« September 2016 | Main | November 2016 »

October 31, 2016

CARDINAL PELL COUNSEL CLAIM CASE AGAINST 'HAS NOT BEEN MADE' AS WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS ARE PUBLISHED

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

31 October 2016 | by Mark Brolly

Cardinal George Pell has been criticised by counsel assisting Australia's Royal Commission over his part in the Catholic Church's response to abuse by clergy and religious in his home town of Ballarat, when he was a consultor to the bishop, and in Melbourne, where he was an auxiliary bishop.

On 31 October, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse published written submissions for its public hearings into the response of the Church to allegations of abuse against clergy and religious in the two Victorian cities - including those of counsel assisting the Commission and the Cardinal.

Cardinal Pell maintained in his submissions that he could not be subject to adverse findings by the Commission. In his Ballarat submission, the Cardinal's counsel, Sam Duggan, concluded that the Royal Commission could not be "comfortably satisfied" that any one of the allegations made against Cardinal Pell had been made. In his submission on the response of the Cardinal when an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne to the case of Fr Peter Searson, parish priest of Holy Family in Doveton, Mr Duggan concluded that "there is no basis for making adverse findings against Bishop Pell, as he then was, with respect to his time in Melbourne as an Auxiliary Bishop".

"George Pell may now be a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, and he accepts by virtue of that position that he is subjected to greater scrutiny than others," Duggan wrote. "But that does not mean that his involvement in historical events should be inflated or exaggerated because of the position he now holds, nor should the Royal Commission more readily make findings against him because of his title, as opposed to his actual involvement. It is submitted that consistent with the principle of even-handed justice, Cardinal Pell should be treated with the same level of fairness as any other person involved in the matters being considered by the Royal Commission."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Successor appointed for Guam archbishop accused of abuse

GUAM
Catholic News Agency

Hagatna, Guam, Oct 31, 2016 / 03:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Monday appointed Bishop Michael Byrnes as the successor to Guam's archbishop, who has been accused of sexual abuse of minors.

Bishop Byrnes has until now served as an auxiliary bishop in Detroit. His apointment as coadjutor comes with special faculties.

As Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña, Bishop Byrnes possesses the right of succession and will automatically be appointed Archbishop of Agaña when it's current ordinary, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, retires.

Though he is still formally archbishop, Apuron was relieved of his pastoral and administrative authority in June. Since then, the Agaña archdiocese has been cared for by an apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai.

“I am humbled by the Holy Father’s decision to entrust the Archdiocese of Agaña to my pastoral care,” Bishop Byrnes said upon his Oct. 31 appointment. “The great spiritual writer, Blessed Columba Marmion, wrote, 'The task of the priest is to give Jesus to the world.' That is what I have endeavored to do as an auxiliary bishop here in Detroit, and I look forward to giving Jesus to the thousands of people who live in the island of Guam.”

The Archdiocese of Agaña serves Catholics in Guam, a U.S. island territory in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Bishop Byrnes commented that “I have learned that the Catholic faith has long been embraced on the island, and the faith of the people is rooted in a rich history of devotion to Jesus and to His Blessed Mother.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

State Attorney: No proof of deception by Catholic priest

FLORIDA
NBC 2

[with video]

Updated: Oct 31, 2016

By Jaclyn Bevis, Reporter

SANIBEL ISLAND, FL -
The State Attorney's Office said there's no proof of deception or intimidation in an investigation into a Catholic priest who may have swindled an elderly parishioner.

The Diocese of Venice announced Father Christopher Senk is on paid leave. Senk's attorney said he doesn't understand the timing of the decision by the diocese or the release of information to the media.

Senk was accused of exploiting an elderly woman in the church. The Diocese reported an investigation that started in January 2015 conducted by the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

The State Attorney's Office said they determined no criminal charges were appropriate, saying the parishioner willingly gave money and was not deceived by Father Senk.

The church denied a request for comment. The Diocese of Venice refused to answer further questions about the investigation or Senk's current status.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Baylor sex assault scandal far worse than previously disclosed

TEXAS
MSN

The sexual assault scandal rocking Baylor University and its powerhouse football team was far worse than previously disclosed.

“60 Minutes Sports” has learned that, since 2011, 17 female students reported sexual or domestic assault charges against 19 Baylor football players. That includes at least four alleged gang rapes. Former Baylor President Ken Starr and celebrated football coach Art Briles lost their jobs.

Baylor prides itself on its Christian values and creating a caring community. But the “60 Minutes Sports” investigation found a culture where victims who came forward found themselves blamed for violating the university’s code of conduct, which prohibits drinking and premarital sex.

Correspondent Armen Keteyian has been investigating since May. His investigation revealed the senior vice president in charge of campus safety, Reagan Ramsower, often clashed with Patty Crawford, the university’s former Title IX coordinator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Australia--Cardinal Pell takes more criticism; Victims respond

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Oct. 31, 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)

Independent attorneys have concluded that the second or third most powerful Catholic prelate on the planet should have taken more action to safeguard kids from predators. We’re not surprised.

For decades, all across the globe, virtually every independent investigation into child sex crimes by Catholic clergy has determined that high-ranking church officials often hid, protected and enabled child molesting clerics. So too has Cardinal George Pell.

[SBS]

We share the view of Gail Furness and Stephen Free who say there’s no grounds to accept Pell's claim that he was intentionally deceived by Catholic Education Office about predator priest Peter Searson. Pell seems desperate as he tries to throw fellow church officials “under the bus” and deny his culpability, as we’ve seen so many bishops do when their wrongdoing is exposed. Pell also seems desperate when he tries to sift blame onto police, who he claims had more information about a child molesting cleric than he did.

However, we disagree with Furness and Free when they talk of Pell’s "failure” to take steps to prevent child sex crimes and when they say he “missed an important opportunity to recognise and deal with the serious risks" posed by one predator. We believe these were deliberate, repeated and self-serving decisions – not “failures” or slip-ups or oversights.

No matter what commissions or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Ex-clergyman jailed for Newton Aycliffe sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A retired clergyman convicted of what was described in court as "sinister and deliberate" sexual abuse in the 1970s and 80s has been jailed.

Granville Gibson, 80, abused two men aged 18 and 26 while he was vicar at St Claire's Church in Newton Aycliffe.

He was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault at Durham Crown Court in August.

Judge Christopher Price said Gibson had shown no remorse for the offences and sentenced him to 12 months in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Pope names Detroit bishop to Guam archdiocese rocked by sex abuse allegations

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Byrnes has been appointed by Pope Francis to take over the Archdiocese of Guam, effectively replacing an embattled archbishop accused of sexually abusing altar boys.

The Vatican announced the pope’s decision soon after he left Rome Monday (Oct. 31) for his two-day official visit to Sweden to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. But there was no indication of whether Guam’s Coadjutor Archbishop Anthony Apuron had resigned or when the succession would take place.

A coadjutor usually has the automatic right to succeed a bishop.

In September, the special investigator appointed by the pope to look into allegations of abuse urged the Vatican to remove Apuron after he 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,” wrote the investigator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, in a statement read at services in the island’s 26 Catholic churches in September. “His Holiness, Pope Francis, is monitoring the proceedings.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Church apology to victims of abuse by senior clergyman

UNITED KINGDOM
The Northern Echo

THE Church of England has issued profound apologies to the two victims of jailed sex abuser Granville Gibson.

The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler, also stated that there are “no excuses” for what took place to them at the hands of the man who rose to become Archdeacon of Auckland, one of the most senior posts within the Durham diocese.

As the 80-year-old former General Synod member, from Darlington, was given a 12-month prison sentence at Durham Crown Court, it emerged that both victims have received written apologies from the Bishop of Jarrow, on behalf of the diocese.

One of the pair has also received a personal apology in a meeting with the Right Reverend Mark Bryant, in his role as acting Bishop of Durham, in the absence of the bishop himself, who was on study leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

'£300m could be needed' to compensate all who stayed in NI residential homes

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Compensating everybody who spent time in a residential home in Northern Ireland run by or on behalf of the state could cost £300 million, a lawyer who specialises in abuse cases suggested.

Sir Anthony Hart is drawing up his report for ministers following two-and-a-half years of Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry hearings involving abuse victims and institutions.

He has already said there should be an award of compensation to those children who suffered abuse in children's homes and other institutions in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995.

A group of survivors is calling for a common experience payment of £10,000 per resident and an additional payment of £3,000 for each year spent in an institution. Each person could then apply for a further "top up" award to reflect any abusive experiences suffered in the institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:42 PM

Wunibald Müller: «Wenn ich sage, was ich denke, werde ich bestraft»

DEUTSCHLAND
cath.ch

Würzburg, 31.10.16 (kath.ch) Wunibald Müller leitete als Theologe und Psychotherapeut 25 Jahre lang das Recollectio-Haus in Münsterschwarzach. Im Ruhestand hat er nun seine Erfahrungen in der Einrichtung für kirchliche Mitarbeiter in psychologischen Ausnahmesituationen in einem Buch verarbeitet. Im Interview mit der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) spricht der katholische Theologe über seine Kritik, aber begründet auch, wieso er den Buchtitel «Warum ich dennoch in der Kirche bleibe» gewählt hat. Christian Wölfel

Wunibald Müller, ist Ihr Buch eine Abrechnung mit der Kirche?

Müller: Es ist eine Bilanz meiner persönlichen Erfahrungen in der Kirche, vor allem vor dem Hintergrund meiner Tätigkeit im Rahmen der Kirche.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Missbrauchs-Prozess gegen Kirche in Großbritannien beginnt

GROSSBRITANNIEN
domradio

[Abuse trial against the Catholic church in Britain begins.]

In Großbritannien hat ein millionenschwerer Missbrauchsprozess gegen die katholische Kirche begonnen. Es geht um Schadensersatz-Klagen von fünf Missbrauchsopfern und früheren Kinderheimbewohnern.

Der Oberste Gerichtshof in Leeds verhandelt die Schadensersatz-Klagen von fünf Missbrauchsopfern und früheren Kinderheimbewohnern gegen die Diözese Middlesborough und den Orden der Brüder der Christlichen Schulen. Das Verfahren bezeichneten Opfervertreter als Präzedenzfall. Sollten die Kläger in dem dreiwöchigen Prozess Erfolg haben, drohe der katholischen Kirche in Großbritannien eine Klagewelle mit "den höchsten Auszahlungen in ihrer Geschichte", so die Tageszeitung "The Guardian" (Montag).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Missbrauchskommission hält Pell für unglaubwürdig

AUSTRALIEN
religion@orf

Kurz nach seiner Befragung durch die australische Polizei in Rom muss Kurienkardinal George Pell einen Rückschlag bei der Untersuchung seiner Rolle im australischen Missbrauchsskandal hinnehmen.

Die australische Missbrauchskommission hält Aussagen von Kardinal Pell und anderen Kirchenoffiziellen der Diözesen Melbourne und Ballarat für unglaubwürdig. Gail Furness, Anwältin der Missbrauchskommission, „glaubt den Aussagen einer Reihe von Zeugen aus Ballarat und Melbourne und nicht denen von Kardinal Pell“, hieß es in den am Montag veröffentlichten Dokumenten der Kommissions-Anhörung zu den Missbrauchsfällen in den Diözesen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Kommission hält Aussagen von Kardinal Pell für unglaubwürdig

AUSTRALIEN
Domradio

Kurz nach seiner Befragung durch die australische Polizei in Rom muss Kardinal George Pell einen Rückschlag bei der Untersuchung seiner Rolle im australischen Missbrauchsskandal hinnehmen.

Die australische Missbrauchskommission hält Aussagen von Kardinal Pell und anderen Kirchenoffiziellen der Diözesen Melbourne und Ballarat für unglaubwürdig. Gail Furness, Anwältin der Missbrauchskommission, "glaubt den Aussagen einer Reihe von Zeugen aus Ballarat und Melbourne und nicht den von Kardinal Pell", hieß es in den am Montag veröffentlichten Dokumenten der Kommissions-Anhörung zu den Missbrauchsfällen in den Diözesen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Detroit Regional Bishop Michael Byrnes named by Pope Francis as Coadjutor Archbishop of Agana in U.S. Territory of Guam

MICHIGAN/GUAM
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct 31, 2016
For more information contact:
Joe Kohn, Director of Public Relations
Kohn.Joseph@aod.org
313-237-5943

Bishop Michael J. Byrnes, who has been serving as a regional bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit since his ordination as a bishop in May 2011, today was named by Pope Francis to be the Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana, the archdiocese in the U.S. territory of Guam in the South Pacific. Bishop Byrnes will lead the diocese in the absence of Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron(a-puh-RON), OFM-Cap., who in June was relieved by the Vatican of his pastoral and administrative authority. The archdiocese had been led in the interim by apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB (Sah-vee-o Hahn T-eye F-EYE). Bishop Byrnes will be given the full pastoral responsibility and administrative authority in the archdiocese. Guam is an island of 210 square miles situated north of Australia, south of Japan and east of the Philippines. Approximately 80 percent of the territory’s 165,000 inhabitants are Catholic.

"I am humbled by the Holy Father’s decision to entrust the Archdiocese of Agana to my pastoral care," said Bishop Byrnes. "The great spiritual writer, Blessed Columba Marmion, wrote, 'The task of the priest is to give Jesus to the world.' That is what I have endeavored to do as an auxiliary bishop here in Detroit, and I look forward to giving Jesus to the thousands of people who live in the island of Guam. I have learned that the Catholic faith has long been embraced on the island, and the faith of the people is rooted in a rich history of devotion to Jesus and to His Blessed Mother. At the same time, there are always challenges to face. With my brother priests and deacons, with the catechists and other pastoral workers, and above all with the spiritual gifts of the People of God, I trust we will persevere in faith, hope and love, and will exercise the 'wisdom from above' (James 3:17) to meet these challenges."

Bishop Byrnes has assisted Archbishop Vigneron in pastoral oversight in the northeast region of the Archdiocese of Detroit, which includes parts of Macomb, St. Clair and Lapeer counties. He also has been the director of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s evangelization initiative, which this year was branded Unleash the Gospel and which entails the Archdiocesan Synod which will take place Nov. 18-20 in downtown Detroit. Prior to being a bishop, Bishop Byrnes served as vice rector at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and pastor of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Parish in Detroit. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1996. His full biography is available here on the Archdiocese of Detroit website.

"Archbishop Byrnes has given exemplary pastoral service in the Archdiocese of Detroit, most recently in leading us to prepare for Synod 16 as part of our efforts to Unleash the Gospel," said Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron. "Now God has chosen him for a challenging mission almost a half-a-world away. Pope Francis, in sending Archbishop Byrnes to Guam, has recognized that he possesses not only the talents, but above all the deep faith in Jesus Christ that make him suitable for this apostolic work. He goes with our love and our prayers."

Bishop Byrnes will remain in Detroit until late November to help lead the Archdiocese of Detroit's first Synod since 1969 before transitioning to his new role in the Archdiocese of Agana.

The following resources are available for editorial use by news media without restriction:

* Bio
* Formal portrait
* Official photo
* Coat of Arms
* B-roll video package of Bishop Byrnes at events in metro Detroit

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Rome makes major announcement regarding leadership of local catholic church

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Oct 31, 2016

By Sabrina Salas Matanane

The Vatican has announced the Pope has appointed an Archbishop Coadjutor with special faculties of Agana. The Holy Father has appointed SE Mons. Jude Michael Byrnes. Prior to his appointment he was serving as the titular Bishop of Eguga and auxiliary of Detroit. According to Catholic-Heirachy.org “this is a special type of Auxiliary Bishop. They have more authority than a regular Auxiliary, but not as much as the bishop. Usually they have a "right to succession" which means that when the current bishop leaves office (by Death, Resignation, etc.) the Coadjutor automatically becomes the new bishop. It is sometimes used to help ease the transition from one bishop to the next as it allows them to work together before the new bishop takes over all responsibility. Before 1978, Coadjutor bishops were normally assigned a titular see, but that is no longer the case.” The local Catholic Church has been embroiled in controversy after several men came forward alleging that Archbishop Anthony Apuron molested them when they were altar boys decades ago when Apruon was a priest at Mt. Carmel Church in Agat. Following the allegations, the Pope sent Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai to Guam to take over while an investigation was conducted. Additionally, Apuron’s actions involving the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona have also come under scrutiny.

The attorney representing the men who have accused Archbishop Anthon Apuron of sexual molestation is holding a press conference Tuesday morning. According to a media release from attorney David Lujan’s office, the press conference will provide “a significant update regarding our interaction with the Archdiocese and its leadership.” According to Catholic-Heirachy.org, SE Mons. Byrnes was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit 20 years ago. He was born in 1958. Monsignor Byrnes attended the University of Michigan and Sacred Heart Seminary. He later attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned a Ph.D. in biblical studies.

Bishop Michael Byrnes says he humbled by the Pope’s appointment as Coadjutor Archbishop of Agana. "The great spiritual writer, Blessed Columba Marmion, wrote, 'The task of the priest is to give Jesus to the world.' That is what I have endeavored to do as an auxiliary bishop here in Detroit, and I look forward to giving Jesus to the thousands of people who live in the island of Guam. I have learned that the Catholic faith has long been embraced on the island, and the faith of the people is rooted in a rich history of devotion to Jesus and to His Blessed Mother. At the same time, there are always challenges to face. With my brother priests and deacons, with the catechists and other pastoral workers, and above all with the spiritual gifts of the People of God, I trust we will persevere in faith, hope and love, and will exercise the 'wisdom from above' (James 3:17) to meet these challenges,” stated Bishop Byrnes in a statement released by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Catholic Church Spends Big Money Fighting Marijuana Legalization

MASSACHUSETTS
Progressive Secular Humanist

October 30, 2016 by Michael Stone

The Boston Archdiocese spends big money in last-minute effort to prevent legal marijuana in Massachusetts.

According to reports the Catholic church in Boston is dumping nearly a million dollars to defeat the ballot measure known as Question 4. The measure would legalize marijuana in Massachusetts.

The Boston Globe reported Friday that the local archdiocese is spending $850,000 in an effort to beat the ballot measure known as Question 4.

However, despite the Catholic church’s efforts, the most recent poll numbers suggest the measure will likely pass. ...

Technically, the Catholic church is doing nothing illegal by acting as an anti-marijuana super Pac. Although the money would be better used compensating the numerous victims of pedphile priests, or simply by doing good works for the people of Massachusetts.

Ultimately, the fact that church funds are being used to influence American elections is not only only morally obnoxious, it is also yet another good reason why all churches should be taxed like any other business.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Pope Names Auxiliary Bishop Of Detroit As Coadjutor Archbishop Of Agana

GUAM
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

October 31, 2016

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Most Reverend Michael J. Byrnes, up until now Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Diocese of Agana. The territory of the archdiocese of Agana comprises the island of Guam.

The appointment was made public in Washington, October 31, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes was born in Detroit, Michigan on Aug. 23, 1958. He pursued seminary studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and was ordained a priest on May 25, 1996.

Assignments after ordination included serving as associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Clair Shores and as an adjunct faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He pursued post-graduate studies in 1999, at the Pontifical Gregorian University where he earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology in 2003. Returning to Detroit, he joined the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary and served as a weekend assistant at three Detroit parishes: Presentation/ Our Lady of Victory, St. Gregory the Great, and the Church of the Madonna. In 2004, he was named vice rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary and served as pastor of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory.

Archbishop Byrnes was appointed auxiliary bishop of Detroit and titular bishop of Eguga, Tunisia on March 22, 2011. He was ordained auxiliary bishop of Detroit, May, 5, 2011 and serves as episcopal vicar and regional moderator for the Northeast Region of the archdiocese. The appointment as coadjutor archbishop confers on Archbishop Byrnes the full power of a diocesan archbishop.

The diocese of Agana was established on October 14, 1965, as a suffragan of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, California. The diocese was elevated to a Metropolitan Archdiocese, May 20, 1984 with suffragan Sees of the Diocese of the Caroline Marshalls and Diocese of Chalan Kanoa (subsequently added January 13, 1985). A member of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific (CEPAC) and of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conference of Oceania (FCBCO), the archdiocese is also an observer to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Guam is an unincorporated Territory of the U.S.A. by an Act of U.S. Congress, July 21, 1949.

The Archdiocese of Agana comprises 215 square miles and has a population of 155,687 people, of whom 132,494 or 85 percent, are Catholic. The island, the largest and southernmost of the Marianas Islands, is located in the western Pacific.

# # #
MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
O: 202-541-3200

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Pope appoints new coadjutor archbishop for archdioces

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com November 1, 2016

Pope Francis appointed a new coadjutor archbishop on Monday for the Archdiocese of Agana who will have the right to succeed Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, who is facing canonical trial at the Vatican over alleged sexual abuse of altar boys.

The pope appointed Monsignor Michael Jude Byrnes, currently an auxiliary bishop in Detroit, as coadjutor archbishop for Guam, according to a press release from the Archdiocese of Detroit.

"I am humbled by the Holy Father’s decision to entrust the Archdiocese of Agana to my pastoral care," said Bishop Byrnes in the release.

A coadjutor archbishop has succession rights when a bishop or archbishop resigns, retires or is removed.

The Vatican placed Apuron, 70, on temporary leave on June 6 after former altar boys publicly accused him of rape and molestation when he was a parish priest in the 1970s, according to news files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Pope names successor to Guam archbishop accused of sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Fox News

Published October 31, 2016 Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has named a successor to Guam's archbishop, who is accused of sexually molesting altar boys, tapping an American and giving him special authority in the Pacific island archdiocese.

Monsignor Michael Jude Byrnes, currently an auxiliary bishop in Detroit, is moving to the U.S. territory as a coadjutor bishop. Coadjutors have succession rights when bishops resign, retire or are removed.

Archbishop Anthony Apuron, 70, has been accused of molesting at least five altar boys in the 1960s and '70s. He has denied the allegations, has not been charged and has refused calls to step down.

In response to the allegations, the Vatican appointed a temporary apostolic administrator for Guam.

Byrnes' nomination Monday suggests a more permanent solution, but there was no word on when the succession would occur.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Other Pontifical Acts, 31.10.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bulletin

The Holy Father appointed: ...

- Bishop Michael Jude Byrnes, auxiliary of Detroit, U.S.A., as coadjutor archbishop with special faculties in Agaña, Guam (are 474, population 165,404, Catholics 140,593, priests 50, permanent deacons religious 96), Pacific Islands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Pope sends Detroit bishop to Guam archdiocese hit by abuse allegations

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Register

BY CAROL GLATZ, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
October 31, 2016

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis appointed a Detroit auxiliary bishop to a Guam archdiocese whose leader is under a Vatican investigation for the alleged sexual abuse of minors.

Coadjutor Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes, 58, also was given "special faculties" or authority in the Archdiocese of Agana, according to a Vatican press release Oct. 31.

The appointment came several weeks after the apostolic administrator of the Agana Archdiocese requested the Vatican remove the current leader, Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, and name a successor. A coadjutor archbishop – as opposed to an auxiliary bishop – immediately succeeds an archbishop who retires or dies.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, apostolic administrator of the Agana Archdiocese, said in mid-September that he had asked the Vatican to remove Archbishop Apuron, given his refusal to resign on his own accord.

"Gravely serious allegations" of sexual abuse have been made against Archbishop Apuron, Archbishop Hon had said, adding that the situation was still being "dealt with by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which will hold a canonical trial."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Victoria Police turned blind eye to sexual assault by priests

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

PETER HOYSTED
ColumnistCanberra
@JacktheInsider

There is a general sense of fatigue throughout western Victoria. In Ballarat it is palpable.

Peter Blenkiron is a victim of clerical child sexual abuse. An erudite and articulate man, he ­remains convinced his future lies in Ballarat but worries the challenges for the city and its 100,000 strong population may prove ­insurmountable.

“For the last 20 years, all we’ve been doing is mopping up the blood,” Blenkiron says. “Twenty years from now are we going to still be doing the same thing?”

The Catholic Diocese of Balla­rat extends across 58,000 square kilometres of western Victoria, from Portland in the southwest of the state to the Murray River towns of Swan Hill and Mildura in the north. Travelling from town to town for The Australian’s podcast “Ballarat’s Children”, it slowly dawned on me that there is not a single city, town, village or tiny hamlet that is not in some way stained by clerical child sex abuse.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse case studies across Australia have uncovered appalling tales of abuse wherever children have congregated; religious and social groups and sporting ­associations. Even the country’s most prestigious schools have ­failed children. But there is ­nowhere quite like the Ballarat Diocese, where pedophile rings were active for decades and some of the worst sex offenders this country has ever seen preyed on children without hindrance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

How long can Catholic Church endure the pain of Pell?

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

John Ferguson
Victorian Editor
Melbourne
@fergusonjw

Counsel assisting the royal commission have fired both barrels into the heart of St Peter’s Basilica.

It seems odds-on that George Pell will be excoriated by the commission’s final report, which is a development that is not greatly surprising, given the direction of the questioning.

Those who have heard the commission evidence will know that Pell has been exposed on several fronts, substantively as a clergyman who held multiple senior roles after arriving in Melbourne in 1987, when he was promoted to auxiliary bishop.

Pell’s chief defence is that he played no major role in the affairs that unfolded in the Doveton parish and he was not a senior church decision-maker at the time.

More broadly, he was even more junior when working in the crime-stricken diocese of Ballarat.

The big-picture problem for Pell, the Pope and the church in Australia is how much damage it is prepared to continue to wear in defending the nation’s most powerful Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Cardinal George Pell ‘is being made a scapegoat for others’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Rebecca Urban
Journalist
Melbourne
@RurbsOz

Cardinal George Pell has launched a vociferous defence of his handling of sexual abuse allegations within the Catholic Church, insisting he was being made a “scapegoat” for others’ failings.

In a series of strongly worded submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Res­ponses to Child Sexual Abuse, Australia’s most senior church ­official denies he had the knowledge or authority required to take ­direct action against priests ­accused of sexual abuse, including the notorious priests Gerard Ridsdale and Peter Searson.

Cardinal Pell dismisses the credibility of numerous witnesses and accuses counsel assisting the commission of overstating evidence, making gratuitous submissions and relying on surmise and conjecture.

“There is not a single aspect of that evidence which establishes that Father Pell acted inappropriately in any way,” said Sam Duggan, counsel acting on behalf of Cardinal Pell, in a submission ­released yesterday.

“Ultimately, when one assesses all of the evidence placed before the commission, including that of Cardinal Pell, the commission could not be ‘comfortably satisfied’ that any one of the alle­gations made against Cardinal Pell has been made out.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

George Pell fights for reputation as key evidence rejected

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

November 1, 2016

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne
@TessaAkerman

Pia Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne
@pia_akerman

Rebecca Urban
Journalist
Melbourne
@RurbsOz

Cardinal George Pell is facing the gravest threat to his besieged reputation after counsel assisting the child abuse royal commission rejected key evidence, accused him of failing to act on sexual misconduct complaints and more broadly excoriated the church’s capitulation to offenders.

Counsel assisting the royal commission yesterday criticised Cardinal Pell’s failure to deal ­adequately with offending in Melbourne and Ballarat, and called for key evidence from Cardinal Pell to be rejected. The explosive recommendations in nearly 1000 pages critiquing Cardinal Pell and the church will place growing pressure on the Vatican to deal with its third most senior figure.

They suggest Cardinal Pell faces heavy criticism in the royal commission’s final report, which will include multiple references to the Catholic Church’s systemic failures on abuse.

Cardinal Pell has rejected the key submissions of counsel assisting, arguing his position was being used to make an example of him when he had limited power, even though he has been auxiliary bishop or higher since 1987.

Victims, of whom there are hundreds and possibly thousands in Victoria alone, hailed the recommendations but warned that a national redress schemes needed to be set up urgently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Ballarat Christian Brothers 'misled police' over abuse, royal commission lawyers say

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Charlotte King

A senior member of the Christian Brothers religious order failed to tell police the truth about the nature of historic child sexual abuse complaints in Ballarat, lawyers assisting the sex abuse royal commission have submitted.

The Christian Brothers operated four schools in Ballarat in the 1970s and much of the 437-page submission from the counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse detailed the religious order's handling of abuse complaints.

The submission, now made public, singles out Brother Paul Nangle, one of Ballarat's most senior Christian Brothers in the 1970s, for providing inconsistent testimony in relation to a complaint from the father of a student at the St Alipius boys school.

In his February evidence to the royal commission, the 84-year-old accepted that the 1974 complaint, made against a St Alipius primary school teacher, Brother Stephen Farrell, had a "sexual element" to it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Keneally's book on child sex abuse in the Church

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Mornings with Genevieve Jacobs

[audio]

When the history books are written about Australia's social history, it's fair to say time and space will be devoted to one of the great crises of our time for many.

The revelations of enduring and grievous child sexual abuse by various people in authority: scout masters; school teachers; priests and ministers of religion; all of them doing the most terrible damage to their victims through abuse of trust.

In the case of the Church, it's torn apart the lives of communities of people for whom Catholicism was absolutely central.

This is the world where the famed Australian author of 'Schindler's Ark', Thomas Keneally, grew up and it's the focus of his new book, 'Crimes of the Father'.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Victims take church to court over St William's school sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Five child sex abuse victims have launched a High Court bid for compensation over abuse at a Catholic school in East Yorkshire.

More than 200 men claim they were abused at St William's residential school in Market Weighton between 1970 and 1991, run by the De La Salle order.

The order has apologised "unreservedly" to those affected by the abuse and for the actions of its former principal.

James Carragher is in jail for sex offences against children at the home.
If the compensation claim succeeds, the eventual payout could run into millions of pounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Pell should have acted on priest: Commission lawyers

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
31 OCT 2016

The child sex abuse royal commission is being urged to reject evidence from Cardinal George Pell, who has been accused of failing to stop a Melbourne pedophile priest.

Lawyers for the commission argue there are no grounds to accept Cardinal Pell's evidence that he was intentionally deceived by Catholic Education Office about abuse carried out by Doveton parish priest Peter Searson in the 1980s.

In their submission to the commission the lawyers say Cardinal Pell knew enough about child abuse claims linked to Searson to consider sacking him or, at the very least, launch an investigation.

While the CEO should have done more to respond to the threat posed by Searson, there was no evidence it had intentionally concealed evidence from the archdiocese or wanted to keep him in Doveton, they said.

"The royal commission should find that the CEO officers had no motive to deceive Cardinal Pell and did not do so," lawyers Gail Furness SC and Stephen Free wrote in their submission published on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Catholic church could face multi-million pound payout as sex abuse case is heard

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
@harrietsherwood
Monday 31 October 2016

The Catholic church could face a compensation bill of millions of pounds following a test case on sexual abuse at a former children’s home which opens on Monday.

The civil case at the high court in Leeds follows the imprisonment this year of the home’s former principal and chaplain for sexual offences against 11 boys between 1970 and 1991.

Five survivors have brought a civil claim against the Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle brotherhood, whose members ran St William’s Home in Market Weighton in east Yorkshire.

In total, 249 people have alleged that they were sexually and physically abused by staff at the home. If the civil case is successful, the Catholic church in the UK could face one of the biggest payouts in its history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Catholic Church Could Face Multi-Million Pound Payout As Abuse Case Is Heard

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

James Macintyre
31 October 2016

The Catholic Church in the UK could face a multi-million pound compensation bill following a test case which opens today on sexual abuse at a former children's home.

The civil case, at the high court in Leeds, comes after the imprisonment earlier this year of the former principal and the chaplain at the home for offences against 11 boys between 1970 and 1991.

Five survivors have brought a civil claim against the Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough and the De La Salle brotherhood, whose members ran St William's Home in Market Weighton, east Yorkshire.

The Catholic Church in the UK could face one of the biggest payouts in its history if the civil case is successful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Ballarat’s Children: ‘no more jumping through hoops’ for church sex victims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 31, 2016

PIA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@pia_akerman

PETER HOYSTED
ColumnistCanberra
@JacktheInsider

A church lawyer tasked with helping victims of child-sex abuse in the country’s most scandal­-plagued Catholic diocese has ­declared they no longer have to jump through any “hoops” for ­assistance, as a veteran police ­detective described how victims earlier had been pursued by ­private investigators working for the church.

In an interview for The Australian’s podcast Ballarat’s Children, Michael Myers has vowed the Ballarat diocese is taking ­victims “at face value” to offer counselling and support amid mounting pressure for a national redress scheme.

“It is a big problem that’s going to last for a long time and we’re just working at it as best we can,” said Mr Myers, a local lawyer ­appointed in 2014 to steer the ­diocese’s professional standards.

“In the past 10 years there’s been about $150,000 paid in counselling fees, for example. And in addition to that the ­diocese has made payments for other support costs — for med­ical costs, some financial assistance … they don’t have to go through any hoops, they’ll get it from the diocese.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

George Pell failed to care for young abuse victims, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By investigative reporter Louise Milligan

Cardinal George Pell and other senior officials failed to exercise proper care for children in a Melbourne parish by not acting on information of sexual misconduct by a paedophile priest, according to final submissions to the royal commission into child abuse.

In her submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC also stated she believed the evidence of a number of witnesses in the Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses instead of Cardinal Pell's in relation to the Cardinal being told by children and adults of inappropriate clerical conduct towards children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Counsel Assisting has found that Cardinal Pell, along with a number of other priestly consultors to Bishop Ronald Mulkearns of the Ballarat diocese, knew notorious serial paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale was being moved from parish to parish because he was sexually abusing children, despite the Cardinal's strong denials.

Allegations about Ridsdale's behaviour were never sent to police.

The report has been released less than a week after Victoria Police confirmed three of its Taskforce SANO detectives had flown to Rome to interview the Cardinal separately about historic child abuse allegations, which he has strongly denied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Pell had evidence to act on paedophile priest, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Ballarat’s Cardinal George Pell had sufficient evidence to act on the behaviour of paedophile priest but failed to do so, a royal commission into child sexual abuse has been told.

The child sex abuse royal commission has been told to reject evidence from Cardinal Pell regarding disgraced Catholic priest Peter Searson.

In late February and early March Cardinal Pell gave evidence before a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over four days via video-link in Rome.

In his third day of evidence he accused the school administrators and the Archbishop of deceiving him about Searson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Cardinal George Pell accused of knowing about sadistic paedophile priest notorious for his yellowing long fingernails - but did nothing to stop his vile sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By JOHN CARNEY FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cardinal George Pell failed to take direct action against a Melbourne pedophile priest and evidence given by him should be rejected, the royal commission into child sex abuse has been told.

Cardinal Pell - the world's third most senior Catholic - and other senior Melbourne archdiocesan clergy also failed to exercise proper care for children when dealing with Doveton parish priest Peter Searson, counsel assisting the inquiry said in a submission.

Known for his yellowing long fingernails and icy stare, complaints against Father Searson included keeping a gun at school, showing a body in a coffin to children, sexual contact with children, animal cruelty and holding a knife to a girl's chest.

Searson was accused of sexual misconduct among a number of accusations while a parish priest under effective control of the now Cardinal Pell in Melbourne's Doveton parish in the 1980s.

He also stabbed a bird with a screwdriver in front of students, and was accused of making children kneel between knees and sit on lap during confession, during which he had a tape recorder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Child abuse royal commission should reject Pell's evidence: counsel assisting

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Beau Donelly

Cardinal George Pell knew enough to conclude that more serious action should have been taken against a paedophile priest, according to counsel assisting the child sex abuse royal commission.

In their submission to the royal commission, published on Monday, counsel assisting Gail Furness SC and Stephen Free urged the commission to reject evidence from Australia's highest ranking Catholic that he had been intentionally deceived about former Doveton priest Peter Searson.

Cardinal Pell, who testified to the commission in March via video link from Rome, said he was told about Searson's bizarre behaviour in 1989, when he was an auxiliary bishop. But he said the reports of Searson abusing animals and going to the children's toilets were not enough for him to act and that it was not his responsibility to investigate the priest.

He also said allegations against Searson had been kept from him by the Catholic Education Office, but claims of a cover up were denied by former Catholic officials who testified before the royal commission earlier this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Pressure mounts on Pell as royal commission submits damning report

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Shannon Deery, The Daily Telegraph
October 31, 2016

AUSTRALIA’S most senior Catholic Cardinal, George Pell, was involved in knowingly shuffling paedophile priests between parishes, according to the counsel assisting the child sex abuse inquiry.

And there was strong evidence implicating Cardinal Pell in a church cover-up, the counsel said in submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse published yesterday.

Cardinal Pell strongly denied the claims in his 71-page submission, which was also published yesterday.

Counsel assisting Gail Furness SC, Angus Steward SC and Stephen Free, said Cardinal Pell knew paedophile Gerald Ridsdale was being moved between parishes because of his crimes against children

Cardinal Pell served as a consulter to former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who oversaw the movement of several paedophile priests. At a consultors meeting in 1982 it was decided to move Ridsdale from the parish of Mortlake, where he committed some of his worst offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

October 30, 2016

Pell should have acted on priest: counsel

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Australian Associated Press October 31, 2016

Cardinal George Pell failed to take direct action against a Melbourne pedophile priest, missing the chance to deal with risks he posed, the royal commission has been told.

Cardinal Pell and other senior Melbourne archdiocesan clergy also failed to exercise proper care for children when dealing with Doveton parish priest Peter Searson, counsel assisting the inquiry said in a submission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Cardinal Pell had evidence to act on paedophile priest, royal commission counsel say

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
@MelissaLDavey
Sunday 30 October 2016

Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, had enough evidence to conclude that serious action was needed against a paedophile priest who worked under him at the Ballarat archdiocese, counsel assisting the royal commission have said.

During his evidence before the child sex abuse royal commission in March, Pell said investigating Peter Searson was not his responsibility because he believed the Catholic Education Office and the Bishop of Ballarat, Ronald Mulkearns, were handling allegations that Searson was abusing children.

But in a submission published on the commission’s website on Monday, counsel assisting the royal commission Gail Furness SC and Stephen Free concluded: “It was incumbent on Cardinal Pell, having regard to his responsibilities as Auxiliary Bishop, including for the welfare of children in the parish, to take such action as he could to advocate that Searson be removed or suspended, or, at least, that a thorough investigation be undertaken.”

Pell gave evidence that he was handed a list of incidents and grievances about Searson in 1989. These should have been “sufficient that he ought reasonably have concluded that more serious action needed to be taken in relation to Searson”, counsel assisting wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Abuse commission submitted to reject evidence over priest

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 31, 2016

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@TessaAkerman

The child sex abuse royal commission has been told to reject evidence from Cardinal George Pell, the world’s third most senior Catholic, regarding a former priest.

In submissions by counsel assisting to case study 35 into the Melbourne Archdiocese, Gail Furness SC and Stephen Free submitted that the commission should reject Cardinal Pell’s evidence that he was intentionally deceived by the Catholic Education Office regarding former priest Peter Searson.

They submitted the CEO should have done much more to respond to the obvious threat posed by Searson, however there was no evidence any of the officer at any time intentionally concealed from the Archdiocese information that it received about Searson.

“Nor is there any evidence, or logical reason, despite the theory advanced by Cardinal Pell, that the CEO or any of its officers wished to keep Searson in Doveton and were resistant to any moves to the contrary,” they said.

“The matters known to Cardinal Pell on his own evidence ... were sufficient that he ought reasonably to have concluded that more serious action needed to be taken in relation to Searson.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Rain or shine

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

PROTESTERS: More than 50 protesters from the Concerned Catholics of Guam and Laity Forward Movement carried on their weekly protest yesterday in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña. Among their demands, they are calling for the defrocking of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who is accused of sexually abusing altar boys when he was a priest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Agat in the 1970s. Photo contributed by Lou Klitzkie

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

Submissions for public hearings into Ballarat and Melbourne Catholic Church authorities published

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

31 October, 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published the written submissions for the public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat.

The public hearing inquired into the response of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat and other Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat to allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy or religious.

It also inquired into the response of the Congregation of Christian Brothers in St Patrick’s Province, Australia, to allegations of child sexual abuse against Christian Brothers.

The submissions can be found on the Case Study 28 page.

The Royal Commission has also published the written submissions for the public hearing into the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

The submissions can be found on the Case Study 35 page.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

ANTIOCHIAN WESTERN DIOCESE EPISCOPAL APPOINTMENT CAUSES CONCERN

UNITED STATES
OCP Media Network

[ANTIOCHIAN WESTERN DIOCESE EPISCOPAL APPOINTMENT CAUSES CONCERN - Pravoslavie.ru]

Pravoslavie.ru – 29/10/16

On Wednesday, October 26, a press conference was held outside the St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles, reports pokrov.org . The topic was unpleasant, but one which has many in the diocese deeply concerned—clergy and laity alike.

In a letter dated October 6, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America announced the appointment of Bishop Demetri as vicar bishop of the Diocese of the West, saying “I would like and expect you to welcome His Grace Bishop DEMETRI to your parishes and to treat him as though I myself was visiting you.”

The concern arises from Bishop Demetri Matta Khoury’s February 25, 2004 conviction for attempted fourth degree criminal sexual misconduct. He was arrested July 9, 2003 after appearing plain-clothed and visibly intoxicated in a Michigan casino where he grabbed a woman’s breast. He stated that he didn’t remember the night, but plead guilty after viewing the casino’s security footage.

He was sentenced to twenty-eight days in jail with two years of probation, and required to register as a sex offender, although his conviction and classification were both later revokedafter he appealed in 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Christian Sunday school teacher held for allegedly sexually abusing minor boy in Ernakulam

INDIA
The News Minute

Kerala police on Saturday arrested a Christian catechism teacher for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor boy.

According to reports, the 16-year-old teenager said in his complaint that his teacher Suresh Esthapanos had assaulted him twice in September last year and once in July this year.

The 56-year-old teacher who hails from Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district, reportedly assaulted the boy after taking him to deserted spots including his house. He has been charged under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso) and was sent to judicial custody.

The incident came to light after the boy revealed to his mother his traumatic experiences, following which the boy’s parents filed a complaint with Childline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

How Pope Francis Helped Defeat the Colombian Peace Agreement

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on October 30, 2016 by Betty Clermont

Pope Francis refused multiple requests for his participation or presence during the peace process. He also advocated the ideology and vocabulary for those who opposed the peace agreement.

In April 2015, Pope Francis’ secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent a letter to Colombian bishops on behalf of the pope “in the hope of seeing them soon during one of his trips to Latin America.” (Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in July 2015, Cuba in September 2015, Mexico in February 2016). Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, president of the Colombian bishops’ conference, said he hoped it would be in “early 2016 …. This date was tentatively picked as it should coincide with the eventual ratification of the peace agreement should it be completed on time.”

[As of April 2015] in the peace talks which the government of President Juan Manuel Santos has held since October of 2012 with the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America’s oldest insurgency group that has been in existence since 1964, there is ample progress.

The talks were started in hopes of ending a conflict that has claimed more than 220,000 lives in over half a century of violence, and displaced several million more ….

Although there is opposition from the most conservative sectors, led by former president Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010) who is the most outspoken opponent of the peace talks and a man with links to illegal right-wing paramilitary groups and sectors of the Armed Forces, the overwhelming majority of the populace supports an end to the violence and the beginning of a new stage of peace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Bishop Ronald Mulkearns’ Fairhaven property sold after auction

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

NAVARONE FARRELL, Property reporter, Geelong Advertiser
October 29, 2016

THE Surf Coast home of a bishop at the heart of one of Australia’s biggest child sex scandals has sold after auction for $2.1 million.

Bishop Ronald Mulkearns died earlier this year and left his estate to the Catholic diocese of Ballarat, for current Bishop Paul Bird to distribute.

In September, when the property was announced for auction, Bishop Bird said that the profits from the sale of the Mulkearns’ estate would be donated to the victims of child sex abuse.

The majority of his estate, including the four-bedroom cliff top house in the picturesque town of Fairhaven, and $40,000 in cash were left to the church

The four-bedroom house at 56 Banool Rd, last sold in 1986 for $55,000 went for was passed in on a vendor bid. Around 50 people turned out, including members of the Catholic Church, child sex abuse survivors and the general public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

A survivor of the child sex abuse scandal attended disgraced Bishop’s estate auction

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

NAVARONE FARRELL, Geelong Advertiser
October 29, 2016

A SURVIVOR of the child sex abuse scandal that plagued the Ballarat diocese has spoken out about the sale of disgraced Bishop Ronald Mulkearns’ assets.

Stephen Woods, now 55-years-old, attended the auction of Mulkearns’ multi-million dollar Fairhaven home and called for the funds to be easily accessible to survivors.

“I was molested between the ages of 11 and 14. I was molested and raped by three clergymen, Brother [Robert] Best, Brother [Edward] Dowlin, and Father [Gerald] Ridsdale,” he said.

The three clergymen were among many the offenders that were touted as the worse among the scandal that spanned from 1971 to 1997.

“I’m a retired secondary school teacher. I had to stop after my body physically, emotionally and mentally just couldn’t handle it. I was studying my masters at a university in Melbourne and I collapsed and couldn’t keep going.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

October 29, 2016

New Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Legionaries Of Christ

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

Dave Altimari

A former member of the Legionaries of Christ has filed a lawsuit against the Cheshire-based religious group, claiming that when he was 12 years old he was molested by its leader, Marcial Maciel Degollado.

The civil lawsuit, filed in Waterbury Superior Court last week by New Haven attorney Joel Faxon, refers to the victim as John Roe and alleges that he was molested not only by Maciel but also by two other priests, Father Luis Garza, the former head of the North American chapter of the Legionaries, and Father Jose Sabin.

The lawsuit said John Roe enrolled in a Legionaries seminary school in 1989 when he was 12 and was supposed to attend a school in New Hampshire but instead ended up in a school the group ran in Mexico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Sanibel priest allegedly exploited parishioner with dementia

FLORIDA
NBC 2

SANIBEL -
The priest of a Sanibel church is being investigated by the Lee County Sheriff's Office, according to the Diocese of Venice. He faces allegations of financially exploiting a churchgoer who was suffering from dementia.

The criminal investigation is focused on Father Christopher Senk of St. Isabel Catholic Church at the corner of Sanibel-Captiva and Rabbit Roads.

The Diocese of Venice says that Father Senk is on paid administrative leave while the allegations are reviewed.

The criminal investigation report was referred to the Florida State Attorney.

Documents show that Father Senk denies the allegations.

The following was a press released distributed by the Diocese of Venice in Florida's Communications Department.

Venice, Fla. - Regrettably, it must be reported that the Diocese of Venice has been informed that an investigation has been carried out by the Lee County Sherriff’s Office. The Criminal Investigation Report was referred to the Florida State Attorney. The focus of the investigation was Father Christopher Senk, who has been serving as Pastor of St. Isabel Parish in Sanibel and who it is alleged to have financially exploited an elderly parishioner whom he knew as suffering from dementia. Father has denied these allegations.

The Diocese of Venice placed Father Senk on paid administrative leave while the allegations are reviewed. This was undertaken after consultation with priest consultors.

According to public record, the civil investigators interviewed a number of persons including Father Senk, and subpoenaed documents from the personal records of Father as well as records of the alleged victim. Officials believed that Father Senk took advantage of his position of trust to financially exploit an elderly and vulnerable parishioner, and that he continued to do so even after family members, acting as appointed guardians, directed him to stop. The same opinion was shared by the lead prosecutor. However, it was decided not to prosecute at this time.

If true, the alleged actions of Father Senk require a pastoral response in light of the Diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct. Pope Francis reminds all, that priests are called to live simply and to identify with the poor, and to avoid seeking personal financial gain. It is necessary to ensure that priests who serve in the name of the Church act with compassion and respect, especially in the care of elderly and vulnerable parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Sanibel priest under investigation for exploitation of an elderly person

FLORIDA
Fox 4

SANIBEL, Fla. -- An investigation has been carried out by the Lee County Sheriffs' Office for a Sanibel priest who allegedly exploited an elderly parishioner, according to the Diocese of Venice.

Officials believe Father Christopher Senk took advantage of his position to financially exploit the parishioner whom he new was suffering from dementia. Father has denied these allegations.

The Diocese of Venice placed Father Senk on paid administrative leave while the allegations are reviewed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Frei y Larraechea critican a iglesia católica por continuidad de obispo Barros en Osorno

CHILE
Bio Bio

[During a last visit in the city of Osorno, former First Lady Marta Larraechea questioned the presence of the current bishop of the Diocese of Osorno, Juan Barros, saying his presence shows a lack of respect for the community by the Catholic church and shows a lack of humility on the part of the bishop to remain in the area. Also former president Eduardo Frei addressed the issue stating it was a bad sign that the Vatican failed to turn over to the Chilean court information on the bishop.]

Publicado por
Felipe Delgado

Durante su última visita en la ciudad de Osorno, tal como hiciera en su anterior estadía en la zona, la exprimera dama Marta Larraechea cuestionó la presencia del actual obispo de la Diócesis de Osorno, Juan Barros, señalando que es una falta de respeto a la comunidad por parte de la iglesia católica, tanto como una falta de humildad de su parte mantenerse a la cabeza de la iglesia en la zona.

Tal como señaló, el actual obispo debería tener la humildad de dar un paso al lado, por no representar a toda su comunidad, manteniéndose en una ciudad donde no se le quiere y se le critica, por lo que lo más sano sería que escuchara la voz de su comunidad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh airs merger plans to faithful

PENNSYLVANIA
WPXI

[with video]

PITTSBURGH - The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has begun airing plans to merge parishes, citing dwindling numbers of members and priests.

The first meetings with local parishioners started Monday and will occur in all 192 parishes over the next eight weeks.

Church officials say the number of Catholics in the diocese has fallen from 914,000 in 1980 to 632,000 last year. The number of those attending Sunday Mass has also fallen from nearly 247,000 in 2000 to fewer than 150,000 last year. The number of active priests has decreased from 338 to 225 over that same 15-year period and is projected to be just 112 by the year 2025.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – OCTOBER 29-30, 2016

NEW JERSEY
Road to Recovery

Leaders of the Salesian Priests and Brothers have refused to settle a childhood sexual abuse claim against one of their priests, Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB, causing the victim, who was abused in Indiana, to be re-victimized. The victim is being denied justice.

What
A press conference and demonstration alerting the media, Catholics, and general public about the refusal of the Salesian Priests and Brothers, based in New Rochelle, New York, to help settle a claim of sexual abuse of a child by a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco religious order, Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB.

When
Saturday, October 29, 2016, from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm before kickoff of the Don Bosco/ Bergen Catholic football game

Sunday, October 30, 2016, from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm at the Open House of Don Bosco Prep School

Where
Saturday, October 29, 2016 – on the public sidewalk across the entrance to the Bergen Catholic High School football stadium, 1040 Oradell Avenue, Oradell, NJ 07649

Sunday, October 30, 2016 – on the public sidewalk across from the main entrance of Don Bosco Prep School, 492 North Franklin Turnpike, Ramsey, NJ 07446

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

Why
The Salesian Priests and Brothers of Don Bosco, based in New Rochelle, New York, refuse to settle the claim of a man who was sexually abused in Indiana as a child by a serial pedophile Salesian priest and help him heal. They have told the man to “take a hike.” The man was sexually abused as a minor child by a serial pedophile priest, Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB, at St. Dominic Savio Juniorate in Cedar Lake, Indiana. The victim met with leaders of the Salesian religious order who coldly and callously informed him that they will not help him heal. Subsequently, Fr. Timothy Zak, SDB, who is in charge of sexual abuse allegations for the Don Bosco Salesian priests and brothers, told demonstrators at an Orange, NJ, Catholic Church (Our Lady of the Valley) that the Indiana victim’s case was being settled. It has not been settled yet.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc., Livingston, NJ – 862-368-2800

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

2nd Ex-Student Accuses Rabbi Of Sex Assault

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Independent

by PAUL BASS | Oct 28, 2016

A second former student of a prominent New Haven rabbi has asserted under oath that the rabbi “sexually molested” him “many dozens of times” then continued the sexual relationship when he returned to the rabbi’s school to work as an adult.

The allegations emerged in a pretrial deposition taken in the case of Eliyahu Mirlis v. Rabbi Daniel Greer, et al.

Mirlis’s attorney filed that lawsuit in U.S. District Court on May 3. It charged that Greer repeatedly raped him for three years while he was a student at the Yeshiva of New Haven, one of two Orthodox Jewish schools Greer ran inside the former Roger Sherman School at Elm and Norton streets in New Haven’s Edgewood neighborhood. (Read a detailed account of that suit here.)

Greer — a prominent figure who revived a declining neighborhood and has publicly crusaded against gay rights, prostitution, and coed university dorms — has repeatedly denied the allegations through his attorney. Greer is 75 years old; he was in his 60s at the time of the alleged abuse.

The new set of allegations emerged in a July 25 deposition of a key witness in that case, a close family friend of Greer’s who grew up attending Greer’s schools and then returned as an adult to serve as a teacher and administrator. He is now 41 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Beleaguered child abuse probe faces a cover-up storm as it denies top lawyer quit over an alleged sex assault

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By REBECCA CAMBER and EMILY KENT SMITH FOR DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 19:07 EST, 28 October 2016 | UPDATED: 19:51 EST, 28 October 2016

The chairman of the beleaguered child abuse inquiry faced explosive new claims of a cover-up last night after it emerged that its top lawyer had been accused of sexual assault.

Ben Emmerson QC, lead counsel to the inquiry, yesterday rebutted claims that he groped a female colleague in a lift at the headquarters of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

The allegations emerged when BBC Newsnight claimed that Mr Emmerson, the most senior lawyer in the country’s biggest public inquiry, had been allowed to quit after the accusations.

The inquiry said yesterday that neither its chairman, Professor Alexis Jay, her panel nor any official were aware of any complaint of sexual assault before Mr Emmerson resigned.

But last night a source close to the inquiry said the alleged victim had made a ‘disclosure’ to another member of the inquiry that was passed to Professor Jay and the panel before Mr Emmerson’s departure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Mormon official says Henderson man charged in lewdness case ‘was never employed’ by church

NEVADA
Las Vegas Review-Journal

By DAVID FERRARA
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

A Mormon church official said Friday that a Henderson man facing lewdness, child pornography and kidnapping charges was not acting in his role as a home teacher when the alleged crimes occurred.

In announcing an indictment earlier this week, a prosecutor described 43-year-old Martin Gillen as a “home school teacher” with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On Friday, a spokesman for the church clarified Gillen’s role and said the man had “no calling in the congregation.”

Gillen is accused of fondling a 10-year-old girl in August at her home, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Dena Rinetti.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Pine County sect leader Victor Barnard gets 30 years for teen sex assault

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: October 28, 2016

PINE CITY, Minn. — The leader of an isolated religious sect in Minnesota was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison, weeks after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two teenage girls who were members of his community.

Victor Barnard, 55, agreed to the 30-year sentence as part of his plea deal earlier this month in Pine County.

Barnard was the longtime leader of the River Road Fellowship near Finlayson, about 90 miles north of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

In 2012, two women came forward and told authorities that Barnard began assaulting them when they were as young as 12 and 13. The women said they were among about 10 girls and young women who were chosen to live in a camp apart from their families as part of Barnard’s “Maidens Group.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Victor Barnard sentenced to 30 years

MINNESOTA
KARE

PINE CITY, Minn. - A religious sect leader who was charged with sexually abusing girls at his secluded compound has been sentenced to 30 years.

Victor Barnard, 55, was stoic as his official sentence was announced.

He told the court he is asking God to heal him.

"God is good, his word is faithful ... and I have not walked in his goodness," Barnard said, after his sentencing.

Earlier this month, he pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and under terms of that deal, agreed to serve 30 years. He will get credit for roughly two years that he's already served.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Two Childhood Rape Survivors Just Ended a Cult Leader’s Terrifying Reign

MINNESOTA
New York Magazine

By Catie L'Heureux

Of all the abuse, manipulation, and horrifying crimes that religious cult leader Victor Barnard committed, no one could have predicted his youngest victim would wield the most damning evidence against him. In court documents, her name is C. When she was 13, she started drawing a tiny X on her calendar every day Barnard raped her.

Wedged into corners of her calendar’s white boxes, alongside notes about music practice or play dates with friends, the ink charted what would become the driving force behind 59 counts of sexual assault that C and her friend B, another victim, ultimately filed against Barnard. Years after he first abused them, the two women spoke directly to Barnard in court on Friday.

Barnard, now 55, rose to power in the 1990s as the charismatic leader of the River Road Fellowship, an offshoot Christian sect he founded and later transformed into a cult. He convinced 150 people to sell their homes and move to Shepherd’s Camp, an isolated 85-acre campground in Finlayson, Minnesota. Life was simple and entirely self-sustaining: Families sewed their own clothing, planted gardens, and traded goods and services like butchering, cabinet-building, and soap-making. There was no internet, no cell phones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Pine County cult leader Victor Barnard sentenced to 30 years in prison

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Pam Louwagie Star Tribune OCTOBER 28, 2016

PINE CITY, MINN. – Finally facing her abuser in court, Lindsay Tornambe sat at a prosecutor's table Friday, her voice shaking, and recounted how feared religious leader Victor Barnard had sexually assaulted her starting at age 13, and how it continues to haunt her.

"I felt so alone, because I was," she said, fighting tears as she described how she didn't have anyone to turn to in the cloistered River Road Fellowship community Barnard once led in east central Minnesota.

She's had PTSD, she said. Nightmares. Trust issues. Feelings of abandonment. Suicidal thoughts. Anxiety.

When she found the strength to tell law enforcement about nine years of abuse at Barnard's hands, prompting authorities to go on a manhunt for him all the way to Brazil, she felt she finally had some power over him, she said.

"I used to see Victor as this powerful and monstrously strong man," Tornambe said. "I am his downfall. … He cannot break me. … He is the one that is weak. He will be known all over the world as a sexual predator."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Kerala Church Teacher Arrested For Sexually Abusing 16-Year-Old Boy

INDIA
NDTV

Kerala | Written by Sneha Mary Koshy | Updated: October 29, 2016

ERNAKULAM: A teacher who taught at the Sunday school for a church in Kerala's Ernakulam has been arrested by the police for sexually abusing a student.

The teacher in his early 30s, Suresh, allegedly tried forcing himself onto a 16-year-old boy.

"The teacher has been charged under the Juvenile Justice Act and for forcing the teenager into homosexuality," police told NDTV.

The student, according to police, has alleged that the teacher made physical advances twice since December 2015, before finally forcing himself on the student this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

School Teacher Arrested in Kerala for Sexually Abusing a 16-Year-Old Boy – Report

INDIA
FitnHit

A School Teacher arrested in Kerala for being accused of Sexual abuse. A 56-year-old school teacher, Suresh was held and remanded in the judicial custody on the allegation of sexually abusing a teenage boy repeatedly. As said by the Police on Saturday, the accused was arrested on Friday.

Suresh, who is a school teacher used to take classes for students at a Sunday school that is attached to a Syrian Jacobite Church near Kothamangalam that is about 50 km away from Kochi. The said victim and the school teacher Suresh are neighbors.

He has been said to have constantly abused this 16-year-old boy, sexually, since 2015 after threatening him. The Police also mentioned that the victim also used to join his classes at the Sunday school. After recognizing the incident, the teacher has been charged under IPC Section 377 (Unnatural offenses) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Protect me from randy pastor, Nairobi congregant urges church

KENYA
The Star

Oct. 29, 2016
By ALPHONCE MUNG'AHU

A female congregant has appealed to her church headquarters for protection after her home church allegedly failed to act on her complaint of alleged sexual harassment by a pastor.

Peris Ondara filed an affidavit accusing pastor Paul Owuor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Nairobi East, of sexually harassing her. The complainant who also works as a teacher at a school sponsored by the church, at which the pastor is also based, said efforts to get support from church elders has been unsuccessful.

But when contacted, Owuor denied the allegations, saying “the woman is out to taint my image”. He also denied allegations that she reported the matter to the church’s management. Ondara alleged Owuor summoned her to his office at around 8.30am on September 30. “He told me I am beautiful, young and good looking and he would be happy to go out with me,” she said. Ondara said Owuor said she would only get allowances, a salary increment and permanent employment if she gave in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Mother tells court of shock over Prayer Palace pastor’s alleged assault

CANADA
Toronto Star

By JACQUES GALLANT
Staff Reporter
Fri., Oct. 28, 2016

One of Paul Melnichuk’s two alleged sexual assault victims testified Friday that it felt like a “strong animal” had grabbed her the day she and the popular pastor were walking alone in a church hallway.

“You don’t even have a second to react or think,” the woman, whose name is covered by a publication ban, testified in a Finch Ave. courtroom, right next door to Melnichuk’s Prayer Palace, the massive evangelical church he founded decades ago and also the scene of the alleged crime.

The flamboyant 83-year-old pastor pleaded not guilty on the first day of his trial Thursday to sexually assaulting the woman and her daughter, who were once members of the congregation.

The woman said she was walking to Melnichuk’s left one day in 2014 when she testified he suddenly grabbed her shoulders, pressed his genitals up against her buttocks and made a shaking motion with his hips. She said she then jumped and turned around and he did the same.

The woman demonstrated all of this in court on her Spanish interpreter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Their fight lost, members of closed Scituate church start their own

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Bella English OCTOBER 28, 2016

It has been 12 years -- and 5 days, to be exact -- since St. Frances X. Cabrini church in Scituate was declared closed by the Archdiocese of Boston, as part of a sweeping reconfiguration process necessitated by dwindling attendance and collections, a shortage of priests, and a multimillion-dollar settlement with victims of the priest sexual abuse scandal.

But until last Memorial Day, a group of parishioners refused to leave the premises, staging a 24/7 vigil that finally ended when the Supreme Court declined to hear the case between them and the archdiocese. On May 30, the day after a Mass that drew nearly 500, the Friends of St. Frances vacated the church property near the ocean -- 30 acres appraised by the town of Scituate at $4.2 million.

Friends of St. Frances X. Cabrini are holding Mass at the Satuit Lodge of Freemasons in Scituate.

It didn’t take long for the Friends, led by Maryellen and Jon Rogers, to establish a new church, which is meeting at the Satuit Lodge of Freemasons in Scituate, while they plan a capital campaign for their own church building.

Here’s how Maryellen Rogers describes it: “We are an ecumenical Catholic church, we are still valid practicing Catholics, part of the universal Catholic Church, not the Roman Catholic Church. So if you join our church community, you would see a welcoming Catholic experience but you would not be supporting the Roman Catholic Church or the Archdiocese of Boston.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Priests can't legally be forced to reveal what's heard in confession, Louisiana Supreme Court rules

LOUISIANA
The Advocate

BY JOE GYAN JR. | JGYAN@THEADVOCATE.COM OCT 28, 2016

A priest has no duty to report confidential information heard during a sacramental confession, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Friday in a bid to clear up what it called the "widespread confusion" caused by its decision two years ago in a long-running case involving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge.

The diocese had warned after the 2014 ruling that the sanctity of the confessional was under attack by the ruling the church said might force a priest to reveal in court what was privately told to him.

The case involves a young woman who claims she told a Baton Rouge-area Catholic priest that a longtime church parishioner was sexually abusing her when she was 14 but the priest did nothing to stop or report the alleged abuse.

A legal battle over whether a Louisiana priest should have reported a teenager’s claims of s…
In a 2014 ruling in the case that resuscitated Rebecca Mayeux's lawsuit against the Baton Rouge Diocese and the Rev. Jeff Bayhi, the state Supreme Court said a dispute remained "concerning whether the communications between the child and the priest were confessions per se and whether the priest obtained knowledge outside the confessional that would trigger his duty to report" sexual abuse allegations.

The Supreme Court on Friday conceded that it never "conclusively determined" whether a priest, in administering sacramental confession, is a mandatory reporter of child abuse under provisions of the Louisiana Children's Code. Such a determination would make priests subject to the mandatory duty to report under the code.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Group calls on diocese to seek other potential victims of jailed ex-priest

PENNSYLVANIA
Times-Tribune

BY DAVID SINGLETON / PUBLISHED: OCTOBER 29, 2016

An advocacy group for clergy abuse victims is urging the Diocese of Scranton to reach out to individuals who may know about other potential crimes committed by a former priest who is up for parole after molesting a boy a decade ago in Wayne County.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said it opposes the release of Steven Wolpert, who is serving a nine- to 18-year sentence at the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child under 13.

“Kids will be safest if Wolpert serves his entire sentence of 18 years behind bars,” SNAP director David Clohessy said in a statement.

Mr. Wolpert, 63, who served as a priest in Brooklyn, New York, from 1981 to 1987, pleaded guilty in Wayne County Court in March 2008, to charges he abused an 8-year-old boy in Hawley in 2006 and 2007. He was sentenced three months later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Lawsuit Alleges Sex Abuse by Ex-No. 2 at Legion of Christ

UNITED STATES
ABC News

By MICHAEL MELIA AND NICOLE WINFIELD, ASSOCIATED PRESS

HARTFORD, Conn. — Oct 28, 2016

A former top official for the scandal-plagued Legion of Christ sexually abused a teenage boy in the early 1990s, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, accuses a priest who served as second-in-command to a man who founded the conservative religious order and molested his own seminarians. It's believed to include the first such accusation against the Rev. Luis Garza, who's believed to be living in the Philippines.

A Legion of Christ spokesman said Garza denies the allegations. Garza "categorially denies his involvement in this or any other abuse and has said he will cooperate fully in any inquiry regarding this matter," spokesman Jim Fair said.

The plaintiff, whose name was not made public, says he was abused by Garza; the order's founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel; and a third priest at a Legion boarding school in Mexico beginning in 1990 or 1991, when he was about 13 or 14 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 AM

October 28, 2016

Priest gets jail for flashing teen

WISCONSIN
Green Bay Press-Gazette

Paul Srubas, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin October 28, 2016

GREEN BAY - A retired Catholic priest will spend four months in jail for exposing himself multiple times to a 16-year-old boy.

Rev. Richard L. Thomas, 79, of Allouez, will also spend three years on probation, Brown County Circuit Judge Timothy Hinkfuss ordered Friday.

Hinkfuss rejected a defense plea for probation without jail time.

“You should be held to a higher standard because of your vocation,” Hinkfuss told him, adding that these latest charges weren’t Thomas’s “first time around.”

Assistant District Attorney Bryant Dorsey said Thomas had been arrested for indecent exposure in 1990 and again in 1993, when he was convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Former priest gets jail time in exposure case

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Public Radio

OCTOBER 28, 2016 BY WRN CONTRIBUTOR

A retired Catholic priest will spend about four months in jail for exposing himself to a teenage boy in the Green Bay suburb of Allouez. Seventy-eight-year-old Richard Thomas was sentenced to 120 days behind bars, during a hearing in Brown County court Friday morning.

Thomas was living in a home for retired priests in March, when he was accused of flashing the teen four times, while the boy was walking to school.

Thomas entered no contest pleas to two felony counts of exposing himself to a child, last month. He started seeking treatment earlier this year. Thomas will also spend three years on probation, after he’s released from jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Court: Law can shield priests from reporting abuse evidence

LOUISIANA
Houston Chronicle

Kevin Mcgill, Associated Press Friday, October 28, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana's Supreme Court has ruled that a priest is not required by law to notify authorities after hearing evidence of abuse from a child making a religious confession.

Friday's ruling deals with a section of Louisiana law requiring health workers, teachers, clergy and others to report evidence of child abuse to authorities. A lower court held the law unconstitutional because it would force priests to violate their religious beliefs by reporting information from confessions.

But the Supreme Court ruling analyzed the law and concluded that religious leaders are exempt from the law when they hear evidence of child abuse in a "sacramental confession."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

Cottage Grove pastor arrested after child porn search

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By BOB SHAW | bshaw@pioneerpress.com
PUBLISHED: October 27, 2016

A pastor of a Cottage Grove church has been arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

William Leonard Helker, 47, was arrested by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents on Wednesday. Helker is an associate pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, according to the ELCA church’s website.

He was arrested at his home in Pine City, Minn., by the Bureau’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The officers booked him into the Pine County Jail.

The agents executed search warrants at Helker’s home and at the church, with help from Homeland Security Investigations, which is part of the federal Department of Homeland Security. Deputies of the Pine County sheriff’s office also helped with the search warrants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Minnesota Pastor Arrested, Accused of Possessing Child Porn

MINNESOTA
KSTP

October 27, 2016

Authorities have arrested a 47-year-old pastor after searching his Pine City home and a Cottage Grove church during a child pornography investigation.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says William Leonard Helker was arrested Wednesday at his home on the 15000 block of Copper Canyon Road in Pine City.

The arrest came after BCA agents with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed search warrants on October 26, at Helker's home and All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, where Helker is a pastor.

Helker was arrested without incident and was booked into the Pine County Jail on suspicion of possessing pornography involving minors, the BCA said.

Members of the church say they found out about the arrest via email Wednesday night.

They say Helker worked with kids conducting first communion and confirmation classes, but worked with adults as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Pastor charged for possessing child porn

MINNESOTA
KARE

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - A local pastor has been charged after authorities say they found thousands of pornographic images and videos involving children on his computer and phone.

William Leonard Helker, 47, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of possessing child pornography after agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) executed a search warrant at his trailer in Pine City. The search warrant was executed after the BCA received a number of cybertips reported by Facebook and Instagram that Helker was exchanging images of nude minor females with a man in Helsinki, Finland.

When agents appeared at his home Helker reportedly admitted to possessing thousands of pornographic images and videos on his laptop and on his phone. He said that all of the subjects were under the age of 18, and were photographed engaged in sex acts or with their genitals exposed.

Until late last week, Helker was an associate pastor at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove. His electronic footprints indicate that some of the pornographic images were accessed while at church.

The criminal complaint also says that Helker told a female agent that he had taken numerous photos of innocent children from All Saints Lutheran Church, and then photoshopped the children's faces onto pornographic images to use for his sexual gratification.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Cottage Grove Pastor Arrested In Child Porn Case

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials say a pastor at a south metro church was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possessing child porn.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says 47-year-old William Leonard Helker, of Pine City, was taken into custody without incident at his home.

Agents with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force made the arrest following a search of Helker’s home and All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, where he serves as pastor.

Helker was booked into the Pine County Jail, pending formal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Cottage Grove, Minn. pastor arrested following child pornography investigation

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

By: Ashley Cole
POSTED:OCT 27 2016

PINE CITY, Minn. (KMSP) - A 47-year-old pastor has been arrested during a child pornography investigation.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, William Helker was arrested Wednesday at his home in Pine City after authorities searched the home and a Cottage Grove church during a child pornography investigation.

Helker was arrested after Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed search warrants at his home and All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove. He was booked into the Pine County Jail on suspicion of possessing pornography involving minors.

Helker is listed as an associate pastor on the All Saints Lutheran Church website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

All Saints Lutheran Church's Pastor Helker arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography

MINNESOTA
South Washington County Bulletin

By Scott Wente on Oct 27, 2016

William Leonard Helker, a pastor at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, was arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced Thursday that Helker was arrested Wednesday at his home in Pine City and booked at the Pine County jail. Formal criminal charges are pending, according to the BCA.

A jail spokeswoman said Helker was being held without bail; a court date had not been set.

BCA agents with the Internet Crimes AGainst Children Task Force made the arrest after executing search warrants at Helker’s home and at All Saints Lutheran, on Belden Boulevard in Cottage Grove. The warrants were executed with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations and the Pine County Sheriff’s Office, according to the BCA.

Helker is listed as an associate pastor on the All Saints website. The church had no comment Thursday but posted a statement on its website that said Helker was placed on administrative leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Lutheran pastor in Cottage Grove arrested on suspicion of child pornography

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Liz Sawyer Star Tribune OCTOBER 27, 2016

A Twin Cities pastor has been arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography after authorities raided his home and office Wednesday, police said.

The 47-year-old Pine City man, who works as an associate pastor at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, was jailed Wednesday on felony probable cause child pornography charges.

The Star Tribune typically does not name suspects who have yet to be charged.

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents, along with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, searched the man's church after obtaining a warrant. He was arrested without incident later at his home, about 80 miles north of the church.

A statement on the church's website acknowledged the pastor's arrest and said he was placed on administrative leave Wednesday. "We are concerned and ask prayers for all affected and will cooperate fully with law enforcement," the message reads. "We are committed to providing safe spaces for all children and youth at All Saints and in the community."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Retired priest sentenced to jail for exposing himself to teen

WISCONSIN
WBAY

[with video]

By Rhonda Roberts
Published: October 28, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – A retired priest who served in the Green Bay Catholic Diocese has been sentenced to four months jail for flashing a teenage boy multiple times.

Richard Thomas, 78, appeared in a Brown County courtroom Friday morning for a sentencing hearing on two counts of Exposing Genitals/Pubic Area/Intimate Parts to a Child. He pleaded “no contest” to the charges in September. As part of a plea deal, two other charges were dismissed.

In addition to the jail time, Thomas was also ordered to serve 36 months on probation and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He cannot have contact with minors.

Thomas told the court he “struggled with urges” and is “remorseful.” His attorney says Thomas is undergoing treatment.

The judge in the case called Thomas’ behavior “reprehensible.”

“This was a continuing event not just a one time affair, I mean this just went on and on and on and that’s, in my view, a problem, because it is once is bad enough but it continuing on makes it all the worse,” said Hon. Timothy Hinkfuss, Brown County Circuit Court Judge. “When someone’s walking to school, a minor’s walking to school, walking around the neighborhood, whatever it might be, to be exposed to this type of situation is really reprehensible.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Assignment Record– Msgr. John Stephen Mraz

PENNSYLVANIA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: John Stephen Mraz was ordained for the Diocese of Allentown in 1975. He worked or resided in parishes in Reading, Birdsboro, Sinking Spring, Limeport, Tuscarora, Allentown, Northampton and Emmaus. He was also a teacher at Reading and Allentown Catholic High Schools, and vice principal and director of spiritual activities at Marian High School in Tamaqua. He served as chaplain at Lehigh University and was for many years assistant superintendent in the diocesan Department of Education. Additionally, he held the position of director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue. He was elevated to Monsignor in 2008.

On September 13, 2016 Mraz was arrested on charges related to the discovery of child pornography on his two laptop computers. A parishioner found the images in late July while updating the devices, and informed the diocese in early August. The diocese contacted law enforcement. Pastor of St. Ann's in Emmaus, Mraz had been away for a number of weeks due to medical issues and was living at a retirement home for priests. Parishioners were not told that their pastor was being investigated, nor was their assistant priest, who asked the congregation to pray for and visit the ailing Mraz. It wasn't until Mraz' arrest that the diocese issued a public statement. He was removed from public ministry.

Ordained: 1975

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

WI--Predator priest is sentenced; Victims respond

WISCONSIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 28, 2016

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

A Green Bay priest has been sentenced for exposing himself to a child. We applaud law enforcement for pursuing this case and the brave teenager who reported this predator. http://bit.ly/2eMR1ib

We also call on Wisconsin Catholic officials to spread the word about Fr. Richard Thomas’ crime and beg others with information or suspicions about ties to predator – or other sex offender clerics – to call police and prosecutors promptly.

We hope law enforcement either has or will investigate whether any of Fr. Tomas’ supervisors or colleagues knew of or suspected his crimes and concealed or ignored them.

No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

CA--Abusive rabbi gets no prison; Victims respond

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Neetwork of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 28, 2016

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

We are appalled that a child molesting rabbi is will not be jailed and will instead be sent to a Jewish treatment center. At the same time, we admire and appreciate the courage of one of his ictims.

Rabbi Sholom Doyber Levitansky is getting “one year of counseling and residential treatment at Beit T’Shuvah, an addiction treatment center near Culver City, after pleading no contest to two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor,” according to a news source.

[Jewish Journal]

That’s pathetic. We advocate prison not because we’re punitive but because it’s a sure-fire way to safeguard kids. And we’re very skeptical, based on nearly 30 years of experience, when judges let religious offenders special privileges by attending religiously-based or religiously-affiliated “treatment centers.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Landmark victory in sex abuse cases

NEW YORK
New Jersey Jewish News

NJJN Editorial
October 27, 2016

The financial settlement by a Brooklyn yeshiva of two sexual abuse cases marks an important milestone in the battle to expose such assaults and encourage victims to come forward despite strong social pressures to remain silent.

Yeshiva Torah Temimah agreed in the fall of 2014 to pay $2.1 million to two former students who accused Rabbi Joel (Yehuda) Kolko, 70, of molesting them when they were six years old, according to a recent New York Post story. The settlement became public knowledge when papers filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court indicated that the yeshiva had defaulted on its schedule of payments. The lawsuits were filed in 2006 and 2007.

Numerous allegations of sex abuse had been made against Kolko, dating back some 25 years. In 2012, in a deal with Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney at the time, Kolko pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment but did not receive a jail term and was not required to register as a sex offender.

The two separate lawsuits that came to light last week claim that Rabbi Lipa Margulies, the head of the yeshiva, was aware of allegations for more than two decades that Kolko sat boys on his lap and touched their private parts, but kept him on as an elementary school teacher. According to the lawsuits, yeshiva officials threatened the families of victims to ensure their silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Retired priest sentenced to jail for exposing himself to teen

WISCONSIN
WISH

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – A retired Catholic priest has been sentenced to four months jail for flashing a teenage boy multiple times.

Richard Thomas, 78, appeared in a Brown County courtroom Friday morning for a sentencing hearing on two counts of Exposing Genitals/Pubic Area/Intimate Parts to a Child. He pleaded “no contest” to the charges in September. As part of a plea deal, two other charges were dismissed.

In addition to the jail time, Thomas was also ordered to serve 36 months on probation and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He cannot have contact with minors.

Thomas told the court he “struggled with urges” and is “remorseful.” His attorney said Thomas is undergoing treatment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Priest sentenced to jail for exposing himself

WISCONSIN
West Plains Daily Quill

Friday, October 28, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — A retired priest from the Green Bay diocese has been sentenced to four months in jail for exposing himself to a child.

Father Richard Thomas will serve his time in the Brown County Jail. He has also been given three years of supervised release following his jail sentence and he must register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors say the 78-year-old priest exposed himself a number of times to a 16-year-old boy while living in a home for retired priests in Allouez. WLUK-TV (http://bit.ly/2eMR1ib ) reports authorities say the priest would bang on the window to get the boy's attention while the teen was walking to school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Foster Care Agency Hit With $5M Verdict Over Sex Abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
The Legal Intelligencer

Max Mitchell, The Legal Intelligencer
October 27, 2016

Presbyterian Children's Village has been hit with a more than $5 million verdict for placing a child in a foster home where she was sexually abused, despite allegedly knowing that the foster home was being investigated for abuse allegations.

A jury on Thursday awarded the family of the abuse victim $5 million in compensatory damages, and an additional $350,000 in punitive damages. The award came down after two weeks of trial in front of Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Victor DiNubile, and about five hours of deliberation.

Kline & Specter attorney Nadeem A. Bezar, who tried the case with Emily B. Marks, said the verdict reflected that the jury was both horrified by what the child endured and disappointed that nothing was done sooner to prevent the abuse.

"I think it's sending a clear message that any time there's a suspicion of abuse and it involves a child people need to do everything they can to ensure that those children aren't harmed," Bezar said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Elderly Salvos worker jailed for sex abuse of children in his care

AUSTRALIA
9 News

An elderly Victorian man who "remorselessly" sexually abused boys who were in the care of the Salvation Army will spend the remainder of his life behind bars.

Robert Burnett, 77, was today sentenced to 18 years in jail with a minimum of 14 and a half years.

The former Salvation Army boys' home supervisor was found guilty of abusing seven boys between the early 1970s to the late 1990s.

The victims - aged between seven and 13 - were abused at Burnett's home or on camping trips, sometimes while they slept.

Some of the offending took place in the presence of other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

No mercy for 'predatory' Salvos paedophile, just 18½ years of 'stern punishment'

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Jane Lee

A Salvation Army worker will likely die in jail after being sentenced to 18½ years in prison for sexually abusing children in his care over almost 30 years.

Robert Burnett, 77, maintained his innocence throughout 14 different trials on the abuse, which took place when he invited children to sleep over at his home or took them on camping holidays between 1973 and 1999.

County Court Judge Bill Stuart, who presided over 12 of the trials, said Burnett had shown no remorse or accepted any responsibility in that time for his crimes against seven vulnerable victims, aged seven to 13 years.

Most of them had been placed in state care when they were very young.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

'Predatory' paedophile from Salvation Army gets 18 years in jail for child abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

A Salvation Army worker is likely to die in jail after being sentenced to 18-and-a-half years in jail for sexually abusing seven boys between 1973 and 1999.

Robert Burnett, 77, who maintained his innocence during 14 separate trials, was found guilty of abusing the boys, who were aged between seven and 13.

Burnett ran Salvation Army homes for boys and five of the victims were wards of the state.

He abused the boys during sleepovers at his home at Thorpdale, east of Melbourne, or while on camping trips at Walhalla and Wandin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Young people reluctant to report sexual abuse, royal commission research finds

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Ursula Malone

Children and young people are reluctant to speak out about sexual abuse, according to a survey for the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission wants young people to play a role in making themselves safer in institutions like schools, churches and sporting clubs.

To do this they commissioned a research project involving 1,500 children and young people, including those with a disability, asking them what makes them feel unsafe and what they think needs to be done to make them safer.

For the past three years, the commission has been hearing accounts of horrific abuse of children and the failing of these institutions.

Children had little say in the running of those institutions and their voices were rarely if ever heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

BBC Newsnight accuses sex abuse inquiry of assault cover-up

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Martin Evans, crime correspondent Robert Mendick, chief reporter

28 OCTOBER 2016

The BBC last night sensationally accused the national child sex abuse inquiry of covering up an allegation of indecent assault of a member of staff by a senior colleague.

The alleged cover-up was categorically denied by the inquiry as well as the alleged perpetrator, whose lawyers told Newsnight the allegations were "completely false".

The man was identified by the BBC Newsnight programme although the corporation admitted it had no evidence the assault took place.

The Telegraph has chosen not to identify him for legal reasons.

In 2013 the BBC was forced to apologise after Newsnight wrongly accused Lord McAlpine of being involved in the alleged sexual abuse of children at north Wales care homes.

It is not true that an inquiry worker made a complaint of sexual assault to the Chair or to the panel or to an official Inquiry spokesman

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Abuse inquiry dropped investigation into lawyer's conduct

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC Newsnight

By Jake Morris & Hannah Barnes
BBC Newsnight
28 October 2016

The child sex abuse inquiry dropped an investigation of its most senior lawyer despite a disclosure of alleged sexual assault.

Ben Emmerson was suspended in September over concerns about his conduct, but the suspension was lifted the next day when he resigned, allowing him to keep working for the inquiry for two months.

The inquiry faces claims it failed to fully investigate potential wrongdoing.

Mr Emmerson categorically denies sexual assault, bullying or other misconduct.
The inquiry denies it received any complaint of sexual assault.

It said it had suspended the QC because it was "very concerned" by aspects of his leadership.

BBC Newsnight has learned the inquiry was also aware that an inquiry worker had alleged Mr Emmerson had sexually assaulted her in a lift at the inquiry's offices in Millbank in central London in early September

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Abuse probe denies claim top lawyer quit over 'sex assault' after Newsnight alleges cover-up of allegation

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By REBECCA CAMBER, CRIME CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

The troubled child abuse inquiry was in ‘meltdown’ last night amid claims it covered up an alleged sex attack by its top lawyer.

Ben Emmerson QC denied sensational claims he groped a colleague and was allowed to quit 24 hours after being suspended.

An inquiry spokesman refuted that a worker had made a complaint of sexual assault at all.

And Mr Emmerson’s lawyers issued a furious rebuttal, saying: ‘[He] categorically denies any allegation of sexual assault or bullying or any other misconduct at the inquiry. Any such allegations are completely false.’

The bombshell allegation reported by BBC Newsnight threatened to deal the £100million Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse a fatal blow.

It was alleged that the lawyer pushed a female workmate against the side of a lift and molested her at the inquiry headquarters in Millbank Tower last month.

According to Newsnight, the alleged victim gave an account of the assault and the inquiry’s chairman Professor Alexis Jay and her panel were made aware the same day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Child abuse inquiry hit by sexual assault claim

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Haroon Siddique
Friday 28 October 2016

The head of the national inquiry into child abuse has been urged to publicly address claims that it covered up an alleged sexual assault by its most senior lawyer.

An inquiry worker alleged that Ben Emmerson QC sexually assaulted her in a lift at the inquiry’s offices in Millbank in central London in early September, according to BBC Newsnight.

He was suspended that month, over what the inquiry said at the time were leadership concerns, but the suspension was lifted the next day when he resigned, allowing him to keep working for the inquiry for two months.

Emmerson’s lawyers have said the allegation of sexual assaultis “completely false” but the claim has added to the turbulence afflicting the inquiry.

Tim Loughton, a Conservative MP who was chair of the home affairs select committee when it questioned the inquiry chair, Prof Alexis Jay, and other panel members last week, said Jay needed to address the allegations and restore confidence in its work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Twitter goes quiet as BBC reports ‘categorically denied’ allegation against top QC

UNITED KINGDOM
Legal Cheek

By Katie King

There is puzzlement this morning in legal London after BBC Newsnight claimed that Ben Emmerson QC, a highly-respected barrister and former leading lawyer at an independent child abuse inquiry, has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in the lift of a London office.

Emmerson “categorically denies” the allegations. The inquiry denies it received any complaint of sexual assault.

The top lawyer, one of 35 QCs at human rights and public law set Matrix, was suspended from his post at the national abuse inquiry in September. This happened, it was reported at the time, because the inquiry had “become very concerned about aspects of [his] leadership of the counsel team”. Inquiry chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay continued:

He has therefore been suspended from duty so that these can be properly investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

CLAIMS HUSHED Child abuse inquiry accused of staging a cover-up as sexual assault claims surround probe’s top lawyer

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY PATRICK GYSIN 28th October 2016

THE child sex abuse probe was last night accused of covering up an alleged sex assault by its former top lawyer.

A woman claims Ben Emmerson QC groped her in a lift at the inquiry offices in Westminster.

Mr Emmerson, 53, was suspended on September 28 before quitting a day later. No reason was given for his resignation.

He denies any wrongdoing and the woman is understood not to have made a formal complaint.

However, BBC’s Newsnight claimed chairwoman Alexis Jay and her panel were made aware of allegations in late September but did not inform the public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Rabbi charged with sex abuse to get 1 year of counseling, no prison

CALIFORNIA
Jewish Journal

by Eitan Arom
Posted on Oct. 27, 2016

Rabbi Sholom D. Levitansky has agreed to one year of counseling and residential treatment at Beit T’Shuvah, an addiction treatment center near Culver City, after pleading no contest to two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor.

At the Oct. 27 hearing at the Airport Courthouse on La Cienega Boulevard, his lawyer, Vicki Podberesky, told Judge Yvette Verastegui he had checked into Beit T’Shuvah the day before.

Levitansky won’t be officially sentenced until he completes the treatment program. Once he’s sentenced a year from now, he won’t face jail time but will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney spokesperson Ricardo Santiago.

Each count of sexual penetration with a foreign object carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison, but Levitansky will serve his time at Beit T’Shuva instead of a prison sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Woman accuses SDA pastor of sexual harassment

KENYA
The Star

Oct. 28, 2016

By ALPHONCE MUNG'AHU

A woman has accused a pastor of Seventh Day Adventist Church, Nairobi East, of sexually harassing her.

The woman said she works as a teacher at a school sponsored by the church, at which the pastor is also based.

She filed an affidavit accusing pastor Paul Owuor of the offence.

But Owuor denied the allegations saying "the woman is out to taint my image". He also denied her allegations that she reported the matter to the church's management.

The teacher claimed the pastor sexually harassed her after calling her into his office at around 8.30am on September 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Celibacy and the modern priest: Tom Keneally on his new book Crimes of the Father

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Tom Keneally

In the early 1970s I knew a splendid priest whose authority to say Mass and operate within the Archdiocese of Sydney was terminated by the then prelate, Cardinal James Freeman. The priest's name was Father Pat Connor and he was a dear friend. As a young missionary in India, he was influenced by Gandhi, and I never knew a person who practised non-violent dissent with less pathology and more dignity and human love than Pat. As a peaceable man, he was involved in anti-Vietnam and anti-apartheid protest, including the famous and unwise Springbok tour of 1971.

For many of us, in those years following the death of Pope John XXIII, who had tried to embrace the world rather than fearing it, Pat's was the human face and the wise voice we met just as we were on our disgruntled way out of the Catholic Church. His sermons were visionary, and concerned real issues. For that very reason, the content of his sermons were frequently complained of to the Cardinal. Suddenly, he was being expelled from Sydney for no moral flaw other than seeing a connection between fraternal love and politics. He went to New Jersey, where he lived and worked from his order's "house" or monastery, as a fully empowered priest, for the rest of his career. This ended with his death in 2015. In his late years, he had published a well-known book of advice to young women on marriage, Whom Not to Marry. In contrast to St Paul's "Wives, obey your husbands," Pat wrote, "Never marry a man who tries to control you." He became a visitor to the morning American TV shows where his rare authenticity guaranteed he was a hit.

In 2002, he had given me advice on a piece I wrote for The New Yorker on the church abuse issue. Pat told me how pleased he was to live fraternally in a monastery, instead of on his own in a "sterile presbytery" where "laughter is rarely heard". But he said something far more radical to me: he declared that if the church did not address this issue of abuse with frankness and openness, and with the compassion it declared itself to be the chief promoter of, then the state would come to intervene, and the civil arm would force the Church to do the right thing. By then, he predicted, ordinary priests like him would be suspect because the reputation of their profession would have become identified in the public mind with child sexual abuse, or the enabling or hiding of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Diocese, priest deny claims sisters were abused as children

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by The Associated Press

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania Catholic diocese and a priest are denying allegations by two sisters who say the priest repeatedly molested them as girls, including one at her First Communion party.

Attorneys for the Altoona-Johnstown diocese and the Rev. Charles Bodziak say he "denies any sexual interest in children and denies he ever utilized his position to 'groom' or seek sexual gratification from any child, at any time."

The Altoona Mirror first reported Wednesday on the church response filed Oct. 7 in Blair County court.

The church attorneys argue the lawsuits filed in June by the sisters, now in their 40s, are barred by the statute of limitations, which requires alleged child-sex abuse victims to sue by the time they are 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Editorial: No day in court for victims of sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

Back in the spring, state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, Jamie Santora and others in the Delco delegation stuck their neck out.

The Republicans did something a lot of people thought would never happen in Harrisburg. They passed House Bill 1947.

Like their colleagues across the state, the local representatives were outraged over the latest grand jury report on child sexual abuse, this time in the Altoona-Johnstown diocese, which showed the exact same kind of abuse and cover-ups that had been pointed out a decade ago here in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

They decided to send a message, joining a bipartisan wave that passed the measure by an 180-15.

Not only did they send a message, they also got one in return.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

October 27, 2016

Brooklyn yeshiva agrees to pay $2.1M to victims of Rabbi Yehuda Kolko's child sex abuse

NEW YORK
New York Daily News
NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O'KEEFFE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Brooklyn yeshiva quietly became the first Orthodox Jewish school to compensate students who claim they were molested by a teacher when it agreed to pay more than $2 million to two boys and their families in 2014 — and now it may be the first Orthodox school to default on a settlement with sex abuse victims.

Yeshiva-Mesitva Torah Temimah, a prominent Orthodox school on Brooklyn's Ocean Parkway, agreed to pay one former student $900,000 and the other $1.35 million in a settlement reached in October 2014.

The agreements were originally confidential, but they became public earlier this month after lawyers for the boys filed papers in Brooklyn Supreme Court that said the school failed to make payments due earlier this year.

“This is the first time the public has known about these payments,” said sex-abuse expert Marci Hamilton, a lawyer and a distinguished scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. “This is the first settlement with a yeshiva that has been publicly disclosed. I was surprised as anybody to see this. This is a sizeable settlement.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Bengaluru: Priest sexually abuses minor, held

INDIA
Deccan Chronicle

BENGALURU: A 54-year-old priest was arrested by the Indiranagar police after he allegedly sexually abused a six-year-old girl on Wednesday evening.

The accused has been identified as Shivakumar, a resident of Thippasandra. He was working as a priest at a temple close to this house. According to the police, the alleged incident took place around 6.15 pm.

The girl, who lived along with her parents in the neighbouring house, was playing near the temple, when the accused allegedly took her inside the temple, where he allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Community leader boasted about snagging favor from future top cop

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Shawn Cohen and Bruce Golding

October 26, 2016

A Borough Park community leader bragged on a taped phone call how he pulled some strings to get future top cop James O’Neill to transfer a friendly lieutenant back to the neighborhood, The Post has learned.

Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein wanted Michael Andreano returned to Borough Park’s 66th Precinct from the 60th in Brighton Beach, where the cop had been shipped following his promotion.

Perlstein, speaking in Yiddish, describes in the secretly recorded conversation how he approached NYPD Assistant Chief Steven Powers at a September 2015 breakfast meeting in Williamsburg and asked that Andreano be moved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

NYPD lieutenant stripped of badge, gun over ties to bribery scheme

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Shawn Cohen and Bruce Golding October 24, 2016

A high-ranking Brooklyn cop has been stripped of his badge and gun over ties to a key figure in an alleged $1 million NYPD bribery scheme, The Post has learned.

Lt. Michael Andreano of the 66th Precinct in Boro Park was put on desk duty as part of the wide-ranging corruption probe that has already resulted in pending charges against three NYPD bosses, sources said.

Andreano is suspected of having improper dealings with Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, a leader of the Boro Park “Shomrim” patrol who in April was busted on bribery and conspiracy charges involving pistol permits, sources said.

“This guy was tight with Shaya and would go out of his way to accommodate him,” a source said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Robert A. Torres

ARKANSAS
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Robert A. Torres was a priest of the Diocese of Little Rock, ordained in 1966. He assisted at a number of parishes in Little Rock before being named lead priest at a Malvern parish, and subsequently in Little Rock, Hope and Ashdown. Torres was longtime chair of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission and director of the Mexican-American Spanish Center. He retired in 1995. After 2002 Torres is no longer indexed in the Official Catholic Directory.

In September 2016 the diocese announced that it had recently met with two people who were sexually abused by Torres over 35 years previously, while Torres was assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel in Little Rock. The two were members of the parish; one of them was referred to as a "youth" at the time of the abuse. The diocese stated further that, per Torres' admission and its own investigation, Torres likely abused at least two or three other young people.

Ordained: 1966
Retired: 1995
Laicized: after 2002, before 2016

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Landmark Victory In Sex Abuse Cases

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

Thu, 10/27/2016

The financial settlement by a Brooklyn yeshiva of two sexual abuse cases marks an important milestone in the battle to expose such assaults and encourage victims to come forward despite strong social pressures to remain silent.

Yeshiva Torah Temimah agreed in the fall of 2014 to pay $2.1 million to two former students who accused Rabbi Joel (Yehuda) Kolko, 70, of molesting them when they were 6 years old, according to a recent New York Post story. The settlement became public when papers filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court indicated that the yeshiva had defaulted on its schedule of payment. The lawsuits were filed in 2006 and 2007.

Numerous allegations of sexual abuse had been made against Rabbi Kolko, dating back some 25 years. In 2012, in a deal with Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney at the time, Rabbi Kolko pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of child endangerment but did not receive a jail term and was not required to register as a sex offender.

The two separate lawsuits that came to light last week claim that Rabbi Lipa Margulies, the head of the yeshiva, was aware for more than two decades of allegations that Rabbi Kolko sat boys on his lap and touched their private parts, but kept him on as an elementary school teacher.

According to the lawsuits, yeshiva officials threatened the families of victims to ensure their silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

DAILY NEWS ACTS RESPONSIBLY

NEW YORK
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on an editorial by the New York Daily News that was posted on its website:

Yesterday, I took the Daily News and the New York Times to task for not running a story on a Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish school that agreed to pay $2.1 million to two former students. Rabbi Joel Kolko was charged with molesting the boys, beginning at the age of six.

The Daily News has now offered a responsible rejoinder. It concedes that it “blew it,” explaining that it “sometimes misses stories.” Fair enough. It then contends that it covers the sexual abuse of minors whenever and wherever it occurs. It also defends itself against charges of anti-Catholicism, providing some examples of its fairness.

Unlike the Daily News, the New York Times has not explained why it did not cover the story about Rabbi Kolko. While I believe that the absence of a story in the Daily News was indeed an error, I do not believe that the Times erred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

DAILY NEWS AND NEW YORK TIMES SHOW BIAS

NEW YORK
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on biased reporting by two New York dailies:

We have repeatedly said that the vast majority of media outlets and pundits who dwell on priestly sexual abuse—a problem that occurred mostly between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s—are not seriously interested in the sexual abuse of minors. One way to prove this is to review how the media cover this issue when the victimizers are not Catholic. The evidence is overwhelming: the Catholic League conclusion is correct.

Just this week, the New York Post and the Jewish Forward reported on an Orthodox yeshiva in Brooklyn that agreed to pay $2.1 million in a child sexual abuse settlement. The case involves Rabbi Joel Kolko, a senior rabbi, who was charged with molesting two boys at the Jewish day school. This was not the first time that charges had been made against this rabbi—they have been going on for 25 years.

Rabbi Kolko is quite unlike most of the priests accused of abusing minors. In the case of priests, almost all of the abusers were homosexuals: 81 percent of the victims were male and 78 percent were postpubescent. In the case of Rabbi Kolko, he started molesting the boys when they were six-years-old. He is a true pedophile.

The other two New York newspapers, the Daily News and the New York Times, are known for their fixation on priestly sexual abuse, and for their hard-hitting editorials on this subject. But neither paper ran a story on Rabbi Kolko, and there will be no editorial. So predictable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Setting the record straight on the Daily News, the Catholic Church and child sex abuse

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Editorial

Catholic League President Bill Donohue has taken note that the Daily News failed to report that an Orthodox Jewish school in Brooklyn agreed to pay $2.1 million to two former students who accused a rabbi of sexual abuse.

An energetically valuable defender of his faith, Donohue sees anti-Catholic bias in the fact that The News published not a word about the settlement paid as compensation for the serial predations of Rabbi Joel Kolko.

We see something else: human error.

Like any media organization, The News sometimes misses stories. This was one of them — and it was especially significant for a publication that has campaigned for reform of New York State statutes of limitations on criminal and civil cases against those who sexually abuse minors.

Our particular interest aside, the conclusion of the Kolko civil suit demanded attention because his alleged pedophilia extended for years, he had escaped the law before and the settlement was the first of its kind by a yeshiva.

So, we blew it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

CO--Victims blast archbishop & leaflet downtown church today

COLORADO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

SNAP flier in Colorado about the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV)

Victims blast past Denver archbishop
Church officials keep quiet about cult-like group here
Its founder abused kids in Peru & others allegedly did so too
SNAP members will hand out leaflets to Cathedral mass-goers
Several members with the controversial group are now in Sheridan
And the widely-criticized organization has run a local retreat center
Advocates ask Catholic staffers to “disclose predators & warn flock”

WHAT: Handing leaflets to parishioners as they arrive for mass, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will urge Colorado’s top Catholic officials to:

–– “come clean” about their support for a controversial, ultra-conservative Catholic cult-like group whose founder is a confirmed child molester (and seven other officials are accused of wrongdoing),

–– stop promoting the group, supervise its local members closely, and

–– start warning other US bishops about it.

They will also beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Colorado to call police officials, not church officials.

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 27 at 11:50 a..m.

WHERE: Outside the Denver Catholic Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, at the corner of Logan and E. Colfax Avenue.

WHO: Several members of the 28,000 plus international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Denver man who is the organization’s long-time volunteer Colorado director

WHY: Several years ago, the former head of the Denver Catholic archdiocese, Charles Chaput, brought to Denver a controversial Catholic sect whose founder sexually molested kids. His successors in SVC have said the allegations were credible. Seven others in the sect are accused of kidnapping and assaulting youth. Several members of the group ran/run a retreat center for the archdiocese and now work in an archdiocesan parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

NJ--Poker playing priest accused of child porn: Victims respond

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

A Newark NJ Catholic priest faces child pornography charges. We hope he’s convicted. We call on Newark’s top Catholic official, Archbishop John Myers, to aggressively reach out to anyone who may have information or suspicions about his crimes.

And we hope this news prompts others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police so Fr. Kevin A. Gugliotta might be charged with and convicted on other offenses and be kept away from kids even longer.

[Asbury Park Press]

All too often, when child sex offenders are caught, their supervisors and colleagues clam up. But if kids are to be safer, everyone who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes must call law enforcement immediately. Those who hire or work with predators must do all they can to find others who have been assaulted and beg them to call law enforcement. This is especially true of Catholic bishops, who recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train and often transfer and cover up for predator priests. These bishops can’t wash their hands of these pedophiles just because they’ve been sent somewhere else or have moved somewhere else.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Spotlight for victims

BANGLADESH
The Daily Star

It was sometime in 1976. Two policemen, a rookie and a veteran officer, gathered at Boston police station. They were discussing the arrest of a Catholic priest on charge of molestation of children. A high ranking clerk was talking to the mother of the children in the police station. The assistant district attorney then entered the police station and told the cops not to let the press get wind of what happened. When the rookie remarked how it would be difficult to keep the press away during the arraignment, the veteran scoffed and sarcastically asked "what arraignment?"
Spotlight for victims

Shakhawat Liton and Tuhin Shubhra Adhikary

This is the beginning of the Hollywood film – Spotlight -- that won the Oscar as the best picture of 2015. To win the Oscar, it had to beat The Revenant, an exciting movie based on the story of Hugh Glass (1783—1833), an American frontiersman and fur trapper who has become a folk hero after surviving a bear attack and then travelling hundreds of miles alone to safety. It won two of the biggest Oscars -- for best actor and best director. Titanic sensation Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar as best actor in The Revenant. And it was almost certain that The Revenant would win Oscar as the best film of 2015.

In terms of the budget and income, Spotlight lagged far behind. The budget for The Revenant was $135 million and it earned $533 million. In contrast, the budget of Spotlight was only $20 million and it earned $88.3 million, according to Wikipedia.

But Spotlight proved all speculations wrong. What is the secret and strength of Spotlight? In 129 minutes, the film tells about a true story of how The Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese. The revelation has shaken the entire Catholic Church to its core. Members of The Boston Globe's Spotlight Team won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003. The newspaper was honoured, according to the Pulitzer website, "for its courageous, comprehensive coverage ... an effort that pierced secrecy, stirred local, national and international reaction and produced changes in the Roman Catholic Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Former Catholic priest who abused children at Shirley Oaks has 'too soft' jail term ex

UNITED KINGDOM
Croydon Advertiser

By Tom_Matthews | Posted: October 27, 2016

A former social worker and Catholic priest who abused 13 children over more than two decades, including at Shirley Oaks children's home, today had his "too soft" jail term increased by a third.

Philip Temple molested 12 boys and one girl over 25 years, starting in the 1970s, while working in south London care homes and at a north London church.

He also lied on oath at a trial in the 1990s, when he was cleared of sex offences against a teenage boy - forcing his victim to go through the trauma of giving evidence against him twice.

The 66-year-old, of Court Downs Road, Beckenham, was given a 12-year sentence at Woolwich Crown Court in August, after he admitted 27 sex offences and two counts of perjury.

Top court to rule on fate of personal accounts of residential schools

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016

The Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether painful, personal accounts from the survivors of residential schools should be destroyed or permanently archived for posterity.

The survivors’ stories were used by the independent assessment process, which handled compensation claims under the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

A lower court judge ruled that the material should be destroyed after 15 years, although individuals could consent to have their stories preserved at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg.

In a 2-1 ruling last April, the Ontario Court of Appeal agreed, saying the documents are not government records subject to archiving laws and that their disposition should be at the sole discretion of the survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

WHAT HAPPENED TO HOUSE BILL 1947? FACSA Update

PENNSYLVANIA
Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse

State Representative Mark Rozzi
126th Legislative District

As I write this, the PA legislative session is coming to an end. And, despite the work of many in these last moments, PA HB 1947 will die at the end of this session.

To all those who wrote letters and emails, made phone calls, made visits to Harrisburg to tell your stories and why HB 1947 was a long overdue partial answer to ensuring justice for all victims- past, present and future- we here at FACSA say thank you, thank you, thank you.

We especially thank Rep. Mark Rozzi and his staff who have worked tirelessly on this issue for the last 4 years. A special thanks to Pam Oddo, executive assistant to Rep. Mark Rozzi.

While the provisions of HB 1947 that we supported did not pass our legilature, we at FACSA can say (as supporters of #SOLReform for more than a decade) this has been a banner year for advocates of #SOLReform on several fronts:

• For the first time here in PA a legislative body heard and responded to the call for a law that would provide some level of justice for victims of child sex abuse. That effort was spearheaded by one of our heroes- Rep. Mark Rozzi;
• PA Governor Tom Wolf stated he would sign the bill if it passed the House and Senate;
• All PA legislators heard again and again about the need for #SOLReform from victims and supporters from all over the state;
• The state's Office of the Attorney General courageously continues to search out the truth about past abuses and coverups by conducting statewide grand jury investigations into several Roman Catholic archdioceses. No other state AG's offices have ever done this. Ever.
• More victims found the courage to come forward, tell their stories and to seek help, hope and healing;
• More advocates/ advocacy organizations joined the fight for justice for adult victims of child sex abuse;
• More editorial boards supported SOL Reform;
• More print, online and TV media coverage of the need for #SOLReform added to the education of the public on a complex issue at best, and one not easily understood;
• The battle made national news more than once.

While it is time to take a break for a bit to recharge- know the battle will be taken up again in the new year, in the new legislative session.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Khamenei’s favorite reciter hit by rape claims

IRAN
Al Arabiya

Ramadhan al-Saadi, AlArabiya.net
Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Rape victims are coming forward alleging the one of Iran’s leading Quran readers sexually molested them.

Saeed Toosi is considred one of Iran’s most celebrated Quran reader and was once considered an “exemplary model to be followed” according to Khamenei, current Supreme Leader of Iran.

The 46-year-old representative of Iran in the international Quranic competition, and the winner of the first prize both internationally and locally, has reportedly raped seven of his students aged between 12 ad 14, during the past seven years.

They decided to shed light on their cases and bring it to the public while an Iranian court attempts at covering up the sexual scandal under supposed direct orders from the Khamenei and the Supreme Judicial authorities.

Toosi adds up to a growing list of scandal facing Tehran, after series of economic ones have preoccupied the Iranian public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Iran’s top Koran reciter stands accused of raping his students

IRAN
The Freethinker

Saeed Toosi, 46, above, one of Iran’s most celebrated Koran readers, has been accused of sexually assaulting a number of his students aged between 12 ad 14 over a period of seven years.

According to this report, Toosi – once descibed an “exemplary model to be followed” by Ali Khamenei, current Supreme Leader of Iran –represented Iran in the international Koranic competition and won the first prize.

In a television programme broadcasted by The Persian Voice of America, three of his victims said that they have written evidence and audio recordings clearly pointing to Toosi in which he admitted in his own handwriting that his actions were a “mistake”.

In an audio recording , Toosi is heard saying the that Khamenei is well aware of the situation, and had agreed with the head of the judiciary authority Sadek Larijani to cover up the case in order to safeguard the reputation of the Koranic institution in Iran.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Bisexual Church of England vicar sacked over orgies and prostitutes after wife exposes his double life

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Lexi Finnigan
27 OCTOBER 2016

A bisexual priest who took part in group sex and visited gay saunas has been sacked after his wife exposed his double life.

A Church of England tribunal heard details of Reverend James Day’s sexual antics after his estranged wife amassed a cache of evidence against him and made a formal complaint.

This included four memory sticks containing pornographic images and explicit emails Rev Day sent referring to gay liaisons.

After hearing a damning statement from Birte Day, the Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal for the Diocese of Europe ruled his actions amounted to “conduct unbecoming and inappropriate” and banned him from ministry for life.

The hearing found the dad-of-three had been violent towards his wife – tightening a scarf around her throat so she couldn’t breathe, spanking her as punishment for wearing shorts, and spitting in her face.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Residential school compensation case caught in ‘arcane’ legal battle

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016

A 66-year-old indigenous man who says he was raped by a priest when he was a young boy at an Indian residential school has been waiting more than six years for the compensation he believes he is owed by Canada.

No one disputes that the man, known as MF in legal documents, is entitled to a share of the money from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement for those who were abused at the institutions. But a legal battle being waged by the federal government will prevent him from being paid for the foreseeable future.

The government argues that Justice Paul Perell of the Ontario Superior Court overstepped his authority in July when he ordered the government to sit down with MF’s lawyer to determine how much the man is owed and to give it to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Priest Who Served St. Bart's in Scotch Plains Arrested for Possession of Child Porn

NEW JERSEY
TAPinto

By TAPINTO.NET STAFF
October 27, 2016

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Father Kevin Gugliotta, who served the parishioners at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church in Scotch Plains for several years as a youth minister, has been arrested in Ocean County for possession and distribution of child pornography, according to multiple news reports.

A criminal docket from a Wayne County, Pa. magisterial court listed 20 allegations against the priest for possession and distribution of photographs or video of children in sex acts, according to a report by the Asbury Park Press. The activities allegedly took place on Gulgiotta's personal computer at his vacation home in Pennsylvania. He awaits extradition from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

St. Bart's parishioners are shocked by the news.

"He was a youth minister at our parish. I would trust him with my own child. I'm just devastated," said one Scotch Plains mom who spoke to TAPintoSPF under condition of anonymity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

NJ priest faces 40 felony child porn counts

PENNSYLVANIA
Citizens Voice

BY DAVID SINGLETON / PUBLISHED: OCTOBER 27, 2016

A Roman Catholic priest from Mahwah, New Jersey, faces 40 felony counts of possessing and disseminating child pornography after investigators say he uploaded illicit files to the internet from a Wayne County apartment he referred to as his “day off place.”

The Rev. Kevin A. Gugliotta, 54, was taken into custody as a fugitive from justice Thursday night in Toms River, New Jersey, Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards said Wednesday. He was being held in the Ocean County Jail pending extradition to Pennsylvania.

His arrest followed a three-month investigation that Edwards said involved law enforcement officials from multiple counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Rev. Gugliotta uploaded 20 files depicting children engaged in sexual activity to internet chat rooms between July 9 and Aug. 29 from his apartment in Lehigh Township, according to the arrest affidavit prepared by Wayne County Detective Michael F. McMorrow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Bill extending statute of limitations for sexual abuse fails to pass Pa. House

PENNSYLVANIA
The Times Herald

By Kathleen E. Carey, kcarey@21st-centurymedia.com, @dtbusiness on Twitter
POSTED: 10/26/16

The fight to expand the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse victims in Harrisburg is over for this session. HB 1947 failed to be put out for a final vote, and its main supporter called it a victim of an abuse of power and vowed to resuscitate the issue in the next session in the new year.

HB 1947 surfaced in the spring as the state House passed the measure 180 to 15 in April, on the heels of a state attorney general grand jury report into hundreds of students abused in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown by at least 50 Catholic priests dating back 40 years. But when the bill moved to the Senate, it faced a concerted campaign from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the insurance industry to block controversial language that would allow victims from decades ago to come forward now and file civil suits against their alleged abusers.

The archdiocese urged parishioners to contact their legislators to oppose the bill. Some local House members who had supported the measure said they took heat from the archdiocese, with one actually having his name casually mentioned in the Sunday bulletin at his parish.

In June, the state Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on House Bill 1947, which proponents said was biased due to the connection of the committee chairman, state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-12, of Willow Grove, Pa., and his firm representing Catholic entities in abuse cases in Delaware. The firm fought similar legislation there, as well as then-Solicitor General Bruce Castor’s testimony in light of the guarantee he made to Bill Cosby about avoiding prosecution on rape charges years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Mormon home school teacher indicted on kidnapping, child pornography charges

NEVADA
Las Vegas Review-Journal

By DAVID FERRARA
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

As Henderson police tried to arrest Martin Gillen at his home in August on a charge of lewdness with a child, the registered sex offender stabbed himself in the throat, saying he did not want to return to prison, according to prosecutors.

Gillen, 43, had been working as a home school teacher through the Mormon church, when he was accused of fondling a 10-year-old girl at her home, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Dena Rinetti.

The prosecutor announced Wednesday that Gillen had been indicted on four more felony charges: first-degree kidnapping, child abuse, neglect or endangerment, use of a minor in producing pornography and burglary.

If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

An untold history of resistance to residential schools

CANADA
CBC News

By Josée Dupuis, CBC News Posted: Oct 27, 2016

Behind the stories of abuse that took place across Canada's residential schools, there are also never-before-told stories emerging of First Nations parents who tried to defy the government by hiding their own children.

Radio-Canada's investigative journalism program, Enquête, spoke to families who fought back against the federally-run mandatory system.

Marie-Jeanne Papatie remembers seeing her older brothers and sisters leave the First Nations reserve of Lac-Simon to attend residential school Saint-Marc-de-Figuery, near Amos in the Abitibi region in northwestern Quebec.

The next summer, she recalls her father hearing about stories of abuse that took place at the institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Mormon school stops honor-code reviews of sex abuse victims

UTAH
Gillette News Record

By BRADY McCOMBS and LINDSAY WHITEHURST Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Students at Brigham Young University who report sexual assault will no longer be investigated for possible violations of the strict honor code that bans drinking and premarital sex, the Mormon-owned school announced Wednesday in a major reversal to a practice that drew widespread scrutiny.

The college accepted several recommendations made by a faculty council that reviewed how sexual assault cases are handled. The inquiry began in May after female students and alumni spoke out against the school opening honor-code investigations of students who report abuses.

Victims advocates said the practice discourages reporting of sexual violence, which is already underreported on campuses nationwide. The sweeping changes mark a victory for victims and advocates who have been seeking reform for years and serve as a university acknowledgement that its practices were deficient.

Two former students who went public with their experiences said they are mostly pleased with the upcoming changes at the school, where students must agree to a code forbidding sex before marriage and drug and alcohol use.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

12 years later, pastor charged with sexual abuse again

IOWA
KCCI

Steffani Nolte

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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Response to child sex abuse victims 'too little too late'

AUSTRALIA
Lismore Echo

Andrew Backhouse | 27th Oct 2016

A FORMER Toowoomba schoolboy who says he was sexually assaulted at school has blasted an offer of counselling as "too little too late".

David Patterson was a student at Toowoomba Anglican College and Preparatory School in 1969/70 when he was eight.

He said he was abused by a teacher and accused of being a liar for reporting it to the school and his parents.

He has since spent time in psychiatric wards, starting with Lowson House in 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Diocese, Bodziak deny accusations

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

OCT 27, 2016

RUSS O'REILLY
Staff Writer
roreilly@altoonamirror.com

The Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese officials and the Rev. Charles Bodziak deny accusations made in civil lawsuits filed against them.

The diocese and Bodziak filed answers on Oct. 7 to lawsuits brought against them in June by sisters Renee Rice and Cheryl Haun.

“Defendant Bodziak … denies any sexual interest in children and denies he ever utilized his position to ‘groom’ or seek sexual gratification from any child, at any time,” Bodziak’s answer to the lawsuit states.

The complaint filed for Rice alleges abuse between 1975 and 1981 when she was between 8 and 14 years old. Haun’s complaint alleges she was abused between 1976 and 1977, when she was between 7 and 8 years old.

The defendants named in Rice and Haun’s lawsuits are Bodziak, the diocese, retired Bishop Joseph Adamec and Monsignor Michael Servinsky, executor of the estate of decease Bishop James Hogan, who was running the diocese during the women’s childhood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Pa. Legislature won’t take up House Bill 1947

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

By Kathleen E. Carey, Delaware County Daily Times
POSTED: 10/26/16

The fight to expand the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse victims in Harrisburg is over for this session. HB 1947 failed to be put out for a final vote and its main supporter called it a victim of an abuse of power and vowed to resuscitate the issue in the next session in the new year.

HB 1947 surfaced in the spring as the state House passed the measure 180 to 15 in April, on the heels of a state Attorney General grand jury report into hundreds of students abused in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown by at least 50 Catholic priests dating back 40 years. But when the bill moved to the Senate, it faced a concerted campaign from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the insurance industry to block controversial language that would allow victims from decades ago to come forward now and file civil suits against their alleged abusers.

The archdiocese urged parishioners to contact their legislators to oppose the bill. Some local House members who had supported the measure said they took heat from the archdiocese, with one actually having his name casually mentioned in the Sunday bulletin at his parish.

In June, the state Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on House Bill 1947, which proponents said was biased due to the connection of the committee chairman, state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-12, of Willow Grove, and his firm representing Catholic entities in abuse cases in Delaware. The firm fought similar legislation there, as well as then-Solicitor General Bruce Castor’s testimony in light of the guarantee he made to Bill Cosby about avoiding prosecution on rape charges years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Cardinal Pell denies abuse allegations as police question him in Rome

ROME
Catholic Herald (UK)

AP

Australian police questioned the cardinal over allegations dating back to the 1970s

Australian police flew to Rome to interview a top Vatican cardinal about allegations of sexual assault dating back decades, officials said Wednesday.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’s top financial adviser and one of his most trusted aides, has long been dogged by allegations he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and later Sydney. In recent months, Cardinal Pell has faced accusations of child abuse himself when he was a young priest in the 1970s.

On Wednesday, police in Australia’s Victoria state confirmed that they had interviewed Cardinal Pell over the allegations.

“Three members of Victoria police traveled to Rome last week where Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault,” a police spokesman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

October 26, 2016

Assignment Record– Rev. Edward Tissera aka W. Edward Julian Tissera aka Edward Warnakulasuriya aka Edward J. Tissera

NEW YORK/CONNECTICUT
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A native of Sri Lanka, Tissera/Warnakulasuriya was ordained in 1989. By 1997 he was working in the Archdiocese of New York, as an assistant in a Staten Island parish. There is a two-year gap in his Directory listings, and he reappears in 2002 in the Diocese of Hartford CT. He assisted there at parishes in West Hartford, Enfield, Watertown and New Britain. Notably there are gaps in his assignments 2003-2004 and again 2006-2007. In 2011 Tissera/Warnakulasuriya was made pastor of St. Bernard's in Tariffville, CT.

In July 2011 Tissera/Warnakulasuriya was placed on leave by the diocese after a male youth reported that the priest touched his pubic area during confessions in December 2010 and again in May and July 2011. The youth was 17 or 18 years-old during the incidents. Tissera/Warnakulasuriya was arrested in August 2011. In September 2012 he was found guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault and sentenced to three years' probation.

In a lawsuit settled in October 2016, Tissera/Warnakulasuriya was accused of repeated sexual assault of a 13 to 14 year-old boy in the Fall of 2000 through Spring 2001. The suit places the priest at St. John the Evangelist in Watertown, CT. The incidents were said to have occurred during what was supposed to be spiritual counseling in the boy's bedroom.

In 2016 Tissera/Warnakulasuriya's status with the diocese remains "Leave of Absence."

Ordained: 1989

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Sex abuse bill won't get a vote

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

A controversial proposal to extend the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims will not get a vote this year.

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, who was abused by a priest as a child, has championed the effort.

Earlier this year an investigation revealed decades of priest sexual abuse inside the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese.

Most lawmakers agree that victims' rights should be expanded, but they don't believe victims should be allowed to sue the church and collect monetary damages for something that happened decades ago.

Rep.Rozzi released the follow statement today after it became clear that further action wouldn’t be taken by the General Assembly on a statute of limitations reform bill before the end of the legislative session:

“The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese grand jury report released in March that detailed the wholesale abuse of innocent children by depraved predators, finally unleashed the public outrage that had been missing for over a decade. The powers-that-be covered up the unspeakable crimes, leaving children and their families with no path to justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Preliminary hearing for priest accused of raping airman moved to January

IDAHO
KMVT

A Catholic priest from Mountain Home who’s been accused of raping an airman was scheduled to be in court Monday.

The preliminary hearing for Victor F. Jagerstatter’s was rescheduled for Jan. 6, 2016 at 11 a.m. in Elmore County.

Jagerstatter, 39, was accused of attempting oral sex with an airman who was passed out, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Court documents state that on July 9, the victim, an airman at the Mountain Home Air Force Base, was intoxicated and passed out in a room he rented from Jagerstatter's house on 13th Street North after a night of drinking. Sometime after he passed out from intoxication, the court documents state, the victim woke up and saw Jagerstatter kneeling beside his bed moving toward him attempting oral sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Grand jury returns 10-count indictment against Eugene priest in sex, drug case

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard

A Lane County grand jury has returned a 10-count indictment against a Eugene priest who was arrested earlier this month for alleged sex and drug crimes involving an underage girl.

Daniel James MacKay, 42, pleaded not guilty to the charges — nine misdemeanors and one felony — Wednesday morning in Lane County Circuit Court.

He faces four prostitution charges that accuse him of offering to pay for sex; four charges of endangering the welfare of a minor, for allegedly causing an underage girl to “witness an act of sexual conduct”; one count of sexual misconduct, for allegedly having sex with the girl; and one count of attempting to use a minor in the commission of a controlled substance offense, for allegedly trying to use the girl to help him traffic cocaine.

All of the alleged crimes occurred in September.

Prosecutors initially filed four charges against MacKay after his Oct. 12 arrest. The original charging document included single counts of prostitution, endangering the welfare of a minor, sexual misconduct and using a minor in the commission of a controlled substance offense.

MacKay spent one day in the Lane County Jail after police arrested him. He was bailed out on Oct. 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Child Sex Abuse Victims Will Have to Wait Another Year

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Bill White

House Bill 1947 is dead for this legislative session.

The landmark bill extending Pennsylvania's criminal and civil statutes of limitations for child sex abuse survivors achieved a remarkable degree of consensus, considering how many years similar bills have been buried in committees by legislators cowed by Catholic Church and Insurance Federation lobbying pressure.

But it ultimately fell victim to the unwillingness of Senate leaders to allow a vote on retroactive access to civil lawsuits for child sex abuse survivors blocked by current and past statutes of limitations.

After a strong compromise version of HB 1947 passed the House 180-15 this spring, the retroactive portion of the bill was removed in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which also added a weird preamble laying out its claims that civil radioactivity is unconstitutional. The Senate passed that watered down bill, presenting House leaders and the bill’s advocates with a difficult decision:

Should they accept the weaker bill, which nonetheless constituted a big improvement on present statutes, and address retroactivity again next session? Or should they rewrite the bill again, removing the unacceptable preamble and restoring retroactivity, knowing it was unlikely the Senate would vote on such a bill again this session?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

NJ priest liked playing poker — and sharing child porn, cops say

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey 101.5

By Sergio Bichao October 26, 2016

A poker-playing Catholic priest in New Jersey has been stripped of his duties after being arrested Friday on charges of possessing and sharing images of child sexual abuse.

Kevin Gugliotta, 54, of Mahwah, is facing 20 counts of possession of child pornography and 20 counts of distributing child pornography.

The charges were filed by prosecutors in Wayne County in Pennsylvania, where Gugliotta kept a vacation home.

Investigators said they received reports that child porn had been uploaded to an internet chat room from an IP address that was traced to Gugliotta’s address.

Gugliotta had been assigned to the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Union Township after serving at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mahwah. He also worked at St. Barthololmew the Apostle in Scotch Plains.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

PA--Victims seek Scranton bishop’s help with ex-priest wanting parole

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016

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

A former priest who was convicted of child sex crimes in the Scranton diocese is up for parole. We hope he’s kept in prison. We call on Scranton’s top Catholic official, Bishop Joseph Bambera, to aggressively reach out to anyone who may have information or suspicions about his crimes.

And we hope this news prompts others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police so he might be charged with and convicted on other offenses and be kept away from kids even longer.

[New York Daily News]

[Wayne Independent]

In March 2008, Steven Wolpert pled guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, a felony, with an eight year old in 2006 and 2007 in Hawley Borough, PA. He was sentenced in June 2008 to nine to 18 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Catholic Priest Arrested on Child Porn Charges

PENNSYLVANIA
WNEP

OCTOBER 26, 2016, BY DAN RATCHFORD

GOULDSBORO — A Catholic priest is charged in Wayne County with 40 counts of child pornography.

Prosecutors say Fr. Kevin Gugliotta, 54, of Mahwah, New Jersey had images of child porn on a computer at a home he owns in Gouldsboro.

Detectives say Gugliotta is a priest with a Roman Catholic Church in Union, New Jersey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

NEW JERSEY PRIEST FACES CHILD PORN CHARGES IN PENNSYLVANIA

PENNSYLVANIA
WABC

AP

HONESDALE, Pa. -- A Roman Catholic priest from New Jersey has been charged in Pennsylvania with uploading child pornography to an internet chat room. His lawyer is attacking the probe and says the priest will "vigorously" defend himself.

The Rev. Kevin Gugliotta of Mahwah is charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography and 20 counts of dissemination of child pornography. He was arrested last week in Toms River, New Jersey, and is being held pending extradition to Pennsylvania.

Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards said Wednesday the images were uploaded from an internet address registered to Gugliotta in Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.

Gugliotta's attorney, Jim Swetz, says it doesn't appear investigators recovered the device Gugliotta allegedly used.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Bergen Priest Wanted In PA On Child Porn Charges Arrested

NEW JERSEY/PENNSYLVANIA
Patch

By Daniel Hubbard (Patch Staff) - October 26, 2016

A Roman Catholic priest from Mahwah has been arrested on 40 child sexual abuse counts for allegedly possessing and disseminating child pornogaphy, authorities announced Wednesday.

Kevin A. Gugliotta, 54, was charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography and 20 counts of dissemination of child pornography, the result of a multi-county and multi-state investigation, Janine Edwards, Wayne County Pennsylvania District Attorney said in a news release.

Gugliotta serves as a priest at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Union, Edwards said.

Gugliotta was charged as the result of an investigation that began in August when detectives in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, received a report of child pornography being uploaded to an internet chat room from a specific IP address, which was registered to Gugliotta, who had a residence in Lehigh Township, Pennsylvania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

N.J. priest charged with possession of child pornography

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Jeff Goldman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

MAHWAH — A Roman Catholic priest from New Jersey has been arrested on child pornography charges.

Kevin Gugliotta, 54, of Mahwah allegedly uploaded illicit images from a computer in his vacation home in Lehigh Township, Pa. on July 9, the Wayne County District Attorney said in a news release on Wednesday.

Gugliotta worked at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Union, but has been removed from the parish, according to a spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese.

He faces 40 counts of sexual abuse of children — 20 counts of possession of child pornography and 20 counts of dissemination of child pornography.

Officials in Wayne County learned about the uploaded images in August and began an investigation. They eventually learned the IP address was registered to Gugliotta's vacation home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Polizei vernimmt Kardinal Pell im Vatikan

AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

Die Polizei hat den ranghöchsten australischen Katholiken, Kardinal George Pell, im Vatikan wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen vernommen. Der 75 Jahre alte Pell habe alle Vorwürfe zurückgewiesen, teilte die australische Polizei im Bundesstaat Victoria auf Nachfrage des Senders ABC am Mittwoch mit.

Der Vatikan will sich nicht näher zu den Missbrauchsvorwürfen äußern. Jenseits dessen, was der Papst und Pell selbst zu diesem Thema bereits gesagt hätten, gebe es keinen Kommentar, erklärte Vatikansprecher Greg Burke am Mittwoch vor Journalisten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Sexueller Missbrauch in Hamburger Kinderheim

DEUTSCHLAND
Welt

[Sexual abuse has been reported at the Protestant orphanage in Harburg.]

Mitte der 80er-Jahre sollen in einem evangelischen Hamburger Kinderheim mehrere Kinder sexuell missbraucht worden sein. Ans Licht brachten dies die Aussagen zweier ehemaliger Bewohnerinnen.

Von Denis Fengler, Jana Werner | Stand: 25.10.2016

n von Erziehern und anderen Verantwortlichen sollen Kinder und Jugendliche Anfang der 1980er-Jahre in einem kirchlichen Kinderheim in Harburg möglicherweise über Jahre von älteren Mitbewohnern sexuell missbraucht worden sein. Diese Vorwürfe haben zwei ehemalige Bewohnerinnen des Margaretenhorts erhoben. Der Kirchenkreis Hamburg-Ost, Träger der Einrichtung, der die Missbrauchsvorwürfe am gestrigen Dienstag öffentlich machte, will Betroffenen umfangreiche Hilfe bieten. „Uns ist es ernst mit der Aufarbeitung“, sagt Kirchenkreis-Sprecher Remmer Koch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Kirchenkreis Ost klärt Missbrauch in Kinderheim auf

DEUTSCHLAND
Kirche Hamburg

[Several cases of sexual abuse have been reported during the 1980s at the former children's home Margaret Hort in Harburg.The parish of East Hamburg asks victims to come forward, offering them pastoral conversation, therapy and legal advice.]

Harburg – In dem früheren Kinderheim Margaretenhort in Harburg hat es Anfang der 80er Jahre offenbar mehrere Fälle von sexuellem Missbrauch gegeben. Der Kirchenkreis Hamburg-Ost bittet Betroffene, sich zu melden und bietet ihnen seelsorgerliche Gespräche, Therapien und juristische Beratung an.

Die Aussagen von zwei ehemaligen Bewohnerinnen seien glaubwürdig und plausibel, sagte Pröpstin Ulrike Murmann am Dienstag. Danach seien mehrere Mädchen und Jungen aus ihrer Gruppe von älteren Jugendlichen in der Einrichtung über längere Zeit sexuell missbraucht worden. Der Margaretenhort ist eine Jugendhilfeeinrichtung. Mehrheitsgesellschafter ist der Kirchenkreis Hamburg-Ost.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Regensburg weist den Pietisten den Weg

DEUTSCHLAND
Leonberger-Kreitszeitung

Von Franziska Kleiner 21.10.2016

Korntal-Münchingen - Regensburg ist Hunderte Kilometer von Korntal entfernt, und doch strahlt die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsskandals bei den Regensburger Domspatzen auch ins Strohgäu aus. „Es ist gut, nach Regensburg zu schauen“, sagt etwa der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig.

Vor wenigen Tagen hat dort das aus Kirchen- und Opfervertretern bestehende Aufarbeitungsgremium ein Konzept vorgestellt, wie den Opfern von sexueller und körperlicher Gewalt in Regensburg geholfen werden kann. „Es ist sehr wichtig, dass man Antworten gibt und dadurch Verantwortung formuliert wird“, sagt Rörig über die Transparenz, die mit dem Zwischenbericht in den Aufarbeitungsprozess gebracht wurde. Rörig bezeichnete das Konzept bundesweit als „Meilenstein der Aufarbeitung“. Er würdigte zudem den gegenseitigen Respekt der Beteiligten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

N.J. priest accused of uploading child porn in Wayne County

PENNSYLVANIA
Times-Tribune

BY DAVID SINGLETON / PUBLISHED: OCTOBER 26, 2016

A Roman Catholic priest from Mahwah, New Jersey, is charged in Wayne County with dozens of child pornography-related felony counts.

The Rev. Kevin Gugliotta, 54, was taken into custody Thursday night in Toms River, New Jersey, and is awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania, Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards said today.

His arrest follows what Ms. Edwards described as a multi-county, multi-state investigation.

It began in August when a detective in Monroe County received information that images of child pornography were uploaded to an internet chat room from a specific Internet Protocol address.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Parish roundup: Halloween, holy door in prison, mourning miscarriage

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Oct. 26, 2016

What to do about Halloween? Avoid glorifying the demonic, consider having a parish Halloween event rather than trick-or-treating, and bypass Freddy Krueger costumes, advise some moms and a Vatican-trained exorcist.

Prison ministry volunteer Jim Preisendorfer believes that New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord, N.H., might be the only prison in the world with a door designated as a holy door for the Holy Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis. The holy door was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Peter Libasci of the Manchester diocese in response to a request made by an inmate during a Mass celebrated by the bishop in the prison chapel, reports Katie Fiermonti in Parable Magazine. A 10-year prison ministry veteran, Preisendorfer also works with Kairos Prison Ministry and oversaw what might be the first application of the small-group, faith-sharing program All Hearts Afire in a prison setting. ...

Things have not been as peace-oriented at Assumption School in Bellingham, about two hours north of Seattle on the I-5 corridor. The issue: If a parent of a student is a registered sex offender, should school officials notify all parents, notably if the parent in question drives the student to campus? The Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests has called for the principal's firing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

George Pell faces more questions over sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 27, 2016

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@TessaAkerman

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

Victoria Police has broadened its investigations into historical sexual assault allegations against ­George Pell after an interview in Rome led to blanket denials from the cardinal in the presence of an Australia-based lawyer.

Amid growing signs police are refusing to surrender their pursuit of Cardinal Pell, the church is ­increasingly bewildered by what it sees as factually flawed allegations by several people.

Police said yesterday that ­investigators were drawing on the interview to help determine whether the world’s third most powerful Catholic will be charged with child sex offences.

Cardinal Pell has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and agreed to be interviewed in Italy. The interview was conducted in the presence of an Australian lawyer, but not criminal barrister Robert Richter QC, who was engaged by Cardinal Pell earlier this year after some of the allegations were made public.

The Australian understands several key claims by alleged victims have fallen over because of basic factual errors, but police are using the contents of the interview to conduct further inquiries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

CA-–Sex offender returned to ministry by Antiochian Orthodox Church

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Bishop pleaded guilty to groping a woman in a Michigan casino in 2004
Cleric spent time in jail and was on the sex offender registry
Retired after his conviction, the head of the Antiochians recently appointed him to lead the Diocese of Los Angeles
A victims’ group condemns this action, calling it “unbelievable, dangerous and callous”

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos, sex abuse victims and their supporters will hold a press conference outside the cathedral of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West to:

-- publicize the recent appointment of Bishop Demetri Matta Khoury to assist Metropolitan Joseph G. Al-Zehlaoui in the administration of the diocese,

-- provide information about Khoury’s 2003 arrest, and subsequent 2004 conviction and sentence, and

-- blast the Church for making such a misguided decision and placing women and girls at risk.

When:
Wednesday, October 26, 2016, at 11:30 am.

Where:
Outside Saint Nicholas Cathedral, 2300 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles (cross street, South Grand View Street)

Who:
Two or more sex abuse victims and their supporters who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Child porn charges for poker-playing priest

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Alex N. Gecan, @GeeksterTweets October 26, 2016

TOMS RIVER - A fugitive Catholic priest and nationally ranked poker player wanted on dozens of child-pornography-related charges in Pennsylvania is now in the Ocean County jail after being arrested by township police.

Officials with the Archdiocese of Newark Wednesday confirmed that the priest, Kevin A. Gugliotta, 54, of Totowa, had been removed from his ministry at Holy Spirit Church in Union.

A criminal docket from a Wayne County, Pennsylvania, magisterial court listed 20 allegations against Gugliotta of possessing or viewing child pornography and of disseminating photographs or video of child sex acts. The date of all 40 alleged offenses is July 9 of this year, according to court records.

Prosecutors in Wayne County said that Gugliotta is in jail awaiting extradition out of New Jersey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Listen and give us a say, children speak about their safety

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

26 October, 2016

Researchers from Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Southern Cross University (SCU) will present findings from three research projects, commissioned by the Royal Commission, involving 1,400 children and young people, including those with a disability.

“The Royal Commission has commissioned a series of research projects into children’s views of safety,” Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said.

“Through this research we have heard directly from children and young people about how they perceive safety, the safety issues they confront in institutional contexts, and how these could be best addressed,” Mr Reed said.

Friday’s symposium – Listen and give us a say: children and young people’s views about safety in institutions – is part of a broader program of research undertaken on behalf of the Royal Commission.

“This forum is an opportunity to hear directly from the researchers commissioned by the Royal Commission about their research reports and they will be joined by a panel of young people from their reference group,” Mr Reed said.

Presenters:

Professor Morag McArthur and Dr Tim Moore, Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University

Dr Sally Robinson, Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University

Panel of children and young people that were part of the researcher’s reference group.

Event details
Friday 28 October 2016, 9am-12.30pm
University Hall, University of Technology Sydney
15 Broadway, Ultimo NSW 2007

Presenters are available for interview. Please contact media@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

For more information about the research, visit www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/giveusasay

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Tuam Home vigil

IRELAND
Galway Independent

A candlelight vigil in memory of residents of the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home will take place next Wednesday, 2 November, All Souls Day.

The vigil will begin at 7pm at the site of the unofficial burial grounds on the Dublin Road in Tuam and proceed to the Town Square. The vigil, organisers say, follows in the footsteps of the “home children”.

Research by Tuam historian Catherine Corless indicates that the remains of 796 children, most of them infants, may be buried at the site. A preliminary site excavation by a team of specialist archaeologists, requested by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, is ongoing and expected to be complete by mid-November.

The vigil is part of a series of events recognising the legacy of Mother and Baby Homes, which includes a national art project titled ‘Tuam Spirit Babies’ by artist Sadie Cramer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Welsh speakers to man phonelines of major child sex abuse inquiry

WALES
Daily Post

BY TOM DAVIDSON

A team of Welsh speakers will man phonelines for a major inquiry into child sex abuse.

Professor Alexis Jay is in Cardiff today to launch the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s Welsh office.

It will also mark the start in Wales of the inquiry’s “truth project”, through which victims and survivors of abuse can share their experiences.

Prof Jay said: “I am delighted be in Cardiff today to meet with representatives from across Wales to discuss the work of the Inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

'No crisis' says head of abuse inquiry, Prof Alexis Jay

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The latest head of an inquiry into historical sexual abuse says it remains focused on its work, as an office is opened in Wales on Wednesday.

Prof Alexis Jay, the fourth chairwoman of the troubled probe, will attend the launch event in Cardiff.

Its "truth project" is being rolled out in Wales, where victims and survivors of abuse can share their experiences.

The inquiry has been beset by controversies - including the three previous chairwomen resigning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry opens Welsh office in Cardiff

WALES
BBC News

By Jenny Johnson
BBC News

Victims of historical sexual abuse are being urged to come forward and give evidence to an independent inquiry as it opens an office in Wales.

Prof Alexis Jay, the fourth chairwoman of the troubled probe, will attend the launch event in Cardiff.

Its "truth project" is being rolled out in Wales, where victims and survivors of abuse can share their experiences.

The inquiry has been beset by controversies - including the three previous chairwomen resigning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

INSIGHT-Pope Francis the manager - surprising, secretive, shrewd

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

* Keeps aides guessing with unexpected decisions
* Works around the bureaucracy when he deems it necessary
* No right-hand man, two secretaries keep out of sight

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Father Ernest Simoni, a 88-year-old Albanian, was watching Pope Francis on television this month when, to his astonishment, he heard the pontiff mention his name.

Francis announced that the simple, white-haired Roman Catholic priest, who had spent many years in jail during Albania's communist dictatorship, was to become a cardinal.

It was the first that Simoni, or any of the other 16 new cardinals named by Francis at the same time, had heard of their elevation to the prestigious rank.

"I did not believe either my ears or eyes," Simoni told Reuters in Albania. "The pope said it, but I could not believe it. 'Can he be talking about another Ernest?' I said to myself."

But more significantly, the pope had also kept nearly the entire Vatican hierarchy in the dark about his decision, which he announced on Oct. 9 to thousands of pilgrims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

'He assaulted me sexually, threatened at knife point’: Seminary priest arrested on student’s complaint

INDIA
The News Minute

Haritha John| Wednesday, October 26, 2016

“He threatened him with a knife, even physically assaulted me when I refused to withdraw my complaint given to the seminary,” says a 20-year-old young man in his complaint registered at the Iritty police station.

The young man’s determination to pursue a case of sexual assault has lead to the arrest of 41-year-old Father James Thekkemury, a priest working as a lecturer in Bengaluru.

Fr James Thekkemury has been accused of assaulting the young man in 2015 when he was a rector at the Deiva Matha Seminary at Iritty in Kannur district. After getting dismissed from the seminary, he had joined a college in Bengaluru as guest lecturer.

The victim had joined the seminary in 2012 when he was 16 years old. According to the police, the priest made the first attempt to sexually abuse him in 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

New laws make life safer for our children

AUSTRALIA
Stawell Times-News

The Andrews Labor Government has introduced new laws to better protect Victorian children by strengthening Working with Children Checks.

The Working with Children Amendment Bill 2016 will make the application process more rigorous, addressing five key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Under the reforms, any criminal charges laid against an applicant for serious sexual, violent or drug offences will be considered as part of Working With Children Check assessments, regardless of whether they resulted in a conviction or finding of guilt. The WWC Check Unit can now consider non-conviction charges that may have been dismissed on a technicality, or did not proceed because of the impact on the victim, when deciding on whether to grant an application.

Kinship carers – a family member or other person of significance to a child who has been placed in out-of-home care – will now be required to obtain a WWC Check. From May next year, all new kinship carers will be required to obtain a WWC Check within 21 days of becoming a carer. Existing kinship carers will have three months from May 1 to apply, and all applications for new and existing kinship carers will be free of charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Bill to aid sex abuse victims dies in Pa. House

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Maria Panaritis and Karen Langley / Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG — A controversial proposal to extend the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims appeared to collapse Tuesday after supporters in the House of Representatives said it was unlikely to move an amended version of the bill or reintroduce the original measure.

With little chance of it passing, they said they would try to revive it when the assembly reconvenes next year.

“The process is over at this point,” said Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Reading Democrat and clergy abuse victim who had been the bill’s fiercest advocate.

Both the GOP-controlled House and Senate had supported expanding victims’ rights to sue but split sharply on whether those rights should be applied retroactively for victims abused decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Judge says Xavier College can see allegedly abused ex-student's psychiatric records

AUSTRALIA
The Border Mail

Adam Cooper, Bianca Hall, Timna Jacks
26 Oct 2016

Xavier College is a step closer to accessing the psychological records of a man who claims he was sexually abused as a student at the school more than 40 years ago.

Janusz Skarbek alleges he was raped when he was a student at the exclusive, Jesuit-run school between 1971 and 1974.

The man he named as his abuser, Father John Byrne, died in 1974, but the Catholic Church has previously acknowledged he was an abuser.

Mr Skarbek has launched a Supreme Court lawsuit against his former school, claiming it was negligent in its treatment of him and seeking compensation for his pain and suffering. A jury is expected to hear his case next year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Pastor barred from ministry after sexual abuse plea

OREGON
Herald and News

By STEPHEN FLOYD H&N Staff Reporter Oct 25, 2016

A local pastor arrested last year has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a congregation member and been barred from practicing ministry while on probation.

Larry Marshall Murrell, 63, pleaded guilty Oct. 10 to two misdemeanor counts of third-degree sexual abuse and was sentenced to three years of probation and 30 days in jail with credit for time served. A felony count of second-degree sexual abuse was dismissed as part of a plea deal. He otherwise faced up to five years in prison.

Under the terms of sentencing, Murrell may no longer “work, volunteer or act in any capacity as a minister, pastor or counselor during probation,” according to his plea agreement. Murrell may also have no contact with minors or frequent places where minors gather, must register as a sex offender and enroll in sex offender treatment, and must pay for any counseling costs incurred by the victim.

Murrell was arrested Oct. 7, 2015, for forcing “deviate sexual intercourse” on a female victim Feb. 6, 2015. At the time Murrell was the long-serving pastor of the House of Prayer for All Nations church in Klamath Falls, where the victim had been attending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Defining the worth of an apology: Presbyterian Church statement at AFN can help past wounds heal

ALASKA
News-Miners

News-Miner opinion: On the closing day of the Alaska Federation of Natives’ 50th annual convention, one statement made waves across the state. The general assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the U.S.A., prompted by its Alaska members, extended an apology to AFN and its members for abuses of Alaska Natives in church schools and boarding schools its members ran or participated in. The abuses of Alaska boarding schools are well established but poorly documented, and by offering an apology, the Presbyterian Church has taken a step to bridge divides of resentment and suspicion.

When Alaska became a territory in 1867, no formal system of education existed in villages across the state — what schools there were had been established outside of any organized effort, and were focused mostly on religious education. The federal Organic Act of 1884 marked the first real effort to institute a school system in the territory; it established a system of government-run “day schools” and a smaller number of centralized boarding schools across Alaska. Some schools were run directly by the government, while many were run as contract schools by missionaries from the Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, Moravian, Presbyterian, and Swedish-Evangelical faiths.

Institutional attitudes toward Alaska Natives in the 1800s and well into the 1900s took a dim view of their traditional culture and language. “They are savages, and with the exception of those in Southern Alaska, have not had civilizing, educational, or religious advantages,” Presbyterian missionary and Alaska school administrator Sheldon Jackson said in an address to Congress. “(Missionaries) must try to educate them out of and away from the training of their home-life. They need to be taught both the law of God and the law of the land,” Jackson said in the same address.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Ballarat’s children: dirty secrets hidden in the confession box

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 26, 2016

PETER HOYSTED
ColumnistCanberra
@JacktheInsider

The Sacrament of Penance, better known as the Rite of Confession within the Roman Catholic Church, is a ritual many non-Catholics find bemusing. It is fertile ground for sketch comedy and often features in movies as a plot device. A man enters, slides the screen across to reveal a murky figure on the other side.

The Rite of Confession raises all manner of legal and ethical dilemmas and conflicts between Canon Law and the law of the land. If a priest hears a confession from a person who confesses to planning to commit a murder at some point in future, is the priest bound by law to report to the police? If a priest takes confession from a man who has committed serious crimes and the priest does not inform the police, can the priest be charged with offences such as being an accessory or conspiracy?

The answer is grey and uncertain and police and prosecutors inevitably give it a wide berth. A priest cannot be compelled to give evidence in a trial based on admissions made in the confession box in any Australian jurisdiction.

There have been times when the royal commissioners have alluded to confession as offensive to non-Catholics, that one person can be absolved of guilt for a crime due to his or her faith while those of other or no religious persuasion cannot.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Australian police interrogate Vatican treasurer cardinal George Pell over sexual abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
International Business Times

By Lara Rebello
October 26, 2016

Australia's police have questioned cardinal George Pell with regards to sexual abuse allegations made against him. Three Victoria state officials travelled to Rome where they met with the Vatican treasurer who denied all claims.

A police spokeswoman said in a statement on 26 October that the 75-year-old priest "voluntarily participated in an interview" and that "as a result of the interview, further investigations are continuing."

The cardinal's office released a statement of its own stating: "The cardinal repeats his previous rejection of all and every allegation of sexual abuse and will continue to co-operate with Victoria Police until the investigation is finalised. The Cardinal has no further comment at this time."

Pell, who was the archbishop in Australia before moving on to higher roles in the Vatican, is being accused of supposedly exposing himself to three young boys at Torquay Life Saving Club in the summer of 1986 or 1987.

In another case, two former St Alipius students told ABC that Pell allegedly touched their genitals while swimming with them at the Eureka pool in Ballarat in 1978-1979, during which time he was the episcopal vicar for education at the diocese there.

Pell has dismissed all allegations as a "smear campaign" against him and the Catholic Church. Earlier this year he testified at an Australian government inquiry into institutional child abuse, during which he admitted that the Roman Catholic Church had made "catastrophic" mistakes in handling reports of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Australian Police Interrogates Cardinal Pell over Child Sex Abuse

AUSTRALIA
Latin American Herald Tribune

SYDNEY – Australian Cardinal George Pell, in charge of Vatican finances, was questioned last week in Rome by Australian police over charges of alleged sexual abuse between 1976-2001, the media reported on Wednesday.

The cardinal “voluntarily participated in an interview,” said a spokesperson for Victoria police, who added investigations were still underway and did not provide more details, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

The police of the state of Victoria in southern Australia announced in August the possibility of filing charges against Pell for sexual abuses allegedly committed in the city of Ballarat between 1976-1980, and in Melbourne between 1996-2001.

Two men have accused Pell, 75, of touching their genitals in the 1970s, while a third says Pell had stood naked in front of young boys.

“The Cardinal repeats his previous rejection of all and every allegation of sexual abuse and will continue to co-operate with Victoria Police until the investigation is finalized,” read a statement from Pell’s office in the Vatican, confirming the interview with three police officers from Victoria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Pell interviewed by Vic police in Rome

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Liza Kappelle - AAP on October 26, 2016

Victorian police have questioned Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, as they continue to investigate alleged historical sexual assaults on boys.

Three police travelled to Rome last week to talk to the former Ballarat priest and Melbourne archbishop, who rejects all the allegations and voluntarily took part in the interview.

Victoria Police said in August they were considering laying charges over alleged sexual assaults in Ballarat between 1976 and 1980 and claims in East Melbourne between 1996 and 2001.

"As a result of the interview, further investigations are continuing. We are not prepared to comment further at this time," police said in a statement on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Cardinal George Pell interviewed in Rome over sexual assault allegations

AUSTRALIA
Goondiwindi Argus

Melissa Cunningham and AAP
26 Oct 2016

Victorian police have questioned Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, as they investigate allegations of historical sexual abuse made against him.

Three police travelled to Rome last week to meet the former Ballarat priest and Melbourne archbishop, who rejects all the allegations and voluntarily participated in an interview.

"As a result of the interview further investigations are continuing. We are not prepared to comment further at this time," police said in a statement on Wednesday.

Police are investigating multiple allegations of sexual assault said to have occurred in Ballarat East between 1976 and 1980, and East Melbourne between 1996 and 2001

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Seminary priest from Kannur arrested on student’s complaint of sexual assault

INDIA
India Live Today

Published by : Avinash Nandakumar

Irrity,Kannur,Oct26:A 20-year-old young man in his complaint registered at the Iritty police station alleged that a seminary priest has been sexually assaulting him.The young man’s determination to pursue a case of sexual assault has lead to the arrest of 41-year-old Father James Thekkemury, a priest working as a lecturer in Bengaluru.

Fr James Thekkemury has been accused of assaulting the young man in 2015 when he was a rector at the Deiva Matha Seminary at Iritty in Kannur district. After getting dismissed from the seminary, he had joined a college in Bengaluru as guest lecturer.

The victim had joined the seminary in 2012 when he was 16 years old. According to the police, the priest made the first attempt to sexually abuse him in 2015.

Sajesh Vazhalappilly, Iritty circle inspector told The News Minute that the young man was subjected to sexual assault many times later by the priest, and he was unable to return home due to financial problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Pa. legislators abandon bill to extend rights of child sex-abuse victims

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

OCTOBER 25, 2016

by Maria Panaritis and Karen Langley, HARRISBURG BUREAU

HARRISBURG - A controversial proposal to extend the civil statute of limitations for child sex-abuse victims appeared to collapse Tuesday, after supporters said the House was unlikely to move an amended version of the bill or reintroduce the original measure.

With little chance of its passing, they said, they will try to revive it when the Assembly reconvenes next year.

"The process is over at this point," said Rep. Mark Rozzi (D., Berks), a clergy-abuse victim who had been the bill's fiercest advocate.

Both the GOP-controlled House and Senate had supported expanding victims' rights to sue, but split sharply on whether those rights should be applied retroactively for victims abused decades ago.

The House approved such a provision, but the Senate, after fierce lobbying from the insurance industry and the Catholic Church, removed it from the bill this summer and sent it back to the House.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 AM

Victoria Police detectives interview Cardinal George Pell in Rome

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Keith Moor and Mark Buttler, Herald Sun
October 25, 2016

CARDINAL George Pell has vowed to cooperate with Victoria Police in its ongoing probe into child sex abuse allegations made against him.

His office confirmed he has been voluntarily interviewed by Victorian detectives who flew to Rome last week.

“The Cardinal repeats his previous rejection of all and every allegation of sexual abuse and will continue to co-operate with Victoria Police until the investigation is finalised,” a statement from Cardinal Pell’s office in Rome said.

“The Cardinal has no further comment at this time.”

It was the first time the sex allegations made against Cardinal Pell have been put directly to him.

“Three members of Victoria Police travelled to Rome last week where Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault,” Victoria Police spokeswoman Leonie Johnson said today.

“As a result of the interview, further investigations are continuing.

“We are not prepared to comment further at this time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 AM

Cardinal George Pell interviewed by Victoria Police in Rome over sexual assault allegations

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Cardinal George Pell has voluntarily participated in an interview with Victoria Police in Rome, about allegations of sexual assault.

Three officers travelled to Rome last week to interview Cardinal Pell, Victoria Police said in a statement.

Investigations are continuing as a result of the interview, the police statement advised.

“We are not prepared to comment further at this time,” it read.

Victoria Police in mid-August revealed it was considering laying charges over alleged historical sexual assaults in Ballarat between 1976 and 1980 and East Melbourne between 1996 and 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 AM

Australian Cardinal Pell interviewed by police over child abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA/ROME
Deutsche Welle

Cardinal George Pell has been interviewed in Rome by Australian detectives over child abuse allegations dating back to the 1970s. The cleric denies the charges.

The office of Cardinal George Pell released a statement on Wednesday repeating his July rejection of "all and every allegation of sexual abuse."

The Cardinal, who is the Vatican's Australian-born financial controller, was interviewed in Rome last week, by Victoria Police detectives over child abuse allegations, Victoria Police confirmed in a statement on Wednesday. "Three members of Victoria Police travelled to Rome last week where Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault," the statement confirmed.

"As a result of the interview further investigations are continuing. We are not prepared to comment further at this time," the police statement added.

The Cardinal "will continue to cooperate with Victoria Police until the investigation is finalised," his office confirmed. "The Cardinal has no further comment at this time," it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 AM

Pope aide interviewed by Australia police over abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
Rappler

AFP

SYDNEY, Australia – Vatican finance chief George Pell has been interviewed by Australian police in Rome over sexual assault claims, authorities said Wednesday, October 26, but no charges have yet been laid.

It follows explosive allegations against Pell, Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in July, which he strongly denied.

Victoria state police said in a statement that 3 officers "travelled to Rome last week where Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault".

"As a result of the interview further investigations are continuing. We are not prepared to comment further at this time."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 AM

Top Vatican cardinal questioned over sex abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
CT Post

Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press Tuesday, October 25, 2016

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian police flew to Rome to interview a top Vatican cardinal about allegations of sexual assault dating back decades, officials said Wednesday.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' top financial adviser and one of his most trusted aides, has long been dogged by allegations he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and later Sydney. In recent months, Pell has faced accusations of child abuse himself when he was a young priest in the 1970s.

On Wednesday, police in Australia's Victoria state confirmed that they had interviewed Pell over the allegations.

"Three members of Victoria police traveled to Rome last week where Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault," police spokeswoman Amara Bostock said. "As a result of the interview, further investigations are continuing. We are not prepared to comment further at this time."

The allegations involve two men, now in their 40s, who say Pell touched them inappropriately at a swimming pool in the late 1970s. Separately, a man told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that he saw Pell exposing himself to three young boys in a surf club changing room in the late 1980s. Pell was at the time a senior priest in Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 AM

George Pell voluntarily interviewed by Victoria Police in Rome over historic child abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Louise Milligan, staff

Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, has been interviewed by Victoria Police detectives over historic child abuse allegations.

In a statement, Victoria Police confirmed to the ABC's 7.30 program that "three members of Victoria Police travelled to Rome last week where Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault".

"As a result of the interview further investigations are continuing. We are not prepared to comment further at this time," the statement said.

The ABC's 7.30 program revealed the allegations on July 27, with complainants Lyndon Monument and Damian Dignan interviewed on the program about alleged inappropriate touching at Ballarat's Eureka pool in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 AM

Australian police say they interviewed Vatican treasurer over abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
Reuters

Australian police said on Wednesday they have interviewed the Vatican's Australian-born financial controller, Cardinal George Pell, in relation to allegations of sexual assault.

Victoria state police said investigations were continuing as a result of last week's interview in Rome, but declined to comment further.

Pell, who was a priest and then archbishop in Australia before taking the Vatican role in 2014, confirmed he participated in the interview but denied the allegations.

"The cardinal repeats his previous rejection of all and every allegation of sexual abuse and will continue to co-operate with Victoria Police until the investigation is finalised," his office said in a statement.

Pell, 75, this year testified at an Australian government inquiry into institutional child abuse, where he said the Roman Catholic Church made "catastrophic" choices by refusing to believe abused children, shuffling abusive priests from parish to parish and over-relying on counseling of priests to solve the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 AM

October 25, 2016

Vatican's Argentina archives ready to be shown to victims of dictatorship crime

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian

Associated Press in Vatican city
Tuesday 25 October 2016

The Vatican and Argentina’s bishops have finished cataloguing their archives from the country’s dictatorship era, and will soon make them available to victims and their relatives who have long accused the church of complicity with the military rulers.

A joint statement on Tuesday said the process of digitizing the archives had been completed and that procedures to access the information would be forthcoming. No date was set, and the opening for now is restricted to victims, detainees, their relatives and the religious superiors of victims who were priests or nuns.

Official estimates say about 13,000 people were killed or disappeared in a government-sponsored crackdown on leftist dissidents during Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship. Human rights activists believe the real number was as high as 30,000.

The statement said the decision to open the church’s archives was taken at the express direction of Pope Francis, “in the service of truth, justice and peace”.

Francis – then the Rev Jorge Mario Bergoglio – was the young Jesuit superior in Argentina during the military dictatorship, making his decision to open the archives all the more remarkable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Vatican, Argentine church to open "dirty war" archives

VATICAN CITY
Daily Republican

By The Associated Press Posted Oct. 25, 2016

VATICAN CITY (AP) " The Vatican and Argentina's Catholic Church say they have finished cataloguing their archives from the country's brutal "dirty war" and will make them available to victims who have long accused the church of complicity with the military dictatorship.

A joint statement Tuesday said the process of cataloguing and digitalization had been completed and procedures for victims to access the information would be forthcoming. The statement said the decision to open the archives of the Vatican, its Buenos Aires embassy and the Argentine bishops' conference was taken "in the service of truth, justice and peace."

Pope Francis had pledged to open the archives when pressed by relatives of "desaparecidos" or disappeared, particularly the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. He was the Jesuit superior in Argentina during the country's 1976-1983 dictatorshi

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Judge says girls suing church can remain anonymous

KANSAS
Baptist News

BOB ALLEN | OCTOBER 25, 2016

A Kansas judge has ruled that two victims of sexual assault suing a Southern Baptist church will remain anonymous in court proceedings.

Johnson County District Court Judge Kevin Moriarty granted a motion last month allowing the plaintiffs to proceed using pseudonyms in their case against Westside Family Church in Lenexa, Kan., a Southern Baptist congregation founded in 1977 with an average attendance of 4,700.

In June the church filed a motion claiming the teenage sisters and their parents were using their anonymity to generate “a Pearl Harbor-style barrage of negative publicity” timed to coincide with the congregation’s Vacation Bible School.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said it was the first time in his 28 years of advocacy work he had witnessed a religious organization trying to “out” a minor coming forward to allege sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

NY--Ex-Brooklyn predator priest seeks parole; Victims respond

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016

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

A former Brooklyn priest who was convicted of child sex crimes is up for parole in northeastern Pennsylvania. We hope he’s kept in prison. And we hope this news prompts others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police so he might be charged with and convicted on other offenses and be kept away from kids even longer.

[New York Daily News]

[Wayne Independent]

In March 2008, Steven Wolpert pled guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, a felony, with an eight year old in 2006 and 2007 in Hawley Borough, PA. He was sentenced in June 2008 to nine to 18 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

VA--Minister to hold meeting about “cover up charges”

VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016 For more info: Barbra Graber, SNAP Leader, 540-214-8874, mennonite@snapnetwork.org

Support group posts info about lawsuit against him

On Wednesday, he will talk about concerns with congregants

A minister who was accused and sued for covering up sexual abuse within his church is reportedly holding a meeting Wednesday with his congregants to discuss the matter. A support group plans to email members of the congregation with information about the accusations.

Rev. Samuel G. Wenger is head pastor at Freedom Fellowship, an independent church he started in Broadway VA after he was denied a vote of affirmation from his congregation at Cornerstone Church also in Broadway.

In 1990, he was named in a civil lawsuit along with Living Word Christian School and Living Word Fellowship Church in Stryker, Ohio, where he was administrator and pastor, respectively. He and his co-defendants were charged by a victim of a predatory youth pastor at Living Word with "fail[ing] to act upon the supplied information of [perpetrator Curtis Monk]'s conduct and attempting to hide the guilt of Monk by directing the blame and humiliation upon the minor plaintiff and making her believe that the actions of Monk were caused by her behavior." The case was eventually settled out of court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Joint Press Release of the Argentine Episcopal Conference and the Holy See, 25.10.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

On Saturday 15 October 2016 in Vatican City, the Executive Commission of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, composed of the President Archbishop José María Arancedo of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, first deputy president Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires and Primate of Argentina, second deputy president Archbishop Mario Antonio Cargnello of Salta, and the secretary general Bishop Carlos Humberto Malfa of Chascomús, met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States, and other officials of the Secretariat of State, for an evaluation of the work of cataloguing and digitalisation of the archive material from the period of the Military Dictatorship (1976-1983), conserved in the Archives of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, the Secretariat of State and the Apostolic Nunciature in Buenos Aires.

It was acknowledged that this process of organisation and digitalisation, which was carried out in compliance with the decisions and indications of the Holy Father and represents the continuation of work already initiated years ago by the Argentine Episcopal Conference, has been completed.

On the basis of a protocol to be established shortly, access can be given to the relative documents for consultation by victims and direct relatives of the desaparecidos and detainees and, in the case of religious or ecclesiastics, also their major superiors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

The Cancer of Clericalism

UNITED STATES
The American Conservative

By ROD DREHER • October 24, 2016

I was dismayed over the weekend to learn this:

In 2004 Bishop Demetri of the Antiochian Archdiocese entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of attempted fourth degree criminal sexual misconduct. To be specific he “grabbed the breast of a North Carolina woman seated next to him at a slot machine in the Turtle Creek Casino outside Traverse City” and was “highly intoxicated” (see here for more) as was evident from the closed circuit video that captured the event. He was drunk, he was gambling, and he sexually assaulted a woman.

Bp. Demetri was relieved of his duties and then suspended (it should be noted that the Antiochian Archdiocese recently deleted their pronouncement on this issue from their website, but a cached version is available here). In 2008 he was “restored as vicar of the Iglesia Católica Apostólica Ortodoxa De Antioquia México-Venezuela-Centroamérica-El Caribe in the Exarcado De El Caribe”(see more here). This was all covered on this blog some years ago (see here).

In a surprising new chapter to this saga, it seems Met. Joseph is making Bp. Demetri a locum tenens of sorts (a pseudo-locum tenens) for the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Discussion paper on trauma-informed approaches to child sexual abuse released

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

25 October, 2016

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a discussion paper examining the growing interest in trauma-informed care and the implementation of trauma-informed approaches to support survivors of trauma, including survivors of child sexual abuse.

The discussion paper, Principles of trauma-informed approaches to child sexual abuse, was produced by Dr Antonia Quadara and Cathryn Hunter from the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Authors described trauma-informed care as emerging from the growing awareness of the impacts of trauma on victim/survivors of child sexual abuse and recognition that human-service systems needed to avoid inadvertently re-traumatising survivors of child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the discussion paper provides an important contribution to our understanding of the key principles of trauma-informed care. These principles include:

* having a sound understanding of the prevalence and nature of trauma arising from interpersonal violence and its impacts

* ensuring practices and procedures promote the physical, psychological and emotional safety of consumers and survivors

* adopting service cultures and practices which empower consumers in their recovery by emphasising autonomy, collaboration and strength-based approaches

* recognising and being responsive to the social and cultural contexts which shape survivors’ needs and healing pathways

* recognising the importance of relationships in overcoming trauma and supporting healing.

“The concept of trauma-informed care is about building an understanding of the traumatic impacts survivors will face at all levels of an organisation or system,” Mr Reed said.

“The discussion paper suggests that effective implementation of trauma-informed approaches will assist survivors of abuse and should help inadvertently re-traumatising them,” Mr Reed said.

Read the paper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

More than a song

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

[with video performance of "99 Candles in Ballarat"]

Alicia Thomas
@aliciajthomas
25 Oct 2016

In 1973 Ian Whitehead was a young man boarding in Ballarat.

What occurred around him at the time could only be described as a nightmare.

What Ian didn't know about those nightmares was that his school friends were part of them.

They were victims at the hands of a clergy child sex abuse scandal that would not fully be understood until almost half a century later.

But Ian can understand, he was a victim himself while a student at St Kevin's College in Toorak in 1972.

He later learnt of the stories from his friends, while others he will never know.

But more than 40 years on he returned to Ballarat for one very particular reason.

That reason was to film a videoclip for his new song "99 Candles in Ballarat".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Former Salvation Army worker Robert Burnett found guilty of abusing children

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
October 24, 2016

A FORMER Salvation Army worker who has faced off against 12 juries this year can finally be exposed as a deviant sexual predator who tortured small children.

Remorseless rapist Robert Burnett continues to defiantly maintain his innocence, despite being found guilty of abusing a string of kids in a reign of terror spanning three decades.

Now the 77-year-old is behind bars and facing the prospect of a 20-year jail term that could see him never released from prison.

From 1978 Burnett routinely raped children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

In a First, a Brooklyn Yeshiva Agrees to $2.1 Million Child Sex Abuse Settlement

NEW YORK
Forward

Larry Cohler-Esses
October 24, 2016

An Orthodox Brooklyn yeshiva has agreed to pay two of its former students $2.1 million for alleged sexual molestation they suffered at age six from a senior rabbi on the school’s faculty—the first known case of such a settlement by a Jewish day school.

Yeshiva Torah Temimah, a prominent school on Brooklyn’s Ocean Parkway with more than 600 students, originally made the court settlements secretly with the plaintiffs. But the settlments were disclosed Sunday by the New York Post, which reported that attorneys for the two students had filed papers complaining that the yeshiva had failed to make the payments.

“This is unheard of,” Rabbi Yosef Blau, a spiritual adviser at Yeshiva University in Manhattan, told the Post. “I am not aware of any other settlements,” said Blau, who is a longtime advocate for victims of child sexual abuse.

In fact, most such suits are peremptorily dismissed—or never filed—because New York State law bars alleged victims from filing a civil complaint after they turn 23; one of the strictest statutes of limitation for child sex abuse allegations in the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH PAYS €30 MIL. DAMAGES TO SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS

NETHERLANDS
NL Times

By Janene Pieters on October 25, 2016

So far the Roman Catholic Church paid nearly 30 million euros in damages to Dutch victims of sexual abuse, De Limburger reports.

A complaint committee set up to investigate the abuse received a total of 3,678 reports of people being sexually abused in the Roman Catholic Church. Of these 2,060 were sent through for further investigation and 1,000 were determined to be grounded. At least 300 people dealt with exceptionally serious abuse, for which the compensation can be up to 100 thousand euros.

According to the committee, structural abuse happened in the church. "Not all church officials did wrong. But the fact that tere are so many perpetrators justifies calling it strucutral abuse." Wiel Stevens, chairman of the committee, said to the newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

October 24, 2016

Retired priest admits being repeat sex offender

CANADA
Kingston Whig-Standard

By Sue Yanagisawa, Kingston Whig-Standard
Monday, October 24, 2016

Retired Roman Catholic priest Robyn Q. Gwyn, who was found guilty in late September of sexually assaulting a Kingston man when his accuser was still a boy in the late 1980s to early 1990s, pleaded guilty Monday to victimizing a second child between 2000 and 2002.

Assistant Crown attorney Gerard Laarhuis said the second victim first came to light in May 2014 when Deacon William Gervais, the archbishop’s delegate for misconduct, filed a report with Kingston Police.

He told Superior Court Justice Brian Abrams that Gervais disclosed a former altar boy, by then in his early twenties, had revealed the abuse to church officials because he was having “flashbacks” about it.

The young man subsequently provided a statement to police in late July 2014 and officers laid additional charges against Gwyn in November that year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

PA--Victims blast Philly archbishop

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims blast Philly archbishop
He brings controversial group here
Its founder & his top aide abused kids
Several with the order are now in Philly parish
Advocates say Chaput “must denounce predators”
SNAP also charges “Pope’s visit last year changed nothing”
Local Catholic officials “ignore Francis’ pledges,” victims allege
Pontiff said ‘enablers’ would be ‘held accountable’ but they aren’t, SNAP feels

WHAT:
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will urge Philly’s top Catholic officials to:

“come clean” about importing a controversial, ultra-conservative Catholic cult-like order (Sodalitium Christianae Vitae) whose founder is a confirmed child molester,
stop promoting the order and start warning other US bishops about it, and
act on the promises Pope Francis made in Philly a year ago by exposing and disciplining even a few priests who hid or ignored child sex crimes, and disclose more about clergy sex abuse cases.

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 24 at 1:00 pm

WHERE: Outside the Philadelphia Catholic archdiocesan headquarters, 222 North 17th Street (corner of Race) in Philadelphia

WHO: Five-seven members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s founder

WHY:
1) In recent years, Chaput has brought to Philadelphia a controversial Catholic sect based in Peru whose founder molested kids. The sect's founder and seven aides are also accused of kidnapping and assaulting youth. Several members of the group, including a priest, now run the parish and Newman Center at both Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania. But as best SNAP can tell, Chaput has never disclosed or discussed the crimes of the group’s Peru-based officials, or explained or apologized for his vigorous support of the group, either in Pennsylania, Colorado or Peru.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Ex-Brooklyn priest who pleaded guilty of child sex abuse in 2008 is eligible for parole, but critics want him to serve full 18-year prison sentence

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O’KEEFFE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, October 24, 2016

A former Catholic priest from Brooklyn who pleaded guilty in 2008 to sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy is up for parole — but a relative of the victim and an abuse survivors’ organization say he should remain in prison.

Steven Wolpert, who served as a priest at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn during the 1980s, pleaded guilty in 2008 to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 13, a first-degree felony.

A Pennsylvania judge sentenced Wolpert to nine to 18 years in prison.

The Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole reviewed Wolpert’s case in August, but has not yet decided whether to grant him early release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

NY cardinal's new compensation program for victims will keep sex abuse hidden

NEW YORK
National Catholic Reporter

Anne Barrett Doyle | Oct. 24, 2016

Cardinal Timothy Dolan is trying something new. After years of successfully opposing legislation that would give New York abuse victims more time to sue, he has launched a victims' compensation program -- a first for the New York archdiocese.

This is the Year of Mercy, and the cardinal said he was inspired by the "grace and challenge" of this fact.

"I just finally thought: 'Darn it, let's do it,' " he told The New York Times.

The surprise move is winning the cardinal praise. The often critical New York Daily News commended him, citing his "remarkable moral courage."

As a researcher of the Catholic abuse crisis, I see his plan differently. While the fund certainly will help some victims, its biggest beneficiary will be Dolan and his management team. This is a legal strategy in pastoral garb, a tactic by the powerful archbishop to control victims and protect the church's assets and its secrets.

On its face, the plan is reasonable. A victim submits a claim form with documentation about rape or molestation by a priest or deacon. If deemed credible, the victim receives an award, which the archdiocese promises to disburse quickly -- within 60 days.

The program is being administered by Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw the 9/11 fund and mediated the settlements between Jerry Sandusky's victims and Penn State.

But there's a catch -- two catches, actually. Victims must sign a legal agreement to abide by "all requirements pertaining to privacy and confidentiality," and they must release the archdiocese from future liability -- i.e., never sue it. (See section III, paragraph G of the IRCP's Protocol webpage.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

Another sentencing delay for priest in child porn case

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Jessica Masulli Reyes , The News Journal October 24, 2016

A judge once again postponed the sentencing for a former Navy chaplain and Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to taking pornographic pictures of a teen boy and then distributing the images.

Several sentencing dates for John Thomas Matthew Lee, 50, have been canceled since March, including the most recent one scheduled for Tuesday. He now is expected to be sentenced in February.

The request for a delay was granted after Lee's attorney complained in court filings that prosecutors initially said they would likely recommend a 25-year prison sentence, but now are asking the judge for a maximum of 50 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Son of former archbishop arrested over sex abuse claim

UNITED KINGDOM
The Freethinker

Rev Mark Carey, 51, above right, the son of former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, was arrested last week in connection with an assault on a young girl in the 1980s.

According to this report, his alleged victim, now in her 30s, claimed she was assaulted by Carey Jr when he was in his late teens and Lord Carey was a priest in the North-East.

Rev Carey was released on police bail and has since been suspended by the Church of England pending inquiries.

Father of three Rev Carey, who followed his father into the church in 1995, has not been seen since his arrest.

In a Twitter message posted after he was released by police, Rev Carey, whose father was Archbishop between 1991 and 2002, wrote:

I’m having a social networking break for a while.

He was joined at his home in Harrogate, North Yorks, yesterday by his father and mother Eileen. His wife Penny, 53, whom he married in 1988, refused to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

MICHELLE REYNOLDS, SCOTT HARPER ON ID’S ‘KILLER CLERGY’: CHURCH MINISTER’S SEX AFFAIR LED TO MURDER OF THAD REYNOLDS, IN ROME, GEORGIA

UNITED STATES
Inquisitr

OCTOBER 24, 2016

TRACIY REYES

Murderers Michelle Reynolds and Scott Harper will have their story air on tonight’s Killer Clergy on Investigation Discovery (ID). The salacious crime story made headlines more than a decade ago in Rome, Georgia, where authorities say that Michelle Reynolds had a sexual affair with youth minister Scott Harper. That affair, they say, led to the stabbing death of Michelle Reynolds’ husband, Thad Reynolds.

The Killer Clergy episode that will reenact the crime case is titled “Unholy Confessions.” Michelle Reynolds and Scott Harper are currently in prison. The story will be recounted through interviews with local police and friends or family members of the victim.

July 2004: Man Found Dead In Frito Lay Distribution Center

The body of Thad Reynolds, also known as Thad John Glenn Reynolds, was found in his office at the Frito Lay Distribution Center in Rome, Georgia. The 36-year-old man was a popular church member and deacon at the Hollywood Baptist Church. An autopsy report conducted on Reynolds showed that he had suffered multiple stab wounds to the body. Many of the wounds were defensive wounds as he fought for his life inside the office, according to Northwest Georgia News.

At the crime scene, police could see blood and papers strewn about the room. It was obvious that it was a targeted attack. Thad Reynolds was a good man with a good reputation in the town of Rome. It was baffling to consider who would want him dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Independent body to investigate sex abuse complaints

AUSTRALIA
Anglican Communion News Service

[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] Complaints of church-based sexual abuse in Australia’s internal province of Victoria will be investigated by an independent body with its own board of directors. The dioceses of Melbourne and Bendigo have already approved the new structure, which will be considered by the dioceses of Wangaratta, Ballarat and Gippsland next year. The new body is being established by the Church but is separate from the dioceses and their archbishop. It will work across a number of dioceses.

The new body is included in new legislation approved by the Melbourne Synod at its meeting last week. The new legislation – created in part as a response to the Royal Commission and the 2013 Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into child sexual abuse – is “aimed at improving transparency, independence and avenues of redress for victims,” a diocesan spokesman said.

“There’s a need to act, and there’s a need to act now because we know enough to know what we should be doing,” Melbourne registrar Ken Spackman said, as he addressed the Synod meeting. He said that the chairman of the Royal Commission, Peter McClellan, had spoken twice to meetings of Anglican bishops and “dismissed the difficulties that we have”.

Mr McClellan added: “He has come back to ‘You have the ability to act if you wish, and you should wish’, and we do wish and this is why we are before you tonight.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Child abuse lawyer who quit LAST MONTH still drawing £1,700-a-day of your money

UNITED KINGDOM
Express

By LAURA MOWAT
Sun, Oct 23, 2016

A CHILD abuse lawyer continues to be paid £1,700 a day even though he has officially quit and does not go to the office.

Ben Emmerson QC quit the child abuse inquiry one day after he was suspended following concerns about his leadership.

The lawyer will continue to work on the £100 million inquiry until the end of November, which is two months after he officially quit.

Chairwoman of the inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay said: “He was continuing to be instructed for a short period to conclude the work. I believe it was two months.”

It is thought that Mr Emmerson has received £700,000 in two years as the leader of the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

I let down abuse victims, admits former archbishop

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Kaya Burgess, Religious Affairs Correspondent
October 24 2016
The Times

Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has said that he deserves to face personal criticism from the national child abuse inquiry for his support of a bishop later convicted of indecent assault, it is understood.

Lord Carey was told last week that he may be subject to “explicit criticism” from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse because of the way he handled revelations about Peter Ball, then bishop of Gloucester.

Lord Carey was Archbishop of Canterbury when allegations of abuse came to light in 1992 and when Ball received a police caution in 1993. Last week Alexis Jay, the professor leading the inquiry, said that Lord Carey’s application to the inquiry acknowledged that he “had a pastoral and disciplinary role in relation to Peter Ball at that time”.

A source close to Lord Carey was reported by the Sunday Telegraph as saying that he admitted he deserved criticism. “Clearly the Church didn’t handle it well and Lord Carey was naive in trusting Peter Ball. The acknowledgment now is he wasn’t doing the Christian thing by the victims.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Trinity Grammar School principal admits to management failures over student sexual assaults

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Michelle Brown

The principal of Sydney's elite Trinity Grammar School has given evidence to the child abuse royal commission that is at odds with testimony already given by his deputy.

The commission is examining whether the private Sydney boys' school responded appropriately to allegations of the rape and attempted rape of boarding house students, sometimes with a wooden dildo.

Deputy principal Peter Green last week told the commission he provided incident reports alleging multiple assaults to the principal Milton Cujes on August 11, 2000.

The reports detailed the assault of a younger boarder by senior students, as well as allegations there had been other boys subjected to rape and simulated rape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Trinity head delegated responsibility over rape claims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 24, 2016

SAM BUCKINGHAM-JONES
Journalist
Sydney

The headmaster of a prestigious inner Sydney independent school says he was unaware one of the school’s pupils had been raped repeatedly with a wooden dildo because he “delegated” the responsibility to find out what had happened and he was not told.

Milton Cujes, the headmaster of Trinity Grammar School in Sydney’s inner west, also told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse he didn’t follow up when reports of an incident were brought to him in August 2000, partly because they were brought to him “in the context of a Friday afternoon.”

Over months, the commission has previously heard, a student at the Anglican boys school was raped about 50 times by older pupils with a variety of items — including a wooden dildo. The student gave staff a written statement outlining what had happened.

However, Mr Cujes denied that details of the rape were brought to his attention, stressing he was only told was there were “junior boys involved in an altercation with some more senior boys”. It was recommended to him some of the boys should be suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Trinity Grammar School: Rape claims ‘dealt with adequately’ during exam season<

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

Ashleigh Gleeson, The Daily Telegraph
October 23, 2016

TRINITY Grammar’s headmaster has told a Royal Commission the school was making a decision about rape allegations “in the context of a Friday afternoon before trial HSC exams”.

Milton Cujes was today asked about whether he believed the way the school handled rape allegations made by a boy in August 2000 were “adequate”.

“They were adequate in terms of ensuring the safety of the boys. They were, in the context expeditious, bearing in mind that we couldn’t stop trial HSC exams,” Mr Cujes told the commission.

“... My impression... Was that the consensus was this was a dormitory incident that had gone too far, it needed attention and therefore in the context of the Friday afternoon before the trial examinations we needed to act and demonstrate that it was completely unacceptable, hence the endorsement of the suspension.”

Prestigious schools accused of placing reputation above student welfare at royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Two of Sydney's most prestigious private boys' schools have been accused of placing their reputations ahead of student welfare at a royal commission.

A teenager who was allegedly indecently assaulted while studying at The King's School told the inquiry the school had a culture of silence.

"The culture at The King's School was that you could stand up and make a complaint about the behaviour but then it would get worse," he said. "It was better to say nothing and hope for the best."

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told the witness, now 19, was called "cum rag" and "cum dumpster" by other boys after a fellow student allegedly ejaculated on his sleeping bag at a school camp in April 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Elite private school principal says he did not follow up on claims boys were 'raped with a wooden sex toy' because he was busy with HSC trial exams

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By RACHEL EDDIE FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS

The principal of an elite private school has admitted allegations boys were raping fellow students with implements were not properly investigated.

A boy, known as CLB, claimed older students at Trinity Grammar had tried to rape him by 'lifting his legs in the air and pumping at his bottom' on August 11, 2000.

CLB reported the incident to the Summer Hill, inner-west Sydney, school the same day with allegations they had raped him with objects more than 50 times. He said they had been sticking a 30cm wooden dildo made in wood-tech class up other students' bottoms.

Principal Milton Cujes told the royal commission into child abuse the school had to decide on a punishment for the culprits 'in the context of a Friday afternoon' ahead of trial HSC exams the following week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

King's boy details 'disgusting' bullying

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Andi Yu - AAP on October 24, 2016

A former student of The King's School in Sydney has told the abuse royal commission he was driven out of the school by relentless bullying that started after a boy ejaculated on his sleeping bag.

The now 19-year-old is the first from the prestigious private boys' school to testify at the inquiry, which is examining institutional responses to harmful sexual behaviours by students.

On Monday, the young man, referred to as CLC, described being a happy boarding student with plenty of friends until a cadet camp at the beginning of year 10 in 2013.

"During the night I woke up to hear laughing and one of the boys saying: 'Did you really do that? That's disgusting'," he told the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Celibacy For Priests. The Defense Takes the Floor

ROME
Chiesa

It will not be discussed at a synod, but pressure is growing in favor of the ordination of married men. The most highly esteemed of the Italian theologians has puts a spotlight on the question in an authoritative magazine. And he is opting to hold on to celibacy: not only “opportune,” but “necessary”

by Sandro Magister

ROME, October 24, 2016 – Interviewed a few days ago by Gianni Cardinale for the newspaper of the Italian episcopal conference, “Avvenire,” the secretary general of the synod of bishops, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, confirmed that the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the new session in 2018 - “Young people, faith, and vocational discernment” - was the same one that the fourteen cardinals and bishops of the synodal secretariat had put on the top of the list of their proposals.

But Baldisseri also said that just after it, on the list, were the ordained ministries. Without specifying further but with the obvious, implied question of the ordination of married men.

Already once before, in 1971, a synod had addressed this issue. And many voices had been raised in favor of the ordination of “viri probati,” meaning “married men of mature age and of established probity.” That request was put to a vote and defeated only narrowly by the opposing side: 107 against 87.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

EXCLUSIVE: PAC founder believes passage of Child Victims Act will be priority for Cuomo in 2017

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY KENNETH LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF Monday, October 24, 2016

ALBANY — The creator of a political action committee pushing to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults is convinced the governor will make passage of the measure a priority next year.

Gary Greenberg, an upstate investor and child sexual abuse survivor who created the Fighting For Children PAC, spoke with Cuomo at a recent fund-raiser the governor headlined for state Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Nassau County).

Greenberg, whose PAC is supporting Kaminsky, said he believes Cuomo might include the call for passage of the Child Victims Act in his January State of the State address.

“He said he would propose it in early 2017 and that it’s going to get done,” Greenberg said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Church apologizes for Native boarding schools

ALASKA
KTOO

Associated Press
October 23, 2016

The Presbyterian Church of America has apologized for the experiences of Native Americans at boarding schools that had ties to the church.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a group of people who attend a Presbyterian church in the state gave the official apology at the end of the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention on Saturday.

Convention co-chairman Jerry Isaac thanked the church and said he hoped other governments and groups take similar action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Priest used youth drop-in centre as 'giant spider web' to catch victims

CANADA
CBC News

New allegations of sexual assault have emerged against a Winnipeg priest and convicted sex offender, CBC News has learned.

Four men have come forward alleging Ronald Léger, 78, sexually assaulted them beginning when they were children aged 10 to 12, during the 1980s. All frequented the youth drop-in centre he founded, Teen Stop Jeunesse (TSJ).

Ronald Léger, former priest, pleads guilty to sex assault
Winnipeg police confirmed Friday afternoon Léger has been charged with eight counts of sexual assault and remains in custody.

"When I look at it now, the place was just a giant spider web," said one of the men. CBC News is protecting their identities because of the nature of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Musician aims to inspire Catholic abuse survivors with song ‘99 Candles in Ballarat’

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

KATHRYN POWLEY, Herald Sun
October 23, 2016 9:06pm

A MELBOURNE-based musician has released a stirring song to inspire and celebrate survivors of child sexual abuse in the Catholic education system.

Ian Whitehead’s “99 Candles in Ballarat” is dedicated to the brave survivors, their victims and families.

The song also pays tribute to those who suffered abuse and committed suicide.

Mr Whitehead, who was himself abused in a Catholic school, gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in a closed session in Ballarat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

October 23, 2016

Sexual abuse claims widen against former Catholic boarding school in Granby

CANADA
CBC News

A class-action lawsuit alleging sexual abuse at a former Catholic boarding school in Granby has been expanded to include the names of 11 religious brothers.

The lawsuit was initially launched earlier this month by an anonymous 56-year-old man, who says he was sexually abused more than 300 times at Mont-Sacré-Coeur College between 1973 and 1975.

His lawsuit named one priest, Brother Claude Lebeau, a member of the Les Frères Sacré Du Sacré-Coeur congregation, which ran the school at the time.

The claims in the lawsuit have not been tested in court. Lebeau is believed to be living in the Montreal area.

Since the lawsuit was launched, several more people have come forward saying they were abused at the school between 1940 and 1980, the plaintiff's lawyer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

In Texas, ‘evil’ pastor’s wife gets five life sentences

TEXAS
The Freethinker

Misty Rae Hopkins, above, the widow of a Burnet pastor, has been sentenced to five life terms and four 20-year terms after she was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and indecency.

According to this report, prosecutors say she and her late husband confined and sexually abused their children over a period of seven years.

Assistant District Attorney Stacy Burke called Hopkins:

A truly evil person who tortured her children.

Hopkins, 49, and her late husband, John Hopkins, lived in Burnet where John Hopkins was the pastor of a church when the offences occurred.

The offences, committed from 1999 through 2005 in Burnet County, involved “numerous acts of sexual abuse” that she and her husband committed individually and in tandem.

When the oldest victim was 14, the family moved to Blanco County and later to Llano County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Geelong Grammar seeks to heal wounds with survivor coordinator for child sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Freya Michie

Prestigious independent Victorian school Geelong Grammar says it wants to encourage survivors of past child abuse at the school who have not yet come forward to contact them for "guidance and support".

In a letter to all parents, the school announced it had appointed a new "survivor liaison coordinator" to help support those who were sexually abused at the school.

Principal Stephen Meek said the school believed there were former students who were survivors of past child abuse who had not yet come forward.

He said those people could be reluctant to come forward, because they did not want to speak to the school which they held responsible for their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Victims split over sex abuse compo scheme

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 24, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

Plans to provide compensation and medical support to tens of thousands of child sex-abuse victims have run into disagreement between the federal and state governments, with victims themselves saying they are likely to reject the Prime Minister’s preferred response.

Thirteen months after the Royal Commission into Instit­utional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended that a $4.3 billion national redress scheme be set up, those who work with victims say they fear the ­opportunity to achieve this may be lost.

The royal commission recommended establishing a single, ­independent body able to order institutions to apologise, pay compensation to and help with the medical expenses of an ­estimated 65,000 victims.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wrote to a psychiatrist who works with child-abuse victims earlier this month, saying “redress should be operated as a single national scheme by the federal government to provide equity and consistency for survivors”.

“We are committed to working with the federal government and other states and territories on the development of a single NRS ­(national redress scheme),” her letter said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Ex-student says in lawsuit teacher targeted her for sex

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

Mike Martindale, The Detroit News October 22, 2016

Pontiac — An Oakland Circuit judge has been asked to dismiss a lawsuit by a graduate of a Madison Heights parochial school who claims she was exposed to sexual demands of a male teacher.

“Jane Doe” says she was a 17-year-old honors student at Bishop Foley Catholic High School in 2008 when her art teacher, Richard Fischer, allegedly initiated a relationship with her that encompassed inappropriate teacher-student physical contact on and off school grounds. She claims Fischer annually targeted and manipulated underage female students to be what he called his “girlfriend.”

It wasn’t until last November — nearly eight years later — that the teenager reported the matter to police after hearing the parent of another student had complained of Fischer to a guidance counselor in 2006 and nothing was done. “Jane Doe” said she was so ashamed she had never told anyone of the alleged sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Why Several Native Americans Are Suing the Mormon Church

UNITED STATES
The Atlantic

LILLY FOWLER

Native Americans who were part of a little-known Mormon program from 1947 to the mid-1990s share much of the same story. Year after year, missionaries or other members of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints approached these families and invited their children into Mormon foster homes. As part of the Mormon Indian Student Placement Program, Native American children would live with Mormon families during the school year, an experience designed to “provide educational, spiritual, social, and cultural opportunities in non-Indian community life,” according to the Church. Typically, the Mormon foster families were white and financially stable. Native American children who weren’t already Mormon were baptized. And some of them now claim they were sexually abused.

“They knew there were things going on. They just turned around and closed their eyes to it,” said BN, a former participant of the program who has filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against the LDS Church, and who remains anonymous in court documents, in an interview. So far, three sexual-abuse lawsuits involving four past participants have been filed in Navajo Nation District Court. No criminal charges have been brought against the defendants, who are also anonymous in all pleadings. The alleged victims include a brother and sister who were both in the program. The brother, referred to in court documents as RJ, claims in the lawsuit that he was not only sexually abused, but physically and emotionally abused, and forcibly had “his mouth washed out with soap whenever he spoke Navajo to the other placement children in the home,” according to court documents. A fourth lawsuit is pending, according to their lawyer, Craig Vernon.

The LDS Church maintains that the “plaintiffs’ allegations are just that—allegations,” according to David Jordan, its lawyer. While many of the perpetrators named in the suits are dead, “I can tell you that the surviving family members of the alleged abusers with whom we have been able to speak do not believe the allegations,” Jordan claimed. “I also want to emphasize that the Church would have had absolutely no motive to send a child back into an abusive environment if a report of improper conduct had been made by any of the plaintiffs.” The Church has not answered the allegations other than to challenge the jurisdiction of Navajo court, and has asked a federal judge to prevent the cases from going forward in tribal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Ballarat’s Children: ‘superiors ignored my urgings to set up child-abuse inquiry’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 24, 2016

PIA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@pia_akerman

PETER HOYSTED
ColumnistCanberra
@JacktheInsider

A detective who helped build the case against one of the country’s most notorious pedophiles has ­revealed he urged his superiors to establish a taskforce to properly investigate the scourge of clerical sexual abuse and how he lament­ed the general lack of resourcing by the force.

Former detective sergeant Blair Smith said he was shocked to learn the extent of pedophilia within Catholic institutions when it first came across his desk in 1993, sparking years of “a total fight” with the church.

Mr Smith, who was part of a small Victoria Police unit investig­ating domestic violence and sexual assaults, has spoken publicly for the first time in The Australian’s podcast Ballarat’s Children.

He said he had received minim­al support from his commanding officers as he pursued alleg­ations of child sexual abuse against former Christian Brother Edward (Ted) Dowlan.

“I recall saying to someone — and it probably would have been the chief inspector — ‘these files and all these clerical complaints should have been handled by a taskforce’,” Mr Smith said.

“You’re like a one-man band …. as it goes up the ladder, it’s just ­another file.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Brooklyn yeshiva settles with sexual assault accusers for $2.1M

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Susan Edelman

October 23, 2016

A prominent Orthodox Jewish school in Brooklyn agreed to pay an unprecedented $2.1 million to two former students who charged their teacher — accused serial molester Rabbi Joel Kolko — of sexually assaulting them, The Post has learned.

Kolko’s case marks the first time a New York yeshiva has paid off victims of sex abuse, experts said.

“This is unheard of. I am not aware of any other settlements,” said Rabbi Yosef Blau, a spiritual adviser at Yeshiva University in Manhattan and longtime victims advocate.

Secret settlements between Yeshiva Torah Temimah on Ocean Parkway and two boys — 6 years old when molested — were filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court a week ago when the yeshiva failed to make payments.

Lawyers for the two plaintiffs filed a judgment for $1 million — the total the yeshiva still owes both boys for the trauma they suffered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

COLUMN: Catholic Church is trying to buy silence of victims

NEW YORK
Glens Falls Post-Star

Ken Tingley

The New York Roman Catholic archdiocese has announced it is willing to pay off the victims of pedophile priests in exchange for their silence.

Any records of such abuse and what the church did about it would also remain private.

It’s an attempt by the church to again avoid accountability and responsibility for the abuse of children.

It should hit home in this community.

It should be an outrage here because of what Father Gary Mercure did in Queensbury and Glens Falls.

He served as priest at Our Lady of Annunciation in Queensbury from 1982 to 1991.

He was the campus minister at Adirondack Community College from 1982 to 1999.

He was the principal at St. Mary’s-St. Alphonsus Regional Catholic School from 1991 to 1995 as well as a priest at St. Mary’s.

And he was convicted in a Pittsfield, Massachusetts, courtroom in 2011 of three counts of forcible rape on a child younger than 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Thoughts on the Iowa Caucus of the Catholic Church

VATICAN CITY
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. October 22, 2016
EDITOR

Although nobody believes there's going to be a papal election anytime soon, the consistory taking place next month to create 17 new cardinals, 13 eligible to vote, is nevertheless the closest thing the Catholic Church has to the Iowa Caucus, when all the candidates are on display.

It may be election season in America, but that’s definitely not the vibe one gets in ecclesiastical Rome these days. Pope Francis is in good health, he remains fully in charge and operating at a breakneck pace, and there’s no sense that a transition is imminent.

As a result, no one’s spending a great deal of time thinking about papabili, meaning potential candidates for the papacy, because most people don’t believe the job is going to be available anytime soon.

On the other hand, there’s a consistory next month, meaning the event in which a pope creates new cardinals, so at least in theory the candidate pool is getting fresh blood. Moreover, virtually all the cardinals of the world will be in Rome for the event, which makes a consistory the closest thing in the Catholic Church to the Iowa Caucus - an early campaign milestone, when all the candidates are on display and anything seems possible.

Granted, from a faith point of view there’s something far more important than a political cattle call that will be happening on Nov. 19.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Presbyterian Church apologizes for boarding school abuses as AFN wraps up its convention

ALASKA
Alaska Dispatch News

Lisa Demer

FAIRBANKS – For the first time, a church organization has apologized to the Alaska Federation of Natives for its treatment of Native people and especially for abuses in boarding schools.

The Presbyterian Church's national general assembly agreed in June, at the prompting of Alaskans, to issue an apology to all Native Americans abused, mistreated or diminished through church schools and boarding schools or otherwise.

An expression of sorrow for long-ago wrongs was delivered in person at the AFN convention on Saturday by the Rev. Curt Karns, the Anchorage-based executive presbyter – or administrator – of the Presbytery of the Yukon.

"To those individuals who were physically, sexually and emotionally abused as students of the Indian boarding schools in which the (Presbyterian Church USA) was involved, we offer you our most sincere apology. You did nothing wrong; you were and are the victims of evil acts that cannot under any circumstances be justified or excused," Karns told the AFN convention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

October 22, 2016

FRANCIS URGES BISHOPS TO VET PRIESTS AHEAD OF ORDINATION

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (UK)

22 October 2016 | by Christopher Lamb in Rome

Pope Francis has urged bishops to carefully vet who they ordain as priests so they ensure the world is served by “mature and balanced” clergy.

“When it comes to vocations to the priesthood and those entering the seminary, I beg you to discern the truth, to have a shrewd and cautious look,” Francis told a Vatican conference on vocations this week, adding that this discernment should be done without “shallowness or superficiality.”

He went on: "especially to my brother bishops, I say: vigilance and prudence. The Church and the world need mature and balanced priests, pastors who are intrepid and generous, capable of closeness, listening and mercy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Padre denuncia que su hijo “se tiró al vicio” tras abuso sexual cometido por un cura

MEXICO
Regeneracion

En Oaxaca, el sacerdote Gerardo Silvestre Hernández hace una década destrozó la vida de al menos 40 niños, pese a las pruebas nadie creyó a las víctimas y persiste impunidad.

Regeneración, 22 de octubre 2016.- El párroco de las localidades de la Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca, Gerardo Silvestre Hernández abusó sexualmente de al menos 40 niños hace diez años, siendo denunciado por otro sacerdote, Manuel Arias, quien ha sufrido amenazas de muerte.

De acuerdo con el cura Manuel Arias, uno de los 10 religiosos que han denunciado a Silvestre, se enteró de los casos en 2009 en la comunidad de Santiago Camotlán, en donde un profesor le entregó una carta, en la cual aseguraba que Silvestre “metía a los jóvenes al cuarto, los emborrachaba y luego tenía relaciones sexuales con ellos”.

Al tener los elementos, buscó al arzobispo José Luis Chávez Botello, con documentos y grabaciones, pero no le creyó, cuenta Arias.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Parent speaks out about priest’s abuse

MEXICO
Mexico News Daily

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The father of one of the children in the eight documented cases of pedophilia committed by a priest in Oaxaca has spoken out about the forgotten victims of the crime: the relatives of the abused child.

Pedro Mendoza, whose son was allegedly a victim of Catholic priest Gerardo Silvestre, says he and his wife suffered along with their son when the crime was uncovered.

“The suffering continues, and now includes our other children. It is a chain, and sadly the seed planted by the sexual abuse has taken root,” he said.

His son, who now lives in the State of México with his mother and siblings, has “given in to a life of vice and crime,” he told the newspaper El Universal.

Silvestre allegedly abused over 40 youths over a decade ago in mountainous indigenous communities in the state of Oaxaca. Of those cases, only eight have been documented. Witness reports said Silvestre’s modus operandi was to invite the boys into the parish house, where he got them drunk before sexually abusing them.

Mendoza’s official accusation against the priest, filed in 2012, was the first received by the authorities, but the Catholic church had had knowledge of the priest’s crimes since 2009 when another priest, Manuel Arias, informed the archbishop of Oaxaca, José Luis Chávez Botello, about what was happening.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Former Archbishop of Canterbury admits he deserves criticism over ex-bishop sex abuse 'cover up'

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Robert Mendick, chief reporter
22 OCTOBER 2016

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has admitted he deserves to be criticised over his support for a bishop convicted of sexual assault, as it emerged separately that his son, a priest, has been arrested for historic child sex abuse.

The retired Anglican Archbishop has been warned he can expect to face “explicit criticism” over claims the criminal activities of Peter Ball, the then Bishop of Gloucester, were covered up by the Church of England.

Lord Carey, who was a friend of Ball’s, has now been given his own lawyer, paid for by the Church of England, to represent him personally at the national child sex abuse inquiry.
Lord Carey had previously been using the Church’s own lawyers but last month requested his own team over concerns of a “conflict” between the Church’s interests and those of its former leader. A source close to Lord Carey said he accepted that he would be criticised for his handling of the allegations against Ball.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Central Texas judge says pastor, wife committed worst child sex abuse he’s ever seen

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

Liz Farmer, Breaking News producer

A Central Texas woman was sentenced Wednesday for sexual assault of her children, who reported the abuse after escaping from her house, officials said.

The trial started Monday in the 424th District Court in Burnet, about 60 miles northwest of Austin, regarding allegations of sexual abuse by both Misty Rae Hopkins and her late husband, John Hopkins, who acted together, as well as apart, according to a press release from the district attorney's office.

John Hopkins was a pastor at a church in the area during the time of the offenses.

Assistant District Attorney Stacy Burke told the jury Hopkins is the worst pedophile she's seen in her career, adding that Hopkins is a truly evil person who tortured her children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

What it’s like to experience the 2016 election as both a conservative and a sex abuse survivor

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Nancy French October 21

“Should we pick him up?” The preacher pointed to the side of the road to a hitchhiker.

“No!” I shrieked, but the idea was intoxicating. I’d lived in a one-festival town my whole life. Pulling over seemed like the kind of careless, wild action that could possibly blow up the roteness of small-town life. “I don’t know. Maybe?”

I was disappointed when he laughed and sped up. Nothing ever happens here. The most exciting thing that had happened to me was that morning’s vacation Bible school — all Kool Aid and butter cookies with holes in the center we wore as rings on our pinkies. The preacher offered to take me home when my mother needed to run errands. I was honored to be in his car, giggling as we sped by the hitchhiker. This preacher was younger than most and wore cool glasses. I tried to match his gregarious spirit. I should’ve said yes to the hitchhiker, I thought. That’s what cooler, older people would’ve done.

After winding down the long gravel road to my house, the preacher walked me in. I was too young to have rules for boys in the house, but this wasn’t a boy.

“Here’s the living room, and here’s the sitting room,” I said, flipping on some lights. There was a blue and white love seat up against the wall, in the room that my grandmother had used as a bedroom before she died. She’d once been alive but now was dead. It felt odd to just repurpose her room into a TV room without acknowledging that a person had so recently dwelled there.

I was thinking of her, when the preacher’s thin mouth pressed against mine, his wiry tongue stuck down my throat. He pulled me down onto the love seat and ran his hands over my budding breasts. Though I’d failed the hitchhiker test, I had another chance to prove I was cool enough to deserve attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Former Bishop of Bath and Wells's son is arrested over allegations of historic sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Bristol Post

By Ian Onions | Posted: October 22, 2016

The son of Lord Carey, former Bishop of Bath and Wells, has been arrested over allegations of child sex abuse which date back to the 1980s.

The Rev Mark Carey, 51, was arrested by police at his home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and later released pending further inquiries.

Lord Carey, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002, became Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham after he retired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

US bishops’ vote likely to be seen as referendum on Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
Crux

John L. Allen Jr.October 21, 2016
EDITOR

As it turns out, the Trump v. Clinton showdown isn’t the only election of interest to American Catholics this fall.

The U.S. bishops are also going to be voting for their own new leaders in mid-November, and in some ways their choices are almost certain to be read as a referendum on how the American hierarchy wants to position itself vis-à-vis the new winds blowing in the Church under Pope Francis.

By tradition, a slate of ten candidates is nominated for the presidency and the vice-presidency of the conference, and they select both positions from among those nominees. The new president will replace Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, who’s served the usual three-year term.

The nominees are:

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston
Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami
Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe

If one were to open a betting line right now, I suspect a DiNardo/Gomez ticket would attract a lot of money, but of course that’s why we hold elections rather than letting bookmakers and pundits settle things - because anything can happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Melbourne Anglican church flags abuse body

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Australian Associated Press

The Anglican diocese of Melbourne will establish an independent body to investigate sexual abuse complaints.

The move comes as part of the church's response to the 2013 Victorian parliamentary inquiry and the royal commission, and is aimed at improving transparency, independence and avenues of redress for victims.

The new complaint body is separate from the diocese and the archbishop, and can work across any number of dioceses, the church said on Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Clergy sex abuse topic is relevant today: Michael Rezendes

INDIA
Daiji World

By Sugandha Rawal

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS): "Spotlight" -- a film which infused life into an award-winning investigative teams story that exposed a Catholic paedophile scandal involving priests in Boston -- was named as the Best Picture at the Oscars this year. And Michael Rezendes, one of the journalists who worked on the story, says the relevance of the issue doesnt end with the movie.

In the film, Tom McCarthy's dramatic depiction shows the whole process of the 2002 investigation that blew open the child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and also puts in the spotlight the emotions that the journalists went through as it questioned their faith and religion. The investigative team of The Boston Globe won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for the story.

"The clergy sex abuse topic is very relevant today. The Catholic Church has taken some steps to deal with these issues, but I think the church has a long way to go, particularly outside the United States. American bishops have adopted a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sex abuse.

That has not been adopted by others around the world," Rezendes told IANS on the phone from Boston.

"The Vatican, in fact, 15 years later, is still studying the issue but has not come out with anything. I think the issue is very much alive. One of the reasons that I love the movie is because it puts the spotlight on the issue," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Wythe minister facing sexual abuse allegations

VIRGINIA
Southwest Virginia Today

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl in August, a then Wythe County minister is facing two felonies.

Nathan Phillips, 59, of Austinville was indicted Monday on charges of aggravated sexual battery and object sexual penetration following an investigation by the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office.

Both allegations, which have an Aug. 13 offense date, involve the same teenage girl, according to the indictments.

Police said that Phillips was pastor at the Austinville Pentecostal Holiness Church when the allegations came to light but that he has since resigned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Pastor Charged With Procurement of Child Prostitution

CAMBODIA
Cambodia Daily

BY SEK ODOM | OCTOBER 22, 2016

A South Korean pastor accused of raping several girls who lived with him at his church was charged on Friday with procurement of child prostitution and sexual abuse of a minor.

Park Youl, 62, who was arrested on Wednesday after being called in for questioning by Siem Reap municipal police based on a tip, was charged in the Siem Reap provincial court and sent to the provincial prison on Friday morning, court spokesman Riem Channy said.

Mr. Park was accused of abusing eight girls, including six who lived with him at the Christian church, and buying them and their families off with gifts of rice, cash and motorbikes, according to Duong Thavry, the province’s anti-human trafficking police chief.

She said Mr. Park admitted to raping some of the girls, who were now aged between 13 and 21.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

“There Were No Witnesses”

IOWA
Blog for Iowa

October 22, 2016 | Author Dave Bradley

That is a quote from Donald Trump denying that he committed the dozen or so episodes of sexual assault on women that he is accused of.

Of course there weren’t, you dolt. Sexual assault is not usually something that you want to do in front of an audience. It is a crime and therefore something that is done in secrecy. It is also frequently done by someone who has some form of power to another person that the first person has that power over.

This pattern should be familiar to anyone who followed the stories of the boys and some girls who were abused by priests. As a victim of priestly abuse myself, when the stories started coming out I recognized the pattern as if it were taken from a textbook. Powerful person corners a victim in a situation where the powerful person can force their attention on the victim. Often the assaulter has created the situation to make sure that there is little chance of discovery yet looks to be a spur of the moment thing.

When the assault is done the victim is often warned that any attempt to report on this incident will be denied by the assaulter. Who do you think authorities will believe, a liar like you or someone with a pristine reputation like me? If you do anything I will destroy your life in some way. Thus the victim is silenced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

October 21, 2016

Police: Dozens of photos show Bishop McDevitt teacher’s abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC 27

[with video]

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Dozens of photos of a Midstate teacher performing sexual acts with a student — that’s what court documents show police found during their investigation.

Police filed the paperwork yesterday in charging 33-year-old Randi Zurenko of Millerstown with sexual abuse of children and sexual assault, among other crimes.

The arrest affidavit details two relationships the Bishop Mcdevitt High School social studies teacher had with students.

“Sexual violence is a widespread problem in Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape CEO Delilah Rumburg said.

And make no mistake, she added, this is sexual violence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Vicar son of former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey arrested over historic child sex abuse claims

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

21 OCT 2016
BY KEITH PERRY

Rev Mark Carey, 51, is accused of assaulting a young girl in the 1980s when he was in his late teens

The vicar son of a former Archbishop of Canterbury has been arrested over claims of historic child sex abuse .

Rev Mark Carey, 51, whose father is Lord Carey, was held at his church-owned home on Wednesday.

His alleged victim, now in her 30s, claimed she was assaulted when he was in his late teens and Lord Carey was a priest in the North-East.

Rev Carey was released on police bail and has since been suspended by the Church of England pending inquiries.

Father of three Rev Carey, who followed his father into the church in 1995, has not been seen since his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

REV'S ABUSE ARREST Vicar son of outspoken former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey ‘molested young girl’ in 1980s

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY PAUL SIMS 21st October 2016

THE priest son of a former Archbishop of Canterbury has been arrested over claims of historic child sex abuse.

Rev Mark Carey, 51, whose father is Lord Carey, was held at his church-owned home on Wednesday.

His alleged victim, now in her 30s, claimed she was assaulted when he was in his late teens and Lord Carey was a priest in the North-East.

Rev Carey was released on police bail and has since been suspended by the Church of England pending inquiries.

Father of three Rev Carey, who followed his father into the church in 1995, has not been seen since his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Priest son of former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is arrested over claims of historic child abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By PADDY DINHAM FOR MAILONLINE

Mark Carey was detained at his home after claims that he abused a girl in the 1980s

A priest son of former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has been arrested over claims of historic child abuse.

Mark Carey was detained at his home after claims that he abused a girl, who is now in her 30s, when he was in his late teens and his father was a in the north east during the 1980s.

A Durham Police spokesman told MailOnline: 'A 51-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of historical sexual offences. He has been bailed pending further enquiries.'

A Church of England spokesman added: 'A 51-year-old priest in the Diocese of Leeds has been suspended by the Bishop following his arrest by Durham Constabulary concerning allegations of historical abuse.

'No further statement will be made at this time.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Clifton church cut ties with priest accused of choking baby over drinking problem

NEW JERSEY
NorthJersey.com

BY RICHARD COWEN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

The former pastor of a Clifton Ukrainian Orthodox church who was charged this week with choking a baby in a Walmart store in Kansas was told to leave the church last year because of a drinking problem, the parish council vice president said Friday.

Oleh Zhownirovych had led the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral for 15 years, and had been married with two children. But his wife and children eventually left him, and last year, the church severed ties with him because of his drinking, said Walter Mohuchy, vice president of the Holy Ascension church council.

“We essentially asked him to leave because he was battling alcoholism,” Mohuchy said. “He knew people in Florida, and we thought he was there to get himself well. But Kansas? How did he end up there?”

Zhownirovych, 54, is now being held in the Johnson County Jail on $100,000 bail, charged with aggravated battery. He was arrested around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday following a bizarre incident at a Walmart in Overland Park, which is about 15 miles southwest of Kansas City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

The Priests Should Have Given Trump His Last Rites Last Night

NEW YORK
Esquire

BY CHARLES P. PIERCE
OCT 21, 2016

Well, I have to say that, when it comes to appearing before an audience of influential clergy, Joan of Arc got a better reception than Donald Trump did. Usually, you can't get the Roman Catholic hierarchy booing you unless you're carrying a condom, or maybe a subpoena.

But, seriously, folks…

Before we get to the Los Alamos of after-dinner speeches, let's pause for a moment and pay tribute to the founder of the feast, our jovial host, His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, Yankee fan, and otherwise inexcusable presence in the country's spiritual life. Never one to miss a chance to preach to the spotlight, Dolan spouted off on the subject of some mildly critical comments on conservative Catholics that allegedly were exchanged by members of the upper echelons of the campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"The remarks attributed to John Podesta, who is Mrs. Clinton's chief of staff, are just extraordinarily patronizing and insulting to Catholics. What he would say is offensive. And if it had been said about the Jewish community, if it had been said about the Islamic community, within 10 minutes there would have been an apology."

Poor Dolan of New York, beset on all sides by heretics on the Intertoobz. You know what else is extraordinarily patronizing and insulting to Catholics? Hiding money in a diocesan cemetery fund so you don't have to pay it out to the victims of your depraved diocesan clergy, that's what. This guy should be studying Scripture in a monastery on the side of a cliff in Turkey, under a vow of silence, rather than yukking it up with posh Fifth Avenue Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Penn. lawmakers face sex abuse law deadline

PENNSYLVANIA
MSNBC

[video]

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Maria Panaritis discusses pending Pennsylvania legislation that would allow child sex-abuse victims to take retroactive legal action against organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Winnipeg priest, out on day parole, facing more historic sex abuse charges

CANADA
Metro

WINNIPEG — Police have laid more charges against a former Winnipeg priest previously convicted of sexual abuse.

Ronald Leger, who is 78, faces eight counts of sexual assault.

Leger is accused of abusing four boys who were between 10 and 12 years old when the alleged crimes began in 1981.

Police say the abuse spanned more than 10 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 PM

Italian priest is arrested on suspicion of molesting women and a 12-year-old girl while carrying out EXORCISMS

ITALY
Daily Mail (UK)

By SARAH DEAN FOR MAILONLINE and AFP

A priest has been arrested on suspicion of molesting women while carrying out exorcisms and spiritual 'healing'.

The priest in Palermo, Sicily, was arrested on sex abuse charges along with an army colonel, local media reported Friday.

Father Salvatore Anello, 59, is suspected of molesting four women and a 12-year-old girl during 'healing prayers,' supposedly intended to help them recover from illness or liberate them from possession by the devil, the AGI news agency reported.

Anello's arrest follows a six-month investigation into Salvatore Muratore, 52, an army colonel who was active in the Renewal of the Holy Spirit Catholic community.

Muratore has been accused by alleged victims of similar assaults.

Both men have been detained in custody and the investigation is still ongoing to ascertain if there were more victims, police told AGI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Accused priest Fr Neru Leuea will never get his life back, warns a man who has been there

AUSTRALIA
The Times

A MUCH-LOVED Riverina priest acquitted this week of raping a 10-year-old girl will never escape the black mark against his name, according to a former Griffith mayor who himself was cleared of serious charges.

Griffith councillor Mike Neville said Father Neru Leuea will always be stalked by the unproven allegations he sexually assaulted the girl in 2003.

Cr Neville faced a high-profile sexual assault case in 2012, while he was Griffith mayor, but was not found guilty.

“No matter where he (Fr Neru) goes or what he does in the future, this will follow him,” Cr Neville said.

“You don’t get your life back; you have to make a new life and it was not just for me, it was for my family – all of those lives have been changed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

“Via il demonio” e palpeggiava le fedeli. Arrestato a Palermo padre Anello, esorcista dei Cappuccini

ITALIA
La Repubblica

Il sacerdote era anche cappellano dell'ospedale Civico. In manette anche un colonnello dell’esercito, Salvatore Muratore: è accusato di aver violentato quattro donne. L’inchiesta nata dalla denuncia di una vittima, scoperti 10 casi. Il drammatico racconto di una dodicenne, affetta da epilessia: "Mi toccava e diceva, così guarisci"

di SALVO PALAZZOLO

E’ uno dei sacerdoti più noti di Palermo, conosciuto come "guaritore" ed "esorcista". Questa mattina, padre Salvatore Anello è stato arrestato con l’accusa di violenza sessuale. Gli investigatori della sezione di polizia giudiziaria della polizia di Stato in servizio presso la procura dei minori lo hanno fermato all’interno del convento dei Cappuccini. Il 59enne sacerdote, che faceva anche da cappellano all'ospedale Civico, è accusato di aver palpeggiato due donne e tre minorenni che si erano rivolte a lui per essere aiutate. Fra riti e benedizioni avrebbe commesso violenze. “Preghiere di guarigione”, le chiamava lui. E nessuno aveva mai avuto il coraggio di reagire. Poi, il racconto di una vittima ha infranto il muro dell’omertà. Non solo sul prete che diceva di essere un esorcista, anche se ufficialmente non era riconosciuto come tale dalla diocesi di Palermo.

Le testimonianze raccolte dalla polizia hanno portato in carcere pure un ufficiale dell’esercito, si tratta del colonnello Salvatore Muratore, ha 59 anni, è in servizio alla caserma Turba: era uno degli animatori più attivi della comunità del Rinnovamento nello Spirito Santo di Palermo. Secondo la ricostruzione del sostituto procuratore Giorgia Righi e del procuratore aggiunto Salvatore De Luca, l’ufficiale avrebbe approfittato di quattro donne e di una minorenne che si trovavano in uno stato di fragilità psicologica, alcune erano anche gravemente ammalate. "Io faccio preghiere di guarigione", si vantava. Le violenze sarebbero avvenute nelle abitazioni delle vittime. Quando le donne mostravano qualche perplessità, il colonnello Muratore rassicurava: “E’ il diavolo che ti fa dire queste cose, io sto solo invocando il demone della lussuria per liberarti”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Italian 'exorcists' arrested on molestation charges

ITALY
Deutsche Welle

A priest and an army colonel pretending to be exorcists have been detained in Sicily. Investigators have said they took advantage of ill women and sexually abused them.

A Catholic priest posing as a "healer" and "exorcist" was arrested in Sicily on sexual molestation charges, Italian media reported on Friday. 59-year-old Salvatore Anello is charged with inappropriately touching four adult women and a 12-year-old girl.

His case follows a similar one a few months earlier in Palermo, wherein Colonel Salvatore Muratore was charged with 10 counts of molestation while a member of the Renewal of the Holy Spirit Catholic community.

According to La Repubblica newspaper, Anello was arrested by investigators from the state police's child protection unit at a Capuchin convent. Prosecutors claim he took advantage of women who came to him for help when he was a chaplain at a local hospital. He claimed he could free them of demonic possession with "healing prayers", and took advantage of the situation to molest them.

The Diocese of Palermo has said that Anello is not authorized to act as a exorcist, La Repubblica reported. Indeed, exorcisms officially condoned by the Catholic church have dwindled significantly since the doctrine behind the practice was revised in 1999.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Ex-abuse inquiry judge will be quizzed by MPs over explosive racism claims and threatening to derail the £100million probe

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By REBECCA CAMBER CRIME CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

The former head of the beleaguered child abuse inquiry is to face MPs over explosive racism claims threatening to derail the £100million probe.

Dame Lowell Goddard has pledged her ‘commitment to assist’ a Parliamentary committee investigating incendiary misconduct claims, which Theresa May has been accused of covering up.

The judge, who was the third chairman of the crisis-hit inquiry, is now expected to give evidence to MPs via video link from New Zealand, where she lives.

She is set to face questions about allegations that she made racist remarks about Asian men, abused junior staff and threw tantrums during her tumultuous 16-month tenure. The accusations, which she vehemently denies, threaten to develop into a major political scandal for the Prime Minister and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who have both admitted knowing about concerns over Dame Lowell’s conduct before she quit the inquiry in August.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Child abuse royal commission: Trinity Grammar School deputy principal misread abuse, inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Michelle Brown

The deputy principal of an elite Sydney boys school has conceded he should have called police about sexual abuse in the school's boarding house, a royal commission has heard.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining how various schools responded to students with problematic or harmful sexual behaviours.

It has heard boys at Trinity Grammar raped and simulated the rape of other students more than 15 years ago, and had used a wooden implement in some of the assaults.

Trinity Grammar's deputy principal Paul Green was asked about an incident report filed in 2000 by a Year 7 student.

It alleged a fellow boarder had forcibly held his legs in the air and simulated rape by pumping his front against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Trinity Grammar School: Rape allegations dismissed as ‘rumblings’

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

Ashleigh Gleeson, The Daily Telegraph
October 21, 2016

RAPE allegations at Trinity Grammar School involving large wooden sex toys were initially dismissed as “inappropriate rumbling”, a Royal Commission has heard.

Deputy Headmaster Peter Green stopped investigating reports multiple boys were being raped at the Summer Hill campus with the 30cm sex toy after only three days.

“I didn’t go on to find out who the victims, the alleged victims were,” Mr Green told the hearing.

“The investigation, in my part, to my regret, I did not investigate further.”

The commission heard multiple boys were raped with wooden sex toys at the school in 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Trinity Grammar deputy headmaster reveals he knew about ‘sexualised behaviour’ but did nothing

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Rohan Smith
news.com.au
@ro_smith

STUDENTS at a prestigious Sydney private school rounded the edges of a large piece of machined wood and used it to rape other students, a royal commission has heard.

The child sex abuse royal commission is focusing on what went on at Trinity Grammar School in Sydney’s inner west during August and September, 2000.

Former students who attended the boarding school say they were held down and had boot polish rubbed on their genitals. Others say that on as many as 50 occasions they were held down and raped with the wooden instrument.

When they told staff at the school, the alleged offenders were suspended “for the weekend” and allowed to return to school on Monday morning.

In his opening address, counsel-assisting the inquiry David Lloyd said one Year 7 student, known as CLA, was sexually assaulted as “a birthday present”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Alleged attacks on Trinity Grammar students but police not told: Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The deputy headmaster of Trinity Grammar School was told a student's underpants had been torn off and older boys had attempted to rape him but did not believe the allegation warranted a report to police, a royal commission has heard.

Trinity Grammar deputy headmaster Peter Green told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he believed the year 9 student had just been "rumbled" by other boys in the school's boarding house.

The Summer Hill school's headmaster Milton Cujes' evidence is he believed the allegation was "horseplay" based on the initial report from Mr Green and Robert Scott, then head of the boarding house where 60 boys resided.

The inquiry has heard a number of boarders were allegedly attacked at the school in 2000 by older students wielding wooden dildos and at least two boys were allegedly assaulted on up to 50 occasions.

Mr Green told the commission he was made aware of an allegation that the student, CLB, had been held down by three boys who simulated sex with him in August 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Trinity head had 'no idea' of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

ANDI YU
Australian Associated Press
October 21, 2016

The headmaster of a Sydney private boys' school has told a Royal Commission hearing that he had no idea there was anything sexual about so-called "rumbling" in the boarding house.

Trinity Grammar School headmaster Milton Cujes faced questioning at the child sex abuse Royal Commission in Sydney on Thursday about rape allegations made by two students in 2000.

Mr Cujes, his deputy Peter Green and former teacher Robert Scott all gave evidence that "rumbling" - boys wrestling each other in a non-serious manner - was a normal part of boarding house life.

The prestigious Anglican school in Sydney's inner west is the first to be examined by the inquiry in a fresh set of hearings examining institutional responses to "problematic or harmful sexual behaviour by students".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Bergen Catholic alumnus says he was sexually abused by teacher in 1970s

NEW JERSEY
The Record

BY MELANIE ANZIDEI
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

A 1974 Bergen Catholic High School graduate came forward Thursday to share for the first time his account of being sexually abused by his chemistry teacher as a 13-year-old student, echoing public claims made by dozens of others who attended the school from the 1950s through 1970s.

Standing across the street from his alma mater in Oradell late Thursday morning, Walter Slapkowski, 59 of Bogota, shared in detail his recollection of the abuse he said he endured in after-school detention several decades ago.

“I was completely naked. He put me over his lap, and he started smacking me – and I mean hard,” Slapkowski said.

“When he was done,” he added, “he was completely on top of me. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t tell anybody. I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Boy Scouts, Gainesville church argue to drop sexual abuse case

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Alexis Stevens - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Gainesville church and the Boy Scouts of America committed fraud when they allowed a confessed predator to keep his leadership positions, according to a lawsuit filed by a former scout who was raped in 1985.

It wasn’t until 2015 that Robb Lawson learned the name of his abuser, Fleming Weaver, and found out the church and scouts knew four years before the rape that Weaver was dangerous. But Lawson’s 30-year silence before confronting the church that sponsored his troop should be reason to drop his civil suit, attorneys for the Boy Scouts, the church and alleged molester argued Thursday.

Lawson’s attorneys argued that the Boy Scout oath — taken by scouts and volunteers — misrepresented the truth behind the organization, which covered up the abuse along with others in the church community.

“We’ve alleged actual fraud,” attorney Natalie Woodward told the court. “We’ve alleged fraudulent misrepresentations that continued on.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Pastor in Siem Reap arrested over child sex abuse

CAMBODIA
Phnom Penh Post

Fri, 21 October 2016
Bun Sengkong

A South Korean national who was the pastor of two churches in Siem Reap town was arrested yesterday after police received a tip-off that he had allegedly been sexually abusing children for “many years”, authorities said.

According to Duong Thavery, provincial chief of anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police, suspect Park Youl had been living in Siem Reap for about 10 years, and was the pastor of one church in Siem Reap town and another in Prasat Bakong district. He was arrested yesterday at about 9am after police investigated a tip from child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE).

“APLE knew the information from a victim who stopped living in the church [in Seam Reap town],” said Thavery. “The victim stopped living there, and reported that she was called by the pastor to his room and he eventually had sexual intercourse with her.”

“After that, we asked for [permission] from the deputy prosecutor to look into the case. After the investigation, we called in the pastor for questioning and called in other kids,” she added. “Each of the kids was abused by the pastor for many years.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Siem Reap Pastor Arrested Over Multiple Sex Abuse Claims

CAMBODIA
The Cambodia Daily

BY OUCH SONY | OCTOBER 21, 2016 | អានជាភាសាខ្មែរ

Police in Siem Reap City have arrested a South Korean pastor accused of sexually abusing eight girls on multiple occasions over the past several years and buying them and their families off with gifts of rice, cash and motorbikes.

Park Youl, 62, was arrested on Wednesday morning after being called in for questioning based on a tip, Siem Reap province’s anti-human trafficking police chief Duong Thavry said on Thursday. She said one of the victims talked to police because she was angry that the pastor had refused to give her a motorbike like some of the others.

“She said the pastor had persuaded her to have sex with him many times,” Ms. Thavry said. “We invited the suspect to come in for questioning…and bring the children who were living with him at the church. That’s when the crime was revealed.”

The police chief said eight female victims had been identified so far, including six who were living with the pastor at the Christian church, which she said had no name. She said Mr. Park began abusing each of them at least five years ago, and that they were now between the ages of 13 and 21.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Diocese will host services for abuse victims

NEW MEXICO
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — About three years after the Diocese of Gallup declared bankruptcy to address a growing number of clergy sexual-abuse lawsuits, Bishop James Wall has announced plans to officiate healing services at many affected New Mexico and Arizona churches.

Starting next month, Wall will lead healing services at parishes that employed a priest or lay person who has been "credibly accused" of sexual assault during any point of his career. A total of 36 hour-long services are scheduled through early 2018. The first local service is expected to take place in January in Farmington.

"A healing service is a prayer service with the intention of offering healing and comfort to survivors of sexual abuse," Wall said in an email to The Daily Times. "It’s a time of prayer, reflection and an opportunity to open oneself up to the healing power of God."

Wall said the services allow him "to personally apologize to survivors of sexual abuse and to unite in prayer with them to our loving God."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Priest Army officer arrested

ITALY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Palermo, October 21 - Police on Friday arrested a Catholic priest and an Army officer on sexual assault charges. Father Salvatore Anello, known in Palermo as an exorcist and a healer, is accused of fondling two women and three underage girls when they turned to him for help. Colonel Salvatore Muratore, 52, is accused of sexually assaulting four women and one underage girl. The officer co-founded a group called the Renewal of the Holy Spirit, and went to people's homes along with the priest to allegedly free them from demonic possession and conduct "healing prayers".

When the victims protested at the abuse, the colonel reportedly replied, "I'm invoking the demon of lust in order to liberate you".

Exorcism from the devil is a permitted rite in the Catholic Church, but it must be authorized by higher-ups. Anello was not recognized as an exorcist by his diocesis, sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Convicted priest faces new sex abuse allegations

CANADA
CBC News

By Katie Nicholson, Holly Moore, Vera-Lynn Kubinec, CBC News Posted: Oct 21, 2016

New allegations of sexual assault have emerged against a Winnipeg priest and convicted sex offender, CBC News has learned.

Four men have come forward alleging Ronald Léger sexually assaulted them beginning when they were children aged 10 to 12, during the 1980s. All frequented the youth drop-in centre he founded, Teen Stop Jeunesse (TSJ).

"When I look at it now, the place was just a giant spider web," said one of the men. CBC News is protecting their identities because of the nature of the allegations.

"You put a whole collection of kids there, and then there's some he could go farther with and some that he wouldn't, right? And I think he was a smart predator," he said. "He would just slowly test the boundaries, I guess."

All four men have given statements to Winnipeg police. Sources confirm Léger was arrested on Wednesday and charges are pending. Léger's lawyer, Saul Simmonds, said he was not in a position to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Exorcist priest and soldier arrested for sex abuse in Italy

ITALY
The Local

A Sicilian priest and a soldier have been arrested for sexual abuse, which they carried out under the guise of spiritual 'healing', local media reported on Friday.

The pair, both based in Palermo, used the pretext of liberating victims from demonic possession in order to abuse women and children. The two were named by media as Salvatore Anello, 59, who belonged to the Capuchin order, and Salvatore Muratore, 52, who worked for the Italian army in Palermo.

The men reportedly convinced victims that they were possessed by evil spirits, before carrying out a 'healing prayer' in their homes which involved "repeatedly touching their genitals", Palermo Today reported.

Anello was arrested at dawn on Friday morning and is being held in police custody, following a six-month long investigation into Muratore, who was a member of a local prayer group, and claimed to be able to perform exorcism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

October 20, 2016

Clifton Ukrainian Orthodox priest Oleh Zhownirovych accused of choking baby in Kansas

NEW JERSEY
News 12

CLIFTON - A Ukrainian Orthodox priest from Clifton is accused of trying to choke a baby in the Kansas City, Kansas, area.

Prosecutors say Oleh Zhownirovych, 54, tried to choke the 4-month-old baby while at a Wal-Mart in Overland Park, Kansas. He was charged with felony aggravated battery and misdemeanor battery.

Zhownirovych was a priest at the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Church in Clifton.

Police say Zhownirovych walked up to a women in the checkout aisle Wednesday and started to choke her baby without provocation. The mother screamed and Zhownirovych stopped, according to police.

Wal-Mart workers apparently restrained Zhownirovych until police arrived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Bill to empower victims of sexual abuse in jeopardy as House and Senate clash

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC 27

By Dennis Owens
Published: October 20, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Victims of sexual abuse are anxious.

Some say they are being re-victimized by a legislature split on a bill that would let them sue their abusers.

That bill, House Bill 1947, is in jeopardy with just three days left in the legislative session despite the fact that most lawmakers agree on most everything that’s in it.

Shaun Dougherty was in the Capitol advocating for HB 1947 this week. He was molested by a priest named in the attorney general’s report about the Johnstown-Altoona Catholic diocese.

“He sexually abused me; stair stepping from tickling to patting to fondling to groping to digital penetration,” Shaun said.

Shaun was 10 when the abuse started in 1980. The statute of limitations has expired for him to bring a civil suit. The House version of 1947 would extend the civil statute of limitations for future victims to the age of 50 and would also make it retroactive for people like Shaun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Miami youth pastor accused of pimping teenage boys

FLORIDA
Naples Daily News

MIAMI (AP) — A youth pastor is facing charges after being accused of recruiting teenage boys for sex.

News outlets report 52-year-old Ron Maurice Cooper was arrested Monday on human trafficking, false imprisonment and other charges.

Police say Cooper recruited several males, ages 16 to 18, telling them he could get them modeling work.

He arranged for them to meet a photographer, who the victims said was actually someone who had paid to have sex with them. Cooper allegedly posted photos of the victims on websites like Backpage to find more clients.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Youth Pastor Forced Boys Into Prostitution, Report Says

FLORIDA
Charisma News

JESSILYN JUSTICE

Police arrested a youth pastor on human trafficking charges after he allegedly forced boys into prostitution, according to a report.

Miami's Ron "Romeo" Cooper sold the boys, ages 16-18, to clients online. Romeo raped and assaulted the victims, as well as forced them to do drugs like crystal meth, the report says.

"The boys went through with the sex act because they were afraid of the defendant. The defendant has in the past physically grabbed them and yelled at them in their faces. He also has threatened to go to their families and basically extort them and blackmail them, stating that he was going to show them the photographs he had taken and the advertisements for sex he himself had posted," a prosecutor said.

Cooper used sites like Backpage for his despicable alleged actions. The Backpage CEO was arrested in Texas earlier this month on human trafficking charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Harrisburg teacher charged with institutional sexual assault, police say

PENNSYLVANIA
WGAL

HARRISBURG, Pa. —
A Harrisburg teacher has been charged with institutional sexual assault.

Authorities say 33-year-old Randi Lynn Zurenko of Millerstown, Perry County cultivated inappropriate relationships with two separate Bishop McDevitt High School students while she was a teacher at the school.

Read more from the Dauphin County’s DA’s office:

"Detectives from the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division this afternoon arrested Randi Lynn Zurenko, 33, of Millerstown, Perry County. Zurenko was charged with Institutional Sexual Assault (13 counts total), Sexual Abuse of Children (153 counts total), Unlawful Contact with Minors (33 counts total), Dissemination of Obscene Materials to a Minor (20 counts) and Corruption of Minors (13 counts total).

Between January 1, 2013 and October 14, 2016, Zurenko cultivated inappropriate relationships with two separate Bishop McDevitt High School students while she was a teacher at the school. Victim #1 graduated from the school in 2013. Prior to victim #1’s graduation, Zurenko engaged in behavior that led to an encounter between the two at Fort Hunter In Susquehanna Township. During this encounter, Zurenko massaged victim #1’s back and undid the victim’s bra. On several occasions, both before and after victim #1’s graduation, Zurenko provided alcohol to victim #1 who was underage at all times during these incidents. Victim #1 was interviewed by police on October 17 and 18, 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Bishop McDevitt teacher charged with institutional sexual assault

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC 27

By Chris Eckstine
Published: October 20, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Bishop McDevitt High School teacher is facing institutional sexual assault charges for allegedly having inappropriate relationships with two separate students.

Detectives from the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division arrested Randi Lynn Zurenko, 33, of Millerstown, Perry County on Thursday.

Zurenko was charged with 13 counts of institutional sexual assault, 153 counts of sexual abuse of children, 33 counts of unlawful contact with minors, 20 counts of dissemination of obscene materials to a minor and 13 counts of corruption of minors.

Authorities allege that Zurenko had inappropriate relationships with two Bishop McDevitt students while she was a teacher at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Bishop McDevitt teacher faces numerous child sex abuse charges

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Eric Veronikis | everonikis@pennlive.com

The Dauphin County District Attorney's office arrested and charged a Bishop McDevitt High School teacher with dozens of child sex abuse counts Thursday.

Randi Lynn Zurenko, 33, of Millerstown, Perry County, is charged with 13 counts of institutional sexual assault, 153 counts of sexual abuse of children, 33 counts of unlawful contact with minors, 20 counts of dissemination of obscene material to a minor and 13 counts of corruption of minors.

Between January 1, 2013 and October 14, 2016, Zurenko sexually abused two Bishop McDevitt students while she was a teacher at the school in Lower Paxton Township, according to DA Ed Marsico Jr.'s office.

The DA's office said Zurenko and the first victim had "an encounter" at Fort Hunter park in Susquehanna Township before the student graduated in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

Man comes forward to share his story of alleged sex abuse at Bergen Catholic High School

NEW JERSEY
Fios 1

[with video]

Walter Slapkowski graduated from Bergen Catholic High School in 1974. But over 40 years after he left, Slapkowski returned Thursday to detail how he was allegedly abused while attending the school.

Slapkowski alleges that Christian Brother Timothy Joseph O'Sullivan took advantage of him during what was supposed to be detention. He says he came forward now because of a $1.9 million settlement in August, after a lawsuit from 21 men accusing staffers of sexual abuse decades ago. Slapkowski is one of the seven other victims who came forward, after the settlement.

Road to Recovery, a non-profit group that provides help to sex abuse victims, backs Slapkowski in his mission to spread awareness and stop the abuses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Former Passaic County Pastor Charged With Choking Infant

NEW JERSEY
Patch

By Daniel Hubbard (Patch Staff) - October 20, 2016

A former Passaic County pastor was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly choked an infant girl in a Kansas City-area Walmart.

Oleh Zhownirovych, 54, was charged with aggravated battery, Overland Park Police spokesman Officer John P. Lacy said.

Police responded to the Walmart Wednesday at 7:23 a.m. on a report of a man choking a 4-month-old girl, Lacy said.

The infant was with her mother, Quisha Hill, in a checkout line when a man walked up from behind her and put his hands around the baby's throat, Lacy said.

Hill said the man told her he was taking the baby and tried to pull the infant's carrier out of Hill's shopping cart, Lacy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

More men claim sexual abuse at Bergen Catholic High School

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Sara Jerde | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

ORADELL — Eight more former Bergen Catholic High School students have come forward to accuse former staff members at the school of sexual abuse.

The eight have levied their allegations since it was revealed in August that the all-boys high school in Oradell had reached a $1.9 million settlement with 21 men who said they were sexually abused at the school.

The eight men, who are now between the ages of about 55 to 75 years old, say they were sexually abused when they were teens between the years of 1956 and 1977, said Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston lawyer who represented some of the previous alleged victims.

The timeframe of the alleged attacks is similar to the one provided by the other alleged victims who settled with the school. They had said they were abused between 1963 and 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

WA--Victims want Bellingham principal fired

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016

Statement by Mary Dispenza, volunteer Seattle director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (425-644-2468, Seattle@SNAPnetwork.org)

Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain should fire a Bellingham principal for deceiving parents – in at least two ways - about a sex offender at a Catholic elementary school.

[Bellingham Herald]

First, the principal kept the offender's presence secret for a year. When he finally did “come clean (only after having been prodded by distraught parents), he further deceived parents by claiming, with no apparent basis, that the offender was "in the first percentile" of child molesters who were rehabilitated. (According to one news account, the man remains “registered as a level II sex offender, meaning he is considered at moderate risk to reoffend.”)

That principal, Dan Anderson (360 733 6133, theoffice@school.assumption.org, ,danderson@school.assumption.org) claims “It was never that we weren’t going to communicate this information to parents” and “We gave (the information) to (parents) when we felt it was necessary.”

No, Anderson and his colleagues gave the information when they were virtually forced to do so because parents discovered it on their own and were beginning to pressure church and school staff. And Anderson and his colleagues should have given as much information to parents about a sex offender at their school as quickly as possible, not when officials “felt it was necessary.” That self-serving arrogance – that Catholic officials get to hide information about known predators - is the reason 6500 priests (and countless nuns, brothers, bishops, seminarians and other current and former church employees) have been able to molest more than 100,000 children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

MO--Catholic cleric to plead guilty; Victims respond

AUSTRALIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

A former Catholic cleric who headed an elementary school here will plead guilty to indecently assaulting two boys at a school in Australia.

Gregory Joseph Sutton, 65, was one of four men police charged earlier this year. He belonged to a Catholic group called the Marists.

[Canberra Times]

For two years in the 1990s, Sutton was principal of St. Dismas Catholic school in Florissant MO and lived in Shrewsbury MO.

According to BishopAccountability.org: “Sutton, principal of Catholic school in Missouri, was arrested 8/95 on charges he molested students in Australia in 1980s. No accusations in Missouri. He was extradited at request of Australian officials 5/96 after several court battles. US officials knew he was wanted in Australia for almost year but didn't know he was a school principal. In Australia in 5/96 he pleaded guilty to numerous charges of abuse between 1976-1987. Sentenced to 18 yrs jail on total of 67 charges against 15 children. As of 5/14, he had been ranked as one of Australia's most-publicized child sex offenders.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

KS, MO, NJ--Victims want “outreach” about arrested priest

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016

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

A priest faces charges of strangling a four month old in a Kansas City suburb. His church supervisors and colleagues must aggressively reach out to others in KS, MO and NJ who may have seen, suspected or suffered other crimes by the cleric.

[Philly.com]

The accused is Fr. Oleh Zhownirovych, of Clifton, NJ is or was a priest affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Church in Passaic County.

All too often, when church staff and volunteers are arrested on criminal charges, their current and former church colleagues do nothing. All too often, corrupt church officials refuse to act and thus essentially protect criminals and endanger children. And all too often, secular officials with the power and duty to safeguard society’s most vulnerable pursue ONLY church staff who COMMIT abuse and ignore church staff who CONCEAL abuse.

Church members and employees in any place this priest has been have a moral and civic duty to help law enforcement investigate and prosecute him. They’ll be tempted, of course, to do nothing. But that’s wrong. And their inaction might help enable the priest to exploit legal technicalities and escape punishment and hurt more kids.

Church officials will no doubt be tempted to do nothing about him. That too is wrong. Their inaction might well encourage other clerics to ignore or conceal known or suspected crimes against children by their colleagues.

So we hope that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered this priest’s crimes will speak up, call police, protect kids, expose wrongdoers, deter cover ups and start healing. We hope church officials will take aggressive steps to help police and prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

OR--Orthodox pastor arrested on a sex charge, victims respond

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, October 20, 2016

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, Orthodox Director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com)

A Serbian Orthodox priest was arrested last week on a sex charge and a St. Louis based victims’ group wants church officials to stop some parishioners from rallying around him.

Father Daniel James Mackay, pastor of Saint John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church in Eugene, was arrested on October 12th on suspicion of purchasing sex with a minor on more than one occasion and also of using the girl to traffic cocaine.

[Register-Guard]

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, responded to the news.

Melanie Jula Sakoda, one of the two Orthodox Directors for SNAP stated, “Since, according to the police, this apparently wasn’t a ‘one time’ offense, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that kids in the parish were also victimized. Parents need to be acutely aware of this possibility and not rush to the defense of the priest in front of their children. It’s really hard for survivors to come forward, and public displays of support for the clergyman, and I'm already aware of one in this case, can have a chilling effect on these important disclosures.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Police: Stranger chokes baby at Overland Park Walmart

KANSAS
KCTV

[with video]

By Daniel Barnett, Digital Producer
By Chris Oberholtz, Digital Content Manager
By Lisa D'Souza, News Reporter

OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -
A man is in jail accused of trying to strangle a 4-month-old girl at and Overland Park Walmart.

That man is from Clifton, NJ. Police say they're trying to figure out what he was doing in Kansas City and what would have motivated him to go after an infant.

Police say a man in his 40s named Oleh Zhownirovych tried to strangle the child in the checkout line with her mother. The store is located in the 7700 block of Frontage Road.

Officers say other customers and security quickly got involved, pinning the suspect to the ground until police arrived. The baby was treated at the scene. She is OK.

Zhownirovych was taken to a hospital before he was sent to jail. Police are investigating if drugs or alcohol could be a factor in this attack. Meantime, they're relieved others were to quick to help.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Priest from N.J. charged with choking baby in Kansas Walmart

KANSAS
Philly.com

OCTOBER 20, 2016

A Ukrainian Orthodox priest from North Jersey reportedly has been arrested and is facing charges for allegedly choking a 4-month-old girl inside a Walmart in Overland Park, Kan.

The child was not seriously injured and police credited a security guard and bystanders who responded to her mother's screams with tackling the assailant, identified as Oleh Zhownirovych, of Clifton, Passaic County, Kansas City station KCTV5 reports.

Until 10 months ago, Zhownirovych was a priest affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Church in Passaic County, according to KMBC.com and KansasCity.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Zeichnungen überführen Pfarrer Fünfjähriges Mädchen malte Bilder ihres Missbrauchs

BRASILIEN
Mopo

Montes Claros -
In Brasilien hat ein Pfarrer ein kleines Mädchen sexuell missbraucht. Die Polizei nahm den Pastor fest, nachdem sie im Zimmer der Fünfjährigen verstörende Zeichnungen entdeckt hatte.

Auf den Bildern hatte sich das Mädchen selbst gezeichnet, wie es von einem Mann bedrängt wird. Nach ihrem Fund verhaftete die Polizei Pfarrer Joao da Silva aus Montes Claros, berichten

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Fachmann sieht Fortschritte im Kampf gegen sexuellen Missbrauch

ROM
cath.ch

[Rome, 19:10:16 (kath.ch) The Jesuit Hans Zollner of the Child Protection Center at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome is one of the best experts for the prevention of sexual abuse. In the interview, a member of the papal Child Protection Commission talks about a change of mentality among bishops and the future of the Commission.]

Rom, 19.10.16 (kath.ch) Der Jesuit Hans Zollner leitet das Kinderschutzzentrum an der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana in Rom und ist einer der renommiertesten Fachleute für die Prävention von sexuellem Missbrauch. Im Interview spricht das Mitglied der päpstlichen Kinderschutzkommission über einen Mentalitätswandel unter Bischöfen und über die Zukunft der Kommission.

Thomas Jansen

Papst Franziskus hat im Juni ein neues Gesetz erlassen. Danach können nun auch jene Bischöfe kirchenrechtlich belangt werden, die einem Verdacht auf sexuellem Missbrauch in ihrem Bistum nicht ausreichend nachgehen. Ist das aus Sicht der päpstlichen Kinderschutzkommission ausreichend?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Sex-Vorwürfe gegen Pfarrer bestätigen sich nicht

DEUTSCHLAND
Augsburger Allgemeine

[The Ingolstadt prosecutors had launched an investigation against the then parish priest of the town of Pfaffenhofen in April on criminal charges of abuse. The investigation finished but was no action was taken against the priest.]

Die Staatsanwaltschaft Ingolstadt hatte im April auf die Strafanzeige der Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Bistums Augsburg ein Ermittlungsverfahren gegen den damaligen Stadtpfarrer der Stadt Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm eingeleitet. Dem lagen von anonymer Seite erhobene Verdachtsmomente zugrunde, dass sich der Beschuldigte sexuell motivierter Übergriffe gegen Ministranten der vom Beschuldigten in der Vergangenheit betreuten Pfarreien schuldig gemacht haben könnte.

Wie Staatsanwaltschaft nun mitteilt, konnten nach Durchführung der polizeilichen Ermittlungen, insbesondere der Einvernahme von Angehörigen der betroffenen Pfarreien und möglichen Geschädigten, jedoch keine Hinweise dafür gefunden werden, dass das Verhalten des Beschuldigten gegenüber Kindern und Jugendlichen strafrechtlich relevantes Tun darstellte.
.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

"Keinerlei Hinweise auf strafrechtlich relevante Vorfälle"

DEUTSCHLAND
Ingolstadt

[Prosecutor presents an investigation against former Pfaffenhofener town priest on suspicion of sexual abuse of children.]

Staatsanwaltschaft stellt Ermittlungsverfahren gegen ehemaligen Pfaffenhofener Stadtpfarrer wegen des Verdachts des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern ein

(zel) Es war ein Paukenschlag in Pfaffenhofen, als erklärt wurde, dass die Staatsanwaltschaft Ingolstadt ein Ermittlungsverfahren gegen Stadtpfarrer Peter Wagner eingeleitet hat. Es ging dabei um nicht weniger als den Verdacht des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern. Bekannt wurde diese schockierende Nachricht heuer am Fronleichnamstag, verkündet von Generalvikar Harald Heinrich von der zuständigen Diözese Augsburg, der dafür eigens angereist war. Wagner wurde vom Dienst suspendiert, die Fronleichnams-Prozession fiel aus.

Heute wurde nun bekannt, dass das Ermittlungsverfahren der Staatsanwaltschaft gegen den Geistlichen eingestellt worden ist. Das bestätigte Oberstaatsanwalt Nicolas Kaczynski auf Anfrage unserer Zeitung. Im Verlaufe der Untersuchungen seien Angehörige der Pfarreien, in denen Wagner eingesetzt war, ebenso befragt worden wie mögliche Opfer. Ergebnis: Es haben sich nach den Worten von Kaczynski "keinerlei Hinweise auf strafrechtlich relevante Vorfälle" oder Vorgänge ergeben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Accused Puppy Doe abuser convicted of stealing from church

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot Ledger

By Andy Tomolonis
The Standard-Times

FALL RIVER - Radoslaw Czerkawski, a Polish national awaiting trial for animal cruelty charges in Quincy's Puppy Doe case, was convicted Tuesday on a litany of larceny-by-check charges in a separate New Bedford case and sentenced to serve three to five years in state prison.

Czerkawski, 35, pleaded guilty to eight counts of larceny by check over $250 stemming from the theft of money from St. Lawrence Parish in New Bedford, where Czerkawski had stayed for several months in 2012. He is already serving a three-to-five-year sentence on an embezzlement conviction out of Quincy.

During a sentencing hearing in Fall River Superior Court – held immediately after the court accepted Czerkawski’s guilty plea – Assistant District Attorney Brian Griffin argued that based on Czerkawski’s history of convictions, he should serve three to five years in prison. Czerkawski requested a one-year sentence at the county House of Correction. Judge Raffia Yessayan imposed the prosecution’s full sentence after hearing arguments from both sides.

In 2012, Czerkawski told officials with the Diocese of Fall River that he wanted to become a priest, according to a statement from the office of Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III. The diocese assigned him to the St. Lawrence Parish in New Bedford, knowing that the head pastor speaks Polish and the church has a large number of Polish congregants. Czerkawski, a Polish national, was assigned to the church to explore the seriousness of his calling to become a priest, according to Quinn’s statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Catholic school forcing erotic sex-ed on children has a horrifying history of sex abuse

TENNESSEE
LifeSite News

NASHVILLE, Tennessee, October 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- Three mental health professionals are warning parents whose children attend Fr. Ryan High School in Nashville, Tennessee that the school’s mandatory explicit sex-ed course puts their children at risk for sexual abuse. Their concerns are amplified by the fact that the school has a history of sexual abuse of students by administration dating back to the early 1960s.

“In my line of work I’ve seen time and again the pattern of how predators use material like this emphasizing explicit sexual detail and encouraging physical contact to erode a child’s innate sense of modesty, making them vulnerable to be preyed upon,” psychiatrist Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons told LifeSiteNews.

When Fitzgibbons reviewed Fr. Ryan High School’s sex-ed program, including the supplement “Growing toward Intimacy” by Bob Bartlett, he told LifeSiteNews that the course puts children at risk of future sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

WA child abuse bill won't pass this year

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP on October 20, 2016

WA Premier Colin Barnett says scrapping the six-year time limit for survivors of child sexual abuse to take civil action has been adopted as Liberal policy but it won't become law this year.

Debate on the private member's bill was adjourned last week after Mr Barnett didn't speak in support of it, then descended into personal abuse, with independent MP Rob Johnson labelling the premier a "disgraceful turd".

On Thursday, Mr Barnett said the name-calling was shameful and "basically killed off the debate".

"We have adopted formally now as government policy that we will change the statute of limitations but it's not going to happen in the next two (parliamentary sitting) weeks, I'm afraid," he told ABC radio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

MPs end sex abuse compo hopes in 'heartbreaking' vote

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Dylan Caporn - The West Australian on October 20, 2016

Four Liberal and National backbenchers have backed an Opposition motion to spark a debate on removing the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claimants.

The motion, moved by shadow attorney-general John Quigley, called on Parliament to make Liberal MP Graham Jacobs’ Bill a priority.

Liberal backbenchers Ian Britza, Peter Abetz and Nationals MP Wendy Duncan joined Dr Jacobs in supporting the motion.

Mr Quigley said the statute of limitations was shutting victims out of the legal system.

“There is an old legal maxim – justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Sex abuse survivors upset as push to scrap time limits on civil cases fails in WA Parliament

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Jacob Kagi

Time restrictions on when victims of child sexual abuse in Western Australia can sue for damages appear certain to remain in place until next year, despite four Government MPs crossing the floor to vote with Labor on an attempt to bring the issue to a parliamentary vote.

The vote, which followed a fiery debate, means the scrapping of the six-year statute of limitations for child sexual abuse civil cases will not happen until after the state election even though both major parties have now declared support for the policy.

Labor sought to bring the private member's bill introduced by Liberal backbencher Graham Jacobs to a vote this morning, following Premier Colin Barnett's comments that the legislation would not proceed until after the election.

Dr Jacobs and fellow Liberal MPs Ian Britza and Peter Abetz, as well as National Wendy Duncan and Independent Rob Johnson, all voted with Labor but the motion was still defeated 23-29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Alleged abuse victim told he 'bore some blame' for bullying, royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

The King's School headmaster Tim Hawkes told the parents of a student who suffered an alleged indecent assault on a camp that the boy "bore some of the blame" for subsequent bullying, a royal commission has heard.

The school failed to make a formal report to police about the incident, despite a senior constable advising the deputy headmaster to do so, according to evidence to be presented to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

In his opening address, counsel assisting the commission David Lloyd told the hearing The King's School student, given the pseudonym CLC, was on a camp in April 2013 when another student allegedly ejaculated on his sleeping bag.

Mr Lloyd told the hearing that the teenage boy was bullied by other students and called "cum rag" and "cum dumpster". The inquiry heard a student changed the name of a Wi-Fi network at the school to "CLC's a cum rag".

The commission was told CLC did not report the alleged incident to the school because that would "make the situation worse".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Trinity Grammar, King’s School failed to report abuse, commission hears

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 20, 2016

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

A prestigious Sydney private school did not tell police about the alleged rape of pupils with a wooden dildo for a month, with the victim’s parents not told for another month after that, a royal commission heard today.

A second of the city’s leading boarding schools did not report an alleged indecent assault to police, despite being told “there is little doubt that there has been an offence”, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard.

Both schools, Trinity Grammar in Sydney’s inner-west and The King’s School in the city’s west, are Anglican-run and the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, is the president of both, the commission heard.

In August 2000, staff at Trinity Grammar School became aware that at least two older students were “raping” other boys using cricket bats and wooden dildos made during a technology class, which they nicknamed the Anaconda and the Excalibur.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Trinity boys used 'dildo' made in woodwork class to rape younger student, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Wednesday 19 October 2016

Students at Sydney’s Trinity grammar school used an item made during a woodwork class to rape a younger student, the abuse royal commission has heard.

On day one of fresh hearings in Sydney, counsel assisting David Lloyd gave an overview of the cases of “institutional responses to children with problematic or harmful sexual behaviours” to be examined by the inquiry.

These include instances of harmful behaviour and sexual assault perpetrated by students at two of Sydney’s most prestigious private boys’ schools – the King’s school in Parramatta and Trinity grammar school in Summer Hill.

There will also be private hearings into incidents at three public primary schools, which include behaviour by a 12-year-old towards two younger children and two children in a special needs class.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Culture of cover-up at Trinity: father

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Andi Yu - AAP on October 20, 2016

A culture of cover-up was at the centre of a top Sydney school's response to a boy who was raped with an assortment of pole-like implements, the abuse royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse began fresh hearings on Thursday in Sydney, this time casting a spotlight on schools' responses to children with "problematic or harmful sexual behaviours".

Prestigious Anglican school Trinity Grammar, in the inner-western suburb of Summer Hill, is the first of several schools to come under the inquiry's spotlight over the next two weeks.

The commission heard of two boys in the school's boarding house in 2000 who reported they had been repeatedly "raped" with a range of implements that their attackers had nicknamed the Anaconda, the Excalibur and the Dagger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Child abuse royal commission: Trinity Grammar School students raped other students, inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Raveen Hunjan

Students at Trinity Grammar School in Sydney's inner-west raped and simulated rape on other students using a wooden implement more than 15 years ago, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard.

The inquiry is hearing evidence about responses to harmful sexual behaviour at three unnamed New South Wales primary schools, three faith-based private schools — Trinity Grammar School, The King's School and St Ignatius College — as well as a private school, Shalom Christian College in Queensland.

In his opening address, counsel-assisting the inquiry David Lloyd said Trinity Grammar School staff knew about sexual abuse against a Year 7 student, known as CLA, for a month before action was taken.

"Between 11 August 2000 and 7 September 2000, at least some staff at the school were aware of multiple written accounts of students who alleged that there had been repeated incidents of rape or simulated rape of young boys in the boarding house by the use of a wooden dildo and other implements," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Ex-Marist brother Gregory Joseph Sutton to plead guilty to indecent assault

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Megan Gorrey

A former Marist College Canberra teacher will plead guilty to indecently assaulting two boys at the school in the 1980s, a court has been told.

Gregory Joseph Sutton, 65, was one of four men police charged with fresh offences earlier this year as part of an investigation into historical child sexual abuse in territory schools.

Sutton had faced allegations in the ACT Magistrates Court of indecent assault committed against two children in the early 1980s.

He had not entered pleas but the matter was committed to the ACT Supreme Court in August.

Sutton will now avoid going to trial after lawyers told the court on Thursday he would plead guilty to two charges of indecent assault against the boys in 1980 and 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Who knew what, when?

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Laura Kuenssberg
Political editor

Often the simplest questions are the hardest to answer.

As we reported yesterday, the troubles of the inquiry into historical child abuse continue to unravel.
But the departure of the inquiry head, Dame Lowell Goddard, potentially could cause the prime minister herself a significant political headache.

During Prime Minister's Questions today Theresa May was asked the question - what did she know, and when, about the problems at the inquiry? The prime minister's answer implied that she had known something was up.

She said: "There were stories around about the inquiry and about individuals related to the inquiry but the home secretary cannot intervene on the basis of suspicion, rumour or hearsay."

A conversation in April involving a Home Office official "was asked to be confidential and as far I am aware it was treated as such", she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Church worker to be sentenced next month for child sex offences

IRELAND
Sunday World

Patrick O'Brien

A former lay worker with the Church of Ireland will be sentenced next month for the rape and molestation of 14 young boys over the course of 30 years.

Patrick O’Brien (76) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 48 sample counts of indecent assault, including various instances of anal penetration, and three counts of sexual assault of the boys between 1977 and 2010 at numerous locations throughout the state including Kildare, Westmeath, on a boat in Loughrea in Co Galway and at St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin where he worked as a volunteer.

He has one previous convictions for a sex assault of another boy in 1989 for which he got a one year suspended sentence.

O’Brien, with an address at Knocklyon Road, Templeogue, Dublin, was sent forward for trial from Dublin District Court. Judge Cormac Dunne previously ruled that the media could identify the accused following an application by RTÉ at the District Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

‘I am X’: Mormon Church Faces Growing Sex Abuse Scandal, Pt. 1

UNITED STATES
Indian Country Today Media Network

Suzette Brewer
10/19/16

In March 2016, two Navajo siblings filed suit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—also known as LDS or Mormon Church—in the Window Rock District of the Navajo Nation Court. In their suit, the siblings allege that they were sexually abused numerous times in several homes during their time in the “Indian Placement Program,” a foster care program operated by the church. All names and identifying information of the plaintiffs have been changed to protect their privacy.

‘Wrestling a Shadow’

He had decided to call it quits. After buying two fifths of whiskey and two cases of beer, Plaintiff X had secreted himself away in a hotel room in Salt Lake City, Utah, planning to drink himself to death. For more than three decades, he had been haunted by memories of violent physical and sexual abuse at the hands of Mormon foster parents, with whom he was placed in the seventh grade. By early 2014, however, the weight of his past had reached a point where he could no longer face the prospect of living another day in pain.

“I drank for five days straight,” he told Indian Country Today Media Network in an exclusive interview in Ogden, Utah, in September. “I wanted to end it.”

But on the fifth day, he fell into unconsciousness and wound up in a Salt Lake City hospital with life-threatening liver and kidney damage. When he came to, the doctors told him in no uncertain terms that if he did not quit drinking he would die.

It was a turning point for the shy, 48-year-old Navajo Nation citizen. After dropping out of high school in the 10th grade, he started drinking heavily and spent the next 33 years running from his demons. On his hospital bed, confronted with the very real prospect of leaving his wife and family, X made the decision to turn and fight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Lay worker who raped boys to be sentenced

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sonya McLean

A former lay worker with the Church of Ireland will be sentenced next month for the rape and molestation of 14 boys over the course of 30 years.

Patrick O’Brien, aged 76, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 48 sample counts of indecent assault and three counts of sexual assault of the boys between 1977 and 2010.

O’Brien, with an address at Knocklyon Rd, Templeogue, Dublin, has one previous conviction for a sex assault of another boy in 1989, for which he got a one-year suspended sentence.

One of O’Brien’s youngest victims, who was raped as a nine-year-old boy, described himself in his victim impact report as “a lion without a roar”. He said he developed a shield and like a tortoise, a shell, to bury this “violent secret” inside.

One victim cycled to his local Garda station to report O’Brien a day after the man tried to rape him. When he arrived he got “cold feet” and felt intimidated. He was worried about the consequences for him if he reported it and decided to put the abuse to the back of his mind. O’Brien continued to abuse the boy in the months afterwards until the boy threatened to report or kill him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

The Church Must Condemn Sexual Assault

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Rev. Jennifer Butler
CEO, Faith in Public Life Action Fund

Every American should be appalled by Donald Trump’s recently unearthed —and sadly revealing—comments on his behavior toward women. Yet these comments do not just speak to the character of Mr. Trump, they reveal a grander injustice that our sisters, mothers, and daughters suffer each and every day.

This moment presents all of us, especially faith leaders, with an opportunity and an obligation to directly confront the aggression and marginalization that almost every woman experiences at some point in her life. The Access Hollywood tape ignited a national dialogue about the twin sins of sexual violence and misogyny, and we should seize the moment to preach, teach and bring people together.

Trump and his supporters have tried to dismiss his comments as “locker room talk.” Pat Robertson echoed this sentiment by saying the presidential candidate was just “trying to be macho.” This is precisely the problem. When we teach our sons that being a man means debasing women, we perpetuate a destructive rape culture for another generation.

When we refuse to condemn abusive behavior, we harm our communities and play a part in normalizing oppression. When we dismiss the stories of women who have been victimized, we make it harder for tomorrow’s victims to come forward to receive the help they need to heal. And for faith leaders, when we fail to call attention to violence, we fail in our pastoral responsibility to provide compassion.

Recently, I asked Christian women clergy to join me in condemning Trump’s abusive remarks; more than 1,200 faith leaders have responded by signing an open letter calling for a full offer of contrition by Mr. Trump that acknowledges the seriousness and depravity of his actions. But condemnation is not enough, and while an unlikely act of contrition would help move us forward, I believe we have an additional responsibility to preach and teach a different message.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Offenders must not return to ministry – safeguarding head

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

by Greg Daly
October 20, 2016

The head of the Irish Church’s safeguarding committee has reiterated that keeping clerical abusers out of ministry remains an absolute priority for the Church.

Her comments come against the background of an RTÉ documentary which questions whether the Church’s approach to priests who have harmed children or vulnerable adults demonises abusers and ultimately endangers children.

On ‘Beyond Redemption?’, a Would You Believe? special, UCD’s Dr Marie Keenan claims that the Catholic Church’s response to clerical offenders is driven by public opinion with the intention of protecting the institution.

Theresa Devlin, head of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI), told The Irish Catholic that the board’s new guidelines help give clarity to Church bodies in handling clergy and religious against whom allegations have been made. Denying that the policies are intended to protect the Church, she said they are based on extensive research and consultations with survivors, convicted abusers, and Church bodies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

How York Minster bellringers' sacking blew the lid off bitter dispute

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
@harrietsherwood
Wednesday 19 October

Behind a locked door in York Minster, 100 stone steps spiral up to the door of the bell chamber. A second key is needed to enter the room, revealing spectacular views over the city and surrounding countryside. At its centre hang thick ropes leading up to 14 bells, with the heaviest weighing in at three tonnes.

It was in this chamber that the minster’s volunteer campanologists regularly gathered to make music, exercising a creative skill that was regarded by many as the best in the country.

But that all ended last Tuesday, when the 30-strong bellringing team was summoned at short notice to a meeting which blew the lid off the tensions that been simmering for months within the walls of the 15th-century cathedral.

According to bellringers’ accounts, those present were abruptly told they were being sacked. A few minutes were allowed for questions, then letters were handed to the assembled men and women, some of whom had been members of the York Minster Society of Change Ringers for decades. ...

Six days after the meeting, John Sentamu, the archbishop of York and the second most senior person in the Church of England, held a press conference at which he disclosed that a safeguarding issue lay behind the mass dismissal.

Reading a statement from the minster’s governing body, the Chapter of York, Sentamu said: “Earlier this summer it was necessary for the chapter to take action regarding a member of the bellringing community on safeguarding grounds. This came after complex multi-agency activity involving the City of York council, York diocese safeguarding adviser and the Church of England’s national safeguarding officer.”

Since then, some campanologists had “consistently challenged the chapter’s authority on this and other important matters”, he added. Decisive action had been required. “This is why the chapter took the decision to disband the bellringing team last week.”

Few of the people closely involved in the drama were willing to speak on the record this week. But accounts from both sides suggest that the dispute centres on David Potter, a leading figure in the bellringing team who has been the subject of two police investigations following allegations made in 1999 and 2015. On neither occasion were charges brought.

In January 2000, days after Potter had been awarded an MBE for bellringing services over three decades, he was suspended as ringing master at York Minster and from his job as a teacher after claims of indecent assault. The following month, the police said he would not be charged.

Last year, Potter was the subject of another police investigation. “In June 2015 North Yorkshire police applied for a sexual risk order following concerns raised during multi-agency safeguarding processes about a 66-year-old York man and his contact with children,” the force said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Ballarat’s Children: Why were so many pedophile priests active in the Victorian diocese

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 20, 2016

PETER HOYSTED
ColumnistCanberra
@JacktheInsider

The first episode of Ballarat’s Children details a criminal conspiracy between Victoria Police and the Catholic Church in 1972. The prolific pedophile priest Monsignor Day avoided charges, victims were denied justice and the detective who sought to bring Day to account, Denis Ryan, had his career roughly terminated.

It is my strong view that this incident known now as the Mildura Conspiracy led to a proliferation of clerical abuse within the Ballarat diocese. Offending priests learned they could act with impunity and Bishop Ronald Mulkearns understood he was required to do no more than move offending priests from parish to parish when complaints grew too loud.

In some considerable way, this answers the question, why Ballarat?

Still, we are left to ponder why so many pedophile priests were active in that particular diocese and not in others like, for example, the adjoining Sandhurst diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

October 19, 2016

Métis man sues Catholic church alleging sexual abuse over 70 years ago

CANADA
CBC News

By Katie Nicholson, Vera-Lynn Kubinec, CBC News Posted: Oct 19, 2016

A Métis man alleges he was physically and sexually abused by a Catholic priest and a nun at the Vogar church school in Manitoba's Interlake region more than 70 years ago.

The allegations are in a lawsuit filed last week in Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench naming the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg, the order of nuns Les Oblats de Marie Immaculée du Manitoba, the province of Manitoba, as well as the priest and the nun.

"The plaintiff states that he did not complain to his parents or any authorities because his grandmother was the head of the family and she said he needed to be a good Catholic," the claim said.

It is believed the priest and nun accused in the case are no longer alive, according to the lawsuit. The nun was a teacher at the Vogar church school in the R.M. of Siglunes from 1937 to 1942 when the incidents are alleged to have occurred, the lawsuit said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Gallup Diocese unveils 15 month schedule of abuse healing services

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Indpendent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Oct. 15, 2016

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

GALLUP — The Diocese of Gallup released a schedule of healing services to address the legacy of clergy sex abuse in the diocese, featuring 36 upcoming services that will take Bishop James S. Wall 15 months to complete.

The first service will be held at Gallup’s Sacred Heart Cathedral Nov. 19. The last scheduled service — in February 2018 — will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Gallup. The other 34 services will take the bishop to almost every currently operating parish across Arizona and New Mexico.

“Bishop James Wall and the Diocese of Gallup will unite in prayer for a series of healing services,” the news release stated. “We extend our invitation to attend these healing services to all who have been affected by physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in the Diocese, especially our brothers and sisters who have survived abuse by members of the Church.

“Families and friends of survivors, Catholics and community members who are struggling with forgiveness or who have been affected by the sin of abuse, and all people wishing to unite and seek healing; to them we extend the invitation to attend these services as well,” the statement continued.

The visits by the bishop were mandated as part of the Gallup Diocese’s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization. In the plan’s non-monetary commitments, the bishop agreed to visit each operating Catholic parish or school in which abuse occurred or where identified abusers served. According to the court document, the bishop “shall provide a forum/discussion during his visit to address questions and comments.” The news release, however, did not indicate the healing services would include a forum/ discussion time for general attendees.

According to the announcement, “The healing services will consist of prayer, scripture reading, and a reflection from Bishop Wall. The Bishop will also be available after the service to privately meet with survivors.”

“To those survivors, I wish to express my sincere apologies, profound sorrow, and deepest gratitude,” Wall is quoted as saying in the news release. “I am sorry, first and foremost, that you were abused and betrayed by members of the Church, and that the Diocese betrayed your trust. I am also grateful to you, for your courage in coming forward, in continuing to seek justice, even when that justice was not given for many years.”

For clergy sex abuse survivors who do not want to attend the church services, diocesan officials suggested they contact Elizabeth Terrill, the victims assistance coordinator pro tem, for a meeting with the bishop in a different setting. Terrill can be contacted at 505-906-7357.

“We understand that for many, even the idea of stepping into a church may prove painful,” the statement said.

The following is the 15-month schedule of healing services:

2016 Schedule:

Nov. 19: Gallup – Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Nov. 29: Fort Defiance, Arizona – Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.

Dec. 2: Holbrook, Arizona – Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Dec. 9: Show Low, Arizona – St. Rita.

2017 Schedule:

Jan. 19: Lumberton – St. Francis of Assisi.

Jan. 20: Farmington – Sacred Heart Parish and School.

Jan. 27: Chinle, Arizona – Our Lady of Fatima.

Jan. 28: Page, Arizona – Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Jan. 29: Tuba City, Arizona – St. Jude.

Feb. 23: Grants – St. Teresa of Avila.

Feb. 24: Winslow, Arizona – Madre de Dios.

Feb. 25: St. Johns, Arizona – St. John the Baptist.

April 28: Flora Vista – Holy Trinity.

May 12: Seboyeta – Our Lady of Sorrows.

May 19: Springerville, Arizona – St. Peter.

May 20: McNary, Arizona – St. Anthony.

June 2: Bloomfield – St. Mary.

June 8: Thoreau – St. Bonaventure.

July 15: Winslow, Arizona – St. Joseph.

July 21: Overgaard, Arizona – Our Lady of the Assumption.

July 22: Snowflake, Arizona – Our Lady of the Snows.

Aug. 11: Concho, Arizona – San Rafael.

Aug. 18: St. Michaels, Arizona – St. Michael.

Aug. 27: Lukachukai, Arizona – St. Isabel.

Sept. 15: Blanco – St. Rose of Lima.

Sept. 29: Cibecue, Arizona – St. Catherine.

Sept. 30: Pinetop, Arizona – St. Mary of the Angels.

Oct. 6: San Rafael – San Rafael.

Oct. 19: Cubero – Our Lady of Light, St. Joseph and St. Joseph School.

Oct. 28: Crownpoint – St. Paul and Risen Savior.

Nov. 2: Vanderwagen – St. Patrick and Good Shepherd.

Dec. 1: Shiprock – Christ the King.

2018 Schedule:

Jan. 19: Farmington – St. Mary.

Jan. 20: Cuba, New Mexico – Immaculate Conception.

Feb. 3: Aragon – Santo Nino de Atocha.

Feb. 9: Gallup – St. Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

To protect kids, the Pa. Senate should pass the House's version of statute of limitation reform: Marie Whitehead

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Marie Whitehead

When the state House voted 18-15 in April to approve a bill reforming Pennsylvania's statutes of limitations for child sex abuse cases, survivors of child sex abuse and advocates across the state breathed a sigh of relief.

With the legislation's elimination of the criminal statute of limitations and extension of the civil statute to age 50—along with retroactivity—survivors felt assured that they might one day have the chance to bring their abusers to justice in court.

Then the bill hit a major roadblock in the Senate Judiciary Committee

Swayed by misleading claims about the bill's constitutionality and effect on private organizations, such as the Catholic Church, State Senators gutted the bill.

They stripped it of its retroactivity provisions and inserted a preamble that has become a poison pill for survivors and advocates, and threatens to adversely affect all tort and personal injury cases in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

USA--New report says groping rarely prosecuted; Victims respond

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Today's New York Times reports that unwanted sexual groping is rarely addressed through criminal cases or civil lawsuits. This must change.

[New York Times]

Heightened awareness to sexual assaults is welcome. But those of us who were molested as children you know that greater public visibility isn’t enough. Awareness does not automatically bring reform. Aggressive action must follow awareness.

So we strongly urge

--police and prosecutors to more vigorously pursue cases of sexual violence (involving adults or kids, penetration or no penetration), and

--legislators to strengthen laws against all types of sexual assaults (especially by ending or extending predator-friendly statues of limitations).

Most of all, we urge every victim of sexual assault – whether groped or raped – to

--report their experiences to law enforcement (even if you believe nothing will happen), and

--check out whether they have any civil options.

It’s our civic duty to at least share what we know or suspect about sex offenders with the independent professionals in law enforcement. And it’s our moral duty to at least consider whether we can stop predators through civil lawsuits.

No matter what lawmakers or other officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered sex crimes and cover ups – especially by the powerful or in institutions –– to protect others by calling police, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how the vulnerable will be safer, the victimized will recover, the criminals will be prosecuted, the “enablers” will be exposed, the cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Twin brothers camp on Kings Norton Green to highlight need for support for abuse victims

UNITED KINGDOM
B31

By Sas Taylor - October 19, 20160

Twin brothers from Birmingham, who suffered sexual abuse as teenagers in a children’s home in Northern Ireland, are camping on The Green in Kings Norton as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the need for proper support for victims of abuse.

Bobby and Joe Blair were taken into foster care at Rubane House in County Down in 1977, where they were beaten and subjected to sexual abuse.

They waived their right to anonymity to tell their story the The Irish Sun in 2015, after giving evidence at the ­Historical Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – OCTOBER 19, 2016

NEW JERSEY
Road to Recovery

Bergen Catholic High School alumnus and childhood sexual abuse victim of Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC, Walter Slipkowski, of Bogota, New Jersey, to speak publicly for the first time about his childhood sexual abuse at Bergen Catholic High School

Walter Slipkowski was a minor child in approximately 1970 when he entered Bergen Catholic High School and met a sexual abuser, Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC, who was his science teacher

What
A press conference by Walter Slipkowski of Bogota, New Jersey, at which he will announce that he was sexually abused as a minor child at Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, New Jersey, by Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC

When
Thursday, October 20, 2017, at 11:00 am

Where
On the public sidewalk across from the main entrance of Bergen Catholic High School, 1040 Oradell Avenue, Oradell, New Jersey 07649

Who
Walter Slipkowski of Bogota, New Jersey, a 1974 graduate of Bergen Catholic High School, and resident of Bogota, New Jersey; Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., a former Irish Christian Brother of 23 years 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
Walter Slipkowski will turn 60 years of age on October 31, 2016. His family moved from Jersey City, New Jersey, to Teaneck, New Jersey, when he was approximately 10 years old. Approximately 4 years later (1970), he began attending Bergen Catholic High School at approximately the age of 14. It was at Bergen Catholic High School in approximately 1970-1971 that he was a student in the science class of his teacher, Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC, who sexually abused him in an anteroom of the science class and laboratory. It is believed that Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC, left the Irish Christian Brothers many years ago and may have taught (or still may be teaching) at a college in Massachusetts. Walter Slipkowski will share his story of having been sexually abused as a minor child at Bergen Catholic High School in order to try to heal, be a support to other victims, and hopefully alert others to the dangers posed by pedophile Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Former archbishop could face "explicit criticism" in abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Wed 19 Oct 2016
By Aaron James

The chair of the national inquiry into child abuse has said former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey could face "explicit criticism" for the way he dealt with a paedophile bishop.

Peter Ball (below), now 84, pleaded guilty last year to assaulting two young men and using his position to do the same to others whilst the Bishop of Lewes.

The Old Bailey heard that when police initially investigated in 1992 he escaped prosecution. He received a caution and retired from ministry in 1993.

There have been claims that Lord Carey (main picture) helped covered up the child abuse of former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball.

Lord Carey has always denied this and has applied to be personally represented in the national abuse inquiry, rather than by the Church of England, to avoid a conflict of interest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Petition seeks 'justice' for 'abuse' Bishop George Bell

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Church of England to re-examine the case against a former Bishop of Chichester.

Last year the church acknowledged that a woman had been sexually abused by the late George Bell in the 1940s and 1950s when she was a child.

It apologised and paid compensation to the victim.

Campaigners supporting the bishop said the case should be reopened as there was "a strong case for his defence".

Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson, a supporter of the George Bell Group, said: "In light of the fact that a strong case for the late bishop's defence has now been assembled by a number of people with close connections to him, there is no excuse for the church to delay a fresh investigation any further."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 PM

Lifeline CEO says service inundated with calls for help in wake of royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Courier

Melissa CunninghamMelissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

19 Oct 2016

Lifeline has been inundated with calls for help in the wake of the royal commissions into child sexual abuse and family violence.

During a visit to Ballarat on Wednesday, Lifeline chief executive Pete Shmigel said calls to the service related to past childhood trauma and family violence have been steadily increasing.The number of Australians taking their own lives has hit a 10-year high.

Mr Shmigel said rates of suicide were up to two and half times higher in regional areas than metropolitan cities. Ballarat is estimated to have between 100 and 150 annual suicide deaths but no official figures have ever been released.

“Suicide never comes down to a single factor, it is a tremendously complex phenomena,” he said. “Different things contribute to it, whether it’s trauma, abuse, family violence, economic restructures. Most of the people that call us aren’t actually mentally unwell. They’re overwhelmed, isolated and they feel alone.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

May denies failure to act on concerns over child abuse inquiry chair

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Peter Walker Political correspondent
@peterwalker99
Wednesday 19 October 2016

Theresa May has rejected claims that the Home Office failed to act early enough on concerns about the leadership of the national child abuse inquiry, telling prime minister’s questions it could not be expected to respond to “suspicion, rumour or hearsay”.

May was placed under pressure after it emerged on Tuesday that a member of the abuse inquiry panel raised worries about the then inquiry chair, Dame Lowell Goddard, with the director general of the Home Office in April this year. May was still home secretary at the time.

The home affairs select committee also heard that relations between leading panel members and Goddard, who resigned in August, were so bad a professional facilitator had been brought in.

One of May’s officials told the committee that the Home Office first heard of the worries about Goddard only six days before she stepped down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Theresa May denies Home Office dragged its feet over claims Dame Lowell Goddard mishandled child sex abuse inquiry but admits she was aware of 'stories around at the time'

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By MATT DATHAN, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR MAILONLINE

Theresa May today defended her role in the disastrous child abuse inquiry after it emerged that concerns were raised when she was still Home Secretary in April.

She denied the Home Office dragged its feet over allegations Dame Lowell Goddard, the former chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), had mishandled the probe despite members of the panel revealing yesterday that Home Office officials were told of tensions in the inquiry four months before she quit.

Mrs May, who set up the inquiry more than two years ago, said those concerns were raised confidentially and insisted she was not made aware of them at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

May admits she knew about child abuse inquiry concerns

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

The Prime Minister has admitted she knew about concerns over the leadership of the child abuse inquiry but did nothing.

Theresa May said there were "stories" around about Dame Lowell Goddard's leadership of the inquiry but said as Home Secretary she was not able to intervene on the basis of "suspicion" or "hearsay".

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions Mrs May admitted that complaints about Dame Lowell's behaviour had been made to the Home Office in confidence months before she left the post.

However, she said the concerns had been raised in confidence and therefore she was unable to act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Dame Lowell Goddard: I was never warned over allegations of racism

NEW ZEALAND
Sky News

By Katie Stallard, in Wellington, New Zealand

Dame Lowell Goddard has told Sky News no concerns were raised with her before her resignation from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse in August, and that she was never warned, officially or otherwise, about the alleged use of racially derogatory language.

The New Zealand judge is alleged to have said Britain had so many paedophiles "because it has so many Asian men", according to a report in The Times.

The newspaper report included a number of allegations made by what it said were "well-placed figures" at the inquiry's headquarters about her alleged conduct, including claims she treated staff with contempt.

The unnamed sources in the report also claimed she voiced shock at the size of the country's ethnic minority population and allegedly complained of having to travel 50 miles from London to see a white face.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

May 'could not intervene in abuse inquiry' while home secretary

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Theresa May has told MPs she was right not to intervene when concerns were raised about the previous head of the child abuse inquiry while she was home secretary.

The PM said she could not step in on the basis of "suspicion, rumour or hearsay" about Dame Lowell Goddard.

The inquiry, set up in 2014, has been beset with controversy.

On Tuesday, new chairwoman Prof Alexis Jay said things would have become "very difficult" if Dame Lowell had not quit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Pastor é preso por estupro de criança dentro de igreja em Montes Claros

BRASIL
G1

Valdivan Veloso
Do G1 Grande Minas

Um pastor de uma igreja evangélica foi preso na tarde desta quinta-feira (13) suspeito de estuprar uma criança de cinco anos em Montes Claros, no Norte de Minas. A Polícia Civil diz que ele dava aulas de inglês na sede da própria igreja, no Bairro Roxo Verde, onde os abusos aconteceram.

O inquérito foi instaurado no dia seis de setembro deste ano, após os pais denunciarem o caso à Polícia Civil. Eles relataram que desconfiaram do caso quando a criança se mostrava resistente em frequentar as aulas na igreja. “Ela dizia que não queria ir porque o Tio João fazia bobagem com ela”, diz um investigador.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Priest arrested after girl, 5, draws picture of a child ‘being abused’

BRAZIL
Metro

[Note: The accused cleric is not a priest but pastor of an evangelical church.]

Toby Meyjes for Metro.co.uk
Wednesday 19 Oct 2016

A priest has been arrested in Brazil after the parents of a five-year-old girl discovered drawings that appeared to show a child being abused.

Father Joao da Silva, 54, is being interviewed by police over child abuse charges, which he denies, according to local media.

The girl’s parents, who live in Minas Gerais, are said to have found the pictures after their daughter refused to attend any more of the priest’s English classes.

She was so upset they took her to a child psychologist who suspected sexual abuse and urged her parents to search her room for any signs.

Hidden among her books they found six drawings detailing the sexual abuse in horrific detail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Child sex abuse compensation amendment 'doomed to fail'

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Dylan Caporn - The West Australian on October 19, 2016

A bid by a Liberal backbencher to remove the statute of limitations for claims of damages resulting from child sexual abuse before Parliament rises before the March state election appears doomed to fail.

Both the Liberal and National parties have given strong indications they would not support the Bill drafted by Liberal backbencher Graham Jacobs.

Despite receiving support in the Liberal Party room yesterday, it appears concerns from Attorney-General Michael Mischin about “unintended consequences” flowing from the legislation meant it will not be supported in its present form.

Deputy Liberal leader Liza Harvey said the party had agreed to accept the stance as policy, but it would be for a “future government” to consider.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Survivor finds light in emotional journey

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Melissa CunninghamMelissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

18 Oct 2016

Peter Blenkiron describes his photography exhibition as an emotional journey made up of fragments of complete darkness and moments of light.

The clergy sexual abuse survivor unveiled his exhibition Putting The Pieces of Self Together One Moment at a Time at Vox Populi Art Gallery, upstairs at Boah Organic at the Bridge Mall on Friday.

The former Ballarat electrician describes the impacts of his complex post traumatic stress disorder on his mind as being like a “blown electrical circuit”.

Each image offers a rare glimpse into the inner world of a child abuse survivor learning to re-inhabit his body and mind.

With the guidance of his counsellor and from behind the lens of his smartphone he started taking photographs as form on mindfulness and solace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

'Is he a forgotten victim?': Calls for probe into death of teenager at St Ninian's School amid abuse fears

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

19 OCT 2016
BY JAMES MONCUR

THE 14-year-old's death was blamed on boxing match injuries - but schoolmates claim he could be a victim of violence at the notorious Christian Brothers home.

POLICE are being urged to launch a new probe into the death of a teenager at a notorious care home.

Alexander Harvey died at St Ninian’s School, in Fife, in 1960. His death was blamed on injuries he had received in a boxing match.

The 14-year-old’s death was never fully investigated but rumours have circulated in the village of Falkland that Alexander may have been the victim of abuse.

Schoolmates claim he could be a “forgotten victim” of violence at the Christian Brothers home, which has been at the centre of a historic scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Adult child-abuse victims and allies are fighting to eliminate the statute of limitations

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh City Paper

By Rebecca Addison

If you look at the legislation that Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Rozzi has sponsored over the past year, you’ll notice a theme.

In February, Rozzi (D-Berks County) proposed a resolution designating April 2016 as “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.” In March, he co-sponsored a bill to add child sex abuse as an exception to sovereign-immunity laws. And his current fight to pass House Bill 1947 would eliminate the criminal statute of limitation on child sexual-abuse cases.

For Rozzi, sexual assault isn’t just another legislative issue. It’s the reason he ran for office in 2012. Rozzi was molested by an Allentown Diocese priest when he was 13.

After being molested, in the 1980s, Rozzi did his best to move on from the trauma. But he was spurred to take action in 2009 after a second childhood friend committed suicide; both of them had been molested by the same priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Former Archbishop Carey Could Be Criticised In Child Abuse Report

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Mark Woods CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 19 October 2016

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey faces possible censure over his conduct regarding paedophile Peter Ball, formerly Bishop of Gloucester.

Ball was jailed last year for sex offences and misconduct in public office.

After serving as Bishop of Lewes, he was made Bishop of Gloucester in 1992. He received a caution in 1993 for gross indecency, rather than being charged with with indecent assault, and resigned his bishopric though he later returned to ministry.

Carey wrote to the director of public prosecutions at the time expressing concern at Ball's "fragile health".

While Carey was Archbishop, Lambeth Palace received six letters after Ball was cautioned revealing that he encouraged victims to pray naked, perform sex acts in front of him and share his bed. Lambeth Palace officials reviewing the letters in 2009 noted that had such evidence as provided by the letters been given to detectives in 1993, Ball may have been convicted of serious sexual offences as opposed to merely being cautioned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

October 18, 2016

Priest gets probation in plea deal

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

by Jason Nark, STAFF WRITER

An Archdiocese of Philadelphia priest accused of trying to rape a teenage boy will receive probation after pleading no contest Monday.

Jury selection had been set for Oct. 24 for James J. Brennan's retrial on charges of attempted rape and endangerment, but a deal was reached Monday, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Brennan, 53, pleaded no contest to one count of simple assault and will be sentenced to two years' probation. He has not been in active ministry for more than 10 years.

Brennan's attorney, William J. Brennan, said he was confident that a retrial would result in an acquittal but the offer from the District Attorney's Office "was simply too good to refuse."

"It's the same level as a first-time DUI," said Brennan, who is not related to his client.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

Father James J. Brennan Sex Abuse Case Ends With A Whimper

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The district attorney's office has struck a deal with Father James J. Brennan, who was accused of the attempted rape twenty years ago of a then 14-year-old boy.

On Monday, Father Brennan, whose retrial was scheduled to begin Oct. 24th, pleaded no contest to a second-degree misdemeanor charge of simple assault, and was placed on two years probation.

"This case, which took six or seven years to resolve, ended with a whimper and not a bang because they made us an offer we couldn't refuse," said criminal defense lawyer William J. Brennan, no relation, who represented Father Brennan.

The case sure started with a bang. Back in 2011, the district attorney issued a grand jury report, still online, which stated eleven times that Father Brennan had anally raped 14-year-old Mark Bukowski back in 1996. It happened in the priest's apartment, on a night when the priest admitted he showed the boy pornography and then got into bed with him.

This excerpt is from pages 11 and 12 of the 2011 grand jury report:

Father Brennan, who was now shirtless, insisted that Mark remove his gym shorts and climb into bed with him in only his underwear, which Mark did. Mark attempted to sleep on his side, with his back to Father Brennan, because he was afraid to look at the priest. As Mark lay in that position, Father Brennan hugged him from behind, resting his chin on Mark’s shoulder and pulling the boy closer to him.

When Father Brennan pulled Mark toward him, Mark felt Father Brennan’s erect penis enter his buttocks. Mark began to cry, and asked himself over and over again, “Why is this happening?” as Father Brennan anally raped him. Mark fell asleep that night with Father Brennan’s penis still in his buttocks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 PM

The Guardian view on the child sex abuse inquiry: obscurity adds insult to injury

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Editorial

If it were less important for the victims and survivors of abuse, the tale of the biggest and most costly statutory inquiry ever launched would be a farce. But the scale of the responsibility of the independent inquiry into the institutional failure that allowed thousands of children to be abused over decades leached the humour from this afternoon’s Commons home affairs committee session with permanent secretary Mark Sedwill. After an hour of parrying and blocking MPs’ questions it felt damagingly like a high grade version of the institutional cover-ups that victims and survivors of abuse want the inquiry to expose.

Mr Sedwill was in an impossible position. The more he tried to argue that the independence of the inquiry into historic child abuse meant he could not know what was going on, the harder it was to understand why he had met the former chair, Dame Lowell Goddard, on at least two occasions. It was even more confusing that a member of the panel with which Dame Lowell was supposed to be working, Drusilla Sharpling, had actually raised her concerns with the Home Office in April this year, several months before Dame Lowell’s abrupt resignation in August.

The permanent secretary is impaled on the relationship between the inquiry, with its budget of £17m, and its sponsoring department, the Home Office. In a manner that must have appeared suspiciously opaque to victims and survivors of abuse, he tried to explain how an arm’s-length relationship can coexist alongside the home secretary’s power to hire and fire the inquiry’s chair. To those forgiving of the ways of Whitehall, this is an everyday expression of the kind of arrangement that keeps the bureaucracy moving; Mr Sedwill said the Home Office was insulated from the inquiry by an air gap. To the lay observer, it seems incomprehensible that the department, which has supplied a fifth of the inquiry’s staff, would not have got wind of the troubles at the top that led within weeks not only to the resignation of Dame Lowell, the third chair to exit unexpectedly, but also the departure of the inquiry’s counsel, Ben Emmerson QC, and its junior counsel, Elizabeth Prochaska.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Child abuse inquiry insider 'told Home Office about Goddard concerns in April'

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville and Haroon Siddique
Tuesday 18 October 2016 1

A member of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse panel has said she went to the Home Office with concerns about the then chair, Dame Lowell Goddard, in April, months before the Home Office said it was aware of the reservations surrounding her.

Goddard unexpectedly resigned as chair of the public inquiry in August, throwing it into turmoil.

Last week the Times reported alleged concerns about her conduct and professionalism, including claims that she linked Britain’s child abuse problem to its population of Asian men. She has denied the allegations.

The Home Office said people within the inquiry raised concerns about Goddard on 29 July, six days before she resigned, but that version of events was challenged at a hearing of the home affairs committee on Tuesday.

Inquiry panel member Drusilla Sharpling told the committee she did not want to indulge in discussions of character but that there were “questions about the quality of the leadership” which she raised with the Home Office in April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Dame Lowell Goddard preferred to work alone, MPs told

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Dame Lowell Goddard, the former head of an inquiry into child sexual abuse, kept panel members at a distance and would rather have worked alone, MPs have heard.

Professor Alexis Jay, her successor, told the Commons Home Affairs Committee that despite this, they tried to make arrangements work.

Dame Lowell Goddard, the inquiry's third chairwoman, resigned in August.

The inquiry, set up in 2014, has been beset by controversies.

The committee quizzed Prof Jay, who was previously on the panel, and two current panel members about Dame Lowell Goddard's departure and the inquiry's progress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Survivors of child abuse deserve the truth from Theresa May

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Lisa Nandy

Tuesday 18 October 2016

As home secretary, Theresa May established an inquiry into child sexual abuse to shine a spotlight on institutions characterised by a culture of secrecy, denial and cover-up in which child abusers were able to operate in plain sight without challenge or consequence. It is a tragedy that the inquiry itself has become dogged by allegations about those very same characteristics.

A campaigner who exposed child abuse scandals in the Church of England said: “These are supposed to be the people who investigate cover-ups but they are behaving as if there’s some sort of cover-up going on regarding the inquiry itself.”

The probe has had four chairs in just two years following the departures of Lady Butler-Sloss, her successor lord mayor Fiona Woolf, and most recently Lowell Goddard, May’s third appointment. In the past month the two most senior lawyers for the inquiry have also both resigned without explanation, along with two more junior lawyers. The fiasco has prompted some victims and survivors’ groups to say publicly that they are losing faith in the process.

An inquiry on this scale cannot proceed without confidence. It is crucial that Amber Rudd, the home secretary, and her predecessor answer key questions to reassure us that the inquiry will now do its job. This must start with the truth surrounding the departure of Dame Goddard.

Instead on Monday in the House of Commons Rudd struggled to answer basic questions about the inquiry, referring repeatedly to its independence. Yet, as the chair of the home affairs select committee highlighted, the inquiry had a budget of £17.9m in its first year alone and raises profound questions of public importance. It must be accountable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Message from Lady Smith

SCOTLAND
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

Approach to the work of the Inquiry

17 Oct 2016

On 27 July I accepted appointment as the Chair of this critically important public inquiry. I come to this role with 15 years of experience as a judge of the Court of Session and High Court of Justiciary. I am personally committed to it and will discharge my duties independently, thoroughly and to the best of my ability.

This independent Inquiry was established in October 2015 for purposes which include the need to raise public awareness of the fact of children in residential care having been abused, to acknowledge and record the suffering of those children, to carry out investigations and to make recommendations.

It will investigate how children were failed, what went so badly wrong, identify what makes residential care safe for a child and make recommendations about what we consider is required to ensure that now, and in the future, the welfare of children is truly paramount and children are properly protected. My fellow panel member, Glenn Houston, and I are committed to delivering a thorough and conscientious response to its remit.

The Inquiry has commissioned research and has commenced the process of gathering information and documents from a range of institutions and organisations. It has published protocols and guidance – which you will find on this website - in relation to the ways in which it carries out its work.

I have issued restriction orders to protect anonymity where appropriate. A document management system provider has been appointed; that system will enable the documentary material that is ingathered and created by the Inquiry to be reviewed and analysed thoroughly and efficiently.

We are in the course of identifying and securing a suitable hearing venue and will also be appointing more members of the Inquiry team as its work is expanding. I hope to be able to provide more detail regarding our plans for investigations soon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Statement from the Chair

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

17 October

The Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has today set out her strategy to ensure the Inquiry meets its remit to recommend measures to better protect children in the future.

But Professor Alexis Jay was clear that the Inquiry would hold true to its commitment to look at past and present failings by institutions in England and Wales.

Professor Jay also set out four thematic strands that will be the focus of our work and recommendations across all the institutions the Inquiry is examining. This will ensure the big changes that will have the most impact on better protection for children.

The four strands are:

* Cultural: examining the attitudes, behaviours and values within institutions that prevent us from stopping child sexual abuse.

* Structural: looking at the legislative, governance and organisational frameworks within and between institutions.

* Financial: considering the financial, funding and resource arrangements for relevant institutions and services.

* Professional and political: focusing on the leadership, professional and practice issues for those working or volunteering in relevant institutions.

Professor Jay said:

“I want to focus on prevention without neglecting the past. Lessons have to be learnt from institutional failures and any cover-ups that have come to light. Only in this way can we look to the future with confidence. I regard calls for us to forget the past with a degree of scepticism, not least because some institutions may have the most to hide and a vested interest in not turning a spotlight on what happened in the past. We will remain vigilant for other issues that may arise but this framework will provide the right basis for planning, prioritising and delivering the Inquiry's work.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

St Patrick’s Guild sought €50k from Tusla for adoption records

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

St Patrick’s Guild adoption agency requested a payment of “at least €50,000” from Tusla before it would transfer the more than 13,000 adoption records it holds.

The agency made the request on numerous occasions throughout 2015 and 2016. It was excluded from the current Mother and Baby Homes Commission despite the Government being told by the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) that the agency was aware of “several hundred” illegal birth registrations.

It ceased operating at the end of 2014 but, due to lengthy negotiations to ensure Tusla were indemnified against any legal action taken by people seeking their records, the files were not transferred until May 2016.

However, it has emerged that the agency had contacted Tusla a number of times throughout 2015 and 2016 seeking a payment of €50,000 before it would agree to transfer any records.

Documents released under Freedom of Information show that Sr Francis Fahy, director of services with St Patrick’s Guild (SPG), wrote to Tusla national manager for adoption Siobhán Mugan in October 2015 requesting an “immediate payment” in regard to almost €48,000 in expenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Ex-youth pastor faces new rape counts

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Online

By Steven Mross

HOT SPRINGS -- A former youth pastor charged in 2014 with sexually assaulting a girl who was 13 at the time at his former Hot Springs residence has been arrested on new accusations that he also raped the girl's older sister.

Andrew Lee Jackson, 30, who lists a White Hall address, was taken into custody Sept. 30 and charged with 10 counts of rape, punishable by up to life in prison.

According to an affidavit, Garland County sheriff's investigator Mike Wright began an investigation in November 2014 into rape allegations involving the 13-year-old and Jackson, her 28-year-old youth pastor. Wright was assisted by Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children investigator Kathy Finnegan.

In December 2014, Jackson was arrested and charged with three counts of rape. Those charges are pending in Garland County Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Child abuse inquiry remit is wide enough, says new chairman

SCOTLAND
Evening Times

THE scope of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will not be expanded, its new chairman has insisted, as it emerged the investigation has so far cost £2.5 million.

Lady Anne Smith, the judge appointed to head the troubled inquiry after the resignation of its previous chairman, said she brought 15 years’ experience as a high court judge and judge at the Court of Session to the role.

Abuse campaigners have called for the inquiry’s remit to be widened out to include victims who were targeted outwith residential care.

But Lady Smith said: “The terms of the remit were set when the inquiry began. Their width enables us to investigate the abuse of children in residential care in Scotland ... from within the living memory of anyone who suffered such abuse up to the end of 2014.”

She said the inquiry was already extensive and had gathered “numerous accounts of abuse”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

May heads for clash with MPs on claims of Goddard cover-up

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter | Francis Elliott | Sean O’Neill
October 18 2016
The Times

Theresa May will be challenged tomorrow to reveal whether she was involved in a cover-up to hide alleged failings by the head of the national child abuse inquiry.

The prime minister is under mounting pressure to say when and what she was told of serious concerns about the conduct and competence of Dame Lowell Goddard, who quit abruptly in August. Amber Rudd, her successor as home secretary, was dragged to the Commons to account for her claim last month that her “only information” about the New Zealand judge’s resignation was that she was lonely and far from home. The Times revealed last week that concerns within the inquiry that Dame Lowell was unfit to continue in her £500,000 role were shared over many months with senior Home Office officials and advisers.

The judge was said to have been aggressive and abusive to staff, to have used racist language and to have struggled to grasp basic rules of English law. She has issued a detailed statement strenuously denying all allegations of misconduct and has described them as malicious.

Ms Rudd admitted yesterday that she was aware of warnings about Dame Lowell’s alleged lack of professionalism before the judge stepped down. She was accused in the Commons of having been “economical about what she knew” when she gave evidence to a parliamentary committee last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Rudd dragged deeper into abuse probe chaos: Home Secretary admits she DID hear claims that judge wasn't up to the job

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By REBECCA CAMBER and JACK DOYLE FOR THE DAILY MAIL

The Home Secretary last night admitted she had been aware of racism allegations against the ex-chairman of the child abuse inquiry.

Amber Rudd said she was alerted about allegations over Dame Lowell Goddard’s ‘professionalism and competence’ several weeks before she told MPs the judge had quit because she was ‘lonely’.

Miss Rudd was accused of being ‘economical about what she knew’ after the admission, which follows claims of a Home Office cover-up.

She told MPs last month that New Zealander Dame Lowell had left the inquiry because she felt lonely and ‘a long way from home’.

The beleaguered public inquiry threatened to turn into a political scandal last night as:

* Victims called for chairman Alexis Jay to resign as she signalled the probe’s remit will be cut back, so it does not last beyond 2020;

* Dame Lowell Goddard strenuously denied claims she ‘turned to drink’ at the inquiry;

* Its top lawyer, Ben Emmerson QC, was accused of ‘bullying’ behind the scenes.

Hauled before the Commons yesterday, Miss Rudd said it would have been ‘entirely inappropriate’ to tell the home affairs committee about the racism allegations against Dame Lowell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Top civil servant to be questioned by MPs about child sexual abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
AOL

The Home Office's top civil servant will be questioned by MPs about the national inquiry into child sexual abuse today.

Mark Sedwill will appear before the Commons Home Affairs committee after it was disclosed that the former chairwoman of the probe, Dame Lowell Goddard, resigned days after the department was made aware of concerns about her "professionalism and competence".

Dame Lowell, a New Zealand high court judge, has strongly denied allegations against her - including claims that she used racist language - describing them as "falsities", "malicious" and part of a "vicious campaign".

On Monday Home Secretary Amber Rudd said concerns were raised with Mr Sedwill, the Home Office's permanent secretary, on July 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry head dismisses calls for it to 'forget the past'

UNITED KINGDOM
Largs & Millport Weekly News

Press Association

The head of the national inquiry into child sexual abuse has dismissed calls for it to "forget the past" as she unveiled her strategy to complete most of its work by 2020.

Professor Alexis Jay insisted the probe will stick to its commitment to look at past and present failings.

She said that a traditional "public hearing" model would not be used for all of the institutions in England and Wales that will fall under scrutiny, saying a "one size fits all" approach would mean the inquiry would never finish its work.

Prof Jay set out four thematic strands that will be focused on as part of a strategy to make the inquiry "manageable and deliverable".

She said: "I want to focus on prevention without neglecting the past. Lessons have to be learnt from institutional failures and any cover-ups that have come to light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Shun suspended priests, warns Archbishop Lwanga

UGANDA
New Vision

By Juliet Lukwago
Added 18th October 2016

The Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has cautioned Christians to be wary of false prophets and to shun suspended priests.

He made the remarks while preaching to Christians during the launch of the 64th parish in the archdiocese; St Pius Masajja in Kampala Archdiocese in Wakiso district.

Lwanga said that any priest on suspension is prohibited from administering any sacrament in any diocese.

Recently, a Catholic priest was suspended over misconduct detrimental to the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Ex-Sunday School teacher indicted on child molestation at Acworth church

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ben Brasch The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A former Sunday School teacher was indicted on charges, including child molestation, for crimes that took place in an Acworth church.

On. Oct. 6, a grand jury indicted Jonathan Martinez on 16 charges: five counts child molestation, seven counts enticing a child for indecent purposes, three counts aggravated child molestation and sexual exploitation of children, according to the court system

Martinez was 27 when he was arrested Feb. 2 in Glynn County.

He allegedly sexually assaulted at least one of the students on church property during class by separating the girl from her friends and taking her to a basement conference room, according to an arrest warrant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

What the Church can learn from Bruce Springsteen

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

MUSIC legend Bruce Springsteen will tour Australia early next year, playing to packed houses.

At the same time, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will be preparing for what it’s calling the “Catholic Church Final Hearing”.

It’s expected to last for four weeks, enabling the Commission to ask questions about “a number of factors … including canon law, mandatory celibacy and the selection, screening, training and ongoing support and supervision of working priests and religious”.

This won’t be an easy time for the Catholic Church in Australia.

Mainstream media will rightly devote plenty of time to the final hearing, again reporting on the many times the Church acted in an appalling way when young people were being abused.

It’s a brutal story and it can never be defended.

So, what’s the link to Bruce Springsteen?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Convicted sex offender running for school board trustee in Saskatoon

CANADA
CKOM

By Chris Vandenbreekel October 17, 2016

A man running for a position as a Saskatoon Catholic school board trustee is a convicted sex offender.

According to a Saskatoon StarPhoenix story from 2003, Denis Robert Hall pleaded guilty in 1981 to two charges of having intercourse with girls aged 14-16, as well as two counts of indecent assault.

Hall was sentenced to 18 months in jail, and was released in June 1982.

He was sued by one of the girls, who became pregnant. He settled for $3,500 with the girl after she signed not to pursue further legal action.

Hall received a full pardon in 1994. According to the 1985 Criminal Records Act, this means the Parole Board of Canada believed he was "of good conduct" and the conviction "should no longer reflect adversely on the applicant's character."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Catholic school trustee candidate withdraws after backlash over past sex crimes

CANADA
StarPhoenix

CHARLES HAMILTON, SASKATOON STARPHOENIX

Published on: October 17, 2016

In a prepared statement released to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix late Monday, Denis Hall announced his decision to withdraw his candidacy for a seat on the Catholic school board.

“The use of the terms ‘pedophile’ and ‘sexual assault’ by the mainstream media are completely and categorically false,” Hall stated, referring to online news reports published earlier in the day.

“They misrepresent me and my ancient past in the worst possible light, and render untenable my continuance as a candidate, as well as my ability to serve on the Board should I have been elected.”

Hall pleaded guilty in July 1981 to two counts of having sexual intercourse with girls aged 14 to 16 and two counts of indecent assault on girls. He was a teacher at the time of the offences, which took place between 1974 and 1980 in Regina, Swift Current and Melfort. All of the girls involved were members of a community basketball team he coached.

According to a Regina Leader-Post story published in July 1981, Hall taught at Holy Rosary School and formerly coached the Holy Rosary Raiders girls’ basketball team. The team was sponsored by Holy Rosary Cathedral. The newspaper report was based on facts read into the court record when Hall pleaded guilty, and on testimony given by the victims at his preliminary hearing in March 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

The Catholic Church and Our Boys – How Do We Help Them Keep the Faith While Men of the Clo

UNITED STATES
The Good Men Project

As a Catholic Mom of four boys, and in light of recent convictions of priests in the Catholic church of male child molestation, I’ve found myself questioning my own beliefs, the church, and indeed the people around me. I’m here to tell you that I now know five – count them, FIVE – convicted male sex offenders, and I’m sad to say that one of those was a priest.

The priest I knew who was recently convicted was, at the time I knew him, a confidante, a sympathetic ear, and a friend to me when I felt very alone and was going through a very difficult time in my life. The news of his conviction of sex offenses against boys made me call into question my involvement with the Catholic Church, but my faith in God and Jesus’ teachings haven’t changed; only my attitude toward the Catholic church as an institution, and the selective teachings that have been embedded into the Catholic faith. The Church’s ongoing insistence that only single men can preside over the mass; the Catholic Church being run primarily by a patriarchy of the elderly; the fact that priests are not entitled to have families of their own; the preaching that we are not to take communion unless we are in a state of ‘grace.’ No divorcees, no gays, no sinners welcome. These are not the teachings I want to bestow upon my sons, and these are not part of my faith, nor my relationship with God.

There is an underworld to everything that many of us aren’t even aware of, and one of the deepest underworlds is most certainly that of the Catholic church. The pedophilic Catholic priests are definitely the dark part of this underworld, but what about those priests who have secret lovers, not-so-secret relationships with other men or women, and those who have even married, and had families of their own? I wonder how many people are aware of that ‘underworld’, and how they integrate that into their own personal faith. Growing up, I watched a priest keep a divorced woman as his lover, while denying communion to the divorced of his congregation. I watched a priest get kicked out of the Church after a member of the congregation secretly complained that he was gay, and in a relationship. To be honest with you, the latter was definitely the best priest I’ve ever had the honor of listening to, knowing, and learning from.

Catholic Priest Father Neru Leuea has been acquitted of a child sex offence | video

AUSTRALIA
West Coast Sentinel

Ken Grimson
17 Oct 2016

6.45pm:

Earlier, Judge Lerve said even the gravest of suspicions cannot amount to proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Judge Lerve said that in one of the police-recorded conversations between the priest and the alleged victim last year Fr Neru “all but admitted the conduct, it seems to me.”

The verdict was welcomed by St Joseph’s Leeton Parish Council chairman Rob Houghton.

“Ultimately it is good news for Fr Neru,” he said.

“However, it is a massive shame that he has had his name dragged through the mud.”

Mr Houghton said the St Joseph’s parish in Leeton had been shocked when Fr Neru was initially charged late last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

BOSTON GLOBE JOURNALIST MIKE REZENDES SPEAKS TO UMASS LOWELL ABOUT ‘SPOTLIGHT’

MASSACHUSETTS
The Connector

Taylor Carito
Connector Editor

As part of the Parker Lecture Series, Michael Rezendes, a member of The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team came to UMass Lowell to speak about his experiences on the infamous case, being played by Mark Ruffalo in a film, and the overall importance of journalism in the modern world.

In 2015, The Boston Globe’s investigative team experienced their claim to fame with the academy award winning film “Spotlight.” Based on the true story, this film highlighted the infamous story the Spotlight Team exposed: the cover up of child molestation by priests in Boston churches.

Rezendes began the lecture by clarifying certain misconceptions about the Pulitzer Prize him and the rest of the team share as a result of this story. The Spotlight team did not discover the actual clergy sexual abuse. There were records that dated back to the 1980s, long before the team had any knowledge about it. The Spotlight Team did not start their research till decades later. “So why did we win the Pulitzer prize? And what makes our work different then everyone else’s work? There were several things that made our work very, very distinctive. The first, and perhaps the most significant, is we discovered the cover up,” says Rezendes.

The second thing that Rezendes mentioned assisted in making the story “bulletproof.” He said that all the information was from the church’s records that were carefully read by the members of the Spotlight Team. This made the articles safe from defamation and ultimately made the story impenetrable. Once the story was completed, Rezendes says the third thing that made the Spotlight story so unique was that it went on the internet because anyone could read the articles and see the documents, and it went viral. “People all over the world read the story,” said Rezendes. This was one of the first really significant journalistic pieces that went viral on the internet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

October 17, 2016

Abuse inquiry head calls on victims to ‘talk to us’

SCOTLAND
The Times

Julia Horton
October 18 2016
The Times

The senior judge appointed to lead the Scottish government’s child abuse inquiry has urged victims and witnesses to come forward.

Lady Smith said she was determined to find out “what happened, where, how and why”. The inquiry will examine historical allegations of child abuse in Scotland and is expected to last four years. It will look at the extent of abuse of children in care and identify any systemic failures.

Lady Smith replaced Susan O’Brien, QC, as chairwoman of the inquiry after Ms O’Brien quit the post in July citing government interference. A second member of the three-person panel, Professor Michael Lamb, also resigned over similar concerns, leaving Glenn Houston, a social care expert, as the sole remaining member until Lady Smith’s appointment.

Lady Smith, who was appointed to the Inner House in 2012, said she was “personally committed” to the inquiry. The inquiry needed to “acknowledge and record the suffering” of children abused in care. She added: “[The inquiry] will investigate how children were failed, what went so badly wrong, identify what makes residential care safe for a child and make recommendations about what we consider is required to ensure that now, and in the future, the welfare of children is truly paramount and children are properly protected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry: 'Still very interested in the past'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

[with video]

17 October 2016

The chairwoman of the child sex abuse inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay, has said she will not seek "any reduction or restriction" in its scope.

The independent inquiry has been beset by controversies, including the resignation of three of its chairwomen.

Prof Jay said that - although some measures would be taken to speed up the inquiry - it was "still very interested in the past".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 PM

Child abuse inquiry's FOURTH chairman scales back scope of the inquiry after saying it is unrealistic to investigate all of the institutions

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By REBECCA CAMBER CRIME CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

The future of the child abuse inquiry was plunged into uncertainty again last night as its fourth chairman signalled a scaling back of its remit.

Professor Alexis Jay, who took over from Dame Lowell Goddard in August, said it was unrealistic to hold a public inquiry-style hearing into all of the institutions where abuse is said to have occurred.

She said while the inquiry would endeavour to look at many institutions where youngsters were allegedly abused, it would be ‘impossible to do so for all of them’.

Professor Jay sought to appease victims by saying the inquiry remained ‘very interested in the past’ and promised to complete most of its work by the end of 2020.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

Abuse inquiry ‘can never end without restructure’

UNITED KINGDOM

Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
October 18 2016
The Times

The public inquiry into child abuse will never be completed unless it is restructured, its chairwoman said yesterday.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will move away from the format of the traditional public hearings to complete its work within a reasonable time and budget.

Alexis Jay said claims that the inquiry’s remit was too big were “founded on an assumption that we must seek to replicate a traditional public inquiry in respect of each of the thousands of institutions that fall within our remit”. She added: “We will do so for some, but we would never finish if we did it for all.”

She did not say which inquiries would receive the full treatment, with witnesses being questioned in open sessions, or the format under which other investigations would be conducted.

The previous structure proposed as many as 25 separate investigations under the umbrella of the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 PM

Financial information agreement between Italy, Holy See goes into effect

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Culture

October 17, 2016

An agreement between the Holy See and Italy on fiscal matters went into effect on October 15.

The agreement, signed in April 2015, allows Italian authorities access to financial records of Italian residents who have accounts with the Vatican bank, to ensure that they report taxable income. The arrangement, the Vatican explained at the time, “will enable full compliance, with simplified procedures, with the tax obligations relating to financial assets held by institutions engaging in financial activities in the Holy See by various physical and legal persons resident in Italy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Provision to implement the Convention between the Holy See and the Government of the Italian Republic in fiscal matters, 17.10.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bollettino

On 15 October, following the entry into force of the Convention between the Holy See and the Government of the Italian Republic on fiscal matters, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin issued the following provision on the implementation of articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Convention. This measure takes immediate effect.

The Secretary of State of His Holiness

With regard to the due ratification and entry into force of the Convention between the Holy See and the Government of the Italian Republic in fiscal matters, signed on 1 April 2015 (hereinafter “Convention”);

With regard to Article 10 of the Convention, which requires the Parties to adopt the regulations and the administrative and enforcement measures necessary for the implementation of the same Convention;

Considering that the Holy Father Francis has delegated to the undersigned the adoption of the necessary measures for implementation;

has issued the following provisions for the implementation of Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Convention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. John J. Stronkowski

CONNECTICUT
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: John J. Stronkowski was ordained for the Diocese of Bridgeport in 1985. He assisted at parishes in Bridgeport, Fairfield and Danbury before being named pastor of St. Ambrose in Bridgeport in 2004. He was the lead priest at St. Margaret Mary in Shelton from September 2012 until May 2014 when the bishop asked him to resign due to "persistent absenteeism from both the rectory and the parish and its ministries, his growing difficulties with both the staff and lay leaders of the parish, and other personal and administrative shortcomings." Stronkowski was then on leave of absence. In June 2016 his name was included on the diocese's list of "Credibly Accused Diocesan Priests" for abuse of a minor more than ten years previously. He was placed on Administrative Leave and his faculties were removed.

Ordained: 1985

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Judge’s vow on child abuse probe as costs rise to £2.5m

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

THE scope of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will not be expanded, its new chairwoman has insisted as it emerged the investigation has so far cost £2.5 million.

Lady Anne Smith, the judge appointed to head the troubled inquiry after the resignation of its previous chairwoman, said she brought 15 years’ experience as a High Court judge and judge at the Court of Session to the role.

Abuse campaigners have called for the inquiry’s remit to be widened to include victims who were targeted outwith residential care.

But Lady Smith said: “The terms of the remit were set when the inquiry began. Their width enables us to investigate the abuse of children in residential care in Scotland ... from within the living memory of anyone who suffered such abuse up to the end of 2014.”

She said the inquiry was already extensive and had gathered “numerous accounts of abuse”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Judge Lady Smith's appeal to child abuse victims and witnesses

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The senior judge appointed to lead the Scottish government's child abuse inquiry has urged victims and witnesses to come forward.

Lady Smith said she was determined to find out "what happened, where, how and why".
The inquiry will examine historical allegations of child abuse in Scotland.

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

Lady Smith replaced Susan O'Brien QC as chairwoman of the inquiry after she quit the post in July citing government interference.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry to be over by 2020 as remit is scaled back

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Martin Evans, crime correspondent
17 OCTOBER 2016

The controversial child sex abuse inquiry will be completed by 2020 after its new chairman signalled a scaling back of its remit.

Professor Alexis Jay, who took over following the shock resignation of Dame Justice Lowell Goddard in August, said it was unrealistic to hold a public inquiry style hearing into every one of the thousands of institutions where abuse is said to have occurred.

Instead she said the inquiry would focus on four main “thematic strands” in order to ensure that lessons were learned from the failings of the past.
Professor Jay said while she and her panel would endeavour to look closely at many institutions where youngsters were allegedly abused, it would be “impossible to do so for all of them”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Child Victims Act supporters blast pols for legislation failure at 'Protect Children' rally in Long Island

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

DENIS SLATTERY
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, October 17, 2016

Organizers at a rally calling for the passage of a bill making it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice in New York blasted lawmakers for holding up the legislation.

The “Protect Children” rally was held Saturday in Saint James, Long Island, in the heart of Senate Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan’s district.

Flanagan and a handful of other lawmakers have opposed efforts, led by the Daily News, to pass the Child Victims Act.

“John Flanagan should be ashamed of himself,” said Gary Greenberg, a casino investor who created the Fighting For the Children political action committee to help usher in a Democratic Senate majority. “The failure of the Child Victim’s Act by the Senate Republicans has put our kids safety at risk.”

Greenberg, himself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, blasted Flanagan.

“Predators are prowling our streets looking for your kids because of Senator Flanagan,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Sex abuse case against Muncie pastor dismissed

INDIANA
The Star Press

Douglas Walker , dwalker@muncie.gannett.com October 17, 2016

MUNCIE, Ind. – A legal saga that began nearly eight years ago – on the day Barack Obama was sworn in as president – ended Monday when a count of sexual misconduct with a minor pending against a Muncie pastor was dismissed.

Matthew A. Kidd, now 60, had been scheduled to stand trial Monday in Delaware Circuit Court 3 on the misconduct charge, filed on Jan. 20, 2009.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Judi Calhoun filed a motion to drop the charge – a Class C felony carrying a standard four-year sentence – and said the alleged victim in the case no longer wished to testify.

Kidd, pastor of Freedom Point Apostolic Church, was at first charged with child molesting, sexual misconduct with a minor and vicarious sexual gratification. He was accused of sexually abusing three brothers who were teenagers – and had attended his church – when the alleged assaults took place between 2002 and 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

CARDINAL TIM DOLAN

MISSOURI
Berger's Beat

October 17, 2016 12:44 pm | Author: berger

The NY Times editorial page casts aspersions on Cardinal Tim Dolan’s “compensation” program for adults who were raped or molested by pedophile priests. It notes that a “tight deadline” is included, victims must “waive the right to sue,” and asks a troubling question: “How will this program help to prevent future abuses, expose the archdiocesan cover-ups or explain how priests were shielded and survivors silenced?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Group Calls for Ouster of Supervisor of Bangor’s Convicted Greek Orthodox Priest

MAINE
WABI

OCT 17, 2016

CATHERINE PEGRAM

An organization that supports people sexually abused by priests wants the supervisor of a convicted Greek Orthodox priest in Bangor to be ousted.

54-year-old Adam Metropoulos is serving 6-and-a-half years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor after he was found guilty last year.

He was the head St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor when he molested an alter boy there.

Members of the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests are calling for Greek Orthodox Chancellor Theodore Barbas of Boston to be removed.

They say he was complicit or negligent in placing Metropoulos in a position with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

York Minster falls silent as all 30 bell ringers sacked

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

By Becky Johnson, North of England Correspondent

More than 11,000 people have signed a petition calling for the bell ringers at York Minster to be reinstated after they were sacked and ringing suspended until a new team is appointed next year.

The group of 30 volunteers say they were stunned when they were told their services were no longer required and asked to hand in the key fobs that gave them access to the bell tower.

Alice Etherington, the bell ringer who started the petition, told Sky News: "It's not the way to go about changing things and getting people loyal and dedicated to you when you already have people loyal and dedicated to you and the services.

"We adore the Minster, we adore our community life there and we're part of it and we feel shunned."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

York Minster bellringers' sacking was over 'safeguarding' issue

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

York Minster dismissed 30 volunteer bellringers because one member of the group was regarded as a safeguarding risk, according to a statement delivered by the archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

Other members of the group “consistently challenged” the minster’s governing body, the Chapter of York, on this and other matters, the statement from York Minster said.

The volunteers were told at a special meeting last Tuesday that bellringing activity at the minster would cease with immediate effect for “health and safety” reasons and that they were dismissed.

The Chapter of York’s statement, delivered by Sentamu on Monday, said: “Earlier this summer it was necessary for the chapter to take action regarding a member of the bellringing community on safeguarding grounds. This came after complex multi-agency activity involving the City of York council, York diocese safeguarding adviser and the Church of England’s national safeguarding officer.”

The decision to dismiss the bellringers was taken in line with advice from safeguarding professionals on minimising risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults, it added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

NY--Head of Dolan’s victim pay-off plan insults victims; SNAP responds

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Oct. 17, 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)

Cardinal Tim Dolan’s unilateral, top-down victim pay-off program has barely begun. Yet the man Dolan picked to head it is already insulting and blaming victims.

[New York Times]

Kenneth Feinberg told the New York Times that victims tend to be “procrastinators.” At best, that’s stupid. At worst, it’s hurtful. Both he and Dolan should apologize. And they should drop their insensitive, arbitrary and self-serving deadline which forces still-suffering victims to move quickly to deal with decades of pain or else be left out in the cold again.

If kids are to be safer, adults must make it easier, not harder, for victims to report sexual violence. Dolan’s selfish deadline and Feinberg’s callous comments are making it harder.

If victims are to be healed, adults must welcome their disclosures and respond to their suffering whenever victims are strong enough to step forward. Dolan and Feinberg must put the needs of deeply wounded victims ahead of their own convenience.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

NEW YORK TIMES WRONG ON CARDINAL DOLAN

NEW YORK
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on an editorial in today’s New York Times:

The editorial in today’s New York Times, “Victims of Priests’ Abuse Face a Choice,” must be challenged on several counts. Its principal focus is the new initiative by the Archdiocese of New York, the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. This program is designed to deal fairly with claims of clergy sexual abuse.

The editorial says “the program is confidential.” It is important to emphasize that if someone requests confidentiality, the archdiocese will respect it, but it is also true that under the provisions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, it has no authority to require it. Of course, the archdiocese is not going to publicize information on these matters on its website, but that is not the same as requiring claimants to sign a confidentiality agreement. That will not happen.

The editorial is unhappy with the provision that claimants are given only a few months to file. Naturally, the Times wants no deadline. Should they be given years? Decades? Is this its idea of justice?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Child abuse victims set out compensation proposals at Stormont

NORTHERN IRELAND
Amnesty International

“We have waited for justice for long enough” – Jon McCourt, abuse survivor

Victims of child abuse will today (Monday) set out detailed proposals and costings for a redress scheme which they want the Northern Ireland Executive to set up following the end of the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

The scheme, which could provide compensation for thousands of children who suffered abuse in residential institutions between 1922-1995, would cost at least £20 million. However, if the proposed scheme is implemented, it would actually save the public purse at least £10 million compared to the costs of compensation via the courts, argue abuse survivors.

The costs of the proposed redress scheme are detailed in a report (Cost Analysis of Proposed Redress Scheme for Historic Residential Abuses) commissioned from Quarter Chartered Accountants by the Panel of Experts on Redress, an independent initiative made up of survivor groups, individual survivors, academics, lawyers, human rights organisations, practitioners and national and international experts. It is proposed that survivors of abuse should receive a common experience payment of at least £10,000, calculated on the amount of time spent in an institution and an individual assessment for any mental, physical and sexual abuse suffered. The model compensation scheme is based on wide consultation with survivors and analysis of redress schemes in other jurisdictions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Child abuse compensation bill could reach £30m

NORTHERN IRELAND
Herald Scotland

The bill for compensating survivors of child abuse in Northern Ireland could run to £30 million, campaigners have warned.

Some 524 victims could be eligible to make claims over their treatment in institutions from 1922-1995, including at the notorious Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast and by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Campaigners are urging the Stormont Executive to agree to a special redress scheme, with basic payments starting at £10,000, to avoid lengthy, traumatic and expensive civil actions in the courts.

They said it could save £10m off the final bill.

Margaret McGuckin of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse, said: "It is now up to ministers to deliver.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Child abuse report urges Executive to set up £30m compensation scheme

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Joanne Fleming
PUBLISHED
17/10/2016

Victims of historical child abuse in Northern Ireland are to press for a compensation scheme of up to £30m at Stormont today.

The scheme could provide redress for hundreds of children who suffered abuse in residential institutions between 1922 and 1995, such as the Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast and victims of the notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

While the scheme would cost at least £20m, the victims argue it will save the public purse over £10m compared to the costs of compensation via the courts.

The Historic Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry is currently examining allegations of child abuse in homes and other institutions over the 73-year period.

The HIA began its public evidence sessions at the former Banbridge Court House in 2014 and is due to report to the Executive in January 2017. The compensation is based on a figure of 524 eligible victims who have made applications to the HIA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Several perfect storms exposed pedophile priests

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels

He was tall and thin and wore bow ties, and he was packing up his laptop to leave just as the hearing started.

While counsel for plaintiffs stood before the judge detailing obstruction of justice the Archdiocese carried out against pedophile priest victims, the court beat reporter from the L.A. Times was packing up to leave. And he was the only journalist there besides me.

The judge said something like: “So the monsignor bumped into the priest who then scampered into the woods to hide, then a nine-year-old boy came out of the rectory with blood running down his legs, and now defendant will not produce the monsignor for deposition?” to which plaintiff’s attorney emphasized, “Yes, your honor.”

I grabbed the L.A. Times guy’s arm and asked, “Why are you leaving?”

“Phil Spector!” he stage whispered and scampered out of the courtroom. ***

The Times reporter left with his two thousand dollar laptop and I stayed at the hearing, scribbling notes into a dime store notepad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Picketers voicing support for moratorium of Neocatechumenal Way

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Oct 17, 2016

By Krystal Paco

The Sunday pickets in front of the Hagatna Cathedral continued, this time with messages in support of a moratorium on the Neocatechumenal Way. As we reported, Father Mike Crisostomo proposed the moratorium to the Presbyteral Council in hopes of better assessing the NCS's influence on the local church.

The moratorium is being reviewed by Guam's apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai. Picketers also demand that Archbishop Anthony Apuron be defrocked and that the Redemptoris Mater Seminary be returned to the Archdiocese of Agana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

The Punisher's torment: How Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's bloodthirsty war on drug dealers is driven by being sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a child

PHILIPPINES
Daily Mail (UK)

By FREYA NOBLE FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was sexually abused as a child by a Catholic priest, a traumatic experience which now drives his bloody war on drugs.

In his first interview since taking office 100 days ago, President Duterte told Al Jazeera that his tumultuous childhood shaped his current beliefs and policies.

'It's what you get along the way that shapes your character'.

Known as 'the Punisher', Duterte first spoke about being sexually abused as a child during a press conference in December 2015.

He claimed he was 'fondled' by a priest in the late 1950s, while attending the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Davao High School.

At the same time he made the suggestion that he was not the only one to have fallen victim to his attacker, but said he did not report the abuse out of fear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Rodrigo Duterte interview: Death, drugs and diplomacy

PHILIPPINES
Al Jazeera

[with video]

It's been about 100 days into the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte.

Since he took power, the Philippine president has overseen the killing of more than 3,500 people in his war on drugs, offended world leaders and strained relations with the US.

In an exclusive first interview since he was sworn in, we talk to Duterte about his controversial war on drugs and foreign policy - including deteriorating relations with the United States and potentially warming relations with China.

"We have three million drug addicts, and it's growing. So if we do not interdict this problem, the next generation will be having a serious problem ... You destroy my country, I'll kill you. And it's a legitimate thing. If you destroy our young children, I will kill you. That is a very correct statement. There is nothing wrong in trying to preserve the interest of the next generation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Dame Lowell Goddard's statement in response to British press claims

UNITED KINGDOM
Stuff (New Zealand)

Here is the full statement from Dame Lowell Goddard and her lawyers in London:

In response to allegations published in the Times newspaper dated 14 October 2016, Dame Lowell Goddard QC said:

"My absolute commitment to the Inquiry and in particular to the victims and survivors is the reason why I gave up my career and life in New Zealand to take up the position of Chair of the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and why I endured the logistical difficulties of the role. My report to the Home Affairs Select Committee of 5 September 2016 and my earlier report to the Home Secretary of 10 August 2016 which followed my resignation as Chair of the Inquiry, both made absolutely clear that I regarded the Inquiry as critical and fundamentally important, and I continue to regard it as such.

"I consider it to be paramount that the IICSA successfully and fairly addresses the welfare of victims, making soundly based, achievable and workable recommendations that will be effective in protecting children now and for the future.

"I was not motivated to commit to this difficult Inquiry for money or perks. I was already in receipt of an equivalent salary package in New Zealand, where I had tenure of judicial office until December 2018 and a lifestyle I enjoyed. I had to give up that tenure and formally resign from the New Zealand judiciary to accept the post as chair of the Inquiry. I accepted the post and came to UK out of a desire to help the country solve its awful problems with institutional child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Victims could sue child sex abuse inquiry over trauma

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Martin Evans
16 OCTOBER 2016

Victims of child sex abuse are threatening to sue the independent inquiry set up to help them after complaining that it has increased their suffering.

One man, who was abused at an approved school in Devon in the 1970s, said he was considering seeking damages for the trauma he has endured as the inquiry lurches from one crisis to another.

It could lead to similar claims or the withdrawal of many of those who were due to give evidence.

Known only as Phil, the man, who is a member of the Forde Park Survivors Group, told BBC Radio 5 Live that every time the inquiry had a false start he was forced to relive the horror of the abuse he suffered as a child.

Last week further damaging revelations emerged about the inquiry’s former chairman, Dame Justice Lowell Goddard. She was accused of making inappropriate remarks, including some of a racist nature, during her time in post. ...

Child sex abuse inquiry | In numbers

£17.9m 2015/2016 budget
155 Staff members hired to date
3 Resignations of inquiry heads
33 Alleged victims of Lord Janner
188 Core participants in the inquiry
13 Separate historic abuse investigations carried out by the inquiry
2,000 Alleged child sex abuse victims who have contacted the inquiry

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Even victims say abuse probe should be halted: They demand fourth head of 'shambolic' sex inquiry is removed

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By REBECCA CAMBER and STEPHEN WRIGHT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

The crisis-hit probe into child abuse was dealt yet another blow last night as victims called for its fourth chairman to be sacked.

Professor Alexis Jay has lost the ‘respect, confidence and trust of survivors’ and her ‘shambolic’ inquiry should be suspended, victims told Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

The dramatic twist came before a review due to be published today by Professor Jay to scale back the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, as it threatens to run on for a decade and cost tens of millions of pounds.

Victims now want Miss Rudd to appoint a High Court judge to carry out a judicial review of the ‘shambolic management of the inquiry’.

Professor Jay, who has no legal experience, also faces claims of a ‘potential conflict of interest’ over her past as a social worker in Scotland, which critics say may taint her views about those abused while in the care of council staff.

The developments raise new questions about Theresa May’s judgement in hastily appointing the inquiry’s fourth chairman in two years, after Dame Justice Lowell Goddard quit in August.

Last night Imran Khan, a solicitor who represents 47 victims, wrote to Miss Rudd saying: ‘Professor Jay is not legally qualified; has no record in cross-examination or questioning of witnesses in a forum such as this; and has no experience of legal decision- making.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Ballarat’s children: cops shielded Catholic monster

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

October 17, 2016

PETER HOYSTED
ColumnistCanberra
@JacktheInsider

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

The extent of Victoria Police complicity in covering-up child abuse by clergy in the scandal-plagued diocese of Ballarat has been detailed by former senior members of the force who shunned the influence of the ­so-called Catholic Mafia.

An investigation by The Australian has confirmed extensive evidence of the force actively shielding wrongdoing and ­perverting the course of justice by forcing the transfer of a notorious clergyman rather than prosecuting him.

The details of how the late Monsignor John Day abused hundreds of children in the 1960s and 70s but was protected by the force — and the church — are outlined in a new podcast examining the rarely-discussed fact that police worked with the church hierarchy to protect ­offenders like him.

The podcast’s author, Peter Hoysted, co-wrote the book ­Unholy Trinity with former ­Mildura detective Denis Ryan. The book isthe definitive ­account of police complicity with the church in the northwestern Victorian city of Mildura in the 1960s and early ’70s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Louise O’Keeffe case led to mere trickle of settlements

IRELAND
Irish Times

Colm Keena

Louise O’Keeffe’s long and courageous battle to have the State held liable for the abuse she suffered at her primary school in Dunderrow, Co Cork, was deemed at the time to have likely consequences for the finances of the State.

This was because there were other alleged victims waiting to see if the European Court of Human Rights would find against the rulings of the Irish courts in relation to State responsibility for sex abuse in schools run by boards of management and not owned by the State. Reports said some 200 people might be affected.

When O’Keeffe lost in the Supreme Court in 2008, the State Claims Agency wrote to some of these people to say they should drop their cases or the State would pursue them for costs. Quite a few withdrew their claims against that background.

Twelve months after the January 2014 O’Keeffe ruling, the State said it would make out of court settlements with extant claims that fell within the terms of the ruling, and that were not statute barred. Seven months later it said it would make out of court settlements with claimants who had discontinued their cases where the cases came within the terms of the Strasbourg court’s ruling and were not statute barred at the time of discontinuence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Compensation bill for survivors of child abuse could hit £30m, campaigners warn

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish News

Ed Carty, Press Association
16 October, 2016

THE bill for compensating survivors of child abuse in Northern Ireland could run to £30 million, campaigners have warned.

Some 524 victims could be eligible to make claims over their treatment in institutions from 1922-1995, including at the notorious Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast and by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Campaigners are urging the Stormont Executive to agree to a special redress scheme, with basic payments starting at £10,000, to avoid lengthy, traumatic and expensive civil actions in the courts.

They said it could save £10m off the final bill.

Margaret McGuckin of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse, said: "It is now up to ministers to deliver.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

President Duterte says being sexually abused as a child was a prime driver in his politics

PHILIPPINES
9 News (Australia)

[with video]

Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs is heavily influenced by the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest, the president of the Philippines said in a remarkable interview with Al Jazeera.

More than 3500 people have been slaughtered by police and vigilante squads since Mr Duterte took office four months ago.

In his first interview since taking office, Mr Duterte was asked if the traumatic childhood experience had shaped his forthright policies and personal views.

"Yes, to a large extent actually," said Mr Duterte. "It is what you get on the way that shapes your character, and even your politics."

"It sort of blends into something which, it can be said forms your own values in life," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Institutional abuse redress scheme could cost £20m

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

Thousands of people who were in residential institutions in Northern Ireland would be entitled to individual payments of at least £20,000 if a proposed redress scheme published today were adopted by the Northern Executive.

The figure is included in detailed proposals for a compensation scheme, drawn up by accountants at the request of victims’ groups. The groups want the Executive to set up such a scheme now that the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry, has concluded its hearings.

The scheme, if accepted by the Executive, would cost at least £20 million. The victims and their representatives argue that if it were adopted, some £10 million would be saved in legal fees.

“The Executive Office should move with urgency to consult with victims and to then set up the redress scheme. We have waited for justice for long enough,” said Jon McCourt of Survivors North West.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Victims of Priests’ Abuse Face a Choice

NEW YORK
New York Times

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
OCT. 17, 2016

If you were sexually abused as a child by a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan wants to give you money. He announced a settlement program this month that will be run by an independent mediator, Kenneth Feinberg. It will review claims and decide on an amount, which church officials will not be able to alter or reject. The settlements will not be capped; the archdiocese has promised to pay whatever it takes, by selling assets or borrowing.

There are strings attached. The program is only for those who have previously filed abuse claims with the archdiocese, and there is a tight deadline to sign up: the end of January. (New claims will be covered by a second phase of the program, whose details are not yet announced.) Participants waive the right to sue, and the program is confidential. Its goal is to attack the problem the way church officials prefer: quietly and out of court.

Should survivors take the deal? It depends. Those who want to try to get on with their lives may find it appealing. They may weigh the promise of prompt payment — within two months, the archdiocese says — against the time, expense, hassle, exposure and uncertainty of going to court, which for many isn’t an option, because of New York’s statute of limitations. They can have confidence in the independence of Mr. Feinberg, who has built a solid reputation running settlement programs after 9/11, the BP oil spill and the Boston Marathon bombing.

But survivors should be aware of the limitations, and mindful of the deadline, which gives them only a few months to act. Mr. Feinberg says settlement programs need strict deadlines, because claimants can be procrastinators. That seems unduly harsh, given the guilt, shame and silence that enshroud sexual abuse. It’s one thing to come forward as a victim of a bombing, quite another to do so as a survivor of a pedophile priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

October 16, 2016

Sex inquiry team questioned over Goddard fiasco

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill, Andrew Norfolk
October 17 2016
The Times

Three senior figures at the national child abuse inquiry will be questioned by MPs tomorrow about the collapse of their working relationship with Dame Lowell Goddard, its former chairwoman.

Alexis Jay, Ivor Frank and Drusilla Sharpling were members of the inquiry’s panel of experts when Dame Lowell abruptly resigned from the inquiry in August.

They are understood to have been among a group of officials who reported their concerns about the New Zealand judge’s conduct at a secret meeting with Mark Sedwill, the Home Office’s top civil servant, on July 29.

The following week — on the day The Times detailed Dame Lowell’s long overseas absences from the inquiry — panel members and others are said to have confronted the judge to tell her that her position was untenable. She resigned immediately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Catholic lay organizations prepare for legal action on Yona property

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

As the weekly protests by Catholic activists continued yesterday outside the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, leadership of the respective lay organizations said they are preparing to take legal action in order to return control of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary property in Yona to the Archdiocese of Agana.

Beyond the recent allegations of child sexual abuse leveled against Archbishop Anthony Apuron in May, the return of the seminary has been a central point of contention for the past couple of years.

David Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, said a five-year window in which a complaint can be filed with the Superior Court of Guam to contest the declaration of deed restriction will close on Nov. 21. According to Sablan, there is a five-year statute of limitations on filing such complaints with the Superior Court of Guam.

"The statute of limitations on filing a complaint in Superior Court to have the Yona property returned to the patrimony of the Church will expire on 21 Nov. 2016," Sablan said. "We have five years from the date the Declaration of Deed Restriction was filed with the Department of Land Management on 22 Nov. 2011 to file a complaint in Superior Court to get the property back, and rightfully keep it as an asset of the Archdiocese of Agana."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte says being sexually abused as a child had major influence on his politics

PHILIPPINES
Telegraph (UK)

James Rothwell
16 OCTOBER 2016

Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, has said that being sexually abused as a child had a major impact on his politics, including a war on drugs which has left more than 3,000 people dead.

In his first interview since being sworn in as leader, Mr Duterte said his abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest largely shaped his personality and his political development.

Asked whether the experience affected his world view, Mr Duterte told Al Jazeera English: "Yes, to a large extent actually...it is what you get on the way that shapes your character, and even your politics.

"It sort of blends into something which, it can be said forms your own values in life," he added.

Mr Duterte, who won the Philippines' general election by a landslide last May, first revealed the abuse during a speech on the campaign trial in December 2015.

He claimed to have been molested by a priest named Father Paul Falvey at some point during the 1950s.

"That’s how we lost our innocence," he said at the time. He said he did not report the incident because “I was young then and I was afraid of what will happen.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Tribunal eclesiástico absuelve a sacerdote condenado por abusos

CHILE
La Tercera

[A church court has aquitted priest Francisco Cartes Aburto of abusing minors. This comes after a civil criminal court found him guilty in 2012 and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.]

Fallo a favor del religioso Francisco Cartes ocurre pese a que justicia penal lo condenó en 2013. Vicario Mario Molina dijo que no se hallaron “indicios de prueba que apunten a la culpabilidad”.

En un fallo unánime, el tribunal eclesiástico ad-hoc constituido en la diócesis absolvió de cargos al sacerdote curicano Francisco Cartes Aburto, condenado en 2012 a la pena de cinco años de presidio, con el beneficio de la libertad vigilada, por abuso sexual y exposición a actos de significación sexual contra un menor de edad.

Pese a que la sentencia de la justicia penal fue confirmada por la Corte Suprema en 2013, el tribunal eclesiástico desestimó los cargos y liberó de culpa al religioso, luego de dos años y medio de investigación interna.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Utah Jehovah’s Witnesses church forced woman to listen to audio of her rape, lawsuit says

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By COURTNEY TANNER | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Oct 14 2016

A woman is suing a Jehovah's Witnesses church in Weber County after, she says, one of its instructors repeatedly raped her when she was a minor and the organization's leadership forced her to listen to an audio recording of one of the assaults.

The woman filed the lawsuit Wednesday in 2nd District Court, accusing the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses church in Roy — as well as naming the alleged perpetrator, several church leaders and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (the religion's headquarters located in New York) — of knowingly allowing the "unfit" instructor to rise to a position of authority without warning members of his "dangerous propensities" and past sexual transgressions.

No representative of the Roy church, 1950 W. 4400 South, responded to a voicemail from The Salt Lake Tribune requesting comment Thursday.

The Tribune generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault. Because the man accused of assaulting the woman in this case has not been charged with a crime, The Tribune is not identifying him. It is not clear whether she reported the alleged incident to police, but members of the faith are encouraged to bring problems to elders in the church, rather than to outside authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Bellingham parents withdraw kids from Catholic school over sex offender controversy

WASHINGTON
Bellingham Herald

BY CALEB HUTTON
chutton@bhamherald.com

If a sex offender makes regular visits to an elementary school, who needs to know?

Some parents at Assumption Catholic School, a preschool and K-8 school in Bellingham, believe staff erred by waiting a year to warn all families of a parent who was a registered level II sex offender. At least three families were so concerned by the way the situation was handled that they withdrew their children from the school.

In August 2015, a man, 53, and his wife enrolled their daughter in preschool at Assumption. The man, who routinely dropped off his child at 2116 Cornwall Ave., had been on probation for sex offenses until late 2011. The school did not learn of his record until three months into the year.

In response, staff wrote a set of policies with guidance from the Seattle Archdiocese: At all times on campus the man would remain under supervision; he would not go on field trips with students; and he would not get out of the car when picking up or dropping off his child, unless staff accompanied him. Preschool parents were notified. Parents of children in kindergarten to eighth grade were not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

MPs set to quiz Theresa May on child abuse inquiry ‘cover-up’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

James Tapper
Saturday 15 October 2016

Theresa May is set to be called by MPs to explain whether the Home Office covered up allegations about the conduct of the former child sexual abuse inquiry chair, Dame Lowell Goddard.

The home affairs select committee announced that it is considering calling the prime minister after summoning the permanent secretary to the Home Office, Mark Sedwill. This follows the admission on Saturday by his department that it had been aware of concerns about Lowell’s conduct before she resigned on 4 August.

When home secretary Amber Rudd gave evidence to the select committee on 7 September, she told MPs that “all the information” she had was that Lowell had quit because she was “a long way from home” and “too lonely”.

The New Zealander has been accused of using racist language to colleagues at the child abuse inquiry, allegations she has described as “falsities”, “malicious” and part of a “vicious campaign”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Jehovah’s Witnesses get relief from appellate court

CALIFORNIA
San Diego Reader

By Dorian Hargrove, Oct. 15, 2016

The Watchotwer Tract Society, commonly referred to as the Jehovah's Witnesses, is asking a San Diego Superior Court judge to return the bond money it posted as a result of an August ruling from a California appellate court which found the $13.5 million dollar sexual assault judgement against the church was too harsh.

The church filed the motion to return the bond money on October 7.

Jose Lopez, now aged 38, filed his lawsuit in June 2012 alleging that elder church member, Gonzalo Campos, of the Linda Vista Spanish Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses molested him during bible study sessions when he was seven years old.

Campos had been accused of molesting young boys before. According to Lopez's complaint, senior church officials were aware of his behavior before the incident with Lopez had occurred. Three years before Campos allegedly assaulted Lopez, a 12-year-old boy who shared a room with Campos accused the then-18-year-old Campos of trying to have sex with him. During the following years, seven other church members lodged similar accusations against Campos, as well as the church for trying to bury the allegations. Now, only two complaints remain; Lopez's case, which will be sent back to the trial court for a new judgement amount, and a lawsuit from former Linda Vista congregation member Osbaldo Padron.

Padron sued Campos and the church over similar molestation charges in 2013. In that lawsuit Padron claims that Campos molested him on numerous occasions in 1994 and 1995. In June of this year, superior court judge Richard Strauss, as reported by the Reader, imposed $4000 per-day sanctions on the church for failing to turn over documents to Padron's attorneys during discovery. The church has since filed an appeal over those sanctions. The appellate court has yet to rule on the appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

‘Spotlight’ editor and ‘Weird Al’ share their stories at Poly gala

CALIFORNIA
The Tribune

BY KAYTLYN LESLIE
kleslie@thetribunenews.com

Ben Bradlee Jr. never thought he would inspire a movie — much less an Academy Award-winning one.

But he and his team of journalists at The Boston Globe did just that with their work uncovering sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, which won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Their work was portrayed in the film “Spotlight,” which took home the Oscar for Best Picture at the 2016 ceremony.

“Who knew that it would be: (A) a good movie, and (B) win an Academy Award?” Bradlee told The Tribune. “We never even thought a movie would really be made of this.”

Bradlee is now parlaying his experiences with both the Boston Globe reporting and subsequent filmmaking into a simple message: Investigative journalism is still important — possibly now more than ever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Former teacher, preacher sued for sex crimes

WEST VIRGINIA
Logan Banner

By Owen Wells - owells@civitasmedia.com

LOGAN, W.Va. — On October 17, 2015, the Logan Banner published a story detailing the arrest of a Logan County teacher for sexual abuse.

The teacher was John Cain, 49, of Mallory, W.Va., and now his victim has lodged a civil suit against Cain and the Logan County Board of Education.

Cain taught carpentry at Ralph R. Willis Career and Technical School, and was also preacher at the Big Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Mallory.

Cain is currently incarcerated and is due to serve more than 20 years for his actions against the student.

Attorney Steven Wolfe recently filed a civil action in Logan County Circuit Court on behalf of the student who is referred to in the documents as “Jane Doe.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Bill for compensating child abuse survivors could reach £30m say campaigners

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

The bill for compensating survivors of child abuse in Northern Ireland could run to £30 million, campaigners have warned.

Some 524 victims could be eligible to make claims over their treatment in institutions from 1922-1995, including at the notorious Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast and by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Campaigners are urging the Stormont Executive to agree to a special redress scheme, with basic payments starting at £10,000, to avoid lengthy, traumatic and expensive civil actions in the courts.

They said it could save £10m off the final bill.

Margaret McGuckin of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse, said: "It is now up to ministers to deliver.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

October 15, 2016

Parishioner doubts prostitution, drug charges against priest

OREGON
KVAL

EUGENE, Ore. - Tim Hershiser is the official bell ringer at St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church in Eugene where Daneil Mackay serves as a priest.

Police arrested Mackay on Wednesday on accusations involving a juvenile prostitute and cocaine.

"I'm sure everyone is praying for him right now," Hershiser said.

He is skeptical of the charges.

"This is probably, you know, something that happens," he said. "You know it happens periodically because we deal with, you, know homeless, and there's prostitutes. That's what the church is for: it's to help the, you know, the down trodden, needy, all of that."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Abuse inquiry into Church 'to be scaled back'

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Sat 15 Oct 2016
By Alex Williams

The national inquiry into how the Church of England, the Church in Wales and other bodies dealt with the sexual abuse of children is going to be scaled back, it has been reported.

The results of a review by chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay into the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) is expected to prompt a cut in the number of public evidence hearings next week.

One inquiry insider told The Times: "We need to make this inquiry manageable and deliverable within a reasonable timescale and without excessive costs."

Professor Jay, who previously led an inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham, became the IICSA's fourth chairwoman in August, following the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard.

The probe attracted more controversy in September when it's senior lawyer, Ben Emmerson QC, and a junior colleague, Elizabeth Prochaska, both stood down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Condenan al arzobispado de Santa Fe por un abuso cometido a un seminarista

ARGENTINA
La Nacion

José E. BordónPARA LA NACION
SÁBADO 15 DE OCTUBRE DE 2016

SANTA FE.- El arzobispado capitalino y los herederos del ex arzobispo de la arquidiócesis local, Edgardo Gabriel Storni, fallecido en 2012, pero acusado y condenado en 2009 por abuso sexual en contra de un seminarista, deberán abonar $ 756.000, a favor de Rubén Descalzo, quien inició una demanda por daños y perjuicios en 2004.

Ese escándalo obligó a Storni a renunciar a la titularidad de la diócesis de Santa Fe en 2002. Pero luego, en 2011, la Cámara de Apelación Penal de Santa Fe declaró la nulidad de esa sentencia.

Storni fue uno de los primeros altos prelados de la Iglesia Católica argentina en recibir una condena por el delito de abuso sexual. Había renunciado a conducir la grey santafesina inmerso en un escándalo desatado cuando la periodista Olga Wornat le dedicó un capítulo de su libro "Nuestra Santa Madre", en el que reveló conductas lujuriosas del prelado hacia seminaristas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

"Nunca me pidieron disculpas desde el Arzobispado", dijo una víctima de Storni

ARGENTINA
Telam

El caso Storni tomó repercusión en el año 2000, a partir de una denuncia publicada en el libro "Nuestra Santa Madre". La denuncia provocó conmoción en la ciudadanía. En setiembre de 2002, el entonces arzobispo santafesino renunció a su cargo.

Por Corresponsal

El ex seminarista Rubén Descalzo, quien abandonó la carrera religiosa tras sufrir explícitas insinuaciones e intentos de abuso sexual por parte del ex arzobispo santafesino Edgardo Gabriel Storni y que ahora la justicia resolvió resarcirlo económicamente condenando al Arzobispado santafesino, manifestó que "siempre esperé que desde el Arzobispado alguna persona se comunicara para ofrecer una disculpa, pero eso nunca sucedió".

Descalzo afirmó en declaraciones realizadas a LT10 Radio Universidad Nacional del Litoral que "fueron muchos años de espera; 25 años desde que sucedieron los hechos y 15 desde que empezamos con este proceso judicial. Esperar pacientemente durante tanto tiempo que se termine un tema, cerrar algo que te llevó la mitad de la vida, de alguna manera te genera satisfacción. Alegría no, alegría hubiera sido que nunca pase, pero sí satisfacción y alivio".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Argentine court fines Catholic church $50,000 for sex abuse

ARGENTINA
Digital Journal

A court in Buenos Aires on Saturday ordered the Catholic Church to pay $50,000 to a former seminarian who alleged he was sexually abused some 25 years ago by an Argentine archbishop.

The breakthrough ruling is the first civil court judgment against the majority Roman Catholic church in Argentina, legal experts said.

The court issued the judgment of 756,000 pesos against the church in the case of a theology student in the province of Santa Fe, who claimed to have been victimized by late Archbishop Edgardo Storni.

Seminary student Ruben Descalzo filed a lawsuit claiming he was sexually assaulted by Storni in 1992.

A court in 2009 found Storni guilty of the sex assault charges against him and sentenced him to eight years in prison, but the sentence was overturned two years later by an appeals court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Missglückter Neuanfang: Trierer Bischof entbindet wegen Untreue vorbestraften Priester nach Diebstahl von seinen Aufgaben

DEUTSCHLAND
Volksfreund

[(Trier) Bishop Stephan Ackermann has released a Trier diocesan priest from his duties. The Catholic priest had been caught shoplifting. This is not the first time that the 48-year-old has been in conflict with the law.]

(Trier) Bischof Stephan Ackermann hat einen Trierer Bistumspriester von seinen Aufgaben entbunden. Der katholische Geistliche war bei einem Ladendiebstahl ertappt worden. Nicht das erste Mal, dass der 48-Jährige mit dem Gesetz in Konflikt geraten ist.

Als R. vor drei Jahren seine neue Pfarrstelle in der Pfarreiengemeinschaft Linz am Rhein antrat, da bat der strafversetzte Geistliche die Gläubigen darum, ihm eine zweite Chance zu geben und „einen guten Neuanfang zu ermöglichen“. Freimütig räumte er seinerzeit ein, dass er seine bisherige Stelle in der Pfarreiengemeinschaft Hetzerath, Rivenich und Sehlem nicht freiwillig verlassen hatte, sondern „wegen finanzieller Unregelmäßigkeiten, die ich zu verantworten hatte“, gehen musste. „Möge Gott diesen Neuanfang segnen und stärken“, schrieb der Priester damals im Pfarrbrief seiner neuen Wirkungsstätte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Will stronger child sex abuse bill get a vote?

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Bill White

Rep. Mark Rozzi doesn't like hearing that it's too close to the election for legislators to support the strongest possible version of House Bill 1947, the child sexual abuse statute of limitations bill.

"That's somewhat disconcerting to me," he said. "Any representative or senator who would make a comment like that should be voted out."

Anyway, Rozzi isn't convinced voting in favor would be all that risky.

"The majority of people in Pennsylvania know what's going on," he said. "They want this to happen."

The last time I wrote about Berks County Democrat Rozzi, it still was unclear whether the House leadership would go along with his plan to discard the watered-down Senate version of the bill and restore its most important component to many survivors and advocates, the provision of some kind of retroactive access to the courts for victims of past abuse.

There was some sentiment that it would be wiser to accept the weaker bill and get it signed rather than risk returning it to a very uncertain fate in the Senate. After all, even as amended by the Senate, HB 1947 is a big improvement on the state's present law. And with more grand jury reports likely as a result of investigations into abuse in several Pennsylvania dioceses, including Allentown, a renewed effort to restore retroactive civil access would gain plenty of momentum in the next legislative session.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Child sex abuse inquiry: Dame Lowell Goddard must explain resignation, say MPs

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

MPs have asked the former head of the child sex abuse inquiry to explain her departure amid concerns the government was aware of misconduct claims.

Dame Lowell Goddard quit in August but denied a report on Friday alleging misconduct and racism against her.

The most senior civil servant in the Home Office has also been asked to explain to MPs what the government knew about her resignation.

Prime Minister Theresa May and the home secretary may also be asked to appear.

Asked if the inquiry was now an embarrassment, Mrs May told the BBC: "No, it's very important.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Home Office knew about fears over abuse judge

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter | Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
October 15 2016
The Times

MPs were given misleading information by the home secretary, it emerged last night as the government admitted that senior officials were alerted to concerns over the “professionalism and competence” of the judge leading the child abuse inquiry.

Amber Rudd told MPs last month that Dame Lowell Goddard quit her £500,000 post because she was homesick and lonely. Responding last night to revelations in The Times, the Home Office conceded that the judge was forced to stand down after officials close to Theresa May learnt of allegations about the New Zealander’s conduct.

Its statement was the first acknowledgement that the government was aware of concerns about Dame Lowell’s leadership of the £100 million inquiry before she resigned.

The Times reported yesterday that Home Office staff and advisers received warnings over several months about Dame Lowell’s allegedly offensive behaviour at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) but took no action to end her “catastrophic” tenure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

FILM REVIEW: TRINITY

UNITED STATES
Motifri

Michael is a troubled artist whose fragile psyche begins to crack after a chance run-in with the priest who abused him as a child. What follows is a walking dream state in which Michael attempts to rationalize and cope with his trauma, his emotions and his actions.

Skip Shea’s Trinity is a powerful drama with psychological horror overtones and is filled with a tense anxiety and strong performances. The cast overall holds their own while Sean Carmichael really stands out as Michael; his performance has a believable nervous confusion about it that adds an unexpected energy to the film.

Trinity is a very effective film in the way that it takes the viewer along Michael’s quest for inner peace and closure. The film’s intentionally awkward pacing and repetition of scenes and dialogue within scenes solidifies the surreal feeling that Shea accomplishes so well.

If you were looking for a stand-out independent feature that tackles some tough subjects, then I’d highly recommend Trinity. Trinity can be seen this Sunday, October 16, at 6:15pm at the Pawtucket Film Festival. For more info on screening time check out Pawtucketfilmfest.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Lebanon Catholic High School teacher charged with sexual assault of student

PENNSYLVANIA
WGAL

LEBANON, Pa. —A Lebanon County teacher has been charged with sexually assaulting a student over a period of several months.

Police say 27-year-old Jesus Omar Sandoval, a Spanish teacher at Lebanon Catholic High School, engaged in sexual activity with a teen on school property and at his residence in West Lebanon Township.

It happened between Oct. 2013 and April 2014 when the teen was 15 and 16-years-old. At that time, Sandoval was 24-years-old.

According to the criminal complaint filed by police, Sandoval obtained the teen's cell phone number and began texting about school-related items. Eventually, the conversation turned into flirtations, according to police.

The teen told police about visiting Sandoval's classroom after school hours and said they would kiss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Update on Story of Msgr. Tony Anatrella, Vatican "Expert" on Homosexuality: Archdiocese of Paris Sets Up Commission to Investigate Allegations

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

An update for you on a story we have discussed here in the past: as I told you this past May (here, here, and here), news reports surfaced in late April and early May in Dutch and French media of new allegations made against the Vatican's "expert" on homosexuality, Monsignor Tony Anatrella. Anatrella has a history of characterizing homosexuality as a psychological disorder that can be "cured" through "reparative" or "conversion" therapy. He was invited to the Vatican's Synod on the Family to advise the synod about the topic of homosexuality, and when a Vatican document instructing new bishops that they need not report allegations of sexual abuse by clergy to criminal authorities came to light and caused consternation, it was revealed that the document was citing Tony Anatrella in giving this advice.

The news reports to which the links above will point you indicate that, though rumors about inappropriate sexual behavior by Anatrella in a therapeutic context have floated around for a long time now, new allegations had begun to be made in the first part of this year — allegations that, in a therapeutic context and with claims that his behavior would "cure" young men sent to him for a "cure" of homosexuality, Anatrella crossed boundary lines and inappropriately touched these clients.

And here's the update I want to share with you now: several days ago, a group supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Lyons, Parole libérée, published an appeal to anyone who might have been molested by Anatrella to come forward. This appeal notes that the diocese of Paris has established a special commission to investigate complaints about Anatrella, to be chaired by Eric de Moulin Beaufort, auxiliary bishop of Paris et vicar general of the archdiocese of Paris.

As Malo Tresca notes for La Croix, the Paris archdiocesan commission to look into complaints about Anatrella's activities was set up in September. It has apparently been established because more victims have come forward with allegations similar to those previously made by former clients of Anatrella, of sexual "touching" in a therapeutic context, with claims that such "touching" has a curative effect on homosexuality. And as the Parole libérée announcement states, the hope is that, now that a commission has been set up to look into Anatrella's activities and as more people alleging inappropriate behavior by him in the context of therapy are coming forward, it may be expected that even more former clients will now feel free to speak out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Inquiry will be cut back to get it on track

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
October 15 2016
The Times

The national inquiry into child abuse is to be scaled back next week in a desperate attempt to keep it on track.

Alexis Jay, chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), is expected to announce the results of a wide-ranging review of how it will work in the future that will see a shift away from public evidence sessions.

An inquiry insider said: “We need to make this inquiry manageable and deliverable within a reasonable timescale and without excessive costs.”

More than two years after it was set up the inquiry has spent more than £20 million, recruited 167 staff, and amassed millions of pages of documents but has yet to hear any evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Judge ‘put under pressure’ to lead abuse investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill | Andrew Norfolk
October 15 2016
The Times

Dame Lowell Goddard said yesterday that she was put under pressure by Theresa May and her officials to accept the job as chairwoman of Britain’s largest and most ambitious public inquiry.

The New Zealand High Court judge, who resigned in August and has this week denied accusations of serious misconduct, said that in the weeks before she accepted the post in February last year she was still not sure that the role was right for her. She said that talks on her £500,000-a-year package began after she agreed to become the third chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

Dame Lowell was picked because she had conducted an inquiry into police handling of child abuse cases in New Zealand. However, a Privy Council judgment in 2005 criticised her management of a murder trial that some judges said had “gone off the rails”.

In a statement issued through her lawyers Dame Lowell, 67, said that she was approached by the British High Commission in November 2014 and spoke to John O’Brien, a senior Home Office official, by telephone just before Christmas that year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

British newspaper stands by story about misconduct allegations against former NZ High Court judge during UK child sex abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
TVNZ (New Zealand)

Emma Keeling

The chief reporter from The Times in Britain is standing by allegations the newspaper has made about former New Zealand High Court judge Dame Lowell Goddard.

Yesterday Dame Goddard released a statement strongly denying all the allegations of misconduct, including derogatory remarks the newspaper says she made when she was head of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Britain.

The Times alleges Whitehall officials close to British Prime Minister Theresa May have covered up the allegations against Dame Goddard.

Despite the threat of legal action, The Times chief reporter Sean O'Neill who wrote the articles, is confident they are accurate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Goddard faces censure over her silence

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Chief Investigative Reporter | Oliver Wright, Policy Editor
October 15 2016
The Times

Dame Lowell Goddard faces official censure by parliament for refusing to answer questions about her tenure as chairwoman of the investigation.

The home affairs select committee is to warn her that she has one last chance to co-operate with its inquiry into the workings of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. If she fails to answer MPs’ questions — either in person or by video link from home in New Zealand — she will be officially and publicly censured by the committee.

“She is still a sitting high court judge in New Zealand and to be censured for wilfully refusing to co-operate with an official House of Commons investigation will present serious reputational issues for her,” one member said.

The committee is expected to point out that Dame Lowell received a £90,000 payoff from public funds. Another source added: “She has not even been prepared to have a Skype call with us.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: This flawed child sex abuse inquiry needs a clear focus

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

What a deplorable fiasco the child sex abuse inquiry has become. Allegations of racism and misconduct against former chairman, Justice Lowell Goddard – coming shortly after the abrupt departure of the inquiry’s lead counsel Ben Emmerson and his junior – are just the latest in a catalogue of disasters.

Before mysteriously resigning, claiming it had been difficult to leave behind her family in New Zealand, Dame Lowell is said to have told colleagues that the growth of paedophilia in Britain was a result of the large number of Asian men living here, and complained of having to travel 50 miles from London to see a white face – all of which she denies.

She is also alleged to have thrown frequent tantrums, treated her staff with contempt and struggled to grasp key points of English law.

Disturbingly, the Home Office is accused of knowing about her shortcomings – but covering them up to avoid embarrassment. Two chairmen had already quit since the then Home Secretary Theresa May set up the inquiry in July 2014.

Certainly Dame Lowell was deeply unimpressive. In her first year in the £500,000-a-year job, she spent three months on holiday or overseas.

But unsuitable as she undoubtedly was, there is a much bigger problem with this inquiry. Its brief is so impossibly wide that in its present form it is doomed to failure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Advocacy group calls for removal of jailed priest’s supervisor

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Oct. 14, 2016

BANGOR, Maine — An organization that advocates for the victims of clergy abuse has called for the removal of the Greek Orthodox chancellor in Boston who oversaw a former Bangor priest now serving a prison sentence for sexually assaulting a teenage altar server.

Adam Metropoulos, 54, is incarcerated at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham. He was sentenced in March 2015 on four felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor following a jury-waived trial to 12 years in prison with all but 6½ years suspended. The charges stemmed from Metropoulos’ sexual assaults on a 15-year-old altar server at the church rectory in 2006 and 2007.

A press release issued by Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, this week called for the removal of the Rev. Theodore J. Barbas, chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. Barbas was responsible for oversight of Metropoulos, according to SNAP.

Metropoulos was suspended as pastor of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor the day after he was arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Dedicated day of prayer for clerical abuse survivors

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

October 15, 2016

By Claire O'Sullivan
Irish Examiner Reporter

The unprecedented move by the Catholic Church in this country is a response to a request by Pope Francis to bishops worldwide.

Abuse survivor, Marie Collins, who also sits on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Vatican, said the day “will make a difference to some victims as a gesture of acknowledgement of their hurt, and less so to others”.

Ms Collins said the day of prayer was the brainchild of a Canadian abuse survivor who asked her local church to include a prayer for survivors in its liturgy. The local priest refused. She then made a similar suggestion to the Commission for the Protection of Minors and Pope Francis liked the idea.

Last month, a new era of accountability began when it was decided by the Pope that the congregation of bishops and congregations of religious leaders in Rome will be able to discipline “deficient” bishops who have failed in safeguarding children. Up to now, such inquiries were carried out by the highly-secretive Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Eugene priest arrested in sex, drug case says he is ‘praying for everybody involved’

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
OCT. 15, 2016

A Eugene priest charged with paying for sex with an underage girl and also using her to traffic cocaine said Friday that he and his supporters are saying their prayers “for everybody involved” in the case.

Daniel James MacKay, 42, ­declined to discuss the allegations during a brief telephone conversation with a reporter. But he did offer a few general comments about the case, which authorities are continuing to investigate following his arrest on Wednesday.

“What I can say right now is that we’re very concerned, and we’re praying for everybody ­involved,” MacKay said.

He called the situation “deeply unfortunate.”

MacKay serves as priest at the St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church in ­Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood. He also works as a part-time ­instructor at Lane Community College, where officials ­canceled his classes on Thursday and Friday but haven’t yet taken any formal employment action against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Fetish priest defiles pregnant minor 25 times

GHANA
Ghana Web

A 25-year-old self-styled herbalist and fetish priest is in the grips of the Awutu Breku Police for allegedly defiling a 14-year old pregnant girl 25 times.

Chris Bonney, also known as Atongo who is a known fetish priest in the area was arrested after the 14-year old girl, who is one his numerous victims reported him to the police.

The pregnant minor found herself in the custody of Atongo after his 16-year old boyfriend Meshach Abbbam who he has dated for the past three years dragged her to the residence of the fetish priest to help abort a pregnancy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Archbishop Martin calls for balance in treatment of abusers

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
PUBLISHED
15/10/2016

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has warned that ostracising and "cutting off" those guilty of child sexual abuse increases the danger of them reoffending.

Archbishop Eamon Martin told child-safeguarding delegates from dioceses and religious orders: "In a society which demonises and clamours for permanent exclusion of such offenders, one wonders how to strike the balance between mercy and justice."

He made the remarks in an address to the National Child Safeguarding Conference in Tullamore, Co Offaly. The conference focused on some of the complex areas of child safeguarding and was addressed by abuse survivor 'Pauline', who told delegates how she felt the church's response to survivors could be improved.

Survivors

The Archbishop stressed that those clerics guilty of the sexual abuse of minors "cannot minister again as priests" and he cited Pope John Paul II, who said in 2002: "There is no place in the priesthood for those who would harm the young."

Conference delegates were told that part of the dilemma for the church was how to seek redemption for the offender while not compounding the "lifelong trauma" of survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

French churches plan day of prayer for sex abuse victims

FRANCE
The Local

French churches have announced plans for a day of prayer for victims of sex abuse within the Catholic Church.

France's Conference of Bishops made the decision to hold the day of prayer in churches across the country, Le Parisien reported on Friday.

At Lourdes - a major Catholic pilgrimage site - bishops will take part in a morning mass asking for the "forgiveness of sins". In the afternoon there will be talks on the fight against paedophilia, and a prayer for the victims. Some will also observe a 24-hour fast.

As well as the events at Lourdes, priests all over the country have been invited to participate by holding special masses and prayers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Archdiocese of Hartford Settles Sexual Abuse Claim Against Priest

CONNECTICUT
WNPR

[with audio]

By RAY HARDMAN

The Archdiocese of Hartford has agreed to settle a 16-year-old sexual abuse claim against one of its priests.

According to a press release issued by the plaintiff 's lawyers, "John Doe" as he was known in court documents was repeatedly abused, battered, and sexually assaulted over a six month period by Edward Warnakulasuriya, also known as Edward Tissera, a Sri Lankan priest who at the time was the associate pastor at St. John the Evangelist Church in Watertown.

The abuse started in October 2000 when the plaintiff was 13 years old.

The plaintiff's attorneys did not disclose the dollar amount of the settlement, which was mediated by Hartford Superior Court Judge Antonio Robaina.

"We settled this matter without a single deposition being taken, which saved our client the extreme emotional distress and burden that would have come with being deposed and reliving his painful experiences," said "John Doe's" attorney, Ernie Teitell. "In fact, pleadings were not even closed and limited discovery was exchanged when the case was settled."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

How Powerful Men Get Away With It

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast

Before I wrote a book on Trump, I wrote one about the Catholic priest abuse scandals. And I see a heck of a lot of similarities.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO
10.14.16

Although they have never been recognized as a constituency, millions of American voters—men as well as women—have been sexually abused, and for them, the presidential campaign has become a riveting drama and a source of fresh pain. They recognize themselves in the women who have come forward to report gross encounters with Donald Trump, and they see in the much of the response to their charges a familiar kind of deflection and denial.

Before I published a current biography of Donald Trump called The Truth About Trump, I authored a history of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. This work required me to research the behaviors of sexual predators, to learn the lifelong effects of the wounds they inflict, and to understand the dynamics that prevent so many victims from coming forward to speak the truth for years, and even decades.

They stay silent out of shame, a false sense that they are responsible for what happened to them, and because they fear being ostracized, scorned, and worse if they speak up. (Catholic institutions have actually counter-sued victims who lose in court, demanding payment to cover legal costs.) Predatory men, and almost all the cases I studied involved men, understand the fears that keep people quiet and play on them to escape accountability.

Because sexual predators are generally compulsive and fixated on certain kinds of victims, they tend to repeat their aggression in the same manner. They may age, but the people they victimize are often roughly the same age. The need they seek to satisfy is so ingrained that they use the same methods every time. And if they are not caught, they continue to offend. One predator priest in Louisiana had hundreds of documented victims. ...

So far the Trump scandal is playing out in a way consistent with what was seen in literally thousands of Catholic parishes around the world, where first one, then two, and then a torrent of complaints were lodged against specific priests. In no case did the mere volume, or the consistency of the stories, constitute proof beyond a reasonable doubt. However, in all but a tiny percentage, victims have been found to be telling the truth, and the result has been settlements running into the billions of dollars and prison terms for more than a hundred priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

October 14, 2016

May ‘must have known’ about concern over Goddard

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk, Sean O’Neill, Oliver Wright
October 14 2016
The Times

It would have been “inconceivable” for Theresa May to be unaware of concerns about the behaviour of the chairman of the child sexual abuse inquiry, a former minister claimed as MPs prepared to launch an investigation into the allegations.

The Times revealed today that Home Office staff and advisers received warnings about Dame Lowell Goddard’s allegedly offensive behaviour in her role as chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) but did not end her “catastrophic” leadership.

It is claimed that her aggressive and abusive conduct at times reduced the inquiry’s operation to “near paralysis” while she was also heard to make “racist” remarks.

One former minister, who worked closely with Mrs May when she was home secretary, said the way in which she ran her department meant it was “not plausible” that the concerns had not crossed her desk as she demanded to be kept abreast of all developments.

“It is inconceivable that she did not know,” the former minister said. “The level of detail she demanded and the way in which she micromanaged the department would make that impossible.”

Next week the home affairs select committee is due to hear from Alexis Jay, who replaced Dame Lowell as chairwoman. She was an adviser to the committee while Dame Lowell was in charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

SAM GREENHILL: Catastrophic reign of 'racist tyrant who quit in a fit of pique before going out for lunch'

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By SAM GREENHILL FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Dame Lowell Goddard ruled her inquiry like a 'monstrous tyrant' and finally quit in a fit of petulance before going out for lunch, it was claimed yesterday.

Her doomed reign was allegedly peppered with expletive-ridden tantrums and racist diatribes that left horrified staff feeling 'totally paralysed'.

But last night, the New Zealand judge issued a stinging rebuttal of the claims against her, adding that the lunch on the day she resigned was 'simply sandwiches' with her husband on his birthday.

She rejected accusations that she flew into rages at junior staff, insisting relations were so warm she even greeted the cleaner by name every day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Dame Lowell: 'Racist' and 'aggressive' or just forthright?

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

Tom Parmenter
News Correspondent

During her 18-month stint leading the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry, Dame Lowell Goddard said many of the things you would expect.

She talked about building trust with survivors, respecting their rights, and her inquiry adopting a rigorous unflinching pursuit of the truth.

She quit in August complaining the inquiry was just too big, but now faces unseemly allegations of being "aggressive", "abusive," and even "racist," behind closed doors.

Now, one person's "aggressive" is another person's "forthright."

Though it is the alleged racist remarks that make the story so staggering.

Is it really possible this highly educated, massively experienced judge uttered to colleagues some ugly and plainly untrue ideas that stigmatised Britain's Asian community?

New Zealander Lowell Goddard has Maori heritage, has overseen many high profile cases and has sat on a UN committee on the prevention of torture.

People within the inquiry tell me they have struggled to find anyone who identifies with the idea of her as the closet racist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Dame Lowell Goddard: concerns were raised, Home Office reveals

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville
Friday 14 October 2016

The Home Office admitted for the first time on Friday that concerns about the conduct and professionalism of Dame Lowell Goddard had been raised with it six days before she resigned as chair of the national public inquiry into child abuse.

Goddard had earlier branded the claims made in the Times, including the suggestion that she linked Britain’s child abuse problem to its population of Asian men, “totally false”.

In a statement, the Home Office said that concerns were raised about Goddard by people within the inquiry on 29 July. They were advised to take their worries up with the chair. Six days later, Goddard resigned.

The admission that there were issues of concern that led to the resignation raised questions about the evidence given by the home secretary, Amber Rudd, to MPs on the matter. Rudd told the home affairs select committee last month that Goddard had quit in August because she was lonely. She made no mention of her department being made aware of concerns about the conduct of the New Zealand judge.

Making her debut appearance in front of the influential home affairs select committee in Westminster, Rudd, citing a letter from Goddard, said: “I think she went … because she found it too much for her, and although she could contribute to it and there was some good work done in the past year, ultimately she found it too lonely.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

The inquiry into historical child sex abuse must swiftly recover from its previous mishaps

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Editorial

The torrent of revelations in recent years about child sexual abuse – by celebrities, by institutions, by grooming gangs – has shocked the British public. As each new outrage presented itself, it became apparent that for decades children in this country were preyed upon by a range of repugnant individuals. Even worse, the discovery of systemic grooming of children by gangs from Rochdale to Oxford and Rotherham to Derby made it plain that young people were still being failed by those whose responsibility it was to keep them safe.

The establishment of a wide-ranging inquiry into the complex and unsettling issues raised by these and other cases was supposed to provide some answers, to be a means by which new evidence of abuse could be assessed and perhaps help victims get some justice – insofar as that can ever be possible. As things stand, however, the inquiry has been nothing short of a shambles.

Even before it was officially opened, two chairwomen had been and gone, with Lady Butler-Sloss and Dame Fiona Woolf both quitting after questions were raised about possible conflicts of interest. Then-Home Secretary Theresa May, who had appointed both women, announced that the inquiry would be placed on a statutory footing and led by the highly respected New Zealander Dame Lowell Goddard, whose long experience as a judge and lack of direct connection to the British establishment raised hopes that it would be third time lucky.

As she opened the inquiry in July last year, Dame Lowell made clear that its broad remit would necessitate a lengthy period for the assessment of evidence. She anticipated that a report might be achievable in five years’ time. But little more than 12 months on and Dame Lowell herself departed the scene, citing her career and family life, amid criticism of the amount of time she had spent on holiday or working outside the UK. She had become Britain’s highest paid civil servant when she was appointed chair of the inquiry, yet left it rudderless once again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Cardinal Pell seeks top silk Robert Richter’s over sex claims

AUSTRALIA
The Weekend Australian

October 15, 2016

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

Cardinal George Pell has sought the advice of one of Australia’s leading criminal barristers and is considering legal action for defamation as police sift through ­historical sex abuse claims against one of the Vatican’s most senior figures.

The Weekend Australian can reveal that Cardinal Pell engaged Robert Richter QC for advice after contested claims surfaced this year that he had assaulted children in his former home in the city of Ballarat nearly 40 years ago, where his career began.

Mr Richter, who represented gangland figure Mick Gatto when he was charged with murder but later acquitted in 2005, is considered the standout criminal barrister in Victoria and possibly Australia.

The church did not detail the extent to which Cardinal Pell had sought Mr Richter’s ­advice but said the cardinal would continue to defend his position.

Mr Richter is believed to have been one of several legal figures consulted over the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. William F. Hough

MINNESOTA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: William F. Hough was ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Paul in 1963. He assisted at parishes in the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, then pastored in Minneapolis and Marystown. He retired in 1991 and died in 1994. In September 2016 the archdiocese announced that there was a substantiated claim that Hough sexually abused a minor 1963-1966. He was an assistant at St. Mary's in St. Paul during that time.

Ordained: 1963
Died: August 15, 1994

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

What took so long to address child abuse? (column)

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Rep. Mark Rozzi October 14, 2016

The Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight” showcases what is now recognized as the global tragedy of childhood sexual abuse. The opening scene captures the central conflict as it played out in the Archdiocese of Boston.

The film begins with a late-night scene at a neighborhood police station. A local priest has been brought in for questioning as a distressed single mother and a livid uncle are in the back room complaining that a priest has molested the family's children. They are there to press criminal charges.

But, with help from the assistant district attorney, the bishop is summoned to the station to quietly assure the family that the priest will be taken out of the parish, and they’re told, “This will never happen again.”

A rookie cop asks a veteran cop what the press will do when the charges are read at the arraignment. He’s told, “What arraignment?” The older cop has seen this before. He knows the priest will walk.

The bishop and priest then quietly slip out of the station, into the back seat of a black sedan and into the dark night.

The priest being portrayed is the notorious Father John Geoghan. With over 150 victims, he is one of the worst serial molesters in the history of the Catholic Church.

Geoghan was murdered in prison by his cellmate in 2003. Most predators, however, having never been even arrested for their crimes, are still out there. And they could be your neighbor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Church’s $100,000 abuse payout

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Liam Croy and Nick Butterly - The West Australian on October 15, 2016

The Catholic Church in WA has paid a woman $100,000 in compensation and pulled down and destroyed a memorial honouring the once-revered priest who abused her.

The Church has acknowledged former Floreat priest Father Peter McCudden abused Tasmanian woman Wendy Holder when she was visiting relatives in Perth in 1965. She was 13 at the time.

The Church paid Mrs Holder $75,000 in 2003 and offered her another $25,000 this year as a “gesture of goodwill”.

At the time of the 2002 compensation agreement, the Church promised to remove a plaque memorialising McCudden from the wall of his former parish church, St Cecilia’s in Floreat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Pastor sentenced to life for child rape

OHIO
Sandusky Register

COURTNEY ASTOLFI • UPDATED OCT 7, 2016

A Sandusky pastor was convicted of child rape and sentenced to life in prison Friday at the conclusion of a tumultuous trial.

A jury found Richard Mick, 55, of Lighthouse Baptist Church, guilty on four felony counts, two of which carried a mandatory life sentence.

Mick raped a young girl on two occasions, and fondled a young boy multiple times. Both were members of his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Abuse inquiry soap opera is a diversion from what survivors deserve

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Nick Hopkins

The allegations of racism levelled at Lowell Goddard – which she has denied – represent the latest dispiriting episode in the soap opera known as the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

The investigation has certainly, and in some instances rightly, become a piñata for critics who say it is too big, too unwieldy and too shambolic. As it has lost three chairs, its senior legal team and any dignity it once had, they have a point.

Not easy, then, for the new chair, Prof Alexis Jay, who is expected to address some of these issues when she gives evidence to the home affairs select committee next week; sources suggest she is likely to accept she cannot oversee all 13 elements of the inquiry, instead appointing heads for each one and retaining an overarching role.

That will not be enough to stop the snipers who want the inquiry abandoned, and it may infuriate some survivors’ groups, who risk being stripped of “core participant” status as part of Jay’s rationalisation. So expect more argument – the inquiry will remain a mess for the time being.

But it is important to disentangle the myriad problems of process from the clear higher goal – to investigate the extent and causes of child abuse in Britain, however difficult and uncomfortable that might prove.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Domspatzen: Kardinal Müller will nichts mehr sagen

DEUTSCHLAND
katholisch

[According to the Bavarian Rundfunks (BR), the former Regensburg bishop and current Prefect of the Congregation for the Congregation for the Congregation of the Holy Father, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, will not comment on the new developments in the ill-treatment and abuse pf boys at the Regensburg Cathedral. The congregation said the cardinal is no longer concerned with the matter. As a bishop of Regenburg, he had initiated enlightenment on the issue with a pastoral letter in 2010 and left all his documents to his successor when he was summoned to Rome in 2012.]

Am Mittwoch wurde ein Zwischenbericht zur Aufarbeitung der Missbrauchsfälle bei den Domspatzen vorgestellt. Dazu will sich der ehemalige Regensburger Bischof Kardinal Müller offenbar nicht mehr äußern.

Missbrauch | Regensburg/Vatikanstadt - 13.10.2016

Nach Angaben des Bayerischen Rundfunks (BR) will sich der ehemalige Regensburger Bischof und jetzige Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation im Vatikan, Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, nicht zu den neuen Entwicklungen bei der Aufklärung von Misshandlungen und Missbrauch bei den Regensburger Domspatzen äußern. Die Angelegenheit betreffe Müller heute nicht mehr, ließ die Kongregation den BR nach dessen Angaben am Donnerstag wissen. Als Bischof von Regensburg habe er 2010 mit einem Hirtenbrief die Aufklärung in die Wege geleitet und bei seiner Berufung nach Rom 2012 sämtliche Unterlagen seinem Nachfolger hinterlassen, berichtete der BR weiter unter Berufung auf die Antwort der Glaubenskongregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Will clergy sex abuse cripple church?

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Oct. 5, 2016

Gallup Diocese bankruptcy costs top $4.1 million

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

ALBUQUERQUE – The Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy costs have surpassed $4.1 million as attorneys, accountants and other professionals in the case are submitting their final compensation applications for approval to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma.

According to the court file, the following professionals have submitted payment applications totaling $4,110,970. Under the Gallup Diocese’s plan of reorganization, a trust of approximately $22,975,000 was funded by the diocese, seven other Catholic entities and three insurers, with the bulk of the funds going to compensate clergy abuse claimants.

* Quarles & Brady LLP: The Diocese of Gallup’s general reorganization and restructuring legal counsel submitted a final application totaling $2,343,917. That figure includes $2,234,013 for professional fees and $109,904 for expenses. However, the law firm voluntarily wrote off and reduced its legal fees by $324,376. Quarles & Brady’s application for payment was filed Aug. 26 and was approved by Thuma on Sept. 21.

* Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP: This California law firm served as the legal counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which represented the interests of clergy sex abuse claimants in the bankruptcy case. Although the law firm requested fees of $1,168,031 and expenses of $98,203 for a total of $1,266,234, the firm wrote off $240,481 and also agreed to a voluntary reduction of $245,394, bringing the final total down to $1,020,839. The firm’s application for payment, filed Sept. 23, is pending with the court.

* Keegan, Linscott & Kenon P.C: This Tucson accounting firm oversaw the Gallup Diocese’s finance office. The firm submitted an application for $486,081, which includes $475,925 in fees and $10,155 in expenses. However, the application, which was filed Sept. 2, states the firm “will ultimately be paid a lesser amount” based on a professional charges cap outlined in the plan of reorganization. The specific reduction amount is not stated.

* Walker & Associates P.C.: The diocese’s Albuquerque bankruptcy law firm filed a final fee application Aug. 26. The firm requested payment of $145,675, which includes professional fees, expenses and New Mexico gross receipts taxes. The court approved the request Sept. 26.

* Insurance Archaeology Group: On Sept. 1, a final application for professional compensation was formally submitted to the court on behalf of this insurance research firm. However, court records indicate the Gallup Diocese has already paid the total amount of fees and expenses of $48,819.

* Unknown claims representatives: This official’s responsibility is to represent the interests of any clergy sex abuse claimant who might come forward in the future. The first unknown claims representative was Michael P. Murphy, who resigned earlier in the year. Upon his resignation, Murphy waived his professional fee but was paid $7,291 for expenses. The current representative is Michael R. Hogan, a retired judge. On Aug. 31, Hogan submitted an application for payment of $45,363, which includes $40,232 for fees and $5,130 for expenses.

* Stelzner, Winter, Warburton, Flores, Sanchez & Dawes P.A.: Also on Aug. 31, the diocese’s special counsel law firm in Albuquerque submitted a final application for $12,985. That figure includes $12,478 in legal fees and $507 in expenses and New Mexico gross receipts taxes.

These costs comprise most of the professional fees and expenses in the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case. However, the diocese has also paid $45,000 in fees for property auctions in Phoenix and Albuquerque; $22,100 for property appraisals; and a number of smaller bankruptcy-related fees and expenses to other professionals and diocesan employees. In addition, the diocese has been paying quarterly fees of $5,200 to the U.S. Trustee Program, which oversees the administration of bankruptcy cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Youth pastor faces sexual assault charges

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

BY KATIE O'TOOLE WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12TH 2016

NEW PARIS - The former youth pastor of Faith Brethren Bible Church is facing indecent assault charges after he admitted to having a sexual relationship and impregnating a 15-year-old girl.

Jim Espenshade, senior pastor, said that Wesley Blackburn's wife called him in tears, and told him about the affair, adding that the girl was now pregnant.

"(I feel) disappointed, betrayed, stabbed in the back. I have a 14-year-old granddaughter. When I heard what he did - upset is a good word for it," Espenshade said.

Espenshade said Blackburn told his wife he did not love her anymore, and wanted a divorce.

"She said 'I don't know what to do,' and I said 'I do,'" he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Pennsylvania pastor charged with impregnating 15-year-old girl from his youth group

PENNSYLVANIA
New York Daily News

BY
TOBIAS SALINGER
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Pennsylvania pastor faces charges he impregnated a 15-year-old girl from his youth group during a seven-month sexual relationship, according to reports.

The wife of Wesley Blackburn, youth pastor at Faith Brethren Bible Church, told the New Paris church’s head pastor he had confessed to the relationship and asked for a divorce, senior pastor Jim Espenshade told WJAC-TV on Wednesday.

Espenshade and other church leaders immediately fired Blackburn, a 35-year-old father of five, and alerted police last week. He was charged Oct. 6 on hundreds of counts of statutory sexual assault and indecent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Pastor Arrested After Allegedly Impregnating 15-Year-Old Girl From His Youth Group

PENNSYLVANIA
Inside Edition

A Pennsylvania pastor faces nearly 170 criminal charges after he allegedly impregnated a 15-year-old girl from his youth group during a seven-month sexual relationship, authorities said.

Wesley Blackburn, 35, was arrested after his wife told Faith Brethren Bible Church’s head pastor last Thursday that her husband had confessed to what was called an “affair,” WJAC-TV reported.

Blackburn allegedly told his wife that he no longer loved her anymore, that he wanted a divorce and that the teen was pregnant.

“She said, ‘I don’t know what to do,’ and I said, ‘I do,’” Senior Pastor Jim Espenshade, told the television station, saying that within minutes he and the rest of the church leaders met, fired Blackburn and called the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

At least 15 people claim priests at Granby school sexually abused them, lawyer says

CANADA
CBC News

By Antoni Nerestant, CBC News Posted: Oct 14, 2016

At least 15 people have come forward alleging they were sexually abused at a boarding school in Granby in the 1970s, according to the lawyer representing a plaintiff.

A 56-year-old man filed a class-action request Wednesday, alleging he was sexually abused more than 300 hundred times by a priest, Father Claude Lebeau, at Mont-Sacré-Coeur College between 1973 and 1975.

The request was filed against Les Frères Du Sacré-Coeur congregation, which owns the now-secular school.

Robert Kugler, the lawyer for the alleged victim, said over the last 24 hours, he has been getting non-stop calls from other people who say they were sexually assaulted at the same school.

Although many of the people who have come forward claimed they were sexually abused by Lebeau, Kugler says other priests have been accused as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

RI Supreme Court Justice Flaherty accused of ethics violations

RHODE ISLAND
WPRO

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An ethics complaint filed against a Rhode Island Supreme Court justice says he failed to disclose his service on the board of a Catholic lawyers’ group.

The complaint says Judge Francis Flaherty headed the St. Thomas More Society of Rhode Island but didn’t disclose it in filings with the state ethics commission.

The commission is scheduled to consider the complaint Tuesday. It was filed by a woman who sued the Diocese of Providence after saying she was abused by Brendan Smyth, a notorious pedophile priest.

The woman’s lawsuit was dismissed due to the statute of limitations. Flaherty wrote a Supreme Court decision in June rejecting her appeal.

The woman says Flaherty should have recused himself because diocesan officials are involved in the group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Des dizaines de victimes alléguées se manifestent

CANADA
Le Devoir

[Lawyers who filed a class action against the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Wednesday were inundated with calls from other potential victims of those who were at Mount Sacred Heart College of Granby.]

13 octobre 2016 |Philippe Orfali

Les avocats ayant intenté une action collective contre les Frères du Sacré-Coeur étaient mercredi submergés d’appels provenant d’autres victimes potentielles de ceux qui géraient autrefois le collège Mont Sacré-Coeur de Granby, éclaboussé par des allégations d’agressions sexuelles envers d’ex-pensionnaires.

Quarante ans après les agressions sexuelles alléguées par une victime identifiée par la seule lettre « A » dans une demande d’autorisation d’action collective, les langues se délient. Mercredi, « plusieurs dizaines » d’hommes affirmant avoir eux aussi été agressés sexuellement par le frère Claude Lebeau pendant leur passage au collège sont entrés en communication avec les avocats chargés du dossier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

La journée de prière pour les victimes d'abus sexuels sera organisée le 7 novembre

FRANCE
franceinfo

[The day of prayer in France for the victims of sexual abuse will be held on November 7.]

Une des réponses de l'Eglise aux scandales de pédophilie. La Conférence des évêques de France (CEF) organisera une "journée de prière et de pénitence" pour les victimes d'abus sexuels le 7 novembre. Cette annonce intervient après des mois de révélations d'affaires de pédophilie dans plusieurs diocèses français, dont celui de Lyon. Parmi ces affaires, celle du père Bernard Preynat, prêtre lyonnais soupçonné d'avoir abusé plus de 60 jeunes scouts, a terni l'image du cardinal Philippe Barbarin, primat des Gaules.

Le principe de cette journée mondiale avait été annoncé le 12 septembre par le Vatican, à l'initiative du pape François, qui a confié à chaque conférence épiscopale le choix de la date et des modalités.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Un prêtre psychanalyste une fois de plus dans la tourmente

FRANCE
Le Devoir

[Paris - The Paris diocese of the Catholic Church, once again struggling with suspicion of sexual assault within it, said Monday it has established a commission to hear from former patients denouncing the practices of Tony Anatrella, a psychoanalyst priest.]

Paris — Le diocèse de Paris de l’Église catholique, une nouvelle fois aux prises avec des soupçons d’agressions sexuelles en son sein, a annoncé lundi avoir créé une commission pour entendre d’anciens patients dénonçant les pratiques d’un prêtre psychanalyste.

Cette commission, dont l’existence a d’abord été rendue publique par une association lyonnaise de victimes à l’origine de la révélation de scandales de pédophilie ces derniers mois, est active depuis septembre, a confirmé à l’AFP le diocèse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Film: Missbrauchsopfer der Kirche klagen an

OSTERREICH
religion@orf

[A documentary has been produced showing the lives of nine Austrians who were abused by priests and nuns.]

Ein Dokumentarfilm zeigt das Leben von neun Österreichern, die von Priestern und Nonnen missbraucht wurden. In dem Film „Die Kinder lassen grüßen“ von Patricia Marchart sprechen die Betroffenen offen über das, was ihnen angetan wurde.

Es ist das erste Mal, dass sich Frauen und Männer, die von österreichischen Kirchenangehörigen sexuell missbraucht wurden, in einem Film zeigen und ihre Erlebnisse schildern. „Begleitet von der Kamera suchen die Betroffenen die Tatorte von damals auf, viele machen ihre Geschichten erstmals öffentlich, ihre Familien erfahren mitunter zum ersten Mal von diesem verschwiegenen Schmerz“, heißt es in einer Aussendung über den Film.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

„Ein Gesprächspartner, dem Sie vertrauen können.“

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg Digital

[After eight months, diocese and victims of violence and abuse at the Domspatzen have agreed on a way of working. "A peace is within reach," says ex-Domspatz student Alexander Probst.]

Von Stefan Aigner in Nachrichten

Nach acht Monaten haben sich Bistum und Betroffene von Gewalt und Missbrauch bei den Domspatzen auf einen Weg der Aufarbeitung geeinigt. „Eine Befriedung ist zum Greifen nah“, sagt Ex-Domspatz Alexander Probst. Der Bischof ruft auch Betroffene aus anderen Einrichtungen auf, sich zu melden.

So viel Medienrummel war selten. Es ist mehr als sechs Jahre her, seit sich das letzte Mal Fernsehsender von ARD und ZDF bis hin zu RTL bei einer Pressekonferenz des Bistums Regensburg eingefunden haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Chronologie eines unglaublichen Skandals

DEUTCHSLAND
Mittelbayerische

[Chronology of an incredible scandal at the Regensburg cathedral school.]

Seit 2010 ist bekannt, dass bei den Domspatzen Buben misshandelt wurden. Die Aufarbeitung kommt nur sehr langsam voran.

30.08.2007: Pfarrer von Riekofen verhaftet

Der Pfarrer von Riekofen gesteht 22 sexuelle Übergriffe auf einen Ministranten und wird 2008 dafür verurteilt. Das Bistum muss sich den Vorwurf der Mitschuld gefallen lassen. Bereits 1999 hatte sich der damalige Kaplan in Viechtach an Jungen vergangen. Als vorbestrafter Sexualstraftäter hätte er nicht mehr mit Kindern arbeiten dürfen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Board: No more archdiocesan funds for seminary

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

The board of directors of th