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July 22, 2017

Question, find and publish the truth: motto of a Spotlight reporter

INDIA
Mint on Suday

Vidhi Choudhary

Michael Rezendes is a Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter on The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team. In over two decades with the Globe, he has worked as a reporter and editor, covering presidential, state and local politics. In 2003, Rezendes did a story that revealed the cover up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, chronicled in the Academy Award-winning movie Spotlight.

On his maiden visit to India, Rezendes spoke at The Media Rumble, a news media conference organized by Newslaundry. In an interview to Mint on the sidelines of the event, Rezendes talked about the need to fund investigative media outlets and the financial difficulties news organizations face today. His advice to other journalists: question the truth, find the truth and publish the truth.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

What’s the biggest change that you’ve seen in the US journalism landscape over the last 5-10 years?

I’ve seen a very terrible, discouraging financial weakening of most news organizations in the United States. Most traditional news organizations... are cutting their staff, city halls are not being covered, state houses and courts are not being covered. I think because the revenue model has been destroyed by the internet, basic accountability journalism is not happening in cities all across America and I think its very troubling.

What could address this financial weakening?

I think there is going to be a new financial model that will evolve or maybe there’ll be several that evolve. I’m very interested in the non-profit model right now. There are some non-profit organizations in the United States that are doing very well. Pro Publica, the Centre for Investigative Reporting and the Centre for Public Integrity. These are all news organizations that exist with donations and they are doing very well and producing great work. ...

The expose of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church was the biggest story of your career. Personally, what stays with you?

Always question authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Sylvia Demarest’s Gift of Disturbing Data

TEXAS
The Texas Law Journal

'Wake up the Pope': The North Texas verdict that shook the Catholic Church two decades ago - WFAA

By Bruce Tomaso

(July 20) – After the Rudy Kos case, plaintiffs’ attorney Sylvia Demarest went on to represent another dozen or so victims of sexual abuse in lawsuits against the Catholic Church.

She could have kept that lucrative practice going forever; with thousands of priests accused of having molested children, there was no shortage of potential clients.

But in 2004, Demarest retired from active litigation. She’d had enough.

“After a while, I just couldn’t take another abuse case,” she said. “There’s only so much sadness and suffering you can tolerate.

“Emotionally, it took a toll. I went all in for my clients. It took me a long time to move beyond what had happened to them—what their church allowed to happen to them.”

The Dallas lawyer found a way for her work to live on: She donated a trove of records she’d collected over 11 years—information on 2,600 priests accused of pedophilia, plus her litigation files from the Kos case and others—to BishopAccountability.org, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit project dedicated to documenting the Catholic crisis.

Today, that database, augmented by records from other sources, is online and accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

“What Sylvia did was momentous. She was a visionary,” said Terry McKiernan, a co-director of BishopAccountability.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

'Wake up the Pope': The North Texas verdict that shook the Catholic Church two decades ago

TEXAS
WFAA

Sylvia Demarest’s Gift of Disturbing Data - The Texas Law Book

TWENTY YEARS AGO THIS MONTH, AN EXTRAORDINARY TRIAL TOOK PLACE IN A DALLAS COUNTY COURT. IT PITTED 10 YOUNG MEN AND THE FAMILY OF ANOTHER AGAINST THE DALLAS CATHOLIC DIOCESE. THIS SPECIAL REPORT TELLS THE STORY OF THE TRIAL OF RUDY KOS, A REMARKABLE AND HISTORIC TALE OF COURTROOM JUSTICE.

Bruce Tomaso, The Texas Lawbook

Editor’s note: The following article contains sexually explicit references.

A dozen jurors walked into a Dallas courtroom two decades ago to deliver their verdict. For more than two months, they listened to graphic, horrifying testimony about a pedophile priest who preyed on young boys for years.

Witness after witness told their detailed stories of sexual abuse that stretched years by Rudy Kos, a long-time priest in the Roman Catholic Church. Even lawyers for the church and its bishop provided evidence against the priestly pervert in their own ranks.

Twenty years ago this month, the 12 Texas jurors issued a decision that rocked the very foundation of the church. They decreed that the church itself had sinned – that church leaders were grossly negligent because they knew about the sexual abuse but did nothing to stop it.

The jury ruled that the Catholic Diocese engaged in fraud and conspiracy to hide the crimes of Kos from the public, from law enforcement and even from parishioners. The jury awarded a historic and unprecedented $119.6 million to 10 young men who had been repeatedly molested as children by Kos. An 11th plaintiff had killed himself prior to trial.

In an extraordinary move, the jurors wrote a letter to the diocese, which they read in open court after their verdict was rendered. The letter urged church leaders to change their policies on dealing with reports of child abuse.

“Please admit your guilt,” the jurors said, “and allow these young men to get on with their lives.”

“We asked this jury to speak to the world, and they have done that,” Dallas lawyer Windle Turley said after the verdict.

Sylvia Demarest, another lawyer involved in the case, told reporters, “I hope they wake up the pope with this verdict.”

The diocese, claiming the jury’s judgment would plunge it into bankruptcy, settled with the plaintiffs for $30.9 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Child abuse claims: Rules change will put responsibility on organisations

AUSTRALIA
The Sunday Telegraph

LINDA SILMALIS, chief reporter, The Sunday Telegraph

ORGANISATIONS responsible for children would no longer be able to sidestep child abuse claims by shifting blame on to individuals under major changes being considered by the state government.

The introduction of “non-delegable” duty of care would apply to religious organisations, out-of-home care facilities, juvenile detention centres, day and boarding schools, early childhood education, long daycare, family daycare, outside school hours services and preschool programs.

The institutions would be ­liable for the actions of “everyone” associated with them.

The onus of proof for child abuse claims would also be ­reversed, with liability hinging on an institution proving that it took “reasonable steps” to prevent the crimes.

And churches and other religious bodies with members ­accused of child abuse would no longer be able to avoid being sued as a result of being an “unincorporated association”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Tasmania’s Anglican Church frustrated with inquiry delays

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

CHRIS PIPPOS, Sunday Tasmanian

TASMANIA’S Anglican Church hierarchy has aired its frustrations over delays into the internal investigation of a former bishop who allegedly allowed a paedophile to remain in the church.

Anglican Church Vicar General Chris Jones said he “absolutely” understood the frustration felt by victims about the slow progress of the review into findings involving former Tasmanian Bishop Phillip Newell, adding the matter was “with the lawyers”.

“We want this sorted,” Dr Jones said.

“I think it’s really important for our commitment to survivors that we can conclude this matter.’’

In February, a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse report found evidence that now-retired Bishop Newell was made aware in 1987 that now-convicted paedophile Louis Daniels, involved with the Church of England Boy’s Society, had sexually abused three boys, then was later promoted within the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

El ático del cardenal Bertone se pagó con fondos de un hospital infantil

ROMA
El Pais

[Money was diverted from the Bambino Geso children's hospital to pay for renovations to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's apartment.]

DANIEL VERDÚ

Roma 13 JUL 2017

El ático tenía más de 300 metros cuadrados y una magnífica terraza de otros 100. El todopoderoso cardenal Tarcisio Bertone, secretario de Estado del Vaticano con Benedicto XVI (cargo similar al de un primer ministro) trasladó ahí su residencia y quiso reformarlo, aunque la idea fuese a costar algunos cientos de miles de euros. Más allá de la escandalosa cifra, el problema es que parte de ese dinero, como quedó demostrado, se obtuvo de los fondos del hospital para niños del Vaticano Bambino Gesù. Su antiguo presidente, Giuseppe Profiti, y el extesorero, Massimo Spina, serán juzgados ahora por un tribunal del Vaticano por malversación. Bertone, que sigue viviendo en el famoso ático, a 50 metros de la mucho más modesta residencia del Papa, no se sentará en el banquillo. La gran incógnita es si durante el proceso será llamado a declarar como testigo.

El baile de cifras que rodeó al polémico ático —dos apartamentos unidos para él y las tres monjas que le acompañan— fue el primer síntoma de los desmanes que durante un tiempo se produjeron en el Vaticano. Primero se supo que la aventura inmobiliaria había costado unos 150.000 euros, dinero que el propio Bertone —quizá empujado por el papa Francisco— restituyó al hospital cuando trascendió el escándalo. Posteriormente, Bertone aseguró que también había puesto otros 300.000 euros de su bolsillo y finalmente trascendió que lo que desembolsó el centro médico fueron 442.000 euros. Entre unas cosas y otras —se habló de un equipo de música de 18.000 euros, mármoles de lujo y suelos de roble— la factura que cobró la sociedad radicada en Londres de un constructor italiano en bancarrota, muy cercano al propio Bertone, salió por 792.544 euros.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Sacerdote es condenado por abuso sexual en Chile

CHILE
ACI Prensa

[Priest condemned for sexual abuse in Chile: The 14th Court of Guarantee of Santiago de Chile declared the priest and former vice-rector of the National Sanctuary of Maipú, Fr. Rodrigo Gajardo, to be guilty of sexual abuse.]

SANTIAGO, 19 Jul. 17 / 07:43 pm (ACI).- El 14° Juzgado de Garantía de Santiago de Chile declaró culpable de abuso sexual al sacerdote y ex vicerrector del Santuario Nacional de Maipú, P. Rodrigo Gajardo.

El sacerdote reconoció su responsabilidad en el hecho y fue condenado a la pena de “61 días de presidio menor en su grado mínimo y a la suspensión de cargo u oficio público durante el tiempo de la condena”, según señala el fallo del 27 de junio de la magistrada Claudia Santos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Abusi sessuali su un ragazzino Un altro parroco sotto processo

ITALIA
Rete L'Abuso

[A judge investigates a teacher for child abuse at a school of the Legionaries of Christ in Boadilla.]

Era responsabile di una parrocchia a Monselice. L’intervento del vescovo e la «sospensione»

PADOVA Doveva essere un luogo sicuro, uno di quei posti in cui poter mandare tranquillamente i propri figli, convinti che lì non sarebbe potuto succedere loro nulla di male. E invece quella canonica, tra paramenti sacri e incensi, si è trasformata in un luogo da evitare, così come il padrone di casa. Perché il parroco ora si ritrova bollato di un’accusa pesantissima, violenza sessuale su un minore, un suo parrocchiano, e per questo sta affrontando davanti al giudice per le udienze preliminari di Padova, Margherita Brunello, un processo in abbreviato. A finire sotto inchiesta è un giovane prete che, fino a qualche tempo fa, era il titolare di una delle parrocchie di Monselice. Così come pure di Monselice è quella che sarebbe la sua vittima, un ragazzo quindicenne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Die sündige Kirche

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutschlandfunk

[The sinful church: The public pressure on the abuses in the Catholic Church should have to continue, commented Joachim Frank in the Dlf: Otherwise, those who still had not understood anything would get the upper hand - like the former prefect of the Congregation for the Congregation of the Faith Gerhard Müller.]

Der öffentliche Druck zu den Missbräuchen in der katholischen Kirche müssten, anhalten, kommentierte Joachim Frank im Dlf: Ansonsten würden diejenigen, die immer noch nichts verstanden hätten, wieder Oberwasser bekommen - wie etwa der ehemalige Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation Gerhard Müller.

Von Joachim Frank

Destruktiv, zerstörerisch war die katholische Kirche lange genug. Die Seelen ungezählter Kinder und Jugendlicher hat sie zerstört. Nein, nicht die Kirche als Ganzes. Wohl aber all jene Priester, Ordensleute, Seelsorger, die sich an Schutzbefohlenen vergingen, sie schlugen, misshandelten, sexuell missbrauchten.

Und die Kirchenoberen, die wegschauten, abwiegelten, sich um die Täter sorgten, noch mehr aber um die heilige Kirche. Das alles hatte System: Institutionenschutz vor Opferschutz. Schon deshalb ist es falsch und gefährlich, die Vergehen auf Einzelfälle und individuelles moralisches Versagen zu reduzieren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Domspatzen: Zweierlei Maß bei Berichterstattung

VATICAN/DEUTSCHLAND
Vatikan Radio

[A sharp criticism of the media coverage on the fall of the Regensburger Domspatzen comes from the Vatican medium Osservatore Romano. The recently released final report on the scandal had aroused great interest in the Italian media. In an editorial of this Saturday the author writes Luccetta Scaraffia that it is measured in the distribution of news "with two dimensions".]

Scharfe Kritik an der Medienberichterstattung zum Fall der Regensburger Domspatzen kommt vom vatikanischen Medium Osservatore Romano. Der kürzlich veröffentlichte Abschlussbericht zu dem Skandal hatte in den italienischen Medien großes Aufsehen erregt. In einem Leitartikel von diesem Samstag schreibt die Autorin Lucetta Scaraffia, es werde bei der Verbreitung von Nachrichten offensichtlich „mit zweierlei Maß“ gemessen. Denn während beispielsweise Praktiken von sexistischen und körperlich wie seelisch verletzenden Initiationsriten in einer römischen Kaserne aus den 1980er Jahren, die vor einigen Tagen bekannt geworden waren, keinerlei öffentliche Empörung oder größeres Medienecho ausgelöst hätten, sei der Missbrauch im Kinderchor der Domspatzen auf reißerische und tendenziöse Weise durch die Medien gegangen. In den Berichten sei teilweise sogar der Eindruck entstanden, es handele sich um 547 Fälle von schwerem sexuellen Missbrauch der Chorknaben. Außerdem wurde verschwiegen, dass der Abschlussbericht zur Aufklärung der Fälle von der Diözese selbst in Auftrag gegeben worden war, um „den Gerüchten und Anzeigen zu diesem Skandal auf den Grund zu gehen“, wie Scaraffia schreibt. Die Autorin ist Historikerin und Mitglied des italienischen Komitees für Bioethik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Vom Scheiterhaufen zum Schweigegebot

DEUTSCHLAND
Domradio

[From the pyre to the silence. The Congregation of the Inquisition - formerly called the Holy Office and now as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - is the oldest authority of the Holy See. Since its foundation 475 years ago, it has experienced a changing history and continuous development of its tasks.

Die Kongregation der Inquisition ist die älteste Behörde des Heiligen Stuhls. Seit ihrer Gründung vor 475 Jahren hat sie eine wechselvolle Geschichte und ständige Weiterentwicklung ihrer Aufgaben erlebt.

Sie ist die älteste der neun vatikanischen Kongregationen. Am 21. Juli 1542 unter Papst Paul III. (1534-49) als "Kongregation der Römischen und Universalen Inquisition" gegründet, war sie lange Zeit die oberste, aber auch die am meisten gefürchtete Behörde des Heiligen Stuhls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Ex-Aurora priest charged with sex abuse avoids deportation

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Hannah Leone
Aurora Beacon-News

A former Aurora priest charged with sexually abusing two young girls at their Catholic church appears to have eluded deportation to his native Colombia — for now.

Alfredo Pedraza Arias entered a courtroom late Friday morning in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody and left in the custody of the Kane County judicial center in St. Charles.

A June 14 deportation order signed by a federal immigration judge cast uncertainty on whether Arias, 50, would be in the U.S. when his felony trial on the sexual abuse charges was scheduled to begin July 31. The case has been continued, however, with no new trial date set.

On Friday, Kane County Judge Linda Abrahamson remanded Arias to the county judicial center's custody based on a bond increase ordered earlier this month. That change stipulates that he must post 10 percent toward an additional $100,000 in bail in order to be re-released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Church cuts ties with sex victims on insurer's advice, claims report

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Martin Evans, crime correspondent
22 JULY 2017

The Church of England withdrew support for sex abuse victims on the advice of its insurers, it has been claimed.

Officials allegedly severed ties with victims who had suffered at the hands of clergy, once compensation had been paid.

One sex abuse victim, who was paid £35,000 in compensation after being raped in the 1970s by a member of the clergy, claimed he was cut adrift once the payment had been made and blamed the church's insurers, Ecclesiastical.

An independent review into the case stated that the insurer's advice had "directly conflicted" with the pastoral and compassionate responsibilities of the church, adding that "financial interests were allowed to impact practice".

The findings of the review, conducted by Ian Elliot, a child safeguarding specialist, were accepted in full by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES A "PARADISE FOR PEDOPHILES": REPORT

NETHERLANDS
NL Times

[Kinderen Jehova’s slecht beschermd tegen misbruik - Trouw]

[Ouderling is rechercheur, rechter én psycholoog - Trouw]

By Janene Pieters on July 21, 2017

Children of Jehovah's Witnesses are easy targets for pedophiles, newspaper Trouw reports after speaking to victims, members and ex-members of the Jehovah's Witnesses. One victim called the Christian society a "paradise for pedophiles".

The victims Trouw spoke to were abused in the 80s and 90s. But according to the victims and others involved, abuse is still happening. The Netherlands counts about 30 thousand Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Jehovah's Witnesses in the Netherlands follow the international guidelines of the organization. Their own legal system is above that of international authorities. In the organization, male elders are the judges. According to Trouw, for a conviction in the society, at least two witnesses are needed. This creates a problem as in many child sexual abuse cases, the only witnesses are the victim and the perpetrator. And perpetrators don't tend to testify against themselves.

Perpetrators are also not forced to leave the community, unless he or she shows no regret. Other members are not told about the abuse, because talking about such a case without a conviction is seen as slander.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Mistrial declared in pastor sex abuse case

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Matthew Glowicki, @MattGlo July 21, 2017

The trial of a former Louisville pastor accused of sexually abusing three young sisters in the 1990s ended abruptly on the second day of testimony.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Barry Willett declared a mistrial Thursday shortly after one of the now-adult sisters took to the witness stand to testify.

On Wednesday, the first day of evidence in the trial, prosecutors told jurors that 79-year-old Allen Lehmann sexually abused the girls a number of times during the '90s when they made short visits to his home.

Lehmann, who now lives in Indiana, was living in Louisville at the time as pastor at Trinity Chapel Assembly of God church.

The three girls were all under age 15 at the time, according to court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Concord police deny ‘Monitor’s’ records requests on St. Paul’s School

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By ALYSSA DANDREA
Monitor staff
Friday, July 21, 2017

Concord police files requested by the Monitor two months ago are being withheld because of a criminal investigation launched last week by the attorney general into St. Paul’s School.

Concord police Chief Bradley Osgood said in a letter Thursday that the documents are now exempt from disclosure under New Hampshire’s Right-to-Know law in light of the attorney general’s probe into how the elite boarding school responded to cases of sexual misconduct over several decades.

Previously, Osgood said the city needed approximately 60 days to fulfill the Monitor’s May 25 request for all calls for service to St. Paul’s School, and all related offense reports referencing assault crimes at the institution, dating back to 2007. The newspaper also requested all police reports on now-closed sexual assault investigations during the same time frame.

The Monitor filed a second Right-to-Know request June 27 requesting the same type of information and documentation from 2007 to 1987. Police acknowledged receipt of the request, but had not indicated a time frame for completion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Diocese of Gaylord priest found not guilty of sexual assault charges

MICHIGAN
Gaylord Herald Times

Jordan Spence The Alpena News

ROGERS CITY — The Rev. Syvestre Obwaka was found not guilty of two criminal sexual conduct charges on Thursday, following approxmiately two hours of jury deliberation in 53rd Circuit Court. The trial lasted three days.

After the verdicts were read, Obwaka said “Jesus thank you,” as he was embraced by family and friends.

Obwaka was charged on two counts of criminal sexual conduct in February. He was charged with a count of first degree criminal sexual conduct with personal injury and third degree criminal sexual conduct force or coercion.

The alleged victim in the case is a male priest who also is part of the Diocese of Gaylord.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Former North Catholic teacher completes Australia prison sentence for sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA/AUSTRALIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PETER SMITH
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
petersmith@post-gazette.com
JUL 21, 2017

Brother Bernard Hartman, a former teacher at North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, is expected to be released from an Australian prison this weekend and return to the United States after completing his two-year prison sentence for sexually abusing three children in that country in the 1970s and 1980s.

Hartman, 77, a member of the Marianist religious order, “will be resident in a non-Marianist facility, specializing in supervision of men with significant personal issues and/or court referrals,” said a statement from the Rev. Martin Solma, provincial for the Marianist Province of the United States. The facility will provide “24/7 supervision,” and he said Hartman would have “no external ministry or freedom of movement.”

Father Solma did not specify where Hartman would live, but he said it would not be in Pennsylvania, where Hartman once taught. Nor, he said, would it be in Ohio, where Hartman lived in a Marianist facility in Dayton between his abrupt removal from North Catholic in 1997 and his extradition to Australia in 2013 to face charges there.

Hartman joined the Marianists in 1958 and was a science teacher. He was not an ordained priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

No statute of limitations on horror of sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Albuquerque Journal

By Diane Dimond / Crime and Justice | Diane@DianeDimond.com
Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert cut a pitiful figure this week as he left a federal prison in Minnesota and his wheelchair stuck on a bump in the sidewalk. His wife, fumbling at his side trying to manage his aluminum walker and other items, wasn’t immediately able to help him over the hurdle. The just-released prisoner was momentarily stuck. Pathetic for a man who was once second in line to the presidency of the United States.
I didn’t feel sorry for him one bit. Hastert is one of the worst kind of criminals in my book. He robbed children of their innocence and damaged their futures forever.

When Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison last April, the judge called him “a serial child molester” and noted he had sexually abused at least four members of the wrestling team at Yorkville High School in suburban Chicago from 1965 to 1981. I’m betting there were more young boys who fell victim to coach Hastert’s lust. Preferential serial child molesters rarely stop at four.

But Hastert was not convicted of sexually abusing children because the statute of limitations in Illinois had long since run out. In that state, a victim has 20 years from their 18th birthday to report a sex crime and Hastert’s popular position in the community back in the day had been enough to keep all his victims quiet – for decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

July 21, 2017

Six out of 24 complaints of abuse of children, vulnerable adults ‘substantiated’ - Curia co

MALTA
Malta Independent

Six out of 24 complaints made in 2016 to the Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults (Safeguarding Commission) were substantiated, and the necessary steps were taken, the commission said today.

During 2016, out of the 12 complaints involving minors received by the Commission, two allegations were substantiated and the necessary steps were taken in all cases. The other concluded cases were either not proven or were referred to the relevant entities as they did not fall under the Commission’s remit. Up to December 2016 assessments were being carried out on 12 complaints, of which 6 had a restriction imposed on the pastoral activity as a precaution.

In the case of vulnerable adults, the assessment on the concluded cases was carried out in less than 6 months. Out of the 12 complaints received by the Commission in 2016, 4 allegations were substantiated and the necessary steps were taken in all cases.

The other concluded cases were either not proven or were referred to the relevant entities as they did not fall under the Commission’s remit. Until the end of the year, the assessments of 10 complaints were underway, and while in each case the necessary action was taken, in one particular case a restriction on the pastoral activity was imposed as a precaution.

Azzopardi would later say that high-risk individuals would be placed under strict restrictions, such as a suspension from pastoral activities.

John Major lambasted over child migrants

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O'Neill
July 22 2017
The Times

Sir John Major should have been called before a public inquiry to explain why his government refused to accept any responsibility for the plight of child migrants, a leading campaigner said yesterday.

Margaret Humphreys, director of the Child Migrants Trust, told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that as the scale of the scandal emerged in the 1990s her efforts to engage the Conservative government were in vain. Sir John and other ministers repeatedly said that the issue of ill-treatment of the migrants was a matter for governments in Australia and other countries.

Some 7,500 children were taken from their families in Britain and deported to farm schools and institutions in Australia and other former colonies between 1948 and 1970. Many suffered physical and sexual abuse, neglect and deprivation.

The inquiry allowed Sir John to submit evidence in writing this week in which he said he had no useful recollection of the issues.

Dr Humphreys said the attitude of the government in the 1990s had been very distressing for former migrants who wanted help to be reunited with surviving parents.

She said: “I was very disappointed he did not attend this inquiry.” She also told the inquiry to reject arguments that standards were different in the 1940s and 50s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

Searching for answers

IRELAND
Sligo Champion

Jessica Farry
July 22 2017

"Nobody should have to go through life without knowing who they are, especially when there are people out there who have the answers."

Those are the words of Councillor Gino O'Boyle is looking to find information on his father Seamie's family, and where he came from.

Seamie sadly passed away in 2015, but he, and his wife Mairead, had spent decades searching for answers.

Seamie was brought to the Nazareth House in Sligo on the 25th of July 1957 from Cavan by a Maureen McCabe and Cyril McCaul and was organised by Fr Patrck Gallagher from Rockcorry (Monaghan). The McCabe family home in Tullyvin (Cavan) was the last place Seamie was before being brought to Sligo.

That was the only information he had.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Court rules men cannot reopen abuse claims against State

IRELAND
Irish Times

Five men who sued over alleged abuse as children in Christian Brothers’ schools have failed in their attempt to have their damages actions against the State restarted.

The men previously discontinued their actions against the Minister for Education and the State after the Supreme Court, in the landmark 2008 case of Louise O’Keeffe, found the State could not be held vicariously liable for the actions of abusers employed in national schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

Child migrants kept being sent to farm schools in Australia despite officials knowing some harboured paedophile rings

UNITED KINGDOM/AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Australian Associated Press

Child migrants kept being trafficked from Britain to Australia despite officials knowing that some institutions they were sent to harboured pedophile rings, a U.K. inquiry was told.

Dr Margaret Humphreys of the Child Migrants Trust told the child sexual abuse inquiry in London that recruiters were sent to the U.K. to select children for church and charity-run farm schools in Australia.

'We would categorise that now as child trafficking,' she said on Friday.

The inquiry is examining the sexual, physical and emotional abuse suffered by thousands of children in care who were sent to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Rhodesia up to the 1970s.

Among the worst offenders were the Catholic order the Christian Brothers who ran farm schools in Western Australia and the royals-backed Fairbridge Society which ran farm schools in NSW.

The inquiry has heard from former child migrants that say they were routinely sexually abused and flogged by staff, were poorly fed, clothed and educated and used as virtual slave labour on the farms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Some Good News in the Saga of Bruce Wellems

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

July 21, 2017 Joelle Casteix

This week, a lawyer for the Claretian Missionaries announced that Bruce Wellems was forced to petition the Vatican to give up his collar.

That’s right. He can’t be a priest.

For those of you who have been following this blog, that’s huge news. But for this person, it’s vindication:

That’s Eric Johnson. Bruce Wellems was 15 when he sexually abused seven-year-old Eric. I don’t say “allegedly,” because Wellems has admitted it.

Eric has been fighting for years to expose what happened to him and to get some semblance of justice.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

“I could have chosen to remain anonymous, but I did not, which was not easy for my family nor myself. Yet I continue to push for justice,” [Eric Johnson] said. “[Wellems] is a danger to the kids and the community.”

Wellems contends that his good work since the time he abused Eric should make up for his past. But here’s the rub: Not once has he apologized for what he did to Eric and/or may have done to others. Not once has he understood the lifelong pain that sexual abuse causes victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

The Woodlands pastor charged with prostitution

TEXAS
ABC 13

By Mayra Moreno
Thursday, July 20, 2017

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (KTRK) -- A Montgomery County religious leader has been charged with prostitution.

According to charging documents, 52-year-old Eddie Hilburn was taken into custody after he agreed to pay for sex.

Officials at The Woodlands First Baptist Church confirmed that Hilburn is an associate pastor.

According to the church's website, Hilburn has been with the church since 2012 and had previously served at other churches across Texas and Wisconsin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Nigerian pastor pushes to get bail

SOUTH AFRICA
SABC

Friday 21 July 2017
Olwetu Matsipane

Nigerian pastor, Timothy Omotoso will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday for a new bail application.

He faces charges of human trafficking and sexual abuse after allegedly keeping under-age girls at his house in Durban.

The Jesus Dominion International Church leader was denied bail after his previous application.

While handing down judgement, presiding magistrate Thandeka Mashile said the nature and gravity of the offences permitted no bail.

She cited that Omotoso was in the country illegally, with false documents, and therefore could be a flight risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Former youth pastor accused of child molestation appears in court

FLORIDA
WCTV

[with video]

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 20, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A former Tallahassee youth pastor accused of fondling boys made his first appearance in court Thursday morning.

Roshad Thomas appeared before a judge via video from the Leon County Jail.

Thomas was arrested Monday and charged with six counts of sex offenses against children ages 12 to 16. Investigators have identified five victims.

The first victim said the incident with Thomas happened ten years ago, when he was 13.

Thomas' younger sister spoke out in court Thursday. She said, "He is loved. I love him dearly. But, I'd also like you to know that we are here, available to do whatever it takes to get healing and restoration for Roshad, and more importantly for the community and any victims that might be involved."

Other supporters were there, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

It's a crime: Sexual assault on campus

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

EDITORIAL
July 20. 2017

Sexual misconduct on the campuses of two of the nation’s most prestigious prep schools has prompted a closer look at how these New Hampshire institutions protect their students.

Phillips Exeter Academy kept quiet about a professor who had sexual relationships with his students for decades, quietly shuffling him into retirement. St. Paul’s School in Concord knew about decades of sexual misconduct by students and faculty.

When an alleged victim of sexual assault comes forward to school officials, making these allegations public must be a difficult decision. The school would want to shield the victim, particularly if he or she is a minor, from a public ordeal. Yet the school also has an inherent conflict of interest.

Too often, schools have chosen to keep parents and the public in the dark about crimes happening on campus.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has promised to revisit Obama administration guidance urging colleges to crack down on sexual assault. But schools are not courts. Rape is a crime, not an honor code violation. Colleges are ill-equipped to provide justice for victims or due process to the accused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

‘We’re not as far from Magdalene days as we’d like to believe’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Carol Hunt

“Dear Ellen, I see where you are looking for some information about the Magdalene laundry. I was in the Magdalene laundry for a good many years and I live out in the country now. But I never will forget it to my dying day. The cruelty we got. Slaved like blacks. Some of the girls were dragged by the hair of their heads and more, their hair was cut off simply if they gave the least back answer or were too slow at their work.”

I’m listening to Julian Vignoles RTÉ radio documentary which first aired in 1992.

He explains; “A letter with no name and no address. It was written last summer in response to a newspaper advertisement. For nearly 100 years single women who became pregnant, women who weren’t wanted, were banished, by their families, to the Mary Magdalene Home Laundry in Galway City. It was one of many such institutions in Ireland. Their detention was legally dubious. Some women spent the rest of their lives there. This year, a play and a song brought the memory back in Galway . . .”

The play Vignoles talks about is called Eclipsed. Written by a former postulant nun, Patricia Burke Brogan, the first I heard of it was in December 1991 when a friend of mine told me a fledgling theatre company in Galway, Punchbag, was auditioning for a new play set in a Magdalene laundry. I had just finished a two-year acting course and was willing to try out for it. It was my first audition and I landed the part of Mandy, described in the script as one of the “penitent women” signed into a fictional Magdalene laundry for the sin of getting pregnant “outside marriage”. There were eight of us in the cast. Eight women! A record number in what was, and still is, a male-dominated theatre world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

The Fall of the Vice-Pope

UNITED STATES
The New York Review of Books

Ingrid D. Rowland

A photograph taken in Argentina in 2007 shows two cardinals, Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Tarcisio Bertone, sitting side by side, although their chairs are on two different levels. At the time, Bertone was the Vatican’s Secretary of State, having traveled to a village in northern Patagonia “in the name of His Holiness Benedict XVI” to preside over the beatification of a turn-of-the-century religious student.

Bertone’s wooden armchair sits on a dais that puts him a good six inches higher than Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who perches uncomfortably on his metal-and-plastic seat, and the man known to many as the “vice-pope” occupies his virtual throne with kingly complacency, clad in yards of fine Italian filetto lace beneath his golden chasuble, with a sporty pair of aviator sunglasses to complement his gold-embroidered miter (and is that a Rolex on his wrist?). Next to him, in Jesuit black under plain white robes, Cardinal Bergoglio, with his iron cross and his horn-rimmed spectacles, looks open-mouthed upon the radiant spectacle, his famously mobile face providing the perfect caption to the picture. Six years later, Bergoglio became Pope Francis, and things have not been the same since.

On May 19, the glossy, gossipy German newspaper Bild Zeitung printed a report that made immediate headlines in Italy: Vatican prosecutors had begun to investigate allegations that Cardinal Bertone, as the Holy See’s Number Two from 2006 to 2013, had embezzled 15 million euros ($20 million) from Vatican accounts, apparently to benefit an Italian television producer, a former director of the state broadcaster RAI named Ettore Bernabei, with deep connections to Italy’s conservative establishment and a longtime membership in the powerful Catholic organization Opus Dei. The transfer of these funds allegedly occurred in December 2012. The Vatican press corps swiftly denied that a “criminal investigation” was underway, and Bertone himself insisted that the deal had followed “all the rules.”

But the timing of the presumptive transaction is, to say the least, interesting. It came at the very end of the remarkable year in which confidential documents from Pope Benedict’s private office began leaking to the press, revealing power struggles within the Curia and suggestions of widespread corruption within the Church. In these “Vatileaks” documents, Cardinal Bertone figured prominently: he had personally reproved the general secretary of the Vatican governorate, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, for reporting detailed evidence of nepotism, cronyism, and crooked property deals within the Vatican, and soon Pope Benedict had transferred the whistle-blowing prelate from the Vatican to Washington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

The clergy's task is unfinished in confronting sex abuse

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Tom Roberts | Jul. 21, 2017

The story of Marie Collins, an Irish victim of clergy sex abuse and a witness of unimpeachable integrity, is a dual tale of how far the church has come in acknowledging and handling the scandal and of how wholly and demonstrably incapable the Catholic clerical culture is of dealing with its own sin.

Collins was one of two survivors of clergy sex abuse who were appointed in 2014 to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, an agency created by Pope Francis. She resigned the commission in March, providing NCR with a long explanatory statement.

Her decision to leave was not lightly taken. She had rejected the logic of some critics early on that any cooperation with church efforts was selling out to an institution that had generally ignored or re-victimized the abused for decades. She had later defended the work of the commission when its only other victim member, Peter Saunders, openly criticized the group for the slow pace of reform.

In March, however, three years after her appointment, she wrote: "I have come to the point where I can no longer be sustained by hope. As a survivor, I have watched events unfold with dismay."

Among the primary reasons for her despair, she listed "lack of resources, inadequate structures around support staff, slowness of forward movement and cultural resistance."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

As latest Vatican trial opens, is it time to dust off ‘About Doctrine’?

VATICAN CITY
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. Editor
July 20, 2017

Back in the 19th century, French novelist and journalist Edmond About was considered the Tocqueville of the Papal States, and he had a fairly cynical view of papal justice. As the latest Vatican trial opens, it's interesting to apply his tests. There's also some question marks about the timing of the trial, and a juicy irony waiting to be exploited surrounding the name of one of the defense lawyers.

As the latest Vatican trial opened on Tuesday for alleged criminal shenanigans, it occurred to me that you really have to go all the way back to the 1800s to find the last time the “courthouse beat” formed any part of covering the Vatican for most reporters in Rome.

In that era, the pope still ruled over a swath of territory in central Italy known as the “Papal States,” and criminal trials were a regular event. The pope even had his own executioner, the most famous of which was “Mastro Titta,” a nickname that was a corruption of the Italian phrase maestro di giustizia, or “master of justice.”

So famous was he in the mid-19th century that Roman mothers sang their little ones to sleep with a rhyme that goes, “Sega, sega, Mastro Titta.” Segare is the Italian verb “to saw,” so the mental image is ghoulishly accurate.

In the century and a half since, the Vatican has banned capital punishment, and today is a global leader in the abolitionist movement. The pope now only exercises civil power over about 109 acres of territory, representing the physical footprint of the Vatican City State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Reverend Obwaka Cleared of All Charges

MICHIGAN
WBKB

[with video]

Reverend Sylvester Obwaka walked free today after months of rape allegations brought upon him by a younger priest. The reverend was accused of raping the young man during a one–night stay at his home, and today charges of sexual assault in the first and third degree were dropped.

First to the witness stand was Hope Shores Alliance Advocacy Coordinator Jennifer Baker. The prosecution and defense questioned Baker about victim tendencies in the moment of a sexual assault, focusing on responses such as non–resistance that might seem inconsistent with how a typical juror would expect a victim to respond

“Absolutely. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s inconsistent because it’s a safety issue. So your brain is going to do whatever is going to keep you safest in that moment. So if that’s freezing, it’s freezing. Not responding, not fighting back,” said Baker.

The majority of her statements supported the theory that victims may not resist sexual encounters due to the fight, flight or freeze response, and may not even remember the events correctly because of the way a victim’s brain processes trauma. After her testimony judge Scott Pavlich dismissed the jury to take a short recess, which is when the defense made a motion for the judge to dismiss the charges, believing they had provided enough evidence to prove consent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka Found Not Guilty Of Sexual Assault

MICHIGAN
9 and 10 News

[with video]

Updated: Jul 20, 2017
By Aaron Parseghian, Reporter

A Presque Isle County jury has decided Father Sylvestre Obwaka is not guilty of the sexual assault of a fellow priest, who was sleeping in his home in February.

The verdict was handed down Thursday evening.

9&10's Aaron Parseghian was in court Thursday where Obwaka took the stand in his own defense.

“He was another priest trying to give me an understanding,” said Obwaka.

Before the jury acquitted him of first and third degree sex crimes, Father Sylvestre Obwaka told his side of the story on the witness stand.

He says he had consensual sex with the alleged victim.

During cross examination the prosecuting team questioned whether any basis of consent was discussed between Obwaka and the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Jury finds Obwaka not guilty on CSC charges

MICHIGAN
Presque Isle Advance

Another Alleged Victim Revealed During Rev. Obwaka Hearing Monday - YouTube

More Setbacks With Father Sylvestre Obwaka's Trial Dates: More Details Needed From Second Victim - YouTube

July 20, 2017

by Angie Asam–Staff Writer

A 12-member jury found the Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka not guilty on two charges of criminal sexual conduct (CSC) Thursday evening.

After listening to testimony Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday and most of the day Thursday the jury was sent to the jury room to deliberate shortly before 4 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. the jurors knocked on the door to let the court officer know they had reached a verdict.

Once in place the Honorable Scott L. Pavlich reviewed the verdict form before handing it back to the floor person to read the verdict. The prosecution was seeking charges of CSC first degree causing personal injury and CSC third degree using force or coercion.

The alleged incident occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 1 and was reported to the Michigan State Police Feb. 17. The charges stemmed from a sexual encounter with a male victim, 28. Both Obwaka and the victim are Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Britain ‘waiting for abused child migrants to die’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
July 21 2017
The Times

A British high commissioner to Australia said that the government was not interested in the plight of abused child migrants because it was waiting for them to die, a public inquiry was told yesterday.

The claim was made by Norman Johnston, 75, who said it had taken 30 years of campaigning to get the British government to apologise for the suffering of children taken from their families and sent to schools in former colonies. Mr Johnston, president of the International Association of Former Child Migrants, told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse: “The British government sent us to places that they knew were not safe for children. I want the British public to know that.”

More than 130,000 children were sent to the colonies by charities and churches under state-approved migration schemes that ran for more than a century. Between 1948 and 1970 some 6,000 children were sent to Australia, of whom about 2,000 are alive.

John Major’s government denied during the 1990s that Britain had any duty towards the migrants. He told parliament in 1993 that he was aware of allegations of physical and sexual abuse but “any such allegations will be a matter for the Australian authorities”.

In 2005 Mr Johnston said he had a meeting in Canberra with Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, a former Labour minister who was the British high commissioner. He said: “We tried to give the message to the high commissioner about the lack of support we were getting from Britain to help to find our families and we were given short shrift.” Mr Johnston said the meeting had been “very frank” and claimed that it ended with Lady Liddell saying: “You will have a very long wait. The British government are waiting for you all to die.”

It was, he said, “an eye-opener and a complete shock” but the remark was “the first truthful thing we’d actually heard from the British government”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Vollkommene Gemeinschaft?

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[The Domspatzen boys were beaten, abused, degraded: Why didn´t Church representatives move in on the events but instead hushed them up? The reasons lie in the self-image of the church.]

Missbrauch | Bonn - 20.07.2017

Der Untersuchungsbericht zum körperlichen und sexuellen Missbrauch bei den Regensburger Domspatzen ist eine erschreckende Lektüre: Auf über 400 Seiten wird schonungslos deutlich dokumentiert, wie Schüler über Jahrzehnte hinweg geschlagen, missbraucht, entwürdigt wurden. Versuche, die Missstände zu benennen, wurden über Jahre ignoriert oder diffamiert. Der Schutz des Rufs der Institution stand über dem Schutz der Schutzbefohlenen. Das Verhältnis von Tätern und Opfern wurde geradezu umgekehrt: die heilige Institution als Opfer von Nestbeschmutzern.

Der Umgang mit Missbrauch in den eigenen Reihen ist nicht nur eine rechtliche Frage – er ist auch eine Frage nach den Bedingungen, unter denen Missbrauch in der Kirche geschehen kann und gedeckt wird. Letztlich ist es damit eine Frage der Ekklesiologie, der Lehre von der Gestalt der Kirche.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Der Balken im eigenen Auge

DEUTSCHLAND
HPD

[The tormentors do not want to talk about abuse. The press conference held by Ulrich Weber to discuss the final report on abuse cases at the Regensburg Domspatzen was hardly over when the alleged perpetrators started pointing their fingers at others.]

Von: Jan Weber

20. JUL 2017

Die Pressekonferenz ist kaum beendet, bei der Anwalt Ulrich Weber den Abschlussbericht zu den Missbrauchsfällen bei den "Regensburger Domspatzen" vorstellte, als die Täter schon mit dem Finger auf andere zeigen. Das macht sprachlos und wütend.

Der ohrfeigende Ex-Papst-Bruder Ratzinger hält die Aufklärung der Missbrauchsfälle für "Irrsinn". Dem Bayrischen Rundfunk sagte Ratzinger: "Diese Kampagne ist für mich ein Irrsinn. Es ist einfach Irrsinn, wie man über 40 Jahre hinweg überprüfen will, wie viele Ohrfeigen bei uns verteilt worden sind, so wie in anderen Einrichtungen auch." Der ehemalige Leiter der "Domspatzen" nennt es "Kampagne", wenn das hundertfache Leid von missbrauchten, geschlagenen und gequälten Menschen untersucht wird? Er wagt es tatsächlich, die Opfer nachträglich zu verhöhnen?

Ihm kann ja nichts mehr geschehen, seine Ohrfeigen sind längst verjährt. Die Opfer hingegen haben jahrzehntelang gelitten und für die Anerkennung der Schäden gekämpft und werden von Ratzinger noch einmal verbal geprügelt. Scham und Schande über den alten Mann!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Church should stand back from hospital operations, says HSE

IRELAND
The Times

Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland News Reporter
July 21 2017
The Times

The HSE chief executive has suggested there was confusion and “tension” about how much control religious groups had in hospitals, adding that he welcomed plans to distance the Catholic Church from national hospitals.

Tony O’Brien praised a proposal by Simon Harris, the health minister, to carry out a review of voluntary hospitals after the national uproar over a decision to let a religious order own a new maternity hospital.

In March The Times reported that the Sisters of Charity would own the new National Maternity Hospital after it was built with almost €300 million of taxpayers’ money on the order’s land.

Following the controversy, the sisters announced that the order would be stepping back completely from healthcare for the first time in 183 years. It will no longer own St Vincent’s healthcare group, the existing hospital or the new maternity hospital.

Negotiations on the maternity hospital being owned by a new private group, are continuing.

The health minister has expressed concern that a publicly built maternity hospital would not be publicly owned. Mr Harris is also bringing forward plans for a national review of religious involvement in health.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Former altar boys, student sue for $25M

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post Jul 20, 2017

Two men who once served as altar boys and were Boy Scouts filed civil complaints in the District Court of Guam against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America.

The suits, filed by Attorney David Lujan, seek $10 million each in damages for alleged sexual abuse they endured at the hands of Louis Brouillard, a priest who worked in Guam for several decades and also served as a Boy Scoutmaster.

A.M., now 56, alleges Brouillard exposed himself to altar boys at San Isidro Catholic Church in Malojloj in 1972.

The complaint alleges the priest would talk about pornography and then sexually molest the boys, including A.M., while at the convent after Boy Scout practice, or after serving Mass.

Once the sexual abuse began, A.M. would regularly wear two pairs of jeans whenever he was around Brouillard, the lawsuit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Former church assistant sues Diocese of Orange, high-ranking priest over alleged sexual assault

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

By KELLY PUENTE | kpuente@scng.com | Orange County Register

PUBLISHED: July 20, 2017

A former Irvine church assistant is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange alleging that she was sexually assaulted by one of its high-ranking priests who previously spent time in a treatment facility for “sexually deviant” clergy.

In her lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court on Wednesday, the woman, identified only as Jane Doe, says she was sexually assaulted and harassed by Father Alex Kim in 2016 while working as his assistant when he was pastor at St. John Neuman Church in Irvine. He is also being sued.

The suit alleges that Kim, ordained in 1991, was circulated to various parishes in Orange County and ultimately promoted to pastor despite a decade-long history of sexual misconduct complaints by female parishioners. The diocese sent him to a treatment facility in 2012 before naming him as pastor at St. John Neuman, the suit says.

David Ring, the woman’s attorney, said the diocese was aware of Kim’s “history of exploiting female parishioners” but “turned a blind eye” because of his popularity and success at fundraising.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

UPDATE: Munster churchgoer charged with sexual misconduct with 14-year-old girl

INDIANA
nwi.com

Steve Garrison and Lauren Cross steve.garrison@nwi.com, 219-662-5331 lauren.cross@nwi.com, 219-933-3206 Jul 20, 2017

CROWN POINT — A 22-year-old man who previously attended Family Christian Center in Munster is accused of having sex at the church with a 14-year-old girl.

Javyon M. George-Boatman was charged Wednesday in Lake Criminal Court with three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, according to court records.

Court records listed George-Boatman as a youth leader at the church, but John Ponder, the pastor of Christian Education and Pastoral Care, told The Times on Thursday that George-Boatman is not a youth leader, nor did he serve the church in any official capacity.

The church barred George-Boatman from accessing church property immediately after learning of the allegations, Ponder said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Amendment to legal aid act gives underage victims of sex crimes access to legal advice

MALAYSIA
Astro Awani

KUALA LUMPUR: The amendment to the Legal Aid Act 1971, which is expected to be tabled at the next Parliament session, will enable underage victims of sexual crimes and their family members to get access to legal advice from the Legal Aid Department and lawyers approved by the department.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the amendment would create a term of Legal Companion, in which legal officers from the department would give the necessary aid and advice to the victims in accordance with the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017.

"However, this will not include the court process, only to introduce and to explain to them about the law," she told reporters at a luncheon with senior new editors here on Thursday.

She said the proposed amendment was a continuity to the government's efforts to introduce the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 and the newly established Special Child Sexual Crimes Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Church of England 'withdrew emotional support for abused'

UNITED KINGDOM
Church of England

By Martin Bashir and Callum May
BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme

Victims of abuse by clergy have criticised the Church of England's close relationship with the insurer advising it on compensation claims.

They said the Church had cut contact and emotional support from them on the advice of Ecclesiastical - which has a senior clergy member on its board.

An independent reviewer said in one victim's case "financial interests were allowed to impact practice".

The Church said it aimed to separate pastoral care from insurance issues.

'Moral responsibility'

Gilo - a middle-aged man who lives in the south-west of England - told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme he had been raped in the early 1970s by a City of London clergyman, the Reverend Garth Moore.

Gilo - whose surname he has asked us not to use - said he had made more than 20 attempts to contact senior members of the Church after his decision to report the assaults, but often received no reply.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

24 new complaints submitted to Church body tasked with probing abuse, neglect

MALTA
Times of Malta

Updated at 11.35am

Twenty-four new complaints were submitted to the Church body tasked with investigating cases of abuse and neglect, according to its annual report.

The Commission for Safeguarding this morning announced that it had received 12 new complaints involving minors and another 12 involving vulnerable adults. It did not specify the details of the complaints.

It also revealed that the commission had seven ongoing complaints involving minors, which had been carried over from 2015 and another five involving adults.

Court action, it said, had been taken on behalf of 335 people.

The commission said these had all been court applications filed under the Protection of Minors Act (2012).

The Safeguarding Commission was set up in 2015 taking over from its Response Team. It is tasked with assessing whether a person working for the Church was a risk to children or vulnerable adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Lawsuit accuses O.C. priest of sexually assaulting his assistant at Irvine church

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Richard Winton

A senior Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Orange sexually assaulted and harassed a female church employee last year at a prominent Irvine parish where he was placed despite a similar prior accusation, according to a lawsuit filed by the woman.

Father Alex Kim is accused by his former assistant of sexually assaulting her several times at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. She alleged in the suit that she felt compelled to take a leave of absence to avoid his attacks.

In July 2016, Kim pushed her against a wall in the rectory “and forcibly kissed, groped and fondled her,” said the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday. Kim then “pulled his genitals out of his pants and rubbed it against” her,” the woman’s complaint alleges. The next day, according to the lawsuit, he sent her “innocuous texts messages as if nothing happened.”

The woman, who is identified only as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, has known Kim since she was a child and described him as once being her spiritual mentor, the suit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

July 20, 2017

Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub Discuss 'The Keepers' on The View

UNITED STATES
ABC - The View

[video]

The Emmy nominated docuseries 'The Keepers' tries to unlock a terrifying mystery of a nun who was murdered nearly 50 years ago. Some believe Sister Kathy was trying to expose a Baltimore priest who spent years sexually abusing girls at the local Catholic school. Did the church and police cover it up? The two women who are seeking the truth Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub join the table to talk about how the cold case brought them together and developments that have occurred since 'The Keepers' has been on Netflix.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Report into RUC's handling of alleged abuse at Kincora Home to finish in 2017

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

July 20 2017

The Police Ombudsman's investigation into child sex abuse at the notorious Kincora Boys' Home in Northern Ireland is to conclude this year.

Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire launched the review after alleged victims complained about the Royal Ulster Constabulary's (RUC) handling of reports in the 1980s of wrongdoing.

A separate public inquiry, which published its findings in January this year, has already rejected claims that senior establishment figures used the East Belfast institution to target children. Instead, it blamed failings by the health authorities and the RUC after dozens of residents raised concerns.

The Ombudsman's office said: "We are investigating a total of seven complaints about how police dealt with reports of child sex abuse at the Kincora Boys' Home in East Belfast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

Northern Ireland: Child abuse survivors tell Secretary of State: “deliver redress if Stormont can’t”

NORTHERN IRELAND
Amnesty International

Victims of child abuse have told the Secretary of State that they expect him to set up a redress scheme without delay if devolved government is not re-established at Stormont in the coming months.

The abuse survivors, part of the Panel of Experts on Redress, on which Amnesty International is also represented, met the Secretary of State today at Stormont House, where they provided him with a 30-page document and letter calling for action and a start to negotiations with victims. The detailed briefing paper from survivors is based on widespread consultation with abuse victims across Northern Ireland.

Victims are angry that there has been no progress in delivering apologies, a redress scheme and support services for victims because of the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland government. They want UK government to step in without delay, if there is no return of the Northern Ireland Executive in the Autumn.

The report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was published in January 2017, just days after the collapse of the power-sharing Executive at Stormont. That has meant there have been no Ministers to act on the recommendations contained in the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Abuse victims call for compensation if devolved government is not restored

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

July 20 2017

Compensation should be paid without delay if devolved government is not restored at Stormont after the summer, child abuse victims said.

Survivors of wrongdoing at residential homes dating back decades urged Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire to establish a redress scheme without delay if powersharing is not re-established in the coming months.

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry has recommended compensation worth up to £100,000 for the worst affected.

Margaret McGuckin, who suffered abuse as a child at Nazareth House children's home in Belfast, said: "Today we put the Secretary of State on notice that we expect urgent action from him to establish a redress scheme which meets the needs of victims, should Stormont not be up and running again after the summer.

"Victims of child abuse have been waiting their whole lives for justice. Now they have been hit with further uncertainty and no government, just when they need it most. For abuse survivors, justice delayed truly is justice denied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Brutal Regensburg report hailed as step in the right direction

ROME
Headlines from the Catholic World

Rome, Italy, Jul 20, 2017 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A member of Pope Francis' commission to protect minors says a new report on the abuse of more than 500 choir boys in Germany points to a current reality in many non-western countries – and that bringing these things to light means progress for everyone.

“It will take time, but this kind of sensitivity that is created by publicly discussing these things of course will push, because people realize what is right and what is wrong, and they realize that they will be questioned if something goes wrong,” Fr. Hans Zollner told CNA July 19.

Fr. Zollner is vice-rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, director of the university's Center for Child Protection (CCP), and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

He spoke following the July 18 publication of a report on an investigation German lawyer Ulrich Weber carried out on the Regensburger Domspatzen, the official choir for the Regensburg Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Ex-Priest Gets Trial Date for Beauty Queen’s Murder

TEXAS
Courthouse News Service

ERIK DE LA GARZA
July 20, 2017

EDINBURG, Texas (CN) — Seriously ill and 84 years old, former Catholic priest John Feit will be tried for the 1960 murder of a South Texas beauty queen in late summer, when the last pieces of prosecution evidence arrive, a judge told him Wednesday.

At a brief hearing Wednesday, state prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to a plan to begin searching for jurors. Both sides said they will be ready for trial after prosecutors receive results from their final evidence tests.

“My understanding is that the analysis has been completed and we are waiting on the reports to come in,” said Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Michael Garza. “Apparently, they go through a review process and there’s some delay in that.”

Feit, dressed in orange prison clothes, sat silent and expressionless on the walker he uses in courtroom appearances as Hidalgo County Judge Luis Singleterry addressed him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

September 11th Trial Date Set In Irene Garza Murder Case

TEXAS
KURV

Final preparations have been set for the murder trial of the former McAllen priest believed to have killed former beauty queen and teacher Irene Garza 57 years ago.

During a brief court hearing Wednesday, prosecutors and defense attorneys confirmed they’re ready for trial, and Judge Luis Singleterry set September 11th as the date for the final pre-trial hearing prior to the start of jury selection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

New Haven pastor sentenced to 3 years in prison for sexual assault of a minor

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

By Randall Beach, New Haven Register
POSTED: 07/19/17

NEW HAVEN >> A New Haven pastor has been sentenced to serve three years in prison for second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

Walter Williams, who was 59 at the time of his arrest last July, lives in Northford section of North Branford. He is senior pastor at the Walk of Faith Church of Christ in New Haven, according to the church’s website.

Police said he was accused of having as many as six sexual encounters with a minor who was a member of the church. According to police, the incidents occurred between July 2015 and April 2016.

The victim’s mother contacted police after she discovered text messages between her daughter and Williams on her daughter’s phone, police said. The mother told police she also saw a graphically disturbing Facebook message from Williams to her daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

Mormon bishops’ interview policy opens the door for sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

A guest post by Mette Harrison

Yet again, a Mormon bishop is in trouble because of sexual abuse.

Erik Wayne Hughes of Mapleton, Utah has been charged with 20 counts of forcible sexual abuse of minors, among other charges. Two now-adult men have come forward to say they remember being drugged and sexually abused by this bishop, a man who ought to have been interested only in their spiritual welfare. They were in their teens at the time.

The police chief said he is “concerned that there is more” abuse in this case, and that other victims may come forward in the future. Furthermore, Hughes has been accused of trying to silence the young men by manipulating their feelings for him as their bishop, allegedly telling them that others had been spreading false rumors about his deeds.

The LDS Church has long prided itself on its “Gold Standard” of protecting abuse victims, including a hotline for bishops to call if they find out about abuse. But there is no such system in place for ward members when the bishops themselves are the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Georg Ratzinger, “I wasn’t aware of any sexual abuse”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

"I wasn’t aware of any sexual abuse". This was stated by Georg Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI’ brother, when he was heard during the investigation into the abuses of the Regensburg Cathedral choirboys from the post-war period to the early 1990s. As the German state is no longer required to investigate time-barred crimes, it was the diocese, and therefore the Catholic Church itself, to promote and finance an independent investigation, which also encouraged victims to give information anonymously.

As it is known, the results presented in a solid 440-page report by lawyer Ulrich Weber, unveils the shocking number of 547 children victims of violence, 67 of whom were sexually abused. The names of some of the abusers, who are now dead, were already known. These facts, which cannot be underestimated or minimized, should however be put in context, namely that for decades corporal punishments were common throughout all schools in the country.

The stories of some of the victims are gruesome because they speak of both excessive punishments but also of ill-treatment at the limit of sadism and of repeated sexual abuse, which took place in the school as well as in the dormitory where the "Cathedral sparrows" lived. The choirboys told that the ones responsible of the blood-beatings were also responsible of the sexual harassment: for this reason, Weber's lawyer suggested that the molesters would get sexually aroused by knocking out the kids.

What does Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, nowadays in his nineties, have to do with all of this? Benedict XVI's brother directed the choir for thirty years, from 1964 to 1994. From the report emerges, though it is not so explicit for privacy issues, that the most serious episodes of sexual abuse took place in the 1950s, when he was not there. Monsignor Georg during his thirty-year career as a director has slapped some of the boys, and has publicly apologized for it seven years ago. He has never been, even remotely, accused of having in any way harassed the boys of the Cathedral. However, he was pulled into the scene because someone said he had told him about what was happening in school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Gordon Brown tells sex abuse inquiry that child migrants should be compensated for ‘trafficking’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill
July 20 2017
The Times

Britain should establish a compensation scheme for surviving child migrants who were taken from their families, deported to former colonies and suffered sexual abuse, Gordon Brown told a public inquiry today.

The former Labour prime minister said sending children to farm schools and austere institutions overseas was “a government-enforced form of human trafficking”.

Mr Brown told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that an official apology he made on behalf of the government to former child migrants in 2010 only dealt with some of the issues. More evidence had emerged about the scale of sexual abuse of children and the failure of Whitehall to address the problem, he said.

Mr Brown said the issue was even larger than the Jimmy Savile scandal, in terms of the numbers of victims, the period of time involved and Britain’s failure in its duty of care towards children sent overseas.

More than 130,000 children were sent overseas by charities and churches over more than a century. Some 2,000 who were sent to farm schools in Australia between 1948 and 1970 are still alive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Forced migration was UK's worst child abuse scandal, says Brown

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Press Association
Thursday 20 July 2017

The former prime minister Gordon Brown has described the forced migration of British children as a bigger sex abuse scandal than that perpetrated by Jimmy Savile.

Giving evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Brown said the mass transportation of 130,000 British children overseas between the 1940s and 70s amounted to “government-enforced trafficking”.

He said: “This seems to me as probably the biggest national sex abuse scandal. Bigger than what people have alleged about Savile. Bigger than what people have alleged about individual children’s homes.

“Bigger in scale, bigger in geographical spread, and bigger in the length of time that it went on undetected. I’m shocked about the information that I have seen.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

MÜLLER ADMITS SHAME BUT DENIES RESPONSIBILITY FOLLOWING GERMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOL ABUSE REVELATIONS

ROME
The Tablet (UK)

20 July 2017 | by Daniele Palmer

He 'experienced shame for what has happened in the Church' but emphasises 'everything that was possible and necessary was done'

After being accused of bearing “clear responsibility” for the mishandling of over 500 abuse cases in a Bavarian choir school, Cardinal Müller admits that he feels “shame” but emphasises that he did all that was possible.

Published on Monday (17 July), a report states that 547 boys were abused at a prestigious choir school in Regensburg, Bavaria, between the years 1945 and 1992.

In the report, commissioned by the diocese of Regensburg and compiled by the lawyer Ulrich Weber, Cardinal Müller is accused of having mishandled the cases of abuse, despite them being well known.

In an interview with the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, bishop of Regensburg form 2002 to 2012 and ex-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, admits that he “experienced shame for what has happened in the Church” but emphasises “everything that was possible and necessary was done.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

THE WAR AGAINST CARDINAL PELL

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

To read Catholic League president Bill Donohue’s account of the controversy over Australian Cardinal George Pell, click here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Three more sex abuse cases filed against Catholic church

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 20, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Three more clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in the District Court of Guam today.

44-year-old K.Q. alleges he was sexually molested by Father Ray Techaira, who is now deceased. While attending San Vicente Catholic School., K.Q. alleges he and four other boys were being disciplined by the priest when he told them to drop their pants. The priest then allegedly fondled and kissed each of the boys' private parts.

56-year-old A.M. and 56-year-old D.M. allege they were sexually molested by Father Louis Brouillard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Former altar boy alleges priest took him and others to watch porn

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera - July 20, 2017

A.M. alleges Louis Brouillard raped him while he was in the shower at the rectory.

Guam – Now facing 93 cases of sexual abuse, the latest claim against the Archdiocese of Agana is by a man who says former priest Louis Brouillard regularly took him and other Boy Scout members to the movie theaters to watch pornographic films.

The latest case is filed by a 56-year-old man with the initials A.M. who says that in the early 1970s, Brouillard would regularly molest him and other altar boys and boy scout members.

A.M. says Brouillard took the boys several times to the Johnston Theater to watch pornographic films “with the specific purpose of grooming the minor boys to be comfortable with sexuality and make them amenable to Brouillard’s act of molestation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Ex-Vatican doctrine chief says Church did what it could on German abuse scandal

ROME
Crux

Inés San Martín VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME - Earlier this week, an independent investigation commissioned by the Diocese of Regensburg in Germany found that at least 547 former members of the Regensburg Domspatzen boys’ choir were subjected to some form of abuse over a fifty-year period, including 67 who were victims of sexual violence.

The 440-page report, which spanned the years between 1945 and early 1990s, found plausible accusations against 49 members of the Church for physical abuse, including nine for cases of sexual molestation.

The report collects cases of corporal violence, from slaps to physical punishment, and sexual abuse, ranging from inappropriate caresses to rape. It was released on Tuesday by the diocese on its website, and presented in a press conference by Ulrich Weber, the lawyer leading the investigation of claims of abuse at the choir and two associated boarding schools..

Most of those named by the victims have already died. The crimes, however, fall outside Germany’s statute of limitations, meaning they are no longer open to prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Convicted soul: A priest-perpetrator of child sexual abuse shares his story

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Luke Hansen | Jul. 20, 2017

WEST ST. PAUL, MINN.

Gilbert Gustafson was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1977, served as an associate priest at St. Mary of the Lake Parish in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, until 1982, pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of a minor in 1983, and served four and a half months in jail and 10 years' probation. Gustafson has admitted to abusing four boys between 1978 and 1982. He was not criminally charged in the other cases.

From 1983 to 2002, Gustafson was not assigned to parish ministry, but he was in residence at two different rectories, and he served as a chaplain for a local monastery of women religious. From 1983 to 1997, Gustafson served in various administrative roles for Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. From 1997 to 2002, he worked in the archdiocese's chancery office.

In June 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops established the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, commonly known as the Dallas Charter, to address sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. Following the charter, Gustafson was permanently removed from active priestly ministry. He could no longer present himself as a priest, use a clerical title, wear clerical attire or celebrate the sacraments.

Gustafson, however, remains in the clerical state. Thus, in accord with the Code of Canon Law, Canon 1350, Paragraph 1, the archdiocese has continuously provided financial support for his basic needs. In 2006, the archdiocese concluded that Gustafson, since he had sexually abused minors, was "permanently and totally disabled" from engaging in his occupation as a priest, and therefore was "entitled to vested retirement benefits" under the Pension Plan for Priests in the Archdiocese. Gustafson also participates in an archdiocesan monitoring program akin to civil probation.

From 2004 to 2014, Gustafson worked for a consulting firm that contracted with Catholic parishes and other non-profit groups to provide services like strategic planning, executive coaching and human resource utilization. Today he continues to do consulting work with non-profits, including some Catholic institutions (but not parishes), as a consultant in the area of leadership development. Gustafson said he has never had any contact with children in his consulting work.

Since 2012, Gustafson has collaborated with Susan Pavlak on the project Uncommon Conversation, which seeks healing and reconciliation among survivors, perpetrators and others involved in child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In a separate interview, Pavlak describes being sexually abused by her high school religion teacher, a former nun. This interview with Gustafson, edited for length and clarity, took place in West St. Paul, Minnesota.

Hansen: What was your early experience of the church?

Gustafson: I was born in 1951 — the youngest of four children — and grew up in a classic middle class family of the 1950s. Mom and Dad were very engaged in our parish. I always liked church. It was a wonderful, warm, safe environment. The nuns and priests were an extension of my family. Church became my second family and still is family.

I started being an altar boy at about age 9. In junior high, when I could serve during the Triduum, I was just taken by it. I felt moved inside.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Demonstrate Against Agudah’s Protection of Child Molesters this Sunday (7/23) at 3 pm against Novominsker Rebbe

NEW YORK
Frum Follies

I urge all my readers to become part of this demonstration in front of the Boro Park beis medrish of the Novominsker Rebbe, head of Agudath Israel of America’s Council of Sages (aka Moetzes), @ 1644 48th St., Brooklyn, NY at 3 pm, Sunday July 23.

The target of this demonstration, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, the Noveminsker Rebbe, and head of Agudath Israel of America, is personally culpable for protecting abusers from criminal prosecutions. He even helped keep “Rabbi” Yehuda Kolko on as a teacher in spite of his known record of abusing yeshiva boys for 30 years. He did it in spite of pleas for involvement by the late Rabbi Avigdor Miller, an extremely important Haredi leader.

At present Agudah and its head, the Novominsker Rebbe discourage reporting sex abusers to the police, and lobby the New York State legislature (successfully) to not reform the statute of limitations. All sorts of attempts have been made to persuade the Rebbe to change his stance, all to no avail. He is more interested in protecting yeshivas from embarrassment and from having to pay former students for the terrible damage caused by abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Religious school teacher gets 7 years for sexual assault

ISRAEL
YNet News

Ariela Sternbach, Yael Friedson|Published: 19.07.17

A teacher at a religious school—who was convicted of indecent assault on his students—was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison and two years of probation.

Aharon Shlomo Lisson, 34, from Beitar Illit, was a teacher at an ultra-Orthodox middle school in the city. In December, he was convicted of sexually assaulting three brothers aged 13-15.

The teenagers' mother left the courtroom in tears after the verdict, saying, "Justice has finally been served, but no punishment can give my children back their joy of life and their lost childhood and teen years."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Episode 81 - The Keepers Controversy

UNITED STATES
SoundCloud

[audio]

In this controversial episode the #RCP team discuss Netflix's latest docuseries The Keepers about the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a beloved nun and Catholic high school teacher in Baltimore. After disappearing on Nov. 7, 1969, Cathy's body was found nearly two months later but to this day, the case remains unresolved. Only days later Joyce Malecki disappeared from a shopping mall on Nov. 11 1969 in Glen Burnie, a suburb of Baltimore. Her body was found the next day face down in remote woods. This case also remains unresolved.

In the '90s, the case returned to the spotlight after one of Cathy's former students accused the high school's chaplain of sexual abuse, and claims that she was taken to Cathy's body and threatened.

Jim and Laura deep dive into these murders and discuss with Lisa the victimology, their crime scene assessment and analysis and opine as to whether the murders of Sister Cathy Cesnick and Joyce Malecki are linked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Pope Benedict's 'fanatical, merciless' brother led German boys choir embroiled in sex abuse scandal

GERMANY
International Business Times

By Isabelle Gerretsen
July 20, 2017

The brother of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI established a "reign of fear" while head of boys' choir at one of Germany's most famous Roman Catholic schools, where more than 500 pupils were physically and sexually abused between 1945 and 2015.

A report published this week accused 49 members of abusing 547 young boys who sang in the Regensburger Domspatzen choir over a period of 60 years.

Benedict's older brother, Georg Ratzinger, was the choirmaster between 1964 and 1994.

His successor, Roland Büchner, told German newspaper Die Zeit that Ratzinger was an "impulsive, fanatical and merciless"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Youth Pastor’s Facebook Page Reveals Clues About Child Molestation Case

FLORIDA
No Sacred Cows

July 19, 2017 by David G. McAfee

Details are still emerging from authorities about Roshad Thomas, a Florida youth minister and businessman who admitted to molesting young boys, but his Facebook posts are revealing even more information.

Thomas, 41, worked with children at a church and a private school – both in Tallahassee. He is now being investigated for molesting at least five different boys, and his social media posts are enough to raise some eyebrows.

For starters, it seems like Thomas directed a great number of his posts directly toward “high school guys” or “middle school guys.” Often these posts advertised camping events or private bible studies, and the timing overlaps with the victims’ abuse.

Just last month, Thomas posted that “ALL high school guys” are invited to a retreat to discover “the man that God has called you to be.” He added, “Don’t be scared! Come! You won’t regret it. I promise.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Former music director at Bellingham church molested girl for years

WASHINGTON
Bellingham Herald

BY CALEB HUTTON
chutton@bhamherald.com

A former music director at Bellingham Baptist Church must serve time in prison for molesting a girl for years, a Superior Court judge has ruled.

Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis sentenced Paul Michael Bane to 5 years in prison, the same amount of time she handed the church’s youth pastor, Christopher Trent, a month ago in a separate case of long-term sex abuse of a different girl.

Confession

Bane, 57, arrived at the Bellingham police station one morning in October 2015 to confess he had been sexually touching a girl for about 8 years, according to court records. At that point police had not spoken with the girl, who was living in the Midwest, but Bane told police the girl’s story, whatever it might be, could be trusted.

According to his report, Bane became a kind of father figure to the girl when she was younger. The sexual abuse began around the time the victim turned 12 years old. Bane would kiss her, sexually touch her, and later, started tying her with a clothesline during sex acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Former Louisville pastor on trial in 90s child sex abuse case

KENTUCKY
Courier-Journal

Matthew Glowicki, @MattGlo

Jurors heard from one of three women Wednesday who allege they were sexually assaulted by a former Louisville pastor when they were children in the 1990s.

On the first day of evidence in the trial, prosecutors told jurors that 79-year-old Allen Lehmann sexually abused the three girls a number of times during the 90s when the youth made brief visits to his home.

At the time of the alleged abuse, Lehmann was living in Louisville as pastor at Trinity Chapel Assembly of God church.

The three girls were all under age 15 at the time, according to court records.

The youngest of the sisters, now 25, testified for more than two hours Wednesday. She told jurors of the Lehmann's welcoming home where she enjoyed many a sloppy Joe and Jell-O salad. But those recollections were intertwined with painful memories of Lehmann touching her sexually on three occasions beginning when she was 6.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Wir sind Kirche fordert jetzt Aufklärung von Missbräuchen über die Domspatzen hinaus

DEUTSCHLAND
Wochenblatt

[The laity movement We are Church has asked the Regensburg bishop Rudolf Voderholzer to have further church institutions investigated after the final report on abuses at the Domspatzen.]

Die Laienbewegung Wir sind Kirche hat den Regensburger Bischof Rudolf Voderholzer aufgefordert, nach dem Abschlussbericht zu Missbräuchen bei den Domspatzen auch weitere Kircheneinrichtungen untersuchen zu lassen.

Die KirchenVolksBewegung Wir sind Kirche sieht den Abschlussbericht des vom Bistum Regensburg beauftragten Sonderermittlers, des Rechtsanwalts Ulrich Weber, als schmerzhaften und notwendigen Schritt an, dem jedoch weitere Schritte im Bistum Regensburg und auch in anderen deutschen Bistümern noch folgen müssen. In dem Bericht klingen mehrfach die besonderen systemischen Bedingungen innerhalb der Domspatzen-Organisation an, die dazu beitrugen, dass die verschiedenen Formen der Gewalt dort in besonderem Maße ausgeübt wurden und trotz der Exzesse damals nicht an die Öffentlichkeit gelangten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Regensburger Domkapellmeister erhebt Vorwürfe gegen Papstbruder Ratzinger

DEUTSCHLAND
Spin

[In the context of the abuse scandal at the Regensburger Domspatzen, Kapellmeister Roland Büchner raised serious accusations against his predecessor Georg Ratzinger. "There was a system of fear," said Büchner about the time the brother of Pope Benedict XVI was choir master at the school.].

Missbrauchsbeauftragter fordert in Domspatzen-Fall Entschuldigung von Ex-Bischof

Im Zusammenhang mit dem Missbrauchsskandal bei den Regensburger Domspatzen hat Kapellmeister Roland Büchner schwere Vorwürfe gegen seinen Vorgänger Georg Ratzinger erhoben. "Es herrschte ein System der Angst", sagte Büchner über die Zeit des Bruders von Papst Benedikt XVI. als Chorleiter der Domspatzen der Wochenzeitung "Die Zeit" laut einer Vorabmeldung vom Mittwoch. "Das muss ans Licht, auch wenn es weh tut."

Büchner warnte davor, die Gewalttaten gegen 547 ehemalige Chorknaben zu verharmlosen. Zwar habe es sich meist nicht um Missbrauch, sondern um Schläge gehandelt. "Das waren aber nicht 'nur' Ohrfeigen, sondern regelrechte Misshandlungen - es wurde gewütet, es waren Körperverletzungen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Regensburg: Schwere Vorwürfe gegen Papst-Bruder

DEUTSCHLAND
religion@orf

[Regensburg: Heavy accusations against Pope's brother.]

In Zusammenhang mit dem Missbrauchsskandal bei den Regensburger Domspatzen hat Kapellmeister Roland Büchner schwere Vorwürfe gegen seinen Vorgänger Georg Ratzinger erhoben.

„Es herrschte ein System der Angst“, sagte Büchner über die Zeit des Bruders von Papst Benedikt XVI. als Chorleiter der Domspatzen der Wochenzeitung „Die Zeit“ laut einer Vorabmeldung vom Mittwoch. „Das muss ans Licht, auch wenn es wehtut.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Ein Kapitel in Missbrauchs-Bericht zu Papst-Bruder: „Verlor sein Gebiss aus Jähzorn“

DEUTSCHLAND
Focus

[George Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict XVI, was an accomplice to physical and sexual abuse at the Domspatzen cathedral choir, according to the survivors an witnesses.]

Die Bilanz ist erschreckend: Mindestens 500 Kinder aus dem Regensburger Domspatzen-Chor wurden Opfer von Gewalt, 67 wurden sexuell missbraucht.

Unhaltbare Zustände, in die offenbar auch Georg Ratzinger, der Bruder des früheren Papst Benedikt XVI., verwickelt war – als Mitwisser, wenn es nach der Analyse der Ersteller des gestern veröffentlichten Untersuchungsberichtes geht. Als Mittäter, wenn es nach Aussagen der Opfer und Zeugen geht, die ebenfalls in dem Bericht zu Wort kommen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Sünden an den Sängerknaben - Die Akte Regensburger Domspatzen - SWR betrifft HD

DEUTCHLAND
YouTube

Published on Mar 2, 2015

[The Domspatzen file.]

http://www.domspatzen.de/ http://www.swr.de/betrifft/

Nachrichten über systematischen Kindesmissbrauch im berühmtesten Chor der katholischen Kirche erschütterten 2010 die deutsche Öffentlichkeit. Schnell trat das Bistum in Regensburg diesen

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Sie brechen das Schweigen: Missbrauch in der Kirche

FRANKREICH
Yahoo! Nachrichten

[video]

[The French organization 'La Parole Libérée' provides victims of sexual abuse of the Catholic Church with a platform to tell their stories and bring to light the truth.]

Die französische Organisation 'La Parole Libérée' gibt Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs der katholischen Kirche eine Plattform, um ihre Geschichten zu erzählen und die Wahrheit ans Licht zu bringen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Kardinal Müller sieht keinen Grund zur Entschuldigung

DEUTSCHLAND
BR

[Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller sees no reason to apologize in connection with the abuse cases at the Domspatzen at Regensburg. In the final report presented yesterday, he was named as one of the central figures. Cardinal Müller stated in an interview with the Catholic News Agency (KNA) that he himself had initiated the process of reworking in 2010 after first reports of attacks became known. Earlier, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, the abuse commissioner of the federal government, had said that he hoped that the former Regensburg bishop.]

Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller sieht keinen Anlass, im Zusammenhang mit den Missbrauchsfällen bei den Domspatzen Regensburg um Entschuldigung zu bitten. In dem gestern vorgelegten Abschlussbericht war er als eine der zentralen Figuren genannt worden.

Kardinal Müller erklärte in einem Interview der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA), er habe selbst 2010 den Aufarbeitungsprozess eingeleitet, nachdem erste Meldungen über Übergriffe bekannt wurden. Daraus ergebe sich auch die Antwort auf die Frage nach einer Entschuldigung. Zuvor hatte Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, gesagt, er hoffe, dass sich auch der frühere Regensburger Bischof und heutige Kardinal Müller bei den Opfern entschuldigen werde.

Domspatzen unterliegen nicht Kirchenrecht
Müller wies darauf hin, dass die Domspatzen keine Stiftung kirchlichen Rechts seien.

"Somit war dies ein Angebot, die zuständigen Personen und finanziellen Mittel der Diözese Regensburg für diese in ihren Dimensionen noch unabsehbare Arbeit zur Verfügung zu stellen. Im Abschlussbericht wurde mir ausdrücklich dafür gedankt." Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Kardinal Müller fordert Entschuldigung von Missbrauchsbeauftragtem des Bundes

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutche Zeitung

[The former Bishop of Regensburg, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, has called for an apology from Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, the federal government's abuse commissioner. The cardinal accused him of spreading "false statements and false information." Müller, who was interviewed by the Passau Neue Presse, rejected the comments from the commissioner that he had carried off the cover-up of the massive abuse at the Regensburger Domspatzen. He said that he gave this information to the institutions of the diocese so that the investigation could begin. Müller was Bishop of Regensburg from 2002 to 2012.].

Der ehemalige Regensburger Bischof Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller fordert eine Entschuldigung von Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, dem Missbrauchsbeauftragten der Bundesregierung. Es würden "Falschaussagen und falsche Informationen" verbreitet, sagte Müller der Passauer Neuen Presse und wies den Vorwurf zurück, er habe die Aufklärung des massenhaften Missbrauchs bei den Regensburger Domspatzen verschleppt. Er habe "erstmals diese Aufklärungsarbeit an die Institutionen des Bistums übertragen, sodass mit der Untersuchung begonnen werden konnte", sagte Müller, der von 2002 bis 2012 Bischof von Regensburg war.

Der Missbrauchsbeauftragte Rörig hatte den heutigen Kurienkardinal kritisiert: Müller habe stets von Einzelfällen gesprochen, aber die strukturellen Versäumnisse nicht untersucht. "Es wäre den Betroffenen zu wünschen, dass er sich wenigstens jetzt für die verschleppte Aufarbeitung entschuldigen würde", sagte Rörig.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Trial Date Set for Former Priest Accused of Murder

TEXAS
RGV Proud

[with video]

By: Amy Martinez
Posted: Jul 19, 2017

HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas - A former priest is one step closer to learning his fate in connection with the murder of a McAllen school teacher. After being extradited to the Rio Grande Valley, 83-year-old John Feit was back in court for a final pre-trial hearing Wednesday morning.

"I think the purpose of this hearing was to try and establish a ground mark or a plan for jury selection and get this case tried before a jury." Stated the Prosecution.

Within 10 minutes attorneys for both parties agreed on a trial date. On September 11, 2017, a Hidalgo County jury will be asked to listen to testimonies and observe pieces of evidence before reaching a verdict. This, after a change of venue motion was denied in early June. In March of 2016, Feit was transferred from Maricopa County, Arizona to Hidalgo County.

It was there where he was charged for the 1960 murder of Irene Garza. The decades old cold case was reopened after Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez said there were new facts and evidence in the case of the former priest. Those details have yet to be released.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Nearly 550 German Choirboys Abused At Renowned Catholic School, Report Says

GERMANY
NPR

July 19, 2017

COLIN DWYER

Over a span of roughly a half-century, at least 547 boys at a famed Catholic choir school experienced some form of significant abuse, according to an independent investigation released Tuesday. The 440-page report details an environment that some former pupils likened to a "prison, hell and a concentration camp," which persisted for decades under the direction of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's older brother.

The education at the Regensburg Domspatzen — a boys' choir that enjoys worldwide renown and has been around for upwards of a millennium — "was oriented toward top musical achievements and the choir's success," the report said, as translated by The New York Times. "Alongside individual motives, institutional motives — namely, breaking the will of the children with the aim of maximum discipline and dedication — formed the basis for violence."

Of the hundreds of cases listed by attorney Ulrich Weber, whose report was commissioned in 2015 by the Regensburg diocese, 67 are believed to have been cases of sexual abuse.

And "these are not 547 cases where an individual was affected once," former choir member Alexander Probst told Reuters. "Rather, this was an ongoing practice over decades where 547 children were tormented, abused, mistreated and socially harmed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

KCKPD now investigating allegations against suspended priest

KANSAS
KSHB

Tom Dempsey
Jul 19, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A day after the Archdiocese of KCK announced the suspension of priest Scott Kallall due to alleged wrongdoing, the KCK Police Department confirmed it was investigating the case.

The Archdiocese announced in a statement Monday afternoon that Kallal was suspended from his position at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Overland Park after two sources came forward with allegations of wrongdoing.

Church leaders said a preliminary investigation revealed “violations of some of the Archdiocese’s safe environment guidelines which all clerics, employees and volunteers are asked to observe when interacting with young people," including one incident involving a minor.

On Tuesday, a man claiming to be the father of the child spoke to 41 Action News.

The father alleged that in the summer of 2015, Kallal inappropriately tickled his 11-year-old daughter and touched her breast during a weekend gathering at St. Patrick Catholic Church in KCK.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

e-Conference to look at Pope Francis’ leadership

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Catholic

Catholic parishes and religious communities across New Zealand and Australia are preparing for a global e-conference in August which will reflect on the topic — “Gospel Leadership in Times of Chaos: the Hope of Pope Francis”.

Australia’s former Foreign Minister, Professor Bob Carr and US theologian and expert on Vatican II Professor Massimo Faggioli are among the keynote speakers at the e-conference on August 10 which is being presented by BBI-The Australian Institute of Theological Education in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

The e-conference, now in its 13th year, is popular in New Zealand where it has attracted strong interest over recent years. ...

“I am looking forward to a timely and spirited discussion at the e-conference”, explained one of the key speakers, Australian business leader Elizabeth Proust.

As deputy chair of the Truth Justice and Healing Council in Australia, Ms Proust has been shocked by the extent of clergy abuse highlighted through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

New historic Warrnambool sex charges include rape

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

ANDREW THOMSON
20 Jul 2017

UPDATE, 7.30pm: Paul David Ryan, who served in Warrnambool and Ballarat, has been identified as the priest who has been charged with seven sex crime charges.

UPDATE, 3.20pm: A Former Warrnambool priest was served with seven sex crime charges in Western Australia on Thursday morning.

The charges relate to two complainants and include counts of rape, sexual penetration of a child aged under 16 years and indecent assaults.

The 68-year-old former priest has been summoned to appear for a filing hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on August 4.

Earlier: ​A FORMER Warrnambool priest is in the process of being charged with historical serious sex offences involving city schoolboys​, including rape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Defrocked Ballarat priest to face court on string of historical child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Melissa Cunningham

Former Ballarat priest Paul David Ryan will front a Melbourne court next month over a string of historical child sex offences.

The 68-year-old was charged this month with multiple offences against a number of alleged victims from across Victoria.

The charges include rape, indecent assault and sexual penetration of a child under 16 years old.

Detectives from Victoria Police's Sano taskforce, the squad set up to investigate historic child sexual abuse, are believed to be investigating Mr Ryan in the wake of evidence revealed in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The charges are believed to date back to the years between 1981 and 1985 when Mr Ryan was a priest and the alleged victims were students at Christian Brothers College in Warrnambool.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Priest allegedly molested 5 students as punishment

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com July 20, 2017

Now-deceased priest Ray Techaira sexually molested five San Vicente Catholic School minor students at the same time as punishment for getting into trouble during school hours, according to one of the latest lawsuits filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Guam.

Two other lawsuits, filed by former altar boys, accuse former priest Louis Brouillard of sexual abuse and molestation. The three plaintiffs are represented by attorney David Lujan.

The lawsuits filed by K.Q., A.M. and D.M. bring to 95 the total number of childhood sexual abuse cases filed in local and federal courts against the Archdiocese of Agana.

K.Q., now 44, accused Techaira of sexually molesting and abusing him when he was a student at San Vicente Catholic School in Barrigada, where Techaira was a teacher.

“One day during school hours, K.Q. and four other boys who were also students at San Vicente got into trouble and were being disciplined by Techaira. While the boys were with Techaira, Techaira ordered K.Q. and the four boys to drop their pants. Techaira then proceeded to fondle and kiss each of their (private parts),” the lawsuit says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

July 19, 2017

Existe poco apoyo para denunciar abusos de iglesia católica: Phil Saviano

COLOMBIA
W Radio

[audio]

[The journalist (sic) whose story inspired the film Spotlight speaks in La W about the sexual abuse of the victim when he was a child by a Catholic church priest. Note: Mr. Saviano is an advocate but not a journalist.]

El periodista cuya historia inspiró la película Spotlight habla en La W sobre el abuso sexual del que fue victima cuando era un niño por parte de un sacerdote de iglesia católica.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Cardinal George Pell and Other Martyrs for a Nefarious Cause

UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

POSTED BY FR. GORDON J. MACRAE ON JULY 19, 2017

Father George David Byers and I were both recipients of unexpected recognition for our respective writings this summer. Father Byers, whose status as a Missionary of Mercy has been extended by Pope Francis, received a First Place citation by the Catholic Press Association for his articles in Catholic media about the Year of Mercy. Father Byers tried to play it down, but it’s a bigger deal than he lets on. [See: Missionaries of Mercy: “New Phase” from the Holy See (Amoris laetitia internal/external forum guidelines?)]

I, on the other hand, should shout from the rooftops the most unexpected recognition ever bestowed upon These Stone Walls. TSW has been cited by an organization to which I have never aspired. The site, Today’s Martyrs Resources for Understanding Current Christian Witness and Martyrdom, published a short list commending “organizations engaged in original reporting, evangelical witness, political advocacy, refugee services and other activities, led by people who have experienced some degree of persecution firsthand.”

The page of commendations at Today’s Martyrs includes Aid to the Church in Need International, Open Doors International, Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, Issues of Rights and Justice, Revival Chinese Ministries International, China Aid, and (Who would have thought) These Stone Walls.

When I was notified of this recognition, I at first thought it was due to my posts, “Criminal Aliens: The ICE Deportation of Augie Reyes,” and “Dreamers of Home The ICE Deportation of Kewei Chen.” It made sense that articles about the treatment of our fellow humans during deportation proceedings caught the attention of this international Christian human rights forum.

But I was wrong in that assumption. My writing about my friends, Augie and Chen, may have caught the eyes of some social justice concerns, but the persecuted people that the Today’s Martyrs site recognizes as the subjects of TSW’s “original reporting and evangelical witness on contemporary Christian martyrdom” are Catholic priests. Let it sink in for a moment, please, that this concern for the persecution and suppression of fundamental rights for priests comes not from a Catholic human rights forum, but from an Evangelical Christian one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:39 PM

Judge declares mistrial for Idaho priest accused of rape

IDAHO
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Jul. 19, 2017

The prosecution of an Idaho diocesan priest accused of sexually exploiting a U.S. airman from Mountain Home Air Force Base a year ago ended in a mistrial July 7.

Elmore County District Court Judge Jonathan Medema “declared a mistrial because the jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision,” apparently in part because of resistance or advance bias on the part of one juror, reported the Mountain Home News.

A new trial for Fr. Victor Jagerstatter, 40, has been scheduled for March 7, 2018.

While administrator of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Mountain Home, Idaho, Jagerstatter was charged with raping the airman early in the morning of July 9, 2016, while the man was unconscious in a room allegedly rented from the priest.

During the proceedings, according to the Mountain Home News, Elmore County deputy prosecuting attorney Jessica Kuehn entered evidence gathered by the Mountain Home Air Force Base's Office of Special Investigations and Sexual Assault Response coordinator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:37 PM

Netflix crime series "The Keepers" sparks calls for archdiocese to release priest's files

UNITED STATES
CBS News

[with video]

A crime series has prompted new calls for the Baltimore Archdiocese to release documents about a controversial priest.

"The Keepers" is a Netflix documentary series following Father Joseph Maskell and his alleged abuse of teenage girls at a Catholic high school.

It explores whether Maskell, who died in 2001, was connected to the unsolved murder of a nun.

More than 40,000 people have signed an online petition since the documentary's release, reports CBS News' Jan Crawford. ...

"To my knowledge, the church has never voluntarily released any documents pertaining to the clergy abuse crisis," said Terry McKiernan of Bishopaccountability.org.

McKiernan's organization, which has no affiliation with the church, has published abuse documents from about a dozen archdioceses and religious orders. But he says, in each case, the files were released only after the church was legally forced to do so.

The Baltimore Archdiocese has paid nearly half a million dollars to more than a dozen people Maskell is accused of abusing. In a statement, they say state law and church policy precludes them from releasing his records because they include "personnel records, health records" and "attorney-client communications."

"The Keepers" is just the latest crime drama to lead to public outcry over perceived injustices. The podcast, "Serial," along with television series like "The Jinx" and "Making a Murderer" have both pushed audiences to dissect evidence on social media and led to re-examination in each case.

"The Keepers" director Ryan White says the audience could now be a critical component to accessing Maskell's file—and cracking the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Key trends and lessons from Australian Royal Commissions and inquiries

AUSTRALIA
Lexology

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Jared Heath
Australia July 19 2017

Over the last five years, a number of high-profile Royal Commissions have inquired into a range of important issues, including child sexual abuse, home insulation, trade unions, family violence, nuclear fuel and child detention. What lessons can be drawn from the history and practice of Royal Commissions and other inquiries in Australia?

Royal Commissions have served an important role of informing successive governments, both in an inquisitorial and policy context. They are an option for responding to a crisis and a call for action, as well as a mechanism for developing public policy.

Over the past six months, Corrs has conducted extensive research into the history of Royal Commissions and inquiries at a Commonwealth level, as well as in New South Wales and Victoria (including New South Wales special commissions of inquiry and Victorian boards of inquiry). In this article, we set out some of the major findings from our research, including what we see as the key trends and lessons that can be learnt.

5 key trends

Below are five of the most interesting trends our research identified:

1. Despite the recent spate of Royal Commissions, there has actually been a decline in the number of them over time.

At the Commonwealth level for example, the number of Royal Commissions peaked at 54 between 1910-1929, but over the last decade, there have been only four.

2. Inquisitorial inquiries are now more common than policy inquiries.

At the Commonwealth level, 60% of all Royal Commissions have been policy inquiries, but over the last 4 decades 60% have been inquisitorial inquiries.

Both trends one and two could be explained by the development and growth of the public service, including the proliferation of specific sources of policy advice (e.g. the Commonwealth Productivity Commission) and standing investigative and regulatory bodies (e.g. the Independent Commission Against Corruption (NSW) and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (Victoria)). However, the family violence and nuclear fuel cycle inquiries could also suggest a return to policy inquiries where the existing political or bureaucratic systems are unable to satisfactorily address complex or wicked problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

"Heute unvorstellbar"

DEUTSCHLAND
Domradio

[The investigation report on abuse at the Regensburger Domspatzen shows frightening figures. For the child protection expert Father Hans Zollner it is a a dark chapter which also affected peers from his homeland. Domradio.de: The report shows that over 500 victims have experienced physical violence.The number could be closer to 700 cases. How did you feel when you heard of the numbers? Father Hans Zollner (Head of the Child Protection Center of the Institute of Psychology of the Gregorian University in Rome): These are shocking figures. I was born in Regensburg. I know Etterzhausen and Pielenhofen, that is in my neighborhood where I grew up. These were institutions that played a major role in my childhood. We knew how important this choir is and what reputation it has. It is a staggering number, but behind every number hide people. Many people whose lives have been destroyed or very badly wounded, which is very disturbing.]

Der Untersuchungsbericht zum Missbrauch bei den Regensburger Domspatzen weist erschreckende Zahlen auf. Für den Kinderschutzexperten Pater Hans Zollner ein dunkles Kapitel, das auch Gleichaltrige aus seiner damaligen Heimat betraf.

domradio.de: Aus dem Bericht geht hervor, dass über 500 Domspatzen körperliche Gewalt erfahren haben und fast 70 Chorknaben sexuell missbraucht wurden. Die Dunkelziffer soll bei etwa 700 Fällen insgesamt liegen. Sie sind selber gebürtig aus Regensburg. Wie ging es Ihnen, als Sie von den Zahlen hörten?

Pater Hans Zollner (Leiter des Kinderschutzzentrums des Institutes für Psychologie der Universität Gregoriana in Rom): Das sind erschütternde Zahlen. Ich bin in Regensburg geboren. Ich kenne Etterzhausen und Pielenhofen, das ist in meiner Nachbarschaft, in der ich aufgewachsen bin. Das waren Institutionen, die in meiner Kindheit eine große Rolle gespielt haben. Wir wussten, wie bedeutend dieser Chor ist und welchen Ruf er hat. Es ist eine erschütternde Zahl, aber hinter jeder Zahl verbergen sich Menschen. Viele Menschen, deren Leben zerstört oder sehr schwer verwundet worden ist, was sehr erschütternd ist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Investigation into Regensburg choir finds more than 500 boys were abused

GRMANY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
7.19.2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- More than 500 boys suffered abuse at the hands of dozens of teachers and priests at the school that trains the prestigious boys choir of the Regensburg Cathedral in Germany, said an independent investigator.

Former students of the Domspatzen choir reported that the physical, emotional and even sexual abuse at the school made life there like "a prison, hell and a concentration camp," said Ulrich Weber, the lawyer leading the investigation of claims of abuse at the choir and two associated boarding schools.

A "culture of silence" among church leaders and members allowed such abuse to continue for decades, Weber said as he presented the final report on his findings during a press conference in Regensburg July 18.

The investigation, commissioned by the Diocese of Regensburg, found that at least 547 former members of the Regensburg Domspatzen boys choir in Germany were subjected to some form of abuse, according to Vatican Radio. Of those victims, 67 students were victims of sexual violence, the radio said.

The 440-page report, which spanned the years between 1945 and the early 1990s, found highly plausible accusations against 49 members of the church of inflicting the abuse, with nine of them accused of being sexual abusive. The Diocese of Regensburg and the Domspatzen choir supplied links to the report and related news stories or resources on their respective web sites: www.bistum-regensburg.de and www.domspatzen.de.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Activists & Survivors to Protest Agudath Israel President’s Abuse Enabling Policies 1644 48th st 7/23 3 PM

NEW YORK
SOME PEOPLE LIVE MORE IN 20 YEARS…

For Immediate Release
Contact Asher Lovy
347-369-4016
Asher@ZAAKAH.org

Advocates against child sexual abuse protest President of Agudath Israel of America for protecting secrets, not children

(New York, NY): ZAAKAH, an organization that advocates reforms that will end child sexual abuse in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, is protesting outside the President of Agudath Israel on Sunday. The protest will be at the Novominsker Yeshiva – 1644 48th street in Boro Park – on Sunday,July 23rd at 3 PM. The protest is against Agudath Israel’s opposition to the Child Victims Act and their policy that victims must ask a rabbi for permission before reporting sexual assault to the authorities.

“These two policies, coupled, are responsible for the coverups of thousands of cases of child sexual abuse. These policies, enacted and promoted by Yaakov Perlow, are in large part responsible for the continued sexual abuse of children in Charedi communities, and the continued apathy and indifference toward victims of child sexual abuse on the part of Charedi communities.Together, these two policies actually incentivise the coverup of abuse and coercion of victims by setting a goal for rabbis and community members who want to cover up abuse: Since the victim has to go to a rabbi, make sure the rabbi keeps the victim quiet until he turns 23, and it will no longer be an issue.” says Asher Lovy, organizer of the event.

“According to many studies, it takes, on average, between 10 and 30 years for victims to come forward about being abused sexually. Yaakov Perlow, President of Agudath Israel, knows this. He knows the harmful effects of sexual abuse its victims – suicide, PTSD, eating disorders, addiction, problems with relationships, emotional trauma, physical trauma, to name a few – and despite being fully aware of the high costs of treating the effects of child sexual abuse, Yaakov Perlow, and the rest of the Moetzes, continue to set policies for Agudah that not only deny existing victims justice, but put our children’s futures and lives in danger by enabling the continuation of child sexual abuse. Yet they continue to oppose legislation to eliminate the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse, and open a 1 year retroactive window for old cases, allowing survivors of child sexual abuse to get justice from their abusers and the institutions that protect them.” said Lovy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

'Fanatic' German choirmaster was 'feared' by pupils

GERMANY
Yahoo! News

AFP News
July 19, 2017

The former choirmaster of a Catholic school in Germany where more than 500 children were abused, including sexually, was a "fanatic" who was "feared" by pupils, his immediate successor said Wednesday.

Georg Ratzinger, older brother of former Pope Benedict XVI, led the famous millennium-old choir in the southern city of Regensburg between 1964 and 1994.

He was "impulsive, even fanatical," a "merciless" teacher when "imposing his idea of musical discipline," the current choirmaster, Roland Buechner, told German weekly Die Zeit.

"Afterwards, he could be the gentlest person in the world. Some pupils saw him as a model, others feared him as someone who would beat them," he added.

Ratzinger, now aged 93, has said he knew nothing about the violence at the school.

But Buechner, 63, recalled that under Ratzinger's baton, "a system of fear ruled" among members of the choir.

"It wasn't 'just' about slaps, but genuine physical abuse. People raged, there were injuries," he said.

A report published Tuesday detailed some 547 cases of abuse at the Regensburg school, site of one of the biggest such scandals to have struck the Catholic church in Germany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Warum es der katholischen Kirche so schwerfällt, Missbrauch einzugestehen

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche Zeitung

[Why it is so difficult for the Catholic Church to admit abuse? Cardinal George Pell is back in his native Australia. A short film sequence showing how coming from Singapore he is led by police officers and security guards to a white limousine at Melbourne airport. Cardinal Pell, the quasi-finance minister of the pope, one of the most powerful men in the Vatican, is to answer the question before a court in Melbourne next Wednesday.

The accusation: "historical sexual assaults".What exactly is meant by this is unclear. For several years now, men have been publicly reported and reported that Pell had committed abuse. The Australian judiciary considers this to be serious enough to initiate proceedings. And Pope Francis gave the cardinal the "permission for a time-out".

There is no end in sight in the scandal surrounding the sexual abuse of children and adolescents in the Catholic Church.]

Von Matthias Drobinski

Kardinal George Pell ist zurück in seiner australischen Heimat; eine kurze Filmsequenz zeigt, wie er, von Singapur kommend, auf dem Flughafen von Melbourne von Polizisten und Sicherheitsleuten zu einer weißen Limousine geleitet wird. Es hat ja nicht das Heimweh den 76-Jährigen dazu gebracht, die lange Reise von Rom um die halbe Welt auf sich zu nehmen. Kardinal Pell, als Quasi-Finanzminister des Papstes einer der mächtigsten Männer im Vatikan, soll kommenden Mittwoch vor einem Gericht in Melbourne Rede und Antwort stehen. Der Vorwurf: "historische sexuelle Übergriffe".

Was genau damit gemeint ist, bleibt unklar. Seit einigen Jahren gehen immer wieder Männer an die Öffentlichkeit und berichten, Pell habe sich an ihnen vergangen. Die australische Justiz hält dies für schwerwiegend genug, um ein Verfahren einzuleiten. Und Papst Franziskus hat dem Kardinal die "Erlaubnis für eine Auszeit" gegeben. Seine Ämter in Rom ruhen.

Es ist kein Ende abzusehen im Skandal um den sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen in der katholischen Kirche. Vor 15 Jahren brachten die Reporter des Boston Globe ans Tageslicht, wie der Priester John Geoghan Schuljungen sexuelle Gewalt antat und seine Kirchenvorgesetzten ihn deckten. Vor sieben Jahren gingen in Berlin die Opfer zweier Priester des Canisius-Kollegs an die Öffentlichkeit und lösten in Deutschland eine Welle der Enthüllungen aus, in allen Bistümern, in Internaten wie in Ettal - oder eben bei den Regensburger Domspatzen. Der schonungslose Abschlussbericht, den nun der Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Weber vorgelegt hat, ist einer der Belege dafür, dass die katholische Kirche sich auf den für sie schmerzhaften Weg der Aufarbeitung gemacht hat - nachdem anfangs viele Vertreter das Ausmaß der Verfehlungen leugneten.

Das ist vorbei. Es gibt nun einige Untersuchungen, die sich der Frage nähern, warum es gerade in der katholischen Kirche so viele Fälle sexueller Gewalt durch Priester und Kirchenmitarbeiter gab. Da war das Bild der heiligen Kirche, das nicht beschmutzt werden durfte, weshalb Täter geräuschlos versetzt und Opfer mundtot gemacht wurden. Da war der Männerbund, in dem man komplizenhaft über Zölibatsverstöße schwieg, war die Überforderung der Patres in den Internaten. Da waren aber auch Eltern, die alle Hilferufe ihrer Kinder überhörten und Klassenkameraden, die Teil des gewalttätigen Systems waren. Die katholische Kirche hat Opfer entschädigt. Sie hat Täter ihrer Ämter enthoben, Präventionsprogramme aufgelegt - an der päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana gibt es nun ein eigenes Zentrum für Kinderschutz. Manchmal hört man Kirchenvertreter grummeln: Jetzt könnte man mal die alten Geschichten zu den Akten legen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Sexual abuse bill targets school employees

MASSACHUSETTS
Lowell Sun

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service
UPDATED: 07/19/2017

BOSTON -- In 2004, Dudley police investigated what they believed to be a crime: a sexual relationship between a 30-year-old English teacher and a 16-year-old boy who was her student.

It was not a crime, Dudley Police Chief Steven Wojnar told the Legislature's Education Committee on Tuesday.

Since 2005, Wojnar said he has been advocating for a new law to bar adults in authority from sexual relationships with teenagers and he has been perplexed about why lawmakers have not put a statute on the books.

"Nobody's explained why," Wojnar told the News Service.

Salem Sen. Joan Lovely this session filed an omnibus bill (S 295) that specifically outlaws teachers and other school employees from sexually abusing high school students. Offenders could be punished with up to five years of imprisonment under the bill.

Lovely said she is unsure why the bill has not moved over the years, but she has a theory.

"I think this is such an uncomfortable subject that people don't want to talk about it," the senator told the News Service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Rörig verlangt Entschuldigung: Ex-Bischof hat nichts gegen hundertfachen sexuellen Missbrauch an Domspatzen getan

DEUTSCHLAND
Epoch Times

[Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig demands apology: Ex-Bishop has done nothing against a hundredfold sexual abuse at Domspatzen. The commissioner of the Federal Government for Questions of Sexual Child Abuse, Rörig, has accused the former Regensburg bishop and present Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller of serious failures in the treatment of the sexual abuse scandal at the Regensburg choir.].

"Unter dem damaligen Bischof Müller wurde eine umfassende, proaktive Aufarbeitung unter Einbeziehung von Betroffenen leider versäumt", so der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, mit Blick auf den Domspatzenskandal.

Der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, hat dem früheren Regensburger Bischof und jetzigen Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller schwere Versäumnisse bei der Aufarbeitung des sexuellen Missbrauchsskandals bei den Regensburger Domspatzen vorgeworfen.

„Unter dem damaligen Bischof Müller wurde eine umfassende, proaktive Aufarbeitung unter Einbeziehung von Betroffenen leider versäumt“, zitierte die Onlineausgabe der „Passauer Neuen Presse“ am Mittwoch den Missbrauchsbeauftragten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Sadisten im geistlichen Gewand

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

[Sadists in the spiritual garb: The final report on the abuse cases in the Regensburg choir testifies to the incalculable physical and sexual violence inflicted on the children by priests, teachers and educators.]

Der Abschlussbericht zu den Missbrauchsfällen bei den Regensburger Domspatzen zeugt von unfassbarer körperlicher und sexueller Gewalt, die den Kindern von Priestern, Lehrern und Erziehern angetan wurde. Die Kirche hatte lange Zeit nur Ignoranz für die Opfer übrig.

18.07.2017, von ALBERT SCHÄFFER, MÜNCHEN

Mehrfach hat Ulrich Weber am Dienstag bei der Vorstellung des Abschlussberichts zu den Missbrauchsvorwürfen bei den Regensburger Domspatzen Fragen damit beschieden, sie ließen sich nicht in zwei oder drei Sätzen beantworten. Der Bericht des Regensburger Anwalts, der als unabhängiger Ermittler eingesetzt war, umfasst 440 Seiten – doch auch sie reichen nicht aus, um ein Geschehen zu begreifen, das ein Fanal für die katholische Kirche ist. Sie setzte über Jahrzehnte in einer ihrer renommiertesten Erziehungsinstitutionen Kinder und Jugendliche einer unfassbaren körperlichen und sexuellen Gewalt von Priestern, Lehrern und Erziehern aus. Und sie begegnete lange Zeit Opfern, die den Mut fanden, ihr Schicksal zu offenbaren, mit „Ignoranz und Desinteresse“, wie Weber es in seinem Bericht nennt.

Der Bericht kann nicht ohne Statistiken auskommen: Mit mindestens 547 gibt der Ermittler die Zahl der Opfer an, die nach 1945 bis in die neunziger Jahre in der Vorschule und dem Gymnasium der Domspatzen geschlagen oder sexuell missbraucht worden seien. Die Dunkelziffer schätzt er weit höher ein. Es sind Zahlen, hinter denen sich beklemmende Einzelschicksale verbergen. „Meine fröhliche Kindheit endete, als meine Eltern mich am ersten Schultag der 3. Klasse in dem Internat in Etterzhausen zurückließen“, wird eines der Opfer in dem Bericht zitiert. Von da hätten die Erzieher „uneingeschränkt Gott“ gespielt: „Angst ist bis heute mein ständiger Begleiter“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Buch von Missbrauchsopfer: "Ich werde nicht heulen"

DEUTSCHLAND
Focus

[Alexander Probst, one of the abuse victims at the Regensburger Domspatzen has written his story of suffering in the boarding school of the world-famous boy choir. In the book he talks about sexual abuse, beatings, his fear of director, teachers and prefects. FOCUS Online publishes passages from the book.]

Mindestens 547 Chorknaben der Regensburger Domspatzen sind Opfer von körperlicher oder sexueller Gewalt geworden. Das geht aus dem am Dienstag vorgelegten Abschlussbericht zum Missbrauchskandal bei dem weltberühmten Chor hervor.

Zu den Missbrauchsopfern bei den Regensburger Domspatzen gehört auch Alexander Probst. Der Mann aus Dietfurt hat seine Leidensgeschichte im Internat des weltberühmten Knabenchors aufgeschrieben. In dem Buch berichtet er über den sexuellen Missbrauch, die Prügel, seine Angst vor Direktor, Lehrern und Präfekten. FOCUS Online veröffentlicht Passagen aus dem Werk. ("Von der Kirche missbraucht. Meine traumatische Kindheit bei den Regensburger Domspatzen und der furchtbare Skandal" von Alexander Probst mit Daniel Bachmann ist im Riva-Verlag erschienen und kostet 19,99 Euro.)

Auszug aus Kapitel: "Lieber Vati, ich glaube, ich bin der Bub, den Du Dir wünschst."
Präfekt Hansch hat alle Jacken mitgebracht. Mittlerweile haben sie alle ihre Nummern. Das war ein Riesendurcheinander in den ersten Tagen, weil sie von Anfang an nummeriert mitgebracht werden mussten, aber nicht alle Mütter der Aufforderung nachgekommen sind. Jetzt hält Präfekt Hansch eine der Jacken hoch. Mit lauter Stimme sagt er: „97.“ Ich schaue zu Boden, ich will es nicht sehen. Ich höre es laut klatschen, dann fängt 97 an zu heulen. Hansch schnauzt ihn an und wendet sich an alle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

«Schmerzhafter, notwendiger Schritt, dem weitere folgen müssen»

DEUTSCHLAND
cath.ch

["Painful, necessary step, which must be followed." We Are Church commenting on the final report on the elucidation of the abuse scandal at the Regensburger Domspatzen said more work must be done.]

Wir sind Kirche zum Abschlussbericht zur Aufklärung des Missbrauchskandals bei den Regensburger Domspatzen

Pressemitteilung München/Regensburg, 18. Juli 2017

Die KirchenVolksBewegung Wir sind Kirche sieht den heutigen Abschlussbericht des vom Bistum Regensburg beauftragten Sonderermittlers, des Rechtsanwalts Ulrich Weber, als schmerzhaften und notwendigen Schritt an, dem jedoch weitere Schritte im Bistum Regensburg und auch in anderen deutschen Bistümern noch folgen müssen. In dem Bericht klingen mehrfach die besonderen systemischen Bedingungen innerhalb der Domspatzen-Organisation an, die dazu beitrugen, dass die verschiedenen Formen der Gewalt dort in besonderem Maße ausgeübt wurden und trotz der Exzesse damals nicht an die Öffentlichkeit gelangten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:29 AM

Child Protection expert responds to German abuse report

ROME
Vatican Radio

Pater Zollner: Missbrauchsopfer brauchen das Gespräch

(Vatican Radio) Father Hans Zollner, SJ says a new report on abuse at a prestigious German musical institution is an “important step forward.” Father Zollner is President of the Centre for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University, and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

The report identified hundreds of instances of physical abuse, as well as dozens of cases of sexual abuse of members of the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir in Germany. Forty-nine members of the Church are accused of abusing the children, including nine persons accused of carrying out sexual violence against children.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Fr Zollner said the report shows that Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg “has taken seriously all the allegations, that he did not shy away from all that would ensue.”

The fact that the investigation was carried out independently, and conducted to the highest scientific standards, all with the willing cooperation of the local Church, “shows that the bishop is very courageous in taking on an issue that has been looming for many years.” Zollner acknowledged that the scandal of abuse at the choral institution was “the talk of the city” for many years, but it is only now that the facts have become “plain, in the light of day.” Bishop Voderholzer, he said, “has done something that will bring at least the chance of some justice for the abused.” It will also give institutions the opportunity to review their procedures with regard to screening personnel, and to responding to reports of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 AM

Vaucluse: Un abbé de l'Institut Notre-dame-de-vie mis en examen pour agression sexuelle

FRANCE
20 Minutes

AFP

[Vaucluse: Abbot of the Institut Notre-Dame-de-Vie is charged with sexual assault.]

Nouvelle affaire de pédophilie au sein de l’Eglise ? Un abbé de l’institut Notre-Dame-de-Vie à Venasque (Vaucluse) a été mis en examen fin juin pour des abus sexuels sur une mineure et relevé de ses fonctions, a-t-on appris ce lundi auprès du responsable des prêtres.

Selon le responsable des prêtres de l’institut, le père Benoît Caulle, la mise en examen de l’abbé le 27 juin pour « des faits graves d’abus sexuels sur mineure » serait intervenue à la suite d’une plainte déposée par la victime pour des faits datant de 11 ans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Un prêtre de l’institut Notre-Dame de Vie mis en examen pour pédophilie

FRANCE
La Croix

Loup Besmond de Senneville, le 18/07/2017

Le prêtre, qui a été mis en examen le 27 juin pour abus sexuels sur mineure, est relevé de toutes ses fonctions ecclésiastiques.

Ses responsables font part de leur « immense compassion » pour la jeune femme à l’origine de la plainte.

Un prêtre, membre de Notre-Dame de Vie (NDV), a été mis en examen pour abus sexuels sur mineure, a révélé cet institut séculier installé dans le sud de la France dans un communiqué publié le 14 juillet.

Le prêtre a été mis en examen le 27 juin à la suite d’une plainte déposée par une jeune femme. « Lui sont reprochés des faits graves d’abus sexuels sur mineure, commis il y a 11 ans », peut-on lire dans le communiqué. Le prêtre a été placé sous contrôle judiciaire.

Le Vatican informé

En attendant que « la justice se prononce », les responsables de l’institut NDV ont pris « des mesures d’éloignement de tout mineur » et ont interdit au prêtre « tout exercice public de son ministère ». Ils ont également « informé de cette mise en examen » la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi, à Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Priest in secular institute under investigation for pedophilia

FRANCE
La Croix

In a statement released on July 14, the Notre Dame de Vie institute in France revealed accusations against one of its priests.

Loup Besmond de Senneville

The Notre-Dame de Vie (Our Lady of Life) movement revealed in a statement released on July 14 that one of its priest members is being investigated for the sexual abuse of a minor.

The secular institute is based in the south of France.The priest was placed under investigation on June 27 following a report lodged by a young woman.

“He is charged with serious acts of sexual abuse of a minor committed eleven years ago,” the statement said.

The priest has since been placed under judicial oversight.

Vatican informed

While waiting for “justice to be done”, Notre-Dame de Vie (NDV) leaders have taken “measures to distance [the priest from] any minor” and forbidden him from “any public exercise of his ministry”.

They have also informed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome of the indictment.“I have tremendous compassion towards this young woman and her loved ones,” said Fr Benoît Caulle, who is responsible for NDV priests, in the statement.

“These acts, which the Church absolutely condemns, are profoundly destructive.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

'All of us together': Sex abuse survivor seeks healing within the church

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Repoter

Luke Hansen | Jul. 19, 2017

WEST ST. PAUL, MINN.
In this interview, Susan Pavlak, a lifelong resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, describes being sexually abused by her high school religion teacher, a former nun, beginning in 1970. The abuse, according to Pavlak, happened on several occasions over four years. The alleged perpetrator, whom Pavlak has chosen not to identify by name in this interview, has never been charged in a criminal court; and Pavlak has never sought damages from any party in a civil court.

Pavlak has sought reconciliation and restitution outside of the legal system. In 2001, in the presence of an official of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Pavlak met with the person she said abused her, she explained, in order to "restore right relationship with her." In 2002, Pavlak utilized a non-adversarial process to settle with the archdiocese, which agreed to reimburse her high school tuition.

Pavlak, a retired operations manager, has collaborated with Gilbert Gustafson, a perpetrator of child sexual abuse, on the project Uncommon Conversation, which seeks healing and reconciliation among survivors, perpetrators and others involved in child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Gustafson was ordained a priest in 1977, pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of a minor in 1983, served four and a half months in jail, and was permanently removed from active priestly ministry in 2002. This interview with Pavlak, edited for length and clarity, took place in West St. Paul, Minnesota.

NCR: What was your early experience as a Catholic?

Pavlak: My family's life was centered on faith, family and security. My grandfather and father were police officers, and my father ended his career as the federal marshal for the district of Minnesota.

My family was very involved in parish life. My folks chaired the capital campaign for our parish.

I attended Catholic grade school and high school. My experience was pretty uniformly good, except for the occasional evil nun. In my day, you could still get hit in Catholic school. We had Mass every day. Today I go to Mass every week, and I am an active member of my community.

What happened during your junior year of high school?

The student council leaders were asked to arrive a week or two before school started and give a little speech for the incoming faculty. Afterward a teacher came up to me and introduced herself as a religion teacher and student council liaison. I also learned from her that she recently left a religious order and was living in community with two former sisters and a sister on leave. That was my first introduction to my perpetrator.

I had just turned 16. She was, I believe, 25.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Parents concerned after former Maclay School faculty member arrested for sexual abuse

FLORIDA
WTXL

Ashley Richmond Jul 18, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Some Tallahassee parents are on edge after a man who works with local children is arrested for sexual abuse.

The Leon County Sheriff's Office arrested 41-year-old Roshad Thomas on six counts of sex offense against a child.

Thomas has been working with kids in the Tallahassee area for more than a decade. According to his LinkedIn page, he was a Youth Pastor at Cavalry Chapel for more than 13 years.

He's also worked at Maclay School. A statement from Kimberly McWilliams, Maclay School's Director of Communication, reads: "Earlier today, it was brought to our attention that Roshad Thomas, a former member of the Maclay School faculty, who taught Life Management in the Upper School during the 2016-2017 school year, was arrested for alleged sexual misconduct committed prior to 2015. Mr. Thomas also worked with several of our sports teams and Middle School Life Management classes. After speaking with the authorities, the allegations do not involve any students from Maclay."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Pope Benedict XVI's brother implicated in abuse scandal

GERMANY
La Croix

At least 547 children were the victims of physical and sexual violence in the Domspatzen Choir at the Regensburg cathedral in Germany between 1945 and 1995. After two years of public inquiry, a final report requested by the diocese has been made public.

Delphine Nerbollier, Berlin
Germany

In light of the vast scale of the sexual abuse and violence scandal in its cathedral choir, the Diocese of Regensburg commissioned an independent lawyer, Ulrich Weber, to report on the misconduct which first became public in 2010.

The final report, which was published on Monday, lists 547 children whose claims of mistreatment between 1945 and 1992 is said to have been “highly plausible".

Of these, 500 are alleged to have been victims of physical violence, 67 of sexual offenses and twenty who were victims of both.Famous for its choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen is a Catholic institution oriented towards musical performance. ...

Forty-nine offenders were identified, including nine for sexual abuse. In Weber’s view, the primary school principal “personally” as well as his prefects were “responsible for the violence".

Georg Ratzinger, the brother of Pope Benedict XVI, who was director of the choir between 1964 and 1994, was also implicated. He is said to have “turned a blind eye and failed to intervene despite his knowledge of the facts".

Michael Fuchs, the vicar general of the Diocese of Regensburg, defended him nevertheless.Fr Ratzinger did not know of the sexual violence but simply recognized that had “slapped” students and underestimated the extent of the violence in the institution, Fr Fuchs said.

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who was bishop of Regensburg when the scandal broke out in 2010, was also criticized for having put a brake on the investigation which was launched seven years ago.“We have made mistakes and we have learned a lot,”

Fr Fuchs said on Monday, recognizing that the Church “should have reacted better and sooner".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

MEDIA RELEASE – JULY 18, 2017

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

THE DIOCESE OF ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, HAS OPPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE NEW YORK STATE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS REGARDING SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN WHICH CAUSES VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE TO BE RE-VICTIMIZED

THE DIOCESE OF ROCKVILLE CENTRE SHOULD STOP OPPOSING STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AMENDMENTS REGARDING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN ORDER TO GIVE CHILDHOOD VICTIMS OF PRIESTS AND DEACONS IN THE ROCKVILLE CENTRE DIOCESE THE JUSTICE AND HEALING THEY DESERVE

THOMAS MC GARVEY WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED AT ST. CATHERINE OF SIENNA PARISH IN FRANKLIN SQUARE, LONG ISLAND, BY FR. ROBERT BROWN (DECEASED) AND HAS BEEN WAITING FOR DECADES FOR HEALING AND JUSTICE

What
A demonstration calling for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York, to stop opposing statute of limitations legislation in New York State regarding child sexual abuse in order to allow childhood victims of sexual abuse in that diocese and all of New York State to receive justice and healing

When
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 11:30 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside the headquarters of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, 50 North Park Avenue, Rockville Centre, New York 11571-9023

Who
Thomas Mc Garvey, a resident of Queens, New York, who was sexually abused at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish, Franklin Square, New York, by Fr. Robert Brown; and, Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, 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

Why
The Catholic Conference of New York State, led by the Bishops of the Dioceses of New York State, has for years led an unfair and unjust fight against changes to the New York State statute of limitations law regarding child sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Conference, including the new Bishop of Rockville Centre, New York, Bishop John Barres, to cease opposing legislation that would give victims their day in court and allow for justice and healing for child sexual abuse victims. Thomas Mc Garvey, who lives in the Borough of Queens, New York, was sexually abused as a child by Fr. Robert Brown at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Franklin Square, Long Island, Nassau County, New York, and he has waited decades for justice and healing. He will discuss the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s opposition to the statute of limitations legislation and urge the new bishop, John Barres, to support laws that are fair and just.

Contacts
Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, Road to Recovery, Inc., 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Cardinal George Pell retains honorary role at Richmond Tigers

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Cardinal George Pell will keep his honorary role at AFL club Richmond as he faces sex offence charges.

Tigers chief executive Brendon Gale has released a statement, confirming Cardinal Pell still has strong links to the club.

Pell signed with the Tigers in the late '50s, but did not play for them in the then-VFL before he joined the priesthood.

He has been a vice-patron of the club since the late 1990s.

"In light of Cardinal Pell's fundamental rights to the presumption of innocence and to a fair trial, he will remain a vice-patron of the club pending the outcome of any trial," Gale told Fox Footy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

"Renovierung, Klimaanlage - alles auf eigene Kosten!"

ROM
T Online

[Fired Cardinal Müller: "Renovation, air conditioning - everything at your own expense!"
It is currently not well for Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, long one of the most important German church men. It was only then that Pope Francis disempowered him in the Vatican. Then accusations in the abuse scandal around the Regensburger Domspatzen happened.]

Es läuft derzeit nicht gut für Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, lange einer der wichtigsten deutschen Kirchenmänner. Erst entmachtet ihn Papst Franziskus im Vatikan. Dann kommen Vorwürfe im Missbrauchs-Skandal um die Regensburger Domspatzen dazu. Ein Gespräch mit einem Mann, der sich ungerecht behandelt fühlt.

Es ist Anfang Juli in Rom und glühend heiß. Die Klimaanlage brummt. Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller sitzt vor einer großen Bücherwand in seiner Wohnung unweit des Vatikans und deutet auf die Anlage. "Ich bin drei Mal umgezogen, bis ich hier in die Wohnung einziehen konnte. Dann die Renovierung, die Klimaanlage, das alles auf eigene Kosten", sagt er. Drei Mal umziehen für einen der wichtigsten Posten der katholischen Kirche - den er jetzt allerdings verloren hat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Kardinal Müller tritt nach

ROM
Spiegal

[The dismissed chief of the CDF Cardinal Müller retaliates. Cardinal Müller, who has just been fired as the head of the CDF vociferates his grievances: In Rome, a "hypocritical papal devotion" and "courtly behavior" have dominion. He also has a clear opinion on abuse.]

Kardinal Müller, gerade als Chef der Glaubenskongregation geschasst, macht seinem Unmut Luft: In Rom herrsche eine "scheinheilige Papstdevotion" und "höfisches Gehabe". Auch zum Thema Missbrauch hat er eine klare Meinung.

Fünf Jahre lang war der ehemalige Regensburger Bischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller Chef der Glaubenskongregation im Vatikan. Pünktlich zum Ablauf seiner Amtszeit entließ ihn der Papst Anfang Juli aus seinen Diensten. Warum, wurde vom Vatikan nicht erklärt. Politische und theologische Differenzen zwischen Franziskus und dem konservativen Müller gelten aber als Hauptgrund.

Müller hatte den Papst in verschiedenen Punkten kritisiert, etwa im Zusammenhang mit dem postsynodalen päpstlichen Schreiben "Amoris Laetitia" ("Die Freude der Liebe"), in dem der Papst die Kommunion für wiederverheiratete Geschiedene unter gewissen Bedingungen möglich macht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Kardinal Müller: Kirche wird härter verurteilt

ROM
T Online

[In the case of child abuse, the German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller sees the Catholic Church wrongly criticized. "It is obvious that the Catholic Church is heavier in the topic of priests being suspected a priori," said the 69-year-old to the German Press Agency in Rome.]

Rom (dpa) - Der deutsche Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller sieht die katholische Kirche im Fall von Kindesmissbrauch zu Unrecht so scharf kritisiert. "Es ist offensichtlich, dass die katholische Kirche bei dem Thema härter angegangen wird, dass Priester a priori verdächtigt werden", sagte der 69-Jährige der Deutschen Presse-Agentur in Rom.

"Es gibt Geistliche - Gott sei es geklagt - die solche Verbrechen begangen haben. Aber deshalb kann man nicht die anderen, nur weil sie auch Priester sind, kollektiv verdächtigen. Prozentual gesehen ist das mit Blick auf die Gesamtzahl der Geistlichen in der Welt sogar weniger als bei vergleichbaren pädagogischen Berufsgruppen - was die Straftat natürlich in keinster Weise entschuldigt und das Leiden der Opfer mindert", sagte er.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Domspatzen: Kardinal Müller sieht keine Versäumnisse

DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

[Domspatzen: Cardinal Müller sees no shortcomings.The former Bishop of Regensburg, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, rejected the accusation that the catastrophic sexual and physical abuse scandal had been mishandled.]

Der ehemalige Regensburger Bischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller hat den Vorwurf einer mangelhaften Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchskandals bei den Domspatzen zurückgewiesen. „Eine „Chronologie der diözesanen Aufarbeitung von 2010 bis 2016“ gibt detaillierte Auskunft über die Tatsachen, die oft weit von verbreiteten Fehlurteilen abweichen“, sagte Kardinal Müller der Deutschen Presse-Agentur in Rom, bevor der Abschlussbericht zu den Vorfällen am Dienstag veröffentlicht wurde.

REGENSBURG.Erst ab 2010 habe es Meldungen von Straftaten gegeben, „die schon Jahrzehnte vor meinem Amtsantritt Ende 2002 begangen wurden. Die meisten Täter waren schon lange zuvor gestorben“, betonte Müller, der Anfang Juli von Papst Franziskus als Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation im Vatikan abberufen wurde. „Um den Opfern zu helfen, wurden Diözesanbeauftragte bestellt, die mit einer Kommission von Experten den Anzeigen sorgfältig nachgehen.“ Müller verwies zudem auf einen Hirtenbrief. Darin habe er die Opfer aufgerufen, sich zu melden.

Betroffene hatten Müller vorgeworfen, die Aufklärung zu behindern. Dies änderte sich unter dem neuen Regensburger Bischof Rudolf Voderholzer. Generalvikar Michael Fuchs räumte deshalb am Dienstag Fehler ein: „Wir sehen heute, dass wir früher manches besser hätten machen können.“ So sei es nicht richtig gewesen, darauf zu warten, dass sich Betroffene meldeten. Man hätte aktiv auf sie zugehen müssen. In dem Abschlussbericht heißt es, Müller müsse eine klare Verantwortung für die strategischen, organisatorischen und kommunikativen Schwächen zugeschrieben werden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Domspatzen: Bistum Regensburg räumt Fehler ein

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[Domspatzen: Diocese of Regensburg admits mistakes. There have been at least 547 victims of abuse in the past decades at the Regensburger Domspatzen. The bishop is now apologizing and talking about neglect.]

Der Regensburger Generalvikar Michael Fuchs hat Versäumnisse bei der Aufklärung und Aufarbeitung von Übergriffen bei den Domspatzen eingeräumt. "Wir haben alle Fehler gemacht, viel gelernt und sehen heute, dass wir früher manches hätten besser machen können", sagte Fuchs (Bild oben) am Dienstag in Regensburg. Das Thema sei 2010 "nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen" angegangen worden, was aber "in vielem auch mangelhaft" gewesen sei. Daher habe das Verfahren weiterentwickelt werden müssen.

Zuvor hatte der vom Bistum beauftragte unabhängige Sonderermittler Ulrich Weber seinen Abschlussbericht zur Aufarbeitung der Missbrauchsfällle vorgestellt. Darin beziffert der Rechtsanwalt die Zahl der "hoch plausiblen" Opfer auf 547. Gleichzeitig sagte er aber auch, er gehe weiter von einer Dunkelziffer in Höhe von rund 700 Opfern aus. Schwerpunktmäßig haben sich die Taten laut Bericht in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren ereignet. Bis 1992 sei durchgängig von körperlicher Gewalt berichtet worden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Vatican hospital corruption trial starts with setbacks for defense

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Two men who used to run a Vatican-owned children's hospital were put on trial on Tuesday, accused of diverting nearly half a million dollars of funds to renovate a top cardinal's luxury flat.

The trial, which puts on public display the challenges Pope Francis faces in trying to clean up the Vatican, began with the court rejecting a defense motion to dismiss, as well as a request to bar journalists.

Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina, respectively the former president and treasurer of the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, are charged with spending 422,000 euros ($481,000) in 2013 and 2014 on refurbishing the large Vatican apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's former number two.

The trial was adjourned until Sept. 7, and the court left open the possibility that Bertone, who was not indicted, might be called as a witness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Father claims Overland Park priest "tickled," touched young daughter

KANSAS
KSHB

[with video]

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Hours after the Archdiocese of KCK announced the suspension of priest Scott Kallal on Tuesday, a man who claims his daughter was sexually assaulted by Kallal came forward with new allegations.

The Archdiocese announced in a statement Monday afternoon that Kallal was suspended from his position at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Overland Park after two sources came forward with allegations of wrongdoing.

Church leaders said a preliminary investigation revealed “violations of some of the Archdiocese’s safe environment guidelines which all clerics, employees and volunteers are asked to observe when interacting with young people," including one incident involving a minor.

On Tuesday, a man claiming to be the father of the child spoke to 41 Action News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Kansas priest suspended as conduct probe unfolds

KANSAS
Washington Times

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - An associate pastor at two suburban Kansas City churches is suspended as state child-welfare workers and the archdiocese investigate his conduct, in one case involving a juvenile, the governing Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas said Tuesday.

The archdiocese said in a statement that Father Scott Kallal was pulled from public ministry duties after two sources accused him of “boundary violations.” The archdiocese added that its preliminary investigation “revealed violations of some of the archdiocese’s safe environment guidelines which all clerics, employees and volunteers are asked to observe when interacting with young people.”

Archdiocese spokeswoman Anita McSorley declined to elaborate.

The archdiocese said Kallal’s suspension was announced last weekend during Masses at two churches he served - Overland Park’s Holy Spirit Church and St. Patrick Church in Kansas City, Kansas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

KCK archdiocese suspends priest after two allegations of ‘boundary violations’

KANSAS
The Kansas City Star

BY JUDY L. THOMAS
jthomas@kcstar.com

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has suspended a priest after receiving allegations of inappropriate conduct involving two people, one a minor.

In a statement Tuesday, the archdiocese said it received the reports from two sources and conducted a preliminary investigation that revealed violations of some “safe environment guidelines” that all priests, employees and volunteers must observe when interacting with young people. Because one of the “boundary violation” allegations involved a minor, the archdiocese said, it notified the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

The investigation is ongoing, and the archdiocese said its Independent Review Board also is looking into the matter.

The priest, the Rev. Scott Kallal, 35, “has been suspended from the exercise of his public priestly ministry pending the outcome of the DCF and the Archdiocesan investigations and the recommendation of the Independent Review Board,” the archdiocese said in its statement, which was read during Masses last weekend at Holy Spirit Church in Overland Park and St. Patrick Church in Kansas City, Kan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

The Big Read: No justice for a life destroyed

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

By Chris Morris

Victims of historic abuse in state care are fighting back, demanding justice - in cash and apologies - to help rebuild broken lives. But some are going further.

Darryl Smith says ''blood money'' is not enough to rebuild a life destroyed by sexual abuse in two countries.

The Dunedin man spent more than a decade in state care, in New Zealand and Australia, beginning as a 7-year-old boy in the early 1970s.

It was an experience that exposed him to sexual predators at one institution after another, including two run by the same Catholic order - the Brothers Hospitallers of St John of God.

And, despite receiving payouts and apologies on both sides of the Tasman, Smith says it is not enough.

The 53-year-old wants justice in the form of a national inquiry and public apology from the New Zealand Government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

OM Appeals Case Sexual Abuse Pastor Rains Of Blessing Church

CURACAO
Curacao Chronicle

WILLEMSTAD - The Public Prosecution has appealed today the sentencing of the Court of First Instance in the case against the pastor of the Rains of Blessing Church, Orlando Balentina (1964).

Balentina was sentenced to nine years in prison on July 5, 2017, for the sexual abuse of various minors and adults who are members of his church. Also as punishment, he is not allowed to work as a pastor for 14 years.

In this case, the Public Prosecution has demanded 18 years and prohibition to work as a pastor for 14 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

New details revealed about former Tallahassee youth pastor

FLORIDA
WTXL

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Shocking details are being revealed about a man who worked with local children.

The Leon County Sheriff's Office arrested 41-year-old Roshad Thomas on six counts of sex offense against a child.

Thomas is a former youth pastor at a Tallahassee church, who, until recently, was a contracted employee at Maclay School.

A school official tells WTXL Thomas is a former member of the Maclay School faculty. He taught Life Management in the Upper School during the 2016-2017 school year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

St. Paul’s top administrator defends school amid criminal investigation

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

By Catie Edmondson GLOBE CORRESPONDENT JULY 18, 2017

St. Paul School’s top administrator offered a defense of the elite preparatory school on Monday while also acknowledging the recent misconduct of male students who documented relationships with girls on a crown.

The letter, sent by Rector Michael G. Hirschfeld, comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that the New Hampshire attorney general’s office has launched a criminal investigation into the school to determine whether administrators engaged in conduct that endangered the welfare of children. Concord police and New Hampshire State Police will assist in the investigation.

Hirschfeld wrote that he was “startled and saddened” by the announcement, and that he would continue to stand up for the students, staff, and faculty of the school.

“I have seen the media characterize the School in ways that stand in nearly complete opposition to the reality we live,” he said. “We are not perfect — you’ve heard me say this before — but what I need to say now, and much more often, is how proud I am of our students and our community.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Assignment Record– Rev. Joseph L. Theisen

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Joseph L. Theisen was a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, ordained in 1959. He was assigned to parishes in Manhattan, Staten Island, Garnersville and the Bronx. There is an unexplained gap in his assignments 1983-1984. In 1987 the archdiocese began to receive allegations of child sexual abuse against Theisen. He was sent to the Servants of the Paraclete's treatment center in New Mexico, and was "Absent on Leave" until 1994 when he was voluntarily laicized. Three young men reported to the archdiocese in 1994 that Theisen had sexually abused them in the early 1980s, when they were teens. One of them alleged abuse by the priest from 1980-1984. Each of the three received settlements of $20,000, and were required to sign confidentiality agreements.

Theisen went on to live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he died in 2013.

Ordained: 1959
Born: June 18, 1933
Died: January 25, 2013

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

New sex abuse lawsuits seek $15M

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

A former Catholic school student and a former Boy Scout are the latest victims to come forward in separate lawsuits alleging child sex abuse at the hands of men they trusted.

Attorney David Lujan filed lawsuits in the District Court of Guam yesterday on behalf of A.W.C. and T.P.J.

A.W.C., 44, of California, alleges he was sexually abused and raped by his teacher at San Vicente Catholic School in Barrigada.

The complaint, filed against the school, accuses Ray Techaira, a deceased priest and former Catholic school teacher, of exploiting the trust and confidence bestowed upon him by sexually abusing A.W.C when he was 12 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Condenan al vicerrector del Santuario Nacional de Maipú por abuso sexual de un menor

CHILE
BioBio

[The priest Rodrigo Gajardo was convicted on June 27 after acknowledging that he sexually abused a child in the midst of a religious retreat. In the Schoenstatt movement to which he belongs they say that he was suspended from his functions and that they are waiting for an opinion from the Vatican.]

El sacerdote Rodrigo Gajardo fue condenado el 27 de junio pasado tras reconocer que abusó sexualmente de un menor, en medio de un retiro religioso. En el movimiento Schoenstatt, al cual pertenece, aseguran que fue suspendido de sus funciones y que están a la espera de un dictamen del Vaticano.

En su primera misa de alianza del Movimiento Apostólico de Schoenstatt, en Maipú, el padre Rodrigo Gajardo Figueroa vistió una túnica beige y una estola blanca. Bromeó con los feligreses, citó varios pasajes eclesiásticos y filosofó sobre las problemáticas de la libertad y la justicia. “Tenemos que tener leyes para que nos ordene la vida, para que nos sintamos seguros”, dijo el sacerdote, en medio de un sermón lleno de alusiones a los deberes y derechos de las personas (revisa acá su primera homilía). Ese 18 de julio de 2014, sin embargo, el padre Gajardo omitió un dato importante: él mismo había vulnerado la Ley unos años antes, al abusar sexualmente de un menor en un retiro espiritual del movimiento religioso al que pertenece.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Sexual abuse, Absconding priest arrested in Mangaluru

INDIA
The New Indian Express

KALPETTA: The police on Tuesday arrested the priest against whom the parents of two boys had lodged a complaint of sexual abuse with Meenangadi police station here. Senior police officers said the accused priest, Fr Saji alias Joseph, 40, of Kottiyoor in Kannur, was nabbed by a special team from Mangaluru where he had gone into hiding after the parents of the children lodged the complaint.

He was produced before the court and remanded in judicial custody. The incident came to light on July 14 when the parents of the two boys approached Childline after their wards aged 15 and 14 revealed to them about the sexual abuse incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Catholic Church

NEW ZEALAND
Otago Daily Times

By Chris Morris

New Zealand's most vulnerable children were failed by Church and State, the head of the Catholic Church's National Office for Professional Standards says.

Bill Kilgallon told ODT Insight the Church's New Zealand office, created in 2004 to investigate historic abuse claims, had fielded about 22 complaints a year since 2013.

About 20 a year related to ''non-recent behaviour against children'', either within a church setting or involving clergy within the state care system, he said.

''A number of the complaints we're dealing with would be children who were in state care but placed in an establishment run by the Church - Marylands, for example,'' he said.

The complaints of abuse, cruelty and very poor conditions showed the level of care by the State or Church was ''very often very poor'', he said.

And the Church, in particular, ''should have achieved better than the State'', he believed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Rotherham MP seeks law change for compensation for child sex abuse victims

UNITED KINGDOM
The Star

CLAIRE LEWIS

A Rotherham MP is seeking a change in the law over compensation for child sex abuse victims.

Sarah Champion has written to the Secretary of State for Justice calling for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority to stop ruling out payments on the grounds that children were somehow complicit in the abuse.

Since the CICA scheme was launched in November 2012 nearly 700 victims and survivors of child sexual abuse have been refused payments ranging between £1,000 and £44,000, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

While the law states it is a crime to have sexual activity with anyone under the age of 16, it is claimed that is not reflected in compensation decisions and that payment rules are being interpreted to suggest children can consent to their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Regensburg Boys’ Choir: Thousand-year history now stained by scandal

GERMANY
The Malay Mail Online

AFP

MUNICH, July 19 — The Regensburg Boys Choir has a proud history dating back more than a thousand years, but now finds its reputation tarnished by revelations that hundreds of its young charges suffered physical or sexual abuse.

One of the oldest choirs in continuous existence in the world, it traces its roots back to the year 975, when Bishop Wolfgang of Regensburg set up a cathedral school in the Bavarian town whose pupils were charged with singing the liturgy.

The pupils — only boys and young men are admitted — are called “Domspatzen”, meaning “Cathedral Sparrows.”

The institution comprises a Catholic boarding school and a secondary school where a heavy focus is on learning music.

It has a current enrolment of 320, half of whom live in the boarding school, which has a reputation for tough discipline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

Hundreds of Regensburger Domspatzen choir boys abused

GERMANY
Aljazeera

Priests and teachers physically or sexually abused more than 500 boys at a Catholic choir school in Germany between 1945 and 1992, according to a report.

Allegations in Tuesday's report involving the Domspatzen choir at the Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows school were among a spate of revelations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Germany that emerged in 2010.

Many of the 547 victims remembered their time at the school as "the worst time of their lives, marked by fear, violence and helplessness", said lawyer Ulrich Weber, who was commissioned two years ago by the diocese to probe the cases.

The victims said the school was "prison, hell and a concentration camp", he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

July 18, 2017

Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict, admits abuse

GERMANY
The Times (UK)

David Charter, Berlin
July 19 2017
The Times

The brother of Benedict XVI, the former pope, has admitted slapping boys at a Catholic choir school and has been named as partly responsible for a culture of abuse at the school in Germany where at least 547 boys were victims of physical or sexual assault.

Georg Ratzinger ran the Domspatzen (cathedral sparrows) choir in Regensburg from 1964 to 1994 and said that slapping boys was common practice at the time. He denied knowledge of sexual abuse.

A lawyer brought in to investigate allegations, some dating back to 1945, said in his final report that Mr Ratzinger, 93, could be blamed “for looking away or for failing to intervene”. The report on the school counted 500 cases of physical violence and 67 of sexual violence, committed by 49 perpetrators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Back of the Yards priest who admitted to sexual misconduct as teenager gives up collar

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune

A popular Back of the Yards priest who admitted to sexual misconduct as a teenager has left his Roman Catholic religious order and asked the pope to remove him from the priesthood, according to a letter from the lawyer for the Claretian Missionaries provided as part of a legal settlement.

Bruce Wellems, a former priest at Holy Cross Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, who acknowledged that decades ago, when he was 15, he abused a 7-year-old boy, resigned from the Claretians in the past year, after the victim sued the order.

The victim, Eric Johnson, now 52, said Wellems abused him multiple times when Johnson was 7 years old.

"I could have chosen to remain anonymous, but I did not, which was not easy for my family nor myself. Yet I continue to push for justice," he said. "He is a danger to the kids and the community."

Wellems, 60, was barred from active ministry in the Chicago Archdiocese last year after an independent review board uncovered "additional facts that weren't previously available." It is unclear whether the review disclosed an additional victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 PM

Call to stop sale of site at Bessborough

IRELAND
Evening Echo

Jess Casey

THE sale of a site at the former Bessborough Mother and Baby Home should be halted until a full examination of the grounds is carried out, according to a Cork woman who spent time in the institution.

Joan McDermott, originally from Mitchelstown, is calling for the sale at Bessborough to be immediately halted after it emerged plans are underway to sell a portion of the site at Blackrock.

Ms McDermott was separated from her son for 50 years after she gave birth to him while she was interned in the mother and baby home as a teenager.

“Us mothers are convinced there are bodies buried there,” Ms McDermott told the Evening Echo.

“There are mothers still alive, who do not know to this day where their babies are. Mothers who don’t know where their babies are buried.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Politician reveals he was used in Mother and Baby Home vaccine experiment

IRELAND
IrishCentral

James Wilson @jameswilson1919 July 18, 2017

A councilor from Clondalkin in south Dublin has revealed that he was used as a baby in a vaccine experiment whilst living at a Mother and Baby Home.

Francis Timmons spent the early years of his life at the Madonna Baby Home in Blackrock, Dublin and only learned as an adult that he had been used in medical trials during his time there.

The company GlaxoSmithKline Ireland wrote to Timmons informing him that he received two injections of diphtheria tetanus pertussis (DTP) vaccine alongside 18 other children living at the Madonna Baby Home.

The experiments hoped to solve a number of illnesses prevalent in children, such as diphtheria, tetanus, polio and whooping cough.

Questions were first raised about the use of orphaned children for such trials in the 1990’s and a report published in 2000 for Ireland’s Health Service Executive found that 52 infants from four mother and baby homes had been used in a trial that began in 1960.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Former high ranking parish priest accused of child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

Hamish Broome | 19th Jul 2017

A RETIRED Catholic parish priest who stands accused of several child sexual abuse offences was excused from appearing in Lismore Local Court on Tuesday where his case was mentioned.

Richard St John Cattell, 77, who now lives on the Gold Coast, faces nine historic charges including intercourse with a male between 10 and 17 years old as well as aggravated indecent assault with a boy under his authority.

Cattell served as a parish priest at several NSW parishes in the 1970s and 1980s before being promoted to Vicar-General of the Diocese of Parramatta in the early 1990s.

The offences allegedly occurred during Cattel's time as a parish priest at various NSW parishes in Sydney and surrounds.

Prosecutor Luke Wiggins told the court on Tuesday the "bulk" of the alleged offences occurred in the Hawkesbury region on the Central Coast, while some of the charges occured at other locations such as Mollymook on the South Coast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

‘Culture of Silence’ Abetted Abuse of at Least 547 German Choir Boys, Inquiry Finds

GERMANY
The New York Times

By MELISSA EDDY
JULY 18, 2017

BERLIN — For decades, a “culture of silence” pervaded a Catholic music school where the brother of a future pope directed a renowned boys’ choir, contributing to an environment in which at least 547 children were abused, a lawyer who carried out an investigation of the mistreatment said on Tuesday.

The estimate of the number of children abused was far greater than a previous figure, 231, that the lawyer gave last year.

The choir — the Regensburg Domspatzen, literally the Cathedral Sparrows — dates to the 10th century and continues to perform at Sunday Mass in Regensburg’s 16th-century Gothic cathedral. The choir’s music director from 1964 to 1994 was the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, whose younger brother, Joseph Ratzinger, reigned as Pope Benedict XVI from 2005 to 2013.

Father Ratzinger, now 93, has apologized for slapping boys during his tenure, and said he stopped administering corporal punishment when the church banned it in 1980. He has denied awareness of sexual abuse taking place, and the new investigation does not implicate him in it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Child abuse within the Catholic Church

Free Malaysia Today

AFP | July 19, 2017

Since 2010, hundreds of cases of sex abuse against children or adolescents in religious institutions have emerged.

PARIS: The Roman Catholic Church faces fresh charges of child abuse, with an investigator saying Tuesday that at least 547 boys at a German choir school suffered sexual or physical abuse.

Here is a rundown of other cases that have rocked the Church in recent years.

Germany

Since 2010, hundreds of cases of sex abuse against children or adolescents in religious institutions have emerged.

The most high-profile ones involve Jesuit-run Canisius college in Berlin, and the most recent revelation of the choir in Ratisbonne, southern Germany, where at least 547 children were victims of abuse, including rapes, between 1945 and the early 1990s.

Australia

A public enquiry begun in 2013 found that 4,440 presumed cases of paedophilia had been reported to authorities at the Catholic Church in Australia. Seven percent of priests were presumed to have committed paedophilic acts, but the probe was not followed by official action.
The third highest member of the Vatican hierarchy, Australian Cardinal George Pell, was charged in June 2017 for historical sexual offences, but no details were provided.

In February 2016, Pell had testified via video-link before an Australian commission probing abuse, and admitted that the Church “mucked up” in dealing with paedophile priests in the state of Victoria.

Canada

In the late 1980s, a huge scandal broke out regarding the mistreatment of children at an orphanage in Newfoundland in the 1950s-60s.

Church officials were accused of failing to report cases of paedophilia.

United States

Between 1950 and 2013, the Catholic Church in the US received 17,000 complaints from people who said they had suffered sexual abuse from 6,400 clerics between 1950 and 1980.

In 2012, specialists in contact with the Vatican mooted the figure of 100,000 cases of child sex abuse in the US.

Faced with accusations concerning four percent of its priests, the US church has already spent several billion dollars in legal fees.

Among the senior church members forced to resign for protecting paedophile priests were Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston, Roger Mahony in Los Angeles, Robert Finn in Kansas City, and John Clayton Nienstedt in Minnesota.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 PM

Former Duluth pastor charged with abuse

MINNESOTA
Duluth News Tribune

By Tom Olsen

A former youth pastor who recently served five years in Illinois prison for sexually abusing several young girls is now facing similar charges stemming from a stint in Duluth more than a decade ago.

Ellis William Simmons, 38, is accused of assaulting two girls between 1999 and 2005, when he was living and working in Duluth. The girls were 11 and 14 years old at the time of the reported incidents.

Simmons was formally charged last month with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. If convicted, the most-serious charges each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

While the incidents were reported to police in the early 2000s, St. Louis County prosecutor Jon Holets said the victims only recently came forward with the alleged perpetrator's name and other information that made charges possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Legislator wants tougher Hidden Predator Act to pursue sex offenders

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Christian Boone - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When his bill extending the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil claims was signed into law in 2015, State Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) knew it didn’t go far enough.

The lawsuits that have been filed since the Hidden Predator Act took effect bear him out. While the law allows victims to go after the individuals they say abused them, the businesses and nonprofits that allegedly enabled or covered up predatory behavior have so far avoided any potential financial liability.

“What these cases have proven is that we stopped short,” said Spencer, who is proposing an amendment to the Hidden Predator Act that would close that loophole. “It’s our duty to balance the scales of justice for victims.”

Just last week, a Cobb County judge dismissed negligence claims against the Boy Scouts of America and First Baptist Church of Gainesville in a suit brought by man alleging he was molested 32 years ago by a former scoutmaster, Fleming Weaver. Robb Lawson, 14 years old at the time the abuse allegedly occurred, says in his suit that officials with the Scouts and the church knew Weaver had molested boys before but failed to take steps to prevent him from doing so again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Denuncia contra cardenal Rivera, ‘estrategia fallida’

MEXICO
El Diario

[Cardinal Rivera denounces 'failed strategy'.The archdiocese of Mexico noted that the criminal complaint filed against Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera for allegedly covering up abuse by 15 priests who have been accused of pedophilia is a "failed strategy" and is an act desperate "revenge" on the part of the whistleblowers Alberto Athié and José Barba.]

La arquidiócesis primada de México señaló que la denuncia penal interpuesta contra su titular, el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera, por encubrir a 15 sacerdotes que presuntamente cometieron actos de pederastia, es una “estrategia fallida”

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (Apro).- La arquidiócesis primada de México señaló que la denuncia penal interpuesta contra su titular, el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera, por encubrir a 15 sacerdotes que presuntamente cometieron actos de pederastia, es una "estrategia fallida” y un acto desesperado "de venganza” por parte de los denunciantes Alberto Athié y José Barba.

En una aclaración publicada en su portal de internet Siame, la Arquidiócesis indicó, además, que esta denuncia —interpuesta el pasado 2 de junio ante la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR)— está basada en información "falsa”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

No justice for a life destroyed

NEW ZEALAND
Otago Daily Times

By Chris Morris

Victims of historic abuse in state care are fighting back, demanding justice — in cash and apologies — to help rebuild broken lives. But some are going further. In the second part of ODT Insight’s special investigation, Chris Morris tells Darryl Smith’s story.

Darryl Smith says ''blood money'' is not enough to rebuild a life destroyed by sexual abuse in two countries.The Dunedin man spent more than a decade in state care, in New Zealand and Australia, beginning as a 7-year-old boy in the early 1970s.

It was an experience that exposed him to sexual predators at one institution after another, including two run by the same Catholic order - the Brothers Hospitallers of St John of God.

And, despite receiving payouts and apologies on both sides of the Tasman, Mr Smith says it is not enough.

He wants justice in the form of a national inquiry and public apology from the New Zealand Government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

St John of God response

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND
Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)

By Chris Morris

The Brothers Hospitallers of St John of God (SJOG) do not want to talk about Darryl Smith.

The Catholic order's Australian head, provincial Brother Timothy Graham, declined to comment when contacted by ODT Insight.

He referred questions to the order's law firm, which said it would be ''inappropriate'' to comment while discussions with Mr Smith's lawyers continued.

SJOG spokesman Simon Feely also responded to a request for comment with a blunt text: ''If it's to do with Darryl Smith, there's nothing to say that's not been said.''

It is a defensiveness that perhaps partly reflects the spotlight on the Catholic order, and the wider Church in Australia, since the launch, back in 2013, of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

A final report was not due until December, but in February the commission revealed almost 4500 people had complained about almost 2000 members of the Catholic clergy across Australia between 1950 and 2010.

Within St John of God, 40% of its clergy had been accused and allegations of a cover-up had been raised, Australian media have reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Catholic archdiocese in KCK investigates claims of 'boundary violations' by priest

KANSAS
KMBC

KANSAS CITY, Kan. —
The Kansas City, Kansas, Catholic Archdiocese announced Tuesday that investigations were underway after allegations of "boundary violations" were made against one of its priests.

The archdiocese said in a news release that the allegations against the Rev. Scott Kallal, AVI, came from two difference sources.

Officials said a preliminary investigation into the allegations by the archdiocese revealed violations of some of the archdiocese’s safe environment guidelines, which all clerics, employees and volunteers are asked to observe when interacting with young people.

Because one of the allegations involved a minor, the Kansas Department for Children and Families was notified. The investigation is ongoing.

The Independent Review Board has been asked to review the matter and make recommendations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Overland Park priest removed from parish over accusation of misconduct with child

KANSAS
Fox 4

JULY 18, 2017, BY SEAN MCDOWELL

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A priest in the Kansas City, Kan., diocese, who helps leads the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 11300 W 103rd Street in Overland Park, has been removed from his associate pastor position after an accusation was made against him about inappropriate conduct. The accusations involve a minor/child.

Although the archdiocese does not mention in its statement (below) that the accusation and investigation involves sexual misconduct, at the end of its statement, the archdiocese does provide information for reporting sexual abuse by priests.

According to a FOX 4 viewer, the announcement about Fr. Scott Kallal’s removal was made this past weekend at the end of the weekly services.

Fr. Scott Kallal, 35, is also a member of the Apostles of the Interior Life, an order of priests whose primary ministry is to provide spiritual direction and help young people discern their vocations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Damning report provides fresh evidence of child abuse scandal, showing justice for victims is still a long

GERMANY
The Canary

JULY 18TH, 2017 Ed Sykes ED SYKES

A new child abuse report has come out in Germany. And it reveals shocking details of past sexual assault by members of the Catholic church. It also serves as another reminder that justice for abuse victims is still a long way off.

When schools become a “prison” of “fear, violence and hopelessness”

The report found there were at least 67 cases of sexual abuse over six decades at the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir boarding schools in southern Germany. There were also 500 cases of physical abuse. Nine of the 49 members of the Catholic church involved in the scandal were perpetrators of sexual abuse.

The lawyer who investigated the abuse, Ulrich Weber, explained how there had been a “culture of silence”. And he said the head of the choir from 1964 to 1994, Georg Ratzinger, could take part of the blame for “looking the other way and failing to intervene”. Ratzinger is the elder brother of former Pope Benedict XVI. He has denied knowing about the abuse.

Victims from between 1945 and the early 1990s said the schools were like “a prison, hell and a concentration camp”; and they described the experience as “the worst time of their lives, characterised by fear, violence and hopelessness”.

Because of the time that’s passed since the abuses, the alleged perpetrators are unlikely to face criminal charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Chinn reaches plea deal on sexual assault charges

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Jewish News

by Debra Rubin
NJJN Bureau Chief
July 18, 2017

An East Windsor youth educator pled guilty to two counts of second degree endangering the welfare of a child and is expected to receive a five-year suspended sentence under a plea agreement.

Sentencing for Rabbi Menachem Chinn is scheduled for Oct. 13, according to Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri. Chinn will also be under parole supervision for life, and will have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.

Pleading guilty on July 7 before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Peter E. Warshaw in Trenton, Chinn, 40, admitted to touching the genitals of one victim at his East Windsor home and having a second victim touch his genitals at Shalom Torah Academy in Morganville, where he taught sixth and seventh grade boys and was a youth advisor. The boys were students of his at separate times, one in 2005 and the other in 2012. Shalom Torah Academy declined to comment.

Chinn was also the director of the Twin Rivers chapter of the National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), the youth movement affiliated with the Orthodox Union. His position was part-time and he was suspended without pay at the time of his arrest in April, according to Rabbi Ethan Katz, regional director of New Jersey NCSY.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Former Tallahassee youth pastor arrested for sex acts with children

FLORIDA
WTXL

Jade Bulecza Jul 18, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)-- A former youth pastor has been arrested for sex acts with children.

The Leon County Sheriff's Office arrested 41-year-old Roshad Thomas on six counts of sex offense against a child.

On July 11, special victims unit detectives spoke to a victim who said Thomas had fondled the victim about 10 years ago when the victim was 13 years old.

As detectives investigated, they found four more victims.

Deputies say each one described sexual encounters with Thomas from 2007-2014. Thomas voluntarily spoke to detectives Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:09 PM

CARDINAL BERTONE RISKS BECOMING EMBROILED IN TRIAL CLAIMING EMBEZZLED HOSPITAL FUNDS WERE USED TO REFURBISH HIS HOME

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet (UK)

18 July 2017 | by Christopher Lamb

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone allegedly had his 3,230-square-foot flat upgraded with €422,000 from Bambino Gesù hospital

The Vatican’s former Secretary of State risks becoming embroiled in a trial examining claims that funds from a children’s hospital were used to renovate his retirement home.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was Benedict XVI’s most senior adviser, allegedly had his 3,230-square-foot flat upgraded with €422,000 from Bambino Gesù hospital, on the understanding he would host fundraising events for the Holy See-run pediatric hospital in return.

The foundation’s former President, Giuseppe Profiti, and its former treasurer, Massimo Spina, are now both standing trial in the Vatican accused of illicitly diverting hospital funds and if convicted face between three to five years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Pope Benedict’s brother accused over abuse culture at German school

GERMANY
The Times (UK)

David Charter, Berlin
July 18 2017
The Times

The brother of Benedict XVI, the former pope, was today named partly responsible for a culture of abuse at a Catholic choir school in Germany where at least 547 boys were victims of physical or sexual assault.

Georg Ratzinger ran the prestigious Domspatzen (cathedral sparrows) choir in Regensburg from 1964 to 1994 and admitted slapping boys, which he said was common practice at the time, but denied knowledge of sexual abuse.

A lawyer brought in to investigate the allegations, some going back to 1945, said in his final report that Mr Ratzinger, 93, could be blamed “for looking away or for failing to intervene”.

The report on the 1,000-year-old school counted 500 cases of physical violence and 67 of sexual violence, committed by a total of 49 perpetrators. Some boys were victims of both sexual and violent attacks and nine unnamed men were said to have carried out the sexual assaults.

Allegations about the historical mistreatment of young boys at the school emerged in 2010 during a series of revelations of abuse by Catholic clergymen and led to the inquiry.

Ulrich Weber, the lawyer, identified the choir’s pre-school as the place of the worst abuse because beatings were commonplace as part of a programme to instill discipline in the young choristers.

Mr Weber said there could be as many as 700 victims in all in the period examined up to 1992 and many remembered the school as “the worst time of their lives, marked by fear, violence and helplessness”. Some called it a jail while others referred to it as a concentration camp.

Mr Weber said there was no evidence that Mr Ratzinger knew of the sexual violence. No legal action against individuals are expected to arise from his report because the abuse took place more than 25 years ago, beyond the limit for charges.

Mr Ratzinger has said that the alleged sexual abuse was “never discussed” while he ran the choir.

Some of the abuse was said to have been carried out by Johann Meier, a teacher until 1992, who has since died. Mr Ratzinger was meant to oversee Meier’s work.

The report listed criticism by victims of the Regensburg diocese for failing to investigate complaints about past abuse. It said that the bishop at the time the allegations surfaced, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, bore “clear responsibility for the strategic, organisational and communicative weaknesses”.

Cardinal Müller became the head of the Vatican’s doctrine office in 2012. Pope Francis recently removed him from that position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:09 PM

„Ein Dreiklang aus Gewalt, Angst und Hilflosigkeit“

DEUTSCHALDN
Regensburg Digital

[Lawyer Ulrich Weber has presented his final report on violence and abuse at the Regensburger Domspatzen. He found at least 547 victims. The former cathedral master Georg Ratzinger also bears responsibility for this.]

Von Stefan Aigner in Nachrichten, Überregional

Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Weber hat seinen Abschlussbericht zu Gewalt und Missbrauch bei den Regensburger Domspatzen vorgelegt. Er geht von mindestens 547 Opfern aus. Verantwortung dafür trage auch der frühere Domkapellmeister Georg Ratzinger.

„Was also ist die Wahrheit? Ich glaube, dass es so viele Wahrheiten wie Domspatzen gibt und dass es vermessen wäre zu glauben, dass sich der erlebte Schrecken in der Anzahl von Schlägen und durchschnittlichen Penetrationen pro Schuljahr messen lässt. Das Böse zeichnet sich durch Qualität und Effizienz aus, nicht durch seine Quantität: Gewalt und Missbrauch waren über Jahrzehnte präsent, in der Erziehung der Domspatzen fest integriert, aber nicht jeder Schüler wurde Opfer eines sexuellen Übergriffes oder mit der Rute bearbeitet. Das war auch nicht nötig, um ein Regime des Schreckens zu errichten: Die Angst in den Herzen von Kindern manifestiert sich auch, wenn man Zeuge der Gewalttätigkeiten und Demütigungen anderer wird.“

Es ist nur eines von über 2.000 Zitaten, die Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Weber in seinen 440 Seiten starken Abschlussbericht zu Gewalt und Missbrauch an Einrichtungen der Regensburger Domspatzen einfließen ließ. Und seine erste Einschätzung – bei einem ersten Zwischenbericht war Weber von rund 700 Betroffenen ausgegangen – hat sich weitgehend bestätigt: Seit 1945 stufen Weber und seine Mitarbeiter 547 Opfer als „hoch plausibel“ ein, 500 von ihnen waren demnach Opfer körperlicher, 67 sexueller Gewalt. Angesichts einer Dunkelziffer habe er von seinen früheren Äußerungen nichts zurückzunehmen, so Weber.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Letter from Rome: Should Francis Take a Breather?

ROME
Commonweal

By Robert Mickens
July 17, 2017

If you read the headlines of some publications, you would be convinced that Pope Francis’s project to renew and reform the Catholic Church has been dealt a staggeringly sharp blow and is now in deep crisis.

The journalists and commentators who are pushing this story line have what they believe is mounting evidence that the pontificate is on the ropes.

They point to the kerfuffle surrounding Francis’s controversial decision on June 30 not to renew Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s mandate as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

They also cite the temporary “forced suspension” one day earlier of Cardinal George Pell’s brief as head of the Secretariat for the Economy, due to still-unspecified charges of sexual abuse that the cardinal will soon confront in an Australian court. And they note the abrupt and still-unexplained resignation some eight days before that of Libero Milone, the Vatican’s first-ever auditor general and close aid to Pell.

Then there’s the case of at least two priest-officials in the Roman Curia who were recently reported to be engaging in scandalous homosexual behavior, a perennial dark side of clerical life in the Eternal City.

One was denounced for “cruising” St. Peter’s Square in search of sex with young men. The culprit is said to be a member of an important religious order and an archbishop in a major Vatican office. There are only six such people that fit the description: two are Jesuits, another two are Dominicans, one is a Legionary of Christ, and one is a Franciscan.

The other cleric reportedly caught in a gay sex scandal has been identified as a monsignor who serves as personal secretary to one of Pope Francis’s most important curia allies. The incident involving this priest supposedly included the use of cocaine. Some “journalists” have embellished their accounts of this sordid tale with sensationalized and factually erroneous details, including the assertion that the said cardinal knew (or should have known) what naughty business his secretary was up to.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

Midcoast Youth Theater co-founder pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges

MAINE
Press Herald

Henry Eichman, an employee at St. John's Catholic School in Brunswick, faces a total of 20 counts of child sexual abuse in two counties.

BY EDWARD D. MURPHY
STAFF WRITER

Henry Eichman, who worked in the drama department of a Brunswick Catholic school, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two additional sexual abuse charges in Cumberland County.

Eichman, who also faces 16 other counts of sexual abuse in Sagadahoc County and two other charges in Cumberland County, was indicted this month on the two newest charges by a grand jury.

The latest charges allege unlawful sexual contact with a child under the age of 12 and unlawful sexual touching of a student.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

German abuse victims say Catholic choir school was like hell

GERMANY
Reuters

Madeline Chambers

BERLIN (Reuters) - Teachers at one of Germany's most famous Roman Catholic choir schools physically or sexually abused 547 pupils between 1945 and 2015, an independent report found on Tuesday, with some boys likening the institution to a concentration camp.

The 440-page report chronicles teachers doling out physical violence including slapping boys in the face so hard that the marks could be seen the next day, whipping them with wooden sticks and violin bows and subjecting them to severe beatings.

Boys who tried to escape the "Regensburger Domspatzen", or Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows, were hauled back into the school and beaten and humiliated in front of other boys, it said.

Allegations of abuse at the school, which dates back over a thousand years and now tours the world to perform choral music, surfaced in 2010.

After criticism of that investigation, the diocese, which acknowledged on Tuesday it had "made mistakes", commissioned lawyer Ulrich Weber in 2015 to put together the independent report.

Former Pope Benedict's brother, Georg Ratzinger, 93, led the choir from 1964 to 1994. He acknowledged in 2010 that he had slapped pupils in the face but said he had not realized how brutal the discipline was.

Weber said he was "to be blamed especially for turning a blind eye and not intervening despite having knowledge", adding the investigation did not show he was aware of sexual abuse. Several testimonies said he was generally friendly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

VATICAN COURT REJECTS MOTIONS TO DISMISS IN HOSPITAL CASE

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- A Vatican tribunal rejected attempts by two former executives of the pope's children's hospital to dismiss an embezzlement case, asserting Tuesday it could prosecute them on charges they diverted nearly a half-million euros in hospital donations to renovate a top cardinal's penthouse.

Lawyers for former hospital president Giuseppe Profiti and ex-treasurer Massimo Spina argued that the Vatican court had no jurisdiction to prosecute activities of a hospital foundation that was located in Italy, not the Vatican.

But tribunal president Judge Paolo Papanti-Pelletier rejected the motion as the trial opened and set a new round of hearings for Sept. 7-9.

Profiti has said the funds he used from the Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) hospital foundation to renovate Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's apartment were an investment, since he intended to use the flat for future fundraising events for the hospital.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Bis zu 700 Opfer bei Regensburger Domspatzen

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche Zeitung

* In seinem Zwischenbericht über Misshandlungen bei den Regensburger Domspatzen spricht Ulrich Weber von mindestens 231 Fällen. 50 weitere Kinder sollen sexuell missbraucht worden sein.

* Nach Webers Einschätzung habe es sich um ein System gehandelt.

* Weil das Bistum Regensburg bislang öffentlich von weit weniger Fällen ausgegangen war, gerät es in Erklärungsnot.

Von Andreas Glas, Regensburg

Vorher, ein kurzer Moment der Ruhe: Ulrich Weber steht vorm Eingang eines Hotels im Regensburger Westen, er raucht eine Zigarette, wirkt aufgekratzt. Er wird der Öffentlichkeit gleich erklären, was kaum zu begreifen ist.

Eine halbe Stunde später sitzt er hinter Mikrofonen, in einem Tagungsraum, in dem es nicht genug Stühle gibt für alle Journalisten. "Ich bitte um Fragen", sagt Weber am Ende seines Vortrags. Und natürlich gibt es Fragen, vor allem die Frage, ob die Priester und die Lehrer von den Misshandlungen wussten, Georg Ratzinger zum Beispiel, der drei Jahrzehnte lang Kapellmeister der Domspatzen war.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 AM

Vorfälle von Gewaltausübung an Schutzbefohlenen bei den Regensburger Domspatzen

DEUTSCHLAND
Abschlussbericht_Domspatzen.pdf

[This is the full report into the investigation of physical and sexual abuse allegations made by former members of the Regensburg Cathedral boys choir, also known as Domspatzen.]

UNTERSUCHUNGSBERICHT
ULRICH WEBER/ JOHANNES BAUMEISTER

18. JULI 2017
Urheberrechtlich geschützt – all rights reserved ©

Vorwort

Nach zwei Jahren intensiver Tätigkeiten zur Informationsgewinnung, Datenauswertung und Berichtsverfassung kann nunmehr das vorliegende Untersuchungsergebnis veröffentlicht werden. Gemäß unserem Leitspruch „Hinsehen – Zuhören – Antworten“ haben wir Augen und Ohren geöffnet, um die notwendigen Antworten für dieses Aufklärungsprojekt zu erhalten.

Die Lektüre wird für viele Menschen nicht einfach sein. Vielleicht, weil sie mit den Regensburger Domspatzen ganz andere Erinnerungen verbinden als in diesem Bericht beschrieben. Vielleicht aber auch, weil sie selbst Betroffene sind und die erneute Konfrontation mit dem erlittenen Leid verheilt geglaubte Wunden neu aufreißt. Sollte in derartigen Fällen externe Hilfe oder psychologische Betreuung notwendig sein, steht dafür das im Rahmen der Aufarbeitung beauftragte „Münchner Informationszentrum für Männer“ für Kontaktaufnahmen bereit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Hundreds of German choir boys abused over six decades - report

GERMANY
BBC News

At least 547 young members of the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir in Germany were subjected to physical and in some instances sexual abuse over a period of 60 years, a new report says.

Some 49 members of the Catholic Church are accused of carrying out the abuse between 1945 and the early 1990s, according to the report's findings.

Victims said the experience was like "a prison, hell and a concentration camp".

A 2016 report into the allegations said that 231 children had been abused.

The alleged physical abuse relates to children attending both the Regensburger Domspatzen's pre-school and high school, according to the lawyer tasked with investigating the abuse, Ulrich Weber.

Representatives from the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir have yet to officially respond to the report.

Presenting his findings on Tuesday, Mr Weber said the investigation had found 500 cases of physical abuse and 67 instances of sexual abuse over six decades.

Of the 49 church members who carried out the abuse under what was described as a "culture of silence", nine were found to have been involved in sexual abuse, Mr Weber added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

At least 547 boys were sexually and physically abused at German Catholic choir school that victims compared to 'hell or a concentration camp', report reveals

GERMANY
Daily Mail (UK)

By Kelly Mclaughlin For Mailonline

At least 547 boys at a German Catholic choir school suffered sexual or physical abuse in what victims have likened to 'prison, hell or a concentration camp', said an investigator releasing a final report Tuesday.

The Regensburger Domspatzen ('Cathedral Sparrows' in English), a 1,000-year-old cathedral choir in Bavaria, was in 2010 dragged into the massive sexual abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church in recent years.

Many victims remembered their time in the choir school as 'the worst time of their lives, marked by fear, violence and helplessness', said lawyer Ulrich Weber, who was commissioned by the diocese to look into the cases.

Presenting his final report on abuses between 1945 and the early 1990s, Weber said he had uncovered 67 cases of sexual abuse and 500 cases of other physical violence, with some former singers having fallen victim to both.

This more than doubled the 231 reported abuse cases he had uncovered through interviews by January 2016, when he said victims had spoken of rape, sexual assaults, severe beatings and food deprivation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Vatican fraud trial over cardinal's luxury pad kicks off

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

Vatican City (AFP) - A trial against two former members of a Vatican foundation charged with embezzling charity money to refurbish the luxury apartment of a cardinal opened Tuesday.

The former executives of the Vatican's Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital are accused of diverting 422,000 euros ($485,000) in donations to a company tasked with renovating the home of Tarcisio Bertone, the state's former second-in-command.

Former hospital president Giuseppe Profiti and ex-treasurer Massimo Spina, who face up to five years in jail, were present in the cramped gold-gilt courtroom.

Bertone, who was not part of the investigation and is not accused, was absent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

547 boys confirmed as victims of massive abuse in German catholic choir

GERMANY
Xinhua (China)

BERLIN, July 18 (Xinhua) -- At least 547 children in Germany's world-famous Regensburger Domspatzen boy's choir have been confirmed as victims of sexual and physical abuse, a final report on one of the biggest catholic abuse scandals in the German history showed on Tuesday.

There was for decades a "system of fear" with beatings and sexual abuse, according to the report, released after a two-year inquiry that spanned cases between 1945 and the early 1990s.

Seven years after the first cases became public, the report put the number of incidents of physical abuse at 500 and incidents of sexual abuse at 67. The Roman Catholic diocese of Regensburg and the choir had subsequently assigned the lawyer Ulrich Weber to conduct an inquiry into the scandal.

Some of the victims described their membership of the choir as the worst time of their lives and likened the experience to a "prison", "hell", and a "concentration camp".

An intermediary report in early 2016 had contained a much lower estimate of 231 abused
children. The number of victims in the final report has now more than doubled. ...

Voderholzer's predecessor, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller was accused of having obstructed investigations into the scandal and claimed that the media was exaggerating the extent of abuse.
Former choir director Georg Ratzinger, the brother of Pope Benedict XVI, had denied any knowledge of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Over 500 boys abused at Catholic choir in Germany, final report says

GERMANY
Daily Sabah

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
REGENSBURG, Germany

At least 547 members of the Regensburg Domspatzen Catholic boys' choir became victims of physical and sexual abuse between 1945 and the early 1990s, a final report on the scandal revealed on Tuesday.

Ulrich Weber, a lawyer tasked with investigating the scandal, said on Tuesday that the victims who suffered abuse at the hands of priests and teachers at the cathedral school had described their time there as "prison, hell and a concentration camp."

Many of the victims interviewed for the purpose of the report described their experience at the school - where boys were instructed to sing religious music in cathedral services - as "the worst time of their lives, defined by fear, violence and helplessness," Weber said.

The world-famous Domspatzen (Cathedral Sparrows) choir has been plagued by scandal since the first abuse allegations were made public in 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Report: Hundreds of boys abused at German choir school

GERMANY
New York Daily News

BERLIN (AP) — At least 547 members of a prestigious Catholic boys' choir in Germany were physically or sexually abused between 1945 and 1992, according to a report released Tuesday.

Allegations involving the Domspatzen choir in Regensburg, which was run for 30 years by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI's elder brother, were among a spate of revelations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Germany that emerged in 2010. In 2015, lawyer Ulrich Weber was tasked with producing a report on what happened.

The report said that 547 boys at the Domspatzen's school "with a high degree of plausibility" were victims of physical or sexual abuse, or both. It counted 500 cases of physical violence and 67 of sexual violence, committed by a total of 49 perpetrators.

At the choir's pre-school, "violence, fear and helplessness dominated" and "violence was an everyday method," it said.

"The whole system of education was oriented toward top musical achievements and the choir's success," the report said. "Alongside individual motives, institutional motives — namely, breaking the will of the children with the aim of maximum discipline and dedication — formed the basis for violence."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

547 boys were abused at German Catholic choir school: lawyer

GERMANY
Yahoo! News

AFP

At least 547 boys at a German Catholic choir school suffered sexual or physical abuse in what victims have likened to "prison, hell or a concentration camp", said an investigator releasing a final report Tuesday.

The Regensburger Domspatzen ("Cathedral Sparrows"), a 1,000-year-old cathedral choir in Bavaria, was in 2010 dragged into the massive sexual abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church in recent years.

Many victims remembered their time in the choir school as "the worst time of their lives, marked by fear, violence and helplessness", said lawyer Ulrich Weber, who was commissioned by the diocese to look into the cases.

Presenting his final report on abuses between 1945 and the early 1990s, Weber said he had uncovered 67 cases of sexual abuse and 500 cases of other physical violence, with some former singers having fallen victim to both.

This more than doubled the 231 reported abuse cases he had uncovered through interviews by January 2016, when he said victims had spoken of rape, sexual assaults, severe beatings and food deprivation.

Weber pointed to a "culture of silence" and placed part of the blame for the situation on the school's former choir master Georg Ratzinger, the elder brother of former pope Benedict.

As head of the choir from 1964 to 1994, Georg Ratzinger could be "blamed for looking the other way and failing to intervene", said Weber.

Georg Ratzinger, 93, has denied knowledge and said that the alleged sexual abuse was "never discussed" while he ran the choir.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

REPORT: HUNDREDS OF GERMAN CHOIR BOYS ABUSED IN 20TH CENTURY

GERMANY
Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- A report says that at least 547 members of a prestigious Catholic boys' choir in Germany were physically or sexually abused between 1945 and the early 1990s.

Allegations involving the Domspatzen choir in Regensburg were among a spate of revelations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Germany that emerged in 2010.

News agency dpa reported that Ulrich Weber, a lawyer tasked with investigating the abuse, said Tuesday there was violence against children in the choir's pre-school and high school.

He said many victims described their time at its boarding school as "the worst time of their lives, marked by fear, violence and helplessness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Regensburg Domspatzen choir: More than 500 boys abused

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

The latest findings into the decades of abuse in the Regensburg Domspatzen Catholic boys choir implicate 49 church members. Victims described their time in the choir as like "a prison, hell and a concentration camp."

A total of 547 young boys from the famous Regensburger Domspatzen choir were subjected to physical and sexual abuse at the hands of priests and teachers, according to the attorney tasked with investigating the alleged abuse.

Presenting his 450-page report into the findings, attorney Ulrich Weber, said he found 500 cases of physical abuse and 67 instances of sexual abuse spanning over six decades.

Of the 49 people church officials and teachers implicated in the report, nine were found to have been sexually abusive. Church officials had fostered a "culture of silence," which allowed them to carry out such abuses for decades, Weber said. ...

The choir was run by Georg Ratzinger, the elder brother of former Pope Benedict XVI, from 1964 to 1994, when most of the abuse is believed to have occurred.

Weber has repeatedly alleged that Ratzinger must have known of some of the cases, although he has denied having any information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

'Uncommon conversation' on sex abuse falls silent

MINNESOTA
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jul. 18, 2017

An "uncommon conversation" is on hold in Minnesota.

After meeting a decade ago at a sex abuse treatment conference, Gil Gustafson and Susan Pavlak each came to see in their pasts a possible way forward for their home archdiocese, St. Paul-Minneapolis, as it struggled to deal with the scandal of clergy sexual abuse.

Pavlak, now 62, was sexually abused as a child by a teacher who was a former nun at a Catholic school. Gustafson, now 66, pleaded guilty in 1983 to sexually abusing a teenage boy, and has since admitted to abuse of three other male minors. By coming to know each other, each had grown personally. They wondered if they could duplicate that experience for other victims and abusers.

In November 2012, the two held their first Uncommon Conversation event, an effort to bring together the local Catholic community — abuse survivors, parishioners, church staff, clergy and also the abusers themselves — to begin a conversation about the abuse crisis, how it has personally affected a multitude of people and how they together might move beyond the scandal.

"This is an opportunity for people to speak and be heard about a traumatic event in their life, in their family life, in their spiritual life, in their community life. And listen to others' experience of that, move forward and through and out of that trauma into recovery, whatever that may look like for them," Pavlak told NCR.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Former priest, Boy Scout leader, accused in new abuse suits

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com July 18, 2017

A man on Tuesday filed a lawsuit, alleging that now-deceased Boy Scouts of America scout leader Edward Pereira raped and sexually abused him in the early 1970s. It is the first of 93 sexual abuse lawsuits that does not name the Archdiocese of Agana as a defendant.

Another lawsuit filed Tuesday, by a man now living in California, alleges that now-deceased priest Ray Techaira sexually abused him when he was a Catholic school student in the mid-1980s.

The two plaintiffs, represented by attorney David Lujan, filed their lawsuits in the U.S. District Court of Guam. Both are identified in court documents only by their initials to protect their privacy.

T.P.J., in his complaint, alleges that Pereirawould sexually molest and abuse him every time he rode with Pereira, who dropped him home after scouting activities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Defense team for pastor accused of kidnapping, assault wants 'secret recordings'

NORTH CAROLINA
WLOS

by Jennifer Saylor

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) —
The defense team for Word of Faith Fellowship pastor Brooke Covington is asking a judge to order what they call "secret recordings" to be turned over.

The recordings were recently referenced in a story by the Associated Press, and according to court documents were made during conversations Matthew Fenner had with the Rutherford County Sheriff and other investigators.

Covington is charged with assaulting and kidnapping Fenner during what former church members have referred to as "blasting prayers," to rid Fenner of his "homosexual demons."

In another motion the Rutherford County DA's office asked the judge to lift a temporary gag order that prevents law enforcement from talking with jurors as they investigate last month's mistrial in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Dark Secret: Exposing the cover up of American Church child abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Four Corners

[with video]

By Directed by Annie Macgregor

Updated July 17, 2017

"It was tough, it was brutal. It was very long searching, to get what we wanted." Former District Attorney

In the American city of Philadelphia, in the early 2000s, a team of skilled and dedicated lawyers embarked on an investigation led by a formidable District Attorney. What they uncovered was the hidden story of one of the worst criminal cover-ups in America's history.

"I was shocked because it was so sickening, and I was shocked by how many perpetrators there were. I was shocked by how long it had gone on and by how many people knew about it and didn't do anything." Former Assistant District Attorney

The investigation began with a simple question: Why, in 50 years, had only one Catholic priest been officially investigated for child abuse? In a city with a strong Catholic presence, this seemed remarkable, at a time when revelations of clergy abuse were making headlines across America. Shocking cases in another US city, Boston, prompted DA Lynne Abraham to ask whether the same thing could have occurred in her town.

"I got together a group of my investigators and I said... I think it is worth a look and an investigation." Former District Attorney, Lynne Abraham

What they uncovered - a hidden history of abuse and deception - shook the investigators and their community to the core.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Protest Against Sexual Abuse

CURACAO
Curacao Chronicle

WILLEMSTAD - Last weekend, care givers in the center of Willemstad protested against the punishment of pastor Orlando Balentina. Balentina, who is a pastor at the Rains of Blessing Church in Groot Kwartier, was sentenced to nine years in prison because he sexually abused teenage girls and young women in his church. The Public Prosecution (OM) demanded 18 years in prison.

During the event, signatures were collected and merged with 17,000 other signatures that had been already collected by youth workers this year. With this, they want to force the politicians to increase the punishment for sexual abuse. Normally, there is no talk about sexual abuse and sexual violence against children in Curaçao, but after the case against Balentina, it seems as if the taboo is finally being broken. And that is a milestone in Curaçao.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Assignment Record– Rev. Anthony J. Petracca

PENNSYLVANIA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Anthony J. Petracca was ordained for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in 1985. His career is marked by a number of short-term assignments assisting in parishes and, notably, several assignment gaps: 1988-1989 (not indexed in the Official Catholic Directory), 2000-2010 (Absent on Leave; appears to have been living at a Salt Lake City, UT parish during his leave 2004-2005), 2010-2012 (not indexed) and 2014-2015 (not indexed). He also worked as a college campus minister and as a hospital chaplain.

Petracca was assigned to three Windber, PA parishes and three Johnstown hospitals in July 2017 when he was removed from active ministry due to an allegation of "misconduct" with a minor in the mid-1980s. A diocesan spokesperson said law enforcement was notified and that Petracca would be living in a place where he would not be in contact with children.

Ordained: 1985

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

St. Paul's punishes 5 in 'crown' incident

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

CONCORD — It wasn't a game of sexual conquest, St. Paul's School said Monday, but officials took disciplinary action against five boys for their role in the latest embarrassment at the prestigious preparatory school.

St. Paul's School said the five boys inscribed their names and a description of relationships they had with female students on an unspecified crown. In doing so, the school found they violated school rules against recording relationships.

In a letter dated Monday, school Rector Michael Hirschfeld insisted that "the Manville crown incident" did not amount to a game of sexual conquest, and that the boys did not identify the girls. He also said that a school-initiated, independent investigation found that no laws were broken.

However, a top New Hampshire law enforcement official said an investigation into St. Paul's School has just started.

"We haven't concluded any aspect of this investigation," Associate Attorney General Jane Young said Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

St. Paul’s School says relationship crown violated rules, not law

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston.com

By HOLLY RAMER AP, July 17, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Male prep school students who recorded relationships with girls on a cardboard crown this spring violated campus rules but not the law, the head of the school said Monday.

The crown incident at St. Paul’s School was among those cited by the state attorney general’s office last week when it began an investigation into allegations of sexual assault and misconduct there. The investigation also was prompted by information about a student sexual conquest ritual called the Senior Salute, revealed during a recent graduate’s 2015 trial and the school’s recent release of a report about teachers sexually assaulting students years ago.

In a letter to parents, students and school personnel on Monday, Rector Michael Hirschfeld said the school hired an investigator in May after a student reported a possible sexual competition.

The investigation, which was completed last week, found that five boys violated a school rule by using the crown to document their relationships with girls. The boys listed their own names and were neither competing with each other nor soliciting sexual relationships to be listed, Hirschfeld said, and the investigator found no violations of state law.

Current students have been disciplined, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Child sexual abuse victims denied compensation 'because they consented'

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Olivia Rudgard, social affairs correspondent
18 JULY 2017

Child victims of sexual abuse are being denied compensation because a Government agency rules that they "consented" to their abuse, a group of charities has warned.

Charities including Barnardo's, Victim Support and Rape Crisis say that children as young as 12 are being denied compensation because of evidence that they went along with their abuse.

Children aged under 16 cannot consent to sexual activity under the law, unless they are aged over 13 and the defendant reasonably believed they were over 16.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which gives out compensation of up to £44,000 to victims of sexual abuse and other crimes, uses a different set of criteria to decide whether victims are eligible for compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Man Sues Archdiocese, Cites Sex Abuse by Priest at Orphanage

MASSACHUSETTS
NBC Boston

By Philip Marcelo

A New York man is suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston for sexual abuse he says he suffered decades ago at a church-affiliated home for orphaned and foster children.

Andre Jones, who's 51, said on Monday that he was abused in the 1970s by the late Brother Edward Anthony Holmes, a supervisor and counselor at the now-shuttered Nazareth Child Care Center.

Holmes pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of children and other charges in 2006. He was sentenced to five years in prison and died in 2011, said one of Jones' lawyers, Patrick Noaker.

The Archdiocese of Boston, the fourth-largest archdiocese in the country, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Former priest named in new abuse case

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Monday, July 17th, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A former priest who served nine years in a Michigan prison for sexually abusing two boys is named in a new lawsuit filed on behalf of a Santa Fe man who alleges that Jason Sigler repeatedly attacked him at a church in Las Vegas.

The lawsuit, filed July 5 in 2nd Judicial District Court in Albuquerque, alleges that Sigler sexually abused the former altar boy at Immaculate Conception Church over a period of about two years. The man, identified as John Doe 68, was 9 when the abuse began in 1976, the suit said. It is the 68th clerical abuse lawsuit filed by Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall.

Sigler served nine years in a Michigan prison after pleading guilty in 2003 to molesting two boys. He returned to Albuquerque in 2014. A voice mail message left Friday on a phone number listed in Sigler’s name was not returned.

Sigler, who left the priesthood in 1982, pleaded guilty in Albuquerque to a charge of criminal sexual penetration of a minor in 1983 and received a deferred sentence, according to Journal reports at the time.

The lawsuit names as defendants the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Servants of the Paraclete, a religious order that operated a now-closed treatment facility for priests in Jemez Springs. The Diocese of Lansing, Mich., sent Sigler to the facility in 1970, according to Journal reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Kerala priest arrested for sexually abusing minor boys

INDIA
India Today

Written by Bijin Jose

A priest from Kalpetta of Kerala's Wayanad district was arrested for sexually abusing minor boys at a children's home.

The accused identified as Father Saji Joseph, a resident of Kottiyoor, was absconding for the last three days, reports Malayala Manorama.

Joseph was arrested from Mangalore after the Kerala police launched a manhunt. The priest abused children aged between 14 and 15 years when they were housed at the St Vincent's Balbhavan in Meenangadi.

Reportedly the sexual abuse took place during their summer vacations in 2016.

Father Joseph was exposed after one of the children shared the ordeal with his parents. Following the revelation, the parents contacted the child helpline. Further investigations revealed that another child too was sexually abused by the priest at the children's home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Christian priest arrested for sexually assaulting 2 minor boys in Kerala

INDIA
The Indian Express

The official said Joseph has been charged under section 377 (unanatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code, and relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act.

A Christian priest in Kerala has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two minor boys of an orphanage for two years, police said. The victims were staying at ‘Balbhavan’ in Meenangadi where the priest was working, a police official said. Fr Saji Joseph, who was allegedly sexually assaulting the boy’s since March 2015, was arrested following complaints from children’s relatives, the official said.

He was absconding for the past three days and was arrested from Thamarassery on Monday. He was hiding in various places, including Mangaluru, they said. The official said Joseph has been charged under section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code, and relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

TRIAL OPENS FOR EX-VATICAN HOSPITAL EXECS FOR DIVERTED FUNDS

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Two former executives of the Vatican's pediatric hospital are going on trial on charges they diverted 422,000 euros ($485,000) in hospital donations to renovate the retirement home of the Catholic Church's retired second-in-command.

Former hospital president Giuseppe Profiti and ex-treasurer Massimo Spina face between three to five years in prison and fines starting at 5,000 euros if found guilty of embezzlement. The penalty can be reduced if the amount diverted is repaid before the trial starts.

Profiti has said the funds he used from the Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) foundation to renovate the 300-square meter (3,230-square-foot) apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was an investment, since he intended to use it for future fundraising events for the hospital.

Bertone agreed to host such parties, saying he would take care to ensure that "third parties" - not the foundation - would pay for any renovations needed. Whatever happened to those "third parties" is unclear, but Bertone spent 300,000 euros of his own money for the work on top of the 422,000 that came from the foundation.

The scandal is the latest to strike the Holy See as Francis works to clean up centuries of shady business dealings in the walled-in, 44-hectare (109-acre) offshore city state, the world's smallest. And it comes as Francis copes with the fallout from the embarrassing exit of his top financial adviser, Cardinal George Pell, who returned to his native Australia last week to face trial on sex abuse charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

547 Regensburger Domspatzen misshandelt

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[547 Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows: "Prison, Hell and Concentration Camp": A final report shows the extent of the mistreatment at the Regensburg Cathedral. There, significantly more children were abused than hitherto known.]

"Gefängnis, Hölle und Konzentrationslager": Ein Abschlussbericht zeigt das Ausmaß der Misshandlungen bei den Regensburger Domspatzen. Dort wurden deutlich mehr Kinder missbraucht, als bislang bekannt.

Es handelt sich um einen der größten Missbrauchsskandale der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland: Bei den weltberühmten Regensburger Domspatzen sind über Jahrzehnte insgesamt 547 Kinder Opfer von körperlicher und sexueller Gewalt geworden. Das geht aus dem Abschlussbericht zum Missbrauchsskandal bei dem katholischen Chor hervor, der sieben Jahre nach Bekanntwerden der ersten Fälle nun vorgestellt worden ist. Demnach wurden 500 Kinder Opfer körperlicher Gewalt, 67 Kinder zusätzlich auch Opfer sexueller Gewalt.

Da einige Kinder körperliche und sexuelle Gewalt erlitten, liege die Gesamtzahl der Fälle höher als die Zahl der Opfer, sagte der von Bistum und Chor mit der Klärung des Skandals beauftragte Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Weber. Die Kinder hatten die Zeit bei den Regensburger Domspatzen demnach später unter anderem als "Gefängnis, Hölle und Konzentrationslager" oder als schlimmste Zeit ihres Lebens bezeichnet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Regensburg choir abuse victim: 'I have found my peace'

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

As a child in the famous Regensburg Domspatzen Catholic boys choir, Alexander Probst was one of hundreds of victims of physical and sexual abuse. Now, with the release of a final report on the abuse, he speaks with DW.

Starting in 1968, Alexander Probst joined the famous Domspatzen Catholic choir in Regensburg, Bavaria. He was in the third grade. He and his fellow students were insulted, beaten and abused on a regular basis. After two years, Probst moved to the choir's high school. There, a teacher forced him into a secret group. The teacher would meet with the boys, drink beer, smoke, and watch pornos. The man began coming into the boys' dormitory at night, where he would reach under Probst's blanket and sexually abuse him. Probst says it must have happened more than a hundred times. When he told his father about the abuse toward the end of the school year, he was immediately taken out of the school.

Decades later, in 2010, Probst became one of the first victims to go public with details of the abuse he suffered during his time with the Domspatzen. For him and others like him, it was the start of a struggle for their suffering to be recognized. At the start of this year, he published a book about what he went through as a child.

Deutsche Welle: You went public with your story seven years ago; how are you doing today?
Alexander Probst: I have found my peace, and that also means that I hope those on the other side [who committed these crimes] find peace. I will continue to help when I can. But this is no longer the driving force in my life, and that feels good.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Zarte Stimmen, hartes Schweigen

DEUTSCHLAND
Deutschlandfunk

[When in 2010 former singers of the world-famous boy chorus at Regensburg cathedral reported of beatings and sexual violence, the then Regensburg bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller reckoned the allegations as slander. In the meantime hundreds of sufferers have reported their abuse. Today the final report of the investigation is published.]

Als 2010 ehemalige Sänger des weltberühmten Knabenchores von Prügel und sexueller Gewalt berichteten, wertete der damalige Regensburger Bischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller die Vorwürfe als üble Nachrede. Mittlerweile haben sich Hunderte Betroffene gemeldet. Heute wird der Abschlussbericht der Untersuchung veröffentlicht.

Von Tobias Krone

Im vergangenen Jahr sprach Regensburgs Bischof Rudolf Voderholzer aus, was Jahrzehnte lang offiziell verschwiegen worden war:

"Zu den bedrückendsten Erfahrungen meines Bischofsamts und zu den schwersten Lasten gehört die Konfrontation mit den Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Priester und kirchliche Mitarbeiter, durch die Fälle von körperlicher Gewalt vor allem - aber nicht nur - in der Vorschule der Regensburger Domspatzen in Etterzhausen und Pielenhofen."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Domspatzen-Ermittler zählt 547 Fälle von Missbrauch und Gewalt

DEUTSCHLAND
BR

[Sonderermittler Weber said he classified a total of 547 abuse cases as highly plausible at the Regensburg Cathedral choir of which 500 were children victims of physical violence, 67 were victims of sexual violence. In addition, one would have to assume that there were other victims.]

Von: Kilian Neuwert, Christina Fuchs, Katharina Häringer, Uli Scherr
Stand: 18.07.2017

Sonderermittler Weber sagte, er habe insgesamt 547 Missbrauchsfälle als hochplausibel eingestuft, davon waren 500 Kinder Opfer körperlicher Gewalt, 67 waren Opfer sexueller Gewalt. Einige wurden Kinder wurden sowohl sexuell als auch körperlich misshandelt. Darüber hinaus müsse man davon ausgehen, dass es noch weitere Fälle gegeben habe. Weber geht von einer Dunkelziffer aus, insgesamt könnte es bis zu 700 Fälle geben.

"Gefängnis, Hölle, Konzentrationslager"

Bei den Beschuldigten hat der Sonderermittler 49 Personen mit hoher Plausibilität bewertet. Neun dieser mutmaßlichen Täter von ihnen wurden sexuell übergriffig. Vor allem in der Vorschule habe eine Atmosphäre alltäglicher Gewalt geherrscht. Ihre Zeit in dieser Einrichtung beschrieben die Opfer laut Anwalt Weber als Gefängnis, Hölle und Konzentrationslager, als die schlimmste Zeit ihres Lebens, geprägt von Angst, Gewalt und Hilflosigkeit. Grund für die Gewalt seien meist Verstöße gegen ein willkürlich ausgelegtes Regelwerk gewesen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Victim of child sexual assault sues Boston Archdiocese

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Catie Edmondson GLOBE CORRESPONDENT JULY 17, 2017

A survivor of child sex abuse filed a lawsuit Monday against the Archdiocese of Boston for the repeated abuse he says he suffered while living at a Jamaica Plain center for children that was run by the church.

Andre Jones, 50, who now lives in New York, said he was repeatedly sexually assaulted between the ages of 8 and 11 by Brother Edward Anthony “Tony” Holmes at the Nazareth Child Care and Boarding School, a residential program for children who had been removed from their homes by the state.

In 2005, Holmes pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting two boys at the center. He was sentenced to five years in prison and died six year ago, records show.

According to the complaint filed in Suffolk County Court, the abuse began when Holmes took Jones and two other boys into a photography darkroom and groped the boys and forced them to perform oral sex on him. Jones alleges that he was assaulted for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

July 17, 2017

Priest Awaits Sentencing After Plea in Embezzlement Case

MICHIGAN
U.S. News

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) — A 70-year-old priest accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Michigan church is awaiting sentencing after reaching a plea agreement in the case.

The Rev. David Ernest Fisher pleaded guilty last week to embezzlement. He was initially charged with seven counts, but prosecutors agreed to drop other charges after Fisher pleaded to embezzling between $50,000 and $100,000.

Fisher is jailed ahead of sentencing, which is Sept. 22 in Shiawassee County Circuit Court.

Fisher was pastor for 23 years at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Owosso, 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Fisher retired in 2015 and moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Catholic Diocese of Lansing has said $450,000 was missing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Man Sues Archdiocese, Cites Sex Abuse by Priest at Orphanage

MASSACHUSETTS
U.S. News

BOSTON (AP) — A New York man is suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston for sexual abuse he says he suffered at an orphanage as a child.

Fifty-one-year-old Andre Jones said Monday he was abused by the late Brother Edward Anthony Holmes, a supervisor at Nazareth Child Care Center.

Holmes pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse and other charges in 2006. He was sentenced to five years in prison. He died in 2011.

Jones says he lived at Nazareth from 1975 to 1978, starting when he was 8. The center was a residential program for children awaiting foster care that operated on archdiocese land.

Jones and his lawyers announced the lawsuit in front of Suffolk County Superior Courthouse in Boston. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

For St. Paul's, A Failure To Report Would Spell Legal Trouble

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NHPR

[audio]

By PETER BIELLO

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office announced Thursday it’s launching a criminal investigation into St. Paul’s School.

The elite boarding school has a history of sexual abuse by faculty, which it documented in a report published in May. More recently, sexual misconduct allegations have been made toward students on the campus, including high school seniors taking part in ritualistic games of sexual conquest.

To understand how the state’s involvement alters the legal landscape, NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke to Buzz Scherr, professor of law at the University of New Hampshire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Archbishop Byrnes names Benavente as advisor

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com July 17, 2017 |

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes appointed Monsignor James L.G. Benavente as a member of two advisory teams, effective July 16 at 6 p.m., according to the Archdiocese of Agana.

Byrnes' latest official dispatch named Benavente as a member of the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Agaña while at the same time continuing to "serve in his capacity as the delegate of the coadjutor archbishop for church patrimony."

Benavente last month sent a letter to Byrnes, resigning from his position as delegate to the archbishop for church patrimony, with oversight over archdiocese properties, working with the reconstituted Archdiocesan Finance Council.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

How The Gedolim Lost My Faith

NEW YORK
SOME PEOPLE LIVE MORE IN 20 YEARS…

JULY 17, 2017

ASHER LOVY

Author’s Note: Here’s the link to the Facebook event for this Sunday’s protest of the Novominsker Rebbe’s, and by extension Agudah’s, rape-enabling policies: https://www.facebook.com/events/261681534310970/

I started off in activism, much in the same way every other activist starts, with a young, optimistic, incredibly naïve idea of what I could accomplish if I tried hard enough. The problem: children were being abused, suffering horribly at the hands of people who violated them in ways that would viscerally incense anyone possessed of a conscience. Surely the problem was one of ignorance. It seemed to me, as it seems to many young, upstart activists, that when apprised of the horrifying reality and pervasiveness of child sexual abuse, people of conscience, people who are otherwise God-fearing fellow Orthodox Jews, could possibly stand idly by and allow such injustices to continue. No, it must be ignorance, I figured, and ignorance can be educated.

At the time I was confused about my place in the Jewish faith. I’d been raised solidly Charedi in Boro Park, taught from a young age to keep shabbos and kashrus, to daven three times a day, to value torah, and to respect gedolim. Gedolim were the closest thing we had to prophets. They didn’t talk to God, but after a lifetime of devotion to God, the study of Torah, and living piously, living as an example for the rest of us to follow, surely they were the most qualified to tell us what God wanted of us.

But that sort of devotion surely must come at a price, a certain detachment from the mundane, from the day-to-day of our lay-lives. It’s no wonder they didn’t for anything about the rampant sexual abuse in their communities, no wonder that when they were handed a case to adjudicate they made the incorrect choice. It wasn’t their fault, they simply didn’t understand the exactly nature of the problem they were adjudication. They simply didn’t understand what it means for a victim to feel so abandoned, betrayed, and violated by their friends, family, and community that the only apparent way out is suicide. They’d surely they’d never experienced being in such a mental space.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Once-demoted monsignor assigned to bishop's council of advisors

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Gaynor D. Daleno | The Guam Daily Post Jul 17, 2017

Monsignor James Benavente, previously stripped of his role as head of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, has moved back to the sphere of influence in Guam's Catholic Church leadership.

Benavente has been named member of the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors, of the Archdiocese of Agana.

Each diocese has a presbyteral council, comprising a group of priests, which functions as the senate of the bishop and helps the bishop in the governance of the diocese, based on church laws, according to the Vatican website.

Archbishop Michael Byrnes made the announcement Sunday, and Benavente's appointment went into effect the same day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

This Child Sexual Abuse Case Could Overturn A Utah Law That Allows Victims To Sue Decades Later

UTAH
BuzzFeed News

Posted on July 17, 2017

Zoe Tillman
BuzzFeed News Reporter

A Utah woman's lawsuit against a former federal judge accusing him of raping her more than three decades ago is now at the center of a legal fight over how child sexual abuse claims are handled in the state, and whether victims can seek justice for old alleged crimes.

Last year, Terry Mitchell sued Richard Roberts — then the chief judge of the federal trial court in Washington, DC — accusing him of taking advantage of her age and repeatedly forcing her to have sex with him in 1981, when he was a 27-year-old prosecutor and she was a 16-year-old witness in one of his cases.

Roberts, who has since left the bench, denied the allegations, although he admitted having an “intimate” relationship with Mitchell. His lawyers argued that regardless of what happened, Mitchell had long missed the legal window to sue.

The case has turned into a broader dispute over a Utah law cited by Mitchell’s lawyers that revived expired child sexual abuse claims in the state. Roberts’ lawyers argue that Utah lawmakers lacked authority to resurrect civil claims where the clock to file had already run out.

The Utah Supreme Court will now decide if the revival law is valid. If the justices conclude that the state legislature ran afoul of its authority and they strike down the law, “it’s going to do an injustice to adult survivors everywhere,” said Lani Wallace, an attorney in Utah who works with child sexual abuse survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

WV--WV Supreme Court says Mormon multi-state sex abuse lawsuit can move forward

WEST VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Lawsuit alleges bishops covered up teen’s 2005 Utah conviction for sex offenses and recommended teen as babysitter for young families

Sexually violent offender, Michael Jensen, is serving 35 to 75-year sentence for child sexual abuse

Evidence points to widespread cover-up

In a stunning victory for nine victims of child sexual abuse in the Mormon Church, the West Virginia Supreme Court on Friday formally overturned a lower court, ruling there was evidence that high-ranking Mormon officials covered up for a sexually violent predator for years, allowing him to molest children in Utah and West Virginia.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Berkeley County, West Virginia, Mormon officials knew that a now-convicted sexually violent predator, Michael Jensen, had been convicted of sex offenses in Utah in 2005, allegedly molested his sister, and posed a risk to children—yet they still promoted him and recommended him as a babysitter to families and as a boarder in their homes.

[Herald-Mail]

The Supreme Court determined that this evidence was admissible and could be used to support the plaintiffs’ case.

The court also allowed evidence that actions taken by the Mormon Church, including a sexual abuse helpline, were made with the intention of protecting the Church from lawsuits, instead of preventing more abuse

“This is a cover-up of ‘Spotlight’ magnitude,” said Joelle Casteix of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women sexually abused in religious groups and institutions. “Fortunately, the victims will now get their day in court.”

The West Virginia Supreme Court’s 78-page opinion outlines Jensen's trail of abuse from 2004 to 2012, including a juvenile conviction for sexual abuse in 2005 in Utah, and allegations of abuse against his sisters and others after arriving in West Virginia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Se reúne Obispo con familia de acusado

MEXICO
AM

[In the case of the former priest accused of sexual abuse of minors in a private school, the bishop of the Diocese of Irapuato, Enrique Díaz Díaz, announced that he has met with the accused's relatives, but not with the victims.]

En el caso del ex sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual a menores de un colegio particular, el obispo de la Diócesis de Irapuato, Enrique Díaz Díaz dio a conocer que se ha reunido con familiares del acusado, pero no con las víctimas.

A su llegada como Obispo, indicó que desconocía el tema pero que se pondría en contacto con los afectados, por lo que al paso de su gestión ha buscado a los involucrados para dar seguimiento al caso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Clerical sex abuse victims to seek relocation of fundraising marathon

MALTA
Malta Independent

Neil Camilleri
Monday, 17 July 2017

The victims of sexual abuse carried out by priests at St Joseph Home in Santa Venera decades ago will seek legal help to stop an annual fundraising marathon from being held at the premises.

Speaking to The Malta Independent yesterday, one of the victims, Lawrence Grech, said that seeing the marathon on TV brought back horrible memories from the days when he and other young boys were abused. “We are not against raising funds for good causes but you have to understand that while this is a positive and happy event for many people, it brings so many bad memories for us.”

He added that the internal courtyard where the event is held is, for the victims, a “place of punishment.”

“It is where one of the fathers used to make us sweep the floor for hours under the sun.”

Grech added: “This place was a brothel where we were abused. Seeing this marathon on TV is like a stab to the heart, because this is the same place where those horrible things happened.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

'Lambs to the slaughter': Lawyer fears George Pell's accusers could have their allegations 'watered down' without their knowledge

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Sam McPhee For Daily Mail Australia

The lawyer representing some of the alleged victims against Cardinal George Pell fears backroom deals could be done which see charges 'watered down' without their knowledge.

Ingrid Irwin, a Victorian lawyer representing some people accusing the Cardinal of abuse, believes complainants may face becoming 'lambs to the slaughter' if the crown and police cut deals during the trial.

'They are coming in as naive players into a sophisticated legal game...The complainants don't ever really know what is happening, they're just coming in there with their truth,' Ms Irwin told Nine News.

Ms Irwin said sexual abuse complainants often are completely removed from the legal process, making them 'naive players into a sophisticated legal game.'

She predicts the case will be a drawn-out trial and each individual accuser may fight for separate trials.

However, some senior lawyers are concerned the Cardinal could be adversely affected by juror perceptions of him and the Catholic Church, and have said a judge-alone trial may be appropriate.

QCs Peter Chadwick and Remy van de Weil, who are not connected to the case, have questioned whether a jury can remain impartial during Pell's trial, the Courier Mail reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

TRIAL SET IN CASE OF DONATIONS FOR POPE'S HOSPITAL FOR KIDS

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Other than St. Peter's Basilica, there is hardly better real estate in Vatican City than the sprawling penthouse apartment in the Vatican gardens, where the rooftop terrace has in-your-face views of the dome itself and overlooks the hotel that Pope Francis calls home.

The 300-square-meter (3,230-square-foot) bachelor pad, belonging to the previous pope's second-in-command, looked even better after undergoing a 422,000-euro ($481,000) face-lift.

Who footed the bill? The Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital foundation, which raises money for sick children at the "pope's hospital" in Rome.

A recent Associated Press investigation uncovered a secret 2014 Vatican probe that found that the hospital's mission under its past administration had become "more aimed at profit" than patient care. Now the renovations at Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's flat have sparked a criminal trial that shines a light on how some of that money was spent.

The Vatican on Tuesday will put its past hospital president, Giuseppe Profiti, and former hospital treasurer, Massimo Spina, on trial on charges they diverted hospital donations to renovate Bertone's retirement fixer-upper. The Vatican tribunal, located just steps away from the palazzo in question, has warned the two defendants would be tried in absentia if they don't show up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Responde la Arquidiócesis a denuncia de Athié contra Rivera; acusa “odio personal”

MEXICO
Aristegui Noticias

]The archdiocese responds to Athie's complaint against Cardinal Norberto Rivera; Accuses Athie of "personal hatred".]

"En Roma están bien informados sobre la manera en que se han venido manejando este tipo de casos, por lo que se puede decir que es una estrategia fallida", sentencia.

Como “odio personal” y una “estrategia fallida” calificó la Arquidiócesis de México la denuncia que interpusieron los ex sacerdotes Alberto Athié y José Barba contra el cardenal Norberto Rivera, por presunto encubrimiento de delitos cometidos por sacerdotes pederastas.

El ex sacerdote Alberto Athié explicó a inicios de este mes en Aristegui en vivo que denunciaron a Rivera por haber reportado 15 casos de pederastia al Vaticano pero no los denunció ante las autoridades mexicanas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

George Pell braces for first court appearance amid accusations of Salem witch hunt and slaughter of lambs

AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Mark Saunokonoko
Jul 17, 2017

People who have accused Cardinal George Pell of molesting them could be "lambs to the slaughter" when legal proceedings begin, a Victorian lawyer representing sex abuse survivors fears.

Australia's most senior cleric will appear in Melbourne Magistrates' Court next week on multiple historical sex charges, which one of Pell's close friends has likened to a Salem witch hunt.

International media will join Australian survivors of sexual abuse and a large national press pack to observe the latest chapter in the Catholic church's long-running sexual abuse saga.

Pell, who has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, is the highest-ranking official from the Vatican to face his accusers in a court of law.

Media interest has been intense since Victorian Police announced in late June that Pell had been charged, forcing the return to Australia of the 76-year-old who was the Pope’s finance chief.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

De La Salle College at Revesby a ‘hot spot’ of paedophilia, claims Sydney lawyer

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Rebecca Parish, Canterbury-Bankstown Express
July 17, 2017

DE LA Salle College at Revesby Heights has been labelled a “hot spot of paedophilia” by a Sydney lawyer who is working through thousands of historical child sex abuse cases.

The revelation about the Catholic boys school comes after countless men came forward with allegations of being sexually abused by numerous staff at the school in the 1970s and ’80s.

Among the worst offenders was Brother Anselm Hallam, also known as Tom Hallam, who was allegedly moved to the Sydney school from one in Melbourne after sexual abuse complaints were made against him.

Mr Hallam died in the early 1990s aged 92 before his charges could be heard in court.

John Comerford told NewsLocal that at age 18 he went to the Revesby school with a loaded shotgun to confront Mr Hallam, who allegedly raped him seven years earlier, but was told the teacher was dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Abuse charges shock those who knew Midcoast Youth Theater director

MAINE
Press Herald

BY EDWARD D. MURPHY
STAFF WRITER

TOPSHAM — Henry A. Eichman surrounded himself with hundreds of children.

Eichman, 57, helped found the Midcoast Youth Theater about 15 years ago, directing hundreds of children as they staged shows such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” and in 2008, was hired as a part-time employee at St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick, where he worked with the drama program. Last September, he also started working with the after-school program at St. John’s.

Those many years of working with children, however, have come under greater scrutiny since Eichman was arrested last fall and charged with 16 counts of sexual abuse of children in Sagadahoc County, including unlawful sexual contact, unlawful sexual touching and “visual aggression against a child,” for allegedly videotaping or photographing children who were partially nude. He is due to appear in court next week on those charges.

Neighbors and those who worked with him in the youth theater group say they are shocked by the allegations and that they did not see him engaging in behavior that hinted at abuse, even as more allegations of child sexual abuse have come to light and criminal charges have continued to pile up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Priest John Denham to face fresh Taree child sex allegations

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
17 Jul 2017

CONVICTED child sex offender Catholic priest John Denham has been charged with fresh offences after a man alleged he was sexually abused at Taree in the late 1970s by Denham, senior Maitland-Newcastle priest Barry Tunks and two other men.

Manning/Great Lakes Local Area Command detectives charged Denham, 76, with three sexual assault offences more than two months after charging former Vicar General Barry Tunks, 76, in March with three indecent assault offences against the same boy in Catholic Church facilities at Taree.

Police also charged former nurse David John O’Grady with three indecent assault offences against the boy in church facilities at Taree in the 1970s.

The matters will return to court at Taree in August and September. No pleas have been entered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Sister finds that faith sustains when institutions fail

NEW YORK
National Catholic Reporter - Global Sisters Report

by Dan Stockman Jul. 17, 2017

Brooklyn, New York

It's a gorgeous spring day, and the sunshine is pouring into the bedroom of Dominican Sr. Sally Butler's apartment in the Fort Greene neighborhood, brightening the already cheery lavender-painted walls.

Butler's eyes are bright, especially when she talks about how Jesus was a poor working man who lived among the outcasts, a model she has tried to live since moving to the neighborhood in 1968.

"That's what keeps me going," Butler says. "You can meet Christ in many ways. And if that's what a sacrament is — meeting with Christ — then I'm OK. I've never felt deprived. Whatever my faith is, it's very simple."

Butler, 86, can't get out of bed because of spinal stenosis and arthritis. And even if she could, for the past 24 years, she says, she has had to find her connection to Christ outside the church.

Though she has been in religious life for nearly 70 years, Butler is unable to believe in the institutional church anymore. But her faith in God, she says, has never been stronger.

'We were betrayed'

Butler's faith in the church began to crack in 1993.

She was walking through one of the many public-housing projects in Fort Greene when she realized she hadn't seen a woman she knew in church lately, so she stopped in. The woman told Butler she had recently learned that one of the priests at St. Michael-St. Edward parish nearby had molested her son 20 years before.

Butler and two other sisters lived in the parish rectory, where they worked with three priests. The priests had lived there before moving to the rectory at nearby St. Boniface parish, six blocks away, and were still frequent visitors, often staying the night when they were working in that neighborhood.

"I rejected it. It was incomprehensible in 1993," Butler says. "I thought I knew these men so well. I thought only monsters did that sort of thing."

The revelation came with another, even more frightening one: The woman's son, Jerry, had been best friends with Carlos Cruz, who Butler had raised as a son after his mother died in 1973. If the priests had sexually abused Jerry, what might have happened to Cruz, who had lived with Butler in the rectory?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 AM

Note to readers about content this week

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Jul. 17, 2017

On the NCR website this week, we will run a series of stories that will challenge our readers to look at the scandal of sexual abuse of minors by clergy from several different viewpoints: from the perspective of a victim/survivor, from the perspective of a convicted offender, from the perspective of a family member of a victim, and from the perspective of professional advocates and watchdogs. ...

Wednesday and Thursday, we will run extensive interviews with Gilbert Gustafson and Susan Pavlak. Pavlak, a lifelong resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, was sexually abused by her high school religion teacher, a former nun, in the 1970s. She recounts her struggle to come into, as she describes it, "right relationship," overcoming alcoholism and trauma from the abuse. Gustafson is a priest of the St. Paul Minneapolis Archdiocese who was convicted of molesting a teenage boy in 1983. He served a jail sentence and years of probation. He also continued to serve as a priest on restricted ministry, holding various administrative jobs until 2002 when he was removed from public ministry. Over the last 30 years, he has done extensive personal work on recovery and, he says, has not offended since his conviction.

Gustafson and Pavlak met each other about 10 years ago. After several years learning to trust each other, they agreed to work together on programs that they hoped would bring healing to victims, abusers and the wider church community. Their main contention, in Pavlak's words, is that "a person, however broken, doesn't fall outside of the love of God and the love and care of the community. ... We have to find a way to be safe together — that is my responsibility, not only to the kids and vulnerable people but also to the perpetrator."

The interviews with Pavlak and Gustafson were conducted 2015 by Jesuit Fr. Luke Hansen. He had some trouble finding an outlet to publish the interviews and offered them to NCR last year. We agreed to run the interviews, but didn't feel we could do that without providing readers with some context and background to the issues their stories raise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

What are Catholic parishes doing to guard against child sexual abuse?

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Eliza Borrello

The Catholic Church has acknowledged the number of priests identified by the child abuse royal commission is indefensible, and says it is working hard to make sure the abuse is never repeated.

But what does that mean for local parishes making changes to protect children into the future?

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, first announced by the Gillard government in 2012, is due to deliver its final report at the end of this year.

Already it has identified nearly 2,000 figures in the Catholic Church, including priests and brothers, as alleged perpetrators, something it has acknowledged as tragic and indefensible.

Like parishes across the country, St Anthony's in the northern Perth suburb of Wanneroo was rocked by revelations from the royal commission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

July 16, 2017

Medios reportan que el Papa acepta renuncia de Norberto Rivera

MEXICO
Politico

July 15, 2017

[Pope Francisco accepted the resignation of Cardinal Norberto Rivera as the archbishop of Mexico, according to journalist Carlos Mota. This has happened in the last hours.The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico, Hugo Valdemar, confirmed that on 6 June Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera presented his resignation to the pope on reaching age 75. Rivera is under investigation by the Attorney General's office for covering-up abuse of minors by 15 priests.]

El vocero de la Arquidiócesis de México, Hugo Valdemar, confirmó que el pasado 6 de junio, el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera presentó al papa Francisco, su renuncia en tiempo y forma, tal y como lo marca el Derecho canónico, al cumplir 75 años de edad.

La semana anterior se informó que la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) investiga al cardenal, después de que un grupo de religiosos presentara una denuncia en su contra por el supuesto encubrimiento de 15 sacerdotes pederastas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Norberto Rivera defendió hasta el delirio al abusador Maciel

MEXICO
Proceso

MEXICO CITY (Process) .- In 1997, when the media began to air the sexual abuse committed by Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera automatically led "the strategy of protection and cover-up of Maciel. The allegations were "totally false"; invented and unjust, Rivera said of his friend Maciel. The allegations of sexual abuse of minors were also a great plot to attack the church and Pope John Paul II, he said.]

POR RODRIGO VERA , 13 JULIO, 2017

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (Proceso).- En 1997, cuando los medios de comunicación empezaron a ventilar los abusos sexuales cometidos por Marcial Maciel, fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera encabezó de manera automática “la estrategia de protección y encubrimiento público” del implicado.

Las denuncias eran “totalmente falsas”; “inventos creados y pagados” para “golpear injustamente” a su amigo Maciel y se daban, dijo el cardenal, en el marco de un “gran complot para atacar a la misma Iglesia y al Papa Juan Pablo II”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Cardinal says Church must stand on the side of victims

IRELAND
Limerick Post

Simon Bourke | July 16, 2017

One of Pope Francis’ Cardinals has told a conference in Limerick that the Church must confront its own misbehaviours and stand on the side of the victims of abuse.

Speaking ahead of his address at today’s ‘Let’s Talk Family: Let’s Be Family’ conference at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said that rehabilitation of family is a priority today but so is rehabilitation of Church, adding that overcoming current crises will not happen unless the Church stands with victims.

“We need words of consolation. Many are discouraged because of the society becoming often hostile to the Church but also because of our own misbehaviour, mainly priests but also religious and others. This is a great burden. It’s a great burden that we cannot overcome unless we accept truth, even if it’s painful truth, and if we clearly stand on the side of the victims,” he said.

‘Amoris Laetitia’ has been celebrated as a more compassionate approach by Church to the complexities of family as they are today and not least how it approaches ‘irregular unions’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Irish priest who exposed pedophile to sue Florida diocese for defamation

FLORIDA
IrishCentral

Father John Gallagher, a Tyrone native, claimed the Florida diocese tried to cover-up a pedophile priest in the diocese. Gallagher exposed him and was shunned and defamed as a result.

In January 2015, Gallagher (49), who has served in Florida since 2000, helped to report criminal misconduct by Fr. Jose Palimattom, a priest of the Franciscan Province of St. Thomas the Apostle in India, who was serving a two-year residency at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, in West Palm Beach.

Palimattom, who had been at the parish for just one month, approached a 14-year-old boy one day after Mass and showed him as many as 40 images of naked boys. Police later classified this as an attempt to “groom” the boy for future encounters.

Gallagher claims that he went against a church official’s instructions to put Fr. Palimattom on a plane to Bangalore and “not keep written notes” of the incident. Rather than following the Church’s instruction to “make him go away,” Gallagher interviewed Fr. Palimattom along with one of his parishioners, a retired police officer, who took notes at the meeting.

Palimattom admitted to showing nude pictures of boys to the teen. He also admitted that he had sexually assaulted boys in India before arriving in the United States. A few hours later he repeated this confession to detectives from the specialist unit of the West Palm Beach Police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

“Libero Milone’s resignation indicates that there could be a Vatileaks III”

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on July 16, 2017 by Betty Clermont

That was the assessment of “observers” according to Vatican reporter, Andrea Gagliarducci, in his July 3 column. Milone, appointed by Pope Francis in 2015 as the Vatican’s financial auditor general, had resigned by “mutual agreement” on June 20. No reason was given. Milone made no statement.

In May 2016, two lay members of the Board of Superintendence of the Vatican Bank resigned “in light of legitimate reflections and opinions concerning [the bank’s] management” the Vatican said. Carlo Salvatori, President of Lazard Italia and Allianz Italia, and Clemens Borsig, former Chairman of the Board of Management at Deutsche Bank, remain silent.

René Brülhart, an official of the Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority since 2012, seems to have one foot out the door. In a March interview, Brülhart spoke about his “new role at a Swiss mortgage lender,” his “return to Swiss banking,” and that, regardless of his years in the Vatican, “I still see myself as an adviser to the financial services industry.”

Do Milone, Salvatori, Borsig and Brülhart know something we don’t?

Although consistently reported by the U.S. media as “reforming” or “cleaning up” the Vatican, Pope Francis never hired any forensic accountants or former law enforcement agents with expertise in financial malfeasance to assist him. Meanwhile, even a cursory examination of Pope Francis’ appointments would lead to questioning his intentions.

On July 1, 2013, the Vatican announced that Promontory Financial Group employees were appointed as the Vatican Bank’s (officially the Institute of Religious Works or IOR) director, chief risk officer and senior advisers. (See: “Promontory’s activities focus heavily on the adept circumvention of regulations,” according to an article on how Promontory “attempted to suppress evidence that [U.S.] borrowers had been harmed by the false and deceptive practices of the mortgages lenders.”)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Ein wunder Punkt für die Kirche

AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

[In a week and a half, the abuse procedure against Cardinal George Pell begins in Melbourne, Australia. As a priest in the Diocese of Ballarat, he was supposed to have participated in the cover-up of abuse cases.]

In eineinhalb Wochen beginnt im australischen Melbourne das Missbrauchsverfahren gegen Kardinal George Pell. Er soll als Priester im Bistum Ballarat an der Vertuschung von Missbrauchsfällen beteiligt gewesen sein.

Vatikan | Sydney - 15.07.2017

Am 26. Juli beginnt in Melbourne das Missbrauchverfahren gegen den australischen Kurienkardinal George Pell. Die genauen Details der Anklage sind noch nicht bekannt. Für die Dauer des Verfahrens wurde Pell von Papst Franziskus von seinem Posten als Finanzminister des Vatikan freigestellt. Im australischen Missbrauchsskandal spielt der 76-Jährige eine zentrale Rolle: sowohl als Kämpfer gegen Missbrauch wie auch als jemand, der als Priester im Bistum Ballarat an der Vertuschung entsprechender Fälle beteiligt gewesen sein soll.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Priester wegen sexuellem Missbrauch verurteilt – schon im Schwarzbubenland verhielt er sich komisch

SCHWEIZ
Solothurner Zeitung

[In the Roman-Catholic church community of Erschwil, a priest was active in the late 1990s who was later sentenced to sexual abuse in Germany. But already in the Swiss Schwarzbubenland he showed a strange behavior.]

von Dimitri Hofer

In der römisch-katholischen Kirchgemeinde Erschwil war Ende der 90er-Jahre ein Priester tätig, der später in Deutschland wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs verurteilt wurde. Doch bereits im Schwarzbubenland legte er ein merkwürdiges Verhalten an den Tag.

Kaplan V.* nahm Ministranten mit in sein Zimmer. Vom Bett im Keller des Pfarrhauses in Erschwil aus schaute er mit ihnen Fernsehen. Der Raum, in dem das passierte, sah ein wenig aus wie ein Kinderzimmer. Viele Plüschtiere wohnten dem Geschehen bei. Darunter befand sich auch ein Teddybär in einem Papstkostüm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Baby Jesus Would Be Ashamed of the Hospital That Bears His Name

ROME
The Daily Beast

BARBIE LATZA NADEAU
07.16.17

ROME—Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state under Pope Benedict XVI, is an old-school kind of cleric whose lavish lifestyle has no place in the modest Catholic Church of Pope Francis. He was an early target of the incoming pope’s housecleaning, among the first to be kicked out and replaced by more frugal fathers. Since then, he remains a sort of poster-priest for the decadence and splendor the Vatican’s princes used to get away with.

Now the lavish 2,400-square-foot penthouse apartment he lovingly refurbished with such amenities as luxury white Carrara marble and a $6,000 security door, is the object of a criminal trial that will open at the Vatican’s tribunal next Tuesday. In the dock are two former executives of the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu children’s hospital who will face charges for using "money belonging to the Bambino Gesu Foundation in an illicit way" to help pay for Bertone’s palace, according to a statement by the Holy See press office.

The hospital’s former president, Giuseppe Profiti, and its treasurer, Massimo Spina, have been under investigation for more than a year over the matter, which exploded when aerial photos showed the extent of the restoration, which essentially merged two top floor apartments for the cardinal to share with three nuns and a secretary. Profiti admits that hospital funds were used, but he insists that it was because they intended to hold “fundraisers and meetings” at the penthouse, though none have been reported to have taken place.

The Vatican’s “promoter of justice,” who will lead the trial, disagrees, insisting that Bambino Gesu hospital, which offered to treat Charlie Gard, the British baby whose life support may be pulled, had no reason to spend nearly half a million dollars (€422,000) on the cardinal’s home improvement project.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

July 15, 2017

Pope Francis’ Next Act

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

Ross Douthat JULY 15, 2017

By the standards of the Francis papacy, things were rather quiet in Rome for much of 2017. The great controversy of the previous two years, the debate over communion for the divorced and remarried, had entered a kind of stalemate, with bishops the world over disagreeing and the pope himself keeping a deliberate silence. One long act of the pontificate seemed finished; the question was how much drama there was still to come.

The last month has supplied some. In rapid succession, four important cardinals have been removed from the stage. The first, George Pell, was both in charge of the pope’s financial reforms and a leading opponent of communion for the remarried. He has returned to his native Australia to face charges of sexual abuse — charges that either represent a culminating revelation in the church’s grim accounting on the issue, or else (as Pell’s defenders insist) a sign that the abuse scandal has become a license for prosecutorial witch hunts.

The second cardinal, Gerhard Mueller, was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office charged with safeguarding Catholic doctrine. Often sidelined by Francis, he had performed a careful tightrope walk on the pope’s marriage document, Amoris Laetitia, insisting that it did not change church teaching on remarriage and the sacraments while downplaying the signals that the pope himself thought otherwise. His five-year term was expiring; these are often renewed but his was not, and in a manner so brusque that the usually circumspect German publicly complained.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Abused schoolboy John Comerford took gun to school to kill his rapist teacher

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

EXCLUSIVE, Rebecca Parish
The Sunday Telegraph

MORE than 30 years ago, John Comerford returned to the steps of De La Salle College with a loaded shotgun.

A tormented 18-year-old, he was going to kill the man who stole his life when he was just 11.

But Mr Comerford never got the opportunity to come face-to-face with Brother Anselm Hallam as an adult because as he sat on the steps of the southwestern Sydney school, he was told the teacher was dead.

He would spend the next two decades of his life harbouring the secret of his childhood rape, not telling a soul about the day Anselm caught him alone in the school’s old church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Enjuiciar a Norberto Rivera no es venganza, es mínima justicia para las víctimas de pederastas: Athié

MEXICO
Sin Embargo

[Norberto Rivera's prosecution is not revenge, it's the least justice for victims of pederasts: Athié]

Por Sandra Rodríguez Nieto
SinEmbargo
julio 14, 2017

Alberto Athié lleva 20 años en lucha contra el silencio de la Iglesia Católica mexicana ante los crímenes de pederastia clerical. En 2003 renunció al sacerdocio por lo que consideró protección del Cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera y de diferentes papas hacia el sacerdote mexicano Marcial Maciel Degollado, fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, uno de los casos más conocidos de abuso sexual contra menores a nivel incluso internacional.

Hoy es uno de los autores de la demanda en contra del Cardenal Rivera por encubrimiento a al menos 15 sacerdotes pederastas, por la que la PGR ya abrió una carpeta de investigación.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

El peor final para el jefe de la Iglesia Católica mexicana

MEXICO
Infobae

[The worst end for the head of the Mexican Catholic Church. On June 3 news shook Mexico: The primate archbishop, Norberto Rivera Carrera, had resigned before the Vatican . A day earlier, two former priests had filed a complaint before the federal prosecutor's office for the cover-up of at least 15 priests responsible for sexually abusing minors.]

Por Juliana Fregoso 15 de julio de 2017
Desde Ciudad de México

El 3 de junio una noticia sacudió a México: el arzobispo primado, Norberto Rivera Carrera, había renunciado ante El Vaticano. Un día antes, dos ex sacerdotes habían presentado una denuncia en su contra ante la Fiscalía federal por el encubrimiento de al menos 15 curas responsables de abusar sexualmente de menores.

Meses antes, el 18 de diciembre de 2016, Rivera Carrera aseguró ante medios de comunicación que no había tolerancia hacia la pederastia clerical. "En la Arquidiócesis, al menos unos 15 sacerdotes han recibido no solamente juicio, sino sentencias", dijo sin precisar ante quién se realizaron estos juicios y cuáles fueron las sentencias.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

'No special treatment': Court confirms Cardinal George Pell will face justice next to bikies and murderers when he fights sex charges flanked by Australia's top defence lawyer

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Sam Duncan For Daily Mail Australia

The Vatican's third most powerful figure will receive no special treatment when he appears in court to face multiple historical sex charges.

There have been fears for the safety of Australia's most powerful Catholic at his court appearance on July 26, as sexual abuse survivors are expected to attend.

Melbourne Magistrates Court appears unconcerned, and stated that Cardinal George Pell's trial will be 'business as usual.'

Court spokeswoman Clare Hogarth-Angus said: 'This may change nearer the time, however currently there are no special plans in place, the Herald Sun reported.

The lack of special treatment also means that the former Archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne will be rubbing shoulders with hardened criminals as he lines up in court.

The potential exposure to bikies and murderers, along with the expected presence of sexual abuse survivors at the trial, has worried the Catholic Church and they hold grave concerns for the top cleric's safety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Pope hangs sign warning whiners to stay away from new office

VATICAN CITY
Premium Times

Pope Francis, a regular denouncer of gossip and intrigue inside the Vatican, has hung a sign outside his private study warning whiners to stay away.

“No complaining. Offenders are subjected to a syndrome of victimhood that lowers the mood and the ability to solve problems,’’ the sign said.

A picture of it was published by the La Stampa newspaper on Friday.

“Fines are doubled if the offence is committed in the presence of children.

“To get the best out of yourself, you must focus on your own potential and not on your own limits, so stop complaining and act to change your life for the better,’’ it also said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Archbishop Byrnes remains optimistic though victims continue to come forward

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 14, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Though the numbers of lawsuits continue to climb, Guam's coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes remains optimistic stating "We all look forward to full and complete resolution of all these cases." Earlier this month, the Church announced a Year of Reparation in hopes of making amends with victims spiritually. During this time, the Faithful are encouraged to observe prayer, fasting, and alms giving. Archbishop Byrnes also says the Church continues to provide support for all victims through Hope and Healing Guam. The number to call is 1-888-649-5288.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Amber Rudd’s Home Office fined for overpaying Alexis Jay

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Richard Ford, Home Correspondent
July 15 2017
The Times

The Home Office has been handed a substantial fine by the Treasury after Amber Rudd’s department broke Whitehall rules over the salary given to the head of the child sex abuse inquiry.

Ms Rudd, the home secretary, hired Alexis Jay after Dame Lowell Goddard, a judge from New Zealand, quit in controversial circumstances.

Ms Rudd had been in position for only a few weeks when she appointed Professor Jay. It was a speedy appointment to ensure the inquiry continued to operate with minimum disruption. However, in what could be considered a political case of more haste less speed, her department has been landed with a fine of £366,000 for breaching spending processes over the salary she offered her choice to head the investigation.

It emerged in the Home Office’s 2016-17 annual report that Ms Rudd failed to follow government rules when she appointed Professor Jay, a social worker. Under restrictions imposed because of the government’s austerity drive, salaries at a level above the prime minister’s must be signed off by the chief secretary to the Treasury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Home Office is FINED by the Treasury after May and Rudd broke rules with big pay packages for child sex abuse inquiry chief and panel

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline

Theresa May and Amber Rudd both broke government rules by handing big pay packages to senior figures on the child sex abuse inquiry.

The Home Office has been fined more than £366,000 by the Treasury after the chair and panel for the probe were handed six-figure packages without authorisation.

Theresa May set up the inquiry in 2014 in response to allegations of child sex abuse at institutions ranging from the BBC to children's homes, but it has been beset by trouble from the start.

Mrs May was responsible for breaking the rules when as Home Secretary she set the daily rates for panel members at a generous £565 a day.

And Mrs Rudd breached them again in August last year when she appointed Professor Alexis Jay as chair on a £220,000 package.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Home Office fined £366,900 for breaking pay cap for abuse inquiry chief

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The Home Office has been fined £366,900 for breaching the government's senior salary pay cap when it appointed the head of a child sex abuse inquiry.

It was penalised by the Treasury for failing to get clearance in advance before agreeing to pay Professor Alexis Jay £185,000 a year.

Since 2010, all jobs with salaries of more than £142,500 agreed by ministers have had to be signed off in advance.

The Home Office said it had reviewed procedures to avoid future breaches.

Prof Jay became the fourth chair of the troubled inquiry after replacing Lowell Goddard in August 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Five more sex abuse lawsuits filed against the Church

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 14, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Nearly 100 sex abuse lawsuits have been filed against the Church.

Late Thursday afternoon, five more cases were filed in the District Court of Guam. 53-year-old R.W.J., 50-year-old P.P.R., and 58-year-old W.E.T. all allege they were molested by Father Louis Brouillard. P.P.R. goes into detail saying that aside from being exposed to the priest naked as well as naked swims it the river, the priest would molest him in a room behind the Church altar. The priest would tell the young boy that it was what God wanted him to do and that it was a sin if he didn't do as Brouillard asked.

50-year-old N.P.J.D. and 48-year-old B.B.J. allege they fell victim to former priest Father Raymond Cepeda, who was ultimately defrocked. N.P.J.D. alleges the priest would get him alone in a room, lock the doors, and hug, kiss, grind, and grope him. On another occasion, the priest unzipped his pants and performed oral sex. B.B.J. alleges Cepeda molested him at his grandmother's funeral. On their way to the grave site, Cepeda allegedly touched the boy's thigh. Initially, B.B.J. thought this was to provide him comfort at his time of loss, but then the priest reached for his privates. All five plaintiffs are represented by Attorney David Lujan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Another priest in child abuse row

INDIA
The New Indian Express

KALPETTA: A sexual abuse case involving a priest at Meenangadi here has put the Church in a tight spot.

The incident came to light on Friday when parents of two boys - aged 14 and 15 - approached the Meenangadi police station after their wards allegedly complained of being sexually assaulted by Fr Saji alias Joseph, 40, of Kunduthodu, Thamarassery. The priest is absconding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Obispo Barros y su reunión con críticos: “Es bueno conversar”

CHILE
La Tercera

[This week, the prelate of Osorno had his first meeting with lay people who question him. He said that "we do not agree on the diagnosis but it is positive to hear personally." "I hope that if we allow ourselves to be enlightened by the word of God, our spirit can walk more fraternally and collaborate for the good of all." ]

Autor: Sergio Rodríguez

Esta semana, el prelado de Osorno tuvo su primer encuentro con laicos que lo cuestionan. Dijo que “no coincidimos en el diagnóstico, pero es positivo escucharse personalmente”.

“Tengo la esperanza de que si nos dejamos iluminar por la palabra de Dios, nuestro espíritu puede caminar más fraternalmente y colaborar para el bien de todos”. Esta es una de las reflexiones del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros Madrid, respecto de la situación que se vive en esta diócesis; pero, más en específico, en relación al encuentro que esta semana sostuvo con dos representantes de un grupo de laicos, quienes han sido los principales críticos de su gestión.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Pédophilie, homosexualité, anarque, décès tragique: la religion dans la tourmente

CAMEROUN
Cameroun Web

[Pedophilia, homosexuality, anarchy, tragic death: religion in turmoil.]

Outre la crise de la foi, l’église est au cœur de plusieurs scandales. Les églises sont empêtrées dans une série d'affaires d'abus au Cameroun. Quel en sera l’impact pour ces institutions?

1-L’église catholique dans la tourmente

Point de doute. L’Eglise catholique au Cameroun est, depuis quelque 30 ans frappée par une série d’assassinats de prêtres et religieuses. La dernière tragédie en date est la disparition de Mgr Balla, évêque de Bafia, dans des circonstances troubles.

Le 2 juin dernier, le corps sans vie de l’évêque a été extrait des eaux de la Sanaga. Pour de nombreux chrétiens catholiques, il s’agit d’une mort suspecte qui en rajoute à une longue série.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Frankreich: Untersuchung gegen Barbarin eingestellt

FRANKREICH
Radio Vatikan

[No more suspicion against Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon: The prosecutor's office has discontinued their investigations. This is what the French Bishops' Conference is saying.]

Kein Verdacht mehr gegen Kardinal Philippe Barbarin von Lyon: Die Staatsanwaltschaft hat ihre Ermittlungen eingestellt. Das teilt die Französische Bischofskonferenz mit. Dem Erzbischof von Lyon war vorgeworfen worden, Missbrauchsskandale im Erzbistum verschleiert und die Behörden nicht informiert zu haben. Jetzt wurde bekannt, dass die Ermittlungen schon im vergangenen Dezember eingestellt worden sind: Die Behörden „haben keinen Fall von strafbarem Handeln festgestellt“.

Die Fälle sexuellen Missbrauchs durch zwei Priester, um die es ging, waren in den siebziger und neunziger Jahren geschehen, noch bevor Barbarin Erzbischof von Lyon wurde. Im Februar des letzten Jahres hatte die Staatsanwaltschaft der Stadt ihre Ermittlungen aufgenommen. Kardinal Barbarin reagiert erleichtert auf den jetzigen Bescheid: Die Staatsanwaltschaft habe „nach den leidenschaftlichen Polemiken für ein bisschen Wahrheit und Frieden gesorgt“.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Eine Anzeige und Ungereimtheiten bei Müllers Extra-Bezügen

DEUTSCHLAND
Regensburg Digital

[The details of the replacement of Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller as prefect of the Roman Congregation for the Congregation of the Faith are still unclear.]

Von Robert Werner in Nachrichten, Überregional

Die näheren Umstände der Ablösung von Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller als Präfekt der römischen Glaubenskongregation sind weiter ungeklärt. Nun wurde bekannt, dass gegen Müller Ende 2015 in Rom eine Anzeige wegen Vertuschung von sexuellem Missbrauch erstattet wurde. Nicht nur in Regensburg gehen zudem die Fragen um, was aus ihm wird bzw. ob und mit welcher Begründung Kardinal Müller weiterhin Bezüge von Diözese Regensburg erhalten wird. Die Pressestelle des bischöflichen Ordinariats gibt dazu nichts preis.

Die Ablösung von Kardinal Müller als Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation gilt als beispiellos. Von einem „Erdbeben im Vatikan“ war die Rede. In diesem Zusammenhang dürfte eine Anzeige gegen Müller wegen Vertuschung eines sexuellen Missbrauchs nicht unbedeutend gewesen sein. Diese wurde Ende 2015 beim Kirchenanwalt (Promotor Iustitiae) des vatikanischen Strafgerichts eingereicht. In der viereinhalb DIN-A4-Seiten langen, penibel ausgearbeiteten Anzeige, die unserer Redaktion vorliegt, wird Müller beschuldigt, im Zusammenhang der Wiedereinsetzung des Geistlichen Peter K. seine Aufsichtspflicht verletzt zu haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Attorneys See Parallels With Church Cases in St Paul's Investigation

NEW HAMPSHIRE
NHPR

By CASEY MCDERMOTT

The attorney general’s office made waves Thursday night in announcing its plans to launch a criminal investigation into St. Paul’s School over its handling of sexual assaults on school grounds.

While the investigation is still just in its beginning stages, some are already starting to draw parallels to a time when the state took on another powerful institution over its handling of sexual abuse: the Catholic Church.

Prominent New Hampshire Attorney Chuck Douglas is representing former St. Paul’s student Chessy Prout in a lawsuit against the school, alleging it fell short in its responsibilities to protect Prout — who was sexually assaulted by fellow student Owen Labrie as part of a so-called “senior salute” ritual.

Almost two decades ago, Douglas also helped dozens of victims of sexual abuse reach settlements with the Catholic church over abuse they experienced at the hands of local priests. At that time, the attorney general’s office was pursuing its own investigation against the diocese.

“It was time, just as it was with the diocese of Manchester to get some outside investigation – not people hired and working for the institution,” Douglas said Friday. “And it mirrors exactly what happened in the proceedings in the church here in New Hampshire.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Lawmakers, alumni respond to AG’s investigation of St. Paul’s

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By ALYSSA DANDREA
Monitor staff
Friday, July 14, 2017

The attorney general’s decision Thursday to launch a criminal investigation into St. Paul’s School’s handling of past sexual abuse and misconduct has drawn wide support from political leaders and alumni.

The morning after the announcement, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu commended the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office for prioritizing the “safety, security, and well-being” of children in the state.

“I am encouraged by the attorney general’s actions to investigate the alleged abuse at Saint Paul’s School. Sexual assault will not be tolerated in NH, and I commend the AG’s office for taking aggressive action to fully investigate the matter,” Sununu wrote on social media Friday.

State prosecutors announced they’re working with the Merrimack County attorney, New Hampshire State Police and the Concord Police Department to investigate the elite boarding school. The investigation will initially focus on whether the school engaged in conduct that endangered the welfare of children. The task force will also investigate whether St. Paul’s broke a law that prohibits the obstruction of criminal investigations.

The state’s Department of Justice issued its announcement as several state lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle were calling for an investigation. Lawmakers told the Monitor they hoped the attorney general’s office would examine the circumstances surrounding sexual misconduct allegations, including sexual conquest rituals, and the actions of school administrators in the aftermath of those reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

NH attorney general launches investigation of St. Paul's School

NEW HAMPSHIRE
WMUR

Jean Mackin
News Anchor/Reporter

CONCORD, N.H. —
The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office is investigating the conduct of St. Paul's School in Concord in connection with sexual assaults at the school and a student practice known as the "senior salute."

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said the investigation was initiated as the result of a report concerning sexual assaults by teachers on their students and reports of ongoing student sexual conquest rituals.

Prosecutors at the time said that he was taking part in a practice known as the "senior salute," in which seniors try to have sex with younger students before graduation.

Officials said there are reports that the senior salute happened again this year.

"Protection of children is a paramount priority for law enforcement," Gordon said. "I am confident that an institution such as St. Paul's School will be fully cooperative with this investigation."

In a statement sent to WMUR, Michael Hirschfeld, Rector at St. Paul's School, said the school has been in contact with local law enforcement, and would continue to fully cooperate with any inquiries received.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

New Hampshire Will Investigate St. Paul’s School Over Sex Abuse

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New York Times

By JESS BIDGOOD
JULY 14, 2017

BOSTON — The attorney general of New Hampshire on Thursday announced a criminal investigation into St. Paul’s School, an exclusive boarding school that has been embroiled in a series of damaging reports over sexual misconduct and abuse on campus.

Gordon J. MacDonald, the attorney general, said the investigation would focus at first on whether the school endangered child welfare or committed obstruction of governmental operations. In announcing the investigation, Mr. MacDonald cited several reports related to St. Paul’s over a matter of years, including an investigation released earlier this year into sexual abuse committed by teachers decades ago, stories about a sexual ritual among some students that figured into the rape trial of a former student in 2015, and a new report about another such sexual contest this year.

“Protection of children is a paramount priority for law enforcement,” Mr. MacDonald said in a written statement.

Reports of sexual abuse at boarding schools have accumulated at revered campuses such as Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut, St. George’s School in Rhode Island and Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. And in some cases, teachers involved have been prosecuted individually.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Criminal investigation into St. Paul’s school could force changes

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

By Michael Levenson GLOBE STAFF JULY 14, 2017

The criminal investigation launched this week into sexual misconduct allegations at St. Paul’s School is a rare step that might not result in criminal charges but could force the institution to change its culture, legal specialists said Friday.

The inquiry would aim to answer a central question that has been raised by the allegations — whether the elite boarding school in Concord, N.H., tried to protect its own reputation at the expense of vulnerable students.

“The key here is to what extent the school had knowledge that the ongoing environment or culture at the school was producing these kinds of problems,” said Albert E. Scherr, a University of New Hampshire law professor. “On the surface, it’s not completely clear whether there is criminal liability, so it’s to [prosecutors’] credit to take the risk.”

In announcing the investigation Thursday, the New Hampshire attorney general’s office said it was prompted by the release in May of a report that found 13 former faculty and staff engaged in sexual misconduct with students over four decades, and that faulted administrators for ignoring and even concealing the widespread abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Derry priest to sue U.S. diocese for defamation

FLORIDANORTHERN IRELAND
Derry Joural

A Derry priest has been granted permission to sue an American Catholic Diocese for defamation.

Fr. John Gallagher, who now lives in Palm Beach, Florida, but previously ministered in the Long Tower Parish, claims he was defamed after refusing to cover up sex offences committed by another priest.

Fr. Gallagher, from Strabane, began legal proceedings againt the Diocese of Palm Beach in January.

He claims he was punished for ignoring instructions not to tell the authorities that a visiting priest, Fr. Jose Palimattom, had shown pornographic images to a 14-year-old in January 2015.

After Fr. Gallagher worked with the local Sherriff’s Office to help prosecute Palimattom, he claims he was frozen out of his priestly duties and locked out of his home.

This was disputed by the Diocese of Palm Beach.

The diocese also disputed claims it had tried to cover up the abuse in three comments posted on its website and in a letter sent and ordered to be read at all Masses in the five-county diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

July 14, 2017

Statute of limitations on child abuse cases should be longer

NEW YORK
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Editorial

Far too often, newspapers have to publish a police or court report involving someone who has sexually violated another person. The hardest stories to read are when the victim is a child.

Even scarier is the unknown but certainly vast number of abusers who are not arrested, who quietly get away with it — at least for the time being.

New York state has tough sentences for those who sexually abuse children, but clearly these penalties are not enough to deter some. We know that sometimes it can take years for young victims to process what happened to them. Under current law, the statute of limitations begins when the victim turns 18.

Under the Child Victims Act, approved in the state Assembly, in cases involving a felony sex crime against a minor that have a statute of limitations for criminal prosecution, the limitations period would have begun when the victim turned 23, years of age while the statute of limitations for civil cases would be extended until the victim turns 50. Both of our local Assemblymen — Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, and Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay — voted in favor of the change, but a companion bill didn’t make it out of the state Senate’s Rules Committee.

Those who opposed it mostly did so quietly, without explaining why. Only two groups filed written objections. The New York Catholic Conference, led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York City, said the bill offered too small a window for victims to file claims. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, an evangelical Christian advocacy organization opposed the bill “because it contains ‘lookback’ provisions that could subject churches and nonprofit organizations to liability for decades-old claims based upon the alleged misdeeds of their agents or employees.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Randi Zurenko: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

PENNSYLVANIA
Heavy

By Chris Bucher
Published Jul 14, 2017

A 33-year-old former teacher at a private high school in Pennsylvania was sentenced to a maximum of 23 months in prison on July 13 after she molested two female students over a three-year span.

Randi Lynn Zurenko, of Millerstown in Perry County, was arrested in October 2016 on suspicion of sexually abusing the two students “hundreds of times.”

According to Penn Live, Zurenko, who taught social studies, was once considered one of the “most inspiring teachers” at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg. Zurenko is a mother of five, and her children range in age from 3-to-11 years old.

She was accused of entering relationships with the two girls outside of school and “coercing” them into performing sexual acts with her.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Zurenko Was Charged with Over 200 Child Sex Offenses

Zurenko was arrested on October 18, 2016 in Harrisburg on suspicion of committing the sexual assaults. Police found out about the allegations when one of the victims came forward and told them that her actions caused her psychological distress.

Police said that between 2013 and 2016, Zurenko sexually abused two female victims, ages 16 and 17, “hundreds” of times. She faced over 230 counts in the case: institutional sexual assault (13 total counts), sexual abuse of children (152), unlawful contact with minors (33), corruption of minors (13), and disseminating obscene materials to minors (20).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Catholic school teacher confronted in court by girls she sexually abused

PENNSYLVANIA
New York Post

Fox News

A former teacher at a Catholic school in Pennsylvania was sentenced to prison after she pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with two of her female teenaged students.

Randi Zurenko, 33, of Millerstown, a married woman with five children was a teacher at Bishop McDevitt in Wyncote, Pa. The school once praised her as one of the most “inspiring” teachers at the academy, according to Penn Live.

Zurenko pleaded guilty to institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors, possessing child pornography and disseminating obscene materials to minors. She faces 11 ½ to 23 months in prison as well as four years of probation and 500 hours of community service. She also has to register as a sex offender for 25 years in the state of Pennsylvania.

Zurenko’s lawyer asked Dauphin County President Judge Richard A. Lewis to grant her leniency and said she was “truly in love with her victims.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

Married Catholic school teacher and mother-of-five, 34, is jailed for just 23 months for sexually abusing two female students HUNDREDS of times

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By Emily Crane and Jennifer Smith For Dailymail.com

A married Catholic school teacher has been jailed for just 23 months after pleading guilty to having sexual relations with two of her female teenage students.

Randi Zurenko, 34, begged a Pennsylvania judge for leniency for the sake of her own young children when being sentenced on Thursday.

The mother-of-five was jailed for up to 23 months with four years probation and must register as a sex offender for 25 years.

She had been charged with more than 200 child sex offences during her time as a teacher at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg.

Police said Zurenko sexually abused her two victims, aged 16 and 17, hundreds of times between 2013 and 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Church employee fired after alleged discovery of child porn

FLORIDA
Fox 13

By: Josh Cascio, FOX 13 News
POSTED: JUL 13 2017

LECANTO (FOX 13) - Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast says 36-year-old Chad Robison is one thing: "I want to emphasize this is a textbook case of an online sexual predator."

Robison spent six years as music director of Seven River Presbyterian in Lecanto but in May, a coworker, planning to play on joke on Robison's computer, allegedly discovered a mountain of child porn.

"On his personal laptop we have more than 3,000 videos and 350,000 photographs that our detectives have combed thru," said the sheriff.

Investigators say many of those videos were recorded online webcam chats between Robison and underage girls, as young as 14, through the website Omegle.com. It's a cam-to-cam chat site with users all over the globe.

"We have videos of Robison having virtual sex with an underage female who is not local as well as trying to coerce young girls to show him their breasts," he said. "The defendant was secretly video and recording females in his restroom at his home over the course of the time he gathered pictures and videos."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Pastor busted after church prank turns up over 350,000 images of minors performing sex acts: sheriff

FLORIDA
Raw Story

TOM BOGGIONI
14 JUL 2017

Florida authorities have arrested a former youth pastor after a co-worker found hundreds of thousands of sexual-oriented pictures and videos of young girls on his laptop — including some he secretly filmed in his bathroom.

According to FOX13, 36-year-old Chad Robison was the music director at Seven River Presbyterian in Lecanto, Florida, when the co-worker stumbled upon the stash of videos and photos before alerting church authorities and law enforcement.

On Thursday, Robison was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition with a victim less than 16 years of age, one count of knowingly promoting sexual performance by a child, and three counts of ‘video voyeurism’ for his own use.

According to Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast, “On his personal laptop we have more than 3,000 videos and 350,000 photographs that our detectives have combed thru. I want to emphasize this is a textbook case of an online sexual predator.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Pidieron la detención del cura denunciado por abuso sexual de menores

ARGENTINA
Sin Mordaza

[The arrest is sought for priest Carlos Jose who has been accused of sexual abuse of minors.abue asked for the arrest of the accused priest for sexual abuse of minors. In recent days the priest was denounced by two former students of the school San José Obrero de Caseros.]

La Unidad Funcional de Instrucción Nº 14 de Delitos Sexuales de San Martín pidió la detención del cura Carlos Eduardo José, acusado por diversas personas de haber abusado sexualmente de menores.

La decisión de la fiscalía llegó luego de que una nueva prueba acelerara la realización de un allanamiento, que derivó en el pedido de detención del cura que trabajaba en colegio San José Obrero de la localidad bonaerense de Caseros.

En los últimos días, el cura José fue denunciado por dos ex alumnas de esa escuela, que aseguraron que "cuando me llevaba a confesar me hacía sentarme en su pierna y ponía su mano en mi zona" y que "me agarraba con el motivo de enseñarme a nadar y por debajo del agua me manoseaba".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

El cura abusador quiere “formar una familia”, pero está prófugo

ARGENTINA
El Dia

[The priest Carlos José, who was investigated for alleged child abuse at a Caseros school, sent a letter to Pope Francis in which he renounced his religious vows because he wanted to "form a family," the bishopric of San Martin reported yesterday, although Vatican sources argued that such a presentation does not preclude a canonical judgment.]

El sacerdote Carlos José, investigado por presunto abuso de menores en un colegio de Caseros, envió una carta al papa Francisco en la que renuncia al ejercicio religioso porque quiere “formar una familia”, informó ayer el obispado de San Martín, aunque fuentes del Vaticano sostuvieron que tal presentación no impide un juicio canónico.

“El padre José renunció el 26 de junio porque quería formar una familia, así que es imposible que podamos abrir un proceso canónico porque él ya no es más cura, no tiene una relación formal con la Iglesia: por eso, el procedimiento se llama renuncia y suspensión”, aseguró el vicario de San Martín, Eduardo González.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

El cura acusado de abuso se entregó a la Justicia

ARGENTINA
Clarin

[Parroquia San José Obrero de Caseros - Facebook]

[The priest Carlos José was arrested and detained after the arrest by prosecutor of San Martín, Mariana Piwarczuk, for having "evident evidence" of pedophilia following the denunciation by two young men who told what they suffered in a School of Caseros. The request for arrest was accepted by Judge Mariano Porto who last night ordered the arrest and detention of the priest.]

El sacerdote Carlos José se entregó a la Justicia y quedó detenido luego del pedido de detención de la fiscal de San Martín, Mariana Piwarczuk, por tener "pruebas evidentes" de pedofilia luego de la denuncia realizada por dos jóvenes que contaron lo que sufrieron en un colegio de Caseros. El pedido de detención fue aceptado por el juez Mariano Porto, que anoche había ordenado la captura y detención del sacerdote.

Mirá también

Aseguran que el cura acusado de abusos renunció para "formar una familia"
El sacerdote había renunciado en las últimas horas al ejercicio religioso porque quería "formar una familia", así lo informó ayer por la tarde el obispado de San Martín, aunque fuentes de el Vaticano sostuvieron que tal presentación no impide un juicio canónico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:27 PM

Indian priest arrested for child abuse

INDIA
UCA nEWS

Saji Thomas, Bhopal
India July 12, 2017

Christian leaders say that a Catholic priest arrested for abusing a child in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has been framed to malign the Christian community in the state ruled by a pro-Hindu party.

Police July 10 arrested Father Leo D'Souza, 56, following a complaint from the parents of an eighth-grade boy of the church-run Amar Jyoti School in the tribal-dominated district of Dindori.

The priest is manager of the school run by Jabalpur Diocese.

The parents in their complaint said the priest summoned the boy to his room July 9 evening and tried to abuse him.

Local church leaders say police arrested the priest even without a preliminary investigation. They say it was an attempt to tarnish the image of Christians that run the school ranked among the three best in the district.

Bishop Gerald Almeida of Jabalpur said the accusation and the arrest has "shocked" the diocese. He said hard-line Hindu groups had earlier tried to create trouble for Christians accusing them of converting tribal people to Christianity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

The Emmys get it so right with 'The Keepers' nomination

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

David Zurawik
The Baltimore Sun

I cannot tell you happy I am to see “The Keepers” get an Emmy nomination as best documentary or nonfiction series.

This is by far the greatest production of the genre this year. And I cannot remember a film as steeped in moral authority and social conscience as this one.

It is almost enough to restore my faith in the awards.

I have come to loathe the Emmys for the way they confuse many of us about quality TV.

The nominations this year are no exception for the most part. ...

But, thanks to the nomination of “The Keepers,” I can let all that go this year and actually celebrate something that’s Emmy connected.

I am even going to watch the awards with some real excitement Sept. 17 on CBS to see “The Keepers” win.

I hope it wins, and everyone in the world goes out and sees it.

As for those people in the Baltimore area who looked the other way after Sister Catherine Cesnik was murdered, I hope this production never lets them forget.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Elite St. Paul’s School under criminal investigation after sexual misconduct revelations

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Washington Post

By Kyle Swenson and Fred Barbash July 14

St. Paul’s School, the elite New England boarding school dogged in recent months by allegations of past sexual abuse and misconduct, is now the target of a criminal investigation by local and state authorities.

In a statement released Thursday evening, New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announced investigators will examine whether the school engaged in conduct that endangered the welfare of a child.

“Protection of children is a paramount priority for law enforcement,” MacDonald said in the release. “I am confident that an institution such as St. Paul’s School will be fully cooperative with this investigation as it has pledged.”

The attorney general’s office stated the investigation was triggered by a series of issues that have come out at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

No special treatment for Cardinal George Pell’s first court appearance

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
July 14, 2017

CARDINAL George Pell will be given no special treatment this month when he appears in court for the first time on ­historical sex charges.

The cardinal is due to ­appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for a filing hearing on July 26, after being charged with multiple sex ­offences.

This means he could be forced to line up alongside other accused sex offenders, bikies, fraudsters and low-level criminals on arrival at court.

He will also be subjected to security screening on arrival.

Court spokeswoman Clare Hogarth-Angus said it would be “business as usual” despite church sources fearing for the cardinal’s safety.

Ms Hogarth-Angus said: “This may change nearer the time, however currently there are no special plans in place.”

The case is expected to draw one of the biggest press packs in Victorian court history, with international media organisations already planning their coverage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Disziplinarverfahren gegen Pfarrer im Ruhestand abgeschlossen

DEUTSCHLAND
Evangelische Kirche in Mitteldeutschland

[The Disciplinary Chamber at the German Evangelical Church (EKD) removed a pastor from the service of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany (EKM). This is the result of disciplinary proceedings against the pastor who was accused of sexual abuse.]

Wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs verurteilt

Die Disziplinarkammer bei der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) hat einen Pfarrer im Ruhestand aus dem Dienst der Evangelischen Kirche in Mitteldeutschland (EKM) entfernt. Dies ist das Ergebnis eines Disziplinarverfahrens gegen den Pfarrer, dem sexueller Missbrauch in den Jahren 1973 bis 1978 in der Kirchengemeinde Bad Lauchstädt im Kirchenkreis Merseburg vorgeworfen wurde.

Die EKM hatte das Disziplinarverfahren gegen den Pfarrer im Jahr 2012 eingeleitet, nachdem von Betroffenen Vorwürfe gegen den Pfarrer erhoben worden waren. Der Fall war daraufhin vor der EKD-Disziplinarkammer verhandelt und im Juni 2016 entschieden worden. Gegen das Urteil hatte der Angeschuldigte Berufung eingelegt. In letzter Instanz hat der EKD-Disziplinargerichtshof am 29. Juni dieses Jahres entschieden und die Berufung zurückgewiesen. Damit ist das Urteil der Disziplinarkammer rechtskräftig. Das Kollegium der EKM hat daraufhin in seiner letzten Sitzung (11.7.) beschlossen, das Urteil umzusetzen. Der Pfarrer, der heute in Niedersachsen lebt, darf damit nicht mehr als Pfarrer tätig sein, verliert seine Ordinationsrechte und erhält aus kirchlichen Mitteln kein Ruhestandsgeld mehr.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Anger as controversial sale of 7.5 acres of south Dublin school land is confirmed

IRELAND
The Journal

THE SALE OF 7.5 acres of a school’s playing pitches by the Christian Brothers to pay for their sex abuse redress has been condemned.

There has been significant opposition from local reps, parents and the school’s board of management to the sale of the lands at Clonkeen College in Deansgrange, south Dublin.

The land, which is expected to have fetched around €18 million, has been zoned for housing since 1998, making it a desired target for developers.

The news has been condemned by locals and school officials. They said a lot of money has been put into the school’s facilities and that the strategy for the next 10 years revolved around keeping the fields.

Speaking following the publication of a parliamentary question answer by Education Minister Richard Bruton , confirming the sale, Dún Laoghaire councillor Cormac Devlin said he was extremely disappointed by the news and that allowing this to happen will have a detrimental impact on the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Nuns in UK admit child migrant lapses

UNITED KINGDOM
9 News (Australia)

The head of a Catholic order of nuns in the UK has admitted to an inquiry that proper follow-up on the care of child migrants the order sent to Australia could have protected them from sexual abuse.

Sister Anna Maria Doolan, the UK Superior for the Sisters of Nazareth, on Thursday gave evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse sitting in London.

The inquiry is examining the sexual abuse of children sent to church or charity-run farm schools in Australia up to the 1970s.

It has heard that children were regularly beaten and humiliated, poorly fed and clothed and used as virtual slave labour on farms, with the Christian Brothers in Western Australia among the worst offenders.

That Catholic order actively sought boys from the Sisters of Nazareth in the UK.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Sydney rabbi sues Australian Jewish News over alleged defamation on child abuse comments

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Harriet Alexander

On day four of his defamation action against the Australian Jewish News, the rabbi began to pace.

It was complicated to explain why he said he did not know it was a crime to touch a child's genitals and what he meant when he said rabbis should deal with allegations of child abuse internally.

Yosef Yitzchak Feldman's frustration had apparently overwhelmed his ability to sit still.

Justice Lucy McCallum addressed his barrister. "Mr Cohen, I'm finding your client's pacing around and going to the side of the courtroom very distracting," she said.

The rabbi sat.

Mr Feldman is suing Polaris Media Pty Ltd, publisher of the Australian Jewish News [AJN], for three articles printed during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which reported him giving evidence that he did not know that it was illegal for a man to touch the genitals of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

Ricatto hot all’ex parroco, estorsore condannato a 4 anni

ITALIA
Il Giorno

[A Moroccan, 32, blackmailed priest Mario Cardinetti, former pastor of Cava Manara, after they had a year-long affair. Abdellatif Eddari was sentenced to four years in prison.]

di NICOLETTA PISANU

Pavia, 12 luglio 2017 - Un ricatto a luci rosse andato avanti per quasi dieci anni, ai danni di un prete. Abdellatif Eddari, marocchino di 32 anni, è stato condannato a quattro anni di reclusione e duemila euro di multa per estorsione. La vittima è don Mario Cardinetti, ex parroco di Cava Manara, con cui l’imputato ha avuto una relazione durata circa un anno.

Arrivato in Italia nel 1997, l’imputato aveva conosciuto il sacerdote, si era avvicinato a lui per ricevere aiuti. Poi, era nata una relazione, al termine della quale Eddari ha minacciato e ricattato il sacerdote. Gli diceva di essere in possesso di un video che lo immortalava mentre si rivestiva al termine di uno dei loro incontri intimi e che lo avrebbe divulgato se non gli avesse dato il denaro richiesto. Allo stesso modo, lo minacciava di fare irruzione in chiesa durante la messa per rivelare a tutti i parrocchiani la loro relazione.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Criminal investigation to be launched into St. Paul’s School

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

By Danny McDonald GLOBE STAFF JULY 13, 2017

Following new reports of sexual misconduct at St. Paul’s School, authorities in New Hampshire Thursday announced a criminal investigation into the elite boarding school.

New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald’s office, Concord police, and New Hampshire State Police will conduct the investigation, authorities said in a statement released Thursday night.

The investigation will initially focus on whether the school engaged in conduct that endangered the welfare of a child, the attorney general’s office said in the statement. That office will also investigate whether the school violated a law that prohibits obstructing criminal investigations.

“Protection of children is a paramount priority for law enforcement,” said MacDonald in the statement. “I am confident that an institution such as St. Paul’s School will be fully cooperative with this investigation as it has pledged that ‘[t]he safety and well-being of all students remains [its] highest priority.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Is a fair trial possible? Catholic voices on Cardinal Pell’s return to Australia

AUSTRALIA
Asian Correspondent

By Jo Lane | 14th July 2017

FEARS expressed by senior lawyers that Cardinal George Pell would not get a fair hearing on historic sexual offences were echoed within the Australian Catholic community this week when the nation’s highest-serving Catholic returned from Rome on Monday for his July 18 court appearance.

Pell has been serving as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy at the Vatican, the third most senior Catholic at the Vatican, and previously gave evidence in Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He has strenuously denied the allegations that involve multiple complainants.

Asian Correspondent spoke to Catherine Smibert, a journalist who grew up in Pell’s hometown of Ballarat where he served as a priest from 1973 to 1983. Smibert was also employed by the Vatican media in Rome for eight years.

Speaking from her personal and working knowledge of Cardinal Pell she said, “I genuinely question the capacity for a fair trial.” She said he had been “persecuted unfairly” and the charges were “the grosses miscarriage of justice”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

South Florida Youth Pastor Accused of Sex Battery on Girl, 15

FLORIDA
NBC Miami

A South Florida youth pastor is facing sexual battery charges after police say he began a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Fernando Misael Ponce, 24, was arrested in Miami Wednesday on 20 counts of lewd and lascivious battery and one count of possession of sexual performance by a child, according to an arrest report.

The report said Ponce, who lives in Miramar, was the girl's youth pastor at Sembrador De Fe Church on Northwest 21st Avenue in Miami. When the girl was between 11 and 12, Ponce showed interest in her but the victim's mother intervened and told him to stay away from her, the report said.

But when the girl was 14, Ponce secretly asked her to be his girlfriend and they began a relationship, the report said. For 8 to 9 months they had a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship and engaged in sexual activity, according to the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

A Question of Accountability: Cardinal Pell

NEW ZEALAND
Scoop

Friday, 14 July 2017

Article: Binoy Kampmark

The Catholic Church, much in the manner of a modern corporation, is a sprawling edifice of operations and functions. To hold part of it accountable for abuses – against human, bank account, or country – has presented a formidable legal obstacle.

This nightmare has taken place amidst a broader question: the extent Church officials believe they are accountable to secular justice, or those ordained by the Church itself. St. Augustine’s point was clear enough: of the two sovereignties – that of the City of Man, or that of God – the latter would prevail.

Apologies for the specific issue of clerical child abuse have issued over the last decade. In 2003, Pope John Paul II, hardly a man known for his progressive tidings, suggested there was “no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young.” In July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, on a visit to Australia, issued a specific apology for the past abusive conduct by the church’s Australian clergy, demanding reparations and punishment as a response. But the wheels of justice have not so much grinded slowly as indiscernibly.

In an unprecedented move, Cardinal George Pell, termed by author Gianluigi Nuzzi “the ambitious bulldog from Sydney,” and one present at the penitent moments of Benedict XVI’s apology, has made his way to Australia to face what are termed “historical sex offences”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Archdiocese now facing 91 sex abuse lawsuits

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera July 14, 2017

Three of the cases are against Louis Brouillard while two of the cases are against Raymond Cepeda.

Guam – Another five lawsuits were filed against the Archdiocese of Agana, making the total count of sex abuse cases 91.

Three of the five are against former priest Father Louis Brouillard while two of the cases are against defrocked Santa Barbara priest Raymond Cepeda.

The first three cases filed Thursday against the Archdiocese of Agana have similar allegations of sexual abuse.

W.E.T., 58, says back in the early 1970s when he was between the ages of 11 to 13, Malojloj Parish priest Louis Brouillard, who was also a Boy Scout master at the time, routinely molested him and other boy scout members at the convent and during swimming lessons.

Next is 50-year-old P.P.R. who claims that when he was about 9 years old, Brouillard molested him during swimming trips and at a room behind the altar of the Barrigada Parish. P.P.R. says Brouillard coerced him by telling him “it was a sin if P.P.R. didn’t do as Brouillard asked.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Vatican to judge hospital officials for diversion of pediatric funds

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

2017-07-13

The doors of the civil court of the Vatican City State will soon be reopened. Thus, all eyes will be focused on the ex-president and the ex-treasurer of the Bambino Gesu Hospital foundation, who have been charged with diversion of funds.

Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina are accused of having taken 422,000 euros from the foundation to restructure Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's attic.

The court has stated that the apartment had nothing to do with the foundation, but they made this renovations to benefit a Roman builder.

The main accused said it was an investment for the hospital, because the cardinal's private apartment was to host high-level meetings seeking donations.

The first hearing will be on July 18, and if they do not appear, they will be judged in contempt, as an act of disregarding the court authority.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

July 13, 2017

Former worship director accused of 'virtual sex acts' with children

FLORIDA
Citrus County Chronicle

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The former worship director at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church was arrested Thursday morning on various sex-related charges, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office has announced.
.
Chad Robison, 36, of Hernando, was charged with video voyeurism, lewd and lascivious exhibition and knowingly promoting sexual performance by a child, the sheriff’s office said in a press release. His bond was set at $26,000.

Robison, who served in the position from 2011 to 2017, reportedly had more than 3,000 illicit videos and 350,000 illicit pictures on a laptop discovered by a coworker in May. The photos and videos reportedly showed young girls performing “virtual sex acts” with Robison, according to the release. He is also accused of videotaping girls using the restroom at his home without their knowledge.

“We believe there could be multiple victims. Some may be local here in Citrus County, and others across the states and abroad,” said Major Crimes Capt. Brian Spiddle. “It’s going to be a very difficult and long process to find those who have been victimized by this man.”

The sheriff’s office is asking parents, parishoners and anyone victimized by Robison to contact its Major Crimes division by calling 352-726-1121.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Citrus sheriff seeks to ID young victims of Seven Rivers church leader

FLORIDA
The Gainesville Sun

Sheriff Mike Prendergast described Chad Robison as “a textbook case of an online sexual predator.”

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office is seeking to identify girls targeted by online sex crime suspect Chad Robison, 36, the former worship director at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto.

Sheriff’s officials said he victimized girls online using the chat website Omegle.

They have found hundreds of videos featuring “young girls performing virtual sex acts with Robison,” a CCSO press release states.

Sheriff Mike Prendergast described him as “a textbook case of an online sexual predator.”

Robison, who worked at Seven Rivers from 2011 to 2017, is charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition, one count of knowingly promoting sexual performance by a child; and three counts of video voyeurism for own use, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Citrus Co. church leader arrested for child porn secretly recorded girls in bathroom, cops say

FLORIDA
WFLA

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A church leader in Citrus County is accused of possessing child porn and recording young girls as they used the bathroom.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office says a coworker found videos and inappropriate images on a laptop belonging to 36-year-old Chad Everett Robison, who worked as the worship director at Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto.

Detectives later discovered child pornography on Robison’s personal and work computers.

At a press conference Thursday, detectives said Robison had placed a camouflaged camera on the counter inside a bathroom at his home and recorded young girls using the restroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Four former teachers are charged over sex abuse claims at Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham

UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

Flora Thompson

FOUR former teachers at a private school have been charged with non-recent sexual offences.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place at Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham.

Jayne Cioffi, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Four men, all former teachers at Christ’s Hospital School, were informed that they have been charged with non-recent sexual offences.

“Having carefully considered the evidence in this case, we have concluded that in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute.” ...

The Christian school is in the diocese formerly overseen by Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball who served a 32-month sentence for abusing 18 young men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Finance council: 41 church properties ‘on the block’

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post Jul 13, 2017

Forty-one properties owned by the Archdiocese of Agana have been deemed "non-essential" and will be the first to be liquidated if and when additional money is needed for settlement negotiations with litigants in the pending clergy sex abuse cases against the church.

Archdiocesan Finance Council President Richard Untalan told media during the third press conference held this week that "thousands of man-hours" went into compiling a list of all church properties.

The finance council provided media with two lists of properties marked "essential" and "non-essential."

"The Guam Catholic Church essential properties is defined as such: the church buildings and the surrounding grounds, the schools and the surrounding grounds, Kamalin Karidat, Catholic Social Service and surrounding grounds and four leasehold properties that we consider essential to maintaining the operation of the chancery and this archdiocese," Untalan said. "Everything else falls under non-essential."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Victim alleges sex abuse before grandma's funeral

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post Jul 13, 2017

Attorney David Lujan filed five more clergy sex abuse lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Agana, Boy Scouts of America and two former Guam priests in federal court yesterday afternoon.

One of the cases alleges defrocked priest Raymond Cepeda abused a boy after officiating the funeral Mass for the boy's deceased grandmother, and while in a car ride to the burial site.

The latest cases also added more cases against former Guam priest Louis Brouillard.

With the complaints filed by W.E.T., R.W.J. and P.P.R., the number of individuals who have come forward accusing Brouillard of child sexual abuse now totals 52.

As with the previously filed cases, the three newest plaintiffs accusing Brouillard also name the Boy Scouts of America Chamorro District as a co-defendant. They are seeking $10 million each in damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Friar who once served Pittsburgh diocese accused of sex abuse in N.H.

PENNSYLVANIA
Trib Live

JASON CATO | Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh this week notified parishes and alumni of a high school that a priest who worked there is accused of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Michael Ledoux, 55, a Franciscan friar, served as pastor of St. Pamphilus in Beechview from 1993-95; headmaster of Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport from 1995 to 2000; and worked as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University from 1997 through 2000.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this month that Ledoux resigned in July as a dean at Widener University in Chester because school officials learned of a 2003 allegation that he sexually abused a teenage boy in the 1980s in New Hampshire.

Ledoux could not be reached for comment. ...

A lawyer representing the New Hampshire accuser contacted church officials in January 2003, saying that Ledoux sexually abused a teen boy in 1987 or 1988. A Catholic Diocese of Manchester, N.H., report states that Ledoux's Franciscan order learned of the allegations in 2002.

The diocese forwarded the complaint to the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office. Authorities never filed charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Church foresees full resolution of clergy abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com July 13, 2017

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes said the church is looking forward to a full and complete resolution of all clergy sexual abuse cases, as he acknowledged the nine latest accusers on Thursday.

"The abuse of children is one of the most horrible of crimes, precisely because it is perpetrated upon the most vulnerable and innocent among us by people of power and so-called trust. Let no one diminish victims of abuse, for they have already suffered immensely," Byrnes said in a statement that also offers prayers, hope and healing for the latest victims, A.Q., B.C., T.M., F.A.M., M.M., R.M.S., R.P., J.A. and S.N.J.C.

The Archdiocese of Agana is now facing 91 childhood sexual abuse cases in local and federal court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Ex-Bishop McDevitt teacher gets prison in student-sex case

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Matt Miller mmiller@pennlive.com

A former Bishop McDevitt High School teacher was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in Dauphin County Prison on Thursday morning for molesting two of her female students.

President Judge Richard A. Lewis imposed that penalty after 34-year-old Randi Lynn Zurenko begged for mercy for the sake of her five children.

Zurenko, of Millerstown, Perry County, pleaded guilty to a legion of charges, including institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors, possessing child pornography and disseminating obscene material to minors.

She was arrested last fall after one of the victims went to police and described years of sexual and psychological abuse at Zerenko's hands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

VATICAN SETS TRIAL FOR 2 EX-ADMINISTRATORS OF HOSPITAL

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Vatican prosecutors have indicted the former president and ex-treasurer of the Vatican-owned children's hospital for allegedly diverting money from the hospital's fundraising foundation to pay for renovating a top cardinal's apartment.

The indictment released Thursday orders Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina to stand trial in the Vatican tribunal starting next Tuesday.

The indictment accuses the two of using 422,000 euros ($481,000) from the Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital's fundraising foundation to pay for renovating Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's apartment starting in 2013, when he retired as Vatican secretary of state.

Profiti, whose administration was the subject of a recent AP investigation into quality of care problems at the "pope's hospital," has admitted to the payment but said it was an investment so that the foundation could use the apartment for fundraising events.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:07 AM

Former administrators of Bambino Gesù Foundation indicted

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See Press Office has issued a statement concerning indictments for embezzlement of funds from the Bambino Gesù Foundation, which exists to support the work of the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital.

The Statement says the former President of the Foundation, Giuseppe Profiti, and the former Treasurer of the same Foundation, Massimo Spina, were summoned to appear before the court to answer charges that they diverted more than four hundred thousand euro (€400,000) belonging to the Foundation.

The charges were brought by the Office of the Promoter for Justice, the Vatican prosecutor, at the end of a preliminary investigation into the misuses of Foundation funds. A preliminary hearing has been set for Tuesday, 18 July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

Former president, treasurer of Pope’s hospital charged with misuse of funds

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

By Hannah Brockhaus

Vatican City, Jul 13, 2017 / 06:22 am (CNA).- The Vatican announced Thursday that an investigation involving the former president and treasurer of the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome will proceed to trial before the Vatican court.

The former president, Giuseppe Profiti, and former treasurer, Massimo Spina, have been charged with the illicit use of hospital funds in the amount of 422,005.16 euros ($480,600.58) for the refurbishment of the apartment where Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone lives.

The crime is said to have been carried out during the period of November 2013-May 28, 2014 and to have benefited the construction firm of Italian businessman Gianantonio Bandera, which was carrying out the renovations on the apartment.

Profiti and Spina were summoned to appear before the court by a June 16, 2017 decree from the president of the Vatican Tribunal, Giuseppe Dalla Torre. The first hearing will take place July 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Vatican charges two ex-officials over funding for Cardinal Bertone's apartment

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jul. 13, 2017

ROME

Vatican prosecutors are pressing charges against two former leaders of the Vatican-run Bambino Gesu hospital for allegedly redirecting funds from the hospital's foundation to pay for renovations of former Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's apartment.

The Vatican announced indictments July 13 against Giuseppe Profiti, the former president of the hospital, and Massimo Spina, its former treasurer. The two have been ordered to stand trial starting July 18.

The announcement alleges the two ex-officials "used money belonging to the Bambino Gesu Foundation in an illicit way." It specifies that they allegedly paid more than 422,000 euros "to restore a building ... meant as the residence of the emeritus Secretary of State."

The Vatican had announced the investigation of Profiti and Spina in March 2016. Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See Press Office, said at the time that Bertone himself was not facing inquiry.

While Bertone has not admitted any guilt in the matter, he made a large donation of 150,000 euros to the Bambino Gesu in December 2015 after a book published in Italy detailed the spending on his apartment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Vatican hospital officials indicted for funding cardinal's flat

VATICAN CITY
Metro

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A Holy See tribunal has indicted two former top officials of a children's hospital on charges of diverting nearly half a million dollars to renovate the apartment of a high-ranking cardinal, the Vatican said on Thursday.

The two, Giuseppe Profiti and Massimo Spina, respectively the former president and treasurer of the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, were ordered to stand trial, a statement said. The first hearing was set for July 18.

The indictment accuses the two men of spending 422,000 euros ($481,000) in 2013 and 2014 on refurbishing the large Vatican apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was not indicted.

Profiti and Spina made no immediate comment.

Bertone, 82, was the Vatican secretary of state for most of the pontificate of former Pope Benedict and was one of the most powerful men in the Holy See.

He was removed from office in 2013, eight months after the election of Pope Francis. The renovation work started a few weeks later on the spacious property, which is next door to the Vatican guest house, where the pope lives in a modest suite.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY PRESENTS UNCOVERING TRUTHS

MASSACHUSETTS
Salem State Univeristy via BishopAccountability.org

with filmmaker Joe Cultrera and investigative reporter Mike Rezendes

THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017

6:30 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm)
Admission is free but seating is limited
Salem Visitors Center,
2 New Liberty Street,
Salem, MA

Please join us for a riveting conversation between documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Salem Film Fest Joe Cultrera and Michael Rezendes, an investigative reporter with the Boston Globe Spotlight Team who shared a Pulitzer Prize for revealing the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Preceded by a special screening of Cultrera’s deeply personal documentary HAND OF GOD, this conversation will focus on the documentarian/journalist role in uncovering truths as seen through the lens of a scandal that rocked the Salem community and the nation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Church properties on the chopping block identified

GUAM
Pacific News Center

The Redemptoris Mater Seminary property in Yona has the highest value amongst the properties the church owns.

Guam – The Archdiocese of Agana has identified a total of 86 properties so far it owns of which 41 are on the chopping block as part of settlement negotiations. However, at this point, the church does not want to disclose the value of those properties

Two days after the Archdiocese of Agana announced their intention to assess parishes and schools additional charges in order to raise $2.5 million for their 2018 operating budget, today they disclosed the number of properties they have at their disposal.

Archdiocesan Finance Council President Richard Untalan and other members of the finance council handed out a listing of properties the Archdiocese owns. There are a total of 86 they have identified so far.

The list is divided into two: essential and non-essential properties. Essential properties are, for the most part, parishes and schools, as well as four lease-hold properties that include the San Vitores shrine, the Civille and Tang law office building, the Epicure building and the FHP lease property. These properties are not available for sale or liquidation and are “essential” to the archdiocese in order to operate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

5 new clergy sex abuse suits name Cepeda, Brouillard

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com July 13, 2017

Five new Guam clergy sex abuse cases were filed in federal court Thursday, accusing former priest Louis Brouillard and defrocked priest Raymond Cepeda of molesting boys decades ago.

The five plaintiffs, represented by attorney David Lujan, bring to 91 the total number of childhood sexual abuse lawsuits filed so far in local or federal courts against the Archdiocese of Agana. Priests, the Boy Scouts of America and other entities are also listed as defendants in the lawsuits.

Plaintiffs identified in court documents only as N.P.J.D. and B.B.J., to protect their privacy, alleged that Cepeda abused them. They demand a jury trial and $5 million in minimum damages each.

N.P.J.D., now 50, said he was 12 or 13 around 1979 or 1980 when Cepeda molested him. The boy was a student at Santa Barbara Catholic School in Dededo, according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Confesor y pedófilo: el Vaticano le iniciará un juicio canónico al cura acusado de abuso

ARGENTINA
TN

[Confessor and pedophile: The Vatican will initiate a canonical trial to the priest accused of abuse.
In addition to the process he faces in Justice, Carlos José will be investigated by the church.]

Dos jóvenes del colegio de la parroquia San José Obrero de Caseros aseguran haber sido víctimas de abuso desde los 10 años. Las chicas, que no se conocen entre sí, denunciaron que el culpable es el sacerdote Carlos José. Acorralado por las acusaciones, el cura renunció a su cargo. Tras la difusión mediática del caso, esta tarde se conoció que el Vaticano le hará un juicio canónico.

Carlos José, además, enfrenta un juicio penal por abuso sexual sufrido por dos chicas, que ahora son mayores, pero que al momento del delito tenían 10 años. Ayer se supo que el cura renunció hace 15 días, cuando supo que la información iba a trascender en la televisión.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

En Argentina, ya son 65 los curas denunciados por abuso

ARGENTINA
Sin Mordaza

[In Argentina, there are already 65 priests denounced for abuse.]

La Iglesia argentina agregó un nuevo pedófilo a su extensa historia de abusos contra menores al conocerse la denuncia contra el cura Carlos José, quien hoy renunció al sacerdocio, con lo que ya suman 65 los miembros denunciados por abuso sexual desde que en 2002 estalló el escándalo del cura Julio César Grassi. De esta manera, en la Argentina más de cuatro curas son denunciados, en promedio, cada año por haber cometido abuso y de todos ellos, hasta ahora, sólo tres fueron condenados con la máxima pena dentro de la Iglesia, la expulsión del sacerdocio.

Dos mujeres contaron los abusos a los que las sometió el ex sacerdote José cuando eran menores hace más de una década. El cura, quien se desempeñaba en el colegio San Francisco Javier, en la localidad bonaerense de Caseros, está acusado por los delitos de abuso sexual simple y agravado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Records: Priest admitted in 2007 to using parish checks for home construction

MICHIGAN
Lansing State Journal

Beth LeBlanc, Lansing State Journal

July 12, 2017

A decade before he was charged with embezzlement, Rev. Jonathan Wehrle admitted to writing checks from St. Martha Parish to pay for the construction of his $1.48 million home.

In November 2007, Wehrle told lawyer Michael Ryan that at times he transferred money from his personal accounts to the church’s account, then issued checks from the church’s account for personal use.

“Why would you do that?” Ryan asked, according to the transcript from the 2007 deposition.

“Convenience,” Wehrle said.

Police and prosecutors have alleged Wehrle used money from St. Martha Parish to pay for work and materials at his Williamston home. At a hearing last week, Assistant Ingham County Prosecutor Andrew Stevens said an ongoing audit estimates about $5 million is missing from the parish.

Wehrle's attorney argues there was an understanding between Wehrle and the Diocese of Lansing regarding use of parish funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Cardinal George Pell hires 'Australia's best lawyer' to fight historic sex charges for rumoured $11,000 a day - and underworld figure Mick Gatto has 'his name tattooed across his chest'

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Josh Hanrahan For Daily Mail Australia

The top lawyer who will defend Cardinal George Pell against his multiple charges of historic sexual offences has successfully defended hitmen and underworld figures.

Robert Richter, QC, will be the face of the defence for Australia's top ranking catholic when his looming court date arrives after returning to Victoria from the Vatican City.

Having made a name for himself defending Mick Gatto over the shooting of Andrew 'Benji' Veniamin at the height of the underworld war, it's believed Mr Richter is in line to be paid $11,000 a day for defending Cardinal Pell, Nine News reports.

In 2004 the 71-year-old successfully convinced a jury Gatto's shooting of Veniamin was in self-defence, leading to the notorious 'Big Mick' being acquitted of murder.

After the trial, a thrilled Gatto went and got 'Robert Richter' tattooed on his chest.

Known as 'The Red Baron', Mr Richter's work has be described as 'sheer brilliance' by his peers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Clinton youth pastor arrested for indecent behavior with a juvenile

LOUISIANA
WAFB

By Samantha Morgan, Digital Content Executive Producer

ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) -
A youth pastor is facing criminal charges for an alleged sexual relationship he had with a female when she was a juvenile.

According to the Zachary Police Department, detectives arrested and charged Clayton Hand, 25, and charged him with indecent behavior with a juvenile.

The investigation against Head as launched in May 2017 after allegations about inappropriate relationships surfaced.

Zachary Police Chief David McDavid confirms that three victims came forward with allegations. However, investigators were only able to confirm that one victim was underage at the time the contact occurred.

The alleged relationship occurred roughly four years ago.

Hand is a youth pastor at a church located in Clinton, but the interaction between Hand and the teen happened in the Zachary area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

Former youth minister will stand trial on sexual assault charges

PENNSYLVANIA
WPXI

A former Mt. Lebanon youth pastor will stand trial on charges that he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl he was supposed to mentor.

Channel 11 first reported on Monday that Nicholas Lies, 21, worked at Southminster Church last year when investigators said he was with the teen.

Court paperwork said the sexual abuse started in April of 2016 and continued for five months.

Most of the incidents happened inside Lies' car at Bird Park, less than a mile from the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Guam's Catholic church could sell 41 properties to settle clergy abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com July 13, 2017

The Guam Catholic church's financial arm on Thursday released a list of 41 non-essential properties that could be sold to help settle more than 90 Guam clergy sexual abuse cases.

The most valuable of the assets are the former Accion Hotel, which now houses the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, the chancery complex where the archbishop lives, and the former Thomas Aquinas High School in Ordot, the Archdiocesan Finance Council said.

The seminary in Yona has been run by the Neocatechumenal Way. Richard Untalan, president of the council, said matters related to the seminary are being handled by the Seminary Review Committee. He said the property is available as part of the settlement process, but the property has not been appraised for quite a while.

The Archdiocese of Agana is facing 91 childhood sexual abuse cases in local or federal court.

The archdiocese, through its Hope and Healing initiative, is trying to settle the sexual abuse cases out of court. Parties have yet to decide which retired California judge will handle the mediation, said attorney David Lujan, counsel for most plaintiffs, on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Claretians Roman Catholic Order Settles Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

ILLINOIS
NBC Chicago

The Claretians Roman Catholic order has settled a lawsuit from a man sexually abused as a 6-year-old by a teenager who later became a prominent priest in Chicago, confirming in the settlement obtained by The Associated Press that the longtime cleric recently left the priesthood.

But Bruce Wellems, 60, still works as executive director of a non-profit that offers youth mentoring, alternative schooling and other programs for children, according to a staff list at the Peace and Education Coalition. Its head office is also located in the same southwest side Chicago church where he served as priestfor two decades.

The settlement was signed in May and not released publicly. It does not say exactly when Wellems asked to be released from the priesthood but it would have been since the lawsuit was filed in September.

The Chicago-based Claretians did not agree to one request of the now 52-year-old victim, Eric Johnson, that the order release records of all its priests credibly accused of sexual abuse, as several other Catholic orders have done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

U.S.-based Nigerian pastor jailed 15 years for raping two teenage church members

NEW YORK
Africa News

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

NIGERIA
A 56-year-old United States-based Nigerian pastor has been jailed 15 years for raping two teenage girls who were part of his congregation.

Aside serving jail time, Reuben Chizor, of the Hope Restoration Ministries Worldwide Inc. Will also have 10 years of post release supervision.

According to the District Attorney of Queens County, Richard A. Brown, Chizor raped both girls in the basement of his church which also served as his residence.

‘‘The sexual abuse began with the 14-year-old victim in July 2011 and continued with one or both of the girls through May of 2013,’‘ a statement from the Attorney’s office read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Abuse victim urges NSW Government to hurry up and sign up to National Redress Scheme

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Elloise Farrow-Smith

When Robbie Gambley was a boy, he dreamed of cars. Driving them, fixing them, owning them.

His abuser used that passion, turning a boy's dream into a predator's advantage, and life into a nightmare for Mr Gambley.

After he was abused by his school teacher, Mr Gambley lost his way to drugs and alcohol and the dream of being a mechanic disappeared in a haze of guilt and shame.

For 25 years, Mr Gambley hid the truth of what his male school science teacher did to him.

His young life became ruled by excessive expressions of masculinity, in a bid to erase the memory of his abuser.

Throughout the late 1970s and early 80s, Mr Gambley drank heavily, used drugs, and rode motorbikes with reckless abandon. He reflects upon this as his death wish, a way to end the pain.

"I lived with this by myself and it had a massive effect," he said.

"I never married, I haven't got children, that's a great sadness to me now."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Statute Of Limitations On Child Abuse Cases Should Be Longer

NEW YORK
Post-Journal

Editorial

Rarely does a month go by without us having to publish a police or court report involving an adult who has victimized a child sexually.

It was only a few short weeks ago we reported charges against a Cassadaga man accused of alleged sexual conduct with a child under the age of 11. There are enough such cases for Patrick Swanson, county district attorney, to suggest adding money to his budget next year to assign a prosecutor solely to sexual crimes against children.

New York state has tough penalties for those who victimize children, but clearly criminal penalties for those who prey on children are not sufficient to deter some. And, we know that sometimes it can take years for young victims to process what happened to them. Under current law, the statute of limitations begins when the victim turns 18. Under the Child Victims Act, approved in the state Assembly, in cases involving a felony sex crime against a minor that have a statute of limitations for criminal prosecution, the limitations period would have begun when the victim turned 23 years of age while the statute of limitations for civil cases would be extended until the victim turns 50. Both Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda, voted in favor of the change, but a companion bill didn’t make it out of the state Senate’s Rules Committee.

If there is a good reason why the Senate chose not to take action we’d like to hear it. If there is none, then we expect the state Senate should give the Child Victims Act a fair airing on the Senate floor when the legislature convenes its next session.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

The great and good shouldn’t stoke conspiracies

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

David Aaronovitch

The child abuse inquiry and the Grenfell investigation are undermined by remarks from those who should know better

Dark Forces eh? True, Professor Alexis Jay, head of the infinite Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, did not actually use this phrase. But, deployed in the headline above an interview she gave at the weekend, it conveyed her meaning. Dark Forces wanted her to fail.

Professor Jay actually told her questioner that “strong vested interests would like to see this inquiry implode”. And she continued: “There are institutions which would prefer to see us fail, because we are such a threat.”

I’d say “dark forces” covers that. Especially since Professor Jay did not offer any suggestion as to who or what these vested interests were, or indeed cite any evidence she had for the claim that they wanted her to fail. I did call the inquiry press office for some elaboration and was told politely that, “We’re not going beyond the interview but thanks for getting in touch”.

Professor Jay will be able to get in contact and put me straight if she does have answers. At the same time she could deal with my contention that, deliberately or not, she created the impression that these dark forces may have tried to undermine the inquiry. In other words that “they” had helped to contrive accusations of sexual misconduct on the part of one of the lawyers associated with the inquiry as a way of killing off the whole thing. (By the way, both the lawyer and Professor Jay herself have been exonerated recently in separate inquiries.)

This return to the language of conspiracism was unfortunate. Because, among all the genuine revelations of historical institutional child abuse (most child abuse, lest we forget, is not institutional), there have been a number of elaborate conspiracy theories about “VIP” abuse and its supposed cover-up. From the Geoffrey Dickens “dossier” to the accusations of murder by the fantasist “Nick” against Harvey Proctor, Lord Brittan, Lord Bramall and Sir Edward Heath, these cases have wasted time, diverted attention and blighted the lives of the innocent.

These phenomena have caused collateral damage to the inquiry. But its underlying problem is nothing to do with vested interests, dark forces or powerful individuals. It is that its scope is far too great and stretches from offering a therapeutic function for victims to discovering the truth; its expense — it employs 200 staff — is huge; the opportunity cost in terms of official time is vast; and its value to present and future sufferers of child abuse is likely to be negligible. Indeed, in her weekend interview Professor Jay more or less suggested that she already knew what the patterns of historical institutional child abuse had been.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Seminary is first church property that could be sold

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 13, 2017

By Krystal Paco

It's been at the center of controversy and divide amongst traditional Catholics and members of the Neocatechumenal Way. The Redemptoris Mater Seminary has been under fire for years, critics questioning the credibility of the seminary and the quality of the priests being formed there.

While it has yet to be formally appraised, KUAM files show the RMS is estimated to value up to $75 million and likely the Church's most valuable asset.

Today, Church officials confirm the Yona property is the first on a list of properties that could be sold to pay out the multimillion dollar sex abuse lawsuits now plaguing the Church.

The Archdiocese of Agana presented an inventory of their properties today, mostly to depict what could be sold to pay for the 80-plus sex abuse lawsuits filed against the Church.

Unsurprisingly, the Redemptoris Mater Seminary at the top of the list of 41 potential properties listed as non-essential.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

WA bishop hired paedophile priest despite previous sex abuse, letters reveals

AUSTRALIA
WA Today

[with documents]

Andrew Elstermann

Documents tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have revealed that Bunbury Bishop John Goody agreed to hire a priest in 1959 - despite knowing he had previously sexually abused a number of boys.

In June 1958, Father William Kevin Glover was removed as a superior and parish priest in Victoria for "immoral and criminal sexual behaviour with boys and male adolescents".

He was given a formal canonical warning and sent to a 30-day penitential retreat in Armidale, NSW.

Having been assigned a new parish, Glover was brought to Sydney in July 1959 and given a second canonical warning for committing similar offences.

Despite this, an agreement was reached in early September that Father Glover would be accepted into the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury on a three-year trial, following an appeal for priests from Bunbury's Bishop Goody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

How the Catholic Church's hierarchy makes it difficult to punish sexual abusers

UNITED STATES
SFGate

Mathew Schmalz, College of the Holy Cross
Thursday, July 13, 2017

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) Cardinal George Pell, a top adviser to Pope Francis, returned to his native Australia July 10 to face criminal charges related to sexual assault. While the specific allegations and names of the accusers have not been made public, Cardinal Pell maintains that he has been a victim of “character assassination.” His case will be decided by an Australian court.

This is not the first time the Catholic Church has been rocked by charges of sexual abuse. While reforms in the Catholic Church in the United States have made it mandatory for priests to report instances of sexual abuse, there still remains much work to be done in the Catholic Church worldwide.

From my perspective as a Catholic scholar of religion, one of the challenges in tackling this issue is the hierarchy of the church itself. It is still difficult to hold high-ranking clerics responsible, either for the misdeeds of their subordinates or for the crimes that they may have committed themselves.

At the top of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy is the pope. He is said to be the successor of the Apostle Peter, about whom Christ said, “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church.”

For Catholics, the pope is that “rock” that gives the church a firm foundation. The pope is considered to speak infallibly, “without error,” under specific conditions concerning doctrine and morals. But he is not infallible when it comes to personal judgment such as whom he chooses to get advice from.

Under the pope are bishops, who serve the pope as successors to the original 12 apostles who followed Jesus.

There are also cardinals, who are appointed by the pope, and only they can elect his successor.

Cardinals also govern the church between papal elections. Cardinals rank higher than bishops, so not all bishops are cardinals. But now all cardinals are bishops, although in the past there have been exceptions. George Pell is both a bishop and a cardinal, as well as the third-ranking official at the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Christian Brothers sell former Clonkeen College playing fields

IRELAND
Irish Times

Áine McMahon

The Christian Brothers have sold the 7.5 acres of land that was previously used as playing pitches by Clonkeen College in south Dublin.

It emerged last month that the school had been told on May 3rd a “legally binding” contract had been entered into with local homebuilder Patrick Durkan snr, to sell the playing fields for a reported €18 million.

Negotiations for the sale had been ongoing for 12 months, without the school’s knowledge.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton on Wednesday confirmed the land has been sold in response to a parliamentary question from Labour TD Joan Burton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Christian Brothers sell Dublin school pitches to raise money for clerical abuse compensation schem

IRELAND
Breaking News

13/07/2017

Playing pitches at a south Dublin school, which were controversially put on the market, have been sold.

Parents and staff at Clonkeen College in Deansgrange had tried to block the sale of the 7.5 acres for housing.

The Christian Brothers said they needed to raise money for a compensation scheme for survivors of abuse.

Local politicians unsuccessfully tried to have the land rezoned so it could only be used for recreational purposes.

Cardinal 'knew about priest's conviction'

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

JULY 13, 2017

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

Australia's first Catholic cardinal suspended a priest who exposed himself to children but the man later returned to parish work and allegedly abused a boy, documents before a royal commission reveal.

The Catholic Church's insurance company refused to cover a claim that Father Robert Alban McNeill abused a boy in the 1980s because of Sydney archdiocese's prior knowledge in 1969/1970 of "the offender's propensities".

A 2004 Catholic Church Insurances Ltd letter to the Diocese of Broken Bay said Fr McNeill's 1970 conviction for sexual offences involving children was brought to then Sydney archbishop Sir Norman Thomas Gilroy's attention at the time.

The 1940-1971 Sydney archbishop became the first Australian-born member of the Sacred College of Cardinals in 1946 and was the 1970 Australian of the Year.

Tendered documents released by the child abuse royal commission show Fr McNeill was fined for exposing himself to children in 1969 and 1970 when he said he was suffering from depression and a nervous breakdown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

July 12, 2017

Cocaine Found in Raid at Vatican Apartment is the Latest Scandal to Rock the Vatican

UNITED STATES
The Legal Examiner

Posted by Mark Bello
July 12, 2017

It is no secret that the Vatican has been sweeping the issue of pedophilia under the rug for many years. As many of my readers know, I provide a vivid, albeit fictional, account of the Church’s ‘conspiracy of silence’ in my recent clergy abuse legal thriller, “Betrayal of Faith.” But, fact can often mirror fiction- in 2014, the UN issued a scathing report, blasting the Vatican for protecting pedophiles.

On the heels of Cardinal George Pell being charged with child sex abuse, another scandal has been uncovered in Rome.

According to reports, Vatican police raided an apartment owned by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and discovered that a drug-fueled homosexual orgy was taking place. The CDF is the branch that reviews appeals from clergy found guilty of sexual abuse of minors.

Police became suspicious after neighbors (all high prelates of the Church) in the building complained repeatedly about “a steady stream of young men” and loud parties during all hours of the night. Msgr. Luigi Capozzi, secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, one of Pope Francis’ key advisors, was arrested in the raid. At the time, Capozzi was allegedly so high on cocaine that he was hospitalized for detoxification. Prior to the raid, Capozzi was slated to become a bishop at Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s recommendation.

There are several unexplained facts about the scandal:

* Reports state that the middle-of-the-night raid happened nearly two months prior, yet not a word was said by Vatican officials. The Italian media broke the story last week after receiving inside information.

* Msgr. Capozzi had an apartment that is officially for use by top officials of the Roman Curia. According to an Italian newspaper, the Monsieur also had access to a car with Vatican plates. Those plates made him virtually exempt from searches by the Italian police; could the vehicle have facilitated the transportation of illegal drugs?

* Despite Capozzi’s arrest months ago, he is still listed as an active staff member on the website of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts.

* After being released from the hospital, Capozzi was taken to an undisclosed monastery outside Rome for a spiritual retreat.

* There is speculation that Cardinal Coccopalmerio knew about the orgies and did nothing about them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Former priest charged with sex abuse in Aurora faces deportation

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Dan Campana
Aurora Beacon-News

Alfredo Pedraza Arias, the former Aurora priest charged with fondling two young girls, has been detained by immigration officials and faces deportation to his native Colombia, court records show.

Arias, 50, has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving the girls who were under the age of 6 at the time of the incidents at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora which occurred between 2012 and 2014, according to Kane County prosecutors.

Arias was free on $50,000 bail until officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took him into custody May 4. A month later, on June 14, he was ordered to be deported, court records show.

In light of that, prosecutors have asked Kane County Judge Linda Abrahamson to revoke or increase Arias' bail to ensure he remained in the country for his trial, which originally was scheduled to begin July 31, but has been continued to a yet-to-be-determined date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

After 'Jewish Taliban' Leader’s Drowning, Young Boy Tells of Abuse: 'This Is Hell'

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Boy, 14, tells of men in Lev Tahor cult, now in Mexico, who ‘undressed me and beat me and kicked me many times. And did bad things to me many times.’

Allison Kaplan Sommer Jul 12, 2017

In the aftermath of the drowning of Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, leader of the “Jewish Taliban” cult Lev Tahor in Mexico, the ultra-Orthodox press in Israel has been rife with reports regarding the location of his funeral and burial, and speculation as to which member of the cult will succeed him as leader of the reclusive group of 40 families believed to be in a remote southern part of Mexico, weeks after fleeing Guatemala, where they had lived for three years.

One ultra-Orthodox website, Kikar HaShabbat, published a short but disturbing video account of life inside the cult recorded in stealth by a 14-year-old member, describing severe abuse at the hands of men in Lev Tahor.

The blurred video showed only the boy’s hat, chest and sidecurls as he gives his testimony from a bowed position in halting Yiddish. The website bleeped the names of the Lev Tahor members he named.

“I’ve lived in Lev Tahor for 12 and a half years and I want to tell you everything,” the boy says. “I’ve been living in this hell that everyone claims is made up and untrue – it is true. I want to tell you about the things that are happening in Lev Tahor.

“I wrote down on a piece of paper all of the things I want to talk about,” he continues. “Bad things are happening here. First, I want to tell about XXXX. He is a bad teacher. He does bad things to children. He hits children, kicks them and does other bad things.”

The boy continues to charge that another member of the group “killed a baby and another man. He hits and kicks all of the children.” He added that the men he named “undressed me and beat me and kicked me many times. And did bad things to me many times. At first, I thought they were good Jews. But then I saw they were bad people.”

Another ultra-Orthodox website, B’Hadrei Haredim, published an interview with a Philadelphia rabbi who said he was in touch with two Lev Tahor members in Mexico. He denied there was abuse in the cult, saying only that they had a “strict regime.” The rabbi told the story of Helbrans’ death, saying that on Friday he was at a river and slipped, hit his head on a rock, was carried away by the current and lost consciousness, and that attempts by his followers to rescue him had been unsuccessful.

Feared Israeli intervention

The rabbi said Helbrans’ body was recovered by Mexican authorities and examined, but no autopsy was performed. Fearing that the Israeli government would intervene and bring Helbrans’ body back to Israel, the rabbi said, Lev Tahor members turned to the mayor of Guatemala City, where they had lived previously, asking him to request the release of the body from Mexico for burial in Guatemala. The rabbi said the entreaties had been successful and that Helbrans had been buried in Guatemala.

The group, the rabbi said, had only crossed the border to Mexico three weeks ago, after three years of living in multiple locations in Guatemala. They left, he said, because they feared apprehension by Israeli authorities. Families of Lev Tahor members have been pressuring the Israeli government for years to assist them in repatriating their relatives, claiming they are being drugged and abused, and that underage girls were regularly married off to older men. The group fled Canada three years ago, after authorities there investigated allegations that Lev Tahor was physically and sexually abusing children, and removed some of them from their homes.

A report in the Yeshiva World News said Helbrans would be succeeded as leader by Rabbi Meir Rosner, reportedly the head of Lev Tahor’s yeshiva.

In a 2014 story on the group in the Canadian press, a former Lev Tahor member charged that Rosner had taken his money, claiming that he wasn’t capable of managing his own finances.

Another story, written the previous year, investigated the cult’s finances, and quoted Rosner vehemently denying that the millions of dollars flowing through the group’s accounts went to line the pockets of its leadership while rank and file members lived in poverty. Two of Helbrans’ sons are with the group, while a third, Rabbi Natan Helbrans, remained in Canada with a breakaway faction. This week, an Israeli ultra-Orthodox website in Israel, Haredi 10, reported that Natan Helbrans’ followers were “preparing to crown” him as his father’s successor and invited members of the group in Mexico to abandon the leaders who were at his father’s side and “come to Canada and accept his authority.”

The younger Helbrans said he would rebuild the community on a more “open, normal” and “successful” model that would be less strict and “open it to all those who seek God,” indicating that while the group would remain strictly Orthodox he would do away with the Taliban-style, burka-like black robes worn by women that earned the group its nickname.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Diocese of Palm Beach loses fight to toss priest’s defamation suit

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

Jane Musgrave Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH
A priest will be allowed to sue the Diocese of Palm Beach for defamation after a judge this week rejected claims that the constitutional separation of church and state prevents the lawsuit from being decided in a secular court.

In a four-page order, Palm Beach County Circuit Meenu Sasser on Tusday said Rev. John Gallagher’s claims that the diocese defamed him by calling him a liar who needed “professional assistance” can be decided without getting involved in the policies of the Catholic church.

Further, she said, the diocese made many of its claims about Gallagher publicly. The diocese posted three comments on its website vehemently disputing Gallagher’s allegations that it tried to cover up sexual abuse by a visiting priest. It repeated its dim view of Gallagher’s veracity in a letter Bishop Gerald Barbarito ordered by read at all Masses in the five-county diocese in January 2016.

“This court also notes the public nature of these statements,” Sasser wrote. While attorneys representing the diocese claimed the lawsuit was barred by the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine, which prevents secular courts from becoming involved in religious affairs, Sasser disagreed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

PAEDOS IN ROBES Revealed – the depressing history of Catholic Church sex scandals

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

Allegations have been levelled across the world with the Vatican saying at least 3,400 credible cases were referred to it between 2004 and 2014

By Guy Birchall
12th July 2017

FOR years now the Catholic Church has been rocked by child sex abuse allegations on an almost biblical scale.

Accusations against priests have been levelled across the world with the Vatican saying at least 3,400 credible cases were referred to it between 2004 and 2014.

Years and billions of dollars later the full scale of the abuse around the world is not yet known, and the full extent may never be revealed.

Along with the allegations of abuse, cover-ups are also said to have been commonplace amongst the clergy.

But some countries have gone to extraordinary lengths to uncover the crimes committed by men of the cloth.

The Sun looks at just some of the harrowing figures and facts that surround this deeply troubling story of abuse by those who children trusted were doing the work of God.

USA

Abuse by Catholic priests first reared its ugly head in the USA to the public in Louisiana in 1985.

The Rev. Gilbert Gauthe pleaded guilty to 11 counts of molesting boys, shocking the country.

It became clear he had been abusing kids for decades and he would eventually confess to a psychologist to abusing more than 300 children. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

This case and several books in the 1990s served to raise some awareness of the case but the true extent of the problem would not be revealed until 2002.

That year the Boston Globe published an exhaustive list of abuse that had taken place in the Boston area, an event captured in the Oscar winning film Spotlight.

This prompted victims to come forward and more and more lawsuits filed against various Catholic dioceses across the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Leeds victim of sex abuse choirmaster launches bid for compensation

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Evening Post

A Leeds man who was sexually abused by a choirmaster and former magistrate for five years has urged victims of similar offences to come forward as he revealed plans to take legal action over his ordeal.

The abuse Roy Blanchard suffered at the hands of Kenneth Endersby, a choirmaster and organist at St Stephen’s church in Kirkstall, began in 1966 when he was 11.

It was only last year that Endersby was found guilty of ten offences at Leeds Crown Court and jailed for eight years.

Lawyers for Mr Blanchard, who waived his anonymity to speak to the YEP, are preparing to issue legal proceedings in the High Court in a bid to get compensation.

They believe the correct defendant is the Parochial Church Council (PCC) of Kirkstall and are in discussions with the Church of England Diocese of Leeds to establish who the correct insurer would be.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Altar boy abused by Derby paedophile priest receives £95,000 compensation

UNITED KINGDOM
Derby Telegraph

By ICrowsonDT | Posted: July 12, 2017

A former Derby altar boy who was subjected to years of sexual abuse by a paedophile priest has received £95,000 in compensation from the Catholic Church.

Father Francis Cullen was jailed for 15 years in 2014 after admitting abusing five boys and two girls over a 34-year period.

Four of his victims were targeted while he worked at Christ the King church in Mackworth.

And now one former altar boy, who was just eight years old when Cullen started to molest him, has been given compensation by the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Bunbury bishop John Goody welcomed Father William Glover in 1959 despite known paedophile allegations, court documents reveal

AUSTRALIA
Busselton Mail

Andrew Elstermann
@AElstermann

12 Jul 2017

Documents tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in February have revealed that in 1959, Bunbury Bishop John Goody agreed to hire a priest despite knowing he had previously sexually abused a number of boys.

In June 1958, Father William Kevin Glover was removed as a superior and parish priest in Victoria for “immoral and criminal sexual behaviour with boys and male adolescents”.

He was given a formal canonical warning and sent to do a 30 day penitential retreat in Armidale, NSW.

Having been assigned a new parish, Glover was brought to Sydney in July 1959 and given a second canonical warning for committing similar offences.

He was sent to St John of God Hospital at Richmond while attempts were made to see if another Marist Province would be willing to accept him.

An agreement was reached in early September that Father Glover would be accepted into the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury on a three-year trial, following an appeal for priests from Bunbury’s Bishop Goody.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Trace: Police admit DNA bungle wrongly cleared paedophile priest as suspect in cold case murder

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Rachael Brown for Trace

Police have admitted they used an incorrect DNA sample to rule out a paedophile priest in the brutal killing of Melbourne cold case murder victim Maria James.

The ABC understands a bloodied pillow case, used to establish a DNA profile for the suspected killer of the Thornbury single mother, came from an unrelated crime scene.

Local priest Father Anthony Bongiorno, as well as multiple other suspects in Maria James' 1980 murder, were cleared as a result of DNA testing against that incorrect sample.

Her two sons, Mark and Adam James, have now formally applied to the Victorian coroner to set aside the original finding and reopen the 37-year-old case.

Warning: This article contains content from the Trace podcast. If you would prefer to listen, head to the Trace site, and subscribe in iTunes or your favourite podcasting app via the RSS feed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Queens pastor gets 15 years behind bars for raping two girls

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

STEPHEN REX BROWN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Queens pastor was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison for raping two girls in the basement of his church.

Reuben Chizor’s victims were 12- and 14-year-old sisters and members of his Hope Restoration Ministries congregation in Queens Village.

“The defendant took advantage of his position as a man of the cloth and the trust placed in him by his followers to satisfy his depraved desires. Through manipulation and conniving control, he sexually abused his two young victims for nearly two years,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “What the defendant forced his victims to endure was horrendous — and as punishment he now will be spending a lengthy term behind bars.”

Trial testimony last month revealed that on July 27, 2011, Chizor took the 14-year-old victim to the church basement, where he lived, and raped her. On Aug. 22, 2011, he raped the 12-year-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Bishop gave 'fresh start' to abuser

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Fr William Kevin Glover received two warnings under canon law for "immoral and criminal sexual behaviour with boys and adolescents" while in the Marist Fathers - Society of Mary before being sent to Western Australia's Bunbury diocese in 1960.

Fr Glover was removed from a Victorian parish and given his first warning in June 1958 over the systematic sexual abuse of adolescent boys, tendered documents released by the child abuse royal commission reveal.

"In September of that year a Marist priest working in the parish expressed the view that Fr Glover had been involved with as many as 30 boys over a three-year period," a 1994 Marist Fathers incident report to its insurer stated.

Fr Glover was posted to another parish but was removed in July 1959, given another canonical warning and sent to Sydney for treatment at Richmond's St John of God Hospital. He transferred to the Bunbury diocese on a trial basis following an appeal for priests by the bishop, the late Sir Launcelot John Goody, who was archbishop of Perth from 1968 to 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Nouveau classement sans suite d’une plainte contre le cardinal Barbarin

FRANCE
La Croix

[The diocese of Lyon took note on Tuesday, July 11, of the filing of a preliminary investigation for non-denunciation of sexual assaults against Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon.]

Gauthier Vaillant, le 11/07/2017

Le diocèse de Lyon a pris acte, mardi 11 juillet, du classement sans suite d’une enquête préliminaire pour non-dénonciation d’agressions sexuelles qui visait le cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archevêque de Lyon.

Cette plainte, qui concernait des faits reprochés au Père Jérôme Billoud, est la deuxième contre le cardinal à connaître ce sort, après une première dans l’affaire Preynat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Une enquête visant le cardinal Barbarin classée sans suite

FRANCE
Liberation

[An investigation of Cardinal Barbarin filed without further action.]

La seconde enquête ouverte en 2016 aux dépens du cardinal Philippe Barbarin, pour non-dénonciation d’agressions sexuelles d’un prêtre, a été classée sans suite comme la première, s’est félicité mardi le diocèse de Lyon.

Celui-ci indique avoir «pris officiellement connaissance» de cette décision du parquet de Lyon, rendue le 11 décembre et confirmée à l’AFP de source proche de l’enquête. Des médias avaient déjà fait état il y a plusieurs mois de cette décision du parquet de Lyon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Drowning of Lev Tahor leader raises fears over ultra-Orthodox sect's future

CANADA
National Post

Graeme Hamilton
July 11, 2017

MONTREAL — To the roughly 200 Lev Tahor adherents who followed their charismatic rabbi from country to country, Shlomo Helbrans knew the path to eternal truth. To his numerous detractors, he was a dangerous charlatan who deserved to be locked up.

Now, after Helbrans drowned last week in Mexico at age 55, the future of the cult-like group has been cast into doubt, and a path that has jumped from Israel to the United States, Canada, Guatemala and Mexico looks less clear than ever.

“There is now a power vacuum,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor of religion at the University of Pennsylvania who has been watching the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect for about a decade.

She said it would be hard for anyone to replace Helbrans, particularly when his death was so sudden. “The attachment to a charismatic leader in a very isolated group that engages in illegal practices is so strong,” she said.

Helbrans and his followers had arrived in Mexico’s southern Chiapas province recently after spending three years in Guatemala. They had travelled to Guatemala from Canada, where child-protection authorities were moving to seize children allegedly suffering from neglect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Former head of Orthodox Gymnasium in Yakutia charged with pedophilia

RUSSIA
Crime Russia

The Supreme Court of Yakutia arrested the ex-director of St. Innocent’s Orthodox Gymnasium, cleric hieromonk Meletius (Andrey Tkachenko), on charges of pedophilia, the press service of the Yakutsk City Court reported to the agency Interfax-Far East.

"The Supreme Court of Yakutia considered the appeal submitted by lawyer Tkachenko against the decision of the City Court to arrest the priest and rejected it. The defendant is taken into custody and placed in Yakutsk's pre-trial detention center until August 9," the source said. The hearing was held behind the closed doors, and Tkachenko introduced himself at the trial as "the regular clergyman of the Yakutsk diocese, Hieromonk Meletius."

The press service of the Yakutsk diocesan administration published a message stating that Tkachenko was banned from the service for the period of the trial. "We have not received any complaints from alleged victims, so we have no reason to comment on the situation," the report says.

According to NVK Sakha, Tkachenko stopped managing the Gymnasium in March this year. After the meeting, archbishop Roman of Yakutsk and Lensk thanked Tkachenko for his "work". After that, the priest had to go "to guide the flock of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Woman says Columbus pastor got her pregnant as teen, paid for abortion

GEORGIA
Ledger-Enquirer

[with video]

BY CHUCK WILLIAMS
chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.com

A Columbus woman who has filed a civil suit against a local pastor after years of inappropriate sexual abuse said that he twice paid for abortions after getting her pregnant, once when she was 16.

Lequita Jackson, who started attending pastor Lewis Clemons’ church when she was 14 and did not leave it until last month, alleges that Clemons led her into “inappropriate sexual contact.” Jackson, now 30, said Clemons used his position of leadership in the church to make her “do what he wanted and to justify his actions.”

Jackson’s revelations came on the same day that a second Clemons’ church member claimed the pastor had made inappropriate physical contact with her. Tuesday, a second former member of Clemons’ congregation stepped forward with her story of inappropriate contact by the pastor. Lakisha Smith, a member of Clemons’ church from 2011-2016, told of three occasions where the pastor acted inappropriately.

Jackson filed a suit in Muscogee County Superior Court last month, seeking financial damages and to have Clemons banned from serving as a pastor. She has hired Atlanta attorney Jeb Butler of the firm Butler Tobin.

The civil suit was filed against Clemons, Church of God in Christ Inc., Wynnton Road Ministries Church of God in Christ, Inc., and five other parties that were not named. Clemons is currently senior pastor at Kingdom Awareness Ministries, where his title is apostle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Two women accuse Columbus pastor of sexual assault, say there are more victims

GEORGIA
WRBL

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A local pastor is being sued over allegations that he sexually assaulted members of his church. Two women have come forward with their stories, saying Apostle Lewis Clemons molested them. News 3 sat down with those women, who say they can no longer keep silent. Apostle Clemons is at the center of the civil lawsuit, filed June 19 with Muscogee County Superior Court.

The plaintiff, Lequita Jackson, accuses the pastor of child molestation, sexual battery, and even rape. It’s a position neither Jackson, 30, nor another alleged victim, Lakisha Smith, expected to be in.

“He was a child molester,” Jackson said. “He was a sexual predator who needed to be stopped. I just kind of accepted it at that age. That was what would help me come to terms with what was happening.”

Jackson claims what started as simple talks in the car when she was 15 escalated in to kisses, caresses and even sexual intercourse. Jackson adds the pastor would perform what he called “body anointings,” rubbing oil all over her body. Jackson says Clemons impregnated her twice, posed as her guardian, and paid for two abortions. According to her revelation, Apostle Clemons would cite and use scriptures in the Bible to justify these alleged acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

3 new suits filed in Scouts abuse case

GEORGIA
Gainesville Times

By Nick Watson
nwatson@gainesvilletimes.com
@NickWatsonTimes
POSTED: July 12, 2017

Three new lawsuits have been filed in Cobb County Superior Court by men claiming they were sexually abused by a former Gainesville scoutmaster.

Two of the cases were filed anonymously under a John Doe pseudonym and a third was by James Frank Lloyd, all of whom served as senior patrol leaders of Troop 26 under scoutmaster R. Fleming Weaver Jr.

Robert William Lawson III was the first to bring a case against Weaver in 2016. Lawson claimed he was raped by Weaver during an Order of the Arrow scouting event in 1985.

Weaver served as the scoutmaster for Troop 26 from 1969 to 1981. The troop was sponsored by First Baptist Church of Gainesville.

All three cases allege the plaintiffs were sexually abused by Weaver, and that when the church pastor at the time, Steven N. Brown, was informed of the incidents, they were not reported to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Clergy sex abuse cases moving forward in federal court

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com July 12, 2017

Eleven clergy sex abuse cases will move forward while parties in other cases try to settle them out of court.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Joaquin V.E. Manibusan Jr. on Tuesday vacated his April order temporary halting the filing of briefs in clergy sex abuses lawsuits. Manibusan set August deadlines to file motions on 11 of 66 clergy sex abuse cases filed so far in federal court. A hearing on those cases is set for August 29 at 9:30 a.m.

The 11 cases are among those the judge earlier expressed concerns over diversity jurisdiction — whether the federal court can entertain the cases because they involve citizens of different states.

They include lawsuits that accuse Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of raping and sexually abusing Agat altar boys; the former altar boys now live in Hawaii and Arizona.

They also include lawsuits filed by plaintiffs living outside of Guam that accuse Louis Brouillard, a former priest and Boy Scouts of America scoutmaster who lives in Minnesota, as well as former priest David Anderson, defrocked priest Raymond Cepeda, and former priest Joe R. San Agustin, also known as Andrew San Agustin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Four more sex abuse cases filed against church in local court

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera - July 12, 2017

There are now a total of 86 cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana in both local and federal court.

Guam – As the Archdiocese of Agana continues to assess its financial situation, more sex abuse lawsuits are being filed against the church. Four news cases have been filed in local court and involve Louis Brouillard, former St. Anthony music teacher Ray Caluag and former priest Ray Cepeda.

The first case was filed by a former St. Anthony School student with the initials F.A.M. who claims that his former music teacher, Ray Caluag, sexually abused him. In his complaint, F.A.M. says in the early 1990s, he spent the night at Caluag’s residence with other St. Anthony students and woke up with no memory of what had just occurred. F.A.M. says this happened on more than one occasion and he believes Caluag drugged him and then sexually abused him while he was passed out.

The next two cases name a former priest who’s already facing dozens of allegations as well: Father Louis Brouillard. And for the first time since Brouillard was named in the sex abuse allegations, a woman is claiming Brouillard molested her.

The woman is identified by the initials B.C. and is now 59 years old. B.C. claims that in the 1960s, as a member of the San Isidro Parish in Malojloj, she and a friend would clean the parish rectory. On one occasion, B.C. says they walked in on Brouillard naked and looking at pornographic magazines. It was then that Brouillard allegedly grabbed B.C. and molested her as she struggled to get away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Ex-teacher accused of drugging student before molestation

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

A third alleged victim of former Catholic school teacher Raymond Caluag has filed suit in local courts, this time accusing the former music instructor of drugging and then sexually abusing him during overnight stays at Caluag's residence.

F.A.M., a Dededo resident, accused Caluag of molestation over the course of his three years in middle school, which culminated with two overnight stays at the teacher's residence in which he recalled "mysteriously passing out" and waking hours later believing he "was drugged by Caluag," according to court documents.

Caluag has left Guam, and when The Guam Daily Post reached him by phone in the Philippines more than a month ago, when the first case was filed, he hung up. Social media appear to show him teaching music to a Catholic parish and school in the Philippine city of Marikina.

Information provided in the complaint filed Tuesday detail F.A.M.'s accusations of abuse, which allegedly began in 1991 when he was 11 years old and in the sixth grade at St. Anthony Catholic School in Tamuning. At the time, Caluag was his music and religion teacher, as well as the director of music and drama productions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Man says Chicago Archdiocese, Catholic Bishop responsible for priest's sex abuse

ILLINOIS
Cook County Record

by Louie Torres | Jul. 12, 2017

CHICAGO — An individual is suing The Archdiocese of Chicago and The Catholic Bishop of Chicago, alleging battery and sexual abuse by a member of the clergy.

An unnamed man filed a complaint on June 15 in Cook County Circuit Court against the defendants alleging defrocked Catholic priest Daniel McCormack sexually abused the plaintiff while he was still a practicing member of the clergy in Chicago.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges The Archdiocese of Chicago and The Catholic Bishop of Chicago allowed McCormack to abuse the plaintiff.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against the defendants in an amount greater than $100,000 plus court costs, interest and any further relief this court grants. He is represented by Robert R. Cohen and Scott J. Frankel of Frankel & Cohen in Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

The Case of Cardinal Pell Raises Hope of Reform Among Australian Victims of Clerical Abuse

AUSTRALIA
Times

Sharon Verghis / Sydney
Jul 11, 2017

The Catholic Church, long damaged by sex abuse scandals, is facing a fresh crisis following the laying of charges of child sex abuse against one of its most senior clerics, the Australian cardinal George Pell.

The 76-year-old Pell, who as the Church's treasurer is the most senior Vatican figure to be charged with sexual abuse, returned home to Australia from the Vatican early Monday, where he was met at Sydney airport by police. He is due in a Melbourne magistrates court on July 26 for the hearing of charges that he has strenuously denied.

“I have been completely consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations,” he has stated. “News of these charges strengthens my resolve, and court proceedings now offer me an opportunity to clear my name.”

Pell's return has inspired mixed feelings among the Catholic faithful. On a crisp winter Sunday in Sydney, many gathered for the 9:00 a.m. Holy Solemn mass at St Mary’s Cathedral. It was Cardinal Pell’s seat of power when he was the eighth Archbishop of Sydney, and before he left for Rome in 2014, when Pope Francis appointed him to head the Secretariat for the Economy at the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

3 new sex-abuse cases filed against former priests

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Three new sex-abuse cases filed yesterday pushed to 82 the number of cases against former Guam priests and the Archdiocese of Agana.

The Archdiocese of Agana had faced more than $575 million worth of claims for damages before these latest three cases were filed.

One of the cases was filed by a woman, now 59, known through initials B.C. She was a minor girl when she was sexually abused by then-Guam priest Louis Brouillard, according to her complaint.

B.C.'s lawsuit alleges that in the mid- to late-1960s, she, her mother and aunt would clean the San Isidro Parish rectory where Brouillard lived, but the priest would be out of the rectory while they cleaned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

July 11, 2017

APNewsBreak: Priest who abused child still working with kids

ILLINOIS
Quad-City Times

By MICHAEL TARM AP Legal Affairs Writer Jul 11, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — The Claretians Roman Catholic order has settled a lawsuit from a man sexually abused as a 6-year-old by a teenager who later became a prominent priest in Chicago, confirming in the settlement obtained by The Associated Press that the longtime cleric recently left the priesthood.

But Bruce Wellems, 60, still works as executive director of a non-profit that offers youth mentoring, alternative schooling and other programs for children, according to a staff list at the Peace and Education Coalition. Its head office is also located in the same southwest side Chicago church where he served as priest for two decades.

The settlement was signed in May and not released publicly. It does not say exactly when Wellems asked to be released from the priesthood but it would have been since the lawsuit was filed in September.

The Chicago-based Claretians did not agree to one request of the now 52-year-old victim, Eric Johnson, that the order release records of all its priests credibly accused of sexual abuse, as several other Catholic orders have done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

No settlement progress means sex abuse cases will proceed

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 11, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Dozens of clergy sex abuse cases will proceed in the District Court of Guam, according to federal Judge Joaquin Manibusan. During a status hearing on Tuesday, the judge stated he wishes to move forward with the cases since no progress with settling with Hope and Healing Guam has been made in the last month.

As a result, he's vacating his intent to order a stay. This was welcome news to attorney Jacque Terlaje who represents Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Apuron stands accused of sexually molesting four former altar boys decades ago at Mt. Carmel Parish in Agat.

In a previous hearing, the attorney stated she wouldn't participate in settlement talks until her client's canonical trial was complete in Rome. "The position is still the same," Terlaje said. "Today we had a status conference with the court and I am very pleased to see that the court has decided to move forward with our motion to dismiss, and the court has scheduled a hearing on the constitutionality issue."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Archdiocese faces 'bare-bones' 2018 budget

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

In order for the Archdiocese of Agana to fully meet its financial obligations through the next year, the Archdiocesan Finance Council says Catholic schools and parishes under the purview of the archdiocese will have to increase their revenue collections, by whatever means they deem appropriate.

Members of the council yesterday clarified long-circulating rumors about an alleged tuition hike for Catholic schools when AFC President Richard Untalan and member Rick Duenas explained the latest financial assessment of Guam's largest faith-based organization.

According to Duenas, the Chancery Office has determined that two additional assessments totaling $169 per student per year for Guam's Catholic schools are necessary to keep the church afloat through the next fiscal year.

Those assessments are explained as a $25 per student per year Catholic Schools Operation Student Assessment, that is projected to amount to $110,600 and is budgeted for the office of the Catholic Schools superintendent. Duenas added that of the total $110,600, about $43,000 is the annual salary for the newly appointed superintendent of Catholic education, Richard Zapanta Alvia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Civil lawsuit alleging sexual abuse names Hanna Boys Center official, teacher and Santa Rosa Diocese

CALIFORNIA
The Press Democrat

PAUL PAYNE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | July 11, 2017

New allegations of sexual abuse at the Hanna Boys Center have surfaced in a civil lawsuit naming a top official jailed on criminal charges, a ministry teacher at the high school and the Diocese of Santa Rosa.

A former resident of the Sonoma Valley home for troubled youth claims clinical director Kevin Thorpe preyed on him after becoming the teen’s caseworker in 2006, subjecting him to about 260 incidents of abuse, including masturbation and oral sex.

When the boy was 15, he claims Thorpe was molesting him in his locked office when ministry, religion and social justice teacher Joseph Filice walked in using a master key and saw what was happening.

Rather than intervening, the lawsuit claims Filice covered his eyes and said, “Oh God!” before turning on his heel and leaving the room. The incident was never reported to police.

The boy, who attended Archbishop Hanna High School at the center from 2007 to 2012, did not complain because he feared getting kicked out, losing a scholarship and becoming homeless, the suit said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Former top Vatican official strikes back at Pope

ROME
CNN

By Delia Gallagher, CNN
Tue July 11, 2017

Rome (CNN)A top Vatican cardinal recently dismissed by Pope Francis struck back this week, calling the Pope's treatment of him and other Vatican employees "unacceptable."

"I cannot accept this way of doing things," Cardinal Gerhard Muller said in an interview with German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse.

"As a bishop, [the Pope] cannot treat people in this way."

Francis informed Muller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Vatican's doctrinal office, that he would not be renewing his contract in a brief meeting on June 30, just two days before the contract expired.

"He did not give a reason," the 69-year-old cardinal said in the interview. "Just as he gave no reason for dismissing three highly competent members of the CDF a few months earlier."

Greg Burke, director of the Vatican Press Office, told CNN: "It was a private meeting with the Pope. We have no comment."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

CARDINAL PELL ACQUIRES TOP LAWYER

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the latest round of attacks on Cardinal George Pell:

Cardinal George Pell has acquired the services of one of the most respected lawyers in Australia, Robert “The Red Baron” Richter. One prominent lawyer from Melbourne called him “the Rolls Royce of criminal defense lawyers.” We are delighted to learn of this development, though many others are clearly chagrined.

From reading the accounts of various professional victims’ attorneys, it is clear that some believe Pell is guilty until proven innocent. Others think he does not deserve first-class defense lawyers, while others question the motive of Church officials who are coming to his defense, including Pope Francis.

Due process and basic civil liberties are at stake, but given the hysteria in some quarters of the media, it is not surprising that Pell is being treated unfairly, to say the least. Moreover, some are using his case to make a larger point: The institutional Church is guilty as charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Ex-principal on child sex charges could face 'fact-finding' hearing

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By John Cassidy
July 11 2017

A judge has refused to halt proceedings against a former Catholic school principal facing historical child sex abuse allegations.

Lawyers for Co Antrim man Richard Duffin (78) said he was too ill to stand trial on eight counts of indecent assault, two charges of cruelty to children under the age of 16 and two counts of common assault.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC said yesterday that although he was refusing to grant the abuse of process application, one remedy to the case instead of a trial could be to hold a "fact-find hearing'' in which it would be decided if Duffin had committed the acts as alleged by three male complainants.

The offences are alleged to have taken place on dates between June 1975 and June 1981 against three males while he was principal of St Joseph's Primary School in Ballymena. He denies all the charges.

Last week, Duffin's legal team advanced an abuse of process application stating the accused was not fit to stand trial due a number of medical conditions, and asked for a stay in the proceedings against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:51 PM

Should George Pell have a judge-only trial? Why some lawyers are calling for Vatican's third most powerful figure to be tried over historical sex charges WITHOUT a jury

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Sam Duncan For Daily Mail Australia

Australia's most powerful Catholic has landed in Sydney amid calls for him to be the subject of a judge-only trial when he fronts court over historical sex charges in Victoria.

Senior lawyers are concerned that Cardinal Pell could be adversely affected by juror perceptions of him and the Catholic Church, and are arguing for a judge-alone trial.

Cardinal Pell landed in Sydney on Monday morning, and will base himself there when he is not required at Melbourne Magistrates Court during the trial.

'There's been an awful lot of publicity, a lot of discussion and it's a good argument for a judge-alone trial, said Mr Chadwick.

He and Mr van de Weil are calling for Victoria to follow NSW, Queensland, and Western Australia in allowing high-profile defendants to have judge-only trials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Fears that George Pell might not get a fair go drive calls for judge-only trials

AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

Adam Cooper
11 Jul 2017

Senior lawyers say Victoria should allow judge-only trials in some cases, after expressing concerns Cardinal George Pell would not get a fair hearing on historic sex charges.

As Cardinal Pell returned to Australia on Monday ahead of his July 26 court appearance, two QCs not connected to his case have raised doubts about the 76-year-old getting a fair hearing, should his case proceed to a jury trial.

They said it was time Victoria followed NSW, Queensland and Western Australia and had the option of judge-alone trials in cases with high-profile defendants.

Peter Chadwick and Remy van de Weil​, QCs with more than three decades each of experience as barristers, questioned whether jurors could shut out their perceptions of the cardinal and the Catholic Church and focus solely on the criminal allegations.

Cardinal Pell has denied the offending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

As Cardinal Pell goes on trial, the Australian Church must hold its nerve

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by Fr Raymond de Souza
posted Thursday, 6 Jul 2017

The Church’s enemies are thirsty for blood. A failure of nerve now will be catastrophic for the Catholic future in Australia

The sexual abuse charges against Cardinal George Pell by the Victoria police are a test for Australian criminal justice, the Australian Church and for the cardinal himself.

We already know the result of the first and the third tests. Australian criminal justice has already failed, and the cardinal, even if wrongfully convicted, will further demonstrate the character and virtue that have marked his years of dealing with public vilification. How the Church in Australia will fare is the great unknown.

I first met George Pell when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in 1998, interviewing him in the context of the Synod of Oceania then taking place in Rome. After that synod, the Holy See convened all the bishops of Australia in an attempt to fashion some doctrinal and pastoral unity in a local Church that seemed unable to escape the 1970s. Pell welcomed it, many of his brother bishops did not.

It was then that I discovered what Aussie Catholics long knew, that George Pell was a singular force. The most outstanding Australian churchman of his generation, he has also been a force for good in the universal Church, long before his current posting in Rome, most notably in his chairmanship of the Vox Clara commission on liturgical translations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:47 PM

Is NCSY Following Up on Rabbi Menachem Chinn’s Molesting

NEW JERSEY
Frum Follies

Rabbi Menachem Chinn of East Windsor, NJ just accepted a plea bargain for molesting two boys under the age of 13, one in 2005 and the other in 2012. He got off without going to jail but has a long probation with what seems like house arrest with a monitoring bracelet. His ten years of probation also bar his working with kids or being in their settings. He will also be on the sex offender registry for life.

Chinn was working as a Yeshiva teacher and a youth leader on behalf of the National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) of the OU.

Based on his pattern there is good reason to suspect additional victims. As a yeshiva teacher and National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) leader he had loads of access to children. Based on talks with a well informed source, I am not convinced that NCSY is doing its best to support others who may have been abused or to facilitate reporting by additional potential victims.

It is now almost two decades since the shocking revelations of extensive abuse by their key employee, Rabbi Boruch Lanner. They then set all sorts of protocols in place, but somehow, I think they still haven’t gotten it. This is especially true for their part-time employees in smaller communities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Judge dismisses claims against Boy Scouts, church in sex abuse suit

GEORGIA
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Christian Boone - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A judge has dismissed some charges against the Boy Scouts of America and First Baptist Church of Gainesville filed by a man alleging he was molested 32 years ago by a former scoutmaster.

Critics say Cobb County Superior Court Judge LaTain Kell’s ruling reveals a shortcoming in the Hidden Predator Act. While the 2015 law extended the statute of limitations in Georgia for childhood victims of sexual abuse seeking damages, it protects the institutions that provided access to children for alleged abusers from any liability, they said.

The case against Fleming Weaver, who is accused of raping Robb Lawson when he was 14 years old at a Boy Scouts campground, will continue. Judge Kell denied Weaver’s motion to dismiss, saying his claim that Georgia’s Hidden Predator Act is unconstitutional is unfounded.

“The Boy Scouts of America is aware of the decision made by the Superior Court of Cobb County,” the Scouts said in a statement provided to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We thank the Court for its time and careful consideration of all viewpoints in this case.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

11 Bergen Catholic HS alumni await settlement funds for alleged sexual abuse

NEW JERSEY
Fios 1 News

Walter Slapkowski, 60, was just a 13-year-old freshman at Bergen Catholic High School when a teacher allegedly sexually abused him.

He says he was sent to after-school detention for talking in class when a science teacher he identifies as Brother Timothy Joseph O'Sullivan took him into a back room.

"He asked me to take my clothes off then he brought me by the hand and said 'I have to discipline you because you were talking in my class.’ He spanked me 20 times and made me count..and his fingers were traveling," Slapkowski said.

He came forward last year, alongside 10 other alleged abuse victims at the school. The victims allege that five faculty members abused them during the 1950s and 1970s.

Dr. Robert Hoatson who works at a recovery center for child sexual abuse victims says the school has never apologized to the alleged victims and is dragging its feet in settling a monetary claim even though similar claims have been settled in past years at the school with as many as over a hundred victims over the past two decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Catholic schools, parishes will have to pay more

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com July 11, 2017

The Archdiocese of Agana, which church officials said is struggling financially because of past mismanagement, plans to collect an additional $1.81 million a year by requiring village parishes and Catholic schools to pay more.

None of the new and increased assessments are related in to clergy sex abuse lawsuits against the archdiocese and its clergy, the Archdiocesan Finance Council said.

Catholic schools will be assessed new fees of $25 per student each year to fund the operations of a Catholic education superintendent, and $144 a year per student to help the church weather its financial crisis, church officials.

Parishes will be asked to contribute more to the archdiocese, effective July 1, also to help the archdiocese address its financial problems, church officials said.

The amount the parishes will depend on the parish size and previous collections.

"The previous governance of this archdiocese was almost upside down, and again we are not trying to lay the blame, but there were many things that were not done in the past and so we’re now doing them," Archdiocesan Finance Council president Richard Untalan said during a press conference Tuesday. "All of this costs money, to run an organization of this size, an archdiocese with 26 parishes and 14 schools and other organizations, takes considerable governance, resources, skills and leadership."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Criminal Charges Against a High Vatican Official Are Fueling New Question About Pope Francis' Response

UNITED STATES
NECN

[video]

By Sue O'Connell

Criminal charges against a high Vatican official are fueling new questions about Pope Francis’s response crisis of sexual abuse by clergy. The Take's Sue O' Connell interviews Anne Barrett Doyle, co-founder of BishopAccountability.org.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Was wir von "The Keepers" über den Umgang mit Missbrauch lernen können

DEUTSCHLAND
Bento

[What we can learn from "The Keepers" about dealing with abuse.]

"Warum hast du nicht schon früher etwas gesagt?"
"Was hast du denn auch zu der Zeit an diesem Ort gemacht?"
"Hast du dich auch gewehrt?"

Missbrauch ist immer ein schreckliches Thema. Und auf das erste Trauma, den Missbrauch selbst, folgt oft ein zweites: Wenn dem Opfer niemand glaubt. Wenn die Fragen, die gestellt werden, immer nur um das Opfer kreisen und wenig um den Täter.

Trauen sich die Opfer trotzdem, vor Gericht zu ziehen, ist die erste Frage meist: Sind sie glaubwürdig?

Weshalb viele ihre Geschichte für sich behalten - oder aufgeben, nachdem sie vergeblich angerannt sind, gegen die Institutionen und den Unglauben ihrer Umgebung, es gibt viele, die fürchten, das schreiende Unrecht mit ins Grab nehmen zu müssen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Über Sieben Jahre Haft für Zen-Priester aus Dinkelscherben

DEUTSCHLAND
BR

[Before the Augsburg court, a 62-year-old Zen priest found guilty of child molestation was sentenced to a prison term of seven years and nine months.]

Priester nutzte Vertrauen der Familien aus

Der Mann hatte sich unter anderem das Vertrauen von Familien erschlichen, in denen der Vater fehlte. Dort übernahm er die Trauerbegleitung und wurde teils zu einem Vaterersatz. So kam er auch an die Kinder, die er später missbrauchte.

In einem Fall hatten Eltern ihren 13-jährigen Sohn wegen Drogenproblemen in den Zen-Tempel des Mannes geschickt. Sie erhofften sich, dass der Junge dort seine Drogensucht in den Griff bekommen würde. Der Zen-Priester nutzte jedoch Meditationsübungen, um sich an dem Kind zu vergehen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Alleged embezzlement by Lansing priest approaches $5 million

MICHIGAN
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Jul. 11, 2017

A continuing audit of financial records of St. Martha Parish in Okemos, Michigan, has increased the amount potentially embezzled from parish funds from $1.8 million to nearly $5 million it was revealed at a July 7 hearing at Ingham County District Court in Mason, Michigan.

The founding pastor, Fr. Jonathan Wehrle, 66, was arrested and charged with embezzlement on the 39th anniversary of his ordination in May, reported the Lansing State Journal.

Wehrle was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond, and was placed on administrative leave by the Lansing Diocese May 9, according to a statement by the diocese.

The missing funds were detected during a routine diocesan audit of the parish.

Auditors earlier reportedly had said they believed more than $1.8 million of parish funds were invested in the pastor's personal residence in Williamston, a bedroom community known for its antique and specialty stores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

New training to help protect youngsters in diocese

ARKANSAS
Arkansas Catholic

JULY 11, 2017
BY APRILLE HANSON
ASSOCIATE EDITOR

In an effort to continue at the forefront of maintaining safe environments for children and minors, the Diocese of Little Rock has changed the training program used by the Safe Environment Office as well as who is required to go through training.

Since July 1, the diocese is partnering with CMG Connect, a safe environment training program for adults produced by Catholic Mutual Group, and Circle of Grace for youth. Those required to go through the program are all parish, school and diocesan employees as well as volunteers who have routine contact with minors.

Those who have already been certified through Virtus will not have to recertify with CMG Connect until five years after their original Virtus certification.

The diocese has used a program called Virtus from the National Catholic Risk Retention Group since 2001, when the sexual abuse crisis came to light in the Church. Deacon Matt Glover, chancellor for canonical affairs, said at the time, Virtus was the only program available.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

TIME FOR POPE FRANCIS TO DEAL DECISIVELY WITH THE PEDOPHILE PRIEST CRISIS

UNITED STATES
BeyondChron

by Ralph E. Stone on July 11, 2017

In a December 28, 2016 letter to bishops, Pope Francis exhorted them “to adhere to “zero tolerance” so that “these atrocities [sexual abuse of children by priests] will no longer take place in our midst.” However, since his appointment as Pope in 2013, Pope Francis has not made “zero tolerance” a reality. It is time to do so.

But what about the victims of these pedophile priests? Pedophile priests acted criminally by taking advantage of the intimate trust of their youngest and most vulnerable parishioners. But it is also apparent that the Roman Catholic Church itself, rather than acting decisively to end the victimizations and facilitate prosecutions, had engaged in a systematic effort to shield predator priests dating back several decades. Childhood abuse can lead to lifelong health and social issues.

One source claims that Pope Francis admitted that “about two percent” or 1 in 50 Roman Catholic priests are pedophiles. The accuracy of this claim, however, is in some dispute. If the claim is true, that means there are about 8,200 pedophile priests. Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the “real percentage of predator priests” is much higher than 2%. SNAP called upon the Vatican to fire or defrock pedophile priests and their enablers.

Recently, Pope Francis admitted that there are now 2,000 pedophile priest cases “piled up.” Are these priests still performing their priestly duties? What kind of punishment can we expect Pope Francis to mete out to these pedophile priests?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Editorial: On abuse, church has changed, but not enough

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

EDITORIAL

Cardinal George Pell, on a leave from his Vatican finance job and presumably from ministerial work, will return to Australia later this month to face charges of sexually abusing minors decades ago. That is a sign of the progress the Catholic Church has made in addressing the abuse of children by clergy.

Indeed, this is not 1985, when the U.S bishops' conference and the Vatican could bury detailed reports on the abuse of minors and cover-up in Lafayette, Louisiana, and ignore advice from a priest, a lawyer and psychiatrist on how to proceed in transparency and justice. The U.S. bishops would go blithely on for another decade before some individual dioceses would begin to implement policies to handle abusive priests.

This is not 1995, when Austrian bishops elected as president of their conference Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër, archbishop of Vienna, just days after media reports broke about Groër's sexual affairs with seminarians under his care two decades before. Groër resigned as archbishop by the end of the year, but another three years passed with continual media coverage of Groër's misconduct with students and adults and a desperate plea from the Austrian bishops directly to Pope John Paul II "to bring the burden of the Groër matter to an end soon," before Groër went into quiet retirement. John Paul met privately with Groër twice and defended the cardinal against "unjust attacks" until Groër died in 2003. The pope called him one of God's "faithful servants."

Throughout his pontificate, too, John Paul staunchly defended Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado as "an efficacious guide to youth," even though the founder of the Legionaries of Christ was a serial sexual abuser and fathered multiple children with at least two women. Only after John Paul had died could Pope Benedict XVI force Maciel out of public ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Church in a State

IRELAND
The Times

Where once the Catholic hierarchy held an iron grip over Irish society, now it has a fight to prove that it has not become utterly irrelevant

On Saturday, Diarmuid Martin, the archbishop of Dublin, delivered a thoughtful speech on the status of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

He told a conference in Germany that Catholic leaders had failed to recognise and respond to the secularisation of Irish society, warning that there was “a growing number of vocal supporters” seeking “a more hostile” separation of church and state.

Dr Martin’s remarks were unsurprising, given the increasing level of discord between the religious hierarchy and the government over a wide range of issues, the most recent being the national furore over the proposed involvement of the Sisters of Charity in the ownership of the National Maternity Hospital.

Dr Martin also said that challenging Catholic values was no longer “politically risky” and there were “few votes to be won through being too closely linked with church issues”. This may seem like a simple statement, but it was an acknowledgement that the iron fist of the church has been almost entirely prised from the levers of power in Ireland.

Religion has historically played a huge role in Irish life since the foundation of the state. Monsignor — later archbishop — John Charles McQuaid was one of the key figures involved in drafting the Constitution of Ireland, and Vatican officials were consulted about the document. To be fair, Eamon de Valera did resist the demand that Catholicism should be recognised as the state religion. Instead he recognised its “special position” in Article 44, a position that remained until the passing of a referendum in 1972.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Federal court upholds convictions of rabbis in torture-for-divorce case

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

BY MARYANN SPOTO mspoto@njadvancemedia.com,
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Friday upheld the criminal convictions of three Orthodox Jewish rabbis who planned the kidnapping of a man to force him to grant his wife a religious divorce.

In upholding the convictions of Mendel Epstein, Jay Goldstein and Binyamin Stimler, the three-judge panel rejected claims of invasion of privacy and religious freedom among the other six points the three men made in their appeal.

Convicted in 2015 of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, Epstein, Goldstein and Stimler argued that their Fourth Amendment right to privacy was violated when FBI agents gathered information from their cell phone providers indicating their general locations during the investigations. During the trial, prosecutors used the information to show that they were in the vicinity of locations where beatings of husbands who refused to give their wives religious divorces occurred.

Defense attorneys argued the government should have sought a warrant for that information rather than obtain a court order, which requires less of a standard than a warrant to be issued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Convictions upheld for Orthodox rabbis that conspired to kidnap, torture

NEW JERSEY
New York Daily News

CHRISTINA CARREGA
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, July 7, 2017

A higher court upheld the convictions of three Orthodox Jewish rabbis that conspired to kidnap Orthodox Jewish husbands who refused to get divorced.

Binyamin Stimler, Mendel Epstein and Jay Goldstein were busted in 2013 by federal agents during an undercover investigation, working together with "tough guys" or "muscle men" in exchange for money to kidnap and torture husbands in order to coerce them to sign the gittin — plural for a get.

The attacks happened from 2009 to 2013 in New Jersey and New York City.

All three rabbis were convicted in 2015 after trial and filed their appeals — that were consolidated — based on numerous claims including violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Third Circuit Affirms Conviction Of Rabbis In Kidnapping Case

NEW JERSEY
U.S. Attorney’s Office - District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today affirmed the convictions of three Orthodox rabbis who were convicted at trial of conspiring to kidnap Orthodox Jewish husbands who refused to grant their wives permission to divorce, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

In a precedential opinion in the consolidated appeals of Orthodox rabbis Binyamin Stimler, Jay Goldstein, and Mendel Epstein, the appeals court affirmed the convictions in all respects.

The goal of the conspiracy was to coerce the recalcitrant husbands to grant a “get” – permission to obtain a religious divorce – to their wives. On appeal, the defendants raised numerous claims, including a constitutional challenge to a federal statute and a claim that the prosecution violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Norman Gross and Glenn J. Moramarco of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Appeals Division in Camden.

Stimler, Goldstein & Epstein Verdict Release

Stimler & Epstein Sentencing Release

Goldstein Sentencing Release

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Federal court to proceed in 11 clergy sex abuse cases

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post Jul 11, 2017

At least 11 of the 66 clergy sex abuse cases pending in federal court will begin moving forward again after a federal judge vacated the order which temporarily halted action in the cases as parties began talking about potential settlements.

District Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan lifted the order suspending action on the cases during a status hearing earlier this morning in which he also said the court was "hopeful" parties would be able to enter into mediation, but added that the court feels the matter has been stayed without progress for long enough.

Manibusan listed 11 of the 66 cases he said were pending before the court and said plaintiffs would have until Aug. 1, 2017, to file opposition to defense motions to dismiss.

The following plaintiffs' cases are scheduled to be heard Aug. 29, 2017:

- Norman J.D. Aguon
- Leo Tudela
- Robert Aguon Perez
- Roy Quintanilla
- Walter Denton
- Joseph Quinata
- Edward Chan
- Albino Bascon
- Johnny Bascon
- Morgan Paul
- B.T.

"The court wants to move these forward," Manibusan said to counsel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Latest accuser says teacher drugged, molested him while he slept

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 11, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Already 80+ lawsuits for sex abuse against the Church. But the most recent filed today provides gruesome details of a former Saint Anthony Catholic school student who alleges his teacher drugged him and molested him in his sleep.

He was only 11-years-old when the grooming began.

But throughout middle school, victim F.A.M. alleges he was sexually molested multiple times by Saint Anthony Catholic School music and religion teacher, Raymond Caluag.

According to the complaint filed today in the Superior Court of Guam, the teacher had F.A.M. stay after school simply to talk.

On these occasions, the teacher allegedly stroked him lower back, making him uncomfortable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Victim of paedophile Imam who fled the UK warns other children could be in danger

UNITED KINGDOM
Dudley News

"OTHER children may be in danger," those are the harrowing words of a woman who was sexually assaulted by an Imam who fled to Bangladesh before he could be jailed for his crimes.

Hafiz Rahman, who lived in Ballard Road, Netherton, fled the country in October last year, after being allowed bail during the course of his trial.

The 58-year-old sexually assaulted two young girls while they attended religious studies sessions at Dudley's Queens Cross Mosque.

One of his victims, who goes by the name of Nabila Sharma to protect her identity, told the News she fears other children could be in danger while he is still at large.

She suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Rahman between the ages of seven and 11 and said she was relieved when he was sentenced to eleven-and-a-half years in prison, adding: "It felt great, that's what I wanted."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Judge refuses plea by former principal accused of sex abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

A judge has refused to grant a stay in proceedings against a former Catholic school principal facing historical child sex abuse allegations.

Lawyers for Richard Duffin, 78, formerly of Ballysallagh Road, Cargan, Ballymena, Co Antrim, said he was too ill to stand trial on eight counts of indecent assault, two charges of cruelty to children under the age of 16 and two counts of common assault.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC said that although he was refusing to grant the abuse of process application, one remedy to the case instead of a trial could be to hold a “fact find hearing” in which it would be decided if Duffin had committed the acts as alleged by three male complainants.

The offences are alleged to have taken place on dates between June 1975 and June 1981 against three males while he was principal of St Joseph’s Primary School in Ballymena. He denies all the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

To raise $747K for church operations, catholic schools will be assessed $169 per student

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera - July 11, 2017

All 26 parishes will be required to raise an additional $1 million as well.

Guam – The Archdiocese of Agana’s finances were so badly managed in the past that they are now implementing austerity measures in order to cover their operational needs of $2.5 million for 2018.

Part of that will include an assessment from all catholic schools of $169 per student per year which means tuition could go up.

Members of the Archdiocesan Finance Council went to great lengths to point out that their efforts to raise money has nothing to do with the scores of sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the church, even repeating their statement several times.

“It’s nothing to do with the sex abuse cases–absolutely nothing … we are not increasing the assessment because of the sex abuse cases,” said AFC President Richard Untalan, adding,”I cannot emphasize that enough.”

Untalan is referring to the Archdiocese of Agana’s planned assessment of all catholic schools and parishes in order to fund their operational budget of $2.5 million for 2018. Of that amount, the church will require the parishes to pay about $1 million while schools will pay $110,000 to fund a superintendent’s office and another $637,000 for operating expenses for a combined total of about $747,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Rev. Bill Moloney returing to Immaculate Conception Church in Peterborough after investigation completed

CANADA
Peterborough Examiner

By Joelle Kovach
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Rev. Bill Moloney will return as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish on Wednesday after a police investigation for sexual misconduct did not result in criminal charges and the diocese completed an investigation of its own.

The Catholic Diocese of Peterborough issued a written statement on Monday to say that Moloney will return to his job July 12.

The statement indicates that parishioners at Immaculate Conception Parish on Rogers St. in East City were told on Sunday about the reinstatement.

Rev. Moloney was put on administrative leave in Nov. 2016, after allegations of sexual misconduct were reported to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

The misconduct was alleged to have occurred in the 1980s, at a summer camp where Moloney was the long-time director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Bishop knew about abuser priest: inquiry

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A bishop who later became Perth's Catholic archbishop knew a priest had sexually abused boys but gave him "a fresh start" in his diocese, where the offending continued, documents before a royal commission reveal.

Father William Kevin Glover received two warnings under canon law for "immoral and criminal sexual behaviour with boys and adolescents" while in the Marist Fathers - Society of Mary before being sent to Western Australia's Bunbury diocese in 1960.

Fr Glover was removed from a Victorian parish and given his first warning in June 1958 over the systematic sexual abuse of adolescent boys, tendered documents released by the child abuse royal commission reveal.

"In September of that year a Marist priest working in the parish expressed the view that Glover had been involved with as many as 30 boys over a three-year period," a 1994 Marist Fathers incident report to its insurer stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Three more suits claim sex abuse by clergy members

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 11, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Three other lawsuits have been filed in the Superior Court of Guam for clergy sex abuse.

B.C. is a female who alleges she was sexually abused for former priest, Father Louis Brouillard at the San Isidro Parish in Malojojo.

Though she was there to clean the rectory, she reportedly saw the priest naked on the bed. That's when he allegedly grabbed her and pulled her on top of him and forced her to touch his private parts.

T.M. was attending St. Francis School in the mid-1970's when he alleges he and others went for naked swims at Lonfit River with the priest.

Also filed today, A.Q. alleges he was molested by former priest Father Raymond Cepeda. The priest was driving the boy home when he allegedly put his hand on the boy's thigh and penis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Second woman accuses Brouillard of sex abuse; 3 other abuse cases filed

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com July 11, 2017

Former Archdiocese of Agana priest Louis Brouillard has again been accused of sexual abuse, by a woman who said Brouillard abused her when she was a girl in the 1960s, and a man who said he was abused as a boy in the 1970s.

Four clergy sex abuse lawsuits were filed Tuesday in the Superior Court of Guam — two naming Brouillard, one naming defrocked priest Raymond Cepeda, and one naming Saint Anthony Catholic School music teacher Raymond Caluag as the abusers. The archdiocese is listed as a defendant in all four cases.

The plaintiffs are identified by their initials only. Plaintiffs A.Q., B.C. and T.M. are represented by Guam attorney Kevin Fowler, of the law firm Roberts Fowler & Visosky LLP. Plaintiff F.A.M. is represented by Guam attorney Anthony C. Perez.

Parish rectory

In her complaint, B.C. alleges that Brouillard sexually abused her in the San Isidro Parish rectory in Malojloj when she was a young girl. The complaint states B.C. would go to the parish to clean the rectory.

Now 59, B.C. said she was sexually abused when she entered the rectory one day and saw Brouillard naked on the bed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

3rd suit filed against former music teacher

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

A third alleged victim of former Catholic school teacher Raymond Caluag has filed suit in local courts, this time accusing the former music instructor of drugging and then sexually abusing him during overnight stays at Caluag's residence.

F.A.M., a Dededo resident, accused Caluag of molestation over the course of his three-year, middle school life which culminated with two overnight stays at the teacher's residence in which he recalled "mysteriously passing out" and waking hours later believing he "was drugged by Caluag," according to court documents.

Information provided in the complaint filed Tuesday detail F.A.M.'s accusations of abuse, which allegedly began in 1991 when he was 11 years old and in the sixth grade at St. Anthony Catholic School in Tamuning. At the time, Caluag was his music and religion teacher as well as the director of music and drama productions.

According to court documents, Caluag began to pay close attention to F.A.M. and repeatedly asked him to stay after class to talk in an effort to groom him for sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Catholic Church 'fiercely resisted' paying compensation to victims of a child sex offender teacher who threatened to kill a 10-year-old boy's mother if he told her about the abuse

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Bryant Hevesi For Daily Mail Australia

A school teacher who sexually abused two young male pupils was employed at a Catholic school despite telling officials he was previously convicted for sexual assault.

Documents released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reveal how legal advice obtained by a Catholic Diocese said the boy's parents then had the right to sue over a failure to adequately protect their children.

When one victim tried in 2005 to seek compensation from the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese in New South Wales, they 'fiercely resisted', documents say, according to The Newcastle Herald.

The teacher, known only as GKI, was charged with indecently assaulting two boys in 1988, and later convicted of the offences, documents released on Monday show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

East Windsor rabbi takes plea deal in sex assault case and avoids jail (Updated)

NEW JERSEY
CentralJersey.com

By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer Jul 7, 2017

From the outside, Rabbi Menachem Chinn of East Windsor observed the strictures of his Orthodox Jewish faith, from his beard to the head covering that stood in marked contrast to the yellow jail uniform he wore to his court appearance Friday morning.

Chinn, a 40-year-old married father of six children, admitted he had sexually exploited two young boys — who were students of his at separate times in 2005 and 2012 — when they were under the age of 13. One of the incidents, Chinn admitted, took place in the school where he had taught, the Shalom Torah Academy. The victim in that case, now a young man, was sitting in the courtroom of Mercer County Superior Court Judge Peter E. Warshaw, in Trenton, to watch Chinn finally admit his criminal actions.

“It was very hard, but at the same time, he’s getting what he deserved,” the man said of watching Chinn in court.

In return for pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, Chinn will avoid going to prison, getting two suspended five-year-terms to run concurrently, but he will have to register as a Megan’s Law sex offender and be parole supervised for life. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Court rules on identifying child offenders and victims

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

11 JULY 2017

ZELDA VENTER

Pretoria - In a victory for the media, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Tuesday that all child offenders, victims and witnesses may be identified once they have turned 18.

The various media houses, including Independent Media, scored this victory following an application by the Centre for Child Law, Childline South Africa and the young woman who became known to the country as Zephany Nurse, to protect the identities of children even after they had turned 18.

The applicant, however, scored a partial victory after the court declared that child victims who are under the age of 18, may not be named. As the law stood in the past, these children could have been identified.

Judge Wendy Hughes, however, made it clear that Zephany, or KL as she is referred to in court papers, may not be identified at this stage, pending the outcome of any appeals following this judgment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Cardinal Pell hires 'Rolls Royce' silk and Art of War aficionado to defend alleged sex abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Mark Saunokonoko
Jul 11, 2017

The top Melbourne lawyer handpicked by Cardinal George Pell comes to the sexual abuse case with a formidable courtroom reputation and a history of defending some of Australia's most unpopular people.

Robert Richter, QC, most famously convinced a jury that Mick Gatto's 2004 shooting of hitman Andrew "Benji" Veniamin in a Melbourne restaurant was self-defence, and not murder.

So delighted was "Big Mick" with his murder acquittal he went and tattooed the name "Robert Richter" across his chest.

Several Victorian lawyers contacted by Nine.com.au proclaimed the 71-year-old Richter, also known as "The Red Baron", as one of the most gifted defenders in Australia.

"He is the Rolls Royce of criminal defence lawyers," George Balot, a high-profile Melbourne solicitor who has worked alongside Richter, told Nine.com.au.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

July 10, 2017

Royal Commission publishes exhibits about child sexual abuse in Catholic Church institutions

AUSTRALIA
My Sunshine Coast

The Royal Commission has published documents relating to Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) and the Society of St Gerard Majella that were tendered during the public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Australia (Case Study 50).

The public hearing was held in Sydney in February 2017.

The CCI documents relate to investigations conducted by CCI into child sexual abuse claims to establish whether an insured Catholic Church authority had prior knowledge of an alleged perpetrator's propensity to abuse.

The Royal Commission has published CCI documents relating to 22 alleged perpetrators.

The Society of St Gerard Majella was a Catholic religious institute founded in the 1960s. It was suppressed by the Vatican at the request of the Bishop of Parramatta in 1996, which had the effect of closing down the Society.

Please note that the documents in both exhibits (Exhibit 50-0012 and Exhibit 50-0013) contain redactions of names and identifying information that are subject to directions not to publish.

The documents can be found in the exhibits section on the Case Study 50 page of the Royal Commission website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

Man comes forward to share his story of alleged sex abuse at Bergen Catholic High School

NEW JERSEY
Fios 1

Walter Slapkowski graduated from Bergen Catholic High School in 1974. But over 40 years after he left, Slapkowski returned Thursday to detail how he was allegedly abused while attending the school.

Slapkowski alleges that Christian Brother Timothy Joseph O'Sullivan took advantage of him during what was supposed to be detention. He says he came forward now because of a $1.9 million settlement in August, after a lawsuit from 21 men accusing staffers of sexual abuse decades ago.

Slapkowski is one of the seven other victims who came forward, after the settlement.

Road to Recovery, a non-profit group that provides help to sex abuse victims, backs Slapkowski in his mission to spread awareness and stop the abuses.

"He needs to be stopped," Slapkowski said. "Because I'm sure he's still doing it. This was '71, I was thirteen, I weighed 90-100 pounds. I wish I could go back and discuss it with him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Maitland-Newcastle diocese should have known the risks when it employed a paedophile

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

IT would be hard to imagine a more damning statement from an insurance company to a church – we refuse to cover you because you allowed a paedophile teacher into your schools.

But that’s what Maitland-Newcastle diocese did in 1974 when it employed a teacher who can only be referred to as GKI. And when parents complained about him in the 1980s the principal and the Catholic Education Office failed to act.

And when one of the teacher’s victims tried to sue the diocese in 2005 he was “fiercely resisted” in court, despite the diocese 15 years earlier conceding – to itself – that victims would have a “pretty good case” against it.

Once again the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has exposed the ugly reality behind the Catholic Church’s global tragedy of abuse. In a series of documents released on Monday, communities around Australia can see how much the church knew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Sir John Major and Gordon Brown will give evidence to child sexual abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
July 11 2017
The Times

Two former prime ministers will be called to give evidence to the public inquiry into child abuse next week as it examines the ill-treatment of children sent abroad under state-approved migration programmes.

Sir John Major and Gordon Brown are the first prominent public figures to be asked to account for the conduct of state institutions before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Sir John is to give evidence about his government’s response as the scandal of how British children were abused in farm schools and church institutions in Australia emerged during the 1990s.

In 1993 he wrote to one MP stating that Britain was not responsible for the way child migrants had been treated in other countries. Sir John, who was prime minister from 1990-97, is scheduled to provide written evidence to the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese exposed after 'fiercely resisting" a child sex victim in court

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
11 Jul 2017

MAITLAND-Newcastle Catholic diocese “fiercely resisted” paying compensation to the victim of a notorious child sex offender teacher in 2005 despite internal legal advice in 1990 conceding his victims would have “a pretty good case” to sue the church, royal commission documents released on Monday show.

The teacher’s trail of destruction through the Hunter over several decades included a parting gesture to the church a year before his death – his evidence to the 2005 court case saying he warned the diocese he was a convicted child sex offender before it employed him in 1974.

His crimes against children included threatening a 10-year-old boy victim that he would “kill your mum” if the boy told her about the serious sexual assaults.

Documents released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse show the teacher’s evidence on February 16, 2005 caused Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) less than a week later to refuse to cover the diocese for any claims by the teacher’s victims, and increased the substantial compensation ultimately paid to 10 victims because of the diocese’s liability.

The documents show CCI advised the then Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone that “the dilemma we now face is the difficulty of defending the actions of the diocese, who allegedly allowed a known sex offender to work as a teacher in the Catholic education system”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Christian Brothers offered pedophile brethren a second chance

STRALIA
The Australian

July 11, 2017

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@TessaAkerman

A provincial leader of the Christian Brothers gave pedophile brothers a second chance to stay in the order, if there were repentant and submitted to a “jolly good talking to”, documents tendered to the abuse royal commission ­reveal.

Brother James Athanasius McGlade told officers from Catholic Church Insurance in a 2004 interview that he viewed brothers subject to a complaint as deserving of a second chance if they had some “knowledge” of their ­offence and were repentant. He said he also admonished them to a certain degree and expressed the hope it wouldn’t happen again.

“First complaint, a brother would be given a second chance after a jolly good talking to,” the insurance officer said. “If there was a second complaint, then generally he was out of the order.”

Brother McGlade agreed and said he was always hopeful that a brother who abused children would repent and have the opportunity of atoning readily for his first “failure”.

“I want to emphasise that it did happen in a number of cases and men who are still, some of them, wonderful men and who have been a credit really to the Christian Brothers,” he said. “They failed once and they didn’t fail again.”

The documents reveal one of the cases he dealt with was that of GLX, who told CCI officers he informed Brother McGlade in 1970 that he was seriously attracted to children and asked if he could be given non-school work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

Youth pastor accused of sexually assaulting 14-year-old girl on train

MICHIGAN
MLive

BY JOHN COUNTS

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI - A Tennessee man is charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl on a train during a church trip to Michigan five years ago.

Blaine Faircloth Jr., 33, appeared Thursday, July 6, in Pittsfield Township's 14A-1 District Court, where Judge Elizabeth Hines set a preliminary examination for July 27. There was no other discussion about the case in court Thursday.

Faircloth is accused of using a position of authority as a youth pastor in a church group to coerce the teen into a sexual relationship, according to the warrant.

Faircloth was 28 years old at the time of the alleged offenses, which police say took place between July 17, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2012 on a church trip, specifically on a train from Chicago to Dearborn. That's according to Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Edward Price, who presented that information in testimony before a magistrate when swearing to the arrest warrant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Catholic order head 'knew of allegations'

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

JULY 10, 2017

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

The founder of a Catholic order shut down over sexual misconduct defended a religious brother accused of indecent assault despite knowing about allegations against him two decades earlier, an inquiry has heard.

Society of St Gerard Majella founder John Sweeney, who was himself later convicted of indecent assault, knew about sexual impropriety by Peter Harold Pritchard (Brother Joseph Pritchard) as early as 1974, a church inquiry found.

Documents released by the child abuse royal commission show Sweeney wrote a character reference for Pritchard in 1993, telling the magistrate that numerous young men were deeply indebted to the chaplain.

"It seems inconceivable to me that a man who has shown such dedication and commitment to these young men, and has been so solicitous for their welfare and wellbeing, which at times involved great personal sacrifice and working long hours, would, with full knowledge and premeditation, abuse one of them in any way thereby causing personal injury or suffering."

A 1993 church inquiry found allegations of sexual impropriety were substantiated against Sweeney, the vicar general Pritchard and then superior general Brother Stephen Joseph Robinson, following complaints by current and former members of the society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Cardinal Müller’s self-delusion and sense of entitlement

ROME
La Croix

"But what’s more, what a spectacle to the world this display from Cardinal Müller is. The abject lack of self-awareness as he digs his own hole deeper is something to witness."

Michael Kelly, SJ

Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s criticism of Pope Francis’ termination of his tenure as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is simply astonishing. His complaint is that he had no warning and the termination was a summary dismissal.

I don’t know where the cardinal has been in recent months. But it doesn’t seem to have been in Rome. Or if he was in Rome, he must have kept his winter muffs covering his ears and fogged goggles to (not) see with.

Even from a great distance – I live in Bangkok – it’s been obvious to me that if he didn’t change his tune, he wasn’t long for his job.In recent months, the cardinal’s had three of his clerical employees sent packing from the CDF for their reported resistance to the current pope’s agenda.

Again, and as the world knows, the two lay people who resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors left explicitly because of their frustration with the obstacles and blockages that CDF staff placed before action and reform.

Cardinal Müller denied there was any problem.For him then to invoke nothing short of his entitlement to remain as the reason he’s most upset puts him, at least for me, in a parallel universe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Letter from Rome

ROME
Commonweal

Who Will Lose His Vatican Job Next?

By Robert Mickens
July 10, 2017

Who’s the next president or prefect of a major Vatican department that Pope Francis will let go?

Many heads could start to roll—that is, if Cardinal Gerhard Müller is right and the pope really has decided to replace Roman Curia chieftains at the completion of their five-year terms.

Francis must have adopted this new policy at the very last minute. Because a mere six days before Müller reached the conclusion of his quinquennium on July 2, Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès OP already completed his first five years as Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church.

Benedict XVI had appointed Bruguès to the prestigious post on June 26, 2012. And by doing so, he all but guaranteed the Dominican would become a cardinal, considering that every one of his librarian predecessors dating back to 1550 eventually got the red hat.

But up to now, Bruguès, who will be seventy-four in November, has been denied entrance into the illustrious College of Cardinals. And yet Pope Francis has allowed him to continue past his initial mandate, in contrast to what happened to Cardinal Müller.

So who’s next in line to lose his Vatican job?

Going by the numbers, it should be Archbishop Georg Gänswein. In just five months from now–on December 7, to be precise–the soon-to-be sixty-one-year-old private secretary and housemate of the retired Benedict XVI will complete five years as prefect of the Papal Household.

And unless Francis makes an exception to the new policy he allegedly told Müller, Gänswein should be replaced on that date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Judge refuses to grant stay in proceedings against ex-principal facing historical sex abuse allegations

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By John Cassidy
July 10 2017

A judge on Monday refused to grant a stay in proceedings against a former Catholic school principal facing historical child sex abuse allegations.

Lawyers for Richard Duffin (78), formerly of Ballysallagh Road, Cargan, Ballymena, Co Antrim said he was too ill to stand trial on eight counts of indecent assault, two charges of cruelty to children under the age of 16 and two counts of common assault.

Judge Gordon Kerr QC said on Monday that although he was refusing to grant the abuse of process application, one remedy to the case instead of a trial could be to hold a "fact find hearing'' in which it would be decided if Duffin had committed the acts as alleged by three male complainants.

The offences are alleged to have taken place on dates between June 1975 and June 1981 against three males while he was principal of St Joseph's Primary School in Ballymena. He denies all the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

He sues the church to comfort the afflicted

NEW MEXICO
The New Mexican

Milan Simonich Jul 9, 2017

Happenstance can change lives. In rare cases, it can even lessen human suffering that’s been unrelenting for 30 or 40 years.

New Mexico is home to one such story. It involves attorney Brad Hall and 68 of his clients. All of these clients initially identified themselves in court documents as John Doe. But they were not faceless people, not to Hall and eventually not to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Since 2012, Hall has obtained financial settlements for 67 of his John Doe clients who said they were molested during childhood by Catholic priests. The other client, John Doe No. 68, a man living in Santa Fe, just filed suit last week against the archdiocese and former priest Jason Sigler, who was a serial predator of boys.

Sigler, now 78, is living on the west side of Albuquerque, where he settled after serving nine years in prison in Michigan for molesting boys at a parish. Six of Hall’s clients say Sigler also sexually abused them while he was assigned to parishes in Northern New Mexico.

Hall deposed Sigler in some of the cases, an exercise in redundancy. Sigler arrived with a criminal attorney at his side and refused to answer any questions on the grounds that he might incriminate himself. By invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege, Sigler protected himself against a return to prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Byrnes appoints Martinez as new delegate to review Neocatechumenal Way

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com July 10, 2017

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes appointed Deacon Steve Martinez to help review the basic pastoral theology principles or teachings of the Neocatechumenal Way, a movement within the Catholic church whose practices sometimes are at odds with those of Guam's traditional Catholic community.

Byrnes, in his latest aviso, said Martinez's appointment as delegate to the Neocatechumenal Way took effect on July 1.

Martinez confirmed through text message Monday that he will be "helping to review the movement."

The announcement comes three months after Byrnes named the Rev. Danilo “Danny” Ferrandiz to the post. The Archdiocese of Agana said Ferrandiz had resigned from the post.

In March, Byrnes issued a pastoral letter, asking the Neocatechumenal Way to put a one-year pause on the formation of new communities, and to celebrate Mass in accordance with the Catholic Church’s general instructions and norms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Six clergy sex abuse cases to be heard tomorrow

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 09, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Six cases of clergy sex abuse that were scheduled to be heard in federal court last week will instead be heard tomorrow. Four of the cases are against Archbishop Anthony Apuron. As reported, Apuron's attorney Jacque Terlaje previously advised the court she won't participate in settlement talks until Apuron's ongoing canonical trial in Rome is complete. Results from that trial are anticipated to be revealed sometime this summer. The hearing will start at 9:30 a.m. in the District Court of Guam.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Weekly protests end; parishioners move to support Archbishop Byrnes

GUAM
Pacific News Center

For the last time, picketers protested outside the Agana Cathedral on Sunday.

Guam – Members from various Catholic Church groups have decided to lay down their picket signs and place their trust in Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes. Every Sunday for over a year,

Every Sunday for over a year, catholic parishioners have gathered at Agana Cathedral to send a message to the Vatican and the local Chancery requesting the removal of Archbishop Anthony Apuron. The ousted Archbishop is facing a canonical trial in Rome for the alleged sexual abuse of at least four former altar boys. Last Sunday marked the last protest as the member of the Catholic community have decided to lay down their picket signs. According to Jungle Watch Blogger Tim

Last Sunday marked the last protest with over 100 participants as members of the catholic community have decided to lay down their picket signs. According to Jungle Watch Blogger Tim Rohr they have “effected change that no one thought was possible.”

“We had been protesting in that location, at that particular time the cathedral was the archbishops seat and 9:30 [am] was Archbishop Apuron’s mass and his name is still there and so in his absence there was no other way we could make a public statement about what we thought of Archbishop Apuron other than to protest that mass. We put the signs away at 920 and walked into mass. That was our statement to Archbishop Byrnes, ‘Okay we are on your side. Now we know you are going to do the right thing,'” states Rohr.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Exhibits published about child sexual abuse in Catholic Church institutions

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

10 July, 2017

The Royal Commission has published documents relating to Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) and the Society of St Gerard Majella that were tendered during the public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Australia (Case Study 50).

The public hearing was held in Sydney in February 2017.

The CCI documents relate to investigations conducted by CCI into child sexual abuse claims to establish whether an insured Catholic Church authority had prior knowledge of an alleged perpetrator’s propensity to abuse.

The Royal Commission has published CCI documents relating to 22 alleged perpetrators.

The Society of St Gerard Majella was a Catholic religious institute founded in the 1960s. It was suppressed by the Vatican at the request of the Bishop of Parramatta in 1996, which had the effect of closing down the Society.

Please note that the documents in both exhibits (Exhibit 50-0012 and Exhibit 50-0013) contain redactions of names and identifying information that are subject to directions not to publish.

Visit Case Study 50 and go to exhibits to find the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Secrecy over clergy abuse standards causes confusion in India

INDIA
National Catholic Reporter

Jose Kavi | Jul. 10, 2017

NEW DELHI, INDIA

Three months after India's theologians and Catholic religious pressed a congress of bishops to act aggressively against a wave of sex abuse cases involving priests, no official response has come.

But top church leaders told National Catholic Reporter in exclusive interviews that bishops in India are following Vatican-approved guidelines for handling clergy abuse cases. The guidelines took effect in 2015 but have not been shared beyond bishops and religious superiors to protect the policy from being misused, an officer in the bishops' conference told NCR.

The March 22 letter, signed by 127 Catholic religious, theologians and feminists, was sent to Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, with copies to heads of India's three ritual churches.

The letter was spurred by the Feb. 28 arrest of Fr. Robin Vadakkumcherry who allegedly raped and fathered the child of a minor in his Kottiyoor parish. The local diocese removed the priest from his position upon his arrest and reportedly acted against another priest and five women religious charged in a cover-up.

Despite Pope Francis' call for "zero tolerance" by the church in handling cases of clergy abuse against minors, change has not been swift worldwide. Priests such as Vadakkumcherry have been more likely to face criminal charges first. And, just last week, Australian police announced pursuing charges against one of the pope's closest advisers, Cardinal George Pell, for historical sexual abuse against minors. The cardinal is required to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Martin says Church stubbornly reluctant to cede control of schools

IRELAND
Irish Times

Sarah Burns

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said there is “a stubborn reluctance within the Church” towards the divestment of Catholic schools.

Dr Martin said the Irish religious education establishment “is fixated on questions of ownership and management and too little on the purpose of the Catholic school and the outcomes of Catholic education in terms of faith formation”.

Dr Martin was speaking at the Diocese of Wurzburg in Germany on ‘The Challenge for the Church in the 21st Century’ over the weekend.

A “reconfiguration plan” was announced earlier this year by Minister for Education Richard Bruton, aimed at encouraging the church to transfer the patronage of more than 200 schools to other models, including State-run schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Will Fr Charles Engelhardt’s Prosecutor Take a Plea Deal?

UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

POSTED BY FR. GORDON J. MACRAE ON JUNE 28, 2017

Some of the mighty have fallen from their public ruse as self-proclaimed champions of truth, justice, and the American way. The entire landscape of the Catholic Church in America was altered by the work of David Clohessy, Barbara Blaine, and “SNAP,” the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

SNAP’s snappy acronym, and Clohessy’s and Blaine’s relentless media assault about sexually abusive Catholic priests, made the organization a Catholic household name. SNAP’s manipulation of the media helped launch the mediated settlement process that, to date, has siphoned over $3 billion from Catholic institutions, insurance carriers, and Catholic ministries in the United States

SNAP also made the American Catholic bishops shudder, spawning policies that, in the quest to assuage SNAP and satisfy lawyers, brought great harm to the priesthood and the relationship between bishops and priests. The damage was summed up in a single sentence by Canadian Catholic blogger, Michael Brandon, in an assessment of These Stone Walls:

“The Catholic Church has become the safest place in the world for young people and the most dangerous place in the world for Catholic priests.”

Now, ever so slowly, much of the media and prosecutorial spin woven by SNAP has begun to unravel. While most Catholic leaders were cowered into accommodating silence, the Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights led by Bill Donohue, published “SNAP Implodes” in a recent issue of Catalyst.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Disabled kept waiting for €1m Magdalene payments

IRELAND
The Times

Ellen Coyne
July 10 2017
The Times

Disabled women who survived the Magdalene laundries could lose out on compensation because the government is stalling on enacting the legislation needed to pay them.

Charlie Flanagan, the justice minister, has said that legislation supporting a scheme for people with intellectual disabilities cannot be fully enacted this year because the person responsible for supervising it not yet been hired. Activists have warned that some of the women may die before they are compensated for the abuse they endured.

Nineteen of the most vulnerable Magdalene laundry survivors are being denied more than €1 million of compensation. The group includes nine women who spent more than a decade in the institutions and are entitled to the maximum €100,000 under the state’s restorative scheme.

The women have not been paid because the government has decided that they do not have the capacity to understand the scheme or the documents they must sign to make a claim.

The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act, which was signed last year, would give them access to independent decision-makers appointed to protect their payments. It is being phased in but there is no timeline for it to be fully implemented.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Protesting Catholics retire their signs

GUAM
KUAM

Jul 10, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Sunday marked the end of what's become a familiar sight for Catholics. 117 protestors on the steps of the Hagatna Cathedral officially retired their signs in anticipation for a decision from the Vatican relative to the ongoing canonical trial against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Whatever the verdict, this vocal group of Catholics are showing their support for Guam's new shepherd, Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes.

Week after week, nothing could stop this group from coming out in full force. Not rain. Not age. Not even disability. Now, they've retired their signs after fifty-four weeks of Sunday pickets.

Lou Klitzkie promised, "This will be our last picket." While the messages may have changed over the weeks - depending on the latest issue plaguing the Church - they've continually advocated for the truth and transparency.

Their last message - Defrock Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Leading the pack is Laity Forward Movement's Klitzkie, who added, "We made our point."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Father Bill Moloney to return to his Peterborough flock after being cleared of any wrongdoing

CANADA
My Kawartha

PETERBOROUGH - A Peterborough priest cleared of sexual misconduct allegations will return as pastor of his church.

Father Bill Moloney will return as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish on Wednesday (July 12). Father Moloney was placed on administrative leave in November of 2016 when Haliburton OPP began an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at Camp Northern Lights, where he is a director. The OPP wrapped up its investigation in December of 2016 and cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.

Following that, the Peterborough diocese undertook its own review of Father Moloney’s actions. That was conducted by a review board composed of nine members - six lay persons and three clergy - all of whom have signed a confidentiality agreement and are bound not to disclose the file materials, the review board deliberations or recommendations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

30 años después, el fantasma de Nicolás Aguilar continúa persiguiendo a Norberto Rivera

MEXICO
Diario Cambio

[It took Mexican justice 30 years to initiate an investigation into the probable cover-up of sexual abuse committed by priest Nicolás Aguilar Martínez in Tehuacán. The denunciation was accepted by the PGR against Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera - the first against a cardinal in Mexico - and accuses the highest representative of the Vatican in Mexico of covering up for 15 pederast priests.Sources from the Mexican Episcopal Conference (CEM) confirmed to Diario CAMBIO that file DF / 05541/2017 is about an accusation for omissions by Norberto Rivera in the pedophilia scandal of Nicolas Aguilar, who would have raped more than 30 children when he was attached to the diocese of Tehuacán in the 1980s.].

Treinta años tardó la justicia mexicana en iniciar una investigación en contra del cardenal Primado de México, Norberto Rivera Carrera por su probable encubrimiento en los abusos sexuales cometidos por el sacerdote Nicolás Aguilar Martínez en la Diócesis de Tehuacán, ya que la PGR aceptó la denuncia en contra del jerarca católico –la primera en contra de un cardenal en este país– por solapar a 15 clérigos pederastas.

La justicia mexicana tardó 30 años en iniciar una investigación por el probable encubrimiento de abuso sexual que cometió el sacerdote Nicolás Aguilar Martínez en Tehuacán, ya que la denuncia aceptada por la PGR contra el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera –la primera en contra de un cardenal en este país– acusa al máximo representante de El Vaticano en México de solapar a 15 clérigos pederastas.

Fuentes de la Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano (CEM) confirmaron a Diario CAMBIO que el expediente DF/05541/2017 contempla una acusación por omisiones de parte de Norberto Rivera en el escándalo de pederastia de Nicolás Aguilar, quien habría violado a más de 30 menores de edad cuando estaba adscrito a la diócesis de Tehuacán en los años ochenta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

NSW Catholics hired teacher despite abuse

AUSTRALIA
9 News

Jul 10, 2017

Catholic education officials were allegedly told of a teacher's conviction for sexually assaulting boys before he was hired and appointed to a NSW school.

In an affidavit tendered to the child abuse royal commission, the teacher, known as GKI, said he admitted in 1974 to former Newcastle director Monsignor Vincent Dilley he'd been dismissed from the public education system over the 1962 conviction.

In a 2005 sworn affidavit, GKI also said he talked to Father Frank Coolahan, who he understood to soon be replacing Monsignor Dilley, and asked him whether he was aware of the conviction and dismissal.

"Yes," GKI recalled Father Coolahan saying in the affidavit made public on Monday.

"Monsignor Dilley said: ' Yes, I am aware of that'."

The affidavit was one of hundreds of documents relating to Catholic Church Insurance's (CCI) knowledge of alleged perpetrators released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Cardinal tipped for pope to give speech at conference

IRELAND
Irish Independent

David Raleigh
July 10 2017

A Cardinal, tipped to be the next pope, is to give a keynote speech at a major Catholic conference in Limerick this week.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who is Pope Francis's lead cardinal on new pastoral direction, Amoris Laetitia, will address the 'Let's Talk Family: Let's Be Family' conference at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), on Thursday.

Cardinal Schönborn, a son of divorced parents, and who promotes acceptance of homosexuality and increased lay involvement in the Church, was censored by the Vatican in 2010 after he accused another cardinal of covering up clerical sexual abuse.

Cardinal Schönborn attracted international headlines last year when he said "many Muslims" are intent on invading Europe and conquering Christians.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Gregory: Pope ‘gets it’ on sex abuse, but gets it as an Argentinian

UNITED STATES
Crux

[Pope Francis and Clergy Sexual Abuse in Argentina - BishopAccountability.org]

John L. Allen Jr. and Ines San Martin
July 10, 2017

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, who served as president of the U.S. bishops during the white-hot period of the American abuse scandals in 2002-2003, says Pope Francis "gets it," but cannot have the same understanding of the repercussions as someone from a culture where it's been as intense as here. Gregory also called for deescalating rhetoric on immigration, and for defusing the bomb before it goes off with regard to racial tensions in America.

ORLANDO, Florida - Arguably few leaders in the American Catholic Church are better positioned than Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, who served as the conference president during the white-hot period of the sexual abuse scandals in the U.S. in 2002-2003, to assess where Pope Francis stands on the issue.

His verdict?

“I’m convinced that he gets it, but I think that he gets it as an Argentinian,” Gregory said.

“That is, he gets it as someone who lives in a culture, and has come from a culture, where it has not been on the television or the headlines of the newspapers with such consistency,” Gregory said.

“I think he clearly understands the gravity of it, but the repercussions that keep occurring…” maybe not so much, the 69-year-old Gregory said.

Gregory spoke to Crux during the July 1-4 “Convocation of Catholic Leaders,” a gathering of almost 3,500 bishops, clergy, religious and laity held in Orlando, Florida.

Not long ago, Gregory led a liturgy of penance for the abuse scandals during a bishops’ meeting in Indianapolis, saying that the Church “can never apologize enough.” He defended the response of the U.S., the heart of which was the “zero tolerance” policy adopted under his leadership during a meeting of the conference in Dallas, but warned that the measures adopted by the Church must be constantly monitored and updated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

MÜLLER CRITICISES POPE FOR THE WAY HE DISMISSED HIM AND OFFERS TO HELP MEDIATE “DEEP RIFT” IN THE CHURCH

GERMANY
The Tablet (UK)

10 July 2017 | by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

'Church’s social teaching must also be applied to the way employees are treated here in Rome', Müller told a German newspaper

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who was informed by Pope Francis on 30 June that his mandate as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) would not be prolonged, has sharply criticised the way in which the Pope dismissed him.

“The Pope informed me within one minute of his decision not to prolong my mandate. He did not give a reason, just as he gave no reasons for dismissing three highly competent members of the CDF a few months ago. I cannot accept this way of doing things. As a bishop one cannot treat people in this way. The Church’s social teaching must also be applied to the way employees are treated here in Rome”, Müller told the Bavarian daily 'Passauer Neue Presse' on 6 July.

He had informed Cardinal Joachim Meisner of the Pope’s decision not to renew his [Müller’s] mandate in a long telephone conversation on the evening of 4 July, a few hours before Meisner unexpectedly died in his sleep. Meisner had been “particularly upset” to hear of the Pope’s decision, Müller said. “He thought it would harm the Church”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Cardinal Pell arrives in Australia to face sexual offence charges

AUSTRALIA
Reuters

[with video]

A top Vatican official charged in his native Australia with historical sex crimes arrived in Sydney on Monday ahead of his first court appearance later this month.

Australia's Nine Entertainment Co Ltd broadcast video of Cardinal George Pell being whisked away from Sydney airport early on Monday morning.

Australian police said late last month Pell, an adviser to Pope Francis, faced multiple charges of "historical sexual offences" from multiple complainants. That makes the Vatican economy minister the highest-ranking Church official to face such accusations.

Pell has declared his innocence and said he would return to Australia to clear his name.

The Sydney Catholic archdiocese said on Monday Pell's return "should not be a surprise" because he had already said he would return to defend himself against the charges.

It said in a statement Pell "consulted his doctors and on their advice took several days to return home, breaking his journey in a number of places to avoid long-haul flights".

Pell had said he was too sick to fly home to testify at a government inquiry into child abuse in 2016.

On Sunday, Nine broadcast video of Pell in casual attire with a companion outside an ice cream shop in Singapore. The tourist who took the video told Pell his mother wanted to know if he was innocent.

"Tell her that I am," Pell said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

BACK IN AUSTRALIA, NUMBER THREE IN THE VATICAN ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

AUSTRALIA
Sherbrooke Times

AFP

Cardinal George Pell, number three on the Vatican, arrived Monday in Australia, where it must be heard in two weeks on suspicion of sexual assault.

Pope Francis has granted leave to the head of finance for the Holy see to enable him to ensure its defense.

The prelate 76-year-old was charged in late June for ‘ crimes of sexual assault, old “, without any precision on the facts alleged or the ages of the alleged victims. It is convened on 26 July before the court of Melbourne for a preliminary hearing.

Cardinal Pell has landed in Sydney and quickly left the airport. His spokesman said in a press release that it would not make any declaration, but stated that he was grateful for ” the many messages of support he continues to receive “.

“When he was informed of his indictment by the police of the State of Victoria, cardinal Pell said in Rome that”he rejected categorically the accusations, that he was completely innocent and that he would be back in Australia to defend themselves,” he said.

“His return today should not be a surprise,” he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

July 9, 2017

Disgraced reality star Josh Duggar files new lawsuit against magazine and local Arkansas officials who released information that he molested his sisters when they were children

ARKANSAS
Daily Mail (UK)

By Mary Kekatos For Dailymail.com

Josh Duggar has filed a lawsuit against Arkansas officials over the release of information regarding reports that he sexually abused his sisters when they were children.

Four of the 29-year-old's sisters filed a separate lawsuit, which he rescinded a request to join, against the Springfield officials, Washington County officials and a magazine.

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, claims Duggar's right to due process was violated and his privacy was invaded, and $75,000 is being sought in damages, lawyer's fees and a jury trial.

The 19 Kids and Counting star claims in his lawsuit that Springdale officials responded to In Touch Weekly's May 2015 Freedom of Information Act request by 'hastily and recklessly' allowing release of the offense and incident reports.

He says the poorly redacted reports contain identifying information including his and both of his parents' names, the family's address, and clearly identified one of the alleged victims as his then-five-year-old sister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Cardinal George Pell lands in Sydney ahead of court appearance for alleged historical sexual offences

AUSTRALIA
9 News

[with video]

Cardinal George Pell has arrived in Sydney as he prepares to face court over alleged historical sexual offences.

In exclusive video obtained by 9NEWS Cardinal Pell was seen arriving at Sydney Airport flanked by several men as he walked to a waiting car.

Cardinal Pell, 76, is due to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 26, after Victoria Police charged him over a number of alleged historical sexual offences.

The Cardinal presumably flew into Sydney from Singapore where he was spotted over the weekend.

He was filmed sitting with a friend outside an ice cream shop in Singapore yesterday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Cardinal George Pell arrives in Sydney ahead of court appearance on sex abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

Cardinal George Pell has arrived in Sydney ahead of his first court appearance for historical sexual abuse charges later this month.

Pell was spotted during a stopover in Singapore on the weekend and arrived in Sydney this morning.

He was met by security and whisked away to a waiting car at the airport's loading dock.

He is due to face the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 26.

Pell has always maintained his innocence and strenuously denied allegations of historical sexual abuse, the details of which have not been made public.

Late last month, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters the charges involved multiple complainants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 PM

Cardinal George Pell returns to Australia to face historical sex abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

[with video]

Pallavi Singhal

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's highest ranking Catholic, has returned to Australia after being charged with historical sex offences.

The 76-year-old landed at Sydney Airport at 5.55am on Monday after flying in from the Vatican via Singapore.

The Australian Federal Police, NSW Police and private security contractors were waiting to escort Cardinal Pell from Sydney Airport.

Cardinal Pell left the airport through a separate exit to other passengers, and got into one of two waiting white cars. He did not answer any questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Will the 'Jewish Taliban' Survive the Death of Their Spiritual Leader?

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Allison Kaplan Sommer
Jul 09, 2017

The saga of a cult of ultra-Orthodox fundamentalist Jews whose controversial practices have led them to wander the world – from Israel to the U.S., Canada, Guatemala and finally to Mexico – could be heading into a dramatic final chapter.

Mexican media outlets are reporting that the charismatic leader of the Lev Tahor sect, Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, drowned in a river.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman told Haaretz that an official from the Israeli consulate in Mexico is headed to the country’s southern region to confirm the death and identify Helbrans’ body.

According to Mexican media reports, Helbrans, 55, was overtaken by river currents in the southeastern state of Chiapas while taking part in a ritual immersion.

The fact that members of the group, ruled a “dangerous cult” by an Israeli court, were living in Mexico was little-known. Oded Twik, an activist for the families of Lev Tahor members, said that Helbrans had quietly led his followers out of Guatemala several months ago, crossing the border into the Chiapas, where they were seeking asylum status, without alerting the media. The Mexican government, he said, had allowed Helbrans and his followers to temporarily remain in the country for 180 days, and the group had already begun a campaign to convince the Mexicans to let them stay longer.

When the news of Helbrans’ drowning first broke on Saturday, Twik thought perhaps they weren’t true and it was some kind of a ruse. “I suspected that he staged it” in order to evade authorities who were chasing him, he said. But over the course day on Sunday, he checked with his contacts in the region and the reports appeared increasingly credible.

Twik was told that Helbrans was not yet been buried and that his body was in refrigeration, awaiting official identification, but his family members would not permit an autopsy. The activist, who extracted his own family members from Lev Tahor in Guatemala two years ago, said he was concerned about ensuing actions by the group’s leadership following Helbrans’ death. He also worried that distressed members could harm themselves: “These are people in a cult who have lost their spiritual leader. The reaction could be extreme.”

There is little that isn’t extreme about Lev Tahor, comprised of an estimated 250 members (though the precise number of adherents is unknown).

The group is known as the “Jewish Taliban” in the Israeli press because the women wear head-to-toe black robes, reminiscent of what women in Afghanistan had to wear during Taliban rule. The group’s name means “Pure Heart” and reflects the philosophy of Helbrans, who preached that members must purify themselves from the corrupting influences that defile the rest of the world – including other ultra-Orthodox groups, from which many of his followers came. He dictated a closely supervised, spartan way of life and rejected modern technology, going beyond the decrees of even the strictest ultra-Orthodox streams. He did share with them an anti-Zionist philosophy and a belief that the State of Israel is an evil and illegitimate entity.

Twik and other relatives of Lev Tahor members charge that the cult keeps its members in line with cruel and extreme methods, including physical violence, psychiatric drugs, the removal of children from their parents and forcing underage girls to marry older men.

Helbrans was born into a secular Israeli family. As a teenager, he became religious and joined the anti-Zionist Satmar Hassidic sect. In the late 1980s, Helbrans developed his own following, preaching the future apocalyptic destruction of the State of Israel and basing his predictions on biblical prophecies. In 1990 he moved his followers to the United States, and founded a yeshiva in Brooklyn. Four years later, he was convicted of kidnapping a 13-year-old who was sent to the yeshiva to study for his bar mitzvah by convincing him to become ultra-Orthodox, sever ties with his family and join Lev Tahor.

After serving two years in prison for the crime, he was granted parole and moved with his followers to Monsey, New York, where he again ran a yeshiva, but the local ultra-Orthodox community became hostile toward the group. In 2000, the United States deported Helbrans back to Israel, but he and his followers soon moved to Quebec, Canada, seeking – and receiving – refugee status from the Canadian government. Helbrans claimed he was persecuted by Israel for his anti-Zionist views. The group remained in Canada for a decade, but their troubles with authorities followed them, with allegations of child abuse mounting over the years. In 2013 the scrutiny of the Quebec child protection services drove them out of that province and to Ontario, but they remained on the radar of Canadian authorities – and the Canadian media, which reported on their severe practices extensively.

After several of the sect’s children were placed in foster care and it appeared that group's leaders would face criminal charges, members fled Canada in 2014, heading for Guatemala.
After an initial stay in Guatemala City, the group moved to the village of San Juan La Laguna on the shores of Lake Atitlan, but they were soon forcibly driven out after clashing with the villages’ Council of Indigenous Elders. The town’s former mayor ended up with a year-long prison sentence for forcing them out of the town.

After the expulsion, Lev Tahor members moved back to Guatemala City, but after authorities there raided the sect’s compound amid allegations of physical and mental abuse of their children in 2016, they moved once again, this time to Oratorio, a village 50 miles southeast of Guatemala City.

On April 25, 2017 a ruling by an Israeli court declared that the sect was a “dangerous cult” that abused children. The court was petitioned by families of Lev Tahor devotees to increase pressure on the government to repatriate Israeli children living with the sect abroad and try to prevent others from being taken out of the country.

Evidence showed “the Lev Tahor community treats the children of the community ... with severe physical punishment, with underage marriage ... with spouses who sometimes have age differences of up to 20 years," wrote Judge Rivka Makayes wrote in her decision. She added that “there is a punitive policy toward members of the community that includes the separation of children from their parents – even in infancy – and the transfer of children to be raised in another family; the prevention of formal education and isolation from the outside world and all external sources of information.”

According to the Foreign Ministry, the mandate of the diplomat headed to Chiapas is strictly to confirm Helbrans' death, not to investigate the state of the Israeli Lev Tahor members there.
Twik says Israel has turned a deaf ear to the appeals of families of Lev Tahor members over the years, and has not done enough to help the children he believes they have abused. He said that he “took the matter into my own hands” two years ago and “rescued” his family members by force from Guatemala himself after concluding that “the state wasn’t going to do anything.” Twik’s sister and her children now live in New Jersey. He said they were in “complete shock” at the news of Helbrans' death.

He said he was not at all certain that the death of the group's founder would mark the end of Lev Tahor. Although the loss of the spiritual leader will cause “cracks,” Twik believes that overall, the organization is a “well-oiled machine,” and that other powerful members of the group, including Helbrans’ son Nahman, are capable of taking over the leadership role. He noted that during the times Helbrans was detained or imprisoned, the sect – made up mainly of Israeli and American Jews – continued to function.

Israeli officials “should go there now, talk to the people, calm them down, check up on them. There are Israeli children there,” said Twik. “It’s a crazy group with crazy practices. I look at my family and they were abused badly – not just by Helbrans, but by powerful families in the group.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Cardinal George Pell arrives in Australia to fight sexual abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Sunday 9 July 2017

Cardinal George Pell has returned to Australia to face historical sexual abuse charges in Melbourne at the end of the month.

The 76-year-old was pictured early on Monday morning leaving Sydney airport after flying in from the Vatican via Singapore.

On 30 June Victoria police charged the cardinal, a former Melbourne and Sydney archbishop and Ballarat priest, with multiple sexual offences.

Australia’s most senior Catholic insists he is innocent and has said he is looking forward to fighting the charges in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:16 PM

Forcible abuse of minors, witness tampering charges filed against former Mapleton bishop

UTAH
Gephart Daily

PROVO, Utah, July 9, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Formal charges now have been filed against a former Mapleton bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who stands accused of two counts of forcible sexual abuse against minors and one count of witness tampering.

Erik Wayne Hughes, 51, on Friday was charged in Fourth District Court with the two second-degree felony charges and one third-degree felony charge.

According to a probable cause statement by the Mapleton police officer who investigated the case, the first count of forcible sexual abuse charges stems from two or more incidents that reportedly happened in or near June 2014.

The statement alleges that Hughes repeatedly touched the penis of a then-17-year-old boy in order to gain sexual gratification. Hughes served as a bishop of the boy’s LDS ward, so was trusted by the teen, the probable cause statement indicated. The alleged victim is now 21.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Protesters end picket, place trust in Vatican

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Andrew Roberto | The Guam Daily Post

The time has come to put aside protests calling for the defrocking of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, according to Concerned Catholics of Guam and the Laity Forward movement.

Both organizations have for about a year now picketed every Sunday in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña vehemently calling on Catholic church leadership to defrock Apuron over allegations of sexual abuse and financial mismanagement. But today, David Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam (CCOG), says both groups will end their protest.

“We’re getting some very good indications from Archbishop (Michael) Byrnes that he is addressing (CCOG’s concerns) very well, and we want to show our support for him,” Sablan said. “And therefore we’re putting down our picket line today and put our trust and our confidence in the tribunal decision and recommendation to the pope.”

Sablan is confident that Apuron will soon be removed as archbishop, telling The Guam Daily Post, “We trust that the pope and the powers that be in the Vatican will see the reason why he needs to be removed completely from the administration of this archdiocese.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – JULY 9, 2017

NEW JERSEY
Road to Recovery

BERGEN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL AND THE IRISH CHRISTIAN BROTHERS REFUSE TO SETTLE CLAIMS OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE IN A FAIR AND TIMELY MANNER

Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, New Jersey, and the Irish Christian Brothers are re-victimizing several former students who were sexually abused while they were students and minor children at Bergen Catholic High School by refusing to settle several credible claims of sexual abuse by Irish Christian Brothers

Walter Slapkowski of Hackensack, New Jersey, a graduate of Bergen Catholic High School and childhood sexual abuse victim of science teacher Br. Timothy Joseph O’Sullivan, CFC, will speak about the re-victimization he is feeling because of the foot-dragging of Bergen Catholic High School and the Irish Christian Brothers in settling his case and the cases of his fellow schoolmates

Bergen Catholic High School and the Irish Christian Brothers continue to refuse to settle the credible claim of the Rev. Kobutsu Malone who was sexually abused as a freshman student by Br. Charles B. Irwin, CFC, a serial sexual abuser of boys, because Rev. Malone refuses to cease operation of a website (bergencatholicabuse.com) that chronicles sexual abuse cases at Bergen Catholic High School

What
A demonstration and press conference announcing that Bergen Catholic High School and the Irish Christian Brothers refuse to settle in a timely and fair manner the cases of several Bergen Catholic students who were sexually abused as children by many Irish Christian Brothers who were assigned to teach at Bergen Catholic High School

When
Monday, July 10, 2017 at 11:30 AM

Where
On the public sidewalk across the street from the main vehicle entrance to Bergen Catholic High School, 1040 Oradell Avenue, Oradell, New Jersey 07649

Who
Walter Slapkowksi, a graduate of Bergen Catholic High School, originally from Teaneck, NJ, who now lives in Hackensack, NJ, and is being re-victimized by the foot-dragging and stalling of Bergen Catholic High School and the Irish Christian Brothers in settling his credible claim; and, Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, a former member of the Irish Christian Brothers and advocate for many victims of sexual abuse at Bergen Catholic High School. He is currently President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Bergen Catholic High School and the Irish Christian Brothers have settled many cases of childhood sexual abuse by Irish Christian Brothers and lay teachers who have worked at Bergen Catholic High School. Unfortunately, the latest group of victims who have courageously come forward to report credible claims of sexual abuse by Irish Christian Brothers and lay teachers are being re-victimized by the stalling tactics and foot-dragging of both organizations which refuse to settle these credible cases in a timely and fair manner, including that of Walter Slapkowski, who will speak about the re-victimization he is experiencing. Demonstrators will call on Bergen Catholic High School and the Irish Christian Brothers to settle all outstanding claims, including that of the Rev. Kobutsu Malone, who is being denied a settlement unless and until he ceases operation of a website (bergencatholicabuse.com) dedicated to shedding light on cases of sexual abuse at Bergen Catholic High School.

Contacts
Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, Road to Recovery, Inc – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – garabedianlaw@msn.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Pell silent before court date

SINGAPORE
The West Australian

Rob Scott and Tim Clarke
Sunday, 9 July 2017

Cardinal George Pell has taken a vow of silence during a stopover in Singapore ahead of his looming court appearance on historical sex offences.

Australia's most senior Catholic is halfway home from the Vatican, and was yesterday seen casually dressed sitting in and then leaving one of the city’s top hotels.

Approached by a Seven News reporter, Cardinal Pell, 76, gave a firm no comment to almost every question put to him about his scheduled Melbourne court date.

It is still unclear when Cardinal Pell might leave Singapore, or when he is due arrive in Australia, but while he is on a leave of absence from Rome he is not shirking his Christian responsibilities.

The third-ranked official in the Vatican attended a 10.30am Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd in the heart of Singapore.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Cardinal Pell protests innocence en route to Oz

SINGAPORE
The Australian

July 10, 2017

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@TessaAkerman

Cardinal George Pell has passed through Singapore as he makes his way to Australia to face the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on multiple historical sex charges.

Less than two weeks after being issued a summons by Victorian Police, Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic spoke to the media in Singapore and was filmed eating an ice cream ahead of a court appearance in Australia scheduled for July 26.

Sitting in a Haagen-Dazs ice creamery in the city’s up-market Orchard Road area, Cardinal Pell rejected abuse allegations put to him by a passer-by. The man told the cardinal he had spoken to his mother who wanted to know whether Cardinal Pell was innocent.

“Tell her that I am,” Cardinal Pell responded.

Cardinal Pell was also stopped outside his Singapore hotel by Channel Seven and was asked whether he continued to deny the allegations.

Cardinal Pell declined to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Norberto Rivera, ¡el infierno te espera!

MEXICO
AM

[Norberto Rivera, hell awaits you! The archbishop and cardinal was a powerful and influential man, still traveling by helicopter, amassed an enormous fortune, rubbing shoulders with public officials and great characters; But according to the versions of some bishops, he does not enjoy any sympathy of the ope and their relations are tense. The situation was very notorious during the visit of Francis to Mexico. But Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera has no one to write to him. He lives in political solitude in the twilight of his long career which was marked by scandals and secrecy. Far off are the days when Norberto was clothed by powerful religious actors who put him on the highest steps of the Mexican Catholic hierarchy. Recently the former legionaries Alberto Athié and José Barba filed a criminal complaint with the PGR against Norberto Rivera for the cover-up of criminal acts against minors of at least 15 pedophile priests. The Attorney General's Office (PGR) admitted to processing the complaint for alleged complicity and cover-up ny the Cardinal.]

ALEJANDRO POHLS HERNÁNDEZ

El arzobispo y cardenal fue un hombre poderoso e influyente, todavía viaja en helicóptero, amasó una enorme fortuna, se codeaba con funcionarios públicos y grandes personajes; pero según las versiones de algunos obispos, no goza de ninguna simpatía del Papa y sus relaciones son tensas, situación muy notoria durante la visita de Francisco a México.

Pero el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera ya no tiene quién le escriba. Vive la soledad política en el crepúsculo de su larga trayectoria, marcada por escándalos y claroscuros. Lejos están los tiempos en que a Norberto lo arropaban poderosos actores religiosos que lo encumbraron en los peldaños más altos de la jerarquía católica mexicana.

Recientemente los ex legionarios Alberto Athié y José Barba presentaron una denuncia penal ante la PGR en contra de Norberto Rivera por el encubrimiento de los actos criminales contra menores, de al menos 15 sacerdotes pedófilos. La Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) admitió a trámite la denuncia por presunta complicidad y encubrimiento del Cardenal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Catholics hold last picket against Apuron

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Chloe B Babauta , cbabauta@guampdn.com July 9, 2017

Catholic community groups advocating for Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s permanent removal held their last protest in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica on Sunday, in order to give the Vatican space to make a decision.

Laity Forward Movement president Lou Klitzkie, Concerned Catholics of Guam president David Sablan and Catholic issues blogger Tim Rohr announced their decision to stop picketing Wednesday night.

Rohr said it would be counterproductive to continue. The Vatican tribunal holding Apuron’s trial wouldn't want to be seen as being forced to make a decision because of community pressure on Guam, Rohr said.

Around 40 to 50 Catholics have protested every Sunday for over a year, since June 2016, according to Klitzkie.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Staff at Kent abuse home were 'never' reported, tape reveals

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Callum May
BBC News

A clergyman who oversaw a children's home where abuse took place in the 1970s and 80s "never once" reported staff to police, he said in a newly-discovered interview.

The Reverend Nicolas Stacey said children could be "manipulative" and make false claims, in the 2006 tape.

Mr Stacey was a director of social services in Kent at a time when girls were drugged and abused at Kendall House in Gravesend.

He died in May 2017 aged 89.

A review published last year found that girls at the home, which was run by the Church of England, were routinely drugged, locked up, and sexually abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Bishops 'abuse cover-up' resignation call by alleged victim

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A man who said he was raped as a teenager by a Church of England vicar is calling on four serving Bishops and the Archbishop of York to resign, citing allegations of misconduct.

Matt Ineson said church leaders did not act when he told them, nearly 30 years later, of the alleged abuse in 1984.

He has lodged a complaint and is to protest outside York Minster at a General Synod gathering.

The Church's national safeguarding team said it took the matter seriously.

The Reverend Trevor Devamanikkam was facing charges of rape but killed himself in June before his case came to court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Ultra-Orthodox cult leader drowns in Mexico

MEXICO
YNet News

Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, founder of the Lev Tahor ultra-Orthodox sect, is found drowned in a river in Mexico; Helbrans and his followers entered Mexico after fleeing from authorities in Guatemala.

Itamar Eichner|Published: 08.07.17

Rabbi Shlomo Erez Helbrans, 55, leader of the "Lev Tahor" ("Pure Heart") ultra-Orthodox sect, was found drowned in a river in the Mexican state of Chiapas on Friday, according to local media.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying the reports were being looked into by the Israeli embassy in Mexico.

According to local media, Helbrans' body was pulled from the river by rescue forces on Friday afternoon after the rabbi was swept away by strong currents while swimming before Shabbat.

Rabbi Helbrans was the head of a group of forty ultra-Orthodox families who entered the state of Chiapas about three weeks ago, after crossing the border from Guatemala.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

'I had no idea that I could've gotten these injections': Home survivor told he was put on vaccine trial

IRELAND
The Journal

COUNCILLOR FRANCIS TIMMONS represents the Dublin suburb of Clondalkin as an independent at South Dublin County Council.

He spent the first years of his life at Madonna House, a mother and baby home run by the Sisters of Charity in Blackrock in Dublin.

Timmons has recently learned that, as a toddler in the home, he was an unwitting participant on an infamous vaccine programme, and now has received confirmation that he received two injections as part of a medicines trial in the 1970s.

In a letter seen by TheJournal.ie, GlaxoSmithKline Ireland confirmed to Timmons that he received a diphtheria tetanus pertussis (DTP) vaccine and a “Plain New” vaccine as part of the Trivax study.

The letter states that he was one of 19 individuals to receive the DTP and one of 30 on the Trivax study at Madonna House in 1973.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Lev Tahor Cult Leader Rabbi Shlomo Erez Helbrans Reportedly Drowns in Mexico

MEXICO
Matzav

Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, leader of the ‘Jewish’ cult Lev Tahor, was found drowned in a river in the Mexican state of Chiapas on Friday. His body was pulled from the river by rescue forces on Friday afternoon after he was swept away by strong currents while toiveling before Shabbos.

He was 55 years old.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that it received reports of the drowning and added that it was investigating, but could not confirm Helbrans’ death, according to Channel 10.

A native of Yerushalayim’s Kiryat Yovel neighborhood, Helbrans was born in 1962 to Pinchos and Yocheved Elbarnes, secular Jews. Around his 13th birthday, he became religious and studied at a yeshiva in Yerushalayim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Shlomo Helbrans, Lev Tahor Cult Leader Drowns In River While ‘Toiveling’ On Friday

MEXICO
The Yeshiva World

According to multiple media reports, Shlomo Helbrans, the leader of the Lev Tahor cult, drowned on Friday in Mexico. He was 55.

Local media reports said his body was found in a river that he used as a Mikva.

The Israel Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the reports were being looked into by the Israeli embassy in Mexico.

According to local media, Helbrans’ body was pulled from the river by rescue forces on Friday afternoon after he was swept away by strong currents.

About three and a half years ago, Canadian authorities blocked the group from transferring underage members to Guatemala after Canadian courts issued a decree requiring some children to be transferred to foster families after being found to have been severely abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Leader of Lev Tahor cult drowns in Mexico — report

MEXICO
The Times of Israel

The leader of the extremist ultra-Orthodox cult Lev Tahor has reportedly drowned in Mexico.

Local media reports said the body of Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, 55, was found in a river that he entered for a ritual immersion late Friday afternoon.

The Foreign Ministry said it was aware of the reports and investigating, but could not confirm the information, according to Channel 10.

The Lev Tahor group practices an extreme form of ultra-Orthodox Judaism started in the 1980s under which the women wear black head-to-toe cloaks similar to the Muslim chador.

The 500-strong sect has left Israel, Canada and the United States in recent years amid allegations of child abuse and has been dubbed “the Jewish Taliban.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Vatican's third most powerful figure George Pell cuts a lonely figure as he sits in a hotel lobby during a Singapore stopover on the way to Australia to face historic sex charges

SINGAPORE
Daily Mail

By Sam Duncan For Daily Mail Australia

The Vatican's third most senior figure cut a lonely figure in a hotel lobby before attending Sunday mass during a stopover to face historical sex charges in Australia.

Cardinal George Pell, who is Australia's most powerful Catholic leader, was in Singapore on his way back home from Rome to have his day in court.

He was spotted looking pensive in his hotel before meeting another man and going to 10.30am mass at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd in Singapore's Civic District.

Pell refused to comment or answer questions when confronted by a Seven News reporter as he got into a car.

Cardinal Pell, who serves as the Pope's treasurer, is the highest-ranking official to be charged in the sex abuse scandal that has dogged the Catholic Church for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

The Drug-Fueled Homosexual Scandal Allegations at the Holy Office

ROME
National Catholic Register

Whatever the exact truth behind the lurid and disturbing story, it has further exposed such gravely sinful behavior taking place in the Vatican that one senior member of the curia says has “never been worse.”

Edward Pentin

According to reports in the mainstream media, Vatican police broke up a drug-fueled homosexual debauched party in an apartment of the Holy Office, but how true is it?

The news first broke in a June 28 article in Il Fatto Quotidiano: the Vatican gendarmerie raided a flat in the same building as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith where they discovered hard drugs and a group of men engaged in homosexual activity. A number of prominent secular English-speaking media outlets have subsequently published extensive details of the Il Fatto Quotidiano report.

The article claims the occupant of the apartment was the secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, the Church’s most important canon law office.

The report further claims that the area of the building was reserved not just for monsignors but senior curial officials, suggesting that the secretary had influential friends in high places to secure such a prestigious apartment.

Others residing in the Holy Office reportedly complained about a steady stream of young male visitors and of noisy parties in the secretary’s apartment — complaints that prompted the police raid. Further suspicions were also raised when others saw the secretary, a monsignor from the diocese of Prenestina near Rome, had access to a luxury car with Vatican plates which allegedly allowed him to bring drugs into the Vatican without ever being stopped by the Vatican police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Interested in Catholic reaction to Francis? Get off Twitter and into the trenches

ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr.
EDITOR

If all you had to go by in judging Catholic reaction to Pope Francis were press treatments and social media, you'd think it's an all-or-nothing war between devoted supporters and fanatical critics. In the trenches, however, what you find is a spirit of root enthusiasm and loyalty, tempered with a critical edge on specific points depending on what's most important to a particular person.

Saturday, Romans awoke to find a provocative image staring out from their neighborhood newsstands. On the cover of the latest issue of the magazine Millennium, published by the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, was a traditional depiction of St. Sebastian with arrows protruding from his body, but with the head of the pope, under the title, “The Enemies of Pope Francis: Here’s Who Wants to Force Him to Resign.”

This is hardly the first time an Italian publication has offered a run-down of the pontiff’s supposed enemies, both inside the Vatican and in the hierarchy, but the rhetoric this time was especially breathless.

The title on the inside of the piece was, “Too many enemies for a pope alone: Behold who’s plotting to force Francis to resign,” while a press release by editor Peter Gomez referred to a “true and real war” being waged against the pontiff by “powerful cardinals, screaming ex-Masons and politically connected opinion-makers.”

For the most part, the piece was a run-down of already well-documented episodes, such as Francis’s intervention with the Knights of Malta and the “Vatileaks 2.0” affair, with a Machiavellian undertone that they’re all expressions of subterranean opposition to the pope calculated to make his life so difficult that he eventually decides to walk away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Karnataka parents, temple priest arrested for forcing 10-year-old to become a devadasi

INDIA
The News Minute

The parents of a 10-year-old girl child from Kalaburagi in Karnataka has been arrested for forcing their daughter to become a Devadasi. Apart from the parents of the girl, a 70-year-old temple priest has also been arrested in the case.

The girl child was forced to become a Devadasi five years ago, when her parents, distressed at her chronic illness, approached the temple priest Sharanappa for remedy.

Kalaburagi District Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Child Helpline and officials of the Department of Women and Child Development, had earlier in June, rescued the girl, after they received information that she was to be sent off with a man.

Sharanappa, who had claimed that he had facilitated many girls to become Devadasis over the past few decades, tied a mangalsutra around the girl's neck.

As per the Devadasi system, which stands eradicated in Karnataka, a girl, generally from the Dalit community, is ceremoniously married to the deity. The girl is later sent with a man who promises to take care of her, but glaring cases of sexual abuse have been exposed in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Rampant Sex Scandals: The Difference Between Monsignor Luigi Capozzi and Marc Jacobs

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer - Preen

BY B. WISER

This column may contain strong language, sexual content, adult humor, and other themes that may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.

When fashion designer Marc Jacobs hosted a drug-fuelled 10-man orgy in his apartment in Oct. 2015, he was at least upfront and unapologetic about his intentions—or appetites. And he sent out his clarion call via Grindr, the gay hook-up app. What he expected in return for his largesse, not to mention his openness regarding his sexual proclivities, was discretion.

Unfortunately, one participant at the orgy wasn’t quite pleased with the eye candy on offer and sniffed to Page Six that “people weren’t as good-looking as I expected. I expected Lorenzo Martone beautiful. They were average, chill people who didn’t have any attitude, which was really nice.”

There were also reportedly drugs during the bacchanal, which raised eyebrows because Jacobs is sober.

So what did Marc Jacobs do when news about the wild sex-and-drugs weekend leaked? He simply posted on Instagram a goodbye of sorts to Grindr, featuring a photoshopped image of him, naked torso and all, with the Grindr logo as the backdrop, and captioned it “Yup. I’m gay. Sometimes I enjoy sex. Sometimes! #stillonlyhuman #callmemarc #yourstotry…maybe.”

Orgies at the Vatican, it would seem, are no less drug-fuelled or wild, though the quality of eye candy may be debatable. Candor approaching Marc Jacobs’ level, however, is clearly lacking; hypocrisy reigns instead.

Consider this: Last month, Vatican police raided the apartment of a prelate who was reported to be an aide of one of the key advisers to Pope Francis. According to the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, neighbors had complained about people coming in and out of the apartment acting bizarrely all hours of the night.

Police arrived to find a homosexual orgy in progress, and drugs aplenty. The priest occupying the apartment was apparently so loaded up on cocaine that he was taken to the Pius XI clinic in Rome to detox. In true Catholic fashion, he has since been shunted off to a convent in Italy for what is ostensibly a spiritual retreat, otherwise known as rehab.

The priest is secretary to Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio, who serves as the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and is close to Pope Francis. And filed under “You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up,” the Pope is reportedly furious, said the newspaper, as the apartment that served as the den of iniquity actually belongs to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which is responsible for tackling—wait for it—clerical sexual abuse.

The priest has been identified as Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, and this was not his first orgy, nor was it his first time to overdose. According to Life Site, “Capozzi managed to evade suspicion from Italian police by using a BMW luxury car with license plates of the Holy See, which made him practically immune to stops and searches. This privilege, usually reserved for high-ranking prelates, allowed the monsignor to transport cocaine for his frequent homosexual orgies without being stopped by the Italian police.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Crece la presión para que se juzgue a Norberto Rivera por encubrimiento de pederastas

MEXICO
Proceso

[Growing pressure for Norberto Rivera to be tried for pedophile cover-ups.Even though Hugo Valdemar, a spokesman for Norberto Rivera Carrera, says that the complaint filed against the cardinal to the Attorney General's Office for not reporting pedophile priests is inconsistent and will not prosper, prosecutors are confident that it will end the long impunity of the cardinal. In addition, on the platform Charge.org circulates a letter addressed to President Enrique Peña Nieto and Attorney Raul Cervantes to request the petitioner open the file of his 15 cures accused of abusers.]

POR RODRIGO VERA , 8 JULIO, 2017

Aun cuando Hugo Valdemar, vocero de Norberto Rivera Carrera, dice que la denuncia interpuesta contra el cardenal ante la Procuraduría General de la República por solapar a curas pederastas es inconsistente y no prosperará, los promotores de la querella tienen confianza en que se ponga fin a la larga impunidad del purpurado. Además, en la plataforma Charge.org circula una carta dirigida al presidente Enrique Peña Nieto y al procurador Raúl Cervantes para que pidan al denunciado abrir los expediente de sus 15
curas acusados de abusadores.

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (Proceso).- Ante la denuncia penal que el pasado 2 de junio se interpuso contra el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera, por encubrir a 15 sacerdotes presuntamente pederastas de su arquidiócesis primada de México, la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) abrió el expediente DF/05541/2017, el cual turnó a la Dirección General de Control de Averiguaciones Previas para su evaluación jurídica.

Mientras tanto, la semana pasada se comenzó a impulsar la querella en internet a través de la plataforma Change.org, dedicada a defender causas sociales y en la cual –hasta la tarde del jueves 6– ya había conseguido 30 mil firmas de apoyo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Catholic groups march in 54th - and final - protest against church

GUAM
KUAM

Jul 08, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Dozens of members of the Laity Forward Movement and the Concerned Catholics of Guam put down their signs as today marked their final Sunday picket.

According to Laity Forward Movement's Lou Klitzkie, this is to make room for a decision from Rome relative to the ongoing canonical trial against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

La Iglesia católica de México no denunció ante la justicia a curas pederastas, y esta es su justificación

MEXICO
Univision

[The Catholic Church in Mexico did not report pedophile priests to justice pedophile priests and this is their justification. Mexican authorities are investigating Cardinal Norberto Rivera for not denouncing acts of pederasty. The spokesman of the Mexican Archdiocese argued that before 2014 the law did not force them to denounce these acts, adding that the pope had finally punished the priests.]

Autoridades mexicanas investigan al cardenal Norberto Rivera por no haber denunciado actos de pederastia. El vocero de la Arquidiócesis mexicana argumentó que antes de 2014 la ley no obligaba a denunciar estos hechos, sumado a que el Papa finalmente ya había castigados a los sacerdotes.

Por: Sergio Rincón
Publicado: jul 08, 2017

Ciudad de México.- La Iglesia católica de México está envuelta en un escándalo debido a que su cardenal, Norberto Rivera, está siendo investigado por supuesto encubrimiento a curas pederastas.

La acusación central dice que Rivera -máximo jerarca de la institución en México- sabía que había sacerdotes abusadores pero no denunció las violaciones a menores ante las autoridades mexicanas, por lo que nunca se procesó a ninguno de estos religiosos y hasta la fecha se desconoce cuántos son y continúan en libertad. Su única acción ante estos delitos sexuales fue iniciar un juicio interno cuyo fallo y castigo dio el Papa de turno.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Bishop of Oxford: I want to meet with abused priest Matthew Ineson

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

One of the bishops accused by a Church of England priest of ignoring cries for help over his abuse by another priest as a young man has said he is willing to meet him and discuss the issue.

Interviewed this morning on the BBC's Sunday programme, the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, said he was sorry Rev Matt Ineson 'feels he wasn't heard' and wanted to meet him to discuss the situation.

Ineson was abused three decades ago while he was a teenager and living at the home of Rev Trevor Devamanikkam following a family breakdown. Devamanikkam committed suicide earlier this year before police were due to arrest him.

Ineson has lodged complaints of misconduct against the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, and four serving bishops including Croft, claiming that they had failed to act on his disclosures of rape. The complaints, made under the C of E's clergy disciplinary measure, were dismissed because they were filed outside the one-year limit required by the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

July 8, 2017

Dark forces hoped the QC sex scandal would destroy my child abuse inquiry... and it almost did: Stunning admission by the fourth boss of the troubled historic paedophile probe

UNITED KINGDOM
The Mail on Sunday

By David Rose for The Mail on Sunday

The head of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has admitted that the sensational alleged sex scandal involving the inquiry’s own top lawyers came close to forcing its collapse – an outcome which, she says, would have been welcomed by the powerful institutions which regard it as a menace.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, inquiry chairman Professor Alexis Jay said: ‘Strong vested interests would like to see this inquiry implode.

‘There are institutions which would prefer to see us fail, because we are such a threat.’

She presented an uncompromising defence of the controversial inquiry’s conduct, pledging it would deliver the first of a series of major reports next year.

Established by then-Home Secretary Theresa May in 2014, the inquiry has a staff of 220 lawyers and investigators combing through thousands of documents and is holding hearings under 13 separate headings, including the Catholic and Anglican churches, schools, councils and children’s homes. Last year, it spent more than £20 million. It is set to end with a final overarching report and recommendations early in the next decade.

Prof Jay said the furore surrounding claims – which have been refuted – that the inquiry’s former chief counsel, Ben Emmerson QC, sexually assaulted a colleague in a lift, put the inquiry in serious jeopardy and ‘for a brief period it felt like every other day there was a different kind of crisis’. What stung most were unfounded claims that she herself had covered up the internal scandal, by allowing Mr Emmerson to leave without being called to account.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – JULY 8, 2017

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

THE DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, ENCOMPASSING THE BOROUGHS OF BROOKLYN AND QUEENS IN NEW YORK CITY, HAS ANNOUNCED A FINANCIAL COMPENSATION PROGRAM FOR CHILDHOOD VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIESTS AND DEACONS

Fr. Brian Keller and other priests and/or deacons were sexual abusers of many boys and girls during their assignments at parishes in the Queens neighborhoods of Glendale (for example, St. Pancras); Ridgewood (for example, St. Matthias); and Middle Village (for example, St. Margaret), and in many other Brooklyn/Queens parishes, schools, institutions, and neighborhoods

Many courageous men and women have come forward to begin their healing from sexual abuse by Brooklyn diocesan priests and deacons and it is believed that many innocent victim/survivors are still living in silence and fear in Glendale, Ridgewood, Middle Village, Queens, NY, and many other sections and neighborhoods of the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens

What
Demonstrations and leafletings outside neighboring parishes in Queens, New York, where sexual abuse of children by priests and/or deacons took place

When and Where
Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 9:30 am until 10:30 AM on the public sidewalk outside St. Margaret Church, 6605 79th Place, Middle Village, NY 11379 (Church is around the corner on 80th Street)

Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 10:45 AM until 11:30 AM on the public sidewalk outside St. Matthias Church, 5815 Catalpa Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385 (before the 11:30 AM Masses)

Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 11:45 AM until 12:15 PM on the public sidewalk outside St. Pancras Church, 72-22 68th Street, Glendale, NY 11385 (after the 11:00 AM Mass)

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

Why
The Diocese of Brooklyn has instituted a program of financial compensation for childhood victims of sexual abuse by diocesan priests and deacons. Already, several men and women have coura