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June 30, 2017

“Il cardinale Mueller pronto a lasciare”

ROMA
La Stampa

[According to two sites, Rorate coeli (United States) and Corrispondenza Romana (Italy), internet channels Catholic groups tradizionialisti and conservatives, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller will leave office when his term expires on July 2.]

Secondo due siti, Rorate coeli (Stati Uniti) e Corrispondenza Romana (Italia), canali internet di gruppi cattolici tradizionialisti e conservatori, il prefetto della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, il cardinale Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, che il 2 luglio prossimo compie i suoi cinque anni di nomina canonica, lascerà l’incarico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 PM

Papst Franziskus trennt sich von Kardinal Müller als Leiter der Glaubenskongregation

VATIKAN
Sueddeutsche Zeitung

[Pope Francis has separated himself surprisingly from one of his senior staff. The term of office of Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller as head of the Roman Congregation for the Doctine of the Faith was not extended. It ends after five years on time 2 July. This is reported by the Catholic News Agency (KNA) and thus confirms corresponding media reports.]

Papst Franziskus hat sich überraschend von einem seiner ranghöchsten Mitarbeiter getrennt. Die Amtszeit von Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller als Leiter der Römischen Glaubenskongregation werde nicht verlängert. Sie ende nach fünf Jahren fristgerecht am 2. Juli. Das berichtet die Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) und bestätigt damit entsprechende Medienberichte.

Müller, ehemals Bischof von Regensburg, verdankte den Posten dem damaligen Papst Benedikt XVI, der ihn 2012 nach Rom holte. Zwei Jahre später erhob ihn Papst Franziskus zum Kardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 PM

El Papa avanza en la renovación y relevaría al guardián de la ortodoxia

VATICANO
Clarin

[In the Vatican corridors one speaks in a low voice or whispering of a change in the Roman Curia, the central government of the Church which could arrive sooner than many expect. The pope would take advantage of the fact that on July 2 he fulfills his five-year mandate at the head of the strategic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, who will turn 70 in December, is said to be replaced by Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the 73-year-old Boston archbishop. He is said to be a favorite to replace Mueller. It is not by chance that Pope Francis recently appointed O'Malley as a member of the CDF and thus training him in the mechanisms of the congregation over which he would preside. Cardinal O'Malley chairs the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.]

Julio Algañaraz

En los pasillos vaticanos se habla en voz baja o susurrando de un cambio de fondo en las cumbres de la Curia Romana, el gobierno central de la Iglesia, que podría llegar más pronto de lo que muchos esperan. El Papa aprovecharía que el 2 de julio cumple su mandato de cinco años al frente de la estratégica Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe el cardenal alemán Gerhard Mueller, que en diciembre cumplirá 70 años. Francisco lo cambiaría en primer lugar para sacarse de encima una relación difícil, a veces conflictiva, con el guardián de la ortodoxia, que recibió en herencia de su predecesor, Benedicto XVI, el hoy Papa emérito Joseph Ratzinger.

Sin el pesado condicionamiento de Mueller, quedaría abierto el camino de renovación de la última fase del pontificado de Jorge Bergoglio, quien en diciembre cumplirá 81 años. Para el relevo es favorito el arzobispo de Boston, cardenal Sean O’Mailley, de 73 años, que no por casualidad Jorge Bergoglio nombró hace poco miembro de la Doctrina de la Fe, adiestrándolo en los mecanismos de la congregación que estaría destinado a presidir.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

CDL. GERHARD MÜLLER BOOTED FROM CDF

UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. • ChurchMilitant.com • June 30, 2017

Speculation that Boston's Cdl. Sean O'Malley will replace him

VATICAN (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Vatican's chief doctrinal watchdog has been dismissed from his post. Reports claim Cdl. Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) — and outspoken critic of the agenda to open Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried — is being removed by Pope Francis at the end of Müller's five-year term, July 2, 2017. Speculation is that Boston's Cdl. Sean O'Malley may replace him.

The news follows months of rumors that Müller's time at the CDF was nearing an end, as he became increasingly vocal about his denunciations of attempts to change Church discipline and doctrine on marriage and the sacraments. ...

Spanish newspaper Clarìn speculates Cdl. O'Malley of Boston is being eyed to head the CDF, a Franciscan who has come under fire for his refusal to confront Catholic politicians, including attending a gala ceremony in honor of President Obama in May, appearing with Democrat John Kerry at a graduation ceremony in 2014, and sitting in choir at pro-abort stalwart Ted Kennedy's funeral in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Vatican silent in response to reports of Müller’s dismissal from C.D.F.

UNITED STATES
America

Gerard O'Connell
June 30, 2017

Editor’s note: This story will be updated as events develop.

Late Friday evening, as multiple news outlets were reporting that Pope Francis has not reconfirmed Cardinal Müller as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the end of his five-year mandate, the Vatican remained silent.

The news was first reported by the blog Rorate Caeli, which has frequently criticized Pope Francis. Despite queries to the Vatican press office, neither a statement nor a denial has been issued, and church officials are uniformly refusing to comment.

Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Müller as head of the C.D.F. in 2012 for a period of five years. The 69-year-old German cardinal, who has remained close to the emeritus pope, was due for reconfirmation in that position on July 2 and had a meeting with Pope Francis on the morning of June 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

SUORE INDAGATE PER STALKING/ Roma, Superiora costretta a rassegnare le dimissioni: aggressioni e minacce

ITALIA
Il Sussidiario

[SISTERS INVESTIGATED FOR STALKING, ROME: LIANA SISTER FORCED TO RESIGN, INVOLVED TWO PRIESTS - It 'an incredible story that would take place in the Institute of the Society "Queen of the Lilies" in Rome where four religious, namely two nuns and two priests, werey were investigated for stalking. To tell the story is the daily La Repubblica that reveals the suspicions of the prosecution against the two nuns and their colleagues.]

SUORE INDAGATE PER STALKING, ROMA: SUOR LIANA COSTRETTA A DIMETTERSI, COINVOLTI ANCHE DUE PRETI - E' una storia incredibile quella che sarebbe avvenuta nell'Istituto della Compagnia "Regina dei Gigli" a Roma, dove quattro religiosi, precisamente due suore e due preti, sarebbero stati indagati per stalking. A raccontare la vicenda è il quotidiano La Repubblica che rivela i sospetti della procura nei confronti delle due monache e dei loro colleghi. Secondo l'accusa, i quattro religiosi avrebbero messo in atto una serie di atteggiamenti fino a riuscire nell'intento di destituire illegalmente dall'Istituto la Madre Superiora. Sarebbe così emerso un presunto golpe messo in atto dalla suore finite nel registro degli indagati per stalking insieme ai due preti coinvolti e che avrebbero spinto Suor Liana, l'anziana guida dell'Istituto, a lasciare il suo ruolo a causa delle ripetute minacce. Sul caso sono in corso le indagini da parte del pm Vincenzo Barba intenzionato a fare piena luce sull'intricata vicenda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

Celia Wexler explores women's struggles to be feminist and Catholic

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Gail DeGeorge | Apr. 5, 2017

CATHOLIC WOMEN CONFRONT THEIR CHURCH: STORIES OF HURT AND HOPE
By Celia Viggo Wexler
Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 216 pages, $34

The central question explored in Celia Viggo Wexler's engaging and thought-provoking book is one that no doubt many millions of women have struggled with: Is it possible for a woman to be both a feminist and a Catholic?

For Wexler, an award-winning journalist and Huffington Post blogger, this is not an academic question. She had reached a juncture in which she had to "find a way to stay Catholic that made sense to me and respected my intellect and feminism, or I would have to leave the church."

She is not a theologian or historian, she writes, nor does she intend the book to be a definitive work about the views of Catholic women. She seeks instead to inspire conversations among women who, like her, are "torn between the faith they love and the institutional church that often sets their teeth on edge."

Wexler profiles nine Catholic women and their personal stories, faith journeys and often complicated relationships with the church. In choosing women to write about, Wexler says she didn't have an agenda, she simply wanted to know if others shared her struggle.

Some of the women are well-known:

* Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK;
* Barbara Blaine, founder of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP);
* Frances Kissling, who opposed the church's teaching on contraception and abortion and was president of Catholics for a Free Choice (now Catholics for Choice) for 25 years;
* Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, which represents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics;
* Diana Hayes, the first African-American woman to earn a pontifical doctorate in sacred theology from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, who is now an emeritus professor of theology at Georgetown University.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 PM

Pope Francis may be about to dismiss Vatican’s doctrinal chief

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis may be about to dismiss his enforcer of orthodoxy, one of the most powerful cardinals at the Vatican, according to unconfirmed media reports.

The Italian Catholic website Corrispondenza Romana reported Friday (June 30) that Francis would not renew the term of Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, a conservative German cardinal who heads the powerful department responsible for church doctrine.

Mueller’s five-year term as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was due to expire on Sunday. He is 69, which is six years short of the normal retirement age of bishops. Under normal circumstances, his five-year contract would be renewed.

If the reports are correct, Mueller’s ouster would cap one of the most tumultuous weeks at the Vatican since the election of Pope Francis in 2013.

On Thursday, Cardinal George Pell announced he would take a leave of absence as Vatican finance chief to face charges he sexually abused boys while a young priest in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Divisive Cardinal Pell faces his day in court over abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
Irish Times

Pádraig Collins in Sydney

For years, Cardinal George Pell was dogged by questions of what he knew about the child sexual abuse that happened under his watch in his home state of Victoria. Only his alleged victims knew that he might one day be charged with sexual assault offences himself – allegations Pell denies.

Born to a father, also called George, of English Anglican heritage, and a mother, Margaret (nee Burke), of devout Irish Catholic descent, Pell was always marked for success. Academically bright (he has a PhD from Oxford) and athletically gifted (he is 6’4” and to this day looks more like the retired Australian rules footballer he could have been than what you might expect a 76-year-old cardinal to look like), he was drawn inexorably to the church.

A portrait of the Cork-born Melbourne archbishop Daniel Mannix hung in the family home in Ballarat when Pell was growing up. Mannix was by far Australia’s most famous Catholic of his time (he died in 1963), and Pell is by any measure the most well known now.

From his refusal to give communion to gay people (in May 2002 he told the congregation at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral: “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, and important consequences follow from this”), to his climate change scepticism (in July 2015 he publicly criticised Pope Francis’s decision to speak out on environmental matters: “The church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters,” he said), Pell has always been contentious.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 PM

Cardinal George Pell’s sex-assault charges will ripple through the Vatican

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

MICHAEL W. HIGGINS
Special to The Globe and Mail

Michael W. Higgins is a distinguished professor of Catholic Thought at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. He is the co-author of Suffer the Children Unto Me: An Open Inquiry into the Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal.

It couldn’t have happened at a more inauspicious time: on the very day when Pope Francis is celebrating with his most recently “created” cardinals and his newly appointed Metropolitan Archbishops in Rome, news came that his Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, has been charged with multiple counts of historical sexual assault by police in the Australian state of Victoria.

Cardinal Pell is a senior-ranking prelate who enjoys the pontiff’s confidence on all matters fiduciary. Francis put him in command of a new dicasterial or governance structure designed to clean house among the various financial bodies operative in the Vatican, including the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) and the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank. Both institutions could be rogue in their accounting and auditing procedures, fiercely autonomous in the exercise of their power and draped in Medici-like opacity.

Cardinal Pell was to bring clarity, accountability and transparency to all the financial transactions conducted within the Vatican, and his progress – impeded in part by recalcitrant groupings of clerics and laity fearful of losing their authority – has been impressive, if laboured.

But the qualities that Pope Francis admired in the outspoken former archbishop of both Melbourne, and latterly Sydney, qualities that included a relentless application of energy and focus to his reforming task, a no-holds-barred approach to opposition to his initiatives and an able intelligence quick to grasp the complexity of things, were in and of themselves incapable of securing Cardinal Pell sanctuary from the controversies that hounded him “Down Under.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Investigator: Former Columbus youth pastor shares inappropriate photos through email

GEORGIA
WTVM

[with video]

By Sharifa Jackson, Reporter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – New details were released Friday morning after a former youth pastor appeared in court on an attempted sodomy charge.

Jay Singleton, 45, pleaded not guilty to attempted aggravated child molestation and criminal attempted sodomy and guilty to contempt of court.

Singleton was arrested Wednesday when Columbus Police Department’s Special Victims Unit was investigating an individual for attempted aggravated child molestation.

His bond was set at more than $50,000 including $25,000 for criminal attempt sodomy, $25,000 for attempted aggravated child molestation and $1,000 for driving while license suspended/revoked.

According to investigators, an undercover sting revealed that more than 400 emails were shared between the investigator and Singleton. Investigators say he was engaged in a plan to meet with a 14-year-old girl, however, no juvenile was actually involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Are Catholic Clergy more Likely to Be Paedophiles than the General Public?

The Tippling Philosopher

June 30, 2017 by Jonathan MS Pearce

This is a question that has been kicking around ever since the child sex abuse scandal involving the Catholic church came to the fore. In around 2010, loads of articles came out, citing some data, that the priesthood was broadly in line with national averages, some people claimed it was actually worse in Protestant churches/organisations, and many claiming (as a result) that this was not a Catholic problem per se, and that other denominations rate the same.

The reality could be, as Andrew Brown surmised, that the notoriety of the scandal and public perception might be skewed because of the institutional cover-up of the Catholic church. Let’s have a brief look.

Australia

The Royal Commission, an investigation started by the then Australian PM Julia Gillard into historic sex abuse, has thrown this data wide open.

The research has shown that, in Australia, 7% of priests nationally have been accused of sex abuse. In the Diocese of Sale, it is twice as many, with 15.1%, and a whopping 40% of the St John of God order being accused. Here are some interesting Australian stats:

Catholic Data Project Results:

4,444 — number of people who alleged incidents of child sexual abuse,
1,000 — The number of separate institutions the claims related to,
78 percent male, 22 percent female — gender of the person making the claim,
97 percent male — people who made claims of child sexual abuse received by religious orders, with only religious brother members,
11.5 for boys, 10.5 for girls — the average age of people who made claims of child sexual abuse at the time of the alleged abuse,
33 years —the average time between the alleged abuse and the date the claim was made,
1880 — number alleged perpetrators were identified in claims,
597 or 32 percent were religious brothers,
572 or 30 percent were priests,
543 or 29 percent were lay people,
96 or 5 percent were religious sisters,
90 percent male, 10 percent female — age [??] of the allege perpetrators,
500+ — number of unknown people were identified as alleged perpetrators.#

The relevance of this is that this is now perhaps the biggest and most comprehensive review of Catholic sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

‘Cardinal Rambo’ has the Kangaroo Cardinal George Pell in his sights

ROME
The Weekend Australian

July 1, 2017

JACQUELIN MAGNAY
Foreign correspondentEurope
@jacquelinmagnay

When George Pell swaps his Rome apartment overlooking the Vatican for a Melbourne courtroom later this month, Italians will be saying a firm adieu, not expect­ing him to return.

Eighty-year-old Pope Francis, who placed extraordinary belief in Cardinal Pell to reform and instit­utionalise the tangled web of the church’s multi-billion-dollar fin­an­ces and rich assets, has already foreshadowed his retirement in 2019.

If all goes well for Cardinal Pell, his anticipated return to an influential position — for he knows the church always looks after its own — will have been vastly watered down and almost impossible to enact if the Pope is gone.

Cardinal Pell has a string of enem­ies inside the Vatican, includin­g one whose penchant for owning guns earned him the moniker “Cardinal Rambo’’.

This cardinal, real name Dom­enico Calcagno, heads the APSA — the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See — or the bank of the Vatican, with more than $1 billion in assets.

For the past three years, there has been enmity and a power tussl­e between cardinals Rambo and Pell — known as the Kangaroo Cardinal — over ultimate control of these monies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Cardinal Müller to Be Dismissed?

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

Reports say prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will not have his five year mandate renewed on Sunday.

Edward Pentin

Three Vatican sources, including one close to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, have told the Register this evening that Cardinal Gerhard Müller is to be imminently dismissed as prefect of the dicastery, although the Vatican itself has not officially confirmed the news.

If true, an announcement is likely tomorrow.

The Italian Catholic website Corrispondenza Romana and the Rorate Caeli blog were the first to break the news, with Corrispondenza Romana sending out an email this evening with the definitive message: “His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from July 2, 2012, has been fired by Pope Francis on the exact date that his 5-year mandate expires.”

It went on to note that Cardinal Müller is one of the cardinals who sought to interpret Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, “according to a hermeneutic of continuity with the Tradition of the Church.” It added that that had made him a critic of the direction taken by the Pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

St. Paul’s School investigating new allegations of ‘concerning’ behavior

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

By John R. Ellement GLOBE STAFF JUNE 30, 2017

Administrators at St. Paul’s School are once again turning to an outside investigator after students reported “concerning” behavior at the elite private boarding school, just weeks after the school admitted that 13 staffers engaged in sexual misconduct with students over four decades.

In a statement provided Friday by the school’s public relations department, Rector Michael G. Hirschfeld said an outside investigator has been hired to “get to the bottom of what took place. The investigation is ongoing and we do not yet have a final report.’’

According to Hirschfeld, the investigation at the Concord, N.H., school started earlier in June when “students came forward and alerted SPS faculty to behaviors that were concerning to them.” He did not specify what the “behaviors” were.

But the Concord Monitor reported Thursday that about eight boys in the same dormitory competed in a “game of sexual conquest” where the winners would get their names on a crown. The newspaper’s account broadly mirrors the “senior salute” sexual contest among St. Paul students that played a role in the sexual assault of Chessy Prout by Owen Labrie at the school in 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Guide to the Pell Case: What processes has he faced and what are the accusations?

ROME
Rome Reports

[with video]

2017-06-30

Cardinal George Pell gave a press conference in the Vatican before traveling to Australia, where he is due to testify on July 18 since he is accused of alleged sexual abuse. The cardinal explained that it is a crime that he abhors and has vigorously denied the accusations.

CARD. GEORGE PELL
Prefect, Secretariat for the Economy
"These matters have been under investigation and now for two years. There have been leaks to the media. There has been relentless character assassination. I'm innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

Cardinal George Pell has testified in various interrogations and commissions established by the Australian authorities in recent years.

Now the cardinal will take a leave of absence to attend a new judicial process in which he now appears as the one accused of alleged abuse.

In the press communication, the Vatican has expressed their respect for justice, but also their discontent.

GREG BURKE
Spokesman for the Holy See
"The Holy See has learned with regret the news. The Holy Father, having been informed by Card. Pell, has granted the Cardinal a leave of absence so he can defend himself."

The first time George Pell was accused of sexual abuse was in 2002, when he was archbishop of Sydney. The case was finally dismissed for lack of evidence.

In 2012 ,the Australian government established a commission of inquiry to clarify the alleged sexual abuse committed from 1960 to 1980 in Australia in different religious institutions in the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Clerical abuse survivor says Pell leave "comes too late

ROME
Xinhuanet

Source: Xinhua 2017-07-01

Editor: Mu Xuequan

ROME, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Clergy sexual abuse survivor Marie Collins told Italian newspaper La Repubblica in an interview Friday that the placing on leave of Cardinal George Pell, a senior adviser to Pope Francis, had "come too late."

The Pope placed Pell on leave Thursday, after the Cardinal announced at a Vatican press conference that he was leaving to fight sexual assault charges in Australia.

In an official statement, the Vatican Press Office said Thursday that the Vatican "has learned with regret the news of charges filed in Australia against Card. George Pell for decades-old actions that have been attributed to him."

"The Holy Father, having been informed by Card. Pell, has granted the cardinal a leave of absence so he can defend himself," the Vatican press statement said.
In 2014, Pope Francis appointed Pell as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, a powerful post in the Vatican.

"His nomination...was a slap in the face to Australian victims first, and then to those in the (Catholic) Church who combat pedophilia," said Collins, who was sexually abused by Catholic priests as a child in the 1960s, according to her foundation's website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

The Pope’s Pedophile?

UNITED STATES
New York Magazine

By Andrew Sullivan

Well into Pope Francis’s pontificate, one of his closest aides, the third-highest official in the Catholic Church, Cardinal George Pell, has now been credibly accused of several acts of sexual assault, including one of rape. Australian police have concluded that the evidence they have is sufficient to move forward, even in cases that happened long ago. Yesterday, Pell was allowed to hold his own press conference at the Vatican to tell us that he spoke with the Pope only a few days ago about a campaign of “character assassination” against him: “I’m very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this leave to return to Australia.” The Pope’s spokesperson defended the Cardinal by saying that “it is important to recall that Cardinal Pell has openly and repeatedly condemned as important and intolerable acts of abuse committed against minors.” And, of course, we should respect a presumption of innocence before a trial on crimes of this magnitude and depravity.

But it all feels sickeningly familiar. And this denouement comes as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has been following the sex-abuse crisis in the church — including Cardinal Pell’s own behavior — for the last few decades. A cloud has hung over Pell since he was an Episcopal vicar in a parish in the 1970s that has been described as a “pedophile’s paradise and a child’s nightmare.” A full 15 years ago, Pell was accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy but when the church investigated, a retired Supreme Court justice found that there wasn’t enough evidence, even though the victim appeared to be “speaking honestly from actual recollection.” A year later, Pope John Paul II made Pell a cardinal. Several new alleged victims spoke out in a book published only last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Pell case shows poor judgment, will stain Pope Francis legacy, victims say

VATCAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

The charging of a top Vatican official, Cardinal George Pell, with sex-abuse crimes this week will permanently stain the legacy of Pope Francis, exposing poor judgment in his appointment, victims of sexual abuse said.

Francis' appointment of Pell, dogged for many years by victims' allegations that he shielded abusers and had himself molested two young boys in the 1960s, underscores a lack of sufficient vetting for top Vatican posts, Vatican sources said.

Pell, appointed as Francis' economy minister in 2014, has always strongly denied he molested children or turned a blind eye to abuses. On Thursday, Australian police charged him with historical sex crimes after a two-year investigation.

The charges bring the Church's global abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican and, according to victims and their advocates, weaken the pope's credibility in tackling a decades-old crisis against which he vowed "zero tolerance".

"I think his legacy is under severe threat," said Peter Saunders, a victim of clergy abuse who took a leave of absence from the papal advisory commission on abuse last year in protest over a lack of progress.

"I genuinely thought when I met with Francis three years ago that 'this man is the real deal' and he is going to get on with things and I really thought there was a prospect of real, significant, and rapid change," Saunders, a Briton, said in a telephone interview.

"But he is surrounded by people who don't want change."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Cardinal’s sex abuse charges raise questions about pope’s record

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) As the Vatican reeled from news that one of its top officials was taking a leave to fight historical sex abuse charges in Australia, the spotlight quickly turned to Pope Francis, with his critics slamming him for failing to do enough to tackle the vexing issue.

Cardinal George Pell, the most senior figure in church history to face child sex abuse charges, is the Vatican’s financial czar and a trusted adviser to the pope.

Pell, 76, is facing “multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences,” said police in the Australian state of Victoria. ...

“There is a deep disconnect between the pope’s words and his actions,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the advocacy group Bishop Accountability.

Barrett Doyle was critical of the pope for keeping Pell in his post until now, despite knowledge of the allegations against him.

“The pope is not a reformer when it comes to the crisis,” she said. “He apologizes often and uses buzz phrases like ‘zero tolerance.’ But underneath he remains the minimizer and the defender of accused priests.”

Robert Mickens, an American editor for the French Catholic magazine La Croix, said it was significant that Pell had stepped aside but he criticized the pope’s record on clerical abuse.

“Whether Pell specifically asked for a leave from his Vatican duties to return for the trial, or whether the pope ordered him to do so, the effect is the same. And it is a development from the past,” Mickens said, when the church would have defended Vatican churchmen.

But Mickens said Francis has never made the church’s sexual abuse crisis a priority of his administration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Licenziato da papa Francesco il cardinale Müller

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Corrispondenza Romana

[Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller , prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since July 2, 2012, was dismissed by Pope Francis at the exact expiration of his term of 5 years. Cardinal Müller is one of the cardinals who have sought to interpret the ' Amoris Laetitia, according to a hermeneutic of continuity with the tradition of the Church. This was enough to count him among the critics of the new course imposed by papa Bergoglio.

Licenziato da papa Francesco il cardinale MullerLicenziato da papa Francesco il cardinale Muller
Sua Eminenza il Cardinale Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefetto della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede dal 2 luglio 2012, è stato licenziato da papa Francesco allo scadere esatto del suo mandato di 5 anni.

Il cardinale Müller è uno dei cardinali che hanno cercato di interpretare l’Amoris laetitia, secondo un’ermeneutica di continuità con la Tradizione della Chiesa. Ciò è bastato per annoverarlo tra i critici del nuovo corso imposto da papa Bergoglio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Paedophilia scandals sully merciful Pope’s reputation

ROME
The Times (UK)

Tom Kington, Rome

The sexual abuse charges against Cardinal Pell will further sully what critics say is the Pope’s inadequate record of tackling priestly abuse.

Francis has won praise around the world for his focus on mercy over doctrine, but many believe he still does not comprehend the gravity of abuse in the Church. In 2014 he appeared to be on the right track in creating a commission to advise on weeding out predator priests but, three years on, two of the commission members, Peter Saunders and Marie Collins — themselves victims of abuse by clergymen — have left amid frustrations over its perceived inaction.

In 2015 the Pope provoked an outcry when he described as “lefties” the opponents of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up for an abuser. The same year, Jozef Wesolowski, a former archbishop accused of paying shoeshine boys for sex in the Dominican Republic, died before he could face trial.

The accusations against Cardinal Pell are the latest in a wave of abuse scandals which started in the US before spreading to Europe and Australia over the past two decades, and which marred the papacy of Francis’s predecessor, Benedict. Francis has himself been accused of overlooking abuse while archbishop of Buenos Aires.

“The Pell case will rock the Vatican to the core,” said Mr Saunders, who questioned the Vatican’s appetite for reform. “Pell will have the best lawyers, while our abuse commission lacked resources,” he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

ANALYSIS: Charges against Cardinal Pell bring taint of abuse to the top of the Catholic Church

ROME
The Local

AFP
news@thelocal.it
30 June 2017

Australia's move to bring sexual assault charges against Cardinal George Pell is the latest chapter in a damaging saga of abuse that the Catholic church has struggled to draw a line under.
Pell has been ordered to appear on July 18th before a Melbourne judge to answer unspecified multiple counts arising from his country's extensive inquiry into decades of abuse in institutions dealing with children.

The 76-year-old is the most senior cleric yet to be directly implicated in a multi-faceted scandal that has plagued the Church for decades but has never before come so close to its highest ranks.

As head of a powerful economic department, Pell is one of Pope Francis's closest advisors, his point-man on cleaning up Vatican finances and the number three in the Holy See's hierarchy.

As such he is a much higher-profile figure than Keith O'Brien, the former archbishop of Edinburgh who renounced his rights as a cardinal in 2015 after admitting misconduct in relation to alleged drunken sexual assaults on young priests.

Pell has admitted errors in managing abuse by priests under his authority but denies any personal wrongdoing and Francis has offered him strong support.

But regardless of its outcome, the impending court case seems likely to further tarnish the image of a global institution long accused of complacency over a cancer in its midst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

Sex offence charges against George Pell have put Pope Francis’ vision for the Church under pressure

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Ellen Whinnett in Vatican City, News Corp Australia Network
June 30, 2017

THE police decision to lay historic sex offence charges against Australian Cardinal George Pell has triggered a scandal within the Vatican and will further fuel criticism of Pope Francis’ vision for the future of the church.

News of the charges — lodged on the holy day of the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul — sent shockwaves through the Vatican, the independent city state in Rome which is the global headquarters of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Thirty minutes before Pope Francis led a feast-day Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, Pell did something never done before by such a senior Vatican official.
The former Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, now the third highest-ranked official in the Vatican, faced the world’s media and confirmed he was returning to Australia to fight charges of sex offences laid against him.

The news of the charges, first announced by Victoria Police at 2am Rome time, sparked global headlines, with the international media rushing to the Holy See press office to cover Pell’s press statement.

Paddy Agnew, the Rome correspondent for the Irish Times, told News Corp the situation was unprecedented, with Cardinal Pell the highest-ranked official ever to face such charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Cardinal George Pell in hiding as Vatican opponents move to exploit his sex offence charges

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Ellen Whinnett in Vatican City, News Corp Australia Network

CARDINAL George Pell has gone to ground, disappearing from his apartment outside the walls of the Vatican as he prepares to return to Australia to fight sex offence charges levelled against him.

The 76-year-old has not been seen at his apartment since he issued a press statement on Thursday morning confirming he would return to Australia in order to clear his name in court.

While staff came and went throughout Thursday and into Friday morning, there was no sign of Cardinal Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, prompting speculation he had moved into a temporary apartment inside the walls of the Vatican, or even to one of the country retreats owned by the church.

He has been granted a leave of absence by Pope Francis from his job as Vatican treasurer while he returns to Australia to defend himself in a process which will take months, and possibly years, to resolve.

While the Vatican has issued a statement of support, the Pope himself is yet to directly comment on the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Peter Saunders on the George Pell charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC - 7.30

[with video]

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Peter Saunders is a member of the Papal Child Abuse Commission. It advises the Catholic Church on how to better deal with abuse allegations and victims.

To give us a bit more context about this issue within the church and the significance of the Pell charges, Peter Saunders joined me from London.

Peter Saunders, a priest being charged with sexual offences is nothing unique. Why is this case making such an impact?

PETER SAUNDERS, VICTIM ADVOCATE: I think this is a massive story because there has certainly has never been anybody of the seniority and the position within the Vatican having been charged before, so this is huge and unlike many other places around the world where there have been accusations against very senior clerics, but the power of the church, sometimes the local or the corruption of local politicians and, of course, the power of money, has resulted in clerics not actually being charged, which is an outrage and I can give examples, but I think credit to Australia and to the Victoria Police for doing their job.

LEIGH SALES: You said that this is the first time somebody of this seniority has been charged. Do you mean with sexual assault offences or have there been other cases that involve say criminal charges in other matters?

PETER SAUNDERS: I am not aware of any cardinals, certainly any cardinals with positions within the hierarchy of the Vatican having ever been charged with any kind of crime in the past, so I think this is a unique occurrence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

CNN OP-ED ON SEXUAL ABUSE IS FLAWED

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a CNN posted piece by Heidi Schlumpf:

CNN has every right to post the commentary of any author it chooses, but is it too much to ask that someone fact check the submissions?

The recent attacks on Cardinal George Pell, which I debunked on June 29, gave Heidi Schlumpf the opportunity to write “Why the Catholic Church Must Continue Soul-Searching.” It is more than tendentious, it is factually wrong. She writes for the National Catholic Reporter, a dissident publication that rejects the Church’s teachings on sexuality.

The title of her article accurately conveys her thesis: the abuse scandal is on-going. That is why she says that the charges against Cardinal Pell are “a reminder that the church’s sex abuse crisis is not over.” She adds that Pell’s case “shows that the decades long sex abuse crisis is not a ‘once and done’ thing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Will priests discuss George Pell at Sunday Mass?

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Emily Woods Neelima Choahan

Tens of thousands of Victorians will go to mass this weekend, just days after Australia's highest ranking Catholic was charged with historical sex abuse.

But how will Catholic priests address the allegations against Cardinal George Pell, if they address them at all?

Father Brendan Reed, from Our Lady of Good Counsel and All Hallows in Balwyn, said he would discuss the news, as "you can't pretend it's not happening".

"I think people want to know what their priests are thinking when things like this come out in the public," he said.

"I'll be saying that I think we should have faith and trust in our judicial and legal system, that a just outcome is what everybody is hoping for, for all parties concerned."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Canadian bishops to issue new sexual-abuse prevention document

CANADA
Catholic Register

BY DEBORAH GYAPONG, CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
June 30, 2017

OTTAWA – Twenty-five years after becoming pioneers in establishing protocols for the protection of minors, Canada’s bishops are poised to issue an updated document on sexual-abuse prevention.

The new document by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops was approved in principle at the bishops’ plenary last September and is slated for publication later this year, said CCCB communications director Rene Laprise. The document is in the final stages of translation into French and English and proofreading of both texts, he said.

The new document — with a working title of Moving Towards Healing and Renewal: the Canadian Experience — will update and replace the 1992 document From Pain to Hope.
The CCCB initiative comes amid reports of a pilot program in the Montreal archdiocese that requires digital fingerprints and background checks for priests and pastoral staff who work with children, minors and vulnerable adults. That program will be expanded from 10 churches to all of the archdiocese’s 194 parishes by 2020.

Even those who pass the checks are not allowed to be alone with children. For example, a priest hearing a child’s confession will be in a place where they are visible to another adult.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

The day with Sarah Harman

AUSTRALIA
DW

[video]

Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal: Australian police charge top Vatican cardinal with sexual assault offenses Nemtsov Murder Trial: Jury convicts five men over death of Russian opposition leader Turkish-German Tensions: Berlin refuses to allow Turkish President to hold rally in Germany

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

La sombra de los abusos sexuales llega por primera vez a la cúpula vaticana

ROMA
El Pais (Espana)

Roma 30 JUN 2017

DANIEL VERDÚ

Las dos principales áreas de reforma del papa Francisco se vieron ayer golpeadas en la misma persona. George Pell, superministro de Finanzas del Vaticano, consejero directo del Pontífice y máxima autoridad eclesiástica de Australia, ha sido imputado por un caso múltiple de abusos a menores. A ello se suma su presunto encubrimiento masivo a sacerdotes. Es la primera vez que un escándalo de este tipo afecta a una autoridad vaticana de tan alto rango.

El día no podía ser peor. A las 8.30, justo antes de la gran misa oficiada por el Papa con motivo del día de San Pedro y San Pablo y con la mayoría de cardenales del mundo llegados al Vaticano para el Consistorio del día anterior, Pell comparecía ante los medios. Se sabía que había sido imputado por un caso múltiple de abusos a menores. Pero anunció que regresa a Australia para testificar el 18 de julio ante el juez. El Vaticano, al menos públicamente, le respalda y no le obliga a dimitir. “La Santa Sede recibe con desagrado la noticia del envío a juicio del cardenal [...] El Santo Padre le ha concedido un periodo de excedencia para poderse defender”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Cardeal George Pell acusado de abuso sexual de menores na Austrália

PORTUGAL
DN

O cardeal George Pell, que dirige a Secretaria da Economia do Vaticano, foi hoje acusado de crimes de abuso sexual de menores na Austrália e intimado a comparecer em tribunal dentro de dias, anunciou a polícia.

George Pell, o principal conselheiro financeiro do papa Francisco e o mais alto representante da Igreja católica na Austrália, é o mais alto membro do Vaticano a ser formalmente indiciado por crimes relacionados com abuso sexual de menores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Vatikan-Finanzchef legt Amt vorübergehend nieder

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

Eiiner der ranghöchsten Kardinäle im Vatikan, Finanzchef George Pell, legt angesichts von Missbrauchsvorwürfen in seiner Heimat Australien sein Amt vorübergehend nieder. Papst Franziskus habe ihm die Erlaubnis für die Auszeit gegeben, um in Australien seine Unschuld zu beweisen, gab der Papst-Vertraute am Donnerstag in Rom bekannt. Die Anschuldigungen seien komplett falsch.

In Australien war kurz zuvor ein Ermittlungsverfahren gegen den 76-Jährigen wegen Missbrauchsverdachts eingeleitet worden. Wie die Polizei im Bundesstaat Victoria mitteilte, muss Pell am 18. Juli zu einer Gerichtsanhörung in Melbourne erscheinen. Es ist das erste Mal, dass gegen einen derart ranghohen Würdenträger im Vatikan wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen ermittelt wird.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

IRELAND
Marie Collins

Cardinal Pell.is facing criminal charges of sex abuse in his home country of Australia.
I have been asked if I think he will be found guilty of these charges. As I have always believed in justice for all it would not be right for me to pre judge any criminal case before it is tried in a court, the law will take it's course.

What I have no hesitation in saying is that it has been proved that Cardinal Pell is guilty of the appalling mishandling of cases of abuse when still in place in Australia and causing untold pain to the victims in those cases. He should never have been allowed to hide out in the Vatican to avoid having to face those in his home country who needed answers. The fact that Cardinal Pell was appointed to a very senior post in the Vatican rather than having to face any sanction for his mishandling of abuse cases was a slap in the face to all those he had let down so badly, not only victims but Catholic people who have spent years now hearing assurance from the Catholic Church that it is taking the issue seriously. How does promotion to an exalted position in the Church show justice to those he had failed?.

Finally now that the Cardinal has actually been charged with abuse himself he has been stepped down from his position and will not be allowed to avoid facing court by remaining in the Vatican - far too late. Leaving aside the issue of whether he should have been in that position in the first place, once an accusation of sexual abuse was made against him he should have been stepped down until that accusation had been investigated. This is the standard that applies to ordinary priests and religious in my country and elsewhere under Church guidelines- why should rank make any difference.
-----------------------------------------------

Bishop Accountability

The case of Cardinal Pell has shown is how little reliance we can put on assurances from the Catholic Church that bishops and religious superiors will face sanctions if they mishandle abuse cases. It did not happen with him and still we have not seen any bishop transparently sanctioned or removed for negligence in handling abuse. We were told that the PCPM's recommended Accountability Tribunal announced in June 2015, though never implemented, had not been needed as the Holy Father's Moto Propo in 2016 "As a Loving Mother" expanded on it and all provisions for sanctions were in place and would be implemented.

We are now half way through 2017 - can the Vatican show that any cases of negligent bishops or religious superiors have been been examined or that the provisions of the moto propo been put in place? or is it just another case of many promises, many words but no action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

KEY PART OF LAW TO HELP CHILD SEX ABUSE SURVIVORS TO EXPIRE

GEORGIA
Associated Press

BY KATE BRUMBACK
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA (AP) -- A key provision of a Georgia law meant to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse is set to expire Saturday.

State law says victims must file lawsuits seeking damages before they turn 23. The 2015 Hidden Predator Act provided a two-year window during which victims older than that could sue their alleged abusers.

While a law to help victims of childhood sex abuse may seem like a no-brainer, advocates say they often meet resistance from powerful groups that say they could lead to a flood of lawsuits, false claims and ruined reputations.

The law's sponsor, Republican Rep. Jason Spencer, is trying to get his colleagues in the General Assembly to extend the measure and go even further in the legislative session that begins in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Franziskus in Bedrängnis?

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[For the first time, a Vatican cardinal is investigated for sexual abuse. This could also bring the Pope into an unpleasant situation.]

Nun hat der Skandal um sexuellen Missbrauch endgültig auch die Führungsetage im Vatikan erreicht: Die australische Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt gegen Kardinal George Pell, den vatikanischen Finanzchef und Berater von Papst Franziskus. Dem früheren Erzbischof von Sydney wird sexueller Missbrauch vorgeworfen. Pell wies die Anschuldigungen am Donnerstag zurück. Es ist das erste Mal, dass gegen einen Kurienkardinal wegen eines solchen Verdachts ermittelt wird. Zwar gab es auch früher bereits Ermittlungen gegen vatikanische Kardinäle. Dabei ging es aber stets um weniger schwerwiegende Delikte, oft hatten sie mit Geld zu tun.

Wie heikel die Angelegenheit für den Vatikan ist, zeigte sich auch daran, dass das Presseamt zu ungewohnt früher Stunde, um 8.30 Uhr, kurzfristig eine Pressekonferenz mit Pell anberaumte. Die offizielle Mitteilung war vorsichtig formuliert. Auffällig war, dass sich der Vatikan darin nicht gegen eine Vorverurteilung Pells wandte und auf die Unschuldsvermutung pochte. Stattdessen begnügte er sich damit, seinen "Respekt" vor dem australischen Justizsystem zu bekunden, Verdienste Pells im Kampf gegen sexuellen Missbrauch aufzuzählen und seine Arbeit im Vatikan zu loben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Papst Franziskus in der Bredouille

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

[Critics accuse the Vatican of doing too little for the enlightenment of sex scandals.]

Von Matthias Drobinski

Die Sensation kommt in dürren Zeilen daher: Kardinal George Pell sei mit jahrzehntealten Vorwürfen aus Australien konfrontiert, heißt es im Bulletin des päpstlichen Pressesaals in Rom, und "in vollem Respekt vor den staatlichen Gesetzen" habe der Kardinal entschieden, sich in seiner Heimat den Anschuldigungen zu stellen und bei der Wahrheitssuche zu helfen. Papst Franziskus habe Pell deshalb die "Erlaubnis für eine Auszeit" gegeben. Der Vorwurf, mit dem sich Kardinal Pell, der Finanzchef der Kurie und Beauftragte des Papstes für die Kurienreform, nun auseinandersetzen muss, lautet: sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen. Noch nie hat es ein Verfahren gegen einen derart ranghohen Vertreter der katholischen Kirche gegeben: Pell gilt als Nummer vier in der Kurie, nach Papst, Kardinalstaatssekretär und Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Anklage gegen Ex-Pfarrer wegen Missbrauchs

DEUTSCHLAND
BR

[The public prosecutor's office Deggendorf today protested against a 53-year-old ex-priest. He is accused among other things of several sexual injuries, especially in children.The formerly convicted ex-priest is said to have attempted to rape an 18-year-old woman in Austria. Furthermore, he was accused of having sexually abused five children of male sex on more than 100 occasions for the period before and after his imprisonment.The extensive investigations have also revealed that the 53-year-old has made the ordination of priests by submitting false documents on a really non-existent school and university degree in Poland.]

Von: Harald Mitterer
Stand: 29.06.2017

So soll der einschlägig vorbestrafte Ex-Priester versucht zu haben, in Österreich eine 18-jährige Frau zu vergewaltigen. Weiter wird ihm für die Zeit vor und nach dem Haftvollzug aus seiner Vorstrafe vorgeworfen, fünf Kinder männlichen Geschlechts bei insgesamt über 100 Gelegenheiten sexuell missbraucht zu haben.

Die Missbrauchstaten wurden im Raum Mainz, in Österreich, Italien, der Schweiz und Polen sowie im Landkreis Deggendorf begangen. Die Auslandstaten konnten schnell aufgeklärt werden. Einzelheiten zu den einzelnen Missbrauchstaten, die rechtlich in einer Vielzahl von Fällen als schwerer sexueller Missbrauch von Kindern zu qualifizieren sind, können aus Opferschutzgründen und mit Rücksicht auf das Persönlichkeitsrecht der zur Tatzeit minderjährigen Geschädigten nicht genannt werden, so die Staatsanwaltschaft.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Missbrauchsvorwurf gegen Tiroler Ordensbruder

OSTERREICH
KathPress

[A member of the Tyrolean Servites province is said to have sexually abused a teenager.]

Innsbruck, 29.06.2017 (KAP) Die Polizei in Tirol ermittelt gegen einen Tiroler Ordensbruder, dem sexueller Missbrauch eines Jugendlichen vorgeworfen wird. Die Tiroler Servitenprovinz bestätigte am Donnerstag einen entsprechenden Bericht der Tiroler Tageszeitung. "Als Provinzleitung sind wir zutiefst betroffen und bedauern den Vorfall ausdrücklich. Wir verurteilen entschieden jede Form sexuellen Missbrauchs. Wir vertrauen jetzt auf eine rasche und vollständige Klärung der Vorwürfe und hoffen, dass auf diese Weise dem mutmaßlichen Opfer Gerechtigkeit widerfahren kann", teilte der stellvertretende Provinzial P. Martin M. Lintner mit und sicherte die volle Kooperation der Ordensgemeinschaft in dem Fall zu.

Nach Angaben der "Tiroler Tageszeitung" hat ein mittlerweile 18-Jähriger Ende Mai bei der Polizei Anzeige wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen ein Mitglied der Tiroler Servitenprovinz erstattet. Der Ordensmann - er ist ein Servitenbruder ohne Priesterweihe - leitete offenbar einen Gastronomiebetrieb, in dem der Jugendliche seit Sommer 2015 als damals 16-jähriger Lehrling gearbeitet hatte. Ab Frühjahr 2016 ist es nach Angaben des Jugendlichen zu Übergriffen gekommen. Der Ordensbruder soll dem Lehrling zur Einnahme von Medikamenten gedrängt und ihn mehrmals sexuell missbraucht haben. Im vergangenen Frühjahr erkrankte der 18-Jährige für mehrere Wochen und kehrte im Anschluss nicht mehr in den Betrieb zurück. Im Juni sei das Arbeitsverhältnis aufgelöst worden, so die "Tiroler Tageszeitung".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Archbishop Philip Wilson will face a two-week hearing in November on a conceal crime charge

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
30 Jun 2017

ARCHBISHOP Philip Wilson – the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be charged with concealing the child sex offences of another priest – will face a two-week hearing in November.

Newcastle Local Court magistrate Ian Cheetham confirmed the November 27 special fixture hearing at Newcastle during a brief mention on Friday.

The matter is expected to be heard by a Hunter magistrate brought in for the hearing.

Confirmation of the date followed three unsuccessful appeals by Archbishop Wilson to have the charge against him quashed or permanently stayed.

He was charged in March, 2015 with failing to report information he knew or believed about Hunter priest James Fletcher to police between April 2004, when Fletcher was charged with child sex offences, and 2006 when Fletcher died in jail after his conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Victims advocates: Case against Vatican official should send a message

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

Robert Hoatson, an advocate for victims of child sexual abuse, thinks the multiple charges of sexual assault filed against Cardinal George Pell in Australia can send a message to organizations that have allegedly protected abusers within their ranks, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Pell, the third-ranking official in the Vatican, has been ordered to appear in court next month, having been accused by police officials of committing vaguely described historical sexual assault offenses.

“I hope it sends the message that law enforcement is watching very carefully,” said Hoatson, founder of the advocacy group Road to Recovery, who has offered support to many victims of alleged abuse perpetrated by priests and other religious leaders in Altoona-Johnstown. “No longer is the church going to be treated differently than any other organization or person.”

Mitchell Garabedian, a nationally known Boston attorney who has represented local victims of child sexual abuse, said, “It sends a clear message to dioceses and orders around the world that child abuse will be prosecuted whenever possible.”

For years, Garabedian and others have contended the alleged abuse and cover-up has gone to the very top of the Catholic Church. “I’m not surprised that a high-ranking Vatican official has been named as a sexual abuser,” Garabedian said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

At last Cardinal Pell can—sort of—face his accusers

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler Jun 29, 2017

If you’re surprised by the criminal charges against Cardinal George Pell, you haven’t been paying attention.

For two years now the Australian cardinal has been the primary focus of an aggressive media campaign, with rumors about a police investigation constantly leaking into the press. Now at last the charges are out in the open—more or less. We know that prosecutors will bring formal charges against Cardinal Pell; we still don’t know exactly what those charges will be.

The cardinal himself was obviously not surprised by the announcement. He had already made arrangements to take a leave of absence from his Vatican duties; he had consulted with doctors about his trip back to Australia to defend himself. (Notice, by the way, that if he chose to duck the prosecution, he could stay at the Vatican, since the Holy See does not have an extradition treaty with Australia.) He knew this was coming. Both his actions and his attitude are consistent with his public statement that he is happy for the opportunity finally to defend his reputation.

Unfortunately the damage is done. If the charges are tossed out of court at the first opportunity, for lack of plausible evidence—as the cardinal’s staunch defenders believe they will be—critics will complain that the case was suppressed. Even if Cardinal Pell could prove with mathematical certainty that he is innocent, he will still be remembered as the cardinal who was accused of sexual abuse. The trial-by-media has already concluded. Public opinon, which does not concern itself with the niceties of the legal process, has already reached a verdict. The cardinal has been found guilty, before he even made his defense—indeed, before the actual charges were made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Gelzinis: Cardinal O’Malley urged to speak up on abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Peter Gelzinis Friday, June 30, 2017

Did cops in Australia take more decisive steps to address alleged sex abuse by the hand of a top Vatican prelate, Cardinal George Pell, than either Pope Francis, or Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley?

Anne Barrett Doyle of Milton, founder of Bishop­Accountability.org, believes they did.

“Accountablity is happening,” Doyle told me yesterday. “The problem is, it’s happening outside the church at the hands of civil authorities looking to solve a crime and secure some justice.

“This pope and our cardinal should be leading the way,” Doyle said.

Yesterday she urged both Pope Francis and Cardinal Sean O’Malley to seize this particular moment to weigh in forcefully on the humiliating scandal of a prince of the church facing sex abuse charges.

“I think Pope Francis and especially Cardinal Sean need to speak up, and speak out loudly about what has happened. They both need to address this issue head-on. And do it now.”

But for the collar and the crucifix, George Pell might well have been a senator or congressman proclaiming his innocence, instead of the cardinal archbishop of Australia, third-highest prelate in Rome and treasurer of the Vatican bank.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Rabbi Greer Seeks New Trial

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Independent

A prominent Edgewood rabbi is asking a court to throw out a $20 million verdict against him and order a new trial on sexual abuse allegations.

Attorney David Grudberg filed the motion Wednesday in U.S. District Court on behalf of the rabbi, Daniel Greer.

A federal jury last month awarded a former yeshiva student named Eliyahu Mirlis $15 million in damages, and his lawyers another $5 million, based on testimony that Greer repeatedly sexually abused him and another student over a period of years.

Grudberg’s motion asks the court the court either to throw out the case and order a new trial; or, barring that, reduce the award to under $1 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Catholic priest's alleged inappropriate conduct kept hidden from school nearby his residence for 'privacy reasons'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Jesse Dorsett

The Catholic Church decided not to tell a Canberra primary school a priest living next door had been accused of inappropriate conduct with children because it was concerned about his privacy, an independent report has found.

The historical allegations involve two girls, and include the priest putting his arms around an 11 or 12-year-old from behind and nibbling her ear when they were alone in a Tumut church in the Riverina.

While the alleged victims decided not to press charges, a church report found the complaints were sustained and the man was removed as the parish priest.

But his lawyers denied he was guilty of any misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

George Pell highlights the Vatican's failure to act

IRELAND
Newstalk

Sexual abuse charges against Cardinal George Pell have been a long time coming.

He has been charged with multiple historical sexual abuse offences, which he will face in a Melbourne court next month.

Pell is Australia's most senior Catholic and the third ranking official at the Vatican.

Boston Globe investigative reporter Michael Rezendes told Rachel Smalley it comes as no surprise.

"This is the direct result of the Vatican's failure to come to grips with this issue. After all it's been 15 years more than 15 years since my colleagues and I on the Boston Globe broke this story."

Rezendes said the Vatican has made many fine statements about victims of clergy sex abuse and its plans to do something about it, but says really nothing has happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

‘This must not distract us’

AUSTRALIA
The Border Mail

Derrick Krusche and Rachel Browne
30 Jun 2017

Ballarat clergy sexual abuse survivors hope Cardinal George Pell’s trial will not distract from implementing the royal commission’s recommendations.

Peter Blenkiron, who was abused by disgraced Christian Brother Edward Dowlan, said whether Cardinal Pell was guilty or not was a red herring.

"If we focus on one person, on one issue, then that can distract the whole community and eclipse what really needs to change," he said.

“We must not take our eyes off the ball and we must make sure all recommendations are implemented.”

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.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Pope Francis faces worst ‘crisis’ as shockwaves at Cardinal Pell charges spread around the world

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Andrew Koubaridis
news.com.au
@akoubaridis

THE historic sexual offence allegations made against Cardinal George Pell have plunged Pope Francis into the greatest crisis of his papacy, a Vatican watcher says.

Christopher Lamb, the Rome Correspondent for Catholic newspaper The Tablet, said the news of the charges against Cardinal Pell — the third most powerful figure in the church and the most senior Australian — created “shockwaves” when it came through yesterday.

“It’s fair to say it has had a huge impact on people who work in the Vatican ... obviously [it was known] there was a possibility the Cardinal would be charged and the police were about to make a decision, but when it came through it really sent shockwaves through the global headquarters of Catholicism and the church is still coming to terms with this news,” he told ABC’s Lateline last night.

Lamb said The Cardinal had been “entrusted” by the Pope to repair the Vatican’s finances and was now the most senior church figure to be charged with sex offences.

The 76-year-old must return to Melbourne on July 26 to face charges relating to multiple complainants. He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to clear his name. Addressing the world’s media from the Vatican yesterday, Cardinal Pell said: “I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

He has stepped down from his Vatican duties as he begins his defence of the charge — but Mr Lamb told Lateline the effect on the Pope’s papacy had been immediately felt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

No stranger to child abuse scandals, cardinal now finds himself in firing line

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Annette Blackwell
June 30 2017

The Pope is likely shaking the dust off a letter of resignation from one of his top men, Australian cardinal George Pell.

The letter has been gathering dust in a Vatican file for just over a year - Pell submitted it, as obliged, when he turned 75 last year.

Francis, if truly committed to reassuring the faithful a reforming Church had zero tolerance for a culture of silence, or worse, a wilful and deliberate cover-up of child sex abuse, would have said a year ago, "Thank you, George", and breathed a sigh of relief.

This is because controversy and George Pell have been inseparable from the time he was a priest in the Australian diocese of Ballarat in the 1970s to his ascension in 2014 as a chief adviser to the Pope and the Holy See's main beancounter.

And much of that controversy has been about the former archbishop's responses to priests who sinned grossly against children and his legalistic solution for dealing with abuse survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Why the Catholic Church must continue soul-searching

UNITED STATES
CNN

[with video]

By Heidi Schlumpf

Heidi Schlumpf is a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter and teaches communication at Aurora University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)The news that a high-ranking Vatican official has been charged with sexual abuse is a reminder that the church's sex abuse crisis is not over — and that it has potential to affect the entire church, across so-called liberal or conservative lines, even to the top echelons of the church hierarchy.

Cardinal George Pell, former archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne and current head of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy, denied the allegations that will require him to return to Australia from Rome to face multiple charges of sexual assault.

Speculation about Pell's abuse is detailed in a recent book, which the publisher has now pulled from the shelves in the Australian state of Victoria so as not to prejudice the court. Pell also has a less than credible record for his handling of sexual abuse allegations against other priests, especially his involvement in the case of Gerald Ridsdale, a former priest who was convicted of abusing more than 50 victims. Last year, testifying via video to the Australian child abuse royal commission, Pell said the church made "enormous mistakes" in its handling of the matter.
Pell's story is significant not only because it marks the first time authorities have charged a Vatican official with sexual abuse, but also because it shows that the decadeslong sex abuse crisis is not a "once and done" thing. Catholics will be hearing about this for a while.

Certainly, the early 2000s were the peak, with the Boston Globe bringing the issue to national prominence, resulting in lawsuits, criminal charges and the Academy Award-winning movie "Spotlight," about the journalists who uncovered both the abuse and the coverup by the church hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Archdiocese says it won’t fund George Pell’s defence

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney will house Cardinal George Pell when he returns to Australia to face historic sexual assault allegations.

But Archbishop Anthony Fisher said the Archdiocese would not pay for his legal fees as the Cardinal prepares to face a Melbourne court next month.

“While the Archdiocese will assist with the Cardinal’s accommodation and support as it would for any of its bishops or priests, it is not responsible for the Cardinal’s legal bills arising from these matters,” Archbishop Fisher said, ABC reports.

Victoria Police charged Cardinal Pell on Thursday with “multiple charges” relating to “multiple complaints”, sending shockwaves to the top of the Vatican.

Cardinal Pell, the third most powerful person in the Catholic Church, has been put on leave while he defends the charges and immediately ceased public duties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

What led to Cardinal George Pell's abuse chargers?

AUSTRALIA
CBS News

[video]

JUNE 29, 2017, 8:09 PM| Cardinal George Pell has been a contentious figure in the church for some time, yet he remained prominent and has maintained close ties to Pope Francis. Now Pell faces sexual assault charges in Australia. Investigative reporter and author of ""Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell"" Louise Milligan spoke about Pell's downfall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Cardinal George Pell: Charges of historical sex offences will define Vatican official's legacy

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz

Five years ago, the news that Australia's most famous Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, was to be charged with historical sex offences would have been like a tsunami inside the church. Not now.

Today the mood is numbed acceptance, the feeling that this is the inevitable last act in the drama of a man who authored his own tragedy.

It was his appearances before the child abuse inquiries by the Victorian Parliament and the Royal Commission that really savaged his reputation, both because of the deficiencies they uncovered and because of his wooden, cold responses.

But in the Australian Catholic Church, the damage from clergy abuse was done long ago, and the latest development is merely cause for more disappointment. For years, most ordinary Catholics have focused on their local parishes and ignored the hierarchy, as dismayed as anyone by the shocking revelations of official cover-ups, moving paedophile priests and silencing victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Italian newspaper brands Australia 'a paradise of the orcs' in its coverage of 'controversial kangaroo' George Pell's historical sex offences charges

ITALY
Daily Mail

By Australian Associated Press and Kate Darvall For Daily Mail Australia

Sex charges laid against Cardinal George Pell are getting heavy coverage in the Italian media, with one newspaper branding him 'controversial kangaroo' and Australia 'a paradise of the orcs'.

The Italian media attacked Australia's record of sexual assault, and claimed seven per cent of priests had been accused of the offences.

Cardinal Pell was on Thursday charged by Victorian Police with historical sexual assault offences.

He's the most senior Catholic Church cleric to face such charges in the world in modern times.
Italian newspaper websites on Thursday ran prominent pictures of the 76-year-old and television networks carried long segments with footage of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

They also broadcast footage of Australian sexual assault survivors who attended the Rome end of a Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearing when Cardinal Pell gave evidence last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Protected Church, not children: Victim on Cardinal Pell child sex abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
The Asian Age

AFP

Sydney: From country priest to trusted top Vatican aide, the rise of Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric George Pell has been plagued in its twilight by sordid controversies from the past.

To his admirers, the 76-year-old cardinal embodies the orthodox traditions of Australian Catholicism, but to his critics he represents an institution that has failed to properly deal with child sex abuse allegations.

Pell, who was charged Thursday with historical sex abuse, strongly denies the allegations, details of which were not given by police.

He also says he had no knowledge of widespread paedophilia in the church in Australia, even suggesting a conspiracy to bring him down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

George Pell: How Italian media reacted to the historical sexual offence charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The charges against George Pell have been heavily covered in the Italian media, with the Cardinal described as a "controversial kangaroo" and Australia's record on sexual abuse criticised.

Australia's most senior Catholic cleric has been ordered to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on July 26, after Victoria Police served charges on his legal representatives.

Pell strongly denied the charges, saying he had been the victim of "relentless character assassination" and looked forward to returning to Australia to clear his name in court.

As head of the Vatican's finances, Pell is considered number three in the Catholic hierarchy, making him the most senior Catholic Church cleric to face such charges in the world in modern times.

The significance of the charges — and Pell's senior position — has seen the story heavily covered by Italian media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Catholic Church rallies behind Pell after sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Times Live (South Africa)

AFP

Australia's Catholic leaders have spoken out in support of Cardinal George Pell describing the Vatican finance chief as a "thoroughly decent man" after he was charged with historical sexual offences.

Pell, who has been ordered to face a Melbourne court hearing next month, said Thursday he would return to Australia "as soon as possible to clear his name" after consulting with his doctors.

The pre-eminent cleric rose through the ranks to the highest offices of the church in Australia before leaving to manage the Vatican's powerful economic ministry.

The Australian's successors spoke warmly of his legacy and reputation.

"The George Pell I know is a man of integrity in his dealings with others, a man of faith and high ideals, a thoroughly decent man," the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher said in a statement.

Pope backs Australian cardinal in fight against sex abuse charges

Cardinal George Pell said Thursday that he would take leave from the Vatican to return to Australia to fight sexual assault charges after being given ...
NEWS 23 hours ago
But Fisher said that while his archdiocese would help Pell with accommodation on his return to Australia to face the charges, "it is not responsible for the Cardinal's legal bills arising from these matters".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Cardinal Pell’s situation may be unique, but there are plenty of parallels

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

Although Cardinal George Pell of Australia is the first cardinal and Vatican official to face criminal charges related to sexual abuse, he's hardly the first Catholic bishop to be prosecuted on those grounds, and also not the first Vatican official to face a criminal indictment. A rundown of several such recent cases allows one to compare and contrast with the Pell situation, including the fact

Given news that Australian Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy and a member of Pope Francis’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers, has been criminally charged with sexual abuse in his native Australia, the question naturally arises of whether such a situation is unprecedented.

Unsurprisingly for an institution with a history as long as the Catholic Church, the answer is “yes and no.”

In fact, no cardinal, and no sitting Vatican official, has ever before faced a criminal indictment for sexual abuse. On the other hand, several figures in both categories have faced criminal charges for a variety of other offenses, and other Catholic bishops around the world have faced abuse charges, which offers the possibility to compare and contrast with the Pell drama.

In 1982, American Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, at the time head of the Vatican Bank, was implicated in a massive financial scandal that led to the collapse of an Italian bank. Italian authorities issued a criminal indictment against him, forcing him to remain locked on Vatican property until the country’s Supreme Court ruled in 1988 that as a Holy See passport holder, he enjoyed immunity from prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

The Pope’s ‘blind spot’ on sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Gant Daily

Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2017 by CNN in International News

Last December, Pope Francis wrote a letter to bishops around the world, lamenting the pain his church has caused sexually abused children.

“It is a sin that shames us,” the Pope said. “The sin of what happened, the sin of failing to help, the sin of covering up and denial, the sin of the abuse of power.” He pledged to take “all necessary measures” to assure that “these atrocities” never again occur in the church, where there would be “zero tolerance” of anyone who hurts children.

That’s the kind of straight talk Catholics expected when the College of Cardinals elected Francis in 2013. He was an outsider, had never worked in Rome and earned a reputation as incorruptible while serving as an archbishop in Argentina.

But as the sexual abuse crisis continues to swirl around his church, Francis’ promises have run into a brick wall of Vatican opposition. His plan for a tribunal to try bishops accused of covering up abuse was scotched. The two abuse survivors appointed to his commission to protect children have quit or been placed on a leave of absence after battling church officials. And now his commitment to take action faces its biggest test, after one of his top advisers, Cardinal George Pell, was charged with sexual assault in his native Australia on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Catholic priest now faces 9 years in prison for sexual abuse

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal June 29, 2017

A Catholic priest is facing an additional two years in prison after a sentencing hearing in Meade County Thursday for sexually abusing a boy at a summer camp in the 1970s.

Father Joseph Hemmerle, 74, who was serving seven years for the sexual abuse of another victim, was sentenced to an additional two years in prison as well as eight years of probation.

Hemmerle pled guilty to his charges on May 17 in Grayson Circuit Court. The case involved allegations by a man who said Hemmerle sexually abused him while he was a boy at the camp in the summers of 1977 and 1978, according to a copy of the plea agreement.

Hemmerle's additional charges come seven months after he was convicted in Meade County of sexually molesting a boy in the 1970s at the same location, Camp Tall Trees at Otter Creek Park, which the Archdiocese of Louisville ran until 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

June 29, 2017

Pope problems: Pell charges plunge Vatican into crisis

AUSTRALIA
Warwick Daily News

Andrew Koubaridis | 30th Jun 2017

THE historic sexual offence allegations made against Cardinal George Pell have plunged Pope Francis into the greatest crisis of his papacy, a Vatican watcher says.

Christopher Lamb, the Rome Correspondent for Catholic newspaper The Tablet, said the news of the charges against Cardinal Pell - the third most powerful figure in the church and the most senior Australian - created "shockwaves" when it came through yesterday.

"It's fair to say it has had a huge impact on people who work in the Vatican ... obviously [it was known] there was a possibility the Cardinal would be charged and the police were about to make a decision, but when it came through it really sent shockwaves through the global headquarters of Catholicism and the church is still coming to terms with this news," he told ABC's Lateline last night.

Lamb said The Cardinal had been "entrusted" by the Pope to repair the Vatican's finances and was now the most senior church figure to be charged with sex offences.

The 76-year-old must return to Melbourne on July 26 to face charges relating to multiple complainants.

He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to clear his name. Addressing the world's media from the Vatican yesterday, Cardinal Pell said: "I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Real-Life “Spotlight” Stars Speak Out On New Charges Against High-Ranking Vatican Official

MASSACHUSETTS
WGBH

[with video]

June 29, 2017

WGBH NEWS

Cardinal George Pell is heading back to his home country of Australia to face multiple sexual assault charges, from multiple accusers. Officials are not releasing details of the charges, nor the accusers — including their ages — but Pell has denied the complaints, calling them part of a "relentless character assassination."

“I can’t possibly be surprised,” said attorney Mitchell Garabedian when he joined Jim Braude on “Greater Boston," along with investigative journalist Mike Rezendes, who was part of The Boston Globe Spotlight team that first broke the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal in the '90s. Garabedian has represented thousands of victims of church abuse and both men were portrayed in the 2015 film “Spotlight.”

“I have cases around the world where children were abused by priests and some of them were high-ranking priests,” said Garabedian.

Pell is the third-ranking official in the Vatican and he's the senior-most church official to ever be charged.

“Most important, the church has not dealt with this problem,” said Rezendes. “Until the church deals with the problem head-on, we're going to see scandal after scandal after scandal.”

Cardinal Pell is one of nine church officials who were appointed by Pope Francis, shortly after his election in 2013, to study reforms within the Catholic Church. Boston's own Cardinal Sean O'Malley — who chairs the Pope's Commission for the Protection of Minors — was another.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Senior Catholic Church officials have rarely faced charges in the sexual abuse of children. Here are a few who did.

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Times

By Alexandra Zavis

Victims rights groups have long complained that criminal accountability for the sexual abuse of children by members of the Roman Catholic clergy has rarely extended above the level of priests, despite evidence that bishops and archbishops knew about many of the suspected crimes — and in some cases played a role in the abuse.

On Thursday, Cardinal George Pell became the highest ranking Vatican official to be formally charged with sexual assault in connection with the scandals that have dogged the church for decades.

Pell, Pope Francis’ top financial advisor, had already faced questioning last year by a royal commission in his native Australia over accusations that he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and, later, Sydney. More recently, accusations surfaced that he himself had abused boys going as far back as the 1970s, when he was a priest in Ballarat.

At a news conference Thursday, Pell said that the pontiff had given him leave to appear in court in Melbourne next month, and that he was looking forward to the opportunity to clear his name.

While criminal charges have been brought against more than 100 priests in Australia alone, few senior Catholic prelates around the world have been brought to account. Here are some of those cases:

Jozef Wesolowski

The Polish former archbishop was the first high-ranking official in the Roman Catholic Church to be sent before the Vatican’s own criminal court on charges of sexual abuse. Accused of paying shoeshine boys for sex while serving as papal nuncio, or ambassador, in the Dominican Republic, he was recalled by Francis in 2013 and defrocked the following year. While living at the Vatican, he was found to have child pornography on a computer. He died before his trial could begin in 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Jet ambulance from Rome to Melbourne would cost more than $350,000

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 30, 2017

Greg Brown
Journalist
Melbourne
@gregbrown_TheOz

The Catholic Church could be forced to fork out for an expensive trip from Rome to Melbourne if doctors decide George Pell is too ill to fly on a standard plane.

Cardinal Pell could take a lengthy boat trip from Europe to Australia or be “medivacced” on a private jet at a cost of about $15,000 an hour.

Cardinal Pell gave evidence at the child sex abuse royal commission last year via videolink from Rome, with his lawyers arguing his heart condition was not compatible with a long flight.

He said yesterday he would return to Melbourne to fight historical sex abuse charges but his mode of transport is unclear. “I’ve spoken to my lawyers about when this will be necessary. And I’ve spoken to my doctors about the best way to achieve this,” he said.

Strategic Aviation Solutions chairman Neil Hansford said people were evacuated on “jet ambulances” on a daily basis. He said the planes include a doctor, a nurse and ample medical equipment to cater for health concerns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Vatican Sex Abuse Scandal Reveals Blind Spot for Francis

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By JASON HOROWITZ and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
JUNE 29, 2017

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis came to power promising not only to create a more inclusive church and to clean up an ossified Vatican bureaucracy, but also to remove the stain of child sex abuse.

A global pedophilia scandal plagued his two immediate processors. With Francis’s election in 2013, many expected progress. Francis talked about powerful committees to safeguard children, tribunals to try bishops and a “zero tolerance” policy for offending priests.

It hasn’t exactly worked out that way.

On Thursday, the Vatican announced that Francis had granted a leave of absence to Cardinal George Pell, now the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual offenses, and one the pope had brought into his inner circle even as a cloud of allegations swirled over the cardinal in Australia.

“We talked about my need to take leave to clear my name,” Cardinal Pell, 76, stone-faced in simple black cleric’s clothes, said as he sat next to the Vatican’s spokesman and reiterated his innocence. “So I’m very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this leave to return to Australia.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Abus sexuels : le cardinal George Pell inculpé par la justice australienne

AUSTRALIE
La Croix (France)

La Croix (avec AFP), le 29/06/2017

Le numéro trois du Saint-Siège, le cardinal australien George Pell, a été inculpé jeudi 29 juin pour de multiples agressions sexuelles en Australie. Le plus haut responsable catholique d’Australie s’est dit jeudi au Vatican totalement innocent avant d’annoncer son intention de rentrer en Australie pour se défendre. Le Vatican a accepté le « congé » du cardinal Pell sans exiger sa démission.

Le ministre de l’économie du Saint-Siège, le cardinal George Pell, a été inculpé jeudi 29 juin en Australie pour de multiples agressions sexuelles, des accusations anciennes qu’il a de nouveau démenties catégoriquement. Il s’agit du plus éminent ecclésiastique mis en cause dans une affaire d’abus sexuels.

Mis en cause dans le livre-enquête d’une journaliste australienne en mai dernier, il avait récusé toute accusation d’abus sexuels sur mineurs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Le cardinal australien George Pell, argentier du Vatican, inculpé pour sévices sexuels sur enfants

AUSTRALIE
Le Figaro (France)

Le cardinal George Pell, préfet du secrétariat pour l'économie du Vatican, a été officiellement inculpé d'abus sexuels. L'ecclésiastique de 76 ans doit se présenter le 18 juillet devant le tribunal de première instance de Melbourne pour y être entendu. «Le cardinal Pell doit répondre de multiples accusations liées à des crimes sexuels anciens», a déclaré le commissaire adjoint de la police de l'Etat de Victoria, ajoutant lors d'une conférence de presse que "de multiples plaignants" étaient liés à cette affaire.

Selon l'archidiocèse de Sydney, le cardinal rejette "vigoureusement" les accusations de pédophilie et rentrera en Australie pour se défendre. Les faits présumés remontent aux années 1970, 1980 et 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

«Il cardinale Pell incriminato per gravi reati sessuali». Le accuse della polizia australiana

ROMA
Corriere della Sera

Il cardinale australiano George Pell, già arcivescovo di Melbourne e poi di Sydney e ora prefetto degli Affari economici del Vaticano, è stato incriminato per gravi reati sessuali. Stando a indiscrezioni giornalistiche i reati contestati potrebbero essere fino a tre, fra cui un’accusa di stupro. L’annuncio è destinato a suscitare violente reazioni nella Chiesa cattolica d’Australia e del mondo, osserva il quotidiano. Lo scorso ottobre tre funzionari della polizia del Victoria si erano recati a Roma per interrogare Pell, che non si sottrasse alle domande degli investigatori. L’arcidiocesi di Sydney ha detto che l’alto prelato farà ritorno in Australia per contestare le accuse. Non solo. Pell farà una dichiarazione giovedì mattina alle 8.30 nella sala stampa vaticana. Lo fa sapere la stessa sala stampa vaticana in una nota, precisando che non ci sarà diretta streaming, e che fotografi e cameramen saranno ammessi.

Le notifiche di reato

Le notifiche di reato - riferisce la radio nazionale Abc - sono state notificate dalla polizia dello stato australiano di Victoria questa mattina ai rappresentanti legali di Pell a Melbourne e presentate al tribunale detto Magistrates Court, davanti a cui il prelato è chiamato a comparire il 18 luglio. Nel dare l’annuncio il vice commissario di polizia Shane Patton ha precisato che le accuse riguardano più querelanti e che le indagini hanno riguardato reati che sarebbero stati commessi negli anni 1970 a Ballarat, città nativa di Pell dove allora era sacerdote. Patton ha sottolineato che” il processo e le procedure seguite sono state le stesse di quelle applicate in una vasta gamma di reati sessuali storici, tutte le volte che li investighiamo”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Pedofilia, cardinale Pell incriminato per gravi reati sessuali: "Andrò in Australia a difendermi"

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
La Repubblica

di ANDREA GUALTIERI e KATIA RICCARDI

CITTA' DEL VATICANO - L'ombra della pedofilia e dello stupro torna ad oscurare la Chiesa. Il cardinale australiano George Pell, già arcivescovo di Melbourne e poi di Sydney e ora prefetto degli Affari economici della Santa Sede, è stato incriminato per presunti reati di abusi sessuali su minori quando era sacerdote a Ballarat (1976-1980) e, poi, arcivescovo a Melbourne (1996-2001). Si tratta del più alto esponente ecclesiastico mai finito sotto accusa per abusi sessuali.

La notizia piomba sul Vaticano in una data solenne, quella della festività dei Santi Pietro e Paolo. Oggi è il giorno in cui il Papa consegna agli arcivescovi metropoliti appena nominati il pallio, simbolo del giogo pastorale da prendersi sulle spalle. Una cerimonia alla quale sono presenti anche i cinque cardinali che hanno ricevuto ieri la berretta. "Lo Spirito di vita non soffia se non si prega e senza preghiera non si aprono le carceri interiori che ci tengono prigionieri", ha detto Francesco durante l'omelia davanti ai cinque nuovi cardinali che ieri hanno ricevuto la berretta rossa. Alla cerimonia avrebbe dovuto partecipare, tra i prelati di curia, anche Pell, che invece non si è presentato. E non apparirà nemmeno in tutti gli altri eventi e cerimonie pubbliche che avverranno fin quando resterà sotto accusa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Extensive Italian press coverage for Pell

ITALY
7 News

By Lloyd Jones, AAP London Correspondent - AAP on June 30, 2017

The charges laid against Vatican finance chief and Australian Cardinal George Pell are getting heavy coverage in Italian media, which have attacked Australia's record on sexual assault.

Cardinal Pell was on Thursday charged by Victorian Police with historical sexual assault offences.

He's the most senior Catholic Church cleric to face such charges in the world in modern times.

Italian newspaper websites on Thursday ran prominent pictures of the 76-year-old. Television networks carried long segments with footage of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

They also broadcast footage of Australian sexual assault survivors who attended the Rome end of a Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearing when Cardinal Pell gave evidence last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Cardinal's sex abuse case is test for Francis' papacy

ROME/AUSTRALIA
Los Angeles Times

Tom Kington, Laura King and Victoria Kim

Charges of sexual offenses against one of the Vatican’s top-ranking prelates have placed new pressure on Pope Francis to make good on pledges to root out, punish and prevent abuses that have shaken the Roman Catholic Church worldwide.

Cardinal George Pell, the most senior church official to be implicated in a far-flung scandal of decades’ standing, said Thursday that he would return to his native Australia to face the charges against him.

He dismissed the charges as “relentless character assassination.”

The cardinal, who is a senior advisor to Francis, told reporters in Vatican City that the pontiff had granted him a leave of absence to contest the charges, which bring the globe-spanning abuse allegations directly to the gates of the Vatican.

Although cases of priest-committed pedophilia and their wrenchingly long-lasting repercussions remain an open wound in dozens of dioceses across the United States and other countries, it is rare for direct allegations of abuse to reach the level of a cardinal, each of whom is known as a “prince of the church.”

Australian authorities described the charges against Pell as centering on sex offenses committed decades ago in Australia — “historical” crimes, in police language. Pell had already come under withering scrutiny in his homeland for allegedly helping to cover up sexual predation by others while he held senior church positions in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

CARDINAL PELL DESERVES FAIR HEARING

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue speaks to the controversy over Cardinal George Pell:

Cardinal Pell has been charged by Australian police on multiple counts of sexual abuse. He will appear before a Melbourne court on July 18. He says the charges are false and is “looking forward finally to having my day in court.”

Actually, Cardinal Pell has been in court before, and the charges against him went nowhere. It is worth discussing them now, especially given the current media frenzy over the latest accusations.

In 2002, allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal Pell were thrown out of court by the Victorian Supreme Court. A Melbourne man said he was abused by Pell in 1962 at a camp when he was 12; Pell was studying for the priesthood. The judge ruled that there were “some valid criticism of the complainant’s credibility.” That was a gross understatement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Knesset petitioned over Leifer

ISRAEL
The Australian Jewish News

THE Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Israel (VPFI) has launched a petition to help bring alleged child sexual abuser Malka Leifer back to Australia.

David Southwick, the co-convenor of the VPFI, is going to Israel next month and will present the petition to the Knesset.

“Victims of the alleged sexual abuse by Malka Leifer deserve justice,” Southwick told The AJN.

“She must be extradited back to Australia immediately to be questioned by Victoria Police.”

Leifer, a former Adass Israel principal, fled Australia in 2008 amid accusations she abused Adass students. She has remained in Israel ever since. Last year, an Israeli judge ruled she is too mentally unstable to face extradition proceedings relating to 74 counts of alleged abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Cardinal Pell returns to Australia ‘to clear his name’. But what are his chances of a fair trial?

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Damian Thompson

Cardinal George Pell, the head of the Vatican’s finances, has been charged with historic sex offences in his native Australia. He is returning there ‘to clear his name’. ‘I look forward to my day in court’, he said at a press conference in Rome this morning.

If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t be looking forward to it. I believe – on the basis of the very sketchy evidence we’ve seen so far, and also my personal encounters with him – that the Cardinal is innocent of these charges. But what are his chances of a fair trial in Australia?

Let me quote at length from an article by Angela Shanahan in The Australian, published on June 11. It seems to be behind a paywall, but this is what she had to say:

Pell can never receive a fair trial. The “vibe” has taken over. The year-long pursuit of him by the police, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton’s recent frequent radio interviews and unprecedented commentary on the process, combined with the sustained efforts of the ABC and Fairfax Media, have ensured that any real evidence of wrongdoing has long become a secondary consideration to the vibe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Bad day for Pope Francis: Sexual-assault charges against Cardinal Pell fuel media firestorm

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Terry Mattingly

This answers the question that, behind the scenes, some Catholic church insiders have been asking in recent years.

That question: What will it take to get tough-as-nails, straightforward coverage of a news story closely linked to Pope Francis?

Clearly, the historic criminal sexual-assault charges against Cardinal George Pell of Australia is such a story. As the Vatican's "financial czar," Pell is one of the most powerful men in the Catholic hierarchy. Some rank him No. 2 in terms of clout, a notch behind the pope. He is also a member the pope's nine-member special advisory council.

The announcement was made on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul – a highly symbolic day at the Vatican. Did that make it into many news reports? Not that I saw.

However, there are strong news stories everywhere. However, the strong, blunt nature of the coverage – with quotes from Pell defenders and critics – can be seen in a lengthy Associated Press report that will be seen in thousands of daily newspapers around the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Cardinal George Pell unlikely to return to Vatican City

VATICAN CITY
Coffs Coast Advocate

Jacquelin Magnay and Ellen Whinnett | 30th Jun 2017

POPE Francis on Thursday night offered guarded support for Cardinal George Pell, while expressing respect for the Australian judicial system that will decide his fate.

But Vatican insiders are already preparing to pension off Cardinal George Pell, regardless of the outcome of the case involving historic sex offences.

The Herald Sun has been told it is highly unlikely that Cardinal Pell, who was promoted to the Vatican three years ago to reform its multi- billion euro real estate and financial portfolio, will return to Rome in his high-profile role.
Pope Francis, while supportive of Cardinal Pell, is seeking to fend off his harshest critics and minimise any reputational damage to the church.

In a statement read by his media officer, Greg Burke, Pope Francis said: "The Holy See expresses its respect for the Australian justice system, which will have to decide the merits of the questions raised.

"At the same time it is important to recall Cardinal Pell has openly and repeatedly condemned, as immoral and intolerable, the acts of abuse against minors."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

George Pell charges: The view from the Vatican

AUSTRALIA/ROME
ABC News

ANALYSIS
RN By Noel Debien for The Religion and Ethics Report

The wheels of the Australian justice system have begun to turn in potentially world-changing ways.

Victoria Police has summonsed a sitting cardinal from the Vatican. In the free world, a cardinal has never been charged with criminal offences before.

Cardinal Pell strenuously denies the charges, and we need many more details yet to understand what they may involve. But the astonishing fact remains that a man who could yet be Pope has been told he must stand trial in Australia, and he has agreed to do so.

'We must avoid a media verdict'

When asked directly by journalists about the Cardinal Pell matter last year, Pope Francis answered: "We must avoid a media verdict, a verdict based on gossip."

"It's in the hands of the justice system and one cannot judge before the justice system. After the justice system speaks, I will speak."

It is unclear whether Pope Francis will speak now that charges have been laid, or whether he will wait until the completion of the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Louisville Priest Sentenced in Sex Abuse Summer Camp Case

PENNSYLVANIA
U.S. News

BRANDENBURG, Ky. (AP) — A Catholic priest has been sentenced to serve two years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual abuse charges brought by a victim who says he was abused in the 1970s at a church summer camp.

R. Joseph Hemmerle was sentenced on Thursday in Meade County. The two-year sentence will be served in addition to a seven-year sentence Hemmerle received in February on another abuse case. Both victims say they were abused by Hemmerle at Camp Tall Trees, a now-closed Catholic summer camp about an hour west of Louisville.

The 74-year-old Hemmerle has been on administrative leave from the church since 2014.

In November, the priest testified at a trial that he would sometimes apply calamine lotion to the genitals of child campers, but denied abusing anyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Papa Francesco dà la berretta rossa a Jean Zerbo: il monsignore “con 12 milioni in banca” è diventato cardinale

ROMA
Il Fatto Quotidiano

[Pope Francis gave the red hat to Jean Zerbo: the monsignor "with 12 million in the bank."]

Nel concistoro in cui sono stati nominati i 5 nuovi porporati è stato stravolto il protocollo per non far parlare il presule del Mali, accusato da un'inchiesta di Le Monde di essere l'unico referente di vari conti correnti in un istituto di credito svizzero, per un ammontare colossale e diametralmente opposto ai principi di povertà su cui si basa tutto il pontificato di Bergoglio

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Man charged with attempted child molestation, sodomy in downtown Columbus

GEORGIA
Ledger-Enquirer

BY SARAH ROBINSON
srobinson@ledger-enquirer.com

A 45-year-old man was accused of trying to molest a child on Broadway in downtown Columbus, authorities said.

Homer Jay Singleton was arrested at 12:37 p.m. Wednesday and charged with one count each of attempted aggravated child molestation, sodomy, driving while license suspended and contempt of court. He was booked into the Muscogee County Jail for a 9 a.m. Friday hearing in Recorder’s Court.

Members of the Columbus Police Department’s Special Victims Unit were called to Broadway around 12:37 p.m. Wednesday to speak with an individual about a child molestation attempt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Columbus police arrest former youth pastor for sodomy, child molestation

GEORGIA
WTVM

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Columbus police have arrested a former youth pastor at Edgewood Assembly of God on several charges including child molestation and sodomy.

Homer Singleton, 45, known as Jay, was arrested on Wednesday, June 28 around noon after the Columbus Police Department’s Special Victims Unit was investigating an individual for attempted aggravated child molestation.

Singleton was recently a volunteer worker with the children's ministry at The Refuge Church, which is a satellite of North Highland.

He was arrested near the area of Broadway and 8th St.

The former youth pastor was charged with child molestation, aggravated child molestation, criminal attempt child molestation, criminal attempt sodomy, and driving while license suspended or revoked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Former Bishop Carroll house parent sentenced for sexual assault

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Jocelyn Brumbaugh
jbrumbaugh@tribdem.com

EBENSBURG – A former house parent for international students at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School was sentenced to be under the supervision of probation for the next 11 years, 11 months and register under Megan’s Law for the next 25 years for sexual assault charges filed last August.

Charges against John Bowman Thornberry, 29, of Mills River, North Carolina, were announced by then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane last July.

He was originally charged with one count each of institutional sexual assault, criminal attempt at sexual assault, attempted indecent assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of a child.

Investigators said the alleged incidents warranting the charges occurred while Thornberry was a house parent in a dorm-style residence hall for students at Bishop Carroll between December 2014 and February 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 PM

Former Catholic School House Parent Sentenced in Abuse Case

PENNSYLVANIA
U.S. News

EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former house parent at a Pennsylvania Catholic school accused of molesting two international students he supervised has been sentenced to probation.

The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/2tpd6NN ) that 29-year-old John Bowman Thornberry will be released from a county jail where has been held since last year and placed under probationary supervision for 11 years and 11 months. He will also register as a sex offender under Wednesday's sentencing by a Cambria County judge.

Thornberry pleaded guilty in March to institutional sexual assault.

He was removed last year from his job overseeing Chinese international students at Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg. One student said Thornberry fondled him. Another boy said he fought off a molestation attempt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 PM

George Pell case: Ballarat’s deep sense of relief

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 30, 2017

CHIP LE GRAND
Victorian Chief ReporterMelbourne
@Melbchief

In the more than 30 years since George Pell left Ballarat, the Victorian gold rush town where he was born, schooled and served as a priest, he has travelled further and soared higher than any Australian clergyman, rising to a position of immense power and authority within the Vatican. Yet, through all those years, no matter how high he climbed, Pell has never ­escaped the broken community he left behind.

On a cold, winter’s day in Ballarat, news that Cardinal Pell had been charged by Victoria Police with historical sex offences was greeted, overwhelmingly, with a sense of relief. For the best part of two years, the prospect of Australia’s most senior Catholic winding up in the dock has dangled before an abused generation with the promise of ultimate vindication and perhaps, a healing salve.

Lawyer Ingrid Irwin, a survivor of sex abuse whose clients include two Ballarat men who have ­publicly accused Pell of abusing them, describes it as a watershed ­moment.

“He really had a gravitas in this town that carried him to where he is now,’’ she tells The Australian. “He is quite a formidable character and that has kept people scared and at bay, to a certain extent. There is a feeling of relief that ­finally they have been heard.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Charges against Vatican cardinal revive questions about Pope Francis’s handling of child sexual abuse by priests

ROME
Washington Post

By Stefano Pitrelli, Michael Birnbaum and A. Odysseus Patrick June 29

ROME — The Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse scandal ensnared one of Pope Francis’s top lieutenants on Thursday, underlining the halting progress the reformist pontiff has made in addressing decades of abuse by the clergy even as Cardinal George Pell declared himself innocent of the charges against him.

Pell, one of the most powerful officials in the Vatican, said he would return to his native Australia to fight multiple charges of sexual assault. He became the highest-ranking Vatican official to be formally accused by law enforcement when Australian police charged him earlier Thursday.

Advocates for victims of child abuse said that allowing Pell to face charges in Australia, rather than keeping him inside the Vatican City’s walls, was already a major step for a church that might have shielded him in earlier years. But they also said that the cardinal’s ability to remain in his post until Thursday, despite controversy about his role in the Australian church’s years of abuse, was a sign that Francis had not ushered in a new era in one of the most painful chapters in modern Catholic history.

The case pulls Francis’s papacy back into the abuse scandals that have battered the church for nearly two decades and led to demands for sweeping changes on monitoring, selecting and training the clergy. In the United States and elsewhere, groups continue to press for full accountability within the Catholic Church for alleged abuse of children and others going back generations. Many recommendations of a flagship reform commission empaneled by Francis, meanwhile, have been endorsed by the pope, then ignored by the Vatican bureaucracy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Professor Alexis Jay OBE, Chairwoman of Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Rochdale Online

Professor Alexis Jay OBE, Chairwoman of Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse' explains her role and the stpes being taken to encoruage victims to share their expreience with the Truth Project.

"In Rochdale, successive generations of children have been sexually abused, and failed by our society. The BBC's moving and accurate drama Three Girls highlighted just one horrifying example from this small town.

"As chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, it is my job to consider the extent to which institutions have failed in their duty to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, including right here in Rochdale.

"To get a full and accurate picture of what is really going on, I need to hear from victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. The Truth Project helps the Inquiry to do this, and I am pleased to announce that we will be opening the Truth Project in Rochdale this July.

"The Truth Project gives victims and survivors who were failed by an institution the opportunity to talk about their experiences, getting as much or as little off their chest as they want and suggesting how things might change in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

George Pell case: around the world, Cardinal has become major news

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 30, 2017

SAM BUCKINGHAM-JONES
JournalistSydney

Major international news outlets have reacted to news of the charges against George Pell, who has been accused of counts of sexual abuse.

In the US, The New York Times reported an “aide to the Pope” had been charged with sexual abuse. “It is rare for a cardinal, a prince of the church, to be accused of sexual abuse,” the newspaper wrote. “The case will test the credibility of Francis’s initiatives to foster greater accountability after abuse scandals that have shaken the church around the world.”

CNN reported that SNAP, the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, had released a statement lauding the decision. “We are always grateful and encouraged when law enforcement works hard to gather evidence to build a case against a powerful and influential man,” it said.

The Washington Post wrote that the charges were “one of the most significant indictments against a top-ranking leader of the Catholic Church”.

The US-based Associated Press called the charges a “stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

Sexual abuse survivors group raises pressure on Pope Francis following charges against Cardinal Pell

UNITED STATES
news.com.au

Victoria Craw
news.com.au
@Victoria_Craw

A GROUP of sexual abuse survivors has put pressure on Pope Francis to respond to the child sex abuse charges levelled against Australian Cardinal George Pell.

The US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called for the leader of the Catholic Church to respond and said “sexual abuse thrives when it is allowed to flourish in secrecy”.

“We await Pope Francis’ response to this development. As the head of the Catholic Church, he has promised to work to end the scourge of abuse by his clergy. We expect him to give proof of this by sending Cardinal Pell home immediately to face these charges,” Joelle Casteix said in a statement.

“We are always grateful and encouraged when law enforcement works hard to gather evidence to build a case against a powerful and influential man. We hope that anyone with additional information about this case will contact law enforcement,” she said.

“We also hope that the Australian Government’s long and extensive investigation into institutional abuse inspires other countries to follow in their footsteps and hold similar hearings.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Pope likely to abandon Pell as sex-abuse charges rock Vatican: experts

ROME
The Globe and Mail (Canada)

ERIC REGULY - EUROPEAN BUREAU CHIEF
ROME — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 29, 2017

Not long ago, Cardinal George Pell of Australia was being talked up by Vatican cardinals as a potential successor to Pope Francis. Today, he is best known as the highest-ranking prelate, and only Vatican insider, to face criminal charges for sex offences in the Catholic Church’s seemingly endless child-abuse scandals.

Defiant and bluntly outspoken as ever, Cardinal Pell used a Thursday news conference in Rome to deny the charges laid against him by police in the Australian state of Victoria, where the cardinal was born and worked in the 1970s. “I am innocent of these charges,” he said. “They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

Cardinal Pell, 76 – the Vatican’s effective financial clean-up man who is widely considered to be the Church’s third-most-powerful figure – said he would take a leave of absence as he fights the allegations. The details of what the Australian police called “historical sexual offences” were not released. He is scheduled to appear in Melbourne on July 18 to face the charges.

While the Vatican put out a statement in mild support of Cardinal Pell, the belief among Vatican watchers is that his meteoric rise is over and that Pope Francis will abandon his man even if the charges don’t stick. The allegations mark the biggest crisis in the four-year papacy of Pope Francis, who, in a December letter to his bishops, insisted the Church would adopt a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual abuse of children by the clergy.

Rev. Thomas Doyle, the American Dominican priest who warned three decades ago that the priesthood faced a highly damaging pedophilia scandal, told the National Catholic Reporter that law enforcement officials everywhere are no longer treading gently on clerical abuse cases. “A lot of the deference and the protection that the Holy See has counted on and taken for granted for so long is seriously eroding,” he said. “The defences of that the Holy See could count on are now in a precarious position.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Rev. Felix R. Colosimo – Assignment History

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ordained for the Syracuse diocese in 1965, Felix R. Colosimo worked as an assistant priest in Rome, Syracuse, Norwich and Utica, New York, before being named pastor in a Holland Patent parish in 1981. That pastorship was followed in 1987 by another in Utica and, in 1998, he was assigned as pastor to a parish in New Hartford.

In December 2013 a man reported to the diocese that Colosimo had sexually abused him beginning when the man was four years-old in the late 1970s, and continuing until the man was in his mid-teens. The diocese deemed the allegations 'credible,' and Colosimo was quietly removed from active ministry in July 2014. His accuser filed a lawsuit in June 2017 in Connecticut, having been unable to do so in New York due to the statute of limitations. According to the lawsuit, Colosimo abused the boy in Connecticut during trips there, when the boy was ages 12-15. Further, Colosimo allegedly abused him with another boy in a Connecticut hotel in the fall of 1987, which Colosimo videotaped. The alleged victim said he provided the diocese with a tape of the two boys shirtless in a hotel room. The other boy reportedly committed suicide years later. Colosimo is said to also have sexually abused his accuser during trips throughout the years to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Colosimo denied the allegations.

Ordained: 1965

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

VOTF Public Statement: Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal reaches inside the Vatican

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

VOTF appplauds actions taken thus far

Jun. 29, 2017―The Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal today reached into the heart of the Vatican. Pontifical advisor and prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy Cardinal George Pell of Australia has been granted leave by Pope Francis to return to Australia to answer charges over allegations of historical child sexual abuse.

Allegations of abuse and coverup have dogged Pell for years, at least since 2002, but he was never charged with historical child sex abuse until now. The Australian police have released no additional information about the present charges.

Voice of the Faithful applauds the actions taken thus far: Pell’s return to Australia and leave of absence from his position in Rome. Our regret is that such steps are, like so many responses to charges of clergy sex abuse, long-delayed by past reluctance of both civil and Church authorities to credit the complaints of victims.

Mary Pat Fox, Voice of the Faithful president, said she commends the Australian authorities for making every effort to hold those responsible for the abuse of minors accountable regardless of when the abuse occurred. “The Statute of Limitations in most states within the U.S. has stood in the way of many victims getting justice. We are pleased to see Pope Francis support actions of the civil judicial system. Though a person is innocent until proven guilty, the Church has often acted to stand in the way of the judicial system.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – JUNE 29, 2017

WASHINGTON (DC)
Road to Recovery and Catholic Whistleblowers

CATHOLIC WHISTLEBLOWERS AND ROAD TO RECOVERY, INC. WANT TO KNOW:
WHAT POPE FRANCIS KNEW ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST
CARDINAL GEORGE PELL OF AUSTRALIA, WHEN HE KNEW ABOUT THEM, AND WHY CARDINAL GEORGE PELL RESISTED EFFORTS BY THE AUSTRALIAN “ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE” FOR MORE THAN A YEAR TO HOLD HIM AND MANY OTHER CHURCH LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE WIDESPREAD SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN IN THAT COUNTRY

What and Why

A press conference applauding Cardinal George Pell’s seeming voluntary removal as the Vatican‘s financial czar while charges of sexual abuse of children against him are addressed in his native Australia. The press conference will also ask three very important and timely questions of the Vatican through the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations:

1) What did Pope Francis know about the allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal George Pell and when did he know about them;

2) Why didn’t Pope Francis move much earlier to place Cardinal George Pell on administrative leave when it was clear that allegations leveled against him appeared to be credible and were resisted so vociferously by Cardinal Pell; and,

3) Will the Vatican finally admit that it is inherently incapable of policing itself regarding child sexual abuse allegations and allow the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, whose report in 2014 severely criticized the Vatican for its gross mishandling of sexually abusive clergy and victim/survivors, to establish an independent commission on child abuse and “bishop accountability” that has “teeth” and extensive authority

When
Friday, June 30, 2017 at 11:30 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, 25 East 39th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues), New York, New York 10016

Who
Victim/survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and members of Road to Recovery, Inc. and Catholic Whistleblowers, two organizations founded to assists victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. - Member of Catholic Whistleblowers; Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Rev. James E. Connell, J.C.D. – On behalf of Catholic Whistleblowers; Retired Priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, WI, and Canon Lawyer – 414-940-8054 – connell.james951@gmail.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Friends and foes of Cardinal Pell weigh in on charges of abuse

UNITED STATES
Crux

Claire Giangravè EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

As news breaks around the world that Australian Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican's Secretary for the Economy, has been charged criminally with historical sexual offenses, reactions have poured in from around the globe. Pell's accusers say they're elated, even as their attorney tries to dampen their expectations, while longtime Pell friends are emphasizing his decency and integrity.

ROME - News of criminal charges against Cardinal George Pell, the third-ranking official in the Vatican, for historical sexual offenses by police in the Australia state of Victoria has produced a wave of reactions across the globe, from the archdiocese of Melbourne to Rome.

Statements on the issue have varied from skepticism and condemnation, to support and calls for fairness. Crux has collected some of the most salient reactions to the criminal indictment of Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be charged in the Church’s long-running sexual abuse scandals.

Two accusers said to be “over the moon”

Two men who accused Pell of sexually abusing them decades ago are “over the moon” concerning the decision to lay charges against the cardinal, their lawyer Ingrid Irwin told the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun.

Despite the enthusiasm following two years of legal proceedings, Irwin is skeptical about the final outcome.

“Naturally, anybody with any knowledge of how the criminal process works, particularly of historical sexual abuse cases, knows there’s many in-built buffers to the accused to make it virtually impossible to get success,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Cardinal George Pell denies sex offense accusations: Church sex abuse by the numbers

UNITED STATES
USA Today

Sean Rossman , USA TODAY June 29, 2017

The Catholic Church's decades-long sex abuse scandal inched closer to the Vatican on Thursday, when Australian officials charged Pope Francis' chief financial adviser with sexual offenses.

The case of Cardinal George Pell sheds more light on the ongoing crisis involving thousands of allegations, accused priests and millions if not billions in legal settlements.

The cases at the center of the Oscar-winning film Spotlight are only one part of the story. Here's what we know about the Catholic sex abuses in the U.S.

6,528 clerics accused

BishopAccountability.org, a Massachusetts-based website dedicated to documenting Catholic sex abuse cases, calculated 6,528 clerics have been accused of sexually abusing minors from 1950 to 2015.

The statistics were compiled by reports posted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The accused clerics make up 5.6% of priests who served from 1950 to 2015.

In Guam alone, advocates say there could be as many as 200 sex abuse lawsuits against the island's clergy.

Most of the accused were priests

Among the documents cited by BishopAccountability.org is a study from John Jay College researchers, who found 69% of the accused from 1950 to 2002 were diocesan priests.

A quarter of them were pastors and nearly half of them were associate pastors at the time of the abuse, according to the study, "Context for the Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests."

10,667 individual abuse reports

By 2003, 10,667 individual reports of sex abuse by priests were made to U.S. dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

The Persecution of Cardinal George Pell

UNITED STATES
National Review

by GEORGE WEIGEL

June 29, 2017

Could this have anything to do with Vatican financial reform? Let’s get the “full disclosure” out of the way up front: Cardinal George Pell and I have been friends for 50 years, and collaborators in different projects for 25.

The Victoria police in his native Australia have now announced that they are filing “multiple charges in respect to historic sexual offenses” against Pell.

This has come as no surprise to those familiar with the fantastic campaign of false allegations of sexual abuse that has been conducted against the cardinal: allegations of which he has been consistently exonerated.

But despite that fact — or perhaps because of it — the campaign has recently intensified Down Under, creating a thoroughly poisonous public climate exacerbated by poorly sourced but widely disseminated allegations, no respect for elementary fairness, and a curious relationship between elements of the Australian media and the Victoria police during the two years the investigation leading to the current changes has been underway.

So it may be worthwhile, before offering a few of my own thoughts on another angle in this tawdry business, to note several recent comments from Australians who have not been caught up in an atmosphere of hysteria and persecution that inevitably invites comparison to Salem, Mass., in the 17th century.

Earlier this week, in the June 26 issue of The Australian, Robin Speed, president of the Australian Rule of Law Institute, a non-partisan and non-profit organization whose name indicates its purpose, cautioned against prosecutors acting against Cardinal Pell “in response to the baying of a section of the mob.”

Speed, himself an attorney, also warned that if the cardinal were charged (as he now has been) and found innocent (as his friends believe he will be), the long, drawn-out conduct of the two-year investigation could well warrant a judicial inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Marie Collins: Cardinal Pell's leave from Vatican service comes 'far too late'

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 29, 2017

ROME
A former member of Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse has responded to news that Australian police are pursuing charges against Vatican financial chief Cardinal George Pell over allegations of historic sexual abuse against minors.

Marie Collins, an Irish clergy abuse survivor, said she will not pre-judge Pell's guilt or innocence regarding the charges against him. But she said Francis should not have appointed the cardinal the prefect of the new Secretariat of the Economy in 2014.

"I have no hesitation in saying is that it has been proved that Cardinal Pell is guilty of the appalling mishandling of cases of abuse when still in place in Australia and causing untold pain to the victims in those cases," said Collins, writing in a comment on her personal website.

"He should never have been allowed to hide out in the Vatican to avoid having to face those in his home country who needed answers," Collins said.

"The fact that Cardinal Pell was appointed to a very senior post in the Vatican rather than having to face any sanction for his mishandling of abuse cases was a slap in the face to all those he had let down so badly, not only victims but Catholic people who have spent years now hearing assurance from the Catholic Church that it is taking the issue seriously," she continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 PM

Archbishops in shock as Pell charged

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

JUNE 29, 2017

Perry Duffin
Australian Associated Press

Archbishops across Australia have expressed shock after Cardinal George Pell, a man they laud for his "integrity", was charged with historical sexual abuse.

Cardinal Pell, the Vatican's 76-year-old finance chief, was charged by summons on Thursday with several historical offences.

The accused cardinal announced he would fly back to Victoria to clear his name.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher, who succeeded Cardinal Pell in the role and has known him for almost three decades, says he's shocked to hear about the charges against the "honest man".

"The George Pell I know is a man of integrity in his dealings with others, a man of faith and high ideals, a thoroughly decent man," Archbishop Fisher said in a statement.

He urged people to pray for truth and justice in the case and added no person should be prejudged because of their high profile, religious convictions or positions on social issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

George Pell – and the Catholic abuse scandal that is driving the faithful away

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Catherine Pepinster

When the reforming Pope Francis set up an advisory council of cardinals soon after his election in 2013 and appointed, alongside his fellow liberals, the arch-conservative Cardinal George Pell, it caught the Catholic church by surprise. So did Pell’s later appointment as the pope’s chief financial adviser. But it also made sense: Pell is a bruiser and if the byzantine workings of the Vatican and its mired-in-scandal financial operation needed sorting out, then Pell could be the prelate to knock heads together.

Now, though, Pope Francis may well regret his choice of attack-dog-in-chief. For Australian Pell’s place at the side of the pontiff has brought the church’s child sex abuse scandal right into the heart of the Vatican. Cardinal Pell has been charged with alleged historical sexual assaults on children.

Police in the Australian state of Victoria, where Pell was a rural priest 40 years ago, have not specified the charges made against the cardinal, the ages of the alleged victims or when the abuse was said to have taken place.

Pell says he is innocent and has said he will return home to Australia to defend himself – a turnaround from last year when he refused to fly home to give evidence to the Australian royal commission into child abuse, saying he was too sick to do so. Instead he gave evidence via a video link in a hotel room in Rome, an event that became a media circus with victims of sexual abuse flying to Rome to protest.

That event was embarrassing for Pope Francis, who has professed zero tolerance over abuse, although he has been careful not to make judgments before the commission or the courts do so. But criminal charges against a key adviser are even worse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

THE LATEST: CRITICS: POPE MUST DO MORE TO CONFRONT SEX ABUSE

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Latest on Vatican Cardinal George Pell being charged with sex offenses in Australia (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

Vatican analysts say Pope Francis is now facing pressure to make good on promises to forcefully confront the sex abuse crisis after his top financial adviser was charged in his native Australia with multiple criminal counts of sexual assault years ago.

Cardinal George Pell says he is taking a leave of absence as the Vatican's finance czar after Australian police charged him with multiple counts of "historical" sexual assault. Pell appeared before reporters on Thursday to deny the accusations and denounce what he called a "relentless character assassination."

Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org, an online archive of clerical sex abuse documents, said she was surprised by the charges "simply because of their boldness."

In an email to The Associated Press, she said: "Some say Pell is being scapegoated. While Pell undeniably is the poster boy for the Australian church's wrongdoing, false allegations are relatively rare."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

The Incidents Of Sexual Abuse Of Children Around The World By The Members Of Catholic Church

INDIA
The Logical Indian

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s highest ranking Catholic and third-highest ranking member in the Catholic Church, has been charged with historical sex offences.

The sexual abuse of minors by members of the Catholic Church is an open secret. For decades, priests and nuns have been sexually abusing minors – some as young as three years old.

Over time, after victims came out to accuse the perpetrators in public and thanks to the investigative reporting of various newspapers around the world, it became clear that child abuse in the Church was not only widespread, it was also organised and well-known to senior members of the clergy.

The problem with these cases was not just the abuse; it was also the covering-up of these cases by senior members of the Church. The problem was also the Church’s unwillingness to take action against those convicted. In some places, the abusers were promoted to more esteemed positions in the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

It’s the end of the road for George Pell, Vatican insiders say

VATICAN CITY
The Australian

June 29, 2017

JACQUELIN MAGNAY
Foreign correspondentEurope
@jacquelinmagnay

Vatican insiders are already ­preparing to pension off George Pell, regardless of the ­outcome of any court case on historic sex ­offences.

The Australian has been told it is very unlikely Cardinal Pell will return to Rome in his high-profile role managing Vatican finances because the Pope, while supportive of Cardinal Pell, is seeking to fend off his harshest critics and minimise reputational damage.

Cardinal Pell emphatically claimed to have been subjected to a relentless character assassination, referring to media reports in Australia, but he has not enjoyed blanket support from within cardinal circles at the Vatican.

Always forthright, Cardinal Pell created several enemies as he sought to reform church fin­ances and bring international ­accoun­tancy standards to the multibillion-dollar ­finances of the church.

“That is the end of the road for George Pell in the Vatican, regardless of the outcome — he will be pensioned off when the court case finishes,’’ a Vatican insider told The Australian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Pell Paints Himself as Victim: But "George Thought Men Had to Be Men and That Pansies Belonged in the Garden" — Homophobic Backdrop to Pell Story

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Pell says he's the victim of a witch hunt.

It's always about them, for these fellows, isn't it? It's never about those who come forward courageously with painful reports about their abuse.

It's always the leaders of the Catholic church who are the victims. It's always the white Christians who run things in many cultures who are being persecuted, oppressed, marginalized.

The defensive I-am-the-victim response is ingrained in their DNA, as is the ravenous need to cast some hapless victims as the enemies of the church and of Christianity, enemies to be stigmatized, squelched, eradicated so that the church can demonstrate its muscle and feel better about itself.

Such muscle-flexing has been part and parcel of Pell's entire career as an ecclesiastic, it seems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Cardinal Pell, Vatican finance chief, charged over historic allegations of sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 29, 2017

VATICAN CITY
Australian police announced Thursday they are pursuing charges against Cardinal George Pell over allegations of historic sexual abuse against minors, bringing the decades-long clergy sexual abuse crisis directly to the Vatican for the first time and placing pressure on Pope Francis to oust one of his closest advisors.

"Police have charged Cardinal George Pell with historical sexual assault offenses," Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton of the Australian state of Victoria announced. "Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons and he is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 this year for a filing hearing."

"Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offenses and there are multiple complainants relating to those charges," Patton continued.

In a statement to journalists at the Vatican press office early Thursday morning, Pell said Francis had granted him a leave from his role as prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy to return to Australia and answer the charges against him.

“I’m looking forward finally to having my day in court,” said Pell. “I’m innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Charging of Cardinal George Pell on multiple historical sexual assault offences shocks parish

AUSTRALIA
Goulburn Post

Louise ThrowerLouise Thrower
@ThrowerLouise

29 Jun 2017

The charging of Cardinal George Pell on multiple historical sexual assault offences is “catastrophic” for the Catholic Church, says a longtime Goulburn parishioner.

Bob Stephens has attended Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral Masses for the past 65 years. He also serves on the Cathedral’s restoration committee.

He was shocked to hear that police had charged Cardinal Pell on Wednesday. The Rome-based former Archbishop of Sydney is due to appear before Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on July 18.

“It’s catastrophic for the church but this has to run its course. I believe he’ll cooperate,” Mr Stephens said.

“If he’s guilty, he has to go down with the rest of them. No one is exempt from this.”

He described sexual abuse as “a crime against society” and cited the recent sentencing of several former Saint Patrick’s Goulburn Christian Brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Cardinal George Pell: His biggest controversies

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Megan Palin
news.com.au
@megan_palin

CARDINAL George Pell has come under the microscope repeatedly amid a string of controversies during his time at the helm of the Catholic Church in Australia.

He is Australia’s most senior Catholic and the third most powerful in the Vatican.

But Cardinal Pell has only recently become embroiled in what could turn out to be the defining episode of his life.

Police today confirmed Cardinal Pell has been charged over historical sexual offences. It comes after he last year became the focus of a clergy sex abuse investigation and Victoria detectives flew to the Vatican to interview the cardinal.

At the time he denied the allegations, saying they were false.

He has since been summonsed from Rome to appear at a filing hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18. A statement issued by the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney said Cardinal Pell “strenuously” denied the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

George Pell: Cardinal addresses media after being charged with sexual assault offences

ROME
ABC News (Australia)

Cardinal George Pell has addressed the media after being charged with historical sexual assault offences and ordered to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on July 18.

Pell has strenuously denied all allegations. At a press conference in Rome this afternoon he claimed he is the victim of "relentless character assassination".

Here is a transcript of what was said:

Good morning to you all. I want to say one or two brief words about my situation.
These matters have been under investigation now for two years.
There have been leaks to the media. There has been relentless character assassination — relentless character assassination — and for more than a month, claims that a decision on whether to lay charges was imminent.
I'm looking forward, finally, to having my day in court.
I'm innocent of these charges. They are false.
The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.
I've kept Pope Francis — the Holy Father — regularly informed during these long months. I have spoken to him on a number of occasions in the last week, I think most recently, a day or so ago.
We talked about my need to take leave to clear my name. So I'm very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this leave to return to Australia.
I've spoken to my lawyers about when this will be necessary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Cardinal Pell charges: A body-blow to the Vatican's reputation

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

By David Willey
BBC Vatican correspondent

Australian Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis' most senior advisers, is facing criminal charges for alleged sex offences dating back several decades.

Cardinal Pell has emphatically denied the charges.

At the Vatican, it's being seen as a punishing body-blow to the reputation and credibility of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church.

Cardinal Pell, 76, is a former Archbishop of Sydney who now resides inside the Vatican. He was summoned to Rome by Pope Francis in 2014 to try to sort out scandal at the Vatican Bank, and to reform a particularly messy situation in Vatican finances.

Three years ago, the cardinal pleaded health reasons for refusing to return home to face questioning at a public hearing by a Royal Commission set up to investigate allegations of child sex abuse inside Australian institutions such as churches, schools and sporting groups.

However, he agreed to answer questions by video link from Rome, vigorously denying any wrongdoing, although arousing some public criticism over a surprising analogy that he offered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Study Finds ‘Glaring Gaps’ In Abuse Prevention

UNITED STATES
The New York Jewish Week

BY HANNAH DREYFUS June 27, 2017

A new study, the first of its kind in the Jewish community to chart how prepared schools and camps are to prevent child sexual abuse, reveals that protections are not uniformly understood or implemented.

The study — conducted by Jumpstart, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that funds and supports Jewish innovation, and being reported on here for the first time — found that only 58 percent of the 68 Jewish day schools surveyed reported having a written policy to deal with child sexual abuse.

While 95 percent of the 90 Jewish overnight camps surveyed had a written policy to deal with child sexual abuse, the detail, breadth and application of those policies remained lacking, according to project director and CEO of Jumpstart, Joshua Avedon. (Two hundred Jewish overnight camps and 140 Jewish day schools were contacted for the study.)

“The most important finding is that there’s a lack of understanding about what best practices are to create a safety framework,” said Avedon. “Even organizations that are attempting to do this work and putting into place some measures and controls don’t fully understand what needs to get done.”

The study, conducted by sociologist Steven M. Cohen and abuse expert Shira Berkovits in consultation with the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) and the RAVSAK network of community Jewish day schools, found that despite broad adoption of written child sexual abuse policies, the content of those policies are not always consistent with best practices. For example, only 26 percent of day schools indicated they had a policy in place that prohibited staff from being alone with a child unless visible to others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

George Pell profile: the pope's Australian hardman faces the fight of his life

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

David Marr
Thursday 29 June 2017

A bright kid from an Australian bush town, George Pell kept his nose clean as he rose through the ranks to become chief of the Vatican’s finances. Despite a notably hard heart he was always a valuable asset to the church as a fearless conservative ideologue and a fine administrator.

Young Pell was plucked from Australia to train in Rome and at Oxford for the big career that was always beckoning. He returned to serve briefly and unhappily in a remote parish on the Murray before being brought into the heart of the diocese of Ballarat which in those years was a hell of child abuse.

Pell swears he saw little or nothing in those years.

Strange that the career of a man who would climb so far and so fast was marked early on by such a want of curiosity. He would explain to Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse: “It was a sad story and of not much interest to me.”

He sat on a committee that transferred Father Gerard Ridsdale from parish to parish. The crimes of this vicious paedophile were notorious in Ballarat, known to the bishop and familiar to other members of the committee. But by his own account, Pell never asked why this priest was always on the move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

It is not legal to defraud

NEW JERSEY
Times of Israel

Michael J. Salamon

In case you have not yet heard, there have been several arrests made in Lakewood, New Jersey this week. The FBI and local authorities arrested seven married couples thus far and accused them of defrauding the welfare system of over a million dollars.

These arrests should not come as a surprise as some time ago the authorities in Lakewood have signaled their intent to crack down on fraud. The investigation and charges indicate that there are many families who have found ways to hide income and assets in order to gain unwarranted, unnecessary and illegal monies from the government. According to local reports, following the arrests, the local welfare offices were overwhelmed with calls from individuals seeking to get off the welfare rolls so as not to risk being investigated and found guilty of fraud as well.

According to Census data Lakewood is the fastest-growing town in New Jersey. Well over 100,000 people now live there. The area is burgeoning with new housing popping up everywhere. Lakewood’s expansion is driven by a blossoming Orthodox community linked in a variety of ways to the large, prominent yeshiva community there. Most interesting is that recent data also indicates that almost 39% percent of people in Lakewood claim to live in poverty.

These arrests highlight an all too common problem in certain communities. According to Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, writing in the Forward, the community suffers from “systemic corruption.” Rabbi Moskowitz blames this on the well-worn but highly outdated notion that government is the enemy. The religious system was meant to create an environment of normative halachic purity but that has not happened in our times.

Rabbi Moskowitz goes on to say:

“The goal was to minimize, and ideally eliminate, the space between the ideal Torah centric life and actual way we live our lives. Unfortunately, the void between the two is vast, painfully disappointing and continues to widen. The world and our communities are changing, perhaps faster than ever, but spiritual practice is often frozen in time. There is complex tension between innovation and tradition that requires collective rabbinic skill to address. But instead of being present for the holy labor of asking what God expects from us now, the pause button was pressed and the need for updated answers avoided.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Statement from George Pell after announcement of charges by Victoria Police

ROME/AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

These matters have been under investigation now for nearly two years.

There have been leaks to the media, relentless character assassination and, for more than a month, claims that a decision on laying charges is "imminent".

I am looking forward finally to having my day in court. I repeat that I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.

I have kept Pope Francis regularly informed throughout this lengthy process, and have spoken to him in recent days about the need to take leave to clear my name.

I am grateful for his support in granting me this leave to return to Australia.

I have spoken to my lawyers about when I need to return home, and to my doctors about how best to do this.

I have been consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations.

News of these charges strengthens my resolve, and court proceedings now offer me an opportunity to clear my name and then return to my work in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Joanne McCarthy: A 'momentous day' as George Pell now has a case to answer

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Joanne McCarthy

The Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis was always going to peak at the Vatican. The only surprise is it was an Australian who took it there.

Then again, we're the only country in the world that's held a national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Cardinal George Pell is Pope Francis' prefect of the secretariat for the economy – in effect the reforming Pope's chief financial headkicker who's generally accepted as number three in the Vatican hierarchy – but he's also the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be charged with sex offences, as of Thursday.

Cardinal Pell works in the Vatican.

He lives just outside the Vatican's 44 hectares of diplomatically-protected ground, and he's there after Pope Francis controversially appointed him in February, 2014 before the cardinal's first bruising encounter with the royal commission.

He's stayed at the Vatican after – again, controversially – not returning to give evidence at a second public hearing in March last year for health reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Australia--Cardinal charged with sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release, June 29, 2017

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, volunteer Western Regional Leader for SNAP, the Survivors Network (949-322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com)

Police in the Australian state of Victoria have today charged a Roman Catholic Cardinal with sexual assault.

[New York Times]

Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, will face criminal charges involving accusation of sexual offenses. Law enforcement did not provide any additional details about these allegations, including the ages of the alleged victims, other than to say that there were multiple complainants.

SNAP, the Survivors Network, wants to thank the Victoria Police, who took the time to listen to those who came forward with allegations. We are always grateful and encouraged when law enforcement works hard to gather evidence to build a case against a powerful and influential man. We hope that anyone with additional information about this case will contact law enforcement.

We also hope that the Australian government’s long and extensive investigation into institutional abuse inspires other countries to follow in their footsteps and hold similar hearings. Sexual abuse thrives when it is allowed to flourish in secrecy.

Finally, we await Pope Francis’ response to this development. As the head of the Catholic Church, he has promised to work to end the scourge of abuse by his clergy. We expect him to give proof of this by sending Cardinal Pell home immediately to face these charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Kentucky Priest to be sentenced on child molestation charges

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Father Joseph Hemmerle is set to be sentenced at 9:00 Thursday morning in Meade County.

Last month, he pleaded guilty to wanton endangerment and third degree sexual abuse - in exchange for the recommended sentence. That sentence is 2 years in prison, followed by 8 years on probation.

It stems from allegations that he abused a boy in the summers of 1977 and 1978 at Camp Tall Trees, in Meade County.

The plea agreement signed last month says the victim wants to settle the case and show mercy on Hemmerle due to his age.

Any sentence handed down Thursday would run after the seven years he's is already serving in a separate, yet similar case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Cardinal George Pell speaks from Vatican about historical sex charges

ROME
The Age

Nino Bucci

Cardinal George Pell is taking leave from his post at the Vatican in his bid to clear his name over multiple historical sex abuse allegations.

Cardinal Pell was impassioned and defiant during a press conference on Thursday, and said he was "looking forward to his day in court".

He confirmed he would return to Australia to fight the charges, pending medical advice.

One of the most senior figures in the Catholic Church, he criticised what he claimed were several leaks to the media and the "character assassination" to which he had been he had been subject.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Cardinal Pell: I'm totally innocent of these charges

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) “I’m totally innocent of these charges.”

At a press conference Thursday morning at the Vatican, Cardinal George Pell, the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, forcefully denied charges of “historical” sexual offences filed against him by Australian police. "All along I have been completely consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations," he said.

In brief remarks ahead of an official statement by the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Pell said he has kept Pope Francis regularly informed of the situation. He expressed his gratitude to the Pope for granting him leave to return to Australia to clear his name.

Cardinal Pell was critical of media leaks concerning the situation, and lamented the “relentless character assassination directed against him. “I’m looking forward, finally, to my day in court,” the Cardinal said, proclaiming his innocence and denouncing the charges as false. “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me,” he said.

In its official statement, the Holy See Press Office said, “The Holy See has learned with regret the news of charges filed in Australia against Card. George Pell for decades-old actions that have been attributed to him.” It noted that Cardinal Pell has chosen to return to Australia “in full respect for civil laws… recognizing the importance of his participation to ensure that the process is carried out fairly, and to foster the search for truth.” During his absence, the statement noted that the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy “will continue to carry out its institutional tasks.”

The Press Office statement goes on to say, “The Holy Father, who has appreciated Cardinal Pell’s honesty during his three years of work in the Roman Curia, is grateful for his collaboration, and in particular, for his energetic dedication to the reforms in the economic and administrative sector, as well as his active participation in the Council of Cardinals (C9).”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Clergy sexual abuse victims call for Cardinal George Pell to be stood down in wake of charges

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Melissa Cunningham

Clergy sexual abuse victims have called for Cardinal George Pell to be immediately stood down from his powerful Vatican post in the wake of historical sexual abuse charges being laid against him.

Victoria Police has confirmed Cardinal Pell, has been charged on summons over multiple allegations against multiple victims and is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 for a filing hearing.

Clergy sexual abuse victim Andrew Collins said it was incumbent on Pope Francis to stand down Cardinal Pell from his position as head of the Catholic church's finances.

Mr Collins was one of 15 Ballarat clergy sexual abuse survivors who travelled 16,000 kilometres to Rome to bear witness to Cardinal Pell's evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Who is Cardinal George Pell, what is he accused of and how will Vatican respond to Australian sex abuse case?

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph (UK)

29 JUNE 2017

Cardinal George Pell has become the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the Catholic Church's long-running sexual abuse scandal.

The 76-year-old, Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, was summonsed to appear in an Australian court to face multiple charges of "historical sexual assault offences".

The Vatican’s finance chief has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Here is everything you need to know about the cardinal, the case and Australia's history of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

What is his position and background?

Widely regarded as the third most senior official in the Vatican, Cardinal Pell was appointed in 2014 to a five-year term to head the Vatican's new economy secretariat.

The role gave him broad rein to control all economic, administrative, personnel and procurement functions of the Holy See, though the mandate has since been restricted to performing more of an oversight role.

Cardinal Pell, who holds a doctorate from Oxford and is a staunch conservative on issues such as homosexuality and abortion, has long been an imposing figure in the Church in Australia and has been heavily criticised for his handling of child sex abuse by Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

The Latest: Support Group Applauds Charges Against Cardinal

AUSTRALIA
U.S. News

SYDNEY (AP) — The Latest on Vatican Cardinal George Pell being charged with sex offenses in Australia (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

An Australian support group for adult survivors of childhood abuse is applauding the decision by Australian police to charge a key Vatican aide with sexual assault.

Pam Stavropoulos, head of research at the Blue Knot Foundation, said on Thursday that the charges filed against Cardinal George Pell send a "powerful message" to both survivors of child sexual abuse and society as a whole. Stavropoulos says the filing of the charges shows that no one is above the law.

Police in the Australian state of Victoria said Pell has been summoned to appear in court next month to face charges involving "historical sexual assault offenses." No details have been disclosed.
___

12:30 p.m.

The leading support group for victims of sexual abuse by priests has called on Pope Francis to speak out about sexual assault charges filed in Australia against a key Vatican aide.

Survivors' network SNAP noted that Francis had promised to work to "end the scourge of abuse by his clergy."

The statement issued from SNAP's headquarters in the United States called on anyone with additional information about the case of Cardinal George Pell to come forward. Police in the Australian state of Victoria said Thursday that Pell has been summoned to appear in court to face charges involving "historical sexual assault offenses." No details have been disclosed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Pope backs Australian cardinal in fight against sex abuse charges

VATICAN CITY
Times of India

AFP

VATICAN CITY: Cardinal George Pell said Thursday that he would take leave from the Vatican to return to Australia to fight sexual assault charges after being given strong backing from Pope Francis, who has not asked him to resign from his senior Church post.

Hours after becoming the highest-profile Catholic cleric to face such charges, the Vatican finance chief said he had been a victim of "relentless character assassination" and vowed to clear his name and return to work.

"I am looking forward finally to having my day in court. I am innocent of these charges," the 76-year-old said at a press conference. "They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

Pell, unofficially considered the number three in the Vatican hierarchy, said he had been in close contact with Francis.

In a strongly supportive statement, the Vatican said Pell's staff would continue his work in his absence and noted Francis's respect for the Australian's "honesty" and "energetic dedication" to his work on Church financial reform.

"The Holy See expresses its respect for the Australian justice system that will have to decide the merits of the questions raised," the statement said.

"At the same time, it is important to recall that Cardinal Pell has openly and repeatedly condemned as immoral and intolerable the acts of abuse committed against minors; has cooperated in the past with Australian authorities ... has supported the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors; and finally, as a diocesan bishop in Australia, has introduced systems and procedures both for the protection of minors and to provide assistance to victims of abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

The charges against Cardinal George Pell – explainer

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
Thursday 29 June 2017

What has happened?

Cardinal George Pell, who is responsible for managing the finances of the Vatican and the Holy See in Rome, has been charged with historical sexual assault offences in Australia. He was appointed to the Vatican by Pope Francis in 2014.

Pell’s legal representatives were served with the charges on Thursday in Melbourne, where police have been investigating the allegations. The charges relate to multiple complainants and alleged offences said to have occurred in the state of Victoria. However, police have not detailed exactly how many charges Pell is facing or named what the specific charges are.

A statement released by Pell’s office in Sydney on Thursday said he “strenuously denied all allegations”.

He is the most senior Vatican figure to be charged with sexual abuse.

Who is Cardinal George Pell?

Pell is Australia’s most senior Catholic, and his role managing the Vatican’s finances means he is the third most senior figure in the Vatican. He has previously been identified among more than 200 cardinals around the world as one of the more likely candidates to replace Pope Francis when he resigns or dies.

The now 76 year-old was appointed to the Vatican for a five-year term in 2014. He relocated to Rome from Australia, where he had been the archbishop of Sydney since 2001.

In 2013 Pell was one of eight cardinals chosen from around the world to be part of an advisory panel to help Pope Francis reform the Catholic Church.

He was Archbishop of Melbourne between 1996 and 2001, and before that was auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Melbourne since 1987. Pell grew up in the small town of Ballarat in Victoria, which is located about 100km north-west of Melbourne. He was an assistant priest at a parish at Ballarat East from 1973 to 1983. In 1996 Pell was appointed archbishop of Melbourne, a role which he held until his move to Sydney in 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Justice for all, including Cardinal Pell

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

A JUST society demands both an accused person and an alleged victim are given equal rights before the law.

A just society also demands that, regardless of power or position, no one is above the law.

Victoria Police has been investigating sexual offence allegations against Cardinal George Pell for more than two years.

The Herald Sun 16 months ago first revealed detectives from Sano Taskforce were composing a dossier of allegations after interviewing a number of complainants.

Cardinal Pell has strenuously denied, then and ever since, any allegations of abuse.

Victoria Police had presented the Office of Public Prosecutions a brief of evidence for advice on whether charges could or should be laid.

In the end, the Director of Public Prosecutions left the decision to police, who yesterday announced they had filed a number of charges relating to several complainants dating back some years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Vatican Cardinal Charged With Sexual Assault

AUSTRALIA/ROME
The Atlantic

ARIA BENDIX JUN 28, 2017

Australia’s most senior member of the Catholic Church, Cardinal George Pell, was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault on Wednesday, making him the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever incur the charges. Pell is also the chief financial adviser to Pope Francis, whose “zero tolerance” policy toward sexual assault has been accused of lacking follow-through and failing to curb the church’s longstanding legacy of abuse.

On Wednesday, Australia’s Victoria Police said multiple complainants had come forward against Pell, but did not provide any further detail regarding the nature of the alleged assaults. The charges are considered “historic sexual offenses,” indicating that they occurred many years ago. According to the Associated Press, two men have previously accused Pell, then a senior priest in Melbourne, of touching them inappropriately at a swimming pool in the late 1970s. Pell, whose religious career spans more than 50 years, has consistently denied the allegations.

“I’d just like to restate my innocence,” Pell told reporters in May, amid rumors that he would soon be charged. He added that he stood behind his statements to Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse—a government-authorized inquiry established in 2013. At his testimony in February 2016, Pell was asked to provide evidence of his role in the church’s sexual abuse scandal in Australia, in which officials admittedly dismissed allegations of assault to protect clergy members. Pell, who is based in Rome, testified via video-link, arguing that his declining health prevented him from attending in person.

In his testimony before the commission, Pell condemned the church’s handling of abuse allegations, calling it “absolutely scandalous.” “I’m not here to defend the indefensible,” he said. “The church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those.” In reference to Gerald Ridsdale, a former Australian priest who is currently serving a prison sentence for his abuse of more than 50 children, Pell argued that the church’s inaction resulted in “an enormous amount of suffering.” “I must say, in those days, if a priest denied such activity, I was very strongly inclined to accept the denial,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Cardinal Pell: I’m Looking Forward to Having My Day in Court

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

Holy See says Pope Francis has granted the Australian prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy a leave of absence to defend himself against charges of sexual assault; the cardinal has pledged to then return to work in the Vatican.

Edward Pentin

The Holy See has stressed the Secretariat for the Economy will continue its work after Pope Francis gave its prefect, Cardinal George Pell, a leave of absence to defend himself in court against sexual assault charges.

Earlier on Thursday, Victoria police decided to charge the cardinal “in respect to historic sexual offenses.”

Cardinal Pell has vigorously denied the charges, telling reporters at the Vatican this morning that he has been subjected to “relentless character assassination” and that news of the allegations strengthens his resolve and offers him the opportunity to clear his name.

Here below are both the statements given this morning by the Holy See and Cardinal Pell.

More soon.

***

CARDINAL PELL’S STATEMENT

“Good morning to you all.

I want to say one or two brief words about my situation. These matters have been under investigation now for two years. There have been leaks to the media, there’s been relentless character assassination — a relentless character assassination — and for more than a month claims that a decision whether on laying charges is "imminent."

I’m looking forward to finally having my day in court.

I’m innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.

I’ve kept Pope Francis, the Holy Father, regularly informed during these long months, and I have spoken to him on a number of occasions in the last week, most recently I think a day or so ago. We talked about my need to take leave to clear my name. So I am very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this leave to return to Australia. I’ve spoken to my lawyers when this will be necessary, and I’ve spoken to my doctors for the best way to achieve this.

All along I’ve been completely consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations. News of these charges strengthens my resolve and court proceedings now offer me the opportunity to clear my name and then return here, back to Rome, to work.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

What is George Pell's job at the Vatican?

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Cardinal George Pell, who has been charged with historical sexual assault offences by Victoria Police, is Australia's highest ranking Catholic and also a senior member of the global Church.

Here's what he does in his role.

What is his official title?

He is the current Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

So he's kind of like a treasurer in a government?

You got it.

How long has he held the job?

For the past three years.

In fact, he's the first to hold the position since it was created by Pope Francis in 2014.

What is the job?

When he created the position, Pope Francis said the Secretariat was responsible for "oversight for the administrative and financial structures and activities of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the institutions linked to the Holy See, and the Vatican City State".

To break that down for you — the Curia is the administrative wing of the Church, the Holy See is the Pope's diocese as bishop of Rome which has a central role in the Church, and the Vatican is the sovereign city-state within Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Abuse charges against Pell not good news for Vatican financial reform

ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr.
June 29, 2017

With criminal charges of sexual abuse having been filed against Cardinal George Pell in his home country of Australia, many questions will be asked, most about the accusations and Pell's defense. From a Vatican point of view, however, a key question is what all this means for the prospects of financial reform, and the best answer probably is, "Nothing good."

In the wake of news that police in the Australian state of Victoria have filed criminal charges of sexual abuse against Cardinal George Pell, many questions will be asked, most of which likely will have to do with the charges themselves and Pell’s defense, which he has declared he intends to pursue vigorously once he’s back in his native country.

Some observers suspect the prosecution is politically motivated, and others have raised the question of whatever it’s even possible for Pell to receive a fair trial given the way Australian media have demonized the 76-year-old prelate. Yet, bitter experience of abuse scandals in the past has taught Catholics everywhere to withhold judgment until all the evidence is in.

In the meantime, from a strictly Vatican point of view, there’s another question that cannot help but surface, which is the impact of all of this on the financial reform Pope Francis has said he wants to execute, and which was the reason he brought Pell to Rome in 2014 in the first place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Child Sex-Abuse Charges Against the Pope’s Right-Hand Man Cast a Shadow Over Francis

ROME
The Daily Beast

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU
06.29.17

ROME—The Catholic Church’s lurid child abuse scandals have just hit home at the Vatican.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, the head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy and the third highest ranking member of the church’s hierarchy, has been criminally charged with “multiple” acts of sexual violence against minors in Australia.

He is expected in court in Melbourne, Australia, on July 18 to face charges.

Pell, 76, told reporters during a briefing Thursday morning in Rome that he had spoken to Pope Francis and would “step aside” to “clear my name.”

Although this scandal has been building for some time, as reported last year in The Daily Beast, the charges were announced early morning Thursday in Australia, which prompted the Vatican to scramble a last-minute press briefing with Pell in Rome in an astonishing show of transparency.

“Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons and he is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 this year for a filing hearing,” according to Victoria police officials heading the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Cardinal insists "abhorrent" sex assault charges are "false"

ROME
CBS News

ROME -- Australian police have charged Cardinal George Pell with multiple counts of "historical sexual assault offenses," making him the highest-level Catholic Church official ever to face such charges.

In the elite group of cardinals -- the so-called "princes of the church" Cardinal Pell was at the very top, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane. Pell has been a close advisor to Pope Francis, so when news of the charges broke Thursday morning, it rocked the church to its core.

The 76-year-old cardinal was reflective but forceful in remarks he gave Thursday, railing against what he called almost two-years of "relentless character assassination."

"I'm looking forward to finally having my day in court. I'm innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse to me is abhorrent," insisted Pell.

Australian police did not provide any details of the multiple charges of sexual assault against him.

Cardinal Pell has been in charge of reforming church finances, but for years he's faced allegations that he failed to properly deal with clergy sex abuse in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Sex abuse scandal has followed Cardinal George Pell for decades

AUSTRALIA
Washington Post

By Derek Hawkins June 29

In 1993, George Pell was a rising star in the Catholic Church in Australia, his resume sterling, his ambition well-known. After receiving a PhD from Oxford, he spent more than a decade as education vicar in the Victorian city of Ballarat, then rose to become auxiliary bishop of Melbourne.

So that year, when his onetime housemate and former chaplain of a Ballarat religious school was charged with sexually assaulting young boys, Pell’s superiors called on him for support.

As the chaplain, Gerald Ridsdale, made his first appearance in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court, Pell walked beside him in solidarity, clad in his black priest’s robe and jacket. The hope, Pell would later say, was that his presence alongside Ridsdale would “lessen his time in jail.”

A photo of the moment made the rounds in Australian media, stoking outrage among victims and their supporters who wondered why the high-ranking clergyman had accompanied the accused pedophile to court. Ridsdale would go on to plead guilty to the charges and later be imprisoned on dozens of other counts of sexually assaulting children, in one of the most notorious pedophilia rings in the country’s history.

Pell, now a top-ranking cardinal in the Catholic Church, has been haunted by the picture with Ridsdale over the past two decades, during which he has been dogged by claims that he covered up reports of sexual assault by members of the Australian clergy and abused young boys himself. His critics say the image of him standing at Ridsdale’s side represents a dismissive stance on sex abuse claims — his “coldheartedness” and “contempt,” in the words of one victims advocate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

'He's entitled to a fair trial': Catholic Church speaks for Cardinal George Pell

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Ebony Bowden

The Australian Catholic Church has spoken in support of Cardinal George Pell, emphasising his contribution to the church and warning against a trial by media in the wake of sex abuse charges.

In a statement released after Victoria Police confirmed Cardinal Pell has been charged over historical sex abuse allegations, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne defended the 76-year-old's character.

Archbishop Denis Hart, who took over from Cardinal Pell as Archbishop of Melbourne in 2001, said he was "aware of the significance" of the decision to charge his predecessor but went on to highlight the work of the man who is Australia's most senior Catholic figure.

"Cardinal Pell has been a friend and brother priest of Archbishop Hart for more than 50 years," the statement read.

"The Archbishop is conscious of the Cardinal's many good works which have been acknowledged both nationally and internationally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Cardinal George Pell: Life and times of 'the ambitious Australian bulldog'

ROME/AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Nick Miller

Rome: Cardinal George Pell is one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church. Personal adviser to the Pope, holder of the Vatican purse strings, this "Aussie bulldog" is feared, respected and plotted against in the marbled halls of the Vatican.

It's a remarkable achievement for a boy from Ballarat – the smart, sporty, precocious son of a gold mine manager who was early on picked out for greatness.

If the multiple sex charges against him are proven, it will be a fall just as remarkable as the rise that preceded it.

Pell was born on June 8, 1941 – Trinity Sunday. His father was Church of England – a Kalgoorlie gold miner who came east for the 1936 Melbourne Cup, and stayed. Pell's athletic genes came from George snr, captain of Perth Life Saving Club and WA heavyweight boxing champion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Victoria Police's full statement concerning charges against Cardinal George Pell

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton provided the following statement at a Victoria Police press conference on Thursday. He did not take any questions.

"Good morning. Today Victoria Police have charged Cardinal George Pell with historical sexual assault offences.

"Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons and he is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 this year for a filing hearing.

"The charges were today served on Cardinal Pell's legal representatives in Melbourne and they have been lodged also at the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

"Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences and there are multiple complainants relating to those charges.

"During the course of the investigation in relation to Cardinal Pell, there has been a lot of reporting in the media and a lot of speculation about the process that has been involved in the investigation and also the charging.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

George Pell's alleged victims welcome charges

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Melissa Cunningham

Two men who claim to be sexual abuse victims of Cardinal George Pell say they have been finally heard after years of being too fearful to report their allegations to police.

Ballarat lawyer Ingrid Irwin, who represents two of Cardinal Pell's alleged victims, said the men were "ecstatic" about charges being laid.

Victoria Police has confirmed Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons over multiple allegations and is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 for a filing hearing.

"For so long, these men were too afraid to come forward because of the Catholic Church's power, but this has shown George Pell is not above the law," Ms Irwin said.

"They are both feeling vindicated because it is acknowledgement.These men have been living in a grey area for two years, it was such a risk for them to go public and they've been waiting to be validated."

While Ms Irwin praised Victoria Police's decision to charge Cardinal Pell, she said it remained unclear how many charges concerning her clients would be laid or the nature of those charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Absent Pell leaves power vacuum at the Vatican

ROME
Sydney Morning Herald

Nick Miller

Rome: It was the feast of St Peter and St Paul in Rome, a day of celebration, worship – and, for many Romans, an afternoon at the beach.

By ancient tradition, the devout were expected to be up all the previous night remembering the church's martyrs.

In the early hours of the morning, Cardinal Pell received the news he had been expecting: he had been charged on summons by Victorian Police with multiple historic sex offences.

There was no arrest, no knock on his door from the Italian police (Pell lives in an apartment just outside the walls of Vatican City, around the corner from St Peter's).

Indeed, there was no sign of movement at his home at all – though he was home.

As the sun rose a queue began to form across the road: nuns, tourists, the faithful and the curious queuing to go through metal detectors into St Peter's Square facing the basilica. Vatican workers were hard at work setting up for the afternoon Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

POPE GRANTS TOP ADVISER PELL LEAVE TO FIGHT SEXUAL ABUSE CHARGES

ROME
Eyewitness News (South Africa)

Reuters

SYDNEY – Pope Francis granted top adviser Cardinal George Pell leave to return to his native Australia to face charges of sexual abuse, a Vatican spokesperson said on Thursday as Pell declared his innocence.

At a news conference called hours after Australian police charged him with multiple historical sex crimes, Pell said he would return to clear his name after a two-year investigation he described as characterised by “relentless character assassination”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Top Vatican cardinal facing sex charges condemns `character assassination´

ROME
Daily Mail

By Press Association

A senior Vatican cardinal charged in Australia with multiple historical sexual offences has denied the accusations and denounced what he called a “relentless character assassination” in the media.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’s chief financial adviser and Australia’s most senior Catholic, said he would take a leave of absence as the Vatican’s finance tsar and would return to Australia to fight the charges.

Pell is the highest-ranking Vatican official charged in the church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal.

Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton of Victoria state police said officers have summonsed Pell to appear in court to face multiple charges of historical sexual assault offences.

Mr Patton gave no other details of the allegations, and Pell was ordered to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on July 18.

Pell, 76, has for years faced allegations that he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and then Sydney, but more recently, he became the focus of a sex abuse investigation himself, with Victoria detectives flying to the Vatican last year to interview him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Pope backs George Pell in fight against sex abuse charges

VATICAN CITY
Daily Nation (Kenya)

AFP

VATICAN CITY

Cardinal George Pell said Thursday that he would take a leave from the Vatican to return to Australia to fight child sex abuse charges after being given strong backing from Pope Francis, who has not asked him to resign from his senior Church post.

Pell, the Vatican's finance chief and the highest-profile Catholic cleric to face such charges, said at a press conference at the Vatican that he had been a victim of "relentless character assassination" and vowed to clear his name and return to work in Rome.

"I am looking forward finally to having my day in court. I am innocent of these charges," the 76-year-old said. "They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

ENERGETIC DEDICATION

Pell, unofficially considered the number three in the Vatican hierarchy, said he had been in close contact with Francis in recent days and thanked the head of the Church for granting him leave.

In a strongly supportive statement, the Vatican said Pell's staff would continue his work in his absence and noted Francis's respect for the Australian's "honesty" and "energetic dedication" to his work on Church financial reform.

"The Holy See expresses its respect for the Australian justice system that will have to decide the merits of the questions raised," the statement said.

"At the same time, it is important to recall that Cardinal Pell has openly and repeatedly condemned as immoral and intolerable the acts of abuse committed against minors; has cooperated in the past with Australian authorities (for example, in his depositions before the Royal Commission); has supported the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors; and finally, as a diocesan bishop in Australia, has introduced systems and procedures both for the protection of minors and to provide assistance to victims of abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Susie O’Brien: Charges against George Pell are a sign senior Catholics are not above the law

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

By Susie O’Brien, Herald Sun
June 29, 2017

THE charging of Cardinal George Pell with sex offences is a major coup for the Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission.

It’s not part of a witch hunt, as some are claiming. No one is #HuntingCatholics.

Rather, the charging of the Catholic Church’s third most senior cleric is a legitimate step in a rigorous and extensive process. It’s important to note that Victoria Police stress Pell has been treated no differently to anyone else in the investigation.

This process — which some people are working hard to undermine — started two years ago when more than one man spoke up about abuse they say Pell perpetrated.

After investigation, Victoria Police decided there is enough merit in the claims for Pell to be charged and face trial.

It doesn’t mean Pell is guilty, and this must not be assumed. At this stage this is a victory of the system, not a sign of guilt. Indeed, Pell has said he “strenuously denied all allegations”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Cardinal George Pell denies child sexual abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
Aljazeera

Top Vatican Cardinal George Pell has said he will take a leave of absence, but will not resign as he vowed to "clear" his name over multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences.

"I have kept Pope Francis regularly informed throughout this lengthy process, and have spoken to him in recent days about the need to take leave to clear my name," Pell said in a statement on Thursday.

Pell is the pope's chief financial adviser and Australia's most senior Catholic official.

Earlier on Thursday, he was summoned to appear in an Australian court to face multiple charges of "historic sexual offences", meaning the offences generally occurred some time ago.

He is the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal.

Victoria state Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said Pell is required to appear at a Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 for a hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Factbox: Cardinal George Pell, senior Vatican adviser, charged with sexual offences

AUSTRALIA
Yahoo! News

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian police charged Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis's most senior advisers, with multiple historical sex offences on Thursday.

Australia's Pell, the Vatican's treasurer, is the most senior figure in the Catholic Church to face charges of committing sexual offences. He strenuously denies the charges.

Pell was charged by summons to appear before a Melbourne court on July 18. Here are some key facts about him:

- Pell was born on June 8, 1941, in the country town of Ballarat in the state of Victoria in Australia's south.

- Pell was ordained as a priest in 1966 and served in his home state from 1971 to 1983, including 10 years in Ballarat.

- In 1996 he became the Archbishop of Melbourne, a role in which he helped establish the "Melbourne Response", the Catholic Church's first formal system of handling abuse complaints in Australia.

- He was appointed Archbishop of Sydney, Australia's most senior Catholic role, in 2001.

- The following year, Pell stepped aside to face a closed hearing over abuse allegations dating back to the 1960s. The Church committee hearing the allegations found insufficient evidence to justify further action and Pell resumed his role.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Cardinal George Pell sex abuse charges rock the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Chris Vedelago, Cameron Houston, Nino Bucci, Rachel Browne, Melissa Cunningham

The call that plunged the Catholic Church into one of its worst crises in a generation came in the early hours of Thursday morning in Rome.

Cardinal George Pell – Australia's highest ranking Catholic and one of the most powerful figures in the Vatican – had been charged with historical sex crimes, the culmination of a two-year investigation by Victoria Police.

Within hours, Cardinal Pell fronted the global press in Rome to proclaim his innocence, lambast those who leak to the media, and announce he was standing aside to return home to fight the charges.

"I am looking forward, finally, to having my day in court," he said. "I am innocent of these charges; they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

The cardinal repeatedly condemned the "relentless character assassination" he said he had been subjected to since news of the police investigation became public, and that the laying of charges "strengthens" his resolve to clear his name.

He is set to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court late next month, charged on summons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Missbrauch: Papst nimmt Strafmilderung zurück

ITALIEN
Katholisch

[Pope Francis wanted to practice mercy and in 2014 had prevented the dismissal of a priest Mauro Inzoli from the clergy who had abused children. Now, he reverses his decision.]

Der wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Minderjährigen verurteilte italienische Priester Mauro Inzoli (67) ist von Papst Franziskus aus dem Priesterstand entlassen worden. Das teilte der Bischof von Crema, Daniele Gianotti, in einem Brief mit, der am Mittwoch auf der Internetseite seines Bistums veröffentlicht wurde. Damit nimmt Franziskus eine Strafmilderung vom Juni 2014 zurück.

Der Vorgang ist von überregionaler Bedeutung, weil der bisherige Umgang mit dem Fall Inzoli von manchen Medien als Beleg dafür gewertet worden war, dass Franziskus in einigen Fällen - entgegen seiner öffentlich propagierten Null-Toleranz-Strategie - eine härtere Bestrafung von Kinderschändern verhindert habe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Finanzchef des Vatikans wegen Kindesmissbrauchs angeklagt

AUSTRALIEN
Spiegel

Seit Längerem gibt es Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen George Pell. Nun ist in seiner Heimat Australien Anklage gegen den Finanzchef des Vatikans erhoben worden. Der Kurienkardinal bestreitet die Vorwürfe

Die australische Polizei hat ein Ermittlungsverfahren gegen Kurienkardinal George Pell wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen eingeleitet. Der 76-Jährige ist im Vatikan für den Haushalt zuständig und damit die inoffizielle Nummer drei der katholischen Hierarchie. Früher war der Australier unter anderem Erzbischof von Melbourne und Sydney. Es gehe um lange zurückliegende Sexualstraftaten, teilte die Polizei mit. Nähere Angaben zu den Vorwürfen machte sie nicht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Ermittlungen gegen Vatikan-Finanzchef wegen Verdacht des Kindesmissbrauchs

AUSTRALIEN
Neue Zurcher Zeiting

29.6.2017

Seit Jahren wehrt sich der höchste katholische Würdenträger Australiens und die inoffizielle Nummer drei der Vatikan-Hierarchie gegen Vorwürfe des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern. Nun steht der Papst-Vertraute George Pell vor Gericht.

(dpa) Gegen einen der höchsten Würdenträger der katholischen Kirche ist ein Ermittlungsverfahren wegen Missbrauchsverdachts eingeleitet worden. Die Vorwürfe richten sich gegen den australischen Kurienkardinal George Pell - Finanzchef im Vatikan und damit inoffizielle Nummer drei der Kirchenhierarchie. Wie die Polizei im australischen Bundesstaat Victoria am Donnerstag weiter mitteilte, muss Pell, ein Vertrauter von Papst Franziskus, am 18. Juli zu einer Gerichtsanhörung in Melbourne erscheinen.

Der 76-Jährige ist Australiens ranghöchster Kirchenvertreter und war vor seiner Versetzung nach Rom Erzbischof von Melbourne und Sydney. Anfang 2014 ernannte ihn Franziskus zum Leiter der neu geschaffenen Aufsichtsbehörde für die wirtschaftlichen Angelegenheiten des Vatikans, eine Art Finanzministerium.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

El responsable de las finanzas del Vaticano acusado de abusos sexuales

ROMA
El Pais

DANIEL VERDÚ

Roma 29 JUN 2017

Hace semanas que se se esperaba la noticia. El caso estaba a punto de explotar, pero el papa Francisco confiaba en su inocencia y decidió no apartar a uno de sus hombres más importantes en la Curia Romana, el responsable de Finanzas del Vaticano, George Pell. El Pontífice decidió aceptar el coste y las durísimas críticas que le acarrearía durante este tiempo. Pero se ha roto el muro de contención. El cardenal ha sido acusado esta madrugada de múltiples abusos sexuales en Australia, según ha anunciado el comisario de dicho país Shane Patton. Él ha negado todos los cargos y el Vaticano le ha ofrecido su claro respaldo y no ha exigido su dimisión.

La noticia ha llegado a cámara lenta. Hace ocho meses los agentes policiales interrogaron a Pell en Roma sobre estas acusaciones, que él desmiente ahora categóricamente. De hecho, durante este tiempo se han publicado decenas de artículos y libros citando el asunto. Acorralado, el cardenal, de 76 años y máxima autoridad de la Iglesia Católica en Australia, deberá comparecer el 18 de julio ante el tribunal de primera instancia de Melbourne para dar explicaciones. Es sospechoso de haber cometido abusos sexuales cuando era sacerdote en la ciudad de Ballarat (1976-80) y cuando fue arzobispo de Melbourne (1996-2001), ambas en el Estado de Victoria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Cardenal del Vaticano es acusado de abusos sexuales contra menores

AUSTRALIA
El Mostrador (Chile)

El cardenal George Pell, el católico más alto de Australia y funcionario de tercer rango en el Vaticano, está siendo acusado de múltiples delitos sexuales a menores por la policía de Victoria.

Según publicó el diario The Guardian los cargos fueron entregados a los representantes legales de Pell en Melbourne el jueves pasado y se han presentado también en la corte de magistrados.

El cardenal deberá presentarse ante la corte el 18 de julio. "El cardenal Pell enfrenta múltiples cargos y hay múltiples denunciantes", dijo el policía Shane Patton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Key dates in Cardinal George Pell's life and church career

AUSTRALIA
Herald-Whig

By The Associated Press
Posted: Jun. 29, 2017

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' chief financial adviser, has been charged in his native Australia with multiple counts of "historical" sexual abuse, becoming the highest-ranking Vatican official ever charged in the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal. A look at the key events in Pell's life:

1941: George Pell is born in Ballarat, in the Australian state of Victoria.

1966: Pell is ordained a priest for the Ballarat diocese in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

1987: Pell is ordained an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

1996: Pell is appointed Archbishop of Melbourne and later sets up a compensation program for church sex abuse victims that some victims later criticize as inadequate, intimidating and a deterrent to lawsuits.

2001: Pell is appointed the Archbishop of Sydney.

2002: Pell steps down as Sydney Archbishop in response to allegations he sexually abused a boy more than 40 years earlier. Pell emphatically denies the allegation. An inquiry finds there is no way to establish the allegation, citing lack of evidence and questions about the accuser's credibility. Pell is reinstated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

'The George Pell I know is a very fine man indeed': Tony Abbott stands by his friend and third most senior figure in the Vatican Church after he was charged with historical sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Sam Duncan For Daily Mail Australia

Tony Abbott has leapt to the defence of Cardinal George Pell after the Pope's finance chief was charged with historical sex offences.

Mr Abbott, a Catholic who once trained to be a seminarian, has long maintained a high profile relationship with Pell, who is the third most senior figure at the Vatican.

Following the charges, which will see Cardinal Pell return to Australia to attend court, the former prime minister made a public display of support for his old friend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

George Pell takes leave from Vatican to fight sexual abuse charges in Australia

ROME/AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome and Melissa Davey in Melbourne
Thursday 29 June 2017

Pope Francis is facing the biggest crisis of his papacy after the third highest ranking official in the Vatican, Cardinal George Pell, was accused of sexual abuse charges in his native Australia.

Police in Australia announced on Thursday that charges for multiple sexual offences were served on Pell’s legal representatives in Melbourne and that he had been ordered to appear in court on 18 July.

“Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges … and there are multiple complainants,” Victoria police’s deputy commissioner Shane Patton said. The charges were “historical sexual assault offences”.

Pell announced at a press conference that he was innocent of the charges and that he was taking a leave of absence in order to return to Australia and “clear his name” following a recent discussion of the matter with the pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

VATICAN SAYS FINANCE REFORMS WILL CONTINUE IN CARDINAL GEORGE PELL'S ABSENCE, EXPRESSES RESPECT FOR AUSTRALIAN JUSTICE.

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Vatican says finance reforms will continue in Cardinal George Pell's absence, expresses respect for Australian justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

THE LATEST: POPE APPRECIATES PELL'S HONESTY, FINANCE WORK

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Latest on Vatican Cardinal George Pell being charged with sex offenses in Australia (all times local):

9 a.m.

The Vatican spokesman says Pope Francis has appreciated Cardinal George Pell's honesty and commitment during his three years working to reform the Vatican's finances.

In a statement read to reporters Thursday, spokesman Greg Burke recalled that Pell has "openly and repeatedly condemned as immoral and intolerable" acts of sexual abuse against minors.

He noted that Pell has cooperated with Australia's Royal Commission investigation into sex abuse and that as a bishop in Australia, worked to protect children and compensate victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

CARDINAL TAKES LEAVE FROM VATICAN AFTER SEX ASSAULT CHARGES

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD AND KRISTEN GELINEAU
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis' top advisers, took a leave of absence as the Vatican's financial czar on Thursday to fight multiple criminal charges in his native Australia that allege he committed sexual assault years ago.

Pell appeared before reporters in the Vatican press office to forcefully deny the accusations, denounce what he called a "relentless character assassination" in the media and announce he would return to Australia to clear his name.

"I repeat that I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me," Pell said.

The Vatican said the leave takes effect immediately and that Pell will not participate in any public liturgical event while it is in place. Pell said he intends to eventually return to Rome to resume his work as prefect of the Vatican's economy ministry.

Pell, 76, is the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be charged in the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal, and the developments pose a major and immediate new obstacle for Francis as he works to reform the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

VATICAN FINANCIAL CHIEF, PELL, TAKES LEAVE OF ABSENCE TO FIGHT SEX ABUSE CHARGES

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (UK)

29 June 2017 | by Christopher Lamb

'I’m innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me,' Pell said this morning

Vatican Financial Chief, Pell, takes leave of absence to fight sex abuse charges
Cardinal George Pell is temporarily stepping down from his role as Vatican financial chief following the Australian police’s decision to charge him with multiple child sexual abuse offences.

In a statement delivered at the Vatican this morning, the cardinal said he would take a leave of absence in order to clear his name, after which he plans to return to his work in Rome.

Pope Francis today said he appreciated Pell’s “honesty” and was grateful for his collaboration in reforming Vatican finances.

But the latest developments represent the biggest crisis to face Francis’ papacy, throwing his plans to bring accountability and transparency to Vatican finances into uncertainty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Cardinal George Pell: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

AUSTRALIA
Heavy

[with video]

By Tom Cleary
Published Jun 29, 2017

high-ranking Vatican official and close aide to Pope Francis has been charged with “historical sex offenses” in his native Australia.

Victoria Police announced the charges against Cardinal George Pell, 76, on June 30, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

“Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons and he is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 this year for a filing hearing,” Deputy Commissioner Shane Patten said at a press conference Thursday. “The charges were today served on Cardinal Pell’s legal representatives in Melbourne and they have been lodged also at the Melbourne Magistrates Court.”

Pell oversees finances for the Vatican.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Details of the Accusations, Related to Multiple Alleged Incidents From the 1970s, Haven’t Been Released

Victoria Police did not release details about the accusations against Cardinal George Pell during the Thursday press conference, according to the Australian Broadcasting Company.

He has been under formal investigation since last July, relating to offenses alleged to have occurred in the 1970s, when he was working as a diocesan priest in Ballarat, a city in Victoria. Three Victoria Police detectives interviewed Pell in Rome last October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Timeline: A look at the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandals

UNITED STATES
KBZK

Jun 29, 2017

By Madison Park CNN

(CNN) -- For more than three decades, the Catholic Church has been rocked by sex abuse scandals spanning the globe.

And for decades, the church has been accused of protecting itself rather than the victims of child sexual abuse.

Here are some major scandals and revelations involving the Catholic Church and allegations of abuse.

Australia 2017

Cardinal George Pell, one of the most senior members of the Catholic Church, was charged with multiple historical sexual assault offenses in his home country of Australia, police said.

Pell serves as a top adviser to Pope Francis and is the Vatican's top financial adviser. In 2013, he was named one of eight cardinals tasked with investigating ways to reform the church. He is the most senior member of the Catholic Church in Australia.

Pell said he's innocent and maintains that the charges are false.

Earlier in the year, a commission found that 7% of Australian priests were accused of abusing children between 1950 and 2015.

Dominican Republic, 2014

Jozef Wesolowski, a former Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic was found guilty of sexual abuse of minors by a Vatican tribunal and defrocked in 2014. He was accused of sexual abuse of minors and possession of child pornography during his time as papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic. Italy's Corriere della Sera reported that Wesolowski's laptop contained more than 100,000 files with pornographic images and videos.

Wesolowski was the highest-ranking Catholic official arrested for alleged sexual abuse of minors. He died in 2015, before he could be put on trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Australian Police Bring Sexual Assault Charges Against Catholic Cardinal

AUSTRALIA
WBUR

June 28, 2017

Barbara Campbell

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET

Police in the Australian state of Victoria say they have charged Roman Catholic Cardinal George Pell with "historical sexual offenses." The Archdiocese of Sydney says Pell will return from Vatican City, where he is the top financial adviser to Pope Francis, to fight the charges.

Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Patton would not give reporters specifics of the charges against Pell but said there are "multiple complainants." He said the cardinal has been ordered to appear in court in Melbourne on July 18 for a hearing. Patton gave no further details.

At the Vatican Thursday, Pell told reporters that Pope Francis granted him a leave of absence from his post to travel to Australia to "clear my name." He said he was the victim of "relentless character assassination."

"I'm innocent of these charges," he said, "they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

He's the most senior Vatican official to ever be charged with sexual abuse, Reuters reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Top Papal Adviser Charged With Sexual Assault in Blow to Vatican

AUSTRALIA/VATICAN CITY
U.S. News

By Byron Kaye and Philip Pullella

SYDNEY/VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Australian police charged a top adviser to Pope Francis with multiple historical sex crimes on Thursday, in a case that poses a dilemma for the pontiff who has vowed no tolerance for such offences.

Cardinal George Pell is the Vatican's de facto treasury minister and is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged with sexual abuse.

He faces "multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences" from multiple complainants, said police in the Australian state of Victoria, where Pell was a country priest in the 1970s.

The police did not specify the charges against Pell, 76, nor the ages of the alleged victims nor when the crimes were alleged to have occurred.

The Australian Catholic Church said in a statement that Pell strenuously denied the charges and planned to return to Australia to "clear his name".

"He said he is looking forward to his day in court and will defend the charges vigorously," the statement said. It also said his doctors would advise on his travel arrangements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 AM

June 28, 2017

Australian Cardinal and Aide to Pope Is Charged With Sexual Assault

AUSTRALIA
The New York Times

By JACQUELINE WILLIAMS
JUNE 28, 2017

SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s senior Roman Catholic prelate, and one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, has been charged with sexual assault, the police in the Australian state of Victoria said on Thursday.

The prelate, Cardinal George Pell, became the highest-ranking Vatican official in recent years to face criminal charges involving accusations of sexual offenses. The case will test the credibility of Francis’ initiatives to foster greater accountability after abuse scandals that have shaken the church around the world.

“Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons, and he is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court” on July 18, Shane Patton, the deputy police commissioner, said at a news conference.

The charges were served on the cardinal’s legal representatives in Melbourne. Commissioner Patton said there were multiple complainants but refused to provide further details about them, including their ages.

“The process and procedures that are being followed in the charging of Cardinal Pell have been the same that have been applied in a whole range of historical sex offenses, whenever we investigate them,” Commissioner Patton added. “Cardinal Pell has been treated the same as anyone else.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:57 PM

Senior Vatican official Cardinal Pell facing multiple sex assault charges in Australia

AUSTRALIA
Telegraph (UK)

[with video]

Jonathan Pearlman, sydney
29 JUNE 2017

Police in Australia have charged Cardinal George Pell, one of the most powerful figures in the Vatican and Australia's most senior Catholic, over historic sex assault offences.

In a stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See, police in the state of Victoria said there were multiple charges against Pell and the case involved “multiple complainants”.

Police have not yet revealed the details of the charges but said the cardinal was required to face court Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.

“Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges and there are multiple complainants,” said Victoria police’s deputy commissioner Shane Patton.

"It is important to note that none of the allegations that have been made against Cardinal Pell have, obviously, been tested in any court yet," Patton told reporters in Melbourne. "Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process."

Pell, Pope Francis' top financial adviser, has repeatedly insisted he is innocent.

In a statement shortly after the announcement, the Catholic Church in Australia said Pell "strenuously denies" the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 PM

Gezaghebbende kardinaal vervolgd voor kindermisbruik

AUSTRALIE
de Volkskrant (Nederland)

In Australië wordt kardinaal George Pell vervolgd voor kindermisbruik. Dat bevestigt de politie van de Australische deelstaat Victoria. Pell is een van de belangrijkste financiële adviseurs van paus Franciscus. Hij geldt officieus als de nummer drie binnen de katholieke Kerk.

Door: Redactie 29 juni 2017, 02:47

De 76-jarige Pell is in rang de hoogste katholieke geestelijke die ooit voor seksueel misbruik is vervolgd. De geestelijke was vroeger aartsbisschop in Melbourne en in Sydney. Volgens politie-commissaris Shane Patton zou hij als jonge priester in de jaren 1970 en 1980 meerdere jongens seksueel hebben misbruikt.

De kardinaal heeft de beschuldigingen altijd ontkend. Hij werkte bovendien actief mee aan het onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik binnen de religieuze instituten in Australië. In diverse hoorzittingen verweerde hij zich tegen aantijgingen dat hij onvoldoende had opgetreden bij aanklachten van seksueel misbruik tijdens zijn tijd in Australië.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 PM

Australian police charge top Vatican official with sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

by Elise Harris

Vatican City, Jun 28, 2017 / 07:47 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After years of fighting allegations of sexual abuse and negligence in handling abuse cases, Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's top finance man, will be charged on multiple counts of abuse, Australian police announced Wednesday.

Pell, who has fervently denied the allegations, will be charged on summons, and will be required to return to Melbourne in July order to answer the charges.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Victoria police were the ones who decided to charge the cardinal. In a June 29 statement, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said Pell is facing "multiple charges in respect to historic sexual offenses," which multiple complaints in each of the charges.

Due to heavy media speculation surrounding the investigation, Patton clarified that "the process and the procedures that have been followed in the charging of Cardinal Pell have been the same that have been applied in a whole range of historical sex offenses whenever we investigate them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 PM

George Pell says he is co-operating with police investigation

VATICAN CITY
The Australian

ELLEN WHINNETT AND LEXIE CARTWRIGHT IN VATICAN CITY
The Australian
June 29, 2017

Cardinal Pell insisted he was still co-operating with police as he left his home outside the Vatican last night as authorities prepared press charges.

Asked by News Corp if he would return to fight charges if required, he replied “I am co-operating.’’

He also indicated that he was aware of a development in the inquiry was imminent, but declined to say if he expected to be charged, saying “no comment’’.

Pope Francis yesterday held a ceremony inside St Peter’s Basilica to name to five new Cardinals, which Cardinal Pell, along with all the other cardinals, had been expected to attend.

However, he was seen coming and going from his home and it is not known if he attended the event on Wednesday afternoon Rome time.

Other cardinals, who attended the service wearing distinctive scarlet robes and hats, were mobbed by selfie-seeking tourists as they left the basilica.

A member of the Vatican security team accompanied Cardinal Pell as he left the building earlier in the morning, getting into his blue station wagon and leaving his apartment just outside St Peter’s Square. He said he had no update to provide on the police investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 PM

'He is looking forward to his day in court': George Pell charged with sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Cootamundra Herald

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's highest ranking Catholic, will face historical sex offences.

Victoria Police has confirmed Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons over multiple allegations and is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 for a filing hearing.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton providing an update on an investigation:

A statement from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney said Cardinal Pell had been informed of Victoria Police's "decision and action".

"Cardinal Pell will return to Australia, as soon as possible, to clear his name following advice and approval by his doctors who will also advise on his travel arrangements.

"He said he is looking forward to his day in court and will defend the charges vigorously.

"He has again strenuously denied all allegations."

Cardinal Pell is the third most senior Catholic at the Vatican, where he is responsible for the church's finances.He is likely to step aside from his Vatican post while he fights the charges.

Victoria's Deputy Police Commissioner, Shane Patton, confirmed in a brief press conference on Thursday morning that Cardinal Pell had been issued with multiple charges relating to historical sexual abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 PM

Cardinal Pell Facing Historic Abuse Charges

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
29 Jun 2017

Victoria Police this morning confirmed that they have charged Cardinal George Pell with historical sexual assault offences. At a press conference, Victoria Police told media that Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons, and is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 18 July 2017 for a filing hearing.

At the press conference, Victoria police's deputy commissioner Shane Patton said:

"It is important to note that none of the allegations that have been made against Cardinal Pell have obviously tested in any court yet. Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process and so therefore, it's important that the process is allowed to run its natural course.

"Preserving the integrity of that process is essential to all of us, and so for Victoria Police, it's important that it's allowed to go through unhindered and allowed to see natural justice is afforded to all the parties involved including Cardinal Pell and the complainants in this matter."

Victoria Police will not be commenting further on the matter.

Following the announcement, Cardinal Pell issued an initial statement relating to the charges.

The statement reads:

INITIAL STATEMENT FROM CARDINAL GEORGE PELL FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHARGES

Although it is still in the early hours of the morning in Rome, Cardinal George Pell has been informed of the decision and action of Victoria Police.

He has again strenuously denied all allegations.

Cardinal Pell will return to Australia, as soon as possible, to clear his name following advice and approval by his doctors who will
also advise on his travel arrangements.

He said he is looking forward to his day in court and will defend the charges vigorously.

Cardinal Pell will make a further statement in Rome at the Holy See Press Office at 8.30am, Rome time, or 4.30pm AEST.

The statement is here.

Counseling is available from CatholicCare on 131819.

For information on safeguarding and protection of children protocols and complaint handling please contact the director of The Safeguarding and Ministerial Integrity Office on 9390 5810.

For a summary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Policy on the care, well-being and protection of children and young people and for the Code of Conduct - Working with children and young people, please visit www.sydneycatholic.org/safeguarding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 PM

THE LATEST: CHURCH SAYS PELL WILL RETURN TO FACE SEX CHARGES

AUSTRALIA
Associated Press

SYDNEY (AP) -- The Latest on Vatican Cardinal George Pell being charged with sex offenses in Australia (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney says Vatican Cardinal George Pell will return to Australia to fight sexual assault charges as soon as possible.

The archdiocese statement released on his behalf said Pell "again strenuously denied all allegations" against him.

Victoria state police said earlier Thursday that Pell was being summonsed to face multiple charges of "historical sexual offenses," meaning offenses that generally occurred some time ago. Pell was ordered to appear in court on July 18.

The archdiocese statement says Pell "is looking forward to his day in court and will defend the charges vigorously."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 PM

The Latest: Survivors’ group wants pope to speak on charges

AUSTRALIA
Medicine Hat News

SYDNEY, Australia – The Latest on Vatican Cardinal George Pell being charged with sex offences in Australia (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

The leading support group for victims of sexual abuse by priests has called on Pope Francis to speak out about sexual assault charges filed in Australia against a key Vatican aide.

Survivors’ network SNAP noted that Francis had promised to work to “end the scourge of abuse by his clergy.”

The statement issued from SNAP’s headquarters in the United States called on anyone with additional information about the case of Cardinal George Pell to come forward. Police in the Australian state of Victoria said Thursday that Pell has been summoned to appear in court to face charges involving “historical sexual assault offences.” No details have been disclosed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 PM

Louise Milligan’s book on George Pell pulled from sale in Victoria

AUSTRALIA
The Austrlaian

June 29, 2017

GREG BROWN
JournalistMelbourne
@gregbrown_TheOz

Melbourne University Press has taken steps to withdraw the book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell in Victoria.

MUP chief executive Louise Adler said that the book, written by ABC journalist Louise Milligan, would not be sold in Victoria after Cardinal Pell was charged with historical child sex offences this morning.

It would remain on sale in other parts of the country.

“Melbourne University Press is taking all reasonable measures to remove the book from sale in Victoria,” Ms Adler said.

She said that the process of pulling the book from sale was “not a simple one” but that it was underway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Australian Cardinal, a Top Adviser to Pope, Is Charged With Sexual Assault

AUSTRALIA
The New York Times

By JACQUELINE WILLIAMS
JUNE 28, 2017

SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s senior Roman Catholic prelate, and one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, has been charged with sexual assault, the police in the Australian state of Victoria said on Thursday.

The prelate, Cardinal George Pell, became the highest-ranking Vatican official in recent years to face criminal charges involving accusations of sexual offenses.

“Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons, and he is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court” on July 18, Shane Patton, the deputy police commissioner, said at a news conference.

The charges were served on the cardinal’s legal representatives in Melbourne. Commissioner Patton said there were multiple complainants, but refused to provide further details about them, including their ages.

Cardinal Pell, the Vatican’s de facto finance chief, had been accused in hearings before Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse of mishandling misconduct cases against clergy members while he served as the leader of the Archdioceses of Melbourne and Sydney. Then allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused minors himself beginning early in his priesthood and continuing until he became archbishop of Melbourne. He has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

BREAKING: Pope’s finance minister charged with child sex abuse offences, police confirm

AUSTRALIA
Express (UK)

By VINCENT WOOD
Thu, Jun 29, 2017

Cardinal George Pell, 76 has been under investigation in his homeland since last year following allegations of sexual abuse.

Victoria police’s deputy commissioner Shane Patton said: “Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges and there are multiple complainants.”

The Cardinal has repeatedly denied allegations against him, previously defending the possibility of charges saying: “I’d just like to restate my innocence.

“I stand by everything I’ve said at the royal commission [on child sexual abuse] and in other places.

“We have to respect due process, wait until it’s concluded and obviously I’ll continue to cooperate fully.”

Last year the Pope confirmed he would withhold judgement on his Justice minister until the Australian justice system handed down their ruling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

Cardinal George Pell: Timeline

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Cardinal George Pell was born in Ballarat on June 8, 1941.

He was educated at St Patrick's College and Corpus Christi College in Victoria, before studying at Urban University in Rome. He has a PhD in church history from Oxford University, UK, and a masters in education from Monash University.

His career

1966: Ordained a priest for the Ballarat diocese in St Peter's Basilica

1971: Assistant Priest at Swan Hill

1973 - 1983: Assistant Priest at Ballarat East parish

1978 - 1979: Episcopal Vicar for Education in the Ballarat diocese

1987: Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne

1993: Pell walks priest Gerald Ridsdale to court. Ridsdale is later convicted of a string of child sex abuse charges

1996: Appointed Archbishop of Melbourne

2001: Appointed Archbishop of Sydney, the Australian Catholic church's most senior position

2003: Appointed by Pope John Paul II to the Sacred College of Cardinals

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Cardinal George Pell is CHARGED with 'multiple' child sex offences and ordered to appear in a Melbourne court next month - sending shockwaves through the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

[with video]

By Brianne Tolj For Daily Mail Australia

The third most senior cardinal in the Catholic Church has been charged with historic child sex offences stemming from multiple complainants.

Australia's Cardinal George Pell, 76, has been summonsed to Australia from Rome after being charged by police and is due before Melbourne Magistrates court on July 18.

The charges have been presented to Cardinal Pell's legal team and lodged with the court, Victoria police revealed on Thursday.

Cardinal Pell has been accused of sexually abusing and grooming boys.

The allegations date back to when Pell was a priest in Ballarat, Victoria, and Archbishop of Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Cardinal George Pell charged with multiple sexual offences

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
Wednesday 28 June 2017

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the third-ranking official in the Vatican, has been charged with multiple sexual offences by police.

The charges were served on Pell’s legal representatives in Melbourne on Thursday and they have been lodged also at Melbourne magistrates court. He will appear at Melbourne magistrates court on 18 July.

“Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges and there are multiple complainants,” Victoria police’s deputy commissioner Shane Patton said.

Pell is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged in the Catholic church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal.

Pell has consistently denied all allegations against him. After the possibility of his being charged was raised publicly, Pell told reporters: “I’d just like to restate my innocence.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

Australian police charge Vatican Treasurer Cardinal Pell over historical sexual assaults

AUSTRALIA
Reuters

Australian police said on Thursday they have charged the Vatican's treasurer, Australian Cardinal George Pell, with multiple sexual assault offences.

"Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences," Victoria state police deputy commissioner Shane Patton told a news conference in Melbourne.

"There are multiple complainants relating to those charges," he said. Pell was charged by summons to appear before a Melbourne court on July 18, Patton said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Cardinal George Pell charged with sex offences

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

Australia's most senior Catholic figure, Cardinal George Pell, has been charged with sex offences.

The charges relate to alleged "historical" incidents, police in the Australian state of Victoria said on Thursday.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said the allegations were made by more than one person.

Cardinal Pell has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Australian Police Charge Top Vatican Cardinal With Historical Sex Offenses

AUSTRALIA
Associated Press

BY KRISTEN GELINEAU
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SYDNEY (AP) -- Australian police charged a top Vatican cardinal on Thursday with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offenses, a stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' chief financial adviser and Australia's most senior Catholic, is the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal.

Victoria state Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said police have summonsed Pell to appear in an Australian court to face multiple charges of "historic sexual offenses," meaning offenses that generally occurred some time ago. Patton said there are multiple complainants against Pell, but gave no other details on the allegations against the cardinal. Pell was ordered to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.

Pell has repeatedly denied all abuse allegations made against him. The Catholic Church in Australia, which issues statements on Pell's behalf, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the charges.

"It is important to note that none of the allegations that have been made against Cardinal Pell have, obviously, been tested in any court yet," Patton told reporters in Melbourne. "Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process."

The charges are a new and serious blow to Pope Francis, who has already suffered several credibility setbacks in his promised "zero tolerance" policy about sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

Cardinal George Pell charged with historial sex offences

AUSTRALIA
9 News

[with video]

Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, has been charged on summons with historical sexual assault offences.

Victoria Police today announced Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in relation to multiple complainants.

He will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court in July this year for a filing hearing.

Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said a summons had been served on Cardinal Pell's legal representatives in Melbourne.

"Cardinal Pell has been treated the same as anyone else in this investigation," Mr Patton said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

George Pell charged on summons with multiple child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 29, 2017

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

JACQUELIN MAGNAY
Foreign correspondentEurope
@jacquelinmagnay

UPDATE: Cardinal George Pell has been charged on summons with historic sex offences.

During a brief press conference, Deputy commissioner Shane Patton confirmed that the high-ranking Catholic Church official was facing multiple charges and there were multiple complainants.

He has been charged on summons, with documents served on his Melbourne legal representatives and lodged at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, where he will appear on July 18 for a filing hearing.

Deputy commissioner Patton acknowledged the intense public interest in the case and said the investigation into Cardinal Pell had followed the same procedure as all historic cases of sex abuse.

He said the decision to lay charges was made by police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Cardinal George Pell charged with at least three serious sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

[with video]

Nino Bucci Tom Cowie

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's highest ranking Catholic will face at least three serious sex assault charges, including at least one count of rape.

Victoria Police has confirmed Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons over multiple allegations and is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 for a filing hearing.

Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton confirmed in a brief press conference that Cardinal Pell had been issued with multiple charges relating to historic sexual abuse allegations.

The charges were served on Cardinal Pell's legal representatives in Melbourne on Thursday, Mr Patton said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

Cardinal George Pell charged over child sex allegations

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Keith Moor and Shannon Deery, Herald Sun

CARDINAL George Pell has been charged with multiple child sex offences relating to multiple complainants.

Cardinal Pell has been ordered to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.

Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said the choice to charge Cardinal Pell was one made by Victoria Police.

Police did not reveal the exact charges being faced by the Cardinal.

It is not yet clear whether the 76-year-old cardinal will return home to fight the charges, or whether authorities will need to seek to extradite him.

The decision to charge the Cardinal ends months of speculation and will have enormous implications for the Catholic Church here and overseas, with Cardinal Pell just a couple of rungs below the Pope on its hierarchy ladder.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

George Pell charged with historical sexual assault offences

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Cardinal George Pell has been charged with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences.

Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton from Victoria Police said the Vatican-based Cardinal was required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.

He said the charges were served on Cadinal Pell's legal representatives in Melbourne, and that they involved multiple complainants.

Last July, police confirmed they were formally investigating complaints about offences that are alleged to have occurred in Ballarat in the 1970s.

Cardinal Pell has always maintained his innocence and strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

"The allegations are untrue, I deny them absolutely," Cardinal Pell said in July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Survivors of Peter Ball demand new laws, criminal investigation into Lord Carey

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Wed 28 Jun 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

A week after a review found that the Church of England concealed abuse of children by Bishop Peter Ball; his survivors are calling for changes in the Church.

They have written a letter asking for Lord George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, to be criminally investigated.

Published in the Times, it reads: "Following the Gibb report on this case... three issues require urgent attention. First, the police must investigate whether Lord Carey of Clifton deliberately concealed evidence.

"If so, Lord Carey must forfeit his right to sit in the House of Lords. It is unacceptable that someone involved in concealing evidence of criminality should have a role in making laws for others".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Jean Wehner, ‘Jane Doe’ featured in ‘The Keepers,’ discusses her now-public story

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

Alison Knezevich
The Baltimore Sun

Jean Hargadon Wehner keeps her guard up when she leaves her home.

As a rape survivor, "I have a certain way that I move in public, kind of a protected" way, Wehner says.

So it's been somewhat unnerving — but at the same time encouraging —that strangers have approached the Howard County woman over the past month in places like the grocery store.

They recognize her from the Netflix documentary "The Keepers," which focuses on sexual abuse at her alma mater, Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, and the unsolved 1969 homicide of Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik, who taught there.

"I wanted people to know that they're not alone, and what it's done is it's made me feel like I'm not alone," Wehner, 63, said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun, her first comments to Baltimore media since the series debuted.

Wehner, who graduated from Keough in 1971, has a central role in the seven-part series. She first came forward in 1992 with allegations that the school's former counselor and chaplain, A. Joseph Maskell, had repeatedly raped her when she was a student. In the series, she describes how she confided in Cesnik that she was abused — and says Maskell took her to see the nun's body.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Child protection auditors due

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Catholic

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

By William Cone Editor

Auditors from StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, New York, plan to visit the Diocese of Pittsburgh soon to interview people and do spot inspections in parishes to examine compliance with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

The diocese participates in a paper audit every year, and every third year a group from StoneBridge spends a week auditing safe environment policies and procedures, said Phyllis Haney, director of the diocesan Office for the Protection of Children and Young People. The last on-site audit was in October 2014.

“They will be talking with everyone involved with safe environments and going out to audit about 10 parishes/schools for compliance,” she said.

“We have to provide data based on each article of the charter,” Haney said. “When the auditors come here, we provide them with the documentation that backs up the data.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Pope Francis defrocks Italian priest convicted of child sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest who was found guilty of child sex abuse, three years after overturning predecessor Benedict XVI’s decision to do the same after allegations against the priest first came to light.

Mauro Inzoli, 67, was initially defrocked in 2012 after he was first accused of abusing minors, but Francis reversed that decision in 2014, ordering the priest to stay away from children and retire to “a life of prayer and humble discretion.”

On Wednesday (June 28), the priest’s diocese of Crema in northern Italy released a statement saying the pope had made a “definitive ruling” that Inzoli, also known as Don Mauro, should be dismissed from clerical duties.

Bishop Daniele Gianotti of Crema said the Vatican body responsible for church doctrine informed him of the pope’s decision, which Gianotti described as “the worst punishment” to be imposed on a priest.

“We cannot assume that the pope made such a serious decision without carefully examining all the elements in front of God, before making a choice for the good of the church and Don Mauro,” said Gianotti on the diocese website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Survivors of Non-Recent Abuse in Scotland Can Now Bring Civil Claims

SCOTLAND
Lexology

Slater & Gordon

United Kingdom June 27 2017
The three-year time limit on cases of childhood abuse has been lifted by Scottish Parliament.

This is a monumental step forward for survivors of abuse who previously may not have been able to bring civil claims for damages.

The time bar has been removed by the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Bill, which was unanimously approved when MSPs voted.

This is an incredibly important milestone in legislation surrounding abuse claims and a positive step forward in getting justice for survivors of abuse in Scotland.

Click here to view the video.

What Does The Bill Mean?

Survivors of abuse will now be able to seek compensation for their injuries in the civil courts, if the abuse dates back to 1964 or they were under the age of 18 at the time of sexual, physical or emotional abuse.

Previously, victims could only seek a personal injury claim up to three years after the abuse had taken placed, due to the strict interpretation of the “time bar”. This restriction has since been removed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Expelled For Sexual Misconduct, Rabbi Finds Work — At Wife’s Synagogue

NEW JERSEY
Forward

Daniel J. Solomon
Jun 28, 2017

UPDATED, 11:30 a.m., June 28, 2017: More information about CCAR process.

A New Jersey rabbi who was expelled from the Reform movement last year for alleged sexual improprieties and other misconduct has been working for months as a “tutor” at another synagogue led by his wife, the Forward has learned.

Since his 2016 ouster from the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Ron Kaplan, the former rabbi at Temple Beth Am. in Parsippany, has been employed at Temple Har Shalom in the nearby suburb of Warren, where his wife, Rabbi Randi Musnitsky, serves as spiritual leader.

According to Rabbi Steve Fox, the chief executive of CCAR, Kaplan was expelled for violation of “sexual boundaries,” “financial misconduct” and inappropriate behavior toward other movement congregations.

Fox declined to give more details about the circumstances leading to the ouster, but he noted that only eight rabbis have been expelled in the past 12 years nationwide. He also reiterated new guidelines from the CCAR that prohibit members from employing expelled rabbis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:25 PM

More Lakewood raids: Arrests continue in welfare fraud investigation

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Payton Guion, Alex N. Gecan and Andrew Ford, Asbury Park Press June 28, 2017

LAKEWOOD – Six people were arrested Tuesday night in federal and state raids in connection with an ongoing investigation that has so far exposed about $2 million in alleged public-assistance fraud in the town.

State authorities raided three homes Tuesday night, after raiding four homes and arresting eight people Monday on charges of stealing $1.3 million in public assistance.

Each of the six people arrested Tuesday is facing a charge of second-degree theft by deception, a state crime, according to a prepared statement from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. ...

Those arrested Tuesday were Yitzchok and Sora Kanarek, of 15 Brisk Lane; Chaim and Liatt Ehrman, of 501 Twin Oaks Drive; and William and Faigy Friedman, of 36 Leigh Drive.

The Kanareks wrongfully collected $339,002.56 in Medicaid, nutrition assistance, Social Security and federal housing funds, according to the prosecutor's office. The Ehrman's brought in $185,692.22 in improper Medicaid, nutrition assistance, utilities assistance and Sandy relief funds and the Friedmans bilked $149,842.28 in Medicaid, food, energy and housing funds, according to the prosecutor's office. ...

Yitzchok Kanarek is the former rabbi of Oros Yisroel, a school for special-needs students that closed in 2015 due to federal and state tax liens of more than $295,000, according to public records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

3 more Lakewood houses raided in multi-million dollar welfare fraud investigation

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

BY ALEX NAPOLIELLO AND JESSICA REMO
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

LAKEWOOD -- Authorities arrested three more Lakewood residents Tuesday night in a continued effort to crack down on residents suspected of defrauding government-assistance programs, officials announced Wednesday morning.

The raids, conducted just before midnight, come on the heels of a massive bust on Monday morning that led to the arrests of eight Lakewood residents -- four married couples -- who allegedly bilked the government out of $1.3 million in illegal benefits.

Arrested on Tuesday night were Yitzchok, 33, and Sora, 39, Kanarek of Brisk Lane; Chaim, 40, and Liatt, 39, Ehrman, of Twin Oaks Drive; and William, 45, and Faigy, 40, Friedman, of Leigh Drive, according to a joint statement from Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato and State Comptroller Philip James Degnan. ...

Yitzchok Kanarek is the former rabbi of a special-needs school that closed in 2015 due to a $295,000 tax lien, according to a report from the Asbury Park Press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 AM

Priest gets suspended jail term after violent indecent assault on underage girl

MALTA
Malta Independent

A Gozitan priest was given a suspended sentence after he was found guilty of sexual offences against three girls.

The priest was sentenced to a jail term of one year suspended for three years.

Jesmond Gauci, 44, from Xagħra, was charged with having committed lewd acts and having violently and indecently assaulted the girls. He was also accused of harassing the youngsters through allegedly offensive mobile and Facebook messages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Le pape a défroqué un prêtre pédophile

VATICAN
24 Heures

Vatican
Un prêtre surnommé «don Mercedes» pour ses goûts de luxe a été réduit à l'état laïc. Il avait été condamné en 2016 pour avoir abusé de cinq jeunes.

Le pape François a défroqué Don Mauro Inzoli, un prêtre italien condamné pour pédophilie et surnommé «don Mercedes» par la presse italienne pour son goût du luxe, a annoncé mercredi son diocèse.

«J'ai reçu ces derniers jours de la part de la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi une information concernant la décision prise par le pape François de manière définitive de démettre don Mauro Inzoli de l'état clérical», a indiqué l'évêque Daniel sur le site du diocèse de Crema, dans le nord de l'Italie, non loin de Milan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Pedofilia, spretato don Inzoli: la decisione di papa Francesco dopo la condanna

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
La Repubblica

Ridotto per sempre allo stato laicale. Dopo la condanna penale per pedofilia, arriva il provvedimento del papa per don Mauro Inzoli, sacerdote di Comunione e Liberazione, ex responsabile della Compagnia delle Opere di Cremona e Crema. Lo annuncia il vescovo di Crema, Daniele Gianotti, in una lettera ai fedeli.

"Nei giorni scorsi - scrive Gianotti - la congregazione per la dottrina della fede mi ha comunicato la decisione, presa da papa Francesco il 20 maggio scorso con sentenza definitiva, di dimettere don Mauro Inzoli dallo stato clericale". Coinvolto in un'inchiesta penale, oltre che in quella all'interno della comunità religiosa, il prete è stato condannato a quattro anni e nove mesi per pedofilia e al divieto di avvicinarsi a luoghi frequentati da minori. Nelle motivazioni della sentenza, si precisava che gli abusi avvenivano anche durante le confessioni. Il sacerdote era già stato sospeso dalla congregazione per la dottrina della fede.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Pope defrocks 'Don Mercedes' priest convicted of sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Channel News Asia

AFP

Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest found guilty of the sexual abuse of minors, reversing an earlier decision to reduce his punishment, the diocese at the heart of the scandal said Wednesday.

ROME: Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest found guilty of the sexual abuse of minors, reversing an earlier decision to reduce his punishment, the diocese at the heart of the scandal said Wednesday (Jun 28).

Mauro Inzoli, 67, was defrocked in 2012 after he was first accused of paedophilia, but that decision was reversed in 2014, when Pope Francis ordered him to stay away from minors and retire to "a life of prayer and humble discretion".

On Wednesday the diocese of Crema in northern Italy said Francis had "ruled definitively" on May 20 that Inzoli - sentenced to nearly five years in prison last year for sex abuse - would be stripped of his clerical status.

The priest, dubbed "Don Mercedes" by the press for his penchant for luxury cars, was found guilty by a Cremona court of eight counts of sexual abuse of children aged 12 to 16 years old between 2004 and 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Priest gets suspended sentence after child molestation conviction

MALTA
Malta Today

Jeanelle MIfsud 28 June 2017

Xaghra priest Jesmond Gauci has been sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years after being found guilty of molesting a 13-year-old girl.

The 45-year-old was however found not guilty of having sexual relations with the girl as well as with two other minors. He was also cleared of defilement and of misuse of means of communication.

Police opened investigations into the priest after a letter was sent to Gozo Bishop Mario Grech, informing him of alleged abuse of minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Priest who violently assaulted a child gets suspended jail term

MALTA
Times of Malta

A Gozitan priest who committed violent indecent assault against a child has received a suspended sentence.

The priest was condemned to a jail term of one year suspended for three years after facing sexual offence accusations related to three underage girls.

Jesmond Gauci, 44, from Xagħra, was charged with having committed lewd acts against his victims and having violently and indecently assaulted the girls. He was also accused of harassing the youngsters through allegedly offensive mobile and Facebook messages.

The whole affair had come to light when the Gozo Bishop filed a police report over the sexual abuse of a minor by a priest from the diocese.

Police investigations led to the arraignment of the priest, who at the time of the alleged wrongdoing in 2014 were still minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Always Be Prepared to Defend Your Faith

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

Celeste Behe

I recently reconnected with an old friend and fellow parishioner named Kate. Kate and I hadn’t seen each other in years, so after chancing to meet, we arranged to get together the following week to chat and catch up.

Over coffee, Kate told me why I hadn’t been seeing her at Mass.

“I am so mad at the Catholic Church,” she said bitterly. “What those priests did to those kids… I still can’t believe what went on. Now whenever I see a priest I’m reminded of the awful things that happened. What’s the point of going to Mass if all I do there is get upset?”

Flustered by Kate’s outburst, I had a hard time gathering my thoughts. But I did point out that the sexual abuse of children isn’t a bigger problem in the Catholic Church than it is elsewhere. And I reminded Kate that Mass isn’t about the priest or even the liturgy, but about the Eucharist.

Still, my reply was uncompelling at best. As Kate listened skeptically to my clumsy defense of the Church, I could practically hear her thinking, “Celeste, those poor abused kids could have been yours.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Paedophile priest seen covered in blood on day of mother's slaying, ABC reveals

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Robyn Grace

A paedophile priest was seen covered in blood on the day of the frenzied stabbing murder of a mother in the back of her Thornbury bookshop, a new report has revealed.

The ABC uncovered the new information in its podcast Trace, which attempts to shine new light on the 1980 cold case murder of Maria James.

Ms James, 38, was stabbed 68 times in her home at the back of the bookshop.

Electrician Allan Hircoe told the podcast he had seen Father Anthony Bongiorno on the day of the murder with blood on his face and both hands, just 50 metres from the crime scene.

Mr Hircoe said the priest had told him he'd cut himself on a wire fence.

When he returned from retrieving his first-aid kit, Bongiorno was gone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Time To Act Is Now To Prevent Future Sexual Offending By Those In Positions Of Authority

FIJI
Fiji Sun

by Nemani Delaibatiki, SUVA

Suva High Court Judge Salesi Temo spoke out clearly on the seriousness of sexual offences like rape.

When he sentenced Pastor Jone Rabuno Cokanauto yesterday to 20 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 19 years in prison, he said the sentence was to punish the pastor “in a manner that is just in all circumstances.”

He said it was also designed to protect the community “from people like you.”

He also warned religious leaders who distorted the teaching of the holy books to advance their evil sexual desires.

“The court will come down hard on you. The sentence is also to signify that the court and the community denounce what you did to the four complainants from 2005 to 2012.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Vatican chief auditor Libero Milone's abrupt departure a worry for Cardinal Pell

ROME
Bendigo Advertiser

Desmond O'Grady
28 Jun 2017

Rome: The spotlight is on Cardinal George Pell's Secretariat for the Economy following the unexpected resignation of the Vatican's Auditor-General Libero Milone.

Milone who had an autonomous role in Pell's office, was appointed two years ago for a five-year term after an executive search to audit the city state's financial dealings. Pell was appointed in 2014 to establish the secretariat and untangle the Vatican finances.

Only three months ago, Milone gave an enthusiastic interview with no suggestion that he might leave before the end of his term. Then he said he had at last acquired adequate knowledge of the complex network of 142 Vatican entities. He had a 12-member, all lay staff, half of whom are women.

No reason was given for his abrupt resignation last week but one possibility is clashes of opinion with Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, head of the Vatican's central bank APSA which administers the Vatican's real estate and financial holdings.

Calcagno has never welcomed Pell's role as an overseer of Vatican financial operations. In May Calcagno's office informed other Vatican offices that they should report on their financial dealings to the financial services firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers which has been working with the Vatican.

Pell and Milone hit back publicly with a strongly worded bulletin saying that checking Vatican finances was their responsibility and no reports should be sent to PwC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

£35m sex inquiry is yet to publish report

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
June 28 2017
The Times

The public inquiry into child abuse has spent £35 million in two years without producing a single report.

Figures published yesterday by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) show expenditure of £20.8 million in 2016-17 including more than £9 million on staff and £5.1 million on lawyers.

Salary costs include £165,000 in pay and allowances to the New Zealander Dame Lowell Goddard from April 1 last year until her abrupt resignation as chairwoman on August 4.

Dame Lowell, who has denied allegations of misconduct during her period in office, also cost the inquiry £41,750 in travel, including for flights home with her family. Her successor, Alexis Jay, received £148,000 in salary, allowances and expenses from August until March.

The expenditure will anger abuse victims who campaigned for it to be established but are increasingly dismayed by the perceived lack of progress. Two survivors’ groups have withdrawn, saying they have lost confidence in its ability to discover the truth or make recommendations.

Only one set of substantive hearings has taken place, into the suffering of children sent to schools in Australia under state-approved migration programmes. That section of the inquiry is scheduled to resume public hearings next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

EXCLUSIVE: If child molesting priests get second chances, why don’t we? Gambino crime family heir slams Pope for wanting to ex-communicate the Mob and insists move will make Vatican more vulnerable to ISIS

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail

By JESSICA CHIA FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

The son of a New York Mafia boss has warned that the Vatican will come to rue the day it excommunicates members of the famed Cosa Nostra, due to its protective role in Italy.

Pope Francis has taken a hard line against mobsters, saying they are destined to hell, and the Vatican hosted a conference earlier this month to consider a new legal doctrine for the Catholic Church to drive out people convicted of mafia-related crimes.

Giovanni Gambino, the son of a key figure in the Gambino crime syndicate, told Dailymail.com: 'Pope Francis considers excommunicating the mafia...in the meantime, priests accused of sex abuse get a second chance in South America.'

Gambino also added that the mafia has played a crucial role in protecting Italy from ISIS - and that without it, the Vatican would likely cease to exist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Víctimas de Karadima califican la visita del Papa Francisco a Chile como una burla si no aborda los casos de abusos sexuales

CHILE
El Mostrador

[Victims of priest Fernando Karadima call Pope Francis's visit to Chile a mockery if he does not address cases of sexual abuse.]

por CAMILA BUSTAMANTE 28 junio, 2017

Ante la gravedad de los casos en Chile y Perú, de parte de Fernando Karadima y el fundador del Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana, Luis Fernando Figari, respectivamente, surge la necesidad de que la cabeza de la Iglesia católica tenga un espacio en su agenda para referirse al tema y reunirse con los afectados. Pedro Salinas, periodista peruano, autor del libro “Mitad monjes, mitad soldados” y ex miembro del Sodalicio –donde sufrió distintos tipos de abuso–, dice que “presumo que así como en México evitó acercarse a las víctimas de (Marcial) Maciel, en Chile y Perú ocurrirá exactamente lo mismo. Aunque la caridad exija un encuentro con esas personas traicionadas por la Iglesia católica”.

Expectación ha causado el anuncio conjunto, entre el Vaticano y las Conferencias Episcopales chilena y peruana, sobre la visita que hará el Papa Francisco a ambos países en enero próximo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Lord Carey must face police investigation for role in Peter Ball cover up, say victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Harry Farley JOURNALIST 28 June 2017

Sex abuse survivors are calling for former Archbishop George Carey to face a police investigation for his role in the Church's collusion with convicted abuser and ex-bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball.

Victims and their lawyers say Lord Carey should relinquish his right to sit in the House of Lords if he his found to have deliberately concealed evidence.

'It is unacceptable that someone involved in concealing evidence of criminality should have a role in making laws for others,' a letter from two of Ball's survivors and their lawyers to the Times reads.

The calls for a police investigation into Lord Carey, backed by the National Secular Society, come after he quit his honorary role as assistant bishop in the Oxford diocese following a damning report by Dame Moira Gibb.

Abuse in Faith, published last week, is highly critical of the Church's response to the 84-year-old former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 after admitting a string of historical sex offences against 18 teenagers and young men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

New child abuse legislation hailed as a victory for late East Kilbride survivor and campaigner Frank Docherty

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

BY ANDREA O'NEILL

An East Kilbride justice campaigner who survived abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church as a child has welcomed new legislation that enables victims to pursue justice later in life.

The Limitation Childhood Abuse Scotland Bill removes the three-year time limit in which victims of childhood abuse can bring a civil action against their abuser.

The move comes two months on from the death of Murray grandad Frank Docherty, founder and honorary president of child abuse charity In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas) who, after his own abuse hell, fought for two decades to seek justice for child abuse victims.

Frank’s widow Janet told the News historic survivors will now get the closure and recognition they deserve.

“Frank would have been over the moon,” she said.

“Like him, abuse survivors have been shunted from pillar to post for years but it’s all coming to the fore now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Millburn rabbi’s daughter is ‘warrior for most vulnerable’

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Jewish News

by Robert Wiener
NJJN Staff Writer
June 27, 2017

As the daughter of Ilene Strauss of Jerusalem and Rabbi Steven Bayar of Congregation B’nai Israel in Millburn, Rahel Bayar, 36, had “a childhood of growing up, seeing, and experiencing the good things others do.”

And yet, or perhaps because of that upbringing, she has devoted her career to handling some of the greatest evils human beings can do to one another. Her field is dealing with victims of sex crimes and other forms of sexual abuse.

Labeling her “a warrior for those most vulnerable,” The New York Jewish Week, the parent company of NJJN, honored Bayar as one of “36 under 36” — young Jewish community leaders “who have demonstrated unique initiative, creativity, and leadership.”

Bayar said her parents taught her to be attuned to people’s needs. For instance, when one of her sister’s tutors couldn’t afford air conditioning during a sweltering summer, her dad told the tutor he knew of someone giving one away. Then he drove his daughters to an electronics store, bought a new unit, and gave it to the family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Holes still apparent in ACT reportable conduct scheme to prevent child abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

Schools, child care centres and health providers will be forced to report all child abuse allegations to the ACT Ombudsman from this Saturday.

However the ACT's new reportable conduct scheme does not cover church organisations, Scout groups, sporting clubs or dance schools, despite government officials telling the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse the scheme would need to be refined to meet community expectations as far back as March.

In launching the scheme on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry denied there were gaps in the law and said the most important aspect was its consistency with other states and territories.

Ms Berry said a review into the scheme would begin immediately to examine its effectiveness but any decision to extend it would take place after the Royal Commission handed down its final report in December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Pope appoints Allentown priest as fifth bishop of Allentown

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

Daniel Patrick Sheehan

Like a Bronx kid growing up to play for the Yankees, Monsignor Alfred Schlert is pinching himself, astonished that the grade-school stirring of his soul toward the priesthood has culminated with Pope Francis naming him a shepherd of shepherds.

Schlert, a Palmer Township native who has been governing the Allentown Catholic Diocese since Bishop John O. Barres left for Long Island this year, will be elevated to the episcopate and installed as the fifth bishop of Allentown on Aug. 31.

Schlert was as surprised as anyone when he learned last week that Francis had appointed him to oversee the 252,000 faithful of the five-county diocese and the hundreds of priests, deacons and religious sisters and brothers who minister to them. ...

In taking command, Schlert faces the same challenges as his predecessors and counterparts nationwide: the need to increase vocations, attract young people to the faith, bring lapsed Catholics back to the fold and help those wounded by clerical sexual abuse.

On the latter issue, Schlert said the diocese and the church as a whole have established policies and procedures to prevent abuse and help victims.

“For some it will be a difficult path to healing, and we have to stay close to them and accompany them,” he said. “We’ve taken a lot of steps and will continue to be faithful to that.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

June 27, 2017

Why We Protested In Midwood Last Sunday – ZAAKAH

NEW YORK
SOME PEOPLE LIVE MORE IN 20 YEARS…

JUNE 27, 2017
ASHER LOVY

This past Sunday, ZA’AKAH took the issue of child sexual abuse and Agudah’s horrendous record on it to the heart of the Jewish community in Midwood, Brooklyn. We started outside the home of Chaim David Zweibel, and after an hour moved to Landau’s Shul, a block down. A lot happened during that protest, and I want to try and break it down, answer some of the more common questions we got, and talk about my experiences as the organizer.

First I want to talk about why we did this in the first place.

For over 20 years of my life, I was abused. It varied between emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and it happened unchecked. My family did nothing to help me, in part because my abuser was my mother and they were more concerned with what would happen to her if they threw her out of the house, and in part because they were worried what would happen to our family reputation. I can’t even remember how many times I had ACS, CPS, or the NYPD in my house asking me if I wanted to make a statement, and every time my family pressured me to keep quiet. They said it would ruin my chances at a shidduch. They said I’d be taken away to a foster home to be raised by goyim and mistreated. They said I’d ruin my cousins’ chances at shidduchim. They told me that the neighbors would talk about me.

Never once did they consider me. Never once did they look beyond their reputations, their concerns over their shidduchim, their concerns over what the neighbors would say, and really see how much I was suffering. It was always about them and what they thought was best for them, best for my abusive mother. They didn’t understand what was happening to me. They didn’t understand that I was dropping out of school because I just couldn’t bring myself to care about math and science when I had to worry every night whether I could go to sleep safely, or whether my door would be broken down in the middle of the night. They didn’t understand that those bottles of booze they found in my drawer were my only way of hanging on to life in a world that with each passing day became crueler, less worth staying alive in. They didn’t understand why I stopped going to shul even though to me it seemed that God clearly didn’t seem to care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Startup Org Shines New Light On Abuse Policies

NEW YORK
The New York Jewish Week

BY HANNAH DREYFUS June 27, 2017

In his first summer as director of Camp Ramah Berkshires, a large Conservative sleepaway camp in the rolling hills of upstate New York, Rabbi Ethan Linden is intent on ensuring that all the camp’s policies and procedures are up to code.

That includes, among medical policies, security policies and fire safety procedures, measures to prevent child sexual abuse.

“The core mission of the camp is to care for children,” said Linden, who will have 750 campers under his supervision over the course of the summer. “Coming in new, it was a good opportunity to work with someone who has expertise in preventing the sorts of nightmare scenarios that keep camp directors up at night.”

“People are not thinking through these issues in advance,” said Berkovits.

Shira Berkovits, founder and executive director of Sacred Spaces, a nonprofit launched a year ago that aims to help Jewish communal institutions develop policies and training to prevent and respond to abuse, is that someone.

“People are not thinking through these issues in advance,” said Berkovits, a lawyer, psychologist, consultant and Jewish educator. “When an issue comes up, people are scrambling to come up with fixes. If we had a code — just like a fire safety code — our community could start to think about the issue of abuse in a different way.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

While watching ‘The Keepers,’ remain in the sacraments

UNITED STATES
Catholic Philly

By Father Kenneth Doyle • Catholic News Service • Posted June 27, 2017

Q. My husband was brought up a Catholic and has always been very committed to the church. I am a convert, and we are raising all of our kids in the Catholic faith. Two of my sons (who are now young adults) and my husband have watched the Netflix series “The Keepers,” and I am deeply worried about the effect this may have on their faith.

My sons have started making negative comments about the church, and even my husband has said that the series’ portrayal of how the church systematically covered up abuse has made him not want to go to Mass. (Luckily, he further commented that the most important things are God and the sacraments, and so he will continue to attend.)

I hear a lot of other people talking about the series, too. How do I convince my children that they should still be proud to be Catholics? (Newport News, Virginia)

A. Since 2002, the Catholic Church in the United States has had a universal zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse of minors — meaning that any priest credibly accused of such an act can never again be permitted to serve in public ministry.

“The Keepers,” to which the question refers, is a seven-part 2017 Netflix series based on the still-unsolved 1969 murder of a Catholic nun in Baltimore. The series examines the theory that Sister Catherine Cesnik was killed because she knew that the chaplain at her school, Father Joseph Maskell, had sexually abused students — and that civil and church authorities interfered with the criminal investigation in order to cover up that connection.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has issued a response entitled “Frequently Asked Questions Based on ‘The Keepers'”; that document is available online at www.archbalt.org, and I recommend it to interested readers. It indicates that the archdiocese had no knowledge of any accusation against Father Maskell until 1992 when an alleged victim came forward.

That person was encouraged to file a report with civil authorities, offered counseling assistance, and Father Maskell was removed from ministry and referred for evaluation and treatment. When the archdiocese was unable to corroborate the allegation, Father Maskell was returned to ministry the following year, but when additional accusers stepped forward in 1994, the priest was permanently prohibited from public ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Chichester church abuser 'allowed back into choir'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A woman who was sexually abused by a lay vicar in Sussex says she was "completely failed" by the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.

Alesha Racine wrote to Lord Carey in 1992 after discovering her abuser had returned to the church where she had been repeatedly sexually assaulted.

On Monday Lord Carey announced his resignation as an honorary bishop.

A review by Dame Moira Gibb found he had failed to pass on information about abuse carried out by Bishop Peter Ball.

Ms Racine's abuser, Michael Walsh, was convicted of five indecent assault charges and confessed to sexual relationships with a further eight children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Trace: Witness saw paedophile priest covered in blood near cold case murder victim Maria James' house

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Rachael Brown and the Trace podcast team

A priest who sexually abused the son of cold case murder victim Maria James was seen covered in blood on the day of her murder, metres from the crime scene.

The priest — identified as Father Anthony Bongiorno — had blood on his face and arm as he ran into St Mary's Parish Thornbury, roughly 50 metres from the bookshop and home where Maria was stabbed 68 times in 1980.

The ABC's Trace podcast, which has been reinvestigating the case for the past year, tracked down an electrician who was conducting maintenance work in the grounds of St Mary's Parish on June 17, 1980 — the day of Maria's murder.

Allan Hircoe was working on an electricity box on the porch at St Mary's presbytery when he saw the priest approaching.

"A chap that I recognised as the person in the paper, Bongiorno, came on the left hand side and I looked at him from about eight metres away," Mr Hircoe said.

"He had blood on one side of his face, and one of his sleeves was rolled up, and he had blood on that arm."

The electrician approached the priest, who appeared distressed, to see if he was OK.

"I said, 'What have you done?' And he said, 'I cut my face on the wire fence near the roses,' or, 'I cut my face on the roses near the wire fence'. Long time ago — I'm not sure which way he had that," Mr Hircoe said.

Mr Hircoe had a first aid kit in his car, and told Bongiorno to wait while he got it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Inquiry financial report 2016/17

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

27 June

Inquiry publishes financial report for 2016/17

We have today published our financial report for 2016/17 which details the Inquiry’s spending for salaries, legal costs, and safeguarding.

Details about the remuneration package including salary for Inquiry Chair Alexis Jay and the other Panel members are included in the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE INQUIRY COST MORE THAN £20M IN THE LAST YEAR

UNITED KINGDOM
Care Appointments

Written by Jack Hardy

The public inquiry into child sexual abuse cost more than £20 million in the last year, new figures show.

Data from the last financial year shows the former head of the probe racked up expenses in excess of £41,000 in addition to her six-figure salary.

Dame Lowell Goddard rocked the national inquiry with her resignation last August, after which she called for the process to be overhauled.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said in its report that she received costs for rent and utilities, including flights for her and her family to and from New Zealand, as set out in her terms.

Spending for the wide-reaching probe, which began its public evidence hearings earlier this year, dipped considerably below its budget, racking up £20.8 million out of £30.9 million allocated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

In Lakewood, Sometimes Corruption And Greed Get In The Way Of The Torah

NEW JERSEY
Forward

June 27, 2017

Mike Moskowitz
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR

Since I became observant in high school, I’ve been asked, “How can religious people act that way?” by non-Orthodox friends and family more than I would like to remember… and they are asking a good question.

I have had the privilege of spending the decade after high school in full-time learning in two of the largest yeshivas in the world, one in Lakewood, N.J., and one in Jerusalem. Sitting in a room with 800 other young men learning, speaking and breathing the texts that have been part of our tradition for 3,500 years, the Torah looks alive and very well.

Yesterday I saw several of those young men being arrested by the FBI for fraud. We were taught to be Talmidei Chachamim - practitioners of the Torah’s wisdom. The goal was to minimize, and ideally eliminate, the space between the ideal Torah-centric life and the actual way we live our lives.

Unfortunately, the void between the two is vast, painfully disappointing and continues to widen. The world and our communities are changing, perhaps faster than ever, but spiritual practice is often frozen in time. There is complex tension between innovation and tradition that requires collective rabbinic skill to address. But instead of being present for the holy labor of asking what God expects from us now, the pause button was pressed and the need for updated answers avoided.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

MALI BISHOP PLEDGES TO MAKE CARDINAL'S CEREMONY AMID SCANDAL

ROME
Associated Press

BY FRANCES D'EMILIO
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ROME (AP) -- An ailing Mali archbishop facing allegations of financial impropriety assured the Vatican on Tuesday he plans to show up at St. Peter's Basilica to be made a cardinal by Pope Francis.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Bamako Archbishop Jean Zerbo "has confirmed his presence" at the Wednesday ceremony where Zerbo and four other churchmen will be elevated to cardinal's rank.

European media have speculated that Francis might not make Zerbo cardinal following reports that he and two other Mali bishops had opened Swiss bank accounts totaling 12 million euros ($13.5 million.)

Citing poor health, Zerbo canceled an interview with The Associated Press in Rome Tuesday. Zerbo, 73, arrived in Rome on Saturday from Paris, where he had undergone medical checks following intestinal surgery some time ago in Mali, according to aides.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Montecassino, bella vita con soldi di fedeli: ex abate a processo col fratello. Spariti 500mila euro di donazioni

ITALIA
Il Mattino

[He is accused of having taken about 500 thousand euro directly from bank accounts and the cash of the diocese. Hence, Peter Vittorelli, former abbot of Monte Cassino in the province of Frosinone - one of the most important abbeys of Italy - has been indicted by the investigating magistrate in Rome. He is accused of embezzlement.]

È accusato di avere prelevato circa 500 mila euro direttamente dai conti correnti e dalla cassa della diocesi. Per questo Pietro Vittorelli, ex abate di Montecassino, in provincia di Frosinone - una delle abbazie più importanti d'Italia -, è stato rinviato a giudizio dal gip di Roma. Nei suoi confronti l'accusa è di appropriazione indebita. Insieme al religioso il giudice ha disposto processo anche per il fratello di Vittorelli, Massimo, accusato di riciclaggio. Lo scandalo era esploso nel novembre 2015, quando Vittorelli era già un ex 'Dom' del monastero fondato da San Benedetto, alla guida del quale era stato dal 2007 al giugno 2013.

Poi era stato costretto a rinunciare all'incarico dopo una grave crisi cardiaca seguita da una lunga degenza e da un intenso periodo di riabilitazione, anche in una clinica in Svizzera. Per i magistrati romani, l'ex abate di Montecassino si sarebbe indebitamente appropriato di risorse destinate a finalità di culto e a opere caritatevoli. Secondo l'accusa, le somme sottratte sarebbero state riciclate in varie tranche, dopo essere transitate su conti correnti gestiti dal fratello Massimo, intermediario finanziario, prima di tornare, sempre stando alle indagini, nella disponibilità di Dom Vittorelli, che aveva accesso illimitato ai conti dell'Abbazia di Montecassino. La Guardia di Finanza gli sequestrò beni per oltre 500 mila euro.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Appointment of bishop of Allentown, United States of America

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service - Bulletin

The Holy Father has appointed as bishop of Allentown, United States of America, Msgr. Alfred A. Schlert, currently diocesan administrator of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Msgr. Alfred A. Schlert

Msgr. Alfred A. Schlert was born on 24 July 1961 in Easton, Pennsylvania, in the diocese of Allentown. After attending the “Saint Jane Frances de Chantal” primary school and the “Notre Dame High School”, he entered the “Saint Charles Borromeo” Seminary in Overbrook. He carried out his theological studies in the Roman Seminary and the Pontifical Lateran University, obtaining a licentiate in canon law in 1992.

He was ordained a priest on 19 September 1987 for the diocese of Allentown.

Since priestly ordination he has held the following offices: vicar of the “Saint Francis of Assisi” parish in Allentown (1987-1988); teacher at the “Notre Dame High School” in Easton (1988-1991 and 1992-1997); chaplain for university pastoral care at “Lehigh University”, Bethlehem (1994-1997); vice chancellor and special secretary to the bishop (1997-1998); vicar general (1998-2017); pastor of the “Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish” in Hellertown (2008-2010); delegate for the bishop at the Executive Committee and the Administrative Committee of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (since 1999); vice-president of the same Conference (since 2012); and diocesan administrator (since 2017).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Local priest named fifth bishop of Allentown, Penn.

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

By Hannah Brockhaus

Vatican City, Jun 27, 2017 / 07:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Tuesday the Vatican announced Pope Francis' pick of Mons. Alfred A. Schlert to be the next bishop of the Diocese of Allentown in Pennsylvania, himself born and raised in the diocese.

Bishop-elect Schlert, 55, fills the vacancy left when his predecessor, Bishop John Oliver Barres was appointed to the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York at the end of January.

In a statement on the appointment June 27, Bishop Barres said that Mons. Schlert “has a blend of holiness, intelligence and pastoral experience that will serve the mission of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Allentown in an extraordinary way.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

St Patrick's College apologises to victims of sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

Brendan WrigleyBrendan Wrigley
@brendan_wrigley

27 Jun 2017

About 100 people gathered at St Patrick’s College on Tuesday afternoon as the school took the momentous step of officially apologising to victims of sexual abuse who suffered during their time at the college.

Sexual abuse survivor Phil Nagle joined headmaster John Crowley and student leaders in speaking at the event in what was an historic first for the school.

The gathering also served as the official opening of the school’s reflective garden and monument, with high profile survivors Peter Blenkiron and Andrew Collins accompanying college captain Mitchell Tuddenham to unveil the space.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Catholic boys school in Ballarat apologises to victims of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Charlotte King

A survivor of clergy child sexual abuse has called on Catholic institutions in Melbourne to take the lead of a Ballarat school, after it offered the first public apology to its abuse victims.

St Patricks College is one of Ballarat's most enduring Catholic institutions. Some students have graduated to become priests, archbishops and even a cardinal.

Cardinal George Pell was made school captain here in 1959.

But the school has also been the scene of trauma, violence and sexual abuse.

On Tuesday, at the foot of a red brick building which once housed the perpetrators, the school's headmaster acknowledged the harm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

'The Keepers' TV Series Chronicles Priest's Abuse of High School Girls and Murder of Nun

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

BY FELIX N. CODILLA III , CHRISTIAN POST CONTRIBUTOR
Jun 26, 2017

"The Keepers," one of Netflix's highly successful shows, chronicles the ongoing investigation into the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a nun teaching at a high school in Baltimore, Maryland. The 26-year-old English went missing on Nov. 7, 1969, and her body was found two months later in a garbage dump outside the city.

But the original true crime documentary isn't about Sister Cathy's mysterious death but the cover-up of her story. The nun was apparently threatening to expose a widespread child sex abuse case going on at the all-girls Archbishop Keough High School where she taught.

"There's the on-the-record public story of what happened to Sister Cathy and then there's the world beneath," a community member said on the series' trailer. The nun was bludgeoned to death with a hammer while her neck bore strangulation marks. Making things more sinister was the disappearance or murder of four other girls that time.

Everything disturbing and criminal about the series led to one figure: Father A. Joseph Maskell, the school chaplain. The priest was highly influential in the Baltimore area, having served as chaplain for the Baltimore County Police, the Maryland State Police and the Maryland National Guard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Kleinsmith sentenced to 5 years for sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com June 26, 2017

A Sartell man who volunteered at a local church was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for sexually abusing a teenager who was an altar boy at a St. Cloud church.

Douglas Gerard Kleinsmith, 56, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of felony criminal sexual conduct on the day his trial was supposed to begin.

Kleinsmith volunteered to train altar boys and trained the teenage boy he would abuse, according to a criminal complaint charging him. The complaint says the boy met Kleinsmith at church when he was 15 years old, and that year also began working for Kleinsmith outside church hours.

Kleinsmith was part of a Latin Mass group that met at St. John Cantius Church, according to the Diocese of St. Cloud. The Latin Mass group for which Kleinsmith volunteered rented the church from the parish; its activities were not a function of the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Bklyn diocese launches fund for abuse victims

NEW YORK
Brooklyn Paper

BY COLIN MIXSON
Brooklyn Paper

The Diocese of Brooklyn established a fund to compensate victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy, its bishop said Thursday.

The settlement program — which offers money in exchange for immunity from prosecution, and was announced by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio days after the state Senate killed a bill that would open the Catholic Church to a flood of lawsuits — offers immediate recourse to victims as lawmakers in Albany continue to twiddle their thumbs, according to a lawyer portrayed in the Oscar-award-winning film, “Spotlight.”

“It’s certainly beneficial for some victims, who enter the fund with the hope of gaining validation, healing, and moving on with their lives,” said Mitchell Garabedian, who represents 13 victims of sexual abuse in Brooklyn. “Others will wait for the legislature to change the statute of limitation laws.”

The Brooklyn fund is modeled after one established last year by the Archdiocese of New York, both of which are administered by a pair of attorneys that oversaw the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

The Silence of the Children (Locked Away in the Secret Archives of the Archdiocese of New York City)

NEW YORK
Verdict

26 JUN 2017

MARCI A. HAMILTON

New York lawmakers last week closed their 2017 session in “legislative hell,” as one Senator called it, without resolving a number of important issues, including the Child Victims Act, which would reform New York’s antiquated child sex abuse statutes of limitations (SOLs). It would extend the civil and criminal SOLs, revive expired civil SOLs for one year, and eliminate the “notice of claim” requirement that has hobbled public school victims’ access to justice. Governor Mario Cuomo had endorsed the concept earlier in the year, making him the first state governor to step forward before being asked to sign such a bill. While the assembly had passed a version and the senate appeared to have a majority to vote for it, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, on the next to the last day of the session, blocked its progress from committee to the floor. The New York situation is brilliantly summarized and parodied by Samantha Bee here.

So what does a survivor do who has been put through the wringer by the New York legislative process for over a decade and who just had Sen. Flanagan unilaterally shut down their hopes again? Naturally, they picket the ninth hole of the Trump National Golf Course where Flanagan is holding a political fundraiser at $1,500/head. Survivors are where they need to be: speaking their truth to power. And the truth makes Flanagan complicit in the cover up of information about pedophiles the public desperately needs.

Now, it is no surprise at this point that an Irish Catholic Republican Senator would carry the Catholic bishops’ water on child sex abuse, but everyone knows that the bill is going to pass sooner or later. New York has some of the worst SOLs in the country and even Irish Catholic Republican politicians can agree that child sex abuse is really bad and hiding predators terrible. This is not all about the past. SOL reform helps children in the present tense, because it identifies child predators who are still operating in the silence afforded them when the system gags victims with expired SOLs.

When I first started thinking and writing about this issue over 15 years ago, the term “statute of limitations” was routinely met with a blank stare. As in, what are you talking about, and more importantly, why? It was legalese. By 2011, however, when the Penn State-Jerry Sandusky scandal hit, audiences were savvy that it is just a deadline for filing a lawsuit or pressing charges—and that it frequently re-victimizes victims by sending a message that their injuries are not worthy of the legal system’s time.

So what accounts for the New York Senate’s obstinate refusal to take up the issue? The answer, of course, lies in the lobbyists. Some have said that the opponents to the CVA lurked in the shadows this year, but no one needs a college degree to know that the most ardent and active opposition comes from the Catholic bishops. And it is equally clear why they were lurking rather than lobbing salvos into the public square.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

June 26, 2017

8 Lakewood millionaires were welfare cheats; more arrests coming, officials say

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey 101l.5

By Adam Hochron June 26, 2017

LAKEWOOD — The arrest of four millionaire couples on Monday by state and federal authorities may just be the start as officials crack down on welfare fraud in this Ocean County community.

Rabbi Zalmen Srotzkin, 39, of Congregation Lutzk, and his wife, Tzipporah, 35; and Mordechai Breskin, 37, and his wife, Jocheved, 35, were arrested on charges filed by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

The FBI, meanwhile, arrested Rachel Sorotzkin, 32, Mordechai Sorotzkin, 35, Yocheved Nussbaum, 40, and Shimon Nussbaum, 42, on federal charges of conspiring to steal federal funds.

Authorities said the families, who owned businesses and lived in large homes, collected Medicaid and subsidized housing benefits and food stamps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

VATICAN INVESTIGATES CATHOLIC GROUP AFTER EXORCISM CLAIM THAT FRANCIS IS DEVIL'S MAN

BRAZIL
The Tablet (UK)

26 June 2017 | by Daniele Palmer

On 2 June Herald's leader, Mgr. Clá Dias, unexpectedly resigned and reports emerged of a Vatican investigation into the group

The leader of a Brazilian traditionalist movement that was praised in the past two pontificates has resigned, and a video has subsequently emerged of the leader relaying bizarre claims by one of his priests regarding Pope Francis. Mgr João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, the founder and now ex-leader of the Heralds of the Gospel, can be seen in the video saying that the devil had told the Heralds priest that Francis was “my man”. Satan said Francis is “stupid” and does “everything I want”, Clá Dias says.

But speaking to The Tablet, Fr Angel Veiga, a Rome-based leader of the order, said the video has been “taken out of context”, and what was said in it does not equate to the position of the Heralds. They were simply relaying Satan’s message.

“It’s the Devil, no? The Devil is the father of lies,” Fr Veiga explained, adding that the video showed “a private, intimate conversation between our founder [Clá Dias] and various priests.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Priest accused of sexually abusing woman who sought spiritual guidance

NEW YORK
The Grio

A 44-year-old Catholic priest has been accused of using his position to pressure a woman in her 20’s into sexual abuse.

Father Andre Bain became the head of the St. Vincent Ferrer Church in East Flatbush in July 2014, and shortly after that, a young woman came to him for counseling. During that time, he allegedly pressured her into performing sexual acts, keeping her quiet by promising that they were not committing sin because the sex was not vaginal.

Now, the accuser is suing the Brooklyn Diocese and its bishop, Nicholas DiMarzio, alleging that they did not act fast enough to the complaints, which allowed Bain to continue his behavior to prey on other women.

“Plaintiff believes that Fr. Bain has been carrying out these behaviors for decades in other parishes since his days in seminary,” the lawsuit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

Two Ocean County, New Jersey, Couples Charged With Conspiring To Steal Government Funds

NEW JESEY
United States Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

Arrests Part of Joint State and Federal Effort to Prosecute Public Assistance Fraud

TRENTON, N.J. – Two couples from Lakewood, New Jersey, were arrested this morning on charges that they failed to report their sizable incomes in order to fraudulently collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in public assistance benefits, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Rachel Sorotzkin, 32, and Mordechai Sorotzkin, 35, are charged by complaint with one count of conspiring to steal government funds. Yocheved Nussbaum, 40, and Shimon Nussbaum, 42, also of Lakewood, are charged in a separate complaint with one count of conspiring to steal government funds. The Sorotzkins and the Nussbaums, all of Lakewood, are expected to make their appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert in Trenton federal court.

According to the complaints:

From 2011 through 2014, Rachel and Mordechai Sorotzkin applied for and received Medicaid health insurance benefits for themselves and their children. After being approved for Medicaid benefits in August of 2011, the Sorotzkins received significant windfalls – including a lump sum payment of $1 million from Rachel Sorotzkin’s business in April of 2013 – which they failed to report to Medicaid officials. Despite earning in excess of $1 million in each of the 2012 and 2013 calendar years, the Sorotzkins continued to use their Medicaid cards, ultimately defrauding the government of approximately $96,000 in taxpayer-funded medical care.

In a separate scheme, Yocheved and Shimon Nussbaum applied for and received public benefits for themselves and their children from 2011 through 2014, despite their significant income. In the years prior to and during the conspiracy, the Nussbaums created a variety of companies that were nominally run by relatives but were actually controlled by the Nussbaums. They opened various bank accounts in the names of these companies and used funds from these accounts to cover personal expenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Lord Carey quits Church role over ‘cover-up’ of sex offender Bishop Peter Ball

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
June 26 2017
The Times

The former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, resigned as an honorary bishop in the Church of England today following criticism of his handling of the case of a senior cleric who was a dangerous sex offender.

Lord Carey, 81, was heavily criticised last week in an independent review of the Church’s conduct during investigations into allegations against Peter Ball, who had been bishop of Lewes and then of Gloucester.

Ball, 85, was convicted at the Old Bailey in 2015 but had escaped justice in 1993 when he was given a police caution as part of a deal under which he resigned his ministry.

A report by Dame Moira Gibb found that Lord Carey had restored Ball’s permission to take church services and allowed him to preach and conduct confirmation at a number of public schools.

A trawl of Church archives found that Lord Carey, archbishop from 1991-2002, had described Ball in a letter as “basically innocent”, despite knowing of the caution for gross indecency and the suspicion that there were many other offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Former archbishop Lord Carey quits after sex abuse report on former Bishop of Gloucester

UNITED KINGDOM
Gloucestershire Live

BY VICTORIA TEMPLE
26 JUN 2017

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey has stepped down from his role as an honorary assistant bishop following following a report which criticised the church’s ‘collusion’ with abuser Peter Ball.

The independent report criticised the Church of England’s handling of the high-profile sex abuse case, involving Peter Ball, former Bishop of Gloucester.

Lord Carey, 81, has stepped down from his position as honorary assistant bishop in Oxford, after Justin Welby, the current archbishop of Canterbury, asked him to “carefully consider his position”.

A statement has been issued by the Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford.

He said: “I have met with Lord Carey following the Archbishop’s letter to him. In light of Dame Moira Gibb’s review into the Peter Ball case, Lord Carey has resigned from his role as honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford. Lord Carey has accepted the criticisms made of him in the Gibb review and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Lakewood rabbi, multiple couples arrested in FBI raids over alleged welfare fraud

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

BY SPENCER KENT AND THOMAS MORIARTY
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

LAKEWOOD -- A rabbi, his wife and multiple other couples were arrested Monday morning in a series of raids by federal and state authorities in a massive welfare fraud investigation, authorities said.

Those arrested included Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin, who runs the Congregation Lutzk synagogue, his wife, Tzipporah, and Mordechai Sorotzkin and his wife, Rachel, and Shimon and Yocheved Nussbaum, authorities said.

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office confirmed the arrests early Monday. A half-dozen couples were arrested in total during the coordinated raids, authorities said.

They are accused in a $1.3 million fraud scheme involving under-reported income to illegally obtain Medicaid, Section 8 housing assistance, food stamps, Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income, authorities said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

Lakewood rabbi, others arrested in alleged million-dollar welfare fraud

NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Press

Payton Guion and Alex N. Gecan , Asbury Park Press June 26, 2017

LAKEWOOD -- A prominent rabbi and several others were arrested in simultaneous federal and state raids Monday morning on charges related to alleged public assistance fraud on a scale rarely seen before in New Jersey, according to law enforcement sources.

Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin, who runs the synagogue Congregation Lutzk and businesses linked to the synagogue, was taken into custody Monday and is en route to face a judge in Superior Court in Toms River.

Also arrested in the sting headed by the FBI, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and other agencies were Zalmen’s wife, Tzipporah Sorotzkin, and married couple Mordechai and Jocheved Breskin. The three also face state criminal charges, according to a source close to the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. Their first appearance before a Superior Court judge is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

LORD CAREY : STATEMENT FROM THE RT. REV DR STEVEN CROFT, BISHOP OF OXFORD

UNITED KINGDOM
Anglican Diocese of Oxford

“I have met with Lord Carey following the Archbishop’s letter to him. In light of Dame Moira Gibb’s review into the Peter Ball case, Lord Carey has resigned from his role as honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford. Lord Carey has accepted the criticisms made of him in the Gibb review and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball.

He said in his statement on Thursday: “I accept the criticisms made of me. I apologise to the victims of Peter Ball. I believed Peter Ball’s protestations and gave too little credence to the vulnerable young men and boys behind those allegations. I regret that after Peter Ball was cautioned I did not place his name on the Lambeth list.”

Along with many others, I have been deeply distressed to read Dame Moira Gibb’s report with its narrative of the abuse perpetrated by Peter Ball which remained hidden for so long. I hope that the focus of attention will continue to be on the survivors of abuse and offering to them the care and support they need.

As the Diocese of Oxford we are committed to improving continually the quality of safeguarding and care and will seek to learn the lessons of Dame Moira Gibb’s review and put its recommendations into practice”.

For further enquiries please call Jillian Moody: 07824 906839 or Jo Duckles: 07880 716761

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Lord Carey quits Church of England role after report found he 'colluded' with sex abuse bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Olivia Rudgard, religious affairs correspondent
26 JUNE 2017

George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has resigned from his post in the Church of England over a report that said he was among senior figures who "colluded" with paedophile bishop Peter Ball.

Lord Carey stepped down from his role as honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, urged him to "consider his position".

Last Thursday, an independent report by Dame Moira Gibb found that church leaders had mishandled Ball's case by failing to offer his victims adequate support and concealing evidence of his wrongdoing.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, the Rt. Rev Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, said: “

“I have met with Lord Carey following the Archbishop’s letter to him. In light of Dame Moira Gibb’s review into the Peter Ball case, Lord Carey has resigned from his role as honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford.

"Lord Carey has accepted the criticisms made of him in the Gibb review and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball.

"Along with many others, I have been deeply distressed to read Dame Moira Gibb’s report with its narrative of the abuse perpetrated by Peter Ball which remained hidden for so long. I hope that the focus of attention will continue to be on the survivors of abuse and offering to them the care and support they need.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

George Carey resigns honorary Oxford post over Anglican sex abuse scandal

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
Monday 26 June 2017

George Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, has resigned as honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford following a damning independent report criticising the Church of England’s handling of a high-profile sex abuse case.

Carey, 81, quit after Justin Welby, the current archbishop of Canterbury, made the unprecedented decision to ask him to “carefully consider his position”. The report concluded the church had “colluded [with the abuser] rather than seeking to help those he had harmed”.

Steven Croft, the bishop of Oxford, met with Carey this week following Welby’s letter. In a statement, Croft said Carey had resigned in the light of the independent review. “Lord Carey has accepted the criticisms made of him … and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball.”

Ball, the former bishop of Gloucester and Lewes, was jailed in October 2015 for the grooming, sexual exploitation and abuse of 18 vulnerable young men aged 17-25 who had sought spiritual guidance from him between 1977 and 1992. He was released from prison in February after serving 16 months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Ex-Archbishop Lord Carey resigns after child abuse review

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The former Archbishop of Canterbury has resigned from his last formal role in the church after a review into historical child sex abuse.

Lord Carey was criticised in an independent review of the church's handling of abuse carried out by Bishop Peter Ball, 85, who was jailed in 2015.

Dame Moira Gibb's review revealed he had failed to pass information on Ball to the police back in 1992.

Justin Welby, current Archbishop of Canterbury, asked for his resignation.

Lord Carey had been given a role as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford, a position given to many retired bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

New Bessborough revelations show wider range of products tested on children

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, June 26, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Previously unseen details of a medical trial by Glaxo in 1974 at a Cork mother and baby home have generated a whole new series of questions for the nuns and the companies involved, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.

For almost two decades, the public has been drip-fed revelations about medical testing by British pharmaceutical companies on children in care in Ireland.

These tests involved the trialling of various vaccine combinations by predecessor companies of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) — Glaxo Laboratories and Burroughs Wellcome. These revelations generated more questions than answers — answers it is hoped the Mother and Baby Homes Commission can provide.

However, it has now emerged thashoot Glaxo Laboratories was also trialling other products on children here — namely lactose and baby formulas.

This occurred in 1974 in the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork and had never been made public. Once again, the revelation has generated lots of questions but few answers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

AP: AUTHORITIES DELAYED INVESTIGATING GAY 'DEMONS' CASE

NORTH CAROLINA
Associated Press

BY MITCH WEISS AND HOLBROOK MOHR
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) -- For two years, Matthew Fenner said he pleaded with authorities to investigate his allegations that a group of fellow congregants at the Word of Faith Fellowship church had punched, slapped and choked him to expel his "homosexual demons."

An Associated Press investigation found that Rutherford County investigators and then-District Attorney Brad Greenway delayed investigating and told Fenner his only option was to pursue misdemeanor charges against the church members he said assaulted him for nearly two hours in the evangelical church's sanctuary.

The AP's conclusions are based on more than a dozen interviews and court documents, along with a series of secretly made recordings that were provided of Fenner's meetings with law enforcement authorities, including Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis.

In February, the AP detailed how many Word of Faith Fellowship congregants were regularly attacked both physically and verbally in an attempt to "purify" sinners by beating out devils.

The church has come under scrutiny by law enforcement and social services authorities on numerous occasions with little effect, mostly because followers refused to cooperate. But Fenner's relentless pursuit eventually led to the indictment of five congregants, who were charged with kidnapping and assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Forschungsprojekt zum sexuellen Missbrauch im Bereich der katholischen Kirche wird verlängert

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz

[Research project on sexual abuse in the area of ​​the Catholic church is extended. The interdisciplinary research project about sexual abuse by priests, deacons and male members of religious orders has been extended nine months until September 2018 on advice and recommendation of the research consortium. This is necessary because of the complexity of the project.]

Das interdisziplinäre Forschungsprojekt „Sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige im Bereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz“ („MHG-Studie“) wird auf Anraten und Empfehlung des Forschungskonsortiums um neun Monate bis September 2018 verlängert. Aufgrund des Umfangs und auch der Komplexität ist dieser Schritt notwendig. Nachdem sich auch der Beirat des Projektes dafür ausgesprochen hatte, hat der Ständige Rat auf seiner jüngsten Sitzung dieser Verlängerung zugestimmt.

Das Forschungskonsortium, das die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz seit März 2014 mit der Studie beauftragt hat, wird von Prof. Dr. Harald Dreßing vom Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit in Mannheim als Verbundkoordinator geleitet. Neben dem Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit Mannheim (Prof. Dr. Harald Dreßing, Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Salize) sind das Kriminologische Institut der Universität Heidelberg (Prof. Dr. Dieter Dölling, Prof. Dr. Dieter Hermann), das Institut für Gerontologie der Universität Heidelberg (Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Kruse, Prof. Dr. Eric Schmitt) und der Lehrstuhl für Kriminologie der Universität Gießen (Prof. Dr. Britta Bannenberg) Mitglieder des Forschungskonsortiums.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Sexueller Missbrauch in Kirche – Aufklärung verzögert sich

DEUTSCHLAND
Der Westen

[The investigation of sexual abuse by Catholic priests is stalled. It is not the first problem of the project. Actually, the researchers wanted to present the results by the end of 2017. The deadline for dealing with sexual abuse within the Catholic church was now extended until September 2018. "This step is necessary because of its scope and complexity," a statement from the German Bishops' Conference of Monday.]

Die Aufarbeitung des sexuellen Missbrauchs durch katholische Priester gerät ins Stocken. Es ist nicht das erste Problem des Projekts.

Berlin. Eigentlich wollten die Forscher Ende 2017 die Ergebnisse vorlegen – nun wurde die Frist für die Aufarbeitung des sexuellen Missbrauchs innerhalb der katholischen Kirche bis September 2018 verlängert. „Aufgrund des Umfangs und auch der Komplexität ist dieser Schritt notwendig.“, heißt es in einer Mitteilung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz vom Montag.

Die katholische Kirche hatte sich mit dem Zugang zu den internen Akten, die über den sexuellen Missbrauch „durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige“ Aufschluss geben sollen, lange schwer getan. Ein erstes Forschungsprojekt mit dem Kriminologen Christian Pfeiffer war gescheitert, weil dieser der Kirche vorwarf, seine Forschung zensieren und kontrollieren zu wollen. Das Angebot der Kirche, Opfer finanziell zu entschädigen, wurde zudem lange als Strategie verstanden, sich der Aufklärung zu entziehen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Jail term increased for paedophile Tony Mitchell, of Thorpe Edge, Bradford, who admits further offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph & Argus

Jenny Loweth

A FORMER church bus driver had his prison sentence for sexually abusing young girls increased to 13 years at Bradford Crown Court after admitting five further similar offences.

Tony Mitchell was jailed for 11 years in October 2015 for raping a child of 11 and molesting five more girls, aged between seven and 13.

Mitchell, 47, formerly of Idlethorp Way, Thorpe Edge, Bradford, was brought back to court from prison to have his jail term increased by two years.

He pleaded guilty to inciting two little girls to touch one another indecently, inciting a child to touch him indecently and two offences of sexually assaulting a girl under 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Victoria Police warned over charging George Pell

AUSTRALIA
Starts at 60

Victoria Police has been warned against charging Cardinal George Pell over allegations of child sexual abuse in the face of intense public pressure on the issue.

President of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia, Robyn Speed, told The Australian that bringing charges against Pell before obtaining solid evidence would only lead to a show trial that would appease “the mob” but do nothing to help alleged victims.

Intense public interest in the case has lead to fears a jury could be prejudiced against Pell if the case ever goes to trial.

As Australia’s most senior Catholic figure, Pell drew intense public scrutiny over his handling of the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse last year.

He refused to return to Australia from Rome to give evidence at the hearing, claiming he was too sick to fly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Goulburn Catholic parish to hold Liturgy of Lament

AUSTRALIA
Goulburn Post

26 Jun 2017

A special church service on Friday night will acknowledge previous “wrongdoing” within the Catholic Church but also remember past schools.

Mary Queen of Apostles Parish Priest, Father Dermid McDermott said the ‘Liturgy of Lament’ was not sparked solely by sexual abuse cases at the former Saint Patrick’s College. However, these and the Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse of Children in Institutional Care had impacted on the Parish.

“I personally don’t know anyone (past students) affected by sexual abuse but they are there; it is underlying,” he said.

“There seems to be a gap between the apology and what’s happened since and sometimes the only response is to get on your knees and pray.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Brooklyn priest sexually abused woman who sought spiritual guidance: lawsuit

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY JAMES FANELLI
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, June 26, 2017

A Catholic priest preyed on a vulnerable Brooklyn parishioner by twisting church theology in order to pressure her into performing sex acts on him, a lawsuit charges.

Father Andre Bain is accused of sexually abusing the young woman, who came to him for counseling shortly after he became the head of St. Vincent Ferrer Church in East Flatbush in July 2014.

Instead of providing spiritual guidance, Bain, 44, pushed the woman — who was in her 20s — into sexual acts over the course of several months, according to the lawsuit. The priest kept her quiet about the abuse by telling her they weren’t committing a sin because it was not vaginal intercourse, the lawsuit says.

The accuser — who filed the lawsuit anonymously — is suing the Brooklyn Diocese and its bishop, Nicholas DiMarzio, for negligence, saying that they were slow to respond to the woman’s complaint, allowing Bain to prey on her and other women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

June 25, 2017

The Guardian view on abuse in the Church of England: a reputation deservedly damaged

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Editorial

Sunday 25 June 2017

The report of Dame Moira Gibb into the Church of England’s handling of the abusive bishop Peter Ball makes shocking reading. It reveals a concern for appearance over reality, for the institution over the individual and, most of all, for the strong and powerful over the weak and vulnerable. From the moment the first victims came forward, the response of the church up to the highest level was one of institutional self-protection.

The complaint was not reported to the police, but only to the archbishop of Canterbury, then George Carey, who persisted long past the point of reason in hoping that his colleague was innocent. The police were not told until after the first victim to come forward, Neil Todd, had attempted suicide twice – and even then it was his parents and not the church who made the complaint. The diocese of Gloucester hired a former policeman to investigate, and if possible discredit, the witnesses.

After news of Bishop Ball’s arrest broke, Lambeth Palace received seven independent accusations about his earlier behaviour. Two were seen by Archbishop Carey, who replied to them personally. Only one of the seven, though, was passed to the police, and that the least damning. Lord Carey’s message to the diocese after Bishop Ball was arrested urged prayers for the bishop and said nothing about victims. After Bishop Ball had retired on spurious grounds of ill health and accepted a caution – though remaining in denial about his crimes – Lord Carey worked to have him rehabilitated. True, he did so with less ingenuity than Peter Ball’s identical twin Michael, himself a bishop, who has admitted allowing his twin to deputise for him at “one or two events”, even after his disgrace.

Lord Carey nevertheless gave Peter Ball £12,000 from church funds, leading to loud complaints from the brothers, who had wanted £20,000. He deliberately kept Peter Ball’s name off the Lambeth blacklist of unemployable clergy; he had the disgraced bishop to stay at Lambeth Palace twice; he attempted to find him work in South Africa (writing to Desmond Tutu for this scheme) and in prisons; he wrote to an American parish that “Peter was possibly the victim of a plot but that, of course, cannot be proved”. Lord Carey’s only objection to a full rehabilitation of Bishop Ball as a retired bishop was that it might provoke unfavourable publicity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 PM

Man taken from mother after birth urges justice for baby home abuse victims

NORTHERN IRELAND
Breaking News

A man who was forcibly removed from his mother as a baby by the Catholic Church has begged for justice for the victims of abuse at former mother and baby homes in Northern Ireland.

Eunan Duffy was taken from his mother against her will minutes after his birth in 1968 in the former Marian Vale mother and baby home in Newry, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters, and put up for adoption.

Mr Duffy only discovered he was adopted in February 2016.

He immediately launched a search for his birth mother, believing she had willingly given him up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

The Silence of the Lambs

UNITED STATES
New Republic

Are Protestants concealing a Catholic-size sexual abuse scandal?

BY KATHRYN JOYCE
June 20, 2017

It was a hot day in July, a Saturday afternoon, and Kim James was bored. Her older sisters had taken her to a church event in their small hometown in Indiana, where the girls were spending their summer. Her parents were back in Bangladesh, working at the remote Baptist missionary compound where the family had lived, on and off, for five years. For an adventurous and high-spirited 13-year-old like Kim, Indiana seemed dull compared to Bangladesh. She missed her friends, the dozen or so missionary kids everybody called “MKs.” She missed the menagerie her parents let her keep: goats, cows, a parrot, a monkey. She missed the jackals that called in the distance at night, and the elephants that sometimes crashed through the compound fence.

As she thought about the mission, though, Kim felt troubled. Something was weighing on her mind. So she decided to skip out of the church event—it was for little kids, anyway—and go see the pastor. She found him in his office, trying to compose the next day’s sermon. Kim ambled around his desk, picking things up, putting them back down. Eventually, with feigned casualness, she pointed between her legs and said, “Is it wrong when someone does this—touches you here?”

The pastor dropped his pen and looked up. “Kim,” he asked, “has this happened to you?”

At first, Kim said no. But as the pastor gently persisted, she began to sob. Yes, she had been touched, there and there, lots of times.

The pastor asked Kim who had touched her.

Uncle Donn, she said.

Donn, the pastor would soon learn, was not really Kim’s uncle. He was Donn Ketcham, the 58-year-old chief doctor at the mission hospital in Bangladesh. His father had co-founded the Baptist denomination that sponsored the missionary group, the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism; its goal was to create a “militant, missionary-minded, Biblically separate haven of Fundamentalism.” Little known outside the world of Christian fundamentalists, ABWE is among the largest missionary groups in the United States, deploying more than 900 Baptists to 70 countries. His father’s legacy made Ketcham a sort of prince within the world of ABWE: the doctor with the “magical name,” as one missionary later put it, much beloved by the family of churches that supported the group. He’d been the undisputed patriarch of the Bangladesh mission for almost three decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Warning over George Pell ‘show trial’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESS LIVINGSTONE
The Australian
June 25, 2017

Victoria Police has been warned not to charge Cardinal George Pell over alleged child sexual abuse to clear the air, or to stage a show trial in response to intense public interest and anger over clerical sex abuse in general.

Lawyer Robin Speed, president of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia said prosecutors should act against Cardinal Pell only if they were fully satisfied about the quality of the evidence. “They should not act in response to the baying of a section of the mob,’’ he said.

Retired High Court judge Ian Callinan QC said he was “always concerned about the impact of pre-trial publicity to contaminate a trial’’ in high-profile cases and about the capacity of judges to dispel the prejudices it caused in the minds of potential jurors.

Mr Callinan said widespread media emphasis on investigative agencies “getting scalps’’ did not help the legal process. “Pre-trial by media is a serious problem,’’ he said.

Mr Speed said that if the cardinal was charged and found innocent the drawn out conduct of the investigation over two years could warrant a judicial inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

Why did diocese wait 3 years to make abuse allegations public?

NEW YORK
Observer-Dispatch

By GREG MASON / gmason@uticaod.com

Three years ago, when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse found credibility to allegations that a Utica priest committed acts of child sexual abuse, it was not Bishop Robert Cunningham’s policy to make public those matters, said Danielle Cummings, the diocese’s chancellor and director of communications.

The diocese quietly removed the Rev. Felix Colosimo from priestly ministry in 2014 in response to claims from California man Matthew Strzepak that the priest molested him as a child. Colosimo served at several Utica-area churches, including St. Leo’s Church in Holland Patent, St. Peter’s Church in North Utica and — most recently — Our Lady of the Rosary in New Hartford.

Strzepak filed a lawsuit earlier this month against Colosimo and the diocese in federal court in Connecticut. Declining to speak in further detail, Cummings said Strzepak going public is why the diocese chose to address the allegations publicly, though she reiterated that the past claims were markedly different than those in the June 2 lawsuit.

In past years, Cunningham has rejected requests to release the names of 11 diocese priests connected to credible sexual abuse allegations. That stance has not changed, said Cummings, who noted a challenge in balancing disclosure and respecting the wishes of victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Abused by a priest, now a champion of the church

OHIO
Cincinnati.com

By Dan Horn, dhorn@enquirer.com

The letter is in a folder on the mantel, near a crucifix that once belonged to a Catholic bishop.

Michael Vanderburgh sits a few feet away, sipping coffee and reading email on his phone. The sun isn’t up yet on this early January morning, but he’s trying to get a head start on work while the kids are still sleeping.

Michael can’t remember the last time he looked at the letter. Years, probably. He found it in a cabinet in the basement over the weekend, stashed with some old bills and receipts. He isn’t sure how he feels about seeing it again.

It is not the kind of letter someone gets every day.

He reaches for the folder and opens it. “We recognize this was a difficult process for you,” the letter says. “We are certain that no amount of money can sufficiently compensate a victim of abuse.”

The letter arrived in March 2005 and is from a tribunal created by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to resolve clergy abuse cases. Michael, who was abused by a priest as a child, was one of those cases. The tribunal sent him a check for $21,600.67.

More than 100 abuse survivors got similar letters back then, along with similar checks for oddly precise amounts. Some survivors were angry, others forgiving. Some left the church, others stayed. None responded the way Michael did.

Two years after receiving the letter, he took a job with the archdiocese. And not just any job. As director of stewardship, Michael is responsible for the largest fundraising campaign the archdiocese has ever undertaken.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Two N. Y. Times Business Articles Have Ties to Vatican Bank Officials

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on June 25, 2017

by Betty Clermont

Both of the following appeared in today’s New York Times business section:

“Lessons From the Collapse of Banco Popular: When Spain’s fifth-largest bank failed this month, Banco Santander swooped in to the rescue, and regulators breathed easy. They should have been scared.”

“Does God Want You to Spend $300,000 for College? The retail price of joining Father John I. Jenkins at the University of Notre Dame is climbing ever higher.”

(Since NYT articles are not free over a certain number, I won’t link to them but they’re easy enough to find.)

Banco Popular and Banco Santander are both connected to Opus Dei, at the top, an international secret society of plutocrats (Robert Hutchison, Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei).

Both banks have been charged with ripping off customers: “The scandalous economic practices of Opus Dei,” “Santander Bank fined $10m for deceptive marketing techniques,” and subpoenaed for predatory subprime loans.

Two Santander officials sit on the six-member Board of Superintendence of the Vatican Bank.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Churchill: Two moments illustrate one sorry disconnect

NEW YORK
Times Union

Chris Churchill

Albany

Much of what's wrong with New York government can be summed up by two moments from the waning hours of the legislative session.

The first came at a little before 5 p.m. Tuesday, when Sen. Majority Leader John Flanagan revealed that there would not be a vote on the Child Victims Act.

The second arrived 28 hours later, when Flanagan introduced an 11th-hour bill to name the Tappan Zee Bridge after the governor's father. It passed the Senate unanimously.

What a juxtaposition. Really, you couldn't ask for a better illustration of how Albany power brokers put the wants of the political class over the needs of ordinary people — especially the weak and the powerless. It was out-flipping-rageous.

The Child Victims Act is about protecting children from sexual abuse. It would do away with a disgraceful statute of limitations — one of the most restrictive in the nation — that bars child sexual-abuse victims from proceeding with cases once they turn 23.

It would allow survivors to bring civil cases until they turn 50 and felony criminal cases until they're 28. It also includes a one-year window to revive old cases.
More Information

Victims have been lobbying for the bill for more than a decade. They've made endless trips to Albany to cajole lawmakers. They have worked tirelessly for their cause.

Even if you oppose the Child Victims Act, which easily passed the Assembly, there's no justification for denying it a Senate vote. Advocates deserved that much for their hard work. They deserved to see which lawmakers were on their side.

Flanagan denied them that. The Republican from Long Island couldn't even be bothered to offer an explanation. The arrogance is staggering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Opponents of Child Victims Act for adults sexually abused as kids mostly operated in the shadows to kill the bill

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
KENNETH LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, June 24, 2017

ALBANY — When it came to again killing the Child Victims Act this year, few stepped forward to take credit.

Many opponents of the measure to make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to bring cases as adults preferred operating in the shadows, leaving the heavy lifting of fighting the bill publicly to the Catholic Church.

“My gut tells me there's safety in silence,” said survivor and advocate Kathryn Robb. “These are youth serving organizations and very much like the Senate (that killed the bill), this will be something that defines them.”

In all, just two formal memos opposing the bill were filed with the sponsors during the legislative session.

The state Catholic Conference headed by Timothy Cardinal Dolan and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a statewide evangelical Christian advocacy organization, were the only groups to outline in writing their opposition to the legislation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Mysterious exit of Vatican auditor begs question: Is reform even possible?

ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. June 25, 2017
EDITOR

Almost a week later, it remains mysterious why Libero Milone, an Italian businessman and auditing expert hired in 2015 for a five-year term as the Vatican's first-ever Auditor General, abruptly resigned. Whatever the case, the optics don't seem encouraging in terms of the current state of Pope Francis's reform effort.

This past Monday, phone lines across Rome began to heat up with rumors that something had happened with Libero Milone, a veteran Italian businessman and expert in auditing and tax services who had been hired in June 2015 as the Vatican’s first-ever Auditor General, billed as the final piece of the puzzle in terms of building a culture of accountability and transparency.

On Tuesday, the other shoe dropped: The Vatican released a terse, four-line statement saying that Milone had submitted his resignation, Pope Francis had accepted it, and, by “common agreement,” his relationship with the Vatican was over.

The statement wished Milone well, and said that a search will soon be launched to find his successor.

What the statement didn’t offer was any explanation of why Milone was walking away, two years into what was supposed to be a five-year term, and well before anything like an actual audit of Vatican finances had been brought to completion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Alleged abuse victims demand apology from Anglican Church Trust

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

HELEN KING
June 25 2017

Two people who claim they were abused in Anglican-run state care are demanding an apology for what they say are systemic failures.

Rachel Smith* and Ernie Parore were placed in foster homes run by the Anglican Trust for Women and Children during the 1970s and 1980s. The Trust is part of the Anglican Church's social services network.

Both say they suffered physical abuse that caused psychological scars they still wear today.

The Anglican Trust says it needs to meet with the pair and check their claims before it can apologise to them – but Smith and Parore say the Trust has rebuffed their efforts to talk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Archdiocese deals with deep financial, trust issues

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes calls for sacrifices as the Archdiocese of Agana deals with financial problems, the details of which will be released to the public in the weeks to come.

"Using an analogy, in simple terms, we have maxed out our credit cards and payment is due," Byrnes said in a June 18 pastoral letter.

David Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, said the group is aware of an option to have the Catholic schools help the archdiocese with its finances, but he said this could end with increased student tuition and dwindling enrollment at those schools.

'Trust issue'

Byrnes said it is unfortunate that some entities under the archdiocese got in over their financial heads, but urged everyone to come together and help those units experiencing financial difficulty.

In the weeks ahead, he said, the archdiocese will share its financial realities and challenges as well as strategies to resolve them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

A gesture of good faith: NYC dioceses abuse-compensation fund

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Editorial

Another legislative session has passed, marred by another total failure to fix New York’s unconscionably short statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse.

But there’s a bright spot in this sordid story: a second private institution has stepped up to make things right for those victimized.

The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn (which includes Queens) will follow in the footsteps of the New York Archdiocese in developing a compensation program to settle claims with those violated by clergy as children.

To execute the Brooklyn version of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is even using the same mediator — Ken Feinberg, best known for his oversight of the 9/11 victims fund.

Under Feinberg and his colleague Camille Biros, the New York Archdiocese’s fund has proven remarkably successful. Of 140 offers made in the first phase of settlements — reserved for victims who had already lodged complaints against the church — 125 have so far been accepted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Guam Priest, Father Ray Techaira, Accused Of Raping And Sexually Assaulting A Boy From 1984 To 1987

GUAM
Business News

By Kari Megeed - June 24, 2017

A Guam priest is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a boy continuously in the eighties, starting on the boy’s seventh birthday, in a lawsuit issued Thursday.

The “Priest”

Father Ray Techaira reportedly raped and sexually assaulted a boy from 1984 through 1987, the lawsuit issued in the District Court of Guam says. Techaira, on the other hand, is now dead, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff, who was identified in court documents only as J.A. to keep his identity and image, is now 40 years old and resides in Oregon.

J.A reportedly filed a plea to conduct a jury trial and $5 million in minimum damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

June 24, 2017

In God's name, how many more did he violate? Horrifying real-life TV series The Keepers about a priest who preyed on high school girls and may have killed a nun grips viewers

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail (UK)

By Caroline Graham for The Mail on Sunday

One cold November afternoon in 1969, a 17-year-old schoolgirl called Jean Wehner was driven to a remote rubbish dump on the outskirts of the American city of Baltimore. There, she was led to the rotting corpse of her murdered teacher, Sister Cathy Cesnik.

‘This is what happens when you say bad things,’ the terrified teenager was warned.

The chilling scene from the new Netflix series, The Keepers, may seem like the plot of a Scandi-inspired thriller, but the hit show keeping millions of viewers on the edge of their seats is not a voguish noir fiction, but a cold-case documentary.

Already one of Netflix’s most successful series ever, the gripping seven-part show follows the real-life unsolved murder of Sister Cathy, who was bludgeoned to death with a hammer – apparently because she was threatening to expose widespread child sex abuse at the girls’ school in which she worked.

The murder of a nun is only matched by the revulsion viewers feel when the prime suspect is revealed to be Father Joseph Maskell, a paedophile Catholic priest who died in 2001 without ever being brought to justice.

The series reveals stunning new evidence in the case and brings to light disturbing allegations from victims who claim powerful figures in the Church and police – Maskell’s brother was a Baltimore police officer – colluded to shield him from justice. Already it has forced detectives to look again at the case, and has sparked an inquiry 3,000 miles away in Co. Wexford, Ireland, a country where the Church has been forced to apologise for a series of abuse scandals perpetrated by Catholic clerics and nuns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Umstrittener Priesteramtskandidat zum Diakon geweiht

DEUTSCHLAND
Radio EINS

[Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke, a bishop of Eichstatt in Germany, consecrated a priesthood candidate who was controversial because of racist utterances. The man had left the Würzburg priest seminary in 2013, because he had made fun of the Nazi concentration camps and imitated Adolf Hitler. In Eichstätt he now gets a new chance to become a Catholic priest.]

Eichstätt (dpa/lby) – Der Eichstätter Bischof Gregor Maria Hanke hat einen wegen rassistischer Äußerungen umstrittenen Priesteramtskandidaten zum Diakon geweiht. Der Mann war 2013 aus dem Würzburger Priesterseminar geflogen, weil er sich über die Konzentrationslager der Nationalsozialisten lustig gemacht und Adolf Hitler imitiert haben soll. In Eichstätt bekommt er nun eine neue Chance, katholischer Priester zu werden: Die Diakonenweihe gilt als Vorstufe zur Priesterweihe. Für den Dienst brauche es den liebenden Blick des Herzens für jede Not, sagte Hanke in seiner Predigt am Samstag.

Der Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland hatte vor der Weihezeremonie heftige Kritik geübt. «Meine tiefen Zweifel an der Eignung des jungen Mannes für das Priesteramt bleiben bestehen», hatte Zentralrats-Präsident Josef Schuster gesagt. Die Gutachter bei der Untersuchung der Vorwürfe im Jahr 2013 hätten dem Seminaristen eine höchst bedenkliche Grundhaltung, nicht einen Ausrutscher aufgrund von jugendlichem Leichtsinn, attestiert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Priester nach Missbrauchsfällen nicht mehr Mitglied der Kapuziner

SCHWEIZ
Luzerner Zeitung

[Because of the abuse of children, the Vatican Congregation for the Congregation of the Faith released a Capuchin priest living in Switzerland from his orders' vows and released him from the clerical state.]

LUZERN/FREIBURG ⋅ Wegen Missbrauchs von Kindern hat die vatikanische Glaubenskongregation in Rom einen in der Schweiz lebenden Priester von seinen Ordensgelübden entbunden und aus dem Klerikerstand entlassen.

24. Juni 2017, 15:02

Das bedeute den Ausschluss aus dem Kapuzinerorden und aus dem Priesterstand, heisst es in der Mitteilung der Agentur Kathpress. Der heute 77-jährige Priester sei krank und gebrechlich. Deshalb wolle der Orden ihn "nicht einfach auf die Strasse stellen", sondern ihm werde weiterhin Unterkunft gewährt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Former Utah Mormon bishop arrested for allegedly sexually abusing two teens in his congregation

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By MARIAH NOBLE | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Jun 23 2017

A former LDS Church bishop is behind bars for allegedly sexually abused two boys several years ago when they were teenagers in his congregation.

Erik Wayne Hughes, 51, of Mapleton, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Utah County jail on suspicion of forcible sexual abuse, dealing in materials harmful to a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor and tampering with a witness.

According to a probable cause statement from the Mapleton Police Department, an 18-year-old told police in April that when he was 15, he had been sexually abused by Hughes, who at the time was his bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

An emailed statement from church spokesman Eric Hawkins on Friday confirmed that Hughes "has been removed from any position within the church."

The teen told police that Hughes was "always interested in his personal growth and if he was going through puberty," the document says. On one occasion, Hughes gave the teen a white pill he believed was melatonin, but the pill made him "feel weird" and his perception of his surroundings seemed "disproportionate," documents say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Former Utah LDS bishop accused of drugging 2 teen boys, sexually abusing them

UTAH
KUTV

by Cimaron Neugebauer

(KUTV) A former LDS bishop in Utah County has been arrested after police say he gave two teen boys a pill and sexually abused them.

Erik Wayne Hughes, 51, of Mapleton was arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail on Wednesday Apr. 21 for suspicion of forcible sexual abuse, dealing harmful materials to a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor, and tampering with a witness.

Hughes is no longer a bishop with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, police say.

A male victim who is now 18, reported to the Division of Child and Family Services that was sexually abused by his bishop when he was 15. He made the report on April 20 and police took over the case since the victim was now an adult.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Benedictines ‘can’t accept’ blame for child abuse at school

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

CHRIS MARSHALL

24 June 2017

The head of a religious order has expressed “sorrow” that monks abused boys at Fort Augustus Abbey School but said his congregation cannot be held responsible for what happened.

Dom Richard Yeo, abbot president of the English Benedictine Congregation, said he believed the allegations of former residents who say they were abused at the fee-paying Highland boarding school, which closed in 1993.

But the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was shown a submission from the congregation which said it had “no remit or authority” to acknowledge or accept abuse.

The inquiry heard allegations have been made against six monks who taught at either Fort Augustus, on the banks of Loch Ness, or Carlekemp Priory School in East Lothian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Seventh victim names priest as abuser

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

A 71-year-old Guam resident has come forward with allegations that he was sexually abused and raped when he served as an altar boy at Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago.

S.N.J.V., whose initials were used to protect his identity, filed a civil complaint against the Archdiocese of Agana on Friday in the District Court of Guam, naming deceased priest Antonio C. Cruz as his alleged perpetrator.

The lawsuit alleges that S.N.J.V. was repeatedly sexually molested and abused by Cruz during the two years he was an altar boy at the Chalan Pago parish where Cruz served as a priest.

'Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you'

The complaint states the sexual abuse started in 1960 after Sunday Mass one day, when Cruz instructed the boy to stay back and meet him at the rectory where he resided.

Upon entering the rectory, S.N.J.V. saw the priest naked and playing with himself, the lawsuit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Bishop George Murry makes appointments

OHIO
The Review

Published: June 24, 2017

Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. has made the following appointments to the Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, which was effective June 1: Joseph Irilli, Brigid Kennedy, Alan Kretzer, Ronald Mikilich, Joseph Mosca, Sister Jean Orsuto, Timothy Schaffner, the Rev. John Sheridan, the Rev. Mark Williams, Deacon Gregory Wood and Mary Ann Woods.

The Review Board of the Diocese of Youngstown is established under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Polices Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Priests, Deacons and other Church Personnel as published by the United States Conference of Bishops.

The review board assists the bishop by reviewing and assessing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons and other church personnel in order to advise the bishop as to whether the allegations appear to be credible.

The board makes recommendations concerning fitness for ministry in particular cases and reviewing the policy and procedures of the Diocese for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse of minors, recommending to the bishop any appropriate modifications.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

June 23, 2017

The Child Victims Act | June 21, 2017 Part 2 | Full Frontal on TBS | Full Frontal on TBS

NEW YORK
YouTube

Sam goes full “Spotlight” on a bill trapped in state senate limbo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Former Mapleton LDS bishop accused of drugging, assaulting 2 teens

UTAH
Deseret News

By Pat Reavy @DNewsCrimeTeam
Published: June 23, 2017

MAPLETON — A former LDS Church bishop has been arrested and accused of drugging and sexually abusing two teenage boys.

Erik Wayne Hughes, 51, of Mapleton, was arrested Wednesday night and booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of 20 counts of forcible sexual abuse, dealing in harmful materials to a minor, sexual exploitation of a minor and witness tampering.

An 18-year-old man recently came forward to report that when he was 15, there were at least two occasions he believes he was drugged by Hughes, who was his bishop, according to a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court. In one incident, he said Hughes gave him a pill he claimed was melatonin, typically used to help a person's sleep cycle.

The boy said the pill made him feel "weird and things seems disproportionate," according to the affidavit, and "he has never felt that way before after taking melatonin." Hughes allegedly told him "he must have given him the wrong pill and that it would not happen again."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Papal abuse commission member suggests changes to group expected in fall

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 23, 2017

ROME
A member of Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse has suggested the composition of the advisory body may change at some point this fall, as the original three-year terms granted to individuals in the group expire.

Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, who was appointed by Francis with seven others in March 2014 as the initial members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, said the group is hosting its last planned plenary session in September.

"People know that the mandate of this commission comes to a close," said Zollner, speaking Thursday at the Pontifical Gregorian University. "The mandate is of three years and at the end of this year the mandate finishes."

"We look forward to seeing what will be the follow-up," the Jesuit said.

"There is one more plenary session ... which will be the last plenary session," he continued. "From there, we need to see what will be the follow-up and how [the] commission will look and what will be the membership."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Abusi su minori: prete condannato 8 anni

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Abuse of minors: Priest sentenced 8 years.]

Cagliari, per altri 10 non potrà frequentare luoghi con ragazzi

(ANSA) – CAGLIARI, 22 GIU – Otto anni di reclusione scontati i quali, per i successivi dieci, non potrà avvicinarsi ai luoghi frequentati dai ragazzini per effetto delle misure di prevenzione. E’ la sentenza di condanna pronunciata dal giudice di Cagliari Ermengarda Ferrarese nei confronti del’ex parroco di Mandas e Villamar, don Pascal Manca, accusato di violenza sessuale su minori.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

'The Keepers': How 2 women delve into the dark mystery of their teacher's unsolved killing

UNITED STATES
ABC News

By NICOLE PELLETIERE
Jun 23, 2017

Two retired women who took it upon themselves to investigate the unsolved slaying of their former high school teacher, Sister Catherine Cesnik, are hoping a new Netflix documentary about the nearly 50-year-old case brings some kind of resolution.

“The Keepers” tells the story of those who said they survived sexual abuse at the hands of a priest who was the school chaplain, and the belief among many that Cesnik was killed because she was about to expose the alleged abuse.

Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub, who were students at the old Baltimore city school when Cesnik died, appear in the Netflix original. In an interview last week with ABC News, the women shared how they came to be involved with the true crime series, which premiered May 19.

"For me, I've had a lot of ups and downs in my life, and I feel like this was actually the reason why I was put here [on Earth]," Hoskins told ABC News. "The series is released, everybody knows who I am in the whole world; they want to hear what [we] have to say."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Time limit lifted on damages in child abuse cases in Scotland

SCOTLAND
Holyrood

Written by Jenni Davidson on 23 June 2017

A bill lifting the time limit on damages for child abuse cases has been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

MSPs unanimously voted to approve the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill yesterday.

The bill removes the current three-year limitation period for personal injury actions in cases of child abuse where the person was under 18 at the time of the abuse.

It will apply to all cases of child abuse after 26 September 1964.

The aims of the bill have attracted broad support, but some concerns have been raised about the potential costs to organisations such as councils, religious organisations and charities of paying out compensation for a large number of historic cases.

In its submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee, local government umbrella body COSLA said: “COSLA supports the intent of the legislation is and is clear that removing any barrier to justice for survivors of historical childhood abuse is a positive move.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Victims of child abuse get 50-year compensation window after MSPs vote to remove time bar

SCOTLAND
Police Professional

The Scottish Parliament has voted to remove the three-year limit on child abuse survivors suing for damages in court.

This will allow victims of abuse dating back to September 26, 1964 to claim compensation for their injuries following the implementation of the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill was unanimously approved by 115 votes from MSPs.

Under the Bill, the individual responsible for carrying out the abuse can be sued directly, and damages can also be sought against employers for their current or former employees.

The Scottish government estimates a potential 2,200 victims will be affected by the changes in the law.

When the Bill was tabled in February, Alistair Gaw from Social Work Scotland warned the payouts could cost around £200 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Damning Review Exposes Church Sex Abuse Cover Up

UNITED KINGDOM
Slater and Gordon

By
Jack Bowman
Media Executive

The Church of England “colluded” with a bishop to hide sex abuse of young men, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

The state church “concealed” evidence of child abuse by a former bishop stretching over two decades, according to a new major independent review.

The Church’s report, Abuse of Faith, shed light on how it handled the case of Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes who was jailed for 32 months in 2015, having pleaded guilty to offences, including two counts of indecent assault.

The court was told Ball hand-picked 18 vulnerable victims to commit acts of "debasement" in the name of religion, including praying naked at the altar and encouraging them to submit to beatings.

The review stated: "The Church at its most senior levels and over many years supported [Ball] unwisely and displayed little care for his victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Disgraced sex abuse bishop Peter Ball used links to Prince Charles to boost his position in cover-up, report finds

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Disgraced former bishop and convicted paedophile Peter Ball tried to used his “status of confidant” with Prince Charles to boost his position, a damming report has revealed.

A major independent review found the Church of England “concealed” evidence of child abuse against Ball for more than 20 years.

He was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 after admitting to a string of historical sex offences against teenage boys and young men between the 1970s and the 1990s.

The report, Abuse of Faith, found that Ball, then bishop of Gloucester, suggested “on many occasions” to the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey and others that he “enjoys the status of confidant of the Prince of Wales”.

He "sought to exploit his contact with members of the royal family in order to bolster his position, particularly in the eyes of Lord Carey and others from whom he hoped to receive sympathetic treatment,” the report says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:17 PM

Brooklyn Diocese announces abuse compensation program

NEW YORK
National Catholic Reporter

Peter Feuerherd | Jun. 23, 2017

BROOKLYN, N.Y. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio announced June 22 that the Brooklyn Diocese will compensate victims of sex abuse by clergy and church workers via a program modeled on one in the neighboring New York Archdiocese.

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program will allow survivors of sexual abuse by priests or deacons of the diocese to seek financial compensation.

"I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse," but the compensation program is "a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends," DiMarzio said in a video statement.

The Brooklyn Diocese's program will be administered by compensation experts Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, both of whom worked on a program compensating the families of victims of the 9/11 attacks in New York. Feinberg and Biros are administering the archdiocesan program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Backers of George Pell tipping sex abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
The Weekend Australian

June 24, 2017

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

Those closest to George Pell are increasingly pessimistic about his chances of avoiding charges over historical child sex abuse ­allegations.

The Weekend Australian has been told by multiple sources that — despite his vehement ­denial of wrongdoing — there is a growing resignation that ­charges will almost certainly be laid, plunging the church into what would be an unprecedented scandal.

Sources familiar with Cardinal Pell’s thinking expect him to return to Australia to fight any charges, with Victoria Police in the final stages of deciding whether to prosecute. If charges are laid, it is expected that Cardinal Pell would resign as the head of the Vatican’s finances.

He has consistently vowed to fight any charges, stating that he has done nothing wrong.

It is likely that if he were to ­return to Australia, in the event of charges, the church would provide him with accommodation and legal support in order for him to defend himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

The Ins and Out of the IRCP Part 2: Phases and Deadlines

NEW YORK
The Worthy Adversary

June 23, 2017 Joelle Casteix

Part two of this series was originally going to be a little about IRCP plan administrator Ken Feinberg, but since the Diocese of Brooklyn has posted its official IRCP website (full of legalese), I thought I would go over some of the details here. *

The only survivors who qualify are those to whom the diocese has reached out directly. (That’s why we knew this announcement was coming – You can’t call a bunch of survivors and not have the word get around)

Whom did they call? People who had come forward to them in the past with complaints of abuse by priests or deacons of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Does it count if their parents/teachers/neighbors/therapists complained? I don’t know.

This phase does NOT include victims abused by teachers, order priests, nuns, brothers, volunteers, or employees of the Diocese of Brooklyn … beginning to see the problem?

It only gets worse when we look at the Archdiocese of New York.

If you have not been contacted by the Diocese of Brooklyn, there is nothing you can do in Phase One. But if you were sexually abused in the diocese, you can register for Phase Two. That will probably begin sometime in September, when Phase One ends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Lord Carey steps back from ministry after ‘harrowing’ report on Peter Ball case

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by HATTIE WILLIAMS 22 JUNE 2017

BOTH the Archbishop of Canterbury’s predecessors have issued personal apologies, and the Archbishop has asked Lord Carey to consider his position as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford, after the publication of an independent report on the Peter Ball case and the Church’s part in it.

Lord Carey has been strongly criticised in the report of the review group, chaired by Dame Moira Gibb, which was published on Thursday, almost two years after the review was announced by Archbishop Welby (News, 7 October 2015).

The 81-page report, Abuse of Faith, sets out in detail the events and circumstances leading up to, surrounding, and following the arrest and imprisonment of Ball, who received a three-year sentence in October 2015, having admitted to a series of indecent assaults and the abuse of 18 young men aged 17-25. One of his victims took his own life. Ball, who is 85, was released in February after serving 16 months of his sentence.

The report criticises the conduct of several senior Church of England figures — in particular, Lord Carey, who, it says, failed to respond to repeated expressions of concern and allegations against Bishop Ball — most notably those of the late Neil Todd, who was repeatedly abused by the bishop during the 1980s and ’90s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Charles's friend the paedophile priest and a cover-up that shames the Church

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Tom Kelly for the Daily Mail

Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey colluded with senior clergy to protect a paedophile bishop, a damning report revealed yesterday.

As a result, serial sex offender Peter Ball – who boasted of being a confidant of Prince Charles – escaped prosecution for more than 20 years.

An independent inquiry into the scandal found that the Church of England knew of a string of allegations against Ball, then bishop of Gloucester, but failed to alert the police. Current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby urged Lord Carey to step down from his role as an assistant bishop after the report covering his time as head of the Church of England.

Some of Ball's victims called for a criminal investigation into senior clergy after the report found that the Church was 'more interested in protecting itself' than helping those he had abused, and that at least nine bishops knew allegations had been made against him.

Ball, a former suffragan bishop of Lewes, was let off with caution for molesting a teenage novice monk in 1993. Although the Church knew of other allegations against him, it was not until 2015 that Ball was finally prosecuted and jailed.

He admitted abusing 18 teenagers and young men who had sought spiritual guidance from him between 1977 and 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

79th alleged victim accuses Chalan Pago priest of molestation

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jun 23, 2017

By Krystal Paco

71-year-old "S.N.J.C." is the latest victim to file suit against the Church.

When he was a teen attending the Chalan Pago church, S.N.J.C. alleges he was sexually molested and raped by Father Antonio Cruz, who is now deceased. During the sexual acts, the priest reportedly stated "Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you" and called the boy "mannge" which means "good" in Chamorro.

S.N.J.C. is suing for $5 million.

Although his attorney David Lujan previously stated he was in settlement talks with Hope and Healing Guam and would file a motion to stay - or suspend the cases in federal court, he tells KUAM today "I haven't seen their insurance policies."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

U.S. Bishops Will ‘Stay the Course’ Against Children, Women and LGBTQ Persons

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on June 23, 2017 by Betty Clermont

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) held their semi-annual meeting June 14-15 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Child Sex Abuse

They began with a Mass “held in response to a call from Pope Francis for all episcopal conferences across the world to have a Day of Prayer and Penance for victims of sexual abuse within the Church.”

In an excellent work of investigative journalism, Nicole Sotelo researched the location of 33 Chicago Archdiocese former priests accused of child sex abuse who are still alive. She was able to locate the whereabouts of 29. “At least 16 – approximately half – of the abusive former priests currently reside or have recently resided within close proximity of a school or child services facility, ranging from less than 500 feet to under 1,500 feet….Two are currently in state or federal mental health facilities. [O]nly one former priest is part of a sex offender registry.” None are being monitored by the archdiocese.

“Church officials covered up crimes for so long that in many cases the statute of limitations for criminal charges expired. [I]t is a sobering reminder that if Church officials had not shielded these men from the law or fought to keep the statute of limitations, some of these men would be registered sex offenders and, thus, identifiable to concerned parents and teachers,” Sotelo noted.

Shortly before their meeting, the bishops released their 2016 Annual Report on clerical sex abuse in the U.S. For the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 combined, 1333 victims made “new credible allegations” against 799 clerics. Even a conservative extrapolation from Sotelo’s findings would be horrific.

In their report, the bishops do not give us the names of the credibly alleged predators, nor which ones are free men and where are they located, nor which ones – if any – they reported to the police. They do not act because Pope Francis protects sexual predators and so, will never hold them accountable for following his lead.

During the Mass, Archbishop Wilton Gregory said the U.S. bishops “can never say that we are sorry enough for the share that we have had in this tragedy of broken fidelity and trust – the clergy sex abuse crisis.” But he failed to commit to the above measures nor did he pledge that the bishops would stop obstructing statute of limitations reform for all American victims of sex abuse.

As Marci Hamilton, a distinguished scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote on June 15, New York’s Child Victims Act amending the statute of limitations “would have been law long ago but for the bishops’ lobbying against it … Indeed, they invest millions and concoct arguments to scare lawmakers away from doing what is right for the unjustifiably exiled victims … The diocesan bankruptcy filings to date have generally been a way of reorganizing to protect assets, to keep victim compensation low, and to cut off future claims for past victims.”

Republicans are primarily responsible “for blocking simple legislative change that would identify the hidden predators and provide justice to victims” killed the New York legislation on June 21.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Gov. Cuomo bemoans failure of child victims act

NEW YORK
Washington Times

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s disappointed lawmakers have ended their session without loosening the statute of limitations for molestation to give victims more time to report abuse.

The bill would have given victims more time to file civil lawsuits or seek criminal charges against their abusers. It also would have created a one-year window for past victims to file civil suits.

Victims now have until they turn 23 to sue, but supporters say it often takes far longer for victims to report their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Bishop of Chichester responds to report into handling of abuse claims against Peter Ball

UNITED KINGDOM
Brighton and Hove News

Posted On 23 Jun 2017

Frank le Duc

The Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner has responded to a report about the church’s failings when claims of sexual abuse were made against the former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball.

Dr Warner said: “We who serve in the diocese of Chichester welcome the report of the independent review by Dame Moira Gibb into the Church of England’s handling of the abuse committed by Peter Ball.”

Ball, 85, was jailed in 2015 for sexually abusing teenage boys and young men more than 20 years after his behaviour was brought to the attention of the church authorities.

He started his career as a curate in Rottingdean, having been to school at Lancing College. He went on to found a religious order called the Community of the Glorious Ascension in Lewes before he became Bishop of Lewes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Clergy sexual abuse fund created by Diocese of Brooklyn to compensate victims

NEW YORK
am New York

By Ivan Pereira ivan.pereira@amny.com June 22, 2017

The Diocese of Brooklyn announced on Thursday the creation of a compensation program for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, or IRCP, will first provide monetary compensation to survivors who have previously reported abuse by a priest or deacon. Those who come forward with unreported claims will have a chance to register with the program during phase two in October.

The Brooklyn Diocese, which oversees the churches in Brooklyn and Queens, said the funds will come from loans — not parishioners’ collections — and it will keep the survivors’ identities confidential.

A committee, including retired NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Joseph P. Dunne, retired New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph G. Golia and former president of the Queens Chapter of the American Psychiatric Association Barbara L. Ponieman, will oversee the process. Settlements will be administered by attorneys Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Man alleges he was repeatedly raped by Father Antonio C. Cruz

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com June 23, 2017

A now-deceased Guam priest, Father Antonio C. Cruz, allegedly raped and sexually abused an altar boy in Chalan Pago from 1960 to 1962, according to a lawsuit filed Friday.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as S.N.J.C. to protect his privacy, alleged Cruz sexually abused and raped him when he was around 14 to 16 years old and serving as altar boy at the Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church.

Now 71 years old, S.N.J.C. filed his lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Guam on Friday. He's represented by attorney David Lujan.

The lawsuit says the alleged abuses started after a Sunday Mass when Cruz instructed S.N.J.C. to stay behind and meet him at the rectory. The priest allegedly told the boy that it was mannge, which means good in Chamorro, the complaint says.

"The sexual abuse and rape continued for the next two years," the lawsuit alleges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

FRANCIS 'SOUNDING BOARD' RETIRED US ARCHBISHOP JOHN QUINN DIES AGED 88

CALIFORNIA
The Tablet

23 June 2017 | by Catholic News Service

Archbishop Quinn was a staunch defender of immigrants and an early voice in combatting clerical sexual abuse

Retired Archbishop John Quinn of San Francisco, who led the Northern California archdiocese for 18 years, died on 22 June after a long illness. He was 88.

"Our hearts are breaking at losing such a great priest and friend," San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in an announcement. "Join me in praying for the repose of his soul."

The archbishop had moved to the Jewish Home of San Francisco from St Mary's Medical Centre on 16 June, but he "experienced difficulties with his breathing early this morning. He was transported to the nearest hospital but could not be revived." ...

Archbishop Quinn was an early leader in combating clerical sexual abuse. The Archdiocese of San Francisco put into force in 1992 a sexual abuse and harassment policy, and at that time urged all victims of child sexual abuse by a priest or church worker to "come forward and tell us their story."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

June 22, 2017

LDS bishop arrested by Mapleton police on reports of sexually abusing two underage males

UTAH
Daily Herald

Kurt Hanson Daily Herald

Officers with the Mapleton Police Department arrested a man Wednesday on reports of sexually abusing two underage boys.

Police reports state on April 20, a now 18-year-old man told police he was sexually abused by a man about three years ago.

The young man said Erik Hughes, 51, was at first very friendly and provided him with what the male thought was melatonin to help him sleep. But it made him disoriented and Hughes told him he must’ve given him the wrong pill.

On another occasion, Hughes gave the young man a smoothie. The young man reported that the smoothie was bitter and after he finished drinking it, he felt woozy and disoriented, just like when he took the pills earlier.

Hughes helped the young man to his bed, where he dozed off. The next thing he reportedly remembered was Hughes touching him inappropriately. The young man fell asleep again and when he awoke, the young man’s underwear was removed and Hughes was again touching him inappropriately, reports state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 PM

Demonstrate Against Agudah’s Protection of Child Molesters this Sunday at 3pm

NEW YORK
Frum Follies

I urge all my readers to become part of this demonstration in front of the Midwood home of the Exec VP of Agudath Israel of America (aka Agudah), Dovd Zweibel.

Agudah discourages reporting of child molesters by misrepresenting halacha to claim one must consult with a rabbi. Most Agudah rabbis then either rule against reporting or discourage it for non-halachic reasons

Agudah, together with the Catholic Church, has blocked New York State legislation to strengthen prosecution of molesters as criminals and to force them and their protectors to pay for the damage they cause. For the 9th year in a row, they have blocked attempts to reform the NYS Statute of Limitations. Why? Because they want to avoid embarrassment and avoid paying for the damage caused by tolerating and covering up for molesters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 PM

Archbishop John R. Quinn, Catholic progressive, dies in S.F.

CALIFORNIA
SFGate

By Carl Nolte Thursday, June 22, 2017

John R. Quinn, archbishop emeritus of San Francisco and a former president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, died early Thursday after a long illness.

Archbishop Quinn, who was an advocate of interfaith cooperation, died at the Jewish Home of San Francisco after a long hospital stay. He was 88.

He served as archbishop of San Francisco from 1977 to 1995, and had built a reputation as an advocate of social justice and a leader in the liberalization of the Catholic Church. In his retirement, he lectured and wrote two books on reform of the papacy and was working on a third when he died.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 PM

Local child victim speaks out about Legislature’s failure to pass Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
News 10

[with video]

By Lexi Nahl
Published: June 22, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Senate struck down a bill Wednesday that would have loosened the statute of limitations of child molestation for the 11th year in a row.

“New York has the worst laws on the books anywhere in the country pertaining to the statute of limitations for crimes of child sexual abuse,” Senator and Bill Sponsor Brad Hoylman (D) said.

This year, the bill, called the Child Victims Act came closer than ever to passing. It received support across the aisle in both the Senate and Assembly. It passed in the Assembly for the first time since 2008. The bill died before it hit could the Senate floor.

Right now, victims have until the age of 23 to come forward and file claims, but the bill would have given them something invaluable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

The need for truth and apologies

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is now underway to the point where Lady Smith, the Chair, is hearing witnesses on behalf of different organisations involved in residential child care in Scotland within living memory. Many organisations within Scotland have been asked to report to the Inquiry and to give details about their involvement in such care, the Church is among them.

At the moment, the Inquiry seems to be examining the broad picture and learning about structures and how children came to be under the care of different establishments.

The work of the Inquiry will be complex and lengthy and will inevitably involve difficult press coverage for the Catholic Community. For that reason, I hoped that the Catholic Media would be a great resource in explaining the evidence given to the Inquiry in a way which helped Catholics understand the truth. I found myself fundamentally disagreeing with the angle which last week’s SCO used in covering the story of my testimony to that Inquiry. This article is designed to help clarify the story.

From the beginning, the Bishops of Scotland have been unanimous in their desire to assist and cooperate with the Inquiry and created a group which would prepare materials and respond on the bishops’ behalf. As a member of that group, I found myself standing in the Inquiry’s hearing room recently, raising my hand and swearing to tell the truth. Unfortunately, the SCO headline and story was presented last week, didn’t serve the complexity of the truth I tried to tell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Brooklyn diocese announces sex abuse compensation program

NEW YORK
San Francisco Chronicle

KAREN MATTHEWS, ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 22, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn announced Thursday it is setting up a compensation program for victims of past sexual abuse by priests, modeled after a program the larger New York archdiocese started last year.

"I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this program is a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzo said.

DiMarzo said the diocese will take out a loan to pay the claims and will not use money intended to support parishes, schools or charitable works. He did not specify the loan amount.

The program will be administered by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, who are also running the New York archdiocese program. They will review claims and determine how much money to offer.

Under the first phase of the program, the diocese is contacting about 235 people who previously reported being abused when they were minors and explaining how to file a claim. The deadline for filing a claim under Phase 1 will be Sept. 30. ...

Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston-based lawyer representing victims of childhood sex abuse by clergy members, said some abuse survivors will welcome the Brooklyn diocese's compensation program.

"For those victims who want to try to heal and move on, the program will be helpful," Garabedian said. "For others who want their day in court and want to obtain transparency through a court proceeding, the program will not be helpful."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Abuse survivors call for action on George Pell sex claims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 23, 2017

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@TessaAkerman

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

Victoria Police faces demands from survivors to act or explain its slow investigative progress into claims of sexual abuse against Cardinal George Pell.

Catholic Church officials are on edge over the possibility of ­Cardinal Pell being charged but Australia’s most senior Catholic remains insistent that he has done nothing wrong.

Police are believed to be winding up their investigations into the cardinal but senior church figures have yet to be told whether or not charges will be laid.

Peter Blenkiron, who was 11 when he was abused by a Christian Brother at school in Ballarat, said it was unhelpful for police to leave people speculating about reasons for the delay.

The Office of Public Prosecutions returned the second brief of evidence on Cardinal Pell to the police in mid-May, with officers as recently as this month still trawling through unsubstantiated allegations against the former archbishop of Melbourne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Catholic Church in Brooklyn to compensate sexual abuse victims

NEW YORK
Reuters

By Jonathan Allen | NEW YORK

The Roman Catholic Church in the New York City borough of Brooklyn has set up a compensation program for victims of sexual abuse by its clergy, the Diocese of Brooklyn said on Thursday.

The program is modeled on one set up last year by the neighboring Archdiocese of New York, which encompasses the city's boroughs of Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. Both programs were created in part to give victims who were abused a long time ago, beyond statutes of limitations, a chance for compensation.

"I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this program is a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends," Nicholas DiMarzio, the Bishop of Brooklyn, said in a video statement. He said he had met more than 50 victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The Roman Catholic Church, which has more than 1.2 billion adherents, has grappled in recent years with the damage done to its role as a moral authority as more than a thousand people around the world have said they were abused by clergy, typically when they were children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Church Of England 'Colluded And Concealed' Bishop's Sex Abuse, Leader Says

UNITED KINGDOM
NPR

June 22, 2017

COLIN DWYER

When faced with allegations of sex abuse against one of its bishops, the Church of England "colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward," the church's leader acknowledged Thursday.

"For the survivors who were brave enough to share their story and bring Peter Ball to justice, I once again offer an unreserved apology," Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, said in a statement. "There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systemic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades."

Welby was responding to the findings of an independent investigation into how the church handled the allegations against Ball, a former bishop who pleaded guilty in 2015 to indecent assault against young men. That report, also released Thursday, found that Ball "abused many boys and men over a period of twenty years or more."

"That is shocking in itself but is compounded by the failure of the Church to respond appropriately to his misconduct, again over a period of many years," Moira Gibb, who led the investigation, said in the report. "Ball's priority was to protect and promote himself and he maligned the abused. The Church colluded with that rather than seeking to help those he had harmed, or assuring itself of the safety of others."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Monsignor Richard Mouton passes away

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

[Msgr. Richard Mouton Funeral Announcement - News15]

Claire Taylor , ctaylor@theadvertiser.com June 21, 2017

Monsignor Richard von Phul Mouton of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette passed away Wednesday. He was 86 years old.

Mouton died at 2:21 p.m. Wednesday at Lafayette General Medical Center, according to his brother, Frank Anthony Mouton.

Funeral arrangements are not complete but will be handled by the diocese, he said.

"The monsignor would be the first to admit he didn't walk on water," Ted Power, former Daily Advertiser publisher, wrote in response to Mouton's passing. "But he was a man with immeasurable passion for his faith and he spent his life driven to instill that passion and faith in others." ...

When Mouton was pastor at St. Mary Magdalene Church two parishioners approached him in 1976 with allegations about the Rev. Gilbert Gauthe, according to Jason Berry, an investigative reporter at the time with The Times newspaper. Mouton, he wrote, confronted Gauthe and required him to see a psychiatrist.

Gauthe pled guilty to 34 counts of sexually abusing children and served time in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

Statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the Peter Ball report

UNITED KINGDOM
Archbishop of Canterbury

Thursday 22nd June 2017

Statement by Archbishop Justin Welby on the publication today of the independent report by Dame Moira Gibb into the Church's handling of the Bishop Peter Ball case.

"Abuse of Faith makes harrowing reading: the Church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward. This is inexcusable and shocking behaviour and although Dame Moira notes that most of the events took place many years ago, and does not think that the Church now would conduct itself in the ways described we can never be complacent, we must learn lessons.

"I fully endorse the recommendations in the report and will ensure that the House of Bishops addresses how we can implement these as soon as possible, working with the National Safeguarding Team. For the survivors who were brave enough to share their story and bring Peter Ball to justice, I once again offer an unreserved apology. There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systemic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Archbishop Welby asks Lord Carey to consider his position as assistant bishop over Ball abuse ca

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

James Macintyre 22 June 2017

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has written to his predecessor George Carey asking him to consider his position as an honorary assistant bishop in Oxford over criticism of his conduct in the case of the former bishop and convicted abuser Peter Ball.

The letter was written ahead of publication today of a damning report into the handling of Ball's case by the respected former social worker Dame Moira Gibb, who concluded that the Church of England 'colluded' in abuse by Ball.

At a press conference with Dame Moira launching the independent report today, Peter Hancock, the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the lead bishop on safeguarding in the Church, confirmed that Archbishop Welby had 'written directly' to Lord Carey asking him 'carefully' to consider his position.

Bishop Hancock said that 'this is now a matter for Lord Carey and the Bishop of Oxford' who have been having conversations on the telephone and are set to meet in the next two days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Ex-Archbishop asked to leave Diocese of Oxford over sex abuse 'collusion'

UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford Mail

A SENIOR figure in the Church of England has been asked to step down from his role in the Diocese of Oxford over 'collusion' in covering up historic sexual abuse.

Lord Carey was Archbishop of Canterbury at the time of abuses carried out by former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester Peter Ball between the 1970s and 1990s.

Ball, now 85, was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 after admitting sex offences against 18 teenagers and young men.

Lord Carey has now been asked to step down by current Archbishop Justin Welby from his role as an honorary assistant bishop at the Diocese of Oxford.

A newly-published independent review found that Lord Carey received seven letters from families and individuals following the arrest and cautioning of Ball in 1992 for gross indecency, but failed to pass six of them to the police.

He chose not to put Ball on the Church of England's 'Lambeth List', which names clergymen about whom questions of suitability for ministry have been raised, and also gave Ball funds to support him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Church of England 'colluded' and hid bishop's sex abuse, says Justin Welby

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

By Alice Udale-Smith, News Reporter

The Church of England "colluded and concealed" the sexual abuse of young men by one of its bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

The Most Rev Justin Welby has offered an "unreserved apology" to the victims of Peter Ball, a former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester.

The Archbishop's statement came as the Church published an independent review, chaired by Dame Moira Gibb, of how it handled the case.

Mr Welby described the report as "harrowing reading" and said: "The Church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Church of England ‘Colluded’ With Bishop to Hide Sex Abuse, Report Says

UNITED KINGDOM
New York Times

By DAN BILEFSKY
JUNE 22, 2017

LONDON — Senior people in the Church of England “colluded” over two decades with a bishop to help cover up his serial abuse of young men and boys, an independent review found on Thursday.

The unsparing report, titled “An Abuse of Faith,” centers on Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who was convicted in 2015 of misconduct in public office and of indecent assaults against 18 victims over a 15-year period from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. Now 85, Mr. Ball was released from prison in February after serving half his 32-month sentence.

Overseen by Dame Moira Gibb, a former social worker, the report shines an uncomfortable light at the highest echelons of the church. The report was commissioned by the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, who called it “harrowing reading.”

Among the report’s most damning criticisms is its rebuke of the former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, now the honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Oxford. It accuses him of setting “the tone for the church’s response to Mr. Ball’s crimes” and enabling Mr. Ball’s declarations of innocence to be accepted, even as victims and members of the public came forward to expose abuse by the former bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

"Nobody told us she had died" - the story of Margaret Bullen, who spent her entire life in a Magdalene Laundry

IRELAND
The Journal

THE FASCINATING AND tragic story of a mother who spent her life in a series of Magdalene Laundries will be told this evening.

RTÉ’s Liveline Callback will tell the story of Margaret Bullen, a mother-of-three who spent her entire life in state institutions such as the infamous Laundries.

Samantha Long was 29 years old and seven months pregnant in October 2003 when she listened to an edition of Liveline on RTÉ Radio in which a woman was decrying the fact that one of her good friends had died and been buried in a communal grave by the nuns at her laundry.

And then she heard the woman’s name. Margaret Bullen. Her mother, who she had first met just eight years previously. Who met her and her twin sister in the Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street carrying an empty handbag because she owned nothing to put in it.

“When we were just two weeks old, Margaret was sent back to work,” Samantha says today, five years after first sharing her story with TheJournal.ie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Christian Brothers apologise for abuse of boys at Fife school

SCOTLAND
Fife Today

LIZ ROUGVIE

22 June 2017

A religious order has apologised for ‘systemic failures’ which allowed paedophile priests to abuse boys at a residential school in Fife.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has heard that safeguarding measures put in place by the Christian Brothers at the former St Ninian’s school in Falkland fell ‘well short’ of what would be expected today.

Last year two former teachers were jailed for a total of 15 years after being convicted of the physical and sexual abuse of boys in their care.

Victim Dave Sharp, who was sent to St Ninian’s at the age of 10, has previously told how he was repeatedly raped, shut in a coffin with the lid closed and even taken to Ireland to be passed around priests at sex parties.

His abuser has since died. Appearing before the inquiry in Edinburgh on behalf of the Christian Brothers, Michael Madigan said the congregation acknowledged with ‘deepest regret’ that children had been abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Diocese announces compensation plan for sex abuse survivors

NEW YORK
Queens Chronicle

by Anthony O'Reilly / Associate Editor

The Diocese of Brooklyn on Thursday announced a program to compensate survivors of sexual abuse committed by clergy members.

“I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this compensation program is a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends,” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, head of the diocese, said in a statement.

The program, called The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, will be administered by attorneys Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros — both of whom have years of experience in overseeing settlements, the former with the Department of Justice.

Both will have "total independence in determining compensation for survivors," according to the diocese.

An Independent Oversight Committee has also been established — made up of retired NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Joseph Dunne, retired state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Golia and American Psychiatric Association Queens Chapter President Dr. Barbara Ponieman — the panel will review the program's protocols and oversee its implantation but cannot overturn decisions made by Feinberg and Birosm, the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Brooklyn Diocese Sets Up Abuse Victim Compensation Fund

NEW YORK
NY 1

A major part of the city's Catholic community is reaching out to survivors of abuse.

The head of the Brooklyn Diocese says it will financially compensate parishioners who were abused in the past by priests or deacons.

The fund will be overseen by a committee which is independent from the church.

The Diocese, which covers Brooklyn and Queens, will abide by the committee's decisions.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio says this will help mend the relationship between the Church and the communities it serves.

"I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this is a program and a concrete expression of our contrition, and our desire to make amends. We hope it will help with the healing process, and bring survivors some amount of healing," DiMarzio said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

THE INDEPENDENT RECONCILIATION AND COMPENSATION PROGRAM FOR THE DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK (“IRCP”)

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

for Compensation of Certain Individual Claims of Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors Previously Submitted to the Diocese of Brooklyn (Phase I)

June 22, 2017

An Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program to pay victims of alleged clergy sexual abuse of minors was announced today by Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York (the “IRCP”). Read Press Release

The Administrators, Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros, will begin this assignment and will work with Bishop DiMarzio and the distinguished members of the IRCP Independent Oversight Committee.

* The Program is purely voluntary; no individual is required to participate in the Program. Only if the individual is satisfied with, and agrees to accept, the offered compensation, does the individual agree to waive his/her rights to litigate against the Diocese of Brooklyn.

* The Program is limited in scope to those individuals who previously submitted a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor to the Diocese of Brooklyn. Individuals who allege clergy sexual abuse, but have not previously complained to the Diocese of Brooklyn, will have an opportunity to seek compensation later this year during Phase II of this Program. These individuals may register immediately with the Program, providing their names, contact information and a summary description of the nature of the claim, including the dates, time, location of the alleged abuse and the name of the alleged perpetrator.

* Mr. Feinberg and Ms. Biros retain complete and sole discretion over all compensation awards to eligible victims, including eligibility to participate in the Program and the amounts of compensation. By agreement, the Diocese of Brooklyn cannot reject the Administrators’ final determinations as to eligibility and the amount of compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Brooklyn Diocese begins compensation program for clergy sex abuse victims

NEW YORK
PIX 11

JUNE 22, 2017, BY CHRISTINA REINWALD

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Diocese of Brooklyn has announced it is starting its program to pay victims of sexual abuse by priests and deacons within the Roman Catholic Church.

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program is modeled after the Archdiocese of New York’s sexual abuse settlement process that launched in October 2016.

“This Bishop [DiMarzio] is listening to survivors,” Anthony Hughes said in a statement. “People need to know that the Church is moving in the right direction.”

Hughes, now 41, said he was sexually abused by a priest in Brooklyn in the 1980s. He came forward in 2006, but said at the time, the church was "unsupportive." Now, he said there's been a "significant shift" in how the church handles these allegations.

Two mediators and an oversight committee “will have total independence” to determine payment to victims, the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Samantha Bee Takes the Catholic Church and New York State Senate to Task for Failing to Help Child Abuse Victims

NEW YORK
Slate

[with video]

By Marissa Martinelli

New York has the shortest statute of limitations for child abuse victims in the country, and as of Wednesday night, that’s not about to change. Samantha Bee dedicated a segment of Full Frontal to shaming the New York state senate after they wrapped up their 2017 legislative session without voting on the Child Victims Act, which would allow adult victims of child abuse to seek justice up to the age of 28 in criminal cases, and age 50 in civil cases.

Who could possibly oppose such a piece of legislation? Most notably, the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church, who have been lobbying against it, ostensibly because it could open them up to more lawsuits from adult victims—which means spending more money. As Bee puts it: “I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that if you’re an institution that has hurt so many children that paying out civil settlements would make you go bankrupt, maybe you should.” Bill Donohue, who is president of the Catholic League (an organization independent from the church), has even reached Milo Yiannopoulos levels of trolling in his opposition to the Child Victims Act, calling it “a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church.” Seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

SAMANTHA BEE’S DISHONEST HARANGUE

BEW TIRJ
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on last night’s edition of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”:

Samantha Bee is no stranger to Catholic bashing, so it was hardly surprising to learn that she ripped the Catholic Church in her June 21st show. Her focus was the Child Victims Act, a bill being considered by the New York State legislature. The least controversial aspect of the bill is extending the number of years that alleged victims could sue; the most controversial component is allowing a one-year window to revive old cases.

According to Bee, the bill’s opponents are evil-minded persons who seek to justify child sexual molestation (she went off-the-rails on me). She interviewed a sponsor of one of the bills, State Senator Brad Hoylman, who said opposition was coming from the Catholic Church, yeshivas, and the Boy Scouts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Samantha Bee: NY's Slogan Should Be 'We Protect Child Molesters'

NEW YORK
Gothamist

BY JAKE OFFENHARTZ ON JUN 22, 2017

Keeping with a decade-long tradition, the New York State senate has once again refused to take up a widely-supported bill extending the amount of time that child sexual abuse victims can seek justice as adults. On Wednesday, the senate ended its legislative session by refusing to vote on the Child Victims Act [CVA], despite Governor Cuomo's repeated promise to survivors that this was the year the legislation would finally pass.

The bill's failure was the topic of a caustic segment on Wednesday night's Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, in which the comedian does her best to understand, "Why have they been blocking this bill for 11 years?"

As State Senator Brad Hoylman notes, the bill would lift New York's restrictive 5-year civil and criminal statute of limitation on childhood sexual assault, sending a lifeline to the majority of survivors who take years to report their abusers. But according to the Manhattan representative, "Churches, Yeshivas, the Boy Scouts of America, they're all trying to quash the ability for survivors of child sex abuse to file claims."

Of those powerful institutions, none has done more to stop the CVA than the Catholic Church. Between 2007 and 2015, the Tim Dolan-led Catholic Conference paid out more than $2.1 million to Albany lobbyists to block the legislation. Meanwhile, Catholic League President Bill Donohue has taunted those pushing for the bill as "losers," and claimed last year that the act is "a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

The Ins and Out of the IRCP: Is it a Hoax? Why Brooklyn?

NEW YORK
The Worthy Adversary

June 22, 2017 Joelle CasteixClergy Abuse Crisis, IRCP

~PART ONE OF A MULTI-PART SERIES ON THE IRCP~

I had planned on talking about the Archdiocese of New York’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP) in this blog, but I wanted to wait until after the end of the current New York legislative session.

My hope was that the plan would be rendered redundant—that the Child Victims’ Act (CVA) would have passed, and survivors of child sexual abuse across the state would have the ability to use the civil courts for justice.

But the CVA died. Less than 24 hours later, the Diocese of Brooklyn danced of the grave of the CVA and announced their own IRCP.

So it’s time to start talking.

Is the IRCP a Hoax?

In a previous a post, I called Hope and Healing Guam—a plan almost exactly like Dolan’s on the island territory—an outright hoax.

The reason I did so is because survivors of sexual abuse on Guam have the right to use the civil justice system to expose the archdiocese-wide conspiracy to cover up child sexual abuse—a conspiracy that lasted decades and included the cover-up of alleged sexual abuse by the archbishop himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Fr. Zollner on clerical sex abuse: Our goal is for victims of abuse to feel listened to

ROME
Rome Reports

[with video]

2017-06-22

With the recent resignation of Marie Collins, the last clerical sex abuse survivor on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the Commission and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican are attempting to point out the problem areas and move forward.

The president of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Hans Zollner, S.J., opens up about what else the Commission and the Vatican can do so each case is handled properly when it arrives to the congregation.

FR. HANS ZOLLNER
Pontifical Commission Protection of Minors

"What they can do and what they should do and what they want to do also is at least acknowledge that they have received that letter. But you must realize that at the Congregation, that section of the congregation that deals with these cases. I think, at the moment, there are 10 people who deal with 100s of cases, not only from this year but from decades ago. It's not like in the US or Canada or Ireland, where for decades you have spoken about this, in some countries they are starting now. So things come up that have happened yesterday or 50 years ago.”

Now, some victims are contacting the Vatican, opening up about their situations that may have been hidden for years. However, they usually don't receive an answer, as the case is being investigated and the letter could be seen as an "interference in the process.”

The other problem is when these letters are forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, there are not enough people to respond to each victim and resolve the cases, leading many victims of abuse to think the Vatican does not care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

John Clegg was a welfare officer and man of God who raped students

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
22 Jun 2017

A TEENAGER who was sexually assaulted by a St John of God Brother was expelled from his school after punching the Brother in the face during an attempted sexual assault in the 1980s.

The student walked 10 kilometres before catching a train and ending up at Newcastle railway station in the middle of the night, Justice Anthony Payne said after rejecting the appeal of former Brother John Clegg against his conviction and sentence for child sex offences against two teenage boys.

Clegg, 64, was found guilty in June, 2015 of seven offences against one student, 14, including multiple charges of sexual intercourse, and four offences against a second student, 14, including sexual intercourse.

He was sentenced to seven years’ jail, with a minimum term of four years and six months and an earliest release date in June, 2022. Clegg’s name was suppressed until the appeal against his conviction was published on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Diocese of Brooklyn launches fund for victims of clergy sex abuse that mirrors Cardinal Dolan program

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
DENIS SLATTERY
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Diocese of Brooklyn is setting up a fund to compensate people who were abused by clergy when they were kids, mirroring a plan set up by Cardinal Dolan across the East River.

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, announced Thursday by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, will allow victims of sexual abuse by priests or deacons of the diocese to seek financial compensation.

“I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this compensation program is a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends,” DiMarzio said in a video statement.

The Brooklyn diocese oversees 186 parishes and 211 churches in both Brooklyn and Queens.

A loan will be taken out by the church to pay for the cost of compensating survivors, church officials said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Bishop of Truro left appalled by report into abuse cover up by the Church of England

UNITED KINGDOM
Cornwall Live

By DaveCDM | Posted: June 22, 2017

The Bishop of Truro has admitted feeling 'appalled and deeply saddened' after an independent report was published showing how the Church of England "colluded" with and helped to hide the long-term sexual abuse of young men by one its bishops.

The report says the church showed little care for the victims of abuse and tried instead to support Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes, who was jailed for 32 months at the Old Bailey in 2015 after pleading guilty to a string of historical offences, including two counts of indecent assault.

Peter Ball's identical twin brother Michael was Bishop of Truro from 1990 to 1997, and Peter served as a priest in Truro for six months in 1995 - two years after he had accepted a police caution for gross indecency.

The church today published Abuse Of Faith, an independent review chaired by Dame Moira Gibb, which found that "Ball's conduct has caused serious and enduring damage to the lives of many men".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Church of England bosses helped to cover up former Bishop of Gloucester’s sexual offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Gloucestershire Live

BY ROBIN JENKINS
22 JUN 2017

Some of the Church of England’s most senior figures colluded with a disgraced former Bishop of Gloucester who tried to cover up his sexual offences.

The situation was revealed today in an independent report into Peter Ball’s abuse of boys and men over at least 20 years.

Dame Moira Gibb’s report revealed that one man, Neil Todd, killed himself in 2012 after being abused by Ball in Gloucester in 1992.

The expose of what happened, and the failure of the Church to respond appropriately to his misconduct, led to the current Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Rachel Treweek, saying she was “greatly shocked and distressed” by what she described as a “devastating account” of Ball’s abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Senior Church of England figures 'colluded' with bishop convicted of abusing young men to conceal his crimes

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

BY HELEN WILLIAM
RHIAN LUBIN
22 JUN 2017

Senior Church of England figures helped to hide the long-term sexual abuse of young men by one its bishops instead of helping victims, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

The Most Rev Justin Welby's statement came as the Church published Abuse Of Faith, an independent review of how it handled the case of Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes who was jailed for 32 months at the Old Bailey in 2015.

He pleaded guilty to a string of historical offences, including two counts of indecent assault.

The review, chaired by Dame Moira Gibb, found that "Ball's conduct has caused serious and enduring damage to the lives of many men".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Church 'colluded' with sex abuse bishop Peter Ball

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Senior figures in the Church of England "colluded" with a former bishop who abused young men, an independent review has found.

Peter Ball, who is now 85, was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 after admitting sex offences against 18 teenagers and young men.

The former bishop of Lewes and bishop of Gloucester carried out the abuse between the 1970s and 1990s

Dame Moira Gibb's review criticises ex-Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey.

He accepted the criticism and apologised to Ball's victims.

The review found Lord Carey received seven letters from families and individuals following the arrest and cautioning of Ball in 1992 for gross indecency - when he stood down as bishop of Gloucester - but failed to pass six of them to the police.

He also chose not to put Ball on the Church of England's "Lambeth List", which names clergymen about whom questions of suitability for ministry have been raised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Dissenting Indonesian priests seek Vatican help over bishop

INDONESIA
Vatican Radio

Nearly 70 of priests of Ruteng Diocese in eastern Indonesia have sought the mediation of the Vatican to help resolve a bitter dispute with their bishop, whom they accuse of misappropriating more than US$100,000 in church funds.

Representatives of the priests, accompanied by a bishops' conference official met Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi on June 16, seeking his help for a complete overhaul and transparency from Bishop Hubertus Leteng regarding how things are run in the diocese. The move comes after dozens of priests in the diocese on Catholic-majority Flores Island quit their posts in protest against their bishop.

Father Alfonsius Segar, one of the priests who met Arch. Filipazzi, told UCANEWS that the Holy See’s representative to Indonesia, has promised to help resolve the dispute. "He will immediately take this issue up with the Vatican," Father Segar said. The priest also said the nuncio will send someone to the diocese to appraise the situation. "We are looking forward to a swift Vatican decision on this," Father Segar added.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Antonius Agus Sriyono told Vatican Radio he was currently observing the crisis in Ruteng Diocese, but if “requested” he was ready “to become a mediator” of his government with the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Advocates confused and angry over handling of the Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
Legislative Gazette

Written by THOMAS GIERY PUDNEY, assistant editor on June 21, 2017

Activists pushing for the long-contested Child Victims Act were left wondering the motives of lawmakers after a week in which Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced and then questioned the chances, of his own program bill.

“The advocates feel his office hoodwinked us by appeasing victims with his program bill and than appeasing Cardinal Dolan and the church by killing his own bill,” said Gary Greenberg, founder of Fighting for Children Public Action Committee. “I say to this Governor Cuomo: shame on you!”

Greenberg is referring to comments made by Cuomo on a conference call with the press on Friday, two days after introducing his own program bill, that he “was not optimistic,” about its passage in the Senate.

“Cuomo needs to get back to Albany and pass a Child Victims Act,” added Greenberg. “He has disappeared from Albany the last few weeks, the governor has the power to stop 150 kids a day from being sexually abused in New York.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Sanford rabbi accused of impregnating teen

FLORIDA
ClickonOrlando

SANFORD, Fla. - A rabbi accused of molesting and impregnating a 15-year-old girl has been arrested, the Sanford Police Department said.

Investigators arrested Lloyd Haughton for sexual assault on a minor living in the custody of Haughton.

The Sanford Police Department said it was notified March 31 by the 15-year-old girl that Haughton had been molesting her for the past two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Sanford rabbi sexually assaults, impregnates minor, police say

FLORIDA
WESH

SANFORD, Fla. —
Sanford police arrested a rabbi for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor.

Authorities said a 15-year-old girl contacted them in March, telling police Lloyd Haughton, a rabbi affiliated with the Synagogue Beth Israel on Maple Avenue, had been molesting her for the past two years.

The victim told police Haughton touched her inappropriately.

When confronted and questioned about the incidents, police said Haughton denied all allegations.

In late April, investigators were informed by the victim's mother that the victim was pregnant with Haughton's child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Sanford rabbi charged with impregnating 15-year-old

FLORIDA
WFTV

[with video]

SANFORD, Fla. - A Sanford rabbi was arrested Wednesday on charges he molested a 15-year-old girl over the course of two years before impregnating her earlier this year, investigators said.

The investigation into Lloyd Haughton, who is affiliated with the Synagogue Beth Israel on South Maple Avenue, started on March 31, when the girl told police about the alleged abuse.

Officers questioned Haughton, who denied the allegations, the Sanford Police Department said in a media release.

Less than a month later, the girl’s mother contacted police and told them that her daughter was pregnant and claimed Haughton was the father.

The girl terminated her pregnancy, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement determined Wednesday that Haughton was the biological father of the fetus, investigators said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Sanford rabbi accused of molesting 15-year-old girl, police say

FLORIDA
Orlando Sentinel

Michael Williams

ASanford rabbi is accused of molesting and impregnating a 15-year-old girl who lived in his custody, according to the Sanford Police Department.

On March 31, authorities say, they began investigating Lloyd Haughton — a rabbi affiliated with Synagogue Beth Israel in Sanford, a Messianic congregation — after the victim told police that Haughton had been molesting her for the past two years.

On April 25, the victim’s mother told police that the 15-year-old was pregnant by Haughton, police said.

A blood test confirmed that Haughton was the father.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Le pape accusé d’avoir protégé des prêtres soupçonnés d’actes pédophil

ARGENTINA/ITALY
Le Monde

[Pope accused of protecting priests suspected of pedophile acts in Argentina and Italy]

Le scandale provoqué par la révélation des viols subis par des dizaines d’enfants sourds et muets dans un institut religieux d’Argentine éclabousse jusqu’au pape François.

LE MONDE | 19.06.2017

Par Christine Legrand (Mendoza (Argentine), envoyée spéciale, avec Jérôme Gautheret à Rome)

Le pape François a-t-il ignoré plusieurs alertes sur la présence, dans un institut pour enfants sourds-muets en Argentine – son pays d’origine –, de prêtres qui avaient été accusés de pédophilie lorsqu’ils officiaient pour le même institut en Italie ?

C’est ce qu’affirment des avocats représentant des enfants qui disent avoir été victimes d’agressions sexuelles dans l’institut catholique Provolo de Mendoza, au pied de la cordillère des Andes, à 980 kilomètres à l’ouest de Buenos Aires.

Selon Carlos Lombardi, conseiller de la Fédération des survivants des abus sexuels ecclésiastiques, le réseau L’Abuso, une association de victimes de pédophilie, avait fourni dès 2014 – quelques mois après l’élection au Vatican du pontife argentin Jorge Mario Bergoglio, le 13 mars 2013 – une liste de quinze prêtres qui auraient quitté l’institut Provolo de Vérone (Italie), la maison mère de l’établissement de Mendoza, après avoir été impliqués dans des scandales d’agressions sexuelles.

En savoir plus sur http://www.lemonde.fr/enquetes/article/2017/06/19/en-argentine-et-en-italie-un-scandale-de-pedophilie-entache-l-eglise_5147049_1653553.html#2Uxy14mZsqZTeDRc.99

Did Pope Francis help cover for pedophile priests in Argentina?

ITALY/FRANCE/ARGENTINA
La Croix

An Italian association of sexual abuse victims is seeking to prove that the Pope ignored several alerts to the presence of pedophile priests at an institute for deaf-mute children in Argentina, his country of origin.

Marie Malzac

Did Pope Francis cover up for pedophile priests at the Provolo Institute, an establishment for deaf-mute children in Mendoza at the foot of the Andes, 980 km to the west of Buenos Aires?

This question was raised by the French newspaper Le Monde on Monday, June 19, following accusations relating to the pope earlier over the matter of several days by an Italian association, the Federation of Survivors of Ecclesiastical Sexual Abuse.According to the Federation, Pope Francis was aware of the background of several priests suspected of having abused children in Italy who were later sent by their superiors to the Provolo Institute in Argentina.

These priests, who were arrested in November 2016, are now in prison.According to a document uncovered by the “L’abuso” network and other victims’ associations, the Vatican was made aware several times of the actions of the 14 priests from the Verona region. Moreover, at that time, Pope Francis was no longer in Argentina but at the Vatican since the first report dates to 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Justin Welby admits Church colluded and concealed abuse of children

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Thu 22 Jun 2017
By Marcus Jones

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued an unreserved apology after admitting the Church of England colluded and concealed the abuse committed by Bishop Peter Ball.

The Church has released the findings of an independent review into its handling of the abuse.

The review, titled 'An Abuse of Faith' was launched after Ball was sentenced in 2015 to 32 months' in prison after admitting the abuse of 18 children between 1977 and 1992.

He was released from prison earlier this year having served half his sentence.

The review by Dame Moira Gibb found the Church failed to respond appropriately while the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, Lord Carey, didn't listen to survivors of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

CHURCH OF ENGLAND HEAD SAYS IT 'COLLUDED WITH' SEX ABUSE

UNITED KINGDOM
Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- The head of the Church of England has said that the institution "colluded" with and helped to hide the long-term sexual abuse of young men by one of its former bishops.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, made the statement Thursday as the church published a review of how it handled the case of former bishop Peter Ball, who was convicted and imprisoned in 2015 after pleading guilty to offenses including two counts of indecent assault.

Welby said the report was "harrowing reading" and that the church didn't help those who were brave enough to come forward.

The report said Ball's conduct "caused serious and enduring damage to the lives of many men," and that "the church at its most senior levels and over many years supported him unwisely."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Bishop 'shocked' by Ball abuse report

UNITED KINGDOM
Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review

Thursday, 22 June 2017 By Mark Elson

THE Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Rev Rachel Treweek, says she is "greatly shocked and distressed" by the findings of an independent report into disgraced church leader Peter Ball.

‘An Abuse of Faith’, produced by Dame Moira Gibb, claims that senior figures in the Church of England "colluded" to cover up evidence of former Gloucester bishop Ball’s abuse of boys as young as 12.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is among those criticised in the report, which was commissioned by the church after Ball was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 for misconduct in public office and indecent assault. Ball was freed last February having served 16 months.

He was first reported to Gloucester Police by novice monk Neil Todd and others in 1992, but no charges were brought against him after police reportedly received supportive phone calls from MPs, former public school headmasters, magistrates and even a Lord Chief Justice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Anger at compensation delay for sex abuse victims in Northern Ireland

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Staff Reporter
June 22 2017

Victims of historical child abuse in Northern Ireland have been told they will not receive promised financial compensation for at least another 10 months because of the political crisis.

Many have been left devastated to discover that no provision was made in the 2017/18 budget to cover the scheme.

Politicians have been advised by the head of the Civil Service that, with no working Executive, it is unlikely any financial redress will be made before April 2018.

Financial payments were promised to victims more than a year ago.

Politicians have warned that many have been left suicidal or facing financial ruin as the current Stormont impasse means that the findings and recommendations of a four-year inquiry into State and Church abuse have still not been presented to the Assembly. The report, which was published just days before the Assembly collapsed in January, promised victims State-backed compensation payments of up to £100,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Church of England colluded in abuse by former bishop, says damning report

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

James Macintyre 22 June 2017

The Church of England 'colluded' with the former bishop Peter Ball over his abuse of young boys and men, a new independent report into Ball's case states.

The report, Abuse of Faith by the respected former social worker Dame Moira Gibb is damning of the Church's handling of the 84-year-old former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 after admitting a string of historical sex offences against 18 teenagers and young men.

The report has led to apologies from two former Archbishops of Canterbury, George Carey and Rowan Williams, over how they handled the allegations against Ball.

Following Ball's conviction, Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury commissioned the report into Ball, who was released from jail in February after serving 16 months.

'This report considers the serious sexual wrongdoing of Peter Ball...who abused many boys and men over a period of twenty years or more. That is shocking in itself but it is compounded by the failure of the Church to respond appropriately to his misconduct, again over a period of many years,' Dame Moira writes in the report's foreword.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Senior church figures 'colluded' with disgraced bishop Peter Ball to cover up sex offences, report finds

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Olivia Rudgard, religious affairs correspondent
22 JUNE 2017

Senior church figures "colluded" with a disgraced bishop to cover up evidence of his sex offences, a report has found.

The report, the result of a year-long enquiry by Dame Moira Gibb, found that senior figures "trivialised" the actions of the disgraced bishop and sought to protect its reputation by covering up evidence of further abuse.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has been heavily criticised by a damning report which condemns the Church of England over its handling of the case of bishop Peter Ball, who was convicted of sex offences in 2015.

The former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester admitted abusing boys as young as 12. He was released from prison earlier this year.

The report found that Lord Carey wrote to Peter Ball's twin brother Bishop Michael Ball in 1993, after Peter Ball had accepted a caution for gross indecency, saying he believed he was "basically innocent".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Church of England colluded with bishop who abused boys, says Welby

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent

Thursday 22 June 2017

Senior figures in the Church of England colluded for a period of 20 years with a disgraced former bishop who sexually abused boys and men, a damning independent report has found.

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the report on the church’s handling of former bishop Peter Ball made “harrowing reading”.

“The church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward. This is inexcusable and shocking behaviour,” he said.

“To the survivors who were brave enough to share their story and bring Peter Ball to justice, I once again offer an unreserved apology. There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systemic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades.”

Two former archbishops of Canterbury, George Carey and Rowan Williams, apologised to the victims of Peter Ball after being criticised for their failures in relation to him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Bishop Peter Hancock statement at Peter Ball review press conference

UNITED KINGDOM
Church of England

The first thing I want to say at the start of this Press Conference is that I am truly sorry that as a Church we failed the survivors of the abuse perpetrated by Bishop Peter Ball. Having read the report I am appalled and deeply disturbed by its contents. As Dame Moira says in her foreword, Peter Ball abused boys and men over a 20 year period and as a Church we colluded, we failed to act and protect those who came forward for help. There are no excuses.

The Church of England commissioned this review so we could learn from it and this detailed account of what went on provides a clear picture both of Peter Ball's abusive actions and our
woeful response.

Whilst this is about moving forward - making the Church a safer place for all in 2017 and beyond - nevertheless we have taken very seriously the comments and criticisms in the report of some senior church figures and where appropriate have taken further action. Relating to this it was very disappointing to hear about a leak of a private letter this morning from the Archbishop to Lord Carey, when the focus should be on the survivors.

As the Lead Bishop for Safeguarding I am hugely conscious of the importance of the first recommendation that our bishops must take steps to demonstrate our individual and collective accountability for the safety and protection of all within the church.

In his statement the Archbishop of Canterbury makes it very clear that he is taking a lead on this, as Dame Moira recommends, working with me and the National Safeguarding Team. Every bishop has therefore been sent the report this morning and it is now online for everyone to read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Independent report into the Church’s handling of Peter Ball case

UNITED KINGDOM
Church of England

22 June 2017

An Abuse of Faith, the independent report by Dame Moira Gibb into the Church's handling of the Bishop Peter Ball case, has been published today. Peter Ball was convicted in 2015 of misconduct in public office and indecent assaults against teenagers and young men. The report was commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, following the conviction.

In her foreword Dame Moira states:

"This report considers the serious sexual wrongdoing of Peter Ball, a bishop of the Church of England who abused many boys and men over a period of twenty years or more. That is shocking in itself but is compounded by the failure of the Church to respond appropriately to his misconduct, again over a period of many years. Ball's priority was to protect and promote himself and he maligned the abused. The Church colluded with that rather than seeking to help those he had harmed, or assuring itself of the safety of others.

We were asked to consider changes necessary to ensure that safeguarding in the Church is of the highest possible standard. The Church has made significant progress in recent years in its understanding of abuse. We have no doubt that the Church has a genuine commitment to meeting its responsibilities towards the victims of abuse. However we can see how difficult it is to make change across the complex structures of the Church. Progress has been slow and continuing, faster improvement is still required. It is the leadership of the Archbishops and Bishops which will determine whether change is effective."

The report has 11 recommendations for the Church focusing on a range of issues including focusing on getting the right support in place for survivors, the leadership of bishops, strengthening guidance, reviewing the Archbishops' Lists and the effectiveness of our disciplinary measures with regards to safeguarding related cases.

Receiving the report on behalf of the Church, Bishop Peter Hancock, the CofE's lead safeguarding bishop, said: "I am truly sorry that as a Church we failed the survivors of Peter Ball; having read the report I am appalled and disturbed by its contents; as Dame Moira says in her foreword Peter Ball abused boys and men over a 20 year period and as a Church we colluded, we failed to act and protect those who came forward for help. There are no excuses. We accept all the recommendations and are working to action them.

"For the survivors, it may feel this is all too late. I am personally aware from my meetings with individual survivors in the course of my work that they live with the effects of this abuse for their whole life. I once again offer them my wholehearted apology. This Report affirms the direction and steps that we have taken to improve the consistency, robustness and rigour of our practice, but progress has been too slow. It has taken longer than it should have done, but we are absolutely committed to implementing Dame Moira's recommendations and my role as lead bishop is to ensure this happens."

Statement from Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

"Abuse of Faith makes harrowing reading: the Church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward. This is inexcusable and shocking behaviour and although Dame Moira notes that most of the events took place many years ago, and does not think that the Church now would conduct itself in the ways described we can never be complacent, we must learn lessons. I fully endorse the recommendations in the report and will ensure that the House of Bishops addresses how we can implement these as soon as possible, working with the National Safeguarding Team. For the survivors who were brave enough to share their story and bring Peter Ball to justice, I once again offer an unreserved apology. There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systemic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades."

If you are affected by this report and want to talk to someone in the Church, your local diocese has a safeguarding adviser or team who can be contacted via the relevant diocesan website. Alternatively, please email the National Safeguarding Team at safeguarding@churchofengland.org. If you want to talk to someone outside of the Church of England you can call the CCPAS helpline on 0303 003 11 11

Notes

Full statement from Bishop Peter Hancock read at press conference

October 2015

Archbishop commissions independent review of Peter Ball case
https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2015/10/archbishop-commissions-independent-review-of-peter-ball-case.aspx

Statement on sentencing of Peter Ball
https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2015/10/statement-on-the-sentencing-of-peter-ball.aspx

Feb 2016

Dame Moira Gibb announced as Chair of independent review into Peter Ball case
https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2016/02/dame-moira-gibb-announced-as-chair-of-independent-review-into-peter-ball-case.aspx

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Church of England failed child victims of sexual abuse while 'colluding' with disgraced

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Tom Batchelor @_tombatchelor

The Church of England “concealed” evidence of child abuse by a former bishop stretching over two decades, archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said, following a major independent review.

The report, Abuse of Faith, found senior figures in the church “displayed little care” for the victims of disgraced Peter Ball, who was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 after admitting carrying out a string of historical sex offences against teenage boys and young men in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

Dame Moira Gibb, its author, said the Church's "failure to safeguard so many boys and young men still casts a long shadow".

"Ball's priority was to protect and promote himself and he maligned the abused," the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Montreal’s Catholic Church will fingerprint priests who work with children

CANADA
VICE News

By Rachel Browne on Jun 21, 2017

In an attempt to protect young and vulnerable parishioners from abuse, the Catholic Church of Montreal will start fingerprinting all priests before they work with children.

New rules announced this week will require priests to provide digital fingerprints, and expands on a pilot project called “Responsible Pastoral Ministry” launched within 10 churches in the city last year that imposed screening processes for those working and volunteering within the diocese. All churches in the jurisdiction will have to follow these rules, which prohibits an adult from being alone with children, by 2020.

“If someone would like to do something wrong or abuse anyone, knowing there’s all this filtering, they won’t ask to become volunteers in our church,” Bertrand Montpetit, a pastor at a church in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, told reporters.

It’s all a response to allegations of rampant sexual abuse of children at the hands of Catholic priests in Montreal — and around the world.

In March, a 55-year-old Montreal priest was charged with multiple accounts of sexual assault and touching of three children. Father Brian Boucher was very involved with activities at the church, including assisting youth during confirmations and first communions. The Archdiocese of Montreal denounced any violence within the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Granger reeling from priest issue

WASHINGTON
Daily Sun

By John Fannin Wednesday, June 14, 2017

GRANGER — Area residents are still in shock over a local priest’s dismissal following allegations of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Gustavo Gomez Santos, 51, served Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 604 E. Ave., and offered Spanish-language mass in Mabton. He was removed from ministry in the Roman Catholic Church, Yakima Diocese.

Bishop Joseph Tyson said the action was taken because the allegation of sexual abuse of a minor “… was determined to be credible,” Tyson said.

“The whole situation is bad for the victims, the priest, the whole church,” said Al Ramos, who attends mass in Zillah. “It’s bad for everybody.”

Gomez Santos was placed on leave May 5 after Yakima County Sheriff’s Office detectives shared an interview with a 21-year-old former Mattawa resident who reported he had been fondled by the priest five or six years earlier, while the priest was serving as pastor of St.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Advocates Say Fight for Child Victims Act Not Over

NEW YORK
Spectrum News

By Sarah Blazonis
Updated Wednesday, June 21, 2017

AMHERST, N.Y. -- It can take decades for people who were sexually abused as children to reach a point where they're ready to come forward and tell their story.

Thomas Travers says he was a boy when he tried to report what happened to him.

"I came forward when I was that age. I was told I was a liar. I was told that what happened to me did not happen, that a priest would never do that to a child," said Travers.

He was 48 before he was ready to talk again — 25 years too late to take legal action. Right now, state law sets the statute of limitations on child sex abuse civil actions at the victim's 23rd birthday.

"An age limit of 23 is both unrealistic and archaic. People who are abused as children, studies show more often than not, repress those memories, and they can resurface as late as someone's 40s, 50s," said attorney William Lorenz, Jr.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Priest at Belfast school quizzed pupils about sex - report criticises child prote

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Allan Preston
June 22 2017

A west Belfast school has been criticised for multiple weaknesses in its child protection measures after three pupils complained when a priest invited to the school asked them sexual questions in confession.

An independent review - ordered by De La Salle College's Board of Governors in January - detailed several flaws in how the school dealt with the childrens' complaints.

This included delays in reporting complaints to police, poor record keeping, and a lack of understanding of child protection issues.

The report centres on a visit by a Dublin priest to De La Salle College during May 2013, and of alleged inappropriate sexual conversations with three children.

The pupils complained separately to school authorities in June 2013, September 2014 and March 2015.

Lawsuit: Boy abused more than 100 times, victim was 7 when it started

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon |For The Guam Daily Post Jun 22, 2017

A former Guam resident filed a civil lawsuit in the District Court of Guam yesterday alleging he was sexually abused by a priest “more than 100 times” beginning on his 7th birthday.

Now residing in Oregon, the plaintiff, using his initials J.A., sued the Archdiocese of Agana, alleging he was subject to three years of sexual molestation and rape by father Ray Techaira, who is now deceased.

Techaira was the priest assigned to the Nino Perdido y Sagrada Familia Catholic Church in Asan where J.A. and his family regularly attended Mass and volunteered their services at the parish, court documents state.

In 1984, J.A. was helping his grandfather wipe down the church pews when Techaira allegedly instructed the boy to go to the Asan rectory because the priest wanted to give the boy a birthday gift.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Latest lawsuit names new priest, parish

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Jun 22, 2017

By Krystal Paco

It appeared prayers were answered weeks ago when parties expressed optimism for out-of-court settlement for dozens of clergy sex abuse cases.

Today, it appears these talks - at least for those cases filed by attorney David Lujan - have come to a screeching halt.

Late this afternoon, the attorney filed yet another $5 million lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana.

The latest lawsuit names a new priest and parish.

He kept his secret because it would make him a "good Catholic."

Or at least that's what Father Ray Techaira would tell J.A. after he was sexually abused.

J.A. marks the 78th victim to file suit against the Archdiocese of Agana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

New lawsuit alleges Father Ray Techaira allegedly raped and molested boy more than 100 times

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com June 22, 2017

A 14th Guam priest is accused of raping and sexually molesting a boy more than 100 times in the 1980s, starting on the boy's seventh birthday, in a lawsuit filed Thursday, June 22.

Father Ray Techaira allegedly raped and sexually molested the boy from 1984 through 1987, the lawsuit filed in the District Court of Guam says. Techaira is now dead, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as J.A. to protect his identity, is now 40 years old and is living in Oregon.

J.A., represented by attorney David Lujan, demands a jury trial and $5 million in minimum damages.

The alleged rape and molestation happened mostly at the Nino Perdido y Sagrada Familia Catholic Church in Asan, the lawsuit says.

"From approximately 1984 through 1987, around the ages of 7 through 10, J.A. was sexually molested and raped by Techaira more than one-hundred times," the lawsuit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Before Her Teacher’s Murder, This ‘Keepers’ Witness Was Already Living A Nightmare

UNITED STATES
WBHM

[with audio]

Posted 06-21-2017 by Kelly McEvers

This story includes content some readers may find disturbing.

Who killed Sister Cathy Cesnik? The Baltimore nun and school teacher was murdered in 1969, and in the Netflix documentary series The Keepers, her students tell a troubling story of abuse by priests, alleged police complicity and a possible cover-up by the Catholic Church.

Jean Wehner is one of those students. She attended Archbishop Keough High School in the late 1960s. Wehner tells NPR that she was “systematically abused, manipulated, raped, conditioned by [school chaplain] Joseph Maskell for a good year and a half before any of this with Sister Cathy happened.”

Wehner buried her memories of the abuse, and they stayed buried until 1992, when she began to remember things — like telling Cesnik about what was happening to her. After their conversation, Cesnik transferred to a different school, then disappeared. She was found dead nearly two months later. Her murder remains unsolved.

Wehner believes Cesnik may have been killed for knowing too much, but Maskell always maintained his innocence in both the killing and any abuse allegations. (He died in 2001.) The Archdiocese of Baltimore denied that there was any cover-up, but they have paid nearly $500,000 in settlements to 16 people (including Wehner) who accused Maskell of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

June 21, 2017

Nuns ‘could find no evidence’ of abuse at Smyllum, Lanark

SCOTLAND
Carluke Gazette

Heart-rending allegations of decades of maltreatment at Lanark’s former Smyllum Orphanage featured in the very first sitting of what will be a marathon inquiry into historical child abuse in Scotland.

Nearly four decades after the institution closed its doors, the now-ageing former occupants of the orphanage finally had their long-awaited day in court as the Scottish child abuse inquiry got under way in Edinburgh last week.

But it is understood that there is anger among those who term themselves ‘survivors’ of Smyllum Orphanage at some of the evidence given at the hearing by members of the religious order that ran the institution, the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

There were audible groans from the public benches at their claims that Smyllum’s punishment and medical records could not now be found despite a search of the order’s archives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 PM

Time bar on abuse payouts to be lifted

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The three-year limit on survivors of childhood abuse suing for damages is to be scrapped by MSPs.

The move will allow victims of abuse dating back as far as 1964 to seek compensation for their injuries though the civil courts.

Victims currently have just three years from the date of their injury - or from their 16th birthday - to bring a court action.

The limit will be removed by the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Bill.

The bill is likely to be unanimously approved when MSPs vote in the Scottish Parliament later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

Who killed Sister Cathy, and faith in the Catholic Church?

UNITED STATES
Lexington Herald-Leader

BY MIKE RIVAGE-SEUL

You really ought to see “The Keepers.” It will scare the hell out of you — especially if you’re a Catholic. The Netflix docuseries in seven parts tells the story of an unsolved murder of a young Catholic nun in Baltimore. The apparent perps were two Catholic priests.

I watched the film with one of my sisters who had attended Catholic schools for 12 years. “The Keepers” became our point of discussion for our two days together. Its portrayal of the cynical use of religion to exploit innocent children had us discussing Catholic schools, the pedophilia scandal, confession, outdated church teachings in general — and especially the exclusion of women from church leadership.

We found ourselves sympathizing with those (including close friends and relatives) who have left the church as irredeemably corrupt. No wonder, we agreed, “former Catholics” represent the second largest religious “denomination” in the country (with 22.8 million), behind members of the official Catholic church at 68.1 million.

“The Keepers” investigates the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a high school English teacher, who disappeared shortly after confronting authorities about widespread sexual abuse at the prestigious Keough Girls’ High School in Baltimore. Two chaplains there used the confessional to identify young females who would be vulnerable to their sexual depredations. Eventually they ended up sharing their victims with school outsiders, including police officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 PM

Pastor arrested for sexual assault of a child

TEXAS
Hay Free Press

Members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force arrested a Buda man who works as an east Austin assistant pastor on indictments of sexual assault of a child in Hays and Nueces Counties.

Ruben Garcia, 59, of Buda, was arrested by the Task Force June 12 and was booked into the Hays County Jail. Garcia is being held on $300,000 bond.

Garcia, who was on the run for the past two months, was the subject of an arrest warrant stemming from a 2015 sexual assault of a child investigation by the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office, according to the release.

A Hays County Grand Jury indicted Garcia in April on two separate counts of sexual assault of a child, along with one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact. Those indictments stemmed from an investigation that began in early 2016.

According to the release, Task Force officers established surveillance at the Betania Baptist Church on Tillery Street in east Austin. Garcia worked as an associate pastor at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 PM

Church youth leader admitted to fondling child, say investigators

TEXAS
Fox San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO - A church youth leader was arrested and charged with fondling a child who later told a school counselor about the alleged incidents.

According to court documents, the child told the counselor that the youth leader, identified as Omar Roman Salas, 25, undressed and touched him at a home a few months ago.

During the second incident in early May, the alleged victim claimed Salas performed a sex act on him.

The counselor called the victim's mother and she confronted the church pastor, who told police Salas had admitted to fondling the victim.

Salas is charged with sexual assault of a child. The church where he led a youth group is not named in court papers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 PM

4 S.A. men arrested on sexual assault of a child charges within 24 hours

TEXAS
San Antonio Express News

Four San Antonio men were arrested Tuesday on charges of sexual assault of a child in connection with four separate cases of abuse.

Omar Roman Salas, 25; Johnny Gonzales, Jr., 30; Brandon May, 30; and Kenneth Perez, 36, are the accused suspects in the cases.

All four men were booked into the Bexar County Jail on Tuesday evening. Salas and Gonzales are being held on $50,000 bail each, May and Perez on $75,000 bail each.

Salas, a youth minister at a local church, is accused of fondling and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy that goes to the same church. The first incident allegedly occurred sometime in April, when the victim spent the night at Salas' home.

The second incident occurred around May 5 or 6, again while the victim was spending the night at Salas' house. The victim told Salas he was uncomfortable with what happened the first time and didn't want it to happen again, according to police records. Salas allegedly assaulted the boy anyway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 PM

Former Christian Brother guilty of indecent assault of school boys

IRELAND
Irish Times

David Raleigh

A former Christian brother who would “lick” his pupils ears while sexually abusing them in class, has been found guilty by a jury of 15 counts of indecent assault.

James Treacy (75), with an address at Ashford Close, Swords, Dublin, showed no emotion as a jury at Limerick Circuit Court found him guilty, by unanimous decision, of abusing three male victims.

The court heard evidence from the victims, who were aged ten years old and in fifth class at the time.

The victims said he would abuse them in front of one another while he taught a “military style” class. His modus operandi, the court heard, was to place his hands down the front of the boys trousers and fondle their privates.

One victim told the court: “It was a military style class. What I mean by that is that we had to be neat and clean; Our hair had to be cut and we had to clean our ears, and if you’re ears weren’t clean, he would actually lick your ears.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

BISHOP DIMARZIO’S WRITTEN STATEMENT IRCP

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn

I am announcing a significant new step in the ongoing effort of the Diocese of Brooklyn to address the wounds of those sexually abused by members of the clergy. It is called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP). It is one more way our diocese, which serves Brooklyn and Queens, can acknowledge the harm that was done by those who were priests or deacons and show our solidarity with survivors. Our Program is modeled after the program recently launched by the Archdiocese of New York. Compensation decisions will be made by Kenneth R. Feinberg who administered numerous high-profile compensation programs, including the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the compensation fund for the victims of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, served as a mediator for sexual abuse cases for Penn State University and administered many other corporate and charitable independent compensation programs. Mr. Feinberg will have total independence in his decisions.

Throughout my time as a diocesan bishop, first in Camden and then in Brooklyn and Queens, I have met with more than 50 survivors. It is difficult to hear about the pain caused by the criminal behavior of members of the clergy. I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this program is a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends. We hope it will help with the healing process and bring survivors some element of healing.

The Diocese of Brooklyn will continue all of our past efforts to support survivors. Those efforts include paying the cost of therapy provided by independent professionals who are unaffiliated with the Church, offering various support groups, providing monthly prayer groups, and holding our annual Mass of Hope and Healing.

Four years ago, survivors of clergy abuse in the Diocese of Brooklyn formed a “Survivors Advisory Committee.” This program, along with all of our outreach efforts, has been discussed with this group of survivors. I will continue to listen to and be guided by these survivors in developing new ways to respond to the needs of victims.

I wish to assure every parishioner and every donor to our diocese in Brooklyn and Queens that not a penny of their contributions or bequests will go toward compensating victims of abuse. The Diocese will take out a loan to cover for the cost, and pay it back with rental income. The Diocese will not use money given by the faithful to support parishes, schools, charitable works, ministries, apostolates, or the Generations of Faith fundraising campaign. The financial burden will rightly be felt by the central diocesan administration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Breaking: Diocese of Brooklyn announces Dolan-esque compensation plan

NEW YORK
The Worthy Adversary

June 21, 2017 Joelle Casteix

And the corpse of the New York Child Victims Act isn’t even cool yet.

Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio (pictured above) has issued a written statement announcing an Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Plan mirroring that of Cardinal Dolan’s IRCP across the river.

These plans compensate victims for the child sex abuse they suffered, while keeping documents, evidence, and some wrong-doers names secret.

The plan will also be administered by Kenneth Feinberg.

This Brooklyn announcement was the world’s best unkept secret. Victims from Brooklyn have been getting calls from the diocese for months.

And considering the dirty deals that just went down in Albany with the death of the Child Victims’ Act, survivors and advocates were pretty sure that “promises were made.” Perhaps these plans were part of those promises.

I have met with Ken Feinberg (and brought a crew of experts much smarter than I am) in order to do due diligence about the Archdiocese’s plan and its execution. I’ve also watched the roll-out of Phases One and Two.

- See more at: http://theworthyadversary.com/4578-breaking-diocese-of-brooklyn-announces-dolan-esque-compensation-plan#sthash.xxOLwYtM.dpuf

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

AP, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER SEEK ACCESS IN CHURCH BEATING CASE

NORTH CAROLINA
Associated Press

BY MITCH WEISS AND HOLBROOK MOHR
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Associated Press and the Charlotte Observer filed legal motions Wednesday to gain access to documents and lift a gag order in the case of a North Carolina minister accused of orchestrating the beating of a congregant to expel his "homosexual demons."

The motions filed by the news outlets are related to the case of Brooke Covington, a minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina. She is charged with kidnapping and assaulting Matthew Fenner in the church's sanctuary.

Covington is accused of urging others to slap, punch and choke Fenner for nearly two hours in January 2013 in a practice known as "blasting," which involves intense screaming meant to drive out devils.

Judge Gary Gavenus declared a mistrial June 6 after the jury foreman brought unauthorized documents into deliberations. The judge sealed those documents and issued a gag order preventing witnesses, prosecutors, defense attorneys and jurors from discussing the case.

One of the news organizations' motions, filed in Rutherford County Superior Court, called the gag order "a blanket, unconstitutional prior restraint on speech which would effectively and improperly curtail public discussion of this case by anyone with knowledge of the case."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Un sondaggio sulla pedofilia boccia Bergoglio

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

Stando ai servizi della tv italiana, si direbbe che Bergoglio goda di una popolarità a dir poco straordinaria: semplice, alla mano, bonaccione, pronto a farsi delle belle e sonore risate, appare proprio come un nonnino universale, un vicino di pianerottolo, un buon parroco di campagna, se non addirittura un rivoluzionario dei costumi vaticani senza precedenti storici. L’apparenza inganna, mai proverbio fu più vero e potremmo constatarlo tutti se soltanto la stampa facesse parlare anche i suoi detrattori. Lo prova un sondaggio realizzato dalla Rete L’Abuso fondata e diretta da Francesco Zanardi e incentrato proprio sulla sua persona: Giorgio Bergoglio alias papa Francesco.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Netflix drama The Keepers stirs memories of school murder

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 22, 2017

JUSTIN BURKE
JournalistSydney
@justinburke

For Sydney teacher Denise ­Imwold, the recent true-crime ­series The Keepers was a traumatic viewing experience.

The seven-part documentary, aired on Netflix, focuses on the unsolved 1969 murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a teacher at a Baltimore high school. Ms Imwold was taught English and drama by Cesnik at the school in the years ­immediately preceding her death.

“After watching the first four episodes, I got an emotional hangover,” she said. “Sister Cathy was my teacher, and seeing the school corridors I had walked up and down so many times, and the faces I knew, I felt like I’d gone in a time warp, thinking: did all this ­really happen?”

The series explores the theory that Cesnik was killed to ensure her silence about students being sexually abused at the school by Father Joseph Maskell, who died in 2001. Jean Wehner, a classmate of Ms Imwold’s younger sister, is featured claiming that Maskell took her to see Cesnik’s body in the woods and telling her: “You see what happens when you say bad things about people?”

While Netflix refuses to confirm viewing figures, the low-key series is believed to have been in the top 10 most streamed shows alongside Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.

Ms Imwold says she had no notion of sexual abuse going on at the school, known as Keough, but she remembered Cesnik, then in her early 20s, as a passionate teacher and a gifted writer.

“Six months before she died, she directed me in a production of The Sound of Music; the irony was she was basically in the same position as the character Maria, about to embark on a leave of ­absence from the convent.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

The 7 Most Interesting Updates In The Murder And Abuse Cases Of 'The Keepers' Since The Series Aired

UNITED STATES
Movie Pilot

By Emily Browne, writer at CREATORS.CO
Twitter: @emrbrowne

Major spoilers for The Keepers ahead. Proceed with caution.

If you haven't binge-watched Netflix series The Keepers yet, stop what you're doing right now and get on it — but come back when you're done! For those that have finished the seven-episode series, you are probably now in the same boat as me, hitting up Google, Reddit and Facebook for any of the latest developments in the Sister Cathy Cesnik and Joyce Malecki murder cases. The series — which delves into Cathy's brutal murder, as well as the alleged sex abuse which took place at Keogh High School in the 1960s — broke open a 40-year-old cold case, primarily thanks to two retired former Keogh students who were determined to discover the truth about Sister Cathy's death.

What followed was monolithic power structures being weakened by the voices of victims determined to seek justice some 30 years later. In 1992, "Jane Doe" came forward with testimony stating that she was taken to see Sister Cathy's body by her primary abuser Father Joseph Maskell. It was there that he threatened her, saying "See what happens when you say bad things about people." As the case unfolded, more and more was revealed about the possible suspects, as well as events leading up to the discovery of Sister Cathy's body in January 1970. However, the series failed to solve the case entirely, but that doesn't mean it's over. Since the completion of The Keepers, there have been further intriguing updates which add yet more depth to this gripping case.

1. Maryland's Statute of Limitations Has Been Extended

In Episode 7, 'The Conclusion', we saw survivors of Maskell's crimes (as well as other sex abuse victims) attempt to pass a bill which would extend the statute of limitations past the age of 25. The bill finally passed this year, and from July 1, 2017, victims in Maryland have until the age of 38 to sue their abusers. This is obviously a huge step in the right direction for those suffering with repressed memories, and will hopefully see more victims feel empowered to come forward in future.

2. The Exhumation of Maskell's Body

Just before The Keepers hit Netflix, Father Joseph Maskell's body was exhumed to test his DNA against that which was found at the original crime scene. As DNA is so much more advanced now than it was in 1970, Baltimore Police were able to conclude that the (assumed) cigarette butt found at the scene of the crime did not match Maskell's DNA. While this is an important update, the series all but ruled out Maskell as the murderer, instead looking at two other men who were far more likely to have carried out the crime itself. Whether there are plans to test the DNA against either of them is unclear.

3. There Is A Brand New Facebook Group Moderated by Gemma Hoskins

The Justice For Sister Catherine Cesnik and Joyce Malecki Facebook page — which featured heavily in the series as a way to connect amateur sleuths and possible victims — was closed down a few days after The Keepers aired. The site was inundated with requests, and Hoskins told the Baltimore Sun that, "It was necessary to close the page temporarily due to a traffic jam and a technical glitch." However, there is a brand new Facebook group open to everyone called The Keepers Official Group — Justice for Catherine Cesnik and Joyce Malecki where information pertinent to the case can be discussed and shared. The group currently has 82,000 members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Albany Republicans Kill The Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
Village Voice

by LAUREN EVANS

JUNE 21, 2017

The Child Victims Act will not be voted on this legislative session, despite a monumental push from survivors and lawmakers, and even a program bill from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan confirmed to reporters yesterday that the bill was done for the year. “It’s under discussion, but the senate is not going to be taking that bill up,” he said.

Advocates of the CVA had high hopes that this would be the year the bill — a version of which has existed since 2006 — would finally get passed, particularly after one Republican, State Senator James Tedisco, signaled his support for it. Earlier this month, the legislation passed the state assembly for the first time since 2008, and last week Cuomo introduced his own version that matched the assembly’s.

The act, though, has powerful detractors. The Catholic Church has worked diligently to keep the bill from passing, fearing a deluge of costly lawsuits. The Boy Scouts of America shelled out $12,500 per month since February to the lobbying firm of a former state senator in an effort to have it killed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 PM

Abuse victims told no financial compensation for at least another 10 months

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

June 21 2017

Victims of historical child abuse in Northern Ireland have been told they will not receive promised financial compensation for at least another 10 months because of the political crisis.

Many have been left devastated to discover that no provision was made in the 2017/18 budget to cover the scheme.

Politicians have been advised by the head of the civil service that with no working executive, it is unlikely any financial redress will be made before April 2018.

Financial payments were promised to victims more than a year ago.

Victims have warned that many have been left suicidal or facing financial ruin as the current Stormont impasse means that the findings and recommendations of a four-year inquiry into state and church abuse have still not been presented to the assembly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Another church official resigns

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Louella Losinio | The Guam Daily Post

"The archdiocese confirms that Monsignor James Benavente has submitted his resignation as delegate of coadjutor archbishop for church patrimony." – Statement from the Archdiocese of Agana

Monsignor James Benavente has resigned as delegate of the coadjutor archbishop for church patrimony of the Archdiocese of Agana.

"The archdiocese confirms that Monsignor James Benavente has submitted his resignation as delegate of coadjutor archbishop for church patrimony. The archbishop is praying for Monsignor James and has not made any decision on the resignation at this time," according to an official statement from the archdiocese.

Benavente is the second recent church official to step down from his post. On June 18, Monsignor David C. Quitugua also resigned as a member of the College of Consultors.

"Archbishop Byrnes withdrew Quitugua's membership in the College of Consultors in light of the current climate in the Church on the island," the archdiocese stated. "He extends prayers to Monsignor David."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

'Systemic failures' let priests abuse boys at Fife school

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

CHRIS MARSHALL

21 June 2017

A religious order has apologised for “systemic failures” which allowed paedophile priests to abuse boys at a residential school.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry heard safeguarding measures put in place by the Christian Brothers at St Ninian’s school in Fife fell “well short” of what would be expected today.

Last year two former teachers were jailed for a total of 15 years after being convicted of the physical and sexual abuse of boys in their care.

Appearing before the inquiry in Edinburgh on behalf of the Christian Brothers, Michael Madigan said the congregation acknowledged with “deepest regret” that children had been abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Researcher calls for public inquiry into medical experimentation on students not compensated in settlement agreement

CANADA
APTN National News

Paul Barnsley
APTN Investigates

After he published his research in 2013 exposing medical experimentation on students at residential schools involving withholding of certain foods, the invitations started coming in for Dr. Ian Mosby.

“A lot of communities wanted me to come and explain to people myself, in person,” he said, during an interview in Toronto.

Mosby heard repeatedly that former students felt vindicated by his findings.

“People have been telling these stories of experimentation, of abuse, of all sorts of things that have now been documented by historians like myself. But people could have believed what survivors were saying a long time ago, and I think we would be a lot further than we are right now,” he added.

The stories he heard about more recent events involve complaints about how survivors were treated under the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), the system created under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to compensate survivors for sexual or severe physical abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Is it possible to get a fair trial if you're a priest accused of sexual abuse?

WEST VIRGINIA
WCPO

PAULA CHRISTIAN
Jun 21, 2017

David Harper was 10 years old when a Catholic priest and family friend allegedly woke him in the middle of the night in a rectory bedroom and raped him.

For nearly two decades, Harper, now 35, told no one about what allegedly happened on his trip with Robert "Father Bob" Poandl to Spencer, West Virginia in August 1991, where Poandl celebrated Mass as a visiting priest and Harper served as altar boy.

When his allegations emerged years later, Poandl, of the Fairfield-based Glenmary Home Missioners, was charged and convicted in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati of taking a minor across state lines for sexual activity. He was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.

Now as Poandl, 76, is being treated for life-threatening kidney cancer at a federal medical center in Butner, North Carolina, he is seeking to overturn that conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Quick progress report on the Church's finances

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jun 19, 2017

By Krystal Paco

In simple terms, Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes says, "We have maxed out our credit cards and payment is due."

Positive news to report, however, as he announces the Archdiocese's financial advisors have developed an acceptable plan to bring the Church back to good economic health. While the plan won't be unveiled until coming weeks, he says, "We will all need to make sacrifices, big and small... I firmly believe we will emerge as a stronger church and Archdiocese."

He also stresses that no parish or school funds are being used to pay for the Archdiocese's legal fees as a result of over 70 clergy sex abuse lawsuits. The pastoral letter was printed in a recent Umatuna Si Yu'os, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Agana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Senate leader: Child victims act won't get a vote

NEW YORK
Post-Star

ALBANY — The leader of the New York state Senate says his chamber will not vote this year on a measure loosening the statute of limitations for molestation.

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan of Long Island announced his decision to reporters on Tuesday without explanation.

The proposal would have given victims more time to file civil lawsuits or seek criminal charges against their abusers. It also would have created a one-year window for past victims to file civil suits.

Victims now have until they turn 23 to sue, but supporters say it often takes far longer for victims to report their abuse.

The bill was supported by the Assembly and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo but faced strong opposition from the Catholic Church and other institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

NY Senate won't take up Child Victim's Act

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Jon Campbell , jcampbell1@gannett.com June 20, 2017

ALBANY - A bill to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes will not get a vote in the state Senate before lawmakers leave town this week, according to the Senate's Republican leader.

Majority Leader John Flanagan, R-Suffolk County, told reporters Tuesday that the Senate would not take up the Child Victim's Act, which supporters have pushed as a way for abuse survivors to seek charges or civil cases after they've grown older.

“It’s under discussion, but the Senate is not going to be taking that bill up," Flanagan said after exiting a meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders.

Versions of the bill have bounced around at the Capitol for more than a decade, but none have yet to make it through both houses of the Legislature.

The Assembly approved a version of the bill on June 7 that would allow abuse victims to seek criminal charges until they turn age 28, up from the current 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

State Senate Republicans kill the Child Victims Act again as majority leader says bill won't get a vote this year

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
GLENN BLAIN
KENNETH LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ALBANY — State Senate Republicans once again turned their backs on child sex abuse victims.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan responded “yes” when asked Tuesday afternoon if the Child Victims Act is done for the year.

“It's under discussion, but the Senate is not going to be taking that bill up,” Flanagan told reporters.

Flanagan killed the bill’s chances a day after the hopes of survivors for a vote before the legislative session’s scheduled end on Wednesday were raised by Sen. James Tedisco, of Schenectady, who became the first Senate Republican to come out in favor of the Child Victims Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Monsignor Benavente resigns as archbishop delegate

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com June 21, 2017

Monsignor James L.G. Benavente has resigned as delegate to the archbishop for church patrimony, a post he held since Oct. 1.

The position has oversight over properties of the Archdiocese of Agana, working with the reconstituted Archdiocesan Finance Council.

"I write this letter to let you know that after much prayer and reflection I have decided to tender my letter of resignation as Delegate to Coadjutor Archbishop for Church Patrimony," Benavente said in a June 16 letter addressed to Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes.

The letter does not cite a reason for the resignation.

Benavente, when sought for comment, said he resigned from the post on his own.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Woman Who Says Relative Sexually Abused Her Fights For Other Victims to Sue Later in Life

NEW YORK
CBS 8

by Caitlin Nolan - Inside Edition

It took a made-for-TV movie, a friend recognizing there was something wrong and almost a decade of passed time to give Kathryn Robb the courage to finally talk about the man she says abused her.

It was another five years before she spoke about him again, finally sharing what a relative did to her for years after she went to bed in their Long Island home.

“It’s like a flood, and you’re drowning in the truth of it, and you have to shut it off,” Robb, 57, told InsideEdition.com. “It comes in layers.”

For Steve Jimenez, from Brooklyn, N.Y., four decades of therapy went by before he felt he could confront the Catholic Church about the sexual abuse he endured at the hands of a Xaverian brother in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Montreal Catholic priests who work with kids will be fingerprinted under new rules

CANADA
CTV

New rules on how Catholic priests, staff and volunteers interact with some the most vulnerable people in the archdiocese -- such as children -- are being rolled out in Montreal.

Under the new rules, no adult working with the church can be alone with a child. Church members who work closely with minors, the sick or the elderly will be required to be fingerprinted and undergo police background checks.

The updated code of ethics comes after a one-year pilot project involving 10 parishes. The new rules take effect by 2020 and will include all 194 Montreal parishes within the archdiocese, which includes Laval, Repentigny, and L'Assomption.

Father Betrand Montpetit, a Montreal priest of 28 years, says the new rules are an important step forward.

“We want to have more credibility also, and the confidence, you must earn it,” Montpetit told CTV Montreal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

June 20, 2017

Flanagan: Senate won’t take up Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
Times Union

By Matthew Hamilton on June 20, 2017

Though he said discussions continue, state Senate Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan said after leaving the governor’s office on Tuesday afternoon that the Senate will not take up the Child Victims Act legislation.

That bill, which would extend the time during which young victims of sexual abuse could bring a case against their abuser, has passed the Assembly and has the support of the governor. Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein, who is one of those negotiating the sticky end-of-session legislation, has a bill that is slightly different than the one pushed by the Assembly and Cuomo.

“It’s under discussion, but the Senate is not going to be taking that bill up,” he said when asked to clarify that the bill is dead for the year.

Klein said Child Victims Act has not been discussed on Tuesday.

Leaders also are continuing to discuss mayoral control of New York City schools. Klein expressed hopes for a two-year extension of mayoral control, though Flanagan said leaders are not yet close on a deal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Montreal Catholic Church will fingerprint all priests working with children

CANADA
CBC News

The Catholic Church of Montreal will expand its pilot project that bars priests and church volunteers from being alone with children and requires them to provide digital fingerprints to work with vulnerable populations.

Around 10 churches have been taking part in the pilot project, which was launched last fall. All churches will now have to follow these rules by 2020.

The rules apply to those occupying roles deemed as "high risk" in the diocese's 194 churches and ministries — working with minors, the sick and the elderly — and also include mandatory police background checks.

"In terms of whether or not we were going to (implement the plan), that wasn't even in question. We're going. This has to happen," said Bishop Thomas Dowd, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Montreal.

"The Catholic Church has to be the safest place for the vulnerable."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Vatican's first General Auditor resigns abruptly

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Jun 20, 2017 / 12:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In an unexpected move in the Holy See’s ongoing financial reform, the Vatican announced on Tuesday the resignation of Libero Milone, General Auditor of the Holy See, effective immediately.

The brief Vatican statement simply said that Libero Milone had offered his resignation, and that the Vatican had accepted it.

The lack of reason given for the resignation has some speculating that it is another part of the ongoing, internal conflicts of Vatican financial reform.

Milone’s resignation comes as a surprise because of the emphasis the Vatican placed on the importance of his position when it was created. ...

During his time as General Auditor, Milone’s personal computer was hacked, and he also clashed with the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the treasury of the Vatican. Milone showed his commitment to maintaining the separation of powers of his office when he declined an offer in April to become part of the Board of Directors of the Italian public broadcasting service Rai, saying that he wanted to maintain his independence in the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Vatican’s Auditor General Unexpectedly Resigns

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

Libero Milone had only been in the new post two years during which time he faced a number of challenges, including resistance to more rigorous audits.

Edward Pentin

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Holy See’s auditor general, Libero Milone.

In a statement released today, the Vatican said by “mutual agreement” the Dutch-born financier’s “collaborative relationship” with the Holy See ended yesterday, but did not give any reasons.

It added that the search for his replacement would begin “as soon as possible.” Milone was the first auditor general after the position was set up by Pope Francis in 2014 and the office given statutes the following year.

His departure is surprising as just three months ago, he reportedly said he had no regrets since accepting the assignment in 2015. On the contrary, he said he was ready to go “all the way with great enthusiasm” and that he was “highly motivated by the privilege of being available to the Pope.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Leading Group for Church Abuse Victims Faces Uncertain Future

UNITED STATES
Religion and Politics

By Lilly Fowler | June 20, 2017

David Clohessy often looks as if he’s on the verge of tears when he talks about survivors of sexual abuse. When his vivid blue eyes start to well up, he’ll reach for his glasses and wipe his eyes. He comes across as emotional, but sincere and well-intentioned. We sit at a coffee shop near his home in Maplewood, a neighborhood of St. Louis. Clohessy is recovering from minor surgery and wears a cast on one foot. He says since his resignation in January from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, he’s focused on his health. The sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church consumed Clohessy for nearly 30 years. Now his own organization is under fire for alleged malfeasance.

Barbara Blaine, a lawyer and former social worker who is an abuse survivor herself, founded SNAP in 1988 in Chicago. Clohessy joined the organization in 1991, and it became one of the premiere advocacy groups for victims of sex abuse. The group operated in obscurity until the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer-prize winning series on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church ran in 2002. After that, SNAP’s phones wouldn’t stop ringing.

Both SNAP and Clohessy have received widespread media coverage over the years. SNAP makes a cameo in Spotlight, the 2015 Oscar-winning film about the Globe investigation. Clohessy has garnered high-profile media coverage, including a New York Times profile and appearances on Oprah, 60 Minutes and Good Morning America. Today SNAP boasts 25,000 members, but foes and friends alike are unsure if the organization will be able to survive its latest scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Music director at southwest Missouri church indicted for child porn

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

AP

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. • The former music director of a Springfield church has been indicted on child pornography charges.

The U.S. attorney's office says the indictment was returned last week and unsealed Monday after Craig Wieneke, of Springfield, was arrested and made his initial court appearance.

The indictment alleges that Wieneke, 31, received and distributed child pornography over the Internet from November through April, when Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield fired him because the FBI, police and the Greene County Sheriff's Department were investigating.

Executive pastor Wayne Barron told the Springfield News-Leader that Wieneke didn't work with children for his job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Chandler man files sex abuse lawsuit against Catholic archbishop in Guam

ARIZONA
The Republic

[with video]

Jerod MacDonald-Evoy, The Republic | azcentral.com June 20, 2017

Chandler resident Francis Charfauros, 49, wanted to be a priest when he was younger, but he said an encounter with Father Jack Niland when he was 14 and living on the small Pacific island of Guam changed that.

Charfauros is now one of many who have brought lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana in Guam for alleged sexual abuse that went on at the rectory there.

The lawsuit alleges that Niland molested Charfauros while he was living at the rectory in 1982 during a sleepover at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church rectory in the Guam village of Agat.

Charfauros is the 67th person to file a Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit in local and federal courts after the statute of limitations was lifted late last year. Charfauros filed his suit in federal court in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Northern Ireland: Open Letter from victims of institutional child abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
Amnesty International

We write as victims and survivors of institutional child abuse, which we suffered in children’s homes across Northern Ireland over many decades.

Today (June 20 2017) marks six months since the publication of the report of the Historic Institutional Abuse inquiry.

We welcomed its main findings – that the State was responsible for widespread and systemic failings, which left us as vulnerable children to suffer physical, sexual and mental abuse in supposed “care” homes.

But six months in, with no devolved government ministers in position to act on the report, its recommendations for apologies, a redress scheme and support services for victims, have gathered dust on Stormont’s shelves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Indonesian priests seek Vatican help in row with bishop over church funds

INDONESIA
Catholic Register

BY CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
June 20, 2017

RUTENG, Indonesia – A group of priests in Indonesia's Ruteng Diocese appealed to the Vatican to intervene and resolve a dispute with their bishop, whom they accuse of misappropriating more than $100,000 in church funds.

Representatives of the priests, accompanied by a bishops' conference official, met Archbishop Antonio Filipazzi, the outgoing apostolic nuncio in Indonesia June 16 to call on the Vatican to help them achieve their demand that Bishop Hubertus Leteng heed their calls for an overhaul of how the diocese is run.

The move came after dozens of priests in the diocese on Catholic-majority Flores Island quit their posts in protest against their bishop.

Father Alfonsius Segar, one of the priests who met with the nuncio, told ucanews.com that Archbishop Filipazzi has promised to help resolve the dispute.

"He will immediately take this issue up with the Vatican," Father Segar said.
The priest also said the nuncio will send someone to the diocese to appraise the situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Vatican's first auditor-general resigns unexpectedly

VATICAN CITY
DNA

Tue, 20 Jun 2017

Reuters

The Vatican's first auditor-general, who was appointed two years ago in a move aimed at ensuring transparency in the finances at the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has resigned, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

A brief statement gave no reason for the resignation of Libero Milone, saying merely that he had presented it on Monday to Pope Francis and that the pontiff had accepted it.

It said Milone's relationship with the Vatican, where he had been expected to serve until 2021, had been concluded "by mutual accord".

A search for a new auditor-general will begin soon.

Milone, a 68-year-old Italian who is a former chairman and CEO of the global auditing firm Deloitte in Italy, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Decision on George Pell child sex charges 'imminent': police

AUSTRALIA
7 News

[with video]

AAP on June 20, 2017

A month after getting legal advice on whether to charge Cardinal George Pell over historical child sex allegations, Victoria's highest-ranking police officer says a decision is "imminent".

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told ABC radio Cardinal Pell's lawyers will be told first, once a decision is made whether to charge him.

"A decision is imminent," Mr Ashton told ABC this morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

USA: Bericht bestätigt Zusammenhang Missbrauch - Homosexualität

WASHINGTON (DC)
Kath.net

[A recent annual report from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the USA: About 80 per cent of the victims of sexual abuse by priests are male and the vast majority of victims is older than ten years.
The latest annual report of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the United States shows a link between sexual abuse in the Church and "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" among priests.]

Neuster Jahresbericht der katholischen Bischofskonferenz der USA: Etwa 80 Prozent der Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Priester sind männlich, in der großen Mehrheit älter als zehn Jahre.
Washington D.C. (kath.net/LSN/jg)

Der neueste Jahresbericht der katholischen Bischofskonferenz der USA zeigt einen Zusammenhang zwischen sexuellem Missbrauch in der Kirche und „tief sitzenden homosexuellen Neigungen“ bei Priestern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Abuse victims slam Stormont stalemate

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Allan Preston
June 20 2017

Victims and survivors of institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland care homes have said plans to help them are “gathering dust” on Stormont’s shelves while those affected are “still denied justice to their death beds”.

In an open letter signed by 260 victims and survivors, the group spoke of their deep frustration that six months after the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry’s findings were published, no action was being taken.

In its report published in January, the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry recommended that the Stormont Executive “create a publicly funded compensation scheme”. The Executive was already well on its way to collapsing at this point, and ministerial decisions on compensation are still on hold.

The letter from the victims reads: “We welcomed its main findings — that the State was responsible for widespread and systemic failings, which left us, as vulnerable children, to suffer physical, sexual and mental abuse in supposed ‘care’ homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

The Rev. Henry Lyons forced out as pastor of Tampa church amid accusations of theft, misconduct

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay Times

By Corey G. Johnson and John Romano, Times Staff Writers
Friday, June 16, 2017

TAMPA — The second coming of the Rev. Henry J. Lyons was not as celebrated or lucrative as his previous life.

The one-time leader of the largest black Baptist organization in America — toppled by infidelities and imprisoned on fraud charges — has kept a relatively low profile while running a century-old church in Hillsborough County the last dozen years.

Lyons no longer has the ear of the President of the United States, and his empire does not include the same luxuries as during his heyday in St. Petersburg in the 1990s.

Yet the final, uncomfortable hours of Lyons' reign at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church have a disturbingly, familiar echo.

Church leaders have accused the 75-year-old Lyons of misappropriating funds for his personal benefit, and voted Thursday evening to remove him as pastor, ending what had once looked like a story of personal redemption.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Dianne Williamson: Attitudes that keep victims silent

MASSACHUSETTS
Telegram & Gazette

By Dianne Williamson
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Susan Manter was watching coverage of the Bill Cosby trial last week when the man once hailed as “America’s Dad” left the courthouse in Norristown, Pa.

“We love you, Bill!” someone shouted from the crowd.

The Holden woman cringed. Late last month, she settled a civil case against a different kind of father, a Shrewsbury priest convicted in 2012 of beating her and ripping off her clothes during horrific counseling sessions that dragged on for three years.

The cases involving Cosby and the Rev. Charles Michael Abdelahad are different, of course. Outside the courtroom, Cosby has been accused by more than 40 women in claims dating back more than a half century, virtually his entire career. Father Michael was accused of abusing only Manter.

But both of these men were charismatic, powerful authority figures. Both were immensely popular. Both used their position to violate vulnerable women because they knew no one would believe the victims. And their respected status made it easier to discredit women already faced with the cultural incredulity that comes with cases of sexual assault.

“I watched that and had flashbacks,” Manter said Monday. “I could hear people saying, ‘I love you, Father Michael.’ There were crowds of people supporting him. I can relate to how people try to make the woman the bad guy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Local officials urge state Legislature to vote on Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
Saratogian

By Joseph Phelan, jphelan@digitalfirstmedia.com,, @jphelan13 on Twitter
POSTED: 06/19/17

ALBANY, N.Y.>> On Wednesday, the state Legislature is scheduled to end its annual session, and survivors of childhood sexual abuse, along with public officials, urged the Senate GOP to allow a discussion and vote on the Child Victims Act Monday morning.

“This is an issue that’s crying out for justice. People who have committed criminal acts, particularly heinous criminal acts against children, need to be held accountable,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “And we know if they are not, they continue to abuse, so simply because an individual reaches a certain age it’s not acceptable. It doesn’t give justice to the victim and it doesn’t keep the rest of us safe. It doesn’t protect the children of today, while it’s punishing the children of yesterday.”

Desirae Brown and her sisters were sexually abused by their father in different states. Brown and one of her sisters were abused in Utah and successfully prosecuted their father. He’s serving a 10 year to life prison sentence. Desirae’s sister Melody, however, was abused in New York. The statute of limitations for the crimes committed against her ran out by the time she was ready to prosecute. She was only 24.

Presently, current law allows adults, who suffered sexual abuse as children, up to the age of 23 to file a lawsuit against their sexual abuser. Earlier this month, a bill in the state assembly passed, allowing people up to the age of 50 to bring a lawsuit. The senate bill would eliminate the statute of limitations for prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes and filing civil lawsuits for damages against individuals, public institutions and private institutions related to child sexual abuse. It would also create a one-year revival period for previously time-barred civil actions, which alleged conduct representing the commission of certain sexual offenses committed against a child less than 18 years of age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Startling Look at Cost of Child Abuse

UNITED STATES
Legal Examiner

Posted by Mike Bryant
June 19, 2017

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Protection(CDC) study, The Economic Burden of Child Maltreatment in the United States and Implications for Prevention, was both interesting and frightening. The CDC states that

… the total lifetime estimated financial costs associated with just one year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment (physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect) is approximately $124 billion.

The CDC notes the report looked at:

… confirmed child maltreatment cases – 1,740 fatal and 579,000 non-fatal—for a 12-month period. Findings show each death due to child maltreatment had a lifetime cost of about $1.3 million, almost all of it in money that the child would have earned over a lifetime if he or she had lived. The lifetime cost for each victim of child maltreatment who lived was $210,012, which is comparable to other costly health conditions such as stroke with a lifetime cost per person estimated at $159,846 or type 2 diabetes, which is estimated between $181,000 and $253,000.

A byproduct of Minnesota’s Child Victims Act has been our involvement in abuse cases that happened a very long time ago. So we witness the results of the devastation that hit peoples lives after they were abused. People in their 40 to 60’s that have suffered all sorts of challenges without any help at all. The Act has given them a chance at real justice that has been delayed too long.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Le pape accusé d'avoir protégé des prêtres pédophiles en Italie et en Argentine

ITALIE/ARGENTINE
L'Express

[Pope Francis, who has advocated for zero tolerance of pedophilia, was he aware that priests of an institute for deaf-mute children in Argentina were already accused of sexual assaults on children when they officiated in the same institute in Italy. Obviously according to lawyers of children who say they have been victims of sexual assault and rape in the Provolo Catholic institute in Mendoza.]

Pope accused of protecting pedophile priests in Italy and Argentina

Une liste des violeurs présumés avait été établie et une lettre avait même été remise en mains propres au pape François par l'une des victimes.

Le pape François -qui prône la tolérance zéro en matière de pédophilie- était-il au courant que des prêtres d'un institut pour enfants sourd-muets en Argentine étaient déjà accusés d'agressions sexuelles sur mineurs lorsqu'ils officiaient dans le même institut en Italie? C'est évident, selon les avocats des enfants qui disent avoir été victimes d'agressions sexuelles et de viols dans l'institut catholique Provolo de Mendoza.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Pädo-Pfarrer besass Zürcher Kinderkrippe

SCHWEIZ
Blick

[The retired reformed pastor Wolfgang S. (68) from Biberstein AG has been in investigation since the end of March (BLICK reported). He is said to have sexually abused four of his grandchildren. Wolfgang S. has already admitted this in an official confession.]

ZÜRICH - Für eine Kinderkrippe in der Stadt Zürich ist der Superg-GAU eingetreten. Der langjährige Chef und Besitzer, Wolfgang S. (68), ist wegen sexueller Übergriffe auf Kinder in Untersuchungshaft.

Beat Michel

Der pensionierte reformierte Pfarrer Wolfgang S. (68) aus Biberstein AG sitzt seit Ende März in Untersuchungshaft (BLICK berichtete). Er soll vier seiner Enkelkinder sexuell missbraucht haben. Wolfgang S. hat das bereits in einem offiziellen Geständnis zugegeben. Übergriffe ausserhalb der Familie streitet er ab.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

Pfarrer missbrauchte seine Enkel

SCHWEIZ
Blick

[Pastor abused his grandchildren. Once again a god-man is behind bars because of child abuse. Scary: Working with children is a common thread through his life.]

AARAU AG - Wieder wandert ein Gottesmann wegen Kindsmissbrauchs hinter Gitter. Beängstigend: Die Arbeit mit Kindern zieht sich wie ein roter Faden durch sein Leben.

Ralph Donghi und Beat Michel

Der pensionierte reformierte Pfarrer Wolfgang S. (68) aus Biberstein AG sitzt seit Ende März in Untersuchungshaft. Er soll vier seiner Enkelkinder sexuell missbraucht haben. Der Anwalt von Wolfgang S. bestätigte in der SRF-Sendung «Schweiz aktuell», dass sein Mandant ein Geständnis abgelegt hat.

Die Enkelkinder waren zwischen 6 und 14 Jahre alt. Angezeigt hat ihn die eigene Familie. Sein Sohn und seine Tochter wollten sich gegenüber BLICK allerdings nicht äussern.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Quitugua resigns as archbishop advisor

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com June 20, 2017

Monsignor David C. Quitugua resigned, effective June 18, as a member of Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes' team of advisors, known as the College of Consultors, according to the Archdiocese of Agana. Byrnes asked him to step down, the Archdiocese stated.

Quitugua had been on the advisory team less than two weeks, after being appointed June 7, and his removal comes after lobbying by the Concerned Catholics of Guam, which has expressed concerns about Quitugua allegedly abusing his authority as vicar general under Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

"The Archdiocese can confirm that Monsignor David C. Quitugua is no longer a member of the College of Consultors. He was asked to resign in light of the current climate in the Church on the island. It was effective June 18, 2017," the archdiocese stated.

"I am very glad on behalf of all concerned Catholics on Guam, that David C. Quitugua resigned as a member of the College of Consultors," said Concerned Catholics President David Sablan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Male child sex abuse survivors charity 'struggling with demand'

SCOTLAND
Evening Times

Catriona Stewart @LadyCatHT
Columnist/reporter

SCOTLAND’S only child sexual abuse service for male survivors is struggling to keep up with demand.

Speak Out Scotland (SOS), based at Port Dundas, has just been awarded £146,595 from the Big Lottery Fund to help fund its work for the next five years.

But staff said their work is only the tip of the iceberg and the charity could be helping dozens of more men.

Julie Harkins, Project Development Worker, said: “It was really after the Jimmy Savile scandal broke that we started seeing more men come forward and now we also have the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry so the topic is being discussed and brought more into the public consciousness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Coos Bay man pleads not guilty to sexually abusing Cambodian boys

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
JUNE 20, 2017

A federal grand jury has returned an eight-count indictment against a missionary worker from Coos Bay who is accused of molesting six underage boys while in Cambodia between 2005 and 2013.

Daniel Stephen Johnson, 39, pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Eugene. Johnson appeared via telephone from a federal prison in Sheridan, where he’s being held while his case is pending.

One of the charges listed in the indictment, aggravated sexual assault, carries a minimum prison sentence of 30 years upon conviction.

Johnson was arrested in the case in December 2014, after authorities in Cambodia handed him over to a team of FBI agents who brought him to Oregon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Survivor’s court case could win damages for residential schools intergenerational harms

CANADA
APTN National News

June 20, 2017

Paul Barnsley
APTN Investigates

As the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) nears completion, a potentially explosive case brought forward by a former national chief is slowly making its way to court.

Del Riley, who occupied the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations’ office from 1980 to 1982 – during the final days of negotiations that led to Aboriginal rights being enshrined in Canada’s newly-repatriated constitution – refused to participate in the IRSSA.

He saw the settlement agreement as too limited – so he hired the London law firm Harrison Pensa to sue the federal government and the Anglican Church of Canada.

Riley aims to expand the scope of the defendants’ liability as he seeks compensation for his time at the Mohawk Indian Residential School in Brantford, Ont.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Child sex abuse survivors urge CVA passage

NEW YORK
WNYT

[with video]

June 19, 2017

ALBANY - Shaun Dougherty, a Long Island restaurant owner, and veteran, was molested by his parish priest when he was 10-years-old. The pain and anguish, he says, remains with him in adulthood.

"I died in 1980, mentally, in my soul," Dougherty says, "I attempted to take my life. I swallowed over 300 pills in 1994."

Dougherty was at the state Capitol Monday, along with other child sexual abuse survivors and advocates, urging passage of the Child Victim Act to eliminate the statute of limitations that's currently set at 23, and allow survivors to file civil lawsuits against their abusers.

"There is no money amount we are going for, it's not about that," said Brinie Farrell, a former speed skater, who was abused by an Olympic teammate in Saratoga Springs when she was 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Advocates continue to press Senators to pass the Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
News 10

By Nick Perreault
Published: June 19, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – For the second week in a row, victims along with local officials are asking senators to pass a bill that will help victims of sexual abuse press charges against their accusers.

The conference says they’ve supported legislation in previous years that protects children from sexual predators.

Both victims and local officials are still asking why the Senate has yet to take up a bill that would increase the time a victim has to file both criminal and civil lawsuits against their attacker.

“It doesn’t give justice to the victim and it doesn’t keep the rest of us safe,” Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said.

“The Republican majority conference has been a leader in taking a lead with those who prey on young people and sexual predators. I don’t know why this hasn’t passed,” Senator Fred Akshar said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 AM

Republican state senator voices support for Child Victims Act breaking ranks with party

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
KENNETH LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017

ALBANY — A GOP state senator broke ranks from his colleagues Monday — saying he’d vote for a bill to help child sex abuse survivors.

“If it comes to the floor, I’ll support any of the versions that are out there,” Sen. James Tedisco (R-Schnectady) told the Daily News. He urged state leaders to strike a deal before Wednesday’ scheduled end to the legislative session.

Child sex abuse, he said, “can cause psychological, mental and physical problems for a lifetime.”

His position was first reported by News10 in Albany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 AM

June 19, 2017

Death investigation underway in Rutherfordton

NORTH CAROLINA
WSPA

By Brianna Smith
Published: June 19, 2017

The Rutherfordton Police Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations is investigating the death of Robert Rape.

Rape was found in his backyard on Briarwood Circle Saturday June 17th, shot in the chest. Investigators say Rape was shot with a shotgun.

The police department says the investigation is ongoing and few details will be released.

Rape is the grandfather of Matthew Fenner, whose case against five Word of Faith Fellowship church members recently ended in a mistrial due to jury tampering.

A new hearing against Word of Faith Fellowship minister Brooke Covington is set to take place in September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Philly Diocese Fogs Up Again

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

JUNE 19, 2017 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

Is there a new transparency issue? Why isn’t Father Louis Kolenkiewicz listed in the online Archdiocesan clergy directory? He is listed in the clerical appointments that went into effect today.

Father Kolenkiewicz is returning from a removal from ministry and his new gig as parochial vicar at the Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul prompted an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Given this, you’d think all the i’s wouldn’t have been dotted and t’s crossed. But as of 3pm today – his name does n

The clergy directory omission is important. Both priests and laity have come to rely on the directory as a source of information. For example, a bride may request a specific priest for her wedding. Her pastor may check the clergy list to see if the priest has full faculties. Some priests don’t want to enable those removed to falsely present themselves. They know these guys bring them down and I’m sure they resent the tarnish.

Child safety and victim advocates also routinely check this list to track information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Australian Royal Commission Inquiry Victim “BCB” Shares More of Her Story

AUSTRALIA
JWVictims

BY ALEXANDRA JAMES ON JUNE 19, 2017

During the first day of the Australian Royal Commission Inquiry into Jehovah’s Witnesses, victim “BCB” spoke very bravely of her sexual abuse at the hands of a local elder, Bill Neill. Click this PDF of the Transcript-(Day-147) of the Inquiry, or you can visit the ARC website here, to read her entire testimony; Barrister Stewart’s summary of her story begins on page 15147.

Recently, “BCB” contact me through this website and wanted to share more of her story and viewpoint. This is a very powerful statement of how such abuse can so easily happen in the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, one that I hope all readers will share:

*** ***
If you have never been a victim of child sexual abuse then of course you wouldn’t understand how difficult it is to talk about what is happening to you. Long before the abuse starts the perpetrator begins their grooming campaign. For example, the following circumstances were in place to enable an Elder to abuse me:

First, become an Elder in a religion where young children are taught from birth that it is God’s chosen religion, that God has a personal name of Jehovah whom everyone is encouraged to have a personal relationship with, and that the teachings of the religion are referred to by everyone as “the Truth”. Teach them that the Elders are chosen by Jehovah God’s Holy Spirit and must be deferred to in all matters of spirituality and morality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

VATICAN: POPE TO VISIT CHILE AND PERU IN JANUARY 2018

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY FRANCES D'EMILIO
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis will visit Chile and Peru in 2018, the Vatican announced Monday.

The Holy See said Francis will visit Chile from Jan. 15-18, then head to Peru, where he'll stay until Jan. 21. The cities on the Argentine-born pontiff's itinerary include Santiago, Temuco and Iquique in Chile and Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo in Peru, with details of his schedule to be announced later.

Puerto Maldonado is the capital city of Peru's Madre de Dios region, an epicenter of illegal gold mining, a lucrative business which feeds criminal activity such as sex trafficking, including of minors. Francis in his papacy has repeatedly denounced trafficking and the exploitation of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Survivors “falling through the cracks” of Indian residential schools settlement agreement

CANADA
APTN National News

Paul Barnsley
APTN Investigates

Despite being exposed to the worst horrors of the Indian residential schools, Garnet Angeconeb refuses to give in to bitterness or anger.

Born on the Lac Seul First Nation near Sioux Lookout, Ont., he was taken from his family to the nearby Pelican Indian Residential School when he was six years old.

He stayed there from 1963 to 1969.

During that time, Angeconeb and 18 other boys were sexually abused by a dorm supervisor. His abuser was eventually convicted in 1996 and sentenced to four years in prison.

While Angeconeb battled through his “lost years” afterwards, dealing with alcohol problems and living through the criminal trial of his abuser, he managed to graduate from high school and then earn a journalism degree at the University of Western Ontario.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Fifteen Years After Dallas, (Dis)Honorable Mention: Guam and the Hope and Healing Hoax

GUAM
The Worthy Adversary

Fifteen Years After Dallas, A Seven-Part Series: Introduction
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part One: The Altoona-Johnstown Grand Jury Report
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Two: Is There a Crook in the Diocese of Crookston?
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Three: A Priest Admits Abusing, Chicago Cardinal Does Nothing
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Four: Convicted Priest Deemed “Safe” by Oklahoma City Archbishop, Catholics Rightly Upset
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Five: Naughty Nienstedt and the Vatican Shred
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Six: A seminarian in Ohio attempts to buy babies. The Bishop? He pretends nothing happened
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Seven: Sister Cathy Turns Baltimore into a Troll

June 19, 2017

Joelle Casteix

This would have been Part Eight, except for one little loophole:

Guam/the Archdiocese of Agaña is NOT TECHNICALLY a member of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The Archdiocese of Agaña is a member of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific (CE-PAC).

Guam’s disgraced Archbishop Anthony Apuron (pictured above with the pope) used to attend USCCB meetings and the like, but I think he used the “buffet” approach when it came to what window-dressing reforms he would adopt and what he wouldn’t.

Now that the Archdiocese of Agaña is headed by Archbishop Michael Byrnes out of Detroit, I think that the bonds to the USCCB are going to become much stronger.

Onto my story:

The saga of Archbishop Anthony Apuron is long and horrific.

Catholics began protesting his financial mismanagement and mobster tactics, including improper financial dealings with a Catholic sect called the Neo-Catechumenal Way.

Then, multiple alleged child victims—who risked their reputations, their families’ well-being, and their livelihoods by coming forward and saying that Apuron abused them—came forward. They all said that Apuron sexually abused them.

Apuron is now subject of a Vatican tribunal that will do little more than, I believe, give him a slap on the wrist and allow him to live in hiding on the mainland (with a monthly retirement check) for the rest of his life.

Last year, Guam lawmakers passed a civil window that allows child sex abuse victims to use the civil courts to get accountability. Other victims came forward and exposed a web of child sex abuse and cover-up going back decades. This is the same law that that victims in New York are protesting and begging to have.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Research identifies four dimensions of risk of child sexual abuse in institutional settings

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

19 June, 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a new research report that identifies four dimensions of risk of child sexual abuse in institutional settings.

Professors Patrick Parkinson and Judy Cashmore from the University of Sydney were contracted by the Royal Commission to establish a means of differentiating between types of institutions in terms of level of risk of child sexual abuse according to their characteristics and the services they provide.

The research report, Assessing the different dimensions and degrees of risk of child sexual abuse in institutions, proposes situational, vulnerability, propensity and institutional risks as the four main dimensions.

* Situational risk provides potential perpetrators with the opportunity to be alone with a child or form relationships that involve physical contact or emotional closeness. This can lead to grooming and unlawful sexual behaviour. The research suggests that residential institutions of all kinds including juvenile detention, immigration detention centres, residential out-of-home care and boarding schools carry an elevated situational risk.

* Vulnerability risk arises from the characteristics of the children present in the institution. The research suggests that the main factors influencing vulnerability risk are the ages of the children, children with disability, children with prior experience of maltreatment and children with an incentive to remain silent.

* Propensity risk arises from a disproportionate clustering of adults with a propensity to abuse children or children with harmful sexual behaviours.

* Institutional risk takes into consideration characteristics of the institution that may make abuse more likely to occur and less likely to be identified and responded to effectively. The research suggests that these characteristics include institutions placing greater importance on the protection of reputation than on the wellbeing and protection of children. Other characteristics include a culture of not listening to and respecting children.

The report concludes that situational risk is a precondition for sexual abuse while vulnerability risk makes it more likely that a child will be targeted. The research suggests that an institution with a low situational risk can starve even the committed sex offender of opportunity or greatly increase the likelihood of detection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Editorial: A last-minute session list

NEW YORK
Times Union

State lawmakers should not leave town this week without making a meaningful attempt to rein in the corruption that has plagued government in recent years. ...

Child sexual abuse: For all the laws passed on punishing future sexual abuse, lawmakers have yet to let untold numbers of victims of past abuse seek justice. Recognizing that victims sometimes take years to come forward, the Assembly has passed legislation to extend the statute of limitations on civil and criminal cases of child sex abuse. Mr. Cuomo backs a similar measure. Senate Republicans, however, have bowed to pressure, especially from the Catholic church. They need to hear the pleas of victims who simply want their day in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Former church organist, 74, who sexually abused young girl is jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
Wirral Globe

Lynda Roughley

A former church organist who sexually abused a vulnerable young girl was put behind bars - 40 years after the offences.

Martyn Poole, who assisted at a church in Wallasey, denied molesting the girl, who was aged about 12, but was convicted after a trial.

A judge told 74-year-old Poole, “You befriended her, earning her trust and she came to look up to you as a father figure.

"You betrayed that trust on two occasions, sexually abusing her having invited her to your home when your wife and family were elsewhere.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

High school teacher investigated for impregnating student

BELIZE
The Reporter

By Marion Ali
Assistant Editor

A teacher at Eden Seventh Day Adventist high school in Santa Elena, Cayo, is under investigation by San Ignacio police and the Ministry of Education, on allegations of sexual misconduct with as many as four of his students.

One of the girls may have had an abortion or two over the last year and a half.

Reporter’s investigations have showed that the teacher, whose name we have withheld until the Ministry and the police have concluded their investigations, has been involved with one of the girls, now an 18-year-old third form student, for the past two years. The others, as we understand, are girls with whom he has had sexual encounters.

This newspaper has learned of the existence of text messages, purportedly exchanged between the student and the teacher, that pertain not only to them having a sexual relationship, but about her having undergone an abortion as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

June 18, 2017

State urged to change sex-abuse law

NEW YORK
Times Herald-Record

By Chris McKenna
Times Herald-Record

MOUNT MARION - At age 60, Brian O’Leary is still deeply scarred from the sexual abuse a neighbor inflicted on him more than 40 years ago when he was growing up in Saugerties.

The perpetrator lived across the street and worked at IBM with O’Leary’s father.

For five years, he repeatedly assaulted the boy in his home and his car, a string of violations that began when O’Leary was only 12 and ended when he stopped his tormentor at age 17 - because he realized how badly he wanted to kill himself.

O’Leary was so traumatized that he told no adults about the abuse then and couldn’t bring himself to tell his parents until many years later.

His abuser died in Florida in 1984, unpunished for the crimes he committed and the emotional havoc O’Leary has carried for decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

Sen. John DeFrancisco supports one-year window for malpractice cases — but not child sex abuse cases

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
KENNETH LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Sunday, June 18, 2017

Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco opposes opening a one-year legal window to revive old cases for child sex abuse survivors — yet he supports the concept for other victims.

The powerful Syracuse Republican opposes a bill designed to make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to seek justice, largely because of a provision that would give victims who can no longer sue under current law one year to bring cases.

At the same time, DeFrancisco is pushing legislation that would give patients the ability to bring medical malpractice cases beginning from when they discover the error, not from when the mistake occurred, which is current law. The bill has a provision to open a one-year window to revive old cases that are currently time-barred under current law.

DeFrancisco and other Senate Republicans also have routinely supported legislation every two years to extend the statute of limitations to soldiers exposed to Agent Orange between 1961 and 1975 — cases that would have otherwise been time-barred since 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Extradite former principal back to Australia, victim of alleged molestation asks Israel

AUSTRALIA/ISRAEL
JTA

June 18, 2017

MELBOURNE (JTA) – A Jewish woman who said she had been molested repeatedly by her former principal called on Israel to extradite the woman back to their native Australia.

Dassi Erlich, a 29-year-old mother of one who said that her alleged molestation by Malka Leifer had left her emotionally scarred, made the plea Sunday during a speech before approximately 200 participants of Melbourne’s Limmud conference of Jewish learning.

Leifer, who left Australia for Israel in 2008 shortly after molestation accusations against her surfaced, has skipped several extradition hearings in Israel because she had committed herself to psychiatric institutions for short periods, coinciding with her court dates. Leifer is wanted for questioning in Australia in connection with 74 charges of molestation, including rape, of several teenage girls, the ABC broadcaster reported.

In 2015, Erlich received one of the largest sexual abuse damage payouts in Australia’s history with the Victorian Supreme Court ordering the Adass Israel School pay her more than $750,000 for its failure to prevent the systemic abuse suffered by Erlich since she was 15. During her speech, Erlich said she had witnessed Leifer molest another girl, but “said nothing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Catholic group calls for 5 to be removed

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

"The Catholics of Guam cannot trust or have confidence in the Chancery leadership with these clergymen still enjoying some position of authority within our Archdiocese and benefits from our contributions." – David Sablan, president, Concerned Catholics of Guam

The Concerned Catholics of Guam is calling on the leaders of the Archdiocese of Agana to remove four priests and a deacon from administrative and ministerial duties within the church in order to "restore some trust in the leadership," according to CCOG president, David Sablan.

Sablan said CCOG is calling for the removal of the following five men: David C. Quitugua, former vicar general; Adrian Cristobal, former chancellor for the Archdiocese of Agana; Alberto Rodriguez Salamanca, former vice chancellor; Edivaldo da Silva Oleveira former spokesman and an aide to Archbishop Anthony Apuron; and Deacon Frank Tenorio.

Sablan told The Guam Daily Post the five were closely involved with Apuron during his tenure as the highest authority within the Archdiocese of Agana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Seven: Sister Cathy Turns Baltimore into a Troll

MARYLAND
The Worthy Adversary

Fifteen Years After Dallas, A Seven-Part Series: Introduction
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part One: The Altoona-Johnstown Grand Jury Report
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Two: Is There a Crook in the Diocese of Crookston?
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Three: A Priest Admits Abusing, Chicago Cardinal Does Nothing
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Four: Convicted Priest Deemed “Safe” by Oklahoma City Archbishop, Catholics Rightly Upset
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Five: Naughty Nienstedt and the Vatican Shred
Fifteen Years After Dallas, Part Six: A seminarian in Ohio attempts to buy babies. The Bishop? He pretends nothing happened

June 18, 2017

Joelle Casteix

Netflix’s recent documentary, The Keepers, has been a blockbuster for true crime and documentary fans (it was the talk of CrimeCon).

A gripping tale of abuse, cover-up, and murder, the series tells the story of how a group of former students are trying to find justice for their teacher Sister Cathy Cesnik, a murdered nun from Baltimore.

Representatives from the Archdiocese of Baltimore—who play a large role in the series for their part in covering up the child sex abuse of numerous girls at Archbishop Keough High School and throughout the archdiocese—did not appear in the film and only agreed to answer questions in writing in the final episode.

After the film’s release and blockbuster success, the archdiocese, led by Archbishop William Lori, began trolling the filmmakers on social media. They used silly emojis and “spoiler alerts” in posts about Father Maskell, the serial abuser in the film. They even tried to create trending hashtags like #thekeeperstruth.

Then, instead of doing outreach, apologizing, finding new victims, or helping those who are suffering, they trolled the filmmakers on a Reddit AMA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Local judges continue to stay away from clergy sex abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com June 18, 2017

Superior Court of Guam judges continue to recuse themselves from hearing Catholic clergy sex abuse cases, even as plaintiffs' lawyers have started exploring the possibility of an out-of-court settlement.

Sixteen clergy sex abuse lawsuits have been filed in local court between March 7 and May 10.

The Archdiocese of Agana is a defendant in each case, along with some priests, the Capuchin Franciscans, or the Boy Scouts of America and its Aloha Council Chamorro District.

Seven local court judges have filed disqualification forms in some of these lawsuits as of early June, based on information from the Judiciary of Guam Administrative Office.

Former altar boy Anthony Flores' lawsuit, the earliest filed on March 7, still has no scheduled hearing yet as judges cite potential conflicts of interest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Kinky ‘cake porn’ priest in hot water over missing money

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Melissa Klein June 17, 2017

A Greek Orthodox priest who enjoyed kinky “cake crush” romps with a parochial school principal may now be in hot holy water over hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing money and murky credit-card expenses.

A forensic audit of St. Spyridon Church in Washington Heights found financial irregularities, according to a preliminary draft of the audit obtained by The Post. The May 19 report labeled “for discussion purposes only” is not final.

Rental income from four church-owned apartment houses allegedly paid for $99,249 in credit-card bills racked up by the Rev. George Passias, but the auditors said they could find no documentation for what the money was spent on.

Passias, 68, was pastor of the church until he was forced to resign in September 2015 over his affair with Ethel Bouzalas, 47, a married parish school principal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Editorial: If lawmakers do anything, pass the Child Victims Act

NEW YORK
The Daily Gazette

Mark Mahoney | June 17, 2017

New York state lawmakers have left a lot of important matters until the last minute before they end this year’s legislative session later this week.

If they do anything, they need to pass the Child Victims Act and give victims of child sex crimes more time to get the justice they deserve.

The Assembly earlier this month passed a bill (A5885/S6722,S6575) that would do just that.

Child sex abusers have long been protected in New York by a relentlessly early statute of limitations that often does not give a traumatized victim enough time as an adult to remember and report the abuse.

Under current law, there is a five-year statute of limitations for bringing criminal charges in certain sex-related felony crimes involving minors.

Right now, the clock on that five years starts when the victim turns 18. The new law would keep the same five-year statute of limitations, but would start the clock when the victim turns 23 years old. That means victims could be 28 years old and still have charges brought. The clock on the 2-year statute of limitations on certain misdemeanor sex crimes would also start at age 23, giving victims another five years —until they reach age 25 — to bring charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Bolivar man forms Faithful Catholics Against Pedophilia

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

Thomas Venditti wants Roman Catholics who are outraged by the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown and elsewhere to unite in an effort to remove pedophiles and their protectors from the institution.

So the Bolivar resident has formed the Faithful Catholics Against Pedophilia.

“We are Catholics who are offended that this has happened within our church,” Venditti said.

“We’re interested in seeing the Catholic Church cleansed of all pedophiles and all those who cover for pedophilia.”

The newly formed group is still small and mostly united through social media, including a Facebook page.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

I complici di papa Francesco

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[What is really doing the Vatican to eradicate from within violence against children?]

Cosa sta facendo davvero il Vaticano per sradicare dal suo interno la violenza sui bambini? I risultati di un sondaggio online di Rete l’Abuso mettono sotto accusa l’inerzia di Bergoglio, delle istituzioni italiane e della Conferenza episcopale.

di Federico Tulli

Appena eletto, papa Francesco ha messo in cima alla agenda pontificia la lotta contro la pedofilia. Dedicando a questo tema almeno un annuncio a settimana, non mancando mai di farsi fotografare con atteggiamenti affettuosi – a volte ricambiati, a volte no – in mezzo a dei bambini, emanando una serie di decreti volti ad accentrare in Vaticano tutte le indagini e le decisioni sui casi più scabrosi e ad avvicinare le norme della Santa Sede alle indicazioni della Convezione Onu sui diritti dell’infanzia e dell’adolescenza siglata nel 1991 e ratificata nel 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

PEDOFILIA/ Ex catechista condannato per molestie a bambine di 9 anni

ITALIA
Il Sussidiario

[A sad story of pedophilia comes from Florence: A former catechist was sentenced to eight years in prison for the sexual abuse of two children who at the time were being prepared for First Communion.]

15 GIUGNO 2017 FABIO BELLI

PEDOFILIA, EX CATECHISTA CONDANNATO - Una triste storia di pedofilia arriva da Firenze: un ex catechista è stato condannato ad otto anni di reclusione per aver compiuto abusi sessuali su due bambine che, all’epoca dei fatti stavano effettuando con lui il corso di preparazione alla Prima Comunione. Inizialmente le piccole non hanno avuto il coraggio di denunciare i fatti, poi col passare degli anni e con le vittime ormai divenute adolescenti anni dopo, il ricordo del catechista che toccava le bambine nelle parti intime durante il periodo della Prima Comunione si è fatta insopportabile. Una delle due piccole si è recata dalle forze dell’ordine ed è successivamente partito un procedimento nei confronti del pedofilo cinquantenne, che è stato condannato a otto anni di reclusione. La sentenza è stata emessa in tribunale in assenza sia dell’uomo, sia della vittima che ha sporto la denuncia, che avrà ora diritto ad un risarcimento.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Milano – Prete accusato di abusi, la Diocesi ha agito con scrupolo e coscienza?

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[Milan - Priest accused of abuse: The diocese acted with care and conscience?]

«La diocesi e la parrocchia di Rozzano – si legge in una nota dell’Ufficio comunicazioni sociali della diocesi di Milano – hanno gestito il caso con scrupolo e coscienza, provvedendo cautelativamente a sollevare don Mauro Galli dal ministero e a trasferirlo a Roma per completare i suoi studi. Il trasferimento è avvenuto diversi mesi prima che fosse presentata la denuncia querela da parte del legale del giovane, intervenuta solo nel luglio 2014. Tutto questo in attesa che la giustizia faccia luce con il processo penale».

Curiosa la nota dell’Ufficio comunicazioni sociali della diocesi di Milano che si precipita a precisare che sia la diocesi che la parrocchia di Rozzano hanno gestito il caso “don Mauro Galli” con scrupolo e coscienza.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Adoption in Ireland: 'We're still going through it, we're still carrying the shame'

IRELAND
The Journal

WHEN ACTRESS AND playwright Noelle Brown was 35, she decided to search for her birth family.

Born in Cork’s Bessborough mother and baby home – or mother and baby institution, as she feels it should be called - Brown was adopted when she was eight weeks old. Her adoptive family was always very open about her past. But when she went looking for her own personal documentation in her mid-30s, she hit a brick wall.

Her experiences as an adopted person in Ireland have led to her play Postscript, which looks at the reality for a person like Brown trying to find their birth family in Ireland.

It’s a tale of secrets, lies, identity, and lingering questions.

Brown tells TheJournal.ie that she believes a stigma exists around adoption and mother and baby homes in Ireland which can affect people throughout their lives. She is also highly critical of forthcoming legislation around adoption in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Clerical sex-abuse cover-up in Australian church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Fiction: Crimes of the Father, Thomas Keneally, Sceptre Books, hdbk, 400 pages, €26.59

Andrew Lynch
June 18 2017

Antipodean Booker-winner Thomas Keneally's new novel tells the story of a liberal priest's uncovering of