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August 31, 2016

Case Involving Abuse By Lincoln Priest Headed Back To Trial Court

ILLINOIS
WAND

By: Doug Wolfe

Lincoln – A man abused by a priest at Holy Family Parish in Lincoln in the 1990’s will have his day in court.

Monsignor Norman Goodman was a pedophile that abused children at the church over several years. A lawyer for one victim says the Diocese of Peoria turned a “blind eye” to that ongoing abuse.

“It was sexual assault, battery, that sort of thing,” attorney Jonathan Nessler told I-TEAM reporter Doug Wolfe at his Springfield office. “Reverend Goodman was a very bad man.”

The diocese has previously settled lawsuits connected to abuse by Goodman involving at least 13 people. Bishop Daniel Jenky has ousted several priests accused of abuse.

Last week the 3rd District Appellate Court held a lawsuit filed against the diocese was improperly dismissed on the grounds the statute of limitations expired in the 1990’s. The victim, now 37, did not remember the abuse, repressing the memory of what happened until 2011, filing suit in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Suspected Child Abuse Complaint Filed in Anthony Weiner 'Sexting' Scandal

NEW YORK
CNS News

By Michael W. Chapman | August 31, 2016

(CNSNews.com) -- Because former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) reportedly "sexted" a picture of his crotch while his four-year-old son was sleeping next to him, the president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, has filed a Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

"As president of the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization, I am well aware of the plague of child sexual abuse that marks virtually every sector of society, including, regrettably, the Catholic Church," said Donohue in an Aug. 31 press release. "I am writing to express my concerns about the emotional and physical well being of Jordan Weiner, son of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Providence diocese announces new protocol to report sexual abuse

RHODE ISLAND
NBC 10

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence announced Wednesday it is working with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office to better report allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

In a joint statement, the diocese said it will immediately contact the attorney general's office in addition to law enforcement in the event that alleged sexual abuse of a minor is discovered.

Bishop Thomas Tobin said in part the additional measure keeps in step with the diocese’s ongoing effort to ensure safety for minors.

"I believe that the new agreement will serve as a useful model and an inspiration for other organizations in reporting such incidents as well," Tobin said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

A Priest in Good Standing?

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

Jennifer Haselberger

08/28/2016

Yesterday's Santa Rosa Press Democrat contained an interesting article about the circumstances of Archbishop Nienstedt's residence in that diocese. Apparently, the relocation had the approval of the local bishop, as well as Archbishop Hebda.

However, as has been previously indicated, the materials released by the Ramsey County Attorneys Office include a statement indicating that the former Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis had minors in his hotel room at World Youth Day, undressed before them, and had them undress before him (Exhibit 9). This would amount to a violation of just about any Code of Conduct, and could possibly be an act of sexual abuse of a minor if the actions were for Nienstedt's gratification. Is the Church investigating this?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

CA--Victims want Santa Rosa bishop to oust his disgraced colleague

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 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)

In an act of stunning recklessness and callousness, Santa Rosa’s top Catholic official is letting a disgraced bishop minister in the Napa Valley despite his reportedly committing sexual misdeeds and concealing child sex crimes.

[Press Democrat]

Bishop Robert Vasa says he has “no concerns” about Archbishop John Nienstedt, who left Minnesota after he resigned and left Michigan after more parishioner outrage there.

The reason for the controversy surrounding Nienstedt is simple: he’s accused of sexually approaching or violating at least nine priests and seminarians and retaliating against some of them when his advances were rebuffed. And he’s also accused of endangering kids and deceiving parents about proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics.

And he’s accused of interfering with a church investigation into clergy sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Man Files Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Diocese of Norwich

CONNECTICUT
NBC Connecticut

A 37-year-old Connecticut man has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Norwich alleging he was sexually assaulted hundreds of times by a priest while serving as an altar boy during the 1990s.

The complaint, filed earlier this month in New London Superior Court, claims that the priest, Paul Hebert, hand-picked the plaintiff to be an altar boy at age 11.

The diocese previously settled two lawsuits brought by men who said they were molested by Hebert when he served at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Pawcatuck from 1971 to 1981.

The complaint states that Hebert coerced the victim with alcohol and lavish gifts in exchange for his silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Ex-finance officers debunk claims about Yona seminary

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 1, 2016

Former members of the island Catholic church’s finance council said on Wednesday that Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron went behind the council’s back in 2011 when the archbishop, with help from other people involved with the Neocatechumenal Way, “secretly” recorded a deed transferring a church property in Yona to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

The former members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council said the council, during a September 2011 meeting, had denied the Redemptoris Mater Seminary’s request to transfer the title of the Yona property to the seminary.

Richard Untalan, former president of the Archdiocesan Finance Council, said he and others are talking about the issue in response to recent statements made by Apuron and Seminary Rector Rev. Pius Sammut.

“We were there. We were intimately privy to the transactions, as our input, analysis and approval were all required by Canon Law for any transaction to occur. We know what happened,” Untalan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Diocese to Enhance Child Protection Policy with Notification to Attorney General

RHODE ISLAND
Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence

August 31, 2016

Attorney General Kilmartin and Bishop Tobin Announce Enhanced Protocol for Reporting Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

In an ongoing effort to strengthen child protection policies, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General have established an enhanced protocol for reporting allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Under this strengthened protocol, the Diocese of Providence has agreed to notify the Attorney General’s office of any allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

It is the clear practice of the Diocese to report every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to law enforcement. The additional step of notifying the Attorney General’s office provides supplemental transparency in keeping with the Diocese’s ongoing effort to ensure a safe environment.

“The Letter of Understanding with the Office of the Attorney General concerning the reporting of incidents of sexual abuse of minors comes after many months, even years, of reflection and discussion. I am grateful to the Attorney General and his staff, and the staff of the Diocese of Providence, for their commitment to this task. The agreement affirms and builds upon the longstanding policy and practice of the Diocese of Providence to report each and every allegation of sexual misconduct with minors to law enforcement officials. I believe that the new agreement will serve as a useful model and an inspiration for other organizations in reporting such incidents as well,” said Bishop Thomas J. Tobin.

“This new step strengthens existing reporting practices by the Diocese, which in turn will ensure greater transparency and a more robust investigation, and if appropriate, prosecution of individuals who sexually abuse children,” said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. “I am very appreciative of the Diocese, and in particular, Bishop Tobin, for their work on the Letter of Understanding, and more importantly, for the recognition that the sexual abuse by a member of the Catholic Church cannot and will not be tolerated.”

“The sexual abuse of minors is a grave concern, a sin and a crime, in our society, and in the Church. In recent years we have made significant progress in addressing this widespread problem, but we cannot stop or grow comfortable now. The Diocese of Providence renews its commitment to eliminate sexual abuse of minors by any member of the Church; to provide assistance and care to victims and their families; and to treat all individuals with the justice and love, the care and compassion demanded by our Faith,” added Bishop Tobin.

For more information on reporting procedures of the Diocese and the Office of Compliance please visit www.dioceseofprovidence.org/office-of-compliance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Providence Catholic diocese agrees to report all sex abuse allegations to attorney general

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

Posted Aug. 31, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has agreed to notify the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General of any allegations of sexual abuse of a minor under new protocols announced Wednesday morning.

Under current protocols, the diocese reports each allegation to law enforcement.

"The Letter of Understanding with the Office of the Attorney General concerning the reporting of incidents of sexual abuse of minors comes after many months, even years, of reflection and discussion," said Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, in a joint news release. "I am grateful to the Attorney General and his staff, and the staff of the Diocese of Providence, for their commitment to this task. The agreement affirms and builds upon the longstanding policy and practice of the Diocese of Providence to report each and every allegation of sexual misconduct with minors to law enforcement officials. I believe that the new agreement will serve as a useful model and an inspiration for other organizations in reporting such incidents as well."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Exclusive Jewish school Yeshivah College issued order amid bully probe by Worksafe

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
August 31, 2016

EXCLUSIVE Jewish school Yeshivah College is under investigation amid claims of ongoing bullying and harassment of staff.

The school came under fire during lengthy hearings at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over claims abuse victims were threatened and intimidated.

Now allegations have surfaced of persistent and ongoing bullying and harassment of staff at the college, and its sister school Beth Rivkah College, by senior figures.

Worksafe Victoria has been probing the schools, run by the Yeshiva Centre, for several weeks after a complaint was made by a junior teacher.

This week the schools were issued with an “improvement notice” over their failure to force staff to undergo specific training in relation to bullying.

The schools have been ordered to ensure the training has been completed by December.

It is understood several teachers have left the schools this year, while some have had their hours cut.

Others are fearful of speaking out against the school’s administration, sources say.

“This issue is greatly concerning parents. How can you offer a safe environment if teachers can’t speak openly?” one community member said.

“This is strongly connected to the Royal Commission and evidence of a culture within the college that just won’t go away.”

One community member has written to Australian Childhood Foundation chief, Dr Joe Tucci, asking that Yeshiva’s accreditation as “a safe place” be urgently reviewed.

The college, in a statement released on Wednesday night, said the college had fully co-operated with the investigation.

The statement said: “Following visits to Yeshivah College, WorkSafe Victoria issued an “Improvement Notice” recommending the Occupational Health and Safety training package, already implemented by the school, be extended to include all staff.

“The College welcomes and fully supports the suggestion and will ensure that the recommendations are implemented.”

Following a damning probe by the child abuse royal commission last year, the Yeshiva Centre announced it would replace its board of trustees and committee of management.

Many of the centre’s leaders were blamed for decades of cover-ups that led to an epidemic of sexual abuse that has shamed the community.

A string of former staff have been jailed in recent years for crimes against children.

Chief Rabbi Zvi Telsner announced he would stand down indefinitely amid claims he had continued to berate victims who exposed the widespread abuse cover-up within the community.

The Herald Sun has been told both the trustees, and Rabbi Telsner, remain.

shannon.deery@news.com.au

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Elite Jewish boys' school once at the centre of sex abuse claims is probed over bullying and harassment of staff

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By NELSON GROOM FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

An elite Jewish boy's school notorious for child sex abuse is being investigated over accusations of widespread bullying and harassment of staff.

Yeshivah College, in Melbourne's seafront suburb of St Kilda East, was thrown into the spotlight last year after a series of hearings at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Fresh allegations have now come to light that staff at the school, and its sister school Beth Rivkah College, have been subject to continued bullying and harassment from senior figures, reports Herald Sun.

The two schools are being probed by Worksafe Victoria after a junior teacher lodged complaints.
The schools have this week been issued an 'improvement notice' over their failure to force staff to undergo specific bullying training.

Several teachers are understood to have left the school and others have had their hours cut.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Pressure Mounts on Jewish Groups to Change Course in Sexual Abuse Cases

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

Is there a divide in the Orthodox Rabbinate regarding preventing child sexual abuse?

In an unprecedented and crucially positive step forward, 300 Orthodox Rabbis from across the nation signed a proclamation regarding child safety in the Orthodox Jewish community. Synagogues and schools are called upon to adopt certain preventative measures outlined in the document to deter child abuse and child sexual abuse. The Rabbinic signatories consist of member Rabbis of the Orthodox Union (OU), Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and Yeshiva University (YU).

Some of the proclamation's prominent signers include: Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Av Beth Din, Beth Din of America, Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, RCA, Rabbi Shalom Baum, President, RCA, Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO, OU Kosher, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive VP Emeritus, OU, Rabbi Marc Penner, Dean, RIETS, YU, Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, Dean Emeritus, RIETS, YU, Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer, Rabbi, Young Israel of West Hempstead, NY, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Rabbi, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, and Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta, GA, South Africa’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein.

The proclamation commences by honoring the memories of individuals in the Orthodox Jewish community who tragically committed suicide as a result of enduring child sexual abuse. The gravity of this issue is linked in the proclamation to a passage in the Torah, "Do not stand by while your fellow's blood is being spilled" (Leviticus 19:16). Prominent signer Rabbi Hershel Billet, Rabbi, Young Israel of Woodmere, succinctly expresses the gravity of the effects of child sexual abuse, stating, "Every sexual abuser is a potential murderer. They destroy the souls of their victims and at times cause the death of their victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

SPECIAL REPORT: A Survivor’s Story

GEORGIA
WSAV

[with video]

SPECIAL REPORT: A Survivor’s Story Part 2

By Andrew Davis
Published: August 30, 2016

Men of the cloth. Men of God. Priests are supposed to help children grow, not take advantage of them.

But one local priest did just that. Leaving a broken boy behind.

A boy that didn’t even remember his own abuse until almost 30 years later.

“I started daydreaming about my two daughters and my son following my coffin down the aisle at my funeral,” sad a tearful Chris Templeton.

That was the lowest point in Chris Templeton’s life, and the moment that his life changed forever.

“I started crying. I got real emotional,” remembers Chris. “So i went inside and told my wife you have to call mom and dad. She said why? I said because I’m going to kill myself tomorrow.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Inspired by accusations against Bill Cosby, California lawmakers move to lift time limits on rape cases

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Sophia Bollag

In the wake of sexual assault accusations against comedian Bill Cosby, California may soon end the statute of limitations for prosecuting rape and other felony sex crimes.

The state Senate on Tuesday sent the governor a bill to end time limits for prosecuting crimes including rape and child sexual abuse.

Under existing law, such crimes generally must be prosecuted within 10 years unless DNA evidence emerges later. Sex crimes against minors must be prosecuted before the victim’s 40th birthday.

If the governor signs the bill, those crimes could be prosecuted at any time.

SB 813 would not apply retroactively to crimes in which the statute of limitations will have expired by Jan. 1, 2017.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Go To Police First, Rabbis Tell Abuse Victims

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

08/31/16

Gary Rosenblatt
Editor And Publisher

A proclamation signed by 300 Orthodox rabbis acknowledging that sexual abuse of children causes “immeasurable harm” in the Orthodox community, and that past efforts to combat the problem have been lacking, is being hailed by anti-abuse activists as a major step forward in reducing the stigma for victims to come forward and report sexual crimes to the authorities.

The detailed statement, made public this week and signed by member rabbis of the Orthodox Union (OU), Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and Yeshiva University (YU), calls for policies to be put in place in synagogues and schools to prevent abuse, and it condemns cover-ups and “attempts to ignore allegations” of abuse as immoral and against Jewish law.

Further, the statement asserts that “the reporting of reasonable suspicions of all forms of child abuse and neglect directly and promptly to the civil authorities is a requirement of Jewish law. There is no need for people acting responsibly to seek rabbinic approval prior to reporting.”

The sentiment appears to be an acknowledgment that rabbis, most of whom are not experts in identifying or dealing with sexual abuse, have sometimes sought to protect a community’s image by discouraging victims and their families from speaking out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Former Archdiocesan Finance Council members speak out

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 31, 2016

By Krystal Paco

They're looking to clear their names and clean up the church. Former members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council held a press conference on Wednesday to clarify what really happened behind closed doors.

They're not doctors, but if they were, their diagnosis for Archbishop Anthony Apuron might be "He appears to be suffering from selective memory," as noted by Richard Untalan, the past AFC president.

In a signed statement and a press conference held on Wednesday, five former members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council say they were fired from their positions not because their terms had expired, but to hide the fact Apuron and others secretly gave away the Redemptoris Mater Seminary for free. Estimated to value up to $75 million, Untalan says the funds to purchase the property weren't donated - as previously reported - but acquired in 2002 through a $2 million loan with the Bank of Guam.

The property was not intended to be limited to exclusive groups, but to benefit all local Catholics. A donor did arise, but a year later Apuron allegedly asked that donor to take credit for the purchase. That donor refused and also objected to the use solely by the RMS and the Theological Institute.

Untalan and AFC attest that all claims that they were out to sell the property to convert into a casino are lies. "The fabricated story that we tried to sell the Yona property is as far-fetched, as if we were accused of trying to sell the White House or St. Peter's Basilica or Andersen Air Force Base. We were volunteers. We have no corporate authority so sign even a check, let alone selling off a piece of valuable property," he stated. "The AFC is a consultative body."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Former AL church staff member gets 50 years for sexually abusing 7-year-old

ALABAMA
WBRC

Tuesday, August 30th 2016
By Melynda Schauer, Digital Content Producer

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
A former Hoover church staff member and Shelby County resident convicted of sexually abusing a 7-year-old child has been sentenced to 50 years in prison, according to federal authorities.

Federal investigators say Jason Michael Hankins, 35, found his victim by targeting a single mom on a Christian dating site.

The government recommended a 50-year sentence, saying Hankins targeted his victim and engaged in repeated sexual exploitation that lasted the whole time he had access to the child.

Hankins was formerly on staff at the Family Life Center at Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover. He resigned from his position after his first arrest for a sodomy charge in 2013.

Hoover police arrested him again the same week on multiple sex abuse charges involving a young female victim and held him on a $6 million bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Former church worker sentenced to 50 years for sexual abuse and child pornography

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Kent Faulk | kfaulk@al.com

A former church staff member was sentenced Tuesday to 50 years in prison for sexually abusing a seven-year-old child and possessing child pornography in 2013, federal authorities announced.

Jason Michael Hankins, 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a child, plus 20 more years for possessing child pornography, according to a joint statement from U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton.

Coogler also ordered Hankins to remain on supervised release for the rest of his life after completing his prison sentence, according to the statement. Hankins pleaded guilty to the charges in January.

An attorney for Jason Michael Hankins, 34, filed a not guilty plea and waived arraignment before Bessemer Cutoff Jefferson County Circuit Judge David Hobdy in the nine new cases. A cutoff grand jury had indicted Hankins in January on those charges.

Hankins had worked at Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover as part of the Family Life Center staff, assisting in the planning and coordinating of recreational activities, according to the statement. Hankins found his young victim by seeking out a single mother on a Christian dating website, according to the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

'I survived the Exclusive Brethren'

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

JANET PROST

I was one of the lucky ones as I was not destroyed.

My early childhood in the Exclusive Brethren, tucked in a corner of Ontario, Canada, was almost ideal as it was loving Christians worshipping together in the way they believed.

There were a lot of edicts - no Christmas, Halloween, Easter, television, and most girls were forbidden to wear pants - but my parents didn't bother to follow those rules.

But even in those early days I was aware of other assemblies in our sect that weren't ideal as they had bullies in charge and were slowly and surely destroying their members with their harsh and arbitrary rules.

My childhood ended when the bullies came. It was no longer about worship, rather it was about who you were, how much Darby Bible you had read, and how well you followed the rules.

My father was first excommunicated when I was 10. We went from being the favourite family in our assembly to the pariahs; we were completely shunned and no one came to see us. My mother stopped eating and went into a deep depression. She has never been the same person again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Editorial | Diocese still closing ranks on child sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Victims advocate Robert Hoatson said he sees a “dome” of secrecy over the region of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown – a phenomenon that allowed priests to sexually abuse children for decades without fear of legal retribution.

The diocese’s ongoing actions show that it remains intent on controlling the message surrounding the mistreatment of children – despite a March 1 report from the state attorney general’s office that accused 50 priests and other clergy members of abusing children in their care, protected by bishops who moved the offenders from parish to parish rather than exposing them to criminal charges.

In a story Sunday in The Tribune-Democrat and at www.tribdem.com, diocese spokesman Tony DeGol said the church organization was reaching out “through our Diocesan media – our Proclaim! television ministry, The Catholic Register, and our website” concerning the issue of child sexual abuse.

He said messages were developed in “collaboration with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and agencies throughout our eight-county Diocese that offer support to survivors of sexual abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Royal Commission hears evidence of shocking child sexual abuse in the Hunter region

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
31 Aug 2016

THE Catholic Church has paid more than $25 million to Hunter region child sexual abuse survivors, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been told on the first day of a public hearing into Maitland-Newcastle diocese.

The diocese has substantiated claims or complaints from 158 people relating to 31 different perpetrators, counsel assisting the royal commission, Mr Stephen Free, said in an opening address highlighting decades of abuse in the region.

Nearly two-thirds of offenders were priests, and six per cent were members of a religious order.

The diocese has paid out claims to 46 victims of abuse from just one school – St Pius X, Adamstown, the royal commission was told.

The public hearing, which is expected to hear evidence until September 9, will consider the diocese’s handling of allegations against paedophile priest Vince Ryan, and the Marist Brothers’ response to allegations involving three Brothers – Romuald (Francis Cable), Patrick (Thomas Butler) and Dominic (Darcy O’Sullivan).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission: Hunter paedophile priest 'was like Jekyll and Hyde'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By David Marchese

A child sexual abuse survivor has broken down while recounting to a royal commission how he was repeatedly molested by a New South Wales priest who "was like Jekyll and Hyde" and warned him "nobody will believe you because I am a priest".

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse this morning shifted its focus to the Hunter region's Catholic church, after spending weeks probing Newcastle's Anglican diocese.

The first witness to give evidence at the hearing was child abuse survivor Gerard McDonald, who detailed his abuse at the hands of convicted paedophile priest Vincent Ryan.

Ryan was released from jail in 2010 after serving a 14-year prison sentence for a string of sexual assaults on dozens of boys between 1972 and 1991 and is currently awaiting sentencing on separate offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Friendly priest became pedophile 'monster'

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

For more than 40 years, Gerard McDonald has been living with "fear, shame and guilt" as a result of sickening sexual abuse at the hands of a notorious Catholic pedophile priest.

"Vincent Gerard Ryan was the monster of Merewether," Mr McDonald told media outside the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Newcastle on Wednesday.

"I want the shame and guilt to be put where it belongs, with the abusers and those who did nothing or lied to protect them."

Mr McDonald was 10 when he was abused twice a week for most of 1975 in Father Vincent Ryan's car, as the priest dropped him home from altar boy practice at St Joseph's in Merewether.

He told the commission that Ryan, who on one occasion performed oral sex on him and a group of other boys in the church vestry, told him "they won't believe you, because I'm a priest".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Former altar boy sexually abused by NSW Catholic priest said he ‘feels guilty he didn’t kill him’

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

AAP, The Daily Telegraph
August 31, 2016

A FORMER altar boy who was sexually abused by a NSW Catholic priest after every practice session says he feels guilty that he didn’t kill the paedophile as a child, an inquiry has heard.

Gerard McDonald was in Year 5 in 1975 when he suffered sickening abuse at the hands of Newcastle’s Father Vincent Ryan.

In a statement today to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Mr McDonald said Ryan, who would drop altar boys home from St Joseph’s at Merewether, abused him in his car in front of his house.

Mr McDonald said he couldn’t believe it when Ryan, who also performed oral sex on him and a group of boys in the church vestry, conducted a service at his high school two years after the abuse started.

“All I could think about was running to my mate’s parents’ place and grabbing the two biggest knives he had and killing Father Ryan,” he told the royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

August 30, 2016

Royal Commission: Maitland-Newcastle Catholic bishop Bill Wright urges support during Case Study 43 hearings

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

[with video]

Matt Carr
@MattCarrNH

31 Aug 2016

THE head of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese has released a statement ahead of the Royal Commission hearings.

Bishop Wright released a video statement on Wednesday morning as the Royal Commission began hearings into the diocese.

He said he expected the diocese would be “severely criticised” for its handlings of matters related to Vincent Ryan.

Ryan, 78, pleaded guilty to historical child sex offences in April.

“The inescapable facts are reports of Ryan’s abuse were received in the early 1970s but he remained in ministry until charged by police in 1995 and he had continued to abuse children during those two decades,” Bishop Wright said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 PM

Former Geelong priest admits to shocking abuse

AUSTRALIA
Bay 93.9

Rebecca McDonald / 31 August 2016

A former Victorian priest who worked in Geelong during much of his career has pleaded guilty to a string of child sexual assault charges.

73-year-old Robert Claffey was due to stand trial in the County Court on 21 charges, but two were dropped as part of a plea deal.

Claffey abused boys and girls over three decades in areas including Apollo Bay and Skenes Creek, under the watch of disgraced former bishop Ronald Mulkearns.

Two of his victims were assaulted after Claffey went to their home to "comfort" them after their sister died in a car accident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Royal commission to explore child abuse 'epicentre' in Newcastle

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[live stream]

By Thomas Oriti and staff

A royal commission will begin a public investigation today into allegations of child abuse by the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will turn its focus to the Catholic diocese in the Hunter having spent recent days investigating cases of abuse in the region's Anglican diocese.

Peter Gogarty, who was abused by Catholic priest James Fletcher, said he had waited years for such an inquiry.

"The Hunter region and people around Newcastle fought so hard for there to be a royal commission," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Ex-rabbi admits role in embezzling scheme

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By John R. Ellement GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 30, 2016

A former Sharon rabbi who tapped into temple funds to pay off a blackmailer has admitted to financial wrongdoing in Norfolk Superior Court, but he could see all the charges against him dismissed if he is not charged with any crimes during the next 12 months.

Barry Starr, who was the rabbi at Temple Israel for 28 years, used the temple’s discretionary charitable fund to pay $458,300 to blackmailer Nicholas Zemeitus between 2012 and 2014, according to the Norfolk district attorney’s office and court records.

Appearing before Superior Court Judge Robert Cosgrove on Friday, prosecutors asked that Starr be found guilty of embezzlement by fiduciary and sentenced to two years probation. But Cosgrove adopted the defense’s suggestion that Starr admit there were enough facts to convict him and continue the case without a finding for a year, which could lead to the charges being dismissed.

While married and the leader of the Conservative temple, Starr was secretly dating men when Zemeitus falsely told Starr one of the people he had been intimate with was his 16-year-old brother and threatened to reveal his actions, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Sharon rabbi targeted by blackmail plot avoids jail time for embezzlement

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicket Local

A Norfolk County Superior Court judge agreed to dismiss one charge of larceny against former Temple Israel Rabbi Barry Starr and continue the embezzlement charge for a year without a finding, meaning it will likely be dismissed if Starr stays out of trouble during that time.

By Neal Simpson
The Patriot Ledger

SHARON - Once the venerated rabbi of Temple Israel of Sharon, Barry Starr now drives a cab in a Cleveland suburb and lives in a rooming house. He is divorced from his wife, estranged from his daughter and has “minimal contact” with his son.

That was the picture Starr’s attorneys painted this week as they tried to convince a Norfolk Superior Court judge to stop short of finding Starr guilty of embezzling some $360,000 from the synagogue even though the former rabbi admitted that prosecutors had sufficient evidence for such a finding.

The judge on Friday agreed, dismissing one charge of larceny and continuing the embezzlement charge for a year without a finding, meaning it will likely be dismissed if Starr stays out of trouble during that time.

The decision could bring to a close a scandal complete with threats of blackmail, pilfered congregational donation and false allegations of child molestation that exposed the congregation of Temple Israel to unwanted national attention and decimated Starr’s rabbinical career, which included 28 years at the Sharon synagogue. Temple Israel ended up losing some $67,000 to Starr’s embezzlement, but prosecutors wrote in a court filing this month that “the greatest harm it incurred was that it was thrust into a spotlight through no fault of its own.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Manassas-area youth pastor charged with third count of 'indecent liberties' with a teen

VIRGINIA
Inside NOVA

The youth pastor of a Manassas area church is facing additional charges after a second person reported that he had inappropriate contact with her when she was a teen.

Jordan Baird, 25, was arrested Aug. 17 after Prince William County police investigated reports of an incident at Life Church, 11234 Balls Ford Road in the Manassas area, Prince William County police said in a news release.

Police said a 16-year-old girl told reported that Baird, a youth pastor at Life Church, sent inappropriate text messages and inappropriately touched her one more than one occasion between January and September 2015. Police said the alleged incidents happened at the church.

Baird, of Kelly Road in Warrenton, was arrested and charged with two counts of indecent liberties by a custodian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Ex-priest, ex-altar boy keep trading accusations

CONNECTICUT
Journal Inquirer

Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2016

By Alex Wood
Journal Inquirer

The priest formerly assigned to East Windsor’s two Roman Catholic churches and a former altar boy are continuing to trade charges, even as the last of three criminal cases stemming from their former friendship moves toward a conclusion after more than three years of litigation.

The Rev. Paul A. Gotta — formerly administrator of St. Philip Church on South Main Street and St. Catherine Church on Windsorville Road — had been scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Hartford for giving about 2 pounds of black powder to the altar boy. Federal law prohibits providing explosives to a person younger than 21.

But Judge Robert N. Chatigny has postponed the sentencing to Dec. 7 as a result of a motion by Gotta’s lawyer, Moira L. Buckley, requesting more time to prepare.

Buckley said in the motion that the former altar boy, Kyle D. Bass, whom she referred to only by his initials, has made “numerous additional allegations,” related to the federal case and to a closed state case in which Bass accused Gotta of sexually assaulting him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Ex sacerdote es detenido por violación a menores después de 22 años

MEXICO
Equilibrio Informativo

El ex sacerdote fue capturado en Morelos.

Detienen en Morelos al exsacerdote, Carlos López Valdez, acusado de abuso sexual a menores durante cuatro años, se informó en el noticiero de López Dóriga.

Se trata del sacerdote Carlos López Valdez, suspendido ya de sus funciones por la misma iglesia, quien ahora se encuentra preso en el Reclusorio Preventivo Varonil Oriente, al ejecutarse en su contra la correspondiente orden de aprehensión que fuera girada por el Juez 55 de lo Penal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Mexican priest to stand trial in 1990s sex abuse

MEXICO
Daily Mail (UK)

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Prosecutors in Mexico City say a judge has ordered a priest to stand trial on charges he sexually abused a boy in the 1990s.

Carlos Lopez Valdez allegedly abused the boy between 1994 and 1998, although the criminal complaint against him wasn't filed until 2007.

Lopez Valdez was stripped of priestly duties by the Roman Catholic Church in 2010.

He was arrested recently in a town south of Mexico City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Abuse focus on NSW Catholic authorities

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

A public hearing into the response of Catholic authorities to reports of child sexual abuse in NSW's Maitland-Newcastle region is expected to start on Wednesday.

The response to allegations levelled at Father Vincent Ryan and Marist Brothers Francis Cable and Thomas Butler will be investigated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse during the hearing, which is expected run for at least eight days.

The investigation into the region's Catholic authorities is the royal commission's 43rd case study and comes the day after the end of two extra days of evidence into responses by the Newcastle Anglican diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Third lawsuit filed against Baptist church, youth pastor convicted of sex abuse

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com
on August 30, 2016

A third lawsuit has been filed by someone claiming to be a victim of Jeff Eddie, the convicted child molester who was formerly children's minister at a Baptist church in Muscle Shoals.

Using the alias "John Doe," the plaintiff says that he was 12 years old at the time Eddie began to molest him in 2009. The molestation continued until the summer of 2013, the lawsuit says. The lawsuit against Eddie and Highland Park Baptist Church seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

The plaintiff says he was sexually abused in various locations at Highland Park Baptist Church, including Eddie's office and storage closet, a storage room in the basement, and a sound booth at the church, as well as on church-sponsored trips. The trips included Earle Trent Assembly Camp, Elk River and Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center, camping trips and church sleepovers at Eddie's home, and while Eddie was driving the church van taking youth to church-sponsored events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Chessy Prout, St. Paul’s School sexual assault survivor, speaks out about case and attacker Owen Labrie

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Yahoo! News

Jason Sickles
National Reporter
•August 30, 2016

The teenage victim in a high-profile prep school rape case revealed her identity on national TV Tuesday morning, saying she’s “not afraid or ashamed anymore.”

Chessy Prout, a former student at the prestigious St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., told NBC’s “Today” that she’s coming forward to embolden all victims of sexual assault.

“I want other people to feel empowered and just strong enough to be able to say, ‘I have the right to my body. I have the right to say no,’” said Prout, whose name was previously withheld because of the nature of the crime. “I just can’t imagine how scary it is for other people to have to do this alone, and I don’t want anybody else to be alone anymore.”

Owen Labrie, now 20, was accused of raping Prout at the historic co-ed school in May 2014. His arrest and conviction exposed a tradition at the $55,290-a-year boarding school called “senior salute,” in which some graduating boys allegedly kept score of how many younger students they had sex with.

The trial, which took place a year ago, was the focus of national media attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

NH--Group praises victim who’s revealing her identity in NH case

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

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

We applaud the courage and compassion of Chessy Prout, the brave victim of a sexual assault at St. Paul’s school in Concord by Owen Labrie, who is revealing her identity today. Her bravery will inspire others who have been abused or raped. And we are confident that it will also help her heal.

[Yahoo]

This smart, strong teenager is absolutely right when she says that none of us who have been assaulted need to “feel ashamed.” The shame belongs entirely on those who hurt us and those who ignored or hid or defended these awful crimes.

As Alcohol Anonymous teaches us, “we’re only as sick as our secrets.” Honesty is usually very healing.

No matter what court officials or school officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered sexual violence and cover ups in institutions – especially schools – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Victim in New Hampshire Prep School ‘Senior Salute’ Case Speaks Out

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New York Times

By CHRISTINE HAUSER
AUG. 30, 2016

A student at an elite prep school in New Hampshire who accused a senior of rape in 2014 only to see him convicted of misdemeanor charges revealed her identity on Tuesday in an interview with NBC, saying that she hoped to support other victims by discussing the difficulties she has faced, including being shunned when she returned to the school.

“I want everyone to know that I am not afraid or ashamed anymore, and I never should have been,” the teenager, Chessy Prout, who was 15 at the time of the assault at St. Paul’s School in Concord, said on the “Today” show.

“It’s been two years now since the whole ordeal, and I feel ready to stand up and own what happened to me and make sure other people, other girls and boys, don’t need to be ashamed, either,” Ms. Prout said with her parents at her side.

Ms. Prout said she was attacked in a mechanical room at the school in May 2014. In the trial that ended in August 2015, Owen Labrie, a senior, was cleared of felony sexual assault charges but convicted of misdemeanor charges, including having sex with someone below the age of consent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Chessy Prout, St. Paul’s Sex Assault Survivor, Speaks Out For The First Time

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Daily Beast

Lizzie Crocker

The teenage victim of a high-profile campus sexual assault has revealed her identity for the first time--along with her plan to help other survivors.

In an interview with NBC’s Today, Chessy Prout, now 17, told Savannah Guthrie that she hoped going public with her story would send a message to other victims of sexual assault that they “don’t have to be ashamed either.”

It’s been more than two years since Prout was assaulted by Owen Labrie, now 20, at the elite St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. “I feel ready to stand up and own what happened to me, and I’m going to make sure that other people--other boys and girls--know that they can own it too.”

One night in late May of 2014, Prout had agreed to meet with Owen in a planned encounter that arose from the so-called “Senior Salute,” an unofficial tradition at St. Paul’s wherein male and female upperclassmen attempted to hook up with younger students before graduating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

St. Paul’s Sexual-Assault Survivor Speaks Out: ‘I Want Everyone to Know That I’m Not Ashamed’

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New York

By Claire Landsbaum

Chessy Prout was 15 when Owen Labrie, a senior at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, asked her out on a date. That was in 2014, and shortly afterward, Prout accused Labrie of sexual assault. Labrie was acquitted of three counts of felony sexual assault, but convicted on three lesser misdemeanor charges — a conviction he’s currently appealing.

The ruling has always bothered Prout, who spoke publicly for the first time to Today’s Savannah Guthrie Tuesday morning. “They said that they didn’t believe that he did it knowingly, and that frustrated me a lot because he definitely did do it knowingly,” she said. “And the fact that he was still able to pull the wool over a group of people’s eyes bothered me a lot and just disgusted me in some way.”

After Prout’s family filed a separate lawsuit against St. Paul’s alleging administrators didn’t do enough to protect students, the school threatened to force Prout to reveal her identity at trial, claiming her family was dragging its good name through the mud “from behind a cloak of anonymity.” So Prout decided to come forward of her own accord to stand in solidarity with other victims. “I want everyone to know that I am not afraid or ashamed anymore, and I never should have been,” she said. “It’s been two years now since the whole ordeal, and I feel ready to stand up and own what happened to me and make sure other people, other girls and boys, don’t need to be ashamed, either.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Rally Wednesday to Support Child Sex Abuse Victims Legislation

NEW YORK
Patch

By Lanning Taliaferro (Patch Staff) - August 30, 2016

MOUNT KISCO, NY — The public is invited to join advocates, officials and survivors of child sex abuse in front of Town Hall Aug. 31 to call on New York lawmakers to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse.

The rally is hosted by Ali Boak, candidate for State Senate in the 40th District, who includes passage of the Omnibus Child Victims Act among her campaign issues.

New York’s current laws demand that a victim of child sexual abuse claim justice before their 23rd birthday, she said. But research shows that it takes an average of 21 years for a victim to disclose their abuse. So most victims of child sexual abuse cannot seek justice because the statute of limitations kicks in.

The rally begins at 1 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Robert J. Maher

PENNSYLVANIA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Robert J. Maher was ordained for the Harrisburg diocese in 1937. He was an assistant in York, Columbia and Lebanon parishes, later pastoring parishes in Harrisburg and Hanover. From 1948-61, Maher was Diocesan Superintendent of Schools; he resided at a girls' orphanage for most of that time. For 15 years he also held a position with the Diocesan Examiners of Clergy. He retired in 1975 and died in 1990. In August 2016 the diocese publicly acknowledged that Maher was among priests of the diocese with credible allegations against him of child sexual abuse. The allegations were reported to the diocese in 1994, regarding "an incident that took place in the 1960s."

Ordained: 1937
Died: June 19, 1990

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Assignment Record– Rev. George J. Koychick

PENNSYLVANIA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: George Koychick was ordained for the Harrisburg diocese in 1949. He assisted at parishes in Harrisburg, Mt. Carmel, York and Mechanicsburg, and was pastor in Williamstown, York and Palmyra. He was also chaplain during the late 1950s-early 1960s at the PA Industrial School in Camp Hill. The Official Catholic Directory does not index Koychick 1997-2000; his whereabouts during that time are unclear. He was in residence 2000-2003 at a McSherrytown parish, then drops out of the Directory altogether. In August 2016 the diocese publicly acknowledged that in 2003 it received credible allegations against Koychick of child sexual abuse that occurred in the 1970s.

Ordained: 1949

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Police ‘queried bishop on sex ring’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 31, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth was interviewed by police investigating a pedophile ring while he was bishop of the Newcastle diocese in NSW, a royal commission has heard.

The revelation, in documents released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child ­Sexual Abuse, comes after Archbishop Roger Herft gave evidence this week that he was told priests were abusing children but did not report this to police.

Archbishop Herft said yesterday that he was given a “sacred trust” by the people of Newcastle during his time there as bishop between 1993 and 2005, and “I have let them down and let them down badly”. “I want to thank the commission for holding me personally accountable, for holding the church personally accountable,” he said.

Under questioning this week, he accepted that evidence shows he was warned on three occasions in the late 1990s that senior priest Graeme Lawrence was a sexual abuser, including of children. The archbishop also was warned repeatedly about sexual crimes by the late pedophile priest Peter Rushton, but did not report either man to police, the commission has heard.

A record of a meeting in January between Archbishop Herft and current Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson states: “Roger then spoke of police visiting him when bishop of Newcastle and interviewing in relation to a pedophile ring. He said he could report that he had no evidence of such.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

'Vatileaks' convict begins serving 18-month sentence

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

August 29, 2016

Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, the former Vatican official who was convicted in the "Vatileaks II" trial, has been taken into custody to begin serving an 18-month prison sentence.

Msgr. Vallejo Balda, who had admitted passing confidential Vatican documents to Italian journalists, was convicted by a Vatican tribunal on July 7. The court's sentence took effect on August 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Newcastle Anglican lawyer accused of leading "coordinated opposition" to Bishop Greg Thompson

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
30 Aug 2016

ROYAL commission chair Justice Peter McClellan accused solicitor Robert Caddies of leading “coordinated opposition” to Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson during an explosive few minutes of evidence after a group of senior Newcastle Anglicans complained to the royal commission about the bishop in April.

In extraordinary letters sent to Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the group that included Mr Caddies and former Newcastle Lord Mayor John McNaughton, questioned Bishop Thompson’s “unsubstantiated” claim he was groomed and sexually abused by two senior clerics, including the late Bishop Ian Shevill.

The bishop revealed the abuse in a Newcastle Herald article in October, 2015.

“If the allegation were correct, Bishop Thompson apparently took no action at the time, and until recently, to report the supposed abuse, thus potentially exposing younger members of the diocese to the danger involved,” the Newcastle group wrote in a letter to the royal commission in April that was revealed on Tuesday, on the 11th day of a public hearing into Newcastle Anglican diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

Priest defends seminary, dismisses CCOG's claims as myths

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 30, 2016

By Krystal Paco

It's not just the ownership of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary that's under fire, but the institution itself.

On Monday, the Concerned Catholics of Guam called the seminary a "sham", alleging the priests in training had no background checks, no psychological screenings, and no records to prove they were high school graduates. The CCOG also alleged the faculty were few and unqualified.

Today, we heard from the rector of the seminary himself, Father Pius Sammut, and he's out to debunk what he's calling "misgivings" from the CCOG.

Sham or seminary? Father Sammut is defending the institute which he says has produced 17 priests for the archdiocese. In an emailed response to KUAM News, Father Pius responds to recent statements made by the Concerned Catholics of Guam.

"This is another myth propagated by the enemies of Archbishop Anthony Apuron," the priest wrote.

One by one, he tackles the CCOG's issues, from admissions to faculty and the high cost of running the rms. The CCOG contends the Archdiocese of Agana funds $200,000 for the RMS. Father Pius, however, says their calculations are wrong.

"Last fiscal year, June 2015-2016, the total RM expenses were $531,353. The subsidy of the archdiocese was $73,800, less than $3,000 per head per year!" he maintained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Former Church Intern Accused of Sexual Assault No-Show for Trial

TEXAS
Big Country Homepage

An Abilene man who is accused of sexually assaulting a child while serving as an intern at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church more than two decades ago did not show up for his trial Monday.

Jeffrey Forest, 44, is charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child and was scheduled to face a jury Monday in the 350th District Court in Abilene.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

According to an arrest report, a victim came forward saying he/she was sexually abused by Jeff Forrest back in September of 1993.

Forrest was the victim's after-school daycare teacher, court documents state.

The victim reported that alleged abuse continued until the child was in 8th grade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Reward offered for capture of fugitive polygamist from Utah

UTAH
The Hour

Brady Mccombs, Associated Press
Monday, August 29, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Federal authorities hope a $50,000 reward announced Monday, coupled with a falling out between polygamist fugitive Lyle Jeffs and his brother — imprisoned sect leader Warren Jeffs — will lead someone to reveal his whereabouts.

Lyle Jeffs has been on the lam after slipping out of his GPS ankle monitor and escaping home confinement in Salt Lake City in June while awaiting trial on food stamp fraud charges.

He was in touch with his brother while on the run and was sent away to repent in July after refusing to follow an order, Eric Barnhart, the FBI's special agent in charge in Salt Lake City, said at a news conference.

Lyle Jeffs was in the sect's community on the Utah-Arizona border when the falling out occurred, and he feared the order could put him at risk of being captured, Barnhart said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Former Abilene church day care teacher accused of sexual assault of child no show at trial

TEXAS
Abilene Reporter News

By Brooke Crum of the Abilene Reporter News

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a former Abilene church day care teacher accused of aggravated sexual assault of a child who did not show up for his jury trial Monday.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Winston Forrest's attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case Monday morning, claiming the statute of limitations has expired.

After Forrest did not show up, Judge Thomas Wheeler scheduled a 1:30 p.m. hearing to check the status of Forrest.

Forrest's attorney said he had not heard from his client. Judge Wheeler said he would revoke Forrest's bond and issue a warrant for his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Texas Seminary First in Nation to Require Students to Complete Sexual Abuse Awareness Training

TEXAS
Christian Post

BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
August 29, 2016

Students pursuing a ministry degree at an evangelical seminary in Texas are now required to complete sexual abuse awareness training as part of their education.

Dallas Theological Seminary announced earlier this month that it's partnering with the group MinistrySafe to provide training for ministry degree students.

Reportedly the first seminary in the nation to do so, the requirement takes effect during the fall semester, which began on Monday, and can be met via an internship offered by MinistrySafe.

DTS President Mark Bailey said in a statement, "we're pleased to partner with MinistrySafe to equip our students to protect those who are most vulnerable."

"There are some issues that a seminary just can't prepare you for and that you have to learn on the job once you're out in ministry," Bailey said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Activist pastor appears in court on child molestation charges

GEORGIA
News4Jax

By Heather Leigh - Reporter
August 29, 2016

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A controversial Southeast Georgia pastor who was arrested Friday on child molestation charges appeared in Glynn County court Monday.

Kenneth Adkins, 56, was read his charges and then told a bond hearing would have to be set by a Superior Court judge.

Adkins, who is charged with one count of aggravated child molestation and one count of child molestation, is expected to have a preliminary probable cause hearing Friday, at which the state must present enough legal evidence to keep Adkins in jail on the charges. If the state can't provide that evidence, a judge can dismiss the case.

Adkins, who is pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, has been in jail since he turned himself in at 9 a.m. Friday in Glynn County.

A young man who used to be a member of Adkins' church told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Adkins molested him in 2010 when he was under the age of 16. A GBI agent told News4Jax that several incidents of molestation were alleged to have occurred at the church, in a vehicle and at the victim's residence. The Brunswick Judicial Circuit asked the Brunswick police to assist in the investigation, which began Aug. 12 and is ongoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 AM

Norwich Diocese, retired bishop sued in priest sex abuse case

CONNECTICUT
The Day

Published August 29. 2016
By Karen Florin Day staff writer
k.florin@theday.com KFLORIN

A 37-year-old Woodstock man who says he was sexually assaulted hundreds of times by a Catholic priest while serving as an altar boy at the Holy Trinity Church in Pomfret in the 1990s has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Norwich, retired Bishop Daniel P. Reilly and the church.

The Norwich Diocese previously settled two lawsuits brought by boys who were molested by the priest, Paul Hebert, when he served at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Pawcatuck from 1971 to 1981.

Hebert, who died in 2010, served at the Pomfret church from 1981 until 2004, when Bishop Michael R. Cote placed him on a leave of absence after the St. Michael incidents came to light. Hebert had also served at parishes in Old Saybrook, Montville and Clinton.

Jonathan Roy, the alleged victim, and his wife, Melissa Roy, are represented by the Reardon Law Firm of New London, which has handled about two dozen lawsuits in priest sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in the Newcastle Anglican diocese day 11 | live blog

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
30 Aug 2016

6.30pm: Newcastle Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy wraps up day 11 of the Newcastle child sexual abuse royal commission.

3.49pm Justice Peter McClellan has just told the royal commission that a group of Newcastle Anglican parishioners, including Caddies, wrote to the Royal Commission on April 13, 2016, complaining about Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson giving evidence at the royal commission.

The letter includes: “Our concern relates to the behaviour of, and statements made by, the current bishop...”

Naomi Sharp: “Firstly, you say that you are gravely concerned that Bishop Thompson apparently took no action in relation to his own abuse?”

Caddies: “Yes.”

Sharp: “Do you see that you express concern about Bishop Thompson having made an ‘unsubstantiated’ claim about another priest?”

Caddies: “Yes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Principal calls for urgent review of school governance

AUSTRALIA
The Educator

by James Reid
30 Aug 2016

An outspoken Catholic school principal has called for an urgent review of Catholic primary and secondary schools, saying their governance models are “antiquated”.

In a submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Paul Tobias, principal of St Joseph's College Geelong, said that people who expressed different views to the church could “expect to be penalised, isolated or have their careers impacted”.

“The Catholic Church persists with antiquated governance models which are no longer appropriate, rather than distribute power appropriately,” he said.

“In the case of primary schools, the local Catholic Priest is often the Canonical Administrator. This is a role unsuited to many Parish Priests, due to their other work commitments, lack of interest or expertise in education, lack of understanding in relation to modern work place practices, etc.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

Archbishop Roger Herft tells child abuse royal commission he 'let down' victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By David Marchese

One of Australia's most senior Anglicans, the Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, has told a royal commission he "let down" survivors of child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Herft has wrapped up his evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse after three days in the witness box.

The Archbishop finished his testimony with an apology to the people of Newcastle, where he served as Bishop between 1993 and 2005.

"I've become aware that the sacred trust that the people of this region placed upon me, I have let them down," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Roger Herft thanks abuse royal commission for holding him accountable

AUSTRALIA
Australian

August 30, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth has thanked the child abuse royal commission for “holding me personally accountable” after giving evidence that he knew about a number of paedophile priests but did not report this to the police.

Archbishop Roger Herft told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he had been given a “sacred trust” when appointed bishop of Newcastle in NSW during the 1990s and early 2000s.

“I have let them and down and let them down badly, and let down the (child abuse) survivors in ways that remorse itself is a very poor word to express,” the archbishop said this morning.

Giving evidence yesterday, Archbishop Herft accepted he had been repeatedly warned several Newcastle priests were allegedly abusing children, but had not reported this to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

Former Ballarat priest Robert Claffey admits to 19 charges of sexual abuse between 1970-1990

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
August 30, 2016

ANOTHER Victorian former priest from Australia’s most notorious child sexual abuse district has been exposed as a serial paedophile.

Robert Claffey, 73, today pleaded guilty to a string of child sexual assault charges from his time as a priest in the Catholic diocese of Ballarat.

Claffey was due to stand trial in the County Court this week on 21 charges, but pleaded guilty to 19 charges at the last minute instead.

Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who died in April, admitted to failing in his role. Picture: Mike Dugdale
Prosecutors withdrew two charges with Claffey pleading guilty to counts of buggery, indecent assault and sexual penetration of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

Perth Anglican Archbishop says he let sex victims down in NSW diocese

AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

AAP
August 30, 2016

THE Anglican Archbishop of Perth says he badly let down child sexual abuse survivors in his former diocese and hopes the church has been “woken up” by the Royal Commission.

Archbishop Roger Herft has finished giving evidence at hearings into how the NSW diocese of Newcastle, which he headed between 1993-2005, handled allegations of abuse.

“I have let them down ... let down survivors in ways that remorse itself is a very poor emotion to even express,” Archbishop Herft told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday.

“I hope that the church in this diocese and the church across the Australian continent will be one that has not only woken up ... but become more and more transparent and accountable.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

August 29, 2016

Monahan's attorney denies allegations of bathroom incident that led to charges

IOWA
Daily Nonpareil

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2016

By John Schreier
jschreier@nonpareilonline.com

A retired Council Bluffs priest, St. Albert volunteer chaplain and former principal was arrested last week on suspicion he was looking at the genitals of high school students in a public restroom.

The Rev. Paul Monahan, 83, was charged on Thursday, Aug. 25, with five counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor, according to online court records. He was released on his own recognizance the next day.

When reached at home Monday afternoon, Monahan declined comment on the allegations. His attorney, Bill McGinn of Council Bluffs, said the allegations against Monahan were completely false and that his client would be pleading not guilty to the charges.

Monahan was suspended on July 8 from all public ministries, according to the Diocese of Des Moines, pending the outcome of his legal proceedings. His preliminary hearing has been set for Friday, Sept. 16.

The Daily Nonpareil first reported Monahan’s arrest online Friday evening, following a statement released by the Diocese of Des Moines provided to the newspaper by St. Albert Catholic School. The newspaper obtained court documents Monday, which were initially unavailable, outlining the details of his arrest.

According to Monahan’s arrest affidavit, the alleged incident involved five male high-schoolers who were in the restroom during an April 4 track meet at Treynor High School that featured 11 area schools.

The students, along with a witness, told authorities that Monahan, who was using the restroom at the time, stepped back to look at their genitals. When confronted by one of the students, Monahan reportedly left both the restroom and track meet hurriedly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Iowa priest facing invasion of privacy charges

IOWA
KETV

[with video]

TREYNOR, Iowa —We're learning new details about an Iowa priest suspended after being charged with five counts of invasion of privacy.

Father Paul Monahan was the senior chaplain at St. Albert Schools when the alleged incident happened at a track meet last spring.

Fr. Monahan has worked at parishes and schools throughout southwest and central Iowa.

He was the principal at St. Albert from 1975 to 1979.

Now, he's suspended, accused of inappropriately looking at five boys using a bathroom.

The incident allegedly happened back in April during a track meet at the Treynor athletic complex in Treynor, Iowa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Priest charged with violation of privacy-nudity

IOWA
KMTV

[with video]

Joe Cadotte
Aug 29, 2016

A well-known Iowa priest is accused of invasion of privacy nudity.

The priest is accused of watching five students use the bathroom in April.

Father Paul Monahan, 83, was suspended as the chaplain of St. Albert's Catholic School after being arrested Thursday for five counts of invasion of privacy nudity.

He was released from jail the next day.

Because Father Monahan is well known in Pottawattamie County, the state attorney general's office is investigating to avoid a conflict of interest,” said Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeffery Danker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

John Swinney to meet with historic child abuse survivors

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

CHRIS MARSHALL
Monday 29 August 2016

Survivors of historical child abuse have said a meeting with John Swinney will have a “major impact” on whether they continue to engage with Scotland’s crisis-hit national inquiry.

Campaigners will meet the education secretary today to make a series of demands about the remit of the inquiry and the financial redress on offer.

The Scottish Government last month appointed senior judge Lady Smith to lead the inquiry following the resignation of the previous chairwoman, Susan O’Brien QC.

The national inquiry is investigating the abuse of children in care going back decades.

But it has been mired in controversy, with survivors saying they have “lost confidence” in the government’s handling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Perth Archbishop gives second day of evidence in Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

IAN KIRKWOOD
29 Aug 2016

PERTH Archbishop Roger Herft has repeatedly told the Royal Commission he is unable to recall anything about a range of child sexual abuse allegations that documents show were raised with him during his 12 years as bishop of Newcastle from 1993 to 2005.

I can’t answer that, I can’t answer that question because I have no recollection of it happening.
- Roger Herft

Resuming evidence he began on Friday, August 12, Reverend Herft was questioned a number of times about his lack of recall, but he insisted he could remember nothing without documentation in relation to various high-profile abuse cases being examined by the commission.

Numerous times, Reverend Herft agreed he had failed the victims of abusive priests in his diocese, and said he was tortured in not knowing why he did not do more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

I was fooled by priest on sex abuse: Herft

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Phoebe Wearne, Newcastle - The West Australian on August 30, 2016

The Anglican Church has revealed “continuing distress and sadness” in its Perth diocese as Archbishop Roger Herft yesterday admitted to being told on three occasions that a senior priest had abused children but had raised the allegations only with the clergyman involved.

Appearing before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Archbishop Herft faced a second day of questioning in Newcastle about his knowledge of child sex offences in the NSW Hunter region in the 1990s and early 2000s.

He accepted evidence that during his time as Bishop of Newcastle he received three serious complaints about former Dean of Newcastle Graeme Lawrence in 1995, 1997 and 1999.

He told the commission he had “no reason to doubt” Lawrence’s denials at the time and therefore accepted his “say so” that the offences did not take place.

“There was a sense in which I trusted him,” Archbishop Herft said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Retired priest suspended following arrest

IOWA
KMTV

The Diocese of Des Moines has suspended a retired priest in Council Bluffs from all public ministry following his arrest.

Father Paul Monahan faces five counts of invasion of privacy stemming from an incident at a high school track meet in April 2016. The charges are a serious misdemeanor.

The Diocese says Bishop Richard Pates first became aware that police were investigating an allegation against Monahan in July. Bishop Pates immediately suspended Monahan pending the the investigation. Monahan will remain suspended until the case is resolved in court.

Monahan has served as a senior chaplain at St. Albert Schools. He previously served as a teacher and principal at St. Albert High School. He also was a priest at St. Mary in Avoca, St. Patrick in Walnut, Holy Family in Council Bluffs and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Glenwood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Protesting Catholics demand "Three Rs"

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 29, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Dozens representing the Concerned Catholics of Guam and the Laity Forward Movement continued their weekly protest outside the Hagatna Cathedral on Sunday morning. Their demands can be summed-up with their Three Rs: return the Redemptoris Mater Seminary to the Archdiocese of Agana, restore Father Paul Gofigan and Monsignor James Benavente, and a demand that Anthony Apuron resign as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Group: Yona seminary is a 'sham'

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News August 30, 2016

A group that has repeatedly called for the removal of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron said on Monday, Aug. 29 that a seminary in Yona is a “sham” and should be shut down, but the seminary's rector said it will start a brand new academic year on Sept. 5 with 38 students enrolled.

Andrew J. Camacho, vice president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, cited alleged problems and deficiencies of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, which he said include a lack of strict admission requirements, poor quality and quantity of permanent and visiting faculty, and a sole focus on the Neocatechumenal Way. There is an ongoing rift in the local Catholic church between traditional Catholics and those who follow the Neocatechumenal Way, including Apuron.

Camacho also said the seminary lacks a true vetting process for students, its priests do not serve the faithful in Guam and there is a high operational cost.

“In my opinion the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona is a sham. The beauty of its exterior masks an empty shell. This seminary should be shut down,” Camacho said during a press conference in Tamuning, Monday afternoon. The Yona property, which used to be the 100-room Accion Hotel has been valued between $40 million to $75 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Shame! 4-yr-old raped by temple priest!

INDIA
Odisha TV

Cuttack: Cuttack police today arrested Ratikant Das, a priest of a temple at Andoti village under Sadar police limits, from Bhingarpur after a complaint was lodged against him alleging that he had raped a four-year-old girl of the village on Sunday.

Informing news men about the manhunt here, Sanjeev Arora, Cuttack DCP, said, “A case has been registered under Sec 376 of the IPC and the relevant section of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act at the Sadar police station and the victim has undergone preliminary medical examination.”

He further stated, “We have got evidence and the probe is on.”

The incident happened when the four-year-old victim had gone to the temple at 6 pm yesterday to offer prayers and handed over fruits to the priest for offerings to the deity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Catholic priest allegedly rapes minor in Abuja

NIGERIA
Daily Post

A Gudu Upper Area Court, Abuja, on Monday remanded Rev. Fr. Anthony Ochigbo, Parish priest of Church of Assumption, Asokoro, in police custody for alleged rape of a 10-year-old girl.

Ochigbo was arraigned on a one-count charge of rape.

The Upper Area court judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, adjourned the case till Aug. 30 for ruling.

His counsel Godwin Chukwukere had applied for his bail pursuant to sections 158, 162, 163 and 164 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).

Chukwukere urged the court to grant the defendant bail because he was still innocent until proven otherwise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Geelong Grammar teacher sex abuse claims by former student

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

PETER MICKELBUROUGH, Herald Sun
August 29, 2016

GEELONG Grammar has been rocked by another sex abuse claim, with a former student claiming she was sexually assaulted by her English teacher 25 years ago.

The woman, who the Herald Sun has chosen not to identify, said the assault occurred when she was 18 when her teacher invited her to his home on the campus of the elite school.

Once inside, the now 42-year-old alleges the teacher placed her hand on his crotch and forced her to perform a sex act, touched her breasts through her clothing and kissed her. She said the assault occurred despite earlier complaints of sexual misconduct by other students against the same teacher.

The school was rocked last year by revelations at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse of sex abuse and cover-ups spanning six decades and involving five other teachers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Concerned Catholics of Guam calls seminary "a sham"

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 29, 2016

By Krystal Paco

While the Concerned Catholics of Guam prepares for what could be a lengthy legal takeback of the multimillion dollar Redemptoris Mater Seminary, they're now speaking out about the validity of the seminary's graduates.

"The Redemptoris Mater Seminary is a sham," stated Andrew Camacho, vice president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam organization. In a press conference on Monday, the CCOG questioned not only the validity of priests being formed at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, but also the Archdiocese of Agana's continued investment in the institute, calling it "money down the drain."

"RMS has produced 17 priests in the last few years. Do they serve the Catholic faithful in Guam? Seven priests serve in local parishes. Two are at RMS. Eight are not in Guam. Some are serving in other countries. The status of the others is unknown," Camacho continued. "The cost of running the RMS is too high. Approximately $200,000 comes from the Archdiocese of Agana."

The CCOG also alleges there are no background checks, no psychological screenings, and no records to prove seminarians are high school graduates. Instead, the CCOG states the RMS is strictly in the business of promoting Archbishop Anthony Apuron's personal agenda - to form priests following the life and practice of the Neocatechumenal Way, not traditional diocesan priests.

According to the CCOG's look of the curriculum and faculty, the RMS doesn't meet standards of model seminaries stateside noting the RMS has limited faculty and teachers who aren't qualified to teach their subject areas. Said Camacho, "This seminary should be shut down. I feel sorry for the men who have true vocations to the priesthood and have to endure the poor formation in this so-called seminary."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Criminal justice research reports released

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

29 August, 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released two research reports it commissioned on criminal justice issues that make significant findings about how child sexual abuse cases are handled in the criminal justice system.

An evaluation of how evidence is elicited from complainants of child sexual abuse conducted 17 studies using information from various sources to examine the use and effectiveness of alternative measures for eliciting evidence from child sexual abuse complainants.

In some of these studies, judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers and witness advisors were interviewed and surveyed to provide their perspective. Other studies analysed prosecution case files, trial transcripts and police video interviews with complainants to determine trends and evaluate how measures for eliciting evidence are actually being administered.

The overall findings from the 17 studies suggest that alternative measures are supported by legal professionals and are being used as a matter of course with child complainants. Five main areas were identified for improvement:

1. Overcome obstacles to using technology
2. Align police interviews with evidence-based practice guidance
3. Improve the quality of questioning in the courtroom
4. Increase the availability of alternate measures for adults
5. Reduce delays and streamline the prosecution process.

The other research study - The impact of delayed reporting on the prosecution and outcomes of child sexual abuse cases – examined how the criminal justice systems in New South Wales and South Australia deal with complaints of child sexual abuse reported to the police in childhood, compared with those in which the report is delayed until adulthood.

Researchers from the University of Sydney Law School examined data from police and court records in both jurisdictions, and conducted case file analysis and discussion with legal and other professionals in New South Wales.

Key findings included:

* In both New South Wales and South Australia, most reports of child sexual abuse were made within three months of the incident, but there has been an increase in the number of reports made beyond 10 years after the incident.

* The longest delays in reporting occurred where the alleged perpetrator was a person in a position of authority, such as a teacher, priest or foster carer. In these cases, the data shows that the majority of reports were made at least 10 years after the incident.

* Victims of child sexual abuse are not disadvantaged by reporting in adulthood. For example, the proportion of incidents in New South Wales in which an identified person of interest was proceeded against was consistently highest for offences reported in adulthood.

The delayed reporting research also looked at appeals in child sexual abuse cases in New South Wales.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the research papers aimed to provide greater understanding in their areas of exploration.

“These research reports will significantly inform our upcoming criminal justice consultation paper. The reports examine the entire criminal justice experience, from the initial police report to the trial process and conviction rates,” Mr Reed said.

“The research on complainants’ evidence provides an invaluable insight into what really happens in court and how this can impact on a complainant’s ability to provide accurate and useful evidence.”

Read An evaluation of how evidence is elicited from complainants of child sexual abuse – by Martine Powell, Deakin University; Nina Westera, Griffith University; Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Charles Sturt University; and Anne Sophie Pichler, Deakin University.

Read The impact of delayed reporting on the prosecution and outcomes of child sexual abuse cases – by Judy Cashmore, Alan Taylor, Rita Shackel and Patrick Parkinson, University of Sydney Law School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Maverick cleric Buckley willl 'keep highlighting Maynooth sex scandal' despite blog ban

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Suzanne Breen
PUBLISHED
29/08/2016

Controversial cleric Bishop Pat Buckley has accused the Catholic Church of attempting to censor him after a blog, in which he revealed a gay sex scandal in Maynooth training college, was deleted by Google.

For six weeks the Larne-based bishop has disclosed details of a gay sub-culture in Maynooth with some students having profiles on the gay dating app Grindr, and using the site to solicit sex with priests and laymen.

Bishop Buckley also revealed that a former seminarian was filing a complaint of sexual harassment with gardai against a staff member. He claimed that whistleblowers were dismissed from the seminary after bringing the issue to the authorities.

His blogs, exposing the scandal, were picked up by the mainstream media and led to Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin announcing that he would no longer send student priests to Maynooth. ...

He has since received notification from the Google-owned platform, Blogger, that his blog has been taken offline.

In an email, Blogger stated: "Your blog at http://wisecatholic.blogspot.com has been reviewed and confirmed as in violation of our terms of service for: HATE. In accordance to these terms, we've removed the blog."

Bishop Buckley said: "I was shocked when I received this email.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Concerned Catholics of Guam VP says RMS should be shut down

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 28, 2016

By Krystal Paco

During a press conference this afternoon, Concerned Catholics of Guam Vice President Andrew Camacho said that in his opinion the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona is a sham, “the beauty of its exterior masks an empty shell. This seminary should be shut down,” he said.

Camacho cited a comparison between the functions of the RMS to that of the St. Patrick’s Seminary in California.

He noted the following deficiencies at RMS:
- Lack of strict requirements for admittance to the program
- Lack of true vetting process for students
- Poor quality of the faculty to teach courses
- Poor quality of the permanent and visiting faculty
- The sole focus on the Neocatechumenal Way
- Priests who do not serve the faithful in Guam
- The high cost of running the RMS (approximately $200,000 comes from the archdiocese of Agana according to the CCOG)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Archbishop Herft denies protecting defrocked priest at child sexual abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By David Marchese

One of Australia's most senior Anglicans, the Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, has denied protecting a former priest accused of child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Herft is being questioned about his time as Bishop of Newcastle between 1993 and 2005 at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Newcastle case study is examining the way the local Anglican diocese responded to allegations of child sexual abuse made against clergy and lay members of the church.

The counsel assisting the commission, Naomi Sharp, questioned Archbishop Herft about allegations of abuse made against the de-frocked former Newcastle Dean Graeme Lawrence in the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Archbishop denies clergyman intimidation

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth denies he was intimidated by a former senior clergyman accused of child sex abuse, with whom he had three conversations that he cannot remember.

Archbishop Roger Herft, who was in charge of the Newcastle diocese until 2005, on Monday conceded documents indicate he spoke to former Dean Graeme Lawrence about allegations over numerous years.

But he has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he has no recollection of the conversations and is concerned by the fact that the appropriate file notes don’t seem to have been made.

He denied trying to protect Mr Lawrence, who has since been defrocked.

“Are you intimidated by Graeme Lawrence?” counsel assisting the commission Naomi Sharp asked.

“I'm not intimidated by Graeme Lawrence,” Archbishop Herft replied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Moorhead native's abuse by pastor inspires fictional play

MINNESOTA
InForum

By Rohan Preston / (Minneapolis) Star Tribune on Aug 28, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS—James Hanson, an actor and religion professor at St. Olaf College in Northfield, was doing a solo show about the apostle Paul a couple of years ago when he shared a secret with John Woehrle.

Hanson told Woehrle that he had been molested as a teenager by a Lutheran pastor in Moorhead, where he grew up. The cleric, David L. Anderson of Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, was a family friend.

Woehrle, a playwright, actor, director and teacher who was helping Hanson stage the production, consoled him. He suggested that Hanson share his story in a play.

"While clergy abuse has gotten a lot of press in movies like 'Spotlight' and other shows, there hasn't been a lot from the victims' perspective," Hanson said. "I wanted to show the ripple effects of the abuse on the victim, the family, the community at large. It's corrosive and ugly stuff that took me 17 years to acknowledge, but I've gotten to a good place now."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

'Like a spider that keeps building its web': family of sexual abuse survivor speaks out

AUSTRALIA
Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Sunday 28 August 2016

When Meg was 12, her mother, Annie, found herself unable to look at her. Seeing her daughter made Annie feel unsettled, at times almost angry. At first, she couldn’t figure out why.

“And then, Meg turned 13 and suddenly, everything slid into place for me,” Annie says.

“I found myself thinking, ‘She’s so tiny. She is so little.’ And I realised I was actually talking about myself, not her.

“It felt like something just broke. It was something big and ugly, and it just broke.”

Annie was 13 in 1987 when an Anglican priest began sexually abusing her, over a period of eight to 10 months. Seeing her daughter turn the same age was a trigger that not only bring back memories of the abuse, but that also helped her to comprehend just how small and innocent she would have been.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Abuse royal commission: Archbishop Roger Herft told about Graeme Lawrence

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 29, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth has admitted being told on three separate occasions that a senior priest was a sexual abuser, including of children, but did nothing about it other than speak to the alleged offender involved.

The admission, under questioning before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse this morning, contradicts Archbishop Roger Herft’s own previous evidence to the commission that “no one ever raised with me” any allegations against the priest.

“That particular statement of mine is not correct,” Archbishop Herft told the commission this morning.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, the archbishop was the bishop of Newcastle in NSW, which is currently being investigated by the commission over the handling of child abuse committed by its priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

ROYAL COMMISSION: Herft quizzed on Rushton and CKC matters

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

IAN KIRKWOOD
29 Aug 2016

Former Newcastle bishop Roger Herft has told the royal commission he “failed miserably” in his response to priest abuse victim CKA.

Resuming after a morning adjournment, Reverend Herft, now the Archbishop of Perth, was taken through his handling of a number of matters that took place during his watch, including the CKA/CKC matter, disgraced priest Peter Rushton and the seminary student Ian Barrack, who left the Morpeth college before being ordained and was subsequently convicted of child sexual abuse.

Questioned by counsel assisting the commission, Naomi Sharp, Reverend Herft agreed that there had been two allegations raised with him against Rushton, on top of the child pornography matter, but he disagreed with her description of there being “alarm bells ringing”.

He agreed he did not take action against Rushton despite being told he had his “own group of boys”.

He said he had been “deeply fooled” by Rushton into believing that he had changed his ways, when he had not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Royal commission hears how senior priest within Newcastle diocese got away with years of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Rohan Smith, news.com.au
August 29, 2016

WARNING: Graphic content

BETWEEN 1998 and 2003, the ringleader of a Newcastle-based paedophile priest network preyed on his victims with impunity.

Father Peter Rushton is believed to have raped a number of boys in the Hunter Region, two hours north of Sydney.

On one occasion he used a small knife to cut the back of a victim during the assault. The blood, his victim said through tears, was “symbolic of the blood of Christ”.

Rushton was accused of owning child pornography and raping a number of children, including a priest’s son. He died in 2007 having never been convicted of his crimes.

A royal commission investigating years of abuse within the Newcastle diocese heard on Monday how Rushton got away with it for so long.

The commission heard evidence from Roger Herft, who was the bishop of Newcastle for more than 10 years and who oversaw Rushton’s conduct. He is now the Archbishop of Perth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Archbishop thought 'abuser' had repented

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

29 AUG 2016

The Anglican archbishop of Perth has conceded he should have done more amid allegations a senior NSW clergyman, who had formerly been investigated for child porn, had his "own group of boys".

Archbishop Roger Herft, who was head of the Newcastle Diocese between 1993 and 2005, was alerted to a child sex complaint relating to four men in 2003.

One of the men was senior priest Peter Rushton, who was accused of abusing another priest's son around the same time and had come to the archbishop's attention when removalists thought they found child pornography at his house five years prior.

Archbishop Herft on Monday told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he was "deeply fooled" by Rushton, who he thought had "changed" after the pornography matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Archbishop says 'alarm bells should have rung' over abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Monday 29 August 2016

The Anglican archbishop of Perth says alarm bells should have rung over allegations a senior New South Wales clergyman had his “own group of boys” and had abused a priest’s son.

The royal commission heard that archbishop Roger Herft, who was head of the Newcastle diocese between 1993 and 2005, was alerted to a child sex complaint relating to four men in 2003.

One of the men was senior clergyman Peter Rushton, who had been accused of abusing a boy around the same time and had previously come to the archbishop’s attention when removalists found what they thought was child sexual abuse material at his home five years previously.

Anglican church tried to change rules to keep child sex abuse findings quiet – inquiry

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Church can't be trusted to run Catholic schools: Catholic principal

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Henrietta Cook

A Catholic principal has blasted the Catholic Church, saying school leaders are being pressured into "inappropriate" situations and silenced.

Paul Tobias, the outspoken principal of St Joseph's College Geelong, has called for an urgent review of the governance of Catholic primary and secondary schools.

"The Catholic Church persists with antiquated governance models which are no longer appropriate, rather than distribute power appropriately," he said.

In a strongly worded submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Mr Tobias said people who expressed different views to the church could "expect to be penalised, isolated or have their careers impacted".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in the Newcastle Anglican diocese day ten | live blog

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
29 Aug 2016

6pm:

Newcastle Herald journalists wrap-up day 10 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

4.31pm

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has ended hearing evidence on the 10th day of the Newcastle Anglican public hearing.

The hearing will resume at 9.30am on Tuesday, August 30.

4.18pm

Solicitor Mr Healy has started asking the archbishop questions on behalf of solicitor Keith Allen, the man who gave evidence in the earliest part of the public hearing that he had “the ears” of three bishops.

Healy is questioning Herft about the yellow or brown envelopes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Edina grad wrote and stars in new play about clergy abuse

MINNESOTA
Home Town Source

By Home Town Source on August 29, 2016 at 4:14 am

After decades away in Hollywood and a dark period including government collusion and gold mining, John Woehrle is returning to the stage in his home state.

Woehrle, an Edina High School class of 1970 graduate, is premiering the play “Trust,” which he wrote and stars in, beginning this weekend at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis.

The play follows a Catholic college senior, Michael, who must come to terms with the sexual abuse he endured as a child by a trusted priest and the difficult time he has balancing his memories of past trauma and normalcy he thought had built for himself.

The play is more than simply fiction.

Woehrle was working with a former student Jim Hanson, now a professor at St. Olaf, on a project called “Apostle on the Edge,” when he discovered that Hanson had been abused in his past by a Lutheran pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

August 28, 2016

Editorial: The horror of St. George's

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

Posted Aug. 28, 2016

There were cries of relief this month after St. George’s School, in Middletown, agreed to a settlement with as many as 30 alumni who claimed they had been sexually abused. Finally, after decades, the victims’ claims had been acknowledged, and validated.

But even if the settlement, which was not made public, eases some of the pain felt by the victims, the story of abuse at this elite Episcopal prep school and the decades-long trail that followed one of the alleged perpetrators presents a clear warning.

Adults in any setting who are entrusted to care for children must be vigilant and do everything in their power to protect these innocent lives. Loyalty to friends or employees, or fear of scandal or disgrace, have no place in any decision-making process. Children must be protected. And people who hurt them or present a threat to them should be removed and reported to the authorities.

Sadly, that did not happen at St. George’s, where it appears that dozens of students were sexually abused by teachers and staff during a period from the 1970s into the 1980s. That these acts could have taken place over such a long period is almost as stunning as the number of children who may have been assaulted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Protests continue strong in light of Apuron statement

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

The past two weeks have seen a number of developments in the ongoing dispute between Archbishop Anthony Apuron and concerned Catholic laity over the Redemptoris Mater Seminary (RMS) property in Yona.

The most recent development is a statement released by Apuron on Thursday, Aug. 25. Jacqueline Terlaje, legal representative of Apuron, issued a statement with the first words from Apuron since his disappearance from public view in June.

In the release, Apuron confirmed statements made by the Archdiocese of Agana and RMS administrators in which ownership of the Yona property was concluded in favor of the archbishop. However, the main concern of the statement seemed to be the allegations that he defied the Pope, as stated in the media following Hon's an Aug. 18 statement from Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana.

Apuron claimed that the decisions he undertook in regard to the purchase and subsequent management of the former Hotel Accion were done within ecclesiastical law and under the advisement of both the Archdiocesan Finance Council and College of Consulters, contrary to reports from the Concerned Catholics of Guam and other sources. Apuron cited a number of threats, as he perceived them, to the spiritual well-being of Guam Catholics and concluded that he could not "in conscience" lift the deed restriction as requested by Hon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Archbishop to continue sex abuse evidence

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Rebekah Ison - AAP on August 29, 2016

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, is expected to continue his evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Earlier this month, Herft admitted to major failings in handling sex abuse complaints while he was in charge of the Newcastle diocese between 1993 and 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Thomas J. Brunner

OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Thomas J. Brunner was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1974. He assisted at parishes in Reading, Deer Park and Montgomery, then held the position of pastor at parishes in Anderson Township and Troy. For many years he was also a religion teacher, music minister and chaplain at Mount Notre Dame High School in Reading. In 1985 two girls, who were Mount Notre Dame students, told their principal that Brunner had sexually abused them. He did not deny the allegations. His assignment at the school was terminated and he was sent by the archdiocese to counseling. He was allowed to continue in parish ministry. In 1989 a woman told the archdiocese that Brunner had sexually abused her when she was a high school student in the 1970s. He was sent for a psychological evaluation and again allowed to stay in ministry. In September 2003 Brunner resigned from his long-time position as pastor of St. Patrick's in Troy in anticipation of his impending removal per recommendation of the Archdiocese's review board. He was on paid leave until laicized by the Vatican in March 2006.

Ordained: 1974
Laicized: 2006

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Court voids state sex offender registry for imposing unconstitutionally retroactive punishment

MICHIGAN
Washington Post

Jonathan H. Adler
August 25

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit held that recent amendments to Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) are unconstitutional because they impose retroactive punishment on sex offenders in violation of the Constitution’s prohibition on ex post facto laws. Among other things, the plaintiffs argued that amendments to Michigan’s SORA increased the severity of its requirements after their convictions imposed retroactive punishment. In John Does #1-5 v. Snyder, the Sixth Circuit agreed.

Judge Alice M. Batchelder wrote for the court, joined by Judges Gilbert S. Merritt and Bernice B. Donald. Her opinion for the court begins.

Like many states, Michigan has amended its Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) on a number of occasions in recent years for the professed purpose of making Michigan communities safer and aiding law enforcement in the task of bringing recidivists to justice. Thus, what began in 1994 as a non-public registry maintained solely for law enforcement use . . . has grown into a byzantine code governing in minute detail the lives of the state’s sex offenders . . . Over the first decade or so of SORA’s existence, most of the changes centered on the role played by the registry itself. In 1999, for example, the legislature added the requirement that sex offenders register in person (either quarterly or annually, depending on the offense) and made the registry available online, providing the public with a list of all registered sex offenders’ names, addresses, biometric data, and, since 2004, photographs. . . . Michigan began taking a more aggressive tack in 2006, however, when it amended SORA to prohibit registrants (with a few exceptions . . .) from living, working, or “loitering”1 within 1,000 feet of a school. . . . In 2011, the legislature added the requirement that registrants be divided into three tiers, which ostensibly correlate to current dangerousness, but which are based, not on individual assessments, but solely on the crime of conviction. . . . The 2011 amendments also require all registrants to appear in person “immediately” to update information such as new vehicles or “internet identifiers” (e.g., a new email account). . . . Violations carry heavy criminal penalties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Anglican dean ‘gave court reference for priest accused of sex abuse’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 29, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

A former dean of Newcastle’s Anglican cathedral wrote a character reference for an alleged pedophile priest at the centre of a new police investigation, a royal commission has heard.

The reference was one of three provided by Graeme Lawrence for the criminal trials of alleged sex offenders within the NSW diocese, according to evidence before the Royal Commission into Instit­utional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Mr Lawrence was himself later defrocked after having group sex with a teenager.

The former cathedral dean prepared the reference in about 2001, although the charges were ultimately “no-billed”, meaning prosecutors decided not to pursue the case.

The Newcastle diocese subsequently released a media statement falsely claiming that the priest, who cannot be named, had been acquitted, the commission has heard.

The priest moved to the Victorian diocese of Ballarat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Back-to-school legal troubles at 2 Catholic high schools | Quigley

NEW JERSEY
The Jersey Journal

By Joan Quigley | For The Jersey Journal
on August 28, 2016

This wasn't a good-news month at two Catholic high schools in Bergen County.

Without admitting wrongdoing, officials of Bergen Catholic High School agreed to pay $1.9 million to 21 former students who alleged sexual abuse decades ago. And Paramus Catholic High School was knocked down in court on its plea to deny a hearing to a teacher who was fired because she is in a same-sex marriage.

Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for seven people in the Bergen Catholic suit, said that between 1963 and 1978 students were subjected to routine sexual abuse by some of the Christian Brothers in charge of the school. The students were between 13 and 17 years old at the time, he said, and had been taught to do whatever the brothers instructed, no matter how they felt about it.

The victims recalled being told to pull down their pants so they could be whipped with leather straps or pinched and groped by some instructors. Others said they were punched or beaten for minor offenses, while some complained not about touching of any sort but having to remove their underwear to allow brothers simply to stare at them.

Court-ordered payments will be distributed during the first week of December, with each award ranging from $65,000 to $115,000. An arbitrator will decide how much each alleged victim receives based on the nature of the abuse suffered, the duration and frequency of such abuse, and the extent of injuries suffered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

MEDIA RELEASE – AUGUST 27, 2016

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

“Move-in Day” for Fordham University students should signal “Movement Day” for the Northeast Province of Jesuit Priests and Brothers in reasonably settling the case of childhood sexual abuse of Neal E. Gumpel by a deceased Jesuit priest, Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., who taught and lived on the Fordham campus for many years

Reports of childhood sexual abuse by Fordham University and Fordham Prep Jesuit priests and lay teachers, including Neal E. Gumpel’s credible claim of sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., continue to surface in the aftermath of the recent announcement by Fordham Prep alumnus, Michael Meenan, that religion teacher, Fernand Beck, sexually abused him in 1984

Neal E. Gumpel was a high school student from Westchester County, New York, who was sexually abused as a minor child by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., deceased Fordham University and Fordham Prep teacher, who was teaching at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, while Neal E. Gumpel was visiting his brother, a student at Maine Maritime Academy. Jesuit leaders thus far have refused to help Neal E. Gumpel heal by validating and reasonably settling his claim which they have found to be credible

The Jesuits of the Northeast Province, in a media report, recently expressed their willingness to help victim/survivors of sexual abuse by Jesuit Priests and brothers, BUT they have not done so with Neal E. Gumpel

What
A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, Fordham University and Fordham Prep students, parents, alumni and the general public about the growing number of reports of sexual abuse against Fordham University and Fordham Prep faculty and staff members in the aftermath of the recent announcement (New York Times, New York Post, The Ram, e.g.) by Michael Meenan, Fordham Prep ’84, that he was sexually abused by his religion teacher, Fernand Beck, during a graduation party in Westchester County, New York. Demonstrators will also draw attention to the claim of Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., a deceased Fordham University and Fordham Prep teacher, at Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine, and which was found credible by Jesuit leaders of the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus. However, the Northeast Province of the Jesuits still have not validated Neal E. Gumpel’s claim, thus preventing Neal E. Gumpel from healing

When
Sunday, August 28, 2016 from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm

Where
On the public median outside the Fordham University gates near 400 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York, which also is in front of the entrance to the New York Botanical Gardens

Who
Neal E. Gumpel; his wife Helen, Gumpel; and Robert M. Hoatson, Fordham University Ph.D., 1988, co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Neal E. Gumpel’s account of having been sexually abused by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, S.J., has been found credible by the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), but the Jesuits have yet to reasonably settled Neal E. Gumpel’s claim. Recently, in a media report, the Jesuits expressed their willingness to help victims of childhood sexual abuse. It is time for the Jesuit Priests and Brothers of the Northeast Province to reasonably settle the childhood sexual abuse claim of Neal E. Gumpel.

Demonstrators will call upon the Jesuits of the Northeast Province, including Jesuits at Fordham University and Fordham Prep, to stop their foot dragging and reasonably settle the childhood sexual abuse claim of Neal E. Gumpel.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Fordham University Ph.D., 1988 – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Napa County now home for John Nienstedt, Twin Cities archbishop who resigned under legal cloud

CALIFORNIA
The Press Democrat

CHRIS SMITH
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | August 27, 2016.

Minnesota and then Michigan evidently grew too hot for John Nienstedt, a former Catholic archbishop who was accused of protecting predatory priests and who now cools his heels in Wine Country.

Nienstedt came far west after departing Minnesota under duress and stopping briefly in Michigan. A newspaper report out of Battle Creek earlier this year revealed that only two weeks after Nienstedt arrived and took a temporary church post there he “left amid a swirl of criticism.” Residents opposed to his assignment hounded the diocese and the media, and pulled tuition support for a school associated with the church, according to another news report.

His resignation in June of 2015 as the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis came 10 days after prosecutors there filed criminal charges against the archdiocese that he ran since 2008, alleging “its failure to protect children.”

Earlier last year, in the midst of multiple lawsuits, the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy, citing “the scourge of sexual abuse of minors.” ...

HAVING MOVED ON on to the North Bay, Nienstedt now is doing work at the private Napa Institute, created by Orange County attorney and Meritage Resort & Spa owner Tim Busch. The institute’s declared mission is “to equip Catholic leaders to defend and advance the Catholic Faith in ‘the Next America’ — today’s emerging secular society.”

Nienstedt has presided over Mass at the chapel at Meritage, in Napa. Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, which encompasses Napa County, is aware he’s here and said the resort chapel is “a suitable place for him to celebrate Mass.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

August 27, 2016

Bishop tended Catholic flock quietly for 23 years

TENNESSEE
Commercial Appeal

David Waters
Columnist

J. Terry Steib, a former missionary, was introduced as the new Catholic bishop of Memphis on the 23rd day of March in 1993.

He was the fourth bishop — and first African-American bishop — in the 23-year history of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis.

Last week, Steib officially retired on the 23rd day of August, having led the diocese for 23 years. ...

Steib's critics say he didn't do enough to keep predators away from the flock — especially clergy sex abusers.

"Bishop Steib disclosed information on predator priests only when forced to do so by external forces," said David Clohessy, a former Memphian and national director of SNAP — Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests.

"He didn't discipline a single church employee for ignoring or concealing clergy sex crimes."

In court depositions, Steib admitted he made mistakes that put children at risk. But he said the church "responded according to what it knew and believed at the time."

Some say Steib was too quiet about a lot of things.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

AG's office: Kane's resignation will not impact Baker-McCort abuse case

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

The resignation of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is not expected to impact the trial against three priests accused of failing to sufficiently protect children from Brother Stephen Baker, who was believed to be a child predator.

Revs. Giles A. Schinelli, Robert J. D’Aversa, and Anthony M. Criscitelli each face charges of conspiracy and endangering the welfare of children. Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye, the lead prosecutor in the case, has argued the three defendants – in their roles as ministers provincial of the Third Order Regular, Province of the Immaculate Conception – gave Baker assignments that provided him access to children.

A status conference is scheduled to take place Wednesday in the case against Schinelli, D’Aversa, and Criscitelli.

The trial is not likely to begin until 2017, according to Blair County Judge Jolene Kopriva.

Baker allegedly abused at least 100 students at what was called Bishop McCort High School when he served there from 1992 through 2000. The friar died from a reported suicide in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Whistleblower Hoatson: Local child abuse 'secret' protected by culture, 'dome' of faith

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

The Catholic Church is deeply ingrained in the Johnstown region's identity.

Worshipers have celebrated and mourned together, lived lives of virtue, served their communities, and raised their children in the faith – all within the framework of the institution. But, that same structure allowed countless acts of alleged child sexual abuse to take place – and be covered up – in the opinion of Robert Hoatson, founder of Road to Recovery, a New Jersey-based advocacy group.

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General released a report that accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown of perpetrating a decades-long conspiracy to shield priests and other religious leaders who preyed upon children.

The investigation started after the office learned Brother Stephen Baker allegedly abused students when he served at what was then Bishop McCort High School in the 1990s.

Hoatson is a former Irish Christian Brother and Roman Catholic priest who was laicized – had his privileges withdrawn – in 2011 after challenging the church for allowing abuse and coverups to occur.

“In 40 years of being inside the church, and then obviously now five years outside the organization of the church, I have never seen a phenomenon quite like Stephen Baker and the affect he's had on a geographic section or area of our country,” Hoatson said in a meeting with The Tribune-Democrat.

“Having been here so long now on different occasions, it's almost as if these beautiful hills around here – or mountains, whatever you call them – a dome was put over it, and the secret was kept in here for so many decades that, even today, it's the hardest place I've experienced to get people to talk about it.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Mauro Visigalli: Priests deserve basic justice, too

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

By Mauro Visigalli

Mauro Visigalli, of Codogno, Italy, is a lawyer in Italian courts and at the Vatican.

Posted Aug. 26, 2016

I am an Italian "avvocato rotale." I usually work in the Roman Curia of the Catholic Church where certain canonical crimes arrive for consideration from all over the world. For this reason, I often look at American newspapers online, sometimes printing out their pages for my folders.

I was doing that the other day, searching for news about a priest who entrusted his case to me, when I found in The Providence Journal an article about a different priest, unknown to me ("Priest prohibited from serving," news, July 1). His story made me want to share some thoughts, based on my professional experience.

What amazes me is that in a country like yours, where the rights of the accused are considered so important, that rights do not seem to count when a priest is accused of a sexual crime. Such is the paradox of a 95-year-old priest who is prohibited from serving based on "credible" facts of an incident that happened 60 years before.

I would simply ask: How could someone defend himself against such old charges? And is the "presumption of innocence" a mere option, or has it been replaced in these cases with a "presumption of guilt?" I can find this same expression — "credibly alleged" — on the websites of many American dioceses, with attached blacklists of priests smeared forever after having dedicated their whole life to the church (sometimes dead priests, too). Some websites include a red button and phone numbers with the list, so that everyone can easily send in his or her accusation and everyone can infer, however wrongly, that such crimes are absolutely normal in the church!

Do you know how many of those "credible accusations" started with a simple anonymous letter? Do you know how often the letter was sent from someone who was in a position to gain from the denunciation? Do you know how many priests weren't found guilty but are still suspended because their bishop is frightened about public opinion? Do you know how long the accused priests, immediately suspended from their ministries with a simple letter from their bishop, live under the double pressure of a civil and a canonical tribunal?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Longtime priest, St. Albert chaplain suspended following arrest

IOWA
Daily Nonpareil

Fri Aug 26, 2016.
by John Schreier
jschreier@nonpareilonline.com

A retired western Iowa priest who serves as a chaplain at St. Albert has been suspended following his arrest on invasion of privacy charges Thursday.

The Rev. Paul Monahan, 83, has been charged with five counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor, according to online court records.

Bishop Richard Pates has suspended Monahan from all public ministry while the investigation and court proceedings are ongoing, according to Anne Marie Cox, a spokesperson for the diocese. Cox said that Monahan was first suspended July 8 when the diocese became aware of the allegations.

The charges stem from an incident at a high school track meet in April, according to the diocese. An arrest affidavit or other court documents to provide more detail on the charges were not available Friday night, when Monahan was released on his own recognizance, according to the Pottawattamie County Jail.

Iowa Code 709.21(1) – the statute under which Monahan was charged, according to online court records – relates to the recording or photographing of an unknowing victim in a state of partial of full nudity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Catholic priest facing invasion of privacy charges

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Joey Aguirre, jaguirre@gannett.com August 26, 2016

A retired Catholic priest is facing invasion of privacy charges after an alleged incident at a high school track meet in April, according to a news release from the Diocese of Des Moines.

The Rev. Paul Monahan has been charged by the Iowa Attorney General's Office with five counts of invasion of privacy, according to the Friday release. An attempt to reach the attorney general's office for more information was unsuccessful.

Diocese of Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates suspended Monahan on July 8 after learning of the investigation. The suspension will remain in place until the case is resolved by authorities.

Monahan, ordained in 1960, retired in 2004 and then served as a senior chaplain at St. Albert Schools in Council Bluffs. He was a teacher at Dowling Catholic for fours years in the 1960s before being assigned to St. Albert, where he served in a variety of capacities before retiring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Sex abuse lawsuit against priest and Peoria diocese revived on appeal

ILLINOIS
Peoria Journal Star

By Andy Kravetz
Journal Star public safety reporter
@andykravetz

PEORIA — An appellate court panel this week found a Peoria County judge erred when she threw out a lawsuit by a man claiming he was sexually abused by a priest.

The panel of 3rd District Appellate Court judges held the man's lawsuit, which was filed in 2012, wasn't time-barred by state law even though the abuse happened in the early 1990s. Rather, Judge Mary K. O'Brien wrote, with Judges Robert Carter and Vicki Wright concurring, the lawsuit should be allowed to proceed as the man claimed in his suit that he blocked the abuse out of his memory until 2011. As such, the statute of limitations hadn't tolled.

The man, now 37, sued the Rev. Norman Goodman, Holy Family Catholic Church, and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria in July 2012, alleging Goodman, who is deceased, sexually abused him from 1991 to 1994 when he was 13 to 15 years old. Goodman was a priest based in Lincoln.

Under a 1991 law, those alleging child abuse must file civil claims within a certain time frame. Any lawsuits after that were barred because of a statute of limitations. A change in the law in 1994 repealed that section, but an Illinois Supreme Court case a few years later upheld the sentiment of the 1991 section of law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Retired Iowa priest charged with five counts of invasion of privacy

IOWA
Omaha World-News

By John Schreier / World-Herald News Service

A retired western Iowa priest who serves as a chaplain at St. Albert has been suspended following his arrest on invasion of privacy charges Thursday.

The Rev. Paul Monahan, 83, has been charged with five counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor, according to online court records. Bishop Richard Pates has suspended Monahan from all public ministry while the investigation and court proceedings are ongoing, according to the Diocese of Des Moines.

The charges stem from an incident at a high school track meet in April, according to the diocese. An arrest affidavit or other court documents to provide more detail on the charges were not available Friday night.

Monahan was released on his own recognizance Friday evening, according to the Pottawattamie County Jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Tom Clonan: The Catholic Church can either reform itself after the Maynooth mess - or risk looking like a Fr Ted episode

IRELAND
Journal

MY PARENTS DIDN’T like Father Ted. They didn’t get it. If my Mum and Dad were alive today they’d be in their 80s. They were a generation that grew up in an Ireland dominated by the Catholic Church.

For my parents, Fr Ted was like a fly on the wall documentary about priests. They couldn’t laugh at it. They couldn’t enter into the comedic spirit of it. They simply couldn’t suspend disbelief in order to laugh at Fr Ted, Fr Jack and Fr Dougal.

It was as though you ‘couldn’t make it up’. And yet, Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews had made it up. They had conceived, devised and constructed an elegant satire that eloquently described the comic, dark reality of the organisational culture of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

I have been reminded of Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews in the recent media coverage of the controversies that have engulfed the national seminary at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Media reports of a ‘gay subculture’ at the college and the alleged widespread use of the gay dating app Grindr among seminarians read like the script of a Fr Ted episode.

The news value of these stories have pushed them to the top of the news agenda. This dynamic may have obscured the real story however. To be honest, I believe the sexual orientation of seminarians or priests is largely irrelevant in the context of the grave challenges that confront the institution of the Catholic Church in Ireland. Indeed, much of the coverage has been voyeuristic and gay shaming – perhaps unwittingly revealing a deep-seated homophobic bias among some commentators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Mary McAleese says Maynooth should be ‘gay-friendly’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Barry Roche

The current controversy about a gay culture at Maynooth is misplaced and the church authorities should be focusing on why so few young people are seeking to join the priesthood rather than seeking to make seminaries gay-unfriendly places, according to former president Mary McAleese.

Dr McAleese said that she found the focus on whether there is a gay culture at Maynooth worrying but she traced it to the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality with which she profoundly disagreed and which did nothing to make gay people feel welcome within the church.

“We have the phenomenon of men in the priesthood who are both heterosexual and homosexual but the church hasn’t been able to come to terms with the fact that there are going to be homosexuals in the priesthood, homosexuals who are fine priests,” said Dr McAleese.

“They haven’t be able to come to terms with that because the teaching of my church, the Catholic Church, tells them that homosexuality is, of its nature, intrinsically disordered – those are the words of pope Benedict and that homosexual acts are, in his words, evil,” she added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Shifting winds in Maynooth - but Church must embrace change or lose its flock

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Martina Devlin
PUBLISHED
27/08/2016

Another day, another flavourless statement from Maynooth. It is remarkable how an institution as vibrant and effective as the Catholic Church during its 2,000-year history should become now so lost within a gilded labyrinth.

There is a way out of this maze of its own construction, as leaders from Pope Francis to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin realise. But their dilemma is how to secure buy-in for essential reforms from the Church's management class.

The scale of the necessary overhaul is significant, and many within the hierarchy are resistant to change. This means the reformers have a circle to square: on the one hand, gradual reform will meet with less resistance from traditionalists; on the other hand, it might be dismissed as tinkering at the edges.

For the Irish hierarchy to stick its collective fingers in its ears and go "la la la, we can't hear you" is no solution to the crisis lapping at its doors. It has pursued such a policy for decades, with dwindling vocations and empty churches to show for it.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin is among those trying to effect change - but will it be watered down so that the public barely notices any difference? This week's statement from Maynooth's trustees will do little to reassure the faithful, who have anxieties both about alleged seminary 'sexcapades' and the theologically inflexible priests being formed there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Former president Mary McAleese: Seminaries in Ireland should be 'gay friendly'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Geraldine Gittens
PUBLISHED
27/08/2016

Former president Mary McAleese has said that seminaries in Ireland should be “gay friendly”.

This week it emerged that a closer eye will be kept on how Maynooth's seminarians spend their time from now on as part of a stricter regime being introduced in the wake of the gay dating app scandal.

The Irish Independent reported that all trainee priests will now be required to eat their evening meal in the college rather than being allowed to dine wherever they choose. They will also be required to attend evening rosary at 9pm, which hasn't been obligatory until now.

The seminary council will now eat both breakfast and dinner with the seminarians in the historic Pugin Hall rather than in the Professors' Refectory.

But Dr McAleese, a staunch Catholic who campaigned fearlessly for a yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum, told the Daniel O’Connell Summer School in Kerry yesterday that the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality was worryingly dangerous, according to the Irish Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

New Study Explores Why Religious ‘Nones’ Departed from Their Childhood Religion

UNITED STATES
Christianity Daily

Adults identifying themselves as "religious nones" have increased over the last few decades, and a recent Pew survey explored why they chose to move away from religion.

About 78 percent of the respondents of the survey said that they grew up in religious environment, but departed from the religion.

Pew received hundreds of different responses when the participants were asked to elaborate in their own words why they left their religious groups. Though the responses were diverse, Pew said, the research center was able to categorize some responses under common threads.

Some 36 percent said they were disenchanted with the religion, and about 7 percent said they were not interested in or did not need religion. Around 7 percent also said that their views evolved. Only 1 percent said they experienced a crisis of faith.

Many of the respondents said that they departed ways with religion because of its organized ways and hierarchy. About one in five Americans held this view.

Others also said that they saw religion becoming too much like a business, and also mentioned sexual abuse by clergy as one of the reasons for their leaving their childhood religion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Top 5 reasons why U.S. religious organisations went to court in 2015

UNITED STATES
Christian Today

Jonah Hicap 27 August 2016

Sexual abuse of minors is the No. 1 reason why religious organisations in the United States went to court in 2015, according to a lawyer.

Richard Hammar, a lawyer who specialises in legal issues related to churches and clergy, recently published his report on the Church Law and Tax website.

He categorised state appellate court and federal court rulings, which totalled 12,000 decisions, to identify the cases that most threaten religious organisations.

Hammar said sexual abuse of minors was the leading cause, accounting for 11.7 percent of the cases.

"Sadly, for several years the sexual molestation of minors has been the number one reason that churches went to court," he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Anti-gay pastor who said LGBT community 'deserved' Orlando massacre arrested for molesting boy

GEORGIA
New York Daily News

CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Friday, August 26, 2016

A conservative Florida pastor who said that the victims of the Orlando massacre got “what they deserve” is being charged with child molestation.

Bishop Kenneth Adkins was arrested by Georgia authorities on Friday after allegations that he molested a boy under the age of 16.

The 56-year-old clergyman, who runs churches in Jacksonville, Atlanta and Brunswick, Ga., gained notoriety in the immediate aftermath of Omar Mateen’s shooting at Pulse nightclub in June.

He posted on Twitter that he had “been through so much with these Jacksonville homosexuals that I don’t see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

IAN KIRKWOOD: How much child sexual abuse has the Royal Commission uncovered?

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

IAN KIRKWOOD
27 Aug 2016

HAVING covered the first nine days of Newcastle hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Newcastle Herald is about to re-enter the fray on Monday, for two days of Anglican hearings followed by eight days on the Maitland-Newcastle diocese of the Catholic Church.

As I sat with my esteemed colleague Joanne McCarthy – who more than any other person laid the groundwork for this commission – I could not help but reflect on the mysterious set of codes and practices that is the Australian legal system.

I doubt I’m the only one whose first, reflexive response to the Royal Commission was to think that one of its first jobs would be to calculate the size of the child sex abuse problem – both currently and historically – in Australia. At this point, we must remember that this is not a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, per se. It’s a commission into the institutional responses to that abuse: in other words, what the organisations in question did about the abuse perpetrated by their members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Lawsuit revived in case of alleged sexual abuse by Lincoln priest

ILLINOIS
CINews Now

August 26, 2016

LINCOLN, Ill. -- A man who says he was sexually abused by a Lincoln priest has cleared a legal hurdle.

The alleged victim claims he was abused by Rev. Norman Goodman of the Holy Family Catholic Church between 1991 and 1994.

The lawsuit had been barred because the statute of limitations ran out.

That was overturned Friday by an appellate court panel because the man says he repressed memories of the abuse until 2011.

"They said the statute of limitations in this case wouldn't have started to run until he was 18, but because he couldn't remember because he'd suppressed the knowledge of the abuse, it was further (held) until 2011. When he first came to know that the injury existed and that it was wrongly caused," said Jonathan T. Nessler, the alleged victim’s attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

August 26, 2016

‘I’ve always obeyed the Pope’

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

In a statement released to the media on Aug. 25, Archbishop Anthony Apuron responded to claims that he opposed the Pope.

"I wish to declare that this is absolutely false and it is causing real, grave and immediate damage to the Church in Guam and to my good name," Apuron said in the release.

Apuron said he had always followed the Pope and has every intention of doing so in the future.

The disobedience in question refers to comments made by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, in a statement concerning a presentation made to the Presbyteral Council regarding the legal status of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary (RMS) property in Yona.

Hon said, "In truth, more than a year ago, the Holy See recognized the problems such a Deed Restriction created. Ever since then, more than once, the Holy See has instructed Archbishop Anthony Apuron to rescind and annul it. Clearly this instruction has not been carried out accordingly."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

COURT: ST. LOUIS PRIEST DEFAMED BY ANTI-SEX ABUSE GROUP

MISSOURI
Church Militant

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th. • ChurchMilitant.com • August 26, 2016

SNAP made accusations "negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth"

ST. LOUIS (ChurchMilitant.com) - A federal judge is ruling a St. Louis priest was the victim of defamation by an anti-sex abuse advocacy group that conspired against him.

On August 22, US. District Judge Carol E. Jackson wrote in a court order that the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) made public accusations that "were false and that they did not conduct any inquiry into the truth or falsity of these public statements, but instead made these statements negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth."

Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang of St. Louis sued SNAP last year after the sex abuse claims they litigated against him were suddenly dropped. Father Jiang says the leaders in SNAP launched a "smear campaign" against him in the media.

In June, the court ordered SNAP to produce documentation substantiating its accusations against Fr. Jiang. Its refusal to comply with the judge's discovery order resulted in Jackson's ruling this week in favor of the priest.

SNAP claimed the reason it refused to produce the documentation as ordered was what the judge called a "rape-crisis-center privilege," which didn't apply in this case. The judge concluded that SNAP had no legal defense for not producing the evidence beyond "repeated assertions of a nonexistent privilege."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Diocese: Three priests added to list of alleged abusers

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Brandie Kessler, bkessler@ydr.com
August 26, 2016

Add three priests accused of child sexual abuse to the list of those with ties to the Harrisburg diocese.

The diocese confirmed Friday three names identified by the York Daily Record/Sunday News, which has been investigating the scope of abuse in the diocese.

Each priest had worked in York County at some point, according to the diocese. But the diocese did not specify where the alleged abuse occurred.

One allegation was received following the YDR's story, "Shadowed History," which published online Aug. 9 and in print Aug. 14. The diocese said it reported the allegation to law enforcement and has not determined whether it is credible.

The diocese confirmed credible allegations of abuse had been made against Robert Maher and George Koychick. The Daily Record is not naming the other priest at this time, as the allegation is still under investigation.

* Koychick -- The diocese said “credible allegations” against Koychick were made to the diocese in August 2003 about abuse that occurred in the 1970s, diocese spokesman Joseph Aponick said. Koychick had been stationed at St. Joseph’s in York from June 1953 to June 1957 and at St. Patrick’s in York from November 1967 to June 1981, Aponick said in an email. “Already being retired, and out of ministry, [Koychick] was formally forbidden to function in any capacity as a priest and law enforcement authorities were notified,” Aponick said. Koychick could not be reached for comment.

* Maher -- The diocese confirmed “credible allegations” against Maher were received in February 1994 from an incident that took place in the 1960s, Aponick said. According to "The Official Catholic Directory," Maher worked at St. Vincent's in Hanover in the 1960s and 1970s. Maher had been assigned to St. Rose of Lima in York from June 1937 to June 1939, Aponick said. He retired from ministry in May 1975 and died in June 1990, Aponick said. Aponick said law enforcement authorities were informed.

* The diocese received an allegation of abuse against another priest in early August, Aponick said, about an incident that took place in the 1970s. “This is a new allegation against a deceased priest, he previously had no allegations against him,” Aponick said. “We have reported it to law enforcement authorities; we are still awaiting details and are still looking into the case.” The priest served at a York County parish in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

This Rabbi is Striking Back at Pedophiles — Using Twitter

NEW YORK
Forward

Thea Glassman
August 26, 2016

Meet the rabbi who’s on a mission to educate the Orthodox community about sexual abuse—and publicly out pedophiles while he’s at it.

For the past 15 years, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz has been trying to break the cycle of silence associated with abuse in the Orthodox community. According to the Torah, Jews are forbidden to turn criminals over to non-Jewish authorities, and are expected to face shunning and bullying from their community if they do.

As such, sexual abuse often goes unreported.

“You have people who are [very close.] Reporting on somebody who you’re friendly with, or who is someone’s uncle is more challenging than reporting on somebody you don’t know,” Horowitz told Vocativ. “…I’ve been telling parents to go to police.”

The rabbi has turned his personal Twitter and Facebook accounts into a one man campaign against sexual abuse.

“Warning to Boro Park parents about released sex offender Dascalowitz.” Horowitz tweeted last month, linking to a Facebook post he had written that includes the current address of sex offender Meir Dascalowitz, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Man relives horror of life in Irish Protestant children's home

IRELAND
BBC News

A man who hopes his case will be heard at the European Court of Human Rights has spoken of the horrors he says he endured at a children's home in Ireland.

Derek Leinster, 75, was born at Dublin's Bethany Home in 1941. He wants a public apology and financial compensation.

The grandfather, who now lives in Rugby, says its only right that survivors of Protestant children's homes receive the same recognition as those from Catholic homes.

The Irish Government said a Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was established in February 2015, to find out what happened to vulnerable women and children in 14 homes, including the Bethany Home, from 1922 to 1998.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Brave Catholic priest sex abuse survivor won't be silenced

AUSTRALIA
Chinchilla News

Sherele Moody | 27th Aug 2016

ALMOST 50 years ago, a tall, fun loving and incredibly charismatic Catholic priest strolled into a Brisbane schoolroom where he began systematically destroying the heart, body and soul of a 14-year-old girl.

That girl was Joan Isaacs and, despite 49 years having passed, the memory of the day she met the man who would sexually assault her over and over again is crystal clear.

"He came into our class to give religious instruction," Ms Isaacs says of Francis Edward Derriman.

She pauses for a moment, her soft voice trembling slightly while her hands trace mindless patterns on the table in her spotless dining room.

"We'd had pretty boring religious instruction from the chaplains before that," Joan recalls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Controversial pastor arrested for alleged child molestation

GEORGIA
Fox 13

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. - A Georgia pastor and conservative political activist was arrested Friday morning on charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation.

Ken Adkins, 56, of St. Simons Island, turned himself into police at about 9 a.m., according to officials with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The GBI was requested on Aug. 12 to assist officials with the accusations against Adkins.

Adkins is currently in the Glynn County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.

Adkins has one church, with locations in Brunswick, Jacksonville and Atlanta, according to his website.

Adkins recently came under fire when he tweeted "homosexuals got what they deserved" after the deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub. His Twitter account has since been set to private.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Controversial local pastor Ken Adkins arrested for child molestation

GEORGIA
First Coast News

Destiny Johnson and Terry Dickson, Florida Times-Union , WTLV August 26, 2016

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- According to a release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation given to First Coast News on Friday, Brunswick Pastor Kenneth Adkins, 56, turned himself in on Aug. 26.

Adkins turned himself in on one count of aggravated child molestation and one count of child molestation at approximated 9 a.m. Friday.

Adkins is known for being a controversial Pastor in Brunswick Ga. as well as being involved in Jacksonville politics, including the recent 'bathroom bill.'

The investigation against Adkins in regards to these child molestation charged began on Aug. 12 with the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson requesting the help of the GBI. The investigation is still ongoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Controversial pastor and activist Ken Adkins charged with child molestation in Brunswick

GEORGIA
Florida Times-Union

By Terry Dickson Fri, Aug 26, 2016

Controversial pastor Ken Adkins has been charged with two counts of child molestation in Georgia and is in the Glynn County jail, officials said.

One of the two charges against the 56-year-old is aggravated child molestation, said Stacy Carson, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Kingsland office.

District Attorney Jackie Johnson asked the GBI on Aug. 12 to assist the Brunswick Police Department in an investigation of an accusation of child molestation against Adkins, Carson said. The investigation focused on suspected molestation in several locations in the Brunswick area including at Adkins’ church, a vehicle and a victim’s home, Carson said. The investigation is ongoing.

Lawyer Kevin Gough told the Times-Union he is representing Adkins and believes the accusations are said to have occurred in 2010. He said Adkins had willingly turned himself in. ...

Adkins is a controversial figure in Jacksonville politics, particularly because of comments and crude caricatures he posted on his Twitter account while he helped lead the fight against expanding Jacksonville’s anti-discrimination law to cover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Among the criticisms that Adkins lodged was his assertion that expanding the law would make it easier for sexual predators to find victims in bathrooms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Pastor who said Pulse victims got ‘what they deserved’ accused of molesting boy at church

TRAVIS GETTYS
26 AUG 2016

A Georgia pastor who said Pulse nightclub shooting victims got what they deserved has been arrested on child molestation charges.

Ken Adkins, of St. Simons Island, turned himself in to police about 9 a.m. Friday on aggravated child molestation charges, reported The Florida Time-Union.

The 56-year-old Adkins, who has congregations in Atlanta, Jacksonville and Brunswick, Georgia, is an outspoken anti-LGBT activist in the Jacksonville area.

He drew widespread condemnation for making offensive remarks about a fatal shooting that left 49 clubgoers dead and 53 others wounded at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

“I don’t see none of them as victims,” Adkins tweeted. “I see them as getting what they deserve!!”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

De Vito Receives the Endorsement, Support of Fighting for Children PAC

NEW YORK
LongIsland.com

Long Island, NY - August 25, 2016 - New York State Senate District 3 Candidate John De Vito’s campaign has received the endorsement of the Fighting for Children PAC. The political action committee was founded by Gary Greenberg to allow victims of childhood sexual assualt greater ability to seek justice and restitution for the crimes committed against them.

De Vito said that “Childhood victims of sexual abuse should not be denied justice because of an arbitrary law that prevents them from bringing their case in court. I will continue fighting tirelessly for the passage of the Child Victims Act. The Republicans obstructing this bill should understand that silence is complicity in allowing predators to remain on the streets. I take this fight personally."

Mr. Greenberg said that "John represents the kind of high ethical and moral fiber that we need in Albany to make sure that our legislatures care about taking predators off the streets, and providing justice for victims."

De Vito seeks to defeat freshman Senator Tom Croci (R-Islip) in a year that will feature economic fairness and public corruption as key campaign issues throughout the region. John is a 25 year-old lifelong resident of Mastic Beach, and a graduate of William Floyd High School and New York University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Proclamation Regarding Child Safety in the Orthodox Jewish Community

UNITED STATES

In light of tragic suicides committed as a direct result of child sexual abuse, as well as other physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences suffered by innocents in our Jewish Orthodox communities and beyond; and,

In fulfillment of the Torah's precept, רעך דם על תעמוד לא")Do not stand by while your fellow's blood is spilled"); and,

As religious leaders responsible for our communities' institutions and their policies, as well as for
the physical and spiritual welfare of the members of our communities

We proclaim the following:

* We acknowledge that sexual abuse of children - committed by family members, acquaintances, rabbis, teachers, counselors, youth leaders, and other professionals - exists in our communities. This abuse has caused and continues to cause immeasurable harm to the victims, their families, and our entire community; it can destroy lives.

* We recognize in light of past experiences that our community could have responded in more responsible and sensitive ways to help victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.

* We condemn attempts to ignore allegations of child sexual abuse. These efforts are harmful, contrary to Jewish law, and immoral. The reporting of reasonable suspicions of all forms of child abuse and neglect directly and promptly to the civil authorities is a requirement of Jewish law. There is no need for people acting responsibly to seek rabbinic approval prior to reporting.

* We decry the use of Jewish law or the invocation of communal interests as a tool to silence victims or witnesses from reporting abuse. Regardless of the standing of the abuser, accusers and their family members must be treated in an accepting, nonjudgmental manner so that they feel safe and can therefore speak frankly and fully. This is necessary for them to receive suitable therapeutic support, and in order to facilitate proper investigation and pursuit of justice. Shunning or encouraging social ostracism of victims, their families, or reporters is forbidden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

New York - Expressing Remorse Over Past Mishandling Of Sexual Abuse In Children, 300 Orthodox Rabbis Vow Better Protection For Victims

UNITED STATES
Voz Is Neias

[Proclamation Regarding Child Safety in the Orthodox Jewish Community]

New York - In light of recent tragic suicides committed as a direct result of child sexual abuse, as well as other physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences suffered by innocents in Jewish Orthodox communities and beyond, a proclamation signed by a large and diverse group of rabbis from the United States, Canada and Israel has taken a firm stand against abuse in children, acknowledging that the Jewish community has been slow to recognize incidents of molestation in the past and calls upon schools and synagogues to institute policies that will prevent sexual abuse.

The statement, signed by close to 300 Orthodox Jewish rabbis, admits that rabbis and community leaders have not always dealt effectively or appropriately with victims of child sexual abuse or their perpetrators.

Released today by David Nyer, a licensed clinical social worker, the proclamation condemns the practice of using Jewish law to prevent victims from reporting abuse and describes any attempts to ignore child sexual abuse as “harmful, contrary to Jewish law and immoral.” Suggestions for greater safety in schools and synagogues included maximizing visibility so that children cannot be in unseen locations with adults, better screening of applicants including background checks and fingerprinting, and educating staff on recognizing and reporting possible incidents of child abuse.

Rabbi Yosef Blau, a senior mashgiach at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, called the statement a turning point for the Jewish community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Reflections on Chicago Imam’s Guilty Plea

ILLINOIS
Heartfelt: Reflections on Faith, Sex & Public Health

by Nadiah Mohajir

Women & Girls initially was founded to focus on improving access to sexual health information and education in Muslim communities. As we held workshops across the country, we quickly realized something: once facilitators set a safe space and gained the trust of participants, the sheer number of stories of sexual violence that were shared were overwhelming. As a result, we quickly made the deliberate decision to include sexual assault awareness education in every one of its sexual health workshops. We believed that it would be a disservice to participants to not also cover topics such as boundaries, consent, and healthy relationships in our sexual health education programming. While discussing sexual violence is different than discussing women’s health, these two topics intersect in the experience of being a Muslim woman, understanding one’s body, and exercising bodily autonomy.

Last year, the importance of this work was more evident than ever. A young woman came forward with allegations of sexual assault against a prominent Chicago imam, Abdullah Saleem. HEART board and staff, along with a team of volunteers, publicly supported her, and within days, received dozens upon dozens of phone calls and emails from survivors of the same perpetrator. We began connecting these young women to the resources they needed: legal services, contacts in the criminal justice system, therapists, and awareness materials.

Of the numerous survivor stories related to this case that HEART initially collected, five survivors chose to move forward with civil legal proceedings, as reported in the New York Times in February 2015. The Illinois States Attorney filed criminal charges shortly afterwards. Both cases have been proceeding – and on August 25, 2016, Abdullah Saleem entered a plea bargain for both charges in the criminal case. This means that the criminal case was resolved out of court through a process of negotiation. As a result, the victims do not have to face the exhausting ordeal of going to trial and testifying in front of the defense, which typically utilizes tactics that humiliate and tear down the witness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Archbishop Herft denies false statement to abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 27, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth has denied telling the ­bishop of a diocese under investigation over alleged child sexual abuse that “a false statement had been filed by me with the royal commission”.

Archbishop Roger Herft, a ­former bishop of Newcastle, said the allegation was contained in a 2016 file note written by his successor, Bishop Greg Thompson, and tendered with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

While the file note has not been publicly released, a recent witness statement from Archbishop Herft said he had seen the document and “I don’t agree with everything that Bishop Greg has written”.

“In particular … I never told Bishop Thompson that a false statement had been filed by me with the royal commission in ­relation to the Church of England Boys Society,’’ he said.

The society, the subject of a previous royal commission investigation, organised youth camps in the Newcastle area at which at least one witness had described being raped by several men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

James M. Miller’s The Priests: sins of the Newcastle fathers laid bare

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAVID BREARLEY
The Australian
August 27, 2016

A Catholic lad coming of age in 1970s Newcastle was educated at his peril. The Marist Brothers operated two boys high schools in the region, neither of them safe. The third option was Saint Pius X College, staffed largely by the priests of what was then the Diocese of Maitland.

Pius was a diabolical place. The teacher-priests lived in quarters attached to the main classroom block, an arrangement that raised no eyebrows in that fabulously innocent decade.

The worst of them by a great margin was Father John Denham, perhaps not Australia’s most notorious pedophile priest but quite possibly the most prolific and without question the most expensive from the church’s perspective. His only competition in this regard is another Novocastrian, Father Vince Ryan.

Denham is jailed until 2028 for the sexual abuse of 57 boys, some of them barely out of preschool, most of them Pius students in their early teens. Police believe he abused twice that number and more, and the record shows he did so with uncommon brutality. From 1975 until 1980, according to judge Helen Syme of the District Court, Denham treated Pius as his personal “pedophilic smorgasbord”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Archbishop Apuron wants his name cleared

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 25, 2016

By Krystal Paco

After months of being attacked for a deed of restriction on the multimillion dollar Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, Archbishop Anthony Apuron is looking to clear his name, not only here at home but with the Holy See.

In a statement issued to KUAM News, sent through his legal counsel Attorney Jackie Terlaje, Apuron states the Pope Francis has granted his request for a canonical trial. In his defense, Apuron states past claims made by apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai and other critics of the Yona property are causing "real, grave, and immediate damage to the church in Guam and to my good name, spreading scandal and confusion among the faithful."

While the deed of restriction is believed to hand over the RMS to the non-profit RMS Corporation and parties affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way, Apuron contends the restriction merely blocks the sale and that if it wasn't for him, those looking to cash in would've converted the RMS from a seminary into a casino.

"I have always defended the moral life of the island opposing establishments which would bring money to few and moral misery and degradation to many," said Archbishop Apuron.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

IRISH BISHOPS IGNORE HOMOSEXUAL PROBLEMS IN IRISH SEMINARY

IRELAND
Church Militant

by Rodney Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • August 25, 2016

MAYNOOTH, Ireland (ChurchMilitant.com) - Ireland's Catholic hierarchy is ignoring the homosexual infestation of Maynooth seminary, instead claiming the solution to recent scandal is more women and less internet.

Despite recent public exposure of St. Patrick Seminary — the national seminary for Ireland — as being a hotbed of homosexual activity, a recent meeting of the trustees reveals a failure to deal with the source of scandal: homosexuality.

The trustees of St. Patrick Seminary — a group of the four archbishops of Ireland and 13 senior bishops — met on August 23 to discuss "the needs of the students and staff."

They claim the anonymous reporting of accusations has created an "unhealthy atmosphere," causing social media comments to be "speculative or even malicious."

To address the situation the trustees are deciding to review policies currently in place to determine the best way to deal with "whistle-blowers," and revise seminary policy regarding "appropriate use" of the internet and social media. A component of the seminary's recent scandal is frequent and open usage of the gay online dating app., Grindr, by gay seminarians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Newcastle’s ring of evil: abuse in Catholic, Anglican churches

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 27, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

It started with a grown man weeping in the witness box.

On the first day of its public hearings in Newcastle, NSW, earlier this month, Paul Gray broke down while describing to the child abuse royal commission his suffering at the hands of his godfather, Anglican priest Peter Rushton.

Asked if he wanted to stop giving evidence, Gray replied: “No, I need to read it. It’s important to me.” What followed was a very public reckoning for a region that arguably had suffered more than any other from child abuse committed by priests.

While much of the attention surrounding the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has focused on the Catholic diocese of Ballarat in regional Victoria, in Newcastle two churches — Catholic and Anglican — are in the inquiry’s sights.

Trying to estimate the true number of child victims is hopeless, but it is at least in the hundreds. Dozens of priests have been involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Archbishop Hon standing by his word

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 26, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai says he stands by the statement he made on August 18th related to the Declaration of Deed Restriction for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona.

On Friday night Archbishop Hon issued a response to a statement provided to media earlier in the day by Archbishop Anthony Apuron to clear his name. “Pope Francis never directed me to rescind the deed of restriction on the property,” Apuron stated.

In his August 18th press release Archbishop Hon stated Apuron was instructed over a year ago (more than once) to rescind and annul the Deed of Restriction, but the instruction was not carried out.

Apuron in his release responded that he never defied the Pope “I wish to declare that this is absolutely false and it is causing real , grave, and immediate damage to the Church in Guam and to my good name, spreading scandal and confusion among the faithful”. He added the Pope has granted his request for a canonical trial to clear his name. The statement was sent to KUAM from his attorney Jacque Terlaje.

In his response, Archbishop Hon said that he received the exact message which was released to the media today directly from Apuron via email. He added that it was read and discussed with the Presbyteral Council and their position on the matter had not changed since his press release issued on Aug. 18th. In that release he asked for “the collaboration of all the faithful to act with obedience to the directive of the Holy See.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Apuron says Pope granted his request for a canonical trial

GUAM
KUAM

Aug 26, 2016

By Krystal Paco

It's become a great debate - and we're not talking about the upcoming election. We've heard from the Concerned Catholics of Guam, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, and even rector to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Father Pius Sammut, all of whom have different opinions on who owns the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. And now, we hear from Archbishop Anthony Apuron himself who maintains the controversial deed restriction doesn't hand over the property, but protects it.

After months of being attacked for a deed of restriction on the multi-million dollar Yona seminary, Archbishop Apuron is looking to clear his name, not only here at home but with the Holy See.

In a statement issued to KUAM News on Friday sent through his legal counsel attorney Jacque Terlaje, Apuron states the pope has granted his request for a canonical trial. In his defense, Apuron states past claims made by Archbishop Hon and other critics of the Yona property are causing "real, grave, and immediate damage to the church in Guam and to my good name, spreading scandal and confusion among the faithful."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Hon: Archdiocese’s position unchanged despite Apuron’s message

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News August 26, 2016

In a written statement dated Aug. 25, Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron said Pope Francis never directed him to rescind a deed restriction that gives a seminary and a theological institute the legal right to use church property in Yona.

Apuron said he alone can lift that property restriction, but said he cannot in his conscience lift that restriction.

“To lift the restriction would not only damage the ability of the Seminary to exist and carry out its canonical mission, but it would eliminate the fundamental canonical requisite for the existence of a public juridic person,” he said in the statement.

A public juridic person in the Catholic Church is the equivalent to a civil corporation, according to the website of Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a Texas-based diocese. Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, parishes and other Church groups are considered public juridic persons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Judge Sanctions Priest-Abuse Group SNAP

MISSOURI
Courthouse News Service

By JOE HARRIS

ST. LOUIS (CN) — A federal judge sanctioned the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and of its two leaders for violating her orders in a defamation case filed by a priest who claims he was wrongfully accused.

The Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang sued St. Louis, two city police officers, the parents A.M. and N.M., the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris in June 2015.

Jiang claimed in the lawsuit that the allegations were brought by a deeply troubled 12-year-old boy, that the officers failed to fully investigate the claims, and that SNAP embarked on a smear campaign.

Criminal charges against Jiang were dismissed by the city prosecutor.

U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson ordered SNAP to produce the boy's identity and the amounts of contributions made to SNAP from 2005 to 2012 by the law firm of Chackes, Carlson & Gorovsky so that Jiang's attorneys could prepare their case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

VICTORY: Judge Sides With Falsely Accused Priest, Slams and Sanctions Hate Group SNAP for ‘Reckless Disregard for Truth’

MISSOURI
TheMediaReport

David Pierre

In a monumental victory for truth and justice in the Catholic Church abuse story, a federal judge has ruled that the lawyer-funded group SNAP indeed defamed St. Louis priest Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang and conspired to falsely claim the priest of child sex abuse.

In her ruling, the judge sanctioned SNAP, its national director David Clohessy, and its "outreach director" Barbara Dorris and ordered them to pay for Fr. Jiang's attorney fees and expenses.

[**Court docs: Click to read the federal judge's ruling against SNAP (pdf)**]

As we reported back in June 2015, Fr. Jiang filed a federal lawsuit against SNAP, who continued to publicly accuse the cleric of being a child molester even after being twice cleared of crazy sex abuse claims.

The abuse claims were outlandish from the beginning. The accuser "had made previous unfounded allegations of sexual abuse" and already had a reputation of being "a serial exaggerator to the point of being 'delusional.'"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

'Church needs better standards to attract right candidates for priesthood'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
PUBLISHED
26/08/2016

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said the Catholic Church in Ireland needs to introduce better admission standards for trainee priests to attract the right candidates for priesthood.

Acknowledging that the national seminary in Maynooth "has to change", Dr Martin, who is a trustee of the college, told RTÉ's 'Morning Ireland': "Maynooth is not to be condemned but it is not to be canonised either."

He said there was a "recognition of the problems" facing Maynooth among the trustees and that the seminary has to change, "not just because of current allegations but because of the fact that we are living in a different world".

Referring to the trustees' statement on Wednesday outlining a series of changes on seminary formation, the Archbishop said there was a need for new ways of identifying, screening and training candidates.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Church must view decline of outdated seminaries as a chance for renewal

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Michael Kelly
PUBLISHED
26/08/2016

The trustees of Maynooth - the 17 most-senior Catholic bishops - agreed this week to work on a new policy to protect whistle-blowers at the national seminary. It comes after a wave of allegations, many of them anonymous, of homosexual relationships between seminarians.

Further allegations were made that the college authorities did not treat such allegations with sufficient gravity. Critics of the college quickly seized on the controversy as evidence of a corrupt underbelly, while defenders of Maynooth rounded on the detractors and insisted that anonymous allegations should be treated with contempt.

Now, there are broadly two reasons why people make anonymous allegations: either they are bitterly spiteful, or they are petrified about the consequences of raising their concerns. A coherent policy that protects people who raise legitimate concerns is a must for every institution.

But, whistle-blowing aside, perhaps, in time, the bishops' pledge to review what sort of training would-be priests should undertake in 21st Century Ireland will prove more important. What emerges could kickstart an authentic reform and renewal of Irish Catholicism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Church must build trust with openness

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Editorial

PUBLISHED
26/08/2016

Saint Patrick's Seminary in Maynooth is not to be condemned, but it is not to be canonised either, according to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, speaking on RTÉ. If this was an endorsement, it was less than whole-hearted. He also said that the seminary would have to change not just because of allegations, but because we are "living in a different world".

After bishops admitted to having concerns at the "unhealthy atmosphere" at the seminary, Archbishop Martin tried to draw a line under the controversy. Unfortunately, his comments are unlikely to put matters to rest.

The church has endured a relentless barrage of criticism for elevating its interests and reputation above the needs of its followers. It has been charged with being aloof, arrogant and out of step. It has further been attacked for failing to confront weaknesses and for retreating into its shell.

It therefore has a responsibility to be open and transparent. Maynooth's board of trustees have said they will review social media policies and procedures for handling whistleblowers following allegations of trainee priests using dating apps. This came after Dr Martin's stated intention to send seminarians from his archdiocese to Rome, instead of the national seminary, due to his worries over "strange goings-on" in St Patrick's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Maynooth's trainee priests to be supervised at meal times

IRELAND
Breaking News

26/08/2016

Trainee priests in Maynooth will be supervised at meal times under new stricter rules.

The move comes after claims that seminarians were using the gay dating app Grindr, and a suggestion that a gay subculture exists at the National Seminary.

The Irish Independent reports trainees will be required to eat breakfast and evening meals in the college instead of being allowed to choose where they dine.

Senior staff will eat with them.

A review of social media use at Maynooth has also been ordered.

The Archdiocese of Dublin confirmed earlier this month that it would not be sending its trainee priests to Maynooth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Maynooth trainees to be supervised during meal times

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
PUBLISHED
26/08/2016

A closer eye will be kept on how Maynooth's seminarians spend their time from now on as part of a stricter regime being introduced in the wake of the gay dating app scandal.

The Irish Independent has learned that all trainee priests will now be required to eat their evening meal in the college rather than being allowed to dine wherever they choose. They will also be required to attend evening rosary at 9pm, which hasn't been obligatory until now.

The seminary council will now eat both breakfast and dinner with the seminarians in the historic Pugin Hall rather than in the Professors' Refectory.

The tighter controls are part of a suite of measures announced on Wednesday by the trustees of Maynooth which included a review of "appropriate use of the internet and social media" by the 50 or so trainee priests and their staff.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of ­Dublin withdrew his seminarians from Maynooth following allegations that students were using gay dating app Grindr.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

New claims emerge of abuse at Ampleforth

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter
August 26 2016
The Times

The failed inquiry into a teacher’s alleged abuse of boys at Britain’s leading Catholic school may be reopened after four new witnesses came forward.

The Times revealed yesterday how Ampleforth College hushed up a potential scandal in 1989 when children complained of being touched inappropriately by Paul Sheppard, a science teacher. He was asked to leave but police were not told and the school, in North Yorkshire, gave him glowing references.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Ampleforth College: Police investigate bungled abuse probe claims

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A police force is investigating claims by The Times that it bungled an inquiry into alleged sex abuse at a school.

It centres around the case of Paul Sheppard who was cleared last year of indecently assaulting a boy in 1989 at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire.

The Times says North Yorkshire Police failed to speak to two ex-pupils whose accounts could have led to Dr Sheppard being questioned about other child sex offences.

He denies any wrongdoing.

The force has asked the newspaper for details of the two former pupils.

The Times also says former pupils, who were told at the 11th hour they would not be giving evidence against Dr Sheppard, were falsely assured by police they were not required in court because their written statements had been accepted by the defence.

That explanation was not true, the paper says, while the former pupils claim the way the case was conducted by police and the prosecution was "shambolic".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

AMPLEFORTH'S DARK PAST Scandal hits £33k Catholic college of stars, amid suicide and 27yr ‘sex abuse’ cover up

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY MARTIN PHILLIPS, SENIOR FEATURES WRITER 26th August 2016

NESTLED in a tranquil North Yorks valley, Ampleforth College is where for two ­centuries the sons of the wealthy have been instilled with a “compass for life” by the monks who run it.

The independent school charges more than £33,000 a year for this special recipe for learning.

And there seems no doubt that it works, with talented ex-pupils including former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and actors Rupert Everett and James Norton.

But now a darker side has been uncovered at the country’s leading Catholic school, ­following an investigation this week by The Times.

It involves the cover-up of alleged sex abuse of children at the school 27 years ago, which has been linked to the suicide of at least one former pupil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Past pupils at Ampleforth College express dismay over handling of sex abuse trial

UNITED KINGDOM
Gazette & Herald

Nadia Jefferson-Brown, Deputy news editor

PAST pupils at one of Britain's leading Catholic schools have spoken of their dismay over the way a trial involving a former teacher charged with sexual abuse was handled.

An investigation by The Times newspaper raised questions about the inquiry and subsequent trial last year, involving Paul Sheppard, now 53, a Canadian who taught at Ampleforth College.

He was arrested in 2014 on suspicion of serious sexual offences in 1989 against another pupil, who later committed suicide.

He was due to stand trial last year, accused of seven charges of indecent assault against five former pupils, but the charges involving all but one of the boys were dropped following rulings by the judge.

Judge Colin Burn ruled that the alleged incidences, including when the teacher was said to have stroked and kissed a boy as he slept, did not amount to "circumstances of indecency".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Probe into claim that 1960s orphan was a ‘forgotten victim’ of St Ninian’s School abuse

SCOTLAND
The Courier

by Michael Alexander
August 26 2016

What makes the grave of 14-year-old Alexander Harvey, who died in 1960, particularly unusual is that he is buried between two men of the Christian Brotherhood – Richard Albeus Fitton, who died at Falkland aged 75 in 1958, and John Kevin Nugent, who died aged 78 in 1977.

There has been local speculation that the young boy buried in Falkland cemetery is a “forgotten victim” of the recently publicised abusive regime at the former St Ninian’s School.

Rumours have been circulating the Fife village recently that Harvey, thought to be an orphan, may have died at St Ninian’s in suspicious circumstances.

However that appears unfounded, according to an investigation by a local councillor.

Former teacher Paul Kelly, 64, and head teacher John Farrell, 73,were jailed for 10 years and five years respectively at Glasgow High Court after being found guilty of abuse said to have taken place at the school between 1979 and 1983.

For our exclusive report, see Saturday’s Courier

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Jehovah's Witness paedophile back working with children at family's church

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Chris Johnston

A former Jehovah's Witness elder recently convicted of child sex offences is back working with children from a Melbourne parish run by his father-in-law.

Richard Hill was found guilty last year of the offences against his six-year-old female cousin, who was also in the religion. He was put on the sex offenders' list and fined. The offences happened in 1981 when he was 20.

Hill, a roofing plumber of Doreen with an office in Brunswick, this week maintained his innocence and confirmed he was working with children while doorknocking as part of the Jehovah's Witnesses religious practice called 'proselytizing.'

His wife's father, Ken Hall, is the senior elder at the Plenty Kingdom Hall in outer Melbourne, where Hill now worships. "I am allowed to attend under strict conditions," Hill said. "The police know about that."

Hill appealed his conviction but then dropped the appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Former Croydon headteacher facing jail after being found guilty of sexual activity with 14-year-old boy

UNTED KINGDOM
This is Local London

A retired headmaster who was honoured by the Queen for his services to young people is facing jail after being found guilty of gross indecency with a 14-year-old boy.

John Coatman, 75, of Leyburn Gardens, Croydon, was today convicted of having sexual activity with the teenager in the 1970s following a trial at the Old Bailey.

He was headteacher at St Andrew's Church of England High School at the time and also worked with a Christian youth group, of which the victim was a member.

The abuse came to light in 2014 after the breakdown of the victim's marriage and problems at work, jurors were told.

He told the court earlier this week that Coatman made him feel “safe” and “valued” and he came to see himself as a "willing partner" in the sexual activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Time for critical reframing not restorationism

AUSTRALIA
Herald Malaysia

“In Australia, we seem to have reached a critical juncture. Not only are we afflicted by such things as the decline in Sunday worship, the fall in religious practices, the dearth of the priesthood and religious life etc…, we also face the biggest challenge to date, which is, the loss of our moral credibility and trust capital due to the sexual abuse crisis,” said Vietnamese-born Australian Bishop Vincent Long. He has called for a “prophetic reframing” of the Church’s attitudes rather than a “retreat into restorationism,”

Delivering the Ann D. Clark Lecture, Bishop Long of Parramatta diocese in western Sydney observed that the Australian Church is living a “watershed” moment in the wake of a series of recent crises,

Nevertheless, Bishop Long continued, the unexpected election of Pope Francis “and the way he exercises his leadership give us a breath of fresh air and a source of great hope.”

“I make bold to say that this is the unexpected way of God. Watershed moments can be catalysts for renewal and transformation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Houseparent at Catholic school waives hearing in sex assault case

PENNSYLVANIA
Crux

AP

EBENSBURG, PA - A former houseparent at a Pennsylvania Catholic school who’s accused of sexually assaulting two Chinese international students has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Twenty-eight-year-old John Bowman Thornberry, of Mills River, North Carolina, appeared in a Cambria County court on Tuesday. A judge reduced his bond to $100,000.

Thornberry was hired in 2014. He was removed in February from his job overseeing Chinese international students at Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg. One student said Thornberry fondled him. Another boy said he fought off a molestation attempt.

Authorities say Thornberry denied touching the students in a sexual manner during an interview with investigators. He faces charges including attempted indecent assault and institutional sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Clerical sex abuse scandal has led to few convictions

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

One of the more remarkable features of the clerical child sexual abuse scandal has been the low conviction level of alleged perpetrators in the courts.

Last September the National Board for Safeguarding Children, the Catholic Church watchdog in Ireland, published a report looking at 325 allegations made against 141 members of six religious congregations.

Of those, the report found, only eight led to convictions.

Whatever the explanation, there is no doubt a sense of justice denied can compound the distress of abuse victims.

One such person is Jim. He is in his 30s, and his life “has been destroyed by the negative effects of sexual abuse”. So said his psychiatrist in a 2011 report seen by this newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

NPR: Clinton Rape Claims Are Nasty 'Old News,' But Catholic Priest Abuse Charges Never Age

UNITED STATES
Newsbusters

By Tim Graham | August 25, 2016

“It's important to say right up front that this isn't a story about pedophile priests,” began the NPR reporter on Wednesday night....in a story with the online headline “Catholic Church Groups Fight Bills To Revive Old Sex Abuse Cases.”

Legislators have tried to pass retroactive windows to allow a so-called “grace period” for old sexual-assault allegations. Brian Mann reported New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat, “wanted to open a one-year window -- a kind of grace period -- so that [alleged] victims who've waited too long can get a second chance to sue in civil court. New York's Catholic bishops hate this idea and spent more than $2 million lobbying to block the measure.”

The people who call their show All Things Considered didn’t consider this: what if a priest is unjustly accused? Does that ever happen? Just this week, a federal judge in St. Louis ruled for an accused priest named Xiu Hui Jiang in a defamation case against the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). District Court judge Carol Jackson ruled that SNAP defendants conspired “to obtain plaintiff’s conviction on sexual abuse charges” and that it was because of “discriminatory animus against plaintiff based on his religion, religious vocation, race, and national origin.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

August 25, 2016

Diocese granted extension for reorganization plan

MINNESOTA
Duluth News Tribune

A judge has granted the Diocese of Duluth an extension to file its plans for reorganization.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel on Thursday approved the diocese's motion to extend the deadline from Sept. 1 to March 17.

The diocese had requested the extension earlier this month, citing a planned mediation session in November with the creditors' committee representing victims of child sexual abuse. No objections were filed, as both sides have expressed a desire to reach a settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

North Yorkshire Police ‘hugely disappointed Catholic school child sex claims weren’t heard by jury’

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

A Yorkshire police force has said it is “hugely disappointing” that a number of historic child sexual abuse allegations made against a teacher at a leading private Catholic school were not put before a jury.

North Yorkshire Police today issued a statement in relation to the case of Paul Sheppard, a former teacher at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire who was last year acquitted of indecently assaulting a pupil.

The force said it had carried out a “complex investigation” into allegations made against Dr Sheppard and made “considerable efforts to present a strong case on a number of allegations” to prosecutors.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, four charges of indecent assault were made against the former teacher when the case was brought to trial at York Crown Court in 2015. Prosecutors said they believed “there was sufficient evidence to allow a jury to consider four charges of indecent assault”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

IL--Accused imam gets probation; Victims respond

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)

We are grateful that an abuse case against a prominent Chicago Muslim cleric has been resolved. But now is not the time for complacency. It’s time for every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Mohammad Abdullah Saleem – or cover ups by or at the Institute for Islamic Education – to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids. If he committed other crimes, he should be prosecuted for them too.

[Courier-News]

[Courier-News]

[Chicago Tribune]

We’re glad Saleem will be on the sex offender registry for life. That will make it harder for him to win the trust of unsuspecting parents and hurt their kids.

Our hearts go out to the four extraordinarily brave women who report having been molested and assaulted by this cleric and to the 23 year old who is cooperating with law enforcement. We are grateful that some of these women are also seeking justice in the civil courts. Victims of sexual violence should use every avenue they can to warn the public about dangerous predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Elgin Muslim leader gets probation for sex abuse after guilty plea

ILLINOIS
Courier-News

George Houde
Chicago Tribune

A suburban Islamic leader who was accused of molesting an underage girl and a female employee pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon and was sentenced to 24 months of probation.

Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, 77, who founded the Institute for Islamic Education in Elgin, must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

He was accused of repeatedly fondling a young woman who worked for him at the school, as well as a student who was a minor at the time, in some cases while making them sit on his lap.

The arrest of the conservative scholar on sex abuse charges was especially shocking given Saleem's stature in his community made up largely of Islamic immigrants from India and Pakistan. He is said to espouse a code of separation between genders and discourages even hand-shaking. The institute, which provides boarding to some students, runs separate programs for girls and boys.

The elderly, white-bearded imam had appeared to be close to accepting a plea bargain in recent days and had made two earlier court appearances this week as lawyers negotiated in private in the judge's chambers. On Tuesday, Judge James Karahalios gave Saleem until Sept. 2 to accept the proposed plea deal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

300 Orthodox rabbis urge reporting of child sex abuse

JTA

August 25, 2016

(JTA) — Three hundred Orthodox rabbis have signed a proclamation urging those suspecting child sex abuse to notify secular authorities and calling on Jewish institutions to take preventative measures to prevent abuse.

The letter, which was released Thursday and signed by rabbis from the the United States, Canada, Israel and Europe, recognizes that Orthodox communities “could have responded in more responsible and sensitive ways to help victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.” It also condemns attempts to ignore or silence abuse victims and witnesses.

Those suspecting sexual abuse do not need to seek rabbinic approval before contacting civil authorities, the proclamation states.

“We condemn attempts to ignore allegations of child sexual abuse. These efforts are harmful, contrary to Jewish law, and immoral,” it said. “The reporting of reasonable suspicions of all forms of child abuse and neglect directly and promptly to the civil authorities is a requirement of Jewish law.”

The letter strongly condemns ostracizing victims of sexual abuse and calls upon synagogues and schools to set up policies to prevent sex abuse, including carefully screening new employees, raising awareness of the issue, and teaching children about sexual development and safety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

St. Louis priest falsely accused by anti-sex abuse group

MISSOURI
Catholic World Report

St. Louis, Mo., Aug 25, 2016 / 10:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A group for clergy sex abuse victims made false statements “negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth” against a St. Louis priest to try to convict him on abuse charges, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson said that the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests failed to comply with a court order that the group supply details about those who accused Father Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang of sexual abuse. This made it impossible for him to litigate the claims against him.

Jackson said the court will establish that SNAP's statements “were false and that they did not conduct any inquiry into the truth or falsity of these public statements.”

The court will also establish that defendants conspired to secure Fr. Jiang's conviction on sex abuse charges due to “discriminatory animus against plaintiff based on his religion, religious vocation, race, and national origin,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Sex offenders would have to disclose email addresses and usernames under bill sent to governor

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

AUG. 24, 2016

Sophia Bollag

Sex offenders would be required to report their email addresses, usernames and other Internet identifiers to law enforcement under a bill California state senators sent to the governor Wednesday.

The bill, SB 448, would amend parts of California law enacted when voters passed anti sex-trafficking law Proposition 35 that have since been challenged in court. The bill now goes to the governor.

SB 448 would apply to offenders convicted on or after Jan. 1, 2017 who used the Internet to carry out sex crimes.

Proposition 35 passed by statewide ballot in 2012 with more than 80 percent of the vote. It increased punishments for human traffickers and expanded the definition of human trafficking to include the creation and distribution of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Why Was the Child Victims Act Abandoned? A Voice for the Voiceless Fights Back

UNITED STATES
The Feminine Collective

Posted on August 25, 2016 by Nancy Levine

“She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her.” I read the quote twice.

It chafed at me like a scratchy thread sticking out on a sweater. You pull the strand, keep yanking, and pretty soon, the whole garment starts to unravel.

I was sitting at my kitchen table on Christmas morning last year, with coffee and laptop, as I do every morning. This headline from The New York Times popped up in my Facebook news feed:

“A Spiritual Leader Gains Stature, Trailed by a Troubled Past,” with a photo of former rabbi turned spiritual guru, accused sexual predator Marc Gafni. “14 going on 35” was how Gafni described one of his accusers.

And this grabbed me:

“A co-founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, a proponent of conscious capitalism, calls Mr. Gafni ‘a bold visionary.’ He is a chairman of the executive board of Mr. Gafni’s center, and he hosts board meetings at his Texas ranch.”

I have spent the better part of 30 years as an executive recruiter. I started out after college at American Express corporate headquarters in lower Manhattan. I was ghostwriting announcements for executives about company shakeups and reorgs. So I’ve been around CEOs for a long time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Missbrauch: Experte fordert externe Ermittler

DEUTSCHLAND
Sarrbruecker Zeitung

[Abuse: Expert urges external investigators.]

Von Matthias Zimmermann, 24. August 2016

Was haben die Nachforschungen bei den Missbrauchsvorwürfen in Freisen ergeben? Und wie setzen sich Verantwortliche dafür ein, dass es nicht zu sexuellen Übergriffen in der Kirche kommt? Ein Opferverband verlangt mehr Aufklärungswillen.

Bei den bistumsinternen Ermittlungen zu den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen einen ehemaligen Freisener Pfarrer geht es nur schleppend voran. Das kritisieren Betroffene. Deshalb fordern Vertreter der Opferorganisation „Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier“ (Missbit) eine von der Kirche unabhängige Aufarbeitung. Nur dann rechne Missbit damit, dass wirklich aufgeklärt werde, sagt Claudia Adams. Die Merzigerin betreibt den Missbit-Blog, eine im Internet wie ein Tagebuch geführte Seite mit Berichten und Kommentaren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Kerala: Bishop, three priests held for hiding info on woman’s death

INDIA
Indian Express

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:August 14, 2016

hree years after a woman from Coimbatore was found dead at the parsonage of the Catholic Church in Chandrapuram, in Kerala’s Palakkad district, Palakkad police Friday arrested Coimbatore diocese Bishop Thomas Aquinas and three other priests of the same diocese for allegedly withholding information on the death.

Bishop Acquinas and the priests — Kulantha Raj, Madalai Muthu and Lawrance Melcure — were held under IPC Sections 201 (destroying evidence or giving false information) and 202 (intentionally omitting information). They were given bail after recording their statements, the police said.

Coimbatore native Fathima Sofia, 19, was found dead at the parsonage on July 23, 2013. The then parish priest of St Stanlisalus Church in Chandrapuram, Fr H Arockyaraj, was arrested last year in connection with the death.

In May this year, the district court of Palakkad asked the police to look into the role of Bishop Acquinas and the three priests in allegedly suppressing information on the crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Second senior adviser to Archbishop Herft ‘defrocked for teen sex’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 26, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

Two senior advisers relied on by the current Anglican Archbishop of Perth to handle claims of child sexual abuse by priests were subsequently defrocked for having group sex with a teenager, ­according to evidence before a royal commission.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, Graeme Lawrence and Bruce Hoare served as dean and archdeacon respectively of the Newcastle diocese in NSW under Archbishop Roger Herft, the bishop at the time. Archbishop Herft relied on each to personally respond to claims of child abuse by priests, dealing directly with victims and their families and, in Mr Lawrence’s case, answering the diocese’s sexual abuse hotline, the commission has heard.

After he left the diocese for Perth, both men were defrocked for having group sex with a 19-year-old, who told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he had endured “years of sexual grooming and abuse” by priests.

Archbishop Herft and Mr Lawrence will both face cross-examination before the commission next week. Mr Hoare has not been called to give evidence.

In a witness statement released by the commission, Archbishop Herft said Mr Hoare spent years dealing directly with a child abuse victim and his mother, who confided in him that the boy had been abused by another priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Boca Raton police to review how 2014 fondling case at St. Andrew's School was investigated

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

[with video]

Emily Miller
Sun Sentinel

After scathing report, St. Andrew’s School to find new director of dorm life, reassign roles
Boca Raton police are taking a fresh look at a 2014 student-fondling case in which St. Andrew's School officials allegedly knew of a sex crime on campus and failed to report it, an agency spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Police plan to look into why the department didn't fully explore the school's lack of reporting two years ago. "We're going to look into it further to find out why it wasn't addressed at that time," Boca police spokeswoman Officer Sandra Boonenberg said.

In May 2014, a 15-year-old freshman told a school counselor, dean and student resident coordinator at the Boca Raton private school that she was fondled over her clothing by an 18-year-old male senior in the girls' dorm.

None of the school officials reported the allegation to the Boca Raton Police Department or the Department of Children and Families, according to a Boca Raton police report.

The girl's mother later reported the fondling to police, and it resulted in a felony battery charge against the 18-year-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Bungled inquiry into 'covered-up sex abuse at Britain's leading Catholic school Ampleforth College denies justice for ex-teacher's child victims'

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By EMMA GLANFIELD FOR MAILONLINE

A bungled inquiry into alleged sex abuse at Britain's leading Catholic School denied justice for potential victims, former pupils claim.

An investigation and subsequent trial into allegations that Dr Paul Sheppard, 53, sexually abused a ten-year-old boy Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, was said to be marred with problems.

The teacher, who taught at the £33,000-a-year school for one term while on a teacher training course from his native country, was accused of indecently assaulting the boy 27 years ago.

The school boasts a star-studded alumni including former England Rugby Captain Lawrence Dallaglio, actors James Norton and Rupert Everett, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and the sculptor Sir Antony Gormley.

Former pupils claim that, at the time, several schoolchildren complained of Dr Sheppard's behaviour including stroking, touching and kissing boys.

The school's headmaster, Father Dominic Milroy, interviewed 11 children over the teacher's alleged inappropriate conduct and Dr Sheppard subsequently left the school.

It is unclear whether he was asked to leave is position or if he went on his own. He has long maintained that he chose to leave on his own accord, while the school claims it was a mutual decision. He received a glowing reference from Father Milroy during his departure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Christopher Rafferty cleared of historical sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Goulburn Post

Louise Thrower
@ThrowerLouise

25 Aug 2016

A CHRISTIAN Brother has been acquitted on six historical sex charges.

At the same time the Judge has criticised the Catholic Church’s handling of the matter and said he accepted the accused did sexually assault the complainant.

Christopher Rafferty, 65, of Ryde, left immediately after Judge David Frearson handed down his decision in Sydney District Court on August 25.

He was acquitted on three counts of indecent assault and three of homosexual intercourse. Police alleged this occurred on a St Patrick’s College, Goulburn student aged 14 to 16 between 1984 and 1987.

Rafferty pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Christian Brother acquitted, not cleared

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AUGUST 25, 2016

Sophie Tarr
Australian Associated Press

A Sydney judge has found a Christian Brother not guilty of a string of child sex offences but says he believes the man did abuse a teenager three decades ago and that the Catholic Church’s handling of historical allegations failed the victim.

On Thursday morning, as he prepared to acquit Christopher Rafferty and send him from the dock a free man, Judge David Frearson said he believed the 65-year-old was a sexual predator whose abuse drove a former pupil to thoughts of suicide.

In an extraordinary verdict delivered in the Downing Centre District Court, Judge Frearson found the veteran teacher not guilty of six sexual and indecent offences that were alleged to have been committed against a student at St Patrick's College in Goulburn in the 1980s.

He said the evidence against the accused did not meet the high bar required in criminal trials, in which specific incidents must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Pope Francis appoints new Auxiliary Bishop for Denver

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Holy Father has named Father Jorge H. Rodríguez-Novelo, of the Archdiocese of Denver, USA, as Auxiliary Bishop of the same Archdiocese. Father Rodríguez has been serving as Pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Denver, and professor at the archdiocesan Seminary of St John Vianney. Bishop-elect Rodríguez will hold the titular see of Azura.

Biography of Bishop-elect Jorge Rodriguez, S.T.D.

Bishop-elect Rodriguez was born March 22, 1955, in Merida, Mexico, located in the state of Yucatan. He is the son of Nery Maria Novelo and Ramon Rodriguez (deceased), and he has two brothers and four sisters, who live in Merida. In Merida he attended a primary school run by the Maryknoll Sisters, and then secondary and preparatory schools run by the Marist Brothers. When he finished high school, he joined the Legionaries of Christ to study and become a priest. He was ordained Dec. 24, 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Abbey, Backous seek protective order

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com

August 24, 2016

Attorneys representing St. John’s Abbey and the Rev. Timothy Backous are asking a Stearns County judge to block the release of hundreds of pages of Abbey documents about Backous.

The Abbey is seeking the protective order after Jeff Anderson, the attorney representing two men who claim Backous abused them years ago, threatened to release the documents if the Abbey didn’t meet several of his conditions.

Anderson asked that the Abbey add Backous to its list of credibly accused, remove him from ministry and have Abbot John Klassen issue a public apology and retract statements about Backous being innocent of the allegations. He also asked the Abbey to release the Backous file or he would.

If the Abbey agreed to those conditions, they would be tantamount to admissions by Backous, and the Abbey and Backous have vehemently denied the accusations, said Robert Stich, who represents Backous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Research released on long-term effects of disclosure

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

25 August, 2016

A new research report conducted for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has examined the long-term effects of disclosures of institutional child sexual abuse on survivors and their families.

Read the full report - Family relationships and the disclosure of institutional child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission appointed the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to undertake research into the long-term effects of disclosures which included 50 in-depth interviews with survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and family members who received such disclosures.

Royal Commission CEO, Philip Reed, said the research was invaluable in assisting understanding of the long-term impacts of disclosures on survivors and their families. It also added new understanding to the international evidence base on disclosure of child sexual abuse.

The report found that many adult disclosures were triggered by crises such as relationship difficulties, job loss or work pressures, anxiety and depression.

Disclosures by young adults (aged 18-23 years) often occurred in the context of key life transitions such as finishing high school, beginning university study, leaving home or entering into an intimate relationship.

Disclosures by younger children were more likely to be indirect, non-verbal or the result of direct questioning or discovery by primary carers.

Mr Reed said he hoped the research would better inform service planning and development.

“The report shows there is a need for delivery of therapeutic and non-therapeutic support services to survivors and their families, not just in the aftermath of disclosure, but as their needs change throughout their lives.”

Family relationships and the disclosure of institutional child sexual abuse was written by Dr Antonia Quadara, Mary Stathopoulos and Rachel Carson.

The report contains extensive discussion of child sexual abuse. If you experience distress you can call 1800 Respect (1800 732 732).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Former Shawnee youth pastor sentenced to 6 months in jail

OKLAHOMA
News-Star

By Kim Morava

Posted Aug. 24, 2016

A former Shawnee youth pastor who was arrested last year for alleged inappropriate text messages with teenagers was sentenced Wednesday to serve six months in the county jail.

Brian K. Burchfield, 43, of Edmond, was charged in Pottawatomie County District Court last August with four counts of soliciting sexual conduct or communications with a minor by use of technology.

Those charges stem from an investigation by Shawnee police that reportedly involved text messages between Burchfield and four teenage boys.

As part of a plea agreement, Burchfield pleaded guilty at a previous hearing. Wednesday, he appeared in court again for formal sentencing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Catholic Church could limit trainee priests' access to the internet and encourage them to mix more with women after claims over use of gay dating app Grindr

IRELAND
Daily Mail

By CHRIS SUMMERS FOR MAILONLINE

The Catholic Church in Ireland is considering restricting trainee priests' access to the internet amid claims that young seminarians have been meeting up using the gay dating app Grindr.

The Church is also looking at ways of encouraging young priests to mix more with women, families and lay people.

Earlier this month the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin said he was 'somewhat unhappy' about rumours that students at St Patrick's College in Maynooth were using the app, which he claimed 'fostered promiscuous sexuality'.

He said he would be boycotting the centuries-old college, just outside the Irish capital, and send students to a school in Rome instead.

The most senior Catholic in the Irish Republic said he made the decision some months ago because of an 'atmosphere that was growing in Maynooth' exposed through anonymous accusations in letters and online blogs.

He said: 'There are allegations on different sides.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

'Maynooth seminary has to change, we are living in a different world'

IRELAND
Journal

HOW PRIESTS ARE trained has to change, according to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

The Archbishop told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that Irish society has changed and the Church has to move with the times.

The change that has been taking place in Irish culture and in Irish religious culture is radical change, and the response to radical change has to be more than just tweaking.

Martin admitted there are problems in Maynooth seminary, something he said is recognised by others in the Church.

Earlier this month, Maynooth training college made headlines after it was reported that a gay culture is prevalent on the campus, with some trainees using gay dating apps such as Grindr.

At the time, the college said there was “no concrete or credible evidence” that such a culture exists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Martin: Maynooth must change as ‘we’re in a different world’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Vivienne Clarke

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said Maynooth seminary “has to change, not just because of current allegations but because of the fact that we’re living in a different world.”

The change that has been taking place in Irish culture and Irish religious culture is radical change and the response to radical change has to be ‘more than just tweaking’, he said.

St Patrick’s seminary in Maynooth is not to be condemned, but it is not to be canonised either, Dr Martin said on Thursday.

“I’ve never criticised the teaching in Maynooth, this is something people have said is behind my activity, that isn’t what I’ve been talking about at all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Church leaders admit 'unhealthy atmosphere' at college amid gay dating app Grindr row

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
PUBLISHED
25/08/2016

The Catholic Church hierarchy has admitted concerns about an "unhealthy atmosphere" at the country's main seminary amid claims trainee priests there are using the gay dating app Grindr.

Church leaders have ordered a review on the "appropriate use of the internet and social media" at the centuries-old St Patrick's College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, as well as an overhaul of its approach to whistleblowers.

The college trustees - four archbishops and 13 senior bishops - met for crisis talks after the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin confirmed he was boycotting the seminary.

As 14 new seminarians began their six years of training for the priesthood at St Patrick's College this week, Maynooth's trustees issued a range of directives aimed at rebuilding the seminary's tarnished image.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Double jeopardy and the options for another trial

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk
August 25 2016
The Times

North Yorkshire police has previously said that its file on Paul Sheppard is closed.

This week, however, The Times informed the force of two former Ampleforth pupils to whom the police had not previously spoken. Each has described incidents involving the teacher in 1989 that this newspaper considers merit further investigation.

Were police to reopen the case, and should they subsequently decide to charge Dr Sheppard with new offences, the Crown Prosecution Service would need to consider the status of the charges that the Canadian was due to face at last year’s trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Suicide shattered Ampleforth’s silence over sex abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter
August 25 2016
The Times

A sun-soaked day in late June was drawing to a close. As shadows lengthened across the valley that has been the school’s privileged home for more than 200 years, a group of young boys waited nervously outside the headmaster’s study.

One by one, each was summoned. For Paul Sheppard’s career at Ampleforth College, what they had to say proved terminal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Top school hid sex abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter
August 25 2016
The Times

A bungled inquiry linked to a cover-up of alleged sex abuse at Britain’s leading Catholic school denied justice to a teacher’s child victims, former pupils have claimed.

Paul Sheppard, a Canadian who taught at Ampleforth College, was found not guilty last year of indecently assaulting a boy there 27 years ago. The jurors at his trial were under the impression that the former pupil, aged 11 when the crime was said to have been committed in 1989, was the sole complainant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Inquiry into alleged abuse at top British Catholic school ‘denied victims any hope of justice’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY TESS DE LA MARE 25th August 2016

AN INQURY into alleged sexual abuse at one of Britain’s leading Catholic schools denied victims any hope of justice, according to former pupils.

Dr Paul Sheppard, a Canadian who taught at the £33,000-a-year Ampleforth College in north Yorkshire, was last year cleared of sexually abusing one pupil 27 years ago.

Famous students of the prestigious school include former England Rugby Captain Lawrence Dallaglio, actors James Norton and Rupert Everett and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

Sheppard was first arrested on suspicion of serious sexual offences in 1989 against a pupil who later committed suicide.

He was charged with seven counts of indecent assault against five students, but charges relating to all but one of the boys were thrown out by the judge at York Crown Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Seminary's rector says Archdiocese of Agana is rightful owner

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 25, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Could a lengthy legal battle be in store for the take back of the multi-million dollar Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona? While the Concerned Catholics of Guam group prepares to go to court, Guam's apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Ton Fai, is asking the new owners to simply give it back.

And now, the rector of the seminary defies every claim made to date from the CCOG and Archbishop Hon.

No takeback of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary is necessary, according to Father Pius Sammut. In an emailed response to KUAM's questions, the rector challenges statements made by the Concerned Catholics of Guam and Archbishop Hon, who contend the Yona property was handed over to the non-profit group, RMS Corporation, through a declaration of deed restriction. That deed lists the board of guarantors as Archbishop Anthony Apuron, Father Angelo Pochetti, and Guisseppie and Claudia Gennarini. Guisseppie is the founder of the Neocathemunal Way in the United States mainland.

According to Father Pius, Apuron was protecting the seminary and the theological institute to give them permanence and stability to defend the RMS for the church. He wrote, "The deed restriction is simply an act according to canon law that allows the archdiocesan RM seminary to use that Yona property. The building is not ours, we have permission to use it until the archbishop wants, and only the archbishop or his successor can decide on this building."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Ex-teacher faces Newcastle court on child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Giselle Wakatama

A former Catholic school teacher and army sergeant has appeared in Newcastle court, after being charged with more than a dozen child sex offences.

Last month former St Pius maths teacher Edward (Ted) Hall was charged with 13 child sex offences, dating back to the 1980s.

Charge sheets tendered in Newcastle Local Court allege the abuse relates to four boys, all under 16.

The alleged abuse took place at the Adamstown school as well as at places in Merewether.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Kerala Priest Arrested For Alleged Sexual Abuse, Murder

INDIA
NDTV

[with video]

Written by J Sam Daniel Stalin | Updated: August 25, 2016

COIMBATORE: A Roman Catholic priest has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing and murdering a college student in Kerala's Palakkad district.

Four other clergymen, including a bishop -- who had conducted an internal inquiry and found the priest guilty but failed to inform the police -- were arrested for allegedly covering up the case.

Back in July 2013, the 18 year-old woman was found dead at the home of Fr Arockiyaraj, whom she knew well since he attended his spiritual discourses.

The family -- residents of Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore, an hour's journey from the state border -- alleged that he had taken her home in their absence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Indian bishop, priests arrested for withholding evidence in woman's death

INDIA
Catholic Culture

August 19, 2016

Bishop Thomas Aquinas Lephonse of Coimbatore, India, has been arrested, along with three priests of the diocese, and charged with withholding information about the suspicious death of a young woman.

Fathima Sofia was found hanging in the rectory of a church in Chandrapuram in July 2013. After originally ruling the death a suicide, police reopened their investigation last year, at the prompting of the deceased woman's mother, who charged that her daughter had been molested by the pastor. The accused priest, Father H. Arockyaraj, was arrested last year; he has subsequently been laicized, a diocesan official said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Indian Bishop and priests arrested in murder probe

INDIA
The Irish Catholic

A bishop and four priests in the Indian state of Kerala have been arrested following the re-opening of an investigation in to the death of a 17-year-old girl at a rectory in 2013.

When Fathima Sofia was found hanging at the home of a priest church in Palakkad, Kerala, her death was originally ruled a suicide by investigators. However, following accusations by the girl’s mother of sexual abuse and an alleged admission by Fr H. Arockyaraj that he had murdered the girl with whom he was having a relationship, police decided to re-examine the case. Investigators have now arrested Bishop Thomas Aquinas Lephonse of Coimbatore and four priests and charged them with withholding evidence of importance to a criminal case. Arockyaraj, now laicised by a canonical court, was previously arrested and charged with rape. He denies the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

August 24, 2016

Exclusive: St. Andrew’s kept quiet over student’s molestation report

FLORIDA
The Palm Beach Post

By Andrew Marra - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

BOCA RATON — In May 2014, a 15-year-old freshman at St. Andrew’s School went to administrators with an upsetting accusation: A senior boarding student had barged into the girls’ campus dormitory with his friends and, in the middle of a card game, fondled her repeatedly in front of several other students.

But the school never notified police or child-welfare investigators, despite a state law requiring schools to report suspicions of sexual abuse against minors, police records obtained by The Palm Beach Post show.

Instead, the Boca Raton private school conducted its own investigation, which administrators resolved by sending the girl to counseling sessions and writing a stern email to her 18-year-old attacker, who already had graduated and returned to his home in Russia, police records show.

Police were not alerted until more than a month after the incident, when the girl and her mother went to the Boca Raton Police Department to report the incident themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

JUDGE HAMMERS SNAP

MISSOURI
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Carol E. Jackson that dropped the hammer on the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP):

As I previously demonstrated, SNAP executive director David Clohessy is a professed liar who runs a phony “victims group” whose real goal is to attack the Catholic Church. But he is protected by the media because, for the most part, those who work in journalism are not exactly Catholic-friendly, and some are seriously anti-Catholic.

Now Clohessy is back in the news, this time for being slapped down by a federal judge. And as we shall see, he is now smearing St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Catholic Church Groups Fight Bills To Revive Old Sex Abuse Cases

NEW YORK
NRP

August 24, 2016 - Heard on All Things Considered

BRIAN MANN

It's important to say right up front that this isn't a story about pedophile priests.

Bridie Farrell is Roman Catholic, but she says it was her speed skating coach who sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.

"It happened at his house, in his car, in his hotel room," Farrell says.

Farrell did what a lot of kids do when they're molested: She kept silent. But 18 years later, when she was 31 years old, she went public with her story.

The problem is that there's a ticking clock. In a lot of states, including New York, where Farrell was assaulted, if you don't report a rape or file a civil lawsuit fast enough, the perpetrator – whether it's a coach or relative or a priest – gets off scot-free.

But there is a growing effort in state houses across the country to make it easier to prosecute or sue people who sexually abuse children. Victims rights groups hope some old cases can be reopened, but they face opposition from Roman Catholic leaders, who say the changes could target them unfairly and could bankrupt church organizations.

'It's Broken'

New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat, pushed to extend the deadline for reporting sexual assaults against kids. He also wanted to open a one-year window, a kind of grace period, so that victims who've waited too long can get a second chance to sue in civil court.

"The statute of limitations for child sexual abuse is just too short," Holyman says. "In a word, it's broken."

For Sexual Assault Victims, An Effort To Loosen Statutes Of Limitations

New York's Catholic bishops spent more than $2 million lobbying to block Holyman's effort.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. George J. Cooley

OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: George J. Cooley was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1976. While a seminarian he had been placed on leave of absence for fondling a fellow seminarian; a year later he was deemed a good candidate for priesthood by Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Pilarczyk. Cooley went on to to assist at Sacred Heart parish in Fairfield, then Guardian Angels in Cincinnati. He was also chaplain at a summer camp for children, Fort Scott. In 1978 a 10-year-old boy told camp authorites that Cooley had molested him the night before. There were no consequences for the priest. The following summer another boy alleged abuse. Archbishop Joseph Bernardin was informed; Cooley was sent to counseling. During his time at Guardian Angels in the early 1980s, Cooley was accused of molesting several boys. The father of one of the boys went to the rectory and punched Cooley in the face. Cooley was removed from the parish and made chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital. He was also chaplain at the College of Mount St. Joseph and worked as a part-time counselor at Christian Family Services. At Good Samaritan, a wheelchair-bound man complained of inappropriate advances by Cooley. The priest was ultimately accused of having sexually abused at least 6 boys at Guardian Angels, ages 8-15.

Cooley was arrested in 1990 after several men reported past abuse by him as minors. He pleaded guilty to molesting 4 boys and spent 3 months in jail. In 1994 he was sent to jail for 15 months for stalking one of his victims. He was arrested again in 1996 for soliciting sex from a police decoy posing as a male prostitute. This time he was placed under house arrest and given 3 years' probation. He was laicized in 1998.

Ordained: 1976
Laicized: 1998

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Judge Punishes SNAP for Refusing to Hand Over Records to Fr. Joseph Jiang

MISSOURI
Riverfront Times

Posted By Danny Wicentowski on Wed, Aug 24, 2016

A messy lawsuit that accuses a victim advocacy group of defaming Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang reached a turning point this week — and it could spell defeat for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, better known as SNAP, and executive director David Clohessy, who maintains that Jiang is a sexual predator.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson sanctioned SNAP for failing to turn over records that Jiang's lawyers say would reveal a conspiracy to destroy the life of a promising young priest, who came to St. Louis after fleeing religious persecution in China. Jiang has twice been accused in court of sexual abuse, in Lincoln County and St. Louis City, but prosecutors in both cases ultimately dropped those charges.

"Do we think Jiang is dangerous? Absolutely," says Clohessy. "We’re trying to take the long view. For almost 30 years we’ve helped victims and helped expose those who commit sex crimes. We’ve been sued for slander maybe five times and never lost."

This time could be different. Jiang was charged with sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in a Catholic school bathroom in 2011 and 2012. The charges were dropped in June 2015 — one week later, Jiang filed a defamation lawsuit against the boy's parents, as well as SNAP, the city of St. Louis and two metro police officers who investigated the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Archbishop “can’t recall” cleric alert

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Nick Butterly - The West Australian on August 25, 2016

Perth’s Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft has said he cannot recall being told a senior Church figure in NSW was abusing children, even though documents suggest he raised concerns with the priest at the time.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has published new statements from Archbishop Herft ahead of hearings next week when he will face more questioning over his response to historic claims of child sexual abuse in Newcastle.

Archbishop Herft was Bishop of Newcastle from 1993 to 2005. In one of the statements, given on July 25, Archbishop Herft claimed he was unaware of serious claims against the former dean of Newcastle Cathedral, Graeme Lawrence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

St Patrick’s seminary to review internet policies after dating app claims

IRELAND
Newstalk

St Patrick’s College in Maynooth is to review its procedures for dealing with whistleblowers following allegations about the use of dating apps by student priests.

The seminary’s trustees said internet and social media policies will also be evaluated, citing concerns over anonymous accusations.

The announcement comes in the wake of claims in letters and online blogs about a "gay subculture" on campus. The college has previously denied that there is any "concrete or credible evidence" for the existence of such a culture.

A number of former seminarians subsequently alleged that they were required to sign confidentiality agreements before beginning their studies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Trainee Catholic priests could face social media penance over Grindr ‘goings on’

IRELAND
Telegraph (UK)

John Bingham, religious affairs editor
24 AUGUST 2016

Trainee Roman Catholic priests in Ireland could face curbs on their internet access and are to be encouraged to mix more with women after claims over the use of the gay dating app Grindr at the country’s main seminary.

Ireland’s Catholic hierarchy voiced concerns about what it called an “unhealthy atmosphere” at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, and ordered a review of the “appropriate use of the internet and social media”.

It follows remarks earlier this month by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, about “strange goings-on” at the 221-year-old seminary.

Dr Martin, the most senior Catholic cleric south of the border, disclosed that he had decided to send students from Dublin – the largest diocese in Ireland – to Rome for priestly formation, rather than to Maynooth just a short drive from the capital.

The Archbishop spoke of an “atmosphere” at the college following a string of allegations about a “gay culture” made in letters and blogs and concerns about “promiscuous sexuality”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Vatican issues its own sex ed guidelines

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME- Trying to get ahead of the curve when it comes to sex education for children, the Vatican has issued an alternative to the standard treatments. The new project seeks to avoid approaches that teach either too much about human sexuality to impressionable youth or too little.

Amid the frenzy of World Youth Day, which gathered millions of young people in Krakow, Poland at the end of July, the Pontifical Council for the Family, headed by Italian Archbishop Vicenzo Paglia, launched a website with materials both for students and educators called “The Meeting Point, project for affective and sexual formation.”

“Cultural, legislative and educational projects directly or indirectly challenge the Christian vision of the body, of the difference and the complementarity between man and woman, the exercise of sexuality, marriage and the family,” Paglia wrote in the project’s introduction.

These projects, he wrote, want to legitimize the different ways in which sexuality is lived in society “by proposing visions that constitute a real anthropological change, which impedes the affirmation of sexual identity, virtues, values and attitudes that integrate the body and the affections in the vocation to love that is the basis of the whole project of human life and of the good life according to the Gospel.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

Social media use at priest training college to be reviewed after 'gay culture' allegations

IRELAND
Journal

THE TRUSTEES OF St Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Ireland’s national seminary, have said procedures for handling whistleblowers will be reviewed, following allegations of trainee priests using gay dating apps.

Earlier this month, the training college made headlines after it was reported that a gay culture is prevalent on the campus, with some trainees using gay dating apps such as Grindr.

At the time, the college said there was “no concrete or credible evidence” that such a culture exists.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said he would send trainee priests from his own diocese to Rome rather than Maynooth, citing “an atmosphere of strange goings-on”.

The governing body of the college has today said it will also ask seminary authorities to “evaluate and review the policy regarding the appropriate use of the internet and social media”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Maynooth trustees 'share concerns' about seminary

IRELAND
Breaking News

Catholic Church hierarchy has admitted concerns about an "unhealthy atmosphere" at the country's main seminary amid claims trainee priests there are using the gay dating app Grindr.

Church leaders have ordered a review on the "appropriate use of the internet and social media" at the centuries-old St Patrick's College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, as well as an overhaul of its approach to whistleblowers.

The college trustees - four Archbishops and 13 senior Bishops - met for crisis talks after the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin confirmed he was boycotting the seminary.

Dr Diarmuid Martin said earlier this month he is sending student priests to Rome rather than Maynooth.
The church leader said he made the decision some months ago because he was "somewhat unhappy" about "an atmosphere that was growing in Maynooth" exposed through anonymous accusations in letters and online blogs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Church hierarchy concerned with Maynooth 'atmosphere' amid Grindr claims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

IRELAND'S Catholic Church hierarchy has admitted concerns about an "unhealthy atmosphere" at the country's main seminary amid claims trainee priests there are using the gay dating app Grindr.

Church leaders have ordered a review on the "appropriate use of the internet and social media" at the centuries-old St Patrick's College in Maynooth, Co Kildare, as well as an overhaul of its approach to whistleblowers.

The college trustees - four archbishops and 13 senior bishops - met for crisis talks after the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin confirmed he was boycotting the seminary.

Dr Diarmuid Martin, the most senior Catholic in the Irish Republic, said earlier this month he is sending student priests to Rome rather than Maynooth - just 26km from the capital.

The church leader said he made the decision some months ago because he was "somewhat unhappy" about "an atmosphere that was growing in Maynooth" exposed through anonymous accusations in letters and online blogs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Church dean sent explicit card to sex victim, commission told

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 25, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The former dean of Newcastle’s Anglican cathedral allegedly sent an explicit greetings card to a teenager he had been having sex with for several years that read “Thank Heaven for little boys! For little boys get BIGGER every day.”

The card, tendered in evidence to the Royal Commission into ­Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, provides an insight into how brazen senior priests ­associated with the NSW diocese were about their alleged activities.

Its author, Graeme Lawrence, would subsequently work closely with the then bishop of New­castle, Roger Herft, now the Anglican Archbishop of Perth.

Other exhibits tendered to the commission allege Archbishop Herft was told on at least three ­occasions that Mr Lawrence was a sexual abuser, including of children, although he has given evidence saying he has no memory of this taking place.

Both men are due to face cross-examination next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Maynooth seminary to review social media policies

IRELAND
Irish Times

Ciarán D'Arcy

There will be a review of social media policies and procedures for handling whistleblowers at St Patrick’s seminary in Maynooth following allegations of trainee priests using dating apps, the college’s board of trustees has announced.

During a meeting in Maynooth on Tuesday, the board also asked the Irish Bishops’ Conference which is based in St Patrick’s College to commission an independent audit and report into the governance of Irish seminaries.

Those who oversee the management of St Patrick’s came in for criticism earlier this month when media reports surfaced of trainee priests using the Tinder dating app as well as its gay equivalent, Grindr.

Following those reports, a number of ex-seminarians came forward with accounts of alleged bullying and sexual harassment they had suffered during their time at the Maynooth college, and in a statement released on Wednesday the trustees say they “share the concerns about the unhealthy atmosphere” there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Audio stories give a voice to survivor stories

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

24 August, 2016

The Royal Commission has published nine audio stories based on survivors’ experiences as revealed in private sessions.

These stories are accurate summaries of what was said in the private session, and use real quotes taken from the session. However, names have been changed and the stories have been narrated by actors to protect the identity of the survivors.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the stories promote community awareness of the impacts of child sexual abuse, while protecting the privacy of private session attendees.

“Bearing witness to the experiences of survivors in private sessions has been a defining feature of this Royal Commission,” Mr Reed said.

“Commissioners have now heard more than 5,500 stories in private sessions,” Mr Reed said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Judge gives Islamic leader deadline to accept plea deal in sex abuse case

ILLINOIS
Courier-News

George Houde
Chicago Tribune

The founder of a suburban Islamic school who is accused of sexually abusing a former student and a former employee has been given until Sept. 2 to decide if he will accept a plea deal.

Cook County Associate Judge James Karahalios issued the deadline Tuesday after the imam, Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, declined to accept the terms of a plea deal offered by prosecutors. Karahalios said he intends to take Saleem to trial on Sept. 12 if the imam does not agree to the plea arrangement by the Sept. 2 deadline.

Saleem, 77, a conservative scholar and former principal of the Institute of Islamic Education in Elgin, is accused of groping a woman who worked for him at the boarding school and of molesting an underage female student. In both cases, authorities allege that the imam forced the woman and the girl to sit on his lap while touching them in a sexual manner, and that both were victimized multiple times.

The terms of the proposed plea bargain have not been made public. The sentencing guidelines for those convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse include the possibility of probation. Someone convicted of the crime could also be required to register as a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Ex-priest's sex sentence halved in NSW

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP on August 24, 2016

A 73-year-old former Sydney Catholic priest has had his six-month minimum jail term halved for sex offences against boys more than three decades ago.

Robert Flaherty, who was given between six and 12 months to live 11 months ago, was granted bail pending his appeal so he will now spend his first night behind bars.

He was jailed in February for two years and three weeks with a non-parole period of six months, being subject to the sentencing standards of the time the offences were committed.

Flaherty had pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault relating to two boys and a jury found him guilty of two other offences relating to a third boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Parents file suit against archdiocese

KENTUCKY
The Record - Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville

Record Staff Report

Attorney William McMurry filed suit Aug. 19 against the Archdiocese of Louisville on behalf of the parents of a child whom, according to the suit, Father Stephen A. Pohl photographed while pastor of St. Margaret Mary Church.

Father Pohl was sentenced on March 29 in federal court to 33 months after he pleaded guilty to accessing child pornography.

In addition to accessing child pornography online, the priest had more than 150 photos of St. Margaret Mary School children on his computer and other devices, court records say. While not pornographic, investigators described some of the photos as inappropriate, characterizing them as “child erotica.”

The Aug. 19 suit claims the archdiocese was negligent in its hiring and supervision of the priest. McMurry also filed suit against the Archdiocese of Louisville March 29 on behalf of another set of parents of a child whom, according to the suit, the priest photographed.

Claims in a lawsuit represent only one side of a legal case. The archdiocese does not comment on pending litigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

SNAP Ordered to Pay Legal Fees for Catholic Priest in Sexual Abuse Case

MISSOURI
KMOX

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is ordered to help pay the legal fees of a Catholic priest who accuses SNAP of conspiring to ruin his reputation.

SNAP refused to turn over some documents in the civil suit filed by Father Joseph Jiang – who was once charged criminally with sexual misconduct involving a child, but the charges were dropped. They say it would compromise the privacy of alleged victims.

“Legally, this is certainly the most potentially harmful ruling we have ever faced,” David Clohessy of SNAP says. “We’ve already turned over more information in this case, than we ever have had to before.”

Jiang’s attorneys want the records to show the alleged conspiracy against Jiang.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Nine Survivors Of Child Sex Abuse Tell Their Horrifying But Important Stories

AUSTRALIA
Huffongton Post

[with videos]

Eoin Blackwell Senior Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

(Warning: some of this material is confronting and disturbing. If the stories cause you sadness or distress and you need help, you can access support services here.)

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse has for the first time published nine audio accounts of survivors' experiences, in a move it hopes will bolster community understanding of abuse.

The nine private session stories tell of abuse that occurred in schools, children's homes, state-run institutions and Aboriginal missions from the 1950's to the 2000's.

The Commission said the stories are accurate summaries of what was said in the private sessions, however names have been changed to protect the identity of the survivors, and actors have been used in the recordings.

Natalie's Story Features A Catholic Priest Who Visited Her Primary School In The 1980s. She Was 11 Years Old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse releases nine unheard stories

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Rohan Smith
news.com.au
@ro_smith

WARNING: Disturbing content

NATALIE wanted desperately to become a model. So, when a Catholic priest set up a studio in his office, she jumped at the opportunity to be photographed.

Soon, she realised there was a problem. Father Collier, who assisted at the primary school attended by the 11-year-old in 1985, asked her to change out of her uniform and into something more flattering.

He handed her a white, see-through shirt and told her: “Don’t put any underwear on because you’ll see lines and it’ll ruin the photos.”

This year, telling her story to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Natalie said the photographs were the beginning of something worse.

“He asked me to pose like Elle McPherson,” she said. “I knew he was taking photos of my private parts ... I was begging to go home.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

August 23, 2016

Statement Regarding UCC Filing Reorganization Plan

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

From Archbishop Bernard Hebda

The judge has asked all parties to negotiate in good faith, and that is what we are endeavoring to do. Our consistent goal remains the same: a fair and just resolution for all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Archdiocese seeks 'fair and just' resolution to bankruptcy proceedings

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

[with video]

By: Samuel King
POSTED:AUG 23 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Attorneys for clergy abuse victims are touting an alternative restructuring plan to the one offered by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis during its bankruptcy proceedings.

The Archdiocese filed its bankruptcy reorganization plan in May, calling for a total of $65 million in payments to abuse survivors and other creditors. The alternative plan would provide at $80 million in payments to survivors.

“The plan that they proposed of paying the survivors $16 million is deceptive and misleading and a betrayal of a pledge to transparency,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the abuse victims. “This provides for transparency and a fair measure of accountability.”

The plan from the Committee of Unsecured Creditors also calls for a release of all documents related to the investigation of former Archbishop John Nienstedt to be made public, including documents from the Vatican.

“They funded that investigation. They can’t now hide it because they don’t like it,” Anderson said. “No more secrets, no more concealment.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Alternative Archdiocese settlement plan pays more to priest’s victims

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By TORY COONEY | vcooney@pioneerpress.com
August 23, 2016

A group of sexual abuse victims who suffered at the hands of clergy in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have filed a counter plan for the proposed settlement.

The archdiocese’s plan, submitted to bankruptcy court in May, is “grossly underfunded and grossly deficient,” said attorney Jeff Anderson during a press conference Tuesday. Anderson is a St. Paul attorney representing hundreds of people claiming sexual abuse by priests.

The plan submitted by the survivors, as the Creditors’ Committee in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, would require the archdiocese to pay $80 million to victims instead of the $16 million it proposed.

“The reality is that what the Archdiocese did (in submitting its plan) … was a scam,” Anderson said. He also claimed that the archdiocese has vastly under-reported its true ability to pay and has sheltered funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Abuse victims: St. Paul Archdiocese can contribute more

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

UCC Plan 8-22-16
UCC Plan Disclosure Statement 8-22-16

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune AUGUST 23, 2016

The committee representing clergy abuse victims in bankruptcy court has proposed its own financial reorganization plan for the Twin Cities Archdiocese, including provisions to mortgage the St. Paul Cathedral and to halt support payments to abusive priests and give the money to abuse victims instead.

The plan, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Monday, requires the archdiocese to contribute $80 million to abuse victims in its financial reorganization instead of the $13 million proposed by the archdiocese.

“This is a plan that would fairly compensate the more than 400 survivors who have ben so egregiously harmed,” victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson saidat a news conference Tuesday.

Anderson said the archdiocese has the ability to contribute far more to abuse victims than it proposed in its financial reorganization plan filed in May. That plan calls for the creation of a $65 million trust fund for victims, which could increase if further insurance settlements are reached.

The St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese would contribute about $13 million to that fund, with insurers picking up most of the rest.

Of the $80 million in archdiocese contributions proposed by the victims’ committee, $38 million would come from loans leveraged from archdiocese assets such as the cathedral and property leased to several high schools, said Anderson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Former pastor charged with sex assault of minor

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Clay Center Dispatch

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A former pastor at a New Hampshire church has been arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a minor.

Thirty-seven-year-old old Stephen Jesmer was employed as a pastor at The Dialogue Church in Manchester.

He was arrested Monday night on three counts of felonious sexual assault and one count of witness tampering.

Police started investigating several months ago when they were told of potentially inappropriate behavior involving Jesmer and a minor.

WMUR-TV reports Jesmer is free on $100,000 bond. It was not immediately known if he is being represented by an attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. G.R. Keith Albrecht

OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: G.R. Keith Albrecht was was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1977. Prior to that, in the early 1970s, he was a Franciscan friar preparing for solemn vows when the Order voted him out. As a Cincinnati archdiocesan priest, Albrecht assisted in parishes in Beavercreek, Xenia, and Coldwater OH, where he was named pastor in 1987. He also spent a year as a hospital chaplain in Dayton.

In 1986 Albrecht took nude photos of a "young man," who then tried to blackmail him for money. Despite knowledge of this incident, the archdiocese elevated him to pastor the following year. In 1993 Albrecht was placed on leave after a man alleged molestation as a minor by Albrecht in the 1970s in Beavercreek. A second person subsequently came forward with allegations that Albrecht had molested him when he was an 8th grader in the late 1980s, during a trip with the priest to New York. Albrecht admitted to sexual behavior with youths, explaining that he thought he was acting "out of love." He would reach out to troubled adolescent males, then molest them. At least two lived with him for a time in the rectory of his Coldwater parish. In 2004 a man filed suit against Albrecht and the archdiocese with claims of abuse 1977-1981, when the man was a 14 to 17-year-old boy. The suit was dismissed in 2006 due to a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court that victims must file suit before the age of 20. Albrecht was laicized in 2005.

Ordained: 1977
Laicized: 2005

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Abuse Victims Propose $80 Million Settlement From Archdiocese

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

[with video]

UCC Plan 8-22-16
UCC Plan Disclosure Statement 8-22-16

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Survivors of sexual abuse by priests say the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis can pay victims a lot more than the church has proposed in bankruptcy filings.

A group of victims released its proposal on Tuesday for the Archdiocese’s reorganization. It says $80-million should go to victims. In May, the Archdiocese proposed paying around $16 million.

“The plan that they proposed of paying the survivors $16 million is deceptive, and deceiving and a betrayal of a place of transparency,” Jeff Anderson, the attorney representing abuse victims, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Fellowship Church hires crisis management team following Rick Trotter's arrest

TENNESSEE
WMC

[with video]

Tuesday, August 23rd 2016

By WMCActionNews5.com Staff
By Tiffany Neely

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -
A Memphis church hired a crisis management team to do an internal investigation after a former employee's arrest.

Rick Trotter, former voice of the Memphis Grizzlies, was arrested for filming "upskirt" videos of women at Downtown Church and Fellowship Memphis.

Members at Fellowship Church, where Trotter worked at the church from 2005-2010, said it looks more like the church is doing damage control.

"Members of the church body should be able to trust their leaders," said a church member, who asked to remain anonymous. "Fellowship had an independent outside form to investigation any, all facts surrounding this matter ... So, when I heard that, I thought, 'OK, they're looking into it.'"

Members said they received an email containing more information about the firm handling the investigation; one member said something doesn't seem quite right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS HOLD PROTEST AFTER TEACHER ARRESTED

CALIFORNIA
ABC 7

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Victims of sexual assault are staging a protest in the East Bay after a teacher was arrested, accused of having a relationship with a teenager.

Heather Butts, 40, used to teach at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland. She was arrested in San Bruno last week, when someone said they spotted her acting inappropriately inside a car with the teen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Louisville archdiocese sued over 'erotic' photos

KENTUCKY
Courier-Journal

Matthew Glowicki, @MattGlo
August 23, 2016

Parents of a young boy who claim their son was inappropriately photographed by a Roman Catholic priest, now a convicted sex offender, are suing the Archdiocese of Louisville for negligence.

The Rev. Stephen Pohl pleaded guilty in March to a federal charge of viewing child pornography, admitting to accessing more than 100 pornographic images of nude underage boys on computers at the St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church rectory and office.

While the criminal charge didn't involve St. Margaret Mary students, investigators did discover hundreds of photos on Pohl's computers depicting clothed Louisville students, some of which police deemed "child erotica."

In the newly filed lawsuit, parents Daniel and Mary Agnes Hayden said their elementary school student was among the students secluded by Pohl, ordered into "inappropriate physical poses" and photographed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

SNAP defamed St. Louis priest, federal judge says

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joel Currier St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • Exasperated by nearly two months of defiance of a court order to supply details about people making sexual abuse claims against a St. Louis priest, U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson dealt a heavy blow this week to the advocacy group SNAP and others.

In an order filed Monday in a suit by the Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang, Jackson says that the SNAP defendants did conspire together "to obtain plaintiff's conviction on sexual abuse charges" and that it was because of "discriminatory animus against plaintiff based on his religion, religious vocation, race, and national origin."

She also said that SNAP's public statements "were false and that they did not conduct any inquiry into the truth or falsity of these public statements, but instead made these statements negligently and with reckless disregard for the truth."

Jiang filed a defamation suit last year against the boy’s parents, police and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris, claiming they conspired against him for monetary gain, and that police went after him because of his religious and racial background. He had been named on criminal charges that were later dropped.

Jackson's sanctions appear to apply specifically to SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Former Ballarat priest found guilty of historic indecent assault charges

AUSTRALIA
Courier

Alicia Thomas
@aliciajthomas

23 Aug 2016

A former Ballarat priest has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a young girl in her own bed more than 40 years ago.

Leslie Sheahan, 85, who was an assistant priest of St Columba’s Church at the time of the offence, will return to the Ballarat Magistrates Court next month for sentencing over the historic indecent assault.

The woman assaulted as a young girl by the former Ballarat priest while she slept told the court the traumatic experience still haunted her.

The woman, who was aged nine or 10 at the time of the incident, gave evidence she woke one night in the 1960s to find Sheahan in her bed with his hand down her pants while he forced her hand on his penis.

“He kept telling me how nice it felt for me and I kept thinking no it wasn’t nice at all,” she told the court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Archdiocese creditors seek higher payout in bankruptcy plan

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan Aug 23, 2016

The committee representing sex abuse victims and other creditors in the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is proposing the church raise more money for victims by mortgaging the Cathedral of St. Paul and land leased to three Catholic high schools.

That move is part of an archdiocese reorganization plan filed by the committee late Monday. It says the archdiocese has far more resources to compensate abuse victims than the church has reported.

The church plan filed in May called for the archdiocese to provide about $13 million out of its own pocket. That was part of a $65 million proposed reorganization plan that included contributions from insurers, parishes, schools and other Catholic organizations.

But the creditors' committee insists the archdiocese can come up with $80 million, with additional contributions coming from insurers and other parties that could raise the total available to creditors above $100 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Ex-pastor charged with sexually assaulting minors in Manchester

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NH1

MANCHESTER — A former pastor of a Manchester church is facing sexual assault charges involving minors.

Stephen Jesmer, 37 of Manchester, turned himself in on Monday. He was being investigated by Manchester juvenile investigators for several months following an alert of inappropriate behavior involving the former pastor and a minor. The investigation led to an arrest warrant.

Jesmer is charged with three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, three counts of felonious sexual assault, and one count of witness tampering.

He was previously employed as a pastor with The Dialogue Church, 516 Pine Street at the time of the alleged assaults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Former New Hampshire Pastor Arrested for Sexually Assaulting a Minor

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NECN

By Marc Fortier

A former pastor at a New Hampshire church was arrested Monday on charges that he sexually assaulted a minor.

Stephen Jesmer, 37, of Manchester, turned himself in to police on Monday night. He is charged with three counts of felonious sexual assault and one count of witness tampering and appeared in court on Tuesday.

Manchester Police said Jesmer was employed as a pastor with The Dialogue Church on Pine Street at the time of the alleged assaults. Church officials are cooperating with the investigation.

The investigation began several months ago when police were first alerted to potentially inappropriate behavior invovling Jesmer and a minor.

Police said the investigation is ongoing, and they are asking anyone with information regarding Jesmer to contact the juvenile investigative unit at 603-792-5551.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Italian priest with 'relic fetish' is charged with murdering 92-year-old monsignor 'who caught him stealing sacred statuettes'

ITALY
Daily Mail (UK)

By OLLIE GILLMAN FOR MAILONLINE

A Catholic priest has been charged with murdering a 92-year-old Italian monsignor who allegedly caught him stealing sacred statuettes.

Giuseppe Rocco had a broken neck and had been strangled to death when he was found in his bedroom in the Cleric House in Trieste, Italy, in April 2014 by a housekeeper who came in to check on him.

Prosecutors believe Father Paolo Piccoli - who read Rocco his last rites - killed the older priest because he had reported him for allegedly stealing a set of figurines.

Rocco told Catholic authorities in the weeks before he was killed that statuettes of the Madonna, horse and a ship had gone missing.

They suddenly reappeared after his complaint, but he was suspected Piccoli was to blame, news.com.au reported.

Piccoli, 52, had been accused of stealing relics from another parish in the past and is believed to have a fetish for old artifacts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:32 PM

Judge sanctions SNAP for defying orders in abuse lawsuit

MISSOURI
Crux

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A federal judge has admonished an advocacy group for clergy abuse victims for defying her orders to release personal information about people who accused a priest of sexual misconduct.

In a ruling Monday in St. Louis, U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson cited the “deliberate and willful refusal” by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests to turn over information to Father Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang.

Jiang is suing SNAP, St. Louis city, two police officers and the boy’s mother for defamation. His lawsuit, filed in 2015, names the accuser’s parents - by initials only - along with St. Louis police Officers Tonya Porter and Jaimie Pitterle, the city of St. Louis, SNAP and the group’s leaders, David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris.

In the lawsuit, Jiang claimed he’s the victim of both religious and racial discrimination, asserting that the priest had fled religious persecution in China only to face further harassment in the United States. He is seeking information about the people who lodged the accusations against him.

Jackson says she’ll direct that it has been established that SNAP plotted against Jiang.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Vertuschung light: Sexualisierte Gewalt wird in der katholischen Kirche immer noch kleingeschrieben

DEUTSCHLAND
Wir Sind Kirche

[Sexual violence is still lowercase in the Catholic Church.The We Are Church people's movement wants an explanation of why Cardinal Reinhard Marx failed to address sexual abuse allegations when he was Trier bishop.]

Pressemitteilung München/Deggendorf 19. August 2016

Wir sind Kirche zu den Vorwürfen: Kardinal Marx wusste als Trierer Bischof vom Missbrauchsverdacht

Die KirchenVolksBewegung Wir sind Kirche hält die heutigen Erklärungsversuche, warum Kardinal Marx als Bischof von Trier Missbrauchsvorwürfen nicht konsequent nachgegangen sei, für „Vertuschung light“. Nur ein freimütiges Eingestehen des Versagens öffnet die Türen für eine wirkliche Aufarbeitung der Vertuschung sexualisierter Gewalt.

Sich heute darauf zu berufen, die Leitlinien der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz seien damals nicht so eindeutig gewesen, gibt einen Fingerzeig darauf, wie wenig ernst diese genommen wurden und immer noch werden, und das in mehrfacher Hinsicht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Unanswered questions for Harrisburg diocese (editorial)

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

YDR invited Bishop Ronald W. Gainer to meet with our editorial board to discuss abuse cases. He declined.

After the York Daily Record published a story naming 15 priests with connections to the Harrisburg diocese who had been accused of sexual abuse of children, we invited Bishop Ronald W. Gainer to meet with our editorial board.

Some of the 15 names were a revelation because they had not been previously acknowledged publicly by the diocese.

We believe it’s important to get that information out there so victims of abuse can know they are not alone. In many cases, victims have only come forward after learning through published reports that their tormentors have been accused of harming others.

Those 15 names might have been a revelation to some, but we know there are other priests who have been accused who were not included on that list. That’s because in 2007 the church said publicly that 24 priests with connections to the diocese had been accused of sexual abuse either here or elsewhere.

We know 15 names. Who are the others? Since 2007, has the diocese become aware of even more? Is the number still 24 – or is it more?

We just don’t know.

The Harrisburg diocese acknowledged the accused clergymen that YDR had become aware of through other sources but declined to shed light on other cases.

We wanted the opportunity to discuss these issues with Bishop Gainer. Through a diocese spokesman, he declined our invitation. Instead, his spokesman provided a guest column addressing the issue of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Joint Statement by Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church Regarding Rick Trotter

TENNESSEE
Fellowship Memphis

By Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Church Leadership Aug 11, 2016

To ensure our congregations are fully informed, Fellowship Memphis (Fellowship) and Downtown Church (Downtown) have come together to provide a joint narrative with the facts as we understand them regarding Rick Trotter and his employment with our institutions.

Let us first say we are here for the victims. Trotter’s actions are contrary to our values, and we are deeply sorry for the suffering of the victims.

Trotter was employed as a Worship Director by Fellowship from August 2005 to February of 2010. In February 2010, it was reported that Trotter was engaged in inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature at the corporate headquarters of Fellowship. Specifically, a single incident of Trotter recording people in a bathroom was reported. This was immediately reported to Fellowship’s lead pastor at the time. When confronted, Trotter did not deny the charges and was thereby terminated.

The individuals victimized, all adults, by this incident were notified of Trotter’s misconduct, made aware that he had been terminated, and asked whether they wanted to press charges. The victims were also offered independent professional counseling paid for by the church. It is our understanding that none of the victims at that time chose to press charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 PM

Fellowship Memphis Church hires crisis management firm after Rick Trotter's arrest

TENNESSEE
Watch Keep

Former Memphis Grizzlies announcer Rick Trotter was arrested on August 9, accused of filming "upskirt" videos while women were kneeling at worship services at Downtown Church earlier this year. Stotter reportedly recorded women and minors at another church, Fellowship Memphis, in 2010, where he was on staff as a worship leader from 2005-2010. After the camera was discovered at Fellowship, Stotter was fired, but church officials did not report this incident to law enforcement, according to Memphis Police Department's Lt. Karen Rudolph. Two of Trotter's alleged victims that he recorded are minors. Everyone in Tennessee is a mandated reporter under state law.

Fellowship Church lead pastor John Bryson and Downtown Church lead pastor Richard Rieves issued a joint statement after Trotter's arrest. The full statement is here.

To ensure our congregations are fully informed, Fellowship Memphis (Fellowship) and Downtown Church (Downtown) have come together to provide a joint narrative with the facts as we understand them regarding Rick Trotter and his employment with our institutions.

Let us first say we are here for the victims. Trotter’s actions are contrary to our values, and we are deeply sorry for the suffering of the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Pope Francis appoints Bishop Holley to lead Diocese of Memphis

TENNESSEE
Catholic Standard - Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

By Mark Zimmermann
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pope Francis has appointed Washington Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley to become the new bishop of Memphis, Tennessee, and the pope has accepted the resignation of Memphis Bishop J. Terry Steib, 76, from pastoral governance of the diocese. The Vatican announced the appointment on Aug. 23.

“I am deeply humbled in my appointment as the fifth bishop of Memphis by His Holiness, Pope Frances and I thank him for expressing his confidence in me through this new assignment at this time in my life,” Bishop Holley said after his appointment was announced.

He will be installed as the bishop of Memphis at the Cook Convention Center on Oct. 19 at 2 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Seminary rector: Only Apuron can lift deed of restriction on church property

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News August 23, 2016

The rector of a seminary in Yona said Tuesday only Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron or his successor can lift the deed of restriction that gives the seminary and a theological institute the legal right to use the local Catholic church’s property.

The Rev. Pius Sammut, rector of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, said the sole owner of the Yona property is the Archdiocese of Agana. Sammut said the archbishop who currently oversees the local archdiocese, Savio Hon Tai Fai, has said this repeatedly.

The deed restriction allows the Archdiocesan Redemptoris Mater Seminary to use the Yona property, Sammut said.

“The only one who can lift the deed of restriction is the ordained Archbishop of Agana, Mons. Apuron or, eventually, his successor,” Sammut told Pacific Daily News.

Proper legal action must be done in order for the Archdiocese of Agana to again take control of the property, said attorney and former island Sen. Robert Klitzkie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft ‘told of abuse priest’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 24, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth was allegedly told a senior priest was a sexual predator, including of children, on at least three occasions, documents tendered to a royal commission reveal, ­although his evidence says he “cannot recall” this happening at the time.

The priest in question, Graeme Lawrence, was dean of Newcastle Cathedral during the 1990s when Archbishop Roger Herft was ­bishop of the NSW diocese.

Mr Lawrence, whom the commission has heard was part of a “Gang of Three” that protected a serial pedophile priest, was subsequently defrocked after having group sex with a teenage boy.

Archbishop Herft and Mr Lawrence are to face cross-examination before the Royal Com­mis­sion into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse next week.

“To the best of my knowledge, I cannot recall the dean’s name being connected to child abuse within my time as bishop,” Archbishop Herft said in a witness statement tendered to the commission and released yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Media Advisory

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

UCC Plan 8-22-16
UCC Plan Disclosure Statement 8-22-16

August 23, 2016

St. Paul News Conference Today

Sexual Abuse Survivors File Proposed Bankruptcy Plan

Plan Calls for Archdiocese to Pay $80mFor the first time in any diocesan or religious order bankruptcy proceeding, sexual abuse survivors file their own reorganization plan

What: At a news conference Tuesday in St. Paul, Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan will:

· Discuss the details of the proposed bankruptcy plan filed Monday by the Creditors’ Committee in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy case;

· Among other provisions, the proposed plan calls for the immediate release of the investigative report concerning former Archbishop John Nienstedt, all communications with the Vatican Embassy and requests an end to all payments currently being made to priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children;

· Demand the Archdiocese uphold its pledge made to sexual abuse survivors to be transparent and accountable throughout the bankruptcy proceedings.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 1:00PM

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 so please allow for additional time to find parking.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Cell: 612.817.8665 Office: 651.227.9990
Mike Finnegan: Cell: 612.205.5531 Office: 651.227.9990

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Former priest denies assaulting pupils at Highland abbey

SCOTLAND
STV

An 83-year-old former priest at Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands has denied assaulting eight pupils.

The incidents are alleged to have happened between June 1974 and July 1988 when Thomas Seed was a teacher at the school on the banks of Loch Ness.

Seed, of Brora, Sutherland, who went by the name Father Benedict, denied all charges at Inverness Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

His trial was due to begin next month but has been adjourned and is now expected to go ahead in Inverness on January 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Former Ealing Priest in Court Over Historic Sex Offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Ealing Today

A former Roman Catholic priest accused of historical sex offences against five boys at St Benedict's School has appeared in court.

Laurence Soper, 72, has appeared at Ealing Magistrates' Court facing nine charges which all allegedly took place at the school where he taught in the 1970s and 80s.

Mr Soper was arrested in 2010 and bailed, but failed to return to a London police station in March 2011. A European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in 2012 and he was detained in Kosovo in May.

He gave his name in court as Andrew Charles Kingston Soper - Laurence being the name he took when he was ordained as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Trial of former Fort Augustus Abbey priest adjourned

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The trial of a former priest accused of assaulting eight boys while teaching at Fort Augustus Abbey School has been adjourned until next year.

Father Benedict Seed, 83, denies the charges, which include striking pupils aged between 11 and 18 with a cane and a spiked golf in the 1970s and 80s.

A trial date has been fixed for 23 January for further investigations.

It also allows time to arrange for one witness to give evidence via a video link from Hong Kong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

State Government announces changes to background screenings for people working with children

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

LAUREN NOVAK, POLITICAL REPORTER, The Advertiser
August 22, 2016

SCREENING clearances to work with children will remain valid for five years and applicants will be tracked by an electronic identification number, under changes prompted by the Nyland Royal Commission.

The State Government has today revealed proposed changes to background screening laws which follow recommendations made by Royal Commissioner Margaret Nyland earlier this month.

A key change will establish a single check for working with children, which will be portable across different roles.

Teachers will be required to undergo the same check, despite currently being assessed under a different system.

Applicants will no longer be able to start working with children while their clearance is being processed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

CA--Catholic teacher arrested for sexual abuse

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victim’s group: “Bishop must do outreach now”
SNAP: “others may be suffering alone and in silence”
First court appearance for the accused is September 19th
Survivors also urge officials to teach kids that women can be predators too

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

-- discuss the case of a newly-arrested abusive school teacher,
-- stress the likelihood that she may have hurt kids at TWO schools, not just one,

They will also beg Catholic and school officials to

-- educate kids and parents that women abuse too,
--“reach out to girls who may still be suffering alone and in silence,”
-- use their resources to beg those who may have experienced, witnessed or suspected abuse by this teacher to come forward, and
-- “come clean” to law enforcement investigators about any prior allegations of inappropriate behavior with students in the interest of public safety.

WHEN
Tuesday, August 23rd at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
Outside the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison Street (between 21st & Grand) in Oakland CA

WHO
Two-three members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
A public school teacher who had also taught at an Oakland Catholic school was arrested last week for sexually abusing a 15 year old girl.

[SFGate]

Heather Amanda Butts, a teacher at Taylor Middle School in Millbrae, was arrested on August 17th on suspicion of having sexually violating the teen. Butts had been a drama teacher at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland from 1999 to 2002.

Melanie Sakoda, the East Bay Director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is concerned that Butts may also have had victims at the Oakland facility.

“Unfortunately, those who abuse kids rarely have just one victim, and they do not just wake up one day and decide to begin molesting. It’s highly unlikely that the Millbrae victim was this teacher’s first,” Sakoda said.

“Oakland’s bishop and his staff should aggressively reach out to girls who may be suffering alone and in silence,” she continued. “They need to know that they are not alone.”

The San Francisco Director for SNAP, Tim Lennon added, “Catholic officials should use every resource at their disposal to prod anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by this teacher to call police. The diocese must also ‘come clean’ - to the public and the police – about any other reports of misconduct by Butts.”

Lennon also hoped that the Oakland bishop, as well as the school district, would take the opportunity to educate students and parents. “People are used to thinking about abusers as male, and often overlook the fact that women can, and do, abuse children of both sexes.”

Sakoda concluded, “Kids are always safer when predators are jailed. People in the Oakland Diocese may have information that can help insure that happens here.”

Butts' first court appearance will be on September 19th at 8:30 a.m. in the San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City.

Anyone with information on the case can call police at (650) 616-7100 or email sbpdtipline@sanbruno.ca.gov.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Sexueller Missbrauch: Church of England warnte Bischöfe vor Entschuldigungen

GROSSBRITANNIEN
Contra

[According to an internal document, bishops of the Church of England were instructed not to apologize for sexual assaulst in order to avoid lawsuits.]

Einem internen Dokument zufolge wurden die Bischöfe der Church of England angewiesen, sich nicht für sexuelle Übergriffe zu entschuldigen, um so Klagen zu vermeiden.

Von Marco Maier

Sexueller Missbrauch ist bei den christlichen Kirchen ein Thema, welches von deren Religionsführern nicht gerne aufgegriffen wird. Denn egal ob nun die Katholische Kirche oder auch diverse andere christlichen Konfessionen und Sekten – quer durch die Bank ziehen sich Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen deren Vertreter. In Großbritannien macht nun ein internes Schreiben der Church of England die Runde, welches für großes Aufsehen sorgt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Settlement in Child Sex Abuse Cases at NJ Catholic School

NEW JERSEY
CBS New York

[video]

Justice for seven alleged victims of child sex abuse - years after they claim it happened. It's the end of a long and emotional journey. Gus Rosendale reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Bergen Catholic High School Settles With Students Who Alleged Sex Abuse

NEW JERSEY
CBS New York

[with video]

ORADELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Bergen Catholic High School has reached a nearly $2 million settlement with 21 alleged sex abuse victims – all former students at the private school in Oradell, New Jersey.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported, the former Bergen Catholic students reached the settlement for alleged cases abuse that took place over a 15 year span.

Peter Alrutz, who attended the school in the 1960s, said he saw a lot of teacher-on-student physical abuse at the school.

“A lay teacher punched with a closed fist and knocked teeth out of a student’s mouth,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Bergen Catholic HS reaches $1.9 million settlement with victims of alleged sex abuse

NEW JERSEY
News 12

ORADELL - Officials at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell have reached a settlement with 21 former students over alleged sexual abuse.

The school will offer no formal admission of guilt or apology, but gave $1.9 million to the 21 alleged victims who went to the school in the 1960s and 1970s. They were allegedly abused by 11 teachers and staff members.

Road to Recovery, an organization dedicated to helping survivors of sexual abuse, helped some of the victims in the group.

"It is an acknowledgement first of all from the school – yes, it did happen. They are credible. These are not made up allegations,” says Co-Founder Robert Hoatson. "No amount of money will ever bring these men’s lives back and the damage that was done to them."

Hoatson says that it took a year of talks and protests to come to the settlement. He says the Road to Recovery organization also wants the school to release all files regarding any other sexual abuse. They believe there could be more victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Bergen Catholic settlement gives 'hope' to one alleged victim

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Sara Jerde | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

ORADELL—Peter Alrutz, 67, cannot recall exactly how old he was when he was first sexually abused, but he can still remember when a teacher asked to see him outside of class at Bergen Catholic High School and took him to a closet where the school stored books.

Alrutz said Brother Charles Borromeo Irwin asked him to move some books and when the student bent over, Irwin put his hand down his pants.

He said there was a physical struggle, but beyond that, "my recollection after that point is not real clear."

Victims of alleged sexual abuse at the all-boys high school in Oradell stepped forward Monday to announce a $1.9 million settlement that will be shared among 21 men who accused staff of the school of abusing them years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Bergen Catholic High School settles for $1.9M with 21 men over clerical sexual abuse allegations

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

MICHAEL O’KEEFFE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bergen Catholic High School has agreed to pay $1.9 million to 21 men who say they were molested by 11 teachers during the 1960s and 1970s, but the former student who sparked the settlement talks is not part of the deal because he has refused to take down a website detailing sexual and physical abuse at the school.

Kobutsu Malone said lawyers for the Oradell, N.J., school want to silence him in hopes of making the sex-abuse scandal go away with as little fanfare as possible.

“Considering the charges we are making, to find the school in a-- covering mode rather than healing mode is really disgusting,” said Malone, a 66-year-old Buddhist monk who now lives in Maine.

The school agreed to the settlement in November, but the deal was not made public until Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Ex-Ballarat priest Leslie John Sheahan guilty of sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
August 23, 2016

AUSTRALIA’S most notorious Catholic diocese for paedophile priests has added another serial child abuser to its number.

Former Ballarat priest Leslie John Sheahan was today found guilty by a magistrate of two charges of indecently assaulting a young girl from his time as a young priest in the 1960s.

The girl is his fourth known victim after Sheahan last year admitted molesting another three victims from the Ballarat and Horsham areas.

Sheahan was ordained alongside former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns in 1956, and like so many priests under his watch, was left to work alongside kids after allegations of misconduct surfaced.

Sheahan, 85, denied the most recent allegations, refused to be interviewed by police and declined the opportunity to give evidence at today’s hearing at the Ballarat Magistrates Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

'You took my childhood,' sex-abuse survivor tells Brett Mittelsteadt in court

CANADA
CBC News

By Marion Warnica, CBC News Posted: Aug 22, 2016

Brett Mittelsteadt was a family man, trusted teacher, coach and active member of the Catholic church when he started sending sexual text messages to a girl less than half his age — who was also one of his students.

The details are outlined in the agreed statement of facts, a list of details agreed on by the court when Mittelsteadt pleaded guilty on Monday morning to luring and touching a minor for a sexual purpose.

Brett Mittelsteadt, teacher, facing sex charges against a student​

The girl, who cannot be named because of a court order that protects her identity, was 14 years old when her teacher at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Sherwood Park started grooming her for a sexual relationship. He was already a close friend of the family. And at that time, in March 2013, the child's parents say she was a "hard-working, bright-spirited girl," whose spirit and flame were extinguished by the dark "narcissistic" decisions Mittelsteadt made in secret.

Seemingly sweet texts like "I love you," and "You are beautiful" were mixed in with increasingly explicit language and photos over several weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

LDS Church: Sex abuse lawsuit belongs in federal court

UTAH
Daily Herald

BRADY McCOMBS
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — LDS Church attorneys argued Monday that a lawsuit accusing religious officials of not doing enough to protect four Navajo children from sexual abuse in a now defunct church-run foster program belongs in federal court because the alleged incidents occurred off tribal land.

U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby heard nearly three hours of arguments Monday about whether to keep the case in tribal court. Shelby said he'll issue a ruling at a later date.

The alleged victims say they were sexually abused between the 1960s and early 1980s in the Indian Student Placement Program, which placed thousands of Navajo children in Mormon foster homes in Utah, Idaho and New Mexico.

Craig Vernon, an attorney for the victims, conceded that the alleged abuse didn't happen on tribal lands, but he said decisions about where to place children and the inaction after the kids reported the abuse occurred on the Navajo Nation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Court delays decision on whether LDS church president Monson must testify in sex abuse lawsuit

UTAH
Gephardt Daily

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 22, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A U.S. District judge on Monday said he won’t decide quite yet whether Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be forced to provide deposition testimony in a sex abuse lawsuit against the church.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby said several other key issues in the case should be decided before he rules on the subpoena issue, according to a report by Fox 13.

Monson — who turned 89 on Sunday and who has served as the president of the LDS church since 2008 — was subpoenaed by attorneys for four people who say they were sexually abused decades ago by members of their host families while participating in an LDS church placement program for Navajo children.

The four alleged victims, two males and two females who filed their cases in Arizona’s Navajo Tribal Court, say they were abused in the 1960s and 1970s while participating in the church’s Indian Student Placement Program (ISPP).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

American Preacher Molested a Teen Boy Then Fled 2,000 Miles

NEW JERSEY
The Daily Beast

After Gregorio Martinez was convicted of sexually abusing a boy, he vanished. Two reporters working on one tip did what law enforcement couldn’t: Find him.

KATIE ZAVADSKI

It took a jury 30 minutes to find preacher Gregorio Martinez guilty of molesting a 13-year-old boy.

The New Jersey preacher was convicted February 2015 of aggravated criminal sexual contact, child abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child, for which he was expected to be sentenced to probation.

But more accusers came forward before the sentencing phase began, opening up the possibility of more prosecution for Martinez.

Facing at least a decade in prison, Martinez disappeared.

For the next year and a half police, U.S. Marshals and prosecutors searched in vain for the pervert pastor. It was only thanks to two journalists that he was found—living 2,000 miles away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Bishops were urged not to apologise fully for child sex abuse to minimise liability risk

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 22 August 2016

Bishops in the Church of England were instructed to give partial apologies to victims of clergy child sex abuse to help minimise the cost of being sued, it has been disclosed.

Confidential legal advice to bishops seen by The Telegraph said the furthest the bishops should go was to "express regret". It warns bishops to be careful before meeting victims, and not to do so without first talking to a lawyer.

It warns of the "unintended effect of accepting legal liability" for sex abuse and the danger of "inadvertently" conceding guilt.

The advice, issued in 2007 and replaced last year, indicates that any apology to a victim of clergy sex abuse should be drafted in a way that would avoid making the Church liable for compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

IRELAND: ASSOCIATION OF PRIESTS PUBLICLY CRITICISE PAPAL NUNCIO

IRELAND
The Tablet (UK)

22 August 2016 | by Sarah Mac Donald in Dublin

Among their main concerns is the appointment of 'inadequate' bishops

The Papal Nuncio to Ireland has come under fire from a prominent group of Irish priests over his selection of a series of what they say are “like-minded” new bishops whom the priests claim are “inadequate” for the needs of the Irish Church today.

In a statement, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), which has a membership of over 1,000 Irish clerics, charged Archbishop Charles Brown with choosing “narrow-minded” bishops whom the reform-minded priests say are out of sync with the majority of the faithful.

Speaking to The Tablet, Fr Brendan Hoban, a spokesman for the ACP, warned that Irish priests, and not just ACP members, have lost confidence in the process of selecting bishops and specifically with the lack of consultation.

According to Fr Hoban, the Nuncio has “drawn from a very narrow mind-set, out of tune with the theology of the Second Vatican Council and the realities of Irish Catholic life today”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Lax rules on sleepovers, little training on abuse at St. Andrew’s

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Andrew Marra - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Monday, Aug. 22, 2016

BOCA RATON — At Saint Andrew’s School, no rules barred student-teacher sleepovers, a school-commissioned report released to parents Friday says. Faculty members received little training about child abuse. The student handbook said little to nothing about sexual harassment.

The lax rules and poor training helped to enable a teacher’s months-long pattern of “inappropriate” behavior with boarding students at the Boca Raton Episcopal school, including sleepovers, long embraces and late-night excursions, concludes the report by New Hampshire attorney David Wolowitz.

No evidence of sexual misconduct has been found, but the report criticizes the school for exposing students to “potential abuse” and says it failed to comply with a law requiring that child abuse concerns be reported to state authorities.

While the investigation blames several administrators for failing to report the former teacher’s actions, others call it an indictment of the school’s top leaders and board of trustees, whose members include Bishop Peter Eaton of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, a non-voting member.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Archdiocese here acknowledges it took in priest suspended in Chicago

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

By Elaine Ayala
August 22, 2016

A national organization leading efforts to expose the sexual abuse of children by priests has turned its attention to the Archdiocese of San Antonio for giving refuge to a Chicago priest removed from ministry last fall for an “inappropriate relationship with an adult man.”

Now at a South Side parish and seeking a formal transfer to the archdiocese here, Father Marco Mercado has been assigned to hospital ministry but his duties might expand in the future, according to a statement Monday from Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller.

“Father Marco Antonio Lopez Mercado, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, is in residence at St. Lawrence Church in San Antonio,” the statement said.

“Following his removal from ministry in his last assignment in Chicago, we have conducted our own independent review of the facts and, following that effort, as well as the counseling Father Marco has undertaken and his acceptance of responsibility in the situation in question, we are satisfied that he is suitable for ministry here,” García-Siller’s statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

August 22, 2016

St. Margaret Mary parents sue Louisville archdiocese over ex-priest

KENTUCKY
WDRB

Aug 22, 2016

By Marcus Green

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The parents of a boy who attended St. Margaret Mary School have sued the Archdiocese of Louisville, alleging the church should have known that a former parish priest who took inappropriate photographs of students was “dangerously unsuitable” for his job.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Jefferson Circuit Court, is at least the second such action related to ex-pastor Stephen Pohl, who pleaded guilty in January to possessing child pornography and was sentenced in March to 33 months in federal prison.

Among other claims, it accuses the Roman Catholic archdiocese of failing to report Pohl’s behavior to police and giving “meaningless assurances of child safety” despite pledges to find and remove abusive priests in the wake of a sweeping abuse settlement in the 2000s.

“The fact that for decades Pohl could engage in the possession and distribution of child pornography and take thousands of sexually exploitative photographs of children tells the faithful followers of the Church, including the parishioners and families of St. Margaret Mary students, that their children are not safe and that the decades of callous leadership, denial and complacency did not change with these promises,” attorney William F. McMurry, the parents’ attorney, wrote in the complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Church denies abandoning abuse victims

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

A man who is demonstrating chained to a cross outside Glasgow's St Andrews Cathedral is receiving regular offers of help from the Archdiocese of Glasgow over his history of childhood abuse, a spokesman for the Catholic Church has claimed.

Dave Sharp began his protest yesterday, saying the church had failed victims of abuse and had not apologised after the recent conviction of two former schoolteachers for abuse carried out at St Ninian's School in Fife, which was run by the Christian Brothers.

He said chaining himself to a wooden cross was a symbol of his inability to escape from his past without acknowledgement from the Church.

However a spokesman for the Archdiocese said Archbishop Philip Tartaglia had issued a full public apology a year ago, when he described child abuse within the Catholic Church as inexcusable and intolerable. Asking for forgiveness, the Archbishop's statement said: "We apologise to those who have found the Church’s response slow, unsympathetic or uncaring and reach out to them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Ultra-Orthodox rabbis ban women from going to university in case they get ‘dangerous’ secular knowledge

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Siobhan Fenton, Dina Rickman @siobhanfenton

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis have banned women from going to university, The Independent has learned.

The strict Satmar sect issued the decree, seen by The Independent, warning that university education for women is “dangerous”. Written in Yiddish, the decree warns: “It has lately become the new trend that girls and married women are pursuing degrees in special education. Some attend classes and others online. And so we’d like to let their parents know that it is against the Torah.

“We will be very strict about this. No girls attending our school are allowed to study and get a degree. It is dangerous. Girls who will not abide will be forced to leave our school. Also, we will not give any jobs or teaching position in the school to girls who’ve been to college or have a degree.

"We have to keep our school safe and we can’t allow any secular influences in our holy environment. It is against the base upon which our Mosed was built.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. James P. Vallely

MAINE
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ordained in 1949, James P. Vallely started his priesthood in in the Archdiocese of Portland OR. In 1951 he transferred to the Diocese of Portland ME, where he was incardinated in 1952. He assisted in parishes in Waterville, Bangor and Portland, and was chaplain for a hospital and an orphanage. He served as temporary administrator of a Limestone parish before being named pastor in Machias and then South Berwick. He retired in 1988, spending winters in the Orlando FL diocese and assisting in area parishes.

In 1993 a ME man reported to the diocese that Vallely sexually abused him in the late 1950s over a two to four-year period at St. Dominic's in Portland. He said the abuse began when he was a 9-year-old altar boy. He and a second man with similar allegations went to the media. As a result, a third man came forward alleging abuse as a boy at St. Dominic's by Vallely. The diocese received five complaints about Vallely between January and March 1993, and he was sent to outpatient treatment in FL. He died in 1997.

Vallely accusers continued to emerge. In 2007 a woman told the diocese she was sexually abused by Vallely in 1976, when she was an 11-year-old altar server at St. Michael's in Berwick. She received a settlement in 2009. In 2013 two brothers alleged abuse by Vallely when they were St. Michael's altar boys in the 1970s, and in 2015 four more men reported abuse by Vallely as boys at St. Michael's. Six men sued the diocese in November 2015, claiming Vallely abused them between 1956 and 1977, and that the diocese knew he was a sexual predator. The abuse is said to have included rape, and the victims were 8 to 15 years-old. The men cited a 2005 letter which indicated that at least five boys at St. John's in Bangor reported in the 1950s that Vallely was abusing them. The diocese settled with the six men for $2.1 million in August 2016.

Ordained: 1949
Retired: 1988
Died: December 12, 1997

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

California nearing landmark change to sex-crime statute of limitations as New York lawmakers lag behind

CALIFORNIA
New York Daily News

LEONARD GREENE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, August 22, 2016

California's state assembly is close to accomplishing something New York lawmakers could not do — change the way sexual assault is prosecuted.

Inspired by Bill Cosby, of all people, elected leaders in the Golden State passed a bill last week to end the time limit for prosecuting rape and felony sex crimes.

Under the California's current law, rape and felony sex crimes must be tried within 10 years, unless DNA evidence comes to light after that time period.

And sex crimes against children younger than 18 must be prosecuted before the victim turns 40. Cosby stands accused of assaulting more than 35 women in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, but in several of their cases, the statute of limitations has expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

IL--Accused imam in court today; Victims respond

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestsi

For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 22, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)

We are grateful that an abuse case against a prominent Chicago Muslim cleric may soon get resolved. But now is not the time for complacency. It’s time for every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Mohammad Abdullah Saleem – or cover ups by or at the Institute for Islamic Education – to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.

[Courier-News]

[Chicago Tribune]

Our hearts go out to the four extraordinarily brave women who report having been molested and assaulted by this cleric and to the 23 year old who is cooperating with law enforcement. We are grateful that some of these women are also seeking justice in the civil courts. Victims of sexual violence should use every avenue they can to warn the public about dangerous predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Chargesheet ready against defrocked priest for teen's rape and murder

INDIA
The New Indian Express

PALAKKAD/COIMBATORE: AS the chargesheet is being readied against defrocked priest, H Arockiaraj, accused in the suspicious death of a teenage girl at the pastor's residence attached to the St. Stanislaus church in Walayar in 2013, the Coimbatore Bishop and three members of the clergy are likely to be made approvers.

According to police summons might be issued to Bishop Thomas Aquinas and the priests, Fr BF Madalaimuthu, Fr Kulandairaj, Fr Lawrence Melcure arrested and later released on bail for withholding information, to give a statement under section 164 before the Magistrate. If they supported the prosecution, they are likely to be made approvers. The Bishop and the three priests would have to give a statement to the Chief Judicial Magistrate which will determine the course of the case.

On July 23, 2013, the body of Fathima Sofiya was found in the living room of Fr Arockiaraj’ residence attached to the St. Stanislaus church in Chandrapuram. She was then 18 years and 4 days old. Subsequently, four weeks after the 'murder', a canonical court was set up by the Coimbatore Bishop, which found that Fr Arockiaraj guilty. He was suspended from the diocese and defrocked.

Sources, privy to the investigation, said the post mortem report by police surgeon Dr PB Gujral has clearly stated that rape had been committed on the girl while ruling out ligature strangulation. However, Shanthi Roselin, the mother of the girl, continued to maintain that her daughter was strangulated. As such, investigators are learnt to have sought medico legal opinion on whether under these circumstances Section 302 (murder) could be included in the chargesheet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Concerned Catholics consider legal action

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

“It is time to return the property to the Archdiocese of Agana,” said David Sablan, newly elected president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam.

In a press conference yesterday, Aug. 22, CCOG officials responded to Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai’s recent statement regarding the ongoing dispute over the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona.

In a statement Thursday, Aug. 18, Hon reported findings presented to him and the Archdiocese’s Presbyteral Council detailing the current status of the seminary property. Hon said that while the property was “acquired” by the Archdiocese of Agana, its use had “been conceded in perpetuity to RMS and (the Blessed Diego Theological Institute).”

“Archbishop Hon’s announcement is an admittance that the seminary property is not controlled by the Archdiocese of Agana,” Sablan said. “An asset of the church worth anywhere between $40 million and $75 million was given away for free with no benefit to the local Catholic church.”

While Hon claimed that legal rights to the Yona property belong “uniquely” to the Archdiocese of Agana, Sablan and CCOG take issue with a “deed restriction” that Archbishop Anthony Apuron filed with the Department of Land Management in November 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Ex-priest Laurence Soper in court on child sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Roman Catholic priest accused of historical sex offences against five victims has appeared in court.

Laurence Soper, 72, appeared at Ealing Magistrates' Court accused of assaulting boys, one under 14, over a period from 1971 to 1983.

The nine charges include offences of buggery, gross indecency and indecent assault, and all allegedly took place in Ealing, west London.

Mr Soper was returned to the UK from Kosovo after a five-year police hunt.

He was arrested in 2010 and bailed, but failed to return to a London police station in March 2011. A European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in 2012 and he was detained in Kosovo in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

21 alleged sex abuse victims settle with N.J. Catholic school, report says

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Sara Jerde | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Bergen Catholic High School has reached a $1.9 million settlement with 21 alleged sex abuse victims, a lawyer representing group told NorthJersey.com.

The men said they were assaulted by brothers at the parochial school between 1963 and 1978.

The lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said the victims he was representing were between 13 and 17 years old at the time of the alleged assaults. Each will receive sums that range from $65,000 to $115,000, Garabedian told NorthJersey.com.

A lawyer for the school, Thomas Herten, said in a statement last year that Bergen Catholic had done a "good faith mediation" of the accusations, but wasn't admitting guilt by doing so, according to the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Watch abuse survivor chain himself to a cross outside cathedral in Glasgow to demand more support for victims

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

[with video]

22 AUG 2016
BY JAMES MONCUR

DAVE Sharp was raped and sexually assaulted by a Christian brother - he wants to see compensation and more support for the victims.

AN ABUSE survivor is protesting outside one of Scotland’s largest cathedrals chained to a cross.

Dave Sharp was raped and sexually assaulted by a Christian brother at St Ninian’s residential school, in Fife.

A former headteacher and ex-teacher from the school were convicted at Glasgow's High Court last month of abusing and sexually assaulting six boys there in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dave spent six years at the school and would have given evidence at the 3-month trial but the man who brutalised him - former head teacher Brother Gerry Ryan - is dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Harrisburg Bishop: 'My heart aches' for abuse victims (column)

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer

August 22, 2016

Your Aug. 14 article detailing the priests in the Diocese of Harrisburg accused of child abuse in the past casts an important light on the scourge of child sexual abuse in society. I want to acknowledge the role of media in bringing this issue forward and thank you for reporting on the Diocese’s efforts to combat and prevent sexual abuse.

Let me be clear: The sexual abuse of children is an appalling sin and a crime. Since the 1990s, the Diocese of Harrisburg has a well-established zero-tolerance policy for clergy. We report all allegations of sexual abuse immediately to law enforcement, even if the cleric is deceased and no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

I also want to assure you that no one in active ministry in our Diocese has a credible accusation of abuse against them. It has been our policy and practice for decades that all persons in a child-serving position must pass rigorous background clearances and checks, specifically the Pennsylvania State Police, Department of Human Services, and, in some cases, FBI fingerprint checks. This certainly applies to all priests and deacons as well as to priests coming into our Diocese from both Religious Orders and other Dioceses. The Religious Orders or Dioceses who send these priests to us must also provide clear assurances that there have been no credible allegations of abuse against the priests who they are sending to minister in our Diocese. This is a standard set by the USCCB since the 2002 Charter (article 14)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Possible plea deal for Elgin Islamic leader accused of sex abuse

ILLINOIS
Courier-News

George Houde
Chicago Tribune

A possible plea deal is under consideration for the founder of an Islamic school accused of sexual abusing a former student and a former employee.

Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, an imam who founded the Institute of Islamic Education in Elgin, is charged with molesting a female student dozens of times between 2001 and 2003, when she was a student at the school and he was principal.

That allegation of aggravated criminal sexual abuse came after Saleem, 77, had already been charged with groping a woman who worked for him at the school. The case is in court Monday morning.

If the case goes to trial, Saleem faces the prospect of having not just the two alleged victims testify against him in open court, potentially in explicit detail. Cook County Judge James Karahalios has also ruled that he will allow testimony from two other women who say they too were groped by the imam — a turn that presumably puts more pressure on Saleem to strike a plea deal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Advocates for alleged child sex abuse victims announce settlement with Bergen Catholic H.S.

NEW JERSEY
The Record

BY STEFANIE DAZIO AND NICHOLAS PUGLIESE
STAFF WRITERS | THE RECORD

ORADELL — A Boston lawyer for seven alleged child sexual abuse victims at Bergen Catholic High School said 21 victims settled with the parochial school in November for $1.9 million. Two advocates — neither of whom were abused at the Oradell high school — hosted a press conference today in front of the school to announce the settlement.

Mitchell Garabedian said nothing has changed legally since November but “victims want to come forward now.”

Garabedian said at the time of the alleged abuse, his clients were between 13 and 17 years old between 1963 and 1978. They are now between 53 and 68 years old. They were allegedly abused by brothers at the school. Each victim receives between $65,000 and $115,000, Garabedian said.

Road to Recovery, Inc., hosted the press conference outside the high school in Oradell. The organization assists victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

LIGHT YEARS FROM 1984: WHERE ARE WE GOING FROM HERE?

UNITED STATES
Thomas P. Doyle via BishopAccountability.org

Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C.
ANNUAL SNAP CONFERENCE
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

June 24 to 26, 2016
Revised August 16, 2016

In the original presentation I followed the basic format suggested for speakers at Alcoholics Anonymous and other Twelve Step meetings: What it was like before. What Happened. What it is like now. I have revised the original and expanded it to article length and have retained to this format. [See also a PDF of Doyle's original Word file.]

WHAT IT WAS LIKE BEFORE

The present era of awareness of sexual violation by Catholic clerics began in 1983 in two Catholic dioceses: the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana. This was not the start date of the problem of sexual violation but the beginning of widespread public awareness.

The reality of sexually dysfunctional clerics preying on minors and adults goes back through the centuries. In our lifetime it had been covered with a thick blanket of secrecy. It was unknown to the vast majority of lay persons and clerics as well. Many bishops knew about it but when they had to confront real cases they did so in secret with only a very small number of their closest advisors, all clerics, involved. Although they knew about sexual violation of minors in general, they were incapable of comprehending both its deeply pathological nature and its disastrous effects on victims.

Few knew about such abuse in the Church and even fewer believed it existed and this was due to the nature of the Catholic Church at the time. Back in the forties and fifties there was only one Catholic Church and it was the visible monarchical structure, a stratified society with a clerical aristocracy that was made up of celibate men and the vast ocean of lay commoners. The wall between the clerical caste and the “faithful” as the commoners are known, was steep and almost totally impenetrable.

Catholics were programmed either from birth or from the process of conversion to believe that the bishops and priests were exalted, privileged beings because of their ordination and the fact that God had chosen them to be his representatives on earth. They were taught that priests were “ontologically different” and “conjoined to Jesus Christ, “ thanks in great part to the largely incomprehensible theology of Pope John Paul II.

The Church we knew was often referred to as the “Church Triumphant.” The Vatican II definition of the Church as “The People of God” was an unknown and alien concept…. alien because it could be construed to lead people to believe there was some degree of equality with the sacred clerics, a threat not to be tolerated. The Church was totally identified with the external structures and the clerical establishment.

Bishops, priests and religious were an aristocracy within a vast monarchy with the pope presiding over all as an absolute ruler, answerable to no earthly power. Priests and bishops lived behind the mists of the clerical citadel. Their private lives were shrouded in mystery but one thing was certain and it was the presumption that these private lives, like their public lives, were clearly marked by holiness, virtue and knowledge. We took this all for granted because for most of us it was simply inconceivable to think of it in any other way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Jewish college director sues over sex abuse claims on Facebook

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Peter Mickelburough, Herald Sun
August 22, 2016

A SENIOR administrator of Yeshivah College is suing for libel, claiming she had been accused of pressuring child sex abuse victims not to pursue their complaints with police.

The orthodox Jewish school’s former general manager, Nechama Bendet, has lodged a writ in the Supreme Court seeking damages over five Facebook posts by Bruce James Cooke, whom she describes as a “vocal member of the Jewish community”.

Now the school’s director of development, she claims Mr Cooke suggested she had sought to ostracise two victims by calling them “mosers” for going to police and had thereby tried to pressure them not to pursue their complaints.

“Moser” is an offensive ­Hebrew term for one who breaks a code banning Jews from informing on one another to secular authorities.

This year, Ms Bendet told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse that the college had never discussed investigating claims of a cover-up after a former Yeshivah guard, David ­Cyprys, was accused of child sex crimes.

In 2011, it approached Robert Richter, QC, who ­advised it on public relations and dealing with victims, she said.

In her statement of claim, she says Mr Cooke’s posts suggested that she knew of abuse but did not report it to police; that she had shown complete disregard for victims by asserting the school had no legal obligation to report their abuse; that she condoned not reporting child sex abuse and rape to police unless there was a legal requirement to do so; and that there were reasonable grounds for police to investigate whether she had engaged in criminal conduct in relation to abuse.

Ms Bendet claims he also suggested she bullied and intimidated teachers and staff at Yeshivah and at Beth Rivkah Ladies College; that she abused her position by terminating a security contract for personal reasons; and that by her behaviour she was destroying the Yeshivah Centre and must be immediately removed.

She claims the posts were published without an honest belief in their truth or with reckless indifference, that her feelings, credit and personal and business reputation had been gravely injured, and that she had been humiliated and embarrassed.

Ms Bendet is also seeking a permanent injunction restraining Mr Cook from making such publications.

Mr Cooke’s lawyer, Chris Stakis, said his client would defend the case because he believed the publications were part of a legitimate debate on matters of importance.

peter.mickelburough@news.com.au

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Italian prosecutors allege Monsignor Giuseppe Rocco was killed after he exposed a thieving priest

ITALY
news.com.au

A MONSIGNOR. A murder. A missing treasure. It’s a mysterious crime that has gripped Italy. But now the story of April 25, 2014, is about to be told.

It was 7.30am. Housekeeper Eleanora Dibitonto knocked on the door to Monsignor Giuseppe Rocco’s small, Spartan room, in a manse in Trieste. It was her job to make sure the frail 92-year-old would wake in time for morning mass.

This morning, there was no response.

So Eleanora opened the door. She saw Rocco lying, fully dressed, on his back on the floor.
He was dead.

First she called an ambulance. Then she called another priest.

Father Paolo Piccoli, 52, gave Rocco his last rites.

But when the ambulance officers arrived, they noticed something odd.

The dead clergyman had a broken bone sticking out of his neck. Then two spots of blood were seen under his body.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Deborah Hill Cone: Child sex revulsion hurting prevention

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

By Deborah Hill Cone

This is not a topic which is easy to write about. But maybe someone has to. Deep breath. Last week there was outrage in a community in Hamilton after two men with convictions for sexual offending against children were found to have been living in a boarding house where children were also living.

And another family with two young girls were apparently told by the Department of Corrections to play on the other side of their house after a paedophile was moved in next door. This horrifies us. Most of the public discourse around sexual offending on young children is hysterical and terrified, with the impression of a lynch mob assembling in the background.

But this fear and anger, far from protecting children in the future, may be doing the opposite. The desire to have sex with a child is considered so shocking and perverse that we aren't inclined to try to understand it. But experts say the repugnance we feel when we read about crimes like these is getting in the way of trying to explain them and prevent them from happening.

Last week the Economist magazine, noting Dame Lowell Goddard's resignation as head of the UK's child sex abuse inquiry, published a well-informed editorial cautioning that the need to punish child sex abusers is sometimes being pursued at the expense of prevention. The Economist argued governments need to put more resources into research in this area because at this stage, there's almost no way to identify child abusers before they commit a crime. If we want to keep children safe we need to get over our repugnance and try to understand it in a rational manner. Yes, even if you find the topic yucky and would prefer to turn the page.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Concerned Catholics of Guam prepping for possible lengthy litigation

GUAM
KUAM

By Krystal Paco

It's the Archdiocese of Agana's biggest asset. (Or at least it was.)

Once a hotel but converted into a seminary, the Redemptoris Mater Seminary is estimated to value up to $75 million. In a secret transaction back in 2011 however, Archbishop Anthony Apuron gave the property away for free - and for the last year has directly disobeyed Pope Francis' orders to rescind and annul a deed restriction.

While apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai is asking for the new owners to hand back the property without going to court, the Concerned Catholics of Guam organization is preparing for what could be a lengthy litigation.

It's the new multi-million dollar question, posed by CCOG president Dave Sablan: "We ask - will the board of guarantors and the board of directors of the RMS Corporation do the right thing and return the property to the Archdiocese of Agana?" In a press conference on Monday, he said the group is preparing for what could be a lengthy court battle to take back the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. As we reported, a declaration of deed restriction essentially assigned the RMS property, which once belonged to the Archdiocese of Agana, to the non-profit Redemptoris Mater Seminary Corporation in perpetuity or forever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Picketers voice opposition to Neocatechumenal Way

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 22, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Concerned island Catholics continued their weekly protest outside the Hagatna Cathedral on Sunday morning. With the recent admittance that the Redemptoris Mater Seminary is no longer owned by the Archdiocese of Agana, Jose Martinez, who was among the picketers, says there's plenty of unanswered questions to follow.

He told KUAM News, "As far as the seminary itself and the accreditation and everything else about I guess the validity of the priests that are coming out of there, that's another subject. That if the deed restriction is all settled, we still need to address that also. Because that has been one of the major sticking points in our archdiocese is that group, the Neocatechumenal Way."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Concerned Catholics call for return of seminary property to archdiocese

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Kyle Daly, kjdaly@guampdn.com August 22, 2016

The president of a group that has repeatedly called for the removal of Guam’s archbishop said Monday that a nonprofit organization that has a deed to use Yona property on which a seminary sits should return the property to the local archdiocese.

David Sablan, president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, held a press conference Monday afternoon in Tamuning.

Sablan’s remarks were a response to a statement released last week by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai regarding the property. Hon currently oversees the local archdiocese. He was put in charge of the archdiocese after several allegations of sexual abuse were made against Guam’s archbishop, Anthony S. Apuron, earlier this summer.

In a written statement released last week, Hon said Apuron didn’t follow instructions by Pope Francis to rescind and annul a deed restriction on the property, which the Concerned Catholics have said is valued between $40 million and $70 million.

The deed gives Redemptoris Mater Seminary, a Guam nonprofit corporation, the authority to use the property indefinitely.

Sablan, on Monday, reiterated statements that the Concerned Catholics made in October 2015 that the deed conveying the property to RMS was recorded at the Department of Land Management by Apuron in November 2011, without the knowledge of the Archdiocesan Finance Council, nor the Vatican, which, the group has said, is required by church law to give their consent before such a major transaction is made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Alcantara picks up backing from Fighting For Children PAC

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY KEN LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, August 22, 2016

Here is an expanded version of the second item from my "Albany Insider" column from Monday's editions:

The creator of a political action committee pushing for enactment of a Child Victims Act has endorsed Marisol Alcantara in a three-way Democratic upper Manhattan state Senate primary.

“She has a strong background in health care and understands the issue well,” said Gary Greenberg, an upstate investor and child abuse survivor who founded the Fighting For Children PAC.

Greenberg said Senate Independent Democratic Committee Leader Jeffrey Klein’s support of Alcantara also helped. “He’s been a friend to us,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Fugitive Catholic monk is flown back to Britain after a five-year manhunt and charged with abusing five boys as young as 14

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By MARTIN ROBINSON, UK CHIEF REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE

A Catholic monk has been returned to Britain from Kosovo following a five-year police manhunt and charged with a string of historical sex offences.

Father Laurence Soper is accused of abusing five boys as young as 14 between 1972 to 1986.

The nine charges include offences of buggery, gross indecency and indecent assault.

The 72-year-old was arrested as he arrived at Luton Airport on Sunday by officers from Scotland Yard's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command.

Soper, who was detained under a European Arrest Warrant in Kosovo in May, will appear at Ealing Magistrates' Court today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

PAEDO PRIEST PROBE Ex-Catholic Monk who ‘fled’ after child abuse claims charged after returning to UK

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY BRITTANY VONOW 22nd August 2016

A FORMER monk who had been at the centre of a five year manhunt has returned to the UK and charged over nine historic child abuse allegations.

Laurence Soper, now 72, had been on the run since 2011 after skipping bail while on accusations of child sex abuse.

He had been arrested after a man in his 20s came forward to police in 2010, alleging that Soper had been involved in sexual assaults at St Benedict’s School in Ealing.

But the monk, who had been the abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London from 1991 to 2000, skipped bail in March 2011, managing to avoid authorities for five years.

Soper has now been charged with nine offences that allegedly targeted five victims, including an act of gross indecency towards a boy of 14-years-old and indecent assault of a boy under the age of 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Fugitive former abbot arrested over abuse allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

Fr Laurence Soper was arrested on Sunday after being returned to the UK from Kosovo

A former abbot of Ealing Abbey accused of child sex abuse offences has been arrested after returning to the UK from Kosovo following a five-year police search for him.

Fr Laurence Soper, 72, was arrested at Luton Airport on Sunday on suspicion of a series of sexual offences allegedly committed at St Benedict’s School in Ealing where he taught in the 1970s and 1980s.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard confirmed the arrest and said Fr Soper was “arrested on suspicion of nine offences of sexual assault committed over a period from 1972 to 1986.”

Fr Soper, who was the abbot of Ealing Abbey from 1991 to 2000, was arrested in May under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) in Kosovo, but Kosovan courts twice blocked extradition attempts due to the fact that the country has a 30-year statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

UK police charge fugitive priest with child sex crimes

UNITED KINGDOM
Reuters

British police have charged a former priest with child sex crimes after he returned to the UK from Kosovo, where he had been on the run for around five years living under a false name.

Laurence Soper, 72, was due to appear at a west London court later on Monday to face charges for crimes he is accused of committing from 1972 to 1986. He was arrested at Luton Airport on Sunday after he flew back to Britain.

He faces nine charges in total, according to a police statement, which said there were five victims.

Described by police as a monk, Soper had lived in the town of Peja in Kosovo for about five years under the name Andrew Charles Kingston. British media said the former abbot from Ealing, west London, who was a teacher in the 1970s and 80s, had jumped bail in 2011.

Kosovan authorities detained Soper on an international arrest warrant in May but two extradition requests were rejected by courts in the country, the second because the crimes were committed too long ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Religious privilege undermines abuse victims’ access to justice

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

Posted: Mon, 22 Aug 2016 by Richard Scorer

Richard Scorer, a specialist child abuse lawyer at Slater & Gordon draws attention to organisations seeking more lenient treatment over child abuse-connected matters because they are religious and makes the case for no concessions being given.

Which is more important: religious freedom, or safeguarding children from abuse? Should churches and religious organisations be exempt from secular standards of child protection? Two recent court cases involving the Jehovah's Witnesses raise this issue in its starkest form.

Some background. Over the past two decades a significant number of abuse cases have emerged in the Jehovah's Witnesses. Clients of mine who allege they have been abused within the organisation describe a culture which is profoundly collusive with child abuse. It's hard enough for abused children to speak out in any setting; in the Jehovah's Witnesses, it's bordering on the impossible. The organisation is notorious for its "two witness" rule: anyone who accuses an adult of abuse must have a corroborating witness. Since the vast majority of child abuse occurs in secret, the effect of this rule is to silence abuse victims. Moreover, if there is no corroborating witness, the complainant is often treated as having made a false accusation. This leads to the complainant being "disfellowshipped", or ostracised by other Witnesses. A terrifying prospect if, like most children growing up in the Jehovah's Witnesses, your entire family life revolves around them. In this way, victims say, the culture of the Jehovah's Witnesses facilitates and protects abusers.

The two legal cases have opened a window into this culture. The cases involve the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the legal entity through which the Jehovah's Witnesses operate. One case concerns the Watch Tower Society's liability to pay damages to a proven victim of abuse. The Society sought to argue that its devolved structure means that it cannot be 'vicariously liable' for the actions of its officials who abuse children. It's a variation of the argument advanced by the Catholic Church, which maintained for many years that priests were not employees and therefore the Church could not be liable for their actions. The Catholic Church's long running battle to evade responsibility on that basis ended in failure in 2012. The Watch Tower Society's defence failed at first instance in 2015, and its attempt to take the case to the Court of Appeal was dismissed last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Church in India prepares policy to address clergy abuse

INDIA
Global Sisters Report - National Catholic Reporter

by Jose Kavi

Two top bodies of the Catholic church in India are now busy finalizing a policy to address sex abuse and other forms of abuse by clergy.

"A draft policy is in the final stage now. It has been circulated among all bishops and major superiors in India," says Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.

Mascarenhas, who in July also became spokesperson for the church in India, says the standing committee, the executive body of the bishops conference, will finalize the draft at its biannual meeting Sept. 21-23 in Bangalore, southern India.

The bishop spoke to Global Sisters Report following a June 24 story citing an increase in cases of clergy sex abuse of women religious, withholding sacraments as punishment and otherwise denying rights to nuns. The issues were detailed in a "letter of concern" that the Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace, an advocacy group for women religious, addressed to the bishops and major superiors in February. Also in February, Mascarenhas was elected secretary general of the bishops conference.

Mascarenhas says the new policy, tentatively titled "policy on sexual harassment in work places," will address all such issues systematically and comprehensively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Hunter Catholic priest David O'Hearn sentenced to more than five years over child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Michelle Brown

A Catholic priest who sexually assaulted boys during wrestling bouts has been sentenced to a minimum of five years and four months in jail after being convicted of 44 child sex offences against six victims.

Priest David O'Hearn committed the assaults in the Hunter region while working as a trainee priest and priest in parishes including Cessnock, Muswellbrook and Windale in the 1980s and 90s.

O'Hearn, who is already in jail, was sentenced to 18 years and three months for the offences to be served from the December 18, 2012.

With time served, he will be eligible for release on parole on the February 17, 2022.

The crimes committed against the boys, aged between 10 and 15, included sexual intercourse, indecent assault and inciting a minor to commit an indecent act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Convicted paedophile priest David O'Hearn was "a public holy man and a private crime figure'

AUSTRALIA
The Islander

JOANNE MCCARTHY
22 Aug 2016

NOTORIOUS Hunter paedophile priest David O’Hearn was “like a standover man in his local community”, a judge has told a Sydney court.

Judge Richard Cogswell said O’Hearn, 55, had the public profile of a holy man but in private was “a major criminal”.

Judge Cogswell is sentencing O’Hearn who was found guilty of 44 child sex offences against six boys in the Hunter in the 1980s and 1990s.

His victims are in the court – several in tears – as Judge Cogswell described O’Hearn’s offences against them. O’Hearn used wrestling as a “deliberate and calculated” way of engaging sexually with boys who were vulnerable, or from devout families.

He committed offences “under the guise or cover of a legitimate sporting activity”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Former Catholic priest on the run for five years arrested over sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Carey Lodge CHRISTIAN TODAY JOURNALIST 22 August 2016

Soper allegedly committed the offences at St Benedict's School in Ealing, west London, where he was a teacher.

A former Catholic priest accused of abusing five boys in the 1970s and 1980s has been returned to the UK and arrested after skipping bail in 2011.

Father Laurence Soper, 72, was arrested on suspicion of nine charges including indecent assault, gross indecency and buggery.

He was arrested in Kosovo in May under a European Arrest Warrant but a Kosovan judge blocked his return to the UK because Soper's alleged crimes had occurred too long ago.

However, UK police announced on Sunday that the priest had been arrested at Luton Airport "on suspicion of nine offences of sexual assault committed over a period from 1972 to 1986".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Priest on the run for five years arrested at UK airport for child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Journal (Ireland)

A BRITISH PRIEST accused of child sex offences was arrested at London’s Luton airport yesterday, five years after he went on the run.

Laurence Soper was arrested as he arrived back in the UK from Kosovo, police said in a statement.
Soper, 72, was taken into custody in London and is accused of nine sexual assault offences committed between 1972 and 1986.

His arrest concludes a lengthy legal battle between the UK and Kosovo, where Soper was arrested in May on a European warrant issued by Britain.

Police in Kosovo said at the time he was known as “Father Laurence” and gave his full name as Andrew Charles Kingston Soper.

Earlier this month a Kosovo court refused for the second time to extradite the Catholic priest, ruling he could not be extradited because the statute of limitations for the alleged crimes had been reached.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Alleged paedophile priest outstays welcome in Kosovo - arrested for child abuse in UK

UNITED KINGDOM
Times LIVE (South Africa)

AFP

A British priest accused of child sex offences has been sent back to the UK from Kosovo and arrested at London's Luton airport, five years after he went on the run, police said.

Laurence Soper was detained on Sunday as he arrived back in the country, British police said in a statement.

Soper, 72, was taken into custody in London and later charged with nine sexual assault offences committed between 1972 and 1986.

He was due to appear in Ealing Magistrates' Court on Monday, London's Metropolitan Police said.

His arrest concluded a lengthy legal battle between the UK and Kosovo, where Soper has been arrested in May on a European warrant issued by Britain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

August 21, 2016

Lawrence Soper: Kosovo sends accused ex-priest back to UK

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Catholic priest accused of historical sex offences has been returned to Britain from Kosovo after a five-year police hunt.

Lawrence Soper, 72, was arrested as he arrived at Luton Airport on Sunday on suspicion of nine offences of sexual assault allegedly committed over a period from 1972 to 1986.

Mr Soper had been detained in May under a European Arrest Warrant in Kosovo.

He is now being held in custody at a west London police station.

Mr Soper was arrested in 2010 and bailed, but failed to return to a London police station in March 2011.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – AUGUST 21, 2016

NEW JERSEY
Road to Recovery

1.9 MILLION DOLLAR SETTLEMENT REACHED BETWEEN BERGEN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL, ORADELL, NEW JERSEY, AND TWENTY-ONE (21) CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS OF TEN (10) IRISH CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND ONE (1) LAY TEACHER

A 1.9 million dollar settlement was reached between twenty-one (21)) childhood sexual abuse victims from Bergen Catholic High School. The abusers are identified as:

1) Br. Richard Daniel Berryman, C.F.C. – he is no longer an Irish Christian Brother and allegedly lives in Florida

2) Br. John Bonaventure Chaney, C.F.C. – he is still an Irish Christian Brother and may be living in New Rochelle, New York

3) Br. Ronald Alexis Howe, C.F.C. – he left the Irish Christian Brothers, married, and is deceased

4) Br. Charles Borromeo Irwin, C.F.C. – he is a deceased Irish Christian Brother, and may have been a chief financial officer of the Eastern American Province of the Irish Christian Brothers for many years

5) Br. Lawrence Sean Mc Elhatton, C.F.C. – his location and status are unknown

6) Br. Eugene David Mc Kenna, C.F.C. – he is a deceased Irish Christian Brother and the founding Principal of Bergen Catholic High School. A prestigious graduation award at Bergen Catholic High School may still bear his name.

7) Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, C.F.C. – he is no longer an Irish Christian Brother and may have worked for several years as a professor of science at a Massachusetts university

8) Br. Robert Jogues Roepke, C.F.C. – he is a deceased Irish Christian Brother and may have been Principal of Blessed Sacrament High School in New Rochelle, New York, in the 1970s

9) Br. John Peter Seibert, C.F.C. – his location and status are unknown

10) Mr. James Sokoloski (Lay Teacher) – his location and status are unknown

11) Br. Donald Dominic Walsh, C.F.C. – his location and status are unknown

Bergen Catholic High School currently refuses to reasonably settle an additional claim of sexual abuse by the Reverend Kobutsu Malone, Buddhist monk, formerly Kevin Malone, who was sexually abused by Br. Charles B. Irwin, C.F.C. at Bergen Catholic High School because Reverend Kobutsu Malone, age 66, continues to practice transparency regarding clergy sexual abuse cases in order to protect children. His website, bergencatholicabuse.com, has been a major source of transparency and information for Bergen Catholic victim/survivors and many others.

What
A press conference announcing a 1.9 million dollar settlement between Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, NJ, and twenty-one (21) men who were sexually abused as minor children by ten (10) Irish Christian Brothers and one (1) lay teacher at Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, NJ in approximately the 1960s and 1970s

When
Monday, August 22, 2016 at 11:00 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside Bergen Catholic High School, 1040 Oradell Avenue, Oradell, NJ, 07649, 201-261-1844

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Inc., who spent 23 years as an Irish Christian Brother and is a victim/survivor of sexual abuse by Irish Christian Brothers. Road to Recovery, Inc. assists victims of sexual abuse and their families and advocates on behalf of several of the victim/survivors involved in this settlement

Why
For decades, students at Bergen Catholic High School were sexually abused as minor children by several teachers, many of whom were members of the Irish Christian Brothers religious order and one lay teacher. Bergen Catholic High School reached a settlement of 1.9 million dollars with twenty-one (21) of those students who were childhood sexual abuse victims of ten (10) Irish Christian Brothers and one (1) lay teacher. These men were found credible. However, Bergen Catholic High School currently refuses to settle the sexual abuse claim of Reverend Kobutsu Malone, age 66, because he continues through his website, bergencatholicabuse.com, to practice transparency regarding clergy sexual abuse in order to protect children.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Reverend Kobutsu Malone, Maine – 207-359-2555 (victim/survivor of Br. Charles B. Irwin)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Residential-school survivor denied compensation because he couldn't prove nun's 'sexual intent'

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Katie May
Posted: 08/21/2016

Some residential-school survivors seeking compensation for sexual abuse were wrongly required to try to prove their abusers’ motive, Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench has ruled.

The recent decision from Justice James Edmond could set a precedent for how residential-school compensation claims are settled, affecting "at least dozens, possibly hundreds" of residential-school survivors, a Winnipeg lawyer says.

The case involves a man, identified only by his initials, J.W., who attended residential school in Manitoba. He told an adjudicator at his initial compensation hearing that he had been molested by a nun as a young boy – that she had called him over while he was waiting in line to use the shower and grabbed his penis. When he pushed her hand away, she took him by his left ear and tried to slam his head against the wall, he testified. The adjudicator said she believed J.W.’s account and didn’t question that what happened to him had caused him embarrassment and "certain harms," but she denied compensation because she was "not satisfied on a balance of probabilities that there was a sexual purpose associated with [the nun’s] conduct," the decision states.

That logic meant J.W. was held to a stricter standard of proof for sexual assault than is required under the Criminal Code, said his lawyer, Martin Kramer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Fugitive Catholic priest at centre of five year manhunt arrested in Britain over historic sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Camilla Turner
22 AUGUST 2016

A Catholic priest who skipped bail five years ago has been arrested on suspicion of nine counts of historic sexual assaults.

Father Laurence Soper, 72, the former abbot of Ealing Abbey, was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant over allegations of child abuse.

The accusations date back to when he taught at St Benedict's School, a private independent Catholic school which is part of Ealing Abbey in west London.

In March 2011, Fr Soper was believed to have been living in a monastery in Rome and was due to return to London to answer bail but he failed to show up, sparking an international search.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Pastor convicted in child sex assault case found in Honduras

NEW JERSEY
Philly.com

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a church pastor who fled the country after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy has been detained in the Honduras.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced the capture of Gregorio Martinez on Sunday. She said he was apprehended Tuesday in the town of Danli, but further details were not disclosed.

Suarez says her office will be "exploring all options" to return Martinez to New Jersey, where he faces sentencing for the sex assault conviction. He's also facing charges stemming from the alleged sexual assaults of three other males who came forward following Martinez's conviction in February 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Fugitive preacher who molested N.J. boy arrested in Honduras

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

An evangelical preacher who has been on the run since a jury convicted him last year of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy has been arrested in Central America, the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office said Sunday.

Gregorio Martinez, whose flight from justice was chronicled in a special report by NJ Advance Media this spring, was detained in Danli, Honduras, on Tuesday, Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement.

Few details were immediately available, but Suarez said Honduran police made the arrest. The U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI had been involved in the hunt for Martinez. It was not clear if representatives of either agency were present when the fugitive was detained.

In February of last year, a jury took less than 30 minutes to convict Martinez of aggravated criminal sexual contact, child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Free on $250,000 bail, the Jersey City resident failed to appear for a pre-sentencing review weeks later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

Former Catholic priest who fled child sex abuse allegations quizzed by police after being returned to UK

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

22 AUG 2016
BY DAVID WILCOCK

Laurence Soper, 72, disappeared after failing to answer bail in March 2011 over allegation of sexual assault at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London.

A former Catholic monk who went on the run after being arrested over historic child sex abuse allegations was last night being quizzed by police after being returned to the UK.

Laurence Soper, 72, disappeared after failing to answer bail in March 2011 over allegation of sexual assault at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London.

Soper, who was abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London from 1991 to 2000, had been arrested in September 2010 after a man aged in his 40s made a complaint to police.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued for Soper in 2012, when police said they believed he had been living in Italy.

He was finally arrested in Kosovo in May this year. He had reportedly been living in the city of Pec for several years.

Scotland Yard last night said the former monastic leader had been flown back to the UK from the eastern European country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 PM

Archdiocese to shut down three Philly area worship sites

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

AUGUST 21, 2016

by Dan Geringer, STAFF WRITER

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has decided to close three worship locations in the region, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday.

Worshipers learned during weekend services that the St. John of the Cross Church building in Roslyn (Queen of Peace Parish), the Mater Dolorosa Church building in Frankford (Holy Innocents Parish) and the St. Cecilia Church building in Coatesville (Our Lady of the Rosary Parish) no longer will serve as Roman Catholic churches as of Sept. 16.

The Archdiocese explained that no one lost a parish church as a result of Sunday's announced closings because the three churches' congregations already had merged into other parish churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Church of England warned bishops not to apologise too fully to sex abuse victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

John Bingham, religious affairs editor
21 AUGUST 2016

Survivors of child sexual abuse have accused the Church of England of “acting like Pontius Pilate” as a previously unseen document revealed that bishops were explicitly instructed only to give partial apologies - if at all - to victims to avoid being sued.

Legal advice marked “strictly confidential” and circulated among the most senior bishops, told them to “express regret” only using wording approved by lawyers, PR advisers and insurers.

The guidance - written in 2007 and finally replaced just last year - also warns bishops to be wary of meeting victims face to face and only ever to do so after legal advice.

It speaks of the "unintended effect of accepting legal liability" for sexual abuse within their diocese and warns them to avoid “inadvertently” conceding guilt.

The paper, seen by The Telegraph and confirmed as genuine, advises bishops to use “careful drafting” to “effectively apologise” without enabling victims to get compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Father David O'Hearn sexually abused boys and took the lives they might have lived

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

JOANNE MCCARTHY
21 Aug 2016

HE is the Catholic priest who stole boys’ lives.

Father David O’Hearn spent eight years fighting the men he sexually abused as vulnerable young boys in the 1980s and 1990s. On Monday some of them will be in a Sydney court to watch him pay the price.

They will pay for the rest of their lives, the men said in victim impact statements.

“We will never know what it's like to live a normal life as we had that opportunity taken away from us as young boys,” said one of O’Hearn’s victims.

“I think my life could have been totally different if the abuse had never occurred. I would be a different person but I will never know what that person would have been like. I know that I can't blame everything in my life on the abuse but I do know it's had a significant impact on me.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Catholics continue protests during mass

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 20, 2016

By Sabrina Salas Matanane

Concerned Catholics continue their weekly protests outside the Hagatna Cathedral. They want Archbishop Anthony Apuron defrocked.

Aside from multiple allegations of sexual molestation, just this past week Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Agana, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai revealed that Apuron was disobedient to the Pope's directive a year ago to nullify and rescind the Deed of Restriction for the Redemportis Mater Seminary in Yona.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Name clergy accused of sexual abuse, therapists say

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Brandie Kessler, bkessler@ydr.com August 21, 2016

Fifteen priests accused of sexually abusing children were identified recently by a York Daily Record investigation.

The Diocese of Harrisburg has been reluctant to publicly name all clergy accused of sexually abusing children, but therapists who work with trauma survivors say the Catholic Church should be completely transparent.

Fifteen priests accused of sexually abusing children were identified recently by a York Daily Record investigation. The list of names was compiled using court documents, news articles and other sources. In July, the Harrisburg diocese provided information about those 15 priests. The diocese did not provide the names or other information about all priests with ties to the diocese who were accused at some time of sexual abuse of children, despite numerous requests from the York Daily Record.

In 2007, the diocese said publicly that it had received allegations against 24 priests since 1950, but it did not name those priests.

Naming alleged abusers has some risk, primarily to the institutions or organizations and the accused, "but I don't think it's as painful as having this practice be concealed," said Dr. Frank Ochberg, a trauma psychiatrist and a post-traumatic stress disorder specialist.

"You have to be darn sure that your facts are clear" because you can ruin reputations, said Ochberg, who founded The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, based at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. Publishing the names of alleged abusers in the media or on church or diocese websites might also be painful for some survivors, he said, since, for some, just reading their abuser's name can cause discomfort.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

When a mother and a nun take on the church: Will the church explain its actions?

INDIA
The News Minute

TNM Staff| Sunday, August 21, 2016

Not all is well in the sanctum sanctorum of some of India’s Churches as stories of violence and sexual abuse, fear, deaths, denial of burial rights, suicides and cover-ups start to trickle out slowly but surely. The whistle-blowers in many cases are from within. On July 23, 2013 a 17-year-old from Tamil Nadu who was found dead at the home of a Kerala priest. The grieving mother took the Catholic Church head on resulting in the arrest of five priests including a Bishop. Read here.

The Church preaches charity, kindness and compassion towards everyone but Sr. Mary Sebastian, a 45 year-old nun was afraid the very institution that she has served for a quarter century could turn on her. Reason?

In January this year she decided to quit the Church because of daily harassment by her superiors at the Syro-Malabar Church’s Cherthungal Nasrathubhavan Convent in Pala, Kottayam in Kerala. When she rebelled, she was harassed further, threatened and as she appealed to the appropriate organisations, her rightful pension was denied. Worse, she found herself being accused of harassing children.

“I am scared for my life…they are so powerful that they may even harm me, she had told The News Minute over the telephone. Read here.

Cut to the Coimbatore (Tamil-Nadu) tragedy where Arun Janardhanan of the Indian Express details the heart-breaking and bone-chilling details of an adolescent girl whose faith in the Church, her belief in her preacher who eventually became her tormentor led to her death. In 2013, Fathima Sophia, Shanthi Roselin’s daughter was found dead in the guest room of Father Arockiaraj, the priest of the St. Stanislaus Church in Walayar (Palakkad), a district that shares a border with neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

August 20, 2016

Fathima murder case: Court orders arrest of 4 priests

INDIA
Times of India

May 29, 2016

Coimbatore: The Palakkad court has ordered the Kerala police to arrest four priests from Coimbatore in connection with the murder of Fathima Sofiya of Kottaimedu. Shanthi Roselin, Fathima's mother, said they were informed that the court directed the police to register cases under Section 201 and Section 202 of the IPC.

Fathima Sofiya died on July 23, 2013 and the Walayar police closed it after nine months concluding that she had committed suicide. But Shanthi had alleged that she was strangulated by H Arockiaraj, a priest. Shanthi said that police tried to dismiss the case as suicide.

Later, she came across a letter written by Fathima, where she said that if anything ever happened to her, Arockiaraj would be responsible.

She had also written about her affair with him.

"After this, I petitioned several higher officials in Kerala who said a CBI probe would begin soon. But since no action was taken, I decided to go to a television channel to bring out the truth," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Three years after her daughter’s death at Kerala priest’s residence, mother takes on Catholic church

INDIA
The Indian Express

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Updated: August 21, 2016

A 17-year-old from Tamil Nadu is found dead at the residence of a priest in Kerala. Is it a suicide? Or murder? Arun Janardhanan tells the story of the girl’s mother taking on the Catholic church, leading to the arrest a week ago of five senior priests, including a Bishop

How do you say no to God?” a victim of sexual abuse asks a team of investigative reporters in the Oscar-winning Spotlight, a movie based on Boston Globe’s months-long investigation into cases of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. At her home in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, Shanthi Roselin, 42, says a similar line, over and over again: “Avar engalin kadavulaaka irunthaar (He was our God).”

On July 23, 2013, Roselin’s 17-year-old daughter Fathima Sophia was found dead in the guestroom of Father Arockiaraj, the priest of St Stanislaus Church in Walayar in Palakkad, a Kerala district that borders Tamil Nadu. Police registered a case of suicide and the matter was soon closed.

What followed were a series of bizarre events — Father Arockiaraj allegedly confessing to the victim’s mother that he killed her, a ‘letter’ that pointed to a relationship between Sophia and Arockiaraj, a secret canonical court that resulted in the defrocking of Arockiaraj, some secret correspondence with Rome, transfer of police officers in Kerala. All along, Roselin says, she knew her daughter hadn’t killed herself.

Three years later, Roselin’s fight against the powerful Catholic Church for allegedly colluding to cover up the “murder” of her 17-year-old daughter has reached a key turning point. Last week, five top Catholic priests, one of them a Bishop, were arrested and subsequently released on bail. The arrests were under Sections 201 and 202 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deal with “causing disappearance of evidence” and “intentional omission of information”. The sixth priest, Arockiaraj, who is accused of killing the girl, was arrested in December 2015 and is now out on conditional bail. He has now been booked for rape and sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Background article: Father David O'Hearn is in jail but officially he is STILL a priest

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 19 August 2016

Catholic priest David Anthony O’Hearn, 55, has been in jail in New South Wales for the past four years, and now he is about to learn how many more years he must remain behind bars. In jury trials during the past four years, he has been found guilty of 44 child-sex offences against six victims. For legal reasons, those trials could not be reported in the media until the final jury completed its work in May 2016. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday 22 August 2016 at 10.30am by Judge Richard Cogswell in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court (the court list still refers to David O'Hearn by his initials, "DO"). This article includes some Broken Rites research about O'Hearn.

A series of separate juries (in the Sydney District Court) from 2012 to 2016 found O'Hearn guilty of offences against six young boys, including sexual intercourse, indecent assault and inciting a minor to commit an indecent act.

The offences occurred in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, north of Sydney, while O'Hearn ministered in various parishes in the 1980s and 1990s. Victims ranged from nine to 13.

During the series of jury trials, the NSW District Court imposed an order prohibiting the media from publishing O'Hearn's name until the final jury would finish its work. The trials were delayed somewhat when O'Hearn launched appeal proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Sandusky pastor accused of additional sex crimes involving children

OHIO
NBC 24

BY JIM NELSON FRIDAY, AUGUST 19TH 2016

SANDUSKY — An Erie County pastor is accused of having sexual contact with a young child over a period of four years -- and it's not the first time he has been charged with sex crimes involving children.

Pastor Richard C. Mick of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Sandusky has twice been charged with rape; court documents show he has faced other charges in addition to the newest charges which are outlined in a grand jury indictment that was returned on August 11th.

Mick, 55, is alleged to have made sexual contact with a young child an unknown amount of times between the years 2006 and 2010. The child would have been between the ages of five and nine during that time.

Mick's first known run-in with the law came in 2012 when he was charged with two counts of rape for alleged incidents involving a female from 1998 to 1999. The case was dropped 13 months later when prosecutors said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mick was guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

PRIESTS CONCERNED BISHOP BUCKLEY’S REPLACEMENT WILL BE AN ‘OUTSIDER’

IRELAND
Evening Echo

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20, 2016

A GROUP of Catholic priests is concerned that the next Bishop of Cork and Ross will be ‘an outsider’, and there has been criticism of the way the Church selects bishops.

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has hit out at the Vatican’s diplomatic representative in Ireland, Papal Nuncio Charles Browne. The association says that since Browne’s appointment, in 2011, he has been recommending bishops who are not from the dioceses they are charged with leading and who do not match the philosophies of Pope Francis.

Bishop John Buckley tendered his retirement two years ago and his successor is expected to be announced in the coming months, but Cork-based priest, Fr Gerry O’Connor, a leader within the ACP, said that there has been no consultation with the diocese.

Fr O’Connor pointed to Kerry, where Bishop Raymond Browne was recommended, despite having spent his career in Roscommon and Sligo. By contrast, Bishop Buckley, appointed by Pope John Paul II, was born in Inchigeela and served in Farranferris and Turner’s Cross, before serving as an Auxillary Bishop of Cork and Ross, and then taking the top job.

This time, the diocese cannot be sure that its bishop will be someone who has experience in Cork.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Trier: Bistum spricht von Lernprozess

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Tagespost

[Trier: Diocese speaks of learning process.]

Trier (DT/KNA) Das Bistum Trier beruft sich im Umgang mit einem zehn Jahre zurückliegenden Missbrauchsverdacht auf einen Lernprozess. Der Staatsanwalt habe das Bistum im November 2006 über eine wegen Verjährung eingestellte Ermittlung gegen einen Priester „wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Jugendlichen und Körperverletzung“ informiert, sagte Bistumssprecher Andre Uzulis am Mittwoch der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur. Der damalige Bischof, Reinhard Marx, heute Erzbischof von München und Freising, und sein Generalvikar Georg Holkenbrink hätten daraufhin „weitere Untersuchungen nicht für erforderlich gehalten“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Accusations Against Cardinal Marx for Handling of a Sex Abuse Case

GERMANY
The Eponymous Flower

The President of the German Bishops' Conference is being criticized in a suspected case of sexual abuse of a minor ten years previously by a priest in the diocese of Trier.

Trier (kath.net/KNA) The President of the German Bishops' Conference, Reinhold Cardinal Marx is being criticized in a suspected case of sexual abuse of a minor ten years previously by a priest in the diocese of Trier.

As reported by Saarland Broadcasting, Marx knew as the then Bishop of Trier in 2006 of the legal proceedings against the clergyman. While the accused had partially confessed to the abuse of a young person, the charges had reached the statute of limitations and the authorities discontinued the investigation. The diocese of Trier had thoroughly questioned the pastor, after the latter had denied the allegations. The files of the judiciary were not requested.

As a spokesman for the prosecutor of Saarbrücken confirmed on Wednesday for the Catholic News Agency (KNA). the diocese was informed in 2006 about the termination of the criminal proceedings. However, that was probably done informally - without giving any reasons, such that the adjustment was made ​​due to the statute of limitation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Papal Advisor Under Fire for Negligence on Sexual Abuse

GERMANY
One Peter 5

BY MAIKE HICKSON AND STEVE SKOJEC ON AUGUST 18, 2016

Since 16 August 2016, many reports have been published in Germany indicating that Cardinal Reinhard Marx — Archbishop of Munich, head of the German Bishops’ Conference, and one of the close collaborators of Pope Francis — may be guilty of negligent conduct concerning a sexual abuse case in the Diocese of Trier (of which he was then-bishop) ten years ago. The reports have been so numerous that Katholisch.de, the official website of the German Bishops, had to publish an article on the matter to clarify known details.

As the German magazine FOCUS reports on 16 August, Cardinal Marx had knowledge of the abuse case of one of his priests in Trier, but did not take further steps to remove him from his office.

In 2006, a legal investigation from the state against this abusive priest was suspended due to the statute of limitations. According to the FOCUS, however, later in 2013 and 2015, other law suits were filed against that same priest. Only recently, after the new bishop of Trier finally requested the state’s files on the matter earlier this year, was the priest in question forbidden to offer Holy Mass or to have contact with children and youth. As FOCUS put it: “According to Church’s Law, these deeds [of sexual abuse of minors] are not time-barred.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Focus on preaching the kingdom is key to ending clericalism

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jim Purcell | Aug. 20, 2016

VIEWPOINT What we need in today's Roman Catholic church is a redistribution of power and authority. Pope Francis' openness to the possibility of having women deacons is not nearly enough to achieve this essential organizational revolution.

Yes, opening the diaconate to women would be a good and much-needed change. But as some commentators have pointed out, it still leaves women in a "secondary" position to priests.

Some of those same commentators argue that women need to be ordained priests to level the playing field. While I support the ordination of women as priests, I would argue for a different and more important change first.

Francis should change canon law so one does not have to be a priest to be the "pastor" of a parish. Give qualified lay men and women and male and female deacons real power and authority to lead some of our faith communities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

The election of bishops – ACP Statement

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

Statement on the election of bishops

For some time now the membership of the Association of Catholic Priests has been concerned with the issue of the appointment of bishops in Ireland. At our AGM last year the following resolution was passed:

The ACP expresses its grave disquiet at some of the policies presently being pursued in relation to the appointment of bishops in Ireland: the lack of any credible process of consultation; the preference in the main for candidates drawn from a particular mind-set; the apparently haphazard policy of appointments to distant dioceses that pays little regard to the traditions and heritage of a diocese; and not least the choice of candidates who seem to be out of sync with the realities of life in Ireland today and uncomfortable with the openness of Pope Francis to change and reform the Church.

At a recent meeting, the Leadership of the ACP discussed the on-going concern of our members, and our regret that the Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Browne, refuses to meet us, though the issue at hand is of compelling concern not just to our own membership – we represent over 30% of Irish priests – but to the vast majority of Irish priests.

In less than five years since his appointment in November 2011, Archbishop Brown has played a central role in the appointment of ten bishops – Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Cashel, Cloyne, Derry, Elphin, Kerry, Kildare, Killaloe, Limerick and Waterford – and is at present in the process of appointing six more: Clonfert, Cork, Galway, Meath, Ossory and Raphoe. That’s 16 (or 60%) of the 26 dioceses in Ireland.

The ACP believes that, at this most critical juncture for the Catholic Church in Ireland, the policies being pursued by Archbishop Browne in the choice of bishops are, in the main, inadequate to the needs of our time, at odds with the expectations of people and priests and out of sync with the new church dispensation, ushered in by the election of Pope Francis over three years ago and the changed perspective of his renewed commitment to the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Priests say Vatican's representative in Ireland is "out of sync" with the realities of life

IRELAND
The Journal

A GROUP OF Catholic priests has criticised the Vatican’s diplomatic representative in Ireland, at a time they describe as the Catholic Church’s “most critical juncture”.

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) raised concerns over the appointment of bishops in Ireland.

The priests were critical of the candidates chosen by the Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Browne, who they describe as being “out of sync” with the realities of life in Ireland today and uncomfortable with the openness of Pope Francis to change and reform the Church.

‘Out of tune’

“… It’s [The Vatican's] attitude and values are now clearly out of tune with a Church regaining confidence and credibility under the watch of Pope Francis.”

The ACP said policies being pursued by Archbishop Browne in the “choice of bishops are, in the main, inadequate to the needs of our time, at odds with the expectations of people and priests and out of sync with the new church dispensation, ushered in by the election of Pope Francis over three years ago and the changed perspective of his renewed commitment to the spirit of the Second Vatican Council”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Magdalene Laundries archive to be searchable online

IRELAND
Irish Times

Ronan Smyth

An archive of papers and images donated by the Justice for Magdalenes research group is due to be made fully searchable online by Waterford Institute of Technology.

Researchers at the institute were awarded funding through the Heritage Council’s Heritage Management Grant Scheme 2016 to digitally conserve and manage the archive.

The project, which is being supervised by Dr Jennifer Yeager, Kieran Cronin and research assistant Sue Goona, will create an online search facility.

According to Dr Yeager, “analyses of the laundries are constrained by the lack of access to the records of the religious orders, resulting in an absence of intervention, as well as a failure to remember officially. Official documentation is essential in order to encourage public engagement with Magdalene history.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Man to stage 'crucifixion' to highlight abuse

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

A man who says he was abused for years in the care of the Catholic church is to chain himself to a cross in Glasgow in protest.

Dave Sharp, who grew up in Catholic orphanages, and attended St Ninian's school, run by the Christian Brotherhood, is calling for the church to do more to help victims of abuse such as himself. He is also demanding an apology for the treatment children received at St Ninian's.

A former headteacher and an ex-teacher from the school were convicted at Glasgow's High Court last month of abusing and sexually assaulting six boys there in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dave Sharp, who spent six years at the school over the same period says he was repeatedly raped, beaten and drugged when he was in his early teens.

From Monday, he plans to chain himself to a home-made seven foot wooden cross outside St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow every day for 10 days, to highlight his claim that the church has turned its back on victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

August 19, 2016

Church officials: Seminarians studying in Guam withdrawn from Yona institution

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News August 20, 2016

Up to 10 people from Samoa and American Samoa studying to be future Catholic priests at a Yona seminary were withdrawn from the institution earlier this summer, according to local church officials.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who currently oversees Guam’s Catholic Church, said these withdrawn seminarians all were from the Diocese of Samoa in Pago Pago, American Samoa, and the Archdiocese of Samoa in Apia, Samoa.

American Samoa is a U.S. territory, while Samoa is an independent state that was formerly called Western Samoa.

Hon said the Samoan seminarians were studying to be priests at their respective dioceses, not the Archdiocese of Agana in Guam.

“Archbishop Hon first started hearing at the start of July that the Samoan seminarians would be leaving Redemptoris Mater Seminary,” the Archdiocese of Agana said in response to questions from Pacific Daily News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Two men charged with ‘indecent liberties’ with youths at Virginia churches

VIRGINIA
Washington Post

By Justin Wm. Moyer August 19

Two men who work with youths at churches in Virginia were arrested this week in separate incidents after they had inappropriate contact with juveniles, police said.

On May 29, Derrick Ryan Trump of Centreville was reported to have had inappropriate contact with a victim at the Greenwich Presbyterian Church in Nokesville sometime in May, Prince William County police said in a statement. An investigation found that Trump, the church’s youth director, had inappropriate contact on more than one occasion with a 16-year-old girl at the church and at his home in Fauquier County, the statement said.

Trump, now a resident of Fairfax, was arrested Tuesday and charged with indecent liberties by a custodian, police said. He is being held on a $3,500 bond.

On July 7 in a separate case, 25-year-old Jordan David Baird of Warrenton was reported to have had inappropriate contact with a victim at the Life Church in Manassas in 2015, Prince William County police said in a statement. An investigation found that Baird, a youth pastor at the church, sent inappropriate text messages to a 16-year-old girl and inappropriately touched her on more than one occasion at the church between January and September of last year, the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Va. youth pastor accused of touching teen inappropriately

VIRGINIA
WUSA

MANASSAS, VA. (WUSA9) - A youth pastor at a Manassas church is being accused of touching a 16-year-old girl inappropriately and sending her inappropriate text messages, Prince William County police said.

The incident happened at the Life Church located at 11234 Balls Ford Rd. in Manassas, according to authorities.

The investigation shows that the accused, 21-year-old Jordan David Baird, of Warrenton sent the victim inappropriate text messages and touched her inappropriately on more than one occasion between January and September of 2015.

Police said the incidents happened at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

2 Virginia Youth Pastors Arrested for Inappropriately Touching Minors: Police

VIRGINIA
NBC Washington

By Julie Carey

Two men who were leading separate church youth groups in Prince William County, Virginia, are facing charges they had inappropriate relationships with underage girls at their churches, police say.

Jordan Baird, 25, is the youth pastor at The Life Church at 11234 Balls Ford Road in Manassas. Police said Baird sent inappropriate text messages and inappropriately touched a 16-year-old girl at the church numerous times between January and September 2015.

Baird's father, David Baird, is the senior pastor at The Life Church, which has four locations in Northern Virginia.

In a statement to News4, The Life Church said a church volunteer first notified leaders of Baird's alleged misconduct on June 10, 2016 and the church placed Baird on a leave of absence as they conducted an internal investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Does it matter whether Archbishop John Nienstedt is gay?

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Tim Gihring

When allegations of a sex-abuse coverup began to leak out of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis a couple years ago, they were always accompanied by another, seemingly unrelated set of accusations: the bumbling attempts of Archbishop John Nienstedt, then the leader of the archdiocese, to have sex with men.

“The archbishop has been known to go ‘cruising’ (and I am not referring to the type of cruising one does on a ship in the Caribbean) and, on one occasion, purchased ‘poppers’ (and not the exploding candy preferred by elementary school students) and followed another gentleman to his car for, well, the type of activity that men purchase ‘poppers’ for…,” wrote Jennifer Haselberger, the whistleblower whose allegations prompted Nienstedt’s resignation last summer. On her website, Haselberger helpfully links to Wikipedia’s entry on poppers: basically disco-era sex drugs.

In late July, more stories of Nienstedt’s “promiscuous gay lifestyle,” as a fellow priest put it, were released by prosecutors. Most relate to his time in Detroit, where he moved up the clerical ladder in the late 1970s and ’80s. He’s said to have frequented a gay bar just across the border in Canada, whimsically called the Happy Tap.

But even if the allegations are true, it doesn't mean that Nienstedt is sympathetic to sexual abuse — a link between homosexuality and priestly pederasty is as unproven as it is enduring. Nor does it mark Nienstedt as unusual. Catholic researchers estimate that as many as 58 percent of priests are homosexuals. To confirm that he desired men would be like discovering that the pope is Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Renunciation of RMS property will not be so simple

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

On Thursday, Archbishop Hon, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, released a statement in which he addressed issues concerning the Redemptoris Mater Seminary (RMS) property in Yona.

Questions surrounding the current status of ownership of the Yona property have circulated within concerned parties and Catholic laity since documentation filed in November of 2011 when a declaration of deed restriction was filed in the government of Guam.

During his first official address to the media, Hon responded to a question regarding the RMS by stating that the property was still entirely within the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Agana. However, in Thursday’s statement, Hon clarified his stance in saying, "The 'property' was no doubt acquired by the Archdiocese, and yet its use has been conceded in perpetuity to RMS and Blessed Diego Theological Institute."

He concluded his statement with the following: "Thus, I hereby sincerely ask the collaboration of all the faithful to act with obedience to the directive of the Holy See. And, in particular, I request that community which now enjoys in perpetuity the use of the "property" to spontaneously and effectively renounce, without any litigation, such a benefit obtained from the Archdiocese of Agana."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Civil Action Against D.C.’s Voyeur Rabbi Opens Old Wounds

WASHINGTON (DC)
Haaretz

Allison Kaplan Sommer Aug 19, 2016

Renewed attention on a $100 million class-action suit against Rabbi Barry Freundel, who was imprisoned for installing cameras in ritual baths to ogle naked women as they showered and prepared for immersion, has reopened old wounds.

Nearly two years after his arrest and more than a year after Freundel was sentenced to six and a half years behind bars, the civil action against the rabbi and the religious institutions that allegedly enabled his crimes is only gearing up now.

The lawsuit, which consolidates three separate civil actions filed back in 2014 after Freundel’s arrest, has expanded the number of institutions it is targeting. In addition to suing Freundel personally, the list of targets includes the National Capital Mikvah where the crimes took place, Freundel’s synagogue of 25 years Kesher Israel, and the Rabbinical Council of America, the umbrella organization for Orthodox rabbis. Another target has been newly announced – the Beth Din of America, the religious court.

All these organizations “flagrantly broke their promises, egregiously breached their duties to the women who used the mikveh, and let Rabbi Freundel’s crimes go unchecked for years,” said David Sanford, lead counsel in the class-action suit. “We will ask a D.C. jury to hold all defendants liable and impose punitive damages in order to send a strong message that even institutions draped in the cloak of spirituality won’t escape punishment when they violate their legal obligations.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Chicago priest accused of taking $500,000 from parishioner with dementia

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

David Jackson
Chicago Tribune

Standing before the religious icons that line his Ukrainian Orthodox church in Humboldt Park, the Rev. Nicholas Chervyatiuk has ministered to followers who arrived in Chicago as refugees after surviving Nazi Germany's prison camps.

Now the Cook County public guardian is accusing the priest of improperly taking more than $500,000 from the savings of one of those displaced persons, a 93-year-old former church secretary diagnosed with dementia.

Chervyatiuk has not been charged with a crime, and he denied any wrongdoing during a sworn probate court examination and in a Tribune interview.

He says Nelly Bridgeman wanted him to have her money, which he saw as payment for the care he provided as her health and mental faculties failed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Cardinal Marx faces accusations over handling of alleged abuse case

GERMANY
Catholic News Agency

By Anian Christoph Wimmer

Trier, Germany, Aug 19, 2016 / 12:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Accusations have been raised in a number of German media that Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising failed to remove from office a priest accused in 2006 of sexually abusing a minor.

The alleged abuser, it appears, was allowed to stayed on as parish priest for a number of years, even going on overnight excursions with youth.

A spokesperson for Cardinal Marx has said that the prelate had acted in accordance with relevant guidelines that were in place at the time.

Saarland public broadcaster SR reports that Cardinal Marx, who was then Bishop of Trier, knew authorities were investigating a parish priest – identified only as "M" – for allegedly sexually abusing a 15 year old boy.

Citing the victim's legal counsel as a source, SR reports that “M”, who was then 52, had partially confessed the crime to authorities. However, he appears to have avoided prosecution because the alleged crime fell just outside the statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

TX--Archbishop lets suspended priest work again

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by priests

For immediate release, Friday, August 19, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy, Director, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

San Antonio's archbishop is letting a priest who was suspended for sexual misconduct quietly work in his archdiocese. He should reverse this reckless decision.

[NBC Chicago]

Last year, Fr. Marco Mercado was stopped from working in the Chicago archdiocese because of "an inappropriate adult relationship." These are the words used by Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich. Note he didn't say "ALLEGED relationship." Nor did he say "one time incident." http://www.archchicago.org/

This was, we strongly suspect, a repeated series of selfish, hurtful violations of a vulnerable young person, one who was likely taught since birth to revere and trust priests. And every sexual contact between a Catholic cleric and a Catholic parishioner is, by definition, improper and unhealthy, in part because of the huge power differential between the two.

Cupich and San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller are doing what bishops have done for decades: splitting hairs and making excuses instead of protecting parishioners.

García-Siller, who was a bishop in Chicago, is putting his flock in harm's way. He is protecting a colleague's career and pretending to have "investigated" when we strongly suspect he hasn't even contacted Fr. Mercado's victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Why We Name Names

UNITED STATES
Our Stories Untold

by BARBRA GRABER on Aug 18, 2016

“It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. [The perpetrator] appeals to the universal desire to see, hear and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement and remembering.”

— Judith Herman

Sometime in the early 90’s, associate editor of the Mennonite Brethren Herald, James Coggins, was commissioned by a consortium of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ editors to write an article entitled “Should we report scandal in the Mennonite press?” It was printed in the April 1991 issue of MBH. Coggins answers the question with a resounding yes. His reasons for reporting scandal and naming names include these positive outcomes:

* Warn potential victims
* Discourage charlatans
* Enhance the credibility of the church press and the church
* Demonstrate commitment to the truth
* Help us remember who we are
* Coogins goes on to say:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Limerick diocese investigating 'complaint' against priest

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

Colm Ward
19 Aug 2016

A PRIEST based in west Limerick has been suspended from duty as a result of what is understood to be an allegation of sexual impropriety.

A letter was read out to mass-goers in the parish last weekend explaining that the long-serving priest would step down from his duties pending an investigation into the allegation.

It is understood that the allegation relates to an isolated “historic” event. However the nature of the complaint has not been made public by the diocese of Limerick.

Locals who spoke to the Limerick Leader this week said they were surprised and shocked when the letter was read out at masses in the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Fresh crisis for German Catholic Church as ordinations sink to new low

GERMANY
Christian Today

James Macintyre 19 August 2016

An unprecedentedly low number of Catholic priests in Germany are being ordained, new figures show, as a crisis appears to be engulfing the Church in that country.

Only 58 men joined the clergy in 2015, according to the figures released by the German Episcopal Conference this week.

The number of ordinations has dropped by half in the past decade: In 2005, a total of 122 diocesan priests were ordained, and five decades ago, in 1965, the number was 500.

Today, there are 14,000 Catholic priests active in Germany, down from almost 20,000 in 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

It’s Time for the ultra-Orthodox Community to Tackle Sex Abuse Head-on

ISRAEL
Haaretz

A society that refuses to rally against its own criminals at least with same roar as it rallies against other sectors of society is indeed doing a lot of harm to itself.

David Fachler Aug 19, 2016

Last week in a bold and unprecedented move, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau penned an open letter to Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) educators cautioning them to “deal seriously” with instances of child abuse that have been reported at educational institutions and in some homes. “Burying our heads in the sand is not the answer to these difficult and painful issues,” Lau wrote, urging members of the community to take responsibility for the atrocities.

Lau’s letter came in the wake of a report that as many as six teachers from a Hasidic school in Tel Aviv have been charged with abusing almost two dozen preschool and elementary school students. This is by no means an isolated incident: In the last few months at least three Israeli Torah scholars have been accused of sexually abusing women and girls, and in two of these cases the victims involved close members of the perpetrators’ families.

To make matters worse, such abuse within the ultra-Orthodox community has not been confined to Israel. Similar abuse cases, in which rabbis preyed on naïve young women, have been reported in the United States and the United Kingdom, while Australia has established a royal commission to investigate why a school had concealed the abuse of its students for 20 years. We know about these cases because the authorities have managed to prosecute and punish these criminals. There are other cases where offenders have evaded punishment by exploiting the Law of Return and escaping to Israel. Sadly, there are some rabbinical miscreants who not only go unpunished – they continue to occupy their pulpits owing to the victims refusing to press charges and the communities that wish to sweep such allegations under the rug.

This shocking situation obviously does not mean that the ultra-Orthodox community is uniquely guilty of sexual abuse. A community as large and diverse as this one surely deserves the presumption that most of its adherents are decent individuals who strictly uphold religious law. Indeed, the overwhelming majority frowns upon any sexual impropriety, and barriers are set up to avoid such eventualities. Men and women are rarely on a first name basis and meetings between the sexes are always held with open doors to prevent any hint of intimacy. Children, from a young age are not placed in close confines with relatives of their extended families of the opposite sex, and religious teachers are trained to spot and report suspicious signs of child abuse.

The problem is that the community often fails to report and publicly protest crimes such as child and sexual abuse – a failure that may be traced to Haredi culture. From a young age, the Haredi child is taught that emunat hakhamim, belief in Torah sages and rabbis, is such an important principle that it renders many sages infallible in their eyes. They are also familiar with the dictum that the Torah serves as an antidote to one’s evil inclination. These combined beliefs place Haredi children in a double bind, so that not only are their teachers “incapable” of erring, they have also been “immunized” from committing evil acts.

Given such a framework, what is a Haredi child (or naive adult) with personal knowledge of sexual crimes meant to think when he knows the perpetrators are Torah scholars? How can he contemplate that his teachers or mentors are sexual deviants? And if these perpetrators are so evil, why is it only the Chief Rabbinate that reacts? The only body that counts within this community is the Council of Torah Sages; while it regularly calls for mass protests when it feels its religious lifestyle is under threat, the council has remained eerily silent on the subject of abuse. How are these children to know that such actions are intolerable and that any Torah taught by such offenders is worth very little?

Sadly, they probably won’t. A child growing up in an insular Haredi neighborhood will learn by the ever-present posters he sees, and by the demonstrations he attends, that sexual deviancy is not all that important. It certainly does not trump the issue of dead bones being exhumed to make way for a highway or hospital. It is no more important than secular Jews wishing to enjoy themselves at the cinema on a Friday night, and is probably no less evil than a Haredi traitor who dares put on an army uniform.

In such an environment, why should there be any incentive to report sexual offenses? This is especially true where reporting comes at a cost: whistleblowers and victims are keenly aware that any exposure severely harms their own and their progeny’s marriage prospects. Is it any wonder then that abuse continues as long as it does until one courageous man or woman has the guts to go to the police?

Unfortunately, this situation is not mitigated by the argument that the Haredi sector’s individual members and organizations have done much to benefit society as a whole. And yet a society that ignores its own internal problems, that refuses to rally against its own criminals at least with same roar as it rallies against other sectors of society, and that steadfastly conceals its misdeeds, is indeed doing a lot of harm to itself.

If the Haredi community in Israel and abroad is to reclaim the public’s trust it must shun all acts of sexual abuse. It must act seriously and it must act now. The time has come for the community to demonstrate to itself as well as to others that there is zero tolerance for harming the sexual integrity of anyone created in G-d’s image, especially children.

David Fachler has a Masters in Law from South Africa (LLM) and a Masters in Contemporary Jewry from Hebrew University, Jerusalem (MA). He is contactable at davidfachler@yahoo.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Aiding Crime

UNITED STATES
Times of Israel

Michael J. Salamon

Why don’t people report abuse?’ is one of the most common questions asked. “If they were really abused wouldn’t they want to tell someone?’ Well yes and no. We know that most people, perhaps the overwhelming majority of those abused do not report what happened to them for three basic reasons. They are afraid to say anything because their abuser has threatened them or their families as part of the grooming they were subjected to. Often, people do not report abuse because they are sure that they will not be believed. And, individuals who have been abused see that when members of their own community have reported abuse they were shunned by the community, even sent packing, having to move away from a beloved home. Overriding all of this is the tendency among many to blame the victims of abuse despite the fact that they were forcibly coerced or were very young or were in some other way unable to protect themselves.

None of this is new information. Anyone working with individuals who have suffered from abuse have seen these dynamics. There is, however, another motivation that keeps people from reporting. It is not simply fear of disbelief, abandonment or being hurt. It is even beyond the antipathy of indifference or the desire not to get involved. It is a sanctimonious belief that not reporting a crime is the best, most protective way to shelter a community. Let me give you a personal example. My experience is not nearly so life altering as abuse – in fact it is, at best, an annoying but simple event rectified rapidly by insurance and the assistance of some friends. Still it suggests a mindset that underlies the environment that allows evil doers to get away with their offenses.

A few short weeks ago I parked my car in a legal spot in the parking lot of a supermarket. I ran in for a few items and was done in less than five minutes. I came out to find that my car had been hit and the front fender and bumper were hanging down. The car that was on the side where the damage was was rapidly leaving the lot. I jumped in my car to see if I could catch the person or at least get the license plate number. I was unable to so I returned to the lot and called the police. While waiting for the police to arrive I notified the store manager and asked if the videos of the lot were working. The manager said they were and were monitored at a sister store a few short blocks away. The manager called the other location to confirm that the video was in fact operating and as the police arrived told them who they can speak with at the monitoring site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Diocese of Antigonish selling more properties to pay off sex-abuse deal

CANADA
CBC News

By Jennifer Ludlow, CBC News Posted: Aug 19, 2016

Former church properties in Nova Scotia continue to be sold by the Roman Catholic Diocese in Antigonish as a way to pay for the 2009 sex-abuse settlement, with the buildings' fates ranging from new businesses to arson.

A $15-million settlement was reached in 2009 with victims of sexual abuse by priests dating back to 1950. The diocese is selling land and properties to cover that cost.

"That was our first priority — to make sure that the victims were compensated," said Rev. Paul Abbass, chairman of the diocese's real estate committee. "That's all been complete, but we're still paying on loans."

He said some churches like St. Anthony Daniel in Sydney are attracting attention, but not sales. He says it can take a year to seal a deal.

Holy Family converts into funeral home

Trevor Tracey of Glace Bay bought the former Holy Family Church. He now runs TJ Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialist out of the old sanctuary.

"This building met the criteria that I would need for a funeral home," he said. "It was unfortunate for the church having to close, but it was a blessing for me to receive it and still to have it as a place where people can come to gather to celebrate a life."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Popular Chicago-Area Priest Removed For 'Inappropriate Relationship' Joins Ministry in Texas

CHICAGO (IL)/TEXAS
NBC Chicago

[with video]

The Rev. Marco Mercado was removed last October by the Chicago Archdiocese, saying he was involved in “an inappropriate relationship with an adult man” has moved to Texas and begun working in hospital ministry. Mercado tells the Telemundo affiliate in San Antonio that “I’ve been able to refocus in my vocation, in my ministry, my priesthood. That’s why I’m extremely grateful for all the people who’ve supported me, all the people who’ve prayed for me.”

Sources tell NBC 5 Mercado initially returned to Mexico for several months after being removed in October as the rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. However, now he’s received a new position in the San Antonio Archdiocese where its Archbishop Gustavo Garcia Siller has welcomed him. Garcia had previously been a bishop in Chicago.

The San Antonio Archdiocese released a statement saying “we have conducted our own independent review of the facts and, following that effort, as well as the counseling Father Marco has undertaken and his acceptance of responsibility in the situation in question, we are satisfied that he is suitable for ministry here.” The statement adds “we are working very closely with Father Marco through this process of rehabilitation as he seeks to gradually assume additional responsibilities in ministry in this part of the church in South Texas.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Former priest up on new charges

CANADA
The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on August 18, 2016

A former Anglican priest convicted in 2010 was back in provincial court in St. John’s Thursday on new charges.

Robin Barrett, 57, was sent to jail in September 2010 to serve 2 1/2 years after he pleaded guilty to possessing and unlawfully distributing child pornography.

Thursday, Barrett was back in court on three charges — distributing or selling child pornography, accessing child pornography and possessing child pornography.

The Crown obtained a number of conditions to be placed on Barrett, who is not in custody while the matter is before the courts. He hasn’t entered a plea in the case and will be back in court on Oct. 5.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Father David O'Hearn will be sentenced on Monday for more than 40 child sex crimes

AUSTRALIA
Maitland Mercury

JOANNE MCCARTHY
19 Aug 2016

THE Hunter Catholic priest who was once punched by a teacher, and who fought child sex allegations in court for eight years, will be sentenced on Monday.

Father David O’Hearn has spent most of the past four years in jail, but will learn on Monday how many years he will remain in custody after he was found guilty of more than 40 child sex offences involving six victims.

The offences occurred in the Hunter while O’Hearn worked as a trainee priest and priest in parishes including Cessnock, Muswellbrook and Windale in the 1980s and 1990s. Victims ranged from nine to 13.

In a statement in May after the last of O’Hearn’s trials, Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright expressed “great shame that another member of the clergy has been guilty of crimes of this kind”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Tech ban for New Square school kids, parents

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Adrienne Sanders, asanders@lohud.com August 17, 2016

This article is staff writer Adrienne Sanders' latest in an ongoing series that looks at the East Ramapo school district with its unique blend of private and public schools.

NEW SQUARE - Each year, when registering their children for private school, parents in the all-Hasidic village of New Square must agree in writing to follow a detailed list of very specific rules — or risk the expulsion of their children from the only school in town.

For example, mothers are banned from driving, and they must shave their heads and wear only clothing that extends at least 5 or 6 inches below the knee. The far more abbreviated list of rules for fathers requires them to pray regularly with a quorum and refrain from cutting their beards.

This fall, however, New Square authorities introduced several new rules that reflect the community's fears about the dangers of the Internet. The changes have renewed critics' condemnation of the Skverer sect's attempts to control its followers — particularly women.

The new rules include:

* Mothers are prohibited from using smartphones — even for business purposes.
* Mothers and fathers must cease using WhatsApp, a popular smartphone messaging application.
* As announced last month on a large flier taped to the village's synagogue wall — no one may use cellphones without web filters.

Authorities posted the notice after it was discovered that some adults were keeping second, unfiltered phones in addition to their approved "kosher" ones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Justice McClellan addresses Judicial College of Victoria

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

19 August, 2016

The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, is making an address today to the Judicial College of Victoria.

The address is titled “Meeting and managing community expectations”, and is being given as part of the Judicial College of Victoria’s Historical Sexual Offences program.

A copy of Justice McClellan’s speech is available here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Ben Bradlee recounts historic Spotlight team investigation

MAINE
Castine Patriot

by Monique Labbe

Emerson Hall was standing room only Tuesday, August 16, as residents of Castine and the surrounding area listened to former Boston Globe editor Ben Bradlee Jr. recount his experience as part of the “Spotlight” team that brought the sexual misconduct cases of the Catholic Church to the forefront of the Boston community.

Bradlee led the team in its investigation into several priests in the community, uncovering solid evidence that these cases of sexual misconduct had occurred and were covered up by the diocese.

“Calling it sexual misconduct seems too gentle a word,” said Bradlee during his talk. “They were rapes, is what they were, mostly to altar boys.”

After several stories made it into the Boston Globe in the 1990s, the case started coming up cold, as the reporters were unable to obtain church documents that would convict the priests of the crime. That changed in 2002, when, after a successful lawsuit against the Boston diocese, the reporters on the Spotlight team were able to comb through those church documents, finding case after case of reported sexual abuse to the children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

NSW brother denies sexual contact with boy

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
18 AUG 2016

A Christian brother accused of sexually abusing a student decades ago has told a court he had no sexual contact with the boy "whatsoever".

Christopher Rafferty, 65, has pleaded not guilty in the District Court in Sydney to six sex offences from when the boy was aged 14 until he was 16.

They allegedly occurred in the mid-1980s at a school in the NSW town of Goulburn.

On Thursday, the teacher of 43 years was asked under oath if he had had any sexual contact with the student.

"None whatsoever," he replied.

Rafferty also denied an allegation that he took the boy when he was in year 9 into his bedroom, saying he could not have done such a thing without anyone seeing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Braid: A legislature Speaker's haunting story of sexual assault

CANADA
Calgary Herald

DON BRAID, CALGARY HERALD

There’s really no easy way to begin this strange and powerful story, but here it comes, with a caution to those of delicate feelings.

One day in 2012, David Carter, a man of the church, a former Speaker of the Alberta legislature, walked into a cemetery in Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle Valley.

He poured lemon juice on the grave of a former archbishop of the Anglican Church.

Then he drove away, thinking that would satisfy a burning anger that had simmered for 35 years.

But no, Carter soon decided, it wasn’t enough. He turned around and drove back.

This time, he urinated on the grave.

Now 82, David Carter has always been a man of strict rectitude and principle. If you asked me who among all the political people I know might do such a shocking thing, he’d be the very last person I would name.

In a new self-published book (Carter has written almost 20) he says the archbishop sexually abused him at a convention in Minneapolis in 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Ongoing cases of adultery in the Methodist Church - Bhagwan

FIJI
Fiji Village

By Ana Ravulo
Friday 19/08/2016

There are ongoing cases of adultery in the Methodist Church in Fiji.

This has been confirmed by the Secretary of Communications, Reverend James Bhagwan who says that he cannot reveal the exact number of cases.

Bhagwan says any case of adultery is discussed in the ministerial session of the standing committee of the church which investigates any allegations and once an investigation is completed they make a ruling on the particular case.

He says if someone has been found to have committed adultery they are stood down or terminated from their position as a minister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

August 18, 2016

Chaminade graduates slam handling of abuse case

LONG ISLAND
The Island Now

By Noah Manskar

Chaminade High School graduates this week publicly criticized the school’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against its former president, saying the elite Mineola academy has failed to live up to its motto.

In a letter published Monday in the New York Daily News, seven graduates said Chaminade has not been forthcoming with parents and alumni about the details of the “credible” allegations against the Rev. James Williams, telling them to ask questions individually rather than offering information openly.
The men — Anthony Clark, Charles Cowell, Anthony Ventura, James Cotter, Charles Givens, Ed Kless and Anthony Notaroberta — say the all-boys Catholic school’s actions contradict its motto, which requires that students do “the right thing at the right time because it is the right thing to do, regardless of who is watching.”

“We no longer offer our support at a distance,” the letter reads. “We offer our close, public scrutiny, in order to hold the school’s leaders accountable — just as they held us accountable as students and as men.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Bishop Hartmayer discusses settlement of child sexual abuse lawsuit

GEORGIA
Southern Cross - Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah

Publication Date:
Thursday, August 18, 2016

By:
Southern Cross Staff

On July 5, 2016 the Diocese of Savannah announced that it had reached a $4.5 million settlement through mediation in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of a minor by Wayland Brown, a former priest of the Diocese, that was filed in Jasper County, South Carolina.

Recently, Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv. answered questions for the Southern Cross about the lawsuit and settlement.

Southern Cross: Bishop, What led up to the filing of the lawsuit?

Bishop: After receiving a phone call from Chris Templeton’s pastor I was able to meet with Chris and his father and his pastor on December 17, 2014. Chris and I had an opportunity to talk one on one and discuss his life and the troubling events of his youth, including allegations of instances of sexual abuse by Wayland Brown. Much of that conversation obviously is confidential given our roles; however, it was my intent to help him in any way that I could, and I believe Chris was open and candid with me during our conversation.

At the end of my conversation with Chris, I asked his father and his pastor to join us to continue the discussion. I apologized for what Chris experienced and expressed my desire to help him to continue to heal. I told Chris and his father that I was proud of Chris for sharing his painful experiences with me. I wanted him to know that I would do whatever I could to help him heal the pain in his life.

I told Chris that the Diocese is committed to bring peace into his life, and I told him to go home and think about how the Diocese could help. At the end of the meeting, I felt like we were on the same page and would be working together to find Chris healing and peace. He expressed his appreciation for our meeting and that we would speak again after he had a chance to give some thought to how I and the Diocese could help him. However, I did not hear from Chris again after our meeting, and he would not return my calls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Group raises awareness of alleged abuse at Fordham University, Fordham Prep

NEW YORK
News 12

[with video]

THE BRONX - People gathered at Fordham University and Fordham Prep on Thursday to raise awareness of the alleged abuse students have received from Jesuit priests and teachers over the years at the school.

Organizers of the nonprofit Road To Recovery passed out fliers with information about several issues that have taken place, including a man who came out about his alleged abuse in 1974 and has since received a private apology from the order.

Neal Gumple says since coming out two years ago, he has faced ridicule that has deeply impacted his personal life. He now wants the Northeast Province of Jesuits to make a public apology and do more to help victims.

The gathering comes after other students came forward to accuse teacher Fernand Beck of sexual abuse.

News 12 The Bronx was told by people at the event that two more former students of Fordham Prep came forward claiming they were also sexually abused by Beck.

Gumple says he hopes he can be a voice for other victims and stop sexual abuse from happening again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Charedim raise £1m for child custody war chest

UNITED KINGDOM
The JC

By Daniel Sugarman, August 18, 2016

Stamford Hill Charedim have raised £1 million to fight legal cases where they think children are at risk of being removed from the community by one of their parents.

Over 1,500 people attended a meeting last week to establish a fund to help "rescue the holy children from descending into ruin" in cases where parents are fighting a custody battle and one wants to leave the strictly Orthodox community.

The JC understands that there are four or five ongoing cases involving these children.

Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, the spiritual head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, published a letter in support of the cause. He referred to "17 of our pure and holy children, where one of the parents has chased after a wicked culture and want to drag their children after them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

No bail for fugitive rabbi caught admitting to rape, plotting murder

SIRAEL
Times of Israel

BY TAMAR PILEGGI August 18, 2016

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Thursday ordered that a recently repatriated fugitive rabbi, who was caught on video apparently admitting to raping a woman and plotting murder, will remain in police custody until the legal proceedings against him are over.

After spending three years on the run, Rabbi Eliezer Berland was extradited from South Africa to Israel where he was arrested last month and charged with several counts of sexual assault.

At the Thursday hearing, the court said Berland posed a flight risk, and expressed concern the 79-year-old rabbi might attempt to evade or obstruct justice.

Berland’s attorneys said they would appeal the order to the Jerusalem District Court.

Considered a cult-like leader to thousands of his followers from the Bratslav Hasidic sect, Berland fled Israel 2013 amid allegations that he molested two female followers, one of them a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Alleged Abuse Victim Protests, Two More Contact Lawyer

NEW YORK
The Fordham Ram

August 18, 2016

By Laura Sanicola

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Two more individuals have made allegations about former Fordham Prep teacher Fernand Beck and have contacted Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer specializing in sexual assault cases made against the Catholic Church. Their claims are currently being investigated, according to the lawyer.

Beck was accused of rape by former student Michael Meenan. Fordham Prep launched an investigation, found the claims to be credible, alerted the Fordham Prep community and announced that Beck would not be returning to the school in early August. More information can be found here.

On Thursday afternoon, a small group of protesters gathered outside of Fordham University gates passing out pamphlets to pedestrians and drivers and holding signs that said that Jesuits were unresponsive to allegations of sexual assault. The protesters included Neal Gumpel, who said he was sexually assaulted by Rev. Roy Drake in the 1970s. Robert Hoatson, a former priest and alleged victim of priest of abuse who now is co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, a New Jersey based nonprofit that assists victims of sexual abuse by priests, also attended. Gumpel was not a student at Fordham Prep.

Drake was a priest who resided for several years on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus and briefly worked as a teacher at Fordham Prep. Gumpel’s wife Helen also attended the protest. Drake had left Fordham Prep and was employed by the Maine Maritime Academy at the time of the alleged assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Israeli rabbi charged with sex crimes to be in custody until end of trial

ISRAEL
i24 News

Judge says Rabbi Berland poses a high risk of fleeing the country, just as he did in 2012
An Israeli judge has extended the remand of Rabbi Eliezer Berland, accused of sexual offenses, until the end of his trial, calling him a flight risk, according to the Walla news site.

Judge Joya Skappa-Shapiro said that Rabbi Berland was a flight risk and that releasing him could increase the chance of obstruction of justice. She cited the fact that he previously left Israel when he knew he was being investigated and was on the run for three years before being extradited.

Berland, 79, was accused in 2012 of sexual abuse of a number of his female followers, including a 15-year-old girl.

Given that Berland is a prominent rabbi in the Breslov sect and founder of the Shuvu Banim yeshiva in Jerusalem's Old City, the court was likely concerned that his release would enable him to increase pressure on the complainants to withdraw their claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Hon calls on seminary to return property

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, yesterday issued an announcement to “the faithful of the archdiocese and local media” in which he called on the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, “to spontaneously and effectively renounce, without any litigation” the use of “in perpetuity” of the seminary property which it obtained from the Archdiocese of Agana.

The seminary is affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way and its ownership has been a point of contention between Archbishop Anthony Apuron and Catholic lay activists who have contended that Apuron gave the multi-million dollar Yona property away.

"The 'property' was no doubt acquired by the Archdiocese, and yet its use has been conceded in perpetuity to (the seminary) and (Blessed Diego Theological Institute)," Hon wrote. "Such act of concession was not done in a usual way by an internal Ecclesiastical agreement, but by the Declaration of Deed Restriction filed in the local Government of Guam in November 2011. Such a deed has been a source of grave dispute and division in our Church."

'Rescind and annul'

Hon said the Holy See, more than a year ago, requested that Apuron “rescind and annul” the deed restriction. "Clearly, this instruction has not been carried out accordingly," Hon wrote.

Hon wrote that he and the archdiocese's presbyteral council last week had met with members of the church who made "an extensive presentation ... illustrate with documentation how the Deed Restriction was done without due process in conformity with the Church law and praxis and how the text of the Deed Restriction created great ambiguities."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Apuron disobeys Pope Francis' order on Yona property

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News August 19, 2016

Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron did not follow instructions by Pope Francis to rescind and annul a deed restriction that gives a seminary and a theological institute the legal right to use church property in Yona, according to temporary Guam Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon.

Hon, in a written statement Thursday, called upon the seminary and the institute to obey the pope’s directives and renounce, “without any litigation,” all rights to use the property, which belongs to the Archdiocese of Agana. “Such a courageous act of renouncing will certainly earn respect and recognition from the Holy See, as well as many faithful, the Presbyteral Council and myself,” he said.

The Vatican in June placed Hon in charge of the local church, pending an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against Apuron.

The Archdiocese of Agana bought the former 100-room, oceanside Accion Hotel in Yona more than a decade ago for $2 million. It is one of the Guam Catholic Church’s largest real estate assets, estimated at between $40 million and $75 million.

The property is now being used by the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and the Blessed Diego Theological Institute.

Hon said he and the Archdiocese Presbyteral Council met with church members Aug. 11 to discuss the deed restriction, which, “has been a source of grave dispute and division in our church.” Critics have argued Apuron improperly gave control of the valuable church asset to followers of the Neocatechumenal Way. It is a recognized movement within the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Former Co-Worker of Priest Accused in Cold-Case Murder of Beauty Queen: 'No One Would Have Suspected John'

TEXAS
People

BY DARLA HIGGINS @djatlas 08/18/2016

Although ex-priest John Feit is now in a Texas jail awaiting trial for murder in the 1960 death of beauty queen Irene Garza, a former boss is shocked by the allegations that Feit could harm anyone.

Feit, now 83, left the priesthood in 1972 and later married and had children and grandchildren. From 1987 to 2004, he worked in the administration office of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix. Steve Zabilski, the organization's executive director, says Feit's main job was to recruit and train food pantry volunteers.

"Everyone who knew John would agree that he was a kind and compassionate man," Zabilski tells PEOPLE. "Nobody would have suspected John of committing any crime."

On Feb. 9, Feit was arrested for the murder of Garza, a 25-year-old teacher and beauty queen who lived in McAllen, Texas. She was last seen alive the night before Easter in 1960, when she attended confession at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Feit, who was a visiting priest at the church, told police he'd counseled Garza that night but then went to visit with other parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Archbishop Hon: critics right about Yona seminary

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Aug 18, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Guam's interim apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, may be away from the island to cater to other business, but that's not stopping him from speaking out on the highly-controversial ownership of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. In a release, Archbishop Hon says critics of the deed were right all along.

"The Archdiocese of Agana 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," said Archbishop Hon during an interview on KUAM just last month that had several people calling out the apostolic administrator. Concerned about his comment and all issues related to the Redemportis Mater Seminary has been former senator and concerned Catholic Bob Klitzkie.

"He's finally told the truth about who owns the seminary. That's certainly good news," said Klitzkie.

Late this afternoon Archbishop Hon rescinded and annulled the November 2011 declaration of deed restriction related to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. In a press release Archbishop Hon even made mention that the Holy See instructed Archbishop Anthony Apuron to rescind and annul it over a year ago, writing, "Clearly, this instruction has not been carried out accordingly."

It's interesting that the Vatican had been telling [Archbishop Anthony] Apuron for a year to get that property, to cause the property to be conveyed back to the archdiocese. And he didn't do it. So you have to wonder: where the real power is here? Is it the Vatican or is it the Gennarinis in New Jersey? Is it the Neocatechumenal Way? Archbishop Hon has talked a lot about obedience since he got here. That's some pretty gross disobedience, and I wonder what consequences there will be for those who were so disobedient," Klitzkie stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Former priest sentenced to probation after recording woman in dressing room

NEW YORK
WAVY

Carmen Chau
Published: August 18, 2016

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local, former priest, who was caught recording a woman on his cell phone while she was trying on clothes in a fitting room, learned his fate Wednesday night.

Adam Egan was sentenced to three years probation as well as time spent in rehab.

Around 3:40 p.m. on December 23, 2015, Egan attempted to take a video recording of a woman in the changing room of a Salvation Army in Latham. He pleaded guilty to one count of Attempted Unlawful Surveillance in the Second Degree in May.

Supporters, including fellow priests, were in attendance at his sentencing.

“A lot of people in things like that, on an allegation or even a conviction, will walk away from him,” Egan’s defense attorney Steve Coffey said. “But the Episcopal Church has been very solidly behind him.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

MEDIA RELEASE – AUGUST 17, 2016 – ROAD TO RECOVERY, INC.

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

Reports of childhood sexual abuse by Fordham University and Fordham Prep Jesuit priests and lay teachers continue to surface in the aftermath of the recent announcement by Fordham Prep alumnus, Michael Meenan, that religion teacher, Fernand Beck, sexually abused him in 1984

For example, Neal E. Gumpel was a high school student from Westchester County, New York, who was sexually abused as a minor child by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, deceased Fordham University and Fordham Prep teacher, who was teaching at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, while Neal E. Gumpel was visiting his brother, a student at Maine Maritime Academy. Jesuit leaders have refused to help Neal E. Gumpel heal by validating his claim which they have found to be credible

What
A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, Fordham University and Fordham Prep students, parents, alumni, and the general public about the growing number of reports of sexual abuse against Fordham University and Fordham Prep faculty and staff members in the aftermath of the recent announcement (NY Times and New York Post) by Michael Meenan, Fordham Prep ’84, that he was sexually abused by his religion teacher, Fernand Beck, during a graduation party in Westchester County, New York. Demonstrators will also draw attention to the claim of Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a deceased Fordham University and Fordham Prep teacher, who sexually abused Neal E. Gumpel at Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine and was found credible by Jesuit leaders of the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus

When
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – 11:00 am until 1:00 pm

Where
Outside the gates of Fordham University and Fordham Prep near 400 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY, which is also across the street from the entrance of the New York Botanical Gardens

Who
Neal E. Gumpel, a sexual abuse victim/survivor of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ; Helen Gumpel, the wife of Neal E. Gumpel; and Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Why
Michael Meenan was a Fordham Prep senior in 1984 when his religion teacher, Fernand Beck, sexually abused him at a graduation party in Westchester County, NY. On Monday, August 8, 2016, the New York Times and New York Post published stories about Michael Meenan’s allegations which were found credible by attorneys for Fordham Prep. Fernand Beck has been fired by Fordham Prep and recently denied the allegations in the Fordham University student newspaper, the Ram. Since Michael Meenan’s story went public on August 8, 2016, reports of alleged sexual abuse against Fordham Prep faculty and staff members, including Fernand Beck, have been made. In addition, while the Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province have found allegations of childhood sexual abuse against one of its deceased members, Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, credible, they have refused to help childhood sexual abuse victim/survivor Neal E. Gumpel heal by validating his claim

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com, Road to Recovery, Inc.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Church in Ireland must learn a few home truths

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A national synod that had the freedom to explore the many difficult issues it faces could help to renew the Catholic Church here, writes TP O’Mahony

In his book The Runaway Church, Peter Hebblethwaite recalled a crucial intervention at the 1971 Synod of Bishops in Rome during a discussion on the ordination of married men to the priesthood. The synod had been summoned to examine the crisis in the priesthood.

That was 45 years ago — the crisis is much greater and more urgent and more far-flung today. Indeed, in a small but significant way, the controversy in which St Patrick’s College, Maynooth — the national seminary — is presently mired is both an offshoot of that crisis and also indicative of far deeper problems.

A compelling case for change had been made at the 1971 synod by Bishop Anthony Galvin, speaking on behalf of the bishops of Singapore-Malaysia. He concluded with this comment: “We are of the opinion that the ordination to the priesthood of mature married men will provide for the future in a

The chief counter-argument was that the ordination of married men would constitute the thin edge of the wedge. The influential Cardinal Hoffner of Cologne claimed that “any exception from the norm of celibacy would have an explosive effect, so that celibacy would disappear in a short time”. ...

The Maynooth controversy is both less than what has been made of it, and also more — less in the sense that there is nothing startlingly new about a gay culture in a seminary, and more in the sense that it is symptomatic of a much deeper malaise, a malaise affecting not just the Church in Ireland but the universal Church.

Since the Council of Trent in the 16th century decreed that every diocese should have a seminary, there has never been a time when seminaries, to a greater or lesser degree, didn’t spawn a “gay culture”.

The difference is that, in today’s digital age, with the growth of social media, it is far more difficult to disguise this culture or sub-culture, or to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Priest sentenced to probation in peeping case

NEW YORK
Times Union

By Tim O'Brien Wednesday, August 17, 2016

COLONIE — An Episcopal priest from Delmar was sentenced Wednesday to three years' probation for trying to film a woman as she changed in a Salvation Army store.

The Rev. Adam Egan pleaded guilty in Colonie Town Court in May to a misdemeanor charge of attempted unlawful surveillance. He was arrested Dec. 23 in the store on Troy-Schenectady Road in Latham.

At his sentencing, Egan was also ordered to pay $255 in fines and fees and given a host of restrictions on his behavior.

Colonie police said Egan tried to flee the building after the victim noticed a camera peeking over the top of a curtain and contacted police. Officers caught him nearby and said Egan tried to delete a video on a device he was carrying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Royal Commission identifies what makes institutions child safe

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

18 August, 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a research report examining what elements make an institution ‘child safe’ using the opinions of a panel of Australian and international experts.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said this research report, Key Elements of a child-safe organisation – Research study will assist institutions to prevent, identify and improve responses to physical, sexual, emotional/psychological abuse and the neglect of children.

“The research report, conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre and the Parenting Research Centre, included input from 40 academics, children’s commissioners and guardians, as well as regulators and other child safe industry experts and practitioners,” Mr Reed said.

To complement this work, the Royal Commission has also released a brief publication outlining the Royal Commission’s views on the elements that make an organisation child safe. This will enable institutions to continue their work in strengthening their child safe practices.

The elements of a child safe institution have been underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Australia ratified in 1990. The key elements are;

1. Child safety is embedded in institutional leadership, governance and culture.

2. Children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.

3. Families and communities are informed and involved.

4. Equity is promoted and diversity respected.

5. People working with children are suitable and supported.

6. Processes to respond to complaints of child sexual abuse are child focused.

7. Staff are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through continual education and training.

8. Physical and online environments minimise the opportunity for abuse to occur.

9. Implementation of child safe standards is continuously reviewed and improved.

10. Policies and procedures document how the institution is child safe.

Read Key Elements of a child-safe organisation – Research study.

Read Creating child safe institutions

The Royal Commission’s final report will be handed to government in December 2017.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Why don’t we believe victims of sexual abuse?

AUSTRALIA
Women's Agenda

18 Aug 2016 Bianca Fileborn

The release of the “Nauru files” last week revealed more than 2,000 incidents of sexual assault, child abuse and self-harm of asylum seekers, and documented the appalling living conditions for those held in offshore detention on Nauru.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton dismissed many of the files, including those documenting sexual assault, as “false allegations in an attempt to get to Australia”.

Dutton’s comments reinforce historically ingrained ideas about sexual assault victims as being “unreliable” or “untrustworthy”. His claims contribute towards a broader discourse that enables the dismissal, denial, and distrust of women and children who have experienced sexual violence.

The ‘unreliable’ victim of sexual assault

There is a long and problematic history of victim/survivors of sexual assault being constructed as “untrustworthy”. This is perhaps most infamously encapsulated in Sir Matthew Hale’s 17th-century remark that:

Rape is an accusation easily to be made, hard to be proved, and harder yet to be defended by the party accused, tho’ never so innocent.

Hale’s comments had an enduring effect on the treatment of sexual assault victims.

The notion that victims of sexual assault were inherently unreliable or prone to lying was enshrined in law through the requirement for corroboration until relatively recently. Corroboration – that is, the independent verification of the victim’s testimony – reinforced the notion that victims of sexual assault could not be trusted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Commission releases child safety guide

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP on August 18, 2016

Focusing on the child in sexual abuse complaints and frequently reviewing child safety standards are two elements of a safe institution report handed down by the royal commission into child sex abuse.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released 10 child safety recommendations as part of its work to determine what could be done to prevent abuse.

The elements are designed to also help institutions strengthen their child safe practices.

They include involving children in decisions, informing families and communities and promoting equity.

The points are underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states all adults and law makers must make the best interests of children their primary concern when making decisions about them.

THE 10 POINTS:

1. Child safety is embedded in institutional leadership, governance and culture.

2. Children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.

3. Families and communities are informed and involved.

4. Equity is promoted and diversity respected.

5. People working with children are suitable and supported.

6. Processes to respond to complaints of child sexual abuse are child focused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Creating child safe institutions

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

July 2016

Summary

The Royal Commission has been working to identify the key elements that institutions should adopt in order to be child safe. Through a significant scoping exercise, we identified a preliminary list of elements which we considered to be necessary in creating a child safe institution. We tested these elements through a research study that obtained feedback from a panel of 40 Australian and international experts. The panel agreed that the elements we identified were relevant, reliable and achievable. Following this testing process, we have confirmed that there are 10 key elements that are needed to create a child safe institution. We considered it timely to disseminate the child safe elements to assist institutions’ work on strengthening their child safe approaches. The Royal Commission’s final report will include an entire volume on making institutions child safe and recommendations about implementing the child safe elements.

Download the full report

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Royal Commission Identifies What Makes Institutions Child Safe

AUSTRALIA
Pro Bono

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a research report examining what elements make an institution “child safe”.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said this research report, Key Elements of a Child-Safe Organisation would help institutions prevent, identify and improve responses to physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse and the neglect of children.

He said the report was put together using the opinions of a panel of Australian and international experts.

“The research report, conducted by the Social Policy and Research Centre and the Parenting Research Centre, included input from 40 academics, children’s commissioners and guardians, as well as regulators and other child safe industry experts and practitioners,” Reed said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Former LDS leader sentenced for sending sexual images to teen girls

IOWA
Daily Nonepareil

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

By Derek Sullivan
DSullivan@nonpareilonline.com

An Oakland man will spend four months in jail after pleading guilty to four misdemeanor sexual abuse charges.

On July 28, James Raborn, 27, pleaded guilty to two amended counts of lascivious acts with minor, and single counts of disseminating sexual materials to a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor, all misdemeanors.

On Tuesday morning, Raborn was sentenced to five years in prison. Raborn is married with children, and his wife was in the courtroom on Tuesday.

As part of the plea agreement, Fourth Judicial District Judge Mark Eveloff suspended all but 120 days of the sentence. Starting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 1, Raborn will serve 120 days in the Pottawattamie County Jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

The inquiry into historic child sexual abuse allegations has become a national farce

UNITED KINGDOM
New Statesman

Will Self

A French friend, in town for a couple of days recently, was suitably and ­stereotypically bemused by our latest bad news about terrible crimes: Justice Lowell Goddard’s resignation as the head of the inquiry into historic child abuse was closely preceded by new results from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, according to which 11 per cent of the women questioned, and 3 per cent of the men, said they had been sexually assaulted during childhood.

“What is it with you British!” he exclaimed. “Of course we have such scandals in France, but they’re largely confined to the Catholic Church.” Then he predictably went on about “the English vice”, and how the old British establishment is comprised of upper- and upper-middle-class men riven by sexual frustration because of their single-sex boarding-school educations. Under such circumstances was it any wonder they all ended up becoming paedophiles?

I bristled at this bowdlerisation; yet when I came to consider the matter, it did seem as if some explanation was in order. I concede I haven’t researched the matter exhaustively, but I am unaware of any other country in which a statistically significant sample implies that 7 per cent of the adult population are survivors of serious abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Former pastor charged in sexual assault of two women in his congregation

CANADA
Daily Courier

TORONTO - A former pastor has been charged with the sexual assault of two members of his Toronto congregation.

Toronto police say that between 2006 and 2011, a woman who is now 47 years old and a girl who is now 16 were sexually assaulted.

Police say both victims were members of the pastor's evangelical Christian congregation.
Investigators say they believe there may be more victims.

Jose Colindres, 64, has been charged with five counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual interference and three counts of sexual exploitation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Head of Haitian orphanages, charity sue clergy abuse advocate in state court

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 17, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine — Having had a $14.5 million defamation judgment in their favor overturned in federal court, the nonprofit organization and the former Catholic brother linked by a Freeport man to unproven abuse allegations involving Haitian orphans are now seeking redress in state court.

Attorneys for Hearts with Haiti, Inc., headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Michael Geilenfeld, 64, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, sued Paul Kendrick, 66, on Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court.

The new lawsuit claims Kendrick, an advocate for children sexually abused by clergy, was reckless and negligent in publicly accusing former Catholic brother Geilenfeld of molesting children in his care and accusing the charity of ignoring abuse allegations against Geilenfeld.

Kendrick posted accusations online, sent out mass emails and mailed letters to potential Hearts with Haiti donors alleging that Geilenfeld sexually abused orphans in his care. On Sunday, he again accused Geilenfeld of sexually abusing children in Haiti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Tamworth man tells of shocking abuse at the hands of perverted priests at boys' home

UNITED KINGDOM
Tamworth Herald

A TAMWORTH man has spoken out about his nine years of hell at the hands of pervert priests and masters at a boys' home.

Derek Finnegan (57) was beaten and sexually abused on an almost daily basis, experiences which he says have ruined his life.

Although those who targeted him are now dead, Derek is desperate to track down other boys from the home who were also abused by those in charge.

"I WOULD hear the key turn in the lock. I would face the wall and hold on to the pillow, I could smell the whisky on his breath. Even now it kills me to think about it."

Derek was abused in children's homes from the age of nine. He was 14 when things turned worse and he claims he was raped several times a week for the following two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

August 17, 2016

Kenney sought $4 million more for pope visit

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Julia Terruso, STAFF WRITER

Taxpayers dished out $8.2 million to pay for Pope Francis' historic visit here nearly a year ago.

It turns out that Mayor Kenney thinks the pricetag was too high.

In May, the administration sent a request to the World Meeting of Families seeking an additional $4 million to cover preparation and clean-up costs that were exempt from the contract signed under Mayor Michael A. Nutter's administration.

"Since approximately $4 million of those costs would not have ever been incurred by City departments had the event not occurred, the Kenney administration requested to be reimbursed an additional $4 million," city spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said.

The World Meeting of Families - which paid the city $8.6 million last year - declined the request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

PD: Hindu priest accused of child molestation, some incidents occurring in Phoenix temple office

ARIZONA
ABC 15

Joe Enea
Aug 17, 2016

PHOENIX - The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has charged a Hindu priest with child molestation after the victim recorded the man's confession.

Court records show that the girl reported to police that she had been molested for four years after arriving in the United States from India in 2010.

Police say the victim came forward on August 6 after recording a confrontation with her alleged assailant, 59-year-old Ghanshayam Ratilal Joshi.

After a friend encouraged her to contact police, she recorded a conversation where Joshi reportedly admitted to "spoiling her virginity" when she was a pre-teen. The victim said she felt she needed proof, since Joshi has been a priest at the Hindu temple near 28th and Maryland avenues for 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

A courageous survivor of child sexual abuse responds to Rabbi Wallerstein's offensive public comments

Manny Waks

18/8/2016

​Recently Heshy Deutsch posted a powerful YouTube clip addressing the ongoing child sexual abuse cases, cover-ups and its impact plaguing the Jewish community.

In response, prominent and respected Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, founder and director of Ohr Naava, spoke out against the clip. When I first saw Rabbi Wallerstein's response, I remarked that it was infuriating, but that it was also a good opportunity to highlight the ignorance, insensitivity and outright hypocrisy of some within the Rabbinate (in this case a prominent rabbi).

Today my friend and colleague, Sima Yarmush, posted a powerful and thoughtful response to Rabbi Wallerstein's offensive remarks, which I share below with Sima's permission:

​This is my response to Rabbi Wallerstein, of Ohr Naava, after his recent video (posted in comments). It was horrifying for me to listen to and watch. Here are my thoughts about it, after I've had a chance to calm down and try my best not to allow myself to experience re-traumatization.

1) Belittling victims – Your tone is dismissive, disrespectful, and insulting to all victims and survivors of trauma, abuse, or otherwise. The theatrical way in which you expressed your thoughts was totally uncalled for. You should know better!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Archdiocesan leaders urged to promote Gospel values in wake of Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
The Record

By Rachel Curry

The Chair of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council (TJHC), Neville Owen, has warned leaders in the Archdiocese of Perth that they face an “uncomfortable time” ahead as the Royal Commission prepares its wrap-up hearing on the Catholic Church.

The TJHC is an 11-member council, which was set up in 2013 to co-ordinate the Catholic Church’s engagement with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Mr Owen, along with the TJHC’s Chief Executive Officer, Francis Sullivan, addressed leaders from the Archdiocesan agencies on Thursday, 11 August at the Catholic Pastoral Centre in Highgate.

Mr Owen said the Royal Commission was preparing to hold a wrap-up hearing on the Catholic Church in February 2017, which would look into the reasons why child sexual abuse occurred within the Church’s institutions and why the response was so poor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Ex-house parent charged with abusing foreign students jailed

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Journal

EBENSBURG, Pa. — A former house parent at a Pennsylvania Catholic school has been jailed on charges he sexually assaulted two Chinese international students he supervised.

Twenty-eight-year-old John Bowman Thornberry, of Mills River, North Carolina, was arrested last week and is being held in Cambria County in lieu of $250,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing next week.

Thornberry was removed in February from his job overseeing Chinese international students at Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Did Priest John Feit Kill 25-Year-old Beauty Queen Irene Garza in 1960?

TEXAS
People

BY DARLA HIGGINS @djatlas 08/17/2016

Beautiful and sweet, Irene Garza had many admirers in her hometown of McAllen, Texas in 1960.

The homecoming queen, whose other titles included Miss All South Texas Sweetheart, was also a devout Catholic. So it wasn't surprising that she visited Sacred Heart Catholic Church for confession on the evening before Easter that year.

What was surprising was that she never made it home. Garza, a 25-year-old schoolteacher, was found dead five days later in an irrigation canal in town. The last person to see her alive was John Feit, a 27-year-old visiting priest, who told police he'd heard her confession that night. Two months later, when questioned about her murder along with the church attack of another woman, Feit failed a lie detector test.

Despite the alleged evidence against him, the case went cold for more than 50 years. That changed on Feb. 9, 2016, when Feit, an 83-year-old grandfather living in Phoenix, was arrested and charged with Garza's murder. Now sitting in a Texas jail, he has pleaded not guilty and his bail has been set at $750,000. Of the allegations, Feit said, "This whole thing makes no sense to me because the crime in question took place in 1960."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

5 Things that Led to Arrest of Priest Suspected in Cold-Case Murder of Texas Beauty Queen

TEXAS
People

[with video]

BY DARLA HIGGINS @djatlas 08/17/2016

It was a vicious crime that shook the Texas border town of McAllen in 1960. Irene Garza, a beloved 25-year-old schoolteacher and beauty queen, had been raped and murdered. The last place she was seen alive was at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where she went into confession the night before Easter.

Although police pursued several leads, the case went cold for 56 years. That changed on Feb. 9, 2016, when former priest John Feit, now 83, was arrested for Garza's murder. He now sits in a Texas jail with his bail set at $750,000. Feit, who was a visiting priest at Sacred Heart in 1960, has pleaded not guilty.

Why do prosecutors feel they have enough evidence to convict him? Below are five details that led to Feit's arrest.

1. Feit allegedly discussed the crime with two other priests around the time of the killing.

According to police, retired monk Dale Tacheny called them in 2002 to say that a priest he'd once counseled in the 1960s had confessed to suffocating an unnamed woman. Another priest, Father Joseph O'Brien, said he was also aware of the killing and of Feit's alleged guilt. Feit left the priesthood in 1972.

2. He was arrested for assault on another woman in a church.

Four months after Garza's murder, Feit was arrested for the attempted rape of a woman in a nearby town. But the jury failed to reach a verdict, and he was released after paying a $500 fine and pleading no contest to aggravated assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

A boy who killed himself wrote a letter about bullying. His struggles may have started at home.

NEW YORK
Washington Post

By Peter Holley August 16

At Holy Angels Catholic Academy in Brooklyn, Daniel Fitzpatrick’s biggest test had nothing to do with academics.

The 13-year-old seventh-grader — like so many young people in schools across the country — was the target of relentless bullying because of his grades, his weight and his sweet disposition, family members told the New York Daily News.

This summer, Daniel detailed some of his toughest struggles in a letter that accused classmates of turning on him — and school officials of ignoring his pleas for help.

Then, just days before his 14th birthday, he decided he’d had enough. On Thursday, he wrapped a belt around his neck and hung himself inside the attic of his family’s Staten Island home.

“I gave up,” he wrote in the letter that preceded his death by several weeks. “The teachers . . . they didn’t do anything.”

Documents obtained by The Washington Post offer a more complicated picture of Daniel’s life and reveal that some believe the teenager’s struggles extended beyond the bullying he faced at school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Bill 326-33 REPORTED OUT OF COMMITTEE

GUAM
Jungle Watch

August 17, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Substitute Bill No. 326-33 (COR) Committee Report Filed with COR

(Wednesday, August 17, 2016, Hagåtña, Guam) Following the filing of the Committee Report on Substitute Bill No. 326-33 to the Committee on Rules (COR), Senator Frank B. Aguon, Jr. issues the following statement:

“As Chairman of the Committee on Guam U.S. Military Relocation, Public Safety, and the Judiciary, my responsibility is to ensure that every legislative measure, as introduced and substituted, receives the greatest amount of input by the community, prior to reporting it out of my Committee,” stated Senator Aguon. “I want to thank Senator Frank Blas, Jr. for introducing Bill No. 326-33, and most especially, I want to thank the Community for their extensive participation and contribution towards this measure during the public hearing process. The oral and written testimonies from the community, church laity, subject matter experts, legal experts, and alleged victims were comprehensive, eye-opening, and impactful.”

Senator Aguon further stated “Victims of child sexual abuse never had the opportunity to impose civil liability upon their perpetrators because the civil statute of limitations “window” never opened. For the first time, As Substituted by the Committee Bill No. 326-33 (COR) will afford renewed opportunity to victims of child sexual abuse to seek redress in court against their perpetrators.”
“As Substituted by the Committee Bill No. 326-33 (COR) has my full support,” concluded Senator Aguon.

A copy of the Committee report can be found here:
· www.guamlegislature.com>>Reports>>33rd>>Bill No. 326-33 (COR) as substituted.

###
For comments or questions, you may contact the Office of Senator Frank B. Aguon, Jr. at:
475-GUM1/2(4861/2); or e-mail to: aguon4guam@gmail.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Selig die Reichen

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

[The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising has about 6.3 billion euros assets. Instead of criticizing this large sum, many organizations praise the diocese for its transparency in making the revelation.]

Von Heiner Effern, Christian Krügel und Jakob Wetzel

Etwa 6,3 Milliarden Euro Vermögen hat das Erzbistum München und Freising, das damit eine der reichsten Diözesen weltweit sein dürfte. Doch die Bilanz, die Generalvikar Peter Beer erstmals für das Erzbistum vorgelegt hat, stößt keineswegs auf Neid und Kritik - im Gegenteil.

Selbst Gruppen, die der Amtskirche an sich kritisch gegenüberstehen, loben die Transparenz, mit der die Kirche ihre Vermögensverhältnisse offengelegt hat. Und für die bayerische Staatsregierung ist das Milliardenvermögen noch lange kein Grund, die Millionensummen, die der Freistaat jährlich an die katholische Kirche überweist, infrage zu stellen. Im Gegenteil: "Staatliche Transferleistungen an die Kirchen und Religionsgemeinschaften sind sinnvoll", sagt der für Kirchenfragen zuständige Kultusminister Ludwig Spaenle (CSU).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Kardinal Marx wusste von Ermittlungen gegen Pfarrer im Saarland

DEUTSCHLAND
Volksfreund

Die Meldung der Staatsanwaltschaft über die Einstellung der Ermittlungen 2006 sei in der Personalkommission des Bistums behandelt worden, teilte der Sprecher am Dienstag mit und bestätigte damit Auszüge eines Berichts des Saarländischen Rundfunks (SR). «Kardinal Marx war bei dieser Sitzung anwesend.» Damals sei nach aktuellen Leitlinien der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz verfahren worden. «Heute wird in einem solchen Fall anders verfahren, es würden eigene Ermittlungen angestrengt werden.»

Die Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelte bereits 2006, 2013 und 2015 wegen Missbrauchsverdachts gegen den Pfarrer. Die beiden letzten Verfahren wurden wegen «mangelnden Tatnachweises» eingestellt, das Verfahren von 2006 wegen Verjährung. Die Behörde ermittelt seit einigen Wochen erneut in dem Fall aufgrund einer Anzeige des Generalvikariats des Bistums Trier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Marx wusste von Missbrauchsverdacht

DEUTSCHLAND
SR

[Cardinal Reinhard Marx when he was bishop of Trier knew of molestation allegations against a former pastor in Freisen but did nothing.]

Barbara Spitzer / Onlinefassung: Daniel Weiland 16.08.2016

Von den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen den ehemaligen Pfarrer von Freisen wusste auch der damalige Trierer Bischof und heutige Kardinal Reinhard Marx. Nach SR-Informationen erfuhr er im Jahr 2006 von den Ermittlungen der Staatsanwaltschaft gegen den katholischen Pfarrer wegen des Verdachts auf Missbrauch eines 15-Jährigen, unternahm aber nichts.

Kardinal Reinhard Marx wusste, dass die Justiz 2006 gegen den Freisener Pfarrer M. wegen des Verdachts auf sexuellen Missbrauch eines 15-Jährigen ermittelte. Was er möglicherweise nicht wusste, aber hätte wissen können: M. hatte die Missbrauchsvorwürfe teilweise bei der Polizei gestanden. Das geht aus den Justizakten hervor, die der Anwältin des mutmaßlichen Opfers vorliegen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Katholiken gehen die Priester aus

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

[The Catholic Church in Germany is facing a dramatic shortage of priests. Some priests trainers are hoping for a "Francis effect" - the popular Pope therefore makes a priest for young Catholics interesting. German dioceses respond to the shortage of priests usually, by pooling towns or recruit priests from abroad.]

Von Matthias Drobinski

Noch nie haben sich in Deutschland so wenige Männer zu katholischen Priestern weihen lassen wie im vergangenen Jahr. Den Zahlen der katholischen Bischofskonferenz zufolge gab es in den 27 deutschen Bistümern 2015 insgesamt 58 Priesterweihen; 2014 waren es noch 75 gewesen, 2013 sogar 98. 1990 hatte die Zahl der neuen Priester noch 295 betragen. Die katholische Kirche Deutschlands steht damit vor einem dramatischen Priestermangel: 2015 starben nach Angaben der Bischofskonferenz 309 Priester, 19 gaben ihr Amt auf. 1990 gab es noch fast 20 000 katholische Geistliche, jetzt sind es 14 000.

Die vorläufigen Zahlen aus den Bistümern legen nahe, dass es in diesem Jahr wieder 65 bis 70 Weihen geben dürfte. Manche Priester-Ausbilder hoffen auf einen "Franziskus-Effekt" - dass der populäre Papst also den Priesterberuf für junge Katholiken interessanter macht. Den Trend wird dies allerdings nicht umkehren. Katholische Pfarrer gehen mit 70 Jahren in den Ruhestand, das betrifft nun die starken Weihejahrgänge der Siebzigerjahre. Und auch 2016 wurde in Berlin, Essen, Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Speyer und Trier nur je ein Priester geweiht, in Passau gar keiner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Maitland-Newcastle to commence on Wednesday 31 August 2016

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

17 August, 2016

The Royal Commission’s 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 will now commence on Wednesday 31 August 2016.

Case Study 43 was initially scheduled to start on Monday 29 August 2016, however it has been delayed to accommodate two additional hearing days for the public hearing into the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.

The public hearing will take place at Newcastle Courthouse, 343 Hunter Street, 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 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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

‘Open the Tuam grave site’

IRELAND
Galway Independent

A relative of a Tuam Home resident has called for a full exhumation of an unofficial graveyard at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home.

William Dolan is purported to have died in the Tuam Home in 1951, but no death certificate has been found for him. A relative, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes that he was adopted to North America, and wants the site examined to determine the truth.

Records also indicate William’s brother John died at the home in 1947.

Research conducted by Tuam historian Catherine Corless revealed that 796 children, most of them infants, died between 1925 and 1961 at the home. She discovered that there were no burial records for the children and that they had not been interred in any of the local public cemeteries, concluding that many of the children were buried in an unofficial graveyard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Cardinal George Pell to face police questioning in Rome over historic child sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By RACHEL EDDIE FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AAP

Police are likely fly to Rome to investigate allegations of historical child sex abuse against Cardinal George Pell.

Police on Wednesday said they are considering whether to lay charges over alleged historical sexual assaults.

The allegations date back to between 1976 and 1980 in Ballarat East, Victoria, and between 1996 and 2001 in East Melbourne.

Two men accused Cardinal Pell of groping their genitals at a pool in the 1970s, while another says he saw the priest expose himself to young boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

IT delays helped derail UK's historic child sexual abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
The Register

Exclusive The British government’s high-profile inquiry into historic child sexual abuse has been hampered by IT delays, which have been a major component of its "legacy of failure”.

Since it was announced in 2014, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) into decades of child abuse and corresponding cover-ups has had four chairs, with Professor Alexis Jay taking the helm last week.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who was appointed in February last year to chair the unprecedented inquiry, stepped down earlier this month.

In her resignation statement she said: “Compounding the many difficulties was its legacy of failure which has been very hard to shake off and with hindsight it would have been better to have started completely afresh."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Youth pastor convicted of sexually assaulting a child in Montgomery County

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By Andrew Kragie

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A onetime volunteer youth pastor from Willis has been sentenced to life in prison and won't be eligible for parole until 2046 after his recent conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Dell Ivan Godkin, 48, was convicted Aug. 11 by a Montgomery County jury, prosecutors said in a news release Monday.

The victim -- whom prosecutors say was a relative -- told the jurors the abuse began when she was 13 and continued until shortly before her 17th birthday, when they "made a deal" that he would stop abusing her if she would not tell anyone.

"He would say lots of things about God being OK with it," prosecutor Monica Cooper said. He would use Bible verses about men and women's roles to justify the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Diocese seeks time to work out settlement with victims

MINNESOTA
Duluth News Tribune

Tom Olsen on Aug 16, 2016

The Diocese of Duluth is seeking an extension to file reorganization plans in its bankruptcy case as representatives prepare for more settlement talks with victims of child sexual abuse.

The diocese and a court-appointed creditors committee met for a "productive," two-day mediation session last month in Minneapolis, and they're planning to return to the table for additional discussions during the week of Nov. 14, diocese attorneys said.

"The parties are optimistic that a global resolution will be reached by the close of the November session," attorneys Bruce Anderson and Phillip Kunkel wrote in the motion.

The motion asks U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel to extend a deadline for the diocese to file a proposal to regain control of its finances and repay creditors. That plan is currently due Sept. 1, but attorneys are asking for it to be pushed back to March 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Wednesday 17 August 2016

Victoria police are considering whether to charge Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, with historical child sexual abuse offences.

Last month the chief commissioner of Victoria police, Graham Ashton, confirmed allegations against Pell had been referred to the Office of Public Prosecutions for a recommendation as to whether police should drop the investigation, investigate further or lay charges.

In a statement issued on Wednesday the Victoria police media office confirmed it had received the office’s recommendation but would not confirm what had been recommended or whether detectives would be sent to Rome to interview Pell, who is the Vatican’s chief financial advisor.

“We have received advice and will now take the time to consider it,” the statement said. “As with any investigation, it remains a decision for Victoria police as to whether charges will be laid.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Pope’s choice for new Vatican post boosts moderates, Americans

UNITED STATES
Crux

John L. Allen Jr.August 17, 2016

By naming Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas on Wednesday as the first head of the Vatican’s newly created mega-department for Laity, Family, and Life, Pope Francis has accomplished two things at once: He’s handed another major victory to pastoral moderates, and he’s also further disabused notions that he’s cool to Americans.

(Farrell, 68, isn’t American by birth since he was born in Dublin and came of age in Ireland, but by now he’s spent almost half his life in the States, including the last 14 years as an American bishop.)

Farrell joined the Legion of Christ but left fairly early on, before sexual abuse controversies broke out around the order’s controversial founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado. He moved into the Archdiocese of Washington in 1984, where he served as a pastor and also took over a center for Hispanic ministry from then-Capuchin Father Sean P. O’Malley, who’s now the Cardinal of Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

August 16, 2016

RUMOUR CONFIRMED: Sly Of The Underworld says allegations against George Pell appear to be 'progressing'

AUSTRALIA
3AW

RUMOUR CONFIRMED: A recommendation on whether Victoria Police should pursue child sex abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell has been made and is now being assessed.

Alleged victims spoke publicly last month, claiming Cardinal Pell had touched them inappropriately at a Ballarat pool when he was a priest in the late 1970s.

Sly Of The Underworld confirmed on 3AW Breakfast the brief of evidence had been considered by the Office Of Public Prosecutions and handed to Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana over the past few days.

Sly told Ross and John the matter appeared to be progressing.

"It's fair to say if the brief of evidence had been returned and said there was no case to answer, that would have been announced publicly already," he explained on 3AW Breakfast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Police set to interview Cardinal George Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Broede Carmody

Victoria Police is considering flying to Rome to interview Cardinal George Pell or interview him via videolink over complaints of sexual abuse against the cardinal made by two Ballarat men.

It is believed the brief of evidence has been returned to Victoria Police and assistant commissioner Steve Fontana is assessing the claims.

Sexual abuse claims made by two men against Cardinal George Pell could see Victoria Police investigators head to Rome.

Fairfax Media understands it is almost certain police will seek to interview Cardinal Pell.

Police are investigating multiple allegations of child abuse against the cardinal, including allegations he touched the genitals of children while they swam at a public pool in Ballarat in the late 1970s.

In a statement, Victoria Police confirmed it has received advice from the Department of Public Prosecutions in relation to allegations of historical sexual assaults committed in Ballarat East between 1976 and 1980, and East Melbourne between 1996 and 2001.

"We have received advice from the DPP and will now take the time to consider it," A Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Vic police won't rule out visiting Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Mercury

AAP

Victorian investigators have not ruled out flying to Rome to investigate allegations of historical child sex abuse against Cardinal George Pell.

Victoria Police on Wednesday said they are considering whether to lay charges over alleged historical sexual assaults in Ballarat between 1976 and 1980 and East Melbourne between 1996 and 2001.

Police declined to say whether investigators would fly to Rome to interview Cardinal Pell after two men accused him of groping their genitals in the 1970s, while another says he saw the priest expose himself to young boys.

Cardinal Pell's office has emphatically rejected the claims, calling them "without foundation and utterly false".

Investigators sent a brief of evidence to the Office of Public Prosecutions in July but won't say what kind of advice they have received.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Accused Prp Teacher Responds to Sexual Assault Allegations

NEW YORK
The Fordham Ram

August 16, 2016

By Laura Sanicola

A Fordham Prep religion teacher, who will not return to the school after an allegation of sexual abuse against him was deemed credible, is responding to the allegations made by former student Michael Meenan.

Meenan, Fordham Prep ’84, alleged that his former religion teacher Fernand Beck performed oral sex on him against his will when they both slept over at a party in Westchester County the summer after Meenan’s graduation. On August 5th, Fordham Preparatory School sent a letter to the Fordham Prep community explaining that the allegation against Beck has been deemed credible and that Beck would not be returning.

The full letter to the Fordham Preparatory community from Rev. Christopher J. Devron, the president of Fordham Prep, can be found here.

In an email dated August 9th sent to members of the class of 1981 and obtained by The Fordham Ram, Beck defended his reputation and bemoaned that the high school did not conduct the “thorough and unbiased investigation” at the time that would have cleared him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

The Inquiry is seeking bids from research bodies or institutions to carry out two literature reviews

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

15 August

The research strand of the Inquiry is seeking to commission researchers to carry out two Rapid Evidence Assessments (literature reviews):

* Behaviour and Characteristics of Perpetrators of Online-Facilitated Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

* Characteristics and Vulnerabilities of Victims of Online-Facilitated Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

The overarching questions that these procurements seek to answer are:

* What is known about the behaviour and characteristics of people who sexually abuse or exploit children, where such abuse is facilitated by the Internet?

* What is known about the characteristics, vulnerabilities and on- and offline behaviour of victims of online-facilitated child sexual abuse and exploitation?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Statement Regarding John Bussman

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Thursday, August 11, 2016
Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

From Archbishop Bernard Hebda

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis received an allegation that John Bussman sexually abused a minor while he was still in ministry and serving at a parish in the 1980s. Law enforcement has been notified, and we are posting this notice as part of our standard protocols when an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is reported to the Archdiocese. Bussman has been out of priestly ministry since 2003 and has served time in prison since then for criminal sexual conduct and theft.

John Bussman’s Assignment History

* Associate Pastor, St. Michael, Stillwater, 6/17/80-6/12/85
* Associate Pastor, Sacred Heart, Robbinsdale, 6/12/1985-9/22/86
* Leave of absence: 9/22/1986-4/1987
* Suspended from Ministry: 7/1/1987-6/15/2001
* Pastor, St. Martin, Rogers and St. Walburga, Fletcher, 6/15/2001-3/21/2003
* Leave of absence: 3/21/2003-present

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

ICYMI- Statement Regarding John Bussmann

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

Jennifer Haselberger

08/16/2016

Last Thursday, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis released a statement indicating that Father John Bussmann has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor dating back to when "he was still in ministry and serving at a parish." According to the same statement, Bussmann has been out of ministry (on a leave of absence) since 2003.

Those of you unfamiliar with John Bussmann and his history in this Archdiocese may want to review my statements on his resignation from ministry and the deal he entered into at that time. You can find this on pages 82, 82, and 84 of my affidavit in the Doe 1 case.

While the version I have linked to is redacted, several pages without redaction were released by the Ramsey County Attorneys Office following the conclusion of the criminal case against the Archdiocese. The supporting documents attached to the RCAO affidavit will be of interest to those of you who have not yet seen them, in particular the allegation involving Archbishop Nienstedt's conduct with minors while at World Youth Day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Beth Din Will Face $100M Suit by Barry Freundel Mikveh-Peep Victims

WASHINGTON (DC)
Forward

Ben Sales
August 16, 2016

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Beth Din of America has been added to the list of defendants in a $100 million class action suit against Rabbi Barry Freundel, the prominent Washington, D.C., spiritual leader who was convicted of secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s ritual bath, and several Jewish institutions.

On Tuesday, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in Superior Court in Washington, D.C., that included the rabbinical court, according to a news release on behalf of the Sanford Heisler and Chaikin Sherman Cammarata Siegel law firms.

The suit, which was filed originally in December 2014, also names as defendants Freundel’s former synagogue, Kesher Israel; the Rabbinical Council of America, the main professional association for modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States; and the National Capital Mikvah, the ritual bath Freundel used to spy on his victims.

Freundel is believed to have violated the privacy of at least 150 women he filmed while they undressed and showered at the mikvah, or ritual bath, including members of Kesher Israel, candidates for conversion to Judaism and students at Towson University in Maryland, where Freundel taught classes on religion and ethics. The rabbi also secretly filmed a domestic violence abuse victim in a safe house he had set up for her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Sanford Heisler and Chaikin Sherman Expand Class Action Against Rabbi Voyeur and Religious Institutions by Adding Beth Din of America as a New Defendant

WASHINGTON (DC)
PRNewswire

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Sanford Heisler, LLP and Chaikin Sherman Cammarata Siegel P.C. filed an amended complaint in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on behalf of victims of Rabbi Bernard "Barry" Freundel, the rabbi currently serving a prison sentence for recording naked women at a Jewish ritual bath called a mikvah. The Superior Court of the District of Columbia recently appointed Sanford Heisler, LLP as interim class counsel in this class action litigation, which is the only pending class action lawsuit in the country stemming from Rabbi Freundel's mikvah voyeurism.

The mikvah is used primarily as the last step in conversions to Judaism and by Orthodox married women who are religiously required to immerse after their monthly menstruation. The amended complaint details the intimacy of the mikvah ritual, in which women are required to disrobe completely and clean themselves thoroughly before immersing themselves. Rabbi Freundel has already admitted that he "defiled [this] space that was supposed to be private, sacred and healing" and has pleaded guilty to 52 counts of criminal voyeurism; prosecutors identified many more recordings showing female mikvah users partially or completely naked.

"The women who came to the mikvah were promised – both implicitly and explicitly – a private space free from male onlookers," said David Sanford, Chairman of Sanford Heisler, LLP and lead counsel for the proposed classes. "Defendants flagrantly broke their promises, egregiously breached their duties to the women who used the mikvah, and let Rabbi Freundel's crimes go unchecked for years. We will ask a D.C. jury to hold all defendants liable and impose punitive damages in order to send a strong message that even institutions draped in the cloak of spirituality won't escape punishment when they violate their legal obligations."

In addition to suing Rabbi Freundel, the lawsuit brings claims against the religious institutions that enlisted Rabbi Freundel's services and put him in positions of authority over the vulnerable women who used the mikvah. The amended complaint names four of these institutions as Defendants: the National Capital Mikvah, Inc., the Jewish ritual bath that served as the site of Rabbi Freundel's crimes; the Georgetown Synagogue – Kesher Israel Congregation, the prominent D.C. Modern Orthodox synagogue that employed Rabbi Freundel for twenty-five years and purported to provide Orthodox rabbinic supervision for the mikvah; the Rabbinical Council of America, the organization of Orthodox rabbis that empowered Rabbi Freundel to direct Orthodox practices nationwide regarding religious conversion; and as an additional Defendant, the Beth Din of America, the religious court that authorized Rabbi Freundel to oversee the Orthodox conversions that he used to target victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Victims of Rabbi Freundel, who videotaped women, ask for $100 million in lawsuit

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Julie Zauzmer August 16

The victims of a D.C. rabbi, who was convicted of illegally recording naked women as they prepared for a ritual bath, are demanding at least $100 million in a lawsuit against the rabbi and several Orthodox Jewish institutions that supervised him.

Rabbi Barry Freundel, formerly an influential leader at Georgetown’s Kesher Israel synagogue and in the Modern Orthodox movement nationwide, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison last year for surreptitiously videotaping dozens of women.

On Tuesday, nine of those women who are seeking to bring a class action lawsuit against him named the amount they are seeking in court — at least $100 million, or $1 million for each victim, their lawyer David Sanford said.

Freundel pleaded guilty to taping 52 women, but prosecutors said he recorded more than 100 additional victims earlier than the three-year statute of limitations. “We don’t believe it’s unreasonable to seek a million dollars per person before a jury,” Sanford said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Jail for Christian Brothers school pair who abused boys

SCOTLAND
The Freethinker

John Farrell, 73, above left, and Paul Kelly, 64, have been jailed for a total of 15 years for physically and sexually abusing six pupils at St Ninian’s in Falkland, Fife, more than 30 years ago.

According to this report, one person present at the sentencing of the pair at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday shouted “hope you enjoy every day of it” as Catholic priest Farrell, former head of the school, and Kelly were led away to serve their jail terms.

The pair preyed on youngsters between the ages of 11 and 15 at St Ninian’s, which was run by the Christian Brothers organisation before its closure in 1983.

Judge Lord Matthews condemned them for committing:

A gross abuse of trust

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Tears as sex abuse statute of limitations Bill introduced in Parliament

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Amy Remeikis

The Queensland Parliament took a step forward in giving institutional child sex abuse survivors greater, and fairer grounds for seeking civil justice, but for the LNP and cross bench, it did not go far enough.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk personally introduced the bill that will remove the statute of limitations for those who suffered abuse while in institutions. Other measures, which include expanding that offer to those who suffered abuse outside institutions - such as families - will be decided after consultation.

But the Opposition, which had indicated it would pass similar laws if it won government at the next election, doesn't believe Labor's laws go far enough.

In a rare show of genuine emotion, Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls fought back tears as he detailed why.

"The existing legislation—that is, the legislation to be amended by the bill introduced by the Premier—needs amending because it ignores the fact that in many cases psychological damage is neither diagnosed, apparent nor even brought to the attention of the appropriate medical professionals within these time frames," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

The Panel is Walking Away, and So Am I

UNITED STATES
Our Stories Untold

by L. SHIFFLETT on Aug 16, 2016

Hello, my friends,

It is time for me to speak after a prolonged silence. I’ve been trying to find my voice again through this complicated process.

My advocate Barbra Graber, my sister Marissa Buck, and my dear friends at Our Stories Untold and SNAP Mennonite have walked along at my own pace as I have gone through phases of feeling silenced and misunderstood as well as uplifted and supported. I remain humbled and inspired by all of you out there who have continued to bring awareness to the issue of sexual abuse and trauma. I am unexplainably grateful for your strength.

I want to address the fact that Eastern Mennonite University has chosen D. Stafford and Associates as their independent investigator. The reason I feel the need to address this is because both EMU and Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) have contacted me about submitting to a 3 hour or more interview with DSA.

I fear I will be labeled as uncooperative if I refuse, but I want to be honest with those of you who have tirelessly supported me and acknowledge that I do not intend to speak with them. You deserve to know why.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Archbishop accused of releasing ‘tsunami of invective’ on church

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has been accused of unleashing a “tsunami of invective and gleeful nods-and-winks” which have embarrassed the church through his recent comments about “goings on” at the national seminary in Maynooth.

Columban priest Fr Seán McDonagh, of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) leadership team, said “one wonders did Dr Martin realise that August is the silly season for the media, and that his announcement would lead to a deluge of coverage in the Irish media about the suitability of Maynooth as a training centre for seminarians.

“The tsunami of invective and gleeful nods-and-winks that have resulted from his announcement was an embarrassment for the Irish Catholic Church. ”

Fr McDonagh recalled how ACP colleague Fr Brendan Hoban had warned that the Archbishop’s decision to send three Dublin seminarians to the Irish College in Rome rather than Maynooth “will have far-reaching consequences, not just for Maynooth but for the Irish Catholic Church. He [Fr Hoban] also stated that Archbishop Martin’s arguments about moving students to Rome ‘are not convincing’.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

PORTLAND DIOCESE SETTLES OVER HIERARCHICAL SEX ABUSE COVER-UP

MAINE
Church Militant

by Joseph Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • August 16, 2016

Fr. James Vallely was allegedly protected by Portland's bishop for years

PORTLAND (ChurchMilitant.com) - A settlement has finally been reached in the case of a decades-old hierarchical cover-up of abusive clergy.

In a deal reached August 15 between the diocese of Portland, Maine and a group of plaintiffs, the diocese agreed to pay out $1.2 million to six men who allege they were sexually abused by Fr. James Vallely throughout the 1950s and 1970s. According to documents obtained by the prosecution, the diocese and then-Bp. Daniel Feeney had been made aware of the abuse, but took no action regarding Fr. Vallely.

"There is no excuse for this immorality," asserts Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents the plaintiffs and gained nationwide recognition for handling the homosexual priest abuse scandal in Boston in 2002. "Once again, you have purportedly the most moral institution in the world acting most immorally."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Former Grizzlies announcer Rick Trotter reportedly recorded women at another church in 2010

TENNESSEE
The Commercial Appeal

By Jody Callahan of The Commercial Appeal
Aug. 11, 2016

Former Grizzlies announcer Rick Trotter used a hidden camera to record numerous women and minors in a restroom at Fellowship Memphis in 2010, several alleged victims told The Commercial Appeal.

And those alleged victims said that after the camera was discovered, church co-founder John Bryson, and possibly others, discouraged the victims from going to the police.

Four of Trotter's alleged victims told their accounts to The Commercial Appeal this week. The women would only talk under condition of anonymity, saying they feared possible reprisals or being ostracized from local religious organizations affiliated with Fellowship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Churches tried to help Trotter; what about victims?

TENNESSEE
The Commercial Appeal

By David Waters of The Commercial Appeal
Aug. 13, 2016

Leaders of both churches seemed to go the extra mile not once but twice to help Rick Trotter deal with his demons.

After Fellowship Memphis leaders fired him for "inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature" in 2010, they supported his wife and children while they paid for him to get three months of counseling.

They took him at his word there had been only a "single incident" of that conduct during his five years as the congregation's worship leader.

They allowed him to read "a letter of apology confessing sexual addiction along with other improprieties of a sexual nature to the members of the church body."

Confession is good for the soul.

After Trotter applied for a job at Downtown Church in 2011, pastors and elders of both churches met and discussed his past transgressions.

They got his permission to speak openly about how he used his smartphone to secretly record women in Fellowship's restroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen Ex-Bischof von Hildesheim

DEUTSCHLAND
Zeit

[The Hildeshein diocese has approved independent investigation of abuse allegations against the late ex-Bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen and against Father Peter R. A specialized institute from Munich will conduct the investigation.]

16. August 2016

Hildesheim (dpa) - Das Bistum Hildesheim lässt Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen den 1988 gestorbenen Ex-Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen und gegen Pater Peter R. von einem spezialisierten Münchner Institut untersuchen.

Beauftragt wurde dafür das Institut für Praxisforschung und Projektberatung (IPP), das bereits den Missbrauch von Schülern im Benediktinerkloster Ettal sowie an der Odenwaldschule untersuchte, wie das Bistum am Dienstag mitteilte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Schweiz: Fribourger Bischof suspendiert Priester

SCHWEIZ
Radio Vatikan

[Bishop Charles Morerod suspended a priest in the Fribourg canton of Switzerland at the end of July for allegatations of immoral contacts.]

Der Westschweizer Bischof Charles Morerod hat einen im Kanton Fribourg wohnhaften Priester per Ende Juli von seinem Dienst suspendiert. Dem Priester werden „unsittliche Berührungen“ vorgeworfen, wie die Informationsbeauftragte des Bistums Lausanne-Genf-Freiburg, Laure-Christine Grandjean, gegenüber kath.ch sagt.

Der Priester war im Ruhestand, übte aber noch gelegentlich priesterlichen Dienst aus, wie es in der Mitteilung des Bistums heißt. Die Diözese habe eine Untersuchung auf Ebene des Kirchenrechts in die Wege geleitet. Diese wird durch die vatikanische Glaubenskongregation durchgeführt, die sich bei ihrem Entscheid auf Informationen seitens des Bistums stützt. So lange die Untersuchung läuft, wird der Priester suspendiert bleiben, vermeldete das Bistum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Bistum Hildesheim lässt Missbrauchsvorwurf gegen zwei Geistliche prüfen

DEUTSCHLAND
SAT.1

Das Bistum Hildesheim lässt Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen Ex-Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen und Pater Peter R. von einem spezialisierten Institut untersuchen. Beauftragt wurde das Institut für Praxisforschung und Projektberatung (IPP) aus München, das bereits den Missbrauch von Schülern im Benediktinerkloster Ettal sowie an der Odenwaldschule untersuchte, teilte das Bistum am Dienstag mit. Janssen soll in seiner Amtszeit als Bischof von 1957 bis 1982 einen Jungen sexuell missbraucht haben, 1988 starb der Geistliche. Der Vorwurf gegen ihn wurde erst im vergangenen Jahr mehr als 50 Jahre nach dem vorgebrachten Missbrauch erhoben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Bistum Hildesheim beauftragt Gutachter mit Missbrauchsklärung

DEUTSCHLAND
Domradio

Das Bistum Hildesheim lässt die Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen den verstorbenen Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen und den pensionierten Priester Peter R. durch unabhängige Gutachter klären. Man erhofft sich so eine größere Transparenz.

Mit der Aufklärung wurde das Institut für Praxisforschung und Projektberatung (IPP) in München beauftragt, wie die Diözese mitteilte. Deren Mitarbeiter sollen prüfen, ob es neben den bereits bekannten Verdachtsfällen weitere Hinweise auf sexuelle Übergriffe durch die beiden Geistlichen gibt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

IPP München übernimmt Gutachter-Aufträge

DEUTSCHLAND
Bistum Hildeshein

[The Diocese of Hildesheim has commissioned the institute for practical research and consultancy project (IPP) from Munich with the external treatment of two cases of suspicion of sexual abuse which have been reported to the diocese.]

16.08.2016

Das Bistum Hildesheim hat das Institut für Praxisforschung und Projektberatung (IPP) aus München mit der externen Aufarbeitung von zwei Fällen des Verdachts des sexuellen Missbrauchs beauftragt, die der Diözese gemeldet worden sind.

Dabei handelt es sich um den Vorwurf des sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen den verstorbenen Hildesheimer Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen, außerdem um verschiedene Vorwürfe sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen den pensionierten Priester Peter R.

Die Mitarbeiter des IPP sollen klären, ob es neben den bekannten Missbrauchsvorwürfen weitere Hinweise auf sexuelle Übergriffe durch die beiden Geistlichen gibt. Darüber hinaus sollen sie bewerten, wie die Entscheidungsträger des Bistums mit den Fällen umgegangen sind und ob es ein institutionelles Versagen gegeben hat, das die mutmaßlichen Missbrauchstaten erleichtert und deren Verfolgung erschwert hat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

Christian brother denies child-sex charges

AUSTRALIA
7 News

By Margaret Scheikowski - AAP on August 16, 2016

A Christian brother accused of sexually abusing a student decades ago was invited to his 21st and played the organ at his wedding, a judge has been told.

Christopher Rafferty, 65, has pleaded not guilty in the District Court in Sydney to six sex offences from when the boy was aged 14 until he was 16.

They allegedly occurred in the mid-1980s at St Patrick's College at the NSW town of Goulburn.

In the crown opening at the judge-alone trial on Tuesday, prosecutor Lou Lungo said the complainant alleged Rafferty rubbed himself up against him during one-to-one piano accordion lessons.

He is also accused of sex acts involving the boy, that ended when he was "a bit older and knew what the accused was doing was wrong" and he kept away from Rafferty, Mr Lungo said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

There can be no turning a blind eye to religious coercion when a child's future is at stake

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Editorial

Ultra-Orthodox Jews in north London are raising £1m to fight legal cases to try to stop children leaving the community when their parents divorce, as we reported today. The fundraising drive in the Charedi community aims to try to “rescue” children in custody cases when one parent wants to leave the community and its strict culture of refusing to engage with wider society.

At the level of abstract principle, there is nothing wrong with this. In a free society – even one ironically regarded by the Charedi as “evil” – people are free to raise money to help fight court cases in defence of causes they support. Supporters of the 130,000 Labour Party members of less than six months’ standing were entitled, for example, to crowdfund the costs of their unsuccessful case to overturn the decision of the party’s National Executive to exclude them from voting in the leadership election.

There is no doubt, too, that the Charedi community feels that its culture is threatened by the prevailing norms of British society. It may be a paradox, but its members feel that they are entitled to use whatever methods they can under the law of the land to defend what they call their “pure and holy” children from corruption by the irreligious outside world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Why we should worry about the link between politicians and abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Belfast Telegraph

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, or IICSA, is in crisis. Its third chair, New Zealand judge Dame Lowell Goddard, has just resigned and a replacement, Professor Alexis Jay, appointed. Dame Lowell and her predecessors were appointed by Theresa May in her previous role as Home Secretary to chair the inquiry examining the institutional abuse of children in England and Wales.

The two previous appointees had to step down because of their closeness to the very Establishment that they were supposed to be examining. More than a year on from its formation the inquiry has barely got into its stride.

One of the central roles of IICSA is to look at allegations against senior politicians who have been accused of abusing children. It is hoped the inquiry will consider whether Establishment abusers had been protected, and to determine what changes to the child protection system should be made in light of allegations against prominent people.

Two now-deceased politicians - Lord Greville Janner and Sir Cyril Smith - faced extremely serious allegations of serial sexual child abuse which are central to the inquiry and which were to be examined in detail. Both were accused during their lifetime, but the allegations were rejected as unfounded. But there is now uncertainty over the Janner strand of the inquiry. His family have stated that they intend to take legal action to prevent the allegations made against him from being considered by the inquiry. Meanwhile, the police are continuing to investigate people alleged to have abused children alongside Janner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Over $100K raised after bullied 13-year-old kills self

NEW YORK
CBS 19

NEW YORK - An online fundraiser launched with a $10,000 goal to pay funeral expenses for a 13-year-old New York City boy who took his own life has raised over $107,000 from more than 2,800 donors in three days.

Danny Fitzpatrick's sister found him dead late Thursday in their attic.

The teen left behind a hand-written note describing the alleged abuse by five boys at Holy Angels Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

"They did it constantly," Danny said in a note, adding that he told his teachers, but they did nothing.

"I gave up the teachers ... they didn't do ANYTHING," Danny wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Pope Francis strives to back up apologies with action

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San MartínAugust 15, 2016
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME- It might be a cliché, but actions generally speak louder than words, and rarely is that more evident than when a pope apologizes.

On his way back from Armenia in late June, Pope Francis suggested that Christians probably should ask forgiveness from gays who have been offended by the Church, from the poor, from women who have been mistreated, from children exploited for labor, and for having blessed so many weapons - basically, from anyone whom the Church could have defended and failed to do so.

Last Friday, when Francis visited a Rome center for women rescued from prostitution rackets, he delivered an apology for one of these issues through both deeds and words, asking forgiveness from the women there, in the name of Christianity, for the suffering they’ve endured. ...

Although a supporter of John Paul’s proclivity to ask for forgiveness, Benedict XVI was more guarded when apologizing - but like Francis, he also backed most of the ones he delivered with actions.

To give one example, in 2010 Benedict delivered what was deemed an unprecedented apology in the form of an 8-page letter to the victims of clerical sexual abuse in Ireland. In it, he expressed his “shame and remorse” for “sinful and criminal acts.”

He admitted that years of crimes committed by clergy and lay Catholics in schools and orphanages had shattered faith in the Church, and was highly critical of the way that the Irish Church had handled the cases of abuse.

Addressing the victims and their families directly, Benedict said: “I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity violated.”

During Benedict’s papacy, the Vatican laicized over 800 priests for sexual abuses and more than 2,500 received other punishments, such as a life of penance and prayer or a ban on public ministries.

Pope Francis has apologized for the crime of sexual abuse by clergy as well, and backed his statements with actions- though, as is usually the case when the scope of the apology is so big, many have deemed those actions insufficient.

For instance, last September, when meeting a group of survivors of sexual abuse in Philadelphia, Francis expressed “deep regret” over the betrayal the victims suffered, the times when the Church ignored survivors or their families speaking out and some bishops’ failure in their responsibility to protect children.

“I pledge to you that we will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead. Clergy and bishops will be held accountable when they abuse or fail to protect children,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Controversial principal leaves Orange County yeshiva

NEW YORK
News 12

KIRYAS JOEL - The principal of an Orange County yeshiva, accused of inappropriately touching a student, has left the school.

Sources tell News 12 that the principal at the United Talmudical Academy in Kiryas Joel is no longer at the school.

Video of the educator, apparently caressing and possibly kissing a young Hassidic boy while between his legs, caused controversy when it was exposed in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

Queensland may allow child sex abuse victims to revive previously settled claims

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Joshua Robertson
@jrojourno
Monday 15 August 2016

Queensland could be the first Australian jurisdiction to enable victims of child sex abuse to revive previously settled claims against churches and schools under a state opposition proposal to broaden their legal rights.

With the Palaszczuk government tabling its bill scrapping age limits on abuse claims on Tuesday, the Liberal National party announced it would move amendments to allow victims to have a court strike down settlements made lower because they fell outside the statute of limitations.

Lawyers and advocates for victims have argued the ability to revive such claims is the key to fair redress and in line with recommendations by the ongoing royal commission.

The Queensland government, like the New South Wales and Victorian governments when they previously scrapped age limits on civil claims, declined to include scope for setting aside past settlements in its bill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

State introduces bill to remove time limit for legal action against child abuse in institutions

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

Clare Armstrong, The Courier-Mail
August 15, 2016

THE STATE Government has introduced a bill to remove the time limit for undertaking legal action in cases of child abuse in institutions.

Under the current legislation, victims of child abuse are only able to lodge a claim to commence legal proceedings within three years of turning 18.

Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk said the Government’s bill would allow survivors of abuse to receive justice.

“Over and over again I have been told that this period of time is woefully inadequate to allow victims of childhood abuse to even come to terms with their abuse on a personal level, let alone find the strength to address their pain and to commence the daunting and arduous task of litigations in the courts,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Child abuse claims: Rival bills in Queensland Parliament to remove child abuse claim time limit

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Sharnie Kim

Child protection advocacy group Bravehearts is backing a private member's bill in Queensland Parliament to remove time limits for lodging damages claims for child sexual abuse.

Two competing bills aimed at improving victims' access to justice will be introduced into the State Parliament today — one by the State Government and the other by independent MP Rob Pyne.

Under Queensland law, a child who has been sexually abused has three years from when they turn 18 to bring a civil action to court.

Both bills remove the time limit for bringing claims.

However it is expected the State Government's bill will only help victims of abuse in institutions such as schools, while Mr Pyne's bill will go further, removing the three-year limit for survivors of abuse outside of institutions, such as those abused by family members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Prep school denies it wants sex assault victim’s name made public

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

By Nestor Ramos GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 16, 2016

Victims advocates and legal observers expressed consternation on Monday about a New Hampshire prep school’s request to reveal the identity of a teenage sexual assault victim if her family’s lawsuit against the school reaches trial.

In raising the issue of the girl’s continued anonymity, St. Paul’s School is leaning on legal strategies that are common in high-profile civil cases involving sexual assault, lawyers said. But because St. Paul’s is an educational institution responsible for keeping children safe, the tactic left some scratching — or shaking — their heads.

“I find it really troubling,” said Christina Gagnier, a lawyer who is on the board of directors of Without My Consent, a nonprofit organization that combats online privacy invasions. “You set a very dangerous precedent, particularly when it’s an educational institution.”

In the federal court system, where the lawsuit against St. Paul’s was filed, plaintiffs legally must file with their real names. Anonymity is granted to plaintiffs only in exceptional cases. In deciding whether to permit a civil lawsuit to be brought anonymously, judges must balance the interests of the plaintiff and the defendant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Notorious paedophile priest Vince Ryan tried to say sorry, but ended up talking about himself

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

JOANNE MCCARTHY
16 Aug 2016

NOTORIOUS Hunter Catholic priest Vince Ryan took to the witness box in Sydney on Monday with a plan to break the silence of decades and apologise to more than 30 victims he sexually abused from the age of five.

Instead he spoke about himself and his fearful life.

“I’ve always been afraid of everything,” said Ryan, 78, during a sentencing hearing at Darlinghurst court after entering guilty pleas to three charges of sexually abusing a boy aged between 13 and 15 at East Gresford in the mid 1980s.

Ryan’s victim was described to the court as the boy Ryan had “forgotten”, after the priest volunteered the names of victims to police following his arrest in the 1990s.

Ryan told the court: “I couldn’t walk down the street. I’ve been terrified of my own shadow my whole life.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

After Goddard: what the Child Abuse Inquiry must do next

UNITED KINGDOM
Family Law

Natasha Phillips
15 AUG 2016

While current and past child abuse inquiries around the world seem to take the challenges of such large investigations in their stride, the UK's Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse ('the Inquiry') continues to stumble on the starting block. The reasons for this have been in plain sight for some time - but will the Inquiry listen to reason before it's too late?

Having appointed its fourth Chair (former panel member Professor Alexis Jay), the Inquiry has taken on a very different hue. Professor Jay is the first Chair not to have had any legal or judicial background, but will be nestled in among a lawyer-heavy team who have shaped the Inquiry to look and feel like a court of law. This could pose some challenges, as Professor Jay may have a view to reshape the Inquiry in the coming weeks - and so she should.

There is no question that the Inquiry should either start afresh or shut down completely, as sources quoted by the media have suggested. A UK Inquiry into non-recent child sexual abuse was always going to be a considerable undertaking: after decades of ignoring one of the most ingrained and on-going abuses of human rights in the UK, how could it be anything but extensive?

The good news is that the Inquiry doesn't need to go back to the beginning to get back on track, but it does need to become much more familiar with the mindset of survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Former St Stanislaus' College priest faces new charges after release from jail

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

16 Aug 2016

A FORMER St Stanislaus’ College priest will face Sydney’s Central Local Court on Wednesday on 14 charges of indecent assault and sexual assault dating back to the 1970s.

Detectives attacked to Strike Force Belle arrested 63-year-old Glenn Michael Humphreys in Western Australia on Tuesday, after he finished serving a two-year sentence there.

He has been extradited to NSW to face the further charges.

Chifley local area command acting crime manager Inspector Chris Reay said the charges against Humphreys related to offences allegedly committed against students at St Stanislaus’ College between 1975 and 1982.

Humphreys had previously been charged by police in relation to the allegations, but was already incarcerated in Western Australia at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 AM

Editorial: Path to moving forward from tragedy becomes clearer

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

16 Aug 2016

As the Royal Commission into sexual abuse draws to a close, there are some first glimpses of some key objectives that will be instrumental in establishing its worth, framing the path toward healing communities and even shaping the future of the nation.

Importantly Justice Peter McClellan’s address to the children’s welfare conference has highlighted the broader cultural issues which have underlined and exacerbated many of the horror stories which have emerged at the Commission.

“Although the primary responsibility for the sexual abuse of an individual lies with the abuser and the institution... we cannot avoid the conclusion that the problems faced by many people who have been abused are the responsibility of our entire society,” he said. “Society’s values and mechanisms which were available to regulate and control aberrant behaviour failed.”

McClellan has hinted we are all as a society to blame for this shameful period of neglect and indifference because of the cultural influences that shaped the high-risk environment. The victims were paid too little heed. The voices of children went unheard, while the authority of institutions went unquestioned. The ghastly silence which encouraged perpetrators was exacerbated by unfounded respect in the institutions that hid them and a cursory dismissal of the young people who were calling for help. By accepting some degree of the culpability for the broader forces which shaped this failure, there is the chance for greater vigilance and compassion in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Sex abuse as child identified as main factor in patient’s condition

IRELAND
Irish Times

Paul Cullen

The patient in the St Patrick’s Mental Health Services case was seven or eight when he was sexually abused by an elderly cleric in his home town.

The abuse took place up to five times over the course of a summer. “I can recall trying to get out of the room. He had an old-fashioned walking stick which he used to stop me leaving,” the victim said.

He told no one of his experience at the time. The cleric died a few years later, in the mid-1960s.

The man got married in his 20s but experienced severe facial pain during sex. From 1980, he attended a doctor who diagnosed anxiety and an obsessive personality and prescribed benzodiazepines. Now in his 60s, he has been on tranquillisers ever since.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Priest James Vallely Sex Abuse: Diocese Paid 6 Victims $1.2M To Settle Case

MAINE
Morning News USA

BY SHAURYA ARYA MORNINGNEWSUSA PUBLISHED: AUG 16, 2016

A settlement of $1.2 million was reached between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and six men who say that leaders of the church, despite having knowledge, hid allegations of sex abuse against a former priest.

According to the lawsuit, the diocese was aware that Father James Vallely was involved in sexual abuse against children in the church as early as 1956, but nothing was done to stop it.

Priest James Vallely Sex Abuse: Diocese was aware, hid allegations

Vallely, now deceased, was a priest in the Bangor area in the 1950s. As reported by the Portland Press Herald, the plaintiffs claim that they are victims of Vallely, who they say abused them from a period of 1958 to 1977.

“We have another instance of a diocese hiding the truth for the sake of its appearance and monetary concerns,” Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney of the plaintiffs, said.

One of these victims was Lawrence Gray, who said the priest molested him as early as when Gray was eight years old. At the time, Gray was an altar boy at St. Dominic’s Parish, Portland. Afraid of disclosing the abuse, he said the molesting continued until he was 13 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

August 15, 2016

Child sex abuse changes in Qld parliament

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Jamie McKinnell - AAP on August 16, 2016

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will personally introduce into parliament a bill to lift time restrictions on when survivors of institutional child sex abuse can sue the perpetrators.

Currently, survivors can only pursue civil action within three years of their 18th birthday, but lifting that statute of limitations was a key recommendation from the child sex abuse royal commission.

Ms Palaszczuk announced the plan at the beginning of August, saying the restraints had "effectively barred these victims from seeking justice".

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath also signalled the government would release an issues paper on whether the restrictions should be lifted for abuse outside institutions and other forms of abuse, such as physical and psychological.

The change will have bipartisan support from the Liberal National Party (LNP) opposition, however leader Tim Nicholls was eager to highlight that his party announced it as a policy two weeks before Labor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Lawsuit accuses Stockton priest, once in Manteca, of harassment

CALIFORNIA
Modesto Bee

Bee Staff Reports

A lawsuit has been filed alleging sexual harassment and retaliation by a Diocese of Stockton priest who served at least several years at St. Anthony’s in Manteca.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in San Joaquin County Superior Court by Irvine-based law firm Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. It alleges that on July 26, Monsignor McGovern sent sexually explicit photographs to the victim, a pool maintenance contractor, then terminated his employment after the victim reported the incident.

“This is a classic case of sexual harassment and retaliation,” said the alleged victim’s attorney John Manly in a news release. “Monsignor McGovern texted a graphic photograph of his naked genitalia to my client, then terminated his employment after my client reported the lewd photo to the police.”

Friday, the diocese’s director of communications, Sister Terry Davis, issued a brief statement: “Today the Diocese of Stockton learned for the first time of employment related allegations against Monsignor Lawrence McGovern, the Pastor of Presentation Parish in Stockton. In accordance with the Canon Law of the Church, Bishop Stephen Blaire has placed Monsignor McGovern on administrative leave pending a full and complete investigation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Maine diocese settles sex abuse lawsuit for $1.2m

MAINE
Boston Globe

By Trisha Thadani GLOBE CORRESPONDENT AUGUST 15, 2016

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine has settled a sexual abuse lawsuit for $1.2 million, according to a lawyer for six men who accused the church of covering up abuse allegations against a former priest.

Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian said the men were childhood victims of the Rev. James Vallely between the late 1950s and late 1970s. The lawsuit claimed that church leaders were aware of multiple abuse allegations against Vallely for decades but “fraudulently concealed it.”

Instead of removing Vallely from ministry, church leaders transferred him to another parish “where children were placed at risk of further sexual abuse by a serial pedophile priest,” Garabedian’s office said in a press release.

Garabedian is holding a news conference Monday to announce details of the settlement, which was reached about two weeks ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

Stockton Priest Accused of Sexting Male Pool Worker—So What's That Gotta Do with OC?

CALIFORNIA
OC Weekly

BY GUSTAVO ARELLANO

Last week brought news that Monsignor Larry McGovern of the Diocese of Stockton is getting sued by a pool maintenance contractor who alleges that the priest sexted a photo of his junk to the poor guy, then fired him after reporting the padre to the cops. But McGovern—who's currently on administrative leave—ain't just any normal cleric: he was one of the key witnesses in lawsuits filed last decade against the pedo-priest-loving Diocese of Stockton.

Who'd find such a crazy case? The Irvine-based firm of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, of course, the crusading lawyers who've sued pervert-loving Catholics across the world. Though John Manly and Vince Finaldi remain in OC, their connections to the Stockton pedo-priest scandal runs deep: it was Manly who deposed former Archdiocese of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony over a particularly egregious kid rapist named Oliver O'Grady, a case that served as the key story in the important documentary Deliver Us from Evil. And it was Manly and Finaldi's dogged pursuit of the truth that unearthed the crazy allegation against McGovern.

"Monsignor McGovern was a witness and denied knowing of any sexual improprieties by [pedo-priests, including O'Grady], despite living with them in the rectory for years and contrary to victim statements," Finaldi is quoted as saying in a press release announcing the lawsuit. "It is sad but not suprising that he now stands accused of sexual misconduct."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Maine Catholic diocese pays $1.2 million to 6 victims of abusive priest

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 15, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine — A $1.2 million settlement has been reached between six childhood sex abuse victims of the Rev. James Vallely and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, the diocese announced Monday.

The lawsuits, filed separately in November in Cumberland County Superior Court, sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

“The Diocese of Portland has settled six claims alleging abuse by the Rev. James Vallely in the 1950s and the 1970s,” Dave Guthro, spokesman for the diocese, said Monday in an email.

Vallely died in 1997.

“The diocese hopes that this settlement brings a measure of peace to the people involved. The diocese respects the privacy and confidentiality of the victims/survivors involved in cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics,” Guthro said. The Bangor Daily News is not naming them because they may be victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Diocese in Portland, Maine, Settles Sex Abuse Suit for $1.2M

MAINE
ABC News

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PORTLAND, Maine — Aug 15, 2016

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, has settled a lawsuit by six men who said church leaders concealed sex abuse allegations against a former priest.

More details of the $1.2 million settlement are expected to be released at a Monday morning news conference from Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented dozens of sex abuse victims.

The lawsuits were filed in November by men from Maine, New Hampshire and New York. They accused the diocese of covering up abuse by Rev. James Vallely. The men alleged Vallely sexually abused them as children from 1958 to 1977.

Garabedian has said the Portland diocese had knowledge of multiple accusations but didn't remove Vallely from ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Ultra-Orthodox Jews launch million-pound fundraising bid to stop children living with 'irreligious parents'

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Siobhan Fenton, Dina Rickman @siobhanfenton

Ultra-Orthodox Jews are raising £1m to prevent “pure and holy” children from leaving the strict faith community and living with “irreligious parents” in an “evil culture”, The Independent has learned.

The fundraising drive has been established to fund the legal fees of divorcing parents involved in child custody battles with ex-partners who want to join mainstream society.

The Independent has seen flyers for a fundraising event in the Stamford Hill area of London that call for the community to back the bid, saying: “Rescue The Children Convention: We now need one million pounds and therefore the community is requested to join in with a minimum sum of £500.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Portland Diocese reaches settlement with alleged sex abuse victims

MAINE
WMTW

Lawyer: Letter opens door to more lawsuits against diocese

New allegations center around the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

BOSTON —The Portland Diocese has reached a settlement with six plaintiffs in a lawsuit related to sexual abuse and what the diocese knew and when, according to a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit centers around a letter written by a priest in 2005 which indicates then-Bishop Daniel Feeney knew of allegations of sexual abuse against Father James Vallely earlier than previously stated.

Six men, from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, claimed Vallely sexually abused them from 1958 to 1977 when they were between the ages of 8 and 15.

Vallely died in 1997. He worked in parishes in Bangor, Portland and South Berwick. The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Michael Garabedian, said instead of removing Vallely from St. John’s Parish in Bangor, the diocese transferred him to another parish.

The diocese confirmed the settlement to WMTW News 8. "The diocese hopes that this settlement brings a measure of peace to the people involved," communications director Dave Guthro said in a statement. "The diocese respects the privacy and confidentiality of the victims/survivors involved in cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics. We maintain that privacy and confidentiality even if an individual or their legal representation chooses to discuss their situation publicly," Guthro wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Portland Catholic diocese settles with six sexual abuse victims for $1.2 million

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

BY ERIC RUSSELL STAFF WRITER
erussell@pressherald.com | @PPHEricRussell | 207-791-6344

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has settled a lawsuit for $1.2 million with six sexual abuse victims of a former priest.

Additional details are expected to be released at a press conference late Monday morning at the office of Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented dozens of victims of pedophile priests.

The six plaintiffs are all victims of Father James Vallely, a longtime priest in the Bangor area dating back to the 1950s. He is now deceased.

According to a press release from Garabedian’s office, the Portland diocese, which oversees all Catholic parishes in Maine, had knowledge of multiple accusations of abuse against Vallely but did not remove him from the ministry. Instead, Vallely was transferred to other parishes, including St. Dominic’s in Portland and St. Michael’s in South Berwick.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Diocese of Portland, Maine settles child sex abuse case for 1.2 million dollars

MAINE
WLBZ

NEWS CENTER and Elle Ousfar , WLBZ August 15, 2016

BOSTON, Massachusetts (NEWS CENTER) - - The Law Office of Mitchell Gara