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September 30, 2016

Opinion: What survivors of clergy sex abuse should know

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Joelle Casteix October 1, 2016

Survivors of sexual abuse on Guam are in a very powerful position. That can be a very scary place to be.

The new law protecting sex abuse victims is a watershed moment. Finally, survivors will be able to use the civil courts to seek accountability, justice and healing. Predators hiding in plain sight will be exposed. The public will finally learn the true scope and scale of the cover-up.

But before any of that can happen, victims need to come forward.

As a survivor who used a similar California law for justice, I know firsthand how terrifying the decision can be. As an advocate who has helped hundreds of other survivors, I understand the complex dynamics that many survivors face.

If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse on Guam, here are some important factors to remember:

* You are not hurting the church, your family, or your community by coming forward. By coming forward, you are protecting the child who was hurt so many years ago. You are also protecting children right now. You are making your church a safer place. If anyone tries to tell you that coming forward is wrong or shameful, walk away.

* You don’t have to go public. Brave survivors like Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, and Roland Sondia blazed a trail for you. But when it comes to the legal system, crime victims have privacy rights. If you choose to file a lawsuit, you may do so as a John or Jane Doe so that the public, your employer, or your school never needs to know.

* Find your support team. You do not have to go through the decision-making or legal process alone. Talk to a therapist, supportive family and friends, and support groups like Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. Take care of your health. If you struggle with addiction, get help.

* Be patient. The legal system takes time. Some civil window sex abuse cases have been completed in less than two years. Others take more time. Organizations fight long and hard to keep their secrets hidden. Understand that you need to be patient and that things won’t happen overnight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Imam banished to India by mosque after raping a boy

UNITED KINGDOM
The Freethinker

When elders at a mosque in Rugby learned that imam Noor Walile, above, had raped a boy, they banished him to India to avoid prosecution.

But Walile, 38, who claimed that “the devil made him do it”, later returned to the UK and he was arrested at a house in Leicester, according to this report.

He has now been jailed for six years after he pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court.
Judge Stephen Eyre QC told him:

The members of your community entrusted their young children to you for guidance and education. You were in a position of responsibility and leadership at the mosque. You abused that position and that trust, and defiled the faith you were paid to uphold.

He was a young boy entrusted to your care for guidance, and you raped him. It is hard to think of any greater abuse of the trust that had been placed in you.

If you had not pleaded guilty, the sentence would have been one of nine years.

The judge branded Wallie “an offender of particular concern” who would not be released before serving the whole of the six years if the Parole Board considers it safe to do so and will then be on licence for an additional 12 months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Sturla: 40 denuncias verosímiles por abuso sexual en los últimos 70 años

URUGUAY
El Pais

[Daniel Surla, cardinal and archbishop of Montevideo Daniel Sturla said Wednesday that Uruguayan Catholic Church was able to verify the existence of 40 complaints of sexual abuse.]

El cardenal y arzobispo de Montevideo Daniel Sturla dijo el pasado miércoles que la Iglesia Católica uruguaya pudo comprobar la existencia de 40 denuncias "que había que atender".

Entrevistado por el programa Código País de Teledoce, el cardenal dijo que se recibieron 25 denuncias de abusos sexuales a través del número de teléfono que la Iglesia habilitó en abril.

Además, el programa Santo y Seña proporcionó, luego del informe sobre que se transmitió a mediados de ese mes, otras 40 denuncias.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Prêtres pédophiles : 400 témoignages de victimes présumées recueillis par une association

FRANCE
Le Parisien

[Pedophile priests: 400 testimonies from alleged victims have been collected by La Parole Libérée.]

Les révélations sur les scandales dans l'Eglise prennent une ampleur insoupçonnée. L'association «La Parole Libérée», basée à Lyon (Rhône), a recueilli depuis le mois de novembre 2015, 400 témoignages de personnes disant avoir été victimes de prêtres pédophiles, rapporte ce vendredi France Info.

Parmi ces victimes, certaines parlent pour la première fois, plusieurs décennies après les faits,. On peut notamment citer le cas d'un homme âgé de 93 ans : «Il a été victime d'agression sexuelle dans son enfance. Sa femme est décédée et elle n'a jamais su», raconte auprès de France Info François Devaux, cofondateur de «La Parole Libérée».

L'association a été fondée par trois anciennes victimes du père Bernard Preynat, un prêtre soupçonné de pédophilie au cours des années 1980 et 1990. Ils ont également reproché au cardinal Barbarin de ne pas avoir dénoncé ce prêtre à la justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Message from the Apostolic Administrator regarding the case of Msgr. James Benavente

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

First of all, I would like to reiterate the position made public in my press conference on July 27, 2016, namely, to recant and to retract all the statements released previously from the Archdiocese that have put a cloud over the name of Msgr. Benavente and compromised his right to due process.

Secondly, in the beginning of July, I instituted a process in which Msgr. Benavente was allowed to present his response to the allegations of some irregularities in the administration of temporary goods of the Church. I also instructed our Delegate to the Apostolic Administrator, Fr. Jeff San Nicolas to coordinate the process by involving different parties concerned.

Having examined all the documents and reports made available to me, I hereby declare that Msgr. Benavente’s response is found both credible and satisfactory and that none of these alleged major irregularities should be held valid. It is clear that these alleged irregularities constituted the cause of the decision to remove him from the offices as Rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, Director of the Catholic Cemeteries, and to dissolve the Archdiocesan Development Group. I, thus, declare that the decision of his removal be considered invalid and any statement released from the Archdiocese against him or any of his staff in this matter ought to be considered invalid.

Obedient to his Ordinary at the time, Msgr. Benavente submitted himself to his decision and accepted an assignment as Parochial Vicar of St. Anthony’s Church.

In light of the above, and in consultation with the Presbyteral Council and Msgr. Benavente, I have come to the decision that he be given another appointment.

It is my earnest wish that we all may learn a lesson from this matter in view of promoting due vigilance over the administration, linear clarity in policy, and fraternal communication among the clergy.

+ Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB
Apostolic Administrator
Archdiocese of Agana

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Official Avisos – September 30, 2016

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

His Excellency, Most Reverend Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agaña, in consultation with the Presbyteral Council, announces the following appointments effective Sept. 30, 2016:

Rev. Msgr. Brigido U. Arroyo
Pastor Emeritus of St. Anthony and St. Victor Church in Tamuning, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016

Rev. Msgr. James L.G. Benavente
Pastor of St. Anthony and St. Victor Church in Tamuning, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016

Rev. Fr. Adrian L.F. Cristobal
Pastor of San Dionisio Church in Umatac, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016

Rev. Fr. Julius B. Akinyemi
Pastor of San Dimas and Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Merizo, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016

Rev. Fr. Joel de los Reyes
Parochial Administrator of San Vicente Ferrer Church in Barrigada, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016

Rev. Fr. Carlos S. Vila
Parochial Administrator of Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje in Chalan Pago, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016

Rev. Fr. Edivaldo Da Silva-Oliveira
Catholic Chaplain of Department of Youth Affairs and Department of Corrections in Mangilao, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016

Rev. Fr. Paul Gofigan
Delegate of the Apostolic Administrator for Clergy
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016

Rev. Fr. Richard Kidd
Director of Vocation and Permanent Diaconate Program
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Monsignor James Benavente cleared of allegations

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 29, 2016

By Sabrina Salas Matanane

"I'm grateful for the vindication," Monsignor James Benavente said during a press conference in which it was announced that he was cleared of any allegations of financial mismanagement. In July 2014 Archbishop Anthony Apuron removed him as Rector of the Dulce Nombre De Maria Cathedral Basilica and Director of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese.

Monsignor Benavente said although grateful it's not a time to celebrate but instead to roll up our sleeves to continue the critical work of reconciling and rebuilding our archdiocese. Concerned Catholics of Guam Andrew Camacho was at the press conference he said this is a step in the right direction but adds the CCOG is asking the Archdiocese for the status of the Church's investigation of Fr. Luis Camacho.

Over a year ago the priest was arrested for Custodial Interference. He allegedly took a minor from school and was caught allegedly engaging in sexual contact with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Monsignor Benavente "grateful for the vindication"

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 30, 2016

By Krystal Paco

After two long years of not having an opportunity to defend himself and his reputation, that day finally came for Monsignor James Benavente. In July 2014, one week after the monsignor celebrated 20 years as rector of the Dulce Nombe de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, Archbishop Anthony Apuron suddenly removed him from the position and his position as director of Catholic Cemeteries.

Apuron accused the monsignor of mismanaging millions of dollars in church money.

His prayers were answered. Monsignor Benavente announced, "That's the greatest thing we can do is to pray for those who have done us harm, and that's what I had opted to do." For two years, he's stood accused of financial mismanagement in the church. When the allegations surfaced, Archbishop Apuron didn't allow for due process. Under the direction of apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, Benavente's name was cleared.

"I am grateful for the vindication I have received from the present administration of this archdiocese," Monsignor Benavente continued. "Having been able to respond directly to these alleged financial irregularities, we now know today that truth and justice have once again prevailed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Monsignor James Benavente cleared of financial mismanagement allegations

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Monsignor James Benavente has been cleared of allegations of financial mismanagement and has been named pastor of St. Anthony's Church, Archdiocese of Agana spokesman Father Jeff San Nicolas announced at a news conference today.

Benavente was the former rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, before he was removed by Archbishop Anthony Apuron in July 2014. He was reinstated by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai in July.

When Benavente was removed, Apuron cited financial problems in the church administration, a multimillion dollar church debt, problems with the Catholic cemetery finances and bookkeeping and missing contracts.

For several years, the archdiocese has been embattled over the removal of Benavente and Father Paul Gofigan, a land transfer worth tens of millions of dollars and conflicts between traditional Catholics and followers of the Neocatechumenal Way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

This fiasco of sex abuse inquiry is totally out of control...and as to end NOW, says public law barrister BARBARA HEWSON

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By BARBARA HEWSON FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Back in January last year, I attended a meeting at the House of Commons for the White Flowers campaign, which lobbies for justice for victims of historic ‘organised sexual abuse’.

It was an experience I can only describe as bizarre, at best.

Because apart from calls for ‘heads on spikes’, no one at the meeting seemed to know what it was they wanted to achieve.

This peculiar evening is what came to mind when I heard the two extraordinary announcements this week that lurched the troubled Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) yet further into turmoil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Everything you need to know about the independent inquiry into child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
AOL

On Thursday the senior lawyer of the Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Ben Emmerson QC, resigned, in a further development into the troubled independent inquiry.

To get you up to speed with this complicated subject, here's everything you need to know so far.
Theresa May first set up the inquiry in July 2014 when she was home secretary, with the aim to investigate whether "state and non-state institutions" have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse within England and Wales.

Baroness Butler-Sloss

The inquiry was troubled from the start: just two days after it was established, its chairwoman Baroness Butler-Sloss faced calls to quit due to a potential conflict of interest. She resigned a couple of days after.

The next chairwoman, Dame Fiona Woolf, a leading tax lawyer and then Lord Mayor of the City of London, was in the role for under two months. She quit after questions over her suitability.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Child sex abuse probe not working, survivors warn after senior lawyer quits

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

Press Association

The national probe into child sex abuse will not work in its current form, a key group representing victims and survivors has warned.

The Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was thrown into disarray on Thursday after the resignation of its senior lawyer, prompting calls for it to be broken up.

C hairwoman Professor Alexis Jay said she had accepted Ben Emmerson QC's decision to step down from the post of senior counsel after two years.

The development was labelled a "disaster" for the problematic inquiry that has been blighted by resignations and is on its fourth chairwoman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Michael Mansfield willing to replace Emmerson in abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Matthew Weaver
Friday 30 September 2016

Michael Mansfield QC says he is willing to replace Ben Emmerson as the top lawyer on the inquiry into institutional child abuse, but only if the inquiry is broken up.

Mansfield, a prominent barrister whom many of the survivors of child abuse have nominated to lead the process, said the inquiry had been “chaotic from beginning” and dogged by “catastrophic appointments”.

Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme after Emmerson resigned as lead counsel to the inquiry, Mansfield said the inquiry needed a lawyer at the top, but that it was too complex to be run by one person.

He also questioned the credentials of the fourth and current chair Prof Alexis Jay, a leading social worker who led the Rotherham abuse inquiry, but insisted he could work with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

Abuse victims 'saddened' as Ben Emmerson QC quits inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Victims say they are "saddened, but not surprised" by the resignation of the most senior lawyer working for the independent inquiry into historical child sexual abuse.

The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association described the decision to quit by Ben Emmerson QC as "devastating".

It said some survivors were losing faith, believing the investigation's large remit was designed to fail.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said she still has confidence in the inquiry.

It was set up to examine whether public bodies, including the police, in England and Wales had failed in their duty to protect children from sexual abuse, and to examine claims of abuse involving "well-known people".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Dallas' Catholic bishop prepares for move to Vatican

TEXAS
WFAA

Cynthia Izaguirre, WFAA September 29, 2016

DALLAS -- On Friday, Bishop Kevin Farrell, the man who helped to unify and transform the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, will move on from the job he thought he would retire from.

Bishop Farrell has been promoted to a new position at the Vatican where he will be the highest-ranking American working directly with Pope Francis. He sat down with us for a final interview about what lies ahead both for him and the Diocese of Dallas.

"I thought it was a joke. Why would he have picked me? I do not know," said Bishop Kevin Farrell.

The bishop of the Diocese of Dallas is still taken aback by the news. How did he get the attention of the pope?

"I don't know. I would love to know why," Farrell said during our last interview in his Dallas office.

On Oct. 7, Bishop Farrell will lead a new Vatican office focusing on ordinary Catholics throughout the world. It is part of the Vatican’s effort to reach out to more people in the pews.

The pope personally tapped Bishop Farrell for the position, presumably in part because of how he turned things around in the Diocese of Dallas after a huge sexual abuse scandal that led to a $23 million settlement in 1998.

"You're sitting in this little room with the pope, and he has all the time in the world to tell you what his plan is and what he wants and why he wants it,” Farrell said. “And what are you going to do? You just can't say no.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

Former altar-boy coordinator at St. Brendan arraigned on child-rape charges

MASSACHUSETTS
Dorchester Reporter

By Staff
Sep. 29, 2016

Michael Walsh, 80, was arraigned Wednesday in charges he raped and indecently attacked a Dorchester boy more than two decades ago, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Walsh was an altar-boy coordinator at St. Brendan Church and a coach in the Cedar Grove Baseball League. He is charged with one count of rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child for alleged offenses against a boy who was then in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, the DA's office reports, adding the victim, now in his late 30s, contacted authorities earlier this year:

"Walsh allegedly used his position of authority to gain access to, 'groom, and ultimately sexually assault' him. Walsh was said to take the victim and other children out to eat and to the movies, and would drive them home; the abuse of the victim took place within Walsh's car, his home, and his office."

Walsh was released on personal recognizance, but has to stay in Massachusetts, wear a GPS monitor and surrender his passport while his case is pending, the DA's office reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

Survivors of abuse in C of E to protest at bishop of Oxford's inauguration

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
@harrietsherwood
Friday 30 September 2016

Two high-profile survivors of sexual abuse in the Church of England are to mount a protest during the enthronement of the bishop of Oxford in response to what they claim is the church’s failure to act on their disclosures.

Michael (not his real name), an ordained C of E priest, made a formal complaint of misconduct earlier this year against Steven Croft, the new bishop, claiming that he failed to properly respond to accusations of rapes allegedly committed by a serving priest in 1984.

Similar complaints of misconduct were lodged against John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, and three other serving bishops.

The C of E has rejected the complaints because they were made after a one-year time limit set by the church.

Michael claims that he told Croft – then bishop of Sheffield – about the alleged rapes in December 2012 and again in February 2013. Croft failed to act on the disclosures, Michael says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

September 29, 2016

Senior counsel Ben Emmerson quits child sex abuse inquiry after being suspended

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By PRESS ASSOCIATION

The senior lawyer in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has quit, a day after being suspended from his role.

Chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay said she had accepted Ben Emmerson QC's decision to step down from the post of senior counsel after two years.

Mr Emmerson was suspended on Wednesday night amid reports he was about to resign. His departure was announced just hours after it was revealed his junior colleague Elizabeth Prochaska had also left her role.

In a statement Prof Jay said: "There is no truth in suggestions that he has resigned due to a difference of opinion with me about the next steps for the inquiry."

Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier said that the "really important" inquiry would go ahead as planned, amid claims that it was in "crisis".

In his resignation letter, posted on the inquiry's website, Mr Emmerson said he remained "totally committed to securing a fair and just result for those who matter most, the victims and survivors of childhood abuse"

He said: "Shortly after you took over, you announced a review of the inquiry's ways of working to identify any changes that may be necessary in the public interest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

New child sex abuse inquiry crisis as two lawyers announce their resignations in one day

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Robert Mendick, chief reporter, and Tom Morgan
29 SEPTEMBER 2016

The future of the national child sex abuse inquiry was plunged deeper into crisis on Thursday night after the two most senior lawyers in charge announced their resignations.

Ben Emmerson QC, the counsel to the inquiry, quit at 10pm last night, a little over 24 hours after being suspended from the role.

Mr Emmerson’s deputy Elizabeth Prochaska, the inquiry’s junior counsel, announced she had also stood down although it was claimed her decision was not linked to recent events.

In his resignation letter, Mr Emmerson insisted his decision to resign was not caused by a “difference of opinion” with Alexis Jay, the new chairman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

Mr Emmerson added: “It is now time for someone else to take the helm with a different leadership of the Counsel team.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Theresa May defends child abuse inquiry as lawyer resigns

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Theresa May has insisted the inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales will not be scaled back despite recent setbacks.

The prime minister said she and Home Secretary Amber Rudd still had confidence in the inquiry.
She spoke after the lead counsel to the hearings, Ben Emmerson, was suspended on Wednesday and the inquiry's second most senior lawyer resigned.

Elizabeth Prochaska's resignation is said to be not linked to recent events.

Ms Prochaska told BBC Newsnight's programme: "I can confirm that after 15 months working on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, I resigned from my position as junior counsel with effect from 15 September 2016.

"I very much valued the experience of working with the inquiry and I wish all my former colleagues the best as they continue their work."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Calling Out the Evangelical Culture of Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
In A Mirror Dimley

Christians have a tradition of “laying hands” on each other to impart the Holy Spirit, to heal, and to bless. My church “trains” people to pray, which basically means we teach people to ask questions like, “Can I put my hand on your shoulder as I pray for you.”

Touching and consent go “hand in hand.”

Touch has a foundationally sacred and important place in the Christian tradition.

Touching each other inappropriately undermines the healing and life that God desires to impart in our lives. Our hands can be used to destroy, imprison, and wound or they can be used to impart freedom, spiritual gifts, and blessings.

Our message collapses if we approve inappropriate touching in one moment and then reach out to heal in another. (Trigger warning below for sexual abuse and rape.)

And yet, some evangelical churches and groups have attempted to do just this. If these groups are not directly responsible for sexual abuse or covering up the abuse, they at least are responsible for failing to condemn leaders who abuse women and children. Some of these leaders are even given a free pass because they’re deemed “too important” for the cause of the Gospel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Ousted priest O'Keefe should get no benefits: #lohudreacts

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, svenugop@lohud.com September 29, 2016

The archdiocese continues to be responsible for providing O'Keefe with a place to live

Lohud and Facebook readers had a lot to say about a former Rockland priest who was permanently removed from ministry by the Archdiocese of New York following allegations that he sexually abused a minor.

Monsignor John O’Keefe, who once led Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, had been suspended last year from St. Margaret of Antioch Parish in Pearl River based on alleged abuse that occurred more than three decades ago.

Some readers were upset that no criminal charges had been brought against O’Keefe because the incidents were past the statute of limitations.

“There should be no statute of limitations on these creeps, and rather than the church continuing to provide housing, they should be incarcerated,” wrote Anthony Tascione. “Let’s not cover up these horrific deeds no matter how old they are.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Day parole granted to former priest convicted of sexual abuse

CANADA
CTV Winnipeg

Published Thursday, September 29, 2016

A former Winnipeg priest convicted of sexual abuse has been granted day parole.

Ronald Leger previously worked at Holy Family Parish on Archibald Street. He pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three boys between 1980 and 2004.

He was sentenced to two years in prison in February 2016.

The parole board has granted him day parole, and denied a request for full parole.

During his time in the community, Leger is to have zero contact with his victims.

He will not be allowed to go near areas where kids under 18 will be. The former priest is also prohibited from having any contact with male children under 18, unless he's accompanied by an adult who knows his criminal history and have been approved by his parole officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson in abuse test case

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

September 30, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide has asked the NSW Supreme Court to dismiss a criminal charge alleging he failed to tell police about a priest’s child abuse, arguing it could not be proved he believed the allegations at the time.

The dispute, which is ­expected to go to the High Court, is being watched by police and the national child abuse royal commission as a test case for the ­potential prosecution of others ­alleged to have not disclosed such crimes.

Lawyers representing Archbishop Philip Wilson did not yesterday seek to challenge claims he was told by two children in 1976 that the priest, Father James Fletcher, had sexually abused underage boys.

“We are not talking about … moral obligations”, the archbishop’s barrister, Bret Walker SC, told the court, arguing that such abuse was not “a serious ­indictable offence” in the terms of legislation requiring that these crimes be disclosed.

The legislation states that a person who “knows or believes” such an offence has been committed must report that to the police, the court heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Theresa May shores up child sex abuse inquiry amid resignations

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville
Thursday 29 September 2016

The prime minister has stepped in to shore up the struggling national inquiry into child abuse, saying it was a crucial investigation to stop more children becoming victims in the future.

Theresa May insisted the inquiry, which she set up while she was home secretary, would not be scaled back. She spoke on Thursday after the sudden suspension of the most senior counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson QC, the previous night.

On a visit to meet serving soldiers in Bulford, Wiltshire, May said: “For too many years too many people have been raising their voice saying what had happened to them and people have not been listening, they have not been taken seriously.

“We need to investigate, we need to learn the lessons of the past and if we don’t do that we can’t guarantee we are going to be able to stop such abuse from happening again in the future.”

She said she had faith in the new chair of the inquiry – its fourth to be appointed – Alexis Jay. Jay returned from two weeks’ holiday this week and into a new controversy for the inquiry – this time, the suspension of its lead counsel, Emmerson, over what the inquiry said were recent concerns about his leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

ARE CATHOLICS CONFLICTED ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY?

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on surveys that probe support for religious liberty:

A new Pew Research Center survey on religious liberty found that the public is split on the question of whether businesses that provide wedding services should be able to refuse same-sex couples if the owner has religious objections: 48% are in agreement and 49% are not. Catholics believe, by a margin of 54% to 43%, that businesses should be required to provide services to gay couples.

Other surveys provide a different outcome. Does this mean the Pew survey is flawed? No. It means that the wording of the question strongly influences the respondent’s answer. What also matters is whether self-identification is an accurate measure of reality.

For example, last December an AP and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey found that 82% of Americans said religious liberty protections were important to Christians. Similarly, 8 in 10 Americans said that it was very or extremely important for people like themselves to be allowed to practice their religion freely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Former Catholic priest charged over child sex abuse in New South Wales

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

A former Catholic priest has been charged over child sexual assaults between 1999 and 2006 which took place in Leichhardt and Kempsey, NSW.

Police say the 69-year-old was arrested in Port Macquarie last Friday.

He faces multiple charges including sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated indecent assault, inciting an act of indecency with a victim under 16, committing an act of indecency and indecent assault.

Police say the charges relate to the sexual and indecent assault of a boy when he was aged between 12 and 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Child Sex Abuse In Non-Christian Religions: Why We Need To Know More

AUSTRALIA
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 29 September 2016

More research is needed into child sex abuse in other faiths besides Christianity, a new report says.

Nearly all the academic research that has been done into child sex abuse in an institutional setting has been based on Catholic abusers, with some also done on Anglican abusers.

But there has been little research into abuse by ministers of others faiths, or in non-Christian or non-religious settings.

A report commissioned by the Australian commission investigating institutional child sex abuse says: "The largest body of research from institutional contexts is based on child sexual abuse by clergy, and the majority of this research concerns Roman Catholic clergy.

"Although the research base in this area is sufficient to provide information about patterns of abuse and to allow some comparisons with literature based on perpetrators in general, there is little literature based on or including other religious denominations and almost no literature based on religious non-Christian institutional settings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Louis J.Taelman, S.J.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ordained for the Society of Jesus in 1898, Louis Taelman spent most of his long career on the Crow and Flathead Indian reservations in Montana. Early on he spent four years as president of Gonzaga College in Spokane WA. Through the 1940s and into the early 1950s he was assigned to Mt. St. Michael's Scholasticate in Spokane, Washington in the role of "Indian missionary", as noted in the Official Catholic Directory. He died in 1961.

Taelman's name was included on the Diocese of Helena's list of known alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse. The diocese posted the list to its website in April 2015 as one of the non-monetary terms of its March 2015 bankruptcy settlement.

Ordained: 1898
Died: December 24, 1961

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Chuka Umunna brands lawyer's child sex abuse inquiry suspension 'a blow for justice'

UNITED KINGDOM
Evening Standard

KATE PROCTOR

The suspension of the leading lawyer handling the national inquiry into child sex abuse has been described as a “blow for justice” by a London MP.

Ben Emmerson QC was suspended from his post as the probe had “become very concerned” about aspects of his leadership, a spokeswoman for the inquiry said. Mr Emmerson, 53, said he learned of the move via the internet and no allegations had been put to him.

The inquiry will cover the abuse of children in care in Lambeth, and Streatham MP Chuka Umunna, who has constituents who are Lambeth abuse survivors, said: , said: “As an MP to the principal survivors’ group I’m extremely concerned about Mr Emmerson’s suspension.

"Yet another blow to the search for justice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry 'out of control' as lawyer Ben Emmerson suspended

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

The suspension of the most senior lawyer on the national inquiry into child sexual abuse has been described as a "categorical disaster".

Ben Emmerson QC said he learned of his suspension from news reports and was yet to hear the allegations that had resulted in him being dropped from the £100m probe.

It is the latest controversy to hit the inquiry, which is already on its fourth chairwoman.

Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald said the inquiry had been "careering out of control since its inception".

He added that the Government must "face up to the reality that an inquiry lasting years into dozens of public institutions going back decades, quite unable to restrain its own remit, is destined to end as an embarrassing fiasco".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Ten-year statute of limitations on rape ends in California

CALIFORNIA
UPI

By Allen Cone | Sept. 29, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that ends a 10-year statute of limitations on rape and child molestation charges.

Beginning next year, the law, SB813, will eliminate a time limit for certain rape and child molestation victims to pursue charges.

The new law will only apply to crimes committed after the legislation takes effect Jan. 1.

That means women who made allegations against comedian Bill Cosby won't be helped by the new law. Cosby is facing one criminal case stemming form alleged sexual abuse and he has denied allegations by dozens of women nationwide.

The state Senate and Assembly unanimously approved the bill last month and the governor signed it without comment Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Fighting for Children and Advocates Call for Boycott, protest of Cardinal Dolan’s event

NEW YORK
Protect NY Kids

Contact Melanie Blow melaniehdblow@gmail.com

Fighting for Children and Advocates Call for Boycott, protest of Cardinal Dolan’s rededication of Coleman High School chapel

On Monday Oct. 3 at 10 AM members of the political action committee Fighting for Children, survivors of child sexual abuse, and advocates will protest Cardinal Dolan’s rededication of the chapel at the John A Coleman high school, and are urging elected officials to boycott the rededication, on account of Cardinal Dolan’s opposition to eliminating the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse and his efforts to keep survivors of clergy sex abuse from receiving fair compensation.

“Cardinal Dolan hid church funds in Wisconsin as Bishop and was ordered by the highest court in Wisconsin to release the funds to victims of sexual abuse within the diocese. Cardinal Dolan has led the opposition to the Omnibus Child Victims Act in NY and has refused to meet with victims. The Catholic Church spent over 2 million dollars to defeat the CVA.” said Gary Greenberg, founder of Fighting for Children, a PAC that supports candidates who pledge to support the Omnibus Child Victims Act, a bill that will eliminate New York’s Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse and make it easier for victims to sue their abusers or institutions that facilitated their abuse.

“The Catholic Church is the only major organization fighting against the passage of the Omnibus Child Victims Act, but they put up a massive fight. Statutes of Limitations for child sexual abuse ensure most victims of child sexual abuse cannot access justice, and that ensures 90% of sex offenders stay on the street. The church argues ‘this legislation will bankrupt churches’, which is both untrue, and essentially boils down to ‘we don’t want to be held accountable for our actions’, which is not a good argument.” says Melanie Blow, COO of the Stop Abuse Campaign.

“One fifth of New York’s children will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18, and 90% of the people who abuse them never see a day behind bars. The Omnibus Child Victims Act will fix that by ensuring victims have access to justice, which protects children. We urge people who care about children to boycott this event and educate themselves about child sexual abuse and the role the Cardinal Dolan is playing in New York to keep sex offenders on the streets” says Andrew Willis, CEO and co-founder of the Stop Abuse Campaign.

“We must hold those who abuse children accountable regardless of their rank, their affiliation, or how long ago the crime was committed. Passing the Omnibus Child Victims Act now will make New York State a state that protects its children, not predators.” said Ali Boak, senate candidate for the 40th district.

The protest will be in Kingston NY (thruway exit 19) about five minutes from the exit. Stay tuned for more details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Judge approves Newfoundland residential schools settlement

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016

An emotional, decade-long battle ended quickly Wednesday for hundreds of former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools.

After a two-day hearing, a provincial Supreme Court judge gave his expedited approval for a $50 million class-action settlement with the federal government.

“Everybody is thrilled,” said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Steven Cooper.

“You have to remember that when we started this claim, we said it was worth $50 million. Well guess what, we settled for $50 million. That doesn’t happen very often in litigation.”

The settlement was reached in May, but required Justice Robert Stack’s approval before any money could be paid out. Because of his expedited ruling Wednesday, the payment process can begin once the 30-day appeal period ends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Northern Ireland: ‘Ministers have let us down’ - child abuse victims tell Assembly

NORTHERN IRELAND
Amnesty International

Victims of child abuse have told a Northern Ireland Assembly committee today that The Executive Office has failed to prepare for the establishment of a compensation scheme following the conclusion of the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

The representatives of a range of child abuse survivor groups told the Committee for The Executive Office that despite a November 2015 announcement by Sir Anthony Hart, chair of the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry, that he will recommend a financial compensation scheme for victims when he reports in January 2017, Ministers have made no preparations to set up such a scheme and some have repeatedly refused to meet with victims.

Victims from four different survivor groups have come together with experts from Amnesty International, Ulster University and other organisations to establish a Panel of Experts on Redress which has now produced two reports setting out proposals for a compensation scheme. But despite repeated requests over a period of nine months, the groups say that neither the First Minister nor successive DUP Junior Ministers have agreed to meet with victims to discuss the way ahead. Victims say that Sinn Féin Junior Ministers have met the group in their capacity as MLAs on several occasions and that the deputy First Minister has agreed to meet them in the near future.

Victims’ campaigners want The Executive Office to consult with abuse survivors about the establishment of a compensation scheme. They want Ministers to set up a negotiation process to agree the details of the scheme and the financial contribution to be made by religious orders and other organisations which ran many of the children’s homes where abuse took place.

Margaret McGuckin of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA) said:

“It is the responsibility of The Executive Office to set up a redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse. But as far as we can tell, they have done next to nothing to prepare for the establishment of such a fund despite the end of the public inquiry and the imminent delivery of Sir Anthony Hart’s report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Child rape charges against Christian Aboriginal mission worker Philip Howard Street dropped

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Laura Gartry

Charges against a West Australian man accused of raping a child at a Christian mission in Western Australia's South West more than 40 years ago have been dropped.

Philip Howard Street, 74, pleaded not guilty to six child abuse charges stemming from his employment at the Roelands Christian Mission near Collie in 1974 and 1975.

The mission was once home to hundreds of Stolen Generations' children, with about 500 Aboriginal children housed there from the 1940s to the 1970s.

In February, Mr Street, from Albany, was charged by a specialist police taskforce set up to investigate claims that came to light during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

He had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14 in a Bunbury court in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

New research on perpetrators of child sexual abuse released

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

29 September, 2016

A new research report conducted for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has examined available evidence regarding the characteristics, motivations and offending behaviour of child sexual abuse perpetrators in both institutional and non-institutional contexts.

Royal Commission acting CEO, Marianne Christmann, said the report, Evidence and frameworks for understanding perpetrators of institutional child sexual abuse, explores the principal themes found in the literature and examines research specific to perpetrators of child sexual abuse in institutional settings.

This report demonstrates that it is possible to identify commonalities in the characteristics of studied adult perpetrators of child sexual abuse and children or young people with harmful sexual behaviours. Despite these identified commonalities, the characteristics of perpetrators are still considerably diverse.

“The report is an important contribution to the work of the Royal Commission through providing a detailed understanding of what is known from the literature about the motivations and behaviours of perpetrators of child sexual abuse. This will be valuable for informing strategies to prevent the perpetration of child sexual abuse in institutional settings in the future” Ms Christmann said.

The key findings of the study included:

* The literature suggests that the majority of identified adult perpetrators of child sexual abuse are male, with between 6 and 11 per cent of child sexual abuse perpetrated by females.

* There appears to be clusters of perpetrators who first commit contact sexual abuse between the ages of 11 and 15, and in their late 20s to early 30s

* Compared to other groups, adult men who sexually abuse children tend to have experienced higher rates of physical and sexual abuse and emotional abuse or neglect as children. Male adolescents with harmful sexual behaviour also report experiencing greater rates of childhood abuse than comparison groups. However, there is a lack of evidence to support a unique association between childhood sexual abuse and subsequent sexual offending.

* Exposure to violent pornography is a concern in relation to harmful sexual behaviour among adolescents.

* Research on perpetrators of child sexual abuse in institutional settings is fairly limited and is most commonly concerned with patterns of child sexual abuse by clergy, with some research on perpetrators in educational, sporting and out of home care settings.

* Descriptions of strategies used by perpetrators to gain access to children and the identification of situational factors that deter them from offending can be used to inform the prevention of child sexual abuse in institutional settings.

In seeking to understand what is known about the characteristics of perpetrators, this review does not diminish or find justification for perpetrator behaviour; there is no justification for child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission appointed Dr Michael Proeve, Professor Paul Delfabbro, and Ms Catia Malvaso from the University of Adelaide to undertake the research.

Read the full report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Suspension of child abuse inquiry lawyer a 'devastating blow'

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Matthew Weaver and Sandra Laville
Thursday 29 September 2016

The suspension of the most senior lawyer to the troubled public inquiry into institutional child abuse has been called a devastating blow to survivors of abuse.

Ben Emmerson QC was suspended before he was expected to resign over apparent disagreements about the remit of the inquiry under its fourth chair, Alexis Jay. It is the latest setback to the inquiry after the resignations of three previous chairs, and has fuelled fears that the process is “careering out of control”.

Ian McFadyen, a campaigner and survivor of abuse, said the inquiry had been beset by “catastrophe after catastrophe”.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about the impact of Emmerson’s suspension, he said: “It is one of the largest inquiries that the United Kingdom is to undergo and legal advice and counsel of his quality and expertise is essential ... This is a devastating blow for survivors.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

California Eliminates Statute Of Limitations For Rape In Wake Of Cosby Case

CALIFORNIA
BuzzFeed News

Claudia Koerner
BuzzFeed News Reporter

California will no longer put a deadline on the prosecution of rape and other sexual assaults.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the Justice for Victims Act, which eliminates the criminal statute of limitations on rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration. Previously, a perpetrator could only be convicted within 10 years of the crime.

“Rapists should never be able to evade legal consequences simply because an arbitrary time limit has expired,” State Sen. Connie Leyva said in a statement. “There must never be an expiration date on justice!”

The bill had received unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature. The California Women’s Law Center was involved in drafting its language, and local district attorneys and the California Police Chiefs Association also supported it. Six California women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting them testified before lawmakers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Spotlight on 'Spotlight': Matt Carroll talks future of investigative journalism, Academy Award-winning movie

NORTH CAROLINA
The Chronicle

By Kenrick Cai | Thursday, September 29

The real-life investigative reporter in "Spotlight" offered an inside look into the Academy Award-winning movie and the story behind it Wednesday night.

Matt Carroll—former database reporting specialist for The Boston Globe investigative team called Spotlight and self-professed “data geek”—discussed the team’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that uncovered pervasive child sex abuse within the Boston Catholic Church and "Spotlight," the 2015 film made about it. Sponsored by the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, the event was held in the Sanford School of Public Policy for an audience of about 40 people.

“This whole movie thing was a total whirlwind,” Carroll said. “I was talking to my wife about it, and she said the Pulitzer was a big deal for a weekend. This was a big deal for months.”

The Boston Globe published about 600 stories related to the sexual abuse scandal throughout 2002. Carroll spoke of the drastic effects the articles had on the Boston community just two or three days after the first article was released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Wanted Australian paedophile free in Ireland after bungle

AUSTRALIA/IRELAND
Forbes Advocate

Timna Jacks, Education Reporter
29 Sep 2016

A serial paedophile and former Geelong Grammar teacher who Victoria Police was set to charge with abusing students at the elite school is free in Ireland after being deported in an extraordinary inter-agency bungle.

The man had served time in a Queensland prison on child abuse charges, but was deported on his release after Victoria Police failed to flag their investigation with Immigration.

The Irish citizen was accused in last year's federal child abuse royal commission of fondling the penis of a pre-teen Geelong Grammar boy while masturbating in church, stroking a six-year-old student's penis in bed, and instructing senior students to perform sexual acts in underground rooms.

The man, a former Geelong Grammar student, has been convicted of child abuse offences on four separate occasions, and was set to face new charges over alleged abuse at the prestigious school between the late 1960s and mid-1970s, and in 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Lawyer from Church sexual abuse probe learned of suspension on the internet

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Thu 29 Sep 2016
By Alex Williams

The most senior lawyer on the national inquiry into how the Church and other UK institutions dealt with the sexual abuse of children learned of his suspension from news reports on the internet.

Ben Emmerson QC has been taken off-duty after the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) had "recently become very concerned" about aspects of his leadership, a spokesperson for the probe said.

Lawyers acting for the inquiry's counsel said last night: "Mr Emmerson has read this evening on the internet that he has been suspended from the [IICSA]. If, and when, allegations are put to him, he will respond appropriately."

The suspension of Mr Emmerson has been seen as another dent to the credibility of the IICSA, which was established by the then-home secretary Theresa May in 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

How child abuse inquiry lurched from 'catastrophe to catastrophe' – timeline

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Nadia Khomami and Matthew Weaver
Thursday 29 September 2016

Ben Emmerson QC has been suspended from the the troubled inquiry into institutional child abuse before he was expected to resign over disagreements with the fourth chair, Alexis Jay. His suspension is the latest setback to an investigation that has lurched from “catastrophe to catastrophe”, according to leading campaigner and child abuse survivor Ian MacFadyen.

The former director of public prosecutions, Lord MacDonald, said the inquiry had been “careering out of control since its inception”.

Here is a summary of the inquiry’s brief and beleaguered history:

7 July 2014

Theresa May, then home secretary, announces a public inquiry into child abuse prompted by allegations of a cover-up of the crimes of prominent offenders such as Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith. She says the inquiry has the remit of investigating whether “state and non-state institutions”, including churches, Westminster, schools, the BBC, hospitals and care homes, have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse within England and Wales. May says:

Our priority must be the prosecution of the people behind these disgusting crimes … Wherever possible – and consistent with the need to prosecute – we will adopt a presumption of maximum transparency. And … where there has been a failure to protect children from abuse, we will expose it and we will learn from it.

Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, the retired senior judge who chaired the Cleveland child abuse inquiry in the late 1980s, is appointed as chairwoman. The former president of the family division of the high court, who coined the phrase “listen to the children” in her Cleveland report, says she is honoured to be asked to carry out “this important work”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Shambolic child abuse inquiry is failing in its most important role

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Timeline

Sandra Laville
Thursday 29 September 2016

Trust and confidence are the two things stripped away from children who are sexually abused by adults, often for life. As adults themselves, many describe how they struggle and fail to trust anyone, particularly authority figures who wield power in institutions.

The one thing, perhaps the primary requirement, of a national public inquiry into the sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children over decades within England and Wales, was to seek their trust and gain their confidence.

Yet in the last few months the shambolic goings on at the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) – the sudden departure of another chair, the manoeuvrings in secret over its remit, the future of the project to gather the testimonies of victims and the suspension late on Wednesday night of its lead counsel Ben Emmerson – may have dealt a fatal blow to those aims.

Secrecy and a lack of transparency have encroached upon the inquiry, sitting in its Millbank offices looking out over the seat of power. And – according to those with knowledge of the inquiry process – driving in the background throughout has been the silent hand of Home Office apparatchiks, who remain behind the scenes, as the shambles unfolds. When heads fall – three chairs, members of the senior counsel team and now potentially Emmerson – the bureaucrats from the Home Office and government remain in place. No wonder some victims laugh at the idea it is independent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Court files reveal new details behind St. Paul Archdiocese troubles

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

The Ramsey County attorney’s office released the final mountain of documents from its criminal investigation into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis this week, providing new details of allegations of sexual advances by former Archbishop John Nienstedt and of the church’s mishandling of convicted sex offender Curtis Wehmeyer.

Nienstedt’s interactions with seminarians drew concern from young men and clergy leaders more recently than had been revealed before, including during his seven-year tenure in St. Paul ending in 2015, according to files. That’s in addition to the previously reported allegations of sexual improprieties with adult men made by former colleagues in the Detroit area dating to the 1970s.

Documents show that former Archbishop Harry Flynn — like Nienstedt — gave special attention to Wehmeyer, a former priest, including overriding a 1996 recommendation by the archdiocese’s vocation office that Wehmeyer not be admitted into seminary.

By 2013, and after multiple episodes of sexual misconduct, Wehmeyer was convicted of sexually abusing two boys in Wehmeyer’s camper when it was parked outside his St. Paul church. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Documents also indicate that Wehmeyer used that camper to visit the lake home of Joseph Kueppers, the archdiocese’s chancellor for civil affairs, where Wehmeyer would spend some weekends from about 2007 to 2012. According to a deacon with a lake home nearby, Wehmeyer sometimes performed Sunday masses at the lake home. Kueppers, a former parishioner of Wehmeyer, was noted for “not disclosing information” by attorneys investigating Nienstedt.

Nienstedt, who had a social relationship with Wehmeyer, has denied any sexual relationship with him. In files from the St. Paul police investigation also made available this week, Wehmeyer says the same, that he had no sexual relationship with the archbishop. He blames much of his troubles on his drinking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Area Priest Placed On Leave

SOUTH DAKOTA
Press and Dakotan

By Randy Dockendorf randy.dockendorf@yankton.ne

A priest serving two Bon Homme County parishes has been placed on administrative leave.

Bishop Paul Swain of the Diocese of Sioux Falls has taken the action following a sex-abuse allegation against the Rev. Joe Forcelle, who serves St. Leo Parish in Tyndall and St. Vincent Parish in Springfield.
Swain addressed the allegation, which Forcelle denies, in a written statement.

“The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has informed me of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Reverend Joseph T. Forcelle when he served in the Archdiocese,” Swain wrote.

“The child sexual abuse allegedly took place in the late-1970s and early-1980s when Father Forcelle was serving as a priest at Saint Mark Parish in Saint Paul, MN. The archdiocese reported this allegation to civil authorities.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

A Pastoral Statement from Bishop Michael Kennedy, Diocese of Armidale

AUSTRALIA
mn news

I have recently returned from the Public Hearing of the Royal Commission into the response of Catholic Church authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse by John Joseph Farrell. The hearing has not formally concluded but has been adjourned. In due course the Royal Commission will publish a report on their findings and recommendations.

This statement is my personal reflection following my attendance at the Royal Commission Hearing. It is my hope that by reading this you may come to an understanding of my own depth of sorrow and shame for the failings of our Church and Diocese and that you might be informed of the changes that have been taking place in the Diocese to ensure that our parishes are safe places for all the children and vulnerable in our care.

Listening to the victims and survivors

Along with others from the Diocese I sat in the Royal Commission hearing room and listened to the statements and evidence given by the survivors. I was deeply moved by their testimony. It is crucial that the Church truly hear their cry.

I listened to two survivors. I heard of their horror, pain, fear and hurt. I heard of their betrayal, of their inhuman treatment, and of the torment they continue to suffer as a result of the abuse they endured. I heard of the long lasting effects this abuse has had on their lives. Their courage and integrity shone through in their testimony. They are brave and dignified men whom I hold in high esteem. I thank them for their testimony and assure them that I will never forget.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

September 28, 2016

Archbishop rejects claim that abuse victims were ‘fobbed off’

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

Victims of historical sexual, physical and emotional child abuse in church and state institutions in Northern Ireland have accused Stormont of failing to face up to the need to provide proper compensation for their suffering.

Two victims who addressed the Northern Assembly’s Executive committee on Wednesday were also critical of the Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin.

Jon McCourt of Survivors North West and Margaret McGuckian of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse said that when they met Archbishop Martin in July they got the impression that he felt the Catholic church was the victim rather than the survivors.

Mr McCourt said they felt “belittled” at the meeting.

“The church, I think, just literally fobbed us off and in fact there was a point where both Margaret and I were going to get up and leave the meeting because we were more or less told that if the church hadn’t done what it done in the ’50s or ’60s things could have been a lot worse for us,” he said
“In other words, we were made to feel so belittled in that meeting,” added Mr McCourt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

Sex offenders will have to disclose email addresses, user names under new law

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

SEPT. 28, 2016

Sophia Bollag

Sex offenders will soon have to report their email addresses, user names and other Internet identifiers to police under a bill Governor Jerry Brown signed Wednesday.

It will apply to people convicted on or after Jan. 1, 2017 of Internet-related sex crimes.

Law enforcement can use the information only to investigate a sex crime, kidnapping or human trafficking.

The bill amends parts of California law enacted in 2012 when voters passed Proposition 35, an anti sex-trafficking law.

Proposition 35 passed by statewide ballot with more than 80% 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 5:57 PM

California, eyeing Cosby, ends statute of limitations for rape

CALIFORNIA
WHBL

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill to end the statute of limitations for rape, a measure inspired by accusations against comedian Bill Cosby, some of which surfaced decades after alleged crimes occurred.

Cosby, who built a long career on family friendly comedy, including his long-running NBC sitcom "The Cosby Show," has steadfastly denied ever assaulting anyone and has insisted that all his sexual encounters were consensual.

He is charged in Pennsylvania with drugging and sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, at his home in 2004. In California, he faces a civil suit by a woman now in her 50s who alleges that Cosby plied her with alcohol and molested her in 1974 at the Playboy Mansion when she was aged 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

California governor signs bill dumping rape-reporting limit

CALIFORNIA
Newser

By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The emotional stories of women who say they were sexually assaulted more than a decade ago by comedian Bill Cosby prompted California state lawmakers to approve a bill to eliminate the state's 10-year limit on filing rape and related charges.

On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he has approved the legislation to revoke that limitation.

Beginning next year, the bill will end the statute of limitations in certain rape and child molestation cases. It will also end the time limit on older cases in which the statute of limitations has not yet expired.

The new law, SB813, will not, however, help women who made allegations against Cosby dating back more than 10 years, including some from the 1960s.

Cosby has repeatedly denied the sex abuse allegations made by dozens of women nationwide. He is facing just one criminal case stemming from sex abuse. A trial is set to begin in June in Pennsylvania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry lawyer Ben Emmerson suspended

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post Radio

The most senior lawyer on the national probe into child sexual abuse has been suspended from duty.

It comes after the independent inquiry became "very concerned" about aspects of QC Ben Emmerson's leadership, a spokeswoman said.

She said Mr Emmerson, who is counsel to the inquiry, has been "suspended from duty so that these can be properly investigated".

The spokeswoman added: "Suggestions in the press that Mr Emerson was considering resigning after raising disagreements over the future direction of the inquiry are untrue.

"They are not a matter on which he has advised the chair of the inquiry or the panel."

It had been reported that Mr Emmerson was preparing to quit after clashing with the investigation's new head Alexis Jay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

'Arrogant' top lawyer suspended from child sex abuse inquiry in latest crisis to hit £100m investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Robert Mendick, chief reporter
28 SEPTEMBER 2016

The senior lawyer to the national child abuse inquiry has been suspended from his £400,000-a-year post, plunging the investigation into its worst crisis yet.

Ben Emmerson QC was removed over concerns about his leadership, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said in a statement.

He had earlier been reported to be on the verge of resigning as counsel to the inquiry following an alleged clash with its new chairman, Professor Alexis Jay.

Insiders loyal to Prof Jay had described Mr Emmerson as “arrogant” ahead of the announcement.

This will be very distressing to many survivors for the inquiry to have suffered another setback
Gabrielle Shaw, NAPAC

In its statement, IICSA said: “The inquiry has recently become very concerned about aspects of Mr Emmerson’s leadership of the counsel team. He has therefore been suspended from duty so that these can be properly investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Child abuse inquiry counsel Ben Emmerson QC suspended

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The most senior lawyer working for the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales has been suspended from duty.

The inquiry said it had "become very concerned about aspects" of Ben Emmerson QC's leadership of his team.

Mr Emmerson said he was "unable" to comment at this time.

The inquiry said press suggestions Mr Emmerson was considering resigning after raising disagreements over its future direction were untrue.

In a statement, it said: "They are not a matter on which he has advised the chair or panel."
It said he had been suspended so matters "can be properly investigated".

The inquiry was set up in 2014 to examine whether public bodies including the police have failed in their duty to protect children from sexual abuse. It will also examine claims of abuse involving "well-known people".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Counsel to child sexual abuse inquiry sacked amid 'concerns over leadership'

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville and Owen Bowcott
Wednesday 28 September 2016

The most senior lawyer on the public inquiry into institutional child abuse in England and Wales was suddenly suspended on Wednesday over what the inquiry said were concerns over aspects of his leadership.

Ben Emmerson QC had been expected to resign in the coming days, apparently over disagreements over the remit of the inquiry under its fourth chair, Alexis Jay. But in a move that surprised those close to the discussions, the inquiry announced late on Wednesday that Emmerson, a respected human rights lawyer, was to be suspended and put under investigation.

“The inquiry has recently become very concerned about aspects of Mr Emmerson’s leadership of the counsel team,” the statement from the independent inquiry said.

“He has therefore been suspended from duty so that these can be properly investigated. Suggestions in the press that Mr Emmerson was considering resigning after raising disagreements over the future direction of the inquiry are untrue. They are not a matter on which he has advised the chair or panel.”

Whatever the reasons behind Emmerson’s suspension, the apparent secrecy surrounding events is the latest issue to cause concern among victims’ groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Governor Brown Signs “Justice for Victims Act”

CALIFORNIA
Senator Connie M. Leyva

SB 813 Eliminates Statute of Limitations for Rape in California

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SACRAMENTO – After earning unanimous bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly, Governor Jerry Brown today signed SB 813 authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will eliminate the statute of limitations for rape and related crimes in California.

Co-sponsored by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos and the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC), SB 813 will ensure justice for victims and survivors of felony sexual offenses by allowing the indefinite criminal prosecution of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration. Existing California law presently generally limits the prosecution of a felony sexual offense to only 10 years after the offense is committed, unless DNA evidence is found which then offers a victim additional time. According to the United States Department of Justice, only two in 100 rapists will be convicted of a felony and spend any time in prison. The other 98 percent will never be punished for their crime.

“Governor Jerry Brown’s signature of SB 813 tells every rape and sexual assault victim in California that they matter and that, regardless of when they are ready to come forward, they will always have an opportunity to seek justice in a court of law,” Senator Leyva said. “Rapists should never be able to evade legal consequences simply because an arbitrary time limit has expired. There must never be an expiration date on justice! Today’s approval of SB 813 is a testament to the hard work and commitment by a broad coalition of sponsors, supporters and advocates that have testified, written editorials, spoken with legislators, written to the Governor and kept the fight alive for the countless rape victims that have already spoken up and also those that have yet to come forward. I would like to specifically thank San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, California Women’s Law Center Executive Director Betsy Butler, women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred and the many End Rape SOL members for fighting to make sure that all rape victims regain their voice and legal rights not just in public, but also in the courtroom.”

Before proceeding to the Governor, principal coauthors Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), Assemblymember Autumn R. Burke (D-Inglewood), Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) and Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria)—as well as coauthors Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte), Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego), Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield), Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside), Assemblymember Rocky J. Chávez (R-Oceanside) and Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale)—had signed on in support of SB 813.

The “Justice for Victims Act” is supported by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen, California Police Chiefs Association, Crime Victims United of California, End Rape SOL, Peace Officers Research Association of California, as well as many other law enforcement, women’s rights, public safety, labor, victim’s rights and community organizations.

SB 813 takes effect on January 1, 2017.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

BREAKING: Gov. Brown signs bill that eliminates SOL for rape!

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

September 28, 2016 Joelle Casteix

In what can be called the “pleasant surprise of the decade,” I just got word that CA Governor Jerry Brown just signed SB 813 into law, which eliminates the statute of limitations for rape.

From Senator Connie Leyva’s press release:

Co-sponsored by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos and the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC), SB 813 will ensure justice for victims and survivors of felony sexual offenses by allowing the indefinite criminal prosecution of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration. Existing California law presently generally limits the prosecution of a felony sexual offense to only 10 years after the offense is committed, unless DNA evidence is found which then offers a victim additional time.

After Brown’s utter failure with his veto of SB 131, this is welcome news.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Bristol Evangelical church attempted to cover up pastor's sexual abuse of 14-year-old bo

UNITED KINGDOM
Bristol Post

By Emma Grimshaw | Posted: September 28, 2016

An Evangelical church left a 'significant delay' in reporting one of its pastors had sexually abused a 14-year-old and a senior leader tried to persuade the boy's family to drop the allegations an inquiry concluded.

Bristol Community Church, based in Kingswood, has been blasted for a series of errors which amounted to serious misconduct and failure to protect its young and vulnerable member.

The results for the long-awaited inquiry into the church, which last year changed its name to Bourne Christian Centre, were published on Friday.

In 2012 the church's pastor James Hennah, who also worked as a magistrate and a Bristol Grammar School counsellor, pleaded guilty to abusing a boy after befriending him and his family at a church group he ran.

Government has shied away from compensation for abuse victims, campaigners say

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The government has been accused of dragging its feet over compensation for victims of historical child abuse.

Campaigners claim political leaders have "shied away" from the issue of financial redress and reiterated appeals for urgent action.

Margaret McGuckin said: "We are asking and pleading to our government, please come off the fence, stop these excuses and get something sorted.

"How many more of us are going to be dead and gone?"

The plea was made as members of an expert panel examining potential compensation schemes briefed MLAs on the Executive scrutiny committee at Stormont.

Ms McGuckin, a high-profile member of the panel, added: " What people want is to be compensated so that for the remainder of their life they can live in some sort of peace and tranquillity, and to afford some comfort.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Abuse survivors felt 'belittled' during meeting with head of Catholic Church in Ireland

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

By Gareth Gordon
BBC News NI Political Correspondent

Child abuse survivors have said they felt so "belittled" during a meeting with the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland they almost walked out.

They told a Stormont committee that Archbishop Eamon Martin had given the impression that he felt the church was now the victim.

Jon McCourt and Margaret McGuckian also claimed the Executive Office had let victims down by failing to establish a compensation scheme following the end of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA).
And they claimed ministers had ignored repeated requests for meetings over a nine-month period.

But they reserved their strongest criticism for the Catholic Church, claiming that during a meeting with Archbishop Martin in Armagh in July he seemed to believe it was turning from an issue of concern about the abuse of children into a financial argument about compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Former altar boy coordinator accused of rape, assault from 1980s & 90s

MASSACHUSETTS
Fox 25

[From the BishopAccountability.org datbase: Walsh was ordained for the Grand Rapids MI diocese in 6/02; he was placed on leave in 7/02 after the Grand Rapids diocese learned of allegations of sexual abuse of two children while he was a lay person 40 years previously in another (unspecified) diocese. Walsh was 65 and a former Air Force Sergeant at time of his ordination. Walsh is a native of Boston MA.]Grand Rapids, MI Source:

DORCHESTER - A former altar boy coordinator is facing two counts of rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault from an incident that happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said the district attorney.

Michael Walsh, 79, was an altar boy coordinator at Dorchester's St. Brendan's on Rita Road. when the assaults occurred, said the Suffolk County. He later became a priest but was relieved of his priesthood duties in 2002.

According to 2002 Grand Rapids Press story, Walsh was removed from the priesthood when an attorney for two alleged victims called the Grand Rapids diocese's attorney about assault incidents years before. Walsh was serving the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan at the time.

Court paperwork says that Walsh used his position as an altar boy coordinator as well as his job as a Cedar Grove Baseball coach to "gain access, groom, and ultimately sexually abuse the alleged victim, when he was in fourth, fifth and sixth grades."

Walsh was never a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston. In a statement, the Archdiocese said they wouldn't comment on the legal proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Former Altar Boy Coordinator At Dorchester Church Charged With Sexual Abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – A former altar boy coordinator at a Dorchester church was arraigned Wednesday on charges that he sexually abused a child in the 1980s.

Prosecutors say Michael Walsh, who was altar boy coordinator at St. Brendan’s Church in Dorchester, sexually abused a child over the course of three years starting in 1988.

The victim, now 38 years old, just came forward to police this year.

Walsh pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of child rape and indecent assault and battery. The crimes allegedly occurred between 1988 and 1991 when the victim was in fourth through sixth grades.

Prosecutors say Walsh used his position as an altar boy coordinator and as a coach with Cedar Grove baseball to gain access and sexually abuse the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Former priest accused of raping child appears in court

MASSACHUSETTS
WHDH

DORCHESTER, MA (WHDH) - A former priest appeared in court Wednesday on rape and assault charges.

Michael Walsh, 80, also served as an altar boy coordinator in Dorchester.

Walsh was accused of raping a child in the late 1980s and 1990s when he served at St. Brendan’s School.

The victim, now 38 years old, came forward and reported the abuse to law enforcement this past summer.

Prosecutors said the statute of limitations has not expired because Walsh has lived out of state for more than a decade, which puts the statute on hold.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Grand jury indicts former altar boy coordinator Michael Walsh on sex abuse charges

MASSACHUSETTS
MassLive

By Gintautas Dumcius | gdumcius@masslive.com

BOSTON - Michael Walsh, who once served as an altar boy coordinator at St. Brendan's Church in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of raping a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.

Just days away from turning 80 years old, Walsh pleaded not guilty to the charges in Suffolk Superior Court.

The clerk magistrate, Anne Kaczmarek, imposed conditions that included GPS monitoring, staying away from the victim and witnesses, no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16, and surrendering his passport and remaining in Massachusetts.

A Suffolk County grand jury indicted Walsh on Sept. 16.

In a statement filed by prosecutors on Wednesday, Walsh allegedly used his position as an altar boy coordinator, as well as a coach with Cedar Grove Baseball, from Sept. 1988 through June 1991 to "gain access to, groom, and ultimately sexually abuse the alleged victim" when the victim was in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Sieben bis acht Millionen Betroffene in Deutschland

DEUTSCHALND
Deutschland Radio

[Today the Independent Abuse Commission starts hearing from victims of sexual abuse. Former Canisius College student Matthias Katsch warns that sexual abuse of minors is not a phenomenon of the past and members should look at the issue in the "here and now." He believes there are seven to eight million abuse survivors in Germany.]

Matthias Katsch, former student at Canisius College, calls by the Independent Commission Abuse uncovering social and institutional structures that facilitate the abuse.

One should not stop there, to hear examples of stories of abuse and perceive, but it needs to be talked about responsibilities at all levels, warns Katsch. "In environments where the institution and in society, so that these acts are actually less in the future."

Heute beginnt die Unabhängige Missbrauchskommission mit Opferanhörungen. Der ehemalige Canisius-Schüler Matthias Katsch warnt davor, sexuelle Gewalt gegen Minderjährige als Erscheinung der Vergangenheit zu betrachten. Es geschehe auch "hier und heute".

Matthias Katsch, ehemaliger Schüler am Canisius-Kolleg, fordert von der Unabhängigen Missbrauchskommission die Aufdeckung gesellschaftlicher und institutioneller Strukturen, die Missbrauch begünstigen.

Man dürfe nicht dabei stehen bleiben, Beispiele für Missbrauchsgeschichten zu hören und wahrzunehmen, sondern es müsse auch über Verantwortlichkeiten auf allen Ebenen gesprochen werden, mahnt Katsch. "Im Umfeld, in der Institution und in der Gesellschaft, damit diese Taten tatsächlich in der Zukunft weniger werden".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Bistum schließt Untersuchung ab - jetzt entscheidet der Vatikan

DEUTSCHLAND
Westfalische Nachricten

[The Munster diocese has closed an investigation into abuse allegations made against a priest but now it is up to the Vatican to decide.]

Horstmar/Münster -
Abgeschlossen ist die Voruntersuchung des Bistums Münster gegen einen zuletzt in Horstmar tätigen Priester wegen der sexuell intendierte Handlungen an einem Kind. Die Glaubenskongregation im Vatikan wird entscheiden, welche Konsequenzen der Fall für den Geistlichen hat.

Abgeschlossen ist jetzt die kirchenrechtliche Voruntersuchung des Bistums Münster gegen einen zuletzt in Horstmar tätigen Priester, der sexuell intendierte Handlungen an einem Kind vorgenommen haben soll. Das Ergebnis der Voruntersuchung geht nun an die Glaubenskongregation im Vatikan. Sie wird entscheiden, welche kirchenrechtlichen Konsequenzen der Fall für den Geistlichen hat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Pastor kills himself after mistakenly sending his nude photos intended for his mistress to church members instead

SOUTH AFRICA
Christian Today

Hazel Torres 26 September 2016

It was a case of a shameful "wrong send" that resulted in the tragic death of a pastor.

Pastor Letsego of Christ Embassy in Limpopo, South Africa reportedly hanged himself in shame after he mistakenly sent photos of his genitals to members of his church using the WhatsApp texting service in mobile phones.

According to the online news source Live Monitor, the married pastor intended to send the pictures to his mistress who, it is said, is a member of the same church.

Worse, the news source said the pastor sent a message that reads "Wife is away, it's all yours tonight" along with the photos.

To his utter dismay, he reportedly realised his mistake right after pressing the send button of his mobile phone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Pastor who sent penis pics to church members kills himself

SOUTH AFRICA
The Freethinker

Pastor Letsego of Christ Embassy in Limpopo, South Africa reportedly hanged himself after he accidentally sent photos of his genitals to members of his church using the WhatsApp mobile phone texting app.

According to this report, the married pastor intended to send the pictures to his mistress, a member of the same church.

The message that accompanied the photos read:

Wife is away, it’s all yours tonight.

He reportedly realised his mistake right after pressing the send button of his phone.

Members of the WhatsApp church group who received the photos and message were shocked and outraged. They tried to call up the pastor, who wouldn’t answer. The pastor then left the group.

The following day, he was found hanging in his rented church house.

Said one of Pastor Letsego’s congregants who declined to be named:

Pastor’s antics have always been a cause for concern. He was always seen in the company of one of the deacons named Miriam and we suspected there was more to their friendship than meets the eye.

Quizzed by his wife and congregants, he would shrug off the allegations and say as a pastor he was a father to everyone and Miriam was his favourite daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Former layman faces sexual abuse charges

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By John R. Ellement GLOBE STAFF SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

A 79-year-old former Roman Catholic priest who supervised altar boys as a laymen in a Dorchester parish is now facing rape and indecent assault charges in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston Wednesday.

Michael Walsh is scheduled to be arraigned on two counts of rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office, which is prosecuting the case.

While a layman, Walsh served as the volunteer “altar boy coordinator’’ at St. Brendan’s Church in Dorchester from 1988 to 1991 and is alleged to have assaulted a boy during those years, prosecutors said.

Walsh also served as a layman in the same capacity at Saint Francis de Sales Church in Charlestown in the mid to late 1950s, prosecutors said.

Walsh retired, moved to Florida where he later entered a Maryland seminary and was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in Grand Rapids, Mich. in 2002 when he was in his mid-60s, prosecutors said. That same year, two adult survivors alleged that Walsh abused them while he was working at the Dorchester parish, leading church leaders to revoke his ministry, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Former priest accused of raping boy decades ago to appear in court

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

BOSTON —A former priest accused of child rape and assaults he allegedly committed while he was an altar boy coordinator at a Dorchester church is scheduled to face charges Wednesday.

Michael Walsh, 79, is expected to be arraigned Suffolk Superior Court on two counts of rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child.

Officials said Walsh allegedly committed the assaults against one boy during the late 1980s and early 1990s while at St Brendan's. Previously, Walsh was a layman at St. Francis de Sales Church in Charlestown.

Walsh later became a priest, but was relieved of those duties in 2002.

Suffolk prosecutors were able to bring the charges in part because Walsh spent many years in Florida and Michigan, tolling the statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Pa. investigating six Catholic dioceses for handling of sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
PhillyVoice

BY DANIEL CRAIG
PhillyVoice Staff

A Pennsylvania bishop has acknowledged a statewide investigation into six Catholic dioceses for their handling of sexual abuse claims.

Allentown Bishop John O. Barres said in a letter to parishioners Sunday the diocese has cooperated fully with the state attorney general's office during the probe.

"The Diocese of Allentown is committed to the protection and safety of the children and young people entrusted to its care," Barres said in the letter.

"Abuse of minors is a grave sin and crime. The Diocese of Allentown has zero tolerance for offenders and, as noted above, reports allegations of abuse to the appropriate authorities."

Earlier this month, it was reported that six Pennsylvania dioceses were under investigation: Erie, Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Harrisburg and Allentown. Barres is the last bishop out of those heading the six dioceses to publicly confirm the investigation, according to the Morning Call.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, said he testified before a grand jury in August and claimed people would be "shocked" by the results of the probe into the Diocese of Allentown.

Rozzi was sexually abused by a priest in the Diocese of Allentown as a child and is in the midst of a legislative battle to push a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for sex abuse victims. Several Catholic organizations, including the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, have fought against that legislation, saying it treats public and private institutions with different standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Window for sex-abuse claims could open after all

PENNSYLVANIA
Sharon Herald

By JOHN FINNERTY CNHI Harrisburg Correspondent

HARRISBURG – A push to allow victims of clergy sex abuse the right to sue for damages in old cases is barreling toward a vote, with support from key state officials.

The House last spring opened a window allowing victims of old sex crimes to sue for damages. The window was snapped closed by the Senate, which voted only to extend the statute of limitations on those cases moving forward.

Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks County, who has pushed to allow victims to seek justice against their molesters and church leaders who’ve covered up the crimes, said he believes House lawmakers will revive the retroactivity clause, giving the Senate another chance to pass it this fall.

“This is not just a Catholic clergy problem,” Rozzi said at a Capitol press conference Tuesday. “But the church has become the face of institutional wrongdoing.”

The effort is being renewed about six months after a grand jury examining the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese revealed sex abuse allegations involving more than 50 priests from the 1940s through the 1990s, with a concerted effort by church leaders to shield the priests from prosecution.

Former Attorney General Kathleen Kane called for a rewrite of the statute of limitations law based on the Altoona-Johnstown revelations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Victims of pedophile priest fight to keep him from being released

MICHIGAN
Click on Detroit

By Kevin Dietz - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson
September 27, 2016

DETROIT - A Michigan prosecutor is teaming up with a group of men who were sexually abused as boys by their priest to try to keep the pedophile from being released on parole.

The incidents happened over 30 years ago, but they're coming forward now as the priest is up for parole in Oklahoma.

Only new charges can keep the priest behind bars.

Abused by the priest as children, the victims say its time to speak up so that it never happens again.

"He knelt beside the bed I was in," John Wood said. "He held my hand ... said the Lord's Prayer ... and then climbed in bed with me ... and had his way with me."

The men are being called heroes in a horrific case of abuse.

"For me, I was a sophomore," Chuck Smitchler said. "I was 15 at the time. It started on the wrestling team. He was the wrestling coach. It was the first time I ever wrestled." ...

Father James Rapp was a priest and wrestling coach at Michigan's Jackson Lumen Christi High School from 1980 to 1986. He had moved around the country over the years, living in Philadelphia, New York, Illinois and Utah. In Oklahoma, he picked up a molestation charge that sent him to prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Priest convicted of sexually assaulting teen boys denied full parole

CANADA
CBC News

By Holly Moore, Katie Nicholson, CBC News Posted: Sep 28, 2016

Catholic priest Ron Léger, who's serving time for sexually assaulting teen boys he met a drop-in centre, will not be granted full parole. A federal parole board determined he is an "undue risk." Instead, the board voted to grant him day parole for six months.

The board determined Léger had a one-in-five chance of reoffending and he scored "just over the low threshold" as a moderate risk to reoffend sexually. They denied his application for full parole in a Sept. 15, 2016 decision.

Léger, 78, is serving a two-year sentence for sexually assaulting three male victims. Two were teens when they were assaulted in the 1980s. They met Leger at a drop-in centre he founded in St. Vital. The other teen was a family friend and parishioner in the early 2000s.

Léger plans to live at a "community correctional centre/community residential facility (halfway house)" during day parole, according to the documents.

He expressed remorse for his behaviour, apologized and recognized that it was wrong. But the decision also describes substantial support for Léger from the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Santos retires Silent No More sign

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

By Neil Pang | Post News Staff

During a sobering ceremony at the Guam Veterans Cemetery in Piti yesterday, Silent No More founder Joe Santos retired the sign he had been displaying on the back of his pickup truck since June. Together with Sens. Frank Blas Jr. and Frank Aguon Jr., Santos removed the iconic sign from the bed of his pickup at the foot of the grave of the late Joseph "Sonny" Quinata.

The sign has become something of an itinerant landmark – the stark black on white "Silent No More Stop Child Sex Abuse" is easily seen and announces the likely presence of a protest nearby.

Santos said he had originally erected the sign as a silent promise made to Doris Concepcion during the internment of her son Joseph "Sonny" Quinata's remains.

"I watched his mother slide his ashes into his final resting place," Santos said to the gathered crowd. "I saw the pain of a mother – the pain of a parent who wished, I think, that she had done some things differently."

On that day, June 14, Santos vowed he was going to display the sign until the bill was passed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Counsel to child sexual abuse inquiry believed to be close to resigning

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Ben Quinn
Tuesday 27 September 2016

Fresh doubts about the future of the beleaguered independent inquiry into child sexual abuse have arisen amid concerns that its most senior lawyer is about to quit.

Ben Emmeron QC, who is counsel to the inquiry, is believed to be preparing to resign against the backdrop of differences with the body’s chair, Alexis Jay, who took up her position following the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard last month.

The question marks over Emmeron’s continued involvement could not have come at a worse time for the inquiry, which was plunged into uncertainty following the resignation of Goddard, a New Zealand judge, who was the third person to have been named as inquiry chair.

Jay, a child protection expert with more than 30 years’ experience, led the official inquiry into the Rotherham scandal, which found that at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the town between 1997 and 2013.

A spokesperson for the inquiry said on Tuesday that Emmerson, a founding member of Matrix Chambers and a specialist in international and domestic human rights, had not resigned. However, they declined to comment on whether there was a disagreement between the chair and the inquiry’s counsel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Abuse inquiry in crisis after top lawyer threatens to quit

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
September 28 2016
The Times

The most senior lawyer at the national child abuse inquiry is poised to resign in a move that could deal the £100 million investigation a fatal blow.

Ben Emmerson, QC, counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), is understood to disagree fundamentally with the new chairwoman, Alexis Jay, about its future. He is thought to favour a restructuring to reduce the inquiry’s workload while Professor Jay, along with the home secretary and No 10, is determined that it should stick to the original terms of reference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry: Top lawyer 'considering quitting'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The most senior lawyer working for the inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales is considering resigning, the BBC understands.

Ben Emmerson QC is believed to disagree with its new chairwoman, Professor Alexis Jay, over its future.

The Times reports that he wants to reduce the inquiry's workload, but Prof Jay and the home secretary have both said its scope will not be changed.

Prof Jay is the fourth person appointed to lead the inquiry.

An inquiry spokesman said Mr Emmerson had not resigned as counsel to the inquiry, while Mr Emmerson told the BBC he was not in a position to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Fresh blow to national child abuse inquiry as most senior lawyer 'considers quitting'

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

BY SIMON SMITH

Ben Emmerson is said to disagree with the new chairwoman over the future of the investigation

The national inquiry into child sexual abuse could be facing another serious blow after reports its most senior lawyer is considering standing down.

Ben Emmerson QC, who is counsel to the inquiry, is said to disagree with its chairwoman Alexis Jay about its future.

His departure would represent a fresh setback for the probe, which has been beset by problems since it was launched by then Home Secretary Theresa May in 2014.

A spokeswoman for the inquiry said Mr Emmerson has not resigned.

He is thought to favour a restructuring to reduce the inquiry's workload, according to The Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry lawyer 'threatens to quit in row with new chairwoman' in fresh setback

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Danny Boyle

28 SEPTEMBER 2016

The most senior lawyer at the national inquiry into child sexual abuse is reportedly considering resigning in a dispute with the new chairwoman.

Ben Emmerson QC is said to disagree "fundamentally" with Professor Alexis Jay over the future of the investigation in a row that could bring another serious setback for the probe.

He is believed to want the inquiry to be restructured to reduce its workload, but Prof Jay and Home Secretary Amber Rudd have said the scope will not be changed.

Earlier this month, Prof Jay defended the inquiry and insisted it will not be scaled back - despite her predecessor Dame Lowell Goddard saying there was an "inherent problem" in its "sheer scale and size" as she called for a "complete review".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Guam abuse victims warned of Catholic Church's motives

GUAM
Radio New Zealand

An advocate for abuse survivors is urging victims to think twice before notifying Guam's Catholic Church of abuse.

The Church has issued a statement encouraging people with knowledge of sexual abuse by clergy members to contact its abuse response co-ordinator.

This is after the passing of a bill lifting the statute of limitations for lawsuits against child sex abusers and private institutions that may have protected them.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests spokesperson, Joelle Casteix, said the law would give victims accountability.

But she said they should be wary of the church as it won't want abuse exposed.

"Anytime anyone is abused do not call the Church, call law enforcement, because the Church will always try to protect themselves. Call the police, call a support group such as SNAP, call a lawyer. Don't rely on the Church to do the right thing because they haven't."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

PA House To Stand Its Ground On Child Sex Abuse Legislation

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Philly

September 27, 2016 By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG (CBS) — It appears a standoff may be taking shape between the state House and Senate over legislation to give adult victims of child sex abuse more time to seek justice.

The bill would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. In civil cases, the measure would also eliminate the statute of limitations for most individual defendants, and lengthen the time a victim would have to sue an organization. As it stands now, those provisions would only apply going forward.

The House passed a bill that allowed for retroactive lawsuits. But the Senate, citing constitutionality concerns, removed it. Now House leaders have indicated retroactivity will likely be put back into the bill.

Jennifer Kocher is a spokeswoman for leaders of the Republican Senate majority and said many things are being lost.

“All of these good provisions of the bill are being lost in the firestorm of controversy being swept up over one provision.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Bishops Still Behaving Badly on Sex Abuse as Pope Francis Sets the Example

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Betty Clermont

The clerical sex abuse scandal has revealed the core of corruption in the institutional Catholic Church. There have already been hundreds of thousands of victims around the world.

Since the systemic sexual abuse of children made national headlines in 2002, survivors (young people who had experienced child sexual abuse had a suicide rate that was 10.7 to 13.0 times the national rates) and their advocates have demanded essential reforms necessary to protect children in the future.

One is that the pope require that all criminal acts be immediately reported to the police. This is still optional according to Pope Francis. Another is that the pontiff hold bishops accountable. Pope Francis has never disciplined anyone for protecting child sex abusers, obstructing justice for the survivors or impeding measures to keep children safe because that’s what he does. So the scandals go on and on and on …..

On Sept. 21, 2016, Fr. Octavio Munoz appeared in a Chicago court on child pornography charges after police arrested him at a Maryland treatment center.

Last summer, Chicago Archbishop Blasé Cupich transferred Munoz from his assignment as a recruiter of young men for the priesthood to pastor at St. Pancratius Parish. When Fr. Kevin Hays, Munoz’ replacement, together with an archdiocese employee, went to inspect Munoz’ former living quarters on July 7, 2015, they found “a black Sony laptop … there was displayed a moving image on the screen that appeared to be running from a web cam. The image was of a young boy (engaged in a sexual act).”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Historic child sex abuse inquiry on the brink of collapse after judge threatens to resign

UNITED KINGDOM
Express

By CHARLIE BAYLISS
Wed, Sep 28, 2016

Ben Emmerson QC is thought to have fundamental differences of opinion with the new chairwoman, Alexis Jay, about the future of the independent inquiry into child sex abuse.

Emerson wants to reduce the workload of Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s (IICSA), while Professor Jay wants to push ahead with the original plans for the project, it is believed.

The inquiry is examining historic sex abuse claims dating back more than six decades – with Westminster, the Church, schools and the armed forces all under the spotlight.

The inquiry was originally scheduled to span at least 10 years – but the continuous delays could push that back further.

Mr Emmerson is thought to be “actively considering” his position after being appointed by Theresa May two years ago when she was Home Secretary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Government's child abuse inquiry in crisis after 'top lawyer threatens to quit over way the investigation is run'

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By ALEXANDER WARD FOR DAILY MAIL

A lawyer helping to lead the Government's child abuse inquiry is poised to quit, it was claimed last night.

Ben Emmerson QC, currently counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, is responsible for probing claims of historical abuse at organisations from Westminster to the Church.

Mr Emmerson is understood to fundamentally disagree with the inquiry's fourth chairwoman, Alexis Jay, over the way the inquiry is set to run, the Times reported.

He is believed to be in favour of restructuring the inquiry while Professor Jay, with the backing of the Home Office and the Prime Minister, insists it should stay within its original remit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Church minister jailed for raping daughter

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Wed 28 Sep 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A church minister has been jailed after assaulting his own daughter twice.

Woolwich Crown Court was told Mark Anderson, 54, abused his status as a minister to hide the abuse.

22-year-old Rebekah Anderson has waived her right to anonymity to try to encourage other survivors of sexual violence to come forward.

Mr Anderson has been jailed for 19 years after being convicted of two charges of rape at Woolwich Crown Court.

He has been convicted of one assault by penetration and one assault occasioning actual bodily harm when she was aged 12 and 14 respectively.

Rebekah told The Times newspaper: "I couldn't take it anymore, it was too much of a build-up, it was holding me back and I couldn't take it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

Pastor jailed last month must wait another day to learn bond

GEORGIA
News4Jax

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter , News4Jax.com Staff
September 27, 2016

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - After hearing from friends of Pastor Ken Adkins, as well listening to recordings of phone calls of Adkins talking about the child molestation charges against him, a Glynn County judge said he would rule Wednesday on bond on charges of aggravated child molestation.

Adkins, 56, pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, has been in the Glynn County Jail since Aug. 26, when he surrendered on charges resulting from allegations he molested a teenage boy in 2010.

The young man told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Adkins molested him when he was a member of Adkins' church as a boy under the age of 16.

After hearing from four pastors who know Adkins and said he poses no risk to the community and hearing portions of the audio recordings, Superior Court Judge E.M. Wilkes said he wasn't trying the hear the case, only decide on bond.

Prosecutors recounted Adkins' previous criminal history, including four convictions on charges for theft, grand theft and passing bad checks, adding that Adkins presents a significant risk to intimidate witnesses. The state requested that Adkins be denied bond, or at least receive a bond of $1 million or more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Pastor jailed last month must wait another day to learn bond

GEORGIA
News4Jax

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter , News4Jax.com Staff
September 27, 2016

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - After hearing from friends of Pastor Ken Adkins, as well listening to recordings of phone calls of Adkins talking about the child molestation charges against him, a Glynn County judge said he would rule Wednesday on bond on charges of aggravated child molestation.

Adkins, 56, pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, has been in the Glynn County Jail since Aug. 26, when he surrendered on charges resulting from allegations he molested a teenage boy in 2010.

The young man told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Adkins molested him when he was a member of Adkins' church as a boy under the age of 16.

After hearing from four pastors who know Adkins and said he poses no risk to the community and hearing portions of the audio recordings, Superior Court Judge E.M. Wilkes said he wasn't trying the hear the case, only decide on bond.

Prosecutors recounted Adkins' previous criminal history, including four convictions on charges for theft, grand theft and passing bad checks, adding that Adkins presents a significant risk to intimidate witnesses. The state requested that Adkins be denied bond, or at least receive a bond of $1 million or more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Pastor charged for sexual abuse, harboring a runaway

IOWA
KCCI

DES MOINES, Iowa —A Des Moines man is back behind bars after being sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for third-degree sexual abuse and harboring a runaway.

Police said Damion Rutues, 37, hid a 15-year-old runaway girl in a small sleeping area inside a church on Forest Avenue.

Court documents show the 15-year-old girl ran away from home with her girlfriend.

Rutues let them stay inside Learning of the Lord Revival Center because the girls said they were homeless and had nowhere else to go.

“He was familiar with the family,” Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said. “He was lying to her parents that she, in fact, was there, and while she was there he was having sexual intercourse with her.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Former Agape Bible Church members come forward, say they’re abuse victims

COLORADO
KDVR

[with video]

THORNTON, Colo. – Several former members of Agape Bible Church are coming forward claiming they have also been victims of sexual assault because of the church.

The Problem Solvers first reported last week that associate pastor Robert “Bob” Wyatt turned himself into police. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl at church over a period of two years.

After police documents were released, the Problem Solvers reported that Agape’s head pastor Darrell Ferguson may have known about Wyatt’s alleged crime and did not report it to police.

Ferguson tells FOX31 under Colorado law he was not legally obligated to report the suspected crime since the information was divulged during a confidential counseling session.

Now former church members tell the Problem Solvers they believe Agape and Ferguson have a history of abuse and a history of covering it up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Archdiocese reports allegation of priest serving in SD

MINNESOTA
The Catholic Spirit

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced Sept. 20 that it received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor and reported it to law enforcement.

The alleged sexual abuse involves Father Joseph Thomas Forcelle and is from the late 1970s and early 1980s when he was serving as a priest at St. Mark in St. Paul. Father Forcelle has been serving in the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, since 1984. The archdiocese said it notified the Sioux Falls diocese.

Father Forcelle, 63, was ordained for the archdiocese in 1980. In addition to St. Mark, he served at St. Olaf in Minneapolis. In 1984 he became the director of the Office of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Sioux Falls and was incardinated into that diocese in 1988.

According to a press release from the archdiocese, the St. Paul Police Department on Sept. 19 advised that there would not be a criminal investigation and gave the archdiocese permission to make the disclosure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Rozzi still pushing for overhaul of child sex abuse law

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

By Liam Migdail-Smith

HARRISBURG - State House leaders plan to take steps next month to revive a proposal that would enable some people sexually abused as children to sue even if their window to do so has already closed.

House officials said Tuesday the plan is to add a retroactive provision back into a bill that would overhaul time limits for victims to take legal action.

“That's where the members are and we'll see how it goes,” said Stephen A. Miskin, a spokesman for the House's Republican leadership.

At a Capitol press conference, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Muhlenberg Township Democrat and the measure's chief proponent, vowed to continue his push for protections aiding victims abused in the past to be included in the bill.

“We cannot choose to help one group of victims and ignore another,” said Rozzi, a victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a priest. “We must do the right thing by all of them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Priest Permanently Removed From Duties After Sex Abuse Allegations

NEW YORK
CBS New York

[with video]

PEARL RIVER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A former Pearl River priest accused of sexual abuse has been permanently removed by the Archdiocese of New York.

As WCBS 880’s Monsignor John O’Keefe will never again function as a priest. A church official said the former president of Archbishop Stepinac High School will not be returning to his ministry.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan suspended O’Keefe from his duties at St. Margaret of Antioch in Pearl River in December after allegations of sexual abuse more than three decades ago surfaced.

The archdiocese declined to comment while the case and its findings were still referred to the Vatican.

When he was a teacher in the Bronx in the 1980s, O’Keefe allegedly abused a student in a Virginia hotel room and an upstate retreat house. He claims he is innocent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Irish priest in New York to be defrocked over 30-year-old sex abuse allegations

NEW YORK
Irish Central

Kate Hickey @KateHickey_ September 28, 2016

The Archdiocese of New York has confirmed that priest who has been accused of the sexual abuse of a minor on two occasions in New York and Virginia, over three decades ago, will never function as a priest again.

Monsignor John O’Keefe (71), formerly of Pearl River, NY and once president of a Westchester County Catholic high school, has been permanently removed from his ministry according to the lawyer for this alleged victim, Mitchell Garabedian. On Sunday afternoon a joint press release was issued by New-Jersey-based nonprofit Road to Recovery Inc, which helps victims of sexual abuse, and Garabedian. The Boston lawyer said he had been informed of this decision in August.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York said they would not make any public statements until the process is completed. This would include bringing the matter to the Holy See, in the Vatican. The process of defrocking a Catholic priest can take years, but a church official confirmed with The Journal News “that O'Keefe will never be permitted to function again as a priest.”

Due to the statute of limitations O’Keefe has not been charged with any crimes. Garabedian said his client was abused between 1981 and 1983 while studying at Cardinal Hayes High School in The Bronx. O’Keefe was a teacher and guidance counselor at the school.

It is alleged that the abuse happened in a Virginia hotel room during a school trip to Washington, DC and at the Irish Christian Brothers’ retreat house in Esopus, NY during a weekend leadership training program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Allentown bishop addresses grand jury probe

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Steve Esack and Matt AssadContact Reporters
Of The Morning Call

Bishop: "The state attorney general's office has subpoenaed our records on all possible abusers."

A week after declining to address the question, Allentown Bishop John O. Barres acknowledged what his counterparts in five other Catholic episcopates already had: The diocese is being investigated by a statewide grand jury examining how church leaders handled decades of child sex abuse allegations.

In a letter to parishioners last weekend, Allentown Bishop John O. Barres confirmed that his diocese had been subpoenaed and is cooperating with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

"As your bishop, I wanted to let you know that the Diocese of Allentown is cooperating with a statewide investigation being conducted by the office of the state attorney general looking at how six Pennsylvania dioceses handled allegations of abuse," Barres wrote in a letter delivered to parishioners during Saturday and Sunday Mass and printed in the diocese newspaper, the AD Times.

The letter reminded parishioners that Barres' predecessor, Bishop Edward P. Cullen, in 2002 allowed prosecutors from the diocese's five-county territory to review personnel files detailing old sex abuse allegations against 23 priests. Since then, Barres said, the diocese has notified the counties' district attorneys of new abuse claims. Now, state authorities want records, he wrote.

"The state attorney general's office has subpoenaed our records on all possible abusers, and we are in the process of turning over that material," the letter states. "The Diocese of Allentown is committed to the protection and safety of the children and young people entrusted to its care. To this end, it is the policy of the Diocese of Allentown to cooperate with law enforcement. We will cooperate with the attorney general's office just as we have cooperated with the district attorneys. Abuse of minors is a grave sin and crime."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 AM

Documents reveal dismissed criminal case against Archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

By: Tom Lyden
POSTED:SEP 27 2016

(KMSP) - One thousand pages of documents released by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and St. Paul Police detail the criminal investigation into the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

Those documents focus heavily on the conduct of former Archbishop John Nienstedt, who resigned 16 months ago.

Criminal charges in the case were dismissed in July as part of broad civil settlement with the Archdiocese.

The documents include a history of former priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who cruised bookstores and parks for gay sex before he was convicted of sexually assaulting two boys.

Concerns about Wehmeyer’s sexual compulsivity were raised before he even became a priest, when he was still in seminary. According to the documents, Nienstedt “was fond” of Wehmeyer, who even believed Nienstedt was “grooming” him for a sexual encounter.

In an August 2014 interview, Nienstedt dismissed the association.

“Three dinners in three years, it’s not something I wouldn’t have done with any other priest,” Nienstedt said.

The documents, which in some cases are heavily redacted, also include confidential memos that refer to an internal church investigation into the conduct of Nienstedt, carried out by an outside law firm, Greene-Espel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 AM

September 27, 2016

Local priest accused of sexual abuse permanently removed from ministry

NEW YORK
Fios 1 News

The alleged victims of a former Pearl River priest and Westchester Catholic school leader accused of sexual abuse are resting a little easier today, knowing he has been permanently removed from his ministry

The allegations against Monsignor John O’Keefe’s go back for more than 30 years ago. He was suspended last year for allegedly sexually abusing a student on class trips in Virginia and Ulster County.

Two other male victims have come forward since then and their allegations were found credible…

“…To the point where the review board of the Archdiocese of New York was unanimous in its recommendation to Cardinal Dolan that Monsignor O'Keefe be removed permanently,” said Dr. Robert Hoatson, President of Road to Recovery.

Others say O'keefe's alleged abuse started even earlier, when he was a guidance counselor at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Iglesia condena a pena canonica a sacerdote por abuso sexual a menor

CHILE
El Rangcaguino

[The Bishop of Rancagua has announced the dismissal from the clerical state of diocesan priest Carlos Manriquez, who served as pastor of La Merced in the town of Zuniga. In January 2015 the Catholic Church initiated a canonical investigation that convicted former priest who was accused to abusing a minor.]

El Obispado de Rancagua ha dado a conocer la dimisión del estado clerical de presbítero diocesano, Carlos Manriquez, quien se desempeñó como Párroco de la Parroquia La Merced, en la localidad de Zúñiga. En enero del año 2015 la Iglesia Católica inició una investigación canónica que encontró culpable al ex sacerdote.

Común era ver al Padre Carlos Manriquez, como uno más del pueblo de Zúñiga, comuna de San Vicente de Tagua Tagua. No había fiesta costumbrista o fiesta de la vendimia en la que no participara, ya que tras la respectiva misa a la chilena, se colocaba su traje a la usanza campesina para bailar cueca y ser uno más de las actividades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Pearl River priest removed from ministry over alleged sex abuse

NEW YORK
News 12

[with video]

YONKERS - The archbishop of New York permanently removed a Pearl River priest from his ministry Tuesday because of sex abuse allegations.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan removed Monsignor John O'Keefe because of sex abuse allegations from 30 years ago when he was on the faculty of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx during the 1980s. O'Keefe has been stationed as pastor of Saint Margaret of Antioch Parish in Pearl River since 2003, but was first removed in December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Pa. House to take up sex-abuse law to expand victims' rights

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITER

HARRISBURG - With only days remaining in the legislative session, officials said Tuesday the Pennsylvania House intends to rewrite and send back to the Senate a contested child sex abuse bill that would give victims the right to sue for decades-old abuses.

Sometime next month, lawmakers plan to restore controversial language that the Senate removed from House Bill 1947 - a provision that had been strongly opposed by the Catholic Church and the insurance industry for potentially exposing private institutions to enormous financial liability.

Rep. Mark Rozzi (D., Berks) announced the chamber's plans at an hourlong Capitol news conference attended by Republican attorney general nominee Sen. John Rafferty Jr. (R-Mongtomery), other state lawmakers, and leaders of organizations that work with child sexual-abuse victims.

Rozzi said House leadership had pledged to reject the Senate's amended version and try a second time to change Pennsylvania law so that Rozzi and other former clergy abuse victims will have the right to sue attackers and institutions for incidents that occurred in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.

"It's our plan to run this legislation and send it back to the Senate," Stephen Miskin, spokesman for House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R., Indiana), said after Rozzi's announcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Jewish campaigner against sexual violence up for award

UNITED STATES
Jewish News

BY STEPHEN ORYSZCZUK September 26, 2016

harity support worker for Jewish victims of sexual abuse has been nominated for the first national award for independent sexual violence advisors (ISVAs).

Yehudis Goldsobel, who works for the charity Migdal Emunah and who has exposed problems in the Jewish community, has been shortlisted for the LimeLight Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The advisors help victims understand the criminal justice process, explain what happens when reporting an offence to the police, and stress the importance and process of forensic DNA retrieval. Cultural sensitivities are crucial, and Yehudis is the only qualified Jewish IVSA in the UK and works across the entire religious spectrum of the Jewish community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Survivors, legislators push to revive statute of limitations bill

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

BY KODY LEIBOWITZ TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27TH 2016

HARRISBURG - Survivors, families and legislators took to the Capitol Tuesday to push forward changes in child abuse statute of limitations with the hope of again adding language some deem controversial others said is necessary.

A rally to revive the statute of limitations bill.

Rep. Mark Rozzi, along with colleagues and survivors of child sex abuse, stood inside the Capitol strongly urging the lawmakers to pass the statute of limitations months after it was introduced.

The bill would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations and extend civil statutes to age 50.

The bill currently sits in the House Rules committee, but Rozzi said he expects the bill will be voted out and voted on by house members, with retroactivity back in the bill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Berks lawmaker seeks stronger child sex abuse lawsuits bill

PENNSYLVANIA
WFMZ

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania lawmaker who has told of his victimization as a child by a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Allentown said he'll keep fighting for legislation to allow onetime-child sexual abuse victims to sue for damages. "I hear my story with every story told to me," said Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat.

"We, our families and friends, have been gravely wronged by these predators and those institutions that will do anything to protect their reputations and coffers." Rozzi said Tuesday that he isn't dissuaded by the Senate's rejection of the provision. The House approved the provision overwhelmingly in April. It would revive the ability of people to sue for damages if they're now older than the current legal age limit of 30 to sue.

"When I ran for this office, I was on a personal mission to shake open the log jam that I faced when looking for justice," Rozzi said. "I didn't realize the magnitude of this epidemic until, as a state representative, my office started receiving letters, emails, phone calls and personal visits from victims from every corner of the state and beyond."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Why “Nones” Are Leaving the Church

UNITED STATES
Commonweal

Michael Peppard
September 23, 2016

The most significant demographic trend in American religion today is the rapidly growing numbers of “unaffiliated” or “nones.” The data has spoken clearly for years, with a rise from about 5% in 1972 to about 25% in 2016. More importantly, almost 40% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 are religiously unaffiliated. This is no mere life-cycle effect, as has been so common in the past. If you find yourself gazing at empty pews this weekend and thinking, They’ll come back when they have kids of their own, you’re in denial.

To the contrary, this is an epochal societal shift disguised as a life-cycle effect, and it remains foolish to avoid the numbers. Recent books by Kaya Oakes and Elizabeth Drescher, among others, have given voices to these numbers. Queries about what the nones do after they leave their religious communities—how they live out their days as spiritual not religious, or multi-religious, or anti-religious—will continue to occupy more and more of our bookshelves. But the prior question of why they leave in the first place is also still being asked.

Yesterday the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), an increasingly indispensable organization for the study of religion, released a report about why they leave. The report, based on August 2016 phone surveys, might be thought of as a compilation of anonymous exit interviews: real people offering real reasons, with nothing to hide or prove. Not all the answers are surprising, but some of them should be required reading for pastors, catechists, and parents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Parish priest from Dallas named bishop for West Texas diocese

TEXAS
KTXS

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Pope Francis has named a parish priest from Dallas as the next bishop of the Lubbock Diocese.

The Vatican on Tuesday announced the appointment of Monsignor Robert Coerver. The 62-year-old Coerver is currently a priest at St. Rita Parish in Dallas.

Coerver is a Dallas native who was ordained in 1980.

He'll take over Bishop Placido Rodríguez, who's led the diocese in Lubbock since 1994 but is retiring at age 75.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:44 AM

Texas firm makes inquiry over ex-priest and alleged rapist John Sutton

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 27, 2016

A Dallas, Texas-based law firm is reaching out to anyone who has information about a Catholic priest who worked on Guam from 1971 to 1974 and who last year was accused by a man of raping him repeatedly when he was a student in Texas.

Attorney Tahira Khan Merritt said the priest, John H. Sutton, worked on Guam in the early 1970s and moved to Texas in 1984 to work as a chaplain and teacher at Wichita Falls’ Notre Dame Middle-High School, a diocesan institution of the Fort Worth Diocese.

Merritt said that’s where Sutton and his friend, school Principal Ronald M. Staley allegedly abused her client, identified in court documents only as “John Doe 117."

Sutton worked on Guam from 1971-1974 at Father Duenas Memorial School in Mangilao, a Catholic high school for boys. He also worked at Duenas Memorial Minor Seminary. He taught U.S. and world history while on Guam. But after that, his whereabouts were uncertain, Merritt said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Former Pearl River Priest Removed from Ministry over Sex Abuse Allegations

NEW YORK
Patch

By Lanning Taliaferro (Patch Staff) - September 27, 2016

PEARL RIVER, NY — Timothy Cardinal Dolan has permanently removed Monsignor John O'Keefe, who had been the priest at St. Margaret of Antioch, from the ministry, the New York Daily News reports.

However, the lawyer for O'Keefe's alleged victim told the paper that he was concerned that the archdiocese has not shared its findings with the public because it could put more children at risk.

The lawyer is Mitchell Garabedian, whose work on behalf of the victims of priest sex abuse was portrayed in the award-winning movie "Spotlight." Garabedian told the Daily News that the archdiocese let him know in August that O'Keefe had been permanently removed from his duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Rozzi vows to get retroactivity clause back in abuse bill

PENNSYLVANIA
WITF

Written by Rachel McDevitt/Radio PA | Sep 27, 2016

(Harrisburg) -- In April, the state House passed a bill to extend the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases, which also would have given past victims of abuse more time to file a civil suit.

The Senate sent it back without the retroactive clause.

Now, a state lawmaker from Berks County is vowing to get the retroactivity back in the proposal.

Six of Pennsylvania's eight Catholic dioceses, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, are now under investigation by the state Attorney General's office for possible clergy sex abuse.

The new probes are spurring advocates like Democratic Representative Mark Rozzi of Berks County to push harder for passage of legislation to allow past victims to sue.

He says he believes the House will stand united, as it did earlier this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Do you know of sexual abuse within our Church?

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

The Archdiocese of Agana cares deeply about the protection of minors and all people entrusted to its care. Sexual abuse is a matter of the gravest concern, as Our Lord calls us to protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us – our children. We take the protection of children very seriously.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB, the Apostolic Administrator of Agana has appointed Deacon Leonard Stohr to be the Sexual Abuse Response Coordinator (SARC) for the Church on Guam.

We encourage all persons who have knowledge of sexual abuse by clergy or others in our Archdiocese, today or in the past, to contact Deacon Len at this hotline number: 727-7373. You may also e-mail him at deaconlen1@gmail.com

Our Archdiocese pledges to correct the wrongs and mistakes of the past. We are strengthening our sexual abuse and sexual misconduct policy so that all people – most especially our young and most vulnerable – may be confident of being in a safe environment fully protected from any harm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Catholic church reaches out to anyone with knowledge of clergy sex abuse

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 27, 2016

The island's Catholic church has issued a new statement, encouraging anyone who knows about sexual abuse by clergy or others in the Archdiocese of Agana “today or in the past” to contact the church’s sexual abuse response coordinator.

The call comes shortly after Gov. Eddie Calvo signed into law a bill that would allow victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers and the institutions with which they are associated, at any time.

Public Law 33-187 makes the Catholic church on Guam open to lawsuits by those who, in recent months, have publicly accused priests, including Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, of raping or molesting them. The Vatican placed Apuron on temporary leave over sex abuse allegations, but he has not been charged with any crime.

“Do you know of sexual abuse within our Church?” the Archdiocese of Agana’s statement reads.

The statement says the Archdiocese of Agana cares deeply about the protection of minors and all people entrusted to its care.

“Sexual abuse is a matter of the gravest concern, as Our Lord calls us to protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us – our children. We take the protection of children very seriously,” it adds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Holy See ratification of UN Convention against Corruption dismissed as “window dressing”

UNITED KINGDOM
National Secular Society

Posted: Tue, 27 Sep 2016

Holy See ratification of UN Convention against Corruption dismissed as “window dressing”

The Holy See's ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption has been dismissed as mere "window dressing" by the National Secular Society.

Senior Vatican officials said the move would help ensure good governance not just internationally but of the city state itself. The Vatican has been rocked by numerous scandals including a far-reaching clergy sex abuse crisis, money laundering and corruption at the Vatican Bank.

Vatican Radio reported that Holy See had ratified the Convention with two reservations and three interpretative declarations. One of these reservations states that the Holy See reserves the right not to participate in any "appropriate mechanism or body to assist in the effective implementation of the Convention".
The National Secular Society, which has been active at the UN in holding the Catholic church to account over its failure to address child abuse within its ranks, said the Holy See's caveats meant the ratification amounted to "mere window dressing".

NSS executive director, Keith Porteous Wood, said: "The Vatican is among the most corrupt states in the world and is close to being ungovernable, as is evident from Gianluigi Nuzzi's book Merchants in the Temple, which reveals the shocking extent of corruption within the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Chicago-based religious order sued for docs on allegations

ILLINOIS
Beatrice Daily Sun

By MICHAEL TARM

CHICAGO (AP) — A 51-year-old Colorado man who says he was sexually abused when he was around 7 years old by a teenager who later became a prominent Roman Catholic priest — one known for his work with at-risk kids — on Monday sued the Chicago-based religious order to which the priest belongs, seeking the release of all records related to allegations of abuse by any of its priests.

Eric Johnson's lawsuit names the Claretians Missionaries, a 165-year-old order that has around 3,000 priests and brothers in about 60 countries, as the defendant. The suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court says that Father Bruce Wellems was around 15 when the abuse occurred in the early 1970s. Johnson says the abuse occurred over about a year.

Several phone messages left for Wellems on a private phone and at the Claretians headquarters were not returned Monday. He has previously acknowledged inappropriately touching of a minor when he himself was under 18, but he has also said he never again abused a child, including never as an adult and never as a priest. Messages seeking comment from the Claretians also weren't returned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally call for a parish priest to resign as chair of a primary school board of management

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

27 SEP 2016
BY SAOIRSE MCGARRIGLE

Monsignor John Shine is an uncle of Bill Kenneally and heads up the Holy Cross National School in Tramore

Victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally are calling for a parish priest to resign as chair of a primary school board of management.

Monsignor John Shine is an uncle of Bill Kenneally and heads up the Holy Cross National School in Tramore, Co Waterford.

The Sunday Independent reported a Waterford woman told Bill Kenneally’s cousin – former TD Brendan – her son had been abused in 2002 but he called the priest instead of reporting it to gardai.

Sports coach Bill Kenneally, 66, was jailed in February for 14 years for abusing boys in the 1980s – and now his victims want the cleric to be removed from his position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Diocese cooperating in investigation into abuse, 'a grave sin and crime'

PENNSYLVANIA
Lehigh Valley Live

By Kurt Bresswein | For lehighvalleylive.com

The Diocese of Allentown this week affirmed its commitment to helping bring to justice those within its ranks who abuse minors.

Bishop John O. Barres issued a statement Sunday saying the division of the Roman Catholic church is cooperating in a new Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office inquiry into handling of allegations of abuse.

Diocese of Allentown spokesman Matt Kerr would not previously confirm the diocese's involvement in the grand jury investigation, or say if the diocese was subpoenaed.

Six Pennsylvania dioceses are under investigation, Barres wrote in the letter to parishioners, posted on the diocesan website. The inquiry follows the Allentown Diocese's cooperation in 2002 with district attorneys from the five counties that make up the diocese, during which records were shared of priests against whom allegations of abuse of minors had been leveled.

"Since then, we have notified the relevant district attorneys of claims of abuse," Barres wrote. "The state attorney general's office has subpoenaed our records on all possible abusers, and we are in the process of turning over that material. ...

"The Diocese of Allentown is committed to the protection and safety of the children and young people entrusted to its care. To this end, it is the policy of the Diocese of Allentown to cooperate with law enforcement. We will cooperate with the attorney general's office just as we have cooperated with the district attorneys."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Korean American Pastors Glean Advice on Handling Abuse Situations in Ministry

UNITED STATES
Christianity Today

RACHAEL LEE SEP 26, 2016

About 50 Korean American pastors gathered at Cerritos Mission Church earlier this month for a 'Crisis Management Seminar' hosted by Dr. Benjamin Shin, the director of the Asian American Doctor of Ministry cohort at Biola University's Talbot School of Theology.

The seminar was split into two parts, the first which featured Dave Carder, a counselor who has dealt with hundreds of cases of extra-marital affairs, sexual abuse, and other related incidents. Shin spoke during the second portion, sharing updates on an incident that occurred in July in a mission team sent by the college ministry Korean American Campus Mission (KCM), an incident which Shin said triggered this seminar.

“We wanted to provide this time to provide resources for Korean American pastors, especially since they don't go over this in most seminaries,” said Shin, who shared a list of counselors, lawyers, and police officers who could help in similar situations.

For many involved in the KCM incident, which involved allegations that a pastor engaged in inappropriate conduct during the mission trip, this was their first such experience dealing with moral failure among ministry leaders. For Shin, who helped KCM's leaders throughout the handling of the incident, it was his seventh time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

IS THE RISE OF “NONES” ACTUALLY THE DECLINE OF CATHOLICS?

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

BY PATRICIA MILLER
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

The Public Religion Research Institute is out with another fascinating report on one of the most significant religious trends of our time: the dramatic rise in disaffiliation, or, as some call them, the “nones.”

PPRI found that a fully a quarter of all Americans, and a whopping 39% of young adults, now say they have no religious affiliation, making the unaffiliated the largest “religious” group in a country long known for its high levels of religiosity.

And while the rise of the “nones” will continue to make headlines and shape culture for a long time to come, there is another largely unnoticed trend lurking in the numbers: just how much the growth in the nones has been fueled by the disaffiliation of Roman Catholics. According to PPRI:

While non-white Protestants and non-Christian religious groups have remained fairly stable, white Protestants and Catholics have all experienced declines, with Catholics suffering the largest decline among major religious groups: a 10-percentage point loss overall. Nearly one-third (31%) of Americans report being raised in a Catholic household, but only about one in five (21%) Americans identify as Catholic currently.

The Catholic rate of disaffiliation dwarfs the rate for any other faith tradition; the next biggest “loser” in terms of disaffiliation are the mainline Protestant denominations, which saw a 4.5-point loss, while white evangelical denominations saw a net drop of only 2.2 points, largely because they have both a lower rate of disaffiliation and a fairly robust rate of new adherents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

Church pastor sends statement to congregation after Problem Solvers story

COLORADO
KDVR

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016, BY ASHLEY MICHELS

THORNTON, Colo. – Agape Bible Church canceled all church services this past weekend following a Problem Solvers investigation into whether their head pastor tried to cover up an alleged sexual abuse case within the church.

A week ago, Agape’s former associate pastor Robert “Bob” Wyatt turned himself into police. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl who went to that church.

Police documents and former congregation members allege that Agape’s head pastor Darrell Ferguson knew about the allegations in July and refused to go to police.

A 16-page arrest affidavit describes evidence that Ferguson knew about the allegations by July 21st, 2016 when Wyatt reportedly confessed the crime to the girl’s parents.

“Ultimately Darrell and [the girl’s parent] agreed to not report the sexual assault to the police or social services because they were concerned with what would happen to Bob,” the affidavit alleges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Residential-school rulings raise concerns about denied compensation claims

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Sep. 26, 2016

Three recent court rulings have overturned adjudicators’ decisions to deny compensation to people who were abused at Indian residential schools, raising questions about how many other former students have been unfairly refused redress.

As the process created by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to provide compensation for the abuse nears the end of its work, the court rulings – two in Ontario and one in Manitoba – suggest that problems with decisions made by adjudicators are not always caught in the reviews and re-reviews to which applicants are entitled.

Bill Erasmus, the regional chief of the Northwest Territories for the Assembly of First Nations, who is responsible for the AFN’s residential schools file, said many people who were abused at the schools are intimidated by the complexity of the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) and distraught at reliving the memories. For those reasons, he said, they often do not pursue claims that were unfairly denied.

“Many people didn’t get the money that they ought to have,” Mr. Erasmus said, “and they just give up.”

In July, Justice Paul Perell of the Ontario Superior Court determined that an adjudicator made a “glaring and crucial error” when she relied on her own knowledge of how the Catholic church operates to deny compensation to a claimant who said a priest raped him at a residential school in Spanish, Ont. Her assumptions, which incorrectly led her to conclude the assault must have happened after the school was closed, should not have influenced her findings, the judge said, but neither the review nor the re-review corrected the error. He ordered that the man be compensated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Cardinal Dolan ousted priest for sex abuse claim, but accuser's lawyer says children still at risk

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O’KEEFFE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, September 26, 2016

Timothy Cardinal Dolan has removed a Rockland County priest accused of sexual abuse — but children may still be at risk, said a lawyer for the clergyman’s alleged victim.

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian said the Archdiocese of New York told him in August that Monsignor John J. O’Keefe — most recently the pastor of St. Margaret of Antioch in Pearl River — had been permanently removed from his duties following an investigation into allegations he had sexually abused his client in the 1980s.

But the archdiocese has not shared its findings with the public, which Garabedian argued puts kids at risk. The archdiocese continues to provide O’Keefe with a place to live, although it would not comment on where the disgraced priest has been living.

“Children must immediately be made safe from predators like Monsignor O’Keefe,” Garabedian said. “The archdiocese failed miserably in its supervision of O’Keefe, and now it is playing more children in potential jeopardy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

September 26, 2016

Chicago-based religious order sued for docs on allegations

ILLINOIS
Associated Press

By MICHAEL TARM
Sep. 26, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) — A 51-year-old Colorado man who says he was sexually abused when he was around 7 years old by a teenager who later became a prominent Roman Catholic priest — one known for his work with at-risk kids — on Monday sued the Chicago-based religious order to which the priest belongs, seeking the release of all records related to allegations of abuse by any of its priests.

Eric Johnson's lawsuit names the Claretians Missionaries, a 165-year-old order that has around 3,000 priests and brothers in about 60 countries, as the defendant. The suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court says that Father Bruce Wellems was around 15 when the abuse occurred in the early 1970s. Johnson says the abuse occurred over about a year.

Several phone messages left for Wellems on a private phone and at the Claretians headquarters were not returned Monday. He has previously acknowledged inappropriately touching of a minor when he himself was under 18, but he has also said he never again abused a child, including never as an adult and never as a priest. Messages seeking comment from the Claretians also weren't returned.

Speaking at a news conference at his lawyer's Chicago office, Johnson said he decided to sue because the Claretians did not follow through on pledges the order made to Johnson earlier to closely monitor Wellems and to not allow him access to children unless another adult was present.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 PM

Life Story for Paul Likoudis

NEW YORK
Vedder and Scott Funeral Home

Paul Augustine Likoudis, age 61 of Caywood, NY, passed away due to complications in his fight against cancer on September 22, 2016. He was surrounded by loved ones at the time of his passing. The son of James and Ruth Likoudis of Montour Falls, Paul is survived by his brother Mark, and sisters Therese Williams, Celine Schanzer, Cathy Kader, and Margaret Byerley. Paul recently celebrated his 35th Wedding Anniversary with his loving wife Paulette, and sons Peter (Sarafina), Gabriel, and Vincent, and daughters Genevieve (Rick) Bitter, Kateri, and Irene (Matthew) DeMarco. He had 6 grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Paul was born in Buffalo, NY, blessed by Bishop James McNulty in St. Joseph's New Cathedral, and grew up in St. Mary of the Lake parish in Watkins Glen, NY, where he served as an altar boy. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History and European Literature from Eisenhower College in 1975.

He worked as an artist/illustrator for the Catholic News Service, as assistant editor of the Catholic Commentator in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he met his wife Paulette, and then became “special projects editor” for the Canadian Catholic Register. In 1990, after 8 years as editor and photographer for Rocket Publications, he became news editor for The Wanderer. For over two decades, he reported on the state of the Catholic Church in the United States; his range of writings included little known aspects of American Catholic history, as well as lucid commentaries on just war ethics, social justice principles, and the theological and political abuse of the findings of psychology and sociology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

PAUL LIKOUDIS: REST IN PEACE

NEW YORK
Church Militant

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

One of the giants upon whose shoulders we at Church Militant stand

A faithful son of Holy Mother Church, Paul A. Likoudis went before Our Lord on September 22 as a result of his three-year battle with cancer. A brief obituary can be read here.

His body will be buried September 28 near his hometown of Caywood, New York, but his legacy of defending the Catholic faith, oftentimes against enemies from within the Church Herself, will live on in the many thousands he inspired by his writings and talks.

In praying for the repose of Likoudis' soul, Michael Voris remarked that Paul was "truly a good man" and "a greatly beloved defender of the Faith." Voris pointed out the influence that Likoudis had on his own apostolate. "He was very involved in the initial resistance to the rebellion in the Church, and is one of the giants upon whose shoulders we consider ourselves here at Church Militant standing." ...

He deserves praise for exposing Church corruption in the years prior to 2002, when the clergy sex abuse scandal exploded in the secular mainstream media."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Former Pearl River priest removed from ministry

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Colleen Wilson, cwilson2@lohud.com September 26, 2016

“This claim is another example of why the statute of limitations has to be amended so that victims of sexual abuse can try to heal,” said Mitchell Garabedian, lawyer for the accuser.

A former Pearl River priest and Westchester Catholic school leader accused of sexual abuse has been permanently removed from his ministry by the Archdiocese of New York, according to a lawyer for his alleged victim.

Monsignor John O’Keefe, who served for more than a decade as president at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, had been suspended last year from St. Margaret of Antioch Parish in Pearl River after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor on two occasions — in New York and Virginia — more than three decades ago.

The announcement of O'Keefe's status was made Sunday afternoon by New Jersey-based nonprofit Road to Recovery Inc., which helps victims of sexual abuse. It issued a joint press release with Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer for the accuser, who said he had been informed of the action by a church official.

Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said the archdiocese would not make public statements on the case until the process is completed, which includes bringing the matter to the Holy See, the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Vatican City.

But a church official confirmed to The Journal News that O'Keefe will never be permitted to function again as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Child sex abuse bill opponent responds to new law

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

As Catholic lay protestors hail the signing of Bill 326-33 into Public Law 33-187 as a moral victory, others in the community have not been so quick to embrace the new law.

Dr. Ricardo Eusebio, president of the lay organization "I Familan Mangatoliku Siha Pari Si Apuron," or "Catholic Families for Apuron," told the Post that members of the organization were disappointed at the enactment of the bill because it fails to fully address the injustice perpetrated against victims of child sex abuse.

The new law lifts the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits involving child sex abuse.

"You cannot repair an injustice by creating another injustice," he said. "It specifically discriminates against private institutions and gives the government a free pass."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Opinion: Stronger accountability makes the church safer

UNITED STATES
Mennonite World Review

Sep 26, 2016 by Sylvia E. Shirk

A Mennonite conference took action this summer to make the church a safer space by enhancing the accountability of its credentialed leaders.

Atlantic Coast Conference of Mennonite Church USA, which includes 33 congregations in Pennsylvania and several other states, sent a letter to all its credentialed leaders informing them that each one needed to renew their ministry credential.

The letter stated: “Because the Credentialed Leaders Covenant and the Child Safety Affirmation Statement help ACC fulfill its legal obligation under Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law, those out of compliance with this policy will have their credentials suspended effective July 9.”

The required forms included the Sexual Misconduct Policy, MC USA-ACC Code of Ethics and either the Credentialed Leaders Covenant or Child Safety Affirmation Statement.

In the end, all but four of the 75 credentialed leaders met the July 8 deadline. Of those whose credential was suspended, two have since completed the forms and reinstated their credential. Of the remaining two, one has not been active in ACC and the other has left the conference and would face the credentialing contractual requirements of any new network or conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Ezzati defendió decisión del Vaticano de negar antecedentes sobre obispo Barros

CHILE
ADN 91.7

[Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati defended the Vatican's decision to deny background information on Bishop Juan Barros that was requested by secular court authorities in Chile. He is accused of witnessing abuse of minors by priest Fernando Karadima but did nothing about it.]

El cardenal Ricardo Ezzati defendió la decisión del Vaticano de negar los antecedentes del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros. Dichos antecedentes permitieron exculpar al religioso como encubridor de los abusos cometidos por Fernando Karadima.

"La Santa Sede contestó el segundo exhorto y en ese segundo exhorto presentaba algunas objeciones, entre ellas, la fundamentación del exhorto y de acuerdo a la legislación internacional y de la legislación del Vaticano la Santa Sede comunicó en un comunicado verbal el día primero de abril de este año que eso no tenía curso", dijo Ezzati.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Mending Fences

UNITED STATES
The Good Men Project

I’ve always been intrigued by the different choices people make, while working to restore good boundaries in their life after an experience of abuse. Whether it’s re-establishing the broken boundary with the abusive person, or finding a safe way to relate to others, the memory of betrayed trust can complicate decisions about how to maintain safety.

When I think about my own relationship to personal boundaries, I’m often reminded of the iconic phrase, “good fences make good neighbors.” I learned the line from Robert Frost’s poem Mending Wall, first published 100 years ago, in 1914. The poem describes an annual spring ritual of two neighbors, together restoring the winter damage to an ancient stone wall between their abutting properties.

The narrator complains of the tedious, hard work involved every year, and notes that neither of them even has livestock that would require a solid fence line. His neighbor just patiently repeats the phrase, ‘’Good fences make good neighbors.”

My own healing process and my work with abused kids and violent adults inclines me to see a lot of wisdom in the neighbor’s approach. Without engaging in an argument or accusing the narrator of bad intention or being a potential “trespasser,” he respectfully insists on the firm limit he wants to live by. He does it even using the same sentence, setting a goal of being good neighbors!

But what’s a good fence?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

MONSIGNOR JOHN J. O’KEEFE PERMANENTLY REMOVED FROM MINISTRY IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK BECAUSE OF CREDIBLE CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS

Monsignor John J. O’Keefe, suspended Pastor of St. Margaret of Antioch Parish in Pearl River, New York, former Principal of Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, former teacher and guidance counselor at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, New York, and former parish priest of Christ the King Parish in the Bronx, New York, has been removed permanently from serving as a priest by Cardinal Timothy Dolan because of credible childhood sexual abuse claims

One childhood sexual abuse victim of Monsignor John J. O’Keefe was sexually abused in two locations on separate occasions:

1) In a hotel room in Virginia during a Cardinal Hayes High School trip to Washington, DC, to visit with a Hispanic Congressman and tour the nation’s Capital, in the 1980s; and,

2) At the Irish Christian Brothers’ novitiate retreat house, Santa Maria, in Esopus (West Park), New York, during a “Cardinal’s Leadership Program” training weekend for Hispanic youth when he was a student at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, New York, in the 1980s

Why has Cardinal Timothy Dolan NOT announced that Monsignor John J. O’Keefe has been removed permanently from ministry as a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, and why has Cardinal Dolan not announced that the sexual abuse case against Monsignor John J. O’Keefe has or has not been sent to the Vatican for Monsignor O’Keefe’s removal from the priesthood?

What
A press conference announcing the permanent removal from priestly ministry of Monsignor John J. O’Keefe, a well-known priest of the Archdiocese of New York, who has spent decades in ministry to children in schools and parishes, and as Director of the “Cardinal’s Leadership Program” for Hispanic youth

When
Monday, September 26, 2016 at Noon

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenue and East 50th Street, Manhattan

Who
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
“John Doe” met then Father John J. O’Keefe at Christ the King Parish in the Bronx in approximately 1975 when he was a minor child and a parishioner of Christ the King Parish. He did simple jobs in the rectory and was an altar boy. Father John J. O’Keefe then became a teacher and guidance counselor at a nearby Bronx high school, Cardinal Hayes High School, where “John Doe” attended high school. When “John Doe” was approximately 15-17 years old and a student at Cardinal Hayes High School, he was sexually abused by Father John J. O’Keefe during two school-sponsored events. “John Doe” was invited to accompany Monsignor John J. O’Keefe and a group of Cardinal Hayes High School students on a school trip to the Washington, DC area, where Monsignor John J. O’Keefe sexually abused “John Doe” in a hotel room in Virginia. Sometime later, as Director of the “Cardinal’s Leadership Program” for Hispanic youth, Father John J. O’Keefe, who was rewarded with the title “Monsignor” by the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, sexually abused “John Doe” during a leadership training weekend at the novitiate retreat house of the Irish Christian Brothers, Santa Maria, in Ulster County, New York. “John Doe” suffered significant damages as a result of the sexual abuse by Monsignor John J. O’Keefe, including dropping out of Fordham University, because of the effects of the sexual abuse.

It will be demanded on behalf of “John Doe” and the other childhood sexual abuse victims of Monsignor John J. O’Keefe that Cardinal Timothy Dolan:

1) Investigate the “Cardinal’s Leadership Program” for Hispanic youth, reach out to those Hispanic young men who were part of that program and may have been sexually abused, and provide the necessary resources to help those men heal;

2) Announce publicly that Monsignor John J. O’Keefe has been removed from priestly ministry permanently and that he will be monitored on a full-time basis; and,

3) Confirm that the Vatican has received the sexual abuse file of Monsignor John J. O’Keefe so he may be removed from the priesthood.

“The secrecy of the Archdiocese of New York surrounding the sexual abuse of an innocent child by Monsignor John J. O’Keefe is another example of why statute of limitations laws must be changed to help sexual abuse victims heal and to protect innocent children.” – Attorney Mitchell Garabedian

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. - Road to Recovery, Inc., 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian – Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Catholic church needs better way to select bishops

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Robert Mickens | Sep. 26, 2016 A Roman Observer

Pope Francis really believes there is a serious lack of quality among priests and bishops in the Catholic church. Otherwise, he would not talk so often about the negative traits of certain men in ordained ministry, as he's done again several times in recent days.

"The world is tired of lying charmers and -- allow me say -- of 'fashionable' priests or 'fashionable' bishops," the pope said on Sept. 16 to a group of 94 bishops consecrated in the last two years for dioceses in mission territories.

"The people 'scent' -- the People of God have God's 'scent' -- the people can 'scent' and they withdraw when they recognize narcissists, manipulators, defenders of personal causes and standard bearers of worthless crusades," the pope warned the so-called "baby bishops," who were in Rome for a training seminar.

He also cautioned them about too easily accepting seminarians or incardinating already ordained priests into their dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Reminder to register for private sessions by 30 September

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

26 September, 2016

Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse are reminded that they must register with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse by Friday 30 September 2016 if they wish to have a private session.

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

The Royal Commission has now held almost 6,000 private sessions and it expects to have held more than 7000 private sessions by the time it completes its work at the end of next year.

In April this year, the Royal Commission announced it would close registrations for private sessions on 30 September due to the strong demand from survivors to share their story, which resulted in a queue of people waiting to meet with a Commissioner.

The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair of the Royal Commission, said that unless applications were closed off well before the final report was completed, many people seeking a private session would be disappointed.

He said that it would be ‘intolerable for a survivor to be accepted for a private session only to find we could not meet with them.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Lev Tahor sect in Guatemala resettles, claiming harassment

GUATEMALA
Times of Israel

A community of ultra-Orthodox Jews living outside Guatemala’s capital moved out Sunday, claiming persecution because of their faith.

The 500-strong group hails from the United States, Israel, Canada, several European countries, Mexico and El Salvador.

The leader of the Lev Tahor community, the US rabbi Uriel Goldman, said his people are moving to a village in eastern Guatemala because of harassment including a raid of the group’s buildings on September 13 on the outskirts of the capital.

Guatemalan authorities said that search was carried out at the request of Israeli authorities to search for a girl who was barred from leaving Israel.

The raid was also aimed at investigating allegations of child abuse, the Guatemalan authorities said. The community includes some 150 minors.

“We cannot take any more,” said Goldman. “We are going to start over.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

El enojo de los osorninos tras la posible visita del Papa a Chile

CHILE
El Vaca Nudo

[There is not a lot of joy in Osorno after announcement that Pope Francis possibly will visit Chile next year as part of a tour of several South American country. This is because all still remember how the pope supported Bishop Juan Barros after he was accused to covering up the sexual offensesof priest Fernando Keradima. Recall that in the video that was widely disseminated, the pope himself said that the people of Osorno are "silly" in not believing Barros who has denied the allegation against him.]

Alegría es lo menos que hay en Osorno luego del anuncio del Papa Francisco que dijo que posiblemente visitará Chile el próximo año en el marco de una gira por algunos países sudamericanos.

Esto, porque todos aún recuerdan cómo el Sumo Pontífice apoyó al obispo Juan Barros luego de que éste fuese acusado de encubrir los delitos sexuales de Fernando Karadima.

Precisamente el día miércoles, cuando se anunció su posible visita, El Vaticano se negó a entregar antecedentes sobre la defensa que hizo Francisco I.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Victims celebrate passage of Bill 326, but say they're far from done

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 26, 2016

By Krystal Paco

It's a law that opposers have said could potentially bankrupt the local Catholic Church. While others say it's a step toward healing for victims of child sexual abuse. Late Friday afternoon, Governor Eddie Calvo put pen to paper and signed the highly-controversial Bill 326 into law. While the church braces for doomsday, survivors celebrate.

Survivors of child sexual abuse, the time is now. "We want justice," stated Roland Sondia, adding, "and we think this is the opportunity now." Sondia and others who have publicly accused clergy men of child molestation can finally get their day in court. "I'm very happy that the governor signed it. By doing that that, he just made the island a much safer place for our children," he shared.

Governor Eddie Calvo shared the same sentiment in his weekly address, in which he said, "I hope that we can now move forward and begin the process of healing. I ask everyone to pray for our island's victims - of this most heinous crime, most especially the vulnerable of our community, our children."

The Archdiocese of Agana meanwhile is preparing for the new law's potentially crippling consequences, including bankruptcy, school closures, and an end to the church's community services for the less fortunate. Days before Calvo took action on the legislation, the church circulated a petition to block the bill. Over 4,500 signatures were submitted to the Governor's Office to veto the measure. The church offered assurance that a trust fund was being established for victims of sex abuse by church clergy.

Delegate to the administrator Father Jeff San Nicolas said, "Our archdiocese did not want to cause division and we are thankful for those who spoke up and expressed themselves and we will work cooperatively and fully with the process that justice is served and we want to meet the needs of whatever we can as a church to help that process of justice take place. And thank for all those who have made this bill, made the will of the people very clear and we're cooperative with that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

September 25, 2016

Protesting Catholics call Archbishop Hon "a failure"

GUAM
KUAM

By Jason Salas

Members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam and the Laity Forward Movement continue to their weekly picket line on the steps for the Hagatna Cathedral Sunday morning. Messages on their signs have changed slightly -- now calling Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai a failure and demanding he go home to Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Opinion: It's time for Guam's second great awakening

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Steven Castro McManus September 24, 2016

The long and arduous "mumon linahyan" that has engulfed Guam’s community for a number of years is echoing schisms of another era in history – 1517 to be exact and seems to be resulting in the same kind of reformation that followed. Pope Leo X’s corruption that exploited the faithful seem to have been reborn today in the person of one Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Unfortunately, the people of Guam have been suffering at the hands of this kind of colonial screw balling since Magellan “discovered” Guam in March 1521 and perhaps the passage of Bill 326 is the beginning of a new era.

Leo’s pattern of abuse served only to alienate indigenous peoples and drive them into the arms of another genus of Christianity. The radical ideas of Martin Luther was not just spiritual; it was nationalist in nature. German sentiment against the powerful Italian Medici was fertile soil for a reformation that would give them their own Christianity – thus the Lutheran Church was born. The Scots would get their Presbyterian Church, the English, their Anglican Church and the American colonists their Methodist and Baptist churches. And in each case, better systems of governments ensued.

Is it a coincidence that Guam’s religious rumblings are occurring simultaneously with the islands growing movement toward decolonization? Massachusetts outcast and Rhode Island founder Roger Williams probably wouldn’t think so. His Christian zeal for a better church in 1636 also fashioned a more democratic state that would inform the ideals of the U.S. Constitution more than a hundred years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Church protest grows

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

About 150 Catholic activists – the most so far – turned out yesterday morning for the weekly protests held outside the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña. Stretching to the driveways on both ends of the walkway in front of the cathedral, protestors were stalled at multiple segments of the picket line as they adjusted to the unprecedented turnout.

The reason

Taking part were members of Silent No More, Concerned Catholics of Guam and the Laity Forward Movement – the three lay organizations that have organized the major protests concerning the allegations of child sex abuse against members of the clergy, the property dispute over the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and the call for the laicization of Archbishop Anthony Apuron. In addition, yesterday’s picket line included parishioners from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Toto.

Picket organizers said the Toto parishioners took part as a show of support for their pastor, Rev. Mike Crisostomo. Crisostomo had recently been reprimanded by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, the apostolic administrator to the Archdiocese of Agana.

"We stand in solidarity behind our parish priest," said John Taitano, member of the Toto parish council. "We are here to support him."

According to sources, Crisostomo attended a meeting of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese where Hon is said to have singled him out and accused him of disobedience in the presence of other council members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

An einem verfluchten Ort

AUSTRALIEN
Frankfurter Allgemeine

[In the Australian city of Ballarat. abused priests and teachers abused children for years. To this day, many people refuse to see the truth in the eye.]

on TILL FÄHNDERS, BALLARAT

Das australische Städtchen Ballarat ist auf Gold gebaut. Abenteurer, die auf der Suche nach schnellem Reichtum gekommen waren, hatten die Ortschaft Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts gegründet. Die gewaltigen Vorkommen im Buschland nördlich von Melbourne führten damals zu einem fiebrigen Goldrausch. Bis heute zeugen die verschnörkelten Fassaden aus der Zeit der britischen Königin Viktoria von diesem Reichtum. Ein bewaffneter Aufstand in Ballarat im Jahr 1854, mit dem Goldsucher sich mehr Rechte sichern wollten, wird sogar als Ursprung der australischen Demokratie gesehen. Man ist hier stolz auf diese Geschichte.

Jedoch liegt ein anderer Teil ihrer Vergangenheit wie ein dunkler Schatten über der ehemaligen Goldgräbersiedlung im Bundesstaat Victoria. In Ballarat fand einer der schlimmsten sexuellen Missbrauchsskandale in der Geschichte Australiens und der katholischen Kirche statt. Über Jahre hinweg hatten sich Priester, Mönche, Ordensleute, Lehrer und von der Kirche beschäftigte Laien an Minderjährigen vergangen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

PERUGIA: “Don Lucio Gatti ha abusato di me. Avevo 13 anni”

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[A 20-year-old man has gone to police and accused priest Lucio Gatti of abusing her when he was age 13.]

E l’agghiacciante racconto di un ragazzo oggi 20enne, ai carabinieri, ai quali racconta le presunte violenze psicologiche e sessuali che avrebbe subito da don Lucio Gatti quando aveva 13 anni, quando i servizi sociali lo portarono via di casa per affidarlo ad una delle comunità gestite da don Lucio, il centro Caritas di San Fatucchio.

La querela risale allo scorso aprile quando il ragazzo che stavamo da tempo seguendo ha trovato il coraggio di denunciare i presunti abusi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Esplora il significato del termine: «Don Angelo mi ha violentato a 9 anni», nuovo testimone contro il parroco bresciano«Don Angelo mi ha violentato a 9 anni», nuovo testimone contro il parroco bresciano

ITALIAS
Corriere della Sera

"Don Angelo raped me in nine years," said a new witness against priest Angelo Blanchetti from Brescia.]

di Mara Rodella

Impresse nero su bianco sulla pagina virtuale. Chiare, inequivocabili. E riconducibili a un nome e un cognome. Digitate d’impeto - ma non per questo senza sofferenza o dopo una riflessione attenta sulle conseguenze - davanti all’ennesima «difesa» di chi, di quel sacerdote, si è sempre fidato. E che alle accuse non ci crede.

Ma «io sono ancora in cura, da anni. Ne avevo nove quando ho subito gli abusi da lui, adesso ne ho 35». Lo ha scritto su Facebook un giovane camuno, mettendoci la faccia. O meglio, il suo profilo. Quello vero. E «lui» è don Angelo Blanchetti, 55 anni, parroco di Corna di Darfo e di Bessimo, agli arresti domiciliari da martedì con l’accusa di violenza sessuale su minore: un ragazzino che ha compiuto 14 anni in aprile ha trovato il coraggio di confidare a un pastore milanese prima e agli inquirenti coordinati dal pm Ambrogio Cassiani poi, gli abusi che avrebbe subito per circa due anni

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Mgr di Falco de nouveau assigné au civil pour un viol prescrit

FRANCE
Liberation

Par Bernadette Sauvaget — 23 septembre 2016

Mgr di Falco de nouveau assigné au civil pour un viol prescrit

Quatorze ans après avoir été classée sans suite à cause de la prescription des faits, l’affaire mettant en cause Mgr Jean-Michel di Falco, l’actuel évêque de Gap, ressurgit. Accusant le prélat de l’avoir violé et abusé sexuellement au début des années 70, «Marc» (un prénom d’emprunt), la victime présumée, a entamé selon son avocat Jean-Baptiste Moquet une procédure au civil pour obtenir réparation du préjudice subi et réclamer des dommages et intérêts. Une démarche courante dans les pays anglo-saxons. «Nous avons épuisé toutes les autres procédures judiciaires», explique, à Libération l’avocat de Marc. Personnalité très médiatique, Mgr di Falco, un proche de Bernadette Chirac et de l’homme d’affaires François Pinault, a toujours nié les faits. En 2003, le prélat, promis à un brillant avenir, avait été nommé dans un petit diocèse peu prestigieux, celui de Gap (Hautes-Alpes). Di Falco est récemment revenu sur le devant de la scène grâce au succès du groupe de chanteurs qu’il a créé, les Prêtres.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

NDR-Missbrauchskampagne gegen die Kirche – 2015 wie 2010 – medienethisches Versagen ARD (10)

DEUTSCHLAND
katholisches

In einer beispiellosen Kampagne im Sinne von Schwarmjournalismus hatten die Medien im Frühjahr 2010 die Kirche wegen Missbrauchsvorfällen an den Pranger gestellt. Damit verbreiteten sie in der Bevölkerung die absurd irrige Meinung, Kindesmissbrauch sei unter Priestern in der katholischen Kirche weit verbreitet. So lautete damals der Vorhalt des Allensbach-Instituts, dem 47 Prozent der Befragten zustimmte. Fünf Jahre nach dem rufschädigenden Kampagnen-Journalismus, an dem sich auch der NDR beteiligte, schlägt der Sender mit einem neuen Filmbericht in die gleiche Kerbe.

Ein Gastbeitrag von Hubert Hecker.

Im Jahre 2011 hatte das Kriminologische Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen in einer repräsentativen Studie 11.428 Personen zwischen 16 und 40 Jahren nach Missbrauchserfahrungen befragt. Daraus ergab sich, dass 683 Personen (knapp sechs Prozent der Befragten) vor dem 16. Lebensjahr mindestens einmal Opfer von Missbrauch geworden waren. Bei mehr als drei Viertel der den Opfern „bekannten“ Missbrauchstätern mit Körperkontakt (473 Betroffene) handelt es sich um männliche Täter aus dem engen Familienkreis oder aus dem Umfeld der Eltern. Zugeordnet nach gesellschaftlichen Bereichen kamen fast einhundert Missbrauchstäter bezüglich aller Sexualdelikte aus dem Schulbereich, jeweils um die vierzig aus dem Freizeit/Sportbereich sowie dem Heim- und Pflegekontext. Von den elftausend Befragten gab eine Person an, von einem katholischen Priester missbraucht worden zu sein.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

INFO FRANCEINFO. Pédophilie : l’affaire di Falco relancée

FRANCE
Franceinfo

C’est une information franceinfo : monseigneur di Falco, l’évêque de Gap, ex-porte-parole médiatique de l’épiscopat, est assigné au civil dans une affaire de pédophilie présumée.

Un ancien élève, qui se fait appeler "Marc", veut demander réparation pour le préjudice qu’il aurait subi, après des viols et des agressions sexuelles que le prêtre aurait selon lui commis dans les années 1970, alors qu'il avait entre 12 ans et 15 ans. À l’époque, monseigneur di Falco était le directeur du petit collège de Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin dans le 7e arrondissement de Paris.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Französischer Bischof in Missbrauchs-Prozess vorgeladen

FRANCE
cath.ch

[Bishop Jean-Michel Di Falco of the Southeast French Alps Gap diocese, has been summoned to a civil court to answer an allegation of child abuse. Various French media report he is accused of sexually abusing a student in the 1970s. The alleged abuse happened at the private College Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin in Paris. Di Falco was director at the time.]

Paris, 23.9.16 (kath.ch) Der Bischof der südostfranzösischen Alpendiözese Gap, Jean-Michel Di Falco, ist in einem Zivilprozess zu Kindesmissbrauch vorgeladen. Verschiedene französische Medien berichten, dass er beschuldigt werde, sich in den 1970er Jahren an einem Schüler vergriffen zu haben. Der angebliche Missbrauchsfall habe sich im Privatcollege Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin in Paris ereignet, dessen Direktor Di Falco damals war. Das Opfer klagt laut Medienangaben auf Schadenersatz.

Ein 2002 eröffneter Prozess zu dem Fall war wegen Verjährung eingestellt worden. Zum aktuellen Prozess wollte der Bischof sich nicht äussern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Spotlight: 9/24/16 Gallup, NM panel discusses area child abuse by Priests and other adults

NEW MEXICO
WGLP

[audio]

A panel discussion was held Saturday (Sept. 24) in Gallup, New Mexico, on "Spotlight: A Public Discussion about Faith, Journalism and Protecting Children from Sex Abuse."

Speaking were Terry McKiernan of Boston, the founder of BishopAccountability.com and a consultant to “Spotlight”; Ralph Lind of Albuquerque, a licensed professional clinical counselor and former minister; Phoenix attorney Robert E. Pastor, who represented 18 clergy sex abuse claimants in the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case; Gallup attorney Billy Keeler, who has represented Navajo plaintiffs in Catholic sex abuse lawsuits and currently represents Navajo plaintiffs in abuse complaints against the Mormon Church; Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola, a freelance journalist who has covered the Gallup Diocese for 14 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Pesch: What happens after child sex abuse bill becomes law

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Bill Pesch September 25, 2016

Like many others on Guam, I woke up Saturday morning wondering what the future holds for us as a community. With Gov. Eddie Calvo’s signature of approval to Bill 326, we are on an unchartered course of attempting to hold a religious institution accountable for alleged acts that, if true, are both morally and legally deplorable. This is going to take some time to sink in.

There is no doubt that Gov. Calvo anguished over his decision to let the courts decide the merits of the public accusations of child sexual abuse made against Catholic priests. He deserves our thanks and appreciation, as does the Guam Legislature, for opening a legal channel for child abuse victims to seek justice and retribution. The difficult journey these victims face will be easier to endure with the knowledge that a large segment of the community stands united behind them.

So, what happens now? In light of the governor’s action, we can expect an outburst of loud and lively public comment. I suspect that after a couple of weeks things will quiet down. There will be a shift from public to private conversations that will take place within families trying to determine if any members suffered child sexual abuse at the hands of persons in authority. Hopefully, families will encourage victimized relatives to come forward with their accusations. To optimize the healing process, victims will need strong family support throughout the long legal ordeal.

Victims will next need to retain a reputable attorney to represent them in moving forward. The attorney should have a strong background in personal injury law and a proven track record of successful trial litigation experience. Do not hesitate to ask an attorney to cite specific examples of his or her trial experience, along with the outcomes. Before making a final decision, meet with several attorneys and talk to their former clients, if possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

September 24, 2016

Should Pennsylvania sex abuse survivors accept half loaf of justice?

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Bill White

Should advocates for extending child sex abuse statute of limitations accept half a loaf?
Is half a loaf better than none?

Not when it comes to this year's emotional and contentious effort to offer justice to many victims of child sex abuse in Pennsylvania by extending or eliminating statutes of limitations, according to the Legislature's most visible advocate for changing the law.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, told me last week that he has consulted with survivors, advocacy groups and other House members over the question of whether the House should accept the watered down version of House Bill 1947 that passed the Senate in June.

He says the consensus is that they need to revert to the original House bill, or at least restore the language that gave victims of child sex abuse up to age 50 — including those blocked by the present statute — the retroactive right to sue their abusers.

One of those advocates, constitutional scholar Marci Hamilton, told me Rozzi is right to push hard for retroactivity, but she's OK with incremental improvements if necessary.

"My view is that you get what you can each year, and you keep pushing," she said. "If they pass an inadequate bill, they'll have to reconsider the issue next year. It's not going away."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

Magdalene Laundries: 20 years since the last laundry closed in Ireland, five survivors tell their heartbreaking stories

IRELAND
Irish Post

September 23, 2016, By Erica Doyle Higgins & Fiona Audley

THIS weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the closure of the last Magdalene Laundry in Ireland.

On September 25 1996, Ireland’s final laundry, which was located on Sean MacDermott Street in Dublin and run by the Sisters of Our Lady, closed its doors for good.

While it’s not known for definite, it’s estimated that 10,000 women were institutionalised in laundries since the foundation of the Irish state in 1922.

The Irish Post reported in 2013 that the majority of laundry survivors escaped to Britain, for fear they’d be caught and incarcerated again.

As a result of the secrecy of the institutions, many survivors felt forgotten and unable to tell their stories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 PM

Sex charge dropped after church decides to return Iowa priest to home country

IOWA/GHANA
World-Herald

By Andrew J. Nelson / World-Herald staff writer

A charge of soliciting prostitution has been dropped against a southwest Iowa priest after the Catholic church decided to return him to his home country of Ghana, according to a prosecutor and court documents.

Dominic Yamoah, now 41, was arrested in Fremont County on July 9; authorities accused him of offering to purchase the services of a confidential informant for a sex act.

The Diocese of Des Moines said in a statement after the arrest that Yamoah “very sincerely regrets his actions” and that it had suspended him from public ministry, according to The Associated Press. Yamoah, who was released on bail, had been a pastor of churches in Clarinda, Bedford and Villisca.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Malka Leifer extradition: Accused principal must be brought back to Australia

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Michael Short

There is a school in the inner Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick that exclusively serves a small and secretive Jewish sect, the ultra-Orthodox Adass Israel community, comprising about 200 families. It has been the scene of shocking sexual abuse, and is at the centre of an ongoing scandal that allegedly involves community members helping to finance the life of the exiled perpetrator, the predatory former principal Malka Leifer, who was protected by school leaders after her crimes were discovered.

The Adass Israel School looks like a prison. Upon its looming, grim walls perch security cameras. Its gates are locked. Security guards prowl throughout the day. These unusual measures are presumably to protect the children. But the enemy has been within.

There is no suggestion of which I am aware that current students are being abused. But the available evidence indicates the school leaders have failed to adequately grasp their responsibility to ensure any current or former members of the school community can seek the most appropriate help should they have been involved in the Leifer atrocity or any similar occurrence.

The entire situation is a tragedy and a travesty. Back in 2008, Leifer, a mother of eight, was found to have abused girls under her charge. Instead of denouncing her to the police, school leaders immediately arranged a late-night flight and she escaped to Israel, where she remained at large for several years. The tickets were funded by members of the Adass community.

Supreme Court judge Jack Rush has indicated in a judgement that some of the school and community leaders responsible for such a perversion of justice may well have broken the law, and police are reportedly belatedly investigating. What sort of message does protecting a child-sex criminal send to the obedient and reserved members of the Adass community, who undoubtedly cherish their children as much as any other people? When he awarded one of Leifer's victims $1.2 million compensation last year, Justice Rush lambasted then and current Adass Israel school board president Yitzhak Benedikt and board member Mark Ernst for organising the 1.20am flight – hours after her sacking – in full knowledge of the hideous, criminal abuse of trust and power she had allegedly committed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Special advocates team up with Rozzi to push for end-of-session passage of statute of limitations bill.

PENNSYLVANIA
Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse - FACSA

Advocates, survivors and members of the General Assembly will stand with state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, to call on House leadership to run H.B. 1947 with the retroactive component that overwhelmingly passed the House 180-15 in April.

The news conference will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 in the Main Capitol Rotunda. The bill would substantially revise the statute of limitations on child sex crimes and abuse.

Special guest speakers at the news conference will include:

*Jennifer Storm – state victim advocate;
* Josh Shapiro – chairman, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD);
* Delilah Rumburg – chief executive officer, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR);
* Charles Gallagher – senior prosecutor for the 2003 and 2005 Philadelphia Archdiocese grand juries under former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham; and
* Shaun Dougherty – Altoona/Johnstown clergy abuse survivor, advocate.

Rozzi will address the recent news of the investigation of the remaining six Roman Catholic dioceses within the commonwealth and the statements by state Attorney General Bruce Beemer concerning H.B. 1947. Additionally, Rozzi intends to discuss the need for the state Senate to allow the courts to decide the constitutional concerns of the bill and pass the reinstated measure to the governor before the end of the legislative session.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Teacher's victim 'learning how to live again' after sexual exploitation

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

SABRINA BEDFORD, THE RECORDER AND TIMES

“Mr. Rancourt, you no longer own me.”

That statement, from a woman in a case of sexual exploitation and sexual assault, was part of a powerful victim impact statement delivered Friday at the Brockville courthouse that left many in the courtroom in tears.

“I was outsmarted and manipulated by a person I trusted,” said the victim of years abuse at the hands of her high school teacher, adding she has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD in the aftermath of the abuse.

“I can’t walk down the street. I live each and every day in fear of being hit, of being yelled at, of being used as a sexual tool.”

Dave Rancourt, a former teacher at St. Mary Catholic High School, was found guilty on one count of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual assault in July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Former Wyckoff pastor sentenced in youth group sex abuse case, report says

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Craig McCarthy | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

HACKENSACK — A former pastor at a Wyckoff church has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually assaulting teenage girls in a youth group, NorthJersey.com reports.

David Hayman, 38, was arrested in March of last year. Hayman was charged with two counts of sexual assault and five counts of child endangerment.

Authorities said Hayman exchanged videos with two 16-year-old girls in the youth group and texted explicit messages to two others, one who was 15-years-old and another who was 16 at the time.

"All of the victims were members of a church youth group, of which Hayman was the pastor and for whom he had direct supervisory responsibility," Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said in a statement last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Former Richmond megachurch pastor, convicted felon ‘Pastor G’ asks for new trial

VIRGINIA/TEXAS
WRIC

[with video]

By Kerri O'Brien
Published: September 23, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Convicted sex offender and former Richmond megachurch Pastor Geronimo Aguilar has officially filed his appeal in Texas. You’ll remember, last year the former “Roc Church” pastor was convicted on seven counts of sexual assault on a minor. It happened during the 1990’s while he was a youth pastor in Texas.

In the brief, Aguilar and his legal team are asking a Texas appeals court to reverse his conviction and grant him a new trial. One of the grounds for appeal argues the Texas trial court abused its discretion in admitting extensive evidence of Pastor Aguilar’s extramarital affairs here in Virginia.

READ: Pastor G files appeal

Aguilar’s attorneys argue, “what started out as an allegation in Texas 19 years ago evolved into a Virginia circus.” The brief goes on to say the “pastor’s circus of a trial was anything but fair.”

Legal experts say the inclusion of those adult affairs could give an appellate judge some pause to consider the case.”

“Generally speaking, if it is more prejudicial than probative that is going to hurt the witness worse than any reason for admitting it’s not admissible,” Chesterfield County attorney Bill Shields told 8News Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien. “In Virginia the admission of that evidence would have been problematic.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Former Bergen Youth Pastor Sentenced To 6 Years For Teen Sex Abuse, Report Says

NEW JERSEY
Patch

By Daniel Hubbard (Patch Staff) - September 24, 2016

A former church youth pastor was sentenced to six years in prison Friday for sexually-explicit charges involving teenage girls, NorthJersey.com reported.

David Hayman, 38, of Oradell, was charged with engaging in inappropriate sexual activity and exchanging sexual explicit videos on several occasions with two 16-year-old girls, then-Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said when Hayman was arrested in March 2015.

Hayman, a married father of three, had inappropriate relationships with at least five girls at Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff, the report said. Hayman worked at the church for about 10 years.

One victim said in court that knowing Hayman, "has been the most negative experience of my life," according to the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Hunter Marist Brothers left trail of violence: Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

IAN KIRKWOOD
24 Sep 2016

THE Royal Commission hearings in Newcastle earlier this month heard repeated evidence of the physical and sexual abuse that characterised life for many Marist Brothers pupils at Hamilton and Maitland.

Counsel assisting the commission, Stephen Free, said 32 people had made claims of sexual abuse against one or more Marist brother from schools in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, including nine people whose claims were against more than one individual.

Francis Cable, known as Brother Romuald, had been the subject of 12 claims, nine of which related to incidents at Marist Brothers Hamilton and Maitland. Cable went to trial in 2015. He is serving a 16-year jail term, with eight years minimum non-parole, over offences relating to 19 complainants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Allegations of child sexual abuse at Lincoln school being investigated by police

UNITED KINGDOM
Lincolnshire Echo

By PWhitelam_LE | Posted: September 24, 2016

Allegations of child sexual abuse at a Lincoln school are being investigated by Lincolnshire Police.

The force has confirmed that it is looking into claims surrounding the Cathedral School in Lincoln as part of an investigation called Operation Redstone.

The school, which educated the minster's choristers, was amalgamated with others in 1996 to become Lincoln Minster School.

Detectives launched Operation Redstone after "a number of concerns" were referred to Lincolnshire Police in 2015 following a review of past safeguarding cases by the Diocese of Lincoln dating back to the 1958.

Detective Superintendent Rick Hatton, who is leading the enquiry team, said: "As there are individual investigations under the umbrella of this operation it would not be appropriate to give specific details, but suffice to say that all appropriate care and support is being given to past victims by both the police and the Diocese.

"Anyone who has any information relating to such cases is urged to contact Lincolnshire Police or the Diocese of Lincoln and the matter will be investigated."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

IAN KIRKWOOD: the impact of paedophile priests on a faithful congregation

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

AS the Royal Commission hearings into events at the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese of the Catholic Church drew to a close, I found myself wondering about the sanctity of priests, and what a devout, doctrinal Catholic would think about the sins of their priests, from a theological point of view.

Despite the march of science, some practising Christians still adhere to a literalist reading of the Bible, meaning that they take both the Old and New Testaments as the literal word of the one God. They believe in Heaven and in Hell, and accept that God created the world in seven days, shortly before he put Adam in Eden and fashioned Eve from one of his ribs.

Even if most Catholics now recognise the mythical aspects of Christianity, many of the church’s 1.2 billion adherents still place great store in the rituals and symbols of the church despite the reprehensible behaviour of many of its priests and brothers.

As an example, one of the aged Marist Brothers whose conduct was examined at the Newcastle royal commission hearing – Darcy John O’Sullivan, known as Brother Dominic – was jailed on Friday for crimes he committed in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The chairman of the commission, Justice Peter McClellan, said more than once during the hearings that the inquiry was very interested in the Catholic use of the confessional, which critics say was relied on by the church to absolve the sins of its priests while keeping the church’s problems away from public scrutiny.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Farrell scandal puts Catholic church's attitude to Australian law under the microscop

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

David Marr
Friday 23 September 2016

The furrows deepened on the brow of Father Brian Lucas. His bouncy confidence evaporated in the witness box. He sweated under questioning. He confessed over and over again to be puzzled by his own actions. Puzzled by the actions of others. So puzzled. But he gave no ground.

On one reading of this tangled story, Lucas could face possible criminal charges for failing to alert the police 24 years ago to the apparently frank confessions of a paedophile priest. He doesn’t see it that way.

Lucas put everything he had this week into convincing the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse that his handling of the case of Father John Farrell – who was abusing children from the moment he was ordained in 1981 – was absolutely proper.

Lucas matters. Though he has no fancy title and doesn’t wear lace, this lawyer priest has been a fixer of great skill within the Catholic church for decades. He has been one of the hard men in the church bureaucracy: for years the spokesman of the archdiocese of Sydney and then secretary to the Bishops’ Conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Diocese of Stockton submits bankruptcy plan

CALIFORNIA
Turlock Journal

By Sabra Stafford
Crime Desk sstafford@turlockjournal.com 209-634-9141, ext. 2002

The Diocese of Stockton has filed a reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court that, if approved, will allocate $15 million to the more than two dozen victims of sexual abuse that have come forward since 2014.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2014 after a series of costly sexual abuse settlements left them financially drained. Once the Diocese made the decision to file for bankruptcy they began a notification process that over the course of three months led to 34 new claims of sexual abuse. The new claims were filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the proposed plan will provide $15 million to 27 survivors of sexual abuse as well as non-monetary commitments such as therapy and counseling.

“The plan demonstrates the Diocese of Stockton’s continued commitment to providing for survivors of sexual abuse in a fair, just and equitable manner from its available resources,” the Diocese said in a released statement.

Locally, the Diocese oversees All Saints University Parish, Sacred Heart Church and Our Lady of the Assumption of the Portuguese Church, all in Turlock, and St. Anthony’s Church in Hughson. It also includes Sacred Heart’s Turlock schools. However, the bankruptcy filing will have no impact on the parishes, schools and other ministries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

September 23, 2016

Calvo signs sex abuse bill

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

John O'Connor | Post News Staff

Bill 326-33 has been signed into law by Gov. Eddie Calvo, opening the door for civil action against perpetrators of child sex abuse. The governor, in a lengthy letter, detailed his reasoning for signing the bill.

"My conscience has been conflicted for the last two weeks. Let me be clear that I am not judging any single person or institution. I am deciding whether a group of people has been denied justice and should therefore be entitled to seek it with judgment by due process of law," the governor stated.

Bill 326 lifts the statute of limitations for civil cases involving child sex abuse. The measure was authored by Sen. Frank Blas Jr. and was passed by 13 senators during a legislative session in September. Sens. Tina Muña-Barnes and Tom Ada were absent during the vote.

The bill developed amid accusations of sexual molestation by Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Three former altar boys – Walter Denton, Roy Quintanilla and Roland Sondia – and Doris Concepcion, the mother of the late Joseph “Sonny” Quinata, have all accused Apuron of abuse. Other individuals have also come forward either as alleged victims of abuse by clergy or as witness to such abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

NSW Government accused of stalling national compensation scheme for abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Michelle Brown

The New South Wales Government has been accused of holding up a national $4.8 billion redress scheme for children who suffered abuse in institutions.

The scheme was recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in August last year.

It recommended a national scheme be set up under the auspices of the Commonwealth Government, which would provide the support and back up.

Institutional and other parties would make their contributions to a board of trustees that would run the scheme.

Wayne Chamley, from victims advocacy group Broken Rites, said all the major churches except for the Salvation Army had agreed to contribute to the scheme as required.

"There's no argument among the major religions, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Catholics, they will contribute whatever is required," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Catholics who have left the church say they would not return

UNITED STATES
Irish Central

Frances Mulraney @FrancesMulraney September 21, 2016

US Catholics who have left the church don’t believe they could be tempted to return, according to a survey by Pew Research Center, carried out in 2015, examining American Catholics and family life.

In the lead up to Pope Francis’ US visit at the end of September 2015, the survey also revealed that although the number of practicing Catholics in the US may be dropping, the number of people affiliated in some way with the Church is in fact rising, be it through their parents, a spouse or some other cultural connection.

For a long time, a quarter of the US population was made up of Catholics but the new Pew survey shows that this dropped to 20.8 per cent in 2014 from 23.9 per cent in 2007.

Many Americans brought up as Catholics are turning their backs on the faith for a number of reasons. Seventy-seven per cent of those who have left say they could never envision returning to the Church and gave no clear indication that any change to Church teachings would make them reconsider this.

The survey showed that as many as half those who were raised as Catholics left at some point in their lives, although 11 per cent did return.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Chicago priest charged in child porn case posts bond

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

Andy Grimm
@agrimm34 | email

Octavio Munoz, a 40-year-old Chicago priest accused of possessing child pornography, has posted $50,000 bail and is free on electronic monitoring, authorities said Friday.

A family member put up the money–$5,000–to secure Munoz’s release, a Cook County Jail spokesman said Friday.

Munoz’s had only $2,000 in savings, his lawyer said at a bond hearing Wednesday.

Munoz is charged with a single felony count, after investigators hired by the Archdiocese of Chicago found a video of pre-pubescent boys engaging in sex acts on a computer that belonged to the priest, prosecutors said.

Police still are sorting through hundreds of DVDs and VHS tapes seized in a search of Munoz’s home, Assistant State’s Attorney Guy Lisuzzo said Wednesday. Investigators also found child-sized underwear and magazines depicting young boys.

Munoz was director of Casa Jesus, 750 N. Wabash, an archdiocese program that recruited Spanish-speaking candidates for the priesthood locally and internationally. Munoz left that post in July to become pastor of St. Pancratius,, 4025 S. Sacramento in the Brighton Park neighborhood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

TX--Churches tout abuse prevention program; Victims respond

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 23, 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)

Some Dallas churches are patting themselves on the back for a purported child abuse prevention program in which they’re involved. Such self-congratulations is self-serving and dangerous.

[WFAA]

We endorse virtually any effort to increase public awareness and understanding of abuse and prevention. But we worry that many church officials engage in programs like this for their public relations value. And we worry that these programs can inadvertently add to an already pervasive and unhealthy sense of complacency in churches.

And we must remember that it’s rarely a lack of information that’s problematic in these cases. It’s a lack of courage and compassion. Church officials usually know the right thing to do about suspicions or knowledge of child sex crimes. But all too often, they’re too timid to call 911, fearing controversy, decreased membership and declining donations.

So while education can be and usually is beneficial, it’s not a panacea. Secular authorities must aggressively investigate, prosecute and punish church officials who know of or suspect child sex crimes and cover ups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Former Wyckoff youth pastor sentenced to six years in sex abuse case

NEW JERSEY
The Record

BY ALLISON PRIES
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

A former youth pastor at a Wyckoff church was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday for crimes against teenage girls that ranged from sexually explicit text messages to intercourse.

David Hayman, 38, a married father of three, appeared before Judge Margaret Foti in Superior Court in Hackensack. Hanging his head, he listened as three victims spoke of the damage they suffered after becoming his “daughters,” as Hayman had described them.

“What could be safer than a youth group?” Assistant Prosecutor Demetra Maurice said. “But it wasn’t.”

Related: Wyckoff youth pastor charged with sex assault

Hayman had inappropriate relationships with at least five girls at Cornerstone Christian Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Cardinal Pell holds his head up high as he cleans up Vatican finances

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

ANGELA SHANAHAN
Columnist
Canberra

During the past 15 years almost no public figure in Australia has been subjected to the amount of abuse, vilification and downright hate as Cardinal George Pell. This has ranged from smears about lack of action on sexual abuse by clergy to vague innuendo about his own behaviour and flimsy allegations about impropriety while play-fighting in a pool and changing in the dressing sheds, which, frankly, verge on the ridiculous. Ask anyone what they think about the cardinal and you will get responses on a spectrum from villain to hero.

I had lunch with Pell in his apartment in Rome in July. It was not the first time I had met him, but it was the first time I had a prolonged conversation with him.

He lives in a quiet block comfortably furnished in clerical style and the lunch was prepared and served by a sharp young American nun who, much to everyone’s astonishment, had attended the West Point military academy.

Conversation moved from the cardinal’s work at the Vatican to the scandals destroying his character in Australia. Although he seemed pessimistic about his financial reforms, he was in a very relaxed mood and — oddly, considering what is happening here — much more generally good-­humoured than I had expected. Many people close to Pell are confident that the latest accusations being investigated by Victoria Police, arising from complaints about Pell’s time in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne, will simply fade away.

Pell is not a man to be destroyed easily. Time and again, from the beginning of his archbishopric in Sydney, enemies of the church have focused on the cardinal as the personification of wrongdoing — as in David Marr’s Quarterly Essay The Prince, a simplistic way of trying to further destabilise and disenfranchise the confused laity, most of whom don’t identify as reactionaries or conservatives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Why most people leave religion? They just ‘stop believing’

UNITED STATES
Salt Lake Tribune

By KIMBERLY WINSTON Religion News Service

It's bad news for organized religion: A majority of the religiously unaffiliated — the so-called "nones" — say they fell away from faith not because of any negative experience, but because they "stopped believing," usually before age 30.

Gloomier still for religion is this: Nones make up 25 percent of the American population, making them the single largest "faith group" in the U.S., ahead of Catholics (21 percent) and white evangelicals (16 percent).

And only a fraction — 7 percent — say they are looking for a religion to belong to at all.

Those are among the more salient findings of a new study of the religiously unaffiliated conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The study challenges the assumption that the unaffiliated are leaving religion because they are offended by religious institutions' treatment of gay and lesbian people or clergy sex abuse scandals, said Daniel Cox, PRRI's research director.

"Those things matter," he said, "but they are dwarfed by this central idea that people no longer believe in religious teachings."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Casa Grande man can sue Catholic church over alleged sex abuse in Guam

ARIZONA/GUAM
Casa Grande Dispatch

Staff and Wire Reports

HAGATNA, Guam — Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said Friday he signed a bill that would lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse charges for civil cases after allegations were made earlier this year by a Casa Grande man and three others that they were abused as children by the local archbishop.

Catholic leaders say the move could bankrupt the church in the largely Catholic U.S. territory.

The bill, which does not apply to criminal prosecutions, was approved by the Legislature after abuse allegations surfaced against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Current Casa Grande resident Walter Denton publicly revealed he was molested as a child by Apuron when the archbishop was a Catholic priest in Guam. The 52-year-old Denton told the Casa Grande Dispatch he attempted to report the incident almost 40 years ago, but nothing was done about it.

Denton held a press conference June 7 in Guam where he alleged he had been the victim of sexual abuse while serving as an altar boy at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, located in the village of Agat. He accused Apuron of raping him as a 13-year-old during a sleepover.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Former Prior Lake Youth Pastor Charged with Having Relationship with Teen

MINNESOTA
KSTP

September 23, 2016

A former Bloomington resident and Prior Lake youth pastor has been charged after he admitted to having a sexual relationship with a girl who was 16 years old at the time.

According to the criminal complaint, the girl told her priest about her relationship with 23-year-old Mitchell Geoffrey Bolkcom, who now lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The relationship was reported to police Tuesday, Sept. 13.

In an interview, the girl told police she met Bolkcom at a church retreat in late 2015. The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis said in a statement that Bolkcom was an employee and volunteer at the Church of Saint Michael in Prior Lake at the time.

The girl told police she and Bolkcom started to meet up to talk about her depression. At first, they met at coffee shops, but she said they eventually started going to Bolkcom’s apartment in Bloomington, according to the criminal complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

No trial for St Asaph man accused of harassing priest

UNITED KINGDOM/ITALY
BBC News

A man from Denbighshire who was accused of harassing a Catholic priest who he claimed abused him will not face trial.

Mark Murray from St Asaph will instead have to pay 1,700 euros - nearly £1,500 - in legal fees.

He went to Italy last year to face Father Romano Nardo, who taught him in Yorkshire in the late 1960s and told him the impact he had on his life.

The encounter was filmed by Italian newspaper La Repubblica and posted online.

In the film, the priest can be seen sinking to his knees and begging forgiveness.

Mr Murray was summoned to court in Verona earlier this year over the encounter and a hearing took place last week in his absence.

The judge found Mr Murray had not persecuted Father Nardo and his behaviour was not considered criminal - the case was dropped but Mr Murray will have to pay legal fees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Guam Gov signs Civil Window into law

GUAM
The Worthy Adversary

September 23, 2016 Joelle Casteix

Today, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo “signed a bill that allows victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers as well as anyone who helped them and the institutions with which they are affiliated.”

I am overjoyed for Guam’s victims of sexual abuse and Catholics as a whole. They have fought long and hard for accountability. Now, they are going to be able to use the courts to get it.

I predict that the local church and Rome are going to throw tons of money into the legal fight against these cases. Fortunately, the recent civil windows in Hawaii, Minnesota, Delaware, and California have provided victims and their attorneys with great knowledge, expertise, and insight.

We will learn a lot about what people knew on Guam and when they knew it. A lot of accused predators are going to be exposed—many still working in churches. It won’t be pretty, but victims and local Catholics will come out stronger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Diocese to sell iconic building

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Sept. 17, 2016

Facility will be donated to Sisters of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph

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

GALLUP – In further fallout from the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case, diocesan officials announced this week they have sold the diocese’s chancery building in Gallup.

“There are several reasons for this move, all of them positive,” Bishop James S. Wall stated in a letter to local Catholics released Wednesday. “The first reason is that the sale of the current chancery offices will allow us to make a substantial contribution to our Chapter 11 payment plan, which was set in place to ensure that survivors of abuse receive just compensation.”

The chancery building, located at 711 S. Puerco Drive, has long been a religious landmark in Gallup’s downtown residential neighborhood. It was previously used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before being sold to the Gallup Diocese.

According to the bishop, the chancery was purchased earlier this month by Dr. and Mrs. Raymond Ponce, of California, who “will be gifting” the property to Mother Magda Garcia and her Sisters of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph “as a permanent place to live and work.” The sisters have long operated a ministry in Gallup’s north side neighborhood, near East Wilson Avenue and Black Diamond Canyon Drive. Suzanne Hammons, a spokeswoman for the diocese, said the chancery building’s appraised value was $475,000, which “is around what it sold for” to Ponce.

The diocese will move its chancery offices to the second floor of the Catholic Indian Center, located at 503 W. Historic Highway 66. That move is expected to be completed by the end of October, the bishop said. Two diocesan nonprofit organizations, Catholic Charities of Gallup and the Catholic Peoples Foundation, will continue to use their current office space in the Catholic Indian Center.

Parking is limited in the center’s parking lot and along Historic Highway 66. Neither the bishop’s letter nor a follow-up response by Hammons addressed the move’s impact on the parking issue.

North side presence

In a telephone interview Friday, Garcia said she did not know when the sisters in her religious order would be moving into the chancery property. Garcia said she was not involved in the meetings between Ponce and diocesan officials.

Garcia said she met Ponce more than 50 years ago in California, and she cited his ongoing kindness in supporting her ministry.

Garcia was asked if she will miss having a presence on the north side.

“Of course,” she said. “I never wanted to move.”

Garcia explained, however, that she and her sisters had no choice but to move because of the poor condition of their current location. Garcia said December will mark the 40th anniversary of her sisters’ ministry on the north side of Gallup.

The Sisters of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph are known for their outreach to the local Spanish-speaking community, their service to St. Francis Parish and elementary school, their assistance to immigrants, and the operation of Casa Reina, a chapel of perpetual adoration.

Garcia said the sisters will move Casa Reina to the new south side location. They will also continue their ministry to immigrant families in Gallup.

“I’ll keep doing that as long as I live,” she said.

Garcia said she did not know what would eventually be done with the north side property because it belongs to the Diocese of Gallup. She also said she wasn’t sure what would be done with a house on Green Street, located across the street from Sacred Heart Cathedral, which Ponce purchased for her sisters several years ago.

Bankruptcy appraisal

In January 2015, the Diocese of Gallup requested permission of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to get an appraisal of the chancery property, along with a request to appraise the Sacred Heart Retreat Center, Sacred Heart School (formerly Gallup Catholic School), and disputed property at St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School in Thoreau.

According to court documents, the diocese obtained a loan for approximately $2.3 million from the Catholic Order of Foresters, which was secured by the retreat center and school property. St. Bonaventure contributed $550,000 to the diocese’s plan of reorganization to settle its property ownership dispute with the diocese.

The sale of the chancery completes the diocese’s efforts to raise funds from this set of appraised property.

Hammons was asked if the diocese or Ponce would be doing renovations to the aging chancery before Garcia’s religious order moved into the building.

“While we’ve been here we’ve done some work on things like the air conditioning and heating, so those things plus others, like windows, are in operational order,” Hammons stated in an email. “I believe Dr. Ponce plans to do some work on the roof, and other basic remodeling to turn it from a building with offices into one more suited to a convent.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Governor signs Bill 326-33 into law

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Gov. Eddie Calvo has signed Bill 326-33 into law, which now means the statute of limitations has been removed for sex abuse crimes, and victims can now take legal action against their assailants.

Download Gov. Calvo's letter to the people of Guam.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Marcharán contra la pedofilia tras caso de abuso sexual en escuela religiosa

PARAGUAY
Hoy

[Relatives and neighbors of a child allegedly sexually abused by a pastor have organized a march in protest against the pastor in in front of the religious school where the child was abused.]

Familiares y vecinos del menor de 8 años que aparentemente fue víctima de abuso sexual por parte de un pastor que ejercía la docencia en la Escuela Emanuel, organizan una marcha en repudio a la pedofilia que se llevará a cabo frente a la institución educativa donde aparentemente el niño fue manoseado.

A las 18:00 horas iniciará la manifestación contra la pedofilia que se llevará a cabo frente a la Escuela Emanuel de San Antonio, donde se registró el abuso sexual contra un menor de 8 años, que presuntamente fue perpetrado por el pastor Josías Cabral

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Ontario lawyers facing law society complaint over handling of St. Anne’s residential school case: cou

CANADA
APTN

September 22, 2016

Jorge Barrera
APTN National News

A survivor from the notorious St. Anne’s Indian Residential School has asked the Law Society of Upper Canada to investigate the handling of his residential school case by lawyers from a firm based in northern Ontario, APTN National News has learned.

The survivor, known in court documents only as H-15019, filed the complaint sometime before May 20 against lawyers from Wallbridge, Wallbridge, a law firm with offices in Timmins, Ont., North Bay, Ont., Sudbury, Ont. and Liskeard, Ont. The firm is also looking to expand in Ottawa, according to its website.

The law society complaint against the lawyers was noted in court documents filed this August as part of a $15 million defamation lawsuit launched by James Wallbridge, Almeda Wallbridge and Wallbridge, Wallbridge against Fay Brunning, the Ottawa lawyer currently representing H-15019. The Wallbridge firm’s lawyers allege they were defamed by Brunning when she claimed they sat on pivotal police files that supported H-15019’s residential school compensation claim.

H-15019 is in the midst of a re-hearing of his case before the residential school settlement agreement created adjudication process known as the Independent Assessment Process (IAP). An IAP adjudicator initially rejected his claim. The IAP determines the level of compensation and whether it is deserved for claims of abuse suffered at the schools which existed for over a century.

Marist brother jailed for abusing students

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016

Male students accustomed to Brother Dominic's abuse would tighten their belts, barricade their desks and even meet before class to discuss how to avoid him reaching under their clothes.

"Bums to the wall, Dom's on the crawl" was a well-known catch phrase among students at one of his schools.

The 78-year-old Marist brother and former school teacher was on Friday jailed for at least three years after pleading guilty to a string of child sex offences involving 12 victims at NSW Catholic secondary schools between 1971 and 1983.

Sydney District Court judge Kate Traill stressed that she was required to sentence according to laws at the time, which were more lenient towards sex offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Congrégation de Ste-Croix: Catholic brother's sexual abuse trial set for November

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

JESSE FEITH, MONTREAL GAZETTE

The case against a member of the Congrégation de Ste-Croix who faces charges of sexually abusing a former student at Collège Notre-Dame will go to trial in November, it was decided on Thursday.

Olivain Leblanc, 74, faces charges of gross indecency and sexual touching of an ex-student between 1979 and 1981.

Following many delays, the congregation handed out $18-million in settlements in 2013 to more than 200 victims from three schools — Collège Notre-Dame, Collège Saint-Césaire and Notre-Dame-de-Pohénégamook. Leblanc is one of two members who were charged in criminal court the same year.

Sébastien Richard, a spokesperson for the victims, was irate with Thursday’s decision to postpone the case to November.

“Men suffer in silence for years. The day they decide to finally come forward often only comes after having lived wasted lives,” Richard said outside the courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Church criticised over safeguarding policies after former youth pastor convicted of sexual offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Third Sector

23 September 2016 by Andy Ricketts

The Charity Commission says its inquiry found inadequacies in the procedures and practices at Bourne Christian Centre

The Charity Commission has criticised a Christian church in Bristol for management and safeguarding failures after its former youth pastor was convicted of sexual offences.

The regulator today published an inquiry report on the Bristol Community Church, which has since changed its name to Bourne Christian Centre. The regulator says there had been misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the charity because failures in its safeguarding policies and practices had left beneficiaries vulnerable to undue risk.

In October 2011, it says, it was notified by a congregational member that allegations of sexual abuse had been made against the charity’s youth pastor, who is not named in the report.

The regulator opened a compliance case on the charity in the same month. This was escalated to a statutory inquiry in December 2011 after the initial responses from the charity raised serious concerns about the adequacy of its safeguarding policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Governor Calvo signs Bill 326 into public law

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 23, 2016

By Krystal Paco

The highly-controversial legislation that's predicted to force the church into bankruptcy has been signed into public law by Governor Eddie Calvo. Bill 326 lifts the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases.

The bill was inspired by a petition circulated by the Silent No More Movement with a mission to bring justice to victims of child sex abuse. On Wednesday however, a petition circulated by the Archdiocese of Agana was submitted to the Governor's Office to veto the measure due to concerns over bankruptcy and potential closures of Catholic schools and other church services.

A statement from the Archdiocese of Agana states that they acknowledge the agony suffered by victims of child sex abuse by clergy and the responsibility the archdiocese has to bear. They are in the process of developing a dedicated fund to help persons who have been hurt.

The signing drew praise from outspoken critics of Archbishop Anthony Apuron. JungleWatch blogger Tim Rohr said it was the right thing to do, and that the next step is up to the archdiocese. He said if they are cooperative to the victims there will be an outpouring of support. If not, he asserted, the people will turn against them.

Former senator Bob Klitzkie said it was good news for the victims, and all those who are concerned for them. He says it shows that the governor cares.

Concerned Catholics of Guam spokesman David Sablan added, "This will bring closure to all the heartaches and pain survivors of child sex abuse have held on to over the past several years. It brings justice now for these survivors. God bless him."

Meanwhile, veto advocate former Guam attorney general Doug Moylan says he believes the law has constitutional flaws, including its retroactive provisions. Moylan says the Guam Legislature and the governor now have the right to request a declaratory judgment from the Supreme Court of Guam, and he hopes he exercises that right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Archdiocese responds to signing of bill 326; thanks governor and senators

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

The church announced that they will be setting up a special fund.

Guam - The Archdiocese of Agana released a statement today minutes after Governor Eddie Calvo signed bill 326 into law, announcing that they will set up a special fund "to help persons who have been gravely hurt" by clergy members.

"We acknowledge the agony suffered by victims of child sexual abuse by clergy and the responsibility the Archdiocese has to bear," the statement, signed by Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai.

He also thanked Governor Eddie Calvo and lawmakers "for their part in Bill 326-33."

"Once again, we apologize to and ask forgiveness from all victims of sexual abuse in our Archdiocese. We pledge to strengthen our response and care of victims and are working to ensure that all people, especially the most vulnerable, our children, are served in a welcoming, safe environment in our Church," Archbishop Hon concluded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

Governor signs bill 326 into law

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Rebecca Elmore

The measure lifts the civil statute of limitations on child sexual abuse crimes.

Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo signed bill 326 into Public Law 33-187, opening the door for victims and survivors of child sex abuse to go after their perpetrators and the institutions that protected them through civil litigation.

You can read the governor's signing message below:

My Dear People of Guam,

Transmitted herewith to the elected representatives of your Legislature is the new law opening the doors of justice to those who suffered a terrible harm as children. I have signed it into law as P.L. 33-187.

I am a practicing but imperfect Catholic; a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and son; a Chamorro man, who believes in second chances, yet has no tolerance for those who prey on the most innocent and vulnerable, the children. Thanks to the trust of our people, I’m also the governor. And on days like this, when my different roles may not join in harmonious conviction, I am resolute about this decision. It comes after days of listening to very different opinions, hearing the cries, considering the consequences, separating one issue from another and then reconciling it all within my conscience. So, today, though I am pleased that our community has confronted what once was unthinkable, I am saddened that even a single injustice had to happen in order to make this law necessary. There are no winners. Justice is the only victory.

When matters of justice come about, our system of government has spared me from any duty to judge another human being. It is neither my role, nor my desire, to judge others. I will not second guess the assertions of those who have been victimized, nor will I deny the protestations of those accused. The law spares the governor from the duty of judging beyond one matter: whether there is a new threshold for justice, that will be determined by the judges.

Today is that day, when I am due and bound by duty to judge this matter. I now understand why some say leadership is a burden. My conscience has been conflicted for the last two weeks. Let me be clear that I am not judging any single person or institution. I am deciding whether a group of people has been denied justice and should therefore be entitled to seek it with judgment by due process of law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Guam governor signs bill ending time limits in child sex cases

GUAM
USA Today

[with video]

Steve Limtiaco, Pacific Daily News (Guam) September 23, 2016

HAGATNA, Guam — Gov. Eddie Calvo on Friday signed a bill that allows victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers as well as anyone who helped them and the institutions with which they are affiliated.

The bill, by Sen. Frank Blas Jr., D-Barrigada, was introduced after several former Agat altar boys accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting or raping them in the 1970s. It retroactively lifts the statute of limitations on civil suits, and at least one Apuron accuser has said he plans to sue.

The Archdiocese of Agana opposed the bill and encouraged Calvo to veto it, arguing lawsuits against the church could financially cripple it and impact its ability to run Catholic schools and provide services.

In a letter accompanying the new public law, 33-187, Calvo said it opens the doors of justice to those who suffered a terrible harm as children.

Calvo said the bill has several legal and technical concerns — including whether it is even possible under the constitution to retroactively lift the statute of limitations.

“Despite these questions, today I will err on the side of the aggrieved,” he stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

End statute of limitations for child sexual abuse

NEW YORK
Poughkeepsie Journal

Melanie Blow September 22, 2016

Every year, New York newspapers cover child sexual abuse scandals, like the one unfolding with the Hudson Valley Council Boy Scouts. These headlines shock everyone, except subject matter and public policy experts like me. Every year, legislation to do something about the issue is introduced and often passed. And every year, more children are sexually abused.

Fixing mandated reporter laws, as state Sen. Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, is trying to do, isn’t a bad idea, but it doesn’t fix the problem. Most children never disclose sexual abuse while they’re still children. Sexual abuse generally leaves few physical signs and nonspecific behavioral signs, so there aren’t a lot of red flags for alert mandated reporters. But the failure of anyone who hears a child disclose their sexual abuse, believes it, and does nothing is a heinous wrong. I cannot imagine what was going through the mind of anyone who believed former Dutchess County Legislator Michael Kelsey had sexually abused two boys but didn’t alert the authorities. But most likely the faint threat of arrest wouldn’t have stopped it.

The story of the Boy Scouts of America Hudson Valley Council is still unfolding, but since research shows offenders usually abuse child after child until they experience consequences, it is likely Michael Kelsey has other victims. The trauma these children suffer is so horrific and the manipulations of their abusers are so effective that it takes them an average of 21 years to disclose their abuse. And in New York state, survivors usually lose the right to press charges on their 23rd birthday. If a sex offender is convicted in criminal or civil court, it is a fairly simple matter to ensure that child-serving organizations, such as schools and scouts, don’t put them around kids. But according to experts, 90 percent of sex offenders never see a day behind bars. The best legislative remedy to this is the Omnibus Child Victims Act, a bill that would eliminate the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Sniffing out good bishops emerges as key papal priority

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Cindy Wooden
September 22, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ROME - To say a bishop “smells like his sheep” is considered high praise today, and is one of the top characteristics Pope Francis says he wants in bishops and candidates for the position of guiding a diocese.

But like many of the other traits Pope Francis says he is looking for, there is no foolproof smell test and, in fact, a variety of sheep with varied scents are present in most dioceses.

Pope Francis’s instruction - almost a plea - to the world’s apostolic nuncios Sept. 17 to “cast the nets” wider when identifying potential new pastors for a diocese and his continuing discussion with his international Council of Cardinals about “the spiritual and pastoral profile necessary for a bishop today” make it clear that providing good shepherds for every diocese is a responsibility the pope takes seriously.

While the pope makes the final decision, the task of identifying, scrutinizing and proposing candidates to him is a burden shared by regional groups of bishops, the leadership of bishops’ conferences, the nuncios and either the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Eastern Churches or the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Alumni are boycotting a Phillips Exeter probe

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

By Jenn Abelson GLOBE STAFF SEPTEMBER 22, 2016

Dozens of Phillips Exeter Academy alumni are urging abuse victims to boycott the prep school’s investigation into sexual misconduct, calling it a “trustee-controlled” review that so far has contacted few victims.

More than 40 alumni, including graduates who say they were sexually assaulted, criticized the five-month-old investigation for its slow pace and lack of transparency in a letter circulated Thursday. They demanded an inquiry similar to the one conducted at St. George’s School in Rhode Island, where victims and the school jointly retained a lawyer who released a public report.

Susannah Curtis, who started a Facebook group for Exeter survivors of sexual violence, said only one of the more than a dozen victims in the group has been contacted by Holland & Knight, a national law firm hired by Exeter in April to conduct the investigation.

“I’m not only concerned about the firm’s lack of urgency but also its ability to impartially investigate when it has been retained on Exeter’s behalf,” said Curtis, who recently reported for the first time that she was sexually assaulted by a male classmate in the fall of 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

OUR VIEW: With new abuse law, community must come together

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

The legislation that aims to lift the civil statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases is now law, and we commend Gov. Eddie Calvo for signing the bill Friday. It was the right thing to do.

Sen. Frank Blas Jr. introduced Bill 326-33 a few months ago, after several people made public allegations of clergy sex abuse.

Catholics and other community members have been divided over the legislation. At issue is an amendment that allows individuals to sue institutions.

Accusers and other supporters of the bill have said abusers and their institutions should be held responsible. The Archdiocese of Agana has argued that lawsuits could push the local church to the brink of bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Judge excuses himself in activist pastor case

GEORGIA
News4Jax

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A bond hearing for Pastor Ken Adkins on charges of child molestation was postponed from Friday to next Tuesday when the judge who was to preside over the hearing recused himself due to a conflict of interest.

Adkins, 56, has been in the Glynn County Jail since last month on charges stem from alleged incidents in 2010 between Adkins and teenage boy who was a member of his church.

Adkins, pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, has drawn fire in the past for his remarks about homosexuals.

A young man told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Adkins molested him when the boy was under the age of 16.

In court ealier this month, prosecutors showed two pictures of Adkins' private parts that were allegedly emailed from his phone to the boy. Adkins' lawyer said that since the defendant had multiple businesses, he could have had more than one phone and others could have had access to them. He also said the timing doesn't add up, as the pictures were sent in November 2014 to prove something that happened in 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

Pennsylvania Attorney General: Child sex abuse victims should have no time limit to sue

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

By Liam Migdail-Smith

As Pennsylvania's new top law officer sees it, giving childhood sexual abuse victims a chance to sue, regardless of when the abuse occurred, could encourage more victims to come forward.

Attorney General Bruce Beemer told the Reading Eagle on Thursday that he believes there's a solid case to be made that legislation to that effect would be constitutional. Advocates for child sex abuse victims have sought changes in state law to allow victims to file lawsuits even in cases where the statutes of limitation have expired.

Beemer said legal minds could disagree and the matter is unsettled, as state courts have not weighed in.

But he said, "I think it's important to law enforcement to be able to stand up for victims to be able to air their complaints and have a forum in which they can be heard."

Beemer's take counters that of former Solicitor General Bruce L. Castor Jr., who told a state Senate panel in June that allowing victims to file lawsuits when the deadline to do so has passed would violate the state Constitution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

Red Corn to succeed Larson as Fayette County’s chief prosecutor

KENTUCKY
Lexington Herald-Leader

BY GREG KOCHER
gkocher1@herald-leader.com

Lou Anna Red Corn was appointed Thursday by Gov. Matt Bevin as the commonwealth’s attorney for Fayette County.

“I am confident that Lou Anna will serve the citizens of Fayette County well as commonwealth’s attorney,” Bevin said in a news release. “She has long been an advocate for fair, firm prosecution of individuals who violate the law. Lou Anna is highly respected by prosecutors, defense attorneys, police and victim advocates alike.”

Red Corn will succeed Ray Larson as Fayette County’s chief prosecutor. Larson, 73, announced earlier this month that he is retiring. His last day will be Sept. 30. ...

In her career as a prosecutor, she has tried more than 225 felony cases, including 51 homicides. Some of the more notable cases include Shane Ragland for the sniper-style killing of University of Kentucky football player Trent Diguiro; Leonard Neinabor, a Catholic priest who sexually abused parish children over several decades; and Donald Southworth for the murder of his wife, Umi. Most recently, she prosecuted Mark Taylor for the kidnapping and murder of UK chef Alex Johnson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Diocese bankruptcy deal sets aside $15 million for victims

CALAIFORNIA
Calaveras Enterprise

By Almendra Carpizo The Stockton Record Updated

STOCKTON – The Diocese of Stockton on Tuesday announced a plan that could result in its exit out of bankruptcy more than two years after legal costs stemming from dozens of child sexual-abuse lawsuits depleted its funds.

What impact that would have on priest molestation victims in Calaveras County was not immediately clear. John C. Manley, an attorney who has represented some of the victims at St. Andrew’s Parish in San Andreas, did not immediately respond to a telephone message.

Both the Rev. Oliver O’Grady, who was convicted of molestation charges and featured in the noted documentary “See No Evil” and later the Rev. Michael Kelley served stints at St. Andrew’s Parish in San Andreas.

The Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office in 2011 filed criminal charges against Kelly. Kelly was accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy over a two-year period while serving at the church. In 2014, Kelly was indicted and a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. He is believed to be living in Ireland. However, the case was withdrawn this year because the victim died, a District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

When shepherds stray, mercy is hard but necessary

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Dan Sheehan

In the past decade or so, I have walked away from my cradle faith, Catholicism, a handful of times. These departures were occasioned by reporting on the sexual abuse of children, which is a crime that happens everywhere but is especially grievous when committed by people entrusted with the care of souls.

I had no direct experience of the crushing dismay that comes with the arrest of a priest. But wading through the detailed horrors contained in grand jury reports was enough to drive me out of the fold, into other churches where there were no priests and the demands of faith were uncomplicated.

Among Baptists, for instance, one assented to the idea that the debt of sin had been paid by Christ on the cross, and that was that. Live well and look forward to the kingdom.

Presbyterians offered the terrifying, but somehow comforting, notion that the matter of salvation or damnation has been settled from eternity, and there's really nothing to be done about it. A good life might be a sign that God had found in your favor, but there were no guarantees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 AM

Lisa Flynn reveals how she helps survivors of child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Lisa Flynn
news.com.au

I CAME home from work today to my seven-year-old daughter who was in inquisition mode. “How was your day today mum?”

“Was work good?”

“What did you do today mum?”

I struggled to find the words for an appropriate answer.

Mummy had spent the morning in court listening to horrific details of a paedophile priest’s long history of abuse during his sentencing hearing. I had spent the morning sitting alongside his victims as they eyeballed their perpetrator — a man who had terrorised their lives and thoughts for so many years. I stood with them as they openly wept, and at the same time cheered, as his long sentence was finally handed down.

I had then spent the afternoon talking with a man, the same age as my own dad, who quietly explained to me how as a 16-year-old boy in the Australian Navy he had been so happy and excited to commence his career in the Defence Force.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 AM

Lawyers have new tool in clergy abuse cases

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Lawyers representing alleged victims of clerical sexual abuse told a judge last week that the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is liable for the actions of its priests because it provides them with “extraordinary power” over parishioners, comparable to that of police and corrections officers.

The legal theory, called “aided-in-agency,” is becoming more common in civil cases and gives attorneys a potent new tool in clerical abuse cases, attorneys in the case said.

Second Judicial District Judge Denise Barela Shepherd agreed and ruled Sept. 14 that a San Miguel County man who alleges he was raped by a Las Vegas priest in the late 1970s can use the aided-in-agency theory in his lawsuit against the archdiocese.

The judge also urged the archdiocese to appeal her ruling to an appellate court. Barela Shepherd said in the hearing that the issue needs the clarity that an appellate court can provide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 AM

Guam leader Oks bill ending time limits in child sex cases

GUAM
Fox News

September 23, 2016 Associated Press

HAGATNA, Guam – Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said he signed a bill Friday that would lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse charges for civil cases, a move that Catholic leaders say could bankrupt the church in the largely Catholic U.S. territory.

The bill, which does not apply to criminal prosecutions, was approved by the Legislature after abuse allegations surfaced against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Church leaders say lifting the statute of limitations would subject the church to unlimited financial liability, forcing the closure of parish churches and schools on the island where more than three quarters of Guam's 162,000 residents are Roman Catholics.

Apuron, now 70, has been accused of molesting at least five altar boys in the 1960s and 70s. He has denied the allegations and hasn't been charged with any crime.

His lawyer hasn't returned repeated messages left by The Associated Press.

In response to the allegations, the Vatican appointed Archbishop Savio Hon as temporary apostolic administrator for Guam.

While in Rome discussing the matter, he sent a letter home urging parishioners to sign a petition against the bill. In the letter, which priests read out loud during Mass on Sunday, he promised a canonical trial for Apuron.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 AM

September 22, 2016

Hon says he voiced Guam's concerns to Vatican

GUAM
KUAM

Archbishop Hon returns to Guam from Rome - YouTube

Updated: Sep 21, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Fresh off the plane, KUAM News got an exclusive interview with apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who arrived at the Guam International Airport early Thursday morning. Hon was in Rome to attend a seminar for new bishops as well as give the Holy See a status report on the Archdiocese of Agana.

"I expressed the wish of the people here and the clergy here," Hon said upon arriving. "I think I mentioned already in my earlier message that for the best interest of the archdiocese that the Holy See declare sede vacante for the archdiocese."

Sede vacanta means "without a bishop".

In a previous statement from Hon, he says he was urging the Holy See to remove Apuron and appoint a successor. Now back on Guam, he also makes a final plea to Governor Eddie Calvo to veto Bill 326, the controversial legislation the church believes would force the church into bankruptcy and potentially lead to the closure of Catholic schools and other church community services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 PM

Statement Regarding Arrest of Mitchell Bolkcom

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Sunday, September 18, 2016

Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

From Tim O'Malley, Director of the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis learned this weekend that Bloomington Police arrested Mitchell Bolkcom, a former employee and volunteer at the Church of Saint Michael in Prior Lake. He was charged in Hennepin County with criminal sexual conduct after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. At the time of the alleged criminal sexual conduct, Bolkcom was an employee at Saint Michael. At the time of his arrest, Bolkcom was working for FOCUS – the Fellowship of Catholic University Students – at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The Archdiocese and the Church of Saint Michael are cooperating with law enforcement and we encourage anyone with information to contact police. Please keep all those who have been abused in your prayers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Statement Regarding Rev. Joseph Forcelle

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Rev. Joseph Thomas Forcelle and immediately reported it to law enforcement. The alleged sexual abuse is from the late 1970s and early 1980s when he was serving as a priest at Saint Mark Church in Saint Paul.

Yesterday, the Saint Paul Police Department advised that there would not be a criminal investigation and gave permission to the Archdiocese to take action, including making this disclosure. My office notified the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where Father Forcelle has been serving since 1984.

Any questions about Father Forcelle’s status as a priest should be directed to the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota at 605-334-9861.

Joseph Thomas Forcelle
Born: 8/1/53
Ordained: May 31, 1980, for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Father Forcelle’s Assignment history in the Archdiocese:
Associate priest, Saint Olaf, Minneapolis, 6/17/80-6/16/81
Associate pastor, Saint Mark, Saint Paul, 6/16/81-6/12/84
Director, Office of Youth Ministry, Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 6/12/84
Incardinated into the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 2/8/88

If anyone has suffered any type of abuse, I encourage you to contact the police immediately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Former Bloomington resident, church employee charged with criminal sexual conduct

MINNESOTA
Sun Current

Published September 22, 2016

A 23-year-old North Dakota man has been charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor he met through a church retreat.

Mitchell G. Bolkcom was living in Bloomington and working at St. Michael Catholic Church in Prior Lake when he met the victim, a 16-year-old Burnsville girl, in late 2015, according to a complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court.

Bolkcom and the girl met at an unspecified church retreat in late 2015 and exchanged phone numbers, according to the complaint. Bolkcom, who was working as the director of middle school and adult faith formation at St. Michael, according to his online resume, began meeting in January to discuss the girl’s depression. They originally met at coffee shops, but then began meeting at his Bloomington apartment. During their meetings at his apartment they engaged in a variety of physical activities, which included intercourse and oral sex, the complaint noted.

When Bolkcom and the girl met for a fourth time, she had expressed concern about meeting at his apartment again, and he responded by saying he was leaving for a new job in Florida and only had seven years to live due to a heart condition, according to the complaint. During the fourth meeting at his apartment, they had consensual intercourse at his apartment, the complaint noted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

'Do the right thing'

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

As the Friday deadline for the governor's action on Bill 326-33 draws close, proponents of the sex abuse legislation urged Gov. Eddie Calvo to sign the bill into law as a matter of moral necessity.

"Gov. Calvo, please sign Bill 326," said Roland Sondia in a press conference at the foot of the stairs leading up to the office of the governor in Adelup.

Sondia, one of the four individuals who first came forward with accusations of child sex abuse against Archbishop Anthony Apuron in June, asked the governor to sign the bill into law.

"Today I'm here to ask Gov. Calvo to do the right thing and sign Bill 326," Sondia said.

Sondia, along with Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Doris Concepcion – representing her late son – alleged that Apuron had sexually abused them more than 40 years ago when they were altar boys at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Agat, where Apuron was pastor in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Man sues convicted, defrocked Chicago priest, alleging past abuse

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Lauren Zumbach
Chicago Tribune

A former Chicago priest is facing new allegations from a man who says the convicted, defrocked priest abused him as a boy, according to court records.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Cook County court, claims Norbert Maday sexually abused the Cook County man, identified only as John Doe, when he was a student at St. Bede the Venerable in Chicago, starting in 1979 when Doe was a 10-year-old altar boy.

The three-count suit accuses Maday of battery, alleging he “engaged in the intentional, non-consensual, harmful and offensive touching and sexual abuse of Plaintiff on multiple occasions from 1979 to 1981,” in Maday’s bedroom and car and in the church sacristy.

The man also accuses the Catholic Bishop of Chicago and the Archdiocese of Chicago of negligence and willful and wanton misconduct, including failing to properly investigate reports of inappropriate sexual behavior or abuse by priests including Maday.

The suit also faults the archdiocese and Catholic Bishop with failing to report Maday when they knew or should have known about his sexual misconduct, with allowing Maday to have unsupervised contact with young boys and with not warning Doe and his family about Maday, according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Church report: Seminary may need to be closed

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 23, 2016

A committee of Catholic priests said a seminary in Yona may need to be closed for the good of the Archdiocese of Agana unless the seminary can clarify its purpose, seek formal accreditation to ensure the quality of its priest formation program, and ensure its financial independence.

Father Jeffrey San Nicolas, delegate to Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, released the church report earlier this week after holding a press briefing about issues facing the Catholic church on Guam, including the Neocatechumenal Way’s alleged interference in local church matters.

A member of the board of directors of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, which is run by the Neocatechumenal Way, said the report is biased.

“The way this committee arrived at their conclusion came from a biased perspective. They’re not interested in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. They’re more interested in the closure of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary,” said Dr. Ricardo B. Eusebio, who has been a member of the Neocatechumenal Way on Guam for 19 years.

He said the seminary has produced 17 priests now serving the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Governor weighs church, victims’ concerns; set to decide today

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 23, 2016

Gov. Eddie Calvo is weighing the concerns of the Catholic church and the community as he decides what to do with a bill that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers, according to the governor's office.

Today is the governor’s last day to sign or veto Bill 326-33, or the bill lapses into law without his signature. Senators on Sept. 12 approved the bill 13-0. If it becomes law, it could make the Catholic church on Guam open to lawsuits by those who, in recent months, have publicly accused priests of raping or molesting them.

The Archdiocese of Agana has stated its opposition to the bill, arguing lawsuits could financially cripple the local church. It submitted thousands of signatures to the governor, urging him to veto the measure.

The governor’s director of communications Oyaol Ngirairikl said, “(Calvo is) still contemplating. He’s still going over some of the information that we’ve researched for him. He's looking at it very carefully because he wants to make the best decision. I think he’s firm in making a decision before the end of the day.”

At around noon Thursday, a press conference was held at the governor's complex by one of the alleged sexual abuse victims of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron. The accuser once again for the governor to sign the bill.

“This is not about money or destroying the church. This is about the church taking responsibility. Actual responsibility. True and honest responsibility,” said Roland L. Sondia, who in June publicly accused Apuron of molesting him when Sondia was a 15-year-old altar boy in Agat in the 1970s. “No more talking. No more stalling and hiding and scaring and confusing the public and the Catholic faithful. No more excuses.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

Why is Hon so scared?

GUAM
The Worthy Adversary

September 22, 2016

Joelle Casteix

There is a huge chance that the history of the Catholic Church on Guam will be rewritten … by Catholics. And it’s pretty awesome.

All it will take is a small change in the law that will give victims of sexual abuse the opportunity to use the civil courts to expose their abusers and the men and women who covered up the abuse.

From the Pacific Daily News:

Gov. Eddie Calvo is weighing the concerns of the Catholic church and the community as he decides what to do with a bill that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers, according to the governor’s office.
Today is the governor’s last day to sign or veto Bill 326-33, or the bill lapses into law without his signature. Senators on Sept. 12 approved the bill 13-0. If it becomes law, it could make the Catholic church on Guam open to lawsuits by those who, in recent months, have publicly accused priests of raping or molesting them.

In the past few days, Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon, the current apostolic administrator of the Catholic archdiocese, has collected signatures and spoken out against the bill. He says (like many of his brother bishops) that the bill will force them to close churches and end many needed services on the island.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The real fear is that this bill, if made law, will expose DOZENS of sex-abusing clerics on Guam. Worse (for him) still, victims will have the opportunity to find out WHAT church officials knew and WHEN they knew it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

House of Representatives introduces SOL reform bill

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

September 22, 2016

Joelle Casteix

Back in December, I wrote about a US Senate bill that that would give states money if they enacted legislation that extended or eliminated unexpired statutes of limitation for child sexual abuse.

Now, the House of Representatives has put together a bipartisan bill that “harmonizes the statute of limitations for sex abuse victims and sex trafficking victim minors to 28, rather than the current age of 21.”

I was cranky when I posted about the Senate Bill, mostly because of the lack of retroactivity (meaning that statutes were not revived for victims who had proof of crimes, but whose time limit had already passed).

I shouldn’t have been.

In fact, these bills are great first steps in allowing victims more time to heal and come to terms with their abuse in order to report the crime.

Hopefully, they will also embolden state lawmakers to pass robust retroactive civil laws that get predators off the streets RIGHT NOW.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Nouvelle inculpation d'un prêtre pour le viol d'un adolescent en France

FRANCE
RTS

[A priest was convicted in France on Wednesday for raping a teenager and suspended from office, a new case which tarnishes the image of the church already shaken by sexual abuse cases.]

Un prêtre a été inculpé en France mercredi pour le viol d'un adolescent et suspendu de ses fonctions, une nouvelle affaire qui ternit l'image de l'Eglise déjà ébranlée par des affaires d'abus sexuels.

Le prêtre de 55 ans a été mis en examen pour des faits de viol anciens mais non prescrits, commis sur un jeune âgé d'une quinzaine d'années, ont indiqué une source proche du dossier et le diocèse de Belfort-Montbéliard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Imputaron a pastor por abuso

PARGUAY
ABC

[The Public Prosecution charged and issued an arrest warrant against a teaching pastor of San Antonio for allegedly molesting a student of 8 years. Incredibly, the school authorities seek to expel the victim.]

El Ministerio Público imputó y libró orden de captura contra un pastor docente de la ciudad de San Antonio por presuntamente haber abusado sexualmente de un alumno de 8 años. Increíblemente, las autoridades del colegio buscan expulsar a la víctima.

Se trata del pastor Josías Cabral, ya imputado por abuso sexual por la fiscala María José Pérez, quien dijo a ABC Cardinal que el relato de los padres, una denuncia de la Codeni de San Antonio y un informe clínico forense del Ministerio Público revelan fuertes indicios de que el niño efectivamente resultó víctima.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

Abuse alleged in lawsuit against Clearwater Central Catholic and its former wrestling coach

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay Times

Colleen Wright, Times Staff Writer
Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Clearwater Central Catholic High alumnus is suing his alma mater and former wrestling coach, alleging he suffered two years of physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the school.

A complaint in Pinellas County Circuit Court details how Scott E. Stern, the school's wrestling coach from 2003 to 2014, was also assigned to monitor at-risk students with known or perceived drug or addiction problems without proper training or experience.

The plaintiff, identified as John Doe, was a member of the school's wrestling team in 2013 when, according to the lawsuit, Stern began using physical harm and threatening to tell others the student was using illegal drugs. The suit alleges that, for two years, Stern required and "taught" the student to assume sexual positions and simulate sexual activities "for Coach Stern to observe, critique and salaciously enjoy."

Jason Whittemore, an attorney representing the plaintiff, said the sensitive nature of the case contributed to a delay in filing the lawsuit. The plaintiff graduated from the school in 2014; the action was filed Sept. 9.

"It's a decision that had to be made on his end, and one he decided to move forward with," Whittemore said. The former student is seeking $15,000 for negligence on the part of the school and Stern, and intentional wrongful conduct by Stern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

TESTIMONIES ON BILL 326-33

GUAM
Jungle Watch

The following testimonies on Bill 326-33 (as substituted by the committee) were given on July 28 and August 1 2016 at the Guam Legislature public hearing room. The Bill proposes to lift the statute of limitations on past sex crimes against minors. The substitute version includes institutional liability.

Testimonies IN FAVOR:
Testimony of John M. "Champ" Quinata (brother of Joseph "Sonny" Quinata)
Testimony of Roy T. Quintanilla
Testimony of Walter G. Denton
Testimony of Roland Paul Lizama Sondia
Testimony of Timothy Rohr
Testimony of Vincent Pereda
Testimony of Leo Tudela
Testimony of Anthony San Nicolas

Testimonies OPPOSED:
Testimony of Zoltan Szekely

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Papa Francisco anuncia visita a Chile luego de que el Vaticano rechazara entregar información sobre obispo Barros

CHILE
El Mostrador

[Pope Francisco announces visit to Chile after the Vatican refused to provide information about Bishop Barros.]

Luego que el máximo tribunal aprobara el envío de un exhorto al papa Francisco, en el marco de la demanda contra el Arzobispado de Santiago por el encubrimiento de los abusos de Fernando Karadima, el abogado querellante Juan Pablo Hermosilla -quien solicitaba la entrega de antecedentes de la relación del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros, y el ex párroco de El Bosque- confirmó que el vaticano rechazó entregar datos de Barros porque habría sido también encubridor de los abusos.

Cabe recordar que el exhorto enviado al Vaticano fue solicitado en octubre del año pasado, luego que fuera publicado un video donde el papa Francisco brindó un fuerte respaldo al cuestionado obispo de Osorno, quien fue denunciado como presunto encubridor de los abusos imputados a Fernando Karadima.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Catholic Priest Streamed Web Cam Video of Naked Boy: Prosecutor

ILLINOIS
Patch

By Lorraine Swanson (Patch Staff) - September 21, 2016

New details emerged during a bond court hearing for a once prominent Chicago Catholic priest after a year-long investigation determined that his electronic devices possibly contained images of minors engaging in sex acts, prosecutors said Wednesday in court.

Octavio Munoz-Capetillo, 40, appeared before Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos-Ciesel, on a felony charge of possession of child pornography. Munoz was suspended from the priesthood last year while the investigation was pending.

An investigation into the priest’s online activities was triggered by Archdiocese of Chicago officials, who notified police following an internal investigation when an employee reported seeing a web cam streaming child pornography on a computer owned by Munoz in July 2015, prosecutors said.

Between 2009 and 2015, Munoz was the director of Casa Jesus, a program of the Archdiocese that helped prepare Latin American men considering vocations in the Catholic priesthood for seminary. While holding the position of rector, Munoz was provided with his own apartment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

New research identifies need for a national study into prevalence of child maltreatment

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

22 September, 2016

Research conducted for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has considered the feasibility and need for a comprehensive study into the prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia.

Australia is one of the few developed countries that does not collect reliable, nationally representative prevalence data on child sexual abuse.

In response to this knowledge gap, the Royal Commission appointed a group of researchers across Australia to investigate the research design, methodology, cost and governance structures of studies into the prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia, including the prevalence of institutional sexual abuse.

As part of their work, the research team conducted a systematic literature review examining best practice design of prevalence studies and a review of existing Australian surveys and data collections. They also consulted with international experts in the field.

Royal Commission Acting Chief Executive Officer Marianne Christmann said such little work had been done to measure the extent of child maltreatment in Australia that this was the first time that the feasibility of such a study had been examined.

"This research identifies a significant knowledge gap about the extent of maltreatment, and in particular, how this varies among different groups within the general population," Ms Christmann said.

"It also shows the importance of developing a baseline for measuring the effectiveness of future policies and programs to combat child abuse and to better understand how previous policies have affected different groups of children so we can better guide prevention and response efforts."

The Royal Commission will consider the findings of this research in determining its recommendations in relation to a future study into the prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia.

Scoping study for research into the prevalence of child abuse in Australia was conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of NSW, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP) at University of South Australia, and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

Read the full report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Will Calvo veto Bill 326?

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 22, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Friday is the deadline for Governor Eddie Calvo to take action on highly controversial legislation. Bill 326 seeks to lift the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases. Advocates say the bill gives justice to survivors of abuse while critics worry about the potentially crippling consequences the bill could have not only on the church, but Catholic schools and other church services.

Joe Santos is the founder of the Silent No More movement - a petition that prompted senators to introduce Bill 326. "The mission then was to get the Legislature to pass a bill that would lift the statute of limitations and civil action against abusers of child sex abuse," he explained at a press event earlier today.

While the petition was circulated, survivors surfaced, including Roland Sondia, who alleges he was 15 years old when he was molested by Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who was a priest at the time. At today's press conference, Sondia made one last cry to the island's chief executive to sign the bill into law, saying, "Governor Calvo, please sign Bill 326. The Archdiocese of Agana must take total responsibility for the actions of Anthony Apuron. And the other perpetrators - this is not about money or destroying the church. It's about the church taking responsibility."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Trump dodges disaster after preacher charged with sexually abusing his own daughter is slated for VIP role at black pastor event – and then disinvited in the nick of time

OHIO
Daily Mail (UK)

By DAVID MARTOSKO, US POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM IN CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OHIO

An Ohio preacher was hurriedly disinvited from participating in a Donald Trump campaign event with black pastors Wednesday morning because he is scheduled to stand trial next month on charges that he sexually abused his adopted daughter.

Trump was the featured attraction at the Midwest Visions & Values Pastors & Leadership Conference held at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights.

Pastor Paul Endrei's name was included in a list, which the Trump campaign gave reporters, of 17 participants who were to appear with the Republican presidential nominee at the front of the church's sanctuary.

Pastor Darrell Scott, who co-founded the National Diversity Coalition For Trump and leads the New Spirit congregation, invited featured guests who, like Endrei, had no connection with Trumpworld.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Lawyer fees reach $11 million for Twin Cities archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune SEPTEMBER 21, 2016

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has racked up $11 million in fees to attorneys and other professionals since declaring bankruptcy in January 2015.

Another $1 million is divided between the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Minnesota Catholic Conference, a lobbying organization.

Child support payments of about $600 also show up on many monthly financial reports, as well as thousands of dollars in mundane expenses ranging from catering to counseling to shredding services.

The spending, revealed in the archdiocese’s monthly financial reports filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, offers a rare view of the financial operations of the archdiocese — home to a reported 800,000 Catholics in the 12-county metro area.

This year alone, attorney and professional fees reached nearly $6 million through July. They ranged from $388,000 to $867,000 a month for at least five law firms and dozens of staffers. Legal fees accounted for most of that amount.

That’s on top of more than $5 million spent last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Legislator Rep. Jim Wayne’s novel ‘The Unfinished Man’ focuses on faith, healing and the human condition

KENTUCKY
The State Journal

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Culled from his work, his faith and his father’s life, state Rep. Jim Wayne’s first novel, “The Unfinished Man,” takes readers on a journey of personal introspection through the experience of a Catholic priest who learns of sexual abuse in his own diocese.

Wayne will have a book signing for “The Unfinished Man” 5-9 p.m. Friday at Poor Richard’s Bookstore, 233 W. Broadway, during the Art Walk.

The main character in Wayne’s book, Father Justin Zapp, must confront his past and the abuse he endured from a priest at a young age while relying on his faith to embolden him as a champion to protect those in the present.

Wayne said there wasn’t just one reason for the novel.

As a practicing psychotherapist, he has spent his career working with victims of sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church and victims raped or molested by other authority figures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

Blogger Tim Rohr pulls no punches when speaking about church schism

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 22, 2016

By Nestor Licanto

One of the most outspoken critics of Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Neocatechumenal Way spoke before the Rotary Club. Tim Rohr laid out his view of the complex controversy now gripping the local church.

Rohr has chronicled the many twists-and-turns of the apparent civil war between the traditionalists and the so-called "NeoCats" on his blog, JungleWatch. Central to the dispute is the now-replaced Archbishop Apuron, who Rohr blames for multiple transgressions: from handing over control of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary to the Way, to the removal of rival priests for an eventual Neo-friendly successor.

But in Rohr's view, it is the lifting of the veil on a decades-old sexual abuse scandal that is transforming the ripples of dissent into angry waves. He says for too long the church hierarchy has taken advantage of local Catholics who have been reluctant to speak out.

As an example, he told the story of a woman - now in her 60's - that was raped by a priest when she was a teenager, but ended up getting scolded when she told her mother. "She said, 'I told you not to go there alone.' The mother knew that this is what the priest does. That's why she warned her not to go to the reverend. We have a lot of that going on," Rohr detailed.

Rohr says the alleged rapist is still a pastor on Guam, but times are changing. In recent months several former altar boys have come forward about being abused by clergy, including Apuron. There are also weekly protests in front of the Cathedral Basilica demanding Apuron to be ousted - more signs Rohr believes that the Catholic faithful are no longer afraid to rise up and hold church leaders accountable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

Senior Catholic figure John Usher admits conflicting accounts about paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Thursday 22 September 2016

A senior Catholic church figure has admitted giving conflicting accounts of what he meant in a diary entry he made about paedophile priest John Farrell and child sexual assault.

The former vicar general of Sydney John Usher told the child sexual abuse royal commission his 1992 note about a plan to defrock Farrell “following CSA [child sexual assault]” meant “following a CSA meeting”, not following assaults committed by Farrell.

Usher and another senior church official have denied that Farrell admitted to them at a September 1992 meeting that he had abused boys in the 1980s.

The commission heard that in 2012 Usher told an inquiry he couldn’t explain the “cryptic” diary note and didn’t know what it meant. But in a statement to police in May he said “CSA” referred to matters Farrell had already been in court for.

Probed about the three different accounts, he told the child sexual abuse royal commission he had “no explanation”.

“I’m only human and I made some different comments,” he said on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

Royal commission: Priests put church before victims of sex abuse, Catholic official says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ursula Malone

A senior Catholic priest has told the royal commission into child sex abuse there is a tendency by some in the church to put the institution ahead of victims.

Monsignor John Usher, who served as Chancellor of the Sydney Archdiocese for a decade until his retirement last year, was recalling a meeting he had attended with then priest Father John Farrell in 1992.

"There was in those days and there still is in some places today an inclination to handle these matter as if we're looking after the church," he said.

During the 1990s, Monsignor Usher, along with Father Brian Lucas, was part of a small group of senior Catholic priests who were called upon to help bishops deal with offending clergy.

"Even way back then, my prime concern in any of these matter was the victims of any abuse that took place," he told the commission.

Asked why he had given three different accounts of a diary note of the meeting with Farrell, he told the commission he was "only human".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

Catholic Archdiocese denies trying to save Cardinal George Pell amid conflicting account

AUSTRALIA
Northern Daily Leader

Rachel Browne
22 Sep 2016

The former chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney denied he was trying to save Cardinal George Pell from embarrassment by sticking to his claim about a paedophile priest in the face of conflicting accounts, a royal commission has heard.

In the final day of an inquiry into convicted paedophile John Joseph Farrell, Monsignor John Usher insisted the priest never admitted to crimes against children at a 1992 meeting.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard the meeting was attended by Mgr Usher and Fathers Brian Lucas and Wayne Peters in response to concerns about Farrell raised by the then Bishop of Armidale, Kevin Manning.

When the ABC's Four Corners program made inquiries about the meeting two decades later, the three priests consulted each other and agreed they did not recall Farrell admitting to sexually abusing children, the inquiry heard.

A letter from Fr Peters, written eight days after the 1992 meeting and tendered in evidence, records Farrell saying: "There had been five boys around the age of ten and eleven that he had sexually interfered with in varying degrees in the years approximately 1982 to 1984 while he was the assistant priest at Moree."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 AM

September 21, 2016

Thousands sign petition opposing sex abuse bill in Guam

GUAM
Radio New Zealand

The Catholic Church in Guam has collected more than 4,000 signatures for a petition opposing a bill that could expose it to sexual abuse lawsuits.

Pacific News Center reports the Church has delivered the petition calling on Governor Eddie Calvo to veto the bill to his office.

It collected 4,500 signatures in four days for the petition.

The bill lifting the statute of limitations for civil action on child sex abuse claims was passed unanimously by the Guam legislature last week.

The Church says it will go bankrupt if the bill becomes law.

In the past few months Archbishop Anthony Apuron and other clergy members have been accused of abusing altar boys decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Guam's Catholic Church accused of putting finances before abuse victims

GUAM
Radio New Zealand

The Catholic Church in Guam is being accused of putting its assets ahead of abuse victims.

The Church has launched a petition calling on Governor Eddie Calvo to veto a bill which would lift the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits in historical sex abuse cases.

It warned it would be left bankrupt and scrambling to fund schools and social services if it was forced to pay settlements to abuse claimants.

But Concerned Catholics of Guam Secretary Evangeline Lujan said those services received little funding from the Church.

She said church leaders were using threats to try and get their way

"I think it's unfair that they would decide that the assets of the church were more important than healing of the victims," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

CHICAGO CHURCH OFFICIAL CLAIMS NOT TO HAVE SEEN CHILD PORN

ILLINOIS
WLS

[with video]

By Chuck Goudie and Ross Weidner, Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ABC7 I-Team has new details on how the Chicago Archdiocese handled the investigation of a priest in a child pornography case.

On the surface, this child porn scandal involves Rev. Octavio Munoz who once ran the crown jewel of the church's Hispanic priest outreach program, Casa Jesus.

Munoz was arrested in Maryland where he was undergoing church-sponsored treatment and appeared in Cook County court today on a child porn charge.

Court records raise disturbing questions about who reported the child pornography and how quickly law enforcement officials were informed.

Munoz, 40, was charged Wednesday with possession of child pornography.

Last summer, Archbishop Blase Cupich tapped Rev. Kevin Hays to replace Munoz.

On July 7, 2015 Hays and a church employee went to Casa Jesus to inspect Hays' new living quarters.

According a legal proffer filed Wednesday by Cook County prosecutors, when Hays and the church employee walked into Munoz's former apartment there was "a black Sony laptop ... there was displayed a moving image on the screen that appeared to be running from a web cam. The image was of a young boy (engaged in a sexual act.)"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

Tony Whitlam sues ABC over 7.30 ‘cover-up’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Former Federal Court judge Tony Whitlam QC has accused the ABC of portraying him as a “stooge” of the Catholic Church who helped cover up for John Farrell, a notorious pedophile priest whose crimes are under scrutiny by the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

Mr Whitlam, a son of Gough Whitlam, has launched a defam­ation suit against the ABC over an item on its 7.30 program on May 2, the day Farrell was sentenced to at least 18 years’ jail for 62 child-sex offences.

In a statement of claim filed with the Federal Court last month, Mr Whitlam attacked the ABC over its reporting of an inquiry into Farrell that he did for the bishops of Armidale and Parramatta after a Four Corners expose in 2012.

The royal commission has spent seven days investigating the reign of terror in the 1980s and early 1990s for which Farrell was jailed and the way the church dealt with his offending.

Counsel assisting Gail Furness SC has told the commission Mr Whitlam in his report “said there was no ‘cover-up’ in 1992”.

In his claim, Mr Whitlam says the 7.30 piece painted him as someone who committed a serious criminal offence by concealing Farrell’s sexual abuse of children. He claims the program falsely portrayed him as deliberately concealing the crimes, “enabling Farrell to abuse even more children”. It also allegedly depicted him as conducting a “sham” inquiry and as “a stooge who took money from the Catholic Church to carry out a rigged inves­t­igation into a Catholic priest”.

A transcript of the broadcast, filed by Mr Whitlam, quotes Bernard Barrett, of victims’ rights group Broken Rites, saying “the Tony Whitlam report doesn’t look good now in view of what’s happened to Farrell in the court”.

However, Mr Whitlam ­seems more aggrieved by a ­moment in the broadcast when Mr Barrett, who is not a target of the lawsuit, made air quotation marks — a “mocking, derisive and sensational gesture” — while discussing the investigation. Mr Whitlam claims this, along with other factors including the ABC’s “arrogant and highhanded refusal to apologise”, entitles him to aggravated damages.

Underlying the dispute, and probed yesterday at the royal commission, is what happened at a meeting between Farrell and three priests on September 3, 2002. Two of the priests, Brian Lucas and John Usher, did not recall Farrell admitting to having had oral sex with young boys.

However, the commission has heard that the third priest, Wayne Peters, wrote a letter at the time that referred to the admissions and formed part of the Four Cornersbroadcast in 2012.

In his report, Mr Whitlam found “nothing sinister” about the two priests not recalling any admissions and said Father ­Peters’s letter was not necessarily “a more accurate record”.

In evidence at the commission yesterday, Father Usher said he “didn’t believe the letter”.

Mr Whitlam’s lawsuit is set down for a case management conference on October 10.

He and his solicitor, Mark O’Brien, did not respond to calls and emails. An ABC spokesman declined to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

Does the Mexican priest who allegedly abused minors even exist?

MEXICO
Catholic News Agency

Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 21, 2016 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After the Mexican branch of the “hacktivist” group Anonymous reported that the Archdiocese of Mexico had let off an alleged priest who confessed to having molested 30 girls, the Church in Mexico has denied that the priest even exists, calling the Anonymous report “irresponsible and malicious.”

On Sept. 8 Anonymous Mexico claimed that the Archdiocese of Mexico “decided to let off from any crime and punishment José Ataulfo García, the priest who allegedly confessed to raping more than 30 indigenous girls in the state of Oaxaca.”

The report by the hackers group was picked up this weekend by several Spanish-language newspapers, and this week by some English media.

Religión Digital posted an article with the headline “Priest with HIV who confessed to molesting 30 girls let off”, but it has since been deleted.

SIAME, the communications office of the Archdiocese of Mexico, has stated that the supposed priest José Ataulfo is not listed in their jurisdiction's records, nor in those of the Archdiocese of Antequera, Oaxaca.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Ermittler durchsuchen Haus von Priester

DEUTSCHLAND
NWZ

Tobias Schwerdtfeger

Erneut sorgt ein mutmaßlicher Kindesmissbrauch in der katholischen Kirche für Aufsehen. Die mutmaßlichen Opfer haben bei dem Geistlichen übernachtet. Was wir bislang über den Fall in Lohne wissen, lesen Sie in einer Übersicht der wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten.

LOHNE Nach einer Missbrauchsanzeige gegen einen katholischen Priester (73) aus Lohne (Kreis Vechta), hat die Oldenburger Staatsanwaltschaft bereits das Haus des Geistlichen durchsuchen lassen. Der Mann soll Kindern Bilder mit pornografischem Inhalt gezeigt haben. Bei der Durchsuchung sei Beweismaterial beschlagnahmt worden. Ob es sich dabei um pornografisches Material handelt, wollte Staatsanwalt Torben Tölle auf Anfrage nicht kommentieren. Viele Fragen ranken sich um den Fall, es wird spekuliert. Um Gerüchten entgegenzutreten, hier die Antworten auf die am häufigsten gestellten Fragen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Caso Giada Vitale; Il testo integrale della lettera inviata dalla Consigliera Regionale Nunzia Lattanzio a Papa Francesco

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[The full text of the letter sent by the Regional Councillor Nunzia Lattanzio to Pope Francis.]

A SUA SANTITA’ PAPA FRANCESCO
CASA SANTA MARTA
00120 CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
e, p.c.
A SUA EMINENZA CARDINALE GERHARD LUDWIG MULLER
PREFETTO DELLA CONGREGAZIONE PER LA DOTTRINA DELLA FEDE
P. ZZA DEL SANT’UFFIZIO N.11
00193 ROMA
A Sua Santità Papa Francesco,

nella mia qualità di mamma, già Esperto del Tribunale di Sorveglianza di Bari, già Tutore Pubblico dei Minori della Regione Molise, già Giudice Onorario del Tribunale per i Minorenni di Campobasso, Consigliere regionale del Molise nonché Presidente della IV Commissione consiliare Affari sociali, sono a portare alla Sua riflessione quanto segue:
– negli anni 2009-2010, nel piccolo borgo di Portocannone (CB), si consumava un gravissimo crimine ai danni dell’allora minorenne Giada Vitale, a causa dei reiterati abusi compiuti da Don Marino Genova, Ministro della Chiesa cattolica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Erzbischof steht unter Missbrauchsverdacht

GUAM
N-TV

Auf der beliebten Urlaubsinsel Guam im Pazifik droht der katholischen Kirche ein neuer Missbrauchsskandal. Der betroffene Erzbischof bestreitet die Vorwürfe, ein Sonderermittler empfiehlt dennoch seine Absetzung. Die Diözese fürchtet den Bankrott.

Ein Skandal um Kindesmissbrauch auf einer abgelegenen Pazifik-Insel bewegt die katholische Kirche: Ein vatikanischer Sonderermittler empfahl nach dreimonatiger Untersuchung die Absetzung des Erzbischofs im US-Pazifikterritorium Guam. Ein kirchliches Gericht werde sich um die "äußerst ernsten Vorwürfe" gegen Erzbischof Anthony Apuron kümmern, heißt es in der Erklärung, die in Guams Kirche verlesen wurde. Er soll vor Jahrzehnten Ministranten sexuell belästigt haben. Papst Franziskus verfolge den Fall persönlich.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

CHICAGO PASTOR CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

ILLINOIS
WLS

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago priest appeared in court on a child pornography charge.

Fr. Octavio Munoz was removed from ministry last year. He is the former director of the Archdiocese's Casa Jesus program.

Fr. Munoz had been receiving treatment at a Catholic facility in Maryland when a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Over a year after authorities collected his computer, movies and other items, prosecutors said ongoing forensic examination of his belongings led to the priest being arrested and being brought back to Chicago.

A Chicago priest appeared in Cook County Criminal Courtroom, charged with possession of child pornography.

Munoz stood before a judge as a prosecutor gave reasons for the charge.

"Forensic analysis of the defendants electronic devices revealed the two movies previously mentioned, as well as emails and stories of sex with children," said Guy Lisuzzo, a Cook County assistant state's attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Archdiocese waited week before reporting child porn allegation against priest

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Steve Schmadeke
Chicago Tribune

A Catholic priest responsible for recruiting young men to the priesthood appeared in court Wednesday on child pornography charges after police tracked him to a Maryland treatment center where the Chicago Archdiocese had sent him without notifying authorities, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors also disclosed that the archdiocese initially hired a private investigator after an employee reported seeing child pornography on the laptop of the Rev. Octavio Munoz, 40, last year. The archdiocese conducted its own investigation for more than a week before contacting Chicago police. The laptop was never found, they said.

The archdiocese then sent Munoz to Maryland for counseling as the police investigation heated up, prosecutors said, prompting a sharp question from Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil.

"Isn't there counseling in the state of Illinois that he could've been afforded?" she asked.

She ordered Munoz to turn over all his passports and remain in Illinois if he can post his $50,000 bail on the single count of possession of child pornography. She also banned him from having any contact with minors or using the internet.

Munoz had been rector of the archdiocese's Casa Jesus, a renowned training program for Latin American men who want to become priests. In that role, he traveled abroad to recruit young men to study in the United States, according to Assistant State's attorney Guy Lisuzzo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

AG Bruce Beemer contradicts opinion taken by Senate on constitutionality of statute of limitations: Report

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

The Pennsylvania lawmaker who has spearheaded the movement to reform the state's child sex crimes law says he is emboldened by the fact that the state's newly appointed top law enforcement official is leaning on the side of reform.

"It's great day for victims knowing we have an attorney general who is not afraid to stand up and do what is right and fight for the victims of this commonwealth," said Rep. Mark Rozzi D-Berks.

In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, newly appointed Attorney General Bruce Beemer rejected the opinion that allowing past victims of abuse the ability to revive expired civil legal rights in order to bring to court predators would not violate the state constitution.

In so doing, Beemer countered the opinion given by his immediate predecessor Bruce Castor, Jr., who as solicitor general, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee attesting that the retroactive measure in House Bill 1947 would be unconstitutional.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Lismore priest faces retrial over child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

Melissa Gulbin | 22nd Sep 2016

AFTER an emotionally-charged four-week trial which left a jury in deadlock, Catholic Priest Father John Casey will again face trial over the alleged sexual abuse of three boys nearly 30 years ago.

ON August 12, Lismore Diocese Catholic Priest, John Patrick Casey, was found not guilty of 16 charges, but the jury could not make a decision on the remaining 11 counts relating to child sex offences.

Yesterday at Lismore District Court, 14 charges for retrial were listed, including three charges of homosexual intercourse with a male between the ages of 10 and 18 years and three charge with a male under the age of 10 years. There are also five charge of indecent assault with a person under 16 as well as a three charges of sexual assault with a person under 16.

This matter is listed for mention on September 30 at the District Court at Sydney Downing Centre.

Father John Casey's bail is to continue and he is excused from attending on the next mention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Court documents show church leaders, parents did not report sexual assault of child

COLORADO
KDVR

[with video]

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016, BY TAMMY VIGIL

HORNTON, Colo. -- Court documents question whether church leaders in Thornton conspired to protect a fellow pastor accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.

What’s more incredulous is the reaction from the victim’s own parents.

A 16-page arrest affidavit paints a disturbing picture of what was going on inside Agape Bible Church at West 88th Avenue and Huron Street after it came to light one of its former pastors was having a sexual relationship with a girl who is now 14 years old.

Robert "Bob" Wyatt is accused of sexually assaulting a child of a congregation member for nearly two years, a chile he came to know at Agape and then began homeschooling her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Colorado church didn’t report pastor’s child sex abuse because ‘biblical counseling’ would suffice

COLORADO
Raw Story

BRAD REED
21 SEP 2016

A church in Thornton, Colorado has come under fire after court documents revealed this week that it failed to report a pastor’s sexual abuse to police because it believed the problem could be solved with “biblical counseling.”

Local news station KDVR reports that Pastor Robert Wyatt repeatedly had sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl who was parishioner at the Agape Bible Church in Thornton. What’s even more disturbing about this case, however, is the fact that court documents show church officials knew about Wyatt’s sexual abuse and did nothing.

According to an arrest affidavit for Wyatt, both head pastor Darrell Ferguson and the 12-year-old girl’s adoptive parents agreed that it would be best to not go to the police because they were concerned about what would happen to Wyatt.

Instead, the affidavit claims, the church and the parents agreed that “biblical counseling they would receive through the church was sufficient” to fixing the problem.

The officer who interviewed the girl’s adoptive father said that the man “made it clear his interest was in protecting the church and its reputation more than protecting his daughter.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Statement on Charges Filed Against Father Octavio Muñoz Capetillo

CHICAGO (IL)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago

September 21, 2016

We learned today that Father Octavio Muñoz Capetillo has been charged with one felony count of possession of child pornography. The charge comes in connection with a police investigation that began after the archdiocese reported that inappropriate material had been found on a computer in his possession. On July 28, 2015, Archbishop Blase J. Cupich removed Father Muñoz from ministry and withdrew his faculties, his authority to minister, after the archdiocese learned that the inappropriate material might involve minors. Given the nature of that material, the archdiocese reported it promptly to the civil authorities and have cooperated fully with their investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Chicago Priest Arrested On Child Pornography Charge

ILLINOIS
CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago priest who was removed as pastor of a church in the Brighton Park neighborhood last year has been arrested on a child pornography charge.

Octavio Munoz, 40, was removed from ministry by the Chicago Archdiocese in August 2015, because of concerns about materials found on his computer. At the time, the Archdiocese would not specify what was found.

“Given the nature of the material, we reported our concerns to the civil authorities and will cooperate fully in their investigation,” the Archdiocese said in a statement last year.

On Wednesday, police announced Munoz was found to be in possession of child pornography in July 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

El Vaticano no quiso entregar información en proceso que investiga a Obispo Barros

CHILE
24 Horas

[The Vatican has declined to provide information to secular authorities in Chile regarding Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno. It has been alleged that he witnessed abuse by priest Fernando Karadima.]

El abogado demandante, Juan Pablo Hermosilla, calificó de "gravísima" la situación en donde "se demuestra la actitud de la Iglesia frente a estos conflictos".

El Estado Vaticano desestimó la opción de entregar mayores antecedentes a la investigación contra el Arzobispado y que terminó apuntando al Obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros.

La Corte Suprema había solicitado el exhorto a la Santa Sede, pero esta última comunicó el pasado 16 de mayo que no aportará datos en el caso, según consignó Emol,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Should Google News take a stand against fake news?

UNITED STATES
The Daily Dot

Nancy Levine — Sept 10

Fake news isn’t always so funny. While the Onion and The Daily Show have had us in stitches for years, fake news and false information published by a seemingly real news site can be damaging.

Does a news aggregator like Google News bear responsibility for the fake or factually incorrect news it disseminates? Does Google News have some sort of mechanism to address errors or make requests for corrections or removal from its news feed? What if a news site publishes false information that harms people affected by a global health pandemic?

This news item popped up in my Google News feed last month, reported by Empire State News:

“A media advisory from a New York state senator [sic], Alison Boak, presents a dubious statistic: that one in five children are sexually abused. Really? According to who?… The truth is this: less than one percent of children are sexually abused.”

The article cites no sources. If Empire State News reporter Temple Li or her editor had done a quick fact-check, the question raised would have been answered, and ESN’s reported “truth” easily refuted.

According to this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Justice: “Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

New AG says proposed Pa. child-sex abuse law wasn't unconstitutional

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITER

Freshly appointed chief of an office wracked by tumult at the top, Attorney General Bruce Beemer is rejecting a key position taken by his predecessor, saying he believes a child sex-abuse bill in Harrisburg that would have allowed lawsuits for decades-old would not have violated the constitution.

In an interview with The Inquirer, Beemer contradicted the legal view offered by then-Solicitor General Bruce L. Castor Jr., who told a Senate panel in June that he believed the measure, opposed by the Catholic Church, would be rejected by the Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee then gutted the provision, citing Castor's testimony and that of several others. The bill had been overwhelmingly approved by the House in April.

"I do not agree with it," Beemer said of Castor's interpretation of the law, adding that "reasonable legal minds can differ" on the matter.

"Ultimately, you would think it would be up to the highest court on Pennsylvania to determine if it's unconstitutional," Beemer said in the interview Tuesday night.

Beemer's public declaration comes as advocates are considering whether to push to rewrite the amended bill in the days ahead or reintroduce the bill anew in the next legislative session that begins in January. It would potentially make it harder for Senate opponents to rely on a legal view that the top law enforcement officer has said publicly he believes is wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Clergy abuse survivor says Vatican commission is making progress

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The only abuse survivor currently serving on a panel set up by Pope Francis to fight clerical sexual abuse says the Catholic Church is making good progress and welcomed changes initiated by the Vatican and the pontiff.

Marie Collins, who was raped at age 13 by a hospital chaplain in Ireland, is a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

“I have complained about slowness and frustration in the past,” Collins told RNS this week. “From my point of view as a survivor, I would like everything to happen tomorrow.”

But, she continued, “We have had some really positive moves.”

Collins, who has said she would quit the panel if she did not see substantive reforms, specifically cited the commission’s participation in an orientation program for new bishops at the Vatican last week.

She also pointed to a papal decree issued in June by Francis and designed to make bishops more accountable for abusers and to mandate their removal if found to be “negligent” — something that had not happened before.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Suspended Chicago Priest Arrested on Child Porn Charges: Cops

ILLINOIS
Patch

By Lorraine Swanson (Patch Staff) - September 21, 2016

CHICAGO -- A Chicago priest who was removed from ministry last year was arrested in Maryland after an investigation determined his computer contained images of child pornography, Chicago police said in a news release.

Octavio Munoz Capetillo, 40, was charged with one felony count of child pornography/photograph. He is scheduled for a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building at 26th and California later Wedenesday afternoon.

Police said an investigation determined that on July 1, 2015 the priest had images of child pornography on his computer. Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich suspended Munoz Capetillo later that same month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Archdiocese delivers petition to veto sex crimes bill with 4,500 signatures

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

The Archdiocese of Agana says the church will go bankrupt if bill 326 is passed into law.

Guam - The Archdiocese of Agana collected a total of 4,500 signatures for a petition calling on Governor Eddie Calvo to veto bill 326. The petition, according to the archdiocese, was delivered to the governor Wednesday, about four days after the petition was introduced.

Bill 326 was passed by the Guam legislature unanimously last week and proposes to lift the statute of limitations indefinitely and retroactively for pursuing civil action on child sex abuse claims.

Authored by Sen. Frank Blas Jr., the measure was introduced after the group Silent No More launched a petition drive to collect 100,000 signatures to lift the statute of limitations. The group fell short, however, of their goal. They only collected about 3,000 signatures which was delivered to the legislature earlier this month.

Father Jeff San Nicolas, the delegate to Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who is the appointed temporary administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, announced the delivery of the veto petition this afternoon. You can read his release below:

Please take note that the petitions to reconsider Bill 326-33 were submitted to the Governor's Office for his review on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 2:50 p.m. More than 4,500 signatures were gathered in a span of four days from the various parishes, schools, and institutions within our Archdiocese. May God bless. - Fr. Jeff

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Priest proposes moratorium on neocatechumenal movement

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Father Mike Crisostomo said he would be meeting with Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai soon to propose the moratorium.

Guam - At least one priest is proposing a moratorium on the Neocatechumenal movement in the wake of eye-opening details of a report on the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Father Mike Crisostomo suggested this on Mornings with Patti on News Talk K57 and says he will make this request with Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai when he meets with him next.

The report details and confirms some of the suspicions many catholics on Guam have had for years, that the education does not follow accreditation standards, the value of the seminary is questionable, there is no credible verification process for the acceptance of seminarians, and, the report concludes, that closure of the seminary is warranted.

"I think now that this has all been revealed and exposed, I think one of the suggestions that I'm proposing is that we evaluate the neocatechumenal movement and what that means is that we ask Archbishop Hon or that there be some kind of moratorium or some kind of evaluation done. And then no further catechesis will be implemented until we actually can understand more the impact of how this movement has been in the archdiocese and is it going to be beneficial to the archdiocese and to the faithful," said Father Crisostomo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

President of 'Catholic Families for Apuron' says RMS report is biased

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Dr. Ricardo Eusebio also sits on the board of directors for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Guam - Redemptoris Mater Seminary Board of Directors member Dr. Ricardo Eusebio says he does not trust the ad hoc committee report on the RMS issued by Father Jeff San Nicolas yesterday. Dr. Eusebio says the report was prepared by a committee that is biased.

Dr. Ricardo Eusebio is a surgeon, a member of the neocatechumenal way, a member of the group I Familian Mangatoliku Siha Para Si Apuron or Catholic Families for Apuron and a board member of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

We met with him today to get his reaction to Father Jeff San Nicolas' statement yesterday in which Father San Nicolas connected for the first time Archbishop Anthony Apuron to the neocatechumenal way. Dr. Eusebio says he has no response for such allegations from Father San Nicolas. But he does have a few words to say about an ad hoc committee report Father San Nicolas released to the media yesterday despite orders from his superiors not to do so.

The report is on the RMS and is 141 pages long. It confirms some of the suspicions many have had about the Yona seminary's practices and its strict ties to the neocatechumenal way.

"I don't think the people in that committee have in their best interest the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. I think their interest is to close the seminary and I think their interest is to make the seminary look bad. So why would I listen to a report in which the members forming an opinion in the report are biased?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Chicago priest facing child porn charge is arrested in Maryland

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

Jordan Owen
@byjordanowen | email

A Southwest Side priest who was charged with possessing child pornography last year has been arrested in Maryland.

Octavio Munoz, 40, was charged with one felony count of child pornography/photograph, according to Chicago Police.

He is the former director of Casa Jesus, a vocational program of the Chicago Archdiocese intended to reach out to the city’s Hispanic population.

An investigation found he was in possession of child pornography about 9 a.m. July 1, 2015, at his home in the 4000 block of South Sacramento, police said.

He was arrested Sept. 20 in Rockville, Maryland, and extradited to Chicago, police said.

Munoz appeared in court Wednesday afternoon in Chicago, where his bond was set at $50,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Pro-Apuron group leader says Neocatechumenal Way not to blame for church's problems

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 21, 2016

Dr. Ricardo B. Eusebio, president of I Familian Mangatoliku Siha Pari Si Apuron or Catholic Families for Apuron, on Wednesday said the Neocatechumenal Way should not be blamed for everything that is going wrong with the local church.

The Rev. Jeff San Nicolas, during a press conference Tuesday arranged by the Archdiocese of Agana, said leaders of the Neocatechumenal Way, locally and internationally, have been interfering with the Guam church, to the detriment of other Catholics.

The Neocatechumenal Way is a movement within the Catholic church whose practices sometimes are at odds with those of Guam’s traditional Catholic community. Apuron, who belongs to the group, has been placed by the Vatican on temporary leave over sex abuse allegations.

“I think the Neocatechumenal Way has been made to be the boogeyman. Everything that you don’t like is a fault of the Neocatechumenal Way," Eusebio said. "The advances, the reputation of the Neocatechumenal Way, has been harmed significantly because of this."

Eusebio, who has been a member of the group on Guam for 19 years, said the Neocatechumenal Way has more than 700 members on Guam. At least nine of the Catholic parishes on the island have members of the Neocatechumenal Way in them, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Northumberland County pastor charged with possessing, distributing child pornography

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLIve

By John Beauge | Special to PennLive
on September 21, 2016

MONTANDON — The pastor of Montandon Baptist Church in Northumberland County has been accused of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Thomas M. Marker, 58, of the Montandon area, was arrested Tuesday by state police and jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.

He is charged with nine counts of sexual abuse of children by disseminating child pornography and 10 counts of the same charge for possessing child pornography.

He also is charged with one count of criminal use of a communication device that alleges he distributed child pornography through his Internet account.

The charges stem from a search warrant executed Tuesday at Marker's home in West Chillisquaque Twp. that police said had been identified as an address where child pornography had been uploaded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Priest charged with possession of child porn, extradited back to Chicago

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Deanese Williams-Harris
Chicago Tribune

Charges have been filed against a Chicago priest who was removed from the ministry in July after child pornography was allegedly found on his computer.

Octavio Munoz, 40, of the 4000 block of South Sacramento Avenue, was arrested Sept. 20 in Maryland and charged with possession of child pornography, according to police.

He was extradited back to Chicago for a bond hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Munoz was removed as pastor of St. Pancratius Church on the Southwest Side after the material was found on a computer in his possession, officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Guatemalan Crackdown on Lev Tahor Sect; Gov't Charges Child Abuse

GUATEMALA
Jewish Voice

Written by David Avrushmi - Created: 21 September 2016

After fleeing Israel, the United States and Canada, a Chassidic sect known as Lev Tahor is now facing a government crackdown in their new found home of Guatemala City.

Agents representing the central American country’s prosecution service paid an unexpected visit to the Lev Tahor compound last week and extricated several children on the grounds that they were both physically and mentally abused, according to reports that could not be confirmed.

It has been reported that Guidy Mamann, the attorney representing the ultra-Orthodox sect had traveled to Guatemala on Wednesday to handle the latest legal entanglement.

The Lev Tahor sect of Chassidim was founded approximately 36 years by Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, considered by many to be a dissident rabbinical figure. He had initially led his acolytes while they were based in Israel. Due to a series of controversies that dogged the group, Helbrans and his followers left for the United States. But trouble seemed to follow Lev Tahor and from there they sojourned to Canada where charges were leveled against them of child abuse and neglect. In search of a country that would not shine a spotlight on their unorthodox practices, Lev Tahor eventually chose Guatemala as a place of settlement.

Representatives of child welfare agencies along with erstwhile sect members in both the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec have made allegations that Lev Tahor encourages child marriage. Moreover, the group has been alleged to have maintained inadequate health and hygiene standards within their compound. The group vehemently denies the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Former Director of Recently Suspended Priest Program in Chicago Arrested on Child Porn Charges

ILLINOIS
NBC Chicago

By Mary Ann Ahern

The priest who once led a prominent vocational program for Latino men interested in the priesthood has been arrested on child pornography charges, NBC 5 has learned.

Father Octavio Munoz, of Casa Jesus, will appear in bond court at noon in Chicago.

It has taken more than a year to finalize the charges against 40-year-old Munoz, who was removed from ministry in August of 2015. At that time he was pastor of St. Pancratius Church in Brighton Park, only serving there for a few months. Before that assignment, for 7 years Munoz was the rector of Casa Jesus, an Archdiocese program for young Hispanic men considering the priesthood. Munoz, who was currently living in Maryland, was brought back to Chicago to face charges.

Over the years, Munoz traveled to Latin America at the Archdiocese’s expense to invite young men to apply to Casa Jesus. But in 2015, he was transferred and sent to rehab, according to multiple sources, after pornography was allegedly discovered on his computer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Other Pontifical Acts, 21.09.2016

VATICAN CITY
Bollettino

The Holy Father has appointed: ...

- Bishop David P. Talley, auxiliary of Atlanta, United States of America, as coadjutor of Alexandria (area 27,810, population 383,421, Catholics 36,669, priests 74, permanent deacons 18, religious 40), United States of America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Abuse victims say Catholic Church must do more to atone for predatory priests

PENNSYLVANIA
Los Angeles Times

Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Each morning when he wakes and walks to his shower, Mark Rozzi is reminded of a priest from his childhood, and the nightmare that unfolded in the rectory back in 1983.

He was a 13-year-old student and altar boy at Holy Guardian Angels Catholic Church and school in his hometown of Reading, about 65 miles north of Philadelphia, when he was raped in the shower by the Rev. Edward Graff.

Rozzi said he managed to get away and told his parents, who complained to the principal, but Graff was never prosecuted. Instead, like so many other priests accused of abuse, he was transferred to other churches, Rozzi said. Eventually, the priest was arrested in Texas and died while in custody before trial.

Rozzi later discovered that several of his friends had been abused by Graff as well; one struggled for years with mental illness and unemployment until he committed suicide this year, on Good Friday.

“I have seen my friends kill themselves, my friends become alcoholics and drug addicts, and then the church make a mockery of us,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Eusebio: Neocatechumenal Way "made out to be the Boogeyman"

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 21, 2016

By Krystal Paco

A longtime member of the Neocatechumenal Way is speaking-out following allegations made by Father Jeff San Nicolas at a press conference on Tuesday. Father Jeff believes the NCW is pushing their agenda and interests, to the detriment of other Catholics.

Forget what you've heard. "Come listen," encouraged Dr. Ricardo Eusebio. He's been a member of the Neocatechumenal Way for nearly two decades and also serves as a member of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary's board of directors. He refers to "The Way" as a crutch or a cane he uses to be more like Christ, but what outsiders have unfairly portrayed as a character from nightmares.

He told KUAM News, "I think the Neocatechumenal Way has been made out to be the Boogeyman. Everything that you don't like is the fault of the Neocatechumenal Way, everything that is bad is the Neocatehcumenal Way. So much so that the advances that the reputation of the Neocatechumenal Way has been harmed because of this."

On Tuesday, Father Jeff, the delegate to the administrator, spoke out about the NCW, alleging the group continues to push their agenda and interests to the detriment of other Catholics. Similar findings are evidenced in a 141-page report released on Tuesday by the visitation ad hoc committee who recently visited the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Petition asking governor veto Bill 326 arrives at Adelup

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 21, 2016

By Krystal Paco

A petition circulated by the Archdiocese of Agana to veto Bill 326 is officially in the hands of the governor. According to a release from the church, the petition contained over 4,500 signatures that were collected in the last four days.

Bill 326 passed on session floor earlier this month. The legislation lifts the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, which the church predicts could result in bankruptcy and put an end to other church community services as well as force closure of Catholic schools.

Governor Eddie Calvo has until Friday to take action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Priest proposing moratorium on Neocatechumenal Way

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 21, 2016

By Krystal Paco

One member of the Archdiocese of Agana's Presbyteral Council is going to propose placing a moratorium on the Neocatechumenal Way. In a phone interview with KUAM News, Father Mike Crisostomo of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Toto says the council may meet on Thursday, following the return of apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai to Guam.

Pale Mike cites other dioceses, such as in the Philippines and in Japan, where they placed temporary prohibitions of Neocatechumenal Way activity for similar reasons.

"This is no way to say that we want the Neo or to destroy it or whatever," the priest explained. "This is just to really access - what can we do to maybe strengthen and maybe help our church? How is it we can help? This has been something at the center of our church, and I thought this something that needed to happen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Pastor's arrest shocks community

ALABAMA
Montgomery Advertiser

Marty Roney, Montgomery Advertiser September 20, 2016

WETUMPKA – News that a former pastor with a Wetumpka connection has been charged in a Florida child sex sting has shocked this close-knit community.

David Donald Hoppenjan, 52, was among 22 men recently arrested in a sting dubbed “Operation Undertow” according to the Pensacola Police Department. At the time of his arrest, Hoppenjan was a pastor at First United Methodist Church in Pace, Fla. He is no longer a United Methodist pastor, according to the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.

According to media reports, Hoppenjan is a former youth minister at First United Methodist Church in Wetumpka. The district would not comment of any of Hoppenjan’s previous positions or the years that he served.

“I was shocked, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard about it,” said District Attorney Randall Houston, who attends First United Methodist Church in Wetumpka. “I remember I was sad when he left us, because he did such a good job. But it didn’t surprise me when he left and went on to bigger things, because he was such a good communicator.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Archbishop Hon set to return to Guam from Rome

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 21, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai is anticipated to make his return to the island on Thursday. As we've been reporting, Guam's interim archbishop was appointed to Guam in June while Archbishop Anthony Apuron was placed on leave amid allegations of child sex abuse.

Earlier this month, Hon traveled to Rome where he reports he's been urging the Holy See to remove Apuron as the bishop of Guam and to appoint a successor. The trip follows a previous attempt to remove Apuron.

According to Hon, the Presbyteral Council wrote to Apuron asking him to step down. That letter was sent in July and was unsuccessful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Advocates demand change in law to aid child sex abuse victims

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

By Liam Migdail-Smith

PHILADELPHIA - National advocates for victims of child sexual abuse don't find it a coincidence that Pennsylvania has been home to some of the most notorious abuse scandals.

The state's time limits for victims to pursue lawsuits or criminal charges, known as statutes of limitation, are on the more-restrictive side. And that signals to pedophiles that it's a safe place to abuse kids, advocates for victims said.

"For pedophiles, we know this is the most important thing in their lives and they use the statute of limitations as a shield," said Jeff Dion, an abuse survivor and director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association. "They know they don't have to keep victims quiet forever. They know they just need to keep victims quiet long enough to run out the clock."

The comments came during a press conference advocates gave while at the Philadelphia Sheraton Tuesday for the National Center for Victims of Crime's annual conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

The sexual abuse investigation: Some much-needed light

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

Editorial

An expanding state grand jury investigation into sexual abuse by priests in dioceses throughout Pennsylvania is an encouraging step toward bringing closure to the horrific scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church for years.

There's new hope in the cooperation by all involved: law enforcement, legislators and the church, which after decades of sheltering abusers now appears to be on board in the clarion call for justice.

But state legislators, refusing to extend the statute of limitations on such crimes, are failing that mission. Experts say the ever-brighter light of the grand jury probe could be the pressure needed to bring them into the fold. “The more there is public information about the abuse in a valued institution, the more likely it is that the Legislature will actually do something to protect our children,” Marci Hamilton, CEO of Child USA, told the Tribune-Review.

A bill that passed the state House 185-14 before dying in the Senate focused on extending the statute of limitations for civil and criminal actions by clergy. It should be resurrected and passed — with amendments that extend the action to all child abuse cases.

Helping these victims should not be predicated on the place — be it a church, school or day care center — where the abuse took place. The time is ripe for action — and justice — on behalf all victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Catholic school abuse survivor donates damages to orphanage

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Wed 21 Sep 2016
By Alex Williams

A Surrey man abused during childhood by his Catholic school house master is donating £30,000 awarded to him in compensation to pay the school fees of 50 children at an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya.

The survivor, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was one of ten victims targeted by convicted paedophile David Lowe at schools in London and Yorkshire between 1978 and 1984.

His lawyer, Tracey Emmot of Emmot Snell in Bedford, said: "It's that sense of justice and making something good come out of all this which has driven my client who has made the donation to the orphanage.

"From all the bad things that happened to him as a child, he can use the money to make a difference to other children's lives."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Assistant pastor at Thornton church accused of sexually assaulting child congregant

COLORADO
Denver Post

By JESSE PAUL | jpaul@denverpost.com
PUBLISHED: September 19, 2016

A former assistant pastor at a Thornton church has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a child congregant, prosecutors announced Monday.

Robert Duane Wyatt, 50, of Agape Bible Church, is accused of sexual assault on a child, sexual assault on a child as a pattern of conduct and sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

The Adams County District Attorney’s Office say Wyatt sexually assaulted a girl, who is now 14 years old, whose family attended the church at 8761 Huron St.

“The girl reported that the conduct had been going on for nearly two years, beginning when she was 12,” the office said in a news release.

Wyatt surrendered to authorities on Monday afternoon and was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Former Assistant Pastor To Be Arraigned On Child Sex Charges

OKLAHOMA
Lawton Constitution

Scott Rains

A 72-year-old longtime assistant Duncan pastor and former teacher and principal in Elgin and Ninnekah is set for arraignment on child sexual abuse charges in October.

The Stephens County District Court set 9 a.m. Oct. 13 as the time and date for the arraignment of Jody Hilliard, 72, who is charged with two felony counts of lewd or indecent acts to a child, court records indicate. Each count is punishable by no less than 25 years in prison and falls under the 85 percent rule. He would have to serve a little more than 20 years before being eligible for parole, if convicted.

Hilliard was charged with the crimes in April. He is accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl who had been in his care in the summer of 2015.

Duncan police began investigating Hilliard on March 11 after a detective completed a report on behalf of the Missouri Department of Social Services following a review of the girl's statement and an interview with a case worker.

An incident report from the Cole County, Mo., Sheriff's Office had been provided to Duncan police. The girl told investigators that she'd stayed with Hilliard in June 2015 and while there, he "did a number of things that she knew he should not do," according to the probable cause affidavit, including touching her "butt," crotch and breasts a number of times and that he also forced her to touch his naked penis. She later told a detective that Hilliard also used his tongue on her while in his art studio in the back of the house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Senior Catholic figure questioned by police over paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Wednesday 21 September 2016

A senior figure in the Catholic Church has been interviewed by police over whether he and others failed to report paedophile ex-priest John Farrell to authorities, the child sex abuse royal commission has heard.

Former vicar general of Sydney John Usher told the commission he gave a statement to officers from Strike Force Glenroe in May.

“They told me that the department of police prosecutions, the DPP, had asked them to investigate this Farrell matter,” Usher, 75, told the commission on Wednesday.

Usher’s police statement said he did not recall Farrell making any direct admission to committing sexual offences on children during a 1992 meeting with himself and two other priests.

“If he had done so, I would have reported the matters to the appropriate authorities,” the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Child sexual abuse royal commission: Father John Farrell had 'serious psychological problems'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

It was the practice of some clergy not to ask questions when it came to the issue of child molestation, a senior Catholic official has told the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

The Sydney hearing is examining how the dioceses at Armidale in northern New South Wales and Parramatta in Sydney's west responded to allegations made against Father John Farrell.

Appearing at the hearing, Monsignor John Usher, who spent 20 years as director of the Catholic welfare agency Centacare, said he interviewed Farrell for an hour in 1990 and found his ongoing need to spend time with children was a grave concern.

Father John Farrell 'should not have been a priest'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Stockton diocese reveals bankruptcy plan

CALIFORNIA
Record

By Almendra Carpizo
Record Staff Writer

Posted Sep. 20, 2016

STOCKTON — The Diocese of Stockton on Tuesday announced a plan that could result in its exit out of bankruptcy more than two years after legal costs stemming from dozens of child sexual-abuse lawsuits depleted its funds.

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire said the diocese, which filed for bankruptcy in January 2014, negotiated with all the parties involved to reach a consensual plan, which includes:

$15 million to survivors of sexual abuse and a trust for the benefit of survivors.

Payment of at least 50 percent of what is owed to unsecured creditors.

Restructuring of unsecured loans.

Funding from the plan will come from the Diocese of Stockton, settling insurance carriers and other entities associated with the diocese.

The $15 million settlement agreed upon by the diocese, the plaintiffs' attorneys and insurance companies is to “provide for the healing of the survivors,” Blaire said during a news conference. The diocese is responsible for $9.89 million of the total amount.

The Bishop said the plan, if accepted, will allow the diocese to exit bankruptcy by the end of the year and continue operating.

Blaire said the plan will settle the cases of 27 victims who came forward during the period of bankruptcy, but $750,000 out of the $15 million will be set aside for any future plaintiffs who did not come forward in that time frame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 AM

Rep. Mark Rozzi pushes for statute of limitations reform for clergy abuse cases

PENNSYLVANIA
WFMZ

PHILADELPHIA - A Berks County lawmaker said Tuesday that victims of clergy abuse should be able to seek justice at any age. Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Rozzi, a victim of child sexual abuse by a priest, joined several other victims and child abuse experts at a conference of the National Center for Victims of Crime in Philadelphia.

Rozzi has been making headlines as of late after talking about his own experience. He revealed to 69 News last week that he was called to testify before a grand jury about clergy abuse within the Diocese of Allentown, which includes the five-county region of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill.

The Pennsylvania dioceses of Greensburg, Erie, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton are also part of the state probe. Rozzi is pushing for Pennsylvania legislators to pass a bill that changes the statute of limitations.

"The statute of limitations hurts no one but victims, and it helps no one but perpetrators, and I think it's no coincidence that we look at states that have the biggest scandals. They're the ones with the most restrictive statutes of limitations," said Jeff Dion, director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 AM

Clergy abuse news conference: 3 takeaways

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Brandie Kessler, bkessler@ydr.com September 20, 2016

Days after confirming a statewide grand jury investigation into six Catholic dioceses, including Harrisburg, State Rep. Mark Rozzi stood with survivors of clergy sex abuse in Philadelphia to issue a call to action.

Rozzi and others spoke in support of statute of limitations reform that includes a retroactive provision to allow adults who were victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice. Rozzi said a retroactive provision that was included in House Bill 1947, which would reform the statute of limitations for civil action in Pennsylvania, was "gutted" by the Senate during the last legislative session.

Rozzi said he hopes to reintroduce the legislation with the retroactive provision during the next legislative session.

Here are three takeaways from the news conference Tuesday:

SOL 'as a shield'

It's no coincidence that states with the most restrictive statute of limitations laws have the biggest scandals, said Jeff Dion, an abuse survivor and the director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association.

Perpetrators know what the laws are, he said, and "they use the statutes of limitations as a shield. They know that they don't have to keep victims quiet forever, they just have to keep them quiet long enough to run out the clock."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 AM

Diocese Of Stockton Could Pay Out $15 Million To Sex Abuse Victims

CALIFORNIA
CBS Sacramento

STOCKTON (CBS13) – The Diocese of Stockton could pay out a total of $15 million to more than two dozen victims who claim they were sexually abused by priests in the diocese.

Bishop Stephen Blaire announced Tuesday the diocese filed a reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court as part of the proposed settlement.

CBS13 spoke to one of the first abuse victims who came forward almost 40 years ago who says the diocese should have taken action sooner.

“It’s a lifetime battle,” said Nancy Sloan, one of the victims who was abused by the now-defrocked priest Oliver O’Grady.

Sloan was one of the first victims to come forward and report being abused in the in 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 AM

September 20, 2016

Church defends opposition to bill

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

In an emotionally wrought address to media, lay organizations and members of the clergy, Rev. Jeff San Nicolas read from a statement in which he reiterated the archdiocese’s opposition to the passage of Bill 326-33.

"The Archdiocese of Agana is not seeking to protect child sexual abusers of any kind, it simply desires for the people of God to be well informed about the true effects of Bill 326-33," he said.

Bill 326-33 would remove the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits involving accusations of child sex abuse. The bill passed with an unanimous vote by the legislature and is now awaiting the governor's signature by Friday. If the governor does not either sign or veto the bill by then, it would lapse into law.

Speaker Judi Won Pat said in comments released to the Post that all bills vetoed by the governor would be placed on the session agenda scheduled for Oct. 17 and that in the event of an override vote, she would vote in favor of its passing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Sex-abuse victims make new push to change Pa. law

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITER

With the fate of a child sex-abuse bill on the line in Harrisburg, clergy sex-abuse victims and their relatives told their stories Tuesday as part of a renewed push to change Pennsylvania law so victims can sue for decades-old attacks.

A bill that passed the House in April would have, among other things, expanded the statute of limitations so victims age 50 and under could sue the men or women who abused them decades ago, as well as the institutions that supervised them.

Citing concerns about its constitutionality and after critics, notably the Catholic Church, warned the measure could unfairly cripple some parishes, the Senate removed that provision.

It left intact provisions to eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for such acts and to apply the expanded civil statute of limitations to all future victims. The bill still needs full approval by the House and Senate.

Rep. Mark Rozzi (D., Berks) a key proponent of the original law and organizer of Tuesday's gathering, said he was not sure he would support what's left of the measure.

With only a few weeks left in the current legislative session, Rozzi said he and House leaders were considering pushing to amend the Senate's version of the bill but also were weighing whether to just wait and revive the fight for retroactive lawsuits after a new legislature arrives January.

Rozzi noted the revelations last week that the Attorney General's office has expanded its criminal probe of clergy sex abuse to include six of Pennsylvania's eight Catholic dioceses. He also cited the arrest of an Allentown area priest last week on child pornography charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Abuse victim in 'Spotlight': Extend statute of limitations in Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA
PhillyVoice

BY JOHN KOPP
PhillyVoice Staff

Joe Crowley says he knew nothing about statutes of limitation when he first described the sexual abuse he suffered to a Boston Globe reporter investigating clerical abuse in Massachusetts.

Simply gaining the courage to share his story publicly had taken years. Eventually, Crowley faced his abuser in court. But there are some sexual abuse victims in Pennsylvania who might never get that opportunity unless changes are made to the statute of limitations.

"I knew that they knew and did nothing," Crowley said of the Catholic Church. "That was one of the most healing things. It just changed my perspective. The last time I ever saw my perpetrator — he was in shackles."

Crowley is one of several abuse victims portrayed in the movie "Spotlight," which detailed the Boston Globe's efforts in bringing the Catholic abuse scandal to light. He and two others depicted in "Spotlight" joined state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, in Philadelphia on Tuesday to trumpet legislation that would enable generations of sexual abuse victims to seek justice in Pennsylvania civil courts.

House Bill 1947 would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations on future child sex abuse crimes. But it also would retroactively extend civil statutes, allowing victims until their 50th birthday to pursue legal action. Victims currently must do so before turning 30 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Proponents of expanding statute of limitations for abuse victims update the battle in Pa.

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

By Kathleen E. Carey, Delaware County Daily Times
POSTED: 09/20/16

PHILADELPHIA >> Surrounded by those integral to the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston, advocates of statute of limitation reform here in Pennsylvania pleaded their cause Tuesday during a press conference

“The statute of limitations hurts no one but victims and it helps no one but perpetrators,” said Jeff Dion, director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, during the press conference at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel.

He stood next to state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-126, of Berks County, Massachusetts victims Phil Saviano and Joe Crowley, and attorney Roderick “Eric” MacLeish as he voiced his support for the expansion of the statute of limitations, or the time a victim can bring a claim against a defendant, here in Pennsylvania. The saga of the scandal in the Boston Archdiocese formed the backdrop for the movie “Spotlight,” which won this year’s Best Picture at the Academy Awards detailing the work of the Boston Globe investigative unit that blew the lid off years af abuse and a cover-up by the church hierarchy.

As the General Assembly begins its fall session, one of the things that may be considered is HB 1947, a state law repealing the statute of criminal limitations for childhood sex abuse. It also contained a controversial provision sponsored by Rozzi to extend the civil statute of limitations by 20 years - and also make it retroactive, in effect allowing victims from decades ago to be able to bring suit against their abusers now. The measure was overwhelmingly approved in the Pa House earlier this year, before stalling in the Senate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Catholic Diocese of Owensboro Reinstates Priest Suspended for Juvenile Abuse

KENTUCKY
WKMS

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS & ROB CANNING

The Catholic Diocese of Owensboro has reinstated a priest who was suspended after being accused of sexually abusing a juvenile in the 1980s.

The Diocesan Review Board reviewed the complaint against the Reverend Freddie Byrd and decided there was not enough information to substantiate the allegation. Byrd was reinstated last week to active ministry at St. Ann Church in Union County after being suspended in June.

A complaint to the diocese accused Byrd of engaging in inappropriate conduct with a 17-year-old in 1983, at a time when Byrd was not yet a priest. The diocese alerted law enforcement, Kentucky State Police spokesman Corey King says authorities did not conduct an investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Así no Francisco: Absuelven a sacerdote con HIV que abusó de 30 niñas indígenas

MEXICO
Urgente24

Desde que Jorge Omar Bergoglio asumió su pontificado como papa Francisco hizo uno de sus banderas la condena de la pedofilia que tanto ha manchado a la Iglesia Católica Apostólica Romana. Pero la condena no debe limitarse a las palabras sino que sería conveniente acompañarla con hechos. No ayuda al Obispo de Roma lo que está sucediendo en Oaxaca, México.

El sacerdote José Ataulfo García fue absuelto de cualquier delito por la Arquidiócesis Primada de México tras confesar haber abusado sexualmente de decenas de niñas en la comunidad indígena de Oaxaca, según informa la plataforma 'Anonymous' de México. Al delito de abuso y violación de unas 30 niñas de entre 5 y 10 años, admitido por el propio clérigo, se suma el hecho de que García es portador de HIV.

Ni el Estado de México ni ninguna organización defensora de los derechos de la niñez se ha pronunciado sobre esta absolución, probablemente debido al respeto que la Iglesia Católica inspira en las zonas indígenas. Además, esta institución religiosa cuenta con una gran influencia en las instituciones mexicanas: de la gran cantidad de víctimas, solo 2 se atrevieron a denunciar oficialmente.

El sitio de internet Anonymous.mx citó a la revista "Hablemos de México" como fuente de la denuncia original, en julio, en respuesta a que la madre de una de las víctimas pidió reunirse con el papa Francisco; sin embargo, con escrito desde Roma se dio a conocer el dictamen del caso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Catholic Church ACQUITS Mexican priest who admitted raping 30 young girls even though he knew he was infected with HIV

MEXICO
Daily Mail (UK)

By ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

The Catholic Church has acquitted an HIV-infected priest who has admitted to raping close to 30 young girls between the ages of five and 10 years old.

According to a bombshell report, which appeared in the Spanish-language news site Urgente24.com, the priest, Jose Garcia Ataulfo, was absolved of any wrongdoing by the Archdiocese of Mexico.

Ataulfo has admitted to sexually assaulting indigenous young girls from Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico known for its large indigenous population.

The priest has yet to face any criminal charges, most likely due to the significant influence that the Catholic Church wields in Mexico, particularly in areas populated by indigenous ethnic groups.

According to Urgente24.com, only two of the over two dozen rape victims have come forward to denounce the acquittal.

The website Anonymous Mexico reported that the mother of one of the victims asked to meet with Pope Francis in Rome, but she was rebuffed by the Vatican which wrote a letter stating that it considered the matter closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Jerusalem Post Editorial: Takana’s damage

ISRAEL
Jerusalem Post

In the national-religious sector, as in any other closed, faith-based community, scandal – particularly sexual scandal – is often dealt with in accordance with a warped and ultimately self-destructive dynamic.

Community leaders expend much energy maintaining secrecy and protecting reputations. Victims of sexual harassment are not only denied justice, they are often placed under extraordinary social pressure to discourage them from filing police charges – particularly when the suspected sexual offender happens to be a high-profile community leader.

Matters are often settled behind closed doors because the victim has been intimidated into remaining quiet or because the wider community wishes to prevent the publication of a scandal that might besmirch the entire national-religious sector.

The Takana Forum was created within the religious-Zionist community to combat this self-destructive pattern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

AG diocese investigation warranted (editorial)

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

In an August editorial about a list of 15 priests accused of sexual abuse who had served in the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, we wondered whether that list represented “just the steeple of a massive cathedral of corruption and exploitation.”

That, sadly, is what was found in the Altoona-Johnstown when the state attorney general’s office conducted an investigation.

Do we have a similar situation in our region?

It’s impossible to say from the outside.

And the Harrisburg Diocese has not been transparent or forthcoming.

Diocese officials grudgingly confirmed the names of 15 priests accused of sexual abuse who had served in this region in response to YDR’s inquiries.

But we knew from previous news reports that 24 accused priests had served in the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Pedophile priest John Farrell told church ‘full story’ of abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

September 20, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

A pedophile Catholic priest allegedly told senior church officials “the full story” of his offending but this was not reported to the police, a royal commission has heard.

The priest, John Farrell, is alleged to have admitted to sexually abusing five boys during the early 1980s while he worked in the northern NSW parish of Armidale, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse has heard.

Two clerics who met with Farrell to discuss his crimes, Brian Lucas and John Usher, have since said publicly that Farrell made no specific admissions during their 1992 meeting, the commission heard.

Father Lucas is now the Australian director of Catholic Mission, while Father Usher recently stepped down as chancellor of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Letters detailing a second and third meeting between the priests that year allege “John Usher stated that it was understood only John Farrell, Brian Lucas, John Usher, Wayne Peters and Bishop Manning knew the full extent of the story at this stage,” the commission heard today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Catholic group criticizes Hon, supports Apuron

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

A new organization purporting to support Archbishop Anthony Apuron has been established and is making itself known.

The group, "I Familan Mangatoliku Siha Pari Si Apuron," or "Catholic Families for Apuron," was formed by Catholics who support Apuron and maintain his innocence until otherwise determined by a court of law.

Dr. Ricardo Eusebio, president of the new organization, authored a letter to Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana.

In the letter, Eusebio laments Hon's actions and statements regarding Apuron.

"You treat him as if he has already been declared guilty; therefore, stirring a public lynching," Eusebio wrote.

He attributes much of the division and confusion in which the church currently finds itself mired to statements released by the archdiocese on behalf of Hon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Archdiocese says Neocatechumenal Way interferes with Guam church

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

A top official of Guam's Catholic church said the leadership of the Neocatechumenal Way, both here and internationally, has been advancing the group's interests to the detriment of other Catholics on Guam.

"A personal plea to Cardinal (Fernando) Filoni and those leaders in the Neocatechumenal Way who are seeking to advance the agenda and interest of the Neocatechumenal Way — Please be merciful. Have mercy on the people of Guam," the Rev. Jeffrey San Nicolas said Tuesday during a press conference in Hagåtña.

The archdiocese called the press conference to discuss its objections to a bill that would allow victims of child sex abuse to sue the perpetrators and the institutions they work for, including the church.

But San Nicolas talked mostly about the Neocatechumenal Way — a movement within the Catholic church whose practices sometimes are at odds with those of Guam's traditional Catholic community.

Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who has been temporarily replaced as a result of sex abuse allegations, belongs to the group, sometimes referred to as "The Way."

“Neither I nor Archbishop Hon is the church authority over decision-making regarding the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, even over simple matters such as who can visit. Cardinal Filoni is in charge.”

San Nicolas currently is the delegate for Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who temporarily is in charge of the local archdiocese, by order of the Vatican.

San Nicolas said the lines of authority in the Guam archdiocese are not clear because Cardinal Filoni, in Rome, and other leaders of the Neocatechumenal Way are interfering in Guam church matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Senior priest called letter citing pedophile ‘embellished’, commission hears

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

September 21, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

A private meeting of Cardinal ­George Pell’s staff was allegedly told a senior Catholic cleric would publicly claim that a letter detailing a priest’s confession to child sex abuse had been “embellished”, a royal commission has heard.

File notes tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse show the July 2012 meeting was called after Car­dinal Pell told the ABC the priest had made “no admissions” at the time.

Brian Lucas, currently Australian director of Catholic Mission, told the meeting “he would talk to (the letter’s author, Wayne Peters) about ... the need for him to say he had embellished it”.

“That would be the end of it and ‘gets him off the hook’. This is the only way ‘to clear this up and ­explain things’,” Father Lucas is recorded as saying in the file note.

The letter in question detailed a 1992 meeting between pedophile priest John Farrell, Father Lucas and two other priests, John Usher and the late Father Peters. Father Usher, until ­recently chancellor of the Sydney arch­diocese, subsequently told Cardinal Pell that Farrell made no admissions during the meeting.

However, Peters’s letter, written eight days after the meeting, alleged that Farrell admitted sexually assaulting five young boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

OC Register Lets Former Bishop Tod Brown Lie His Ass Off About Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal

CALIFORNIA
OC Weekly

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

BY GUSTAVO ARELLANO

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Catholic Diocese of Orange, and its PR handlers are in full spin mode. Over the past couple of weeks, they've dangled the continuing transformation of the former Crystal Cathedral into Christ Cathedral to distract a gullible press from any real reporting. The Los Angeles Times basically danced a jig about a virtual reality tour, with the Orange County Register following close behind. But far more offensive was a retrospective by reporter Deepa Bharath on the Orange see's history that allowed retired, pedophile-protecting Bishop Tod D. Brown to gladly lie about his role in letting collared monsters prey on innocent kids.

Brown, of course, was head of OC's 1.2 million Catholics at a time when revelation after revelation came out about how pedophiles essentially had free reign in the diocese from its foundation right through 2004, when he settled with dozens of sex-abuse victims for what was at the time the largest payout in the history of the Catholic Church. Yet Brown had the gall to tell Bharath he was "unaware of the problem" of sex-abuse in the Catholic Church—and Bharath then let him babble on about how he solved the problem to "protect the youth."

No, actually Brown did it to save his ass from getting thrown into prison, where the pendejo belongs. And while Bharath did let John Manly, the lawyer (and Mater Dei alum, but don't hold it against him) rip apart Brown for his legacy, she didn't challenge Brown's ignorance, and even credited a couple with founding Santa Margarita High, when the whole world knows that the main force behind the school was pedo-priest extraordinaire Michael Harris.

But back to Brown. Rather than me offer link after link showing how Brown not only knew about pedophiles in the Orange diocese before he came into town in 1998, but dealt with them when he was bishop in the Boise diocese and when he served as an administrator at the Diocese of Monterey, I'll direct readers to a quick summation of His Excellency's pedo-protecting past written by Joelle Casteix. She just happens to be a sex-abuse survivor herself whom Brown infamously used as a photo op after announcing a $100 million settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Alleged priest sex abuse victims to Governor: Do the right thing, sign Bill 326-33

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News
September 20, 2016

Former altar boys who recently accused Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron and other clergy of raping and sexually abusing children said they hope and pray Gov. Eddie Calvo will sign into law a bill allowing child sex abuse victims to sue the perpetrators and the institutions with which they are associated.

Lawmakers on Sept. 12 passed Bill 326-33 by a vote of 13-0. Gov. Eddie Calvo has until Friday to act on the bill, which would retroactively eliminate the statute of limitations for civil cases on child sexual abuse.

The Archdiocese of Agana is circulating a petition asking the governor to veto the bill, saying it would financially ruin the Catholic Church and disrupt social services and schools.

Temporary Guam Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon issued a written statement last weekend, stating the bill has serious implications for the Archdiocese because it would lift the time restriction on lawsuits against institutions, such as the Archdiocese, that have employed those accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Legislator urges survivors to testify before grand jury

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Brandie Kessler, bkessler@ydr.com
September 20, 2016

State Rep. Mark Rozzi said he believes the high volume of reports of clergy abuse to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office spurred a statewide grand jury investigation into six Catholic dioceses, including Harrisburg.

"After the Altoona-Johnstown (diocese grand jury report) came out, and the Attorney General put out the hotline, and they took so many hundreds of calls, you weren't just having Altoona-Johnstown victims calling, you were having victims from all over the state calling," Rozzi said.

The Harrisburg diocese, which includes York County, acknowledged being subpoenaed, and Rozzi said five others -- Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton -- are also being investigated.

Rozzi, of Berks County, who said he was abused by a priest in 1984, said that when he knew a grand jury had been impaneled, he started posting things on social media, like Facebook, encouraging victims of clergy sexual abuse to get their story on the record. He said he didn't post on social media that there was a grand jury investigation, rather that he would put survivors in touch with people who could help them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Royal commission hears boys were 'out to get' priest John Farrell

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Former NSW priest John Joseph Farrell claimed boys in his old parish of Moree were telling lies and were "out to get him" when he was confronted about child sex abuse allegations, a royal commission has heard.

Senior Catholic Church figure Brian Lucas said Father Farrell was defensive and evasive at a 1992 meeting with senior priests, who'd been tasked with persuading Fr Farrell to leave the church.

"[He made] reference to the boys in Moree that he said were all making up lies and telling lies about him, were out to get him and things like that," Fr Lucas told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse on Tuesday.

"I was never sure ... whether it was fantasy or truth. He was just very defensive and evasive was my impression of his demeanour."

Fr Lucas, the national director of Catholic Mission, repeatedly stated that while he came away from the meeting with the impression Fr Farrell was guilty of some wrongdoing, there were no specific admissions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Danish priest admits sexually abusing young girl

DENMARK
The Local

A 46-year-old priest admitted in court on Tuesday to having sexually relations with a girl who was just 12 years old at the time, TV Øst reported.

The man has been in police custody since late June and is suspected of sexually abusing several children who he met through his position as the priest at Tømmerup Church in the western Zealand town of Kalundborg.

The man admitted to having sexual intercourse and other genital contact wit the girl, who was 12 and 13 when the attacks took place.

TV Øst said that the man had also partially admitted to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy but denied his guilt on that charge in court on Tuesday. He is accused of having anal intercourse with the boy, offering the boy money for sexual favours and pressuring the boy to send nude photos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

There Is an Antidote to the Politics that Endanger Children

UNITED STATES
Verdict

15 SEP 2016

MARCI A. HAMILTON

Sometimes I feel like I should pen a letter of apology to the Framers of the Constitution. They fundamentally understood that people are inevitably tempted to abuse power and that concentrations of power are dangerous. It was a fortuitous and sage combination of common sense and the Presbyterianism of Princeton at the time. To put it a bit more simply: power must be checked, or it will run amok, and that goes double for combinations of power. And, oh yes, those who have power will work hard to be unaccountable. Power without accountability is the gravest danger we can face.

With that as the foundation, we really should be able to do better. Instead, lawmakers are increasingly the unaccountable power-grabbing people the Framers warned us about. And nowhere are our elected officials failing more spectacularly right now than in the case of child sex abuse.
The good news is that there is an antidote, and the people need to administer it.

Let’s start with some facts: one in four girls and one in five boys are sexually abused. Children have been abused in apparently every conceivable venue where they are available to predatory adults. Those “safe havens” like pricey boarding schools and elite sports, and churches and synagogues, have turned out to be available venues for abuse. The sad march of the truth goes on: children who are hungry have been forced into the sex trade just to eat. Child pornography continues to explode, with trusted adults from priests to coaches recently identified.

As you ponder this ongoing series of scandals, witness recent developments, where politicians are so stuck in the mud of unaccountability that facts apparently don’t matter:

In Pennsylvania, where lawmakers have been “debating” the merits of obtaining justice for child sex abuse victims for over a decade, some members have latched onto an almost hilarious (if it were not so painful to the survivors) “discussion” of the constitutionality of reviving expired statutes of limitations. They have become positively expert on the “Remedies Clause.” The cases in Pennsylvania actually add up most logically to a conclusion that revival of expired SOLs is constitutional, as I testified, but one need not even go that far. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the issue, so it is an issue for the courts. That leaves the door open for Pennsylvania lawmakers to do what is right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Give Detroit a cardinal, Pope Francis

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

Nicholas G. Hahn III, The Detroit News
September 19, 2016

Pope Francis is expected to soon announce the creation of new cardinals, and some in the Vatican anticipate certain archdioceses will receive red hats.

But the pope hasn’t elevated any U.S. prelates to the college of cardinals, and a favorable September 2015 visit stateside might translate into more American leaders of the church.

When the pope considers American churchmen for the rank of cardinal, watch for Francis to “head for the periphery.” That catchphrase of this papacy is reflected in the pontiff’s choices at consistories. The pope has refused to make cardinals out of bishops who expect it, as dioceses with large amount of Catholics might or ones that have historically had a cardinal. Instead, he has awarded red hats to places like Les Cayes, Haiti, or Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

That might be good news for Detroit, an American archdiocese on the periphery. Once among the largest dioceses in the country, the Motor City has lost nearly 300,000 Catholics and 91 parishes since 2000. Detroit was the poorest major U.S. city in 2014 with about 40 percent of its population unable to make ends meet and still over half of the city’s children living in poverty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Advocates applaud new investigation of abuse by Pennsylvania priests

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In compelling Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses to turn over as much as 70 years’ worth of records on sexually abusive priests, the state attorney general’s office is mounting what would be the most wide-ranging criminal investigation ever into scandal in the United States.

Diocese of Altoona-JohnstownAnd if history is any guide — in particular, the history of the , which was the subject of the initial two-year grand jury investigation that mushroomed into the statewide probe — here are a few things to expect in the coming months or years:

• Few if any people will be prosecuted, either the alleged abusers themselves or those who enabled them, due to the deaths of many potential defendants and the expiration of the statute of limitations that prohibits filing charges after several years.

• Many of the cases will be decades old.

• Many names of alleged abusers will already be public due to criminal or civil trials, but some new names may emerge.

• Internal church documents will show real-time decisions by bishops and other church officials in their own words — some of which may prove shocking and dismaying, others of which may even vindicate bishops’ handling of cases.

• Some documentation will be conspicuously absent, evidence of church policies providing for the purging of scandalous documents after a time, although some such documents are retained long after the fact.

• The investigations could yield an overall narrative over the years on how Catholic bishops handled case of abuse by priests, whose cases are often reported in isolation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Governor Calvo previously weighed in on similar sex abuse statute bill

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Governor Eddie Calvo has until Friday, September 23, to take action on bill 326.

Guam - There has still been no action on bill 326 from Governor Eddie Calvo, who has until Friday to take action; however, this would not be the first time the governor has had to take action on a similar measure.

Similar legislation was passed in 2011 for civil action on child sex abuse. It was authored by Vice Speaker BJ Cruz and it lifted the statute of limitations for a period of two years.

However, because the bill was essentially gutted on the session floor, the version that passed into law made it difficult for attorneys to pursue cases because failure could cost them their license.

When Governor Eddie Calvo signed the bill into public law 31-07 back in 2011, in his signing message, he said “I initially had concerns about the version of the bill as originally introduced because it included language which took the focus away from individual sex offenders and instead sought to involve further removed institutions and organizational entities.”

Fortunately, the governor wrote, the legislature amended the bill on the session floor in “appropriate ways.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Alleged victims say they will pursue civil action if bill 326 is signed into law

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Roland Sondia and Roy Quintanilla also reacted to Father Jeff San Nicolas' tearful statement.

Guam - The alleged victims of Archbishop Anthony Apuron are weighing in on Father Jeff San Nicolas' statement.

At least two of the five survivors who have come forward claiming clergy sex abuse acknowledge Father Jeff San Nicolas' sincerity, but also question the church's priorities in protecting children from sexual abuse.

PNC spoke with Roy Quintanilla, who's currently in Hawaii. He's the first alleged victim to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Archbishop Apuron. We also reached out to Roland Sondia, the fourth alleged victim to come forward against Apuron.

Quintanilla says he listened to Father Jeff San Nicolas' statement and felt it was sincere. But Quintanilla also expressed dismay with how Father San Nicolas followed his apology.

"The only thing really that really didn't make sense to me was that the church wants to protect their assets ... and I'm just sad that they made that a priority over taking responsibility for what happened to children by no fault of their own," said Quintanilla.

"I think the church needs to take responsibility, whatever that responsibility is, and money and possessions those things can be replaced, you can't replace what you took away from a child," he pointed out.

Sondia expressed similar sentiments, noting the sincerity in Father San Nicolas address, but he questioned who really was in control at the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Father San Nicolas says he disobeyed superiors, releases RMS report

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Father Jeff San Nicolas released the full Seminary Report to the media this afternoon.

Guam - Father Jeff San Nicolas, the delegate to Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, made a tearful plea to senators, the governor and churchgoers to carefully consider the consequences bill 326 will have on the local church.

Several dozen people filled the conference room at the Cathedral Basilica today to listen to Father Jeff San Nicolas' statement on bill 326, which seeks to lift the statute of limitations on civil litigation on child sex abuse.

Father San Nicolas' address on bill 326 did not differ much from that of Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, the temporary administrator for the Archdiocese of Agana. Archbishop Hon also called upon Governor Eddie Calvo to consider the bill and circulated a petition to call for its veto. Like Archbishop Hon, Father San Nicolas also apologized to victims and survivors of clergy sex abuse.

Father San Nicolas then spoke about the grave consequences bill 326 could have on the church, noting that bankruptcy and insolvency would be inevitable. ...

"I was also instructed not to release the seminary visitation report. I will do just that soon after this press briefing. I realize that I am taking a stand against my superiors but I must because the vast majority of the people on Guam who have suffered from a leadership over the past several years has not been kept informed about issues that directly concern them," he added.

The full Seminary Report was released to the media this afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Priest emotional when detailing how archdiocese isn't calling the shots

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 20, 2016

By Krystal Paco

It was an emotional morning for Father Jeff San Nicolas as he addressed the press and a room full of concerned Catholics on Tuesday morning. Although it was anticipated that he was to speak on the Archdiocese of Agana's recent stance on Bill 326 and the legislation's potentially crippling effects to the church, Catholic schools, and other church services, he instead disclosed a harsh reality: that the local archdiocese isn't calling the shots.

Father Jeff choked back his tears as he confirmed what critics have suspected for years - that the Neocatechumenal Way continues to interfere with local church affairs. "I realize I am taking a stand against my superiors, but I must because the vast majority of the people on Guam," he said, visibly shaken. "[The people] who have suffered from a leadership over the past several years has not been kept informed about issues that directly concern them."

Earlier this month, the priest as delegate of the administrator, approved for a small group comprised of members of the Laity Forward Movement to visit the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. Father Jeff hoped the visit could prove a breakthrough between conflicting Catholic groups and start a dialogue. Instead, it proved local church leadership isn't calling the shots.

In an email to Father Jeff from acting RMS rector Monsignor David Quitugua, the rector states the visit was denied by Fernando Cardinal Filoni, prefect of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples. "Neither I or Archbishop [Savio] Hon [Tai Fai] is the church authority over decision making regarding the Redemptoris Mater Seminary - even over simple matters such as who can visit," Father Jeff read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Diocese of Gallup sells chancery building amid bankruptcy

NEW MEXICO
SF Gate

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The Diocese of Gallup has announced it has sold an iconic western New Mexico building amid a bankruptcy case linked to clergy sexual abuse.

The Gallup Independent reports (https://goo.gl/FXmufQ) that Bishop James S. Wall said in a letter last week the sale of the chancery offices will allow the diocese to make a "substantial contribution" to its Chapter 11 payment plan.

Wall says a California couple bought the build and will be donating it to a convent for the nuns of Sisters of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Archdiocese official speaks on sex abuse bill, Neocatechumenal Way

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Steve Limtiaco and Masako Watanabe, mwatanabe@guampdn.com
September 20, 2016

The Archdiocese of Agana held a press conference today to address its concerns related to the recent passage of Bill 326-33.

At the press conference, Father Jeff San Nicolas, speaking as delegate of temporary Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai's, said if the bill becomes law, it will bankrupt Guam's Catholic church.

San Nicolas also spoke on the Neocatechumenal Way's influence over Guam's Catholic churches, stating Archbishop Anthony Apuron continued to arrogantly support the Neocatechumenal Way despite credible accusations of child sexual abuse against him. He said a majority of Guam's Catholics suffered while being kept in the dark about the leadership.

Bill lifts statute of limitations for lawsuits

Bill 326-33, which Guam lawmakers passed Sept. 12 by a vote of 13-0, with two senators absent, would retroactively lift the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits related to child sexual abuse.

Alleged victims would be allowed to sue their abusers and also “their enablers” and “their institutions at the time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Hoquiam pastor pleads not guilty to child molestation charges

WASHINGTON
Q13 Fox

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016, BY STEVE KIGGINS

MONTESANO, Wash. — A local pastor pleaded not guilty to two counts of child molestation Monday afternoon.

Grays Harbor County sheriff’s deputies arrested 67-year-old Adair Krack last week for allegedly sexually molesting two young girls.

Court records said the two victims in the case are sisters and the latest alleged assault happened last summer during a vacation bible school.

Several local ministers told Q13 News they were shocked to hear about the allegations, saying Krack is a beloved and trusted member of the community.

Krack did not respond to requests for comment as he walked into the courtroom Monday.

Sheriff Rick Scott said Krack’s crimes date back more than a decade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Assistant pastor charged with sexual assault on a child

COLORADO
9 News

Krystyna Biassou, KUSA September 19, 2016

KUSA - The assistant pastor of a church in Thornton faces charges of sexual assault on a child.

Robert Wyatt, 50, is accused of assaulting a girl whose family attended Agape Bible Church.

Prosecutors claim the abuse started when the girl was 12 and lasted for nearly two years.

He's charged with sexual assault on a child, sexual assault on a child as a pattern of conduct and sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

US bishops support day of prayer for sex abuse victims

UNITED STATES
Herald Malaysia

WASHINGTON D.C: In light of Pope Francis' call to pray for the victims of sexual abuse, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will support a Worldwide Day of Prayer for Sexual Abuse Survivors, highlighting the importance of healing and noting the progress the Church has made over the years

.“With a pastor's heart, Pope Francis renewed the call of the universal Church to pray for, help heal and proactively protect children from the terrible sin of sexual abuse,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a Sept. 16 statement.“

This universal expression of healing and sorrow, joined by our brothers and sisters around the world, will be a powerful reminder that no survivor should walk the path toward healing alone,” he said.

The Worldwide Day of Prayer was originally suggested at the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) Plenary Assembly by a survivor of clerical child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Ex-priest said boys were 'out to get him'

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
20 SEP 2016

Former NSW priest John Farrell claimed boys in his old parish of Moree were telling lies and were "out to get him" when he was confronted about child sex abuse allegations, a royal commission has heard.

Senior Catholic Church figure Brian Lucas said Father Farrell was defensive and evasive at a 1992 meeting with senior priests, who'd been tasked with persuading Fr Farrell to leave the church.

"(He made) reference to the boys in Moree that he said were all making up lies and telling lies about him, were out to get him and things like that," Fr Lucas told the child sex abuse royal commission on Tuesday.

"I was never sure ... whether it was fantasy or truth. He was just very defensive and evasive was my impression of his demeanour."

Fr Lucas, the national director of Catholic Mission, repeatedly stated that while he came away from the meeting with the impression Fr Farrell was guilty of some wrongdoing, there were no specific admissions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Royal commission: Abuse allegations too vague to report to police, Catholic Church official says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

A senior Catholic official has told the royal commission into child sexual abuse the information he had about a former priest's "wicked and criminal" conduct was too vague to report to police.

The commission heard Father Brian Lucas, the National Director of Catholic Mission, was interviewed on the ABC radio current affairs program AM in July 2012, after an ABC Four Corners investigation into the church's handling of allegations against Father John Farrell.

The commissioner, Justice Peter McClellan, asked Father Lucas to explain why he told the ABC Father Farrell's behaviour was "wicked and criminal", but did not report the matter to police.

Father Brian Lucas: The first thing the police would say is: 'Well what, where and to whom and when?' None of which I could have answered.

Justice Peter McClellan: No, but they could have made their own inquiries couldn't they, knowing that they had a foundation for them?

Father Lucas: Well they'd already presumably made their inquiries.

Justice McClellan: Well how do you know?

Father Lucas: Well it's not something, your honour, that I directed my mind to in those circumstances.
Justice McClellan: Well your explanation that there was no utility in going to the police, it doesn't have any substance does it?

Father Lucas: With due respect I think you can't go to the police with something as vague as that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

September 19, 2016

Despicable priest faces judgement day

AUSTRALIA
Bay 93.9

Rebecca McDonald / 20 September 2016

A former Geelong-based paedophile priest is due to be sentenced next week after confessing to having abused children for three decades.

Robert Claffey has admitted to abusing boys and girls over thirty years in areas including Apollo Bay and Skenes Creek.

Claffey replaced Australia's worst paedophile priest, Gerard Ridsdale at the Apollo Bay parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Sealed lawsuit alleging St. Louis archbishop knew priest was danger to children set for trial

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joel Currier St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer on Monday set a March 27 trial date for a civil lawsuit in which a Lincoln County teenager and her family accused St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson of knowing a priest was a danger to children before the cleric was charged with molesting the teen in 2012.

The lawsuit was filed the following year in Lincoln County by the girl’s parents against Carlson and the Archdiocese of St. Louis after she told police the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, then an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End, had molested her at her home in Old Monroe. Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit last year.

The alleged victim was 16 at the time of the alleged abuse. Jiang was in his late 20s. Charges of child endangerment and witness tampering — Jiang had been accused of leaving a $20,000 check and an apology on a family’s car as hush money — were dismissed in 2013.

At a hearing Monday in Ohmer’s courtroom, Kenneth Chackes, a lawyer for the alleged victim, described a letter sent to Carlson from a man whose family became close to him after helping him emigrate to the United States from China. The letter was sent before Jiang was ordained in 2010 warning Carlson that Jiang was a threat to children because he suffered “deep psychological problems,” “faked a relationship of intimacy with his family” and “lacked maturity.”

Jiang’s lawyers denied those claims Monday and sought dismissal of the lawsuit, arguing the alleged acts did not occur on archdiocesan property and were not intended to inflict emotional distress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Church leader to face another grilling

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
20 SEP 2016

A Catholic Church leader is expected to face more tough questions about his knowledge of former priest John Farrell when the child abuse royal commission resumes on Tuesday.

National director of Catholic Mission Brian Lucas was grilled over a full day on Monday about the church's response to child sex abuse allegations, including allegations against Fr Farrell.

In the late 1980s and 1990s Fr Lucas was a media spokesman for the Sydney archdiocese and part of a group within the church that dealt with abuse complaints against clergy.

He insisted he did not recall Fr Farrell confessing to the abuse of five boys in Moree, in northern NSW, during a 1992 meeting.

The alleged admissions were recorded in graphic detail in a letter eight days later by another priest who was at the meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Morganfield Priest Reinstated after Investigation

KENTUCKY
Tristate Homepage

The Catholic Diocese of Owensboro announces it has reinstated a priest after investigating allegations he had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a minor several years ago.

Fr. Freddie Byrd will resume his position as pastor of St. Ann Church in Morganfield, Kentucky.

On June 8, 2016, Fr. Byrd was temporarily suspended from public ministry after being accused of engaging in inappropriate conduct with a minor in 1983, five years before he was ordained to the priesthood.

The Diocese of Owensboro issued the following statement on the investigation:

"On September 14, 2016 the Diocesan Review Board further explored the information that has been compiled and counseled the bishop that there was insufficient information to substantiate the allegation."

Fr. Byrd has also served at the following parishes in the Diocese of Owensboro: St. Stephen Cathedral and Blessed Sacrament Chapel in Owensboro (June 1988-June 1990), Dean of Students at Owensboro Catholic High School (May 1988- June 1990), Blessed Mother Parish in Owensboro (June 1990-June 1992), Sts. Joseph and Paul Parish in Owensboro (June 1997-June 1998), Blessed Mother Parish (June 1998-June 2008), and St. Peter of Antioch and Sacred Heart Parishes in Waverly (June 2008-June 2012).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Priest reinstated to Morganfield church after Diocese investigation

KENTUCKY
Messenger-Inquirer

By James Mayse Messenger-Inquirer

The Rev. Freddie Byrd -- a priest who was suspended from active ministry earlier this year after Catholic Diocese of Owensboro received a complaint alleging that Byrd had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor in the 1980s -- has been reinstated to active ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

In shadow of investigation, Scranton Diocese to celebrate priest’s 65th year

PENNSYLVANIA
Times Leader

By Mark Guydish - Click for more information on Mark
mguydish@timesleader.com - @TLMarkGuydish - 570-991-6112

SCRANTON — Retired Diocese of Scranton Bishop James Timlin remains an active, upbeat member of the church he has served for six decades, and the public has been invited to attend a “Mass of Thanksgiving” Wednesday marking the 89-year-old’s 65th year as a priest and 40th anniversary of being ordained an auxiliary bishop.

But the celebration comes on the heels of renewed scrutiny of diocesan practices regarding child sexual abuse. Spokesman Bill Genello confirmed the 11-county diocese has received a subpoena in relation to a grand jury probe in Pittsburgh.

The Morning Call of Allentown reported last week that Scranton is among six diocese in the state to get subpoenas related to an abuse probe.

Reached by phone Monday, Timlin exhibited his usual self-effacing attitude regarding the special Mass. “I’m not anxious to be celebrating all these anniversaries, but I go along,” he said. “It’s not my style to be celebrating things like this.”

Asked about the subpoena and the grand jury investigation — which The Morning Call reported has included the dioceses of Erie, Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Harrisburg and Allentown — Timlin demurred.

“I’m not the bishop, it’s not my place to comment,” he said.

In a written statement, Genello reiterated what he said is the diocesan commitment to protecting children and supporting victims. “The Diocese of Scranton cooperates fully with all civil authorities in their investigation of such matters.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Qld shake-up of abuse and sex compo claims not enough

AUSTRALIA
Lawyers Weekly

The Queensland Government is moving to do away with restrictive time limits for certain child sexual and physical abuse compensation claims, but while the law change is welcomed, it doesn’t go far enough, writes Mark O'Connor.

While it’s good that Queensland is following NSW to remove claims limitation periods that have previously blocked claims made more than three years after abuse occurred, the Queensland plan is flawed.

Victims of child sexual and physical abuse will no longer face tough limitation periods when seeking compensation in NSW. Reports state about 22,000 people are expected to benefit from the change.

Following repeated calls for Queensland to fall into line with NSW’s stance, the Queensland Government is introducing legislation to end the three year time limit period in this state. But the move is baffling because it only applies to victims of sexual abuse by, at or connected to institutions.

The issue has now been further complicated by a second piece of proposed legislation, a private member's bill by independent MP Rob Pyne, which would remove claims time limits for all victims.

As one of Queensland’s most senior personal injury lawyers, I am troubled that the State’s proposed legislation would create two classes of victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Former AG says Bill 326 will destroy church; proponents beg to differ

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

The Concerned Catholics of Guam, meanwhile, says Archbishop Hon's message that the bill would destroy the church is nothing more than "fear mongering."

Guam - There are differing opinions from experts on bill 326, a measure that seeks to lift the statute of limitations indefinitely and retroactively for pursuing civil claims on child sex abuse.

Former Attorney General Doug Moylan says the measure may not hold up if challenged in court while Concerned Catholics of Guam President Dave Sablan says other dioceses that have had to file bankruptcy as a result of similar legislation have bounced back.

Bill 326 seemed to breeze through the legislature smoothly. People testified in its favor and the measure passed unanimously last week during session. But now, at the eleventh hour, there is a push for the bill to vetoed by the governor. At the helm of that petition is Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, the temporary administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana.

"In my opinion, this is fear mongering of the part of Archbishop Hon. Does he really look at us as being influenced by all this fear mongering that we're just gonna blindly go and sign this petition after we supported the bill in the legislature. So it's an insult to us for him to ask us to do this," says Sablan.
Sablan says Archbishop Hon's letter did nothing to address the concerns of catholics on Guam and in fact did the opposite.

"So is this really a lot of double speak? Is it really something he really is going to do because between when he said it and when the action is gonna take place, nothing much has happened," he notes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Archbishop Hon circulates petition to veto sex crimes bill

GUAM
Pacific News Center

[with video]

Written by Janela Carrera

"We request the governor of Guam's consideration in vetoing the bill..." the petition says.

Guam - A petition is being circulated around catholic churches on Guam that encourages Governor Eddie Calvo to veto bill 326 which seeks to lift the statute-of-limitations for pursuing civil claims for child sex abuse.

The bill passed in the legislature last week and is now on the governor's desk for passage or veto.

The petition is displayed along with a letter written by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, in which Archbishop Hon talks about the "unintended consequences" of the bill.

"One of the unforeseen side effects of the bill will be to erase the good work of those in the archdiocese who serve the neediest, who provide quality education to thousands of our children including the poor, and who themselves have made enormous and selfless sacrifices for the good of others," Hon writes.

That sentence also appears in the petition and additionally says, "We request the governor of Guam's consideration in vetoing the bill and to work with the legislature to introduce similar legislation to instead specifically punish the guilty and to allow survivors to come forward and achieve justice without crippling the innocent work of countless others who share in the church's ministry of service to our community."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Catholic group defends Guam priest accused of child sex abuse

GUAM
USA Today

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News (Guam)
September 19, 2016

HAGATNA, Guam — A group of local Catholics has stepped forward to defend Guam Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, saying he is being treated as if he already was found guilty of abusing altar boys.

The group, which calls itself I Familan Mangatoliku Siha Pari Si Apuron or Catholic Families for Apuron, led by Dr. Ricardo B. Eusebio, disagrees with statements made last weekend by temporary Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who is running the local church pending a Vatican investigation into the abuse allegations against Apuron.

Several former Agat altar boys have accused Apuron of raping or molesting them in the 1970s, when he was parish priest.

Hon, in a written statement that he instructed to be read at Sunday Mass, said he is in Rome, urging the pope to remove Apuron and to appoint a successor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Vatican delegate urges Pope Francis to fire Guam archbishop over abuse

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The special investigator Pope Francis appointed to look into allegations that the Catholic archbishop of Guam abused altar boys is urging the Vatican to remove the cleric.

In a statement read at services in the island’s 26 Catholic churches on Sunday (Sept. 18), Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai said he was now in Rome and had asked the Holy See to dismiss Archbishop Anthony Apuron and appoint a successor after Apuron refused to stand down voluntarily.

“I can assure you that the gravely serious allegations against Archbishop Apuron will continue to be dealt with by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which will hold a canonical trial, “ he said, referring to the powerful Vatican department that investigates abuse cases.

“His Holiness, Pope Francis, is monitoring the proceedings.”

Francis has pledged zero tolerance for clerical sexual abuse and set up a commission to tackle the issue and ensure the protection of minors.

Hon’s statement, also published on the diocese website, was entitled: “Putting the house in order without burning it down.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

Catholic Church officials ‘were told of abuse’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

September 20, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporter Sydney
@DanBox10

Senior Catholic officials were ­allegedly told by a pedophile priest that he had been abusing children but made no record of the conversation and did not contact police, a royal commission has heard.

Those involved in the meeting subsequently gave conflicting ­accounts of what was said, including telling Cardinal George Pell that no such admissions were made, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard yesterday. Following the publication of a letter in 2012 detailing the priest’s alleged admissions, the archdiocese of Sydney put out a media release that was also incorrect, the commission heard.

Written eight days after the meeting took place, the letter states that pedophile priest John Farrell met two members of the church’s Special Issues Resource Group, Brian Lucas and John Usher, in September 1992.

Father Lucas, the current ­director of Catholic Mission, and Father Usher, who recently stepped down as chancellor of the Sydney archdiocese, were “the ­architects of the church’s ­response” to child abuse, counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC, has said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

6 OUT OF 8 PENNSYLVANIA DIOCESES SLAMMED WITH MASSIVE STATE PROBE

PENNSYLVANIA
Church Militant

by Joseph Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • September 19, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The majority of Pennsylvania's dioceses are being subjected to a sweeping state grand jury investigation into both clerical sex abuse and the subsequent cover-ups allegedly perpetrated by Pennsylvania Church hierarchy.

Subpoenas from the state attorney general were issued late last week to the dioceses of Erie, Allentown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Scranton demanding all six dioceses hand over any documentation regarding sexual abuse committed by Pennsylvania clergy as part of a broad investigation into the matter. The archdiocese of Philadelphia was excluded from the probe, having already been the subject of three grand jury reports since 2003, which unearthed unreported claims of abuse at the hands of hundreds of priests. The remaining diocese, Altoona-Johnstown, is currently under investigation and has been since the release of an individual grand jury report in March.

Most of the dioceses in question have expressed their willingness to cooperate with authorities. "I could not agree more [with the probe]," stated Pittsburgh bishop David Zubik. "We are absolutely committed to protecting children from abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Sask. priest still in active ministry despite sexual assault charge

CANADA
CBS News

A Roman Catholic priest in northwestern Saskatchewan is carrying on with his work in three parishes despite being charged with sexual assault.

Father Javier de los Angeles Cortazar is accused of assaulting another priest two years ago, at a cabin near the village of Goodsoil.

Cortazar's trial is set for April, 2017 at Court of Queen's Bench in Meadow Lake. A publication ban prevents the name of the victim from being published.

Since the accusations first came to light, Cortazar has continued to work as a priest. He is currently the parish priest for the communities of Pierceland, Goodsoil and Loon Lake.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

VATICAN ADMINISTRATOR CALLS FOR REMOVAL OF GUAM ARCHBISHOP

GUAM
Church Militant

by Aaron Maxwell • ChurchMilitant.com • September 19, 2016

Guam has been racked by a sex abuse scandal for months

HAGATNA, Guam (ChurchMilitant.com) - An administrator from the Vatican is urging leaders in Rome to remove the head of the Catholic Church in Guam over child sex allegations.

Archbishop Anthony Apuron has been accused of four counts of sexual assault committed in the late 1970s. The accusers are three men who claim when they were altar boys at Agat parish, when Apuron was the parish priest, he molested them. Also, the mother of a deceased former altar boy Joseph Anthony Quinata is accusing the priest of abusing her son, who told her everything that had happened before he died 11 years ago.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai was sent to Guam, June 6, to investigate the accusations and currently holds Apuron's duties in the diocese. In a statement read Sunday, Hon said he had asked the Holy See to dismiss Apuron after the cleric refused to stand down voluntarily.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Priest placed on leave after behavior concerns

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

Altoona

A priest with the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese is now on leave after concerns about his behavior.

According to the Diocese, Reverend David Rizzo of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Altoona was placed on leave for behavior inconsistent with church ministry.

Details remain limited as the investigation is on going, but we do know the incident does not involve a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Youth pastor accused of soliciting boys

ALABAMA
Tuscaloosa News

Police say a 20-year-old youth pastor accused of sending pictures of his genitals to teenage boys in a church youth group has been arrested in central Alabama.

By Wire Report

PLEASANT GROVE — Police say a 20-year-old youth pastor accused of sending pictures of his genitals to teenage boys in a church youth group has been arrested in central Alabama.

Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Bill Veitch tells local news media that Brandon Wade White used social media platforms such as Snapchat to solicit minors. He is charged with enticing a minor, sodomy second degree, possession of child pornography and electronic solicitation of a minor.

White, a college student, is a member of the youth group at First Baptist Church of Pleasant Grove.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Victims tell of lifetime of agony after Claffey’s abuse

AUSTRALIA
Courier

Alicia Thomas
@aliciajthomas

19 Sep 2016

A former Ballarat priest who has pleaded guilty to a string of historic child sexual abuse charges spanning a 22-year period has been forced to listen to his victims relive the horror he inflicted on them.

Robert Claffey, 73, sat with his head down and eyes closed at a County Court sitting in Geelong on Monday as the details of the crimes he committed on each of his 12 victims were read out loud.

The victims, many who were abused at the hands of Claffey while he was parish priest in Ballarat, detailed the self blame, suicidal tenancies and failed relationships that have plagued their lives since Claffey’s abuse.

One victim, who was also the victim of disgraced paedophile priest Gerald Risdale at Apollo Bay, told the court he knew he had to be careful about Claffey because “there was something creepy about the way he looked at me.”

“I felt dirty and complicit in what had happened … if only I had the courage to speak out to save other children,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Paedophile priest said children 'enjoyed' sexual activity: royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

A paedophile priest told a bishop children "enjoyed" sexual activity and asked the Catholic Church for a $25,000 loan at the same time he was being blackmailed by one of his victims, according to documents tendered in evidence to a royal commission.

John Joseph Farrell, who was jailed in May after pleading guilty over a string of sexual offences against youngsters, "never expressed any regret for his actions" according to former Parramatta bishop Kevin Manning.

A 2005 letter from Bishop Manning, tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, recounts a meeting with Farrell in which he confronted the priest about "widespread sexual activity with children".

"When confronted with facts [Farrell] said: 'I don't know what you are on about, these kids came looking for it, they enjoyed it'," Bishop Manning wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

New Apuron-supporters group calls out Hon for "lynching"

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 19, 2016

By Krystal Paco

It appears a new group has surfaced in support of Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Called I Familian Mangatoliku Siha Pari Si Apuron (Chamorro for "Catholic Families for Apuron"), president Dr. Ricardo Eusebio addressed a letter to apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai today, calling him out for public lynching.

According to Dr. Eusebio, statements made by the church continue to attack, discredit, and smear Apuron and violate the common law that every person is innocent until proven guilty.

The organization has also chimed-in on Bill 326, stating the legislation clearly and unfairly targets the Catholic Church. Although Catholic Families for Apuron also wants justice for victims of child sex abuse, they do not believe justice is accomplished by the proposed legislation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Will Guam have a new archbishop?

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 19, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Guam could soon have a new archbishop leading the Archdiocese of Agana. In a message read to parishioners over the weekend from apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, he announces he's in Rome to meet with the Holy See to remove Archbishop Anthony Apuron and to appoint a successor. According to Hon, he and the Presbyterial Council wrote to Apuron calling on him to resign.

That, however, was unsuccessful.

According to delegate of the administrator Father Jeff San Nicolas, that letter to Apuron was addressed in July. Father Jeff has been left in charge until Hon's return this Thursday.

Father Jeff said, "What he is doing in Rome is advocating that our diocese be made a status sede vacante, meaning that we would no longer have a bishop. In other words, that Archbishop Apuron would no longer be the bishop of our archdiocese."

The action is welcome news to the Concerned Catholics of Guam, who've been rallying for years for Apuron to step down or be removed as head of the local church. Andrew Camacho is the vice president of the CCOG, and told KUAM News, "That was a very positive thing that happened and we hope that the Pope and the Holy See will see fit to follow that advice."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Editorial

Gov. Eddie Calvo should sign Bill 326, the measure, which passed the Guam Legislature unanimously that would lift the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits involving child sex abuse. Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana has urged the governor to veto the bill because he fears “the archdiocese will be will be exposed to unlimited financial liability.” That liability “will very likely” bankrupt the archdiocese, he wrote in his letter that was read to Guam congregations attending Sunday Mass this past weekend.

The governor’s legal team may find some legitimate reason to veto the bill, but it should not be because of concern about the impact on the people or institutions involved in such monstrous behavior, whether as perpetrator, facilitator or after-the-fact concealer. The sexual abuse of minors is a heinous crime and should be treated as such.

The legislation follows recent allegations of sexual abuse of altar boys by members of the clergy decades ago, but the legislation does not mention the church or any other person or institution. The archdiocese, or anyone else, will only be penalized after a trial in a court of law, in which damages and culpability must be demonstrated to the legal standard.

We presume the church or anyone else accused of wrongdoing would be treated fairly in the courts. But fairness is also owed to the victims; they are also due their day in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Clergy worried legislation could bankrupt Guam's Catholic church

GUAM
KUAM

Sep 19, 2016

By Krystal Paco

While Bill 326 is intended to give justice to survivors of child sex abuse, the Archdiocese of Agana over the weekend asked parishioners to reconsider the legislation's unintended consequences and to sign a petition to urge Governor Eddie Calvo to veto the measure that's already passed on session floor. Specifically, the church says they'd be subject to unlimited financial liability as those who've been victimized by clergy decades ago would sue the church and potentially force closure of not only vital community service providers, but also Catholic schools.

If passed into law, the Archdiocese of Agana predicts Bill 326 could force the church to go broke, saying, "The church would fundamentally go into bankruptcy, and bankruptcy would put all the assets of the diocese on the table," Father Jeff San Nicolas said. "Among those are the schools and other institutions in our church."

The archdiocese is currently circulating petitions to veto the legislation and in its place introduce a measure that holds only the abuser, not their affiliated institutions, accountable for past crimes. Father Jeff, the delegate of the administrator, admits the church was wrong not to speak up at public hearings. He assures parishioners that the church wants justice - but not at the expense of the innocent.

To address this, the church is setting up a trust fund for victims.

He continued, "We understand and we agree with its intent. Unfortunately we feel that the full story of the bill has not been told because there are unintended consequences of the bill. Mainly to curtail and to harm the good work that the church does provide. The church is already setting up a fund. It's already in the process because we recognize there is a financial responsibility that the church has towards victims. We do not want to escape that, or escape justice for the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Plea hearing for paedophile priest Robert Claffey in County Court

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
September 19, 2016

ANOTHER serial paedophile priest is behind bars with victims saying he could be among Australia’s most prolific child sexual abusers.

Robert Claffey was today compared with Australia’s worst paedophile priest, Gerald Ridsdale, with one of his victims saying he was even more cunning.

Claffey, who has admitted molesting 14 kids, and Ridsdale, who says his victims number hundreds, worked together in the Catholic Church’s Ballarat diocese.

When Ridsdale was moved from the diocese’s Apollo Bay parish for abusing kids, Claffey replaced him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Former AG Moylan questions constitutionality of Bill 326

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 19, 2016

By Nestor Licanto

A former attorney general and long-time legislative legal counsel cautions that Bill 326 may not survive a legal challenge. Doug Moylan is urging the governor and senators to seek an opinion from the Supreme Court of Guam on whether the measure even meets constitutional muster.

Moylan says the section of the proposed legislation extending the statute of limitations indefinitely for child sex abuse crimes could be a problem, because a previous law for filing abuse cases already opened a two year window that has since closed. "But then all of a sudden the Legislature is attempting now to revive it, which hits the due process and equal protection clause of the Organic Act and the US Constitution," he stated.

But Moylan is also concerned that the law would open the floodgates for claims that could bring the church to its financial knees, adding, "You open up the can of worms by letting a lawsuit proceed by opening the statute of limitations. again the amount of money the Catholic Church is going to have to invest to pay people like me - lawyers - to defend itself is going to be ruinous to them"

He says victims should file against the individual perpetrators, not the local institution. And for those abusers who have died or lack resources to pay? Moylan says the Vatican has a procedure to provide restitution for victims similar to a government claims act. "In this case," he said, "part of it goes to peoples trust in the Vatican."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

OUR VIEW: Bill addressing child sex abuse cases should be signed

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

The bill that aims to lift the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases should become law.

It’s a good bill that would help victims of child sexual abuse seek justice. For that reason, the bill has widespread support in the Legislature and community.

Sen. Frank Blas Jr. introduced Bill 326-33 a few months ago, after several people stepped forward with allegations of clergy sexual abuse. If the bill becomes law, it could allow accusers to sue individuals and institutions.

Earlier this month, a petition with more than 3,000 signatures was given to Blas in favor of the bill.

After the bill was unanimously passed last week, it was sent to Gov. Eddie Calvo for signing. The governor’s decision is due Friday.

Supporters of the bill were heartened until this weekend when Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai lobbied against the signing of it. He said the bill would expose the archdiocese to unlimited financial liability and bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Protesters: Archbishop's lobbying denies justice for abuse victims

GUAM
USA Today

[with video]

Jojo Santo Tomas and Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News (Guam)

HAGATNA, Guam — Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai asked Guam’s clergy to deliver a message to Catholic churchgoers during Mass on Sunday: “… I am in Rome to urge the Holy See to remove Archbishop (Anthony) Apuron as archbishop of Agana and to appoint a successor.”

It was what Catholic protesters had demanded on picket signs since their first protest against Apuron late last year. Since May, members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, the Laity Forward Movement and nonaffiliated parishioners staged protests every Sunday morning in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica.

And while it was welcome news that Hon stood behind Apuron’s removal, the rest of Hon’s letter only served to disappoint and anger the protesters.

Hon asked churchgoers to sign a petition lobbying against the signing of Bill 326 into law. The bill would lift the time restriction on lawsuits against institutions such as the Archdiocese of Agana that have employed those accused of child sexual abuse. He said the bill would expose the archdiocese to unlimited financial liability and bankruptcy. Hon also wrote that similar legislation enacted in 13 U.S. dioceses led to school closures and cessation of vital services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Church leader 'doesn't recall' confession

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP
19 SEP 2016

A senior member of the Catholic Church insists he doesn't recall NSW priest John Farrell making child abuse confessions during a meeting they both attended 24 years ago.

National director of Catholic Mission Brian Lucas has told the child sex abuse royal commission he doesn't remember Fr Farrell making detailed admissions about abusing five boys in the 1980s, while he was an assistant priest at Moree in northern NSW.

Fr Farrell allegedly confessed at the 1992 meeting to touching some of the boys on the leg, and fondling the genitals and having oral sex with others.

Fr Lucas and two other senior priests, Wayne Peters and John Usher, were at the meeting.

The admissions were detailed in a letter by Fr Peters to then-Bishop of Armidale Kevin Manning eight days after the meeting, but Fr Lucas said he doesn't remember them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Church leader: I raped my 3 daughters

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

Genevieve Serra

Cape Town - A Cape Town church leader has pleaded guilty to raping three of his daughters.

The 40-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of his victims, was sentenced to 18 years in jail after he entered into a plea agreement at the Wynberg Regional Court last week.

On September 13, the Lotus River father pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault and two of rape, following an investigation by Detective Constable Morne Jackson of the Family Violence and Sexual Offences Unit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

VATICAN REPRESENTATIVE PLEADS WITH PEOPLE OF GUAM TO HELP SAVE CHURCH FROM BANKRUPTCY

GUAM
The Tablet (UK)

19 September 2016 | by Sean Smith

New law which will allow civil suits against church for alleged child sex abuse of archbishop will force sale of assets

Vatican representative pleads with people of Guam to help save church from bankruptcy
A Vatican administrator who was sent to the small pacific island of Guam to investigate accusations of child sex abuse against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, 70, who denies any wrongdoing and refuses to step down from his post, has taken the unprecedented step of issuing a statement that was read out at all church services on the fiercely Catholic island.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai who is currently at the Vatican took the step of writing to the Roman Catholic faithful on the island after it emerged that Guam's legislature passed a bill to remove the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits on the US territory which would allow alleged victims to sue the church for reparation despite many of the alleged abuses taking place in the 1970s and now being out of time to be pursued in the civil courts.

"I can assure you that the gravely serious allegations against Archbishop Apuron will continue to be dealt with... a canonical trial. His Holiness, Pope Francis, is monitoring the proceedings," Tai-Fai said in the letter read out across the territory which is considered to have one of the most strategically important US military bases in the world - holding thousands of US military personnel on the island which sits in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and China.

"On behalf of the church, I want to apologise personally to the survivors of sexual abuse everywhere who have suffered so much at the hands of clergy," he added. "We cannot undo the betrayal of trust and faith and the horrendous acts that the clergy have committed against the youngest and the most innocent amongst us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Administrator urges Vatican to remove Guam’s archbishop

GUAM
West Hawaii Today

GRACE GARCES BORDALLO Associated Press

HAGATNA, Guam — A Roman Catholic administrator is urging the Vatican to remove Guam’s archbishop, who has refused to resign amid accusations of sexual abuse against altar boys.

The move comes after a letter delivered in July from leaders in the Archdiocese of Agana did not move Archbishop Anthony Apuron to leave his post.

Archbishop Savio Hon, a temporary apostolic administrator for Guam who was appointed by the Vatican after the allegations surfaced, also is urging parishioners to sign a petition upholding the statute of limitation on civil lawsuits for child sex abuse. He said the archdiocese “will be exposed to unlimited financial liability” forcing the sale of church property.

A bill that lifts the current statute of limitation passed the Guam Legislature and is expected to be delivered to the governor’s desk on Sept. 21. The Guam church has not submitted any substitute bill for consideration.

“Right now we hope any legislation would not damage the social service agencies and the schools that are not a part of these accusations,” said Father Jeff San Nicolas, who is Guam’s apostolic delegate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Child sex abuse: Restoration of trust key to survival of Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Chris McGillion and Damian Grace

Since its inception, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been a lightning rod for longstanding disillusionment with the Catholic Church.

Among its critics, an impression seems to have formed that the Catholic Church has been exceptional among the institutions examined in regard to child sexual abuse and that it is, in fact, rotten to its core and in desperate need of root and branch reform.

Given the commission concludes its hearings on Catholic organisations this week, it is timely to consider whether what has been learned over the past 3½ years supports or challenges this impression.

Of the 5866 survivors who have testified before the commission in private sessions to date, 40 per cent have told of abuse in Catholic institutions. This compares with 8 per cent who have reported abuse in Anglican institutions and 4 per cent in those run by the Salvation Army. On the face of it, these figures seem to rest the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Another appointee to Vatican abuse commission leaves group, member reveals

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Sep. 19, 2016

VATICAN CITY
A member of Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse has revealed that one of her colleagues in the group has resigned his position. The resignation, previously not made public, means two of the pontiff's seventeen original appointees to the commission are no longer taking part in its work.

Marie Collins, an Irish laywoman and member of the Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors, made the revelation in an NCR interview in response to a question about the status of fellow member Peter Saunders, who the commission put on a leave of absence from the group in February.

"There has been a resignation from the Commission," Collins responded. "But Peter has not resigned or been dismissed: he is still on leave of absence."

The Irishwoman, an abuse survivor, spoke to NCR following the commission's meeting in Rome last week.

Emer McCarthy, the commission’s projects and media coordinator, said Monday that a member of the group resigned in May due to personal reasons.

McCarthy identified the resigned member as Claudio Papale, an Italian who teaches canon law at the Pontifical University Urbaniana. The Vatican's 2015 phonebook also lists him as an official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Trial Begins For Ex-Powell County Youth Pastor

KENTUCKY
Lex 18

Sep 19, 2016

POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) - The trial for the Powell County youth pastor accused of sexual abuse will begin Monday.

52-year-old Steve Williams is accused of sexually abusing at least two minors. Williams was a school bus driver for Powell County Schools and pastor of the Bowen First Church of God for about two and a half years. Powell County deputies say the church has one of the largest youth groups in the area, and Williams was very involved with many children in the congregation.

Authorities were first alerted about the alleged misconduct by the Powell County Board of Education on Thursday, after a student who attends Powell County Middle School reported that she had been sexually abused by Williams.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

‘Baby bishops’ get a crash course in the realities of the Church

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín
September 18, 2016
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME-During the last week, a group of over 150 bishops who were appointed by Pope Francis during the past year were in Rome to participate in what some have dubbed the “baby bishops’ boot camp.”

As is always the case for this yearly appointment, which began in 2001, the lessons were kept private. This is due mostly for two reasons: Some are dubbed of little interest to the general public, while others will potentially be collected in a book, as was last year’s case.

Yet many social media savvy prelates have been sharing tidbits on what went on in Rome from Sept. 10-18. ...

He urged bishops not to get caught up in a “game of numbers” with vocations, and to instead focus on forming high-quality, mature priests, who are not “prey to their whims and slaves of their fragility, but free to embrace what God asks of them.”

Francis also warned the new bishops against using their office to be self-serving, urging them to use it instead to share the holiness, truth and love of God.

“The world is tired of lying spellbinders and, allow me to say, ‘trendy’ priests or bishops. The people sniff them out - they have God’s sense of smell - and they walk away when they recognize narcissists, manipulators, defenders of their own causes, auctioneers of vain crusades,” he said. ...

One point that emerged clearly was the desire for stronger presentations on the fight against clerical sexual abuse, and the Church’s responsibility on protecting minors. Given what a cancer this issue has been for the Catholic Church, the Vatican this time attempted to give the bishops a state-of-the-art presentation on best practices in terms of preventing such meltdowns in the future.

For this edition, the speakers were members of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors, including Boston’s Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, who heads the commission, and Irish lay woman Marie Collins, a survivor of clerical sexual abuse.

Also on this topic, the baby bishops heard from the Vatican’s former sex-crimes prosecutor, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, currently in Malta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Abuse royal commission told of interviews with allegedly abusive priests

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

September 19, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

A senior Catholic official personally interviewed around 35 allegedly abusive priests, convincing them to plead guilty or resign, but made no record of the conversations and did not report them to the police, a royal commission has heard.

Brian Lucas, the Australian director of Catholic Mission, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he was acting to protect children by removing dangerous priests from their positions.

Counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC, has described him as one of the “architects of the church’s approach” to the issue of child sex abuse committed by clergy.

Under questioning this morning, Father Lucas was asked about previous evidence he has given saying he interviewed 35 allegedly abusive priests around the early 1990s, a figure he described as “very, very rubbery”, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Jury told of sex abuse by priests, nuns and carers

UNITED KINGDOM
Biggleswade Today

A former resident of a Catholic boys’ home told jurors of a catalogue of sadistic beatings and sex abuse at the hands of nuns, priests and carers.

The man, who cannot be identified, was giving evidence in a trial of facts for James McCann, 80, who is accused of 52 charges of physical and sex assaults on 26 boys in the 1960s and 70s.

The Old Bailey heard this week that the alleged offences took place at St Francis children’s home in Shefford, where abuse was already deeply entrenched in the culture.

The person in charge, Father John Ryan, was described by the witness as “the most evil man I have ever met in my life”. The witness said the “well built and scary” priest had slapped and punched him on many occasions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Guam's Catholic Church in crisis over child sex claims

GUAM
New Vision (Uganda)

By AFP
Added 19th September 2016

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai was sent to Guam three months ago to investigate the accusations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who denies any wrongdoing.

A Vatican administrator has urged Rome to remove the head of the Catholic Church in Guam over child sex allegations, warning the scandal could bankrupt the church in the deeply religious Pacific territory.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai was sent to Guam three months ago to investigate the accusations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who denies any wrongdoing.

In a statement read out at church services across the island on Sunday, Hon said he had asked the Holy See to dismiss Apuron after the cleric refused to stand down voluntarily.

"I can assure you that the gravely serious allegations against Archbishop Apuron will continue to be dealt with... a canonical trial," the statement said.

"His Holiness, Pope Francis, is monitoring the proceedings," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

September 18, 2016

Archbishop warns of Guam church shutdown; seeks removal of Apuron

GUAM
Marianas Variety

19 Sep 2016

Mar-Vic Cagurangan - For Variety

HAGÅTÑA — The passage of a bill that would lift the statute of limitation for sex-abuse cases, if signed into law, would open the floodgates for lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Agana and drive the Guam church into financial bankruptcy, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai said Sunday.

“In other states where similar laws were enacted, the results have been school closures and cessation of vital services,” the apostolic administrator said in a message addressed to the faithful and read at Sunday Mass.

Hon is now back in Rome to ask Pope Francis to remove Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron as head of the Archdiocese, citing the “gravely serious allegations” that the church will continue to deal with during a canonical trial at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Archdiocese is facing mounting allegations of sex abuse against Apuron, who is accused of molesting altar boys when he was a priest at the Mount Carmel Parish in Agat in the 1970s. At least four former altar boys, the mother of a deceased altar boy and a third-party witness have come out with claims against Apuron, revealing secrets kept for almost five decades.

“On behalf of the church, I want to apologize personally to the survivors of sexual abuse everywhere who have suffered so much at the hands of clergy,” Hon said. “We cannot undo the betrayal of trust and faith and the horrendous acts that the clergy have committed against the youngest and the most innocent amongst us.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

The satisfaction of justice, at long last

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Peter FitzSimons

It was satisfying to see my erstwhile boarding master at Knox Grammar, Neil Albert Futcher, "found guilty by a jury of 22 child sex charges, including eight counts of buggery" last Wednesday.

As reported by the Herald, as the verdicts were read out, the court room was filled with the sounds of sobbing. Futcher, as far as it is known, did not offend while at Knox in 1974 – and I have asked many of my fellow boarders – but wreaked a terrible trail of destruction once he moved to Trinity Grammar the following year. Bravo, to those former Trinity boys, now in their 50s, who came forward and gave their evidence that saw him convicted.

Former Knox headmaster Ian Paterson tells the royal commission he told English teacher Adrian Nisbett to be careful "with your touching habits with boys" when appointing him resident master.
The verdict came the day after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its findings about what happened at Knox, noting particularly that the long-time headmaster of Knox, Dr Ian Paterson, "failed to prioritise the welfare of boys over the reputation of the school". No one who reads the report, most particularly from page 59 onwards, can doubt it.

Once again, I simply cannot put the figure that emerges from the royal commission together with the legendary educator of unimpeachable integrity I knew. But Dr Paterson's conduct in the face of the allegations that emerged, his enabling of the culture that allowed child abuse to take place over so many years, most particularly in the 1980s, was nothing less than disgraceful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 – “WALK ACROSS THE DELAWARE”

PENNSYLVANIA/NEW JERSEY
Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery, Inc. was proud to be the lead organization in today’s “Walk Across the Delaware” from Morrisville, PA, to Trenton, NJ, to shed light on the need for stronger and fairer laws in all States of the United States regarding sexual abuse of children, teenagers, and vulnerable adults, but especially in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.

Marchers from New York State, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey joined march directors Fred (Board Member of Road to Recovery, Inc.) and Maggie Marigliano in an important public demonstration that highlighted pending laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the States of New York and New Jersey that would give sexual abuse victims access to the courthouses in each State.

Senator Joseph Vitale of New Jersey, who has been working on justice legislation regarding sexual abuse for nearly twenty years, attended the march and urged attendees to continue to fight for laws that are fair. In New Jersey, for example, Senate Bill 280 will be introduced in the near future and it is hoped that New Jersey legislators will pass legislation that gives sexual abuse victims the opportunity to hold their abusers accountable.

When the approximately two-mile walk ended at the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton, speaker after speaker appealed to the legislators in all three states to pass legislation that will finally and conclusively give sexual abuse victims the justice they deserve.

Arthur Baselice, who lost his son as a result of clergy sexual abuse in Philadelphia, urged Pennsylvania lawmakers to do the right thing and pass House Bill 1947 in Harrisburg in the near future. Ana Wagner, who organized the highly successful walk across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City several weeks ago, pledged to continue the fight in her state to enact victim-friendly legislation. And, a host of New Jersey speakers repeated their calls for laws in New Jersey that will stop shielding predators and give victims the justice they seek.

Road to Recovery, Inc. will continue its mission to help victims of sexual abuse throughout the world as it has for almost fifteen years, and victims may call the Road to Recovery, Inc. hotline at 862-368-2800 for assistance. Congratulations to all!

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President, Road to Recovery, Inc. – roberthoatson@gmail.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Group walks to urge ending limitations on child sex abuse complaints

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Greg Wright | For NJ.com

TRENTON — State Sen. Joseph Vitale walked with a group of about 20 activists from Pennsylvania to the New Jersey's Statehouse Sunday to vocalize their opposition to the state's statute of limitations for civil actions related to sex abuse.

The group also wants New Jersey to pass a pending bill that would eliminate the time constraints for legal actions.

"We need to protect victims child sexual abuse and help them seek justice," Sen. Vitale (D-Middlesex), who is the primary sponsor of the legislation, said. "This will require changing the law and expanding the civil statute of limitations for this crime."

The rally began after the group, comprised of individuals and members of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Road to Recovery and Male Survivor, completed a walk from Morrisville, Pa. to the Statehouse.

There, sexual assault survivors from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York spoke about their own struggles in seeking justice and returning to a life of normalcy after becoming victims.

Currently, sex abuse victims have only two years to sue after discovering the link between their abuse to other problems, such as depression, addiction or divorce.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Harrowing stories of child sex abuse still reverberating in Ballarat

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Danny Tran

It's the spiritual birthplace of the trade union movement, the gateway to Victoria's gold rush and Australia's source of Mars Bars.

However, in recent years, the intensely Catholic city of Ballarat in Victoria has been infamous for the gang of paedophile priests which operated with impunity.

Among them was Gerald Ridsdale, who conceded before the child abuse royal commission that even if he had been found out, he would have lied.

He used to be known as Father Gerry or Father Ridsdale — a man who could be trusted because of his devotion to God.

"He was a kind and gentle man, very kind," said Joanna, a former parishioner who did not want to use her full name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 PM

Federal appeals court upholds Barry Freundel’s 6.5 year prison sentence

WASHINGTON (DC)
JTA

(JTA) — A federal appeals court upheld the prison sentence of Rabbi Barry Freundel, a once-prominent modern Orthodox rabbi in Washington who secretly videotaped women in his synagogue’s mikvah.

Freundel, 64, who began serving his sentence in May 2015, had been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism, a charge that carries up to a year in jail.

The sentencing judge had ordered Freundel to serve 45 days on each count, and ran the sentences one after the other. Freundel’s attorney had argued in the appeal that the sentences should have run concurrently, meaning Freundel would have served 45 days.

A three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld Freundel’s sentence in a unanimous 20-page ruling.

Before his arrest in 2014, Freundel was the longtime rabbi of Kesher Israel in the Georgetown section of Washington and an active member of the Rabbinical Council of America, an Orthodox rabbinic group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Hon calls for veto of sex abuse bill

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

In a statement read at Catholic Masses throughout Guam yesterday, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, urged Gov. Eddie Calvo to veto Bill 326, now on the governor's desk, that would remove the statute of limitations on civil suits involving accusations of child sex abuse.

"Putting the house in order without burning it down" was the title of the address read by clergy at all Masses.

Hon, who is in Rome, said he is urging the Holy See to remove Archbishop Anthony Apuron as Archbishop of Agana and to appoint a successor.

"I can assure you that the gravely serious allegations against Archbishop Apuron will continue to be dealt with by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which will hold a canonical trial," he said in the release.

Since mid-May, there have been five specific accusations of sex abuse against Apuron involving altar boys in the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

KC police must restore public trust after failures in children’s crime unit

MISSOURI
Kansas City Star

The Editorial Board

Crimes against children deserve immediate and special investigation to ensure youngsters’ safety, eventual recovery and to prevent the perpetrators from doing more harm.

But that didn’t happen in the Kansas City Police Department’s crimes against children unit, where detectives for years failed to properly investigate some rapes, serious abuse and other crimes.

The blue police wall for months hid this irresponsible and incompetent behavior. The Kansas City Star on Sunday exposed the problem with a review of internal Police Department memos.

Police Chief Darryl Forté in January correctly suspended nearly the entire crimes against children unit of detectives and sergeants after a special squad was assigned a year ago to help clear backlogged cases and discovered the inexcusable problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Manifestantes pidieron renuncia de obispo Barros en medio del Te Deum en Osorno

CHILE
La Tercera

[Demonstrators called for resignation of Bishop Barros in the middle of the Te Deum in Osorno.]

María Paz Núñez
18 de septiembre del 2016

En medio del tradicional Te Deum que se realizó en la catedral San Mateo de Osorno con motivo de Fiestas Patrias, un grupo de laicos sorprendió levantando pancartas en las que pedían la renuncia del obispo de la ciudad, Juan Barros, por su presunta participación como encubridor en el denominado caso Karadima.

Los manifestantes, que de acuerdo a lo informado por radio ADN fueron cerca de 15 personas, levantaron letreros donde sólo se leía la palabra "renuncia", dirigida al sacerdote que negó en noviembre pasado ante la justicia el haber conocido los casos de abusos por los que se investiga al ex párroco de El Bosque.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Anthony J. Giuliano

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Anthony J. Giuliano was ordained for the Archdiocese of New york in 1984. He assisted at parishes in the Bronx, Suffern, Staten Island and Yonkers, and pastored in Mt. Vernon, Hawthorne, the Bronx, Dover Plains and Pawling. In August 2016 a man reported to police that Giuliano had molested him in the 1980s at Holy Rosary in the Bronx. Giuliano's accuser said he was 15 years-old at the time and working in the rectory, and that he and Giuliano would "play wrestle." The man said that the molestation occurred during one of the wrestling sessions. The archdiocese said the allegation was credible. Giuliano denied it. Law enforcement launched an investigation.

Ordained: 1984

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Pat Howard: Grand jury sets sights on Erie diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Go Erie

Pat Howard
814-870-1721

September 18, 2016

ERIE, Pa. -- Fifteen years after The Boston Globe's reporting first exposed its horrors and this newspaper did its best to keep faith with those preyed upon here, I figured the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal was past its power to shock.

Then I sat down last spring with a big sheaf of paper in a binder clip and made myself read every word. The grand jury report on the crimes and cover-ups in the Catholic Diocese of Altoona/Johnstown brought back that familiar, stomach-turning mix of sorrow and rage.

Even in the stilted, metronomic language of court documents, the overweening power and self-regard of the church hierarchy is palpable in those pages. So is the theft of innocence and peace from hundreds of children who were violated under the cover of an institution whose stewards cared more about stature and scandal than the serial abuse of children.

The crimes documented in that report are now largely beyond the reach of the law — shielded by passing time, the statute of limitations and in some cases the deaths of the predators and their protectors. With criminal prosecution impossible in most cases, public exposure — the plain, ugly truth — is the closest thing to justice available.

The grand jury's report helped to galvanize an effort in the state Legislature to allow some victims to reach back through the years and sue in civil court. It passed overwhelmingly in the House before a Senate committee — in the face of aggressive opposition by the church's lobbying arm and its hierarchy, including Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico — in June stripped the bill of its retroactive provisions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

NJ--Walk and rally held today on child sex laws

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Sunday, September 18, 2016

Walk & rally held today on child sex laws
Victims want statute of limitations reformed
In 3 states, group wants “better child safety laws”
Legislation has been introduced in NJ, PA & NY

NJ State Senator will also address the group in Trenton

A walk through Trenton and a rally at the State House will be held today calling for legislators in three states to reform statutes of limitations to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to “help protect kids, expose predators, deter cover ups and heal victims” in both the criminal and civil courts.

Among those participating in the events are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“We’re making progress toward repealing or reforming these archaic, predator-friendly laws,” said Mark Crawford, SNAP’s New Jersey director. “But some lawmakers still refuse to put the safety of kids above the secrecy of those who commit or conceal these heinous and devastating crimes and cover ups. So we’re hoping to prod a few more legislators into taking action to safeguard the vulnerable instead of protecting the wrongdoers.”

The walk starts at noon in the parking lot of the Morrisville Shopping Center and ends with a rally outside the State House at which Senator Joseph Vitale will speak.

SNAP member Fred Marigliano, who has walked the entire state of NJ, more than 200 miles, to bring awareness to this issue, will also speak.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

CONTACT
Mark Crawford 973-632-7687, mecrawf@comcast.net, Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003 home

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Clerics who became fathers had ‘loving’ relationships - Fr Brian D’Arcy

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Censured priest Fr Brian D’Arcy has defended Fr Michael Cleary and Bishop Eamon Casey, who fathered children, as “loving” in their relationships with women.

“The only thing that Mick did wrong was keep it a secret,” said Fr D’Arcy, who was censured by the Vatican in 2010 for his perceived liberal views on Catholic Church teachings.

He believes the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which acknowledges the equal right to life of mother and unborn, would be repealed in a referendum.

The priest also disclosed that late actor Frank Kelly had great difficulty in conscience with playing the role of Fr Jack in the Fr Ted comedy series.

In an interview with Hot Press magazine, Fr D’Arcy described his reaction on finding out that his friend Fr Cleary had two children as one of absolute shock.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Pope Francis to new bishops: Dispense mercy, don’t be ‘charming liars’

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna | September 16, 2016

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis told a group of recently appointed bishops that the world “is tired of charming liars” and that they should embody mercy in their dioceses and not be whiners who promote their own “vain crusades.”

The pontiff also told them to be wary of seminarians “who take refuge in rigidity” of practices. “There’s always something ugly behind it,” he said.

Francis made his remarks Friday (Sept. 16) in a speech to newly appointed bishops who have been taking part in an annual Vatican orientation course on their new job.

In his address, the pope focused mostly on the approach they should take as pastors, saying in effect that attitude would do more to build up the diocese than any special management techniques.

“Be bishops who are able to enchant and attract,” Francis said. “Make your ministry a symbol of mercy, the only force able to seduce and attract the human heart in a permanent way.”

But, he warned them, don’t make it all about yourself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Pesch: A glimmer of hope for justice

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Bill Pesch
September 18, 2016

There are times I enjoy being proven wrong. Because of recent action taken by the Legislature, I am forced to eat my words. But what a delicious meal it is!

In my June 27 and July 4 columns, I predicted dim prospects for those seeking justice for past incidents of child sexual abuse committed by persons in positions of trust. I wrote these columns in response to the numerous accusations pending against Archbishop Anthony Apuron by several former altar boys who allege he sexually abused them in the 1970s.

I felt that a bill introduced by Sen. Frank Blas Jr., supposedly to extend the civil statute of limitations for filing sexual abuse lawsuits, was “glaringly ineffective.” In fact, I saw it as nothing more than political posturing meant to capture votes while protecting the Catholic Church from any meaningful sanctions. Thankfully, Blas’ subsequent actions, and those of the entire Legislature, have proven me wrong.

For many years, Guam law provided that a victim of child sex abuse had two years to file a lawsuit against the alleged abuser. Obviously, because of the nature of child abuse, this time limitation was unrealistic and did little to discourage sexual abuse against children. In 2011, the Legislature passed a bill that temporarily amended the law and gave past sexual abuse victims two additional years to file their cases. As initially proposed by Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz, the bill would have allowed victims to sue the abuser as well as any grossly negligent “institution, agency, firm, business, corporation … that owed a duty of care to the victim.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Religious group urges island Catholics not to sign petition

GUAM
YouTube

Published on Sep 17, 2016

Concerned Catholics of Guam Vice President Andrew Camacho urges religious followers not to sign a petition that's being distributed by the Archdiocese of Agana. The petition prompts Governor Eddie Calvo to veto Substitute Bill 326, which lifts the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Island Catholics urged not to sign archdiocese's petition

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 17, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Concerned Catholics of Guam Vice President Andrew Camacho urges religious followers not to sign a petition that's being distributed by the Archdiocese of Agana. The petition prompts Governor Eddie Calvo to veto Substitute Bill 326, which lifts the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases.

According to a message from Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai which is being read at masses this weekend, the bill exposes the church to unlimited financial liability and may result in bankruptcy. Camacho tells KUAM, "If you're against the bill, you are for Archbiship Apuron and the crimes that are being committed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Protesters: Hon's lobbying effort denies justice for victims

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jojo Santo Tomas and Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 18, 2016

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai asked Guam’s clergy to deliver a message to Catholic churchgoers during Mass on Sunday: “… I am in Rome to urge the Holy See to remove Archbishop (Anthony) Apuron as archbishop of Agana and to appoint a successor.”

It was what Catholic protesters had demanded on picket signs since their first protest against Apuron late last year. Since May, members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, the Laity Forward Movement and nonaffiliated parishioners staged protests every Sunday morning in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica.

And while it was welcome news that Hon stood behind Apuron’s removal, the rest of Hon’s letter only served to disappoint and anger the protesters.

Hon asked churchgoers to sign a petition lobbying against the signing of Bill 326 into law. The bill would lift the time restriction on lawsuits against institutions such as the Archdiocese of Agana that have employed those accused of child sexual abuse. He said the bill would expose the archdiocese to unlimited financial liability and bankruptcy. Hon also wrote that similar legislation enacted in 13 U.S. dioceses led to school closures and cessation of vital services.

The legislation would permanently remove the statute of limitations for all child sexual abuse crimes, allowing victims to file civil cases against their alleged assailants, retroactively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Statement Regarding Disclosure of Additional Name

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released the name and assignment history Sept. 16 of deceased priest Father William Hough, who has a substantiated claim against him of sexually abusing a minor while he was a priest of the archdiocese.

The alleged abuse occurred between 1964 and 1966. Father Hough died in 1994. He served at St. Mary in St. Paul, St. Elizabeth in Minneapolis, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Minneapolis, Resurrection in Minneapolis, St. Mary of the Purification in Marystown, and St. Anthony of Padua in Minneapolis. He was ordained in 1963 and retired in 1991.

In a Sept. 16 statement, Archbishop Bernard Hebda said the archdiocese notified pastors at these parishes, and encouraged anyone who has been abused to contact the police immediately.

“I am profoundly saddened by the effect clergy sexual abuse continues to have on victims/survivors, their families and the community,” he said.

A substantiated claim is one supported by sufficient evidence establishing reasonable grounds to believe that the alleged abuse occurred.

According to the archdiocese, Father Hough’s name and assignment history are being disclosed as part of its commitment under the Ramsey County Settlement Agreement, ongoing relationship with Jeff Anderson and Associates and pledge to “promote healing, awareness and the prevention of abuse.”

More information about clergy disclosures is available at http://www.safecatholicspm.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Archdiocese discloses information on priest accused of abuse

MINNESOTA
Catholic Spirit

September 16, 2016

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released the name and assignment history Sept. 16 of deceased priest Father William Hough, who has a substantiated claim against him of sexually abusing a minor while he was a priest of the archdiocese.

The alleged abuse occurred between 1964 and 1966. Father Hough died in 1994. He served at St. Mary in St. Paul, St. Elizabeth in Minneapolis, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Minneapolis, Resurrection in Minneapolis, St. Mary of the Purification in Marystown, and St. Anthony of Padua in Minneapolis. He was ordained in 1963 and retired in 1991.

In a Sept. 16 statement, Archbishop Bernard Hebda said the archdiocese notified pastors at these parishes, and encouraged anyone who has been abused to contact the police immediately.

“I am profoundly saddened by the effect clergy sexual abuse continues to have on victims/survivors, their families and the community,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Head of Catholic boys' school forced 14-year-old to lose virginity to his nun wife while he watched

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

BY JON DEAN

James McCann is then said to have had sex with her as the boy looked on during a holiday to Majorca - where the teen was introduced to football legends Bob Paisley and Brian Clough

The head of a Catholic boys' school forced a 14-year-old lad to lose his virginity with his nun wife while he watched, a court heard.

James McCann is then said to have had sex with her as the boy looked on during a holiday to Majorca - where the teen was introduced to football legends Bob Paisley and Brian Clough.

The Old Bailey heard the scene unfolded when the boy was asked by McCann, now 80, to fondle his wife's breasts

McCann had married her after she came to St Francis children's home in Shefford, Bedfordshire, as a nun.

McCann is alleged to have carried out 52 physical and sexual assaults against 26 boys at the home in the 1960s and 70s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Punishing road to redemption for St. George's School sex-abuse victim

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

Posted Sep. 17, 2016

The investigator's report hit Anne Scott "like a freight train."

It brought her back nearly 40 years to a locked room at St. George's School where athletic trainer "Doc Gibbs" raped and sexually molested her time and again until her mind nearly fractured. She was 15, a sophomore at the elite Episcopal boarding school in Middletown. The abuse lasted a year and a half.

In subsequent years, Scott cycled through one psychiatric hospitalization after another. She starved herself. She binged and vomited. She dwindled to 98 pounds on a 5-foot-8 frame. She buried memories of the abuse by Al Gibbs, who molested her while she lay on a table, being "treated" for field hockey injuries. She shut down, cocooned with her parents, unable to work. It took decades to find her footing — and her voice.

A driving force last winter behind exposing the rampant sexual abuse at St. George's in the 1970s and '80s, and in pushing for an independent investigation that uncovered "a private hell" that had trapped 61 abuse victims, Scott expected the report — released Sept. 1 — would detail the horrors she'd endured.

But she was stunned when she read previously sealed documents from her 1988 federal "Jane Doe" lawsuit against St. George's, which sought $10 million for failing to protect her from Gibbs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Should St. Ann parishioners have been told their pastor was being investigated over child porn?

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Matt AssadContact Reporter
Of The Morning Call

Should St. Ann parishioners have been told their pastor was being investigated for child porn?

Within hours of getting a report in August that images of nude children were found on computers owned by the pastor of St. Ann's Church in Emmaus, the Allentown Catholic Diocese informed authorities. But for the next six Sundays — even as Lehigh County investigators sifted through photos on two laptops — parishioners were urged at Mass to pray for their pastor's health.

Monsignor John Stephen Mraz's arrest Tuesday on charges of possessing child pornography left some members of his congregation angry that they would be asked to remember him in their prayers without being told he was under investigation.

"It just feels like a betrayal of trust, not only by Monsignor Mraz, but by the church," Kara Sterner said.

"I was married at that church and all three of my kids were baptized there. And now I don't feel right. I just don't have trust anymore."

So shaken was Sterner that she held her 11-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter from religious prep classes at St. Ann on Wednesday, and she's considering switching churches. She was among several parents who held their children from prep that night and among many who called the diocese and church office to voice their unhappiness.

The Rev. Dominic Pham, who lived with Mraz and got him to the hospital before the monsignor went to convalesce at Holy Family Villa in Bethlehem, has been fielding many of those calls. And he has a surprisingly simple answer for why, as he urged parishioners to visit Mraz in his recovery, he never told them their pastor was being investigated for child porn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Mater Dei: Loving abusers and cover-up after all these years.

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

September 17, 2016 Joelle Casteix

As I stated in my previous post, little has changed in the Diocese of Orange since 2005, when church officials settled sex abuse and cover-up lawsuits with 87 child victims.

I’d thought I share a little Facebook proof with you.

Now I will admit, I have been sitting on this information for a while. The reasons, like this post, were personal.

I know, love, and respect many of the people who were at this spring’s Mater Dei High School Grand Reunion (people like my father, who were pretty disgusted to see what I am about to show you here). My dad is almost 80, and going to his high school reunions are an annual treat (yes, they have them almost every year). I didn’t want to ruin it for him and his friends by ranting right away.

But after today’s article in the Orange County Register, I couldn’t keep it quiet anymore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 AM

Fitzgerald: Bishop steered with faith, diligence

CALIFORNIA
Record

By Michael Fitzgerald
Record columnist

Posted Sep. 17, 2016

I met Bishop Stephen E. Blaire shortly after he took over the Diocese of Stockton in 1999. Some charismatics on Montauban Court proclaimed their St. Mary statues were weeping.

And performing miracles. These mystics already had artist renderings of a Lourdes-like shrine that would draw the faithful hordes. Please exit through the gift shop, etc.

Blaire took charge. “This has nothing to do with miracles,” he said. Miracles are not literal Red Sea partings, Blaire said, but “the healing power of God in one’s life.”

Blaire has announced his retirement. A Roman Catholic bishop’s retirement process may take a year or more. But his exit is on the horizon. ...

“People don’t believe this,” Blaire said. “But I had no idea of the extent of the abuse in the church. I didn’t know. I was a bishop, and I didn’t know.”

Though he’s too diplomatic to say it — but I’ll say it — his predecessor, Bishop Donald Montrose, was a company man whose morally flaccid cover-ups of molester priests ensured perpetual litigation.
And, ultimately, the diocese’s financial ruin.

The diocese paid out tens of millions to a seemingly endless procession of victims of a black hole with a white collar named Father Oliver O’Grady.

“I thought, ‘OK, we’re beyond this,’ ” Blaire recalled. “But we were never beyond it.”

His first day on the job, Blaire was gob-smacked with a $30 million judgment for abuse victims. He had to find, or borrow, the money.

He had to clean up a huge and fetid mess.

Blaire laid down new rules. Zero tolerance for priests and other religious workers who commit sexual abuse. Report alleged abuse to police. Transparency. Victims come first.

“This was the hardest thing,” Blaire said. “When you sit down and listen to one who is a victim — or survivor, they’re called survivors now — it breaks your heart. I cannot tell you how many times I cried, listening to some of those horror survivors. So that takes an emotional toll on one.”

Yet old victims, and new scandals, kept surfacing.

Finally, in 2014, the diocese crashed into bankruptcy. Blaire hopes it will emerge by the end of this year. The loss of moral authority will take longer to repair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 AM

Clergy inquiry includes 6 dioceses

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

BY DEBRA ERDLEY | Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016

Child abuse experts and victims' advocates hope an expanding grand jury investigation into allegations of clergy sexual abuse extends the statute of limitations on such crimes.

The investigation has sought records from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, including those in Greensburg and Pittsburgh.

Officials in both dioceses have confirmed they complied with subpoenas from state Attorney General Bruce Beemer seeking church records dating back more than half a century.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Reading, who has gone public with his abuse as an altar boy, said he testified before the grand jury in Pittsburgh on Aug. 17.

He was prime sponsor of a bill that would have extended the statute of limitations for civil and criminal actions against accused clergy in Pennsylvania. It passed by a 185-14 vote in the House, only to die in the Senate Judiciary Committee after facing questions about its constitutionality and being watered down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 AM

Report: Pennsylvania representative expects shocking findings from clergy sexual abuse investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
PhillyVoice

BY PATRICIA MADEJ
PhillyVoice Staff

Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Rozzi recently testified before a grand jury that's investigating clergy sexual abuse within Catholic churches across Pennsylvania, he said Thursday.

Rozzi, who was sexually abused by a priest with the Diocese of Allentown when he was an altar boy, told WFMZ-TV 69 that "people are going to be really, really shocked" when the Pennsylvania Attorney General uncovers their findings.

Rozzi, who represents parts of Berks County, received a subpoena from the attorney general's office months ago but only recently testified. The office is investigating abuse within the Diocese of Allentown.

Matt Kerr, a spokesperson with the diocese, said in a statement that the organization has a "zero tolerance for offenders" and that they "pray for all victims of abuse and continue to educate thousands of children and adults in the diocese on how to spot and report abuse to the proper authorities."

Days ago, the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office charged Msgr. John Stephen Mraz, a part of the Diocese of Allentown, with possessing child pornography after an investigation that began months ago.

Mraz was since removed from public ministry, according to the Diocese of Allentown.

The Diocese of Harrisburg told local media outlets that it also received a subpoena and is cooperating with the investigation.

The news comes months after the attorney general's office released a 147-page report that detailed the findings of a yearslong investigation into clergy sexual abuse within the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The report revealed the stories of hundreds who were abused by about 50 priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 AM

September 17, 2016

Priest placed on leave following complaint

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

HOLLIDAYSBURG – During the past week, Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese received a complaint alleging behavior inconsistent with church ministry on the part of the Rev. David R. Rizzo, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Altoona, the diocese announced Saturday.

The complaint does not involve minors.

Upon notice of the complaint, Rizzo requested a leave of absence from ministry, which Bartchak granted, effective immediately.

Rizzo will not be residing at the parish, and he is not permitted to exercise priestly ministry.

Rizzo, 44, was ordained a priest in 1999. He was appointed administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes in 2009 and pastor in 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 PM

How Orange County became its own Catholic diocese 40 years ago

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

By DEEPA BHARATH / STAFF WRITER

When Monsignor Art Holquin was a student in the early 1970s at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, the rumors already were flying: Orange County, which was part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was going to become its own diocese.

Holquin, now 63, didn’t make much of it. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1974, and his first assignment was at the Holy Family Church in Orange.

On the morning of March 30, 1976, Holquin was by himself at the church, as the senior pastor was away in Oregon. The phone rang in the rectory. On the other end was a reporter for a Catholic weekly newspaper in San Diego.

“So, father, what do you think of the big news today from Rome?” he asked Holquin.

“What news?” the priest asked back.

It had just been announced in Rome that Orange County would become a separate diocese, the reporter informed him. ...

SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

Though the diocese’s growth was exponential, there was also a period of turmoil when the nationwide Catholic Church sex abuse scandal erupted. Bishop Tod Brown, who took the helm in September 1998, faced the brunt of the sexual abuse lawsuits. The diocese was the first to arrive at a settlement, for $100 million, on Jan. 15, 2004.

Brown apologized to 87 alleged victims and issued a Covenant of the Faithful, promising to be transparent with the media and the public. However, Brown later was criticized for not divulging that he also had faced an allegation of sexual abuse. That allegation was dismissed by church officials. Brown said the accusation was not true.

Speaking recently from his office in the Christ Cathedral’s pastoral center, the retired bishop said he was “unaware of the problem” when he took office.

“The challenge for me was to come to grips with what it was and what we needed to do to get the healing started and protect our youth in the future,” Brown said. “(Sexual abuse) is a problem that is endemic to humanity. We had it in the Catholic Church, too.”

Settling the lawsuits “was the right thing to do,” he said.

“We’ve established protocols for employees and clergy, background checks, audits, everything we can do to prevent the abuse from happening again,” Brown said. “This is unfortunately a part of our legacy, and it’s something that should never be forgotten. The actions we take to prevent abuse is unending. It must be.”

John Manly, a Costa Mesa attorney who represented 50 sexual abuse victims in the county, said those victims and many Catholics are still bitter about the lack of accountability.

“What the diocese really did was hired a PR firm and did window dressing,” said Manly, raised Catholic and a 1982 graduate of Mater Dei Catholic School in Santa Ana.

“The main people responsible for it were never held accountable, and that taints the diocese forever. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles dumped predators here, and the Catholic children of Orange County paid the price.”

Manly said the diocese now has policies in place to protect children.

“But it’s better now because of the victims who came forward with their painful stories, not because of the goodwill of the diocese,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Tod Brown: Spinning yarns after all these years

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

September 17, 2016 Joelle Casteix

That big BOOM you heard this morning in Southern California? That was my head exploding after reading the cover story in today’s Orange County Register.

From the article:

Though the diocese’s growth was exponential, there was also a period of turmoil when the nationwide Catholic Church sex abuse scandal erupted. Bishop Tod Brown, who took the helm in September 1998, faced the brunt of the sexual abuse lawsuits. The diocese was the first to arrive at a settlement, for $100 million, on Jan. 15, 2004.

Brown apologized to 87 alleged victims and issued a Covenant of the Faithful, promising to be transparent with the media and the public. However, Brown later was criticized for not divulging that he also had faced an allegation of sexual abuse. That allegation was dismissed by church officials. Brown said the accusation was not true.

Speaking recently from his office in the Christ Cathedral’s pastoral center, the retired bishop said he was “unaware of the problem” when he took office. (emphasis mine)
I really hate it when people lie.

Unaware of the problem? Brown knew. He knew very, very well.

In fact, Tod Brown had (very poorly) dealt with sex abuse suits while the Vicar General of Monterey, CA in the 1980s. Plus, we can’t forget the fact that he was the target of an investigation. And Brown himself admitted that he had kept the allegation and the investigation secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Christopher "Chris" Rossman

KANSAS
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Christopher Rossman was ordained for the Archdiocese of Kansas City, KS in 2007. He assisted in parishes in Olathe and Topeka before being named pastor of two Holton parishes in 2011. He was also chaplain on the Potawatomie Reservation, Mayetta. In 2015 he became pastor of parishes in Baldwin City and Lapeer. Rossman was suspended from ministry in September 2016 after reports to church officials that he had visited inappropriate websites depicting minors. The archdiocese said it notified the FBI, and law enforcement launched an investigation.

Ordained: 2007

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Benjamin L. Wren, S.J.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Benjamin L. Wren was ordained for the Society of Jesus in 1961. He taught in the order's high schools in Dallas and El Paso TX as well as New Orleans LA. At some point, he spent a year teaching in Tokyo. In 1970 Wren began a 35-year career on the faculty of New Orleans' Loyola University. He was a professor of Asian history and a popular teacher of Zen. He left the Jesuits in 1996 to marry, remaining a Loyola faculty member. He died in 2006.

In fall 2015 a woman reported to Loyola University administrators that Wren had sexually assaulted her "dozens of times" 1978-1985, beginning when she was age 5. Her grandmother worked on campus. She said the abuse included forced oral sex and intercourse, and that Wren said she and her family would die and go to hell if she told. The Jesuits' southern provincial apologized and offered payment for her treatment. In September 2016 the woman filed suit against the University, the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and the Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province. She claimed that the church's lawyers tried to "extend and delay" her filing beyond the prescription period.

Born: 1931
Ordained: 1961
Died: July 20, 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 PM

Papst will Kirche von "Sexbesessenheit befreien"

VATIKAN
RP

[The pope wants to liberate the church from an obsession with sex.]

Weingarten. Auch wenn in Rom einige offenen Widerstand gegen den Papst leisten, will er große Veränderungen einleiten. Dabei will er, wie ein Vatikanist berichtet, etwas gegen die "Sexbessenheit" der Kirche unternehmen und dabei soll es nicht nur um Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs gehen.

Papst Franziskus hat nach den Worten des italienischen Vatikan-Journalisten und Buchautors Marco Politi "viele Baustellen eröffnet". Als Beispiele nannte er die Gründung des Kardinalsrates zur Kurienreform mit Bischöfen aus allen Kontinenten, die Familiensynode zum Umgang mit wiederverheirateten Geschiedenen und das Gericht, vor das Bischöfe kommen können, wenn sie Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs zu vertuschen versucht haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Pittsburgh diocese to 'cooperate fully' with sex abuse investigation, bishop says

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Eric Veronikis | everonikis@pennlive.com

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will cooperate fully with the state's investigation of sex abuse allegations within the diocese, Bishop David Zubik said in a written statement posted in a CBS Pittsburgh story.

The state attorney general's office subpoenaed the diocese as part of its grand jury investigation of sex abuse within the Harrisburg, Allentown and Pittsburgh dioceses.

Zubik stated:

"In the ongoing need to protect children from abuse, I welcome the opportunity to work closely with the state attorney general's office. In his cover letter to me, Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye wrote that "our efforts do not have to be adversarial. . . . Our work to protect children and seek the truth should be a joint endeavor." I could not agree more. We are absolutely committed to protecting children from abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

State AG subpoenas Diocese of Pittsburgh's records amid grand jury investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
WPXI

[with video]

PITTSBURGH - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is cooperating with a grand jury investigation after receiving a subpoena from the state attorney general‘s office, Bishop David Zubik said Friday.

Below is the full statement that the bishop released Friday night:

“The Diocese of Pittsburgh has received a subpoena from the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, requesting cooperation with a grand jury investigation.

“In the ongoing need to protect children from abuse, I welcome the opportunity to work closely with the state attorney general's office. In his cover letter to me, Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye wrote that ‘our efforts do not have to be adversarial. . . . Our work to protect children and seek the truth should be a joint endeavor.’ I could not agree more. We are absolutely committed to protecting children from abuse.

“The Diocese of Pittsburgh is cooperating fully with the grand jury by turning over records requested of the diocese. It is my hope that this is a first step toward the government working with all institutions to address this serious matter.

“I ask your prayers for all victim-survivors and their families. May God guide everyone in efforts to provide comfort and healing to victim-survivors of abuse. May God enlighten everyone engaged in this legal process.”

Target 11 learned the attorney general's office issued the subpoena about two weeks ago. The office is asking for files dating back to 1947 for any allegations of child abuse or confirmed child abuse by priests.

Zubik said he believes the request stems from the grand jury report earlier this year that found nearly 50 priests molested hundreds of children over several decades in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.

When asked whether he was confident in saying there’s no cover-up, Zubik replied, “I would have to absolutely say that. No cover-up.”

Zubik also denied knowing of any incidents of child sex abuse inside the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Hon asks Pope to remove Apuron as archbishop of Agana

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 17, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Guam's Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai is hoping to put the brakes on Substitute Bill 326. Recently passed on session floor, the legislation would lift the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases. In a message read to churchgoers over the weekend, entitled Putting the house in order without burning it down, Archbishop Hon says the bill is retroactive therefore could have "very damaging unintended consequences, so much so that the Bill threatens vital parts of the Church mission here on Guam."

Specifically, the Archbishop says the legislation exposes the Archdiocese to unlimited financial liability, and notes other dioceses who were forced into bankruptcy as a result of similar laws in the states.

Church goers are asked to sign a petition at the end of mass in hopes of swaying Governor Eddie Calvo to veto the bill, but introduce legislation that would only hold abusers accountable, not institutions.

Archbishop Hon is currently in Rome and assures he is urging the Holy See to remove Archbishop Anthony Apuron as Archbishop of Agana and to appoint a successor. According to Hon, he and the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Agana presented a letter to Apuron asking him to resign. That was unsuccessful and has forced Hon to call on the Holy See to remove Apuron.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Letter from the Apostolic Administrator to the faithful of Guam

GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

Putting the house in order without burning it down

I write this letter to you from Rome on the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, and to her I prayed for all of you before writing.

DOWNLOAD FULL MESSAGE

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Archbishop Hon to Pope Francis: Remove Apuron as head of archdiocese

GUAM/ROME
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 17, 2016

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai has urged Pope Francis to remove Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron as head of the Archdiocese of Agana because of gravely serious allegations of sex abuse of altar boys.

“I want you to know that I am in Rome to urge the Holy See to remove Archbishop Apuron as archbishop of Agana and to appoint a successor,” Hon said in his two-page statement. “I can assure you that the gravely serious allegations against Archbishop Apuron will continue to be dealt with by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which will hold a canonical trial. His Holiness, Pope Francis, is monitoring the proceedings.”

Pope Francis temporarily stripped Apuron of his administrative powers over the Catholic church on Guam and temporarily replaced him with Hon on June 6.

Hon, who is currently at the Vatican in Rome, issued a two-page statement that he wants to be read at Sunday Mass on Sept. 18.

Hon said he is reinforced in his efforts by the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Agana which has presented two letters — the first asking Apuron to resign and when that was unsuccessful, the second calling on the Holy See to remove him.

“On behalf of the Church, I want to apologize personally to the survivors of sexual abuse everywhere who have suffered so much at the hands of clergy. We cannot undo the appalling betrayal of trust and faith and the horrendous acts that clergy have committed against the youngest and most innocent among us. We are committed to helping them heal in body and soul,” Hon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Pastor arrested for sexual abuse has Portland ties

OREGON
KATU

by Kellee Azar, KATU News
Friday, September 16th 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. — Pastor Adair Krack has led the First Baptist Church in Hoquiam, Washington for five years.

Deputies in Gray’s Harbor County say Krack is accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl at his home during a week-long Bible school.

Prior to working in Hoquiam, Krack worked at two churches in Portland.

“There were things that he would do that just didn't strike us quite right,” Keith Allen, who worked with Krack, said.

Allen worked with Krack at First Baptist in Portland in the 1990s, specifically with kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Editorial: Clarify law to punish child predators for each image

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board
Saturday, September 17th, 2016

If you don’t think New Mexico has become a destination – or a haven – for child predators, consider these recently publicized cases:

Sept. 2: Paul Cunningham, a former Los Alamos pastor, was sentenced to one year in jail followed by two years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to one charge of possessing and one charge of distributing child pornography.

June 16: The Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force announced it had made nearly two dozen arrests in a two-month operation. Fifteen of the 21 men arrested were charged with possessing and/or distributing child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Diocese of Pittsburgh subpoenaed by state grand jury investigating possible sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

BY MADASYN CZEBINIAK | Friday, Sept. 16, 2016

The state Attorney General's Office has subpoenaed the Diocese of Pittsburgh for records dating to 1947 to be used in a grand jury investigation into possible child sexual abuse, and the diocese is cooperating with the investigation, Bishop David Zubik announced Friday.

“In the ongoing need to protect children from abuse, I welcome the opportunity to work closely with the state Attorney General's Office,” Zubik said.

The bishop said that Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye requested the records and wrote in his cover letter, “our efforts do not have to be adversarial. ... Our work to protect children and seek the truth should be a joint endeavor.”

The bishop stated, “I could not agree more. We are absolutely committed to protecting children from abuse.”

The Attorney General's Office did not respond to request for comment Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Statement of Bishop David A. Zubik regarding grand jury

PENNSYLVANIA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has received a subpoena from the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, requesting cooperation with a grand jury investigation.

In the ongoing need to protect children from abuse, I welcome the opportunity to work closely with the state attorney general’s office. In his cover letter to me, Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye wrote that “our efforts do not have to be adversarial. . . . Our work to protect children and seek the truth should be a joint endeavor.” I could not agree more. We are absolutely committed to protecting children from abuse.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh is cooperating fully with the grand jury by turning over records requested of the diocese. It is my hope that this is a first step toward the government working with all institutions to address this serious matter.

I ask your prayers for all victim-survivors and their families. May God guide everyone in efforts to provide comfort and healing to victim-survivors of abuse. May God enlighten everyone engaged in this legal process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

State grand jury investigating sexual abuse by priests subpoenas Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
WTAE

[statement from Bishop Zubik]

PITTSBURGH —The state grand jury investigating sexual abuse by priests has widened their probe and subpoenaed the files of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Bishop David Zubik said the diocese will work closely with the state attorney general's office.

"We are absolutely committed to protecting children from abuse," Zubik wrote in a statement.

In the same statement it says that the cover letter of the subpoena said, "
Our efforts do not have to be adversarial ... our work to protect children and seek the truth should be a joint endeavor."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Pittsburgh Diocese Subpoenaed As Part Of Grand Jury Probe Into Priest Sex Abuse Allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has been subpoenaed by the state Attorney General’s Office as part of an investigation into the allegations of sex abuse by priests.

In a statement, Bishop David Zubik says the Diocese will cooperate fully with investigators.

“We immediately responded to the Attorney General’s wish and said that we would cooperate fully,” said Bishop Zubik. “They were very specific about asking us to prepare to turn any files over that we had on accusations that were made against anybody about sexual misconduct with children, whether that’s credible or not credible.”

The statement reads:

“In the ongoing need to protect children from abuse, I welcome the opportunity to work closely with the state attorney general’s office. In his cover letter to me, Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye wrote that “our efforts do not have to be adversarial. . . . Our work to protect children and seek the truth should be a joint endeavor.” I could not agree more. We are absolutely committed to protecting children from abuse.

“The Diocese of Pittsburgh is cooperating fully with the grand jury by turning over records requested of the diocese. It is my hope that this is a first step toward the government working with all institutions to address this serious matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

September 16, 2016

Some hope Harrisburg diocese investigation gives answers

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Ed Mahon, emahon@ydr.com September 16, 2016

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, who has said he was abused by a priest in 1984, said a grand jury investigation into clergy sex abuse can finally help victims understand how priests abused children in other parishes.

“It allows us to start getting answers we have been searching for our whole life,” Rozzi, of Berks County, said Friday.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has received a grand jury subpoena from the state attorney general’s office, and Rozzi said he was asked to testify about child sex abuse in front of a grand jury in August.

The extent of the investigation is not clear. Rozzi, who told the Allentown Morning Call that the Allentown diocese is also being investigated, said he’s heard from abuse victims from across the state who have been asked to testify.

The Harrisburg diocese includes York, Adams, Franklin and Lebanon counties, among others in the region. The diocese said Friday that it is cooperating with the attorney general’s office, and noted its efforts to prevent child abuse and help survivors heal and recover. The Allentown diocese said it's committed to the safety of children, and its policy is to cooperate with law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 PM

Religion in the United States is worth more than Apple, Google and Amazon COMBINED - with a revenue of $1.2 trillion a year

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail (UK)

By CLEMENCE MICHALLON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

Religion across the United States is worth more than Apple, Google and Amazon combined, a new study has shown.

Researchers from Georgetown University and the Newseum Institute in Washington, DC, calculated how much money religion generates each year in the country.

They provided three different estimates. The mid-range number puts the annual value of America's faith economy at $1.2 trillion.

This estimate takes into account revenue from faith-based organizations, such as schools and hospitals, as well as the goods and services they provide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 PM

Bridgeport diocese haunted by past abuse

CONNECTICUT
CT Post

By Daniel Tepfer Updated Friday, September 16, 2016

BRIDGEPORT — In 2001, The Rev. Robert Morrissey, then pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Ridgefield, angrily denounced from the pulpit the growing priest abuse scandal as a witch hunt contending he knew of no priests who had abused children.

One year later he was forced to resign after being confronted with allegations he had molested a 15-year-old boy in the late 1970s.

A lawsuit pending in Superior Court here states he molested a boy at St. Mary’s School in Greenwich.
Lawyers for five alleged male victims, all former altar boys, of five priests in the 1970s and 1980s pressed Thursday for the diocese to make records on the cases public.

“There's no better proof that bishops aren't reforming than their continuing legal maneuvers to maintain secrecy about clergy sex crimes and cover ups at all costs,” said David Clohessy, director of the national organization Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, the day after diocese lawyers urged a judge here Thursday to keep records of abuse by priests secret.

“Remember all those pledges by bishops to be ‘transparent’ about clergy sex crimes?” he said. "Clearly those promises were nothing but public relations.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Shifting the focus

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

September 16, 2016 Joelle Casteix

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who had just read a pretty expansive article on child sexual abuse and civil laws. What struck her was the author’s (correct) assertion that most child predators are NOT pedophiles.

Of course, I said. True “pedophiles,” that is, adults who are sexually attracted to prepubescent children, are only a small portion of the people who prey on children.

But the media and apologists tend to only focus on them, even though there is a far larger and more diverse population of people who commit sex crimes against children.

This is something that the survivors’ community knows well, but that gets lost in the great discussion.

An example: Bill Donohue, the president of the (somewhat questionable) Catholic League, is always quick to say that most of the sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is “ephebophila,” a non-specific term meant to describe adults who are attracted to children who have reached or in the middle of puberty. He says it’s less of a crime and less damaging to the children. Nothing could be more wrong.

When we use labels like “pedophila” and “ephebophilia,” we make child sexual abuse all about sex. But it isn’t about sex: it’s about power. Otherwise, why else would a child bully and sexually abuse another child? Why would sports hazing move into sexual assault and rape? Why would a teacher molest dozens of high school students? It’s the power.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Six of state's eight Catholic dioceses under investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Steve Esack
Call Harrisburg Bureau

Pittsburgh grand jury looking at child sex abuse allegation from churches across state

HARRISBURG — Four more Catholic dioceses — Erie, Greensburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton — have been swept into a grand jury investigation of clergy sex abuse and cover-up allegations in communities stretching from the Delaware River to the Monongahela.

On Friday, officials in the Erie, Scranton and Greensburg dioceses confirmed they received subpoenas from the Pennsylvania attorney general's office. Their confirmations come a day after the Harrisburg Diocese told the newspaper that it, too, had gotten a subpoena.

The Allentown Diocese also is part of the grand jury probe, according to a state lawmaker who testified before the grand jury in Pittsburgh. Allentown diocesan officials have declined to comment on the probe.

State prosecutors have been taking testimony in Pittsburgh for months in a wide-ranging investigation that started with a scathing March report detailing allegations of abuse by about 50 priests and other religious leaders in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and a coverup by church officials.

Six of the state's eight Catholic dioceses have gotten subpoenas. The subpoenas — seeking personnel files and testimony from church officials — were sent to the Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton dioceses, The Morning Call has learned.

The Greensburg Diocese in southwestern Pennsylvania "received a subpoena from the statewide investigative grand jury," spokesman Jerry Zufelt said in a statement. "The diocese is cooperating, and will continue to cooperate, with law enforcement officials in this matter. The Diocese of Greensburg takes the protection of all children and young people seriously. Names and facts of any allegation of misconduct will continue to be reported immediately to the proper civil authorities."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

State subpoenas Diocese of Pittsburgh files on sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

September 16, 2016

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The state attorney general’s office has subpoenaed any documents relating to sexual abuse by priests from the Diocese of Pittsburgh and other Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania as part of a widening grand jury investigation.

Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik confirmed Friday evening that the diocese received the subpoena within the last two weeks. The state is asking for any documents related to abuse by priests dating to 1947. Several other Catholic dioceses have received similar subpoenas.

The broad sweep of the subpoena mirrors what a state grand jury investigation obtained last year from the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and a Hollidaysburg-based order of Franciscans, leading to scathing reports earlier this year on the handling of sexually abusive priests by their superiors. In those cases, investigators executed search warrants to seize the documents.

Bishop Zubik said the subpoena gives the diocese time to fulfill the broad request, which was accompanied by a cover letter from Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye that said, “our efforts do not have to be adversarial. . . . Our work to protect children and seek the truth should be a joint endeavor.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

Investigation into clergy sex-abuse expands to Harrisburg diocese, maybe more

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITER

A state grand jury probe into clergy sex-abuse that began three years ago in Altoona-Johnstown has expanded to the Harrisburg diocese and possibly others across Pennsylvania, according to people with knowledge of the investigation.

A spokesman for the Harrisburg diocese confirmed Friday it had received a subpoena in connection with the case.

"We are cooperating fully," spokesman Joe Aponick said, declining to elaborate.

Investigators have sought the names of known abusers in all eight Catholic dioceses statewide, Altoona-area victims' lawyer Richard Serbin said Friday.

A report in the Allentown Morning Call said state agents and prosecutors are also examining misconduct within the Allentown Diocese. In a written statement Friday, that diocese did not confirm or address the report, but said its policy was "to cooperate with law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Harrisburg diocese under investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Associated Press and Staff Reports
September 16, 2016

A state lawmaker who says he was abused by a suburban Philadelphia priest more than three decades ago now says state prosecutors are investigating priest abuse accusations in that diocese and in Harrisburg.

Democratic state Rep. Mark Rozzi says the state attorney general's office has a grand jury investigating the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg.

The Harrisburg diocese includes York, Adams, Franklin and Lebanon counties, among others in the region.

A spokesman for the Harrisburg diocese tells The Morning Call it has received a subpoena from the grand jury.

In August, a York Daily Record investigation reported that the Diocese of Harrisburg acknowledged by name 15 priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children and who at one time worked in the diocese — including one who served in Dallastown in 1989-90.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

‘No surprise to us’: Grand jury investigates Harrisburg diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC 27

Chris Davis
Published: September 16, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Some Midstate churches are under the microscope six months after a critical report about child sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

The state attorney general’s office is now investigating at least two more Catholic districts, including Harrisburg.

The investigation first came to light in the Allentown Morning Call thanks to state Rep. Mark Rozzi. He told ABC27 by phone Friday afternoon he testified in front of a grand jury in Pittsburgh last month about abuse he suffered as an altar boy in Allentown.

That diocese is now also under investigation.

“It came as no surprise to us,” said Nate Foote, an attorney with Andreozzi and Associates, a law firm that handles sexual abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Lawmaker to clergy sex abuse victims: 'There's still time to tell your story'

PENNSYLVANIA
Lehigh Valley Live

By Sarah Cassi | For lehighvalleylive.com

Mark Rozzi's rape at the hands of Pennsylvania priest is not a secret anymore.

The state representative from Berks County has spoken publicly about his sex abuse as a 13-year-old boy, including sharing his story on the House floor in Harrisburg.

But Rozzi's retelling last month in Pittsburgh, as part of his testimony before a grand jury investigating claims of child sex abuse in the Allentown and Harrisburg dioceses, was still pivotal, he said.

"I never told my story in front of people who had a stake in moving it forward," Rozzi said of his Aug. 17 testimony, which he said lasted more than three hours. "It was so justifying and so rewarding."

Word came Thursday and Friday that the Allentown and Harrisburg dioceses are being investigated for child sex abuse claims by a state grand jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

'Catholic community enforces strict policies': Church lobby group responds to news of investigation into priest abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

Pennsylvania's Catholic community enforces strict policies to ensure all children are safe on church property - particularly from child sex abuse.

That was the message from the spokeswoman for the legislative branch of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania on Friday.

In a statement regarding news that the state Attorney General's office has been conducting for months a grand jury investigation into allegations of child sex abuse across the state's dioceses, Amy Hill, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, reiterated that the "Catholic community" maintained strict policies to ensure the welfare of all children on church property. The church, she noted, also offers assistance to survivors and their families such as counseling, addiction treatment, medication, and transportation.

"We will continue to offer assistance to enable healing as long as it is needed," Hill said in a written statement.

News that the state Attorney General's office was conducting a statewide probe into allegations of child sex abuse across the Catholic dioceses was first reported by The Morning Call. On Friday, the Harrisburg Diocese confirmed to PennLive that it was one of the diocese's under investigation by the agency. Others include Pittsburgh and Allentown, two of the biggest dioceses in the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Catholic bishops across state subpoenaed in child abuse probe

PENNSYLVANIA
Your Erie

Bishop Lawrence Persico was subpoenaed to provide information to a statewide grand jury investigation into child abuse in the Catholic church.

Persico was subpoenaed Sept. 1 to give any information related to past and present allegations of sexual abuse of children in the Diocese of Erie.

Several bishops across the state were subpoenaed at the same time, according to a statement by the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

MO--Victims respond to damning KC police misconduct

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 16, 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)

Corrupt and callous Kansas City cops must be fired and prosecuted for putting suffering children through even more suffering by ignoring or concealing known or suspected crimes.

[MSN]

It’s not enough that some claim “progress” is being made now. It’s not enough that officers have been moved back to street patrols and out of the crimes against children division. (If officers are so irresponsible that they’ll let hurting kids keep hurting, it’s unlikely they’ll suddenly ‘reform’ and start acting responsibly toward adults.)

Ignoring wrongdoing encourages more wrongdoing.

It’s just heart-breaking that KCPD officers have repeatedly violated the trust of crime victims and enabled criminals to commit more crimes. We desperately hope that these brave victims report again and keep reporting – to police, prosecutors, even federal officials – until they are heard and justice is done. Giving up helps no one.

No matter what politicians or police officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered violent or sexual crimes to continue protecting kids by calling police – and persist, no matter how many delays - and get help by calling therapists, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, victims will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

ME--In new lawsuit, man reports abuse by 2 priests

MAINE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, September 16, 2016

For more information: David Clohessy 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com

A convicted murderer who says his crime stemmed, in part, from being sexually abused as a boy by priests is filing a civil lawsuit charging that two clerics assaulted him.

[Portland Press Herald]

Jeff Libby was sentenced to 60 years in prison in Maine for killing his grandfather in 1986. Experienced therapists who have evaluated Libby strongly believe his childhood trauma contributed significantly to Libby’s crime.

In 2009, Libby received a settlement from the Hartford CT archdiocese after they deemed his abuse report against Fr. Richard P. McGann credible. Libby estimates that Fr. McGann assaulted him about 200 times.

Now, in a new civil lawsuit against Maine Catholic officials, Libby is also charging that two other priests assaulted him in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The accused are

--ex-prison chaplain Fr. Christian F. Roy of Maine and

--Fr. Raymond Lauzon, who was sued multiple times in the 1990s over alleged abuse.

Fearing retaliation and feeling shame, Libby was unable to report the crimes after they happened.

“We applaud Jeff for reporting the suffering he endured at the hands of these priests,” said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “Innocent kids and vulnerable adults are safer when predators are exposed.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Harrisburg diocese under investigation; police called to office of state representative who testified to investigators

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

State Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) on Friday called police to his district office after a member of his staff received a threatening phone call.

"They felt it was crazy enough to call Capital Police and also bring in our local township police," Rozzi said speaking by phone from his district office in Mullenberg Township . "They are saying a lot of crazy things. They are concerned."

The call came amid a story published by The Morning Call detailing a statewide investigation by the state Attorney General's office into allegations of clergy sex abuse.

Among the diocese being investigated by grand jury prosecutors are the dioceses of Harrisburg, Allentown and Pittsburgh.

Rozzi said that while Friday's caller was prompted by the story in The Morning Call, he has in the past received similar threatening calls.

"They are very will do anything to protect the church," he said "That's what this one guy is. This has nothing to do with the church. This is about predators within the church that are protected by the hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Expect worse cases of clergy abuse: Witnesses in state investigation into allegations in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Allentown

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

Several of the witnesses called to testify before a grand jury investigation by the state Attorney General's office into allegations of clergy sex abuse across dioceses in the state are warning that they expect those findings to dwarf an earlier report this year out of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

"After reading the Altoona-Johnstown report, I thought it couldn't get much worse but from hearing stories from victims about their abuse in Allentown it's going to make the Altoona-Johnstown report look mild," said Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), who gave testimony to investigators a month ago in Pittsburgh.

"The number of people that I know that want to testify clearly outweighs the number that they were able to get in Altoona-Johnstown," he said on Friday. "I think you are really going to see some horrific stories of abuse that you didn't see in Altoona."

The Harrisburg Diocese on Friday confirmed that it had received a subpoena from the Attorney General's office to testify in a statewide probe into allegations of child sex abuse by priests from dioceses across the state, including those in Allentown and Pittsburgh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Arizona pastor molested young children for over three decades, impregnated girl he illegally married

ARIZONA
New York Daily News

BY CHRIS SOMMERFELDT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Friday, September 16, 2016

A perverted Arizona pastor has been arrested for allegedly molesting several children — at one point impregnating a 13-year-old girl he had illegally married in Mexico, prosecutors said.

Jose Vicente Morales, 49, was arrested Sept. 9 at his Phoenix home after one young accuser's mother alerted authorities of the pastor's appalling acts, KNXV-TV reports.

An investigation is ongoing but cops have so far found Morales molested at least five girls over the the past three decades, several of whom were as young as 7.

Many of Morales' victims attended his church, Iglesia Impacto De Fe, cops said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

Pastor is arrested after he 'dated an 8-year-old girl, married her at 10 and got her pregnant three years later'

ARIZONA
Daily Mail (UK)

By THOMAS BURROWS FOR MAILONLINE

A pastor has been arrested after he allegedly molested several children - including a 13-year-old girl he had illegally married.

Jose Morales, 49, was arrested at his home in Phoenix after the mother of one of his victims alerted police.

She noticed her daughter, 17, had been self-harming as a result of the sexual abuse Morales allegedly did to her five years earlier.

An investigation is ongoing but police have so far found the pastor molested at least five girls over a 30-year period.

Morales came to Arizona in 1986 at the age of 19.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Who Is Jose Vincente Morales? Arizona Pastor Impregnated 13-Year-Old Girl, Faces Child Molestation Claims, Police Say

ARIZONA
International Business Times

[with video]

BY CORTNEY DRAKEFORD ON 09/16/16

Church is supposed to be a safe space where anyone can come and worship a higher spiritual power, but an Arizona pastor has been accused of violating that safety by allegedly molesting children for several years who belonged to the house of worship he presided over. Jose Vincente Morales was arrested last week after he allegedly sexually targeted youth members of the Iglesia Impacto De Fe in Phoenix as well as other children outside of the church. During this time, he also impregnated a girl when she was 13 years old, local news outlet ABC 15 reported.

The 49-year-old man was arrested Sept. 9 at his Phoenix home after the mother of one of his alleged victims told police about the crimes she said were committed against her child. The mother said she noticed her child began to self-mutilate as a result of the sexual abuse she allegedly suffered five years earlier.

Although the case is still under investigation, police have already found that Morales has molested at least five girls within the last three decades, some who were as young as seven years old, the New York Daily News reported.

Back in 1986, when Morales first arrived to Arizona at 19 years old, he was in a relationship with an 8-year-old girl who he married once she turned 10 in Mexico. When she was 13 years old, the girl became pregnant.

Since the local media began reporting on the crimes, several of Morales’ alleged victims have come forward. An 18-year-old church member told police that the pastor sexually assaulted her. Another victim told authorities that he molested her from the age of seven until she was 12 years old. Police stated that none of the assaults took place on church property but some did occur in homes and swimming pools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Pastor arrested for child molestation

GEORGIA
CBS 46

By Briana Belser, Digital Content Producer

COBB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -
Danny Wells, also known as Pastor 7, has been arrested and charged with rape and aggravated child molestation.

The incident occurred at The Garden recovery center where Wells is the founder and pastor. He's accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old juvenile who was staying at the center with their family. That child was interviewed by detectives where the victim disclosed the sexual abuse.

The Garden recovery center is a non-profit organization for "that reaches out to the lost and broken of Atlanta and beyond," according to their website. It's home to over 60 women and 40 children rescued from the streets. Wells started this program after growing up homeless himself.

This isn't Pastor 7's first run in with the law however. According to the site, he has a history of drugs, firearms, money laundering and the mafia. He spent time in solitary confinement and was released back in 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 PM

Cobb pastor charged with sexual abuse of 10-year-old girl at shelter

GEORGIA
Atlanta Journal Constitution

A Cobb County pastor is charged with sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl while she was staying at the homeless shelter his ministry ran.

Danny Wells — founder of the 7 Bridges to Recovery ministry, and known as Pastor 7 — was arrested Thursday morning on charges of rape and aggravated child molestation, according to Cobb County police.

The investigation began in Dothan, Alabama, where the girl told detectives she was abused at The Garden at 2840 Plant Atkinson Road in Smyrna.

According to the shelter's website, The Garden is described as “… a home for 105 women and children and a program for 25 men that have all been rescued from the streets. These men and women continue to go to the streets multiple times a week reaching out to the lost.”

"The investigation into this incident is ongoing and there may be additional victims," police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Smyrna pastor charged with child molestation, rape

GEORGIA
11 Alive

Greg Rossino, WXIA September 16, 2016

SMYRNA, Ga. -- A local pastor has been arrested and charged with child molestation and rape following an investigation from County Police Department’s Crimes Against Children’s Unit.

According to detectives, the investigation originally began in Dothan, Alabama, leading to the interview of a 10-year-old juvenile victim.

During the interview, the juvenile victim disclosed she was sexually abused by "Pastor 7" David Wells, while staying at the recovery center, The Garden, in Smyrna, Ga. with family.

The Garden, which "is home to about 60 women and 40 children that have been rescued from homelessness or broken situations," was founded by Wells back in 2008.

According to the recovery center's website, "(Wells) was released from prison in 2000 and God told him to go into the streets and under the bridges and love those with this new love he had been given. Eventually, he was given a home and began rescuing men off the streets and bringing them into his house. Then, women and children started showing up wanting help and God eventually provided the Garden, a home for women and children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

9/15/16 Action Alert: Hitting the Hill Hard

PENNSYLVANIA
Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse - FACSA

1. Tuesday 9/20/16 | 10:30 AM | "Spotlight" Press Conference with Spotlight’s Phil Saviano, Joe Crowley and Eric MacLeash | Philadelphia Sheraton Downtown | (MAP HERE)

The press conference follows an earlier panel discussion about the true story behind the movie focusing on the role of the media, the importance of civil remedies and obstacles created by statutes of limitation.

Please spread the word and join us as we attempt a final push to get the original version of HB 1947 (that passed the House overwhelmingly in April) back onto the House Floor for a vote and onto the Senate for concurrence.

Also, if you happen to know a survivor or family member of any of the priests from the 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report, please pass along this invitation. Also, if you have knowledge about where the priests are currently located, and especially if they live close by to where children congregate, please let Pam Oddo know by e-mail. Pam would also appreciate an RSVP if you can attend the press conference.

2. Tuesday 9/27/16 | 10 AM | Rep. Rozzi Press Conference at the Capitol Building- more info to come as to exact location. (MAP HERE)

More on the status of the bill will be posted on our Facebook page and Twitter feed as events will likely happen quickly.

Any questions, concerns, just reply to this email and I will get it.

Marie Whitehead
Communication Coordinator for TEAM FACSA

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Allentown Diocese part of Pa. grand jury probe into child sex abuse, report says

PENNSYLVANIA
Lehigh Valley Live

By Sarah Cassi | For lehighvalleylive.com

The Diocese of Allentown has been named in a statewide grand jury investigation into child sex abuse claims, according to reports.

The Allentown and Harrisburg dioceses are part of the investigation, The Morning Call reported.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from the Reading area, confirmed to media outlets that he recently testified before the grand jury convened in Pittsburgh. Rozzi, of Muhlenberg Township, has previously revealed he was abused by an Allentown Diocese priest in 1984 when he was 13.

While grand jury proceedings are conducted in secret, grand jury witnesses can discuss their testimony.

A timeline of abuse allegations over the past 14 years involving priests with local connections.

Diocese of Allentown spokesman Matt Kerr would not confirm the diocese's involvement in the grand jury or say if the diocese was subpoenaed. He issued a statement in the wake of Rozzi's revelations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

Prayer service held in Windsor for victims of clergy abuse

CANADA
Windsor Star

[with video]

A mass was held in Windsor Thursday night at Our Lady of the Assumption for victims and survivors of clergy abuse. Similar masses were held in churches spanning the London Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

Fla. child sex sting nets 22 suspects, including Methodist pastor who volunteered in schools

FLORIDA
Washington Post

By Peter Holley September 16

The men come from any number of backgrounds and range from young to old.

In the end, Pensacola police said, they were united by a common goal: having sex with minors.

During a five-day stretch that ended Sunday, all 22 of the men — including a pastor from a Florida church — were dragged down by “Operation Undertow,” an Internet sting in which undercover agents lured suspected child predators via computer to an undisclosed Florida location, police said.

The men were snagged after they responded to ads for sex with teenage males and females created by agents on “various websites,” police said. Once the men initiated conversations with investigators, police said, warrants were issued for their arrest.

When the suspects showed up at the designated location, they were taken into custody and charged with traveling to meet after using a computer to lure a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

State probing sex abuse at two Roman Catholic dioceses, including Harrisburg

PENNSYLVANIA
WITF

Associated Press

(Allentown) -- A state lawmaker who says he was abused by a suburban Philadelphia priest more than three decades ago now says state prosecutors are investigating priest abuse accusations in two dioceses.

Democratic state Representative Mark Rozzi of Berks County says the state attorney general's office has a grand jury investigating the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown.

He says he testified several weeks ago in Pittsburgh, but declined to provide details.

A March report uncovered hundreds of abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown that spanned decades.

A spokesman for the Harrisburg diocese says it has received a subpoena from the grand jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Hoquiam pastor accused of molesting 2 girls, deputies say

WASHINGTON
AOL

[with video]

HOQUIAM, Wash. (KCPQ) — Police on Wednesday arrested a Hoquiam pastor accused of molesting two children — one of the cases dating back almost 15 years.

Authorities said Adair Krack, 67, was booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for investigation of child molestation 1st degree and child molestation 2nd degree.

According to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office:

Deputies were first contacted on Aug. 19 by the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Oregon. Investigators received a report that a 12-year-old girl from Oregon had been touched inappropriately by Krack at his home last summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Documents reveal ‘gross negligence’ in KC child sex and abuse cases

MISSOURI
MSN

Kansas City Star
By Glenn E. Rice, Donna McGuire and Ian Cummings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For years, Kansas City police detectives failed to properly investigate some rapes, serious abuse and other crimes against the city’s children. And in many instances, detectives did no work at all, internal police department memos recently obtained by the Kansas City Star reveal.

A special squad assigned a year ago to help clear backlogged cases uncovered those problems and many others so serious that in January Police Chief Darryl Forte suspended nearly the entire Crimes Against Children unit of detectives and sergeants. At the time, Forte said cases were being worked too slowly.

But police never disclosed the depth and scope of the detectives’ inaction on reported crimes — sexual assaults, broken bones, near starvation among them. The department’s own memos describe 148 “severely mishandled” cases, “gross negligence,” “incompetence” and evidence of attempts to “cover up.”

“Never in my career with the KCPD have I seen such a systemic failure,” Maj. David Lindaman wrote in a Nov. 19 memo to a deputy chief that was among hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Star.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Child protection training for new bishops is welcomed

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

by Greg Daly
September 15, 2016

The decision to involve the Vatican’s child protection commission in training new bishops is very welcome, child abuse survivor Marie Collins has said.

Mrs Collins, in Rome for a plenary assembly of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told The Irish Catholic that the commission has been “invited to take part in training of new bishops here in Rome this week”, continuing, “I will be taking part.”

She described this as “a very welcome development”.

The decision stands in sharp contrast to last year’s training course, when Msgr Tony Anatrella told newly appointed bishops it was up to victims of sexual abuse or their parents to report allegations of abuse to the civil authorities. Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who heads the child protection commission, challenged this advice, saying that bishops had an “ethical and moral” obligation to report abuse allegations.

As well as providing training for new bishops, commission members were invited to address meetings of the Pontifical Ecclesiastic Academy and the Congregation for Consecrated Life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

2 more people accuse Marrero pastor of sex crimes, raising total to 5, police say

LOUISIANA
The Times-Picayune

By Diana Samuels, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Two more people have come forward to accuse a Marrero pastor of molesting them when they were young girls, raising to five the number of people accusing him of sexual crimes as part of a growing investigation, Orleans Parish court documents said.

The documents said police have also been contacted by two additional possible victims, though their allegations are not detailed in the record.

Sherman Smith was arrested in November on aggravated rape and sexual battery charges after three people came forward. He was booked on further charges Wednesday (Sept. 13), court records showed, including indecent behavior with a juvenile, sexual battery, and molestation of a juvenile or person with a disability.

Smith, a 56-year-old Algiers resident, was a pastor at Second Highway Baptist Church, 1533 block of Haydel Drive, Marrero.

An affidavit for the recent arrest warrant said four more people came forward after information about Smith's first arrest was distributed on social media. The affidavit contains details about two of those victims' allegations. The records don't say how long ago the crimes occurred, but the original case that led to Smith's arrest had occurred about 22 years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Pastor accused of sexually assaulting teen wants bond reduced

ILLINOIS
Aurora Beacon-News

Dan Campana
Aurora Beacon-News

The leader of a North Aurora church will ask the judge overseeing his sex assault case to reduce his bail at a hearing later this month.

Ralphael Robinson, 39, who is listed with an Aurora address, appeared in Kane County court Thursday for a hearing at which he was scheduled to be arraigned on charges of criminal sex assault, criminal sex abuse, attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse and violation of sex offender registry rules. During the appearance, Robinson's attorney requested Judge Linda Abrahamson set a hearing for a bond reduction motion. Robinson remains in Kane County Jail on $107,500 bail, with arraignment and the bond issue scheduled for Sept. 30.

Robinson faces a three-count indictment alleging he "begged" to have sex with a teen girl while at Kingdom Church in April.

Authorities have said Robinson fondled and inappropriately touched the teen, who later confronted him about the incident April 18 at the church on South Lincolnway Street. Robinson, who is a registered sex offender following a 2004 sex abuse conviction in Cook County, is accused of violating registry rules after Aurora police said he gave false information, including his employment status. He pleaded guilty to a similar charge in 2004 and received probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry chairwoman to be paid £185,000

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The new chairwoman of the inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales, Prof Alexis Jay, is to be paid a salary of £185,000.

The academic and former social worker will also receive an annual accommodation allowance of £35,000.

She is the fourth person to head the inquiry. Her predecessor, Dame Lowell Goddard, who resigned last month, had criticised the scope and scale of the inquiry and said it should be reviewed.

Dame Lowell was being paid £355,000.

She received nearly £30,000 in accommodation expenses, and also claimed £3,324 in expenses last year and more than £37,000 in expenses relating to her relocation to the UK from New Zealand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Long Island milkman urges customers to donate to Democrat who supports Child Victims Act and is running against John Flanagan

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O'KEEFFE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, September 16, 2016

A Long Island milkman hopes to deliver justice to survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

The owner of Milky Whey Calfeteria has asked his 200 Suffolk County customers to donate this week's bill to the Democrat running against State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a longtime foe of efforts to reform the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases.

"In lieu of this week's milk bill payment I am requesting instead that you make a contribution to the below campaign," Milky Whey Calfeteria owner Kevin DeBlasi wrote in a letter he began distributing to his customers Wednesday. "Your September invoice will reflect zero charges for the week 9/12-9/18."

The letter includes info on how DeBlasi's moo-juice customers can donate money to the campaign of Peter Magistrale, a Democrat who supports the Child Victims Act, a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse — a caused championed by the Daily News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

State senator to draft bill that eliminates statute of limitations in sex assault cases

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By ALYSSA DANDREA
Monitor staff
Thursday, September 15, 2016

A state senator is drafting a bill that would eliminate the time frame sexual assault victims have to pursue legal action against their attackers.

Martha Fuller Clark, a Portsmouth Democrat, plans to sponsor legislation in the 2017 session that would remove the six-year limitation in felony cases involving adult victims, according to a statement issued Thursday.

Fuller Clark clarified by phone that she is also looking to eliminate the time restriction in child sexual abuse cases, which is longer, but, she argues, still insufficient.

The current statute gives prosecutors 22 years from the child’s 18th birthday – so until age 40 – to file sexual assault charges. Those same victims have less time to file a civil lawsuit; the state statute gives child victims until age 30 to seek damages.

“The timing of these charges shouldn’t be arbitrary,” she said of the limitations period in criminal cases. “We don’t know when an individual who has been traumatized will feel comfortable coming forward.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Church abuse inquiry head requests £170k pay cut

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Fri 16 Sep 2016
By Alex Williams

The new chairperson of the national inquiry into how the Church, among other UK bodies and institutions, handled child sex abuse has asked that she earns nearly 50 per cent less than her predecessor.

Prof Alexis Jay became the fourth head of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) last month after New Zealand high court judge Dame Lowell Goddard (pictured below) resigned.

The inquiry said: "Professor Jay specifically requested this salary and furthermore did not require the use of a car and driver as provided to the previous Chair."

While her successor has requested a salary of £185,000 per year, Dame Goddard was paid £355,000 in the last financial year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Former BUMFS pastor pleads guilty to felony

WEST VIRGINIA
Mineral Daily News-Tribune

Posted Sep. 15, 2016

By Barbara High
bhigh@newstribune.info
Tribune Staff Writer

BURLINGTON - Pastor Richard Hogg, former spiritual life coordinator for the Burlington United Methodist Family Services, has pled guilty in Mineral County Circuit Court to one felony count of sexual abuse of a minor by a parent, guardian, or custodian.

The incident occurred when Hogg was employed by Burlington United Methodist Family Services.

According to Mineral County prosecuting attorney Cody Pancake, Hogg was originally charged with two similar counts involving a minor following an investigation led by the West Virginia State Police.

Pancake said Hogg was not indicted by the Mineral County Grand Jury, but instead chose to plead to the information in front of a judge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Grand jury investigating sex abuse in Harrisburg Diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Fox 43

BY HOWARD SHEPPARD

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is reportedly looking into allegations of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg. That is according to an article published in the Allentown Morning Call.

The article also quotes diocese spokesperson Joe Aponick acknowledging that the diocese has received a subpoena from the state grand jury. The diocese issued a statement saying that it is cooperating with investigators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Investigatio