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March 31, 2017

Montana diocese files for bankruptcy ahead of trial

MONTANA
Great Falls Tribune

Seaborn Larson, Great Falls Tribune March 31, 2017

An attorney representing nearly half of the 72 survivors who suffered sexual abuse and rape at the hands of priests and nuns in rural Montana say the church’s decision to file for bankruptcy is a step in the right direction.

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court, effectively setting in motion the process to reorganize its assets toward a settlement in a lawsuit in which more than 20 religious community leaders sexually abused at least 72 victims in eastern Montana over the course of several decades.

Vito de la Cruz, an attorney with Tamaki Law representing 34 of the 72 victims, said the bankruptcy filing marks an incremental win for his clients. He said he expects the diocese to begin negotiating an appropriate financial settlement with the court in August or September of this year.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 PM

First child abuse inquiry sessions to hear from faith-based organisations

SCOTLAND
Evening Times

The first sessions of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will hear evidence from faith-based organisations and residential and foster care providers.

Expert witnesses, the Scottish Government and survivor groups will also give evidence at the hearings, which will begin on May 31.

The inquiry is examining historical allegations of the abuse of children in care and has been taking statements from witnesses since last spring.

It covers the period within living memory of anyone who suffered such abuse, no later than December 17, 2014.

The first phase of hearings will take place at Rosebery House in Edinburgh and is expected to last about seven weeks.

They will hear evidence of the history and governance of large care providers of residential and foster care to children in Scotland and whether there is any retrospective acknowledgement of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 PM

Religious orders to give evidence at child abuse inquiry

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

CHRIS MARSHALL

A number of religious organisations including the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland will be called to give evidence by the national child abuse inquiry, it has been confirmed.

Led by judge Lady Smith, the inquiry will hear from expert witnesses, the Scottish Government and survivors’ groups when the first phase of hearings gets under way in May.

Evidence will also be taken from large care providers including Quarriers, Barnardo’s and the Aberlour Child Care Trust, as well as faith-based organisations.

The inquiry published a list of ten such organisations, including CrossReach, previously known as the Church of Scotland Board of Social Responsibility and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 PM

Inquiry first phase hearings starting on 31 May 2017

SCOTLAND
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

The Inquiry has issued a notice providing information about the scope and purpose of the Inquiry’s first phase hearings which will start on 31 May. There is also information about how to apply for what is called “leave to appear”.

Members of the public do not need “leave to appear” to watch the hearings from the public seats.

The evidence to be heard will include:

^ Evidence from expert witnesses about:
* The legislative and regulatory framework governing children in care in Scotland up to 1968;
* The early development of care services in Scotland;
* Societal attitudes towards children; and
* The nature and prevalence of child abuse in Scotland.

* Evidence from the Scottish Government on the nature, extent and development of the State’s areas of responsibility for children in residential and foster care in Scotland.
* Evidence of the history and governance of a number of care providers, including faith based organisations, and whether there is any retrospective acknowledgement of abuse.
* Evidence of the background, development, purpose and work of survivor groups.

The first part of the first phase hearings will end no later than 20 July 2017. The second part of the first phase will resume in autumn 2017.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 PM

Child abuse inquiry will quiz charities and church groups will be asked to admit abuses

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

CHARITIES and faith-based groups will be asked whether they admit overseeing the abuse of children, during the first public hearings of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The Inquiry has announced 10 Christian organisations and three charities will appear during seven weeks of hearings, beginning on May 31 as it takes evidence in public for the first time.

They will be asked what residential care they provided for children, when, and how it was governed. The inquiry will also ask each charity whether they acknowledge abuse took place on their watch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 PM

'They had nowhere to hide': abuse survivors praise commission for shaking institutions

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Melissa Davey

Anthony Foster, an outspoken advocate for child sexual abuse victims and survivors, noticed a glaring absence from the hearing rooms during the final week of the child sexual abuse royal commission.

“There has not been one representative from one religious institution present,” says Foster, whose daughters Emma and Katie were sexually abused by a Catholic priest.

“Not one. And all of the survivors have noticed it.”

The absence of senior religious leaders and other high-profile institutional representatives was particularly jarring to Foster, given the closing week of public hearings focused on the nature, cause and impact of child sexual abuse, and prevention and responses.

On Monday, the chair of the commission, Justice Peter McClellan, revealed that children were allegedly sexually abused in more than 4,000 Australian institutions.

“The non-attendance of the representatives of those institutions this week is palpable,” says Foster, whose own evidence in 2013 highlighted the gross flaws in the handling of sexual abuse cases by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. “It has been such an important, enlightening week.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Victim advocate: The abuse scandal has broken heart of the Catholic Church in Australia.

AUSTRALIA
America

Gerard O'Connell
March 31, 2017

In this exclusive interview with America, Francis Sullivan, the chief executive officer of the Australian Catholic Church’s “Truth, Justice, and Healing Council,” reflects on what contributed to the abuse of minors by priests and religious in Australia, and what he thinks the Royal Commission that has been investigating this abuse might say in its report at the year’s end.

T.J.H.C. was set up by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia soon after the federal government announced on Jan. 11, 2013, the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It represents dioceses, archdioceses and religious congregations across the country. It was set up for the church to address the past openly and honestly, and to speak with one voice before the Royal Commission.

Mr. Sullivan was one of the speakers at the seminar on “Safeguarding children in homes and schools” held at the Gregorian University in Rome last week. He spoke with America on March 27.

At the seminar, you said that while recognizing that the abuse of minors is widespread, the question is: Why did it happen in the Catholic Church, too? From your experience in Australia, what answers have you come up with?

Clearly, those in positions of authority, whether they were bishops or leaders of religious orders, instinctively chose to look after the institution no matter how, at times, scandalous were the cases. Instinctively their heart was with an institutional agenda, not with a compassionate agenda that speaks of the Gospel. So it’s a matter of instinct, and instinct is always shaped and nurtured by culture, a culture that’s self-protective, that’s about continual preservation and promotion. It’s a culture where people can identify with certainty and security, and when something like child sex abuse, clerical sex abuse, confronts them it’s a disruptor, and the way institutions deal with disruptors is to get rid of them. They don’t integrate the experience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Transfer Of Sex Case Involving Moravian Pastor Delayed

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

There has been a delay in the transfer of the sex offence case of Moravian minister Rupert Clarke from the St Elizabeth Parish Court to the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.

Clarke, who is 64, is charged with having sex with a minor in relation to a 14-year-old girl in the parish.

Yesterday, when he appeared in the St Elizabeth Parish Court, it was expected that the judge would have granted permission for the matter to be transferred on a voluntary bill of indictment.

But Clarke’s new attorney Deborah Martin asked for time to peruse the affidavit which she said was only served on her yesterday by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

NEWS RELEASE - Bankruptcy Path to Settlement of Sex Abuse Claims Against Diocese of Great Falls - Billings

MONTANA
James, Vernon and Weeks, P.A.

NEWS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Leander James (Cell 208 818-6775)
Craig Vernon Cell (208-691-2768)
James Vernon & Weeks P.A.
1626 Lincoln Way
Coeur D'Alene, ID 83814
ljames@jvwlaw.net
cvernon@jvwlaw.net
Tel: (208) 667-0683
Fax: (208) 664-1684

(Great Falls, Montana - March 31, 2017.) The Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings filed bankruptcy today as a step toward settling 72 lawsuits seeking monetary and non-monetary redress for claims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests, nuns and lay workers from the 1950s through 1990s.

The filing automatically stays any further action in the lawsuits and paves the way for a global settlement and payment of claims through the bankruptcy court. The first cases were scheduled for trial in July.

The Catholic Church uses bankruptcy laws that allow corporations to continue doing business after paying off their creditors to shed itself of child sexual abuse claims and continue to operate. This is the 15th Diocesan bankruptcy in the United States, falling in the wake of the Diocese of Helena bankruptcy in 2015 and the Northwest Jesuit bankruptcy in 2012.

"While we had hoped to obtain justice for our clients at trial," said Attorney Leander James, "we are hopeful that the Diocese bankruptcy will result in non-monetary terms for the protection of children and monetary recognition of the tragedies endured by victims."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Great Falls-Billings Diocese Files Bankruptcy As Part Of Sex Abuse Settlement

MONTANA
Montana Public Radio

A Montana Roman Catholic diocese is filing for bankruptcy protection as part of an unfolding settlement with 72 people who filed sex abuse claims.

Darren Eultgen is Chancellor of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. Eultgen says the diocese and its insurance carriers would contribute to a fund to compensate victims and set aside additional money for those who have not yet come forward:

"We've started to take beginning steps to settle these large abuse lawsuits facing the diocese, entered into mediation and today as part of that agreement, filed for bankruptcy."

Two sexual abuse lawsuits were filed against the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings - one in February 2012 and another the following June.

Bishop Michael Warfel said in a statement that he apologizes to anyone who was abused by a priest, a sister or a lay church worker.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Diocese of Great Falls-Billings filing for bankruptcy as part of sex abuse settlement

MONTANA
KPAX

Updated: Mar 31, 2017

By David Sherman - MTN News

GREAT FALLS -
The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings plans to file for bankruptcy protection as part of a settlement with 72 people who filed sex abuse claims, church officials said on Friday.

The Diocese comprises the eastern two-thirds of Montana. It includes 79 priests (49 active), 51 parishes, and more than 38,000 registered Catholics, according to its website.

In a press release, the diocese says that it is taking a "major step forward" bringing resolution to 72 current claims of abuse by minors by diocesan priests, religious community priests, women religious and lay workers who have served in the diocese."

They expect make the Chapter 11 reorganization filing on Friday, and the Diocese and its insurance carriers would contribute to a fund to compensate victims and set aside additional money for those who have not yet come forward.

The amount of the settlement has not yet been released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Diocese filing for bankruptcy to settle sex abuse claims

MONTANA
Associated Press

BY AMY BETH HANSON
ASSOCIATED PRESS

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- A second Montana Roman Catholic diocese will file for bankruptcy protection as part of settlements involving more than 400 people in sex abuse lawsuits, church officials said Friday.

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings said it expected to make the Chapter 11 reorganization filing later in the day, and the diocese and its insurance carriers would contribute to a fund to compensate victims and set aside additional money for those who have not yet come forward.

The amount of the settlement involving 72 people was not released.

"On behalf of the entire Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, I express my profound sorrow and sincere apologies to anyone who was abused by a priest, a sister or a lay church worker," Bishop Michael Warfel said in a statement. "No child should experience harm from anyone who serves the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Roselle Catholic teacher accused of having sex with student, deleting evidence

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey 101.5

By Dan Alexander March 31, 2017

ROSELLE — A Catholic high school teacher was arrested at her Linden home on charges of having a sexual relationship with a student.

Roselle Catholic began an investigation into the allegations made against technology teacher Theresa Hrindo, 25, and contacted the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

Hrindo had sexual relations with the student several times between December and February at several different locations in the county, according to Union County Acting Prosecutor Grace Park.

The 2010 graduate of the school also faces charges for hindering apprehension because she deleted incriminated photos and other files from the student’s phone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Roselle Catholic teacher accused of sex with student freed from jail

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Marisa Iati | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

ELIZABETH -- A teacher at Roselle Catholic High School accused of having a sexual relationship with a student was ordered on Friday to be released from jail on two conditions.

Judge Brenda Coppola Cuba agreed to release Theresa Hrindo, 25, of Linden, under the conditions that she have no contact with the student and that she cannot teach or supervise children.

"This whole process for my client, her family and everyone involved is, quite frankly, traumatic," Michael G. Brucki, Hrindo's lawyer, told the judge at Hrindo's first appearance in state Superior Court in Union County.

Hrindo was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of hindering apprehension.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

25-Year-Old Catholic High School Teacher Arrested for Sexual Relationship with Student

NEW JERSEY
NBC New York

A 25-year-old teacher at a New Jersey Catholic school faces charges that she carried on an illicit sexual relationship with a student, the Union County Prosecutor's Office said on Friday.

Theresa Hrindo allegedly engaged in sexual acts with the student from last December through this February while working at Roselle Catholic High School, prosecutors said. Hrindo, a technology teacher, graduated from that same school in 2010 and from Kean University in 2014.

An investigation began earlier this month after a referral from the Archdiocese of Newark. A spokesman for the archdiocese said Hrindo was suspended when the allegations first came to light; she is no longer listed as faculty on the school's website.

"When we became aware of the allegation we reported it immediately to the prosecutor's office, and the school and the archdiocese have been cooperating with the prosecutors throughout the last couple of weeks," the spokesman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED FANS “MASS GRAVE” HOAX

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue

In its reporting on Ireland’s “mass grave” story, the New York Times has been one of the only media outlets in the nation not to buy into this hoax. Indeed, the 2014 story by Douglas Dalby blew holes in the account rendered by Catherine Corless, the person responsible for making this unsubstantiated accusation. He accurately stated that she “surmised that the children’s bodies were interred in a septic tank behind the home,” and quoted sources who undermined her story. (My italic.)

In today’s New York Times there is an op-ed by Sadhbh Walshe that is strewn with inaccuracies and vicious smears against nuns. Her only credentials are that of a film maker and staff writer for fictional TV shows. She is good at fiction: she cites a report by an Irish commission as proof that “mass graves” were found outside a Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Ireland. In point of fact, it never made such an accusation. Walshe made it up. This explains why she never quoted from the report.

“Now the existence of a mass grave of babies can no longer be denied,” Walshe says. Yes it can. Where is the evidence? Where are the pictures? Why didn’t the Irish government say it found a “mass grave”?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Raymond A. Hyland

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Raymond Hyland was ordained for the Archdiocese of New York in 1947. He was a parish priest throughout his career, assisting in Saugerties, the Bronx, Crestwood and Middletown before becoming pastor in 1974 in Bengall, and then in Kingston in 1983. He died in 1995.

In the mid-1980s a woman told the archdiocese that Hyland sexually abused her when she was a child in the Bronx in the 1950s. The woman - an Ursuline nun - said that Hyland stepped in to "take her under his wing" after her sister was struck and killed by a car. The abuse allegedly started when the woman was 11 years-old and continued until she was 16. Hyland's accuser said two priests from the archdiocese questioned her about the allegations and asked her what she had done to "activate his interest." She asked for compensation to help with her therapy expenses, a that request wasn't granted until 2000, when the archdiocese sent a check to her order. Further, the woman said that she was made to sign a confidentiality agreement. She began to speak out in 2005 and, in 2016, she named Hyland publicly.

Born: December 31, 1919
Ordained: March 1, 1947
Died: May 20, 1995

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Caso Provolo: una vittima ha raccontato di una macabra stanza con catene dove legavano i bambin

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Provolo case: One victim told of a macabre room at the deaf institute that had chains on the wall in which children were bound for rape.]

bound the children to rape them

Per queste affermazioni hanno fatto un’ispezione oculare nella soffitta dell’Istituto, dove hanno trovato una parete con un buco dove potrebbero essere state attaccate le catene. Hanno trovato altre prove che vanno ad aggravare la condizione dei cinque detenuti.

Strazianti e macabri dettagli sono stati apportati da una testimone e vittima sui reiterati abusi sessuali i quali, secondo quanto ha denunciato, è stata sottomessa nell’Istituto Provolo di Luján. Grazie a questa testimonianza è stata fatta un’ispezione oculare e sono stati trovati altri elementi per incriminare gli accusati e continuare l’indagine.

'Mother and Baby' mums should be compensated for 'slave labour' says support group

IRELAND
Westmeath Examiner

The thousands of women who were forced into "slave labour" in Castlepollard and other mother and babies home should be compensated by the religious orders who were paid by the state to take care of them, according to the chairman of the Coalition of Mother And Baby Home Survivors (CMABS).

The Irish Times reported last Wednesday that the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has proposed a redress scheme for survivors who suffered abuse during their time in the facilities. The commission's final report will be released early next year.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, CMABS chairman Paul Redmond, who was born in the mother and baby home in Castlepollard, says that a redress scheme is long overdue.

"Natural mothers in places like Castlepollard were essentially unpaid slave labour and they were worked to the bone six days a week from early morning until the evening without a penny. The government was paying handsomely for their care and they should not have been doing any work at all. It really was putting their health and emotional wellbeing at risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Abuse survivors give voice to thousands

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

MARCH 31, 20174:

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

The voices of child sexual abuse victims have been heard and the secrecy shattered.

Now the survivors who have given voice to the suffering of tens of thousands of others during four years of child abuse royal commission public hearings want action.

They want a zero-tolerance approach after child sexual abuse allegations involving more than 4000 Australian institutions.

It is the only approach the community can adopt, 56-year-old abuse survivor Steven Smith says.

"We should never again find ourselves in this situation where generations have been devastated and lives have been lost due to the indifference and self-serving attitudes of institutions in this country," Mr Smith said on Friday.

"We as a community need to send a clear message to potential offenders and those institutions that would seek to protect them that we will act swiftly and decisively to protect our children and their future."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Survival and safety beyond the child abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Editorial

The good work of the royal commission must be translated into good work in every family, community and institution across the nation.

Crimes against children were committed at more than 4000 institutions across the nation, including 1500 with religious allegiances and 900 linked to governments. As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began its final week of public hearings, chairman Peter McLellan said it was "remarkable" that this scourge had been so widespread.

Members of the clergy accounted for one-third of the perpetrators revealed during the commission's four years of investigations. Teachers accounted for one-fifth. The abuses occurred under the watch of trusted adults at public and private schools, detention centres, out of home care, churches, orphanages and government bodies; defence establishments, sporting clubs, after school care, dance and performing arts academies; institutions providing services for children with disability, scouts, health care providers, and a yoga ashram.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Abuse hearings end: ‘I’m done’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

April 1, 2017

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The final witness to give evidence to the child abuse royal commission said he felt “wrung out” after stepping down from the witness box yesterday, four years after the national inquiry began.

Steve Smith, who was sexually abused by an Anglican priest ­between the ages of 10 and 15, wiped away tears as both he and the six commissioners were ­applauded at the end of its 57th and final public hearing.

“I’m done,” Mr Smith said after the hearing. “I’ve been through the criminal justice system. He (the abuser) is dead. I’ve been to the highest legal auth­ority — the royal commission. I gave the last evidence. It’s over.”

Earlier in the day, Mr Smith, who is one of more than 1200 witnesses to give evidence during 400 days of public hearings, thanked the commission “for the opportunity to be able to finally have my voice heard”.

“We should never again find ourselves in this situation where generations have been devastated and lives have been lost due to the indifference and self-serving attitudes of institutions in this country,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Royal commission into child sex abuse about restoring faith

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

APRIL 1 2017

Joanne McCarthy

I can only remember four words of a conversation with Justice Peter McClellan after the final day of evidence in Newcastle about the Hunter region's tragic history of child sexual abuse involving churches.

It was September 8 last year, and we were standing outside Newcastle Courthouse. For more than a month the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard devastating evidence of abuse in the Catholic and Anglican churches, of cover-ups and the appalling treatment of survivors.

I know I thanked Justice McClellan for his public acknowledgement of the Newcastle Herald's role in the royal commission's establishment. But what I said is lost in a mist of age, exhaustion and the emotions stirred up by those weeks of public hearings.

I know he referred to the length of time I had written about child sexual abuse, but the exact words are gone. The only reason I know Justice McClellan said something like that is because I remember my three-word response: "You know why."

We were shaking hands at the time. The late-afternoon traffic trundled or thundered along Hunter Street a few metres away, Justice McClellan's car was waiting nearby, but for a few seconds it was a club of two members, joined by acknowledging the courage, grief and sadness of other people's lives. Silence was the only response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Priest to give up on claim challenged in archdiocese bankruptcy

MINNESOTA
Reuters

By Jim Christie

A Catholic priest who was asked to leave active ministry after a fathering a child said on Wednesday he would not contest the creditors' committee challenge to his claim in the bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Stanley Kozlak's claim had sought to preserve a 2002 deal with the archdiocese that removed him from the ministry and provided him with monthly disability payments. On Tuesday, the committee filed papers in Bankruptcy Court in Saint Paul calling for a court order that would disallow Kozlak's claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Suffer the Little Children: Church Cruelty in Ireland

IRELAND
The New York Times

By SADHBH WALSHE
MARCH 30, 2017

TUAM, Ireland — Last year, during the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising that led to Irish independence, the writer Colm Toibin pointed to the fatal mistake the British made when putting down the rebellion. It was not just the swift execution of the movement’s leaders, which historians often point to as a defining moment, but the burial of their bodies in quicklime without coffins.

“Anyone Irish will understand that whatever you do, don’t do that,” he said, adding that it “mattered in Ireland in a way that it might not have mattered in some other country.”

We have a thing about respecting the dead here, you see, drummed into us in part by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, Ireland’s self-appointed moral authority. It follows, then, that the discovery of the remains of a number of children up to age 3, in what may have been the sewage tanks of a former home for unwed mothers run by Catholic nuns, should be another “quicklime” moment. Watching this scandal unfold here, though, it’s sadly apparent that the Irish state is not ready to free society from the church’s yoke just yet.

The investigation into suspected abuses in the network of Ireland’s mother and baby homes is only beginning, but some pertinent facts are already known. While death certificates exist for at least 796 children who died in the home in Tuam, in the west of Ireland, in its years of operation from 1925 to 1961, burial records have been found for only two of them. The religious order that ran the home, the Sisters of Bon Secours, received government funding for the children in its care, and death rates were described in an official report as “undesirably high.” (On average, a child died in the home every two weeks.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Online abuse more prevalent: Hillsong

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Hillsong Church has reported at least three of its Australian youth leaders for sending inappropriate text messages to children as online abuse becomes more prevalent.

The global Pentecostal movement says it is trying to train its leaders, parents and children on the appropriate use of social media.

Many of the investigations undertaken by its Safe Church Office relate to online matters, Hillsong risk and compliance co-ordinator Kirk Morton says.

'The reality is that online abuse, whether that is in the form of sexual or otherwise, is becoming more prevalent so it's an issue that we're looking to monitor and manage better,' Mr Morton told the child sex abuse royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Brisbane Catholic school removes name of former teacher from building after sex abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

David Murray, The Courier-Mail
March 30, 2017

A LEADING Brisbane Catholic boys’ school has wiped the name of a longstanding former teacher from one of its rowing sheds over sexual abuse allegations.

St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace advised the school community today that the name of late Brother Charles Lorenzo Dillon had been removed from the school building.

Dillon taught at the school for more than 20 years, from 1950 to 1972, and held numerous senior roles.

Principal Michael Carroll said the decision was made “following the recent receipt of information related to historical abuse allegations” against Dillon.

“I understand this information may be concerning for many past and present Terracians and staff,” Mr Carroll wrote in a letter sent to families and teachers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Vatican commission support ‘validates’ resignation – Collins

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

by Greg Daly
March 30, 2017

Expressions of support for Marie Collins from members of the Vatican’s child protection commission are a “validation” for her position, the former commission member has said.

Mrs Collins stepped down last month from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors after almost three months on the body of which she had been a founder member, saying she had grown frustrated with “resistance” from members of the Vatican bureaucracy, with the last straw being a refusal by members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to respond to survivors’ letters.

Last weekend the commission expressed support for Mrs Collins, with French child psychiatrist Catherine Bonnet saying, “what Marie has said is the truth. It is more than the voice of a survivor. She has a general view of what is needed.”

Mrs Collins told The Irish Catholic: “It’s simply that there’s been a lot of misinformation put out there from various sources in the Vatican that I don’t really understand how the Vatican works,” adding: “It’s validation for me that the members have come out and said that I was right”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

'The damage is catastrophic': When childhood trauma becomes a life sentence

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

Rachel Browne
30 Mar 2017
.
The damage inflicted by childhood abuse is lifelong and catastrophic but support services for victims are "grossly inadequate", a royal commission has heard.

Shelly Braieoux told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse she still suffers decades after allegedly being abused in a religious organisation.

"Being a survivor of sexual abuse is like being in a lifelong invisible war," she said.

"If the scars of sexual abuse were visual I'm sure I would be in a wheelchair with missing limbs and horribly deformed with burns and scars."

The 45-year-old mother of four has ongoing physical and mental health problems including depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

"Even though we may have physically survived, we have been sentenced to a torturous life sentence full of unnumbered battles," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Child sexual abuse royal commission told physical violence 'the norm' in many institutions

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Many children's homes ran on a regime of terror where physical violence was the norm, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard.

After three-and-a-half years, the commission's final public hearing has been held in Sydney.

Vice president of the Care Leavers Australasia Network, Frank Golding, said offenders did not need to groom children who were living in institutions, because victims were readily available.

"Unlike church settings and the like where grooming took place necessarily to identify and isolate a victim, there was no need for grooming in the kinds of big institutions that I grew up in," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Survivors demand action as sex abuse royal commission hearings conclude

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Three-and-a-half years after the child sex abuse royal commission held its first public inquiry, its final hearing returned to the survivors who started it all.

They had a strong message for governments, institutions and the community: no child should suffer as they did.

Savannah Szoredi told of her hope to break the cycle of abuse, having grown up in a volatile family as a result of her mother being sexually assaulted while in state care.

"She understood the injustices which had happened to her and tried to work her hardest to be the best parent she could be," Ms Szoredi told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

‘Spiritual abuse’ from residential schools had deep roots for First Nations

CANADA
The Catholic Register

BY EVAN BOUDREAU, THE CATHOLIC REGISTER
March 31, 2017

Blair Stonechild knows first-hand the devastating effects residential schools had on First Nations spirituality.

He spent nine years at Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School in Lebret, Sask., beginning in 1956.
“As a child I remember the shock of being removed from my family,” said Stonechild.

“One thing that really stands out in my mind was the endless torrent of prayers, Masses and confessions.”

Today, as a professor of indigenous studies at First Nations University of Canada, Stonechild looks back on that dark period of Canadian history as “spiritual abuse,” and its roots go deep.

“As I began to examine the cultural holocaust of residential schools I began to realize that this discounting of indigenous ideology was a phenomenon that started much further back in history and has extremely deep roots,” Stonechild said as he delivered the 2017 Royackers Lecture at Regis College in Toronto on March 22.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Teacher, choir director accused of sex with student

GEORGIA
Times-Herald

By CLAY NEELY
Mar. 30, 2017

A former teacher and local church choir director was taken into custody after accusations surfaced of a relationship with a student.

Sydney Sewell, 25, faces sexual assault charges stemming from a sexual relationship with a student while serving as chorus teacher at Central High School in Carrollton, according to Carroll County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Brad Robinson.

Sewell, who also served as choir director at Cornerstone Methodist Church in Newnan, was later released a $5,000 bond and resigned from her position at Central High School.

School officials received a tip March 22 that the 25-year-old Carroll County resident had sexual contact with the 16-year-old male student.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Pensacola man back in jail, facing multiple child sex abuse charges

FLORIDA
Fox 10

By Asha Staples, Reporter

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FL (WALA) -
A Pensacola man is in jail again after more alleged victims have come forward with sex abuse allegations.

Charlie Hamrick, 54, was arrest Tuesday and his first court appearance was yesterday.

As a routine courtroom appearance, Hamrick was in court again today as he faces more than three dozen child sex abuse charges in Escambia County. According to police, some of the charges date back as far as the ‘90s.

“Of course it is very difficult for any victim of this type of crime to come forward. It’s a very personal, intimate type of crime but it is very useful for us to ensure that justice is done," Assistant State Attorney John Molchan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Former students shocked by Escambia County coach's charges

FLORIDA
WEAR

[with video]

by Jackalyn Kovac
Thursday, March 30th 2017

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) — At least six more people have come forward claiming former Sunday school teacher, assistant football coach and paramedic, Charlie Hamrick, sexually abused them, according to Escambia County Sheriff's Office (ECSO).

ECSO said those claims must be investigated, but they continue to ask for any potential victims to come forward.

"Our prevailing hope and wish is that there are no more victims, but looking at the case and looking at the situation we find ourselves in we do not believe that is true. So we are encouraging and urging people that if you have information in these cases or any other cases, if you know there are victims out there, or you're a victim out there, please give us a call. Because crimes like this can never go unanswered," said Chief Deputy Chip Simmons.

Hamrick faces more than 40 charges of sexual abuse, including 36 counts of capital sexual battery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Judge rejects plea in pastor sex case

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Local News

By Michael Rellahan, Daily Local News
POSTED: 03/31/17

WEST CHESTER >> A proposed plea that would have sent a former youth pastor at a Chester County mega-church to prison for at least two years for allegedly having sex with a teenage parishioner was scuttled when the judge hearing the case refused to accept it, after hearing the victim say she thought the man deserved more time behind bars.

Common Pleas President Judge Jacqueline Carroll Cody Wednesday rejected the plea that had been brought to her by Assistant District Attorney Emily Provencher, the prosecutor handling the case, and defense attorney Evan Kelly of West Chester, representing former pastor Jacob Matthew Malone, who saw the young girl become pregnant with his child.

Cody called the circumstances surrounding the interactions between Malone and the complainant, now 20 and living with her child in Arizona, “way too serious,” according to accounts of the proceeding.

“Given the facts of this case, I’m not going to accept this plea,” Cody said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Supporters gear up for showdown over old abuse claims

PENNSYLVANIA
New Castle News

By John Finnerty | CNHI State Reporter

HARRISBURG — With the state House poised to take up legislation to reform the state statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, supporters are preparing a final push to make the bill cover old sex crimes and not just future abuse.

The state Senate unanimously passed a statute of limitations bill last month that would give victims until the age of 50 to file lawsuits against abusers or their employers if there were allegations of cover-ups.

Under current law, victims have until the age of 30 to sue for old sex crimes. The Senate bill also eliminates the statute of limitations entirely for criminal investigations of child sex abuse.

But controversially, the measure provides no retroactive relief. If the statute of limitations has expired on old child sex cases, the law change doesn’t help those victims seek justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Child’s father is Fr. Robin, shows DNA test result

INDIA
Kaumudi

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the Kottiyur sexual abuse case, the DNA test results have come out – it shows that Fr. Robin Wadakkumchery is the father of the 16-year-old victim’s child.

The tests were conducted at State forensic science laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Judge Sets 'Occurrence' Measure For Priest Abuse Cases

MINNESOTA
Law360

By Jeff Sistrunk

Law360, Los Angeles (March 30, 2017, 7:36 PM EDT) -- A Minnesota bankruptcy judge held Thursday that each series of abusive acts that a priest inflicted on one victim in a given year is a separate "occurrence" for insurance coverage purposes, ruling in favor of the Diocese of Duluth in its dispute over coverage for sexual abuse claims against local clergy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert J. Kressel granted partial summary judgment to the diocese, establishing a standard by which to determine the number of occurrences at issue in the coverage case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Guam's Catholic Church faces two more lawsuits

GUAM
Radio New Zealand

4:34 pm today

Two more lawsuits have been filed in Guam by men who say they were sexually abused by a former priest in the 1960s.

The latest complaints bring the number of lawsuits for historical sexual abuse faced by the island's Catholic Church to 39.

Most of the allegations are against the island's recused archbishop, Anthony Apuron, and a former priest, Louis Brouillard.

According to the Pacific Daily News, the two latest cases accuse Mr Brouillard - who has admitted abusing children when he was on Guam - of abuse during boy scouts trips in the early 1960s.

One of the cases is seeking US$10 million in damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Fractured parish critical of church process

AUSTRALIA
Tumut and Adelong Times

By Frances Vinall - March 31, 2017

About 100 members of the Tumut community attended a public meeting with the Archbishop of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, Christopher Prowse, and Archdiocesan Professional Standards Officer Matt Casey, on Sunday at St Mary’s Hall.

The main topic under discussion was former Tumut parish priest Father Brian Hassett, who was moved to Canberra in 2014 after an internal investigation by Mr Casey into allegations of inappropriate behaviour involving children.

The community was given the opportunity to speak, and to ask questions of the Archbishop and Mr Casey about how the whole affair had been handled.

Those who attended spoke primarily in support of Father Brian, with many sharing personal experiences of his “compassion and love,” and also communicating their feelings of hurt and betrayal – not only that he was moved away from Tumut, but also that the local community had been kept in the dark.

As one speaker said, there are many unknowns, and those who spoke let the Archbishop and Mr Casey know the effect the confusion and lack of transparency surrounding Father Brian’s removal had had both on individuals, and the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

The investigation into Father Brian Hassett

AUSTRALIA
Tumut and Adelong Times

[with timeline]

By Frances Vinall - March 31, 2017

Advocates for Father Brian Hasset argue he has been denied procedural fairness and natural justice by an investigation conducted by the Catholic Church into allegations of inappropriate behaviour involving children.

Father Brian was moved to Canberra in 2014 after an investigation on behalf of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese performed by Archdiocesan Professional Standards Officer Matt Casey.

Father Brian was represented by two people during and after the investigation, Reverend John Salvano, his Advocate within the Catholic Church, and independent solicitors employed by W.G. Muddle at the office of McAuley Hawach solicitors, based in Sydney.

A local source has passed the briefs from these parties on to the Tumut and Adelong Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

'They were empty words': Abuse survivors lose faith in George Pell's Roman vow

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Melissa Cunningham

For years, Dominic Ridsdale held a secret locked inside him.

The fear his uncle, disgraced paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, held over him was so entrenched it stopped him disclosing his sexual abuse until 30 years later.

"He told me if I told anyone, I would die," Dominic said.

"I pushed the pain further and further down until I slid down into a hole and I couldn't find my way out."

Dominic battles depression, severe anxiety and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He was one of thousands of survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy who broke their silence during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

How Gloriavale's leadership structure works

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

[with video]

HENRY COOKE
March 31 2017

There is probably no religious group New Zealanders have seen more of over the last decade than Gloriavale.

The West Coast Christian community has been featured in a series of documentaries and many news reports.

The allegations made against the community by former members have been well covered - the forced marriages, the sexual and physical abuse, the shunning of anyone who leaves, and the complete financial domination of all members.

But through it all only a few actual faces from the 550 to 600 member group have really emerged. In a TVNZ doco we see a lot of young newlyweds Paul Valor and Pearl Hope. In the exposes we hear a lot about the leader Hopeful Christian, who was convicted of sexual abuse in the 90s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

March 30, 2017

Víctimas de Karadima apelan tras rechazo de demanda civil contra Arzobispado de Santiago

CHILE
Bio Bio

[Fernando Karadima victims appeal after rejection of civil lawsuit against Santiago's Archbishopric.]

La defensa de las pruebas del presunto encubrimiento de la Iglesia al cura Fernando Karadima, es el principal argumento de la apelación que presentaron las víctimas de abusos sexuales del sacerdote.

El escrito, elaborado por el abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla, pretende revertir lo resuelto por el ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo, quien rechazó la demanda por $450 millones interpuesta contra el Arzobispado de Santiago.

El médico James Hamilton, el periodista Juan Carlos Cruz y el presidente de la Fundación para la Confianza, José Andrés Murillo, pretendían ser indemnizados por la presunta “negligencia sistemática e ignorancia deliberada” de las autoridades de la Iglesia Católica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Provolo: la Curia italiana fraguó documentos para encubrir al cura pedófilo Corradi

ITALIA
La Izquierda Diario

[Provolo: The Italian curia forged documents to cover up the pedophile priest Nicola Corradi. This week in the Italian city of Verona documents were released that demonstrate the maneuvers of the Italian church leadership (of very close relationship with the Vatican) to try to cover up priests accused by dozens of victims of sexual abuse.]

institute for the deaf Antonio Provolo .

Daniel Satur
@saturnetroc
Jueves 30 de marzo | Edición del día

Esta semana en la ciudad italiana de Verona se hicieron públicos documentos que demuestran las maniobras de la dirigencia eclesiástica italiana (de estrechísima relación con el Vaticano) para intentar encubrir a sacerdotes acusados por decenas de víctimas de abusos sexuales en el instituto para personas sordas Antonio Provolo.

El hecho, además de su carácter de por sí escandaloso, tiene alcances internacionales. Particularmente en Argentina esos documentos presentados en Verona tienen una significación especial, ya que uno de los curas encubiertos es nada menos que Nicola Corradi, el octogenario detenido desde noviembre de 2016 en la cárcel de Luján de Cuyo (Mendoza) que había sido trasladado desde Italia a fines de los años 70 tras ser acusado de delitos sexuales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

El sacerdote Raúl Villegas es acusado de otros tres casos de abuso sexual

MEXICO
Las Noticias de la Fronte

[Priest Raúl Villegas is accused of three other cases of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico.]

León, Guanajuato.- Otras tres acusaciones por presunto delito de abuso sexual infantil, se sumaron al proceso contra el sacerdote católico Jorge Raúl Villegas Chávez, ex Vocero de la Arquidiócesis de León, Guanajuato,

lo que da un total de cinco denuncias penales. Además las víctimas presentarán una acusación de orden civil por daño contra los directivos del colegio Atenas.

La representante legal de los menores, Dalia Ramírez, y la activista Norma Nolasco dieron a conocer que las últimas tres víctimas evidenciadas son dos varones de 10 y 16 años de edad, respectivamente y una adolescente de 14 años de edad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

No abusarás // el mandamiento negado en la Iglesia de Francisco

ARGENTINA
YouTube

La Izquierda Diario

Published on Mar 25, 2017

[Reporters expose a system of concealment of sexual abuse by priests in the Argentina Catholic church. The cover-up has involved the Vatican throughout the 20th century and victims have struggled over the years.]

No abusarás” // el mandamiento negado en la Iglesia de Francisco,
expone no sólo los abusos sexuales de sacerdotes de la Iglesia Católica de Argentina, sino también el sistema de encubrimiento diseñado desde el Vaticano a lo largo de todo el siglo XX y la lucha de las víctimas a lo largo de años-incluso décadas-.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Caso Provolo: iniziano gli interrogatori e l’acquisizione dei documenti.

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

Da circa 20 giorni, iniziano le audizioni delle persone segnalate dall’Associazione Sordi “Antonio Provolo” – Onlus e dalla Rete L’ABUSO.

Come comunicato ai media nei mesi scorsi e ribadito nella conferenza stampa del 27 marzo 2017, tenutasi a Verona, le due associazioni sopra menzionate ed alcune vittime depositano una serie di denunce che fanno riaprire – questa volta presso l’autorità giudiziaria – quello che dopo 11 anni e due indagini da parte della Diocesi di Verona si rivela un vero vaso di Pandora: “il caso Provolo”. Ora, questo nuovo filone non è prescritto.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

IRISH CHURCH HOPES 2018 FAMILY MEETING HELPS RESTORE TRUST

IRELAND/VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Irish church officials are hoping that a meeting of Catholic families that is expected to bring Pope Francis to Ireland next year will help families regain trust in the church following the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said Thursday that young people in particular "have been very scandalized" about the decades of abuse and cover-up that have eroded the credibility of the church in Ireland.

Speaking at a Vatican press conference, Martin said he hoped the Aug. 21-26, 2018 World Meeting of Families would be a moment of renewal for the church and help Irish families overcome their fears.

The event would seek to "give new confidence to healthy family life and enable parents to have trust that their children can find a home in the church which is safe," he said.

After media reports exposed the scandal in the 1990s and 2000s, the Irish government launched several state fact-finding probes into the abuse and how church leaders for decades protected pedophiles and their own reputations at the expense of Ireland's children. The finding decimated the church's reputation and standing in the once-devoutly Roman Catholic nation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

MEEHAN

PENNSYLVANIA
Wackerman Funeral Home

Andrew M. Sr. on March 26, 2017. Beloved Father of Ann Marie (John), Jane, Andrew Jr. (Lisa) and Stephen. Loving grandfather of Maeve, Fiachra, Peter, Fiona, Conor, Ciara, Drew, Merritt, Ryan, Ellery, Juilet, and Eva. Devoted son of the late Austin (The Sheriff) and Dorothy Meehan. Predeceased by his seven older brothers and sisters. Relatives and friends may pay their respects to the family Friday 9:30 AM St. Cecilia Church 535 Rhawn St. Philadelphia, PA 19111 followed by funeral mass 10:30AM.

Floral deliveries to the church Friday by 9 AM

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CRITICISES IRISH GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO MAGDALENE SURVIVORS

IRELAND
The Nationalist

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2017

The Irish state has come under criticism for its response to survivors of Magdalene Laundries and other historical abuses.

A report released today from the Council of Europe calls on the Irish Government to widen the terms of reference into the inquiry into Mother and Baby homes.

It also calls on them to end religious discrimination in Catholic-run schools, and remove from the constitution the reference to a woman’s place being in the home.

Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe Nils Muznieks also called for a referendum on the Eighth amendment and an overhaul of how abortion is legislated for in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Feldman ‘dropped the ball’

AUSTRALIA
Australian Jewish News

RABBI Pinchus Feldman admitted last week that he had “dropped the ball” because he still didn’t know the details of Sydney Yeshiva Centre’s child protection policies.

At the 2015 Royal Commission hearings the centre’s leaders were told they failed in their duties for not knowing the details.

When it was revealed, more than 750 days later, that Rabbi Feldman still did not know the details the counsel assisting the Royal Commission, Naomi Sharp, questioned Rabbi Feldman’s knowledge on leadership.

“Do you accept that leaders of institutions should be aware of the details of the child protection policies?” Sharp asked.

“That may be the case, and if that is the case then I am faulty, so we need to rectify it,” Rabbi Feldman responded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Sask. bishops discuss residential schools with Pope Francis

CANADA
CBC News

By Jason Warick, CBC News Posted: Mar 30, 2017

Residential schools and a possible papal visit to Saskatchewan were among the topics raised during a two-and-a-half hour meeting between Pope Francis and Western Canadian bishops this week.

It was the group's first audience in more than a decade with the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

"We talked about our relationship with our Indigenous peoples in a significant way," Regina Archbishop Don Bolen said in an interview from the Vatican.

"You could see [Francis] was visibly attentive to the pain and challenges of Indigenous people."

Roughly two dozen Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishops from Western Canada met with Francis as part of a Vatican visit known as "ad limina apostolorum" (meaning "to the threshold of the basilicas of the Apostles").

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

IRISH CENTRAL ATTACKS ORPHAN

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue

On March 27, I posted an article written by an orphan who grew up in a Mother and Baby Home in Ireland. It is a well-written and researched account of conditions in Ireland in the twentieth century, and the care provided by nuns. It also debunks the myths about those “evil” nuns, the kind of propaganda promoted by Irish Central and others.

Predictably, Irish Central is upset. Good news about the Catholic Church’s contribution to society is generally not welcomed by Niall O’Dowd and his staff. So he unleashed Cahir O’Doherty to offer a response to the orphan’s piece. That was a mistake.

On March 7, I wrote a news release, “The Dunces at Irish Central.” I cited O’Doherty as Exhibit A. Why? Because in his attempt to validate the Tuam “mass grave” hoax sponsored by Catherine Corless, he said she “never spoke of” a mass grave. In fact, she has, as I demonstrated.

Well, the dunce is back. We know O’Doherty is a dunce because of his illiteracy. This is his story’s headline: “Bill Donohue’s Says Unnamed ‘Galway Orphan’ Exonerates Tuam Nuns.” Even a middle-school dropout knows it should read, “Bill Donohue Says,” not “Bill Donohue’s.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

Bill Donohue says unnamed “Galway orphan” exonerates Tuam nuns

IRELAND
IrishCentral

Cahir O'Doherty @randomirish March 30, 2017

This week an “anonymous orphan from Galway” has sent a “sober and well-researched article” to the Catholic League’s energetic enragé Bill Donohue that “debunks many myths about Irish nuns.”

Timely! But a government-commissioned study recently found “significant quantities” of the human remains of infants on the site of the former Mother and Baby home in Tuam, just as local historian Catherine Corless had suggested they would, so exactly what “myths” is Donohue referring to?

The real scandal, according to his unnamed Irish orphan, is the “fake and sensational” media, who feed the public a steady diet of anti-Catholic news. It’s not the 796 dead infants buried in an unmarked grave.

In the scattershot, free-associating “defense” that Donohue published without sufficient reflection this week, it’s hard to decide which is more offensive, the content or the tone.

The Ireland of the Tuam Mother and Baby home, which finally closed in the early 1960’s, was a place where, according to this unnamed former orphan, “There were no antibiotics, no electricity… let alone running water, and for many the only mode of transport, if they were lucky, was a donkey and cart.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Former Tate High School coach jailed on multiple child sex abuse charges

FLORIDA
Fox 10

By Mike Brantley, Digital Content Producer

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, AL (WALA) -
Charlie Mabern Hamrick, 54, a former football coach at Tate High School in Cantonment, Fla., was arrested Tuesday on multiple child sex abuse charges, according to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.

Morgan identified Hamrick as having served as a Sunday school teacher at Pine Forest United Methodist Church in Pensacola, as well as having served as a youth minister.

Hamrick is being held at the Escambia County Jail on $375,000 bond, according to jail records.

Morgan said Wednesday Hamrick is accused of committed sex abuse crimes against children during a time period ranging from 1997 until the summer of 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

BREAKING: Former Tate Football Coach, Sunday School Teacher Arrested For Child Sex Abuse

FLORIDA
News 5

[with video]

By Hayley Minogue and J.B. Biunno
Published: March 29, 2017

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FL (WKRG) — A former high school football coach and Sunday school teacher has been arrested for prolonged sexual abuse of multiple young boys.

Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies say Charlie Mabern Hamrick, 54, is charged with 36 counts of capital sexual assault on a victim under the age of 12, providing obscene material to minors, and lewd and lascivious behavior on victims under the age of 12 and victims ranging in age from 12 to 16. Hamrick is the former football coach at Tate High School and the director of a local boy’s group at a church in Cantonment.

According to the arrest report obtained by News 5, Hamrick is accused of engaging in sexual acts with young boys at his home — sometimes with his wife present — and on the boat at his beach house in Pensacola.

One victim, a boy 8 to 11 years-old at the time of the abuse, told deputies that Hamrick was his Sunday school teacher at Pine Forest United Methodist Church. The boy was invited to Hamrick’s home to spend time with Hamrick’s children, who were around the same age as him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Police: Former Fla. football coach, youth pastor has been molesting children for past 20 years

FLORIDA
USA Today

By Emma Kennedy, Pensacola News Journal March 30, 2017

A former Tate (Cantonment, Fla.) High School football coach and church youth minister has been charged with more than 40 counts of child sex abuse.

Police claim Charlie Mabern Hamrick, 54, has molested children in Escambia County (Fla.) for at least the last 20 years. During a press conference Wednesday, Sheriff David Morgan said investigators believe the attacks go back even further.

In addition to working as a supplemental football coach at Tate from the 2012 to 2014 seasons, the Pensacola man also worked as an EMT. More recently, he served as a volunteer at Harvest Christian Center in Cantonment and a youth minister at Pine Forest United Methodist Church in Pensacola, according to police reports.

Investigators say the Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office have identified four victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Minor rape case: 2 absconding nuns surrender, granted bail

INDIA
Outlook

kannur, Mar 30 Two nuns, who were absconding after being named as accused in a sexual assault case of a minor girl by a Catholic priest in Kottiyoor in the district, today surrendered before police and were granted bail by a court.

Sister Liz Maria and Sister Anitta are among the 10 accused in the case. They allegedly hid facts related to the incident.

The two nuns were questioned, their statements recorded before being produced before a court in Thalassery, which granted them bail.

The Kerala High Court had earlier directed them to surrender before the Peravoor Circle Inspector when their anticipatory bail plea had come up for hearing.

They should be produced before the court for bail, the HC had said.

The main accused in the case, Father Robin Vadakkumcherry, who was the Vicar of a church in Kottiyoor, had allegedly raped a minor girl who later gave birth to a boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Paedophile vicar Peter Low admits downloading images of child sex abuse of most explicit category

UNITED KINGDOM
Maldon Standard

VICAR Peter Low has admitted downloading vile images of child sexual abuse.

The 65-year-old was the vicar of Heybridge St Andrew and St George and Langford St Giles from 2008 until last July when the images were discovered and he was suspended.

Low, of Crescent Road, Heybridge admitted four offences when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today.

Wearing a suit and tie the disgraced vicar admitted downloading nine indecent images of children at category A.

This is the highest category and includes the most horrific and explicit images which can be downloaded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Manny Waks' Night of Healing at Caulfield Park Pavillion

AUSTRALIA
YouTube

Published on Mar 29, 2017

Manny Waks returns to Melbourne for a Night of Healing at Caulfield Park Pavillion. With Katherine Levi, Danny Schwartz, Dr Michelle Meyer, Dr Vicki Gordon, Anton Block, Rabbi Yaakov Glasman and Rabbi Daniel Rabin speaking on behalf of the Jewish Community, to find a way forward, after the Royal Commission and open controversy surrounding Child Sex Abuse, with the formation of Tzedek, the need for support and advocate for victims/survivors of CSA and their families, to raise awareness and create a culture change, to educate children, parents and community organisations in order to prevent, recognise and address the need for a Jewish Community free of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

L’Eglise catholique au Cameroun face aux accusations de pédophilie

CAMEROON
Africa Top Success

[The Catholic Church in Cameroon faces accusations of pedophilia.]

Après la récente diffusion de l’enquête de Cash-Investigation sur la pédophilie au sein du clergé dans l?Eglise catholique, les commentaires vont bon train et il fallait s’y attendre. Le contenu n’est pourtant pas si nouveau que ça car de telles émissions sont monnaie courante en Occident où depuis plus d’une décennie l’Eglise est traînée dans la boue par les médias et les tribunaux pour le crime de la pédophilie de quelques membres du clergé.

#PrêtresPédophiles Tout au plus, ce qui est nouveau dans l’émission de Cash Investigation, c’est l’ouverture sur l’église catholique en Afrique en général et sur le Cameroun en particulier. C’est vraiment la première fois que ça fait le chou gras des médias au Cameroun. C’est aussi du grain à moudre pour les ennemies de l’église catholique qui ont tôt fait de la réduire à ses ombres.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Pédophilie: Mgr Lebrun n'a pas été surpris par Cash Investigation

FRANCE
RCF Radio

[audio]

[Present at Lourdes, Archbishop Dominique Lebrun, Archbishop of Rouen, answers Benjamin Rosier's questions about pedophilia in the church.]

Présent à Lourdes, Mgr Dominique Lebrun, archévêque de Rouen, répond aux questions de Benjamin Rosier sur les affaires de pédophilie dans l'Eglise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Sex abuse claims: Class action against former Esperance priest Father Kevin Glover

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Georgia Loney

Lawyers are preparing a class action against the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury on behalf of three people who say they were sexually abused by a high-profile priest in the southern WA town of Esperance in the 1960s and '70s.

Father Kevin Glover, who died in the late 1990s, was the parish priest in Esperance but is understood to have worked at parishes throughout the South West.

It is alleged the offences took place at Our Lady of Star of the Sea church in Esperance, and also while he was visiting sick children at the Esperance District Hospital.

Jason Parkinson, from the law firm Porters, said although Glover was never convicted, it was time for people to speak up.

"We've been asking for witnesses, who may know something about Glover's activities, to come forward and help, and sadly, it's my experience that while we're acting for three people, this means there'll be dozens of victims," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Abuse survivors welcome compensation settlement over Retta Dixon home in Darwin

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By national Indigenous affairs reporter Bridget Brennan and Avani Dias

Compensation for years of physical and sexual abuse at a notorious home for Aboriginal children will provide relief but will never erase the trauma of what happened, former residents say.

A landmark class action will compensate 71 people around the country, who suffered horrific abuse at the Retta Dixon home in Darwin between 1947 and 1980.

Another abuse survivor, Becky Curtis, said the action was a "release" for many.

"It's never been about the money, it's been about (making) people accountable for what they've done," she said.

Lawyers said the settlement — finalised out-of-court — was only the second of its kind in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Barr government moves to remove further barriers for victims of child sexual abuse to seek compensation

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Katie Burgess

The ACT government is moving to make it easier for victims of child abuse to sue their abusers, regardless of where and when the abuse occurred.

Under draft laws introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly on Thursday, laws that let survivors claim damages against institutions regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred would be broadened to take in any kind of child sexual abuse.

The changes would mean a survivor could claim damages against the perpetrator of their abuse as well as the institution in which the abuse occurred.

"These amendments build on reforms introduced last year to remove limitation periods for child sex abuse claims in institutional contexts," ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Canberra child safety campaigner among those to have last word at Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

A Canberra child safety campaigner will call for blanket mandatory reporting requirements as the public part of Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concludes on Friday.

Bravehearts ambassador Damian De Marco will deliver a withering assessment of the capability of religious institutions to change, despite the upheaval of the royal commission.

"We are now in a position where even the rape, buggery, molestation and often suicide of hundreds of thousands of innocent children worldwide by clergy and religious leaders, has still not been a sufficient enough motivating force for some religious Institutions to reform their cultures," Mr De Marco will tell the commission.

"Even today we have cases of paedophile priests being secretly housed with children and institutions conducting inquiries disguised as independent investigations. If they don't get it now they never will."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Childhood abuse a 'torturous life sentence', royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The damage inflicted by childhood abuse is lifelong and catastrophic but support services for victims are "grossly inadequate", a royal commission has heard.

Shelly Braieoux​ told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse she still suffers decades after allegedly being abused in a religious organisation.

The 45-year-old mother of four has ongoing physical and mental health problems including depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

"Even though we may have physically survived, we have been sentenced to a torturous life sentence full of unnumbered battles," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Victim says child abuse a life sentence

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

MARCH 30, 2017

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

If the scars of child sexual abuse were visible, Shelly Braieoux believes she would be in a wheelchair with missing limbs and horribly deformed with burns and scars.

Instead, Ms Braieoux and other child abuse survivors carry scars that cannot be seen and fight "a lifelong invisible war".

The damage is catastrophic, Ms Braieoux told the child abuse royal commission via telephone from her Queensland home after ex-tropical cyclone Debbie prevented her being in Sydney for Thursday's hearing.

"Even though we may have physically survived, we have been sentenced to a torturous life sentence full of unnumbered battles."

Ms Braieoux was ostracised and silenced from speaking about the abuse to anyone, receiving no support from the unnamed religion, her family or friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Sex abuse royal commission: Apologies don't go far enough to undo damage, child advocates say

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Institutional apologies to victims of child sexual abuse are sometimes weak, insulting and do not go far enough to address the long-term damage that has been caused, a royal commission has heard.

Bruce Perry from The Child Trauma Academy in the United States was one of several experts giving evidence about the impacts of abuse at the second last day of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse's public hearings in Sydney.

"You can't erase institutional coercion and institutional abuse of process by issuing a statement," Dr Perry said.

"That doesn't undo it. That's not enough."

During the course of his work, Dr Perry said he had worked with survivors who had been offended by official statements from the organisations in which they were abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Abuse survivor urges politicians to introduce child protection measures

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Christopher Knaus
Thursday 30 March 2017

A survivor whose voice will be one of the last to be heard in the child abuse royal commission has urged political leaders to cast aside religious loyalties and urgently introduce strong child protection measures.

On Friday, the public hearings of the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will come to an end.

Over the past four years, the commission has revealed the disturbing extent of child abuse in religious and secular institutions across the country.

It has repeatedly uncovered far-reaching cover-ups of child sexual abuse, and shown how institutions have ostracised survivors and actively worked to undermine them.

The commission held more than 8,000 private sessions with survivors, 64% of whom were male, and 46% between 10 and 14 years old at the time they were abused. Five per cent of survivors were abused when they were under the age of five.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

More child sex abuse victims brings total to 39 lawsuits against the church

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Donna De Jesus

Four more victims have filed suit against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts, and former priest Father Louis Brouillard.

Guam - Attorney David Lujan is representing three of the victims: Jan Iriarte, and individuals using only M.A. and R.M.C. The fourth is Peter Damian, represented by attorney Anthony Perez.

According to court documents, M.A. and R.M.C. were altar boys at the San Isidro Catholic Church in Malojloj. All four were members of the Boy Scouts of America. M.A. states in his complaint that Father Brouillard would get permission from his parents, who had complete trust in the Catholic Church, to spend the night at the Convent where he was staying. Brouillard would routinely molest and abuse M.A.

For R.M.C., he recalls in court documents Brouillard making altar boys lay naked on his bed, and molest them one by one, saying “this is not a sin… if this were a sin then we would not be enjoying this.” M.A., R.M.C., and Iriarte recount Brouillard as a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, fondling boys while making them swim naked in various swimming holes on-island.

Court documents state that the Archdiocese knew of Brouillard’s actions, but withheld the information from parents and law enforcement in order to protect Brouillard and the church. They are demanding $10 million each in damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Sex abuse claims: Class action against former Esperance priest Father Kevin Glover

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Georgia Loney

Lawyers are preparing a class action against the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury on behalf of three people who say they were sexually abused by a high-profile priest in the southern WA town of Esperance in the 1960s and '70s.

Father Kevin Glover, who died in the late 1990s, was the parish priest in Esperance but is understood to have worked at parishes throughout the South West.

It is alleged the offences took place at Our Lady of Star of the Sea church in Esperance, and also while he was visiting sick children at the Esperance District Hospital.

Jason Parkinson, from the law firm Porters, said although Glover was never convicted, it was time for people to speak up.

"We've been asking for witnesses, who may know something about Glover's activities, to come forward and help, and sadly, it's my experience that while we're acting for three people, this means there'll be dozens of victims," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Senator’s residential school praise shows ‘long way to go’: Bearhead

CANADA
Metro News

By: David P. Ball
Metro
Published on Wed Mar 29 2017

The co-chair of the reconciliation fund set up by Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie has joined outcry over a Senator’s praise for the “good” side of Indian residential schools.

Edmonton-based Charlene Bearhead — with the Downie and Wenjack Fund created by the singer to channel donations in support of Indigenous/non-Indigenous projects — told Metro that Sen. Lynn Beyak’s controversial remarks (see sidebar) are a reminder that Canada “still has a long way to go” in addressing its history.

“Comments like this Senator’s are a big, firm slap in the face,” said Bearhead in a phone interview.

“You don’t have to look very far to know ignorance is still alive and well.

“But they remind us to wake up and not be complacent. You can start feeling really good about the progress we’re making … But when people in positions like that still can’t humble themselves and open their minds, hearts, eyes and ears to reality, it’s a reminder that we still have a long way to go.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Senator Lynn Beyak's Residential Schools Stance Is Still Free Speech: Colleagues

CANADA
Huffington Post

By Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The newly minted leader of the Conservatives in the Senate says he intends to take a second look at Sen. Lynn Beyak to see what, if any, actions the Tories should take over her comments on residential schools.

Beyak doubled down this week on her comments that there was "good'' done in residential schools, insisting that she had no need for additional education about residential schools or indigenous culture, citing a long-standing friendship with an "aboriginal fellow'' and her experiences in northern Ontario.

Beyak refused to elaborate Tuesday on the comments in a CBC interview where she described an outpouring of public support for her position.

Sen. Larry Smith, who takes over as Conservative leader on Saturday, said he plans to meet the rest of his leadership team to figure out if, among other things, Beyak should be removed from the aboriginal peoples committee, given the strong emotional reaction to Beyak's comments inside and outside the Tory caucus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Senator Murray Sinclair responds to Lynn Beyak's defence of residential schools

CANADA
CBC

Senator Murray Sinclair says preserving the record of the wrongdoing committed under the Indian residential school system is the best way to fight back against those who deny its negative impact on Indigenous people.

Sinclair, who was the chief commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, made the comments to Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC Radio's The Current Tuesday evening.

"If we can preserve that record for future generations, then these deniers will have a diminishing population of people who will believe them," Sinclair said

Tremonti asked Sinclair if fellow legislators avoid him in the halls of Parliament as he pushes for the implementation of the 94 recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.

"There are still some people resisting — not just in the Senate, but elsewhere," Sinclair said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Indigenous leaders call for Senator Lynn Beyak's resignation

CANADA
CBC News

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Grand Council Treaty 3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh are calling for the resignation of Senator Lynn Beyak, saying Beyak's repeated comments about residential schools are "offensive" and a "national insult."

"Her callous dismissal of the horrors of the Residential School experience is unbefitting a member of the Senate," Fiddler was quoted as saying in a news release issued Tuesday.

"Her misguided statements, including comparisons of her suffering to those who were forced to attend residential schools, are an insult to survivors and all the children who were lost," he said.

"This makes a mockery of the Government of Canada's efforts to move toward reconciliation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

In defence of Senator Lynn Beyak

CANADA
Toronto Sun

BY LORRIE GOLDSTEIN, TORONTO SUN
FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2017

I have a modest proposal.

Before condemning Conservative Sen. Lynn Beyak for saying a lot of good was done in residential schools, consider two things.

First, the views of renowned Cree novelist, playwright, classical pianist and Order of Canada recipient, Tomson Highway, when the Truth and Reconciliation Report on residential schools was released in December, 2015.

Here’s what Highway said, quoted by Joshua Ostroff in The Huffington Post, in a column headlined: “Tomson Highway Has A Surprisingly Positive Take On Residential Schools”.

“All we hear is the negative stuff, nobody’s interested in the positive, the joy in that school. Nine of the happiest years of my life, I spent it at that school. I learned your language, for God's sake. Have you learned my language? No, so who’s the privileged one and who is underprivileged?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Call for cash redress in mother and baby scandal

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Shane Phelan
March 30 2017

A European human rights watchdog believes a redress scheme should be put in place for survivors of mother and baby homes if a commission of investigation confirms widespread suspicions about the manner in which they were run.

Council of Europe commissioner Nils Muiznieks also described revelations of a mass grave of children in Tuam, Co Galway, as "quite gruesome".

"If there are serious human rights violations found there, such as forced adoption or ill-treatment, forced labour and detention, these are very serious human rights violations and redress should be provided, not just an acknowledgement that violations took place," he said.

"If violations took place, the State is responsible either directly or indirectly for not exercising sufficient oversight."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Call for redress scheme following Tuam mother and baby home scandal

IRELAND
Connacht Tribune

Galway Bay fm newsroom – A European human rights watchdog says a redress scheme should be put in place for survivors following the Tuam mother and baby home scandal.

Council of Europe commissioner Nils Muiznieks says if a commission of investigation confirms suspicions about the manner in which the homes were run, survivors should be compensated.

He’s described revelations of a mass grave of children in Tuam as “quite gruesome”.

The watchdog says if there are serious human rights violations found there, such as forced adoption or ill-treatment, redress should be provided.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Child protection commission seeks new input from victims

VATICAN CITY
St. Louis Review

SUBMITTED ON MARCH 29, 2017
Junno Arocho Esteves and Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Following the resignation of a prominent member and abuse survivor, a pontifical commission charged with addressing issues related to clergy sex abuse vowed to continue to seek input from victims and survivors.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said the resignation of Marie Collins was a "central topic" of its March 24-26 plenary assembly, and it "expressed strong support for her continuing work" to promote healing for abuse victims and ensuring best practices for prevention.

"Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors. Several ideas that have been successfully implemented elsewhere are being carefully considered for recommendation to the Holy Father," the commission said in a statement published by the Vatican on March 26.

Among the main concerns addressed by the commission was outreach out to victims, an issue first raised by Collins shortly after she resigned from her position. In an editorial published online March 1 by National Catholic Reporter, Collins said an unnamed dicastery not only refused to respond to letters from victims, it also refused to cooperate on the commission's safeguarding guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Former Christian radio station boss and evangelical preacher Dr Gary Alexander Forbes placed on good behaviour bond for 1960s abuse

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

SAM RIGNEY
30 Mar 2017

FORMER Christian radio station boss and evangelical preacher Dr Gary Alexander Forbes has been placed on a two-year good behaviour bond for abusing two brothers more than 50 years ago.

Forbes, now 73, who was also a pastor at Adamstown Gospel Church until he publicly admitted the offences and resigned, was sentenced in Newcastle District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to three counts of assaulting a male and committing an act of indecency.

The offences started in the early 1960s, when Forbes himself was a teenager.

He abused one brother before moving onto his younger sibling when the older boy started in the workforce.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Bishop who protected paedophiles is being erased from history

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Nino Bucci
30 Mar 2017

Across Victoria, on buildings associated with the Catholic church, blank rectangles are appearing.

They signify the fresh removal of plaques, installed decades earlier to signify the opening of a school, church, hospital or hall.

Etched on the plaques is a name: Most Reverend R. A. Mulkearns.

Bishop Ronald Austin Mulkearns blessed almost every Catholic building opened in the Ballarat diocese between 1974 and 1996. He also supervised one of the worst periods of clerical child sexual abuse in Australia.

The Ballarat diocese takes up most of western Victoria. It stretches from Casterton, near the South Australian border; to the coastline in the south; Daylesford to the east; and north to Mildura.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Bishop apologizes to sexual abuse victims in special service

GEORGIA
WSAV

By Devin Negrete
Published: March 29, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. – “There’s no way I would be standing here if it wasn’t for my family and the support of all my friends in Savannah and in the community,” Chris Templeton, who was sexually abused by a priest back in 1987, said. “There’s no way I could’ve done it alone.”

A service of consolation was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on Lafayette Square Wednesday night.

Bishop Gregory Hartmayer said the gathering was for the suffering at the innocent at the hands of priests.

One man in particular anxiously waited for that Lenten service.

Chris Templeton was just 13 years old when he was raped by former Priest Wayland Brown.

Templeton has shared his difficult story with News 3 saying he was raped more than 50 times by Brown at St. James.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

2 men sue church, Boy Scouts

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com March 30, 2017

Two more lawsuits were filed Thursday, by men who said they were sexually abused or witnessed sexual abuse decades ago, as children, by former priest and Boy Scouts of America scoutmaster Louis Brouillard.

Their complaints bring to 39 the number of Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed so far, in local and federal court. Most of the lawsuits accuse Brouillard, who has admitted to abusing at least 20 boys on Guam when he was a priest here.

Peter Damian, of Sinajana, said Brouillard sexually abused him at the Lonfit River when he was 9 or 10 years old, in 1962 or 1963, during a Boy Scouts trip. At the time, Brouillard was the parish priest at Santa Teresita Church in Mangilao.

Jan Iriarte, now 54 and living in Yona, in his lawsuit said he was pressured many times by Brouillard to swim naked during Boy Scouts swimming trips, during which he saw Brouillard molest other boys. While Iriarte said he never swam naked, the experience made him feel violated and distrustful of priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

March 29, 2017

Peter Saunders: ‘Vatican abuse commission wants compliant survivors, so I’m unlikely to return’

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by Madeleine Teahan
posted Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017

Peter Saunders told the Catholic Herald that he will never stay quiet about the issue of child protection

Abuse survivor Peter Saunders has confirmed that he is unlikely ever to return to the Vatican’s abuse commission.

Saunders, who was placed on indefinite leave from the commission last year, said that he was disappointed that Pope Francis had “never once visited” the commission.

On Monday Cardinal Sean O’Malley, head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told Crux that Saunders would probably never return to the commission.

In response, Saunders, founder of NAPAC (National Association of People Abused in Childhood), told the Catholic Herald: “When I spoke to Cardinal O’Malley a few weeks ago I said if there was anything I can do to help – I am here. I have apologised for whatever crimes I am deemed to have committed leading to my exclusion, but on the matter of child protection it is not a matter I will ever stay quiet about and I remain saddened that the Pope has never once visited his commission.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Group heading to Harrisburg rally to push for retroactivity in sex-abuse statute of limitations bill

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By David Hurst
dhurst@tribdem.com

Advocates pushing for a proposal that would hold Pennsylvania child sex abusers accountable for crimes committed years ago are heading to Harrisburg next week to deliver a loud message to state lawmakers to support the plan.

That message: Anything that doesn’t hold past abusers accountable will only enable such acts to reoccurring, according to Shaun Dougherty, a Westmont resident who, in the past year, has identified himself as a victim of sex abuse by clergy in the 1980s.

“Without that retroactivity portion, any bill they pass is not a protective measure, it’s an enabler’s bill,” he said.

Dougherty is among a group of Pennsylvanians pushing for the change who are planning to hold a rally at the State Capitol Building’s front steps at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

They’ll be joined by a Harrisburg ally, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a three-term Berks County Democrat and onetime sex abuse victim, whose House bill includes language adding a retroactive statute of limitations window.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Robert Harrison, OFM.Cap

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Robert Harrison was ordained a Capuchin priest of the St. Joseph Province in Detroit in 1964. He started his priesthood in his native Milwaukee as a parish assistant and teacher before going on to work as Director and Director of Social Services at a Wauwatosa home for adolescent boys. At some point he earned advanced degrees in Social Work and Law. Harrison appears to have left the Milwaukee archdiocese around 1977, living briefly in Bloomington, Indiana then relocating in 1978 to New York City. He reportedly worked as a civil attorney while living at a New York archdiocese-sponsored residence for young African-American men considering priesthood. The Official Catholic Directory shows several gaps in Harrison's assignment history. By 1983 he was an assistant priest at St. Charles Borromeo parish in Harlem, and by 1991 Harrison was a Cardinal Hayes High School faculty member and basketball coach.

In December 2014 Harrison was removed from Cardinal Hayes and suspended from public ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused ten minors during the 1970s and 1980s in Milwaukee, Manhattan and the Bronx. Harrison had been borrowing money from Hayes staff members and, when questioned about it, he said he needed the money to pay a victim. Per the Capuchins, Harrison was sent to a "professional facility" and the abuse was reported to district attorneys in the jurisdictions in which it occurred.

Ordained: 1964

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Cardinal Dolan and his Belief in Sex Abuse Reform Bills

NEW YORK
The Worthy Adversary

March 29, 2017 Joelle Casteix

It’s true:

New York’s Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan believes in Window Legislation and Statute of Limitation Reform for victims of child sexual abuse. He knows they both work to help victims heal. He’s showing us right now.

Just look at his actions, not his words.

In fact, since last fall, he’s shown that archaic Statutes of Limitations for child sexual abuse should NOT matter in pastoral care and that there is an INHERENT NEED for window legislation in Albany.

It gets better.

The requirements and success of his own compensation plan have CONTRADICTED the arguments that he and the Catholic Conference have been waging against window legislation.

Let’s start at the top.

The Independent Compensation and Reconciliation Plan (IRCP), now in its second phase, has one goal: compensate victims of sexual abuse by Archdiocesan priests, no matter when the abuse occurred.

According to the plan administrator, success will be measured by the number of victims who come forward and take advantage of the plan, accepting compensation offers by the Archdiocese.

Remember: All of these cases are barred by the civil statute of limitations.

That means these survivors don’t have a legal leg to stand on in the courts. Yet, Dolan—in his own press conference—said that pastoral care REQUIRES some kind of reconciliation and compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Arraignment set for priest facing child porn charges

LOUISIANA
KATC

Updated: Mar 29, 2017

An arraignment date of May 2 has been set for Father Felix David Broussard, who was arrested in July 2016 on child pornography charges.

An arraignment is a formal reading of charges against a defendant. It usually is a chance for attorneys to make appearances and for the case's schedule, including a trial date, to be set. It is generally a legal housekeeping event. The defendant is required to enter a formal plea to the charges; in felony cases it is usually a not-guilty plea.

Broussard was arrested after more than 500 images of child porn were allegedly found on his personally-owned computer. The computer was located a Broussard's living quarters at the St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge where he was pastor. The images were found by a computer technician who was working on the computer, and he reported them.

The Diocese cooperated fully in the investigation, and Lafayette Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel even held a press conference to announce the arrest prior to any release from law enforcement. The Bishop said at the time he wanted to ensure the Diocese is transparent in this case. Broussard was relieved of his duties at St. Bernard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Lawsuits allege priest used ‘evil campaign’ to abuse victims

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

A sex abuse victim alleges former priest and Boy Scout Master Louis Brouillard took altar boys and Boy Scouts to watch pornographic films and misappropriated church offerings to pay for outings with minor boys.

Two new lawsuits were filed in the District Court of Guam yesterday against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and Brouillard seeking $10 million each. The cases were filed by two individuals who wanted to protect their privacy.

A 53-year-old individual with the initials “M.A.” alleges he was sexually abused for three years by Brouillard at the San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj in 1972, beginning when he was 10.

The lawsuit states that Brouillard used various strategies to gain access to M.A. and other young boys and to induce their compliance as part of his “evil campaign to sexually abuse them” and achieve his “sexually predatory objectives.”

Brouillard is accused of deceiving parents of altar boys, asking that they be allowed to spend the night at the convent to ensure they would not be late to serve for early morning Masses, and instead molesting and abusing the boys. The lawsuit states, “Brouillard seized upon every opportunity to molest young boys.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Catholic priest in sex scandal

ZIMBABWE
Bulawayo24

A CHECHECHE Roman Catholic priest who committed his life to celibacy is under fire for bedding a young girl.

Father Charles Makowa of St Peter's Catholic Church in Checheche has been allegedly involved with several women from his church with the latest being a minor whose mother is the Parish Youth Advisor (tete). The mother's name cannot be mentioned to protect the minor.

The man of cloth confirmed the developments that are making him leave the church, while the girl's mother said if the story sees the light of the day the writers would di

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Maldon vicar Peter Low admits hoarding child sex abuse images

UNITED KINGDOM
Essex Live

A vicar has admitted downloading a horde of images showing the sexual abuse of children.

Peter Low, 65, of Crescent Road, Heybridge, served as the vicar of Heybridge and Langford Parishes, but was suspended when the images were discovered in July last year.

He was charged with three counts of possession of indecent images of children and one count of possession of a prohibited image of a child and pleaded guilty to the offences at Chelmsford Crown Court this morning.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Chelmsford said: "The Diocese of Chelmsford, where he had been working, took the police investigation extremely seriously, and worked closely with the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Indigenous students claim sexual abuse at Catholic day school in Manitoba

CANADA
CBC News

By Laura Glowacki, CBC News Posted: Mar 27, 2017

In a case with striking similarities to testimony made by residential school survivors, two Indigenous adult women say they were repeatedly sexually abused by clergy at a Catholic day school in Manitoba they were forced to attend as children.

And now they've launched a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, as well as the two now-deceased men they say were responsible, the province and other defendants.

Both women — one now 67 and status Indian, the other a 63-year-old Mé​tis woman — attended the same elementary school in Bloodvein, Man., about 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, from about 1956 until the mid-1960s.

The complainants say the same two men fondled and raped them as children beginning when they were seven and six, respectively.

"One of them was a priest. He held certain powers over them," said the plaintiffs' lawyer, Israel Ludwig. "They thought they would be damned if they made a complaint."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

New allegations emerge in lawsuit against priest

CALIFORNIA
The Union Democrat

By Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat
Published Mar 28, 2017

New allegations have surfaced in a lawsuit that alleges a former pool-maintenance contractor at Presentation Church in Stockton was fired after receiving a lewd text message from the parish’s pastor, Monsignor Larry McGovern, who is a high-ranking priest within the Stockton Diocese.

An amended complaint filed Friday in San Joaquin County Superior Court claims that McGovern had been removed from a position at Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton over allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct and undergone therapy prior to being put in charge of Presentation Church, which operates an elementary school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

“We think it’s relevant because of the alleged systemic problem in the Stockton Diocese as has been uncovered with prior issues, including — but not limited to — Oliver O’Grady and (Michael) Kelly,” said Saul Wolf, an attorney for Manly, Stewart and Finaldi, the firm that is representing the plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Kelly, who served as priest of St. Patrick’s Church in Sonora from 1987 to 1997, remains wanted by federal authorities after fleeing to Ireland in 2012 while under criminal investigation by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office over allegations he had sexually abused a 10-year-old boy at a Mokelumne Hill parish where he was a priest from 2000 to 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Following arrest in cold case of missing boy, Ronnie Hyde facing 12 new child-porn charges

FLORIDA
Florida Times-Union

Posted March 28, 2017

By Eileen Kelley

A dozen child pornography charges have been added to a murder case involving a former youth pastor charged in the death and dismemberment of a 16-year-old boy who went missing in 1994.

Ronnie Leon Hyde, 60, of Jacksonville Beach was arrested on March 7 on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Fred Paul Laster, a boy he befriended in Yulee when Hyde was a youth pastor at Strength for Living Church. Hyde was to be in court Wednesday, though his arraignment date has been changed to April 11.

Monday’s new charges relate to 12 different pieces of pornography that depict a child in a sex act. Each of the 12 forms of evidence has at least 10 or more images, to include movies, of sexual performances by a child, according to a statement from the State Attorney’s Office.

According to court records, many of the titles of the evidence collected were a jumble of letters and numbers, though three contained names the Cindy, Steven and Paul. FBI officials were not speaking publicly about the matter Tuesday other than to acknowledge additional charges had been filed against Hyde. Coupled with the murder charge, Hyde now faces a maximum sentence of life plus 180 years if convicted of all charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Church ‘must reply to victims’, says Vatican's child protection commission

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stephen Rogers

The Vatican’s child protection commission, from which an Irish abuse survivor resigned in protest in recent weeks, has told the Pope that the Church needs to start responding “directly and compassionately” to the victims of clerical abuse.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, of which Marie Collins was a founding member, met for its eighth Plenary Assembly over the past weekend.

Ms Collins stepped down from the commission at the start of March blaming “the resistance by some members of the Vatican Curia to the work of the commission”.

At the time, she said the lack of cooperation, “particularly by the dicastery most involved in dealing with cases of abuse, has been shameful.”

Following its assembly, the commission issued a statement in which it said members have unanimously agreed “to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Violin teacher jailed for sexual abuse at top Catholic school

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk
March 29 2017
The Times

A music teacher at Ampleforth College, a leading Roman Catholic public school, has been jailed for sexually abusing a girl when they met for violin lessons.

Dara de Cogan’s traumatised victim, who had seen him as a substitute father, feared she would be “thrown into hell”, a court heard.

De Cogan, who is now 58, started grooming the girl when she was 13, York crown court heard. He was a musician of international acclaim who was appointed head of strings at the boarding school in North Yorkshire in 2004.

The married man, who has two adopted daughters, told the child that he loved her and kissed her whenever he got the chance. They saw each other nearly every day at school, where the abuse took place. Outside of term time, he drove her to secluded parts of the countryside, where it continued.

The girl, who is now in her twenties, said in a victim impact statement read to the court that her musical ambitions after university had been thwarted by what she had gone through.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Need for more engagement with survivors

IRELAND
Galway Independent

Galway County Council need to engage in a “much more meaningful way” with Tuam historian Catherine Corless and representatives of the survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. That’s according to Sinn Féin Senator, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

This week, a Sinn Féin motion to set up a Truth Commission into the home and all other related institutions is due to be voted on in the Dáil, with the Galway Senator calling on all Galway TDs to support the motion.

Representatives of survivors are very upset by the way they are being treated by Galway County Council, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said. “It appears they are being completely ignored when any decision or announcements in relation to the Tuam Mother and Baby Home are being made.”

He described proposals for a Peace Garden at the site at this stage as “wholly inappropriate given what has been brought to public attention by Catherine Corless and others.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Bill would remove statute of limitations on sex crimes, including human trafficking

WASHINGTON
Kitsap Daily News

RICHARD WALKER
Tue Mar 28th, 2017

OLYMPIA — The statute of limitations for most felony sex crimes in Washington state is three years.

That would change under House Bill 1155.

HB 1155, approved 90-8 by the state House of Representatives and referred to the state Senate, would make felony sex offenses prosecutable any time after they were committed.

The bill’s 13 sponsors include Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn; and Rep. Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard.

Currently, the only crimes in Washington state for which there are no statute of limitations is murder, homicide by abuse, arson resulting in death, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault resulting in death, and hit-and-run resulting in death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Conservative senators come to Lynn Beyak's defence while others say 'shame'

CANADA
CBC News

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Mar 28, 2017

Conservative senators came to the defence of their colleague Lynn Beyak Tuesday, saying she has the right to free speech and should remain a member of the Red Chamber's Aboriginal Peoples committee, despite her rosy views of the residential school system.

"Senator Beyak has exercised her right to free speech. We don't want a bunch of yes people on committees who are only going to agree with what everyone else is saying," Senator Don Plett, the Conservative whip, told reporters when asked if he will remove her from the committee.

As for the outrage expressed by some of her fellow senators and residential school survivors, Plett said, "Life will go on. The sun will rise tomorrow and set again tomorrow night and we'll continue. There is no next step."

Plett said the Senate's reputation hasn't been damaged by her comments. "This may or may not affect her reputation," he said.

Alberta Conservative Senator Scott Tannas said he doesn't think she should be removed from the committee, even if there are mounting calls to toss her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Treaty Three Grand Council and NAN Call for Senator’s Resignation

CANADA
Net News Ledger

Posted 29 March 2017 by Amanda Perreault in Anishinaabe

THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Grand Council Treaty #3 (GCT#3) Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh are calling for the resignation of the Hon. Lynn Beyak as a member of the Senate of Canada following repeated statements by the Senator in defense of the Indian Residential School system.

“Senator Beyak’s repeated comments defending the Indian Residential School system are a national insult and unacceptable for a member of the Senate of Canada. Her callous dismissal of the horrors of the Residential School experience is unbefitting a member of the Senate, and today we join the growing calls for her immediate resignation,” said NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “Her misguided statements, including comparisons of her suffering to those who were forced to attend Residential Schools, are an insult to Survivors and all the children who were lost. This makes a mockery of the Government of Canada’s efforts to move toward reconciliation.”

During debate on March 7, 2017, the Senator stated that an “abundance of good” has come from the Residential School system, and that the schools were “well-intentioned” and “mistakes” should not overshadow “good things” that happened.

Since then, the Senator has rebuked pleas for her to learn more about the horrors of Residential Schools, claiming to have ‘suffered’ with those who attended the schools, and purporting ‘shining examples from sea to sea of people who owe their lives to the schools’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Royal Commission hears how sex predators groom and abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

A child psychologist held back tears as she told a royal commission how her son was allegedly abused by a teacher at the private school she believed to be "nurturing and protective".

Marija Radojevic​ told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse she trusted the school implicitly.

The commission is hearing evidence into how sexual predators manipulate their victims as well as those around them.

"My husband and I had no reason to suspect that our son was being groomed by an unmarried teacher," she said.

"We did not know it was happening right under our nose. We truly believed that the Christian ethic with which our son was raised and which the school espoused was a nurturing and protective one."

Dr Radojevic told the commission she and her husband, a child psychiatrist, placed too much trust in the unnamed school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Sex abuse royal commission: Adults who molest children 'often popular members of community'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Adults who are child molesters are often popular members of the community, and do not behave like predatory monsters, a royal commission has heard.

Experts told the final public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney today that inaccurate stereotypes were hindering child protection.

Professor Anne-Marie McAlinden, from the University of Belfast, appeared via video link and said child molesters were often respected and well-liked individuals.

"That's one of the things that abusers will often strive to do," she said.

"To generate this perception that 'I am a nice person who's exceptionally kind to children', which then feeds into the popularity with other staff or parents and makes people less likely to challenge them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

When it comes to French elections, bishops are as lost as their flock

FRANCE
La Croix

By Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner, with Loup Besmond de Senneville, Clémence Houdaille and Céline Hoyeau

The atmosphere is likely to be tense. Even more than in November when sexual abuse by priests overtook the agenda, informal discussions are set to reveal that Catholics, and to a greater extent bishops, have not been spared the sense of disarray that pervades society.

The publication by the Mediapart website of the results of a year-long inquiry into pedophilia in the Church, and the simultaneous broadcast by the France 2 TV station of a documentary on the same subject feed into this.

Some clerics see the coverage as just an umpteenth episode in a hostile media campaign, one characterized by dishonesty, the conflation of 30-year-old incidents with new ones, and a lack of objectivity.

But others admit that the questions being raised are valid. “We no longer hear this idea of having it in for the Church,” said one recently appointed bishop. “This media pressure, which forces us to go further, more quickly, is not so bad.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Gloriavale leaver says investigation outcome 'weak' and leaders are side-stepping allegations

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

A former Gloriavale member says leaders in the secretive West Coast community are "side-stepping" allegations of forced marriage and controlling behaviour.

The former member said he felt disappointed an 18-month investigation by Charity Services into the Christian Church Community Trust, which governs Gloriavale, didn't hold the community accountable for its behaviour.

The probe began in April 2015 after media reports about an increase in people leaving Gloriavale and allegations of sexual and physical abuse, the Newsroom website reported.

The investigation team worked with trustees, 18 community leavers and liaised with various government departments including the police who were already investigating the community over sexual abuse allegations.

The resulting report concluded that despite evidence of serious wrongdoing, the Christian Church Community Trust should not be issued with a warning notice but instead work with Charities Services to bring it up to standard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Nassar in the news: Two plaintiffs come forward

MICHIGAN
The State News

By Casey Harrison
March 28, 2017

Amidst ongoing investigations by MSU and law enforcement, former university employee Larry Nassar has been under investigation since October 2016 for allegations of criminal sexual conduct.

To date, Nassar is now involved in multiple lawsuits, with plaintiffs named in cases against MSU and USA Gymnastics.

As details of the multiple cases unfold, the following is a recap of the newest information brought to light published by news organizations.

Nassar served as a catechist for St. Thomas Aquinas Church and was also a Eucharistic minister at St. John Church and Student Center.

The State News reported on Sunday a blog post affiliated with St. Thomas Aquinas Parish indicated he was a catechist for the 2015-16 school year and worked at the St. John Church and Student Center, according to a spring 2000 edition of Communiqué, the magazine of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Gloriavale rejects sex abuse claims

NEW ZEALAND
Otago Daily Times

Gloriavale has labelled claims of sexual abuse within the isolated community as ‘‘just nonsense’’.
A new report on an 18-month Government investigation has hinted a sexual predator is active in the Gloriavale community, a religious expert has said.

The Christian Church Community Trust, which governs the isolated West Coast community in Haupiri, was the subject of the Charities Services investigation.

The probe began in April 2015 after media reports about an increase in the number of people leaving Gloriavale and allegations of sexual and physical abuse, the Newsroom website reported.

Gloriavale trust board head Fervent Stedfast said yesterday the sexual assault allegations as well as comments that there was a sexual predator on the loose were ‘‘just nonsense’’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

‘No one is really saying he’s guilty,’ says victim after ex-Mormon bishop allowed to go free following sex crime convictions

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By JESSICA MILLER | The Salt Lake Tribune

Moments after a jury found him guilty of nearly a dozen sex abuse-related crimes, Keith Robert Vallejo walked out of the Provo courthouse last month a free man.

Despite requests from a prosecutor to have him jailed until his April sentencing date, a Utah County judge instead allowed the former Mormon bishop to remain free on bail, and to go home to his wife and eight children.

After three days of testimony, a 4th District Court jury found Vallejo guilty of ten counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape, a first-degree felony. Two women testified at the trial that he had inappropriately touched them during separate stays at his Provo home in 2013 and 2014.

"I still feel like, even after he's convicted, no one is really saying he's guilty," said Julia Kirby, who was 19 when Vallejo abused her. "Because if they were, why would the judge let him go home to a house full of young girls? I don't understand why that's a privilege he's given, when he's been convicted. He's been found guilty. It just, to me, says, 'Yeah, here a jury of his peers believed you, but this judge doesn't.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Jesus Army sex offender sentenced for string of indecent acts directed at children in Northamptonshire

UNITED KINGDOM
Daventry Express

ALASTAIR ULKE

A "predatory" man who indecently assaulted young boys while part of a Christian organisation in the 1980s has been sentenced at Northampton Crown Court.

Nigel Perkins, 56, from Cornwall, yesterday (March 28) pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14.

His offences were carried out over six years in the 1980s while Perkins and his victims were members of the Christian community organisation

The Jesus Army, now known as the Jesus Fellowship, based in Northampton.

Perkins held head in his hands as the court heard how he 'opportunistically' assaulted his victims and how he convinced them not to talk about the incidents, causing long-lasting emotional damage to the boys.

His Honour Judge Smith said: "You moved from one young boy to another. Some have called it opportunistic but I term it predatory."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

Church wants to help; encourages victims to reach out to survivor hotline

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Mar 29, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Lawsuits lodged against the Church may be on the rise, but calls to the Archdiocese of Agana's sexual abuse hotline number have come almost to a screeching halt. Deacon Len Stohr encourages victims to utilize the hotline number to get help from the Church.

In the last week, he's received only one call from a clergy sex abuse survivor. That individual, he says, has yet to file suit.

“I think people right now, do not trust the church, don't trust that they're going to have their best interests in mind. And I just want to ensure anyone whose listening that if you've been abused, we'd like to help you. We'd like to bring closure to the pain you've been suffering. And if there's a perpetrator out there that we can help to bring to justice and to get them away from other young people, that's the whole purpose of the hotline,” Stohr said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

Woodway: Pastors hear some frank talk about sexual assault, abuse

TEXAS
KWTX

By Ke'Sha Lopez Mar 28, 2017

WOODWAY, Texas (KWTX) Pastors from different denominations across the state were at First Woodway Baptist Church Tuesday, learning about sexual assault, sexual abuse, and how to prevent such crimes at church functions.

Taylor Post, Pastor of Child and Families at University Baptist Church in Waco, was one of dozens of pastors who watched a PowerPoint presentation that mentioned several pastors and teachers who have been charged or convicted of sex crimes against children.

Several were young adults, men and women, attractive, and what many would perceive as pillars in their communities.

"When you see pictures of people up on screen that look like people I would be friends with or people that would have been my mentor or something like that that really sort of drives at home,” Post said.

Attorney Greg Love, who runs the Ministry Safe program said the traditional parental “stranger danger” admonition isn’t enough to keep children safe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

At civil sex abuse trial, St. Louis priest is described as predator, brother and savior

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joel Currier St. Louis Post-Dispatch

TROY, MO. • Wearing his clerical collar, Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang sat in a courtroom Tuesday as lawyers on opposing sides of a civil lawsuit portrayed him as a sexual predator who betrayed Lincoln County family’s trust and as the brotherly savior to a teenage girl seeking refuge from her family’s religious cult rituals.

Jiang, 34, is on trial this week in a civil suit accusing him of molesting a 16-year-old girl during a visit to her home in 2012. At the time, Jiang was an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End. The teen’s parents sued the priest, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson and the St. Louis Archdiocese in 2013, accusing Jiang of abuse and Carlson of failing to supervise Jiang despite knowing that Jiang was dangerous to children.

Jiang arrived in St. Louis in 2009 with Carlson, who was installed as archbishop that year. Originally from China, Jiang had been in Carlson’s care since he was a young seminarian. Jiang was ordained here in 2010.

Lawyers for Jiang, his accuser and the archdiocese gave opening statements Tuesday to start what could be a two-week trial in Lincoln County Circuit Court. St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer was appointed to preside over the trial after criminal charges against Jiang were dropped.

Jiang’s accuser, now 21, was in court Tuesday; the Post-Dispatch does not identify accusers in sex crime cases. Carlson, too, watched the opening statements from the courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 AM

Disgraced Ballarat Bishop Mulkearns who protected paedophiles erased from history

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Nino Bucci

Across Victoria, on buildings associated with the Catholic church, blank rectangles are appearing.

They signify the fresh removal of plaques, installed decades earlier to signify the opening of a school, church, hospital or hall.

Etched on the plaques is a name: Most Reverend R. A. Mulkearns.

Bishop Ronald Austin Mulkearns blessed almost every Catholic building opened in the Ballarat diocese between 1974 and 1996. He also supervised one of the worst periods of clerical child sexual abuse in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 AM

Treat us with humility, abuse survivors urge Church officials

ROME
Catholic Herald (UK)

by Catholic News Service
posted Tuesday, 28 Mar 2017

Prompt responses to emails and letters would be 'best practice', abuse survivor says

Acknowledging correspondence and treating victims with respect is the very least Church officials can offer, said survivors of clergy sex abuse.

Never letting a letter or email languish unanswered was such a key “best practice” of showing care and concern for victims of sexual abuse by clergy and religious that Marie Collins, an Irish survivor, stepped down from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors over the issue.

When it comes to whether an office should respond to a victim, “There’s an amazing ability to take whatever is simple” and make it sound “as if it’s highly complex,” said Declan Murphy, who was abused as an adolescent by two Christian Brothers in Dublin in the 1960s. Murphy, who was in South Korea, spoke to Catholic News Service via Skype in mid-March.

It’s a “basic courtesy” to respond, even if it is just a brief acknowledgment of receiving the letter with a general time frame of intended follow-up. “That’s the way most people work when they value and respect a person,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 AM

Alleged victim count now up to 37, latest accusers seek $10M each

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Mar 29, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The number of clergy sex abuse lawsuits rises. Today, over three dozen plaintiffs are suing the institutions they allege failed to protect minors from known pedophile priests.

They'll only be identified by their initials in an effort to protect their privacy, but they're telling all when it comes to the abuse they endured while under the watch of Father Louis Brouillard. While he's a known pedophile priest, the latest filings in the District Court of Guam provide horrific details of the sex abuse.

For 59-year-old R.M.C., he was neither an altar boy or a Boy Scout. According to his complaint, his family couldn't afford the uniform or club fee, but Brouillard allowed him to join outings with other boys from the San Isidro Catholic Church in Malojloj anyway. The complaint details occasions where the priest would share his food with the boys, then encourage them to get naked and lay in his bed. One-by-one, he'd perform sex acts on them assuring them "this is not a sin" and "if this were a sin then we would not be enjoying this."

R.M.C. says the priest would force his hands and head towards his privates, but somehow, he was able to sneak away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 AM

March 28, 2017

Tory Senate leader to take a look at Lynn Beyak’s comments on residential schools

CANADA
Toronto Star

By JORDAN PRESSThe Canadian Press
Tues., March 28, 2017

OTTAWA—The newly minted leader of the Conservatives in the Senate says he intends to take a second look at Sen. Lynn Beyak to see what, if any, actions the Tories should take over her comments on residential schools.

Beyak doubled down this week on her comments that there was “good” done in residential schools, insisting that she had no need for additional education about residential schools or indigenous culture, citing a long-standing friendship with an “aboriginal fellow” and her experiences in northern Ontario.

Beyak refused to elaborate Tuesday on the comments in a CBC interview where she described an outpouring of public support for her position.

Sen. Larry Smith, who takes over as Conservative leader on Saturday, said he plans to meet the rest of his leadership team to figure out if, among other things, Beyak should be removed from the aboriginal peoples committee, given the strong emotional reaction to Beyak’s comments inside and outside the Tory caucus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

Court date set in priest child-porn case

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Ken Stickney , kstickney@theadvertiser.com March 28, 2017

The Rev. F. David Broussard will enter a plea to child pornography charges at a 9 a.m. May 2 arraignment in District Court in St. Martin Parish.

Robert Chevalier, assistant district attorney in the 16th District Attorney’s Office, confirmed the court date Tuesday.

Broussard remains free on $25,000 bond. Chevalier said he was confident the priest, who is on administrative leave from the Diocese of Lafayette, would appear in court.

Under the conditions of his bond, Broussard was forbidden to use or possess a computer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Justice for victims bigger than Commission TORs

AUSTRALIA
Lawyers Weekly

29 March 2017 Melissa Coade

A number of recommendations have been made in the latest report to come from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse's inquiry, but some lawyers have said that law reforms must go further to make a real difference.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed the release of a new report concerning survivors of child sex abuse.

One of the latest documents to come from the royal commission is the report on redress and civil litigation. The report makes a key recommendation for all jurisdictions to remove limitation periods for child sexual abuse offences.

Dr Andrew Morrison SC, who is a spokesperson for the ALA, said the organisation considered the good work of the inquiry as an opportunity to secure justice for everyone.

He said enacting consistent reforms nationwide is the most direct way to deliver access to justice for all survivors of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

KNIGHTS OF MALTA CALLED TO CONTRIBUTE TO ORDER'S REFORM AHEAD OF CRUCIAL ELECTION OF NEW LEADER, REVEALS LETTER

ROME
The Tablet

28 March 2017 | by Christopher Lamb in Rome

The knights’ former Grand Master, Matthew Festing, has hinted at a re-election bid

Knights of Malta from across the world have been asked to help with Pope Francis’ reform of the ancient Catholic lay order ahead of a crucial gathering in Rome to elect a new leader.

But the plans for an overhaul come as the knights’ former Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, has hinted at a re-election bid, a move that sources in Rome say would throw the order on to a collision course once again with the Vatican.

Next month’s election takes place after a bruising public fallout between the order and the Holy See which led to the resignation of Festing and the appointment by the Pope of a personal delegate to assist with a “spiritual and moral” renewal of the knights.

Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, a senior official in the Secretariat of State and Francis’ point man with the 800-year-old order, has, along with the knights’ acting leader, asked all members to send proposed changes by the end of this month.

“The aim of the order’s reform, wished for by the Holy Father, is that of consolidating and prolonging its distinguished heritage of faith and of spirituality and for this reason we would like to begin a study which lays the groundwork for open and constructive dialogue,” Archbishop Becciu and Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann-Rumerstein write in their letter dated 6 March 2017 and seen by The Tablet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Francis’ clericalism of mercy is perpetuating the sex abuse scandal

UNITED STATES
Spiritual Politics

By Mark Silk

Cardinal Sean O’Malley said last week that Pope Francis is committed to ending “the scourge of sex abuse.” Doth the cardinal protest too much?

I hope not. But things are not going well on the sex abuse front in Rome.

On March 1, abuse survivor Marie Collins resigned her position on the pope’s child protection commission, citing lack of cooperation from Vatican bureaucrats. The final straw, she said, was discovering that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which has responsibility for handling cases of child abuse by priests, has refused to respond to letters from survivors.

When the head of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, sought to rebut Collins’ charges, she issued a humiliating point-by-point denunciation. The pope himself had approved the commission’s recommendation that the CDF respond to survivors’ letters.

Collins also pointed out that the CDF had declined papal instructions two years ago to establish a tribunal for disciplining bishops who have been negligent in handling abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

FEWER PRIEST ACCUSERS TO TESTIFY AT EX-OFFICIAL'S RETRIAL

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Associated Press

Updated: Mar 28, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A judge will allow "prior bad act" testimony from perhaps only one other church-abuse victim when a church official is retried on child endangerment charges.

Monsignor William Lynn is being retried after serving nearly three years of a three- to six-year sentence in a child endangerment case.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the conviction over weeks of testimony from 23 priest abuse victims not directly tied to his case.

This time, prosecutors asked to introduce complaints about nine other priests to try to show that Lynn helped the church cover up the priest-abuse problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Attorney: Sex abuse victims can hide identity

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

Victims of sexual abuse can file civil action and protect their identity, according to attorney Kevin Fowler.

The attorney, along with Washington-based law firm Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, filed two lawsuits in the Superior Court of Guam yesterday against the Archdiocese of Agana and Father Louis Brouillard.

One lawsuit was filed by an individual with the initials "M.M."

Fowler said it is the first sex-abuse suit against the Catholic Church on Guam that protects the identity of sexual abuse survivors. He said it's common for courts to protect the identity of sexual assault victims, including survivors of childhood sexual abuse, at least until trial.

"People who survived abuse should not think they have to make their names publicly known in order to seek justice," Fowler said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

'She's made a fool of herself': Senator stands by residential school comments

CANADA
CTV

Despite growing calls for her resignation, a Conservative senator who argued that Canada’s notorious residential school system had some benefits says she stands by her comments.

Sen. Lynn Beyak, a member of the Senate’s standing committee on aboriginal people, is refusing to resign. She attended a committee meeting on Tuesday, even though some members have said they now feel uncomfortable working with her on indigenous issues.

During a speech in the upper chamber earlier this month, Beyak said the government-funded residential schools, where indigenous children suffered widespread physical and sexual abuse, were not all bad. She said negative stories about the schools are overshadowing the good things they accomplished, such as raising indigenous children as Christians.

The chairwoman of the Senate committee on aboriginal people, Lillian Eva Dyck, said Tuesday she’s “stunned” that Beyak continues to stand by her comments. Beyak also said in an interview that she doesn’t need any more education on residential schools because she too has “suffered” alongside survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

OPINION Beyak perpetuates 'astonishingly insulting' narrative about residential schools: Wente

CANADA
CBC News

Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak reiterated her defence of residential schools in an interview with CBC News on Monday, saying, "I made my statements, and I stand by them."

Beyak, who had earlier said that residential schools were responsible for "good deeds," has argued there's no reason for her to step down from her position on the Senate's Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, despite suggestions from the chair that she should consider it.

"I think, if you go across Canada, there are shining examples from sea to sea of people who owe their lives to the schools," she said in her CBC interview, though she did acknowledge that the bad parts of the schools were "horrific."

Jesse Wente, an Indigenous pop culture columnist for CBC Radio's Metro Morning, spoke with host Matt Galloway on Tuesday about his reaction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Pedofilia. La commissione vaticana: le proposte di padre Zoellner

ROMA
YouTube - TV2000

Published on Mar 27, 2017

Pedofilia. Nel comunicato della Pontificia Commissione per la Protezione dei Minori, riunitasi dal 24 al 26 marzo, l'auspicio di risposte più rapide

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Abuse commission member: We asked pope to create Vatican office to train in responding to survivors

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 28, 2017

ROME A member of Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse says his group has asked the pontiff to create a new Vatican office to train the city-state's personnel in how to respond to letters from abuse survivors.

Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told the Italian Catholic channel TV2000 Monday that Vatican officials need training before they can respond to survivors.

"Many people in the Vatican do not know how to respond because they lack the psychological, theological and juridical background," said Zollner, who also leads the Pontifical Gregorian University's Center for Child Protection.

"It takes a complex set of competences and professional abilities," he said March 27. "We have asked the pope to create an office to train people who can respond, as we must, to people."

The question of how the Vatican responds to abuse survivors' letters has been raised this month following Marie Collins March 1 resignation as a member of the pontifical commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

CONVERSION OF CITY MAGDALENE LAUNDRY TO WOMEN’S REFUGE DELAYED AMID MOTHER AND BABY HOMES CONTROVERSY

IRELAND
Galway Bay FM

Galway Bay fm newsroom – The conversion of the old Magdalene Laundry at Forster Street in the city has been delayed until the outcome of the future of an investigation into mother and baby homes is determined.

Domestic Violence Outreach Worker with COPE Galway Waterside House, Jackie Carroll has given a presentation on the service to members of the City Joint Policing Committee.

It was revealed at the JPC meeting that breaches of barring, safety and protection orders have almost doubled in the Galway city garda district.

According to garda figures, rapes in the city last year increased by 38 per cent compared to the previous year, while sexual assaults were up by almost 30 per cent.

Jackie Carroll from COPE Waterside House told the meeting that there is no legal definition of domestic violence in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Publication of mother and baby homes report delayed

IRELAND
Irish Times

Marie O'Halloran

Publication of the second interim report of the commission of inquiry into mother and baby homes has been delayed because of the time required to respond appropriately to its recommendations.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone pledged earlier this month to publish the report by the end of March but she said on Tuesday that the delay was “for very good reasons”.

Ms Zappone did not give a date for publication but she expected to be able to “clarify the time frame for the Government’s deliberative process in the coming week”.

The Minister was very disappointed that she could not publish it as she planned and she was “very sensitive to the expectation of former residents and their advocates who want to see the contents of the report”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Pastor kept child porn to research Cupid, love, trafficking, affidavit says

TEXAS
Star-Telegram

BY DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR.
ramirez@star-telegram.com

An associate pastor told police he kept child pornography on his computer “to remind himself of what other people like to look at,” according to a search warrant affidavit.

James Rankin, 78, also saved about 50 images of children engaging in pornography as part of research for “a possible lesson involving Cupid, love and human trafficking seven to eight years ago,” the search affidavit stated.

But police noted that dates associated with some of the images were as recent as February, according to the affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram on Monday.

Police say they believe the images appeared to be of “home-made”quality, according to the affidavit.

Rankin was arrested Thursday after employees at Best Buy called police to report they had found what they believed was child pornography on a computer brought in for repair by the associate pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Investigation, removal of Florida priest divides parish

FLORIDA
National Catholic Reporter

Peter Feuerherd | Mar. 28, 2017

A Florida pastor in ecclesial limbo, even after being cleared by a state attorney's investigation into taking financial advantage of an elderly parishioner, is being supported by parishioners who want him reinstated.

Fr. Christopher Senk, 67, pastor of St. Isabel Parish on Sanibel Island in the Diocese of Venice, Florida, was put on paid administrative leave Oct. 28 of last year by Bishop Frank Dewane until a church investigation is completed. Senk's case is being examined by the Vatican.

A sister of Marion McIntyre accused Senk of taking advantage of a friendship which included donations of thousands of dollars through which he personally benefitted. The case was investigated by the Lee County Sheriff's office and the state attorney for two years. In April 2016 the state attorney decided not to press charges in the case.

"We had such a wonderful parish," Shirley Bohnert, a St. Isabel parishioner for the past 20 years and supporter of Senk, pastor for the past 14 years, told NCR. "There's just no joy now. Now it's just like a pall over the parish, like someone has died," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Analysis Exile, Therapy and Only Sometimes the Police: How ultra-Orthodox Jews Handle Sex Offenders

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Yair Ettinger Mar 28, 2017

The arrest Monday of 22 ultra-Orthodox suspects on sexual offenses allegedly committed over the past two years against juveniles and women comes at a time of major change in the attitude of the Haredi public regarding the handling of sexual offenses. This is reflected first of all in a new level of cooperation between the Haredim and the police, even including educational institutions affiliated with particularly insular Haredi factions.

Another change relates to intensive coverage that Haredi news websites now devote to sexual offenses, even if it doesn’t extend to Haredi print journalism. It does, however, extend to Haredi social media.

But these arrests are a reminder that the traditional method of attempting to deal with sexual offenses within the community persists. Allegedly, records concerning the sexual predators were kept by a single person – known in Haredi circles as a “fixer.” This person is said to have operated under the auspices of a Jerusalem-based body known as the “purification commission” of the community, which works in various Haredi communities.

The fixer himself is not a suspect in the case and is not under arrest. He has been in contact with the police for years and testified in many sexual-offense cases, helping police obtain convictions. But it is now alleged that he also maintained a network that would field and investigate complaints about sexual offenses, using old-world methods accepted in the Haredi world. Usually, offenders who were said to have undergone “arbitration” proceedings of various kinds within the community reportedly were forced to undergo therapy, possibly with a psychologist, or they may have been “exiled” to another city.

The newly disclosed case was uncovered almost by happenstance after the fixer’s name came up in another major case in the Haredi community involving an attempt to incriminate two couples in Ukraine in connection with a family dispute. Last week an indictment was filed in that case. While investigators cleared the fixer of suspicion in the Ukraine case, they are said to have found that he had possession of the records that led to the new investigation.

Law enforcement officials in touch with the Haredi community have spoken of their increasingly close cooperation with the community’s leadership. A year ago a closed-door conference on the subject of sexual offenses was held under the auspices of the rabbi of the police Central District. And in Jerusalem, there is a center for treatment of juvenile victims in the Haredi community that operates with the involvement of police investigators, psychologists and municipal social workers.

Sources have recounted instances in which ultra-Orthodox schools have encouraged the filing of police complaints. Even if most cases are still handled without police being notified, until a few years ago it would have been unheard of to involve law enforcement officials. And now many Haredi schools, particularly for girls, have put programs in place to address the issue of sexual offenses in the family and community.

In the case of the 22 suspects, it now appears that representatives from the purification commission in touch with the police were using a two-track system of enforcement, one of which worked within the Haredi community and the other with outside officials. The investigation of the new case is therefore expected to look into what considerations came into play in deciding to turn certain suspects over to the police while quietly dealing with others inside the community.

Was it the severity of the allegations or did it have to do with the personal standing of the alleged victims and offenders? Did it have anything to do with the nature of their ties with the rabbis and others who dealt with the case?

Eli Schlesinger, a reporter for the Behadrei Haredim ultra-Orthodox website, who has been among the most prominent reporters covering the issue, which in the past wouldn’t have been touched by the Haredi media, noted that the purification commission has been providing major assistance to the police, and over the past year provided a great deal of material related to a major sexual offense case in Modi’in Illit. It is possible, Schlesinger added, that the new case will do damage to these cooperative ties.

Avigayil Heilbronn-Karlinsky is the founder of an organization called Lo Tishtok (Thou Shalt Not Be Silent), which began as a Facebook page and was transformed into an agency that provides substantial assistance to victims of sexual offenses in the ultra-Orthodox community. Although she supports involving the police, she told Haaretz there is no single sweeping approach that always applies. “There are a lot of private entities, not just Haredi ones, that legally deal with offenses in the community and sometimes they do it better than the police, whose means are limited,” she said.

But she also said her organization does not recommend dealing with cases in the traditional manner within the community, “other than in cases in which there is no alternative because legal authorities can’t help or because the victims will under no circumstances contact the police.”

Two particularly serious cases that were dealt with inside the Haredi community and are now the subject of legal proceedings involve two senior figures at Haredi yeshivas in the greater Tel Aviv area and in Jerusalem. The two cases were initially dealt with inside the community with the involvement of senior rabbis, but in both instances efforts to enforce the decisions in the cases failed. The offenders continued to commit sexual offenses and were not being punished.

The Lo Tishtok organization exposed one of the cases. Heilbronn- Karlinsky said, “In both cases, they were people who faced the threat of being turned over to the police, but even when they continued causing harm, the private and community officials never followed through on the threat. That’s what happened until we entered the picture and took the first complainant to the police.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Orne : l’Eglise révèle une affaire de pédophilie vieille de 30 ans

FRANCE
MSN

[The Diocese of Orne/ Seez chose to announce to the public that it had received a complaint from a victim about acts of pedophilia committed by one of its priests.]

C’est suffisamment rare pour être souligné : l’Eglise révèle une affaire de prêtre pédophile. Dans un communiqué diffusé jeudi, le diocèse de Séez (Orne) dénonce des faits d’agression sexuelle commis à la fin des années 80 sur une lycéenne, mineure à l’époque.

«Au mois de février, j’ai été saisi par une personne d’une plainte concernant des agressions sexuelles commises par un prêtre du diocèse de Séez, l’abbé Daniel Prunier», écrit l’évêque Jacques Habert. Le prêtre mis en cause est un homme de 92 ans aujourd’hui, gravement malade et hospitalisé depuis plusieurs semaines. Selon Ouest-France, Mgr Habert serait allé au chevet de l’abbé Prunier qui aurait reconnu les faits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Domfront (61), agressions sexuelles sur une lycéenne par un prêtre : la victime avait parlé en 1998

FRANCE
Franceinfo

The woman who had been the victim of sexual assaults when she was a minor on the part of Father Prunier, then Domfront's priest, had revealed the facts to the former bishop in 1998.

Les instances religieuses savaient dès 1998

La victime avait contacté Monseigneur Dubigeon, alors évêque du diocèse en 1998. A l'époque, l'affaire avait été "réglée en interne". Elle n'a pas été ébruitée et les archives de l'évêché n'en font pas mention. L'évêque actuel, Mgr Habert, est allé hier à la rencontre des paroissiens de Domfront qui étaient eux-même stupéfaits de la nouvelle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Communiqué de Mgr Habert : Agression sexuelle sur mineure par un prêtre

FRANCE
Riposte Catholique

Communiqué issued by Monsignor Habert: Sexual assault on a minor by a priest Diocese de Seez.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

Pédophilie à Yaoundé: l'église catholique donne sa version

CAMEROON
Cameroon Web

[In a long communique that the editorial staff of CameroonWeb reveals in its entirety, the Saint-Jean Community reply to the accusations of pedophilia within its community.]

against which it is the object and informs that "Brother Emmanuel obviously stands at the disposal of the French and Cameroonian justice, if They consider it necessary ".

Dans un long communiqué que révèle en intégralité la rédaction de CameroonWeb, la Communauté Saint-Jean répond aux accusations de pédophilie dont elle fait l’objet et informe que « le frère Emmanuel se tient évidemment à la disposition de la justice française et camerounaise, si elles le jugent nécessaire ».

La communauté avoue qu’elle a « honte » et demande « pardon aux victimes et à leurs familles pour les agissements inadmissibles des frères incriminés et pour les dysfonctionnements de la communauté dans la gestion de ces cas dans le passé ».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Un joven seminarista acusa a padre de Coahuila de abuso sexual (VIDEO)

MEXICO
Mientras Tanto

[A young seminarian accuses a Coahuila priest of sexual abuse.]

La iglesia espera la resolución de las autoridades para saber si castiga o no al sacerdote

El padre abusó de él cuando se encontraba bajo los influjos del alcohol

En 2013, a sus 15 años de edad, el joven “José” ingresó al Seminario Diocesano de Piedras Negras, el cual era dirigido por el padre Juan Manuel Riojas, popularmente conocido como padre Meño. Tras su ingreso, fue tutelado por el sacerdote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Llaman a indagatoria al sacerdote denunciado por abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
TDFaldia

[Criminal lawyer Francisco Ibarra confirmed to Radio Fueguina that the priest Cristian Vázquez, accused of sexually abusing a minor, will be brought to probation next April 20, after the judge stated that there is sufficient evidence to suspect that the priest committed a crime.]

Será el próximo 20 de abril. Lo confirmó el abogado defensor de la joven víctima, Francisco Ibarra. "Entiendo que existen los elementos para probar que existió un abuso", sostuvo en diálogo con Radio Fueguina.

El abogado penalista Francisco Ibarra confirmó a Radio Fueguina que el sacerdote Cristian Vázquez, acusado de abusar sexualmente de menor de edad, será llevado a indagatoria el próximo 20 de abril, luego de que el Juez dispusiera que existen pruebas suficientes para sospechar que el cura cometió un delito.

“Se han realizado las medidas probatorias que se habían pedido y el señor Juez ha dispuesto la indagatoria para el mes que viene (20 de abril)”, explicó Ibarra, quien además señaló que existe “un cúmulo de pruebas y de declaraciones testimoniales que han sido corroboradas” y luego una Cámara Gesel “terminó de acreditar esto”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Lawsuit accuses archdiocese of squandering money from cemetery fund

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Two Orange County residents are suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, alleging that a Mission Hills cemetery has misused maintenance funds and left their family's gravesites in ruins.

Jodi Howard and William Howard, whose relatives are buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, filed the class-action suit March 21 after they had difficulty finding the grave markers of their loved ones.

They allege breach of contract, negligence and fraud by concealment.

Along with what they claim is the generally poor state of the cemetery grounds, the plaintiffs said grave markers were either missing, damaged or covered in overgrown weeds during their repeated visits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Vatikan-Antwort für Missbrauchsopfer: „Zeitnah, persönlich“

ROM
Radio Vatikan

[Vatican officials are not answering letters from abuse survivors.]

Die Päpstliche Kinderschutzkommission hat vorgeschlagen, dass an den Vatikan gerichtete Briefe von Missbrauchsopfern zeitnah beantwortet werden sollten. Dies geht aus der Erklärung der Kommission zu deren jüngster Plenarsitzung hervor. Was das genau bedeuten kann und wie die bisherige Praxis dazu aussieht, darüber hat Radio Vatikan mit dem Jesuiten Pater Hans Zollner gesprochen. Er ist Leiter des Kinderschutzzentrums an der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana und Mitglied der Päpstlichen Kinderschutzkommission.

Das ganze Interview hören Sie über das Anklicken des Lautsprechersymbols oben links.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Vatikan: Kinderschutzkommission fordert Mitgefühl

VATIKAN
religion@orf

[The pontifical commission for dealing with abuse has called on the Vatican to have more sympathy with victims of abuse in the Catholic church.]

Die päpstliche Kommission zur Aufarbeitung von Missbrauchsfällen hat den Vatikan zu mehr Mitgefühl mit Missbrauchsopfern in der katholischen Kirche aufgerufen.

Es sei wichtig, dass Briefe der Betroffenen an den Vatikan „zeitnah“ und „persönlich“ beantwortet würden, erklärte das Gremium am Montag. Dies könne zu „weiterer Transparenz und Heilung“ beitragen. Um diese Vorgaben umzusetzen, seien „spezifische Ressourcen und Prozeduren“ erforderlich.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Bistümer starten Aufruf an mögliche Opfer sexualisierter Gewalt des ehemaligen Jesuiten Peter R.

DEUTSCHLAND
Jesuiten

[Berlin / Hildesheim - The bishopric of Hildesheim and the Archdiocese of Berlin have today launched calls for possible victims in connection with allegations of sexual abuse by the former Jesuit riest Peter R.. The Jesuit priest, ordained priest in 1971 in Berlin, worked as a teacher and youth worker at the Canisius College in Berlin from 1972 to 1981. He was then employed in the Bishopric of Hildesheim from 1982 to 1989, initially as a dean of youth welfare in Göttingen, and then from 1989 to 1997 in the municipality of Guter Hirt in Hildesheim, from 1997 to 1998 in the municipality of St. Christophorus in Wolfsburg and from 1999 to 2003 In the municipality of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Hanover. In 1995, he was released from the Jesuit Order and transferred to the Bishopric of Hildesheim as a priest.]

Berlin/Hildesheim - In Bezug auf Vorwürfe des sexuellen Missbrauchs durch den ehemaligen Jesuitenpater Peter R. haben das Bistum Hildesheim und das Erzbistum Berlin heute Aufrufe an mögliche Opfer gestartet. Der 1971 in Berlin zum Priester geweihte ehemalige Jesuitenpater war zunächst von 1972 bis 1981 am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin als Lehrer und in der Jugendarbeit tätig. Er war dann ab 1982 im Bistum Hildesheim tätig, zunächst von 1982 bis 1989 als Dekanatsjugendseelsorger in Göttingen und anschließend von 1989 bis 1997 in der Gemeinde Guter Hirt in Hildesheim, von 1997 bis 1998 in der Gemeinde St. Christophorus in Wolfsburg und von 1999 bis 2003 in der Gemeinde St. Maximilian Kolbe in Hannover. 1995 wurde er aus dem Jesuitenorden entlassen und wechselte als Priester ins Bistum Hildesheim. Er war von zahlreichen Personen beschuldigt worden, sie als Minderjährige in den Jahren von 1970-1988 sexuell missbraucht zu haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Lawmakers eliminating time-frame protection for child sex offenders

ILLINOIS
Columbia Chronicle

Eric Bradach, Metro Editor

Those who suffered sexual abuse and assault as children decades ago may soon be able to obtain justice by having their victimizers prosecuted.

State Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, introduced Senate Bill 189 in January, which would eliminate the statute of limitations for all felony child abuse and sexual assault crimes. It already passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee, of which Bennett is a member, with a 10-0 vote March 7 and is now awaiting a full Senate vote, according to Illinois legislative records.

“What this does is say, ‘This shouldn’t be so complicated,’” Bennett said. “If a child has been sexually assaulted, the timeline should be up to that survivor to come forward, not some arbitrary time deadline.”

As a former assistant state’s attorney in Champaign County, Bennett said he primarily worked on cases of child sexual abuse and assault, and his experiences were a motivator in drafting the bill. The statute of limitations on these crimes can cause victims to hesitate coming forward, he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Advocates Try Again To Extend The Time Victims Have To Report Sexual Abuse

CONNECTICUT
CT News Junkie

by Jack Kramer | Mar 27, 2017

HARTFORD, CT - A proposal to extend the amount of time adult victims of a sexual assault have to report the crime was the subject of an emotional Judiciary Committee public hearing last week.

Victims, and advocates for victims, told committee members at the hearing Friday that the additional time is needed because it sometimes takes years for victims to find the courage to come forward.

Some, such as the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, argued there should be no time limit to report sexual assaults, noting that more than 20 states across the country already have laws in place either allowing victims 10 years or more to report crimes, and some, no time period whatsoever.

But some committee members, while sympathetic to the victims, voiced concerns over whether extending the time period, past the current five-year time period, would prove to be too costly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Lock ‘em Up: Philly D.A. Who Put Innocent Priests in Prison Now Indicted On 23 Counts of Bribery and Corruption

PENNSYLVANIA
TheMediaReport

Inasmuch as Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has been engaged in a years-long, Moby Dick-like obsession to throw innocent Catholic priests in prison, there was a sense of poetic justice when federal prosecutors indicted Williams last week on numerous charges of using his influence in exchange for opulent gifts, trips, and cash.

[**Click to read the federal indictment against Philly DA Seth Williams (pdf)**]

According to the indictment, Williams "solicited, accepted, and agreed to accept" gifts including round-trip trips to the Dominican Republic, Las Vegas, California, and Florida; Luis Vuitton clothing; a Jaguar XK8 convertible; thousands in cash, and more. And if this were not enough, Williams also stole money from his own adoptive mother.

Back in 2011, Williams orchestrated a grand jury to issue a report which made international headlines with its claims that numerous priests from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia committed sex abuse. Years later, however, we now know that Williams' grand jury report was completely bogus, and it destroyed the lives of numerous innocent men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Upstate mom says WoFF severed relationship with daughter

SOUTH CAROLINA
WSPA

[with video]

By Brianna Smith
Published: March 27, 2017

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – An Upstate mother spoke with 7 News about the effects of Word of Faith Fellowship Church on her relationship with her daughter.

The Associated Press released a series of articles outlining abuse allegations from former members of the church.

Constance Hardin says her daughter, Cherish Santos, joined Word of Faith Fellowship 6 years ago.

Hardin states that at first she was allowed to visit Santos, but the longer she was in the church, the more she says Santos pushed away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Lynn Beyak Won't Step Down From Senate Committee On Aboriginal Peoples

CANADA
Huffington Post

By Emma Paling

A Conservative senator who was criticized for praising “some good things,” about residential schools will not step down from the Senate committee on aboriginal peoples.

“I’ve made my statements and I stand by them,” Lynn Beyak told CBC News on Monday.

She said she’s received “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of letters of support since saying that the positive side of residential schools went unacknowledged.

"I've suffered with them up there," Beyak said of residential school survivors in her northwestern Ontario riding. "I appreciate their suffering more than they'll ever know."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Editorial | Support for sexually abused a phone call away

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

At first glance, a 200 percent increase in the number of adult male victims of childhood sexual assault seeking help from Victim Services Inc. within the past year is alarming.

But put into perspective, the time frame roughly follows the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s release of a grand jury report detailing an alleged decades-long cover-up of child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Are the two related? Mike Oliver, executive director of Victim Services, said there was “no way to gauge” because “that’s not a question that we ask (clients).”

However, the high-profile case and news coverage it received could have been the impetus for more victims to come forward, Oliver told reporter Dave Sutor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Message in a bottle: Letters need humble response, say abuse survivors

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
3.27.2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Acknowledging correspondence and treating victims with respect is the very least church officials can offer, said survivors of clergy sex abuse.

Never letting a letter or email languish unanswered was such a key "best practice" of showing care and concern for victims of sexual abuse by clergy and religious that Marie Collins, an Irish survivor, stepped down from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors over the issue.

When it comes to whether an office should respond to a victim, "There's an amazing ability to take whatever is simple" and make it sound "as if it's highly complex," said Declan Murphy, who was abused as an adolescent by two Christian Brothers in Dublin in the 1960s. Murphy, who was in South Korea, spoke to Catholic News Service via Skype in mid-March.

It's a "basic courtesy" to respond, even if it is just a brief acknowledgment of receiving the letter with a general time frame of intended follow-up. "That's the way most people work when they value and respect a person," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Two more church sex abuse accusers brings total to 35

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Mar 28, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The number of plaintiffs suing for clergy sex abuse rises. Today, two more victims file suit in the Superior Court of Guam. Today's fillings mark the 34th and 35th victims to surface since Guam law was changed to lift the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases.

Like the others, he alleges he was a victim of child sex abuse at the hands of a clergy member.

Only listed by his initials M.M., the 56-year-old alleges he was abused by priest and Boy Scout troop leader Father Louis Brouillard when he was around 10-years-old. The complaint, which was filed in the Superior Court of Guam on Tuesday, alleges Brouillard would drive around the Malojojo village on Saturday nights, picking up M.M. and other altar boys to serve mass the next morning - or at least that's what the priest told parents.

According to the complaint filed against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council, M.M. was subject to fondling, masturbation, and oral sex in the Church and rectory. The abuse wasn't limited to church grounds as M.M. alleges on Boy Scout outings, he was subject to having his genitals fondled in order to earn merit badges, such as swimming and water rescue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

EX-CHURCH OFFICIAL DUE IN COURT AS LAWYERS PLAN FOR RETRIAL

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A longtime Philadelphia church official is due back in court as lawyers debate how many church abuse victims should testify at his retrial.

Monsignor William Lynn is being retried after serving nearly three years of a three- to six-year sentence in a child endangerment case.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the conviction over weeks of testimony from priest abuse victims not directly tied to his case.

The new trial judge will ask prosecutors Tuesday to call fewer than a dozen victims, down from 23 at the first trial.

Lynn is accused of endangering an altar boy who says he was assaulted by a priest in 1998.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 AM

2 sex-abuse cases filed, one victim's name kept confidential

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

By Mindy Aguon | For the Guam Daily Post

Victims of sexual abuse can file civil action and protect their identity, according to attorney Kevin Fowler.

The attorney filed two lawsuits in the Superior Court today against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and Father Louis Brouillard. One lawsuit was filed by an individual with the initials “M.M.”.

Fowler said it is the first suit that protects the identity of sexual abuse survivors. He said it is common for courts to protect the identity of sexual assault victims, including survivors of childhood sexual abuse, at least until trial. “People who survived abuse should not think they have to make their names publicly known in order to seek justice,” Fowler said.

The lawsuit filed by “M.M.” alleges that Brouillard, a former priest at San Isidro Parish in Malojloj and a Boy Scout Master on Guam, sexually abused him for approximately five years during overnight stays beginning when he was 9 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 AM

2 more clergy abuse suits filed

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com March 28, 2017

Two former altar boys allege former Catholic priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused them multiple times on parish grounds and during Boy Scouts of America activities starting when they were only about 9 years old.

Lawsuits filed by “M.M.”, now 56, and John Cruz, now 55, bring to 35 the Guam clergy sexual abuse cases filed thus far in local and federal court.

The first complaint identifies the plaintiff only as “M.M.," this is the first Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit that protects a plaintiff’s identity. M.M. lives in Washington state. Cruz lives in Agat.

The men filed their lawsuits in the Superior Court of Guam against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America Tuesday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 AM

March 27, 2017

Assignment Record– Msgr. Wallace A. Harris

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Wallace A. Harris was ordained for the Archdiocese of New York in 1972. He assisted at St. Joseph of the Holy Family for more than a decade and, from the late 1970s through the 1980s, was on the faculty of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary. In 1990 Harris was named pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Harlem, where he remained for nearly twenty years. In addition, he was administrator for several years of two other parishes in the 2000s - St. Peter's, and Resurrection in Harlem.

Through the years, Harris rose to prominence in the archdiocese. He held the position of Spiritual Advisor for the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, served on the Archdiocesan Priests Council, and was an Archdiocesan Consultor. In 2009 he was elevated to Monsignor. He was selected in 2002 to testify before the USCCB's National Review Board; Harris told the board that clergy sex abuse was a problem, but that too many innocent priests were being accused. In March 2008 Msgr. Harris gave the invocation for the new governor's inauguration and the following month he organized Pope Benedict XVI's mass at Yankee Stadium.

In June 2008 a man alleged that, when he was a 13- or 14-year-old Cathedral Prep student, Harris sexually abused him. The D.A. investigated and discovered another former Cathedral Prep student with allegations against Harris. Harris was suspended in late July. Soon thereafter a third man came forward, saying Harris sexually abused him when he was 13 to 16 years-old. This accuser said he was Harris' godson, and had been his student at St. Joseph's parish and Cathedral Prep. By September 2010 seven additional men had come forward. Harris denied the allegations. He was not criminally charged due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

In 2012 Harris was sentenced by the Vatican to "a life of prayer and penance." Per the archdiocese, he was living under "very, very close supervision" in a Catholic facility.

Ordained: 1972

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 PM

Senator Lynn Beyak says she has 'suffered' with residential school survivors

CANADA
CBC News

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Mar 27, 2017

Senator Lynn Beyak says she doesn't need any more education about the horrors of the residential school system because she "suffered" alongside Indigenous people who were sent to the institutions.

The Conservative senator from northwestern Ontario reiterated her defence of the schools in an interview with CBC News on Monday.

"I made my statements, and I stand by them," she said. "I think, if you go across Canada, there are shining examples from sea to sea of people who owe their lives to the schools," she said, while acknowledging that the bad parts of the schools were "horrific."

"I've suffered with them up there. I appreciate their suffering more than they'll ever know," she said. "The best way to heal is to move forward together. Not to blame, not to point fingers, not to live in the past."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 PM

Respond to clerical abuse victims, Vatican told

ROME
The Times (UK)

Ellen Coyne
March 28 2017
The Times

The Catholic church’s commission on child safety has called on the Vatican to react “directly and compassionately” to letters from victims of clerical sex abuse after concerns were raised by Marie Collins.

Ms Collins, who was abused by a Dublin hospital chaplain when she was 13, was one of two victims on the 16-person Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. She resigned because a separate Vatican body was not responding to letters from victims and had refused to co-operate with the establishment of a tribunal into alleged abuse, which was announced by the Pope and promised significant resources in 2015. The tribunal has since been scrapped.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican body that oversees the theology of the church, had claimed that letters from victims were being deferred to local pastors and that the tribunal had only ever been a “blueprint”.

Last weekend the child safety commission held its first meeting since Ms Collins resigned. In a statement issued yesterday it emphasised the importance of writing back to victims. “The commission discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See. Members agreed that acknowledging correspondence and giving a timely and personal response is one part of furthering transparency and healing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 PM

Missouri civil trial to begin in clergy abuse case

MISSOURI
LMT Online

TROY, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson is accused in a lawsuit of mishandling the case of a priest once charged with molesting a teenager.

The lawsuit filed in 2013 alleges that Carlson knew the Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang was a danger to children before Jiang was charged with sexual misconduct involving the then-16-year-old girl in 2012. Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015. Jury selection began Monday.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Elizabeth Westhoff said in an email Monday that the archdiocese "has steadfastly denied these allegations since they were first raised and intends to defend itself in court."

According to the lawsuit, the girl told police that Jiang, then an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, had molested her at her home in Old Monroe, Missouri, about 40 miles northwest of St. Louis. The suit also alleged that a witness saw Jiang kissing the girl on the mouth and touching her inappropriately "in the parking lot of the church rectory."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Pope’s sex abuse panel to carry on its work without victims — for now

ROME
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

ROME (RNS) Pope Francis’ sex abuse panel has pledged to continue its work minus the two sex abuse victims who were appointed to help overhaul the Catholic Church’s response to the scandal.

Irish abuse survivor — a term many prefer to be known by — Marie Collins recently resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. British abuse survivor Peter Saunders stepped down from the commission a year ago and has called for more urgent action to tackle perpetrators of these “vile crimes.”

But a commission statement vowed that victims of clerical abuse should have a voice in the future.

“Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors,” read a statement released after concluding a meeting in Rome on Sunday (March 26).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Complaint against priest for misbehaving with girl in Kerala

INDIA
The New Indian Express

KALPETTA: At a time when the Church is struggling to get out of a sticky situation after a sexual abuse complaint surfaced against a priest in Kottiyoor, Kannur, comes the allegation from a girl saying a priest misbehaved with her at the Chundakkara church in Wayanad.

The police have launched a detailed probe based on the girl’s complaint.

She revealed the details to the child protection unit.

“We have received a complaint against the priest identified as Jino Mekkat. Our team is probing the matter,” confirmed Wayanad SP Rajpal Meena.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Panel tells Vatican to react 'directly and compassionately' to sex abuse victims

VATICAN CITY
The Local

AFP

27 March 2017

A panel advising Pope Francis on child protection has called on the Vatican to react "directly and compassionately" to letters from victims of clerical sex abuse, reviving an issue that unleashed a storm just weeks ago.

The Pontifical Commission on the Protection of Minors made the recommendation after a weekend meeting.

It was the panel's first meeting since Marie Collins, an Irish survivor of abuse, angrily quit after a similar request was turned down.

"The Commission discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See," the panel said in a statement issued on Monday.

"Members agreed that acknowledging correspondence and giving a timely and personal response is one part of furthering transparency and healing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Child protection commission seeks new ways to be informed by victims

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service
3.27.2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Following the resignation of a prominent member and abuse survivor, a pontifical commission charged with addressing issues related to clergy sex abuse vowed to continue to seek input from victims and survivors.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said the resignation of Marie Collins was a "central topic" of its March 24-26 plenary assembly, and it "expressed strong support for her continuing work" to promote healing for abuse victims and ensuring best practices for prevention.

"Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors. Several ideas that have been successfully implemented elsewhere are being carefully considered for recommendation to the Holy Father," the commission said in a March 26 statement published by the Vatican.

Among the main concerns addressed by the commission was outreach out to victims, an issue first raised by Collins shortly after she resigned from her position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Court rules victims of Brendan Smyth entitled to full hearing for damages

IRELAND
RTE News

The Supreme Court has ruled that three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are entitled to a full hearing of their claim for damages in the High Court.

The three had appealed a previous ruling that they were bound by the settlement of cases they had taken in Northern Ireland.

The man, his sister and their cousin - were sexually abused as children by Smyth between 1969 and 1988.

In the late 1990s, they settled actions in the Belfast High Court for £25,000 each for the man and the cousin and £16,000 for the sister.

They say they learned from newspapers in 2012, that the Catholic Church authorities had been informed of Smyth's abuse as far back as 1975, by another boy. The same boy had also said the man in this case had been away on a holiday with Smyth where abuse occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Republic's highest court rules in favour of Brendan Smyth victims in damages case

IRELAND
The Irish News

A court in the Republic has said three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are entitled to a full hearing of a claim for damages.

The Supreme Court ruling came after the victims appealed a decision that they were bound by settlements of cases taken in the north.

The appeal was brought by a brother and sister and their cousin who were abused between 1969 and 1988.

In the late 1990s, the three settled actions at the High Court in Belfast.

They say they later learned through the media that the Catholic Church was aware of Smyth’s abuse in 1975 and launched fresh proceedings against Bishop Leo O'Reilly and Cardinal Sean Brady.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth to get new court hearing

IRELAND
Irish Times

Three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are entitled to a full hearing of their claim for damages in the High Court despite previous rulings that they were bound by settlements of cases taken by them in Northern Ireland, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The three — a man and his sister and their cousin — were sexually abused as children by the since deceased Smyth between 1969 and 1988.

In the late 1990s, they settled actions in the Belfast High Court for £25,000 each for the man and the cousin and £16,000 for the sister.

They say in 2012, they learned from newspapers that as far back as 1975 the Catholic Church authorities had been informed of Smyth’s abuse by another boy who had also named the man in this case as having been away on holiday with Smyth where abuse occurred.

As a result, they brought new proceedings in the Republic here claiming, among other things, that they had suffered a recurrence of trauma as a result of the publication of that information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

French TV inquiry accuses 25 bishops of abuse cover-ups

FRANCE
National Catholic Reporter

[Pédophilie dans l'Eglise : le poids du silence - Cash Investigation (Intégrale) - YouTube]

Tom Heneghan | Mar. 27, 2017

PARIS A hard-hitting French television investigation has accused 25 Catholic bishops of protecting 32 accused clerical sex abusers in France over the past half century and often transferring them to other parishes or even other countries when they were singled out for sexual abuse of minors.

The French bishops' conference declined an invitation to participate in the France 2 television program aired March 21. A conference spokesman accused journalists of trying to blackmail the church, an allegation the program's editor vigorously refuted.

Mediapart, an online journal that cooperated in the investigation, called the resulting report "a French Spotlight," a reference to The Boston Globe team that in 2002 reported on sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese. The yearlong French inquiry was also published March 22 as a book titled Church: The Mechanism of Silence.

The controversy over the program, titled "Pedophilia in the Church: The Burden of Silence," came as the bishops' conference struggles to demonstrate its concern for abuse victims while details of past negligence keep emerging.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

IRELAND’S “HOMES” RECONSIDERED

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue

We have become so accustomed to boilerplate accounts of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes that even the most absurd accusations leave us numb. This is wrong. Indeed, it is dangerous. It is also born of blind hatred of all things Catholic.

Those who are making wild-eyed accusations consider themselves tolerant and open-minded, yet they are anything but. Like all hard-core ideologues, their minds have been made up: they are both judge and jury, and their sentence has been delivered.

Some of us, however, are still persuaded by evidence, data, logic, and reason, and do not allow emotion to dictate our thinking. This surely includes many who have contacted me from Ireland. One of them recently sent a very sober and well-researched article written by an anonymous orphan from Galway. It debunks many myths about Irish nuns, and recounts some harsh realities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Bnei Brak, Israel - Dozens Of Orthodox Men Arrested For Sex Crimes In Jerusalem, Bet Shemesh

ISRAEL
Voz Iz Neias (US)

[with video]

Jerusalem - Twenty two ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Jews were arrested Monday and charged with sexually assaulting minors and women. The individuals, who were not named, are all between the ages of 20-60 and are residents of Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, Beit Shemesh and Bnei Brak.

Police spokespeople said the arrests were made as part of an ongoing investigation into widespread sex crimes in haredi communities, and that the individuals arrested are suspected of committing crimes over a period of two years.

The police posted below video depicting the arrests on social media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Israel Police Arrest 22 ultra-Orthodox Jews for Sex Crimes Against Minors and Women

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Nir Hasson and Yair Ettinger Mar 27, 2017

The police arrested 22 Haredim in Jerusalem and three other Israeli cities on Monday morning, on suspicion of sexually molesting minors and women over the last two years.

In some cases, ultra-Orthodox residents in the four cities – Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Betar Ilit and Bnei Brak – attacked the police, throwing stones and other items, and tried to block the arrests. In Jerusalem, the windows of two police cars were shattered by rocks.

The investigation by the police’s Jerusalem District began after they received information that ultra-Orthodox elements were concealing information on sex crimes in their community.

These Haredim allegedly received their rabbis’ blessing to seek and collect information on sexual predators in the community, without involving the police. They did so, even maintaining written records of attacks and the people involved. At the end of the process, the perpetrators were forced to agree to undergo therapy within the ultra-Orthodox world.

During their investigation, the police seized the notebooks in which the records were kept. Tens of alleged attackers were documented, some of whom had committed serial offenses, including against children, the police said.

Based on this information, the police arrested 22 suspects, ages 20 to 60. Each is alleged to have committed several attacks over the last two years.

Following the arrests, the police said that the ultra-Orthodox community had been handling the matter internally, collecting information and conducting some form of internal procedure, culminating in a sort of punishment.

The upshot, the statement said, was that the suspects could continue to live their lives without paying a penalty, and dozens of victims were left without help. The police added they will make sure that those arrested are brought to trial.

The records on the alleged sexual predators were kept by a single person – known in ultra-Orthodox circles as a “fixer.” This person operates under the imprimatur of a Jerusalem-based body known as the “purification commission” of the community, which operates in different Haredi communities (including the Hasidic and “Lithuanian” sects).

The fixer himself is not a suspect in the case and is not under arrest. He has been in contact with the police for years and testified in many sexual-offense cases, helping the police to achieve convictions. However, it has only become apparent now that he was maintaining a network that would field and investigate complaints about sexual offenses, using old-world methods accepted in the Haredi world.

Usually, offenders “tried” within Haredi circles are forced to undergo therapy, possibly with a psychologist, or might be “exiled” to another city.

The present affair arrives with the Haredi community in the midst of a changing attitude toward sex crimes. This is expressed chiefly by extensive collaboration with the police – even by the more extreme sects.

Another change is the intensive media coverage such cases receive on ultra-Orthodox news sites – though still not in the printed press – and in online forums.

Eli Schlesinger, a reporter for the Behadrey Haredim website, which is notable for its coverage of matters that were once silenced, noted that the purification commission is very helpful to the police and provided officers with information about alleged sexual offenses in Modi’in Ilit last year.

Cooperation with the police is based on the rabbis having faith in the process, Schlesinger said – a faith that might be damaged by the present investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:49 AM

Orthodox Jews need protection

UNITED STATES
The JC

Jennifer Lipman
February 17, 2017

Last week’s JC reported that the Orthodox schools establishment had responded positively to the call to place relationships teaching on the curriculum. Judith Nemeth, executive director of the National Association of Orthox Jewish Schools was quoted as saying that compulsory relationships education was “good news for all”.

But how far will this go within Strictly Orthodox circles? Entrenched attitudes and beliefs — among parents as well as teachers — cannot be merely swept aside. And there is no area in which attitudes are more entrenched than that of sex education.

In Deborah Feldman’s memoir of her life as a Satmar Chasid, Unorthodox, one scene is not for the squeamish. A friend tells Deborah how her new husband managed to rupture her colon in a painful attempt to consummate the marriage. As an example of what happens without adequate sex education, it couldn’t be bleaker.

Even if that’s an extreme case, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that some strictly Orthodox Jews are being brought up without full understanding of the complexities of sexuality and modern relationships or, at best, an understanding only within narrow religious parameters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Israeli police arrest 22 Charedi men suspected of sexual abuse

ISRAEL
Jewish News

Officers pelted with projectiles and their vehicle windows are smashed, as they detain residents of Orthodox neighbourhoods

March 27, 2017

Israeli police were pelted with rocks with strictly Orthodox Jews across four cities in the early hours of Monday morning as they arrested 22 Charedi men suspected of sex crimes against women and children.

The men, who were being sheltered by their various religious communities, were arrested in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Betar Illit and Bnei Brak, as residents seeking to prevent the arrests turned on police, hurling projectiles at officers and smashing the windscreens of police vehicles.

The 22 arrested men are aged 20-60 year and in some cases were identified two years ago, but Israel’s tight-knit Orthodox communities have sheltered them from the law. Police say they believe Charedi leaders have also helped conceal their crimes.

According to reports in Israeli media, the police investigation revealed that the Charedi communities were dealing with the alleged sex crimes internally, with religious leaders ordering the perpetrators to get therapy within the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

22 ultra-Orthodox men arrested for sex assaults on women, minors

ISRAEL
Times of Israel

BY STUART WINER March 27, 2017

Police on Monday arrested 22 suspects from ultra-Orthodox communities on suspicion they carried out dozens of sex crimes against women and minors over the past two years, but were sheltered from the law by community figures who preferred to deal with the matter in their own way.

Investigators believe that various senior ultra-Orthodox leaders were aware of the suspects’ alleged crimes but did not report them to police or welfare workers, police said.

The early-morning arrests of men aged 20-60 were made in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, and Bnei Brak, cities with large ultra-Orthodox communities.

As police closed in on the suspects, ultra-Orthodox protesters tried to prevent the arrests by attacking officers and throwing stones at police vehicles, some of which were damaged.

Police suspect that the alleged crimes were not reported at the behest of so-called “modesty guards,” vigilante groups that act to enforce the ultra-Orthodox community’s strict lifestyle regulations of modesty and social behavior without the involvement of law officials or welfare authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Family sues Archdiocese for failure to remove accused priest

MISSOURI
Fox 2

[with video]

TROY, MO (KTVI)- Jury selection is set today in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Louis. According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the family of a teenage girl claims Archbishop Robert Carlson failed to discipline Father Joseph Jiang, who was charged at the time with molesting the girl in 2012.

Prosecutors later dropped the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Missouri Civil Trial to Begin in Clergy Abuse Case

MISSOURI
U.S. News

TROY, Mo. (AP) — A trial is set to get underway near St. Louis over allegations by a young woman and her family that St. Louis' archbishop mishandled the case of a priest once charged with molesting her as a teenager.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2o0nyta ) reports that jury selection was scheduled for Monday in Lincoln County. The 2013 lawsuit alleges Archbishop Robert Carlson knew the Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang was a danger to children before Jiang was charged with sexual misconduct involving the young woman in 2012, when she was 16.

Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Civil trial alleging St. Louis archbishop knew priest was dangerous to begin in Lincoln County

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joel Currier St. Louis Post-Dispatch

TROY, MO. • Jury selection is set for Monday in a civil trial in which a Lincoln County teenager and her family have accused St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson of knowing a priest was a danger to children before the cleric was charged with molesting the teen in 2012.

Jurors will be selected Monday from a pool of about 110 Lincoln County residents, with opening statements set to follow in the trial presided over by St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer.

The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by the girl’s parents against Carlson and the Archdiocese of St. Louis after she told police the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, then an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End, had molested her at her home in Old Monroe. Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015.

The alleged victim was 16 at the time of the alleged abuse. Jiang was in his late 20s. Charges of child endangerment and witness tampering that accused Jiang of leaving a $20,000 check and an apology on a family’s car as hush money were dismissed in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Criticisms of the Vatican’s sexual abuse commission need to be taken seriously, not written off as clichés

UNITED STATES
America

The Editors

The presence of Marie Collins on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors seemed to guarantee both the commission’s seriousness and its effectiveness. Many believed that Ms. Collins, an outspoken survivor of clergy sexual abuse, would not allow the Vatican to ignore the urgent need to combat sex abuse and provide adequate protection for minors. That is why her resignation from the commission on March 1 was such a blow. In a letter published in The National Catholic Reporter on March 14, Ms. Collins said that “lack of resources, inadequate structures around support staff, slowness of forward movement and cultural resistance” made the commission’s work nearly impossible. In a later interview with America, she pointed to the resistance from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to adhere to Pope Francis’ instruction that Vatican departments should acknowledge every letter received from victims of abuse.

That prompted a response by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the C.D.F., dismissing Ms. Collins’s concern as fostering a “cliché” that pitted the Roman Curia against Pope Francis, and saying that “local shepherds” are better suited to respond to letters from abuse victims. That, in turn, led to an extraordinary statement from Ms. Collins rebutting his account and even correcting the cardinal’s statement that he had never met her. Overall, she said, “I would ask that instead of falling back into the church's default position of denial and obfuscation, when a criticism like mine is raised the people of the church deserve to be given a proper explanation. We are entitled to transparency, honesty and clarity.” Especially in the area of sexual abuse, where the church ignored and minimized reports for decades, the need for transparency must be evaluated from the perspective of the victims of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Child abusers ‘mainly clergy,’ victims ‘boys aged 10 — 14’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

March 27, 2017

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The perpetrators of institutional child abuse across Australia have been overwhelmingly adult men, most commonly members of the clergy and their victims most like to be boys aged between 10-14, a royal commission has heard.

The opening morning of the 57th and final public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard over a third of child victims reported abuse that went on for over a year.

Thirty six per cent of the more than 6500 victims who have given evidence in private to the commissioners said they had been abused by multiple perpetrators, the commission heard.

“The majority of perpetrators were adult males, that is nearly 94 of child abuse victims reported abuse by a male perpetrator,” counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC said.

“The positions held by adult perpetrators within institutions most commonly reported were members of the clergy — that is 32 per cent, teachers — that is 21 per cent and residential care works — that is 13 per cent,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Royal commission into sexual abuse: Issue of redress must be a priority, commissioner says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Victims have waited too long for a response to their suffering and protection of children should be a top priority in Australia, says the chair of the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

After three-and-a-half years with sessions in every capital city, the final public hearing has begun in Sydney.

Chair of the commission, Justice Peter McClellan, said it was remarkable there were failures at more than 4,000 institutions identified in abuse allegations.

He said more than 1,200 witnesses gave evidence about abuse that occurred at "public and private schools, detention centres, out-of-home care, churches, orphanages and government bodies".

"We have also inquired into defence establishments, sporting clubs, after-school care, dance and performing arts academies, institutions providing services for children with disability, scouts, healthcare providers and a yoga ashram."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

'Survivors have waited too long': 4000 institutions named in sex abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Thousands of institutions have been implicated in allegations of child sexual abuse, according to new data released by a royal commission.

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commences its final public hearing, chairman Justice Peter McClellan has urged child protection reform and proper redress for victims.

The $500 million inquiry is Australia's longest royal commission, starting in 2013 and due to finish with a final report to the federal government in December.

In his opening remarks to the hearing, Justice McClellan said governments and institutions needed to focus on redress and regulatory changes, "designed to ensure that so far as possible no child is abused in an institutional context in the future".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Magdalene Laundries: Dodging liability is still the name of the game

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, March 27, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Despite the many pronouncements on the Magdalene Laundries, the State is hugely concerned at the payout it may have to make, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.

FEW people will forget the apology offered by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in February of 2013 on behalf of the State to the women who suffered in the Magdalene Laundries.

He spoke of a “nation’s shame” and of women taking the country’s terrible secret and making it their own.

“But from this moment on you need carry it no more. Because today we take it back. Today we acknowledge the role of the State in your ordeal,” he said.

However, less than two years earlier in June 2011, many members of his Cabinet were determined to distance the State as far as possible from any liability.

A series of cabinet observations on a Department of Justice memorandum for Government seeking permission for the establishment of what eventually became the McAleese Committee reveal a Cabinet concerned about three things — not conceding on the issue of that State liability, calls for further inquiries into issues like Mother and Baby Homes and foster care settings and avoiding a redress bill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Ministers raised fears of Magdalene redress cost in 2011

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, March 27, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Concerns were expressed at Cabinet in 2011 that, if there was an inquiry into Magdalene laundries, it could lead to calls for inquiries into abuses in mother and baby homes, psychiatric institutions, and foster care settings.

The concerns are in a memorandum for Government seeking permission to establish what became the McAleese committee.

Some six years later, Ireland’s mother and baby home system and the treatment of more than 40 vulnerable adults in a foster care setting are now the subject of State inquiries.

The document from June 2011, obtained by the Irish Examiner, reveals that a key issue for government and the attorney general was that the move could lead to pressure for further inquiries and for redress.

It is also repeatedly stressed that the State was not liable for any women who suffered in Magdalene laundries.

The observations of the then Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn state that, although he is supportive of the approach outlined in the memorandum, “there may be demands for enquiries [sic] into other situations”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Life in a Magdalene laundry: Haunting images show children raised in cruel orphanages around the world 'as punishment for their mothers' sins'

IRELAND
Daily Mail (UK)

By Kelly Mclaughlin For Mailonline

Eerie photos from Magdalene Laundries around the world show children eating dinner as nuns watch over them and young women working on heavy equipment.

The images give an insight into life inside the laundries, which were places for women branded 'undesirable' by the church and orphaned children, where untold horrors are said to have taken place.

The establishments were set-up to house 'fallen women', a term that was used to imply female sexual promiscuity, when in reality they were women who had children out of wedlock.

These institutions, also known as Magdalene asylums, have sparked great controversy, only this month a mass septic tank containing the skeletons of 800 babies was found in County Galway, Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

POPE'S SEX ABUSE BOARD VOWS TO GO ON WITHOUT SURVIVOR MEMBER

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Members of Pope Francis' sex abuse advisory board vowed Sunday to press ahead with their work even without abuse survivors on the panel following the resignation of a respected child advocate.

The commission wrapped up a plenary Sunday saying it would "find new ways" to ensure people who were abused by clergy shape and inform its work. But no specifics were announced, and it wasn't clear if survivors would be named as members down the line.

Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins, a founding member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, resigned on March 1, citing what she called "unacceptable" resistance to the commission's proposals from the Vatican's doctrine office, which is responsible for processing cases against abusive priests.

Collins mentioned in particular the alleged refusal by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to implement proposals approved by the pope and to collaborate with the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

PCPM meets for Plenary Assembly

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] met for its eighth Plenary Assembly from March 24-26, 2017. The resignation of founding member Marie Collins was a key topic on the agenda. The Commission expressed its gratitude to her and supported her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. During the Plenary the Commision also discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See. The Plenary Assembly followed the Education Day on March 23, at the Gregorian University, co-sponsored in partnership with the Centre for Child Protection and the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Please find below the Concluding Statement

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] met for its eighth Plenary Assembly from March 24-26, 2017.

A central topic in this Plenary Assembly was the resignation of founding member Marie Collins. The Commission members expressed strong support for her and her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. They also expressed their particular gratitude that Marie Collins has agreed to continue working with the Commission’s educational programs for new bishops and the offices of the Roman Curia.

Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors. Several ideas that have been successfully implemented elsewhere are being carefully considered for recommendation to the Holy Father.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Pontifical commission for abuse expresses ‘strong support’ for Marie Collins

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 27, 2017

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse has expressed its “strong support” for a former member of the group who resigned earlier this month due to frustration with Vatican officials' reluctance to cooperate with its work to protect children.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said in a statement late Sunday that the resignation of abuse survivor Marie Collins had been “a central topic” of their discussions during their plenary assembly, held in Rome March 24-26.

“Commission members expressed strong support for her and her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults,” said the statement.

Collins, who had been the last active member of the commission who is an abuse survivor, resigned March 1.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Who is running Ireland – the Government or the Church?

IRELAND
National Secular Society (UK)

Posted: Mon, 27 Mar 2017

by Keith Porteous Wood

The reach and power of the Catholic Church has waned considerably in recent years in Ireland. But there are troubling signs that its undue influence over the country is returning, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

It is difficult to envisage now, but when the UK was formed at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Dublin was regarded as the "Second City of the British Empire". Ireland's role in British political life was no less than that of England, Scotland and Wales from then until the progressive separations from Britain that started during the First World War.

The Catholic Church that had been suppressed by the Imperial power was quick to help fill the vacuum left by the British departure. The 1937 constitution was based on Papal encyclicals and presented on two occasions to the Vatican (a foreign state) for review and comment, and unsurprisingly accorded the Roman Catholic Church a "special position", a position it certainly occupied in education at least. This formal status was repealed only in 1972, but was not of course matched by any reduction in the Church's role in education.

The Church's power came from its pervasive and anti-secular influence in the Government and Parliament, where the pious may well have been faced with conflicts of interest, and not only on sensitive matters of social policy such as divorce and abortion, but crucially on financial matters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Sex Scandal: Stephanie Otobo’s mom, sister beg Apostle Suleman on live TV

NIGERIA
Premium Times

March 27, 2017
Jayne Augoye

The mother of Stephanie Otobo, the Nigerian woman who accused a cleric, Johnson Suleiman, of infidelity and abuse, visited the Omega Fire Ministry headquarters in Auchi, Edo State, on Sunday to plead on her daughter’s behalf.

Ms. Otobo’s sister accompanied their mum who is popularly called Mama Tope to the church. Their statements and apologies were beamed live on the church’s website on Sunday morning.

But in a swift video reaction on Instagram on Sunday, Ms. Otobo, who said she has since returned to Canada, claimed that her mother was threatened to apologise to the embattled pastor.

The budding singer also debunked her apology to Mr. Suleman, popularly called Apostle Suleman, saying she was threatened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

O’Malley says Vatican is committed to accountability on zero tolerance

ROME
Crux

Inés San Martín March 27, 2017
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME - Pope Francis’ point man in the fight against sexual abuse insists that the Vatican remains committed to holding bishops accountable for enforcing zero tolerance, but conceded that “time will be the test” in terms of how, and whether, new procedures for imposing accountability actually work.

“I think Madre Amorevole [a document issued by Pope Francis in June 2016] has put the spotlight on the problem, and has publicly committed the Church to a course of action,” said Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley in a Crux interview on Monday.

“Time will be the test of it, but I think it’s the first time there’s been that kind of a public commitment and a realization of the need for accountability,” he said.

“You need a clear process, from the point of view of the bishops, too,” he said. “Unfortunately, oftentimes in the past the way things were done is that if there was a lot of publicity around it, then the bishop just resigned. He never really had the chance to make his case. And if he were a bad actor and there wasn’t a lot of publicity, maybe nothing would happen.”

“That’s not the way to run a railroad!” he said.

Asked if the Vatican now has such clear procedures, O’Malley said, “I hope we do, but we need to see how it’s going to work.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

8 things Dr. Larry Nassar told MSU investigator in sex-abuse case

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Julie Mack | jmack1@mlive.com
on March 24, 2017

Dr. Larry Nassar, a former Michigan State University sports medicine doctor, has been in the news since September 2016 when former patients first began accusing him of sexual abuse.

Neither Nassar, nor his attorney, have commented on the allegations. But a document released this week sheds some light what Nassar may have told investigators.

That document is a 28-page report from Michigan State University's Office of Institutional Equity, and summarizes a Title IX investigation into a complaint filed by Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go public with allegations against Nassar.

The report, which says a "preponderance of evidence" supports Denhollander's accusations, includes a lengthy summary of the investigator's Sept. 8 interview with Nassar, who was fired two week after the interview.

Nassar is currently in federal custody on child-pornography charges, and also has been charged with 25 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving 10 women, nine of whom are former patients.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Local church avoids addressing Nassar ties despite evidence

MICHIGAN
State News

By Brigid Kennedy
March 26, 2017

Former MSU employee Larry Nassar was a catechist for St. Thomas Aquinas Church’s seventh grade class, though the parish is not eager to claim him.

Nassar also served as a Eucharistic minister at St. John Church and Student Center, also part of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, according to the spring 2000 edition of Communiqué, the magazine of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Nassar is accused of sexually abusing his patients and other young women with whom he had contact.

Nassar was arrested in December 2016 on charges of possessing “at least 37,000” images of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Indigenous students sue Archdiocese of St. Boniface, province for sexual abuse at Catholic day school

CANADA
Yahoo! News

CBC
March 27, 2017

In a case with striking similarities to testimony made by residential school survivors, two Indigenous adult women say they were repeatedly sexually abused by clergy at a Catholic day school in Manitoba they were forced to attend as children.

And now they've launched a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, the two now-deceased men they say were responsible, the province and other defendants.

Both women — one now 67 and Status Indian, the other a 63-year-old Mé​tis woman — attended the same elementary school in Bloodvein, Man., about 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, from about 1956 until the mid-1960s.

The two women say the same two men, now dead, fondled and raped them as children beginning at ages seven and six, respectively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

March 26, 2017

Priest accused of molesting minor girl

INDIA
Kaumudi

KALPETTA: A complaint has been lodged against a priest of the Chundakkara church for allegedly misbehaving with a minor girl. A case has been registered against Father Jino Mekkat based on the complaint.

It has been reported that the incident took place at the Chundakkara church while Father Jino was working in the Mananthavady diocese in September.

A child protection officer took a statement from the victim after he heard about the incident through confidential sources. The complaint states that the girl was called into the church and the father groped and misbehaved with her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Pastor es condenado a 136 años de cárcel por abusar de cuatro menores

HONDURAS
Cristo Viene

Honduras: Evangelical pastor was sentenced to 136 years in prison for sexually abusing four minors.The condemned's name is Franklin Geovanny Cabrera Sierra, 48 years old, who was a religious "leader" of the Evangelical Resurrection of Christ Church.]

Honduras – Pastor evangélico de la capital es condenado a 136 años de cárcel por abusar sexualmente de cuatro menores de edad.

El nombre del condenado es Franklin Geovanny Cabrera Sierra de 48 años de edad; quien era “líder” religioso de la Iglesia Evangélica Resurrección de Cristo.

Los deplorables hechos fueron realizados en la colonia La Independencia, Comayagüela; según se informó, un total de ocho veces.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Une plainte classée sans suite contre Mgr Barbarin

FRANCE
Riposte Catholique

[A complaint filed against Bishop Barbarin. ... The prosecutor of Lyon filed a complaint against Cardinal Barbarin in December 2016 for "non-denunciation" of sexual assaults and putting others in danger.]

Cette information fait visiblement moins de bruit que lors du dépôt de la plainte… Le procureur de la République de Lyon a classé sans suite, en décembre 2016, une plainte contre le cardinal Barbarin pour « non-dénonciation » d’agressions sexuelles et « mise en danger de la vie d’autrui ». Après neuf mois d’enquête, le ministère public a décidé de prendre cette décision « en l’absence d’infraction susceptible d’être caractérisée ».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Gros scandale de pédophilie dans un collège à Yaoundé

CAMEROON
Daily News Cameroon

[A survey conducted by "Cash Investigation" reveals cases of sexual abuse committed by brothers in the Saint John community. ]

Une enquête menée par « Cash Investigation » révèle des affaires d’abus sexuels commis par des frères enseignants de la communauté Saint-Jean. Ces derniers dirigent l’un des grands collègues de la capitale camerounaise, notamment le collège Francois-Xavier Vogt, communément appelé collège catholique Vogt de Yaoundé.

L’ampleur du scandale est sans précédent. L’église catholique serait impliquée mais cette dernière ferme les yeux de peur de ternir son image, d’après les révélations de l’enquête menée conjointement par des journalistes de France 2 et du site d'information Mediapart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

[Vidéo] Abus sexuels: comment l’Eglise a exfiltré des prêtres entre la Guinée et la Fr

FRANCE
Le-Blog Sam-La-Touch

[Sexual abuse: How the Catholic Church transferred priests between Guinea and France (Mediapart)]

Par Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martiniere et Mathieu Périsse (We Report)
Mediapart

Ce sont deux religieux soupçonnés d’avoir commis des agressions sexuelles. Le premier, à Lyon, a été exfiltré en Guinée. Le second, parti de Conakry, termine sa carrière en Haute-Loire. Ils n’ont jamais été dénoncés à la justice. Révélations tirées du livre Église, la mécanique du silence (JC Lattès), en partenariat avec « Cash Investigation ».

Abschlussbericht kommt im Mai

DEUTSCHLAND
Domradio

[The final report on sexual and other violence in the Regensburger Domspatzen is expected in May. The reason for the delay is "numerous supplementary information" which has been received in recent weeks and months from both known and new victims.]

Eigentlich sollte der Abschlussbericht zur Aufklärung der Übergriffe bei den Regensburger Domspatzen im ersten Quartal 2016 vorliegen. Doch durch viele neue Informationen verzögert sich der Vorgang um einige Wochen.

Der Regensburger Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Weber will seinen Abschlussbericht zur Aufklärung der Übergriffe bei den Regensburger Domspatzen im Mai veröffentlichen. Über den genauen Termin werde er noch informieren, teilte der unabhängige Sonderermittler am Mittwoch auf seiner Internetseite mit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Kritik an Kinderschutzkommission des Papstes

GROSSBRITANNIEN
BR

[In the run-up to the plenary session, the Pontifical Commission has been caught in the news because Marie Collins has declared her departure. This means only one abuse victim among the Commissioners: Peter Saunders. However, he is also on leave and remains outside the current session. Saunders was sexually abused as a 12-year-old by two Jesuits over four years.]

Im Vorfeld der Plenarsitzung ist die Kommission in die Schlagzeilen geraten, weil die Irin Marie Collins überraschend ihren Austritt erklärt hat. Damit ist nur noch ein Missbrauchsopfer unter den Kommissionsmitgliedern: Der Brite Peter Saunders. Allerdings ist auch er beurlaubt und bleibt bei der aktuellen Sitzung außen vor. Saunders wurde als 12-Jähriger von zwei Jesuiten sexuell missbraucht, über vier Jahre hinweg. Er hat es verdrängt bis seine beiden Kinder später in das Alter kamen, in dem er missbraucht wurde. "Alles, was damals passiert ist, war plötzlich wieder da", erzählt Saunders.

In einem Büro in London leitet Peter Saunders die erste Anlaufstelle für Missbrauchsopfer in Großbritannien und betreibt eine kostenlose Hotline. Einen Anruf im Dezember 2014 wird Peter Saunders nie vergessen. Am Hörer war der Vorsitzende der Kinderschutzkommission, die Papst Franziskus gerade erst ins Leben gerufen hatte. Die Frage, ob er der Kommission beitreten wolle kam für den Briten überraschend: "Ich dachte, jawoll, endlich die Gelegenheit, Dinge wahrzumachen und zu verändern!" Denn bereits in den 1990er-Jahren hatte Saunders auf eigene Faust versucht, das Thema Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche anzugehen. Aus seinem Engagement entstand NAPAC, ein zehnköpfiges Team, das Missbrauchsopfer in Großbritannien berät - unabhängig von der Kirche.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

Ein Fall von "Lepra" im Vatikan?

DEUTSCHLAND
Telepolis

[At least 8,000 Catholic priests could be pederasts. The pope calls it the "leprosy infestation" of the Catholic Church: He means the estimated two percent of clergymen are pederast. That's a lot of men.]

Gut 8.000 katholische Priester sollen Päderasten sein

Der Papst nennt es den "Lepra-Befall" der Katholischen Kirche: Er meint damit die seiner Schätzung nach "2 Prozent" der Geistlichen, die als Päderasten auffallen. Das sind immerhin noch gut 8.000 Mann.

Seinem Vorgänger, dem deutschen "Wir-sind-Papst"-Ratzinger — gelang es in seiner 8jährigen Amtszeit gerade eben mal 8oo auffällig gewordene Priester auszuheben. Die 8.000, die der argentinische Jesuit Bergoglio — Künstlername: "Franziskus" — (also der jetzige Papst) meinte, müssten daher entweder unter Ratzinger übersehen worden sein, oder sie wären in der relativ kurzen Zeit seit der Amtsübernahme Bergoglios "nachgewachsen". In jedem Fall: Eine zehnfach erhöhte Zahl gegenüber der Ratzinger-Ära. Eine Katastrophe. Wie beim Frisör wäre es daher an der Zeit, den päderastischen "Nachwuchs" wieder mal zu "trimmen".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Catholic Church members want corrupt priest kicked out

KENYA
Citizen TV

By Julius Joho For Citizen Digital
Published on 26 March 2017

Members of a Catholic church in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County staged a demonstration today morning (26th March) demanding the removal of their priest who they claim has been mismanaging church funds and a secondary school sponsored by the church.

It took the intervention of the police to disperse the irate members of St. Anne Mghange Catholic Church who had paralyzed the normal Sunday church service.

According to the members, the new priest has been misusing church funds for personal gain, including employing ‘his own’ people to manage the school sponsored by the same church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Ginnie Graham: Broken Arrow lawmaker opens up about past sex abuse

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By Ginnie Graham News Columnist

Oklahoma Rep. Kevin McDugle wishes he could legally do something about the youth pastor who abused him around 35 years ago.

The stigma on sex abuse victims, particularly on boys, kept him from talking about it back then. The statute of limitations prevents him from doing anything about it now.

It’s why he joined as a co-author on a pair of bills — House Bills 1468 and 1470 — sought by Tulsa resident Virginia Lewis, herself a survivor of child sexual abuse. It allows victims to come forward with criminal and civil charges as late as age 45.

“I found out the individual who did it to me works at a church in Tulsa,” McDugle said last week.

“These bills do me no good. But I am contacting legal counsel to at least see if the church can be notified. They need to know, and we’ll go from there.”

The no-talk culture, shame and the added benefit of time are what predators depend on.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Christian Brothers drop threat to sue abuse survivor

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Maeve Sheehan
March 26 2017

The Christian Brothers dropped a threat to sue an abuse survivor over records he took from an industrial school in Limerick after his case was raised in the Dail.

Tom Wall, who survived a childhood of abuse at an industrial school in Glin, says he was asked by the Christian Brothers to burn the records when the school closed in 1973. But he retained many of the files, including his own.

The Christian Brothers claimed ownership of the files after Wall donated them to the University of Limerick and threatened legal action. The religious order backed down after Niall Collins, the Fianna Fail TD, raised Wall's case in the Dail last Wednesday. Deputy Collins called on the State to intervene to secure the records, which he said included "contracts for sale" that showed how children were effectively "sold into slavery".

The case has highlighted concerns about the records held by religious orders on the mothers and children who were incarcerated in their institutions. Survivors have complained about the difficulties accessing the records which the Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, said was "disconcerting".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Mass graves in Ireland: A long history of Church abuse

IRELAND
Aljazeera

by Norma Costello

Tuam, Ireland - When human remains were discovered in a septic tank in Tuam, in western Ireland, last month it didn't come as a complete surprise to everyone.

The unearthing at the site - a former home for unmarried mothers - was the result of a government commission charged with investigating claims of abuse by religious orders. Excavations uncovered an underground structure where human remains were found.

Local historian Catherine Corless had initially uncovered details of a mass grave at the home run by the Catholic Church affiliated Bons Secours, where, according to her, up to 800 infants born to unmarried mothers had been unofficially buried in a disused sewage tank.

But a 2014 email sent by Bons Secours' PR representative Terry Prone to filmmaker Saskia Weber dismissed the need for an investigation into the site, saying: "If you come here, you'll find no mass grave, no evidence that children were ever so buried, and a local police force casting their eyes to heaven and saying 'Yeah, a few bones were found' - but this was an area where famine victims were buried. So?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Abuse allegation ruled inconclusive

PENNNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Catholic

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ruled that an accusation of child sexual abuse against Father John Fitzgerald, 68, of the Diocese of Pittsburgh “has not been proven.” It could not be determined with certainty whether the abuse did or did not occur.

In addition, the congregation has directed Bishop David Zubik to take appropriate action that provides for the welfare of all parties involved, including the welfare of the public.

As a result, Father Fitzgerald has requested that he begin retirement. Bishop Zubik has granted his request. He will not exercise public ministry.

Father Fitzgerald, whose last assignment was pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Conway, Beaver County, has been on administrative leave since July 31, 2014, due to the allegation that he had abused a minor in the late 1990s. It is the only allegation against him ever brought to the diocese. Father Fitzgerald has maintained his innocence throughout. At the same time, the person who brought the allegation has maintained that the abuse did occur.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

March 25, 2017

Search goes on to find root causes of clerical sex abuse

CANADA
Catholic Register

BY MICHAEL SWAN, THE CATHOLIC REGISTER
March 25, 2017

In a moment of truth and clarity, Archbishop Anthony Mancini once summed up the shock he has shared with most Catholics over the last 30 years as a feeling of “shame and frustration, fear and disappointment, along with a sense of vulnerability and a tremendous poverty of spirit.”

Halifax’s plain-spoken bishop spoke those words in 2009 when he was faced with a hydra’s head of media microphones asking how he reacted to news that Antigonish Bishop Raymond Lahey had been stopped at the border with a trove of child-porn images and videos on his laptop.

Nothing has wounded the Church more deeply nor threatened the faith of individual Catholics more certainly than the sad, brutal parade of child sexual abuse revelations that began with the Mount Cashel Orphanage stories in 1989. It started in St. John’s, Nfld., but almost immediately became a global story about pure evil covered up and shoved aside by bishops and Church bureaucrats over generations.

Decades later, Catholics are still trying to comprehend how priests could abuse minors and to understand the Church’s unsatisfactory response.

“We are 30 years since the public revelations of this stuff,” said Sr. Nuala Kenny. “Why is it that as the Church of Jesus Christ we have not been able to get at the heart of the matter?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Hurst pastor takes computer in for repair, faces child porn charge

TEXAS
Star-Telegram

BY MARK DAVID SMITH
msmith@star-telegram.com

A Hurst associate pastor faces a child pornography charge after he took his computer to a Best Buy store to be repaired, according to a Hurst Police Department news release.

Store employees called police about 8:40 p.m. Thursday after finding what appeared to be child pornography on a customer’s computer, according to the news release. After investigating, police arrested and charged the owner of the computer, 78-year-old James Rankin, with possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony. Bond was set at $5,000.

Rankin was released after posting bond Friday. Rankin’s computer has been submitted to technicians for forensic testing, but results may not be available for several weeks, according to police. Once the testing has been completed additional charges may be added, police said. Further information about the case was not immediately available from police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

Pastor busted after Best Buy finds kiddie porn on computer

TEXAS
New York Post

By Jackie Salo March 24, 2017

A Texas pastor was busted on child pornography charges after he brought his computer to a Best Buy store.

Employees contacted police Thursday after finding what appeared to be child pornography on a device brought into the store in Hurst, Texas.

Police said they discovered the computer belonged to 78-year-old James Rankin, who is an associate pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church.

Rankin was charged with possession of child pornography, which is a third-degree felony, according to a Hurst Police Department news release.

The church has been notified of Rankin’s arrest, police said. He still is listed as staff on the church’s website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Hurst associate pastor arrested on child porn charge

TEXAS
WFAA

HURST - An associate pastor for a church in the Mid Cities has been arrested on child porn allegations.

Officers were called to a Best Buy in the 800 block of Northeast Mall Boulevard just before 9 p.m. Thursday after employees found what appeared to be child pornography on a customer's computer.

Police discovered that the computer belonged to James Rankin, 78, an associate pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church in Hurst. He was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, which is a third degree felony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Jetzt ermitteln Staatsanwälte in Korntal

DEUTSCHLAND
Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung

[Seven people who formerly living in a home run by the Protestant Brethren have alleged they were sexual abuse. The prosecutor's office in Korntal is investigating.]

Sieben ehemalige Heimkinder zeigen die Evangelische Brüdergemeinde wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Schutzbefohlenen an. Jetzt muss die Stuttgarter Staatsanwaltschaft in Korntal aktiv werden.

Für Alfred Wieland ist es ein schwerer Gang. Gegen den beißenden Wind, der am Freitagnachmittag auf dem Korntaler Saalplatz weht, trägt er einen dunkelblauen Mantel. Auf der rechten Seite steht der große Saal der Evangelischen Brüdergemeinde. Gegenüber liegt der Posten der Korntaler Polizei. Alfred Wieland wählt mit seinen sechs Mitstreitern den Eingang der Polizei. Sie sind angereist, um die Evangelische Brüdergemeinde anzuzeigen – wegen des sexuellen Missbrauchs Schutzbefohlener.

Wieland, 67, kommt 1960 zum ersten Mal in das Kinderheim Hoffmannhaus an der Zuffenhauser Straße. Er geht fünf Jahre lang in Korntal zur Schule, verbringt dort die Nachmittage und kehrt abends nach Hause zurück. „Wenn ich damals erzählt hätte, was mir angetan worden ist, wer hätte mir geglaubt?“, fragt Wieland. Er meint den fast alltäglichen Missbrauch, die Misshandlungen und Demütigungen, die er nach eigenen Angaben in der Einrichtung der Evangelischen Brüdergemeinde erlebt hat. „Ich habe sie jahrzehntelang in meine untersten Schubladen verbannt.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Federal government withheld documents from residential school survivors, lawyer says

CANADA
Toronto Star

By JESSE WINTER
Staff Reporter
Fri., March 24, 2017

Edmund Metatawabin has gotten used to waiting.

“We’re always the last ones when it comes to reconciliation and acknowledgement,” he says with a sigh.

Now Metatawabin and his fellow survivors of St. Anne’s Indian Residential School will have to wait a few more weeks for an important decision in their ongoing abuse compensation case.

Metatawabin, along with a female survivor identified in court only as K-10106 and hundreds of other indigenous children, attended the notorious school in Fort Albany in northeastern Ontario. They say they were victims of horrific treatment including sexual abuse, being shocked by an electrified chair and being forced to eat their own vomit.

Metatawabin and the female survivor are leading a court challenge, arguing that many students didn’t receive proper compensation for the abuses they suffered.

They want the Superior Court to order a full-scale inquiry into why thousands of pages of police records from an investigation in the 1990s detailing the abuse were not disclosed when survivors were seeking compensation under the Indian Residential Schools settlement process beginning in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Cathedral ‘cannot meet its obligations’

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

The newly created Archdiocesan Receivership Committee is taking over the management of finances and assets of the Guam Catholic Church's main edifice – the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica.

The Cathedral-Basilica's finances have fallen "in such a state requiring this urgent action," said Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes.

"The Agana Cathedral-Basilica ... is under severe financial strain," Archdiocese Finance Council President Richard Untalan said during a press conference yesterday. "It cannot meet its obligations. Within the last two and a half years, it incurred a debt of $1.9 million, $800,000 of which is a refinance portion of a loan and the rest are outstanding payables."

Businesswoman and former Sen. Toni Sanford has been named chairwoman of the receivership committee. Ricardo C. Duenas and former Department of Revenue and Taxation Director Art Ilagan are the committee's members.

The receivership committee's chairwoman will have unrestricted financial, administrative and operational management powers, including: bank account signatory; hiring or firing staff and volunteers; and reconstituting or establishing finance and pastoral councils.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

How she did it: the heroic Irish historian who broke the Tuam baby home scandal

IRELAND
Irish Central

Ciaran Tierney @ciarantierney March 25, 2017

A steady stream of survivors from institutions all across Ireland have been making their way to the home of historian Catherine Corless since it was officially confirmed that human remains of a significant number of babies have been found on the site of a former mother and baby home in Co Galway.

Only for her painstaking research over the past six years, the world might never have known that hundreds of babies were buried in unmarked graves at the Tuam site – some of them in vaults constructed from a sewage tank which had not been used since 1938.

Many of the survivors have contacted the quiet-spoken historian in order to talk about their experiences as “home babies” in such institutions for the first time in their adult lives.

“I didn’t go looking for survivors. They looked for me. They rang me and called to the house. They just kept coming. We’d sit down and discuss over cups of tea what I could do for them. They have begun to speak out and to find their true voice, which is fantastic,” she told IrishCentral this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Guam group warns other islands about the Neocatechumenal Way

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

A group of Catholics on Guam reached out to other islands about the Neocatechumenal Way.

The Neocatechumenal Way is a movement within the Catholic church whose practices sometimes are at odds with those of Guam's traditional Catholic community.

David Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, wrote separate letters and made phone calls to leaders of the Catholic church on Saipan, Chuuk, Palau and other islands after learning that the Neocatechumenal Way wants to establish communities there too.

“At the root of all our problems within our church on Guam is an itinerant organization called the Neocatechumenal Way,” Sablan said in his letters, dated between Feb. 13 and March 16.

Sablan cited as examples the Neocatechumenal Way’s alleged lack of valid mandate from the pope, its Mass celebration that does not conform to the general instruction of the Roman missal and its alleged use of Catholic church and parish resources while it does not conform to Catholic laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Australian Chabad under fire over ongoing failings following sex abuse cases

AUSTRALIA
The JC

Much has changed within the Chabad world since the Royal Commission hearings, more than two years ago, into child sexual abuse in the Melbourne and Sydney Yeshiva communities.

But old loyalties remain stubbornly resistant to change. Rabbi Zvi Telsner, the disgraced former chief rabbi of the Yeshiva Centre in Melbourne, is still being paid a salary more than 18 months after he resigned over his conduct towards victims and their families.

At the Royal Commission’s final hearing into the two communities on Thursday, Rabbi Chaim Zvi Groner, the Director of Adult Torah Education at the Yeshiva Centre, was unable to shed light on why Rabbi Telsner was still being paid a salary when his involvement these days amounts to being a congregant and giving occasional classes.

“Why does he still receive a salary?” asked counsel assisting the commission, Naomi Sharp.

Rabbi Groner: “The current board is dealing with this in regard to the financial arrangement around his resignation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Controversial Wayne Jolley Ministries appears to be moving from Williamson County to Dickson County

TENNESSEE
The Tennessean

Holly Meyer , USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee

March 24, 2017

A controversial Williamson County ministry that has been scrutinized as a cult appears to be moving to Dickson County.

Wayne Jolley Ministries, Inc. purchased about 3 acres of undeveloped land on Highway 96 in the city of Burns, according to property records from the Dickson County Register of Deeds. The ministry paid $85,000 for the property east of the city of Dickson.

The sale happened in late 2016, just over a year after a Christianity Today report revealed serious concerns with how the late Wayne Jolley treated the members of The Gathering International, a small church group connected to his ministry. Former members told the magazine that Jolley's ministry took their money, ruined families and covered up accusations of physical and sexual abuse.

A sign on the land says "Future Home of: The Gathering International." ...

In early May 2016, the Secretary of State's Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming fined the ministry $5,000 for "unfair, false, misleading or deceptive acts and practices affecting the conduct of solicitations for contributions."

The complaint that prompted the state's investigation into the ministry accused Wayne Jolley Ministries of misusing charitable donations, including for a radio ministry with grossly overstated reach. It also drew attention to substantial renovations to a Williamson County residence owned by the late pastor. The Gathering International congregation met in the home.

The state also stripped the ministry of its church status due to a tax issue. Since the ministry files a Form 990 with the IRS, Wayne Jolley Ministries no longer qualifies for the "bona fide religious institution" exemption and needs to register with the state under the Tennessee Charitable Solicitations Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Court urged to clear up ‘mystery’ of hidden residential school documents

CANADA
Lethbridge Herald

BY COLIN PERKEL, THE CANADIAN PRESS ON MARCH 24, 2017.

TORONTO – The courts must clear up the mystery of why the federal government withheld thousands of relevant documents from survivors who sought compensation for their horrific abuse at a notorious Indian residential school, a judge was told Friday.

In calling for a wide-ranging investigation into the non-disclosure, lawyer Michael Swinwood said one of the plaintiffs in the case was retraumatized by the initial denial of her compensation claim.

“There’s something amiss in relation to the non-production of these documents,” Swinwood told Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell. “The court needs to know why is it that we’re in this situation.”

Two survivors of St. Anne’s residential school in Fort Albany, Ont., are trying to persuade Perell to order the probe into the documents that flowed from a lengthy criminal investigation into abuses at the school. The documents record details of the sexual and physical abuse of about 1,000 children who attended the school.

The settlement of a class action related to the residential schools established the independent adjudication process to hear compensation claims. One of the St. Anne’s survivors, K-10106 , hired a law firm to represent her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Former pastor arraigned on child sex assault charges

ILLINOIS
Herald & Review

HUEY FREEMAN Herald & Review

DECATUR – Jose Luis Aboytes stood in front of the bench of Associate Macon County Judge Phoebe Bowers, dressed in a black-and-gray jail jumpsuit, flanked by his attorney and a translator.

The judge read aloud seven felony counts to him in English, which were each related to him in Spanish by the translator.

Aboytes, a former assistant pastor of an eastside church, was told he is charged with one count of predatory sexual assault of a child, two counts of criminal sexual assault and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

He declined Bower's offer to read aloud the detailed charges, which specified the particular acts he allegedly performed on the female victim, who was younger than 13 years old when the first sexual assault occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

No easy fixes for preventing abuse, warns Freier

AUSTRALIA
Church Times

by Muriel Porter, Australia Correspondent

Posted: 24 Mar 2017

THE Australian Primate, Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, appearing before the Royal Com­mission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has warned against seeking simple answers about abuse.

On the final day of the four-day hearing on the Anglican Church’s responses, a panel of six witnesses was questioned intensively about the causes of child sexual abuse in the Church, particularly focusing on clericalism. Dr Freier cautioned, however, that the propensity to abuse children was found in all forms of human community because “it is a deep thing in our human nature that we need to be very vigilant to protect against.”

In response to the suggestion that the Church might need to reflect on whether distinctive clergy dress and church ceremonial created an impression of power on impression­able people, Dr Freier explained that the symbolism of clerical vesture did not so much indicate a unique status as that the priest was a representative of the whole baptised community.

Earlier, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, suggested that the Anglo-Catholic tradition of calling priests “Father” might have been a significant aspect of church-based child abuse, “particularly for vulnerable boys, where the father­hood connection has been lost and the priest becomes the surro­gate father”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

A fence for solidarity

AUSTRALIA
Shepparton News

by BARCLAY WHITE MARCH 25, 2017

A man who was sexually abused as a child by a Marist Brother teacher in Shepparton will return to his former home next week to speak about the challenges facing survivors.

Greg Barclay, 61, was just 13 when he was indecently assaulted by John Skehan at St Colman’s College in Shepparton, which is now Notre Dame College.

After years of being haunted by the attack, Mr Barclay only came forward to the authorities about what Mr Skehan did to him in the past few years.

In 2014 his attacker faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court, and was handed a suspended sentence for his crimes.

But, to the disappointment of Mr Barclay, the magistrate did not sentence his attacker to any time inside a jail cell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

CNMI law to help clergy abuse survivors get help, justice

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

Three months after the CNMI lifted the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases, retired Saipan bishop Tomas A. Camacho faced accusations he raped an altar boy in the 1970s. Camacho also is a former Guam priest.

That was in November, two months after Guam enacted a law that would allow victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers and the institutions with which they are associated, at any time, paving the way for at least 18 former altar boys to file clergy sexual abuse lawsuits in the U.S. District Court of Guam.

“Our focus was more on the victims and family,” said former CNMI Rep. Ray Tebuteb, author of the bill that became CNMI law on Nov. 17, 2016. In a phone interview, he said the law helps child sex abuse victims, including those whose perpetrators are priests and other clergy, obtain some sense of healing, justice and closure.

Tebuteb’s bill became CNMI Public Law 19-72, “allowing the prosecution for sexual crimes committed against persons under the age of 18 to commence at any time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

March 24, 2017

Paedo ex-priest brings conviction appeal

IRELAND
Sunday World

A retired priest jailed for indecently assaulting a schoolboy in the 1970s must wait to hear the outcome of an appeal against his conviction.

Tadhg O'Dalaigh (73), of Woodview, Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, had pleaded not guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to one count of indecently assaulting a 16-year-old boy at Colaiste Chroi Naofa in Carrignavar, Co Cork on a date unknown in 1979.

He was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to five years imprisonment with the final two suspended by Judge Donagh McDonagh on December 18, 2014.

O Dalaigh moved to appeal his conviction today on the principle ground that the trial judge erred in refusing to give the jury a corroboration warning - that it would be dangerous to convict a person in the absence of corroboration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Connecticut priest gets prison time for helping teen buy explosives, build pipe bomb

CONNECTICUT
The Register Citizen

HARTFORD >> A priest from East Windsor was sentenced to 9 months in prison Friday for helping a minor purchase explosives and build a pipe bomb, according to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

The Rev. Paul Gotta, 58, who lived at St. Philip Church in East Windsor, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny in Hartford.

Gotta pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly and willfully distributing an explosive material to an individual under 21 in July 2013.

According to federal prosecutors, Gotta provided money and fake identification to a 17-year-old male in July 2012 to purchase a firearm in Arizona. Later that year, Gotta allegedly bought two pounds of explosives and gave them to the teen, whom he had also assisted in building a pipe bomb, the release from the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 PM

Judge clears way for retrial of ex-Philadelphia monsignor

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KSBY

By MARYCLAIRE DALE
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Catholic church official's 14-year legal odyssey over his handling of sex-abuse complaints won't end anytime soon after a Philadelphia judge said Friday he would be retried on child endangerment charges.

Monsignor William Lynn had served nearly three years of a three- to six-year sentence when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed his conviction because of trial errors in late 2015. That was the second time Lynn's conviction had been thrown out after a sweeping 2012 trial that unearthed decades of hidden complaints from locked vaults at the archdiocese.

Lynn, 66, appeared weary but unfazed after the ruling Friday. He will be back in court next week for the judge to decide how many church-abuse victims can testify at the second trial. Lynn's lawyers must also decide whether to appeal the ruling and try again to have the case dismissed.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams - who revived the case after his predecessor reluctantly concluded no church leaders could be charged in 2005 - is in his last year of office and under federal indictment. Eight people are running to succeed him.

"They can't dismiss the case. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars were spent investigating the archdiocese and prosecuting Lynn, so what's the next prosecutor going to do?" asked defense lawyer Jeffrey Lindy, who represented Lynn for a decade, but is no longer involved in the case. "They're not going to say, 'OK, we proved our point, let's go away.'"

Lynn could also try to negotiate a plea with a time-served sentence, although he has not been interested in plea talks in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Ex-Priest From East Windsor Sentenced In Gun Case

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

Edmund H. Mahony

A former priest who once worked at two parishes in East Windsor was sentenced to nine months in prison Friday in U.S. District Court for helping a former alter boy obtain a weapon and ammunition.

While assigned to the parishes of St. Philip and St. Catherine in East Windsor, Paul Gotta, 59, of Bridgeport admitted helping the former alter boy, a minor, obtain a handgun, ammunition, gun powder and materials that could have been used to make a pipe bomb.

Gotta was popular with his parishioners, but the nature of his relationship with the former alter boy has been disputed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Retired Worcester priest gets 3-week sentence in money laundering case

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

By Craig S. Semon
Telegram & Gazette Staff

WORCESTER – A retired Catholic priest pleaded guilty to money laundering stemming from his involvement in an overseas scheme that defrauded women seeking companionship online. He was sentenced to time served (three weeks) because of a mental condition that impaired his judgment.

The Rev. Thomas B. Fleming, 67, a resident of Dodge Park Rest Home, originally pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of money laundering. He changed his plea to guilty on one count.

On Friday in U.S. District Court, U.S. Assistant Attorney David G. Tobin recommended that Rev. Fleming to be incarcerated for a period of time served, as well as three years of supervised probation, paying $90,105 in restitution to five victims and $100 special assessment fee.

Rev. Fleming was held in custody for roughly three weeks following his arrest in Florida last July. He could have faced up to 21 months in prison for a single money laundering charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Judge In Msgr. Lynn Case Finds Prosecutorial Misconduct

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The judge in the Msgr. William J. Lynn sex abuse case today announced that she had found evidence of prosecutorial misconduct serious enough to warrant a new trial for the defendant.

But, Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright said, since Lynn has already been granted a new trial by the state Superior Court, which overturned Lynn's conviction last year, the misconduct did not rise to the level where the only solution was to dismiss a retrial of the monsignor, scheduled for May. So the judge denied a defense motion to dismiss the case.

The judge did say that the matters testified to by retired Detective Joseph Walsh "should have been provided to the defense," and amounted to violations of Brady v. Maryland. That landmark 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case established that the prosecution must turn over all evidence that might exonerate a defendant.

Detective Walsh was the man who led the district attorney's investigation into the allegations of Danny Gallagher AKA "Billy Doe," the former altar boy who improbably claimed he was raped by two priests and a Catholic schoolteacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

JUDGE CLEARS WAY FOR RETRIAL OF EX-PHILADELPHIA MONSIGNOR

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Associated Press

BY MARYCLAIRE DALE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A judge has cleared the way for prosecutors to retry a former Philadelphia church official imprisoned over his handling of abuse complaints.

Monsignor William Lynn served nearly three years of a three- to six-year sentence when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed his conviction over trial errors.

That was the second time Lynn's 2012 conviction for child endangerment had been thrown out.

A judge on Friday denied a defense request to block a retrial, but the defense can appeal the ruling.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams charged Lynn even though his predecessor thought the law did not allow it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Advocates Press for More Time to Prosecute Sex Assault Cases

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

Daniela Altimari

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases.

Senate Bill 1042 would give victims and prosecutors up to 10 years to bring a sexual assault case forward, up from the current limit of five years.

Advocates say the change is needed because victims often need time to process the trauma of their experience.

"There have been cases where the statute of limitations has expired before a case can be fully built, which deprives the victim for a chance for justice through no fault of their own,'' Kaitlyn Fydenkevez, director of policy and public relations for the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence told the legislature's judiciary committee on Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

Phila. judge rejects move to block retrial of Msgr. Lynn in church sex-abuse scandal

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

by Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer @JoeSlobo | jslobodzian@phillynews.com

A Philadelphia judge on Friday denied a defense motion to abort the child endangerment retrial of Msgr. William J. Lynn because of prosecutorial misconduct.

In a brief decision from the bench, Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright said city prosecutors should have told Lynn’s lawyers about a detective’s doubt about the credibility of one of their key witnesses at Lynn’s 2012 trial.

Bright, however, said it was “not intentional prosecutorial misconduct” and its impact on Lynn’s defense did not warrant the extreme penalty of dismissing the charge against the 66-year-old cleric.

Lynn’s retrial had been scheduled to start in May. Now, the future of the case is uncertain. Bright told defense attorney Thomas A. Bergstrom he may appeal her ruling to the state Superior Court and Bergstrom said he is considering doing so.

That decision will not be made until after a hearing Tuesday on two other evidentiary issues in the case. A pretrial appeal could add months, or years, more before Lynn’s retrial could be scheduled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Lynn may face new trial on charges of covering up clergy sex abuse of kids

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

BY AARON MOSELLE

Update: 3 p.m.

Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright has denied Msgr. William Lynn's motion to dismiss. Defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom, Lynn's lawyer, has not decided whether he will appeal Friday's decision.

Bright is expected to rule next Tuesday on what evidence will be permitted at trial. She told prosecutors Friday to "narrow down" their examples of clergy sex abuse from the past.

Earlier story:

Monsignor William Lynn — the first American Catholic Church official to be convicted of covering up clergy molestation of children — will return to an 11th-floor courtroom Friday afternoon to learn whether he'll face a new trial.

If a Philadelphia judge grants his motion to dismiss, Lynn will leave the hearing and, possibly, never return to the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Boy Scouts sued for $10M

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

John A.B. Pangelinan was proud to be a Boy Scout. At the age of 11, he knew the Scout oath and the importance of citizenship and his obligation to God. "On my honor to do my best, to do my duty to God," he would recite the organization's oath repeatedly.

He and the other Boy Scouts would often help out at Santa Teresita Catholic Church in Mangilao for Easter Vigil Mass. Other times, they would march in parades and play in baseball leagues for the Boy Scouts.

After one outing in 1961 or ‘62, Pangelinan was called for a photo shoot in the Mangilao parish rectory. Assuming it was for the organization, the boy went inside. Pangelinan alleges his Scout master, parish priest Louis Brouillard, instructed him to take off his clothes and stand naked in front of a three-sided mirror.

He was then subjected to a "photo shoot" as Brouillard allegedly took photos and video of the minor boy and touched his private parts.

Pangelinan is the 33rd sex abuse victim to come forward and file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana and the first of Attorney David Lujan's clients to file suit against the Boy Scouts of America, seeking a minimum of $10 million in damages for sexual abuse and molestation by Brouillard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Top Vatican officials attend child protection seminar

ROME
Catholic Standard

Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
Thursday, March 23, 2017

There is absolutely no excuse for not implementing concrete measures to protect minors and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse, said Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston.

"Let there be no doubt about it: Pope Francis is thoroughly committed to rooting out the scourge of sex abuse in the church," he said, and "effectively making our church safe for all people demands our collaboration on all levels."

The cardinal gave the opening prayer and address at a daylong seminar March 23 at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University. The seminar was sponsored by the papal advisory body Cardinal O'Malley heads, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

A representative of every office of the Roman Curia attended, including: Cardinals Pietro Parolin, secretary of state; Kevin Farrell of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life; Joao Braz de Aviz of the Congregation for Institutes for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life; Marc Ouellet of the Congregation for Bishops; and Peter Turkson of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development. Also in attendance were rectors of pontifical universities and colleges, and representatives from the Italian state police and the Vatican gendarmes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Christian Brothers papers show children being ‘sold into slavery’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mar 22, 2017

Marie O'Halloran

Documents, including contracts that showed children being “effectively sold into slavery”, are at the centre of a dispute between the Christian Brothers and a former industrial school resident who retained the papers for more than 40 years.

Tom Wall, a former resident of St Joseph’s industrial school in Glin, Co Limerick, obtained the documents in 1973, when the Christian Brothers who were leaving Glin asked him to burn files on every resident.

Mr Wall held onto his own file as well as a significant number of files on other residents. In 2015, he donated them to the University of Limerick so they could be maintained and catalogued.

Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins told the Dáil that the Christian Brothers were now threatening legal action and seeking to recover all the documents from the university. He called on the State to intervene to secure the documents.

The Limerick TD said Mr Wall believed the Brothers could have a copy of the documents but not the originals because he felt they “cannot be trusted” with exclusive possession of the original documents. A number of the documents “are incriminating”, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

JUSTICE IN PHILLY FOR MSGR. LYNN?

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic League

This afternoon, Common Pleas judge Gwendolyn N. Bright will decide whether to end the ideologically charged war on Msgr. William Lynn, or allow a new trial.

Lynn was convicted of child endangerment on two occasions, and both convictions were overturned. The Philadelphia D.A. who is pressing the case against Lynn, Seth Williams, was arrested this week, yet he still remains in office. Deborah R. Gross, chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, has called for him to resign, but he refuses to do so.

Williams was charged by federal authorities with bribery, extortion, honest services fraud, and wire fraud. He is alleged to have received gifts that range from luxury vacations in the Dominican Republic to sofas, all in exchange for cutting deals with his friends. This man is so low that he even stole more than $20,000 from his adopted mother, an elderly woman in poor health.

Williams is responsible for the conviction of Msgr. William Lynn, the first U.S. Church official ever to serve time in prison for his handling of priestly sexual abuse. Williams did not start the war on Lynn, but he brought it to new heights.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Nuns who owe millions in abuse reparations given hospital

IRELAND
The Times (UK)

Ellen Coyne
March 24 2017
The Times

A religious order that owes millions of euros in compensation for child abuse will retain ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital after it is built with more than €200 million of taxpayers’ money.

The move to increase the assets of the Religious Sisters of Charity has been described as extraordinary following the recent revelation that it still owes €3 million to the state redress scheme.

The new hospital will be built on the Elm Park site at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin. St Vincent’s Healthcare Group is run and owned by the Sisters of Charity, which has paid only €2 million of the €5 million it offered to contribute in reparations to abuse victims. Its most recent payment was in 2013.

The religious order will own the maternity hospital as well as a new independent company that has been established to guarantee corporate governance, but the HSE has said that its interests will be protected once construction is completed. The HSE said the land at the St Vincent’s campus was being made available for the new hospital at no cost to the state and that “appropriate security arrangements” would be put in place to protect state interests.

“As landowners, St Vincent’s Healthcare Group have an ownership interest in facilities built on those lands,” an HSE spokesman said. “However, the state as funder will ensure that its interests are protected through established mechanisms to ensure the long-term, ongoing provision of public maternity services.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Rene Bruelhart: «Never Had a Set Career Plan»

SWITZERLAND
finews.com

As the Pope's chief financial regulator, Rene Bruelhart has spent the last four years cleaning up after a series of scandals at the Vatican Bank. He speaks to finews.com about his new role at a Swiss mortgage lender.

In a windowless multi-purpose hall 40 kilometers west of Zurich, 1,823 shareholders of Hypothekarbank Lenzburg convene for the Swiss regional bank's annual meeting.

The mood is informal, unpretentious, and festive: local musicians entertain shareholders before the event begins, CEO Marianne Wildi delivers part of her speech in colloquial Swiss-German, and shareholders cheer approvingly when the bank's chairman, Gerhard Hanhart, takes a jab at the million-franc paydays awarded to his peers at UBS.

The folksy Aargau setting couldn’t be more different from St. Peters Square, where Rene Bruelhart spends much of his time as head of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority – effectively, the Holy See's financial regulator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Alternative mother and baby homes redress under review

IRELAND
Irish Times

Fiach Kelly

An alternative compensation scheme for people who suffered abuse as children in mother and baby homes to the residential institutions redress scheme is under discussion among Ministers.

The Irish Times reported on Thursday that the existing redress scheme for victims of abuse in residential institutions could be reopened to cover those abused as children in mother and baby homes.

The unpublished second interim report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes contains such a proposal.

It is understood the report states that the template for the 2002 redress scheme could be used again.

Government sources, while acknowledging that redress is likely for those in mother and baby homes, said it was not yet finalised what form this will take. One Minister said that other systems of redress could be applied, rather than the 2002 redress scheme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

'Stunning views of downtown': Pitch for former Archdiocese property in St. Paul

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By FREDERICK MELO | fmelo@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: March 23, 2017

On St. Paul’s Kellogg Boulevard, a former administrative center of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is looking for tenants with an appreciation of history.

As a result of its bankruptcy, the Archdiocese agreed in 2015 to sell its Monsignor Hayden Center to the Minnesota Historical Society for $4.5 million. The 60,000 square foot building at 328 West Kellogg Blvd. was built in 1914 and served as the Cathedral School until 1979. It more recently housed offices for more than 125 of the Archdiocese’s administrative employees.

The building, now known as the Kellogg Center, sits across the street from the Minnesota History Center, which will share its 129 parking stalls. Julie Bauch of commercial real estate firm Bauch Enterprises will oversee the management and leasing of the space on behalf of the historical society. She’s also the building’s first new office tenant.

The building spans three floors, and includes “stunning views of downtown and the Cathedral,” Bauch said. The Historical Society is putting in an elevator and updating restrooms to make them compliant with the American Disabilities Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Bayonne : accusé par “Cash Investigation”, Mgr Aillet reconnaît avoir gardé le silence

FRANCE
Franceinfo

[Bayonne: Cccused by "Cash Investigation", Monsignor Aillet admits to having kept silent about abuse.]

Par Jeanne Travers
Publié le 23/03/2017

"J'estime en mon âme et conscience ne pas avoir contrevenu à la loi", déclarait ce jeudi 23 Mgr Aillet. L'évêque de Bayonne, accusé d'avoir gardé le silence dans une affaire de pédophilie dans les années 90, a été mis en cause par l'émission "Cash Investigation", diffusée sur France 2 le 21 mars dernier.

En reconnaissant son silence, Marc Aillet rejette cependant sa faute. Il estime avoir "discerné que ce n'était pas le moment de faire une action judiciaire", car, selon lui, la situation psychologique du prêtre soupçonné de pédophilie ne le permettait pas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Monseigneur Marc Aillet, évêque de Bayonne-Lescar-Oloron, assume avoir couvert un prêtre pédophile

FRANCE
France Bleu

[Monsignor Marc Aillet, bishop of Bayonne-Lescar-Oloron, is alleged to have covered-up a pedophile priest.]

En juin 2016, l'abbé Jean-François Sarramagnan était mis en examen et placé sous contrôle judiciaire. Il est soupçonné d'avoir violé son neveu, de 12 ans à l'époque, en 1990 et agressé sexuellement 2 jeunes filles. L’évêque Marc Aillet a attendu 6 ans pour révéler l'affaire. Il assume avoir tardé.

"J'estime en âme et conscience ne pas avoir contrevenu à la loi mais d'avoir discerné que ce n'était pas le moment pour faire une action judiciaire". Voilà ce que dit ce jeudi Marc Aillet, évêque du diocèse de Bayonne, Lescar et Oloron après sa mise en cause dans l'émission Cash investigation mardi soir. Des journalistes de France 2 et de Mediapart ont mené une longue enquête, et affirment que 25 évêques auraient couverts 32 prêtres pédophiles. Selon les données recueillies par Médiapart, les dossiers incriminés concernent 339 victimes connues, dont 288 étaient mineures, de moins de 15 ans, au moment des faits. Parmi ces 25 évêques, cinq sont toujours en poste. Dont Monseigneur Marc Aillet chez nous.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Jury delivers verdicts of not guilty in Daramalan College historical sex abuse trial

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

Megan Gorrey and Alexandra Back

Former Daramalan College teacher Peter Cuzner​ has been acquitted of sexual abusing a male student in the 1980s.

An ACT Supreme Court jury found Mr Cuzner, 61, not guilty of two charges of indecent assault allegedly committed against the teenage boy following a five-day trial and one day of deliberations.

Mr Cuzner, of Kaleen, did not visibly react as the verdicts were handed down on Friday. His wife and children sobbed and embraced one another in the public gallery.

Speaking outside court, Mr Cuzner expressed relief his legal battle was over and said he wanted to get on with his life and rebuild his reputation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Church leader’s long legal odyssey over abuse claims returns

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Seattle Times

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former Philadelphia church official long imprisoned over his handling of abuse complaints may soon learn if his legal odyssey will come to an end.

Monsignor William Lynn served nearly three years of a three- to six-year sentence when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed his conviction over trial errors.

That was the second time Lynn’s 2012 conviction for child endangerment had been thrown out.

The high court said the trial judge had let too many other priest-abuse victims testify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Pope Francis 'thoroughly committed' to eradicate sex abuse from church says Vatican advisor

ROME
International Business Times

By Lara Rebello
March 24, 2017

Pope Francis' sex abuse advisor reiterated the pontiff's unwavering commitment to eradicate the problem, and explained that it was being done through a "victim-first" approach. Speaking at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University on 23 March, Cardinal Sean O'Malley said that there was no doubt of the pontiff's goal to make the church a place of safety.

"Let there be no doubt about it: Pope Francis is thoroughly committed to rooting out the scourge of sex abuse in the church," he said. "Making our church safe for all people demands our collaboration on all levels."

The Church has been accused of dragging its feet in regards to sex abuse and taking swift and strong action against the abusers. O'Malley explained that it was imperative to "learn from our experiences, including our mistakes," and target the problem head-on.

His statement follows the much-publicised resignation of Marie Collins from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Collins, the only member who is a clerical abuse victim, claimed "lack of cooperation" by the Roman Curia and said that there was "lack of resources", "inadequate structures," and "cultural resistance" from the Vatican.

"I have come to the point where I can no longer be sustained by hope," she wrote in her resignation statement. "As a survivor, I have watched events unfold with dismay."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Vatican abuse prevention event 'extremely important' for Church

VATICAN CITY
Angelus

March 24, 2017 - By Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Mar 23, 2017 / 02:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday a Vatican event on the prevention of child abuse narrowed in on the importance of education in schools and parishes in the safeguarding of children – not only for teachers, but for parents and children – and on the Church's role.

Led by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, he told CNA at the March 23 event that Catholic schools are, of course, a very important part of the Church’s and Commission's ministry. There are “60 million children in our care in Catholic schools and so this kind of a conference is extremely important for the ministry of the Church,” O'Malley said. “And we were very gratified that so many cardinals made time to be a part of this.”

The seminar was attended by five different cardinals in addition to O'Malley, including Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, head of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Congregation for Bishops. Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life; Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy; and Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, were also in attendance. Additionally, every Vatican department was represented in some way.

Fr. Hans Zollner SJ, who heads the Center for Child Protection (CCP) at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and is also a member of the commission, told CNA that it was a “very successful event, in drawing many high ranking members of the Curia, including a number of cardinals…all the dicasteries represented.” “This is taking shape and the formation that we have offered to dicasteries has also been very fruitful.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Sponsors and supporters of the Child Victims Act hope this is the year for justice

NEW YORK
The Legislative Gazette

Longtime sponsor out of office, but governor is now calling to extend statutes of limitation for child victims of sexual abuse

Advocates for the Child Victims Act are once again calling on state legislators to reform the statutes of limitation on justice sought by child sex abuse victims.

Outspoken reformers such as Bridie Farrell, an Olympic speedskater and advocate for sexually assaulted children in New York, shared her own story of abuse, which shocked the sports world a few years ago.

“If you’re like most New Yorkers, you probably have happy, positive memories of the Capital Region, Saratoga’s race tracks and the Olympic sights in Lake Placid,” Farrell said. “For me those happy memories are overshadowed by childhood sexual abuse nightmares.”

Farrell was repeatedly sexually assaulted as a child by her trainer, Andy Gabel, in 1997 and 1998.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

MO Prosecutors Want to Eliminate Statute of Limitation on Child Sex Crimes

MISSOURI
Ozarks First

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The state legislature is being asked to remove the time limits in which a person can be prosecuted for sex crimes against children. Two bills have been filed to address these restrictions.

A Senate committee is considering Sen. Scott Sifton's (D-Affton) measure, which removes the statutue of limitations of child abuse prosecutions. A House bill sponsored by Cody Smith (R-Carthage) has not been assigned to a committee.

Jason Lamb with the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys says the state must remove those barriers for people to report such crimes.

"There is no more difficult case to prosecute than a child abuse case. Yet, they are among the most important cases to prosecute," says Lamb. "In no other type of case does the victim rely so much on the state, on the system as a whole, to speak for them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Agana Cathedral placed under receivership: "We're bleeding!"

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Weekly collections at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica have decreased since the removal of its former rector Msgr. James Benavente, who has since been reassigned to the St. Anthony Catholic Church in Tamuning.

Guam - The Archdiocese of Agana has revealed that their mother church, the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica, is broke. Because of this, Archbishop Michael Byrnes has decided to place the Cathedral under receivership.

"We are putting the parish of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral, the Agana cathedral basilica parish under receivership," announced Archdiocesan Finance Council President Richard Untalan at a press conference at the Chancery Office.

It’s a remedy of a last resort, but Untalan emphasizes that it’s a remedy that’s necessary.

"In the last two and half years it incurred a debt of $1.9 million, $800,000 of which is a refinance portion of a loan and the rest are outstanding payables," said Untalan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

To get out of $2M debt, Agana Cathedral placed in receivership

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Statement from Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes

Statement from the Rev. Melchor T. Camina, chancillor, regarding the receivership committee

Updated: Mar 24, 2017

By Krystal Paco

It's a first for Guam - the mother church of the Archdiocese of Agana has been placed in receivership in an effort to get out of a nearly $2 million debt that resulted from the controversies surrounding Guam's Catholic Church.

$2 million in the last two years...the Agana Cathedral Basilica is clearly in trouble. Archdiocesan Finance Council president Richard Untalan said, "It cannot meet its obligations. Within the last two and a half years it incurred a debt of $1.9 million, $800,000 of which is a refinanced portion of a loan and the rest are outstanding payables."

That's money owed to the local and federal government and countless vendors who've shown mercy to the church. Part of the problem: parishioners are giving less. Weekly collections once averaged around $10,000, compared to today at $4,000. Coincidently, the decline in donations to the church occurred around the time Monsignor James Benavente was removed as rector of the Cathedral by Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

The monsignor has since been reassigned to St. Anthony Catholic Church in Tamuning. The rector of the Cathedral today is Father Paul Gofigan. "The first thing I looked at was the financial statements," he summarized. "Upon looking at the financial statements, I knew right away there was going to be problems with trying to get above water. I knew that the basilica was pretty much deep in debt. It was drowning."

To remedy the situation, Guam's coadjutor, Archbishop Michael Byrnes, put in place an Archdiocesan Receivership Committee consisting of finance professionals Art llagan, Duenas, and Antoinette Sanford. Sanford admits there's no plan of action or timeline, but the hope is to regain the public's trust and bring people back to the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Agana cathedral under internal receivership over $1.9M debt

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com March 24, 2017 | Updated 2 hours ago

The Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica, in Hagåtña, incurred $1.9 million in new debt during the past two and a half years, and it is having difficulty paying it back, church leaders said during a press conference Friday, announcing a plan to help stabilize its finances.

Weekly collections at the cathedral of about $10,000 dropped to as little as $4,000 because of ongoing controversy, they said.

The cathedral is now under an internal receivership, which has taken over its financial management and operations to help pay off its debt and meet its monthly obligations.

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, in consultation with his presbyteral council and the Archdiocesan Finance Council, said he placed the cathedral under temporary receivership as a last resort.

The Archdiocese of Agana currently faces the possibility of paying at least $155 million in damages in 33 clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in local and federal court. The cases have not gone to trial, and the church has not yet filed a response to any of the lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

O’Malley says Pope Francis is ‘totally committed’ to protecting minors from clergy sex abuse

ROME
Boston Globe

By Nicole Fleming GLOBE CORRESPONDENT MARCH 24, 2017

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said at a seminar on safeguarding children in Rome that Pope Francis is “thoroughly committed” to protecting minors and others from sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, according to press reports.

“Let there be no doubt about it: Pope Francis is thoroughly committed to rooting out the scourge of sex abuse in the church,” O’Malley said Thursday, according to a story published on the website of The Pilot, the official newspaper of the Boston archdiocese.

But, he added, “effectively making our church safe for all people demands our collaboration on all levels.”

O’Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, delivered the opening prayer and gave an address at the seminar sponsored by the commission at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Vatican abuse prevention event 'extremely important' for Church

ROME
Herald Malaysia

On Thursday a Vatican event on the prevention of child abuse narrowed in on the importance of education in schools and parishes in the safeguarding of children – not only for teachers, but for parents and children – and on the Church's role.

Mar 24, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

On Thursday a Vatican event on the prevention of child abuse narrowed in on the importance of education in schools and parishes in the safeguarding of children – not only for teachers, but for parents and children – and on the Church's role.

Led by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, he said at the March 23 event that Catholic schools are, of course, a very important part of the Church’s and Commission's ministry.

There are “60 million children in our care in Catholic schools and so this kind of a conference is extremely important for the ministry of the Church,” O'Malley said.

“And we were very gratified that so many cardinals made time to be a part of this.”The seminar was attended by five different cardinals in addition to O'Malley, including Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, head of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Congregation for Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Latest alleged church sex abuse victim seeks $10M in damages

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

John A.B. Pangelinan claims former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard took nude photographs of him.

Guam - A 33rd lawsuit has been filed against the Archdiocese of Agana, naming once again former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard as the alleged sexual predator. This time the alleged victim is seeking $10 million in damages which is double the amount previous accusers are seeking.

This latest lawsuit was filed by John A.B. Pangelinan who is now 67 years old. The sexual abuse, he claims, happened when he was 11 or 12 years old and a member of the Boy Scouts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Roanoke pastor faces sexual battery charges in cases involving juveniles

VIRGINIA
Roanoke Times

By Neil Harvey neil.harvey@roanoke.com 981-3376

A Roanoke pastor was charged last week with committing aggravated sexual battery against two juveniles.

Antonio Jones, 47, was arrested March 17. Jones, who has no middle name listed, was released on bond Tuesday.

Jones is listed as founder of Kingdom Harvest Church International in northwest Roanoke on the church’s Facebook page, which describes Kingdom Harvest as “a multi-cultural, non-denominational church” with more than 150 members. A call to the church Thursday afternoon was not returned, and no one answered the door there.

According to Roanoke Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court records, the offenses are alleged to have occurred against the first subject sometime between 2008 and 2010, when the juvenile would have been younger than 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Father Barry Tunks charged with indecently assaulting a child in the 1970s

AUSTRALIA
Wingham Chronicle

Joanne McCarthy
24 Mar 2017

FORMER Maitland-Newcastle diocese Vicar General Barry Tunks has been charged with child sex offences after a man alleged he was sexually abused by two Catholic priests and another man in the Taree area in the late 1970s.

Father Tunks, 76, was charged at Waratah police station on Thursday by detectives from Manning/Great Lakes Local Area Command. He will appear in Forster Local Court in April charged with three counts of indecent assault.

A man, 46, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2014 that he was between 9 and 12 years old when he was allegedly sexually abused by two priests and another man in locations including Catholic Church facilities. The man also named a fourth alleged sexual abuser – a Catholic employee, now deceased.

The man later made a statement to police.

In a statement on Thursday Maitland Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright confirmed that a priest of the diocese had been charged with historic child sex offences relating to matters alleged to have occurred in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Small churches can't pay abuse redress

AUSTRALIA
The Australia

MEGAN NEIL
Australian Associated Press
March 24, 2017

The small local churches that make up the bulk of Australia's largest Pentecostal movement do not have the funds to compensate victims of child sexual abuse, an inquiry has heard.

The more than 1000 affiliated churches of the Australian Christian Churches include the multi-million dollar global Hillsong Church, but the group's leader says most are not high-profile.

The child abuse royal commission heard the Australian Christian Churches is committed to providing all necessary and appropriate care for survivors of abuse, but each local church must consider its own approach to financial redress.

Australian Christian Churches national president Wayne Alcorn said the smaller churches were concerned about their ability to pay redress, although all the affiliates were committed to providing a quick response and support to survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Hillsong safe for children, founder says

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil - AAP on March 24, 2017

The head of the global Hillsong Church says it has done everything it can to ensure it is safe for children.

Hillsong founder and senior pastor Brian Houston says new child protection policies and procedures have been rolled out across the whole church, including setting up a safe church office.

"We have really I think done everything we can to set the framework within the culture of our whole church where everybody, especially obviously those in any form of leadership, understand the processes/procedures that would be rolled out," Mr Houston told the child abuse royal commission.

"We have been very very supportive of the goal to make sure our church is as safe a church as it could possibly be."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Hillsong founder Brian Houston declares his church 'as safe as it can possibly be' at royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The multimillion-dollar Hillsong Church does not have a policy of offering financial compensation to people who have allegedly suffered child sexual abuse within the organisation, a royal commission has heard.

Founder and senior pastor of the global church, Brian Houston, returned to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Friday to show how safety procedures have improved since he first gave evidence to the inquiry in 2014.

The commission heard Hillsong had adopted robust policies that cover improved training and screening of staff, complaints handling and response to alleged victims.

Hillsong has no financial redress policy but Mr Houston told the inquiry: "That doesn't mean that we're not open to it."

The church offers non-monetary support to alleged victims such as counselling and psychological care, the inquiry heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Child sex abuse report details diocese complaints

AUSTRALIA
Oberon Review

23 Mar 2017

THE Anglican Church has admitted it tried to silence child sex abuse victims and cared more about its reputation than those who had been harmed.

Church records show 1082 people have made complaints about 569 alleged perpetrators in the Anglican Church in Australia, which includes 18 complaints in the Bathurst Diocese.

The church has paid nearly $31 million in compensation to victims, data released by the child sex abuse royal commission on Friday showed.

Since December 2015, the Bathurst Diocese has paid more than $750,000 in redress to abused people, Bishop Ian Palmer said in his report in the October 2016 edition of Anglican e-news.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse Analysis of Complaints of Child Sexual Abuse Received by Anglican Church Dioceses in Australia report breaks down the complaint figures in each diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Cardinal O’Malley: Evangelization will have ‘no effect’ if the church doesn’t protect children

ROME
America

Gerard O'Connell
March 23, 2017

Opening today’s seminar at the Gregorian University in Rome on “Safeguarding children in homes and schools worldwide,” Cardinal Seán O’Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told participants: “Let there be no doubts, no other topic is more important for the life of the church. If the church is not committed to child protection, our efforts at evangelization will be to no effect; we will lose the trust of our people and gain the opprobrium of the world.” Indeed, he said, “there is simply no justification in our day for failures to enact concrete safeguarding standards for our children, young men and women, and vulnerable adults.”

The importance of the seminar was underlined by the presence of six cardinals (including the secretary of state), several bishops, other Vatican officials, ambassadors, rectors of pontifical universities and colleges, authorities from the Italian state police and the Vatican gendarme, as well as professionals in the field from all continents and many countries.

Cardinal O'Malley: ‘There is simply no justification in our day for failures to enact concrete safeguarding standards for our children.’

The Boston cardinal, who enjoys great credibility in this field, repeated what he told the Consistory of Cardinals in February 2015, namely, that abuse “is not a Catholic problem or even a clerical problem, it is a human problem,” but “when abuse is perpetrated by a priest the damage is even more profound.” He recalled that Pope Francis gave the P.C.P.M. the task of “promoting responsibility in local churches” and assisting them through an exchange of best practices and programs of education, training and developing adequate responses to sexual abuse.

Today’s seminar, organized by the abuse commission’s working group, headed by Australia’s Kathleen McCormack, and Center for Child Protection at the Gregorian University, headed by Hans Zollner, S.J., brought together experts from Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Mexico and Italy who presented a stark picture of the abuse happening in their countries and the multiple efforts being made by the church, N.G.O.s and state bodies to combat it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

NSW priest on bail after sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Catholic priest who allegedly abused a young boy on the NSW mid north coast almost four decades ago is due to face court next month after being granted conditional bail.

The victim, now 46, came forward in March 2014, a year after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established.

His alleged abuser, a 76-year-old, was charged with three counts of indecent assault on Thursday.

The younger man was between the ages of nine and 12 at the time the alleged abuse occurred at the hands of two priests and a third man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Bathurst St Stanislaus’ College set for apology to student victims of paedophile priest

AUSTRALIA
Southern Cross

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 6:17 AM

Mangilao man says priest took nude photos of him as a boy

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com March 24, 2017

A man said a former priest, who also was his scoutmaster, took nude photos of him at a Mangilao church rectory and sexually abused him in the early 1960s.

John A.B. Pangelinan, 67, said he was about 11 or 12 when former priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused him in or around 1961 or 1962. Brouillard was a scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America.

Pangelinan, now living in Mangilao, is the 33rd man to file a Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit. He's demanding at least $10 million in damages, double the minimum amount requested by others. the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam Friday afternoon, also names the Boy Scouts of America and the Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council Chamorro District as defendants.

The lawsuit says Brouillard approached Pangelinan when he was hanging out with a group of boys after a scouting event. The complaint states Brouillard told Pangelinan he wanted to take some pictures of him, and the boy thought it was for the Boy Scouts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

March 23, 2017

Abuse suspect left last job abruptly

ILLINOIS
The Times

David Giuliani, davidg@mywebtimes.com, 815-431-4041

The former Marquette Academy science teacher accused of physically abusing students was fired from her previous job at a Bureau County school district, a decision the school board later rescinded before giving her a $60,000 severance package.

Tammy Tieman, 46, who started at the Ottawa Catholic school in 2016, was charged last week with five felony counts of aggravated battery to a child and one misdemeanor count of battery. The crimes are alleged to have involved six students on Marquette school grounds.

Tieman, of Princeton, worked at the LaMoille School District in Northeastern Bureau County for 22 years before joining Marquette.

The LaMoille school board fired Tieman, who made $57,000 a year as a high school and junior high science teacher, in May, but the district gave no public reason for its decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Bishop Greg Thompson on being a sexual abuse survivor and the threats that made him resign

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
Thursday 23 March 2017

In February 2014, Greg Thompson returned to Newcastle in New South Wales to serve as bishop of the Anglican diocese, the same place he was abused almost four decades earlier as a teenager.

He had spent the previous seven years serving as bishop in the Northern Territory but thought it would be somewhat fitting to finish his working life in Newcastle, near where he grew up in the Upper Hunter and where he first became interested in the ministry.

He believed his experiences working with Indigenous people in Arnhem Land and victims of family violence and drug abuse would be useful to the Newcastle diocese, which he wanted to direct towards a stronger focus on social justice and community engagement.

That this was the place that he was sexually abused by friends of his family as a child, and by senior figures of the Newcastle Anglican church as a young adult, was something Thompson had disassociated himself from, as many abuse survivors do. He had never spoken of it except to his wife and children.

But, in May 2014, shortly into his tenure as bishop, Thompson received a summons to appear before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. On the list of persons of interest was the name Ian Shevill. When Shevill was the bishop of Newcastle in 1975, he and another senior church figure sexually abused Thompson, who was then just 19.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Richard F. Gorman

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Richard Gorman was ordained for the Archdiocese of New York in 1982. His first assignment was as an assistant at St. Barnabas in the Bronx. From there he spent three years at Stepinac High School in White Plains before joining the faculty of Spellman High in the Bronx where, from 1997 on, he was in residence. From 1997 to 2004 Gorman was Associate Director of the Department of Social Research for Catholic Charities, after which he is noted in the Official Catholic Directory to have been retired for several years. In the early 2000s he earned a law degree. Gorman served as a judge for the archdiocese's Metropolitan Tribunal and, from 2010 to 2016, he was the Prison Apostolate director. Gorman was known for his community activism; for over twenty years he was chairman of Community Board 12 in the Bronx.

In mid-2015 a man reported to law enforcement and to the archdiocese that Gorman had sexually abused him when he was a 13-year-old St. Barnabas parishioner. The man said Gorman took him to a church facility in Westchester County, where the abuse took place. The investigations reportedly yielded several additional alleged victims and witnesses. Gorman denied the accusations, which the archdiocese deemed "credible but not yet substantiated." He was placed on leave in January 2016.

Ordained: November 6, 1982

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

US cardinal: Pope committed to ending ‘scourge of sex abuse’ despite setbacks

ROME
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

ROME (RNS) Despite turmoil on the commission he created to deal with sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis is committed “to rooting out the scourge,” Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley said.

O’Malley, who heads the panel, spoke Thursday (March 23) to an international conference on the subject in Rome. He said the church was committed to carrying out the pope’s directive despite recent complaints that the commission’s work was being obstructed by the Vatican itself.

“There is simply no justification in our day for failures to enact concrete safeguarding standards for our children, young men and women, and vulnerable adults,” O’Malley said.

“We are called to reform and renew all the institutions of our church. … And we certainly must address the evil of sexual abuse by priests.”

The conference, organized by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, was titled “Safeguarding in homes and schools.” It included presentations from academics, clergy and experts from South America, Australia and Italy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Christian Brothers drop threat of legal action against Limerick abuse survivor

IRELAND
Limerick Leader

Norma Prendiville
23 Mar 2017
Email: normap@limerickleader.ie

THE Christian Brothers have dropped the threat of legal action against abuse survivor Tom Wall of Glin, Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins confirmed this Thursday.

The threat arose over the legal ownership of documents saved from a fire by Tom Wall at the Industrial School in Glin in 1973 and lodged with UL two years ago.

Now, Deputy Collins said, the Christian Brothers had confirmed to him that they would be “satisfied with copies of the documents” and had “no interest in engaging in legal action”.

Deputy Collins raised the issue of the documents in the Dail on Wednesday where he claimed the documents “effectively sold into slavery” some of the boys sent to Glin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

A senior Maitland-Newcastle Catholic priest is in court in April on child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
24 Mar 2017

A HUNTER Catholic priest has been charged with child sex offences after a man alleged he was sexually abused by two Catholic priests and another man in the Taree area in the late 1970s.

The priest, 76, was charged at Waratah police station on Thursday by detectives from Manning/Great Lakes Local Area Command. He will appear in Forster Local Court in April charged with three counts of indecent assault.

A man, 46, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2014 that he was between 9 and 12 years old when he was allegedly sexually abused by two priests and another man in locations including Catholic Church facilities. The man also named a fourth alleged sexual abuser – a Catholic employee, now deceased.

The man later made a statement to police.

In a statement on Thursday Maitland Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright confirmed that a priest of the diocese had been charged with historic child sex offences relating to matters alleged to have occurred in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Government alarm at possible redress for mother and baby home victims

IRELAND
Irish Times

Fiach Kelly

The existing redress scheme for victims of residential child abuse could be reopened to cover those abused as children in mother and baby homes, an unpublished report to the Government has recommended.

The proposal is contained in the second interim report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, The Irish Times has learned. It has caused alarm in Government circles, due to the cost of the existing scheme.

It says the redress scheme established in 2002 could be used again to provide compensation for those who were abused as children in mother and baby homes.

The redress board was set up under the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 to make “fair and reasonable awards” to those who were abused as children “while resident in industrial schools, reformatories and other institutions subject to State regulation or inspection” from the mid-1930s to the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Cabinet to discuss reopening of State redress scheme for survivors of Mother and Baby homes

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Niall O'Connor
March 23 2017

MINISTERS will next week discuss the prospect of reopening the State’s redress scheme for survivors of the Mother and Baby Homes.

Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone will bring an expert commission report to Cabinet which recommends the reopening of a 2002 scheme that previously paid out compensation for institutional abuse.

The scheme, which has to date cost almost €1.5bn, closed to new applicants in September 2011.

But there have been calls to reopen the scheme after the Commission for the Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes found that hundreds of remains of babies were discovered at a site in Tuam.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

O'Malley pledges pope still committed to rooting out clergy sex abuse

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 23, 2017

In the midst of a month in which the effectiveness of Pope Francis' measures to fight clergy sexual abuse has come into question, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley pledged Thursday that the pontiff is still "thoroughly committed to rooting out the scourge of sex abuse."

O'Malley, the head of Francis' Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told participants of an education seminar hosted by the group that "there is simply no justification in our day for failures to enact concrete safeguarding standards for our children."

"Let there be no doubts: no other topic is more important for the life of the church," said the cardinal. "If the church is not committed to child protection, our efforts at evangelization will be to no effect; we will lose the trust of our people and gain the opprobrium of the world."

The pontifical commission, created by Francis in 2014, was hosting an educational seminar Thursday, March 23, at the Pontifical Gregorian University, presenting different perspectives on safeguarding children, by advocates from Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Italy, Mexico and the United States.

The event comes just three weeks after one of the commission's members, abuse survivor Marie Collins, resigned from the group March 1. In an article for NCR that day, Collins said she was resigning due to frustration with Vatican officials' reluctance to cooperate with the commission's work to protect children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Lawsuits against Father DeCosta persist

HAWAII
Hawaii Tribune-Herald

By JOHN BURNETT Hawaii Tribune-Herald

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu has settled one of three civil lawsuits that allege a prominent retired Big Island priest sexually molested teenage boys decades ago, according to the attorney for the plaintiffs in the cases.

Oahu attorney Mark Gallagher said Monday the settlement of the 2013 suit brought by two men known only as John Roe 6 and 7, concerns only the diocese and “there is no dismissal of any claims against Father George DeCosta.”

For almost three decades, DeCosta, now 79, was the parish priest at Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church in Keaukaha. The two anonymous plaintiffs said the alleged abuse took place in the 1960s when they were students at Damien Memorial School in Honolulu and DeCosta was the school chaplain.

The school and Congregation of Christian Brothers of Hawaii, which operates the school, also are defendants in the suit filed in Honolulu Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Honolulu Diocese Reaches Settlement in Priest Sex Case

HAWAII
U.S. News

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu has settled a lawsuit alleging a retired Big Island priest sexually abused two boys decades ago.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2nfHVAQ) that attorney for the plaintiffs Mark Gallagher says the settlement of the 2013 lawsuit only concerns the diocese and no claims have been dismissed against Father George DeCosta.

The alleged victims in the case say the abuse took place in the 1960s when they were students at Damien Memorial School in Honolulu and DeCosta was the school chaplain.

The lawsuit is one of three filed against the diocese alleging sexual abuse by DeCosta and that the diocese knew or should have known about the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Come Down From Pulpit to Deal With Sexual Abuse, Catholic Leaders Told

ROME
U.S. News

By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - Catholic leaders must come down "from the pulpit" to acknowledge that clergy sexual abuse of children and cover-ups had broken the Church's heart and to do more to prevent it, speakers at a conference said on Thursday.

The gathering at a pontifical university in Rome took place as the Vatican was still stinging from the shock resignation on March 1 of Marie Collins from a commission advising Pope Francis on how to root out sexual abuse.

Collins, who as a teenager was abused by a priest in Ireland, quit in frustration, citing "shameful" resistance to change within the Vatican.

"Child sexual abuse has broken the heart of the Catholic Church," Francis Sullivan of Australia said in his address to the conference, held by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors - the group Collins left - and attended by top Vatican officials.

"We have never really appreciated that the decisions our leaders made in order to facilitate and cover up actually broke the heart of what it meant to be Catholic. And we need to go back and fully confront that," Sullivan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Thomas J. Gaffney

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Thomas J. Gaffney was ordained for the Archdiocese of New York in 1950. Early in his career he was an assistant priest in Rosendale, High Falls and Bronx parishes. He spent most of the following three decades as a high school educator - at Cardinal Hayes' in the Bronx 1955-1974, then St. Joseph by the Sea on Staten Island 1973-1982. For a time, he served as Assistant Dean at Cardinal Hayes, and he was Supervising Principal and then Principal at St. Joseph's. He was in residence for five of those years at a Staten Island mission for 'homeless and destitute' children. In 1982 Gaffney was named pastor of St. Charles on Staten Island, and he was elevated to Monsignor in 1987. He remained at St. Charles' until his death in 2004.

In October 2003 a 29-year-old man reported to law enforcement and to the archdiocese that Gaffney had sexually abused him over a three-year period, beginning when the man was a sixth-grader and altar boy at St. Charles. The man's attorney said he had evidence that Gaffney had also abused seven other children. Charges could not be filed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. After the man went public in January 2004, a second man surfaced with similar allegations, which he said occurred when Gaffney was St. Joseph by the Sea's principal. Gaffney vehemently denied the allegations and countersued his first accuser. He was kept in ministry.

Gaffney died March 27, 2004.

Ordained: 1950
Died: March 27, 2004

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

William Keeler, cardinal who headed Baltimore’s archdiocese for 18 years, dies at 86

MARYLAND
Washington Post

By Patricia Sullivan March 23

Cardinal William H. Keeler, who headed Baltimore’s archdiocese for 18 years and took a leading role in making the Catholic Church more responsive to the 2002 sexual-abuse scandal, died March 23 at a home for the aged in Catonsville, Md. He was 86.

Archbishop William Lori announced the death. No cause was disclosed.

Cardinal Keeler, a conservative leader on matters of faith, gained a reputation for social action and ecumenical diplomacy, creating and improving relationships with Protestant, Jewish and Muslim communities.

Late in his career, Cardinal Keeler published the names of hundreds of priests who had been accused of sexual abuse and disclosed that the archdiocese and its insurers had spent more than $5.6 million in 20 years on legal settlements, counseling and other expenses stemming from incidents of child sexual abuse by priests.

It was one of the most comprehensive accounts provided by any diocese.

“Ultimately, there is nothing to be gained by secrecy except the avoidance of scandal,” Cardinal Keeler wrote in a letter to 180,000 families registered in the Baltimore Archdiocese, which comprises nine Maryland counties and the city of Baltimore. “And rather than shrinking from this scandal — which, too often, has allowed it to continue — we must address it with humble contrition, righteous anger and public outrage. Telling the truth cannot be wrong.”

He supported the decision of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to remove sexual offenders from any job connected with the church. He was among the cardinals who met with representatives of abuse survivors, and he apologized for his decision in 1993 to return an accused priest to his parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

POPE'S SEX ABUSE ADVISER SEEKS TO KEEP SURVIVOR VOICE HEARD

ROME
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ROME (AP) -- Pope Francis' top sex abuse adviser insisted Thursday the pope is "thoroughly committed" to ridding the church of abuse, but acknowledged his advisory commission must regroup following the clamorous resignation of Irish survivor Marie Collins.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley told a seminar on protecting children that the commission has always maintained a "victims first" priority and that the issue of continued survivor involvement in its work would be discussed at the group's plenary meeting starting Friday.

The key question facing the commission, he said, is "how can victims and survivors continue to have a powerful voice in our work and help guide us?"

Collins resigned March 1 citing the "unacceptable" lack of cooperation from the Vatican's doctrine office in implementing the experts' proposals. Her departure dealt a blow to the commission's credibility, leaving it without any survivor participation, and again raised questions about the Vatican's commitment to fighting abuse, caring for survivors and accepting expertise from outside clerical circles.

Her resignation, which followed the suspension of the only other survivor on the board, was also a blow to Francis, who has won praise for creating the commission in 2014 and voicing "zero tolerance" for pedophiles, but has earned criticism for some problematic appointments, for scrapping a proposed tribunal to judge negligent bishops and for reducing penalties against a handful of abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Confessions of a Porn-Addicted Priest

UNITED STATES
America

John Smith March 22, 2017

“Forgive me. I have sinned.” I’ve always counted it a privilege to hear these words, to offer forgiveness. But for years, it was tainted with self-recrimination: You’re a hypocrite. Indeed, who was I to forgive or offer counsel, when I struggled with sin that I myself refused to confess because I couldn’t give it up and wasn’t sure I wanted to? Now, I have a confession to make.

It began during seminary, scanning photo galleries of models and actresses that I was attracted to. It seemed harmless, no threat to my celibate commitment. I took that promise seriously. I had no illusions that it would be easy, and it wasn’t. This might take the edge off, I thought.

I had no fears about its effects on my everyday life. I maintained proper boundaries in my work. I was especially vigilant when I was aware of my attraction to someone. I stayed away from sexually suggestive comments, and never flirted or acted inappropriately. I was the model of propriety, even as my browsing turned from the scantily clad to the unclothed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

America Magazine Features Confession of "Porn-Addicted" Priest: In Era of Donald Trump, Diversionary Moral Analysis

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Among many disappointing aspects of the papacy of Francis: the stepped-up clericalism.

We're really supposed to be riveted by a confession of a priest in America Magazine that he suffers from a (non-existent) addiction to porn?

As if priests are the center of the church, live lives more engrossing and larger than the lives of the rest of us, and the church is some kind of reality-show theater in which the rest of us are sitting and watching in fascination as those larger than life lives play out on a grand stage?

America really wants us to be concerned about a priest's so-called addiction to porn, in the era of Donald Trump?

Talk about diversionary moral analysis!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Baltimore Archbishop William Keeler dead at 86

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

Doug Donovan and Jacques Kelly
The Baltimore Sun

Cardinal William Henry Keeler, the longtime leader of the Archdiocese of Baltimore whose influence in the Catholic Church spanned international borders over nearly six decades, died Thursday. He had turned 86 this month.

The retired archbishop of Baltimore, who led the region's nearly 500,000 Catholics from 1989 until 2007, died while under the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Martin's House for the Aged in Arbutus, the archdiocese announced.

During his 17 years as archbishop, Cardinal Keeler hosted Pope John Paul II in 1995, voted in the conclave that chose Benedict XVI to succeed him, and raised well over $100 million for programs, schools and scholarships for low-income city students.

The cardinal was a leading national voice against abortion, and he built an international reputation for forging ties with believers of other faiths.

The cardinal was also thrust into the national spotlight by the priest sexual abuse scandal that gripped the church, when a Baltimore man shot a priest who was later convicted of molesting him as a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Don't shun abuse victims: Jewish leaders

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil - AAP on March 23, 2017

Jews who shun Jewish child sex abuse survivors are themselves committing a sin and are complicit in the abuse, the senior leaders of Australia's Jewish community say.

The leaders say there is no role for Jewish laws or halachic principles when it comes to child sexual abuse, which must be reported to secular authorities.

It is wrong to shun victims for coming forward or label them a moser or informer, they told the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

"In my view to shun is to be complicit in the abuse that has been perpetrated on the victim and there is no place for that in our society whatsoever," Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Anton Block said.

The royal commission has found leaders of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi failed to act on reports of abuse and some members of the orthodox communities were discouraged from reporting abuse because of the way Jewish law concepts were applied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Knights of Malta. The Mystery of Those 30 Million Swiss Francs

GERMANY
L'Expresso - Settimo Cielo

[Warum sehe ich BILD.de nicht? - Bild]

Sandro Magister

The saga of the Knights of Malta has been expanded with a new chapter, staged by the Grand Chancellor of the order, the German baron Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, in an interview in the widely read German newspaper “Bild” on March 16.

In the interview, conducted by Nikolaus Harbusch, a well-known journalist who specializes in financial crimes, the Grand Chancellor conformed that at the beginning of this month the order received the first installments of a donation of 30 million Swiss francs, after verifying the correct provenance of the sum and the reliability of the person with whom on March 1 it signed the transfer agreement, identified by the “Bild” as Ariane S. and a fiduciary of the CPVG trust in Geneva, registered in New Zealand, which is the trustee of the money.

According to the investigations of the “Bild,” however, the trail of this endowment still has its obscure points. And the order of Malta itself had initially reported the fiduciary of the CPVG trust to the Geneva courts for embezzlement, an accusation that was withdrawn shortly before the framework agreement lat March 1.

The following is Boeselager’s complete interview with the “Bild.” Immediately followed by a few notes on the questions that it raises.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Tuam home makes it easier to comprehend Hitler, says TD

IRELAND
Irish Times

Marie O'Halloran

Reflecting on the oppressive Ireland of mother and baby homes makes it easy to understand how Adolf Hitler was able to do what he did, the Dáil has heard.

Sinn Féin deputy Martin Kenny said that when he was growing up, “I often wondered about Hitler, the Germans and what happened to the Jews and how he was able to do what he did.

“If you sit and think about the kind of Ireland we had,” Mr Kenny said, “it is very easy to understand how people were able to do these things.”

The Sligo-Leitrim TD was speaking during a debate on the commission of investigation confirming human remains on the site of the former Tuam mother and baby home.

He highlighted the case of a woman born in Tuam whose earliest memory was of hunger. He said that she and other children “used to scrape the dirt off the walls and eat it”. Her childhood was one of fear and of the “very worst horrors we could imagine”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Redress scheme may be reopened in wake of Tuam

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Niall O'Connor and Eilish O'Regan

March 23 2017

The Government is considering the reopening of a State redress scheme for survivors of the mother and baby homes, the Irish Independent understands.

Coalition sources have revealed that an unpublished report carried out by an expert commission recommends the reopening of a 2002 scheme that previously paid out compensation for institutional abuse.

Education Minister Richard Bruton said last week that there are no plans to reopen the scheme, which has already paid out €1.5bn to those who suffered abuse in religious institutions.

However, sources last night revealed that the Commission for the Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has recommended reopening the scheme for compensation purposes.

The Commission recently revealed details of hundreds of children's remains at a site in Tuam.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Ireland’s forgotten diaspora - banished unwed mothers and adopted babies

IRELAND
IrishCentral

Professor James M. Smith
@IrishCentral
March 23, 2017

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny visited the US last week for what many in Ireland see as his farewell, St. Patrick’s Day tour. But by traveling to America, Mr. Kenny also briefly escaped a scandal that shows no sign of abating back home. Recent news headlines scream, “Tuam mother and baby home a chamber of horrors says Taoiseach” and “Enda Kenny says babies … were treated like ‘some kind of sub-species.’”

Tuam was ostensibly a maternity home, providing services to unmarried mothers and their illegitimate children. It was owned by Galway County Council, managed by Catholic nuns, and inspected by the State.

Earlier this month, the government’s “Commission of Investigation” vindicated the claims of local historian Catherine Corless, who asserted in 2014 that 798 children had died at the Tuam Home. Tests now confirm the presence of human remains in a series of underground chambers, consistent with young children from the period in which the Home operated (1926-1961).

The Sisters of the Bon Secours interred infant remains in what Minister for Children Katherine Zappone—who visited Boston last week—describes as “a series of chambers that may have formed part of sewage treatment works.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Women of all ages and social backgrounds still concealing pregnancies, study finds

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Concealed pregnancies are still occurring in this country even though mother-and-baby homes no longer exist and the women, choosing to hide pregnancies, are of all ages and social backgrounds, according to research from Trinity College Dublin, writes Claire O'Sullivan.

The research, which is to be published in full early in the summer, found that some of the women had suffered “traumatic life experience” and some had found difficulties during pregnancy in accessing information around adoption.

Many of the 30 women interviewed believed adoption had been the right decision for them and their child. All of the women would have avoided antenatal healthcare.

The authors of the research had harsh words for elements of the press whose “sensationalist, insensitive and negative” reporting of the Baby Maria and Baby Alannah cases in 2015 and 2016 may have served to further drive affected women underground.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Sydney Rabbi Pinchus Feldman tells royal commission he is 'not familiar' with child protection policies

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

A Jewish leader has admitted to a royal commission he was not across the detail of his organisation's child protection principles.

Leader of Bondi's Yeshiva Centre Rabbi Pinchus Feldman told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he was "not familiar" with the policies.
Child abuse Royal Commission: a look back

Painful and difficult stories in their thousands emerge from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission heard the centre, which comprises a synagogue, a bath house and a youth group, had "unclear" policies on child protection.

The Bondi centre and Yeshivah Centre Melbourne are part of the ultra-orthodox Jewish movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, which was rocked by child sex abuse claims that emerged from the royal commission's initial inquiry into the organisations in 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission: Jewish victims 'shunned after making allegations'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Karen Percy and Jade MacMillan

Ultra-orthodox Jews believed it was a sin to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the police, and shunned those who did, a royal commission has heard.

Some victims in Melbourne and Sydney said they were subjected to ultra-orthodox interpretations of Jewish laws which made it a sin to give evidence against fellow Jews to secular bodies, like the police.

At least three people, including a rabbi, have been convicted of multiple offences of sexual abuse at Jewish schools or centres.

Melbourne whistleblower Manny Waks has spoken extensively about how he and his family were ostracised when he first went public in 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Archbishop Prowse visits Goulburn to listen to abuse concerns

AUSTRALIA
Goulburn Post

Louise Thrower
Louise Thrower@ThrowerLouise

23 Mar 2017

Archbishop Christopher Prowse will visit Goulburn on Tuesday to hear community concerns about institutional abuse within the catholic archdiocese.

His ‘listening tour’ follows evidence given by all of Australia’s archbishops at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse.

“In a sincere gesture of pastoral care on this fragile matter, I intend to visit the Archdiocese in the final weeks of Lent, and listen carefully to those who wish to gather with me,” Archbishop Prowse stated in a circular.

He will be at Mary Queen of Apostles Parish meeting room, Verner Street, Goulburn from 7pm Tuesday, March 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Devon Dick | Rape and reputation

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

On Sunday, before the nine a.m. worship service, a congregant of the Boulevard Baptist Church told me that a very close family member of his was recently raped. It is causing unimaginable pain for the victim, an academically gifted child.

Can anyone imagine the trauma, pain and hurt when raped? This man has friends in the police force but those dealing with the case seem to be most unhelpful.

After church, the midday newscast related that in Australia, the Anglican Church has uncovered 1,000 complaints about child sex abuse between 1980 and 2015 involving 22 of the 23 dioceses. Significantly, the main reason for indecisive action was to save the reputation of the church. Obviously, reputation is overrated.

As I understand it, the arrest of Latoya Nugent was based on the allegation of her damaging the reputation of persons named as sexual predators. My understanding is that she has named persons as sexual predators based on the testimony of others. It was shocking to learn that libel is now a criminal offence. We should go back to the system of libel being a civil matter where the one whose reputation has been damaged is allowed to take the case to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Your Turn: An open letter to prosecutor Jeff Anderson

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Gerald C. Mertens, St. Cloud
March 22, 2017

I am sharing an open letter I have sent to Jeff Anderson, the attorney who has played an important role in the effort to find justice for victims of sexual molestation by Catholic priests. I feel there is a message in my letter to Jeff that is important for readers of the St. Cloud Times, as I fear justice will not take place without a public opinion shift to correct this injustice.

A strong message is for our church to help those we — the Church — hurt.

"Hi Jeff Anderson,

We have never met. I do NOT believe that you have received many (or possibly any) letters like this; I would be pleasantly surprised if I am incorrect.

I wish that many thinking Catholics would express their gratitude to you for being a "conscience" inspiring us Catholics to do the right thing. As I see it, most Catholics who become aware of the damage that Catholic priests caused via their child sexual molesting have become aware of the seriousness because of your work. This harm has been swept under the rug for far too long by poor Catholic leadership.

Beyond just making us Catholics aware, your work on priest molestation gives "thinking Catholics" a much deeper understanding of a problem we must continue to work on. The need exists for an active contrition with a firm purpose (and a plan) for amending the wrong inflicted. It is NOT okay to escape doing something about the molestation of children and women. In good faith (perhaps even a pun), the Catholic Church should show they are trying to end this sexual abuse of children and poor treatment of women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

A priest will appear in Forster court in early April charged with assault

AUSTRALIA
Great Lakes Advocate

Update:

Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright has released a statement confirming a priest from diocese has been charged with historic child sexual offences.

The charges related to matters alleged to have occurred in the 1970s, the statement says.

"The priest concerned and I have agreed that he stand aside from ministry,” Bishop Wright said.

“We are unable to comment further on this matter at this time, other than to say again that we have and will continue to co-operate with NSW Police in their investigations and that we have confidence in our criminal justice system to deal properly with this matter in due course."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Catholic priest charged with historical child sex offences - Mid North Coast

AUSTRALIA
New South Wales Police Force

Thursday, 23 March 2017

A Catholic priest will appear in court after being charged with alleged sexual assaults upon a boy in the Mid North Coast area between 1979 and 1980.

In 2013, the Commonwealth Government established a Royal Commission into Institutional response to child sex abuse. The Commission commenced hearing evidence from witnesses and victims.

In March 2014, a 46-year-old man alleged he was sexually abused by two Catholic priests and another man. The boy was between the age of nine and 12 at the time the alleged abuse occurred.

Following inquiries, about 12pm today (Thursday 22 March 2017) detectives from Manning/Great Lakes Local Area Command arrested a 76-year-old Newcastle man, at Waratah Police Station.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

NSW priest charged with historic sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Australian Associated Press
March 23, 2017

A Catholic priest has been charged over the alleged sexual assault of a young boy on the NSW mid north coast in the late 1970s.

Police say the victim, now 46, came forward in March 2014, a year after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established.

It's alleged the man was sexually abused by two Catholic priests and another man between 1979 and 1980.

The alleged assaults happened when the victim was aged between nine and 12.

Detectives on Thursday arrested one of the accused priests in Newcastle and charged him with three counts of indecent assault on a male.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Dereliction of duty: IG suspends circle-inspector

INDIA
Nyoooz

Summary: Thiruvananthapuram: A circle-inspector in Thiruvananthapuram was placed under suspension on account of dereliction of duty by IG Manoj Abraham. The suspension was following allegations of procedural lapses he committed in probing a case related to sexual abuse of a minor boy. It was based on this report, the IG took the action against the cop. The accused in the case was a priest, Father Thomas Pareckal, who was the in-charge of the seminary. The case pertained to the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy, who pursued Theology course in a seminary at Puthur near Kottarakkara in Kollam.

Thiruvananthapuram: A circle-inspector in Thiruvananthapuram was placed under suspension on account of dereliction of duty by IG Manoj Abraham. The suspension was following allegations of procedural lapses he committed in probing a case related to sexual abuse of a minor boy. CI S M Riyaz of Poovar was suspended pending inquiry for the delay of action from his part, which facilitated the escape of the accused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

March 22, 2017

Alleged abuser says sorry

AUSTRALIA
Australian Jewish News

ALLEGED child sexual abuser Velvel Serebryanski has apologised to one of his alleged victims.

Serebryanski, who now lives in New York, was in his mid-20s when he allegedly sexually abused 11-year-old Manny Waks on Shavuot in 1987 in Melbourne’s Yeshivah Centre.

Over the next few months Serebryanski allegedly abused Waks again at the centre and at the Russian Chabad House.

When Serebryanski, who has never been charged, was confronted by Waks recently, a conversation took place during which he blamed the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

Settlement Reached in LA Priest Sex Abuse Suit

CALIFORNIA
NBC Los Angeles

By Bill Hetherman/City News Service

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has settled a lawsuit brought by a 29-year-old man who alleged he was forced to read verses from the Bible while being sexually molested in the 1990s by his head parish priest.

Lawyers for the plaintiff, identified in his Los Angeles Superior Court complaint only as John CP Doe, filed a notice of settlement Thursday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ruth Kwan. No terms were divulged.

In their court papers arguing for dismissal of the plaintiff's case, archdiocese attorneys stated that the plaintiff admitted there were no witnesses to his alleged abuse by Monsignor Alfred Hernandez, and that he could not provide evidence the archdiocese knew of the molestation he claimed to have suffered.

The plaintiff's court papers stated that Hernandez used his position to get access to the plaintiff when the boy was in the first grade and a student at the parish school he attended. His court papers did not identify the parish and school, but lawyers for the archdiocese stated in their documents that

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Christian Brothers add insult to injury

IRELAND
Limerick Post

Andrew Carey | March 22, 2017

School survivor and book author Tom Wall at entrance of former industrial school in Glin

THREATS of legal action by the Christian Brothers against the last pupil to be incarcerated at Glin Industrial School were described this week as “contemptible”.

In 1952, when he was just three years old, Tom Wall was the last child to be sent to St Joseph’s Industrial School for Boys in Glin. In his book, ‘The Boy From Glin’, he documents his 13 years at the County Limerick institution where he was regularly beaten and sexually abused.

65 years later, the European Province of the Congregation of the Christian Brothers has threatened to sue him over the return of documents he saved from being destroyed and subsequently donated to the University of Limerick.

Mr Wall said he was ordered by the School Superior Brother Murray to burn the school records when the Christian Brothers were leaving Glin in 1973. Brother Murray told him he could keep his own records and any other documents he was interested in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 PM

Vatican reform on sexual abuse has stalled

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler
Mar 22, 2017

Three weeks have passed since Marie Collins resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), complaining that the group’s work has been thwarted by resistance from within the Roman Curia. A few days after her public announcement, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)—which was the main target of Collins’ criticism— defended his office and denied any foot-dragging on the abuse issue. Collins quickly shot back, rebutting the cardinal’s arguments. Since, then, silence.

Where do we stand? Is this special papal commission really acting under restraint? Or do its members have unrealistic expectations? Is there evidence that the Vatican has adopted a tough new attitude on abuse, or is it all talk and no action? Let’s review the available evidence.

Bear in mind that the announcement of Collins’ resignation was not a bolt from the blue. She had frequently shown signs of impatience with the work of the PCPM. Nor was she the first member of the commission to leave. Peter Saunders—who, like Collins, is an abuse victim—had been asked to resign last year, after issuing a series of angry comments; he refused to resign, but was placed involuntarily on an indefinite “leave of absence.” Then another member, Claudio Papale, resigned last September without any public explanation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Marie Collins Highlights Ongoing Tensions Over Vatican’s Handling of Clergy Abuse

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

Edward Pentin

VATICAN CITY — The resignation of Marie Collins from the Vatican’s commission helping to protect minors from clerical sex abuse is being seen as another wake-up call for the Vatican in how it deals with such cases.

One of just two clerical-abuse survivors appointed to the 17-member Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors when it was established in 2014, Collins resigned as a member March 1, citing a “lack of cooperation” by the Roman Curia as a principal factor.

In her March 1 resignation statement, she criticized the Vatican for a “lack of resources” and “inadequate structures,” as well as “slowness” and “cultural resistance.” She also cited the failure of the Vatican to distribute the commission’s template for safeguarding guidelines to national bishops’ conferences.

An Irish native, Collins added that the “most significant problem” was reluctance in some of the Curia to implement the commission’s recommendations, despite the Pope’s approval. Specifically she lamented the refusal of one dicastery “to ensure all correspondence from victims/survivors receives a response.”

“I have come to the point where I can no longer be sustained by hope,” Collins wrote. “As a survivor, I have watched events unfold with dismay.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

New lawsuit alleges abuse in Tumon parish

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

A former Santa Barbara Catholic School student has alleged that a former priest sexually abused him inside a room at the Tumon Catholic Church when he was a young boy.

Jive Lee Kaai, 45, filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Guam accusing former priest Raymond Cepeda of sexual abuse when he was 12 or 13 years old.

According to the lawsuit, between 1981 and 1982, Kaai was attending school at Santa Barbara Catholic School in Dededo and Cepeda was a priest at the Dededo parish and appeared to be in charge at the school.

Court documents state the Catholic school students were taught to honor and respect not only the nuns, but also the priests and do whatever they told them to do.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Child sex abuse allegation against Pittsburgh priest 'has not been proven,' so he will retire

PENNSYLVANIA
WTAE

PITTSBURGH —
A priest in the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese will be allowed to retire after the Vatican was unable to prove that he sexually abused a child, the diocese said Wednesday.

The Rev. John P. Fitzgerald, 68, was most recently the pastor at Our Lady of Peace in Conway, Beaver County. He has been on leave since July 31, 2014, because of the abuse allegation.

"It could not be determined with certainty whether the abuse did or did not occur," the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said, according to the diocese.

The sex abuse was alleged to have happened in the late 1990s and was reported to the diocese in 2014. The diocese said it also brought the allegation to the district attorneys in Allegheny and Lawrence counties.

"Father Fitzgerald has maintained his innocence throughout. At the same time, the person who brought the allegation has maintained that the abuse did occur," the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Priest retires after allegations of child sex abuse ruled not proven

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

NATASHA LINDSTROM | Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Beaver County priest accused two years ago of child sexual abuse will retire following a Vatican ruling that the allegation “has not been proven,” the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said Wednesday.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith decided there was not enough evidence to prove the Rev. John “Jack” P. Fitzgerald abused a child in the late 1990s.

“It could not be determined with certainty whether the abuse did or did not occur,” the Pittsburgh diocese said in a statement.

Fitzgerald, 68, whose last assignment was pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Conway, has been on administrative leave and prohibited from administering sacraments or identifying himself as a priest since July 31, 2014.

Bishop David Zubik now has granted the retirement request from Fitzgerald, who once served as chaplain at Pittsburgh International Airport and an Air National Guard station.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

3 MORE CO-ACCUSED IN KOTTIYOOR RAPE CASE ARRESTED

INDIA
BLive

Kannur: Three more co-accused, including two doctors, in the Kottiyoor rape case in which priest Robin Vadakkancheril is accused of sexually exploiting and impregnating a minor girl, were arrested by the police in Kannur today. The co-accused gynaecologist Sister Tessy Jose, paediatrician Dr Hydrali and hospital administrator Sister Ancy Mathew surrendered before the Kannur Circle office around 630 this morning.

With the arrest of these three co-accused, the number of people nabbed by the police has gone up to eight. Those already arrested include the prime accused priest Robin. Two more nuns are still absconding and search is on to nab them, police said.

The sex abuse victim, a plus one student at a school in Kottiyoor, had given birth to a child on February 7 at a private hospital.

The co-accused helped priest Robin in hiding the newborn in the orphanage at Vythiri and the doctors and hospital authorities failed to report the incident to the police, government or Child Welfare Committee (CWC) then.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Former priest and attorney disbarred in Florida for possession of child pornography

FLORIDA
Florida Record

TALLAHASSEE — Bruce Charles Fehr, who was admitted to the Florida Bar more than 20 years ago, was disbarred from practicing law in Florida by the state Supreme Court on Jan. 29 after he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.

According to an report by TV station WSAV, Fehr was working as an Episcopal priest in the Savannah, Georgia area when he was arrested for downloading the child pornography. Fehr will serve three years in prison for the criminal conviction after making his plea on Nov. 18, 2015 in U.S. district court in Georgia, according to court documents. A plea agreement was accepted on Nov. 30, 2015. Fehr was sentenced on March 30, 2016, and surrendered himself to a federal prison on April 29, 2016, to serve his sentence.

The attorney’s conduct violated the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar Rule 4-8.4(b), which states that “a lawyer shall not commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Telsner still being paid ‘regular salary’

AUSTRALIA
Australian Jewish News

MORE than 18 months after Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner resigned as the Yeshivah Centre’s senior rabbi, admitting that his conduct towards child sexual abuse victims and their families was not in line with the values of Yeshivah, he is still being paid “his regular salary”.

The stunning revelation came to light when The AJN asked the Yeshivah boards, including the Chabad Institutions of Victoria Limited (CIVL) board, questions to mark 100 days since they were elected.

“He is receiving his regular salary,” CIVL said.

“Until now, there has not been a governing body with authority to address this.

“It should be noted that his employment contract allows for certain financial compensation should his position be vacated. His official position has been in suspension since the resignation letter.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

How SNAP Brought McCarthyism to American Catholics

UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

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

Ever so slowly awakening across America is a long-suppressed awareness of an ugly part of history that keeps repeating itself. There are prophets arising among us who are finding the courage to speak truth to power – in this case the power of mob justice. One of them is columnist Michelle Malkin whose recent article, “Fighting for the Falsely Accused” was sent to me last month.

Michelle Malkin tells the gruesomely familiar tale of former Fort Worth, Texas police officer, Brian Franklin. Convicted of the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in 1995, he spent the last twenty-one years in prison for a crime he had nothing to do with. As Ms. Malkin describes, “There were no witnesses. There was no DNA.” There was just one person’s word against another’s, and the jury – after lots of media hype – was conditioned to bring no skepticism to the heavily coached testimony of a distraught teen.

The sole evidence was a medical report of a physical examination concluding that the girl had in fact been sexually assaulted. That, and a claim that the assault occurred in the backyard of her biological father who was a friend of the police officer-suspect, was enough to satisfy prosecutors and a jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Priest retires after inconclusive Vatican review of abuse claim

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PETER SMITH
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
petersmith@post-gazette.com
MAR 22, 2017

A Roman Catholic priest is retiring and will not participate in public ministry after a Vatican investigation found it could not determine whether a single allegation of past sexual abuse by him could be proven.

Bishop David Zubik granted the Rev. John P. Fitzgerald’s request for immediate retirement, the diocese said in a statement Wednesday.

Father Fitzgerald, 68, had most recently served as pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Conway, Beaver County. He was placed on leave in July 2014 after the diocese received an allegation he had sexually abused a minor in the 1990s.

“It is the only allegation against him ever brought to the Diocese of Pittsburgh,” the diocese said in a statement. “Father Fitzgerald has maintained his innocence throughout. At the same time, the person who brought the allegation has maintained that the abuse did occur.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Kerala priest rape case: 3 more accused including two nuns surrender

INDIA
The News Minute

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The three co-accused who allegedly helped Kottiyoor priest Robin Vadakkumchery in hushing up the rape of a child, after which the minor gave birth to a baby, surrendered before the investigation officer on Wednesday morning.

Dr. Tessy Jose, a nun and gynaecologist at Christu Raj Hospital Thokkilangadi, who delivered the survivor’s child, Dr. Hyderali, paediatrician in the hospital and Sr Ancy Mathew, nun and hospital administrator, surrendered before the Peravoor Circle Inspector Sunil Kumar after the Kerala High Court rejected their anticipatory bail plea.

As of now, including the prime accused Robin, eight accused have surrendered in the case.

Former Wayanad Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairman Fr. Joseph Therakam, Sr. Ophilia, the Superintendent of Holy infant Mary orphanage at Wayanad, where the infant of the survivor was taken to immediately after the delivery and another nun Sr. Betty of CWC had surrendered last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Priest allowed to retire after sexual abuse claim 'not proven'

PENNSYLVANIA
WPXI

CONWAY, Pa. - A Beaver County priest accused of sexually abusing a minor in the late 1990s will be allowed to retire, the Diocese of Pittsburgh announced Wednesday.

The Rev. John Fitzgerald, 68, has been on administrative leave since July 2014. His last assignment was at Our Lady of Peace parish in Conway.

The diocese said Wednesday that the Vatican’s congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ruled that the accusation against Fitzgerald “has not been proven.”

“It could not be determined with certainty whether the abuse did or did not occur,” the diocese said in a news release.

The congregation directed Bishop David Zubik to take appropriate action that provides for the welfare of all parties involved, including the welfare of the public, the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Catholic Priest Found Guilty Of Stealing From Parishioners In San Jose

CALIFORNIA
CBS SF Bay Area

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A Roman Catholic priest who once ran the Vietnamese Catholic Center for the Diocese of San Jose was convicted in federal court Tuesday of 14 counts of bank fraud for diverting parishioners’ donations into his personal bank account.

Hien Minh Nguyen, 57, was found guilty by U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman of San Jose, who conducted a nonjury trial on the charges in February.

The donations, which were made between 2005 and 2007, were intended for the Vietnamese Catholic Center and totaled $19,000.

Nguyen previously pleaded guilty before Freeman in August to four additional counts of evading taxes for the tax years 2008 through 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Trinity

MASSACHUSETTS
The Brattle Theater

Trinity
at 12:00 PM
SINGLE FEATURE • DCP • NO BRATTLE PASSES •

Director: Skip Shea
Screenwriter: Skip Shea
Cast: Sean Carmichael, David Graziano, Aurora Grabill, Lynn Lowry
2016 | USA/Italy | DCP | 85 min.

A man accidentally bumps into the priest who abused him when he was a child, sending him on a twisted journey through his past.

In his first feature, Massachusetts’ own Skip Shea plumbs the depths of loss, trauma, and guilt through the story of Michael, a stoic artist (Sean Carmichael) who stops for coffee only to encounter the priest (David Graziano) who once sexually abused him. What would you do if you came face-to-face with the man who ruined your life?

Trinity explores that moment as a dreamlike journey through time past, a route that carries the troubled Michael in and out of churches, a dimly lit bathroom stall, and the tables of tarot card readers. We meet Father Tom’s other victims, most memorably the haunting Angel (Aurora Grabill), and a cadre of Michael’s chatty adulthood friends who seem to discuss the tenets of Catholicism as others casually discuss their theories about Westworld. Their removed, academic dissections rarely consider that the scars of abuse do not always fade with time. The experiences continue to strangle and suffocate the victims long after they’ve left the physical proximity of their tormentors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Frankreichs "Spotlight": Missbrauch von Kirche systematisch vertuscht

FRANKREICH
Profil

[A group of French investigator journalists laid open systematic abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in France.]

Von Ines Holzmüller ( 22. 3. 2017 )

Eine Gruppe französischer Investigativjournalisten legte systematischen Missbrauch in der römisch-katholischen Kirche in Frankreich offen.

Das französische investigativjournalistische Portal "Mediapart" legte am Dienstag einen großen Missbrauchsskandal in der französischen römisch-katholischen Kirche offen. 25 Bischöfe, von denen fünf noch heute im Amt sind, sollen über Jahrzehnte sexuellen Missbrauch durch 32 Priester systematisch gedeckt haben. 339 Kinder sollen diese seit den 1960-Jahren mindestens missbraucht haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Cash investigation - Pedophilie dans l'Eglise : le poids du silence 1-3

FRANCE
Rutube

[This is the complete Cash Investigation program that appeared on French television on Tuesday night.]

[For nearly a year, journalists have investigated one of the best kept secrets of the Church of France, revealing that religious condemned for pedophilia are still active, sometimes even in contact with children.]

Pendant près d'un an, des journalistes ont enquêté sur l'un des secrets les mieux gardés de l'Église de France, révélant ainsi que des religieux condamnés pour pédophilie sont toujours en activité, parfois même au contact d'enfants...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Former Santa Barbara student alleges priest sex abuse

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com March 22, 2017

A former student at Santa Barbara Catholic School in Dededo said a former priest sexually abused him while two other students were told to wait outside an office of a Tumon parish in 1981 or 1982.

Jive Lee Kaai, now 47, said he was only 12 or 13 and a student at Santa Barbara Catholic School when former priest Raymond Cepeda sexually abused him at St. William's Catholic Church in Tumon. The church is now the Blessed Diego de San Vitores.

Kaai, represented by attorney David Lujan, is the 32nd man to file a Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam, and it demands a minimum $5 million in damages and a jury trial.

In a complaint filed Wednesday afternoon, Kaai said the sexual abuse happened after he and several other Santa Barbara students were given detention for getting into trouble at school. Part of their punishment was to clean around the campus, the lawsuit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Hinch wants inquiry into child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Derryn Hinch wants to set up a parliamentary committee to inquire into how the recommendations from the child sex abuse royal commission are implemented.

The crossbench senator will move on Thursday to establish the joint committee to inquire into the implementation of recommendations by governments and the relevant not-for-profit organisations.

It would also inquire into the operation of the federal government's redress scheme and support of survivors, presenting a final report by December 2018.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

East Cork TD says ‘Truth of Mother and Baby Home crimes must come out’

IRELAND
The Cork

22 March 2017
By Tom O’Sullivan
tom@TheCork.ie

Sinn Féin TD for Cork East Pat Buckley has called on the Government to support a Sinn Féin motion to establish a Truth Commission to investigate conditions at Mother and Baby Homes across the state following the revelations of mass graves at a home which had operated in Tuam. He said that the full truth being revealed was the only way to address the stain on Irish society caused by the scandal and to allow healing for survivors.

Deputy Buckley said:

“If one thing is clear about how we must proceed with addressing the shameful scandal of abuse, neglect and imprisonment represented by the Mother and Baby Homes which operated in this state, it is that we must as a principle accept the word of and believe the survivors of these crimes.

“I believe the survivors of places like Bessborough and Bethany and others.

“I believe them when they describe a kind of existence which if perfectly honest I don’t want to believe. However, I know from their dignity and resolve and from the catalogue of already exposed outrages, that these horrors they speak of are true and that they must be brought out into the light.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Case Study 53, March 2017, Sydney

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing to inquire into the current policies and procedures of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi in relation to child-protection and child-safety standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.

The public hearing will commence 23 March 2017 at the Royal Commission’s hearing rooms in Sydney.

Location
The hearing will be held at Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney.

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

1. The current policies and procedures of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi in relation to child protection and child-safe standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
2. Factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse at Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi.
3. Factors that may have affected the institutional response of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi to child sexual abuse.
4. The responses of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi to relevant case study report(s) and other Royal Commission reports.
5. Any related matters.

The purpose of this public hearing is not to inquire into individual sets of facts or particular events as has occurred in previous Royal Commission case studies.

Leave to appear

The Royal Commission may invite selected individuals or organisations to speak to, or give evidence about, the submissions they have previously provided, however it is not proposed that leave to appear will be granted to these individuals or organisations, on the basis that they are speaking or giving evidence in this capacity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Trial date requested in Word of Faith abuse case

NORTH CAROLINA
WSPA

By Brianna Smith
Published: March 21, 2017

RUTHERFORD Co., NC (WSPA) – Word of Faith members accused of beating a former member could go on trial in May.

In 2015, five church members were indicted on kidnapping and assault charges after deputies say Matthew Fenner was beaten because he was gay.

Justin Covington, 20, of Rutherfordton; Brooke Covington, 56, of Rutherfordton; Robert Walker Jr., 26, of Spindale; and Adam Bartley, 25, of Rutherfordton have been indicted on one count each of second-degree kidnapping and simple assault.

Sarah Covington Anderson, 27, of Rutherfordton, faces the same charge and one count of assault inflicting physical injury by strangulation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Le Pape refuse un entretien à Cash Investigation, Elise Lucet se rend jusqu'

FRANCE
La Libre

[Pope Francis and Clergy Sexual Abuse in Argentina Including a Database of Publicly Accused Argentine Clerics - BishopAccountability.org]

[Nothing stops Elise Lucet. She proved this Tuesday in the issue Cash Investigation devoted to pedophilia in the Church. It was with a usual aplomb that she went to Saint Peter's Square in Rome to try to interview the Pope who had nevertheless refused dozens of requests for interview. Pressed behind a barrier like a crowd of faithful, the journalist hailed him in Italian during a public meeting. "Your Holiness, in the Grassi case, have you tried to influence the Argentine justice?".]

Rien n'arrête Elise Lucet. Elle l'a encore prouvé ce mardi dans l'émission Cash Investigation consacrée à la pédophilie dans l'Eglise.

C'est avec un aplomb habituel qu'elle s'est rendue place Saint-Pierre à Rome pour tenter d'interviewer le Pape qui avait pourtant refusé les dizaines de demandes d'entretien. Pressée derrière une barrière comme une foule de fidèles, la journaliste l'a hélé en italien durant une séance publique. "Votre Sainteté, dans le cas Grassi, avez-vous tenté d'influencer la justice argentine?".

Selon la rumeur que tentait de vérifier France 2, le Pape aurait essayé d'innocenter un prêtre jugé pour pédophilie au moment où il était archevêque à Buenos Aires.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

VIDEO. "Cash Investigation". Pédophilie : un réseau mondial pour celles et ceux qui ont survécu aux abus de prêtres

FRANCE
Franceinfo

[VIDEO. "Cash Investigation". Pedophilia: A global network for those who have survived abuse of priests.]

D'après une étude commandée par l'Eglise catholique américaine, 4% des prêtres ont commis des agressions sexuelles sur mineurs. Ces victimes se sont réunies à Chicago, aux Etats-Unis, pour le congrès annuel de leur association, le Snap (en anglais), le Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, un acronyme pour le Réseau de celles et ceux qui ont survécu aux abus de prêtres.

A la tribune, Phil Saviano, cofondateur : "Je pense qu'on est encore plus nombreux que l'année dernière. C'est une bonne nouvelle. Combien d'entre vous sont là pour la première fois ?" demande-t-il. Face à la forêt de bras qui se lèvent, il précise : "Presque 40% !"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

LUTTE CONTRE LA PÉDOPHILIE : CE QUI A ÉTÉ FAIT PAR L'EGLISE DE FRANCE

FRANCE
LCI

[SEXUAL ABUSES - Earlier this week, "Cash Investigation" and Mediapart revealed that 25 French bishops had covered 32 pedophile priests for years, evoking in particular a vast system of international exfiltration. An implacable observation even though since April 2016, the church of France has stepped up its fight against pedophilia.]

ABUS SEXUELS - En début de semaine, "Cash Investigation" et Mediapart ont révélé que 25 évêques français avaient couvert 32 prêtres pédophiles pendant des années, évoquant notamment un vaste système d'exfiltration internationale. Un constat implacable même si depuis avril 2016, l'Eglise de France a intensifié sa lutte contre la pédophilie.

L’enquête a fait l’effet d’une bombe. Selon les investigations menées conjointement par Mediapart et Cash Investigation, 25 évêques français - dont cinq toujours en poste - ont couvert pendant des années 32 prêtres auteurs d'abus sexuels sur des mineurs. Des prêtres français qui ont laissé derrière eux 339 victimes présumées sans en informer la justice. Dans un documentaire diffusé mardi soir, l’équipe d’Elise Lucet a en outre révélé que plus de 90 prêtres impliqués dans des affaires de pédophilie ont été déplacés par l’Eglise de par le monde afin de leur permettre d’échapper à la justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Cash Investigation: l'Eglise accable Elise Lucet et ses méthodes "à charge"

FRANCE
L'Express

[While Cash Investigation came to supplement the revelations of Mediapart on pedophilia in the church, the representatives of the French bishops attack the methods of the journalist.]

Alors qu'un numéro de Cash Investigation est venu compléter les révélations de Médiapart sur la pédophilie dans l'Eglise, les représentants des évêques de France s'attaquent aux méthodes de la journaliste pointant une émission à charge.

La ténacité d'Elise Lucet et les séquences désormais cultes où la journaliste court après grands patrons, ou hommes politiques dérangent. Cette fois, c'est l'Eglise catholique française qui s'attaque aux méthodes de l'ancienne présentatrice du 13 heures de France 2.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

VIDEO. «Cash Investigation»: Élise Lucet interpelle le pape François sur la pédophilie et impre

FRANCE
20 Minutes

[VIDEO. "Cash Investigation": Élise Lucet challenges Pope Francis on pedophilia and impresses Twitter.]

Marie de Fournas
Publié le 22.03.2017

Thug Life. Mardi soir, l’émission Cash Investigation dévoilait une enquête menée depuis un an sur la gestion par l’Église catholique de prêtres mis en cause dans des affaires de pédophilie. Alors qu’une enquête de Mediapart vient de diffuser la liste de 32 prêtres accusés de pédophilie qui auraient été couverts par des évêques, France 2 s’est intéressée de très près au pape François. Selon l’émission, il aurait, lorsqu’il était archevêque de Buenos Aires, « tenté de faire innocenter un prêtre jugé pour pédophilie ». Pourtant réputé pour sa tolérance zéro vis-à-vis de ces agissements, le Saint-Père aurait transmis à la justice en 2010, une contre-enquête à décharge avant le procès en appel de l’accusé, le père Julio César Grassi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Pédophilie : le porte-parole des évêques dit sa "honte" et sa "détermination"

FRANCE
Europe 1

[Bishop Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, spokesman for the Conference of French Bishops (CEF), said on Wednesday he was determined to act against pedophilia in the Church after the accusations of cover-up by bishops in the Mediapart and Cash Investigation television program.]

Mgr Olivier Ribadeau Dumas dénonce par ailleurs une enquête "uniquement à charge et qui ne met pas en valeur tout ce qui a été fait depuis un an."

Le porte-parole de la Conférence des évêques de France (CEF), Mgr Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, a dit mercredi sa "honte" mais aussi sa "détermination" à agir contre la pédophilie dans l'Église, après les accusations de Mediapart et de l'émission Cash Investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Child abusers stopped from going to church

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

An offender advocating child sexual abuse has been stopped from attending church in Sydney, an inquiry into the Anglican Church has heard.

Dozens of other child abusers or people deemed to be a potential risk to children are allowed to worship in the Anglican Church but are monitored under safety plans, the child sex abuse royal commission has heard.

The Diocese of Sydney is managing 32 people on safety plans but its professional standards director Lachlan Bryant says two offenders have been deemed unsuitable to attend parishes.

"One of them is an offender who was essentially proselytising child sexual abuse," Mr Byrant told the royal commission on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Archbishop apologises to victim's mother

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Rebekah Ison - AAP on March 22, 2017

Sydney's Anglican archbishop has delivered a public apology to the mother of an abuse victim, whose untimely death has sparked a new protocol in his name.

Wayne Guthrie, 47, died in December 2015, the month before he was supposed to give evidence at the royal commission about his abuse at the hands of Church of England Boys Society leader Simon Jacobs.

Archbishop Glenn Davies said Mr Guthrie's mother should have been able to expect the St Ive's CEBS group, which her son joined in 1979, was a safe environment.

Mr Guthrie's abuse came to the attention of the local church leadership in the early 90s but nothing was done, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Anglicans reveal child abuse confessions

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil - AAP on March 22, 2017

Confession should not be used to cover up child sexual abuse, a senior Anglican official says as the church affirms that confessions are invalid if an abuser will not go to the police.

Unlike the Catholic Church where the seal of confession cannot be broken, the Anglican Church in Australia's position is that there is scope to disclose child sexual abuse.

The Anglican Church's general synod in September will be asked to abolish any church rule that would require a member of the clergy to keep a confession of child sexual abuse confidential, its Professional Standards Commission chair Garth Blake SC says.

The unanimous view among the bishops is that is an appropriate way for the church to move, Mr Blake told the child abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Acht neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe innerhalb eines Jahres

DEUTSCHLAND
Main Post

[Eight new abuse allegations within one year.]

Christine Jeske
21. März 2017

Vor zwei Wochen wurde bekannt, dass Professor Klaus Laubenthal nicht mehr der externe Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Diözese Würzburg sein möchte. Auf den Tag genau sieben Jahre – bis zum 18. März, nahm er diese Aufgabe wahr. „Diesen Jahrestag habe ich zum Anlass genommen, meine Aufgabe abzugeben“, informierte Laubenthal.

Am Montag übermittelte der Inhaber des Lehrstuhls für Kriminologie und Strafrecht an der Uni Würzburg seine letzte Jahresbilanz an Bischof Hofmann und Generalvikar Thomas Keßler. Im Zeitraum vom 11. März 2016 bis 18. März 2017 wurden acht Vorwürfe wegen sexualbezogener Missbrauchshandlungen und Grenzüberschreitungen unterhalb der Schwelle der Strafbarkeit übermittelt, teilte die Pressestelle des Bistums mit. Sie richten sich gegen zwei Priester, zwei männliche und eine weibliche Ordensangehörige sowie einen kirchlichen Mitarbeiter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Dioceses lack 'robust' child protections

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Sydney's Anglican Archbishop has expressed his 'profound disappointment' at what he says are less than robust child protection systems in some of the country's dioceses.

Archbishop Glenn Davies told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse not all of the nation's 23 dioceses had implemented policies suggested by the church.

"I take it there are some (dioceses) that don't have robust systems?" counsel assisting Gail Furness SC asked him in Sydney on Wednesday.

"That would be true," Archbishop Davies replied.

The royal commission has previously heard a persistent culture of diocesan independence has hampered the nationwide implementation of a consistent Anglican misconduct regime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Documents: Former Boone pastor 'groomed' teen victim for sexual relationship

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Linh Ta , lta@dmreg.com March 21, 2017

A former Boone pastor was arrested after allegedly sexually exploiting a teenage girl at Grace Community Church and "grooming" her for several years, according to court documents.

Joel Waltz, 47, of Boone, was charged with sexual exploitation by counselor or therapist on March 13. He was booked into Story County Jail and posted bail on March 20.

According to court documents, Waltz and the victim first met at Grace Community Church while he was the youth pastor. The victim was 11 and in foster care at the time.

The victim told police that Waltz would pick her and her sister up from foster care and take them to lunch. She said he was "extremely nice" to her, and she began to trust and confide in him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

'After hours of questioning by “experts”, Theresa was left traumatised and had to make her own way home'

IRELAND
The Journal

FINE GAEL’S EDUCATION Minister, Richard Bruton has said that there are no “plans” to reopen the State’s redress scheme for new entrants in light of the Tuam Baby scandal.

However, with the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes underway, it is important to start thinking about the process of redress that is likely to be set up after the investigation is completed.

Looking back at the experience of survivors incarcerated in Industrial and Reformatory Schools in applying for redress from the Residential Institutions Redress Board (RIRB), we can identify what a redress process should and shouldn’t look like.

I interviewed 25 men and women about their experience of applying for redress from the RIRB, and this is what they had to say about the process.

Re-traumatisation

A major issue for most survivors was that by the time the redress process was over, they felt re-traumatised. An inquiry should seek to limit this trauma; however, this is not possible in its current format because of the legalistic overtures that characterise the process.

First, many were dissatisfied with the way their solicitors dealt with their claims, and felt that the legal system had benefitted financially from their trauma. The Redress Board’s Annual Report (2008) stated that “the average costs and expenses paid to an applicant’s solicitor at the end of 2008 amounted to €10,845 per application, or 16.9% of the award”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

No criminal investigation into Tuam Home

IRELAND
Galway Independent

No evidence of suspicious deaths has so far been uncovered at the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home site, according to the Department of Justice. As a result, there is no criminal investigation taking place at the site, although Gardaí are continuing to liaise with the Coroner’s Office.

“In the course of any coronial investigation, it is open to a coroner to call on the support of the Gardaí and any other authorities as he may deem necessary,” stated a spokesperson for the Justice Department.

The spokesperson added that “a critical part of the role of a coroner is to determine as far as possible, the cause of a death reportable to him by law, particularly in the case of deaths that may have occurred in a violent or unnatural manner.”

The Coroner would not normally be involved in conducting an investigation “where a person has died naturally and a death certificate from an attending doctor was provided.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Calls for ‘Truth Commission’

IRELAND
Galway Independent

Calls have been made to set up a ‘Truth Commission’ following the revelations that human remains have been found on the site of the former Tuam Home.

Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has published a motion which will be debated in the Dáil this week calling for a Truth Commission to establish the facts about Mother and Baby Homes.

A Truth Commission, if set up, would be tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoings and its results would go some way to resolving issues of the past. Truth Commissions have previously been set up in El Salvador, Congo, Kenya, and other countries. As part of it, the Truth Commission can hold public hearing where survivors can share their stories.

The revelations of recent weeks at Tuam, and subsequent reports regarding the records and treatment of children, and their mothers, have shocked and angered Irish people, said Deputy Ó Laoghaire.

“The suffering and mistreatment of children and mothers in these institutions is a matter of national shame and, in many respects, there are many questions unanswered, and those responsible have yet to be brought to account.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Commission of investigation into mother and baby homes ‘not fit for purpose’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Marie O'Halloran

The commission of investigation into mother and baby homes established two years ago is not fit for purpose and has “only scratched the surface” in dealing with what happened to women and children there, the Dáil has heard.

Sinn Féin spokesman on children Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said its terms of reference and the model were “utterly inadequate” and survivor groups had criticised the behind-closed-door hearings and lack of transparency.

He said they had to ensure that the system established for survivors “is something they can engage with and have trust in”.

In the wake of the discovery earlier this month of significant human remains in the mother and baby home in Tuam, Mr Ó Laoghaire was introducing a private members’ motion to introduce a truth commission based on best international practice of other countries such as South Africa and Colombia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

The happiest end - Mother and Baby from Clare home reunited

IRELAND/UNITED STATES
Irish Central

Cormac McConnell @IrishCentral March 22, 2017

Here is a heartwarming true story from about 20 years ago which began on the pages of the Irish Voice. I am deliberately recalling it now in an effort to slightly balance that dreadful discovery in Galway recently of the bodies of scores of infants secretly buried in septic tanks on the grounds of a home for unmarried mothers and their babies run by an order of nuns for decades up until the late fifties.

That horror from our immediate past will now be fully investigated but, in the meantime, here is the story of a lovely woman called Mary Kowalski from New Jersey as far as I can remember, whom I met because I read in the Irish Voice that she was coming over from the U.S. to Co. Clare to try and contact her birth mother. I will never forget Mary, and if perchance she reads this I hope she is as happy today as she was the last time I saw her.

Mary's mother became pregnant outside marriage, you see, and in the priest-ridden Ireland of the time there was a great stigma and shame attached to that. The homes run by orders of nuns were about the only refuge there was apart from flight to England forever.

It is now known clearly that both the state and the religious orders failed to live up to their responsibilities on that front. There were many abuses at every level, and this was reflected in a mortality rate for the poor babies which was thrice the level of other infants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Anglican Church used as 'safe haven' to sexually abuse children, royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Child abusers used the Anglican Church as a "safe haven" because their activities would not be monitored and they would be offered "cheap forgiveness", a royal commission has heard.

The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that laypeople were the main perpetrators of abuse.

He said that in the past, offenders were given access to youth groups and other church-run organisations too easily.

"Perpetrators or potential perpetrators seek a safe haven where their activities will not be monitored," Dr Davies said.

"Inadequate screening of our laypeople in past years allowed people with corrupt motives to abuse young boys, in particular, but also girls."

He said complaints were made against 17 clergy since the 1960s, and were sustained in four cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

The Child Sex Abuse Scandals Are All the Same and They Demand the Government to Act

UNITED STATES
Verdict

22 MAR 2017 MARCI A. HAMILTON

The latest sex abuse scandal in the headlines paints USA Gymnastics in as bad a light as you can imagine. Indeed, it is so bad the successful president of the organization, Steven Penny had to resign. This scandal, amidst a series of other sports scandals, has pushed the U.S. Olympic Committee to create a new board to investigate claims of sex abuse, SafeSport, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, with bipartisan support, to introduce the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act. The latter mandates that anyone who suspects abuse in a National Governing Body (NGB) of an Olympic sport must report the suspected abuse to the authorities, extends the statute of limitations for civil suits against perpetrators, bans one-on-one time between coaches and athletes, and imposes other specific requirements on NGBs.

These are important developments that we can only hope will make elite sports safer for children, a need I discuss here. At the same time, bells should be ringing. We have been here before. These Olympic sports-related developments should bring to mind the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Dallas Charter, which established a new “zero-tolerance” policy for abuse in the church following a scandal of huge proportions. The same is true for the Boy Scouts and countless of other organizations. As each of these silos of abuse has been disclosed, organization-specific policies have sprouted.

It is now time to connect the dots between the scandals.

When Sex Abuse Was Not Reported and the Perpetrators Were “Mr. Stranger Danger”

There was a time when sex abuse was rarely reported. It is impossible to measure how much of the silence was due to denial and how much ignorance, but to be sure the combination kept it buried, and the victims were locked away in a closet of silence. No one, least of all the media, wanted to discuss it. Those stories that made it into the newspapers were literally unavoidable, like the prosecution of Fr. Gauthier in Louisiana for the sex abuse of numerous boys in the early 1980s.

With the reporting of sex abuse being sporadic at best, it was nearly impossible to see the patterns of cover up within various organizations. The mass assumption was that the Gauthier case was unusual, and so were the few other cases that bubbled up into the media on occasion. These were distinct data points and there was no reason to suspect that anyone was responsible for the abuse other than the perpetrator, who was a lone wolf monster preying on children. We were so uninformed that we even called the predators “Mr. Stranger Danger,” signaling he was outside the child’s circle of family, school, and extra-curricular activities.

The Organizational Scandals Appear on the Horizon

Then there was the Spotlight investigative team at The Boston Globe and other reporters like Marie Rhode at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who started to dig into the issue in the Roman Catholic Church. A diocesan-based pattern surfaced in 2002 as these hard-working reporters connected the dots. Here is what they saw to their horror: the perpetrators were not acting alone. Rather, bishops covered up seriatim sex abuse by their priests. Then there was Penn State and Jerry Sandusky, with striking similarities. Once the paradigm was visible, the same dynamic was seen at work in many other organizations as well

The response was outrage, from those inside the organization to prosecutors to the general public. How could these trusted leaders let this happen? Everyone agrees this is the most despicable of crimes and that anyone who allows it to happen is no better than the direct perpetrator. They also agree that this must be excised from our social fabric. But how? For most, the answer has been: just make it stop. Now. It’s as though we discovered someone we knew maliciously beating a stranger and all we needed to do was pull him off and then we could just walk away, whistling in the wind.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Anglican leaders promise unity on child protection: royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Not every Anglican diocese has robust child protection measures, with Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies telling a royal commission the lack of national consistency is "extremely disappointing".

In the final day of a public hearing into how Anglican institutions have responded to child sexual abuse, Archbishop Davies acknowledged that not all the country's 23 dioceses had rigorous mechanisms in place.

"There has been a failure of the national church to have consistency across the board but it shouldn't be forgotten that there are a number of robust systems in place in most dioceses," he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness, SC, asked: "I take it there are some that don't have robust systems?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Dioceses accused of lack of child protections

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Archbishop Glenn Davies told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse not all of the nation's 23 dioceses had implemented policies suggested by the church.

'I take it there are some (dioceses) that don't have robust systems?' counsel assisting Gail Furness SC asked him in Sydney on Wednesday.

'That would be true,' Archbishop Davies replied.

The royal commission has previously heard a persistent culture of diocesan independence has hampered the nationwide implementation of a consistent Anglican misconduct regime.

Australia's most senior Anglican cleric, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, said he would be interested to know more about Archbishop Davies' concerns, adding that he thought all dioceses were committed to child protection.

- See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/nsw/2017/03/22/dioceses-accused-of-lack-of-child-protections.html#sthash.DgB0xVyT.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Pastor speaks out on 11-year-old sexual abuse case

PENNSYLVANIA
WFMZ

By: Amanda VanAllen

A church leader in Berks County spoke out Tuesday, one day after a man surrendered to detectives on child sexual assault charges.

Authorities said the man was doing technical work at a church function in 2006 when he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl.

"In the fall of this past year, a member of my congregation came to me with a phone call that she was confused and concerned over," said Pastor Richard Moore, St. John's Lutheran Evangelical Church in Sinking Spring

Moore said that phone call was from the mother of a young girl who said she had been sexually assaulted at a church function in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Complaints in Bathurst Diocese detailed in child sex abuse report

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

Eighteen complaints made in the Bathurst Diocese are included in a report released on Friday into child sex abuse complaints in the Anglican Church in Australia.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse Analysis of Complaints of Child Sexual Abuse Received by Anglican Church Dioceses in Australia report breaks down the complaint figures in each diocese.

It details child sex abuse complaints received by each diocese between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 2015, though the alleged abuse does not have to have happened during that specific time period.

The report shows that of the 18 complaints in the Bathurst Diocese, 22 per cent involved alleged physical abuse.

It also shows 75 per cent of the complainants in the Bathurst Diocese were male and 25 per cent were female.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Kerala vicar arrested for sexual abuse of seminary student

INDIA
The New Indian Express

KOLLAM: A vicar under Punalur diocese was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor boy who had pursued theology in his seminary.

Thirty-year-old Fr Thomas Parekala a native of Kannur and vicar of St Mary’s Church at Puthoor, near here, had earlier slipped from police custody. He was nabbed from Usilampatti, near Madurai in Tamil Nadu by the special team with the Kollam Rural SP. According to Puthoor police, the incident took place in July 2016 at Holy Cross church seminary at Pullamala, Thevallapuram where Fr Thomas Parekala was the teacher.

According to police, the victim was subjected to unnatural sex by the priest for about one year after he joined the seminary to pursue theology. The boy has revealed that the priest had also abused two other boys during the period.

The incident came to light only last week when the parents of the 14-year-old boy approached the Child Welfare Committee at Thiruvananthapuram.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Tasmanian Anglican’s $2m compensation to victims of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Mercury

PATRICK BILLINGS, Mercury
March 21, 2017

TASMANIA’S Anglican Diocese has paid out $2.23 million to victims of child sex abuse, according to a new report.

The report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse shows the payments were made to 34 victims.

Overall the diocese has received 56 complaints related to 34 perpetrators.

Six of the complaints related to Anglican schools while 10 were connected to the Church of England Boys Society (CEBS), which was examined by the Royal Commission last year.

The commission’s lawyers have alleged that a far-reaching paedophile ring was active within CEBS, a Scout-like offshoot of the Anglican Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Sex-molesting priest forced boy to recite Bible during attacks? Lawsuit settled

CALIFORNIA
MyNewsLA

POSTED BY TONI MCALLISTER ON MARCH 21, 2017

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has settled a lawsuit brought by a 29-year-old man who alleged he was forced to read verses from the Bible while being sexually molested in the 1990s by his head parish priest who has since died.

The alleged abuses affected the plaintiff’s education and he did not graduate from high school, his court papers stated. He also began drinking and taking drugs at age 14 and attempted suicide in 2010, his court papers stated. He has remained sober since March 2014, according to his court papers.

Despite the settlement, the Archdiocese did not confirm the plaintiff’s allegations.

The plaintiff did not tell anyone about the alleged molestation until he was 25 years old and spoke with a therapist in February 2013, when he realized there was a connection between the abuses and the damages he suffered as an adult, his court papers stated. The suit was filed in October 2014 and the settlement papers were filed last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Another catholic school student accused defrocked priest of sexual abuse

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Jive Kaai is now the 32nd alleged victim to file suit against the Archdiocese of Agana.

Guam - Another sexual abuse lawsuit has been filed against the Archdiocese of Agana, naming, once again, defrocked priest Raymond Cepeda as the alleged perpetrator.

The lawsuit was filed by Jive Lee Kaai, 47, who was a student at the Santa Barbara Catholic School back in the early 1980s./ Kaai alleges that when he was 12 or 13 years old, he and two other school boys were ordered to clean around the campus as punishment but Cepeda had the boys join him in dropping off boxes to the Tumon parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Nativism, Violence, and the Origins of the Paranoid Style

UNITED STATES
Slate

By Mike Mariani

In 1826, the bishop of the Boston diocese, Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus, approved the construction of the Ursuline Convent school on a 24-acre property on a hilltop overlooking Boston Harbor. With financing from wealthy Boston families enthusiastic about the prospect of giving their daughters a private education to rival those of affluent boys, a lavish three-story brick house was built on a sprawling estate. But late into the night on Aug. 11, 1834, spurred by rumors that a nun named Elizabeth Harrison was being held at Ursuline against her will, an angry mob of Protestant men laid siege to the school, setting it ablaze with tar barrels. As the school burned to the ground, the nuns and students absconded out a back entrance.

The United States in the 1830s was a time of nativism and deepening anti-Catholic resentment. The country was experiencing a massive influx of Irish immigrants, almost all of whom were Catholic. Protestants in New England and New York became wary, even paranoid, of the threat of the country tipping toward the Roman Catholic Church. Puritanism was one of the driving forces behind the American Revolution just a few decades prior, and Protestants cherished and would aggressively defend its independence from Rome. The idea that “popery” might be seeping into the states, taking a multitude of insidious forms, was a cause for alarm.

Incipient nationalist movements took advantage of this widespread fear, disseminating conspiracy theories suggesting that the Irish were smuggling in a “foreign Catholic menace” that would not only usurp Protestantism but eventually topple American democracy. It was this wave of anti-Catholic bigotry that made something as heinous as the Ursuline school burning possible, as Protestant newspapers and demagogues preyed on people’s suspicions that parochial schools were run by the Vatican. Everyone involved in the convent burning was eventually acquitted of wrongdoing, further underscoring the grip of anti-Catholic sentiment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

March 21, 2017

Condenan a 15 años de cárcel a sacerdote argentino acusado de abuso de menores

ARGENTINA
24 Horas

[Argentine priest accused of child abuse condemned to 15 years in prison. The Argentine Supreme Court confirmed the sentence to 15 years of jail against the priest Julio César Grassi, 60, for the crime of sexual abuse of minors. In a unanimous decision, the ministers rejected today the appeals presented in the case.]

21 MARZO 2017

La Corte Suprema argentina confirmó la sentencia a 15 años de cárcel contra el sacerdote Julio César Grassi, de 60 años, por el delito de abuso sexual de menores.

En un fallo unánime, los ministros rechazaron hoy los recursos presentados en la causa que tiene como imputado al sacerdote y ex presidente de la Fundación Felices Los Niños del país trasandino

Grassi está acusado como autor reiterado de los delitos de abuso sexual, agravado por resultar sacerdote, encargado de la educación y cuidado del menor-víctima.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Michael D. O'Herlihy

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Michael D. O'Herlihy was a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, ordained in 1961. Early in his career he assisted at parishes in Livingston Manor, New Brighton, and the Bronx. For most of his career he was a teacher, 1970-1980 at Cardinal Hayes High School and then at Cardinal Spellman High School 1980-1992.

O'Herlihy was placed on an unexplained leave of absence in 1992. In 1993 he was laicized. His name was included in 2002 on a list of New York archdiocesan priests with complaints of child sexual against them. The archdiocese gave the list to the District Attorney; no charges were filed.

In a 2004 lawsuit O'Herlihy was accused of having sexually abused a Cardinal Hayes' student in 1980. According to the lawsuit, O'Herlihy told the student he had heard that he was being sexually abused by a Catholic youth group leader. When the boy acknowledged the rumor to be true, O'Herlihy allegedly went on to also sexually abuse him, plying the boy with alcohol and pornography. The suit claimed that other Cardinal Hayes students were abused as well.

O'Herlihy was found in 2009 to be teaching at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School.

Ordained: 1961
Laicized: 1993

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

L'évêque de Haute-Loire dans le collimateur de "Cash Investigation"

FRANCE
Zoomdici

[The Bishop of Haute-Loire in the sights of "Cash Investigation".]

Ce mardi à 21h, l'enquête de Cash Investigation "Pédophilie dans l'Eglise : le poids du silence" sera diffusée sur France 2. Lors de la promotion de l'émission, la journaliste Elise Lucet a sous-entendu que l'évêque du Puy couvrait un homme soupçonné d'actes pédophiles dans son diocèse. L'Eglise dénonce les méthodes de l'émission.

La Haute-Loire a fait une brève irruption dans l'émission "C à Vous" du lundi 20 mars sur France 5. Sur le plateau, alors que les journalistes Elise Lucet et Edwy Plenel font la promotion d'une enquête conjointe sur la pédophilie dans l'Eglise, apparaît le nom de l'évêque du Puy, Mgr Crepy.

Un religieux résidant en Haute-Loire soupçonné d'agression sexuelle

Le chef des catholiques de Haute-Loire dirige également la cellule de lutte contre la pédophilie dans l'Eglise. Il a donc logiquement été interviewé par Elise Lucet. Et, d'après elle, il pourrait couvrir un homme soupçonné d'actes pédophiles dans le diocèse du Puy. La journaliste dévoile une partie de l'interview. "Quand je lui ai dit, à un moment, est-ce que vous pourriez, vous, l'Eglise de France, vous porter partie civile dans le procès de ce prêtre, qui est dans votre diocèse, il ne sait pas quoi répondre. Il dit "non, franchement je ne sais pas, a priori c'est non.""

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Un prêtre soupçonné de pédophilie en Afrique aurait été "exfiltré" au Puy-en-Velay

FRANCE
L'Eveil

[France 2, Cash Investigation presented by Elise Lucet reveals Tuesday evening the presence in Haute-Loire of a priest suspected of pedophilia 20 years ago in Africa.]

L'émission de France 2, Cash Investigation présentée par Elise Lucet, révèle mardi soir la présence en Haute-Loire d'un prêtre soupçonné de pédophilie, il y a 20 ans, en Afrique, et réfugié dans une communauté religieuse du bassin du Puy-en-Velay. Le prêtre aurait depuis quitté les lieux et la Haute-Loire. Une enquête est ouverte par la justice.

Cash Investigation a enquêté en Afrique, en Guinée Conakry, où le frère Albert aurait commis des viols et des agressions sexuelles sur plusieurs enfants, notamment dans un club de football. Les faits remonteraient à une vingtaine d'années. L'émission de télévision a retrouvé un jeune homme qui témoigne de viols et d'agressions pendant six ans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Senior Anglicans face child abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Australia's most senior Anglican will face a royal commission to answer for what the church is doing to prevent a repeat of its "shocking" failure to tackle child sexual abuse.

Primate and Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier says the church is determined to adopt a uniform national approach to protecting children.

Archbishop Freier says since apologising in 2004 for its child abuse failures, the church has invested a great deal of energy in seeking to understand the nature and cause of its failings and has made improvements in many areas.

"We are not trying to make excuses for failures past or present," he said on Friday as the child abuse royal commission's final hearing into the Anglican Church began.

Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson, who is resigning after being harassed and feeling threatened for being a public face for child abuse victims, has told the inquiry vested interests in the 23 Anglican dioceses are still undermining efforts to get a uniform national response.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Ontario law firms allegedly sat on documents supporting residential school clients’ abuse claims

CANADA
APTN National News

March 21, 2017

Jorge Barrera
APTN National News

Two Ontario law firms allegedly failed to produce documents in their possession that could have helped their Indian residential school survivor clients during compensation hearings for abuse suffered at a notorious institution known for using an electric chair on students, according to a document filed with an Ontario court.

The two firms—Nelligan O’Brien Payne and Wallbridge, Wallbridge—are named in a request for directions filed with the Superior Court of Ontario as part of ongoing litigation related to the handling of St. Anne’s Indian residential school abuse claims by the Independent Assessment Process (IAP).

The IAP was created by the multi-billion dollar Indian residential school settlement agreement to set compensation payouts for abuse claims.

A hearing on the case is scheduled for Friday in Toronto.

The request for directions, filed by St. Anne’s residential school survivor Edmund Metatawabin and another survivor known as K-10106, seeks to have the court investigate whether the non-disclosure of documents constituted a breach of the settlement agreement. The court action also seeks to compel Ottawa to disclose remaining documents related to previous St. Anne’s related litigation and settle several other matters related to the IAP and the handing of hundreds of abuse claims by survivors of the institution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

How the church is combatting sexual abuse: an interview with Jesuit Hans Zollner

ROME
America

Gerard O'Connell
March 21, 2017

“The impression that Pope Francis is not hard enough on perpetrators is wrong. The general line of judgment and sentence has not changed,” Hans Zollner, S.J., president of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, told America in this interview in which he explains what the pope and the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) are doing to combat child abuse and ensure the protection of children in church institutions worldwide.

There has been much discussion about the need to hold bishops accountable. The PCPM recommended the establishment of a special tribunal to deal with negligence, and gained the pope’s approval. The Vatican announced in June 2015 that this tribunal would be established, but this never happened. Father Zollner explains why.

Pope Francis established the PCPM on March 22, 2014, and appointed Father Zollner as one of its founding members together with Marie Collins—the Irish survivor whose recent resignation from it sent shock waves through the church. In this interview, the German Jesuit not only explains the work the commission is doing to train Vatican officials and bishops’ conferences worldwide about safeguarding children; he also comments on Marie Collins’s resignation.

The following is a slightly edited version of the interview:

Some have alleged that Pope Francis talks a lot about combatting child abuse in the church but is soft on perpetrators. What do you say to such charges?

First of all, the impression that he is not hard enough on perpetrators is wrong. The general line of judgment and sentence has not changed. He has introduced some measures so that even in cases of appeal the decision is reached faster; survivor-victims and the accused know earlier what is the final decision. Contrary to public opinion, the motu proprio “Like a Loving Mother” (June 4, 2016) has an effect, because it clarifies and strengthens procedures that were already there to be fulfilled if needed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Kerala Catholic priest arrested for allegedly molesting boy

INDIA
The News Minute

A Kerala Catholic priest was arrested on Tuesday from Madurai, after he managed to escape following charges of molesting a 14-year-old boy.

Catholic priest Thomas Parakulathil, 32, was arrested by the Kerala Police on Tuesday morning from Madurai, after he ran away when the police reached the church in Puthoor during Mass on Sunday, a top official involved in the case told IANS.

"He has now been brought to Kottarakara and the police are doing their job," said the official on condition of anonymity.

The arrest occurred after the boy along with his parents hailing from the capital city approached the Poovar police last week saying that he was molested by Parakulathil last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Bid to extradite priest from Canada over Fort Augustus abuse claims

SCOTLAND/CANADA
BBC News

By Reevel Alderson
Home affairs correspondent, BBC Scotland

Moves are under way to extradite a retired priest from Canada to Scotland in connection with child abuse claims.

The Crown Office has been granted a petition warrant for the arrest of Father Robert MacKenzie, who lives in Cupar, Saskatchewan.

Fr MacKenzie, 84, taught at the former Fort Augustus Abbey School before moving to Canada in 1988.

Papers are now being prepared in the Crown Office to submit an extradition request to the Canadian authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Former Wallabies star Tony Daly’s childhood sexual abuse led to drugs, booze, failed marriages and crime

AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

DANIELLE GUSMAROLI, The Daily Telegraph
March 20, 2017

FORMER Wallabies prop Tony Daly has revealed his ­relentless mission to become a World Cup-winning Aussie rugby star was fuelled by pent-up rage after he was sexually abused as a young boy by a Marist brother at one of Sydney’s most prestigious schools.

The 41-cap Australian front-rower lifted the lid on his abuse as an 11-year-old by a Catholic brother at the elite rugby nursery, St Joseph’s College, after detailing what happened at two assessment interviews with the Royal Commission.

The abuse revelations come as Daly avoided jail yesterday for petty thefts and driving offences — part of a rampage of drug and booze-­fuelled robberies sparked by the demons of shame ­unleashed after his sporting career.

His spiral of self-loathing also included two failed marriages and the FBI frogmarching him off a plane in Los Angeles, after he allegedly stole a wallet and sunglasses from a passenger in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

'He robbed me of my innocence and normal life': Former Wallaby reveals he was 'sexually abused by a Catholic priest' at an elite Sydney boys' school when he was 11 years old

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By Daniel Peters For Daily Mail Australia

A former Wallaby star has revealed he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest at an elite Sydney boys' school when he was just 11 years old.

Tony Daly, now 51, represented Australia in 41 test matches as a stocky and gutsy prop - but the horrors of his past tormented him through life after rugby union.

In two interviews with the Royal Commission, Daly detailed the two years of sexual abuse inflicted by a Marist brother while he was a young boy at St Joseph's College.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Daly said he felt 'shame for years' after enduring 'fondling' by the priest.

'This bastard robbed me of my innocence and normal life,' he told the publication.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Pédophilie dans l’Eglise : Les quatre révélations de l’émission « Cash investigation » diffusée ce soir

FRANCE
20 Minutes

[Pedophilia in the Church: The four revelations of the program "Cash investigation" broadcast tonight. What is astonishing in this documentary is the silence around the priests faced with accusations of sexual abuse of children.

Mediapart reveals that 25 bishops, including five still in office, methodically covered for 32 years the perpetrators of pedophile acts.

Explanation: the denunciation passes after the law of God. "We have a duty of charity in relation to a brother priest. He must be given a chance to repent and make amends," said a witness who wished to remain anonymous. In short, the church prefers forgiveness rather than legal action.

Geographical solution: moving the priest away from business. The church has found a way to stifle the scandals: to prevent priests who are guilty of sexual abuse from becoming entangled in legal proceedings. They move them to another diocese where the case is unknown.

The church assures that priests who have committed pedophilic acts no longer work in relation to minors. Cash investigation shows that it is a wishful thinking: Example with Father Didier, sentenced to six years in prison for sexual assaults on ten victims in the 1990s. When the journalists met him, he was still practicing in a parish in Lyon, in the daily contact of faithful of all ages. Same concern for Father Emmanuel, suspected of rape in Bertoua in Cameroon. MOved to Bologna, Italy, he lives in the community of St. John, in the same premises as a children's theater education course. Priests and apprentice actors under the age of 18 meet in the corridors every day.]

Lucie Bras

Mediapart et la société de production Premières Lignes ont enquêté pendant un an pour comprendre comment l’Eglise française fait face aux affaires de pédophilie de ses prêtres. Silence, secret et mutations à l’autre bout du monde, les journalistes ont décortiqué ces processus grâce à une enquête d’un an. 20 Minutes a eu accès à ce documentaire en avant-première. Voici ce que nous avons retenu de l’émission diffusée ce mardi soir à 21h sur France 2.

La loi de Dieu plutôt que celle des hommes

Ce qui étonne dans ce documentaire, c’est le silence autour des prêtres concernés par des accusations d’abus sexuels sur enfants. Mediapart révèle que 25 évêques, dont cinq toujours en poste, ont méthodiquement couvert pendant des années 32 auteurs d’actes pédophiles.

Explication : la dénonciation passe après la loi de Dieu. « Nous avons un devoir de charité par rapport à un frère prêtre. Il faut lui donner une chance de se repentir et de faire amende honorable », explique un témoin qui a souhaité rester anonyme. En bref, l’Eglise préfère le pardon plutôt que l’action en justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Cash investigation fait son Spotlight et enquête sur la pédophilie dans l'Eglise

FRANCE
Linternaute

[Tonight in Cash Investigation, a study that is reminiscent of Boston Globe journalists' 2003 report. Elise Lucet's team joined Mediapart's journalists to uncover one of secrets of the church in France: pedophilia which undermines religious institutions. You will understand it is a magazine that should make a big noise that you can discover on France 2 from 9pm. In the United States, this Boston case earned a Pulitzer for journalists at the Boston Globe and a film was dedicated to them: Spotlight, Oscar for best movie 2016.]

Ce soir dans Cash Investigation, une enquête qui n'est pas sans rappeler celle qu'avait réalisée les journalistes du Boston Globe en 2003. L'équipe d'Elise Lucet s'est jointe aux journalistes de Mediapart afin de percer à jour un des secrets de l'Eglise en France : la pédophilie qui met à mal les institutions religieuses. Vous l'aurez compris, il s'agit d'un magazine qui devrait faire grand bruit que vous pourrez découvrir sur France 2 dès 21h. Aux Etats-Unis, cette affaire a valu un Pulitzer aux journalistes du Boston Globe et un film leur a été dédié : Spotlight, Oscar du meilleur film 2016.

Résumé de l'émission : Pendant près d'un an, l'équipe d'Elise Lucet, en partenariat avec Mediapart, a travaillé sur l'un des secrets les mieux gardés de l'Eglise de France, le fléau de la pédophilie, qui fait vaciller l'institution. Des religieux, condamnés, seraient toujours en activité, parfois même au contact d'enfants. L'enquête révèle que des hauts responsables de l'Eglise ont couvert certains agissements et protègent des prêtres accusés d'agressions sexuelles sur mineurs en les déplaçant de pays en pays, notamment en Afrique. Cash Investigation a cartographié ces exfiltrations internationales. L'équipe s'est rendue au Vatican, à la rencontre du pape François.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Le pape François a-t-il tenté de couvrir un prêtre pédophile ?

FRANCE
Le Point

[Pope Francis and Clergy Sexual Abuse in Argentina Including a Database of Publicly Accused Argentine Clerics - BishopAccountability.org]

[Has Pope Francis tried to cover a pedophile priest? An Argentinean judge admits having been pressured by the church to find innocent a priest accused of sexual abuse in 2010 while the pope was archbishop of Buenos Aires. According to Mediapart, while he was still archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Bergoglio actively participated in the defense of a famous South American priest who was accused of pedophile acts - Father Grassi. The case was revealed in 2002 by the program Telenoche Investiga and Julio Grassi is accused of assaulting minors of the foundation he created Felices Los Ninos. One of the victims, Gabriel, raped at the age of 15, reports that he has been threatened as a result of his testimony as Father Grassi is considered a real star in Buenos Aires. Father Grassi was finally sentenced to 9 years in prison in 2009. But for the lawyer of the victims, "the pope's attitude ... facilitated Grassi's impunity".]

Une enquête menée par Mediapart et Cash Investigation révèle que plusieurs grands noms de l'Église catholique ont couvert ou défendu des prêtres accusés de pédophilie. Alors que l'Église catholique est régulièrement sur la sellette à la suite de différentes affaires de pédophilies découvertes ces dernières années, le Pape François semble faire preuve de la plus grande fermeté sur le sujet. Et pourtant c'est bien lui qui est visé par cette enquête.

Selon Mediapart, alors qu'il était encore archevêque de Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio a activement participé à la défense d'un célèbre prêtre sud-américain, accusé d'actes pédophiles, le père Grassi. L'affaire est révélée en 2002, par l'émission Telenoche Investiga, et Julio Grassi est mis en cause pour agression sur des mineurs de la fondation qu'il a créée Felices Los Ninos. L'une des victimes, Gabriel, violé à l'âge de 15 ans, raconte avoir subi des menaces à la suite de son témoignage, le père Grassi étant considéré comme une véritable star à Buenos Aires. Le père Grassi sera finalement condamné à 9 ans de prison en 2009. Mais, pour l'avocat des victimes, « l'attitude du pape […] a facilité l'impunité de Grassi ».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

French Catholic bishops accused of ‘covering-up sex abuses’

FRANCE
France 24

Twenty-five French bishops have been covering up scores of cases of sexual abuses by Catholic priests, French media revealed on Tuesday in a report reminiscent of the Spotlight investigation into clergy sex abuse.

Investigative reporters from the Mediapart website have identified 32 individuals, including 28 priests, who have been accused of committing sexual abuses from the 1960s up to today.

“Out of these 32 cases, 25 bishops, including five still in place, decided not to report them to judicial authorities after being alerted about these sexual abuses. In total, there are 339 suspected victims, forgotten by the French Church,” writes Mediapart.

'The mechanics of silence'

Reporters say they have compiled hundreds of documents, press clips, letters, testimonies and judicial reports to back up their claim.

A book about the alleged cover-up, Eglise, la mécanique du silence (“Church, the mechanics of silence”) is going to be released on March 22.

Most of the abusers have subsequently been charged and some of them sentenced over these sex crimes, Mediapart say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Pédophilie, l’Église de France dénonce les méthodes de « Cash investigation »

FRANCE
La Croix

[Pedophilia, the Church of France denounces the methods of "Cash investigation".]

Recueilli par Marie Malzac, le 20/03/2017

ENTRETIEN - À la veille de la diffusion de l’émission « Cash investigation » sur la pédophilie dans l’Église, mardi 21 mars, Vincent Neymon, porte-parole adjoint de la Conférence des évêques de France, explique à La Croix son refus de participer au débat qui suivra le documentaire, comme annoncé dans un communiqué.

La Croix : Comment la Conférence des évêques de France (CEF) a-t-elle été sollicitée par l’équipe de « Cash investigation » pour cette enquête ?

Vincent Neymon : Nous avons eu des échanges avec Élise Lucet et son équipe dès le mois d’octobre 2016, quelques semaines avant l’Assemblée plénière des évêques de novembre à Lourdes. Ils ont menacé de venir sous le nom d’un autre média si nous refusions de les accréditer, ce que nous avons perçu comme une sorte de chantage. Nous avons toutefois décidé de jouer le jeu médiatique. Nous avons correspondu avec Martin Boudot, le réalisateur du documentaire, qui a demandé de nombreuses précisions, que nous avons essayé de fournir.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

La réponse de « Cash investigation » à l’Église de France

FRANCE
La Croix

[Following an interview with La Croix by Vincent Neymon, deputy spokesman of the French Bishops' Conference, explaining his refusal to participate in the debate that will follow the documentary on the pedophilia of "Cash investigation" broadcast Tuesday, March 21, The editor of the show, Emmanuel Gagnier reacts. Here is their release.]

À la suite de l’interview à La Croix de Vincent Neymon, porte-parole adjoint de la Conférence des évêques de France, expliquant son refus de participer au débat qui suivra le documentaire sur la pédophilie de « Cash investigation » diffusé mardi 21 mars, le rédacteur en chef de l’émission, Emmanuel Gagnier réagit. Voici leur communiqué.

« Nous découvrons avec surprise les déclarations de Vincent Neymon, porte-parole adjoint et directeur de la communication de la Conférence des évêques de France dans les colonnes de La Croix.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

France: 25 évêques accusés d'avoir 'couvert' des abus sexuels

FRANCE
Kath.ch (Suisse)

[The French Catholic Church finds itself once again at the heart of revelations concerning cases of pedophilia. Since the 1960s no fewer than 25 bishops have ignored sexual assaults committed by their priests,reports a survey of the Mediapart website and TV Cash Investigation magazine . The Conference of French Bishops (CEF) denounces breaches of journalistic ethics of the program.]

21.03.2017 par Maurice Page

L’Eglise catholique française se retrouve une nouvelle fois au coeur de révélations concernant des affaires de pédophilie. Depuis les années 1960, pas moins de 25 évêques auraient passé sous silence les agressions sexuelles commises par leurs prêtres, préférant les ‘exfiltrer’ de leur diocèse, rapporte une enquête du site Mediapart et du magazine TV Cash Investigation. La Conférence des évêques de France(CEF) dénonce des manquements à la déontologie journalistique de l’émission.

Les chiffres publiés attestent de la gravité du scandale: depuis les années 1960, 25 évêques, dont cinq sont toujours en exercice, auraient ‘couvert’ les abus commis par 32 prêtres sur 339 victimes dans 17 diocèses en France, mais aussi au Canada, en Suisse et en Guinée-Conakry. Parmi les victimes recensées, 288 étaient mineures au moment des faits. 165 seulement ont été entendues par la justice. La moitié des prêtres auraient commis leurs agressions après l’an 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Abus sexuels dans l'Église catholique : "On va maintenant arrêter de nier cet

FRANCE
Franceinfo

[After the investigations of Mediapart and Cash Investigation on the extent of pedophile affairs in the Church of France, the president of the association La Parole Liberee, François Devaux, reacted Tuesday March 21 on franceinfo. He was surprised at the extent of these revelations about abuse and cover-up in the Catholic church. His association had previously denounced the sexual assaults committed by Father Preynat in Lyon.]

Après les enquêtes de Mediapart et Cash Investigation sur l'ampleur des affaires de pédophilie dans l'Eglise de France, le président de l'association La Parole libérée, François Devaux, réagit mardi 21 mars sur franceinfo. Il se dit surpris de l'ampleur de ces révélations. Son association avait dénoncé les agressions sexuelles commises par le père Preynat à Lyon.

franceinfo : Comment avez-vous réagi face à ces nouvelles révélations de Mediapart et de Cash Investigation ?

François Devaux : On pensait pas du tout que cela prendrait cette ampleur, mais on s'est vite rendu compte qu'il y avait de profonds dysfonctionnements. Cela fait un an et demi qu'on a mis en péril beaucoup de nos équilibres personnels pour faire ces révélations. On est très content que des équipes professionnelles aient pu consacrer autant de temps et d'énergie pour plébisciter notre action qui vise à remettre un peu de conscience morale au sein de notre société. Car cela restera quand même un des grands fléau de notre civilisation et de l'histoire de France.

Mgr Jean-Luc Bouilleret sera demain soir l'invité du 19/20

FRANCE
Franceinfo

[The archbishop of Besançon who is challenged by Mediapart will speak Wednesday, March 22 after the broadcast of the program "Cash Investigation" which denounces the silence of the church during cases of sexual assaults committed by priests.]

Par Sophie Courageot
Publié le 21/03/2017

Selon une enquête de Médiapart, 25 évêques français, dont cinq sont toujours en poste, ont couvert pendant des années 32 prêtres auteurs d'abus sexuels sans que la justice en soit informée. Parmi eux est cité Mgr Jean-Luc Bouilleret aujourd'hui en poste à Besançon.

L'émission Cash Investigation diffusée ce mardi 21 mars à 21h50 sur France 2 se penchera sur le silence de l'église.

La conférence des évêques de France (CEF) n'a pas souhaité faire de commentaires avant la diffusion de l'émission. Elle n'y participera pas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Pédophilie : “Cash Investigation” pointe les silences accablants de l'Eglise

FRANCE
Franceinfo

[France 2, "Cash Investigation" returns Tuesday night on the pedophilia cases that shook the Church of France, notably the Diocese of Lyon.]

L'émission de France 2, "Cash investigation" revient mardi soir sur les affaires de pédophilie qui ont ébranlé l'Eglise de France, notamment le diocèse de Lyon. Le reportage d'Elise Lucet a été réalisé avec 3 journalistes indépendants qui ont enquêté sur "les agresseurs couverts par l'Eglise"
Par Ph.Bette avec l'AFP et Mediapart

Publié le 21/03/2017

L'émission de France 2 diffuse à 20h55 un film documentaire de Mathieu Boudot intitulé "Pédophilie dans l'Eglise : le poids du silence". On y voit notamment Elise Lucet interpeller en chemin le cardinal Barbarin sur les affaires de pédophilie qui ont secoué le diocèse de Lyon et qui lui ont valu d'être entendu par la police. Le dossier a été classé sans suite par la justice.

"Cash investigation" révéle pourtant que dans le diocèse de Lyon, "des prêtres condamnés pour des actes pédophiles sont toujours en poste. Comme père Didier, reconnu coupbale d'agressions sexuelles sur dix victimes"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

VIDEO. "Cash Investigation". Pédophilie : Elise Lucet à la rencontre du pape

FRANCE
Franceinfo

[Pope Francis and Clergy Sexual Abuse in Argentina Including a Database of Publicly Accused Argentine Clerics - BishopAccountability.org]

In 2010, Pope Francis, then archbishop of Buenos Aires, tried to help a priest condemned for pedophilia. The case of Fr Julio Grassi caused an enormous scandal in Argentina, the birthplace of the sovereign pontiff.]

En 2010, le pape François, alors archevêque de Buenos Aires, aurait tenté de faire innocenter un prêtre condamné pour pédophilie. L'affaire du père Julio Grassi a provoqué un énorme scandale en Argentine, pays natal du souverain pontife… Elise Lucet attend ce dernier place Saint-Pierre, à Rome, pour lui poser des questions. Un extrait du magazine "Cash Investigation" diffusé le 21 mars.

"Cela n'est jamais arrivé dans mon diocèse", dit le pape François à la page 64 de son livre d'entretien Sur la terre comme au ciel (Robert Laffont) à propos des prêtres pédophiles. Est-ce la stricte vérité ?

Dans son pays natal, l’Argentine, le pape est très critiqué pour sa gestion du cas d’un prêtre condamné pour pédophilie. En 2010, archevêque de Buenos Aires, il aurait tenté de faire innocenter un homme d'Eglise. C'est l'affaire du père Julio Grassi, le plus grand scandale de pédophilie dans l'Eglise en Argentine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Kinderschützer: Mehr Missbrauch an Säuglingen

ITALIEN
Katholisch

[The sexual abuse of infants and small children is growing according to the Italian child protection association "Meter". The association, founded by the Sicilian priest Don Fortunato Di Noto, published its annual report on pedophilia and pedophilia on the internet.]

Der sexuelle Missbrauch an Säuglingen und Kleinkindern wächst nach Angaben der italienischen Kinderschutz-Vereinigung "Meter". Die vom sizilianischen Priester Don Fortunato Di Noto gegründete Vereinigung veröffentlichte am Montag ihren Jahresbericht mit Dokumentationen über Pädophilie und Pädopornografie im Internet, wie der katholische Nachrichtendienst SIR berichtete. 2016 habe "Meter" den Behörden knapp 9.400 URLs gemeldet, mehr als 200.000 Videos (76.000 im Vorjahr) und knapp 2 Millionen Fotos (2015: 1,1 Millionen Fotos) identifiziert. Davon hätten sich 9.900 Fotos und 2.900 Videos auf Kleinkinder im Alter von 0 bis 3 bezogen, heißt es in dem Bericht.

"Es gibt wirklich einen immens hohen Prozentsatz an Neugeborenen. Das geht so weit, dass sogar ein Portal eingerichtet worden ist, das Neugeborenen gewidmet ist und in dem Material hochgeladen wird, das abscheulichste Missbrauchsvergehen zeigt," sagte Di Noto Radio Vatikan. Dieses Material stamme aus der ganzen Welt und somit lasse sich das Problem nicht auf eine Nation oder einen Ort einschränken, so der Geistliche aus Avola bei Syrakus. Das Material werde durch Einzeltäter, aber vermehrt auch durch kriminelle Vereinigungen und Gruppen produziert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

De nouvelles accusations d’abus sexuels dans l’Eglise

FRANCE
Le Monde

[New accusations of sexual abuse in the church. Mediapart and the "Cash Investigation" program, which will air Tuesday night say that 25 bishops have covered 32 sexual assailants.]

Après la mise en cause du cardinal Barbarin à Lyon, la gestion par l’Eglise catholique de prêtres mis en cause pour des actes de pédophilie est l’objet de nouvelles accusations, en France et jusqu’au Vatican.

Avec moins de 0,5 % de prêtres accusés d’abus sexuels sur mineurs, la France semble moins touchée que les Etats-Unis, où les accusations de pédophilie ont visé 4 % des prêtres entre 1950 et 2002, et que l’Australie, où ces soupçons en ont concerné 7 % entre 1950 et 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Bischöfe verweigern Fernsehdebatte zu Missbrauch

FRANKREICH
Katholisch

[Members of the French Bishops' Conference have refused to participate in a TV debate on clergy abuse. A Cash Investigation TV program revealed that 25 French bishops are known to have covered-up abuse.]

Die Französische Bischofskonferenz nimmt nicht an einer Fernsehdebatte zum Thema Missbrauch am Dienstagabend teil. Grund für die Verweigerung seien die Interviewmethoden, die die Journalisten für eine Fernsehsendung zum Missbrauch in der Kirche an den Tag gelegt hätten, teilte die Bischofskonferenz am Montag in Paris mit. Die Journalisten respektierten ethische Standards nicht und die Sendung beschäftige sich mehr mit Anschuldigungen als dem Willen zur Erklärung, heißt es in der Pressemitteilung der Bischofskonferenz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

WA boys accused of sex abuse not at school

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Two West Australian boys who allegedly sexually abused a nine-year-old boy are no longer attending school while the education minister looks into options for continuing their learning.

The mother of the boy has expressed outrage his alleged abusers, aged 12 and 17, have been allowed to continue going to school, although it is not the same school her son attends.

New Education Minister Sue Ellery agreed it was unacceptable.

"There are ways to provide those children with an education outside the school environment," she told 6PR radio on Tuesday.

Ms Ellery said the two boys did not attend a public school so she would discuss the case with non-government school providers and would also look at protocols for addressing such situations in future.

Catholic Education WA said it did not comment publicly on matters regarding individual students, in the interests of child safety and child protection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Nottingham hosts child sexual exploitation event

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

Nottingham is set to host the country's biggest ever event to tackle child sexual exploitation today.

The current head of the national Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Professor Alexis Jay will address social services, the police and community groups at the two-day conference hosted by East Midlands based charity NWG.

It comes after the group were backed with over £1.24million of Government money enabling them to double their staff and launch the national child sexual exploitation response unit to support those who come across child sexual exploitation.

The charity's chief executive, Sheila Taylor MBE, who was a key participant in a Downing Street child sexual exploitation summit and has previously helped Derbyshire police track down and convict two gangs of paedophiles, said:

"It's great to see so many people coming together to help tackle this horrendous crime but of course we'd like so many more to join with us and access support. In order to end the suffering of children we all have a part to play - we need to encourage people to speak out and we want to bring these issues out into the open. We want the world to unite against child sexual exploitation and we aim to highlight the issues surrounding CSE; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children."

– SHEILA TAYLOR MBE.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Latest sex abuse lawsuit details abuse during retreat at Cocos Island

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

The alleged victim said he was punished for bringing food to the retreat that was held at Cocos Island back in 1986.

Guam - In the latest sex abuse lawsuit filed against the church, a former confirmation class student says defrocked priest Raymond Cepeda sexually assaulted him during a weekend retreat at Cocos Island as a form of punishment.

The complaint, filed by 45-year-old James Mafnas, states that when Mafnas was 15 years old and a student of confirmation classes at the Barrigada parish, students were required to go on a retreat to Cocos Island as a requirement for confirmation class.

Mafnas says students were told not to bring food with them and that they were required to purchase food from a resort at Cocos Island. But Mafnas said his family couldn't afford to purchase food at Cocos Island so Mafnas secretly packed some food with him to the retreat. When he got caught, Mafnas says he was sent to Cepeda's bungalow. At the time, Cepeda was the parish priest of the Barrigada church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 AM

Northeast Michigan Priest Pleads Not Guilty in Sexual Assault Case

MICHIGAN
WBKB

The Presque Isle County Courthouse was a full courtroom today, as the Obwaka case continued.

Residents from all over the county were present in the courtroom for Reverend Sylvester Obwaka’s arraignment hearing. The former Saint Ignatius priest is being accused of assaulting a 28–year–old male, in February of this year.

We later learned that the victim is also a priest. Last week, the victim testified in court claiming that he was assaulted while sleeping at the reverend’s home. Today in court, Obwaka pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“We have reviewed the charges in reading…He entered a plea of ‘not guilty on all accounts,” Honorable Scott L. Pavlich stated during Monday’s hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 AM

City stalls on probe into secular education at Hasidic schools

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Yoav Gonen March 20, 2017

City officials are dragging their heels on a politically-sensitive probe of whether Hasidic schools provide their students with a secular education, advocates charge.

The Department of Education launched a probe more than 18 months ago after advocates submitted a list of dozens of Orthodox Jewish schools that provide little or no English, math, social studies or science — most notably for boys in yeshivas.

But advocates say the probe is moving at a snail’s pace because Mayor de Blasio fears riling the powerful Hasidic community.

“There’s really no explanation to why the mayor would turn a blind eye other than the fear of upsetting this powerful bloc vote led by these powerful [Jewish] lobbyist groups,” Naftuli Moster, founder of the group Yaffed, told The Post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 AM

Man sues Tusla to get information on sister in Tuam home

IRELAND
Irish Times

Aodhan O'Faolain

A Co Galway man seeking information about his infant sister who may have died in the Tuam mother and baby home has secured leave from the High Court to bring an action against Tusla.

Peter Mulryan’s sister Marian Bridget Mulryan is believed to be among the 796 children recorded as having died in the home.

He brought proceedings against Tusla, the child and family agency, in order to get any information that may exist about her.

Tusla says it has provided all information it is aware of and has also offered to allow Mr Mulryan, of Derrymullen, Ballinasloe, to inspect materials in its possession concerning the Tuam home.

Previously, the court heard Mr Mulryan went with his mother to the Tuam home just days after his birth in July 1944. His mother later appeared to have gone to a Magdalene institution and he was “boarded out” at the age of four.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 AM

Mother and baby home truth probe set to be rejected

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

By Juno McEnroe
Political Correspondent

The Government is set to oppose an opposition motion this week advocating a truth commission to investigate mother and baby homes.

TDs will this evening debate Sinn Féin proposals for a truth commission, modelled on those of other countries, that would hear from survivors groups.

The motion proposes allowing such an inquiry “unfettered” access to documentation. It would also examine how people were treated in Magdalene laundries and industrial schools and allow for public or private hearings.

All mother and baby home sites would come under its remit and the inquiry would consider the State’s role in placing people there and in other institutions.

The motion, led by Cork TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, is expected to be opposed by Government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 AM

There was nothing good: An open Letter to Canadian Senator Lynn Beyak

CANADA
Anglican Church of Canada

Dear Senator Beyak:

Not only in the Red Chamber on Parliament Hill, but across the country, many people – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – were dismayed by your remarks. You said “I was disappointed in the TRC’s Report and that it didn’t focus on the good,” associated with Residential Schools. Had you, Senator, made these remarks within a discussion of the TRC’s Report, your comments might have been less shocking.

Senator Beyak, you are quite right in saying that for a small minority of survivors, their personal experiences of Residential School were “good”. But in much greater numbers, the personal experiences of children who were housed in those schools were “bad” – very bad in fact. One only needs to have attended a local, regional or national event hosted by Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission to know this. The Commissioners listened to the personal stories of thousands of students – of survivors – all of which bore witness to the horrific experience they had.

There are hundreds of students who went to Residential Schools administered by the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). They have told their stories at our church’s National Native Convocation and at Sacred Circle Gatherings. We have been rendered speechless by what we heard. We have hung our heads in shame and raised them with remorse over the pain our church inflicted upon those children.

There was nothing good about a federal government policy of forcibly removing children “from their evil surroundings”, housing them in schools with the intent of “killing the Indian in the child…and turning them into a civilized adult”. It was an attempt at cultural genocide, an attempt whose failure bears witness to the courage and resilience of those children and their communities. As elder Barney Williams of the Survivors’ Society has so often said, “We were all brave children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 AM

‘Nothing good’ about residential schools, Anglican leaders tell Senator Beyak

CANADA
Anglican Journal

BY ANDRÉ FORGET ON MARCH, 20 2017

Canadian Anglican leaders have upbraided Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak for her assertion that the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was overly negative in its representation of the Indian Residential Schools system.

In an open letter published March 20, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and General Secretary Archdeacon Michael Thompson said they were “dismayed” by Beyak’s comments, and stated there was “nothing good” about the residential schools system.

In a March 7 speech to the senate, Beyak had criticized the TRC for letting the negative aspects of the Indian Residential Schools system—which its report concluded constituted “cultural genocide”—overshadow the “good deeds” of “well-intentioned” teachers.

Beyak made similar remarks during a recent meeting of the Senate’s Aboriginal People’s committee (of which she is a member), saying she was disappointed the TRC’s report “didn’t focus on the good” done by Christian teachers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 AM

Senator Beyak agrees to meet residential school survivors … in the summer

CANADA
APTN National News

March 20, 2017

Willow Fiddler
APTN National News

Senator Lynn Beyak says she will meet with leaders and residential school survivors this summer to discuss their “very real” concerns.

Beyak was invited to meet with a Truth and Reconciliation committee from Sioux Lookout after she made comments about residential schools in the Senate almost two weeks ago. The committee, created last year by the municipality in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, said the senator’s remarks hinders healing and relationship building.

Garnet Angeconeb, a residential school survivor who sits on the committee, said he was disappointed and surprised to hear Beyak’s comments which included stating that the remarkable works and good deeds of residential schools are often overshadowed by the negative reports and mistakes.

“We’ve been talking about the issue for so long now, over the last 20 years and there’s been some really high level processes in this country that have done good work to address this issue,” said Angeconeb last week in response to the comments. “So those kinds of views and comments coming from somebody at that level is why I was disappointed and quite frankly surprised.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 AM

Our view: Erie bishop’s openness a good start

PENNSYLVANIA
GoErie

By the Editorial Board

Transparency, accountability and checks and balances of power are woven into American identity. Not so the Catholic Church, which only began its slow, welcome and necessary pivot to the modern world with the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

So it is encouraging news that Bishop Lawrence Persico of the Catholic Diocese of Erie has not only been following abuse-reporting protocols instituted following the emergence of the global clergy child sex abuse scandal in 2002, but is pushing beyond them to improve transparency, as detailed by Erie Times-News reporter Ed Palattella.

Bishops and other church officials are now required by the church and the law to immediately report child sex abuse allegations to police and other authorities.

Persico is going beyond that to make public the names of disciplined or defrocked clergy. From now on, he will publicize the names of priests who have been dismissed permanently from the priesthood by the pope for disciplinary reasons or removed from active clerical duty for reasons related to serious wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 AM

‘There was nothing good’: Anglican church disputes Senator’s claim that residential schools contained ‘good’

CANADA
National Post

Tristin Hopper | March 20, 2017

In response to Senator Lynn Beyak’s assertion that Canadians ignore the “abundance of good” that happened in residential schools, one of the system’s primary operators issued a statement Monday saying “there was nothing good.”

“There was nothing good about children going missing and no report being filed. There was nothing good about burying children in unmarked graves far from their ancestral homes,” reads a statement co-signed by the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Although the majority of Canada’s residential schools were operated by Roman Catholic dioceses, about a third fell under the purview of Anglican organizations.

“There are hundreds of students who went to Residential Schools administered by the Anglican Church of Canada … we have hung our heads in shame and raised them with remorse over the pain our church inflicted upon those children,” said Monday’s statement, which detailed the various abuses of the system that were “nothing less than crimes against humanity.”

“We cannot speak about the Residential Schools without acknowledging these truths.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 AM

Man sexually assaulted teen at church function: DA

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Eric Veronikis | everonikis@pennlive.com

The Berks County District Attorney's office has filed statutory sexual assault charges against a man who is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl during a church function in Sinking Spring more than 10 years ago.

Police filed charges against Jonathan Scott Buchanan, 34, Thursday.

In October, detectives within the DA's office launched an investigation after receiving a sexual assault complaint left on an abuse hotline and a report filed with the Berks County Department of Children and Youth Services.

Detectives learned that a 15-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in October of 2006, as she participated in a show production put on by her church, the DA's office said.

Buchanan, who was about 25-years-old at the time, assisted with a dress rehearsal the day the incidents occurred, according to the DA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 AM

Texas Supreme Court Addresses The Causation Requirement For A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim And Conspiracy, Aiding And Abetting Breach Of Fiduciary Duty, And Joint Venture Theories

TEXAS
JD Supra Business Advisor

3/20/2017
by David Fowler Johnson | Winstead PC

In First United Pentecostal Church of Beaumont v. Parker, a church hired an attorney to defend it against sexual abuse allegations. 2017 Tex. LEXIS 295 (Tex. March 17, 2017). During the same time, the church also engaged the attorney to assist in a hurricane/insurance claim. When the insurance company offered to pay over $1 million to settle the claim, the attorney generously suggested that the church leave those funds in the attorney’s trust account to assist with creditor protection. The attorney then withdrew those funds in 2008 and used them for his personal expenses and the expenses of his firm. The attorney had a contract attorney working with his firm. The contract attorney did not know about the improper use of the money at the time that it was done. Rather, he learned about it in 2010, but failed to disclose that information to the client. Eventually, the contract attorney did disclose the information and sent a letter wherein he repented and admitted to breaching his fiduciary duty. The original attorney fled to Arkansas, but was later caught. He pled guilty to misappropriation of fiduciary property and received a fifteen-year sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 AM

'Nothing good' about residential school system, Anglican Church tells Senator Beyak

CANADA
CBC News

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Mar 20, 2017

Leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada have penned a strongly worded letter to Lynn Beyak, the Conservative senator who recently mounted a defence of the Indian residential school system, to denounce her remarks and take ownership of the atrocities committed in the church-run schools.

In a letter sent Monday, church leaders said they were "dismayed" that Beyak would try and shed a positive light on the system, telling her, rather, "the overall view is grim. It is shadowed and dark; it is sad and shameful."

"Senator Beyak, you are quite right in saying that for a small minority of survivors, their personal experiences of residential school were 'good.' But in much greater numbers, the personal experiences of children who were housed in those schools were 'bad — very bad in fact," the letter, written by the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, the archbishop and primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Right Rev. Mark MacDonald, the national Indigenous Anglican bishop, and the church's general secretary, Michael Thompson, said.

The church leaders note children were forcibly removed from their homes, subjected to exacting punishment for speaking their native tongues and were subjected to "rampant" physical, sexual and mental abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 AM

Salvation Army facing lawsuit after girls claim sexual abuse in West Ashley

SOUTH CAROLINA
Live 5

[with video]

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) -
The Salvation Army is facing a lawsuit after two girls claim they were sexually abused for years while attending Sunday School at the Salvation Army's West Ashley location on Highway 61.

According to the McLeod Law Group, the Salvation Army hired a known sexual predator.

The lawsuit names Armando Gonzalez, who according to jail records, was arrested in December 2015 for criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 in connection to the assaults.

Lawyers say the Salvation Army did not take any steps to protect the victims entrusted in its care and supervision.

The lawsuit claims the girls were sexually assaulted over five years starting at the age of 4.

According to lawyers, when one of the victims reported the abuse in October of 2015, Gonzalez confessed to years of sexual abuse at The Salvation Army and was subsequently charged and arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 AM

With an unexpected phone call, a former student reveals alleged abuse

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

Alexandra Back

It was the morning of June 20, 2012, and the phone call, from a former Daramalan College student to the headmaster at Marist College Canberra, came out of the blue.

The headmaster, Richard Sidorko, had been the former student's boarding master at an interstate school in the 1980s, and they had come to know each other quite well during that time.

The conversation that day had moved from general chat chat, to talk about another former student, who had recently died. The student then asked the headmaster about a sexual abuse case at Marist College, which had been generating attention.

"He then said, 'you know, I've been abused too'," Mr Sidorko told the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday, at the trial of the student's alleged abuser. "My response was surprised, but not surprised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 AM

Cairns MP Rob Pyne lashes out at the Church in Parliament while introducing bill on reporting abuse

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

March 21, 2017

By Mark Bowling

INDEPENDENT Member for Cairns Rob Pyne has attacked the Catholic Church as “a law unto itself” as he introduced a private member’s bill dealing with child abuse into Queensland Parliament.

The bill would legally require priests and other ministers of religion to report cases of abuse.
Mr Pyne said if a member of the clergy had knowledge of a crime, they should be obliged to report it.

“Child abuse is even more damaging when the offender holds a position of trust. Abuse by ministers of religion is a life-scarring betrayal,” Mr Pyne tweeted on Tuesday March 20, the day before he tabled his bill.

Mr Pyne’s bill would make it mandatory for religious ministers to report abuse, including child sexual abuse, to the Department of Child Safety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 AM

'Witch' Fletcher has no authority: bishop

AUSTRALIA
Deniliquin Pastoral Times

A legally-blind, self-described "witch" who abused two teenage girls will never have authority in the alternative Catholic church he attends, the church leader says.

Robin Fletcher was jailed in 1998 for using hypnotism and mind-altering techniques to prostitute two 15-year-old girls, while working as a drug abuse and sexual guidance youth counsellor.

He was released in 2006, but lived under supervision orders for the next decade before a court this month allowed him to roam freely.

Australian Church of Antioch Archbishop Frank Bugge says he has known Fletcher for more than 30 years and allows "the very well qualified" man to teach theology once a month.

Fletcher also attends mass each Sunday at the Alphington church - a three-minute walk from a children's playground - but the archbishop strongly disputed any notion the convicted sex offender preaches or holds authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 AM

Sister Maureen | It’s time for diocese to put victims first

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

Sister Maureen
www.catholicwhistleblowers.org

For decades, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has covered up the sexual abuse of children while transferring errant priests from parish to parish, place to place, year after year. In this, it is not unlike other dioceses in Pennsylvania, including the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Three grand juries investigated the Philadelphia archdiocese, resulting in the release of scathing grand jury reports in 2005 and 2011.

Now, a year after the 2016 release of an equally scathing grand jury report on the Altoona-Johnstown diocese, an “independent oversight board” is being created to “protect diocese children from sexual abuse in the church.”

Had it not been for that grand jury report, the cover-up would likely have continued as business as usual in the Altoona-Johnstown diocese as it has in many states across the country.

Keep in mind that the Altoona-Johnstown Memorandum of Understanding is just that, a memorandum, an agreement between Bishop Mark Bartchak and acting U.S. Attorney Soo Song. It has no power in law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 AM

Diocesan autonomy slows Anglican standards

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

MARCH 21, 2017

By Rebekah Ison
Australian Associated Press

A persistent culture of independence within Anglican dioceses is delaying a long-awaited misconduct regime that would deal with allegations of child sexual abuse, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday heard there still isn't a consistent national approach to professional standards 13 years after the church's General Synod enacted a model ordinance on the issue in 2004.

Data released at the start of the hearing revealed 82 people who made complaints to the church were first abused as children between 2000 and 2015.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald on Tuesday said it was "almost inexplicable" to outsiders that the church had not put aside "relatively minor differences" to arrive at a common approach to professional standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:22 AM

'Profound disappointment': Anglican dioceses fail to agree on sex abuse policy

AUSTRALIA
Camden Courier

Rachel Browne
21 Mar 2017

The Anglican church has failed to achieve a nationally consistent approach to child sexual abuse due to lack of consensus between its 23 dioceses, a royal commission has heard.

The inquiry into how the church has responded to child sexual abuse was told a national body was established to develop child protection standards that were enacted by the general synod in 2004.

Not all dioceses have adopted the Professional Standards Commission's models or have only partially implemented them over the past 13 years, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard.

Garth Blake SC, a Sydney barrister and chairman of the church's Professional Standards Commission, told the hearing the inaction left him "deeply" troubled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 AM

The bane of Mansion Murphy

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Kevin Cullen GLOBE STAFF MARCH 20, 2017

The only way you got Breslin out of New York was at gunpoint or with a good story.

Jimmy Breslin, who died Sunday, was the best newspaper columnist in the world and he was the first one to tell you that. But he would also tell you he had good material, and it was almost always in New York. ...

Breslin spent some time in Boston researching his 2004 book about the coverup of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, “The Church That Forgot Jesus.”

He wanted to figure out Cardinal Law, why Law would enable so many priests to abuse kids.

“What’s this Law like?” he asked.

I told him that when Law was a young priest in Mississippi, he told others that he was going to be the first American pope.

“That’s not so bad,” Breslin replied.

I told him Law insisted that his staff refer to him as Your Eminence.

“That’s it,” Breslin chirped. “That’s what I needed to know.”

In Breslin’s world, being ambitious was admirable; being pompous was a venal sin.

Breslin zeroed in on one of Law’s assistants, Bishop William Murphy, who had protected abusive priests in Boston. Murphy was rewarded for his loyalty, made bishop of Rockville Centre, on Long Island.

Breslin found out Murphy had kicked some nuns out of their convent so he could turn it into a palace for himself. Breslin nicknamed him Mansion Murphy and made his life miserable, though not as miserable as the lives that Murphy helped ruin by protecting criminals in Roman collars.

Breslin loved good priests and nuns. He just thought there weren’t enough of them, and that it was the big shots running the church who were to blame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 AM

New lawsuit alleges sexual abuse was ‘penance’ for confirmation

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon |For The Guam Daily Post Mar 21, 2017

A 45-year-old man filed a lawsuit in the District Court alleging he was sexually abused as “penance” to get confirmed in the Catholic Church.

James A. Mafnas, of Barrigada, filed a lawsuit against the Archbishop of Agana, alleging he was abused by former priest Raymond Cepeda when he was attending confirmation classes at San Vicente Ferrer-San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, confirmation is a sacrament of initiation in the Catholic Church where a baptized person is “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit”.

In 1986, Mafnas and other confirmation students attended a weekend retreat at Cocos Island Resort. Students were instructed that all food had to be purchased at Cocos Island from the resort store, but Mafnas’ parents couldn’t afford to give him extra money for food so he packed bread, spam and corned beef to take with him to the retreat, court documents state.

Mafnas recalled that he was caught with the food and was told to report to Cepeda’s bungalow. Cepeda yelled at him telling him he would not get confirmed and made him recite 20 rosaries, the lawsuit states. Instead of returning to the other students, Mafnas was made to sleep on the floor in Cepeda’s room.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 AM

Man says former priest abused him in 1986, called it penance

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com March 21, 2017

A man alleged a former priest sexually abused him on Cocos Island in or around 1986 as penance so he could get confirmed.

James A. Mafnas, now 45, is the 31st man to file a Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana, priests and others who may have helped or covered up the abuse.

Mafnas, in his complaint, said former priest Raymond Cepeda sexually abused him when he was about 15, during a weekend retreat on Cocos Island, as a requirement for confirmation class.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Guam, says Mafnas packed some bread, Spam and corned beef to take to the retreat, even though students were instructed to not bring food or snacks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 AM

March 20, 2017

Croatia Threatened with Lawsuit by WWII Victims

CROATIA
Balkan Transitional Justice

Croatia has been threatened with a lawsuit if it doesn’t support victims of the WWII fascist Ustasa movement in their claims for reparations - although one expert doubted Zagreb would back the case.

Sven Milekic BIRN Zagreb

US lawyer Jonathan Levy said on Monday that he will lay charges against Croatia if it fails to back claims against the Vatican Bank made by victims of the Croatian WWII fascist Ustasa movement.

Certain people in the Vatican allegedly sponsored the exiled Ustasa government after WWII and helped to transfer parts of its treasury – partly created from wealth taken from Serbs, Jews and Roma – to the Vatican Bank.

Levy took the ‘Ustasa treasury’ case to the US courts, but lost in 2010, with judges concluding that they had no jurisdiction over the matter.

He has now appealed to the Croatian government’s newly-formed Council for Dealing with Consequences of the Rule of Non-Democratic Regimes, asking it to support the Ustasa victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Court hears man seeking records of sister who died at Tuam home

IRELAND
RTE News

The High Court has granted leave to a Co Galway man seeking information about his sister who may have died in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home to bring an action against Tusla, the child and family agency.

The case has been brought by Peter Mulryan, whose infant sister Marian Bridget Mulryan is believed to be among 796 children recorded as having died there, has brought proceedings against Tusla aimed at getting any information that may exist about her.

Permission to bring the action was granted by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys, following an application by Deidre O'Donohoe BL instructed by solicitor Kevin Higgins for Mr Mulryan.

Previously the court heard that Mr Mulryan went with his mother to the Tuam home in July 1944, his mother later appeared to have gone to a Magdalene institution and he was sent away at age four.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Online child grooming law after two‑year wait

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

John Simpson, Crime Correspondent
March 20 2017
The Times

A new law against “sexual communication with a child” will finally be brought into force after two years of delays and public pressure.

Liz Truss, the justice secretary, will announce the law, which is designed to help to stop child sexual abuse at the earliest stages, today.

The legislation has been the focus of public anger since it was passed in March 2015 but the government failed to usher through a commencement order that is needed before law enforcement agencies could use the power. Missed opportunities to prosecute offenders are thought to run into thousands. Ms Truss will also announce measures to give alleged rape victims the option to record their evidence on tape before trials.

“In a world of mobile phones and social media our children are ever more vulnerable to those who prey on their innocence,” she said yesterday. “This new offence will help us to tackle the early stages of grooming and nip in the bud those targeting children online or through texts.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

25 French bishops accused of covering up hundreds of sex abuse cases

FRANCE
RFI

[Les chiffres de la honte: 32 agresseurs, 339 victimes - Mediapart]

Twenty-five French bishops covered up sexual abuse of by 32 Catholic priests for years, an investigative website claims. The abuse, which continued after 2000 when the church claimed to have tackled the problem, affected 339 victims, it says.

The Mediapartwebsite names all 25 bishops, five of whom were still in office in January, and accuses Lyon's Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of having known about abuse by five priests without notifying police.

Several cases of covering up sexual abuse against Barbarin were dismissed last June.

Among the other bishops named by Mediapart are Besançon Archbishop Jean-Luc-Bouilleret, Bayonne Bishop Marc Aillet, Yves Le Saux of Le Mans and Mgr Bernard Fellay of the Society of Saint Pius X, a traditionalist fraternity that is going through a reconciliation process with the Vatican.

Of the 339 victims, 288 were minors, the site says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Press Communiqué: Audience with the President of the Republic of Rwanda, 20.03.2017

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bulletin

Today, Monday 20 March, at the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, received in Audience His Excellency Mr Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. Subsequently, the President met His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, who was accompanied by His Excellency, Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial exchanges, the good relations that exist between the Holy See and Rwanda were recalled. Appreciation was expressed for the notable path of recovery towards the social, political and economic stabilisation of the country. Likewise noted was the collaboration between the State and the local Church in the work of national reconciliation and in the consolidation of peace, for the benefit of the whole Nation. In this context, the Pope conveyed his profound sadness, and that of the Holy See and of the Church, for the genocide against the Tutsi. He expressed his solidarity with the victims and with those who continue to suffer the consequences of those tragic events and, evoking the gesture of Pope Saint John Paul II during the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, he implored anew God’s forgiveness for the sins and failings of the Church and its members, among whom priests, and religious men and women who succumbed to hatred and violence, betraying their own evangelical mission. In light of the recent Holy Year of Mercy and of the Statement published by the Rwandan Bishops at its conclusion, the Pope also expressed the desire that this humble recognition of the failings of that period, which, unfortunately, disfigured the face of the Church, may contribute to a “purification of memory” and may promote, in hope and renewed trust, a future of peace, witnessing to the concrete possibility of living and working together, once the dignity of the human person and the common good are put at the centre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Pope Francis admits Catholic priests took part in Rwandan genocide and begs forgiveness over church's role

VATICAN CITY
Daily Record (Scotland)

Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for the "sins and failings of the Church" during Rwanda's 1994 genocide, saying he hoped his apology would help heal the African state's wounds.

But Rwanda's government indicated it felt the apology did not go far enough, saying the local Church was still complicit in protecting the perpetrators of the genocide.

At a meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Pope Francis said that priests and Roman Catholic faithful had taken part in the slaughter of some 800,000 people from the ethnic Tutsi minority as well as moderates from the Hutu majority.

"( The pope ) implored anew God's forgiveness for the sins and failings of the Church and its members, among whom priests, and religious men and women who succumbed to hatred and violence," the Vatican said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Trial for local priest in Minnesota postponed

CALIFORNIA/MINNESOTA
CBS 8

[with video]

(CBS 8) - Trial that was to be underway in Minnesota Monday for a San Diego priest accused of sexual misconduct has been postponed.

He is currently on leave, from the San Diego diocese.

These allegations stem from two incidents that allegedly occurred back in 2010 in Minnesota.

But the investigation didn't come to light until 2016 and that's when Father Jacob Bertrand took a leave of absence from the San Diego diocese.

Father Bertrand worked at several churches in and around San Diego including Saint Rosa Lima in Chula Vista and Santa Sophia in spring valley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Diocese apologizes; healing services still delayed

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., March 18, 2017

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

GALLUP — The spokeswoman for the Diocese of Gallup offered an apology – tempered with an explanation – after Bishop James S. Wall postponed eight healing services for survivors of clergy sex abuse and rescheduled them in March 2018.

Wall initially canceled five healing services in January because of illness, but then postponed another service in February because it conflicted with his annual Mardi Gras fundraiser celebration and postponed two upcoming services in July because they conflict with a speaking engagement he accepted at the annual Tekakwitha Conference for Native American Catholics.

A number of individuals, including several abuse survivors, expressed frustration to the Independent over the Mardi Gras and Tekakwitha cancellations as well as disappointment that all eight services were postponed to next year.

“The Tekakwitha Conference and Mardi Gras conflicts were a scheduling oversight on our part, and we extend sincere apologies to anyone – especially survivors – affected by the rescheduling,” diocesan spokeswoman Suzanne Hammons wrote in an email.

“I understand the frustration survivors may be feeling,” Hammons added. “It can be hard to strike that balance between fulfilling the duties of our regular ministries and also meeting the needs of survivors, and we regret that in these two cases, that balance was not handled effectively. We will make every effort to prevent conflicts in the future.”

“The Mardi Gras fundraiser is the largest single fundraiser for Catholic schools,” Hammons wrote, “and provides crucial funding for the education and needs of children in the Diocese, many of who also rely on the schools as a source for meals, counseling, and other resources.”

Hammons said the Tekakwitha Conference is also important because of Wall’s position as chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Native American Affairs. Wall “has the responsibility of listening to the voices of Indigenous Catholics,” she wrote, and the conference “provides Native People with a major platform to voice their needs and concerns on a national scale.”

Hammons also asserted diocesan officials consulted with members of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors about rescheduling the healing services. The committee represented the interests of clergy sex abuse claimants in the Gallup Diocese’s now concluded bankruptcy case.

“The revised schedule was made after extensive and careful planning with the Creditors’ Committee, which includes survivors of abuse,” Hammons wrote.

Blindsided by decision

Prudence Jones, a Gallup resident and a member of the committee, took issue with Hammons’ statements. Jones attended the first healing service in November and had offered public remarks complimenting both the bishop and the service at the time.

However, in a phone interview Tuesday, Jones described herself as “blindsided” by the bishop’s decision to postpone the eight services until March 2018. By pushing the services so far back, Jones said, it gives the appearance “that the pain and suffering these victims suffered because of abuse is not very important to the diocese.”

“I believe a timely schedule for the healing services is so important because now that the bankruptcy is finalized, the victims of clergy abuse are beginning the process of rebuilding their lives and these healing services are an integral part of that process,” she said.

There are no healing services scheduled this month and only one service in April. For the remainder of the year, the bishop has between one to three services scheduled per month.

Jones also questioned Hammons’ claim that diocesan officials consulted with committee members about rescheduling the postponed services. Now that the bankruptcy case is concluded, she said, the seven members of the committee still occasionally keep in touch by email regarding bankruptcy-related matters. Jones said none of the other committee members sent out an email saying the diocese was asking for the committee’s input.

“I was not contacted by the diocese, and that was surprising to me as I’m the only committee member that lives in Gallup and therefore in a position to be working closely with the diocese as a committee member,” Jones said.

Profound healing effect

Committee members Criss Candelaria and Jo Ulibarri also confirmed they were not consulted about rescheduling the postponed services. In addition, Arizona attorney Robert E. Pastor, who represented Jones and a fourth committee member, said he had not heard of diocesan officials soliciting input from the committee. The remaining three committee members maintain their anonymity and do not speak with the media.

Ulibarri said a diocesan official did notify her in January that healing services in Farmington and Lumberton were being postponed because of the bishop’s illness, but she said she wasn’t told when any of the postponed services would be rescheduled.

“I understand the Bishop has been ill and he is busy, but I’d like to see these services done,” Ulibarri wrote in an email Tuesday. “I feel like the victims need these services as an acknowledgement of what happened to us and it’s just getting pushed aside.”

Candelaria, the chairman of the committee, was the only contacted committee member not concerned with the postponements.

“I was not consulted but I have no strong objection provided they occur,” Candelaria wrote in an email. “I don’t think time is of the essence. It may be beneficial in that the reconciliation masses spread over a reasonably longer period of time might keep it in public awareness.”

In contrast, Joelle Casteix, the western regional director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, criticized the lengthy postponements because many abuse survivors are older individuals in poor health.

“Healing masses and visiting the parishes where clerics abused children are a ‘no-brainer’ that has a profound healing effect on many survivors,” Casteix said in a statement released March 9. “In fact, this is something that Wall should have done early in his tenure. By postponing these services for fundraisers and conferences, Wall is telling victims he doesn’t really care. And because many of the victims are older and ill, these year-long postponements may outlast the lifespans of many of the most hurt victims.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Former student in Daramalan College sex abuse trial defends account during cross-examination

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Alexandra Back

Trial begins for Peter Cuzner, former teacher accused of sex abuse at Daramalan College

A defence barrister has sought to question the memory of the man who accused his former Catholic school teacher of sexually abusing him while at Daramalan College in the 1980s.

Peter Cuzner, 61, is on trial in the ACT Supreme Court this week charged with two counts of indecent assault. Prosecutors allege Mr Cuzner had touched the year 9 boy's groin on two occasions while purporting to look for a pulse.

The former student took the stand for a second day on Monday, where he defended his account of the alleged assaults under cross-examination by defence barrister John Masters.

Conceding his memory may have faded over time, the witness said, "but some things that happen in your life stick vividly in your mind, and are never going to be erased".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

State redress scheme won't be reopened despite Tuam revelations

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Niall O'Connor
March 20 2017

Education Minister Richard Bruton has said there are "no plans" to reopen the State's redress scheme for institutional abuse despite the latest revelations surrounding the Tuam baby scandal.

The scheme, which has to date cost almost €1.5bn, closed to new applicants in September 2011.

It emerged last week that religious orders who ran residential institutions where children were subject to abuse have paid just 13pc of the costs.

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), published by Mr Bruton, confirmed that the State had received just €85m of the €226m that was due from the Church.

A spokesperson for Mr Bruton confirmed that the scheme would not be reopened for new entrants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Call for Commission in light of Tuam Mother and Baby Homes revelations

IRELAND
Connacht Tribune

Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Sinn Féin Deputy has published a Dáil motion which will be debated this week, calling for a Truth Commission to establish the facts about Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes.

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire says the revelations of recent weeks at Tuam, and subsequent reports, have shocked and angered Irish people.

He says survivor groups have also criticised ‘behind closed doors hearings’ and he believes we need to shine a light on the historic mistreatment of women and children in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

'They’d put me in a room with nothing to eat and no windows. Then they would cut my hair to the bone'

IRELAND
The Journal

MARY MERRITT FIRST entered the High Park Magdalene Laundry in 1947, at the age of 16.

Born in a Dublin workhouse, she was put into the care of the Sisters of Mercy in Ballinasloe, Co Galway when she was two.

Mary (85) never met her mother, and has never found out who she was.

“To this day I don’t know who my mother is,” she told TheJournal.ie last week.

I’m 85 now, I’ll be 86 next month.

After 14 years in the orphanage in Ballinasloe, Mary (who was known as Mary O’Conor at that time) said she went out one night with four other girls and stole some apples from a nearby orchard.

“They came into me the next morning – on the 7th of January 1947 – and they said O’Conor get your clothes together, you’re going to a situation in Dublin,” said Mary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

CCRM: Allow nuns to perform confession for women, minors

INDIA
The New Indian Express

KOCHI: Why can’t nuns be allowed to perform the Catholic Church’s sacrament of penance for women and young boys?

This is a question asked by the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement (CCRM) - a layman’s organisation for reforms in the Church - in the wake of the growing incidents of minors being sexually abused by Christian priests in the state.

“We are raising this demand in the wake of the recent spurt in incidents of sexual abuse by Christian priests. The Bible doesn’t say confession should be done only by priests,” said Indulekha Joseph, who staged a dharna outside the Bishop’s House here on Sunday, demanding that nuns be allowed to perform the sacrament of confession for women and young boys.

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, in which the faithful obtain absolution for sins committed against God and neighbours, and are reconciled with the community of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Abuse survivor says scheme to enable victims is ‘disabling people’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Kitty Holland

As a child, David Dineen (46) experienced “savage sexual abuse,” and beatings in a Brothers of Charity institution in Cork. He left, aged 15, and spent spells homeless and involved in drugs and crime. He found it difficult to form lasting relationships.

He has spent his adult life recovering from and coming to terms with his childhood.

“And then along came Caranua,” he says. “They caused me so much distress, in the end, last September, I had to pull away from them for my mental health.”

Caranua is the independent body established under the the 2012 Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act to manage €110 million pledged by religious congregations to enhance survivors’ lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

George Pell slams 'unjust' Senate call for him to assist with sexual abuse police inquiry

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Cardinal George Pell has come out swinging against a Senate call for him to return to Australia to assist with police investigations.

A Greens Party motion, agreed to by the upper house in February, called on the senior ranking Catholic clergyman to return to Australia to face allegations of misconduct.

"The use of parliamentary privilege to attack me on this basis is both extraordinary and unjust," Cardinal Pell wrote in a letter tabled in Parliament today.

"Given that the investigation is ongoing, any calls from the Senate for my return to Australia can only be perceived as an interference on the part of the Senate in the due process of the Victoria Police investigation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Inadequate Anglican training led to abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Rebekah Ison - AAP on March 20, 2017

The Anglican Church's failure to properly select and train its aspiring priests led to child abusers in its ranks, the royal commission has heard.

Chair Peter McClellan asked four senior Anglicans if the process for picking and guiding student clergy had meant "people ended up in the church who were capable of committing these terrible crimes".

The four panellists agreed, with the administrator of the Anglican Diocese, Bishop Tim Harris, saying the church had been in a position of great privilege and autonomy.

"I would hope, going into the 21st century, that there is a much greater awareness that the church is rightly more accountable," he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Washington Post Editor And Journalistic Icon Marty Baron To Speak At Penn State

PENNSYLVANIA
Onward State

BY JIM DAVIDSON ON MARCH 20, 2017

Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post and iconic American journalist, will deliver Penn State’s annual Oweida Lecture in Journalism Ethics at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 in Freeman Auditorium at the HUB.

Known for his involvement in the story behind the 2015 film Spotlight, Baron began his nomadic career in 1976 as a reporter for the Miami Herald after graduating from Lehigh University. He left Florida in 1979 to work for the L.A. Times, where he secured his first editorial position in 1983.

After 17 years in Los Angeles, Baron moved back across the country to work for The New York Times, where he was named managing editor for nighttime news operations in 1997. He returned to the Herald in 2000 as executive editor, but left a year later to become editor of the Boston Globe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

George Pell lashes 'unjust' Senate call

AUSTRALIA
Deniliquin Pastoral Times

AAP

Cardinal George Pell has accused the Senate of waging an "extraordinary and unjust" attack against him and interfering with due process.

A Greens motion, agreed to by the upper house in February, called on the senior ranking Catholic clergyman to return to Australia to face allegations of misconduct.

"The use of parliamentary privilege to attack me on this basis is both extraordinary and unjust," Cardinal Pell wrote in a letter tabled in Parliament on Monday.

"Given that the investigation is ongoing, any calls from the Senate for my return to Australia can only be perceived as an interference on the part of the Senate in the due process of the Victoria Police investigation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

George Pell Refuses Senate Call To Return Home, Slams 'Interference'

AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Josh Butler Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

Cardinal George Pell has rubbished a Senate motion calling for him to return to Australia over a misconduct investigation, slamming the upper house's "interference" in the police action.

In February, a Greens motion agreed to by the federal Senate called on Pell -- currently based in the Vatican -- to come back to Australia after Victoria Police reportedly began investigations of criminal misconduct against the former Archbishop of Melbourne. The Senate motion also noted "4444 people made allegations of child sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church, including the clergy, between January 1980 and February 2015".

At the time of the motion, Pell's office said in a statement: "The suggestion that Cardinal Pell should be accountable for all the wrong doings of Church personnel throughout Australia over many decades is not only unjust and completely fanciful but also acts to shield those in the Church who should be called to account for their failures."

In a formal letter to the Senate, tabled in the parliament on Monday, Pell went further in his response, criticising the upper house for even agreeing to the motion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

March 19, 2017

Dáil to debate call for truth commission on mother and baby homes

IRELAND
Irish Times

Marie O'Halloran

A call has been made for a truth commission to be set up to properly establish the facts about mother and baby homes.

Sinn Féin spokesman on children Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has introduced a Private Members’ motion to be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday, calling for the establishment of a truth commission.

“The entire system, and the mistreatment of woman and children in whatever setting, needs to have a light shone on it.”

Mr Ó Laoghaire said there were numerous examples of successful truth commissions internationally. “We should take the best examples of these and apply the principles here in Ireland,” and he cited truth processes in Chile, South Africa, Canada and Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Mother and baby homes ‘destroyed lives’ says CoI archbishop

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Revulsion towards church and state institutions have followed recent revelations about mother and baby homes, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin has said.

Dr Michael Jackson said this year’s St Patrick’s Day had been “inevitably and rightly” different in Ireland. “As a society we stand in need of restoration. As members of churches we stand in need of redemption,” he said. “None of us can do this without respect for the voice of the victim; none of us can do this without the forgiveness of the victim,” he said.

“For all the churches, these events have hardened and sharpened the deep antagonism now felt towards churches around betrayal,” he said.

This was “because of our incapacity to get our head around something which to others is not as complicated as it sounds or looks: accepting that those who went before us have done wrong; saying that we are sorry for the wrong that was done; offering a heartfelt apology; asking for forgiveness from neighbour as well as from God. Institutions find this tremendously difficult,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

DON ANDREA CONTIN / L’ex amante, “dall’amore alle minacce di morte” (La vita in diretta, 16 marzo)

ITALIA
Ilsussidiario

[DON ANDREA CONTIN / Former lover, "from love to death threats" (Live Life, March 16)]

DON ANDREA CONTIN, INTERVISTA ALL’EX AMANTE: IL RACCONTO DELLA LORO STORIA FINO ALLA DENUNCIA (LA VITA IN DIRETTA) - Non cala l'attenzione attorno al caso di Don Andrea Contin, l'ex prete di San Lazzaro finito al centro dello scandalo sessuale che ha travolto la Chiesa di Padova nei mesi scorsi. L'uomo è indagato per violenza privata e sfruttamento della prostituzione. Oggi, nel corso della nuova puntata de La vita in diretta è stata intervistata la donna con la quale Don Andrea Contin aveva intrapreso una relazione amorosa, poi culminata in violenza. L'ex amante del prete allontanato dalla Curia, ha raccontato sin dall'inizio il suo rapporto con Don Contin, per lei semplicemente Andrea.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Troppi scandali, flop dell'8 per mille alla Chiesa

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Quotidiano

[2017 will be an annus horribilis for the Italian church offerings which are expected to drop 150 million euros.]

di NINA FABRIZIO
Ultimo aggiornamento: 19 marzo 2017

Città del Vaticano, 19 marzo 2017 - Il 2017 rischia di essere l’anno nero per le finanze della Cei con una caduta a picco delle offerte dell’otto per mille. Le indagini interne che monitorano l’opinione pubblica e in particolare la propensione a firmare per l’offerta alla Chiesa cattolica in possesso della Conferenza episcopale italiana, parlano chiaro ed offrono ai vescovi un quadro affatto incoraggiante. La fiducia è crollata.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 PM

Church protesters react to $30K in ‘hush money’

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Manny Cruz | The Guam Daily Post

Church protesters said yesterday they're ready to "clean house" after news of about $30,000 in "hush money" had been paid by then-Archbishop Anthony Apuron to a former altar boy in 2002 to conceal sex-abuse allegations against a Guam priest.

"This is a disgrace," said Mary Cruz, of the Concerned Catholics of Guam. "This is just another example of how he tried to cover his wrongdoings. I think now, more than ever, we need to clean out the church."

The victim declined to reveal his name, because of a pending legal question, but said he was sexually molested by Father Louis Brouillard while the priest was at San Vicente Catholic Church between 1976 and 1980.

Brouillard has since signed a statement admitting that he may have sexually abused as many as 20 boys while he served in parishes across Guam.

Cruz said she herself feels guilty that the alleged abuses occurred "under (her) nose."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

Retired Michigan priest arrested in Grand Forks on embezzlement charges

NORTH DAKOTA/MICHIGAN
Grand Forks Herald

By Andrew Hazzard

A Michigan priest who retired to Grand Forks is in the process of being extradited to his home state after being charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his former church.

Rev. David Ernest Fisher, 70, was arrested at his Grand Forks home on March 11 on an extradition order from Shiawassee County, Mich.

The Argus-Press newspaper in Ossowo, Mich. reported that Fisher was a pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church for 23 years. He retired in 2015. The newspaper reported that Fisher faces seven counts of embezzlement, including one count of embezzling $100,000 or more, a crime punishable by 20 years in prison.

"Following the retirement of Rev. David Fisher from the pastorate of St. Joseph Parish in Owosso, financial irregularities came to light," the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, Mich. said in a press release. "These were promptly reported by the Diocese of Lansing to representatives of law enforcement, who began an investigation. At every point of the process, the diocese, the new pastor of St. Joseph Parish, and his parish staff have fully cooperated with law enforcement."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

“Hay menores que desean el abuso y te provocan”; las atrocidades impunes de la jerarquía católica

ESPANA
Publico

["There are minors who desire abuse and provoke you"; The unpunished atrocities of the Catholic hierarchy.]

Por Christian González 14.03.2017

Son los máximos representantes de la Iglesia Católica en un territorio. En sus homilías, artículos en prensa y programas en radio, exponen la doctrina cristiana a sus fieles y pontifican sobre cómo deben actuar en su vida. Sin embargo, nos hemos acostumbrado a verles pronunciar desde sus púlpitos frases homófobas y sexistas que indignan a la sociedad, como en las últimas semanas tras la victoria de una drag queen en el carnaval de Las Palmas.

Si nos fijamos en los últimos disparates pronunciados por miembros de la jerarquía eclesiástica, podremos extraer dos conclusiones. La primera, que están obsesionados con los menores, el sexo, los gays y la mujer. Y la segunda, que, a los obispos y cardenales, les sale gratis decir esas cosas desde sus tribunas, porque ninguno de ellos ha sido retirado de sus cargos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

Le bugie del Vaticano sul sabotaggio del tribunale anti-pedofili

ITALIA
Lettera 43

[The Vatican lies on sabotaging the anti-pedophile court.]

FRANCESCO PELOSO

Il J'accuse di Marie Collins, la donna che è stata membro della Pontificia commissione per la tutela dei minori, contro la Curia vaticana, non si ferma e conosce anzi nuovi importanti capitoli. Il tribunale per giudicare i vescovi responsabili di aver insabbiato i casi di abusi sessuali sui minori - ha detto la Collins -, nonostante sia stato voluto e approvato da papa Francesco non è mai stato istituito dalla Congregazione per la dottrina della fede guidata dal cardinale Gerhard Müller. È il cuore del problema che assilla il percorso delle riforme avviata da Bergoglio. Per di più stavolta a parlare sono anche i documenti che sbugiardano la versione della Chiesa. Ma andiamo con ordine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Abusi, papa Francesco fa il gioco delle tre carte

ITALIA
Cronache Laiche

[Despite the proclaimed zero tolerance, nothing changes about the complaints to the civil authority of the clergy.]

Cristian Usai
martedì 14 marzo 2017

«È nostro dovere far prova di severità estrema con i sacerdoti che tradiscono la loro missione, e con la gerarchia, vescovi e cardinali, che li proteggesse, come è già successo in passato». Queste parole provengono dalla prefazione che papa Francesco ha scritto all'autobiografia di Daniel Pittet, vittima di abusi da parte di un sacerdote. Il Papa prosegue definendo la pedofilia, una «mostruosità assoluta, un orrendo peccato, radicalmente contrario a tutto ciò che Cristo ci insegna». Insomma, la Chiesa di Bergoglio avrebbe imboccato la via della fermezza. Certo, a questo punto ci si potrebbe lasciar prendere da facili entusiasmi; ma questi entusiasmi sarebbero giustificati?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Bid to extradite Scots priest accused of abuse

SCOTLAND
The Sunday Post

Written by Gordon Blackstock, 19 March 2017

A RETIRED priest is set to be extradited from Canada to Scotland following a child sex abuse probe, The Sunday Post can reveal.

Father Robert MacKenzie, 84, was a teacher at Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands before moving to Canada in 1988.

In 2013, a police investigation was sparked after allegations emerged of physical and sexual abuse at the school where Father MacKenzie taught.

The offences were claimed to have taken place at the school over a period of 25 years between 1967 and 1992.

A number of former pupils at the school have made detailed allegations of abuse there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Guam bishop aims to resolve ‘distress’ regarding Neocatechumenal Way

GUAM
Headlines from the Catholic World

Hagatna, Guam, Mar 18, 2017 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The practices of the Neocatechumenal Way in Guam have drawn attention from the island's coadjutor archbishop, who has said its members are to stop forming new communities for a year, in the interest of healing divisions in the archdiocese.

Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes of Agaña cited “a growing sense of distress about the multiplication of small communities in some parishes and about some of the differences in the way the Mass is celebrated among the small communities of the Neocatechumenal Way.”

The movement must celebrate Mass at a consecrated altar and members of the congregation who receive the Blessed Sacrament must consume it as soon as they receive it, the archbishop said in a March 15 pastoral letter to his flock on the northwestern Pacific island, a U.S. territory.

The Neocatechumenal Way is a new ecclesial movement that focuses on post-baptismal adult formation in small parish-based groups. It is estimated that the movement contains about 1 million members, in some 40,000 parish-based communities around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Juicio del caso Romanones por abusos inicia mañana su fase final con peritos

ESPANA
La Vanguardia

[Judgment of the Romanones case of alleged sexual abuses begins tomorrow its final phase with experts.]

Granada, 19 mar (EFE).- La Audiencia de Granada reanuda mañana el juicio por el conocido como caso Romanones en el que la Fiscalía pide nueve años de cárcel para el sacerdote acusado de un delito de abuso sexual continuado con acceso carnal con la testifical de forenses y tratará el martes las conclusiones finales de las partes.

La Sección Segunda de la Audiencia de Granada retomará a las 9.30 horas de mañana el juicio del caso Romanones, que comenzó el pasado seis de marzo con la declaración del único acusado, el padre Román, que negó cualquier abuso sexual y recalcó su inocencia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Pope Francis Granting Anti-Semitic Group Same Status as Opus Dei

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on March 18, 2017 by Betty Clermont

In a March 3 homily, Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, confirmed that negotiations to reunite the SSPX with the Catholic Church were ongoing. “Full communion” would be “within a few months,” Vatican reporter, Andrea Tornielli, wrote the same day. Fellay “needs time to explain and to gain broad acceptance for the agreement among the Society,” he noted.

French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre founded the traditionalist order of priests in 1970. He named them after Pope Pius X who, in 1907, described Modernism as “the synthesis of all heresies.”

The SSPX was declared “schismatic” in 1988 when Lefebvre ordained his own bishops without the approval of Pope John Paul II. All four of the new bishops incurred an “automatic” excommunication.

Anti-Semitism

The Simon Wiesenthal Center “condemned” Bishop Fellay for calling Jews “enemies of the Church” and asked the SSPX to renounce their anti-Semitic theology in January 2013.
Pope Francis was elected on March 13, 2013.

The Southern Poverty Law Center stated the SSPX “remains a font of anti-Semitic propaganda” in 2015. The SPLC had placed the SSPX on their “Hatewatch” list in 2009 because of the virulent anti-Semitism of its leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Battle over Ireland's last Magdalene laundry

IRELAND
Deutsche Welle

Ireland's last Magdalene laundry is up for sale, but campaigners want a memorial to women who endured abuse at the hands of religious orders. Ruairi Casey reports from Dublin.

A crowd of hundreds filled Dublin's Sean MacDermott Street in 1979 when Pope John Paul II passed by. Local residents were hopeful he would visit Our Lady of Lourdes Church, which holds the shrine of Matt Talbot, a leading figure in the Irish Church's temperance movement.

The pope could hardly have failed to notice the dense mass of worshippers, but he did not stop.

What he may not have seen was a long, brown-brick Victorian building on the opposite side of the street, one of Ireland's now notorious Magdalene laundries, where women were incarcerated and forced to work in slave-like conditions.

Out of sight and mind for most of its history, it has now become a focal point in Ireland's coming to terms with its cruel and brutal treatment of women in the 20th century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Editorial: The Archdiocese moves to St. Paul’s East Side

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

Editorial

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has completed a move to our East Side, one that brings both welcome influence and an infusion of vitality to its new neighborhood.

In a city where connections between church and community run deep, the transition — church offices and about 120 staff members now occupy leased space in the historic former 3M headquarters in St. Paul — is significant.

It’s so for many reasons. Among them: Vicar General Father Charles Lachowitzer, who grew up on the East Side, remembers the days when the area was a jobs engine, with manufacturing activity at Whirlpool, Hamm’s Brewery and 3M. Folks tell him “how good it is to see the lights on” again in what was a long-vacant building.

For the church — shedding properties on Cathedral Hill as part of the bankruptcy filing stemming from clergy-sexual-abuse cases — the move is “an opportunity to open a new chapter in our history,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda told us.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Gordon Robinson | Put Down Your Tambourines

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

As usual, when Jamaicans have a conversation about sex, it all goes sideways.

The current debate on the definition of 'rape' and age of 'consent' has majored in the minor (pun intended). The word 'rape' has its roots (Latin 'rapere') in 15th-century England and is related to the Latin verb 'stuprare', which means 'to defile, ravish, violate,' and the noun 'stuprum' (literally 'disgrace'), meaning 'to abduct (a woman), ravish'; also 'seduce (a man)'.

So, the origins of 'rape' are gender neutral, and the word carried more of a kidnapping or stealing connotation ('to seize and take away by force'; 'to snatch, to grab, to carry off'), rather than any sexually explicit intent. The essence of rape has always been the taking of innocence by force rather than the modern semantic obsession with 'penetration' and 'vaginas'. Following British legal tradition like sheep for 500 years, we're now debating whether statutory rape should be decided by a number (age) or an orifice.

While we argue endlessly, young women and men of all ages are regularly abused sexually by persons society hold in high esteem. Not only do we seem unable to stem the apparently ingrained cultural tide, we're incapable of recognising the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Pat Howard: Erie bishop names defrocked priests

PENNSYLVANIA
GoErie

The Erie diocese is among several in Pennsylvania under investigation by a statewide grand jury related to what the diocese in a statement termed "past and present allegations of sexual abuse of children in the diocese."

It was the Catholic Diocese of Erie's equivalent of a legal ad, published to note the dispatching of an unpleasant piece of church business.

The notice, in the March 5 issue of the diocese's Faith Life newspaper, opened with a declarative sentence that set a welcome and overdue precedent. It passed along word that a priest had gotten a pink slip from the pope.

"On Nov. 8, 2016," it read, "Samuel Barton Slocum, formerly a priest of the Diocese of Erie, was dismissed from the clerical state by the Holy Father, Pope Francis."

The notice doesn't detail Slocum's transgressions. But something is known about him because he faced what so many other priests eluded under the cover of the hierarchy — a criminal case and conventional justice.

He wasn't accused of sexual abuse, but rather of continuing inappropriate contact with a 15-year-old boy even after the boy's mother told him to stop. Slocum, who had been pastor of a parish south of Bradford, was convicted in 2012 and sentenced by a McKean County judge to two years of probation. He never returned to active ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

$135M claims exceed church assets

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post Mar 19, 2017

With 30 individuals alleging child sex abuse at the hands of Guam Catholic priests spanning four decades, the total amount of monetary damages being sought in U.S. District Court of Guam cases now surpasses the amount of money the church currently holds in assets.

Archdiocesan Finance Council President Richard Untalan recently said in a press conference with Guam's media that the council had identified about $132 million in net book assets, which include churches, land and schools under the Archdiocese of Agana.

Of the 30 cases filed in local and federal courts, 27 were filed by plaintiffs represented by Attorney David Lujan. In those suits, the plaintiffs are pursuing "all general, special, exemplary and punitive damages, as allowed by law in a sum to be proven at trial and in an amount not less than ($5 million)."

With 27 cases seeking at least $5 million each, the total amount sought by Lujan's clients has reached a minimum of $135 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

PRESS CLUB AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING BIAS

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
March 18, 2017

The Melbourne Press Club disgraces itself at its Quill Awards, as well as showing its bias.

Its Journalist of the Year is the ABC reporter behind a dangerously biased report on children in detention in the Northern Territory, and the Gold Quill goes to an ABC report smearing Cardinal George Pell on the flimsiest "evidence" as a likely child abuser.

This is astonishing, and yet more justification of my refusal to enter these circuses:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

March 18, 2017

SOCIAL WORKER ACCUSED OF HIDING RELIGIOUS SECT ABUSE RESIGNS

NORTH CAROLINA
Associated Press

BY MITCH WEISS AND TOM FOREMAN JR.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A veteran social worker accused of coaching congregants and their children on what to say during a 2015 child abuse investigation of her secretive religious sect has resigned, an attorney for a child welfare agency said Friday.

Andrea Leslie-Fite said Lori Cornelius left her position at the Cleveland County Department of Social Services. The development came less than two weeks after The Associated Press published a report that quoted former members of the Word of Faith Fellowship sect saying that Cornelius and two assistant district attorneys - all members of the church - had helped undermine abuse investigations. The prosecutors resigned their posts and are under investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

SBI spokesman Patty McQuillan said Friday the agency isn't currently investigating Cornelius or the Rutherford County Division of Social Services. But she said that could change.

Leslie-Fite did not answer questions about the circumstances of the Cornelius departure. In her letter of resignation, Cornelius cited to various unspecified reasons. Leslie-Fite added only that the resignation had been submitted earlier in the week, effective Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Victim: Apuron paid $30K ‘hush money’

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

A former altar boy, who alleges he was repeatedly sexually abused, told The Guam Daily Post recently that Archbishop Anthony Apuron paid "hush money" in 2002 when he confronted the Catholic Church leader about the years of abuse he and other altar boys endured.

The victim, who asked that his name not be published at this time because of an unresolved potential legal question, said he was sexually molested by Father Louis Brouillard when he was the priest at San Vicente Catholic Church in Barrigada between 1976 and 1980.

In 2000, after years of holding in his secret and rebelling against any type of authority, the victim said he wanted to “come clean” and met with Apuron about the alleged abuse.

“I told him what happened and he said, ‘You can have a lifetime psychiatrist,’ and told me to see Mr. San Nicolas, a professor out of the University of Guam,” the victim said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 PM

Frustration grows over Vatican investigation

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

"I've never lost faith in God or the Catholic Church – just the people who caused this on me and my family." – Ramon De Plata

Victims of cleric sex abuse are growing weary that the Vatican has yet to wrap up its investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Ramon De Plata of Chalan Pago said he will never forget what he saw when he was 10 years old in the parish rectory at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Chalan Pago.

During an overnight stay with other altar boys in 1964, De Plata alleges he saw Apuron – a seminarian at the time – and another clergy member, Rev. Antonio Cruz, engaging in sexual activity with another 10-year-old altar boy.

"I saw Apuron and I saw what they were doing to the other altar boy," De Plata said. "I guess he got targeted."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Trinity at the Boston Underground Film Festival!

MASSACHUSETTS
skipshea

Posted on March 18, 2017 by Skip Shea

TRINITY, will screen next at noon on next Sunday, the 26th, at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts as part of the Boston Underground Film Festival.

In his first feature, Massachusetts’ own Skip Shea plumbs the depths of loss, trauma, and guilt through the story of Michael, a stoic artist (Sean Carmichael) who stops for coffee only to encounter the priest (David Graziano) who once sexually abused him. What would you do if you came face-to-face with the man who ruined your life?

Trinity explores that moment as a dreamlike journey through time past, a route that carries the troubled Michael in and out of churches, a dimly lit bathroom stall, and the tables of tarot card readers. We meet Father Tom’s other victims, most memorably the haunting Angel (Aurora Grabill), and a cadre of Michael’s chatty adulthood friends who seem to discuss the tenets of Catholicism as others casually discuss their theories about Westworld. Their removed, academic dissections rarely consider that the scars of abuse do not always fade with time. The experiences continue to strangle and suffocate the victims long after they’ve left the physical proximity of their tormentors.

An outspoken survivor of clergy abuse, Shea understands real terror is not necessarily found in cannibalistic reveries, but in the unexpected and most-unwelcome greeting from one’s tormenter in a benignly cozy coffee shop. These are the film’s most profoundly squeamish moments and they will stay with you long after you leave the theater. Filmed mostly in Western Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the non-linear narrative borrows from Mulholland Drive and the works of Alain Resnais, but this searingly painful story is all Shea. The journey is at times arduous and altogether frustrating, but you will never lose sight of the hope cautiously peering out from the rabbit hole. – Melinda Green

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

German Newspaper Investigates Mysterious Trust Connected to Order of Malta

GERMANY
National Catholic Register

‘Bild’ sheds light on a multi-million dollar donation seen to be at the center of the Order’s recent dispute with the Holy See.

Edward Pentin

Germany’s mass-selling Bild newspaper has reported that the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta, Baron Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, accepted a 30 million Swiss franc donation ($31 million) on behalf of the Order from what Bild calls “a dubious trust” in Geneva. Boeselager denies any wrongdoing.

The Grand Chancellor told the newspaper that over a seven-year period, the Order would be drawing 30 million Swiss francs from the fund, which Bild calls by its acronym CPVG. So far, the Order has received 3 million francs from the trust, whose existence the Register first brought to public attention in January.

Bild correspondent Nikolaus Harbusch, a well known investigative reporter in Germany specializing in financial crimes, reports that the trustee, whom the newspaper names simply as Ariane S., signed a framework agreement with Boeselager to accept the money on March 1. The agreement came just weeks after Boeselager was reinstated as Grand Chancellor following his dismissal in December by the Order’s former Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

‘In 1974 I drove myself to the Cork mother and baby home’

IRELAND
Irish Times

I confirmed my pregnancy with a GP in September 1973, in a town 30km from where I was working. He referred me to a local curate, and I went to see him. I had no idea at that time what I was going to do.

I had told nobody about my pregnancy, so the priest told me that I could go to a mother-and-baby home called Bessborough House, in Blackrock in Cork. I knew nothing about these homes, and I don’t think I had ever heard of them.

A month later I told a friend, who told me I’d be welcome in her parents’ home. Some weeks later I told my own mother. I knew that she’d be upset and that I wouldn’t be able to come home with my illegitimate baby.

I was 24 and from a middle-class home. I had been well educated and was the oldest in a big family. My mother would not want the neighbours to know.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

The church robbed us of our sons : mothers

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

17 Mar 2017

Anne Levey is racked with guilt.

Once a devout Catholic, Ms Levey still has faith in God — but she can’t bring herself to step inside a Catholic Church.

She doesn’t accept dogma from any church, not since her son Paul was sexually abused at the hands of disgraced paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale.

“I blame myself, every day I blame myself,” she says. “I can’t help it.

“You go to bed and you’re thinking about it. You wake up and you’re thinking about it, but you just have to keep going. You live with it every day, the guilt, regret and the shame.”

Ms Levey is one of scores of secondary victims of the child sexual abuse scandal caught up in a cycle of entrenched pain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Former Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis official leaves priesthood

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

By: Rose Heaphy
POSTED:MAR 17 2017

(KMSP) - The Pope has granted a former high ranking official with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to leave the priesthood.

In 2014, Peter Laird, the former vicar general at the Archdiocese, petitioned to the Vatican for a "request for laicization," according to a statement from Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda. The Pope recently granted Laird's request, which means he will no longer be able to return to public ministry.

Laird worked alongside Archbishop John Nienstedt, who resigned in 2015 amidst criminal charges against the Archdiocese for failing to protect children against sexual abuse.

Laird resigned from his position with the Archdiocese and stepped away from priestly ministry in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Peter Laird, Archbishop Nienstedt's former