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March 27, 2017

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 top deputy, leaves priesthood

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune MARCH 17, 2017

Peter Laird, the former vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis during the controversial tenure of Archbishop John Nienstedt, has left the priesthood.

Laird spent nearly 20 years in high-profile roles in the archdiocese. He abruptly resigned as second-in-command in October 2013, a day following courtroom allegations that the archdiocese had mishandled the case of a priest found to possess pornography.

It was the start of a clergy abuse scandal that rocked the diocese for the next three years.

Laird, who later said he urged Nienstedt to resign as well, was among a handful of clergy in Nienstedt’s inner circle, evaluating church responses to clergy abuse allegations and other matters. He petitioned the Vatican for removal from the priesthood in January 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Former Pastor arrested for sexual abuse

ILLINOIS
Illinois Home Page

By: Jennifer Jensen
Posted: Mar 17, 2017

DECATUR -- A former Macon County pastor's actions are coming to light. He’s is facing charges for sexually assaulting a young girl.

58 year old Jose Luis Aboytes was arrested yesterday in Decatur for seven counts of sexual abuse and assault of a young girl from his church. Those seven counts are for predatory and criminal sexual assault as well as aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police say all of this happened to a young girl under the age of 13.

Aboytes use to be the pastor at the Palabra Miel hispanic church in Decatur. During his leadership, a 12 year old who attended the church reported that he sexually abused her multiple times over several months. Now he is being held behind bars.

Amanda Sheppard is a clinical counselor. She says, “In a lot of these cases, the perpetrator is someone the child knows and trusts. And unfortunately that's why it goes on longer than you would hope."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Lawsuit alleges man killed himself over molestation by priest

CALIFORNIA
Record-Bee

By Sean Emery, Bay Area News Group
POSTED: 03/17/17

LOS ANGELES >> A widow has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Orange and Los Angeles dioceses, alleging that her husband killed himself in 2015 because of depression over having been molested by a “notorious pedophile” priest years before while attending St. Joseph’s Parish in Placentia.

Attorneys for the wife filed the lawsuit this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that her husband was haunted by the abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of the Rev. Eleuterio Ramos from 1975 through 1978.

“The horror and betrayal associated with years of sexual abuse drove (him) into severe depression, he became suicidal,” attorney Raymond Boucher wrote in the complaint. “Though he fought valiantly for years to overcome the sense of betrayal and mistrust, he ultimately succumbed to the depression and sense of worthlessness.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Breda O’Brien: Pope Francis must prioritise child safety

IRELAND
Irish Times

Breda O'Brien

Pope Francis has just completed four years of his pontificate. From the moment Jorge Bergoglio greeted Rome and the world with “Buona sera”, he has been controversial. That is no bad thing. Jesus himself was controversial, to the extent that people left him in droves, unable to stomach his teachings.

Pope Francis is both deeply loved and deeply criticised by his flock. He also has had the most extended media honeymoon of any pontiff since John XXIII.

In contrast, his predecessor, Pope Benedict, could do nothing right in the media’s eyes. The gentle, scholarly Benedict was constantly warding off judgments that he was either a crypto-Nazi or some kind of Islamophobe.

Strangely, the media seem to develop selective attention when Francis says something about abortion, such as this this statement from Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel): “This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernisations’. It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Erie bishop publicizes priest dismissals

PENNSYLVANIA
GoErie

Persico: 'Faithful have a right to know'

By Ed Palattella

A brief notice in a recent edition of the Catholic Diocese of Erie's newspaper signals a new diocesan policy.

Bishop Lawrence Persico is publicizing the names of priests who, from now on, have been permanently dismissed from the priesthood for disciplinary reasons or removed from active clerical duty for reasons related to wrongdoing.

The notice, in the March 5 edition of Faith Life, the diocese's biweekly newspaper, states that Pope Francis has dismissed a former priest in the diocese, Samuel B. Slocum, 65.

The notice represents the first time the Catholic Diocese of Erie has publicized the permanent dismissal of a priest, the diocese confirmed. Persico has headed the 13-county diocese since October 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

These monks spend their lives praying for the sins of Ireland’s priests

IRELAND
Crux

Kevin J. Jones
March 18, 2017
CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY

Benedictine Monks in Ireland have made praying for the sins of priests the focus of their ministry. The scandals regarding sexual abuse by clergy gave an “incalculable blow” to the Church’s credibility in the country, but the resurgence of monastic life after the Reformation offers a glimpse of hope.

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Prayer, reparation, and praising God are the focus of a new Benedictine priory in Ireland, which focuses especially on reparation for the sins of priests.

“It was never our predetermined plan to come to Ireland,” Silverstream Priory’s Father Benedict Anderson, O.S.B., told Catholic News Agency. “But we believe that, through circumstances that we could never have foreseen, Divine Providence placed us here to play some sort of role, however modest, in the life of the Irish Church.”

Silverstream Priory is the home of the Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

The priory is a former residence of the Visitation Sisters in Stamullen, a village about 22 miles north of Dublin. It is believed to be the first monastery established in Ireland’s County Meath since King Henry VIII suppressed them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Eleven arrests in three weeks raise alarm over rising child sexual abuse in Kerala

INDIA
Scroll

Eleven men have been arrested in Kerala in the past three weeks for allegedly raping minor girls, indication of an alarming rise in cases of child sexual abuse.

One of the arrested men is a Catholic priest. Father Robin Vadakkamcheril, the vicar of St Sebastian’s Church in Kottiyoor in Kannur district, was arrested on February 27 on the charge of raping a 16-year-old girl and getting her pregnant. The incident came to light after the girl delivered a baby. It was also revealed that the priest had allegedly offered money to the victim’s father to take the fall for his crime. On Friday, a priest and two nuns accused of protecting Vadakkamcheril and trying to cover up the crime surrendered to the police in Kottiyoor. The priest and one of the nuns are members of the Wayanad Child Welfare Committee, media reports said.

Then, on March 7, six men were arrested in Muttil in Wayanad district for allegedly raping seven minor girls – all of them inmates of an orphanage, and between 13 and 14 years of age – for two months.

The same day in Walayar in Palakkad district, three suspects were taken into custody for the alleged rape and murder of two sisters, aged 11 and nine years. The body of the older girl was found hanging in her home on January 11. Less than two months later, on March 4, the younger sister was found dead at home under similar circumstances. The police investigation revealed both had been sexually assaulted before they were killed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Kerala Rape Case: Priest, Nuns, Accused Of Shielding Alleged Rapist, Out On Bail

INDIA
NDTV

Reported by Sneha Mary Koshy | Updated: March 18, 2017

KANNUR: A Catholic priest and two nuns accused of shielding fellow priest for the rape of a 17-year-old girl, were released on bail yesterday.

The trio - Child Welfare Committee Chairman, Father Thomas Joseph Therakam, one of the committee members, Betty Jose and Superintendent of the orphanage in Wayanad, Sister Ophelia surrendered to the police in Kerala's Kottiyoor yesterday morning. They claimed to be unaware of the teen's rape.

According to the police, several people associated with the accused priest, allegedly tried to help him by concealing facts.

"We have focused on exposing, investigating the role of any one who was involved in any cover-up of the act by the priest. The first accused arrested earlier, used his position as a priest to pressurise the minor's biological father to take rape blame on himself. Investigation is proceeding impartially," G Siva Vikram, District Police Chief of Kannur told NDTV.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Why fifteen centuries after St Patrick first walked the earth, Christianity is s

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By David Quinn
March 18 2017

Bishop Eamonn Casey has received mostly positive coverage since his death earlier this week. Part of the reason is the undoubted good work he did during most of his years in active ministry.

But I think another reason is that his scandal pales when compared with what was to come. His scandal involved a consenting adult. The scandal was that he broke his vows and used diocesan funds to help his son.

I wonder what would happen if a similar scandal came to light today? It is the view of Pope Francis that if a priest fathers a child, he ought to leave his ministry and help raise his child. Would he have done that?

The scandals that later came to light were vastly worse than the one involving Bishop Eamonn Casey. They were crimes. Bishop Casey's hypocrisy didn't compare with the horror of sexually abusing a child.

March 17, 2017

Juan Carlos Cruz: “La justicia chilena nos ha decepcionado”

CHILE
Radio UChile

[Juan Carlos Cruz: "The Chilean justice has disappointed us." One of the plaintiffs against the Catholic Church for his cover-up of former pastor of El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, criticized the court's decision that dismissed the complaint demanding compensation and public apologies from the local clergy.]

Raúl Martínez |Jueves 16 de marzo 2017

Uno de los querellantes contra la Iglesia Católica por su encubrimiento del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, criticó la decisión del tribunal que desechó la denuncia que exigía una indemnización y disculpas públicas del clero local.

Decepcionado se manifestó Juan Carlos Cruz, uno de los acusadores del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, luego de la decisión del ministro de fuero Juan Muñoz Pardo, quien rechazó la querella contra la Iglesia Católica chilena por encubrir al religioso luego que lo acusaran de abusos sexuales.

En conversación con Diario y Radio Universidad de Chile desde los Estados Unidos, Cruz dijo lamentar el fallo que significa una desprotección frente a los abusos de quienes se escudan en su condición de guías espirituales como fue en el caso de Karadima.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

Comunicado de prensa - Arzobispado de Santiago

CHILE
Arzobispado de Santiago

[In view of the recent pronouncement by the civil court against the Archbishopric of Santiago, we would like to reiterate emphatically that the serious acts committed by Fernando Karadima are unacceptable and condemnable from any point of view and that they caused harm and pain to the victims, families, the church and the community as a whole. At the same time, we reaffirm that the motivation of the Archbishopric of Santiago was always the search and honest adherence to the truth.]

Ante el reciente pronunciamiento de la justicia por la demanda civil presentada contra el Arzobispado de Santiago, queremos reiterar enfáticamente que los graves actos cometidos por Fernando Karadima son inaceptables y condenables desde todo punto de vista, y generaron daño y dolor a las víctimas, sus cercanos, familias, a la Iglesia y comunidad en su conjunto. Al mismo tiempo, reafirmamos que la motivación del Arzobispado de Santiago fue siempre la búsqueda y adhesión honesta a la verdad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Duluth Diocese gets bankruptcy extension

MINNESOTA
Duluth News Tribune

By Tom Olsen

The Diocese of Duluth has been granted an extension to deliver its plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

The diocese, which has been under Chapter 11 protection since December 2015, was scheduled to file a reorganization plan by Friday, but U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel this week granted a motion to extend that deadline as the diocese continues to seek coverage of sexual abuse claims from its insurers.

"Despite the ongoing litigation, the Diocese (remains) optimistic that the parties will reach a consensual plan through the mediation process," attorneys Ford Elsaesser and Phillip Kunkel wrote in the motion. "However, before the parties are able to negotiate a plan of reorganization several legal issues need to be resolved."

The diocese, which was hit with a $4.9 million verdict weeks before filing for bankruptcy, is facing a total of 125 abuse claims filed under the Minnesota Child Victims Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Opfer brechen ihr Schweigen

SCHWEIZ
Blick

[The Swiss pedophile Father Joël used dozens of boys for decades- without being held accountable. BLICK reported on this several times. Since the recent revelations more pedophilia victims have been reported. They break their silence.]

Der pädophile Pater Joël missbrauchte während Jahrzehnten Dutzende von Buben – ohne dass er dafür zur Rechenschaft gezogen wurde. BLICK berichtete mehrmals darüber. Seit den Enthüllungen melden sich weitere Pädophilie-Opfer. Sie brechen ihr Schweigen, um weiterleben zu können.

Laurent Grabet

«Reden befreit!» Da ist Daniel Pittet sicher. Letzten Monat erschien sein Buch «Mon Père, je vous pardonne» (etwa: «Hochwürden, ich vergebe Ihnen»), in dem der 57-Jährige schildert, wie er als Kind jahrelang vom pädophilen Kapuzinerpriester Pater Joël (76) sexuell missbraucht wurde (BLICK berichtete).

Der Freiburger wollte mit seinen Enthüllungen Opfer von Pädophilie ermutigen, ihr Schweigen zu brechen. Und Pittet wurde nicht enttäuscht. Auf das vielbeachtete Buch, zu dem Papst Franziskus das Vorwort schrieb, erhielt Pittet Hunderte von E-Mails, Briefen, Telefonanrufen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Klaus Laubenthal zieht sich zurück

DEUTSCHLAND
BR

[Klaus Laubenthal retires. Klaus Laubenthal, the spokesman of the Diocese of Würzburg, is giving up his duties.]

Klaus Laubenthal, der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Diözese Würzburg gibt seine Aufgabe ab. Der Jurist und Professor für Kriminologie und Strafrecht kümmerte sich seit 2010 um die Missbrauchsfälle im Bistum.

Auf eigenen Wunsch beendet Klaus Laubenthal seine Tätigkeit als Missbrauchsbeauftragter und Ansprechpartner für Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs im Bistum Würzburg. Gründe für seine Entscheidung nannte Laubenthal nicht. Bischof Hofmann dankte Laubenthal für den Einsatz als Missbrauchsbeauftragter. Bis zur Ernennung eines Nachfolgers ist die stellvertretende Missbrauchsbeauftragte Dr. Claudia Gehring Ansprechpartnerin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Child sex abuse: "We have not yet left the taboo zone"

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

A new study reveals that almost every seventh German has experienced sexual abuse during childhood. The German commissioner for child abuse says politicians must devote more resources to prevention.

Experts had hoped that the numbers would drop, but a recent representative studyconducted by the department of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Ulm in southern Germany reveals the opposite. In 2011, about 12 percent of interviewees reported experiences of sexual abuse during childhood. An increase from 15.2 to 18 percent was documented for women. The 9.5 percent for men did not change compared to 2011. Researchers spoke to 2,500 representative German interviewees ages 14 to 94. In an interview with DW, the independent commissioner responsible for questions relating to child sexual abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, said that political decision makers have not yet realized how urgent the matter is.

DW: Mr. Rörig, were you surprised about the increase in cases?

Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig: No, I was not surprised that there was no drop in numbers. Neither police crime statistics nor research on unreported cases has indicated any sort of decline. Commitment to the protection of children and adolescents from sexual abuse has become stronger but we have not yet reached the point where we have nationwide protection. And because we do not make use of all the possible options, the number of incidents remains high.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:34 PM

Sexueller Missbrauch: "Wir haben die Tabuzone noch nicht verlassen"

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutsche Welle

[Sexual abuse: "We have not left the taboo zone yet."]

Experten hatten auf einen Rückgang der Zahlen gehofft, doch die repräsentative Studie der Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie der Universität Ulm zeigt das Gegenteil: So hatten im Jahr 2011 gut 12 Prozent der Befragten angegeben, als Kind sexuelle Gewalt erlebt zu haben. In einer neuen Umfrage berichten knapp 14 Prozent von sexuellem Missbrauch im Kindesalter. Bei den Frauen gab es einen Anstieg von 15,2 auf 18 Prozent, bei den Männern blieb die Häufigkeit mit rund 9,5 Prozent etwa gleich. Die Forscher hatten ihre Fragen rund 2500 repräsentativ ausgewählten Bundesbürgern im Alter von 14 bis 94 Jahren gestellt. Im Interview mit der DW meint der Unabhängige Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, bei den politischen Entscheidern sei die Brisanz des Themas immer noch nicht angekommen.

Deutsche Welle: Herr Rörig, hat Sie die Erhöhung der Fallzahlen überrascht?

Rörig: Nein, ich war nicht überrascht, dass kein Rückgang zu verzeichnen ist. Denn weder die polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik noch die Dunkelfeldforschung geben uns derzeit Hinweise auf einen solchen Rückgang. Das Engagement für den Schutz von Kindern und Jugendlichen vor sexueller Gewalt ist zwar stärker geworden. Aber wir sind noch nicht so weit, dass wir einen flächendeckenden Schutz haben. Und weil wir nicht alle Handlungsmöglichkeiten nutzen, führt das dazu, dass wir uns weiterhin auf diesem sehr hohen Plateau bewegen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Klärung gewünscht

ROM
Kirchenbote

[After her resignation from the papal child protection commission, Marie Collins now asks for a few answers from Cardinal Müller.]

Das irische Missbrauchsopfer Marie Collins hat Kurienkardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller zur Klärung einiger Fragen zum Kinderschutz im Vatikan aufgefordert. In einem Offenen Brief (englischsprachig), den der "National Catholic Reporter" veröffentlichte, macht das frühere Mitglied der päpstlichen Kinderschutzkommission den deutschen Kardinal auf mögliche Unstimmigkeiten in seinen Aussagen aufmerksam. Sie halte es für nötig, auf diese Weise zu einem Interview Müllers in der italienischen Zeitung "Corriere della Sera" (5. März) Stellung zu nehmen. Müller ist Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation, die im Vatikan für die Ahndung sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Priester zuständig ist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

The Vatican is 'all words, no action' on addressing child sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Delmarva Public Radio

By MATTHEW BELL

When Pope Francis named two victims of clergy sexual abuse to a new Vatican commission on the protection of minors in 2014, some observers took it as a sign that the pope was getting serious about the issue.

But Marie Collins says there was still some skepticism.

“A lot of people felt that I was just being asked [to join] the commission as a sort of token survivor,” says Collins, who was sexually abused as a child by a Catholic priest in Ireland. “I wanted to be sure that the commission was sincere.”

Collins went ahead and joined the Vatican commission. If there was a chance for finding solutions to this problem in the Catholic Church, she wanted to be part of it.

Nearly three years later, however, Collins decided she had to resign. She officially stepped down from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on March 1, which was also Ash Wednesday.

Collins says the work being done by the members of the commission to protect children and vulnerable adults, and to find justice for survivors like herself, is all very important.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Sacha Pfeiffer of ‘Spotlight’ fame questions whether church understands gravity of sexual abuse

NORTH CAROLINA
The Charlotte Observer

BY TIM FUNK
tfunk@charlotteobserver.com

They were played by actors in “Spotlight,” the Oscar-winning movie that told the story of how the Boston Globe uncovered what would turn out to be a worldwide child sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

But on Thursday night in Charlotte, an audience of trial lawyers got to hear from the real Sacha Pfeiffer, whose reporting as a member of the Globe’s Spotlight investigative team exposed a coverup by top church officials; the real Mitch Garabedian, an attorney who represented scores of families whose children were molested by priests; and the real Jim Scanlan, a survivor of child sex abuse whose story and words informed some of the film’s most memorable scenes.

The trio, who spoke at an event organized by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, agreed on two things:

1. Fifteen years after the Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series of stories, they said, the Catholic Church continues to resist calls to be more transparent, to hold bishops and priests more accountable and to focus more on ways to protect minors from clergy sex abuse and less on protecting the church’s public image.

“I hear a lot of good things from (Pope) Francis about protecting our kids,” said Scanlan, who works in financial services in Boston. “But a lot of it is just window-dressing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Pat Flanagan: Bonking Bishop scandal exposed the hypocrisy of Church which hated women

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

BY PAT FLANAGAN
17 MAR 2017

Bishop Casey’s sexual escapades “profoundly upset the Church”, his funeral Mass was told on Thursday.

It’s just a pity the organisation to which he belonged was less upset by decades of clerical sex abuse and the horrors of the mother and baby homes and Magdalene Laundries.

Rampant sex abuse had been covered up since the foundation of the State but a bonking bishop who fathered a son was a step too far for the Church.

Whereas the paedophile priests could be moved on to another parish Eamon Casey had to be sent to the ends of the earth and he ended up in darkest
Ecuador via the US and Mexico.

What would the unfortunates in the mother and baby home up the road in Tuam have made of the news that a Prince of the Church no less had got a young woman pregnant in the Bishop’s palace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Bethany Home survivor group claims more babies died at the home

IRELAND
Dublin Live

BY CLAIRE SCOTT
17 MAR 2017

The Bethany Mother and Baby Home Survivors Group has claimed there are 37 children buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery who were never included in the original death toll.

A memorial carrying the names of 222 Bethany children who were buried in an unmarked grave at Mount Jerome cemetery between 1922 and 1949 was unveiled in 2014.

But now the Survivors Group claims they have uncovered the names of 37 MORE children who died in the Protestant-run Home and are buried in Mount Jerome- but aren't included on the memorial.

And they fear there are scores more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:19 PM

We must confront mother-baby home scandals, says Cork bishop

IRELAND
Irish Times

Barry Roche

Irish society and churches need to confront the reality of what happened in mother and baby homes and ensure similar scandals are not allowed happen in modern Ireland, a leading church man has told his congregation.

Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, said stories emerging from institutions for unmarried mothers run by the Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland were deeply unsettling and challenging for people of all faiths in Ireland.

Speaking at the St Patrick’s Day Civic Service at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork, Bishop Colton said the place of religion in Irish society had been placed under the spotlight in the wake of “the harrowing accounts about mothers’ and babies’ homes”.

He said he listened to Liveline twice last week to hear “car-stopping, heart-rendering testimony” of women and children who experienced mother and baby homes and he was not in the least surprised at the outbursts of anger against institutional religion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Anti-Sexual Violence Groups Urge Publisher to Cancel Whole Foods CEO Book Release

UNITED STATES
Digital Journal

New York, New York - March 17, 2017 - (Newswire.com)

A consortium of anti-sexual violence advocacy groups has asked publishing company the Hachette Book Group to cancel its release of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's book The Whole Foods Diet, scheduled for April 11.

Led by Peaceful Hearts Foundation (a nonprofit organization founded by Matthew Sandusky, one of six adopted children of Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State coach and convicted pedophile), advocacy leaders emailed executives at the Hachette Book Group, stating:

"We ask that Hachette Book Group follow the industry precedent set by Simon & Schuster, which cancelled publication of Milo Yiannopoulos' book because of comments he made about pedophilia. We ask that Hachette Book Group likewise act in good conscience and cancel the release of Mackey's book."

Advocacy leaders from organizations including the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) and Faculty Against Rape (FAR), have called for “sexual violence accountability,” urging Mackey to disavow spiritual leader Marc Gafni, a former rabbi accused of sexual abuse. Gafni is leader of San Francisco Bay Area-based think tank The Center for Integral Wisdom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Keith G. Fennessy

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Keith G. Fennessy was ordained for the Archdiocese of New York in 1984. He assisted at parishes in the Bronx and Peekskill/Cortlandt Manor, then served as chaplain for Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Center. There appear to be gaps in his assignment history 1987-1988 and 1997-1998. Fennessy went on to lead parishes in Manhattan and Staten Island. He was absent on sick leave 2002-2004 and, again, there is an assignment gap 2010-2011.

In June 2015 Fennessy was placed on leave of absence by the archdiocese due to the discovery of child pornography on his computer. It is unclear as to when the discovery was made. The archdiocesan review board investigated and recommended Fennessy's removal. Law enforcement also investigated and the case was handed over the the District Attorney's offices. Per the archdiocese in April 2016, Fennessy was living in a supervised setting. The archdiocese was at that point undecided as to whether they would appeal to the Vatican for Fennessy's laicization.

Ordained: 1984

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Justice McClellan addresses Australian Lawyers Alliance Conference

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Sydney, New South Wales
Friday 17 March 2017

The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM
Chair, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Australian Lawyers Alliance NSW Annual State Conference

Seeking ‘justice for victims’ – Part I

Some of you may be asking why it is that the Royal Commission is considering criminal justice issues. Apart from the many issues concerning the nature, cause and impact of sexual abuse and the response of institutions, our Terms of Reference require us to inquire into:

what institutions and governments should do to address, or alleviate the impact of, past and future sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts, including, in particular, in ensuring justice for victims through … processes for referral for investigation and prosecution ….[1]

When asking the Commission to look at criminal justice the executive would have had in mind anecdotal accounts of the problems faced by complainants in sexual assault trials. We have all heard about or experienced them. We now have some statistics which confirm the difficulties faced by sexual assault complainants. I will come to those later. The question they raise is why do the outcomes for sexual assault differ so markedly from the outcomes for other crimes?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Survivors release list of deaths at Castlepollard Mother and Baby home

IRELAND
Breaking News

Survivors from a mother and baby home in Co Westmeath have released a list of everyone known to have died at the facility.

The Castlepollard Mother and Baby home group released hundreds of names this morning in remembrance of their 'crib mates' as they call them.

There were at least 200 deaths at the home between 1935 and 1971.

It comes just weeks after the discovery of a mass grave at the Tuam mother and baby home.
The Castlepollard Mother and Baby home group consists of about 370 former residents, family members and supporters from the former home in County Westmeath.

About 4,000 women and girls went through the home and approx 4,000 babies were born there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Angel plot in former home may contain remains of 300 infants

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Eilish O'Regan
March 17 2017

More than 300 infants may be buried in the angel's plot at the former Mother and Baby home in Castlepollard, Westmeath, according to a record of deaths released yesterday.

The details of 203 deaths, recorded between 1935 and 1971, including mothers, babies and one nun, were revealed yesterday

If the suspected number of stillborn babies is added to the list it would mean around 300 are buried in the angel's plot at the home, according to the Castlepollard Mother and Baby home group, which is made up of former residents, family members and supporters from the former home in County Westmeath. The publication of the deaths over several decades is another sad reminder of the legacy left by the often harsh regime of care of unmarried mothers and their babies.

Spokesman Paul Redmond, who was born at the home, said around 4,000 women and girls went through the home and it had a similar number of births.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Ex-pastor charged with sexual assault, abuse

GEORGIA
Herald & Review

HUEY FREEMAN H&R Staff Writer

DECATUR – Jose Luis Aboytes, a former pastor of a church on the city's east side, was charged Thursday in Macon County Circuit Court with seven felony counts for allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulting and abusing a girl younger than 13 during a period of seven months.

Aboytes, 58, who is being held in the Macon County Jail on $250,000 bond, is facing one count of predatory criminal sexual assault, punishable by six to 60 years in prison, two counts of criminal sexual assault and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The victim told police she attended the Palabra Miel Hispanic Church, 3434 E. Wabash Ave., where Aboytes “began to sexually abuse her in an office in the church” about Sept. 16, 2015, said a request for an arrest warrant by Decatur Police detective Erik Ethell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Anglican Bishop stands by St Michael's Collegiate after second teacher in court over student sex

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Edith Bevin

Tasmania's Anglican Bishop Richard Condie is standing by Hobart's private girls school St Michael's Collegiate after a second case involving a former teacher having sex with a student.

A 56-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has admitted to maintaining a sexual relationship with a student in the 1990s.

The man, who is still registered to teach in two states, will be sentenced in May.

The teacher is the second senior staff member to be prosecuted for the sexual abuse of a student.

A former head of science, Nico Bester, was jailed in 2011 for the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Víctimas de Karadima tras rechazo a demanda contra Arzobispado: “La Justicia le da inmunidad a la Iglesia”

CHILE
El Dinamo

[The victims of Fernando Karadima; James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz and Jose Andrés Murillo issued a statement in which they lamented and spoke out strongly against the decision of Minister Juan Muñoz to reject the civil suit against the Archbishopric of Santiago for covering up the priest's sexual abuse.]

Murillo, Cruz y Hamilton argumentaron que "la justicia chilena, representada por el ministro Juan Manuel Muñoz Pardo nos decepciona. Y nos provoca dolor. Y va más allá de nosotros, puesto que, reconociendo en el fallo negligencia de la Iglesia, le da inmunidad”.

Las víctimas de Fernando Karadima; James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz y José Andrés Murillo, dieron a conocer un comunicado en donde lamentaron y dispararon duramente contra la decisión del ministro Juan Muñoz de rechazar la demanda civil contra el Arzobispado de Santiago por encubrir los abusos sexuales del sacerdote.

Los involucrados dejaron en claro que el argumento del magistrado de rechazar la acción judicial “basándose en que el Arzobispado no representa a la Iglesia Católica y, por lo tanto, no respondería a la justicia chilena es inaceptable y grave”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Trial begins for Peter Cuzner, former teacher accused of sex abuse at Daramalan College

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Alexandra Back

The trial of a former catholic school teacher accused of sexually abusing a student began on Friday in the ACT Supreme Court.

Prosecutors contend that on two occasions in the 1980s, Peter Cuzner, 61, touched the boy while purporting to look for a pulse.

The boy was 13 or 14 and in year 9 at Daramalan College. He had only that year joined the school from another in Canberra.

Cuzner was the boy's year co-ordinator and commerce teacher.

The student, now an adult, gave evidence on Friday, telling the court he remembered Cuzner would wear "80s style pastel" jumpers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

PARIS CONFERENCE EXPLORES QUESTION OF DEPOSING THE POPE

UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. • ChurchMilitant.com • March 16, 2017

The scholarly gathering will examine canonical issues surrounding heretical pontiffs

PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) - An upcoming gathering of canon lawyers, theologians and scholars will explore the extraordinary question of the mechanisms for deposing a pope. Titled "Deposing the Pope: Theological Premises, Canonical Models, Constitutional Challenges," the conference is inspired by the recently published book by Laurent Fonbaustier, "The Deposition of the Heretical Pope."

Sponsored by several French universities, including the Sorbonne, the itinerary will include 15 speakers offering talks on topics like "Conciliarism and the Deposition of a Pope Through the Prism of Gallicanism," "The Downfall of the Pope: Between Renunciation and Deposition," and "The Deposition of John XXIII and Benedict XIII at Constance, 1415–1417."

Fonbaustier's book itself was inspired by a renewed interest in Gratian's decretal: "The pope is not judged by anyone — unless he deviates from the Faith."

The site of the conference is significant: It was in the 1300s that the University of Paris explored the question of the possibly heretical Pope John XXII. A debate erupted over the primacy of the pope, with some scholars issuing the Defensor Paces, which argued that all Church power, including that of the pope, must be subject to the State. The document was anathematized by papal bull in 1327, condemned by the University of Paris, with theologians defending the primacy of the pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Justice Peter McClellan criticises 'judicial wisdom' on child sexual assault and sexual assault

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
17 Mar 2017

BROAD changes to the way Australian courts deal with child sexual abuse cases are being considered after evidence that traditionally low child sex conviction rates have fallen further since the child abuse royal commission was established in 2012, and entrenched barriers in the criminal justice system against sexual assault victims remain.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse chair Justice Peter McClellan will tell a lawyers conference on Friday that many of the most commonly held assumptions about child sexual abuse and sexual assault, and the criminal justice processes that have developed because of those assumptions, are not borne out by evidence.

“It appears that, although many more complainants are coming forward, the chances of an offender being acquitted have risen rather than fallen,” Justice McClellan will tell the Australian Lawyers Alliance NSW state conference, in a speech titled “Seeking ‘justice for victims’.”

“The question... is why do the outcomes for sexual assault differ so markedly from the outcomes for other crimes?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Australian bishop resigns after receiving harassment for helping expose child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Premier

Thu 16 Mar 2017
By Premier Journalist

An Australian Anglican bishop has resigned from his role after receiving threats and harassment for his efforts to help expose child abuse.

Bishop of Newcastle Greg Thompson said he was stepping down from his position for health reasons.

While presenting evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in November, Bishop Greg claimed he was also abused as a young man by senior church clerics.

He said that after working to expose the culture of abuse cover ups, some parishioners had placed screws in his staff members' tyres and that he was ostracised by members of the congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Anglicans still in denial about child abuse: Archbishop

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

AAP

The Anglican Church admits it put its reputation first and tried to silence child abuse victims yet many parishioners are still in denial that their beloved clergy could be paedophiles.

Church records show 1082 people have made complaints about 569 alleged perpetrators in the Anglican Church in Australia, although that is not considered the full extent of offending.

Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said large parts of the church were still in denial about the suffering caused by child sexual abuse and that their clergy could engage in such behaviour.

“I think the bishops have got it but I think there are a lot of people in the church, on the ground, who still have not understood,” Archbishop Aspinall told the child sex abuse royal commission today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Australia's Anglican church gets 1,115 child abuse complaints

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

More than 1,100 complaints of child sexual abuse have been made against the Anglican Church of Australia, a royal commission inquiry has heard.

The allegations, dating from 1980 to 2015, have been made against 569 church figures, including 247 ordained clergy.

The Anglican Church has admitted trying to keep victims quiet to protect its reputation.

Archbishop of Melbourne Philip Freier said he was "deeply ashamed" of the church's response.

"I wish to express my personal sense of shame and sorrow at the way survivors' voices were often silenced and the apparent interests of the church put first," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Hundreds of abuse allegations involving Anglican church: Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Almost 1100 people alleged they were sexually abused as children in Anglican church institutions, according to new data made public by a royal commission.

The figures show for the first time the extent of alleged child sex crimes within Anglican institutions and have been described by church leaders as shocking and shameful.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse analysed complaints received by Anglican authorities between 1980 and 2015.

Counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC told the first day of the hearing into Anglican institutions that the figures are "likely to under-report the incidence of child sexual abuse".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Anglican Church Silences Child Sex Abuse Victims

AUSTRALIA
PM News

The Anglican Church in Australia on Friday admitted that it tried to silence child sex abuse victims, a Royal Commission inquiry revealed.

According to their records, some 1082 child sex abuse complaints were made between 1980 and 2015 against 569 alleged perpetrators, including 247 ordained clergy, in the Anglican Church in Australia.

“The church did not always protect the children it was entrusted to care for and allowed harm to continue, Anne Hywood, the Church’s general secretary.

“We did not believe those who came forward and we tried to silence them.

“We cared more about the church’s reputation than those who had been harmed,’’ the commission told during a hearing in Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Stephen Pohl removed from the clerical state

KENTUCKY
The Record - Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville

The Archdiocese of Louisville has issued the following statement:

Effective February 26, 2017, per the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, the Holy See has granted Stephen A. Pohl a dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state. This means that Stephen Pohl is removed from the clerical state.

Stephen Pohl was convicted and sentenced in 2016 of accessing child pornography and is serving his sentence in federal prison.

Per the sexual abuse policies of the Archdiocese of Louisville, the purpose of this notification is to inform parishioners in the parishes in which the accused has served and to provide information about how to make a report if anyone has factual information about a concern involving child pornography or child abuse.

Stephen Pohl has served in the following parishes or ministries: Pastor, St. Margaret Mary Parish (Louisville), St. Thomas and St. Monica Parishes (Bardstown); Director of the Vocation Office for the Archdiocese of Louisville; Associate Pastor, St. Athanasius Parish (Louisville), Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral (Bardstown), and St. Gabriel Parish (Louisville); Chaplain or co-chaplain, Mercy Academy, and Deacon, St. Helen now Mary Queen of Peace Parish (Louisville).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

In Wake of Lawsuit, Diocese of Orange Offers Sympathy For Priest’s Sex Abuse Victims

CALIFORNIA
LA West

March 16, 2017

In the wake of a wrongful death suit filed this week by relatives of a sexual abuse victim who committed suicide decades after he allegedly was molested by a priest, the Diocese of Orange issued a statement today expressing sympathy for the victims of the priest who served there more than 30 years ago.

Man in 50s Commits Suicide Over Years-Long Sex Abuse

Robin Ward Agrusa, whose husband was the late Mark Paul Agrusa, sued the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange on Tuesday on behalf of herself and her four children, alleging her husband committed suicide at age 50 because he was depressed about being molested by the Rev. Eleuterio Ramos in the 1970s in Placentia.

“The Diocese of Orange has been made aware of a lawsuit alleging decades-old sexual abuse on the part of Eleuterio Ramos, but has not yet been served with the lawsuit,” the statement read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Maryland delegate's effort to allow child abuse lawsuits clears hurdle

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

Pamela Wood and Erin Cox
The Baltimore Sun

C.T. Wilson gathered his courage, told his colleagues in the Maryland House of Delegates about how he was sexually abused as a child and urged them to allow child victims more time to file lawsuits against their attackers.

The first two times he did that, the Charles County Democrat saw his proposal die in a House committee without even being called for a vote.

But this year, he may have prevailed. The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved legislation to let victims file lawsuits until they're 38 years old — 13 years later than current law allows. And Thursday morning, the full House advanced Wilson's bill to a final vote.

"I had no idea it was going to pass" out of committee, Wilson said. "I figured I would fight every year."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Anglican Church 'deeply ashamed' about 1,000 complaints of child sex abuse, royal commission hears

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Clare Blumer and Michelle Brown

Every Anglican Church diocese in the country bar one has received complaints of child sexual abuse in the past 35 years, a report has found.

The Anglican Church says it is ashamed that between 1980 and 2015 there were 1,082 complaints of child sexual abuse, with 22 of the 23 dioceses reporting at least one complaint.

The Diocese of Brisbane (371) received the most complaints followed by the Diocese of Adelaide (155).

The figures were revealed in the first day of the final hearing into the Anglican Church by the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

It was also reported that only 25 per cent of complainants had received an apology from the church and the average compensation payment was $67,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Picture of abuse in Anglican Church Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn emerges through royal commission

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

The extent of abuse within the Anglican Church Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn has been revealed for the first time.

A month after the scale of abuse within the Australian Catholic Church was exposed, another survey conducted by the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse has shown 1082 people alleged incidents of child sexual abuse in the Anglican church and related institutions, with 1115 complaints made between 1980 and 2015.

Twenty-eight allegations of child sexual abuse were made in Anglican Church Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

Of those, 28 allegations were made in Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, a jurisdiction that takes in the ACT and the south-eastern corner of NSW.

There were 22 alleged perpetrators identified in the region with a further two unable to be positively identified.

Unusually, one in four alleged perpetrators were women, the data revealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Cardinal George Pell could turn key witness against Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Exclusive, Herald Sun
March 17, 2017

CARDINAL George Pell could turn key witness against the Catholic Church on behalf of sexual abuse victims.

In an unprecedented move, the cardinal, the church’s third-most senior official, is expected to be summonsed to testify in a string of lawsuits against former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns.

It is understood to be the first time such a senior Catholic official will be used by ­victims of abuse in their ­pursuit for damages against the church.

Cardinal Pell is expected to be called in dozens of cases, with lawyers for four victims telling the Supreme Court this week they had concerns about using a video link from Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Anglican Church in Australia 'deeply ashamed' about child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Christian Today

Andy Walton Christian Today Contributing Writer 17 March 2017

The Anglican Church in Australia says it is 'deeply ashamed' about child abuse within its ranks. Between 1980 and 2015 there were 1,082 complaints of abuse, stretching across 22 of the 23 dioceses in the country.

ABC reports that only 25 per cent of those who complained had received an apology from the Church.

The revelations come from the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse which is investigating several large institutions in Australia.

General Secretary of the General Synod Anne Hywood said: 'We are appalled at the stark presentation of the number of abusers and those they harmed.' Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, said, 'We are deeply ashamed of the many ways in which we have let down survivors, both in the way we have acted and the way we have failed to act.'

Yesterday it emerged that the Bishop of Newcastle, Greg Thompson, was resigning because of the impact on his health of the scandal. He had spent many years trying to get the Church to take the issue more seriously. As we reported yesterday, he has been ostracised by some of his parishioners after he told the country's child abuse Royal Commission how the Church hierarchy protected abusers for decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

The Catholic Church And Its Long History Of Child Sexual Abuse

INDIA
Feminism in India

The latest incident that has rocked the Catholic Church and its faithful followers is the repeated rape of a minor girl by the vicar of a local church at Kottiyoor in Kannur District, Kerala. He was the manager of the school in which the girl attended classes until February 6th, a day before she gave birth to a baby boy.

This is not the first time that a priest had misused his powers and indulged in an act that priesthood forbids. A long and notorious history of Catholic priests involved in sex crimes tells us that the preachy Church has a rotten history of burying dirty secrets allowing systemic gender violence to mushroom in its backyard.

What was bizarre was the concerted effort by the Church to cover up the crime, until the Kerala police carried out an intensive investigation. They arrested the accused priest and seven others including five nuns and the doctor of the church-run hospital where the girl gave birth to the child, who were on the run. The accused were picked up on February 7th and booked under non-bailable warrants. The police should be applauded for being swift and efficient but what breaks the heart of faithful Christians like me is that the onus of the sexual crime is being put on the minor child. The Church conveniently retorted to victim-blaming rather than accepting the need to clean up the rot in the system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Royal commission reveals scale of child sexual abuse in Anglican church

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus

Thursday 16 March 2017

More than 1,100 complaints of child sexual abuse were made against hundreds of Anglican church clergy and laypeople over 35 years, new data shows.

The child abuse royal commission released another tranche of data about Australia’s churches on Friday, this time revealing the scale of the abuse crisis within the Anglican church’s parishes, schools and youth groups.

The data shows that 1,115 complaints of child sexual abuse were received by the church between 1980 and the end of 2015, involving 22 of the 23 Anglican dioceses in Australia. Those complaints were made by 1,082 survivors against 569 named and 133 unnamed perpetrators.
4,444 victims: extent of abuse in Catholic church in Australia revealed
Read more

The alleged abuse took place at the hands of 285 laypeople and 247 ordained clergy. The royal commission has referred 84 alleged perpetrators to police, four of whom have been prosecuted and 23 are still under investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Kerala rape case: Priest, nuns surrender before police

INDIA
Times of India

P Sudhakaran | PTI | Updated: Mar 17, 2017

KANNUR: Three accused, including two nuns, in the Kottiyoor rape case in which a priest has been named as an accused, surrendered before the police on Friday.

According to police, Wayanad Child Welfare Committee (CWC) former chairman Fr Thomas Joseph Therakam, former member Sr Betty Jose and Sr Ophelia, the superintendent of Holy Infant Mary's Girls Home at Vythiri in Wayanad, which houses a foundling home, surrendered before Peravoor police inspector separately between 6.30 and 7 am.

The charge against them is that they helped to conceal the entire case in which a minor girl who was allegedly raped by priest, Robin Vadakkancheril alias Mathew Vadakkancheril, gave birth to a baby boy in Christu Raj Hospital in Koothuparamba on February 7.

The charge is that with the help of the hospital authorities, the newborn was shifted to Holy Infant Mary's Foundling Home in Vythiri the same day but the CWC did not record it till February 20 and then signed the placement order without any verification. They surrendered as per the order of the Kerala High Court while considering their anticipatory bail plea.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Albury woman Anne Levey's son was sexually abused by disgraced priest Gerald Ridsdale

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

Melissa Cunningham
17 Mar 2017

Anne Levey is racked with guilt.

Once a devout Catholic, the Albury woman 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.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Three arrested for helping rape charge Indian priest

INDIA
Arab News

AFP | Published — Friday 17 March 2017

NEW DELHI: Two nuns and a priest accused of covering up the birth of a baby born to a teenage girl who was allegedly raped by another priest have been arrested in India, police said Friday.

All three handed themselves in to police in the southern state of Kerala where they were being questioned over allegations they deliberately hid the birth at a hospital run by the Catholic church and took the baby to an orphanage.

Under Indian law, hospitals and orphanages must report all teenage pregnancies and births to authorities.

They surrendered two weeks after Robin Vadakkumchery was arrested on charges of raping the 16-year-old, who gave birth in February.

Six more people believed to have helped the victim give birth are still on the run.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

March 16, 2017

Archbishop Byrnes imposes moratorium on ‘Neo Way’ in Guam

GUAM
Marianas Variety

17 Mar 2017 Mar-Vic Cagurangan - For Variety

HAGÅTÑA — Archbishop Michael Byrnes has ordered a moratorium on the Neocatechumenical Way or NCW recruitment of new members on Guam in a bid to appease the traditional Catholics who view the catechist movement as a threat to Christian faith.

“First of all, I have asked the lead catechists here in Guam to put a pause on the formation of new communities for a period of about a year,” the coadjutor of Archdiocese of Agana said in a letter to the faithful read at the Masses on Wednesday.

“During this time, I intend to appoint a priest delegate to help me discern the effects of our efforts to review the Catecetical Directory of the Neocatechumenical Way to ensure that catechists are sufficiently formed and certified for their important role.”

Aggressively missionary, NCW has formed more than 50 communities with a total of about 800 followers on Guam. The movement — also known as “The Way” — first came to Guam on Dec. 8, 1999, when Archbishop Anthony Apuron established the Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary Redemptoris Mater, where NCW priests are ordained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Ex-priest Eric Dejaeger granted court-appointed lawyer for sex abuse appeal

CANADA
CBC News

Former Roman Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger has been granted a court-appointed lawyer in his appeal of 24 convictions for sex crimes against children in Igloolik, Nunavut.

Justice Neil Sharkey handed down his decision granting Dejaeger court-appointed counsel Thursday morning in Iqaluit's Nunavut Court of Appeal. The Crown argued against the decision, saying that Dejaeger did not convincingly establish that he was unable to pay a lawyer through other means.

Dejaeger, who is currently serving 19 years in prison for the crimes committed in Igloolik between 1978 and 1982, was denied funding for his appeal by the Nunavut Legal Services Board in July 2016.

Sharkey's decision means Dejaeger's lawyer will be paid for by the Attorney General of Canada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Nunavut court approves legal funding for pedophile priest Eric Dejaeger

CANADA
Toronto Star

By BOB WEBER
The Canadian Press
Thu., March 16, 2017

IQALUIT—A Nunavut court says public money should pay for a lawyer to argue the appeal of a former priest serving a 19-year sentence for sexually abusing dozens of Inuit children.

Eric Dejaeger was convicted on 32 counts of sexually abuse 22 Inuit children stemming from his time in Igloolik, Nunavut, as an Oblate priest and missionary more than 35 years ago.

“I am of the view that Mr. Dejaeger could not effectively present his appeal in an organized and coherent fashion without the assistance of counsel,” wrote Justice Neil Sharkey of the Nunavut Court of Appeal.

Dejaeger has said he’s too broke to pay for a lawyer and legal aid in Nunavut has turned him down.

Sharkey’s written ruling said Dejaeger has not entered specific grounds for his appeal or referred to any errors of law he feels were made during his trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Locals hold vigil for babies at Tuam Mother and Baby Home

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, March 16, 2017

People from the town of Tuam have gathered for a vigil at the Mother and Baby Home there in memory of the children whose remains have been discovered at the site.

It comes nearly two weeks after the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation found “significant quantities of human remains” involving children up to the age of three, in underground sewage chambers at the former Bon Secours Sisters home.

The recorded deaths of 796 children were previously identified at the Tuam home from 1925 to 1961, many from debility from birth, respiratory diseases, measles, and influenza.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Diocese of Orange responds to wrongful death allegations

CALIFORNIA
MyNewsLA

POSTED BY DEBBIE L. SKLAR ON MARCH 16, 2017

In the wake of a wrongful death suit filed this week by relatives of a sexual abuse victim who committed suicide decades after he allegedly was molested by a priest, the Diocese of Orange issued a statement Thursday expressing sympathy for the victims of the priest who served there more than 30 years ago.

Robin Ward Agrusa, whose husband was Mark Paul Agrusa, sued the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange on Tuesday on behalf of herself and her four children, alleging her husband committed suicide at age 50 because he was depressed about being molested by the Rev. Eleuterio Ramos in the 1970s in Placentia.

“The Diocese of Orange has been made aware of a lawsuit alleging decades-old sexual abuse on the part of Eleuterio Ramos, but has not yet been served with the lawsuit,” the statement read. “The diocese settled several cases related to the abhorrent conduct of Ramos as part of its global abuse settlements in January of 2005 and released all personnel files related to Ramos as part of the settlement in May of 2005. Ramos left the Diocese in 1985 and died in 2004.

The Diocese of Orange continues to work to promote healing and reconciliation with past victims and their families and remains vigilant in ensuring the events of the past are not repeated. We pray for the victims of abuse and their families — their pain and loss is profound.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 PM

Without cost have you received; without cost shall you give (MT 10:8)

UNITED STATES
Questions from a Ewe

I must offer a deep respectful bow in the direction of Opus Dei Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru. The best I can tell, he unabashedly stands for what the Roman Catholic hierarchy is all about…money.

Last week I visited Lima and tried unsuccessfully to visit its cathedral. Here’s a recap of my effort.

Cashier: (As I tried to just walk in the church door.) Excuse me, you must buy a ticket.
Me: A ticket? For a church? I’ve visited many of the greatest cathedrals in the world and never paid.
Cashier: You have to pay to visit the Religious Art Museum.
Me: We don’t want to visit the Religious Art Museum. We want to visit the Cathedral.
Cashier: The cathedral is only a church when there are services. The rest of the time it is a museum. It’s free only when there are services.
Me: (Thinking any cathedral I’ve visited has oodles of services) Well, when is the next service?
Cashier: Saturday (This was Monday, by the way.)
Me: Saturday? When does the cathedral have services?
Cashier: Saturday and Sunday mornings only.

Canon 1221 states, “Entry to a church at the hours of sacred functions is to be open and free of charge.” This leaves the option to charge for things like sacred music concerts offered in a church. One probably assumes a cathedral for an active bishop has many hours of sacred function. But Cardinal Cipriani has whittled his cathedral’s sacred function times down to 2 Masses: Saturday at 9 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. He even schedules confessions to occur during Sunday Mass, conveniently minimizing those pesky hours of sacred function which interfere with making money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Tuam sisters’ silence due to terms of commission

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

by Greg Daly
March 16, 2017

The religious sisters at the centre of controversy surrounding the Tuam Mother and Baby Home feel unable to comment on the issue due to legal constraints, The Irish Catholic understands.

Recent revelations about the excavation of a general grave at St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home have been commented on both by Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam and Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the latter saying that: “Everything must be done to enable the truth to emerge.”

The home was run by the Bon Secours sisters, and the order has been sharply criticised by media commentators for not issuing a response to the interim report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation.

In his second homily addressing the subject, Dr Neary said he hoped the commission’s report will enable the truth to surface in a clear and objective manner, “no matter how unpalatable it may be to those on whichever side of the present discussion”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Stuart Allardyce: Protect our children before abuse starts

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

Child sexual abuse is ­written about everywhere in the media nowadays. Systematic sexual exploitation of ­children in places like Rotherham and ­Derby, high-profile offenders like Jimmy Savile, the historical abuse of ­children in institutional ­contexts like care homes and faith settings. Every day we are subjected to descriptions of unimaginable harm that leave us angry and distressed.

There’s been more over the last few weeks. A Scottish ­Government committee recently examined a bill to allow victims of abuse to claim compensation beyond the ­current time bar. If passed, it could ­permit claims dating back to 1964. The ­current time bar of three years has been a major barrier for ­survivors of sexual abuse achieving justice.

Police Scotland’s Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boals told the committee that the force last year examined files for the ongoing Scottish child abuse inquiry and identified 2,300 relating to 4,400 victims in the Strathclyde area alone. She argued this was “a small proportion of children who have been abused or neglected in ­Scotland across the years”.

How big a problem is child sexual abuse in Scotland? It’s difficult to estimate as only around one in eight cases of sexual abuse are ever known to police and social work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Pope Francis presses ahead with tackling the Vatican’s murky finances

VATICAN CITY
The Economist

ONE area where Francis has managed to make progress is in cleaning up the Vatican’s largely secret financial machinery. Most of the accounts at the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), or Vatican bank, that belong to people not directly associated with the church have been closed. The Vatican has invited scrutiny by Moneyval, an international financial watchdog. It has acquired an auditor-general. And by the end of last year the Holy See’s regulatory body, the Financial Information Authority (AIF), had found 23 cases of suspected financial hanky-panky and sent them to the Promoter of Justice, the Vatican’s prosecutor.

Until last year none had led to a prosecution. But according to the Promoter of Justice’s annual report, submitted last month, the first two cases went to court in 2016. According to a Vatican source (Vatican justice is not exactly transparent), one of the trials concerns the renovation of a penthouse apartment for Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, formerly the Vatican’s most senior official. Two defendants, not including the cardinal, are charged with using the project to launder cash. Six cases have been shelved. Of the others, one is said to have included a fraud perpetrated on the IOR requiring investigation in several countries.

That points to a question familiar in other micro-states: whether the Vatican has the resources to handle complex financial crime. It certainly enjoys some advantages. At least one Catholic country that normally refuses to co-operate with foreign investigators swiftly supplied vital information to the AIF. Last year the Vatican’s deputy prosecutor was put in charge of a new section to deal with financial offences. The Vatican police, the Gendarmeria, has hired officers with experience in the field. But that still leaves the judges, most of whom are experts in church law, who may struggle to follow intricate financial dealings.

Another question is how far the clean-up will reach into the Vatican administration, which handles large volumes of cash. Last month Italian police froze assets worth €2.5m ($2.7m) belonging to Giampietro Nattino, an Italian banker who is alleged to have ramped up the price of shares in his own bank, Banca Finnat Euramerica, by secretly routing purchases through a Vatican department. He denies wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

The Vatican is 'all words, no action' on addressing child sex abuse

ROME
PRI

March 16, 2017

By Matthew Bell

When Pope Francis named two victims of clergy sexual abuse to a new Vatican commission on the protection of minors in 2014, some observers took it as a sign that the pope was getting serious about the issue.

But Marie Collins says there was still some skepticism.

“A lot of people felt that I was just being asked [to join] the commission as a sort of token survivor,” says Collins, who was sexually abused as a child by a Catholic priest in Ireland. “I wanted to be sure that the commission was sincere.”

Collins went ahead and joined the Vatican commission. If there was a chance for finding solutions to this problem in the Catholic Church, she wanted to be part of it.

Nearly three years later, however, Collins decided she had to resign. She officially stepped down from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on March 1, which was also Ash Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

New lawsuit rocks Orange, LA dioceses – sex abuse, wrongful death

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

March 16, 2017 Joelle Casteix

The problem with child sex abuse is that for the victims and their families, the pain never goes away.

This month, the family of one of the alleged victims of one of Orange County’s most notorious predator priests filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Diocese of Orange and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The wife alleges that her husband committed suicide as a result of years of inner torture after being sexually abused as a child by Fr. Eleuterio Ramos in the 1970s at Placentia’s St. Joseph’s Parish.

Fr. Eleuterio “Big Al” Ramos was a bad dude and left debris and disaster at every church where he was assigned.

This is the second lawsuit in just a few weeks. Will the Diocese of Orange try lie to the press about this one, too?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Nunavut court grants legal aid to pedophile ex-priest Dejaeger

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

STEVE DUCHARME

A Nunavut judge has overturned a decision by Nunavut’s legal services office that denied legal aid funding to ex-priest Eric Dejeager, clearing the way for Dejaeger to appeal some of his sex crime convictions.

Justice Neil Sharkey ordered that a lawyer be appointed to represent Dejeager after hearing submissions from Dejeager and the Crown March 15 at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

“I think the case… is a compelling one and I’m persuaded that there is merit to your request for court appointment counsel,” Sharkey said.

A white-haired and bearded Dejeager appeared via video link from the medium-security Warkworth Institution in Ontario, sitting alone at a conference table and wearing baby-blue prison issue attire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

TUAM CRITICS ON ABORTION AND GAY MARRIAGE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on leading critics of the “mass grave” story and their positions on abortion and gay marriage:

Not everyone who supports gay marriage favors abortion rights, but it is hard to find someone who is pro-abortion and opposed to same-sex marriage. This is especially true of activists. When it comes to leading critics of the “mass grave” story in Tuam, Ireland, virtually all of them are pro-gay marriage, and none is associated with pro-life causes.

Why does this matter?

The number of human remains found outside the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam does not come close to 800, but that there are any is disturbing. It seems logical to think that those who are truly concerned about these deceased children—some of whom were unborn—would be pro-life. But among the elites, they are not. They are also pro-gay marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Pope Francis appoints South Dakota priest to head Diocese of Cheyenne

UNITED STATES
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has named Father Steven Biegler, a priest of the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota, to head the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Bishop-designate Biegler, who turns 58 March 22, is currently vicar general of his diocese and pastor of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City.

The appointment was announced March 16 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Assignment Record– Rev. George Boxelaar, O.Carm.

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: George Boxelaar was a native of Holland, ordained at some point for the Carmelite Order. He was in the U.S. as early as 1954, assigned to the Carmelite's priory in Mantzville PA 1954-56, then to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish in Middletown NY 1956-57. The Official Catholic Directory shows a gap in his assignments 1957-62, after which he is shown again as at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for many years, until 1985. Boxelaar was involved with a number of the mission parishes affiliated with the parish; it is not clear whether he was assigned to all of the missions or to the parish's stations.

In 1973 a 7-year-old boy told his father that Boxelaar forced his hand down the boy's pants during confession at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish school. The boy's father reportedly confronted Boxelaar, who denied misconduct. The boy's mother contacted a lawyer and some mothers of other boys at the school; the mothers said Boxelaar had also molested their boys, but they wanted to keep it quiet. The boy's family decided not to press charges so that their son would not have to testify. Another mother complained to the church about Boxelaar in 1981, and again in 1985. Boxelaar threatened her with excommunication if she 'created scandal.' Along with other parents of boys allegedly molested by the priest, the mother went to state police. When the parents were told their sons would have to testify, they decided not to press charges. Boxelaar was quietly sent to Holland to "retire." He died in 1990.

In 2002, after news reports of Boxelaar's abuse of little boys, at least 25 more men came forward to say that they, too, were sexually abused as children by the priest. Carmelite Provincial, Rev. Michael Driscoll, acknowledged that the Order had received one complaint about Boxelaar in the 1970s, and five in the 1980s.

Ordained: ?
Retired: 1985
Died: 1990

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Eliminating statute of limitations

WASHINGTON
TDN

Editorial

A Washington state legislator is using his life experience with sex abuse to sponsor a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for certain felony sex crimes, including molestation and child rape. House Bill 1155 was introduced in January 2017 and, if passed into law, would allow the offender to be prosecuted at any time after commission of the crime.

We think this bill should be passed into law.

It’s all too often we read about victims of sex abuse and their journey to gain closure. What about the victims that choose to remain silent for years, how do they find closure?

Being the victim of sexual assault is traumatizing enough, but unfortunately for some it can take years to gain the courage to report the crime. This means sometimes the offender may go free.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Bill clarifies statute of limitations for child abuse cases

NEW MEXICO
KOB

Chris Ramirez
March 15, 2017

Many times, victims of childhood sex abuse don't come forward about the abuse until they are adults, years after it happens. In fact, that happens very frequently.

Senate Bill 91 aims to help victims get through the legal process of holding their predators accountable.

"This is an epidemic," said Levi Monagle, an attorney who has represented dozens of adults who were victimized as children. "One in five children will be sexually abused before the age of 18 and only 12 percent of that abuse is ever reported to authorities."

Right now, New Mexico's statute of limitations to allow a victim to hold his or her abuser accountable in civil court is vague. Sometimes victims are turned away by lawyers because New Mexico's laws aren't on their side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

RCNSW could vote on Feldman membership

AUSTRALIA
Australian Jewish News

ALL members of the Rabbinic Council of NSW (RCNSW) could have an opportunity to vote on the status of Rabbi Pinchus Feldman as an RCNSW member.

Child sexual abuse victim Manny Waks contacted RCNSW last year and asked that Rabbi Feldman step down or be removed.

He cited six reasons, including some of Rabbi Feldman’s public comments and that, as dean of Yeshiva Bondi, he failed to ensure the school had a formal child abuse policy, failed to ensure the school recorded complaints of child sexual abuse and failed to undertake formal training for child sexual abuse matters.

“I wrote the formal complaint to the RCNSW in my role as a victims’ advocate on behalf of numerous victims,” Waks wrote to the RCNSW.

At the time the complaint was made, Rabbi Feldman’s lawyer told The AJN, “Rabbi Pinchus Feldman has not been the subject of even the slightest negative finding by the Royal Commission of impropriety or misbehaviour in personal, official or public office.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Allison Morris: The babies of Tuam are a reminder of Ireland's shameful past

IRELAND
The Irish News

ALLISON MORRIS
16 March, 2017

WHEN reporting the awful, needless, miserable deaths of almost 800 babies and toddlers at a Catholic-run mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway it is easy to dismiss the shameful episode as a sin from a bygone era.

However, the truth is much more unpalatable.

The home only ceased to operate in 1961, the year my own mother turned 17. That was the same age as many of the young mums locked behind the walls of the institution and also the age I was when I found out I was pregnant with my son.

While I was cared for and my child adored by my family, the young women of my mother and grandmother's generation were ostracised and forced into joyless workhouses, their children forcibly adopted or dead within months from neglect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Access to files for Tuam Baby Home, a ‘basic right’, says TD

IRELAND
Galway Advertiser

Mary O’Connor

The fact that some survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home may have to take High Court cases to access records of family members has been described as an “obscenity”.

Deputy Catherine Connolly says access to such files for survivors and next of kin is a “basic right”.

Welcoming confirmation that the second interim report from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission will be published by the end of March, she said this however must be accompanied by an explanation as to why there has been such an unacceptable delay in its release.

“It would seem that the minister has been awaiting a response from the various departments and approval from the government before it can be published, which begs the question as to what is in the report and why the hesitancy in publishing it. Such delay does not inspire confidence in the process.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

AUSTRALIAN BISHOP WHO TESTIFIED ABOUT CHILD SEX ABUSE QUITS

AUSTRALIA
Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- An Anglican bishop who says he was warned by churchgoers that he was not safe in his own Australian diocese over his work to address decades of child sexual abuse has announced his resignation.

Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson, who was sexually molested as a teenager by bishop who died in 1988, said in a statement Thursday he was quitting to focus on his health.

The 60-year-old said he had witnessed firsthand the culture and conduct from some sections of the church, both as an abuse victim and in his work to address the diocese's abuse legacy.

"When I started this journey to right the wrongs of child abuse in the diocese, I didn't expect to be in this position, nor did I expect to uncover systemic practices that have enabled the horrendous crimes against children," Thompson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Newcastle bishop resigns, saying he was threatened after revealing abuse by clergy

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian (UK)

Australian Associated Press
Wednesday 15 March 2017

An Anglican bishop and advocate for child abuse survivors is resigning after being subjected to harassment, including being warned about his personal safety.

Greg Thompson will step down as Newcastle bishop to focus on his health after being ostracised by some of his own parishioners since revealing he was abused as a young man by senior church clerics.

Thompson said he had witnessed firsthand the culture and conduct from some sections of the church, both as an abuse victim and in his work to address the Newcastle diocese’s abuse legacy.

“When I started this journey to right the wrongs of child abuse in the diocese I didn’t expect to be in this position, nor did I expect to uncover systemic practices that have enabled the horrendous crimes against children,” he said on Thursday. “The decision to resign was not an easy one, it weighed heavily on my heart. However, I must place the wellbeing of my family and my health above my job.”

The child abuse royal commission has heard of a deep division in the Newcastle diocese, with some people believing a number of priests were unfairly disciplined over sex abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Byrnes sets norms for Mass

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com

March 16, 2017

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes asked the Neocatechumenal Way to put a one-year pause on the formation of its new communities, and to celebrate Mass in accordance with the Catholic Church’s general instructions and norms.

That means celebrating Mass at a consecrated altar and consuming the Eucharist as soon as the person receives it.

The Neocatechumenal Way is a movement within the Catholic church whose practices sometimes are at odds with those of Guam's traditional Catholic community.

The archbishop issued a March 15 pastoral letter to try to balance concerns about the way in which the Neocatechumenal Way celebrates Mass in Catholic churches on Guam and the good that the group has done for many people on island.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Archdiocese pauses NCW growth

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

The Archdiocese of Agana has asked for a halt on the formation of new Neocatechumenal Way communities across the island in an effort to promote healing between the division among Guam's Catholic faithful.

The request was issued to NCW leaders by Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes, who said in a statement that he was in the process of developing church policies that would balance the concerns of traditional Catholics with the "blessing" the NCW has been for many.

"I have asked the lead catechists here in Guam to put a 'pause' on the formation of new communities for a period of about a year," Byrnes said in the release. "During this time, I intend to appoint a priest delegate to help me discern the effects of our efforts, to review the Catechetical Directory of the Neocatechumenal Way and to ensure that catechists are sufficiently formed and certified for their important role. By this I wish to create a kind of moral and spiritual space in which healing can begin."

While Byrnes affirmed the NCW as a Catholic community recognized and approved by the Holy See that has brought many into the fold of the Catholic faith, he also acknowledged the many appeals from "a significant number of the faithful about the way the Eucharist is celebrated" by the NCW.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Archbishop Byrnes issues "moratorium" on Neocatechumenal Way

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

"From listening to many of you I realize that a number of factors have contributed toward the divisions," Byrnes said in his pastoral letter.

Guam - Archbishop Michael Byrnes has made an unprecedented move, issuing a moratorium on some of the practices of the Neocatechumenal Way. In a pastoral letter he issued yesterday, Byrnes says many of the NCW practices have contributed to the deep divisions within the Catholic Church.

Byrnes’ pastoral letter addresses three major issues within the NCW practices. Byrnes says he came to this decision after he was approached by many in the Catholic community on nearly a daily basis about concerns of the NCW practices.

“From listening to many of you I realize that a number of factors have contributed toward the divisions,” Byrnes said in his letter.

The first action he takes is a moratorium on the formation of new NCW communities. The moratorium will last for a year, during which time Byrnes says he will appoint a priest delegate to “help me discern the effects of our efforts,” as well as to review other matters by which the NCW practices the formation of new communities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Widow Of Priest Abuse Victim Blames Church for His Suicide

CALIFORNIA
Patch

By Ashley Ludwig (Patch Staff) - March 15, 2017

PLACENTIA, CA — A widow has alleged her 50-year-old husband committed suicide due to depression suffered from being molested by a priest years earlier in Placentia. Now, she has taken his case to court, filing the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, on be half of herself and her four children, suing the archdioceses of Los Angeles and Orange.

Robin Ward Agrusa alleged wrongful death and negligence and naming St. Joseph Catholic Church and St. Joseph Catholic School as additional defendants.

Representative of the two archdioceses could not be immediately reached.

The suit states that Mark Paul Agrusa was born into a family of devout Catholics and attended St. Joseph's Church and its school from 1974-78.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Ballarat surge in sexual offences linked to Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
The Border Mail

Olivia Shying
@oliviashying

16 Mar 2017

A surge in reports of historical sex abuse offences may be behind Ballarat recording one of the highest numbers of sexual offences in the state in 2016, data shows.

Crime Statistics Agency data released today showed a 26.2 per cent rise in the number of sexual offences in Ballarat during 2016 compared to statewide 9.1 per cent increase.

Statewide Victoria Police recorded 12,956 sexual offences in 2016 with an offence rate of 214 offences per 100,000 people.

In five years, the number of sexual offences increased by 45 per cent, up from 8936 offences in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Disaffected Catholics do not call for boycotting the Vatican

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

Prof. Phyllis Chesler, 17/03/17

Many Catholics disagree with Vatican policies. Some no longer follow tradition. Many such Catholics still enter churches at times of birth, baptism, marriage, and death. Some Catholics take confession--but continue sinning. Many Catholics celebrate only the major holidays--and many Catholics are either life-long and devoted members of the flock or return to the faithful fold after a crisis or revelation.

Oddly enough, disaffected Catholics--those who mock priestly hypocrisy; expose sexual abuse scandals with relish; and strongly oppose the Church's stand on many issues, including birth control, abortion, gay rights, divorce, and the Latin liturgy--nevertheless, do not launch full-scale, decades-long, global campaigns against the Vatican and the democratically elected Pope.

Catholics do not call for a boycott of the Vatican nor do they use the UN as a venue to de-legitimize or defame it among the nations. They do not infiltrate the Vatican or work with fifth columnists within the Papal State who also wish to bring the Pope and his minions down. Catholics do not demand that the Vatican end its "occupation" of Italy or turn over global church property and wealth to those who despise Catholic doctrine.

Catholic-Americans have not repeatedly enlisted leading-light academics and celebrities to join them in denouncing Vatican policies nor have they dis-invited, refused to invite or, black shirt style, drowned out the words of Catholic lecturers known to favor Vatican policies. Likewise, they have not helped create on-campus displays that attack the Church--year after year, and at which they physically and verbally assault students and teachers who are known Church-goers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Former St Michael's Collegiate teacher in Hobart admits having sex with student in 1990s

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Edith Bevin

Another former teacher at an elite girls' school in Hobart, St Michael's Collegiate School, has admitted having sex with a student.

It is the second time the Anglican-run school has had a teacher charged with similar offences.

The now 56-year-old man, who cannot be named, was charged a month ago and has pleaded guilty to maintaining a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student for nine months in the 1990s.

In an email to former students, current principal Judith Tudball said she understood the school community could be upset by the revelation.

"It is my sad and disappointing duty to inform you that I have been notified by Tasmania Police that a former member of the St Michael's Collegiate School staff has been charged in relation to an allegation of conducting a relationship with a minor," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

DA: Ex-pastor to plead guilty in rape case

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Local News

By Michael Rellahan, Daily Local News
POSTED: 03/15/17

WEST CHESTER >> The former pastor at a Uwchlan megachurch intends to enter a guilty plea to criminal charges brought in the case of a teenager he allegedly raped and impregnated, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Assistant District Attorney Emily Provencher of the DA’s Child Abuse Unit told Common Pleas President Judge Jacqueline Carroll Cody in court that Jacob Matthew “Jake” Malone had made it clear through his attorney that he would plead guilty and be sentenced.

However, the alleged victim, who is now 20 years old and lives in Arizona, has made it clear that she would like to be present for the proceeding. Thus, Provencher and defense attorney Evan Kelly of West Chester, who represents Malone, have been attempting to arrange a mutually agreeable date to present the plea and proposed sentence to Cody, who is overseeing the case.

The prosecutor said that they had initially hoped to appear before Cody the last week of March. Cody, however, said she had meetings that would keep her away from the courthouse that week, so the parties are expected to formalize a date in April later this week. Provencher did not detail the proposed sentence, and Kelly declined comment when contacted Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson resigns after standing up for abuse survivors

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
16 Mar 2017

NEWCASTLE Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson has announced his resignation only months after exposing shocking opposition to his strong stand on child sexual abuse in Newcastle diocese, and a day before giving evidence at a Royal Commission public hearing into the Anglican Church in Australia.

“When I started this journey to right the wrongs of child abuse in the diocese I didn’t expect to be in this position, nor did I expect to uncover systemic practices that have enabled the horrendous crimes against children,” Bishop Thompson said in a statement released to the media on Thursday morning.

“The decision to resign was not an easy one, it weighed heavily on my heart. However, I must place the wellbeing of my family and my health above my job.”

He is the second senior member of the diocese to resign for their strong opposition to child sexual abuse in the diocese, after former diocese business manager John Cleary resigned on February 27. Mr Cleary was recognised by the diocese for being “dedicated and diligent in uncovering child sexual abuse in the diocese and providing crucial support to survivors”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Maryland abuse victims would have more time to file lawsuits under advancing bill

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

Pamela Wood
The Baltimore Sun

Year after year, Del. C.T. Wilson gathered his courage, told his colleagues about how he was abused as a child and urged them to allow victims more time to file lawsuits against their abuser.

And year after year, Wilson saw the bill die in a House of Delegates committee without ever being called for a vote.

That changed Wednesday.

The House Judiciary Committee — where the bill had been bottled up — voted to advance Wilson's bill to the full chamber, where he expects the bill to pass easily.

"I had no idea it was going to pass," said Wilson, a Charles County Democrat. "I figured I would fight every year."

Wilson said he found out just hours beforehand that the committee would hear more testimony on the bill and hold a vote. He said it was a relief after spending the past three years giving painful testimony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Newcastle Anglican bishop Greg Thompson quits after working hard to deal with abuse issues

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Giselle Wakatama

Anglican Bishop of Newcastle Greg Thompson has resigned after three years of dealing with issues related to clerical abuse and cover ups.

An emotional Bishop Thompson last year told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse his efforts to expose a decades-old culture of abuse and cover-ups had led to a concerted push to get rid of him.

The bishop is himself an abuse survivor and said he was resigning to put his health and family first.

"The impact of leading the diocese at various levels and addressing that culture has had a personal impact on my health, and I think has been something that got me thinking about how long I could have done it for," Bishop Thompson said.

"I've given my all and my legacy, I think, here in Newcastle is the issues of social justice for survivors."

The bishop said he had worked hard to end a culture of not listening.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Bishop Greg Thompson deserves a region's unreserved thanks

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
16 Mar 2017

BISHOP Greg Thompson was the right man to lead Newcastle Anglican diocese after the Australian Government in November, 2012 established the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

When Bishop Thompson was endorsed as the Hunter’s new Anglican head in late 2013, those who voted for him could not have known how right the appointment was.

He was the former “son of the diocese”, who grew up in the area and returned home after a church career that included work in some of the toughest parts of Australia.

He returned to Newcastle and confronted the past – both his own, and the diocese’s. He gave evidence at the shocking Newcastle Anglican Royal Commission public hearings in August and September, about being sexually abused by the late Bishop Ian Shevill. Returning to Newcastle meant confronting ugly memories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Wrongful-death lawsuit against Orange, L.A. dioceses alleges man killed himself over molestation by priest

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

By SEAN EMERY / STAFF WRITER

A widow has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Orange and Los Angeles dioceses, alleging that her husband killed himself in 2015 because of depression over having been molested by a “notorious pedophile” priest years before while attending St. Joseph Catholic Church in Placentia.

Attorneys for the wife filed the lawsuit this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that her husband was haunted by the abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of the Rev. Eleuterio Ramos from 1975 through 1978.

“The horror and betrayal associated with years of sexual abuse drove (him) into severe depression, he became suicidal,” attorney Raymond Boucher wrote in the complaint. “Though he fought valiantly for years to overcome the sense of betrayal and mistrust, he ultimately succumbed to the depression and sense of worthlessness.”

Officials with the Los Angeles Diocese said they have not received a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment. The Diocese of Orange acknowledges in a statement that it has settled several cases "related to the abhorrent conduct of Ramos. ...

“The Diocese of Orange continues to work to promote healing and reconciliation with past victims and their families and remains vigilant in ensuring the events of the past (are) not repeated," it says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Judge recuses self in 2 clergy sex abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

Superior Court Judge Vernon P. Perez recused himself this week from hearing two new clergy sex abuse cases, filed in local court March 7 and March 9.

Perez’s recusals in the cases filed by former altar boys Anthony C. Flores and Michael Chargualaf marked the 85th and 86th disqualification memos by local judges assigned to hear childhood sexual abuse lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Agana and Catholic priests since November.

Perez said his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” He cited his fairly close relationship with the Archdiocese of Agana’s leadership, his active involvement in his parish in Ordot, and acquaintance with other former altar boys who filed similar lawsuits, including those against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron.

A review of all disqualification memos filed between Nov. 10, 2016, and March 16, 2017, shows all of Guam’s eight trial court judges have recused themselves from hearing anywhere between two and 14 clergy abuse cases. Perez filed 14 disqualification memos, the latest one involving Flores and Chargualaf's lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Suit alleges church wine used to intoxicate church abuse victim

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

By Mindy Aguon | For the Guam Daily Post Mar 16, 2017

A 70-year-old Father Duenas Memorial School alumnus filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Guam alleging he was sexually abused and molested by his former teacher after being served church wine in the rectory of the Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Church in Chalan Pago during Holy Week in 1962.

William Payne, 70, alleges that former FD instructor and priest Father Antonio C. Cruz offered to give him driving lessons and then made him drink church wine in the rectory until he became mildly intoxicated when he was 15 years old, court documents state.

The lawsuit alleges that Cruz, who was Payne’s Algebra and Spanish instructor, told him, “You’re one of my good students, I like you” and then proceeded to molest Payne despite his efforts to make him stop before driving him back home.

Payne was in “a state of utter shock, fear and confusion in that Cruz was forcibly abusing him, and during Holy Week,” the lawsuit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Catholic school student accuses late priest of sexual abuse

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

William Payne says he was a student at Father Duenas Memorial School and only 15 years old when it happened.

Guam - Back to back lawsuits filed against the Catholic Church as today, another victim has come forward with allegations against the late priest and former Father Duenas Memorial School teacher Father Antonio Cruz.

The latest lawsuit is filed by William Payne who is now 70 years old. Payne says when he was 15 years old and studying at FDMS, Cruz picked him up from his house under the guise of teaching him how to drive. After their lesson, Payne says Cruz took him to the Chalan Pago parish rectory where he drugged Payne with church wine and then molested him.

After this incident, Payne says he avoided Cruz as much as possible at school and even stopped trying to make good grades in Cruz’s class. Despite this, Payne says Father Cruz still gave him good grades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Faith teaches us we are not the sum-total of our weaknesses

IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

by Michael Kelly
March 16, 2017

It’s hard to get across to younger generations today the enormity of the scandal that was the revelation in 1992 that Bishop Eamonn Casey had secretly fathered a child years earlier.

One got a sense of the impact this week by the fact that the country’s largest-selling daily newspaper The Irish Independent carried a special eight-page supplement to mark Bishop Casey’s death after a long illness on March 13.

There’s something strangely fitting that Bishop Casey – a man who spent so much of his time and energy advocating for the rights of young Irish people forced to emigrate out of economic necessity – died in the week of St Patrick’s Day. Today, a new generation of Irish chaplains is working with Irish communities in far-flung parts of the world, particularly in the US where the so-called ‘undocumented’ are facing such uncertainty.

Exposed

When his sin was publicly exposed, many Irish Catholics were scandalised. They winced as many journalists who had long since harboured grudges against the Church delighted in tearing down a once-mighty edifice. Journalists delighted in exposing hypocrisy, and God knows the Church has provided enough examples of hypocrisy over the years.

It was ever thus, of course – the only way not to be a hypocrite is to hold no standards to be judged by. The very fact of trying to live a set of beliefs means that we will be judged for the times we are shown not to live up to these beliefs. It’s like the story often told about a non-Massgoer who complains to the parish priest that they don’t go to church on Sunday because “the place is full of hypocrites”. Knowing the human condition all too well, the parish priest replies: “But, there’s always room for one more.” Many a theological truth is contained in a one-liner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

March 15, 2017

Ex sacerdote abusò di un 11enne. Il giudice accusa: “La Chiesa foggiana fu superficiale”

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Former priest abused a 11-year old. The judge accuses: "The Church of Foggia was superficial."]

Le parole del giudice nelle motivazioni della sentenza che a Bari ha condannato a otto anni Giovanni Trotta, il quale sarà processato a Foggia per abusi su altri nove minorenni

Parla di “atteggiamento quantomeno superficiale delle locali autorità religiose” il gup barese Giovanni Anglana nelle motivazioni della sentenza con cui nei mesi scorsi ha condannato Giovanni Trotta, ex sacerdote ed ex allenatore di una squadra di calcio giovanile della provincia di Foggia, a otto anni di reclusione per violenza sessuale su un 11enne. Trotta sarà inoltre processato a partire dal prossimo 5 giugno dinanzi al tribunale di Foggia per abusi su altri nove minorenni.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Call for road to be named in memory of baby home victims

IRELAND
Connacht Tribune

A city councillor has called for the Western Distributor Road in Knocknacarra to be renamed in memory of the children who died in Mother and Baby Homes nationwide.

Councillor Cathal O’ Conchuir says the scandal is ‘our holocaust’ – and the most innocent and precious lives that passed away in the homes must be remembered.

He’s to request that the road be renamed ‘Bothar Mathair agus na Leanai’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Vatican maze: Retracing the path of abuse accountability proposals

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
3.15.2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Recent exchanges in the media between the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a former member of a papal advisory commission have highlighted a lack of clarity and transparency when it comes to finding better ways to make bishops and religious superiors more accountable for how they handle allegations of sexual abuse.

The first muddying of the waters occurred in early June 2015 when a Vatican press office briefing and bulletin announced, "The Holy Father approved proposals and authorized that sufficient resources" be provided for a new "judicial section" in the doctrinal congregation in order for the congregation "to judge bishops with regard to crimes of abuse of office."

While officials told reporters that the Council of Cardinals and Pope Francis approved the proposal presented by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, it was not a "papal fiat," but rather just a green light for the offices involved to flesh out what procedures could uphold greater accountability, a source familiar with the situation told Catholic News Service.

However, at the time of the announcement, the media and commission members, according to Marie Collins -- the newly resigned commission member -- were led to believe it was "a done deal" that just awaited implementation. Further proof that the recommendations never carried any legislative weight is that they were never published in "Acta Apostolicae Sedis," the Vatican's official bulletin of record.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Abuse Victim: "Spotlight Continued Church Denial"

NEW YORK
Hudson Valley News

11-11-16

By Jay Behrke

MIDDLETOWN – In this extension of Thursday’s breaking story, Lex Filipowski – abused at the hands of his childhood priest at Holy Cross Church in South Centerville – goes into more detail on the issues troubling him since he was too young to fully comprehend them.

“I have been attempting to get justice for what happened to me from the Catholic Church for 25 years,” said Filipowski, 52, who says he was abused by Father George Boxelaar from 1971-1974. “And I’ve been dismissed for the last 25 years by some of the most arrogant and self-righteous people that have no care for what happened to me, or thousands and thousands of other children who were sexually abused by priests.”

Father Michael Kissane, Prior Provincial of the Carmelites in Middletown, acknowledged that there were several credible accusations of abuse against Boxelaar that were made public in the early 1980s; and that Boxelaar was “removed from ministry” at that time, moving back to his native country, the Netherlands, where he died in the early 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Sex Offending and Situational Motivation: Findings From a Qualitative Analysis of Desistance From Sexual Offending

ResearchGate

Mark Farmer, Anne-Marie McAlinden, and Shadd Maruna

Abstract

Sex offending is typically understood from a pathology perspective with the origin of the behavior thought to be within the offending individual. Such a perspective may not be beneficial for those seeking to desist from sexual offending and reintegrate into mainstream society. A thematic analysis of 32 self-narratives of men convicted of sexual offences against children suggests that such individuals typically explain their pasts utilizing a script consistent with routine activity theory, emphasizing the role of circumstantial changes in both the onset of and desistance from sexual offending. It is argued that the self-framing of serious offending in this way might be understood as a form of ?shame management,? a protective cognition that enables desistance by shielding individuals from internalizing stigma for past violence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Court asks absconding church workers in India to surrender

INDIA
La Croix

T.K. Devasia, Kochi
India

The southern Indian High Court in the state of Kerala has ordered those accused of attempting to cover up for a Catholic priest arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl to surrender to the police.

A priest, two nuns and a laywoman, all working in Manathavady Diocese in Kerala are absconding. The four had applied for "anticipatory bail" but the court ruled that they should first surrender to police and then seek bail in a lower court.

Police arrested 48-year-old Manathavady Father Robin Vadakkancherry on February 28 for the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl from his parish. In India, girls under the age of 18 years are considered minors and consensual sex with a minor is viewed as rape.

Father Vadakkancherry, parish priest of St. Sebastian's Church in Kottiyoor, was arrested after an investigation proved his involvement, according to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

La Chiesa italiana riceve sempre meno offerte. E perde sicurezza economica

ITALIA
AGI

di Salvatore Izzo
Vaticanista

Dopo una trentina di anni di “vacche grasse” - frutto del nuovo sistema di sostentamento del clero scaturito dagli accordi di revisione del Concordato firmati nel 1984 dall’allora premier Bettino Craxi e dal cardinale Agostino Casaroli - la Chiesa Italiana vede assottigliarsi i suoi introiti. Le offerte fiscalmente deducibili finalizzate direttamente al sostentamento del clero sono in picchiata: oltre un terzo in meno in 10 anni, passando dai 18 milioni del 2005 agli 11 del 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

SO HOW MANY DIED IN IRISH HOMES?

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the alleged number of persons who died in Ireland’s Mother and Baby homes in the twentieth century:

Paul Redmond is chairman of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors. He was born in one of the homes in 1964, and was adopted 17 days later. He has become the leading activist involved in the search for answers to what actually happened in these homes.

As with many others associated with this cause, Redmond’s “evidence” is slippery.

* On January 30, 2015, the Irish Mirror reported that Redmond claimed he had evidence of 7,000 babies and children who died in homes across Ireland in the last century.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Leo Varadkar says Government ‘cannot seize church lands’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Tim O'Brien, Patsy McGarry

A referendum on giving the Government powers to seize lands owned by the Catholic Church in order to recoup a shortfall in payments for abuse victims would probably be lost, Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said.

Mr Varadkar was speaking after Minister for Health Simon Harris said there would be “significant merit” in seizing hospital and school property in light of a report which showed shortcomings in the church’s contribution to a redress scheme for those abused in Catholic institutions.

Mr Harris called on the Vatican and Irish church leaders pressurise religious orders to pay half the cost of the scheme, which the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) found had hit €1.5 billion at the end of 2015, with just €192 million coming from the church.

Mr Varadkar said there was a constitutional impediment to seizing lands in order to try to make up the shortfall even though “the Government is really determined” to ensure as much as possible is recovered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Former Word of Faith member hopes SBI will investigate assistant prosecutors

NORTH CAROLINA
WLOS

by Tanja Rekhi

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) —
A local district attorney wants to find out if his employees had any involvement with allegations of physical abuse at the Word of Faith church.

David Lerner, district attorney in Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties, asked the SBI to investigate two assistant prosecutors after the Associated Press reported Frank Webster and Chris Back provided legal advice, helped at strategy sessions and did a mock trial with congregants charged with harassing a former member.

John Huddle left the Spindale church in 2008. He said Webster is church founder Jane Whaley’s son-in-law. He didn’t interact with Webster much while he was living at the church and said Webster and his wife were in the “Young Marrieds” group. He and his wife were in the “Middle Marrieds.”

“The defense of religious freedom stopped a long time ago when abuses increased,” Huddle said. “This is not religion. This is not about worship. This is not about freedom to worship. This is about protecting people from being emotionally and physically harmed and having their faith used against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Kerala: After Catholic priest, madrasa teacher arrested for sexually exploiting minor girls in Kannur

INDIA
International Business Times

A madrasa teacher has been arrested for sexually exploiting at least four minor girls aged between 8 and 11 at a madrasa at Iritty in Kannur. The accused, identified as Muhammed Rafi, was arrested after the parents of the girls approached the police and registered a complaint.

Muhammed Rafi, a native of Tharuvana in Wayanad, has been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO). The local media reports that the accused has confessed to the crime and will be produced in court on Wednesday, March 15. Police suspect that the accused could have abused many other children in a similar manner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Obwaka rape case goes to trial

MICHIGAN
Alpena News

MAR 15, 2017

JORDAN SPENCE
News Staff Writer
jspence@thealpenanews.com

ROGERS CITY — The sexual assault case where Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka is accused of raping another priest has been sent to trial.

The defense asked for the case to be dismissed, which was denied by Judge Don McLennan, Tuesday in 89th District Court. This means there was enough evidence presented to the court to move to trial.

Obwaka, who is on administrative leave from his duties as St. Ignatius’ priest, was charged on two counts of criminal sexual conduct Feb. 21. He was charged with a count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with personal injury, and third-degree criminal sexual conduct force or coercion.

During court Tuesday the alleged victim, a 28-year-old priest with the Diocese of Gaylord testified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Bond denied to Rogers City priest

MICHIGAN
Alpena News

JORDAN SPENCE
News Staff Writer
jspence@thealpenanews.com

ROGERS CITY — The request for bond to be posted for Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka was denied by Judge Donald McLennan during a preliminary hearing on Monday.

“We ask bond be $50,000 and we post 10 percent,” Matt Wojda, one of Obwaka’s attorneys, said. “If it’s higher than that we’ll pledge realty.”

He said it’s a two step process to decide the bond issue. First, he said, there must be enough proof of guilt.

“And if they’re a flight risk is another issue,” Wojda said.

Obwaka is a native of Kenya, not a citizen of the United States, and he was assigned to St. Ignatius in 2013.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

29th person charges priest with molestation

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Mar 15, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Yet another multi-million dollar suit has been lodged against the Archdiocese of Agana, but not by a former altar boy. 37-year-old Timothy Ryan Shiroma filed his complaint in the District Court of Guam on Wednesday. Court documents state he was only 9 when he was sexually molested by former priest Raymond Cepeda.

Shiroma was a student at the Cathedral Grade School, which was adjacent to the Hagatna Cathedral. While using the church phone after school to call his ride, he alleges Cepeda pinned him to the ground, stuffed his head in his backpack, and sexually molested him. From then on, he rode the bus home and would fake sick to avoid attending mass at the Cathedral.

KUAM News files show Cepeda was laicized - removed as a priest - in December 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Priest accused of sexually assaulting priest sent to trial

MICHIGAN
WLNS

ROGERS CITY, Mich. (AP) – A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting another priest in a church rectory has been ordered to trial in northern Michigan.

A judge found enough evidence against the Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka, pastor at St. Ignatius Church in Rogers City.

Obwaka is charged with first-degree and third-degree criminal sexual conduct against a 28-year-old priest, who testified Tuesday. Police say the alleged crimes occurred on Feb. 1 while the man was sleeping.

Defense attorney Matthew Wojda says “there’s no question” there was sexual activity. But he says it was consensual, not an assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Speciale pedofilia – PEDOFILIA CLERICALE: IMPOSSIBILE TACERE

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Special pedophilia - CLERICAL pedophilia: CAN NOT BE SILENT.]

Allineandosi all’orientamento della stampa nazionale ed oltre, anche “Il Corriere delle Donne” spezza il silenzio sul devastante fenomeno della pedofilia clericale e mette in campo le sue specialiste. Quello che segue, infatti, è uno speciale a più voci che si conclude con un’intervista a Francesco Zanardi, fondatore della Rete L’Abuso.

“La pedofilia nella Chiesa è opera del diavolo – dice Bergoglio – è una malattia diabolica… dobbiamo esserne convinti per curarla. I pedofili vanno capiti e perdonati”.

Ma davanti al dato statistico che la pratica della pedofilia clericale è diffusa in tutto il mondo ed ha proporzioni spaventose, l’opinione pubblica è ormai profondamente indignata e non condivide queste affermazioni assolutorie, al contrario, le ritiene i soliti inflazionati escamotage per continuare a coprire i pedofili e aiutarli a sottrarsi alla giustizia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Abuse survivor hits back at Vatican body

ROME
The Times (UK)

Ellen Coyne
March 15 2017
The Times

The clerical abuse survivor who resigned from the Catholic church’s commission on child safety has claimed that Vatican officials are “defending the indefensible” by dismissing her concerns.

A row has broken out between Marie Collins and a Vatican department over her claims that basic steps to protect abuse victims are being blocked. 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.

The commission was set up in 2014 within the central body of the church to propose child protection initiatives. Ms Collins resigned on March 1, citing the obstructive behaviour of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican body which oversees the theology of the church and has been increasingly involved in child protection measures.

She said that the congregation 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 Pope Francis and promised significant resources in 2015. The tribunal has since been scrapped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission urged to investigate Bathurst's 'dark history'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Gavin Coote

There are mounting calls for a public hearing into child sex abuse in the central west New South Wales city of Bathurst.

The St Stanislaus boarding school has been at the centre of shocking allegations, which have led to protracted criminal court cases.

Last month, Father Brian Spillane, who has been serving 11 years for sexually assaulting students, was sentenced to a further nine years in jail for yet more sexual assaults at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

After years of investigations and court cases involving Spillane, some of the survivors and their families came together at forum in the city last night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Debate over Francis is fine, but we don’t need a revolution

UNITED STATES
Crux

Fr. Dwight Longenecker
March 15, 2017
CRUX CONTRIBUTOR

Vigorous debate over various aspects of Francis's papacy is entirely appropriate, since the Church is a big Italian family and arguing is what they do. However, what we don't need is a revolution along the lines of the Protestant Reformation, which ended with everyone being their own pope.

At a church gathering the other day, I quizzed a conservative friend about one of Pope Francis’s latest media bombshells. My friend is a good and cheerful Catholic, but he thought for a moment, then smiled and said, “Every day I pray for the pope…then I ignore him.”

His response reflects a growing discontent with Pope Francis in conservative circles. Anti-Trump protesters wave signs reading, “Not My President.” Perhaps conservative Catholics will soon march on the Vatican waving signs reading, “Not My Pope.”

The reality is not too far from the fantasy: last month Rome itself was plastered with posters picturing a disgruntled Pope Francis. Written in local Roman dialect, the signs charged that the pope had “removed priests; decapitated the Knights of Malta” and “ignored Cardinals.”

The critics are not only wild-eyed right wing conspiracy theorists. Respected journalist Phil Lawler regards Francis’s papacy as “disastrous.” Rod Dreher has joined the chorus of those who not only question Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia’s involvement with a homoerotic mural in a church, but also his appointment by Pope Francis as president of the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Tim Minchin’s controversial charity single Come Home (Cardinal Pell) up for APRA Song of the Year

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Kathy McCabe
News Corp Australia Network

COMEDIAN and composer Tim Minchin is up for Song of the Year with his controversial, fundraising, viral hit Come Home (Cardinal Pell) at the annual APRA Music awards for songwriters.

Minchin’s song was written to raise funds to send survivors to Rome to witness Cardinal Pell’s evidence before the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse.

It has been nominated alongside master craftsman Nick Cave’s haunting Skeleton Key and the works of breakthrough young artists including Hottest 100 hero Amy Shark (Adore), DD Dumbo (Satan) and Julia Jacklin (Pool Party).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Tim Minchin’s controversial Cardinal George Pell song nominated for APRA award

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Simon Collins, Music Editor
Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Tim Minchin’s controversial call for Cardinal George Pell to face the music has been nominated for Australia’s highest peer-voted songwriting award.

Written in response to Australia’s highest-ranking cleric’s claims he was too ill to give evidence in person at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Come Home (Cardinal Pell) is one of five songs in line for the 2017 APRA Song of the Year.

The song, which raised money to send survivors of abuse to Rome to front the Vatican-based Pell, is nominated alongside compositions from Nick Cave, Amy Shark, Julia Jacklin and D.D Dumbo.

After becoming “infuriated” by Pell’s statements, Minchin wrote and recorded Come Home (Cardinal Pell) in two days before it first aired on television’s The Project in February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Tim Minchin's scathing single about Catholic cardinal George Pell among nominees for APRA song of the year

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By Hannah Paine For Daily Mail Australia

Tim Minchin's charity single criticising Catholic cardinal George Pell has been nominated for APRA song of the year.

The song, which labeled the cardinal 'scum' and a 'pompous buffoon', was released by Tim last March after the religious leader failed to leave the Vatican to testify in personal at the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse.

The singer-songwriter told The Daily Telegraph he was proud of the single's recognition because 'It managed to be funny about something that’s incredibly painful'.

Come Home (Cardinal Pell) raised money for survivors of child sex abuse to travel to Rome, where George testified via video link in March last year after claiming he was too ill to fly and give testimony in person.

The controversial single was criticised by supporters of George, however, won widespread praise for bring awareness and funds to child sex abuse victims of the Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Consultation on future of former Tuam Home site

IRELAND
Galway Independent

Galway County Council has said it will facilitate consultation with the local community regarding the future of the former Tuam Home site.

Since the Mother and Baby Home Commission confirmed the presence of remains at the site, council staff, including its Social Work Team, have made a number of home visits to households in the vicinity.

A council spokesperson said it recognises that there are varying views about the future of the site. A number of former residents have requested that the remains be removed and reinterred on consecrated ground.

“The timeline for the consultation process will, of necessity, be influenced by the continuing work of the Commission, the statutory role of the Coroner and the potential for involvement by other authorities,” said the council, adding it will continue to approach the issue with “sensitivity and compassion”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Former Spencer pastor’s case may be nearing conclusion

IOWA
Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

By RUSS MITCHELL Special to the Pilot-Tribune

Former Spencer pastor Kevin Grimes appears to be taking steps toward a plea agreement stemming from a 2016 sexual misconduct investigation.

District Court Judge Nancy Whittenburg on Tuesday set a 10 a.m. plea hearing Monday, May 15, at the Clay County Courthouse for Grimes. The judge also ordered the Department of Corrections to prepare a pre-plea investigation report for the possible sentencing process.

Clay County Attorney Kristi Kuester emphasized that “no finalized agreement” for a plea had been reached as of Wednesday.

“I think we’re getting down to the final details of it,” Kuester said. “It still could go to trial at this point, you just never know — but it seems like, within the next couple of months, we’ll probably be looking at getting the plea finalized.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Former Cottage Grove Pastor Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Porn Charges

MINNESOTA
KAAL

March 14, 2017

A former Cottage Grove pastor pleaded guilty in federal court to distribution of child pornography Thursday.

Forty-seven-year-old William Leonard Helker of Pine City was arrested in October at his home. The arrest came after Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a search warrant at his home and All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove.

The agency was tipped off by Facebook and Instagram that a user was suspected of possessing child porn.

Investigators said they found Helker communicated with a man in Finland, planning to trade images of preteen and teenage girls, according to the criminal complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

CISOCA head says pastor’s 20-year sentence a lesson

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — Head of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Superintendent Enid Ross Stewart, says she is pleased with the recent sentencing of a minister of religion to 20 years in prison for having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

“You would have heard that at least one of our pastors got 20 years, and I am extremely proud of that. Because... I remember when that report came to CISOCA, I remember,” Superintendent Ross Stewart said while addressing a Kiwanis Club of Westmoreland Capital Early Childhood Institution Quiz Competition opening ceremony on Monday at the Hotel Commingle in Savanna-la-Mar.

Fifteen early childhood institutions are participating in this year’s competition which will see the winner walking away with $35,000, plus other prizes.

The minister of religion, Paul Hanniford, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for having sexual intercourse with a minor when he made an appearance in the Home Circuit Court last Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Jesuit Pope Francis is Coming Out; Backsliding on Pedophile Crackdown, Catholic Official Says

Christian Truther

By Nate Brown - 03/14/2017

Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, has rescinded his policies regarding the crack down on pedophilia, Catholic officials claim. In fact, the last abuse survivor of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors recently left the commission, citing resistance coming from Vatican offices against implementing recommendations.

It is not clear exactly where the opposition is coming from within the Catholic Church, claimed the last abuse survivor Marie Collins, on the Pontifical Commission. However, she resigned as a direct result of the Catholic Church’s inability to implement recommendations that could curb sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

In Australia, the cases of abuse are quite prevalent, and according to the chief executive of the church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan; “You have to seriously wonder whether this isn’t the Pope backsliding on what has been a strong and determined crackdown on offending priests and the circumstances that allowed abuse to take place,”

According to Sullivan, it is a very dangerous time, he cites both the resignation of Marie Collins, and the resistance from the Church to curb pedophilia. “Together these two developments paint a picture of the Vatican establishment, its bureaucrats, and courtiers, doing all they can to either undermine the Pope or driving an agenda that is about maintaining the status quo and protecting the institution.” ...

The Jesuit is coming out.

Before Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, he was potentially involved in at least five abuse cases. The following comes from Bishop-Accountability:

1 Fr. Julio César Grassi
Grassi was convicted in 2009 of molesting a boy who had lived in a home for street children that Grassi founded. After Grassi’s conviction, Bergoglio commissioned a secret study to persuade Supreme Court judges of Grassi’s innocence. Bergoglio’s intervention is believed to be at least part of the reason that Grassi remained free for more than four years following his conviction. He finally was sent to jail in September 2013. See our detailed summary of the Grassi case with links to articles.

2 Fr. Rubén Pardo
In 2003, a priest with AIDS who had admitted to his bishop that he had sexually assaulted a boy was discovered to be hiding from law enforcement in a vicarage in the archdiocese of Buenos Aires, then headed by Bergoglio. Pardo also was reportedly hearing children’s confessions and teaching in a nearby school. One of Bergoglio’s auxiliary bishops, with whom he met every two weeks, appears to have lived at the vicarage at the same time. Typically, an ordinary must give permission for a priest to live and work in his diocese. It is unlikely that Pardo lived and ministered in Buenos Aires without Bergoglio’s approval. See our detailed summary of the Pardo case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Judge: Not enough evidence in Abigail Simon suit

MICHIGAN
WOOD

[with video]

Barton Deiters
Published: March 14, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids and schools by the teen victim of sexual abuse by a tutor has been dismissed.

That includes the case against the tutor, 34-year-old Abigail Simon, who remains in the state women’s prison.

The spectacular 11-day trial in November 2014 was the subject of national attention — due in no small part to Simon’s defense that she was the victim of rape by a 15-year-old Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School student, not the other way around. But evidence including recorded phone messages and thousands of text messages convinced a jury that Simon was the sexual aggressor. She was convicted of four felony charges and sentenced to prison for eight to 25 years.

About a year after the conviction, the victim filed a lawsuit against the school, its leaders and the diocese, which oversees the schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Disgraced Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns's name removed from schools out of respect to victims

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Bridget Judd

A push to remove the name of disgraced former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns from schools across western Victoria is gaining momentum.

St Joseph's Primary School at Warrnambool is the latest to replace a plaque bearing the former bishop's name.

The former bishop oversaw the Ballarat diocese during a notorious period of sexual abuse by clergy, and was accused of moving paedophile priests, including prolific offender Gerald Ridsdale, around western Victoria.

Mr Mulkearns died last year.

In its weekly newsletter, St Josephs Primary School announced the move after referring the issue to its school advisory council last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Catholics refuse to donate without apology

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

RASHIDA YOSUFZAI
Australian Associated Press
March 13, 2017

Hundreds of Catholics are refusing to donate to the church until it apologises to the elderly mother of an alleged sexual abuse victim.

Eileen Piper, 92, is demanding an apology and compensation over her daughter's alleged sexual abuse at the hands of Pallottine priest Gerard Mulvale.

Her 32-year-old daughter Stephanie killed herself in 1994, a year after she told her mother of about being sexually abused as a teenager.

Police charged Mulvale after Stephanie made a complaint, but she died before it came to trial. Mulvale was later convicted of sex crimes against two teenage boys.

Ms Piper last month met in private with Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart on the sidelines of a royal commission into child abuse hearing in Sydney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Phony faith healers arrested for gang rape in northern Italy

ITALY
The Local

Three men have been arrested in Turin for raping an underage girl under the pretext of carrying out sacred rites, local police said on Tuesday.

Sixty-nine-year-old Paolo Meraglia, who claimed to be a sorcerer, abused the girl for months.

The victim's boyfriend at the time, a 19-year-old; his mother; and a 73-year-old friend of Meraglia also took part in the abuse, police said in a statement.

Officers on Monday arrested the three men for gang rape, aggravated by the use of sedatives and the fact their victim was a minor. Police did not say whether the mother of the girl's ex-boyfriend would face charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Warrnambool's St Joseph's Primary School council decides to delete Bishop Mulkearns' name from plaque

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

ANDREW THOMSON
15 Mar 2017

THE name of the former bishop of Ballarat will be removed from a plaque at Warrnambool's largest catholic primary school out of respect for victims of clerical sexual abuse.

In its weekly newsletter, St Josephs Primary School announced the move after a victim of abuse requested action in relation to plaques on churches and schools two months ago.

The victim became emotional on Tuesday when told of the move.

"I know to many people this will seem a very small thing but the school's decision recognises the wrongs of the past," the tearful victim said.

"We are not trying to rewrite history, just to acknowledge what has happened.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Sex abuse by priest years ago led suicide victim to death? Lawsuit!

CALIFORNIA
MyNewsLA

POSTED BY TONI MCALLISTER ON MARCH 14, 2017

A widow sued the archdioceses of Los Angeles and Orange Tuesday on behalf of herself and her four children, alleging her husband committed suicide at age 50 because he was depressed about being sexually molested by a priest years earlier in Placentia.

Robin Ward Agrusa filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging wrongful death and negligence and naming St. Joseph Catholic Church and St. Joseph Catholic School as additional defendants.

Representative of the two archdioceses could not be immediately reached.

The suit states that Mark Paul Agrusa was born into a family of devout Catholics and attended St. Joseph’s Church and its school from 1974-78. During that time, he met the Rev. Eleuterio Ramos, who “set his sights on Mark’s youthful vulnerability,” the suit alleges.

Agrusa became an altar boy and served sacraments during Mass with Ramos, who began sexually molesting him and warned him not to tell anyone, the suit alleges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

New horizons in sight following Royal Commission hearings on the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

March 15, 2017

Posted by: Mark Bowling

IN the wake of the Catholic Church’s final hearing before the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, Church leaders from across Australia have held a day of “reflection and conversation” on child safety.

The three-week Royal Commission hearing investigated the Church’s response to a crisis of child sexual abuse by members over six decades, and particularly the Church’s plans for child protection protocols and institutional change.

The commission heard that over the past 35 years, 4445 people made complaints of child sexual abuse in Catholic Church institutions, and seven per cent of priests were identified as alleged perpetrators.

National Professional Standards Office executive officer Fr Tim Brennan said New Horizon Day, convened in Sydney on March 9, aimed to assist “in the work of safeguarding children” and “to grow in an understanding of the complexities in which we work at this point in the life of our nation, and our Church”.

“It is a moment of enormous transition,” Fr Brennan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Another victim names defrocked priest in sex abuse lawsuit

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Timothy Mchenry

Timothy Shiroma was just 9 years old when he says the former priest sexually assaulted him.

Guam - Another sex abuse lawsuit was filed against the Archdiocese of Agana, naming for a second time former priest Raymond Cepeda as the perpetrator.

The lawsuit was filed by Attorney David Lujan on behalf of Timothy Ryan Shiroma, 37, who says Cepeda sexually assaulted him when he was 9 years old. According to the complaint, it happened at the Agana Cathedral when Shiroma was inside the office to borrow the telephone. Shiroma says he struggled and attempted to fight off Cepeda but was unsuccessful.

Shiroma is the second alleged victim to accuse Cepeda of sexual abuse in the form of a lawsuit, the first was Edward Roberto Chan. Cepeda has since been laicized from the church as a result of the other sex abuse allegations filed against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

Lawsuit alleges sex abuse at Cathedral in late 80s

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon |For The Guam Daily Post Mar 15, 2017

Lawsuit alleges sex abuse at Cathedral in late 80s

A former Catholic school student is the latest victim to come forward and file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana alleging sexual abuse at the Agana Cathedral. All of the 28 lawsuits filed thus far alleged incidents of abuse at parishes around the island in the 1960s and 1970s.

The new case filed by Timothy Ryan Shiroma, 37, alleges sexual abuse that occurred in the late 80s.

According to court documents, in 1988 Shiroma was attending Cathedral Grade School, next to the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica. After school, Shiroma would pass the time playing football with other kids near the cathedral until his grandfather picked him up, or he walked over to his office nearby.

On one occasion, Shiroma stopped by a nearby hot dog stand before heading to his grandfather’s office. When he noticed that his grandfather’s car wasn’t in the office parking lot, Shiroma returned to the cathedral, looking for him there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

What does it actually mean for a priest to be 'laicized'?

ROME
Catholic News Agency

By Elise Harris

Rome, Italy, Mar 15, 2017 / 02:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- When reports came out recently about Pope Francis’ decision to modify the penalties for several priests found guilty of abusing minors, the question arose as to whether the Pope was being too merciful in his decision.

Another concern was whether priests found guilty of abuse of minors would continue to be dismissed from the clerical state, or “laicized.”

To address these issues and clear up some of the grey area on this topic, CNA spoke with a canonist, Fr. Damián Astigueta, SJ.

A professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University with a specialty in criminal proceedings, Fr. Astigueta offered insights on what dismissal from the clerical state is, why the Church doesn’t always choose to dismiss from the clerical state priests who are guilty of abuse, what those condemned to a life of prayer and penance actually do, the role of bishops in abuse cases, the lessening of sentences, and more.

What is dismissal from the clerical state?

While frequently used in the media, the term “laicization” doesn't really exist anymore among canonists, Fr. Astigueta said, and has been widely replaced by the term “loss of the clerical state.”

When a priest loses his clerical state, either because he requested it or because it was taken from him, he is “‘dismissed from the clerical state,’ because this is a juridical status,” Fr. Astigueta explained.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

March 14, 2017

Research finds lack of coordination in child sexual abuse prevention

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

15 March, 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a new research report that finds there are limited programs and services to help prevent child sexual abuse and those that do exist are not well coordinated.

The Royal Commission contracted researchers from the Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University, to examine the potential service needs of a range of target groups, with a focus on individuals concerned that they or someone they know may sexually harm or abuse a child.

The research report, Help-seeking needs and gaps for preventing child sexual abuse, finds there is no coordination of prevention programs for these target groups. It also suggests that the development of programs are often unregulated and their outcomes under-evaluated.

It also finds there is a lack of confidence in the community about how to recognise and respond to concerns about child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said according to the research, there is a lack of access to information, education and programs that focus on preventing child sexual abuse.

“The report also suggests that there is a gap in support for individuals who have problematic sexual thoughts about children but have not offended.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Peter Laird Laicized

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

03/12/2017

The following was sent to priests of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis from Archbishop Hebda:

From Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda

In January of 2014, before I arrived in the Archdiocese, Rev. Peter Laird petitioned Pope Francis for a dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state, commonly referred to as a “request for laicization.” I have recently been informed that the Holy Father has granted Peter’s request, dispensing him from all the obligations of the clerical state, including that of clerical celibacy. That means that Peter, who had withdrawn from public priestly ministry in 2013, will live as a lay person and will not be able to return to ordinary public ministry without permission of the Holy Father. I am frequently reminded that Peter served this Archdiocese generously from the date of his ordination, May 31, 1997, until his withdrawal from ministry, including as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. While his priestly ministry will be missed by many, I am hopeful that Pope Francis’ decision will allow Peter to serve out his baptismal calling in new ways.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Former Twin Cities vicar general leaves the priesthood

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Mar. 14, 2017

A former vicar general of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese who resigned early in the region’s three-year-plus clergy sexual abuse scandal, has now left the priesthood altogether.

Peter Laird in January was granted by Pope Francis a “request for laicization,” or dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state, according to a March 10 statement from Twin Cities Archbishop Bernard Hebda. Laird had made the request in January 2014. This May would have marked his 20th anniversary of his ordination.

“While his priestly ministry will be missed by many, I am hopeful that Pope Francis’ decision will allow Peter to serve out his baptismal calling in new ways,” Hebda said.

Laird had not been in public priestly ministry since his withdrawal from it in late 2013. That October, Laird stepped down as vicar general and moderator of the curia in the wake of news reports that the archdiocese had mishandled allegations child sexual abuse by diocesan priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Kerala HC Orders Accused To Surrender In Catholic Priest Rape Case

INDIA
NDTV

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed a Catholic priest, two nuns and another woman, to surrender within five days to the police in connection with the rape of a 17-year-old school girl, allegedly by a Catholic parish vicar.

All the four accused are on the run after the police investigating team found that they were involved in helping prime accused Robin Vadakkanchery, a 49-year-old Catholic parish vicar near Kannur, who has been arrested for allegedly raping a 17-year-old school girl, who gave birth to a baby boy last month.

The court gave this direction to the four after hearing their anticipatory bail and also directed the police to ensure that they are given bail the same day by the trial court after the police questions them.

Mr Vadakkanchery was picked up last month when he was on his way to Cochin International Airport to catch a flight to Canada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

MARIE COLLINS DISMISSES CARDINAL MULLER'S CLAIM HE DIDN'T RESIST WORK OF CHILD PROTECTION COMMISSION

ROME
The Tablet

14 March 2017 | by Christopher Lamb

Prefect of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith claimed Collins claim was a 'cliche' he 'couldn't understand'

Marie Collins dismisses Cardinal Muller's claim he didn't resist work of child protection commission

A clerical sexual abuse survivor has launched a stinging rebuke to a cardinal who denied his department resisted the work of a papal child protection commission.

Marie Collins resigned from Pope Francis’ safeguarding body in frustration at what she described as resistance from inside the Vatican to their work, with the main opposition coming from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

In response Cardinal Gerhard Muller, the prefect of the congregation, hit back in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera saying it was a “cliche” to talk of resistance in the Roman Curia, that he “couldn’t understand” the claim about his department not co-operating and that he had never met Collins.

But in a letter published this week by the National Catholic Reporter, Collins points out that she met Muller at a small dinner in Dublin where the commission was discussed. She also states in her letter that it took more than a year before the CDF started to engage with the commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Kerala High Court gives priest, nuns accused in Kotiyoor rape case deadline to surrend

INDIA
The New Indian Express

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed four accused in a case related to the rape of a minor girl by a parish priest in Kannur to surrender before the Investigating officer within five days.

The court issued the order while disposing off the bail pleas filed by Fr Thomas Therakam, former Child welfare Council (CWC) Chairman of Wayanad District, Sister Betty Jose, former member of CWC Sister Ophilla, Superintendent- Holy Infant Mary's Girls Home Adoption Center, Vythir, Wayanad and a midwife- Thankamma.

It is alleged that Fr. Robin Vadakkanchery, former vicar of the Neendunokki parish near Kottiyur under Mananthavadi Diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church had raped a Class XI student, a resident of Neendunooki in Kottiyoor. The victim delivered a baby on February 26, and the child was later sent to Holy Infant Mary's Girls Home Adoption Center, Vythiri, Wayanad.

The investigating officers, who visited the hospital-where the child was delivered- and the orphanage found huge discrepancies. The police have registered cases under Protection of Child Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Juvenile Justice Act against six women including five nuns and a doctor.

Court finds probable cause in case against former St. Pius priest

WISCONSIN
Wauwatosa Now

Chris Barlow , christopher.barlow@jrn.com March 14, 2017

The case against Robert Marsicek will continue after a Milwaukee County judge ruled that there is probable cause to move the proceedings forward.

The former St. Pius Church and School priest known as "Father Bob" is accused of three counts of felony first-degree sexual assault of a child. He appeared before a judge as part of a preliminary hearing at the Milwaukee County Courthouse March 6.

The church and school are located at 2520 Wauwatosa Ave.

Marsicek is now scheduled for an arraignment March 23. At this stage the defense has several options to consider, including settling on a plea agreement with the DA's office, asking for another status like an adjournment, requesting a substitute judge, or asking for more time to discuss the case with Marsicek.

At the preliminary hearing, Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Shomin appeared for the state. LeBell and the defense team made a motion to dismiss, which was denied by the court when they found probable cause to continue. Shomin said the motion to dismiss is often done at this stage of any case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Nun claims priest facilitated her adoption from Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork

UNITED STATES/IRELAND
Irish Mirror

BY OLIVIA KELLEHER
14 MAR 2017

A nun based in the States has indicated that she was sold to a family in America after a deal was arranged at the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork.

Sr Brigid O’Mahony says she was bought by a Texan family in 1954 after an Irish priest facilitated her adoption from Ireland.

Sr O’Mahony, who is based in New York with the Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus, told the Irish Post as soon as she could think, her parents told her she was from a work home in Ireland.

“They explained to me that babies were sold to American parents and that I was lucky enough to be sold to them as many of the children in those homes never got out.

"I was adopted first, I came over just before I was two-years-old, and then they went back to Bessborough and got my brother Gerard who was five at the time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Abuse survivor asks Vatican cardinal for ‘honesty and clarity’

ROME
Crux

Abuse survivor Marie Collins, who quit a papal anti-abuse commission citing resistance to reform from the Roman Curia, has written an open letter to the Vatican's doctrine czar saying "No longer can dysfunction be kept hidden behind institutional closed doors."

In an open letter to the Vatican’s top doctrinal official, clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins, who recently resigned from the pope’s anti-abuse commission citing frustrations over resistance to reform within the Roman Curia, warns against a “denial and obfuscation” and insists that key reform moves recommended by the commission have been disregarded.

The open letter from Collins to German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was published Tuesday by the National Catholic Reporter.

After Collins announced her resignation from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on March 1, Müller spoke to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera about her claims that his congregation was part of the Curial resistance to the commission’s work. Collins’ letter was styled as a response to comments Müller made in that interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Kinderschutz: Collins wünscht Klärungen von Müller

ROME
Katholisch

[Child protection: Collins wants clarifications from Müller.]

Von Widerständen in der Kurie gegen die Missbrauchsaufklärung könne nicht die Rede sein, sagte Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller. Das irische Opfer Marie Collins hat einige Fragen zu dieser Aussage.

Missbrauch | Rom - 14.03.2017

Das irische Missbrauchsopfer Marie Collins hat Kurienkardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller zur Klärung einiger Fragen zum Kinderschutz im Vatikan aufgefordert. In einem Offenen Brief, den der "National Catholic Reporter" (Dienstag) veröffentlichte, macht das frühere Mitglied der päpstlichen Kinderschutzkommission den deutschen Kardinal auf mögliche Unstimmigkeiten in seinen Aussagen aufmerksam. Sie halte es für nötig, auf diese Weise zu einem Interview Müllers in der italienischen Zeitung "Corriere della Sera" (5. März) Stellung zu nehmen. Müller ist Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation, die im Vatikan für die Ahndung sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Priester zuständig ist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Lange Zeit drohte mißbrauchenden Priestern in der katholischen Kirche nur die Versetzung

DEUTSCHLAND
Badische Zeitung

[Why is the Catholic Church so hard in dealing with sexual abuse in its ranks? The difficulties at the beginning of March were finally apparent: The Irishwoman Marie Collins left the papal child protection commission in protest. This is explosive because she was thirteen-year-old abused by a cleric and was the last victim in the commission.]

In Freiburg haben Theologen und Psychologen den Umgang der katholischen Kirche mit sexuellem Missbrauch diskutiert.

Warum tut sich die katholische Kirche so schwer im Umgang mit sexuellem Missbrauch in ihren Reihen? Zuletzt offenkundig wurden die Schwierigkeiten Anfang März: Die Irin Marie Collins verließ aus Protest die päpstliche Kinderschutzkommission. Das ist brisant, weil sie selbst als Dreizehnjährige von einem Kleriker missbraucht worden war und als letzte Opfervertreterin in der Kommission saß.

Das Fass zum Überlaufen gebracht habe wohl der Entschluss der Glaubenskongregation, Briefe von Missbrauchsopfern nicht zu beantworten, vermutet Hans Zollner von der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana in Rom. Er war einer der drei Teilnehmer einer Podiumsdiskussion an der Universität Freiburg, die sich mit sexueller Gewalt gegen Minderjährige in der katholischen Kirche beschäftigte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

OPEN LETTER TO CARDINAL GERHARD LUDWIG MULLER – PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

VATICAN CITY
Marie Collins

Published 14th March 2017 - National Catholic Reporter

Dear Cardinal Muller,

I read with interest the answers you gave to Corriere della Sera March 5 in reply to items in my statement following my resignation from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. There are some things you say in this interview to which I feel I need to respond.

You state you "cannot understand the talk of lack of cooperation" between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the pontifical commission.

Maybe I can help with an example. In 2015, invitations went to your Congregation from some of the commission's working groups asking that a representative attend their upcoming meetings in Rome to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The invitations were declined and then the members were informed by the Commission Secretary, Msgr. Robert Oliver, that face-to-face meetings would not be possible and any communication with dicasteries must be done in writing.

Things changed eventually, but this took over a year. It was September 2016 before a representative of the CDF was made available and attended Commission working group meetings. The discussions which ensued were very helpful, hopefully for your Congregation as well as the Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

EX-MEMBER CORRECTS, CHALLENGES VATICAN OVER SEX ABUSE BOARD

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The clash between a former member of Pope Francis' sex abuse advisory commission and the Vatican heated up Tuesday, as prominent Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins challenged a top Vatican cardinal over his claims that his office had cooperated with the commission.

In an open letter, Collins pressed her case that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had ignored or scuttled commission proposals to protect children and care for abuse victims that had been approved by the pope.

Collins pointedly corrected Cardinal Gerhard Mueller's assertion that one of the congregation's staffers was a member of the board, when in fact he had stopped participating in 2015. And she noted that the commission's 2015 invitation to have another congregation official attend its meetings was flat-out rejected, though someone eventually attended a session last year.

Collins resigned from the commission March 1 citing the "unacceptable" lack of cooperation from Mueller's office, which processes canonical cases against pedophile priests. Her departure left the commission without any abuse survivors and dealt another blow to Francis' record on combatting sex abuse.

In the days after Collins' departure, Mueller responded to her criticisms by telling Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper that it was time to do away with what he called the "cliche" that the Vatican bureaucracy was resisting Francis' initiatives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Mothers & Babies to be remembered in Mothers Day walk in Thomastown

IRELAND
KCLR

A walk to remember the mothers and babies who are buried beside St Columba’s Hospital in Thomastown has been organised for this Mothers’ Day.

St Columba’s was formerly a county home and mother and baby facility and has been included in the representative sample being investigated by the Commission into Mother and Baby Homes.

Many of those who died there – especially babies and infants – were buried in what’s known as the Shankyard.

Gillian Grattan is one of the organisers of the walk that’ll take place on Sunday the 26th of March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Priest gets applause after Tuam sermon

IRELAND
The Southern Star

Monday, 13th March, 2017

Story by Jackie Keogh

A WEST Cork priest was applauded for a sermon he gave on Sunday, castigating the church for its failure to safeguard the innocent, follwing the Tuam babies revelations.

Fr Ger Galvin’s sermon at the Sacred Heart Church in Durrus resonated with parishioners who were horrified by the revelations that an estimated 796 bodies were discarded in a sewerage system in Tuam.

Fr Galvin told The Southern Star: ‘It began with Pope Francis asking for a day of prayer on Friday, March 3rd, for victims of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. I decided to move it to Sunday so that the whole community would have an opportunity to remember and pray for victims, their families, and the families of the perpetrators.’

However, on Friday, the initial findings of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Commission were made known and Fr Galvin said he was ‘sickened’ by what he heard. And his sermon on Sunday reflected that. When he was ordained in 1979, Fr Galvin said: ‘I assumed that I was becoming a priest in an institution that would be guided always by the words and the life of Jesus, but I have since discovered that that was a rose-tinted illusion.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Fintan O’Toole: Ireland is still defined by the church’s mindset

IRELAND
Irish Times

Fintan O'Toole

In that most searing exploration of the Irish psyche, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, James Tyrone urges his ghostlike wife: “Mary! For God’s sake, forget the past!”

Mary Tyrone, “with strange objective calm”, replies: “Why? How can I? The past is the present, isn’t it? It’s the future, too.”

In Ireland, we don’t live in the past – but the past lives in us.

The abusive relationship between church, State and society may, like the dead babies that have haunted us in recent weeks, be buried beneath the surface of our postmodern globalised reality.
But its consequences still lurk in our bloodstream and until we understand them, the past will be our present and our future too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

What the Tuam babies nightmare is telling us about the Irish people

IRELAND
IrishCentral

Cahir O'Doherty @randomirish March 14, 2017

You might not expect to hear it from this columnist, but I don’t solely blame the religious orders for what happened at the Tuam mother and baby home in Co. Galway.

Some commentators have called the Tuam baby story a tragedy. It was not.

A ship that sinks after hitting a looming iceberg is a tragedy. An institution that buries infants in an underground “sewage treatment works” is following a policy.

Did you know that when spirited young women fled these ghastly institutions – the mother and baby homes, the Magdalene laundries – they were usually picked up by the Irish police force and returned to them like escaped convicts?

It's because we so easily conceptualized unwed mothers as criminals then. We thought them people of low character that society should be shielded from.

That’s how they stopped being our daughters and sisters and cousins and started being a dangerous moral contagion. Irish parents often dropped them off at the gates themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Religious orders rebuffed funding request for Magdalene women redress

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Government, seeking redress for the Magdalene women, found a religious community unwilling to contribute, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.

The McAleese report into Magdalene laundries was published in early 2013. A State apology by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the women who worked for no pay in these institutions quickly followed.

Within days of the publication of the report, behind the scenes, the government was writing to the four religious orders that ran the laundries requesting that they contribute money to a redress fund.

What it found was a religious community absolutely unwilling to make any form of financial contribution to the women who went through its laundry doors and who worked for no pay.

In the same month as the apology, the private secretary to the then justice minister Alan Shatter wrote to the orders — the Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge, the Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Sisters of Charity — asking them to make “an appropriate contribution” to the redress scheme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Religious orders rebuffed appeal for clerical abuse redress payout

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

A religious order that ran two Magdalene Laundries told the Government that its decision not to contribute any money to the redress scheme for survivors was based on the findings of the McAleese Report.

It comes as Taoiseach Enda Kenny urged the Catholic Church to “measure up” and “get on with it” in relation to compensation it owes to abuse survivors.

A report from the Comptroller and Auditor General showed 18 religious orders have contributed to just 13% of the €1.5bn fund for victims of institutional abuse.

To date, the four orders that ran Magdalene Laundries — the Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge, the Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Sisters of Charity — have refused to contribute any money to the redress scheme set up in 2013 to compensate women.

The McAleese committee had no remit to investigate allegations of torture or other criminal offences that occurred in the laundries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Research compares the recruitment and support of carers in out-of-home care across Australia

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

14 March, 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a new research report examining carer recruitment, training and support policies and processes in place across Australia that aim to enhance the safety of children in out-of-home care and prevent sexual abuse.

The report, A national comparison of carer screening, assessment, selection and training and support in foster care, kinship and residential care, was commissioned by the Royal Commission and prepared by Inca Consulting.

Children in out-of-home care, which includes foster care, kinship care and residential care settings, are particularly vulnerable to child sexual abuse due to a range of factors. These include previous sexual harm and other victimisation, social or economic deprivation, family trauma and dislocation from family.

The research found that significant attention is paid to the issue of child sexual abuse in out-of-home care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Concerns raised over child abuse rules within Jehovah's Witness church

UNITED KINGDOM
The Northern Echo

Julia Breen, Deputy Chief Reporter (Tees Valley) / @juliabreenEcho

A NORTH-East man who was honoured earlier this year for his fight against sex abuse risks within the church has spoken of his “grave concerns” about evidence given to an official inquiry.

Steve Rose, from Hartlepool, who was once a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses but has now been “shunned” after he raised concerns, said elders had refused to reform the “two witness rule” which they required to throw a member out of the church.

The Royal Commission in Australia is looking into institutional child abuse and requested the governing body of Jehovah’s witnesses to give evidence – but they declined.

Mr Rose said: “The elders wouldn’t budge on the two-witness rule, a 2,000 year rule in the Bible where you need two witnesses to a wrongdoing.

“They also won’t accept women to make a decision at a hearing on child abuse. This can be intimidating for the child or even another woman who has to go in front of three elders in a private room.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

After Four Years, Pope Francis Has Failed to Address Sexual Abuse in Church

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Celia Wexler, Contributor
Journalist, feminist and nonfiction author, celiawexler.com

03/13/2017

Today marks the fourth anniversary of Pope Francis’s election as pope. It is clear that the Pope has changed the tone of the church, stressing social justice over adherence to strict sexual conduct norms. He’s also spoken out against clerics who are full of themselves, and made protecting our environment the theme of an encyclical – he’s only written two.

I am willing to give the Pope a bit of a pass on his blind spot about women, and his refusal to understand the injustice of not ordaining women to the priesthood. I do not excuse it, but I realize that an 80-year-old prelate from Argentina may find it difficult to really “get” women’s issues.

It certainly riles me when he says that he’s for feminism, as long as it does not “negate motherhood” and “demand uniformity,” whatever that means. I don’t like the fact that the Vatican has not given up on complementarity – the notion that gender determines our character and our mission in life, with women the designated nurturers and dolers-out of empathy and kindness.

But some of the Pope’s actions truly are unforgivable. The Pope has demonstrated some serious weaknesses, particularly when it comes to policing priest pedophiles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Bill could unmask child abusers for parents, schools

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Deborah Yetter , @d_yetter March 13, 2017

Lori Brent knew something was seriously wrong with her infant son from his piercing wail.

"His cry was totally different," she said. "It was a cry I'd never heard before."

But Brent was stunned when emergency room doctors told her that the 4-month-old had a broken arm, a broken leg and a fracture from a previous injury. In what she called "a mother's worst nightmare," she learned a babysitter was suspected of inflicting the injuries.

Now, eight years later, the Henry County mother is speaking out for Senate Bill 236, a far-reaching measure to give parents, school systems and others who run youth programs access to confidential information about whether someone has committed child abuse or neglect, as found by state social service officials.

Besides allowing parents access to such information — which doesn't show up on a background check — the bill would require public schools, for the first time, to check when people seek employment and deny a job to anyone listed on the confidential registry as having committed child abuse or neglect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Fall from grace of the human face of Church hierarchy

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Michael Clifford

Each new revelation in the succession of scandals to envelope the Catholic Church cast the transgressions of Bishop Casey in an ever more benighn light, writes Michael Clifford

THE rain was bucketing down for much of the morning, but nobody really minded, least of all the man who was up there on the stage in front of a crowd heading for 300,000.

The occasion was Pope John Paul’s appearance at Ballybrit Racecourse in Galway, as part of his Irish visit. It was September 29, 1979, and Eamonn Casey was in his element.

He had been selected as the man to be the warm-up act for Pope John Paul II.

The pope was at the height of his popularity, but so too was the Kerryman who could credibly claim to be a link between the hierarchy and a young flock that was straying in droves from the fold.

Casey was the human face of the Irish hierarchy of the day, somebody who took his pastoral duty seriously, but came across as personable and down-to-earth, capable of enjoying life beyond his calling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Deep resentment towards Murphy reflected in frosty reception on the 'Late Late'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald
March 14 2017

A 2006 article in the 'Chicago Tribune', titled 'How Catholicism Fell From Grace in Ireland', points to the Bishop Eamonn Casey scandal as the beginning of the end for the Catholic Church in Ireland.

The revelation in May 1992 that one of the hierarchy's most high-profile prelates had fathered a son following an affair with an American woman when he was Bishop of Kerry in the 1970s was, up to that point, the worst scandal to hit the Irish Church. It shocked the Irish faithful and resulted in a storm of international media headlines.

When Annie Murphy went public, telling her story to newspapers and famously appearing on the 'Late Late Show' with Gay Byrne, there was deep resentment towards her among Catholics. The frosty reception she received from Mr Byrne mirrored the initial attitude of many, who refused to believe that the story was true - until Bishop Casey resigned and fled the country. She was then resented for her role in the downfall of a popular bishop.

Bishop Casey was known within clerical circles to be a disciplinarian where his young priests were concerned. So the revelation that he had been preaching one thing and doing another was the cause of his long 14-year exile - even when worse clerical crimes of child sexual abuse by others were revealed subsequently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to change two-witness rule because ‘that’s our stand’

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Rohan Smith
news.com.au
@ro_smith

CHILD sexual assault is a secret crime carried out by men and women who do everything they can to avoid detection.

Which is why one passage in the Bible is a Get Out of Jail Free card for offenders, particularly when adhered to so strictly by those within religious organisations.

Timothy 5:19: demands followers “do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses”.

It’s a message echoed in Matthew 18:16: that reads, among other things, “ ... at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established”.

The two passages became the focus this week of a royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness church in Australia, of which there are 65,000 followers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Context key for story of bishop and scandal showing Church hypocrisy

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

TP O'Mahony

The revelations of May 1992 robbed the country of a bishop with energy and vision, writes TP O’Mahony.

Ireland awoke in May 1992 to shocking news — Eamonn Casey, the popular Bishop of Galway, had fathered a child with an American woman, Annie Murphy, and had fled the country hours before the story of their affair broke.

The affair, which began when the 25-year-old New Yorker came to Ireland in 1974 to stay with Casey, who was her father’s distant cousin, was kept secret for 18 years.

Annie Murphy was seeking solace in this country after the break-up of an unhappy marriage, and her father arranged for her to stay with Casey, who was Bishop of Kerry at the time.

She recalled that when he met her at Shannon, after her flight from New York, he had a “puzzled look”.

“Maybe he thought, as a result of my father’s letter, he would be meeting someone gaunt and haggard. Instead, there was this relaxed, slim, young lady of 110 pounds in suede high heels and a flattering mauve dress, with small polka dots.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Exclusive: Marie Collins responds to Cardinal Muller's allegations about abuse commission

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Marie Collins | Mar. 14, 2017

Editor's note: Marie Collins of Ireland is a clergy sexual abuse survivor who resigned March 1 from Pope Francis' Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave an interview shortly following Collins' resignation. Collins has written an open letter to Müller in response to that interview, which she asked NCR to publish below.
Dear Cardinal Müller,

I read with interest the answers you gave to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera March 5 in reply to items in my statement following my resignation from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. There are some things you say in this interview to which I feel I need to respond.

You state you "cannot understand the talk of lack of cooperation" between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the pontifical commission.

Maybe I can help with an example. In 2015, invitations went to your Congregation from some of the commission's working groups asking that a representative attend their upcoming meetings in Rome to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The invitations were declined and then the members were informed by the Commission Secretary, Msgr. Robert Oliver, that face-to-face meetings would not be possible and any communication with dicasteries must be done in writing.

Things changed eventually, but this took over a year. It was September 2016 before a representative of the CDF was made available and attended Commission working group meetings. The discussions which ensued were very helpful, hopefully for your Congregation as well as the Commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Adkins defense: Due process not followed

GEORGIA
Golden Isles News

By WES WOLFE wwolfe@goldenisles.news

On Aug. 25, 2016, the Rev. Kenneth Adkins drove from Florida to meet with Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents at their office in Kingsland. The next day, he was under arrest for felony child molestation.

The question debated in a motions hearing Monday in Glynn County Superior Court was whether his statement in that Aug. 25 interview should be a part of the evidence in the case against Adkins, who faces 11 counts related to alleged sexual activity between him, an underage boy and an underage girl in 2010.

Adkins has been a pastor in Brunswick for nearly 10 years and runs a public relations firm in Jacksonville.

Richard Dial, GBI Special Agent-in-Charge, conducted the interview with the case manager for the investigation, fellow GBI Special Agent James Feller, and testified during the hearing as to what occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Victim Services sees increase in client numbers

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

Victim Services Inc. has experienced approximately a 200 percent increase in the number of adult male survivors of childhood sexual assault seeking help within the past year.

That time period roughly coincides with how long has passed since the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General released a grand jury report, on March 1, 2016, in which it provided details about an alleged decades-long coverup of child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown.

Mike Oliver, executive director of Victim Services, said there is “no way to gauge” if the report led directly to the increase because “that’s not a question that we ask (clients).”

But the publicity might have led to victims – both those abused by priests and other individuals not affiliated with the church – coming forward. ...

Founders of the new local Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests chapter recently reached out to Victim Services to discuss what can be done to help individuals assaulted by church authority figures. “While we don’t have anything official on paper or any type of official linkage whatsoever (with SNAP), we would be able to help those individuals the same as we would be able to provide service to any victim of sexual assault within Cambria or Somerset County,” Oliver said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Paedophilia is a fate and not a choice, German doctor says

GERMANY
Times of India

Divya Chandrababu | TNN | Updated: Mar 14, 2017

Paedophilia is a diagnosis and not a crime, says Dr Klaus Beier, who leads a programme in Germany to treat paedophilically inclined adults and juveniles.

In an interview to TOI, Beier says to protect children, a healthy society must accept that "paedophilia is a reality amongst us and we need to work towards prevention."

With India's legislation mandating reporting which overrides patient confidentiality, he says those found offending must be given stringent punishment but we must simultaneously focus on preventing this crime by investing in assessing and treating juvenile offenders and reaching out to adults before they act out on their sexual urges towards children.

Beier, director of Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine, Berlin, was touring cities in India to train professionals and the institute is planning to roll out an online programme in India for self-referred paedophilically inclined men. He was in Chennai earlier to deliver a lecture on preventing child sex abuse and use of child sex abuse images.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Sexual abuse at the Catholic Church

Press TV (Iran)

These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

Priests sexual escapades

The Roman Catholic Church, over the past few decades, has been rocked by revelations of widespread sexual abuse of children and women by priests. The latest of such reports surfaced last week in Italy where a priest was suspended from his parish over claims he used internet sites to recruit potential sex partners. Another priest is also facing defrocking as well as judicial proceedings over allegations he had dozens of sex partners. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for sex scandals that have tarnished the Catholic Church’s reputation worldwide. Last month, an Australian commission on child abuse made shocking revelations after launching a 4 year probe. It found that 7 percent of all Catholic priests in the country were alleged sex abuse perpetrators. The average age of victims was said to have been 10 for girls and 11 for boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

March 13, 2017

Obituary: Eamonn Casey

IRELAND
Irish Times

Michael O'Regan

Eamonn Casey, who has died aged 89, was a high-profile and charismatic member of the Irish Catholic hierarchy when he was embroiled in a scandal leading to his resignation as bishop of Galway 25 years ago.

The revelation, in May 1992, that he was the father of a teenage son, following an affair with American woman Annie Murphy when he was bishop of Kerry in the 1970s, shocked the church and many of its followers and led to international media coverage.

Although its decline had begun at the time, the church was a much more powerful institution than it is today. It was part of an Ireland with no divorce and no same-sex marriage, while the scandals involving clerical and institutional abuse had yet to emerge.

‘Personal reasons’

It was against this background Casey resigned for “personal reasons’’, following the revelation in The Irish Times that he had been making payments to a woman in Connecticut over a 15-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

The troubled life of Bishop Eamonn Casey

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

That May morning almost 25 years ago had a seismic effect on the Catholic Church in Ireland.

On Thursday May 7th, 1992, The Irish Times ran a front page story headed “Dr Casey resigns as Bishop of Galway”. It referred to “payments amounting to $115,000 to a woman in Connecticut and a lawyer in New York on July 25th, 1990, and other regular payments to the woman over a period of 15 years since the mid-1970s.”

Within days Annie Murphy was interviewed on RTÉ ’s Morning Ireland radio programme and told her story.

The Ireland of 1992 was a foreign country. Albert Reynolds had been taoiseach for three months and in “a temporary little arrangement” with the Progressive Democrats. Minister for health Dr John O’Connell was preparing a Bill to allow contraceptives be sold in public and there were nervous whispers of another divorce referendum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Homes survivors’ group ceases co-operation with commission

IRELAND
Irish Times

Conor Lally

A group representing women coerced during pregnancy has stopped co-operating with the Mothers and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation over concerns about how it is being run.

The Irish First Mothers group is seeking clarity from the State on whether testimony given to the commission will be sealed. It is fearful the confidential nature of the commission may mean victim accounts will never be aired publicly.

The group is concerned the evidence may be disbarred from ever contributing to criminal inquiries that may follow the recent revelations about the Tuam mother and baby home.

Irish First Mothers founder Kathy McMahon said the revelations about Tuam had changed the parameters of public debate about mother and baby homes.

Earlier this month the commission said “significant quantities” of human remains found at a home in Tuam run by the Bon Secours order were those of infants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Protests continue after 34 weeks, demand Apuron be defrocked

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Mar 12, 2017

By Krystal Paco

They’ll continue to picket until their final demand is met.

Sunday marked the 34th week of protests in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. Dozens of members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam and the Laity Forward Movement greeted church goers with signs demanding that Archbishop Anthony Apuron be defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Catholic church finally responds to Tuam baby scandal

IRELAND
IrishCentral

Frances Mulraney @FrancesMulraney March 13, 2017

Two Irish Archbishops addressed the Tuam baby scandal in their homilies this weekend, both condemning the actions of the Mother and Baby home in the Galway town where a grave containing the bodies of 796 infants and children was confirmed earlier this month.

In his homily delivered at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin on Sunday evening, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, stated that all must be done to ensure the full truth of the mother and baby homes is known, calling for a full investigation into practices of the time.

“When an institution becomes trapped within its own self-interest, inevitably there will be those who begin to think that they can act as they wish and can even think and claim that, in doing things as they wish, they are doing the work of the Lord,” he said.

“It is not something that can be wallpapered over or interpreted by clever spin-doctors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Judge adjourns case of man who believes his sister died in Tuam

IRELAND
Irish Times

Aodhan O'Faolain

An application by a man seeking information about his infant sister, who is believed to have died in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, has been adjourned at the High Court for a further week.

Peter Mulryan (73), of Derrymullen, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, whose sister Marian Bridget Mulryan is believed to be among 796 children recorded as having died at the home, has initiated proceedings against Tusla aimed at getting any information that may exist about her.

A Marian Bridget Mulryan is recorded as having died in February 1955, nine months after she was born at the home.

Mr Mulryan went to the Tuam home with his mother just days after his birth in July 1944. His mother later appeared to have gone to a Magdalene institution and he was fostered out at the age of four.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Ó Conchúir calls for Book of Condolences for victims of mother and baby homes

IRELAND
Galway Advertiser

Sinn Féin councillor Cathal Ó Conchúir has called on Galway mayor Noel Larkin to open a book of condolences for all the children that died in the mother and baby homes .

Speaking today, Councillor Ó Conchúir said: “This is our holocaust and we should at least remember the most innocent and precious lives that passed away in these homes and who were buried in septic tanks. I will also be sending a request to An Coiste Logainmeacha – the committee that are involved in naming estates, roads etc. – to rename the Western Distributor Road as Bóthar Máthair agus na Leanaí in remembrance of the deceased children and as a reminder to society that this can never happen again”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

‘I was a stolen baby’ – New York nun on finding her Irish birth mother after being sold to the US from a Mother and Baby Home in Ireland

UNITED STATES
The Irish Post

March 13, 2017, By Erica Doyle Higgins

A MISSIONARY nun has told The Irish Post how she was sold from a Mother and Baby home in Ireland to an American family – only to be finally reunited with her birth mother five years ago.

Sister Brigid O’Mahony, who is now based with the Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus in New York, says her American parents bought her from the Sisters at Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in 1954.

“As soon as I could think, my American parents told me I was from Ireland, from a work home,” she told The Irish Post in an exclusive interview.

“They explained to me that babies were sold to American parents, and that I was lucky enough to be sold to them as many of the children in these homes never got out,” she added.