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January 19, 2017

Report cites pastoral protection in Virginia abuse case

UNITED STATES
Mennonite World Review

Jan 19, 2017 by Mennonite World Review staff

An external review of responses to reports of sexual abuse in a Virginia congregation has led Mennonite Church USA staff to conclude the lead pastor acted in ways that protected the alleged perpetrator, to the detriment of caring for the victim.

In their response to the report, the staff members recommend ways to prevent future problems, including “regular trainings on healthy boundaries” for all pastors in the denomination.

On Jan. 14, MC USA released a report by D. Stafford and Associates, along with a list of findings by MC USA Executive Board staff. The findings state that Pastor Duane Yoder of Lindale Mennonite Church near Harrisonburg did not disclose everything he knew about allegations of sexual abuse that have been deemed credible.

According to the findings, “on multiple occasions, the decisions, actions and inactions of Pastor Yoder resulted in protection of [former Eastern Mennonite University vice president of enrollment Luke] Hartman rather than support for [Lauren] Shifflett,” who approached Lindale staff.

The investigation was formally requested by Virginia Mennonite Conference in May. On March 20, Lindale pastors and elders acknowledged that an alleged “abusive relationship” involving Hartman was brought to staff attention in August 2014 when Shifflett approached associate pastor Dawn Monger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

‘Predator!’ Neighbor Of Paula Deen’s ‘Pedophile’ Priest Says He Hid Sick Double Life

GEORGIA
Radar Online

By Melissa Parrelli
Posted on Jan 19, 2017

As police dig into their suicide investigation of Paula Deen’s alleged “pedophile” priest brother-in-law , Henry Groover III, neighbors told RadarOnline.com that they are completely “shocked” and “saddened” to hear that an accused “sexual predator” was so close to their children for all these years!

Henry — known as Hank by longtime neighbors who told Radar they consider themselves “like family” — is the brother of Deen’s husband Michael Groover and the man Deen called her “spiritual advisor.” In fact, he had been spending time on the Groover family compound in Savannah for the past two months, according to neighbors, after bouncing back-and-forth between New Orleans and Texas for his work as a priest.

A few neighbors, who choose to remain anonymous, told Radar that they grew up with brothers Hank, Mike and Nick in the same neighborhood where the Groover family has had property for decades. One said they “have nothing but good things to say about the whole family.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

When your beloved pastor/priest turns into your betrayer

NIGERIA
Pulse

Inemesit Udodiong

Growing up in Nigeria, the only person that offers the type of peace, security that you should expect from parents is your priest in my case, pastors in other cases.

In fact, some children/young adults would often run to the church for refuge when the home fails to provide the safety they need.

Thus, the church becomes this sanctuary in a hostile world, while the Men of God become the closest thing to our Father in Heaven.

So, it is safe to say that any form of sexual abuse by these highly regarded people is something that can not even be imagined.

Unfortunately, the sad, painful reality is that these things happen. Sometimes, our beloved pastor becomes our very own worst nightmare.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Prete accusato orge, 9 donne coinvolte

ITALIA
ANSA

[A priest is accused of having orgies and nine women were involved.]

E' una storia boccaccesca che pare senza fine quella delle orge in canonica organizzate da un prete padovano, don Andrea Contin, con parrocchiane e altri amici sacerdoti. Emerge dall'inchiesta che sono almeno nove le donne che avrebbero avuto rapporti sessuali con il religioso e con almeno un altro sacerdote: è stato lui a confessarlo, confermando agli investigatori di aver avuto incontri hard 'a tre' - con l'amante del parroco, e quest'ultimo - in un'altra parrocchia della provincia di Padova.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Don Andrea Contin, l’amante: “Ha un figlio”. Altro prete che partecipava alle orge doveva celebrare le nozze di Belen

ITALIA
Il Fatto Quotidiano

Una rivelazione al giorno, una storia che sembra non aver fine. L’inchiesta su don Andrea Contin e la sua attività sessuale sfrenata riserva novità a getto continuo. Adesso trapela la notizia che a una delle sue amanti il parroco di San Lazzaro a Padova avrebbe rivelato di avere un figlio di 4 anni, non riconosciuto, ma che contribuisce a mantenere. E spunta il nome del secondo prete che avrebbe partecipato a orge in canonica, si tratta di don Roberto Cavazzana, parroco di Rovolon, il sacerdote che alcuni anni fa avrebbe dovuto celebrare le nozze di Belen Rodriguez. Ce n’è abbastanza da alimentare gossip e settimanali scandalistici. Non bastava un prete trasgressivo che si circondava di parrocchiane di mezza età e praticava scambi di coppia, adesso spunta il secondo religioso, un personaggio già noto alle cronache rosa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

TheMediaReport.com SPECIAL REPORT *** Lawsuit by Ex-SNAP Insider Exposes Lawyer Kickback Schemes, Exploitation of Victims, and Corruption of SNAP [w/ Court Docs]

ILLINOIS
TheMediaReport

David Pierre

A callous disregard for victims. Financial kickbacks from Church-suing tort lawyers. Retaliation.

A stunning new civil lawsuit filed in Illinois by a former insider at SNAP confirms what many of us have known all along: SNAP is not an organization designed to help victims of clergy sex abuse but a gang hellbent on shaking down the Catholic Church through a seedy web of lawyer kickback schemes, lawsuits, and bigotry.

Dennis Coday at the National Catholic Reporter was the first to report the news of this stunning lawsuit.

Gretchen Hammond was hired by SNAP in 2010 as director of development to oversee the group's fundraising operations and to boost cash inflow to the group. Ms. Hammond did so with great success, but the more she learned about the inner workings of SNAP, the more she came to learn that SNAP was not simply an innocent "victim advocacy group." Hammond began "collecting documents in preparation of exposing SNAP's acceptance of kickbacks from attorneys."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Opposition parties table motion on HIA Inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

Opposition parties in Northern Ireland have requested the Speaker allow the Assembly to discuss the recommendations of the report from the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry next week.

The motion, signed by the Ulster Unionist Party, SDLP, Alliance Party, Green Party, People Before Profit and TUV, would see the Assembly have the opportunity to discuss the report by the inquiry before dissolution.

Ulster Unionist Party leader, Mike Nesbitt said there has been anger that the report now cannot be actioned due to the current political crisis at Stomont. He added: “Of all the people who will suffer because of this current political impasse, victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse are at the forefront.

To prolong the wait for redress for those who suffered would be unforgivable. “The publication of the report will have been a day survivors have waited decades for. Yet they find themselves plunged into further uncertainty without an Executive in place to action the recommendations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Duterte tells Church: ‘Preach about drug problem’

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By RUTH ABBEY GITA

IN A series of tirades against the Catholic Church, President Rodrigo Duterte called out the priests anew to preach about the effects of the drug problem, instead of lambasting his administration’s war on drugs.

“You keep on yakking. I heard there was one church allegedly exhibiting extrajudicial [killings],” Duterte said Thursday at the oath-taking of the Philippine National Police at the Palace’s Rizal Hall. ...

Despite the Church’s call, the President remained unfazed and merely taunted the priests, attacking their luxurious lifestyle.

“What did the Church do? The Catholic Church has collected millions [of pesos] every week, all throughout many churches. Where is the people’s money? We [in the government] can explain where the money went. How about you?

The priests, bishops have decent clothing, cars, and house,” Duterte said. “Even your chalice is gold while your followers have nothing to eat. If you want, I can melt the Malacañang’s chandelier to give you an additional gold,” he added.

Duterte also accused the church of asking former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to give them cars even though there was a principle of separation between the church and the state.

“Let’s be frank here. We don’t have to hide anything. You expose me, fine. I will expose you. Why is it okay [if you commit] mistake while it’s not okay for us? Bull**t. That’s absurd. Just help [if you want to address] extrajudicial killing,” Duterte said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

After Pope blessing, Duterte challenges abusive priests to 'showdown'

PHILIPPINES
Reuters

Thursday, 19 January 2017

By Neil Jerome Morales

MANILA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Undeterred by a blessing from Pope Francis, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte launched an angry rebuke on Thursday of priests and bishops critical of his drugs war, accusing them of homosexuality, corruption and of abusing children.

Duterte was furious over concerns by the Catholic Church of alleged extrajudicial killings during his crackdown and lambasted clergymen for denouncing him instead of using their influence to get people off drugs.

His no-holds-barred tirade came a day after one of Duterte's top advisers met Pope Francis at the Vatican and said the Pontiff had told him he would bless the Philippines, and "also bless your president".

In a speech to policemen, the firebrand leader of one of only two majority Catholic Asian countries challenged the church to a "showdown" and threatened to expose priests and bishops for a litany of abuses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Child sex abuse victim's identity accidentally revealed by royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Jorge Branco

The royal commission into child sex abuse has broken its own non-publication order, revealing the identity of the victim of a notorious paedophile.

The former Brisbane Grammar School student was among many victims who gave statements or fronted the commission under a pseudonym to protect them.

But the royal commission failed to redact his name in a statement given to its investigation into the horrific abuse carried out by serial paedophiles Kevin Lynch and Gregory Robert Knight in two Brisbane private schools.

That statement, which was properly redacted after Fairfax Media brought it to the commission's attention on Wednesday, had been published on its website, likely during hearings held across two weeks in November 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Sexual Assault in the Amazon

UNITED STATES
New York Magazine

By RACHEL MONROE
PHOTOGRAPH BY ALEXANDRA PAVLOVA
January 18, 2017

Ainlay Dixon, her husband, and three of their four children were in a town in central Ecuador, midway through a South American tour, when a guide approached and offered to take them on a four-day jungle excursion to see the “authentic” Amazon: an indigenous village led by a real shaman. To get there, the family took a 4x4 as far as they could down a rutted road, which soon dwindled to a trail; they made the rest of the way on foot. Eventually, they arrived at a small village where they were introduced to the village chief, a well-known shaman who’d had tourists flocking to his remote village ever since he’d been featured on a news show in Ecuador. That night, the shaman held a welcome ceremony for the new guests. They sat in a thatched roof hut while he blew pungent tobacco smoke on them, invoking a charm of protection. The novelty of the experience was tempered by the presence of another American — a strawberry-blonde Harvard Divinity School student named Lily Ross, who had been living in the village for the past few weeks, working for a grassroots nonprofit and researching shamanic practices.

Over the next few days, the Dixons’ children played soccer with the village kids. The family went on walks in the jungle with the shaman’s son, who rattled off the names and medicinal uses of the plants they came across. The day before the Dixons were set to depart, Ross asked Ainlay if they could speak privately. The two women found a space to sit in a guest hut, and Ross said that she and the shaman were in love. Something immediately struck Ainlay as off. “She would say that it was meant to be, and she would say that it was forever — but she was in a daze, talking almost in a monotone,” Ainlay said. Her concern piqued, Ainlay gently suggested that Ross was so isolated in this village, and so immersed in a culture that wasn’t her own, that perhaps she had lost her bearings a little bit. “That’s when she told me that they were bonded through this — I forget the name of the drink that they do. You know, the medicine. Through the medicine, they were bonded. And that he was really powerful.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Volunteer in nursery at Tarrant County church jailed on child sex charges

TEXAS
Dallas Morning News

Matt Peterson, Breaking news editor

A one-time volunteer in the nursery at a North Richland Hills church was arrested Wednesday on charges of child sexual abuse, police said.

Francisco Guevara, 65, of Colleyville was booked on two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child and one count of indecency with a child.

He remains in the North Richland Hills Jail on $125,000 bail.

The allegations date back seven years when Guevara was working at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, police said.

At the time of the alleged abuse, the victims were between 4 and 7 years old. Two of the offenses occurred in the nursery, police said, and the third took place in Colleyville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Former Church Volunteer Arrested For Sexual Offenses

TEXAS
CBS DFW

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBSDFW.COM) – North Richland Hills police have arrested a former volunteer of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church for sexually related offenses.

Francisco Guevara, 65, of Colleyville, was arrested Wednesday on two charges for continuous sexual abuse of a child and one charge of indecency with a child.

His bond was set at a total of $125,000 for the charges.

Guevara is currently being held at the North Richland Hills Detention Facility.

Police said detectives and the church were made aware of multiple offenses after an “outcry statement” was made by one of the victims last July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Alleged victim of sexual abuse steps forward

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Meg Yarbrough will join the Women's March on Washington on Saturday as a personal statement against sexual abuse; and against a president whom she opposes.

The 48-year-old registered nurse is also shedding anonymity in her own allegations against former Episcopal priest Howard W. "Howdy" White Jr. Previously quoted anonymously in The Providence Journal, Yarbrough says she wants to use her name because "hiding implies I did something wrong, which I certainly did not."

White, ex-assistant chaplain at St. George's School in Middletown, was one of six named alleged perpetrators in a scandal involving widespread sexual abuse dating to the 1970s, that roiled the elite Episcopal school last year. He was charged last month with sexually assaulting a St. George's student in Boston in 1973.

"I'm tired of being quiet," Yarbrough said in a phone interview Wednesday from her suburban Washington home. While she cannot change the past, "what I can control is how my life is now. And this is my first step."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

No public hearing into Bathurst schools' historic sex abuse cases

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

JACINTA CARROLL
19 Jan 2017

CALLS to have a public hearing into historic child sexual abuse which occurred at three Bathurst schools have gone unanswered.

Retired Bathurst journalist Terry Jones says “he can’t believe” the Royal Commission investigating Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will not hold an open public inquiry into any of the abuse which occurred at St Stanislaus’ College, The Scots School or All Saints’ College.

Prior to his 2012 retirement, Mr Jones covered court matters for the Western Advocate involving former staff from both St Stanislaus’ and All Saints’.

He said at the time, former St Stanislaus’ headmaster John Edwards opened his door “on every occasion” responding to media inquiries because “he wanted transparency”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Devon Dick | Wickedness vs weakness in sex scandal

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

January 19, 2017

The recent report that a married pastor has been charged with carnal abuse and rape of an underage child raises issues for Christians as to whether a paedophile is a sign of weakness, wickedness or sickness.

Glenn Tucker in the Letter of the Day (January 13) argued based on the work of James Cantor of the University of Toronto who theorises that paedophilia is caused by biological susceptibility. Tucker concludes that 'nobody chooses to be a paedophile'. How he knows that not even one paedophile made a conscious decision? However, because one has a predisposition to certain action it does not mean he has no control over sexual urges. One does not have to act on one's preferences and proclivities. If Tucker is correct, then we will no longer have just LGBT but we would have to add a 'P' for paedophile to make it LGBTP because some argue that nobody chooses to be LGBT. However, paedophiles make a conscious decision. It is not a sickness.

But is it a weakness? The Bible has different words for the English word 'sin'. Weakness would be when one misses the mark and fall short of expectations. So when a man and a woman, who are not in love, become intimate out of lustful desires, then that could be considered weakness. However, there is wickedness which is rebelling against God's will; engaging in lawlessness; deliberately and stubbornly engaging in iniquity. It is presumptuous sinning. It is flying in the face of God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Safety within our churches

GEORGIA
LaGrange News

by Melanie Ruberti
Melanie.ruberti@lagrangenews.com

LaGRANGE – The issue of child sexual abuse still remains a taboo topic of conversation in many churches around the nation – and in Georgia.

Sadly, the abuse is the number one reason congregations ended up in court between 2010 – 2014, according to Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services.

But the organization hopes to change that statistic and start conversations about sexual abuse in churches around Troup County.

Twin Cedars held a Church Safety Summit for members of the faith community and local law enforcement agencies on Tuesday at the Coleman Center off Lincoln Street. The group trained participants to recognize the signs a child may have been abused and how to prevent an incident from happening within their church.

“We hope these churches that are here today will take this information and talk to their congregation members about it,” explained Kim Adams, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Troup County. “We hope they’ll use the information to change or shape new policies regarding children within their church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

January 18, 2017

‘Stop subsidie voor stichting slachtoffers misbruik in kerk’

NEDERLAND
NRC

Jolanda van de Beld
17 januari 2017

Het ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport (VWS) gaat deze woensdag in gesprek met de stichting Koepel Landelijk Overleg Kerkelijk Kindermisbruik (KLOKK) na klachten van onder anderen een voormalig lid van de Raad van Toezicht. Deze Frans Verhallen, die in november uit onvrede opstapte als toezichthouder, vindt dat de overheidssubsidie voor de stichting moet worden stopgezet. Hij zegt zijn werkzaamheden als gevolg van „de halsstarrigheid van de directeur” te hebben gestaakt. De directeur, Guido Klabbers, „doet niet wat de Raad van Toezicht vraagt”, aldus Verhallen. „Ik word gebruikt als entourage.” Volgens betrokkenen zijn ook de andere twee leden van de Raad van Toezicht recentelijk opgestapt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 PM

Priest named in lawsuit commits suicide

GEORGIA
WTOC

Wednesday, January 18th 2017

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -
The priest named in a recent lawsuit has committed suicide.

According to the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department, a suicide investigation was launched Tuesday into the death of Henry Groover III.

Groover was arrested in 2003 for exposing himself to a Metro officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 PM

Sex abuse advocacy group SNAP sued by former employee

ILLINOIS
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Jan. 18, 2017

A former employee of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is suing the advocacy group, claiming she was fired after she learned that SNAP's principal officers collude with attorneys representing sex abuse survivors and that SNAP accepts financial kickbacks for referring abuse victims to attorneys.

The charges by Gretchen Rachel Hammond were made in papers filed with the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, yesterday, Jan. 17. Hammond worked as a director of development, raising funds for SNAP from the summer 2011 until February 2013 when she was fired.

The filings say Hammond was fired after she "learned ... [that] SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors — it exploits them. SNAP routinely accepts financial kickbacks from attorneys in the form of 'donations.' In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church. These cases often settle, to the financial benefit of the attorneys and, at times, to the financial benefit of SNAP, which has received direct payments from survivors' settlements."

Defendants in the lawsuit are SNAP, Barbara Blaine, the founder and president of SNAP, David Clohessy, the executive director of SNAP, and Barbara Dorris, SNAP's outreach director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 PM

Former North Richland Hills church nursery worker accused in child sex abuse case

TEXAS
Star-Telegram

BY RYAN OSBORNE
rosborne@star-telegram.com

A former volunteer at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in North Richland Hills was arrested Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing children while working in the church nursery.

Francisco Guevara, 65, of Colleyville faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child and one charge of indecency with a child, police said.

The allegations stem from incidents that happened up to seven years ago when the victims were between 4 and 7 years old, police said.

Two of the offenses happened in North Richland Hills and one in Colleyville, police said.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/northeast-tarrant/article127288214.html#storylink=cpy

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

Pastor, 2 others convicted of child abuse at Mobile religious private school

ALABAMA
AL.com

By The Associated Press
on January 18, 2017

Three people have been convicted on child abuse charges linked to a private church school on the Alabama coast.

A statement sent by twitter from Mobile County prosecutors Wednesday says 55-year-old Pastor John Young was convicted on five counts of aggravated child abuse related to the Saving Youth Academy, which was also called Restoration Youth Academy.

"A lot of us didn't make it to freedom."

Forty-eight-year-old William Knott and 42-year-old Aleshia Moffett were convicted on three counts each. Sentencing for all three is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Authorities say they three were linked to a Christian, boot camp-style residential school for troubled young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Who Blames the Victim?

UNITED STATES
New York Times

When and Why We See Victims as Responsible: The Impact of Ideology on Attitudes Toward Victims

When and Why We See Victims as Responsible

By LAURA NIEMI and LIANE YOUNG
JUNE 24, 2016

IF you are mugged on a midnight stroll through the park, some people will feel compassion for you, while others will admonish you for being there in the first place. If you are raped by an acquaintance after getting drunk at a party, some will be moved by your misfortune, while others will ask why you put yourself in such a situation.

What determines whether someone feels sympathy or scorn for the victim of a crime? Is it a function of political affiliation? Of gender? Of the nature of the crime?

In a recent series of studies, we found that the critical factor lies in a particular set of moral values. Our findings, published on Thursday in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, show that the more strongly you privilege loyalty, obedience and purity — as opposed to values such as care and fairness — the more likely you are to blame the victim.

These two sets of values have been the object of much scholarly attention. Psychologists have found that when it comes to morality, some people privilege promoting the care of others and preventing unfair behaviors. These are “individualizing values,” as they can apply to any individual. Other people privilege loyalty, obedience and purity. These are “binding values,” as they promote the cohesion of your particular group or clan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Audit Finds Archdiocese Compliant With Charter For Protection of Children, Young People

NEW YORK
Catholic New York

By CHRISTIE L. CHICOINE

The archdiocese has been found in compliance with all audited articles within the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for the 2015-2016 audit period.

StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester performed the on-site audit of the archdiocese Dec. 7-8, according to Edward Mechmann, director of the archdiocesan Safe Environment Program.

The conclusions are based upon inquiry, observation and review of specifically requested documentation to StoneBridge during the audit.

“It’s a real testament to how significant the charter has been to us,” and how committed both Cardinal Dolan and his predecessor, the late Cardinal Edward Egan, have been to it.

“It’s a very gratifying accomplishment,” Mechmann added. “It was a serious, good audit.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

A mix of rage and compassion as news of child sexual assault charges sinks in

CANADA
Guelph Today

by: Rob O'Flanagan

From rage to compassion.

People living in close proximity to the Elora Road Christian Fellowship north of Guelph are trying to make sense of recent troubling news involving the church and school at 5696 Wellington Road 7.

Alleged sexual assault incidents involving children under the age of 16, and dating back to the 1980s, came to light this week.

Henry (Henk) Katerberg, founder and former pastor of the church, has been charged with sexual assault on a person under 16. Now an old man, Katerberg is said to still live in Guelph-Eramosa. He was pastor when the sexual assault is alleged to have taken place.

Arend “John” Dekorte, 66, of Fergus, faces a similar charge. He is the current principal of the Elora Road Christian School, and was a teacher between 1981-86, the time in question.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Paula Deen ‘Pedophile’ Priest Suicide: Cops Begin Death Probe

GEORGIA
Radar Online

By MELISSA CRONIN & Dylan Howard
Posted on Jan 18, 2017

New details of the disturbing suicide of Paula Deen‘s “pedophile” priest brother-in-law are expected to emerge later this week, RadarOnline.com can reveal.

A rep for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations confirmed to Radar that the autopsy of Henry B. Groover, II – Deen’s brother-in-law and the man she called her “spiritual advisor” – will take place on January 19.

As Radar reported, Savannah police opened told Radar that a suicide investigation was opened on January 17.

Groover – the brother of Deen’s husband Michael Groover and a Dominican priest – committed suicide just days after he was served with an explosive new lawsuit that accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting a young man, Ancil Harvey Gordon III.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Die wichtigsten Fakten seit 2010

DEUTSCHLAND
Focus

[The scandal surrounding the decade-long sexual abuse of many children and adolescents in institutions of the Catholic Church shattered throughout Germany. A review.]

Der Skandal um den jahrzehntelangen sexuellen Missbrauch vieler Kinder und Jugendlicher in Einrichtungen der katholischen Kirche erschütterte 2010 ganz Deutschland. Ein Rückblick:

Januar 2010: Am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg werden erste Verdachtsfälle bekannt. Ein Untersuchungsbericht enthüllt später, dass der Orden sexuelle und körperliche Gewalt gegen Kinder über Jahrzehnte vertuscht hat.

Februar 2010: Triers Bischof Stephan Ackermann wird zum Beauftragten der katholischen Kirche für Missbrauchsfälle ernannt.

März 2010: Der Skandal erreicht die Regensburger Domspatzen. Es wird bekannt, dass es auch bei dem weltberühmten Knabenchor Fälle von Missbrauch gegeben haben soll.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Altri parroci alle orge con don Andrea

ITALIA
Corriere del Veneto

[Other pastors were at orgies with Don Andrea. A priest confesses: "I too was attending."]

PADOVA Adesso agli atti c’è pure una confessione. Succede tutto venerdì pomeriggio. Interrogato in procura come persona informata sui fatti, un cinquantenne sacerdote e parroco di una comunità nei colli Euganei cede e ammette di essere lui «l’altro prete» ad aver partecipato alle orge di don Andrea Contin, l’ex parroco di San Lazzaro indagato per violenza privata e favoreggiamento della prostituzione. A parlare di lui, che non è indagato ma ha ammesso di aver fatto sesso con don Contin e la sua amante, è la stessa parrocchiana di 49 anni che il 6 dicembre ha vuotato il sacco nella stazione dei carabinieri di Padova principale, dando la mossa decisiva per far partire l’inchiesta. In una riga la donna indica con precisione l’identità del sacerdote e la sua parrocchia. La stessa dove don Contin la portava per fare sesso. Incontri a tre o di coppia, a cui in alcune occasioni l’ex parroco di San Lazzaro preferiva partecipare soltanto nel ruolo di attento spettatore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

'Lussuria' gives paedophilia figures

ITALY
ANSA

New book by Fittipaldi, Holy See gets over 400 cases per year

(ANSA) - Rome, January 18 - Despite a crackdown announced by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, some 518 reports of 'graviora delicta' were made in 2015, "the vast majority of which involving sexual abuse of minors", according to a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic Church department that deals with priestly sex abuse. Sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, long covered up by ecclesiastical authorities, is the subject of Emiliano Fittipaldi's new book 'Lussuria' (Lust), which will be in Italian bookshops from Thursday. The journalist, who went on trial and was acquitted for the 'Vatileaks 2' case and his previous book, 'Avarizia' (Avarice), has once again focused on the Vatican. ANSA has seen an advance copy of 'Lussuria', which recounts how the Vatican said that of the 587 cases opened in 2014 by its disciplinary office, over 500 involved the crimes of 'the most dishonorable type'. In 2013, the first year of Pope Francis's papacy, out of 522 complaints filed by dioceses and ecclesiastical institutes and bodies from "various parts of the world", some 84.8% (443 cases) were 'graviora delicta', including "401 charges against priests with a child under 18 years old", Monsignor Silvano Tomasi said in May 2014 at a Committee against Torture hearing that requested information on the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

How Problematic Priests Are Warehoused

TEXAS
Houston Press

The Buried Abuse of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese

BY CRAIG MALISOW

Since at least 1947, when a religious community called the Servants of the Paraclete opened one of the first treatment centers for priests grappling with pedophilia and substance abuse, dioceses have often warehoused problematic priests.

The “rehab” facility closest to Houston is Splendora’s Shalom Center, whose website states, “We genuinely seek to create a spirit of Gospel compassion, a nonjudgmental atmosphere and a safe environment where healing and growth can happen.”

The Shalom Center is included in a 1995 U.S. Conference of Bishops survey on treatment centers, in which it’s described as dealing mostly with priests suffering from “behaviors related to pornography, sexual exploitation, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and prostitution.” The survey, available on the Bishop Accountability website, notes that initial assessments and referrals are available for priests dealing with “pedophilia and ephebophilia [sexual attraction to adolescents].”

In the survey’s anonymous comments section, where diocesan officials can share their thoughts, one official wrote that Shalom is “sometimes too eager to ‘excuse’ priest offender[s]”

More severe cases, such as that of the Reverend Donald Leroy Stavinoha, are usually sent to facilities in New Mexico and Missouri.

On a May night in 1986, Stavinoha stopped by the home of a parishioner, a single mother whose young son he’d taken a special interest in, according to court records. For two years (beginning when the boy was seven), “Father Don” would stop by the home, which was within walking distance of Immaculate Heart of Mary in the East End, sometimes bringing San Juan candles. Once he performed a blessing of the house.

But on that night, Stavinoha told the nine-year-old boy’s mother that he was taking the boy “to play video games.”

Instead, Stavinoha went to 7-11, where he bought a Slurpee for the boy and a six-pack of beer for himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

New Hampshire sexual assault evidence bill meets strong opposition

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By ALYSSA DANDREA
Monitor staff
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

No one witnessed the repeated sexual abuse of Angie Semertgakis at the hands of her stepfather, beginning when she was just 9 years old.

Semertgakis, now in her 30s, testified Tuesday before the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety that she lived in “hate, fear, and shame,” and for years was afraid to tell her story. The abuse took place when no one was home and under the darkness of night, she told lawmakers in her plea for them to shoot down a bill that would require more proof in certain sexual assault cases.

When prosecutors filed the sexual assault case against Semertgakis’ abuser decades ago, he had no criminal record. If the case had gone to trial, jurors would have decided the man’s fate based on the girl’s testimony alone. In the end, he took a plea deal.

Existing law in New Hampshire does not require corroboration of a sexual assault. A bill introduced by a Wolfeboro Republican is proposing to change that by requiring corroboration in cases where the defendant has no prior convictions. The bill, however, leaves the definition of corroboration open-ended.

Semertgakis and many other opponents called the bill “dangerous” for New Hampshire.

“This bill is an abolishment to the empowerment of a child who finally breaks free from their offender and finds their voice and courage to talk about their abuse,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Proposed change in sexual assault statute called 'pedophile protection act'

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Union Leader

By DAVID SOLOMON
New Hampshire Union Leader

CONCORD — A proposal to change state law regarding evidence in sexual assault cases amounts to “nothing more than a pedophile protection act and rapist shield law,” according to Concord Police Detective Sean Ford.

But the sponsor of House Bill 106, Rep. William Marsh, R-Wolfeboro, says no one should be charged, let alone convicted, solely on the basis of an alleged victim’s testimony with no other corroboration.

The two men took turns at the witness table on Tuesday, as the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee heard nearly four hours of testimony on a bill that would require the allegations of victims to be corroborated by other evidence in sexual assault cases where the defendant has no prior conviction.

Marsh, a board certified ophthalmologist, said he was moved to sponsor the bill after Bow psychologist Foad Afshar was convicted last year of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old male patient in 2015 solely on the patient’s testimony.

The hearing room was packed with opponents of the bill, many mobilized by the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, wearing pink stickers that read, “I believe victims. Oppose HB 106.”

- See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/state-government/Proposed-change-in-sexual-assault-statute-called-pedophile-protection-01182017#sthash.2AXUdJm1.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Gardner vows to clear his name

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The Rev Dr Paul Gardner, former president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, has issued a statement indicating that he will be working assiduously to clear his name.

Gardner resigned last Thursday, two days after a woman wrote to the bishops of the Moravian church raising damning allegations against him. This follows the arrest and charge of their colleague pastor, Rupert Clarke, who was caught in a compromising position with a minor last year. Gardner's deputy, Jermaine Gibson, against whom similar allegations were made, also resigned.

The former president described the allegations as "vile and unfounded" and noted that while he remains committed to the church, he has stepped aside to allow thorough investigations to take place.

"I have been committed to a life of service to my church and my country, which I always did with unquestioned integrity for more than 30 years," he declared.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Committee Identified To Probe Allegations Against Moravian Ministers

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Reverend Phyllis Smith says the members of an independent committee have now been identified to probe complaints against two senior ministers.

The President Dr Paul Gardner and Vice-President Jermaine Gibson resigned last week after the complaints were made in a seven-page email containing damning allegations against them.

The independent committee is to be mutually agreed by the complainant and the bishops of the Moravian Church.

The acting church president Reverend Phyllis Smith Seymour says the invitations to the prospective committee members are now being dispatched and she is hoping they can complete their deliberations and make their recommendation by April 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

'HELL NO, I WON’T GO': Hampton principal stays put

JAMAICA
Loop

BY: PAUL HENRY
January 18, 2017

Heather Murray — the Hampton High School principal, who came under intense public criticism for attending Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke’s bail hearing — has refused to take a recommended two-week leave stemming from the controversy.

Murray said that she didn’t agree to going on leave and will be staying put.

As such, Murray was on the job Monday after shooting off a letter — through her attorney Andre Earle of the form Earle & Wilson — informing Trevor Blake, chairman of the school board, over the weekend that she would not be going on the announced two weeks leave.

The leave should have commenced on Monday, January 16. The announcement of the leave followed a meeting with Education Minister Ruel Reid, Blake, Murray and other education officials.

The meeting was to discuss allegations that Murray interfered with journalists trying to capture images of Clarke being led from the St Elizabeth Parish Court on January 4.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Inquiry calls for whistleblowers on child abuse

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

THE inquiry into historic cases of childhood abuse has called for whistleblowers to shed light on past offences as it emerged costs have risen by £1 million in the last three months.

As the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry published updated details of how it will handle anonymity for witnesses and manage evidence, it urged foster carers, health staff and children’s home workers to come forward insisting they will be protected.

It comes as overall costs for the inquiry rose to £3.5m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Child abuse inquiry costs soar by £1m in 3 months

SCOTLAND
The Times

Will Humphries
January 18 2017
The Times

The cost of the historical child abuse inquiry in Scotland has risen by £1 million over the past three months.

The inquiry has published updated details of how it will handle anonymity for witnesses and manage evidence, urging foster carers, health staff and children’s home workers to come forward, insisting they will be protected.

The update also shows that overall costs for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry have risen to £3.5 million, with more than £1 million spent in the last three months of 2016.

Set up by the Scottish government in October 2015, the inquiry is expected to last four years. Lady Smith, the chairwoman, is expected to hold a preliminary hearing on January 31.

Campaigners believe that there are potentially thousands of survivors in Scotland and overseas who could provide evidence to the inquiry, although the number of those who have so far come forward has not been disclosed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Gardner’s lawyer says accusations ‘completely untrue’

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

ALPHEA SAUNDERS Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Attorney Lambert Johnson yesterday dismissed accusations of sexual misconduct made by a church member against his client, Dr Paul Gardner, who last week stepped down as head of the Moravian Church in Jamaica in order to facilitate a probe.

“They are completely untrue, have no basis in reality or in fact, and seem to be the wild imaginings of someone who is just determined to cause him harm,” Johnson told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

He also denied that the same congregant had written a letter of complaint against Gardner to the church board. “No such letter was written to the church,” he emphasised.

Gardner has also been accused by a former minister of the church, Dr Canute Thompson, of not acting on concerns raised by him about sexual misconduct in the church, and specifically in relation to Rev Rupert Clarke, who is now at the centre of a scandal that has hit the church. Clarke was arrested on rape and carnal abuse charges in December last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Ex-pastor, principal of religious institution charged in sex assaults

CANADA
Daily Courier

GUELPH-ERAMOSA TOWNSHIP, Ont. - Police have laid sexual assault charges against a former pastor and the current principal at a religious institution near Guelph, Ont.

Provincial police say they began investing allegations of sexual assault believed to have taken place between 1981 and 1986.

They say the alleged offences took place at the Elora Road Christian Fellowship Church and the Elora Road Christian school, which are both in the same building.

Church founder and former pastor Henry "Henk" Katerberg, 80, has been charged with sexual assault on a child under 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Eddie Long And The Black Church’s Legacy Of Child Sexual Abuse

GEORGIA
Atlanta Daily World

Ahmad Greene-Hayes

On Sunday, January 15, Bishop Eddie Long passed away. Long was the prominent Atlanta pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, which at its height, boasted a congregation of over 25,000. A man of many controversies, Long had been closely scrutinized by the United States Senate for potentially profiting off of his church’s tax-exempt status.

He also came under fire for his homo-antagonistic sermons and his book, Deliver Me From Adam, in which he cloaks homophobia, misogyny and patriarchy in the lexicon of self-help. Long’s quest to cast out the spirit of homosexuality, however, did not stop there. Some have argued that he fathered and pastored a homophobic theological legacy at New Birth. In 2005, for example, he hosted his infamous “Sexual Orientation and Reorientation Conference” to convert LGBTQ Christians into heterosexuals.

Just five years later, in 2010, Long was accused of sexually abusing four young men—Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson, who were teenagers at the time of their accusations. Like most predators, Long allegedly “groomed” these teenage boys into nonconsensual sexual activity. As noted on child rape survivor Oprah Winfrey’s website, grooming includes targeting vulnerable victims, gaining the victim’s trust, filling a need or void, isolating the child, sexualizing the relationship and maintaining control. Long was said to have used his prosperity gospel-accrued wealth to lavish Flagg, LeGrande, Parris and Robinson with private planes, expensive jewelry and luxury hotel rooms. According to the lawsuits brought by the young men, he then exploited his identity as a pastor and spiritual leader to add God’s blessing on his sexually perverse behaviors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Ex-pastor, principal of Guelph-area Christian school charged in alleged sex assaults

CANADA
CTV

Police have charged a former pastor and the current principal of the Elora Road Christian Fellowship and School with sexual assault in alleged crimes dating back to the 1980s.

Henk Katerberg, 80, of Guelph-Eramosa Township, used to lead the Elora Road Christian Fellowship Church, and has been charged with sexual assault on a child under 16.

John Dekorte, 66, of Fergus, currently serves as principal of the attached school, and faces two counts of the same charge.

Police say the alleged offences took place between 1981 and 1986 at the church and school, which are located in the same building on Wellington Road 7 near Highway 6.

Katerberg spoke to CTV and said he was innocent. Dekorte’s wife denied the charges on her husband’s behalf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Hampton Board slaps Reid, doesn’t support Murray going on leave

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

The Hampton School Board has delivered a slap to the face of Education Minister Ruel Reid, stating that it does not support Principal Heather Murray going on leave, as indicated by the minister last week.

The board also made reference to a January 13 letter from Reid, saying that it did not reflect an accurate outline of the key decisions and agreements made in a meeting on January 11 between the minister, the board and Murray.

“At no time was the issue of the Child Care and Protection Act mentioned or raised,” Board Chairman Trevor Blake stated in a January 16 letter to Reid.

“There could never have been any agreement that the action of Mrs Murray was inconsistent with the principle of the Act, and we categorically refute that assertion,” Blake said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

UPDATE: Music director at a Queens church charged with sexually abusing girl during private lessons

NEW YORK
QNS

By Emily Davenport / edavenport@qns.com / Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The music director of a Jamaica church has been charged with sexually abusing a young girl while giving her private singing and piano lessons at her home.

“Instead of being a role model to all of his students, the defendant is accused of taking advantage of his position as a church choir director to gain access to a young child for his own sexual gratification. These are deeply disturbing allegations that, if proven true, are deserving of severe punishment,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

According to police, 69-year-old Rafael Diaz, music director for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, was arrested at his Forest Hills home on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Published reports indicated that the victim, who was a parishioner and is now 15, told investigators that, when she was 11 and 12 years old, Diaz would use four fingers to touch her diaphragm and fondle her breast over her clothes while making her sing different notes. Diaz also asked the victim if she had started her menstrual cycle and then allegedly put his hand over her clothing on her private parts.

Police say that the abuse took place over the course of two years. It is alleged that after the victim told her father what occurred, he and Diaz had a controlled telephone conversation in which Diaz allegedly admitted that he touched the daughter and that it happened five or six times. It ended when the piano and singing lessons stopped.The victim’s father reported the abuse to the church on Thursday, Jan. 12, after he was made aware of it by the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

January 17, 2017

Priest Says Church Defamed Him for Objecting to Cover-Up

FLORIDA
Courthouse News Service

IZZY KAPNICK

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CN) – A priest sued the Diocese of Palm Beach, claiming it defamed him in retaliation for his objections to its attempted cover-up of a foreign clergyman’s pedophilia.

In a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County, the Rev. John Gallagher claims that the way the Catholic Church treated him “shows without question that it has learned nothing from its history and continues to cover up acts of priest pedophilia.”

Gallagher says the Diocese of Palm Beach went on a campaign to sully his reputation after he publicly objected to its unwillingness to cooperate with police in a pedophilia investigation involving Joseph Palimatton, an assistant priest from India who was serving at Gallagher’s Holy Name of Jesus church in West Palm Beach.

Palimatton arrived at the church from India in December 2014, and within a month, he stood accused of a sex crime: He allegedly showed images of child pornography to a 14-year-old, including “numerous photographs of minor children who were naked and had erect penises.”

Unbeknownst to Father Gallagher, Palimatton had been involved in several sexual abuse events, the lawsuit claims. The Catholic Church in India had transferred him to Gallagher’s church allegedly without disclosing his past abuses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

NH bill seeks to change sexual assault standard

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Seacoast Online

By Brian Early bearly@seacoastonline.com

CONCORD -The state's House Committee on Justice and Public Safety will hold a hearing on Tuesday on a bill that would require corroboration to a victim's testimony in sexual assault cases where the defendant has no prior convictions.

The bill has generated intense interest, especially for advocates of sexual assault victims, and the hearings are expected to be widely attended.

Rep. William Marsh, a Wolfeboro Republican, introduced House Bill 106 that adds 13 words and strikes out four others to the law dealing with sexual assault and related offenses. The proposed law states that "the testimony of the victim (in sexual assault cases) shall be corroborated in prosecutions ...; only in cases where the defendant has no prior convictions." The bill was co-sponsored by two others; however, one has since withdrawn her support.

Marsh said the scales of justice seem to be in favor of the victim. "We're guilty as soon as we're accused at this point in time, and that's a problem," Marsh said in a call on Monday. One reason for introduction was the 2016 conviction of Concord psychologist Foad Afshar of aggravated felonious sexual assault. A jury found Afshar, whose license had lapsed, guilty of touching the genitals of a 12 year old during an appointment, and he is now serving a 3- to 6-year prison sentence. Afshar is appealing the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Cardinal Pell’s office dismisses attacks as opposition to reform

VATICAN CITY
Headlines from the Catholic World

Vatican City, Jan 17, 2017 / 12:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In reaction to a new book claiming that Pope Francis has in fact done little to combat clerical sex abuse, and that Cardinal George Pell is implicated, the Australian cardinal's office has dismissed the claims as motivated by opposition to reform.

“These most recent attacks on the Vatican, economic reforms and Cardinal George Pell are not only regurgitating false claims but appear to have a more sinister intent,” read a Jan. 15 statement from the office of Cardinal Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

“Those opposed to the reforms and threatened by the progress in establishing transparency and addressing illegalities and malpractice have long used lies, smears and public attacks as diversionary tactics.”

A new book by Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi called Lussaria, or “Lust”, details claims that under Pope Francis, the Vatican has failed to adequately address sex abuse committed by clerics. The book will be release in Italian on Thursday.

According to the Guardian, “In some of the twenty cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests in Italy in 2016, Fittipaldi writes, priests have been convicted of abuse without the church taking any canonical action against them.”

The Washington Post writes that Fittipaldi “claims to have unearthed documents showing Pell also sought to financially aid priests who had been jailed on pedophilia charges.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Vatican orders Knights of Malta to cooperate with papal inquiry

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

The Vatican demanded on Tuesday that the leaders of the Knights of Malta, a worldwide Catholic chivalric and charity group, cooperate with an inquiry into alleged irregularities ordered by Pope Francis.

In the latest salvo of a battle of wills between the heads of two of the world's oldest institutions, a Vatican statement also rejected what it said was an attempt by the Rome-based Knights to discredit members of a papal commission of inquiry.

Both sides have been locked in a bitter dispute since one of the order's top knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, was sacked on Dec. 6 in the chivalric equivalent of a boardroom showdown - ostensibly because he allowed the use of condoms in a medical project for the poor.

The all-male hierarchy of the group, whose top leaders are not clerics but take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, have defied the pope, refusing to cooperate with the investigation of the sacking or recognise the inquiry's legitimacy.

"The Holy See counts on the complete cooperation of all in this sensitive stage," the statement said, adding that it "rejects ... any attempt to discredit (commission) members."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Editorial: The harmful consequences of a bad bill

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

Friday, January 13, 2017

In the 1760s, English jurist William Blackstone wrote in the Commentaries on the Laws of England that “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” The principle, which became known as Blackstone’s formulation, is that government should always err on the side of innocence.

We were reminded of that ratio when reading the text of a perhaps well-intentioned but definitely misguided bill introduced by Rep. William Marsh, a Wolfeboro Republican, and co-sponsored by Reps. Jess Edwards, an Auburn Republican, and Mary Heath, a Manchester Democrat, which would require corroborating evidence in sexual assault cases where the defendant has no prior convictions.

Marsh says the case of psychologist Foad Afshar of Bow, who was sentenced to three to six years in prison for sexually assaulting a young patient in 2015, was the impetus for the bill. Marsh’s daughter was a student of Afshar’s at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and told her father that she didn’t believe the man she knew was capable of the crime for which he was convicted. That was enough, it seems, for Marsh to file legislation that would weaken the state’s sexual assault laws. It’s not enough for us, and should not be enough for the members of the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, which will hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday.

As Amanda Grady Sexton of the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says, the deck is already stacked against victims of sexual assault in the criminal justice system. In fact, she told us, it’s extremely difficult to find someone to prosecute any sexual assault case that isn’t a slam-dunk. HB 106 would codify “the false assumption that sexual assault victims are less credible” than victims of other crimes, she said, and it is a false assumption: The number of false reports in sexual assault cases is in line with other crimes – a rate of 2 to 8 percent, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Grady Sexton also correctly points out that the bill violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which says that no state can “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” HB 106 would hold victims of sexual assault to a different standard than victims of other crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Criticism of bill that requires corroboration of sexual assault victim testimony

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NH1.com

A bill up for hearing next week would require the testimony of victims in sexual assault cases to be corroborated, but some say this is dangerous, and would undo progress New Hampshire has made on the subject of victim's rights.

The current law (RSA 632-A:6), states that "the testimony of the victim shall not be required to be corroborated in prosecutions" in sexual assault cases.

But House Bill 106 would adjust that to state: "The testimony of the victim shall be corroborated in prosecutions under this chapter only in cases where the defendant has no prior convictions under this chapter," reports the Union Leader.

Advocates for the bill say that the new phrasing would help protect citizens from false accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Proposed N.H. Bill Would Change Sex Assault Burden of Proof

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Valley News

By Jordan Cuddemi
Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lebanon — Advocates for victims of sexual assault are organizing opposition to a bill in the New Hampshire House that would require more than a victim’s testimony as evidence to convict a defendant of a sexual assault.

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the bill in Concord this morning. The legislation would increase the burden of proof that is needed to find someone guilty of sexual assault by requiring prosecutors to present corroborating evidence that an attack occurred, according to the language.

“We all view it as a very dangerous bill,” said Peggy O’Neil, the executive director of WISE, the Upper Valley’s support agency for sexual and domestic assault survivors. “This bill raises the burden of proof for a victim of sexual assault to an unrealistic level.”

Although the bill, at this stage, doesn’t define what constitutes corroborating evidence, O’Neil and other advocates said such evidence likely would include DNA testing or an eyewitness account.

DNA evidence is a “very complicated science” that isn’t as straightforward as some television shows portray it, O’Neil said, and sexual assault often happens behind closed doors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

He said, she said: Raising the bar in rape cases

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Union Leader

EDITORIAL

Sometimes the solution is worse than the problem.

False charges of rape and sexual assault can ruin an innocent person’s life. But such false charges also make it harder for real victims to be believed. Now a handful of lawmakers at the State House want to raise the standard for criminal prosecution.

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee takes up HB 106 this morning. The bill would require an alleged sexual assault victim’s testimony to be corroborated, unless the defendant had a previous conviction for sexual assault.

By their nature, sexual assault cases rely on the testimony of the two people involved. Juries first have to decide if a crime occurred. They must judge the credibility of the accuser and the accused.

Setting a different evidentiary standard based on a defendant’s prior actions is likely unconstitutional. Requiring third-party testimony or physical evidence of rape would make “he said-she said” cases impossible to prosecute.

- See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/editorial/He-said-she-said-Raising-the-bar-in-rape-cases-01172017_#sthash.56T29HKP.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 PM

Rape, Child Molestation Allegations Would Require Outside Corroboration Under Ridiculous New Hampshire Bill

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Reason

Elizabeth Nolan Brown |Jan. 17, 2017

In New Hampshire, those who commit rape or sexual abuse without witnesses present could be all but guaranteed to get away with it under a new proposal from state Rep. William Marsh (R-District 8). The measure, House Bill 106, stipulates "that a victim's testimony in a sexual assault case shall require corroboration" when the defendant has no prior sexual-assault convictions. It does not elaborate about what kind of corroboration would be sufficient.

Marsh told the Concord Monitor he drafted the bill, introduced last week, after hearing about the conviction of Concord psychologist Foad Afshar, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a young client. Marsh's daughter thinks Afshar is innocent, and Marsh said he "trust(s) my daughter's judgments of people."

He just wouldn't want jurors to trust his apparently impeccably intuitive daughter if she were assaulted and no one else could confirm it...

As Amanda Grady Sexton, Concord city councilor-at-large, points out, Marsh's bill "would be saying a victim's sworn testimony isn't good enough, even if it's been viewed as credible by 12 sworn jurors." In other words, it would be creating a higher standard of proof for rape and sexual assault than for any other crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

Critics: Sex assault law changes 'dangerous'

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Union Leader

By SHAWNE K. WICKHAM
New Hampshire Sunday News

The testimony of victims would have to be corroborated in most sexual assault cases, under a bill coming up for a hearing this week.

Proponents say the measure would better protect those falsely accused of such crimes.

But victim advocates and law enforcement officials say the bill is "dangerous" and would reverse decades of progress that New Hampshire has made on victims' rights.

Under current law (RSA 632-A:6), "the testimony of the victim shall not be required to be corroborated in prosecutions" in sexual assault cases.

House Bill 106 would change that to read: "The testimony of the victim shall be corroborated in prosecutions under this chapter only in cases where the defendant has no prior convictions under this chapter."

And that would be the vast majority of such cases, says Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public policy for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "What this does is it sends a message that victims of sexual assault are not to be believed," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

The Saga Surrounding a Jamaican Pastor Accused of Sexual Misconduct Continues

JAMAICA
Caribbean 360

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday January 17, 2017 – There has been some more serious fallout in and outside the Moravian Church in Jamaica which has been shaken by allegations of sexual misconduct within its ranks.

Church president Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson have resigned from the church’s highest body – the Provincial Elders Conference – which has embarked on a mission to get to the bottom of the embarrassing scandal.

According to the Jamaica Observer newspaper, the executive is mounting a probe into the damning allegations after receiving a letter containing charges of sexual abuse.

The church’s troubles erupted after 67-year-old Pastor Rupert Clarke was charged with carnal abuse and rape of a 15-year-old girl on January 3.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Padova, sesso in canonica: "Oltre a don Contin altri sacerdoti coinvolti nei festini"

ROME
La Repubblica

In Padua, other priests in addition to priest Andrea Contin were involved in sexual misconduct.]

ROMA - Non c'è solo l'ex parroco di San Lazzaro a Padova, don Andrea Contin, del quale si parla anche nell'ultimo libro di Emiliano Fittipaldi, al centro della vicenda che vede il sacerdote indagato per violenza privata e favoreggiamento della prostituzione. Nelle otto pagine della denuncia firmata dall’amante 49enne del religioso, infatti, la donna ha dichiarato che altri preti partecipavano alle orge.

L'inchiesta, partita il 21 dicembre 2016, con la perquisizione nella canonica, si allarga, stando a quanto riporta Il Mattino di Padova e coinvolge altri membri della Chiesa, sempre del Padovano. Per loro, si legge sempre sul sito del quotidiano veneto, non ci sarebbe al momento il rischio di essere iscritti nel registro degli indagati, dato che non risulterebbero pagamenti da parte loro per partecipare a quegli incontri di gruppo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Enthüllungsbuch: Italiens Kirche vertuscht Missbrauch

ITALIEN
Katholisch

[A new revelation book accuses the Catholic Church in Italy of systematically covering up sexual abuse by priests. Over the last decade, more than 200 priests have been convicted or charged for sexual delinquency, writes the author Emiliano Fittipaldi in a pre-release of the daily "La Repubblica" (Monday). This scandal, however, is "never exploded with its whole explosive force" unlike in the USA, Ireland, Australia or Belgium.]

Ein neues Enthüllungsbuch wirft der katholischen Kirche in Italien vor, sexuellen Missbrauch durch Priester bis heute systematisch zu vertuschen. In den vergangenen zehn Jahren seien landesweit mehr als 200 Priester wegen Sexualdelikten verurteilt oder angeklagt worden, schreibt der Autor Emiliano Fittipaldi in einer Vorabveröffentlichung der Tageszeitung "La Repubblica" (Montag). Dieser Skandal sei jedoch anders als in den USA, in Irland, Australien oder Belgien "nie mit seiner ganzen Sprengkraft explodiert".

In Italien gebe es weiterhin ein "System, das die Ungeheuer schützt", so Fittipaldi. Der italienische Journalist nennt in dem Artikel einige Beispiele. Demnach sollen Priester von Bischöfen weiter als Seelsorger eingesetzt worden sein, obwohl sie wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs vorbestraft waren oder unter Verdacht standen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Walter (aka Vaclovas aka Wenceslaus) Katarskis

OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Katarskis was ordained in his native Lithuania in 1942. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1948 and settled into work as a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, in Dayton and Vandalia parishes. In 1972 he became the sole priest at Holy Cross in Dayton, the Lithuanian parish where he served for twelve years after his arrival to the U.S. He remained at Holy Cross until his death in 1993.

In 2002 a woman reported to the archdiocese that when she was 10-11 years old in the early 1960s and a student at St. Albert the Great in Dayton, Katarskis sexually abused her. Katarskis was a St. Albert's assistant 1960-1965. In 2010 the woman spoke publicly of the alleged abuse prior to filing a police report; she said she did not want to sue, but wanted the Church to know about its predator priests, and to encourage other victims to come forward.

Born: June 27, 1916
Ordained: 1942
Died: December 20, 1993

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Joliet priest says diocese failed to follow protocol to protect children

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Christy Gutowski
Chicago Tribune

Standing before parishioners in his historic Joliet church, the Rev. Peter Jankowski said years of internal conflict had brought him to this difficult moment. In an emotional homily, the parish priest publicly blew the whistle on his diocese for alleged past failures that he said put children at potential risk.

Jankowski delivered the homily three times two Sundays ago, including once in Spanish for his multicultural congregation. Before he left the pulpit, he asked members at St. Patrick's Catholic Church to pray for him as he embarks on a public crusade — including a direct appeal to Pope Francis.

His homily did not cite any specific examples of abuse. Rather, in church documents later obtained by the Tribune, Jankowski for years has complained that his retired predecessor showed lax enforcement 10 years ago of the U.S. bishops' 2002 charter regarding child sexual abuse. In a September letter to the pope, Jankowski said that his superiors, including Joliet Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, failed to act upon his repeated complaints over the years to ask the retired priest to stop interfering in his ministry.

Diocese officials noted an independent firm has found the diocese compliant with the charter each year since 2003, when it began annual audits.

The dispute pits a first-time parish priest against a veteran cleric so loved that he has an honorary street designation outside the church. In a larger sense, it underscores the difference between an old-school approach and the modern church's promise to be more transparent and vigilant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Knights of Malta insist ouster over condom scandal was legal

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Nicole Winfield January 17, 2017
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY - The head of the embattled Knights of Malta is seeking to discredit a Vatican investigation into the removal of a top official over a condom scandal, insisting that he followed the rules in the dismissal.

In the latest development in the showdown between the ancient Catholic lay order and the Holy See, Fra’ Matthew Festing explained and defended his actions in a Jan. 14 letter to the Knights’ membership.

“Suffice it to say, whilst I was trying to enjoy a peaceful Advent and Christmastide, I have barely been able to concentrate on anything else,” he wrote. “It has been extremely tiring and I am sure many of you have had your Christmases disturbed by similar preoccupations.”

Festing said he was only protecting the order’s sovereignty in refusing to cooperate with a commission appointed by Pope Francis to investigate the ouster of Albrecht von Boeselager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 AM

Press release concerning the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See Press Office has issued the following Press Release concerning events relating to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta:

PRESS RELEASE

In relation to the events of recent weeks concerning the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Holy See wishes to reiterate its support and encouragement for the commendable work that members and volunteers carry out in various parts of the world, in fulfilment of the aims of the Order: tuitio fidei (the defence of the Faith) and obsequium pauperum (service to the poor, the sick and those in greatest need).

For the support and advancement of this generous mission, the Holy See reaffirms its confidence in the five Members of the Group appointed by Pope Francis on 21 December 2016 to inform him about the present crisis of the Central Direction of the Order, and rejects, based on the documentation in its possession, any attempt to discredit these Members of the Group and their work.

The Holy See counts on the complete cooperation of all in this sensitive stage, and awaits the Report of the above-mentioned Group in order to adopt, within its area of competence, the most fitting decisions for the good of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and of the Church.
Rome, 17 January 2017

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Head of embattled Knights of Malta defends his actions and says 'extremely tiring' conflict with Vatican disturbed his Christmas

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Associated Press
17 JANUARY 2017

The head of the embattled Knights of Malta is seeking to discredit a Vatican investigation into the removal of a top official over a condom scandal, insisting that he followed the rules in the dismissal.

In the latest development in the remarkable showdown between the ancient Catholic lay order and the Holy See, Matthew Festing explained and defended his actions in a January 14 letter to the Knights' membership.

"Suffice it to say, whilst I was trying to enjoy a peaceful Advent and Christmastide, I have barely been able to concentrate on anything else," he wrote. "It has been extremely tiring and I am sure many of you have had your Christmases disturbed by similar preoccupations."

It has been extremely tiring and I am sure many of you have had your Christmases disturbed by similar preoccupations

Cambridge-educated Mr Festing said he was only protecting the order's sovereignty in refusing to cooperate with a commission appointed by Pope Francis to investigate the ouster of Albrecht von Boeselager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Knights of Malta fight civil war over Catholic reforms

ROME
The Times (UK)

Tom Kington, Rome
January 16 2017
The Times

The British grand master of the Knights of Malta, a thousand-year-old Roman Catholic chivalric order, has staged a coup d’état at the organisation and is surrounding himself with a powerful, unelected clique, it has been alleged.

A senior member, who declined to be named, said that Matthew Festing, 67, a former Grenadier Guards officer and Sotheby’s auctioneer, had violated the order’s constitution in an attempt to grab power.

In December Mr Festing suspended Albrecht von Boeselager, the order’s grand chancellor, the equivalent of its foreign minister, accusing the German aristocrat of allowing the distribution of condoms, which is against Catholic teaching, as part of the order’s charity work. Mr von Boeselager said that he had put a stop to the condom handout when he became aware of it. “In what amounts to a coup d’état the grand master has seized control of the government of the order from those elected,” said the member, who is American.

The Order of Malta was founded in the 11th century to care for pilgrims in the Holy Land. Today it manages humanitarian operations and still considers itself a sovereign state, maintaining diplomatic relations with 106 countries from Rome. The order’s members commit to obeying the Pope but when Pope Francis ordered an investigation into Mr von Boeselager’s ousting, Mr Festing denounced the inquiry as an intrusion into the order’s sovereignty. The row has been cast as a clash between the conservative wing of the church and Francis’s brand of liberal Catholicism.

The church’s ambassador to the order, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who is seen as siding with Mr Festing, is a long-time conservative foe of the Pope. Mr Festing warned members not to disagree with the sacking when questioned by Vatican inspectors but the member preferred to speak out. “It was the grand master who chose to involve the Holy See in the matter over a year ago,” the member said. “He cannot simply retreat from the process set down by the Holy Father because it no longer seems to suit his purpose.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Vatican fights attempt to discredit Knights of Malta probe

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín January 17, 2017
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME-Adding another piece to the puzzle in the ongoing saga involving the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Vatican issued a statement Tuesday commending the work being done by the members of a committee created by Pope Francis to look into the order, and also not-so-subtly reminded the group that despite its sovereignty, it’s still a Catholic institution.

The statement says the Holy See wishes to “reiterate its support and encouragement” for the work being carried out by the members and volunteers around the world, “in fullfilment of the aims of the Order: tuitio fidei (the defense of the faith) and obsequium pauperum (service to the poor, the sick and those in greatest need).”

The following graph, however, says that for the support of that mission, the Holy See “reaffirms its confidence” in the five-member commission appointed by Pope Francis on Dec. 21 to “inform him about the present crisis” in the orders’ direction.

The feud began on Dec. 8, when the order decided to ouster Albrecht von Boeselager, the group’s chancellor. Since then, many observers have pointed towards a scandal regarding the distribution of condoms in Myanmar as the reason for the move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

WA election 2017: Pledge to lift limits on child abuse victims seeking damages

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicolas Perpitch

The Barnett Government has promised to introduce legislation to scrap the six-year statute of limitations on when victims of child abuse can take civil against their perpetrators or institutions if it is re-elected.

Premier Colin Barnett said the Liberals would also remove limitation periods for serious physical abuse.

The statute of limitations restricts when victims can launch civil action to seek damages to a six-year window — a constraint the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse recommended be lifted.

Labor has also pledged to lift the restriction for child abuse victims if it wins government, potentially assuring the changes will pass through State Parliament regardless of who wins the March state election.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Tasmania Police considers abuse apology

AUSTRALIA
Great Lakes Advocate

Chris Clarke
@chrisclarkenews

17 Jan 2017

Tasmania Police is weighing up a historic apology to child-sex abuse victims in institutionalised care whose cries for help were initially not believed by officers.

Police forces across the country are considering the apology and Tasmania Police said it could follow suit, after the idea was put forward at a meeting between all commissioners of police in Melbourne in September.

It follows the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, during which it was revealed many claims of abuse in orphanages Australia-wide fell on deaf ears - and in some instances children who ran away from their ordeals were even returned to their abusers.

But victims will be made to wait until at least December, as police forces wait to hear what findings the Royal Commission will hand down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Police commissioners planning to apologise to victims of institutional child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Patrick Wright and David Sparkes

Australia's police commissioners are considering issuing an apology to victims of child sex abuse following the release of a royal commission report later this year.

The matter was considered at a meeting of Australia's police chiefs in September after a request from the Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN), which supports and advocates for people abused as children in orphanages, foster care and other institutions.

Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton, who chaired the meeting, said while an apology was likely, commissioners would consider the child abuse royal commission's final report, due to be released in December, before making a decision.

"We did have a chat with the royal commission regarding the timing of their final report," he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Police may apologise to child sex victims

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

Rachael Burnett, Australian Associated Press
January 16, 2017

Police chiefs will consider a national apology to victims who were ignored by officers and sometimes beaten when they reported institutional child sex abuse.

They will wait until after Australia's child sexual abuse royal commission hands down a final report before "comprehensively" examining the need for an apology and what it might look like.

Victoria Police chief Graham Ashton says the issue is of serious concern and acknowledged the "long lasting impact of abuse on the most vulnerable in our communities" in a letter to the Care Leavers Australasia Network.

Thousands of adults across Australia have reported suffering psychological, sexual and physical abuse while they were children in care over a period of decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Freedom fighters for victims of child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Lawyers Weekly

17 January 2017

Lisa Flynn

2016 was an important year in our history. It has been one of the most successful in shaping how we respond to reports of child sexual abuse, writes Lisa Flynn.

As we usher in 2017, it is important that we reflect on the lessons we have learnt and resolve to keep doing better to stop child abuse and continue to respond to survivors of abuse positively and compassionately.

We need to do better in our religious institutions.

The inquests into the Catholic and Anglican churches sex abuse claims exposed major failings in how churches in Australia have dealt with children being sexually violated and the lasting and devastating impact this has on victims.

We heard evidence from brave survivors within the various churches, of reports being made of abuse at the time yet no action being taken. What becomes perfectly apparent in these cases is that the church’s priority was to protect the church’s public image rather than to protect the children. This is a stark contrast to the duty of care and service they commit themselves to.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Pope Francis appoints Cardinal O’Malley to CFD role

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook - Diocese of Parramatta

Pope Francis has appointed the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, widely seen as a leading reformer in the Catholic hierarchy, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the powerful Vatican department that deals with clerical sexual abuse cases.

The appointment is being seen by many as a further move by the Pope to ensure bishops are held accountable for their failures to protect minors from clerical sexual abusers.

Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, welcomed the news saying the appointment reflects the influential role Cardinal O’Malley is playing in addressing the child sexual abuse crisis in the Church.

“He is certainly among the people in the Catholic world committed to the protection of minors and vulnerable people from sexual abuse,” Mr Sullivan said. “And he has, for many years, been an outspoken campaigner for bishops to be more accountable, particularly in the area of child protection. Having him on one of the Vatican’s most influential and powerful departments sends a clear signal that the protection of children is very much uppermost in the Pope’s mind.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Flynn: Cardinal Sean on panel shows papal priorities

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Ray Flynn

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pope Francis’ appointment of Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — which reviews clergy sex abuse cases — underscores the level of trust the pontiff has for our archbishop and sends a clear message about his priorities at a critically important time for the church.

I have no doubt that Cardinal Sean, who was named president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2014, will use his new leadership role to ensure that any bishops and priests who are found to have violated their sacred trust are removed and dealt with harshly and swiftly.

Richard Gaillardetz, chairman of Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry, said the appointment “recognizes the extent to which the pope has trust in O’Malley.”

“One of the criticisms of Francis that has the most substance is he has been slow in responding to the clerical sexual abuse crisis,” Gaillardetz said. “Cardinal O’Malley is someone he trusts, who has been in his ear to tell him this is a more important and serious issue than he may have realized.”

By continuing to bring clarity and consistency to Francis’ fight to identify and remove the abusive clergy members who have sullied the reputations of countless good, holy priests around the world, O’Malley will take his expertise onto the global stage and let Catholics know his task is the pope’s highest priority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Man loses compensation case over East Yorkshire school abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A man who claimed he was abused at an East Yorkshire Catholic school has lost a legal action for compensation.

He is one of 249 men suing the Catholic Church over alleged historical sexual abuse at St William's residential school in Market Weighton.

Only one man out of five initial cases heard at the High Court in Leeds has been awarded compensation.

In December, a judge ruled in favour of one claimant and ordered the church to pay £14,000 in damages.

At the same hearing, His Honour Judge Gosnell dismissed three other claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Children demand urgent attention, says Samuels

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Women and children will, for the first time, be the focus of the 37th National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, which takes place at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew on Thursday, according to the Reverend Dr Stevenson Samuels, chair of the committee that plans this annual event.

"For the first time this year, we have also felt the need to include prayers for children. We feel that these are vulnerable groups with regards to crime and violence plaguing our society. Children demand urgent attention," he declared.

Samuels bemoaned that children were abused by adults and also experienced high levels of poverty, neglect by parents, little moral and spiritual training, in addition to insufficient access to other things.

His comments came yesterday at the Church of the Open Bible Church in St Andrew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Michael Abrahams | Retraumatising childhood sex abuse survivors

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The Moravian Church sex scandal has escalated a national conversation on the sexual abuse of children. The story reads like a sordid soap opera, with allegations and revelations being spat out at maddening velocity. Apart from the alleged victims and their families, and the families of the accused, there is an entire subset of our population that is also in pain and being tormented while suffering in silence. It is the women, and men, who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

What many of us fail to understand and appreciate is that whenever there is public discourse about the sexual abuse of minors, survivors of this egregious violation experience a nauseating feeling of déjà vu. They are restimulated, as the bombardment via traditional and social media, and workplace and other discussions, stir up unpleasant memories, producing negative emotions and triggering depression relapses. Feelings of sadness, shame, embarrassment, anger and guilt are once again brought to the fore, and these women, and men, are forced to relive and deal with their traumatic histories all over again.

Over the past week, I have had conversations with six women, in different decades of life, who have confessed to me that the present imbroglio has reopened old wounds, with the revelation of each new detail piercing them like daggers thrust into their hearts.

Sonia* is 26 years old and was molested as a child by a family member who was very active in church. She commenced therapy last year to deal with the effects of her trauma and has been doing well, but the present crisis has deeply affected her. She remarked to me that she feels like a “derailed train”. As a matter of fact, during our conversation, she broke down and had to terminate the discussion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

55 cases of sexual relations with minor for Easter session of St Catherine courts

JAMAICA
Loop

The Easter session of the opening of the St Catherine Circuit court recently had a record of 150 new committed matters; 132 cases carried from the previous session; 16 murders; 66 rapes and 55 sexual relations with a person under the age of 16.

There has been heavy ongoing national spotlight on the sexual abuse of minors by adult males locally, following the arrest and charge of 64-year-old Moravian Church pastor Rupert Clarke for having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Declaring the Circuit open, Justice Marsha Dunbar-Green reminded both sides of the councils of the Goodyear proceedings that they can approach her to know what the plea would be if their clients who are known to be guilty would receive instead of having a lengthy trial.

Justice Dunbar-Green outlined that it was a pleasure for her to be back in St Catherine after spending much of her maiden years there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Queens Music Director Arrested For Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Student

NEW YORK
CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The music director for a Queens church has been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a juvenile parishioner.

Police say Rafael Diaz of Forest Hills was arrested at his home Saturday. Last Thursday, the alleged victim’s father came to the church and reported that Diaz had sexually abused his daughter during private piano lessons over the course of two years.

According to the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Queens was not aware that Diaz was hired by the alleged victim’s parents to give their child private music lessons at their home.

The diocese says they immediately contacted the NYPD and are cooperating with authorities during the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Vatican not doing enough to fight sexual abuse in Catholic Church, author alleges

ROME
Christian Daily

Lorraine Caballero 17 January, 2017

The Vatican is not doing enough to stop the sexual abuse happening inside the Catholic Church, according to Italian author Emiliano Fittipaldi.

In an upcoming book titled "Lussuria" (Lust), Fittipaldi cites court documents and interviews with priests and judicial officials to paint a picture of Pope Francis' first three years of papacy. The author says the pontiff has done "close to nothing" to address the sexual abuse cases that have tainted the Catholic Church's image, The Guardian details.

"The principle message of the book — the problem — is that the phenomenon of paedophilia is not being fought with sufficient force. Across the world, the church continues to protect the privacy of the paedophiles and also the cardinals [who protect them]," Fittipaldi told the Guardian in an interview. "Francis is not directly defending the paedophiles, but he did close to nothing to contrast the phenomenon of paedophilia."

In Pope Francis' letter to the Catholic Bishops released at the beginning of the year, the pontiff reiterated the church's "zero tolerance" for sexual abuse. He said this in light of the church's reported cover-up of such incidents, including the enabling and relocation of clergy who molest children, Mediaite reports.

Despite the "zero tolerance" stance on sexual abuse, Fittipaldi says around 1,200 plausible complaints of such incidents from all over the world have been brought to the Vatican in Pope Francis' first three years. Of the 20 such cases in Italy last year, some of the accused priests have reportedly been convicted of abuse and yet the church has not implemented any disciplinary action against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Bankruptcy status near end for Diocese

CALIFORNIA
Manteca Bulletin

By ROSE ALBANO RISSO Bulletin Correspondent
POSTED January 17, 2017

The Catholic Diocese of Stockton will come out of its bankruptcy status in the next few weeks after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California approved the “consensual plan of reorganization” filed three years ago by Bishop Stephen Blaire.

The approved plan provides “$15 million to survivors of sexual abuse as well as non-monetary commitments which are important aspects of any healing process.”

The announcement was made to diocesan parishioners during the Masses on Sunday and the anticipated Masses on Saturday. The full text of the announcement was also included as an insert in the parish bulletins.

In the bilingual (Spanish and English) written statement from the diocese’s communications director, Sister Terry Davis, Bishop Blaire stated, “We wish to thank all of the parties, including the court appointed mediator Judge Gregg W. Zive, Judge Klein, the sexual abuse survivors, the insurers, the creditors’ committee, and their respective counsel, our counsel, and the entire Catholic community, for helping bring this very difficult chapter in the history of the Diocese to an equitable resolution.”

The reorganization plan held a number of key provisions resulting from months of negotiations involving the creditors, insurance carriers, the diocese and other parties, all of which had to vote on the proposed plan. The plan received “nearly unanimous approval,” according to the announcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

The Buried Abuse of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese

TEXAS
Houston Press

How Problematic Priests Are Warehoused

BY CRAIG MALISOW

On the phone, the former Houston priest didn’t recognize the name of the 13-year-old boy he molested in 1978.

So much time has passed since that third encounter with the boy, in the Town & Country Village movie theater in Memorial City, where the priest slid his hand into the boy’s jeans and masturbated him. It’s hard to keep track of these things, and besides, the priest says, it’s old news.

Father Walter Dayton Salisbury, now 85, has moved on with his life since pleading no contest and serving three years’ probation. He left Houston in the early 1980s for Washington, D.C., where he was charged with molesting another boy, then spent some time at a parish outside Mobile, where he was accused again, but not charged. He eventually returned to his home city, Bar Harbor, a quaint little town in coastal Maine, where he found an apartment across the street from a K-8 public school. He became active in the community, joining the Order of the Founders of the Patriots of America, whose website states that membership is open to men of “good moral character and reputation.”

Salisbury was one of more than a dozen priests named in a November 2016 press release by the local chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, as part of the group’s push for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to publicly identify, for the first time, all of its priests who’d been accused or convicted of crimes against children.

When the Houston Press reached Salisbury in October for a comment on the group’s efforts, he chuckled. “I’m certainly not going to say anything to vigilantes, no,” he said in a New England accent, referring to the group (known as SNAP).
When the Press mentioned his Houston victim’s name, Salisbury said, “That doesn’t ring a bell at all.”

Told who it was, Salisbury said, “Good Lord, I mean...that’s 30 years ago, or whatever it is.”

Unlike Salisbury, his victim couldn’t so easily forget a name.

“The first time I ever ejaculated was from some dirty old man’s hand,” the victim told the Press in December. (We’re calling the man, who asked not to be named, “Darren.”)

He also never forgot about how, when the movie was over and Salisbury was driving him back home, the priest — who served for decades as the chaplain of Texas Southern University’s Catholic Newman Center — pulled over in an alley, unzipped his pants and put the boy’s hand around his penis. ...

As Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the Massachusetts-based nonprofit Bishop Accountability, puts it, “Texas has one of the most victim-hostile statute[s] of limitations in the country.”

Although the religious order Salisbury worked under — the Josephites — and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, released statements on Salisbury’s crimes in 2004, Houston’s top Catholic clergy have acknowledged the diocese’s predator priests only if forced to through criminal charges, civil lawsuits or media reports. ...

In 2004, as part of a historic, yet hardly transparent, initiative, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tasked the John Jay College of Criminal Justice with producing a report on abuse in the church, based largely on self-reported numbers. Covering the years 1950-2002, the report indicated that 4,392 priests and deacons had been accused of child sexual abuse, or 2.7 percent of the overall population of Catholic clergy working during that time.

That rate has risen to 5.6 percent today, according to Anne Barrett Doyle of Bishop Accountability, which calculates and reports the numbers annually. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has never amended its figure of 22 priests and 4 deacons — a 1 percent rate.

“That is just insane,” Barrett Doyle said, noting that in the small diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, “We know of more than 90 accused clergy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Brother of priest avoids jail for abuse of altar boy

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Ashleigh McDonald
PUBLISHED
17/01/2017

A priest's brother, who sexually abused an altar boy while volunteering at the Clonard Novena, has been spared a jail sentence.

Belfast Crown Court heard yesterday that Martin Cassidy is currently taking chemical castration medication at his own request.

He was placed on probation for three years after he admitted abusing the altar boy in 1988.

The 67-year-old from Orchard Mews in Belfast - who hasn't worked in 40 years and has a criminal record including 13 previous sexual offences - was also made the subject of a five-year Sexual Offenders Prevention Order and will be on the Sexual Offenders Register for the same period.

Passing sentence, Judge Patricia Smyth revealed that Cassidy's last sexual offending was committed in 1990 and said she felt the public would be best protected by the pensioner participating in the Sex Offenders Treatment Programme as part of his probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Editorial | Moravians Not The Victims

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

It would be a mistake if, in the midst of their crisis, the Moravians of Jamaica were to merely circle their wagons and nurture a grievance of persecution, of which, judging by the remarks of some of their congregants and pastors, there are troubling signs.

In this regard, we repeat our advice to the church to allow the law, unfettered by attempts at stonewalling or cover-up, to take its course in the unfolding allegations of sex abuse against clergy. This approach is likely to lead, in time, to purer healing.

With no more than 20,000 members, the Moravians are not near being a major congregation in Jamaica. But over their more than two and a half centuries in the island, the church's mission has been substantial. They have contributed greatly to education and social welfare. Now, in the face of a deepening sex scandal, the Moravians face questions about moral authority, which, potentially, could lead to a fracturing of the institution.

Earlier this month, Rupert Clarke, 64, a pastor to a congregation in the parish of Manchester, was arrested for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old minor in neighbouring St Elizabeth. He is under investigation for a similar, earlier affaire, with an underage girl from the same family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 AM

January 16, 2017

Queens music teacher arrested for alleged sexual abuse of 12-year-old student

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
LAURA DIMON
BEN CHAPMAN

A Queens music teacher was arrested for sexually abusing a girl while giving her singing and piano lessons at her home when she was 12 years old, police said Monday.

Rafael Diaz, 69, was arrested Saturday and charged with sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Diaz was music director for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, where his victim was a student.

Sources said the girl’s family made arrangements for her to receive private lessons at home, where the alleged abuse occurred.

Diaz was charged with sexual conduct against a child less than 13, sexual abuse in the first degree and acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Education Ministry To Comment February On Hampton Principal's Leave Challenge

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The Education Ministry says it will not comment on the latest development involving Principal of the St Elizabeth-based Hampton School, Heather Murray, until next month.

Murray is challenging the education ministry’s decision to send her on two weeks leave.

It's the latest in a string of developments after Murray went to the St Elizabeth Parish Court at the bail hearing of Moravian pastor, Rupert Clarke, who is on a sex charge.

She also attempted to block the media from taking his images.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

Cardinal O’Malley joins Vatican office that reviews sex abuse cases

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Chris Villani Monday, January 16, 2017

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s recent appointment to a Vatican council tasked with prosecuting sex abuse cases may impact the church’s role in preventing and responding to the crisis, local experts say.

Pope Francis named the head of the Boston Archdiocese to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of a series of appointments the Vatican announced over the weekend.

“Not only is it an area where the cardinal can be useful, but it recognizes the extend to which the pope has trust in O’Malley,” said Richard Gaillardetz, chair of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College.

“One of the criticism of Francis that has the most substance is he has been slow in responding to the clerical sexual abuse crisis,” Gaillardetz said. “Cardinal O’Malley is someone he trusts, who has been in his ear to tell him this is a more important and serious issue than he may have realized.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Judges should stay out of residential school claims, Ontario Appeal Court rules

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

COLIN PERKEL
TORONTO — The Canadian Press
Published Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

Judges have no general right to interfere with compensation decisions involving claims by victims of Canada’s notorious Indian residential schools, Ontario’s Court of Appeal said Monday.

In written reasons for an oral decision rendered in December, the Court of Appeal said a Superior Court justice overstepped his powers by awarding money to a rape victim whose claims were rejected under the independent assessment process known as the IAP.

“The IAP represents a comprehensive, tailor-made scheme for the resolution of claims by trained and experienced adjudicators, selected according to specified criteria and working under the direction of the chief adjudicator,” the Appeal Court said.

“Allowing appeals or judicial review would seriously compromise the finality of the IAP and fail to pay appropriate heed to the distinctive nature of the IAP and the expertise of IAP adjudicators.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Sister Rose Clarisse Gadoury, 87, of Marlborough

MASSACHUSETTS
Community Advocate

Marlborough – Sister Rose Clarisse (Pauline) Gadoury, 87, a Sister of St. Anne, died Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 in UMass Marlborough Hospital.

Born in Dudley, she was the tenth surviving child of Emilien and Rosanna (St. Martin) Gadoury. She attended St. Anne School in Webster and the former St. Anne Academy (Marlborough), earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Anna Maria College (Paxton), an MA from Duquesne University, and a Doctoral degree in ministry from Boston University, School of Theology, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Anna Maria College. ...

She was a member of the Advisory Board for the Vicar for Religious, and the Office of Pastoral Ministries in the Archdiocese of Boston. She served as a member of the Bishop’s Pastoral Care Committee for Sexual Abuse for the Diocese of Worcester.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Catholic school teacher charged with molesting student

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Tina Moore January 16, 2017

A 69-year-old Catholic school music teacher was arrested for sexually abusing a girl while giving her singing and piano lessons at her Queens home when she was 11 and 12 years old, police sources said.

Rafael Diaz, music director for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, was arrested Saturday and charged with sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

The girl, now 15, told investigators Diaz would touch her diaphragm with four fingers and then fondle her breast with his hands over her clothes while making her sing different pitches, the police sources said.

He once asked her if she had started her menstrual cycle and then allegedly put his hand on her private parts over her clothing. The assaults happened four or five times in the girl’s former home between May and June in 2014, the sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Cardinal Levada on Pope Benedict, the CDF and the Prosecution of Clergy Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

Joan Frawley Desmond

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Amid calls for the decentralization of the Roman Curia by some Church leaders and theologians, Cardinal William Levada, the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), underscored the CDF’s crucial role as the arbiter of faith and morals for the universal Church.

Cardinal Levada also suggested that the CDF was especially qualified to oversee the prosecution of clergy abuse cases, a responsibility given to the congregation by Pope St. John Paul II in his 2001 document Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela, issued motu proprio (on the pope’s own initiative).

Over the past month, media outlets have reported on proposals within the Vatican to shift the prosecution of abuse cases to another dicastery. These reports have not been publicly confirmed, and Cardinal Levada did not address them directly. Rather, he reflected on the CDF’s unique expertise in dealing with these often-complicated cases over the past 16 years.

Cardinal Levada, 80, the former archbishop of San Francisco who retired as prefect of the CDF in 2012, offered his comments during a wide-ranging Register interview on Jan. 9 at his residence on the grounds of St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California. The conversation touched on his decades of service to the Church as a theologian, bishop and prefect of the CDF, and he also discussed the legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Police chiefs planning to apologise to child-sex abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

January 17, 2017
.
DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The nation’s police commissioners are set to make a historic apol­ogy to the victims of child-sex abuse in institutional care who were not believed when they reported these crimes or, worse, were returned to their abusers.

The true number of such abuse victims will never be known as records were not kept, have since been lost or were destroyed.

That such an apology is being considered at this level shows both its extent and the damage done are feared to be significant.

More than half a million children are estimated to have spent time in an orphanage, home or foster care over the past century. They represent more than 40 per cent of the 6349 people who have given evidence in private to the child abuse royal commission to date saying they were abused.

In a letter sent last week and seen by The Australian, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton says the Australian and New Zealand Police Commissioners Forum met recently to discuss a potential apology to those affected. Writing to the Care Leavers Australasia Network, which represents people who were in ­institutional care and has campaigned on the issue for several years, Mr Ashton says the other police commissioners “asked me to convey their sincere empathy about the concerns … raised”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Concerned Catholics questions priest’s canon law studies

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Jan. 16, 2017

A group of Catholics is raising concerns about a recent decision to send a priest to Canada to study canon law. The priest defied an archbishop’s decision to reassign him to Umatac and has been accused of a string of alleged misconduct throughout the years. Canon law governs the Catholic Church.

The Concerned Catholics of Guam Inc. said Father Adrian Cristobal is “one of the most despicable clerics” in the Archdiocese of Agana for his conduct.

A few days before he was to leave Guam, Cristobal said that his being sent to study canon law is “nothing out of the ordinary.” The Concerned Catholics disagrees.

Priest unhappy with parish shift

“Father Adrian Cristobal should be disciplined, not rewarded, for lies he has perpetrated that has harmed the Church on Guam. He is one of the priests at the center of this division within our Church,” Concerned Catholics president David Sablan said in a Jan. 10 letter to the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Former Moravian head quits as chairman of Teachers’ Service Commission

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

AS the sex scandal surrounding the Moravian church in Jamaica deepens, Dr Paul Gardner, who was head of the organisation up to Thursday, has also quit his chairmanship of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid, in a release late Saturday night, said the resignation was immediate. Gardner was appointed chairman of the commission last year May.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer yesterday, Reid indicated that the resignation was due to the scandal rocking the church organisation. “In discussions he recognised that there are some serious allegations against him which render his continuance untenable and he therefore, in principle, has agreed to step aside to clear his name and his integrity and, having tendered his resignation, I have to accept it. I thank him for his services to the TSC and Jamaica and I wish him the very best in his future endeavours,” he said.

Dr Gardner and vice-president of the church, Rev Jermaine Gibson, quit the executive of the church on Thursday as allegations of sexual misconduct continued to rock the organisation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Abuse accusations against clerics still runs high under Pope Francis, book claims

ROME
Washington Post

By Anthony Faiola and Stefano Pitrelli January 16

The Vatican has continued to receive a high number of reports of sexual abuse by clerics during Pope Francis’s papacy, according to a new book that also reexamines allegations against several of the pontiff’s top advisers involving coverups or worse.

The book by Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi — an advance copy of which was provided to The Washington Post, and which is to be published Thursday — argues that little has changed in the way the church handles sexual abuse cases despite Francis’s creation of a special commission for the protection of minors and a declaration of “zero tolerance” of abuse.

The church “is still afraid of the taboo,” Fittipaldi said in an interview.

Francis has been credited by some with taking more decisive action on abuse cases than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, did. Francis has set down a process for removing bishops for negligence in the handling of abuse cases and ordered the trial before a church tribunal of a Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic after accusations of sexual abuse surfaced. But Francis also has promoted officials who have been tainted by accusations of abuse or coverups, and the Vatican has been accused of still not doing enough.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Pope has done 'close to nothing' to stop clerical sex abuse, author claims

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Mon 16 Jan 2017
By Premier Journalist

An Italian author has lashed out at Pope Francis, claiming the Catholic leader has not followed through on his promise to have a zero tolerance approach on clerical sex abuse.

Emiliano Fittipaldi makes the accusations against the Pope in his new book Lussuria ('Lust') which will be released in Italy on Thursday.

Fittipaldi claims that 1,200 complaints of child sex abuse were taken to the Pope in his first three years of papacy. He writes that in Italy, a number of priests have been convicted of abuse but the church did not take any canonical action against them.

The author also suggests that Australian cardinal George Pell, who has been accused of protecting abusers in his archdiocese, has remained in a senior position despite the complaints against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

January 15, 2017

Assignment Record– Rev. Damion Jacques Lynch

NORTH CAROLINA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Damion J. Lynch was ordained for the Diocese of Charlotte in 1991. He was assigned to St. Elizabeth's in Boone and was a chaplain at nearby Appalachian State University. In 1995 Lynch disclosed to Bishop Curlin an "indiscretion" on his part involving a St. Elizabeth's altar boy in his early teens. Lynch was placed on leave in November 1995 and sent for psychological testing. The family received settlement money, agreeing to keep quiet and to release the diocese from further damages. Curlin assigned Lynch to another Charlotte parish 1997. In 1998 the same family sued after they said they discovered that their son's twin brother had also been molested by Lynch, and that the abuse of their boys occurred repeatedly and not just once, as they had thought. Lynch then asked for a leave of absence. He was not returned to ministry.

Ordained: 1991

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

How the Death of Bishop Eddie Long Exposes the Black Church’s Dangerous Hypocrisy

UNITED STATES
BET

Written by Ernest Owens

The death of Bishop Eddie Long struck a nerve with me that I would have never imaged. Perhaps it was the hypocrisy found in Kim Burrell’s anti-LGBT remarks earlier this month or the fact that I now see more Black clergyman popping up to support President-Elect Donald Trump — who also has a VP that believes in LGBTQ conversion therapy. Maybe it's the deep distrust with faith communities that have given me a bittersweet reaction to Long’s passing.

When I saw the news break on social media, I automatically took to Twitter to see the reactions. Many were celebrating Long as a “spiritual warrior,” a “mentor,” and a “church leader.” No one, in the first few moments his death became public, would dare speak on the allegations surrounding him reportedly coercing young adult men for sex. No one would speak on the congregation members who would denounced and publically attacked these men for speaking to the media. And nobody would talk about the hypocrisy of his church and how they defended a man who has held anti-LGBTQ positions while seemingly living a double life.

This morning, I had enough with allowing church folks on my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed fail to recognize their double standards at the expense of my emotional tillage. I called it out, all of it. I went off about the Black church and how it likes to erase LGBTQ folks and our trauma out of the narrative. I explained how “love, grace, and mercy” is only given to those who preach hetrosexism, but not for the same-gender loving and those afflicted by sexual abuse. It was a Sunday, so I gave a social media sermon that went viral. Enough was enough and I wasn’t having it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Antigay Pastor Eddie Long, Once Accused of Sex Abuse, Dead at 63

GEORGIA
Advocate

BY TRUDY RING
JANUARY 15 2017

Eddie Long, the antigay Georgia megachurch pastor once accused of sexually abusing young men in his congregation, has died at age 63.

Long died Sunday of “an aggressive form of cancer,” said a statement released by his church to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Long, who held the title of bishop, was senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, a suburb of Atlanta. In 2010 four men who had been members of the church filed a lawsuit alleging that Long had coerced them into sexual relationships, enticing them with money, trips, and expensive gifts. A court dismissed the suit and the men reached a settlement with Long in 2011.

The bishop did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, and he always denied the allegations, but even after the settlement, his accusers maintained they were telling the truth. Long’s public stance was also consistently antigay; he preached against homosexuality, offered counseling to “cure” people of being gay, and opposed marriage equality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

New rabbinical decree mandates reporting sexual harassment

ISRAEL
Israel Hayom

Following recent scandals involving well-known religious figures, a new ruling determines it is not only permissible, but a duty to report sexual harassment to the police • "There is more common language with police today," prominent rabbi says.

Yehuda Shlezinger and Israel Hayom Staff

In the wake of several recent scandals involving well-known figures from the religious public -- among them former Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris; former head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Davidi Pearl; Rabbi Ezra Scheinberg and others -- a new religious ruling states unequivocally: Sexual harassment or abuse must be reported to the police.

A comprehensive halachic document compiled by the Puah Institute for fertility, medicine, and Jewish law cites five halachic sources and determines that it is not only permissible, but an obligation, to complain about sexual harassment.

The document was drafted ahead of the 17th Puah Institute Conference, which will be held Wednesday.

In attendance will be doctors and rabbis, with the goal of teaching municipal, neighborhood and community rabbis about the latest innovations in the fields of gynecology, fertility, genetics and more. This year, a panel at the conference will specifically examine the religious duty of reporting sexual harassment to the authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Robert Yurgel, OFM.Cap

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Robert Yurgel was ordained for the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis in 1996. He was assigned in 1997 to the Diocese of Charlotte NC, where he worked in several area parishes. In October 1999 he was transferred out of the diocese, returning briefly to his order in New York, then assigned to the Diocese of Paterson NJ. He resided at a Passaic parish while working as a hospital chaplain. He occasionally said mass in Hackensack.

In 2008 a 23-year-old man reported to the Charlotte-Meckenburg police that Yurgel sexually abused him beginning in 1999 when he was a 14-year-old altar boy at St. Matthew's in Charlotte, and Yurgel was an assistant priest. The young man said the abuse occurred at St. Matthew's, at Our Lady of Consolation where Yurgel was next assigned, in a car in the parking lot of St. Michael's in Gastonia where Yurgel sometimes presided over a Spanish mass, and at the boy's home when his parents were out. Yurgel was arrested in NJ and extradited to NC; he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 2009 to at least seven years and eight months in prison, and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Yurgel's victim sued the Charlotte diocese and Capuchin Franciscans in 2008, claiming they covered up his case, and that the diocese knew of sexual misconduct by Yurgel in 1999. The diocese and order settled with the man in 2010.

Ordained: 1996

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

L'Espresso anticipa il libro di Fittipaldi su Vaticano e pedofilia

ROMA
AGI

Roma - Sul nuovo numero dell'Espresso, in edicola da domenica 15 gennaio, l'inchiesta di copertina è firmata da Emiliano Fittipaldi ed è dedicata ai 'vizi cardinali', ovvero a come parte della Curia continua a proteggere prelati accusati di pedofilia..

Il giornalista ha scritto un libro, in uscita il 19, sull'argomento e nel video racconta la difficile battaglia di Francesco contro la pedofilia. Fittipaldi spiega come gli alti prelati, alcuni vicini al Papa, hanno continuato a insabbiare le denunce sulle violenze sessuali ai bambini. Nel numero in edicola domenica con Repubblica, anche un'intervista al figlio del criminale nazista Hans Frank, processato a Norimberga.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Abuse in Catholic church 'not being fought with enough force' claims new book

ROME
The Guardian (UK)

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

Sunday 15 January 2017

The last time Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi wrote an exposé about corruption at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, it landed him in a Vatican court facing a possible jail sentence on charges that he had illegally obtained confidential church papers in the course of his reporting.

Now, six months after the 42-year-old reporter was cleared of all charges, Fittipaldi is taking on the church again. This time in a new book that accuses Pope Francis of doing “close to nothing” to stop clerical sexual abuse in Italy and around the world, despite the Argentinean pope’s frequent assertions that he has zero tolerance for the abuse of children or those who protect abusers.

In Lussuria (Lust), which will be released in Italian by publisher Feltrinelli on Thursday, Fittipaldi methodically pores over court documents and cites interviews with priests and judicial officials to paint a damning picture of the first three years of Francis’s papacy. Fittipaldi claims that 1,200 plausible complaints of molestation against boys and girls from around the world have been brought to the Vatican’s attention in that period. In some of the twenty cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests in Italy in 2016, Fittipaldi writes, priests have been convicted of abuse without the church taking any canonical action against them.

Fittipaldi also devotes attention to the case of Australian cardinal George Pell, who was appointed by Francis to reform church finances and has remained in that senior position despite questions over whether Pell protected serial abusers in his archdiocese in Australia decades ago. Pell has denied the allegations against him but a counsel assisting a royal commission looking at child abuse in Australia has argued that there was evidence that Pell should have taken stronger action against one paedophile priest whose case has been examined. ...

“The principle message of the book – the problem – is that the phenomenon of paedophilia is not being fought with sufficient force. Across the world, the church continues to protect the privacy of the paedophiles and also the cardinals [who protect them],” Fittipaldi said in an interview with the Guardian.

“Francis is not directly defending the paedophiles, but he did close to nothing to contrast the phenomenon of paedophilia,” he added.

It is not a new charge against the pope. While Francis is popular, especially for his strong views in support of poor and marginalised people, groups that advocate for survivors of sexual abuse have regularly criticised Francis for failing to take concrete steps to prevent and expose abuse, even though he has used strong words to condemn sexual violence by priests. A papal commission created by Francis early in his papacy has only met three or four times in its history, Fittipaldi said. Separately, a Vatican proposal to create a tribunal to investigate bishops who cover up for abusers, which was celebrated by advocacy groups when it was announced in 2015, has inexplicably been stalled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Cardinal O’Malley Appointed To Vatican Office That Reviews Abuse Cases

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Pope Francis has appointed Boston’s Archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith–a move church officials say will expand his global involvement in the prevention of clergy sex abuse.

John Allen, the editor of Catholic news website Crux, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe that O’Malley’s appointment reflects the influential role he’s played in addressing the church sex abuse crisis.

“This appointment is another confirmation that he is essentialy this pope’s, and essentially the entire church’s go-to man in the fight against child sexual abuse,” said Allen. “If you want a signal that you’re serious about something, and you want a signal that you’re serious about reform, you want Cardinal O’Malley to be involved with it.”

Pope Francis created a commission to recommend abuse policy changes in the church, and put O’Malley in charge–but Allen says this appointment gives him more reach.

“It really is the Congregation for the Faith that applies those recommendations in the area of imposing discipline–not merely on priests who abuse, but also on bishops who cover up abuse,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

La Diócesis de Gipuzkoa exigirá certificado de penales tras los casos de abusos sexuales contra menores

ESPANA
El Mundo

[The Bishop of San Sebastián, José Ignacio Munilla, announced today that the diocese will now require a criminal record certificate for persons working with children in the diocese. Munilla dedicated his homily at Sunday Mass celebrated at the cathedral to the accusations made against the former vicar-general, Juan Kruz Mendizabal, who was convicted in a church canonical procedure of sexual abuse of a minor.]

15/01/2017

El obispo de San Sebastián, José Ignacio Munilla, ha anunciado hoy que exigirá certificado de penales a las personas que trabajen con menores en la diócesis y ha señalado que su "agenda queda disponible para atender de forma prioritaria los casos" de abusos sexuales "que puedan presentarse".

Munilla ha dedicado íntegramente su homilía de la misa dominical que ha celebrado en la catedral del Buen Pastor de la capital guipuzcoana al caso del ex vicario general de Gipúzkoa, el sacerdote Juan Kruz Mendizabal, condenado en un procedimiento canónico por dos casos de abusos sexuales a menores sucedidos en los años 2001 y 2005 y denunciado por una tercera víctima por hechos similares acaecidos en 1994.

Munilla ha trasladado también un mensaje de apoyo a los sacerdotes, de los que ha dicho que "son como los aviones", que "solo son noticia cuando caen".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Irish bishops to meet Pope Francis on 10-day visit to Vatican

ROME
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew in Rome

Migration, economic austerity, secularism, clerical sex abuse, falling attendance at Mass, the decline in priesthood vocations and the Catholic Church’s mission of mercy to those on the periphery will be just some of the many hot-button issues touched on by Irish bishops during their traditional “ad limina” visit to Pope Francis and the Holy See, beginning on Monday morning.

The “ad limina apostolorum” (to the threshold of the apostles) visit, which usually takes place every five years, in some senses represents an occasion when the local, often far-off branch gets a chance to report in person to head office.

Over the next 10 days, there will be an exchange of views between the visiting bishops and the heads of nearly all the major departments of the Roman curia.

The high point of the visit will come next Friday when the pope receives the almost 30-strong Irish delegation in audience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Boston’s archbishop joins Vatican office on clergy sex abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
Seattle Times

By The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s archbishop has been appointed to a top Vatican office that handles cases of clergy sex abuse.

The Vatican’s press office announced Saturday that Pope Francis named Cardinal Sean O’Malley the newest member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which enforces church teachings and also judges sex abuse cases. O’Malley will remain the archbishop of Boston.

The move strengthens O’Malley’s role as a key figure in the church’s work to prevent abuse. In 2014 he was named president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, an advisory body for the pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Married priest suspended for alledgedly sending woman lewd selfies

NEW YORK
New York Pos

By Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein

January 15, 2017

A Long Island priest has been suspended for allegedly sending sinful selfies.

Father Luke Melackrinos, a married father of three and the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul, was called into a Nassau County police station on Jan. 8 to address a complaint involving “inappropriate email exchanges he had with a woman,” according to a letter sent to parishioners by his bishop.

No charges were filed against Melackrinos but he was “immediately placed on a leave of absence” because “there is a certain code of behavior expected of our clergy,” read the letter written by Bishop Andonios Paropoulos, the chancellor of the Greek Orthodox church in the United States.

Melackrinos “consented to immediately begin seeing a professional for evaluation so we can determine the proper course of action,” the bishop wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

I was sexually abused as a teen by the N.J. priest arrested for child porn | Opinion

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Anonymous

I am the unnamed sex-abuse victim of Kevin Gugliotta, the poker-playing priest arrested on Oct. 29 on child pornography charges. mentioned in Mark Meuller's story in The Star-Ledger on Dec. 6.

The article made it clear that the Newark Archdiocese's statement was misleading if not an outright lie: "There are no allegations that he engaged in similar activities in New Jersey,"

In fact, before Gugliotta was ordained, he sexually assaulted and sexually harassed me when I was a teenager. In 2003 - nearly 15 years after I was abused - I came forward to the Archdiocesan Review Board. Archbishop John J. Myers relied on a technicality of canon law to excuse Gugliotta, since my allegations stemmed to years before he was ordained. Worse, the archbishop then assigned him to posts where he had supervision over children.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin is our own Pope Francis. He replaces Myers, whose neglect has left children exposed to sexual abuse.

The church, under Myers, sat on these very serious allegations, right up until they knew the newspaper would shed light on it.

Today, I want to add insight how perpetrators of child sexual abuse take time to build a network of trust and confidence by cultivating love and respect in families and communities, such that their acts, when they come to light, seem unbelievable.

I also want to speak to the culture within the Catholic church that denies and hides the behavior of perpetrators - a culture that fails to protect children and young adults, condemning them to a lifetime of shame and secrecy from which it is very difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to recover.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

The true cost of child sexual abuse

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY NIKKI DUBOSE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, January 15, 2017

After failing to change the law last year, New York State is set once again to consider doing away with the statute of limitations on prosecuting sex crimes against children — this time with Gov. Cuomo hopefully leading the reform charge against a likely intransigent state Senate.

Under current statutes, a victim must seek justice in criminal or civil court by her 23rd birthday, or she loses the opportunity to do so forever.

To understand why this is so perverse, you have to try to grasp the psychological impact that child sex abuse has on those subjected to it.

I was sexually abused at age 8 by a male figure, and then again by my mother from the ages of 9 to 13 until the police removed me from my home. There was a lot of domestic violence and physical abuse, but the sexual abuse impacted me the most. I developed eating disorders, depression, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation. I dropped out of high school and failed out of college twice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Moravian Church Left Battered And Wounded By Sex Scandal, Says Acting President

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, the Reverend Phyllis Smith-Seymour, has issued a statement saying the institution has been left battered and wounded arising from the arrest sex scandal now gripping it.

The statement issued this morning comes two days after the Moravian president Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson resigned following damning allegations against them contained in a seven-page email.

The bishops of the church have told the complainant that an independent committee mutually agreed by her will be set up to investigate.

This morning's statement also follows the December 28 arrest of Rupert Clarke, the 64-year-old pastor of the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Another ‘kairos’ moment for the church: Addressing sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
The Mennonite

Gordon Houser is the editor of The Mennonite magazine. Hannah Heinzekehr is the Executive Director of The Mennonite, Inc. This editorial appeared in the October issue of The Mennonite.

From Gordon

It seems that issues arise in the Mennonite church at times that feel like “kairos” moments, moments of opportunity for change and for focus by the broader church.

I felt that happened in the early 1990s, when we were confronted by a growing number of cases of sexual abuse by Mennonite leaders. At the time, I was editor of The Mennonite when it was the magazine of the General Conference Mennonite Church. I was part of a group of Mennonite leaders who attended a conference in February 1992 called “Men Working to End Violence Against Women.”

For most of us who participated, this was a life-changing experience, a time of repentance from ignoring the violence against women that was endemic to our society— even our church.

Around this time, stories emerged of sexual abuse by several prominent Mennonite church leaders, including Urie Bender, Jan Gleysteen, John Howard Yoder and others. At that time, Meetinghouse, a group of Mennonite editors, worked on developing guidelines for reporting these abuses. And we reported those we learned about.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

NY--Victims to Cuomo: NY can follow Hawaii’s successful lead with Child Victims Act

NEW YORK/HAWAII
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests SNAPNetwork.org, (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com

New York Governor Cuomo is making a bold and victim-friendly move by adding the Child Victim’s Act to his agenda. We applaud him for making child safety a priority—by helping victims in both private and public institutions.

In 2014, the State of Hawaii extended their 2-year civil window for victims of child sexual abuse.
Their original window, enacted in 2012, only applied to victims who had been sexually abused in private institutions. The two-year extension broadened the law and allowed survivors who had been abused in public and private schools and institutions to use the civil justice system to expose their abuser.

The law was very successful, allowing hundreds of victims to come forward, exposing dozens of predators, and keeping Hawaii’s children safer in public and private institutions. Governor Cuomo can do the same for New York.

If Hawaii can write a law that helps survivors and protects children, New York can certainly do the same.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

O’Malley named to Vatican office that reviews abuse cases

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Felicia Gans GLOBE CORRESPONDENT JANUARY 15, 2017

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley was appointed Saturday to a powerful Vatican office that reviews sex abuse cases, expanding his global involvement in the prevention of clergy sex abuse, according to church officials.

O’Malley’s appointment to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Francis was announced by the Vatican press office.

The duties of the Doctrine of Faith office, which is responsible for Catholic teaching, were expanded to include the review and handling of clerical abuse cases in the early 2000s, said Thomas Groome, a professor of theology and religious education at Boston College.

O’Malley’s appointment to the office is a reflection of the influential role he’s played to address the global clergy sex abuse crisis, Groome said. ...

Phil Saviano, a sex abuse survivor, said the appointment is “certainly a step in the right direction” by the Vatican to address the needs of victims. But Saviano said Francis needs to be more transparent regarding both the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“Whether anything significant will come from it, and whether he will be willing to reveal the details of what he does with this committee, so that we can judge if it’s a good thing or another way of stalling for time ... we’ll have to tell,” he said.

Saviano added that he’s been impressed with O’Malley’s outlook regarding the clerical obligation to report sexual abuse cases to civil authorities.

Anne Barrett Doyle, codirector of www.bishop-accountability.org, said O’Malley has a reputation of being “the pope’s go-to man for clergy sex abuse,” but she has not been impressed with his work thus far.

“The [Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors] is taking very modest steps and hasn’t achieved anything like real change,” Doyle said. “So I don’t know how he can cause the CDF to change.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Moravian Church says it’s committed to maintaining high moral standards

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Moravian Church in Jamaica has admitted that it was hurting from the allegations of sexual misconduct that have resulted in one of its pastors being arrested and charged, but reiterated its commitment to proclaiming the gospel of Christ for the benefit of mankind.

At the same time, the church said it was re-examining its policies and processes, as it sought to deal with all the allegations made, with the purpose of maintaining the high moral standards that it has always espoused and expected of all its servants and workers.

“As has been done since 1754, we will continue to act with sound governance in a responsible and responsive way. Within this context, the Moravian Church deeply regrets the circumstances that have led to the arrest of a member of its clergy — a matter that is now before the Courts of Jamaica,” acting president of the church, Rev Phyllis Smit-Seymour, said in a statement.

The Moravian Church was plunged into controversy on January 3 when news emerged that 64-year-old pastor Rupert Clarke was arrested in December by the police ,who said they caught him in “a compromising position” with a 15-year-old girl in his car in St Elizabeth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Another churchman wanted for sexual abuse of a minor in St Elizabeth

JAMAICA
Loop

The police in St Elizabeth are in possession of a warrant for the arrest of a man who has been accused of sexual touching and ‘grooming’ of an 11-year-old girl in the parish last October.

Head of the St Elizabeth Police Division, Superintendent Lansford Salmon, has indicated that the man is Zachariah Wright, popularly known as ‘Brother Zacky’, a member of the Top Hill Church of God of Prophesy in the parish.

Superintendent Salmon is seeking the public’s assistance to get Wright into police custody. He also called for persons to begin to expose more sexual offences

It comes against the background of heavy ongoing national spotlight on the sexual abuse of minors by adult males locally, following the arrest and charge of 64-year-old Moravian Church pastor Rupert Clarke for having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

St Elizabeth councillors debate matter involving arrest of pastor

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-Large South Central Bureau myersg@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 15, 2017

BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — Inevitably, following the recent arrest of a Moravian pastor for alleged rape and sexual intercourse with a minor in Austin, south-eastern St Elizabeth, child abuse took centre stage at last Thursday’s meeting of the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation (Parish Council).

Police chief in St Elizabeth Supt Lanford Salmon set the tone during his report on crime when he urged councillors and their constituents to report to the police and the Child Development Agency (CDA) any suspicions they may have of child abuse.

“When offences are suspected people should move away from the ‘hush hush’ mentality … you should tell your constituents to say what they know. Some of these things stay for years and fester and no one says anything,” said Salmon.

He cautioned, however, that even as the police needed the support of the public, everyone should understand that there “are many, many sides to stories”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Fresno State AD reveals molestation as child, tells other victims ‘don’t be ashamed’

CALIFORNIA
The Fresno Bee

BY CARMEN GEORGE
cgeorge@fresnobee.com

In a residential treatment facility last month, 44 years of anxiety, guilt and shame began to lift off the shoulders of Fresno State Athletic Director Jim Bartko.

Bartko checked himself into Sierra Tucson, which provides rehabilitation services in Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 20 with the intent of addressing issues with insomnia and anxiety that began as a child. After some inconclusive tests, a therapist asked Bartko a poignant and terrifying question: “Why did you not sleep when you were 11?”

In that moment, Bartko decided it was time to finally tell someone that he was molested around 35 times in the early 1970s by his childhood Catholic priest and basketball coach, Stephen Kiesle, in the rectory of Saint Joseph Church in Pinole, about 18 miles north of Oakland.

After leaving Sierra Tucson on Jan. 7, Bartko told his story of abuse for the first time to his mother, wife and children. Wednesday, he opened up to his colleagues in an email to the Fresno State athletics department staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Editorial | Incomplete justice for abuse victims without retroactivity

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

The Pennsylvania Legislature is expected to again consider extending the state’s statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, a proposal passed in 2016 by the House but watered down in the Senate.

A central issue is whether the lifting of the statute should be retroactive for civil cases – meaning should victims be permitted to sue for damages in cases that might be decades old.

Last year, the House approved retroactivity while the Senate pulled that stipulation from its legislation.

We urge both chambers to pass raising the statute of limitations and making the change retroactive – providing some measure of justice for sexual assault victims.

The Catholic Church and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania oppose the measure. That’s understandable, as they would risk losing millions of dollars either settling old cases or, if required by the courts, paying damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

January 14, 2017

Cardinal O’Malley appointed to Vatican office for Doctrine of the Faith

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Elise Harris

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2017 / 10:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday it was announced that Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston has yet another reason to come to Rome, with his appointment as the newest member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Already a member of the Pope’s Council of Cardinals and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, O’Malley’s appointment to the CDF, announced in a Jan. 14 communique from the Vatican, adds yet another major role to the list of duties he is accumulating.

Headed by Cardinal Gerhard Muller, the CDF is also home to a new judicial section established by the Pope last June to handle cases of “abuse of office” on the part of a bishop or religious superior accused of being negligent in handling instances of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

In sign of resolve, Pope taps O’Malley for Vatican office handling abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San MartínJanuary 14, 2017
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME- In a move likely to be read as an attempt by Pope Francis to show resolve in the fight against clerical sexual abuse, the pontiff has named Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, widely seen as the leading reformer in the Catholic hierarchy, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the powerful Vatican department that handles abuse cases.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, traditionally known as the “Holy Office,” is headed by German Cardinal Gerhard Muller. Its main responsibility is defending Catholic teaching, but since 2001, it’s also played lead in prosecuting cases under Church law for priests charged with sexual abuse.

Last June, Pope Francis also announced that the congregation would house a new legal section designed to impose accountability not only on abuser priests, but also on bishops and other Catholic superiors who covered up that abuse.

Since then, however, the launch of the new tribunal has been delayed amid legal and administrative wrangling, and O’Malley’s appointment may well reflect a desire by Francis to kick-start the process.

Making O’Malley a member of the doctrinal congregation does not imply a move to Rome, and he will remain the Archbishop of Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

Other Pontifical Acts, 14.01.2017

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bulletin

The Holy Father has: ...

- appointed Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, United States of America, and president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Pope Appoints Cardinal O’Malley as Member of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

VATICAN CITY
America

Gerard O'Connell | Jan 14 2017

Move will strengthen link with commission on sexual abuse

The Vatican made the announcement at noon on Saturday, Jan. 14, and highlighted the fact that the cardinal-archbishop of Boston also serves as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that Francis instituted in 2014.

The cardinal’s appointment as a member of the C.D.F. means there is now a direct link between the commission and C.D.F., which has the central role is dealing with all cases of the abuse of minors by clergy, as well as bishops who are negligent in their duty to protect children. It ensures that the C.D.F. and the commission will be able to work more closely together, while fully respecting their distinct and very different roles.

Francis set up the commission in March 2014 as an advisory body to him, and asked it to propose “the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are no longer repeated in the Church.” He also entrusted it with another important task: “to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches, uniting their efforts to those of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Abuse In The Missionary Boarding School: Richie's Story

UNITED STATES
Ashley Easter

Today, I would like to announce a guest post by Dianne Darr Couts, President of MK (Missionary Kid) Safety Net. I met Dianne at the 2016 SNAP conference in Chicago where I was first introduced to the great need for MK advocacy. MKSN does amazing work to protect and support children (adolescent and adult) who were victimized while their parents were on the mission field. The story you are about to read is true and may be triggering to some survivors.
Missionary Kid Safety Net: Hope, Healing, Support and Advocacy

In the predawn hours of a fateful August morning, five-year old Richie was torn screaming from his mother's arms and put in a pickup truck with another child and a man he barely knew. The truck carried him 400 miles away across the dry savannah of Mali, West Africa and into the rain forest of Guinea. After dark on the second day, it pulled up outside a dormitory on the top of a hill. Richie's sister Dianne, barely twelve, heard the truck and flew outside to swoop him up in her arms - only to be reprimanded harshly by the dorm mother and told to go back to bed. The next morning, after a brief, joyful reunion with his brothers David and John, there was a grim warning: "Richie, it's bad here. It's really bad."

By Richie's sixth birthday two weeks later, he knew what his brothers meant. The first grade teacher was vicious and cruel, denying children access to the bathroom until they urinated in their seats, yanking children from their desks by their ears, and going into fits of rage over minor things like a child's inaccurate drawing of a pig. The classrooms opened onto a veranda and her outbursts and the children crying could be heard by everyone - the principal, the other teachers and the older students. But the sounds died in the forest, never reaching the ears of Richie's parents much less the mission board in America that was responsible for the school and the children under its care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

'It came as a big shock to find my mother was being locked in and tortured like I was'

IRELAND
The Journal

FOR MARY COLLINS and her daughter Laura Stewart, a trip from the UK to Cork this month will be full of difficult memories. Together, they will travel to St Finbarr’s cemetery in Glasheen on the 27th to light candles and remember Angelina Collins, Mary’s mother who died at a Magdalene laundry.

They will remember not just Angelina, who they say died after years of abuse, but the other women and children of Magdalene laundries across Ireland. Mary grew up in an industrial school after being removed from her mother’s care, and said she suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from the abuse she suffered there.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the pair underlined how much they believe the Irish State needs to apologise to the children of Magdalene women – a State apology was given to the women themselves in 2013 – and how they feel they have been forgotten by Ireland.
image (1) The Collins family.

It’s understood that at least 1,663 former Magdalene women are buried in Irish cemeteries – many in unmarked graves. In 2013, Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised to Magdalene women in an emotional speech, saying the laundries “have cast a long shadow over Irish life”.

Collins told TheJournal.ie that her mother, an unmarried Traveller woman, was put into a Magdalene laundry, while Collins was put into an industrial school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Feligreses se tomaron Catedral de Osorno para pedir renuncia de obispo Barros

CHILE
Cooperativa

[Catholic lay men and women went to the Osorno cathedral on Friday to state once again their rejection of Bishop Juan Barros as their bishop due to his relationship with abusive priest Fernando Karadima.]

.La organización Comunidad de Laicos y Laicas de Osorno se tomó este viernes la Catedral de la comuna, reiterando su rechazo al obispo Juan Barros y su relación con el sacerdote Fernando Karadima.

Los manifestantes llegaron hasta el recinto cerca de las 11:00 horas y lo tomaron por "la grave e insostenible crisis de división provocada por la llegada del obispo Juan Barros Madrid y su dudosa formación en la disuelta Pía Unión Sacerdotal, que funcionaba en la parroquia del Bosque de Santiago de Chile".

Junto a esto, solicitaron la presencia de Barros en el lugar para realizar una reunión.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

La Iglesia condena por abusos sexuales a Juan Kruz Mendizabal, ex vicario general de Gipuzkoa

ESPANA
Naiz

[The Catholic Church has condemned the former vicar general of Gipuzkoa, Juan Kruz Mendizabal for two cases of sexual abuse of minors in 2001 and 2002, confirmed the Spanish bishopric of Donostia in a statement.]

En un comunicado, la Diócesis donostiarra ha informado de que el pasado mes de marzo las autoridades diocesanas tuvieron conocimiento de las acusaciones que pesaban contra Mendizabal, en concreto, de «tocamientos deshonestos realizados a dos menores en el año 2001 y en el año 2005».

El Obispado ha decidido relatar los hechos tras constatar que los afectados por los abusos habían decidido hacer público el caso en un escrito al que ha tenido acceso Efe.

En este documento, los afectados explican que los abusos sucedieron cuando Mendizabal ejercía como sacerdote de la parroquia donostiarra de San Vicente de la Parte Vieja de Donostia y era responsable del grupo juvenil de tiempo libre Xirimiri Gazte Taldea.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Fr. Luke Melackrinos Suspended from St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead

NEW YORK
The National Herald

By Theodoros Kalmoukos - January 13, 2017

BOSTON– Rev. Luke Melackrinos was placed on suspension from all his liturgical and administrative duties as presiding priest at the prestigious St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead, NY for his alleged inappropriate contact electronically with an adult female parishioner.

According to sources from within the parish and also the Archdiocese Fr. Melackrinos was sending electronically inappropriate photographs of himself to his female parishioner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Trial date for former priest accused of brutal assaults against pupils at Highland school

SCOTLAND
The Press and Journal

A former priest who taught at a Highland school will go on trial in May accused of a string of brutal assaults against his pupils with weapons including a spiked golf shoe and a hockey stick.

Father Benedict Seed, 83, was due to go before a jury later this month at Inverness Sheriff Court.

But yesterday, his lawyer Clare Russell told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that she was not yet prepared for trial.

She explained: “I have just today received an 81 page statement by a prosecution witness which I will need to peruse and that will take some time.

“I also wish to look at this witness’s mental health record. In addition, there is a potential defence witness in Italy who will require to be interviewed.” Ms Russell said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Exploitation sexuelle : nouvelles accusations portées contre un prêtre catholique

CANADA
Ici Radio

Au Manitoba, quatre nouvelles accusations d'agression et d'exploitation sexuelle ont été déposées contre le prêtre fransaskois Omer Desjardins.

Ces accusations criminelles découlent d'incidents qui se seraient produits en 1988 et 1989, quand la victime était pensionnaire à Credo Home, un centre d'hébergement jeunesse de Winnipeg géré par les Oblats de Marie-Immaculée. Omer Desjardins doit comparaître à Winnipeg le 16 janvier.

Par ailleurs, la présumée victime a décidé de briser le silence après avoir appris que l'homme d'Église a été condamné pour agression sexuelle sur une mineure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Winnipeg Oblate priest charged with historic sexual assault

CANADA
CBC News

By Caroline Barghout, CBC News Posted: Jan 12, 2017

It is a secret he's kept for 28 years. Now Joe is ready to talk about the sexual abuse he said he endured at the hand of a Winnipeg priest.

It was October 1988 when Joe first met Father Omer Desjardins. He was working as the night caregiver at Credo Home, a Winnipeg group home run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Roman Catholic religious community of priests and brothers commonly referred to as the Oblates.

Joe had just turned 15 and didn't want to live with his mother and her boyfriend. He became a ward of Child and Family Services and was placed in the group home.

"We didn't really talk to him much cause he didn't show up for work until 9 or 9:30 p.m., somewhere around there and bedtime for us was 10:30 p.m. on school nights," said Joe, 43, who does not want his last name used.

But within a few weeks Joe said Desjardins started coming into his room to talk.

"It was pretty normal stuff," Joe said. "Within a couple weeks, he was coming into the bedroom every night. It started off he'd be rubbing your back. Eventually his hands would slowly start to move."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Victims Still Healing From Child Sex Abuse Scars Could Soon Find Justice

NEW YORK
TWC News

By Seth Voorhees
Friday, January 13, 2017

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A proposal which would waive the statute of limitations on prosecutions of people who've abused children, and allow victims to sue abusers up to 50 years after the attack took place, is long overdue, say advocates for victims of child sexual abuse, like Jill Knittle.

Knittle was abused for six years as a child, until she was 13. She didn't tell friends until she was in her 20s, and didnt talk openly about it until her 40s. That's often the case, as victims struggle internally every day.

"It's definitely a grieving process, because you lost your childhood way too early," Knittle said.

"What we really know about sex abuse is one in 10 children, by the time they turn 18, will suffer from some form of sexual abuse, but less than one in 10 report it as a child," said Mary Whittier, executive director of Bivona Child Advocacy Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Middle-aged man claims young priest he met through gay dating site sexually assaulted him

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
PUBLISHED
14/01/2017

A middle-aged man has claimed he was sexually assaulted on Catholic church property by a young cleric he met through a gay dating site.

It is understood that Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has been made aware of the allegations.

The gardaí's sexual assault unit has reportedly also been informed but cannot launch an investigation until the alleged victim comes forward to them.

It is alleged that the young member of the clergy first met the individual in 2015 on the site which is geared towards those interested in mature men.

In his profile, the young cleric expressed a preference for men aged between 50 and 90.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Too many men preying on young girls

JAMAICA
The Star

by
Leighton Levy
January 13, 2017

The case of Heather Murray, the beleaguered principal of Hampton High School for Girls, is a perfect example of how we Jamaicans can get so easily distracted from the more important issues.

It is also another example of how religion turns intelligent people into idiots.

The quick back story is that Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke is alleged to have been caught by police in a compromising position with a 15-year-old girl in his car and charged him. He was brought to court and released on $800,000 bail. Murray, who describes herself as a friend of Yvonne Clarke, the pastor's wife, appeared at the court hearing, and went as far as to shield the accused pastor from the media.

In her defence, she said she was only supporting the pastor's wife, but has since apologised and described her actions as inappropriate. She has also been sent on leave by the school?s board, even as people are lobbying for her to be fired.

The bigger issue is, however, that it has distracted us from a serious issue in this country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

New Speaker For Prayer Breakfast To Be Announced Monday

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The chairman of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee, Reverend Dr Stevenson Samuels says ‎on Monday, a new guest speaker will be announced for the 37th National Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

‎It follows the decision of Moravian Bishop Stanley Clarke to withdraw from the event scheduled for the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

A statement from the committee said Clarke, a former president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica advised the Breakfast Committee that the current controversy engulfing his denomination could overshadow the message he would wish to deliver to the nation at the breakfast.

There has been intense public attention on the Moravian church since the December 28 arrest and subsequent charging of 64-year-old pastor Rupert Clarke for having sex with a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Two juicy ironies in the current saga featuring the Knights of Malta

ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. January 13, 2017
EDITOR

ROME - Just to be clear from the beginning, I have no insider information regarding the news now making the rounds about the Knights of Malta, either in terms of the factors that led to the ouster of Albrecht von Boeselager, the group’s chancellor, or Pope Francis’s decision to create a committee to look into the situation.

What I can say at a distance, however, is that for anyone familiar with the Vatican over a stretch of time, there are at least a couple of truly juicy ironies at work.

As has been widely reported, Boeselager was suspended Dec. 8 after refusing an order to resign over revelations that the order’s charity branch distributed thousands of condoms in Myanmar on his watch. Boeselager reportedly insisted that he didn’t know about the program, and stopped it when he learned of it.

Boeselager also said that the top Knight, Fra Matthew Festing, in the presence of the order’s patron, American Cardinal Raymond Burke, told him Pope Francis wanted him removed, although the Vatican has denied the pope was involved.

On Dec. 22, the Vatican announced Pope Francis had created a committee to examine the situation. The five members are Italian Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, former permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N. in Geneva; Jesuit Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a noted canonist and former rector of the Gregorian University; and laypeople Jacques de Liedekerke, Marc Odendall, and Marwan Sehnaoui.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

'Victims Of Sexual Abuse Can Still Turn To Church'

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Amid the Moravian Sex Scandal, one group is appealing for victims of abuse to seek refuge in the church despite the immense backlash after a senior Moravian pastor was charged with a sex charge.

The Christian Brethren Assemblies Jamaica says it notes that the incident has caused many citizens to be experiencing deep feelings of hurt, distrust and betrayal toward the church community.

However, chairman of the group's leadership and education committee, Byron Buckley, says victims of abuse should not be deterred by the actions of a few as they can find refuge in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Church requests part of lawsuit to be dismissed

KENTUCKY
Ledger Independent

WENDY MITCHELL wendy.mitchell@lee.net

VANCEBURG – Attorneys for Vanceburg Christian Church have filed a motion for dismissal, in a lawsuit filed against the church for alleging not take measures to prevent the abuse by a former pastor of an unnamed victim.

In the motion, filed Friday, attorney Michael E. Nitardy requested four parts of the claim to be dismissed, “… for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

Nitardy requested the personal injury, intentional infliction of emotional distress or “outrage,” respondeat superior liability, and punitive damages counts of the lawsuit to be dismissed.

He attached past case law to support his request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Editorial | The Year Of Truth-Telling

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Saturday | January 14, 2017

For a culture that prizes secrecy, Jamaica is shaping up to be a different place in 2017 because of the growing nationwide clamour for openness, transparency and accountability.

Rocked by recent allegations of a pastor of the Moravian Church having sex with a 15-year-old girl in his car, the Church and other long-established institutions are being forced to drill deep and confront the difficult issue of sexual abuse and sexual violence.

Based on the mounting pile of charges and countercharges, it is obvious that the drilling has to be deep enough to get beyond the apologists and into the bedrock that enables abusive behaviour by persons who are placed in positions of trust. It is happening now - there are intense feelings of shock, outrage and confusion, with the result that layers of deceit and denial are being peeled away as the nation comes face to face with the scourge of sexual abuse.

It's a welcome step, and it is hoped that the indignation is not reserved for church leaders. Although it is difficult to get solid statistical evidence, it is believed that dozens of little girls and boys have been abused, tortured, used and left broken and mentally battered. Rarely is anyone held criminally liable for the wrong done to these children. Possible prison term for the abuser and shame of the victim are not the only reasons the voices of the abused go unheard; often adult relatives enable the abusers by pretending that it is not happening in exchange for economic gain. And the abusers understand too well that they can buy their way out of justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

You Got Served! Paula Deen’s Brother-In-Law Slapped With ‘Pedophile’ Suit

GEORGIA
Radar

Paula Deen’s brother-in-law has been served with a lawsuit that alleges he preyed upon a child sex victim while serving as a priest, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Henry Groover III – the brother of Deen’s second husband, Michael Groover and a Dominican priest – was served with the bombshell lawsuit in Savannah Georgia, around noon on January 12. And from the looks of it, he was not happy.

As Radar reported, Groover is at the center of a series of lurid claims in the new civil suit brought by Ancil Harvey Gordon III, and his wife, Heather Amanda Gordon.

The couple has claimed in their complaint that Ancil was victimized by Groover as a young child.

“From the years 1983 to present … [Groover] lured and otherwise enticed the minor Ancil Havery Gordon III into the illegial sexual acts,” the document alleges, claiming that Groover even “used LSD, alcohol, MDMA, cocaine and other illicit substances to lure and otherwise attract” the boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Diocese bankruptcy plan approved

CALIFORNIA
Turlock Journal

By Sabra Stafford
Crime Desk sstafford@turlockjournal.com 209-634-9141, ext. 2002

The Diocese of Stockton announced this week that a judge has approved their bankruptcy plan, including the establishment of a $15 million trust for survivors of sexual abuse committed by church officials.

On Tuesday a judge from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California approved the Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton’s consensual Plan of Reorganization. The plan provides $15 million through cash contributions and a promissory note to fund a trust for the exclusive benefit of survivors of clergy sexual abuse; provide non-monetary commitments such as therapy and counseling; payment of at least 50 percent of what is owed to general unsecured creditors; and restructuring of secured loans.

The plan received nearly unanimous approval in voting by the sexual abuse survivors and other creditors, according to the Diocese.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2014 after a series of costly sexual abuse settlements left them financially drained. Once the Diocese made the decision to file for bankruptcy they began a notification process that over the course of three months led to 34 new claims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

$38M sought in suit against former priest

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Saturday, January 14th, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man who alleges he is one of 38 people sexually abused by a former Albuquerque priest asked a judge this week to order Arthur Perrault to pay $38 million in punitive damages, or $1 million for each of his alleged victims.

Kenneth Wolter, 35, who filed the civil lawsuit last year in 2nd Judicial District Court, testified Wednesday that he wanted to send a message to Perrault on behalf of the 38 known victims “and the silent people who haven’t come forward.”

Perrault, who vanished from his Albuquerque parish in 1992, turned up last year in Tangier, Morocco, working at an English-lauguage school for children. Perrault, who was absent from a hearing Wednesday, was fired in May when school officials learned of the allegations, the school’s director has said.

District Judge Denise Barela Shepherd did not rule this week on Wolter’s request for damages, but she found that Perrault had failed to properly respond to a civil complaint and summons served to him in Morocco in May. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, which alleges a battery charge against Perrault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

January 13, 2017

Proposed bill would make changes to child sexual abuse lawsuits

NEW MEXICO
KRQE

By Kayla Root
Published: January 13, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A state lawmaker doesn’t think there should be a statute of limitations on child sexual abuse lawsuits.

Under current state law, an alleged victim of sexual abuse must file a lawsuit within three years of the alleged abuse, or by their 24th’s birthday whichever is later.

State Senator Mary Kay Papen a democrat out of Dona Ana County has introduced a bill that would get rid of that statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Gov. Cuomo calls for law to extend statute of limitations for child abuse

NEW YORK
WHEC

[with video]

January 13, 2017

A sex abuse survivor says child victims deserve more time to speak up or file a lawsuit against their abuser.

To do that, it would take a new state law and that's what Governor Cuomo is asking for.

During one of his State of the State addresses this week, he publicly supported giving victims a longer time period to accuse their abuser in court or bring a lawsuit against an institution. But some fear this could bankrupt school districts, churches or synagogues.

Right now, a victim of child sex abuse has until their 23rd birthday to accuse their abuser of a crime. After that, the statute of limitations runs out. For years, advocates have tried to change the laws, but it's always been stopped in the legislature.

Now, because of the governor's support, they think victims will finally get what they deserve.

Jill Knittel is a financial advisor in Rochester who was in her forties before she admitted in public that she was a victim of child sex abuse from the age of 6 to 13. By then, the statute of limitation to prosecute her abuser had run out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

With book on sex abuse, author hopes to help himself, others heal

UNITED STATES
Catholic Philly

By Natalie Hoefer • Catholic News Service • Posted January 13, 2017

Shrinking the Monster“Shrinking the Monster: Healing the Wounds of Our Abuse,”
by Norbert Krapf.
In Extenso Press (Munhall, Pennsylvania, 2016).
236 pp. $14.95.

In the 1950s, Norbert Krapf was sexually abused — along with scores of other boys — by a priest of the Diocese of Evansville, Indiana, who was loved and respected by the community.

After five decades of silence, Krapf — a retired professor, author and award-winning former Indiana Poet Laureate — confronted the monster of his past both by outing the then-deceased priest to the bishop and, in 2012, publishing a book of poems called “Catholic Boy Blues” to help himself and other victims heal.

This year, Krapf published “Shrinking the Monster: Healing the Wounds of Our Abuse.” In Krapf’s own words, the book is a “prose memoir about the experience of writing those poems, with an emphasis on the process of my recovery from the abuse.” That experience, as outlined in the book, was a journey of pain, struggles, victories and healing.

Why write on such a dark, painful topic that many would, as he admits, rather not read about?

The answer is twofold. First, as Krapf reiterates at several points, the book is to help other victims of child abuse heal, and to further his own healing. But that doesn’t mean the book is only for victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Kendall House: Church faces massive payout to abuse victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Kent Online

by Tom Acrestacres@thekmgroup.co.uk

The Church of England might have to pay out hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages and legal fees as a result of historic child abuse at a home for young girls.

Former residents of Kendall House in Pelham Road, Gravesend have been seeking out solicitors since the results of an independent investigation into its “harrowing” regime were published in a review last summer.

The results of a further review were released just before Christmas and “gratitude” payouts of £1,000 have already been made to the more than 20 women who gave evidence, but many of them are still suing the church for what happened to them.

Samantha Robson, of Robsonshaw Solicitors, has been bringing claims against the church over Kendall House since 2011, with six more victims coming forward since the review was published.

“Closure is very important to these women who finally want recognition for their mistreatment when they were vulnerable children,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

"You're Killing My Case"

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

On the witness stand today, retired Detective Joseph Walsh detailed numerous inconsistencies in the many contrary stories told by Danny Gallagher, the former altar boy who claimed he was raped by two priests and a Catholic schoolteacher.

And when Walsh told Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen about those inconsistencies, her reply, according to Walsh was, "You're killing my case."

At the end of a nearly three-hour pre-trial hearing today, Thomas A. Bergstrom, a lawyer for Msgr. William J. Lynn, stood before the judge and asserted what Sorensen should have done when faced with all those inconsistencies: confront Gallagher and find out what was the truth.

But Sorensen, who was not called by the District Attorney as a witness today to refute Detective Walsh, never did confront Danny Gallagher, Bergstrom told the judge. Why? Because, Bergstrom said, Sorensen had to know, "That's the kid's a liar."

The hearing in Common Pleas Court today was held before Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright. The judge was trying to decide whether to grant a motion by Bergstrom to dismiss the retrial of Msgr. Lynn, scheduled for May, because of Bergstrom's allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Detective says he warned of key witness in trial of Msgr. Lynn

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

JANUARY 13, 2017

by Joseph A. Slobodzian, STAFF WRITER

It was January 2012, a month before the start of the child endangerment trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn, and retired Philadelphia Police Detective Joseph Walsh was called back to work by the District Attorney's Office to prep a key prosecution witness.

Instead, Walsh told a Philadelphia judge Friday, the veteran detective found himself unable to get the 23-year-old witness to explain numerous inconsistencies in his story of being molested by two priests and a parochial schoolteacher in a Northeast parish in 1998 and 1999.

"You've got to have an answer," Walsh said he told the accuser. "He would just stare down at the table."

Walsh said the accuser said he was sexually molested by two priests at St. Jerome's parish. One of the alleged assaults lasted five hours after he was an altar server at the 6:15 a.m. Mass.

But Walsh said there was no record of the accuser serving those Masses, including on his mother's home calendar where she recorded her sons' various church assignments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

MONSIGNOR WILLIAM LYNN SEEKS TO STOP RETRIAL

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WPVI

By John Rawlins

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Monsignor William Lynn was back in court Friday in a legal effort to scuttle his scheduled retrial.

His legal team called retired Detective Joseph Walsh, who testified that during the investigation leading to Lynn's first trial he uncovered a number of inconsistencies concerning a key prosecution witness.

Walsh said he relayed the contradictory findings to an assistant district attorney who responded, "you are killing my case, you are killing my case." Walsh said he was just trying to get to the truth.

The monsignor's attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, argues that verbal exchange should have been reported to the defense at the first trial.

That it was not, Bergstrom argues, is prosecutorial misconduct and retrial should stopped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Survivors of abuse 'left' out in cold' by deadlock

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Donna Deeney
PUBLISHED
13/01/2017

A survivor of institutional abuse has expressed her fears that the collapse of Stormont could leave victims without any form of compensation.

Margaret McGuckin, who helped set up the Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse group (SAVIA), was instrumental in securing the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry headed by Sir Anthony Hart.

With the Executive now in turmoil, Ms McGuckin said she and other victims have been left "out in the cold".

"Sir Anthony's report was presented to Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness but already it is beginning to gather dust," she said.

"When I heard that Martin McGuinness had resigned as Deputy First Minister I just sunk.

"The collapse of the Assembly could not have come at a worse time for us. We carried this for nine years and we need the Government to support us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Trial of former Fort Augustus Abbey priest adjourned

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The trial of a former priest accused of assaulting eight boys while teaching at Fort Augustus Abbey School in the Highlands has been adjourned until May.

Father Benedict Seed, 83, denies the charges, which include striking pupils aged between 11 and 18 with a cane and a spiked golf shoe in the 70s and 80s.

He is also charged with pulling a boy from his bed and hitting him on the body with a hockey stick.

He denies all the charges and will face trial in Inverness in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Moravian pastor battered with tambourine ... activist regrets not using a block

JAMAICA
The Star

SHANICE WATSON
January 13, 2017

Head of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, Dr Paul Gardner, was reportedly clouted in his head with a tambourine by an enraged protester at last Sunday's service at the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester.

The protester, who has been identified as activist Stella Gibson, was among a group of 14 women who were once victims of sexual abuse.

They staged what they described as a peaceful protest at the church in light of the sex scandal now rocking the church, in which Pastor Rupert Clarke, 64, was charged with having sex with a minor.

Gibson has been very vocal about the tambourine ordeal on social media, and has since started a hashtag, #TambourineArmy.

Further clarification

In one post to her Facebook wall, Gibson wrote "I am happy I gave Paul Gardner one [expletive] lick inna him head with a tambourine." She then added, "I should have used a block instead of a tambourine."

When contacted for further clarification on the incident, Gibson explained that she will not be speaking on the tambourine beat down in mainstream media, as she wants her engagement in the media to be survivor-focused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Former La Grange pastor under investigation for alleged sexual assault

KENTUCKY
WDRB

By Valerie Chinn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The sign at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in La Grange says "A place for healing."

But now, its former pastor is under investigation.

The Madison County, Ala., District Attorney tells WDRB News that officials are looking into sexual offense claims against John Fraiser, and that all the evidence will be presented to the grand jury within a couple of months.

It all centers around allegations of what happened inside a University of Alabama Huntsville dorm room in the summer of 2015.

UAH Spokesman Ray Garner says the alleged victim is a 15-year-old boy from Goshen, Ky. Garner says Oldham County Police contacted UAH in October after the teen came forward claiming he was sexually assaulted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Alleged historic child sex abuse victim fails in appeal over ‘time-barred’ claim

SCOTLAND
Scottish Legal News

A man who claimed he was sexually abused as child in a Catholic school more than 50 years ago has failed in an appeal against a judge’s decision that the action was time-barred.

The Inner House of the Court of Session upheld the Lord Ordinary’s decision on the application of the long negative prescription, and on the issue of time-bar.

The Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian, sitting with Lord Drummond Young and Lord Glennie, heard that the claim by “K” against The Marist Brothers arose out of physical and sexual abuse which the reclaimer alleged was perpetrated against him by one Brother Germanus, while he was a pupil at St Columba’s School, Largs, for a period starting in 1962 or 1963 and ending in 1964 or 1965.

It was said that Brother Germanus had instilled fear in the reclaimer, who was “physically and psychologically terrified” of him; when K’s brother died, Brother Germanus on one occasion told him that if he told their “little secret” he would never see his brother again, meaning, “in heaven”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

El fiscal pide al Obispado toda la documentación de los abusos del exvicario

ESPANA
Diario Vasco

[San Sebastián, Jan 13 (EFE) .- The Office of the Prosecutor has asked the Bishopric of San Sebastián in Spain for all the documentation that the diocese has in possession on the cases of sexual abuse of the ex-Vicar General of Gipuzkoa, Juan Kruz Mendizabal. Last Wednesday, the Prosecutor's Office of Gipuzkoa officially initiated these proceedings after learning that Mendizabal had been condemned in 2016 in a canonical proceeding developed within the Catholic church for "dishonest touches" made to two minors in 2001 and 2005.]

San Sebastián, 13 ene (EFE).- La Fiscalía ha pedido al Obispado de San Sebastián toda la documentación que obre en su poder sobre los casos de abusos sexuales del exvicario general de Gipuzkoa Juan Kruz Mendizabal, en el marco de las diligencias de investigación que ha abierto sobre este asunto, han informado hoy a EFE fuentes del caso.

El pasado miércoles la Fiscalía de Gipuzkoa incoó de oficio estas diligencias, tras conocer que Mendizabal había sido condenado en 2016 en un procedimiento canónico desarrollado en el seno de la Iglesia, por "tocamientos deshonestos" realizados a dos menores en los años 2001 y 2005.

Los abusos habían sido hechos públicos un día antes, mediante un comunicado, por los propios afectados -en la actualidad mayores de edad-, quienes decidieron darlos a conocer con el objetivo de "animar" a salir "a la luz" a otras "posibles víctimas" que "pudieran permanecer ocultas", ya que había llegado "a sus oídos" un tercer "posible caso" de abuso sexual por parte del sacerdote, del que por el momento se desconoce ningún otro dato.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Child abuse inquiry to launch publicity campaign

SCOTLAND
Scottish Legal News

Attempts to increase public awareness of Scotland’s child abuse inquiry are to be boosted with the launch of a publicity campaign.

Lady Smith, chair of the inquiry, is expected to make a statement on efforts to promote public awareness at a preliminary hearing this month.

She will also reveal details of the money spent on the inquiry so far.

Alan Draper, spokesman for In-care Abuse Survivors (Incas), said that since an event last March at which the previous chair, Susan O’Brien QC, had called on survivors to come forward, things had “gone quiet”.

He said: “It’s something we’ve been pushing every time we’ve had a meeting with them. People that are interested in the inquiry are aware of what’s going on but the average person isn’t necessarily clued in to the same extent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Don Corradi e lo scandalo pedofilia del Provolo. "Papa Francesco sapeva"

ITALIA
Verona Sera

[Priest Nicola Corradi and the scandal of pedophilia Provolo. "Pope Francis knew." Don The chairperson of the Network Abuse Onlus submitted three complaints to the public prosecutor of Verona Republic to check for any omissions of the church hierarchy.]

"Tre fascicoli e decine di documenti che dimostrano nero su bianco quello che le autorità ecclesiastiche sapevano dei preti accusati di molestie al Provolo di Verona, questo è quanto è stato depositato pochi giorni fa presso la Procura della Repubblica di Verona e che tra pochi giorni sarà anche nella disponibilità dei due Pm argentini che stanno indagando su don Nicola Corradi". Lo riferisce Francesco Zanardi, presidente della Rete L’Abuso Onlus, che in questo modo vuole collaborare con le nuove indagini che riguardano il sacerdote veronese accusato di pedofilia in Argentina e recentemente scarcerato per motivi di salute. Nuove indagini perché già in Italia don Nicola Corradi era stato al centro di uno scandalo riguardante gli abusi sui minori dell'istituto Provolo di Verona. Don Corradi è stato poi trasferito ad una struttura gemella in Argentina, ma pare che il problema non sia stato risolto.

"Tre denunce nelle quali si chiede all'autorità giudiziaria - prosegue Zanardi - che vengano verificate ed eventualmente ravvisate una serie di ipotesi di reato tra qui le responsabilità omissive delle gerarchie ecclesiastiche che senza dubbio sapevano dal 2009 della pericolosità di quel prete. Il primo precedente in Italia si creò nel 2012 a Savona quando il giudice per le indagini preliminari Fiorenza Giorgi ravvisò le pesanti responsabilità omissive di un vescovo, Dante Lafranconi, il quale pur sapendo delle tendenze pedofile di uno dei suoi sacerdoti nulla fece per impedire che questi continuasse ad abusare di altri minori".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Group offers training to help clergy spot abuse

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Danae King
The Columbus Dispatch • Friday January 13, 2017

Carol Igo was concerned about the prevalence of violence against children and wondered how her church could help, but she didn’t know where to start.

That’s when she heard of the Center for Family Safety and Healing, a Columbus organization focused on addressing family violence. She found out that the church she attends, Maple Grove United Methodist Church, could donate to the center and take advantage of its training program to educate church members.

“It’s a very loving church, an outreach church, a community-oriented church,” Igo said. “This was kind of a natural step for them.”

The Clintonville church formed a committee to gather books and toys that the center then gives to children who have been abused. It also hosted center staff members for training on family violence to educate the congregation on the issue. The center has completed 34 training sessions for faith organizations since 2014, said Sheryl Clinger, director of advocacy, policy and community engagement.

It’s important to train church members and leaders because a religious organization can be a central part of ensuring victims’ safety, as victims of family violence sometimes report abusive situations to trusted faith leaders, said Caitlin Tully, training supervisor at the center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Knights of Malta say leader’s dismissal ‘more complex’ than condoms

ROME
Headlines from the Catholic World

Rome, Italy, Jan 12, 2017 / 10:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After former Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Malta Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager was dismissed in early December, many have pinpointed the decision to a contraception scandal related to a project he was overseeing.

But a senior official of the Order has said that while the incident was a contributing factor in Boeselager’s resignation, the reasons – while confidential – are much broader.

“The reasons for the dismissal are confidential,” but they are “more complex” than reducing it to just the contraception incident, Eugenio Ajroldi di Robbiate, Communications Director for the Knights of Malta, told CNA Jan. 12.

Problems initially arose when it was learned that the Order's charity branch, under Boeselager’s watch, had inadvertently been involved in distributing condoms in Burma to prevent HIV.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Independent Committee To Probe Allegations Against Two Moravian Ministers

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Thursday | January 12, 2017

Damion Mitchell and Erica Virtue, Gleaner Reporters

The bishops of the Moravian Church in Jamaica are to set up an independent committee to investigate allegations brought against president Dr Paul Gardner and vice-president Jermaine Gibson.

Gardner and Gibson stepped aside today, two days after a woman wrote a seven-page email titled "the shame is yours" to Bishops Stanley Clarke and Devon Anglin, the spirituals heads of the Moravian Church in Jamaica.

The email details damning allegations.

According to the complainant, a series of incidents began at the Mizpah Moravian Church in Manchester when she was 14 years old and continued for years.

Bishops Clarke and Anglin in acknowledging receipt of the complaint informed the writer about the decision to establish the independent investigative committee.

They also told her that Gardner and Gibson have stepped aside and that the appropriate actions will be taken by the church on completion of the independent investigation.

The email complaint and the bishops' response were copied to Gardner and Gibson, as well as a Gleaner columnist, a human rights advocate and a public commentator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Fallout - Top Moravian Church leaders resign

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, January 13, 2017

President of the Moravian Church in Jamaica Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy, Jermaine Gibson, have stepped away from their positions on the Provincial Elders Conference to facilitate a probe into more allegations of sexual misconduct within the church.

The conference is an executive supervisory body for the church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

The news broke yesterday amidst the turmoil surrounding the church, stemming from charges of carnal abuse and rape of a 15-year-old girl in St Elizabeth against Moravian minister Rupert Clarke.

The Jamaica Observer was told that the probe stems from a formal letter that was written to the church board. Numerous calls to both Dr Gardner’s and Rev Gibson’s mobile phones went unanswered yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

'The Church Is Broken'

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Friday | January 13, 2017

The Christian Brethren Assemblies Jamaica (CBAJ) issued a statement yesterday expressing "immense sorrow that a senior member of the body of Christ has been implicated in an alleged sexual assault of a minor".

The group acknowledged that the incident has caused many citizens to experience hurt, distrust, and betrayal by the Church community. However, the CBAJ said, "We gently remind the nation that the supposed actions of a few do not represent the body as a whole but highlight the fact that the Church is broken because humans are broken." The group said that the Church was, and would remain, a place of healing, hope, refuge, and encouragement.

"Jesus Christ stood against injustice and immorality while on Earth and defended the cause of those susceptible to unfair treatment.

"The Christian Brethren Assemblies Jamaica follows our Lord's model and stands against child abuse, all types of sexual violence, and injustices everywhere. We pray that the affected families will find hope and healing in Jesus Christ during this time and offer our moral support not only to them, but to other victims of sexual violence who may be finding it difficult to read about this latest incident and may, possibly, be reliving their own horrendous experience," it said further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Moravian Mess! - Church Leaders Resign Amid Deepening Sex Scandal!

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Friday | January 13, 2017

Erica Virtue

The fallout from the sex scandal rocking the Moravian Church in Jamaica worsened yesterday when two of the most powerful members of the church administration stepped aside.

President of the Moravian Church in Jamaica the Reverend Dr Paul Gardner and vice-president, the Reverend Jermaine Gibson, have both moved away from all positions in the church amid the sex-abuse scandal rocking the religious body in Jamaica.

The resignations were tendered yesterday to Bishops Stanley G. Clarke and Devon Anglin, the spiritual leaders of the Provincial Elders Conference of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and Grand Cayman, following a string of problems besetting the church, including the fact that one of its ministers is before the court on an alleged sex charge and a series of emails such as a seven-page email to Bishops Clarke and Anglin, written by a woman two days ago, titled "The Shame is Yours".

Independent Probe

The email details damning allegations and the bishops disclosed that the church is to set up an independent committee to investigate them.

"We intend in short order to set up an independent committee mutually accepted by us as bishops and you to thoroughly investigate the matter and thereafter take the appropriate actions," said Clarke and Anglin in response to the email writer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Former children’s minister arrested on additional sex abuse charge

ALABAMA
WHNT

JANUARY 12, 2017, BY CLAIRE AIELLO AND MELISSA RIOPKA

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – A former children’s minister has been arrested again on an additional charge of sex abuse of a child.

James “Javie” McNeal was arrested Thursday on another count of sexual abuse of a child less than 12. He was booked in the Madison County Jail on $30,000 bond.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said another child came forward to make similar claims against McNeal.

McNeal, 39, was initially arrested in December on two counts of sexual abuse of a child. McNeal had worked as a children’s minister at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Hazel Green for six years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

January 12, 2017

Boston lawyer who helped uncover Catholic church’s child sex scandal applauds Cuomo’s reform plans for New York victims

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
STEPHEN REX BROWN
KENNETH LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, January 12, 2017

The attorney who helped break the bombshell story about abuse of children by Catholic priests in Boston hailed Gov. Cuomo's support of reform of the statute of limitations for New York victims.

Mitchell Garabedian said the announcement had changed the calculus for victims considering enrolling in a settlement program created by Timothy Cardinal Dolan that offers compensation to victims in exchange for their waving the right to sue. Participants in that program currently do not have a right to sue due to the statute of limitations.

Garabedian said he is especially encouraged by Cuomo's decision to include a look-back component to his version of the Child Victims Act unveiled Thursday that would give child sex abuse victims who can no longer bring civil lawsuits under current law a one-year window to do so.

"The fact that Gov. Cuomo will support retroactive legislation has empowered my clients and given them the hope of having leverage if they're not satisfied with the result of the Archdiocese settlement program," Garabedian said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 PM

Lawsuit filed against priest for allegedly luring minor into illegal sex acts

GEORGIA
WTOC

Thursday, January 12th 2017

By David Klugh, Anchor

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -
A Savannah resident and ordained priest was served a lawsuit claiming that in the 1980's, he lured a minor into illegal sex acts.

Henry Groover has a criminal history. In fact, he was arrested in 2003 for exposing himself to a Savannah-Chatham Metro Police officer.

Since then, the Catholic diocese has moved Groover from parishes in Athens, Georgia to Miami, Florida. He has never served in Savannah.

In the suit, the now adult victim claims he moved his family into a home, not knowing Groover actually lived just right across the street.

Representing the plaintiff is Attorney Mark Tate.

"He's using his position. He's cleared the foliage and he's observing my client and approaching his children, knowing full well that he raped, abused, molested, drugged and otherwise just totally destroyed this young man's entire childhood and really his entire life,” said Tate.

Tate says he believes Groover's history has not made many headlines in Savannah because Groover is Paula Deen's brother-in-law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – JANUARY 12, 2017

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expresses his desire to get rid of the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children - Victims/survivors are cautiously optimistic

Governor Cuomo also favors a one-year look back window in which any child who was sexually abused in New York State will have one year to file a claim against his/her abuser

The Child Victims’ Act must be passed in 2017 by the New York State Legislature

What
A demonstration to support and affirm Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent commitment to make the Child Victims’ Act the law in the State of New York. Demonstrators will call on the members of the New York Senate and Assembly to pass the bill that includes:

1) NO CRIMINAL STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON SEX CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN, and;
2) A ONE-YEAR WINDOW TO ALLOW THOSE WHO WERE SEXUALLY ABUSED AS CHILDREN TO HOLD THEIR ABUSERS ACCOUNTABLE IN CIVIL COURTS

When
Friday, January 13, 2017 from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of the New York City Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, 633 Third Avenue (between 40th and 41st Streets), Manhattan, 10017

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, and a victim/survivor of sexual abuse in four different
New York State counties, and:
Cecilia Springer, an 85 year-old sexual abuse victim of her high school Principal, Sr. Mary Andrew, SU, at Notre Dame School on West 79th Street, Manhattan, in the 1940s.

Why
Victims/survivors of sexual abuse in New York State have been given hope that the Child Victims’ Act will finally become law now that Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed his support of it. Victims/survivors have fought for justice for decades, and it appears that there might be hope in 2017 for the passage of the bill. Demonstrators will express their support of Governor Cuomo in his quest to get the Child Victims’ Act signed into law.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 –roberthoatson@gmail.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 PM

Mutiny at the Vatican as Pope Francis faces dissent

VATICAN CITY
Irish Examiner

Friday, January 13, 2017

Four powerful cardinals have already gone public with their doubts about the current pope, while some have virtually accused him of heresy, writes TP O’Mahony

IN A move that is unprecedented in the modern history of the Papacy, four cardinals have publicly challenged Pope Francis. In the words of his biographer, Paul Vallely, the four “have published ‘doubts’, virtually accusing him of heresy”.

The four are Cardinal Raymond Burke (USA), Cardinal Carlo Caffarra (former Archbishop of Bologna), Cardinal Joacim Meisner (former Archbishop of Cologne), and Cardinal Walter Brandmuller (Germany), former president of the Pontifical Commission for Historical Sciences.

Cardinal Burke has been a persistent critic of Pope Francis, and two years ago was removed from his position as head of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (the Church’s Supreme Court) for refusing to implement changes to procedures for annulments which has been sanctioned by the Pope. A former Archbishop of Archdiocese of St Louis, he now serves as patron of the Order of Malta.

The very public expression of opposition by these four senior churchmen to the Pope has no parallel in the history of the modern Papacy, and means, in the words of Clifford Longley, editorial adviser to the English Catholic weekly The Tablet, that “Pope Francis has a mutiny of his hands”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Andrew Cuomo Pushing to End Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse Suits

NEW YORK
Forward

January 12, 2017 By Josh Nathan-Kazis

New York State governor Andrew Cuomo has a new proposal that would lift the statute of limitations that has prevented victims of sex abuse from seeking justice for crimes committed against them as children.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, Cuomo’s proposed bill would end all time limits on criminal prosecutions of sexual abusers of children, and would allow victims to bring civil suits for up to 50 years after they were attacked.

In addition, the law would create a one-year period in which otherwise ineligible survivors would be entitled to bring lawsuits against their abusers.

Cuomo has been promising action on the issue for years, but has faced stiff opposition from Republicans in the New York State Senate, among others. The Orthodox umbrella group Agudath Israel of America has lobbied against an extension of the statute, as have other religious groups.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Mary Star of the Sea physics teacher arrested in child pornography case

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

By Larry Altman, Daily Breeze
POSTED: 01/10/17

A physics teacher at Mary Star of the Sea High School in San Pedro was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of possession of child pornography.

Daniel T. O’Connell, 32, was arrested about 8 a.m., jail records show.

Police investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit took him into custody, but information about the arrest was not immediately disclosed.

An LAPD spokeswoman said more information might be released later today.

Mary Star Principal Rita Dever sent a letter to parents Tuesday afternoon announcing the arrest.

“The Archdiocese was made aware last week that Mr. O’Connell was under investigation and has been cooperating fully with the police since that time,” Dever said. “At this time, the police have indicated that Mr. O’Connell’s alleged activities do not involve any students at Mary Star of the Sea High School nor did they take place on the Mary Star campus.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

Mary Star Teacher Arrested at Rancho Palos Verdes Home in Child Pornography Case

CALIFORNIA
Patch

By Alexander Nguyen (Patch Staff) - January 10, 2017

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA — A physics teacher at Mary Star of the Sea High School in San Pedro was arrested Tuesday for allegedly possessing child pornography, the Daily Breeze reported.

Daniel T. O’Connell, 32, was arrested Tuesday morning, reportedly at his rented home in Rancho Palos Verdes, according to the Daily Breeze.

O'Connell was taken in by investigators at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit at around 8 a.m., according to jail records. Information about his arrest was not immediately released, according to the Daily Breeze.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Mary Star Teacher from Rancho Palos Verdes Met Victims on Tutoring Website: Police

CALIFORNIA
Patch

By Alexander Nguyen (Patch Staff) - January 11, 2017

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA — More details are immerging from the arrest of a Mary Star physics teacher for allegedly possessing child pornography.

Daniel T. O’Connell, 32, was arrested Tuesday, at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police began investigating O'Connell after receiving information that he was allegedly "having inappropriate contact with minors that he met while on a mathematics tutoring website," according to an LAPD statement.

O'Connell is employed at Mary Star of the Sea High School in San Pedro as a physics teacher, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

D.C. Council considers ending statute of limitations for prosecuting sex abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Times

By Ryan M. McDermott - The Washington Times - Thursday, January 12, 2017

The D.C. Council is considering ending the statute of limitations for sexual abuse, which would align the District with more than 30 states that do not restrict the time for prosecuting such crimes.

The Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations Eliminations Amendment Act of 2017 would end time restraints on prosecuting charges of rape, child abuse and other sex-related felonies.

“It’s extremely important that the District eliminate the statute of limitations on felony sex crimes — especially as it concerns the rape and sexual abuse of minors,” said council member Mary M. Cheh, the Ward 3 Democrat who introduced the legislation Tuesday. “Child victims are often persuaded or threatened to believe that reporting the crime will have dire consequences.”

The District employs a 15-year statute of limitations for prosecuting charges of first- and second-degree sexual abuse. Its statute of limitations for first- and second-degree child sexual abuse is 15 years after the victim reaches age 21.

A 10-year statute of limitations is applied for all other sex crimes, such as sex trafficking of children, incest, using a child to produce child pornography, and first- or second-degree sexual abuse of a secondary education student by a school authority. Such crimes cannot be prosecuted more than 10 years after the victim reaches age 21.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

He didn’t murder any of our students—so it’s ok

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

January 12, 2017 Joelle Casteix

Schools need to rethink how they handle cases of teachers who are busted with child pornography and/or who molest.

Imagine if you received a letter from your child’s school like this:

Dear Parents:

Today, Mr. John Doe, a long-term substitute teacher and math tutor at our school, was arrested for murder. We learned that he lured his victims from tutoring websites.

We are fairly certain he did not murder or attempt to murder any of our students. We didn’t ask any of the students. We also didn’t take a headcount to see if anyone was missing. We didn’t ask if anyone has been shown photos of corpses or had engaged in inappropriate conversations with Mr. Doe.

But the police told us that none of the murders involve our students. So don’t worry.

Sincerely,

Your Principal

If you replace the word “murder” with “child pornography” and “sexual abuse,” that’s the gist of the letter that parents at San Pedro’s Mary Star of the Sea High School received from principal Rita Dever the other day when substitute teacher Daniel T. O’Connell was arrested for possession of child pornography and making inappropriate contact with children via a tutoring website.

Child pornography is not a victimless crime. It’s disgusting. It’s images of children being raped and tortured. It’s so bad, in fact, that two Microsoft employees recently sued the company, saying that being forced to view it (to see if it needed to be flagged, removed and reported) gave them PTSD.

But don’t worry, Principal Dever says, “At this time, the police have indicated that Mr. O’Connell’s alleged activities do not involve any students at Mary Star of the Sea High School nor did they take place on the Mary Star campus,” her letter stated in part.

What should she be doing?

* Extensive outreach and education about what child pornography is (child abuse images and a terrible crime), how to report it, and how to protect children from being exploited,

* Talking to parents about abuse and how to examine data storage devices in their homes if their child was tutored by O’Connell,

* Bringing in a speaker from the National Center for Victims of Crime or Homeland Security about internet safety and protecting yourself against internet predators,

* Being vigilant in her letter to parents, saying that the exploitation of children and teens has no place at her school.

Just saying, “It didn’t happen here,” doesn’t keep anyone safe. It just breeds a false sense of security and puts everyone at risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Kansas City parish bans parishioner for violating agreement to stay away from kids

MISSOURI
Fox 4

JANUARY 12, 2017, BY MICHELLE PEKARSKY

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 70-year-old man has been banned from a Kansas City Northland parish because diocese leaders say he has violated an agreement to stay away from children, according to a letter sent to Saint Patrick school families.

The 70-year-old man is a parishioner at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1357 N.E. 42nd Terrace in Kansas City, North. The letter to parishioners indicates the man was being monitored by the diocese. FOX 4 is not identifying the man and has redacted his name from the letter linked here.

St. Patrick Catholic Church is a faith community that continues to struggle with anxiety after the pornography conviction of former priest Shawn Ratigan, followed by the conviction of then-Bishop Robert Finn for failing to report suspected child abuse.

For the complete (but redacted) letter to school families sent on December 20, 2016, click here.

It said, in part:

“Today I must share difficult news with you…. a St. Patrick’s parishioner, has been asked and has agreed not to return to the parish, and not to visit any other property owned or operated by the Diocese of Kansas City- St. Joseph, its parishes or schools. This decision was made following careful consideration by our parish, school and diocesan leaders, including the Office of child and Youth Protection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

MO--Parishioner banned from Kansas City diocese properties for interactions with children; Victims respond

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests SNAPNetwork.org, (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com

[The Kansas City Star]

The Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph broke the state’s mandated reporting law last month. And they want the parents, children, and parishioners of St. Patrick Catholic Church to keep quiet about it.

The painful tenure of convicted child pornographer Shawn Ratigan was a tragic blow to the parish. Now, parents have learned that a long-time volunteer has repeatedly violated boundaries with children. He violated boundaries so often during his 20-years at the school, in fact, that he was put on a “safety plan,” according to a letter sent to parents by the pastor of St. Patrick’s parish in December.

The man banned from the parish even admitted to a reporter yesterday that he acts inappropriately with children.

But that was not enough for church staff to call law enforcement. They decided to handle it internally.

In Missouri, ministers are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. According to the state reporting requirement, any minister who believes a child may have been subjected to abuse is required to report. In addition, “No internal investigation shall be initiated until such a report has been made.” (Link to Missouri Guide for Mandated Reporting: https://dss.mo.gov/cd/pdf/guidelines_can_reports.pdf)

What is even more appalling about the actions of church officials is that pastor Fr. Robert H. Stewart asked parents to keep quiet and refrain from “gossip or speculation.” Reporting suspected sexual abuse is not gossip. Protecting children is not speculation.

We encourage local law enforcement to engage in a robust investigation of this case and all others like it. We fear there may be victims of abuse at this parish.

We ask anyone at St. Patrick’s who wants to stand up to this bullying and child endangerment to contact SNAP. We want to help. If you see or suspect abuse, report to law enforcement. If you are being abused or have been abused, report the crime and get help. It is safe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Red Deer pastor sentenced to 90 days for sexual assault

CANADA
CBC News

The Canadian Press

An Alberta pastor has been sentenced for sexually assaulting a woman.

Stanley Richard Schalk, 58, was given a 90-day conditional sentence to be served in the community in Red Deer court on Wednesday.

Provincial Judge Darrel Riemer said Schalk took the woman, who was 42, to an acreage near Delburne on the afternoon of June 15, 2015.

The two were seated next to each other on a blanket on the ground when Schalk grabbed the woman's breast without her consent.

Riemer said a week before that, Schalk had hugged her and grabbed her buttocks and she told him then she didn't like it and didn't want it to happen again

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Jamaican Pastor Faces Another Sexual Misconduct Charge — Involving His First Alleged Victim’s Sister

JAMAICA
Caribbean 360

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday January 12, 2017 – The crisis which erupted in the Moravian Church in Jamaica with the arrest of one pastor at the centre of sexual misconduct allegations, is deepening.

Just days after Pastor Rupert Clarke was formally charged and granted bail for carnal abuse of a 15-year-old girl, he is set to slapped with a second charge.

At yesterday morning’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Education and Information Ruel Reid revealed that the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) will charge the disgraced religious leader with carnal abuse resulting from an alleged sexual relationship with one of the minor’s sisters.

He said the child was receiving counseling from the Child Development Agency (CDA) and other family members have also been referred to the CDA.

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Gleaner has reported that young women who once attended the Moravian Church have been sharing their stories of sexual abuse – some doing so on social media, while others have been seeking help from professionals.

Social commentator and gender specialist Nadeen Spence, who grew up in the Moravian Church, has been helping the alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Twin Cities Archdiocese abuse victims to vote on bankruptcy plan

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JANUARY 12, 2017

About 450 clergy abuse victims, plus other creditors of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, soon will be able to vote on competing compensation plans presented in bankruptcy court.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Kressel approved a timeline Thursday for sending out the ballots — within about 30 days — and a 40-day response time. Creditors can vote for one of two competing plans, or none at all.

Kressel also denied a motion that would have allowed the survivors’ committee to sue more than 100 parishes, schools and other Catholic institutions who received a total of $14 million in transfer payments from the archdiocese in the 90 days before it filed for bankruptcy.

The voting schedule represents a key moment in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy case, entering its third year this month. The courtroom was packed with attorneys and several abuse survivors with claims before the court, who have been watching the long bankruptcy process unfold.

“This is something tangible,” said survivor David Lind, of St. Paul, standing outside the courtroom. “But I just want it to be done. “It’s such a hard issue.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Minnesota clergy abuse victims to vote on compensation plans

MINNESOTA
Post Bulletin

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — About 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will soon get a chance to vote on competing compensation plans.

The Star Tribune reports (http://strib.mn/2jcGLFi ) ballots will be sent out within 30 days and votes are expected to be counted this spring. Archdiocese attorney Charles Rogers says the results won't determine the final plan, but will help as negotiations continue. Rogers says he's hoping for a decision by June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Robert W. Duesdieker

MISSOURI
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Robert W. Duesdieker was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City MO in 1980. He assisted parishes in Hannibal and Jefferson City before being named pastor in Memphis. He went on to pastor in Kahoka, Belle, Owensville, St. Clement, Bourbon, Steelville, Boonville, Fayette and Marshall. Duesdieker also held the diocesan positions of Master of Ceremonies, Defenders of the Bond and Personnel Board member, and he was a college chaplain.

In December 2016 Duesdieker was placed on administrative leave pending investigations by the diocese and law enforcement of a report that he had engaged in "inappropriate conduct" with minors n the early 1990s, while assigned to Immaculate Conception in Owensville. He denied the allegations.

Ordained: 1980

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Don Corradi e lo scandalo pedofilia del Provolo. “Papa Francesco sapeva”

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Don Corradi and the scandal of pedophilia in Provolo. "Pope Francis knew."]

Il presidente della Rete L’Abuso Onlus ha presentato tre denunce alla Procura della Repubblica di Verona per verificare eventuali omissioni delle gerarchie ecclesiastiche.

“Tre fascicoli e decine di documenti che dimostrano nero su bianco quello che le autorità ecclesiastiche sapevano dei preti accusati di molestie al Provolo di Verona, questo è quanto è stato depositato pochi giorni fa presso la Procura della Repubblica di Verona e che tra pochi giorni sarà anche nella disponibilità dei due Pm argentini che stanno indagando su don Nicola Corradi“. Lo riferisce Francesco Zanardi, presidente della Rete L’Abuso Onlus, che in questo modo vuole collaborare con le nuove indagini che riguardano il sacerdote veronese accusato di pedofilia in Argentina e recentemente scarcerato per motivi di salute. Nuove indagini perché già in Italia don Nicola Corradi era stato al centro di uno scandalo riguardante gli abusi sui minori dell’istituto Provolo di Verona. Don Corradi è stato poi trasferito ad una struttura gemella in Argentina, ma pare che il problema non sia stato risolto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Why more and more priests can’t stand Pope Francis

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

He has been pigeonholed as fearless reformer, but questions are arising about his judgment

Damian Thompson

On 2 January, the Vatican published a letter from Pope Francis to the world’s bishops in which he reminded them that they must show ‘zero tolerance’ towards child abuse. The next day, the American Week magazine published an article that told the story of ‘Don Mercedes’ — Fr Mauro Inzoli, an Italian priest with a passion for expensive cars and underage boys.

In 2012, Pope Benedict stripped Inzoli of his priestly faculties, effectively defrocking him. In 2014, however, they were restored to him — by Pope Francis, who warned him to stay away from minors.

Then, finally, the Italian civil authorities caught up with this serial groper of teenagers in the confessional. Last summer Inzoli was sentenced to four years and nine months in jail for paedophile offences. The Vatican, under ‘zero-tolerance’ Francis, refused to supply evidence that prosecutors wanted.

If Pope Benedict XVI had displayed such a hypocritical attitude towards a clerical child abuser, the roof would have fallen in on him: he’d have been driven out of office instead of resigning.

But most of the world’s media have pigeon-holed Francis as a fearless reformer, doing battle against Vatican mafiosi, kiddie-fiddlers and ‘fundamentalists’. This perception made it easy for the Pope’s allies to keep the name of Mauro Inzoli out of English–speaking news outlets until last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

Parishioner banned from Kansas City diocese properties for interactions with children

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

BY JUDY L. THOMAS
jthomas@kcstar.com

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has banned a longtime parishioner from all church property for violating “safe boundaries” in his interactions with children.

The parishioner acknowledged in an interview that he had violated an agreement to stay away from children, but said he’d done nothing inappropriate.

The 70-year-old man was a parishioner at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Kansas City, North — the parish of former priest Shawn Ratigan, whose child pornography scandal led to the conviction of then-Bishop Robert Finn for failing to report suspected child abuse.

“Today, I must share difficult news with you,” wrote the Rev. Robert H. Stewart, the pastor of St. Patrick’s, in a Dec. 20 letter to families of students at the school. He said the parishioner “has been asked and has agreed not to return to the parish, and not to visit any other property owned or operated by the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, its parishes or schools.”

The decision, Stewart wrote, was made “following careful consideration by our parish, school and diocesan leaders, including the Office of Child and Youth Protection.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Woman who claims she was sexually abused by priest has case dismissed

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
12/01/2017

THE High Court has dismissed an action by a woman who claims she was sexually abused some 67 years ago by a Dublin diocesan priest who died more than 50 years ago.

The woman claimed she was raped on a number of occasions between 1949 and 1954 by the priest who was attached to her local parish. She also claimed she was sexually abused by her father and her brother.

It was not until the 1990s that she made a complaint about her brother's alleged abuse.

In 2014, she brought a negligence claim in relation to the priest, who died in 1964, against the Archdiocese of Dublin alleging it was vicariously liable for the priest's alleged abuse.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the named defendant on behalf of the Archdiocese, sought to have the case struck out on grounds that the delay in bringing it, the time lapse between now and the alleged acts, and the death of the priest in 1964, would make it impossible for there to be a fair trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Lewd acts by youth pastor on little boys at Aliso Viejo church: Six years

CALIFORNIA
My News LA

A youth pastor has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually assaulting two underage boys at church events in Aliso Viejo.

Brandon Ernis Lee McDade of Mission Viejo, 31, pleaded guilty to a count of committing lewd acts on a child younger than 14, two counts of committing lewd acts on a child between 14 and 15, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of child annoyance, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

McDade was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The sentencing was handed down Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Pastor jailed, Catholic teacher arrested over abuse and porn

CALIFORNIA
The Freethinker

Youth pastor Brandon Ernis Lee McDade, left, of Orange County, California, was sentenced to six years in prison this week for sexually assaulting two underage boys, while Daniel O’Connell, a teacher at a Catholic school in Los Angeles was arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography.

According to this report, McDade, 31, pleaded guilty to a count of committing lewd acts on a child younger than 14, two counts of committing lewd acts on a child between 14 and 15, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of child annoyance.

McDade was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The sentencing was handed down Monday.

McDade was a youth pastor at Grace Hills Church in Aliso Viejo when he met the victims, prosecutors said.

The molesting happened on church grounds and with one of the victims at a movie theater in Orange County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Alleged child-sex abuser priest, 79, dies weeks before his trial

AUSTRALIA
The Austrlaian

January 13, 2017

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

An Anglican priest facing dozens of child-sex abuse charges after an interstate police investigation has died weeks before he was to face court, and 42 years after his victims­ first attempted to get the church to acknowledge his crimes.

George Parker, 79, from the Ballarat diocese in Victoria, died on Tuesday, provoking anger from one of his alleged victims who said he had spent “a lifetime just trying to get this priest to answer for what he did”.

Ballarat bishop Gary Weatherill said yesterday that others in the church did not tell him the priest was a suspected child abuser when he took charge of the diocese in 2011.

“There are no records of anything, but presumably there was a conversation between one of my predecessors and one of the previous­ bishops of Newcastle,” in NSW, where Parker worked as a priest until 1996, he said.

“It’s the way the church operated and it’s caused a lot of grief to a lot of people.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Rocca di Papa: maltrattamenti e abusi sessuali, condannate 3 carmelitane della Casa famiglia

ITALIA
Il Mamilio

ROCCA DI PAPA (cronaca) - Pene da 5 ad un anno per tre suore sudamericane: tra le accuse quelle di aver fatto rimangiare il proprio vomito ad alcuni piccoli ospiti e di aver molestato un ragazzo

ilmamilio.it

Erano nell'aria e sono arrivate nelle scorse ore. Sono state condannate in primo grado dal Giudice del Tribunale di Velletri, con pene da 5 ad 1 anno, le tre suore carmelitane sudamericane della Casa famiglia per minori (chiusa da giugno) accusate di aver maltrattato gli ospiti. Fino a far rimangiare loro il proprio vomito e, secondo l'accusa, fino ad arrivare - nel caso della religiosa condannata a 5 anni e sei mesi, Amparo Guardado, ad arrivare alle "attenzioni sessuali".

Per la sopracitata suora, la pesante condanna in primo grado e il divieto di lavorare in simili strutture per tutto il resto della sua vita. Condannate la sorella gemella di Amparo, Virginia Guardado Pena a due anni e ad un anno Nely Lorena Sorto Hendriquez: queste due non finiranno in carcere godendo della sospensione della pena.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Maltrattamenti e abusi sessuali in una casa famiglia a Rocca di Papa, condannate 3 suore

ITALIA
News Go

[Today. Lazio, Italy, near the Vatican. Three south american Carmelitan nuns have been sentenced by the court of Velletri. One nun got 5 and a half years. They had been accused of terrorising and mistreating children in a home for minors. Children were forced to eat their own vomit. One boy was sexually abused.]

Di Simone Ricci

Tre suore di nazionalità sudamericana sono state condannate dal Tribunale di Velletri con l’accusa di maltrattamenti nell’ambito del processo relativo alla casa famiglia per minori di Rocca di Papa.

Qualche mese fa si è scoperto cosa avveniva nella struttura. Le tre donne avevano dato vita a un vero e proprio regime di terrore, fatto di docce gelate, ospiti costretti a mangiare il vomito e persino abusi sessuali che una delle suore avrebbe intrattenuto con un ragazzino.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

CISOCA To Charge Moravian Pastor For Another Sexual Offence

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) has reportedly indicated it intends to further charge the Moravian pastor charged with having sex with a minor for a similar offence.

The pastor, 64-year-old Rupert Clarke has been charged with carnal abuse of a 15-year-old.

Speaking at this morning’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Education and Information Ruel Reid, said CISOCA has disclosed its intention to charge Clarke with carnal abuse resulting from an alleged sexual relationship with one of the minor’s sisters.

Reid told journalists that the 15-year-old, who has been allegedly raped by Clarke has been referred to the Child Development Agency’s (CDA’s) clinical psychologist for assessment and counselling.

He says other members of the family have been referred to the Children and Family Support Unit of the CDA based on reports of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Order of Malta questions legitimacy of commission established by pope

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service
1.11.2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The leadership of the Order of Malta denied the legality of a Vatican investigation into the forced resignation of the group's former grand chancellor, but the commission established by Pope Francis said it "is completely legitimate and authorized" to investigate the matter and inform the pope.

According to one of the legal notes prepared for the commission, the pope's right to be informed of the circumstances surrounding the removal of Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager relates "to the authority he exercises directly and immediately over all baptized faithful, whether lay or clerical."

"This is not about interfering in the internal affairs of the order because the purpose of the commission, as is evident, is to give an account to the Holy Father on the procedures (used to remove von Boeselager) and nothing else," said the note, which was dated Jan. 11 and shown to Catholic News Service.

The Grand Magistry of the order had released a statement Jan. 10 stating its refusal to cooperate with the Vatican commission, citing what it termed the "legal irrelevance" of the commission and claiming that the members were "appointed by the Secretary of State of the Vatican."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Rabbi on unregistered Jewish schools: ‘I’m confident there’s no scandal waiting to break out’

UNITED KINGDOM
Hackey Citizen

Josh Loeb

A leading rabbi has said he feels confident there is no child safeguarding scandal “waiting to break out” in the Hasidic Jewish community after the council’s frustration at a lack of regulatory oversight of unregistered schools in Stamford Hill was revealed at a heated public meeting.

Rabbi Avrohom Pinter described as “hysteria” suggestions there might be a “Rotherham-type” situation involving sex abuse in the notoriously insular community but said an arrangement had to be agreed to allow the authorities to assure themselves that all children were safe.

There are believed to be more than 30 unregistered schools currently operating illegally in Hackney, and the council has concerns about large numbers of children from strictly orthodox Jewish families “going missing” from the school system in their early teens.

Because they have been effectively stonewalled by those running these unregistered schools, safeguarding chiefs can not be sure all precautions are being taken to guard against the risk of the sexual abuse of children. Though this could happen in any setting, they said the risk was higher in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community purely by virtue of the lack of official oversight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Concerned Catholics of Guam wants discipline, not reward, for priest

GUAM
KUAM

Jan 11, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The Concerned Catholics of Guam has serious concerns with a recent decision by Archbishop Michael Byrnes to send Father Adrian Cristobal to Canada to study canon law. In a letter to the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, CCOG president David Sablan said Father Cristobal should be disciplined rather than rewarded.

"Are we going to be paying for his monthly stipends while he's off at school? Are we going to be paying for his tuition and his room and board? You know, this is a real slap in the face to the people," Sablan said, "after we have exposed that this particular priest is one of the main causes of the division here in the church."

Sablan questioned whether the assignment was meant to serve the archdiocese, or instead stash Father Cristobal at a distant seminary. Father Cristobal was involved in allegations made against both Father Paul Gofigan and Monsignor James Benavente.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Abuse victims compensation call

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Education secretary John Swinney should reveal whether adults who suffered child abuse are to be compensated, opponents have said, following a shocking report on the experiences of children in the Scottish care system.

The report by the National Confidential Forum for victims of child abuse (NCF) revealed claims that children had been subjected tor regimes of torture and ritual humiliation in a variety of settings such as children's homes, secure units and residential schools over the past eight decades.

Some of the accounts given by those who came forward to speak to the NCF spoke of treatment such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

The Child Sexual-Abuse Survivor Who Fought Back

AUSTRALIA
Forward

A version of this piece originally appeared in Plus61J.

How does a twelve-year-old survive when he has been the victim of child sexual abuse and compounding abuses perpetrated by leaders of the community entrusted with his care? How does he grow up to become a Jewish community leader and one of Australia’s best known advocates and crusaders against child sexual abuse in both the Jewish and wider communities, nationally and internationally? How has he healed himself and helped others firmly to propel themselves onto paths of healing?

Survivor Manny Waks describes his many achievements to date in this memoir co-authored with Michael Visontay.

Born in 1976, Waks, the second of 17 children, was raised in Melbourne’s Chabad community, an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism that ruled his life. He lived across the road from the Yeshivah Centre, which includes the Yeshivah College. At home, discipline was harsh.

All problems, major and minor, were brought to the rabbi, who dictated solutions. Absolute obedience was demanded of both children and adults and weapons of choice in enforcing it, as evidenced by treatment later meted out to Waks and other victims of child sexual abuse and their families, were shame, ridicule, ostracism, nasty gossip and outright slander.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

SEX PASTOR DRAMA: ‘He disgraced our community’; sex rumours had long swirled

JAMAICA
Loop

As news continues to emerge about the extra-marital sexual activities of Moravian Pastor Rupert Clarke with young girls, members of the Maidstone community in Manchester are crying shame on him.

“Him disgrace Maidstone,” one young woman told Loop News, as she and a group of people discussed the scandal in the town square, just a stone’s throw away from the Nazareth Moravian Church where Clarke pastored.

Clarke has been suspended from pastoral duties since being arrested and charged in December 2016 after he was caught in his car in St Elizabeth allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl. He had been a pastor at the church in this deep rural community for just over two years.

News has surfaced this week that an older sister of the minor was impregnated by the pastor. Her son with the pastor is said to be about 4 years old.

Other young women have come out with allegations of sexual relations with the pastor whose marriage to his wife, a principal of a college in Manchester, has seen more years than they have.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Indigenous professor resigns from UBC committee over John Furlong reinstatement

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

TRACY SHERLOCK

The lone Aboriginal member of a committee struck to create a sexual assault policy for the University of B.C. has resigned over the reinstatement of John Furlong as the keynote speaker at an athletics fundraising event.

Daniel Justice, the First Nations and Indigenous Studies chair and professor at UBC, said in his resignation letter that the decision to reinstate Furlong undermines the work he and the university are doing to build relationships with Indigenous people.

“There were many responsible and compassionate ways this matter might have been handled that would not have once again silenced or erased the abuse allegations of dozens of people from the Lake Babine First Nation — some of whom I understand have contacted your office and have received no response — but the result of UBC press releases has been to do precisely that,” Justice said in his resignation letter to UBC president Santa Ono. “(A)fter consultation with members of my community and significant reflection, my priority must be to support under-represented Indigenous voices on these matters, and I believe that a viable and legitimate survivor-centred approach to sexual assault cannot stand with integrity alongside this deeply troubling action. At least not for me.”

UBC issued a short statement in response to Justice’s resignation.

“We respect Dr. Justice’s decision to resign from the committee and we thank him for his hard work on the committee,” UBC said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Indigenous prof quits committee after university brings back John Furlong

CANADA
Times Colonist

THE CANADIAN PRESS

JANUARY 11, 2017

VANCOUVER - The only indigenous professor on a committee working on a new sexual assault policy at the University of British Columbia has resigned from the group after the school brought back John Furlong to speak at an upcoming fundraiser.

Daniel Heath Justice said in a letter to university president Santa Ono that the decision "silenced and erased" allegations that Furlong physically abused First Nations students while teaching at a Catholic school in Burns Lake, B.C., in 1969 and 1970.

Justice, chair of First Nations and indigenous studies, said he could not continue to serve on the committee because Ono's reversal has undermined the credibility of the process.

"I believe that a viable and legitimate survivor-centred approach to sexual assault cannot stand with integrity alongside this deeply troubling decision," Justice said in the letter posted on Twitter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

DPP to seek transfer of pastor’s ‘sex’ case from St Elizabeth to Kingston

JAMAICA
Loop

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn, has indicated that she will be seeking to have the sex case involving a pastor of the Moravian Church transferred from St Elizabeth to Kingston, to ensure fairness to all the parties involved.

There has been intense media spotlight on 64-year-old Rupert Clarke's arrest and prosecution for allegedly having sex with a minor, and Llewellyn said there is concern about whether this could prejudice the case, which will be tried by a jury.

As a result, her office is to apply to have the case transferred to Kingston in March, when the St Elizabeth Circuit Court opens.

It has been noted that a defence attorney could use arguments on the question of prejudice to have a case dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Church members bashed for backing pastor

JAMAICA
The Star

SHANICE WATSON
January 11, 2017

An elderly churchgoer has earned the ire of many after she was captured on video after church on Sunday defending her embattled pastor, Rupert Clarke, who is facing rape churches and is implicated in a number of other sexual misconducts.

"Dem deh smaddy a condemn Pastor. Worser than him still inna the world. Why dem dress up inna dem deh sexual abuse something? Weh di backside dem a go? Why dem no dress inna nice clothes? Dem a condemn minister and worser than fi him disgrace deh bout ya!" the senior citizen quarrelled.

Her statements were directed at a group of 14 women who staged a peaceful protest at the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester, where Clarke is a pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Hampton principal sent on leave

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Hampton High School Principal Heather Murray is being sent on two weeks leave as of January 16 for her actions outside the St Elizabeth Parish Court last week, where she attended the arraignment for Moravian minister Rupert Clarke, who has been charged with rape and carnal abuse of a 15-year-old girl from the parish.

Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid made the announcement in a news release issued last night. The decision was taken at a meeting called by Reid and attended by senior education ministry officers, Murray, members of the Hampton Board and the Munro and Dickenson Trust yesterday.

Reid said given the way Murray’s actions had been interpreted, and the controversy having affected her administrative responsibilities, the time off was necessary “for reflection and completion of her report to the board and the trustees”.

Stemming from the meeting, Murray also issued a statement apologising for her behaviour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Hampton Principal Sent On Two Weeks Leave, To Seek Professional Counselling Too

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The embattled principal of the St Elizabeth-based Hampton School Heather Murray has been sent on two weeks leave.

The Education Ministry says Murray is also expected to go for professional counselling services given what was described as her recent emotional stress.

At the same time, the school board has been given until January 30 to submit a full report to the Education Ministry on Murray's action outside the St Elizabeth Parish Court last week Wednesday, January 4.

Television footage showed Murray attempting to block the media from taking images of Rupert Clarke, the 64-year-old pastor of the Nazareth Moravian Church charged with having sex with a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Winnipeg Oblate priest charged with historic sexual assault

CANADA
CBC News

Victim alleges he was paid a settlement in 1993

By Caroline Barghout, CBC News Posted: Jan 12, 2017

It is a secret he's kept for 28 years. Now Joe is ready to talk about the sexual abuse he said he endured at the hand of a Winnipeg priest.

It was October 1988 when Joe first met Father Omer Desjardins. He was working as the night caregiver at Credo Home, a Winnipeg group home run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Roman Catholic religious community of priests and brothers commonly referred to as the Oblates.

Joe had just turned 15 and didn't want to live with his mother and her boyfriend. He became a ward of Child and Family Services and was placed in the group home.

"We didn't really talk to him much cause he didn't show up for work until 9 or 9:30 p.m., somewhere around there and bedtime for us was 10:30 p.m. on school nights," said Joe, 43, who does not want his last name used.

But within a few weeks Joe said Desjardins started coming into his room to talk.

"It was pretty normal stuff," Joe said. "Within a couple weeks, he was coming into the bedroom every night. It started off he'd be rubbing your back. Eventually his hands would slowly start to move."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Local pastor sentenced on sexual assault charge

CANADA
rdNewsNow

By Leanne Murray

It was standing room only in a Red Deer courtroom Wednesday afternoon as a local pastor learned his fate after being convicted of sexual assault.

Stanley Richard Schalk, 58, was found guilty of the offence this past September following a trial in front of Provincial Court Judge Darrell Riemer.

In his verbal ruling, Riemer said Schalk took the victim, who was 42 at the time and whose name is protected under a court-ordered publication ban, to an acreage near Delburne on the afternoon of June 15, 2015. Riemer said the two were seated next to each other on a blanket on the ground when Schalk grabbed the woman’s breast without her consent.

Riemer said this left the victim angry and upset and referenced an incident about a week prior to the occurrence near Delburne where Schalk hugged the victim and grabbed her behind. Riemer said the woman told Schalk not to do that again and so he was “put on notice that that kind of conduct would not be consented to.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Hampton School Principal says sorry again, this time to the nation

JAMAICA
Loop

The Principal of Hampton School in St Elizabeth, Heather Murray, has issued a broad apology to the nation for her actions at the bail hearing of Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke last Wednesday.

Clarke appeared before the St Elizabeth Parish Court on a charge of having sex with a minor.

In her statement dated January 10, but released on Wednesday, Murray said she got caught up in the emotional trauma of the embarrassment and pain which the wife of the accused man, who is her lifelong friend, was experiencing as a result of the development, and in that circumstance, failed to realise that her presence at or near the courthouse could be interpreted as taking the side of her friend’s husband, with no regard for the alleged victim.

She also apologised for having taken steps which amounted to interference with the work of the media in their bid to cover the bail hearing.

Below is the full text of Mrs. Murray’s apology:

“The past few days have been among the most difficult periods of my life.

“I attended the in-camera arraignment of Rupert Clarke at the special request of Mrs Yvonne Clarke, my sister and friend, who relied on me for total support during a period of intense physical and emotional distress.

“This state of personal turmoil rendered her incapable of being present at the Black River Courthouse while the Resident Magistrate was considering an application for bail.

"On a personal level, I had become so immersed in the emotional trauma of the hurt and embarrassment which the wife of the accused was experiencing, that I failed to realise that my presence in the precincts of the Court could possibly be misconstrued as taking the side of her husband, rather than the (alleged) victim.

“In my sisterly embrace and response of loyalty to her, I failed to take into account that my being there could expose my office or the institution I head to any hint of controversy or cloud of misunderstanding.

“At the start of the new school term yesterday (Monday) morning, I apologised to my ladies (students), who greeted me with love and understanding. Now that I have also apologised to the Munro and Dickenson Trust, as well as the Hampton School Board, I hereby offer a fulsome apology to the education community and Jamaica for my presence and actions in Black River, which have been misinterpreted as support for the individual accused of rape and molestation of a 15-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Hotline To Disclose Child Abuse Now Available 24/7

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Thursday | January 12, 2017

Edmond Campbell

The hotline to make reports of incidents of child abuse will now be working 24 hours a day, eight hours more than the previous 16 hours it operated. This move by the Government comes in the wake of increased reports of child abuse.

The Office of the Children's Registry (OCR) currently operates the 1-888-PROTECT hotline from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. When reports are made to the OCR, the agency establishes a case number then refers the matter to one of several departments, including the Child Development Agency, the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), and the Children's Advocate.

Speaking yesterday at the post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister of Education and Information Ruel Reid said that funding for the hotline has been increased.

In recent times, there has been intense public debate about issues of child abuse in the wake of the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl by a 64-year-old Moravian pastor, who has since been charged with having sex with a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

No word yet on bond for alleged molester

GEORGIA
Golden Isles News

By WES WOLFE wwolfe@goldenisles.news

It shouldn’t be surprising that it’s taking a while to receive a judgment on the Rev. Kenneth Adkins’ second bond hearing, as defense attorney Kevin Gough entered into evidence 30-40 hours of jailhouse phone calls by the pastor facing multiple child sexual abuse counts.

Gough said the phone calls, in their entirety, help show that the prosecution’s contentions are unfounded that his client might leave town if released. Gough said the calls show instead that the court should grant Adkins a bond so he can leave jail on pretrial release to go about addressing personal issues, not the least of which is his own health.

Gough said prosecutors entering excerpts of phone calls into evidence and then playing them in open court during the first bond hearing, without advising him beforehand, placed the defense at an unfair disadvantage.

Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett ordered Gough and prosecutors to have briefs stating their arguments and noting relevant excerpts in the recordings to back those arguments, with the deadline of Dec. 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Moravian pastor’s case: Reid urges caution

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS Observer staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid has called on Jamaicans to be cautious in their public utterances about the rape and carnal abuse case involving 64-year-old Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke and a 15-year-old St Elizabeth girl.

Addressing a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday, Reid said that the Government was urging all Jamaicans, especially those in the community where the minor lives “to treat the family with sensitivity and due regard to their well-being”.

The minister pointed out that, according to a report from the Child Development Agency (CDA) on its investigations, the family has been ostracised by the community. “The CDA investigations also show that there is general indifference towards the victim and her family. The family claims they are being blamed for bringing the accused into disrepute… and disclose that they feel very uncomfortable in their home environment. They also spoke of numerous rumours that are circulating which have placed them in a negative light,” he stated.

Reid said that a CDA safety evaluation has found that the 15-year-old and a younger sister are at a high risk of harm, especially emotional trauma, due to the sexual nature of the alleged abuse, and pointed out that this is aggravated by the fact that the incident continues to dominate the media and public discussion. He confirmed that both girls have been taken into State care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Hampton principal apologises for trying to block media personnel

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Hampton School Principal Heather Murray, who has found herself embroiled in the controversy surrounding rape and carnal abuse charges brought against Moravian minister of religion Rupert Clarke, yesterday apologised for interfering with the work of media personnel outside the St Elizabeth Parish Court on January 4.

Murray had tried to block television cameras from recording Clarke leaving the courthouse after he was arraigned.

“I accept that it was imprudent and inappropriate for me to take any steps in the precincts of the courthouse, irrespective of the legal stipulations, which could interfere with the rights of the free press or impede the work of media practitioners in the pursuit of duty,” she said in a statement issued hours after Education Minister Ruel Reid met with administrators of the school located on Malvern, St Elizabeth.

Murray also apologised to the education community and the country for her presence and actions, which she said have been “misinterpreted as support” for the accused pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Concerns raised over delays in extraditing Catholic priest accused of abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Thomas Oriti

A man who says he was abused by an Australian Catholic priest has expressed concerns about perceived delays in the investigation.

The abuse is said to have been committed in the UK, and the Crown Office there had announced plans to extradite the man from Sydney more than a year ago.

The man making the allegations, Hugh Kennedy who lives in UK, has questioned why Father Denis Alexander remains in Australia.

"You need to get ready for the long haul because nothing really happens," he said.

"Information is not forthcoming and you really just don't know where, or when, or if ever, your case will come to court."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Embattled Stockton Diocese nears bankruptcy exit; attorneys and alleged victims speak out

CALIFORNIA
The Union Democrat

By Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat
Published Jan 11, 2017

Nearly three years since filing for bankruptcy in response to a flood of sexual-abuse claims, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton is hoping to close the book on what Bishop Stephen Blaire has described as a “very difficult chapter.”

Judge Christopher M. Klein of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California approved Blaire’s reorganization plan for the diocese on Tuesday, according to a written statement. The diocese filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 15, 2014, after paying out more than $15 million to settle nearly two dozen sex-abuse claims over a 20-year period.

“The approved consensual Plan will allow the Diocese to exit bankruptcy within the next few weeks,” the statement said. “The Diocese with limited financial assets will be able to continue its essential ministries and services to meet the needs of the parishioners and others who rely on the Diocese’s ministry, education, and charitable outreach.”

Under the plan, the diocese has agreed to pay $15 million to survivors of sexual abuse by clergy. Part of the plan also involves making “non-monetary” commitments to the survivors that the diocese described as “important aspects of any healing process.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Newcastle Anglican priest George Parker at centre of 2001 court controversy

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
12 Jan 2017

FORMER Newcastle Anglican priest George Parker has died only three weeks after he was charged with 24 child sex offences against two young boys in the 1970s.

Father Parker, 79, was first charged with child sex offences in 2000. But in a controversial Newcastle District Court case in 2001, four charges relating to the sexual assault of the young boys were no-billed after an Anglican church register was produced during the trial.

No-billed matters are withdrawn from court but can be resumed at a later date if there is further evidence.

Newcastle Police Strike Force Arinya-2 Detective Acting Inspector Jeff Little reinstated the no-billed offences and charged the priest with 20 fresh offences, including five counts of buggery, after travelling to Ballarat on December 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Northern Ireland priest Gallagher who exposed US abuse sues Church for libel

FLORIDA
Belfast Telegraph

A Co Tyrone priest living in the US has launched a libel case in Florida after he accused the Catholic Church there of orchestrating a child abuse cover-up.

Strabane native Fr John Gallagher is suing the Palm Beach Diocese following his successful efforts two years ago to prosecute a fellow priest for showing child porn images to a teenager.

Fr Gallagher's efforts won him praise from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office but condemnation from the Palm Beach Diocese, and particularly Bishop Gerald Barbarito.

The bishop is also being placed on notice to appear at a deposition in this case.

The 23-page lawsuit, filed yesterday in Palm Beach Circuit Court, accuses the diocese of orchestrating a cover-up and campaign of intimidation, slander and libel directed at Fr Gallagher and effectively destroying his ability to remain a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Cuomo stands for justice for victims of child sexual abuse

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Editorial

Gov. Cuomo is at long last pushing to fix indefensible state statutes of limitation that bar men and women abused as children from seeking justice after their 23rd birthday.

Thank you, governor, for hearing the cries of thousands of New Yorkers vilely taken advantage of, many of whose voices have filled the pages of the Daily News over the past year.

Those are people like Christopher Couret, 31, one of at least seven alleged victims who grew up in a Long Island foster home. And Antonio Flores, 51, who alleges abuse from the age of 10 by a Catholic priest never charged. And Kathryn Robb, 56, who alleges abuse by her brother at the age of 9.

All struggled for years with shame and guilt, only to be confronted with the fact that the legal clock to seek justice had run out.

Last year Cuomo, while expressing sympathy for victims, stopped short of getting behind a reform measure that had passed the state Assembly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Priest dies weeks after child abuse charges reinstated

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Giselle Wakatama and David Marchese

A former Hunter Valley priest accused of child abuse has died just weeks after charges against him were reinstated.

During a recent royal commission hearing into Newcastle's Anglican Diocese, abuse survivor CKA said he was abused by a priest known as CKC while he was an altar boy between 1971 and 1975.

A trial against CKC started in 2001, but the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions ended up withdrawing the charges.

The case was no-billed when CKC's defence team produced a register showing the abuse could not have happened when CKA said it did.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 AM

January 11, 2017

$2.7M settlement in priest abuse case

ILLINOIS
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

January 11, 2017

By Lauraann Wood
Law Bulletin staff writer

Two brothers who allege they were victims of sexual abuse by a former Catholic priest have settled their lawsuit for $2.7 million.

The brothers — who are identified as John Doe A and John Doe B in the lawsuit — sued the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2014, alleging it allowed Daniel McCormack to be ordained as a priest and placed him in a church to teach and mentor children despite having knowledge of prior sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Cardinal Francis George appointed McCormack to serve as pastor of St. Agatha’s Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Westside School in 2000 on the city’s West Side, a post in which McCormack served until 2005.

He was placed in the position despite the archdiocese’s knowledge that McCormack faced prior allegations of sexual abuse against both fellow seminarians and young children in previous places he served in the 1980s and 1990s, according to the Does’ lawsuit.

McCormack’s alleged abuse of the Doe brothers began near the end of a summer camp program they attended at the church and school in 2004 and went into the 2004-2005 school year, said Mark A. Brown, a partner at Lane & Lane LLC who represented the plaintiffs. They did not attend the school but were attending a daily after-school program at the time, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 PM

Priest who helped investigation sues diocese after being called a liar

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

Andy Reid
Sun Sentinel

A priest dubbed a liar last year by the Diocese of Palm Beach filed a libel lawsuit Wednesday, accusing church leaders of trying to cover up sexual misconduct.

The Rev. John Gallagher in 2015 helped investigators catch a priest who showed child porn to a teenager at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County sheriff's records show.

Then last year, Gallagher attracted international attention when he told reporters that he was passed over for head pastor at Holy Name after cooperating with authorities.

The diocese has called that a fabrication. On Jan. 26, 2016, the diocese issued a statement saying Gallagher was "blatantly lying" and "in need of professional assistance."

The diocese has maintained that it fully cooperated with authorities and that Gallagher didn't get the top job at Holy Name because of his poor performance there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Priest Sues Diocese; Alleges Persecution for Reporting Abuse

FLORIDA
ABC News

By TERRY SPENCER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Jan 11, 2017

A Roman Catholic priest filed suit Wednesday against his former diocese, saying that the bishop pushed him aside and lied about him because he called law enforcement after another priest showed child pornography to a teenage boy and cooperated with the investigation.

The Rev. John Gallagher said that Bishop Gerald Barbarito of the Palm Beach Diocese forced him from the church where he worked and publicly called him a liar after he refused to cover up for the other priest. Joseph Palimattom was convicted of showing obscene material to a minor, spent six months in jail and was deported home to India.

Gallagher told The Associated Press that his case shows the church has not reformed as promised after it became public knowledge that church leaders had covered up sexual abuse by priests for decades around the world.

"Any priest could be in this situation," Gallagher said. "Any priest in this situation should know that if it happened to them, they will not get the support of the church. You will be ostracized."

The lawsuit does not seek a specific amount, but Gallagher's attorney Ted Babbitt said he will seek enough to cover Gallagher's lost salary and benefits plus punitive damages for his lost reputation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Cuomo unveils plan for Child Victims Act that would do away with statute of limitation

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

KENNETH LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo is weighing in for the first time with his own plan for a Child Victims Act designed to help child sex abuse survivors seek legal recourse as adults.

Cuomo, as part of a formal written agenda to be given to the Legislature Tuesday, said he wants to do away entirely with the statute of limitation that prohibits those who were abused as children from bringing criminal cases after their 23rd birthday.

Cuomo’s plan would also allow victims to bring civil lawsuits for 50 years after their attacks took place and would open up a one-year look-back window for survivors who under current law can no longer bring cases to do so.

In addition, the plan would treat public and private institutions the same by doing away with a current requirement that gives those abused in a school or other public entity only 90 days from the attack to notify of their intent to sue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Irish priest sues his Florida diocese for defamation in row over paedophile cleric

FLORIDA
Irish Independent

Greg Harkin
PUBLISHED
11/01/2017

An Irish priest is suing his diocese in the United States in a row over paedophile priests.

Fr John Gallagher appeared at a press conference in Florida on Wednesday alongside his lawyer after filing a defamation case against the Palm Beach Diocese.

The priest alleged his diocese cut off communication with him two years ago for notifying police when he learned a visiting priest from India had been showing child porn to a teenage boy.

Fr Jose Palimatton was arrested, convicted and jailed.

Fr Gallagher said the diocese demoted him, removed his belongings from the rectory and changed the locks so he couldn't get back in.

Asked by reporters at the press conference what he hoped to achieve with the lawsuit, Fr Gallagher responded: "Vindication and clearing of my name. I did what was right. I upheld the law and I followed their law. And this is how I've been treated.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

La Fiscalía investigará los abusos sexuales del sacerdote donostiarra condenado por la Iglesia

ESPANA
El Pais

[The Office of the Prosecutor in Spain will investigate the sexual abuse of the Donostiarra priest condemned by the church.]

ADRIÁN MATEOS - admateos Bilbao
11/01/2017

La Fiscalía de Guipúzcoa intervendrá en el supuesto caso de abuso sexual a menores cometido por el sacerdote Juan Cruz Mendizábal, que ayer fue condenado por la Iglesia por los «tocamientos deshonestos» que realizó a dos niños en los años 2001 y 2005. El organismo investigará si existen pruebas para interponer una querella o iniciar algún tipo de acción penal contra el clérigo, que ejercía en la parroquia de San Vicente y era responsable del grupo juvenil de tiempo libre Xirimiri Gazte Taldea.

El Obispado fue consciente del caso en marzo de 2016, cuando Mendizábal trabajaba como vicario general, cargo del que fue destituido un mes después tras comprobarse «la veracidad de las acusaciones». El procedimiento contra el clérigo, que era conocido en el templo como «Kakux», concluyó «con una declaración de culpabilidad del reo y la imposición a este de diversas penas expiatorias», destaca la institución.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Our silence supports the perpetrators of child abuse within the Church

POLAND
Political Critique

AGATA DIDUSZKO-ZYGLEWSKA

Government agencies, independent from the Catholic Church, in many countries have begun up to investigate claims of sexual abuse of children in the Church. Unfortunately, the influence the Church in Polish politics means that children in Poland cannot count on such protection from paedophiles in cassocks. Two facts from the last year may attest to the difficult situation facing child victims of sexual abuse by priests. Firstly, the new head of the Parliamentary Commission of Justice and Human Rights is a prosecutor who, in 2001, decided to dismiss the charges against a priest accused of molesting young girls. As prosecutor he decided that the defendant had, in fact, been using his skills in bioenergy therapy. Secondly, In 2002, during another pedophilia scandal, the newly appointed Archbishop of Kraków, and the head of Polish Church, failed to support the victims, despite the insight he had into the particulars of the case. ‘Have No Fear’ (Nie lękajcie się), founded in 2015, is the first Polish organization that brings together victims of paedophile priests. It is supported internationally by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska: What is your reason for being active in Poland?

Barbara Blaine: The survivors of sexual abuse within the Church have come to Warsaw in support of the ‘Have No Fear’ Foundation in Poland, which is celebrating its third anniversary. It is an inspiring organisation and we are trying to help it achieve its goals. Our help is necessary, I believe, because Church officials in Poland have left children at risk. They are more interested in protecting perpetrators, enablers and the reputation of the Church than children.

As a child, were you a victim of abuse by a priest?

Yes, I am one of the victims. The priest in my parish began to sexually violate me in the summer between seventh and eighth grade. I was twelve or thirteen. The first time he assaulted me I thought that my body had completely frozen. My mind kept saying: ‘No, stop, don’t touch me there’. I remember him saying, ‘Stop shaking, I won’t hurt you’. I could not understand how a priest could commit such a crime, so I assumed immediately that something must have been wrong with me, that I had made the good priest do this bad thing. I felt very dirty, ashamed and confused. He promised me that it would never happen again, but it did, many times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Reach Out to Survivors of Sexual Violence in Your Jewish Community

UNITED STATES
Jewish Philanthropy

By Guila Benchimol

While Donald Trump has claimed that focusing on his comments about sexual violence are “nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today,” I beg to differ. This moment demands practical suggestions as to what we can do differently so that we can do better. While other issues affecting the Jewish community are equally as pressing, this moment is one where many victims and survivors of sexual violence are reeling from the results of the election which has communicated to them that their pain and experiences do not matter.

One place to start is by educating ourselves about how to read and understand the many stories about sexual violence that are now being shared. I have written in the past about how the techniques of neutralization, which are the strategies that are used by perpetrators and others, neutralize victims and dilute their claims of injury and suffering. These strategies allow us to ignore or disbelieve victims and justify such a response.

Gresham Sykes and David Matza introduced their theory of neutralization in the ‘50s to explain that youths who committed crime used specific techniques to push aside the feelings of shame that would generally accompany their criminal acts. The five techniques are the denial of responsibility, denial of injury, denial of the victim, condemnation of the condemner, and an appeal to higher loyalties. Three of these techniques, the ones in which responsibility, the injury, and the victim are denied, are particularly salient when it comes to victims of sexual violence in general, and even more so when the offender and victim are acquainted, or when the victim is female. They are known as rape myths and have a similar effect as the techniques of neutralization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

BREAKING: Priest sues Palm Beach diocese, claims he was defamed

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Jane Musgrave - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH —
A former priest at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church on Wednesday sued the Diocese of Palm Beach, claiming it punished him for exposing a pedophile priest rather than covering it up as they wanted.

The lawsuit, filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, accuses the diocese and Bishop Gerald Barbarito of defaming the 49-year-old priest by issuing a statement that Gallagher fabricated allegations that it urged him not to tell law enforcement that a visiting priest showed pornographic pictures to a 14-year-old at the church.

“Today is a sad day,” the Rev. John Gallagher said in a morning press conference. “Thirty years of my life has been destroyed by the Roman church.”

His treatment is especially heinous because the Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope Francis has pledged to vigorously root out priests accused of sex offenses, said attorney Ted Babbitt, who represents Gallagher.

Instead, he said, when Gallagher learned of transgressions by a visiting priest, the Rev. Jose Varkey Palimattom, he was told the best course of action was to put his new colleague on a plane back to his home in India. He also learned Palimattom had a history of inappropriate conduct with children in India, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Catholic priest suing Diocese of Palm Beach

FLORIDA
WPBF

Jan 11, 2017

Ted White

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —
A south Florida priest is suing the Palm Beach Diocese claiming he was ostracized after blowing the whistle on another priest.

Father John Gallagher says two years ago, the diocese cut off communication with him for notifying police when he learned a visiting priest from India had been showing child porn.

That priest admitted to the crime and was convicted.

He said the diocese demoted him, removed his belongings from the rectory and changed the locks so he couldn't get back in.

WPBF 25 News asked Gallagher what he hopes the lawsuit will d

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Pope Francis's authority challenged by Knights of Malta over condom row

ROME
The Guardian (UK)

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

Pope Francis is facing an extraordinary challenge to his authority from an ancient Catholic order that is refusing to cooperate with a Vatican investigation into the sacking of a top official over the distribution of tens of thousands of condoms.

The controversy has been simmering for weeks, but the Knights of Malta’s rejection of the investigation – an unprecedented act in recent times – has now escalated the matter.

The conservative order said in a statement it intended to protect its sovereignty from official oversight and its members had the legal right not to cooperate with the Vatican investigation, which was approved by Pope Francis late last year, and is being led by the Vatican’s second most senior official, the secretary of state, Pietro Parolin.

The fight is increasingly being seen not just as a battle over the investigation, but as a sign of the increasing anger and disobedience by some Catholic traditionalists who are opposed to Francis’s papacy because they view him as too progressive on issues involving social doctrine.

“It is not just the fact that they are defying the pope’s authority, but they are doing so using language that is disrespectful and confrontational,” said Austen Ivereigh, who has written a biography of the pope. “It is as bad as it looks.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Cardinal Dolan contemplates selling NY chancery in biting letter to priests

NEW YORK
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jan. 11, 2017

New York

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has informed his clergy he is considering moving his archdiocese's headquarters out of the building it now occupies in midtown Manhattan in a bid to save money and to correct what he says is an "unfair and inaccurate perception of the archdiocese as some bloated, money-grabbing corporation."

The cardinal revealed the possible move in a highly charged letter to his priests and deacons in late November in which he also takes the clergy to task for complaining about how the archdiocese collects money from its parishes and exhorts them to challenge parishioners to donate more frequently and abundantly.

Throughout the four-page letter, obtained by NCR, Dolan takes a biting tone, lamenting that his priests reportedly either complain about the archdiocese interfering in their parishes' affairs or that his administration is not doing enough to support their particular favored areas of ministry.

Pushing his priests to encourage their parishioners to give more money to the archdiocese, the cardinal asks at one point: "Why are we afraid to urge our people to sacrificial generosity?"

"The Evangelicals sure demand stewardship!" he exhorts. "The Mormons sure do! Our Jewish Synagogues do! Planned Parenthood sure pushes its donors! The secular causes sure do!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Appeals court upholds law requiring therapists to report patients who view child porn

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Alene Tchekmedyian

A California appeals court has affirmed a judge’s decision to throw out a lawsuit challenging a state law requiring therapists to report patients who admit to viewing child pornography to the police, capping a two-year legal battle over patient privacy rights.

Two therapists and a substance abuse counselor who treat sexual addiction sued the state in 2015, arguing that changes to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act violate a patient’s constitutionally protected right to privacy and deter them from getting help.

The state countered that a patient's right to privacy is outweighed by a far more compelling interest in protecting sexually exploited children.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge tossed the case, ruling that there’s no “zone of privacy” for illegal conduct and that patients who seek therapy for downloading child pornography do so knowing they’ll be reported and may be prosecuted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Sex starved priest threaten to axe wife

ZIMBABWE
Bulawayo 24

by Alice Dube

An irate and sex starved Anglican priest at St Annes Parish in Pumula South, Father Climax Dewa aged 65 allegedly threatened to axe her wife accusing her of being a gold digger.

He also accused his wife Doris Dewa (38) of denying him his conjugal rights.

Dewa was dragged to court by his wife who had applied for a peace order against the man of the cloth accusing him of physically, emotionally and psychologically abusing her.

According to the state controlled Chronicle, an angry Dewa told his wife on 5 January around 1 am that she was a gold digger.

"She's disrespectful and has become the new man in my house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Anglican priest, 65, threatens to axe wife, 38, for denying him sex

ZIMBABWE
News 24

Cape Town – A Zimbabwean Anglican priest, 65, threatened to axe his wife after he accused her of denying him his conjugal rights and of being "disrespectful", a report said on Wednesday.

According to the Chronicle newspaper, this came to light when Father Climax Dewa appeared in court on Tuesday in Bulawayo for violating a peace order not to physically and verbally abuse his wife, Doris Dewa, 38.

Doris had applied for a peace order against her husband last year, as she accused him of physically, emotionally and psychologically abusing her. The order was granted to in April.

Father Dewa told the court during his appearance that his wife was a "gold digger". He also claimed that she was "disrespectful", adding that she also denied him his conjugal rights.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

PRO-LIFE GROUP SUES DISGRACED LEGION OF CHRIST

RHODE ISLAND
Church Militant

by Stefan Farrar • ChurchMilitant.com • January 10, 2017

Claims group swindled woman out of her inheritance

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Legion of Christ (LC) is facing a lawsuit that could cost them millions. Last week, a Rhode Island judge allowed Americans United for Life (AUL), a pro-life group, to continue its suit against the religious order. The lawsuit alleges the LC interfered with an inheritance AUL was supposed to receive from Gabrielle Mee, a widow worth $60 million dollars.

The AUL is accusing the LC of convincing Mee to leave her entire fortune to the Legion, thereby cutting AUL out of her will. This lawsuit is another legal battle for the order, which is still dealing with fallout from Fr. Marcial Maciel's sexual abuse, founder of the LC. An official investigation by the Vatican found that Maciel sexually abused minors (including his own children), seminarians and had three children with mistresses, and forced him in 2006 into retirement, counseling him to spend the rest of his days in prayer and penance

Jim Fair, spokesman for the LC, commented, "We believe the Legion of Christ acted appropriately in its relationship with Mrs. Mee." Rhode Island Judge Michael Silverstein didn't dismiss the entire suit against the LC, although he did dismiss the claims of fraud and undue influence in the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Anglican priest accused in 1980s youth sex assaults faces additional charges

CANADA
Edmonton Journal

PAIGE PARSONS

An Anglican priest now faces upwards of 30 charges for gross indecency and sexual assault, after being arrested early last year on allegations that he abused teenage boys in an Edmonton youth jail during the 1980s.

Gordon William Dominey, 64, was first charged in February 2016 after five complainants alleged the priest abused them while they were in the Edmonton Youth Development Centre between 1985 and 1989. Those complainants were between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time of the alleged abuses.

By March 2016, an additional four complainants had come forward and police laid additional charges, bringing the total to 27, including 18 sexual-assault charges and nine gross-indecency charges.

Seven more charges — four counts of sexual assault and three counts of gross indecency — were laid in October 2016. Edmonton police have not said when those offences were alleged to have occurred.

In Edmonton provincial court Tuesday, Dominey appeared for a preliminary hearing on his initial 27 charges. After electing to have the seven more recent charges also tried by judge and jury, it was determined all 33 counts will be dealt with during the preliminary hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

CCOG concerned with decision to send Fr. Adrian Cristobal to Canada to to study Canon Law

GUAM
KUAM

Jan 10, 2017

By Sabrina Salas Matanane

Letter from Presbyteral Council

The Concerned Catholics of Guam organization has serious concerns with a recent decision by Archbishop Michael Byrnes to send Fr. Adrian Cristobal to Canada to study Canon Law. In a letter to the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council, CCOG President Dave Sablan argues that Fr. Adrian is one of the priests at the center of the division within the local church. He contends that instead of rewarding him by sending him to study Canon Law he should be disciplined, “for lies he has perpetrated that has harmed the Church on Guam,” the letter stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

London risks 'another Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal without action on missing children in Hackney'

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Dina Rickman @dinarickman

A central London council has been warned it risks "another Rotherham" sexual abuse scandal if it does not deal with the thousands of children thought to be taught at illegal schools.

Hackney Council is at the centre of a child protection scandal after an investigation by The Independent found more than 1,000 boys in the borough are currently missing from registered schools and are instead thought to be educated in illegal ultra-Orthodox Jewish yeshivas.

At a meeting of Hackney Council's Children and Young People Scrutiny Board, which is holding an inquiry into unregistered Jewish schools, Chair Councillor Christopher Kennedy said: "We worried there might be another Rotherham situation in Hackney if we didn't take action when we were told there were all these missing children on the school register."

His comments came as religious leaders told Hackney council they felt being pressured to teach a particular agenda by Ofsted. Jospeh Stauber, headteacher of the registered Talmud Torah Yetev Lev primary school for children in Hackney, warned councillors: "Don't try to tell us what to learn with the children when it's against our religion. That's why we keep on hiding."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Injury lawyer calls out Qld justice system

AUSTRALIA
Lawyers Weekly

Emma Ryan

The director of Bennett & Philp Lawyers has called for greater legislation surrounding sexual and physical abuse, saying current Queensland laws don’t go far enough and should be amended as a priority in 2017.

The director of Bennett & Philp Lawyers has called for greater legislation surrounding sexual and physical abuse, saying current Queensland laws don’t go far enough and should be amended as a priority in 2017.

Trent Johnson (pictured), an accredited injury compensation specialist and a director of Brisbane firm Bennett & Philp Lawyers, said despite Queensland recently removing the time limit for childhood victims of sexual abuse to claim compensation for their injuries, the state’s system is still “flawed”.

This comes after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended that the various state and territory governments abolish their respective time limits for claims by victims of childhood abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Brian Altman QC named as child abuse inquiry counsel

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Brian Altman QC is to take over as the most senior lawyer in the inquiry into child sex abuse in England and Wales.

His appointment as lead counsel was confirmed by the inquiry's fourth chairwoman, Professor Alexis Jay.

He replaces Ben Emmerson QC, who quit in September and was subsequently cleared of allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

He has served as first senior treasury counsel - prosecuting serious cases for the Crown Prosecution Service.

The inquiry, which was set up in July 2014, has previously experienced a string of problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Preliminary hearing in the investigation into the protection of children outside the UK

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Inquiry has announced a further preliminary hearing in relation to the Child Migration Programmes case study in the investigation into the protection of children outside of the UK will be held on Tuesday 31 January 2017 at 10:30 am at the International Dispute Resolution Centre, Fleet Street, London.

The first public hearing for the case study in this investigation will begin on Monday 27 February.

Preliminary hearings are not normally broadcast, but they are open to the press and public. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Media wishing to attend are asked to notify the press office by calling 0203 789 2114 or emailing pressoffice@iicsa.org.uk

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Inquiry announces new lead Counsel

10 January
UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has today announced that Brian Altman QC is to be new lead Counsel.

The Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Professor Alexis Jay OBE said:

“I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Brian Altman QC as lead Counsel to the Inquiry. He is hugely experienced, having spent 16 years as Treasury Counsel, the last two and a half years of which were as First Senior Treasury Counsel. This is an important appointment for the Inquiry and I look forward to working with Brian as we take forward the work of the Inquiry.”

Speaking after his appointment was confirmed, Mr Altman QC said:

​“The Government and the public have set the Inquiry a huge challenge to investigate institutional responses to child sexual abuse in the past, and to report and make recommendations in order to prevent such abuse happening in the future. I am delighted to have been appointed to lead a team of lawyers dedicated to completing the task of the Inquiry. I will work to ensure that the investigations and the public hearings are kept on track in order to deliver the terms of reference of the Inquiry. I look forward to taking up my post.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry appoints leading barrister Brian Altman QC as its new top lawyer

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By MATT DATHAN, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR MAILONLINE

The troubled inquiry into historical child sex abuse has named Brian Altman QC, a leading barrister, as its most senior lawyer.

He will take over the role of lead counsel to the probe following the resignation last year of Ben Emmerson QC.

Announcing the appointment, inquiry chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay described Mr Altman as 'hugely experienced'.

The probe has been beset by problems and Mr Emmerson's resignation, which was announced in September, was one of a number of departures of senior figures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Brian Altman QC named lead counsel for child sexual abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent

The former Old Bailey prosecutor Brian Altman QC has been named as the new lead counsel for the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Altman, who has specialised in serious crime and terrorism cases, replaces Ben Emmerson QC, who resigned last September amid disputes over the scale of the investigation.

Welcoming Altman’s appointment, the IICSA’s chair, Prof Alexis Jay OBE, said: “He is hugely experienced, having spent 16 years as Treasury counsel, the last two and a half years of which were as first senior Treasury counsel. This is an important appointment for the inquiry and I look forward to working with Brian.”

Altman said: “The government and the public have set the inquiry a huge challenge to investigate institutional responses to child sexual abuse in the past, and to report and make recommendations in order to prevent such abuse happening in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

El cura Rosa presentará su descargo esta semana

ARGENTINA
El Tribuno

[For the first time, the priest Agustín Rosa Torino will present a disclaimer on the accusations of sexual abuse that weigh against him. He will do so by means of a letter that he will send to the Criminal Prosecutor's Office 2 of the Unit for Crimes against Sexual Integrity tomorrow or Thursday, according to the lawyer of the religious, Raymundo Sosa, told El Tribuno.]

La medida se concretará por escrito mañana o el jueves. En el documento intentará defenderse de las acusaciones por abuso sexual en su contra.

Por primera vez, el cura Agustín Rosa Torino presentará un descargo sobre las acusaciones de abuso sexual que pesan en su contra. Lo hará mediante un escrito que remitirá a la Fiscalía Penal 2 de la Unidad de Delitos contra la Integridad Sexual mañana o el jueves, según adelantó a El Tribuno el abogado del religioso, Raymundo Sosa.

En la causa se investigan las denuncias de dos exnovicios y una exmonja del Instituto Religioso Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, fundado por Rosa. Los abusos habrían ocurrido en esa congregación y, según los testimonios, hubo otras supuestas víctimas de los ataques.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Un fascicolo in procura per accertare le responsabilità omissive del clero su don Nicola Corradi

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Rete L'Abuso turned over to the presecutor documents pertaining to priest Nicola Corradi, who is accused to abusing students at a school for deaf children.]

Sette pagine di denuncia, più di 80 di allegati in un articolato fascicolo depositato pochi giorni fa dalla Rete L’ABUSO presso gli uffici dell’Autorità Giudiziaria di Verona, altri due, meno corposi sono stati invece inviati ai p.m. argentini Gustavo Stroppiana e Fernando Cartasegna.

Nei fascicoli si espongono una serie di elementi rilevanti e si chiede che vengano ravvisate le eventuali responsabilità omissive attribuibili alle gerarchie ecclesiastiche.

Una serie di informazioni degne di nota ma mai denunciate formalmente all’Autorità Giudiziaria che oggi, dopo l’arresto di don Nicola Corradi avvenuto a fine novembre in Argentina, è il caso di prendere in seria considerazione.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Judge approves Stockton diocese bankruptcy plan

CALIFORNIA
The Record

By Almendra Carpizo
Record Staff Writer

STOCKTON - The Diocese of Stockton is just weeks from exiting bankruptcy after a judge approved its reorganization plan on Tuesday.

The diocese had filed for bankruptcy more than two years ago after legal costs stemming from dozens of child sexual-abuse lawsuits depleted its funds.

In September, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire announced the diocese had negotiated with all the parties involved to reach a consensual plan that would allow the diocese to exit bankruptcy.

The plan approved by Judge Christopher M. Klein (the same judge who oversaw the bankruptcy of the city of Stockton) includes:

* $15 million to survivors of sexual abuse and a trust for the benefit of survivors.

* Payment of at least 50 percent of what is owed to unsecured creditors.

* Restructuring of secured loans.

* Funding from the plan will come from the Diocese of Stockton, settling insurance carriers and other entities associated with the diocese.

"The plan demonstrates the Diocese of Stockton's commitment to provide for survivors of sexual abuse in a fair, just and equitable manner from its available resources," according to a news release from the diocese.

Blaire expressed gratitude to everyone involved in the process for "helping bring this very difficult chapter in the history of the diocese to an equitable resolution."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Children tortured in Scottish care homes, schools and residential units, report claims

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

CHILDREN were tortured at Scottish schools, children’s homes and residential units with waterboarding, sleep-deprivation and force-feeding among the practices deployed to torment them, a major study into alleged abuse has claimed.

The report from the National Confidential Forum (NCF), a body set up to anonymously document the experiences of abuse victims, also records testimony alleging the humiliation of children for bed-wetting and others having their hair shaved off to suppress their identity.

Costing more than £4 million since it was established in 2014, the forum has faced accusations of being a "talking shop" because it lacked powers to hold abusers to account.

The subsequent Scottish Child Abuse inquiry may have appealed to more victims because it could ultimately lead to prosecutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Court to hear case of girl in Moravian pastor’s plight tomorrow

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The care and protection case for the 15-year-old St Elizabeth girl involved in the rape and carnal abuse case against Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke is to go before the St Elizabeth Parish Court tomorrow, the Jamaica Observer has learnt.

The child and another sibling from the same home are now in State care. The story has rocked the nation over the past week, again bringing into focus the harsh economic realities faced by many impoverished families, and the inherent vulnerabilities, especially among young women and girls in depressed socio-economic conditions.

The Observer has learnt that the girl is one of 10 children and lived in extremely difficult circumstances in the rural community with her mother, who had also lived in St James, but moved to St Elizabeth after the death of the children’s father.

According to information obtained by the Observer the mother now lives in an abandoned building in an area off the beaten path without plumbing and electricity with several of her daughters, as well as a grandchild.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Chris Marshall: Child abuse inquiry is far from perfect but we must make best of it

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

CHRIS MARSHALL
Wednesday 11 January 2017

Later this month, judge Lady Smith will convene the preliminary hearing of Scotland’s national child abuse inquiry.

It feels as if the hearing has been a long time coming, taking place more than two years after the inquiry was announced by the Scottish Government.

It is almost a year since then chairwoman Susan O’Brien held a public session at a Glasgow hotel in which she made an emotional plea for survivors to come forward and give evidence.

Much has happened in the intervening months. Ms O’Brien has gone along with fellow panel member Professor Michael Lamb, who resigned citing government interference and describing the inquiry as “doomed”.

Indeed there were points last year where the inquiry looked set to follow in the footsteps of its larger and more controversial English counterpart, which has lurched from crisis to crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Personality problems cause of sexual impropriety among Catholic priests - Monsignor Ntim

GHANA
Ghana Web

Rev. Monsignor Professor Stephen Ntim, Dean of the faculty of education at the Catholic University College of Ghana has opined that personality problems could be the cause of sexual impropriety by some Catholic and the church could stop the menace by rigorously screening candidates who present themselves for the priesthood in the Catholic Church.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 26th national and 14th biennial congress of the National Union of Ghana Diocesan Priests’ Associations (NUGDPA) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology on Tuesday January, 3, Monsignor Ntim said priests are generally content and happy about their vocation and the few sex scandals and pedophilia recorded in the Church could be as a result of what he describes as childhood baggage from families.

“If generally priests are happy and joyful, how do we reconcile these with the few clinical syndromes such as the sex scandal and the pedophilia in Europe and the US? How do we explain the few instances of embarrassing sexual misbehavior of few priests here in Ghana as well? Why do some priests leave the priesthood? In some parts of the world that has experienced priestly sexual scandals such as the U.S, these few priests were those found to have had childhood dysfunction and probably should not have entered the Seminary in the first place. Childhood dysfunction such as childhood sexual abuse places people at high risk of later adult psychological problems. Similarly in Ghana, many of our brothers experiencing some struggle in the priesthood either with themselves or with their Bishops because of sexual impropriety for most of the time could be that they have personality problems” Prof Ntim said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Mother of child in pastor's 'sex' case likely to be charged with offences

JAMAICA
Loop

The mother of the two teenaged girls who were placed in state care following allegations of sexual assault by Moravian pastor, Rupert Clarke, could soon be facing charges herself.

The woman, who reportedly has 11 children living in very poor circumstances, is likely to face charges of child neglect, among other child abuse-related offences.

Last week, the 15-year-old who was allegedly found in a compromising position with Pastor Clarke, as well as her 13-year-old sister, were taken from the mother’s custody by the Child Development Agency (CDA) and placed in state care.

This occurred amid reports that the accused clergyman was sexually involved with more than one of the woman's children.

Clarke, 64, of the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester, has been charged with having sex with the 15-year-old child. He is under a wider probe for at least two other allegations of sexual offences involving other teenagers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

State Offering Assistance to Child and Family

JAMAICA
Government of Jamaica - Jamaica Information Service

By Shari-Ann Palmer January 10, 2017

Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says the State is offering assistance to the child and family who have been caught up in the allegations of sexual abuse involving a local pastor.

In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Green said protection of the victim is of utmost importance to the Ministry, and the Child Development Agency (CDA) has begun its intervention with the family.

“Our CDA officers have gone in and have done a home assessment. We have already started counselling because we always think about how we can get our children back on a road where they can have a productive life and they can minimise the impact of the incident,” he noted.

The State Minister said the victim, who is 15 years old, and her sister, aged 13, have been removed from their family home and placed in “safe keeping”, adding that remaining teenagers in the home will also receive counselling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

We do not condone child abuse, pastor misconduct – JCC

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) and the wider Christian community said they regret the recent news of the allegations of abuse of one of the nation’s children by a minister of the church.

In a statement today, the group said: “While we await the outcome of the legal process, we do not support or condone the abuse of our children or the misconduct of our leaders. We are seized by the gravity of the impact and implications on the church, families and wider society on account of the case at hand.”

The group said, undoubtedly, the outrage has served as a reminder to the church of the high standard with which the church and its leaders are held by the society and the burden of responsibility in ensuring that the church lives up to those expectations.

“The public response has been accentuated on account of the rate of child abuse in our country and the very early sexual initiation of many of our youth. This is a major concern for the church as well.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Young poet highlights hypocrisy in church

JAMAICA
Loop

Saccheen Laing is the latest poet to sound off on the Moravian pastor sex scandal that has rocked Jamaica.

Laing, in a poem entitled Young Girl, tells the story of a female child who is being sexually abused by a pastor. The traumatised child is forced to face her abuser each Sunday at church while the congregation, and even the child's mother, turns a blind eye to his crimes.

Two weeks ago, a 15-year-old girl was allegedly found in a compromising position with a 64-year-old Moravian pastor, who has since been charged with rape.

The case has attracted widespread interest and brought the controversial subject of sexual abuse in the church into the national spotlight. Over the weekend, another poet, Sonya Stewart, released a poem, under the headline Shocked, Ashamed and Mortified, on the subject.

See full text of Laing's poem below.

YOUNG GIRL
By:©Saccheen Laing

Saturday draws to a close and fear sets in.

With Sunday comes the realization that I will have to see him.

My mother picks out my clothes and prepares me for church.

I am immaculately dressed and ready to meet my abuser.

She kisses me

As she betrays me.

She knows fully that the man of God abuses me

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

January 10, 2017

John Furlong’s reinstatement to the UBC Millennium Scholarship Breakfast explained

CANADA
National Post

Joseph Brean | January 9, 2017

On Monday, the University of British Columbia reinstated John Furlong, 66, a top sports executive in Vancouver, as the keynote speaker at the Millennium Scholarship Breakfast next month after initially cancelling his appearance. National Post‘s Joseph Brean unpicks the tangled history.

Q: Why was Furlong such a controversial speaker?

A: It began in 2009 with a tip to Laura Robinson, a journalist with expertise in sports, both as a decorated athlete and coach. She heard that Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics, had been concealing his past as a physical education teacher at Immaculata Catholic School, a day school in Burns Lake, in 1969 and 1970, which goes unaddressed in his biography, Patriot Hearts – Inside the Olympics that Changed a Country. As she understood, Furlong had beaten children, perhaps even raped them. She started investigating.

Q: What did she find?

A: Robinson arranged to have a flier displayed at the Burns Lake Band Office announcing her investigation into historical abuse by Furlong, and her request to hear stories in confidence. Three dozen people gathered, and waited together for an hour before she arrived, which was later flagged as a methodological concern. In the end, seven said they were physically abused by him, another that she was sexually abused.


Q: Did police investigate?

A: Yes, but not all the claims, and not to the satisfaction of many critics, including the Assembly of First Nations. Few actual police complaints were filed. In the case of Beverly Abraham, who contacted police with a complaint after being urged by Robinson, an investigating officer spoke with Abraham and her family members, and found “many troubling inconsistencies,” including changing names and dates. In the end, police found “nothing to substantiate the complaint” and therefore sent nothing to prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Ancora offese alle vittime dall’ormai ex vescovo di Savona Vittorio Lupi

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Continued insults to the victims by the now former bishop of Savona Vittorio Lupi. Yesterday on online newspapers, which are unfortunately also in the print media the victims of pedophile priests in Savona, are once again forced to suffer the public humiliation by Bishop Lupi who in his last homily said he was saddened for what happened and in hindsight today would redo the same things.]

Bugiardo senza vergogna e con un senso civico profondo quanto una pozzanghera, questo è quello possiamo dire per esperienza personale di Vittorio Lupi che con noi vittime si è comportato tutt’altro che da uomo di chiesa.

Ieri sui giornali online, oggi purtroppo anche sulla carta stampata le vittime dei preti pedofili savonesi, don Nello Giraudo Pietro Pinetto e Giorgio Barbacini, sono ancora una volta costrette a subire l’umiliazione pubblica di un uomo che nella sua ultima omelia si è detto addolorato per quanto accaduto e col senno di poi oggi rifarebbe le stesse cose.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Church committed to good family values, says bishop

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT Observer staff reporter hibbertk@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, January 09, 2017

A local pastor yesterday reaffirmed the church’s stance on morality and good family values, declaring that each member of society must live up to what’s expected of them, especially clergymen.

According to Bishop Couvator Holdsworth, God’s moral code for an orderly and wholesome society is rooted in the scriptures.

“God’s principle speaks to the responsible parenthood. Ephesians 6 speaks to the need for children to be obedient and to show respect for the elderly and those that are less fortunate, the poor, and the needy,” he said.

“God’s principles speak to an orderly society... there was a time in our land that our leaders were respected; our pastors, teachers, nurses were honourable people in our society. We can bring back those glory days by each one of us today making a commitment to not only talk the talk, but walk the talk; practise what we preach,” Bishop Couvator Holdsworth said in his message at Greater Grace Temple Worship Centre on Deanery Road in Kingston, where cops assigned to the Non-Geographic Formations Number Two (Mobile Reserve, Motorised Patrol Division, Traffic and Highway Patrol, Mounted Troop Division and Canine Division) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force gathered for their New Year’s service under the theme ‘Save the Police Family...Secure the Nation’s Future’.

When the Jamaica Observer spoke to Holdsworth following the service, he said in light of the recent charges of carnal abuse and rape laid against Manchester pastor Rupert Clarke, it is time for saints to set their lives straight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Petition Launched Calling For Dismissal Of Hampton Principal

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

A group calling itself Jamaicans United Against Domestic Violence and Child Abuse has started a petition calling for the dismissal of the principal of the Hampton School over her actions last week at the bail hearing of the Moravian pastor on sex charges.

Heather Murray is reported to have attempted to block a Gleaner photographer trying to capture images of the 64-year-old pastor Rupert Clarke, as he left court.

Before attempting the block the photographer, Murray sought to intervene in an interview between a Gleaner reporter and Moravian minister, Robert Patmore outside the courthouse.

In a statement last week, Murray said she went to court to support the wife of the pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Hampton Principal says sorry for ‘breaching common sense’ in 'sex' pastor case

JAMAICA
Loop

Under intense pressure, Hampton School Principal, Heather Murray, has apologised to students at the institution for what she described as “a breach of common sense” on her part after her appearance at a bail hearing for an accused child molester.

In addressing a group of students at the all-girls institution in devotion on Monday’s first day of the new school term, Murray, a close friend of the accused man’s wife, explained that she went to the court as a Justice of the Peace (JP), to sign documents relating to the accused man’s bail bond.

She said she obstructed photo journalists taking pictures of the accused, Pastor Rupert Clarke, because his lawyer had indicated it was illegal to do so, even though she was not aware of that as a JP.

The principal said she was hurt over the allegations against Clarke, who has been accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl. The 64-year-old pastor was allegedly caught by police personnel on patrol in St Elizabeth, in a compromising position in a parked car with the girl nearly two weeks ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Former minister accuses Moravian Church of double standards

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A former minister of the local Moravian Church in Jamaica has accused the church leadership of applying double standards in relation to allegations of sexual misconduct against embattled pastor Rupert Clarke.

Dr Canute Thompson has called on the head of the church, Dr Paul Gardner, to state whether he had fulfilled a promise made in early 2014 to investigate allegations against 64-year-old Clarke, who was recently charged by the police with having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Dr Thompson accused the church of being inconsistent in its response to charges of misconduct within the church, including “different rules for different individuals” in relation to a variety of issues, including allegations of sexual misconduct.

“I have consistently raised with the church, going back to the 80s, what I have seen as double standards,” Dr Thompson said in a much-publicised response to Clarke’s arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Case against clergyman heats up, Hampton principal apologises to students, says she signed bail documents

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

The rape and carnal abuse case involving Moravian clergyman Rev Rupert Clarke has taken on an alarming new twist, including claims by the family of the girl he is accused of abusing that they were being harassed by people in their community to keep silent.

Checks by the Jamaica Observer with several members of the police in St Elizabeth revealed that, while they have heard of rumours of intimidation against the family, no actual reports had been made to the authorities on this particular matter.

“Yes, we have heard about these rumours of intimidation against the family of the girl in the mentioned case. In fact, we have heard of many other allegations in the case in question. We have investigated and are still investigating all these claims, but to date no one is willing to give a statement to us,” one policeman told the Observer last evening.

“This is most disconcerting for us, as people must come forward for us to either provide protection, or to share any information they have to assist us with the case. We cannot operate solely on rumours alone,” the policeman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Moravian Sex Scandal Deepens ... Email Trail Reveals Church Knew Of Sex Allegations Against Pastor

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Damion Mitchell, Integration Editor

The sex scandal in the Moravian Church is deepening.

A former Moravian Minister has now produced a trail of email contradicting claims by the church leadership that it had no previous knowledge of allegations of misconduct against the 64-year-old pastor now before the court on a sex charge.

The email between Dr Canute Thompson and the president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica Dr Paul Gardner date back to 2014.

They have come days after Gardner rejected assertions that Rupert Clarke, the 64-year-old pastor charged with having sex with a minor was previously reported for sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Archbishop Flores dies

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

By J. Michael Parker and Elaine Ayala
January 9, 2017

Retired Archbishop Patrick Flores, a onetime migrant farm worker and high school dropout who overcame discrimination to eventually become the nation’s first Mexican-American bishop, died Monday in San Antonio.

Flores, whose full name was Patricio Fernandez Flores,waged a long battle with congestive heart failure, dementia and Meniere’s disease, a hearing disorder that causes veritgo, tinnitus and hearing loss. In the end, he suffered pneumonia.

He had not been seen in public much since 2008 and was living in Padua Place Residence, a retirement home for priests. ...

He always said his deepest sorrow was over sexual abuse by priests. He insisted he’d acted in good faith and, with one early exception, always removed abusive priests from ministry immediately upon learning of credible allegations.

Others angrily disputed his claims, saying he didn’t believe their allegations and demanded proof.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Former Archbishop Flores dies at 87

TEXAS
KIII

SAN ANTONIO (KENS5) - SAN ANTONIO - Former Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores passed away Monday at the age of 87, according to the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Flores served as the fourth archbishop of San Antonio from 1979-2005. The Archdiocese said he was the first Mexican-American elevated to this hierarchy in the Catholic Church in the United States.

After Flores’ ordination to the priesthood, he previously served at Houston parishes.

He also served as director of the Christian Family Movement and as director of the Bishop’s Committee for the Spanish-Speaking, a ministry that encouraged bilingual congregations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Pope Francis appoints L.A. auxiliary to head Salt Lake City

CALIFORNIA/UTAH
Angelus

January 10, 2017 - By JD Long-Garcia

Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Solis was listening to his brother priests during a morning deanery meeting in San Pedro when his cell phone began to vibrate. He ignored it. It went off again. And then again, but he didn’t answer.

He had another meeting later that afternoon, so he couldn’t join the others for lunch. He checked his phone and noticed that it was the papal nuncio — Archbishop Christophe Pierre — who had been calling. Bishop Solis called him back.

“Am I in trouble? What did I do?” Bishop Solis quipped once the archbishop had picked up the phone.

“No, no, no,” Bishop Solis recalled Archbishop Pierre saying, then adding as a side note, “The papal nuncio has a great sense of humor, you know?”

“Bishop, are you by yourself?” the archbishop asked Bishop Solis.

“Yes, your excellency.”

“I would like to share some good news with you.”

“What is it?” Bishop Solis said.

“The Holy Father has appointed you to be the ordinary in Salt Lake City.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Pope Francis names Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles Oscar Solis as Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City

UTAH
KATC

Updated: Jan 10, 2017

His Holiness, Pope Francis has appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles Oscar A. Solis as Bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, the Vatican announced today.

Bishop Solis was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles on December 11, 2003 by Pope John Paul II and ordained on February 10, 2004, becoming the first Filipino-American elevated to the episcopacy in the history of the United States. He will now be the first Filipino-American Bishop to lead a Diocese in the United States.

Bishop Solis will be introduced in Salt Lake City at a diocesan press conference Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 27 C Street, in the lower level Bishop Federal Hall, at 11:00 am CT/10 am PST. The press conference will be livestreamed at: www.ksl.com.

“It’s a beautiful thing to receive the appointment,” said Bishop Solis. “It’s a recognition of the diversity of the Church in America and the universality of the Church. I understand what it means to be a pastor, a shepherd of a particular diocese. It is a tremendous blessing and a responsibility and a privilege to be of service to the local Church in the United States of America, coming from the Philippines.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Paying tribute to Mary Raftery - Irish journalist who exposed child abuse in Ireland

IRELAND
Irish Central

Kate Hickey @KateHickey_ January 10, 2017

Today marks five years since Irish journalist, filmmaker, and writer Mary Raftery died of ovarian cancer, aged 54. Nominated in 2011 for "NNI National Journalist of the Year" for her work in exposing the clerical abuse of children in Ireland, Raftery was regarded as one of the country's finest investigative journalists exposing not only clerical abuse but abuse in the Irish childcare system and the appalling conditions within the country's psychiatric units.

Raftery famously made the 1999 documentary “States of Fear” and the “Cardinal Secrets” in 2002 and her work was widely viewed as having led to the establishment of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. The Commission reported its findings in May of 2009.

Beginning her investigative career with "In Dublin" magazine in the 1970s, Raftery later moved on to "Magill" magazine and then to RTÉ.

Speaking to RTE radio at the time of her death, Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin paid tribute to journalist and documentary maker, stating, “Bringing the truth out is always a positive thing even though it may be a painful truth.

“I believe that through her exposition of sins of the past and of the moment that the church is a better place for children and a place which has learned many lessons.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

PNP councillor welcomes apology, but renews call for Hampton principal to resign

JAMAICA
Loop

People's National Party councillor for the Trafalgar Division in South East St. Andrew, Kari Douglas is renewing her call for the Principal of Hampton High, Heather Murray, to resign.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Councilor Douglas said she welcomes news that Murray has apologised for attempting to bar the media from taking photographs at Court of the alleged child abuser, 64-year-old Moravian pastor, Rupert Clarke, who was charged with rape last week after being allegedly caught in a compromising position in his car with a 15-year-old girl in Austin district, St Elizabeth.

However, Councillor Douglas said she is shocked by Murray’s admission that she signed documents in relation to the accused child abuser’s move to secure his temporary freedom (bail).

Commenting further, Councillor Douglas said while it is not wrong to sign documents as a Justice of the Peace in furtherance of bail being processed, Murray should have recognised that her sensitive and substantive post as Principal, along with her duty of care to hundreds of young girls, should have compelled her not to associate herself with the process of the alleged child abuser securing his temporary freedom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

January 9, 2017

Judge OKs Lawsuit Against Disgraced Order Legion of Christ

RHODE ISLAND
ABC News

By MICHELLE R. SMITH AND NICOLE WINFIELD, ASSOCIATED PRESS
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Jan 9, 2017

A Rhode Island judge is allowing a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars to move forward against the disgraced Roman Catholic order the Legion of Christ.

The lawsuit, brought by the national anti-abortion group Americans United for Life, says the Legion interfered with an inheritance the group should have received from a wealthy widow. It says the Legion conspired to get Gabrielle Mee to cut the group out of her will and instead give her entire $60 million fortune to the Legion. Bernard Jackvony, a lawyer for Americans United for Life, said up to $6 million is at stake.

It's one of several legal battles facing the Legion in the U.S. stemming from the fallout of a sexual abuse scandal involving the order's founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, and church officials. A church investigation determined Maciel sexually molested seminarians and fathered three children. The Vatican took over the order in 2010, and Pope Benedict XVI ordered a wholesale reform.

In its lawsuit filed last year, Americans United for Life says Mee had bequeathed it 10 percent of her estate in a 1991 will. She later changed her will to leave everything to the Legion. Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein last week rejected the Legion's request to dismiss the lawsuit, although he agreed to dismiss two claims: fraud and undue influence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

Accused priest ‘had his bishop’s blessing’

AUSTRALIA
The Austrlaian

January 10, 2017

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The former Anglican bishop of Ballarat David Silk sounds defensive at first when called early in the morning at his home in southwest England.

Why ask these questions about one of his priests, he must be thinking? Why dig up the past?

His tone softens when the line of questioning becomes clear. In 1996, he employed a priest who transferred from Newcastle, in NSW, where the bishop at the time was the current Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft.

Was Monsignor Silk told at the time that child-sex alle­gations were made against the priest months after he arrived in the Victorian diocese, then made again in 1999? Or that the priest, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged by NSW police the following year?

No, he tells The Australian. The priest came personally recommended by Archbishop Herft.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Ex-priest Gerald Ridsdale faces 36 abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

January 10, 2017

GREG BROWN
JournalistMelbourne
@gregbrown_TheOz

Former Victorian Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale has been charged with 36 historical counts of rape and assault that allegedly occurred in the state’s west between the 1960s and the 80s.

The 82-year-old former school chaplain and parish priest was charged by Victoria Police’s Sano Taskforce, which was established in 2012 to investigate child exploitation. He will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on January 20.

“Sano Taskforce detectives have charged a man following an investigation into alleged historical sexual abuse at various locations in the western region of Victoria between the 1960s to the 1980s,” Victoria Police said last night. “The 82-year-old man has been charged with more than 36 charges, including rape, buggery and indecent assault and common law assault.”

The Sano Taskforce continues to investigate historical sexual abuse claims made against the nation’s most senior Catholic, George Pell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Sunday protest at Manchester ‘sex’ pastor’s church

JAMAICA
Loop

A group of women staged a quiet protest at the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester during the regular morning service on Sunday, to register their concern about the arrest and charge of Pastor Rupert Clarke of the church.

The 64-year-old pastor was charged after being allegedly caught by police personnel on patrol in St Elizabeth, in a compromising position with a 15-year-old girl nearly two weeks ago.

Dressed in T-shirts bearing messages against sexual abuse - "I will not be silent anymore" - the group, made up of some 15 persons, attended the church service and took seats in the front rows of the congregation.

The women, some of whom were reported to have been victims of sexual assault, expressed anger at the perceived silence of church on the matter of the pastor’s arrest.

The protesters said their actions were in support for the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

'Sold to the highest bidder' - how Ireland's institutions allowed Americans to adopt Irish children in the 1950s

IRELAND
The Journal

Cianan Brennan

THE DUBIOUS NATURE of the process surrounding the adoption of Irish children by American citizens in the 1950s has come to light with the publication of foreign policy papers dating from that decade.

The documents, which range from summaries of meetings to communiqués between civil servants to briefing notes for ministers, show a bureaucratic system that was entirely hands off and saw the adoption of Irish children born outside of marriage by foreign citizens as a fundamental ‘good’.

The papers detailing these adoptions are contained in Documents on Irish Foreign Policy Volume X, which covers the years 1951 to 1957, as published by the Royal Irish Academy.

At that time, as many as 10 Irish children a month, the vast majority of them born outside marriage and as a result resident in Catholic institutions, were being adopted by Americans. Some 330 such children left these shores between 1950 and 1952, with such records only being kept from the former date.

This trend was far from secret, and indeed was openly derided in the British press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

What the church owes: Making amends for years of abuse

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Editorial

In a morally important move, Timothy Cardinal Dolan in October handed famed mediator Ken Feinberg a blank check to make right by those victimized by clergy in the New York Archdiocese, covering Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island and points north.

The first round of victims who can apply for compensation are 150 people who had already lodged complaints to the church.

Their deadline is Jan. 31, and participation is important. The choice is deeply personal, but the alternatives are to suffer in silence or wait and see if New York someday passes a law allowing lapsed claims to resurface.

About half of the 150 people, 72, have submitted claims. Feinberg is carefully weighing the awful details of each case and so far has produced 33 offers to compensate for suffering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

North West Survivors Group calls on First and Deputy First Minister to give HIA Inquiry Report 'the attention that it deserves'

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Now

Following the news that the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Report has been presented to the First and Deputy First Ministers, the Survivors (North West) group have issued a statement calling on them to give the matter the attention it deserves.

A spokesperson for the group said: "As a result of the announcement, that the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Report has been delivered to the First and Deputy First Ministers, we, Survivors (North West), hope that the First and Deputy First Ministers, will (notwithstanding other issues) give this report the attention that it deserves.

"Hundreds of Victims and Survivors have waited decades for justice. This Inquiry and the Report, we believe holds the key to that justice.

"Sir Anthony Hart, Chairperson of the Inquiry acknowledged in his statement on Friday both the pain and the courage of those who came forward to give evidence to the Inquiry. We have no reason to doubt that the Report will be a damning indictment of the system and the Institutions that he was charged with investigating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to face court again

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Tom Cowie, Melissa Cunningham

Ridsdale, 82, will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court next Friday for a mention hearing as part of an investigation by Victoria Police's Sano Taskforce.

The disgraced Catholic priest has been charged with multiple offences against a number of alleged victims from across Victoria.

Charges include rape, buggery and unlawful and indecent assault of children between the 1960s and 1980s, when he was a priest in the Ballarat diocese.

A number of Ridsdale's alleged victims are understood to have come forward to Victoria Police in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Picketing Catholics resume protest

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jan 09, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The Sunday pickets return. After taking a brief break for the holidays, dozens of members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam and the Laity Forward Movement resumed their Sunday morning protests on the steps of the Cathedral-Basilica.

Although most of their concerns have been addressed, they continue to demand that Archbishop Anthony Apuron be defrocked and removed of his title. Apuron faces a canonical trial in Rome as well as lawsuits here at home for alleged child molestation, which he has vehemently denied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Protesters resume weekly pickets calling for removal of Archbishop Apuron

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

The protesters took a two-week break in light of the holiday season.

Guam - After a two week hiatus from their weekly protests, members of the Laity Forward Movement and the Concerned Catholics of Guam were back at it, picketing this past Sunday in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Hagatna.

Although the crowd continues at the steady dozens, the number of demands is gradually decreasing.

It started with several messages on signs calling for the reinstatement of a few beloved priests who were ousted by Archbishop Anthony Apuron; the return of the Yona seminary to archdiocese control; and the removal and defrocking of Apuron stemming from allegations of sexual abuse.

With the reappointments of Father Paul Gofigan and Msgr. James Benavente into senior positions within the church and the reversal of a controversial deed restriction on the Redemptoris Mater Seminary property, the remaining message at Sunday's protest is for Apuron to be defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

North Fort Myers daycare worker accused of child abuse

FLORIDA
ABC 7

NORTH FORT MYERS -
A child care worker was fired after being accused of child abuse at a North Fort Myers daycare.

Lee County deputies said Janet Crappse violently dropped a baby into a crib at Kings Kidz Academy. A spokesperson for the daycare said everything was caught on surveillance video.

Kings Kidz Academy is operated by North Shore Alliance Church on Mariana Avenue.

Crappse has been in trouble before. She was charged with theft in 2013. The head pastor said he didn't know about Crappse's previous charge and parents learned of the latest allegations on Thursday.

"She's with the young kids; she's with the babies," said parent Nancy Macclugage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Michael Abrahams | Our Unhealthy Attitude Towards Statutory Rape

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The recent case of a 64-year-old Moravian pastor charged with having sex with a minor is cause for great concern. According to police reports, about 9 p.m. on Wednesday, December 28, 2016, a motorised police patrol in the deep rural community of Austin in Myersville, south-east St Elizabeth, came upon a parked car in a secluded area.

It was reported that the pastor was found in a “compromising position” with a 15-year-old girl. They were taken to the Black River Police Station, where the pastor was charged with having sex with a girl under the age of 16 years.

After the story broke, I was interviewed on the radio programme ‘Beyond The Headlines’ about sexual abuse in the church, and made it clear that sex with minors is not confined to the church, but is a systemic problem throughout our society.

Following the broadcast, I received a message from a Christian friend of mine in my Facebook inbox. She confided to me that she is a member of the accused pastor’s church, and that stories of his inappropriate behavior had been circulating for some time, from even before he was transferred to his present location, and that she strongly believes that church hierarchy knew about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Victorian Catholic priest charged with fresh child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
January 9, 2017

CATHOLIC priest Gerald Ridsdale has been charged with fresh child sex offences.

The 82-year-old is listed to front the Melbourne Magistrates Court next week where it is expected he will appear via video-link.

The Herald Sun understands Ridsdale has been charged with abusing a string of children while working as a priest in the Ballarat diocese.

He worked at parishes including Ballarat, Mortlake and Warrnambool.

The charges follow Ridsdale’s evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Gerald Ridsdale, former Catholic priest, charged with dozens of sexual abuse offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By James Hancock

Former Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale has been charged with a string of historical sexual abuse charges, including rape, buggery, indecent assault and assault.

The 82-year-old has been charged with at least 36 offences.

Police allege the offences occurred at several places in western Victoria from the 1960s to the 1980s.

The charges were laid by the SANO Taskforce, which was set up to investigate historical and new allegations of child sex abuse involving religious and non-government organisations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Gerald Ridsdale charged with sex crimes

AUSTRALIA
Weekly Times

Australian Associated Press
January 9, 2017

Former Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale will face court over dozens of fresh historical sexual abuse offences.

Police say an 82-year-old man has been charged with more than 36 offences including rape, buggery and indecent and common assault.

It's alleged the offences occurred at various locations in the western region of Victoria from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Ridsdale was charged by the Sano Taskforce, which was set up to investigate historical and new allegations of child sex abuse involving religious and non-government organisations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

January 8, 2017

COLUMN: Letter points to shared hope

NEW YORK
Post-Star

Ken Tingley

The letter was written on Dec. 14 and addressed to me.

It was a serious letter written by serious people of depth and conviction.

That was clear.

It asked difficult questions and made points that made me uncomfortable.

I read the letter more than once.

I thought about throwing it away.

I thought about writing about it, changed my mind and then read it again before putting it away.

There were not easy answers to their concerns.

So I thought about it over the past month. I thought about it a lot.

The letter was signed by one man, but he indicated he was representing “Sunday and daily Mass attenders” who described themselves as “The Church.”

The letter took issue with my columns about a proposed piece of legislation that would allow victims of sexual abuse — and more specifically those abused by clergy — to have a one-year period in which they could bring suit against their abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Church Too Silent ... Sexual Abuse Victims Protest At Nazareth Moravian Church

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Sunday | January 8, 2017

Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Sunday service at the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester was the scene of a peaceful protest this morning by 14 women rallying support for the 15-year-old St Elizabeth girl allegedly abused by 64-year-old Rupert Clarke, the pastor of the congregation.

The 64-year-old pastor charged with having sex with a minor has been granted bail in the St Elizabeth Parish Court.

Clad in t-shirts bearing messages against sexual abuse, the women sat in the front rows of the congregation this morning.

The women, some of whom were themselves victims of sexual assault, expressed their anger at the church's silence on the matter.

"They weren't forced out of the church or anything but they definitely received some verbal attacks," said a representative for the group, Taitu Heron noting that the women arrived in two sets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

'Much more than an act of vandalism' - Art designed to remember Mother and Baby centres goes

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Cian Murray, Alan O'Keefe
PUBLISHED
08/01/2017

An art installation which was designed to remember Ireland's Mother and Baby Centres went up in flames in Dublin's Temple Bar this afternoon.

The fire was located on the corner of Essex and Exchange Street near the Smock Alley Theatre.

A nearby premises, that wishes not to named, confirmed that the exhibition was alight until around 5:30pm, at which time it was extinguinshed.

Mannix Flynn, who designed the piece, said: "It is destroyed. The whole piece of work is destroyed. The artwork itseslf has been there for two years. It calls to remember all the children who have been vanished, the "Tuam babies" and also the many children we know nothing about in this part of our social history."

'It was targeted': 'Somebody's Child' exhibition in Temple Bar in flames

IRELAND
The Journal

AN ART INSTALLATION remembering the children who died in Ireland’s Mother and Baby centres has gone up in flames in Temple Bar this evening.

Pictures have circulated showing the artwork, which was unveiled by councillor Mannix Flynn in November last year, on fire.

The feature, which is located on the corner of Essex Street and Exchange Street in Temple Bar, had listed hundreds of names of children who were deemed ‘illegitimate’ by the State.

Councillor Flynn said it’s a great shame that the fire has started and said he hopes “that it can be salvaged”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Protests continue strong

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

WEEKLY PICKET: After going on break for a couple weeks in observance of the holiday season, protests continue in light of a message released by the Vatican concerning efforts to stamp out child sexual abuse. Lou Klitzkie, spokeswoman of the group composed of members of the lay organizations Laity Forward Movement and Concerned Catholics of Guam, said their mission remained the same: to keep protesting until Archbishop Anthony Apuron is both removed from his post as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana and defrocked of the vestments of the clergy. David Castro/Post

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Banned "silenced" Irish priest defies Church to celebrate mass

IRELAND
Irish Central

Nick Bramhill @IrishCentral January 08, 2017

One of Ireland's most prominent 'silenced' priests has announced he will defy Church authorities when he turns 70 later this month by celebrating a public Mass in his local community center.

Fr. Tony Flannery, the outspoken founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, was banned from public ministry nearly five years ago by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for his liberal views on women priests, homosexuality and contraception.

Since the start of his censureship the respected Redemptorist, from Athenry, Co. Galway, has spoken of his heartache at being forced by Church leaders to turn down a number invitations to lead Mass in public places - including an occasion last March when he reluctantly declined an offer to conduct a service to dozens of cancer sufferers.

He has since accepted there is little chance of the Vatican leaders ever relaxing their ban on him, meaning a return to the priesthood is highly unlikely.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

The dark legacy of Archbishop John Myers | Moran

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

Tom Moran
tmoran@starledger.com

My mother would have cried in joy to see Cardinal Joseph Tobin take over the Newark archdiocese on Friday, and for good reason.

Think of Tobin as our own Pope Francis. At the Vatican, he was the guy who defended spunky American nuns when conservatives wanted to discipline them for questioning church orthodoxies. And in Indiana, he was vigorous in his early and public embrace of Syrian refugees, as Jesus surely would have been.

"What I find is really important in positions like mine is being able to listen," Tobin said.

Wow. That's not the kind of Catholic leader I grew up with, to put it mildly. So to the 1.2 million Catholics in the archdiocese, a hearty congratulations and fervent best wishes that Tobin is as good as he seems.

Tobin's elevation, of course, is only half the reason that Catholics are celebrating this week. The other is that Archbishop John Myers, a classic pedophile protector, is leaving.

Myers, who likes to be called "Your Grace," will retire to an opulent estate in Hunterdon County that he has used church funds to gear up just right. It has five bedrooms, a three-car garage, two elevators, a swimming pool, an indoor hot tub, three fireplaces, and a gallery so large it takes up the entire third floor. All this for a bachelor.

The money spent on this home would have gone a long way to help poor families in the archdiocese. But Myers has his priorities. Sorry, your grace, but it has to be said. ...

In his final months, Myers was still protecting pedophiles, and still lying about it with the careful word games of a smarmy public relations firm.

The recent case concerned Father Kevin Gugliotta, whose latest post was at the Holy Spirit Church in Union.

He was arrested in late October after police found child pornography on a computer at his vacation home in Pennsylvania. The obvious question is whether he endangered children in New Jersey during his decades as a priest in various parishes.

"There are no allegations that he may have engaged in similar activities in New Jersey," Myers said in a statement issued by his office.

So we can relax and be assured that our kids, at least, were safe. Right?

Wrong. In 2003, a father of two children came forward to report that Gugliotta had fondled him 15 years earlier, just before Gugliotta became a priest. The alleged victim testified to both police and the archdiocese, and Gugliotta was suspended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

NY--Sex crime statute of limitations debate returns to New York, victims respond

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release, January 6, 2017

Statement by Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests SNAPNetwork.org, (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com

New York’s families won a small victory today. Hopefully, the bill to extend the civil statute of limitations for victims of child sex crimes will finally become a law in New York State. Then, child predators across New York will be exposed. Survivors will get healing and a sense of justice.

[Washington Times]

The private institutions who employed and protected predators can be held accountable. Once that is done, we can work together with lawmakers to tackle the host of problems in writing a bill to address sexual abuse in our public institutions.The Catholic Church and other detractors should no longer fight statute of limitation reform. Cardinal Dolan’s victim compensation plan is short on transparency and details. The only way that victims and the public can be sure that all predators are exposed is to hold predators and the private institutions that employ them accountable in the tried-and-true civil justice system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

UT—LDS church poised to fight subpoena in sexual abuse case, SNAP responds

UTAH
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda, volunteer member of the Board of Directors of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175)

The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Thomas S. Monson, has been subpoenaed by lawyers in a civil suit to answer questions about what Monson knows about accusations of sexual abuse in a church-run program on a Navajo reservation during the 1960s and 1970s. Monson is the only official from the time who is still alive. The LDS has indicated that they intend to try to quash the subpoena.

[Fox 13]

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, believes that the best way to protect children, as well as insure a just result in the lawsuit, is to have the Mormon leader reveal what, if anything, he knows about abuse allegations within the program. The victims’ group urges the LDS Church to rethink their position and to allow Monson to freely testify in the deposition. Should the Mormons continue with their intended course of action, SNAP hopes that the judge in the proceeding will order Monson to comply with the subpoena.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

SNP urged to make sex education compulsory

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

PARIS GOURTSOYANNIS

Nicola Sturgeon’s government is under growing pressure to make sex education compulsory in Catholic schools amid growing alarm about the impact that online pornography and “sexting” is having on children in Scotland.

Campaigners and politicians are warning that children educated in faith schools are being left behind when it comes to combating the sexual harassment and “sextortion” threats posed by those abusing internet technology.

Scottish ministers have been told that faith schools, which teach one in five pupils in Scotland and are almost all Catholic, should no longer be allowed to follow their own guidance on sex and relationship education.

The calls follow moves by the UK government to consider making sex education compulsory in all schools south of the border.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

SEX PASTOR DRAMA: Hampton principal says why she attended Moravian pastor’s bail hearing

JAMAICA
Loop

The principal of the all-girls Hampton School in St Elizabeth has sought to explain her presence at Wednesday’s bail hearing for the Moravian pastor charged with raping a 15-year-old.

Heather Murray sought to explain herself in a statement issued Thursday as she came under heavy criticism on social media after it was reported that she attended the hearing of 64-year-old Rupert Clarke in the St Elizabeth Parish Court.

“I find it necessary to set the record straight in the matter of my presence at the bail hearing of Rev Rupert Clarke,” Murray said.

“His wife has been my very good friend since we both attended Hampton School in the 1960s/70s. We are both long time educators who have been serving together for many years on several boards, committees and commissions. We are both Justices of the Peace,” she added.

“Such is the closeness of our relationship that when the news broke, I was naturally the first person to whom she turned for solace and support,” the principal added. “I have not left her side since because I know that my friend needs me. She reached out to me as a wife, mother and friend.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Hampton Principal Seeks To Explain Presence At Pastor's Sexual Offence Hearing

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

January 6, 2017

Sherine Williams

The principal of the Hampton School, Heather Murray, has issued a statement defending her presence at the bail hearing of a Moravian minister of religion who is charged with having sex with a minor.

While outside the St Elizabeth Parish Court, Murray reportedly tried to block The Gleaner's photographer from taking a photograph of the Moravian minister, Rupert Clarke.

Since then, Murray has faced huge public backlash, particularly from persons on social media who claim that Murray's presence at the hearing was appalling, especially in light of her position as principal of an all-girls institution. In the statement last night, Murray sought "to set the record straight", stating that she went to the hearing in support of the minister's wife, who, she says, is a high-school friend of hers.

"We are both long-time educators who have been serving together for many years on several boards, committees, and commissions. We are both justices of the peace. Such is the closeness of our relationship that when the news broke, I was, naturally, the first person to whom she turned for solace and support. I have not left her side since because I know that my friend needs me. She reached out to me as a wife, mother, and friend," Murray explained in the release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Embattled Hampton Principal Summoned By School Board Executive Committee

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

[with audio]

Damion Mitchell, Integration Editor

The executive committee of the Board of the Hampton School in St Elizabeth is to meet with the embattled principal Heather Murray over her conduct at the bail hearing of the Manchester-based pastor on sex charges.

Murray has been the subject of intense social media pressure since Wednesday when she appeared at the bail hearing of 64-year-old Rupert Clarke, the pastor charged with having sex with a minor.

She is also reported to have attempted to block The Gleaner photographer from taking images of the accused pastor while he was being led from the courthouse.

The chairman of board of the Hampton School Trevor Blake said the board held talks with Murray yesterday raising concern about the reports that she had sought to block media representatives and he said she denied interfering with journalists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

'POOR EXCUSE': PNP councillor Kari Douglas reiterates call for Hampton principal to be fired

JAMAICA
Loop

Outspoken councillor for the Trafalgar Division in St Andrew, the PNP's Kari Douglas on Friday reiterated her call for Hampton High principal Heather Murray to be fired or resign after her appearance at a bail hearing for an accused child molester.

Douglas, in a media release, said she has taken note of media reports concerning the controversial attendance of Murray at a bail hearing for 64-year-old Moravian pastor, Rupert Clarke, in the St Elizabeth Parish Court. Pastor Clarke was charged on Tuesday after being allegedly caught in a compromising position in his car with a 15-year-old girl in Austin district, St Elizabeth.

Douglas, who had earlier called for Murray's dismissal via Facebook, said she is troubled by the developments and finds unsatisfactory, Murray’s ‘explanation’ that she merely attended Court in support of her friend who’s the wife of the accused man.

The Councilor for the Trafalgar Division said she also finds deeply troubling that Murray has failed to address several reports which indicate that she attempted to block photographs being taken by the media of the accused child abuser.

Commenting, Councilor Douglas said, “for far too long, communities and especially so people in society who should know better have sent both overt and tacit signals of support for persons accused of sexually molesting our children. I have seen in my division and across the country cases where little girls who are being abused are fearful of speaking out because the abuser receives support from authority figures. Mrs. Murray’s explanation for her attendance at Court is unsatisfactory and should be rejected.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Eyes on Hampton principal as school reopens

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The spotlight is on principal of the Hampton School for Girls in Malvern, St Elizabeth, tomorrow, at the start of the new school term.

Heather Murray was at the centre of an incident last week when she, along with two other supporters of a church leader accused of rape, turned up at the St Elizabeth Parish Court for the mention of the sex matter involving the clergyman.

Not only did Murray display her support for Rupert Clarke, 64, who is charged with raping a minor aged 15, but she also attempted to block a photographer from snapping images of the accused man.

The behaviour of the school principal was heavily criticised on social media, with some of her critics suggesting that she stepped out of line in leading support to the accused, considering that she is the administrative head of an all-girls school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Weeping Worshippers - Tearful Service After Pastor Jailed Over Sex Crime Allegations

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

January 2, 2017

Almost the entire congregation at the Nazareth Moravian Church in northwest Manchester broke down in tears yesterday as worshippers wrestled with their emotions amid reports that their 64-year-old pastor remained in a St Elizabeth jail cell, accused of committing sex crimes against a 15-year-old girl.

"Today, the order of service is going to be a little different. We all know the crisis we are going through," supplemental pastor, the Reverend Sherol Watson told congregants at the outset of the 11 a.m. service.

What followed were two hours of intercessory prayers and songs of penitence and faith.

There was no sermon and the welcome and notices were reserved for last.

Earlier, as worshippers trickled into the cut-stone edifice founded in 1838, they hustled to their pews, huddling into groups of twos and threes, discussing the week that was in hushed tones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

UPDATED: Police Intensify Probe Into Sex Crimes Allegedly Involving 64-Year-Old Pastor

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The St Elizabeth police have now opened a wider investigation into sex crimes allegedly perpetrated by a 64-year-old Moravian minister of religion.

The pastor was last night arrested and is now facing the possibility of rape and carnal abuse of a 15-year-old girl.

The police report that about 9 o'clock last night, a team was on patrol in a community near Black River when they observed a parked car that aroused their suspicion.

They went to investigate and reportedly found the pastor in a compromising position with the child.

He was immediately taken into police custody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

UPDATED: Moravian Minister Charged With Sex Crime, Booked For Court Wednesday

JAMAICA
Jamaica Gleaner

January 3, 2017

Damion Mitchell, Integration Editor

The St Elizabeth police have now charged the 64-year-old pastor of the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester with a sex crime against a 15-year-old girl.

Rupert Clarke was charged by police investigators today with having sex with a minor.

He is booked to appear in the St Elizabeth Parish Court tomorrow.

In the meantime, the police say other charges are pending as they deepen their investigations into other allegations against Clarke.

The police report that about 9 o'clock on Wednesday night, a team was on patrol in a community near Santa Cruz when they observed a parked car that aroused their suspicion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Hampton principal and chairman to meet with Education Ministry

JAMAICA
Loop

The principal of the all-girls Hampton School, Heather Murray, who, in one move, has hit the public spotlight, has been summoned, along with the school board Chairman, Trevor Blake, to a meeting with Education, Youth and Information Minister, Ruel Reid.

The principal has come under intense public criticism, especially on social media, for having attended the bail hearing of Moravian minister, Rupert Clarke, in the St Elizabeth Parish Court on Wednesday.

Pastor Clarke appeared in court on a charge of sexual abuse of a minor, after he was allegedly caught by police personnel in a compromising position with a 15-year-old girl in a car in Austin district in St Elizabeth.

At court, Murray was noticeably photographed attempting to block journalists from taking pictures and video footage of Clarke exiting the building after the hearing..

The school principal has since issued a statement, seeking to justify her actions.

In the statement, she said she attended the court hearing in a show of support for Clarke’s wife, who has been her close friend from their childhood days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Leave little girls alone, senior cop warns

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-Large South Central Bureau
myersg@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 08, 2017

SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — Chief of police in St Elizabeth Superintendent Lanford Salmon has warned men who are attracted to underaged girls to heed the lessons from the recent arrest of a Moravian pastor on sex offence charges.

“The lesson for adult males is, leave the little girls on their own. Leave them alone. Allow them to mature and to make their own decisions at the right time,” said Salmon.

Rupert Clarke, 64, a senior pastor of the Moravian Church based in Manchester was charged recently with rape and also of having sexual intercourse with a child (a minor) under the age of 16.

Under Jamaican law, 16 is the legal age of consent in sexual matters, meaning that children under that age cannot legally consent to sexual relations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Sexual abuse of minors a national shame

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Editorial

Society, we know, has no absolute control over the perverted nature of individuals. But surely we can and must exercise greater control over the actions of these warped perverts who sexually abuse children, often resulting in life-altering experiences and permanent and irreparable damage to them.

This is the responsibility of every Jamaican, but the vast majority of us have manifestly failed to fulfil our duty to the children of Jamaica. All of us are culpable to different degrees, ranging from turning a blind eye to those heinous crimes, not speaking out against them or leaving the problem to be dealt with by parents, teachers, guardians, police, social workers or counsellors who are already overwhelmed. We all have to do more.

A society that does not protect the vulnerable, the children, the aged, the handicapped and the desperately poor is a failed society. Jamaica is not alone in its failure and sexual abuse of minors. It is a worldwide problem. But this does not exonerate our lack of action. ...

Everybody is presumed innocent until proven guilty, therefore we must not pre-judge cases before the courts, as is now being done by some people in relation to the case of Pastor Rupert Clarke, who has been charged due to allegations of having sex with a minor.

However, while we observe that ideal, it should not prevent us from dealing with the issue of child abuse, which is really a national shame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Mysteries of Catholic church include delay in confronting abuse

INDIANA
Belleville News-Democrat

By The Editorial Board

When an institution measures time in centuries, change comes slowly. Still, it is dismaying that it takes a religious institution decades to finally find the moral high ground.

Last week a letter from Pope Francis to the world’s Catholic bishops was made public. He called for zero tolerance for child molesters within the clergy.

“It is a sin that shames us,” the pope wrote. “Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity.”

One wonders what finally made the difference? An epiphany? “Spotlight”? The pleas of deaf Italian children molested by their priest teacher?

It certainly wasn’t the pleas in 1993 of the victims of the first of 17 clergy members removed in the Belleville Diocese. It still wasn’t the judgments against the Diocese in 2009 for $1.2 million or in 2011 for $6.33 million or in 2012 for three undisclosed awards to clergy abuse victims.

Only two of those 17 abusers lost their collars. The shame cast doubt on scores of good clergy members, hurt the faithful and indelibly changed the relationship between priests and parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Statute-of-limitations proponents set to renew push for change in sex-abuse law

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

Whether to make any new child sexual abuse statute-of-limitation laws retroactive to include past incidents that have gone unpursued in the legal system became a point of contention in the Pennsylvania General Assembly last year.

It appears like the same political and legal debate might occur again during the 2017 session that recently got underway.

Currently, victims who were under the age of 18 when alleged abuse occurred can file civil charges until they reach age 30.

Criminal charges can also be brought until age 30 for individuals born before Aug. 27, 2002. That limit increases to age 50 for accusers born after that same date.

During the process, one group – led by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks – has sought to make any increase in the statutes include retroactivity, meaning alleged violators could face charges for past allegations that had already surpassed their time limit. That version overwhelmingly passed the House.

But the bill that unanimously got through the Senate included an amendment – introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson – that stripped the retroactivity.

No compromise was reached.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

State Rep. Mark Rozzi chosen as Reading Eagle Local Newsmaker of the Year

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

By Liam Migdail-Smith

READING, PA

Mark Rozzi's defining moment of 2016 didn't come in the halls of the state Capitol, where his signature piece of legislation was suddenly propelled into the spotlight.

It came at the supermarket deli counter.

Rozzi, a state lawmaker, had championed a plan to reopen a window for people sexually abused as children to sue those responsible. For the Muhlenberg Township Democrat, it was a chance to channel his struggle with the memory of being raped by a priest as a teen into fighting for his fellow victims.

The proposal gained momentum, drawing long-silent victims out of the shadows to tell their stories. But when it was defeated in June, victims were devastated. And after a victim from Cambria County took his life, Rozzi began to question whether he was doing more harm than good.

That brief meeting at the deli counter in August changed his mind. An elderly man approached, put his hands on Rozzi's and said: "I'm watching everything you're doing. Please do not stop fighting for all of us."

Then the stranger was gone. And Rozzi went back to work with renewed determination.

He decided he wasn't going to settle for a watered-down version of his plan that would expand protection for victims abused now or in the future but not offer relief for those who have been struggling for decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

January 7, 2017

Assignment Record – Rev. William J. Kuder

NORTH CAROLINA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: William J. Kuder was a priest of the Diocese of Raleigh, ordained in 1936. He assisted at parishes in New Bern, Greensboro and Leaksville-Spray. After a three-year leave of absence, he was assigned in 1942 as pastor of St. Lucien's in Spruce Pine, and from 1949 until his death in 1960, he was pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Asheville.

In 1995 a man reported to the Charlotte diocese (which absorbed Raleigh when established in 1971), that Kuder had sexually abused him at St. Joan of Arc for four years, beginning when the man was age 9 in 1952. He said the abuse included oral and anal rape, and that Kuder would drive him to rectories 20 and 50 miles away to confess his "sin" of sex with a priest. Kuder allegedly threatened the boy with eternal damnation if he broke the seal of confession. After coming forward, Kuder's accuser said he heard from 10 more victims. His two brothers also alleged abuse by Kuder when they were ages 9-13, and said the priest drove them, too, to faraway priests for confession and used the threat of hell to silence them.

Born: 1898
Ordained: 1936
Died: March 24, 1960

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Cardinal Tobin, New Newark Archbishop, Cites ‘Chasm Between Life and Faith’

NEW JERSEY
New York Times

By JAMES BARRON
JAN. 6, 2017

NEWARK — In a ceremony that combined pageantry with a promise of a different style and approach, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin was installed on Friday as the archbishop of Newark.

In his homily, Cardinal Tobin said he was thankful for his new job, though he described it as “a daunting proposition.” But he focused his remarks on what he called “the chasm between life and faith.”

He had cited that chasm, he told a congregation that included bishops, priests and elected officials, when a woman at a recent dinner party asked him what he considered to be the greatest challenge facing the church. He said it was not the answer she was expecting. ...

But for all the pageantry, Cardinal Tobin is inheriting a troubled archdiocese. The archbishop he succeeded, John J. Myers, was denounced for the archdiocese’s handling of pedophile priests and for allocating more than $500,000 for an addition to his weekend house in Hunterdon County, N.J. The Star-Ledger of Newark hailed Archbishop Myers’s retirement last summer with an editorial that declared, “Blessed are we to be rid of this man.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

Baltimore Archdiocese Agrees to $50,000 Settlement with Clergy Sex-Abuse Victim Who Said She Was Shown Body of Murdered Nun

MARYLAND
Inside Baltimore

“I’m No Longer Invisible,” Says Woman
Who Told Church, Police she was raped,
Later taken to view nun’s Corpse by Priest

“The Church is Finally Starting to see me!”
–Jean Wehner, after Recent Settlement

By Tom Nugent

January 2017 – A woman who 24 years ago tried to warn the Catholic Church in Maryland that a priest had shown her the body of a murdered teaching nun recently earned a $50,000 settlement from the Archdiocese of Baltimore (AOB) for clergy sexual-abuse “injuries” she reportedly received while attending a Baltimore girls’ Catholic high school in the late 1960s.

The mediated settlement marked the latest startling development in one of the most tangled and perplexing homicide “cold cases” in Maryland history . . . the 1969 slaying of a 26-year-old teaching nun, Sister Catherine Cesnik, who reportedly had been trying to blow the whistle on widespread sexual abuse by two priests at Archbishop Keough High School in southwest Baltimore.

Still unsolved after thousands of hours of fruitless investigation by Maryland police and the FBI, the shocking case made national headlines recently, when retired Baltimore-area homicide detectives disclosed that the Catholic Church had used its powerful influence to impede their investigation of the Cesnik murder (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/14/cesnik-nun-murder-maskell_n_7267532.html).

Now 63 and practicing as a certified Spiritual Director/Life Coach and Reflexologist in the Baltimore area, Jean Hargadon Wehner (CTACC, NBCR) became a highly controversial figure in the mid-1990s after telling police and Church officials that the priest who served as chaplain at her high school, Father A. Joseph Maskell, had taken her to a remote patch of open land near a dumpster a few miles from the school. There, she said, he had shown her the decaying body of her former English teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Former Wilton youth ministry worker accused of child sex crimes

CONNECTICUT/NEW JERSEY
CT Post

By Stephanie Kim

Updated January 6, 2017

WILTON — New Jersey State Police are seeking help in locating additional victims of Ethan Chandler, 42, of Belleville, N.J, who was arrested on child sex charges.

Chandler lived in Norwalk, Stamford and Monroe during the mid-1990s, officials said, and used to work part-time at Hope Church in Wilton.

Cliffe Knechtle, who was an associate and senior pastor at Hope Church from 1989 to 2000, said Chandler worked part-time in music and later became more involved in youth ministry after he left.

Knechtle said they haven’t talked since the news of Chandler’s arrest. He described Chandler as a “very kind, very warm gentleman.”

“When I was there, he did an outstanding job,” said Knechtle, who’s been the senior pastor of Grace Community Church in New Canaan since its founding in 2001. “I pray that if they are false accusations, that they be dropped; if they are true, then he would face the truth and come clean and repent and get back on the track of following Christ.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Archbishop announces intention to restore faith, unity in Newark

NEW JERSEY
New York Daily News

BY
LARRY MCSHANE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, January 7, 2017

Joseph Cardinal Tobin was installed Friday as the new head of the Archdiocese of Newark, replacing his oft-criticized predecessor with a deft display of humility.

Tobin, chosen by Pope Francis to serve as shepherd to the flock of 1.5 million New Jersey Roman Catholics, told 2,000 worshippers in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart that the task ahead was challenging.

“It is a daunting proposition, not because of the size, rich history or wonderful diversity of this portion of the vineyard,” said the 64-year-old cardinal.

“Rather, the appointment reminds me the stakes are incredibly high, for if we permit the chasm between faith and life to continue to expand, we risk losing Christ, reducing him simply to an interesting idea or a comforting, nostalgic memory.”

Tobin replaces departing Archbishop John Myers, who alienated many New Jersey Catholics with his perceived mishandling of sex abuse cases involving priests and the construction of his posh $500,000 retirement home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Sexual abuse still persists fifteen years after Spotlight, attorney and source argues

MASSACHUSETTS
Spare Change News

By Jordan Frias

Fifteen years after the Boston Globe’s Spotlight series uncovered the widespread sexual abuse of Catholic priest — and more than a year after it became a highly acclaimed film on the big screen — the issue of priest molesting children still exists throughout Massachusetts and worldwide.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian and members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) held a press conference to shed light on the Catholic church’s lack of transparency and cooperation in dealing with these cases and more recent accusations of abuse.

“Pope Francis is making compassionate statements but it’s not being followed with compassionate activity,” Garabedian, who helped the Globe expose the Catholic church in its 2002 Spotlight reports, told the audience. “Transparency is necessary. The records have to be released for this to begin to end.”

Garabedian said he is handling 49 cases in Connecticut’s federal court alone against Douglas Perlitz, a Jesuit priest at Fairfield University who is accused of sexually abusing children at a school in Haiti. He’s also received calls across the country about abuse from other priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Northbridge school employee charged with child pornography

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

By Susan Spencer
Telegram & Gazette Staff

An Uxbridge Cub Scout leader and instructional assistant at Northbridge High School was arrested following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on child pornography charges Thursday. Dozens of pornographic videos of children were found posted online from his home and school Internet service, authorities said.

Jason A. Andolina, 42, an Uxbridge resident who worked in Northbridge, appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Worcester before Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy. A preliminary detention hearing was set for Monday.

Northbridge Superintendent of Schools Catherine Stickney notified parents by automated phone call Thursday and posted a message on the district's website, which reads in part: "Today, I was informed by law enforcement personnel, that an instructional assistant at Northbridge High School has been arrested for criminal conduct. We have been informed that his criminal conduct does not involve any students in the Northbridge Public Schools. After receiving this information, I immediately removed him from the workplace including restricting his access to school district buildings, grounds, and events. ...

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Boston confirmed Mr. Andolina is a Cub Scout leader. A Telegram & Gazette article from 2015 lists Mr. Andolina as the Pinewood Derby chairman for Pack 25, which is chartered by St. Mary's Church in Uxbridge.

The church office was closed Friday and no one was available for comment.

Raymond L. Delisle, communications director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester, said he could not comment on an individual's criminal offender record information check, but said, "Our process is that anybody who is serving (at a parish) has to be CORI'd."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Guam Catholics seek action on pope's message

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Jan. 7, 2017

Some Guam Catholics want action instead of words from Pope Francis after his renewed call for bishops to observe zero tolerance for child abuse, now that at least 15 former altar boys have come forward alleging they were sexually abused or raped by priests on Guam.

"I am hopeful that Pope Francis and church leaders are addressing what has been covered up for too long. In some cases, the bishops in certain dioceses covered up the terrible abuse by clergy and allowed further abuse to occur," Concerned Catholics of Guam Vice President Andrew Camacho said.

The Vatican released on Jan. 2 the text of a Dec. 28 letter the pope sent to bishops about the atrocities toward children, including wars, slave labor, malnutrition, lack of education, and sexual exploitation, including abuses by priests.

“It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity. We regret this deeply and we beg for forgiveness. We join in the pain of the victims and weep for this sin,” the pope said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

January 6, 2017

LAWYER CLAIMS PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT IN PHILADELPHIA 'BILLY DOE' SEXUAL ABUSE CASE

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsweek

BY RALPH CIPRIANO ON 1/6/17

In the latest twist in the rapidly unraveling "Billy Doe" sex abuse case, a lawyer for one of the four men sent to jail by the testimony of a former altar boy says prosecutorial misconduct should clear his client from further legal jeopardy. Thomas Bergstrom, a lawyer for Monsignor William Lynn, said in court that the lead detective in the case told the District Attorney ’s office he didn't find the boy credible but that his warning was ignored.

Billy Doe’s claims that he had been brutally and repeatedly raped over a period of several years put three priests and a former Catholic school teacher in jail, where one of the men died.

In a pretrial hearing on January 4, Bergstrom charged that when Detective Joseph Walsh told a top prosecutor about his grave concerns, she didn't want to hear it. “You're damaging my case. You’re hurting my case,” he claimed former Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen replied.

"You can't turn a blind eye to that," Bergstrom told Judge Gwendolyn Bright, arguing that this was prosecutorial misconduct. He then asked the judge to invoke the ultimate penalty for that malfeasance by dismissing the pending retrial of Lynn.

Walsh met with Bergstrom in November and December and provided what Bergstrom described in court as exculpatory evidence regarding possible misconduct in the prosecutor’s office. While Bergstrom and ADA Patrick Blessington battled over what Walsh and Sorensen said and did, the detective, now retired, paced in the hallway outside the courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Report into allegations of child abuse at residential homes in Derry presented today to the Northern Ireland Assembly

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Now

Friday 6th of January 2017

A report has been completed into allegations of child abuse at a number of residential homes in Derry.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was set up in 2013 to look at historical abuse claims at homes throughout Northern Ireland

These included former children’s residential homes in Derry at St Joseph’s Home at Termonbacca, Nazareth House Children’s Home, Fort James and Harberton House.

The inquiry also dealt with institutions run by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Derry, Belfast and Newry.

The inquiry today submitted its report to the First Minister and deputy First Minister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Abuse Inquiry reports to McGuinness and Foster

NORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Journal

The chairman of the Historical Abuse Inquiry Sir Anthony Hart has thanked those who came forward to give evidence.

He was speaking as the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry submitted its findings to Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness on Friday, ahead of the report being made public on Friday, January 20.

The handing over of the report to the First and Deputy First Ministers prior to its general publication was a requirement under the Historical Institutional Abuse Act (Northern Ireland) 2013.

In delivering his Report, Sir Anthony Hart said: “I want to thank everyone who came forward to tell us of their experiences as I know how hard it was for many to find the courage to do so.

“I also want to thank all those who worked with the Inquiry in a co-operative way, and by doing so helped my colleagues and myself to complete our Report on time.”

The Report will be formally published on January 20, following a statement by the Chairman, Sir Anthony Hart at a public meeting in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shaws Bridge, Belfast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Northern institutional abuse report to be issued within weeks

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Amanda Ferguson

The report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland is to be published on January 20th.

The inquiry had a remit to investigate physical, emotional and sexual childhood abuse and neglect in residential institutions in the North over a 73-year period up to 1995.

The inquiry chairman, Sir Anthony Hart, confirmed he had submitted his report to First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

“I want to thank everyone who came forward to tell us of their experiences as I know how hard it was for many to find the courage to do so,” he said. “I also want to thank all those who worked with the inquiry in a co-operative way, and by doing so help my colleagues and myself to complete our report on time.”

The report will be formally published following a statement by the chairman at a public meeting in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Historical child sex abuse inquiry team passes final report to Stormont

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

An inquiry team that investigated historical child abuse at Northern Ireland residential homes has passed its final report to Stormont's leaders.

The Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry heard harrowing testimony from hundreds of former residents who made claims of sexual, physical and emotional suffering over many decades in church, state and charity-run homes.

While the report will not be made public until later in the month, the panel has already made clear it will be recommending some form of compensation be offered to victims.

Inquiry chair, retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, said: "I want to thank everyone who came forward to tell us of their experiences as I know how hard it was for many to find the courage to do so.

"I also want to thank all those who worked with the inquiry in a co-operative way, and by doing so helped my colleagues and myself to complete our report on time."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Former Gallatin Church Pastor Charged With Crime

TEXAS
NewsChannel 5

[with video]

Nick Beres
Jan 5, 2017

GALLATIN, Tenn. - A former pastor at a well-known Middle Tennessee church has been accused of a crime.

Detectives said the charges came after an investigation involving an alleged video made of a teenage girl.

The suspect in this case, identified as Jody Dwayne Brown, was a worship leader for both adults and youth ministry at Freedom Church in Gallatin.

Brown has been charged with attempted aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and unlawful photography in violation of privacy.

"We have young people and older people and mix of two and video taking place that maybe shouldn't take place, but it's important to investigate," said Sumner County Sheriff's Detective Eddie Cripps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Pädophilie: Die „Nulltoleranz“ von Papst Franziskus „mit oder ohne befreundete Kardinäle“

VATIKANSTADT
Katholisches

[The pope has urged zero tolerance in sexual abuse of minors.]

(Rom) Papst Franziskus veröffentlichte am 28. Dezember, dem Fest der Unschuldigen Kinder, einen Brief an alle Bischöfe der katholischen Kirche. Darin forderte er die Brüder im Bischofsamt zum Thema Kindesmißbrauch auf: „Machen wir uns den Auftrag zu ‚null Toleranz‘ in diesem Bereich klar und aufrichtig zu Eigen.“ In dem Schreiben geht es um „Notsituationen und anhaltende Krisen“, um „Sexualhandel“ um Migration und „Unterernährung“, „Kinderarbeit“, „Sklaverei“, Schulbildung, Ausbildung und „äußerste Armut“.

Wörtlich schreibt Franziskus:

„Wir brauchen den Mut, sie vor den neuen Gestalten eines Herodes unserer Zeit zu verteidigen, welche die Unschuld unserer Kinder missbrauchen. Unschuld gebrochen unter der Last der Schwarz- und Sklavenarbeit, unter der Last der Prostitution und Ausbeutung. Unschuld zerstört von Kriegen und gezwungener Auswanderung zusammen mit dem Verlust von allem, was dies mit sich bringt. Tausende unserer Kinder sind in die Hände von Banditen, von Mafiaorganisationen, von Todeshändlern geraten, die nichts anderes machen, als ihre Bedürfnisse zu missbrauchen und auszubeuten.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Orden entschuldigt sich erst nach 57 Jahren

DEUTSCHLAND
General-Anzeiger

[BONN. In 1959, clerics of the Redemptorists abused an eleven-year-old boy. The victim lamented in vain. Only now the order has officially apologized to Dieter Beckmann.

06.01.2017 BONN. 1959 missbrauchten Geistliche der Redemptoristen einen elfjährigen Jungen. Das Opfer klagte vergeblich vor Gericht. Erst jetzt hat der Orden sich offiziell bei Beckmann entschuldigt.

Es sind vor allem die nächtlichen Gerüche von Schweiß und Sperma, die Dieter Beckmann auch Jahrzehnte nach den Missbrauchstaten nicht mehr loslassen. Es sind diese widerwärtigen Geräusche von Männern, die ihm, dem damals Elfjährigen, Gewalt antaten. Es ist dieser Spalt Licht einer immer nur kurz geöffneten Tür, aus der nie Rettung kam. „Die haben mich als Opfer betrachtet, das sie jede Nacht aufs Neue abriefen“, sagt Beckmann tonlos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Polizei ermittelt gegen italienischen Pfarrer

ITALIEN
Focus

[Police are investigating an Italian priest.]

Ein italienischer Pfarrer soll in seinem Pfarrhaus in Padua Orgien abgehalten und bis zu 15 Frauen prostituiert haben. Drei weibliche Gemeindemitglieder verständigten die Polizei. Die ermittelt nun wegen Zuhälterei und Ausübung psychologischer Gewalt durch den Pfarrer Andrea Contin.

Mehrere Sexspielzeuge und Videos, die Orgien auf dem Grundstück der San Lazzaro Kirche in der norditalienischen Stadt Padua zeigen sollen, seien konfisziert worden, wie die britische Zeitung "The Times" berichtete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Pope Francis repeats call for 'zero tolerance'

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By Danae King
The Columbus Dispatch • Friday January 6, 2017

Pope Francis, speaking Wednesday at the Vatican, has renewed his call to rid the Roman Catholic Church of child sexual abuse. But Columbus activist Carol Zamonski said the past promises have produced too little action.

Though many reacted positively when Pope Francis recently called for “zero tolerance” of child sexual abuse, Carol Zamonski just felt insulted.

Zamonski, a North Side resident and central Ohio coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said she’s heard it all before, but little has changed.

“It just confirms my general feeling about the Catholic church, that it’s got such a strong culture of dishonesty and corruption,” said Zamonski, who said she is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a priest. “It will take a lot for them to clean up their act, and so far no one has even come close to getting to that level of action with the Catholic church.”

The pope addressed the issue in a letter to bishops dated Dec. 28 and released Monday. “We hear these children and their cries of pain,” he wrote. “It is a sin that shames us.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

MORE DIRT UNCOVERED IN MSGR. LYNN CASE

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on an article by Ralph Cipriano on the latest developments in the case of Msgr. William Lynn:

Ralph Cipriano deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his comprehensive and authoritative accounts on the proceedings against Msgr. William Lynn.

His latest article reveals new dirt on the corruption that has long marked the Philadelphia D.A.’s office in its witch hunt against the Philadelphia archdiocese.

There is a reason why some of us are increasingly skeptical about the veracity of many priestly abuse cases; the bogus claims against Msgr. Lynn being Exhibit A.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Abuso: detención domiciliaria para Corradi

ARGENTINA
La Nacion

[Abuse: home detention for Corradi. After paying a $ 50,000 bail and receiving an electronic bracelet to monitor his movements, Italian priest Nicola Corradi benefited from house arrest due to his advanced age and health status in the judicial case investigating abuse of deaf and hearing impaired at the Antonio Próvolo Institute in Mendoza.]

. VIERNES 06 DE ENERO DE 2017

Tras pagar una fianza de $ 50.000 y recibir una pulsera electrónica para monitorear sus movimientos, el sacerdote italiano Nicola Corradi fue beneficiado con el arresto domiciliario, por su edad avanzada y su estado de salud, en la causa judicial que investiga abusos de menores sordos e hipoacúsicos en el Instituto Antonio Próvolo de Mendoza. El sacerdote, de 82 años, había sido detenido a fines de noviembre pasado junto con el cura Horacio Corbacho (55), el ex empleado de ese instituto José Luis Ojeda, el monaguillo Jorge Bordón (55) y el jardinero Armando Gómez (46).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Cardinal Tobin Says He Was Surprised To Be Named Archbishop Of Newark

NEW JERSEY
CBS New York

[with video]

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — In a historic first for the Archdiocese of Newark, a cardinal will be installed as archbishop.

CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke Thursday with Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who calls himself a man of the people.

Tobin was handpicked by Pope Francis to be the first cardinal named as archbishop of Newark in 163 years.

“I am just kind of overwhelmed by the kindness of people here associated with the archdiocese,” Tobin said.

Tobin was last the archbishop of Indianapolis. He said he was completely surprised that he would be named a cardinal and moving to New Jersey.

“I got no phone call. I got no phone call,” Tobin said. “Francis just got up St. Peter’s Square, reached in his pocket at the end of his announcements, and read these names.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Security increased ahead of installation of new archbishop of Newark

NEW JERSEY
News 12

Security has been increased around the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark as the city gets ready to welcome its new archbishop.

Over 500 church officials gathered at the cathedral Thursday night for a vigil for Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who be the first cardinal in New Jersey to be installed as archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

Ex-CBA teacher charged with molesting relative

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Katie Park, @kathspark Jan. 5, 2017

HOWELL - A Howell man was charged with sexually assaulting a relative more than once, dating back at least 10 years, according to a criminal complaint.

Joseph "Joe" Prioli, 48, was arrested Dec. 30 and compelled to appear in court Jan. 3 for orally and digitally penetrating a victim who was over the age of 13 but under 16 "on various dates," according to the complaint.

The alleged abuse stopped Jan. 1, 2007. The complaint did not state when the reported sexual assault began.

Prioli is charged with committing aggravated criminal sexual contact of a minor older than 13 but younger than 16, committing aggravated criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child.

Howell police did not respond to who was representing Prioli by press time.

Prioli was a teacher at Christian Brothers Academy, a private, all-boys school in Middletown, for around 15 years but resigned a year ago to pursue other work options, ​Brother Frank Byrne, Christian Brothers Academy President, told the Press Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 AM

Lead Detective In "Billy Doe" Case Didn't Believe Billy

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The lead detective in the "Billy Doe" sex abuse case didn't find the former altar boy to be a credible witness after he spent hours confronting the alleged victim over numerous factual discrepancies in his many conflicting stories.

And when Detective Joseph Walsh voiced his doubts about the D.A.'s star witness to a top prosecutor, she didn't want to hear about it.

"You're damaging my case, you're hurting my case," is what Thomas A. Bergstrom, a lawyer for Msgr. William J. Lynn, claimed that former Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen said about the star witness whose testimony sent three priests and a former Catholic school teacher to jail.

"You can't turn a blind eye to that," Bergstrom said when he asked Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright to invoke the ultimate penalty for prosecutorial misconduct, namely dismissing a retrial of the criminal case against Msgr. Lynn scheduled to begin May 30th.

During a three-hour pre-trial hearing today, Bergstrom and Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington battled over what Walsh and Sorensen allegedly said years ago to each other behind closed doors in the D.A.'s office. Meanwhile, the detective, now retired, was sent outside the courtroom to pace the hallway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 AM

Clergyman fights retrial, claims prosecutors concealed evidence

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Metro

After being convicted of child endangerment, released, sent back to prison and freed again, Monsignor William Lynn is now trying to block a retrial on the original charges.

Lynn, 66, has a hearing scheduled Wednesday on whether prosecutors withheld potentially exculpatory evidence in his case, according to court records.

Lynn, who served as secretary of clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, was convicted in 2012. He was the first Catholic administrator in the U.S. to be convicted of a crime related to child sex abuse.

While Lynn was never charged with molesting a child, he was convicted of child endangerment on the grounds he placed a pedophile priest in proximity to a child.

But Lynn’s lawyers argue that new evidence questions the credibility of alleged victim, identified in court as Billy Doe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 AM

LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson subpoenaed again for deposition in sex abuse lawsuits

UTAH
Fox 13

JANUARY 5, 2017, BY BEN WINSLOW

SALT LAKE CITY -- Lawyers for a group of people suing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over accusations of sex abuse have renewed a deposition subpoena for President Thomas S. Monson.

They want the 89-year-old leader of the LDS Church to sit for a deposition and answer what -- if anything -- he knows about accusations of sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s and '70s in a church-run program on the Navajo reservation.

"We believe we have a right to question President Monson about how he was briefed, what he learned about child sex abuse and what was done to protect kids in the future," Craig Vernon, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told FOX 13 on Thursday.

Four people have filed lawsuits against the LDS Church, accusing it of not doing enough to stop the abuse they allege they suffered while in the church-run "Lamanite Placement Program" or "Indian Placement Program." As children, the plaintiffs (who are only identified by initials in court documents) claim they were taken from their homes on the Navajo reservation, baptized into the Mormon faith and placed in host homes in Utah where the alleged abuse occurred.

"He is the only apostle that is currently alive back then," Vernon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 AM

Church sex abuse victims still coming forward

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Laura Crimaldi GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 06, 2017

Fifteen years after the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston broke into public view, hundreds of victims around the world continue to come forward, including some who say they were attacked as recently as 2001, advocates said Thursday.

Two victims’ support groups and a lawyer who has represented more than 2,000 survivors worldwide denounced church officials for doing too little to help those who were abused and to protect children from harm, despite ongoing revelations about the scope of the crisis.

“You have reportedly the most moral institution in the world acting the most immoral,” attorney Mitchell Garabedian said at a news conference Thursday in downtown Boston. “There is no excuse for it.”

The event coincided with the anniversary of The Boston Globe Spotlight Team’s 2002 reports about former priest John J. Geoghan, who was shuffled from parish to parish despite evidence of his predatory sexual habits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 AM

January 5, 2017

Call for Perth Archbishop to give up pension in wake of child abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By David Marchese

A Newcastle lawyer has written an open letter to the retiring Anglican Archbishop of Perth, urging him to forfeit his right to a church pension.

Roger Herft announced he was retiring last month, after previously standing aside to hear evidence at the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Herft admitted to the commission that he let down abuse survivors when he was bishop of Newcastle between 1993 and 2005.

Peter Kelso grew up as a ward of state before becoming a lawyer and now represents victims of abuse making claims against churches and other institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

A Week of Bad Comparisons and Conclusions

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

January 5, 2017 Joelle Casteix

Bad Politicking about Child Sex Trafficking

No, child prostitution is NOT legal in California.

But a new law in California may have some problems. SB 1322, which became law Jan 1, made it impossible for a child to consent to engage in the criminal behavior of prostitution—just like a child can’t consent to sex with an adult.

Therefore, the minor cannot be criminally charged. This is good. We don’t want children being sent to jail for a crime they cannot consent to committing. We need to help these kids, get them out from under their pimps’ control, and save their lives—not slap them with rap sheets and prison records.

The law has good intentions, but there are some potential problems. Unfortunately, those problems are pointed out in stories with headlines like “CHILD PROSTITUTION NOW LEGAL.”

And we all know there is no such thing as child prostitution. It’s child sex trafficking. It’s selling kids for sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Phila. judge sets Wednesday for Msgr. Lynn motion to dismiss child endangerment retrial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

JANUARY 5, 2017

by Joseph A. Slobodzian, STAFF WRITER

A Philadelphia judge has set a hearing for Wednesday to determine if city prosecutors withheld evidence casting doubt on the credibility of a key witness in the 2012 trial that sent Msgr. William J. Lynn to prison for 33 months.

Lynn, who turned 66 on Thursday, was the first Roman Catholic Church official in the U.S. convicted for supervision of priests accused of sexually molesting children.

He was released from his three- to six-year prison term last August after a state appeals court granted him a new trial following protracted appeals that twice went to the state Supreme Court.

At Thursday's hearing before Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright, Lynn's attorney Thomas A. Bergstrom argued that the evidence he said prosecutors withheld was so egregious that she should bar retrial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

10 more sex abuse charges filed against Maine teacher

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 04, 2017

WEST BATH, Maine — The founder of the Midcoast Youth Theater charged in September 2016 with six counts of unlawful sexual contact and sexual exploitation of children pleaded not guilty Tuesday to those allegations, as well as 10 additional charges alleging similar conduct against two others.

Henry A. Eichman, 56, now of New Gloucester, was indicted by the Sagadahoc County grand jury in December on 16 counts, including seven counts of Class B felony unlawful sexual contact, three counts of Class C felony visual sexual aggression against a child under 12, and six misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual touching, according to court documents.

The crimes took place between April 2013 and July 2016, according to the indictment.

Eichman, who also taught drama at St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick, was arrested in September after three young girls, all members of the Midcoast Youth Theater, told police that the incidents occurred during sleepovers at Eichman’s Topsham home, WCSH reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

El colegio Newman, en medio de una denuncia por abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
Clarin

[The traditional Cardinal Newman College of Argentina is in the midst of a controversy with a report of sexual abuse that was allegedly suffered by a former student of the institution in the late 1970s. The case involves Father Finnlugh MacConastair, known as Father Alfredo, the Irish chaplain of the college in those years. According to reports Rufino Varela, now 52, ​​married and with two children, said the priest abused him in 1977 at school. Varela told La Nación newspaper that he had been a victim of abuse by his landlord from the age of four. And one day, when he was 12 and was in seventh grade, he approached MacConastair in confessional secrecy to tell him what was wrong: the priest not only did not stop the abuser but he took the boy to his room and abused him. When he was in third year of high school, he told another of the religious, Desmond Finegan what had happened and told him that he had to forgive MacConastair because he was old.]

El tradicional colegio Cardenal Newman quedó en el medio de una polémica al conocerse una denuncia de abusos sexuales que sufrió un ex alumno de la institución, a fines de los 70.

El caso involucra al padre Finnlugh Mac Conastair, conocido como padre Alfredo, capellán irlandés del colegio en esos años. Según denunció Rufino Varela, hoy de 52 años, casado y con dos hijos, el sacerdote lo abusó en 1977, en el colegio. Varela relató al diario La Nación que él había sido víctima de abusos por parte del casero de su casa desde los cuatro años. Y que un día, cuando tenía 12 y cursaba séptimo grado, se acercó a Mac Conastair en secreto de confesión para contarle lo que le pasaba: el cura no sólo no lo contuvo, sino que lo llevó a su cuarto y lo abusó. Cuando estaba en tercer año del secundario, le relató a otro de los religiosos, Desmond Finegan, lo que había pasado y le dijo que tenía que perdonar a Mac Conastair porque estaba viejo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

El terrible caso de un chico que fue doblemente abusado: por el casero de su familia y por un cura del colegio Cardenal Newman

ARGENTINA
Infobae

[The terrible case of a boy who was doubly abused: in the household of his family and by a priest of the school Cardinal Newman.]

Por Alfredo Serra 30 de diciembre de 2016
Especial para Infobae

Rufino Varela es un hombre común.

Tiene 52 años, mujer, dos hijos.

Ningún rasgo, a priori, indica que carga con un drama, salvo cierta ansiedad y desconfianza que cada tanto lo agitan.

Fue profesor de tenis, y ahora importa muebles de jardín. Datos nada relevantes.

Sin embargo, hace 36 años, fines de los años 80, recién cumplidos sus 15 y a solas, puso en su frente el caño de una escopeta cargada, decidido a matarse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Caso Karadima: ministro Muñoz se prepara para dictar sentencia en demanda de víctimas

CHILE
ADN

[This Friday is the deadline for Minister Juan Manuel Muñoz to deliver judgment in the lawsuit that Jose Murillo, James Hamilton and Juan Carlos Cruz filed against the Archdiocese of Santiago for its responsibility in the acts of sexual abuse committed by priest Fernando Karadima.]

Por Francisca Carvajal, ADN

Este viernes comienza el plazo para que el ministro Juan Manuel Muñoz dicte sentencia en la demanda que José Murillo, James Hamilton y Juan Carlos Cruz, presentaron contra el Arzobispado de Santiago por su responsabilidad en los hechos de abuso sexual cometidos por Fernando Karadima.

El juez había solicitado antecedentes a la iglesia chilena y al Vaticano para cerrar la investigación que lleva a cabo donde declararon más de 30 personas, entre ellos los cardenales Francisco Javier Errázuriz y Ricardo Ezzati, además del propio expárroco de El Bosque .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

Pope Francis’s ‘tears’ on child sex abuse a balm for Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

January 6, 2017

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

Catholic leaders across Australia have welcomed a letter from the Pope saying the church “weeps bitterly” over the sexual abuse of children by priests, ahead of a final royal commission investigation into how these crimes could occur.

In what represents one of the most frank admissions of institutional failure by any pontiff, Pope Francis used the letter to say: “We … weep for this sin. The sin of what happened, the sin of failing to help, the sin of covering up and denial, the sin of abuse of power.”

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a final, three-week hearing next month attempting to establish how widespread this abuse is and what cultural issues allowed it to occur.

About 40 per cent of the thousands of victims who have given evidence in private to the commission say they were abused in Catholic institutions. The hearing is expected to investigate the role of the Vatican, canon law, celibacy and the use of secrecy within the church.

Brisbane archbishop Mark Coleridge said the letter, sent to bishops worldwide and which also talks about the trafficking and starvation suffered by children, was meant to support church leaders “to gather up the tears of the young”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Executive report: Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright

AUSTRALIA
MN News

The truth must be before our eyes daily as we try to be a better church and to do what we can for those who suffered.

BISHOP BILL WRIGHT PUBLISHED JANUARY 05, 2017

I hope that this Year in Review document will be seen by many in the diocese and beyond. Through my working life as a priest, I have struggled to find ways to help people to be aware of the things that go on in their community that are beyond their personal involvements − and it is hard work. On one occasion I was berated by three ladies after Mass for our parish’s lack of a Bible Study group, despite the fact that one had existed for years, was frequently mentioned in the parish bulletin, had a new season beginning that had been advertised for the preceding six weeks and had, in fact, been spoken of in the notices not five minutes before. Until that week, however, the ladies concerned had not ‘needed to know’ and had contrived not to know.

Similarly, in another place, we brought together all the different groups in the parish to speak about what each actually did. We had to take two Sunday afternoons to get through it all and, of course, everyone was astonished by all that went on that they knew nothing about. And these were our most involved and active parishioners! In short, there can never be too much sharing of information about our church community. I hope this annual report makes a good deal available in an accessible form.

This year has had some remarkable features across the diocese. It has been the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis and we actually grabbed some international attention through the activity of our travelling ‘Missionary of Mercy’, Fr Richard Shortall SJ, in his mobile home, doing the rounds of our communities. It has been a ministry of great, but largely immeasurable, importance. Fr Richard has been able to preach and exhibit the mercy of God widely, but he has also had to share and bear the pains of many along the way as he has tried to bring them to some reconciliation and peace. Many individual stories of grace will remain unknown to most of us.

In this diocese, while celebrating the sesquicentenary of Bishop Murray’s arrival as our first resident bishop, we have celebrated the contribution of the religious sisters, brothers and priests who began arriving shortly after the bishop. These have been joyous celebrations because so many people have lovingly seized the opportunity to honour the gifts of faith and humanity that the sisters and brothers gave to them over many years. Of course there was also a good deal of wry humour about the personalities and customs of the past. You can read more about this on page 27.

Not all of our past, however, is worthy of our calling in Christ. Dark chapters were exposed again in the case study of child sexual abuse in the diocese held by the Royal Commission this year. Nothing can erase the harm done to those people who were abused as children and to their families. Nothing can erase the shame that these things happened in our community and happened, all too often, despite the knowledge of our leaders. In fact, we do not wish to erase these memories. The truth must be before our eyes daily as we try to be a better church and to do what we can for those who suffered. I have again apologised to the victims of childhood abuse collectively and to many individually, but our apologies will only be as good as our efforts to ensure the safety of our children today and to support the survivors of past abuse as best we can. These commitments are also reflected in this Year in Review on page 5.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Pope Francis could face key choices on bishops in 2017

ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. January 4, 2017
EDITOR

ROME - By now, we already know much of what’s on Pope Francis’s plate in 2017, including two confirmed trips - Fatima in May, and India and Bangladesh probably later in the year - and the likelihood of a couple more, one to Africa (perhaps Congo and South Sudan) and one to Latin America (beginning with Colombia.)

The pontiff will also make quick stops in Milan and Genoa inside Italy, meet bishops from around the world in Rome making ad limina visits, receive dignitaries and heads of state, preside over the usual liturgies for Holy Week, continue meeting with his C9 council of cardinal advisers to wrap up an overhaul of the Roman Curia, and so on.

With Francis, however, it’s often what you don’t see coming that really tells the tale.

Trying to predict what this maverick pope will do is a fool’s errand. Yet we can at least say that in 2017, he’ll have the chance to continue doing something arguably more important than almost anything else in terms of framing his legacy and shaping culture in the Church, which is naming bishops.

As a longtime friend of mine who works in the Vatican likes to say, in the Catholic Church a good bishop can do an enormous amount of good, and a bad bishop can do an even greater amount of harm!

Bishops generally enjoy wide latitude to run their shops as they see fit - a point that’s been given an exclamation point of late by the contrasting ways various bishops have chosen to implement the pope’s document on the family, Amoris Laetita. As a result, perhaps no single thing any pope ever does is more consequential than the kinds of bishops he appoints.

We got another small but telling reminder on Wednesday, when Francis replaced Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary in Canada with Bishop William McGrattan.

Henry is a hero to the strongly pro-life camp in the Church, among other things because of his refusal to permit a government-backed vaccination program against a sexually transmitted disease in Catholic schools because he believed it promoted promiscuity, while McGrattan is seen as a more “Pope Francis” kind of bishop whose focus is generally on dialogue and cooperation over confrontation

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Sex crime statute of limitations debate returns to New York

NEW YORK
Washington Times

By - Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York lawmakers will again face a proposal this year to lift the statute of limitations on sex abuse crimes.

Supporters of the bill gathered at the state Capitol on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to pass the bill, which has faced repeated obstacles in the Legislature.

The proposal would give victims more time to file civil lawsuits or seek criminal charges against their abusers.

In previous years the measure has run into opposition from institutions such as the Catholic Church.

The bill would also create a one-year window for past victims to file civil suits even if the statute of limitations has already run out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

The Republican Fail on Sex Assault and Child Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Verdict

5 JAN 2017

MARCI A. HAMILTON

Republicans would do well to catch up to the rest of the culture on the issues of sex assault and child sex abuse. They are quickly being outpaced by a society that no longer is willing to wink at the rapist or child abuser. Context for rape and child abuse no longer matters: the people are sick of child sex abuse and sex assault, period, whether it occurs in the religious, sports, school, university, or family arena. Smart politicians are seeing that this is a scourge with no political preference.

Yet, too many Republicans—with rare exceptions like Rep. Jason Spencer of Georgia and Rep. Deborah Hudson of Delaware—are responsible for blocking simple legislative change that would identify the hidden predators and provide justice to victims. And they are doing it for all the wrong reasons.

A Case Study: Ken Starr’s Spectacular Fall from Grace

The spectacular fall of Ken Starr in the wake of an ugly Baylor University scandal involving the cover up of sex assault by football team players needs to be studied by ambitious and currently powerful Republicans. This is not like the Dennis Hastert scandal where everyone could pretend his problems from the past don’t affect Republicans now.

Starr, the son of a minister, was a literal star in the Republican firmament: he clerked for Chief Justice Warren Burger, was appointed a federal appellate judge of the powerful Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (1983-89), and then served as the solicitor general (1989-93). During that time he was on President George H.W. Bush’s short list for the Supreme Court, though the appointment eventually went to David Souter. Starr has been a distinguished litigator for Kirkland and Ellis and also served as Independent Counsel (1994-99) investigating the scandals surrounding the Clintons, including the death of Vince Foster and then-President Bill Clinton’s dealings with Monica Lewinsky, which led to the historic House vote to impeach Clinton in 1998. The investigation was politically charged, and Starr was criticized heavily. He even later expressed regret for having taken on the Lewinsky assignment. Still, in 2004, he landed softly as dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law (2004-2010). As dean, he continued to take on headliner cases, including the defense of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein against statutory rape charges involving numerous girls brought to his home. Epstein eventually pled to one charge of soliciting sex from a minor and served minimal time in jail near his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

January 4, 2017

Correction: Bishop Thomas Dupre stories

MASSACHUSETTS
Newchannel 10

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - In stories on Nov. 24, 2014; Dec. 1, 2014; and Jan. 2, 2017, about former Bishop Thomas Dupre, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he was defrocked by the Vatican in 2006. The Diocese of Springfield says Dupre was not defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

PRESS CONFERENCE ON JANUARY 5, 2017

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

MEDIA RELEASE – JANUARY 4, 2017

THIS IS THE FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOSTON GLOBE “SPOTLIGHT TEAM” COVERAGE OF THE CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON, MA (2002-2017)

VICTIMS/SURVIVORS, ADVOCATES, AND AN ATTORNEY WILL DISCUSS THE CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS IN THE BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE AND WORLDWIDE, INCLUDING ITS HISTORY DURING THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS, ITS PRESENT STATE, WHERE IT IS HEADED, AND WHY IT HAS NOT ENDED

What
A press conference featuring victims/survivors , advocates, and an attorney who will discuss the state of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Archdiocese of Boston and worldwide, including its history, the present state, where it is headed, and why the Catholic Church has not been successful in ending it

When
Thursday, January 5, 2017, at 11:15 am

Where
Hilton Hotel, 89 Broad Street, Boston, MA 02110

Who
Robert Costello, victim/survivor of a Boston Archdiocesan priest

Barbara Dorris, St. Louis, MO, a victim/survivor of clergy abuse, who is the Victims Outreach Director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, based in Chicago, IL

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, whose information about the “secret files” of the Archdiocese of Boston made it possible for the Boston Globe to uncover and publish hundreds of stories about them, and who is featured in the movie, Spotlight, portrayed by actor Stanley Tucci

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that assists sexual abuse victims, based in Livingston, NJ; former religious brother and priest; a victim/survivor of sexual abuse in Boston by an Irish Christian Brother, and former Assistant Headmaster of Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, MA, who blew the whistle on sexual abuse by a Boston priest in 1981 but was ignored

Why
Despite rhetoric and promises, the Catholic Church has not made significant progress in its efforts to eradicate clergy sexual abuse. Pope Francis’ promise of zero tolerance of clergy sexual abuse has not been realized. In addition, his pledge to fire bishops who have mishandled and covered-up sexual abuse cases has not been fulfilled, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the Pope’s special consultant on clergy sexual abuse, has not been transparent and open about clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston and in his role as head of the worldwide Papal Commission on Sexual Abuse.

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 6:40 PM

The Many Good Halachic Arguments for Reporting Molesters

UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman, the Gateshead Rav Hair, recently spoke about “The Halachic Obligation of Reporting Abuse to the Authorities” in a telecast aimed at an Australian rabbinical audience.

Rabbi Zimmerman is a Haredi who holds a prominent pulpit as the main posek for Gateshead, a Haredi community centered around the UK’s first kollel formed during WW II by R. Eliyahu Dessler and others.

R. Zimmerman showed courage in the case of Todros Grynhaus by publicly declaring the community erred in the past in trying to manage his abuse by counseling. This was in contrast to the former mashgiach of Gateshead, R. Matisyahu Salomon, who continued to run back channel interference to obstruct the legal process. In the end, Grynhaus was convicted of sexually abusing two minors. Rabbi Zimmerman’s testimony contributed to that conviction.

In this talk he demolishes most of the pseudo-halachic misrepresentations put forth to conceal abuse from the authorities. At one point he declares that those who invoke the shulchan aruch on mesirah to block reporting are either ignorant of choshen mishpat or deliberately misrepresenting it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Lynn aims to dodge new trial after court overturns conviction in clergy sex abuse coverup

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

BY AARON MOSELLE

Monsignor William Lynn, the first American Catholic Church official to be convicted of covering up clergy sex abuse of children, will be in court Thursday morning with hopes of avoiding a new trial that is currently scheduled for May.

Lynn, 65, was released from prison in August after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated his 2012 conviction. The high court affirmed that jurors were "prejudiced" by hearing hours of evidence about abuse unrelated to Lynn's actions as a supervisor with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

During Lynn's three-month trial, prosecutors presented 21 examples of the Philadelphia archdiocese covering up child sex abuse, some dating back to the 1940s, long before Lynn was in charge of assigning priests.

At the time of his release, Lynn had served nearly three years of a 3-6 year sentence and was slated for parole.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Former Topsham youth theater director pleads not guilty to sexual abuse

MAINE
The Forecaster

By The Forecaster on January 4, 2017

WEST BATH — The founder of the Midcoast Youth Theater in Brunswick pleaded not guilty Tuesday in West Bath District Court to 16 counts of molesting children at his home in Topsham.

Henry Eichman was released on $5,000 cash bail, with conditions that include no contact with any child younger than 16, the court clerk’s office confirmed Wednesday. His next court appearance will be March 8.

Eichman, 56, who was also a teacher at St. John’s Catholic School, was charged Sept. 9, 2016, with unlawful sexual contact and sexual exploitation of a child under 12. He founded MYT in 2003, and was a part-time drama teacher at St. John’s since 2008. He has been suspended from employment and banned from the campus until his court case is resolved, according to spokesman Dave Guthro of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Waukesha pastor sentenced for inappropriately touching 10-year-old girl

WISCONSIN
TMJ4

Casey Geraldo
Jan 3, 2017

A Waukesha pastor will spend four months in jail after he admitted to inappropriately touching a child.

72-year-old Peter Knebel, a pastor at Fox River Christian Church, was charged with first-degree sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl.

He apologized in court Tuesday before the judge handed Knebel his sentence. Knebel has a year total in jail: Four consecutive months, followed by four months where he will be able to leave for counseling or work. The final four months can be used by his probation officer if Knebel breaks the terms of his probation.

That probation will last 10 years, and may be completed in Winnebago County as he has been living in Oshkosh with his brother. The terms of probation include no unsupervised contact with minor girls and no contact with the girl he sexually assaulted, unless she reaches out for therapeutic purposes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:29 PM

NEWS RELEASE: RESIGNATION OF BISHOP FREDERICK HENRY

CANADA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary

In accordance with canon 401 § ii of the Code of Canon Law, his Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Most Reverend Frederick B. Henry as Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary due to health concerns.

Most Rev. Luigi Bonazzi, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, ANNOUNCES THAT THE HOLY FATHER HAS NAMED BISHOP WILLIAM TERRENCE MCGRATTAN, currently the Bishop of the Diocese of Peterborough, as his successor.

The installation of the new Bishop will be on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. which will be at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

In the meantime, Bishop Henry has been named Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Calgary.

We thank Bishop Henry for his unstinting service, and we welcome Bishop McGrattan to our Diocese.

To read Bishop Henry’s resignation letter sent to Pope Francis, CLICK HERE.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Calgary Roman Catholic Bishop Fred Henry resigns for medical reasons, new bishop appointed

CANADA
Calgary Herald

BILL KAUFMANN

Published on: January 4, 2017

Bishop Fred Henry, Calgary’s leading Catholic authority for 19 years, has resigned from the Calgary Catholic Diocese.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published the news Wednesday morning, but gave no reason for Henry’s departure.

Pope Francis accepted his resignation and has appointed William Terrence McGrattan, Bishop of the Diocese of Peterborough, as his successor.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published the news Wednesday morning, but gave no reason for Henry’s departure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Former Owensville priest investigated over inappropriate conduct claims

MISSOURI
ABC 17

By: Sarah Bono
Posted: Jan 03, 2017

OWENSVILLE, Mo. - The Owensville Police Department confirmed it was investigating allegations against a priest Tuesday.

According to Bishop John Gaydos of the Jefferson City Diocese, Fr. Bob Duesdieker was put on administrative leave December 28 while the Diocese and law enforcement investigate a report of alleged inappropriate conduct with minors that occurred 25 years ago. At the time, Fr. Duesdieker was serving at Immaculate Conception parish in Owensville.

Bishop Gaydos said Fr. Duesdieker denied any misconduct.

"The Diocese first received information about this complaint earlier last month from a second hand source who was only willing to provide limited information," said Bishop Gaydos in a statement. "We have, this past week, learned additional information that requires further investigation and caused me to make this decision. The Diocese will cooperate with law enforcement, as appropriate."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Marshall priest placed on administrative leave, pending resolution of allegations

MISSOURI
Marshall Democrat-News

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

In a statement from the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City Tuesday, Jan. 3, Bishop John R. Gaydos announced a Marshall priest had been placed on a temporary administrative leave while an investigation of alleged misconduct was conducted.

Fr. Bob Duesdieker was placed on leave Wednesday, Dec. 28, while the diocese and law enforcement investigate a report of alleged inappropriate conduct with minors approximately 25 years ago, Gaydos states.

The alleged misconduct occurred while Duesdieker was serving at Immaculate Conception parish in Owensville. The bishop's statement was read during weekend Masses at St. Peter's Catholic Church.

According to the statement, Duesdieker denies any misconduct.

Gaydos states the Diocese first received information about the allegations from a second-hand source in early December, who provided limited information, and further information was received within the past week giving cause for further investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

State to dismiss charges against former priest who died awaiting trial

RHODE ISLAND
NBC 10

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) —
The state attorney general is expected to dismiss charges Wednesday against a former Roman Catholic priest who died while awaiting trial on sexual assault charges.

The Rhode Island Medical Examiner's Office said Barry Meehan died of a heart attack on Dec. 8. He was 67.

Meehan pleaded not guilty in 2014 to five counts of first-degree sexual assault on two young men in the late 1980s and early 1990s while Meehan was a priest at parishes in Providence and Cranston.

He resigned as pastor of St. Timothy's Church in Warwick in 2013 after state police conducted a joint investigation with the Diocese of Providence beginning in 2012. The Vatican laicized Meehan last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Moravian pastor in sex scandal under further investigation

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Saturday, December 31, 2016

SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — Police say a Moravian pastor based in Manchester, who is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl on Wednesday night, faced more questioning yesterday and was expected to be charged with “having sex with a girl under 16 years old”.

Under Jamaican law, the age of consent for sexual relations is 16. Anyone below that age is a minor and therefore not eligible to consent to sexual intercourse.

Police say that about 9:00 pm on Wednesday, a motorised police patrol in the deep-rural community of Austin in Myersville, south-east St Elizabeth, close to the Alpart plant in Nain, came upon a parked car in a secluded area. Further inspection revealed the pastor and the 15-year-old in what the police describe as a “compromising position”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Meet Trump's Peculiar Collection of Religious Leaders He Picked to Speak at His Inauguration

UNITED STATES
AlterNet

By Peter Montgomery / Right Wing Watch January 2, 2017

Donald Trump’s inaugural committee has announced that six faith leaders will take part in his swearing-in ceremony by offering prayers or delivering readings. Among them are Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Bishop Wayne Jackson, who draped a prayer shawl from Israel over Trump’s shoulders when Trump made a campaign stop at his Great Faith Ministries International church in Detroit for a scripted interview. ...

Timothy Dolan

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan criticized Trump’s nativist rhetoric in 2015, but more recently has praised Trump’s positions on abortion and “religious liberty” and has said since the election he looks forward to the appointment of Supreme Court justices “who will reform the injustice and travesty of Roe v. Wade.” ...

Documents released in 2013 showed that Dolan, when archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 2007, had asked for and received permission from the Vatican to, as The New York Times reported, “move nearly $57 million into a cemetery trust fund to protect the assets from victims of clergy sexual abuse who were demanding compensation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

First Roman Catholic bishop indicted in clergy abuse scandal dies

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Lisa Wangsness GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 04, 2017

In many ways, former Springfield bishop Thomas L. Dupre epitomized the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

Dupre, who died Dec. 30 at 83, was the first Roman Catholic bishop to be indicted in the scandal, which burst into public view 15 years ago this month when the Globe’s Spotlight team began reporting about the church hierarchy’s protection of priests who abused minors. Advocates for victims say Dupre had cultivated a culture of secrecy that kept such abuse shrouded for years.

But the Vatican never punished him beyond accepting his resignation — at least not publicly. And Dupre was never prosecuted for his crimes because the statutes of limitation had expired, preventing prosecutors from seeking justice.

“This man should have been held accountable,” said Eric MacLeish, a lawyer who represented two men who accused Dupre of abusing them as minors. “He should have died in prison for the damage he did.” ...

Terence McKiernan, a spokesman for BishopAccountability.org, an online archive of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, said Dupre’s story reflects the Vatican’s past failures — and ongoing struggles — in holding bishops accountable for the abuse of children.

“Dupre, even though he paid a price in the sense that he did resign once his past was revealed, that’s a pretty mild punishment,” McKiernan said. “And I think most bishops who enabled abuse, and even some bishops who offended themselves, paid no price at all.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

January 3, 2017

Former Springfield bishop has died at 83

MASSACHUSETTS
iObserve - Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — In a short statement released on the evening of Jan. 2, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield announced it had been informed of the passing of former diocesan bishop Thomas L. Dupre at the age of 83.

The statement read, “(t)he Diocese of Springfield has been informed of the passing of Thomas L. Dupre, former Bishop of Springfield. He was 83 at the time of his death on December 30. He passed away outside the diocese and funeral arrangements have been scheduled to be private.”

Dupre has resided outside the diocese since his sudden resignation on Feb. 10 2004. Announced at the time as due to health reasons, it was subsequently learned he had engaged in inappropriate behavior with two young boys many years before, abuse that was about to be revealed by The Republican newspaper.

Then-district attorney William Bennett conducted an exhaustive investigation, leading to a grand jury indictment; however, no criminal proceedings were ever brought forward due to the statute of limitations. Dupre did eventually participate in a civil settlement with his two victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 PM

Former model Nikki DuBose to share her sex abuse story with lawmakers as she advocates for Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

GLENN BLAIN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

ALBANY — Former model and sexual abuse victim Nikki DuBose is coming to the state Capitol Wednesday with a message for state lawmakers — children need to be protected.

DuBose is the featured speaker at a rally being planned by advocates for legislation that would change New York’s statute of limitations and make it easier for child sex abuse victims to obtain justice in state courts.

“We are talking about kids,” DuBose, 31, told The Daily News.

“Why is it OK for an innocent child to be sexually abused and to have his rights, his soul, his identity, his emotions his life taken away from that very moment and for him to not receive justice?” DuBose continued. “Why is that OK?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 PM

Pope Francis & Child Abusers

UNITED STATES
The American Conservative

By ROD DREHER • January 3, 2017

Michael Brendan Dougherty has published a blockbuster column today. Excerpts:

The Catholic Church has long been plagued by sickening scandals involving priests abusing children. And there is reportedly another scandal coming — this one of the pope’s own making.

Two people with direct ties to the Vatican tell me that Pope Francis, following the advice of his clubby group of allies in the curia, is pressing to undo the reforms that were instituted by his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI in handling the cases of abuser priests. Francis is pushing ahead with this plan even though the curial officials and cardinals who favor it have already brought more scandal to his papacy by urging him toward lenient treatment of abusers.

It has to do with something as seemingly dry as curial reform. But Dougherty contends that what’s really going on is Francis is protecting friends and punishing enemies — and using something as critically important as cleaning up the Church’s handling of abuser priests to do it. ...

It brings to mind Francis’s repugnant handling of a case in Chile, relayed in this National Catholic Reporter story in October 2015. Excerpt:

On Oct. 2, a Chilean news channel brought to light a May 6 recording of Pope Francis defending Bishop Juan Barros, who was recently assigned to Osorno, Chile, despite allegations that the new bishop covered up clergy sex abuse by a priest in the 1980s and 1990s.

Though evidence of the priest’s abuse was verified by Chile’s judicial court, statute of limitations allowed Fr. Fernando Karadima to dodge prosecution. When a separate Vatican investigation found the priest guilty of abuse, he was condemned in 2011 to a life of prayer and penance in a convent outside of Santiago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

Solicitan prisión preventiva para la ex monja acusada de abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
La Gaceta Salta

[Pre-trial detention requested for former nun accused of sexual abuse. Alicia Pacheco was part of the institute founded by Father Agustín Rosa. The prosecution also requested that psychological tests be performed.]

La Fiscalía solicitó la prisión preventiva para la ex monja de la congregación Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, María Alicia Pacheco, que fue detenida e imputada por el delito de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante agravado en perjuicio de una menor que formaba parte del instituto fundado por el padre Agustín Rosa Torino.

La Fiscal Penal 2 de la Unidad de Delitos contra la Integridad Sexual, María Luján Sodero Calvet, solicitó al Juzgado de Garantías 1, a cargo de Ada Zunino, la realización de pericias psicológicas y psiquiátricas a la ex religiosa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Fuchssche Legendenbildung

DEUTSCHLAND
Regenburg Digital

[The vicar general of the Diocese of Regensburg - Michael Fuchs - has published a chronology of his case study (addressed to the victims' attorney at the Regensburg catsparls Ulrich Weber). Whether this was made by him as a private individual or in an official capacity remains unclear. In the introduction, he notes as a motif: Weber's work should only be seen as part of the entire reconnaissance work.]

Wenige Tage bevor der frühere Regensburger Bischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller in einbem Interview mit der PNP Kritik an seiner „Aufklärungsarbeit“ zum sexuellen Missbrauch bei den Domspatzen als „postfaktisch“ bezeichnete, wurde von Generalvikar Michael Fuchs eine fragwürdige Chronologie der Ereignisse seit 2010 auf den Internetseiten der Diözese veröffentlicht.

Eine kritische Betrachtung von Alfred Gassner

Der Generalvikar der Diözese Regensburg Michael Fuchs hat (adressiert an den Opferanwalt bei den Regensburger Domspatzen Ulrich Weber) eine Chronologie seiner Fallaufarbeitung veröffentlicht. Ob diese von ihm als Privatperson oder in amtlicher Eigenschaft gefertigt wurde, bleibt unklar. In der Einleitung notiert er als Motiv: Webers Arbeit dürfe nur als Teil der gesamten Aufklärungsarbeit gesehen werden. Diese Zuschreibung legt nahe, dass die Veröffentlichung im Sachzusammenhang mit dem im Frühjahr 2017 zu erwartenden Schlussbericht Webers besteht und diese korrigieren soll.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Die Legende vom furchtlosen Hirten und dem Fuchs, der die Gans nicht gestohlen, sondern gebracht hat

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg Digital

[On the occasion of a report on the treatment of the abuse scandal of the Domspatzen, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller (GLM) reprimands the Bavarian radio for "post-factual allegations."]

Von Robert Werner

Anlässlich eines Berichts über die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsskandals der Domspatzen schmäht Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller (GLM) den Bayerischen Rundfunk der „postfaktischen Behauptungen“. Er bemüht dafür eine auf der Bistumshomepage veröffentlichte „Chronologie“, die sich bei Lichte besehen als kontrafaktische Eigenpropaganda entpuppt. GLM sieht sich als Seelsorger und Vater der Domspatzen-Aufklärung. Was ist in Regensburg geschehen?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Vom Priester missbraucht - Opfer bricht Schweigen

DEUTSCHLAND
NDR

[In 2010 an abuse scandal had occupied those in the diocese of Osnabrück: A Catholic priest confessed to having had sex with a teenager decades before. But there was never a public process.]

von Carsten Ehrbar

2010 hatte ein Missbrauchsskandal das Bistum Osnabrück beschäftigt: Ein katholischer Priester gestand bei Vernehmungen, Jahrzehnte zuvor Sex mit einer Jugendlichen gehabt zu haben. Zu einem öffentlichen Prozess kam es aber nie. Der Priester wurde 2013 vom Kirchengericht schuldig gesprochen und versetzt. Er darf seitdem weder leitende Aufgaben übernehmen noch in der Kinder-und Jugendseelsorge tätig werden. Nun bricht das Opfer sein Schweigen und es wird klar: Es gab damals, in den 90er-Jahren, Versäumnisse des Bistums.

Nicht nur ein Mal, sondern immer wieder
Claudia Meyer* ist damals eine Jugendliche, fast noch ein Kind, mit ihren 13, 14 Jahren. Zierlich, mit hellen leuchtenden Augen. Die dunklen Haare kurz wie ein Junge. Sie hat ein Grübchen, wenn sie lächelt. Im Jahr 1990 - sie kann sich nicht mehr erinnern, wann genau - hat in der Harener Kaplanei ein Priester Sex mit ihr. Nicht ein Mal, sondern immer wieder. Das geht über Jahre so. Wenn sie daran zurückdenkt, spricht sie von sich in der dritten Person. Als wenn sie dadurch das Schlimme, das sie erlitten hat, nur betrachtet, nicht erlebt: "Man war in der Kirche tätig, ist dann mehr oder weniger abhängig geworden und hat sich dann unter Druck setzen lassen, da jeden Tag hinzukommen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Report: Pope Francis ordered Cardinal Müller to dismiss three priests from doctrinal office

ROME
LifeSite News

Jan Bentz

ANALYSIS

ROME, January 3, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A well-informed Vatican analyst has reported that over Christmas Pope Francis personally ordered three priests to be dismissed from their duties in the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

According to Vaticanist Marco Tosatti, Pope Francis ordered Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the congregation, to dismiss the priests because of an unknown incident. Maike Hickson, writing for OnePeterFive, discovered that the three priests are of Slovakian-American, French, and Mexican nationality.

Tosatti reported, as translated by Hickson:

The head of a dicastery has received the order to remove three of his employees (all of whom have worked there for a long time), and it was without any explanation. He [the Prefect] received these official letters: “….I request that you please dismiss ….” The order was: send him [each of them] back into his diocese of origin or to the Religious Family to which he belongs. He [the Prefect of the Congregation] was very perplexed because it was about three excellent priests who are among the most capable professionally. He first avoided obeying and several times asked for an audience with the pope. He had to wait because that meeting was postponed several times. Finally, he was received in an audience. And he said: “Your Holiness, I have received these letters, but I did not do anything because these persons are among the best of my dicastery… what did they do?” The answer was, as follows: “And I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions. I have decided that they have to leave and they have to leave.” He got up and stretched out his hand in order to indicate that the audience was at an end. On 31 December, two of the three [men] will leave the dicastery in which they have worked for years, and without knowing the why. For the third, there seems to be a certain delay. But then, there is another implication which, if true, would be even more unpleasant. One of the two had freely spoken about certain decisions of the pope – perhaps a little bit too much. A certain person – a friend of a close collaborator of the pope – heard this disclosure and passed it on. The victim received then a very harsh telephone call from Number One [i.e., the pope]. And then soon came the dismissal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

A child abuse scandal is coming for Pope Francis

ROME
The Week

Michael Brendan Dougherty

The Catholic Church has long been plagued by sickening scandals involving priests abusing children. And there is reportedly another scandal coming — this one of the pope's own making.

Two people with direct ties to the Vatican tell me that Pope Francis, following the advice of his clubby group of allies in the curia, is pressing to undo the reforms that were instituted by his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI in handling the cases of abuser priests. Francis is pushing ahead with this plan even though the curial officials and cardinals who favor it have already brought more scandal to his papacy by urging him toward lenient treatment of abusers.

In 2001, the Vatican instituted a massive reform in how it handled the cases of priests who abused children. The power to deal with these cases was taken away from the Congregation of the Clergy and the Roman Rota (the Vatican's Court), and placed in the office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Subsequently, the volume and speed with which the Catholic Church defrocked abuser priests went up. This was Pope Benedict's legacy of trying to confront "the filth" in the Church.

Recently, Pope Francis had the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, request an opinion from the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, led by Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, regarding the possibility of transferring competence to deal with abuser priests from the CDF back to Clergy and the Rota. Coccopalmerio's office responded with a positive answer. ...

Rumors of this reform have been circulating in Rome for months. And not happily. Pope Francis and his cardinal allies have been known to interfere with CDF's judgments on abuse cases. This intervention has become so endemic to the system that cases of priestly abuse in Rome are now known to have two sets of distinctions. The first is guilty or innocent. The second is "with cardinal friends" or "without cardinal friends." ...

Consider the case of Fr. Mauro Inzoli. Inzoli lived in a flamboyant fashion and had such a taste for flashy cars that he earned the nickname "Don Mercedes." He was also accused of molesting children. He allegedly abused minors in the confessional. He even went so far as to teach children that sexual contact with him was legitimated by scripture and their faith. When his case reached CDF, he was found guilty. And in 2012, under the papacy of Pope Benedict, Inzoli was defrocked.

But Don Mercedes was "with cardinal friends," we have learned. Cardinal Coccopalmerio and Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, now dean of the Roman Rota, both intervened on behalf of Inzoli, and Pope Francis returned him to the priestly state in 2014, inviting him to a "a life of humility and prayer." These strictures seem not to have troubled Inzoli too much. In January 2015, Don Mercedes participated in a conference on the family in Lombardy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Order of Malta leader reaffirms loyalty to Pope as Vatican probes dispute

ROME
Malta Today

Paul Cocks 3 January 2017

The leader of the Order of Malta has reaffirmed his loyalty to Pope Francis, as the Order faces an investigation by the Vatican over a recent controversy, according to Italian media.

In a letter to mark the World Day of Peace, Fra’ Matthew Festing, the organisation’s Grand Master, told Pope Francis that the Order, even in a difficult and complex time, “seeks to render its service in closely adhering to the teaching of the Church and the directions which come from the Successor to St Peter.”

Festing was referring to the recent dismissal of Albrecht Boeselager, the Grand Chancellor of the order. Boeselager has been accused of allowing the distribution of condoms, as part of a scheme with which the order was linked.

But Festing said Boeselager was removed for allegedly concealing problems in his previous role of overseeing the order’s charitable work. The Order of Malta’s members run hospitals, nursing homes, night shelters and other forms of charitable outreach in 120 countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Italian priest 'organised orgies in his rectory, pimped out up to 15 lovers and took them to a naturist and swingers' resort in France'

ITALY
Daily Mail (UK)

By DARREN BOYLE FOR MAILONLINE

An Italian Catholic priest is being investigated by police over claims he has pimped out up to 15 lovers from his rectory and was planning a weekend away at a French swingers resort.

Father Andrea Contin of San Lazzaro church in Padua was investigated after three of his former lovers went to the authorities.

Police raided Fr Contin's home beside the church in the northern Italian city and recovered a stash of home-made pornography as well as a range various sex toys.

According to the Il Mattino di Padova newspaper, Fr Contin is accused of living off immoral earnings and psychological violence.

The priest is believed to have offered the services of the women through a range of wife swapping websites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

El Papa exige "tolerancia cero" frente a los casos de abuso sexual

ROMA
La Nacion

ROMA (AFP).- En una carta divulgada ayer por el Vaticano, el papa Francisco les exigió a los obispos que apliquen "clara y lealmente la consigna «tolerancia cero»" frente a los sacerdotes que cometen abusos sexuales.

"Tomemos el coraje necesario para implementar todas las medidas necesarias y proteger en todo la vida de nuestros niños, para que tales crímenes no se repitan más", instó el Papa en la misiva enviada a los obispos en ocasión del Día de los Santos Inocentes, que se festeja el 28 de diciembre.

"Asumamos clara y lealmente la consigna «tolerancia cero» en este asunto", recalca el papa argentino. En el texto, Francisco pide en varias ocasiones "perdón" por un pecado que reconoce, lo "avergüenza", "lamenta" y "llora", escribe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Pope Francis addresses child abuse

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Frenalyn Untalan on January 03 2017

Pope Francis addressed issues regarding child abuse through a Dec. 28 letter. The letter, released publicly on Monday, urged bishops worldwide to maintain “zero tolerance” of abuses of the youth.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church wants to make sure that every child is protected from sexual abuse by its clergy. In the letter, the pope points towards injustices to children. These include slave labour, malnutrition, lack of education and sexual exploitation and even abuse by priests.

The pope also decried "the sufferings, the experiences and pain of minors who suffered sexual abuse by priests." In the letter, Pope Francis wrote, “It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity."

Pope Francis urged bishops to find the courage needed to take all necessary measures so that such crimes will not be repeated. He further urged Catholic leaders to adhere clearly and faithfully to “zero tolerance.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Don’t pardon sex abuse by priests – Pope

VATICAN CITY
NAN (Nigeria)

Pope Francis has urged Bishops not to tolerate any priest who engages in any form of sexual abuse.

In a letter dated Dec. 28 but released on Monday, Francis said that priests who abused children should not be tolerated when they asked for forgiveness.

“I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.”

“The Church recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Former Catholic priest dies before facing sex assault trial

RHODE ISLAND
Crux

AP

A former priest of the Providence, Rhode Island, diocese, who was arrested on sexual assault charges in 2014 and laicized, meaning removed from the priesthood, in 2015, has died of a heart attack before he could face trial.

PROVIDENCE - A former Roman Catholic priest awaiting trial on sexual assault charges has died.

The Rhode Island Medical Examiner’s Office says Barry Meehan died of a heart attack on December 8. He was 67.

Meehan pleaded not guilty in 2014 to five counts of first-degree sexual assault on two young men in the late 1980s and early 1990s while Meehan was a priest at parishes in Providence and Cranston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

January 2, 2017

Former Springfield Bishop Thomas Dupre has died

MASSACHUSETTS
WWLP

[with video]

By Joel Martinez
Published: January 2, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Diocese of Springfield announced Monday night that former Bishop Thomas L. Dupre died at the age of 83.

According to Mark Dupont, spokesman for the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese, Dupre died on December 30, 2016 outside the diocese. He said all funeral arrangements have been scheduled to be private.

Dupree resigned as Bishop of Springfield back in 2004, citing health reasons, and then suddenly left western Massachusetts. Shortly after his resignation, it was revealed that Dupre had been accused of sexually abusing two boys in the 1970’s; a 12-year-old and 16-year-old.

The former Bishop was indicted on two counts of child rape, but prosecutors declined to bring the case to trial because the statute of limitations had expired. The victims also filed a civil lawsuit against Dupre, charging him with assault and battery, and infliction of emotional distress; a settlement was reached in 2008 by the Diocese of Springfield.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 PM

1st bishop indicted in US on sexual-abuse claim dies at 83

MASSACHUSETTS
Yahoo! News

Correction: Bishop Thomas Dupre stories
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - In stories on Nov. 24, 2014; Dec. 1, 2014; and Jan. 2, 2017, about former Bishop Thomas Dupre, The Associated Press reported erroneously that he was defrocked by the Vatican in 2006. The Diocese of Springfield says Dupre was not defrocked.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States to be indicted on a sexual-abuse claim during a flood of abuse accusations against church officials has died. Former Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts, Thomas Dupre was 83.

The Diocese of Springfield says Dupre died Friday. It hasn't revealed the cause of his death.

Dupre became bishop in the 1990s. He cited health reasons for his sudden retirement in 2004. Months later he was indicted on charges he raped two boys in the 1970s. The case was dropped because the statute of limitations had expired.

In 2009 a man alleged a priest molested him in the 1980s and Dupre and former Bishop Joseph Maguire knew the priest had abused other boys but assigned him to the church anyway.

Dupre was defrocked in 2006. Maguire died in 2014 at age 95.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 PM

Thomas Dupre, former Springfield bishop indicted on child rape charges, dead at 83

MASSACHUSETTS
The Republican

By Brian Steele | bsteele@repub.com
on January 02, 2017

SPRINGFIELD -- Thomas L. Dupre, a former bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield who left his position in disgrace amid The Republican's reporting of child sex abuse allegations, died Friday at the age of 83.

Dupre was bishop from 1995 to 2004, when accusations made by the mother of an alleged abuse victim became public.

He retired the day after The Republican sought his response to detailed written accounts of alleged child rape. The diocese claimed the timing was a coincidence, saying the pope had allowed Dupre's months-old request to retire five years early due to failing health.

On Sept. 27, 2004, about seven months after Dupre retired, he was indicted by a Hampden County grand jury on charges that he sexually assaulted two altar boys, ages 12 and 13, more than three decades prior. The same day, then-District Attorney William Bennett announced the case would not go to trial because the statute of limitations had expired on some charges and the grand jury declined to indict on others.

Dupre was the first Roman Catholic bishop to be indicted in a nationwide wave of sexual abuse accusations against priests and other church leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 PM

Catholic priest accused of organising orgies in rectory and pimping out 15 women

ITALY
The Independent (UK)

Italian 48-year-old allegedly hid pornographic home videos in covers bearing the names of popes

Peter Walker @petejohn_walker

An Italian priest is being investigated for allegedly organising orgies in his rectory and pimping out up to 15 lovers.

Catholic Father Andrea Contin, a parish priest in the northern city of Padua in Veneto, is under police investigation on suspicion of living off immoral earnings and psychological violence.

A variety of sex toys and videos, purportedly showing orgies taking place on the San Lazzaro church premises, have been seized after complaints from three female parishioners.

The 48-year-old also allegedly concealed pornographic home videos in covers bearing the names of various popes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Christian fundamentalist schools put kids ‘at risk’ with exorcisms and marriage grooming: inspectors

UNITED KINGDOM
Raw Story

SARAH K. BURRIS
02 JAN 2017

Several Christian fundamentalist schools have been downgraded in the UK after a government watchdog group followed up on an exclusive report done by The Independent.

As the site reported this summer, LGBT students were being taught that homosexuality was unnatural and girls were being told that they had to obey men. Other students reported other forms of “serious mistreatment,” including “corporal punishment, exorcisms being performed on children and schoolgirls being ‘groomed’ for marriage to much older men.”

These Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) schools were designed to create a Bible-based education for homeschool students, pastors and private religious schools, according to their site. The schools teach thousands of students at over 26 institutions, but now those schools are coming under fire by the institutions responsible rating them. As a result, their score has been downgraded, The Independent‘s exclusive reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Curas abusaron de niños sordos en Argentina

ARGENTINA
El Nuevo Herald

[Several children and young people said that in a small chapel and before an image of the Virgin Mary they were abused by two Catholic priests. Their groans of terror could scarcely be heard: like them the other students of that Argentine school were deaf.

At least 24 students and alumni of the Antonio Próvolo Institute for deaf and hard of hearing children in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, denounced the alleged abuse to justice officials.

The case knocks at the gates of the Vatican, which ignored the warnings of the Italian victims about priest Nicola Corradi, detained in Mendoza. The Italian priest, 82, had been singled out for similar crimes committed since the 1950s at the Antonio Próvolo Institute in Verona.

After ordering an investigation into the allegations in Italy, the Vatican punished four priests, although Corradi was never punished for the crimes committed in that institute.

The scandal intensified after it became known that one of the appointed priests had already been charged with similar crimes at a school in Italy. Anne Barrett, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, an internet portal against clerical pederasty, said that the Argentine case "is distinctively horrifying ... the crimes are new, they were preventable, they happened after the Vatican supposedly implemented reforms and under the noses Of Church officials who have boasted of clever anti-abuse policies. "]

Varios niños y jóvenes aseguraron que en una pequeña capilla y ante una imagen de la Virgen María fueron abusados por dos curas católicos. Sus gemidos de terror difícilmente podían ser escuchados: como ellos, los otros estudiantes de esa escuela argentina eran sordos.

Al menos 24 alumnos y ex alumnos del Instituto Antonio Próvolo para niños sordos y con problemas de audición de la provincia de Mendoza denunciaron los presuntos abusos ante la justicia. El escándalo se intensificó luego de saberse que uno de los sacerdotes señalados ya había sido acusado de delitos similares en una escuela en Italia.

En el instituto “hay una capillita chiquita donde está la Virgen… con unas sillitas, donde a los niños los confesaban, les daban la comunión. Allí sucedían algunos de los hechos”, dijo recientemente a The Associated Press el fiscal Fabrizio Sidoti, quien investigó el caso en las últimas semanas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Pope on sex abuse: 'zero tolerance' means just that

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis on Monday defended the Catholic Church's much-vaunted "zero tolerance" approach to abuse, while admitting the ancient institution had so far lacked the courage to go all out on stopping paedophile priests.

The church "recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests. It is a sin that shames us," he said in a letter made public Monday.

"I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst," he added in the letter, addressed to the world's bishops to mark the Massacre of the Innocents on December 28.

"Let us find the courage needed to take all necessary measures" to protect children.

"In this area, let us adhere, clearly and faithfully, to 'zero tolerance'," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Pope to Bishops: Maintain 'Zero Tolerance' for Child Abuse

VATICAN CITY
ABC News

By FRANCES D'EMILIO, ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY — Jan 2, 2017

Pope Francis has exhorted Catholic bishops worldwide to do what's needed to ensure children are protected from sexual abuse by clergy.

The Vatican on Monday released the text of a Dec. 28 letter Francis sent to bishops about injustices to children. They included slave labor, malnutrition, lack of education and sexual exploitation, including abuse by priests.

In the letter, Francis decried "the sufferings, the experiences and pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests."

"It is a sin that shames us," the pope wrote. "Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Pope tells bishops to have zero tolerance for sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis has told bishops around the world they must adhere to a policy of zero tolerance for clergy who sexually abuse children and begged forgiveness for "a sin that shames us".

In a letter sent on Dec. 28 but released by the Vatican only on Monday, Francis said: "I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst."

Since his election in 2013, Francis has taken some steps to root out sexual abuse in the Church and to put in place practices to protect children. But victims' groups say he has not done enough, particularly to hold to account bishops who tolerated sexual abuse or covered it up.

"(The Church) recognises the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests. It is a sin that shames us," Francis wrote in the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Sin mencionar el caso Próvolo, el Papa pidió perdón por los abusos a menores

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
El Sol

[Following allegations of abuse of minors at the Antonio Próvolo Institute for children with hearing loss, in Luján de Cuyo, Argentina, a statement was expected from Pope Francis. And although he did not directly refer to the case that moved Mendoza, the Supreme Pontiff finally condemned sexual abuse by priests.]

Tras las denuncias por abusos a menores en el Instituto Antonio Próvolo para niños con hipoacusia, en Luján de Cuyo, se esperaba alguna declaración del Papa Francisco. Y si bien no se refirió directamente al caso que conmovió a Mendoza, el Sumo Pontífice finalmente condenó los abusos sexuales por parte de sacerdotes.

Además aseguró que "la Iglesia pide perdón" y se une "al dolor de las víctimas", al tiempo que prometió "tolerancia cero".

"Escuchemos el llanto y el gemir de estos niños; escuchemos el llanto y el gemir también de nuestra madre Iglesia, que llora no sólo frente al dolor causado en sus hijos más pequeños, sino también porque conoce el pecado de algunos de sus miembros: el sufrimiento, la historia y el dolor de los menores que fueron abusados sexualmente por sacerdotes", aseguró el Pontífice en una carta escrita a Obispos el 25 de diciembre pasado y divulgada este lunes por el Vaticano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Pope urges Bishops to protect lives of children

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has written to the Bishops of the world condemning all forms of oppression and exploitation of children. His words come in a letter signed on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, which takes place each year on December 28, during the Octave of Christmas.

In his letter, the Holy Father calls the Bishops to foster in hearts of Christians the joy that comes from the proclamation of the birth of Christ. But in moving words, he notes that the Christmas story is also accompanied by tears. “Today, too,” the Pope said, we hear this heart-rending cry of pain, which we neither desire nor are able to ignore or to silence.” He continued. “In our world – I write this with a heavy heart – we continue to hear the lamentation of so many mothers, of so many families, for the death of their children, their innocent children.”

Pope Francis speaks about the millions of children who are deprived of education and whose innocence is shattered by wars and forced immigation. He also once again begs forgiveness for the sufferings of children who were sexually abused by priests, saying "it is a sin that shames the Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Letter of the Holy Father Francis to the bishops on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, 02.01.2017

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bulletin

The following is the full text of the letter the Holy Father Francis wrote to the bishops on the feast of the Holy Innocents, held on 28 December 2016:

Dear Brother,

Today, on the feast of the Holy Innocents, as the words of the angel to the shepherds still resound in our hearts – “I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour” (Lk 2: 10-11) – I feel the need to write to you. We do well to listen to that proclamation again and again; to hear over and over again that God is present in the midst of our people. This certainty, which we renew each year, is the source of our joy and hope.

In these days we experience how the liturgy leads us to the heart of Christmas, into the Mystery which gradually draws us to the source of Christian joy. ...

To illustrate this point, there are at present 75 million children who, due to prolonged situations of emergency and crisis, have had to interrupt their education. In 2015, 68% of all persons who were victims of sexual exploitation were children. At the same time, a third of all children who have to live outside their homelands do so because forcibly displaced. We live in a world where almost half of the children who die under the age of five do so because of malnutrition. It is estimated that in 2016 there were 150 million child labourers, many of whom live in conditions of slavery. According to the most recent report presented by UNICEF, unless the world situation changes, in 2030 there will be 167 million children living in extreme poverty, 69 million children under the age of five will die between 2016 and 2030, and 16 million children will not receive basic schooling.

We hear these children and their cries of pain; we also hear the cry of the Church our Mother, who weeps not only for the pain caused to her youngest sons and daughters, but also because she recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests. It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity. We regret this deeply and we beg forgiveness. We join in the pain of the victims and weep for this sin. The sin of what happened, the sin of failing to help, the sin of covering up and denial, the sin of the abuse of power. The Church also weeps bitterly over this sin of her sons and she asks forgiveness. Today, as we commemorate the feast of the Holy Innocents, I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst. Let us find the courage needed to take all necessary measures and to protect in every way the lives of our children, so that such crimes may never be repeated. In this area, let us adhere, clearly and faithfully, to “zero tolerance”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Pope kicks off new year renewing 'zero tolerance' policy on abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic World Report

January 2, 2017

Vatican City, Jan 2, 2017 / 07:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a letter sent to bishops around the world for the feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis lamented the many children who suffer from war, slavery and various forms of abuse, including within the Church.

The Church not only hears the “cries of pain” of her children who suffer from war, slavery and malnutrition, he said, but she also weeps “because she recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests.”

“It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity. We regret this deeply and we beg forgiveness.”

Francis condemned the sin “of failing to help,” of “covering up and denial” and the sin of “the abuse of power” that happened in many cases.

In celebrating the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis asked his brother bishops to renew “our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Prete hot, 15 amanti. Foto su siti scambisti

ITALIA
Corriere del Veneto

PADOVA Don Andrea Contin è un affare ogni giorno più complicato e sorprendente. Senza facili ironie, l’inchiesta sull’ormai ex parroco del rione San Lazzaro, Padova, indagato per violenza privata e favoreggiamento della prostituzione, pare essere a una prima, importante svolta. Inquirenti blindati e avvocati abbottonati, ma il b-movie del sesso in salsa padovana nato con la denuncia di una parrocchiana di don Andrea, nelle ultime ore sta pian piano prendendo le forme di un kolossal a luci rosse.

Le amanti del parroco Fin qui si è detto di tre donne. Ora pare che il conto possa salire almeno fino a quindici. C’è quella che il sei dicembre scorso ha denunciato, raccontando di rapporti con Contin, di sesso sempre più spinto, coadiuvato da tanti simpatici oggetti del piacere/dolore e sfociato, infine, in orge con più partener maschili «selezionati » dal don, nel doppio ruolo di amante impositore e (se saranno provati eventuali pagamenti) ruffiano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Italian priest 'filmed orgies in rectory and pimped lovers on wife-swapping websites'

ITALY
International Business Times

By Tom Porter
January 2, 2017

An Italian priest has been accused of pimping some of his 15 suspected lovers and filming orgies in his church's rectory.

Father Andrea Contin, 48, the parish priest at the church of San Lazzaro in Padua, is under police investigation for living off immoral earnings and psychological violence, following complaints from three female parishioners.

Sex toys and pornographic home videos, some bearing the names on popes on the covers, were seized in police raids, according to local media reports.

He is alleged to have pimped some of his lovers to men on wife-swapping websites, as well as enjoying lavish holidays with lovers, travelling to countries including Croatia, France and Austria.

Among the places he allegedly visited with lovers was the Cap d'Agde naturists and swingers resort in France, according Corriere del Veneto.

Complaints were first made to a local bishop last summer, but church authorities failed to contact police.

One of the priest's alleged former lovers told the Il Mattino di Padova newspaper in an anonymous interview that Contin had pursued her with messages and phone calls before they had sex.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Priest held for sexually abusing minor boy

INDIA
New Indian Express

KOCHI: The police on Sunday arrested a 65-year-old priest on charges of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy.

The police said that Fr Basil Kuriakose, who is also serving as principal of a school, abused the boy in the dormitory of the school’s hostel when the other students had gone home to spend Christmas holidays. He committed the crime while sleeping with the boy on December 21 night.

The school is run by a charitable trust, and is not linked to any religious organisation. The accused had joined the residential school as principal after retiring from an aided school. His wife is a retired professor, and the couple has a son settled in Australia. “Denying the charges, Fr Basil in his statement said though he had shared the room with the boy on the day, he did not abuse him,” said police officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

Parish priest ‘prostituted his lovers and filmed sex parties’

ITALY
The Times (UK)

Philip Willan, Rome
January 2 2017
The Times

A priest in the northern Italian city of Padua has been accused of organising orgies in his rectory, acting as a pimp to some of his 15 lovers and concealing pornographic home videos in covers bearing the names of popes.

Father Andrea Contin, 48, the parish priest at the church of San Lazzaro, is under police investigation on suspicion of living off immoral earnings and psychological violence, following complaints from three of his female parishioners. A variety of sex toys and videos showing orgies taking place on the premises were also seized.

He is said to have farmed out some of his lovers to male customers on wife swapping websites. The priest is also alleged to have enjoyed lavish holidays with his female friends, including a stay at a naturist village in the French town of Cap d’Agde.

Complaints were first made to the local bishop last summer but church authorities failed to contact the police, saying they had not yet completed their own investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

Diocesan priest named next bishop of Biloxi

MISSISSIPPI
Caller-Times

Rob Boscamp, Special to the Caller-Times January 1, 2017

Msgr. Louis F. Kihneman III will be ordained and installed as bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi on Feb. 17, 2017.

Rev. Msgr. Louis F. Kihneman III didn’t expect an early birthday gift from the Vatican.

In early December, the vicar general and moderator of the curia was getting ready to plan his November 2017 celebration of 40 years of priesthood in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

A phone call from Archbishop Christophe Pierre changed his plans.

“When I heard the accent and he introduced himself as Archbishop Pierre, I said, ‘Oh my! He knows my name!’ ” Kihneman said, recalling the way he told the story to his congregation at St. Philip the Apostle Parish.

Pierre presented Kihneman with both an early birthday and Christmas present: Pope Francis had named him to serve as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi in Mississippi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 AM

Kerala Christian priest arrested for molesting 11-year-old boy

INDIA
Times of India

KOCHI: A Malayali couple settled in Haryana admitted their son in a boarding school near Moovattupuzha to get him acquainted with the culture of Kerala, police said on Sunday, after arresting the school principal on complaints of sexually abusing the boy.

Identifying the accused as Fr Basil Kuriakose, police said the 65-year-old abused the 11-year-old boy in the school dormitory on night of December 21. The incident happened when the other residents were on vacation.

"The accused stripped the boy before molesting him. He also tried to sodomise him," police said.
The school was run by a private charitable trust, police said. The accused joined the institution after retiring from an aided school.

The priest denied charges of sexual assault, sub-inspector T Dileesh said. The accused, however, admitted in a statement that he had been with the boy on the date mentioned in the complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 AM

January 1, 2017

Kerala priest booked under Section 377 for unnatural sex with 10-year-old boy

INDIA
International Business Times

Asmita Sarkar

A 65-year-old priest in Kerala was arrested on Sunday for indulging in unnatural sexual abuse with a 10-year-old boy in Kochi's Kunnathunad area. The incident took place at a boarding school, King David International School, where the boy studied. Father Basil Kuriyakose was the principal of the school.

Kuriyakose was taken to a court on Sunday after the arrest. He was booked under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 377 of IPC criminalises sexual intercourse against the order of nature. It also criminalises homosexual sex.

This was the first time that an incident like this was reported against Kuriyakose, the Kunnathunad police told International Business Times, India. The 10-year-old boy who studied in class five reported the incident to his elder brother who had gone to meet the child and then informed his mother about the incident. The mother lodged a complaint with the police, following which the offender was arrested.

In India, one out of every two children is sexually abused and most of it goes unreported. In most of the cases, the abuser is a male known to the child. National statistics reveal that about 53% children are abused. The highest number of cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

The Legacy of Rav Elyashiv

ISRAEL
Rationalist Judaism

It's hard to imagine a greater chilul Hashem than this. A former Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel is going to prison. For massive bribery and corruption. The classic antisemitic trope of the cheating, money-grabbing Jew is being displayed to the world in the person who holds the office that represents Judaism.

In case you haven't seen the news yet, Rabbi Yona Metzger, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 2003 to 2013, is accepting a prison term rather than going to trial. This is for pocketing about two million dollars in bribes and from funds that he was supposed to transfer to charity.

While the responsibility for the crimes is Rabbi Metzger's alone, the responsibility for the chilul Hashem lies with others. Because long before the revelations of these particular crimes came to light - indeed, before Rabbi Metzger was appointed to the position of Chief Rabbi - there were numerous allegations of severe improprieties. In 1998, when Rabbi Metzger was about to be nominated as chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, a number of allegations surfaced against him, including fraud, sexual harassment, forged signatures on wedding contracts, and threatening other rabbis.

Rabbi Metzger's certification to serve as chief rabbi of a large city was suspended, and a disciplinary hearing was established, presided over by Rav Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, Rav She'ar Yashuv Cohen and Rav Simcha Kook. In the end, an agreement was reached whereby the inquiry would not be completed if Metzger would agree not to accept the role of chief rabbi of Tel Aviv.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Stories of the Year 2016

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

JAN 1, 2017

WALT FRANK
Staff Writer
wfrank@altoonamirror.com

Reassessment in Blair County and sexual abuse by church officials were among the top local stories of 2016.

The Mirror’s news staff voted in mid-December on the top stories from a ballot that contained 31 prominent local news items. The following is a look at the top stories, as chosen by the Mirror news staff: ...

2. Sexual abuse by church officials

On March 1, then-Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said that hundreds of children were sexually abused by about 50 priests or church officials over more than 40 years in the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese, and some bishops attempted to cover up the crimes.

Kane stopped in Altoona to reveal the results of an extensive statewide grand jury investigation into child sexual abuse associated with the local diocese.

When they were in office, Bishops James Hogan and Joseph Adamec used their influence to get reports from victims or their parents, stymie police investigations and ward off inquiries by powerful court officials, Kane said. Adamec even created a chart outlining potential payments for victims based on the type of sexual abuse, the grand jury found.

The grand jury found it was Adamec’s practice not to call police when dealing with child sexual abuse cases involving priests or others.

Kane said 50 diocesan priests over the last 40 years or more have been identified as committing horrendous acts against hundreds of children.

Investigators reviewed more than 115,000 documents, many of them acquired by search warrants from diocesan “secret archives.”

Canon law requires each diocese to maintain such archives, she explained.

As of that point, Kane said, none of the criminal acts outlined in the grand jury report can be prosecuted.

In some cases, the perpetrators were deceased. In other cases, the victims were so traumatized that they could not testify in court, and in many cases, the statute of limitations, which can run up to 30 years for criminal cases, had expired. The grand jury recommended that the state Legislature do away with the statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Keep reporting the truth, Boston Globe editor tells journalists

PHILIPPINES
Inquirier

By: Jodee A. Agoncillo - Reporter / @jagoncilloINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / January 01, 2017

Boston Globe editor-at-large Walter Robinson gave this advice at a gathering of around 370 foreign journalists at the second the Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC), which the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) stages every two years.

Robinson was the keynote speaker at the conference, held last September 23 to 25 Kathmandu, Nepal, with the theme “Uncovering Asia.”

The GIJN aims to promote the growth of investigative journalism by training and supporting journalists from around 51 countries. The first conference was held in Manila in 2014.

Back in 2001, as Globe assistant managing editor for investigations, Robinson led a Spotlight team in putting out an investigative series on sexual abuses by several Catholic priests. The series had a big impact in countries around the world, including the Philippines, and won for the paper the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, which Robinson himself accepted.

The series was later adapted into an Oscar-winning film titled “Spotlight,” which starred Michael Keaton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM