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February 28, 2017

Public hearing into nature, cause and impact of child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

28 February, 2017

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing commencing Monday 27 March 2017 in Sydney.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

1. The nature of child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts in Australia and how community understanding of abuse has changed over time.

2. The extent of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts historically and in contemporary Australia, and challenges to identification and prevention.

3. The factors that contribute to the risk of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts:

* factors that make all children vulnerable to sexual abuse and heighten the vulnerability of particular groups of children to sexual abuse

* factors that may contribute to people sexually abusing children in institutional contexts

* institution-specific factors that may contribute to child sexual abuse.

4. The impacts of child sexual abuse and institutional responses on survivors, both in childhood and throughout their adult lives, their families and supporters, and the wider community.

5. Any related matters

Any person or institution wishing to seek leave to appear is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by Friday 10 March 2017.

Click here to access the form for applications for leave to appear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

House, Senate child abuse bills both address statute of limitations, differ on retroactivity

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

Two separate bills to extend the statutes of limitation for victims of child sexual abuse have been introduced into the Pennsylvania General Assembly this year.

Both would eliminate all age limits for criminal actions and civil lawsuits against alleged abusers going forward.

However, there is a major difference.

A House of Representatives bill – introduced by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County, and supported by state Rep. Frank Burns from East Taylor Township – includes a two-year window in which past victims could file civil complaints against their alleged abusers. The Senate version does not contain any such retroactivity.

That point of contention led to the issue going unresolved last year when similar bills were debated after the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General issued a report – released one year ago on March 1, 2016 – that accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown of covering up child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

AG's child abuse investigation continues, one year after scathing report on Altoona-Johnstown Diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

For decades, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown allegedly perpetrated a coverup to protect priests accused of sexually assaulting children.

Accusations against a few reported abusers, including Rev. Francis Luddy and Msgr. Francis McCaa, became publicly known during those years. But, for the most part, they were treated as isolated incidents by the community, instead of indications of a systemic problem.

That changed one year ago – on March 1, 2016 – when the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General released a grand jury report, accusing the diocese of sheltering at least 50 priests and other religious leaders, allegedly under the direct supervision of former Bishops Joseph Adamec and James Hogan.

The 147-page document provided information about “secret archives” kept by the diocese, a payout chart for different types of abuse, testimony from at least four priests who admitted to inappropriately touching children, and detailed biographies of the accused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Archdiocese wants to mortgage prized Manhattan real estate to pay off sex abuse victims

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Julia Marsh and Bruce Golding
February 28, 2017

The Archdiocese of New York wants to mortgage a prized piece of property behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral to obtain $100 million to pay off victims of priestly sex abuse who agree not to take their cases to court.

The filing in Manhattan Supreme Court says JP Morgan Chase has agreed to loan the money against the archdiocese’s ownership of land beneath the luxury Lotte Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue between 50th and 51st streets.

Although the court filing doesn’t say why the church needs the dough, a spokesman confirmed it was part of a plan announced by Cardinal Timothy Dolan last year to strike out-of-court settlements with people who were abused by priests and deacons.

“When he introduced the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, the archdiocese planned to take a loan to cover the cost of the compensation. This loan is to do that,” archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Archdiocese moves to mortgage land behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral for $100M loan to pay sex abuse victims

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

STEPHEN REX BROWN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Archdiocese of New York is seeking approval of a $100 million loan by mortgaging land behind St. Patrick's Cathedral that will be used to pay victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The loan, which requires a judge's approval, will use the land, occupied by the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, as collateral.

Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese, confirmed "the loan would be used to cover the settlement costs" of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan announced the program last year meant to compensate victims of abuse of Archdiocese of New York clergy who were barred from bringing claims of sex abuse in court by the state's statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Teenager testifies she didn’t tell grand jury full extent of sex acts with Eugene priest

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
FEB. 28, 2017

The alleged victim in a Eugene priest’s prostitution case told a jury on Tuesday that she was not completely truthful when testifying before a grand jury that returned a 10-count indictment against the priest last October.

The 18-year-old woman — a key prosecution witness — returned to the witness stand during Daniel MacKay’s trial on Tuesday in an attempt to clear up confusion about what she asserts happened between her and the priest.

The teenager testified Friday about a variety of sex acts that she says occurred during arranged meetings with MacKay.

But she acknowledged Tuesday that she had told the Lane County grand jury only about having performed oral sex on the priest, and had neglected to talk about other sex acts.

The alleged victim blamed alcohol and marijuana use, as well as embarrassment, for why she didn’t provide the grand jury with a complete account. She said she was high on drugs during her grand jury testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Priest held for rape

INDIA
Deccan Herald

The police in Kannur on Tuesday recorded the arrest of a Catholic priest in connection with the rape of a minor girl in Kottiyoor in the district.

Questions remained on the reported attempts to cover up the incident and the help that the priest got from some quarters as he attempted to flee the country.

Kelakam Police has registered a case against Robin Vadakkancheril (48) under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Section 376 (rape) of the IPC. The incident came to light after a17-year-old girl delivered a child earlier this month.

Vadakkancheril was vicar at the St Sebastian Church in Kottiyoor, under the diocese of Mananthavady, and manager at a higher secondary school. He has since been removed from the positions.

The class XI student was raped by the vicar in the parish about a year ago. She was 16 at the time of the incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Kerala minor rape: Priest promised cash to dad for taking blame

INDIA
The Indian Express

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:March 1, 2017

The Kerala Catholic priest, who allegedly raped a minor, had tried to foist the paternity of the child born to the victim on her own father, police said Tuesday.

An investigating officer of Kannur police said that in return Father Robin Vadakkancheril had promised to look after the family’s financial requirements in future.

Father Robin, 48, who belonged to the Catholic Diocese of Mananthavady, was caught from Kochi on Monday.

The girl, who earlier this month gave birth to a boy, had initially said her own father was the parent of the newborn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Email addresses of child sexual abuse victims shared with others in Inquiry blunder

UNITED KINGDOM
Yahoo! News

The email addresses of people who registered to a child abuse victims forum have been shared with others in a blunder by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse. On the first day the beleaguered inquiry began hearing public evidence after a series of setbacks, the addresses of those on the Inquiry Victims and Survivors Forum were mistakenly made visible to each other. The inquiry team issued an immediate apology and referred the issue to the Information Commissioner's Office. It came as the inquiry heard about the torture, slavery and rape of children forced to live abroad under the child migrant schemes in the wake of the Second World War.

Many never recover and are permanently afflicted with guilt, shame, diminished self-confidence, low self-esteem and trauma.
One victim of the child migrant scheme, David Hill

The inquiry has been plagued by problems - not least the resignation of three of the chairman and disagreement between some of the key figures in the team. In 2015, a technical blunder caused the accounts of child sex abuse victims to be deleted before even reaching inquiry staff. The latest error saw the email addresses of those who registered for the inquiry's Victims and Survivors Forum made visible to others on the list. Chief Press Officer Debbie Kirby said: "This morning the Inquiry has apologised to a number of email recipients whose email addresses were mistakenly accessible to others on the list. We have asked them to delete the email. "The email was sent to those people who have registered for the Inquiry's Victims and Survivors Forum. We will be self-referring this issue to the Information Commissioner's Office."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Scots child abuse payouts could cost £200m, MSPs told

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The cost of compensation for survivors of childhood abuse in Scotland could total at least £200m, MSPs have heard.

A bill has been tabled which would allow victims to claim compensation beyond the current three-year time bar.

Alistair Gaw of Social Work Scotland told Holyrood's justice committee the cost could be "highly significant".

He cited an inquiry in Jersey, where the average cost of a payout was £40,000, expanding this to a possible 5,000 Scottish victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

UK child migrant so hungry she 'ate grain meant for pigs'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A woman who was sent from England to Australia as a child was molested and left so hungry she ate grain meant for pigs, an inquiry has heard.

Marcelle O'Brien was sent to a home in Pinjarra, western Australia, run by the Fairbridge Society, at the age of four.

The then-Queen, wife of George VI, later intervened to ask whether she could return to the UK to be adopted.

But Fairbridge said it would not be in her "best interests", the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse heard.

Mrs O'Brien said she suffered "mental cruelty" and "sadistic" treatment at the home where she was forced to do "slave labour".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Scots child abuse victim payouts could total £200m

SCOTLAND
STV

Aidan Kerr

Around 5000 files relating to historical child abuse are held by Police Scotland.

Compensation paid to Scottish victims of childhood sexual abuse could total around £200m, MSPs have been told.

The Scottish Government has recently tabled legislation which would expand the time limit on compensation claims, meaning many more victims may come forward.

An independent inquiry into historical sexual abuse in Scotland is currently under way.

Alistair Gaw, of Social Work Scotland, told Holyrood's justice committee the compensation bill could run into millions of pounds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Eyewitness provides harrowing testimony to UK inquiry into sexual abuse in Australian schools

AUSTRALIA/UNITED KINGDOM
news.com.au

Victoria Craw
news.com.au
@Victoria_Craw

AN EYEWITNESS has told of the horror he experienced at growing up in Western Australia where he was abused by older boys and a priest in a boarding school from age seven.

Speaking to the UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the anonymous witness who is now 70 years old, said he was repeatedly raped and molested by older boys and in the church vestry as a child.

“It wasn’t just older boys it was some of the younger ones as well. Because I was small … they seemed to think it was very funny just to pick on the small ones and they did what they wanted to do.”

“Sometimes it wouldn’t just be myself. Sometimes it would be three or four of us. So I mean it wasn’t just me all the time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Facing church truths in Australia

IRELAND
Mayo News

Liamy MacNally

In Australia, the Catholic Church is facing a Royal Commission on child abuse. The public hearing was set up on February 6 to inquire into the current policies and procedures of Catholic Church authorities in Australia in relation to child-protection and child-safety standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.

One participant is Bishop Vincent Long from Sydney, who was questioned by Ms Gail Furness SC, Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald and Ms Jane Needham SC. Responding to a query ‘that clericalism has been described as a factor or playing a role in the abuse of children and the response to that abuse…’ he said:

“I see the clericalism as a by-product of a certain model of Church informed or underpinned or sustained by a certain theology. I mean, it’s no secret that we have been operating, at least under the two previous pontificates, from what I’d describe as a perfect society model where there is a neat, almost divinely inspired, pecking order, and that pecking order is heavily tilted towards the ordained. So you have the pope, the cardinals, the bishops, religious, consecrated men and women, and the laity right at the bottom of the pyramid.”

Bishop Long continued: “I think we need to dismantle that model of Church. If I could use the biblical image of wineskins, it’s old wineskins that are no longer relevant, no longer able to contain the new wine, if you like. I think we really need to examine seriously that kind of model of Church where it promotes the superiority of the ordained and it facilitates that power imbalance between the ordained and the non-ordained, which in turn facilitates that attitude of clericalism, if you like.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Is Francis actually backsliding on punishing abuse?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Feb. 28, 2017

The headline was alarming: "Pope Francis quietly trims sanctions for sex abusers seeking mercy." The reporter, Nicole Winfield of The Associated Press, is one of the most respected in the religion news business. But is it so?

The clergy sex abuse story is the ugliest in the recent history of the Catholic church. Under St. Pope John Paul II, a serial abuser like Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and head of the Legionaries of Christ, was not only unpunished, but he continued to receive support and even adulation at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI began a serious crackdown on clergy sex abuse, one of the real achievements of his pontificate.

Those of us who have studied the sex abuse crisis know how intimately intertwined it is with an unhealthy culture of clericalism. Just last week, the bishops of Australia acknowledged the role clerical culture played in both facilitating the crimes and the cover-up of those crimes. Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta, Australia, himself a victim of sex abuse, was especially withering in his criticism of clerical culture.

So, it is surprising to read that Francis, who is astute generally, and especially so in diagnosing the ills of clericalism, would be backsliding on the "zero tolerance" policy that is the keystone in the church's response to the abuse of children. Again, is it so?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

A Catholic Scandal Molested by a Predatory News Media

UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

POSTED BY FR. GORDON J. MACRAE ON FEBRUARY 22, 2017

I had a recent exchange of messages with Jennifer Haigh, a very accomplished author whose critically acclaimed novel, Faith (Harper, 2011), kept me sleep deprived for a couple of nights. It’s a book, of fiction, but for me, the fiction was painfully familiar. It is the story of Father Art Breen, a Boston priest accused of sexual abuse. Cast under a cloud of abuse of another sort – a vague state of priestly limbo called “administrative leave” – Father Art descends into despair as the Archdiocese “investigates” (aka “settles”) the claim.

Father Art’s skeptical younger sister, Sheila McGann, returns to Boston to launch an investigation of her own while younger brother Mike, a police officer, has “already convicted his brother in his heart.” The Archdiocese simply discards its tainted priest and moves on. The book has some surprises, which I won’t reveal, but no one among my family or friends would read it. “The anger and hurt are still too close,” they said.

Some of their anger is at me for not simply caving in. “If you just took the deal,” they say, “you would have been free twenty years ago.” More of their anger is at the accusers who they know, with a moral certainty, rode their wave of priestly scandal all the way to the bank, aided and abetted by the activists and lawyers who were recently unmasked in “David Clohessy Resigns SNAP in Alleged Lawyer Kickback Scheme.”

There is plenty of righteous anger to go around. . Just after that post was published, a priest-friend said it made him very angry. He has never been the subject of an accusation, but having seen the lives of too many priests destroyed, he has become keenly aware of how David Clohessy and others in SNAP exploited accusations under the guise of “survivor support.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Bischöfe: Wie weit reicht das Beichtgeheimnis?

AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

[How should priests who experience confessions of abuse during confession deal with this information? On this question Australian bishops want to turn to the Vatican.]

Die australischen Bischöfe wollen von Papst Franziskus eine Klarstellung des Beichtsakraments fordern. Wie die US-Zeitschrift "National Catholic Reporter" schreibt, ziehen es fünf australische Erzbischöfe in Betracht, den Vatikan um eine Klärung zu bitten. Sie hatten zuvor an einer Anhörung vor der australischen Missbrauchskommission teilgenommen.

Die Absolution bei Missbrauch verweigern?

Dabei soll es vor allem darum gehen, ob das Beichtgeheimnis nur die tatsächlich gebeichteten Sünden betrifft oder auch sonstige Informationen, die während des Gesprächs bekannt werden. Die Bischöfe wollen außerdem wissen, unter welchen Umständen Priester eine Absolution des gebeichteten Missbrauchs verweigern könnten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Pedofilia del clero, “peccato” o “delitto”?

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Pedophilia of the clergy: "sin" or "murder"?]

Chi violenta un minore non “offende” solo la castità (come dice il catechismo) ma compie un vero e proprio “delitto”.

di David Gabrielli

La questione della pedofilia del clero cattolico rimbalza, da qualche tempo, sulle prime pagine dei giornali, ed è tema di libri di successo. Essa – la violenza sessuale su bambini e adolescenti (seppure per questi si dovrebbe parlare di efebofilia) – non è affatto una “esclusiva” del clero; avviene soprattutto in famiglia, o col “turismo sessuale” in paesi esotici, praticata da gente che svolge le professioni più variegate e, di norma, è coperta da un’insuperabile omertà. Tristissimo fenomeno sul quale di solito si tace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Sesso con minori, parroco condannato a 5 anni: “Invitava studenti per massaggiarli”

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[A priest has been sentenced to five years in prison for abusing minors.]

Sette i ragazzi vittime di Don Massimo Iuculano, 47 anni, direttore dell’Istituto salesiano “Sacro cuore di Gesù” di Vercelli. Li invitava in una sala all’interno della struttura, li depilava e li massaggiava con dell’olio. Seguivano palpeggiamenti e rapporti orali.

di Andrea Giambartolomei

Ha risarcito le vittime e ha ringraziato la procura per essere intervenuta a fermarlo, ma non è bastato. Il gup Luca Del Colle del Tribunale di Torino ha condannato a cinque anni di carcere don Massimo Iuculano, 47 anni, parroco e direttore dell’Istituto salesiano “Sacro cuore di Gesù” di Vercelli, accusato di diversi episodi di violenza sessuale su minori. All’uscita dal palazzo di giustizia il religioso ha preferito non rilasciare dichiarazioni. “Prendiamo atto – ha detto il suo avvocato, Carlo Blengino – e valuteremo se presentare appello”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

«Kinderpornos zu schauen sollte nicht strafbar sein»

GROSSBRITANNIEN
Blick

[Simon Bailey, president of the police association in the UK, describes child porn consumers as "low-risk" and said they should not be imprisoned.]

«Kinderpornos zu schauen sollte nicht strafbar sein», sagt Simon Bailey, Polizeipräsident in Norfolk, zur «DailyMail». Polizisten sollten sich auf Pädophile konzentrieren, die direkten Kontakt zu Kindern haben oder Missbrauch in Auftrag geben, zum Beispiel online.

Bailey will demnach «mindere» Vergehen entkriminalisieren und mit Beratung und Rehabilitation bekämpfen. Ihm sei bewusst, dass er mit dieser Forderung anecke.

Der Grund für seine Forderung: Weil sexueller Missbrauch auch gemeldet werden kann, wenn er Jahre zurück liegt, seien die Polizeisysteme an eine «Sättigungsgrenze» gelangt. Jetzt sei ein Punkt erreicht, das Blatt zu wenden. «Wir müssen nach Alternativen suchen.»

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Police chief calls for paedophiles who view child abuse images to be spared prosecution as officers 'can't cope' with volume of reports

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Patrick Sawer, senior reporter
28 FEBRUARY 2017

A leading police officer has said that paedophiles who view indecent images should not be charged and taken to court unless they pose a physical threat to children.

Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for child protection, said low level offenders should simply be placed on the sex offenders register and given counselling and rehabilitation instead.

He said that would free the police to deal with the core of dangerous paedophiles who are seeking out and exploiting children in order to rape and carry out “the most awful sexual abuse” against them.

Mr Bailey said he acknowledged that many people would be “nervous” about his proposals.

But he said it was time to look at alternatives to prosecution because reports of sexual abuse have reached "saturation point".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Child Migration Programmes case study (public hearing) Day 2 of 9

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

This links to the live stream for today's inquiry hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Look for the full AP report! Pope Francis is showing mercy to a few pedophile priests

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Terry Mattingly

It is, without a doubt, one of the most frustrating, infuriating things that can happen to a reporter.

You write your story. You are extra careful – since it's on an emotional topic full of fact-claims that are in dispute – to make sure that you have included several qualified voices offering competing points of view. You make sure your story is the length assigned by the editors.

You turn the story in. Then, when it comes out (this happens A LOT in ink-on-paper news) you see that the copy desk has – for some reason, often page layout – basically cut the story nearly in half. To make matters worse, the editors didn't thin the story in a way that left the balanced structure intact. They just chopped off the end.

Some of your sources are furious. They accuse you of bias, because the story is so one-sided. They have no way to know that the printed story is not the story that you wrote.

I bring this up because I saw an Associated Press story the other day – with a Vatican dateline – that had me really shaking my head. It had, I thought, all kinds of problems in terms of balance and essential information. It didn't help that this was on a very controversial topic, one cutting against the grain of most reporting about Pope Francis. The lede:

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope's own advisers question.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Catholic Church Works to Protect Abuse Victims

GEORGIA
WSAV

[with video]

By Andrew Davis Published: February 27, 2017

The Catholic Church is stepping up to protect children.

A conference in Savannah this week is covering a wide range of topics including screening applicants who may be a risk for committing sexual abuse.

Unfortunately – events like this come too late for victims like Chris Templeton. He spoke to News 3 last year about being abused by Father Wayland Brown. Assaulted nearly sixty times back in 1987.

“(I remember) Him raping me in the Rectory. These were the flashbacks I was having, of him raping me in my parent’s home,” said Chris Templeton. “He walked in and told my mother i’ll sit with Chris while you get the girls. and he raped me right on my mom and dad’s couch. I can still see the fibers of the couch pressed up in my face. I can still feel it like it was yesterday. I can still see the yellow and brown carpet in my mom and dad’s house.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Enough with the “Penetration Fallacy”

UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

We have a serious problem when people say, “But it wasn’t rape,” or “Sexualizing a child without touching is creepy but not sexual abuse.” Creepy is practically a synonym for sexualizing.

Sex crimes should be seen from the point of view of harm to the victim/survivor, not in terms of the mechanics and body parts. There is what I call a “penetration fallacy” where the halachic and legal criteria of severity ignore the psycho-emotional harm.

Professionals report profound harm including suicides and overdose deaths because of sex abuse that did not involve penetration of any sort. As long as the sexual dimension is apparent enough to make it creepy, it becomes possible for it to seriously harm a child. Not every child. Resilience varies. Some can come out pretty well from horrific things while others are deeply harmed by lesser things.

Even the law recognizes the victim’s perspective by considering victim impact reports and statements in setting sentences. The law bases the amount of civil judgements on the basis of the effects such as subsequent functional impairment, not just the acts. This is correct because some children are more harmed by fondling than others are by penetration.

Jewish law has explicit categories for harm: nezek, tzar, ripui, sheves and boishes. Sex abuse, depending on the particulars can include all five: physical harm, pain, medical healing costs, incapacitation, and shame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Mary Lou McDonald to speak at ‘Flowers for Magdalenes’ in Glasnevin next Sunday

IRELAND
An Phoblacht

John Hedges
An Phoblacht Editor

THE sixth annual “Flowers for Magdalenes” remembrance event takes place next Sunday (5 March) at 2:30pm at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

This special event aims to remember the women and girls who were incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries during that shameful period of our all too recent history.

The poignant ceremony will feature an address from Claire McGettrick of Justice for Magdalenes Research, Mary Lou McDonald TD (pictured below) and Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD.

This will be followed by the laying of flowers on the graves and monuments to the women, many of whom lived and died inside the walls of these institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Catholic archbishop granted second appeal

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

February 28, 2017

Australian Associated Press

Adelaide's Catholic archbishop will be allowed to once again appeal over a decision not to halt criminal proceedings relating to the alleged concealment of child sex assault.

NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Lloyd Babb SC on Tuesday argued another appeal by Archbishop Philip Wilson would have little chance of success.

But Court of Appeal judges Justice Carolyn Simpson and Justice Arthur Emmett granted permission for an appeal to be heard in front of a full panel of judges.

Archbishop Wilson, who is believed to be the world's most senior Catholic charged with such offences, is accused of concealing information relevant to the 1971 sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy by deceased pedophile priest James Fletcher in Maitland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

UK inquiry hears child abuse case in Australia

UNITED KINGDOM/AUSTRALIA
International Business Times

By Frenalyn Untalan on February 28 2017

First-hand accounts of people sent to Australia during the post-war decades will be heard as a step towards an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse. The “largest and most ambitious inquiry in the UK” will reportedly tackle what have really taken place inside the government, schools, hospitals, military and other institutions.

Imran Kahn, who spoke on behalf of former child migrant Oliver Cosgrove, said several children were physical and sexual abused. The scheme to “populate the empire with good, white British stock,” he said, has led to child abuse. Cosgrove has reportedly set foot to Australia in 1941.

“This was a systematic and institutional problem,” Kahn said. Men and women from the UK who were sent to the Land Down Under want to ensure that justice is served.

Based on testimonies at the Australian Royal Commission, schools in Western Australia which were run by the Christian Brothers forced boys to work ad bear beatings. Allegedly, children were also abused sexually and suffered hunger. Christian Brothers in different schools, which include Castledare, Contarf, Tardun and Bindoon in Perth, were named by children as abusers according to news.com.au.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

The Meltdown Continues: SNAP Now Sued by Michigan Priest For Defamation [w/ Court Docs]

MICHIGAN
TheMediaReport

February 27, 2017

A falsely accused priest in Michigan has sued the group SNAP, SNAP's disgraced former director David Clohessy, the Detroit Free Press newspaper, and the Macomb Daily newspaper, claiming that they wrongly charged that he molested a 16-year-old girl in the 1970s.

Rev. Kenneth Kaucheck filed a lawsuit for defamation and libel in Wayne County Circuit Court in Michigan, on January 30, and now TheMediaReport.com is the first to report the news. This is already the second lawsuit that SNAP has faced so far in 2017.

[**Click to read Fr. Kaucheck's lawsuit against SNAP and the press (pdf)**]

Seeking truth and justice

In 2009, after Fr. Kaucheck had served over three decades in ministry with a completely unblemished record, a lone woman came forward to claim that Kaucheck molested her over thirty years earlier, in 1976. Kaucheck has vehemently denied the charges.

According to the lawsuit, Kaucheck was placed on administrative leave after the allegation, but neither a civil, criminal, or canonical hearing has ever been held for Kaucheck to present his case and fight the false claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

What is grooming? How to spot a paedophile before it's too late

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Timna Jacks

It can start with making a child in their care feel "privileged". Then might come the purchase of a toy.

What may seem like an innocent gesture may be the beginning of a plot to prepare a child for sex, according to the child abuse royal commission.

But how do you know? Schools, youth groups, and other organisations caring for children are being asked to be alert to grooming, but how can they step in before it's too late?

The question is even more pertinent in Victoria, with new laws making grooming a criminal offence and the Victorian Government releasing new guidelines teaching children to watch out for grooming.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Jacksboro pastor, 68, accused of raping teen who lived with him

TENNESSEE
WBIR

[with video]

John North , WBIR

A Jacksboro preacher faces multiple sex charges that accuse him of abusing a now 17-year-old girl who lived with him, records show.

Jimmy E. Orick, 68, is accused of aggravated statutory rape, statutory rape by an authority figure, and sexual battery by an authority figure. A Campbell County grand jury returned the eight-count indictment on Thursday, and Orick was arrested the next day.

Orick has a March 6 court date in Campbell County Circuit Court, criminal division. He is free on bond.

The investigation began in December after the girl's mother called authorities, according to records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Crowdfunding Site Helps Kenyan Home for Sexually Exploited Boys

UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. • ChurchMilitant.com • February 25, 2017

NAIROBI (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Kenyan home for abused boys needs help — and a faith-friendly crowdfunding initiative is featuring the the home as its newest featured project.

Founded by the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness (JIFGA) based on a concept developed by its co-director Arthur Goldberg, fundingmorality.com is focusing the spotlight on the Kenyan Youth Center for Sexually Exploited Boys. According to Goldberg, JIFGA 's mission is to educate people and develop projects to implement the universal ethical and moral values promulgated by God to Noah after the biblical Flood.

"Rich male tourists come to Kenya and lure these boys into this lifestyle," Goldberg told Church Militant, "and the boys, many of them extremely poor, see it as a way to make quick money and get out of poverty. However, once they experience this life, they come to realize there are numerous damaging emotional, physical and psychological costs."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Catholic Church defends housing arrangements for investigated former Tumut parish priest Father Brian Hassett

AUSTRALIA
Daily Advertiser

Katie Burgess

28 Feb 2017

A FORMER Tumut Catholic priest who was investigated for inappropriately touching children in the town was housed next to two Canberra primary schools because there was nowhere else to put him, the Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn has revealed.

Father Brian Hassett has been living at Lanigan House in Garran, on the ground of Sts Peter and Paul Primary School, for about two years, Fairfax Media has learnt.

He was moved into the home for retired clergy, which also sits close to the Malkara School, after complaints about inappropriate behaviour towards children were made against him.

The claims related to his 30-year tenure in Tumut.

A spokesman for the church said one complaint related to a boundary violation and one to inappropriate touching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Victim Of Notorious Baltimore Priest Says Police Were In On Sexual Abuse

MARYLAND
CBS Baltimore

February 27, 2017
By Denise Koch

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the 60s and 70s, Father Joseph Maskell, a counselor at Archbishop Keough High School, was accused of molesting dozens of students — mostly women.

A recent WJZ investigation revealed many of those victims confided in 26-year-old Sister Cathy Cesnik just before her shocking murder nearly 50 years ago.

“She confronted him and she lost her life for it,” says Teresa Lancaster.

Harsh accusations were told to WJZ by many of Maskell’s victims. We have spoken with two of those women, and now a third, Lancaster, is coming forward with a new bombshell.

She told WJZ she was abused not only by Father Maskell, but also by police officers.

“Father Maskell picked me up, took me to a wooded area where there was a lot of policemen gathered around, he left me in the backseat and two policemen abused me while Maskell stood next to the car,” she told WJZ’s Denise Koch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Peravoor sexual abuse case: Priest confesses to crime

INDIA
Mathrubhumi

Peravoor (Kannur): Fr. Robin Vadakkumchery (48), who was nabbed on Monday for abusing and impregnating a Plus One student, has confessed to the crime.

The police are considering to register cases against the hospital authorities who concealed the girl's delivery and against those who tried to protect.

Police said that Robin confessed to the crime during the questioning. The priest was taken to St. Sebastian's church to collect evidence.

Police had arrested Robin on Monday from Chalakudy after he went absconding when the incident became public. He was caught while trying to escape to C.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Kerala: Priest who spoke against child sex abuse arrested for allegedly raping 17-year-old girl

INDIA
Scroll

A 48-year-old Catholic priest has been arrested in Kochi for raping a 17-year-old girl in 2016, who gave birth to a child a few weeks ago, ANI reported. Father Robin Vaddakumchiryil, vicar of St Sebastian church in Kottiyoor, allegedly got the baby admitted to a facility in Wayanad. Ironically, the accused was known for speaking publicly against child sex abuse.

“The parents had not filed a complaint. But based on a tip-off received by the child helpline, we carried out an initial probe and found the report to be true. We have filed a case of rape against the priest,” a police officer told NDTV.

Officials said a case has been registered against a private hospital, for conducting the delivery without informing the police, Hindustan Times reported. “The priest also made an attempt to implicate the girl’s father in the case. Since the family is from an economically weaker section, he tried to implicate him and told many about this,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Prajeesh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

February 27, 2017

'Paedophiles shouldn't face criminal charges for looking at child porn': Britain's top child protection cop sparks fury after saying they should only be prosecuted if they're a physical threat to children

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By GEORGE ODLING FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Paedophiles who look at indecent photos of children should not face criminal sanctions unless they pose a physical threat, according to Britain’s most senior child protection officer.

An increase in reporting of sexual abuse - including online and historical cases - has meant the policing system has reached ‘saturation point’, according to chief constable Simon Bailey, national police lead for child protection.

Taking a stance he acknowledged would horrify many, he said lower level offending should be de-criminalised and dealt with through counselling and rehabilitation, The Times reported.

But critics argued the proposals could give paedophiles the green light to offend without fear of prosecution.

‘The police service [is] having to deal with an unprecedented volume of reports of non-recent abuse, ongoing abuse, online abuse, peer to peer abuse,’ he said.

‘The numbers are continuing to rise. We have reached saturation point…the police service has responded to the threat but it has now reached that point whereby we have to try and turn the tide. We have to look at alternatives.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

The stories of child sex abuse and deportation victims are crime records of our time

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Editorial

Well within living memory, the British state, alongside charities and churches, was engaged in the mass abuse of children. In what was virtually a modern system of transportation – but without even the semblance of justice in those older cases of the deportation of convicts – thousands of children were in effect removed unlawfully from the UK to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The final destination of the White Commonwealth dominions added a little racism to the toxic mix, and these children were indeed treated little better than livestock.

This grotesque system of child disposal only dragged to a halt in 1974. It is, then, not some horror tale from the middle ages or the Victorian workhouse. It’s very much in our time.

The children, as we know now, were sent very often without their parents’ knowledge, let alone permission, and against the wishes of the child. They were dispatched because they were “in care” – the ugly irony echoes down the decades – and because they were perhaps too much bother for the authorities to deal with. They were knowingly sent to work and to be mistreated, and, above all, to be forgotten.

Although the public knew little about these crimes – there is no other word for it – there is evidence that the Government knew as early as the mid-1950s about the scale of the abuses, noting in one official report the “indecent haste” with which children were chosen to be sent away. And who was doing the choosing? Without being sensationalist, many were undisputedly paedophiles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

'A living hell' - abuse inquiry hears of thousands of lone children shipped abroad by British government

AUSTRALIA
The Journal (Ireland)

ENGLAND’S MAMMOTH INQUIRY into historical child sex abuse was told of the “torture, rape and slavery” suffered by child migrants shipped to Australia, at its first public hearings today.

The wide-ranging Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse opened by looking at the schemes that sent thousands of vulnerable children to far-flung parts of the Commonwealth in the decades after World War II.

David Hill broke down as he told the inquiry of the “endemic” sexual abuse at the school he was sent to in Australia.

“I hope this inquiry can promote an understanding of the long-term consequences and suffering of those who were sexually abused,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Britain's child migrant programme: why 130,000 children were shipped abroad

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Caroline Davies
Monday 27 February 2017

More than 130,000 children were sent to a “better life” in former colonies, mainly Australia and Canada, from the 1920s to 1970s under the child migrant programme .

The children, aged between three and 14, were almost invariably from deprived backgrounds and already in some form of social or charitable care. It was believed, they would lead happier lives.

Charities such as Barnardo’s and the Fairbridge Society, the Anglican and Catholic churches and local authorities helped with the organisation of the emigration.

Once there, the children were often told they were orphans to better facilitate their fresh start. The parents – many of them single mothers forced to give up their child for adoption because of poverty or social stigma – believed this was giving them best chance in life, though often did not have details of where their offspring were sent to.

The reality, for some of those children, was a childhood of servitude and hard labour at foster homes: on remote farms, at state-run orphanages and church-run institutions. They were often separated from siblings. Some were subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Research paper examining grooming released

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

28 February, 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a new research paper, Grooming and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts, which provides an overview of key conceptual issues in understanding grooming and discusses what is known about grooming, particularly as it relates to institutional child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission CEO, Philip Reed, said the research shows that grooming can involve a range of behaviours that target not only children but also others involved in gaining access to the child’s life including parents and caregivers and staff in institutional settings.

“What makes grooming harmful is that the perpetrator’s motivation is to facilitate or conceal child sexual abuse,” he said.

The research describes grooming as an often incremental process that can involve three main stages – from gaining access to the victim, initiating and maintaining the abuse and concealing the abuse.

The report notes that grooming does not inevitably lead to sexual abuse, and child sexual abuse can also commence in the absence of grooming.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – FEBRUARY 27, 2017

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

A Jesuit priest, Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, stationed at Boston College High School from approximately 1951-1967, repeatedly sexually abused a minor child, Ronald Edward Casey, from approximately 1956 through 1957 when Ronald Edward Casey was approximately 11 to 13 years of age

Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, held himself out as a Boy Scout chaplain and took Ronald Edward Casey on Boy Scout trips to Camp Loon Pond in Lakeville, MA, where Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, repeatedly sexually abused minor child Ronald Edward Casey from approximately 1956 through 1957

The Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province, which includes Boston College High School., continue to re-victimize childhood sexual abuse victim Ronald Edward Casey by not reasonably and fairly settling the claim of sexual abuse of a minor child against Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ

What
A press conference announcing that the Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province refuse to reasonably and fairly settle the sexual abuse claim of Ronald Edward Casey who is 72 years of age and continues to suffer from the effects of sexual abuse by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, from approximately 1956 through 1957

When
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of Boston College High School, 150 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125

Who
Ronald Edward Casey, sexual abuse victim of Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, assigned to Boston College High School during the period 1956 through 1957; and, Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Why
Ronald Edward Casey was born in 1944 and grew up in a large family in South Boston, MA. His older brother, Bill Casey, was being counseled by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, who was assigned to Boston College High School and endeared himself to the Casey family which he visited frequently. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, told Ronald Edward Casey when Ronald Edward Casey was approximately 11 years old that he (Fr. Leo Pollard) was a Boy Scout chaplain. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, took Ronald Edward Casey on a Boy Scout trip to Camp Loon Pond in Lakeville, MA, where he was forced to sleep in the same cabin as Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, took Ronald Edward Casey on at least six more Boy Scout trips from approximately 1956 through 1957 when Ronald Edward Casey was approximately 11-13 years of age. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, sexually abused Ronald Edward Casey on each of the Boy Scout trips. Ronald Edward Casey and his advocate will demand of the Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province that they do the right thing by reasonably and fairly settling his claim of 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 6:31 PM

NZ and other former colonies in spotlight at British inquiry into historic child sex abuse

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

Britain's inquiry into historical child sex abuse, dogged by problems since it was launched three years ago and leading to the resignation of three chairmen, has finally begun holding its first public hearings.

On Monday, the inquiry began hearing evidence about those who suffered sexual abuse resulting from British child migration programmes in which thousands of youngsters, many in state care, were sent out to former colonies such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe.

The multi-million pound inquiry has been riven by setbacks since it began in the aftermath of 2012 revelations that the late former BBC TV presenter Jimmy Savile was one of Britain's most prolific sex abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Moravian President Explains Why Synod Was Postponed

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The scandal-hit Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands has postponed its biennial Synod that was scheduled for April.

The acting president of the Moravian church Reverend Phyllis Smith Seymour has conceded that the recent incidents involving allegations of sex crimes involving three senior ministers were part of the reasons.

However, according to Reverend Smith Seymour, the church also became distracted and would not be able to adequately prepare all the necessary reports, for example, ahead of the synod, the highest decision-making body of the Moravian Church in Jamaica.

As a result, she says the one-week meeting has now been pushed back to July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Sacerdote pederasta en Oaxaca es sentenciado a 16 años de prisión

MEXICO
Excelsior

CIUDAD DE OAXACA.

El sacerdote Gerardo Silvestre Hernández recibió una sentencia de 16 años y seis meses de prisión, por el delito de corrupción de menores en su modalidad de inducción a actos sexuales y exposición de filmes pornográficos, tras quedar comprobado que abusó de varios menores entre 2009 y 2010.

El magistrado presidente del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Oaxaca, Alfredo Lagunas Rivera, confirmó la sentencia de Silvestre Hernándes, quien desde el 2013 está en prisión para enfrentar el proceso ante la justicia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Mexican priest, first convicted of sexual abuse, gets 16 years in prison

MEXICO
Catholic Philly

By Catholic News Service • Posted February 27, 2017

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — A priest in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca has been sentenced to 16 years and 6 months in prison for sexual abuse, marking the first ever conviction of a Catholic clergyman for such a crimes in the country.

Father Gerardo Silvestre Hernandez, a priest in the Archdiocese of Antequera Oaxaca, was convicted in January of corrupting minors while serving as a priest in a remote indigenous village of Oaxaca. His sentence was made public Feb. 24, Mexican media reported.

Father Silvestre was found guilty of plying his victims with alcohol, showing them pornographic films and then sexually abusing them.

The crimes took place in 2009 and 2010, according to court documents, Mexican media reported, although other accusations were reported earlier. A coalition of nongovernmental groups known as the Oaxaca Childhood Forum alleged there have been other victims, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

Former child migrants sent to Australia to testify at UK Inquiry into sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Victoria Craw
news.com.au
@Victoria_Craw

THEY were told they were going to a place filled with sheep, where they could ride horses, pick fruit from the trees and have picnics all day long.

Instead they faced decades of sexual abuse at the hands of the men caring for them, were beaten, forced to work like slaves and rummage in pig bins for food.

Now the first-hand accounts of men and women sent to Australia as children will be heard as part of an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Beginning in London this week, a panel will hear from some of the estimated 10,000 children sent to Australia in the post-war decades as a cheap way of populating the country and solving the problem of how to care for young British orphans.

The Australian story is just part of a much bigger picture that saw an estimated 150,000 children sent overseas to mainly Commonwealth countries over a 350-year period. In a world without air travel and internet, many of them never saw home again. ...

In 2014, Clifford Walsh, now 72, told how he was assaulted from the second day he arrived including being punched, beaten and sexually abused. Christian Brothers in four separate schools including Castledare, Contarf, Tardun and Bindoon in Perth were named by children as abusers.

He also recently told the BBC the UK government had sent young children to a “living hell” that put them in the care of paedophiles, 100 kilometres from the closest town.

“I was not good looking and I was badly sexually abused,” he said. “How badly were the ones that were better than me?”

“They sent us to a place that was a living hell ... These paedophiles must have thought they were in hog heaven.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Teen girl raped by priest delivers baby

INDIA
New Indian Express

KANNUR: Police have registered a case against a priest for sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl, who delivered a baby in a private hospital at Kottiyoor in Kannur, on Monday.

According to police, the girl, studying in eleventh standard in a school at Kottiyoor, is a resident of Neendunooki in Kottiyoor. The girl delivered a baby in a private hospital on Sunday.

Following the information received by Child Line, who later informed the police, during initial inquiry said that she was raped by her father.

However, when her father was taken into custody and questioned for the crime, he alleged that Vadakkancheril Mathew (Robin), a priest at the Kottiyoor St Sebastian Church, committed the crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Diocese Of New Ulm Priest Investigation Continues

MINNESOTA
KEYC

By Brittany Kemmerer

NEW ULM, Minn. -
The investigation surrounding the Diocese of New Ulm priest placed on leave in response to allegations of inappropriate conduct is still ongoing.

The investigation involves Father Sam Wagner, who was assigned to the Cathedral parish in New Ulm from June 2014 to June 2016.

New Ulm Police Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee says they have received search warrants for digital evidence that the judge reviewed and signed.

Hohensee interviewed five priests last week and will now be conducting interviews with a few juveniles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Kerala Catholic Priest, Accused Of Raping 17-Year-Old, Arrested

INDIA
NDTV

by Sneha Mary Koshy | Updated: February 28, 2017

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A catholic priest in his late 40s has been arrested by the police in Kerala on charges of raping a 17-year-old girl last year. Father Robin Vadakkancherry was taken into custody after the girl delivered a baby in Kannur last week.

"The parents had not filed any complaint but based on a tip off received by the child helpline, we carried out an initial probe and found the report to be true. We have filed a case of rape against the priest. He was absconding but now has been taken into custody," a police officer said.

According to the police, the girl was raped in May 2016. The police carried out an initial probe over the weekend, based on the tip off.

The newborn has been taken to a special home in Kannur based on the court orders, while the girl, a class 11 student, is with her parents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Priest charged after allegedly raping man

MICHIGAN
NBC 25

ROGERS CITY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU)-- A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct has been charged.

Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka was charged Tuesday with first degree criminal sexual misconduct using force causing personal injury and third degree sexual misconduct using force. If convicted, Obwaka faces up to life in prison.

The incident allegedly happened Feb. 1 while a 28-year-old man was staying at Obwaka's house in Rogers City.

According to the Michigan State Police, the 28-year-old man alleges that Obwaka sexually assaulted him while he was sleeping.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Baldock priest admits to destroying hard drive which allegedly contained child abuse images

UNITED KINGDOM
Hertfordshire Mercury

Baldock church computer hard drive allegedly containing indecent images of children was destroyed by the priest, a Diocese of St Albans safeguarding report has confirmed.

The report states that Reverend Andrew Holford, rector of St Mary's Church, admitted to disposing of the computer's hard drive at the request of the church administrator in 2010.

Mr Holford said: "I now accept that destroying the hard disk was unwise and made a difficult situation worse.

"I am sorry for that and pledge that safeguarding policies will be given proper priority in St Mary's."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Child abuse survivor urges inquiry to 'name the villains'

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville
Monday 27 February 2017

The national child abuse inquiry has been urged at the opening of its public evidence sessions to name and shame the perpetrators of the sexual abuse of tens of thousands of British children forcibly deported to Australia by the UK government and leading churches and charities.

David Hill, one of more than 4,000 children who were sent to Australia and other Commonwealth nations from 1947 to the 1970s, waived his anonymity at the opening of the independent inquiry on Monday to make an emotional call for justice for victims.

Hill is one of 22 men and women who will give evidence either in person or in written testimony about the sexual and physical abuse they experienced when they were sent to Australia as part of the child migrant programme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Child Migration Programmes case study (public hearing) Day 1 of 9

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

This links to the live stream of today's hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

National child abuse inquiry to hold first public hearings after controversy

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville
Monday 27 February 2017

The national child abuse inquiry is to hold its first public evidence session after months of delays and controversy over the way it operates.

Its chair, Alexis Jay, will open the sessions on Monday to investigate the abuse of child migrants who were shipped to Australia and Canada by the British government between 1920 and the 1970s.

The children were part of a programme that saw up to 150,000 youngsters, aged three and over, taken from their families. A parliamentary report in 1998 on the abuse suffered by some of the children in Australia described it as widespread, systematic and exceptionally depraved.

About 2,000 former child migrants are still alive and several are giving evidence at the hearings. David Hill, who has waived his anonymity to give evidence at the London inquiry, said in his submission he was sent to Fairbridge Farm in Molong, New South Wales in 1959 with his two brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry public hearings under way

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Former child migrants are to give "very emotional accounts" about the physical and sexual abuse they faced, the first public hearing in the independent inquiry into historical child abuse in England and Wales has been told.

Thousands of British children were sent to Australia and other parts of the British Empire up to 1974.

Inquiry counsel Henrietta Hill QC, said thousands faced "decades of pain".

Its chairwoman praised the "courage" of those who will give evidence.

The first phase of the inquiry is looking at the way organisations have protected children outside the UK.

It will eventually investigate claims against councils, religious organisations, the armed forces and public and private institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Three years on, Britain's child sex abuse inquiry starts hearings

UNITED KINGDOM
Reuters

Britain's inquiry into historical child sex abuse, dogged by problems since it was launched three years ago and leading to the resignation of three chairmen, finally began holding its first public hearings on Monday.

The inquiry, one of its largest and most expensive ever undertaken, was set up in July 2014 by now-Prime Minister Theresa May in her former role as interior minister after a series of shocking abuse scandals dating back decades, some involving celebrities and politicians.

It is expected to take some five years to complete.

In a number of cases, victims said institutions had actively covered up cases at the behest of powerful establishment figures including senior lawmakers, spies and police officers.

"This is an important day for the work of the inquiry," chairman Alexis Jay said. "Today marks ... the opening of the first public hearing in which the inquiry will hear live and read evidence from complainants."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry hearings get underway

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Waleshas begun its first hearing, two and a half years after it first began.

The inquiry has been dogged by controversy since being set up in 2014 and is now on its fourth chairwoman and has cost £23.6 million to date.

The IICSA was set up after the death of Jimmy Savile in 2011 when hundreds of people came forward to say he had abused them as children.

The spotlight then fell on sexual assaults carried out in schools, children's homes and at NHS sites, as well as on claims of past failures by police and prosecutors to properly investigate allegations.

The first hearing will begin with the child migration programme, which were large-scale schemes in which 130,000 children from poor families or in the care system were sent to parts of the British Empire between 1920 and 1974, by religious institutions and charities with the aim of giving them better lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Request for Literature: Characteristics and vulnerabilities of victims of online-facilitated child sexual abuse and exploitation

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Inquiry has commissioned the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University to provide us with a review of the most up to date research on the characteristics and vulnerabilities of victims of online-facilitated child sexual abuse (CSA). The findings will help pinpoint areas where further research is needed and help inform IICSA's investigations. They may also inform recommendations for policy and practice. IICSA and Lancaster University are asking organisations to let us know about any unpublished literature or ongoing research in this area. Full details of the request can be found in the library on our website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Public hearing in the Child Migration Programmes Case Study

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

[live stream]

On Monday 27 February, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse begins its first public hearings. These relate to sexual abuse in the British child migration programmes and the institutional failings of organisations based in England and Wales.

The child migration programmes are a case study which is part of the Inquiry’s Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom investigation.

The child migration programmes were large-scale schemes in which thousands of children, many of them in the care of the state, were systematically and permanently migrated to parts of the British Empire by various institutions in England and Wales, with the knowledge and approval of the British Government. Most were sent to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and what was then Southern Rhodesia, modern-day Zimbabwe. In 2010, the UK Government issued an apology for its role in the child migration programmes.

The Inquiry will hear from a number of former child migrants who have alleged that they suffered sexual abuse in relation to their migration in a range of institutions and contexts. The Inquiry will also hear evidence from expert witnesses about the history and context of the child migration programmes and from the Child Migrants Trust, which supports former child migrants. A further public hearing is scheduled for July when the Inquiry will hear evidence on behalf of institutions and others involved in the child migration programmes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

UK’s child sex abuse inquiry finally opens as children sent to the colonies begin testimony almost three years after the probe was launched

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Martin Robinson, UK Chief Reporter For Mailonline

The controversial public inquiry into child sexual abuse will start today and hear harrowing accounts from victims sent to the colonies after the Second World War.

The £20million Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has been plagued with delays and is already on its fourth chairwoman since it was set up by Theresa May in 2014.

The inquiry will draw together a staggering 13 different probes, including investigations into alleged abuse at Westminster, in children's homes, within the Anglican and Catholic churches and by alleged abusers such as Lord Greville Janner.

Today it begins by considering the physical and sexual abuse suffered by hundreds of children sent abroad after the war - some were falsely told that their parents had died.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Newcastle Anglican Diocese business manager John Cleary has resigned

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
27 Feb 2017

ONE of the heroes of Newcastle Anglican diocese’s shocking history of responding to child sexual abuse in the Hunter has resigned after alleging he had been “punished by the church for being a whistleblower”.

Diocese business manager John Cleary’s resignation was announced in a statement released by Acting Bishop Peter Stuart on Monday.

“John Cleary has resigned from the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle by mutual agreement following a very demanding time for him and his family,” Bishop Stuart said.

“John has been dedicated and diligent in uncovering child sexual abuse in the diocese and in providing crucial support to survivors. John has spent over four years assisting the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.That has been extremely taxing on him and his family.”

Mr Cleary was singled out for praise by abuse survivors at the Newcastle Anglican Church hearing. A final report is expected in the near future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Bishop Vincent’s evidence at the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

Transcript of Bishop Vincent Long's testimony at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The following is a transcript of Bishop Vincent Long’s testimony at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday 21 February. Participating in the interview are Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission Ms Gail Furness, Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald and TJHC Counsel Ms Jane Needham.

BISHOP LONG: My name is Vincent Long Van Nguyen.

MS FURNESS: You’re the Bishop of the Diocese of Parramatta?

BISHOP LONG: Yes, that’s correct.

MS FURNESS: What did you do before your appointment in Parramatta?

BISHOP LONG: I was an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne for nearly five years, from June 2011 till my appointment to Parramatta, which was in June last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Shining the light on church abuse

AUSTRALIA
Eternity

JOHN SANDEMAN | FEBRUARY 27TH, 2017

Joanne McCarthy is the brave journalist who spearheaded the Newcastle Herald’s “Shine the light” campaign which, arguably, brought about the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Abuse, and an earlier NSW special enquiry. She interviewed about 200 victims of sexual abuse, many of them scarred by alcohol, drugs and depression. She uncovered no less than 12 suicides or drug overdoses among former students of a priest called John Denham. McCarthy is the current holder of Australia’s highest journalism award, the
Gold Walkley.

“My first involvement was in June, 2006. A man rang me, out of the blue,” McCarthy tells Eternity. “I had been raised in a Catholic family and my parents still went to church.

“He was a victim of a Catholic priest called John Denham. He contacted me. For a lot of male victims, I was a mother figure, that woman who writes about her sons and the cars breaking down and that sort of stuff.”

The man on the phone asked McCarthy why no media had reported on the fact that John Denham had been convicted five years earlier.

He told her that Denham was working in Sydney for a Catholic organisation, located close to a school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Lawsuit: priest demanded sexual favors for Boy Scout badges

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post Feb 27, 2017

A Virginia resident who lived on Guam in the 1970’s alleges he was sexually molested and abused by a former priest and Boy Scout Master on Guam in order to attain Boy Scout badges.

Morgan Wade Paul, 53, is the latest victim to come forward and file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana and retired priest Louis Brouillard in the District Court of Guam.

The lawsuit states that Paul became an altar boy in 1974 when he was 11 years old at Mongmong Parish of Nuestra Senor De Las Aguas. Paul alleges that he was required by the Agana Archdiocese to join and also become a member of the Boy Scouts Mongmong troop.

A year later, Paul met Father Louis Brouillard, the Boy Scout Troop Master and parish priest at the Mongong church. Paul was proud to be an altar boy and a Boy Scout and motivated to earn his swimming and lifesaving merit badges, the lawsuit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Vatican’s Shame: Pope Francis Pardons Paedophile Priests, Again

INDIA
Swarajya

“ The Gospel message of mercy is ultimately a source of powerful healing and of grace,” said the Church as it granted mercy to a handful of paedophile priests last week reducing their sanctions. Pope Francis reduced sanctions against priests charged with abusing children, on the grounds of mercy and granted clemency, rubbing many survivors of abuse and his own advisors the wrong way.

This despite the Church’s benevolence backfiring last year with the Italian courts convicting an Italian priest Rev. Mauro Inzoli. Inzoli, despite being found guilty of sexual crimes against children by the Vatican in 2012, had appealed for and been granted mercy by Pope Francis in 2014, on the grounds that ‘No misery is so profound, no sin so terrible that mercy cannot be applied”. The Church has now ordered a second trial, citing emergence of fresh evidence against him, while the Italian courts sentenced him to four years, nine months in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

New lawsuit claims priest sexually abused boy for Scouts merit badge

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Feb. 27, 2017

A former altar boy said a priest gave him his Boy Scouts of America swimming merit badge only after the priest subjected him to repeated sexual abuse in the 1970s, bringing to 23 the total number of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed on Guam, as of Monday.

Morgan Wade Paul, now 53 and living in Virginia, said former island priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused him as an 11- or 12-year-old boy scout and altar boy at the Mongmong Parish of Nuestra Senora De Las Aguas in or about 1975.

Paul, through attorney David Lujan, filed a lawsuit against Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana and up to 50 other unnamed entities who may have helped, abetted, concealed or covered up the priest abuse.

The archdiocese now faces a minimum $115 million in damages in connection with the lawsuits, which could double in the weeks ahead as attorneys for other survivors confirmed they will be filing similar cases.

As an altar boy around 1975, Paul said he also was required to join the Boy Scouts. Brouillard was a scoutmaster in the Guam chapter of the Boy Scouts at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

23rd lawsuit filed against Catholic church for claims of sex abuse

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

The Archdiocese of Agana is now facing $115 million from 23 different sex abuse lawsuits filed against them.

Guam - Yet another sex abuse lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic church and once again former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard is named as the perpetrator.

The latest accuser is former resident 53-year-old Morgan Wade Paul, who served as an altar boy in the 1970s. Paul says the sexual abuse happened when he was around 10 to 11 years old and while he was a part of the Boy Scouts. In addition to a priest, Brouillard was also the Scout Master for the Boy Scouts on Guam.

Paul says the abuse happened when he was trying to earn his swimming merit badge. Brouillard would force Paul to strip naked, tread water and then molest him in the water, the complaint states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

POPE QUIETLY TRIMS SANCTIONS FOR SEX ABUSERS SEEKING MERCY, VICTIMS RESPOND

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Sunday, February 26, 2017

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, California, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 jcasteix@gmail.com

Once again, church officials have put the needs and feelings of predators over public safety and the needs of children who are the victims of sex crimes.

[Associated Press]

Pope Francis must remember that there is a difference between crime and sin. Child sex abuse is a crime for which the offender must be held accountable. While Francis may feel sorry for a predator, the only person with the right to forgive an abuser is the victim. And even then, the offender must be held accountable for his actions so that he may not go on to hurt others.

The Pope has created window dressing tribunals and commissions, but as far as we know he has yet to take actions that will actually protect children. This latest move is just another indication that it’s just “business as usual” inside the Vatican. We fear that children will continue to needlessly be placed at risk.

The place for mercy is with victims and children, not offending clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:20 AM

February 26, 2017

Archbishop's QC friend 'allowed to commit abuse after evangelicals failed to report him'

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Patrick Foster
26 FEBRUARY 2017

A barrister at the centre of a child abuse scandal committed a series of sickening assaults against young men after leading evangelical groups failed to report him to the police, it is claimed.

John Smyth QC, a friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is accused of carrying out sadomasochistic attacks on boys he met at Christian camps in Britain and Zimbabwe.

The assaults first came to light in 1982, when a victim attempted suicide after being summoned to a beating in the shed of Mr Smyth’s Winchester home.

But both the Iwerne Trust, the Christian group that Mr Smyth chaired, and Winchester College, the school attended by some of his alleged victims, did not report the claims to police.

The part-time judge then moved to Zimbabwe, where he founded a series of summer camps at which it is alleged he again abused young men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

The Fessler Case - Episode 1 - Watchtower: In Focus

UNITED STATES
YouTube

John Cedars

Published on Feb 26, 2017

In the first episode of a new series aimed at shining a spotlight on Watchtower-related news, I discuss the Stephanie Fessler lawsuit in Pennsylvania in which Watchtower's legal team was forced to reach a settlement after only four days of testimony. Joining me is Covert Fade, JWsurvey's editor, together with John Redwood, who was present for all four days of the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

What I Learned From a Convicted Sex Offender

UNITED STATES
Times of Israel

Guila Benchimol

In light of ex-Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’s remarks suggesting that mature 13-year-old boys and adult men can have consensual relationships, I want to share what I recently learned at the Global Summit on Child Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community convened by Kol V’Oz. Listening to the male sex offender who was convicted of sexually abusing young boys in his Jewish community gave me pause about the areas we may have neglected to consider in our quest to prevent and address abuse when it arises in our institutions.

— He began by explaining that he was completely clueless as to the damage he had inflicted on his victim. Most people have no idea how victimization affects a person’s life, both in the short and long term. Sexual abuse exacts real life, long-lasting, physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological tolls. Because young perpetrators find this difficult to grasp, he stressed the need to make the impact of the abuse explicit to perpetrators, even if many years have passed since the abuse. Interestingly, Professor. Marci Hamilton suggested that survivors’ stories are not the primary way to reach legislators at this point in history when so many stories have been told in the press. Instead, child sexual abuse must be framed as a quantifiable public health issue to make them pay attention. How, then, should we frame sexual violence in the Jewish community so that people care enough to create systemic and lasting change?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Müller: Missbrauch nicht systematisch vertuscht

ROM
Katholisch

[Müller: Abuse not systematically covered up. Has the Church systematically hijacked abuses in its own ranks? Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller vehemently rejects such assumptions.]

Hat die Kirche Missbrauchsfälle in den eigenen Reihen systematisch vertuscht? Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller widerspricht solchen Vermutungen vehement. "Die Kirche verdeckt auf jeden Fall nichts", so Müller.

Missbrauch | Rom - 26.02.2017

Aus Sicht von Kurienkardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller gibt es in der katholischen Kirche keine systematische Vertuschung von Missbrauchsfällen. "Die Kirche verdeckt auf jeden Fall nichts", sagte er im Interview der italienischen Tageszeitung "La Repubblica" (Sonntag). Es könne in einigen Fällen aus Ahnungslosigkeit geschehen sein, "aber nicht systematisch", so der Präfekt der vatikanischen Glaubenskongregation. "Die Kirche arbeitet, im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen Institutionen, wirklich für Null-Toleranz."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Judge adds a year to former chief rabbi's sentence

ISRAEL
YNet News

Liran Levi|Published: 23.02.17

Former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger was told Thursday afternoon by the courts that his prison sentence of three-and-a-half years would be increased by one year, despite a plea bargain signed in January over a string of corruption offences including bribery, fraud and breach of trust during his tenure as chief rabbi.

In January, the rabbi signed a plea agreement with the Jerusalem district attorney, stipulating that he would serve 3.5 years in jail after pleading guilty to the charges of bribery and fraud. Metzger was also fined NIS 5 million by the court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

‘Holy-crazy’ priest who dumped body parts in Hudson is only chaplain to get the chair in U.S.

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY DAVID J. KRAJICEK
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, February 25, 2017

On Sept. 5, 1913, neatly bound bundles of body parts sawn with surgical precision began washing up on the New Jersey shore of the Hudson River.

Over several days, authorities pieced together six fragments — minus the head, which never surfaced — into a single human being, a formerly robust young woman.

The slightest clue enabled adroit cops to connect a name to the victim, raising the curtain on a scandalous crime story that stands apart even in New York’s illustrious record of you’ve-got-to-be-kidding murders.

The tipoff was a maker’s label on a pillowcase used to package the upper torso. The tag led police to Robinson-Roders, a Newark bedding firm, where sales books pointed detectives to a store on Eighth Ave. in Harlem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Report: Pope Francis Refuses To Punish Pedophile Priests

UNITED STATES
Progressive Secular Humanist

February 25, 2017 by Michael Stone

A new report reveals Pope Francis is quietly making the Catholic church a safe space for pedophile priests.

The Associated Press reports that Pope Francis is reducing sanctions against pedophile priests, and even refusing to defrock priests found guilty of sexually abusing children, all in the name of mercy.

In one particularly egregious case, Francis let off one notorious pedophile priest, Rev. Mauro Inzoli, with just a lifetime of prayer for abusing five young boys.

The Associated Press reports about the Pope’s leniency towards pedophile priests:

One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the pope’s clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him, The Associated Press has learned.

The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP. Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry.

The report notes that by refusing to punish pedophile priests Francis is going against the recommendations of his advisers in an attempt to show “mercy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Pope Francis reversed decisions to kick paedophiles out of the priesthood

VATICAN CITY
Metro (UK)

Charles White
Sunday 26 Feb 2017

Pope Francis has reduced punishments for paedophile priests who abused children as young as 12.

The leader of the world’s biggest faith wants to apply his vision of a ‘merciful’ church and has changed the punishments for a handful of priests.

Italian priest Mauro Inzoli had been sentenced to be ‘defrocked’ (removed from the priesthood) in 2012, but Pope Francis reversed the decision in, telling him instead to stop public ministry and do penance and pray for the rest of his life.

The Inzoli case is said to be one of several similar cases when harsher sentences had been recommended by the Pope’s own advisory council on this issue, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Rouen : mise en examen d'un prêtre de 73 ans soupçonné de viol sur mineur

FRANCE
La Parisien

[Rouen: indictment of a 73-year-old priest suspected of rape of a minor.]

L'homme d'église est poursuivi pour viols et agressions sexuelles.

Un prêtre de 73 ans du diocèse de Rouen a été mis en examen pour des actes de pédophilie, indique France 3 Normandie. Plus tôt dans la journée, on avait appris son arrestation auprès du parquet et de l'archevêché, après que M6 a révélé son placement en garde à vue.
Il est poursuivi pour viols et tentatives de viol aggravés sur mineur de 15 ans par personne ayant autorité, délits d'agressions sexuelles sur mineur de 15 ans par personne ayant autorité et délits d'agressions sexuelles par personne ayant autorité.

Deux jeunes hommes ont dénoncé ces actes, indique le parquet. Selon M6, l'un des deux jeunes hommes est âgé de 21 ans. Ce dernier, qui fréquentait la même paroisse que l'homme d'église, l'accuse d’avoir abusé de lui lors des dix dernières années.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Le cardinal Lacroix aurait fermé les yeux sur un cas d'agression sexuelle alléguée (VIDÉO)

CANADA
Huffington Post

[Cardinal Lacroix is reported to have turned a blind eye to a case of alleged sexual assault.]

Un homme de Québec poursuit l'Institut Séculier Pie X pour des séquelles permanentes en lien avec des agressions sexuelles qui seraient survenues dans les locaux de la mission apostolique au sein de laquelle a oeuvré le cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix.

Un texte de Marie Maude Pontbriand

André Lachance réclame 370 000 $ à l'Institut Séculier Pie X, situé à Charlesbourg. Il aurait été agressé entre l'âge de 3 et 16 ans par son oncle et membre de l'Institut, Jean-Paul Lachance. Ce dernier s'est enlevé la vie en 2014.

Les sévices sexuels auraient commencé en 1971 et se seraient produits dans différents lieux comme la résidence de la victime alléguée ou encore les locaux de l'Institut Séculier Pie X.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

«Avete ucciso mia figlia, aspetto ancora le vostre scuse»

AUSTRALIA
Vanity Fair

di Monica Coviello

[Stephanie committed suicide. The head priest of the parish youth group that she attended was abusing her. Since then her mother Eileen tries to get justice and an official apology from the church.]

Eileen Piper, australiana, non è ancora riuscita a superare il trauma: continua a raccontare la tragica storia di sua figlia Stephanie, e non si dà pace. Era la fine degli Anni Settanta e da allora quella mamma, che adesso ha 92 anni, non è più riuscita a dormire una notte intera. Quello che sta aspettando sono le scuse, ufficiali, da parte della chiesa. «Ho il cuore a pezzi – spiega a www.abc.net -. Devono aiutarmi a superare questa situazione, devono chiedermi scusa».

Quando Stephanie era un’adolescente è entrata a fare parte di un gruppo di giovani legato alla chiesa e coordinato da un sacerdote, Gerard Mulvale. Quel prete approfittò delle paure della ragazza per ricattarla e abusare di lei. Stephanie l’ha raccontato a sua madre solo tanti anni dopo: «Le diceva che, siccome era stata adottata, era nata nel peccato e doveva pagare per questo». Mulvale approfittava dell’ingenuità della ragazza per violentarla e assicurarsi il suo silenzio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Papst kürzt Strafen für pädophile Priester

VATIKAN
Huffington Post

Oliver Lippert Fan werden
Kritiker, freier Autor

[The pope has cut the penalties for pedophile priests- including one who has received a sentence of lifelong prayer for the abuse of five boys.]

Der Papst hat die Strafen für pädophile Priester gekürzt - inklusive einem, der eine Strafe in Höhe von lebenslangen Beten bekommen hat. Für den Missbrauch an fünf Jungen.

Papst Francis sagte, um seiner Vision einer „barmherzigen Kirche" nachzukommen, hat er die Strafe für Rev Mauro Inzoli von einer Amtsenthebung auf lebenslanges Beten geändert. Aber der Sprecher des Vatikans sagte, das Priester, die Missbrauch verübt haben, auch aus dem Ministerium entfernt werden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

The Mental Health Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on Males

UNITED STATES
Ground Report

David Trounce Feb 25, 2017

Many reasons have been put forward in an effort to explain a large amount of under-reporting or even undetected incidents of sexual abuse against boys.

Doctoral research conducted by Scott D. Easton hospitalized, ACSW, LMSW Boston College Graduate School of Social Work in March, 2012 demonstrated that the average reporting time was around 20 years.

In those intervening years many adult males report lengthy periods of depression, anxiety, and fear.

There are a number of reasons for the delay in reporting. Those reasons include fear of not being believed or being considered homosexual for having experienced the abuse.

But the differences do to not stop there. There has been significant research in the last 15 to 20 years on the differences between males and females who experience childhood sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

The child abuse scandal of the British children sent abroad

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

For several decades, the UK sent children across the world to new lives in institutions where many were abused and used as forced labour. It's a scandal that is still having repercussions now.

Imagine the 1950s, in the years before air travel became commonplace or the internet dominated our lives. Imagine being a child of those times, barely aware of life even in the next town. An orphan perhaps, living in an British children's home.

Now imagine being told that shortly you would board a ship for somewhere called Australia, to begin a new life in a sunlit wonderland. For good. No choice.

It happened to thousands of British children in the decades immediately following World War Two, and they had little understanding of how it would shape their lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Gough Whitlam and how Australia facilitated a child sexual abuse crisis

AUSTRALIA
Blue Mountains Gazette

Joanne McCarthy
26 Feb 2017

GOUGH Whitlam wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI in October, 2012, nearly four decades after his government granted formal diplomatic recognition to the Vatican, and only weeks before another Labor prime minister, Julia Gillard, established a royal commission that would expose the extent of child sexual abuse within the Australian Catholic Church.

Diplomatic relations with the Vatican from 1973 was a “memorable and significant initiative” of his government, Whitlam told the Pope. The relationship was one “which has always been maintained with deep mutual respect and consideration”.

“The mutual hopes for closer relations between the Holy See and Australia have been fulfilled in abundance. I shall always have fond memories of visiting Pope Paul VI and of the great enchantment of Rome, the Eternal City,” one of the Labor Party’s great reformers wrote.

Whitlam died two years later, on October 21, 2014, only three months after Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin declined a request from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for files of all Australian alleged perpetrator priests held by the Vatican.

Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said the files would help commissioners understand the extent of allegations referred to the Vatican, and action taken by the church in each case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Judge quashes deposition subpoena of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson

UTAH
Fox 13

FEBRUARY 25, 2017, BY BEN WINSLOW

SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has quashed a deposition subpoena of the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in connection with a series of lawsuits alleging sex abuse in a church-run program on the Navajo Nation.

Court records show that in a hearing earlier this week, Third District Court Judge Su Chon rejected a subpoena to make LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson sit for a deposition. She allowed the church to appoint a representative to give testimony instead.

“The depositions of lower level corporate representatives or officers should be noticed prior to any deposition of President Monson,” Judge Chon’s order states.

“The Court hereby quashes Plaintiffs’ Subpoena Duces Tecum and orders that Plaintiffs are precluded from deposing President Monson or obtaining the documents sought by way of the Subpoena at this time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Canute Thompson | The Church And Moral Leadership – Part 1

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Thursday | January 5, 2017

Canute S. Thompson

The Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, as well as her sister provinces across the world must be experiencing what may be one of their darkest moments in several decades, on account of the arrest and charge of a senior minister for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Let me declare interest. I am a member of the Moravian Church and once served as a minister in the Church. I, therefore, come to this issue with a bundle of mixed emotions and thoughts, and some for reasons that would not be apparent to some readers. The pain being experienced by so many of us, and especially close friends, family members, the alleged victim and her family, is beyond words.

BASIC THEOLOGICAL ORIENTATION

My basic theological orientation is one that is informed by an ethic of compassion. I hold the worldview that accountability is an absolute essential in relation to all decisions and actions that adults take - whether or not they hold leadership positions. I, however, subscribe to, what I consider to be, a deeper human calling, namely that redemption, reconciliation, and restoration are the duties and opportunities given to all human vessels as part of the journey of human life. Part of the reason these virtues are so essential is that error and failure to do right is part of the human reality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Canute Thompson | Confronting The Moravian Sex Crisis

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Sunday | February 26, 2017

In Part 1 of this series, I explored what I regard as the issues facing the Moravian Church. I argued, in the February 5, 2017, In Focus publication, that the current crisis wherein some ministers have been charged for alleged sexual misconduct involving minors is, in some respects, a symptom of a deeper problem.

I acknowledged that there are many dimensions to that deeper problem but chose to focus on one aspect, namely, how the leadership of the Church understands and exercises power and accountability. I further suggested that the Church's handling of a 2014 report of alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor, or minors, reflected part of the overall culture of how power and accountability were understood.

I offered the painful, but necessary, critique that for far too long, many of us as members of the Church have been willing to explain or justify the actions of our leaders, which, very often, we know to be wrong or unwise.

In this final part, I offer some suggestions on how the Church might deal with the current crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Catholic leaders in Savannah to discuss priest sex abuse scandals

GEORGIA
Savannah Morning News

Posted February 25, 2017
By Jan Skutch jan.skutch@savannahnow.com

A three-day conference of Catholic church leaders will convene in Savannah beginning Sunday to discuss the church’s ongoing response to protecting children and youth in the wake of priest sex abuse scandals.

The 2017 Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference will feature a number of speakers, including Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta who is co-hosting the event with Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer of Savannah.

Gregory, then bishop in Belleville, Ill., was head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” was adopted in Dallas in 2002.

The charter is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. It also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of future acts of abuse.

In comments in a letter prepared for the conference, Hartmayer said the theme for this year’s conference is “hospitality.”

“This year will be the 12th convocation since the passage (of the charter) in 2002,” he said. “Over the years we have worked hard to protect our most vulnerable, but the job is never complete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

SURVIVORS DENOUNCE VATICAN HANDLING OF PERU ABUSE CASE

PERU
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD AND FRANKLIN BRICENO
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Victims of Latin America's latest charismatic Catholic leader-turned-sexual predator are denouncing the Vatican's handling of the case, saying the six-year delay and final resolution are anything but satisfactory for survivors of his sexual, psychological and physical violence.

"It's really shameful," said Pedro Salinas, who blew the whistle in 2015 on the twisted practices of the Peru-based Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, and was himself a victim of Luis Fernando Figari's psychological abuse.

Figari founded the SCV, or Sodalitium of Christian Life, in 1971 as a lay community to recruit "soldiers for God." It was one of several Catholic societies born as a conservative reaction to the left-leaning liberation theology movement that swept through Latin America starting in the 1960s.

The group counts some 20,000 members across South America and the U.S.

Figari was a charismatic intellectual, but he was also "narcissistic, paranoid, demeaning, vulgar, vindictive, manipulative, racist, sexist, elitist and obsessed with sexual issues and the sexual orientation of SCV members," according to a Feb. 10 investigative report commissioned by the SCV's leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Priest sexual abuse victim says law not requiring religious groups to police vet children's workers is dangerous

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

TALIA SHADWELL
February 26 2017

Spiritual leaders with access to children are not subject to police vetting, a loophole that urgently needs closing, according to a victim of historic sex abuse.

Ann-Marie Shelley, of Upper Hutt, was abused by Catholic priest Peter Hercock, who molested her when she was a teenager, along with three other girls.

"As more voluntary groups become known for their rigorous screening practices, potential child abusers will be put off even applying for work with children."

As it stands now, the law states that all State-funded organisations have to vet children's workers. But despite a legacy of child sexual abuse scandals, the law does not cover religious institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

February 25, 2017

Pope Francis reduces penalties for paedophile priests to a lifetime of prayer

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Priya Joshi
February 25, 2017

Pope Francis's decision to reduce penalties for paedophile priests has been met with widespread condemnation from church officials and sex abuse survivors.

Applying his vision of a 'merciful church' the Pope previously sanctioned weaker canonical sentences for two sex offenders within the church, which were commuted to a lifetime of prayer and penance after they appealed for clemency.

Reverend Mauro Inzoli was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing boys as young as 12, in 2012 and was ordered to be defrocked.

However, following an appeal, in 2014 Francis reduced the penalty to a lifetime of prayer and to continue service in a restricted ministry.

Inzoli is prohibited from celebrating Mass in public or being near children, and is barred from his diocese. He has also been ordered to undergo five years of psychotherapy.

Pope Francis overruled the advice given to him by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which recommended sterner penalties befitting the heinous crimes against children, but Inzoli was controversially, welcomed back to the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

Former student recounts abuse at Catholic school

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

An alumnus of St. Anthony Catholic School (SACS) told The Guam Daily Post that he was sexually abused by one of his teachers when he was a student at the institution in the 1990s.

Troy Torres, the chief of staff to Gov. Eddie Calvo, spoke to the Post about the incident that occurred more than 23 years ago and the series of events that followed in which he was able to prevent his abuser from obtaining later teaching posts after a complaint filed with the Guam Police Department failed to result in an arrest.

Torres told the Post that he was around 13 years old and in eighth grade when he was abused by a music teacher employed at SACS. He said the teacher was well-liked, trusted and even seen as something as a big deal around the campus as a talented music instructor.

This is not the first time Torres has spoken about the abuse. In his conversation with the Post, he said he first came out about the abuse a few months after the incident when another teacher who had noticed a change in Torres' behavior got him to break his silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Pope cuts penalties for paedophile priests - including one let off with just a lifetime of prayer for abusing five young boys

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail (UK)

By Isobel Frodsham For Mailonline

Pope Francis has been slammed by church officials and sex abuse survivors for cutting penalties for paedophile priests.

The Pope is said to be applying his vision of a 'merciful church' to sex offenders by reducing punishments to weaker sentences, such as a lifetime of prayer and penance.

It has been revealed by church officials that Pope Francis overruled advice given to him by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about two priests - allowing them to be punished by a lifetime of prayer.

One of the priests was the Reverend Mauro Inzoli, who was found guilty of abusing young boys by the Vatican in 2012 and was ordered to be defrocked.

However, he appealed, and in 2014 Francis reduced the penalty to a lifetime of prayer, prohibiting him from celebrating Mass in public or being near children, barring him from his diocese and ordering five years of psychotherapy.

Rev Inzoli was then convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against five children as young as 12.

He is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Jailed sex predator priest handed additional sentence

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

A FORMER priest who is already serving ten years in prison for 36 historic sexual offences has now been sentenced to nine months in prison.

Gordon Rideout pleaded guilty to one charge of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 at a children’s home in Reigate when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court on 20 December 2016. The assault took place between 29 July 1969 and 21 July 1974.

Rideout was originally jailed for 10 years in May 2013 at Lewes Crown Court for a series of historic sexual offences between 1962 and 1973, including attempted rape and indecent assaults on both boys and girls, some of whom were under 13 years of age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

POPE QUIETLY TRIMS SANCTIONS FOR SEX ABUSERS SEEKING MERCY

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope's own advisers question.

One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the pope's clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him, The Associated Press has learned.

The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP. Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry.

In some cases, the priests or their high-ranking friends appealed to Francis for clemency by citing the pope's own words about mercy in their petitions, the church official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the proceedings are confidential.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Abuso sexual de niños es culpa de los padres: Arquidiócesis de Cali

COLOMBIA
Solo Paisas

[Sexual abuse of children is the parents' fault: Archdiocese of Cali. The controversy again puts the Colombian Catholic Church in the eye of the hurricane for this response to the lawsuit filed by families in eastern Cali demanding compensation and reparation due to sexual abuse suffered by their children eight years ago by priest William Mazo.]

Así respondió la defensa del clero católico ante el caso de pederastia más sonado en esa ciudad por cuenta del cura William Mazo.

La polémica vuelve a poner a la Iglesia Católica colombiana en el ojo del huracán por esta respuesta, ante la demanda presentada por familias del oriente de Cali exigiendo la indemnización y reparación debidas por el abuso sexual que sufrieron sus hijos hace ocho años por cuenta del sacerdote William Mazo.

Como reveló El Espectador, el abogado Walther Collazos solicitó al juez 22 penal de conocimiento de Cali que revise si los familiares de los cuatro menores abusados sexualmente “hicieron lo que debían hacer” o si su proceder fue “laxo, permisivo, omisivo, abandonado y desinteresado”, y “hoy concurren ante un juez para aprovechar un hecho dañino a un tercero y fingir como víctimas directas”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Mauern des Schweigens

SPANIEN
Deutschland Funk

[The tragedy began at the time of the Spanish Civil War and continued into the 1990s. Originally politically motivated, the babies soon turned into a lucrative business, involving physicians, lawyers, and above all the Catholic Church. It is estimated that more than 300,000 babies disappeared in Spanish birth hospitals.]

Die Tragödie begann zur Zeit des spanischen Bürgerkriegs und setzte sich bis in die 90er-Jahre fort. Ursprünglich politisch motiviert, wurde der Babyraub bald zu einem lukrativen Geschäft, in das Ärzte, Anwälte, und vor allem die katholische Kirche verwickelt waren. Man schätzt, dass in spanischen Geburtskliniken mehr als 300.000 Babys verschwanden.

Von Margot Litten

Die Tragödie begann zur Zeit des spanischen Bürgerkriegs und setzte sich bis in die 90er-Jahre fort. Ursprünglich politisch motiviert, wurde der Babyraub bald zu einem lukrativen Geschäft, in das Ärzte, Anwälte, und vor allem die katholische Kirche verwickelt waren. Man schätzt, dass in spanischen Geburtskliniken über die Jahrzehnte mehr als 300.000 Babys verschwanden und mit gefälschten Papieren an kinderlose Paare verkauft wurden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen früheren Bischof von Brügge

BELGIEN
cath.ch

[A 57-year-old man said former Bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe abuse him in the early 1970s.]

Brüssel, 24.2.17 (kath.ch) Gegen den emeritierten Bischof von Brügge, Roger Joseph Vangheluwe, sind neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe bekanntgeworden. Ein 57-jähriger Mann beschuldigt Vangheluwe, Anfang der 70er Jahre von ihm missbraucht worden zu sein, berichten belgische Medien (Freitag).

Der ehemalige Messdiener beschuldigt auch einen weiteren Priester, an Vergewaltigungen im flandrischen Harelbeke beteiligt gewesen zu sein. Der heute 80-jährige Vangheluwe musste 2010 auf öffentlichen Druck zurücktreten, weil er seinen Neffen über Jahre sexuell missbraucht hatte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Kapuziner vermuten kirchenpolitische Instrumentalisierung des Falls Pittet

SCHWEIZ
cath.ch

[An anonymous mail suggested that Mauro Jöhri, currently Minister General of the Capuchin Order, is the main culprit in Pittet's abuse case.]

Zürich, 20.2.17 (kath.ch) Ein anonymes Mail versetzt die Schweizer Kapuziner in Aufregung. Darin wird suggeriert, Mauro Jöhri, zurzeit Generalminister des Kapuzinerordens, sei der Hauptschuldige im Missbrauchsfall Pittet. Willi Anderau, Informationsbeauftragter der Schweizer Kapuziner, vermutet, dass «konservative Kreise um den Churer Bischof Vitus Huonder» Jöhri als Kandidaten für den Posten eines apostolischen Administrators «abschiessen» wollen. Das Bistum Chur will sich nicht zu den Vorwürfen äussern.

Barbara Ludwig

In dem anonymen Mail, das kath.ch vorliegt, werden einige Fakten im Zusammenhang mit dem Missbrauchsfall Pittet aufgelistet. Dazwischen wird immer wieder auf Mauro Jöhri hingewiesen. Etwa auf die Tatsache, dass der Bündner Kapuziner von 1995 bis 2001 und von 2005 bis 2006 Provinzial der Schweizer Kapuziner war und seit 2006 dem Orden als Generalminister vorsteht. Das Mail verweist auch auf Artikel über das Freiburger Missbrauchsopfer Daniel Pittet im Internet. Es sei «klar, dass Jöhri alles gewusst haben muss», heisst es in dem Mail. Dem Orden wird vorgeworfen, «gerade auch unter Jöhri» kein innerkirchliches Verfahren eröffnet zu haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Katholische Intrigen

SCHWEIZ
Neue Zurcher Zeitung

[It is about a hushed abuse scandal among the Capuchins, allegedly manipulated media and the turmoil for the succession in the bishopric of Chur: The latest scandal always draws more circles].

von Simon Hehli 24.2.2017

Es geht um einen vertuschten Missbrauchsskandal bei den Kapuzinern, angeblich manipulierte Medien und die Wirren um die Nachfolge im Bistum Chur: Der neuste Skandal zieht immer weitere Kreise.

Etwas kann man der katholischen Kirche gewiss nicht vorwerfen: dass sie langweilig ist. Derzeit ist es ein Missbrauchsskandal, der für Schlagzeilen sorgt. Der Freiburger Daniel Pittet veröffentlichte vor kurzem das Buch «Mon Père, je vous pardonne», für das Papst Franziskus das Vorwort geschrieben hat. Pittet berichtet darin, wie er von einem heute 76-jährigen Kapuzinerpater aus der Waadt missbraucht worden ist, bereits im Alter von neun Jahren sei er von diesem vergewaltigt worden. Der Pater ist geständig, dass er sich seit 1958 an mindestens vierzig weiteren Jungen vergangen hat, darunter auch sein eigener Neffe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Former Yeshiva Boys School Rabbi Suspected Of Sexually Abusing Children

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former rabbi from the Yeshiva Boys School of Pittsburgh is under investigation, accused of sexually abusing children.

Word of the probe first surfaced in the Jewish Chronicle. The publication states there may have been more than one victim and that Rabbi Nisson Friedman, 26, was caught in the act in the school library.

Friedman has been with Yeshiva Boys School since 2013. He has been fired, but is not yet charged.

He’s the son of a prominent rabbi in Minnesota.

The school declined to speak on camera Friday, but in a written statement they said: “We swiftly reported this disclosure to the police and the state’s mandated childline.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Is the Catholic Church guilty of crimes against humanity?

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Michael Short

The Catholic Church, which has presided over a decades-long international cover-up of countless cases, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of child rape and other sexual abuse is arguably guilty of crimes against humanity.

In Australia, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, launched in 2013, has heard much harrowing evidence that for decades child rapists have been protected by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Only a few days ago, the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, told the commission the response of leaders of his church to allegations of child sexual abuse amounted to "criminal negligence".

And although it beggars belief, such despicable betrayal of natural justice and of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth continues. Also last week, County Court Judge Geoffrey Chettle declared that evidence the Catholic Church continued to pay – taking the total to as much as $1.5 million – for the defence of one of Australia's worst paedophiles, Robert Charles Best, "just blows me away".

Well might he say that, for Best, 76, pleaded guilty in the County Court of Victoria to the sexual abuse of 20 children between 1968 and 1988 at schools in Ballarat, Box Hill, Geelong and Moonee Ponds. With withering understatement, Judge Chettle said he was struggling to contain his emotion at the gravity and extent of Best's abuse. "It's hard not to get angry, and I'm trying." A lot of Best's victims have died by suicide. Many others have experienced mental ill-health, substance abuse, addiction and difficulty maintaining professional and personal relationships.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Church seeks background checks, proper Mass

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Feb. 25, 2017

Besides adopting a national charter for protecting young people from clergy sexual abuses, Guam’s Catholic Church now also seeks legal background checks for all its adult ministers and volunteers to help prevent future abuses.

The church also now requires all rites and masses to be celebrated in accordance with the Vatican’s general instructions unless they can show proof of exemptions from Rome by March 1, the beginning of the Lenten season.

The Rev. Paul A.M. Gofigan, rector of the Dulce Nombre De Maria Cathedral-Basilica, issued a two-pronged Feb. 14 memo on background checks and unifying the church.

Gofigan asks all current and future adult ministers or volunteers having close contact with minors, at any level, to sign a waiver allowing the cathedral-basilica to perform a legal background check. He said this is not a credit check but is essentially a police clearance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Major changes recommended to Catholic Church's controversial Melbourne Response

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Aisha Dow

Victorian child sex abuse victims who receive a capped payout from the Catholic Church should no longer be forced to sign away their rights to future legal claims, a redacted report has recommended.

An independent review into the church's controversial Melbourne Response scheme was announced by Archbishop Denis Hart in August 2014, but has been suppressed by the church for more than a year.

A heavily edited version was finally submitted to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Friday, containing 24 pages of the 176-page document.

It included 17 recommendations from the report's author, retired Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan, QC, including that victims no longer be obliged to sign a deed of release in order to access monetary payments.

Mr Ryan said this waiver could be made on the condition that if victims were to receive future payouts through civil proceedings, the money already received through the Melbourne Response would be deducted from the final amount.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Perversion in Paradise

JAMAICA
Council on Hemispheric Affairs

By Andrew Lumsden, Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs

To download a PDF version of this article, click here.

On the night of December 28, 2016, police officers patrolling in the town of Santa Cruz in the Jamaican parish of St. Elizabeth, approached a parked car which had aroused their suspicions. Upon further investigations, authorities found 64-year-old Rupert Clarke, the pastor of a church in the nearby parish of Manchester, in what they called a “compromising position” with a 15-year-old girl.[i]

Clarke was arrested and charged with having sex with a minor in a case which has commanded attention as well as shocked the nation.[ii] Unfortunately, this appalling incident is only a small part of a much broader problem in Jamaican society: the prevalence of child sexual abuse.

“A National Crisis”

In 2014, Lisa Hanna, then the Minister of Youth and Culture, described child sex abuse in Jamaica as a “national crisis.”[iii] Between 2007 and 2014 nearly 17,000 cases were recorded by Jamaica’s Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR). [iv][v] The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) notes however, that “the available data does not necessarily reflect the actual magnitude of the problem” because the vast majority of incidents go unreported.[vi] In all, 40% of Jamaicans have said that their first sexual experience occurred without their consent and before the age of 16.[vii]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

AP Exclusive: Ex-congregants reveal years of ungodly abuse

NORTH CAROLINA
Daily Journal

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — From all over the world, they flocked to this tiny town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lured by promises of inner peace and eternal life. What many found instead: years of terror — waged in the name of the Lord.

Congregants of the Word of Faith Fellowship were regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls in a violent form of deliverance meant to “purify” sinners by beating out devils, 43 former members told The Associated Press in separate, exclusive interviews.

Victims of the violence included pre-teens and toddlers — even crying babies, who were vigorously shaken, screamed at and sometimes smacked to banish demons.

“I saw so many people beaten over the years. Little kids punched in the face, called Satanists,” said Katherine Fetachu, 27, who spent nearly 17 years in the church.

Word of Faith Fellowship, an evangelical church with hundreds of members in North Carolina and branches in other countries, also subjected members to a practice called “blasting” — an ear-piercing verbal onslaught often conducted in hours-long sessions meant to cast out devils.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

No disciplinary proceedings to follow rapist ordinand Timothy Storey case

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Tim Wyatt

Posted: 24 Feb 2017

TWO clergy in the diocese of London who were strongly criticised for safeguarding failures in the case of an ordinand who was a rapist will not face proceedings under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM).

An independent review commissioned last year by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, considered the diocese’s part in the case of Timothy Storey, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of three charges of rape and one of sexual assault against teenage girls (News, 22 April).

Mr Storey worked first as a youth pastor at St Michael’s, Chester Square, where he met his two victims, before being sent to Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, to train as a priest. Both girls reported Mr Storey to the Church, but there was a “wholesale failure” by the diocesan safeguarding team to stop his offending, Judge Philip Katz QC said during sentencing.

The independent review recommended, among other things, “consideration of whether in light of the findings of the review an investigation under CDM is warranted or appropriate in relation to” two clerics referred to in the report only as “clergy persons A and B”. Clergy person A was the voluntary, unpaid Bishops’ Adviser in Child Protection in the Two Cities and Stepney areas of the diocese. Clergy person B was the Two Cities area director of ordinands. Both have since stepped down from these posts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Cardinal Desmond Connell, Dublin Archbishop During Abuse Scandal, Dies at 90

IRELAND
New York Times

SINEAD O’SHEA
FEB. 24, 2017

DUBLIN — Cardinal Desmond Connell, who retired as the Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin during a furor over the church’s handling of cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy, died on Tuesday. He was 90.

The death, in Dublin, was announced by the current archbishop, Diarmuid Martin.

A theological scholar with training in metaphysics, then-Father Connell was a surprise choice when Pope John Paul II appointed him to lead the archdiocese of Dublin in 1988. John Paul named him a cardinal in 2001, making him the first archbishop of Dublin to be so elevated in nearly 120 years.

During his 16 years as archbishop, Cardinal Connell was a stalwart defender of church doctrine, particularly on social issues like contraception, divorce and homosexuality. ...

But he was best known for his handling of a sex abuse scandal that eventually engulfed his archdiocese, as it has others around the world.

The abuses first began to emerge after the Rev. Brendan Smyth, a Northern Irish priest, was convicted of child sex abuse and imprisoned in 1994. The next year Archbishop Connell denied that the archdiocese had paid compensation to victims of abuse by its priests. But in 1998, it emerged that he had quietly lent archdiocesan money to an abusive priest, the Rev. Ivan Payne, who then paid an abuse survivor, Andrew Madden.

Mr. Madden came forward to reveal the loan, but Cardinal Connell initially denied that he had made it. In the ensuing controversy he was accused of tolerating or participating in a cover-up.

In 2002, the national broadcaster RTE published a report by the investigative journalist Mary Raftery exposing the archdiocese’s protection of eight priests who had sexually abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Funeral told of Cardinal's tears over clerical sex abuse victims

IRELAND
Herald

Sarah MacDonald – 25 February 2017

The Pope's representative in Ireland has revealed how he witnessed an anguished Cardinal Desmond Connell in tears at the Vatican over the clerical abuse of children at the turn of the millennium.

Speaking to the Herald after the funeral Mass of the former archbishop of Dublin at St Mary's Pro Cathedral, the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, recalled seeing Dr Connell in Rome "filled with anguish about the horrors of the sexual abuse of children".

Cardinal Connell worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (1993-2001), where Archbishop Brown served until 2011, when he was appointed to Ireland.

"When I say visible anguish, it was visible in his tears which I witnessed," he said.

He said the evil of that was "completely inconceivable and unfathomable" to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Pell smeared again on ABC. To hell with evidence

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
February 24, 2017

John Lyons accuses Cardinal George Pell on the ABC's The Drum of transferring a "known pedophile" priest to another town, where he abused again, and says Pell covered up the reasons for the move.

In fact, the royal commission heard Pell knew nothing of the pedophilia and the transfer was engineered by his bishop. Yet no panelist defended Pell.

Here is yet another example of how the media is so determined to hang Pell that nothing, and certainly not the truth, can save him.

Lyon makes his claims five minutes from the end:

It is so sad and telling that not a single person on the panel, including the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, points out the truth about these allegations, although all seem to claim enough knowledge to offer opinions on the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

'I went to bed screaming': child abuse survivor speaks as church faces moment of reckoning

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus

Friday 24 February 2017

Every night, as darkness fell around the boarding houses of St Virgil’s College in Hobart, Tony Rayner watched a handful of boys creep into the bedroom of Brother Patrick Timothy Farrell.

It was the 1950s and an eight-year-old Rayner was envious of the boys’ special treatment. Rumours drifted through the halls that Brother Farrell’s chosen few were rewarded with lollies.

Farrell, a member of the Christian Brothers Catholic order, eventually called Rayner in.

“He sat me up on the bed right next to him, and the other boys were down the foot of the bed – when you’re eight years old it was quite a distance,” Rayner told Guardian Australia. “He said, ‘You wanted to come in here.’ And then he told me to suck his dick.”

A confused Rayner said no, telling the brother it would be a sin. He still clearly remembers the odd moment that followed. “He looked at one of the other boys, who I saw as the ringleader … and he said, ‘I told you Rayner was too young.’”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

February 24, 2017

Suspended Eugene priest denies paying underage prostitute for sex

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
FEB. 23, 2017

A Eugene priest on trial for allegedly paying for oral sex with an underage prostitute is innocent of the charges and ended up arrested after police misunderstood a text message as part of a flawed investigation, his attorney told a jury Friday morning.

Daniel MacKay’s lawyer, Terri Wood of Eugene, acknowledged in an opening statement to her client’s trial in Lane County Circuit Court that MacKay gave a homeless, 17-year-old girl cash on a number of occasions last year.

But the money wasn’t in exchange for sex, she said.

Instead, MacKay agreed to the girl’s repeated requests for cash because she appeared desperate, and the priest has for years “embraced the duty to help those in need,” Wood asserted. She added that the alleged victim told MacKay that she was 21.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Bishops seek Pope's guidance over sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Australia's most senior Catholic leaders will ask the Pope to settle the issue of whether the seal of confession can be broken to protect children from sexual abuse as one likened it to bugging the confessional.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said for a priest to repeat anything that has occurred during confession would be a very serious breach of trust and the sacrament.

Archbishop Fisher said he could not withhold absolution from someone who confessed to abusing a child and if they were genuinely contrite would forgive their sin, as he would a terrorist or a murderer.

'What I can't do is effectively bug the confessional on behalf of the state to use it to a way of reporting crimes retrospective or prospective,' he told the child sex abuse royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Former priest Yvon Arsenault handed 4-year sentence for 9 sex crimes

CANADA
CBC News

Former Moncton priest Yvon Arsenault has been sentenced to four years in prison after changing his plea to guilty in October on nine counts of molesting boys, dating back to the 1970s.

Arsenault, 74, of Aldouane covered his face with his hand after Court of Queen's Bench Justice Zoël Dionne imposed sentence on Friday afternoon.

"​I'm not here to promote religion," the judge said, "but these people wanted a life of faith, and because of incidents, it became something sour."

He commended Arsenault's victims for having the courage to speak out and denounce the abuse.

The nine victims ranged in age from nine to 17 when the abuse occurred between 1971 and 1980 in Shediac and Collette, located in Northumberland County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

The All-American Boys Chorus and the Cycle of Abuse

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

February 24, 2017 Joelle Casteix

The recent lawsuit against Fr. Richard T. Coughlin, The All-American Boys Chorus, and the Diocese of Orange has sparked a flurry of conversation and controversy online.

Why? A whole generation of kids was destroyed by Coughlin.

And of course, a lot of people were quick to defend the chorus and say, “Things are different now.”

But they’re not.

Singers can be Easy Prey

Choruses can be funny things. I am a singer, so I know. I was sexually abused in a chorus, targeted by a director who saw I was an easy mark.

Singing and the teaching of singing are very personal and very hands-on. It’s one-on-one (and before the days of awareness about sexual abuse, it was done behind closed doors). It’s not unusual for a vocal coach to touch a student (in a NON-SEXUAL WAY) to show a concept. It’s very personal and can get very emotional. Your body is your instrument. If a piano is out of tune, you hire a tuner. If your voice is out of tune … well, it’s personal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Iglesia responde a ICBF que no tolerará abusos de curas a menores

COLOMBIA
Pulzo

El cardenal Rubén Salazar le envió una carta a Cristina Plazas en la que asegura que el cuidado de los niños es prioridad.

En su carta, el arzobispo de Bogotá pide perdón por los casos de abusos sexuales a menores por sacerdotes que han sido denunciados en el país y promete “cero tolerancia” ante cualquier otro caso.

Asimismo, la arquidiócesis de la capital aseguró que tomará “todas las medidas” para que los responsables de los abusos sexuales sean castigados tanto civil como canónicamente.

Si se comprueba el abuso, un sacerdote jamás podrá volver a ejercer su ministerio”,

resaltó la curia bogotana en la misiva, difundida en su página web.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Colombia’s Catholic Church vows ‘zero tolerance’ for child sexual abuse

COLOMBIA
Colombia Reports

written by Miguel Salazar February 24, 2017

Colombia’s top Catholic clergyman told the government on Friday that the church would fight sexual abuse by priests against minors with a “zero tolerance” approach towards affiliated pedophiles.

“The protection of children and adolescents is an absolute priority for the Catholic Church in Colombia,” the Archbishop of Bogota, Cardinal Rubén Salazar, wrote in a letter addressed to the government’s Family Welfare Institute (ICFB) days after the church had come under fire for sexual abuse charges filed against a Colombian priest.

Catholic Church attacks sex abuse victims’ family for seeking reparation

In his letter, the archbishop said that priests that engaged in child sexual abuse would not just be held accountable before the law, but also within the church.

“We applaud all the effort you make from the general direction of the Institute of Family Welfare to protect all the minors of our nation,” he said. “If it is true that the Church bitterly cries out the sin of her children and asks forgiveness, it is also true that we are committed to renewing all efforts so that these atrocities do not happen again among us.”

Earlier this week, Cristina Plazas Michelsen, the director of the ICBF, had sent Cardinal Salazar a letter calling for the Catholic Church to “set a precedent and express ‘zero tolerance’ to anything surrounding sexual abuse, the most atrocious crime of humanity.” It was in response to court proceedings in Cali, Valle del Cauca, against a priest accused of sexually abusing four children in his community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Vicar David Fletcher faces jail for sexually abusing a boy when he was a head teacher in Bradford

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph and Argus

Jenifer Loweth

A CHURCH of England vicar has been convicted by a jury of sexually abusing a boy when he was a head teacher in Bradford.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, warned David Fletcher he will “almost inevitably go into custody” for indecently assaulting the child in the late 1980s.

Fletcher, 63, whose ministry includes 12 churches in East Yorkshire, was found guilty of two of the eight charges against him by a majority verdict of 11-1.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court cleared him of six further allegations of indecent assault made by the same complainant.

He was bailed to return to the court for sentence on Monday, March 6.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Where Is The Priest Who Sexually Abused Milo Yiannopoulos?

UNITED STATES
The Daily Caller

MARIA JEFFREY

Lost in the crushing sound of Milo Yiannopoulos’ fall has been the revelation that he was sexually abused by a priest named “Fr. Michael.” In his press conference Tuesday, after his comments on pedophilia were brought to light, the former Breitbart editor said, “Between the ages of 13 and 16, two men touched me in ways they should not have. One of those men was a priest.”

In the video where Milo talks about pedophilia, he states, “I’m grateful to Fr. Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”

There has been a lot of ink already spilled over what Milo’s comments on sexual abuse mean for the moral arc of the conservative movement, but no one is paying attention to the revelation that Milo himself was sexually abused as a young teen. Who he was sexually abused by? Who is Fr. Michael? Is he still a practicing priest?

Milo was raised Catholic and is open about his love for the Catholic Church. In Kent, England where Milo grew up, a Catholic priest named Monsignor Michael Smith was arrested in 2010 after sexual abuse allegations were made against him by victim who called Smith a “devious predator.” According to KentLive, a publication in Kent, the victim received compensation from the Catholic Church in a civil suit in 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Brother erased from history

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

EXCLUSIVE, Nick Butterly
Friday, February 24, 2017

The Christian Brothers have taken the extraordinary step of moving the grave of a notoriously brutal brother from the grounds of a WA school as the Catholic Church reels from revelations of past abuse.

The Catholic order has dismantled the grave of Brother Francis Paul Keaney at Bindoon Agricultural College, shifting his remains to a humble plot at Karrakatta, effectively erasing any trace of the Brother from the institution he once ruled over.

Keaney set up the Tardun farm school near Geraldton in the 1920s and was principal at Clontarf and Bindoon Boys Town from 1942 through to his death in 1954.

Child migrants from Britain and Ireland have given evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse telling how Keaney presided over a fiercely brutal regime at Bindoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Funeral hears Connell became Archbishop at difficult time

IRELAND
RTE News

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said that Cardinal Desmond Connell was the first leader of the Dublin diocese to recognise, albeit slowly, the extent of the damage inflicted on children by priests who sexually abused.

Dr Martin told his predecessor's funeral mass that the hurt caused by the scandal has yet to be fully recognised and still remains for victims.

The cardinal's death was announced on Tuesday. He was 90.

Most of the country's hierarchy joined the Papal Nuncio and Archbishop Martin in concelebrating the mass at which the Cardinal’s sister-in-law, Peggy Connell, was the chief mourner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Garde à vue du Père Ibrahim: Consternation à la Plaine des Palmistes

REUNION
Zinfos974

[The inhabitants of Plaine des Palmistes are shocked after the priest of their parish has been placed in custody for allegations of rape of a teenager. Many of them defend him.].

Interpellé hier dans le cadre de l’enquête pour des viols présumés sur un adolescent, le père Fabrice Ibrahim a passé la nuit en cellule. Il a été présenté au Tribunal ce matin puis transféré de nouveau à la brigade de gendarmerie de Saint-Benoît pour une prolongation de sa garde à vue de 24h, donc jusqu'à 12h30 ce vendredi.

Pour rappel, le père Ibrahim a été interpellé dans le cadre d’une enquête préliminaire pour des viols présumés, après la plainte d’un jeune homme de 18 ans déposée il y a un mois. Le prêtre aurait imposé des rapports sexuels à l’adolescent mineur entre 2013 et 2015. La mère du jeune homme a elle aussi dénoncé des viols présumés.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Erzbischöfe räumen "katastrophales Versagen" ein

AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

Sydney - 23.02.2017

Die führenden katholischen Erzbischöfe Australiens haben der Einschätzung eines "katastrophalen Versagens" der Kirchenführung im Umgang mit Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs zugestimmt. Zum Ende der dreiwöchigen letzten Anhörung der Kommission über sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern durch Priester und Mitarbeiter der Kirche waren am Donnerstag die fünf Erzbischöfe von Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide und Brisbane vor der Kommission erschienen.

"Das war ein Verbrechen, Herr Erzbischof", sagte Gail Furness, Anwältin der Kommission, laut australischen Medienberichten (Donnerstag) zu Erzbischof Philip Wilson von Adelaide. Der 66-Jährige ist wegen Vertuschung von Missbrauchsfällen vor einem Gericht angeklagt. Wilson habe geantwortet: "Ja, das stimmt."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Australiens Bischöfe wollen Missbrauch künftig ausschließen

AUSTRALIEN
Domradio

[Australian bishops acknowledge catastrophic failure in dealing with abuse.]

In Sydney ist die abschließende Anhörung zum Umgang der katholischen Kirche mit Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs in Australien zu Ende gegangen. Die Bischöfe räumten dabei ein "katastrophales Versagen" im Umgang mit Verdachtsfällen ein.

"Ich werde alles in meiner Macht Stehende tun, dass Missbrauch wie in der Vergangenheit niemals wieder passiert und dass die Reformen umgesetzt werden, die meine Bischofskollegen und die Leiter der Orden in den vergangenen Jahren beschlossen haben", erklärte der Vorsitzende der katholischen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Denis Hart von Melbourne. Die Kirche in Australien werde die Opfer weiter unterstützen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Pädophilenskandal: Bistumssprecher erhob Vorwürfe gegen Kapuzinerchef

SCHWEIZ
Luzerner Zeitung

[The pedophile scandal among the Capuchins has mutated into an internal church policy. Giuseppe Gracia, spokesman of the Diocese of Chur, explains his accusations against the chief Kapuziner Mauro Jöhri.]

KIRCHE ⋅ Der Pädophilieskandal bei den Kapuzinern ist zu einem innerkirchlichem Politikum mutiert. Giuseppe Gracia, Sprecher des Bistums Chur, erklärt seine Anschuldigungen gegenüber dem obersten Kapuziner Mauro Jöhri.
23. Februar 2017

Dominik Weingartner

Wer hat wann was gewusst und dennoch nichts unternommen? Diese Frage beschäftigt den Kapuzinerorden seit den «Blick»-Enthüllungen rund um den pädophilen Pater Jöel. Wie unsere Zeitung am Samstag berichtete, wurde der Pater seit Bekanntwerden seines Falles mehrmals versetzt, zunächst nach Frankreich, 2005 wurde er schliesslich in die Schweiz zurückgeholt. Der Pater, der Dutzende Kinder vergewaltigt und davon auch pornografische Aufnahmen gemacht haben soll, musste sich jedoch nie einem kirchenrechtlichen Verfahren stellen. Er lebt heute zurückgezogen im Kapuzinerkloster in Wil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Application For Moravian Ministers' Case Transfer Pushed To Next Week

JAMAICA
Jamaica Gleaner

Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester:
Moravian Ministers Reverend Dr Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson, charged for carnal abuse arising from a series of incidents said to have happened in 2002, will have to wait until March 2, to find out whether or not their case will be transferred to the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.

According to attorney-at-law Peter Champaigne the case was today adjourned due to a part heard matter that was before the court.

The application for transfer is expected to be made next Thursday in the Manchester Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Moravian ministers' sex case adjourned

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The carnal abuse and indecent assault case of former head of the Moravian Church in Jamaica Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson was adjourned in the Manchester Circuit Court today.

The men will return on Thursday, March 2.

When the names of the men were called this morning for them to enter the courtroom they were not yet present.

The matter was on hold when they arrived because of a trial in progress in the Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Review found church scheme is independent

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MEGAN NEIL
Australian Associated Press
February 24, 2017

The much-criticised Melbourne Response is independent of the Catholic Church and has given most child sex abuse victims better compensation than they would have otherwise received, a review found.

The retired Federal Court judge whose review led to the Melbourne archdiocese doubling its maximum compensation payments to $150,000 backed the independence of the abuse complaints scheme at the same time as a royal commission criticised its lack of independence.

Donnell Ryan QC criticised the apologies offered under the Melbourne Response but found most victims had received better outcomes than would otherwise have been possible.

"It is reasonable to conclude that most have regarded the package of monetary settlement and the funding of counselling and clinical care as better than any other remedy which they could reasonably have achieved in the absence of the Melbourne Response," the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Royal commission: Outrage over church's financial support for paedophile priests

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

An admission that the Sydney Catholic archdiocese provides financial support for convicted paedophile priests has drawn outrage from sex abuse survivors at a royal commission.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher told the inquiry the church supports convicted Catholic clergy living in the community.

"That would include assistance with housing and some other kinds of assistance," he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"I am so angry at what they have done, I don't want to give them anything further by way of help, but throwing them back on their family or community ... others would say that's just the church washing its hand again of responsibility.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Statement from the ACBC at the conclusion of Case Study 50

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

Statement from Archbishop Denis Hart, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference at the conclusion of case study 50 of the Royal Commission

24 February 2017

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concludes its final hearing into the Catholic Church, I acknowledge the cooperation of witnesses, agencies, religious institutes and dioceses across the Church in Australia.

I particularly want to acknowledge the bravery of the survivors of child sexual abuse who have given evidence, not just in case studies involving the Catholic Church, but across the more than 50 case studies so far that have examined the many different institutions throughout Australia.

Over the past three weeks, more than 70 Church leaders and professionals have appeared before the Commissioners sharing expertise, identifying failings and describing best practice for the future of our Church structure, culture and governance.

The final hearing discussed many aspects and characteristics of Church and clergy life including: Canon Law, the confessional, celibacy, clericalism, formation, professional support and supervision.

What we have learnt from our involvement in the Royal Commission case studies and our own work in coming to a better understanding of the many different issues that have contributed to child sexual abuse in the Church will inform our future policies and practices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Kincora: HIA report on former boys home condemned by ex-Army officer

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A former Army captain has described the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry findings on the former Kincora Boys' Home as "a mess".

The HIA report into child abuse at churches, charities and state institutions was published last month.

It detailed widespread mistreatment of young residents between 1922 and 1995.

However, former Army officer Colin Wallace has criticised its conclusions on Kincora, claiming they were "full of alternative facts".

Mr Wallace, who served in Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1974, has been a leading voice in claims about an alleged cover-up by intelligence services of sex abuse at the home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Kincora abuse campaigner hits out at inquiry in scathing letter

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Cate McCurry
February 24 2017

The man who attempted to expose the historical sex abuse at the notorious Kincora boys' home in Belfast has lambasted an inquiry in a scathing 14-page letter.

Former Army captain and intelligence officer Colin Wallace slammed the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry's report on the Kincora paedophile cover-up in the 1970s.

Mr Wallace, whose attempts to expose the abuse of young boys were overthrown by his superiors, has contacted the inquiry's solicitor, Patrick Butler, to raise concerns about what he claims are "factual inaccuracies and misleading information" in the report.

He disputes the information contained in the inquiry report about notorious child abuser and Kincora housemaster William McGrath and others in the child-abuse ring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Archbishop would grant abusers absolution

AUSTRALIA
7 News

by Rebekah Ison - AAP on February 24, 2017

Sydney's Catholic Archbishop says he would have to forgive a child sex abuser at confession just as he would a terrorist or a murderer.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher on Friday told the sex abuse royal commission he didn't think he could make it a condition of absolution that a person incriminate themselves - even though he would strongly encourage them to get psychiatric help and hand themselves in.

"If they are genuinely contrite by every sign that I can see then I'll forgive their sin as I would a terrorist, a murderer, many other very grave matters," he said in Sydney on Friday.

"I do so probably feeling terribly sick inside about what might this guy do next."

Archbishop Fisher was one of the five metropolitan archbishops giving joint evidence at the royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Archbishops grilled on reporting abuse heard under confession

AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Claire Abraham

The Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, has revealed he would not break the Seal of the Confessional and inform authorities if a child during confession told him they had been abused, but instead would try and persuade the child to tell someone.

Senior Counsel Gail Furness drew mixed responses from the five bishops when she asked them what they would do if a fictional child, "Sally", reported abuse to them during confession.

"I will do everything in my power to persuade the child to come with me to the police," Archbishop Anthony Fisher said.

"If I can’t persuade that child of that option, having tried everything I can, then I believe I’m bound by the seal of confession to not repeat it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Child abuse royal commission: Review of Melbourne Response recommends redress scheme be separated from church

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Karen Percy

The Melbourne Archbishop should not oversee the Catholic Church's scheme to address sexual abuse within the archdiocese, a redacted report has recommended.

A 2015 report into the Melbourne Response by former Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan QC was released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse late this afternoon, at the conclusion of hearings featuring senior Catholic figures.

The report was suppressed by the Catholic Church for more than a year.

In it, Mr Ryan makes 17 recommendations, several of them suggesting those in charge of the scheme not be under the Archbishop's power, that files and archives be held separately, and that budget and administrative matters also be separated out.

But he points out "nothing has been revealed ... to suggest [anyone] ... has ever acted under the direction or influence of the Archbishop or any other church official".

The Melbourne Response was established by Cardinal George Pell in 1996, when he was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Hate is coming to a campus near you: Meet the evangelical bigot helping Trump deregulate America’s colleges

UNITED STATES
Salon

NICO LANG

In her first weeks as secretary of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos faced an extraordinary amount of scrutiny — both for her family’s history of supporting homophobic legislation and her lack of qualifications. A group of students attempted to block DeVos from entering a Washington middle school shortly after her confirmation.

But DeVos, a charter school advocate with a history of donating to anti-gay causes, isn’t the only education appointee that should worry LGBT people, as well as just about everyone else who wants safe, affirming education for America’s youth. Liberty University’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., who has been tapped by the Trump administration to lead a task force on reforming higher ed, is a nightmare waiting to happen. His appointment — to an undisclosed advisory position — will put at risk every student across the U.S. already vulnerable to harm. With DeVos and Falwell at the helm, all children will be left behind. ...

Liberty University hired Ian McCaw, the former athletic director for Baylor University, in the midst of an ongoing rape scandal at his former college. Jasmin Hernandez, a student at the university, claimed McCaw knew that one of his star athletes, Tevin Elliott, had a history of sexually assaulting women and ignored his record. Hernandez further alleged that after not being made accountable for his prior actions, the football player went on to rape her. In a press release, Falwell Jr. personally praised the hiring of McCaw, saying that his example “fits perfectly with where we see our sports program going.”

If it surprises you that Falwell Jr. would applaud someone accused of covering up sexual abuse, know that the Liberty University president also once told CNN’s Erin Burnett that he would vote for a presidential candidate found guilty of rape. When asked about accusations from more than 10 women that Trump, then a White House hopeful, had groped them without consent, Falwell Jr. said, “We’re not electing a pastor. We’re electing a president.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Application to transfer pastors' sex case rescheduled

JAMAICA
Loop

The expected application to have the sex cases of two Moravian clergymen transferred to Kingston from Manchester for trial has been postponed.

The application is now rescheduled for next week Thursday, March 2, in the Manchester Circuit Court.

The postponement is due to the fact that the accused men — Rev Paul Gardner and Pastor Jermaine Gibson — were late for court.

Gibson, who was vice president of the Moravian church in Jamaica, allegedly had a sexual relationship with the complainant when she was 12 years old.

Allegedly, Gardner, who resigned the presidency of the Moravian church, also engaged in sexual relations with the girl when she was 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

GP Department of Public Safety Arrests Former Church Pastor for Sexual Abuse

OREGON
KAJO

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety has arrested a former pastor at a now-defunct church for multiple sex crimes with an underage girl.

On Wednesday, 51-year-old Michael Howard Lewis of Grants Pass was lodged in the Josephine County Jail on charges including Rape, Sexual Abuse and Sodomy. His arrest came after an interview conducted at the police station.

On February 1st, Grants Pass Police began an investigation into the reported sexual abuse of a female juvenile by Lewis while he was a pastor at the now-defunct Friends in Christ Fellowship Church, which was located on Rogue River Highway.

Detectives investigating the case learned that between July 2014 and November 2016, Michael Lewis subjected the young church member to sexual contact several times while she was between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. The sexual contact occurred at the church, which was shut down last November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Youth pastor charged with sex crimes, former church attendees speak out

MICHIGAN
UpNorthLive

by Connor Hansen
Thursday, February 23rd 2017

CHARLEVOIX COUNTY, Mi (WPBN/WGTU) -- A youth pastor from Boyne City was charged Thursday with sex crimes after he was caught taking video of two young girls in the shower at his home.

Police said a family from downstate was visiting their former pastor in Boyne City when their 18-year-old daughter found a camera in the bathroom shower. She realized it had footage of her and her 15-year-old sister on it, and she told her parents.

Benoni Enciso, also known as Jon Enciso, was charged with possession of child sexual abusive material, surveilling people without clothes on, eavesdropping and using a computer to commit a crime.

Boyne City Police are continuing to investigate Enciso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Pastor accused of molesting three girls out of jail

CALIFORNIA
Record Searchlight

Jim Schultz , Record Searchlight Feb. 23, 2017

A Redding pastor charged with 31 criminal counts, including 22 felonies alleging he molested three girls over a seven-year span, won't be having his preliminary hearing anytime soon.

James Gladwell Crawford, who has been released from Shasta County Jail after his bail was set last week at $1 million, was back in Shasta County Superior Court on Thursday where his preliminary hearing scheduled for next week was postponed because his defense attorney will be in trial.

With Crawford now out of jail, he was ordered by Judge Cara Beatty to not have any contact with children under the age of 15 without another adult being present.

He's due back in Superior Court on March 28 to reset the date of his preliminary hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Bishop Vincent Long’s Lenten Message 2017

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

My dear people,

Lent is an important season for us Catholics insofar as it reminds us of the need for conversion. We cannot live life to the full if we gloss over the inconvenient truths about ourselves. We cannot grow to full maturity if we ignore the obstacles that prevent us from reaching our potential. Pope Francis always asks people to pray for him because he says he is a sinner. It is characteristic of a true Christian who recognises the darker side of himself and seeks metanoia, a change of heart.

More than ever before, the Catholic Church in Australia needs to recognise the dark crimes of sexual abuse against children and vulnerable people under its care, and the untold damage done to them and their loved ones. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has delivered a shameful indictment not simply on the perpetrators and their enablers but the Church’s collective and systemic betrayal of the Gospel.

Nevertheless, I believe firmly that the Church must be grateful for the work of the Royal Commission. More importantly, we must seize this Kairos, this moment of grace, this opportunity as a catalyst for change and not treat this period as a temporary aberration. It can never be business as usual again. We must have the courage to see how far we have drifted from the vision of Jesus, repent of our sins, and face up to the task of reclaiming the innocence and the powerlessness of the Servant-Leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Catholic church looks at charging its schools rent, as payments mount to victims of child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Deborah Snow

Catholic schools in the Hunter and mid North coast could, for the first time, be asked to pay rent to the church for the land they stand on under proposals being considered by the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The initiative is encountering resistance from some Catholic educators, who fear such a plan risks diverting a portion of government funds intended for Catholic schooling into the administrative coffers of the church.

Currently no Catholic schools in any of the eleven dioceses in New South Wales pay rent to church authorities. Any decision to proceed would set a new precedent, generating potentially millions of dollars for diocesan funds.

"The majority of Catholic educationalists are privately appalled at the approach being taken" one source told the Herald. "It would not pass in the court of public opinion. Many of us fear that it would imperil legitimate claims for government funding of Catholic education if it was perceived those funds were being diverted to provide a revenue stream for the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Perth Catholic Archbishop says celibacy contributed to child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Angela Pownall, PerthNow
February 24, 2017

PERTH's Catholic Archbishop says the vow of celibacy contributed to "many cases" of child sexual abuse by Australian priests.

Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Friday, Timothy Costelloe's comments were at odds with Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher.

Archbishop Fisher said he did not blame celibacy for child sexual abuse in the same way he did not blame marriage for adultery.

But the Perth church leader, speaking on the final day of the royal commission's public hearing into the Catholic Church, argued that a person's motivation for choosing celibacy was the key.

"I think many people may have wanted to be a priest and thought, well, celibacy is part of the deal, so I'll have to go along with it, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Archbishop Martin says Connell 'was the one who finally began to realise the extent of the abuse'

IRELAND
The Journal

IN THE HOMILY given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at the funeral of Cardinal Desmond Connell today, Martin credited Connell as being the church figure who “began to drag out information” around abuse allegations inside the Catholic Church.

Martin said that it was “not enough” to make the comment that Connell was slow to recognise the extent of the problem of child sexual abuse when he was Archbishop of Dublin.

He added that Connell marked the beginning of a “new culture” within the diocese by establishing a child protection service.

Martin said:
Cardinal Connell became an Archbishop at a difficult time in this diocese. Many comments in these days noted that he was slow to recognise the extent of child sexual abuse by priests. It is not enough to make that comment now from a distance.

“It must be said that he found himself surrounded by a culture and at times by advisors who were slow and perhaps even unwilling to recognise both the extent of the problem and the enormous hurt that had been done to children, a hurt they still carry with them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Grants Pass pastor arrested on sex abuse charges

OREGON
KTVL

by Daniela Jusino
Thursday, February 23rd 2017

GRANTS PASS, Ore. - Grants Pass authorities have arrested a Grants Pass man following allegations of sexual abuse.

Michael Lewis, 51, was reportedly a pastor at now defunct Christ Fellowship Church in Grants Pass when the alleged sexual abuse occurred.

Earlier this month, detectives began investigating the case in which it is alleged that between July 2014 and November 2016, Lewis subjected a juvenile female church member to sexual contact.

"Anytime you have an individual who's in a position of trust, particularly in a faith-based organization, those are usually pretty shocking to have them happen. It's not a common thing to happen. It does happen, but it's not something to happen all the time," said Deputy Chief Jim Hamilton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 AM

Former Grants Pass pastor arrested for sexual abuse

OREGON
KOBI

Grants Pass, Ore. – Police say a man sexually abused a teenage church member while he was a pastor at a now defunct church in Grants Pass.

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said they began an investigation on February 1, 2017 into reported sexual abuse of a juvenile girl by 51-year-old Michael Howard Lewis.

Police said at the time the alleged abuse occurred, Lewis was a pastor at Friends in Christ Fellowship Church, formerly located at 1205 Rogue River Highway in Grants Pass. The girl was a church member.

According to detectives, between July 2014 and November 2016, Lewis sexually contacted the girl several times at the church. The sexual contact occurred while the girl was between the ages of 14 and 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 AM

Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) to Join Protesters at Whole Foods CEO Speech

CALIFORNIA
SAT Press Release

Nonprofit Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) is joining advocacy groups to lead a protest at Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s San Francisco speech. Advocates urge Mackey to disavow spiritual leader, former rabbi, alleged sex abuser Marc Gafni. The NY Times first reported Mackey’s affiliation with Gafni. Mackey is the scheduled keynote speaker at a Conscious Capitalism Bay Area Conference.

San Francisco, California, February 23, 2017 (Newswire.com) – ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) has joined a consortium of advocacy groups, leading a protest at a speech by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey in San Francisco on February 28, urging “Sexual Violence Accountability.” The advocacy consortium is led by Peaceful Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Matthew Sandusky, one of six adopted children of Jerry Sandusky (former Penn State football coach and convicted pedophile).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 AM

Natick: Priest linked in sex abuse scandal dies

MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Wayland

By Brian Benson
Daily News Staff

NATICK - A Catholic priest and longtime Natick resident, who was implicated in the Archdiocese of Boston priest sex abuse scandal, has died.

The Rev. Anthony J. Rebeiro, 86, died Feb. 15.

Rebeiro, who was born in India, lived in Natick for 40 years and served at several Boston area parishes, including St. Linus in Natick, according to his obituary.

Rebeiro faced allegations he had fondled a 12- or 13-year-old girl in the rectory of St. Linus and made sexual advances on a woman at St. Mary's Church in Franklin. He denied the allegations, the Boston Globe has reported. The Globe uncovered widespread sexual abuse involving Catholic priests in a Spotlight investigative series around the turn of the century.

Beginning in 2002, Rebeiro was placed on administrative leave after an allegation from about three decades earlier of sexual misconduct with a minor came to light, according to information on the Archdiocese of Boston website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 AM

Pope Francis's commission members say the church is 'struggling' on child safety responsibilities

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
24 Feb 2017

THE Catholic Church is a world organisation “struggling to come to terms with the safety of children and its responsibilities in that area”, two members of Pope Francis’s child protection commission told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“I think the Pope does understand the seriousness of it and I think there are many other leaders who do, but I think that the organisation, with the leadership that it has, there are some people struggling to come to terms with it,” psychiatrist and Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors member Baroness Sheila Hollins told the royal commission on Thursday.

Baroness Hollins and papal commission member Bill Killgallon told the royal commission they were under-resourced, under-staffed and had not seen evidence of research-based decision-making in the global church on issues relating to child sexual abuse.

“It seems to me that you’ve had a very systematic, well thought out program and you’ve commissioned research widely into some really important topics,” Mr Killgallon told the royal commission at the 16th, and final, public hearing into the Catholic Church.

“We as a commission can follow that example.”

A recent example of the church making decisions directly related to child sexual abuse involved whether child sex offenders within religious orders should be kept within communities or not, Mr Killgallon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 AM

Australian archbishops: Leadership on abuse was 'catastrophic failure'

AUSTRALIA
Catholic News Service

SYDNEY (CNS) -- Five Australian archbishops testified before a government commission on child sexual abuse, reiterating apologies and taking responsibility for actions that occurred before they were church leaders.

They also said they believed the culture of church and society had changed enough that it would help such abuse from occurring in the future.

The abuse of children in the church was "a catastrophic failure in many respects, but primarily in leadership," Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Feb. 23, near the end of three weeks of public hearings.

Gail Furness, the counsel assisting the commission, asked four other archbishops if they concurred with the assessment, and all agreed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 AM

Catholic leader says not 'remotely enough' supervision to prevent child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Thursday 23 February 2017

Sydney’s Catholic archbishop says he can’t pretend there is remotely enough supervision of abusive priests to be certain they won’t sexually assault children again.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher said on Friday the church financially supports known abusers and tries to find out where they live when they want nothing more to do with the institution.

“I can’t pretend we have remotely sufficient supervision for me to be assured that they are not misbehaving again,” he told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Sydney. “I have puzzled about it this now for several years.”

Fisher said he often struggled with the question of whether the church should support abusers. He said some people would think the church was trying to wash its hands of the problem if it didn’t assist them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 AM

Royal commission: Catholic archbishops split over reporting of abuse heard in confession

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Clare Blumer

Sydney's Catholic Archbishop says reporting abuse to authorities that he heard about during a confession would be like "bugging the confessional".

The five Catholic archbishops of Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide were giving evidence alongside each other for the second day running at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The church leaders were quizzed by senior counsel Gail Furness about how they might deal with a fictional child called 'Sally' reporting abuse to them in a confessional.

There were mixed responses from the archbishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 AM

Church leaders were ‘law unto themselves’, says Perth Archbishop

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Angela Pownall , Sydney
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Perth’s Catholic Archbishop says child sexual abuse took hold in the Church because the institution and its leaders were a “law unto themselves”.

Timothy Costelloe told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that a “catastrophic failure” in leadership led to widespread abuse and the Church’s “scandalously insufficient” response to it.

Giving evidence yesterday, he said bishops had behaved “almost like a little monarch in his own diocese” .

“The Church, in a sense, saw itself largely as ... a law unto itself; that it was somehow or other so special, so unique and so important it stood aside from the normal things that would be a part of any other body that works or exists in society,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 AM

Archbishops Told That Victims Thought 'God's Representative' Abused Them

AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Eoin Blackwell Senior Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

Survivors of sex abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy thought they were being abused by "a representative of God," a Royal commission has heard.

Five archbishops from around the country are giving evidence at the sex abuse Royal Commission in Sydney about how the Catholic church responded to decades of sexual abuse against children in its care.

During an at-times philosophical and theological discussion on Friday, commissioner Andrew Murray reminded those listening what the hearings were about.

"We have been told in private sessions that at the moments of abuse, that the child at the time... thought they were being abused by the representative of God, so it has immense and immediate meaning with respect to child sex abuse," Murray said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:02 AM

Pedophile priests used position of power to perpetrate abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Claire Abraham

The young victims of pedophile priests believed they were being abused by a “representative of God” because of what they had been taught in the Catholic church, a royal commission heard today.

Five archbishops from across the country today faced the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney, where the hearing opened to discussion of the power dynamics between priests and the laity.

Commissioner Andrew Murray drew an emotional response from the Archbishop of Adelaide when he revealed one priest’s dominion over an abused child.

"We have been told in private sessions that at the moments of abuse, that the child at the time — because of what they had been taught — thought they were being abused by the representative of God,” Commissioner Murray said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 AM

Church abuse victim speaks out nearly one year since grand jury investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

[with video]

Johnstown, Cambria County, Pa. - It has been nearly one year since a grand jury investigation uncovered hundreds of sexual abuse cases, within the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese and on March 1, there will be a news conference outside of the diocese offices in Altoona.

One victim said progress has not been made.

"It was a normal lifestyle except for one very [un]normal thing," Shaun Dougherty, a church abuse victim, said.

Dougherty said at 10-years old, he was sexually abused by a catholic priest at St. Clement's Church in Johnstown. He said it went on for three years, but he never told anyone.

At 21, he joined the U.S. Navy and took an oath for the military.

"That oath spoke to me and ever since then, I felt a burning desire to speak out, to tell what happened," Dougherty said, but when it came to the abuse that happened to him, no one took him seriously until 2016, when the report uncovered hundreds of cases from the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese over a 40 year span, and Dougherty was one of those cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 AM

Trinity Grammar knew about abuse and protected teacher, victim says

AUSTRALIA
Courier

Tammy Mills
24 Feb 2017

An alleged victim of a Trinity Grammar teacher has come forward after 40 years, saying the school knew he was abused and they are still protecting the teacher today.

The man, now in his 50s, came forward after Fairfax Media reported on Monday that school heads sent out a letter paying tribute to former teacher Christopher Howell's "extraordinary legacy".

"I've never been more disgusted with something than that letter," John*, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said.

"The vision of Howell was enough to make me sick, but what the school was saying about him; it was a lie and the school knew it was a lie and it protected him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 AM

Wollongong Catholic church figures give evidence at royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

Kate McIlwain
@kmcilwain

24 Feb 2017

Two senior Catholic church figures formerly from Wollongong have told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about their experiences in dealing with the “huge problem” in the diocese in the 1990s.

Appearing during the 16th public hearing on abuse within the Catholic church, long time director of Wollongong’s Catholic welfare agency, Kath McCormack this week spoke about her experiences working with survivors and victims of child sexual assault.

Likewise, Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson, who was the Bishop of Wollongong between 1997 and 2000, described how he and Ms McCormack organised a meeting to hear from victims of child sexual abuse.

Between 1993 and 1996, the Diocese had come under public criticism for its response to child sexual abuse, both from the Illawarra Mercury and in the Wood Royal Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 AM

February 23, 2017

High school teacher admits to verbal and emotional abuse of student

CANADA
CTV

Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Kitchener teacher was suspended from his job without pay for one month last summer after admitting to professional misconduct.

Matthew Kras was accused of verbally, emotionally and sexually abusing a student.

He pleaded guilty to professional misconduct over the emotional and verbal abuse, but did not admit to sexual abuse and is no longer facing that allegation.

In addition to the suspension, his penalty included a public reprimand from the Ontario College of Teachers and having to take a training course on appropriate boundaries. ...

Kras currently works at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener. He did not reply to multiple requests for comment before this story was published.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Two mothers who were sexually abused thirty years ago by Catholic primary school teacher join forces to make sure he stays on sex offenders register for life

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Steph Cockroft for MailOnline

Two mothers who were sexually abused by their Catholic primary school teacher more than 30 years ago joined forces to make sure he stays on the sex offenders register for life.

Kate Taylor, 37, and Kerrie Jones, 35, were among seven schoolgirls who were abused by Gerard Kelly when they were just six years old.

The paedophile, now 59, was convicted of his crimes in February 1999 - 14 years after the attacks took place - and jailed for five years. He was also put on the sex offenders register for life.

But last year, when Ms Taylor contacted police to find out what had happened to her abuser, she discovered he had applied to have his name removed from the register, under a law which was introduced in 2012.

Determined to stop that from happening, Ms Taylor, from Doncaster, then contacted Kelly's other victims in a bid to block the move.

Ms Jones agreed to help and, together, they launched a successful campaign to ensure his name remains on the register.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

FOILED BY VICTIMS Brave child abuse victims re-unite 30 years later to stop twisted perv teacher being removed from sex offenders’ register

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY HANNAH CROUCH 23rd February 2017,

TWO mums who were sexually abused as children by the same man joined forces thirty years later to ensure their abuser remains on the sex offenders register.

Kate Taylor, 37, and Kerrie Jones, 35, were abused by their Catholic primary school teacher Gerard Kelly now 59, when they were just six years old.

n February 1999, 14 years after the abuse took place, Kelly was convicted of indecent assault against seven underage schoolgirls – including Kate and Kerrie – and was sentenced to five years in prison at Doncaster Crown Court.

He was also ordered on to the sex offenders register for life.

Last year, Kate, an office manager, contacted the police to find out what had happened to her abuser, and discovered he had applied to come off the register following a law change in 2012 which allows sex abusers to apply to come off the register.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Priest Speaks to Media Before Sexual Assault Court Hearing

WISCONSIN
CBS 58

[with video]

A priest is facing a number of sexual assault charges involving a child from a local school.

The complaint said Robert Marsicek sexually assaulted a young girl while working as a priest at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa.

Marsicek said before his first court appearance he hadn't read the criminal complaint.

Last December, a 15-year-old girl went to the Wauwatosa Police Department and told them that she was sexually assaulted from first to fourth grade.

She said it happened while she was a student St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa and that Father Bob as he was known repeatedly hugged her, had her sit on his lap, and rubbed her thighs and hips and private areas.

In court, the county commissioner ordered him not to have contact with the alleged victim or any unsupervised contact with a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Le cardinal Lacroix nie avoir camouflé un scandale de pédophilie

CANADA
Le Soleil

[Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix categorically denies having camouflaged a scandal of pedophilia in the 1970s and 1980s at the Pius X Secular Institute of which he became secretary-general in 1982.]

(Québec) Le cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix nie catégoriquement avoir camouflé un scandale de pédophilie dans les années 1970 et 1980 à l'Institut séculier Pie X, dont il est devenu secrétaire général en 1982.

Dans un message publié mercredi matin sur sa page Facebook, l'archevêque de Québec réfute les allégations d'André Lachance, un homme qui affirme avoir été agressé sexuellement durant une quinzaine d'années par un oncle et missionnaire laïc de l'Institut. Les abus étaient connus des supérieurs religieux, allègue M. Lachance, en ajoutant que Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, membre de l'Institut séculier puis secrétaire général, lui avait demandé à deux reprises de pardonner à son agresseur, Jean-Paul Lachance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Keine zureichenden Anhaltspunkte

DEUTSCHLAND
Bishofliches Ordinariat Wurzburg

[Abuse Commissioner Professor Klaus Laubenthal stayed proceedings against a priest in the Wurzburg diocese. He found no reason to restrict activities.]

Missbrauchsbeauftragter Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal stellt Verfahren gegen Priester ein – Diözese: Keine Grundlage, Priester in Tätigkeiten einzuschränken

Würzburg (POW) Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal, Missbrauchsbeauftragter der Diözese Würzburg, hat das Verfahren gegen einen Priester der Diözese Würzburg eingestellt. Das teilte er Bischof Dr. Friedhelm Hofmann in einem Schreiben mit. Seit April 2016 hatte Laubenthal einen weiteren „Vorwurf des sexuellen Missbrauchs oder einer Übergriffigkeit“ bezogen auf den Priester untersucht. Bereits 2014/15 war ein erster Vorwurf gegen den Priester mit einer kirchenrechtlichen Voruntersuchung geprüft worden. Diese hatte zum Ergebnis, „dass der Vorwurf eines sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen (...) begründet nicht aufrechterhalten werden kann“. Die Kongregation für die Glaubenslehre in Rom hatte nach umfassender Prüfung dieses Ergebnisses mitgeteilt, dass das Verfahren einzustellen sei. Die Staatsanwaltschaft hatte 2016 das Verfahren wegen prozessualer Verfolgungsverjährung eingestellt. Für die Diözese Würzburg bedeuten beide Ergebnisse, dass gegen den Ruhestandspriester keinerlei Vorwürfe aufrechterhalten werden können. Damit ist keine Grundlage gegeben, den Priester in seinen Tätigkeiten einzuschränken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Un Français accusé d'agression sexuelle sur des migrants mineurs en Grèce

GRECE
France Actu

[A French national who has been living in Greece for 10 years and who works for a Catholic association was detained after charges of sexual assault. He allegedly attacked Pakistani minors whom he hosted.]

Un ressortissant français, établi depuis 10 ans en Grèce et qui travaille pour une association catholique, a été placé en détention après des accusations d'agression sexuelle. Il s'en serait pris à des mineurs pakistanais qu'il hébergeait.

Depuis 10 ans, il affirme effectuer une mission philanthropique pour l'ordre catholique des Franciscains, à Thessalonique, dans le nord de la Grèce. Ce Français de 52 ans, dont l'identité n'a pas été révélée, a été interpellé à la suite d'accusations de migrants mineurs. Selon la police, deux Pakistanais de 14 et 17 ans assurent que l'homme qui les a hébergés chez lui, les a "abusés sexuellement à plusieurs reprises".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Diocese to pray for victims of abuse

MAINE
Courieri

Bishop Robert P. Deeley has designated Friday, March 3, as a diocesan-wide Day of Prayer and Penance to seek forgiveness for past harm while offering prayers for the healing of victims/survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. The day will also reaffirm the Diocese of Portland’s continuing pledge to provide a safe environment for children.

Deeley will celebrate Mass on the Day of Prayer and Penance at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

Priests throughout the diocese are being encouraged to observe the Day of Prayer and Penance by offering Masses on March 3 that include prayers for victims/ survivors of abuse for their healing; for perpetrators of abuse to seek and find repentance and justice; for diocesan clergy, employees and volunteers to serve with a spirit of respect and humility; and for families to create a safe, loving, and peaceful environment for their children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Founder of Skype supports congregational rabbi training

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

Shimon Cohen, 23/02/17

The Association of Community Rabbis has begun a professional training series for synagogue and community rabbis.

In addition to halachic training such as for conducting weddings, family life, and practical kashrut adjudication tools, the rabbis receive comprehensive professional training including courses in mediation and reconciliation, domestic tranquility, handling extreme cases (family and community violence, sexual abuse, etc.), rhetoric and individual dialogue, economic support for needy families, media and public relations issues, and more.

Kevin Bermeister, a Jewish businessman from Australia, decided to assume financial responsibility for a significant part of the rabbinic training programs and scholarships.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Former school priest accused of sexually assaulting young girl

WISCONSIN
WISN

WAUWATOSA, Wis. —
A former school priest known to students as "Father Bob" touched a young girl on her buttocks, vagina and breasts over the course of nearly three years, a criminal complaint said.

Robert Marsicek, now 75, faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted on three counts of 1st degree sexual assault of a child under age 13.

According to the charging document, the assaults occurred between September 2007 and the end of June 2010 while Marsicek worked at St. Pius X Grade School, on the 2500 block of Wauwatosa Avenue.

The complaint details at least seven instances in which the girl, identified only as AC, alleged that Marsicek touched her inappropriately while hugging her, comforting her or playing with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Child abuse inquiry panel decision defended by John Swinney

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has defended his decision to leave a major inquiry into child abuse in care in Scotland with just one panel member.

Glenn Houston resigned from the Scottish child abuse inquiry panel this week to avoid any potential conflict of interest after he accepted two other public appointments.

He is the third original panel member to resign from the inquiry after Susan O'Brien QC quit following claims she had made comments that were ''offensive'' to survivors while professor Michael Lamb stepped down after saying the review is ''doomed'' due to interference by ministers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:28 PM

Ex-IOR execs Cipriani, Tulli get 4 mths (3)

ROME
ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, February 23 - The former director-general of the Vatican Bank (IOR), Paolo Cipriani, and his former deputy Massimo Tulli were sentenced to four months and 10 days in jail Thursday for breaching anti-money-laundering norms in a number of suspect transactions. The former IOR chiefs were acquitted for alleged irregularities linked to a 23-million-euro bank transfer, a sum that was seized by investigators in 2010. Last month a Rome prosecutor asked for sentences of one year in jail for Cipriani and 10 months for Tulli a trial into suspected breaches of Italy's anti-money-laundering norms linked to two suspicious operations that led to the 2010 seizure of the 23 million euros, which was later returned to the Holy See's bank. The Vatican Bank, or Institute for Religious Works (IOR), operated in Italy without authorization for 40 years, Rome prosecutors said in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

2 EX-VATICAN BANK EXECS CONVICTED OF MINOR OFFENSES

ROME
Associated Press

ROME (AP) -- A Rome court has convicted two former top managers of the Vatican's scandal-marred bank for minor violations of anti-money laundering norms.

According to the ANSA news agency, the two were absolved of a more serious charge but were convicted Thursday of omissions in communications involving three small transfers and were sentenced to four months, 10 days each. Their lawyers plan to appeal.

Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli resigned under pressure in 2013 from the Vatican bank - called Institute for Religious Works, or IOR. The bank's leadership had been under investigation since 2010 for allegedly violating Italy's anti-money laundering laws involving routine bank transactions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:25 PM

Former Wauwatosa priest charged with sexual assault of a child

WISCONSIN
TMJ4

[with video[

WAUWATOSA, Wis. - Robert Marsicek, a former priest at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa, has been charged with three counts of child sexual assault.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court records indicate that in December of last year, a student at St. Pius told police Marsicek had sexually assaulted them, hugging them and touching them inappropriately.

The student recalled the abuse continuing from first grade to fourth grade in a detailed report to police.

Detectives questioned “Father Bob,” about these allegations in January, at which time he remembered interacting with the student but said it was not inappropriate.

When asked if he was attracted to small boys and girls, Marsicek admitted that, “Certainly I’m aroused just the cuteness and beauty of them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Rogers City priest facing CSC charges in district court

MICHIGAN
Presque Isle County Advance

by Peter Jakey—

A Rogers City priest has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct (CSC).

The Rev. Sylvestre Ochieng Obwaka, 44, was arraigned Tuesday morning in 89th District Court in Rogers City in front of district Judge Maria Barton.

The judge read the charges to Obwaka, who is the priest at St. Ignatius Catholic Church of Rogers City.

Count one is CSC first degree, personal injury, while the second count is CSC third degree, force or coercion. Both are felonies and both charges involve a male victim, according to Presque Isle County prosecutor Ken Radzibon. The alleged offenses occurred “on or about Feb. 1,” the complaint states.

“Charges have been authorized based upon an investigation conducted by the Michigan State Police (MSP),” said Radzibon after the arraignment. “The defendant was arraigned today (Feb. 21). I would just remind people that obviously all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Charged: Man who used to be priest at Wauwatosa school accused of inappropriate contact with young girl

WISCONSIN
Fox 6

MILWAUKEE — 75-year-old Robert Marsicek of Milwaukee is charged with three counts of first-degree child sexual assault – contact with a child under age 13. This, in connection with events that allegedly took place at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa.

In December 2016, a 15-year-old girl went to Wauwatosa police to discuss allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Marsicek, also known as Father Bob.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim told police Marsicek was the priest at the school. She said starting in first grade, Marsicek would “hug her” and often touch her in inappropriate ways. The complaint indicates these incidents happened from first through fourth grade.

On January 10th, the complaint indicates “Father Bob was questioned” by a detective about the incidents in the complaint. Marsicek recalled interacting with the student — but was not specific about any instance in particular.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Two Dundee establishments investigated as part of Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

SCOTLAND
The Courier

by Stefan Morkis
February 23 2017

A former school and defunct orphanage in Dundee are both being investigated as part of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The inquiry is probing historic child abuse across Scotland. More than 60 residential and care establishments are being investigated.

The two Dundee institutions being investigated both closed down in the early 1980s: the Balgowan List D School and the Roseangle Orphanage (St Vincents).

The inquiry is collecting evidence from the victims of abuse. ...

A number of organisations, including two survivors’ groups, the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and Quarriers have been granted “core participant” status in the inquiry.

Neither the Catholic Church of the Church of Scotland has so far applied for core participant status although the Catholic Church has said it may do so in due course.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Priest charged with sex assault of child at Wauwatosa parish

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Annysa Johnson , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Feb. 23, 2017

Four years after he was removed from ministry because of alleged inappropriate contact with children, a Milwaukee priest has been charged with three counts of felony sexual assault of a child beginning when she was 6 years old.

The Rev. Robert R. Marsicek, 75, who had been the subject of numerous complaints from parents over the years and escaped a criminal charge in 2013, was charged Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in Milwaukee Circuit Court at Thursday.

According to a criminal complaint, Marcicek repeatedly touched the child while at Pius X Parish and school in Wauwatosa between 2007 and 2010. She said Marsicek, who defended himself over the years as merely overly affectionate, at one point laid on her and touched her breasts and at another reached under her jumper to "pat" her vagina.

Marsicek told detectives that the girl was clingy and liked to sit on his lap, and that he told her it was not acceptable. He said he did not remember the rest of her allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Bishops unhappy with speed of Vatican trials for alleged abusers

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Delays in how the Vatican tackles cases of priests accused of abuse continue to be a concern for Irish bishops, a spokesman for the hierarchy has confirmed.

Addressing Australia’s royal commission into the institutional handling of abuse allegations earlier this month, Teresa Devlin, CEO of the Irish Church’s safeguarding board, said she believed that Ireland’s bishops may have asked for steps to be taken to address these delays and she knew “there is a keenness” on the part of the bishops “for this to be moved along much quicker”.

However, a spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference told The Irish Catholic that while “The lengths of penal trials have always been a concern for bishops and priests,” he had no information available on “particular representations to the CDF on this matter”.

Elphin’s Bishop Kevin Doran told The Irish Catholic that as far as he was aware, “no specific changes” had been sought from the CDF.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Retired Geelong Bishop speaks of Royal Commission into child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Jemma Ryan, Geelong Advertiser
February 23, 2017

RETIRED Bishop Peter Danaher has spoken for the first time about his shock and devastation at the findings of the Royal Commission into institutional child abuse within the church.

A report, which focused on the institutional response to reported cases of abuse within the church, was released earlier this month.

Almost 2000 members of the Catholic clergy were named as alleged perpetrators of 4,400 allegations of sexual abuse.

Bishop Danaher, a Former Vicar of All Saints’ Anglican Parish in Newtown, labelled the acts, and institutional cover up that ensued, a “disgrace” and said he was pleased to see the “criminals” who betrayed the church and the wider community ousted in such a public way.

“There is absolutely no way that any of these crimes can be excused or ignored. What has happened is grossly sinful and brings shame on all involved,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Teacher fired, investigated over abuse allegation at Yeshiva

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

February 22, 2017

By Karen Kane / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The president of an Orthodox Jewish school in Squirrel Hill said Wednesday that an elementary teacher was fired in September after a witness reported observing him having inappropriate sexual contact with a child.

Shlomo Jacobs, president of the Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, said Nisson Friedman had been a teacher at the school since 2014 before his firing.

Mr. Friedman, 26, of Squirrel Hill, taught boys in the first and second grades. He is married, but his wife has initiated divorce and custody proceedings. according to documents filed in the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. The couple has a young child.

According to his wife’s filing, Mr. Friedman “is currently under investigation in Pittsburgh, PA for at least one incident of child sexual abuse with a minor other than (the couple’s own) child. These allegations … relate to the Pittsburgh school at which (Mr. Friedman) was employed at the time. He was fired shortly thereafter.”

The court approved her petition to receive sole custody of the child on an interim emergency basis due to the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Christian Brothers defend spending $1.5m funding paedophile Robert Best’s legal defence

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

THE Christian Brothers say they only paid a convicted pedophile’s latest legal fees after previously spending more than $1.5 million defending him because he decided to plead guilty.

A Victorian County Court judge says he is “blown away” that the Catholic Church still funds the legal defence for Brother Robert Best, who has been convicted of sex offences against 11 boys and this week admitted abusing a further 20.

Christian Brothers Oceania Province leader Brother Peter Clinch says the order agreed it would fund the latest case only if Best pleaded guilty. “We agreed that if the person pleaded guilty we would support the plea. Full stop,” Brother Clinch told the child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

“We would not contest and we would not pay for any trial and we would not pay for any appeal.”

The Christian Brothers had spent $1.53 million defending Best by 2015. Marist Brothers provincial Brother Peter Carroll said the order paid for the defence of brothers charged with child sex offences whether they pleaded guilty or not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Royal Commission into child sex abuse: Archbishop refused to apologise to mother of teen victim

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

Ian Paterson, The Daily Telegraph

A HEARTLESS archbishop has refused to apologise to a 92-year-old mother for the sexual abuse a priest inflicted on her then teenage daughter, who later committed suicide.

The Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart yesterday fronted the royal commission into child sex abuse to issue a series of apologies for the Catholic Church’s handling of a “tsunami” of cases but refused to even acknowledge that Eileen Piper’s daughter Stephanie had been sexually assaulted over several years by a disgraced former priest.

Ms Piper took her own life in Melbourne in 1994 after ­allegedly suffering sexual abuse between the ages of 15 and 18 when in a youth group run by Father Gerard Mulvale.

After 23 years, her mother is still battling with the Melbourne archdiocese, which ­refuses to acknowledge the abuse of her daughter.

Mulvale, the priest who ­allegedly raped Stephanie during her late teens, was sentenced to three years jail in 1995 for indecently assaulting two teenage boys who were in the same youth group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

4 new sex abuse lawsuits filed against church

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

All four alleged victims claim they were sexually abused by former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard.

Guam - The Archdiocese of Agana is now facing a total of $110 million in lawsuits with the addition of four new civil claims of sexual abuse that were filed yesterday.

The four new plaintiffs are Benny Manglona, Johnny Bascon, Albino Bascon and Roque Flores. All four identify their alleged sexual abuser as former Guam Priest Father Louis Brouillard and say the sexual abuse happened in the 1970s at either the Malojloj church or the Barrigada parish. All four boys were between the ages of 10 to 15 years old and were serving as altar boys while Brouillard was a parish priest and scout master at the Guam Boy’s Scout.

Brouillard is now facing 14 lawsuits for civil claims of sexual abuse. He has admitted to being a sexual predator while serving as a priest on Guam, signing an affidavit in which he says he doesn’t recall exactly how many young boys he may have molested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Greece charges cleric with child refugees' sexual abuse

GREECE
Aljazeera

Teo Kermeliotis

Greek police say they have arrested a French cleric suspected of sexually abusing unaccompanied refugee children he had sheltered in his house in Thessaloniki, Greece's second-biggest city.

The 52-year-old man, who belongs to the Franciscan Church of France, allegedly molested four homeless Pakistani boys, aged 14 to 18.

The children, who had been sleeping rough around Thessaloniki's main railway station, told police officials that they accepted to stay at the man's home in January after he had offered to provide them with food and housing.

"When questioned, the children said they suffered repeated and persistent sexual abuse by the man," a police spokeswoman told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

"They say that he took advantage of the fact that they were homeless and without food to sexually abuse them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Vianney College seminary has introduced a second round of psychological testing for Catholic priests in training

AUSTRALIA
Daily Advertiser

Ken Grimson
23 Feb 2017

CATHOLIC priests in training at the Vianney College seminary at Wagga will undergo a second psychological assessment before being ordained as deacons as part of the church’s response to the nation’s child sex scandal.

The second test was revealed by seminary rector, Reverend Father Peter Thompson, when he appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Fr Thompson said that for the most part, seminarians have been assessed in their first year at the college, but from this year each man would be tested again before being considered for the diaconate.

He said the reason for adding second test was “by the time they get to their seventh year their original psychological test is a long way away.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Catholic leaders ‘criminally negligent’ on child abuse: archbishop

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

Australia’s metropolitan Catholic archbishops agree a “catastrophic failure” of leadership contributed to ongoing child sexual abuse by clergy across the country.

The archbishops of Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are jointly giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse in Sydney.

Counsel assisting Gail Furness SC on Thursday asked each of them whether they agreed leadership failures were responsible for ongoing abuse in the church.

“I think you might want to use stronger words (than failure), in some cases,” Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said.

“It was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Archbishop makes explosive claim at Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Starts at 60

No doubt you’ve been following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over the past few months.

We’ve heard from convicted priests and some of their victims, and now the attention is turning to the heads of the Catholic church in Australia.

Today two of the church’s most senior Australian leaders fronted the commission, and one of them made an explosive claim about the church’s response to child sex abuse allegations.

According to reports by the ABC, the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher told the commission that response by catholic leaders amounted to “criminal negligence”.

“It was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face,” he said.

“In other cases, I think there were people that were just like rabbits in the headlights, they just had no idea what to do, and their performance was appalling.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Archbishop meets 92yo over alleged abuse

By Rebekah Ison
Australian Associated Press

A 92-year-old woman fighting for justice over her late daughter's alleged sexual abuse has met with Melbourne's Catholic archbishop but says his sympathies don't cut the mustard.

Eileen Piper says Archbishop Denis Hart gave her a letter and said he would pray for her in a closed-door meeting shortly after he gave evidence at the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

Ms Piper's lawyer, Judy Courtin, said Archbishop Hart extended his sympathies for what had happened to the widow, whose 32-year-old daughter Stephanie killed herself in 1994, the year after revealing she had been raped by Pallottine priest Gerard Mulvale as a teen.

But he did not acknowledge the abuse occurred, Ms Piper said

"I'm sorry to say... nothing has changed," Ms Piper, who travelled from Melbourne, told reporters after the meeting outside the royal commission in Sydney.

"It's not over. I'm not prepared to let that happen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Archbishop Admits To 'Castastrophic' Failure In Leadership Over Child Sex Abuse

AUSTRALIA
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill EDITOR 23 February 2017

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, has told Australia's Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse that the response by Catholic Church to allegations amount to 'criminal negligence'.

Fisher, aged 57, who succeeded Cardinal George Pell as Archbishop of Sydney in 2014, said: 'It was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face.

'In other cases, I think there were people that were just like rabbits in the headlights, they just had no idea what to do, and their performance was appalling,' he added according to ABC.

Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe admitted there had been a 'catastrophic' failure in Church leadership.

He said child sex abuse ran counter to what the Church claimed to be.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

'It's wrong. It's unfair': A mother's 23-year search for a Church apology

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

By Patrick Wood

Eileen Piper has told her daughter's tragic story so many times she can recount the facts with a steely determination.

There was a Catholic youth club, a priest, allegations of horrific sexual abuse followed by Church denial. And then her daughter committed suicide.

The 92-year-old is kept awake at night by these events, yet said she finds strength in chasing the truth about what happened to her child.

It's only when asked what she would like to hear from the archbishops who will appear at the child abuse royal commission that Eileen finally starts to look worn out.

"I've got a broken heart," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Archbishop Says Child Abuse Response Appalling, 'Kind Of Criminal Negligence'

AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Eoin Blackwell Senior Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has told a Royal Commission the response by church leaders to abuse allegations by children amounted to "criminal negligence".

On Thursday the archbishops of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth appeared before the sex abuse Royal Commission to give evidence on what the Church is doing to address its decades long failure to protect children.

The archbishops were asked by Counsel assisting, Gail Furness, if a failure of leadership was responsible for abuse in the church.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said a stronger term might be used.

"That it was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face," he said

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

A 92 year old woman's plea for justice from the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Independent Australia

Dr Judy Courtin 23 February 2017

This morning, Eileen Piper, a 92 year old mother who lost her only daughter, Stephanie, to suicide at age 32 after being repeatedly raped by Catholic priest, Gerard Mulvale, told her story to ABC's Fran Kelly.

(You can listen to the interview here.)

EILEEN AND her lawyer, Dr Judy Courtin, travelled to Sydney to confront Archibishop Denis Hart today at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It is a heartbreaking story of unmitigated injustice. The Catholic Church have conspired to trash her daughter's reputation — and hold fast to the findings of the church's farcical self-investigation decades ago.

Dr Judy Courtin tells Eileen's story:

Mrs Eileen Piper, my 92-year old client, has been fighting the Catholic Church for 25 years.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is soon to complete its wrap-up hearing into the Catholic Church. Whilst the church "hangs it head in shame", we are assured by the hierarchy that "today’s church is significantly different".

Mrs Piper and many other victims fervently disagree.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Elderly mum gets meeting but no apology from archbishop at Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Eileen Piper says Archbishop Denis Hart gave her a letter and said he would pray for her in a closed-door meeting shortly after he gave evidence at the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

Ms Piper's lawyer, Judy Courtin, said Archbishop Hart extended his sympathies for what had happened to the widow, whose 32-year-old daughter Stephanie killed herself in 1994, the year after saying she had been raped by Pallottine priest Gerard Mulvale as a teen.

But he did not acknowledge the abuse occurred, Ms Piper said

"I'm sorry to say... nothing has changed," Ms Piper, who travelled from Melbourne, told reporters after the meeting outside the royal commission in Sydney.

"It's not over. I'm not prepared to let that happen."

Mulvale was charged with offences relating to Stephanie but they were dropped after she died.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

I failed in victim dealings: Archbishop

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil - AAP on February 23, 2017

Adelaide's Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson admits his dealings with child sex abuse survivors have failed at times.

Archbishop Wilson, believed to be the most senior Catholic official in the world to face a charge of concealing child sex abuse, says the church leadership carries a big responsibility to ensure changes occur so children are protected.

The archbishop accepts the Adelaide archdiocese's dealings with abuse survivors have not always been a success.

"There are some parts of our experience in Adelaide that I wasn't happy that we did it as well as we could," he told the child sex abuse royal commission on Thursday.

"Sometimes I have failed in that area but I would really make it a high point to try to engage with the survivors as much as I can."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

'Criminally negligent': Catholic archbishops criticise church's handling of abuse scandal

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Thursday 23 February 2017

Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders have conceded that the church’s handling of the child sexual abuse crisis was “hopelessly inadequate”, had catastrophic consequences, and amounted to “criminal negligence”.

Five of Australia’s metropolitan archbishops appeared before the child abuse royal commission on Thursday, asked to explain how the church had allowed the abuse of at least 4,444 children between between 1980 and 2015.

Perth archbishop, Timothy Costelloe, said a major cause of the abuse complaints and the abysmal response to complaints was the leadership’s belief in the “untouchability of the church”, which filtered down to bishops and priests.

“The church in a sense saw itself as a law unto itself; that it was somehow or other so special and so unique, and in a sense so important, that it stood aside from the normal things that would be a part of any other body,” Costelloe said.

“There was a profound cultural presupposition about the uniqueness of the church ... in a sense the untouchability of the church, in that it didn’t have to answer to anybody else,” he said.

“It only had to answer to itself.”

He described the church’s respo

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Catholic leaders speak of church's 'catastrophic failure' in past approach to child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Australia's most senior Catholic leaders delivered a scathing assessment of their church's past approach to victims of child sexual abuse, telling a royal commission it was "criminal negligence" and "a catastrophic failure".

Five metropolitan archbishops appeared before a packed hearing room at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which is examining Catholic church authorities in a three-week inquiry.

Sydney archbishop Anthony Fisher described the church's response to victims as "criminal negligence".

"There were people who were just like rabbits in the headlights, they had no idea what to do and their performance was appalling," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

February 22, 2017

Church funded abuser's three-year fight not to be extradited to NZ

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

MEGAN NEIL

A Catholic order's leader dropped to his knees and begged a brother to face child sex abuse charges in New Zealand yet still paid to take the extradition battle as far as Australia's highest court.

Brother Timothy Graham believes his predecessor as provincial of the Australian Hospitaller Order of St John of God should not have funded the three-year extradition fight.

The issue caused great controversy, Brother Graham told the Australian child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

St John of God's Brother Rodger Moloney and Father Raymond John Garchow were eventually extradited to New Zealand to face charges they sexually abused boys at Christchurch special school Marylands in the 1970s, after the High Court refused their special leave application in 2006.

Moloney was jailed in 2008 for two years and nine months for offences against five boys, while the case against Garchow did not proceed due to his and a complainant's ill health.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

Pope's abuse advisory group 'underfunded'

AUSTRALIA
NT News

By Rebekah Ison, Australian Associated Press

Pope Francis' child sexual abuse advisory group is under-resourced and struggling to carry out its work, a royal commission sitting in Sydney has heard.

Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on Thursday agreed the Catholic Church was still struggling to deal with its child safety responsibilities.

Australian commission member Kathleen McCormack said underfunding, infrequent meetings, and structural and cultural barriers were hampering the group's work.

"Our budget would be what you would do in a diocese, but we're dealing with the whole world," she said at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Thursday.

UK member Sheila Hollins agreed the commission was struggling to operate.

"Why can't you go to the Pope and say 'We don't have the resources we need to effectively carry out our work'?" royal commission chair Peter McClellan asked.

Baroness Hollins replied: "That may well be something we want to feed back to him when we complete our review."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

The Catholic Church Must Show Leadership For Abuse Survivors

AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Michelle James
Principal and the head of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers’ Abuse Practice

Extraordinary details have continued to emerge at The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse about the extent of sexual abuse and alleged perpetrators within the Catholic Church, as well as compensation paid.

The statistics are shocking -- more than 4,400 cases of alleged abuse have been recorded, and close to $280 million in compensation paid over 35 years. Significant concerns were also raised about barriers to compensation in dealing with the Catholic Church, including through the Church's Towards Healing process.

Sadly, the struggle for survivors seeking access to compensation is a tale we have heard all too often when it comes to the Catholic Church -- whether this is sought through the Towards Healing process or directly through a diocese or affiliated organisation.

For too long the Catholic Church has been hiding behind a complex legal defence known as the 'Ellis defence' that blocks victims from suing for compensation. Based on a 2007 NSW Court of Appeal decision involving abuse survivor John Ellis who was sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s, the defence essentially protects the Catholic Church from liability to be sued because it is not a legal entity. So despite well-documented abuse occurring within countless Catholic Church owned, affiliated and operated organisations, survivors must instead seek compensation directly from the diocese or congregation concerned, while the broader church remains at arm's length.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone says Vatican diplomatic recognition is in question because of abuse crisis

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
23 Feb 2017

A FORMER senior federal and state government executive and leading Australian Catholic reform group president has backed calls for Australia to break diplomatic ties with the Vatican over the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone said the response was “right on the money”, in comments after telling the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Australia needed to send a “hard” message to Pope Francis and the Vatican.

“I have no hesitation in arguing the royal commission should say to the government that if the Catholic Church will not cooperate in making major changes – and the Australian church can’t change without the global church changing - then the government should say to the Catholic Church it will reconsider its diplomatic recognition of the Holy See,” Mr Johnstone said on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Pope’s adviser: license and train priests to prevent child abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 23, 2017

SAM BUCKINGHAM-JONES
JournalistSydney

Licenses and regular training for priests and bishops should be considered as a measure to protect children from abuse, a group advising the Pope on the issue says.

Baroness Sheila Hollins, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told a Royal Commission this morning registration licenses like those used by medical professionals could be an option for priests, who would then go through an “appraisal system” of regular education.

“I don’t see why there couldn’t be an appraisal system, and why that appraisal system shouldn’t require feedback from parishioners and others with whom a priest is in regular contact,” Baroness Hollins told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney. baroness

“The answer is often that the sacramental part of the priest’s role is not something which could be subject to external, lay scrutiny. But my view is that there is a part of a priest’s role which is very similar to the kind of professional role that, for example, doctors and teachers might have. That part of their role could be subject to licensing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Quebec City man accuses Cardinal Lacroix of turning blind eye to sexual abuse

CANADA
CBC News

A Quebec City man is suing a Catholic community, the Pius X Secular Institute, for nearly $370,000, alleging it failed to protect him from an alleged pedophile.

The suit also contends that Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, a leading figure in the institute — now the archbishop of Quebec and Catholic Primate of Canada — was aware of the alleged abuse but did nothing.

André Lachance, 48, alleges he was sexually assaulted about 80 times on the institute's grounds by his uncle, Jean-Paul Lachance, who was a lay member of the religious community.

The elder Lachance killed himself in 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Royal commission: Who's who of Catholic archbishops giving evidence in Sydney this week

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Philippa McDonald

Five of Australia's Catholic archbishops will front the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in the final days of the public hearing in Sydney.

This is who they are, what their public statements about child abuse documented by the royal commission have been, and what their relationships are to Cardinal George Pell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

New suits claim altar boy service front for abuse

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

Four new civil lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese of Agana in the District Court of Guam alleging the practice of altar boy service ultimately became a “tool by which sexually predatory priests would gain access to young boys.”

The four cases filed yesterday raised the total number of cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana to 22 with the total amount of damages sought now totaling $110 million.

The lawsuits filed by Albino Bascon, Johnny Bascon, Benny Manglona and Roque Flores allege sexual abuse by former Guam priest Louis Brouillard, who now resides in Minnesota. Each plaintiff is seeking a minimum of $5 million in damages and accuses the Catholic Church of using the "ritual" of altar boy service as a disguise to have sexual access to young boys.

Each of the plaintiffs served as altar boys at various parishes where Brouillard served as priest during his time on Guam in the early 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Eugene priest heading to trial on prostitution charges

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
FEB. 22, 2017

With a trial in the case set to begin Wednesday, Lane County prosecutors have dismissed the lone felony charge against a Eugene priest charged with paying for sex with an underage girl.

The move, announced Tuesday in a court filing by Assistant Lane County District Attorney JoAnn Miller, means that Daniel James MacKay will go to trial on nine misdemeanor charges. A six-person jury will be seated in the case.

The felony had charged MacKay with attempting to use a minor in the commission of a controlled substance offense. It alleged MacKay had used an underage girl to help him make or distribute cocaine.

MacKay, 42, is now charged with four counts of prostitution, four counts of endangering the welfare of a minor and one count of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Judge to priest who stole $100K from church: You abused position of trust

ILLINOIS/WISCONSIN
Chicago Tribune

Tony Briscoe and Kate Thayer
Chicago Tribune

A Greek Orthodox priest from Chicago who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $100,000 from his church had his felony theft conviction reduced to a misdemeanor Wednesday.

A judge in Milwaukee agreed to instate the lesser conviction after the Rev. James Dokos satisfied the terms of his year-long probation, including 40 hours of community service, which he fulfilled by volunteering in a Chicago church. Dokos, 64, will continue to avoid jail time if he pays a $5,000 fine within the next year, officials said.

While leading Annunciation Church in Milwaukee, Dokos tapped into a trust fund intended to benefit the church and used the money for personal expenses, according to authorities. The priest controlled the $1 million fund — money that was left to the church by former parishioners — and used it to pay personal credit card bills, buy jewelry for a relative and provide gifts of more than $6,000 to a high-ranking church official in Chicago, among other unauthorized purchases, according to a 2013 Tribune analysis of trust fund records.

Parishioners at Annunciation began looking into the trust fund spending after Dokos was transferred by church leaders in Chicago to Sts. Peter and Paul congregation in Glenview, and later authorities in Milwaukee were contacted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

Guam church's situation is unusual, says canon lawyer

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 21, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Last week, Vatican officials came and left without hearing from Roland Sondia, one of the four men to accuse Archbishop Anthony Apuron of child molestation. The same group of clergy are likely to leave Hawaii today, also emptyhanded. And one canon lawyer shares his experience with canonical trials against clergy accused of sex abuse.

What's happened on Guam, he says, is unusual.

Thomas Doyle is a canon lawyer and an expert in clergy sex abuse having been around since accusations of pedophile priests first surfaced over three decades ago. What he observed in last week's visit from Vatican officials, led by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, wasn't typical. "I've represented victims in canonical trials and I've gone with them when they've given their testimony," he qualified. "There's sometimes when they don't want me in, but they certainly have a right to have someone with them. especially if they've been sexually violated."

As we reported, Sondia was called to the chancery to meet with Cardinal Burke and the visiting clergy on Thursday morning. His attorney, David Lujan, however, was uninvited - and Sondia walked away without providing his deposition.

Doyle tells KUAM News that was the right thing to do and shares what happens behind closed doors during the very secretive canonical process. On one occasion, Doyle says he and his client walked out during a deposition. "I got fed up with the way they were talking to him and I just finally stopped the whole thing and said 'We're leaving. Until you guys learn how to treat a victim of sexual abuse with respect and sensitivity, we're not coming back.'" he explained.

To date, eighteen plaintiffs have filed suit against the Archdiocese of Agana, four of whom have accused Archbishop Apuron of sexual molestation decades ago while he was a priest at Mount Carmel Church in Agat. All victims are represented by Attorney Lujan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:16 PM

Mother to confront bishop over abuse claim

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

An elderly mother whose daughter killed herself after allegedly being raped by a priest says she hopes to confront a Catholic archbishop due to give evidence at a royal commission hearing.

Eileen Piper, 92, says she is pursuing justice and compensation from the church for her daughter Stephanie, 32, who took her life in January 1994 after she had allegedly been sexually abused by then-parish priest Gerard Mulvale while in her teens.

She told AAP she hopes to confront Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart outside Thursday's hearing in Sydney and demand an apology from church authorities.

"I want them to alter the lies they've made and the ... story they've told about Stephanie and to accept the truth before them, and in accepting the truth, pay me the compensation that Stephanie was deserving of," Ms Piper said on Wednesday.

"She's not here but I'm deserving of that too."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Leaders of religious Alabama boot camp get 20 years in prison for child abuse

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Prescotte Stokes III | pstokes@al.com

All three leaders of the religious Alabama boot camp Saving Youth Foundation for troubled teens were given 20 year prison sentences for their role in the child abuse incurred on children under their care.

Mobile Circuit Court Judge Charles Graddick issued the sentences in front of a filled to capacity courtroom on Wednesday morning.

The leader of the church, Pastor John David Young, 55, received a 20 year sentence to be served concurrently for each of the five counts of aggravated child abuse he faced.

The other school leaders, boys' instructor William Knott, 48, and girls' instructor Aleshia Moffett, 42, both received 20 year sentences to be served concurrently for each of the three counts of aggravated child abuse imposed by state prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Chester Co. pastor, teaching assistant charged with raping woman after tying her up

TENNESSEE
WBBJ

[with video]

CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. — A Henderson pastor and teaching assistant is charged with raping a woman after tying her up at his home, according to court documents.

Mike Ulmer is charged with two counts of rape and one count of sexual battery, according to an affidavit. He appeared Tuesday in court and entered a not guilty plea.

Ulmer is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Henderson, according to his attorney, Mark Donahoe.

Director of Schools Troy Kilzer previously confirmed Ulmer was suspended without pay Feb. 17 and arrested a short time later off campus for charges involving a student.

According to Kilzer, Ulmer is a teaching assistant who most recently worked with the in-school suspension program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Four more men accuse Father Louis Brouillard of sexual molestation

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 22, 2017

By Krystal Paco

As of today, 22 plaintiffs have filed suit against the Archdiocese of Agana. According to four more filings made in the District Court of Guam late Wednesday afternoon, Albino Bascon, Johnny T. Bascon, Benny Manglona, and Roque Flores were all altar boys and Boy Scouts and all victims of Father Louis Brouillard in the 1970s.

Each of the men are suing for $5 million in damages.

Much like earlier accusations, Father Brouillard is accused of undressing and masturbating the boys, exposing them to pornography, and taking them on camping trips where they were also sexually molested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Bishop's testimony reads like an NCR editorial

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Feb. 22, 2017

Yesterday in my Morning Briefing, I pointed readers to a story out of Australia that highlighted testimony by Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta, Australia, before the Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission is sitting for its 50th session and has been focused most of February on the Catholic church.

I wanted to make sure that NCR readers saw what Long said, so I thought I should point you back to that story today.

Long, 55, arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1981 and was ordained an auxiliary bishop in 2011 and made bishop of Parramatta last year. He made headlines Feb. 21 when he revealed that he was sexually abused by a clergyman shortly after being offered sanctuary in Australia.

Long notes that he was not a minor then, being about 18, but as a refugee, he most certainly was a vulnerable adult. Long testified that the experience “had a powerful impact on me and I want to walk in the shoes of other victims and endeavor to attain justice and dignity for them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Catholic orders accused of child sex abuse ‘are dying’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 23, 2017

Dan Box
Crime reporter
Sydney
@DanBox10

The leaders of several major Catholic orders found to contain disproportionately high numbers of child abusers say the ­organisations are dying as their members grow old and few, if any, seek to replace them.

These orders have run dozens of schools, orphanages and other institutions across Australia, and been subject to thousands of allegations of child abuse, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard.

The Christian Brothers, a fifth of whose members were alleged child abusers between 1950 and 2010, now have an average age of 75 and no one has attempted to join the order since the mid-2000s, the commission heard yesterday.

The Marist Brothers, which runs 13 schools across Australia and had a similar proportion of its members alleged to be abusers over that time, now has an ­average age of 73 and “a trickle” of candidates for new positions.

The St John of God Brothers, 40 per cent of whom were ­alleged abusers, now have 19 members, most in their 70s and 80s, and are “effectively winding down in Australia”, their provincial leader, Timothy Graham, told the commission yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Trial Underway for Former Canaan Pastor Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

MAINE
WABI

Feb 21, 2017

Taylor Kinzler

A trial got underway Tuesday for a former youth pastor from Canaan accused of sexually abusing a young girl.

28-year-old Lucas Savage is charged with unlawful sexual contact.

He was co-director of Youth Haven Ministries when arrested last March.

Savage says nothing sexual happened between him and the girl.

His wife at the time, they are now divorced, said she never witnessed any sexual abuse, and often was asleep when Savage and the girl were together.

Court documents say the abuse took place at Savage’s home, sometimes with his wife in the house.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Archbishop Prowse faces Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Goulburn Post

David Cole
David Cole@davecole66

21 Feb 2017

“IT is now time to listen,” Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Christopher Prowse told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Tuesday.

“When I go back into the Archdiocese, I have it in my heart to hold listening sessions in the regional areas. I want to gather the victims and their families - it has been like a bush fire going through the Catholic Church in terms of faith and people’s trust in us.”

He referred to the victims of sexual abuse as “wounded healers” and said the Catholic Church had to move forward with them.

“We need to go ahead with them walking beside us, directing us, working with us. When I read those statistics that the average age was only 11...” Archbishop Prowse said, at a loss for words.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Time is running out for Christian Brothers

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 22, 2017

Dan Box
Crime reporter
Sydney
@DanBox10

The leaders of some of Australia’s biggest Catholic orders, which have been found to contain disproportionately high numbers of child abusers, say their movements are dying as people grow old and few seek to replace them.

Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the leader of the Christian Brothers, Peter Clinch, said most of its 280 members were over 75 and no one had attempted to join since the mid-2000s.

“It’s my opinion that if you look at the statistics and you look at the evidence that is around us, we need to be gracious in our final years,” said Brother Clinch.

Asked whether “in 30 or 40 years the Christian Brothers will essentially be just a brand on schools” run by other people, he replied “I don’t think even the brand will be there.

“I think the Christian Brothers will be no more,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Child abuse royal commission to see report suppressed by Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Hamish Fitzsimmons

A report suppressed by the Catholic Church for more than a year will be tabled at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse this week.

The 2015 report by former Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan QC is into the Church's compensation scheme for victims known as the Melbourne Response.

The scheme was set up in 1996 by then archbishop of Melbourne George Pell to assist people "who have been abused sexually, physically or emotionally by members of the Catholic Church".

The ABC has been told the report examines complaints by victims about the way their cases were handled as well as caps on payments to victims.

The Church said it would not release the report because it did not want to cause further distress to abuse victims, instead opting to give it to the royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Compensation hope for Scots victims of child abuse in care

SCOTLAND
The Times

Mike Wade
February 22 2017
The Times

A scheme to compensate victims of in-care child abuse is being considered by Scottish ministers for the first time.

After decades of campaigning by victims’ organisations, John Swinney has acknowledged that financial redress “could play a part in Scotland in the future”.

In a letter to a Holyrood committee, the deputy first minister said that it would be inappropriate to wait until the Scottish child abuse inquiry had been completed before progressing with a compensation scheme. He suggested that a further three-month consultation would be required before ministers could reach a final decision on redress.

There was cautious approval for Mr Swinney’s letter but one leading campaign group said it was considering withdrawing from the inquiry because of the resignation yesterday of a third member of its panel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Christian Bros defend funding pedophile

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Megan Neil, Australian Associated Press
February 21, 2017

The Christian Brothers say they only paid a convicted pedophile's latest legal fees after previously spending more than $1.5 million defending him because he decided to plead guilty.

A Victorian County Court judge says he is "blown away" that the Catholic Church still funds the legal defence for Brother Robert Best, who has been convicted of sex offences against 11 boys and this week admitted abusing a further 20.

Christian Brothers Oceania Province leader Brother Peter Clinch says the order agreed it would fund the latest case only if Best pleaded guilty.

"We agreed that if the person pleaded guilty we would support the plea. Full stop," Brother Clinch told the child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

"We would not contest and we would not pay for any trial and we would not pay for any appeal."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Child abusers were allowed to remain in Catholic orders, royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

Marist and Christian brothers allow known child sex abusers to remain in their order, a royal commission has heard.

Marist Brothers in Australia provincial Peter Carroll says, following a "vigorous and rigorous debate", the order decided offending brothers would be allowed to stay with ministry restrictions.

The restricted brothers cannot have access to children, must live separate from a school and adhere to supervision.

"Are they allowed to call themselves brother if they wish to?" Counsel assisting Stephen Free asked Brother Carroll at the Royal Commission into Institutional a responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Wednesday.

"We haven't formally taken that from them," he replied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Christian Brothers 'will disappear from Australia' because of ageing membership

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press

Wednesday 22 February 2017

A Christian Brothers’ leader has said the Catholic order will disappear from Australia in the coming decades.

Oceania provincial leader Peter Clinch said on Wednesday that the country’s youngest Christian brother was in his 50s and the order no longer sought applicants for its novitiate.

He was asked whether he thought the Christian Brothers would become nothing more than a “brand” on schools run by lay people in 30 to 40 years.

“I don’t think even the brand will be there,” he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

“I think the brand Christian Brothers will be no more.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission hears of Catholic brothers' secrecy culture

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Jackson Vernon

A secrecy culture of "don't ask, don't tell" could explain historical allegations of child sex abuse within a religious order, the royal commission has been told.

The commission's investigation into the response of the Catholic Church into alleged abuse heard from the De La Salle Brothers, an order which had one of the highest number of alleged perpetrators ministering between 1950 and 2010.

The order was subject 328 claims of sexual abuse, including 219 claims at its BoysTown facility in Beaudesert in Queensland.

Brother Ambrose Payne told the hearing that throughout the 20th century: "A sense of secrecy was part and parcel with the culture."

"I believe that was demonstrated in such advice given to me as a young brother: never ask a brother where he's going, where he's been, or where did he get that from," Brother Ambrose said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

The Conversation We Need to Have About Milo: Child Sexual Abuse and the Myth of Consent

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

It seems that former Breitbart editor and alt-right propagandist Milo Yiannopoulos loves to be hated. He has penned incendiary anti-feminist articles opining that women experiencing online harassment should simply stop using the internet, that birth control makes women “unattractive and crazy,” and that women are underrepresented in tech because they “suck at interviews.” He was kicked off of Twitter—no mean feat on the abuse-plagued platform—for coordinating a harassment campaign against actress Leslie Jones. On a college speaking tour, he has singled out a transgender student in the audience for harassment. Elsewhere, he has made remarks many have construed as anti-Semitic or racist.

To his fans, he’s a hero of free speech. (It is certainly true that in the United States, one is and should be free to say despicable things without fear of government reprisal.) To his detractors, he never should have been given the broad platforms for the nasty things he has said. And yet, as his notoriety grew, his star rose. Audiences that find “P.C. culture” to be a graver threat to society than racism, misogyny, or transphobia loved him, and other audiences became aware of him whether they wanted to be or not.

He’s made a career on seeing how far over the line he can go. Yesterday, it appears he may have found out.

After a video surfaced in which Yiannopoulos, in his own words, advocated for the idea of sex between “13 year olds” and “older men,” flippantly describing his own experience as gaining beneficial sexual experience when he was molested by a priest as a teenager, the consequences are coming down. In the last 48 hours, Milo lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster, had his speech at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) cancelled, and resigned from his technology editor role at the alt-right website Breitbart, losing perhaps his greatest platform.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Just one week left for locals to arrange private meeting with Mother and Baby Commission

IRELAND
KCLR

By MaryAnn Vaughan
Posted on Feb 22, 2017

There’s just a week left for anyone who wants to meet with the confidential committee investigating Ireland’s mother and baby homes to get in touch.

St Columba’s Home in Thomastown is one of the 14 institutions included in the investigation.

Next Wednesday the 1st of March is the deadline for anyone who was a resident in or who has information on mother and baby homes to request a confidential meeting with the commission.

Thomastown’s St Columba’s Home was selected as part of the representative sample of county homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Catholic church underpaid sex abuse victims: Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The Christian Brothers underpaid almost 170 sexual abuse claimants millions of dollars because they believed they were "going to be taken to the cleaners", a royal commission has heard.

An inquiry into Catholic church authorities heard the order was asked to re-examine 201 compensation settlements to victims of child sexual abuse in 2014 and found 165 were too low.

An additional $14 million was paid to the claimants, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard.

Province leader of the Christian Brothers Peter Clinch told the inquiry the inadequate initial settlements were due to defensiveness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Last remaining original member of Scottish child abuse inquiry resigns

SCOTLAND
Holyrood

Survivor groups have reacted angrily after the Scottish child abuse inquiry lost the last remaining original panel member.

Glenn Houston said he had resigned as a member of the panel because he had accepted two other public appointments which he is unable to hold in conjunction with his panel membership.

Houston said the inquiry had made "considerable progress" and wished it well in the future.

His departure follows the resignation last year of chairwoman Susan O'Brien QC and fellow panel member Professor Michael Lamb amid accusations of government interference.

Senior judge Lady Smith, who replaced O'Brien as the third chair of the inquiry, is now the only remaining member of the panel.

Lady Smith said: “Mr Houston has made a valuable contribution to the work of the Inquiry during his time as a panel member and I am very grateful to him for his support. I fully understand his decision and wish him well in his new ventures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Child abuse inquiry: Survivors have 'no trust left'

SCOTLAND
BBC

Child abuse survivors' groups have said they have "no trust left" in Scotland's Child Abuse Inquiry.

White Flowers Alba and In Care Abuse Survivors Group both called for urgent answers from the Scottish government on the future of the inquiry.

The probe has been plagued by problems and all three original panel members have now resigned.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he understood the concerns but told the BBC the inquiry was gathering momentum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Failed again Child abuse survivors left feeling ‘groomed’ by Scottish Government after inquiry sees third resignation

SCOTLAND
The Scottish Sun

by Mary McCool
22nd February 2017

SURVIVORS of child abuse say that continued failures by the Scottish Government have left them feeling “groomed” all over again.

In an interview with Good Morning Scotland, survivors groups say they “continue to be failed” by the government after a third member of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry panel resigned.

They also said survivors feel there’s “no point” in engaging with the inquiry further because they feel the process has become too “legalistic” and they have been “denied” an opportunity for redress.

The inquiry is now being led solely by Supreme Court judge Lady Anne Smith.

Glenn Houston, who was the last original member of the board, stepped down from his role yesterday with immediate effect, due to a potential “conflict of interest”.

Alan Draper of Care Abuse Survivors Group says he is “concerned” over Mr Houston’s “commitment to the whole process” and that survivors have had “no announcement” from education secretary John Swinney as to why he feels Lady Smith should act alone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Head of Marist Brothers' Australia grilled over Canberra abuse 'cluster'

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

The head of Marist Brothers' Australia has acknowledged a failure in governance led to a "cluster" of abuse at their Canberra College.

Brother Peter Carroll was called to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Wednesday.

When cross-examined over how these "clusters" could have occurred at several Marist schools including Canberra's during royal commission proceedings , Brother Carroll said many cases were the work of one perpetrator.

But when was asked if poor governance led to the abuse clusters, he said that "can't be refuted".
Related Content

"I think there were, you know, governance shortcomings. What they were ... was the centralisation of authority and the whole hierarchical model that was in use," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Warrnambool's St Joseph's Primary School reviews call for plaque to be removed

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

ANDREW THOMSON

22 Feb 2017

WARRNAMBOOL'S St Joseph's Primary School is reviewing whether it is appropriate to retain a plaque with the name of a disgraced former Bishop of Ballarat.

The review of the plaque, which marks the school’s opening on its Botanic Road site, comes after a victim of clergy abuse called for such plaques to be removed. One has been removed at another Warrnambool school.

The victim said the former Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns failed in his duty to protect children from abuse, was aware of clergy abuse and had failed to act.

The victim said he refused to enter churches or schools with such plaques because of Bishop Mulkearns' reign over a systemic abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Day school teacher suspected of sexual abuse in Pittsburgh

PENNSYLVANIA
The Jewish Chronicle

by Toby Tabachnick, Senior Staff Writer

After a lengthy investigation, a former teacher at Yeshiva Boys School of Pittsburgh, an important institution in the Chabad-Lubavitch educational system, is a suspect in several alleged incidents of child sexual abuse.

According to police, Rabbi Nisson Friedman, 26, who is well connected in the local Jewish community and is the son of an influential Minnesota-based rabbi, is suspected of sexually assaulting at least three boys while employed by the school. Det. Bryan Sellers of the city’s Bureau of Police Sex Assault Team, who is investigating the case, said he is “absolutely certain” there are additional victims.

The suspected assaults occurred both privately and publicly, including at least once in the Yeshiva building on Wightman Street. According to Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld, dean of Yeshiva Schools, that incident was discovered last year on Saturday, Sept. 24 during Shabbat services in the building. Rosenfeld said that a member of the community observed Friedman “touching a child inappropriately” in the facility’s library and alerted the school’s administration.

The administration promptly reported the disclosure of the suspected assault to the police and to the state’s mandated ChildLine and Abuse Registry as well as to other authorities, said Rosenfeld, and immediately suspended Friedman from his teaching duties. Friedman has left his position with Yeshiva Schools permanently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Desmond Connell was ill-suited to deal with avalanche of child abuse

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dan Buckley

When Pope John Paul II elevated Desmond Connell to the archdiocese of Dublin in January 1988, he was far from being the first choice.

In fact, it took nine months between the death in April 1987 of his predecessor, Archbishop Kevin McNamara, and his appointment.

During that time, at least four others were considered before Dr Connell got the nod. His appointment would not have been possible without the all-important approval of the then papal nuncio, Dr Gaetano Alibrandi, the most powerful figure in the Catholic Church in Ireland since the dreaded Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, who had ordained Dr Connell in 1951.

Dr Alibrandi didn’t want an archbishop who was too liberal, too well liked by diocesan priests, or overly friendly with parishioners.

Dr Connell ticked all those boxes. Relatively unknown, he had served as professor of general metaphysics at UCD and in 1983 became the dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology at the university.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Catholic Church funded abuser's court battle

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Catholic order's leader dropped to his knees and begged a brother to face child sex abuse charges in New Zealand yet still paid to take the extradition battle as far as Australia's highest court.

Brother Timothy Graham believes his predecessor as provincial of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God should not have funded the three-year extradition fight.

The issue caused great controversy, Brother Graham told the child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

'The provincial at the time virtually got on his knees and begged the individual to go to New Zealand to speak to the police but his independent legal advice was not to do that,' he said.
- See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/nsw/2017/02/22/catholic-church-funded-abuser-s-court-battle.html#sthash.Xx2luatL.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Statement on Royal Commission Case Study 50

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

Yesterday, the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv gave evidence at the final hearing involving the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Case Study 50.

Bishop Vincent’s evidence was deeply moving and a powerful testimony to the genuine determination he will show as leader of the Diocese of Parramatta in strengthening its child protection policies and procedures.

The Diocese of Parramatta has a deep empathy for survivors of abuse and will, as Bishop Vincent said, seek to “attain justice and dignity for them.”

Mindful of the hurt and pain caused by abuse, the Diocese of Parramatta, on behalf of the Catholic Church, again offers its sincerest apology to all survivors of abuse. The Diocese of Parramatta is sorry for the damage that has been done to the lives of victims of sexual abuse and their loved ones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Clarity beyond clericalism: Bishop Long at the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Andrew Hamilton | 21 February 2017

The final sessions of the Catholic 'wrap up' at the Royal Commission have been dedicated to summarising and testing what has been said in previous sessions. The numbers of complaints, abusers and cases presented have been horrifying.

Nothing should be allowed to minimise the evil represented in them. The panels of people interviewed offer some evidence, nonetheless, that children will now be safer when under Catholic care.

The most thought provoking testimony given was that by Vincent Long, Bishop of Parramatta. It was notable for its directness, honesty and the awareness it displayed of the importance of church culture. Bishop Long grew up in the Vietnamese Catholic Church and was afterwards chosen to lead the Australian Church. In his responses he focused particularly on clericalism and its role in giving license and cover to clerical abuse.

He worked out of a fairly simple distinction between two images of the church. One sees the church as a kingdom in which the subordination of the people to the king and to the hierarchical grades of officials is fixed and sacralised. The other is of the church as community with an ordered network of relationships that enable the nourishing of people by the spreading of the Gospel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Bishop Vincent’s evidence to the Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv shared his own personal story and gave evidence at the Royal Commission on Tuesday 21 February, 2017.

A summary of that evidence can be found below. For a full transcript, click here.

Case Study 50 – Day 11

The panel discussion on day 11 of the Catholic Church’s final hearing was attended by bishops with responsibility for various dioceses and regional archdioceses.

Attending were Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn; Archbishop Julian Porteous, Archbishop of Hobart; Bishop Eugene Hurley, Bishop of Darwin; Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta; Bishop Christopher Saunders, Bishop of Broome; and Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Bishop of the Maronite Diocese of Australia.

All panelists strongly supported a national redress scheme, noting the importance of separating reparation from the pastoral context.

It was noted that all the panelists supported the establishment of Catholic Professional Standards Ltd and told the Commission that it was important that the company was financially backed and its recommendations embraced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Lawsuits: Church operated 'harem of young boys'

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Published Feb. 22, 2017

Four more former altar boys filed separate federal lawsuits Wednesday, alleging that former island priest Louis Brouillard sexually molested them repeatedly when they were children in the 1970s, bringing to 22 the total number of clergy sexual abuse cases filed on Guam.

The Archdiocese of Agana now faces a minimum $110 million in damages in connection with the lawsuits.

The four former altar boys, represented by Attorney David Lujan, said Brouillard also sexually abused them during Boy Scouts of America activities. Brouillard was scoutmaster in the Guam chapter.

Albino T. Bascon, now 54 and living in California, alleged that Brouillard sexually molested and abused him from 1973 through 1976. That’s when he was an altar boy at San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj and a Boy Scout member.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

New suits claim altar boy service front for sex abuse

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post Feb 22, 2017

Four new civil lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese of Agana in the District Court of Guam alleging the practice of altar boy service ultimately became a “tool by which sexually predatory priests would gain access to young boys.”

The four cases filed earlier today raised the total number of cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana to 22 with the total amount of damages sought now totaling $110 million.

The lawsuits filed by Albino Bascon, Johnny Bascon, Benny Manglona, and Roque Flores allege sexual abuse by former Guam priest, Louis Brouillard, who now resides in Minnesota. Each plaintiff is seeking a minimum of $5 million in damages and accuses the Catholic Church of using the "ritual" of altar boy service as a disguise to have sexual access to young boys.

Each of the plaintiffs served as altar boys at various parishes where Brouillard served as priest during his time on Guam in the early 1970’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

February 21, 2017

Statement Regarding Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka

MICHIGAN
Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord

02/21/2017

This morning Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka, former Pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Rogers City, Michigan, was arraigned on charges of criminal sexual conduct. This matter does not involve a minor, but is an issue between two individual adults and not against the Diocese of Gaylord. Local civil authorities are conducting the investigation and the diocese has pledged its full cooperation.

Following Rev. Obwaka's arrest on Saturday, Bishop Steven J. Raica placed him on an administrative leave pending resolution of the case. During this time, Rev. Obwaka is also prohibited from exercising any public ministry.

Rev. Obwaka, 44, is a native of Kenya and is a permanent legal resident of the United States. He was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Gaylord in 2004 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2010. Following his ordination he was assigned as Parochial Vicar to the Catholic Community of Manistee (now known as Divine Mercy parish), and in 2013 was appointed Pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Rogers City.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this situation,” stated Candace Neff, diocesan Director of Communications. “There is a great deal of hurt and confusion right now. We are focused on providing pastoral support to all those affected and are working closely with St. Ignatius parishioners as they continue their ministries both within their parish and in the wider community,” she said.

To that end, Bishop Raica and a team from the Diocese of Gaylord met with parish leadership and parishioners on Sunday to pray with them, share information and to listen to concerns in order to begin to chart a path forward. At that time the bishop announced he had appointed Rev. Joseph Muszkiewicz, who also serves as Pastor to All Saints Parish in Alpena and Vicar for the region, as temporary administrator for St. Ignatius parish. Rev. Muszkiewicz, in collaboration with parish staff and leadership, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the parish for the immediate future.

“I am heartbroken over the events that have unfolded in recent days,” Bishop Raica said. “Our faith calls us to ensure the dignity of each human person is upheld in every circumstance. We must respond with compassion when anyone is harmed. We must also remember that in our system of justice, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he noted. “It is very early in this process and while the matter is in the civil courts we will need to wait patiently for the outcome.”

“These are difficult days,” Bishop Raica concluded. “In these moments, we must turn to Christ who always walks with us and accompanies us in our pain. I ask for your prayers for all those affected by this situation.”

In order to maintain the integrity of the investigation and to protect the rights of everyone involved, neither the Diocese of Gaylord nor leadership of St. Ignatius Parish will be making any further comments regarding this case at this time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Presque Isle County Priest Arrested for Alleged Criminal Sexual Conduct

MICHIGAN
MI News

POSTED FEBRUARY 21, 2017 BY JACOB OWENS

A Presque Isle County Priest has been charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct following an incident that allegedly occurred earlier this month.

Troopers at the Alpena State Police Post received a complaint on February 17th of criminal sexual conduct that had allegedly happened in Rogers City.

A 28-year-old man told police that on February 1st he was staying the night at the 44-year-old suspect’s home when he sexually assaulted while sleeping.

Troopers interviewed the victim and documented the allegations.

A search warrant was granted for the suspect’s home, and on the 18th troopers collected possible evidence from the scene.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Diocese of Gaylord Issues Statement on Priest Charged with Sex Crimes

MICHIGAN
9 and 10 News

[with video]

By David Lyden, Reporter

Reverend Sylvestre Obwaka was the priest at Saint Ignatius church in Rogers City.

He was arraigned on 1st and 3rd degree sex crimes Tuesday.

The Diocese of Gaylord suspended him while the case works its way through court.

Bishop Steven Raica says this is an incredibly sad situation for everyone involved and they're now focusing on helping the parish community heal and move forward.

“Whenever anyone is harmed, or accused of harming another, the entire faith community is shaken,” said Raica.

Bishop Raica says the last few days have been difficult for parishioners in Rogers City and the Diocese of Gaylord. After Fr. Obwaka's arrest, Bishop Raica placed him on administrative leave. He's also prohibited from performing public ministry.

“I am heartbroken over the events that have unfolded over the recent days. Our faith calls us to ensure the dignity of each human person is upheld in each circumstance,” said Raica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

9 Investigates: Charlotte family speaks out about son's abuse by a priest

NORTH CAROLINA
WSOC

[with video]

by: Allison Latos Updated: Feb 21, 2017

The disturbing crime of sexual abuse by priests has rocked the Catholic Church worldwide and in Charlotte.

Robert Yurgel was a priest at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballantyne.

He admitted to sexually abusing an altar boy, spent nearly eight years in prison and was released in the summer of 2016.

The parents of Yurgel's victim's family spoke publicly to Eyewitness News anchor Allison Latos about the crime that stole their son's innocence and their plea to all parents.

Robert and Anne Price raised their five children in the Catholic faith.

The family spent every Sunday at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballantyne, but they say it is now a place of so much pain.

"God said, 'Bring me your children.' He didn't say, 'Bring me your children so I can abuse them,'" Anne Price told Latos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Ex-Haverhill priest held on $50,000 bail in Maine on sexual abuse charges

MASSACHUSETTS/MAINE
The Eagle-Tribune

By Mike LaBella mlabella@eagletribune.com

HAVERHILL — Former Haverhill priest Ronald Paquin is being held on $50,000 cash bail after being charged in Maine with multiple counts of gross sexual misconduct involving young boys.

A judge in Biddeford District Court in Maine set that bail amount and ordered that no one other than Paquin be allowed to raise the bail.

Police in Kennebunkport, Maine, said the criminal acts took place at seasonal locations in Kennebunkport in the mid-to-late 1980s. The male victims' ages were 11 and 14 when Paquin began his inappropriate criminal conduct, police said.

On Feb. 6, a York County grand jury indicted Paquin, 74, on 13 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class A, and 16 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class B.

Paquin was arrested Feb. 8 in Boston on a warrant from Maine and on Feb. 10 he was held without bail in Roxbury District Court, where he waived extradition proceedings. He was subsequently taken to Maine to face charges there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Vatican court continues investigating possible cases of money laundering

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Philly

By Cindy Wooden • Catholic News Service • Posted February 21, 2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While the trial of five people accused of leaking confidential Vatican financial documents captured headlines in 2016, the Vatican City court also continued investigating possible financial crimes, freezing more than $2.1 million in assets deposited at the Vatican bank.

Gian Piero Milano, promoter of justice at the Vatican City court, summarized the city-state’s judicial activity Feb. 18.

The funds were frozen in 2016 as part of Vatican investigations of possible money laundering, Milano said. From 2012 through 2016, he said, the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority reported 23 cases of suspicious transactions to the court; 17 of those cases still are under investigation, he said.

The total funds frozen over the past four years, Milano said, included almost 11.3 million in euros, just over 1 million in dollars and more than 320,000 British pounds — a total equivalent to about $13.3 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Italy Freezes Assets of Banker Accused of Using Vatican for Market Rigging

ROME
U.S. News

By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - Investigating magistrates in Italy on Tuesday froze millions of euros worth of assets belonging to a prominent Italian banker they believe used the Vatican bank and another Holy See financial department for market manipulation.

The financial crimes police said in a statement that they had executed the magistrates' orders, sequestering 2.5 million euros ($2.64 million) in buildings, stocks and land belonging to Giampietro Nattino, head of Banca Finnat Euramerica SpA. [BFE.MI]

Magistrates accuse him of market manipulation and providing false information to Consob, Italy's stock regulator.

Nattino said in a statement that the frozen assets belonged to him personally and not to his bank, and that he would cooperate with investigators.

Shares in his private bank fell 3.6 percent before recovering some of that loss.

Tuesday's developments followed an exclusive report by Reuters in November, 2015 about a Vatican investigation into Nattino's accounts at the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Works of Religion, and at APSA, an office that oversees Vatican real estate and investments. http://reut.rs/2m7SvYh

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Resignation of Panel Member

SCOTLAND
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

Mr Glenn Houston has resigned as a member of the panel because he has accepted two other public appointments which he is unable to hold in conjunction with his panel membership.

Having considered the time commitment they will require and the potential risk of a conflict of interest arising as between them and his Inquiry role in the future, he concluded that he could not carry on with all three roles and, with regret, that he required to resign from the Inquiry.

Lady Smith said: “Mr Houston has made a valuable contribution to the work of the Inquiry during his time as a panel member and I am very grateful to him for his support. I fully understand his decision and wish him well in his new ventures.

“The important work of the Inquiry continues as normal and we would encourage anyone who has relevant information, whether they have been abused themselves or know others who have, to get in touch.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Third member resigns from Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

SCOTLAND
The Courier

by Gareth McPherson

February 21 2017

A third senior figure on the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has resigned after the chairman ruled his new jobs risked a conflict of interest.

Glenn Houston resigned from the panel when he was asked by Lady Smith to consider stepping down from the new roles.

One of the posts is at the Disclosure and Barring service, the body which rules who can have contact with children in certain settings, and the other at Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

It is the latest in a series of resignations at the child abuse inquiry, which was set up in 2015 to examine the extent of abuse of children in care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

Scottish child abuse inquiry: Senior panel member resigns

SCOTLAND
BBC News

A third senior figure on the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has resigned.

Glenn Houston, who was the only original panel member, cited personal reasons for his departure.

He remained on the inquiry team last year after the resignation of the chairwoman, Susan O'Brien QC, and panel member Prof Michael Lamb.

One survivors' group said it was "indicative of a crisis" in the inquiry which is examining allegations of child abuse in residential accommodation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

Headteacher who became a Church of England vicar, 63, 'was a "father figure" to a boy he sexually abused for seven years'

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Alex Matthews For Mailonline

Vicar David Fletcher is alleged to have abused a boy while he was a teacher in Bradford during the 1980s and 1990s

A former headteacher who went on to become a Church of England vicar has been accused of sexually abusing a boy for seven years.

David Fletcher, 63, is alleged to have indecently touched the youngster, who was between nine and 15, from the late 1980s and into the 1990s before targeting him again when he was an adult.

During this period Fletcher, who is currently a vicar in East Yorkshire, was deputy headteacher at a primary school and later a headteacher of a secondary school in Bradford.

A man said Fletcher touched him indecently before thrusting his body at him and 'snogging' him.

The complainant has also accused the vicar of sexually assaulting him in a kitchen on a date between 2009 and 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

La vieja amistad del cardenal Errázuriz con Figari, el “Karadima peruano” acusado de pederastia

PERU/CHILE
El Mostrador

[The old friendship of Cardinal Errázuriz with Figari, the "Peruvian Karadima" accused of pederasty.]

por CAMILA BUSTAMANTE 17 febrero, 2017

Una casa en Eduardo Castillo Velasco con Pedro de Valdivia, en Ñuñoa, fue el punto de partida de los trabajos apostólicos de la comunidad peruana Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (también conocida por su nombre en latín Sodalitium Christianae Vítae, SCV) en Chile. Invitados en 1999 por el entonces arzobispo de Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, los religiosos comenzaron un camino que hoy los tiene como dueños de la Universidad Gabriela Mistral, un colegio en Huechuraba, una comunidad en el exclusivo sector de Los Trapenses y a cargo de una Parroquia en Maipú. Sin embargo, el rostro de estos consagrados se ha ensuciado por las múltiples acusaciones de abusos sexuales, de poder, físicos y psicológicos que pesan sobre su fundador, Luis Fernando Figari, así como varios otros miembros de la institución.

Fue en 2015 cuando el escándalo del Sodalicio estalló en Perú, a raíz de la publicación del libro Mitad monjes, mitad soldados, de los periodistas Pedro Salinas y Paola Ugaz. En él, se relatan 30 testimonios de personas que pertenecieron a la institución y que sufrieron algún tipo de abuso, incluyendo los de índole sexual. Con este trabajo periodístico, no solo se logró visibilizar hechos que se rumoreaban entre quienes tenían familiares o amigos en la institución, sino también que el Sodalicio abriera una comisión investigadora y declarara como persona non grata a su propio fundador.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

Los escabrosos testimonios de pedofilia y abusos sexuales del grupo católico Sodalicio en Perú

PERU
Infobae

[The scabrous testimonies of pedophilia and sexual abuse of the Catholic group Sodalicio in Peru.]

La sociedad apostólica publicó un informe sobre los abusos sexuales cometidos en la organización a 36 jóvenes -19 de ellos menores-, pero evitó revelar la identidad de cuatro agresores. Las autoridades practicaba sodomía, tocamientos de genitales y los obligaban a acostarse juntos
15 de febrero de 2017

Luis Figari, fundador del Sodalicio en 1971, durante más de 30 años abusó sexualmente de jóvenes que reclutaba de colegios privados de clase alta y los llevaba a vivir en comunidad como "soldados de Cristo". Sus delitos también fueron replicados por otros líderes, según detalla el informe interno encargado por la organización tras las denuncias ante la justicia, con crudos testimonios sobre cómo obligaban a sus víctimas a desnudarse, tocarse y besar los genitales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Abuso sexual e impunidad en Iglesia Católica salvadoreña

EL SALVADOR
Processo

[Sexual abuse and impunity in Salvadoran Catholic church.]

SAN SALVADOR (apro).- William tenía 13 años de edad la primera vez que el sacerdote lo violó.

Fue un lunes en la noche. William Hernández entró mareado al cuarto. José Luis detrás. Se acostaron. A William le surgió la terrible certeza que después la vida no volverá a ser igual.

Transcurría el año 1985. José Luis Recinos López llegó a Apopa, al norte de San Salvador, con talento para hacer dinero. La cúpula de la Iglesia Católica salvadoreña le asignó una parroquia en crisis de la que habían desertado centenares de feligreses que perdieron la fe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Message de Mgr Delmas aux diocésains

FRANCE
Diocese d'Angier

[Mgr. Emmanuel Delmas, Bishop of Angers, sent a letter to the priests of the diocese on 1 February 2017 about facts reported to him concerning a deceased priest of the diocese who is accused of misconduct with minors. He wishes to make this message known to all the Catholic faithful in the diocese.]

Mgr Emmanuel Delmas, évêque d’Angers, a transmis le 1er février 2017 aux prêtres du diocèse un courrier au sujet de faits qui lui ont été rapportés concernant un prêtre du diocèse décédé . Il souhaite faire connaître ce message à l’ensemble des fidèles catholiques du diocèse.

Aux prêtres du diocèse d’Angers,

Angers, le 1er février 2017
"Comme vous le savez peut-être, j’ai reçu des témoignages de jeunes adultes qui m’ont confié avoir subis dans leur enfance des comportements inappropriés de la part d’un ancien aumônier, l’abbé Houard, aujourd’hui décédé.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Poursuite de la procédure canonique contre le prêtre-psy Tony Anatrella

FRANCE
Le Monde

L’Eglise a pris cette décision après avoir recueilli les témoignages de plaignants, qui accusent l’ecclésiastique de s’être livré à des agressions sexuelles lors de ses thérapies.

Une procédure canonique, régie par le droit de l’Eglise, a été ouverte à l’encontre du prêtre-psychanalyste Tony Anatrella, prélat célèbre jusqu’au Vatican, a dévoilé, lundi 20 février dans la soirée, l’archevêché de Paris.

Au printemps 2016, près de dix ans après le dépôt des premières plaintes, cet ecclésiastique du diocèse de Paris avait été soupçonné d’avoir commis des agressions sexuelles lors de ses thérapies sur de jeunes hommes dans son cabinet de psychanalyste.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

AMERSFOORT CHURCH: NO COVER UP IN 1986 SEXUAL ABUSE CASE

NETHERLANDS
NL Times

By Janene Pieters on February 21, 2017

Although two pastors at the Reformed Church in Amersfoort Oost kept sexual abuse by a church member in 1986 quiet, there was definitely not a cover up, the church concluded in an investigation. The investigation revealed that the then pastor and his successor were only aware of two cases of sexual abuse of young boys by church member Piet Hein W. from Hoevelaken, AD reports.

The now deceased W.'s abuse was revealed in October last year, when the church was praying for the terminally ill man. A church member wrote a letter about W.'s "dark side", revealing that he sexually abused young boys. The Reformed Church quickly determined that the allegations may be true and launched an investigation. The investigation committee consisted of investigators, psychologists, a lawyer and a theologian.

The investigation revealed 16 people who may have been sexually abused by W. when they were young boys. Six of them could not be reached. Two did not want to talk about it. Five said that they do not feel that they were victimized. And the final three confirmed that they were. Victim assistance was offered to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Trial to Begin Today for Former Canaan Youth Pastor Accused of Sexual Abuse of Girl

MAINE
WABI

FEB 21, 2017

ALEXANDER DOWNING

A former youth pastor in Canaan accused of sexually abusing a young girl is scheduled to go on trial starting Tuesday.

27-year-old Lucas Savage pleaded not guilty to unlawful sexual contact….

He was co-director of Youth Haven Ministries when he was arrested last March….

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Canonical inquiry into French bishops’ adviser Msgr Tony Anatrella

FRANCE
La Croix

Following the report from a commission set up to consider allegations of sexual assault against well-known priest psychologist, Fr Tony Anatrella, Cardinal Vingt-Trois of Paris has opened a canonical inquiry into the events.

Céline Hoyeau
February 21, 2017

For the last fifteen years, there have been accusations of sexual assault against well-known Paris priest and psychoanalyst, Msgr Tony Anatrella, 75. In a long-awaited decision, a canonical inquiry will be opened concerning the allegations, La Croix has learned.Following a series of revelations last year concerning a Lyons priest, Fr Bernard Preynat, several former patients made allegations in the media against Msgr Anatrella. In May, Cardinal Vingt-Trois of Paris said he “encouraged these people to give up their anonymity… and to make their complaints to the relevant legal authorities".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Cardinal Desmond Connell: Child abuse crisis was low point of life

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

You could say Desmond Connell, who has died aged 90, became Archbishop of Dublin almost by default. His name was among the last to surface publicly during the extraordinary nine months which elapsed between the death in April 1997 of his predecessor, Archbishop Kevin McNamara, and the announcement of his appointment in January 1988.

It was extraordinary because of the tactics employed over that period, which saw almost everyone’s favourite for the job, Bishop Donal Murray, successfully done down. He was the man most favoured for the post by the bishops and Dublin’s priests. ...

But, without doubt, 2002 was his annus horribilis, par excellence. It was the year when his handling of clerical child sex abuse cases was exposed most mercilessly. In April it emerged that he had not told gardaí­ that Father Paul McGennis, who abused Marie Collins in 1960, had admitted the crime. In October 2002 Prime Time’s Cardinal Errors programme gave a damning account of his handling of cases involving eight priests of the diocese who had been involved in child sex abuse.

Post-October 2002, he seemed to finally admit his own personal responsibility for much that had gone wrong in the archdiocese where the handling of clerical child sex abuse during his term was concerned. His meeting with abuse victims Ms Collins and Ken Reilly on December 30th of that year was a genuine coming together of minds with a common purpose.

This threatened to fall asunder in February 2003 when it emerged the archdiocese had no structure for the support of victims, as per the 1996 guidelines issued by the Irish bishops. It reflected his “only guidelines” remark to Ms Collins about those church directions, at a meeting with Ms Collins in December 1996.

But in March 2003 he issued a strong statement that such a structure was being put in place with direct input from Ms Collins and Mr Reilly. And that was done.

In February 2008 there was general relief, not least within the church, when Cardinal Connell agreed to withdraw his High Court action claiming privilege over 5,586 documents before the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation (Murphy Commission) into the handling of clerical child sexual abuse allegations.

The subsequent Murphy report, published in November 2009, found that he “was slow to recognise the seriousness of the situation” on assuming office. He was “over-reliant” on the advice of other people. While “clearly appalled by the abuse” it took him some time “to realise that it could not be dealt with by keeping it secret and protecting priests from normal civil processes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

PHILADELPHIA PROSECUTOR WON'T SEEK RE-ELECTION AMID PROBE

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Associated Press

BY MARYCLAIRE DALE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Seth Williams, the city's first black district attorney, won't run for a third term amid an FBI investigation into $160,000 in gifts that he failed to report, mistakes that he said Friday caused his office "much embarrassment and shame."

The Democrat later reported taking a new roof, a $2,700 couch and luxury vacations, including the use of a defense lawyer's home in the Florida Keys. Williams has agreed to pay $62,000 in related ethics fines.

He did not take questions at a morning appearance in which he apologized for "mistakes in my personal life and in my personal financial life that cast an unnecessary shadow over my office." ...

During his seven-year tenure, his office filed the first charges against several Roman Catholic priests and earned a trial conviction against the first U.S. church official ever charged over the handling of priest sex-abuse complaints. The conviction has since been overturned, although the official served nearly three years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Poursuite de la procédure canonique contre le prêtre-psy Tony Anatrella

FRANCE
Le Monde

[The Catholic church is continuing with canonical action against priest Tony Anatrella who is charge with abuse.]

L’Eglise a pris cette décision après avoir recueilli les témoignages de plaignants, qui accusent l’ecclésiastique de s’être livré à des agressions sexuelles lors de ses thérapies.

Une procédure canonique, régie par le droit de l’Eglise, a été ouverte à l’encontre du prêtre-psychanalyste Tony Anatrella, prélat célèbre jusqu’au Vatican, a dévoilé, lundi 20 février dans la soirée, l’archevêché de Paris.

Au printemps 2016, près de dix ans après le dépôt des premières plaintes, cet ecclésiastique du diocèse de Paris avait été soupçonné d’avoir commis des agressions sexuelles lors de ses thérapies sur de jeunes hommes dans son cabinet de psychanalyste.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Bischof Morerod spricht Klartext zum Fall Pittet

SCHWEIZ
kath.ch

[The Catholic Church has to bring light into its shadowy corners, says the president of the Swiss Bishops' Conference (SBK), said Bishop Charles Morerod, in a guest commentary for kath.ch.]

20.2.17 (kath.ch) Die katholische Kirche muss Licht in ihre Schattenwinkel bringen, sagt der Präsident der Schweizer Bischofskonferenz (SBK), Charles Morerod, in einem Gastkommentar für kath.ch. Er nimmt zudem Stellung zum Rücktritt von Ephrem Bucher aus dem bischöflichen Fachgremium «sexuelle Übergriffe».

Ich kenne Daniel Pittet seit mindestens 25 Jahren. In den vergangenen Monaten haben wir über sein Buch gesprochen. Als Vorbereitung auf die Veröffentlichung des Buchs und dank der Mithilfe der Kapuziner habe ich Pater Joël Allaz zwei Mal getroffen. Das tat ich, um zu unterstreichen, dass ich hinter dieser Veröffentlichung stehe und zwar aus zwei Gründen: Daniel sagt, dass ihm diese Worte helfen werden, seinen Schmerz zu überwinden. Zudem bin ich überzeugt, dass die Kirche Licht in ihre fürchterlichen Schattenzonen bringen muss.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

RC priest accused of sexual assault

MICHIGAN
The Alpena News

Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka, 44, a priest at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Rogers City was arrested and jailed over the weekend. He is accused of sexual assault.

He will be arraigned today.

Bishop Steven Raica of the Diocese of Gaylord took questions from parishioners on Sunday. He told parishioners Obwaka has denied the allegations and has been placed on administrative leave.

Candace Neff, director of communications for the diocese, stated in an email on Monday afternoon the diocese would not comment on the situation until after Obwaka was arraigned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Vatican visit puts global spotlight on Guam allegations

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Published Feb. 21, 2017 | Updated 5 hours ago

A Vatican tribunal’s visit to Guam, as part of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s ongoing canonical penal trial, has drawn international attention to the island’s clergy sex abuse lawsuits, even as an Apuron accuser said he didn’t meet with the Vatican mission in Hawaii.

Roy T. Quintanilla, 52 and now living in Honolulu, was the first former altar boy in May 2016 to publicly accuse Apuron of sexually abusing him in Agat in the 1970s.

Quintanilla said Tuesday he didn't provide testimony to the Vatican tribunal in Honolulu because his attorney, David Lujan, wasn't allowed to be present. He said he will submit a written declaration to the Vatican, as his attorney advised.

The tribunal, led by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, was on Guam Feb. 16-18 to get testimony from witnesses in the Apuron canonical penal trial process.

The visit drew attention from international media and groups dealing with the Catholic abuse crisis worldwide, from Rome to Washington, D.C.

While the Burke mission received testimony from other witnesses on Guam, it didn’t hear from former altar boy Roland Sondia, because the Vatican team wouldn’t allow Sondia to be accompanied by his counsel, Lujan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Ex-police officer accuses historical child abuse victims of LYING to win compensation

NORTHERN IRELAND
Birmingham Mail

BYJEANETTE OLDHAM
21 FEB 2017

A former West Midlands Police officer has accused victims of institutional childhood abuse of LYING to a Government inquiry to win compensation.

Labour Party activist Bernard McEldowney is due to stand for the Bromsgrove ward of Woodvale in the county council elections in May.

But the retired police inspector has sparked fury in Northern Ireland after attacking a Government inquiry looking at the institutional abuse of children, dating back decades.

Mr McEldowney claims the inquiry was ‘hijacked’ by people who lied to win compensation, including former residents of St Joseph’s Children’s Home in Londonderry - where he was a resident.

The home was one of 22 institutions investigated by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA), which looked at abuse allegations dating back decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Christian Brothers legal funds 'difficult'

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 21, 2017

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

The Christian Brothers say they review legal funding for brothers accused of child sex abuse on a case-by-case basis, despite spending more than $1.5 million on one convicted pedophile's numerous legal cases.

A Victorian County Court judge has said he is "blown away" that the Catholic Church still funds the legal defence for Brother Robert Best, who has been convicted of sex offences against 11 boys and this week admitted abusing a further 20 schoolboys.

The Christian Brothers had spent $1.53 million defending Best by 2015, and a combined $100,000 for two other brothers who had been convicted of abuse in Victoria's Ballarat diocese.

Province leader Brother Peter Clinch says the Christian Brothers have had a new protocol since February last year over providing legal assistance to brothers facing criminal charges directly related to their time in the order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Scale of sexual abuse at Marist College Canberra revealed by royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

Royal commission documents have exposed Marist College in Canberra as the most notorious Catholic school in Australia for child sexual abuse claims.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has revealed 63 claims of child sexual abuse made against the school.

But Bravehearts ambassador Damian De Marco believed the total number of victims at Marist College Canberra would be much higher.

"The true figure at Marist would be well over 100 given the number of stories I have heard about people who will never present officially and those that have died from suicide and drugs," Mr De Marco said.

While claims of child sexual abuse were made about 1049 separate Catholic Church institutions, the report singled out 28 institutions that had more than 20 claims of child abuse against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

The Catholic Church's South Wagga parish priest Paddy Sykes has backed calls for cultural change to stop child sexual abuse | Video

AUSTRALIA
Daily Advertiser

Ken Grimson
21 Feb 2017

THE priest in charge of one of the largest parishes in the Catholic Church’s Wagga Diocese has backed calls for lasting cultural change within the faith following the release of alarming figures revealing the extent of child sex abuse within the church.

Reverend Father Paddy Sykes, South Wagga parish priest, published the statistics under the heading “grim data” in his parish newsletter last weekend.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse said between January, 1980, and February, 2015, 4444 people made allegations of child sexual abuse to 93 Catholic Church authorities in Australia.

A total of 1880 alleged perpetrators were identified, of which 32 per cent were religious brothers, 30 per cent were priests, 29 per cent were lay people and 5 per cent were religious sisters.

“As terrible as those figures are, there are probably more (victims),” Fr Sykes said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Bishop says he too was abused by clergy

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 21, 2017

Rebekah Ison
Australian Associated Press

The bishop of Parramatta has made an impassioned plea for the Catholic Church to become less "elitist" while revealing he was sexually abused by clergy himself.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen was applauded during his evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday.

Survivors of sex abuse and their loved ones approached afterwards and some cried as they spoke with him.

"I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was an adult," the former refugee said towards the end of his testimony in Sydney.

"That had a powerful impact on me and how I want to ... walk in the shoes of other victims and really endeavour to attain justice and dignity for them."

Bishop Long, who is the first Australian bishop of Vietnamese background, said titles, privileges and the church's institutional dynamics "breed clerical superiority and elitism".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Bishop of Parramatta Vincent Long Van Nguyen tells royal commission he was abused

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The Bishop of Parramatta, Vincent Long Van Nguyen, has told a royal commission he suffered sexual abuse by a member of the clergy after arriving in Australia as a refugee from Vietnam in 1981.

Bishop Long told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he had enormous empathy for victims.

"I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was an adult," he said.

"That had a powerful impact on me and I want to walk in the shoes of other victims and endeavour to attain justice and dignity for them."

The bishop, 55, told the commission ordained ministers have too much power in the Catholic church and too little accountability.

The lack of women and lay people in leadership positions in the Catholic church has contributed to the high proportion of child sexual abuse allegations, Bishop Long told the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Regional areas ‘breeding ground’ for child sex abuse, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
Hepburn Advocate

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

21 Feb 2017

Regional areas were a “breeding ground” for emotionally immature Catholic clergy who easily entrenched themselves in communities and went onto sexually abuse children undetected, an inquiry heard.

In a frank admissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse said on Tuesday an “extraordinary level of trust” was invested in priests in country communities.

When asked by Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission Gail Furness SC why regional areas were epicentres of clergy sexual abuse, Archbishop Prowse, who was bishop of Sale between 2009 and 2013, said clergy were often held in the highest esteem.

“It was a breeding ground for immature and disconnected priests to be able to move into that area, perhaps, more so numerically than in a bigger city where getting to know the priest is not as easy,” he said.

“(They) were able to really become part of the family in a way that wouldn't have been so in a bigger city.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Australian bishop says he suffered sexual abuse at hands of Catholic clergy

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Tuesday 21 February 2017

The Catholic bishop of Parramatta has gone public for the first time about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of clergy.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen talked about the abuse at a royal commission hearing in Sydney and called on the church to consider removing priests’ honorifics and giving parishioners more power.

“I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was an adult,” the former refugee told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Tuesday.

“That had a powerful impact on me and how I want to … walk in the shoes of other victims and really endeavour to attain justice and dignity for them.”

Long, the first Australian bishop of Vietnamese background, was applauded throughout his testimony. Child sexual abuse survivors and their loved ones approached him afterwards. Some cried as they spoke to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

The imprint of false allegations pervades long after the matter

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Patricia Casey
PUBLISHED
21/02/2017

News items filled with details of sexual abuse allegations are well known to the Irish public. Throughout the 1990s our airwaves were filled with details of priests being charged with sexually abusing children under their charge as far back as the 1970s. We were horrified by these revelations, and several reports headed by judges on various diocese followed.

The possibility that there could be any false allegations was not countenanced and to have had the temerity to suggest this would have evoked public opprobrium and charges of being in denial about the reality of paedophilia.

Then there was the Fr Reynolds case. A priest on the missions was said to have raped a teenager and fathered a child on an RTÉ programme. Ultimately the allegation was false and he sued RTÉ. According to the Association of Catholic Priests, a number of their men have been falsely accused of child abuse by anonymous complainants. The gardaí have then been notified and with only the most cursory of attempts to verify the accuracy of the complaint, the priest is removed from duties and is left in an isolated state.

Removing a person accused of sexual abuse from duties is correct, provided that the possible veracity is established.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Bishop Vincent Long tells Royal Commission he was abused

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

Posted by: Mark Bowling

PARRAMATTA Bishop Vincent Long has told the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse that he was a victim of sexual abuse by clergy.

Bishop Long, who came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam, told the commission he was abused soon after his arrival.

“I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was adult,” he said.

“So, that had a powerful impact on me and how I want to walk in the shoes of other victims, and endeavour to obtain justice and dignity for them.

“We are all products of our life experiences.”

Commissioners questioned Bishop Long about whether structures had changed sufficiently to prevent further child abuse occurring.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Bishop says power of priests needs change

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Church should consider getting rid of honorifics such as 'your lordship' and give lay people more power over parish priests, a NSW bishop says.

Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that titles, privileges and the Church's institutional dynamics 'breed clerical superiority and elitism'.

He said he cringes when parishioners call him 'your lordship' and the church needs to review mandatory celibacy, which he thinks separates the clergy from parishioners.

'When they (faithful Catholics) come to see me, they kiss my ring,' Bishop Long, who is the first Australian bishop of Vietnamese background, said in Sydney on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Former Archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell dies aged 90

IRELAND
The Journal

FORMER ARCHBISHOP OF Dublin Desmond Connell has died after a long illness.
He was 90.

Connell was Archbishop of Dublin from to 1988 until 2004 and Cardinal since 2001.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said that Cardinal Connell, who had been ill for some time, passed away peacefully during the night in his sleep.

His handling of clerical sexual abuse cases was widely criticised, leading to his replacement by Diarmuid Martin in 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

February 20, 2017

Hobart archbishop says scale of abuse by Catholic clergy 'difficult' to understand

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Monday 20 February 2017

The archbishop of Hobart said he still struggles to understand why Catholic clergy abused children on such a massive scale, and blamed the church’s response on an ignorance of “the seriousness of child sexual abuse”.

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Tuesday heard evidence from a panel of archbishops and bishops, largely from Australia’s smaller Catholic dioceses.

The commissioners are seeking to understand why one in 14 Catholic clergy allegedly abused children in Australia, and are scrutinising the church’s efforts to reform its child protection.

The archbishop, Julian Porteous, was asked to give his thoughts on why the abuse crisis occurred at such a significant scale in the Catholic church. He was unable to give the royal commission a clear answer, saying he found it “very difficult” to understand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 PM

Ignorance led to abuse failure: Archbishop

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The Catholic Church's failings on child sexual abuse were grounded in the "ignorance of a few", the Archbishop of Hobart says.

Archbishop Julian Porteous agreed there had been a "massive failing" by leadership but that it was based in a lack of understanding about the issue and appropriate ways to deal with it.

"Effectively, ignorance of a few?" counsel assisting Gail Furness SC said at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Tuesday.

"Yes," Archbishop Porteous replied.

The comments about a misunderstanding within the church angered Chrissie Foster, a mother of abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

Public hearing into Commonwealth, State and Territory governments

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

21 February, 2017

On 14 November 2016 the Royal Commission announced a series of public hearings to be held in Sydney to inquire into the current policies and procedures relating to child protection and child safety of various institutions.

Case Study 51 inquiring into the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments will commence on 6 March 2017. The scope and purpose of the public hearing is available on the Royal Commission website.

The Royal Commission will call senior representatives of relevant departments within the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in relation to the topics set out below.

1. The response of the Commonwealth government to the recommendations of the Child Protection Panel in its report dated 11 May 2016, ‘Making Children Safer – the wellbeing and protection of children in immigration detention and regional processing centres’.

2. The steps taken by the Department of Defence in response to commitments made during the public hearing of Case Study 40 in relation to the current systems, policies and procedures of the Australian Defence Force to prevent, raise and respond to concerns and complaints about child sexual abuse

3. The responses of the States and Territories to the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, announced on 4 November 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

L’ossessione di papa Francesco per lo zolfo

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

Gli abusi? Tutta colpa del diavolo, scrive il pontefice nella sua premessa al libro autobiografico della vittima di un prete pedofilo. E pare che secondo Repubblica ci sia del vero.

Non più tardi di una settimana fa ricordavo nel mio blog che secondo papa Francesco il diavolo esiste ed è persona. Questa convinzione è un punto fermo della “nuova” Chiesa di Bergoglio. Dopo aver citato il demonio ben quattro volte nei primi dieci giorni del suo pontificato, Francesco lo ha nominato con cadenza regolare nelle sue omelie. “Vedendo” il diavolo in tutti gli scandali che hanno colpito la Chiesa dall’interno, il papa gesuita gli ha attribuito la responsabilità degli affari illegali targati Ior, della pedofilia clericale, delle guerre intestine che minacciano la stabilità della Curia, delle fughe di notizie riservate sulla Santa Sede.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Don Inzoli è stato condannato per atti di pedofilia, ma non tutti sanno cosa era successo prima.

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Don Inzoli was sentenced for acts of pedophilia and proceedings were made against him at the Vatican but then-Pope Benedict XIV stopped the proceedings.]

Inzoli non è un prete qualsiasi. E’ stato per trent’anni uomo di punta di Comunione e liberazione in Lombardia. Tra i fondatori di un’iniziativa importante come il Banco alimentare, rettore al Liceo linguistico Shakespeare di Cremona e parroco della chiesa della Santissima Trinità.

Condannato a quattro anni e nove mesi per cinque episodi di pedofilia accertati (ma sono stati molti di più). I più piccoli tra le vittime avevano tra i 12 e i 13 anni, i più grandi tra i 14 e i 16.

Si comincia col non capire perché il tribunale abbia abbassato la pena richiesta dal procuratore (sei anni) malgrado il procuratore Roberto Di Martino avesse sottolineato: “Ci sono alcuni particolari terribili ! “.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Fanno sesso con un ragazzino minorenne. Tre arresti a Vibo Valentia, tra cui un prete e un pensionato

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Having sex with an underage boy. Three arrests in Vibo Valentia, including a priest.]

Tre uomini sono stati arrestati a Vibo Valentia per aver fatto sesso mercenario con un ragazzino di 15 anni, straniero. Cinquanta euro la cifra pagata da i tre, tra cui anche un prete e un pensionato

VIBO VALENTIA – Una squallida vicenda è salita alla ribalta della cronaca a Vibo Valentia in Calabria. Qui si è consumato del sesso mercenario ai danni di un ragazzino straniero di 15 anni. In manette sono finiti tre uomini, tra cui un prete e un pensionato.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Vatican tribunal moves on to Hawaii

GUAM/HAWAII
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

The Vatican tribunal led by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, which came to Guam last week to investigate sex abuse allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, is in Hawaii to hear testimony from former Agat Parish altar boy Roy Quintanilla, according to a document The Guam Daily Post has received.

"As this tribunal has been informed of your readiness to be heard in the above-titled case regarding accusations against His Excellency, the Most Reverend Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., at the direction of the Presiding Judge, I am forwarding to you his decree of citation by which you are called for said hearing," Rev. Justin Wachs wrote to Quintanilla.

According to Post files, the tribunal comprises Burke who serves as the presiding judge, Rev. Robert Geisinger who serves as the prosecutor, Rev. James Conn who serves as Apuron's advocate, and Wachs who serves as the tribunal's notary and designated recorder.

Series of meetings

Quintanilla's meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Diocesan Chancery of the Diocese of Honolulu in Kaneohe, Hawaii, is the second in a series of meetings scheduled with former Guam altar boys who have accused Apuron of abuse dating back to the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Northern Michigan priest arrested in sexual misconduct case

MICHIGAN
Fox 47

ROGERS CITY, Mich. (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest is in jail in northern Michigan in a sexual misconduct investigation.

The Presque Isle County prosecutor says he won't comment until after an arraignment Tuesday. But radio station WHSB says Bishop Steven Raica discussed the matter Sunday night with members of St. Ignatius Church in Rogers City.

Raica says the Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka denies the allegations. Raica says he's "searching for the truth." Obwaka, a native of Kenya, has been pastor at St. Ignatius since July 2013. He's been a priest since 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Marist Brothers sorry for shameful abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

One case of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is one case too many, says the apologetic head of the Marist Brothers whose members allegedly abused hundreds of children.

Brother Peter Carroll, the provincial of the Marist Brothers in Australia, says the child sex abuse scandal has undermined confidence in the Catholic Church and the order's education mission.

"Children and their families have been grievously betrayed by the criminal actions of some of our own, and we too, as Marists, have also been greatly let down," Brother Carroll said.

"We are justifiably upset and offended."

More than 20 per cent of Marist Brothers, Christian Brothers and Salesians of Don Bosco and 40 per cent of St John of God Brothers have been the subject of child sex abuse claims to the Catholic Church in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Une procédure canonique ouverte à l’encontre de Tony Anatrella

FRANCE
La Croix

Céline Hoyeau, le 20/02/2017

Sur la base du rapport que lui a remis la commission mise en place pour étudier les témoignages accusant d’agressions sexuelles ce prêtre psychanalyste très en vue, l’archevêque de Paris a décidé de poursuivre la procédure canonique, délocalisée à Toulouse.

C’était une décision très attendue à l’encontre d’un prêtre en vue, sur lequel des soupçons pèsent depuis une quinzaine d’années. Une procédure canonique va s’ouvrir à l’encontre du P. Tony Anatrella, 75 ans, accusé d’agressions sexuelles dans le cadre de son activité professionnelle de psychanalyste, a appris La Croix.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Priest who denied a duty to report abuse faces abuse charges

FRANCE
Crux

Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a prominent French priest and psychoanalyst who stirred controversy in 2015 when he advised newly appointed Catholic bishops that they were not obligated to report sex abuse allegations to the police, now faces a Church legal procedure for abuse charges himself.

Anatrella has strongly denied the abuse allegations, suggesting in the past that he’s become a target because of his critical views and writings on homosexuality.

The French newspaper La Croix reported Monday that based on the report of a commission created by Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris to examine the charges against Anatrella, a canonical procedure has been opened by the Diocese of Toulouse.

Although suspicions about Anatrella are said to date back at least 15 years, they did not become a matter of public controversy until 2016, when alleged victims aired their allegations in the French media. At the time, Vingt-Trois encouraged those alleged victims to file complaints with the proper legal authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Christian Brother paedophile Robert Best's hypocrisy was 'gobsmacking', judge says

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Monday 20 February 2017

The hypocrisy of the notorious paedophile and Christian Brother Robert Best was “breathtaking and gobsmacking”, exacerbated by his religious affiliation, a judge has said while telling the 76-year-old it was likely he would die in jail.

Victorian county court judge Geoffrey Chettle told Best it was hard not get angry about his abuse, and said he was “blown away” by the fact that his legal fees were still being paid by the Catholic church.

Best pleaded guilty to a further 24 counts of indecent assault on boys aged between eight and 11 years. He molested them between 1968 and 1988 while teaching at St Alipius primary school in Ballarat, St Leo’s college in Box Hill and St Joseph’s college, Geelong.

He is already serving 14 years and nine months jail for sex offences against 11 boys over a 20-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Bathurst St Stanislaus’ College set for apology to student victims of paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
Busselton Mail

20 Feb 2017

VICTIMS of historic sexual abuse at Bathurst’s St Stanislaus’ College will receive a formal public apology on June 16.

Head of College Dr Anne Wenham announced the date for the apology following the sentencing of disgraced former priest Brian Spillane in the District Court last Thursday.

In a letter to the school community, Dr Wenham said details of Spillane’s crimes had been distressing to read and she was deeply sorry for what his young victims had experienced during their time as students at the college.

Dr Wenham said the college and Oceania Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) agreed a formal apology to victims was important.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Mother and Baby Homes commission spent €21k on carpet

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, February 20, 2017

Conall Ó Fátharta

More than €20,000 was spent on carpet for the office of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).

The details are contained in the purchase orders for €20,000 or above made by the DCYA in the first three months of 2015.

The department paid out €21,948 to Carpet Express Ltd to provide carpet for the Mother and Baby Homes Commission on Lower Baggot St in Dublin.

It spent a further €45,928 on the “supply, delivery, and installation of office furniture” for the Commission.

Another €26,575 was spent on the “supply, delivery, and installation of drawer safes” at the offices of the inquiry, while €42,657 went on the “purchase, installation, and configuration of unified communications system”.

This spend also included wifi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

New Catholic standards body to crack down on clergy: Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Rachel Browne

A newly established national oversight body for the Catholic church will have the power to publicly name dioceses or religious orders which fail to meet its robust standards, a royal commission has heard.

The inquiry was told the new body, Catholic Professional Standards (CPS) Ltd, will also give bishops the authority to penalise priests who do not to comply with the new benchmarks.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard that the body, formed late last year, would set, enforce and audit new standards on the protection of children and vulnerable people.

Neville Owen, the chairman of the Catholic church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council, told the hearing CPS would publicly name the dioceses and orders which failed to comply.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Company to hold Catholic groups to account

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Catholic priests could face serious penalties if they don't meet the mark set by a new professional standards body which will publicly name non-compliant dioceses and orders.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday heard Catholic Professional Standards Limited would audit the church's authorities, with a view to holding them to account by publishing reports online.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge thinks bishops should consider entering formal arrangements with priests so they could be stood aside or have their faculties removed if they repeatedly flout the new standards.

"These are serious sanctions - to stand a man aside or to remove his faculties - but given the seriousness of what we are discussing, they are measures that I would consider," he said on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Submissions on records and recordkeeping published

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

20 February, 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published more than 40 submissions on Records and Recordkeeping Practices in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions.

The submissions received came from a wide range of government and non-government organisations including state governments, not-for-profit organisations, advocacy groups, professional bodies, research groups, religious organisations, academics and individuals.

They are based on a consultation paper released in September last year titled Records and Recordkeeping Practices.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the submissions contribute significantly to the Royal Commission’s knowledge and understanding on institutional recordkeeping practices and how these practices could be improved for children in the future.

“The Royal Commission has heard from countless survivors about their painful experiences with poor records and recordkeeping practices in institutions. Many have told us that they had difficulty accessing records, including those who were unable to find records about themselves,” Mr Reed said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Women also sexually abuse children, but their reasons often differ from men’s

AUSTRALIA
The Conversation

Xanthe Mallett
Forensic Criminologist, University of New England

Data from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recently revealed that, between 1950 and 2010, 60% of all abuse allegedly took place at faith-based institutions. Evidence showed that, in Catholic institutions, 95% of alleged offenders were men. This means the remaining 5% (or 96 of the 1,880 accused) were women.

This may come as a surprise. There is a common misconception that all child sex offenders are men. But women child sex offenders do exist, although they differ from male counterparts in several ways.

How many women abuse?

A study for the Home Office in the UK in 1998 indicated less than 5% of child sex offences were committed by women. This is supported by data coming out of the Royal Commission – that 5% of the alleged abusers associated with the Catholic Church were religious sisters – as well as research based on correctional services data in Australia.

The author of the UK report acknowledged the number may be lower than the reality. A 2015 study looked at virtually every substantiated child sexual abuse case reported to child protective services in the United States in 2010. It concluded more than 20% of child sexual abuse cases reviewed involved a primary female perpetrator – so estimates vary significantly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Catholic Church funding defence of paedophile Robert Best 'just blows me away', Victorian judge says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By James Hancock

The Catholic Church is continuing to cover the legal bills of convicted paedophile and Christian Brother Robert Best, who has admitted to sexually abusing a further 20 boys in his care, a Victorian court has been told.

Best, 76, admitted on Monday to 24 charges of indecent assault against the boys, mostly aged between eight and 11 years old.

The County Court heard the abuse took place between 1968 and 1988 while Brother Best was a principal, teacher and year level co-ordinator at four schools: St Alipius at Ballarat, St Leo's at Box Hill, St Joseph's at Geelong and St Bernard's at Essendon.

Best was sentenced to 14 years and nine months jail in 2011 for sexual crimes against 11 boys during the same period.

His latest guilty pleas take the total number of victims to 31.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

The Catholic Church has a formal diplomatic relationship with Australia, but there are calls for that to end

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

David Shoebridge
20 Feb 2017

Australia allows the Catholic Church to protect sexual predators, and any information the church holds on its own illegal activity, from the law. We let it do this by granting protections afforded to no other religious group. It is time this ended.

In 1973 the Australian government granted the Vatican (called the Holy See in official channels) formal diplomatic recognition. This protected the Vatican, and gave its senior officials and head office in Australia the same protection we afford embassies and staff of foreign nations. Their documents cannot be subpoenaed and their senior officials cannot be forced to attend court or provide information.

By accepting the Vatican has foreign nation status, we also accept that it can refuse any Australian request or demand to hand over alleged criminals to stand trial in Australia. The only way criminals in a foreign country can be forced to stand trial in Australia is if we have an extradition treaty with that country.

Australia has an extradition treaty with Italy, but hasn’t managed in 44 years to get one in place with the tiny pretend nation-state of the Vatican that exists wholly within Rome. This is why George Pell can’t be forced back to face questioning at the Royal Commission and why, if a senior Vatican official in Rome was accused of child abuse, he could not be forced to face a criminal trial in our country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Founder steps down while SNAP considers new directions

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Feb. 20, 2017

In a matter of weeks, an extreme makeover changed the face of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Gone is David Clohessy, its national director and the relentless force behind the group’s advocacy efforts.

Gone is Barbara Blaine, its president and the former Catholic Worker who founded the support network in 1988, in part through a phone call to the Phil Donahue Show.

What remains, SNAP says, is its wide network of volunteer leaders who perform “the vast majority” of its work outside public view, as well as its longstanding commitment to survivors of sexual abuse.

“I think our core mission has always been to help those who have been hurt and protect the vulnerable,” said Barbara Dorris, now SNAP managing director after 12 years as its outreach director. “We are still doing both and will continue to do both and maybe in kind of different ways.”

The change in personnel didn’t so much spark an examination of SNAP’s future so much as it fueled already ongoing conversations of what the highest-profile advocacy group against clerical sexual abuse of children, with 20,000-plus members, will look like in the future, who and how it will serve, and even what it might call itself.

“I think any organization has to change and grow to remain viable, to remain healthy,” Dorris said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

S. Jersey Christian preschool teacher's aide suspended over allegations of sex abuse

NEW JERSEY
Philly.com

by Julie Shaw , Staff writer @julieshawphilly | shawj@phillynews.com

A teacher's aide at a South Jersey Christian preschool has been accused in a lawsuit with sexually abusing four children under his care.

The aide was recently suspended from the reJOYce Christian School in Hainesport, Burlington County, and a criminal investigation is underway by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, according to lawyer Brian Kent, who filed the lawsuit.

The preschool is part of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church. The newspaper is not naming the teacher's aide because he has not been criminally charged.

His suspension was first reported by FOX 29 on Thursday.

Joel Bewley, spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, said in an email Friday: "Our office does not divulge the possible existence of a criminal investigation into a specific person or entity." He added that there "are no present charges against" the teacher's aide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Victims call for support review

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

19 Feb 2017

CLERGY sexual abuse survivors from the Ballarat diocese say a new model of victim support is needed because past systems of compensation have monumentally failed.

Survivor Peter Blenkiron has again implored the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse and the federal government to mimic the support for soldiers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Blenkiron and survivor Andrew Collins have previously called for victims who have ongoing health issues to receive a health care card, as well as a pension of $252 a week extra, bringing them in line with war veterans.

The Catholic church says its system that has paid $276 million in compensation to thousands of people sexually abused as children is still not fair to victims. There are discrepancies in the average amount authorities pay – from as little as $22,000 to as much as $901,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

CM EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH EMILIANO FITTIPALDI

UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Juliana Freitag • ChurchMilitant.com • February 19, 2017

Casting a spotlight on sex abuse in the Vatican

Italian author Emiliano Fittipaldi, one of the defendants in the 2016 Vatileaks 2.0 trial, recently published his book Lust: Sins, Scandals and Betrayals of a Church Made of Men, detailing never-before-known facts about sexual scandals in Rome. He recently spoke with Church Militant in this exclusive interview.

Editor's Note: The author's opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of ChurchMilitant.com.

CM: What prompted you to write this book?

EF: Well, it's actually quite simple. I'm an investigative journalist; I investigate power. In my previous book, Greed, the one that led me to be prosecuted in the Vatican, I tried to understand how far Pope Francis' reform had gone. And I actually discovered that the Vatican scandals hadn't been tackled at all. I went after a monsignor who works inside the Vatican, and he advised me to go ahead and find out whether there had been any actual changes regarding procedures to handle sex abuse charges. And this monsignor himself confirmed to me that there hadn't been any changes.

He showed me information from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where in the last three years, during the pontificate of Pope Francis, accusations have doubled compared to the period of 2005–2010. More than 1,200 complaints were brought forward. I thought that was interesting and decided to inspect this phenomenon. I wanted to understand if the Church was really doing what She had promised to do, and I found out that no, She's not doing it.

CM: You wrote an article in La Repubblica stating that you found out there are more than 200 cases of priests accused of sexual crimes in Italy. It's quite incredible that Italy has never seen a Spotlight investigation akin to what took place in the United States when the Boston Globe exposed the sex abuse crisis in the American Church in 2002.

EF: Well, this is what I tried to do with this book.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

February 19, 2017

Reicht der Skandal bis nach Rom?

SCHWEIZ
Luzerner Zeitung

[SEXUAL ABUSE ⋅ For days the fall of a Catholic priest who has abused dozens of children has made headlines. But who has covered the 76-year-old all these years? The traces lead to the Vatican.]

SEXUELLER MISSBRAUCH ⋅ Seit Tagen sorgt der Fall eines katholischen Paters, der Dutzende Kinder missbraucht hat, für Schlagzeilen. Doch wer hat den heute 76-Jährigen all die Jahre gedeckt? Die Spuren führen in den Vatikan.

18. Februar 2017, 13:24

Dominik Weingartner

Es ist ein Fall von sexuellem Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche, der einen erschaudern lässt: Jahrzehntelang hat sich ein heute 76-jähriger Kapuzinerpater an Dutzenden von Kindern vergriffen. Das berichtete der «Blick» diese Woche in einer Artikelserie. Hintergrund ist die Veröffent­lichung des Buches eines Betroffenen, das mit dem Vorwort von Papst Franziskus besondere Aufmerksamkeit erlangt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Über Geld spricht der Bischof nicht

DEUTSCHLAND
Correctiv

[CORRECTIV complains: Where do the churches place their billions? The German churches are rich. But whoever wants to know in which funds and industries the archbishoprics and churches invested their billions encounters a wall of silence.]

Annika Joeres

Die deutschen Kirchen sind reich. Doch wer wissen will, in welche Fonds und Branchen die Erzbistümer und Landeskirchen ihre Milliarden investiert haben, stößt auf eine Mauer des Schweigens. Die wollen wir durchbrechen. Deshalb haben wir nun eine Klage auf Auskunft gegen das Erzbistum Köln eingereicht.

Das Erzbistum Köln ist ein besonderes Erzbistum. Nicht nur wegen des gotischen Doms und der großen Zahl von zwei Millionen Kirchenmitgliedern. Das Erzbistum Köln ist auch besonders wohlhabend. Laut Geschäftsbericht nahm es im Jahr 2015 rund 627 Millionen Euro an Kirchensteuern ein. Rund 2,5 Milliarden Euro hat das Bistum am Finanzmarkt angelegt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

Catholic faith group sees progress in tribunal

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

The president of a Catholic faith group that has been carrying out weekly protests outside the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica told The Guam Daily Post that he sees the signs of progress in the arrival of the Vatican-led tribunal that arrived on Guam last week to hear testimony from those who have accused Guam clergy of child sexual abuse.

"Yes, the combined efforts of the laity of Guam have made the world aware of our problem with clergy sex abuse and the deficient administration of Archbishop Anthony Apuron who abused his authority," said Dave Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam."The Vatican is now paying attention, and they need to because of the civil lawsuits filed against them as well for allegedly knowing (about) the cover ups of clergy sex abuse."

The tribunal concluded the Guam part of its inquiry Friday, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.

Sablan explained that the protest carried out last week at the Archdiocese Chancery was held both to show support for Roland Sondia, one of those who came forward last year as a former altar boy abused by then-priest Archbishop Anthony Apuron, and a way for protesters to send a strong message to the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 PM

Vatican tribunal concludes Guam part of inquiry

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

A cardinal and the rest of the members of a Vatican tribunal that came to Guam to investigate sex abuse allegations against suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron have concluded the Guam part of their inquiry.

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the judge of the tribunal, and other members of his party, left Friday, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.

The tribunal’s Guam visit is part of the canonical trial for Apuron, who faces penal charges in connection with allegations of sexual abuse of altar boys decades ago when he was a Guam priest.

The tribunal “conveyed their appreciation to all individuals whom they interviewed during their work here and encouraged all of Guam’s faithful to remain grounded in Christ,” according to the archdiocese’s statement.

“Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes is pleased that the Vatican is advancing this process,” the archdiocese further stated. “The archdiocese commends all witnesses who have stepped forward to tell their stories. We will continue to redouble our efforts to combat, root out and address sex abuse in the archdiocese.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Former Families SA carer and regional school Christian pastoral worker jailed over student sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Andrew Hough — Exclusive, The Advertiser
February 19, 2017

AN unrepentant former Families SA carer and school Christian pastoral worker has been jailed over his sexual abuse of a student despite his denials and victim blaming.

The Advertiser can reveal how married Wayne Daniel Phillips, 33, “exploited his position of trust” during his time at a country high school, where he targeted the “particularly vulnerable” girl.

The child-sex predator groomed his shy, lonely and naive victim — who came from a “strict religious family” and “lacked self-confidence” — online and showered her with affection, flattery and attention.

The pair communicated via Facebook over a “significant period of time”, a District Court judge said.

“(He) used his position of trust to encourage a rather shy and family-orientated young woman to engage in a lengthy sexual relationship,” said Judge Paul Cuthbertson in sentencing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Cardinal Burke Firmly Rejects Account by Order of Malta’s Acting Head

ROME
National Catholic Register

The Cardinal Patron of the Order says he is “stunned” by Von Rumerstein’s account of Albrecht von Boeselager's dismissal and considers it “a calumny”; also gives interview detailing his recent visit to Guam.

Edward Pentin

Cardinal Raymond Burke has firmly rejected an account given by the acting head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta who said in an interview this week that the cardinal, and not the Order's Grand Master, was the one who asked its Grand Chancellor to resign in December.

Here below are Cardinal Burke’s remarks in response to the account given by Fra' Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein, who is reportedly suffering from ill health and not in possession of all his faculties:

“The account given by Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein is not accurate. I had no authority to ask the Grand Chancellor to resign. I simply stated that the person who knowingly permitted the distribution of contraceptives in the Order’s works should take responsibility, and then the Grand Master once again asked the Grand Chancellor to resign which he refused to do. Then the Grand Master proceeded to his dismissal without my involvement at all. The account of the Grand Master and myself stands.

To be frank, I am stunned by what Hoffmann von Rumerstein states in the article. I consider it a calumny.”

More on this story to follow next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Judge Dame Lowell at head of Britain’s child abuse inquiry had ‘no real idea’ of size of job

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY MIKE SULLIVAN 19th February 2017

EXPLOSIVE emails reveal how the New Zealand judge who lasted less than 18 months as head of Britain’s child abuse inquiry had ‘’no real idea’’ of its size when she took the job.

Dame Lowell Goddard publicly claimed she was well aware of the scale of the inquiry when she was appointed by Theresa May in February 2015.

But she secretly admitted to a Home Office official in email that she had ‘’no real idea of the potential scope’’ of the inquiry.

Emails also reveal how the red carpet was rolled out for Dame Lowell when she arrived in the country to take up her £360,000 a year post.

The messages show how grovelling Home Office flunkeys arranged with UK Borders Agency staff for Dame Lowell to to be waved thorough immigration checks to avoid the media.

Along with the presidential treatment, Dame Lowell and her husband were given first class return tickets from New Zealand for that ten-day visit to the UK costing £23,000 in total.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Abuse inquiry bars victims’ charity

SCOTLAND
The Sunday Times

Mark Macaskill
February 19 2017
The Sunday Times

A charity that has supported more than 15,000 victims of child sex abuse has been blocked from playing a key role at a Scottish government inquiry.

Wellbeing Scotland has campaigned on behalf of victims for more than two decades but has been told it does not meet the criteria to be a “core participant” at the Scottish child abuse inquiry.

This means it cannot give evidence at the inquiry or cross-examine witnesses on behalf of victims. More than 30 clients of the Falkirk charity, formerly known as Open Secret, have signed a letter urging Lady Smith, the senior judge chairing the inquiry, to reverse the decision. An appeal has been lodged by a Glasgow law firm.

The decision to block the charity has prompted disquiet in legal circles where it was described last week as “puzzling” and “bizarre”.

One lawyer suggested that the charity has so many clients — in excess of 1,000 — that its contribution could significantly increase the inquiry’s costs. In light of the decision, dozens of victims said they would not engage with the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Top bishop’s diocese is under fire over a child sex abuse 'cover-up' after a trainee vicar raped two Christian girls

UNITED KINGDOM
The Mail on Sunday

By Simon Walters Political Editor For The Mail On Sunday

One of Britain’s best-known bishops faced controversy last night after it emerged his diocese refused to punish two leading priests in a new church child sex abuse row.

The London diocese, headed by the Bishop of London Richard Chartres – the third most senior Church of England cleric – faced a call by the bishop’s own independent inquiry to consider punishing two priests criticised after a trainee vicar raped two Christian girls.

But the diocese did not take any action, saying it could cause further upset to the victims.

Oxford-educated Timothy Storey was jailed for 15 years last April after a court heard how he groomed hundreds of children on Facebook, using his position as children’s pastor to prey on ‘weak, insecure girls’.

Judge Philip Katz lambasted the ‘utterly incompetent failure’ of ‘arrogant’ church leaders to protect young girls – and accused them of a cover-up. Bishop Chartres apologised and set up an independent inquiry into the scandal.

The Mail on Sunday has established that it was concluded five months ago.

Oxford-educated Timothy Storey was jailed for 15 years last April after a court heard how he groomed hundreds of children on Facebook

Its full contents were kept secret, but this newspaper can reveal the inquiry said both clerics should face disciplinary action – even though both had already been removed from their children’s supervisory roles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Steve Bannon’s Cardinal Pal Denies Guam Post Is Pope Punishment

VATICAN CITY
Huffington Post

By Mary Papenfuss

An arch-conservative American cardinal has denied that his sudden posting to Guam in the wake of a Vatican fake news attack on Pope Francis is a punishment from the liberal pontiff.

The Vatican dispatched Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to Guam to be the judge at a trial there of an archbishop who was removed from office last year after several allegations of child sex abuse. Burke insisted the trial will likely be finished by the summer and told Mediaset in Italy that the posting was normal and not a punishment from the pope, though the two men have clashed in the past.

Burke was named in a recent New York Times article as a friend of Donald Trump’s top aide Steve Bannon. They’re both members of an emboldened Catholic power base — self-described “rad trads,” or radical traditionalists — pushing for a stricter interpretation of Church teachings, according to the Times. The pope, on the other hand, is one of the more liberal pontiffs of the last several decades. He preaches compassion, has encouraged protesting to achieve justice, is concerned about climate change and has attacked policies of the Trump administration without mentioning the president’s name.

Burke recently angered the pope after reportedly demanding the suspension of a leader of a traditionally conservative Catholic charity organization, the Knights of Malta, for arranging the distribution of free condoms in Myanmar. Francis also was recently the target of a fake publication designed by conservatives to look like the official Vatican newspaper. A phony interview in the paper mocked his liberal views.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Michael Boyle on Catholic Sexual Abuse Crisis: How It Happened, What Can Be Done — "Dysfunctional and Sick Culture Playing Out One Strand of Its Sickness and Dysfunctionality"

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

I'd like to recommend to you Michael Boyle's four-part series on how the sexual abuse crisis happened in the Catholic church, and what's to be done about it. As Michael says in the first installment in this series at his Sound of Sheer Silence blog, he was motivated to write these postings in response to the release of the Australian Royal Commission's report about clerical sexual abuse, which shows one in five members of some Catholic religious communities including the Marist Brothers and Christian Brothers allegedly involved in child sexual abuse.

Michael's postings (#2 and #3 are here and here) build to the following conclusion in his final posting of the series:

Summing up what was included in the last three posts, I would say that the Roman Catholic clerical sex abuse crisis was caused by:

1. a completely closed and insular clerical culture

2. which prioritized its own autonomy from judgment by non-clerical institutions, and

3. which developed a culture of "don't ask, don't tell" with regard to sexual indiscretions

4. formed in light of its own internal struggles around the fact that a majority of its members were closeted gay men, and

5. which was also struggling with shrinking numbers, and thus

6. was incentivized doing whatever possible to keep priests in the fold and on duty

7. while lacking robust tools to recognize the true harm and danger of the sexual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

How Did This Happen? Part 1

UNITED STATES
A Sound of Sheer Silence

Michael Boyle

Less than a month ago, I said I would stop talking about Roman Catholicism, and I had every intention of sticking to that. But I am going to break that promise to talk about the release of the report of the Royal Commission in Australia about clerical sexual abuse. The results are shocking--if the reports are correct, the scope of the problem in Australia was even worse than in the United States or in the UK/Ireland. To give an example, there was a reference to a Benedictine monastery in Western Australia in which 17.6% of the monks had an abuse allegation lodged against them at some point in the 1950s. Think about being in a room with a group of monks in which one out of every six of them had someone in the 1950s accuse them of committing a sexual violation on a minor. Think of how many complaints were not made in the culture of the 1950s. One in six. My God.

I had a twitter exchange last night with Maureen Clarke about the report, focusing on what is the obvious question--how did this happen? I've gotten this question before from various folks, and I decided it might be worthwhile to lay out my best effort at answering this question. I've talked about pieces of my thoughts on this topic in various places, but never in one place in a cohesive way. This is obviously only my own take, based on my own experience--I have no particular expertise other than having seen behind the veil of the Catholic priesthood. So, take this for whatever you think it is worth.

The first way to address this question, I think, is to divide the question "how did this happen?" into two parts, based on two different facets of the "this" at issue. The first "this" is "how did it come to pass that some number of Roman Catholic priests sexually abuse children?" The second "this" is "how did it come to pass that the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church covered up the fact that some number of Roman Catholic priests had and were sexually abusing children, either actively or passively, thus facilitating the abuse?" This distinction is important, I believe, because the causes for the two questions are different, and because much of the discussion around this issue confuses these two questions in a way that makes it difficult to get to the bottom of either of them. In this post, I want to focus on question #1, and leave the more complicated question #2 for future posts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

How Did This Happen, Part 2--A People Set Apart

UNITED STATES
A Sound of Sheer Silence

Michael Boyle

In the previous post, I framed question #2 of "how did this sex abuse crisis happen?" as "how did it come to pass that the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church covered up the fact that some number of Roman Catholic priests had and were sexually abusing children, either actively or passively, thus facilitating the abuse?" The answer to that question, in my view can be answered in a one sentence response--"because the culture of the Roman Catholic priesthood is sick and broken, and the sex abuse crisis is the most visible manifestation of that pathology."

It is extremely important here to emphasize the word "culture." While people contribute to cultures in which they are a part, a culture is a conceptually distinct entity from any particular member of that culture. There are deeply decent and honorable men who are Roman Catholic priests. But the culture in which they swim is not decent and not honorable in the main. And, in what is perhaps the greater tragedy, fundamentally decent and honorable men can become compromised by that culture to do things they would never otherwise do.

Let's talk about the big picture elements of that culture, and then drill down to the specifics. If you look at the history of the Roman Catholic Church, probably the single most consistent thread post-Constantine is the absolute and uncompromising insistence by the Church that clerics are not, and should never be, subject to the authority of non-clerics. Thomas Becket died, and was named a saint, for standing up for that principle--that he and his clerics could not be tried by the king's courts in the manner of every other person in England. Gregory VII is acclaimed as a great pope for asserting the same privileges for clerics in the Holy Roman Empire. These fights are often framed as being about protecting the Church from domination by power-hungry kings, and there is truth to that, but the core principle is clerics are to be judged by other clerics, and never by non-clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

How Did This Happen, Part 3--Don't Ask, Don't Tell

UNITED STATES
A Sound of Sheer Silence

Michael Boyle

Any honest discussion of sexuality and the Roman Catholic priesthood must start with the elephant in the room--something approaching a majority of priests are closeted gay men of one form or another. That seems impossible to believe for many people, but no one speaking honestly has ever seriously challenged this premise, at least not to me. And my own experience confirms this assessment.

If you think it through, though, it's not really surprising. In a pervasively homophobic culture, a priesthood in which you were not allowed, and thus not expected, to enter into a (opposite sex) marriage would be logically attractive to men who understood that such a marriage was not an option for them. It doesn't even have to work on a conscious level. I remember asking an elderly priest how he knew he had a vocation to the priesthood, and his response was, "I remember being 14 and seeing all my friends starting to get really into girls, and I was never particularly interested, so I took it to mean that I had a vocation to be a priest." Knowing this man (now deceased), I believe it never occurred to him that he may not have been interested in those girls because he was not straight. Whether or not he was gay I can't say, but you can imagine how someone who was would be steered toward becoming a Catholic priest by this thought process.

Another factor that encouraged the presence of gay men in the Roman Catholic priesthood is the operation of what writer Libby Anne calls the "Two Boxes" model of sexual morality. The Two Boxes model of sexual morality says that there is one box labelled "acceptable sexual practices"--in the Catholic account, sex between a married man and woman that is "open to the transmission of life"--and one box labelled "unacceptable sexual practices" which is everything else. Critically, in the Two Boxes model, the "everything else" is not differentiated into gradations of more or less unacceptable, but basically lumped together into one mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

How Did This Happen, Part 4--What Is To Be Done?

UNITED STATES
A Sound of Sheer Silence

Michael Boyle

Summing up what was included in the last three posts, I would say that the Roman Catholic clerical sex abuse crisis was caused by:

1. a completely closed and insular clerical culture
2. which prioritized its own autonomy from judgment by non-clerical institutions, and
3. which developed a culture of "don't ask, don't tell" with regard to sexual indiscretions
4. formed in light of its own internal struggles around the fact that a majority of its members were closeted gay men, and
5. which was also struggling with shrinking numbers, and thus
6. was incentivized toward doing whatever possible to keep priests in the fold and on duty
7. while lacking robust tools to recognize the true harm and danger of the sexual abuse of children.

In light of this diagnosis, what can be done to rectify it? One thing that will certainly not rectify it is creating a culture of paranoia around homosexuality inside the priesthood. And yet, that seems to be what has happened, and in many respects may be one of the few substantive changes that occurred since the first wave of revelations in the U.S. in 2001-2003. Bill Lindsey points to the infamous "Halloween document" issued in 1986 by then-Cardinal Ratzinger and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith as a turning point on LGBT issues, and I trust Bill's insight as he was "on the ground" at that time in a way I was certainly not. I can say, however, that the 1986 document was received and interpreted inside the clerical world as a prohibition on being "out," at least in terms of outside of the clerical sphere. In other words, it's fine to be gay so long as you don't public say so, because by publicly admitting that you are gay you are embracing a "gay identity" or something.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

“Macché punizione del Papa! Guam non è un confino” Intervista al Card. Raymond Leo Burke

CITTA' DEL VATICANO/GUAM
Stanze Vaticane

Il cardinale Raymond Leo Burke è il Patrono dell’Ordine di Malta. Da qualche giorno il porporato americano, 68 anni, considerato da molti un oppositore di Papa Francesco per via delle sue posizioni tradizionali, è stato inviato a 12.000 km da Roma, sull’Isola di Guam per indagare su un caso di pedofilia risalente agli anni 70. Secondo alcuni si tratta di una punizione del Pontefice nei confronti del cardinale, ma a quanto risulta a Stanze Vaticane – Tgcom24, il Papa è stato informato dell’incarico affidato al card. Burke dalla Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede soltanto a cose fatte, quando il porporato era già sull’isola del Pacifico.

Cardinale Burke come nasce questa missione sull’Isola di Guam?

La missione è nata per una richiesta della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede che io servo quale preside del suo Tribunale Apostolico. Dovrò trattare una delicata causa ecclesiastica penale.

Perché è stato scelto lei?

Il Papa ha affidato la causa alla Congregazione, e la Congregazione ha proceduto secondo la giusta procedura a formare i membri del Tribunale. In ogni caso, penso di esser stato scelto in base ai miei studi di diritto canonico e la mia lunga esperienza con i processi ecclesiastici.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 AM

Cardinal Burke denies mission in Guam is a ‘punishment’

VATICAN CITY/GUAM
Crux

When American Cardinal Raymond Burke was recently dispatched to Guam to preside over a Church trial for an archbishop accused of abusing altar boys in the 1970s, some were inclined to interpret the move as a sort of exile.

Burke, a former president of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s Supreme Court, is well known as the perceived face of conservative opposition to Pope Francis, and also ran afoul of the pontiff in a recent controversy involving the leadership of the Knights of Malta, the group for which he serves as the ecclesiastical patron.

In an interview with an Italian TV outlet, however, Burke denies that the assignment in Guam is any sort of punishment. In fact, the outlet reports that it was the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, not Pope Francis, who entrusted the assignment to Burke, and Francis didn’t even know about it until Burke was already in Guam.

Translated excerpts from that interview appear below, courtesy of TGCom 24.

How was this mission on the island of Guam born?

Burke: It was born with a request from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which I serve as president of its Apostolic Tribunal. I have to deal with a delicate ecclesiastical penal case.

Why were you chosen?

The pope entrusted the case to the congregation, and the congregation went ahead according to the just procedure to form members of the tribunal. In any case, I think I was selected on the basis of my studies in canon law and my long experience with ecclesiastical processes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 AM

Catholic church claims 'seismic shift' after child sexual abuse scandals

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Saturday 18 February 2017

The Catholic church says it has made a seismic shift in holding its leaders accountable for protecting Australian children after decades of abuse by hundreds of pedophiles.

The church says its new national professional standards body will ensure consistency across its autonomous dioceses and orders.

Each bishop and religious leader will sign a contract agreeing to abide by the standards and be monitored, audited and subject to public reporting, the church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive, Francis Sullivan, said.

“It is quite a seismic shift for the Catholic church in holdings leaders to account,” Sullivan said. “It is necessary in order to achieve consistency for survivors.

“It is the biggest learning we’ve had over this whole time – that what the church had previously put in place was rather toothless.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 AM

Fond farewell

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston College Chronicle

Colleagues and friends turned out Feb. 2 in Gasson 100 to fete retiring Boston College School of Social Work Continuing Education Director Vincent Lynch, who in his 30 years at BC launched a groundbreaking annual conference on HIV/AIDS and later played a key role in an initiative on clergy sexual abuse issues.

“It was wonderful. I appreciated seeing so many people from just about every chapter of my career,” said Lynch, interviewed the next day, as he reflected on his association with BC – one that began when he arrived in 1980 to pursue a doctorate in social work.

“I’ve seen BC grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and I’m glad to have been part of that. But even as we moved in that direction, for me BC has maintained that ‘mom-and-pop’ feel – a place where relationships are important, as are discussions about values and ideas.” ...

When the clergy sexual abuse scandal surfaced early this century, Lynch said, it was clear that social work, mental health and other professionals providing care to abuse survivors needed deeper insights to grasp the full dimensions of the problem. In 2004, he co-organized a conference – sponsored by BCSSW and the Church in the 21st Century initiative in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Boston – with workshops and talks on such subjects as family relationships, treatment for various abuse-related conditions such as anxiety disorders and PTSD, and the theological and psychological role of the priest.

“I never felt like I was a maverick, or in over my head,” said Lynch, who also provided consultation to priests and seminarians on issues related to sexual abuse. “Having the support enabled me to feel empowered to address critical areas of need. I always appreciated that.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 AM

Date set for apology to student victims

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

VICTIMS of historic sexual abuse at Bathurst’s St Stanislaus’ College will receive a formal public apology on June 16.

Head of College Dr Anne Wenham announced the date for the apology following the sentencing of disgraced former priest Brian Spillane in the District Court last Thursday.

In a letter to the school community, Dr Wenham said details of Spillane’s crimes had been distressing to read and she was deeply sorry for what his young victims had experienced during their time as students at the college.

Dr Wenham said the college and Oceania Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) agreed a formal apology to victims was important.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 AM

Public Theology Forum | Is It Just A Little Sex? - Church, Sex And Power

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

This is a submission from Public Theology Forum.

To say that the Church in Jamaica has been rocked in recent months on the matter of sexual abuse of minors by ordained ministers is an understatement. Now it is further compounded with the revelation that pastors and police are the most prevalent high-profile accused in reported cases of sexual abuse of children in our nation. Most of the perpetrators are men, and the victims, women and children, especially girls.

As accusations fly and defences are proffered, many are hurting and lives have been destroyed. Many unhealed wounds have been opened up again as the stories in the media cause many survivors of abuse to relive their violation. As one woman lamented, "I thought I had put it behind me until I heard about the pastor and the little girl in his car. The same thing happened to me!" The stories are as real as they are painful, shameful, shaming, horrifying.

Christian witness has again been dealt another blow as the stereotype of the rapacious/lascivious parson appears once again to have more than a grain of truth in it. The Church is being called out for its hypocrisy at calling out sexual immorality while so many ministers and deacons are embroiled in the said activity. Ultimately, God is called into question as absent, unconcerned, uncaring when the representatives of God do such damage, often without sanction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 AM

US groups question Vatican's judge choice in Apuron trial

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Feb. 19, 2017

Two U.S.-based groups dealing with the Catholic clergy sex abuse cases worldwide are not happy with the Vatican's choice on who will preside over Guam Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s canonical penal trial.

The Vatican sent Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke and other members of a tribunal to Guam to hear from witnesses in the trial of Apuron, who is accused of raping and sexually abusing altar boys in the 1970s. The Archdiocese of Agana, in a statement released late Saturday, said a team of four canon lawyers and another official from Rome worked here Feb. 16-17 and left the morning of Feb. 18.

“From what we know of Burke’s record on abuse, he is an odd and unpromising choice for such a sensitive task,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.orga Massachusetts-based information resource that gathers documents and data about the clergy sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Doyle said Burke has a “troubling record” in dealing with clergy abuse cases.

“He has consistently defended accused clergy and played hardball with victims,” Doyle told Pacific Daily News.

Burke, in an Associated Press report, said he aims to wrap up the Apuron investigation by the summer. The report also said Burke denied he had been sent to Guam as "punishment," telling Italy's Mediaset it was normal for cardinals to take on extra jobs in their areas of expertise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 AM

February 18, 2017

Another local pastor under investigation, accused of having sex with a minor

JAMAICA
Loop

The businessman and operator of a downtown Kingston funeral home, who is now before the courts on allegations he molested a boy in St Catherine is also a Bishop of a church and a member of the revivalist movement in Jamaica.

Probe by Loop News has found that Shawn Lawrence - who last week identified himself only as a business operator after he was charged with buggery and indecent assault following an investigation by CISOCA detectives, is also a religious leader.

The accused appeared in the St Catherine Parish Court last week on the charges.

Although the full details were not disclosed in open court, Loop News ascertained that it is being alleged that the molestation occurred during visits to Lawrence’s Linstead, St Catherine home by a church sister and the boy.

Lawrence was remanded in custody until next week when he’s due back in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Closing date looms for people to speak to Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes – and Thomastown County Home

IRELAND
Killkenny People

Sam Matthews 18 Feb 2017

The closing date for people who were residents or workers in – or have specific knowledge of – the Thomastown County Home in County Kilkenny, to speak to a confidential Commission of Investigation is March 1.

The Commission of Investigation was established to investigate the experiences of mothers and children in 14 Mother and Baby Homes and a number of County Homes between 1922 and 1998, including the Thomastown County Home, St Columba's Hospital.

The confidential committee is continuing to meet with anyone who was resident in, or worked in, these homes between the above years, and with others who have specific knowledge of these homes.

The closing date for applications to meet the confidential committee is March 1, 2017.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Vatican 'House of Cards' as pro and anti-pope factions clash

VATICAN CITY
7 News

Vatican City (AFP) - A real-life version of the hit political drama "House of Cards" is unfolding at the Vatican, from cardinals openly defying the pope to anonymous posters sullying his name.

In the latest episode, a group of powerful Princes of the Church released a statement defending Pope Francis -- but religious watchers warn the move could backfire and work in the favour of his conservative challengers.

"No pope controls everything," said Vatican expert Luigi Accattoli. "There has always been some resistance, even from cardinals."

But this time the critics are "louder and more numerous".

The root of the row lies with the Argentine pontiff's calls for the church to be more understanding towards those it considers "sinners", and in particular his intimation last year that some believers who have divorced and remarried should be able to take communion. ...

US cardinal Raymond Burke took on the guise of conspirator-in-chief, warning the 80-year-old pope in November that he could be sanctioned if he does not reply.

Burke has since become a rallying point for conservatives, often giving interviews criticising Francis's decisions.

Religious watcher Sandro Magister told AFP that inside the Vatican there was "great resistance towards a pope who opens doors in every direction and is ambiguous".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Cardinal aims to wrap up Guam abuse probe before summer

VATICAN CITY/GUAM
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — American Cardinal Raymond Burke says he's aiming to wrap up the sex abuse investigation involving Guam's suspended archbishop by the summer.

The Guam archdiocese said Burke left the Pacific island U.S. territory on Saturday after meeting this week with witnesses.

Burke, a top canon lawyer, is presiding over the church tribunal hearing the case against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who faces multiple allegations of sex abuse of altar boys in the 1970s. Apuron has denied the claims and has not been criminally charged.

Burke's presence on Guam had raised eyebrows because he has been involved in some high-profile clashes with Pope Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Vatican engulfed in corruption again as authorities freeze €2m in assets

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Oli Gamp
February 18, 2017

The chief magistrate for the Vatican has confirmed that the city-state's authorities have frozen more than €2m (£1.7m) following allegations over money laundering in 2016.

Promoter of Justice Gian Pietro Milano confirmed the news, which is part of an attempt by Pope Francis to clean up the finances of the Holy See, after it was alerted to suspicious activity by the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF).

While the exact actions that took place are not currently known, Milano stated that two cases resulted in indictments and three were dismissed.

Reuters said Milano had confirmed the total amount of frozen assets at €13m (£11.1m) from a period between 2013 and 2016 after years of controversy that has seen the Vatican's banking system riddled with scandal and corruption.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Vatican makes gains in cracking down on money laundering

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

Vatican officials froze more than 2 million euros ($2.12 million) in cases suspected of being linked to money laundering in 2016. The move is part of the Holy See's drive to clean up its finances, as mandated by Pope Francis.

The latest disclosure from chief magistrate Gian Pietro Milano, whose official title is Promoter of Justice, came during his annual address on the state of the Vatican's criminal justice system.

Milano's speech was short on details, but he added that since 2013 a total of 13 million euros was frozen. The freezing of money followed alerts from the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF), which the pope has given enhanced powers.

Milano didn't reveal how much of the money was subsequently unblocked, following investigations, but he said that last year two cases led to indictments while three were shelved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Incontro privato tra vescovo e Zanardi sulla piaga-pedofilia

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Bishop Calogero Marino kept his word. As promised yesterday afternoon he met with the President of the Abuse Network - Francesco Zanardi - a spokesman for those who in the Savona diocese and beyond have been abused by clergy. The interview lasted nearly an hour. Mr. Zanardi said the meeting was positive.]

after the meeting that it was a positive, suffered acts of clerical pedophilia (acts of which he was a victim). The head of the diocese, in Savona since last January 16, welcomed Zanardi in an interview that lasted nearly an hour, without others were present. "An extremely positive balance", the commentary of the Network Abuse The spokesman, after the meeting. "The way to make the bishop, his gentleness towards me, the attention to detail and the humility with which he acted surp

IN DIOCESI DEL LEADER DELLA RETE “L’ABUSO”. APERTURA AL DIALOGO DA MONSIGNOR MARINO

SILVIA CAMPESE SAVONA.

Il vescovo Calogero Marino ha mantenuto la parola. Come promesso, ieri pomeriggio ha incontrato il presidente della Rete L’Abuso, Francesco Zanardi, portavoce di chi, nella diocesi savonese e non solo, ha subito atti di pedofilia clericale (atti di cui lui stesso fu vittima). Il capo della diocesi, a Savona dallo scorso 16 gennaio, ha accolto Zanardi in un colloquio che è durato quasi un’ora, senza che altri fossero presenti. «Un bilancio estremamente positivo», il commento del portavoce di Rete L’Abuso, al termine dell’incontro. «Il modo di fare del vescovo, la sua delicatezza nei miei confronti, l’attenzione ai particolari e l’umiltà con cui si è comportato mi hanno sorpreso – ha dichiarato Zanardi -. Atteggiamenti a cui, decisamente, non ero abituato all’interno della diocesi savonese, a partire dal predecessore, monsignor Lupi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Napoli, festini gay col prete. I fedeli: «Non ci fidiamo più della Chiesa»

ITALIA
Il Mattino

[con il video]

[The faithful do not trust the church any more. It is said that Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe has a dossier on a bleak scenario confirmed by 28 men who said they had sex with a priest in exchange for money.]

Incontri a luci rosse tra sacerdoti e ragazzi. Questa l'ipotesi contenuta all'interno di un dossier finito sulla scrivania del Cardinale Crescenzio Sepe. Questo scenario fosco viene confermato da un ventottenne che avrebbe dichiarato di avere avuto rapporti con un prelato in cambio di denaro.

Ma cosa ne pensano gli abitanti del quartiere e i membri della parrocchia? «È vergognoso che si verifichino ancora cose simili ai giorni nostri», afferma Elena. «Conosciamo bene questa parrocchia e siamo stupefatti di quanto in queste ore stiamo apprendendo dai giornali. Io qui ho fatto la prima comunione e non posso credere che proprio da questa chiesa sia partito tutto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Anglican Bishop of Bunbury Allan Ewing says the extent of child sexual abuse is shameful

AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Kate Campbell, PerthNow
February 18, 2017

A WA Anglican Bishop believes it will take a generation before trust in the church is restored in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal.

And it’s unlikely the community will ever view the clergy in the same way again, Anglican Bishop of Bunbury Allan Ewing concedes.

“In some ways that’s a good thing. If there was ever a way in which the wider community’s regard for the clergy allowed those who had evil intent to prey upon the innocent ... then I’m really pleased that’s no longer the case,” he said.

The extent of alleged child sexual abuse within the Anglican Church will be exposed at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Vatican froze two million euros in suspect funds in 2016

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

Vatican authorities froze more than two million euros in cases of suspected money laundering in 2016 as part of Pope Francis' drive to clean up the finances of the Holy See, its chief magistrate said on Saturday.

Gian Pietro Milano, whose official title is Promoter of Justice, made the disclosure during his annual address on the state of the Vatican's criminal justice system.

Milano gave no details in his speech but added that the total amount of suspect money frozen between 2013 and 2016 was about 13 million euros.

The money was frozen following alerts from the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF), which Francis has given more operative power.

Milano did not say how much of the money was later unblocked following investigations but that in 2016 two cases led to indictments and three were shelved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

Cardinal Burke Frenzy – Another Failure of the U.S. Media

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on February 18, 2017 by Betty Clermont

As most already know, preceding the national conventions, “a high volume” of “positive media coverage … propelled Trump to the top of the Republican poll.” After the nominations became official, “Clinton and Trump’s coverage was virtually identical in terms of its negative tone. ‘Were the allegations surrounding Clinton of the same order of magnitude as those surrounding Trump?’” asks Thomas E. Patterson in a report from Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

While there is enough blame regarding 2016 polling to go around, as regards the Catholic vote, the Washington Post led with “Donald Trump has a massive Catholic problem” followed by the New York Times “Clinton Challenges Trump for a Traditional Republican Bloc, White Catholics.”

Both inferred that Pope Francis had an effect on U.S. Catholics that was detrimental to Trump. Both ignored that the PRRI polls (here and here) upon which they based their reporting showed that although Clinton led, support for Trump by white Catholics exceeded both the total electorate and white voters in general. Other polls reported that nearly two-thirds of Catholic registered voters are white and that “the IBD-TIPP daily tracking poll – rated by Nate Silver as the most accurate national poll of the last presidential cycle in 2012 – consistently pointed to a Trump win among Catholics.”

In the end, “Trump won the highest percentage of Catholic voters (52%) for a Republican candidate since 2004. White Catholics supported Trump by a wide, 23-point margin (60% to 37%). Both white and Latino Catholics cast more ballots for Trump than for Romney in 2012.” “Evangelicals helped Trump in states he was mostly going to win anyway. Catholics? Now we’re talking about Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. And that was the election.”

There is no comparison, of course, between the importance of a U.S. president and an inconsequential Catholic official. However, the highly inaccurate reporting about Cardinal Raymond L. Burke further impugns the media’s credibility.

There have been dozens upon dozens of recent articles about Burke, one of 226 cardinals in the Catholic Church. The articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post have been the most influential, so I will concentrate on those.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

New $16M verdict reached in runaway pedophile priest case

NEW MEXICO
KRQE

[with video]

By Aaron Drawhorn
Published: February 17, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A $16 million judgment Friday was awarded to a man who suffered abuse as a child at the hands of a longtime New Mexico pedophile priest.

Father Arthur Perrault fled New Mexico in 1992 and has been hiding out overseas ever since.

“Nobody knew where he was for 25 years,” said attorney Brad Hall.

“We will pursue a pedophile to the ends of the earth, no matter how long it takes us to find him,” Hall said, noting that Perrault was finally discovered living in Tangier, Morocco, last year.

He was working at a school at the time he was located, and since his past was revealed, he no longer works there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Former NM priest hit with $16M judgment

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Friday, February 17th, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A judge handed down a $16 million judgment this week against a former New Mexico priest for failure to respond to a lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he was sexually abused by Arthur Perrault in the early 1990s.

Second Judicial District Judge Denise Barela-Shepherd handed down the default judgment Thursday after she found that Perrault had been properly served with the civil lawsuit, but failed to defend himself against the allegations.

She ordered Perrault to pay $1 million in damages and an additional $15 million in punitive damages. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Perrault, who vanished from his Albuquerque parish in 1992, was tracked last year to Tangiers, Morocco, where he was teaching at an English language school for children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Jehovah’s Witnesses settle suit alleging cover-up of child sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Reveal: The Center for Investigative Reporting

By Trey Bundy / February 17, 2017

The Jehovah’s Witnesses settled a lawsuit this week brought by a Pennsylvania woman who says the religion’s leaders covered up sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager.

The settlement came five days into a trial in which Stephanie Fessler, a former Jehovah’s Witness, claimed the religion’s parent corporation violated Pennsylvania’s child abuse reporting laws by instructing local leaders – known as elders – not to report her allegations to police.

According to Fessler, a middle-aged Jehovah’s Witness woman, Terry Monheim, began sexually abusing her when she was 14. At 15, Fessler disclosed the abuse to her parents. Her father was an elder in their congregation.

Fessler’s parents informed other congregation elders, who interrogated Fessler and Monheim but failed to report the abuse to police. As a result, Monheim continued to abuse Fessler for another year, according to court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Retired Council Bluffs priest sentenced to probation, registering as sex offender

IOWA
Omaha World-Herald

World-Herald News Service Feb 17, 2017

The Rev. Paul Monahan was sentenced Friday to a suspended prison sentence and ordered to register as a sex offender for all five counts of invasion of privacy after he turned down a deferred judgement.

Associate Judge Gary Anderson sentenced Monahan, 83, to a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail per each count to be served concurrently, a year of informal probation and to register as a sex offender for 10 years. A minimum fine was also suspended.

After the year of probation, Monahan will have to be supervised for 10 years on special parole.

Monahan’s attorney, Dan McGinn, said his client plans to appeal.

In December 2016, Monahan was found guilty after a bench trial of invading the privacy of five male high school students who said the retired priest looked at their genitals in a public restroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected

JAMAICA
Jamaica Gleaner

Saturday | February 18, 2017

Orantes Moore

Since the beginning of the year, several pastors have been accused of molesting young children. Among them is an elder from the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Haywood Hall, St Mary, Narry Hudson, who recently appeared in court charged with three counts of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

While many of the parish's religious leaders are reluctant to talk about sexual abuse in the Church, ministers such as Claude Williams of the Oracabessa Circuit of Baptist Churches understand the problem must be aired, shared, and discussed.

Speaking to Family and Religion earlier this week, the veteran youth and evangelism director said: "I try to stay away from the court of public opinion, but at the same time, you cannot hide your head in the sand and pretend there aren't issues floating out there. My thing is, to whom much is given, much is expected.

ABUSE OF POWER

"It is unfortunate that children, who are among the vulnerable in our society, would have gone to those of us who claim to be the moral authority of the nation and we are found to be abusing our powers. In terms of denominations where you have established churches with stricter regulations, I believe great care must be given to the recruitment of our pastors.

"There should be a system of accountability so we can dispose of the pastors found to be in violation of that trust. It is very shameful and scandalous, and I believe it forces the Church to take another look at the way we have been operating and conducting ourselves."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Ongar sexual abuse survivor who was told to 'adjust her medication' wants Eric Pickles to resign

UNITED KINGDOM
East London and West Essex Guardian

Anna Slater, News Editor

A SEXUAL abuse victim whose life was “destroyed” by an MP who told her to “adjust her medication” is demanding an apology four years on.

Teresa Cooper, who now lives in Ongar, says the sting of what Eric Pickles said to her in 2013 has never stopped hurting.

The 49-year-old was 14 when she was used as a guinea pig for drug trials and sexually assaulted while living at the Church of England run Kendall House.

Grandmother Ms Cooper confronted the Ongar and Brentwood MP and a wildlife event, saying: “Nothing has changed…only you have ignored it. You have ignored it.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Religious leaders’ role in anti-paedophilia fight

MALAYSIA
Free Malaysia Today

Nawar Firdaws and Tarrence Tan | February 18, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Paul Pakianathan is no stranger to cases of sexual abuse involving children, having rescued a victim himself.

He told FMT the young girl he rescued was sexually abused by her own brother. Her mother knew about it, but did nothing for several years.

Pakianathan, a senior pastor at the Community of Praise, said the case came to his knowledge when the mother took the girl to his church for a separate matter but his instinct told him that something was not right with the girl, who at the time was in her early teenage years.

“I decided there and then I must speak to her and find out what was going on,” he said. “And that was what I did. Soon after, she opened up to me and spoke of the sexual abuse she was facing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Carol Balinski: Group aims to raise awareness of child sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

"Their voices cry out to God and we need to hear them."

That was the powerful message delivered by Deb Helt in a Reading Berks Conference of Churches-sponsored workshop last week about Samaritan SafeChurch, a Lancaster County group that helps congregations raise awareness about child sexual abuse.

The workshop was part of the first-ever Christian Resource Expo at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, 201 Washington St.

Helt, a senior facilitator and congregational support specialist for Samaritan SafeChurch, said, "We want churches to be safe places for people to come."

To that end, the group wants to inspire churches to become proactive in preventing child sexual abuse in churches and the community.

Helt, who is also a pastor of Hosanna! A Fellowship of Christians in Lititz, said she first got involved with Samaritan SafeChurch after its founder, Linda Crockett, spoke to her congregation. Helt said some members of her congregation initially resisted the idea of talking about sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Editorial February 18 2017

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

On the face of it, it appears the Catholic Church has short-changed the region in terms of payments to victims of abuse.

The Illawarra Mercury revealed recently the Wollongong Diocese was named as one of five areas with the highest of proportion of priests alleged to be perpetrators.

Yet in contrast, the region has only received a handful in compensation payments to victims.

The Mercury has revealed only half a million dollars has been paid to Wollongong victims of alleged child sexual abuse by the Catholic Church.

That equates to less than two per cent of the $280 million paid out by the church over the past 35 years to victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Archbishop to face Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Tamut and Adelong Times

By Frances Vinall - February 18, 2017

The Archbishop of the Canberra-Goulburn Catholic Diocese, which includes Tumut, will testify at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse next week.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse will sit before Justice Peter McLennan on February 21, to discuss what safeguards the church has in place to protect children.

Records have shown that the Canberra-Goulburn Diocese had a rate of paedophile priests higher than the national average, with 8.5 per cent of their priests in the 2000s being alleged perpetrators.

In other words, one in twelve priests in this area are accused of having sexually abused children.

And since less than 20 per cent of survivors are estimated to have come forward, the true numbers could be higher still.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Russian priest charged with pedophilia to stay in jail till May 21

RUSSIA
RAPSI - Russian Legal Information Agency

ST. PETERSBURG, February 17 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The St. Petersburg City Court on Friday extended the detention of Russian priest Gleb Grozovsky, who stands charged with sexual abuse of children, RAPSI learnt from the court’s press service.

The hearing was held behind closed doors.

According to investigators, Grozovsky committed several crimes against minors in 2011 and 2013.

In 2013, he fled to Israel and applied for citizenship. However, his application was dismissed.

In April 2014, Grozovsky was put on the international wanted list. Israeli police arrested him in September. In January 2015, a court in Jerusalem ruled that the priest should be extradited to Russia pursuant to the European Convention on Extradition. The ruling was appealed, but rejected. In April 2016, the Justice Minister signed an order on Grozovsky’s extradition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

State Rep. Mark Rozzi reintroduces child sex abuse bill

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

HARRISBURG, PA
State Rep. Mark Rozzi has officially renewed his push to give victims of child sexual abuse more time to confront their abusers in court.

The Muhlenberg Township Democrat's bill would eliminate, going forward, the time limits for victims to press criminal charges or file lawsuits against their abusers and organizations that shield them. Now, victims have until age 50 to pursue charges and until age 30 to sue.

The bill would also open a two-year window during which victims of any age would be allowed to sue, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Rozzi, himself a victim of childhood sexual assault at the hands of a Catholic priest, championed a similar bill last session. The measure cleared the House but fizzled in a stalemate after senators removed the retroactive piece allowing past victims to sue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

February 17, 2017

The Orange Diocese is spinning yarns. But the truth is in the documents

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

February 17, 2017 Joelle Casteix

I love paperwork.

Yesterday, the Diocese of Orange issued a statement responding to the latest sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against Fr. Richard T. Coughlin. In it, they said:

Richard Coughlin was ordained in the archdiocese of Boston in 1953 and incardinated in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the 1960s, predating the Diocese of Orange, which was founded in 1976. Coughlin left parish ministry upon founding the All American Boys Choir in the early 1970s. Coughlin never served as a priest of the Diocese of Orange. (emphasis mine)

They’re parsing words here. The diocese is trying to say that after 1976, when the Diocese of Orange was formed, Coughlin did not serve as a priest in any official capacity. Are they trying to say that he’s the chorus’ responsibility? I don’t know.

But the truth is far different. Here are photos of the 1993 Diocese of Orange Catholic Directory. Yes, I have a copy. I am that weird.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

Former Boston priest pleads not guilty to Maine sexual abuse charges

MAINE
Portland Press Herald

BY EDWARD D. MURPHY
STAFF WRITER

BIDDEFORD — A former priest from Boston accused of molesting two boys repeatedly in Kennebunk three decades ago entered a plea of not guilty Friday.

Ronald Paquin, who was a key figure in the Boston Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, is charged with 29 counts of sexual abuse in Maine for acts he allegedly committed between 1985 and 1988.

Dressed in an orange shirt and yellow prison jumpsuit, Paquin appeared on a video link from York County Jail in Alfred early Friday afternoon. The 74-year-old former Catholic priest walked with the aid of a cane and remained silent during the brief hearing.

He conferred with his temporary attorney, Randall Bates, after Biddeford District Court Judge Daniel Driscoll ordered him held on $50,000 bail, but the microphone on the video link was turned off so the nature of their discussion could not be heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

Ex-priest pleads not guilty to sex abuse of boys

MAINE
Seacoast Online

By Donna Buttarazzi
dbuttarazzi@seacoastonline.com

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Former Roman Catholic priest Ronald H. Paquin pleaded not guilty to 29 counts of sexual misconduct in Biddeford District Court Friday.

Paquin's arraignment Friday was his first court appearance in Maine after being indicted by a York County Grand Jury on Feb. 8 on the allegations of abusing two boys in Kennebunkport in the 1980s.

Paquin was arrested by Massachusetts authorities at a homeless shelter in Boston last Friday. He was turned over to Maine authorities and is being held at the York County Jail.

Paquin, 74, appeared in Biddeford District Court via video feed Friday afternoon in an orange prison jumpsuit and carrying a cane. Judge Dan Driscoll set Paquin's bail at $50,000 and conditionally appointed Portland attorney Heather Gonzales to represent him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Defrocked Priest Appears in Maine Court on 29 Sex Counts

MAINE
NECN

A former Roman Catholic priest who spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for raping an altar boy has made an initial court appearance in Maine on 29 counts of sexual misconduct.

Ronald Paquin appeared before a judge via video conference from jail on Friday. The 74-year-old is now accused of assaulting two boys between 1985 and 1988 in Kennebunkport.

Police say the boys were 11 and 14. Court documents indicate one of them was "substantially impaired" by drugs.

Paquin was defrocked in 2004 and freed from jail in 2015. But now he is back in jail after being ordered held on $50,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Lawsuit alleges Diocese of Orange ignored child sex abuse complaints tied to priest who led boys choir

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

SANTA ANA – A former member of the All-American Boys Chorus has filed a lawsuit against a disgraced priest and the Diocese of Orange, alleging that church leaders ignored complaints of child sexual abuse.

At the center of the lawsuit is Richard T. Coughlin, the now-defrocked priest who founded chorus in Costa Mesa and who over the years has been accused of sexual abuse by at least a half-dozen people, resulting in more than $3 million in settlements.

Ordained in Boston, Coughlin joined the Diocese of Orange in 1965. The newly-filed lawsuit describes Coughlin as a serial pedophile whose gregarious and charismatic nature and Irish brogue masked decades of abuse.

According to the lawsuit, allegations of sexual abuse involving Coughlin first emerged in 1957, when he was still in Boston. A series of alleged victims of Coughlin’s contacted diocese leaders in both Boston and Southern California over the next several decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

David Clohessy resigns SNAP in Alleged Kickback Scheme

UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

POSTED BY FR. GORDON J. MACRAE ON FEBRUARY 8, 2017

We do not have many headlines like this one on These Stone Walls. It has the look and feel of descending into tabloid journalism, but when the headline is true, there is just no higher road to take. This is a story that must be told.

And I am not the first to tell it. In late January, David F. Pierre, author of several books including Sins of the Press and host of TheMediaReport.com published a report entitled, “Lawsuit by Ex-SNAP Insider Exposes Lawyer Kickback Schemes.” And to the surprise of many, the left-leaning, usually SNAP-friendly National Catholic Reporter broke the story first in a January 18 account by NCR Editor Dennis Coday, “Sex Abuse Advocacy Group SNAP Sued by Former Employee.”

One day later, The National Catholic Register carried the story by Catholic News Agency writer, Kevin Jones entitled, “Did SNAP Receive Kickbacks for Suing the Church?” All three versions of the story have been sent to me by multiple TSW readers who asked me to write about it. A week after these accounts emerged, SNAP’s longtime Executive Director, David Clohessy, has mysteriously resigned. This is a development of immense importance in the arena of Catholic Priests Falsely Accused, one of David F. Pierre’s most revealing books.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Sins of the Father: Sexual Misconduct in the Philippines' Catholic Church - 101 East

PHILIPPINES
YouTube

Al Jazeera English

Published on Feb 16, 2017

Priests are treated like God in the Philippines - Asia's largest Catholic nation. But often that trust is exploited by clergymen who are sexually deviant. And, despite a vow of chastity, some priests have children out of wedlock.

Those abuses and misdemeanours within the Church often go unpunished. Critics say investigations are kept secret and those charged with sexual abuse are still active in local parishes.

101 East investigates sexual misconduct inside the most powerful institution in the Philippines: the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Paedophile priest and his victim talk openly

SWITZERLAND
swissinfo

[with video]

Daniel Pittet was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was a child. A book now tells his story, and the preface was written by Pope Francis. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Daniel Pittet was nine years old when he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest over a four-year period. Now he has written about his experiences in his book "Mon Père, je vous pardonne" ("Father, I forgive you").

In the book's preface, Pope Francis wrote that such assaults were abominable and a terrible crime. Pittet hopes that the papal preface will give hope to other victims like him. The now 57-year-old victim says he's forgiven his tormentor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Former priest faces sex charges in Maine court

MAIN
WMTW

BIDDEFORD, Maine —
A former priest was arraigned on nearly 30 sex charges in a York County courtroom Friday afternoon.

Ronald Paquin is charged with 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Paquin is accused of assaulting two victims between 1985 and 1988 in Kennebunkport.

Paquin already served more than 10 years in prison for raping an altar boy while working as a priest near Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Mexican says she was stolen as baby in Spain under Franco

MEXICO/SPAIN
Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Amnesty International and Ligia Ceballos Franco have filed a complaint with Mexican prosecutors, claiming the woman was stolen as a baby in Spain during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and handed over to a well-heeled Mexican family who raised her as their own.

Ceballos Franco said Thursday she may be among an estimated 30,000 babies who were taken from their real parents under the Franco dictatorship from 1938 to 1975.

She claims the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Merida facilitated the adoption. The Merida archdiocese didn't respond to request for comment.

After being told she was adopted, Ceballos Franco found a local government document in Madrid saying a baby had been handed over to her Mexican parents in 1968.

She found a birth record for Diana Ortiz Ramirez, which may be her. Her biological parents were apparently told she had died at birth. The targets of such deception were often opponents of the Franco regime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Protest over paedophile priest set to embarrass Spanish church

SPAIN
Irish Times

Guy Hedgecoe Madrid

A group of former residents of a seminary are planning to stage a street demonstration on Saturday to demand that a priest who has admitted to sexually abusing boys under his tutelage face the full force of the Spanish legal system.

Some 30 men, who as children lived in the La Bañeza seminary in northern Spain, will take part in the demonstration in the town of Astorga. Among them are expected to be some of the victims of José Manuel Ramos Gordón, a former teacher at the seminary.

La Opinión de Zamora newspaper recently revealed that Ramos Gordón had admitted to abusing several pupils at the school in the academic year 1988-89, following an investigation by the Archbishopric of Astorga last year. In May 2016, he was suspended from his duties as a parish priest for “a period of no less than a year,” according to a decree signed by Archbishop Juan Antonio Menéndez, and he was sent to work in a home for retired clergy.

Letter to Francis

The probe began after a former pupil, identified only as FJ, wrote to Pope Francis in 2014, informing him of the case.

“I want us to be listened to and not to have this horror that we suffer silenced any longer, because we’ve already been ignored other times,” FJ wrote in the letter, detailing how he, his twin brother and two other boys were regularly sexually abused at night when they were 14 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Kansas crowd applauds Cardinal Burke's stump speech

KANSAS
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Feb. 17, 2017

ANALYSIS

LENEXA, KAN. It was a stump speech. A speech filled with familiar themes for those who've been on the beat for a while.

But for a crowd in a packed Catholic high school gymnasium in Lenexa, Kan., on a Friday evening, it was a speech filled with red meat, a reassuring message that the crowd applauded and which explained why they call Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, "Leo the Lion," courageous and outspoken.

Burke's Feb. 9-11 tour of the Kansas City metro area included two public Masses — one each in the extraordinary and the ordinary forms — a public address and a luncheon with the local chapter of the Catholic Medical Association, and was a calm harbor from the storms of controversy that have swirled around the cardinal as of late.

Already buffeted by his calls for Pope Francis to clarify parts of his teaching, Burke found himself in more stormy seas in mid-January over troubles in the Knights of Malta, an ancient chivalrous order that traces its roots to the crusades and today maintains a worldwide prestigious membership and thousands of charitable causes. Burke is the order's spiritual patron. In January, Francis appointed a papal delegate to oversee the order.

Three days before he arrived in the heartland, a front-page New York Times story linked the American cardinal to the Trump administration through White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. According to the Times article, the pair met in April 2014 when Bannon was in Rome to cover the canonization of Pope John Paul II and to recruit a Vatican correspondent for his Breitbart News.

Bannon found his correspondent — Thomas Williams, a former priest of the Legionaries of Christ, the international order known for its conservativism and for its founder, the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, a pedophile who fathered children with two women. Williams, an American, had built a career as a Rome-based academic whose suave, camera-friendly demeanor made him a minor media celebrity.

Williams resigned from the priesthood in May 2013; a year earlier, it became public that he had fathered a child several years before that. In December 2013, he married the child's mother, Elizabeth Lev, daughter of a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Mary Ann Glendon.

During that 2014 visit, Bannon also met Burke. Bannon would go on to make Breitbart News a platform for alt-right politics and two years later guide Donald Trump to the presidency. Burke, meanwhile, would emerge as a spokesman for the opposition to Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Statement by the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide on Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Anglican Communion News Service

The Anglican Diocese of Adelaide has issued a statement in response to a damming report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia. A statement issued by Bishop Tim Harris said the report made for “shocking reading” and “the failures of the past have been “clearly identified.” Bishop Harris reaffirmed the diocese’s “sincere apology” to all who suffered and said the diocese was resolved that “such failings must never happen again.”

Here is the full statement:

The Anglican Diocese of Adelaide values and respects the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. We have carefully studied the recently released Report of Case Study No. 36: The response of the Church of England Boys’ Society and the Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney to allegations of child sexual abuse.

The report makes for shocking reading. The failures of the past have been clearly identified. We recognise that it has taken great courage for survivors of abuse to give evidence, and express our sincere hope that the report in some measure helps those survivors abused by Robert Brandenburg and other CEBS leaders on their journey of healing. We reaffirm our sincere apology to all who suffered as a result of such failures of trust, and the manifestly inadequate responses by church authorities at the time that worsened the sense of abuse and distress. There is much to be learned, and we are resolved that such failings must never happen again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

First Nation chief calls for charges against lawyer who overcharged residential school survivors

CANADA
CBC News

By Katie Nicholson, Katie Pedersen, CBC News Posted: Feb 17, 2017

The chief of a Manitoba First Nation says the lawyer who misappropriated nearly a million dollars from some of the community's most vulnerable and traumatized people should face criminal prosecution.

"I think he should be charged," Sandy Bay Chief Lance Roulette said of disbarred Winnipeg lawyer Howard Tennenhouse.

Tennenhouse misappropriated $960,000 from 55 residential school survivors he represented, the Law Society of Manitoba ruled in 2012. The regulatory body said many of the victims were unaware he had charged excess fees.

Tennenhouse is one of 10 lawyers disbarred in Manitoba over the past six years for financial misconduct whose cases were turned over to Winnipeg police for review. No charges have been laid against any of them, and Winnipeg police won't say why.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

The Coughlin Case—Step One: Tell the Truth

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

[Priest sex abuse lawsuit filed in Orange County - Fox 11 video]

February 16, 2017 Joelle Casteix

Lesson of the day for the Diocese of Orange: Don’t lie to the press and public when I can prove you wrong with your own paperwork.

Last week, another alleged victim of Fr. Richard T. Coughlin, the founder of The All-American Boys Chorus, (who—despite dozens of credible accusations and lawsuits in two states—is still a priest), was sued again in Orange County Superior Court for child sexual abuse. The alleged abuse took place in the 1990s.

The Diocese of Orange (California) and the All-American Boys Chorus were also named as defendants.

Coughlin’s case is awful. He was sent to Orange County in the 1960s from Boston after being accused of abuse there (you can read his entire assignment history here). At the time, Orange County was part of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. When The Diocese of Orange was spun off in 1976, Coughlin came along as an added bonus.

Not longer after Coughlin’s arrival in Orange, he began forming boys choral groups. Eventually, the All-American Boys Chorus was born and allegedly provided Coughlin with a steady stream of victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Survivors Network for clergy victims coming to area

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

by Bryan Carnaggio

JOHNSTOWN - A network for survivors is coming to the Johnstown-Altoona area.

The organization called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is starting a new chapter.

"My brother was sexually abused by our parish priest where I grew up in southeastern Ohio," Judy Jones said.

Jones is the Midwest associate director for SNAP.

It's an organization designed to help clergy abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Abuse victims slam insurers over time bar

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

CHILD abuse survivors have criticised insurers for attempting to derail a law which would give many a fresh chance of justice.

The Scottish Government’s Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland Bill could overcome the time bar which has prevented many victims from taking civil action against the institutions or individuals who abused them, because more than three years has passed since the alleged crimes.

It is currently under consideration at Holyrood’s justice committee, but in written evidence the Association of British Insurers has argued that the new law could see many more than the Government’s initial estimate of 2,200 court claims and costs could spiral. The ABI objected to the law permitting people to raise cases again which were previously blocked by the time bar and said the bill would encourage more cases to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Police warn of 5,000 files on alleged child abuse

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

TOM PETERKIN

Police Scotland has revealed it has at least 5,000 files detailing child abuse alleged to have been carried out in care institutions or by prominent people since 1964.

The figure came to light in a Police Scotland document warning the cost of the Scottish Government’s historical abuse inquiry could rise.

A document produced by Police Scotland for MSPs suggests the cost of removing the time limit for victims of childhood abuse to seek civil damages in court may have been underestimated.

Police Scotland issued the warning in response to the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland Bill, which intends to remove the current three-year time bar, or limitation, for bringing a civil court claim for damages in some cases of childhood abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Residential school survivors who withdrew claims may never be identified

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017

It may be impossible to identify all of the former students who were abused at Canada’s Indian residential schools but abandoned their compensation claims when they were subjected to a questionable legal manoeuvre by federal lawyers, says the secretariat charged with determining which cases fall into that category.

The Department of Indigenous Affairs recently completed a year-long investigation into the claims that were rejected or reduced as a result of the “administrative split” – a technicality used to disqualify a school from being included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The department has since produced a list, as yet unpublished, of about 200 survivors whose applications for redress had been affected.

But claimants’ lawyers say many more former students withdrew their claims in the initial stages after being convinced by adjudicators and federal representatives that the administrative split left them no chance of success.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

‘No decision’ to excavate Bessborough despite high death rate

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Friday, February 17, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

There has been “no decision” to carry out excavations on the site of any other mother and baby home other than Tuam — despite the HSE confirming as far back as 2012 that there had been a higher infant death rate in Bessborough in Cork .

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission is currently carrying out its second excavation of the site in Tuam, where almost 800 children are reportedly buried.

The Irish Examiner put a number of queries to the commission in relation to similar excavations in other mother and baby homes — in particular Bessborough.

A death register for this institution maintained by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary has been held by the HSE (and now Tusla) since 2011 and records that 478 infants died in the home between 1934 and 1953 — a higher infant death rate than recorded in Tuam.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Card. Burke to probe abuse claims

VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) - Vatican City, February 16 - Pope Francis has sent one of his most vocal opponents, American Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, to the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean to investigate a complicated case of suspected paedophilia by the island's archbishop, 71-year-old Msgr Anthony Sablan Apuron. Apuron denies the charges, brought forth by a seminarian, of abuse in the 1970s.

Burke will remain on the island for the time needed to oversee canonical proceedings on the case, although at the end of the month he is expected to attend a conference in the US.

Catholic News Service said Burke arrived on Guam Wednesday.

Burke is one of four cardinals who signed the "dubia" letter to Pope Francis expressing doubts on his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, in particular regarding the issue of giving Communion to the divorced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Compensation hopes fade for oldest child abuse victims

SCOTLAND
STV

David Cowan
Kaye Nicolson

The Scottish Government has pledged to find a solution as soon as possible.

The oldest survivors of child abuse in Scotland fear they are being denied any hope of winning compensation.

The Scottish Government is opening the way for hundreds of victims to seek damages through the courts but the change will not apply to cases pre-dating September 1964.

Ministers considered whether or not the so-called 1964 rule could be changed retrospectively but were advised doing so would contravene the European Convention of Human Rights.

Campaigners say the oldest survivors are dying out with no prospect of receiving justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Royal Commission to investigate Tasmanian bishop

AUSTRALIA
Church Times

by Muriel Porter, Australia Correspondent

Posted: 17 Feb 2017

THE current Bishop of Tasmania, the Rt Revd Richard Condie, has begun a disciplinary investigation into a retired bishop of the see, the Rt Revd Philip Newell, in response to a report issued by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Former Dallas Center pastor pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Molly Longman, mlongman@dmreg.com Feb. 16, 2017

A former Dallas Center pastor pleaded not guilty in a written arraignment Wednesday after being arrested last month on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child multiple times.

Randy Johnson, 52, who faces a total of 13 criminal charges, pleaded not guilty to all of the charges before a Court for Arraignment, waiving a speedy trail, according to court documents.

Johnson reportedly perpetrated multiple instances of sexual abuse on the 12- or 13-year-old girl during a year-and-a-half time period from 2013 to 2014, court records say.

Johnson faces five counts of third-degree sexual abuse, three counts of indecent contact with a child, two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, two counts of indecent exposure and one count of child endangerment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Church's school aide suspended in sex abuse investigation, report says

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Greg Adomaitis | For NJ.com

HAINESPORT TWP. -- A teacher's aide with the St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church has been suspended over sexual abuse allegations as a criminal investigation continues, according to news reports.

FOX29 reports that the unnamed male aide, who worked at the reJOYce Christian School, was suspended without pay in December 2016 after four children made claims of inappropriate touching.

Brian Kent, a Philadelphia-based attorney who is representing the children between the ages of 5 and 6, was not immediately available for comment Thursday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests starting local chapter

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

A well-known advocacy group for child sexual abuse victims is setting up a chapter in the Altoona–Johnstown area.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests plans to hold its first confidential support meeting in Ebensburg on Feb. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.

SNAP is establishing its local group in response to the ongoing abuse scandal within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown.

“There is so much pain and hurt there that there needs to be support there,” said Judy Jones, the organization’s Midwest associate director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Wollongong sex abuse victims paid $500,000 by Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Ilawarra Mercury

Kate McIlwain
@kmcilwain

17 Feb 2017

Just over $500,000 has been paid to Wollongong victims of alleged child sexual abuse by the Catholic Church, new data from the royal commission has revealed.

This makes up a tiny proportion (0.18 per cent) of the $280 million paid out by the church over the past 35 years, and puts the Diocese of Wollongong among the 15 Catholic authorities with the lowest average payments to victims.

In contrast, the diocese was last week named as one of the five areas with the highest proportion of priests alleged to be perpetrators.

Claims data released this week by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse shows 33 people made claim of child sexual abuse in the Wollongong diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Victim of sex abuse says district plaques containing Bishop Mulkearn​s' name should be taken down

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

ANDREW THOMSON
17 Feb 2017

A SOUTH-WEST victim ​of clergy sex abuse wants ​plaques featuring Bishop Ronald Mulkearns removed from Warrnambool schools.

The man, who recently made a statement to police and gave evidence at the Royal Commission, is still a practising Catholic.

He said it was a disgrace the plaques, that recognise Bishop Mulkearns had opened buildings in the region, remained on display.

Those plaques are understood to be at St Joseph’s, Our Lady Help Of Christians and St Pius X primary schools in Warrnambool. One has already been removed from St Pius X primary.

​The​ victim said the child sex abuse Royal Commission released statistics last week that revealed almost 4500 victims of sexual abuse had come forward to report abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

101 East exposes sexual crimes of Philippines’ priests

PHILIPPINES
Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: An explosive documentary by Al Jazeera’s 101 East has revealed that many priests in the Philippines routinely sexually abuse the children in their congregation but are never investigated for their crimes.

The documentary also revealed that many more break the sacred vows of celibacy and even father children, something the Catholic church does not permit.

101 East reporter Drew Ambrose said, “The Catholic Church is one of the most powerful institutions in the Philippines.

“Victims of clergy abuse are under enormous pressure not to report abusive priests. We found that even when they do find the courage to come forward, some are paid to keep quiet.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

February 16, 2017

Convicted pedophile priest extradited to Maine jail

MAINE
WGME

KENNEBUNKPORT (WGME) -- A convicted pedophile priest from Massachusetts is in jail in Maine Thursday night, accused of molesting boys in Kennebunkport.

74-year-old Ronald Paquin faces 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct.

Victims say for years, Paquin took boys to his camper in Kennebunkport to sexually molest them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 PM

Sexual abuse and the Catholic Church in the Philippines

PHILIPPINES
Aljazeera

by Tiffany Ang'

Sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests in the Philippines are on the rise, according to senior church investigators.

But this new 101 East documentary reveals that prosecutions of priests alleged to have committed sexual abuse are extremely rare in Asia's largest Catholic nation.

Some alleged victims say they have been pressured not to file charges and were paid money in exchange for their silence.

Imelda* was 15 years old when she says the priest in her village sexually assaulted her.

"After he kissed me on the forehead, he hugged me," she recalled. "It was really painful. Why did he do that to me?"

She says that when her family discovered she had reported the incident to the police, they beat her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

WA at the evil heart of child abuse

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Tim Clarke, Legal Affairs Editor
Thursday, February 16, 2017

WA was at the shameful heart of the most rampant paedophilia within the Catholic Church, the royal commission on child sex abuse has revealed.

A commission analysis released yesterday of cases and payments covering 30 years showed the Church had paid $276.1 million to victims.

The commission released a list of Australian church institutions where most-reported incidents of alleged child sexual abuse occurred from 1980 to 2015.

The data showed 4445 people made claims. Almost 750 abuse claims were continuing at the time of the survey.

Three of the top four institutions were in WA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

GR pastor ordered to stand for child sexual abuse charges

MICHIGAN
WOOD

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A pastor at a Grand Rapids church accused of trying to meet an 11-year-old girl for sex has been ordered to stand trial.

At a preliminary hearing, David Robert Diehl was bound over to circuit court on child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime charges.

Diehl was arrested in November 2016 after he responded to an undercover officer’s post on Grand Rapids Craiglist, which warned about a poster offering “sex with daughters.”

Michigan State Police say Diehl is a pastor at Church on Fire in Grand Rapids at the time of his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Variations: God bless you Bishop Camacho

NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS
Marianas Variety

17 Feb 2017 By Zaldy Dandan - editor@mvariety.com

“Faith is not, contrary to the usual ideas, something that turns out to be right or wrong, like a gambler’s bet….” — Joanna Russ

IF some believers professing a major religion (you know which one) commit one appalling atrocity after another, we will be called “ignorant and biased” if we question some of the basic tenets of their faith. However, whenever a Catholic priest is accused of wrongdoing, it’s OK to make sweeping generalizations about Catholicism. The Church is evil, its critics say, and its devotees are either too deluded or too dumb to be outraged — they should leave the Church.

And that’s why we should also give up on constitutional democracy and the rule of law. Why? Why not after reading the American Declaration of Independence (“[A]ll men are created equal, [and] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….), and then learning about how the same government founded on such lofty if not sacred ideals dealt with U.S. citizens who happened to be of the “wrong” color. Never mind the non-U.S. colored people. (U.S. Army Gen. “Howling” Jake Smith’s instruction to his troops during the American invasion of the P.I. in 1901: “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better it will please me…. Kill everyone over the age of 10…and make the island a howling wilderness.”)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Number of accusers could double

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

On the same day an 18th child sex abuse claim was filed in Guam's federal court, the legal counsel for the alleged victims said yesterday that he expected the number of accusers to double.

Attorney David Lujan and one of his clients spoke briefly with the media yesterday at the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery before meeting with a representative of a Vatican-led tribunal sent to Guam to receive testimony from those who have accused former Guam clergy of abuse as part of an ongoing investigation into Archbishop Anthony Apuron. The Vatican investigation is penal, or criminal, in nature, according to documents.

While all of the accusers that Lujan currently represents are former altar boys, attorney Gloria Rudolph noted that some of the victims whose cases have not yet been filed never served as altar boys.

"Some of them weren't altar boys," she said. "They were students at Catholic schools."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

“Le scuse non ci bastano. E la Chiesa non ha punito 130 sacerdoti pedofili”

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

di Serena Sartini

Le parole, seppure forti, non bastano. «Purtroppo mancano i fatti, manca la concretezza.

Chiediamo al Papa di ordinare ai suoi vescovi di denunciare i crimini di pedofilia commessi dai sacerdoti, cosicché intervenga la giustizia». È duro il commento di Francesco Zanardi, abusato da un sacerdote quando era ragazzino e ora presidente della Rete l’Abuso, associazione che assiste le vittime dei preti pedofili. Un appello che arriva all’indomani del discorso del Papa pubblicato nel libro-testimonianza di Daniel Pittet, vittima di abusi da parte di sacerdoti, in cui Francesco ha chiesto «perdono per i preti pedofili» e ha assicurato: «Saremo severissimi».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Sospendono l’istituto Provolo di Mendoza fino a che si avrà una sentenza per i casi di abuso

ARGENTINA
Rete L'Abuso

[MENDOZA.- Amid the scandal to allegations of sexual abuse against deaf children at Provolo Institute Antonio of Mendoza, the local school government has finally decided to suspend any subsidies to the school and the school will not be allowed to operate.]

Pablo Mannino

PER LA NACION

MENDOZA.- In mezzo allo scandalo per le denunce di abusi sessuali contro i bambini sordi dell’Istituto Antonio Provolo di Mendoza, il governo scolastico locale ha deciso alla fine di sospendere l’entità educativa in maniera preventiva fintanto che la Giustizia si esprima sulla situazione degli imputati.

Durante una conferenza stampa che si è svolta nel pomeriggio di ieri, il titolare degli Assunti Giuridici della Direzione Generale delle Scuole (DGE), Francisco Fernández, e la direttrice dell’Educazione Privata, Beatriz Della Savia, hanno dato a conoscere la risoluzione. In questa maniera, con il rapporto Nº 93/2017 è stata data l’informazione che l’istituzione non darà più lezioni e smetterà di ricevere il sussidio statale.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Cassazione: «Preti e suore non possono tacere su stupri»

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Priests and nuns can not be silent or say false when they are questioned by the magistrates by invoking the 'professional' secret if they are aware of the facts of criminal law as part of their social activities of assistance to vulnerable people.]

Le motivazioni delle condanne afflitte al parroco e alla suora che negarono di aver saputo delle violenze sessuali subite da Annamaria Scarfò (all’epoca 13enne), che si era affidata alla loro “protezione”, ad opera di un branco di ragazzi.

Preti e suore non possono tacere o dire il falso quando sono interrogati dai magistrati, invocando il segreto ‘professionale’, se sono venuti a conoscenza di fatti penalmente rilevanti nell’ambito della loro attività sociale di assistenza ai soggetti deboli che, sebbene rientri nella generica “missione” degli ecclesiastici, “non rientra certamente nell’esercizio diretto della fede religiosa”, unico ambito per il quale e’ concesso, per le norme concordatarie del 1985, di evitare di rispondere.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Former priest Jacques Faucher given house arrest for molesting choir boys

CANADA
CBC News

Former Gatineau priest Jacques Faucher has been sentenced to 12 months house arrest and 18 months probation for sexually assaulting three choir boys in the 1970s.

Justice Pierre Roger delivered the sentence in an Ottawa courtroom Thursday.

During the sentencing the judge cited a psychiatric report showing Faucher no longer had a sex drive.

Faucher had retired as a Roman Catholic priest in 2013 when Ottawa police laid 14 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency against him. The offences were alleged to have involved five victims and occurred between 1969 and 1974 in Ottawa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

The Pope Ships His American Enemy To the Other Side of the World

ROME
The Daily Beast

An American cardinal who opposes Pope Francis has just been sent to the remote Pacific island of Guam.

Barbie Latza Nadeau
02.16.17

ROME — Catholic conspiracy theorists unite! After weeks of speculation that American Cardinal Raymond Burke had been secretly slapping up anti-Pope posters and stirring up a schism among conservatives who oppose Pope Francis, the American has suddenly been shipped out to sea.

Specifically, Burke has been sent to the island of Guam, an American outpost of about 162,000 people in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. His departure was seemingly spontaneous, with the Catholic News Service only announcing his arrival when he landed on the island late Wednesday.

The Vatican press office offered a quick explanation for Burke’s departure. While it hadn’t been publicized at the time, Burke had been named by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the presiding judge in a case against Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron last October. Apuron has refused to resign despite a handful of allegations of sexual misconduct from altar boys who served him in the 1970s.

This is the first such case that Burke has been sent to oversee. He was the head of the Vatican’s tribunal until 2014 when Francis sidelined him shortly after he started his papacy in 2013. ...

Despite being well versed in Canon law, Burke’s reputation on clerical sex abuse cases is dismal. He stands accused of not reporting predator priests while he worked in the United States, and he once blamed gay priests as the authors of the assaults, accusing the perpetrators of being “feminized and confused about their own sexual identity.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Knights of Malta chief says it was Burke who asked official to resign

ROME
Crux

Austen Ivereigh February 15, 2017
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

In an interview with an Austrian newspaper, the acting head of the Order of Malta has described being present at the meeting where the Grand Chancellor was asked to resign -- and that it was American Cardinal Raymond Burke, not the Grand Master, who made the request.

The Knights of Malta’s chaplain, the pope’s arch-critic American Cardinal Raymond Burke, not its Grand Master, was the one who asked the order’s Grand Chancellor to resign, according to the Knights’ acting head.

Ludwing Hoffmann von Rumerstein, who is Austrian, was present at a meeting on December 6 in which the Grand Chancellor, Albrecht Von Boeselager, was asked to stand down. His refusal and eventual sacking on grounds of disobedience led to a weeks’ long row with the Vatican, who demanded he be reinstated.

The Order’s Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, eventually resigned on January 24. The Sovereign Council reinstated Boeselager and named Hoffmann von Rumerstein the Knights’ Lieutenant ad interim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Former priest convicted of molesting altar boys sentenced to house arrest

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

JOE LOFARO, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

A former Ottawa priest convicted of molesting three altar boys in the 1960s and 1970s has been sentenced to 12 months of house arrest.

A judge found 80-year-old Jacques Faucher guilty last March of six counts of indecent assault and gross indecency on boys aged nine to 13 from the former Notre-Dame-des-Anges parish near Tunney’s Pasture.

The victims all told a similar story: Faucher would invite the boys to sit on his knee in private to pray or to watch hockey and he would start touching them. Court heard that he admitted to police that he had been sexually excited during these encounters, and that he sometimes ejaculated in his pants.

One of the victims told the court in a victim impact statement about the hatred and shame that “ate at me inside like a vile cancer” years after the abuse. Faucher apologized to his victims in court last October for his sex crimes. He said, “I regret them sincerely,” and, in the same speech, also criticized the media for its coverage of sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Few abuser priests referred to Holy See

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil - AAP on February 17, 2017

Only 63 of the hundreds of priests alleged to have sexually abused children in Australia have been referred to the Holy See, although half of those have been removed from the priesthood.

More than 570 priests have been identified as alleged child abusers in claims made to the Catholic Church in Australia, along with almost 700 non-ordained religious brothers and sisters.

The child sex abuse royal commission's analysis of Australian church records shows 63 priests have been the subject of a canonical referral to the Holy See, representing nine per cent of priests who were alleged perpetrators.

The priests have been laicised - released from the clerical state and returned to lay status after a request by the priest himself - in 42 per cent of cases.

Thirteen per cent have been dismissed, with dismissal described as the most severe disciplinary measure in canon law that can be sought by a Catholic Church authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Priest Abuse Lawsuit Singles Out Diocese Of Orange, All American Boys Choir Founder

CALIFORNIA
Patch

ORANGE, CA — In response to a recent lawsuit filed in Orange County alleging that a priest, who was the founder of the All American Boys Chorus, was allowed to sexually prey on children for years, Diocese of Orange officials Wednesday said he never worked in the county.

The lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 3 does not specify a defendant, but it refers to a priest, chorus and Diocese.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff, who is unnamed, was molested by a priest, who also is not named. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, identified the accused as Fr. Richard T. Coughlin, the founder and former director of the chorus in 1970.

Dogged by sexual abuse allegations in Boston, Coughlin was sent to California, SNAP alleged.

The alleged victims believed that the chorus was "run by a gregarious, charismatic and affectionate Catholic priest with an Irish brogue (who) would serve to uplift and inspire," according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Vatican Scandal In Guam: Priest Accused Of Sexually Abusing Children, But Accusers Refuse To Testify

GUAM
International Business Times

BY JOHN WALSH @JRWALSH7 ON 02/16/17

Lawyers representing former altar boys who were allegedly sexually abused by a Catholic archbishop in Guam became disheartened about their case when one of the accusers refused to testify in the Vatican’s investigation into the claims Thursday.

Roland Sondia, who publicly accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting him in the 1970’s when he was 15, reportedly said he wouldn’t share his testimony with the head investigator, American Cardinal Raymond Burke, because his attorney wasn’t allowed to be present while doing so.

Sondia’s lawyer, David Lujan, said the chances of winning the case became “worse” than he expected when he was told that he wouldn’t be allowed to advise his client during his testimony.

Lujan said he feared Sondia, who was once devoutly Catholic, might be distracted from the facts of the case while he was to be “questioned by the prosecutor, who is a priest, and Archbishop Apuron’s lawyer, who is a priest, and a presider who is Cardinal Burke, and a notary who is also a priest.”

Sondia might send a written account of his testimony instead, Lujan said.

Another witness, the mother of a deceased altar boy who similarly accused Apuron of sexually abusing him, has also refused to testify in the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

More abuse cases come to light in France

FRANCE
La Croix

As part of the French Church’s transparency campaign, the Diocese of Angers has revealed the allegations of two victims of Fr Hyacinthe-Marie Houard, a charismatic, well-known local priest, who died in 2012.

Céline Hoyeau and Gauthier Vaillant

Catholics from Angers in western France are devastated this week following the publication on Tuesday evening of a letter from Bishop Emmanuel Delmas to local priests.

The bishop states that he had received testimonies from two young adult women revealing “that they had been subject during their childhood to inappropriate behavior by a former chaplain, Fr Houard".

.Hyacinthe-Marie Houard, who died in December 2012 at the age of 85, was an eminent personality in the diocese.

Chaplain and founder of a local Scouts of Europe team, he enjoyed an excellent reputation as an educator and became secretary-general of the Catholic University of Angers. In 1983, he helped found the university’s Institute of Public Relations and Communication (IRCOM).

The two young women who complained to the bishop say that they were sexually abused at the beginning of the years 2000. Each woman made direct contact with the bishop, one during spring 2016 and the other at the end of the year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Confronting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

NEW ZEALAND
Otago Daily Times

David Tombs compares the Catholic Church’s recent responses to allegations of sexual abuse in Australia and in Peru.

Two documents released last week on sexual abuses in the Catholic Church in Australia and in Peru seem to show very different responses to the problem of historical sexual abuses. The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was formally established in 2013, and it has been examining abuse by Catholic clergy and the responses of various Catholic authorities. Its report, titled "Proportion of priests and non-ordained religious subject to a claim of child sexual abuse 1950-2010" (February 2017), gives a clear sense of the scale.

The report concludes that between 1980 and 2015, there were 4444 alleged incidents of child sexual abuse in more than 1000 institutions. A total of 1880 alleged perpetrators (diocesan and religious priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, lay employees or volunteers) were identified in claims of child sexual abuse.

The figures suggest about 30% of alleged perpetrators were priests, 32% were religious brothers, 29% were lay people, 5% were religious sisters, and for 4% the religious status was not known. The total proportion of priests ministering in Australia who have been alleged as perpetrators of sexual abuse since 1950 is 7%.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Catholic Whistle Blowers’ Response to the Australian “Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse”

UNITED STATES
Catholic Whistleblowers

Focus: The Catholic Church

Catholic Whistle Blowers, an organization of Catholic lay men and women, religious sisters, and current and former religious brothers and priests, in the United States of America, whose mission is to support victim/survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, extends its heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to the Australian government, the people of Australia, and victim/survivors of sexual abuse, for their courageous and unprecedented multi-year-long commitment of resources and personnel to the investigation of child sexual abuse. In particular, Catholic Whistle Blowers is grateful to:

* courageous victim/survivors who have come forward to report sexual abuse, boldly and bravely testify before the Royal Commission, and create a safer Australia for children;

*the government of Australia which has made child safety and the investigation of crimes against children a high priority;

*the citizens of Australia for allowing allocation of funds and resources that has enabled the Royal Commission to do its work in a comprehensive manner;

*the whistle blowers and reporters of sexual abuse allegations in Australia, especially in Catholic institutions and organizations throughout Australia, who helped to uncover widespread sexual abuse of children in Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions;

*the members of the Royal Commission for their professionalism, hard work, and pursuit of the truth

*the country of Australia for modeling for other countries, especially the United States, that investigations by governments of sexual abuse of children are necessary and very successful in helping to keep children safe; and, that the appeal of the Catholic Whistle Blowers of the United States to its government to convene a national commission to investigate child sexual abuse will finally be heard.

Very Rev. John P. Bambrick, V.F., Jackson, New Jersey
Sr. Sally Butler, OP – Brooklyn, New York
Rev. Patrick W. Collins, Ph.D., Douglas, Michigan
Rev. James E. Connell, J.C.D. – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, OP, J.C.D. – Vienna, Virginia
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – West Orange, New Jersey
Rev. Kenneth E. Lasch, J.C.D. – Pompton Plains, New Jersey
Rev. Ronald D. Lemmert - Peekskill, New York
Sr. Claire Smith, OSU – Bronx, New York
Rev. Bruce N. Teague, Sheffield, Massachusetts
Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish, SND deN – New Castle, Delaware
Patrick J. Wall, LLM. – Dana Point, California

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Kirche sucht weitere Opfer und Mittäter von Pädo-Priestern

SCHWEIZ
Blick

[The shocking abuse details made by 57-year-old Daniel Pittet are frightening the Catholic Church. The church is looking for more victims of Father Joël and for churchmen who helped to conceal the deeds.]

Die schockierenden Missbrauchs-Details, die der heute 57-jährige Daniel Pittet publik gemacht hat, schrecken die katholische Kirche auf. Jetzt sucht sie nach weiteren Opfern des Pädo-Priesters Pater Joël – und nach Kirchenleuten, die mitgeholfen haben, die Taten zu verschleiern.

Der Freiburger Bibliothekar Daniel Pittet (57) hat seinem Peiniger zwar vergeben. Und auch dem katholischen Glauben ist er treu geblieben, wie er im BLICK vom Montag und in seinem eben erschienenen Buch «Mon Père, je vous pardonne» schildert. Das ändert jedoch nichts am Leid, das ihm in seiner Kindheit angetan wurde. Über vier Jahre lang, von 1968 bis 1972, hat ihn der Kapuziner-Priester Pater Joël (76) vergewaltigt und für Pornofotos missbraucht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

"Ich bin ein Monster mit zwei Personlichkeiten"

SCHWEIZ
Blick

[The Swiss pedophile Father Jöel has abused dozens of children for decades (yesterday's review). The 76-year-old lives unmolested in a monastery where he found shelter. We visited him there.]

Laurent Grabet (Interview) und Jean-Guy Python (Fotos)

Der pädophile Pater Jöel hat während Jahrzehnten Dutzende von Kindern missbraucht (BLICK von gestern). Der 76-Jährige lebt unbehelligt in einem Kloster, wo er Unterschlupf gefunden hat. Wir haben ihn dort besucht.

Eine Begegnung mit dem Teufel höchstpersönlich war an diesem kalten, verschneiten Freitagmorgen zu erwarten gewesen. Doch umständlich kommt uns ein beleibter 76-Jähriger entgegen, gestützt auf einen Rollator. «Ich schleppe meine Vergangenheit hinter mir her», eröffnet der aus der Romandie stammende Gottesmann das Gespräch. Er hat sich seit acht Jahren in ein Deutschschweizer Kloster zurückgezogen. Man spricht ihn hier in vorwurfslosem Ton mit Pater Joël an. Im Buch, das sein Treiben enthüllt (BLICK von gestern), wird er mit vollem Namen genannt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Ausgerechnet! Vertuscher ist Pädo-Experte der Kirche

SCHWEIZ
Blick

[Ephrem Bucher (73), ex-head of the Capuchin Order, has for years covered for Swiss pedophile Brother Father Joël. Now, he is sitting in the Church's specialist committee to uncover and prevent sexual assaults.]

Laurent Grabet und Andreas Dietrich

Die katholische Kirche hat schnell auf die Enthüllungen von Missbrauchs-Opfer Daniel Pittet (57) reagiert, über die BLICK in den letzten Tagen ausführlich berichtet hat. Am Montag teilten Bischofskonferenz, die Diözese Genf, Lausanne und Freiburg sowie der Kapuzinerorden mit, dass man «die Fehler zutiefst bedauert, welche damals begangen wurden». Zudem wurden Untersuchungen in Aussicht gestellt zur möglichen Beteiligung weiterer Personen ausser des pädophilen Priesters Pater Joël (76). Selbst Papst Franziskus zeigte sich erschüttert und bat im Namen der Kirche um Vergebung.

Mehr Zeit hingegen liess sich die Kirche mit der Einsetzung einer Kommission, die sich des heiklen Themas annehmen soll. Anfang 2014 wurde sie in Aussicht gestellt – erst drei Jahre später hat sich das von den Schweizer Bischöfen eingesetzte «Fachgremium Sexuelle Übergriffe im kirchlichen Umfeld» konstituiert. Es besteht aus rund zehn Mitgliedern, Kirchenvertretern wie weltlichen Experten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Der Vertuscher tritt als Pädo-Experte der Kirche zurück

SCHWEIZ
Blick

[Ephrem Bucher (73) resigns from the Swissbody which looks after sexual assaults in the Catholic Church. BLICK yesterday revealed his questionable role in the pedophile scandal surrounding Father Joël.]

Laurent Grabet und Andreas Dietrich

Das ging schnell! Gestern deckte BLICK auf, wie Ephrem Bucher (73), ehemaliger Chef der Schweizer Kapuziner, jahrelang das Treiben seines Ordensbruders Pater Joël (76) gedeckt hat. Dieser gibt selber zu, mindestens 40 Kinder missbraucht zu haben.

Eines seiner Opfer, der Freiburger Daniel Pittet, hat soeben ein Buch über sein Martyrium veröffentlicht. Strafrechtlich kam Pater Joël stets ungeschoren davon. Entweder waren seine Delikte verjährt, oder es setzte nur eine bedingte Gefängnisstrafe ab. Jedes Mal, wenn an einem Wirkungsort des Pädo-Priesters sein Treiben ruchbar wurde, versetzte ihn der Kapuzinerorden an einen andern Ort.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Violenze all’istituto Provolo, chiusa le sede Argentina

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

Scandalo sordomuti: pugno di ferro del governo dopo l’arresto del prete veronese. «Gli alunni? Cambieranno scuola»

VERONA A quasi tre mesi dagi arresti choc tra cui quello del prete veronese don Nicola Corradi, non risparmia colpi di scena in Argentina lo scandalo abusi sessuali sui sordomuti. E l’ultima novità che proprio in queste ore arriva dall’altro capo dal mondo ha del clamoroso, visto che a intervenire è stato lo stesso governo che, d’autorità, ha deciso di chiudere la sede dell’istituto per sordomuti Provolo di Mendoza. Si tratta della scuola travolta dalle polemiche e dalle proteste di piazza dopo che, a fine novembre 2016, il sacerdote veronese di 82 anni finì in carcere per pedofilia insieme ad altri 4 operatori scolastici (tra cui un secondo prete e un chierichetto) tuttora detenuti nel carcere di Boulogne Sur Mer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Non è Lussuria

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

["Pedophilia is not a vice, pedophilia is not an act of lust, pedophilia is not a sin, much less a crime against morality or an offense against chastity as the Catechism says, and as if the child had prepubescent sexuality. Pedophilia is a violent crime against helpless people "]

Il libro-inchiesta sulla pedofilia clericale firmato da Emiliano Fittipaldi, sin dal titolo induce a confondere peccato e reato in un pericoloso equivoco.
Cecilia M. Calamani

«La pedofilia non è un vizio, la pedofilia non è un atto di lussuria, la pedofilia non è un peccato tanto meno un delitto contro la morale o un’offesa alla castità come dice il Catechismo e come se il bambino prepubere avesse la sessualità. La pedofilia è un crimine violentissimo contro persone inermi» (Federico Tulli, giornalista autore di “Chiesa e pedofilia, il caso italiano”, L’Asino d’oro 2014).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Victims bypass church's Towards Healing

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

Child sex abuse victims are bypassing the Catholic Church's Towards Healing process and even those whose job it is to administer it "wouldn't have a bar of it" if seeking compensation.

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle's child protection agency says victims are not going to Towards Healing, instead choosing to work directly with the diocese to obtain compensation.
"I think the public standing of Towards Healing has been significantly, if not permanently, damaged," Zimmerman Services manager Sean Tynan told the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

"The case study conducted by this royal commission exposed a circumstance that if I were coming forward to seek compensation I wouldn't have a bar of."

The director of professional standards for the Catholic Church in Queensland, Mark Eustance, said he was not a great defender of the national protocol either.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

‘Sins of the father’: Al Jazeera exposes Philippines’ philandering priests

PHILIPPINES
Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — It’s no secret that Al Jazeera does a pretty darn good job with their exposes and this time around, they unveil the deep dark secrets of priests in Asia’s largest Catholic nation.

In this new documentary aptly titled “Sins of the Father”, Al Jazeera will reveal how priests in the Philippines are fathering children, violating the sacred vow of celibacy as well as a rising number of child sex abuse cases by priests.

Priests are treated like Gods in the Philippines and this has lead to some of them exploiting their power. In this exclusive investigation, 101 East reporter Drew Ambrose will reveal how church authorities are receiving more reports of child sex abuse by priests. It will also reveal how some church leaders are speaking out against the institution’s failure to properly investigate abuse allegations.

Church investigators also reveal to 101 East that in some dioceses, one in five priests have had children. But with a shortage of priests in this deeply devout nation, the church rarely takes action against errant priests.

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/showbiz/article/sins-of-the-father-al-jazeera-exposes-philippines-philandering-priests#sthash.pUWTHSO8.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

'Even if he survives jail, he will be an old man': Judge's harsh words for paedophile priest who will likely die behind bars for sexually abusing vulnerable boys as young as 12

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By Daniel Peters For Daily Mail Australia and AAP

A paedophile priest who sexually abused vulnerable and homesick boys for over two decades could spend the rest of his life in jail.

Father Brian Spillane was a charismatic priest and college chaplain, and generally well regarded by the school and others.

But his 'respected position' masked a manipulative predator who sexually abused boys who sought his help over two decades at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

Now the 74-year-old former clergyman faces the prospect of dying in jail after he was sentenced in the NSW District Court on Thursday for the assaults on boys aged under 16 in the 1970s and 1980s.

The most serious charge was buggery (anal intercourse).

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4230368/Paedophile-priest-Brian-Spillane-die-jail.html#ixzz4YqjmM25Q
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

'They were faced with monsters': Child sex victim speaks out

AUSTRALIA
7 News

[with video]

Rashida Yosufzai - AAP on February 16, 2017

Damien Sheridan was a homesick, young boarding student who was just looking for counselling from a trusted school chaplain.

But what he endured at the hands of notorious pedophile priest Brian Spillane was to ruin his life.

Now in his 40s, Mr Sheridan describes the shattering consequences of the assault he faced at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

He has post traumatic stress disorder, suffers anxiety, and has watched as family and friends have also suffered as a result of his hurt.

When he can't get out of bed for weeks on end, his 20-year-old son Zak steps in, taking care of the chores and doing the shopping.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Sanibel parishioners said they're banned from supporting priest

FLORIDA
NBC 2

[with video]

By Levi Ismail, Reporter

SANIBEL -
Parishioners at St. Isabel's Church on Sanibel said they're being denied permission to hold services for their former priest.

In just the past week, parishioners held services to pray for Father Christopher Senk, who is still on paid administrative leave. Senk was investigated for more than two years for allegedly financially exploiting parishioner, Marion McIntyre.

The State Attorney's office concluded that there was not enough evidence of wrongdoing to press charges against Senk.

According to the Diocese of Venice in Florida, a timeline for a resolution of this matter will be determined by the Apostolic See in Rome.

Parishioners said only after they began prayers for Senk at church, were they told they couldn't use church property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Cardinal Burke presides over trial investigating Guam archbishop

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a church law expert and former head of the Vatican's highest court, arrived in Guam Feb. 15 as the presiding judge in a church trial investigating allegations of sexual abuse leveled against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana.

The Vatican press office confirmed a "tribunal of the first instance" was constituted by the Vatican Oct. 5 and its presiding judge is Cardinal Burke. Four other judges, all of whom are bishops, also were appointed, the press office said.

"When an action is in a 'first instance' court, that indicates that it is in the initial trial phase," according to the website of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles accusations of clerical sexual abuse.

Three men have publicly accused Archbishop Apuron of sexually abusing them when they were altar boys in the 1970s. The mother of a fourth man, now deceased, also accused the archbishop of abusing her son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Bill that would extend statute of limitations for child sex-abuse survivors passes committee

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By Randy Krehbiel Tulsa World

OKLAHOMA CITY — Child sex-abuse victims could have more than 40 years to report the crime under legislation approved Wednesday by an Oklahoma House of Representatives committee.

House Bill 1468, by Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, would eliminate the current 12-year statute of limitations and allow charges to be filed against an alleged perpetrator until the victim reaches his or her 45th birthday.

The bill advanced on a vote of 10-0.

“By passing this law, you will be helping not only those who have been abused in the past but children who are being abused right now,” said Ginger Lewis, a Tulsa advocate for child-abuse victims and a survivor herself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Vatican mission hears Guam witnesses

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio and Masako Watanabe , Pacific Daily News Feb. 16, 2017

A Vatican tribunal sent to Guam as part of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s canonical trial heard from some witnesses Thursday, but didn't directly hear from one of Apuron’s alleged sexual abuse victims.

Deacon Steve Martinez, a former sexual abuse response coordinator — whom Apuron reportedly fired for raising concerns about the archdiocese’s mishandling of sex abuse allegations for several years — was among those deposed by the tribunal. Apuron has denied all sex abuse allegations against him and hasn't been charged criminally, although he’s facing multiple civil lawsuits.

Former altar boy Roland Sondia didn't agree to be deposed by the Vatican team without his counsel, David Lujan, of the law firm of Lujan and Wolff.

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, a prominent leader of the Catholic Church’s conservative wing and a seasoned canon lawyer, heads the mission to interview Guam witnesses as part of Apuron’s canonical trial. Burke, who has clashed with Pope Francis on some issues, is the presiding judge in the Apuron trial.

Sondia and Lujan left the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery, where the deposition was being held, after the Rev. Justin M. Wachs told David Lujan the process doesn't allow a witness to bring a lawyer. Wachs serves as the Vatican court reporter for the Apuron trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Ex-altar boy refuses to testify at Vatican Guam abuse trial

GUAM
Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD and GRACE GARCES BORDALLO

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A former altar boy who has accused Guam's longtime archbishop of sexually abusing him has refused to testify before a Vatican court headed by American Cardinal Raymond Burke on the grounds that he couldn't have his lawyer present.

Attorney David Lujan said his client, Roland Sondia, met Thursday with Vatican officials who travelled to the Pacific island U.S. territory to take testimony in the trial of Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Lujan said it wasn't in Sondia's best interest to be questioned by several priests without him present.

Sondia may submit a written declaration instead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Pope worries about sexual abuse in Gaum

VATICAN CITY
News 24

2017-02-16

Vatican City - Pope Francis has sent a Rome-based cardinal who has clashed repeatedly with him to the Pacific island of Guam to investigate a case of sexual abuse.

The Pacific Daily News reports that Cardinal Raymond Burke is scheduled to interview a former altar boy who says he was sexually abused by Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

The 71-year-old Apuron is facing a Vatican trial over multiple allegations of sex abuse of altar boys in the 1970s. He has denied the charges and has not been criminally charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Royal commission: Brisbane schools 'failed to act' on Kevin Lynch sexual abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nick Wiggins and Matt Eaton

A prestigious Brisbane private school harboured a culture in which children making allegations of abuse were treated as liars, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has found.

The commission has handed down its report into what it calls Case Study 34, examining allegations of abuse at Brisbane Grammar School in Spring Hill and St Paul's School in the northern Brisbane suburb of Bald Hills.

It heard evidence that school counsellor Kevin Lynch sexually abused "a large number of students" while he was working at Brisbane Grammar between 1973 and 1988, and continued abusing student as a counsellor at St Paul's between 1989 and 1997.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found then Brisbane Grammar headmaster Maxwell Howell (who died in 2011) was aware of one specific complaint, but did not investigate allegations and did not refer the matter to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Doubt over Vatican investigation of Guam abuse allegations

GUAM
Radio New Zealand

16 February 2017

A lawyer representing former altar boys on Guam is casting doubt on the trial being held by the Vatican to investigate allegations the island's Archbishop abused them.

Vatican representatives are today meeting with Roland Sondia, one of those who has accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexual abuse in the 1970s.

Lawyer David Lujan said he, and his client, were attending the depositions hearing which is part of a canonical trial.

But he's already questioning its effectiveness.

"I'm dubious about anything regarding the Catholic Church and how it deals with priests and sex abuse complainants. The history has been nothing but to cover up."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Catholic Church says abuse compo not fair

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil - AAP on February 16, 2017

The Catholic Church admits its system that has paid $276 million in compensation to thousands of people sexually abused as children is still not fair to victims and an independent scheme is needed.

Victims who have sought redress from the church in Australia have received an average of $91,000 in compensation.

But there are huge differences in the average amount paid by different Catholic Church authorities - from as little as $22,000 to as much as $901,000.

The church's Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive Francis Sullivan says the data reinforces the need for an independent national redress scheme that takes the issue of compensation away from the church.

"Even though the church has paid $270 million and it took a long time to get its act together to do that, there's no doubt the system of paying people and compensating them is best done independently of the church through a national redress scheme," Mr Sullivan told AAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Barrigada resident is latest - and 18th overall - to accuse clergy of molestation

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 16, 2017

By Krystal Paco

An 18th victim has filed suit against the Church. Barrigada resident Anthony Lujan alleges he was molested by Father Louis Brouillard regularly as an altar boy, a Boy Scout, and also as a student at San Vicente Catholic School. Lujan, who is now 50, states the abuse started when he was around 12.

Although he tried to avoid Father Brouillard, Lujan would be forced to be alone with the priest during monthly confessions. Similar to other complaints, Lujan would go on camping trips with Brouillard and other altar boys where sexual abuse was a regular occurrence.

During a meeting with the press earlier today, Attorney David Lujan stated the number of victims to sue the church is likely to double. His firm further disclosed that not all victims were altar boys or Boy Scouts, but students at Catholic schools around the island.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

18th case alleges sexual abuse at San Vicente Catholic School

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

By Mindy Aguon | For the Post Feb 16, 2017

Allegations of sexual abuse that occurred at San Vicente Catholic School in Barrigada have surfaced as the 18th civil complaint filed against former priest Louis Brouillard and the Archdiocese of Agana was filed in the District Court of Guam this afternoon.

Anthony Lujan, 50, claims he was sexually abused by Brouillard when he was an altar boy and Brouillard was a priest at the San Vicente/San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada and while he attended school at San Vicente Catholic School.

Lujan alleges he met Brouillard around 1979 during weekly outings that were conducted by Brouillard to recruit young boys to become altar boys or join the Boy Scouts. At that time Brouillard served as scout master of the Guam Chapter of the Boy Scouts.

At the age of 12, the Barrigada man became an altar boy at the village parish and joined the Boy Scouts. During that period, Lujan was sexually abused by Brouillard, the lawsuit states. The abuse occurred after Lujan served as an altar boy during Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Royal Commission into child sex abuse: Catholic Church spent $275 compensating victims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
February 16, 2017

THE Catholic Church has spent more than $275 million compensating victims of child sexual abuse since 1980, new figures have revealed.

For the first time data published by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today has exposed the financial cost of the church’s sexual abuse crisis.

Between 1980 and 2015 it paid $276.1 million to victims of abuse, or nearly $8 million a year.

That sum includes amounts for compensation, treatment, legal and other costs.

Of the total amount, $258.8 million was monetary compensation, at an average of about $91,000 per claim.

The highest number of payments, $48.5 million, was paid to 763 victims of the Christian Brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Catholic Church schools and homes with the most child abuse claims revealed

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Church has released numbers on how many child sexual abuse claims have been made against staff from their religious schools and orphanages, showing one home for boys faced 219 accusations.

The church identified 28 institutions that had 20 or more claims of child sexual abuse. You can search the data below.

The highest number of claims came from BoysTown at Beaudesert in Queensland, with 219 claims levelled at Catholic Church members working at the children's home.

This information is part of a large release of data revealing the extent of child sex abuse within the Australian Catholic Church that was done with cooperation from them as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

New Sodalit report details severe sexual, psychological abuse

PERU
Crux

Catholic News Agency
February 15, 2017

LIMA, Peru - A two-part report made public on Tuesday details sexual, physical and psychological abuses committed by members of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, both those who have left the community and those who remain in it.

In addition to the movement’s founder, Luis Fernando Figari, four other Sodalits were reported to have sexually abused minors. The report named the other offenders, none of whom are still part of the community.

Seven of the Sodalits “who were identified as having physically or psychologically abused” another member or a person in formation are still in the community and performing external ministry. They have had administrative actions taken against them and are receiving training. The report did not give their names.

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a society of apostolic life which was founded in 1971 in Peru, and granted pontifical recognition in 1997. CNA’s executive director, Alejandro Bermúdez, and its global director of operations, Ryan Thomas, are both members of the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Ballarat Catholic school with history of sexual abuse puts focus on child protection

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Charlotte King

St Patrick's College in Ballarat, infamous for its history of child sexual abuse, is determined to become a leader in child protection.

Among the "old boys" of St Patricks College are some of the most notorious convicted paedophiles in Australia.

An honours board on display is an indication of the changes the school is trying to enact.

The board lists all of the past students, with names and dates listed in gold, who have gone on to be ordained as Catholic priests.

Headmaster John Crowley said some of those names were now blacked out.

"After the first sitting of the royal commission there were details of certain individuals who were old collegians of the school, that to me were just horrifying," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Australian Catholic Church paid $213 million to child sexual abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Deutsche Welle

The country's Catholic Church has paid more than quarter of a billion Australian dollars to child sexual abuse victims. An inquiry concluded that, while thousands of claims were made, many victims had not come forward.

An average of 91,000 dollars each was paid to thousands of victims who came forward with claims to the church, an inquiry was told on Thursday.

Prosecuting barrister Gail Furness said Australia's Catholic Church had paid out 276 million Australian dollars ($213 million, 200 million euros) between 1980 and 2015.

Earlier this month, Australia was shocked by revelation that 4,445 people had made claims of child sexual abuse to the church over the 35-year-period. Of those 30,066 received payments for redress, with hundreds of claims still ongoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Church culture contributed to abuse mishandling – theologian

AUSTRALIA/IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Former Jesuit provincial Fr Gerry O’Hanlon has insisted that the Church’s centralised model of governance contributed to the mishandling of sexual abuse allegations against priests.

Speaking to the royal commission on abuse in Australia via a videolink from Dublin, Fr O’Hanlon also said that the Church suffered from the same defensive attitude as other institutions.

“I think it’s a defensiveness that you will find in many other organisations.

“We are finding it, for example, in England at the moment with regard to as different a field as professional football, soccer. We find it in different organisations. But of course it was all the more egregious coming from an organisation which, if you like, in a good sense, prided itself on doing what was good and what was right and favouring the weakest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Australia’s Catholic Church paid $213 million in abuse compensation, costs

AUSTRALIA
Morung Express

SYDNEY, February 16 (Reuters) – Australia’s Catholic Church has paid A$276 million ($213 million) in compensation to thousands of child abuse victims since 1980, a government inquiry heard on Thursday — the first time the total compensation paid by the church’s schools, orphanages and residences has been revealed.

A report at a royal commission into institutional abuse said 3,066 victims had received some form of compensation from a Catholic body in the 35 years to 2015.

Cash payments of A$258.8 million amounted to an average A$91,000 per person. Some compensation was in non-cash payments.

The institution which paid the most was global order the Christian Brothers, which paid A$45.5 million to 763 people, averaging A$61,000 per person. The Jesuits paid the most per complainant, at A$257,000 each, on average.

The average time between a person experiencing abuse and filing a complaint was 33 years, state prosecutor Gail Furness said in the report, adding that “many survivors face barriers which deter them from reporting abuse to authorities and to the institution in which the abuse occurred”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has shown Hunter abuse survivors have received relatively high average compensation payments

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
16 Feb 2017

THE Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has made some of Australia’s highest average compensation payments to one of the country’s largest groups of child sexual abuse survivors, new data about the distribution of $276 million in total Australian Catholic Church payments to survivors has shown.

A comparison of church authorities across the country, released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Thursday, shows 128 Hunter survivors of clergy abuse received significantly higher average payments of $208,000 than thousands of other Australian Catholic abuse survivors, with a total Maitland-Newcastle payout figure of $26.6 million.

The data release includes confirmation of a shocking 763 payments to abuse survivors from Christian Brothers institutions, including children’s homes, with an average payment of just $64,000.

It also includes payments of an average $109,000 to 286 men sexually abused as children at schools run by the Marist Brothers, including Hamilton and Maitland Marist Brothers, with a total payout of $31.3 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Abuse claims are taken seriously, say church representatives, after choir conductor is jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Echo

Alex Winter

ABUSE claims are taken seriously, church representatives have said after a choir conductor was jailed.

David Everett, of Hankinson Road in Bournemouth, was a member and conductor of the Priory Church Choir in Christchurch when he sexually abused a teenage boy in the early 2000s.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Everett was approaching middle age at the time of the offences.

At a sentencing hearing held at Bournemouth Crown Court, Judge Peter Crabtree OBE said the defendant was “trusted” by the victim’s parents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Alleged victim of Catholic priest brave to speak out

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Seacoast Online

Posted Feb 15, 2017

Seabrook, New Hampshire resident Keith Townsend shows great bravery in sharing his story about allegations of sexual abuse against a former Catholic priest.

Townsend said he thought Paquin was going to be in jail for life for past convictions and was stunned when he was released from jail after raping an altar boy and said "no one is safe" if Paquin, now 74, is free. Paquin, formerly of the Boston archdiocese, served prison time for abusing an altar boy from 1989 to 1992 while serving as associate pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He pleaded guilty to charges in relation to those crimes in 2002 and was released in 2015.

So, Townsend, now 42, is one accuser who went to police and a subsequent investigation has led to Paquin facing 29 new indictments for sexual abuse of young boys. A York County Grand Jury handed down the indictments last week.

Townsend, who said he was molested by Paquin approximately between the ages of 8 and 13 during trips to a camp in Kennebunkport, didn't stop there. He told his story to the Boston Globe and Seacoast Media Group this week. Townsend said he was one of about 10 other young boys abused together and explained in great detail how Paquin gave them alcohol and let them drive his vehicle and gradually started touching them before eventually raping them while the boys were drunk and alone and he remained sober.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Australia's oldest online petition starter takes on Catholic church over daughter's rape, suicide

AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Emily McPherson

A 92-year-old widow taking on the Catholic church over her daughter’s alleged rape and sexual abuse now has an army of almost 50,000 supporters behind her.

Eileen Piper’s daughter Stephanie tragically took her own life 23 years ago, one year after police charged disgraced priest Gerard Mulvale over her alleged rape.

Mulvale and the Catholic Church have denied knowing about Stephanie’s sexual abuse, but Mulvale was later convicted of sex crimes against two boys in her friendship circle and sentenced to three years’ jail.

“They’ve been brutal and heartless,” Ms Piper said of the church. “They’re hoping I’ll die so that they don’t have to deal with me anymore or pay me proper compensation for the heinous sexual abuse to Stephanie.”

Determined to get justice for her only daughter, Ms Piper started a Change.org petition, becoming Australia’s oldest online petition starter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Advocates: Ex-priest should remain jailed

PENNSYLVANIA
Wayne Independent

By Kevin Kearney
kkearney@wayneindependent.com

HONESDALE – An imprisoned former Roman Catholic priest who is up for parole this year should remain in jail until he serves the maximum sentence of 18 years, victims advocates believe.

Steven J. Wolpert, 63, was sentenced in 2008 to nine to 18 years in state prison after pleading guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child younger than 13.

The defendant, who served as a priest in Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged after he abused the 8-year-old boy in Hawley between 2006 and 2007.

The prospect of the sex offender serving only have his sentence does not sit well with Michele Minor Wolf, executive director of Honesdale-based Victims' Intervention Program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Paedophile priest Brian Spillane jailed for nine years for sexually abusing boys

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop

A "wickedly manipulative" serial paedophile priest has had his jail sentence extended until at least 2026 for the sexual abuse of boys at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst in the state's central west.

Brian Spillane, 74, was found guilty last year of sexually abusing seven students between 1974 and 1990, in what a Sydney court heard was likely to be the last in a series of child abuse cases against him relating to more than 30 children.

District Court judge Robyn Tupman today sentenced him to at least nine years in jail and a maximum of 13 years for 16 offences including buggery against boys as young as 12.

Judge Tupman said Spillane abused his position of trust as a teacher and chaplain and "used religious rituals to increase his power over his victims".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Archbishop says Church must end ‘culture of concealment

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge described the Church as “a law unto ourselves”, and said Pope Francis and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse were catalysts for cultural change.

Archbishop Coleridge was a panellist on the third day of the Royal Commission hearing in Sydney discussing Catholic Church structural and cultural issues, including accountability and transparency.

Archbishop Coleridge said the Church must put a “culture of concealment” behind it.

“The Catholic Church in Australia has at times looked the other way, been a law unto itself, and seen that it does things its own way,” he said.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald asked whether it was too harsh to say the Church in Australia still had not embraced the notion of transparency as good practice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Visiting Vatican officials meet with accuser, but without deposition

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Feb 16, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Visiting Vatican officials are receiving testimony relative to the ongoing canonical trial against Archbishop Anthony Apuron in Rome. Among those subpoenaed is Roland Sondia, one of many men to accuse Apuron of molestation that occurred decades ago when Apuron was still a priest.

Thursday's meeting with officials from the Vatican went exactly as Attorney David Lujan expected.

"The gist of it is that Roland will not be represented in there and they will not allow me in there," said the lawyer. As a result, he and his client, Sondia, walked away without providing a deposition regarding his allegations against Archbishop Apuron. Rather than receive the deposition in person, Vatican officials will just have to read about it.

"Our position is that Roland will not be deposed live," Lujan continued. "However, we are willing to submit a declaration, or an affidavit in writing."

Here on island to investigate Apuron as part of the ongoing canonical trial in Rome are Cardinal Raymond L. Burke who will act as a presiding judge over the secret tribunal; Father James Conn who will serve as the prosecutor; and Father Justin Wachs who will perform duties similar to that of a court reporter. Lujan noted seeing another canon lawyer in the room who reportedly represents Apuron, but did not disclose his name to media.

Immediately following the closed-door meeting, Lujan expressed lack of confidence - particularly in Father Conn, who previously made contact directly to his clients. In addition to Sondia, Conn made attempts to communicate with Roy Quintanilla, who resides in Hawaii and Walter Denton of Arizona. Each of the men were altar boys at Mount Carmel Parish in Agat when they were allegedly sexually molested by Apuron, who was a priest at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Catholic Church Paid A$276m To Abuse Victims In Australia

AUSTRALIA
Malaysian Digest

The Australian Catholic Church has paid A$276m (£171m; $213m) to victims of sexual abuse since 1980, an inquiry has heard.

The money was divided between thousands of victims, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse was told.

The data, released on Thursday, showed the average payment was A$91,000.

The landmark royal commission was set up in 2013 and is also investigating abuse at non-religious organisations.

The Catholic Church made the payments in response to 3,066 of 4,445 child sexual abuse claims between 1980 and 2015, the inquiry heard. More than 40% of claims were received by a handful of male orders.

They included compensation, treatment, legal and other costs, said Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission in Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Philippine Catholic church abusers rarely prosecuted

PHILIPPINES
Aljazeera

Al Jazeera investigation reveals the growing problem of sexual misconduct in the Philippines' powerful Catholic church.

Sexual misconduct in the Catholic church is a growing problem in the Philippines, an Al Jazeera investigation has revealed, and priests suspected of abuse are seldom prosecuted.

Oscar Cruz, a retired archbishop overseeing the investigation, told Al Jazeera's 101 East programme that in recent years more cases had come to the church's attention.

"Yes, yes, yes... [there are] more reports on paedophilia and homosexuality," Cruz said. "It is a heinous crime, you know. And a priest at that? Violating a minor? Come on!"

For centuries, the Catholic church has wielded considerable influence in the Philippines, with more than 80 percent of a 100 million-strong population following the faith.

"If clerical abuse victims take on the most powerful institution in the Philippines, it is a David and Goliath battle," 101 East's Drew Ambrose, reporting from the capital Manila, said.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, "Imelda" said she was sexually assaulted by a priest three years ago, when she was 15.

After she filed a police report, two members from her village church paid her $150 to drop the case, she alleged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

18th clergy sex abuse lawsuit filed

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

An 18th clergy sex abuse lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Guam.

Anthony Lujan, 50, of Barrigada, alleged former island priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused him when he was an altar boy, a Boy Scouts of America scout, and while attending San Vicente Catholic School in or about 1979. He said he was about 12 years old at the time.

Brouillard, now 95 and living in Minnesota, publicly admitted to sexually abusing more than 20 altar boys when he was on Guam from the late 1940s to 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Sexual abuser Robin Fletcher 'still believes Wiccan religion justifies crimes', court told

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

Jane Lee
16 Feb 2017

A man who abused teenage girls and still believes his Wiccan religion condones his crimes could do "catastrophic" harm to possible future victims, a court has heard.

The secretary of the Department of Justice, Greg Wilson, is challenging a Supreme Court decision to revoke a decade-long supervision order against Robin Fletcher, who previously served eight years in prison for sexually abusing two teenage girls in the 1990s.

The order restricts him to living at a particular address, which he can only leave under strict conditions. He cannot move from that address without the Adult Parole Board's approval.

Justice Phillip Priest last week ruled that Fletcher, 60, posed no greater risk of sexual reoffending "than the average sex offender released into the community". He said there was a "low" risk he would reoffend in the same way, based on psychological evidence, the fact he is now legally blind, his age and his physical weakness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

18th lawsuit has been filed against Archdiocese for sex abuse claims

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

This is now the 10th accuser to file suit against former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard.

Guam - Another alleged victim has come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against the Archdiocese of Agana, making it the 18th lawsuit filed against the church.

The latest lawsuit was filed by Anthony Lujan, 50, who says he was sexually abused by former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard.

According to Lujan, he was 12 years old when he was sexually abused by Brouillard while he was serving as an altar boy at the San Vicente Parish in Barrigada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

More lawsuits will be filed against retired Saipan bishop, attorney says

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Attorney David Lujan says all the accusers say the sexual abuse occurred in Inarajan while Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho was serving as a priest.

Guam - More lawsuits for civil claims of sexual abuse are expected to be filed against retired Saipan Bishop Tomas Camacho.

Attorney David Lujan, who represents Melvin Duenas, 55, the first individual to accuse Camacho of sexually assaulting him, announced today that he's been in communication with at least three other individuals who intend to sue the retired bishop.

All of the accusers, Lujan said, claim they were sexually abused at the Inarajan parish where Duenas said he was sexually assaulted when he was just 10 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Notorious paedophile Brian Joseph Spillane​ sentenced for 16 child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Melanie Kembrey

Serial paedophile and former priest Brian Joseph Spillane​ has been sentenced to another 13 years in jail for abusing young boys, many of whom were homesick and turned to him for help, at a private Catholic boarding school.

Spillane, 74, kept his back turned to his victims and their families as the sentence was handed down in a packed court room in the Downing Centre District Court on Thursday.

The former teacher, chaplain and head of discipline at St Stanislaus' College, Bathurst, in central west NSW preyed on young boys who came from strictly Catholic families who revered priests.

Spillane used religious rituals, purporting to perform exorcisms, prayers and to speak in tongues, as a ruse to sexually abuse the boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

February 15, 2017

Norristown day-care teacher charged with sexually abusing girl, 3

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Julie Shaw , Staff writer @julieshawphilly | shawj@phillynews.com

A Montgomery County day-care teacher has been charged with sexually abusing a 3-year-old girl who was in his care, authorities said Wednesday.

Michael Barbee, 32, worked as a teacher at the Early Learning Center Program of St. Francis Parish, on Hamilton Street in Norristown.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Norristown police on Feb. 8 received a report that Barbee assaulted the girl with his finger and covered her mouth while they were in his classroom. The girl complained of pain.

Barbee, of Yeadon, went to the Norristown Police Department on Friday and eventually admitted forcibly touching the girl on Feb. 7, the affidavit says. According to his statement, he told police he did so after the girl called him "stupid." He said he went to her cot during nap time and assaulted her, the affidavit says.

Barbee was charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, and related offenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

NORRISTOWN TEACHER CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ABUSE OF 3-YEAR-OLD

PENNSYLVANIA
WPVI

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- A Catholic school teacher in Norristown is facing multiple sexual abuse charges involving a 3-year-old girl.

32-year-old Michael Barbee, a teacher from the early learning program at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, is being held on $750,000 bail.

Charging documents say Barbee admitted to touching the child during nap time.

According to the police affidavit, a 3-year-old girl who attended the Learning Center complained and said Barbee covered her mouth when he touched her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Vatican to hear from former altar boy accusing Guam Archbishop of abuse

GUAM
Radio New Zealand

Vatican representatives are due to hear evidence today from one of the former altar boys who accused Guam's Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexual abuse.

Pacific Daily News reports groups of Catholics plan to be there to show support for Roland Sondia and other abuse survivors.

Archbishop Apuron is undergoing a canonical trial sparked by allegations he raped and sexually abused altar boys in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Cardinal Burke to Guam to investigate alleged sex abuse case

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has sent conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke to the Pacific island of Guam to investigate an important case of sexual abuse, dispatching a seasoned jurist who has clashed repeatedly with Pope Francis for a sensitive mission halfway around the world.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith back in October named Burke the presiding judge in its trial of Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who is facing multiple allegations of sex abuse of altar boys in the 1970s, the Vatican press office said Wednesday. Apuron has denied the charges and has not been criminally charged.

Burke, a Rome-based American, is due to interview a former altar boy in Guam on Thursday who says he was sexually abused by Apuron, the Pacific Daily News reported. Such special missions are not uncommon for cardinals, and interviews with witnesses are a key part of any canonical trial.

Survivors of clerical abuse, though, have long criticized Burke's record as an archbishop in the U.S. in handling cases of abusive priests. Burke has said every act of abuse by clergy is a "grave evil." But he has also blamed gay clergy for the church's sexual abuse crisis, saying priests "who were feminized and confused about their own sexual identity" were the ones who molested children.

Burke, a top canon lawyer, had headed the Vatican's high court until 2014, when Francis removed him and named him patron of the Knights of Malta religious order. Francis recently sidelined Burke from that position after Burke was involved in the problematic ouster of a senior knight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Secret tribunal process revealed

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For the Post

A canon law expert said confidential documents obtained by the Post, which summon one of Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s accusers to appear before a Vatican-sent tribunal, are the first pieces of evidence that Apuron faces the church’s version of a criminal case, rather than an administrative proceeding.

“These documents are a big affirmation that there’s at least a semblance of truth because they’re moving against Apuron,” said attorney Patrick J. Wall, a former priest and an advocate for victims of clergy abuse. “This is a criminal case. It’s the first piece of evidence that (they) believe he committed a crime of some sort.” Wall is with Jeff Anderson & Associates, a U.S. law firm recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms to represent survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

A Feb. 3 decree signed by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who will be the presiding judge over the secret tribunal scheduled to take place at the Archdiocesan Chancery today, summoned Sondia to appear for “the purpose of giving said testimony,” according to the documents.

Sondia is one of several former altar boys who accused Apuron of sexual abuse in the 1970’s. At the time, Apuron was a Guam parish priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Cardinal Burke sent to Guam to preside over sex abuse trial

ROME
Crux

Cindy Wooden
February 15, 2017
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ROME - Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a church law expert and former head of the Vatican’s highest court, arrived in Guam Feb. 15 as the presiding judge in a church trial investigating allegations of sexual abuse leveled against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana.

The Vatican press office confirmed a “tribunal of the first instance” was constituted by the Vatican Oct. 5 and its presiding judge is Cardinal Burke. Four other judges, all of whom are bishops, also were appointed, the press office said.

“When an action is in a ‘first instance’ court, that indicates that it is in the initial trial phase,” according to the website of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles accusations of clerical sexual abuse.

Three men have publicly accused Apuron of sexually abusing them when they were altar boys in the 1970s. The mother of a fourth man, now deceased, also accused the archbishop of abusing her son.

Apuron has refused to resign, but in late October, Pope Francis named former Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Byrnes as coadjutor archbishop of Agana and gave him full authority to lead the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Early learning teacher from Yeadon faces child sex assault charges in Norristown

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

By Oscar Gamble, ogamble@21st-centurymedia.com, @OGamble_TH on Twitter

NORRISTOWN >> A teacher at St. Francis of Assisi School’s Early Learning Center Program is facing charges of involvement in deviate sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault and related offenses stemming from an incident that occurred Feb. 7, according to court documents.

Michael Barbee, 32, of Yeadon, was arrested Feb. 10 and arraigned in district court Feb. 11. He remains behind bars with bail set at $750,000.

According to a letter the school sent out to parents, Barbee was immediately placed on administrative leave after parish officials were notified he was under criminal investigation.

“These charges are serious and disturbing. The parish will cooperate fully with law enforcement regarding this matter and remains fervently committed to preventing child abuse as well as protecting the children and young people entrusted to its care,” the letter read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Catholic School Teacher Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 3-Year-Old Girl

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Philly

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A Catholic school teacher in Norristown is accused of sexually assaulting a young child.

The Norristown Borough Police Department arrested Michael Barbee, a teacher at the Early Learning Center Program of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish. Barbee has been charged with 16 counts of child sexual abuse, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, indecent assault of a child, and endangering welfare of children.

Barbee is accused of a horrific sexual assault against a 3-year-old girl during naptime.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement that Barbee was placed on administrative leave on Friday after the parish learned he was under investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Montgomery County Catholic Early Education Center Teacher on Leave Amid Child Sex Abuse Charges

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC 10

A Montgomery County Catholic school early education teacher remained behind bars Wednesday, suspended from his job, after being charged with multiple child sex assault counts stemming from an alleged incident with a 3-year-old girl.

A judge arraigned Michael Barbee, 32, of Yeadon, Pennsylvania on Saturday with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 years old, aggravated indecent assault of a minor under 13 years old, unlawful contact with a minor and related charges. The charges date to Feb. 7, online court records said.

Barbee teaches at Saint Francis of Assisi School’s Early Learning Center in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The school referred NBC10’s calls to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Saint Francis Parish placed Barbee on administrative leave Friday after learning of the criminal investigation, archdiocesan spokesman Kenneth Gavin told NBC10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Abuse inquiry focus on Catholic schools

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The principal of a Victorian school where Christian Brothers sexually abused students says the college is now a safe place.

The child sex abuse royal commission's final hearing into the Catholic Church will on Thursday focus on issues in Catholic education.

The panellists include John Crowley, the principal of Ballarat's St Patrick's College.

The royal commission has yet to release its findings on Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat, one of Australia's worst centres for priests and religious brothers sexually abusing children.

Mr Crowley has said St Patrick's now has robust child protection policies and mandatory reporting practices to safeguard students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

One of archbishop's accusers will meet with Vatican investigators

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 15, 2017

By Krystal Paco

While there's been speculation about the ongoing canonical trial in Rome for accused child molester Archbishop Anthony Apuron, officials confirm investigators from the Vatican are on island to gather evidence.

It was last summer Roland Sondia publicly accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron. At the time, he said, "He put his right arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer and asked, 'Do you want to try me?' Before I could do anything he started rubbing my privates. I loudly asked him 'What are you doing?' I told him to stop, but he didn't." That was a summer night in 1977, when Sondia was an altar boy at Mount Carmel Church in Agat. Come Thursday, he'll have the audience of representatives from the Vatican.

Of the 17 accusers to file suit in the District Court of Guam, four have accused Apuron of sexually molesting them as altar boys resulting in the ongoing canonical trial in Rome. On Thursday, Sondia is anticipated to provide his deposition. He is represented by Attorney David Lujan, who said, "Whoever is going to be there tomorrow, we have no idea who's going to be there. But I believe someone from the church, not the Guam church, but Rome is going to be there, as I understand it, the canon lawyer for Apuron and, of course, my client and me."

Also anticipated to be present are members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam and the Laity Forward Movement who have demanded Apuron be defrocked. "We are going to be up there and we're going to support Mr. Sondia. Seeking justice and we are also wanting the cardinal and others from the Vatican who may be in town to know our disgust with Archbishop Apuron," said CCOG president David Sablan. "We are hoping and seeking a speedy trial for him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Peter Hollingworth ‘misled inquiry over child-sex abuse knowledge’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

RHIAN DEUTROM
The Australian
February 16, 2017

Former governor-general Peter Hollingworth has been found to have misled an inquiry about his knowledge and involvement in the handling of child sexual abuse ­allegations at two exclusive Brisbane private schools.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday released two reports into various responses by the Anglican diocese of Brisbane, and Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s Anglican School, to alleg­ations of child-sex abuse against staff members.

The reports found Dr Hollingworth, who was the archbishop of Brisbane and later ­governor-general, had been told by his assistant bishop, John Noble, of a case of sexual abuse by convicted pedophile priest John Elliot at the Church of England Grammar School in 1993.

After meeting with Elliot’s allege­d victim, the report found, Dr Hollingworth allowed the convicted pedophile to “remain in the ministry as rector of Dalby until he turned 65, when he would retire”.

“Dr Hollingworth’s decision to permit Elliot to continue in the ministry was a serious error of judgment which focused overly on Elliot’s needs to the exclusion of those of (the victim) and his family and of the need to protect children more generally,” it concluded. In a previous inquiry, commissioned by Brisbane Archbishop Philip Aspinall in 2002 and known as the “Brisbane inquiry”, Dr Hollingworth was asked to account for his version of events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Woman settles sex abuse suit against Spring Grove Jehovah's Witnesses

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Dylan Segelbaum , dsegelbaum@ydr.com

Feb. 15, 2017

A woman has settled a lawsuit against the Spring Grove Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and two of its supporting organizations, which alleged that elders failed to report instances of sexual abuse to law enforcement to protect their own reputation.

In the lawsuit, the woman said she’s suffered physical and emotional injuries after being abused between ages 14 and 16 by Terry Monheim, whom she met through the church.The Jehovah’s Witnesses became aware of it and “did nothing” to protect her, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was settled on Monday in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The terms of the agreement are confidential.

“A matter with the Jehovah’s Witnesses has been resolved,” said Jeffrey Fritz, an attorney who represented the woman, now 28, of Lancaster County. The York Daily Record/Sunday News is not identifying her because she’s the survivor of a sexual crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

St. Cloud Diocese Schedules Healing Service, Listening Sessions For Sex Abuse Victims

MINNESOTA
WJON

By Jim Maurice February 15, 2017

UNDATED – The Diocese of St. Cloud has scheduled a series of listening sessions, as well as a service of healing, to talk about claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The healing service is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Holy Angels Performing Arts Center in St. Cloud.

The upcoming meetings are in response to 74 claims made against 31 clergy members under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which ended last May.

The gatherings have three primary goals: to assure parishioners of Bishop Kettler’s support and assistance, offer a process where sexual misconduct issues and concerns can be voiced, and allow other victims the opportunity to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Further excavation at former Tuam Home site

IRELAND
Galway Independent

Further excavation works are continuing at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam.

The excavation of the Memorial Garden off the Dublin Road in Tuam began in late January and is expected to last up to three weeks. The works are being conducted by a specialist team of archaeologists lead by a Forensic Archaeologist, with the co-operation of An Garda Síochána.

The excavation, organised by Mother and Baby Homes Commission, follows on from initial works last November. The excavation aims to resolve a number of queries that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission has “in relation to the interment of human remains” at the site. The excavation works are focusing on timelines and stratigraphy, a branch of geology which studies rock layers. A fraction of the site will be excavated through test trenches, the location of which have been informed by a geophysical survey carried out at the site in October 2015. Meanwhile, the deadline for anyone wishing to meet the Commission’s Confidential Committee, who are investigating the Tuam Home, is Wednesday 1 March. The Commission would like to hear from anyone who was resident in or who worked in the Tuam Home or any of the other 13 Mother and Baby Homes or four County Homes under investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Zehn Monate nach Selbstanzeige: Ermittlungen gegen Kalbacher Pfarrer dauern an

DEUTCHLAND

[Investigation is ongoing into allegations against a pastor in Kalbach.]

KALBACH
Zehn Monate nachdem der damalige Kalbacher Pfarrer sich selbst angezeigt und die Gemeinde verlassen hat, dauern die Ermittlungen der Staatsanwaltschaft noch an. Das erklärte der Sprecher der Staatsanwalt Fulda, Harry Wilke, auf Nachfrage unserer Zeitung.

Um welchen Vorwurf es sich genau handelt, ist nicht bekannt. Stets war jedoch von einem Sexualdelikt die Rede.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Mit der Entschädigung von Missbrauchsopfern soll es voran gehen

SCHWEIZ
Rhein Zeitung

[Swiss victims of clerical abuse will receive compensation.]

BERN - Die Enthüllung eines Opfers sexueller Gewalt durch einen Priester hat die Entschädigungsfrage wieder auf die Tagesordnung der Katholischen Kirche gebracht. Die von den Schweizer Bischöfen eingesetzte Kommission hat sich Ende Januar konstituiert.

Das Fachgremium "Sexuelle Übergriffe im kirchlichen Umfeld" besteht aus sechs Mitgliedern. Aufgabe der Kommission wird sein, die Gesuche um finanzielle Genugtuung der Opfer sexueller Gewalt in der katholischen Kirche zu prüfen, wie Joseph Bonnemain, Mitglied des Fachgremiums, am Dienstag der Nachrichtenagentur sda sagte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Syracuse woman admits using 10-year-old girl to produce child pornography

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By John O'Brien | jobrien@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A Syracuse woman admitted today that she used a 10-year-old girl to produce child pornography.

Kerry Smith, 41, pleaded guilty in federal court to sexual exploitation of a child. She was arrested last year on charges of producing the images then texting them to another child pornographer, Jason Kopp.

Kopp, 40, of Liverpool, was sentenced to 235 years in prison in September for sexually exploiting two children for the purpose of making child pornography.

Kopp pleaded guilty in May to taking sexually explicit photos of two children with help from an aide at All Saints Elementary School in Syracuse. Neither of those victims was a student at the school.

The aide, Emily Oberst, is accused of exploiting those two victims, plus a third who was a student at the school and photographed naked in a bathroom, sources have told Syracuse.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

The End of the Road for SNAP?

UNITED STATES
Catholic World Report

David F. Pierre, Jr.

Years ago, a number of Catholic World Report articles argued the case that the group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) – whom the media has called upon repeatedly over the years as a reliable voice to bash the Catholic Church over its handling of the sex abuse crisis – was actually nothing more than a front group for contingency lawyers and was driven by a deep ideological animus against the Church.

Now, recent lawsuits against the organization, including one by SNAP’s own former director of development, have, if anything, revealed that those arguments were too modest in their estimation of SNAP’s inner workings.

And in the wake of these lawsuits, SNAP’s most high-profile leaders—its founder and president, Barbara Blaine, and the group’s national director, David Clohessy—have suddenly announced their resignations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Priests should be licensed, inquiry hears

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Catholic leaders including priests, brothers and nuns should have to be licensed or regulated to practise, a royal commission has heard.

Franciscan Friar Dr David Leary said there were very few professions that did not have mandated supervision and that the Church had to "bite the bullet" and realise it was effectively an employer.

"I think that's the way we have to move, and I think it's inevitable that people who practise will be licensed or regulated in some way," he said at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Wednesday.

"Services benefit from a wide range and comprehensive sense of being held both accountable (and) supported... and at the end of the day, that's for the benefit of people who are most vulnerable."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at