Vatican spokesman says the release of documents alleging its former ambassador to the U.S. stopped an investigation of a Minnesota archbishop “is a very complex issue” that will require further study.

“We need more information before we can make any comment,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi said.

The spokesman’s remarks came in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday (July 21), the day after a new collection of documents regarding clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was made public.

Among them was a memo that detailed sexual misconduct and harassment allegations against former Archbishop John Nienstedt, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

It also said the Vatican ambassador in 2014 had told bishops to stop their investigation. When those bishops responded with a letter saying that “would rightly be seen as a coverup,’’ the memo published on the Star Tribune website said, then-ambassador Archbishop Carlo Vigano told them to “destroy” the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Boys abused under residential school's brutal regime

SCOTLAND
BBC Scotland

By Andrew Black
BBC Scotland News

Two former teachers have been convicted of sexually and physically abusing boys at a residential school in Fife in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Paul Kelly, 64, of Plymouth, was convicted of seven charges and acquitted of 22, while John Farrell, 73, of Motherwell, was found guilty of four and acquitted of 18 charges.

Paul Kelly and John Farrell were supposed to care for the pupils at St Ninian's.

Instead, when they taught at the school in the late 1970s and early 1980s, they sexually and physically abused six boys between the ages of 11 and 15.

St Ninian's, which was located in the Fife village of Falkland, was a "List G" state school for troubled children, run by the Christian Brothers organisation.

Most of its pupils came from Glasgow, Dundee and Perth and many were from broken and abusive homes, and had been in some kind of trouble themselves.

St Ninian's was supposed to give them a chance at life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

'Screaming was pointless,' survivors tell of school abuse by Christian Brothers

SCOTLAND
ITV

By Peter Smith, Scotland Correspondent

The Christian Brothers were meant to be men of God - a religious order within the Catholic Church.

At their St Ninian’s school in Fife, though, two of the Brothers were men of unspeakable cruelty who stole innocence from children and left the deepest scars.

John Farrell and Paul Kelly were today convicted of 11 counts of sexual and physical abuse against six children in their care. Children as young as 11. The pair were doing it with impunity through the 1970s and 80s.

Survivors of their crimes told me how they did it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Victims called in new Anglican child abuse ‘cover-up’

UNITED KINGDOM/AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MICHAEL MCKENNA
ReporterBrisbane
@McKennaattheOz

British police have interviewed Australian victims of child abuse for an international investigation into an alleged cover-up involving one of the most senior former Anglican clergymen in the world.

North Yorkshire Police is ­investigating Lord David Hope of Thornes, 76, for a possible offence of misconduct in public office over his handling of complaints of abuse by a fellow senior clergyman in Queensland and Britain.

The late Reverend Robert Waddington raped and beat students at a north Queensland Anglican boarding school in the 1960s before returning to Britain where he abused choirboys as the Dean of Manchester.

Waddington’s abuse and the church’s failure to tell authorities of the complaints were exposed in a joint investigation by The Australian and The Times of London newspapers in 2013.

The revelations sparked a year-long, church-commissioned inquiry, headed by sitting English judge Sally Cahill, which slammed Lord Hope over his ­response to 1999 and 2003 complaints of past abuse by victims in Britain and Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Sexual abuse victim group to defy Missouri court order

MISSOURI
The Olympian

The Associated Press

An advocate for victims of sexual abuse by clergy says his group will likely not hand over personal information about people who made accusations against a priest despite an order from a St. Louis federal judge.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/29Qe0Ky ) reports that the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has until Friday to provide the information as part of a civil lawsuit filed by Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang. Jiang was accused of sexually abusing a boy in a Catholic school bathroom in 2011 and 2012, but charges were dropped.

The boy's parents, police, SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris and others are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The judge's order said federal law does not guarantee privacy in the production of pre-trail evidence.

SNAP was ordered to produce emails and text messages sent among the defendants and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce. They have also been ordered to turn over all records of donations attorneys for SNAP has made to the organization. Attorneys have said they're looking for evidence to support their belief that Jiang was the target of a conspiracy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Child abuse, the Church and the Goddard inquiry: Why we should all pray it succeeds

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Mark Woods CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 22 July 2016

A year after it opened on July 9, 2015, the Goddard inquiry into institutional child sex abuse has spent nearly £18 million on highly-paid lawyers and setting up regional offices, but has still not heard any actual evidence. The inquiry is gradually creeping toward the point where it will, however, and next week there will be preliminary hearings about organisations including the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.

This inquiry seems to have been going for ages already.

Not really. But it seems like it because it was first mooted after revelations about the scope of Jimmy Savile's offending in 2012. It was actually set up in 2014, but two people appointed to chair it, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf, resigned in succession due to perceived conflicts of interest. Former home secretary and now PM, Theresa May, eventually settled on New Zealander Dame Justice Lowell Goddard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Town Hall: Lifting the Silence

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

[video]

BY KODY LEIBOWITZ THURSDAY, JULY 21ST 2016

JOHNSTOWN - WJAC-TV examined the aftermath of the church abuse Thursday night in the local areal during a special round table discussion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – JULY 22, 2016

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

RELATIVE REVEALS SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR CHILD BY CAMP COUNSELOR AT CAMP ECHO BAY, NEW ROCHELLE, NY, LOCATED ON THE CAMPUS OF SALESIAN HIGH SCHOOL AND THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE SALESIAN PRIESTS AND BROTHERS

During a demonstration on July 21, 2016, outside the headquarters of the Salesian Priests and Brothers in New Rochelle, NY, regarding the Salesians’ refusal to reasonably settle a childhood sexual abuse claim against a serial pedophile priest, Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB, it was revealed by a close relative of a minor child that the minor child had been sexually abused at CAMP ECHO BAY, NEW ROCHELLE, NY, several years ago by a camp counselor

Fr. Timothy Zak, SDB, a leader of the Salesian Priests and Brothers, based in New Rochelle, NY, and on whose campus CAMP ECHO BAY is located, inaccurately told advocate Dr. Robert M. Hoatson during a demonstration outside a Salesian parish months ago that the Salesians were settling the claim of sexual abuse by Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB, of a minor child from a Salesian seminary in Indiana, but there has not been a reasonable settlement and there have been no reasonable settlement talks

WhatA demonstration and leafleting alerting CAMP ECHO BAY parents, families, local residents, and the general public that, according to a close family relative of the victim, a minor child was sexually abused at CAMP ECHO BAY, NEW ROCHELLE, NY, several years ago by a camp counselor

When
Friday, July 22, 2016 from 4:00 pm until 5:30 pm

Where
On the public sidewalk outside CAMP ECHO BAY and the headquarters of the Salesian Priests and Brothers at 148 East Main Street, New Rochelle, NY 10801

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
During a demonstration outside the headquarters of the Salesian religious order in New Rochelle, NY, on July 21, 2016, regarding the refusal of the Salesian Priests and Brothers to reasonably settle a claim against a serial pedophile priest, Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB, it was reported to Road to Recovery, Inc., by a close relative of a minor child that the minor child was sexually abused at CAMP ECHO BAY several years ago by a camp counselor. Demonstrators will demand that the Salesian Priests and Brothers reasonably settle the claim of the childhood victim of Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB, and investigate and resolve the matter of the sexual abuse of the minor child at CAMP ECHO BAY, NEW ROCHELLE, NY so the victim of that sexual abuse can begin to heal

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Hunter Catholic priests' alleged sexual relationship used by a child sex offender priest, says author

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
22 Jul 2016

SADISTIC Catholic paedophile priest John Denham committed crimes against boys without fear of exposure because of an alleged sexual relationship between Catholic priests Tom Brennan and Patrick Helferty, writes a former St Pius X, Adamstown student in an explosive new book.

Denham “protected his position by threatening to reveal Brennan and Helferty as homosexual lovers”, writes James Miller in his book, The Priests, in which he alleges he was sexually abused by Brennan in 1978 when he was 15.

Mr Miller has called for Catholic schools funding to be stopped until the celibacy rule for priests is removed, saying the celibacy vow poses a blackmail risk because of the church’s structures relating to schools.

Studies suggesting up to 50 per cent of Catholic priests break their vows because of sexual relationships with men or women, or sexual abuse of children, mean “every second priest is living a life of deceit, with the other probably aware”, Mr Miller said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Men convicted of ‘appalling abuse’ of boys at former school in Falkland

SCOTLAND
Fife Today

Liz Rougvie
liz.rougvie@jpress.co.uk
Friday 22 July 2016

Two men have been found guilty of ‘the most appalling abuse’ against boys at a former school in Falkland.

John Farrell (73) and Paul Kelly (63) were charged with sexual and physical abuse of more than 20 ex-pupils of St Ninian’s School between 1977 and 1983.

Farrell was found guilty of four charges and Kelly was convicted of seven in charges which involved five victims.

They had denied a total of 51 counts of physical and sexual abuse at the school.

The pair committed indecent acts on boys aged 11 to 16 and forced the children to perform sex acts on them, the High Court in Glasgow heard. They punished the children by forcing them to stand naked in a hallway.

The trial, before judge Lord Matthews, began in April and was one of the longest abuse trials ever heard in Scotland. Dozens of the alleged victims gave evidence have given evidence, some of whom are now in their 50s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Two men found guilty of sexually abusing and assaulting boys at St Ninian's in Fife

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

BY GRANT MCCABE, WILMA RILEY

THE headmaster and teacher of a former school for troubled boys have been convicted of physical and sexual abuse against six pupils more than 30 years ago.

John Farrell, 73, and Paul Kelly, 64, preyed on youngsters at St Ninian's in Fife, which was run by the catholic Christian Brothers organisation.

The pair abused the boys - many who already had a chaotic upbringing and whom they should have been protecting - to satisfy their depraved needs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Two men found guilty of abuse at Christian Brothers school in Falkland

SCOTLAND
The Courier

Stewart Alexander
July 22 2016

The headmaster and teacher of a former Fife school for troubled boys have been convicted of physical and sexual abuse against six pupils more than 30 years ago.

John Farrell, 73, and Paul Kelly, 64, preyed on youngsters at St Ninian’s in Fife, which was run by the Catholic Christian Brothers organisation.

The pair abused the boys – many who already had a chaotic upbringing and whom they should have been protecting – to satisfy their depraved needs.

Farrell, who was the headmaster, was convicted of physically abusing one boy and sexually abusing three others.

Kelly was found guilty of sexually abusing two boys and sexually and physically abusing a third.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Former teachers guilty of abusing boys at Fife residential school

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The headmaster and teacher of a former Fife school have been convicted of physical and sexual abuse against six pupils more than 30 years ago.

John Farrell, 73, of Motherwell, was found guilty of four charges and Paul Kelly, 64, of Plymouth, was convicted of seven charges.

They abused boys aged between 11 and 15 at St Ninian's in Falkland, a school for children from troubled backgrounds.

It was run by the Christian Brothers organisation and closed in 1983.

Farrell and Kelly, who both denied all charges, were remanded in custody pending sentencing next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Royal Commission will hold Hunter Catholic public hearing after historic Anglican hearing from August 2

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
22 Jul 2016

THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a public hearing into the Catholic Church in the Hunter almost immediately after an Anglican Church public hearing in Newcastle from August 2.

Back-to-back hearings will confirm the Hunter as Australia’s epicentre of institutional child sex abuse only three years after a NSW Special Commission of Inquiry exposed shocking systemic protection of paedophile priests within the Catholic Maitland-Newcastle diocese over decades.

A date and details for the Hunter Catholic public hearing – the 43rd to be held by the royal commission since 2013 – are expected to be released in the next week on the eve of a proposed two-week Anglican hearing at Newcastle Courthouse from August 2.

The Hunter Catholic hearing is expected to start in late August before the 44th public hearing into Armidale priest John Farrell starts in Sydney on September 12.

News of the back-to-back hearings comes after more shocking revelations about senior Hunter Anglicans failing to stop known paedophile priests including Peter Rushton and James Brown, and a backlash against Bishop Greg Thompson and senior diocesan officers that has included death threats for challenging the “mates” culture of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Francis mandates wide changes for contemplative women religious, requests revision of all constitutions

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jul. 22, 2016

VATICAN CITY
Pope Francis has issued a new wide-ranging set of guidelines for how the tens of thousands of Catholic women religious living in contemplative communities around the world should regulate their lifestyles, calling on them to implement changes in 12 diverse areas from prayer life to work habits.

The pontiff has also mandated that each of the global communities of contemplative women religious will need to adapt their various governing constitutions or rules to the new changes and send new versions of their documents to the Vatican for approval.

Francis makes the changes in a new apostolic constitution released Friday titled Vultum Dei Quaerere (“Seek the Face of God.”) The document is addressed only to Catholic women religious in contemplative communities, such as those that live in cloisters or whose lives are marked by a lifestyle devoted mainly to prayer instead of evangelical outreach or work.

While the pontiff uses the new document to issue effusive praise for such women -- especially lauding their ability to serve as an example of stability in a contemporary world often marked by temporary commitments -- he also calls for them to begin to institute changes particularly in their prayer lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Celibacy is the greatest risk to child protection in the Catholic Church: survivor

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
22 Jul 2016

THE man looked down from the fourth floor window to a footpath where he’d decided to end his life.

It was 1997. He was pissed.

He’d made the decision to kill himself in an entirely matter-of-fact way after his pissed barrister mate lurched away to find a toilet.

James Miller stepped onto the window ledge at Newcastle Law School’s King Street Clinic. He was 35.

He was always the boy most likely to achieve. Mind like a steel trap. Confident. Happy. A blond-haired, blue-eyed surfer in a town where his type were gods. Destined for great things.

And here he was on the window ledge waiting to die, with the lights of Newcastle City Hall shining across the park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Controversial Cardinal George Pell portrait wins irreverent 2016 Bald Archy Prize

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Deborah Rice

A controversial painting depicting Cardinal George Pell with a face formed from male genitalia has won Australia's most irreverent portraiture prize.

Warning: This story contains a graphic image

Titled 'Nothing to Say', the painting is the work of artist Pat Hudson, a first time entrant in the Bald Archy, which is a parody of the more serious and revered Archibald Prize.

"It's a great honour and a big surprise," Hudson, from Templestowe in Victoria, said.

The 2016 contenders were unveiled in Canberra in February and the artist said he painted the portrait in response to the controversy surrounding Cardinal Pell at that time.

At the time it was unclear whether the Cardinal would testify at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

He later gave evidence via videolink from Rome over his handling of alleged abuse by Catholic Priests within the church in Australia.

Cardinal Pell is not the subject of any allegations of abuse before the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Attorney argues that sexual assault victims should be able to file civil cases

CALIFORNIA
Northern California Record

John Severance Jul. 21, 2016

IRVINE – The Stanford University case where a young woman claimed she was raped by Brock Turner, an Olympic hopeful, sent shockwaves through the nation.

Then the judge sentenced Turner to six months in jail despite the fact prosecutors wanted him sentenced to at least six years.

Attorney John Manly of Irvine let his feelings known about the case in an opinion piece recently published by the Orange County Register.

“The California Legislature also has an important role to play in protecting victims of campus sexual abuse,” Manly wrote. “Lawmakers surely must be taking notice of all that has recently happened. But in addition to paying attention, they need to take action.”

Manly wants laws changed so rape victims also can file civil cases.

“Put simply, those persons and institutions who facilitate child and adult sexual assault are almost never held accountable criminally,” Manly told the Northern California Record. “Moreover, criminal law imposes a jail sentence on the perpetrator but provides no way to compensate the victim for the tremendous suffering both physical and emotional they suffer as the result of a violent rape.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

In Wake of Pennsylvania Charges, Abuse Spotlight Falls on Religious Orders

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

BY BRIAN FRAGA 07/22/2016

Since the sex-abuse crisis entered the national discussion in 2002, the bulk of the media attention has been on how individual Catholic dioceses have responded and the steps they have taken over the years to remove abusive clergy from ministry and protect minors and vulnerable people.

But this spring, a religious order put the spotlight on fresh concerns about Church handling of sexual abuse: Criminal charges were filed in Pennsylvania against three Franciscans friars, related to their roles in supervising a brother friar who was accused of molesting more than 100 children.

Though they have not garnered the same attention as dioceses until now, religious orders in the United States say they have also implemented new policies and practices over the past 14 years to hold abusive members in their communities accountable and protect victims.

“We were completely committed to the principle that no one who has been established as an abuser will ever practice a public ministry and certainly will not be in a position to have access to children, to youth and to vulnerable people,” said Capuchin Father John Pavlik, president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, an association of the leadership of men in religious and apostolic institutes in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Editorial: Gallup Diocese re-abuses victims with settlement

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

The Diocese of Gallup drives a hard bargain – one in which truth is a casualty.

In the case of the $21 million settlement to victims of priest sexual abuse it’s a deal that essentially re-abuses the victims by making them fear they might lose their hard-fought settlements if they reveal details of their abuse. In one case, a victim was so afraid of court sanctions he did not dare to look at the one record that pertained to his abuse.

The court-approved settlement agreement allows a victim just a one-time “eyes only” access to a single file pertaining to that victim’s abuser. It strictly prohibits sharing or duplicating the password-protected electronic contents, which will be destroyed after a year.

The diocese threatened to withdraw the settlement when attorneys for the victims sought to have the church publicly release personnel files of accused priests.

Such a bully tactic certainly seems to indicate a lack of contrition. But it appears to be business as usual for the church, whose leadership for years kept hidden from its faithful members the abuse visited on innocent children by some clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Stephen Tarleton Dougherty

TEXAS
Tahira Khan Merritt

On Tuesday, July 12 , 2016, we filed in County Court at Law #3, Nueces County, Texas, our firm filed a civil case against the Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi (Diocese), Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (S.O.L.T) and Stephen Tarleton Dougherty (Dougherty), alleging that when Father Dougherty worked in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, he sexually assaulted and sexually abused our client, who at that time was a child. She is identified in the lawsuit only by the pseudonym, Jane Doe 108.

Dougherty was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 in Corpus Christi, worked in parishes there and in Mathis, and resided in Robstown at the SOLT facility. On June 14th, 2016, Dougherty was indicted by a Grand Jury in Bee County for felony sexual assault of Jane Doe 108. The criminal case is pending.

The civil lawsuit alleges negligence and gross negligence against the Diocese and SOLT, alleging these Church entities knew or should have known prior to the sexual assault of Doe of Father Dougherty's propensities to molest children, but failed either to warn or protect her.

You can read the petition here

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

6 claim they were sexually abused by priest who worked in Upper Montclair, Guttenberg

NEW JERSEY
Fios 1

[with video]

Five men and one woman have stepped forward claiming they were sexually abused as kids by Father Michael "Mitch" Walters at churches in Upper Montclair and Guttenburg – where he was a priest in the 80s and 90s.

The allegations come after a year-and-a-half investigation by the organization Road to Recovery, which aids sexual abuse victims. Co-founder Robert Hoatson says he believes there are many more victims who have yet to step forward.

“We're talking about fondling and we're talking about some pretty horrific things,” Hoatson said. “Evidently, the rectory here was kind of a club house that Father Mitch ran so he would invite kids over and then things would happen.”

“During the period of sexual abuse, Father Michael Walters was assigned to Saint Cassian's Church in Upper Montclair, New Jersey and Saint John Neposmem Church in Guttenberg, New Jersey. The sexual abuse took place within Saint Cassian Church, family homes in New Jersey and on trips to the Poconos,” said Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for all 6 alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Women's religious groups get face time with Archbishop Hon

GUAM
KUAM

Jul 22, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Dozens of the island's women religious groups had their chance to speak with apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai in an open dialogue following Friday morning mass. Father Jeffrey San Nicolas is the new delegate of the administrator, and says the women represented the Sisters of Mercy, the Notre Dame Sisters, the Dominican Sisters, and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

"I think they're very open and honest," said Fr. Jeff. "They asked some serious questions about the issues, but those issues are not secret to anyone here on the island. The questions that were asked were not a shock to the archbishop, and he responded as much as he could in terms of the progress that's being made."

Archbishop Hon was appointed by the Vatican in the midst of allegations of molestation made against Guam's archbishop, Anthony Apuron. Earlier this month, Apuron's accusers filed a libel and slander lawsuit against him and the Archdiocese of Agana. According to the Judiciary of Guam, however, there is no confirmation that the archdiocese or Apuron have been served the legal documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Church abuse survivor urges victims to get help ahead of royal commission hearings in Newcastle

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Dan Cox

A Hunter clergy sexual abuse survivor and victims advocate is urging fellow victims to seek professional help if a royal commission hearing raises issues for them.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold hearings in Newcastle in August.

Ahead of the hearings, the ABC's 7.30 program has evidence from 2002 that Anglican bishop at the time, Roger Herft, ignored allegations of sexual abuse against notorious paedophile Father Peter Rushton.

Now-Archbishop Herft led the Newcastle diocese for more than a decade, and is facing claims he covered up Rushton's child sexual abuse network.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Alleged abuse victim's family were asked to pay school fees, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

July 22 2016

Rachel Browne

The family of a boy who was allegedly molested by a staff member at a Catholic school in Sydney's south-west was asked to pay thousands of dollars in school fees after the child left the institution, according to evidence before a royal commission.

The inquiry heard the alleged perpetrator was allowed to resign from the Mater Dei School for children with intellectual disabilities, despite being suspected of sexually abusing two other students in his care.

Evidence before the commission is that the staff member, given the pseudonym CID, raped a 14-year-old girl, shared his bed with a teenage boy and sexually molested an eight-year-old boy with Down syndrome.

All the students were boarding at the college in 1990s, according to evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Perth Archbishop 'knew' about 'child abuse king pin' priest, insider claims

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

July 22 2016

Heather McNeill

The Anglican Bishop of Perth, Roger Herft, did not report a child abuse complaint he received against a priest labelled the "king pin" of a paedophile ring to police, according to an Anglican Church insider.

ABC's 7.30 program claimed it had obtained a confidential note showing Archbishop Herft had received a complaint about Father Peter Rushton molesting a boy when they worked together in New South Wales in 2002.

According to ABC News, in the note, the Archbishop wrote the complaint "left me in an unenviable position" because "Father Peter had my licence [to be a priest] and if he re-offended I would be held liable as I now had prior knowledge of his alleged behaviour".

He goes on to explain he had been informed by a man that Rushton had molested his son 15 to 20 years ago, after the father welcomed the priest into his home to "spend some days off".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Nienstedt says he's 'relieved' that fate of investigation is now public

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JULY 21, 2016

Former Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt: “I am a heterosexual man who has been celibate my entire life."

Former Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt said Thursday he is “relieved” that the public now is aware of the fate of an investigation into alleged sexual improprieties by him.

A day after a 2014 memo from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was made public stating that a Vatican emissary quashed the investigation, Nienstedt repeated that he has done nothing improper, despite allegations of misconduct revealed in documents released Wednesday by the Ramsey County attorney’s office.

“I am a heterosexual man who has been celibate my entire life,” Nienstedt wrote in an e-mail to the Star Tribune Thursday. “I am relieved that the public now knows the extent of the allegations and can hear my response.”

The fate of the Nienstedt investigation has been a question confronting Twin Cities Catholics for two years. The memo made public this week indicated that the Vatican emissary in Washington, D.C., put the brakes on the probe, which had been looking into allegations of sexual misconduct by Nienstedt in Michigan, Minnesota and Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

July 21, 2016

Statement from Patty Wetterling Regarding Joining the Ministerial Review Board

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2016

Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

I was honored that John Choi and Tim O’Malley, both of whom I hold in high regard, asked me to join the Archdiocese’s Ministerial Review Board. John and Tim are collaborative leaders who instill hope. I have known County Attorney John Choi for years and have always admired his unwavering commitment to protecting children and preventing sexual abuse. John and I have partnered in the past on human trafficking initiatives, working together on prevention programs and presenting at training conferences. He is a collaborative leader dedicated to fairness and justice.

I have known Director Tim O’Malley since October 22, 1989 when my son Jacob was abducted. Tim was one of the BCA Agents working on the investigation. Over the years, we have worked closely on my son’s case, on other abduction investigations and on a number of sexual abuse prevention initiatives. As an investigator, BCA Superintendent, Administrative Law Judge and now as the Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, Tim has proven himself to be a dedicated public servant and champion for protecting children and preventing sexual abuse.

I look forward to working with John, Tim, members of the Ministerial Review Board and others to prevent abuse and keep children safe. I understand the vital importance of the work of the Ministerial Review Board in keeping our communities as safe as possible. I hope my experience will add value to the Board and I pledge to take my responsibilities seriously. For me, this is a great opportunity to help champions that I have always admired build a world where children can grow up free from sexual exploitation. I am honored to serve.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 PM

Response to Release of Documents

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

From Joe Dixon, Counsel for the Archdiocese, Fredrikson & Byron

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office and the St. Paul Police Department have fully and thoroughly investigated the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and its leaders for 3 years. They have reviewed each of the documents made public today and investigated the allegations raised in those documents.

Today, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi told the public there is no basis to bring a criminal charge against any of those leaders. He also dismissed all of the criminal charges against the Archdiocese. That dismissal is unconditional and speaks for itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Former priest denies sex assault accusations

TEXAS
Caller-Times

By Krista M. Torralva of the Caller-Times

A former priest denies accusations he sexually assaulted a girl.

Stephen Tarlton Dougherty, 59, appeared before a Bee County judge Thursday after a grand jury last month indicted him on a first degree felony of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Dougherty and his lawyer, John Pinckney of San Antonio, declined to comment outside the courtroom but referred to a court document in which the former priest and philanthropist pleaded not guilty.

During the brief hearing, Pinckney requested a list of the grand jury members that indicted Dougherty. He is expected to present case law that he says supports the release of the usually secret information at the next hearing Aug. 18. The trial is slated for Sept. 12.

The Diocese of Corpus Christi stripped Dougherty of his duties in 2011 after receiving a sexual misconduct allegation on Dougherty. Last year, Bee County law enforcement officials contacted Bee County law enforcement about another accusation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

WA--Ex-OK predator preacher accused; Victims respond

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, July 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)

A pastor is accused of sexually abusing a girl for two years. Now, his current and former church colleagues and members must aggressively reach out to others who may have information or suspicions about his alleged crimes or possible church cover ups.

[Bellingham Herald]

Christopher L. Trent, who left Oklahoma three years ago and attended Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, will soon face formal charges in Washington state, where he lives now. But we strongly suspect he has abused others – either in Washington or Oklahoma. It’s not enough for his supervisors and colleagues to claim they’re “cooperating” with law enforcement. They must use their resources – church websites, bulletins, mailing lists and pulpit announcements – to seek out victims, witnesses and whistleblowers and beg them to call secular authorities.

Josh Carter, the top pastor at the Washington church where Trent met his victim, must lead the way with courage and compassion. But this duty - to reach out to the lost, wounded sheep – falls on every person who is or was associated with this congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

TONIGHT at 7: 6 News hosts discussion on where we go after sex abuse scandal

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

[with video]

BY KODY LEIBOWITZ THURSDAY, JULY 21ST 2016

A grand jury report in March uncovered decades of abuse at the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

The effect of child sexual abuse at the Catholic Church spread throughout this community and into Harrisburg.

Tonight, 6 News sits down with experts and panelists to discuss help for victims and survivors of child sex abuse and where we, as a community, can go from here.

Join us for "Lifting the Silence: A Special Look at the Aftermath of Church Abuse" live tonight at 7 p.m. on 6 News, with a rebroadcast on wjactv.com at 8 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Claim top priest saved career by not reporting sex monster

AUSTRALIA
Sunshine Coast Daily

Sherele Moody | 22nd Jul 2016

ONE of Australia's most senior Anglican clerics is refusing to comment on claims he did not report a "paedophile king pin" despite knowing the notorious sex monster was attacking young boys in the NSW Hunter region.

The 7.30 Report last night revealed Achbishop of Perth Roger Herft knew Father Peter Rushton was raping and sexually assaulting children.

However, the Archbishop told media outlets it would be "inappropriate" to comment before the next sittings of the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Herft reportedly kept the abuser's attacks secret because he it appeared he feared the impact having an sex predator under his management would have on his career with the church.

The ABC was given a diary entry showing Archbishop Herft was told about about Rushton's abuse of boys while the pair were working in the New South Wales Hunter Valley region.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Victim advocates plan to defy court order in lawsuit filed by once-accused St. Louis priest

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joel Currier
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • An advocate for victims of clergy sexual abuse said Thursday his group likely will defy a St. Louis federal judge's order to hand over personal information about people who made accusations against a Roman Catholic priest.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has until Friday to provide communications sought in a civil suit by the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, who had been named in two counties on charges that were later dropped. Jiang is seeking damages.

"In good conscience, we feel we have absolutely no choice. We can't comply," said David Clohessy, director of the St. Louis-based SNAP. "It literally sickens me to think that one abuse victim who is agoraphobic or depressed or anorexic or even suicidal is going to be betrayed again when she finds out that a twice accused child molesting cleric gets to read painful, intimate details of her suffering."

U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson ordered production of documents that include emails, text messages and contact information for the accusers.

Jiang filed suit last year claiming he was defamed with false accusations rooted in religious and ethnic discrimination, and denied due process. The defendants are an accuser’s parents, listed only by initials, two St. Louis police officers, the city, SNAP, Clohessy and another SNAP official, Barbara Dorris.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Vatican--Papal aide told bishops to destroy evidence two years ago; Victims respond

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, July 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)

Two years ago, the pope’s top US aide ordered two bishops to destroy evidence and blocked an investigation into clergy sex crimes, misdeeds and cover ups, according to a newly-released memo written by an “insider” priest and chancery office insider. Pope Francis must now discipline this wrongdoer. All four clerics - the nuncio who issued the order, the two bishops and the “whistleblower” priest (Fr. Daniel Griffith) – all kept silent, for two years, about this inappropriate and perhaps illegal move.

Consider the source here: The 11 page memo was written by a trusted Catholic priest who is no renegade, but holds a job at the archdiocesan headquarters. In today’s New York Times, he’s quoted as saying he stands by what he wrote.

This revelation will shock some but should shock no one. When the veil is pulled back on church’s hierarchy’s secrecy in child sex and cover up cases, this kind of self-serving and deceitful behavior is almost always found, even now, despite decades of devastating scandal.

It matters less if evidence was destroyed or what the two bishops did. What matters most is that the pope's highest US representative reportedly told two bishops to destroy a document that may have helped prosecutors build a stronger case against an archbishop accused of committing sexual misdeeds and concealing child sex crimes.

Pope Francis must denounce and discipline the nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano. US church officials must forcefully and push back against Vatican interference in clergy abuse cases here. These officials include Archbishop Joseph Kurtz (head of the US bishops’ conference), Bishop Robert Burns (head of the US bishops’ sex abuse committee) Archbishop Bernard Hebda (the current head of the Twin Cities archdiocese) and Francesco Cesareo (the head of the US bishops’ national abuse review board).

The two bishops, Bishop Donald Cozzens and Bishop Lee Piche, should also be disciplined and denounced for keeping secret this hardball maneuver.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Memo details allegations against ex-archbishop of St. Paul

MINNESOTA
Washington Post

Affidavit of Thomas E. Ring - Redacted
July 7, 2014 Memo

By Steve Karnowski | AP July 21

MINNEAPOLIS — Lawyers investigating a Minnesota archbishop in 2014 found compelling and credible allegations from nearly a dozen people that he engaged in sexual misconduct and harassment, then retaliated when his advances were rejected, according to an internal church document made public this week.

Although Archbishop John Nienstedt eventually stepped down under fire as head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, he remains a priest in good standing and less than two weeks ago led Masses at a conservative Catholic leadership conference in California.

The July 2014 memo came from the Rev. Daniel Griffith, a key archdiocese leader for ensuring the safety of children. Minnesota prosecutors released it Wednesday as part of an update on civil and criminal cases against the archdiocese over its handling of clergy abuse cases.

Nienstedt became the subject of an investigation into his own conduct in February 2014 as he was under fire for his handling of a priest who would eventually go to prison and be kicked out of the priesthood for molesting three boys.

In his memo, Griffith raised concerns that Nienstedt’s “social relationship” with that priest, the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, had clouded his judgment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Rabbi Berland's arrest extended

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

Rachel Kaplan, 21/07/16

Shuvu Banim sect leader Rabbi Eliezer Berland, suspected of sexual abuse against a number of women, will be held under arrest for one more day, and then spend 10 days under house arrest.

The Magistrate's Court of Rishon Letzion ruled to extend Rabbi Berland's arrest, after he was returned to Israel on Tuesday to stand trial.

Rabbi Berland fled Israel four years ago, when the Israeli police opened an investigation into complaints of sexual abuse, and evaded authorities in a number of countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese Admits It Failed to Protect Kids

MINNESOTA
America

Michael O'Loughlin | Jul 21 2016

Criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis were dropped on July 20, after the archdiocese admitted that it failed to protect children who were sexually abused by a former priest. As part of the settlement, internal documents were unsealed, including a memo from an archdiocesan official that accuses the pope’s former ambassador to the United States of trying to squash an investigation into the alleged sexual improprieties of a former archbishop.

“Today I, as the leader of this archdiocese, stand before you to say we have failed, in what we have done and what we have failed to do,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda said at a news conference following a court hearing.

He also apologized on behalf of the archdiocese.

“Those children, their parents, their family, their parish and others were harmed. We are sorry. I am sorry," he said.

Prosecutors had been pushing the church to admit wrongdoing in how it handled complaints against former priest Curtis Wehmeyer. And with that admission, the case was closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Memo: Vatican nuncio quashed sexual misconduct inquiry of Archbishop Nienstedt

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jul. 21, 2016

The Vatican envoy to the United States quashed an investigation into alleged homosexual activity on the part of Archbishop John Nienstedt and ordered a piece of evidence destroyed, according to an 11-page memo unsealed Wednesday afternoon.

In the memo, Fr. Dan Griffith, then-Delegate for Safe Environment for the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, stated that in April 2014 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., ordered two auxiliary bishops to have a St. Paul law firm quickly wrap its investigation and later that month instructed them to destroy a letter they had sent Vigano pushing back on his request.

The memo, dated July 7, 2014, was a part of numerous legal documents disclosed Wednesday following the conclusion of a criminal investigation into the archdiocese by Ramsey County prosecutors. The six criminal charges brought last summer were dropped after the archdiocese agreed to add an admission of wrongdoing to the civil settlement it reached with the county in December. No charges were brought against individuals, with Ramsey County Prosecutor John Choi saying there was insufficient evidence to do so against any one person.

The documents, though, give perhaps the clearest view to date into the until-now largely concealed investigation of Nienstedt, which explored allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct with other adult males, including seminarians. In previous months, local media had obtained and reported on several of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Diocese of Truro launches independent listening service for those who have suffered abuse within the church

UNITED KINGDOM
The Packet

Helen Dale, Reporter

The Church of England in Cornwall has teamed up with a charity to provide free and independent help for anybody who feels they may have been subject to any form of abuse from within a church context.

The Diocese of Truro has commissioned Skoodhya to provide its Authorised Listeners, who are there to provide a first point of contact for people who feel they may have experienced abuse.

Diocesan safeguarding adviser, Sarah Acraman, said: “We wanted to provide somewhere people could go and be actively, professionally and confidentially listened to, while they decide whether or not they want to take things any further, and maybe consult police or seek formal counselling for example.

“It is about us taking responsibility for those who may have been let down by the church, and offering a first step to recovery for those who need to talk. Sadly this has not always been the case for the church. While of course we are doing everything we can to prevent abuse, we have to acknowledge that it can and does happen within lots of organisations and the church is no different. Therefore the time has come to take responsibility, and really listen to our members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Nienstedt denies misconduct, said he was targeted for opposing gay marriage

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By MARINO ECCHER | meccher@pioneerpress.com
PUBLISHED: July 21, 2016

John Nienstedt, the former archbishop of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul, said accusations of sexual misconduct against him were part of a false smear campaign in response to his opposition to gay marriage.

Nienstedt’s denial came in a statement Wednesday night, first issued to KSTP and Minnesota Public Radio. That followed the release of internal church documents alleging the Vatican had sought to derail an independent investigation that turned up credible evidence against him.

Nienstedt resigned last year as archbishop and returned to his home state of Michigan. He was briefly involved with a diocese there but left when parishioners objected to his presence.

He said the accusations — which range from him frequenting gay clubs to making unwanted advances toward priests and seminary students — were decades old and baseless. He said he believes they’re “due to my unwavering stance on issues consistent with Catholic Church teaching, such as opposition to so-called same sex marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Memo: nuncio curtailed investigation of Minnesota archbishop

MINNESOTA
Catholic Culture

July 21, 2016

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, then apostolic nuncio to the United States, directed that an investigation into Archbishop John Nienstedt’s alleged homosexual activity be curtailed, and subsequently asked two auxiliary bishops to destroy a letter about the case, according to a 2014 memo released on July 20 by prosecutors in Minnesota.

The memo’s author, identified in press reports as Father Daniel Griffith, served as liaison between the archdiocese and members of the investigative team. Archbishop Nienstedt, then archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, authorized the investigation into his alleged homosexual activity in January 2014.

In the memo—written in July 2014 after the investigation ceased—Father Griffith recounted in detail the history of the investigation. By April, ten affidavits contained “compelling” allegations of “sexual misconduct; sexual harassment; reprisals in response to the rejection of unwelcome advances; and excessive drinking.”

“Even if the Archbishop was innocent, the evidence was damaging enough that it would render him incapable of leading the Archdiocese,” wrote Father Griffith, who noted that the investigators still had 24 leads to pursue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Vatican Won’t Comment On Alleged Cover Up

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Vatican is declining to comment on an internal church document that indicates the Vatican’s emissary in Washington interfered with an investigation into alleged misconduct by the former archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The newly released memo from the Rev. Daniel Griffith, one of the archdiocese’s key leaders for ensuring the safety of children, accuses the apostolic nuncio of ordering Minnesota church leaders to wrap up the investigation into Archbishop John Nienstedt without pursuing all leads. Griffith also accused the delegate at the time, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, of ordering two auxiliary bishops under Nienstedt to destroy a letter in which they disagreed with Vigano.

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Thursday that “the situation is complex” and that the Vatican needs more information before commenting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Donald Bolton, C.SS.R.

UNITED STATES/BRAZIL
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Donald Bolton was ordained for the Redemptorist Order's Baltimore Province in 1952. He worked in Brazil for many years, returning to the U.S. in 1970 to a Redemptorist retreat house in Canaidagua NY. From 1974-84 Bolton was assigned to St. Gregory's in North East PA. It was there that the parents of a 7-year-old girl reported to the Redemptorists that Bolton had molested their daughter over a two-year period. He was transferred to a Brooklyn NY parish. When the parents of the little girl discovered he was teaching school in NY, they went to law enforcement. Bolton was charged in November 1986 with indecent assault and corruption of minors. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 1987 to three years' probation. He spent those three years at a Hampton VA retreat house. In 1990 he moved to a New Smyrna Beach FL Redemptorist residence, and to another in Saratoga Springs NY in 2003. He died October 27, 2006.

Ordained: 1952
Died: October 27, 2006

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

CARDINAL PELL TO LOSE MAJOR ALLY AS CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER TO RETURN HOME TO AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIA/ROME
The Tablet

21 July 2016 | by Christopher Lamb

Danny Casey who worked with Pell in Sydney was in charge of creating greater accountability for Vatican's finances

One of Cardinal George Pell’s chief aides working on reforming Vatican finances is leaving his post, The Tablet can report. Danny Casey, in charge of the “project management office” in the Holy See economy secretariat, had been brought to Rome two years ago by his fellow countryman Cardinal Pell: the two had previously worked closely together in Sydney when Casey was the archdiocese’s business manager.

“We are happy to confirm, as was anticipated when Danny commenced working in the Secretariat in 2014 for a 2-year term, he is leaving us at the end of September to return to Australia,” a statement from Cardinal Pell’s office confirmed. “We are enormously grateful for the contribution Danny has made to implementing the Holy Father’s Reforms.”

Casey (pictured left with Cardinal Pell) had been put in charge of implementing series of changes to the management of Holy See finances including greater accountability and a more robust management of budgets. Among them was the transfer of APSA - the Vatican financial powerhouse which oversees properties and assets - into Cardinal Pell’s Secretariat for the Economy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

END CHURCH SEXUAL ABUSE! Priest writes shocking memo, exposing corrupt, predator clerics

MINNESOTA
Catholic Online

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A memo from an outraged priest has been published, along with a trove of other documents in a sex abuse cover up. The aim of the memo and the document release is to convince the Vatican to take action against two high ranking individuals.

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In 2014, the Vatican's ambassador to the United States ended an independent investigation into possible sexual abuse and misconduct by Archbishop john C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

According to one priest, Rev. Dan Griffith, the decision to end the investigation was a cover up.

Fr. Griffith worked for the Archdiocese and had detailed inside knowledge of what was going on with the Archbishop. According to Fr. Griffith, the Archbishop mishandled priests accused of abusing children and participated in his own sexual misconduct. Then, the Papal nuncio in Washington, Archbishop Carlo Vigano, ordered the termination of an internal investigation after it uncovered evidence against the Archbishop.

Archbishop Nienstedt has been accused of sexual misconduct with seminarians and priests, and possibly even with a member of the Swiss Papal Guard in Rome.

The accusations follow an independent investigation by the law firm, Greene Espel, retained by the Church to look into the matter. According to Fr. Griffith, the investigation revealed 11 witnesses who had credible testimony against the Archbishop. The investigation adds that the Archbishop took retaliatory actions against those who rejected his advances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Archbishop Philip Freier expresses solidarity with Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
21 Jul 2016

THE Anglican Primate of Australia Archbishop Philip Freier has expressed solidarity with Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson and his officers before a Royal Commission public hearing in Newcastle on August 2.

Archbishop Freier said evidence of clergy sexual abuse and predatory behaviour in Newcastle that included a former bishop was “shocking and distressing”.

“We express our solidarity with and prayers for Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson and his officers who have worked diligently to end the culture of abuse and silence within the diocese,” the archbishop said.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will sit for two weeks in Newcastle.

It will consider how the diocese responded to allegations of child sexual abuse made against clergy and lay people including former Dean of Newcastle Graeme Lawrence, teacher Gregory Goyette, priests Andrew Duncan, Bruce Hoare, Graeme Sturt, Peter Rushton and Ian Barrack, and church worker James Michael Brown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

School abuse trial jury to resume deliberations on Thursday

SCOTLAND
The Extra

Thursday 21 July 2016

A jury in the trial of two men accused of abusing pupils at a former school for boys will resume its deliberations on Thursday.

John Farrell, 73, and Paul Kelly, 63, face charges of sexual and physical abuse against more than 20 ex pupils of St Ninian's School in Falkland, Fife.

A trial at the High Court in Glasgow heard how the men committed indecent acts on boys aged 11 to 16 and punished pupils in their care by making them stand in a hallway naked or wearing only their underwear.

Farrell, from Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, and Kelly, from Plymouth, Devon, deny the charges which date from 1977 to 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Police say Bellingham pastor and father of 7 groomed young girl for sex

WASHINGTON
KIRO

[with video]

by: Joanna Small Updated: Jul 20, 2016

BELLINGHAM, Wash. —
A North Sound pastor is suspected of preying on a 12-year-old girl in abuse that continued for years, eventually having sex with her and promising to marry her.

The house next door to Bellingham Baptist Church where police believe 37-year-old Christopher Trent lived with his wife and seven children appeared vacant Wednesday.

“He's packing a U-Haul and packing a transport van with all of their gear and it appears they're going to head out, and so we made the contact with him and learned they were planning to leave the state," explained Lt. Bob Vander Yacht.

Instead, Trent is in the Whatcom County Jail accused of grooming one of his church girls for sex -- police say over a period of more than two years, police say.

Just last month he posted on social media about hosting a Vacation Bible School for 120 kids at the same church where police say he sexually abused the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Denial, More Than Anything, Is Hindering Progress For Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Nikki DuBose
Former Model, Commercial Actress & Host turned Author, Speaker & Mental Health Advocate

If money is one hell of a drug, then denial is one of the biggest drug dealers in the world. And no group understands that truth better than survivors of child sexual abuse. While survivors, advocates and some lawmakers have fought hard to bring justice, there’s been little progress made; if anything, we’ve been forced to take giant steps backwards. And by forced, I’m referring to the tremendous power of, more than anything, denial.

Take, for example, the recent killing of the child victims act by NY state lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan offered little explanation when asked as to why a deal couldn’t be reached by Governor Cuomo, Senate, and the Assembly. As quoted by the NY Daily News, Flanagan merely said, “There was no agreement, that’s it.” Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan who supported the Child Victims Act, noted that the Senate gave the green light to authorize online fantasy sports betting. But yet, historically, isn’t this usually how things go down? Nonsensical bills such as the online fantasy sports betting and the act pushing for food to be served in funeral services establishments are cleared through the Senate and Assembly; however, it can take years and years to see any change in the areas of mental health reform, child sexual abuse prevention, and of course, gun control.

Thus, the killing of the Child Victims Act in New York equals no statute of limitations reform for child sexual abuse survivors. The Catholic Church paid over $2M for lobbyists to block the reform. Of course, they did. Why wouldn’t they? Like I said, scoot some money in, look the other way; denial is the biggest drug trafficker, and money is the most abused drug in the world. Flash some money in front of some lawmakers’ faces, and they will do just about anything they are paid to do.

In America, there are over 42,000,000 survivors of child sexual abuse, and that’s just the reported estimate. I am a survivor; mind you, the word “survivor” has absolutely no glamorous connotation attached to it. Recovery has been like swimming in a blood bath; for the most part, many of us deal with a variety of mental health conditions. Getting to a place of recovery can be a literal miracle. And yet there is slim justice I or any survivor can seek currently for the horrors we have had to face; horrors that are equivalent to being murdered silently over and over again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

'Explosive' Documents Reveal Alleged Archdiocese Cover-Up

MINNESOTA
WDAY

[Affidavit of Thomas E. Ring - Redacted
July 7, 2014 Memo]

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis publicly admitted wrongdoing for the way it handled sexual abuse allegations against a former priest, while prosecutors dropped criminal charges that alleged the archdiocese turned a blind eye to repeated misconduct by the defrocked cleric.

"I stand before you to say we have failed," said Archbishop Bernard Hebda.

"We pledge to move forward openly, collaboratively and humbly... always mindful of our past. We will never forget," he said.

The admission was part of an agreement in a lawsuit that calls for Archbishop Bernard Hebda to personally participate in at least three and likely more restorative justice sessions with abuse victims. The archbishop took the unusual step of attending the Wednesday hearing where the agreement was announced.

Ramsey County prosecutors filed civil and criminal charges against the archdiocese last year. The six gross misdemeanor child endangerment charges against the archdiocese involved Curtis Wehmeyer, who is serving prison time for molesting two boys in Minnesota and a third in Wisconsin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Anglican Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft allegedly failed to report paedophile Peter Rushton to police

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Anne Connolly

One of the nation's most senior Anglicans, the Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, received complaints about a priest involved in a paedophile ring but allegedly failed to formally report him to police, according to an Anglican Church insider.

7.30 has obtained a confidential note showing Archbishop Herft received a complaint about Father Peter Rushton's abuse when they both worked in the Hunter region of New South Wales in 2002.

Archbishop Herft wrote that the complaint "left me in an unenviable position" because "Father Peter had my licence [to be a priest] and if he reoffended I would be held liable as I now had prior knowledge of his alleged behaviour".

Director of professional standards for the Newcastle diocese, Michael Elliott, said there was no record of Archbishop Herft contacting police about allegations regarding Rushton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Bishop who was sexually abused as a teenager still has the portrait of the minister who molested him hanging in his church<

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By STEVEN TRASK FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

The portrait of a prolific sexual predator still hangs in the church where one of his victims now preaches.

Bishop of Newcastle Greg Thompson was sexually abused as a teenager by Ian Shevill, a celebrated priest who led the church in the 1970s.

Shevill was just one of the sexual predators inside the church who abused children in an infamous Anglican paedophile ring that was covered up for decades,The ABC reported.

Right Reverend Thompson was named Bishop of Newcastle in 2013 and leads the church as it faces a historic government investigation into child sexual abuse.

A black and white portrait of Shevill, his abuser, hangs in the church's gallery alongside other infamous paedophiles such as Father Peter Rushton, the Archdeacon of Maitland.

Father of two victims gives evidence at Lismore priest trial

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

Leah White | 21st Jul 2016

IT WAS seeing Father John Casey during a broadcast of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes' funeral in 2014 that prompted a second victim to finally come forward and join his younger brother in making formal allegations of child sexual abuse against the Lismore priest.

The father of the two brothers was in the witness stand at Casey's trial in Lismore District Court yesterday, where he was cross-examined by defence barrister Charles Waterstreet.

Casey is facing 27 charges relating to the historical rape, sexual assault and indecent assault of three young boys in Mallanganee in the 1980s.

All but one charge relates to incidents that allegedly involved the two brothers.

The court heard the third victim, who is the youngest of the three complainants and was between nine and 10 years old when the assaults occurred, told his father in 2005 he was sexually assaulted by Casey as a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Minnesota Priest’s Memo Says Vatican Ambassador Tried to Stifle Sex Abuse Inquiry

MINNESOTA
New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
JULY 20, 2016

The Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States quashed an independent investigation in 2014 into sexual and possible criminal misconduct by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis and ordered church officials to destroy a letter they wrote to him protesting the decision, according to a memo made public on Wednesday.

The detailed memo was written by an outraged priest, the Rev. Dan Griffith, who was working in the top ranks of the archdiocese and was the liaison to the lawyers conducting the inquiry. He wrote that the ambassador’s order to call off the investigation and destroy evidence amounted to “a good old fashioned cover-up to preserve power and avoid scandal.”

The document offers a grave indictment of the conduct of the Vatican’s ambassador, and will probably put pressure on Pope Francis to discipline him and Archbishop Nienstedt. The former ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, served as Pope Francis’ representative to the church until he retired in April.

Archbishop Nienstedt stepped down as leader of the Twin Cities archdiocese last year amid lawsuits and criminal inquiries into his handling of priests accused of sexually abusing children. But he remains an archbishop in good standing, and recently celebrated Mass at a California retreat for prominent Catholics.

With sexual abuse victims clamoring for Francis to take action against negligent bishops, the pope recently announced that an array of Vatican departments should keep bishops accountable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Vatican ambassador sought to bury Nienstedt misconduct, documents say

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

[Affidavit of Thomas E. Ring - Redacted
July 7, 2014 Memo]

By MARINO ECCHER | meccher@pioneerpress.com
PUBLISHED: July 20, 2016

From the outset, Daniel Griffith assured the investigators the church didn’t want “a white-wash or a witch hunt,” but the unvarnished truth.

One priest had already been convicted of sexual abuse. John Nienstedt, the sitting archbishop, was facing allegations of misconduct. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis hired the law firm Greene Espel to get to the bottom of it, promising free rein and seeking an investigation that would be beyond reproach.

But when confronted with early results, a top Vatican official sought to snuff out the findings and plunge the archdiocese into what Griffith — a priest dismayed and disillusioned by the church’s maneuvering — deemed “a good old fashioned cover-up,” according to documents released this week.

Announced Wednesday, the archdiocese struck a deal with Ramsey County prosecutors to avoid criminal prosecution for its handling of sex abuse cases but to confess wrongdoing and improve its practices. The same day, Jeff Anderson, an attorney who has represented hundreds of people making sex abuse claims against the church, made public more than 100 pages of related documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Did the Vatican halt an investigation into former Twin Cities Archbishop Nienstedt?

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[Affidavit of Thomas E. Ring - Redacted
July 7, 2014 Memo]

Laura Yuen, Peter Cox
St. Paul · Jul 21, 2016

Documents released by the Ramsey County Attorney's Office Wednesday showed the extraordinary measures Catholic officials took to quash a private investigation into former Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Nienstedt himself had ordered the investigation, citing unspecified allegations against himself. He said at the time that the allegations did not "involve minors or lay members of the faithful, and they do not implicate any kind of illegal or criminal behavior" and "involve events alleged to have occurred at least a decade ago, before I began serving in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis."

He called those unspecified claims, at the time, "absolutely and entirely false."

But as MPR News previously reported, once the lawyers hired to conduct the investigation started uncovering allegations of Nienstedt's alleged sexual misconduct with adult men, the archbishop attempted to obstruct their work.

One new document, released Wednesday, goes even further: It suggests that the order to halt the investigation came not from Nienstedt, but straight from the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Anglican bishop accused of ignoring abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP on July 21, 2016

A senior Australian Anglican bishop has been accused of failing to report a priest's sexual abuse to police after he received complaints about the behaviour in 2002.

ABC's 7.30 program has reported the Archbishop of Perth, Roger Heft, allegedly failed to formally report Father Peter Rushton's abuse to police when they both worked in NSW's Hunter region.

Alleged victims of Mr Rushton's abuse have told the ABC they were raped and sexually assaulted by him and other abusers involved in a paedophile ring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

July 20, 2016

Twin Cities Archdiocese Admits Wrongdoing in Abuse Coverup

MINNESOTA
Wall Street Journal

By TOM CORRIGAN
July 20, 2016

Criminal prosecutors in Minnesota won a rare admission of wrongdoing from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which conceded it protected a priest who was later convicted of sexually abusing children.

“We failed,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda said Wednesday. “Those children, their parents, their family, their parish and others were harmed. We are sorry. I am sorry.”

The admission is a victory for prosecutors and for clergy abuse victims who have long pressed for a mea culpa from the archdiocese. Acknowledgment of wrongdoing was absent when the archdiocese settled related civil charges last year.

“Today that missing piece has been provided by the archdiocese,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi on Wednesday, calling the admission “a solemn moment for our community.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Letter to the Faithful from Archbishop Hebda

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Source: Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Traditionally, at the beginning of each Mass, we stand and ask God and each other to forgive “what we have done and what we have failed to do.” It is a humbling prayer.

Today has been a day of asking for forgiveness for what we have done and what we have failed to do. In our statement filed in court this morning, the Archdiocese admitted to failures in the handling of Curtis Wehmeyer, who once served as priest of this Archdiocese. We failed to give priority to the safety and wellbeing of the children he hurt over his interests and those of the Archdiocese. In particular, we failed to prevent him from sexually abusing children. Those children, their parents, their family, their parish and others were harmed. We are sorry. I am sorry.

I know that words alone are not enough. We must do better. Far-reaching changes have already been underway. The Archdiocese has added lay personnel with relevant experience and solid expertise to help create the safest environments possible. The Civil Settlement Agreement with the Ramsey County Attorney, which today we expanded and extended for a total of four years, holds the Archdiocese accountable and ensures that our actions will continue to match our words. In court this morning, we presented our first progress report to Judge Teresa Warner and laid out to her our progress so far and our commitment going forward.

When I arrived here about a year ago, criminal and civil charges against the Archdiocese had just been announced. A decision had to be made: do we fight the charges in court – which would have taken years of time and resources -- or do we work with the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office to try to make amends to those harmed and achieve justice for all in the broadest possible way. I am grateful that the Lord seems to have offered guidance in many different forms. I am particularly appreciative for the advice that was provided by our lay leadership at the Archdiocesan level, as well as for the wise counsel and support of my brother priests and deacons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

Prep School Faces Accusations Of Chronic Mishandling Of Sexual Assault Cases

NEW HAMPSHIRE
WMRA

By REBECCA HERSHER

Administrators at Phillips Exeter Academy acknowledge that the prep school failed to respond adequately when a student was accused of sexual assault, and was assigned an "act of penance" that included baking and delivering bread to the girl he allegedly assaulted.

The Boston Globe's Spotlight investigative team, which wrote extensively this spring on sexual assault at New England boarding schools including Phillips Exeter Academy, reports that school administrators wrote in a letter to alumni, "Without question, the situation could and should have been handled in a better way."

The Globe reports:

"[Phillips Exeter Academy] also announced the creation of a new 'director for student well-being' to handle future sexual misconduct complaints.

"The admission and the announcement of the new position came the day after the elite boarding school received a petition with more than 1,000 signatures of alumni who vowed to withhold donations until the school cracked down on sexual abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

'Not reporting sexual abuse violates the Torah'

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

Head of the Rabbinical services organization 'Tzohar,' Rabbi David Stav, criticized on Wednesday rabbis who hush up sexual abuse cases in their communities rather than reporting them to the authorities.

"Sexual abuse is physical and psychological damage of the highest order. Rabbis that attempt to silence these matters without dealing with them through the appropriate channels are transgressing the Torah," he said.

Rabbi Stav asserted that one who has committed sexual abuse is likely to do so again if he is not treated by a qualified professional. "This is unrelated to the Talmudic adage that one should not think badly of a Torah scholar that sinned, for surely he has done Teshuva [repentance]; here, we are dealing with one who is sick, and a sick man does not heal by himself."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

The Latest: Attorney accuses Vatican of interference

MINNESOTA
Houston Chronicle

[Affidavit of Thomas E. Ring - Redacted
July 7, 2014 Memo]

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis' handling of child abuse allegations (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

An attorney for victims of clergy abuse is accusing the Vatican of interfering in the investigation of a Minnesota archbishop.

Jeffrey Anderson made the claim in a case involving former archbishop John Nienstedt (NINE'-stedt), whose personal conduct was being examined in 2014 as the archdiocese was criticized for its handling of abuse allegations.

Anderson cited a newly released 2014 memo from the Rev. Daniel Griffith, an archdiocese leader for ensuring a safe environment for children.

In it, Griffith accused the Vatican's delegate in Washington, D.C., of ordering church leaders to wrap up the Nienstedt investigation without pursuing all leads. Griffith also accused the then-delegate, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, of ordering leaders to destroy a letter in which they disagreed with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Criminal charges dropped against Twin Cities archdiocese after it admits wrongdoing in abuse case

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jul. 20, 2016

Criminal charges against the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese were dropped Wednesday after it agreed to a revision of its civil settlement that added "direct and public admission of wrongdoing" for its role in the sexual abuse of three minors by a former priest.

The charges, brought last summer by Ramsey County Attorney John Choi, alleged a "failure to protect children" on the part of the archdiocese in relation to three minors sexually abused in 2010 by former priest Curtis Wehmeyer. In court Wednesday, Ramsey County District Judge Teresa Warner accepted an amendment to the civil agreement, originally reached in December, that added several new requirements and also inserted an admission of wrongdoing.

"It was not only Curtis Wehmeyer who harmed children. It was the archdiocese, as well," Choi said at a midday news conference. "Today, through the leadership of the new, permanent archbishop, Bernard Hebda, that direct and public admission of wrongdoing has now been made."

The record for the civil case will be amended to state:

Curtis Wehmeyer was a priest in this Archdiocese. The Archdiocese admits that it failed to adequately respond and prevent the sexual abuse of Victim 1, Victim 2, and Victim 3. The Archdiocese failed to keep the safety and wellbeing of these three children ahead of protecting the interests of Curtis Wehmeyer and the Archdiocese. The actions and omissions of the Archdiocese failed to prevent the abuse that resulted in the need for protection and services for these three children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

WA--Seattle-area predator preacher accused; Victims respond

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 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 Bellingham pastor is accused of sexually abusing a girl for two years. Now, his current and former church colleagues and members must aggressively reach out to others who may have information or suspicions about his alleged crimes or possible church cover ups.

[Bellingham Herald]

Christopher L. Trent of the Orleans Street Baptist Church will soon face formal charges. But we strongly suspect he has abused others – either in Washington or Oklahoma. It’s not enough for his supervisors and colleagues to claim they’re “cooperating” with law enforcement. They must use their resources – church websites, bulletins, mailing lists and pulpit announcements – to seek out victims, witnesses and whistleblowers and beg them to call secular authorities.

Josh Carter, the top pastor at Bellingham Baptist, must lead the way with courage and compassion. But this duty - to reach out to the lost, wounded sheep – falls on every person who is or was associated with this congregation.

No matter what prosecutors, judges 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 Baptist 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 5:41 PM

MI--New records released re controversial ex-Detroit bishop

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Affidavit of Thomas E. Ring - Redacted
July 7, 2014 Memo

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 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)

Newly released records on an archbishop who rose through Catholic church ranks in Michigan – and worked in a Michigan parish months ago – detail his allegedly “promiscuous” sexual activity “as a priest and bishop in Detroit.”

[Fox 9]

Archbishop John Nienstedt is a Michigan native who became an auxiliary bishop in the Detroit Archdiocese, before being promoted to head two Minnesota dioceses: New Ulm and St. Paul/Minneapolis. He’s been repeatedly accused of committing sexual misdeeds and concealing sex crimes. He resigned his post overseeing the St. Paul archdiocese.

Now, internal church documents are raising questions again about how he dealt with priests who were proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters.

Everyone knows that quietly moving molesters elsewhere is risky. But it’s also risky to quietly move “enablers.” That’s happening with Archbishop Nienstedt now. Just two weeks ago, he was found at a plush hotel in California’s Napa Valley saying mass at and participating in a conservative Catholic event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Clergy abuse timeline: How the Twin Cities archdiocese got here

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By JEAN HOPFENSPERGER JULY 20, 2016

A look back at the history of events in the child sex abuse scandal at the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

2013
May 23: A change in Minnesota law creates a three-year window for filing sex abuse lawsuits previously barred by statute of limitations, triggering a wave of lawsuits against the archdiocese seeking millions of dollars in damages.

May 29:The first lawsuit is filed, by a John Doe 1, in Ramsey District Court.

September 23: Former archdiocese canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger reveals evidence that church officials overlooked sexual misconduct.

October 13: A task force is formed to investigate clergy sexual misconduct.

October 14: A Twin Cities woman sues a priest for sexual contact.

October 17: St. Paul police ask abuse victims to come forward.

November 12: Archbishop John Nienstedt says he will release a partial list of accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Twin Cities Archdiocese Admits To Wrongdoing In Molestation Case

MINNESOTA
KVRR

TJ Nelson, 6 & 9 PM News Anchor / Producer / Reporter, tjnelson@kvrr.com

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to publicly admit wrongdoing for the way it handled abuse allegations against a former priest.

Prosecutors say they'll drop six criminal child endangerment charges that alleged the archdiocese turned a blind eye to repeated misconduct by Curtis Wehmeyer.

He was convicted of molesting two boys in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin.

The admission of wrongdoing is part of a beefed–up civil agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

New documents reveal former archbishop's 'gay lifestyle'

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Documents released Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court detail former Archbishop John Nienstedt’s “gay lifestyle” in his early days as a priest and bishop in Detroit. A confidential memo from the Delegate for Safe Environment for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, dated Nov. 22, 2013, raises concerns that Nienstedt’s past behavior may have affected his decisions involving Father Curtis Wehmeyer.

In Dec. 2015, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi filed 6 criminal child endangerment charges against the archdiocese "to hold it criminally accountable for its failure to protect children." The church was accused of keeping Father Curtis Wehmeyer in the ministry despite knowledge of his sexual misconduct. Wednesday morning, Choi agreed to drop the 6 criminal charges as part of the updated civil settlement.

The confidential memo lists the following allegations:

“A priest in Detroit has alleged that while staying overnight at the rectory of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan (then) Fr. Nienstedt sexually solicited him. The alleged advance was not reciprocated. In a discussion with the source, wherein the incident was recounted, the priest stated: ‘I know when I’m being hit on.’”

A former priests discussed an incident in Michigan where Bishop Nienstedt “began massaging his neck” while he was driving.

Another protest said that a number of years ago he was in Detroit for a conference, shortly after Nienstedt was named coadjutor archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A number of priests spoke told him about Nienstedt’s “promiscuous gay lifestyle” while serving as a priest in Detroit and while living in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Former Hudson priest facing criminal probe in sex abuse case, victims group says

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Steve Strunsky | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

GUTTENBERG — A Catholic priest is under criminal investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office following allegations he sexually abused a young parishioner at a Guttenberg church where the priest worked in the 1990's, a victims rights group said.

The Rev. Michael "Mitch" Walters had been accused by the parishioner at the St. John Nepomucene Parish in Guttenberg of molesting him two decades ago, Road to Recovery, a Livingston-based group that advocates for victims of clergy abuse, announced on Wednesday.

"Fr. Michael "Mitch" Walters was stationed in the 1990s at St. John Nepomucene Parish in Guttenberg, New Jersey, in Hudson County, and a man has come forward to allege that he was sexually abused by Fr. Michael "Mitch" Walters at St. John Nepomucene Parish when he was a minor child," the Road to Recovery stated in an announcement in advance of a press conference it had scheduled for Wednesday morning at the Guttenberg church on Polk Street.

Ray Worrall, a spokesman for Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, declined to confirm whether the office was investigating the allegations.

"We can't comment whether or not this office is even involved in an investigation," Worrall said in an email.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

MN--Archdiocese & prosecutor reach deal

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 20

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 remain convinced that John Choi could and should have filed criminal charges against individual complicit Catholic officials, not Catholic institution, especially had he acted sooner and more aggressively. We’re disappointed that well-educated, self-serving church bureaucrats have again spent parishioners’ donations on high-priced lawyers and are successfully evading consequences for repeatedly and callously putting children in harms’ way so they could protect their clerical careers and reputations.

Wrongdoing is deterred when wrongdoers are punished. But not one Twin Cities Catholic official is being punished – in the courts or in the church – for repeatedly deceiving parishioners, moving predators, hiding evidence, stone-walling police or endangering kids.

[Pioneer Press]

[WDAY]

We know that law enforcement has limited resources and child safety laws are outdated and Catholic officials defend themselves vigorously.

Still, the old saying “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” applies here. Across the country, for nearly three decades, we’ve seen police and prosecutors slowly becoming more determined and creative at pursuing even older child sex crimes and cover ups when they put their minds to it and put aside their timidity. We’ve seen law enforcement staff become more vigorous and savvy in their outreach efforts to find more victims, witnesses and whistleblowers. We wish more of that had happened here.

Some say a settlement between Choi and archdiocesan officials will result in the disclosure of secret church records about crimes and cover ups. We hope so. But disclosure alone doesn’t deter. Discipline is what deters. And despite 30+ years of devastating and widely-documented scandal, virtually no Catholic official has lost even one day’s pay no matter how deceitfully or recklessly he acted with pedophile priests and vulnerable kids or wounded victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Twin Cities Archdiocese Documents To Be Released

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced Wednesday that legal documents between the attorney’s office and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will be released.

The announcement came in a press conference in which Choi said that criminal charges against the Twin Cities archdiocese will be dropped following the church’s admission to wrongdoing in a child abuse case.

Choi said the documents will be released Wednesday afternoon after the attorney’s office has finished going over them and making redactions.

While the county attorney did not speak on the contents of the documents, he said that it’s important that they are made public.

“There will be a lot of things that people will get to look through,” Choi said. “It’s an important thing for the public to have.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Statement of Jennifer Haselberger July 20, 2016

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

[includes Archbishop Hebda's letter to priests]

For Immediate Release

Today’s announcement brings to conclusion a process that I began in June of 2012, shortly after the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis learned of the abuse committed by Curtis Wehmeyer.

While I share the general sense of disappointment that individual criminal charges were not filed, I see the resolution announced today as a positive result. Thanks to the hard work of the local and national media, the Saint Paul Police Department, and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, I believe my objectives in coming forward have been met. My first objective was to ensure that the boys that were harmed by Curtis Wehmeyer understood that they (and all victims of sexual abuse) were not at fault for what occurred, that they had done nothing to deserve their abuse, and to force the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis to accept responsibility for having so egregiously failed to protect them. My second objective was to send a warning to all the parents and guardians who entrust their children and other vulnerable individuals to the institutions and programs in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. I wanted them to be aware that the Archdiocese’s promises of having a safe environment, of having removed sexually abusive clergy from ministry, and of having committed itself to the protection of children and the healing of victims cannot be trusted.

Over the past four years, and especially with today’s conclusion of the criminal case, I believe these objectives have been met.

However, we ought not to forget that today’s announcement, and the admission of responsibility, applies only to the victims of Curtis Wehmeyer. It does not address the hurt of the many victims who have never received such acknowledgement, including those who are still waiting to be compensated for the harm that was done to them. Finally, the conclusion of the criminal process does not mean that all is well within the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The failures acknowledged in today’s admission of guilt are systemic, pervasive, and longstanding. It is beyond the power of any civil authority to bring about the changes that are required in order to truly create a safe environment in the Catholic Church. Therefore, we must all continue to be vigilant and to work for justice inside the Church and without.

###

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

St. Paul News Conference Today

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Updated Media Advisory

*Note location change

Affidavit of Thomas E. Ring - Redacted
July 7, 2014 Memo

July 20, 2016

Vatican Official Ordered Archdiocese Officials to Destroy Evidence and Shut Down Investigation of Former Archbishop John Nienstedt

What: At a news conference today in St. Paul, Attorney Jeff Anderson will:

· Release documents that directly implicate top Vatican and Archdiocesan officials in their failure to protect children, concealment of misconduct, and destruction of evidence;

· Discuss the outcome of today’s hearing in Ramsey County regarding the criminal charges brought against the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis in June 2015 for failing to protect children; and

· Credit the courageous survivors, the true heroes, who came forward and reported sexual abuse by former priest Curtis Wehmeyer and made this investigation and outcome possible.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 2:30PM

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

**NEWS CONFERENCE WILL BE LIVE-STREAMED FROM OUR WEBSITE – LINK WILL BE AVAILABLE SHORTLY BEFORE NEWS CONFERENCE AT www.andersonadvocates.com **

Please note there is construction on Jackson and 5th Streets. Parking is available on the west side of Jackson Street prior to the news conference.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Cell: 612.817.8665 Office: 651.227.9990

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

St. Paul Archdiocese charges dropped as it admits mishandling sex-abuse allegations

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By TORY COONEY | vcooney@pioneerpress.com

Criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis over its handling of a child sexual-abuse case are expected to be dropped later Wednesday after prosecutors announced additional oversights measures.

Also part of the latest deal: Archdiocese officials agree to publicly admit wrongdoing for the way it handled abuse allegations.

Said Archbishop Hebda after a court hearing Wednesday: “Today I, as the leader of this archdiocese, stand before you to say we have failed — in what we have done and what we have failed to do.”

The Catholic archdiocese faced six gross misdemeanor counts of child endangerment for allegedly turning a blind eye to repeated misconduct by Curtis Wehmeyer, a former priest at Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul who is now in prison. Wehmeyer was convicted of molesting two boys in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Twin Cities Archdiocese to admit wrongdoing, criminal charges dropped

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will publicly admit wrongdoing in its handling of 3 abuse allegations involving a former priest. The admission of wrongdoing is among 4 major developments announced at a Wednesday morning civil settlement hearing in Ramsey County District Court.

As part of the settlement, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi agreed to drop 6 criminal child endangerment charges against the archdiocese. In Dec. 2015, Choi filed criminal charges against the archdiocese "to hold it criminally accountable for its failure to protect children." The church was accused of keeping Father Curtis Wehmeyer in the ministry despite knowledge of his sexual misconduct. In 2013, Wehmeyer was convicted on 20 felony charges for sexually abusing two minors in Minnesota. He was also charged in Chippewa County, Wisconsin with second-degree sexual assault. Wehmeyer was defrocked by Pope Francis in March 2015.

As part of the updated settlement, Archbishop Bernard Hebda will personally participate in restorative justice programs. Another significant development announced Wednesday was the release of any victims' prior confidentiality agreements, within 30 days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Twin Cities Archdiocese to Admit Wrongdoing in Abuse Case

MINNESOTA
ABC News

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jul 20, 2016

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to publicly admit wrongdoing for the way it handled abuse allegations against a former priest.

And prosecutors say they'll drop six criminal child endangerment charges that alleged the archdiocese turned a blind eye to repeated misconduct by Curtis Wehmeyer, who was convicted of molesting two boys in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin.

The admission of wrongdoing is part of a beefed-up civil agreement announced in court Wednesday. Archbishop Bernard Hebda will also personally participate in restorative justice sessions — taking a more active role.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

County drops lawsuit against Archdiocese

MINNESOTA
KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A hearing in Ramsey County Wednesday indicates that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is holding up its end of a far-reaching agreement designed to keep children safe and out of the hands of abusive priests.

The biggest development from the hearing is the announcement that Ramsey County is dropping criminal charges filed against the Archdiocese. Those charges involved allegations that the Archdiocese turned a blind eye to repeated misconduct by Curtis Wehmeyer, who was convicted of molesting two boys in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin.

The Archdiocese was met with praise from the judge and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi for the new initiative called "Virtues Protecting God's Children," where everyone who works with children has to go through criminal background checks. They also undergo three hours of specialized training and sign a code of contact. At this point, 576 active clergy have completed the program.

Attorneys for the Archdiocese also spoke of an emphasis on notifying law enforcement immediately when allegations of abuse surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Minneapolis News Conference Today

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Media Advisory

July 20, 2016

Attorney Jeff Anderson to Release Documents and Comment on Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis Criminal Case Today

Vatican, Former Archbishop John Nienstedt Implicated in Documents to be Released Publicly Today

What: At a news conference today outside the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis, Attorney Jeff Anderson will:

· Release documents concerning the Vatican, Former Archbishop John Nienstedt, and defrocked priest Curtis Wehmeyer; and

· Discuss today’s hearing in Ramsey County regarding the criminal charges brought against the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis in June 2015.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 2:30PM

WHERE: Outside the Minneapolis Federal Courthouse
300 S. 4th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Notes: The documents will be posted to our website at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Cell: 612.817.8665 Office: 651.227.9990

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Twin Cities archdiocese tells court it is complying with clergy abuse settlement

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JULY 20, 2016

In a court appearance Wednesday morning, lawyers for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said it is complying with a historic clergy sex abuse settlement reached last year. It was the first report required under a settlement of civil charges against the church.

The Ramsey County attorney's office had filed both civil and criminal charges against the archdiocese last year for failure to protect children from the former St. Paul priest Curtis Wehmeyer, now serving time in prison for abusing two sons of a parish employee in a trailer outside his church.

An unusual settlement was reached in the civil case last December, requiring the archdiocese to follow a new child protection accountability system outlined by the court. Provisions include creating new procedures for responding to clergy abuse claims, appointing an independent ombudsperson to assist abuse victims and their families, and allowing the Ramsey County attorney's office to make recommendations for appointments to the archdiocese's Ministerial Review Board — among other things.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

TX--Suit says priest abused girl for six years

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 20

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 girl and her family are suing a Catholic priest and his church supervisors, charging that Fr. Stephen Tarleton Dougherty repeatedly abused her for six years, starting when she was seven, from 2005-2011. We applaud her for her courage and hope her bravery will inspire others who are suffering to come forward.

[Caller-Times]

Catholic officials should yank Fr. Dougherty’s passport, so he can’t flee overseas. They should use pulpit announcements, church bulletins and parish websites, across the Corpus Christi diocese, to aggressively seek out other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers and beg them to call police. But they won’t. They’ll passively sit back and do the bare minimum.

It’s important to remember that accused child molesting clerics often get top notch, church-funded defense lawyers who exploit every possible legal loophole and technicality to evade responsibility for their heinous crimes. Many times, they succeed in their well-financed, shrewd legal maneuvers and go free or get short sentences. And more kids are assaulted.

We hope that doesn’t happen here. One way to prevent it: every person with information or suspicions about Fr. Dougherty must pick up the phone now and call law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Paedophile ring inside Newcastle Anglican Church exposed by whistleblowers

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Anne Connolly

The Anglican Church of Newcastle buried complaints about sex abusers, including reports of a senior priest who was part of a paedophile ring that involved priests and lay people.

In exclusive interviews with 7.30, whistleblowers revealed how they have been harassed and had their lives threatened for their work to expose the truth.

"I was subject to a death threat and on advice from the police and with the support of the Church's insurer, they agreed to relocate me and my family for a period of two weeks," John Cleary, the diocese's business manager, said.

His colleague Michael Elliott, the director of professional standards, moved house five times within a year because of weekly vandalism to his car and house.

His family's dog also disappeared.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Church Documents Could Be Released Wednesday

MINNESOTA
WDAY

By Nate Leding, KSTP

Sources tell us that internal church documents could be released as soon as Wednesday regarding what officials knew about priests sexually abusing children.

Ramsey County reached a civil settlement with the Archdiocese in December and ordered them to make changes in how it reports alleged priest abuse.

Those charges came after former priest Curtis Wehmeyer pleaded guilty in 2013 to sexually abusing two brothers.

The documents could tell us what former Archbishop John Nienstedt knew about the abuse by priests under his watch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Priest found guilty of embezzlement, jailed for 10 months

SCOTLAND
Times of Malta

A Catholic priest has been jailed for 10 months in Scotland for stealing nearly £100,000 from his church.

Fr Graeme Bell, 41, admitted to being addicted to an online roulette game which led him to commit embezzlement and taking £96,000 from his parish, “Our Lady Star of the Sea” in Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland.

He managed to return £25,000.

His lawyer, Gerard Brown, declared that his client would return the rest of the money with the help of his insurance and donations by his friends.

He insisted that his client was “a good man who had given his life to God, to the church and to his parishioners.” He also pointed out that “the priest’s anxiety and depression reached a stage where he was not behaving as a law-abiding individual.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Pa. state rep says 'it's not over' after Senate removes statute of limitations provision

PENNSYLVANIA
National Catholic Reporter

Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans | Jul. 19, 2016

PHILADELPHIA
Berks County lawmaker Mark Rozzi, flanked by sex abuse survivors and victim-rights advocates on the pavement outside the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul here on Monday, July 18, was steaming mad.

Rozzi had attempted to shepherd a bill through the legislature that would revamp the state's sex abuse laws, allowing victims to pursue legal claims for decades-old abuses against private institutions. Though it passed the Pennsylvania State House, the statute of limitations retroactivity was strongly opposed by church officials including the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, and was eliminated from the bill that eventually passed the Senate.

Earlier this month, Brian Gergely, a victim of one of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese's most infamous clergy predators, the late Msgr. Francis McCaa, took his own life.

Rozzi, who is also a sex abuse survivor, tossed the grand jury reports from Philadelphia and the Altoona-Johnstown diocese on the steps of the Cathedral, laying the blame for the provision's failure directly at the feet of Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Archdiocese Docs Could Be Released In Possible Settlement

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

[with video]

July 19, 2016 By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO-TV has learned that a long-scheduled hearing in the civil case against the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul could result in a historic settlement in the criminal case.

The criminal case involves a priest who molested three young Minnesota boys. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court.

In June of last year, the archdiocese was charged in both civil and criminal cases for failing to protect children from an abusive priest, Father Curtis Wehmeyer.

In 2012, Wehmeyer pleaded guilty to assaulting two of the brothers in a camper outside Blessed Sacrament Church in St. Paul. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to assaulting the third brother back in 2011 in Wisconsin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Settlement possible in Archdiocese criminal case

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

[with video]

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Just over a year ago, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was criminally charged for failing to protect children from clergy sex abuse. Now, it appears a settlement could be in the works.

According to the Archdiocese, Wednesday morning's hearing will be a progress report on the steps they've taken to keep kids safe from sexual abuse. But there could also be new developments in the criminal charges against them as well.

The Ramsey County Attorney will not say whether a settlement has been reached. But multiple sources tell Fox 9 those talks have been ongoing.

In June 2015, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi filed criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis "to hold it criminally accountable for its failure to protect children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Ex-youth pastor at Bellingham church accused of raping girl

WASHINGTON
Bellingham Herald

BY CALEB HUTTON
chutton@bhamherald.com

A former youth pastor at Bellingham Baptist Church has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a teenage girl over the course of two years.

Christopher L. Trent, 37, a pastor at the Orleans Street church for the past three years, rubbed his face with his hands and wiped away tears with the collar of a green inmate uniform, as a deputy prosecutor read from a Bellingham detective’s report in court Tuesday afternoon, July 19.

The alleged victim reported she was under the age of 14 when the relationship turned inappropriate.

About two years ago, Trent started driving the girl home from church, said Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Quinn. Sometimes he showed her physical affection by giving a “side hug,” she reported, and over time they started hugging chest to chest. Eventually he told her he wanted to kiss her, that he was falling in love with her, and that he wanted to marry her when she turned 18, according to her report to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Phillips Exeter admits mishandling sexual abuse claim

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

By Jonathan Saltzman GLOBE STAFF JULY 20, 2016

Leaders of Phillips Exeter Academy acknowledged Tuesday that the school mishandled a recent accusation of sexual misconduct in which a male student was asked — as an “act of penance” — to bake bread for a classmate he allegedly sexually assaulted.

The school also announced the creation of a new “director for student well-being” to handle future sexual misconduct complaints.

The admission and the announcement of the new position came the day after the elite boarding school received a petition with more than 1,000 signatures of alumni who vowed to withhold donations until the school cracked down on sexual abuse.

“Exeter’s handling of a recent allegation of sexual assault, reported in the Boston Globe, is a disturbing reminder that we still have much work to do,’’ said the letter to alumni from the president of the trustees and the principal of the New Hampshire school.

“We know many of you are profoundly disappointed,’’ it went on. “We are as well. Without question, the situation could and should have been handled in a better way.’’ ...

Michael Whitfield Jones, a 1975 graduate who received the letter on Tuesday, was delighted that the school acknowledged it mishandled the recent sexual assault report by Michaella Henry, 17, who last October told administrators she was groped by fellow student, Chukwudi “Chudi’’ Ikpeazu, a star athlete. Henry alleged that Ikpeazu had put his hands under her shirt and grabbed her backside as she repeatedly said “no.’’

Instead of going to the police, Henry accepted the school minister’s proposal that the young man bake bread for her weekly, as an act of “penance,” as the Globe’s Spotlight Team reported last week. Henry eventually went to police herself after months of frustration with the school’s response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Child sexual abuse inquiry opens York office to reach victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

LINDSAY PANTRY

Wednesday 20 July 2016

THE MAJOR inquiry into historical child sexual abuse in England and Wales will today start its work in the region as it opens a regional office.

The Government announced an independent inquiry into the way public bodies investigated and handled child sex abuse claims in July 2014.

But the inquiry was dogged by the resignations of two women appointed as chair of the investigation before New Zealand judge Dame Lowell Goddard was appointed in February 2015.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has already started 13 investigations, including those into Lord Janner and into child abuse by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, and has launched regional offices in Liverpool and Manchester.

A visit to York today by Dame Goddard today marks the start of the Inquiry’s Truth Project in the North East, which aims to gain a better understanding of patterns of abuse by speaking to victims and survivors. The project will be separate from the Inquiry’s public hearings to ensure privacy for victims. Specialist support will be given to anyone who shares their experience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Institutional child sex abuse inquiry arrives in the North East

UNITED KINGDOM
Chronicle Live

An investigation which will give a voice to victims of institutional child sex abuse is coming to the North East.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) aims to identify organisations and institutions that have failed in their duty to protect children from sexual abuse.

The first stage of the wide-scale inquiry, known as the Truth Project, launches in the North East on Wednesday.

Dame Lowell Goddard, who is leading the inquiry, is visiting York to mark the start of the Truth Project in the region and the opening of the Inquiry’s office in the North East.

The project allows victims and survivors to share their experience with the Inquiry during private sessions or via written statements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Former Priest Who Served Third of Abuse Sentence Gets Parole

CANADA
ABC News

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CORNER BROOK, Newfoundland — Jul 19, 2016

A retired Roman Catholic priest who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for sex offences involving young boys in eastern Canada has been granted full parole after serving a third of his sentence.

George Ansel Smith was sentenced in March 2013 after he pleaded guilty to more than three dozen charges, including sexual assault, indecent assault and assault with intent. The offences occurred from 1969 to 1989 in several Newfoundland communities.

Smith was sentenced to 11 years. The term was reduced to nine years and 11 months for time already served in pre-trial custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

St Patrick’s College to introduce Keeping Them Safe program

AUSTRALIA
The Record

20 Jul 2016 by Marco Ceccarelli

One of the Catholic schools to receive much publicity about historical cases of child sexual abuse has become the first Victorian secondary school to introduce the “gold standard”, Keeping Them Safe program.

The Ballarat Courier last month reported that St Patrick’s College has worked with sexual abuse survivors in an effort to see the college have the “gold standard around child protection”.

Principal John Crowley said it would ensure the entire school community worked together on child protection in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Child Sex Abuse Ballarat hearings.

He added that it was also part of the Victorian government’s new child safety standards that need to be introduced by 1 August 2016.

“We have to change the way certain things are done to ensure protection of children is at the forefront of everything we do,” Mr Crowley said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Suffering of sex abuse victims won’t end after paedophile dies

AUSTRALIA/TANZANIA
Mercury

PATRICK BILLINGS, Police Reporter, Mercury
July 19, 2016

ONE of Tasmania’s most notorious paedophiles has died in Tanzania but the suffering of his many victims will never end, abuse advocates say.

Paul Ronald Goldsmith was jailed for abusing 20 teenage boys and fled to Africa after his release from prison in 2010.

It is not clear how he died. Consular staff said Goldsmith was “sick” while an unconfirmed report suggested he died from complications from a broken leg two months ago.

Beyond Abuse spokesman Steve Fisher said the 71-year-old left a trail of destroyed lives.

“I hope Goldsmith suffered as much as his victims,’’ Mr Fisher said.

“They are still suffering. It will never end for them.”

Hobart-born Goldsmith trained as a Catholic priest and, despite never being ordained, had a long association with the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Lawsuit: Diocese of Corpus Christi, religious order failed to protect victim

TEXAS
Caller-Times

By Fares Sabawi of the Caller-Times

A woman is suing the Diocese of Corpus Christi, a religious order and a former priest accused of sexual assault of a child in Bee County.

The lawsuit, filed July 12 in Nueces County on behalf of "Jane Doe 108," accuses Stephen Tarleton Dougherty of sexually assaulting her multiple times starting when she was 7 years old.

Dougherty, who could not be reached for comment, was ordained as a Catholic priest in 2003, according to the lawsuit.

The 59-year-old was indicted by a Bee County grand jury in June on one count of sexual assault of a child, a first degree felony. The indictment references a December 2011 assault. Bee County District Attorney Jose Aliseda confirmed Dougherty was indicted but declined further comment.

The lawsuit names the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity and Dougherty as defendants.

Diocese spokesman Marty Wind said the diocese had not been served with the lawsuit as of Tuesday afternoon. He declined to comment on the allegations and on Dougherty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

July 19, 2016

Detroit priest gets tougher sentence for charity theft

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

James David Dickson, The Detroit News July 19, 2016

Detroit — The Rev. Timothy Kane will spend at least three and as many as the next 20 years in prison after being resentenced Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court for stealing from a charity for the poor.

Kane — convicted in 2014 of using “straw” applicants to apply for Angel Fund grants through the Archdiocese of Detroit then pocketing some of the money for himself via kickbacks — had originally been sentenced by Judge Bruce Morrow to 12 months in county jail, to be served over a five-year period, during which he’d report to jail in Julys and Decembers and for two additional months.

But the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office thought that sentence was too light, appealed it, and won, prompting Tuesday’s resentencing before Judge Margaret Van Houten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Church documents expose an even bigger cover-up than suspected in the Peter Ball case

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

Posted: Tue, 19 Jul 2016 by Richard Scorer

Church documents expose an even bigger cover-up than suspected in the Peter Ball case
The recent release of more internal Church of England documents relating to the Peter Ball case exposes an even bigger cover-up than previously suspected, writes specialist abuse lawyer Richard Scorer
.

To recap: Peter Ball was a prominent Church of England Bishop who served from 1977 to 1991 as Bishop of Lewes (part of the now notorious Chichester diocese) and then, until his resignation in 1993, as Bishop of Gloucester. Ball was more than just another Bishop, however: exceptionally well connected in establishment circles, he was a personal friend of Prince Charles and dined regularly with Margaret Thatcher. In 1992 Ball was investigated by the police for sexual offences against a 15 year old boy, Neil Todd. There followed an extraordinary campaign in support of Ball: nearly 2000 letters of support including from many prominent establishment figures. In March 1993, on the basis that the Todd offence was a one-off lapse, Ball was let off with a caution. He resigned as Bishop of Gloucester, but continued to officiate at church services. The suspicion persisted, however, that Ball had committed many other offences. Eventually, in 2015, following a second police inquiry, he was convicted of multiple sexual crimes spanning several decades, and imprisoned.

Yet the question remains: what did the Church of England know about Ball's criminal behaviour, and when did it have that knowledge? In early 1993, when Ball was being investigated for the Todd offence, the then Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey wrote to the Chief Constable of Gloucester. The Todd allegation, Carey suggested, seemed "most improbable". Carey went on: "if he (Ball) is guilty of unprofessional behaviour it is quite unrepresentative of his style". Whilst noting that "special pleading" on Ball's behalf would be "entirely inappropriate", Carey went on to explain to the Chief Constable that he felt "justified in drawing to your attention the excruciating pain and torment " which these allegations have inevitably brought upon Ball, whom Carey described in the letter as an "honourable man, firmly concerned for the welfare of young people".

We have long suspected that at the time Carey's letter was written - in February 1993 - the Church of England had far more information about Ball's sexual offending than it had disclosed publicly, or indeed shared with police and prosecutors. Earlier this year, in oral submissions to the Goddard inquiry, I highlighted that another man - I called him AB - had written to Archbishop Carey in late 1992 to express concern about an incident 10 years earlier in which Ball had indecently assaulted him. We know from documents released in March that AB's allegation was considered in late 1992 by Carey's then chief of staff, the Right Rev Ronald Gordon. Gordon did not pursue it further; his notes of a meeting at which it was discussed indicate that he considered further investigation unnecessary because "there is already enough evidence to suggest a picture of what has been happening". By implication, the Church of England at that time already had extensive knowledge of allegations against Ball. AB's letter was never shared with the police- one reason, I explained, why Ball escaped justice for another 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Jury deliberations to continue for sixth day in Fife school abuse trial

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

A jury in the trial of two men accused of abusing pupils at a former school for boys will resume its deliberations on Wednesday.

John Farrell, 73, and Paul Kelly, 63, face charges of sexual and physical abuse against more than 20 ex-pupils of St Ninian's School in Falkland, Fife.

A trial at the High Court in Glasgow was told the men committed indecent acts on boys aged 11 to 16 and punished pupils in their care by making them stand in a hallway naked or wearing only their underwear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Affaire Barbarin : les observations des avocats sur l'enquête

FRANCE
Lyon Capitale

[New delay in the investigation of Cardinal Barbarin.]

Par Antoine Sillières

La phase contradictoire de l'enquête préliminaire pour "non-dénonciation d'agressions sexuelles sur mineurs" et "mise en danger d'autrui" visant notamment le cardinal Barbarin est close. Entrés en possession du dossier il y a un mois, les avocats des deux parties ont remis leurs observations au procureur de la République de Lyon ce lundi.

Au parquet de trancher. Ouverte en mars dernier, la longue procédure d'enquête préliminaire visant quatre responsables du diocèse de Lyon, dont son archevêque, s'était achevée le 17 juin avec la remise d'une copie du dossier d'instruction aux avocats des deux parties. Mais il avait alors été décidé d'ouvrir une phase contradictoire, permettant aux défenseurs de formuler les observations et les demandes d'actes qu'ils auraient jugés pertinents. Au terme de ce mois de délai, les requêtes ont été remises au procureur de la République de Lyon ce lundi 18 juillet. Reste désormais au parquet à décider s'il classe l'affaire, demande l'ouverture d'une information judiciaire ou la renvoie immédiatement devant un tribunal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

No Compassion: Far-Right Catholic Group Gloats Over Defeat Of Bill To Help Victims Of Clerical Abuse

UNITED STATES
Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Jul 19, 2016 by Rob Boston in Wall of Separation

A few days ago, I receive the July-August issue of Catalyst, the newsletter of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

If you’re not familiar with the Catholic League, it’s a right-wing outfit that exists mainly to scream loudly anytime anyone anywhere dares to criticize the clerical leaders in the Catholic Church or the political goals of the bishops. The group, based in New York City, is run by William Donohue, a man who, when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse of minors by priests, is either deliberately provocative or remarkably tone deaf.

That’s a heavy charge, but I can back it up with a headline from the newsletter: “BIG LOSS FOR VICTIMS’ LOBBY; PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF.”

What Donohue is referring to here is the defeat of a New York state bill that would have expanded the statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse. Adults who suffered sexual abuse as children would have been given a one-year window to pursue civil cases in court.

The measure, Donohue asserted, “was a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

KY--Trial set for twice-accused predator priest

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Trial set for twice-accused predator priest
Victims group begs others to “come forward” with info
For 30 years, cleric headed a camp for children in Kentucky
SNAP: “We suspect there are other witnesses, whistleblowers & victims”
Staying “trapped in silence” helps no one, victims say, & “endangers kids”

A November 28 trial date has been set for a Louisville priest who is accused of molesting two children and spent 30 years running a camp for kids.

The cases are being prosecuted separately and there’s no date yet for the second trial.

Fr. R. Joseph Hemmerle was suspended twice – in 2002 and again in 2014 - by Louisville archdiocesan officials because of abuse reports.

The trial date – November 28 – was set last week by Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jeremy Logsdon (270 287 0034) of Leitchfield who is prosecuting the case. (For more information about the criminal cases: Constance K. Miller (46th JC) ckmiller@prosecutors.ky.gov)

“These two brave men deserve our gratitude for coming forward. Their courage has made kids safer,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s director. “But they shouldn’t have to carry the burden of prosecuting this predator alone. We firmly believe that there are others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Hemmerle. Those individuals should summon the strength to step up and call police or prosecutors right away.”

“There’s been very little attention given to the fact that Fr. Hemmerle faces two criminal trials,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director. “Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz should be making pulpit announcements and posting notices in church bulletins and on parish websites begging others with information or suspicions about Fr. Hemmerle to call law enforcement.”

In January 2002, Fr. Hemmerle was put on leave because of an accusation of child sexual abuse. "The archdiocese was aware of the accusation in Sept. 2001, but Fr. Hemmerle wasn't removed until the accuser went to the police," according to BishopAccountability.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Liberan a vicario acusado de abuso sexual en Oaxaca

MEXICO
Proceso

[Judge Juan Gomez Rios ordered the release of Carlos Franco Petez Mendes, vicar of the metropolitan cathedral of the Oaxaca capital, for lack of evidence in allegations of aggravated sexual abuse. He was arrested last Friday.]

POR PEDRO MATÍAS 18 JULIO, 2016

OAXACA, Oax. (apro).- El juez Juan Gómez Ríos otorgó el auto de libertad al vicario de la catedral metropolitana de esta capital, Carlos Franco Pérez Méndez, por falta de elementos en el presunto abuso sexual agravado por el que fue detenido el viernes pasado.

Antes de que venciera el término constitucional, el titular del Juzgado Cuarto Penal otorgó la libertad del presbítero Carlos Franco Pérez Méndez, quien desde el pasado 10 de abril fue separado de su cargo “como medida preventiva” y con el fin de facilitar las investigaciones civiles y eclesiásticas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Fugitive rabbi suspected of sex offenses arrested upon arrival to Israel

ISRAEL
Jerusalem Postal

Fugitive Breslov rabbi Eliezer Berland, 79, was successfully extradited from South Africa to Israel on Tuesday morning, with the Israel police arresting him upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on suspicion of various sex offenses.

Berland has been wanted by the authorities since he fled the country in February 2013, and was arrested in South Africa in April this year, leading finally to his extradition back to Israel after a lengthy legal process.

Upon his arrest, police took the rabbi for questioning. Depending on the developments of the interrogation, police will ask for court approval of an extension of Berland's custody.

Berland, the leader of the Shuvu Banim community of the Breslov Hassidic sect, fled Israel after claims of sexual abuse were made against him by several women, including a 15-year-old girl.

He has since resided in Florida, Switzerland, Morocco, Holland, and Zimbabwe along with a band of devoted followers in his efforts to escape extradition to Israel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Mother and baby home survivors say their community is "torn in half" over inquiry terms

IRELAND
Journal

MOTHER AND BABY home survivors are to protest against the government’s commission of inquiry into the homes today.

The survivors are all part of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors (CMABS), and they will be lodging a formal complaint with the government over the fact some homes are not included in the inquiry.

Protest

The group will hold a short protest outside the Dáil before meeting at the commission of inquiry’s headquarters on Baggot St, where they will hand in the official complaint. They are expected to hold a picket outside the building.

They are also appealing for a legal team to take on their case pro bono so that they can undertake a judicial review of the inquiry.

They say that Northern Ireland’s comparable historical abuse inquiry is making Ireland “look ridiculous”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Survivors of mother and baby homes to picket Dáil today

IRELAND
Breaking News

The inquiry into mother and baby homes is to be picketed at 1.30pm today in Dublin by groups excluded from the investigation.

The Government has selected 14 individual institutions to be examined as part of the current inquiry.

The Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors (CMABS) said this means an estimated two-thirds of victims will be potentially excluded.

"The survivor community has been sliced in two by the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry and thousands have been excluded," the group stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

‘Singing priest’ who raped boy with crucifix jailed

IRELAND
Irish Times

Former “singing” priest Tony Walsh has been jailed for seven and half years for raping a boy three times, once with a crucifix.

Anthony Walsh (62) committed the offence at a time when the maximum penalty for this offence, then legally termed indecent assault, was two years. But Judge Elma Sheahan used her discretion to impose consecutive sentences.

The Criminal Law (Rape) Amendment 1990 increased the maximum penalty for sexually assaulting a child under 17 to 14 years.

He forced the child to have sex twice, once in the parochial house in his parish and on another occasion in a tunnel under the Phoenix Park. He also used a crucifix to rape the boy.

Walsh told the jury during the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last month that he never knew the boy and said he never assaulted him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Liberal German Church in Freefall, Study Shows

GERMANY
Breitbart

by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.
19 Jul 20161

A new report issued by the German bishops’ conference paints a dismal picture of a Church in steady decline according to every relevant indicator.

During the year 2015, a total of 181,925 people left the Catholic Church in Germany, while only 2,685 people became Catholic and 6,474 came back to Catholicism. This follows on the worst year in the German Catholicism’s modern history, when in 2014 the Church lost a total of 218,000 people.

Average church attendance in Germany has also suffered a precipitous decline in the last 20 years, down from 18.6 percent in 1995 to just 10.4 percent in 2015.

Participation in other sacraments has revealed a similar downward trend. Between 1995 and the present the number of baptisms in Germany has fallen by more than a third, from almost 260,000 babies baptized 20 years ago to just over 167,000 in 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Scottish priest who embezzled £100,000 wants Pope to release him from priesthood

SCOTLAND
Christian Today

James Macintyre 19 July 2016

A Scottish Catholic priest serving a ten month jail sentence for embezzling £100,000 of church money to fund an alleged gambling problem has apparently asked that Pope Francis allow him to quit the clergy.

Fr Graeme Bell was parish priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea church, known locally as St Mary's, in Saltcoats before being convicted of stealing from the Ayrshire parish between March and May 2015 after admitting to an online gambling problem.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard last month how Bell, 41, suffered from anxiety and depression which "reached a stage where he was not behaving as a law abiding individual".

Now, according to The Herald, the local bishop, William Nolan, has visited the congregation and informed parishioners that Bell has asked to leave the priesthood, a process known as laicisation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Former 'singing' priest who raped boy with crucifix jailed for over seven years

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sonya McLean
PUBLISHED
19/07/2016

Former “singing” priest Tony Walsh has been jailed for seven and half years for raping a boy three times, once with a crucifix.

Anthony Walsh (62) committed the offence at a time when the maximum penalty for this offence, then legally termed indecent assault, was two years.

But on Tuesday Judge Elma Sheahan used her discretion to impose consecutive sentences.

The Criminal Law (Rape) Amendment 1990 increased the maximum penalty for sexually assaulting a child under 17 to 14 years.

He forced the child to have sex twice, once in the parochial house in his parish and on another occasion in a tunnel under the Phoenix Park. He also used a crucifix to rape the boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Americans think statute of limitations laws should be applied equally

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Agency

Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Jul 18, 2016 / 03:54 pm (CNA).- By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans believe it is unfair to extend the statute of limitations regarding sex abuse cases for private institutions but not public ones.

A new national survey, which polled 1,009 adults in the U.S., was conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion July 5-12, 2016. It was sponsored by Catholic News Agency.

Participants were asked if they think it is fair or not fair to allow people more time to come forward and sue a private school or institution, but not if they claim abuse from a public one.

Statute of limitations laws limit the amount of time in which a lawsuit may be filed.

Efforts have been made in some states to change the statute of limitations in order to allow more time for people who say they were sexually abused as children to come forward. In some of these cases – including New York and Pennsylvania – the longer time period would apply to private organizations but not to public schools or government institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Fugitive Rabbi Wanted for Sex Crimes Extradited to Israel

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Yair Ettinger and Yaniv Kubovich Jul 19, 2016

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, leader of the Shuvu Banim community, was extradited from South Africa and arrested after he landed in Israel on Tuesday, on suspicion of perpetrating sexual abuse and harassment, Israel Police said.

Hundreds of Berland supporters, many of whom were in their cars, were waiting outside the airport for the police van containing Berland.

Berland's extradition marks the end of an international saga that began when he fled Israel more than three years ago after he was suspected of a number of sex crimes against women, namely in his community.

Followers of the rabbi said a group of them accompanied him on an El Al flight from Johannesburg.

"Rabbi Eliezer Berland's extradition on suspicion of sex crimes has been completed," police said in a statement. "After a continuous effort, the Israel Police arrested Rabbi Eliezer Berland, wanted for some time for investigation on suspicion of perpetrating sexual abuse and harassment," a police statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Survivors' group recommends high-profile lawyers to take on chairing of child abuse inquiry

SCOTLAND
The National

JULY 19TH, 2016 JANICE BURNS

SURVIVORS have written to Deputy First Minister recommending three big names to replace the former chair of Scotland’s controversial child abuse inquiry.

In Care Abuse Survivors (INCAS), which represents the largest number of survivors in Scotland, has asked John Swinney to consider giving the job to leading English human rights barrister Michael Mansfield, or Scottish lawyers Lord Malcolm or Lord McEwan.

Earlier this month, the inquiry’s former chair Susan O’Brien QC resigned after formal proceedings were launched to remove her following claims she made comments that were offensive to survivors.

Panel member Professor Michael Lamb had stepped down just days before, saying the review was “doomed’’ due to interference by Scottish Government ministers.

Education Minister Swinney then met with child abuse survivors after saying they had lost faith in the inquiry. He denied claims of interference from ministers, said he was “utterly committed to an independent inquiry” and agreed to consider expanding the remit of the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Bendigo church screens documentary about childhood sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

Mark KearneyMark Kearney
@mnkearney

19 Jul 2016

A documentary detailing the pain endured by survivors of sexual abuse will screen at a Bendigo church on Wednesday night.

Epsom Community Church will show Humble Hope, a film featuring the stories of nine people who were victims of sexual assault in their childhood.

It also explains the role religion has played in their recovery.

Survivor Mark Stiles, who was interviewed for the film, will appear at the screening on Wednesday.

Mr Stiles was abused by Salvation Army officers while living at Gill Memorial Boys’ Home in Goulburn, New South Wales, in the early 1970s, crimes he has recounted to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

He hoped the film could help ease other survivors’ suffering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Phillips Exeter official 'brought to tears' by alumni messages regarding sexual misconduct

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Union Leader

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

EXETER – The president of the trustees at Phillips Exeter Academy says she’s been brought to tears by many of the messages received from alumni in the wake of an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct on campus.

In a message to alumni posted on Facebook last Thursday, Eunice Panetta said trustees were grateful to those who were speaking up.

The school administration has faced harsh criticism from many alumni who claim officials mishandled sexual abuse claims for years.

“We hear your criticisms, and we sincerely welcome your involvement, particularly that of our most recent graduates, who can shed the most light on what our current students may experience. We will organize ways for you to share your stories, your views, and your suggestions. I have already received scores of passionate, thoughtful, and constructive messages from Exonians of all generations, many of which have brought me to tears,” Panetta’s message said in part.

Her statement came on the same day that alumni revealed publicly that an open letter to trustees had been signed by hundreds threatening to withhold financial support for the academy and demanding the board take action to address sexual misconduct issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Kendall House Victim Speaks To Heart News

UNITED KINGDOM
Heart

19th July 2016, 00:01

Teresa Cooper, who has waived her right to anonymity, says she was regularly drugged and sexually abused during the time she was at Kendall House and has been campaigning for years for the truth about what happened there to come to light.

Last week an independent review said the Church of England girls home was a "toxic and destructive'' environment, and revealed the scale of sexual abuse, ill-treatment and physical abuse at the site between 1967 and 1986.

It disclosed how girls as young as 11 were routinely, and often without medical assessment, given powerful anti-depressants, sedatives and anti-psychotic drugs.

Those that resisted, challenged or overcame the drugs' effects faced sanctions, including being locked alone in a room for days on end or emotionally abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Family files lawsuit against East Austin pastor accused of sex assault

TEXAS
Statesman

An ousted former pastor who is criminally charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child is now responsible for a lawsuit brought against his former East Austin church.

A mother who says her daughter was molested by former Rev. Henry Lee McGee is suing McGee, his wife and First Baptist Church on Heflin Lane. The mother says McGee, now 69, sexually molested her daughter beginning when she was 13 in June 2014 until October last year.

“Church administrators were suspicious of the relationship between Pastor McGee and the minor and approached him, but failed to report the abuse,” the lawsuit says.

When reached Monday, the church’s current pastor Rev. James Limuel, who knows McGee, declined to comment because he said he had not yet seen the lawsuit. Limuel said McGee was voted out as pastor of the church last fall. Round Rock police arrested McGee, who lives in Round Rock, in December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

East Austin Parish Sued After Sexual Assault Of Child Charges Alleged

TEXAS
Patch

By Tony Cantu (Patch Staff) - July 19, 2016

EAST AUSTIN, TX -- The family of am alleged sexual abuse victim is suing an East Austin church after allegations surfaced a pastor there had sex with a teen parishioner, according to published reports.

A mother claiming her daughter was molested by former Rev. Henry Lee McGee is now suing him, his wife and First Baptist Church stemming from the allegations. The woman said McGee, 69, had sex with her daughter starting when she was 13 two years ago until October of last year, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

According to the lawsuit: “Church administrators were suspicious of the relationship between Pastor McGee and the minor and approached him, but failed to report the abuse.” The alleged victim now has suffers "severe emotional distress and mental anguish" as a result, the lawsuit continues.

A parish spokesman declined comment when reached by the Statesman, and an attorney for McGee said his client vehemently denies the allegations. The church is located in the 4800 block of Heflin Lane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

July 18, 2016

One Nation's likely NSW Senator Brian Burston slams the Catholic priest who 'destroyed my marriage'

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

JOANNE McCARTHY
19 Jul 2016

BRIAN Burston was distraught and desperate in July, 1992 when he wrote a letter about his wife and a priest to one of the Hunter region’s most senior Catholic clergymen.

Pauline Hanson’s future One Nation Senate colleague had three young children in 1992, his marriage was on the rocks and the man he blamed – the now convicted Catholic child sex offender priest David O’Hearn – was unmoved by appeals or anger.

“Through his deliberate deception, Father David O’Hearn has almost certainly put an end to my marriage,” Mr Burston wrote to the then Monsignor Allan Hart, in a letter warning that he “feared for others” because O’Hearn’s “words and actions are in total conflict with the teachings of our faith”.

Mr Burston and his former wife Yvonne now agree O’Hearn used his relationship with her – which was close but not sexual – as a cover for his child sex offending. He was just one of a number of Hunter paedophile priests, including Vince Ryan and Denis McAlinden, who used very public friendships with women to hide their crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Judge dismisses priest's defamation suit against Baton Rouge TV station

LOUISIANA
The Advocate

BY JOE GYAN JR | JGYAN@THEADVOCATE.COM JUL 18, 2016

A state judge Monday dismissed a Catholic priest's defamation lawsuit against a Baton Rouge television station over its reporting of a long-running court case involving the secrecy of the confessional and allegations of sexual abuse against a now-deceased church parishioner.

The Rev. Jeff Bayhi contends WBRZ-TV defamed him in a graphic that stated "woman claims priest abused her at age 14" and "priest died while authorities were investigating."

The graphic accompanied a January 2015 news report about the woman, Rebecca Mayeux; the deceased parishioner, George Charlet Jr.; and her pastor, Bayhi.

One of WBRZ's attorneys argued last month before state District Judge Wilson Fields that the verbal news report was "completely accurate" and that the station corrected the graphic at the end of the newscast. The graphic did not include Bayhi's name.

The lawyer, Sharonda Williams, acknowledged at the June 20 hearing that the station made an error but did not do so with malice toward Bayhi.

"That does not rise to the level of actual malice," she argued in asking Fields, of Baton Rouge, to throw out the priest's defamation claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Lawmaker, a clergy abuse victim, protests legislative inaction from cathedral steps

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITER

Standing with others who had been abused by Catholic clergy, State Rep. Mark Rozzi hurled stacks of grand jury reports onto the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on Monday, and loudly vowed to continue trying to change Pennsylvania law so victims like himself can file suit in decades-old cases.

Stoking a legislative fight over the civil statute of limitations, the Berks County Democrat pledged to rewrite a pending House bill to include a two-year window in which any adult of any age could sue private institutions and individuals for abuse that occurred when they were children.

"For over 50 years, this institution, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and its leadership, the archbishops, and in fact all Roman Catholic dioceses across the state of Pennsylvania believed they were above the law, that they didn't have to abide by our laws," Rozzi said, shouting. "And now, they hide behind our laws."

His version would be more favorable to victims than that passed by the House in April. Under pressure from church and insurance lobbyists, the Senate unanimously voted last month to strip it of language that would have allowed people up to age 50 to sue for past abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Hon: Decisions ‘may be far from perfect’ but geared towards unity

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News 2:51 a.m. ChST July 19, 2016

The archbishop named by the Vatican to temporarily oversee the administration of the Catholic Church in Guam said Sunday that his actions and decisions “may be far from perfect” but are geared toward promoting unity in the church, among other things.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai has been in Guam for more than five weeks since Pope Francis appointed him on June 6 to temporarily replace Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, while sex abuse allegations involving Apuron are investigated.

To date, the Vatican hasn’t released any details about an investigation relating to Apuron, who’s been accused publicly of sexually abusing four altar boys in the 1970s when he was parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Agat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Changes come to Boston archdiocese leadership

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Andy Rosen GLOBE STAFF JULY 18, 2016

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston on Monday announced a set of appointments and changes affecting church leadership, parishes, and institutions around the region.

The moves follow the announcement last month that Pope Francis had named two new auxiliary bishops. Bishops-elect Robert Reed and Mark O’Connell are set to be ordained Aug. 24 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley announced the appointments Monday, citing “the ongoing work of responding to the pastoral and ministerial needs of our Catholic family.”

“We are pleased that these gifted priests and religious have accepted the call to these new assignments,” O’Malley said in a statement. “We are blessed by their commitment to bring the spiritual and corporal works of mercy to the people we serve, through the vision established in Disciples in Mission.”

Reed will become regional bishop for the archdiocese’s West Region after he is ordained. He will also become the pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Wayland starting Sept. 21, O’Malley announced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

State Rep. Mark Rozz at news conference outside Philadelphia cathedral

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

By David Mekeel
PHILADELPHIA, PA

State Rep. Mark Rozzi took the fight right to his opponent's doorstep Monday.

A Muhlenberg Township Democrat, Rozzi was part of a news conference and rally at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

The event was designed to support victims of child sexual abuse and criticize the Catholic Church for its opposition to measures expanding victims' rights.

The news conference was spurred by the recent passage by the state Senate of a bill overhauling Pennsylvania's child sex abuse laws, as well as the suicide of victim and victim rights advocate Brian Gergely earlier this month.

The legislation was stripped of a key provision crafted by Rozzi that would have allowed victims to pursue claims for abuses that occurred decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

The RCA fails to protect our children – month 8

UNITED STATES
ProtectJewishKids.com

This now marks the eighth month since I began contacting Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Council of America by phone and email. I asked Rabbi Dratch to address the numerous areas in which I believe that the RCA has done little or nothing to protect Jewish children from the rampant sexual abuse found in Orthodox communities throughout the world.

The RCA is the world’s largest rabbinical organization with over 1,000 members who are rabbis in 18 countries. The RCA has close ties to the Orthodox Union, Yeshiva University, the Beth Din of America and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Thousands of parents assume that their rabbis are doing everything necessary to make our summer camps, synagogues, Jewish schools, yeshivas and mikvas safe for our children. They couldn’t be more mistaken.

When I first discussed Orthodox child sexual abuse with Rabbi Dratch 8 months ago, he told me that this was an issue that is close to his heart. I asked him to take the following 3 steps that would greatly help to protect Orthodox children from sexual abuse:

I asked him to implement and enforce the 4 separate sets of child safety resolutions that the RCA has adopted over the last 23 years. I don’t know of a single rabbi or Orthodox institution that has implemented or enforced these resolutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Child sexual-abuse victims and their supporters protest outside Basilica in Philadelphia

PENNSYLVANIA
PhillyVoice

BY BRIAN HICKEY
PhillyVoice Staff

Monday could have been the day that clergy sex-abuse victim John-Michael Delaney finally got decades of frustration off his chest during a private meeting with Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput.

But in the days since Delaney told PhillyVoice of that meeting – something he’d avoided for decades on account of “not being able to be in the same room as a priest” – officials told the victim of one of the “archdiocese’s most brutal abusers” that the meeting was off.

Delaney said it was payback for going public; an archdiocesan spokesman said the meeting “will take place in due time provided all the parameters [of privacy] are respected.”

That didn’t sit too well with Delaney, who flew up from Tennessee this weekend to speak at a Monday afternoon press conference on the sidewalk outside of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on Logan Circle.

There, abuse victims railed against the church’s opposition to House Bill 1947, which proposed an extension of statutes of limitation dictating how long they had to file complaints against their alleged abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Warrant: Youth pastor arrested, accused of child sex assault

TEXAS
KENS

SAN ANTONIO -- A youth pastor was arrested and accused of child sexual assault, according to an arrest warrant from the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Edgar Gonzalez, 24, is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl. According to the warrant, he was her youth pastor at one time.

A deputy reportedly spoke with the victim last week. BCSO said she reported that Gonzalez texted her to meet up for sex after communicating with him for 2-3 weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Full parole for former priest, 4 years into 11 year sentence

CANADA
CBC News

By Jeremy Eaton, CBC News Posted: Jul 18, 2016

A former Roman Catholic priest on Newfoundland's west coast who pleaded guilty to abusing more than a dozen boys between the ages of eight and 13 has been granted full parole after serving just over a third of his sentence.

George Ansel Smith was sentenced in March 2013 to 11 years in jail, with credit for a year spent in custody, after pleading guilty to 23 counts of indecent assault, 7 counts of sexual assault and 8 counts of assault with intent.

The majority of his offences happened in communities around western Newfoundland between 1969 and 1989.

"Mr. Smith's crimes are serious, involve more victims, and result in more convictions than any of the offenders from the Mount Cashel Orphanage cases," said Supreme Court Judge William Goodridge at the time of sentencing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

US dollars lead the Vatican’s pack in ‘moral accounting’

ITALY
Crux

John L. Allen Jr.July 17, 2016
EDITOR

The Italian Church netted $1.3 billion from its share of income taxes that go to religious groups, according to the latest annual data, while in Germany the figure is a staggering $6 billion. That means German and Italian support for the Vatican is inflated by tax dollars, while American offerings come from voluntary contributions.

Last week the Italian government released its latest data on the distribution of annual income tax proceeds, covering the year 2012. The results show that the Catholic Church netted a little over $1.3 billion from what’s known as the otto per mille (“eight per thousand”) system.

Under Italian law, 0.8 percent of everyone’s income tax is devoted either to support of one of the organized religions recognized by the state or to a government-run social assistance program. In a country where distrust of government is pervasive, roughly 80 percent of taxpayers who express a preference each year choose a religion, and the lion’s share goes to the Catholic Church.

Moreover, the law says that for those taxpayers who fail to designate a choice, their 0.8 percent will be allocated on the basis of the shares created by those who did, meaning that the Church gets the bulk of that money too. That’s hugely significant, given that in 2012 almost 55 percent of taxpayers didn’t express an option.

The total yearly haul for the Church for some time now has been north of $1 billion. It’s often erroneously reported that the money goes to “the Vatican,” but that’s not the case - it goes to the Italian bishops. They put out a breakdown each year of where it goes, with the largest line items being clergy salaries and pastoral operations.

Italy is not the only country to have some version of a “church tax.” Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Austria and Germany all have such a national system, and some cantons in Switzerland also have a local version.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Zeitung: Kardinal Müller Kandidat für Mainzer Bischofssitz

VATICAN CITY
kath.net

[A media report states that Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (71) is set to take over management of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Herald, a Malaysian Catholic weekly, has suggested that CDF Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller (68) will move to the Mainz archdiocese to replace Cardinal Karl Lehmann, who has resigned due to age..]

Medienbericht: Im Gegenzug solle der Wiener Kardinal Christoph Schönborn (71) in den Vatikan wechseln und dort die Leitung der Glaubenskongregation übernehmen

Kuala Lumpur (kath.net/KNA) Nach Darstellung der in Malaysia erscheinenden katholischen Wochenzeitung «Herald» plant Papst Franziskus personelle Veränderungen innerhalb der Kurie. Demnach könnte der bisherige Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation, Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller (68), den seit dem altersbedingten Rücktritt von Kardinal Karl Lehmann vakanten Bischofsposten in Mainz besetzen. Im Gegenzug solle der Wiener Kardinal Christoph Schönborn (71) in den Vatikan wechseln und dort die Leitung der Glaubenskongregation übernehmen, berichtete das Blatt am Wochenende unter Berufung auf «gut informierte Vatikanquellen» auf seiner Internetseite.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Wie eine bürokratische Kirche sexuelle Gewalt in ihren Reihen verhindern will

DEUTSCHLAND
Feinschwarz

[A bureaucratic church wants to prevent sexual violence in their ranks.]

Die Missbrauchsskandale haben (nicht nur) die katholische Kirche erschüttert. Eine Folge davon ist eine höhere Sensibilisierung für das Thema – aber auch entsprechende Maßnahmen, um Missbrauch zu verhindern. Stefan Gärtner (Tilburg) schaut sich kritisch ein Feld des Umgangs mit Kindern an – die Vorbereitung auf die Erstkommunion. Vor allem hinterfragt er die gegenwärtige bürokratische Reaktion auf ihre Angemessenheit.

Das Erschrecken über die Fälle sexueller Gewalt gegenüber Kindern und Jugendlichen sitzt der Kirche bis heute in den Gliedern. Die Missbrauchsskandale offenbarten „eine große Norm-Praxis-Kluft im innersten (klerikalen) Bereich und am sensibelsten Ort heutiger Beziehungsrealitäten, den Kindern“.[1] Das tastet die Glaubwürdigkeit insbesondere des Lehramts an.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Kein Missbrauchsverfahren gegen Priester in Horstmar

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR

[No abuse cases against priests in Horstmar.]

Die Staatsanwaltschaft Münster hat Ermittlungen gegen einen Priester, der in Horstmar tätig war, eingestellt. Ihm war vorgeworfen worden, ein Kind sexuell belästigt zu haben. Ein strafbares Verhalten war nicht nachzuweisen, so der Staatsanwalt.

Was genau dem Priester vorgeworfen worden war, ist nicht bekannt. Münsters Bischof Felix Genn hatte den aus Nigeria stammenden Geistlichen im Februar beurlaubt. Die Missbrauchs-Kommission des Bistums leitete den Fall an die Staatsanwaltschaft weiter. Bistumssprecher Stephan Kronenburg sprach damals davon, dass der 48-Jährige "im vergangenen Jahr sexuell intendierte Handlungen an einem Kind vorgenommen" haben soll.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Ehrliche Aufklärung geht anders

DEUTSCHLAND
Saabruecker Zeitung

Von Matthias Zimmermann, 16. Juli 2016

Kindesmissbrauch in der Kirche – ein harter Vorwurf. Drei Aspekte sind bei der gründlichen Aufklärung unabdingbar: Die Unschuldsvermutung gilt, bis Richter anders entscheiden. Zweitens: Aussagewillige mutmaßliche Opfer dürfen keine Repressalien fürchten, weil in der Kirche nicht sein kann, was nicht sein darf. Und: Hinweisgeber, denen es um die Wahrheit geht, sind von Denunzianten, die unliebsame Menschen kaltstellen wollen, zu unterscheiden. Das muss auch bei Ermittlungen gegen einen ehemaligen Freisener Pastor uneingeschränkt gelten. Diese Woche ging's Involvierten des Trierer Bistums und der betroffenen Pfarrei weniger um Aufklärung. Vielmehr sollte ein Hinweisgeber enttarnt werden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

One woman's journey out of child sex abuse helps reform Massachusetts child sex crimes law

MASSACHUSETTS
PennLive

By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

A highway exit sign triggered the flood of memories.

Rosanne Sliney was 24 years old when the sight of the exit sign unleashed a tide of memories long repressed: Her uncle sexually abusing her in his car.

She was 5. He was her mother's brother, a beloved member of a large Italian-American family from Massachusetts, her godfather.

Roseanne Sliney was 5 years old in 1968 when her uncle began sexually molesting her. The abuse would continue for 10 years. Her story helped tip the Massachusetts Legislature in favor of reforming the statute of limitations.
Submitted

That one trigger brought back the years of abuse, the pain, shame and guilt. Her uncle did unspeakable things to the young girl – in his home, his car, his business. Rumors long circulated among her relatives, but no adult – not family member, teacher or coach – sounded the alarm. Sliney endured the horror in silence for nearly 10 years, retreating from her school studies and the conventions of teen life.

The flood of memories prompted Sliney to confront her predator. He in turn sent her a letter of apology filled with anguished remorse for what he had done. He had mistaken "sex" for love, he wrote, and had asked God for forgiveness.

Nearly two decades would pass before Sliney worked up the nerve to take the next step: In 2012 she filed a lawsuit against him. Her decision would splinter her family, but she could have little imagined that it would tip the effort to overhaul Massachusetts law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Lawyer calls for police to investigate former Archbishop over sex abuse bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 18 July 2016

A lawyer is calling for Lord Carey to be investigated following the release of files by police under a freedom of information request, according to The Times.

The files include detailed Church of England internal reviews of the case of disgraced bishop Peter Ball, 84, jailed for 32 month last October after pleading guilty to misconduct in public office and indecent assaults on 18 young men between 1977 and 1992.

According to the files, Lambeth Palace received six letters after Ball was cautioned in 1992 revealing that he encouraged victims to pray naked, perform sex acts in front of him and share his bed.

He received a caution in 1993 for gross indecency, after he had been made Bishop of Gloucester in 1992. He resigned as bishop yet was still allowed to return to ministry, even though the Church knew there were other survivors who had come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Germany: Steep decline in Catholic church attendance

GERMANY
Christian Today

James Macintyre 18 July 2016

Almost 200,000 Catholics left the Church in Germany last year, according to figures which show an ongoing, steady decline in church attendance in that country.

There are 23.7 million Catholics in Germany, comprising 29 per cent of the population of 80 million, making Catholicism the largest religious group. But figures released at the end of last week by the German Bishops' Conference show that in 2015, a total of 181,925 people left the Church, while 2,685 people became Catholic, and 6,474 reverted to Catholicism.

When compared to the official statistics of 20 years ago, average church attendance is down from 18.6 per cent in 1995 to 10.4 per cent in 2015, while the number of baptisms has declined by more than a third, from almost 260,000 in 1995 to just over 167,000 in 2015.

The decline in marriages is even steeper, with 86,456 couples marrying in church 21 years ago, and almost half that number – 44,298 couples – tying the knot in church last year.

Despite the figures, the head of the conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising described the Church as a continuing "strong force, whose message is heard and accepted".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Submissions published on institutional responses to child sexual abuse in out-of-home care

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Respones to Child Sexual Abuse

18 July, 2016

The Royal Commission has published 55 submissions received from service providers, peak bodies, advocacy groups, statutory bodies, government agencies and academics in response to its consultation paper on out-of-home care.

The consultation paper, which was released in March this year, sought input into ways to better prevent, report and respond to child sexual abuse in out-of-home care.

Out-of-home care includes children living with foster, relative and kinship carers and in residential care homes.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said that information from over 4,000 private sessions conducted by Commissioners with survivors of child sexual abuse indicated that children who grew up in a care setting, both historical and current, comprised the largest category of institutions identified as places where abuse took place.

“Over 40 per cent of individuals who attended private sessions said they were sexually abused as a child in out-of-home care, such as in former children’s homes and in foster care”, he said.

Mr Reed said that of the 43,000 children currently in out-of-home care across Australia, many have had prior exposure to significant trauma, domestic violence, abuse and neglect and as such, are a particularly vulnerable group.

“Children in care have a right to live in a safe and nurturing environment. We are concerned that the current out-of-home care system does not adequately protect children from sexual abuse, nor consistently respond as well as it should when abuse occurs.”

The paper sought views on the adequacy of screening checks, assessment and training of carers as well as feedback on data collection, information sharing, prevention and support services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Church protests continue in Hagåtña

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

Protests continued at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica yesterday, July 17 as more than 40 combined members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam (CCOG), Laity Forward Movement (LFM) and Silent No More groups gathered once again on the front steps to show their continued resolve. While each group started with different, but related agendas, developments in the child sex-abuse scandal has led to a unified front with the desire to see Archbishop Anthony Apuron defrocked.

"We are using this public forum as a way to get our message out that we are serious, that we are active and that we are putting words and prayers into action. If you want to know what our issues are, just come out here," said Vanjie Lujan of CCOG.

Continuing mission

According to group members, as inaction and platitudes continue to be the only things out of the archdiocese, members of the various laity groups have continued in their mission to press for meaningful dialogue and steps toward addressing their concerns. With little power themselves, the groups are using the only outlet available them.

"We are not trying to confuse the issue. I feel like we do it here, at our mother church, because this is the head – the example that should be set for how we should be acting as Christians," Lujan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Message from the Apostolic Administrator, 16th Sunday Ordinary Time, July 17, 2016

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

The past Tuesday July 12, I had the privilege to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the martyrdom of Father Jesus Baza Dueñas at St Joseph’s Church, Inarajan. Before beginning the Holy Eucharist, I paused a moment in front of the picture of this priest, who died heroically at the age of 33 – the age of Our Lord.

My thought went back to the time of the 2nd World War. When the invaders came to Guam, Fr. Dueñas stood up fearlessly to defend the oppressed and spoke up against all sort of abuses inflicted by the ruthless marauders. Later accused of treason against the Japanese imperial regime, he was arrested in Inarajan on July 8, 1944 and brutally tortured, together with his nephew, Eduardo Camacho Dueñas. He could have escaped, but not wanting any eventual punishment by the Japanese soldiers against his family or other innocent people, he decided to stay upfront. It was for the people he cared and loved that he paid a high price of torture and decapitation.

Ever since then, he has become a remarkable figure in Guam history and in that of the Local Church. He was the 2nd Chamorro to be ordained a Catholic Priest and, at the time of his martyrdom, he was the first Chamorro cleric to be appointed as the Ecclesiastical Superior of the Church (Pro-Vicar) on Guam. In those difficult years of turmoil and fear, he was considered a good shepherd. He spread hope by words and deeds, and at the end laid down his life for his sheep.

Fr. Dueñas is an inspiring example for all pastors, priests and Bishops. The love of Christ was his strength and reward. For love, and not hatred, his life was offered to God and to His people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Archbishop Hon provides Catholics with status updates

GUAM
KUAM

Jul 17, 2016

By Krystal Paco

He's now been on the job for five weeks as Guam's interim archbishop and in the latest issue of Umatuna Si Yu'os gives local Catholics a progress report of his work. According to the Catholic newspaper of the Agana Archdiocese, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai says his work starts with the clergy, and he is doing so with canonical visitations in the parish and seminaries.

From there, he will extend to all Catholics on the island. "My actions and decision may be far from perfect, but are sure motivated jointly by solidarity, good will, and a profound sense of the unity of the church. I continue to invite you to pray and walk towards the goal of healing, reconciliation, and unity in the archdiocese," he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Protesting Catholics question Archbishop Hon's leadership

GUAM
KUAM

Jul 17, 2016
By Krystal Paco

Dozens of the island's Catholics are voicing their disappointment with apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai. On Sunday morning, picketers continued their ongoing protest to have Archbishop Anthony Apuron defrocked...and now they've also added signs depicting Hon.

Among the picketers was Terry Untalan from the Santa Barbara parish in Dededo, who said, "We have an apostolic administrator who does not appear to be doing much to be solving these problems. He can order us to just get together and be nice to each other but without exposing the truth and taking care of these problems that are endemic in our society, I don't think he's got any hope of unifying us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Plymouth Brethren starts defamation against The Age

AUSTRALIA
The Austrlralian

JULY 18, 2016

Chris Merritt
Legal Affairs Editor
Sydney

After being on the receiving end of almost a decade of adverse coverage by a reporter at The Age, a small Christian Church has launched defamation proceedings and released a letter to Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon that raises questions about the newspaper’s methods.

Plymouth Brethren Christian Church launched the proceedings after Fairfax Media’s Good Weekend magazine published a cover story last month alleging a cover-up of sexual abuse within the church.

The church is suing Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd, The Age Company Pty Ltd and The Age’s investigations editor, Michael Bachelard, who has written more than 50 articles about the church as well as a book.

Statements of claim filed last week in the NSW Supreme Court indicate the church is effectively daring Fairfax to prove it engaged in an institutional cover-up of child sexual abuse.

This is where the decentralised structure of the Plymouth Brethren, formerly known as the Exclusive Brethren, could complicate the task confronting Fairfax Media. This church says it has no clergy and consists of autonomous assemblies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

"CALIFORNIA SENATE-PASSED BILL COULD BECOME NATIONAL MODEL FOR YOUTH TO SUE CHURCH LATER FOR SEX ABUSE," assert former White House Spokesman Robert Weiner & Senior Religion Policy Analyst Katie Schulze

CALIFORNIA
PRNewswire

Op-ed in The Press-Enterprise, San Bernardino County Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

CHINO, Calif., July 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former White House spokesman Robert Weiner and Katie Schulze, Robert Weiner Associates' Senior Religion Policy Analyst, have spotlighted a California Senate-passed bill that "could become a national model law" to extend the time youth can sue the Church for sex abuse. They wrote an op-ed titled, "Sen. Leyva's (D-Chino) bill would protect child victims of sex abuse" published in The Press-Enterprise, San Bernardino County Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. The article supports the Justice for Victims Act, which would allow child victims of sexual assault to press criminal charges against their perpetrator later in life when they are mature and have the courage to do so. The authors contend that the bill would help end the "Catholic Church's ongoing cover-up of sexual abuse" and urge Assembly passage and Governor Jerry Brown's signature.

Weiner and Schulze say that Senator Connie M. Leyva's (D-Chino) bill, SB 813, has already passed the State Senate and is on track towards becoming law. They urge legislators to prioritize this "important" bill to ensure it "maintains its momentum and is passed by the Assembly in August before its adjournment for the year."

They go on to explain that despite the admirable bill, the "Catholic Church has lobbied extensively to block extension of the statute of limitations and to ensure the perpetrator is able to go unscathed." Senator Leyva is cited explaining how her bill "would simply offer victims additional time to come to terms with the horrible crime committed against them."

The authors criticize Governor Jerry Brown for vetoing a similar piece of legislation in 2013: The Child Victim's Act. They state "The Catholic Conference, which lobbies on behalf of the Catholic Church, has spent over $2 million on lobbying efforts to kill various versions of a similar Child Victims Act in New York's Legislature this past decade. If the Justice for Victims Act becomes law, court costs would be 'devastating for the life of the church,' stated Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Catholic Church's archbishop of New York."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Church sex attacks revealed by West Mercia Police

UNITED KINGDOM
Shropshire Star

Figures released by West Mercia Police, which covers Shropshire, Herefordshire, and Worcestershire, show that between 2013 and 2015, 10 sexual offences had been reported as having taken place in a church, six in a cemetery or graveyard, three in an abbey, two in a chapel and one in a mosque.

Offences reported included rape, rape of a female aged 13, 14 or 15, rape of a female child under 13, rape of a male aged 13, 14 or 15, sexual activity with a female aged 13, 14 or 15, sexual assault on a female, sexual assault on a male, sexual assault of a female aged 13 or over, sexual assault of a female child under 13, sexual assault on a male child under 13, causing or inciting sexual activity with a male child aged 13, engaging in sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15 and exposure.

Michael Davie, church warden at St Michael’s Church in West Felton, labelled the figures – released after a Freedom of Information request – as “disturbing” but said safeguarding was a priority of the Church of England.

He said: “Matters like this have to be taken very seriously.

“The Diocese of Lichfield is the central body which deals with the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults, and they insist that anyone who takes a service or deals with children must be DBS checked, formerly CRB checks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Ex-priest sentenced to 15 years in prison on abuse charges

PUERTO RICO
Crux

Wallice J. de la Vega
July 17, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico - A former priest from the Diocese of Mayaguez in Puerto Rico, who originally faced two felony charges of improper sexual behavior, was sentenced on one of those charges July 14.

Then-Father Floyd McCoy Jordan, 65, served as vicar of the Basilica of Our Lady of Montserrat in Hormigueros at the time of the complaint.

“McCoy Jordan was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being unanimously found guilty by a jury last June for committing lewd acts against a 14-year-old minor from 2013-2014 in the municipality of Hormigueros,” read a June 14 press release from the Puerto Rico Department of Justice.

The original second charge, reportedly related to having “improperly touched private parts” of a 19-year-old, was dismissed at the March preliminary hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

July 17, 2016

Irish Catholic Church ‘trying to dump’ sex abuse priests on State

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Two of America’s leading Catholic child protection advocates have strongly opposed suggestions by the church that care of laicised priests convicted of child abuse ought, in certain circumstances, to be a State responsibility.

It follows an interview in which Teresa Devlin, chief executive of the Irish Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog – its National Board for Safeguarding Children – said “once you know he is guilty, then you do have to cut the ties, you cannot continue to pay for someone, and at some stage the State has to take over with pensions.

“We are still talking about those people in their 60s because most of this abuse did happen around the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, so we’re talking older people,” she said.

Last month new child protection guidance standards were published by the board where it stated: “If the respondent is not the responsibility of the church authority, the church authority must inform the statutory authorities, and the process of involvement (by the church) in relation to safeguarding ends.”

‘Heinous crimes’

US lawyer and former Benedictine monk Patrick Wall said his take on it “is that they are looking to dump all their criminals on the public”.

He said that the church “selected, hired, trained, supervised and turned these perpetrators loose where they committed heinous crimes against children leaving permanent scars that continue to impact survivors and their families. The church ought to reap what they sowed”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Montclair church takes legal aim Newark archbishop | Di Ionno

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Mark Di Ionno | The Star-Ledger

The small band of protesters was dwarfed by the soaring twin bell towers of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

They didn't take up much space on the grand and expansive entrance way, graced by Pope John Paul II in 1995.

And they didn't have much of an audience, either. Sunday Masses at one of North America's most ornate and imposing cathedrals don't draw like they used to.

The irony wasn't lost on the people from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (OLMC) in Montclair, who came to the Archdiocese of Newark's cathedral last Sunday to protest the closing of their little neighborhood church.

"We get more people at Mass than they do," said Marguerite De Carlo. "Why don't they shut this down?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Fr Fagan was a ‘brilliant thinker’ who was ‘broken’ by Rome, McAleese says

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

The late Fr Seán Fagan had his “heart and spirit” broken by the Vatican in the years before he died, former President of Ireland Mary McAleese has said.

“His long and illustrious priestly career was blighted in latter years by being silenced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” she said.

Marist priest and theologian Fr Fagan died at St Vincent’s hospital in Dublin last Friday.

Widely admired and respected as a courageous theologian and compassionate pastor, he had been ill for some time. ...

“A brilliant theologian and thinker who brought great distinction to Ireland, his long and illustrious priestly career was blighted in latter years by being silenced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. His heart and spirit were broken but his fidelity to the Church and quiet acceptance of such an unjust fate won him even more admirers,” she said. “When, thanks to Pope Francis, the CDF finally restored him to good standing in 2014 it was a case of too little too late. A great and good man’s life and his life’s work had been ruined. Anyone wishing to comprehend the collapse of the Catholic intellectual tradition need only examine Seán Fagan’s tragic story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Pastor of catholic church speaks out following assistant director's arrest

ALABAMA
WTVM

[with video]

By Leah Jordan, Reporter

MADISON, AL (WAFF) -
Church members are still in shock after a church employee was arrested on child pornography charges. John Martin has since been fired from his position as Assistant Director for the Parish Religious Education Program.

"It's a rude awakening. You can never be certain," Father Phil O’Kennedy, Pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, said.

After Martin’s arrest, an important first step for the church was researching when Martin had been in contact with children.

"You look at most the folks here and they're grownups. They know the big, bad world as well as I do; they don't need help from me on how to handle it,” O’Kennedy said. “The worry for all of us is our youth and our children.”

O'Kennedy said Martin had been around youth only a couple of times – one of those times just last week when he was a driver and chaperone for a youth ministry trip to Atlanta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Laicos de Osorno irrumpen en misa en honor a Virgen del Carmen dirigida por obispo Barros

CHILE
Bio Bio

[About 30 lay people from Osorno entered a church where a traditional Mass held in celebration of the Virgin Mary because the Mass was led by Juan Barros, the embattled bishops of that diocese. The Mass is attended by various local authorities, including those from the civilian world and the armed forces. Mario Vargas, spokesman for the lay group, said the Mass is to celebrate the patron saint of Child and it is inconceivable that a person like Barros would preside.]

En la Parroquia del Carmen en Osorno se realizó la tradicional misa en celebración en el día de la Virgen que precisamente lleva dicho nombre. A la instancia asistieron diversas autoridades locales, entre el mundo civil y de las Fuerzas de Armadas, misa que fue dirigida por el cuestionado obispo de la diócesis de Osorno, Juan Barros.

Al lugar se dirigieron una treintena de personas, pertenecientes a la agrupación de laicos de Osorno, para manifestar su descontento contra el obispo de la ciudad, y exigiendo que se retire de sus funciones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

“Vatileaks 2” Trial: Pope Francis’ Folly

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on July 17, 2016 by Betty Clermont

The new pope enacted a law criminalizing leaks of detrimental information to the press. Nevertheless, two books were going to be published exposing pervasive corruption during Pope Francis’ pontificate. The pope had two of his employees arrested and then put on trial along with a third employee and the authors of the two books.

The result was months of free publicity for the books. Additionally, the public came to learn that no crime – not sodomizing children or fraud – is considered as grave as exposing the pope’s secrets. No physical evidence was produced proving the defendants’ guilt during the trial. Nevertheless, the prosecution recommended that the only woman among the five defendants receive the harshest penalty for “instigating” and “conspiring.”

Pope Francis enacted a law on July 13, 2013, criminalizing leaks of Vatican information, “an obvious response” to the 2012 scandal known as “Vatileaks.” Pilfered documents had exposed “petty turf wars, bureaucratic dysfunction and allegations of corruption and homosexual liaisons.” The crime of revealing damaging information had never existed before in the Vatican.

On October 31, 2015, Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda (54), secretary for the Prefecture of Economic Affairs, and Francesca Chaouqui (33) were summoned to the Vatican for questioning and then arrested with Pope Francis’ “personal approval” regarding “the unauthorized removal and sharing of confidential documents.”

The Spaniard, Vallejo Balda, had been secretary of a temporary commission, already dissolved, established by the pope to recommend changes to the Vatican’s financial administration. Chaouqui, an Italian laywoman formerly employed in the Rome office of Ernst & Young, had been a member of the same commission. Chaouqui was released after a couple of days because “there were no evident reasons to keep her in custody, and also in view of her cooperation with the investigation.” Vallejo Balda was imprisoned in a Vatican jail cell.

Chaouqui’s attorney, Giulia Bongiorno, later pointed out the Vatican’s “alleged violations of Chaouqui’s due process rights by interrogating her without an attorney.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Abuse survivor accused of stalking the priest he set out to 'forgive'

ITALY
Irish Independent

Catherine Deveney
PUBLISHED
17/07/2016

A British man who travelled to Verona in an attempt to forgive the Catholic missionary who sexually abused him at Mirfield seminary in Yorkshire almost 50 years ago, is being prosecuted in the Italian courts on three counts of "trespassing, stalking and interference in private life".

Mark Murray (60), who filmed his encounter with Fr Romano Nardo at the Verona headquarters of the Comboni missionaries in April last year, said he was "appalled and disgusted" when a letter summoning him for criminal proceedings in Verona on September 14 arrived last week at his home in Wales.

"The Combonis know these 'crimes' are not true. They are trying to intimidate me," he said. "It's all about power and control. They are trying to send out a message, 'Don't dare take us on'."

In 2014, the Observer reported exclusively on widespread abuse at Mirfield in the 1960s and 70s after a group of 11 British men settled out of court with the missionary order, receiving sums of between £7,000 and £30,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Threat halted release of priests’ files in abuse cases

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Sunday, July 17th, 2016

The Diocese of Gallup threatened to withdraw a monetary settlement that included $21 million for victims of clerical sexual abuse if claimants insisted that the church publicly release the personnel files of accused priests, attorneys for the claimants said.

Public disclosure of priest files became a “significant issue” during the final months of the diocese’s 31-month bankruptcy case, said James Stang, a Los Angeles attorney who represented the 57 people who filed claims against the diocese.

“We asked that (the files) be published or be delivered so we could publish them if we wanted to, and they said no,” Stang said. “We were told that it was a package deal.”

Faced with the possibility of losing the financial settlement after more than two years of legal wrangling, a committee representing claimants in the case felt they had little choice but to withdraw their demand for records, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

July 16, 2016

Diocese: Priest arrested in prostitution sting suspended from ministry

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Morgan Gstalter, mgstalter@dmreg.com July 16, 2016

Roman Catholic officials said the priest arrested during a prostitution sting in Hamburg last week has been suspended from public ministry, pending the outcome of his criminal investigation and legal proceedings.

The Diocese of Des Moines released a news release Monday regarding the arrest of Rev. Dominic Yamoah on July 9. Yamoah was arrested for solicitation in Fremont County during a police prostitution sting after he allegedly tried to persuade an undercover source to perform sexual acts for money.

The diocese said Yamoah is a pastor at three parishes in their diocese: St. Clare in Clarinda, Sacred Heart in Bedford and St. Joseph in Villisca. They are making arrangements for pastoral care during his suspension, the release said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Aos 82 anos, morre o padre brasileiro citado em "Spotlight" e condenado por abuso sexual

BRASIL
Imprensa

[José Afonso Dé, a Brazilian priest, who was named at the end of the Spotlight movie, has died at age 82. He was convicted of sexual abuse.]

Citado em uma lista no fim do filme "Spotlight - Segredos Revelados", que mostrou uma investigação jornalística de como a cúpula da Igreja Católica acobertou casos de pedofilia nos Estados Unidos, o padre brasileiro José Afonso Dé morreu na última quinta-feira (14/7), aos 82 anos.

De acordo com a Folha de S.Paulo, o religioso foi acusado de abusar sexualmente de nove adolescentes coroinhas, entre 2009 e 2010, em Franca (SP). Ele fazia tratamento contra um câncer de próstata e estava internado na Santa Casa da cidade há cerca de 30 dias, com um quadro de pneumonia.

Padre Dé foi oficialmente afastados de suas funções, mas seguia evangelizando ao receber fiéis em sua casa. O velório ocorre na capela do Asilo São Vicente, ao lado do velório central de Franca. Haverá uma missa de corpo presente, às 14h, seguida do sepultamento no cemitério Santo Agostinho.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Sacerdote acusado de violación es detenido en Oaxaca; se encargaba de la Catedral

MEXICO
Arsenal

[Priest accused of rape was arrested in Oaxaca; He was responsible for the cathedral.]

Rebeca Romero/ADNsureste

Oaxaca.- Un joven de 19 años, quien fungiera como acólito además de prepararse a fin de recibir los sacramentos, denunció al sacerdote C. F. M. P. por el delito de violación equiparada agravada.

De acuerdo a la denuncia penal asentada en el expediente 274/2016, misma que fue realizada el 29 de marzo del presente año, el agraviado narró que los hechos se registraron el 24 de marzo, después de celebrarse la visita de las 7 casas por haber sido Jueves Santo, en la Catedral Metropolitana.

Asentó que junto con un amigo que también es catequista identificado como J. C. estuvieron apoyando en las actividades en este templo, terminando alrededor de las 01:00 horas, por lo que se quedarían a dormir en la casa adjunta ya que temprano se llevarían a cabo otras actividades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Alleged victim gives evidence in John Patrick Casey trial

AUSTRALIA
Coffs Coast Advocate

Leah White | 16th Jul 2016

THE first alleged victim in the historical sexual assault trial against Catholic priest John Patrick Casey has given evidence in a closed session of the Lismore District Court.

Casey has been charged with 27 counts of sexual assault, indecent assault and rape of three boys under the age of 16 said to have occurred in the 1980s.

The trial will cover 18 separate incidents.

Due to a change in law when the majority of the alleged offences occurred (from June 10, 1985 to May 30, 1987) a number of the charges have been paired to address the change in law.

The first alleged victim, now in his 40s, was the third witness to be called to provide evidence in the trial on Tuesday.

The court was closed to the public, which included the media and Casey's 15 supporters, at 12.15pm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

CATHOLIC FAITHFUL ‘HAPPY’ MIAMI ARCHBISHOP REMOVED PARISH PRIEST

FLORIDA
Church Militant

by Rodney Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • July 15, 2016

MIAMI, Fla. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Faithful Catholics in the archdiocese of Miami are satisfied a parish priest is being removed after evidence showed he was having an improper relationship with a parish maintenance worker.

Christifidelis, a group representing several families at St. Rose of Lima parish in Miami Beach, released a graphic report showing the result of an investigation by a private detective and members of the parish. Father Pedro Corces is shown spending time with a man he hired to be a maintenance worker on parish property.

Records show they frequently went shopping together, went out to eat at expensive restaurants several times a week and even went on vacations together. Photos and receipts from a vacation they took to Puerto Rico show the room the occupied had only one bed. Receipts for items purchased from sex shops and gay musicals were found in Fr. Corces' garbage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Attorney for former Passaic priest convicted of sex charges seeks new trial

NEW JERSEY
The Record

BY KIBRET MARKOS
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

The attorney for a former Passaic priest convicted of sex charges two weeks ago asked a judge on Friday for a new trial, arguing that the jury convicted his client without sufficient evidence.

Passaic County prosecutors, however, argued that the trial of Jose Lopez in state Superior Court in Paterson involved no irregularity that warrants a new trial. Judge Sohail Mohammed said he will make a decision next week.

Lopez, 37, was convicted in June 28 of luring, child endangerment and criminal sexual contact after prosecutors argued that he took a 14-year-old girl into his private suite at St. Mary’s Church in Passaic and molested her. The jury found him not guilty of attempted sexual assault.

Lopez, who faces up to 10 years in prison, has since been held without bail at the Passaic County Jail as he awaits sentencing in November.

Defense attorney James Porfido said at a hearing before Mohammed that the panel that convicted Lopez deliberated for only five hours to reach a verdict. He said that period of time could not have been enough to consider all of the evidence in the trial and argued that the jury was ready to convict his client from the start without listening to the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Clergy receive update on sex abuse bill’s status, victim support info

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholic Philly

By Matthew Gambino • Posted July 15, 2016

Archbishop Charles Chaput issued a letter July 14 updating the faithful of the Philadelphia Archdiocese on the status of a bill that proposes to lift the statutes of limitation on civil lawsuits of child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania.

The letter in English and Spanish was dated for this weekend, July 16-17, and sent to all priests and deacons in the archdiocese via email along with several supporting documents showing the long-term effects of child sexual abuse for adult survivors and numerous resources to which abuse victims in Philadelphia, its four suburban counties and statewide may turn for help.

Another document (in English and Spanish) in the package detailed the church’s assistance to victims of clergy sexual abuse, both in implemented policies and financial assistance of some $18 million over recent years.

Also included was information to help the clergymen offer pastoral care to survivors of child sexual abuse in their parish.

The archbishop’s letter describes House Bill 1947’s “potential to devastate our parishes, schools, and charitable ministries” because of civil lawsuits that could be filed against private institutions such as Catholic parishes and dioceses in the state if the bill were to become law. The House bill was approved in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Assembly of First Nations Seeks Investigation of Furlong Abuse Allegations

CANADA
The Tyee

By Bob Mackin
TheTyee.ca

The Assembly of First Nations wants a “thorough and impartial investigation” into allegations former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong abused aboriginal students more than 45 years ago.

Delegates to the assembly’s annual general meeting this week supported a resolution calling for an investigation by the RCMP and the federal government.

The resolution also called on the federal government to meet “the affected members of Lake Babine Band Council, Burns Lake Band Council, and any other affected former students to hear their concerns about the conduct of investigations and to discuss with them acceptable remedies.”

The resolution was moved by Lake Babine Chief Wilf Adam.

The abuse allegations were raised in a Georgia Straight article by Laura Robinson in September 2012. Furlong denied the accusations and attacked Robinson’s reporting practices and credibility.

Furlong claimed vindication last September when B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge ruled that Furlong’s statements were covered by the defence of qualified privilege.

But Cathy Woodgate, one of the former students alleging abuse, says their charges have never been properly investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Key figures in pope’s financial reform carry some baggage

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín July 16, 2016
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME - Cardinals who elect a pope are sworn to secrecy, so there are some details about conclaves the world may never know, but after the choice of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in March 13 as Pope Francis, many participants were crystal-clear on one point.

They elected him in part because of his profile as a Vatican outsider, who would carry out an ambitious program of reform.

As his first move, Francis created a study commission which recommended a series of changes to the Vatican’s scandal-plagued finances, and which itself became engulfed in controversy when a former official and former member were both charged and convicted in a Vatican trial of leaking its secret documents to journalists.

As it turns out, that’s hardly the only complication that has beset Francis’s reform effort.

Based on the commission’s recommendations, Francis created three new financial bodies in the Vatican in 2014.

* A Council for the Economy, composed of both cardinals and laity, to set policy.
* A Secretariat for the Economy, headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, to implement those policies.
* An independent Auditor General, to provide a system of checks and balances.

An internal tug-of-war broke out to define the scope of the authority of those new entities, especially Pell’s department. Early on it seemed the secretariat would take over direct administration of most Vatican finances, but on July 9, Francis issued a decree giving most of those powers back to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (ASPSA.)