« July 2017 | Main | September 2017 »

August 31, 2017

Rabbi Telsner to stay

AUSTRALIA
Australian Jewish News

MORE than two years after Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Telsner resigned from the Yeshivah Centre after admitting his conduct towards victims of child sexual abuse was not acceptable, he was officially given a new contract this week.

Stunned victims of abuse said the appointment is “a huge slap in the face”.

“At a time when other community institutions are avoiding being associated with those implicated in the child sexual abuse scandal in our community, it is Yeshivah alone, the institution responsible for the rape and abuse of dozens of children in its care, that considers it appropriate to reward Telsner with a new contract,” child sexual abuse victim and advocate Manny Waks said.

Waks added that the appointment “sends a message to victims – that Yeshivah still do not ‘get it’ and you will find no support from within that community”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Who can be trusted at Melbourne's Yeshivah Centre?

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

Often, in addressing the issue of child sexual abuse, I’m confronted with difficult decisions. For example, when is it appropriate to share something publicly? How many opportunities should one be given to do the right thing? At what point do we start to question whether our confidence in people has been misplaced? And there are plenty more.

Last week, the Australian Jewish News reported that the Principals of 6 of the 7 Jewish Schools that make up the Association of Principals of Jewish Day Schools in Victoria, Australia, had written to Adass insisting that they 'send a representative other than Rabbi Kluwgant to the meetings of the Principals' Association'. The only principal that was not part of this was Yeshivah Principal, Rabbi Yehoshua (Shua) Smukler.

Members of the broader community, members of the Yeshivah community and particularly those who were sexually abused at Yeshivah and who were impacted by Kluwgant's conduct towards them, have a legitimate right to ask how it came to pass that Rabbi Smukler and Yeshivah were the only Jewish school principal and Jewish school that did not join with all of the others, from all streams of Judaism, in making their feelings known to Adass. Is there a difference in Rabbi Smukler's and Yeshivah's approach to child sexual abuse matters compared to every other Jewish school and principal? Is there still a propensity to protect their own at Yeshivah when you think nobody will ever find out? Whatever the case, an explanation is due. In fact, overdue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Wagner ordered not to contact teen

MINNESOTA
The Journal

NEW ULM — The parents of a 17-year-old girl in Brown County filed an order for protection Aug. 2 to prevent Fr. Sam Wagner, a priest of the New Ulm Diocese, from contacting her.

The petition reports an “inappropriate relationship with a New Ulm priest” earlier this year and details portions of more than 1,500 social media messages between the two, according to the order.

Wagner was investigated by New Ulm police this year when the alleged relationship were reported to them. The Brown County Attorney’s office has suspended the case without filing charges at this time, citing a lack of evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Wagner remains suspended from ministry pending a review by the Diocesan Clergy Review Board.

Granted Aug. 4 in Brown County District Court, the two-year order against Wagner, who served at The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm between 2014 and 2016, detailed Facebook messages between him and the student between March 17, 2015 and Dec. 27, 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Catholic school teacher accused of molesting student released on house arrest

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole , jstole@guampdn.com Aug. 31, 2017

The 52-year-old Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School teacher accused of molesting a 10-year-old student was released Thursday on house arrest.

Magistrate Judge Benjamin Sison ordered Peregrine Corpuz San Nicolas not to contact, threat or harass his accuser.

The girl’s mother on Wednesday called police, alleging San Nicolas touched her daughter inappropriately, court documents state.

San Nicolas is the girl’s physical education teacher.

San Nicolas would reportedly ask her to stay back, and when they were alone he would touch her breast area over her shirt, according to court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Hotline Set up for Priest Abuse Victims

GEORGIA/SOUTH CAROLINA
WSAV

By Andrew Davis
Published: August 30, 2017

Two victims of an allegedly abusive former Savannah Priest have been identified.

Now one of them is asking anyone who may have a case against Father Wayland Brown to come forward.

“If we can help somebody, if we can reach out to others to quit suffering,” explains an emotional Chris Templeton. “Because unless you;ve been through this you don’t know how it is to suffer with this pain. I need them as much as they need me. thats what im waiting on.”

Chris Templeton says he was sexually abused several times by Brown in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Cambodian court imprisons Korean in sexual abuse of children

CAMBODIA
Seattle Times

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A Cambodian court has found a 63-year-old Korean man guilty of child sex offenses and sentenced him to 14 years in prison.

A spokesman for the Siem Reap provincial court said Park Youl was found guilty on Thursday of child prostitution and sexual intercourse with girls under 15 years of age.

Cambodian newspapers, citing anti-human trafficking police, said at the time of Park’s arrest last October that he was a pastor of a Christian church in Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia.

The court spokesman, Yim Srang, said Park was also ordered to pay a total of $70,000 in compensation to seven of the nine known victims, and would be deported after serving his prison term. Two other victims did not request compensation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Arrested Catholic school teacher appears before judge

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 31, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Appearing in court via videoconference from the Hagatna lockup was Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School physical education teacher Peregrine "Perry" San Nicolas, who was arrested on Wednesday after a parent reported him to the school.

A Catholic school teacher under fire. Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School P.E. teacher Peregrine "Perry" San Nicolas appearing in court via video teleconference from the Hagatna lockup.

Judge Benjamin Sison said, "Second degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of that in violation of Guam law for child abuse in violation of 9GCA and for harassment." San Nicolas was arrested on Wednesday a parent reported him to the school earlier that morning.

The P.E. teacher was arrested on Wednesday after a parent reported him to the school earlier that morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Report: Student sought classmates’ help to avoid sexual abuse at Bishop Baumgartner

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera - August 31, 2017

The student broke down in tears during her interview with police.

Guam – The Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School P.E. teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student is now facing charges of second degree criminal sexual conduct.

The alleged victim is only 10 years old. A magistrate complaint filed against Peregrine San Nicolas says the student was in San Nicolas’ 5th grade class last school year which is when the alleged sexual abuse began.

The complaint says that it happened earlier in the year between January and March. The victim told police that San Nicolas would often require her to stay back after class which is when he would allegedly touch her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Police close investigation into sexual abuse allegations against priest; church probe continues

PENNSYLVANIA
Pocono News

SCRANTON – Allegations of sexual abuse were levied against Father Martin Boylan in April 2016. State Police say they have closed the investigation because the man who made the claim is refusing to testify.

The Diocese of Scranton, however, is continuing its probe.

A statement released by the diocese on Wednesday says, in part, “While civil authorities have made this determination, the ecclesiastical process in Father Boylan’s case continues. Father Boylan's status as a priest removed from ministry with his faculties to exercise priestly ministry suspended continues to remain unchanged.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Clergy sex abuse suit withdrawn

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 31, 2017

A clergy sex abuse lawsuit accusing a now-deceased priest, filed earlier this week in federal court, has been voluntarily withdrawn.

Through attorney David Lujan, accuser "A.J.A." on Aug. 31 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of his lawsuit, which he originally filed Aug. 28.

The plaintiff, now 61 and now living in Las Vegas, is identified in court documents only as A.J.A. to protect his privacy.

A.J.A. had alleged that priest Antonio C. Cruz, who is now deceased, allegedly sexually molested and abused him when he was a 9-year-old boy, around 1964, at a church rectory in Chalan Pago.

Cruz was a priest at the Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church and was Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron's mentor when Apuron was still a seminarian.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Expert picked by Pope to fight child sexual abuse visiting Brisbane to talk with priest, bishops, and lai

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

August 31, 2017

By Mark Bowling

BRISBANE will host a public seminar by one of the Church’s front-line fighters against child sexual abuse, German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner.

With a reputation as a reformer, Pope Francis named Fr Zollner, together with Irish child abuse survivor Marie Collins as founding members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2014.

Fr Zollner is president of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Ms Collins’ resignation from the Commission earlier this year sent shock waves through the Church, however, the Vatican-based Jesuit has stuck with the Commission’s work training Church officials and bishops’ conferences worldwide about safeguarding children.

Washington man sues former Guam priest of sex abuse

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 31, 2017

A former boy scout on Guam and is now living in Washington accused former island priest Louis Brouillard of sexually molesting and abusing him around 1976.

The latest plaintiff, identified in court documents only by his initials G.M.Q., said he was 13 or 14 when the sexual abuse and molestation happened during Boy Scouts of America swimming at the Lonfit River in Ordot Chalan Pago.

"On numerous occasions, while swimming, Brouillard would swim completely naked and routinely instructed G.M.Q. and the other boys to remove their clothes, and Brouillard would grope and touch their private parts," the lawsuit says. "G.M.Q. was also forced to fondle Brouillard's penis."

G.M.Q., represented by attorney David Lujan, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Guam Thursday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to serve more time, likely to die in jail

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale is unlikely to ever taste freedom again.

In Victoria’s County Court this morning Australia’s worst sex offender priest had another three years added to his minimum jail term, meaning he cannot seek parole until 2022.

Part of the 11-year sentence he was given today will be served at the same time as a previous sentence, meaning he may serve just an extra three months for each of the 12 new victims who bravely came forward to report abuse.

The horrific ordeal of one young girl whose father left her on a church altar to be raped by Ridsdale moved the County Court to tears when it was revealed earlier this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

August 30, 2017

Kirchen-Opfer soll Kirche betrogen haben

DEUTCHLAND
Bild

[Michael B. (56) was sexually abused by a Catholic church employee in the 1960s. The Archbishopric of Cologne therefore undertook to pay the costs for 50 psychotherapeutic individual sessions of the abuse victim. Michael B. submitted bills of more than 6927.50 euros and had the amount refunded. But the bills have been falsified.]

Düsseldorf – Michael B. (56) wurde in den 60er Jahren von einem katholischen Kirchen-Mitarbeiter sexuell missbraucht. Das Erzbistum Köln verpflichtete sich deshalb, die Kosten für 50 psychotherapeutische Einzel-Sitzungen des Missbrauchs-Opfers zu übernehmen.

Michael B. reichte Rechnungen über 6927,50 Euro ein und ließ sich den Betrag erstatten. Doch die Rechnungen sollen gefälscht gewesen sein...

Das flog erst auf, nachdem Michael B. weitere Folge-Behandlungen in Rechnung stellte. Weil auf einer Rechnung die Unterschrift des Therapeuten fehlte, setzte sich die Kirche mit ihm in Verbindung. Und erfuhr, dass Michael B. gar keine Therapie-Sitzungen bei ihm hatte.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Nach Missbrauchanzeige gegen Pfarrer Opfer der Gerüchteküche

DEUTSCHLAND
WAZ

[A 15-year-old Dorstener informs against his evangelical pastor for sexual abuse. Since then he has been the victim of a gossip.The church suspended the pastor.]

Stefan Wette
29.08.2017

DORSTEN. Ein 15-jähriger Dorstener zeigt seinen evangelischen Pfarrer wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs an. Seitdem ist er Opfer einer Gerüchteküche.

Dorsten, das sich „kleine Hansestadt an der Lippe“ nennt, gilt vielen als Idyll. Als Stadt, wo die Welt noch in Ordnung ist. Doch dieses Idyll kann auch die Hölle bedeuten, wenn Konflikte nicht offen angesprochen werden. Die Familie eines 15-Jährigen, der vom Pfarrer seiner evangelischen Gemeinde sexuell missbraucht worden sein soll, erlebt aktuell, wie die Gerüchteküche aus dem vermeintlichen Opfer einen Täter macht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

New Haven rabbi charged with sex assault has not guilty pleas entered

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

By Randall Beach, rbeach@nhregister.com @rbeachNHR

NEW HAVEN >> Not guilty pleas to charges of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child were entered on behalf of Rabbi Daniel Greer Tuesday in Superior Court.

Greer, attired in a black suit, red tie and yarmulke, stood alongside his attorney, William Dow III, as Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Clifford entered the pleas on Greer’s behalf as well as Greer’s request for a jury trial.

Greer, 77, of West Park Avenue, was making his first appearance in the Part A courthouse, where more serious charges are handled. His case was transferred from the other New Haven courthouse on Aug. 14.

Greer’s accuser is Eliyahu Mirlis, now 29, who alleges abuse occurred between 2002 and 2005. According to the police warrant affidavit, Greer allegedly committed the sexual acts at the Yeshiva of New Haven/the Gan School, where Greer was then dean. Mirlis was a high schooler at that time. The New Haven Register does not usually identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Mirlis has said he wanted to come forward with the allegations and have his name used.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Not guilty pleas entered for rabbi in school sex abuse case

CONNECTICUT
WTOP

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A judge on Tuesday entered not guilty pleas on behalf of a rabbi accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a teenage boy who attended a school the rabbi founded and who was awarded $15 million in a civil lawsuit on those allegations.

Rabbi Daniel Greer is accused of sexually assaulting the boy when he attended the Yeshiva of New Haven school from 2001 to 2005. Greer, who’s 77 years old, was a founder and principal of the school.

Greer appeared on Tuesday in New Haven Superior Court, where Judge Patrick Clifford entered the not guilty pleas to felony charges of sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor and continued the case to Oct. 11.

Greer, who remains free on $100,000 bail he posted, declined to comment after the hearing. His lawyer, William Dow III, said they will try the case in court, not in the media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Faith reclaimed: How survivors of clergy abuse return to the church

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

Katie Scott
8/29/2017

Revealed to her in the middle of the night, they were singsongy, bewildering and horrifying.

The poems would total more than 50 — composed from memories she at first could not understand.

They were a “nice and tidy way for little Patsy Jane to tell her story,” said Patsy Seeley during an interview in her North Plains home. With them, said the 67-year-old, came “an overwhelming sense of evil and darkness.”

The nightmares articulated in verse unveiled what had long been hidden: sexual abuse — first inflicted by her grandfather and then by a priest in Tillamook — starting when she was 4 and ending at age 11, when the priest was transferred.

A family friend, the priest “used the sacraments and liturgy to inflict the abuse,” recounted Seeley, who said for years she had “spiritual amnesia.”

Though individuals abused by clergy regularly flee the church for good, others, like Seeley, eventually make a painful and circuitous journey back, finding the homecoming a transformative piece of their healing and a source of sustenance, peace and strength.

But the return has countless hurdles, some of them inadvertently placed by the church itself. Survivors often find priests insufficiently trained to minister to them, and there are a limited, if increasing, number of programs that integrate faith with healing. Many survivors say they don’t feel welcome in their parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Priest's sexual assault conviction quashed

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A Maronite priest jailed for indecently assaulting a teenage boy has had his conviction quashed on appeal.

The Sydney clergyman, 41, was found guilty in 2016 of assaulting the then 15-year-old boy and sentenced to at least 12 months in jail.

His barrister, Phillip Boulton SC, told the Court of Criminal Appeal on Wednesday the trial judge misdirected the jury and there were problems with the reliability of the complainant and his evidence.

The trial heard that in 2005 the priest was a deacon at the tight-knit church and a close friend of the complainant's family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Federal judge hears arguments over Twin Cities archdiocese bankruptcy plan

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By SARAH HORNER | shorner@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: August 29, 2017

Parties involved in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy proceedings made final arguments in front of a federal judge Tuesday, with each side making accusations of deceptive tactics and baseless claims.

The proceedings are intended to work out a plan for paying survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy.

After listening to arguments by multiple attorneys, presiding U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel took the case under advisement. Kressel is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks on which reorganization plan will be used in the settlement.

Two plans are under consideration in the wake of the archdiocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in January 2015.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Judge signals concerns about creditors' plan for bankrupt archdiocese

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan St. Paul · Aug 29, 2017

A federal judge is weighing arguments he heard Tuesday about the legal soundness of two competing reorganization plans for the bankrupt Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Judge Robert Kressel didn't say when he'll rule. But he signaled he has concerns about the plan proposed by the creditors committee and overwhelmingly endorsed by abuse victims.

The victims figure the church and insurance companies can come up with much more money than the $155 million the archdiocese has put on the table.

But Kressel said that would amount to "rolling the dice" in an effort that may or may not provide more compensation to more than 400 abuse victims. He also said he wondered if victims had "unrealistic expectations" and realize they could wait for years for some money if the archdiocese plan is not implemented.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Attorneys for Archdiocese, Abuse Victims Spar in Court

MINNESOTA
KSTP

August 29, 2017

Attorneys for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis sparred with attorneys for the victims of sex abuse by priests in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Tuesday.

The archdiocese proposes putting $156 million into a trust for about 400 victims. About $120 million would come from insurance companies.

"It is this archdiocese that continues now to pour salt in the wounds by engaging in secret settlements with insurance companies," attorney Jeff Anderson said after representing victims in court. He says the settlements were reached without input from attorneys for victims.

"Our plan provides $156 million with certainty in the very, very near future to a trust to be distributed to victims of sexual abuse as that trust sees fit," said Charles Rogers, an attorney for Briggs and Morgan, which represents the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Bishop Baumgartner school teacher arrested

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

The Archdiocese of Agana confirmed just minutes ago that a Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School teacher has been arrested for criminal sexual conduct after school officials filed a report to the Guam Police Department this morning.

According to police, Peregrine Corpuz San Nicolas, 52, was arrested on suspicion of second degree criminal sexual conduct and child abuse.

San Nicolas is listed on the school website as a sports director.

The teacher was not named in the archdiocese statement.

A parent of a student met with Baumgartner school administration this morning reporting that her daughter was allegedly inappropriately touched by the teacher.

School administration immediately took appropriate action and reported the incident to Child Protective Services and the Guam Police, according to the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Catholic school teacher arrested for sexual abuse

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves - August 30, 2017

A Catholic School teacher at Bishop Baumgartner has been arrested for criminal sexual conduct after school officials received a report from a parent this morning.

Guam – Parents send their children to school and entrust the welfare of their children to the teachers who are meant to educate and ensure their safety, but for one family at Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School that was not the case, as their child was violated by a school teacher.

According to Archdiocese of Agana Spokesperson Tony Diaz, school officials at Bishop Baumgartner received a report this morning from a parent alleging that her child was inappropriately touched by a teacher.

Guam Police Department Spokesman Officer AJ Balajadia has identified the teacher as Peregrine Corpuz San Nicolas, 53, who was charged with criminal sexual conduct and child abuse.

“Mr. San Nicolas is accused of placing his hands inappropriately on a female studnet from school year 2016-2017,” Balajadia said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

August 29, 2017

Ex-priest Francis Stinner dies, but sex abuse controversy lives on

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, jfitzgib@lohud.com Aug. 29, 2017

Francis Stinner, a defrocked priest with ties to Somers, Bronxville, Chappaqua and Goshen, died earlier this month at the age of 76.

But the sexual abuse controversy that has long surrounded him did not die with him.

At least three new claims of sexual abuse have been filed against the former Catholic priest and teacher through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, or IRCP, a special compensation program set up by the Archdiocese of New York.

Stinner, who was defrocked, or "laicized," in 2005, had already been linked to as many as 10 cases of sexual abuse of children dating to the 1980s.

"We are representing additional survivors of Father Stinner who either have submitted or will be submitting claims in Phase II of the IRCP," said J. Michael Reck, an attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse by clergy. "It's unfortunate there was never a judicial proceeding to determine justice for the survivors prior to his death."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Archdiocese bankruptcy plans face off in court

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune AUGUST 29, 2017

A federal bankruptcy judge will hear arguments Tuesday for two competing compensation plans for clergy abuse victims who have filed claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

About two dozen people are expected to testify about the plans, which aim to put an end to more than two years of legal wrangling.

The archdiocese's financial reorganization plan includes $156 million for the more than 400 people who have filed claims of priest sex abuse.

The plan of the creditors committee, representing the abuse survivors, calls for the archdiocese to leverage more money from its insurers and to contribute more money to the victims' fund. About $120 million of the $156 million compensation fund comes from insurance payments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

'In his own words he has sinned significantly,' - Former priest jailed for downloading indecent images of children

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancashire Telegraph

A FORMER high ranking cleric caught downloading indecent images of children for the third time was jailed for 20 months.

Twice-married Paul Battersby had also been found with a shoebox full of children’s clothing and had even written a fantasy about child abuse.

A court heard that he had carefully documented the internet search terms he had used to find the images and had unusually taken the trouble to categorised his collection of photos and videos.

Battersby worked in various church roles in the North including the priest at St Peter’s Church in Darwen and later part-time vicar at St Marks in Blackburn.

The 68-year-old who was later elevated to the Church of England’s National Youth Officer and representing the church internationally, was told by a judge that he had no option but to send him straight to prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Apuron’s attorney says claims against her client are time-barred

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves - August 29, 2017

Atty. Jacque Terlaje argued that the law that lifts the statute of limitations is inorganic.

Guam – As sex abuse cases against the Archdiocese of Agana continue to be filed, Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s attorney Jacque Terlaje argues a motion to dismiss the four sexual abuse cases against her client saying that the claims are time-barred.

Terlaje argued her client’s motion to dismiss on two grounds.

“We have asked the court to dismiss the complaint involving the four Archbishop Anthony cases and that is simply because the plain statutory reading of the statue, that it did not apply to old cases such as the one Archbishop Anthony is involved in,” stated Terlaje.

Terlaje is referring to the statute of limitations for filing a criminal sexual conduct complaint and what constitutes due process. According to Terlaje, the claims are time-barred and were not revived by the passage of Public Law 33-187. She further states that even if the claims were revived, any retrospective application is inorganic and unconstitutional.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Lawyer: Apuron benefitted the most with passage of time

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 29, 2017

A California-based attorney said Tuesday that Archbishop Anthony Apuron benefitted from the 40 years that passed since he allegedly sexually abused altar boys in Agat.

Attorney Gregory Nicolaysen said if Apuron's accusers had come forward earlier, Apuron likely wouldn't be archbishop and leader of the Catholic Church on Guam.

A hearing was held Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Guam on motions by Apuron to dismiss the four lawsuits filed against him by former altar boys and the family of a deceased former altar boy.

"It is unfortunate that this motion (to dismiss) is even being heard," said Nicolaysen, who represents former altar boy Roy Quintanilla in his case against Apuron.

Apuron's attorney, Jacqueline Terlaje, asked the court to dismiss the four lawsuits against Apuron.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

District Court will hear Apuron's motion to dismiss

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 27, 2017
By Krystal Paco

While a verdict from his canonical trial in Rome has yet to be reached, we could see progress with the four lawsuits lodged against Archbishop Anthony Apuron here at home.

The District Court of Guam will hear Apuron's motion to dismiss on Tuesday.

Defense's April filing argues that the claims against him are time-barred, despite recent Guam law that lifted the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases.

Because the alleged incidents occurred forty years ago, defense also argues Apuron is now an advanced age without the benefit of witnesses and without the benefit of records from the 1970s to assist in his defense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

St. Joseph Bankruptcy: Diocese Failed to Make Contributions to Employees Pension Fund for Years

RHODE ISLAND
GoLocalProv

Monday, August 28, 2017
GoLocal News Team

The pension fund of St. Joseph Health Services was underfunded by the Diocese of Providence for many years prior to the sale of the hospital to CharterCARE in 2014, GoLocalProv has learned.

The Diocese of Providence failed to make proper contributions - and retirees were never told of the shortfalls. While records are incomplete, it is clear that between 2008 and time of the sale of the hospital in 2014, the Diocese repeatedly underfunded retirement payments or made no payment, according to Stephen Del Sesto, the court-appointed receiver.

It is unclear how many years before 2008 the failure to make payments and partial payments goes back. Repeated efforts to reach the Diocese for comment have gone unanswered.

The bankruptcy of the pension fund impacts 2,800 and is the largest failure in Rhode Island history. The pension fund has a deficit of more than $160 million.

"The Catholic Church and Diocese of Providence should be ashamed of themselves," said former Rhode Island Attorney General Arlene Violet in an interview with GoLocal Sunday night.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Jacque Terlaje comments on dismissal motion for Apuron lawsuits

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 28, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Attorney Jacque Terlaje responds to media questions after a hearing on defense's motion to dismiss.

Terlaje represents Archbishop Anthony Apuron who faces four clergy sexual abuse lawsuits at the District Court of Guam.

Defense's motion argues that local law that lifts the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases is unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs' attorney David Lujan had stateside co-counsel argue for Tuesday's proceedings. Attorney Gregory Nicolaysen via telephone argued that Guam's situation is unique. The Guam legislature, he argued, was responding to a compelling public interest which is that victims of abuse tend to have delayed reporting and the victims in this case were challenged by the most prominent and highest member of the clergy locally, which is the Archbishop.

The court will provide a report and recommendations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

'Shame keeps so many victims silent': MN clergy abuse victim speaks out

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan St. Paul · Aug 29, 2017

Joe McLean grew up the youngest of six kids in a devout St. Paul Catholic family. He was a product of Catholic schools, weekly religious classes and Mass every Sunday, including a stint as an altar boy.

Religious retreats and confession were a normal part of that life. At a 1981 retreat for teen boys at St. Mary's church in downtown St. Paul, 17-year-old Joe met the Rev. Mike Charland, who was essentially on loan to the archdiocese from his religious order.

Charland ran the retreat, which ended with the priest hearing confessions in a secluded room. When Joe's turn came, he owned up to something he had long kept to himself: He and his girlfriend had sex.

Charland absolved him, with no lecture. But then came a strange, unmistakably sexual hug.

"He was brushing his pelvis side to side against mine and suddenly I realize what he's doing because he's aroused," McLean recalled in a recent interview. "He released the hug. And he held my face in his hands and then he kissed both of my eyes and then he kissed me on the mouth."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Pastor Omotoso back in court for second bail plea

SOUTH AFRICA
SABC News

Tuesday 29 August 2017
Anda Nqonji

Nigerian pastor, Timothy Omotoso will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's court on Tuesday for a second bail application.

He was denied bail by the magistrate, citing that he was a flight risk and could intimidate witnesses.

The presiding magistrate, Thandeka Mashile said that 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.

The Jesus Dominion International Church leader faces charges of human trafficking and sexual abuse after allegedly keeping under-age girls at his house in Durban.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

ONLY ON NEWS 3: Abuse Victim Speaks Out About Priest Indictment

GEORGIA
WSAV

By Andrew Davis
Published: August 28, 2017

Off the pulpit and behind bars.

A Former Savannah Priest, now in jail in Maryland, under indictment for criminal charges in Jasper county.

Wayland Brown was a Priest at St James Catholic Church and school in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

During that time prosecutors say he molested at least two boys, one under 14, the other not even 11 years old.

Now Brown is under arrest, under indictment and facing nine different counts of Criminal Misconduct with a Minor first and second degree.

He had already been convicted in Maryland on molestation charges, in the early 2000’s and spent five years in jail.

The statute of limitations was up in both Chatham County and for the US Attorney’s office. Which means Brown could not be prosecuted in Georgia. But Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap brought the case to the attention of South Carolina officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Ex-Savannah Catholic priest indicted for sexual battery on minors

GEORGIA
Savannah Morning News

By Jan Skutch
DeAnn Komanecky
Savannah Morning News

Former Savannah Roman Catholic priest – and convicted child sex offender — Wayland Yoder Brown has been indicted in Jasper County, S.C., on nine counts of criminal misconduct with a minor – sexual battery — involving two male victims, South Carolina Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone III announced Monday.

Brown, 74, is in custody in Maryland, Stone said. He will be extradited to South Carolina. It’s not known how long that process will take.

The felony indictments, returned Thursday in the Court of General Sessions, charge Brown with sexual battery in several locations, including St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hardeeville, S.C., the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and the intersection of Stiney and Morgan roads in Hardeeville in the area surrounded by railroad tracks and depot area.

Victims in the cases ranged in age of under 11 to under 14. One victim was in the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades at the time of the alleged abuses. The other victim was in the seventh grade at the time. The crimes alleged in the indictments occurred in Jasper County between 1978 and 1988.

The indictment follows a 14-month-long investigation, Stone and Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap said during a news conference in Bluffton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

First female archbishop to head WA diocese

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

AUGUST 29, 2017

Sophie Moore
Australian Associated Press

Australia's first female Anglican Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy has been elected to head the church in Western Australia.

She will replace Archbishop Roger Herft, who stepped down a year ahead of schedule after admitting he had let down survivors at the royal commission into child sex abuse.

Bishop Goldsworthy said the Perth diocese had put in place a raft of policies and legislation to ensure protection for their most vulnerable members.

She said she hoped to rebuild and regain the trust of the community but her first concern was for survivors of abuse.

"There are people who have been badly affected and hurt, survivors who are incredible in the way they approach life," she told AAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Bunbury victim to file church abuse allegations in Supreme Court

AUSTRALIA
Bunbury Mail

Andrew Elstermann
@AElstermann

29 Aug 2017

Twenty years after Alan Rowe first approached the Catholic Church seeking an apology for alleged sexual abuse by a priest in Bunbury, he is set to file writs against the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

Mr Rowe was an altar boy at St Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He claims that Father Kevin Johnston, one of the parish priests, abused him on about 12 separate occasions.

“Father Johnston would come to me when we were in the sacristy together and changing into our robes for the service,” he said.

“He would fondle me and make me touch his genitals too.

“I recall that Father Johnston used to say once he was finished with me that if I was to say anything about this, I’d be in a lot of trouble.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Local Catholics unveil plan for "Occupy RMS"

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 28, 2017
By Krystal Paco

Who's living in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona? That's what the Concerned Catholics of Guam want to find out.

In a press release from the CCOG, they unveil Occupy RMS, a project to conduct a headcount of those going in and out of the property.

According to CCOG President Dave Sablan, he's made efforts to speak with RMS leadership but has yet to receive a response.

The count, he says, is necessary as the CCOG believes there are individuals not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Agana who are living rent-free and exposing the Church to liability risks.

The former hotel turned seminary is rightfully owned by the Archdiocese and is currently listed for sale in order to pay the nearly 100 clergy sex abuse lawsuits against the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

August 28, 2017

Former Guam resident files sex abuse lawsuit

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post Aug 28, 2017

A new lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Agana alleges that a now-deceased priest sexually abused a young boy on church grounds in the 1960s.

A former Guam resident who now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, filed a civil complaint in the District Court of Guam seeking $5 million in damages for alleged sexual abuse when he was 9 years old. The complaint names the perpetrator as Father Antonio Cruz, who is now deceased.

Details of the allegations

A.J.A., who used initials to file the lawsuit to protect his identity, said he and his family were devout Catholics and active members of Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago.

While growing up in Guam, his family frequently volunteered their services and would cook for Cruz and wash his clothes, the complaint states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Fmr. Savannah priest indicted in SC for alleged sexual abuse of student

SOUTH CAROLINA
WSAV

By Andrew Davis
Published: August 28, 2017

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — Duffie Stone, Solicitor of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit court, announced that a nine-count indictment has been filed against former Savannah priest Wayland Brown. The charges include criminal sexual misconduct with a minor. You may remember, Father Brown was accused in a civil case involving Chris Templeton as reported by News3 in July 2016.

The announcement was made during a news conference this morning, Aug. 28. Chris Templeton told news 3 he was involved in this case, but Solicitor Duffie Stone would not name either of the two victims included in the indictments against Brown.

Brown allegedly sexually abused Templeton while he was a student at St. James Catholic School in Savannah. A $4.5 million settlement was reached in his lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Savannah on charges of alleged sexual abuse by a priest in July 2016. The suit claimed that multiple warnings were given to the church hierarchy about Brown’s behavior by clergy members as early as 1969. Brown was a priest for the Diocese from 1979 until 1982 then again in 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Former Savannah priest indicted on Jasper County sexual abuse charges

SOUTH CAROLINA
Island Packet

BY CAITLIN TURNER
cturner@islandpacket.com

AUGUST 28, 2017

A former Catholic priest has been indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting two boys at different locations in Jasper County during the late 70s and early and late 80s.

A Jasper County grand jury handed down nine indictments against Wayland Brown, 73, on Thursday alleging first-degree criminal sexual conduct and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone said during a joint press conference Monday with the Chatham County, Ga., District Attorney’s office.

The indictments allege that during the school years of 1979, 1980, 1981, 1987 and 1988, Brown, then a priest at St. James Catholic Church and School in Savannah, took the two children, who were students at the school, to Jasper County on occasions and sexually assaulted them.

One of the victims was allegedly assaulted when he was in the 5th, 6th and 7th grade. The second was allegedly assaulted when he was in the 7th grade, Stone said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Former Catholic Priest Indicted on Sex Abuse Charges in Jasper County

SOUTH CAROLINA
ABC Columbia

Aug 28, 2017 Grace Joyal

JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) – A former Catholic priest in Savannah, GA has been indicted by a South Carolina grand jury for alleged sexual abuse cases from 40 years ago.

Authorities said Wayland Brown, 74, abused two children while he was a parish priest at St. James Catholic School in Savannah in the late 1970s and 80s.

Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone and Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap said at a press conference Monday that the abuse took place at several Jasper County locations.

Brown will be tried in Jasper County because South Carolina does not have a statute of limitations on child sex assault cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Les victimes du père Preynat désorientées face à la justice de l’Eglise cat

FRANCE
Le Monde

[This is news that left them stunned. The victims of Father Bernard Preynat, the former chaplain of a scout troop from the suburbs of Lyon charged with sexual assaults on minors before 1991, learned from the press of the canonical proceedings against the ecclesiastic. The canonical process is the procedure conducted within the Catholic Church according to canon law, the set of laws and internal rules of the institution of Rome. It is a process of discouraging complexity and opacity, according to Father Preynat's victims.]

Par Cécile Chambraud

C’est une nouvelle qui les a laissés pantois. Les victimes du père Bernard Preynat, l’ancien aumônier d’une troupe scoute de la banlieue lyonnaise mis en examen pour des agressions sexuelles commises sur des mineurs avant 1991, ont appris par la presse la suspension de la procédure canonique ouverte contre l’ecclésiastique. Le procès canonique, c’est la procédure conduite au sein de l’Eglise catholique selon le droit canon, l’ensemble des lois et des règles internes de l’institution de Rome. Une procédure d’une complexité et d’une opacité décourageantes, selon les victimes du père Preynat.

La suspension du procès canonique, cet été, a ajouté à leur désarroi. Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin, qui avait enclenché ce procès, a en effet annoncé son interruption dans un entretien au Monde (daté 13-14 août). Raison invoquée par l’archevêque de Lyon : le lancement d’une nouvelle procédure, notamment à son encontre, devant la justice française. Depuis, dans les rangs de La Parole libérée, l’association qui fédère des victimes, l’indignation le dispute à l’incompréhension.

Catholic group to establish "checkpoint" at seminary compound

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

The Concerned Catholics of Guam plans to establish a "checkpoint" at the front gate going into former Action Hotel-turned Redemptoris Mater Seminary to count everyone going in and out of that property, the organization announced.

Concerned Catholics has earlier stated that people affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way movement are living there, rent-free, while the archdiocese is strapped for cash.

The former seaside hotel is one of the Archdiocese of Agana's high-value real estate assets, once estimated to be worth about $40 million. The hotel project went bust and the property was donated to the church.

The old Accion hotel building and property has been put up for sale by the archdiocese, according to Concerned Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Archbishop Byrnes fires 4 Neo priests from Presbyteral Council

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera - August 28, 2017

The four priests are Msgr. David C. Quitugua, Father Jose Alberto Rodriguez Salamanca, Father Rudolfo Arejola and Father Julio Cesar Sanchez Malagon.

Guam – Some major developments happened at the Archdiocese of Agana last month as Archbishop Michael Byrnes has gotten rid of four key players who are a part of the Neocatechumenal Way from his Presbyteral Council. The reason? Insubordination.

It’s an unprecedented move for rookie Guam Archbishop Michael Byrnes, but it demonstrates his fortitude and resolve to keep his flock at bay and clean house.

On July 24th, Archbishop Byrnes wrote a letter to four members of his Presbyteral Council: Msgr. David C. Quitugua, Father Jose Alberto Rodriguez Salamanca, Father Rudolfo Arejola and Father Julio Cesar Sanchez Malagon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Archbishop removes four priests from council

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

The Archdiocese of Agana confirms that four priests assigned to the Archdiocese of Agana Presbyteral Council were removed by Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes in July.

Rev. Rudy Arejola, Monsignor David C. Quitugua, Rev. Jose Alberto Rodriguez-Salamanca and Rev. Julio Cesar Sanchez were removed from the council as a disciplinary measure, but the archdiocese isn't providing additional details.

Archdiocese Director of Communications Tony Diaz would not confirm that the four were terminated due to insubordination for writing a letter about issues concerning the Archdiocese of Agana directly to the Vatican.

"Learning from the past, the archdiocese strives not to comment about disciplinary matters," Diaz said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Priest's admission of Klan membership begs for fuller accounting

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Aug 28, 2017
by Ken Briggs

William Aitcheson's conviction and jailing for taking part in Ku Klux Klan terrorism in 1977 is on the record for anyone to find. He spent 90 days in prison and was fined $20,000 for burning crosses on the properties of black people, writing a threat to kill Coretta Scott King, and making pipe bombs.

Ten years later after the conviction, Aitcheson was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. Last week, he burst into the news with the shocking revelation of his run with the KKK as a college student in his 20s. He explained the confession as sparked by the violence in Charlottesville, a sudden recall of his dark days in the hate-filled Klan. His "actions were despicable," he said, and begged forgiveness. His Arlington, Virginia, diocesan bishop, Michael F. Burbridge, said the news was "deeply troubling," implying that he'd known nothing about it.

The bishop granted Aitcheson's request for a leave of absence.

That initial version was loaded with mysteries and unanswered questions, which the Washington Post saw fit to dig into. Primarily, the paper discovered that Aitcheson 's motive was kick started by being told by a freelance reporter in the priest's parish that his previous record would be exposed to the public if he didn't do so himself. Whatever Aitcheson 's desire to clear his conscience, the reporter's discovery of his past had hastened the moment of truth. He must have realized it could happen at any time if someone searched for it.

There is nothing to indicate the record before cropped up in public during the 40 years since his arrest. And there is no reason it ordinarily should. He had paid his debt to society and cut his KKK ties. His sincerity and integrity deserve every benefit of the doubt. The public documents on that episode show he paid his debt to society except for reneging on his payment of civil damages to a black couple on whose property he had burned a cross. He wasn't hiding, though he probably wasn't eager to bring up the past himself. His case fits the pattern of inadequate screening that has allowed child abusers and twisted psyches into the priesthood with tragic results.

The disturbing behavior is on the part of the church. In the aftermath of Aitcheson's disclosure, the bishop and the diocese reverted to the pattern of evasion and obfuscation that undermines trust. Despite decades of scandal and cover-up, behavior only changes as a last resort. The obsession for keeping control by hiding and conspiring to contain damage retains an iron grip.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Former New England Catholic priest David Joseph Perrett charged with 43 new child sex offences by Armidale detectives

AUSTRALIA
Northern Daily Leader

Breanna Chillingworth
@breannachill

28 Aug 2017

A FORMER Catholic priest has been charged with 43 new historical child sex charges after 12 more alleged victims came forward.

David Joseph Perrett was charged with the fresh counts by Armidale detectives and now faces a total of 52 offences, accused of abusing 16 different children.

Detectives allege Perrett, who was a Catholic priest in the New England, molested the children between 1970 and 1986.

He remains on conditional bail after the DPP tried unsuccessfully to have the now 80-year-old’s bail revoked in Armidale Local Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Former Guam resident alleges past sexual abuse by Chalan Pago priest

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 28, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Another alleged victim of clergy sex abuse files suit in the District Court of Guam. 61-year-old A.J.A. now lives in Las Vegas, but grew up in Guam.

When he was about 9-years-old, he alleges he was sexually molested by Father Antonio Cruz of Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey in Chalan Pago.

Court documents state that the boy's family cooked for the priest and washed his clothes.

While delivering the priest's clothes to the rectory, the priest allegedly pulled his pants down and touched his penis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Apuron's mentor named in new clergy sex abuse lawsuit

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

A now deceased priest, Antonio C. Cruz, allegedly sexually molested and abused a 9-year-old boy around 1964 at a church rectory in Chalan Pago, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday afternoon.

The lawsuit is filed by a man identified in court documents only by his initials, A.J.A., to protect his privacy.

It is the 99th lawsuit filed in federal and local courts against the Archdiocese of Agana for alleged sexual abuse of minors by clergy and others associated with the Catholic Church on Guam.

A.J.A., represented by attorney David Lujan, is now 61 and lives in Las Vegas.

Cruz was a priest at the Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church when he allegedly sexually molested and abused A.J.A., the lawsuit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Catholic group plans to stake out seminary, conduct head count

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

Some island Catholics plan to spend days counting the number of people going in and out of the Neocatechumenal Way-controlled Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona.

The results of the head count, which the Concerned Catholics of Guam calls "Occupy RMS," will be presented to the Yona property owner, the Archdiocese of Agana.

Concerned Catholics will formally ask the archdiocese to charge the seminary residents rent for the use of the church property.

Group President David Sablan said it's unfair that Guam's 14 Catholic schools and their students are made to pay for some $2.64 million in church debts, while the Neocatechumenal Way gets free rent at the archdiocese's expense.

"As we previously stated, these RMS residents are freeloaders, but Catholic school students and parents are being assessed fees to help the archdiocese pay church debts," Sablan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Restraining order, but no charges for New Ulm priest

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

By: Tom Lyden
POSTED: AUG 27 2017

NEW ULM, Minn. (KMSP) - A New Ulm area Catholic priest will not face criminal charges after a six-month long criminal investigation into allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl.

The girl’s mother, however, has taken matters into her own hands, taking out a restraining order against the priest--Father Sam Wagner, age 33.

In a statement, the Diocese of New Ulm said Fr. Wagner remains on leave from the ministry pending a decision by its Clergy Review Board.

The allegations first surfaced in January, when Father Wagner was relieved of his duties at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, where Wagner grew up. The allegations concern his time in New Ulm, and a relationship that began with a 15-year old girl who attended Cathedral High School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

August 27, 2017

Paedophile ex-vicar was housed in luxury apartment paid for by the Church of England

UNITED KINGDOM
Liverpool Echo

BY NEIL DOCKING
27 AUG 2017

A paedophile ex-vicar was housed in a luxury city centre apartment paid for by the Church of England, the ECHO can reveal.

Former reverend Paul Battersby repeatedly downloaded sick photographs of young children being molested by fellow perverts.

But for the last three years he has lived in Beetham Tower - one of Liverpool’s most desirable developments in Old Hall Street.

Yet the ex-Church of England national youth officer had the audacity to MOAN about his home and compare his circumstances to prison.

Battersby, 68, was jailed for 20 months after a court heard he spent his time in the flat amassing a disturbing collection of illegal files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

City investigation into if yeshivas are breaking the law stalls

NEW YORK
NY1

By Lindsey Christ
Updated Friday, August 25, 2017

The city has blown its deadline for completing a politically explosive investigation into whether yeshivas are breaking the law by cutting out secular studies in favor of religious instruction. And NY1 Education Report Lindsey Christ reports, the city still cannot say when it will be finished.

It's been two years since the de Blasio administration said it was investigating religious schools serving tens of thousands of ultra-orthodox Jewish children.

The probe began after activist Naftuli Moster filed a complaint alleging that his yeshiva education left him wholly uneducated and unequipped to make a living.

"Boys ages 13 and up receive no secular education at all. So they attend yeshiva for as many as 14 hours a day, from 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM often, and they get zero secular studies," said Moster of Young Advocates for a Fair Education. "No English, no math, forget about science or social studies, which they don't even get in elementary school."

State law requires private schools to provide an education substantially equal to a public education, but the city and state have long taken a hands-off approach toward the yeshivas, despite providing them tens of millions of dollars in aid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Irish priest in Argentine sex abuse scandal

ARGENTINA
The Times (UK)

Eithne Shortall
August 27 2017
The Sunday Times

An Irish priest is at the centre of a sexual abuse scandal engulfing Latin America. Finnlugh Mac Conastair, who died in 1997, has been accused of abusing a 12-year-old boy at a prestigious school in Argentina.

Two other Irishmen are reported to have known of the abuse. The allegations are making headlines across South America and have been reported by English-language news outlets elsewhere.

The claimed abuse happened at the Cardinal Newman school in Buenos Aires, an institution popular with Argentina’s elite and the alma mater of the Argentinian president Mauricio Macri. The school was founded by Irish Christian Brothers in 1948 and the abuse is said to have happened during the late 1970s.

The allegations were made by Rufino Varela, a former student at the school, who said that Finnlugh Mac Conastair, a Passionist priest, removed his trousers, beat him and fondled him. The priest told him what had happened should be kept a secret between themselves and God. Other students have now come forward to say they too were abused by Mac Conastair.

John Burke, an Irish Christian Brother, was in charge of the school the time of the allegations. Burke, currently the Christian Brother co-ordinator for safeguarding children, was not contactable by The Sunday Times this weekend.

However, Burke told the Associated Press earlier this month that he learnt of the abuse in 1980 but the victim’s identity was not revealed to him at the time. Burke said he sought legal advice from a lawyer, who happened to be Varela’s father, and immediately removed Mac Conastair from his post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Pastor laments pain of sex offences allegations against church leaders

JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

BY JEDIAEL CARTER
Observer staff reporter
carterj@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The spate of revelations that clergy leaders are involved in sexual misconduct has sharpened the divide between the church and the state.

That is the view of Napoleon Black, founder of Pastors According to His Heart (PATHH) — a church ministry dedicated to the care of pastors and their families.

“The reputation of the church has been hit hard within the society by these ongoing revelations. It is fuel to the perception of those who see pastors and church leaders as philandering exploiters,” Black stated.

“Some see much of the church in a cynical light — a relic of the colonial era with outdated modes and concepts; while others see the church as essential to the moral fabric of a well-ordered society, even though it is led by fallen men and women in need of grace, but not without responsibility and accountability,” he explained.

The church's reputation continues to tank with the most recent allegation that pastor of Harvest Temple Apostolic Church on Slipe Pen Road in St Andrew, Kenneth Blake, 56, was charged for allegedly raping and impregnating his ex-lover's 12-year-old daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Victims, advocates push for Archdiocese of Santa Fe officials to come clean

NEW MEXICO
The New Mexican

By Andrew Oxford | The New Mexican Aug 26, 2017

Everyone finally believed them. At least that is how they felt.

In the days and weeks after the Catholic Diocese of Gallup in 2014 published a list naming 30 priests and a teacher who church executives said had been credibly accused of sexually abusing children, Elizabeth Terrill got one phone call after another from survivors whose allegations had been met for years with denial and doubt.

With the bishop’s very public admission, some survivors believed at last that the Catholic Church and the broader community accepted their charges against men who once had been trusted and enjoyed protection from a system few others had challenged.

Terrill, the diocese’s victim assistance coordinator, recounts one caller telling her: “It feels like everyone really believes me.”

Gallup, a sprawling, rural and impoverished diocese, was doing what no other in New Mexico had. It named the priests at the center of a crisis that scarred an institution with an outsize place in the state’s culture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Guam Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes fires 4 advisers for betraying his trust

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes recently removed four clergy members from his advisory team, stating they were insubordinate, defied his leadership and betrayed his trust.

All four removed team members are affiliated with the Neocatechumenal Way, whose practices sometimes are at odds with the island's traditional Catholic community.

At issue is a letter they sent in June to a Vatican official, also affiliated with the Way, instead of talking to Byrnes.

Byrnes terminated Monsignor David C. Quitugua, Rev. Fr. Jose Alberto Rodriguez-Salamanca, Rev. Fr. Julio Cesar Sanchez, and Rev. Fr. Rodolfo Arejola from the archbishop's Presbyteral Council.

Under canon law, a presbyteral council is a group of priests which acts like a senate of the bishop and assists the bishop in the governance of the diocese according to the norm of law to promote pastoral good.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

August 26, 2017

Peter FitzSimons: When will the madness end?

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Peter FitzSimons

So, I've got this right, yes? On the one hand, we have the Catholic Church maintaining it will make no change in its protocol about the sanctity of the confessional. And it maintains that, despite the fact that – as just revealed by the Criminal Justice report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – it has presided over cases like the one in Rockhampton where Father Michael McArdle was forgiven no fewer than 1500 times by 30 of his fellow priests for raping children in his care.

"I was devastated after the assaults, every one of them," Father McArdle affirmed in a 2004 affidavit, quoted in The Australian on Tuesday. "So distressed would I become that I would attend confessions weekly. [After every confession], it was like a magic wand had been waved over me."

Now, as not a single one of those priests called the police – sanctity of the confessional and all that – McArdle continued his atrocities for decades, devastating the lives of ever more children.

And, on the other hand, we have the Catholic Church waving a flag upon what it sees as the moral high ground, warning the rest of us of what will happen to society if we vote for marriage equality. And its warnings include the dangers to children of gay couples.

I ask this seriously. How long can we, as a society, BEAR this?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Perth Catholic Archbishop Tim Costelloe says his mission now is to rebuild trust in the church

AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Kate Campbell, PerthNow
August 26, 2017

“IT’S more than shameful, because shameful is about how embarrassed in a sense you feel, it’s really horror that people’s lives have been so badly affected.”

Dealing with the child sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church to its core was Timothy Costelloe’s first priority when he became Archbishop of Perth in 2012.

Five-and-a-half years later and amid an ongoing royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, it’s still the biggest issue facing him and his church.

The 63-year-old former schoolteacher used words like “evil”, “shocking”, “confronting”, “shameful” and “painful” to describe how nearly one in 10 priests in the Catholic Perth archdiocese was accused of sexually abusing children between 1950 and 2010 and how “bafflingly inadequate” the response was from church leaders.

When asked if he could guarantee his archdiocese was now paedophile-free, Archbishop Costelloe said: “What I can guarantee is that in this archdiocese we’re sending out a message that today this is the most dangerous place for a paedophile to come because we’re on to them, we’re looking for them and we will deal with them.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Billy Graham’s grandson blames the Church for protecting child sex abusers

UNITED STATES
Premier (UK)

Sat 26 Aug 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

The grandson of famous US evangelist Billy Graham has been vocal about the horror of child abuse in the Church.

Boz Tchividjian is the head of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which investigates sexual abuse in Christian organisations.

In a recent interview with Vice.com he said it’s his life’s focus to expose sex abuse in the Church because churches usually protect the abuser at the expense of the victim.

He became more passionate about the issue when he started practicing law and served as chief prosecutor in the Sexual Crimes Division.

“There was no greater defender of children than Jesus,” he said.

Tchividjian suggested that child abuse scandals are worse in the Protestant churches than the Catholic Church.

He said that data gathered from top insurers of Protestant churches a few years ago showed that there were 260 reports a year of child sex abuse by church leaders or members of the congregation. Other data for the Catholic Church reported 228 incidents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – AUGUST 25, 2017

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

JESUIT PRIESTS AND BROTHERS OF THE NORTHEAST PROVINCE (INCLUDING FORDHAM UNIVERSITY) CONTINUE TO RE-VICTIMIZE A SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM OF A JESUIT PRIEST

Jesuits of the Northeast Province, based on the upper eastside of Manhattan, who administer Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, continue to re-victimize Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a deceased serial pedophile Jesuit priest, by refusing to reasonably settle his claim

The Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province admit to having credible information from approximately five (5) persons (besides the victim) about Neal E. Gumpel’s childhood sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, and still refuse to settle Neal E. Gumpel’s claim reasonably

What
A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, Fordham University students, parents, faculty, and staff, and the general public that the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has insulted and re-victimized a childhood sexual abuse victim of a Jesuit priest by refusing to reasonably settle his credible claim

When
Saturday, August 26, 2017, from 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of the main entrance to Fordham University, 2691 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10458 (across from the entrance to the New York Botanical Garden)

Who
Neal E. Gumpel; his wife, Helen Gumpel, and 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
Neal E. Gumpel was a high school student and a minor child when he was sexually abused by a Jesuit priest, Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine. Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, was a professor at Maine Maritime Academy and at all times presented himself as a priest and member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In fact, Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, wore the priest’s collar and clerical clothing when Neal E. Gumpel arrived on the campus of Maine Maritime Academy. The Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has found Neal E. Gumpel’s claim of having been sexually abused by Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, credible, but they refuse to reasonably settle the claim against Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, and they continue to insult and re-victimize Neal E. Gumpel. Demonstrators will call on the Jesuits and Fordham University, where Fr. Roy Drake, SJ, was a professor for many years, to do the right thing and treat Neal E. Gumpel with compassion, fairness, and justice

Contact
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

KKK leader turned priest faced charges in Nevada

VIRGINIA
WUSA

Michael Quander, WUSA August 24, 2017

FAIRFAX, VA. (WUSA9) - The Virginia priest who came forward as a former leader with the KKK was charged in a Reno, Nevada trespassing case in 1992.

Father William Aitcheson had been handing out pro-life pamphlets near a clinic.

During court hearings Father Aitcheson testified about his criminal past but left out details about cross burnings and the KKK.

Aitcheson was given a fine and ordered to stay away from the property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Did priest with KKK past really put it behind him?

VIRGINIA
WUSA

Bruce Leshan, WUSA August 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - More evidence on Friday that the College Park KKK leader turned Arlington priest failed to put his Confederate sympathies behind him, even after he changed his attire from white sheets to clerical robes.

Years after becoming a priest, William Aitcheson was charged with assault and battery and convicted of trespassing.

The priest claimed the racist violence in Charlottesville prompted him to confess to his own old membership in the KKK, but that's far from the whole truth. But Maria Santos Bier is just out with a story in the Washington Post; "How I discovered my childhood priest was in the Ku Klux Klan," which suggest Aitcheson only wrote his confessional column in the Arlington Catholic Herald after she started questioning the diocese about his past.

As a history teacher, Bier says Aitchson was "A fervent advocate of the Confederacy." and used to joke about "Saint Robert E Lee." After Charlottesville, she Googled him, and found a 1977 story about the then 23 year old University of Maryland student. He was an "exalted Cyclops," in the local Robert E Lee Klavern.

Another freelancer, Nate Thayer, found Aitcheson had been charged in three Maryland counties with manufacturing explosives, threatening to lynch Corretta Scott King, burning crosses in front of Jewish organizations, and in Phillip and Barbara Butler's front yard

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Klanner-turned-Catholic priest story raises question about (wait for it) repentance

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Mark Kellner

Just when you thought things couldn't get any more exciting in the aftermath of the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va., where a protester was mowed down and killed by a white-supremacist, there comes a story that I can't imagine anyone anticipated.

An active, currently serving Roman Catholic priest admitted he had been a leader in the Ku Klux Klan and burned crosses on people's lawns, before entering the priesthood. The priest, Father William Aitcheson, has now taken a leave of absence from his role as an associate pastor at a parish in the Arlington, Va., archdiocese.

While it didn't make front page news in The Washington Post – of which more here shortly – it was the lead item on the local NBC-TV station, WRC. Their story, buttressed by an online version, was a very basic account:

A Virginia priest took a leave of absence on Monday after he admitted that he was previously a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Father William Aitcheson, a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington, burned a cross on an African-American couple's lawn in College Park, Maryland, in the 1970s.

Aitcheson, 62, wrote about his past Klan affiliation Monday in The Arlington Catholic Herald, the diocese's newspaper. He currently is an associate pastor at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Fairfax, Virginia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Investigation into New Ulm priest suspended as detectives wait on witnesses

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

By Brian Arola barola@mankatofreepress.com

NEW ULM — The investigation into reports of an inappropriate relationship between a juvenile girl and and a priest in the Diocese of New Ulm has been suspended, according to a release from the New Ulm Police Department.

The Rev. Sam Wagner, who was most recently listed as an associate pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, was placed on administrative leave while the investigation continued. He previously worked in New Ulm from 2014 to 2016.

Jeff Hohensee, senior investigator with the New Ulm Police Department, said the case isn’t considered closed. “We’re just allowing some of the witnesses to take some time to come forward,” he said. “They expressed they wanted some time.”

He said it’s difficult to put a timeline on when the investigation could resume, adding investigators will remain in contact with witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Christian Sect Members Charged With Abusing Children in New Mexico

NEW MEXICO
New York Times

By CHRISTINE HAUSER
AUG. 25, 2017

Eight members of a paramilitary Christian sect in New Mexico were arrested this week on charges of child sexual abuse and other crimes against children, officials said on Friday.

Three members of the sect, the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps, were arrested on Sunday in Fence Lake, a remote, sparsely populated area in western New Mexico, and a fourth was arrested that day in the city of Truth or Consequences, more than 100 miles away, Sheriff Tony Mace of Cibola County said.

Four more members were arrested by Cibola County deputies on Wednesday as they drove away from the Fence Lake compound with 11 children in tow.

The arrests were the culmination of years of investigation by law enforcement. The sect had “been on the radar” of the authorities in Cibola County since members of the group moved there from California in 1995, Sheriff Mace said.

But the scrutiny escalated in 2015, when a former member reported that he was unable to find or contact his children at the site in Fence Lake, and again in 2016, when a woman told the authorities she had been sexually abused as a child while living there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

The Latest: $500K bond stays for sect leaders in abuse case

NEW MEXICO
SFGate

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a New Mexico military-style Christian sect facing child abuse charges (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

A judge has refused to lower bond on two leaders of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect who are both facing child sexual abuse charges.

Cibola County Magistrate Judge Larry Diaz said Friday he still felt that co-leader Deborah Green and high ranking leader Peter Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training were flight risks and he wasn't comfortable with lowering their bond or changing the conditions of their release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Paramilitary sect's land holding eyed in child abuse case

NEW MEXICO
ABC News

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, ASSOCIATED PRESS
GRANTS, N.M. — Aug 25, 2017

Leaders of a paramilitary religious sect rocked by child sexual abuse allegations say they were merely a small, poor group living in a secluded ranching area in New Mexico while constantly being persecuted by people who didn't understand their reading of the Bible.

But authorities say the trustees of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps own thousands of acres of land and benefited from a wealthy high-ranking member who aided them in avoiding law enforcement agencies by hiding children throughout their vast holdings.

Those holdings and regular deceptions by leaders, authorities said, made it difficult for the small Cibola County Sheriff's Office to investigate allegations of child abuse that former members say went back years.

Speaking before a magistrate judge on Friday, Cibola County Undersheriff Michael Munk gave a glimpse into his department's two-year investigation of a militant sect former members say treated followers like slaves and often physically beat children who had no records of being born. That investigation led to the Sunday raid of the group's Fence Lake compound and the arrest of four members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

THE LATEST: $20K BOND REMAINS FOR MEMBER OF RELIGIOUS SECT

NEW MEXICO
Associated Press

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) -- The Latest on a New Mexico military-style Christian sect facing child abuse charges (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

A judge has refused to lower bond for a member of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect who faces child abuse charges.

Cibola County Magistrate Judge Larry Diaz said Friday that recent events surrounding the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps were getting "serious" and he couldn't lower bond for Stacey Miller.

Miller faces one count each of intentional abuse of a child between the ages of 12 and 18, bribery of a witness and not reporting a birth. Authorities say she failed to give her 12-year-old son medical treatment for the flu and he later died.

She is being held on $20,000 security cash bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Four more arrested in aggressive Christianity group

NEW MEXICO
KRQE

By Katherine Mozzone
Published: August 25, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Authorities continue to delve into the secret lives of aggressive Christianity members out of Fence Lake, New Mexico.

The Cibola County Sheriff says four more people were arrested Wednesday, for failing to register the births of their 11 kids.

Days after allegations of child sex abuse surfaced against the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps, more members are in custody and were caught trying to leave their compound with two vans full of kids.

Deputies arrested Amos, Victoria, Ruth and Timothy River on felony warrants.

According to the Washington Post, authorities were there trying to pick up children for interviews when they found two vans leaving the compound, south of Gallup.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Bessborough sale won’t affect ability to examine site

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Saturday, August 26, 2017 Conall Ó Fátharta

Former residents of the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork have been assured that plans to sell it will not affect the power of the Commission to examine the site.

The Irish Examiner revealed that the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary intend to sell the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in a process that could take up to two years. The sale will not include the cemetery and remembrance site areas.

The campus is more recently the setting for the Bessborough Centre, a charity that works with vulnerable families.

However, the facility in Blackrock is also being examined by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission. It has come under intense scrutiny in recent years over activities alleged to have occurred there when it was a mother and baby home, including the possible falsification of death certificates to facilitate clandestine adoptions here and overseas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

This ex-vicar wrote a child sex abuse fantasy starring himself

UNITED KINGDOM
Liverpool Echo

BY NEIL DOCKING
25 AUG 2017

A paedophile ex-vicar who wrote a twisted child sex abuse fantasy featuring himself was today jailed for 20 months.

Former Church of England reverend Paul Battersby downloaded 1,730 indecent images between November 2014 and January 2017.

Police also seized a shoebox full of children’s clothes when they raided the 68-year-old’s flat in Old Hall Street, Liverpool city centre.

Liverpool Crown Court heard they then discovered disturbing fantasy literature on the persistent sex offender’s computer equipment.

Iain Criddle, prosecuting, said: “Perhaps equally worrying, other items were recovered.

“From the defendant’s computer was recovered a fantasy story, which appears to have been penned by him, regarding child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Magdalene protesters seek ‘full redress’

IRELAND
The Times

Ed Carty
August 26 2017
The Times

Survivors of Magdalene laundries have staged a protest outside a former Catholic workhouse in Dublin and called for a memorial and a full redress scheme.

Their action follows the United Nations criticism of Ireland for its lack of an independent and thorough investigation and its call for the prosecution of members of the Catholic Church.

The rally was held off Sean McDermott Street in Dublin, the site of the last Catholic workhouse to be shut, a fortnight after the committee against torture report accused the government of failing to live up to commitments to investigate the religious institutions.

Angela Downey, who was born in Castlepollard mother and baby home after her mother, Mary, had been raped and was sent to a laundry, called for the name of every woman who toiled in the institutions to be immortalised in stone.

Pressing her hand against the crumbling back wall of the workhouse run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, she said: “My mother spent 15 years in the laundries. The children weren’t recognised at all. We weren’t entitled to anything. They should do something for us now.” The survivors are also seeking a day of commemoration to remember those affected by the laundries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Australian priest rips confession proposal as government 'intrusion'

AUSTRALIA
Angelus

August 26, 2017 - By Catholic News Agency

An Australian priest has called the Royal Commission's recent proposal to enforce law requiring that clergy face criminal charges if they do not disclose details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional a breach of religious tolerance. Fr. Kelvin Lovegrove, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy in the Archdiocese of Sydney, told CNA Aug. 24 that he was “surprised” by the suggestion made by the Royal Commission that priests be forced “to break the law in regard to the Seal of Confession.”

“Australia is religiously tolerant country, and many people have emigrated to Australia from other countries so that they can freely practice their faith,” he said, calling the proposal “an intrusion by the Government into the realm of the spiritual relationship between priest and penitent, which up until has been sacrosanct.”

He said the proposal is out of step with expectations for others who maintain similar confidential relationships, noting that “other professionals such as psychologists, lawyers and journalists are not required to break confidences in regard to confidential information between them and their clients.”

Fr. Lovegrove's comments come less than two weeks after Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, established in 2013, on Aug. 14 released a sweeping 85 proposed changes to the country's criminal justice system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Judge dismisses several counts in Bishop Thomas O'Brien sexual-abuse case

ARIZONA
Arizona Republic

Jerod MacDonald-Evoy, The Republic | azcentral.com Aug. 25, 2017

The judge overseeing a lawsuit accusing Bishop Emeritus Thomas O'Brien of sexual abuse has ordered that several counts focusing on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix be dropped.

The counts related to the former bishop's alleged sexual misconduct still stand.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Udall dismissed counts of public nuisance, fraud, fiduciary fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress, leaving eight of the original 14 counts.

The counts that were dropped alleged the church had financial and oversight responsibilities related to O'Brien's alleged actions.

In their motions to dismiss multiple allegations in the lawsuit, attorneys for the church contended that some of the accusations were too broad and sweeping. Declaring the Phoenix Diocese a public nuisance would be akin to "creating a new law," defense attorney John Kelly said in the church's response.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2016, accuses O'Brien, now 81, of sexually abusing the plaintiff from 1977 through 1982, when the plaintiff was a boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Priests urge paedophiles to go from confession box to police

AUSTRALIA
Sunday Herald Sun

Ashley Argoon, Sunday Herald Sun
August 26, 2017

PROMINENT priests say they would urge paedophiles to go to police if they admitted to crimes in confession.

Well known men of the cloth say they would refuse absolution, with the only penance for a person who committed such a serious offence to be the “full force of the law”.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended priests be charged for not reporting confessions of paedophiles. Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has said the confessional seal should remain.

But Fr Brendan Reed from Our Lady of Good Counsel and All Hallows Parish said those who admit to those crimes in confession should expect one result.

“The public expect, and the church expects, that it is such a serious sin the penance has to be no less than handing themselves in,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Archbishop Denis Hart is talking nonsense on marriage equality and child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sunday Herald Sun

KATIE BICE, Sunday Herald Sun

THE Archbishop of Melbourne is doing the Catholic Church and its followers a disservice. In the past fortnight, Denis Hart has made his views known on two controversial issues and at least once, arguably twice, has been grossly out of step with community expectations.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released a report with 85 recommendations, including that priests be forced to report details of child sex abuse made in confession. It urged criminal charges against priests who failed to do so, saying there should be “no excuse, protection nor privilege” for those who fail to comply. Hart, however, believes confessions should be respected: “Confession in the Catholic Church is a spiritual encounter with God through the priest,” he stated. “It is a fundamental part of the freedom of religion. Outside of this, all offences against children must be reported to the authorities and we are absolutely committed to doing so.”

I don’t profess to have ever met or had a conversation with God, but I’m going to take a stab and say he’s no fan of child molesters. And you’d think the leaders of a body that oversaw one of the greatest human tragedies outside war time would listen to and accept any recommendations to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

And Hart’s stance seems to go against what he says on another issue riling the Catholic Church, same-sex marriage. Last week he issued a public letter cautioning that any change to marriage legislation would threaten the “health and future of our society”. Part of the public letter read: “Yes, human rights are important. But so are human responsibilities. We are responsible for the impact of our decisions on future generations.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Cibola sheriff tells court about inquiry into child abuse

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Russell Contreras / Associated Press
Published: Friday, August 25th, 2017

GRANTS – A paramilitary religious sect rocked by child sexual abuse allegations appeared to be a small, poor group living in a secluded ranching area in western New Mexico who complained they were mere victims of constant persecution by people who didn’t really understand their reading of the Christian Bible.

But authorities say the trustees of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps are owners of thousands of acres of land and benefited from a wealthy, high-ranking member who aided them in avoiding law enforcement by hiding children throughout its vast holdings.

Those holdings and regular deceptions by leaders, authorities said, made it difficult for the small Cibola County Sheriff’s Office to investigate allegations of child abuse and child sexual abuse that former members say went back years.

Speaking before a magistrate judge on Friday, Cibola County Undersheriff Michael Munk gave a glimpse into his agency’s two-year investigation of a sect that former members say treated followers like slaves and often physically beat children who had no records of being born. That investigation led to the Sunday raid of the group’s Fence Lake compound and the arrest of four members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Vic Marist brother in court over sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Jacqueline Le
AAP / August 25th, 2017

A former Victorian school principal has appeared in court to face multiple charges of indecent assault against students.

Marist Brother Gerard McNamara attended Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Friday charged with multiple indecent assault offences against five boys at Traralgon.

One incident is alleged to have taken place after a student was summoned to see McNamara for misbehaving in class, the court was told.

McNamara is also accused of punching the student shortly after.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

August 25, 2017

Concerns raised over church mediation costs

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Andrew Roberto | andrew@postguam.com

Suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron remains steadfast in his refusal to make a settlement in the sexual abuse allegations made against him.

On Aug. 25 in the District Court of Guam, Apuron's legal counsel, Jacqueline Terlaje, reiterated that she would not be participating in meetings on Sept. 4 and 5 in Honolulu to discuss mediation protocols with defense attorneys for alleged victims, plaintiff counsels for the Boy Scouts of America and Archdiocese of Agana, and special mediator retired Judge Michael Hogan.

Plaintiffs Walter Denton, Roy Quintanilla, Roland Sondia and Doris Concepcion – on behalf of her late son, Joseph "Sonny" Quinata – filed lawsuits against Apuron and the archdiocese. The four men alleged they were sexually abused by Apuron when they were young altar boys in the 1970s.

According to Post files, Terlaje filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuits filed against Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana because the victims' claims are time-barred and Public Law 33-187 is "inorganic and unconstitutional."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

USA TODAY ARTICLE DISTORTS CHURCH’S RECORD ON ABUSE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on a story in today’s USA Today:

Parishes Across Nation Under Shadow Of Abuse,” blares a headline in today’s USA Today. The subhead is even more misleading: “Latest revelations are sign that the church’s problems with its priests are not over.”

The implication is obvious: the crisis of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests is still ongoing, and the Church is still failing to protect children. And that is the message that comes across to the casual reader of the almost 2,500 word article.

A more careful reading, however, contradicts that conclusion. For while the article highlights recent reports of abuse, and current or recent court cases and settlements in dioceses around the country, we see that the vast majority of actual or alleged incidents are from decades ago, some even “dating back to the 1950s.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:07 PM

'It was a hell hole': Magdalene laundry survivors protest in Dublin

IRELAND
Irish Times

[video]

Aug 25, 2017 About 40 people calling for a memorial to survivors of the Magdalene laundries gather outside the old Gloucester Street laundry on Sean McDermott Street, Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

'Burn it to the ground': What should be done with Magdalene laundry buildings?

IRELAND
The Journal

Mary Merritt was sent to a Magdalene laundry on Sean McDermott Street after refusing to work at High Park laundry, Drumcondra. On the day she arrived, she still refused to work, and was sent to another laundry in Donnybrook. She refused to work again and was sent back to the first laundry.

In total, she spent 14 years in High Park. When she was released at the age of 31, she had to have all her teeth taken out and she discovered she was blind in one eye.

“I’d never seen a toothbrush,” she said. During her time there, she says she had no access to proper healthcare, doctors, education, or basic life skills – let alone her right to freedom.

Today, she and other survivors gathered outside the last Magdalene laundry to be closed on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin city, to share their stories and ask the government to include the last survivors’ opinions on what should be done with the institutions that represent a tragic failure in our State’s short history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Magdalene laundries' survivors renew calls for memorial and redress

IRELAND
Irish News

Ed Carty
25 August, 2017

SURVIVORS of Magdalene laundries, and their relatives, have relived the horrors of rape, abuse and lost lives as they renewed calls for a memorial and full redress.

A rally was held off Sean McDermott Street in Dublin, the site of the last Catholic workhouse to be shut, a fortnight after a damning United Nations report criticising the Irish government for failing to live up to commitments to the women.

It is four years since former taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised to those incarcerated in the laundries and their families.

Angela Downey, who was born in Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home after her mother Mary had been raped and was sent to a laundry, called for the name of every woman who toiled in the institutions to be immortalised in stone.

Pressing her hand against the crumbling back wall of the workhouse run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, she said: "My mother spent 15 years in the laundries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

‘You were always in the clutches of the nuns’

IRELAND
Irish Times

Kitty Holland

Mary Merritt (86) was six-and-a-half stone when, aged 31, she left High Park laundry in Drumcondra, Dublin, in 1961.

At protest in Dublin on Friday, where she was one of about 40 people calling for a memorial to survivors of the Magdalene laundries, Ms Meritt also said, during her 14 years in the laundry she was given neither pads when she was having her period, nor a toothbrush.

“When we were having our period we just had to get on with it,” she said. “When I came out of the laundry I had to have all my teeth out they were so rotten. And I was blind in one eye.”

The protest, outside the old Gloucester Street laundry on Sean McDermott Street, heard from several survivors, as well as Orla O’Connor, chief executive of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) and local councillor Gary Gannon of the Social Democrats. The laundry at that site was the last to close, in 1996.

More than 10,000 women and girls spent time in Catholic Church-run Magdalene laundries from the early 20th century, until 1996. Many were sent for the “crime” of being unmarried and pregnant, and they worked without pay in the laundries which supplied services to State-run bodies, hospitals and hotels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

New Jersey priest claims he uploaded child porn to get back at God for making him lose at poker

PENNSYLVANIA
New York Daily News

TERENCE CULLEN

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, August 25, 2017

A prison-bound New Jersey priest contests he only uploaded child pornography to his computer to get back at God, who’d been making him lose at poker.

Father Kevin Gugliotta will serve 11½ to 23½ months in prison and must register as a sex offender, according to reports.

The priest, who previously worked in the Archdiocese of Newark, was busted last year when police found child porn on his computer at his Gouldsboro, Pa., apartment last year.

Investigators found the 55-year-old priest uploaded the illegal material several times between July 9 and Aug. 29, 2016, the Pocono Record reports.

The disgraced cleric was hit with 20 counts of child porn and another 20 of disseminating images of children involved in sexual acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Priest kept child porn as 'revenge' on God for poker losses

PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

AUGUST 25, 2017

HONESDALE, Pa. (AP) - A New Jersey priest says he was trying to get revenge on God for poker losses when he collected computerized child pornography at his weekend home in Pennsylvania, according to his attorney and court records.

The Rev. Kevin Gugliotta was sentenced Thursday to 11½ to 23½ months in the Wayne County jail, receiving credit for 10 months he's already served. He pleaded guilty in March to a single count of disseminating child pornography after prosecutors dropped dozens of other charges that he possessed and distributed child porn.

Pretrial records show the 55-year-old Gugliotta told probation officers he felt God was attacking him when he lost poker tournaments and games, and got "revenge" by collecting the porn.

"That was his reason," defense attorney James Swetz said. "He's not happy that's how he felt, as the judge indicated. There are other ways to handle issues and handle anger."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

How I discovered my childhood priest was in the Ku Klux Klan

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

He had taught me to venerate Confederate history.

By Maria Santos Bier August 25

The Rev. William M. Aitcheson was my childhood priest and my history teacher. A fervent advocate of the Confederacy, he used to joke about “Saint Robert E. Lee” in his homilies at church. When I was in middle school in the early 2000s, he taught a Civil War history class for the home-school group at my church in the small Shenandoah County town of Woodstock, Va.

He was also a former Ku Klux Klan member, who in 1982 was fined $26,000 for burning crosses in the yard of an African American family and on the grounds of two Jewish establishments — a fine he had never paid. Before that, he was charged with six cross-burnings in Maryland and with sending a threatening letter to Coretta Scott King. He had also been charged with making pipe bombs and was found with various weapons and bombmaking materials in his bedroom and basement. But I didn’t uncover those latter facts until this month, when I stumbled onto a discovery that would eventually prompt Aitcheson to step down temporarily from his public ministry. He wrote in an op-ed that his service to God had changed and redeemed him. But I knew he wasn’t being entirely honest.

I remember him as an imposing figure who took his history lessons to us home-schoolers very seriously. He had a reputation for being a bit gruff, but he was never unkind to me, and I recall him fondly. He knew so much about history, and I trusted him when he taught us that the Civil War was fought for states’ rights, not slavery; that the South’s cause was noble and just.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Ex-pastor sentenced to 30 years for sex offenses involving teen

FLORIDA
NWF Daily

By WENDY VICTORA

FORT WALTON BEACH — The former pastor of a local church was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in state prison and a lifetime designation as a sexual offender by Judge William F. Stone.

Larry Michael Thorne had been found guilty earlier this summer of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between the ages of 12 and 18 and sexual battery on a victim in the same age range, according to a press release from the First Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.

Thorne was arrested Nov. 14, 2014 after the victim reported that he’d had sexual contact with her on numerous occasions. The abuse started when she was 14 and ended when she was 17, according to news accounts.

The sexual molestation included sexual intercourse. These criminal acts occurred repeatedly in Thorne’s home in Fort Walton Beach.

The sexual abuse stopped only when the child disclosed it to a pastor at the church she began attending after she had been able to distance herself from the defendant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Royal Commission update

AUSTRALIA
Lexology

BLM

Paula Jefferson

Australia August 24 2017

In the past six months the Royal Commission has continued its work as it nears its end date and final report (due in December). As ever many of the recommendations it makes are not specific to Australia but are of wider application and remit and worthy of consideration for good safeguarding practice and procedure elsewhere in the world including recommendations for reform to criminal justice, reporting abuse disclosed during the seal of the confessional and the misconceptions about memory which impact upon the responses to disclosure.

The most recent publications have included the following:

Research reports

Carer recruitment – 40% of those people who gave their evidence in private sessions (the equivalent of the IICSA truth project) reported abuse in out-of-home care. This report, titled ‘A national comparison of carer screening, assessment, selection and training and support in foster care, kinship and residential care’, highlighted difficulties in attracting and retaining foster carers, that there is only a limited pool of residential care workers and that high staff turnover are all barriers to the provision of high quality out-of-home care which is important to prevent child sexual abuse. The report also found that foster carers required more training on the sexual exploitation of young people in care.

Regulatory bodies – although the bodies considered in the report ‘Oversight and regulatory mechanisms aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse: Understanding current evidence of efficacy’, are specific to Australia there are parallels in the conclusions to the concerns which have been raised in the past in the UK about such organisations as the CQC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:08 PM

Sexorgien im Priestergewand

RUMANIEN
TAZ

[Corneliu Bârlădeanu, bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Huşi, Romania, has been removed from office because of homosexual relations. At the same time, the Synod, the highest ecclesiastical body, decided to remove the accused from the priesthood. The former bishop, who was demoted to a simple monk, was also prohibited from any pastoral activities and ordered his compulsory stay in a monastery.]

Die Orthodoxe Kirche feuert einen schwulen Bischof. Die Ultranationalisten und fundamentalistische Kreise klatschen Beifall.

BERLIN taz | Corneliu Bârlădeanu, Bischof der Rumänisch-Orthodoxen Kirche in Huşi, ist wegen homosexueller Beziehungen seines Amtes enthoben worden. Gleichzeitig beschloss die Synode, das höchste kirchliche Gremium, den Beschuldigten aus dem Priesteramt zu entfernen. Dem zum einfachen Mönch degradierten ehemaligen Bischof wurden zudem jede seelsorgerischen Tätigkeiten untersagt und sein Zwangsaufenthalt in einem Kloster angeordnet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Kinder hätten Missbrauch „zugestimmt“: Britische Behörde verweigert Opfern Entschädigung

GROSSBRITANNIEN
Epoch Times

[A British agency is criticized for refusing to pay damages for abuse victims. The "Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority" (CICA) is to use a law gap which excludes a compensation when the victim "consents".]

Von Anna Samarina

Eine britische Behörde verweigerte fast 700 Missbrauchsopfern die Entschädigung. Begründung: Die minderjährigen Opfer hätten dem sexuellen Missbrauch zugestimmt.

Eine britische Behörde steht in der Kritik, Entschädigungszahlungen für Missbrauchsopfer zu verweigern. Die „Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority“ (CICA) soll dabei eine Gesetzeslücke nutzen, die bei „Einverständnis“ des Opfers eine Kompensation ausschließt, kritisieren Hilfsorganisationen, wie der „Independent“ am Sonntag berichtete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Peter Saunders from Wimbledon is urging victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to tell their stories via The Truth Project

UNITED KINGDOM
Your Local Guardian

A man from Wimbledon is urging victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to tell their stories to an inquiry in October.

Peter Saunders says he was sexually abused as a child. He sits on a panel for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and has also set up his own support organisation, National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), from which he has recently stepped down as chief executive.

The independent inquiry is examining the extent to which institutions and organisations have failed to protect children in England and Wales from sexual abuse.

As part of the Truth Project, people who experienced sexual abuse will have the opportunity to tell a representative of the inquiry anything they want to. Information gathered in the project sessions will be anonymous, but feed into recommendations to government about how institutions can better protect children in the future.

Anyone interested in taking part can fill out the form at https://www.iicsa.org.uk/share-your-experience/submit-information-online and will be able to share their experiences from October. Participants can give as much or as little information as they feel comfortable with, and are welcome to suggest measures that could help future policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

District Court suggests different judge as mediator for sex abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves - August 25, 2017

A global settlement was also suggested but Attorney David Lujan argued against it.

Guam – Talks of a Global Settlement and a different federal judge to mediate the process were the highlights of Friday’s hearing regarding the sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese.

District Court Chief Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood suggested in court that all parties consider utilizing a sitting federal judge such as Chief Judge Alex Munson instead of hiring private mediator Retired Federal Judge Thomas Hogan, which could possibly cost up to $10,000 a day.

At this time, a meeting to finalize the mediation process to be used is scheduled for September 4 in Honolulu, followed by a meeting with Hogan. Judge Tydingco-Gatewood has given all parties until September 12 to notify the court if they would like Munson to oversee the mediation.

Also discussed was the possibility of a global settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Private mediator for church sex abuse cases comes with hefty price tag

GUAM
KUAM

By Krystal Paco

How deep do their pockets go? The Archdiocese of Agana likely to go for broke due to the millions of dollars in lawsuits it faces from decades of clergy sex abuse. And although a majority of the cases are anticipated to be settled out of court - getting a private mediator to serve as a middleman will come at a hefty price tag.

That was the issue raised in court today - and why the chief judge herself is proposing a cheaper alternative.

Private mediator or sitting judge? Parties in the nearly 100 cases of clergy sex abuse could save thousands of dollars if they opt for the latter. Attorney Jacque Terlaje said, "I was told by my colleagues that the rate that is being proposed for this private mediation is a $10,000 per day just for the mediator." Terlaje represents Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

The plaintiffs' attorney, David Lujan, meanwhile, staying mum on the price of his chosen mediator, only commenting, "I can't say it." When asked whether it might be $10,000, he replied, "Whatever it is, it is."

On Friday, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood called parties to her courtroom to propose they use a mediator already on staff. namely Judge Alex Munson. Not only is he an experienced mediator, his services would be at no expense to parties. Parties agreed to consider her recommendation, but only after meeting with Oregon-based private mediator and retired federal judge Michael Hogan on September 5 in Hawaii.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Former KKK member, now a Catholic priest, went public after journalist’s inquiry

VIRGINIA
Religion News Service

By Yonat Shimron

(RNS) — It was not images from the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that spurred a Virginia priest to come forward this month and confess he was a Ku Klux Klan member charged in several cross-burnings in Maryland and other offenses 40 years ago.

Rather, it was a journalist who had contacted the Diocese of Arlington and said she learned that the Rev. William Aitcheson’s legal name matched that of a man arrested in the 1970s.

Diocesan officials then confronted the priest.

“Aitcheson was approached about this, he acknowledged his past and saw the opportunity to tell his story in the hopes that others would see the possibility of conversion and repentance,” the diocese said in a statement.

Until earlier this week, Aitcheson served as parochial vicar at St. Leo the Great in Fairfax, Va. He has since been granted a leave of absence.

In a personal essay published in The Arlington Catholic Herald, the priest appears to be motivated by the national news to acknowledge his past: “The images from Charlottesville brought back memories of a bleak period in my life that I would have preferred to forget.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Billy Graham's Grandson Says Protestants Abuse Kids Just Like Catholics

UNITED STATES
Vice

JOSIAH M. HESSE
Aug 25 2017

Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian is shining a spotlight on the sexual abuse of children in Protestant churches—a scandal he says may be larger than that of the Catholic church.

Basyle "Boz" Tchividjian walks a fine line. On one side, he's the ultimate evangelical insider. His grandfather was the famed evangelical preacher Billy Graham, who exerted immense influence over American politics, culture, and theology. Tchividjian has followed in the family business, teaching law at Liberty University, the Christian college of famed Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell. On the other side, he's one of the most articulate critics of evangelical institutions, at times sounding like a new atheist prophet alongside Richard Dawkins or Bill Maher. He says that churches can be ideal environments for sexual predators who target children. And that traditions of shame, male power structures, and public relations myopia help keep abusers in positions of power and the abused silent.

Tchividjian sees it as his Christian duty to root out abuse in the church, and to build defenses against it. His organization, GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) has been hired to investigate high profile Christian institutions like Bob Jones University and New Tribes Mission. GRACE revealed frightening levels of sexual abuse and, as he told me during our interview, "the common thread of institutional protection at the expense of the individual."

Tchividjian has even had to deal with sex scandals in his own family. In 2015, he removed his brother Tullian Tchividjian from his job at GRACE after it was revealed that Tullian had committed what the GRACE board described as a "gross misuse of power" in his extramarital relations with adult members of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Over the years, Tchividjian has come to recognize that many churches do not have policies in place to deal with accusations of abuse. And too often they blame the victims for seducing their abuser. In an attempt to combat this, Tchividjian recently co-authored The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries, attempting to help church leaders address difficult questions about predators in their communities and how to avoid further harming someone who has already been traumatized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Rhode Island Catholic boarding school says 'credible' evidence has emerged of sex abuse committed decades ago by two monks

RHODE ISLAND
Daily Mail (UK)

By Associated Press and Dave Burke For Mailonline

'Credible' evidence of sex abuse at a Roman Catholic boarding school in Rhode Island have come to light, leaders have revealed.

A report has been released by the Portsmouth Abbey School apologizing to victims of Father Bede Gorman and Father Geoffrey Chase.

The alleged abuse happened between 1959 and the early 1980s, it reveals.

Gorman died in 1885, while Chase, who left the school in 2002, is in his 80s and ill, the report reveals.

A letter from leaders at the school states: 'We stand by those who were wronged, and are committed to helping past victims, providing therapy for them as needed.'

And it continued: 'Our hearts break for these victims and their families. Their trust and faith in the sacred mission of Portsmouth was violated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Federal judge offers court services for clergy abuse mediation

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood on Fridayoffered the use of a sitting federal judge to mediate the proposed settlement of nearly 100 clergy sex abuse cases, at no cost to the parties. She said the parties should consider reaching a global settlement — one that resolves all of the cases.

It costs $10,000 a day in fees to hire a private mediator, Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron's counsel, Jacqueline Terlaje, told the chief judge during a status hearing Friday.

Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed, accusing Guam clergy members, Boy Scouts leaders and others associated with the Catholic Church of sexually abusing children decades ago. All of the lawsuits name the church as a defendant, and 77 of the lawsuits were filed in federal court.

Retired Saipan Bishop Tomas A. Camacho's counsel, William Fitzgerald, told the judge that the 86-year-old bishop won't be able to contribute toward paying a private mediator in any settlement. Fitzgerald is representing Camacho without charge.

Mediation for the cases is scheduled for early October, and attorneys in the federal and local cases are scheduled to meet in Honolulu Sept. 4 and Sept. 5 with retired judge Michael Hogan to discuss mediation protocols.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Former Fife pupil wins landmark compensation claim after years of abuse

SCOTLAND
The Courier

by Claire Warrender
August 24 2017

An abuse survivor has become the first person in Scotland to secure compensation from the notorious Christian Brothers.

Dave Sharp was awarded a five figure sum after a 40 year fight for justice.

The 59-year-old, who was repeatedly beaten and raped when he was a pupil at St Ninian’s residential school in Falkland, hopes his case will pave the way for hundreds of other victims to come forward.

“This is not about money and it’s not a story about Dave Sharp,” he said.

“It’s about every child who has been abused in Scotland and about making these institutions accept liability.”

Dave was awarded compensation despite his abuser, former headteacher Brother Gerry Ryan, never being charged with any offence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Amid Italian abuse scandal, question remains of Church oversight

ITALY
Crux

Claire Giangravè
August 25, 2017

A lay Catholic association in southern Italy, under scrutiny after its leader was arrested on charges of sexually abusing up to six underage girls during a span of 25 years, managed to avoid being subjected to the authority of the local diocese -- raising concerns about Church oversight over such groups.

ROME - As a controversy in southern Italy surrounding a lay association whose leadership has been accused of sexual abuse continues to unfold, one question that won’t go away is how the group was able to act with basic independence from the diocese in which it’s located over several decades.

“Do we obey the Gospel or the bishop?” members of the group asked in an article published in a local newspaper back in January of 1978 - and, by all evidence, they chose their interpretation of the Gospel, spurning attempts at ecclesiastical oversight.

As practices in the group, known as the “Catholic Culture and Environment Association” (ACCA), drifted further away from official Church teaching - which would later lead, allegedly, to the sexual abuse of multiple young girls - the local diocese, Acireale on the Italian island of Sicily, seems to have allowed it to drop off its radar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Former Vic priest faces sex abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A former Catholic priest and principal of a Salesian school in Victoria is fighting charges he sexually abused three students during the 1970s and 80s.

Frank Klep, 74, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court via video link on Friday charged with four counts of indecent assault against a male, which allegedly occurred while he was a priest and teacher at Salesian College Rupertswood at Sunbury.

Counsel for Klep plan to cross examine police and the complainants during a two-day committal hearing due to begin on November 28.

The hearing will determine if Klep should stand trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

August 24, 2017

RSS-affiliated group writes to Pope Francis and demands apology for 'religious discrimination and the rape of women' by Christians in Meghalaya

INDIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By Siddhartha Rai

The right-wing in India is taking its fight to re-create India in its own image even further afield.

The battle for the RSS and its many affiliated groups has moved away from the major metropolitan areas and towards the far-flung regions of the North East that are sometimes overlooked.

In anger over the alleged cases of so-called religious discrimination, domination and the rape of women by the Christian missionaries in the North East, an RSS-affiliated legal rights body has written an angry letter to none other than the religious leader of worldwide Catholic Church, Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Pope Francis, full-name - His Holiness Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God - has yet to acknowledge the letter.

The right-wing legal body has threatened Pope Francis with legal action in India if he fails to condemn the acts of his community members in India, it would sue the Indian leadership of the Church in a court of law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

DEVELOPING: Picketer Says Bergen Catholic Ignores Sex Abuse Victims

NEW JERSEY
Paramus Daily Voice

Cecilia Levine

ORADELL, N.J. — A picketer carrying a sign accusing Bergen Catholic High School of ignoring sex abuse victims has been lingering outside of the Oradell school Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

The man carried signs at the corner of Oradell and Forest avenues saying "BCHS IGNORES VICTIMS" and "TEN SEX VICTIMS AWAIT JUSTICE."

NOTE: It is unclear if the man is claiming he is a victim. Daily Voice is gathering more information.

Nearly one year ago to the day, the all-boys high school reached a settlement with 21 men who accused staff of sex abuse in the 1960s and 1970s. The victims shared the $1.9 million settlement money, NJ.com reported.

The following October, eight more men came forward also claiming sex abuse at the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Diocese says it learned of priest's KKK past decades ago

VIRGINIA
CBS Evening News

[with video]

FAIRFAX, Va. -- A priest in Virginia made a very public and shocking confession this week about his earlier life as a cross-burning member of the Ku Klux Klan.

William Aitcheson, 62, made a confession in an essay published Monday, writing, "My actions were despicable … while 40 years have passed, I must say this: 'I'm sorry.'"

He wrote that "images from Charlottesville brought back memories of a bleak period in my life that I would have preferred to forget."

CBS News' Errol Barnett reports a spokesman for the Arlington diocese said Thursday: "At the time he began ministry here in 1993, the diocese learned of his past as well as his sincere conversion of heart."

The spokesman also said Aitcheson's "past was not common knowledge to current staff 24 years later."

Philip and Barbara Butler have been reluctantly recalling the night they were terrorized by the KKK as newlyweds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Former Aurora priest agreed to deportation to avoid sexual abuse trial, prosecutors say

ILLINOIS
Aurora Beacon-News

Dan Campana
Aurora Beacon-News

Former Aurora priest Alfredo Pedraza-Arias asked a federal judge in June for a "voluntary removal" from the United States, a decision Kane County prosecutors suggest he made to evade a trial on charges of sexually abusing two young girls.

That allegation by prosecutors is contained in a third motion seeking to have 51-year-old Arias' bail revoked in order to delay his deportation until after he stands trial beginning Sept. 18.

Arias has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse stemming from an investigation that authorities said revealed he fondled the girls — who were under the age of 6 — at Aurora's Sacred Heart Church between 2012 and 2014.

Arias, charged in 2016, returns to court Friday for a third hearing on his bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

USA Today offers old news on Catholic priests and sexual abuse, missing some newer angles

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Terry Mattingly

When you hear the term "breaking news," what do you think of?

I think news consumers, at this point, are pretty skeptical about this term. They know, of course, that there really is such a thing as breaking news. Major decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court are breaking news. The attack on the GOP softball team was breaking news. Another van mowing down citizens on London Bridge would be breaking news.

Also, there are @POTUS tweets that justify the "breaking news" label. There are, in my opinion, many more that do not. And have we reached the point where "Game of Thrones" developments are truly "breaking news"? If not, I'm sure that's just around the corner.

Anyway, like a few religion-news consumers, I received the USA Today email push product that pinned the "breaking news" label on a long, long news feature with this headline: "Across the nation, priest sexual abuse cases haunt Catholic parishes."

Now, I have followed clergy-abuse cases since 1982 or thereabouts – press coverage exploded in 1985 with the Gilbert Gauthe case in Louisiana. Here at GetReligion, we have poured out oceans of digital ink discussing the many waves of this story. It's a horrifying scandal and, along with the ghastly cover-ups by some bishops, totally deserves the word that Catholic conservative Leon J. Podles used as the title of his brutal, horrifying book -- "Sacrilege."

But when I saw this "breaking news" label, I immediately wondered: "Really? What has happened now?" Let me stress that I think there are angles of the scandal worthy of new and in-depth coverage (along with the massive and largely uncovered scandals in other major institutions, such as public schools).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Despite allegations elsewhere, no new priest abuse cases here since 2012

NEW YORK
Democrat & Chronicle

Sean Lahman, @seanlahman Aug. 24, 2017

In June, a 41-year old man sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, claiming that one of its priests had molested him years earlier, beginning when he was 12 years old.

It's a story that has been repeated across the state during the last few years, as new victims have come forward to say that priests had sexually abused them as children. Since 2014, there have been new cases reported in almost every diocese in New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Long Island, New York City, and the Hudson Valley.

But not in Rochester.

In June of 2012, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester published a list of priests who had been the subject of "credible allegations" of sexual abuse within the previous ten years.

In a column that accompanied the list's publication, then-Bishop Matthew Clark apologized to abuse victims and praised the efforts of the diocese to stamp out sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Rev. Lawrence R. Strittmatter – Assignment History

OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ordained in 1957 for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Lawrence "Larry" Strittmatter was a parish priest and long-time principal of Elder High School. The archdiocese began to receive allegations in at least 1979 that Strittmatter was sexually abusing his students. In 1981 he was sent to counseling and transferred for a short while to a parish on the other side of the city. In 1982 he was named pastor of Our Lady of Victory parish. He was removed from the parish in 1988 after more allegations, sent to treatment, then reassigned to St. Albert the Great in Dayton OH, which is in the northern reaches of the archdiocese.

In the Spring of 2002 a man reported to law enforcement and the archdiocese that Strittmatter molested him on three occasions in 1979 and 1980, when the man was an Elder student. Strittmatter's accuser said that the priest invited him to join him in games of racquetball at the club, and that the abuse happened afterwards, in the shower. In June 2002 Strittmatter was suspended from ministry. Subsequently, more former Elder students came forward with similar allegations of abuse by Strittmatter. By September 2003, twenty-eight men had accused Strittmatter in lawsuits. At least one claimed the priest abused him as a fourth-grader at Our Lady of Victory. It has been estimated that Strittmatter may have had nearly 100 victims.

The archdiocese was convicted in November 2003 on five counts of misdemeanor cover-up of sexual abuse of children by its priests. Strittmatter was laicized in 2006.

Ordained: May 25, 1957
Laicized: 2006

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Diocese settles sex assault claim against pastor’s son

CONNECTICUT
CT Post

By Daniel Tepfer

MILFORD - The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut agreed Thursday to pay a settlement to a local woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted at St. Peter’s Church when she was 12 by the pastor’s adult son.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The settlement was reached as the case was to go to trial before a jury in Superior Court here against the diocese, the church and its former pastor, Andrew Osmun.

The pastor’s son, Jesse Osmun, is serving a 15-year federal prison sentence for sexually assaulting young girls at a school in South Africa where he was working while in the Peace Corps.

“This case clearly shows why it is so important for those charged with watching our children to follow the policies and procedures that are put in place for their protection,” said Douglas Mahoney, of the Bridgeport law firm Tremont Sheldon Robinson and Mahoney, who represented the woman. “If those policies that were in place had been followed by Reverend Osmun, Jesse Osmun would never have been able to assault other young girls.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Priest sentenced in Wayne County child porn probe

PENNSYLVANIA
The Times-Tribune

STAFF REPORT / PUBLISHED: AUGUST 24, 2017

A Roman Catholic priest from New Jersey caught up in a Wayne County child pornography probe went before a judge Thursday to learn his fate.

The Rev. Kevin A. Gugliotta, 55, of Mahwah, was sentenced by President Judge Raymond L. Hamill to 11½ to 23½ months in the Wayne County Correctional Facility, District Attorney Janine Edwards said.

The sentence includes the more than 300 days Gugliotta has already spent in jail, meaning he could be eligible for parole in about 1½ months, his attorney, James Swetz, said.

Gugliotta had pleaded guilty in March to one count of dissemination of child pornography. In October, Wayne County detectives filed more than 40 felony counts of possessing and disseminating child pornography against him for uploading files from a Lehigh Twp. apartment he referred to as his “day off place,” investigators said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Priest Sentenced in Child Porn Case

PENNSYLVANIA
WNEP

AUGUST 24, 2017, BY JIM HAMILL

HONESDALE -- A priest from New Jersey was sentenced Thursday for having child pornography at his home in Wayne County.

Kevin Gugliotta was sentenced to 11 and a half to 23 and a half months in prison and must register as a sex offender.

He pleaded guilty earlier this year to having child porn on a computer at his apartment in Gouldsboro.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

The Catholic church must stop blaming victims: children cannot consent to sex

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Dino Nocivelli

Thursday 24 August 2017

What has consent got to do with child abuse? A simple question, which should have a simple answer. A child under the age of 16 is in law unable to consent to sexual acts. The age of consent exists for a reason: to protect vulnerable members of society who have not yet developed the emotional or physical maturity to engage in sexual relationships.

Yet years of revelations about child sexual abuse have shown that this is not a settled question even within trusted institutions that should know better. The independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham found police officers believed girls as young as 11 could consent to sex. In Rochdale, council employees said they thought victims of child sex abuse were “making their own choices”. And in my own work as a lawyer representing survivors of child sexual abuse, I’ve seen how the Catholic church, when dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse, often looks to place blame straight at the feet of a victim.

Two years ago, the Catholic church was swift to publicly condemn Father Gino Flaim, a priest in northern Italy, who in the context of discussing paedophilia said some children seek attention from priests that they do not receive at home, and some priests give in to this.

But I have received court documents and legal correspondence from the Catholic church’s lawyers that seem to support the idea children can consent to sex. This includes allegations of consent in child abuse cases (where my teenage client had been raped by his family priest, who was in his 60s), a priest who alleged one of my clients was a “child prostitute”, and a priest who felt sexual relations with children caused them no harm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:52 PM

Pastor on child sex charges offers to do DNA test to clear his name

JAMAICA
Loop

The Corporate Area pastor who has been charged for allegedly raping and impregnating a 12-year-old girl, has consented to do a DNA test to help clear his name.

Kenneth Blake, 56, of Harbour View in St Andrew, appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on several charges on Wednesday, and signed an order authorising the DNA test after his attorney indicated to the court that Blake was prepared to take the step in a bid to establish innocence on his part.

The churchman, who heads the Harvest Temple Apostolic Church on Slipe Pen Road in the Corporate Area, faces charges of rape, grievous sexual assault, forcible abduction, sexual touching, and sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 years old.

The allegations are that he had sex with the child on several occasions in 2015, resulting in her getting pregnant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Rape trial of Indian priest triggers security lockdown

INDIA
Gulf News

New Delhi: The trial of an Indian spiritual leader accused of rape has triggered a security lockdown, with police closing schools and converting a cricket stadium into a jail in case his followers erupt into violence if he is found guilty.

Thousands of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s supporters have begun assembling close to the court in the state of Punjab, where he is on trial for raping two women in cases that date back to 2002.

A verdict is expected on Friday.

“The verdict could lead to potential large-scale unrest and violence,” Ajay Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, in Panchkula city, told journalists.

Singh, a burly, bearded man who has scripted and starred in his own films, commands a near-devotional following — he claims in the millions — in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, where his Dera Sacha Sauda group is based.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Couple wants to meet former KKK leader turned priest who burned cross on their yard

MARYLAND
WJLA

by Richard Reeve/ABC7

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (ABC7) —
For Phillip Butler and his wife Barbara, it began with a neighbor’s phone call.

“Told me there was a cross,” he recalls. “I don’t know if it was smoking or burning, I don’t know which one it was, in our front yard.”

The Butlers say since that summer night in 1977, they’ve never forgotten the sight of the 6-to-7 foot cross, wrapped in rags, reeking of flammable fluid.

“I’d never seen a cross,” Barbara Butler told reporters. “You see something like on television or something like that, but to really have one in your yard… is there that much hatred in your heart?”

Her husband says as he took down the cross, before calling the police, his mind was ticking.

“Someone is against us,” he remembers thinking. “What did we do to put the cross in our yard?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

'We Didn't Deserve This': Couple Targeted by Klansman-Turned-Priest Speaks

MARYLAND
NBC Washington

The African-American couple who had a cross burned on their front lawn by a Ku Klux Klan leader who is now a Catholic priest in Virginia said the priest’s actions were "almost unforgivable" and refused to meet with him until he named other members of the hate group.

Father William Aitcheson, a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington, burned a cross in 1977 on the couple's lawn in College Park, Maryland, News4 reported.

Philip and Barbara Butler spoke out Tuesday and said that even though the priest was criminally convicted, he never apologized or paid them $23,000 in court-ordered restitution. The priest also never identified other KKK members, which Philip Butler urged him to do.

"He needed help to put that cross up," Philip Butler said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Judge tells pastor not to be alone with anyone under 18

JAMAICA
The Star

Andre Williams
August 24, 2017

The pastor charged with sexual assault involving a teenage girl has been granted $1.5 million bail, and was told that he is not to be left alone with anyone under the age of 18.

Pastor Kenneth Blake of the Harvest Temple Apostolic Church, who is accused of sexually assaulting and impregnating a 14-year-old, was offered bail yesterday when he appeared before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

Blake, 56, was charged by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse recently, following allegations that he had been molesting the child since 2015, when she was just 12.

He is charged with rape, sexual touching, having sexual intercourse with a minor, grievous sexual assault of a minor under the age of 16, and forcible abduction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Priest Scandal Telenovela Drives Chile’s Mega TV to Ratings High

CHILE
Variety

Anna Marie de la Fuente

‘Perdona Nuestros Pecados’ (‘Forgive Us Our Sins’) and other telenovelas rule Chile’s airwaves

SANTIAGO DE CHILE – Thanks to six hours a day of telenovelas, stripped Mondays to Fridays, Chilean broadcaster Mega TV has dominated the country’s television landscape over the past three years. But one particular telenovela has gripped this country of some 17 million inhabitants, driving Mega TV’s ratings to historical levels.

“Perdona Nuestros Pecados” (“Forgive Us Our Sins”) has generated average ratings of 27.4 in its 10 p.m. time slot, nearly triple that of competing programs on its next biggest rival, Canal 13. Credit also goes to a newish executive team, led by CEO Patricio Hernandez, who joined the company in 2013; head of content Patricia Bazan; production and operations chief Andrea Dell’Orto; and Juan Ignacio Vicente, head of content and international Business. Before the new team took over, Mega TV’s average rating was 4.3 in 2013, compared to its current average of 11.2, said Vicente.

In June 2016, Discovery Communications acquired a 27.5% stake in the channel, which now airs four hours a week of Discovery programs and is partnering with Discovery on the Chilean version of the global TV giant’s reality show “Say Yes to the Dress,” (“Vestido de Novia”). ...

Stripped Monday to Thursday, the 1950s-set “Perdona Nuestros Pecados” centers on a priest who seeks to avenge his sister’s suicide after she’s abandoned by the man who impregnates her. However, the priest falls in love with the culprit’s daughter, complicating matters even more. In a staunchly catholic country, the idea of a priest seeking vengeance and engaging in a forbidden romance makes for compelling viewing. Mega TV had to build a village and a church as it knew no church would allow the program to film within their hallowed walls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Former Utica priest seeks dismissal of child abuse claims

NEW YORK
Observer-Dispatch

By GREG MASON / gmason@uticaod.com

A defrocked Utica-area priest has joined the Syracuse Catholic Diocese in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from claims that he sexually abused a child several decades ago.

Felix Colosimo filed a motion earlier this month to dismiss a lawsuit making its way through federal district court in Connecticut. The suit, submitted by California resident Matthew Strzepek, alleges Colosimo abused the plaintiff between 1987 to 1990.

Strzepek, who lived in Marcy, was then 12 to 15 years old. He is seeking $25 million in damages, each, from Colosimo and the Syracuse Catholic Diocese, the latter of which Strzepek accuses of being liable and failing to respond appropriately to Colosimo’s abusive actions.

The diocese, finding Strzepek’s allegations credible, removed Colosimo from priestly ministry in 2014.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Apuron continues to fight law that allows for civil sex abuse lawsuits

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera - August 24, 2017

Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s canonical trial is still pending in Rome.

Guam – Dethroned Archbishop Anthony Apuron, through his legal counsel Atty. Jacque Terlaje, is continuing his fight against four lawsuits filed against him in federal court for civil damages related to sex abuse allegations.

Terlaje responded to the alleged victims’ attempts to keep the cases alive, arguing that the passage of the law in 2016 does not apply retroactively. In 2016, the statute of limitations for civil claims of sex abuse was lifted, giving way for victims of sexual abuse to seek damages against their perpetrators and the institutions they either worked or volunteered for.

But Terlaje once again argues that the law is ambiguous in its detail surrounding the timeframe for filing these civil claims. She believes the law does not apply retroactively.

Terlaje points to a line in the statute that states “at any time,” which she says is not a sufficient expression of legislative intent for the statute to be applied retroactively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Don’t Tell Us To Move On

UNITED STATES
SOME PEOPLE LIVE MORE IN 20 YEARS…

AUGUST 23, 2017
ASHER LOVY

There’s this nutty idea people have that being involved in anti abuse activism somehow means that I haven’t moved on from what happened to me, that somehow the efforts I undertake to organize actions against organizations and people who enable abuse are indicative of some underlying unhealthiness, and an unwillingness to heal. I hear it all the time from people. They couch it in sympathy, as if they’re only concerned with my wellbeing when they wonder aloud why I ‘obsess’ over this topic so much.

I have moved on. Quite literally. I moved on from my abusive home. Then I moved on again to a community I now feel a part of. I moved on to a well-paying job that I actually enjoy (most days, anyway). I’ve got a good, reasonably comfortable life here. I’ve got nothing to do with my abusive family anymore, and haven’t for years. I’ve found people who accept me the way I am, and care about me unconditionally. I’ve got everything one needs for a good, peaceful life.

But what about the thousand of kids who don’t have that? What about the ones who are still being abused, still living in communities that enable their abuse, blame them for it, throw them out for talking about it? What about them? I understand that for a lot of people speaking up publicly is dangerous, precisely because of the oppressive nature of these communities and their power structures, but why do people think that concern for the people left behind somehow indicates an inability to move on?

It’s precisely because I was able to so thoroughly move on that I’m even able to engage in this kind of activism. I don’t have a family to lose because I’ve already lost it. I have a job outside the community, so I don’t have to worry about getting fired for my activism. I’ve rejected the shidduch system already, so I don’t have to worry about being disqualified by shadchanim. I’ve built a life for myself outside of the community that abused me, which gives me the luxury of being able to criticize it without fear of reprisal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Pastor G’s appeal of child sex abuse convictions denied by Texas court

TEXAS
WTVR

BY VERNON FREEMAN JR.

FORT WORTH, Tx. — The appeal of child molestation convictions by former Richmond pastor Geronimo Aguilar was denied Wednesday by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Aguilar, also known as Pastor G, is severing a 40 year sentence after being convicted in 2015 of seven charges related to sexually abusing multiple minors.

The former pastor and founder of the Richmond Outreach Center (ROC) church, was convicted on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under fourteen years of age, three counts of sexual assault of a child under seventeen years of age, and two counts of indecency with a child by contact.

A Texas jury found Aguilar guilty of sex crimes against two sisters who he started to abuse when they were 11 and 13 years old. The girls, now women, said they were abused in the 1990s while Aguilar was a pastor at their church in Texas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Cross-burning victims to priest: Apology is not enough

UNITED STATES
Associated Press

By MATTHEW BARAKAT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Phillip and Barbara Butler hadn’t given much thought to the man who burned a cross on their front lawn 40 years ago.

Then they heard the startling news Tuesday that the perpetrator had become a priest and was ministering to Catholics not far from their home.

“I didn’t know what to say. It was unbelievable,” Phillip Butler said Wednesday at a news conference.

The priest, the Rev. William Aitcheson, went public with his old Klan affiliation Monday, writing a column in the diocesan newspaper.

He said his past was not a secret, but he felt compelled to make it more public after seeing images of violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Judge sets $5 million bond for leader of paramilitary Christian sect

NEW MEXICO
KVIA

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A judge has ordered that a leader of a New Mexico paramilitary Christian sect who is facing child sex abuse charges be held on $5 million secured bond.

Cibola County Magistrate Court Judge Larry Diaz set bond Tuesday for Peter Green following a raid of the armed compound of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps.

Peter Green, also known as Mike Brandon, faces 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child on suspicion of raping a girl from the time she was 7.

Sect co-leader Deborah Green, who also is facing child sex abuse charges, was ordered held on a $500,000 secured bond. Deborah Green was arrested on charges ranging from failure to report a birth to child abuse and sexual penetration of a minor.

The group, founded in California, says the allegations are "totally false." James Green is strongly denying his wife and other members hurt children, telling KOAT-TV of Albuquerque the allegations were a surprise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Sheriff: Sect leaders blocking investigators from children in abuse inquiry

NEW MEXICO
KOB

Caleb James
August 23, 2017

CIBOLA COUNTY, N.M. -- There are 11 children possibly in danger inside a secretive religious militia compound hidden deep in rural western New Mexico, and law enforcement tells KOB they aren't being allowed inside.

It is the latest development in a troubling saga that began to unfold Sunday with the arrest of one of the commune's members on 100 counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

From the air, the rural Fence Lake compound appears fortified. The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps -- the organization behind the mountain commune -- is referred to as a religious militia by law enforcement. Classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the sect on the fringe of society is now the focus of a child abuse investigation into two crimes.

After a raid on the compound Sunday, member Peter Green is accused of 100 counts of sexual abuse of a minor -- a girl investigators say was raped at least four times a week since she was 7. Group member Stacey Miller was also arrested in Truth or Consequences in connection with the 2014 death of her son on the property. Sect leader Deborah Green was also arrested in that case.

According to Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace, the commune's cooperation with investigators ended Wednesday. James Green, the group's founder, had agreed to allow FBI investigators to interview children still living on the compound.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Ex-members detail abuse claims against Christian sect

NEW MEXICO
Palm Beach Post

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.
A paramilitary Christian sect with members facing child sex abuse charges evaded law enforcement authorities for years by hiding births, physically punishing followers and quietly operating in isolated areas of New Mexico, former members say.

In interviews with The Associated Press and in court documents, the ex-members also alleged that leaders of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps exercised control over followers by forcing them into hard labor and refusing to give their children medical care.

When members complained, sect co-leader Deborah Green would hold "trials" against them for questioning her authority, which Green said came directly from God, former members Maura Alana Schmierer and Julie Gudino said.

The trials led to banishment to isolated sheds without toilets and from the sect's compound without being allowed to take their children, the women said.

"It was a form of brain-washing," Schmierer, who left the group in the late 1980s and sued, winning a $1 million award when it was based in Sacramento, California, told the AP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Portsmouth Abbey School names sex abusers from 1959 to early 80s, offers apologies, therapy

RHODE ISLAND
Providence Journal

By Donita Naylor
Journal Staff Writer

Posted Aug 23, 2017

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Leaders of the Portsmouth Abbey School and Monastery have released a report that contains “shameful news” of “credible allegations of sexual abuse” between 1959 and the early 1980s, and of corporal punishment in the ’60s and ’70s.

A letter emailed Wednesday to members of the Portsmouth Abbey community contained an apology to the victims of Father Bede Gorman, who died in 1985, and Father Geoffrey Chase, who is in his late 80s and is ill. He left the school in 2002, the letter said.

“We stand by those who were wronged, and are committed to helping past victims, providing therapy for them as needed.”

The letter — from Regents chairman W. Christopher Behnke ’81, Abbot Matthew Stark for the monks and Headmaster Daniel McDonough — also promised that Gorman’s name would be removed from the athletic fields, squash center and two annual prizes that had been named in his honor, and that the review of policies, safety protocols and training programs at the school would continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

School: Investigation Finds Credible Sex Abuse Allegations

RHODE ISLAND
US News

[Letter to the Portsmouth Abbey Community]

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) — A Catholic boarding school in Rhode Island says an investigation has found credible new allegations of sexual abuse committed decades ago by two monks.

The Portsmouth Abbey School sent a letter Wednesday summarizing the allegations and apologizing to any victims. The abuse is alleged to have occurred between 1959 and the early 1980s. The school says one of the accused monks has since died, and the other is critically ill.

The school hired a law firm to investigate after the sudden resignation of its chancellor last year. Last August, the firm reported no findings that he did anything illegal, but responses to that report surfaced new allegations against the two monks, who had been previously accused of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

St Edmund's College teacher on trial for alleged historic sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

Michael Inman

A former Canberra school teacher was sacked from St. Edmund's College after allegations of improper conduct with a student, a court has heard.

The alleged victim did not go into detail with the school headmaster at the time and then kept his silence after Garry Leslie Marsh's termination.

The ACT Supreme Court has heard that coverage of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse stirred memories and prompted the alleged victim to report the matter to police 35 years on.

But the defence says this passage of time disadvantaged the accused as it made it harder to challenge the allegations.

Marsh, 72, of Sydney, is on trial before Justice John Burns accused of indecent assault and buggery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Here’s how to prevent sex abuse at N.E. schools, groups say

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

By Brian MacQuarrie and Travis Andersen GLOBE STAFF AUGUST 23, 2017

Spurred by growing allegations of sexual misconduct at private schools, two groups that represent more than 1,000 of the institutions released recommendations Wednesday for preventing the abuse of students by teachers and other staff members.

The draft report is believed to be the first comprehensive review of procedures to curb sexual misconduct at the schools, many of them boarding facilities whose missions often encourage close interaction among students, faculty, and staff.

Many proposals focus on boundaries between students and adults, such as refraining from the exchange of personal information, and the scope and duration of off-campus trips. The recommendations would bar teachers and students from shared sleeping accommodations during outings and set clear guidelines on physical contact.

The draft also urges strict background checks on all hires at the private schools, regardless of position, in an effort to keep sexual offenders from finding new jobs that could put them in close proximity with students.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

'I was raped, beaten and hung by the neck' Christian Brothers abuse survivor wins five-figure payout after 40-year fight for justice

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

BY JAMES MONCUR
24 AUG 2017

An abuse victim has won a 40-year fight to secure compensation from the ­notorious Christian Brothers monks.

Dave Sharp was awarded a “significant five-figure sum” decades after he was repeatedly raped and beaten at St Ninian’s residential school in Fife.

He is the first person in Scotland to win a payout from the Catholic order, who ran residential schools for children across the world.

The payment is likely to allow hundreds of other Scottish victims to win compensation for historical abuse at various organisations.

Dave, 59, said: “I hope my payment is the first of many the Christian Brothers are forced to make to those men whose lives have been wrecked because of the treatment they received as children in ­Scotland’s residential homes and schools.

“There are dozens of victims out there who have far stronger cases than mine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

August 23, 2017

LDS bishop pleads guilty to sexually abusing two underage males

UTAH
Daily Herald

Kurt Hanson Daily Herald

An LDS bishop charged with sexually abusing two underage males in his ward pleaded guilty to his crimes Wednesday in Fourth District Court.

The defendant, Erik Hughes of Mapleton, entered guilty pleas to two second-degree felonies of forcible sexual abuse and one third-degree felony of tampering with a witness. Hughes, 51, pleaded to what he was originally charged with. No charges were reduced as a part of his plea arrangement.

Hughes’ attorney, John Allan, told Judge Thomas Low that as a part of the agreement, no other charges in relation to the allegations of abuse can be leveled against Hughes.

Allan said the alleged victims approve of the agreement.

Police reports state a now 18-year-old man told police in April that Hughes had drugged him and sexually assaulted him several times about three years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Tampa man accused of sexual battery of 12-year-old girl inside church

FLORIDA
Bay News 9

By Saundra Weathers, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2017

TAMPA --
A Tampa man had sex with a 12-year-old girl inside a church Aug. 20, police investigators say.

Le’Angelo Wilkerson, 27, is accused of having sex with the girl in a bathroom and then a classroom at Rehoboth Faith Cathedral Church on N. 40th St., Tampa Police said.

Tushara Jones said the girl was her 14-year-old daughter’s friend and that girl was visiting the church for the first time. She said her daughter walked in on the act.

“My daughter walked in the bathroom with the girl that was missing. She said she was going to the bathroom,” Jones said. “My daughter walked in the bathroom and caught them having sexual intercourse, and he groped my daughter’s butt and told my daughter to come and show her how it was supposed to be done.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Former Marist teacher says he barely remembers student he is accused of indecently assaulting

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Elizabeth Byrne

A former Marist College teacher accused of indecently assaulting a student in the early 1980s has said he struggled to even remember the boy.

David Kisun, 71, is facing three charges of indecent assault.

Kisun was charged after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearings in Canberra.

The alleged victim, who was aged nine at the time, told the ACT Supreme Court he was given a seat in the back row of the class.

He said Kisun would stand behind him and put his hands inside his clothing while the rest of the class was working.

He said at other times Kisun kept him inside at lunch and recess and assaulted him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Papal abuse commission considers restructuring, survivors may lose direct role

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Aug 23, 2017
by Joshua J. McElwee

ROME — Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse is considering whether to restructure itself so that it no longer includes the direct participation of abuse survivors. It is evaluating the possibility of creating instead a separate advisory panel of individuals who have been abused by clergy.

A member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors revealed the group's consideration of the idea in an NCR interview Aug. 14, saying that one of the commission's work groups has been tasked with weighing the pros and cons of such a change.

The commission appears likely to discuss the possible restructuring at its next plenary meeting in Rome in mid-September, when the original three-year terms of its members are set to expire.

"I think that may be a more productive [way] of ensuring the voice of survivors in the work of the commission," Krysten Winter-Green, the commission member, said of the potential change. "I do not know that it's critical that a survivor needs to be actually on the commission."

"No decision has been made about this," she stressed, adding: "I think the voice of survivors needs to be heard by this commission. They need to have input into every facet of the operation. How that is accomplished remains to be seen, but it will be accomplished."

Consideration of a change in structure for the papal commission comes as the group has in recent months faced public questioning of its effectiveness in stopping future abuse of children and vulnerable people in the Catholic Church. The group now appears to be in the midst of a significant phase of transition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Religious Group Committed ‘Horrific’ Crimes Against Children, Police Say

NEW MEXICO
International Business Times

BY JULIANA ROSE PIGNATARO

Four members of a religious group based in New Mexico were arrested this weekend and charged with more than 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and child abuse. Deborah Green, Peter Green, Joshua Green and Stacey Miller, all part of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps were arrested Sunday morning, the Cibola County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

The group, based out of Cibola County, purports to be “aggressive and revolutionary for Jesus.” Photos on the website show members dressed in military garb and contain references to “spiritual ammo” and “holy war.” The Southern Poverty Law Center, however, lists the sect as a hate group.

The sheriff’s office began its investigation last year after two members who allegedly escaped the commune told authorities that Deborah Green and Stacey Miller allowed Miller’s 12-year-old son to die of the flu. Miller later told investigators “she wanted to trust God.” She was charged with child abuse after authorities arrested her. Deborah was charged with neglect resulting in the death of a child, as well as sexual assault of a minor and child abuse. Authorities alleged that Deborah had sexually assaulted her daughter’s 5-year-old daughter in 2001 after the child was smuggled in from Uganda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Sacramento woman: Happy to see military Christian sect shut down

CALIFORNIA
KCRA

[video]

Tom Miller
Reporter

A Sacramento woman is speaking out after four members of a military-style Christian group were arrested.

Maura Schmierer left the sect in 1989 but still remembers the horrors she endured. The group started in Sacramento before ending up in New Mexico.

Now, nearly 35 years later, the leader of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps has been arrested, along with three others.

Schmierer said she is happy to see that the sect could finally shut down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Cops Accuse Christian Commune of Smuggling and Raping Children

NEW MEXICO
Vice

JOSIAH HESSE
Aug 23 2017

The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps is known for its eccentric, militaristic brand of religion. This week, cops accused key leaders of horrific acts, including some that resulted in a child's death.

On Sunday, police arrested current and former members of a Christian group in New Mexico for a litany of alleged crimes. According to a report on Monday by ABC affiliate KOAT-7 Action News, one member was charged with 100 counts of sexual penetration of a girl who was allegedly smuggled into this country from Uganda. The warrant used to make the arrest, which was viewed by VICE, further claims the group concealed the births of multiple children and the death of at least one boy, whose remains were buried on the group's private property.

The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps (ACMTC) of Fence Lake is an isolated, militaristic religious organization. In 1981, Deborah and James Green formed the group in Sacramento, California. Previously, they have been accused of familiar cult-like tactics of controlling member's finances, limiting contact with the outside world, and isolating members without proper food, water, or hygiene. Since their inception, they've been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

The investigation leading to Sunday's arrest began last year, when two female members of the group claimed to have escaped—and told the Cibola County Sheriff's Office of almost unspeakable horrors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

The Latest: Christian sect raid plan to avoid violence

NEW MEXICO
Washington Post

By Associated Press August 22

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Latest on a New Mexico military-style Christian sect facing child abuse charges (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

A sheriff says authorities carefully planned a raid of a New Mexico paramilitary Christian sect amid a child sexual abuse investigation to avoid potential violence.

Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace told The Associated Press on Tuesday deputies surprised the sect’s Fence Lake, New Mexico, compound during church services to make sure everyone was located in one place.

Mace says authorities were concerned armed sect members might try to stop deputies’ attempt to arrest leaders on child abuse and child sexual abuse charges.

During the Sunday raid, authorities arrested three members in connection with a child abuse and child sex abuse investigation. A former member was arrested in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

AUTHORITIES EYE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF CHILDREN FOUND AT SECT

NEW MEXICO
Associated Press

BY RUSSELL CONTRERAS AND MORGAN LEE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Authorities investigating a paramilitary Christian sect for child sexual abuse say they looking into whether the New Mexico group brought children into the country illegally. Former group members say leaders kept them and the children living at sect's compound in "slavery."

Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace told The Associated Press Tuesday that investigators found numerous children during a Sunday raid of the armed Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps in remote Fence Lake.

Exactly where the children came from is unknown because the sect apparently kept members from reporting births to state officials, Mace said. A former sect member says the group illegally brought at least one child to the United States from one of its foreign missions, which according to its website were operated in Africa, India and the Philippines.

"The children were trained not to talk to law enforcement or to hide from law enforcement," Mace said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Militant Christian cult charged with sexually abusing children

NEW MEXICO
New York Post

By Tamar Lapin

Members of a military-style Christian group in New Mexico have been arrested for what authorities are calling horrific crimes against children.

Peter Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps in Fence Lake was arrested Sunday morning and faces 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child, local station KOAT reported.

Deborah Green and her husband James Green are the “Generals” of the sect, according to their website and are responsible for commanding their army to spread Christian ideals throughout the world. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the organization as a hate group.

Deborah Green and members Stacey Miller and Joshua Green also face charges including child abuse, bribery of a witness and not reporting a birth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Child Protection Sunday

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

The Catholic Church in Australia observes Child Protection Sunday on 10 September 2017.

The Australian Catholic Church’s Child Protection Sunday runs in conjunction with National Child Protection Week. This year we are focusing on a Royal Commission’s key element that when children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously an institution is better prepared to be child safe. Our theme is: “See Me, Hear Me”.

In the first reading for Child Protection Sunday the Prophet Ezekiel speaks of “being a sentry to the House of Israel’. That image captures well one element of the role each of us has in regard to Children.

As Pope Francis outlined before leading the crowds in the Angelus prayer in March last year it is important to “Listen: this is the key word. Do not forget, listen to the sick and marginalised, or among families.” As a sentry, each of us plays a part in listening to what the children have to say, making sure that every child is safe and protected from abuse and harm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Rauner signs sexual abuse legislation

ILLINOIS
Herald-Tribune

By Pete Spitler
Editor@heraldtrib.com
updated: 8/22/2017

Perhaps lost in the noise of the school funding fight was news that Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation on Aug. 11 that removes the statutes of limitation for sexual abuse crimes.

The bill, Senate Bill 189, now allows for the prosecution of those crimes at any time. Previously, victims had to report crimes within 20 years after they turned 18.

SB 189 took effect as soon as it was signed and applies to future felony child sex crime cases, as well as current criminal cases in which the previous statute of limitations has not expired.

According to sponsor State Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park), the legislation puts in place "best practices for dealing with sexual assault cases statewide and puts in place a system that will encourage survivors to come forward and receive justice when they are ready."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Across the nation, priest sexual abuse cases haunt Catholic parishes

UNITED STATES
USA Today

In May 2003, Thomas O’Brien, then bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, admitted to sheltering at least 50 priests accused of sexual abuse, often shuffling them around to parishes across the state.

O'Brien's admission, released under an agreement with the county attorney, acknowledged he "allowed Roman Catholic priests under my supervision to work with minors after becoming aware of allegations of sexual misconduct." He also waived his own immunity should sexual misconduct allegations against him surface.

Thirteen years later, in a lawsuit filed last September, O'Brien — now bishop emeritus — was accused of sexually abusing a grade-school boy.

In recent months, USA TODAY Network reporters at the Pacific Daily News have uncovered scores of allegations involving 14 Catholic priests on Guam, where a former altar boy's accusation last summer that Archbishop Anthony Apuron sexually abused him in the 1970s has prompted other revelations.

Abuse cases also have roiled Catholic parishes elsewhere the nation, sometimes decades after evidence of the crimes first emerged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

August 22, 2017

Apuron: Law did not remove time bar for suits

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post Aug 22, 2017

Suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron believes every citizen should be afforded due process and the right to defend against a cause of action that has long expired, according to court documents filed in four civil suits filed against the leader of Guam's Catholic Church.

In a motion filed by his attorney, Jacqueline Taitano Terlaje, Apuron contends the District Court of Guam must dismiss the lawsuits filed against him and the Archdiocese of Agana because the victims' claims are time-barred and Public Law 33-187 is "inorganic and unconstitutional."

Apuron and his attorney maintain that the law that amended Guam's statute of limitations for child sexual abuse did not "retrospectively revive" the plaintiffs' time-barred and lapsed claims to file suit against him.

Terlaje wrote, "Every person who cannot defend him or herself due to the passage of time and loss of evidence suffers extreme hardship and oppression."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

IRISH CHURCH AIMS TO END STIGMA FOR THE CHILDREN OF PRIESTS

IRELAND
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Bishops in Ireland have created detailed guidelines to address an issue the Roman Catholic Church has tried to keep under wraps for centuries: the plight of children born to Catholic priests and the women who bear them.

The policy, approved in May and made public recently, states that the wellbeing of the child is paramount. It says the mother must be respected and involved in decision-making, and that the priest "should face up to his responsibilities - personal, legal, moral and financial."

The guidelines are believed to represent the first comprehensive public policy by a national bishops' conference on the issue, which has long been shrouded in secrecy given the perceived scandal of priests having sex. While eastern rite Catholic priests can be married before ordination, Roman Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy.

The policy is, in many ways, the fruit of a campaign by an Irish psychotherapist, Vincent Doyle, who discovered late in life that his father was a priest.

With the strong backing of the archbishop of Dublin, Doyle launched Coping International, an online self-help resource for the children of priests and their mothers. The aim, he said, was to help eliminate the stigma he and others like him have faced, and educate them and the church about the emotional and psychological problems that can be associated with the secrecy often imposed on them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 PM

Local religious group in spotlight for horrific crimes against children

NEW MEXICO
KOAT

Megan Cruz
General Assignment Reporter

CIBOLA COUNTY, N.M. —
The leader and three members of a religious group based in Cibola County were arrested over the weekend for what investigators called horrific crimes against children.

Charges include over 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and child abuse.

The Cibola County Sheriff's Office says deputies arrested Deborah Green, Peter Green, Joshua Green, and Stacey Miller of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps Sunday morning. According to the group's website, Deborah and her husband James are the "Generals" and command their army to spread Christian ideals throughout the world. They're based out of Fence Lake in western Cibola County.

Sheriff Tony Mace says his office first started investigating the group last year when two members claimed they just escaped the commune. They told deputies Deborah and another member Stacey Miller allowed Miller's 12-year-old son to die of the flu in 2014.

"It was a horrible situation," said Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace.

According to arrest warrants, no one took the boy to the hospital. Puss started leaking from his forehead and he lost his ability to speak and move his right side. He was buried on the property and no one reported his death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

THE LATEST: NEW MEXICO CHRISTIAN SECT: ABUSE CLAIMS 'FALSE'

NEW MEXICO
Associated Press

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) -- The Latest on a New Mexico military-style Christian sect facing child abuse charges (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

A New Mexico military-style Christian sect says claims of child abuse and child sexual abuse by leaders are false.

The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps in Fence Lake, New Mexico, said in a statement that allegations "are totally false" and similar to others the group has faced over the years.

A criminal complaint says sect leader Peter Green is facing 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child.

Court records show three other members of the group also were charged with child abuse crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

FORMER SECT MEMBER HAS BEEN TRYING TO EXPOSE GROUP FOR YEARS

NEW MEXICO
Associated Press

BY RUSSELL CONTRERAS
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- A former member of a military-style Christian sect says that for years she's been trying to draw attention to the New Mexico group whose leader has been charged with dozens of counts of child sexual abuse.

Maura Alana Schmierer told The Associated Press on Monday that she had been interviewed by investigators recently about the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps.

Schmierer left the sect in the late 1980s. She said she's "been trying to expose them for years" and appeared in a National Geographic Television show documenting her experience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Military-style Christian sect leader is charged in massive child sex abuse case that a former member says she has been trying to expose for years

NEW MEXICO
Daily Mail

AP

A leader of a New Mexico military-style Christian sect is facing dozens of child sexual abuse charges in a case that authorities say is connected to widespread abuse by the religious commune.

Peter Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps in the remote community of Fence Lake was charged with 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child.

Sect members Deborah Green, Joshua Green and Stacey Miller also face various charges ranging from child abuse, bribery and not reporting a birth.

All four were arrested on Sunday.

A former member, Maura Alana Schmierer, said on Monday that she's been trying to draw attention to the New Mexico group for years. Schmierer added that she had been interviewed by investigators recently about the group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

‘My actions were despicable’: Catholic priest steps down after revealing he was a Ku Klux Klan member decades ago

VIRGINIA
Washington Post

By Dana Hedgpeth and Michelle Boorstein August 22

A Catholic priest in Arlington, Va., is temporarily stepping down after revealing he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and burned crosses more than 40 years ago before joining the clergy.

In an editorial published Monday in the Arlington Catholic Herald, the Rev. William Aitcheson described himself as “an impressionable young man” when he became a member of the hate group. He wrote that images from the deadly white-supremacist and white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville “brought back memories of a bleak period in my life that I would have preferred to forget.”

“My actions were despicable,” wrote Aitcheson, 62. “When I think back on burning crosses, a threatening letter, and so on, I feel as though I am speaking of somebody else. It’s hard to believe that was me.”

In a statement, Catholic Diocese of Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge called Aitcheson’s past with the Ku Klux Klan “sad and deeply troubling.”

Aitcheson served with the Catholic church in Nevada before being transferred to Arlington, where he is originally from, church officials said in a statement. He was ordained in 1988 and has served in a variety of positions at parishes in Nevada; Arlington; Fredericksburg, Va.; and Woodstock, Md. His latest assignment was as parochial vicar, or assistant to the pastor, at St. Leo the Great in Fairfax City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Former El Paso priest admits to sexual misconduct

TEXAS
KFOX14

by Adriana Candelaria | Jessica Gonzalez

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) —
A priest who once served at El Paso churches has admitted to sexual misconduct with a teenage girl during the 1980s.

Miguel Luna, 67, who served at eight El Paso parishes, was ordained for the Diocese of El Paso on July 1, 1982.

In 2013, Bishop Mark Seitz removed Luna from the ministry upon the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board.

A spokesperson for the diocese said the recommendation was made because allegations of sexual harassment had been made but not involving a minor.

It wasn’t until last year that a woman who asked to remain anonymous, came forward, saying that Luna had sexually abused her years ago when she was a teenager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Boy Scouts files brief in Apuron abuse case

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 22, 2017

The Boy Scouts of America, which faces 54 lawsuits accusing former Scouts leaders of sexually abusing children on Guam, recently filed a "friend of the court" brief in one of the abuse cases filed against Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Catholic Church on Guam.

District Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan on Tuesday rejected the brief, stating the Boy Scouts are not a party to the Apuron case, and their brief does not provide unique or relevant information.

The Boy Scouts, which wants the cases dismissed, had asked the court to separately address some of the arguments related to the abuse cases. That's because the Boy Scouts have presented a different set of arguments as to why the cases should be dismissed.

A 2016 law retroactively removed the statute of limitations on civil cases related to child sex abuse, prompting nearly 100 lawsuits to be filed against the Catholic Church and clergy members. More than half of those lawsuits also accuse the Boy Scouts — primarily because of abuse allegations against former Guam priest Louis Brouillard, who also was a Scoutmaster here. He is accused of sexually abusing boys on church grounds and during outings with the Boy Scouts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Pastor spared jail for beating children with belts and wires

UNITED KINGDOM
Metro

Georgia Diebelius for Metro.co.uk
Tuesday 22 Aug 2017

A pastor who blindfolded children and whipped them with belts, has been spared jail.

Rose Amadasun was reported to the police by South Norwood Leisure Centre after she was seen hitting youngsters with wires and not feeding them for days on end.

According to witnesses, the pastor of the Shine Forth Evangelistic Ministry in central London, shouted ‘Jesus’ as she beat the children.

If they screamed she would ‘force them to fast’ for several days as punishment.

Amadasun, 49, of South Norwood, South London was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily hard on June 30 2016.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Ribbons show solidarity

AUSTRALIA
Shepparton News

by TARA WHITSED AUGUST 22, 2017

Coinciding with Child Protection Week (September 4 to 10), the Tatura Sacred Heart Parish will show its support by taking part in the Loud Fences initiative next month.

The parish will hand out coloured ribbons at Mass on September 3 and 10 when parishioners will be invited to tie them to the fence afterwards.

Parishioner Judith Steele said ribbons would also be available in the foyer of the Church.

‘‘So we invite everyone in the community to join with Sacred Heart parishioners in tying a coloured ribbon on our fence throughout the month of September to express support and solidarity for the victims of abuse of any kind,’’ she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Queensland school 'failed' student after gang-rape allegation

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Jorge Branco

A Queensland boarding school failed to properly care for a student after she was allegedly gang-raped by older boys while boarding there in 2006, a royal commission has been urged to find.

Counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, David Lloyd, made submissions harshly criticising Townsville's Uniting Church-run Shalom Christian College's response to the trauma.

He said, 10 years on, the school still did not have enough money to provide a safe environment for its students.

During hearings in Sydney in November last year, the young woman's tearful parents said they were pressured not to press charges against the four men involved because they came from "well known and influential families" and that former principal Christopher Shirley was "trying to paint a bad picture of my daughter".

Mr Shirley gave evidence that he did not try to blame the student, referred to as CLF, and that he did not tell her parents not to report the matter to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Royal Commission: North Queensland school failed student after indecent assault by boys

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Isobel Roe and David Chen

A north Queensland Indigenous boarding school did not have the money to properly care for a student after she was indecently assaulted by older boys, according to the findings of a lawyer assisting a child sex abuse inquiry.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard in November last year that the 14-year-old girl was assaulted by four boys behind a classroom at Shalom Christian College near Townsville in 2006, when the students were supposed to be in the boarding house.

The victim's parents told the royal commission that after the incident, the boys were put into lockdown at the school, and their daughter sent to another school campus and offered no counselling or care.

The findings, by counsel assisting the royal commission David Lloyd, were released on Monday

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Diocese revamps review board; follows pledge in March to make changes

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By David Hurst
dhurst@tribdem.com

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown is overhauling the Diocesan Review Board initially established 15 years ago to help internally investigate abuse allegations.

In line with a multistep reform plan outlined in March by the diocese and the United States Attorney’s Office, Bishop Mark Bartchak announced the appointment of an all-new, seven-member review board that will now be comprised of area professionals, one Catholic priest and at least two people representing other Christian faiths – a first for the board.

“In the interest of providing objectivity and transparency, two of the review board members are from other Christian churches,” diocese spokesman Tony DeGol wrote in a release to media.

“All of the newly-appointed members were recommended to the bishop because of their personal integrity, expertise and experience,” he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Ex-El Paso priest accused of sex abuse served at 8 parishes

TEXAS
KXAN

Daniel Marin/KTSM
Published: August 21, 2017

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A former El Paso priest accused of committing sexual abuse decades ago served at eight local parishes, the Catholic Diocese of El Paso said Monday.

At a news conference, El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz said the ex-priest, Miguel Luna, 67, admitted to sexual misconduct with a “young female adolescent” in the 1980s. Luna has since been removed from the ministry.

The allegation came to light last November, according to Seitz who declined to say which parish was involved to protect the identity of the accuser.

The diocese said it has contacted El Paso police but the victim, now an adult, wishes to remain anonymous and no criminal charges have been filed.

The state of Texas has no statute of limitations for felony criminal cases involving sexual assault of a minor or indecency with a child. There is a limitation of 15 years from the victim’s 18th birthday for civil cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Nottinghamshire MP named as core participant in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Nottingham Post

BY HANNAH MITCHELL
21 AUG 2017

A Nottinghamshire MP has been named as a "core participant" in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Nottinghamshire.

The inquiry will look into claims of abuse over a 60 year period in Notitinghamshire after it was announced in 2015 that Nottinghamshire’s councils would be among the first to be investigated by the independent inquiry.

John Mann, Member of Parliament for Bassetlaw, first applied to be a core participant in March but was declined by the chairman Professor Alexis Jay on the grounds that he had not played a significant role in relation to the matters.

However, Prof Jay announced in May that she had reconsidered her view and the MP would play an important role in the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Bartchak appoints members to diocese’s review board

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

Aug 22, 2017

Ryan Brown
Staff Writer
rbrown@altoonamirror.com

Bishop Mark Bartchak named a new slate of members for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown’s Dio­cesan Review Board, fulfilling a plan he first publicly detailed in March.

The new membership sweeps out past members of the board, which the state attorney general once described as a tool for concealing sexual abuse allegations. The revamped board is part of a series of changes Bartchak promised at a March press conference alongside federal prosecutors.

The Review Board’s seven new members are the Rev. Leo F. Arnone, Joyce Cunningham, Joseph Grappone, Todd Mahalko, Robert Skelly, Brent Stoltzfus and the Rev. Miles Zdinak. They are set to review sexual abuse allegations and determine clergymen’s suitability for the ministry.

Diocese Secretary for Communications Tony DeGol said he was unable to immediately provide further biographical information on the new members Monday. Searches online, however, suggest the new board includes a licensed social worker, a former state police trooper and a Carpatho-Russian Orthodox priest, among others.

“(Bartchak) feels that each of them brings a great deal of expertise in their respective fields,” DeGol said. “You have some who have backgrounds in law enforcement, in pastoral care, some in psychological treatment.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

August 21, 2017

Children of priests: 'an invisible legion of secrecy and neglect'

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Aug 21, 2017
by Patricia Lefevere

No one knows the number of sons and daughters of Catholic priests in the United States or in the world, but what is known is that hundreds — perhaps thousands — of these offspring have lived in secret, hiding their fathers' past from the world, frequently even from family members.

Still other children of clergy dads have grown up not knowing who their real father was, often mistaking him for an uncle, godfather or some other male friend or relative whom they have known from their youth. In many instances, the children of Catholic priests have failed to have their emotional, legal and financial needs met.

When they have discovered who their real father is — often later in life — some of these daughters and sons have undergone spiritual disillusionment, unable to separate themselves from the faith they love and have been raised in, and the man who did not, or could not, come forward and be a genuine dad to them. Some have experienced psychological trauma from having to carry a secret — a lie — for life.

These are among disclosures presented in a two-part series on the progeny of priests published by The Boston Globe's Spotlight team Aug. 19 and 20 and written by Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Michael Rezendes. In interviews over many months, the investigative news team found that children of Catholic priests "form an invisible legion of secrecy and neglect."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Judge: Baton Rouge diocese, area Catholic priest to remain in suit involving confessional

LOUISIANA
The Advocate

BY JOE GYAN JR. | JGYAN@THEADVOCATE.COM AUG 21, 2017

A state judge refused Monday to dismiss the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge and a priest from a 2009 lawsuit by a woman who says that when she was a teenager she told the priest she was being sexually abused by a church parishioner, but he did not stop the alleged abuse or report it.

A legal battle over whether a Louisiana priest should have reported a teenager’s claims of s…
District Judge Mike Caldwell said it will be up to an East Baton Rouge Parish jury to decide whether what Rebecca Mayeux allegedly told the Rev. Jeff Bayhi in the confessional was in fact a confession as defined by the Catholic Church, and therefore confidential, or whether she was merely seeking support and guidance instead of confessing sins.

Caldwell and a state appeals court both ruled last year that Mayeux can tell a jury what she allegedly told Bayhi in the confessional.

The Louisiana Supreme Court also ruled last fall in the long-running case that a priest has no duty to report confidential information heard during the sacrament of confession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 PM

Former priest for the Diocese of El Paso allegedly admits to sexual misconduct with a minor

TEXAS
KVIA

EL PASO, Texas - The Diocese of El Paso announced on Monday Miguel Luna, a former priest, allegedly admitted to sexual misconduct with a young girl in the 1980s.

The victim reached out to the diocese in November of 2016, and the Diocese conducted an investigation.

"It is directly contradictory to the sacrificial love to which a priest has committed himself before God," Bishop Mark Seitz said. "I am deeply sorry for the pain caused by these actions of Miguel Luna, and ask those who know of other situations of misconduct or abuse to please inform law enforcement and the Diocese."

Luna was removed from ministry back in 2013.

"There had been some accusations against him that would probably be labeled sexual harassment," Seitz said. "We determined after an investigation from the review board that he needed simply to be removed from ministry."

The Diocese said Luna was ordained July 1, 1982. Here is where Luna has served:

Blessed Sacrament
Corpus Christi
Our Lady of Assumption
Our Lady of Peace -- Alpine
San Antonio De Padua
San Lorenzo
St. Joseph Mission -- Fort Davis
St. Mary Mission -- Marathon
St. Matthew
St. Pius X
St. Thomas Aquina
St. Thomas/St. Joseph -- Kermit

The Diocese of El Paso said it is reaching out to all of its parishes to learn if there any more potential victims. The victim who came forward in 2016 wishes to stay anonymous and is not pressing charges.

"We have informed the El Paso Police about this case, about Luna. They're ready with their Crimes Against Children, that respond and would help any victims who come forward to them after this notification." Seitz said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Diocesan Review Board announced

PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

Hollidaysburgh, Blair County, Pa - Bishop Mark Bartchak has announced the appointment of an entirely new membership for the Diocesan Review Board. The group assists in the assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and if a cleric is suitable for ministry.

The members of the review board are as follows: Rev. Leo F. Arnone, Joyce Cunningham, Joseph Grappone, Todd Mahalko, Robert Skelly, Brent Stoltzfus and Rev. Miles Zdinak.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth, every diocese is to have a review board. The majority of the members must be Catholic lay persons not employed by the diocese. The board is a confidential consultative body.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Diocese names new members of review board

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

by Matthew Stevens

HOLLIDAYSBURG - The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has named the members of its new review board.

The objective of the board is to assess allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

The board consists of Catholic members not employed by the diocese and two members of other Christian members.

The new members are Rev. Leo Arnone, Joyce Cunningham, Joseph Grappone, Todd Mahalko, Robert Skelly, Brent Stoltzfus and Rev. Miles Zdinak.

The newly-appointed members were recommended to Bishop Mark Bartchak and have experience in pastoral care, education of children, safe environment for children, psychological care and treatment of sexual abuse of minors and law enforcement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Falsely Accused Catholic School Teacher in Philly *Finally* Released From Prison; Philly Media Doesn’t Care

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
TheMediaReport

Philadelphia Catholic school teacher Bernard Shero, who was falsely convicted in 2013 along with the late Rev. Charles Engelhardt in a high-profile trial for child sex abuse that never occurred, is finally going to be a free man.

After being falsely accused of sex abuse by a lying drug addict named Danny Gallagher, Shero will exit prison after serving four-and-a-half years of a maximum 16-year sentence.

The news was first reported by journalist Ralph Cipriano at BigTrial.net.

An insider blows the lid off

Regular readers of this site have long known that Gallagher's claims of abuse are wildly false (see this and this for background). It is now an incontrovertible fact that the Philadelphia D.A.'s office – spearheaded by D.A. Seth Williams, who now sits in solitary confinement on multiple charges of corruption and bribery – orchestrated a malicious scheme against innocent men and the Catholic Church based on Gallagher's bogus stories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Catholic brother Francis Brophy guilty of BoysTown sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

Alexandra Patrikios, The Courier-Mail
August 21, 2017

A CATHOLIC brother who inflicted “sheer terror” on vulnerable boys at a Queensland orphanage, sexually abusing nine of them, has been jailed for his historical crimes.

“Your legacy disgusts me and every right-minded member of society,” Brisbane District Court Judge William Everson told Francis Brophy today.

The 87-year-old, who was found guilty by a jury of five offences and sentenced for more than 30 counts in total, sexually abused the orphans at BoysTown, near Beaudesert, between 1978 and 1983.

Judge Everson denounced him as “a cowardly, evil paedophile” who masqueraded as a follower of God while inflicting lifelong damage on the children who were meant to be in his care.

He said Brophy presided over a “Gulag right in our midst” that left some of his victims ravaged by nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder as adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Diocese: Ex-El Paso priest admits to sexual misconduct

TEXAS
El Paso Proud

[with video]

EL PASO, TEXAS - The El Paso Catholic Diocese says a former local priest has been removed for sexual misconduct.

Bishop Mark Seitz is expected to hold a news conference at the Diocese of El Paso Pastoral Center's Flores Conference room at 10 a.m. on Monday to inform the public.

The Diocese tells us the priest in question is named Miguel Luna and that the case goes back to the 1980s.

The Diocese says Luna recently admitted to sexual misconduct with someone, who they only describe as a 'young female adolescent.'

According to the Diocese Luna has since been removed from the ministry and all parishes have been given notice of Luna's removal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Irish bishops tell priests who father children to “face up” to responsibilities

IRELAND
Crux

The bishops of Ireland say that in the case of a child fathered by a Catholic priest, the priest should not walk away from his responsibilities - legal, moral and financial. The guidelines written by the Irish Bishops' Conference were written as the Vatican faces a deadline to respond to UN recommendations to “assess the number of children fathered by Catholic priests, find out who they are and take all necessary measures to ensure that the rights of those children to know and to be cared for by their fathers is respected.”

If a priest father’s a child, the needs of the child should be given the first consideration, according to guidelines agreed to in May by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

The guidelines have not been published on the conference website, nor on any individual diocesan website, but were obtained by The Irish Times newspaper.

The document - called “Principles of Responsibility Regarding Priests who Father Children While in Ministry” - was written in consultation with Vincent Doyle, an Irish psychotherapist whose own father was a diocesan priest.

Doyle helped found Coping International, which seeks to protect the rights of the children of priests. (Doyle’s story was the subject of a feature last week in The Boston Globe.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Submissions for public hearing into children with problematic or harmful sexual behaviours in schools published

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

21 August, 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published written submissions for the public hearing into children with problematic or harmful sexual behaviours in schools (Case Study 45).

The public hearing was held in October-November 2016 and inquired into the response of Trinity Grammar School, Summer Hill NSW, The King’s School, Parramatta NSW and Shalom Christian College, Condon QLD to incidents of problematic or harmful sexual behaviours by students which occurred at those schools.

It also inquired into the systems, policies, procedures and practices for responding to allegations of problematic or harmful sexual behaviours of children within educational institutions promoted and implemented by the schools listed above as well as St Ignatius’ College, Riverview NSW, the NSW Department of Education, the Association of Independent Schools NSW and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

Read the submissions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Receiver: St. Joseph Pension Bankruptcy Will Impact As Many as 3,800, 40% Cuts to Benefits

RHODE ISLAND
GoLocalProv

Saturday, August 19, 2017
GoLocal News Team

The bankruptcy of St. Joseph Health Services pension fund will hit between 3,600 and 3,800 existing or future pensioners — and the loss of pension payments may be 40 percent, according to the court appointed receiver Steven Del Sesto, a partner at Donoghue Barrett & Singal. But, DelSesto said the plan for winding down the pension fund is only in the preliminary phase.

The loss of benefits and the total number of beneficiaries impacted may both be records for Rhode Island. The now pending plan before the court, the draft documents would treat all existing and future retirees the same and both classes would take a 40 percent cut to their existing and future benefits, according to court documents. That plan is not final said DelSesto in an interview with GoLocal on Friday afternoon.

Del Sesto was appointed by the court late Thursday afternoon and is yet to talk to many of the players in the collapse. He is scheduled to talk to the Attorney General’s office on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Pater spricht über sexuellen Missbrauch an Achtjährigem

DEUTSCHLAND
Focus

[Pope Francis wrote the foreword to the book. Papst bittet Missbrauchsopfer um Vergebung - Bild]

[For four years Daniel Pittet was raped as a young boy by a Capuchin monk and even forced to view porno films. Pittet has written a book on this martyrdom.]

Vier Jahre lang wurde Daniel Pittet als kleiner Junge von einem Kapuzinermönch vergewaltigt und sogar zu Porno-Aufnahmen gezwungen. Pittet hat ein Buch über dieses Martyrium geschrieben. Das Ende des Buches bildet ein Interview mit Pittets Peiniger. FOCUS Online veröffentlicht das Gespräch in Auszügen.

Daniel Pittet war der Überzeugung, dass eine Aussage seines Schänders einen interessanten Beitrag zur Aufklärung leisten könne, heißt es in seinem Buch. Ihn persönlich zu treffen lehnt er aber ab. Das Gespräch führte die Co-Autorin des Buches, Micheline Repond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Priest who claimed 'gay mafia' controls Catholic church seeks parish return

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

JOHN FERGUSON
21 AUG 2017

A Catholic priest at the centre of gay mafia accusations is set to return to a Scottish parish.

Father Matthew Despard, 52, was forced to quit after being rapped by the church over explosive claims in his book Priesthood in Crisis.

He wrote that a “powerful gay mafia” was operating at the top of the Catholic hierarchy and was responsible for sexual ­bullying.

Despard was forced to stand down from his post at St John Ogilvie’s Parish in Blantyre, Lanarkshire.

But he could now return after a Vatican court “partly reversed” the decision of a Scottish church tribunal.

Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Toal said: “Fr Despard has requested he be allowed to return to public priestly ministry by being given a new pastoral assignment.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Catholic brother jailed for abusing boys

AUSTRALIA
Deniliquin Pastoral Times

A Catholic brother who inflicted "sheer terror" on vulnerable boys at a Queensland orphanage, sexually abusing nine of them, has been jailed for his historical crimes.

"Your legacy disgusts me and every right-minded member of society," Brisbane District Court Judge William Everson told Francis Brophy on Monday.

The 87-year-old, who was found guilty by a jury of five offences and sentenced for more than 30 counts in total, sexually abused the orphans at BoysTown, near Beaudesert, between 1978 and 1983.

Judge Everson denounced him as "a cowardly, evil pedophile" who masqueraded as a follower of God while inflicting lifelong damage on the children who were meant to be in his care.

He said Brophy presided over a "Gulag right in our midst" that left some of his victims ravaged by nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder as adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Former Bunbury teacher charged with historic child sexual offences

AUSTRALIA
Bunbury Mail

Bunbury Detectives have charged a 64-year-old man of Bicton with sexual offences against two children at homes in Bunbury and Willetton.

The charges are a result of ongoing investigations stemming from the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual offences.

It will be alleged that between 1979 and 1983 the man, who was a teacher at the Bunbury Seventh Day Adventist Primary School, sexually abused a student at his home.

The child was aged between five and 10 years of age at the time.

It is further alleged that between 1987 and 1988 the man sexually abused a second student from the school at his home in Willetton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

King's School had 'catastrophic failure', child-sex abuse royal commission told

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The King's School in Sydney demonstrated a "catastrophic failure" in its handling of a child-sexual assault allegation, a submission to a royal commission states.

The submission by David Lloyd, counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, stated that the school was advised to report the allegation to police but failed to do so.

The claim relates to a 2013 incident at a cadet camp in which one student was alleged to have masturbated on another student's sleeping bag.

In a public hearing into harmful sexual behaviour in schools, the royal commission was told the Parramatta school sought advice from a police officer who wrote an email saying a formal report should be made.

The commission heard The King's School's then headmaster Timothy Hawkes did not make a report to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Census, 2016: Bathurst has become less religious

AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

Nadine Morton
@nadine_morton

21 Aug 2017

HISTORIC cases of sexual abuse, and the subsequent Royal Commission inquiry, has impacted the number of believers, Bathurst’s religious leaders say.

The number of Bathurst people who say they are not religious has tripled compared to 15 years ago, recently-released 2016 Census data shows.

In Bathurst, 22.4 per cent (9532 people) of the population said they have ‘no religion’ on the form, this has spiked dramatically compared to the 9.6 per cent (3435 people) who selected this answer in the 2001 Census.

Catholicism has recorded the biggest fall in Bathurst believers – from 35.4 per cent in 2001 to 31.1 per cent last year.

The percentage of Anglicans in Bathurst has also dropped – from 26.3 per cent to 19.2; while Presbyterian and Reformed has fallen from 5.2 to 4.2 per cent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Jeff Corbett: The con in the confessional

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

As I watch the growing protest in the Catholic Church against the call for priests to be required to report child abuse confessions, my mind goes to Islam's Sharia law. Forgive me, I can't help it.

The church is fighting, as you have read in this paper, the call by the child abuse royal commission for priests to face criminal charges when they fail to report child sexual abuse that has become known to them in the confessional.

Confession is a cornerstone of Catholic religious practice, a regular event, often weekly, for practising Catholics.

The person confessing to a priest who may be seated behind a partition opens with the words “Forgive me, father, for I have sinned”, discusses those sins with the priest, is given a penance that may be a prayer to recite a certain number of times, and is absolved of those sins.

Catholics believe, or are supposed to believe, that the priest in the confessional is channelling God, that they are talking with God through the priest, although I suspect the godliness of priests has been reduced more than a modicum in the past decade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Paedophile priest gets 26 months in jail

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

MIKE MATHER

A former Catholic priest jailed for molesting boys in the 1970s and 80s has again been jailed for 26 months, on charges against three new historic victims.

Before Mark Mannix Brown was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court on Monday, one of his victims revealed harrowing details of the consequences of his abuse.

Brown, 74, had earlier plead guilty to four charges of indecent assault and attempted sodomy. Some of those charges were representative, meaning they cover a variety of incidents.

He had been jailed for 15 months in 1990 for sexual offending against altar boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Former priest Mark Mannix Brown jailed for 26 months for abusing boys

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

Two sex abuse victims of former priest Mark Mannix Brown say his jail sentence brings them closure but say anything less would have belittled his actions.

It is now the second prison term Brown, 74, will have served for molesting young boys while he worked as a priest in the Catholic Church around Hamilton and Auckland in the 1970s and 80s.

Brown pleaded guilty to four representative charges after a sentence indication in the Hamilton District Court in May this year.

Today, Judge Simon Menzies sentenced Brown to 26 months' jail.

He was first jailed for 15 months in March 1990 for indecently assaulting two altar boys in the 1980s when he was at St Mary's Church, Hamilton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

SNAP's evolution evident at gathering, in wake of departures

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Aug 21, 2017
by Tom Roberts

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — SNAP, the organization that has become synonymous with uncovering the clergy sex abuse scandal, may be outpacing its acronym.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, established in 1988, has been at the forefront of advocating for victims of clergy abuse and at pressing for accountability by church leadership. However, it was evident at a gathering of 300 victims, advocates and supporters Aug. 11-13 in Alexandria, Virginia, that the organization is in the midst of change.

"We're in transition," said Barbara Dorris, who took over as president when the group was left leaderless when founder Barbara Blaine and longtime national director David Clohessy, resigned within weeks of each other. Both longtime leaders said their resignations has been in the works for months and were not connected to a lawsuit filed in January in which both were named.

“We’ve gone from founder-led into an organization that is going to work more trying to build partnerships with other organizations, to build a stronger voice to protect children and do more outreach,” said Dorris. She also expressed a willingness to discuss a suggestion advanced by an expert that SNAP do more to connect victims with professional counselors.

The outreach is evidently underway. Dorris said this year’s conference included representatives of a number of other denominations as well as organizations such as the Boy Scouts.

“So, where we were focused on Catholics, we feel we’ll be stronger and have a better chance of accomplishing our goals if we become more inclusive,” she said.

If there is a natural expansion to the project — Joelle Casteix, a western regional leader for SNAP, reports that the vast majority of calls she now receives are not related to church abuse — the Catholic Church remains a central component of the group’s work. Survivors of abuse by priests are still predominant in its membership, the preponderant conversation is about elements of the church scandal and the new areas of the globe where reports of priest abuse are now beginning to surface.

Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle and former Benedictine priest Richard Sipe both took the main stage at different times to recount their personal history in the struggle and to exhort survivors to work together in support of each other and the pursuit of justice.

The back page of the conference program was further evidence that the Catholic piece of the problem is still prominent. Bishopaccountability.org, an extensive digital repository of information and data about the scandal, lists 59 new names of those considered credibly accused that made it into the organization’s database in the past year. The database, which contains voluminous documentation, including legal transcripts and depositions as well as correspondence, currently lists as credibly accused of sexual abuse 27 bishops, 3,774 priests, 59 deacons, 23 seminarians, 290 brothers and 95 women religious. Not included, according to those managing the website, are 2,645 priests counted as credibly accused by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops but not yet identified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

New lawsuit filed against church naming Brouillard yet again

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves - August 21, 2017

The alleged victim is represented by Attorney David Lujan.

Guam – Over 90 sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese of Guam and its agents, last Friday, another suit was filed seeking $10 million in punitive damages against retired Catholic priest Louis Broulliard.

Retired priest Louis Broulliard has been named as the perpetrator in a majority of the sex abuse cases filed against the Archdiocese. Last Friday, another alleged victim identified as V.Q. came forward sharing his recollections of sexual abuse that occurred at the hands of Louis Broulliard when V.Q. was just 14 years old. Broulliard served as a priest on Guam for over four decades, holding many positions within the church as well as serving as a Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America.

According to court documents, V.Q. joined the Mongmong Troop 18 Boy Scouts in 1977, when Broulliard was scoutmaster. As part of the requirements, the boy scouts met several times a week at the Mongmong parish to study the Scout Oaths, Laws and practice marching, drills and map reading. The Boy Scouts of America also encouraged their scouts to be faithful in their religious duties and as a result V.Q.’s participation revolved around the church in order to fulfill the Scout oath and laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

August 20, 2017

Poll: Decline in faith

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post

A new survey shows a strong decline in trust for religious institutions in Guam. The decline is attributed to the filing of more than 100 sex abuse cases against former and current members of the clergy and the loss of trust in the Catholic Church.

The poll was conducted by a private entity at the request of attorney David Lujan who represents dozens of child sex abuse victims. The results are expected to be released to the Archdiocese of Agana in the coming weeks.

During the last status conference before District Court Judge Joaquin Manibusan Jr., Lujan mentioned that the poll found an unfavorable attitude toward the church from those surveyed.

Three hundred Guam voters were surveyed over the telephone in May. The average age of those polled was 40. Individuals between ages 18 and 90 participated in the poll and surveyors noted a sample error of +/- 3 percent

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 PM

HASTA CATÓLICOS EXIGEN A MÁRQUEZ QUE NO SEPULTE EL CASO DE ABUSOS SEXUALES EN ALBERGUE DE NIÑOS

MEXICO
Concentrado

[Organizations called for investigation into cases such as the "Ciudad de los Niños" in the state of Guanajuato to continue. They also ask that the ecclesial structure and the code of canon law be modified "in order to eliminate the cover-up of crimes of clerical pederasty". Among the plaintiffs are Catholics for the Right to Decide.]

Organizaciones pidieron que las investigaciones por casos como la “Ciudad de los Niños” en el estado de Guanajuato, continúen, y se entreguen responsabilidades penales. También que sea modificada la estructura eclesial y el código de derecho canónico “a fin de eliminar el encubrimiento de los crímenes de pederastia clerical”. Entre los demandantes está Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir.

Ciudad de México, 18 de agosto (EFE).- Organizaciones de la sociedad civil exigieron ayer la reapertura de la investigación con el fin de atribuir responsabilidades penales a los supuestos autores de abusos sexuales perpetrados en el refugio juvenil “Ciudad de los Niños” en el estado de Guanajuato, entre otros albergues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Siete meses de prisión a un sacerdote español por abuso sexual en Perú

PERU
El Nacional

[Seven months imprisonment of a Spanish priest for sexual abuse in Peru. The Catholic priest abused the four students of the John Paul II Minor Seminary between 2014 and 2017. The newspaper La Republica says that the clergyman used his spiritual guidance to infiltrate the students' rooms and assault them sexually.]

Un tribunal peruano de justicia dictó siete meses de prisión preventiva al sacerdote español Santiago Martínez Valentín-Gamazo, acusado de presuntos tocamientos indebidos a cuatro menores de edad alumnos de un seminario religioso en Perú, informó el sábado el diario limeño La República.

El fallo de la Sala Penal de Apelaciones de Moyobamba (nororiente) revocó la decisión de un juez instructor de primera instancia, quien semanas atrás desestimó el pedido de prisión preventiva que presentó la fiscalía alegando falta de pruebas. Ello le permitía al denunciado afrontar el proceso en libertad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Director del colegio Champagnat admitió haber abusado de un alumno

ARGENTINE
Ambito

[The director of the traditional Marist School Champagnat, located in the microcenter of Buenos Aires, Angel Duples, admitted having abused a student 38 years ago, according to a statement issued by that institution. The accused was removed from office and transferred to a geriatric hospital.]

El director del tradicional Colegio Marista Champagnat, situado en el microcentro porteño, Ángel Duples, admitió haber abusado de un alumno hace 38 años, según se aseguró en un comunicado difundido por esa institución. El acusado fue removido del cargo y trasladado a un geriátrico.

"El Instituto de los Hermanos Maristas tomó conocimiento de un hecho ocurrido hace aproximadamente 38 años en el que un exalumno del colegio marista de Morón padeció un manoseo agraviante, por parte de un Hermano, en el contexto de un campamento", expresó el colegio en el comunicado.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Vado man gets 18 months for sexually assaulting girl

NEW MEXICO
Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES — A Vado man was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a child, according to the 3rd Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Jesus Luna-Armenta, 29, pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual penetration of child (between 13 and 16 years old) and one count of selling or giving alcoholic beverages to a minor.

According to prosecutors, Luna-Armenta had sought a relationship with the 14-year-old victim through Facebook. His advances escalated, and on at least three occasions, he picked the victim up from her house with the intent to have sex, according to police reports.

On one occasion, Luna-Armenta took the girl to his house while his fiancée was not at home and forced her to engage in sexual activity, despite her objections, prosecutors said. In another instance, he took her to a motel room in Anthony, Texas, intending to force her to perform a sexual act.

At his sentencing, Luna-Armenta told the court that he teaches confirmation classes to teens at his church in Del Cerro, according to prosecutors. He also said he hopes to pursue a career in youth counseling one day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Dan prisión a maestro católico por abuso sexual

NEW MEXICO
El Diario de El Paso

[A teacher who taught confirmation classes at a Catholic church in New Mexico was sentenced to 18 months in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Jesús Luna Armenta, 29, pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual penetration of one minor and one for giving or selling liquor to a minor.]

Karla Valdez
El Diario de El Paso

Un maestro que impartía clases de confirmación en una iglesia católica de Nuevo México, fue sentenciado a 18 meses de cárcel por sostener relaciones sexuales con una adolescente de 14 años.

Jesús Luna Armenta, de 29 años, se declaró culpable de tres cargos por penetración sexual criminal de una menor y otro por dar o vender bebidas alcohólicas a un menor de edad.

Luna Armenta dijo haber conocido a la víctima por Facebook y admitió tener relaciones sexuales con ella por lo menos en tres ocasiones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Pérou: un prêtre espagnol mis en détention pour abus sexuels sur mineurs

PEROU
kath.ch

[Peru: Spanish priest detained for sexual abuse of minors.The Moyobamba Criminal Appeals Chamber in Peru ordered the seven-month pre-trial detention of a Spanish priest accused of sexual abuse of four minors committed between 2014 and 2017 at the John Paul II seminary which is located in the region of San Martín.]

19.08.2017 par Maurice Page

La Chambre d'appel pénale de Moyobamba, au Pérou, a ordonné la mise en détention préventive pour sept mois d'un prêtre espagnol accusé d'abus sexuels sur quatre mineurs commis entre 2014 et 2017 au petit séminaire Jean-Paul II, situé dans cette localité de la région de San Martín.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Catholic Church and local authorities criticised for claiming child sex abuse victims 'consented'

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Telegraph

Olivia Rudgard, social and religious affairs correspondent
19 AUGUST 2017

The Catholic Church and local authorities have been criticised after trying to claim child sex abuse victims "consented" in a bid to avoid compensation payouts.

Lawyers who represent some of the victims have told the Sunday Telegraph that the defence is more frequently being used by private schools, religious groups and local authorities when trying to defend compensation claims.

The revelation comes after news that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, a Government agency, was denying some children compensation because it said they had "consented" to abuse - even if they were of an age where they could not do so legally.

Siobhán Crawford, of London-based firm Bolt Burdon Kemp, one of the largest firms in the field, said the defence is normally used where a child turns 16 during the abuse.

She said the firm had dealt with ten such cases, and there had been an increase in the past two years as authorities became aware that it was an option.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Mormon church faces new lawsuits over alleged failure to protect children from abuse

UNITED STATES
Christian Today

Lorraine Caballero 20 August, 2017

Mormon church leaders are now facing several lawsuits over their alleged failure to protect children from sexual abuse under a now-defunct foster program which ran from the 1940s to 2000.

Five lawsuits have been filed against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2016 on behalf of Navajo tribal members who alleged that the Mormon church failed to protect children from sexual abuse at the hands of foster families. Three other similar lawsuits were recently filed in Navajo Nation court and Washington state, The Associated Press detailed.

During a news conference in Phoenix on Aug. 15, a new Navajo plaintiff identified as A.H. said she told her local bishop that her foster father was abusing her. However, the bishop told her not to talk about it and that the matter would be addressed.

According to A.H., the abuse continued and the Church did not report it to authorities. She sought legal advice after she observed that the same thing was happening to other Navajos such as a woman identified only as J.C.

The attorneys of the plaintiffs said the Church leaders failed to report the abuse to authorities or to other church members even though they knew about what was happening. They also allege that the Mormon church did not properly monitor foster families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

August 19, 2017

Priest ‘killed doctor to hide secret lovechild’

IRELAND
The Times

Lynne Kelleher
August 19 2017
The Times

A Leitrim priest had a local doctor murdered in 1923 because he knew the priest had fathered a child with his teenage housekeeper, the GP’s relatives have claimed.

An RTÉ radio documentary reveals that the priest was never charged with the murder but did go on trial for abandoning a two-week-old girl a month before the shooting.

Father Edward Ryans, 37, and Kate Brown, his 19-year-old housekeeper, were caught leaving the baby, Rose Brown, opposite the Black Church in Dublin in February 1923.

A month later, Paddy Muldoon, 32, was shot dead in the town of Mohill, Co Leitrim, when walking out on to the street after a card game during the final months of the Civil War. He had treated the housekeeper during the early stages of her pregnancy, and, asked by her family to arrange an illegal abortion, had refused.

The story of an IRA-supporting rebel priest allegedly arranging the execution of the local doctor and the efforts by the state, church and rebel forces to keep it under wraps will be aired on RTÉ Radio 1 at 1pm today.

Newly discovered archive material from sources, including the Muldoon family, are used to piece together the events surrounding the murder and the maverick priest who once used his car to ferry escaped IRA convicts.

In archive footage, Thomas William Muldoon, a nephew of the doctor, tells how his father was told who killed the GP by a canon at the funeral.

“On the day of the funeral, a priest, he was a Canon Pitman, told my father, ‘I believe it was Father Ryans who shot him’.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Did priest order doctor's murder to cover up his abandoned daughter?

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Fr Edward Ryans was the prime suspect in the killing of a GP, Paddy Muldoon, in Dublin, but the crime was never solved. A new documentary, however, claims there may have been a conspiracy of silence. Kim Bielenberg looks at the evidence

August 19 2017

In February 1923, as the Irish civil war was drawing to a close, a Catholic priest was arrested with his housekeeper on a charge of abandoning a baby on the doorstep of a house in Dublin's north inner city.

Three local women had noticed the curate, Fr Edward Ryans, and the teenage girl acting suspiciously before they left the infant and a package wrapped in brown paper near the Black Church in Broadstone.

The vigilant women apprehended the couple from Leitrim as they tried to hurry away, before reporting them to police.

A month later, Paddy Muldoon, a young doctor from the same area in Leitrim, was walking late at night down the street in Mohill with a friend, Edward Geelan, when suddenly three men appeared in trenchcoats.

Muldoon and his friend were just saying goodbye near the bridge, when one of the men opened fire at Dr Muldoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Catholic bishops create guidelines for priests with children

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

The wellbeing of the child should be the primary consideration for any Catholic priest who becomes a father, guidelines approved by Ireland’s Catholic bishops state.

The guidelines say the priest “should face up to his responsibilities – legal, moral and financial. At a minimum, no priest should walk away from his responsibilities.”

In arriving at any decision concerning his child, it is “vital” that the mother, “as the primary caregiver, and as a moral agent in her own right, be fully involved”. It was also “important that a mother and child should not be left isolated or excluded”.

The guidelines, Principles of Responsibility Regarding Priests who Father Children While in Ministry, were approved by the bishops last May, but have yet to be published on their website or any Catholic diocesan website in Ireland.

They were prepared following discussions with Galway-based psychotherapist Vincent Doyle (34), whose father, Co Longford priest Fr JJ Doyle, died of lung cancer in 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 AM

Ex-Salvation Army pastor Christian Siebert has been found guilty by the District Court of sexually exploiting two sisters in SA church

AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Meagan Dillon, Court Reporter, Sunday Mail (SA)
August 19, 2017

A FORMER South Australian church pastor has been found guilty of sexually exploiting two young sisters more than 40 years ago — crimes that were examined by the Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse.

District Court Judge Gordon Barrett this month found ex-Salvation Army officer Christian Siebert guilty of two counts of the persistent sexual exploitation of two girls — then aged four and six — between 1976 and 1978.

Both victims first made statements to Victoria Police in 2004, and went on to give evidence at the royal commission two years ago.

The District Court heard a Salvation Army couple were posted to an SA country town and moved there with their two daughters and son in 1976.

Siebert, who would later become a pastor, was aged 20 at the time and was an active member of the church congregation where he spent a lot of time with the siblings, who lived next to the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Bistum Hildesheim liegt das Missbrauchsgutachten jetzt vor

DEUTSCHLAND
kath.net

[Diocese of Hildesheim: The abuse report is now available. However, the results will be publicized in October. According to the NDR, the current Hildesheimer Bishop Norbert Trelle will no longer be in office at the time of publicizing the results because he will have to submit the request for retirement to Pope Francis in September since he will be 75 years old.]

Die Ergebnisse werden allerdings erst im Oktober der Öffentlichkeit bekannt gemacht.

Hildesheim (kath.net) Das Gutachten über die Missbrauchsfälle im Bistum Hildesheim liegt jetzt der Bistumsleitung vor. Die Ergebnisse werden aber erst im Oktober der Öffentlichkeit bekanntgemacht, wie der NDR berichtete. „Wir werden das Gutachten jetzt genau lesen und schauen, welche Schlüsse wir aus den Ergebnissen ziehen müssen“, erläuterte dazu Weihbischof Heinz-Günter Bongartz. Das Bistum hatte das Gutachten vor einem Jahr selbst beim Münchner Institut IPP in Auftrag gegeben, es geht nicht zuletzt um Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen den 1988 verstorbenen früheren Hildesheimer Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen und gegen den pensionierten Priester Peter R. zu prüfen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Ermittlungen gegen Jugendbetreuer wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs

DETUSCHLAND
WDR

[The Wittgenstein Protestant Church District has dismissed its senior youth counselor. The 54-year-old is said to have sexually abused a teenager.]

Der Evangelische Kirchenkreis Wittgenstein hat seinen leitenden Jugendreferenten entlassen. Der 54-Jährige soll eine Jugendliche sexuell missbraucht haben.

Die Tat soll sich in einem Reisebus auf der Rückfahrt von einer Jugendreise ereignet haben, wie am Freitag (18.08.2017) bekannt wurde. Laut Siegener Staatsanwaltschaft und Kirchenkreis hat sich der Mann selbst angezeigt. Die Ermittlungen wegen des sexuellen Missbrauchs einer Schutzbefohlenen laufen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

United Nurses and Allied Professionals Statement on Bankruptcy of St. Joseph’s Retirement Fund

RHODE ISLAND
GoLocalProv

Friday, August 18, 2017
GoLocal News Team

United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) general counsel Christopher Callaci released the following statement today after GoLocal Prov unveiled the bankrupcty on Friday:

“We are deeply troubled by the potential impact this receivership may have on our members and their families who, for years, have been told they would be able to rely on this fund when they needed it the most.”

The UNAP intends to be centrally involved in the receivership process and looks forward to working with the court-appointed receiver to preserve the benefits of its members.

This receivership raises a number of serious questions regarding how the fund was managed.

We expect the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence to be transparent about how the fund has been bled and left with a $43 million shortfall and what they plan to do to about it. There is a moral obligation to act soon so that people may retire with dignity and the financial stability the plan was supposed to provide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Sex abuse prevention experts: Brentwood Academy student policies may send troubling message

TENNESSEE
Tennessean

Anita Wadhwani and Holly Meyer, Knoxville Aug. 18, 2017

At the center of allegations that a 12-year-old boy was raped in 2015 in the locker room of an elite Brentwood Christian school are questions about how school officials respond to student misconduct.

A review of a Brentwood Academy student handbook reveals a biblical-based approach to student conduct.

Sexual abuse prevention advocates said portions of that guidance may be sending a troubling message to students.

And a comparison of Brentwood Academy student conduct and discipline guidelines to other local Christian and public schools shows a different approach to communicating how the academy responds to allegations of sexual misconduct.

'Treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt taxpayer'

The academy's "Student Conduct and Discipline" policy begins by quoting this version of Matthew 18:15-17 as its model:

"If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won the person back.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

August 18, 2017

Defamation suit against Bill Donohue ends as appeal period expires

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Aug 18, 2017
by Brian Roewe

A defamation case brought against Bill Donohue by a Kansas City man, whose account of clergy sexual abuse the Catholic League head doubted, closed Aug. 17 after the plaintiff opted not to appeal its dismissal by lower courts to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In April, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a federal district court's October 2015 ruling to dismiss charges of defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress brought by Jon David Couzens. The claims against Donohue traced to past press statements he issued about Couzens with regard to a 2011 lawsuit he brought against the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, Diocese.

The 90-day window to appeal the appeals court's ruling closed on Thursday.

Both the district and appeals courts ruled that because the statements originated in New York, where Donohue and the Catholic League are based, that the case was subject to the state's one-year statute of limitations, rather than Missouri law and its two-year statute of limitations. Couzens' attorney argued that the Missouri statute applied because the state was the site where he sustained the alleged injuries.

Rebecca Randles, Couzens' attorney, told NCR in an email an appeal was not pursued due to a belief that the case presented more of a state, rather than federal, issue, and the "slim chance" the Supreme Court would take it up. While she disagreed with the courts' ruling on the statute of limitations, she added, "The opinion of the lower court is pretty clear that Donohue defamed my client."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

EXCLUSIVE: Major RI Pension System Files for Bankruptcy

RHODE ISLAND
GoLocalProv

Friday, August 18, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

GoLocalProv has learned that the St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island pension fund has filed for receivership — the filing puts thousands of pensions at risk.

This is one of the largest pension failures in Rhode Island in recent history. It will take months to determine the total financial impact on the pensioners.

Kilmartin Signed Off

According to sources close to the matter, somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 pension accounts will be impacted, but the exact number of individuals affected is not known.

The triggering event was a decision by the Diocese of Providence to exit the system. The fund is not connected to CharterCARE or their parent company, Prospect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Former Boy Scout recalls alleged abuse

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post

"Brouillard would swim completely naked and routinely instructed V.Q. and the other boys to remove their clothes. Brouillard would grope and touch their private parts."

– Lawsuit filed by attorney David Lujan on behalf of "V.Q."

In 1977, "V.Q." – using initials in recent court documents to protect his identity – joined the Mongmong Troop 18 Boy Scouts in hopes of participating in new activities and learning new things.

V.Q. said he was 14 when he joined the organization. He recalls attending meetings several times a week at the Nuestra Señora De Las Aguas Catholic Church in Mongmong to study the scout oaths and laws, and to practice marching, drills and map reading.

During those troop meetings, the boy met Father Louis Brouilard, who not only served as a priest for the Archdiocese of Agana but also as scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts.

According to a civil complaint filed yesterday in the District Court of Guam, during weekly outings with Brouillard to earn his swimming merit badge, V.Q. said he was sexually molested and abused on "numerous occasions" by the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Released from U.S. prison, former pastor deported to face alleged sex crimes in the UK

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

BOB ALLEN | AUGUST 18, 2017

U.S. immigration officials have deported a former British Baptist minister and convicted sexual predator wanted for additional alleged sex crimes in the United Kingdom.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Aug. 16 that upon his release from a Virginia prison, 53-year-old Robert John Dando was accompanied by deportation officers on a commercial flight from Washington Dulles International Airport to Heathrow Airport in London and turned over to authorities there.

Dando, one-time unpaid traveling assistant to British Baptist leader David Coffey when Coffey served as president of the Baptist World Alliance, appeared at Banbury Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. He is charged with 15 counts of sexual abuse relating to nine victims over 23 years. Charges include rape and sexual assault of boys in the south of England and Wales between 1986 and 2009.

At the time senior minister at Worcester Park Baptist Church in suburban London, Dando entered the United States in July 2010 under a program that allows citizens of certain countries into the country for tourism, business or while in transit up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa.

He was arrested in Oakton, Va., on July 24, 2010, and eventually pleaded guilty to four counts of sexually molesting the young sons of family friends while on visits to their Northern Virginia home over a period of several years. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in Fairfax County Circuit Court in 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Sex abuse and the seal of the confessional

AUSTRALIA
National Catholic Reporter

Aug 18, 2017

by Kieran Tapsell

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has just released its Criminal Justice Report in which it deals with many matters relating to the way child sexual abuse within institutions is handled by the Australian criminal justice system. In the course of that report, it recommends mandatory reporting of all suspected child sexual abuse within institutions and the creation of new offences of failing to take proper care to prevent such abuse.

One recommendation that understandably created some media interest is that there should be no exemption to the reporting requirements for information provided in confession.

The commission’s report produces convincing evidence, not only in Australia, but also overseas, that priest sex abusers used confession as a means of assuaging their guilt. It made it easier for them to repeat their crimes because confession was always available.

In a response to the report, Jesuit Fr. Frank Brennan stated that a civil law requirement for priests to break the seal of confession was unlikely to lead to better protection for children because abusers would not confess such matters if they knew they had to be reported. Brennan said that he would disobey any such law and accept the consequences.

Archbishop Denis Hart, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, in his response said that the secret of the confessional is a “fundamental part of the freedom of religion…and it must remain so here in Australia.” In an interview on ABC Radio, Hart said he would go to jail rather than breach the secret.

It is surprising that no church representative has mentioned a way in which the church could significantly reduce the risk of breach of the seal by a fairly simple change to canon law based on a problem that has a long history.

Ever since private confession became the practice in the church in the early Middle Ages, there has been a continual problem of priests soliciting sex in the confessional. The church was so worried about the practice that the Council of Treves in 1227 required such priests to be excommunicated. In 1622, Pope Gregory XV required penitents to denounce such priests to the Inquisition or to the bishop, and that confessors should advise penitents of their obligation to do so. In 1741, Pope Benedict XIV confirmed this decree, and added that absolution should be refused to solicited penitents until they denounced their confessors. He also decreed that only popes could give absolution to penitents who falsely accused priests of soliciting.

The persons solicited were mostly women, less so men, but rarely young children because until 1910, they did not go to confession until they reached the age of 12 to 14 years. In 2010, Pope Pius X reduced the age to 7 years thus broadening the opportunities for paedophiles to find their victims. A number of case studies examined by the Australian Royal Commission confirmed that such soliciting of young children in the confessional had occurred in Australia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Besieged Catholic Church is wounded, but will not fall

AUSTRALIA
The Weekend Australian

August 19, 2017

GREG CRAVEN
Columnist
Melbourne

Have things ever seemed worse for the Catholic Church in Australia? If it were a boxer, it would look tangled in the ropes, sliding towards the canvas and spitting blood. The past four years have been horrendous. Endless, horrifying accounts of historical child abuse. A royal commission relentlessly critiquing failures of bishops and processes. The media baying for yet more blood. Cardinal ­George Pell charged with abuse offences. The cardinal has the full presumption of innocence, but the communal trauma is palpable.

And now, a report from the commission eviscerating the Catholic sacrament of confession. How much worse can this get?

The entire spectacle has been relished by journalists, activists and downright bigots praying fervently to a non-existent God for the implosion of the Catholic Church. It would not be fair to say such critics have no interest in child abuse. No one can stomach the victimisation of children, by Catholics or others.

But to inveterate enemies of the church, the appalling reality of the scandal is incidental. They have battled Catholicism bitterly for decades on issues such as abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage. To anti-Catholic enthusiasts such as David Marr and Peter Fitzsimons, Catholicism has stood — if not alone, then lonely — against their self-focused creed of secular politics. This is their opportunity to kick the church hard when it is down. In normal circumstances, you could make these points without tarring and feathering. But these are not normal times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

The Bishop scandal-The other side

BOTSWANA
Mmegi blogs

By KGOSIETSILE NGAKAAGAE Fri 18 Aug 2017

It often takes a lifetime to build a reputation and a moment to have it all come crumbing down. Sexual scandals, in particular, make interesting reading but behind each, there is a hurting human being who may very well be totally innocent.

When news surrounding the resignation of the Roman Catholic Bishop broke out in a screaming headline last Friday, and went viral in social media, I paused to think of the hurt that the man was inevitably going through. I focused on him not out of lack of empathy for his accusers but because he was, at that moment, the one at the wrong end of the stick. Overnight, he had moved from being a symbol of all things right to one of all things wrong with the Catholic Church and the Christian clergy. His fate was sealed before his trial commenced. He stood disgraced, his reputation in tatters and social media gnawing at whatever remained of it.

I don’t know the Bishop from Jack. I have heard of him but I have never seen or met him. I do not purport to speak for him but purely for principle. Further, I do not know if he actually did the things he is alleged to have done. My point is that whilst it is impossible not to be concerned at such allegations, it is important to refrain from judgment on matters affecting people’s reputations until all facts are on the table. Any person would ask for that, similarly circumstanced. The need is especially pronounced in his case where, ex facie, the complaint as narrated, elicited more questions than answers. Let us consider the allegations, briefly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Ex-school officials accused of embezzling $3M from federal lunch program

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Emily Saul August 17, 2017

These Yeshiva school “suppers” were definitely not kosher.

Two former leaders of a prestigious, Brooklyn-based chain of Yeshivas are facing up to 20 years prison for claiming they were serving kids federally subsidized suppers five nights a week — and instead pocketing the $3 million in subsidies, the feds said Thursday.

Elozer Porges and Joel Lowy, formerly executive director and assistant director of Central United Talmudic Academy, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and fraud at their arraignment in Brooklyn federal court.

The yeshiva bigwigs had submitted phony documents claiming that between 2014 and 2016, low-income and at-risk children stayed late and ate supper every weeknight at three of their schools — at 762 Wythe Ave., 25 Franklin St. and 84-88 Sandford St. — the charges allege.

But while many of the schools’ kids ate federally subsidized breakfasts, lunches and snacks, they wouldn’t stay for supper, the feds said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

BOSTON GLOBE’S NEW ATTACK ON PRIESTS

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the Boston Globe’s selective concern about fatherless children:

The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team is out with another attack on the Catholic priesthood: this one a two-part series on “Children of Catholic priests” who “live with secrets and sorrow.”

Using a few highly publicized cases, and several anecdotal stories, reporter Michael Rezendes concludes that by “any reasonable measure, there are thousands” of children around the world “who have strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests.” Yet as he acknowledges, with over 400,000 priests worldwide, even if the unsubstantiated “thousands” estimate is accepted, that could amount to as little as one percent or less of priests having fathered a child. And as he further acknowledges, some of these priests “took their responsibility seriously.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Why a Nashville priest is reminding his congregation to report suspected child abuse immediately

TENNESSEE
Tennessean

Holly Meyer, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee Aug. 18, 2017

A Nashville priest reminded his congregation recently that suspected child abuse within their church community should be immediately reported to civil authorities.

Prompted by news of a lawsuit filed against Brentwood Academy, the Rev. Thomas McKenzie, who leads Church of the Redeemer, sent a letter to members reiterating the church's reporting policy.

"This is just one of those moments where it's now in the public consciousness and so I felt like we need to remind people of how this is supposed to be done," said McKenzie, whose church is not connected to the school.

The lawsuit accuses the prestigious Christian school of not protecting a 12-year-old boy from repeated sexual assaults by teen boys in a locker room at the school.

McKenzie emphasized that he did not know what happened at Brentwood Academy, but the allegations prompted the need to revisit the congregation's responsibility to children in its care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Brooklyn Hasidic school officials busted for stealing federal meal program cash

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
ANDREW KESHNER
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Two ex-administrators at a Brooklyn Hasidic school system are accused of taking food out of the mouths of children.

Elozer Porges, 43, and Joel Lowy, 29, formerly of the Central United Talmudic Academy, were indicted Thursday on charges that they bilked a federal school meal program out of $3 million — putting in claims on food that was never served.

Brooklyn federal prosecutors said the unreal meal scheme took place between 2013 and 2015. They said the pair padded reimbursement claims so they could reap larger checks from the U.S. Child and Adult Care Food Program — a program meant to feed at-risk children.

The FBI and the city Department of Investigation launched a joint investigation into the reimbursement process in 2014 — specifically looking at whether dinners were actually served at the Williamsburg schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

The Catholic Church Can Start Fixing Itself by Changing Its Celibacy Rule

MASSACHUSETTS
Esquire

A new Spotlight investigation in The Boston Globe shows it's high time.

BY CHARLES P. PIERCE
AUG 17, 2017

Now that all that pesky Oscar Buzz has died down, it's important to note that my old Boston Phoenix running buddy, Mike Rezendes, is Still On The Case. As part of The Boston Globe's Spotlight team, Mike has written a sad and remarkable series about people who are the sons and daughters of purportedly celibate Roman Catholic clergy, and the shameful abandonment of those people by the institution for which their fathers worked.

Jim Graham couldn't know in that moment that the stunning secret which had seemed his alone was not that unusual. By any reasonable measure, there are thousands of others who have strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests, though most are unaware that they have so much company in their pain. In Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, and other countries, in American cities big and small — indeed, virtually anywhere the church has a presence — the children of priests form an invisible legion of secrecy and neglect, a Spotlight Team review has found. Their exact number can't be known, but with more than 400,000 priests worldwide, many of them inconstant in their promise of celibacy, the potential for unplanned children is vast.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Retired Diocese Of New Ulm Priest Facing Allegation Of Sexual Abuse

MINNESOTA
KEYC

By Kelsey Barchenger, Morning/Midday Anchor

A retired priest with the Diocese of New Ulm faces an allegation of sexual abuse.

A statement from the diocese says police and parishioners have been notified.

The alleged abuse dates back to the 1990s when Fr. James Devorak was assigned to the St. Pius X parish in Glencoe.

A statement from Bishop John LeVoir goes on to say Fr. Devorak's last assignment in the Diocese of New Ulm ended in July of 2015 and the Diocese is unaware of any other abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Clergy sex abuse suit says former priest Brouillard swam naked, molested Scouts

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 18, 2017

A former Boy Scout accused former priest Louis Brouillard of sexually abusing him around 1977 or 1978 at Lonfit River, according to a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Guam.

The accuser, identified in court documents only by his initials V.Q., filed a $10 million lawsuit Friday afternoon against Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and its Aloha Council Chamorro District.

V.Q., represented by attorney David J. Lujan, is the 98th person to file a childhood sexual abuse lawsuit on Guam involving the Catholic Church.

As Scouts, V.Q. and other boys were required to meet several times a week at the Nuestra Senora De Las Aguas Catholic Church in Mongmong, the complaint says.

The lawsuit says Brouillard's sexually predatory practices included weekly outings in which he would take V.Q. and other Scouts to the Lonfit River in Ordot Chalan Pago to compete for their swimming badges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Brokenshire criticised on historical abuse compensation

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

Victims of institutional abuse have said they are angry that NI Secretary James Brokenshire will not to use his powers to make interim compensation payments.

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry recommended a state apology and compensation for victims.

The collapse of Stormont in January meant the process was put on hold.

A spokesperson said Mr Brokenshire had made "no decisions" on the issue.

The government spokesperson added that it "remains a devolved issue" and that abuse compensation was "one of the many reasons (Mr Brokenshire) remains determined to get an NI Executive back up and running".

"He continues to urge the parties to seek urgent resolution to restore the executive so that a response can be provided to Sir Anthony's (HIA) report at the earliest opportunity."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Abuse commission may need secret volumes

AUSTRALIA
7 News

Lisa Martin
AAP

The royal commission into child sex abuse may need to have separate public and confidential volumes in order to avoid prejudicing Cardinal George Pell's legal case.

The final report is expected to be in the order of 15,000 pages long and goes to the federal government on December 15.

AAP understands the commission and government are grappling with potential legal issues over the Pell case.

The royal commission has only examined Pell's handling of abuse allegations against other clergy in the church while he was Melbourne Archbishop and a Ballarat priest and not claims against him personally.

Pell, Australia's highest-ranking Catholic official and ranked number three in the Vatican, was charged in June with multiple historical sex offence charges involving multiple complainants.

There has been speculation in legal circles that the public release of the final report and Melbourne and Ballarat case studies may have to be delayed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Bishop says sanctity of confession must be upheld

AUSTRALIA
Wollondilly Advertiser

The region’s highest-ranking Catholic does not believe priests should be compelled to report child abuse admissions made during the sanctity of Confession.

Bishop Peter Ingham, head of the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong – which encompasses the entire Macarthur region – says Catholic faith dictates the Seal of Confession “cannot be broken” and it is equally important to “preserve the sanctity” of confession and “protect, defend and help children”.

He said it was not an “either or” situation, but rather a “both and”.

The Bishop has clarified his position in response to a recent recommendation out of the Royal Commission into child abuse within the Catholic church.

The recommendation suggested priests should be compelled by law to report to authorities any instances of child abuse admitted to them during Confession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Child safety trumps sanctity of Catholic Church's confessionals

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Editorial

It is understandable that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Australia is resistant to the recommendation by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that priests be legally compelled to report to police information received via the confessional. But the church's hostility is not reasonable, and legislators should implement this and other recommendations in the commission's Criminal Justice Report, one of the publications flowing from the four-year investigation.

Transgression of the centuries-old seal of the confessional (the duty of priests to never divulge what penitents have confessed) is penalised with automatic excommunication. The commission has heard evidence of the misuse of the confessional. Priests guilty of serial child rape have used it to seek absolution before repeating their crime. Predatory paedophile priests have used it to groom victims. The commission concludes: "The report recommends there be no exemption, excuse, protection or privilege from the offence granted to clergy for failing to report information disclosed in connection with a religious confession."

That is a just and logical proposal. Notwithstanding the separation of church and state (which protects religious freedom, entrusts lawmaking to the polity and enshrines a secular society), priests, like everyone else, are not above the law. Mandatory reporting is seen as effective in other professions that work with children. Tradition per se is an insufficient argument against change. The priority is the protection of children. The seal of the confessional has protected paedophile priests.

The commission's other recommendations include: allowing multiple victims to give evidence against a single alleged abuser; increased sentences for historical offences; criminalising an institution's failure to protect a child or report abuse; and stronger anti-grooming laws. The rule of law – and the associated principles that we are all equal under the law and that justice is blind – is fundamental to our social, economic and political stability. In this case of a clash between canonical law (law stemming from papal edict) and statute, it is in the public interest that child protection trump all other considerations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Magdalene Laundries campaigner calls for removal of Sisters of Mercy statue in Dublin

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Claire Fox and Cillian Sherlock
August 17 2017

A Magdalene Laundries campaigner has called for the removal of a statue dedicated to the Sisters of Mercy outside a former laundry in Dublin.

Patricia McDonald, founder of Justice for Magdalene Laundries, told Joe Duffy on RTE Radio One's Liveline that the statue of a nun welcoming a poor woman and baby outside the Sisters of Mercy convent does not reflect the suffering that women experienced at the laundry.

"It does not record the actual reality of suffering and distress experienced by generations of women. It's inappropriate. I'm not decrying the piece. It's a nice piece of art," she said.

Ms McDonald grew up in the Baggot Street area of Dublin and recalled how she would see the women emerging from the back of laundry but didn't understand the significance of what they were doing.

"I remembered as a child seeing huge wooden doors open occasionally and steam coming out and women in uniforms appearing out in the lane way. As a child I didn't know the significance of that and that it was in fact a laundry," she added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 AM

UNCHASTE PRIESTS SIRE CHILDREN, SCANDAL

MASSACHUSETTS
Church Militant

by Stephen Wynne • ChurchMilitant.com • August 17, 2017

New investigation uncovers more evidence of Church in crisis

BOSTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Fifteen years after its bombshell report on clerical sex abuse, the Boston Globe is again throwing light on a dark corner of the Church — this time exposing the plight of children fathered by unchaste priests.

In a two-part series published Wednesday and Thursday, the paper released findings from an investigation led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Rezendes, who in 2002 first unmasked the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.

Rezendes' new report reveals that across the world, thousands of people are uncovering "strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests." The prevalence of the phenomenon is such that in 2014, Vincent Doyle, the son of an Irish priest, established Coping International, an organization devoted to providing support to offspring of Catholic priests and religious.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 AM

Sexual abuse: Catholic priests must confess to regain our shaken faith

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Nick O'Malley

Father Michael McArdle was reportedly so distressed by his acts of child sexual abuse in Queensland that he would often seek the succour of the confessional. Over a 25-year period, before he was convicted in 2002, he confessed to sexually assaulting children an estimated 1500 times to 30 different priests. In keeping with Catholic tradition in Australia, the priests did not report to his crimes to authorities, but moved him on to different parishes, to greener pastures.

McArdle's case resonates this week because on Monday the royal commission into child sex abuse released 85 recommendations on improvements to the criminal justice system. Among them was the proposal that the seal of the religious confessional be broken and that clergy who fail to report child abuse revealed in confession face criminal prosecution, just as anyone else in Australia would. Since the Catholic Church is the only major religion in Australia that still insists its canon law be held above secular law in this regard, this was rightly seen as a challenge, and the Catholic Church, defensive of its significant privileges, responded.

On Tuesday Melbourne's archbishop, Denis Hart, told the ABC: "I believe that this is an absolutely sacrosanct communication of a higher order which priests by nature respect, they don't ever want to do anything that would hurt children," he said.

Writing for Fairfax Media this week, Father Frank Brennan said he would go to jail before abiding by such a law and sought to explain his reasoning. "Common sense tells me that a sex abuser would be even less likely to present for confession if he knew that the confessional seal did not apply," he wrote. "If the seal of the confessional were maintained, there is a chance, just a chance, that a child sex abuser might be convinced by the priest to turn himself in. Take away the seal, and that ever so slim chance will be snuffed out."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 AM

Alleged Catholic School Sex Abuse Victim Sues Legion of Christ

CONNECTICUT/NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Connecticut Law Tribune

ROBERT STORACE, The Connecticut Law Tribune
August 17, 2017

A 48-year-old California man allegedly raped as a teenager by an employee at the Connecticut-based Legion of Christ has filed a federal lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, claims the victim identified only as John Doe was first sexually assaulted at the now-defunct Immaculate Conception Apostolic School in New Hampshire when he was 13 years old. The teenager was allegedly raped every two to three weeks for about three and half years at the Roman Catholic boarding school for boys grades 7-12.

Cheshire-based Legion of Christ oversaw the school.

It's alleged that a man known as Brother Fernando Cutanda abused John Doe and another boy at the school, and that officials did nothing to stop it, according to the lawsuit. John Doe claims he told Father Patrick O'Carroll about the alleged abuse during confession, he was told to pray "five rosaries for his sins, gave him penance and said 'God will take care of things.'"

Jeffrey Herman, one of John Doe's three attorneys, said his client "is strong, but deeply damaged. He thought it was time to come forward."

Herman said Cutanda allegedly "groomed" the boy for sex. Herman said he does not know where Cutanda is today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 AM

MARIST BROTHERS: SCHOOL DIRECTOR ADMITS ABUSING STUDENT

ARGENTINA
Associated Press

BY ALMUDENA CALATRAVA
ASSOCIATED PRESS

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- The general director of an elite school founded by the Marist Brothers in Argentina has admitted he sexually abused a student 38 years ago, an official for the order said Thursday.

Gonzalo Santa Coloma, the order's official for protecting children in Buenos Aires province, told The Associated Press that Brother Angel Duples acknowledged the abuse after the order began an investigation following a report by a former student who had talked with the victim.

At the time of the abuse, Duples was a lay brother working at a branch of the Champagnat school on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. He has been director of the school's main branch in downtown Buenos Aires over the past decade.

"I asked him: Did this really happen or is it just another tale? And he told me that it had happened, that there was fondling," Santa Coloma said in recounting a conversation he had with Duples.

"He realizes the seriousness of this issue and the evil that he might have done," the official said, adding that Duples asked to be removed from his duties at the school.

Santa Coloma declined to let AP contact Duples, saying he is "depressed and medicated" and has been sent to a nursing home owned by the Marist Brothers where he has no contact with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 AM

August 17, 2017

The Editors: A threat to the confessional seal anywhere is a threat to it everywhere

UNITED STATES
America

The Editors

In a scene reminiscent of many Hollywood movies, Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne has announced that he would rather go to prison than report an allegation of sexual abuse he heard during a sacramental confession. “It is a sacred trust,” Hart told a radio station in Melbourne on Aug. 15. Archbishop Hart’s defense of the confessional seal was prompted by a report released the day before by Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that included a recommendation to criminalize priests’ failures to report sexual abuse heard during confession. While the commissioners noted the Catholic mandate that the seal never be broken, “we heard evidence of a number of instances where disclosures of child sexual abuse were made in religious confession, by both victims and perpetrators,” the report added.

In 2012 in Ireland, horror at the extent of sexual abuse of minors (as well as a gimlet eye toward a church that had long operated with a heavy hand in Irish civic life) led legislators to propose a similar law. Here in the United States, legislative battles have been waged from Louisiana to Massachusetts to California over “confession carve-outs” in laws that allow for exemptions to mandated reporting for sacramental confessions.

Such stories always draw media attention, in part because of our cultural obsession (and not just among Catholics) with the mysteries and terrors of the confessional box. Nary a cop drama has existed in the history of television without a police officer hiding in a confessional to hear evidence of a crime. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1953 film “I Confess” has as its major plot point a priest who hears a murderer’s confession; the 1994 film “Priest”also features a cleric who is unable to act on a confession of sexual abuse because of the inviolability of the seal.

To the secular mind, the confessional seal is madness—a loophole in the law, a violation of state neutrality with regard to religion, a “medieval law” (to quote a member of the Australian Parliament), a tool for institutional corruption and coverup. And who, after all, wants to see abusers hide behind the sacraments?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

BOGUS LAWSUIT ENDS

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a lawsuit brought against him and the Catholic League:

At every step of the way, a lawsuit filed by Rebecca Randles against me and the Catholic League was knocked down by the courts. I never libeled anyone, and she knows it. She lost in the U.S. District Court, and then lost again in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. She wisely decided not to appeal her bogus lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court, though it would have been fun to watch her lose again.

Randles tried to silence me, and she failed. She should have known better.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

When I was 16, I went to confession. I wish the priest had reported what I'd told him

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Mary-Rose MacColl

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has said he’ll risk going to jail rather than report what’s said to him in the sacrament of confession, even if what’s confessed relates to child sexual abuse.

His latest comments, made on ABC radio, were responding to a recommendation from the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse to make reporting child sexual abuse allegations mandatory in institutions including when an allegation is made in religious confession. Failure to report would be a criminal offence.

The recommendation is one of a suite of proposed reforms to improve transparency and reporting of sexual abuse and improve the law’s effectiveness to apprehend sexual abusers and protect children.

Archbishop Hart wouldn’t report something said in confession by a child who’s been abused or by an abuser. Non-Catholics don’t understand confession, he said. Confession is sacrosanct, above the law, which is what makes it different from other forms of telling. It’s communication with God of a higher order.

Like many Catholics, I spent my childhood in fortnightly confession and frankly I don’t understand confession either. I recall the queasy light and the slightly creepy whispering of the priest in that little tardis of shame that sat on one side of the church. I got the same penance every fortnight by making up the same sins. I’d say I lied, I stole, because I couldn’t think of any actual sins. My penance was always a couple of Hail Marys.

The seal of confession, its secrecy, was important, we were told in religion class at school. A priest was hanged for a murder he didn’t commit because he wouldn’t reveal the murderer’s true identity, which he’d learned through confession. That’s how tight the seal was. It amazed us.

When I was 16, I went to confession for real. I’d been sexually abused by a Catholic high school teacher and her husband. I went to see a priest on the suggestion of one of my abusers, because I was so upset.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Former Hutchinson priest accused of sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
Hutchinson Leader

BY JEREMY JONES jones@hutchinsonleader.com Aug 17, 2017

Glencoe Police Chief Jim Raiter confirmed Thursday morning that police are investigating an accusation of sexual abuse against the Rev. James Devorak.

Devorak was assigned to St. Pius X parish in Glencoe from 1985 to 1995, and at St. Anastasia parish in Hutchinson and St. Boniface parish of Stewart from 1995 to 2000.

According to the New Ulm Diocese, he has been accused of sexual abuse while serving in Glencoe. Raiter said he could provide no other details about the investigation.

“Police, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and affected parishes are being notified of this allegation,” Bishop John M. LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm said in a statement. “Fr. Devorak is a retired priest of the Diocese of New Ulm. His last assignment in the Diocese of New Ulm ended in July 2015. From July 2015 to July 31, 2017, he was assigned within the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis as a parochial vicar.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

A Guardian column has literally called on the Catholic church to protect the secrets of child rapists [EDITORIAL]

UNITED KINGDOM
The Canary

AUGUST 17TH, 2017 Kerry-anne Mendoza

The Guardian has published a call that confidentiality rules should protect Catholics who admit to child sexual abuse in confession. While the author rightly calls on us to consider our own humanity, she neglects entirely the issue of widespread child abuse within the church. Abuse is about shame, and silence. And it’s time to break both.

The priest abuse scandal

First, we need to set the piece in the context of the priest abuse scandal. Representatives of the Roman Catholic church have engaged in child sexual abuse on an industrial scale.

The church abused children in the US, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Malta, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, Ireland, the Dominican Republic and Australia. From local priests to cardinals, church leaders conspired to rape and sexually assault children; and protect each other (and the church) from justice. In 2012, experts advised the Vatican that there could be 100,000 victims of clerical child sexual abuse in the US alone.

Australia provided one of the most robust responses to the scandal. It launched a royal commission into both the abuse and the cover up, with extraordinary powers of subpoena. And it found that, between 1950 and 2015, 7% of Australian priests were accused of abusing children. In some orders, up to 40% of brothers had allegations of abuse against them. The commission later established a key reason that so few accusations ever made it to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

What’s going on in the Philippines, Part Two: The Horror Story

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

August 17, 2017 Joelle Casteix

Rita Milla had a horror story.

It was a story that no one could believe.

It was 1978. The California teenager said she was being sexually abused by seven priests from the Philippines. She was 16.

Who would believe a horrible story like that?

The abuse continued.

Then she got pregnant. One of the priests, Santiago Tamayo, urged her to have an abortion. When she wouldn’t, he and the father of the child, Father Valentine Tugade, convinced Rita’s mother to send the now-19-year-old to the Philippines, where she could have the child in secret. Rita’s mother didn’t know her daughter was pregnant.

Rita gave birth to a healthy and beautiful daughter. In 1983, Rita went public.

Milla and her family demanded answers from the Archdiocese. All hell broke loose.

Scattered priests

The priests scattered … All under the protection of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and bishops in the Philippines.

Why? Rita’s allegations had merit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

Evil hid behind handy seal of confession

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

CHRISSIE FOSTER
The Australian
August 18, 2017

This week saw the publication of the Criminal Justice report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It calls for sweeping change to the Catholic Church’s seal of confession.

The confessional seal can be hideous: it has been proven to be so in the case of former Catholic priest Michael McArdle and shows emphatically why change is needed.

This case is not from some far-away Third World country; it is from here in Australia, in Queensland. It is an expose of blatant criminal behaviour that can be hidden by the confessional seal — a noxious secret between a priest and a pedophile colleague that facilitates and enables heinous crimes to continue and be swept under the carpet at the expense of children, their lives and their wellbeing, all of which neither sinner nor holy forgiver give a damn about.

It is rare to obtain powerful insight into a pedophile’s private, secret confessions because the “good” priest will not tell and neither will the criminal priest … usually. That’s what makes the Mc­Ardle case gold; this one example we have needs careful examination because it exposes what happens behind the private and closed seal of the confessional for criminal child clergy rapists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

A priest’s son takes his case directly to the Pope

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Michael Rezendes
Photos by Suzanne Kreiter, Globe Staff August 17, 2017

This is one story in a two-part Spotlight series. Click here to read part one.

HE CARRIED HIS DOUBTS and disappointment across miles and decades, from childhood to adulthood, and finally at the age of 48 to the kitchen table of a modest house outside of Buffalo. There, he would ask an elderly aunt and uncle to help him answer the question that had troubled him all his life: Why had his father always seemed to dislike him so much?

With his parents already dead, Jim Graham pleaded with his Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Otto to tell him the truth about his family. Finally, Kathryn unfolded a newsletter published by a Catholic religious order and slid it across the table. She jabbed a finger at a picture of a sad, balding figure wearing a priest’s clerical collar.

“Only the principals know for sure,” she said, “but this may be your father.”

Jim Graham studied the picture. Those were his eyes, his nose, his mouth. Then he skimmed the obituary of the priest, the Rev. Thomas Sullivan, a cleric who had graduated from Boston College and trained for the priesthood in Tewksbury.

If a life can have a crystallizing moment, for Jim Graham that 1993 meeting was it, discovering that his father might have been a Catholic priest, rather than John Graham, the distant man who raised him with scarcely a kind or comforting word.

Jim Graham couldn’t know in that moment that the stunning secret which had seemed his alone was not that unusual. By any reasonable measure, there are thousands of others who have strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests, though most are unaware that they have so much company in their pain. In Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, and other countries, in American cities big and small — indeed, virtually anywhere the church has a presence — the children of priests form an invisible legion of secrecy and neglect, a Spotlight Team review has found.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

He molested a child twice in a church van and now a former pastor gets his day in court

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

BY JEFF CLARK
jclark@sunherald.com

AUGUST 16, 2017

A former pastor at a Pearl River County church is facing jail time after pleading guilty to two sex crime charges in Hancock County.

The Sea Coast Echo reports that David Matthew Thorne, 35, of Picayune, on Monday pleaded guilty in Hancock County Circuit Court to one count of sexual battery and one count of touching a child for lustful purposes. He will be sentenced Sept. 25.

Thorne was arrested in March 2016 for molesting a 15-year-old girl in a church van while he was the youth pastor at Goodyear Baptist Church in Picayune.

He was also arrested on a charge of sexual battery, his third sex crime charge, in Pearl River County less than 24 hours after his arrest in Hancock County. The alleged crimes came under investigation after the child’s parents notified law enforcement officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Spidaro-Figueroa Article and the Media: Ad Majorem Francis Gloriam

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Betty Clermont

The phrase Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam – For the Greater Glory of God – is the motto of the Jesuits and their founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola. The point of Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro and Presbyterian pastor Marcelo Figueroa’s July 13 article in the Jesuit weekly, La Civiltà Cattolica, is the greater glory of Pope Francis. He is the “courageous” pontiff opposed to the “ecumenism of hate” formed by American “Evangelical fundamentalists and Catholic Integralists.”

Spadaro is an Italian theologian and editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, the content of which is approved by the Vatican Secretariat of State. Spadaro’s book, Cybertheology: Thinking Christianity in the Era of the Internet, was published in 2012. He built a website in the early ‘90s, then a blog, “was on Twitter in 2005 and Facebook pretty much as soon as it opened to the public,” he said in an interview.

Spadaro was contacted by Pope Francis shortly after his election. His first interview with the pope eventually took place soon after “Who am I to judge,” taken out of context, made headlines and went viral. The comment by the pope in Spadaro’s interview that “It is not necessary to talk about abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods all the time,” extracted from a very lengthy interview, also made headlines.

Spadaro did several more interviews with Pope Francis becoming his “mouthpiece” and one of his “trusted advisers.”

The Argentine Figueroa is a longtime friend of Pope Francis. The pope was not satisfied with the Spanish edition of the official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, as directed by the Argentine Silvina Pérez, according to Vatican reporter, Sandro Magister. He wanted an edition just for Argentina to “promote direct access to [his] actions, gestures and texts,” wrote papal biographer, Austen Ivereigh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Opinion: Confessional seal does not protect children from predators

AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

Terry Sweetman, The Courier-Mail

POLITICS is where good ideas go to die, to be crushed by raw numbers, suffocated by belief or prejudice, or left to perish in the face of expediency.

One such good idea is the recommendation by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse that priests be forced to accept the same legal responsibilities as the rest of us.

Among its wish list of 85 recommendations was that failing to report child sexual abuse be a criminal offence and there should be “no excuse, protection, nor privilege” for priests who fail to alert police because the information was received in confession.

The commission noted evidence of multiple cases in which priest penitents went unreported, unpunished, and protected.

Worse, it heard of cases where abuse disclosed by child victims was kept close to the confessional chest.

“We are satisfied that confession is a forum where Catholic children have disclosed their sexual abuse and where clergy have disclosed their abusive behaviour in order to deal with their own guilt,’’ it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

A Hunter child sex offender priest and the price of power

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
17 Aug 2017

IN October, 1995 a Hunter Catholic priest took down a short statement from a woman who had been sexually abused by a priest from when she was eight, once while he was hearing her confession.

The child sex offender priest was Denis McAlinden, an Irish cleric sent to Australia at the age of 26.

The woman told of repeated sexual abuse over three or four years.

I’ve spoken with her many times. I’ve spoken with two other McAlinden victims who were also sexually assaulted by him while in the confessional.

If you go to the Vatican website and find the Code of Canon Law it includes Canon 1387. It says that a priest who “under the pretext of confession solicits a penitent to sin against the sixth commandment” – thou shalt not commit adultery – “is to be punished . . . by suspension, prohibitions and privations”. In graver cases “he is to be dismissed from the clerical state”.

It’s accepted by some theologians that the sixth commandment covers the whole of human sexuality, and not just the strict interpretation of adultery. In other words, sexually abusing a child in the confessional could invoke Canon 1387.

Documents show retiring Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Leo Clarke, Father Brian Lucas, incoming bishop Michael Malone and the priest who took the statement had roles to play in an unsuccessful attempt to defrock McAlinden in 1995, with his “good name protected by the confidential nature of this process”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Kluwgant quits Adass

AUSTRALIA
Australian Jewish News

RABBI Meir Shlomo Kluwgant has resigned as principal and CEO of Melbourne’s Adass Israel School.

The AJN can reveal that Rabbi Kluwgant tendered his resignation because of concerns raised by child sexual abuse survivor Dassi Erlich, who met with the board last month.

Erlich was sexually abused by former Adass principal Malka Leifer, who was spirited out of the country by members of the Adass community in 2008 after allegations of her abuse became public.

Welcoming news of Rabbi Kluwgant’s resignation, Erlich told The AJN, “I feel heartened that I was able to speak out for the students past and present of the school and the school board heard my concerns and acted. It really gives me hope that the school is moving in the right direction and positive change is happening.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

New study shows link between hunger in residential schools and long term health issues

CANADA
Regina Leader-Post

Jennifer Ackerman, Regina Leader-Post

Conrad Weenie was diagnosed with diabetes in 1997. Now 53 years old, he has lost a leg due to complications and is close to losing another. Once that happens, he’ll go from getting around on crutches into a wheelchair.

He said the results of a recent study that show a link between hunger and malnutrition in residential schools and long-term health issues, such as obesity and diabetes, in Indigenous peoples doesn’t surprise him at all.

“My grandfather raised me … He went to he Delmas residential school and he told me stories about what they ate, the nuns and priests, they had all the good food and (the students) were just given porridge all the time,” said Weenie who attended the North Central Health Fair and BBQ on Wednesday.

“They only ate good once a year and that was Christmastime he told me. But most of the time it was just the church, the priests and the nuns, that ate all the good food and the Indians were … hungry all the time,” said Weenie.

He attended the health fair, which focused on diabetes risk awareness, after a home care worker told him about it. Hosted by Diabetes Canada at the Rainbow Youth Centre in the North Central neighbourhood, the fair provided an opportunity for residents to get a diabetes risk assessment done as well as get information about resources available to them in the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Residential school survivor remembers hunger that never went away

CANADA
APTN National News

August 16, 2017

Shirley McLean
APTN National News

Emma Shorty still remembers her days at the Chooutla residential school and more specifically, the hunger that went along with it.

“There was hardly any food,” Shorty told APTN National News.

According to a study by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the severe hunger and malnutrition students faced at residential schools are still causing health issues for Indigenous peoples today including diabetes, and obesity.

Co-author Ian Mosby said previous research on malnutrition in schools, along with testimony from survivors, was the basis for the report.

“What we found was what many survivors have talked about is this unending hunger,” said Mosby.

Read the CMAJ Report here: Hunger was never absent

Shorty was born on her family trap line in 1933.

At the age of four, she was taken from her family and placed in Chooutla in Carcross, Yukon.

“The food wasn’t good and they said it was because of world war two but we could have eaten better,” said Shorty.

According to the Shorty, students often had to fend for themselves to eat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Military clergy struggle with directive to report sexual misconduct, documents show

CANADA
CBC News

By Murray Brewster, CBC News Posted: Aug 17, 2017

The Canadian military's marching orders for chaplains who counsel perpetrators or victims of sexual misconduct is causing a crisis of conscience for some clergy, federal documents reveal.

A series of morale and welfare reports obtained by CBC News under Access to Information legislation show the issue of pastors being compelled to testify in court has become a matter of increasing unease among military clergy.

"There is concern by chaplains that they are potentially breaching the confidentiality of those receiving spiritual care," said a March 2015 summary prepared by the military chaplain general's office. Moreover, the report said, "the existing framework for legal assistance to chaplains does not provide legal advice for them."

Pastors on bases along the West Coast seemed the most concerned about the ethical dilemma, and at one point they consulted with the regional prosecutor's office to review legal issues related to chaplain confidentiality in courts martial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Catholic school teacher convicted of child rape freed early

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly.com

A former parochial-school teacher, whose conviction of sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy from Northeast Philadelphia years was thrown out amid questions about his accuser’s truthfulness, has pleaded no contest to a lesser crime, a decision that allowed him to be released from prison.

Rather than face a new trial, Bernard Shero, 54, a former teacher at St. Jerome school, pleaded no contest Monday to less serious child rape and assault charges and was sentenced to the roughly four years in prison he has already served.

In 2013, Shero was convicted in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, child endangerment, corruption of a minor, and indecent assault, and sentenced to eight to 16 years in prison. He was released Wednesday.

George Bochetto, one of Shero’s lawyers, said he was “deeply, deeply concerned with the way the prosecution took place in this matter.”

Prosecutors declined to comment on the ruling or the plea, citing ongoing litigation in related cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Sandhurst Bishop Les Tomlinson backs right to seal of confession

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

Emma D'Agostino
@amassedmedia

17 Aug 2017

SANDHURST Bishop Les Tomlinson has defended the sanctity of confession, despite recommendations to prioritise children’s safety from sexual abuse.

The bishop’s comments were prompted by a report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

One of its 85 recommendations was to enforce failure to report offences for information about child sexual abuse that was disclosed during, or in connection with, religious confession.

“There should be no excuse, protection nor privilege in relation to religious confessions for the failure to report offence,” the report states.

The writers said they understood the significance of confession. But they said they had heard evidence of confessions relating to child sexual abuse that were not reported to police, and resulted in re-offending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Pope Francis calls clergy child abuse 'an absolute monstrosity' in foreword to victim's book

ROME
Christian Today

James Macintyre 17 August 2017

Pope Francis has branded the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests an 'absolute monstrosity' and pledged action against the perpetrators as well as bishops and cardinals who have protected them.

The Pope made the comments in the foreword of a new book entitled Father, I Forgive You: Abused But Not Broken, written by a Swiss man, Daniel Pittet, who was first raped by a priest when he was eight years old.

Pope Francis, whose repeated promises of zero tolerance have been criticised by victims who say the Vatican needs to do much more, called sexual abuse 'an absolute monstrosity, a terrible sin that contradicts everything that the Church teaches'.

The Pope's foreword was published on Wednesday by the German daily newspaper Bild.

Francis said that the fate of abused children, especially those who had taken their own lives, weighed on his soul.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

No Justice in ‘Notorious’ Catholic Priest Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Metro

Described by a Philadelphia grand jury in 2005 as one of the most notorious serial abusers in Philadelphia, Catholic priest Rev. James J. Brzyski was never charged. Now, a man who says he was one of his victims is speaking out.

John-Michael Delaney, 46, of Sevierville, Tennessee, grew up in the Fox Chase section of Northeast Philly and attended St. Cecilia's Catholic school where he lived with his mother and stepfather, as well as his little sister, who is now a Philadelphia police detective.

“My earliest memory of church was my first confession. I became an altar boy. Father James J. Bryzski was the head of the altar boys. That's when the abuse started,” said Delaney. “I was raped by the time I was 13. He befriended my family and was at our house a lot inviting us to the rectory all while he was molesting me and at least a dozen other boys in St. Cecilia’s.”

This shocking and detailed information is told in graphic detail in the 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report. Delaney was identified as “Sean” in the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Group calls on Bishop Malesic to acknowledge link between clergy sexual abuse and opioid epidemic

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

STEPHEN HUBA | Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017

A group of Catholic lay people and clergy is calling on Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic and other church hierarchs to acknowledge that the clergy sexual abuse scandal is feeding the opioid epidemic.

“He's got to take some responsibility,” said Tom Venditti, founder of Faithful Catholics Against Pedophilia.

Venditti of Bolivar said he founded FCAP earlier this year to help victims of clergy sexual abuse and encourage them to stay in the Catholic Church.

The group held a news conference Wednesday prior to the last of seven Summer Diocesan Drug Education and Prayer Service Evenings led by Malesic. The final event was held at St. Thomas More University Parish in Indiana Borough.

Venditti said he wanted to address “Malesic's failure to acknowledge clerical sexual abuse as a doorway to heroin abuse and death.”

“We're here specifically because one of the things you're not going to hear tonight … is that the majority of victims of clergy sexual abuse become addicts, whether it's to alcohol or heroin or other hard drugs,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Church reform groups support call for Year of the Laity

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Aug 17, 2017
by Peter Feuerherd

Emboldened by Pope Francis, church reformers are endorsing a call by the Brazilian bishops for a Year of the Laity, expanded to include conferences and observances around the world from November of this year until November 2018.

The meetings will focus on why "the people of God need to be treated equally in the church" and "the people taking the Gospel out into the world," Rene Reid, director of Catholic Church Reform International, told NCR.

Groups lining up in support of the Year of the Laity include Catholic Church Reform International as well as Call to Action, she said. Participants from those groups will be urging an increased role for the laity in the church. They will promote lay participation in the selection of bishops, an end to mandatory celibacy for clergy and openness to allowing the Eucharist for divorced and remarried Catholics as well as the LGBTQ community.

Reid said the impetus for the movement comes from Pope Francis. "He wants the people of God to step up and take a leadership role, and we are," she said.

Catholic Church Reform International began in 2013, after Reid took a pilgrimage to Spain, walking the Camino de Santiago and reflecting upon Pope Francis' call for change in the church. A writer, former religious and director of religious education, Reid, based in Reno, Nevada, was inspired to connect church reform groups around the world. Thanks to the internet, she has made extensive connections.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

August 16, 2017

Boston Globe Spotlight Team Uncovers Secret Children Of Catholic Priests

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – One of the Boston Globe reporters made famous in the movie “Spotlight” has a new bombshell story on the Catholic Church – thousands of people claim they were fathered by priests.

Globe Spotlight reporter Michael Rezendes appeared on CBS This Morning Wednesday to discuss the first part of his report, “Children of Catholic Priests Live with Secrets and Sorrow.”

“We know there are many more than people assume, probably in the thousands. Just recently, about two years ago, a son of a priest in Ireland set up a website called Coping International and he’s heard from scores of people from all over the world who are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests,” Rezendes said.

Rezenedes first heard from a man named Jim Graham, who’s profiled in the Globe story.

“Jim spent many years tracking down evidence that a priest was his father. I was impressed with what he suffered, the pain he endured, and I was impressed with his detective work, but still it was just one person and it wasn’t until Vincent Doyle called me and gave me the information he collected through his website that I realized this was a systemic situation and deserved my full attention,” Rezendes said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 PM

Pastor blindfolded and hit children with belts and wires while shouting 'Jesus'

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By William Watkinson
August 16, 2017

A south London pastor who blindfolded children then hit them with belts and wires while shouting "Jesus" at them has been spared jail.

Croydon Crown Court heard how Rose Amadasun, from Beauchamp Road, South Norwood,
The investigating detective said that he came up against "resistance" from the congregation "as they closed ranks to protect their religious leader" before she was convicted.

An investigation was triggered after two members of the public said they had witnessed the 49-year-old hitting children with a belt while shouting "Jesus" aggressively at them.

It was then that detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command began their investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Another pastor charged with raping a minor

JAMAICA
Loop

A pastor and businessman from the Corporate Area has been charged with five sexual offences in relation to a minor.

The accused is 55-year-old Kenneth Blake of a Kingston address.

Officers from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) charged the minister with rape, forcible abduction, sexual touching of a child, sexual intercourse with a person under age 16, and grievous sexual assault.

The allegations are that he had repeated sexual relations with an underage girl between 2015 and 2017.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Former Pastor Arrested For Sexually Abusing Children

TEXAS
CBS DFW

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police have arrested a 52-year-old man for sexually abusing two women when they were children.

Jose Francisco Bernal was taken into custody at his home in the 7200 block of Deville Drive in North Richland Hills and charged with two counts of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child.

The charges were the result of a criminal investigation where two adult females made outcries of numerous sexual abuse incidents at the hands of Bernal.

The women were children living in the city of Hurst between the years of 2007 and 2013 when they met Bernal. He was their pastor at the Tabernaculo De Vida Pentecostal Church on W. Dickson Street in Fort Worth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Catholic school teacher convicted of child rape freed early

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
San Francisco Chronicle

ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 16, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former Catholic school teacher convicted of raping a child was released more than a decade early from prison on Wednesday after a judge threw out his conviction amid questions about his accuser's truthfulness.

Rather than face a new trial, however, Bernard Shero, 54, pleaded no contest on Monday to less serious child rape and assault charges and was sentenced to the roughly four years in prison he's already served. He originally was sentenced in 2013 to up to 16 years.

The accuser had helped to convict three other church officials, including a monsignor who became the first to be criminally charged for mishandling complaints about sexual abuse by priests.

Retired detective Joseph Walsh, who had worked on the case for the district attorney's office, told prosecutors several times that he could not corroborate the accuser's story. But the detective said they dismissed him, with one assistant district attorney going so far as to tell him "you're killing my case," according to a court filing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Boston Globe's Spotlight team unveils bombshell report on children of Catholic priests

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS This Morning

[with video]

The Boston Globe's Spotlight team is unveiling a report on what it calls a worldwide and "systemic problem" within the Catholic Church: priests fathering illegitimate children.

Reporter Michael Rezendes, who was depicted in the 2015 Oscar-winning movie "Spotlight," writes thousands of people across the world – "in Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, and other countries, in American cities big and small" – have "strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests." The children say they're often neglected or shamed into silence.

Here's an excerpt from Rezendes' report:

He carried his doubts and disappointment across miles and decades, from childhood to adulthood, and finally at the age of 48 to the kitchen table of a modest house outside of Buffalo. There, he would ask an elderly aunt and uncle to help him answer the question that had troubled him all his life: Why had his father always seemed to dislike him so much?

With his parents already dead, Jim Graham pleaded with his Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Otto to tell him the truth about his family. Finally, Kathryn unfolded a newsletter published by a Catholic religious order and slid it across the table. She jabbed a finger at a picture of a sad, balding figure wearing a priest's clerical collar.

"Only the principals know for sure," she said, "but this may be your father."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

An invisible legion of suffering: the stories of children of priests

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

Read Cardinal O’Malley’s statement on children of priests

Children of Catholic priests live with secrets and sorrow

By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff August 16, 2017

Their father was a priest who left their mother to die

James Perry was watching the news for snow cancellations on a December evening back in 2002, when a story unexpectedly caught his eye. The Boston Archdiocese had released records showing that a local priest had fathered two children and later abandoned their mother to die, after she overdosed on sleeping pills.

The woman had lived in Needham, just like Perry’s mother. And she died in 1973, the same year as Rita Perry. Perhaps most telling, the TV reporter said the woman had undergone a lobotomy — a procedure similar to one that Perry’s mother had undergone.

That’s how James and Emily Perry discovered their real father was not the man who raised them, but the Rev. James D. Foley, a deeply troubled priest who admitted in an interview with the Globe to his “ugly and tragic” involvement with Rita Perry. What’s more, church records show that Cardinal Bernard Law, Boston’s former archbishop, allowed him to remain in ministry for nine years after he admitted to fathering the children and playing a role in their mother’s death.

“The thing that stuck out to me when I read the documents is, what is the responsibility to the children? Anything?” said Emily Perry, who was 3 years old and sleeping in an upstairs bedroom the night of her mother’s death.

The only comfort for the siblings was the revelation that their mother had not deliberately taken her own life, abandoning her children.

“My mom didn’t commit suicide on purpose,” said Emily Perry. “This idiot was there and didn’t do anything about it.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Pope phones Argentinian who spoke of abuse by Irish priest

IRELAND/ARGENTINA
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Pope Francis has phoned a man in Argentina following reports the man was sexually abused by an Irish priest who was chaplain at an elite Christian Brothers’ school in Buenos Aires.

Allegations have also been made against an Irish Christian Brother who served there.

Twenty other former pupils have made similar abuse allegations against the priest and the brother at the school, while at least four former pupils have given media in Argentina accounts of witnessing or suffering abuse there.

Both alleged abusers are deceased but their names are known to The Irish Times.

Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri is a past pupil of the same school, the Colegio Cardenal Newman, opened by the Irish Christian Brothers in 1948.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

‘The safety of children should outweigh religious freedom’

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

Lucie Morris-Marr

It’s little wonder an alarming tantrum by the Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, has gone global this week.

The president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said protections for confession should be respected – even if details of child abuse are raised.

The long-time supporter and friend of Cardinal George Pell said he would rather go to jail than break the holy “seal” of confession.

His comments came after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse detailed 85 proposed sweeping changes to the law in a report – including the recommendation that clergy who failed to report information about child abuse would face criminal charges.

Instead of accepting or even considering this change, Archbishop Hart immediately retorted that confession was a “fundamental part of the freedom of religion”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Montana's reservations were 'dumping grounds' for predatory priests, suit alleges

MONTANA
Great Falls Tribune

Seaborn Larson, slarson@greatfallstribune.com

HAYS – For decades, even lifetimes, the Catholic Church refused to turn in priests with known pasts of sexually abusing children, women and men. The story is known in as many corners of the world as the Catholic Church exists, including Montana's two dioceses.

In the Pacific Northwest, however, the Catholic Church and the Jesuit Order have been accused of using Indian Reservations as their “dumping grounds” for the worst recidivist priests accused of sexually abusing children throughout the 1900s. Here, church officials reportedly determined predatory priests could remain undetected. Here, the church that acted as an anchor for the communities, and the victims lived with the abuse in silence.

Attorney Vito de la Cruz said Montana reservations were no different: They were the church's rural and remote sites for hiding predatory priests. Cruz’s Seattle law firm has represented victims from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana, and he said the systematic issue is told from church documents revealed in cases already settled, and the active one against the Great Falls-Billings Diocese.

"I think the evidence points to that," Cruz told the Tribune. "Those who had problems in respect to abusing kids, it's easy to hide in the reservations; people won't complain much, it's isolated there, and there are massively disproportionate balances of power."

In the case against the Great Falls-Billings Diocese, a majority of those who have come forward with names and locations were allegedly abused on the remote Indian reservations. Off the reservations, victims who have come forward came largely from the former Catholic orphanage in Great Falls, two parishes in Billings and far flung communities in eastern Montana.

In many instances, the church has boosted conditions in reservation towns, but with the past practice of splitting Indian children from their parents to boarding schools often operated by the church, the history of Catholicism on the Montana reservations is complicated at best. Fort Belknap Tribal President Mark Azure previously knew about the abuse by priests, but was furious to learn of the church’s designs to continuously funnel bad priests to the reservation during the 1900s, a recently added layer to a complicated history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Read Cardinal O’Malley’s statement on children of priests

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

Children of Catholic priests live with secrets and sorrow

AUGUST 16, 2017

Read the statement from Cardinal Sean O’Malley regarding the Boston Globe Spotlight story about children of Catholic priests.

“The gift of life must be protected and cared for in any and all circumstances. Every child is a precious gift from God, deserving the respect accorded to all people.

At their ordination, Catholic priests make a promise of celibacy, a commitment to the Church and the people they serve. If a priest fathers a child, he has a moral obligation to step aside from ministry and provide for the care and needs of the mother and the child. In such a moment, their welfare is the highest priority.

In 2016 ‘The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors’ received correspondence regarding the children or priests. After careful consideration of this important issue, it was judged to be beyond the Commission’s mandate. The Commission functions as an advisory body to the Holy Father, proposing norms and practices for protecting minors from sexual abuse. In particular, the Commission seeks to assist dioceses and religious orders throughout the world as they implement education and training programs for the prevention of sexual abuse. It is not within the charge of the Commission to become involved with individual cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Pope apologises to sex abuse victims

GERMANY
Premium Times

Pope Francis on Wednesday asked for forgiveness from the families of child sex abuse victims who had killed themselves as a result of their trauma.

He equally commended one survivor for telling his story.

In comments published in German tabloid Bild, the pope described Daniel Pittet’s memoir “Father, I Forgive You’’ as a testament to “how deeply embedded evil can be in the heart of a servant of the church.’’

Pittet was subjected to repeated rape and sexual abuse by a Capuchin friar as a child.
Today, he is a priest and campaigns against paedophilia in the Catholic Church.

The pontiff expressed his “love and pain’’ to families who had lost abused loved ones to suicide, asking them “with full humility for forgiveness.’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:48 PM

Papst bittet Missbrauchsopfer um Vergebung

DEUTSCHLAND
Bild

[Pope begs abuse victims for forgiveness.Daniel Pittet was just eight years old when he was raped by a Capuchin monk.Over the hell of his childhood and his path of liberation and forgiveness, the 58-year-old has written a book that makes one speechless. The special thing: No less than Pope Francis (80) has encouraged him. Moreover, in a preface, the Holy Father begs forgiveness for the crimes of priests. BILD prints it exclusively.]

Daniel Pittet war gerade acht Jahre alt, als er von einem Kapuzinermönch vergewaltigt und zu Porno-Aufnahmen gezwungen wurde. Über die Hölle seiner Kindheit und seinen Weg der Befreiung und Vergebung hat der heute 58-Jährige ein Buch geschrieben, das sprachlos macht. Das Besondere: Kein Geringerer als Papst Franziskus (80) hat ihn dazu ermutigt. Mehr noch: In einem Vorwort bittet der Heilige Vater um Vergebung für die Verbrechen von Priestern. BILD druckt es exklusiv.

★★★

Es ist eine große Herausforderung für die Opfer pädophiler Gewalt, das Wort zu ergreifen und davon zu berichten, was sie aushalten mussten, zu beschreiben, wie die traumatischen Erlebnisse von einst noch Jahre später sie quälen.

Aus diesem Grund ist das Zeugnis von Daniel Pittet so notwendig, so kostbar und so mutig. Ich habe Daniel Pittet im Jahr 2015, im Jahr des geweihten Lebens, im Vatikan kennengelernt.

Daniel war damals mit großem Eifer dabei, ein Buch mit dem Titel „Lieben heißt alles geben“ zu verbreiten. Für das Buch wurden Zeugnisse von religiösen Männern und Frauen, Priestern und Ordensleuten zusammengetragen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Pope, in Book Foreword, Vows Crackdown on Sexual Abusers and Protectors

GERMANY
US News

By Andrea Shalal

BERLIN (Reuters) - Pope Francis - in comments in the foreword of a new book - has branded sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests a "monstrosity" and pledged action against perpetrators and bishops who protected them.

The book titled "Father, I Forgive You: Abused But Not Broken" was written by Swiss man Daniel Pittet, 58, who was first raped by a priest when he was eight years old.

Francis, whose repeated promises of zero tolerance have been criticized by victims who say the Vatican needs to do much more, called sexual abuse "an absolute monstrosity, a terrible sin that contradicts everything that the Church teaches".

The foreword was published on Wednesday by the mass circulation German daily Bild.

Francis said the fate of abused children weighed on his soul, especially those who had taken their own lives.

"We will counter those priests who betrayed their calling with the most strenuous measures. This also applies to the bishops and cardinals who protected these priests – as happened repeatedly in the past," the pope wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

News 12 probe finds loophole that could let sex offenders work at camps

NEW YORK
News 12

[with video]

WEST NYACK -
A News 12 investigation has revealed a shocking legal loophole that could allow registered sex offenders to work as counselors at children’s camps.

The Turn to Tara investigation revealed that if a child attends a camp that is focused on a single recreational program like baseball, ballet or basketball, for example, they could be at risk due to an outdated New York state law.

Single-purpose camps are not regulated despite their growing popularity. This means that the camps are not legally required to check counselors against the sex offender registry the same way that traditional and sleepaway camps are. Regular camps are also subjected to frequent Health Department inspections, staffing ratios and minimum age requirements for counselors.

Sen. David Carlucci has introduced legislation that would legally hold single-purpose camps to the same standards as all the others, which would include background checks on all employees.

"We have a sex offender registry for good reason. We want to make sure they are not around our kids," says Carlucci.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

South Norwood pastor Rose Amadasun who starved and beat children with belts and wires avoids jail

UNITED KINGDOM
This is London

Riley Krause

A South Norwood pastor who would blindfold children before hitting them with belts and wires has avoided jail.

Rose Amadasun, 49, of Beauchamp Road, was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months at Croydon Crown Court on August 9.

She had admitted five counts of child cruelty at a previous hearing.

On Saturday, August 2, 2015 police were called by the manager of South Norwood Leisure Centre stating that two members of the public had informed her they had witnessed the female leader of a church group hitting children with a belt.

Officers spoke to the members of the public who stated they had seen a group of children being assaulted by a woman with a belt and shouting "Jesus" as she did so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Research explores the nature and extent of child sexual abuse in contemporary institutional settings

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

16 August, 2017

Two new research reports, released by the Royal Commission, suggest that a significant proportion of reports to police of child sexual abuse in institutional settings involved another child as the person of interest.

The research reports, Child sexual abuse in Australian institutional contexts 2008-13: Findings from administrative data and the follow-up study Child sexual abuse in institutional contexts: The reliability of police data, nature and allegations reported to police, and factors driving reporting rates were released today.

Prepared by researchers from the University of South Australia’s Australian Centre for Child Protection and the University of New South Wales’ Social Policy Research Centre, the reports explore the nature and extent of child sexual abuse in contemporary institutional settings.

The reports are based on administrative data from a range of sources including police and education departments.

The research found that police data was the most useful source of information to explore the nature and extent of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts across states and territories.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Jack the Insider: Failures of church and state created monster Gerald Ridsdal

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 16, 2017

JACK THE INSIDER
ColumnistCanberra
@JacktheInsider

Gerald Ridsdale, the former Ballarat priest has pleaded guilty to a further 20 offences against 11 victims and his conviction formally handed down.

On the basis of convictions, numbers of victims and number of offences, Ridsdale is the worst sex offender in this country’s history. While Ridsdale’s defence team laughably called for the prospect of parole, he must die in jail.

I read a copy of one man’s victim impact statement over the weekend. It made me weep. It was no surprise that, when he delivered it to the court yesterday, County Court Judge Irene Lawson also broke down in tears. The court adjourned briefly while the judge composed herself. In all ten of the 11 victims in this round of prosecutions provided statements, detailing lives in disarray, filled with emotional, lifelong pain, surviving rather than living.

Despite having their moments in court, the mystical, magical word ‘closure’ and all it connotes continues to elude them.

The obvious question is how did a pedophile priest, active for thirty years or more, with more than 60 victims having now come forward, escape justice for so long? Ridsdale had been offending against children from the moment he became a priest in 1962. He was first convicted of child sex offending in 1993.

The answer, in part, lies in the conduct of the Ballarat diocese under Bishop Mulkearns and his predecessor, Bishop James O’Collins. These senior figures within the Church, effectively the chief executive officers of the Ballarat diocese were aware of Ridsdale’s offending and merely shuffled him around the diocese to new parishes and new groups of children.

UN evaluation: A mixed report card

IRELAND
Irish Times

The Irish Times View

Ireland received a “could do better” report from the United Nations Committee Against Torture, following detailed hearings in Geneva last July. Concern was expressed about the limited nature of an investigation into Magdalene laundries, in spite of recommendations made by the committee in 2011. And the authors worried that a similar approach was being taken in relation to the operation of mother and baby homes.

On a positive note, the committee welcomed Government efforts to support those who were abused in residential care and it regarded the Citizens’ Assembly as a creative initiative. On improving accountability and transparency, it identified the Protected Disclosures Act as important.

The glass was less than half-full, however, in relation to policing and prisons. In view of the internal problems besetting the Garda Síochána; funding difficulties and the intractable nature of prison reform, that does not surprise. But there was positive news there too. Efforts to end “slopping out” in prisons were praised and the report recognised “significant progress” was being made elsewhere. However, it recommended that solitary confinement should only be used as punishment in extreme cases and never for juveniles. It proposed that “appropriate facilities” should be provided for asylum seekers and called for a fundamental review of the prison healthcare system; an increase in staff numbers and greater funding and independence for the Inspector of Prisons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Anglican Church abuse: Paedophile victim's suicide amplifies call for action against Philip Newell

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Rhiannon Shine

A Tasmanian survivor of clergy abuse is demanding answers after his friend, a fellow victim, suicided before disciplinary action was taken against a senior Anglican Church figure.

Beyond Abuse spokesman and survivor Steve Fisher said his friend, a victim of convicted paedophile priest Louis Daniels, took his own life last week.

Mr Fisher said his friend's death increased frustration over the slow progress of an internal review into findings involving retired Tasmanian bishop Philip Newell.

Earlier this year the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released a report that referred to evidence Newell was made aware in 1987 that now-convicted paedophile Daniels had sexually abused three boys.

Bishop Newell allowed Daniels to stay in the church and subsequently promoted him to a high-ranking position on the basis he amended his life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Sexueller Missbrach an katholischer Schule in Buenos Aires

ARGENTINIEN
euro news

[More than 20 former students of the Catholic private school Cardenal Newman in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires have gone public with accusations of sexual abuse by the clergy.]

Mehr als 20 ehemalige Schüler der katholischen Privatschule Cardenal Newman in der argentinischen Hauptstadt Buenos Aires sind mit Vorwürfen des sexuellen Missbrauchs durch den Klerus an die Öffentlichkeit gegangen.

Einer der ersten, der offen darüber sprach, ist Rufino Varela. Er war zwölf, als er einem Priester von sexuellem Missbrauch zu Hause erzählten wollte.

Varela sagt: “Ich habe also angefangen, Pater Alfredo davon zu berichten, was mir ein Bekannter zu Hause antat. Doch der Pater sagte, ich sollte meine Hose und Unterhose ausziehen und mich auf sein Bett legen, mit dem Gesicht nach unten. Er legte ein Kissen über meinen Kopf, zuerst schlug er mich mit einem Gürtel auf den Hintern, dann begann er, mich anzufassen.” Danach habe Pater Alfredo ihm Süßigkeiten gegeben und gesagt, was geschehen sei, müsse ein Geheimnis bleiben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Früherer Arzt der Colonia Dignidad muss in Deutschland in Haft

CHILE
Spiegel

[The boys were raped, the girls beaten, opponents of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet were tortured and killed: The site of the German secret settlement Colonia Dignidad was a place of brutal crimes. In 2005 the founder of the sect, Paul Schäfer, had been arrested in Argentina. In 2010, he died in prison. Other leaders denounced Chilean judges as long-term imprisonment in recent years.]

Von Martin Knobbe

Die Jungen wurden vergewaltigt, die Mädchen geschlagen, Gegner des chilenischen Diktators Augusto Pinochet wurden gefoltert und getötet: Das Gelände der deutschen Sektensiedlung Colonia Dignidad war ein Ort brutaler Verbrechen. 2005 war der Gründer der Sekte, Paul Schäfer, in Argentinien festgenommen worden, 2010 starb er im Gefängnis. Andere Führungsmitglieder verurteilten chilenische Richter in den vergangenen Jahren zu langen Freiheitsstrafen.

Nun hat auch das Landgericht Krefeld den Weg für eine Bestrafung eines der Täter bereitet: Es entschied, dass eine in Chile verhängte Freiheitsstrafe gegen den langjährigen Sektenarzt Hartmut Hopp in Deutschland vollstreckt werden kann. Hopp war bereits im November 2004 in Chile wegen Beihilfe zu sexuellem Missbrauch und Vergewaltigung in mehreren Fällen zu fünf Jahren und einem Tag Gefängnis verurteilt worden. Im Januar 2013 hatte der Oberste Gerichtshof in Santiago de Chile das Urteil bestätigt. Da aber lebte Hopp mit seiner Frau Dorothea, einst Krankenschwester der Siedlung, schon längst unbehelligt in Krefeld. Er hatte sich dem Gefängnis 2011 durch eine schnelle Flucht entzogen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

New lawsuits say Mormon church failed to protect American Indian children

ARIZONA
Salt Lake Tribune

By Felicia Fonseca | The Associated Press

Flagstaff, Ariz. • The number of lawsuits alleging Mormon church leaders failed to protect children from sexual abuse has grown to include two more Navajos and a member of the Crow Tribe.

Thousands of American Indian children, most of whom were Navajo, participated in a now-defunct church-run foster program from the late 1940s until around 2000. The program was meant to give children educational opportunities that didn’t exist on the reservations.

The lawsuits contend certain foster families harmed children.

One of the latest Navajo plaintiffs, identified as A.H., said at a news conference Tuesday in Phoenix that she told her local lay bishop about the abuse by her foster father but was told to keep quiet and that it would be handled.

“Understand that you are not alone. It is not your fault,” she wrote in a statement. “The shame is not yours. Rather, the shame belongs to those who abused, as well as those who allowed the abuse to happen.”

The latest three lawsuits were filed in Navajo Nation court and Washington state. Five others have been filed since 2016 on behalf of Navajo tribal members, seeking monetary damages, written apologies and a guarantee that Mormon leaders will report suspected abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Catholic Church unlikely to change, abuse review head Elizabeth Proust says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Andrew West for The Religion and Ethics Report

The senior Australian businesswoman appointed to supervise the Catholic Church's response to the sexual abuse crisis says she is "pessimistic" about the Church's willingness to reform.

Elizabeth Proust, the head of the Church's own Truth, Justice and Healing Council, fears the institution will emerge from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse only "partially cleansed and unreconstructed".

"I fear there's a view that once the royal commission reports, and the publicity around what will be a fairly dire report all dies down, that life will go back to what it was," Ms Proust told The Religion and Ethics Report.

"I hope I'm wrong. I'd like to think that the possibility for real transformation of the Church exists, but it's an institution that's been very slow to change on a whole range of issues."

She wants the Church to establish permanent and independent protocols to deal with future cases of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Children of Catholic priests live with secrets and sorrow

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe


Read Cardinal O’Malley’s statement on children of priests

By Michael Rezendes
Photos by Suzanne Kreiter | Videos by Emily Zendt, Globe Staff August 16, 2017

This is the first of a two part Spotlight series.

HE CARRIED HIS DOUBTS and disappointment across miles and decades, from childhood to adulthood, and finally at the age of 48 to the kitchen table of a modest house outside of Buffalo. There, he would ask an elderly aunt and uncle to help him answer the question that had troubled him all his life: Why had his father always seemed to dislike him so much?

With his parents already dead, Jim Graham pleaded with his Aunt Kathryn and Uncle Otto to tell him the truth about his family. Finally, Kathryn unfolded a newsletter published by a Catholic religious order and slid it across the table. She jabbed a finger at a picture of a sad, balding figure wearing a priest’s clerical collar.

“Only the principals know for sure,” she said, “but this may be your father.”

Jim Graham studied the picture. Those were his eyes, his nose, his mouth. Then he skimmed the obituary of the priest, the Rev. Thomas Sullivan, a cleric who had graduated from Boston College and trained for the priesthood in Tewksbury.

If a life can have a crystallizing moment, for Jim Graham that 1993 meeting was it, discovering that his father might have been a Catholic priest, rather than John Graham, the distant man who raised him with scarcely a kind or comforting word.

Jim Graham couldn’t know in that moment that the stunning secret which had seemed his alone was not that unusual. By any reasonable measure, there are thousands of others who have strong evidence that they are the sons and daughters of Catholic priests, though most are unaware that they have so much company in their pain. In Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Paraguay, and other countries, in American cities big and small — indeed, virtually anywhere the church has a presence — the children of priests form an invisible legion of secrecy and neglect, a Spotlight Team review has found.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Ridsdale has served enough time in prison, lawyer tells court

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

Adam Cooper
16 Aug 2017

Notorious paedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale has served enough time in prison, his Legal Aid defence lawyer says.

The claim comes despite Ridsdale admitting this week that he sexually abused 12 more children while a priest in regional Victoria.

The 83-year-old has now pleaded guilty over the course of five court cases to abusing 64 children.

He has been in jail since 1994, serving an effective total sentence of 28 years.

On Tuesday he pleaded guilty to 23 charges, including rape and buggery, for sexual assaults against 11 boys and a girl between 1962 and 1988 while he was a priest in Ballarat, Mildura, Horsham, Edenhope and other locations.

County Court judge Irene Lawson must now decide whether to add to Ridsdale's existing sentence, under which his earliest possible release would be April 2019, when he will be eligible for parole. If he served his current full term he would be due for release in 2022.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

August 15, 2017

Settlement expected to affect diocesan services

MONTANA
Great Falls Tribune

Seaborn Larson, slarson@greatfallstribune.com Aug. 15, 2017

The Great Falls-Billings Diocese this month is working through the claim review and settlement process with victims alleging sexual abuse and their attorneys. Church officials believe the settlement won’t directly affect the parishes, although some are waiting to believe it until the final settlement amount is announced.

Since the deadline to file a claim in the case, 86 people have come forward to enter claims of sexual abuse by priests, nuns and brothers, according to Vito de la Cruz, a Seattle attorney representing 38 of them. The dates of abuse range from 1947 to 1994. Attorneys for the victims say the Great Falls-Billings Diocese is the 15th to file for bankruptcy en route to settling with sexual abuse victims.

Bishop Michael Warfel said before negotiations that the settlement will impose a loss of resources, and already has.

“I used to have a person staffed in the office of worship, I don’t anymore, and I’m not planning on hiring anyone right now for that position. That would be an example,” Warfel said. "There would be a curtailing of some [services], realistically, until we get back on our feet."

The Great Falls-Billings Diocese covers approximately 94,158 square miles, almost 64 percent of the state. The region contains approximately 400,000 people, 35,000 of them members of Catholic parishes spread throughout the region.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 PM

Archdiocese of Mexico Counters Claims That Cardinal Covered Up Abuse

MEXICO
National Catholic Register

According to the archdiocese, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera instructed his episcopal vicars ‘immediately to notify the appropriate authorities.’

CNA/EWTN News

MEXICO CITY — The Archdiocese of Mexico has countered claims made by two former priests that Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera covered up the actions of pedophile priests, calling the allegations an “orchestrated farce.”

The communications office of the Mexico City Archdiocese reported that Cardinal Rivera had spoken to a Public Ministry official July 26 in response to the June 2 complaint filed by Alberto Athié and José Barba.

Athié and Barba filed their complaint with the Attorney General of the Republic’s Office, accusing Cardinal Rivera of the alleged cover-up of 15 pedophile priests. In the 1990s, Athié had brought allegations against Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Father Maciel was later removed from public ministry after it was verified he had committed sexual abuse and fathered several children.

The Archdiocese of Mexico indicated that Athié and Barba based their charges on a Dec. 19, 2016, news brief published in El Universal “in which a meeting was made known that the cardinal had with journalists where the archbishop mentioned that during his administration as head of the Primatial Archdiocese of Mexico he had sanctioned 15 priests — not all for the crime of pederasty, but with other illicit acts classified in canon law.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Feltman will not be charged criminally

NORTH DAKOTA
News-Monitor

by Frank Stanko franks@wahpetondailynews.com Aug 9, 2017

The State’s Attorney’s Office of Richland County, North Dakota, will not be bringing criminal charges against the Rev. Thomas Feltman, pastor of two Richland County parishes. An investigation by the Richland County Sheriff’s Office was launched regarding concerns over Feltman’s interaction with youth following an incident reported in Wyndmere, North Dakota, in May 2017.

In a Friday, July 28 statement, State’s Attorney Ron McBeth said it was reported that as Feltman would go to hug young women, his hand would allegedly touch the women on the side of their breast or on their behind.

“Although this made the girls feel uncomfortable and this touching was socially inappropriate, there is no evidence the touch was done by Rev. Feltman for sexual reasons, which would be necessary in order to prove an element of a sex offense crime,” McBeth continued. “The State’s Attorney’s Office, by way of its prosecutorial discretion, has declined to charge Feltman with any crime based on that evidence.”

Prior to the investigation, Feltman was pastor at St. John the Baptist’s Catholic Church, Wyndmere and St. Arnold’s Catholic Church, Milnor. He was placed on paid administrative leave from both parishes by the Diocese of Fargo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Retired priest Roy Catchpole reveals how "heartbreaking" sex abuse allegations "wrecked his life"

UNITED KINGDOM
Somerset Live

BY DANIEL MUMBY
15 AUG 2017

A retired priest who was cleared of sexual assault has spoken out about his experience for the first time.

The Reverend Dr Roy Catchpole was arrested at his home in Sherborne in 2014 after being accused of sexually assaulting a female member of his congregation.

After two trials, he was "set free as an innocent, falsely accused person". He was subsequently offered an apology by Dorset Police and awarded costs.

Now the retired reverend, 71, has spoken out about how the legal process has affected him and his family, and what should be done to protect people who are wrongfully accused of sex crimes.

Following his arrest in 2014, he spent two years going through the Dorset courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Funeral of Falls Road stalwart John Leathem

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish News

ALLISON MORRIS
15 August, 2017

The funeral of west Belfast community stalwart John Leathem will take place today, leaving from his Divis flats home where he passed away after a battle with cancer on Saturday.

A former chairman of the Divis Tower Falls Residents' Association, he had told friends that he did not want to spend his final days in the hospice but instead chose to die in his flat on the 19th floor of the tower block surrounded by family and friends.

The 59-year-old, who spent much of his childhood in Catholic Church run care homes gave evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry about his time in Nazareth Lodge where he was subjected to horrific abuse.

He was also credited with being one of the first people to speak out about the stigma and lasting impact of church child abuse and the the depression and self harm that blighted his late teens and early 20s as a result.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

AUSTRALIA: COURT HEARS HARROWING ACCOUNTS OF CHILD ABUSE IN DIOCESE LINKED TO VATICAN CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

AUSTRALIA
Newsweek

BY SOFIA LOTTO PERSIO ON 8/15/17

An Australian court heard harrowing details of historic child abuse perpetrated by former priest Gerald Ridsdale, one of Australia’s most notorious pedophiles.

Eighty-three-year-old Ridsdale pleaded guilty to 23 charges Tuesday, including two counts of rape and one of buggery, for abusing 12 children, aged six to 13, between 1962 and 1988 in the Victoria state city of Ballarat and the surrounding area.

Ballarat is considered to be one of Australia's worst affected areas for incidents of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. It is named in Vatican Cardinal George Pell’s charges of historic sexual abuse as he served in the diocese first as an assistant parish priest in 1972 and later, between 1973 and 1984, as an episcopal vicar. Pell pleased not guilty in a first hearing at a Melbourne magistrate's court in July and will return to court in October.

One of Ridsdale’s victims was a girl whose father woke her up on two occasions to see the priest, who then sexually assaulted her, the court heard on Tuesday.

“[Her] father carried her to the confessional booth and took her clothes off her, then carried her to the altar and lay her down,” crown prosecutor Jeremy McWilliams said of the second occasion, in 1974, quoted in the Australian Associated Press.

According to the prosecutor, Ridsdale indencently assaulted her, then told her: “Jesus died for our sins so we could be forgiven and if I confess to this sin I might be forgiven,” before kissing her on the cheek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

Research links severe hunger at residential schools to today's health of Indigenous peoples

CANADA
Medical Xpress

The severe hunger and malnutrition that many Indigenous children suffered at Canadian residential schools have contributed to Indigenous peoples' elevated risk of obesity and diabetes, according to University of Toronto public health and anthropology researchers.

"Hunger has always been central to survivors' accounts of their residential school experiences, and we strongly believe that this testimony must be taken more seriously by researchers and medical practitioners," said Ian Mosby, a food historian who is an adjunct lecturer at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Mosby and Tracey Galloway, an assistant professor of anthropology, at U of T Mississauga, published their findings in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. They found that for most of the history of the residential school system, Indigenous children were fed poor quality, often rotting food.

Based on survivor testimony, they estimate that the typical diet described by survivors delivered, on average 1,000 to 1,450 calories a day, with moderately active children requiring between 1,400 and 3,200 calories a day.

"We can now be fairly certain that the elevated risk of obesity, early-onset insulin resistance and diabetes observed among Indigenous peoples in Canada arises, in part at least, from the prolonged malnutrition experience by many residential school survivors," said Galloway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Accused former All-American Boys Chorus vocal coach can be extradited, UK judge rules

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

August 15, 2017 Joelle Casteix

A former vocal coach for Orange County’s All-American Boys Chorus—and a member of the FBI’s Most Wanted List—can be sent back to California from the UK, a judge there ruled this week.

Roger Alan Giese, 42, according to KABC:

has been charged with five counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, 10 counts of lewd acts upon a child age 14 or 15, three counts of anal penetration by a foreign object and one count of oral copulation of a person under 18 years of age, and a sentencing enhancement allegation for substantial sexual conduct with a child.
He escaped to England in 2007.

Once there, Giese changed his name, started a public relations company, and claimed that he couldn’t be sent back to the U.S. because of our “civil commitment” laws.

According to the OC Register:

Under civil commitment, a convicted sex offender who has served his sentence can be committed to a state mental hospital indefinitely if medical experts believe that person is likely to reoffend. The law exists in 19 other states.

The British courts agreed. Until this week.

Chorus has a record of abuse

Giese is the second All-American Boys Chorus official to be accused of child sexual abuse.

The first, founder Fr. Richard T. Coughlin, has been accused by numerous former singers, removed for allegations of abuse, and put on the Diocese of Orange’s list of credibly accused clerics.

Call me a broken record, but just think about this: the same people who covered up for Coughlin and Giese still run The All-American Boys Chorus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Attorney General Madigan: Illinois Eliminates Statutes of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse Crimes

ILLINOIS
eNews Park Forest

Measure Initiated by Madigan to Eliminate Criminal Statutes of Limitations for Felony Child Sexual Abuse and Assault Crimes Becomes Law

Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—August 13, 2017. Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced Illinois has now eliminated the statutes of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children. Senate Bill 189, initiated by Madigan, was passed by the General Assembly unanimously and signed into law by the governor Friday.

Sponsored by Sen. Scott Bennett and Rep. Michelle Mussman, the legislation eliminates Illinois’ criminal statutes of limitations for all felony child sexual abuse and child sexual assault crimes that can allow predators to go unpunished. The law, effective immediately, applies to future felony child sex crime cases as well as current criminal cases in which the previous statute of limitations has not expired.

“Sex crimes against children are a horribly tragic violation of trust that can take a lifetime to recover from,” Madigan said. “This new law will ensure that survivors are provided with the time they need to heal and seek justice.”

Prior the new law, Illinois’ statutes required that the most egregious sexual offenses against children must be reported and prosecuted within 20 years of the survivor turning 18 years old. Two exceptions existed for cases in which the crimes were committed on or after Jan. 1, 2014 and either corroborating physical evidence exists or a mandated reporter failed to report the abuse. The then-law restricting a survivor’s ability to come forward prevented former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert from being prosecuted for allegations of abuse against minors while he was an Illinois high school coach decades ago. Scott Cross, a survivor of Hastert’s abuse, joined Attorney General Madigan in advocating for today’s change in the law, recounting his experience before lawmakers and urging them to pass Senate Bill 189.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Illinois wipes out statute of limitations for child sex abuse

ILLINOIS
ABC 7

By Sarah Schulte
Monday, August 14, 2017

MOKENA, Ill. (WLS) -- Illinois is making it easier to prosecute sex abuse crimes against children. Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation that removes the statutes of limitation for those crimes.

Sex abuse victims are calling the new law a great step forward. They say pursuing justice criminally will help with the closure process.

Survivors of abuse say eliminating the statutes of limitations will give them the time they need to come forward and report a crime to police.

During his first confession at St. Mary's Parish in Mokena, David Rudofski said he was sexually abused by Father James Burnett when Rudofski was just 8 years old. But, it wasn't until he was in his mid-30's when Rudofski reported the abuse.

"It takes years - sometimes decades - to have the courage to come up and talk about or even realize what happened," Rudofski said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Creating a world outside of Castlepollard's Mother & Baby home

IRELAND
Longford Leader

Aisling Kiernan
14 Aug 2017

Last month, as part of Cruthú Arts Festival, Ambroise Donnelle launched his exhibition ‘Reborn’ at Longford Library.

The exhibition has been inspired by the artist’s mother Ann who was born at the mother and baby home in Castlepollard in 1950.

“It's my mother who has always been the main influence in my life and still is,” said the 38-year-old Armagh native.

“We are alike in so many ways; she even likes to dabble in pastels and watercolours occasionally - so the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.”

And indeed it appears that his sentiments are true because Ann is a wonderful artist and a person who, it has to be said, has dealt with more challenges in her 67 years than most.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:59 PM

FORMER AREA PRIEST ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE

MINNESOTA
KDUZ

(KWLM/New Ulm MN-) A priest who served at several area churches has been accused of sexual abuse.

In a letter sent to parishioners by Bishop John Levoir of the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, Levoir says they have received notice of an allegation of sexual abuse against Father James Devorak when he was assigned at St. Pius X parish in Glencoe in the 1990s.

Devorak, who retired two years ago, was senior associate at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Willmar and assisted at Our Lady of the Lakes at Spicer, St. Thomas Moore in Lake Lillian and St. Patricks in Kandiyohi in 2013 and 2014.

During his 43-year career, Devorak also worked at churches in Clara City, Montevideo, Granite Falls, Hutchinson, Stewart and many more.

He was also an associate at St. Mary’s in Willmar in 1975 and 76.

Looking at Devorak’s resume provided by Bishop Levoir, it appears Devorak was moved to a different church in the New Ulm Diocese every two or three years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

Perry Noble files paperwork for new church; NewSpring says he’s not qualified to pastor

SOUTH CAROLINA
WYFF

Carla Field

ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. —
Former megachurch pastor Perry Noble is not being given a second chance by the church he founded, so he is giving himself a second chance with a new church, despite church leaders saying he no longer meets Biblical standards to be a pastor.

Noble, the former pastor of NewSpring church, filed paperwork July 14 with the South Carolina Secretary of State to incorporate Second Chance Church. The filing shows the request as made by a nonprofit in good standing.

Noble founded NewSpring more than 20 years ago after holding services in a living room, according to the NewSpring website. The church grew to 17 campuses with more than 30,000 members.

In July 2016, Pastor Shane Duffey announced that the leaders of NewSpring had removed Noble from the pulpit because of his “personal behavior, which included alcohol, and marital issues.”

Duffey read a statement from church officials that said, "Perry has made some unfortunate decisions," and that he "is no longer qualified" to continue as pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Perry Noble Recounts Sexual Abuse He Suffered at 5, Then Later Again by a Different Abuser

SOUTH CAROLINA
Christian Post

By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter | Aug 15, 2017

Former NewSpring Church senior pastor Perry Noble revealed in a Facebook video details about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, which left him struggling with "soul destroying" shame.

"I am a victim of sexual abuse," Noble said in the video, posted on Sunday.

"I remember like it was yesterday. It happened when I was about 5 years old. There was an older guy in the neighborhood" who coerced him, the former pastor revealed.

"The whole time it was going on, I knew it was wrong. It just felt wrong, but I felt helpless, and afterwards I felt hopeless. A few years later, it happened again, I was sexually abused by a different person," he said, revealing that for "years and years I felt the chains of shame were wrapped around me."

"I thought it was something I had caused, and because of that I held it inside and I didn't tell anyone. As I look back now I see what was happening was that my soul was being destroyed through the chains of shame," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Catholic Church rejects push to report abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Church believes the seal of confession must remain intact despite the prospect of its priests facing criminal charges for failing to report child sexual abuse.

The child abuse royal commission wants a new crime of failure to report child sex abuse in institutions, including when the information came from religious confessions.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president, Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, says confession is a fundamental part of the freedom of religion that must continue to be recognised by Australian law.

'What goes on in the confessional is between God and the person and I am there for them to know that they are forgiven,' he told Sky news.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

Australia church abuse: Why priests can't spill confession secrets

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

By Claudia Allen
BBC News

Priests who suspect child abuse after hearing confession should report it to the authorities - or face criminal charges. That is one of the conclusions reached by Australia's four-year Royal Commission investigating child sex abuse.

The proposal applies to the suspicion of child abuse in an institutional context - for example within an organisation which provides services to children or cares for them, such as a church or a children's home.

But the Roman Catholic Church in Australia is opposed to the proposal, despite saying that outside of the confession it is "absolutely committed" to reporting all offences against children to the authorities.

So what is different about confession?

Surely priests would have a moral duty - if not a legal one - to report any concerns, in order to protect children?

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane appeared to recognise that it can be hard for non-Catholics to understand why this is not the case:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

JEWISH CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY GROUP: ‘ALIYA BEING USED BY CHILD SEX OFFENDERS’

ISRAEL
Jerusalem Post

BY BENJAMIN DUKAS AUGUST 15, 2017

Watchdog groups claim pedophiles who immigrate can live in communities with children nearby and even get jobs at schools.

A global Jewish children’s advocacy group has accused Israel of providing a safe haven for dozens of child sex offenders.

Shana Aaronson, director of the Jewish Community Watch (JCW) office in Israel has told The Jerusalem Post that the group found there are 42 suspected or convicted child sex offenders who moved to Israel from the Diaspora.

“Because Israel has the concept of the Law of Return, and Israel being a national homeland for the Jewish people, and the numerous legal rights that Jews have: to be here, to come here, to seek safe haven here, this is a particular issue with Israel, where you are going to come here and by and large you’re going to be granted automatic citizenship, and as the case may be, safe haven,” Aaronson said.

The Jewish Agency denied the allegations and said any candidates for aliya with either the Agency or the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization had to face extensive background checks before they could immigrate.

The JCW is a global group that seeks to expose offenders and warn communities about potentially dangerous people in their neighborhoods. In addition to 42 child sex offenders it says who have taken residence in Israel, the group has also identified several offenders who regularly travel in and out of Israel with ease.

Founded in 2006 by a child sex abuse survivor, the JCW is active in the US, Canada and Israel, and is dedicated to the prevention of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Sex-assault case against Rabbi Greer, of New Haven, transferred to Church Street courthouse

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

By Randall Beach, rbeach@nhregister.com @rbeachNHR on Twitter

NEW HAVEN >> Rabbi Daniel Greer, accused of sexually assaulting a student of his at a religious school, made a brief appearance Monday in Superior Court and had his case transferred to the Part A courthouse on Church Street, where more serious charges are handled.

Greer was in front of Superior Court Judge Karen Nash Sequino for only about 30 seconds. He did not speak and did not enter pleas to the charges of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child.

Greer’s not guilty pleas probably will be entered during his next court appearance Aug. 29.

Greer’s attorney, William Dow III, said after he left the courtroom with Greer: “We will try our case in court.” Greer, acting on Dow’s advice, made no comment.

Greer was dressed in a black suit, red tie and yarmulke.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Rabbi accused of molesting teen makes bail

CONNECTICUT
News 12

[with video]

NEW HAVEN -
The New Haven rabbi accused of raping and molesting a teenage boy made bail Monday.

Rabbi Daniel Greer, 77, was arrested last month and charged with sexually assaulting the victim at a New Haven yeshiva school between 2001 and 2005. Greer was a founder and principal of the school, which opened in 1977.

A federal jury awarded $15 million in damages to the teen in a civil lawsuit in May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Rabbi charged with sex assault makes first court appearance

CONNECTICUT
ABC News

AP

A Connecticut rabbi accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a teenage boy who was awarded $15 million in a civil lawsuit appeared Monday before a judge for the first time since being arrested last month.

Rabbi Daniel Greer did not speak during the brief hearing in New Haven Superior Court. His next hearing is Aug. 29.

The 77-year-old Greer is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy who attended the Yeshiva of New Haven school from 2001 to 2005. Greer, of New Haven, was a founder and principal of the school, which was established in 1977.

Greer's lawyer, William Dow III, has said Greer will plead not guilty to the felony charges of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. Greer did not enter pleas Monday and remains free after posting $100,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Bishop Seane in shameful sex sandals

BOTSWANA
The Monitor

Reverend Valentine Seane’s alleged insatiable sexual needs are behind his sudden and seemingly unceremonious resignation as Bishop of Gaborone. Seane has been at the helm of the local chapter of the church for eight years.

By TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE Fri 11 Aug 2017

This is according to letters written to the Holy See in Rome, Italy and Pretoria, South Africa this year. In a letter to Marc Cardinal Quellet in Rome written by Sisters of Calvary, Gaborone, they appealed that Eminence Archbishop Peter Wells had not acted on their grievances to date “while on the other hand, Bishop Seane continues to sexually abuse us”. Wells is the Vatican Apostolic Nunciature in Pretoria.

“Bishop Seane’s insatiable sexual needs are putting us at risk, more so that he does not use condoms, hence the urgent resolution of this matter (sic). The end result of his actions, we are in spiritual crisis of unending abortions,” the sisters wrote. They claimed that some of them are on the verge of resigning from sisterhood and are afraid that their congregation will die a natural death. Hence they appealed to Quellet to save them from this shameful misery.

“We submit that we are ready to testify before an enquiry against the abuse under reference. We are also determined to go public if the church is not willing to protect us!” Before they wrote to Rome, they appealed to Wells over Seane’s impropriety.

“We write to formally lodge a complaint against Bishop Seane’s verbal and sexual abuse on some of us… In every Diocesan event, our Bishop always publicly capitalises in belittling us (sic). He likes saying that we are lacking proper orientation in our formation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Roma Admits Bishop Seane Resigned To Clear His Name

BOTSWANA
The Monitor

Despite last week’s denials by the Vicar General, Father Andrew Makgetla that Bishop Valentine Seane was forced to resign, a statement he sent to different Roman Catholic branches, shows that the Bishop resigned to clear his name.

By TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE Mon 14 Aug 2017

Seane resigned last week following an investigation into accusations of sexual abuse.

In the press statement issued last Friday to the Catholics around the country, Makgetla explained that the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Gaborone “is extremely saddened by circumstances surrounding the recent resignation of its Bishop. Bishop Seane resigned his post to assuage the accusation and allegations against him. This painful event took the church by surprise. In the light of this, we want to assure Catholics that the leadership of the Church is looking into all aspects of the current situation.”

Father Makgetla said The Holy See, through the apostolic Nunciature to Botswana received unsigned letters from different groups including a group calling itself Catholic Community of Botswana, something that the Father denied last week in an interview with sister publication, Mmegi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Royal commission confession recommendation lights a spark

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

SOLICITOR Vivian Waller summed up the case for legislation requiring clergy to report all child sex allegations to authorities – even allegations raised during confession.

“I think it's about time the Catholic Church was dragged out of the dark ages,” she said on Monday after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its Criminal Justice report.

It might have had 85 recommendations to address what commission chair Justice Peter McClellan identified as the almost “insurmountable barriers” currently facing child sex victims when they negotiate the criminal justice system.

But all focus was on just one recommendation that directly challenges the Catholic Church – the seal of the confessional.

Vivian Waller put the perspective of survivors and their advocates: “We can no longer think about sexual offending against children as some kind of forgivable sin.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Mexico City Archdiocese clarifies number of abuse cases reported

MEXICO
National Catholic Reporter

Aug 14, 2017
by David Agren, Catholic News Service

MEXICO CITY — The Archdiocese of Mexico City said it reported six cases of priests accused of sexually abusing minors to prosecutors between 2010 and 2017, following a change in Mexico's Religious Associations Law requiring such crimes to be brought to the authorities' attention.

"Cardinal Norberto Rivera left it clear that, starting with the implementation of (the law in 2010) — which requires religious leaders and their representatives to inform the corresponding authority about the probable committing of crimes — he had knowledge of the probable commission of six acts, presumably criminal, after being told by his vicars," the archdiocesan publication Desde la Fe said in an Aug. 10 article. "He instructed (the vicars) to report them immediately to the corresponding authorities."

The article followed news that Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera was interviewed by an investigator from the federal attorney general's office over criminal complaints of covering up 15 cases of abuse. Rivera's lawyer, Armando Martinez Gomez, said the complaints were filed by a pair of former priests.

Fr. Hugo Valdemar Romero, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico City, said the accusations were brought to "create a scandal of such a level that the pope would accept (the cardinal's) resignation" more quickly. Rivera turned 75 June 6 and, in accordance with canon law, submitted his resignation to Pope Francis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Stateside law firms withdraw as church’s legal counsels

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera - August 15, 2017

Local attorney John Terlaje will remain counsel of record for the Archdiocese of Agana.

Guam – The stateside legal counsel for the Archdiocese of Agana has made a request to withdraw as attorneys of record for the church.

The request comes amid talks of moving forward with settlement negotiations between the scores of sex abuse victims and the archdiocese. Attorneys Mary McNamara and Britt Evangelist of the law firm Swanson & McNamara, LLP, and Paul Gaspari and Daniel Zamora, of the law firm Weintraub | Tobin, filed the request Tuesday as an unopposed motion.

No specific reason was provided but the motion did indicate that local attorney John Terlaje will continue to represent the archdiocese and that no trial date has been set on the matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Priest Frank Brennan warns he will defy confessional crackdown

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 15, 2017

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

Australia’s best credentialed priest on legal matters will defy any new laws to convict Catholic clergy for breaking the seal of the confessional on child sex abuse but gravely doubts he will ever be confronted with this dilemma.

Father Frank Brennan, a Jesuit priest and professor of law at the Australian Catholic University, yesterday rejected recommendations by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that would force priests — under the threat of criminal sanctions — to break the confessional confidence of offenders.

Under the church’s canon law, priests must maintain sec­recy about sins that a person confesses in a manner sometimes compared with client-lawyer confidentiality but in a holy context it is considered an ­untouchable imperative. But the royal commission headlined its 85 recommendations in its long criminal justice report on a crackdown on one of the church’s central pillars.

Father Brennan said if the law were to be introduced in Australia his only options as a priest would be to stop hearing confessions or to defy any legislation that sought to break the seal of confidentiality.

Father Brennan’s position was backed yesterday by the ­nation’s most senior bishops but rejected by the church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council, which had previously argued the seal should remain intact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Why is the Catholic Church protecting paedophiles?

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Susie O’Brien, Herald Sun
August 15, 2017

WHY is the Catholic Church continuing to protect and forgive paedophiles?

This is the only way to interpret the church’s desire to allow allegations of abuse made in the confessional to be exempt from mandatory reporting to police.

In an extraordinary admission, Catholic bishops have opposed any move to force priests to report details of child sexual abuse received during confession.

This is despite calls from the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse to make it illegal for them not to do so.

Recommendations released by the commission this week suggest clergy who fail to report such information would face criminal charges.

The report states confession has been a forum where both victims and perpetrators have disclosed sexual abuse in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Marshall, St. Mary’s College principal in Sault Ste. Marie from 1980-85, died in 2014

CANADA
Sault Star

By Harold Carmichael, Postmedia
Monday, August 14, 2017

A trial date is expected to be set Sept. 6 in a $5-million lawsuit filed by an alleged victim of a now-dead Catholic priest at a Sudbury high school decades ago.

The victim, now 61, was 12 when he attended St. Charles College in the late 1960s, where William Hodgson Marshall was a teacher and sports coach.Marshall was later principal of St. Mary's College in Sault Ste. Marie.

According to the man's statement of claim, the sexual assaults lasted for more than a year. The alleged victim claims he was expelled from the school for reporting Marshall's behaviour.

Individuals and parties listed in the lawsuit include Marshall, the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, the Basilian Fathers and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.

None of the allegations contained in the lawsuit have been proven in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Casey steps down from church professional standards role

AUSTRALIA
Goulburn Post

Louise Thrower
@ThrowerLouise

15 Aug 2017

If Matt Casey’s Catholic faith was ever tested over the past eight years, he remembered his late father’s wise words.

“He said it was important not to let the church, a human organisation, get in the way of your faith. It’s the best piece of advice I ever had,” he said.

“People have said to me that they don’t want anything to do with the church ever again, but it doesn’t mean God doesn’t love them.”

Mr Casey, a former Goulburn detective, retired from his role as director of the Institute for Professional Standards and Safeguarding on June 30. It was established by the Archbishop of Canberra/Goulburn, Christopher Prowse, in October, 2015 in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. However Mr Casey’s previous work with the Archdiocese since 2008 has covered child protection and safeguarding across not just schools and churches but its organisations. It was during his initial work as coordinator for parish support that he discovered several professional standards matters and raised them with the Archbishop.

“We then realised the extent of work that had to be done in ensuring people had appropriate working with children checks. When I later took on the role I picked up historic complaints of abuse, some of which dated back to 1946,” Mr Casey said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Two women abused as children to advise inquiry on Welsh victims

WALES
Daily Mail

By Press Association

Two women have promised to champion the cause of Welsh victims after being appointed to advise the public inquiry into child sexual abuse.

May Baxter-Thornton from Newport and Emma Lewis from Swansea, who have both experienced child sexual abuse, will sit on the victims and survivors panel of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

Their role will include advising the inquiry on how best to reach and listen to victims and survivors in Wales.

Inquiry chair, Professor Alexis Jay OBE said: “May and Emma have demonstrated a proven commitment to reaching and supporting victims and survivors of child sexual abuse in Wales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Australia Archbishop Rejects Sex-Abuse Exception to the Secrecy of Confession

AUSTRALIA
New York Times

By JACQUELINE WILLIAMS
AUG. 15, 2017

It’s confidential and considered sacred — a conversation strictly between a confessor and priest, never to be divulged. The secrecy of the confessional, a centuries-old sacrament, is taken so seriously that some priests would die before disclosing what has been shared.

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, who as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference represents all Roman Catholic clergy in the country, said Tuesday that he would rather go to jail than breach the seal of confession.

“The laws in our country and in many other countries recognize the special nature of confession as part of the freedom of religion, which has to be respected,” Archbishop Hart told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

His comments came a day after religious institutions across the country were forced to defend the secrecy of confession after Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended a sweep of legislative and policy changes, one of which would require priests who hear about sexual abuse in the confessional to report it to the authorities. The 85 recommendations were aimed at reforming Australia’s criminal justice system to provide a fairer response to sex-abuse victims, the commission said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

Man pleads to sexually abusing boy years ago

MICHIGAN
WOOD

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A former youth pastor has admitted to sexually abusing a young boy in Jenison a decade ago.

Daniel Hoffman, 31, pleaded guilty last week to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Authorities say Hoffman was being treated at a Zeeland hospital for a “psychotic break” last autumn when he told a nurse about the abuse. The victim, who used to be neighbors with Hoffman and is now an adult, confirmed to detectives that it happened between 2003 and 2008.

Since the period when the abused happened, Hoffman has worked at Jenison Public Schools and as a youth minister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Gerald Ridsdale victim taken to priest by her father, court told

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Adam Cooper

WARNING: This story contains content that may distress some readers.

A young girl was woken from her bed and driven by her own father to be left with paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale who then sexually abused her, a court has heard.

Ridsdale, arguably Australia's most notorious paedophile priest with past convictions for assaults on more than 50 children, on Tuesday formally pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting another 12 children, including the girl, when he was a priest in Victoria.

He pleaded guilty to 23 charges, including two counts of rape and one of buggery.

Ridsdale told one altar boy the abuse was "part of God's work", the Victorian County Court heard.

A day after findings were handed down in the royal commission into child sexual abuse, Ridsdale, 83, used a walking frame to enter the County Court dock and kept his head bowed as more of his devastating offending was outlined.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale assaulted girl on altar of Ballarat church, court told

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Melissa Brown and Helen Vines

A father took his daughter to a notorious paedophile priest to be abused, including one time when she was assaulted on the altar of a Ballarat church, a Victorian court has heard.

Gerald Ridsdale is back in court after pleading guilty to more historical sex offences, including rape and indecent assault.

The 83-year-old has been in jail since 1994 for abusing numerous children, but has now admitted to raping and indecently assaulting 12 more victims between 1961 and 1988 in western Victoria.

The County Court heard his youngest victim was six years old, several victims endured excruciating pain during the abuse and many of the offences happened in Ridsdale's car, including when he was driving.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale facing sex charges over 11 more victims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun

VICTORIA Legal Aid has urged a judge to give vile sex monster Gerald Ridsdale the chance at parole despite shocking new admissions he raped a girl in a church.

The horrific ordeal of the young girl whose father left her on a church altar to be raped by Ridsdale on Tuesday moved a courtroom to tears.

But his taxpayer funded lawyer Tim Marsh, VLA’s chief counsel, urged County Court judge Irene Lawson not to interfere with Ridsdale’s earliest release date which is currently April 8, 2019.

“Mr Ridsdale is clearly a repugnant figure to many, for reasons that are only too understandable,” he said.

“The task for this court is not to pass a sentence that addresses community sentiment, but to impose a sentence that’s just in all the circumstances and applies the fundamentals of sentencing law.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale 'abused girl, 10, on the altar'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A father undressed his daughter and laid her on a church altar where pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale indecently assaulted her, a court has heard.

Ridsdale, 83, has pleaded guilty to 23 charges, mainly indecent assaults but including rape, involving offences committed against 11 boys and one girl between 1962 and 1988.

Crown prosecutor Jeremy McWilliams said on one occasion in 1974 the 10-year-old girl was woken up by her father, while Ridsdale waited in the hallway, and driven with the priest to the church.

"(The girl's) father carried her to the confessional booth and took her clothes off her then carried her to the altar and lay her down," Mr McWilliams told the Victorian County Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

August 14, 2017

Three New Sexual Abuse Lawsuits in the Mormon Indian Placement Program are Filed Detailing Abuse in Three Different States (Utah, Arizona and Washington)

ARIZONA
Noaker Law

Contact Info:

Craig Vernon
Lee James
Cell: (208) 691-2768
cvernon@jvwlaw.net

James Vernon & Weeks
1626 Lincoln Way
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Patrick Noaker
Cell: (612) 839-1080
Patrick@Noakerlaw.com

Noaker Law Firm LLC
333 Washington Ave N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Billy Keeler
Cell: (505) 979-0688
billkeeler@keelerandkeeler.com

Keeler & Keeler, LLP
108 East Aztec Avenue
Gallup, NM 87301

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS CONFERENCE: Plaintiff AH, will discuss being removed from the Navajo Nation to be placed in a Mesa, Arizona home in the late 1970's where she was sexually abused on multiple occasions by her Mormon foster father. AH's attorneys will be available to answer any questions regarding the two other lawsuits filed yesterday; one by another Navajo survivor, sexually abused by her Mormon foster father in Utah, and another adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse who was taken off the Crow Reservation in Montana and placed in a Wenatchee, Washington home where she was sexually abused by her foster grandfather.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 11:00 am

WHERE: Kimpton Palomar Hotel, Mural Room,
2 East Jefferson Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85004

WHO: Plaintiff AH and her attorneys, Billy Keeler of Gallup, New Mexico and co-counsel, Craig Vernon

Click Here for File-stamped Copy of the AH Complaint

Click Here for the File-stamped Copy of the JC Complaint

Click Here for the File-stamped Copy of the Jane Doe 1 (Chelan County, Washington)

Please contact Craig Vernon on his cell phone (208 691 2768) for any requests or additional information

THE DETAILS:

(August 15, 2017 - Phoenix, AZ).

Three separate lawsuits have been filed (two, by enrolled members of the Navajo Nation and the third by a member of the Crow Reservation) against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the "Mormon" or "LDS" Church, and against LDS Family Services.

These three lawsuits follow five other lawsuits filed by adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse within the controversial Mormon "Lamanite (or Indian) Placement Program."[1] "Not only were our clients sexually abused but the core tenants of this placement program subjected them to cultural and emotional abuse as well," explains attorney Craig Vernon, a former member of the LDS Church and an attorney who has helped survivors of childhood sexual abuse across the nation in claims involving the LDS Church, the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, and other entities.

"Canonized Mormon scripture teaches that Native Americans are descendants of a group of people that fled from Israel in the year 600 B.C. and settled somewhere in the Americas. According to Mormon scripture, these people then split up into two groups: The Nephites, a righteous people; and the Lamanites who, after becoming wicked and hardening their hearts, were cursed by God with a 'skin of blackness'. This 'curse' doctrine, which equates having a 'skin of darkness' as a curse from God because of wickedness, is damaging to our clients' self-esteem and to their culture. Telling our clients and other Native Americans that they were 'cursed', that they needed Mormonism to break this 'curse', is troublesome, to say the least." added Vernon.

Two of the lawsuits were filed in the Navajo Nation District Court. The third was filed in Chelan County, Washington.

In the Washington lawsuit, Plaintiff Jane Doe 1 was taken off the Crow Reservation and placed with a foster family in Wenatchee, Washington. There, she was sexually abused on four separate occasions by her foster grandfather over a three-year period starting in 1970.

The Navajo Nation lawsuits both involve sexual abuse by two Mormon foster fathers. Plaintiff AH was sexually molested and abused by her Mormon foster father on multiple occasions starting in 1979. As part of this sexual abuse inside the perpetrator's Mesa, Arizona home, AH was also forced to watch the perpetrator masturbate. AH, who currently lives in Gallup, New Mexico, will speak at the press event.

Plaintiff JC was forcibly raped on multiple occasions, in a violent fashion, by her Mormon foster father at his Enterprise, Utah home in the late 1960's.

"Unfortunately, childhood sexual abuse isn't a plague unique to the Catholic Church" adds Billy Keeler, a Gallup, New Mexico lawyer who, along with Mr. Vernon, represent a total of eight adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse within this program who have filed lawsuits. "It is tragic that our other clients were sexually abused during this program. Religious organizations and programs such as this should be places where children are safe from harm, not places that protect sexual predators," comments Mr. Keeler.

"What has happened in these lawsuits is exactly why professionally-trained law enforcement should investigate reports of childhood sexual abuse. There is no evidence that any of the perpetrators of abuse were ever disciplined by the Church or criminally charged. We hope that these civil lawsuits will 'out' the perpetrators and answer some questions as to why the Church failed to protect these kids back in the day," comments Mr. Vernon

Keeler points out a disturbing trend within this program: "Many of our clients informed either Church leaders or LDS Family Service case workers about the sexual abuse, yet these cries for help fell on deaf ears. They didn't remove these vulnerable kids from these horrific homes and the abuse continued."

The rise and fall of this program appears linked to George P. Lee, who was a key figure during the program's most robust years. As reported in the November 1975 edition of the Mormon Church magazine, the Ensign, "Lee, in the 1950s, was one of the first participants in the Church's Indian Placement Program and later went on to receive a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University, a master's from Utah State University, and a doctorate from BYU. In 1975, he was called by President Spencer W. Kimball to be the first Native American general authority in the Church." Lee's primary focus was the Lamanite Placement Program. While the program grew during the George P. Lee years, such growth was accompanied by scandal.

George P. Lee served as a general authority until 1989, when he was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for what Mormon leaders called "conduct unbecoming a member of the church." As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune on July 31, 2007, "George P. Lee pled guilty in 1994 to sexual abuse of a child. The victim of this abuse, a girl, age 17 at the time of the 1994 trial, said Lee exploited the religious respect she had for him to fondle her breasts, buttocks and genitals. She said the abuse began when she was nine years old (in approximately 1986) and lasted for three years."

"We know of George P. Lee's guilty plea and the sexual abuse of this nine-year-old girl; what we don't know is how many other survivors of abuse are out there. When the General Authority that the Church assigned over this program was sexually abusing young girls, it is no wonder we see abuse within the foster families as well," comments Vernon.

"Because of the nature of this program which took children from their homes and placed them in a strange environment, protection of children should have been paramount. It appears that was not the case," adds Keeler.

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse within this program, AH has chosen to speak out at this press event. While AH will tell her story at the press event, she wishes to send a message of hope for any other survivors of sexual abuse within this program. "Understand that you are not alone. It is not your fault. The shame is not yours, rather the shame belongs to those who abused, as well as those who allowed the abuse to happen."

[1] The Book of Mormon reads: "And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them." (emphasis added) (2 Nephi 5:21, Book of Mormon).

Patrick Noaker | Noaker Law Firm LLC | (612) 349-2735 | patrick@noakerlaw.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Bunbury bishop Gerard Holohan writes to parishioners to reiterate apology to church sexual abuse victims

UNITED KINGDOM
Bunbury Mail

Andrew Elstermann
@AElstermann

14 Aug 2017

Diocese of Bunbury bishop Gerald Holohan has written to parishioners to reiterate his apology to victims who suffered abuse at the hands of Father William Kevin Glover in the 1960s and 70s.

Last month, the Mail published documents tendered to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in February that revealed in 1959, Bunbury bishop John Goody agreed to hire a priest despite knowing he had previously sexually abused a number of boys.

Father Glover ministered in Esperance, which was part of the Diocese of Bunbury from 1959 and was shifted to Margaret River in 1979 where he remained until his retirement in 1992. He died six years later.

The commission has recorded five allegations of child sexual abuse filed in WA between 1997 and 2014 against Father Glover for offending in the Diocese of Bunbury between 1967 and 1986. One was also received in Victoria in 1998 for alleged offending in 1956.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Let's Make A Deal -- Bernard Shero Getting Out Of Jail Early

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

MONDAY, AUGUST 14, 2017

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Like the Pope used to be, prosecutors think they're infallible.

And when they screw up, or get caught playing dirty, they don't apologize.

But today in Common Pleas Court, the nearest thing to a correction just happened -- Judge Ellen Ceisler signed off on a deal struck between the Philadelphia District Attorney's office and Bernard Shero's lawyers to let Shero out of jail nearly a dozen years early.

Shero, 54, is the former schoolteacher doing 8 to 16 years for his 2013 conviction by a jury on charges that included rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor, and indecent assault. But Shero's conviction comes with a big asterisk -- the alleged victim in the case was Danny Gallagher, AKA "Billy Doe," the former altar boy who has since been outed as a complete fraud.

Shero, 54, has already done 4 years, 6 months and two weeks in jail for crimes that never happened. He has another 11 1/2 years to go on his maximum sentence. But as soon as tomorrow, he'll be walking out of State Correctional Institution in Houtzdale, thanks to a deal finalized today during a half-hour teleconference between the prison and Judge Ceisler's courtroom at the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Child abuse inquiry to reconvene in the autumn

SCOTLAND
Police Professional

The second phase of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will continue with its investigation into children’s homes run by the Catholic order Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

The Lady Smith-led hearings are to reconvene on November 28 in Edinburgh to examine historical allegations of the abuse of children in care.

The public inquiry, which began in May, has already heard a series of religious organisations apologise for historical abuse in damning testimonies.

Legislation lifting the time-limit on damages for child abuse cases was passed by the Scottish Parliament earlier this year, removing the current three-year period for personal injury actions in cases of child abuse where the person was under 18 at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Chiles Menschenrechts-Katastrophe in der Demokratie: Über 1.300 Kinder starben in den Händen des Staats, privater und katholischer Kinderheime

CHILE
Nach Den Seiten

[Chile Over 1,300 children died in the hands of the state, private and Catholic children's homes.As a cause of death, the investigation report identifies the systematic violation of the duty of supervision, neglect, life-threatening medication, the use of violence, the formation of prostitution and the rape of hundreds of minors. The former bishop of La Serena and Chillán, Francisco José Cox Huneeus, is among the sex offenders. In order to escape the judicial authorities, the Vatican and the Chilean Church withdrew the "dignitaries"and ordered him "penance and prayer work" in the Father's house of the Schoenstatt movement, in the Palatinate Vallendar.]

Zur falschen Zeit, beim Auftakt des Präsidentschaftswahlkampfs, platzte vor wenigen Wochen in Chile die schwerste Anklage wegen Menschenrechtsverletzungen durch den chilenischen Staat seit Ende der Militärdiktatur im Jahr 1990. Eine Untersuchungskommission des Parlaments in Valparaíso warf dem Nationalen Dienst für Minderjährige (SENAME) und den chilenischen Regierungen seit 2005 vor, für den Tod von mindestens 1.300 Kindern und Jugendlichen im Verlauf der vergangenen 11 Jahre verantwortlich zu sein. Als Todesursachen benennt der Untersuchungsbericht die systematische Verletzung der Aufsichtspflicht, Verwahrlosung, lebensbedrohliche medikamentöse Behandlungen, Gewaltanwendung, Bildung von Prostitutionsringen und Vergewaltigungen hunderter Minderjähriger, auch durch Leiter beauftragter katholischer Kinderheime. Unter den schon vor Jahren schwer belasteten Sexual-Straftätern befindet sich der ehemalige Bischof von La Serena und Chillán, Francisco José Cox Huneeus. Um den Justizbehörden zu entkommen, zogen Vatikan und die chilenische Kirche den “Würdenträger” aus dem Verkehr und verordneten ihm „Buß- und Bet-Arbeit” im Vaterhaus der Schönstatt-Bewegung, im pfälzischen Vallendar. Von Frederico Füllgraf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Adass Israel School backtracks on (Rabbi) Kluwgant appointment

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

Child sexual abuse survivor and victims advocate Dassi Erlich posted publicly regarding her recent meeting with the Adass Israel School (Melbourne) board:

​On the 28th of July, Ted Baillieu accompanied me to a meeting with the Adass School board. With the board's permission I recorded the meeting. I have attached some excerpts below. Overall, I felt the meeting was a positive step forward. I look forward to seeing their sincere apology followed up with sincere actions - public statements of support.

Transcription of Recording:

Abe Weiszberger: Now going to Rabbi Kluwgant, since your letter came along he is not working, only as a consultant in the school.

Dassi Erlich: Have you told the board, the parents that this is what his position is?

Abe Weiszberger: The parents have never been told that he is going to be that he is principal. The letter came out to the staff and I have been to the staff and explained to the staff exactly what is his position is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Adass Israel School and (Rabbi) Meir Shlomo Kluwgant part ways

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

On behalf of several victims of child sexual abuse and other members of the community, I welcome the news that the Addas Israel School Board and (Rabbi) Meir Shlomo Kluwgant are parting ways.

Both Adass and Kluwgant have horrific histories when it comes to mishandling matters relating to child sexual abuse. Kluwgant’s appointment was a slap in the face to the Yeshivah victims who worked so hard to expose his true character and to the Adass victims who continue to suffer terribly as a result of the lack of education and poor decision-making of the Adass School Board. The appointment also needlessly brought the entire Adass community into disrepute and the community is entitled to question whether this Board can be trusted with ensuring the safety of their children and whether it is appropriate for them to continue in their current roles.

There were many parties who worked behind the scenes to ensure the right outcome was achieved and it was particularly heartening for many to see Rabbi Beck (long-standing head Rabbi of Adass), members of the Adass staff, members of the Adass community and the broader community standing up for victims on this occasion, something for which we have been crying out for too long.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Ultra-Orthodox baby trafficker exposed

ISRAEL/UNITED STATES
YNet News

Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth investigate allegations against Haim Aharon Yosefi, a well-known figure in the Haredi world, for taking young, pregnant Haredi woman from Israel to the US to give birth before giving the child away in an 'adoption' arrangement for a fee; ‘If I tell you who I'm connected to, it'll blow your mind,’ he tells undercover journalist.

Ariella Sternbach and Yehuda Shohat|Published: 13.08.17

Haim Aharon Yosefi—a well-known businessman and figure in the ultra-Orthodox world—trades in babies. He is a central figure in a network that allegedly takes young, pregnant Haredi women from Israel to the United States to give birth before giving the child away in an "adoption" arrangement for a fee.

In a series of meetings with undercover reporters from Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth, Yosefi unwittingly provided a rare glimpse behind the curtain, openly divulging how he and his accomplices operate. He also revealed a string of other related activities including the distribution of pills to suppress sexual desire, forging identification documents and more.

Over the last few weeks, Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth sent "Devorah Leah," a young Haredi woman with a cover story, to Yosefi. "I got pregnant by a married man, and I'm in trouble," Devorah told Yosefi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Accused clergy member teaches at Simon Sanchez High School

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 14, 2017

Until the Guam Department of Education's legal counsel is done researching personnel policies and rules, a science teacher who is named in the latest clergy sexual abuse lawsuit will continue his job at Simon Sanchez High School, an education official said.

Vernon T. Kamiaz has been accused of sexually abusing a minor, identified in local court documents only as E.M., who was taking confirmation classes between 1989 and 1990.

Kamiaz is a science teacher Sanchez High. Thursday is the opening of classes for public schools.

Kamiaz could not be reached for comment and did not respond to a message last week to his Facebook account, asking for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Child sexual abuse disclosed in confession should be reported: royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Priests would no longer be able to use the secrecy of the confessional to avoid reporting allegations of child sexual abuse, a royal commission recommends in its latest report.

In the wide-ranging report into the criminal justice system, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has made 85 recommendations aimed at better protecting children.

One key recommendation is that failing to report information about child sexual abuse disclosed in confession should be made a criminal offence.

"The report recommends there be no exemption, excuse, protection or privilege from the offence granted to clergy for failing to report information disclosed in connection with a religious confession," it read.

Australia's Catholic archbishops were divided on the issue of the Seal of the Confessional when quizzed about it at a public hearing this year which was told that it had been used as an excuse not to report crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

ARCHBISHOP: I'D GO TO JAIL RATHER THAN DOB IN SOMEONE WHO'D CONFESSED

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

[video]

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
August 14, 2017

The royal commission into child sexual abuse today said priests should be punished if someone taking confession admits to child abuse and the priest doesn't tell police. Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart says no priest can break confidentiality - and doing so will hurt children by making abusers less likely to admit anything even to their priest.

From The Bolt Report - Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart says confession is a fundamental part of the freedom of religion, and must remain so in Australia:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Child sex abuse: How the royal commission plans to protect kids

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Danny Tran

Fairness and reform - that's what the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse says are its goals in releasing dozens of recommendations on the criminal justice system.

The royal commission has made a total of 85 recommendations, including major legal and policy changes which it hopes will be adopted across the nation to stamp out child abuse and prosecute more offenders.

But what are the most important changes being proposed, and how will they change the way Australia responds to child sex abuse?

1. You could be charged for failing to report child abuse

Most child abuse laws in Australia are aimed at perpetrators but this particular law will be aimed at other people, including the owners and managers of places that have children in their care.

The royal commission is recommending that state and territory governments make it a crime not to go to the police about child abuse.

But it goes further, arguing that reasonable people who "suspect, or should have suspected" that a child is being molested would be committing a crime if they did not go to the police.

The commission said the law was necessary, "particularly in light of the evidence we have heard from a number of senior representatives of institutions effectively denying that they had any knowledge or had formed any belief or suspicion of abuse being committed in circumstances".

"Their denials are very difficult to accept," it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Breaking the seal of confession could pit church against state

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

ANALYSIS
By Noel Debien

Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has just made recommendations that could electrically charge the relationship between church and state.

It has advised that legislators in Australian states and territories should enact laws to specifically overrule the confessional seal. The recommendation would require mandatory reporting to police from priests who hear confessions concerning child abuse.

The recommendations, if enacted, would place the church and the state in direct legal conflict and would require fundamental change within the international Catholic Church.

While priests in other Christians denominations do hear confessions, for many of Australia's five and a half million Catholics the "seal of confession" is a sacred and secret matter, even when it comes to the heinous crime of child abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Melbourne priest wouldn’t break the seal of confession

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Drive

[audio]

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has recommended 85 changes to the law in a new report.

One of the most controversial recommendations is that clergy who fail to report information about child sexual abuse heard during confession, would face criminal charges.

The proposed change has already been met with opposition from some members of the Catholic Church because of the ‘seal of confession’.

Talkback caller Martin from Heidelberg, a Melbourne priest for 34 years, told Ali Moore on Drive, “We can’t reveal what someone says to us in confession…There’s a higher law and that is - I can’t reveal.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Confessional secrets won’t be protected under abuse probe recommendations

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 14, 2017

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

Secrets of the confessional would no longer be an excuse for failing to report child sexual abuse under royal commission recommendations.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse today released 85 new recommendations to reform the nation’s criminal justice systems.

The report recommends making the failure to report child sex abuse in institutions a criminal offence, extending to religious confessions.

It specifically states that clergy should not be able to refuse to report a sex abuse crime detailed in the confessional.

The recommendation will spark an uproar, particularly in the Catholic Church, which treats as strictly confidential matters discussed in the confessional.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Clergy who fail to report child abuse heard in confession should be charged – royal commission<

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey and agencies
Sunday 13 August 2017

Clergy who refuse to report child sexual abuse because the information was received during a religious confession could face charges if recommendations for new institutional criminal offences are accepted.

The child abuse royal commission wants failure to report child sex abuse in institutions to be a criminal offence, extending to information given in religious confessions.

People in institutions who know, suspect or should have suspected a child is being sexually abused and fail to act should face criminal charges, it says in its criminal justice report released on Monday.

Stephen Woods – who was abused by the notorious pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale and the convicted pedophile brother Robert Charles Best while a student at St Alipius primary school in Ballarat– praised the commission for the recommendation but said it was overdue.

Abuse confessions could see clergy charged

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

Clergy who refuse to break the seal of confession to report child sex abusers to police may end up facing criminal charges.

The child abuse royal commission wants a new crime of failing to report child sexual abuse in institutions, including for those people who should have suspected the abuse.

The commission says the importance of protecting children from sexual abuse means there should be no exemption for clergy over information received during a religious confession, despite the Catholic Church believing the confessional seal must not be violated.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president, Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, says confession is a fundamental part of the freedom of religion that must continue to be recognised by Australian law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Connecticut Rabbi in Alleged Sex Assault Case to Face Judge

CONNECTICUT
NBC Connecticut

A Connecticut rabbi accused of repeatedly raping and molesting a teenage boy is set to make his first court appearance since being arrested last month.

Rabbi Daniel Greer is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in New Haven Superior Court on felony charges of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. His lawyer says he will plead not guilty, but it's not clear if he will enter pleas Monday.

The 77-year-old Greer is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy who attended the Yeshiva of New Haven school from 2001 to 2005. Greer was a founder and principal of the school, which was established in 1977.

A federal jury in May awarded $15 million in damages to the now-former student in his lawsuit against Greer and the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Red Cross now advising group investigating infant remains

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Maeve Sheehan
August 13 2017

An international authority on excavating human remains has advised the expert group investigating the infant remains buried beneath the former mother and baby home in Tuam.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which has worked to recover and identify bodies from mass graves in conflicts across the globe, has been consulted by the expert group, as it nears the end of its technical examination of the site.

The charity is a leading expert on searching for, recovering, analysing, identifying, and managing large numbers of unidentified remains in varying states of preservation. Extraction and analysis of DNA are among the key issues the group is considering.

An update, published on the Department of Children's website last week, said that the group had also liaised with An Garda Siochana and the coroner for North Galway, who has a role in investigating sudden, suspicious or unnatural deaths. It has also liaised with the National Monuments Services and Forensic Science Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Clerical Abuse Scandal Hits Argentine President's School

ARGENTINA
US News

AP

By PAUL BYRNE, LUIS ANDRES HENAO and ALMUDENA CALATRAVA, Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Rufino Varela was a distraught, confused 12-year-old when he went looking for help from the school chaplain to tell him he'd been sexually abused by a mason at his family's home.

Instead of aiding, Varela says, the Rev. Finnlugh Mac Conastair took off the boy's pants, flogged him and fondled him in a room below the chapel at one of Argentina's most prestigious schools. Then, the Irish priest known by many as "Father Alfredo," offered him candy and told him that they should keep it as a secret with God.

"I had come looking for help, but I felt that it was a punishment from God," Varela said. "I came back to the classroom, holding back tears, went home and never spoke about it."

The secret was kept for nearly four decades. But in recent months, Varela's decision to break his silence has led several other former students to denounce clerical abuse at a school that has educated President Mauricio Macri and many other members of Argentina's elite.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Survivor frozen out of child abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter
August 14 2017
The Times

A man who was thanked personally by Theresa May for his “invaluable assistance” in setting up the child abuse public inquiry has been excluded from its investigations.

Andi Lavery campaigned for the inquiry and met Mrs May when she was home secretary to describe the abuse he had suffered as a schoolboy from Benedictine monks. Mr Lavery said last night that he was “extremely distressed” and had been treated for self-harm since Alexis Jay, chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), ruled that she would not investigate Fort Augustus Abbey, the school where he was assaulted.

Mrs May wrote to Mr Lavery in 2015 thanking him for his “openness and honesty” and expressing the hope that he would “continue to work with the independent inquiry as your experiences and your knowledge will be invaluable”.

Professor Jay has ruled that because Fort Augustus is in Scotland it falls outside the remit of her inquiry, which is considering abuse at institutions in England and Wales.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

Report on Criminal Justice released

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

14 August, 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released 85 recommendations aimed at reforming the Australian criminal justice system in order to provide a fairer response to victims of institutional child sexual abuse.

The report Criminal Justice, which was released today, recommends a sweep of legislative and policy changes. It includes reform to police and prosecution responses, evidence of complainants, sentences and appeals, and grooming offences. It also recommends new offences, including ‘failure to report’ and ‘failure to protect’.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the criminal justice system is often seen as not being effective in responding to child sexual abuse cases and conviction rates are lower compared to other crimes.

"Child sexual abuse cases are often ‘word against word’ cases with no eyewitnesses or medical or scientific evidence. Complainants often take years or decades to disclose their abuse," Mr Reed said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

Australia church abuse: Priests 'must report' confessions

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

Catholic clerics should face criminal charges if they do not report sexual abuse disclosed to them during confession, an Australian inquiry has recommended.

It is among 85 proposals to emerge from a landmark inquiry into institutional abuse in the nation.

The inquiry had heard harrowing tales of abuse, which were never passed on to the relevant authorities.

The Church has indicated it will oppose altering the rules around confession.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which began in 2013, was contacted by thousands of victims from both religious and non-religious organisations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 AM

Bishops call for protection of confessional seal following Royal Commission’s recommendations

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

By Mark Bowling

PROTECTING the sacred dialogue between God and sinner in the confessional needs to be paramount if Australian lawmakers are to follow new recommendations proposed by the Royal Commission, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge has said.

Archbishop Coleridge was responding to the recommendations made by Royal Commission into child sexual abuse that would require members of clergy to report information even if it is revealed in the confessional.

The recommendation was one of 85 contained in a report released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today.

The report, titled Criminal Justice, includes reform to police and prosecution responses, evidence of complainants, sentences and appeals, and grooming offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 AM

Priests should report confessions of sexual abuse: Australia’s Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Hindustan Times

AP

Australia’s most powerful investigative authority has recommended that priests who fail to tell police about suspected child sexual abuse should face criminal charges, even when they learn of abuse through confession.

Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended in a report on Monday that all states and territories in Australia introduce legislation that would make it a criminal offense for people to fail to report child sexual abuse in an institutional setting. Clergy who find out about sexual abuse during a confidential religious confession would not be exempt from the law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 AM

Commission in Australia says priests should report abuse heard in confession

AUSTRALIA
Crux

Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse says the right to practice one’s religious beliefs “must accommodate civil society’s obligation to provide for the safety of all and, in particular, children’s safety from sexual abuse.” Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, the president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said in a statement the inviolability of the seal of confession is a “fundamental part of the freedom of religion.”

A government commission in Australia on Monday said Catholic priests must violate the seal of confession if they hear about the sexual abuse of children.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established in 2013 to investigate how institutions like schools, churches, sports clubs and government organizations have responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse.

On Monday, it issued its report on criminal justice, including 85 recommendations for new legal standards.

Recommendation number 35 said laws on reporting sexual abuse of children “should exclude any existing excuse, protection or privilege in relation to religious confessions.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 AM

August 13, 2017

Le cardinal Barbarin devait être jugé début 2018

FRANCE
Sud Ouest

[Cardinal Barbarin and six other personalities of the church will appear before the courts in the case of priest Bernard Preynat. The case of Father Bernard Preynat, charged with "sexual assault on minors, will have a new episode in September at the Lyon Criminal Court before which Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and six others were summoned to appear by the victims. But this will be only a first step. As the Le Monde newspaper says, "the trial on the merits could open in early 2018".]

Le cardinal Barbarin et six autres personnalités de l’église comparaîtront devant la justice dans le cadre de l’affaire Bernard Preynat

L’affaire du père Bernard Preynat, mis en examen pour "agressions sexuelles sur mineurs", connaîtra un nouvel épisode en septembre au tribunal correctionnel de Lyon devant lequel le cardinal Philippe Barbarin et six autres personnalités de l’église ont été cités à comparaître par les victimes du prélat pour non dénonciation de faits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

New law removes statute of limitation for sexual abuse crimes

ILLINOIS
KWQC

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that will remove the statutes of limitation for sexual abuse crimes.

Rauner signed the measure Friday. Sponsor state Sen. Michael Hastings of Frankfort says the legislation puts in place "best practices for dealing with sexual assault cases statewide and puts a system in place that will encourage survivors to come forward and receive justice when they are ready."

Statutes of limitation restrict the time when authorities can charge someone after a crime occurs. The legislation Rauner signed removes those limitations for felony criminal sexual abuse and sex crimes against children. That will allow for the prosecution of those crimes at any time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Crucial test for Benedictine monks’ new leader as order faces sex abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Catherine Pepinster
Saturday 12 August 2017

He has been an abbot, an author, a TV star and a radio breakfast show regular and has been described as the country’s most influential Benedictine monk since Cardinal Basil Hume. Now Christopher Jamison is to attempt his most important role: saviour of the reputation of his monastic order.

At the start of August the monks of the English Benedictine Congregation – an association of 13 Roman Catholic communities of monks and nuns – elected Jamison as their leader. His installation as abbot president came just days after Professor Alexis Jay confirmed that the public inquiry she is chairing into child sexual abuse in England and Wales would focus its hearings during October and November on scandals at Benedictine schools and monasteries. The choice of Jamison was almost certainly no coincidence.

The Benedictines have been mired in controversy for 20 years following a series of revelations about sex abuse scandals at their prestigious private schools, Ampleforth, Downside, Worth and St Benedict’s, Ealing, west London. And with both the independent inquiry into child sex abuse, led by Jay, and a separate crown court trial of a Benedictine abbot on child sex abuse charges taking place this autumn, the order and its educational establishments will be under severe scrutiny.

Listeners to Chris Evans’s Radio 2 breakfast show, used to Jamison’s spiritual musings in its Pause for Thought slot, may be surprised to learn that he is taking on the difficult task of leading the order. Jamison is most at ease in front of a microphone and a camera. He has a knack of making Catholicism clear to a secular audience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Institutional abuse victims ask Brokenshire for help in accessing compensation

NORTHERN IRELAND
Breaking Newe

12/08/2017

Victims of institutional abuse in the North have urged the Secretary of State to intervene immediately to enable them to access stalled compensation payments.

Campaign group Survivors & Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia) urged James Brokenshire to act after holding a meeting with the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling.

Mr Sterling met with the Panel of Experts on Redress - a body made up of individual survivors, survivor groups, human rights organisations, academics and lawyers - on Friday afternoon.

In January, a Stormont-commissioned inquiry into abuse committed in church and state run homes in the North recommended compensation payments for victims of up to £100,000 each.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

August 12, 2017

Le cardinal Barbarin : « Face à la pédophilie, ma réponse n’était pas à la mesure de l’enjeu »

FRANCE
Le Monde

[In an interview with Le Monde, the prelate of Lyon denies having covered-up abuse by a priest.]

Le 24 juillet, il était à Karakoch pour célébrer une messe dans la grande ville chrétienne du nord de l’Irak, après l’éviction de l’Etat islamique de Mossoul. En septembre, il répondra à une citation à comparaître de victimes du père Bernard Preynat, un prêtre de son diocèse accusé d’avoir sexuellement agressé des enfants dont il avait la charge jusqu’en 1991.

Le cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 66 ans, qui fêtera en septembre le quinzième anniversaire de sa nomination à la tête de l’archevêché de Lyon, demeure l’une des principales voix de l’Eglise catholique en France. Prélat atypique, cet électron libre allie un conservatisme doctrinal et sociétal à une ouverture aux problèmes sociaux, un catholicisme d’affirmation et une proximité avec le pape François. Le primat des Gaules revient sur les leçons de l’affaire Preynat, les premiers pas du gouvernement et le pape François.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

Le cardinal Barbarin devrait être jugé début 2018 pour non-dénonciation d’agressions sexuelles

FRANCE
Le Monde

[Cardinal Barbarin should be tried in early 2018 for non-denunciation of sexual assaults.The date is not yet fixed, but Cardinal Barbarin and six personalities of the church, including two bishops and one of the most senior Vatican officials, will have to answer in a few months for non-denunciation of sexual assaults on minors who have accused them of covering-up abuse by Father Bernard Preynat.]

Par Emeline Cazi

La date n’est pas encore fixée mais le cardinal Barbarin et six personnalités de l’Eglise, dont deux évêques et l’un des plus hauts responsables du Vatican, devront dans quelques mois répondre des faits de non-dénonciation d’agressions sexuelles sur mineurs dont les accusent depuis deux ans des victimes du père Bernard Preynat, réunies au sein de l’association La Parole libérée.

Le père Preynat, ancien aumônier scout de l’ouest lyonnais, mis en examen pour « agressions sexuelles sur mineurs », est suspecté d’avoir fait des dizaines de victimes au sein de la troupe Saint-Luc dont il a eu la charge pendant vingt ans. Les sept personnes citées à comparaître en auraient eu connaissance mais n’ont jamais alerté la justice. Une première audience évoquera l’affaire le 19 septembre. Le procès sur le fond pourrait s’ouvrir début 2018.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

French archbishop admits failings in response to pedophile scandal

FRANCE
Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon acknowledged shortcomings in his response to a pedophilia scandal in his archdiocese and said more rigorous checks were in place to prevent past errors in the appointment of priests being repeated.

In an interview with Le Monde, published ahead of the Aug. 15 Feast of the Assumption celebration, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin reiterated that he had never concealed acts of sexual abuse by Father Bernard Preynat, a priest under his authority.

Preynat is accused of sexually abusing Catholic boy scouts during the 1980s and early 1990s. He is due to appear before a court next month. Preynat's lawyer has said the priest admits the abuse but that the cases have passed the legal statute of limitations when they were reported.

Prosecutors in 2016 extensively questioned Barbarin, one of France's top Catholic clerics, over why Preynat's activities had not been reported to civil authorities earlier before dropping their investigation into allegations of a cover-up.

Barbarin told Le Monde he became aware of Preynat's activities in 2007. When he "knocked on doors" for advice nobody gave him a satisfactory answer, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Police unhappy with priest abuse sentence, likely to appeal

MALTA
Times of Malta

Saturday, August 12, 2017by Matthew Xuereb

The police and the Attorney General’s Office are likely to appeal the sentence handed down to Fr Charles Fenech, who was found guilty of the violent indecent assault of a vulnerable woman.

Sources have said the police were not happy with the punishment meted out to the former director of the Kerygma Movement, who was given a three-month jail term, suspended for a year.

Times of Malta is informed that the victim, who at the time had mental health problems, is also disappointed with the punishment.

According to the law, the police have eight working days – until Wednesday – to file a note in the acts of the case, through which they can express their intention to appeal.

The Attorney General will then be notified and, in turn, will have another eight days to file his appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Russian Orthodox Priest Charged with Procuring Belarusian Prostitutes

RUSSIA
Latin American Herald Tribune

MOSCOW – A priest of the Russian Orthodox Church has been formally charged with recruiting women in Belarus and trafficking them to work as prostitutes in Russia, the Belarusian Investigative Committee announced on Friday.

The clergyman, identified as Nikolay Kireev, 39, was arrested on Aug. 3 in the northern Belarusian city of Vitebsk when he was about to board a bus to St. Petersburg accompanied by two women, aged 20 and 30.

According to a statement by the IC, police found that Kireev had allegedly persuaded the women, both of whom were Vitebsk residents, to move to St. Petersburg and work in the sex trade there.

The cleric, who served at the Peter and Pavel Cathedral in Imeni Morozova – a settlement on the banks of Lake Ladoga, near the Finnish border –, was put in pre-trial detention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

LISTEN: Historic child abuse panel member: “I was silenced by Theresa May’s advisors to ensure she became PM”

UNITED KINGDOM
Evolve Politics

In an extraordinary interview recorded yesterday, a child abuse survivor who served on the Government’s independent inquiry into historic child sexual abuse has claimed she was silenced by Theresa May’s advisors to ensure that Ms May became Prime Minister.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Ms Evans’ startling claims about her time serving on the inquiry.

Speaking to talkRADIO, Sharon Evans, a former journalist and the founder of Dot Com Children’s Foundation, said that the panel were “promised the child abuse inquiry would be open”, but after a short while she saw that it was ‘so obvious that everything was about the control and suppression of information” and that the supposedly independent inquiry had absolutely “no independence’.

Ms Evans claimed that the contracts panel members were made to sign by the Home Office were used to stop them from speaking openly about “very serious allegations about very public figures” – allegations which she says were taken back to the inquiry leaders, but ‘nothing was being done about” them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Canonist warns Church oversight of troubled lay groups has ‘no teeth’

UNITED STATES
Crux

Claire Giangravè
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

Through the years the Vatican has developed strong rules and regulations to fight sex abuse in the clergy, but two recent sex abuse scandals in Catholic lay associations show that in these cases the Church is still very slow to respond and that often local bishops fail to exercise the necessary monitoring.

ROME - In an effort to respond to cases and allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church over the years, Pope Francis has affirmed a “zero tolerance” policy and stressed that the Vatican must be committed to enforcing accountability.

Yet two recent scandals suggest that while the Church may have developed strong controls over clergy, in cases that involve lay organizations, it sometimes struggles to impose effective oversight.
“Let’s put it this way: The process in the Church for dealing with lay people has got no teeth,” Father Francis Morrissey, a Canadian expert on canon law, told Crux.

One case is rooted in Peru, where the leader of a lay Catholic movement called the Sodalitium of Christian Life was accused of sexually and physically abusing members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Magdalene abuse must not go unpunished, UN tells Ireland

IRELAND
The Times (UK)

Ellen Coyne Senior Ireland Reporter
August 12 2017
The Times

Members of the Catholic Church must be prosecuted and punished for their role in the Magdalene laundries, the United Nations has said.

The UN committee against torture has unequivocally dismissed the state’s investigation into the institutions and claims damning documents showing church and state collusion against women have been ignored.

The international human rights body has said that the government must ensure that religious orders responsible for perpetrating abuse against women and children for decades must be forced to hand over evidence.

In 2011 the committee called for an independent investigation into the laundries, which helped lead to the McAleese commission and Enda Kenny’s apology in 2013 to the women who had been affected. Despite the apology, the state has maintained that it was not liable for how women and girls were treated in the institutions.

Finishing its second examination of Ireland’s compliance with torture laws yesterday, the committee criticised the McAleese commission, saying there had been no independent, thorough and effective investigation into the treatment of women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Ireland criticised by UN for response to Magdalene Laundries allegations

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Cormac O'Keeffe
Irish Examiner Reporter

The UN has criticised Ireland for failures in investigating allegations of ill-treatment of women at Magdalene laundries and for not prosecuting perpetrators.

The United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) asked the Government to undertake a “thorough, impartial investigation” in this area and ensure that all victims obtain redress.

UNCAT said it was “seriously concerned” at the failure of the State’s delegation to it to provide further information regarding their claim that there have been a sizeable number of investigations into abuse at reformatory and industrial schools, as documented in the Ryan Report.

The committee, which monitors adherence to the UN Convention Against Torture, issued its concluding observations, after taking submissions from Irish NGOs and holding hearings with the Government.

In its observations, UNCAT called on the Government to:

* Bring in a specific offence of domestic violence, and ensure all such allegations are recorded by gardaí and investigated;
* Hold immigration detainees separate from people charged or convicted of criminal offences;
* Ensure solitary confinement is “never applied to juveniles” and to “urgently” undertake an independent review of the prison health-care system;
* Establish a national mechanism, which would have access to all places of deprivation of liberty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Former student alleges repeated abuse by Calgary priest, high school teacher

CANADA
Calgary Herald

Meghan Potkins, Calgary Herald

When Brian was a teenager, he attended the funeral of a man he says sexually abused him for months.

He sat in St. Mary’s Cathedral in January of 1983, for the special funeral mass presided over by the bishop: a solemn occasion befitting the untimely death of a much-loved priest.

“It was huge. Everyone in full regalia, and I was just one little person in this whole church,” recalls Brian.

“They saw him as a saint.”

On Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed in Calgary court against a religious order of the Catholic church, alleging decades-old sexual abuse at the hands of a Calgary priest and teacher at Bishop Grandin High School that left a former Calgary resident permanently scarred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

August 11, 2017

Abuse inquiry set to put orphanages in spotlight

SCOTLAND
Evening Times

Hannah Rodger @hannahwritesHT
Senior Reporter

AN INQUIRY into historic child sex abuse will examine practices at two west of Scotland orphanages during its next stage.

Phase two of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will hear evidence about two care homes in Lanark and Rutherglen run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

The inquiry has called for applications to give evidence about practices at Smyllum Park in Lanark and Rutherglen’s Bellevue House.

It has previously been reported that children who lived at the Smyllum Park orphanage endured years of harrowing treatment and abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

CALL FOR FURTHER REDRESS FOR SURVIVORS OF MAGDALENE LAUNDRIES AND MOTHER AND BABY HOMES

IRELAND
Galway Bay FM

Galway Bay fm newsroom – There’s a call for further redress to survivors of Magdalene laundries and Mother and Baby Homes, such as those in Galway

The UN Committee Against Torture says its previous recommendations on historical abuse have either been only partially implemented, or not at all.

Following a review of Ireland’s compliance with the UN Convention on Torture and Other Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Ireland is complimented for its progress on ending the incarceration of children in adult prisons, and the Citizens Assembly, but it’s sharply critical of other issues.

The UN Committee against Torture or UNCAT says Ireland should undertake a thorough impartial investigation into Magdalene Laundries that has the power to compel witnesses and ensure punishment of those responsible.

The UNCAT also wants redress for survivors of Mother and baby homes, and is concerned that some survivors of institutional abuse have been left outside the now-closed redress scheme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

UN torture committee voices "serious concern" over State response to historical abuse

IRELAND
Newstalk

[The Ryan Report - BishopAccountability.org]

The UN Committee against Torture has voiced "serious concern" over the lack of information provided by Irish State regarding investigations into historical abuse outlined in the Ryan Report.

The committee has published its final report on the Irish Government’s performance on issues including historic institutional abuse, detention and healthcare.

It has warned that its call for the State to investigate all allegations of ill-treatment of women at the Magdalene Laundries have not been implemented.

It said the state has also failed to prosecute those responsible and ensure that victims get redress for their suffering.

It has urged the Government to collect data on all criminal investigations undertaken by the gardaí into allegations of abuse at religious run institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Govt criticised by UN over lack of Magdalene investigation

IRELAND
RTE News

A United Nations committee has criticised the Government for failing to implement its recommendations to investigate allegations of ill treatment of women in Magdalene Laundries.

It has also called for urgent measures to improve the staffing of the Republic's prisons and to convene an independent review of the entire prison health care system.

The report underlines many achievements in the six years since the UN Committee Against Torture's previous review.

These include the creation of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the provision of community service as an alternative to imprisonment.

It also notes the 2013 McAleese Report on the State's involvement with the Magdalene Laundries and the ex gratia scheme to help women who worked in the Laundries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

UN criticises government for failure to prosecute abuse perpetrators in Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
The Journal

A UNITED NATIONS committee has criticised the government for its failure to undertake an independent investigation into allegations of ill-treatment at Magdalene Laundries.

It said that it “deeply regrets” that the Irish State has failed to prosecute and punish perpetrators, which was a recommendation it had made previously.

Last month, Minister David Stanton told the UN Committee Against Torture that Ireland had a “strong human rights record” and hailed positive developments that have been made since the last report on the matter submitted to the UN in November 2015.

On the issue of investigations, accountability and redress in the context of Magdalene Laundries, the UN committee said that it had noted the creation of an “ex-gratia scheme that has provided over €25.5 million to 677 former Magdalene women to date”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

UN Committee Concerned At Lack Of Information Provided By State On Abuse

IRELAND
K FM

A UN Committee says its seriously concerned at the lack of information provided by the Irish State into investigations into historical abuse outlined in the Ryan Report.

The UN Committee against Torture has published its final report on the Irish Government’s performance on issues including historic institutional abuse, detention and healthcare.

It’s urged the Government to collect data on all criminal investigations undertaken by the Gardai into allegations of abuse at religious run institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

UN committee against torture urges inquiry on all mother and baby homes

IRELAND
Irish Times

Marie O'Halloran

The UN Committee against Torture has called on the Government to carry out an independent investigation into allegations of ill-treatment at all mother and baby homes, not just some of them.

The committee said the inquiry should include claims of forced adoption and prosecution of perpetrators.

It criticised the Government’s failure to fully investigate allegations of ill-treatment in Magdalene laundries as the committee recommended six years ago.

The UN committee calls for a fundamental review of the prison system’s health care system, highlights the urgent need for increased staffing in prisons and warns the State that it must end solitary confinement in prisons as a punishment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

UN criticises Government for not investigating Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Catherine Devine

August 11 2017

The United Nations has criticised the Irish Government for failing to implement its recommendations to investigate allegations of ill treatment of women in Magdalene Laundries.

The UN Committee against Torture also criticises the Government for failing to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that victims have an enforceable right to compensation.

The Committee is the most important international human rights treaty that deals with torture. It obligates countries who are parties to the treaty to prohibit and prevent torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in all circumstances. 

In the report the Committee also highlighted the need to improve staffing at prisons and to review the prison healthcare system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Institutional abuse victims ask Brokenshire for help in accessing compensation

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

August 11 2017

Victims of institutional abuse in Northern Ireland have urged the Secretary of State to intervene immediately to enable them to access stalled compensation payments.

Campaign group Survivors & Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia) urged James Brokenshire to act after holding a meeting with the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling.

Mr Sterling met with the Panel of Experts on Redress - a body made up of individual survivors, survivor groups, human rights organisations, academics and lawyers - on Friday afternoon.

In January, a Stormont-commissioned inquiry into abuse committed in church and state run homes in Northern Ireland recommended compensation payments for victims of up to £100,000 each.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Disturbing details revealed in allegations against San Mateo teacher

CALIFORNIA
KTVU

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KTVU) - There are disturbing new details involving a San Mateo preschool teacher who was arrested back in April for taking lewd photos of his young students. For the first time, a parent of one of the victims is speaking out about the alleged crimes that happened at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School where the teacher was employed.

The mother said it's been a traumatic experience. Her daughter has stomach aches every time she hears the teacher's name. She wanted to come forward saying the school failed to protect her child.

The mother asked KTVU to conceal her identity. She found it odd when her eight-year-old asked her to buy her tights not realizing she said it was because her teacher Anthony Satriano wanted her wear them.

“She was very upset about something. One night, she had told me what had happened and that it made her feel weird and she didn't know what to do,” said the mother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Vatican investigates claims against bishop after dozens of priests resign

INDONESIA
Catholic Herald (UK)

by Catholic News Service
posted Thursday, 10 Aug 2017

Bishop Leteng of Ruteng, Indonesia, is accused of diverting funds to a mistress but denies the charge

The Vatican has appointed an apostolic visitor to investigate claims by Indonesian priests that their bishop had a mistress and misappropriated church funds.

Bishop Antonius Subianto Bunyamin of Bandung, Indonesia, told ucanews.com that the Vatican had asked him to look into the accusations against Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Ruteng, Indonesia.

Bishop Bunyamin, also general secretary of the Indonesian bishops’ conference, was scheduled to visit the diocese on Catholic-majority Flores Island next week, ucanews.com reported.

The appointment followed social media postings that Catholics in the Ruteng diocese living in Jakarta would gather at the apostolic nunciature for a vigil calling for a speedy resolution to the situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Bischof soll Affäre haben: Vatikan prüft Vorwürfe

INDONESIEN
Katholisch

[Serious accusations are raised by Indonesian priests against their bishop Hubertus Leteng: He is supposed to have embezzled church money and have an affair. Now the Vatican sends an investigator.]

Der Vatikan hat einen apostolischen Visitator für das indonesische Bistum Ruteng eingesetzt. Dem dortigen Bischof Hubertus Leteng werfen Priester der Diözese Veruntreuung von Kirchengeldern in Höhe von rund 100.000 US-Dollar und eine Beziehung zu einer Geliebten vor. Der Generalsekretär der indonesischen Bischofskonferenz, Bischof Antonius Subianto Bunyamin, soll nun im Auftrag des Vatikan die Vorwürfe untersuchen. Das sagte er dem Nachrichtenportal "UCAnews.com" am Dienstag (Ortszeit). Er wird nächste Woche in die Diözese auf die Insel Flores reisen.

Priester protestierten mit Kündigungen

Die Ernennung eines Ermittlers durch den Vatikan ist eine Reaktion auf die Protestaktion von Priestern des Bistums Ruteng: Im Juni 2017 hatten 69 Geistliche ihre Kündigungen als Pfarrpriester und Bischofsvikare eingereicht. Sie verlangten, dass Bischof Bunyamin die Vorgänge im Bistum Ruteng überprüfe. Sie reagierten damit auf Vorwürfe, Leteng habe sich heimlich 94.000 Dollar von der indonesischen Bischofskonferenz und 30.000 Dollar von der Diözese geliehen, ohne für dessen Verwendung Rechenschaft zu geben. Kurz vor dieser Protestaktion hatte Leteng die Vorwürfe nicht kommentieren wollen, berichtet das Nachrichtenportal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry to resume hearing evidence

SCOTLAND
SBS

Dan Vevers

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will resume hearing evidence as part of the first phase of its investigations in October.

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

Fresh hearings to wrap up the inquiry's first phase will begin in Rosebery House in Edinburgh on October 31 and will include expert testimony.

Investigators also announced they will launch the second phase of the inquiry on November 28, which will start by focusing on two children's homes in South Lanarkshire run by the Catholic Church.

They are Smyllum Park in Lanark and Bellevue House in Rutherglen, both run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Paedophile remains a priest

NEW ZEALAND
Otago Daily Times

By Chris Morris

The Catholic Church is defending its decision not to defrock a paedophile priest who abused boys in Dunedin.

It was confirmed this week Magnus (Max) Murray, now aged 90, is in the care of a Catholic-owned rest-home in Auckland. Despite admitting 10 charges of sexual offending against boys in Dunedin, dating back to the 1950s, Fr Murray has retained his status as a priest following his conviction in 2003, the church has confirmed.

It was a discovery that outraged Murray Heasley, the head of a group of former pupils campaigning for Kavanagh College to adequately acknowledge its links to Fr Murray’s dark past.

He was a teacher at St Paul’s High School, which later became Kavanagh College, at the time of his offending.

A picture of him was on the college’s honours wall until earlier this year, when a complaint from Dr Heasley and 12 other former pupils prompted its removal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Michigan woman says pastor sexually assaulted her during 'anointing ritual'

MICHIGAN
WXYZ

[with video]

Kim Russell
Aug 9, 2017

KIMBALL, Mich. (WXYZ) - A young woman went to investigators at the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office and said she went to her pastor asking for help getting forgiveness for her sins.

He offered an anointing ritual but what happened during that ritual has her believing she is a victim of sexual assault.

Justine Morden says she worshipped at Grace Ministries in Kimball for years.

Last year she decided she wanted to repent for her sins, strengthen her relationship with god, and get more involved - so she met with Pastor Mitch Olson for counsel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Trudeau to apologize for residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador

CANADA
CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will apologize to former students of residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Prime Minister's Office confirms that Trudeau will apologize in Labrador.

An exact date and location have not been confirmed, but an update is expected later this summer.

Former prime minister Stephen Harper excluded the province's former residential schools from a national apology and compensation package in 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Cardenal Rivera declara a la PGR que sólo supo de una acusación de pederastia

MEXICO
Proceso

[MEXICO CITY (AP) - Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera testified before the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) on 26 July that he had heard of one accusation of pederasty against one of its priests, who is already "being prosecuted criminally," with information that the "own archdiocese provided to the ministerial authority."]

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (apro).- En su comparecencia ante la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR), realizada el pasado 26 de julio, el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera, arzobispo primado de México, declaró que tuvo conocimiento de una sola acusación de pederastia contra uno de sus sacerdotes, el cual ya está “siendo enjuiciado penalmente”, con información que la “propia arquidiócesis proporcionó a la autoridad ministerial”.

De esta manera, el cardenal respondió personalmente a la demanda penal que, el pasado 2 de junio, interpusieron en su contra Alberto Athié y José Barba, quienes lo acusaron de haber encubierto a 15 sacerdotes de su arquidiócesis acusados de pederastia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Judge rules Dominican priest to be held in altar boy's death

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
National Post (Canada)

[Revelan escena de crimen de adolescente se extendió por toda la casa cural - Diario Libre]

AP

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — A Dominican judge on Thursday found enough evidence to hold a Catholic priest in jail for one year after police detained him in the killing of a 16-year-old who once served as an altar boy in his church.

Prosecutors said the victim, Fernelis Carrion, was hit twice in the back of the head with a hammer, suffocated with a plastic bag and stabbed nearly a week ago. They also said his hands and feet were tied with shoelaces and that he was gagged.

Police arrested 41-year-old Rev. Elvis Taveras after the teen’s body was found near a road north of the capital Monday.

“A person who does something like this is not human, they never were, they’re the devil!” yelled the victim’s father, Freddy Carrion, after the court hearing ended.

Local law allows Dominican authorities to temporarily hold suspects in jail before a trial as authorities continue to investigate a case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Byrnes sends 3 Guam seminarians to California

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 11, 2017

Three former Guam seminarians, including two from the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, have been sent to St. Patrick's Seminary in California.

A committee of Catholic priests said last year the Yona seminary — which is run by the Neocatechumenal Way — may need to be closed for the good of the Archdiocese of Agana unless the seminary can clarify its purpose, seek formal accreditation to ensure the quality of its priest formation program, and ensure its financial independence.

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes decided to send the three seminarians to St. Patrick's Seminary, which for decades has had strong ties with the Archdiocese of Agana, the archdiocese said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Laurence Soper accused of abusing boys at St. Benedict's School

UNITED KINGDOM
Ealing Today

The former Abbot of Ealing Abbey, 73-year-old Laurence Soper has denied charges of sexual abuse against ten underage boys in a short hearing at the Old Bailey.

The 18 counts he is accused of date back to the seventies and eighties when he was teaching at St Benedict’s School.

He had failed to return when arrested and bailed in 2011 and a European Arrest Warrant was issued for him in 2012. He was detained in Kosovo last year after reportedly living in the country for several years. The extradition process was started at this point to bring him back to the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Mediation Conference to be held in September

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves - August 10, 2017

Guam – The Catholic Church has scheduled a conference to finalize the mediation process to be utilized in the sex abuse lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Guam.

According to Court documents, 73 of the Church Abuse cases are participating in the mediation. At this time, all parties are working together to determine how each proposed mediation process differs and ultimately decide on which mediation process they will follow.

Attorney Anthony Perez says, “my understanding from the church’s side is they want to meet September 5th to finalize the process. On my end correspondence has been ongoing. We have already submitted our proposal which is based upon Hawaii mediation order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Opinion: Isn't Apuron innocent until proven guilty?

GUAM
Pacific News Center

R.B. Eusebio Published Aug. 11, 2017

The recent media headlines reporting allegations of sexual impropriety involving Rev. Justin Wachs in the diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is recycled news from a news report from June. As reported, Wachs served as a notary for the Vatican tribunal investigating sex abuse charges against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

However, he is not one of the five judges tasked with examining evidence, evaluating and determining the validity of the evidence and finally rendering judgment. He has no say or influence in the case’s outcome.

Nevertheless, all the media appear to deem this newsworthy enough to publish as the expected conclusion of the trial draws near. Yet it aligns with the schema of those who stand to gain from Apuron’s permanent ouster from the island.

Why? By discrediting the Vatican tribunal — which has conducted the most thorough investigation into the claims against Apuron to date — those accusing the Church have more leeway to negotiate via mediation a growing number of unproven sex abuse claims. They have steered the public, via the media, to question his innocence and deemed him guilty before, during and now, near the conclusion of his trial, by discrediting the legal process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Dominican Republic priest arrested on suspicion of killing teen

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Angelus

Catholic News Agency

The National Police of the Dominican Republic have arrested a priest on suspicion of killing a teenager, who was allegedly sexually abused by the cleric while serving as an altar boy.

Fernely Carrión had been missing since Aug. 4, after a taxi driver dropped the 16 year-old boy off with Father Elvin Taveras. The boy’s body was later found along the road of Los Mina, a sector located outside of Santo Domingo Este. Reports indicate the teen was stabbed several times.

The young man had lived in El Torito and Villa Mella, where the priest said Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Carrión began altar serving for Father Elvin at 10 years-old. Father Elvin has also been accused of molesting Carrión, who was allegedly being paid by the priest to remain silent.

According to a Aug. 8 statement by the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo, the priest will be suspended from his duties and the church will fully cooperate with the police. The victim's family was distraught over the news but relieved that the priest is in custody and that plans for legal action are underway, reported Hoy Digital.

Freddy Carrión, the father of the victim, said “justice has been done, a person who does something like that is not a priest,” according to the news agency. Prosecutor Olga Diná Llaverías said that both he and the victim’s family will be aiming for “the maximum sentence of 30 years” for the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Urgent research needed into 'boyfriend model' of sex abuse, say experts

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Frances Perraudin
Thursday 10 August 2017

Calls are being made for urgent research into the “boyfriend model” of sex abuse that was used by the Newcastle sex trafficking network and others in high-profile grooming scandals.

It is characterised by a vulnerable person being encouraged to believe they are in a loving relationship with their abuser. The victims are often then coerced into having sex with the abuser’s friends or associates.

In a series of four trials at Newcastle crown court, juries found 17 men and one woman guilty of nearly 100 offences between 2011 and 2014 – including rape, human trafficking, conspiracy to incite prostitution and drug supply.

The female victims, who were between the ages of 13 and 25, were plied with alcohol and drugs before being sexually assaulted. Northumbria police characterised the abuse as following the boyfriend model.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Supporters of sex-pest accused pastor to protest in Durban

SOUTH AFRICA
Herald Live

August 11, 2017 Bongani Mthethwa

Supporters of sex-pest accused Nigerian pastor Tim Omotoso will take to the streets of Durban today in solidarity with the controversial televangelist.

He has been charged with human trafficking and sexual violence.

The Jesus Dominion International church and its members are demanding that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) stop delaying Omotoso’s case – and also that he be released on bail.

The church has warned that the charges against their pastor could result in xenophobic violence.

“The allegations against him have never been tested in any court of law,” the church said yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

Former Maitland Marist student alleges caning so hard it required ambulance treatment

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
11 Aug 2017

THE Marist Brothers order has paid compensation to a former Hunter student who alleged he was sexually abused by a lay teacher in the 1970s, and physically assaulted so severely that he was treated by an ambulance officer on one occasion.

The former Marist Maitland student alleged he was physically and emotionally abused by four male lay teachers and three Marist Brothers, including former principal and convicted child sex offender Brother Nestor, also known as John Aloysius Littler, and sexually abused by a lay teacher outside the school.

The order denied the allegations and did not admit “any wrongdoing for any of the claims”, but agreed to a financial settlement with the man in December that included recognition of his need for on-going counselling and treatment.

The settlement occurred only weeks after a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse public hearing in Newcastle heard shocking evidence of sexual and physical abuse of students at Marist Brothers schools at Maitland and Hamilton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

August 10, 2017

Clergy sexual abuse case filed against Brother Vernon T. Kamiaz of Agana Heights Church

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 10, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Another case of clergy sexual abuse filed today. This time, against Brother Vernon T. Kamiaz of Agana Heights Church who, according to Simon Sanchez High School's website, is a science teacher at the Yigo campus.

The alleged incidents occurred in 1989 or 1990 when victim E.M. was about 15 or 16 years old and attending confirmation classes instructed by Brother Vernon.

According to the complaint, Brother Vernon insisted on talking about E.M. and his sexual relations with his girlfriend who wanted to wait until marriage to have sex.

E.M. alleges that during a car ride, Brother Vernon reached over and grabbed his private parts announcing "I'm trying to teach you what to do so you can have sex with her."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Capuchin friar on Guam accused of abusing boy taking his confirmation classes

GUAM
USA Today

Haidee V. Eugenio, Pacific (Guam) Daily News Aug. 10, 2017

HAGÅTÑA, Guam — A Capuchin brother is accused of sexually abusing a boy by grabbing his private parts, purportedly to teach the child how to have sex with his girlfriend, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Guam Superior Court.

The suit represents the 97th person alleging clergy sexual abuse. The lawsuits so far have been filed in both local and federal courts and involve the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agaña or a religious order.

"Brother Vernon (T. Kamiaz) told plaintiff that he could teach plaintiff how to 'break down her defenses' so that he could have sex with her," according to the lawsuit. "Plaintiff objected, saying that he respected his girlfriend's wishes to abstain until marriage."

The alleged abuse happened between 1989 and 1990 while the boy, identified as E.M., was taking confirmation classes at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Agaña Heights, about a mile south of Hagåtña where Kamiaz was the instructor, the lawsuit states. E.M. was 15 or 16 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 PM

Catechism teacher accused of abuse

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post Aug 10, 2017

An incident in a car with a catechism instructor has haunted a man for the last 27 years, causing him to suffer from severe anxiety attacks, according to a sex abuse civil lawsuit that was filed yesterday in the Superior Court of Guam.

E.M., who used his initials to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Capuchin Franciscans and Brother Vernon Kamiaz.

Kamiaz is identified as a religious clergyman and/or lay brother of the Capuchin Order, who was the instructor for confirmation classes at the Agana Heights parish in 1989 and 1990. The lawsuit seeks to hold him liable for alleged wrongful conduct.

The complaint alleges that when E.M. was 15, and was attending confirmation classes at the Agana Heights parish, Kamiaz began questioning the teen about engaging in sexual relations with his girlfriend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Diocese of Paterson: Priest accused of groping was properly trained

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

Peggy Wright, @PeggyWrightDR Aug. 10, 2017

MORRISTOWN - The Diocese of Paterson on Thursday refuted a suggestion that a Polish priest who is charged with groping a 13-year-old girl in Boonton may have skipped some training and put on an ordination fast-track.

Before the accused priest, Rev. Marcin A. Nurek, 37, appeared Wednesday in Superior Court, Morristown, a former priest who co-founded a company to assist people sexually abused by clergymen led a protest in front of the courthouse. Besides saying he was there in support of the allegedly-groped teen, Robert Hoatson said he wondered whether Nurek truly completed all his training since he only arrived in the United States from Poland in 2015.

Nurek was ordained a Catholic priest on July 1. On Aug. 3, he allegedly followed a group of young girls down a Boonton street, grabbed the buttocks of one girl under her skirt but over her underwear and said she was "sexy." He was apprehended shortly after the encounter and is charged with criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Nurek spent six nights in the Morris County jail before a Superior Court judge Wednesday ordered his release pretrial under special conditions that include having no contact with children and reporting to the court twice a month. Nurek was released from the jail Wednesday night after supplying the Morris County Prosecutor's Office with his passport.

Richard Sokerka, director of communications for the Diocese of Paterson, said that Nurek completed all educational and programmatic requirements before being ordained. Sokerka said that any suggestion that Nurek was fast-tracked is false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 PM

Rewarding sexual predators

MALTA
Times of Malta

Thursday, August 10, 2017 by Ramona Depares

I’m fed up of having to write these posts, seriously. Then again, the alternative is to just accept everything without a whisper, allowing the system to ride roughshod on unfortunate individuals as it pleases.

So, despite, knowing that I will not make the slightest iota of difference, I’m still here, typing away to put my disappointment and disgust with our legal system on record, for posterity.

Maybe in a few centuries’ time, if Earth is still around, future lecturers in legal history will point their fingers at Maltese case-law from the 21st century and do the whole LMFAO thing (if that is also, still around) before turning to students to explain exactly why those Malteasers really had no clue.

We’ve had dozens of sexual assault and rape cases where the perpetrators were pretty much let off scot free. This latest one though, starring none other than former Kerygma golden boy Charles Fenech, takes the biscuit, the cake and the whole flipping confectionery. Charles Fenech has not so much gotten off scot free, as much as he is actually being given a conciliatory pat on the back.

The facts: priest in a position of authority and respect takes advantage of a person undergoing several mental problems and sexually assaults her on multiple occasions. His reward? A three-month suspended sentence and an ‘u ijja, she says he filled an emotional void in her life’. Oh yeah, and because “by her own admission, she saw him as a caring paternal figure”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:49 PM

Updated: Fr Charles Fenech gets three-month suspended jail term for sexually abusing woman<

MALTA
Malta Independent

Helena Grech
Thursday, 10 August 2017

Fr Charles Fenech, former leader of the philanthropical Kergyma movement, was found guilty of sexually abusing a vulnerable person, landing him a three-month jail term suspended for one year.

Fenech was also charged with detaining a woman against her will and offending a person’s morals in a public sphere. He was acquitted of the last two charges.

The woman involved had testified in court, about how separation from her husband had left her very depressed, and that Fenech had become a patriarchal figure in her life.

The woman filed her first police report in August 2011. She was working at Dar Tal-Providenza and described how the priest had urged her to perform oral sex on him. Battling depression, she was eventually admitted to Mt Carmel psychiatric hospital to receive treatment.

She testified that at a later stage when she was in a better place, celebrations were being hosted at her home and Fenech was among the guests. At one point, the priest asked to speak with her alone and attempted to give her a French kiss, the victim testified.

Former Kerygma director Fr Charles Fenech guilty of attempted violent indecent assault

MALTA
Malta Today

Matthew Agius 10 August 2017

Former Kerygma director Fr Charles Fenech has been found guilty of attempted violent indecent assault, but cleared of illegal arrest and committing indecent or immoral acts in public.

It was in December 2014 that Fenech, 57, from Rabat, was charged before Magistrate Tonio Micallef Trigona with sexually abusing a woman in her 40s who was working at the Dar tal-Providenza at the time.

The woman had told police in 2011 that she been going through a period of turmoil, due to her separating from her husband and had been admitted to Mount Carmel Hospital after attempting suicide. She had explained that she had also been part of the Kerygma movement and had found an understanding and caring ear in Fr Fenech.

After her release from hospital, she had held a party at her home and invited her close friends, amongst them the accused. At one stage Fr Fenech had isolated her and attempted to French kiss her, but she had refused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

MALTESE PRIEST CONVICTED IN SEXUAL ASSAULT ON A WOMAN

MALTA
Associated Press

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) -- A Maltese priest has been handed a suspended three-month sentence after he was found guilty of violent indecent assault on a woman who was undergoing psychiatric care.

The woman testified that Charles Fenech, 57, a priest who was popular in the Mediterranean island nation in the 1990s for organizing activities to raise funds for disabled people, forced her to perform oral sex on him on several occasions in 2011.

The woman was under the care of a psychiatrist after trying to commit suicide while her marriage was breaking up.

The verdict Thursday was the first involving a Maltese priest accused of sexually abusing an adult. In 2011, two Maltese priests were sentenced to a total of 11 years in jail for sexually abusing minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Marikina women’s desk chief sacked over Taytay priest case

PHILIPPINES
The Manila Times

MARIKINA City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro has ordered the sacking of the city police women and children protection desk’s chief for mishandling the case of Msgr. Arnel Lagarejos, and sought a reinvestigation of the case by the City Prosecutor’s Office.

Teodoro said he ordered the relief of Chief Insp. Melanie Redon after some pieces of evidence went missing in the case against the priest who was recently caught with a 13-year-old girl on the way to a motel.

The mayor cited, among others, that there was no mention in Redon’s report of Lagarejos’ gun during the arrest and his cellphone, which was allegedly returned to the priest.

Teodoro said these are material pieces of evidence vital to the investigation.

He added they are preparing to file a motion for reconsideration on the prosecutors’ resolution accusing Lagarejos only for violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and released him after posting P120,000 bail last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

Cura Elvin Taveras Durán calló durante primera entrevista con el Ministerio Público

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
Diario Libre

[SANTO DOMINGO. Prosecutor for the province of Santo Domingo, Olga Diná Llaverías, said that suspended priest Elvin Taveras Durán, accused of killing the minor Fernelis Carrión Saviñón, fell silent during the first interview held between the Attorney General and his defense lawyers, so the alleged admission of homicide to investigating police officers is not evidence that can be sustained in the merits trial.]

SANTO DOMINGO. La fiscal de la provincia Santo Domingo, Olga Diná Llaverías, declaró que el sacerdote suspendido Elvin Taveras Durán, acusado de matar al menor Fernelis Carrión Saviñón, calló durante la primera entrevista sostenida entre el Ministerio Público y sus abogados defensores, por lo que la supuesta admisión del homicidio ante los agentes policiales investigadores no es una prueba que se pueda sostener en el juicio de fondo.

“Por el momento la confesión no representa un elemento probatorio, por eso el Ministerio Público tiene que agenciarse sus propias pruebas. Ha habido una entrevista, no ha sido un interrogatorio con su representante”, declaró.

“El Ministerio Público continuará la investigación para arrojar elementos que puedan fortalecer la imputación que se ha hecho de manera provisional porque no sabemos con qué podemos encontrarnos en el camino”, dijo la fiscal y a seguidas agregó: “Por el momento el Ministerio Público ha presentado pruebas que lo vinculan al hecho, pero el Ministerio Público tiene el compromiso de presentar todos los elementos de prueba necesario para una acusación fuerte”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:20 AM

Dominican police arrest Catholic priest for teen’s murder

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
La Croix

Police in the Dominican Republic have arrested a Catholic priest for the murder of a 16-year-old who previously served as an altar boy in his church.

Father Elvin Taveras was detained after being questioned by police and prosecutors who searched his residence in the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo.

The priest is also accused of sexually abusing the teenager, and paying for his silence.

Fernely Carrion’s body was found in long grass along a road in the outskirts of the capital.

A taxi driver told the Diario Libre newspaper that he had taken the teen to meet the priest and that Taveras paid the fare.It is not clear how the boy was killed.

Taveras has been suspended from his duties as a precaution, Santo Domingo Archdiocese said in a statement on Aug. 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Ex-priest Laurence Soper denies sexually abusing boys

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

An ex-Roman Catholic priest has denied sexually abusing 10 boys at a west London school in the 1970s and 80s.

Laurence Soper, 73, is charged with 18 counts of sexual assault against boys aged under 16, at St Benedict's School in Ealing, where he taught.

The former Abbott of Ealing Abbey appeared before the Old Bailey via video link and spoke only to confirm his name and deny the charges.

He is due to go on trial at the same court on 2 October.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Emmy nominee Ryan White (‘The Keepers’ director) admits he ‘had no idea how deep and dark the story actually ran’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

UNITED STATES
Gold Derby

[with video]

Zach Laws
Aug 9, 2017

During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), director Ryan White describes the Emmy nomination for his multi-part documentary “The Keepers” as “a validation of the people who shared their stories in the series, and how brave that was of them.” This Netflix original examines the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, an English teacher at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School, and the belief held by former students she was murdered to cover-up rampant child sexual abuse by one of the school’s priests, A. Joseph Maskell. “I know it was very rewarding for them to hear we got an Emmy nomination,” reveals White of the films subjects.

The documentarian divulges he first became interested in the story through a personal connection.

“My family is a big Catholic family in Baltimore,” he explains, “and my aunt was Sister Cathy’s student.” From there, he was introduced to Jean Wehner (a.k.a. Jane Doe), a former student who was repeatedly abused by Maskell. White admits he “had no idea how deep and dark the story actually ran.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Evangelical Church Investigated in Brazil for Forced Labor

BRAZIL
Folha de Sao Paulo

08/09/2017

ANA ESTELA OF SOUSA PINTO
FROM SÃO PAULO

The Labor Prosecutor's Office of São Paulo heard pastors Juarez and Solange Oliveira, founders of the Rhema Community Evangelical Ministry (Ministerio Evangelico Comunidade Rhema), regarding a forced labor investigation, on Tuesday (8).

In July, Associated Press news agency published statements from former members of the Rhema Community claiming they were forced to work in the American church Word of Faith Fellowship, in Spindale, North Carolina.

The churches deny the allegations.

CORRECTIONS

Evangelical churches encourage members to pitch in, according to researchers who study the subject. However, lack of material or psychological support and the emphasis on supernatural forces may make it easier to explore followers.

According to Mr. Corrêa (pseudonym), who left Rhema a year ago, the influence of Americans changed the Brazilian church. "It was a normal, pleasant Evangelical church. Then, they began to adopt harsh procedures."

According to him, it was then that the "corrections" began: scolding and public or private humiliation, including physical aggression.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Priest accused of groping teenage girl in NJ is released from jail

NEW JERSEY
PIX 11

[with video]

AUGUST 9, 2017, BY MAGEE HICKEY

MORRISTOWN, NJ — A newly ordained Roman Catholic priest accused of groping a 13-year-old girl under her skirt won't have to remain in jail while the charges are pending in New Jersey.

Rev. Marcin Nurek, newly ordained, wore an orange jumpsuit instead of a priest collar in court Wednesday. His hands looked like they were clasped in prayer, but they were really just holding up handcuffs.

He said little in court, but Judge Paul Armstrong said a lot.

Specifically, the judge detailed the allegations that this 37-year-old priest from Poland, who was set to become parochial vicar of Saint Catherine of Sienna Church in Mountain Lakes next week, instead stands accused of a crime involving a 13-year-old girl on a downtown Boonton street

"Female xx states that he groped her under her skirt and over her underwear," Judge Paul Armstrong said. "The defendant then self admitted to touching victim on her buttocks."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Comunidad católica sorprendidos por crimen cometido por padre Elvin Taveras

REPUBLICA DOMINICANA
CDN

[con video]

Santo Domingo RD.- Miembros de la zona parroquial donde el ex sacerdote Elvis Taveras Durán ofrecía oficios religiosos expresan sentirse sorprendidos por el asesinato competido por el religioso al joven Fernely Carrión.

Este miércoles fue oficiada una misa en la Capilla Nuestra Señora de Fátima del sector El Tamarindo, donde el ex cura presidía los orificios religiosos los domingos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PRIEST HELD IN DEATH OF FORMER ALTAR BOY

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Authorities in the Dominican Republic have detained a Catholic priest as a suspect in the killing of a 16-year-old who previously served as an altar boy in his church.

The Rev. Elvis Taveras was taken into custody after questioning by police and prosecutors who searched his residence in eastern Santo Domingo. He was expected to make his initial appearance before a judge Thursday.

Prosecutor Gilberto Castillo said he would seek to have the priest held while authorities continue the investigation. Taveras did not yet have a lawyer.

Fernelis Carrion's body was found in brush along a road leading north out of the capital. A taxi driver told newspaper Diario Libre that he had taken the teen to meet the priest and that Taveras paid the fare. Authorities have not disclosed the cause of death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Response to sexual abuse

PHILIPPINES
Cebu Daily News

By: Sofia Aliño Logarta
@cebudailynews

Recent cases of sexual abuse, especially of minors, move us to reflect on certain characteristics of our society. The report on incest shows how some parents view their children.

Fathers in the case of incest feel they have a right to do as they please because the children belong to them. This sense of ownership has been seen in the cases of cyberpornography that victimized our children.

Mostly this has resulted in a degree of emotional, psychological confusion on the part of the children who had been victims. With the presence of child and women advocates, these children have undergone debriefing. Those who had not benefited from these experienced lifelong trauma from such violation.

Before, I noticed a great deal of victim-blaming. Why was she roaming around late at night?

She deserves such treatment because of that provocative get-up. Aside from those, complainants became further victimized by macho jokes. Recently I have been relieved to hear that there has been assistance and a variety of support.

The action of church officials towards the priest charged with qualified trafficking (accused of using the services of a pimp to have sexual services of a young girl — both minors) has been speedy and business like, with no defensive statements.

This an improvement from our being asked to stop pursuing a case of a priest accused of sexual harassment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

PRIEST ACCUSED OF GROPING TEENAGE GIRL IS RELEASED FROM JAIL

NEW JERSEY
Associated Press

MOORISTOWN, N.J. (AP) -- A newly ordained Roman Catholic priest accused of groping a 13-year-old girl under her skirt won't have to remain in jail while the charges are pending in New Jersey.

A judge ruled Wednesday, rejecting requests from Morris County prosecutors that the Rev. Marcin Nurek remain jailed until the matter is resolved or be required to wear a monitoring device.

The 37-year-old priest was charged last week with child endangerment and criminal sexual contact. He's accused of touching the girl's buttocks over her underwear and telling her she was "sexy."

The Diocese of Paterson has put Nurek on administrative leave. But his lawyer said Wednesday that the diocese has offered to provide Nurek with housing while the charges are pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Priest charged with groping teenage girl appears in court in New Jersey

NEW JERSEY
WABC

By Toni Yates
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

MORRISTOWN, New Jersey (WABC) -- Authorities say a newly ordained Roman Catholic priest in New Jersey has been charged with groping a teen girl under her skirt.

38-year-old Father Marcin Nurek came into court in handcuffs, and stood next to his attorney, who has a gazillion doubts about this case.

"My sense is that something doesn't smell right," William Ware, Nurek's attorney.

He says Nurek, of Poland, dreamed all his life of becoming a priest.

"The whole allegation is bizarre. He doesn't know this person, he has no history of this," Ware said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Priest accused of molesting teen must surrender passport

NEW JERSEY
News 12

[with video]

MORRIS COUNTY -
A newly ordained Roman Catholic priest who is accused of molesting a teenage girl was ordered to surrender his passport and cannot have contact with the victim or other children.

The Rev. Marcin Nurek, a polish immigrant, appeared before a Morris County Judge Wednesday. Nurek is accused of putting his hand under a 13-year-old girl’s skirt and rubbing her buttocks over her underwear. He also allegedly told her that she was “sexy.”

Police say that Nurek admitted to doing all of this, but his defense attorney questions if that is true.

“We heard a lot today about the admissions on part of the defendant. Well did he have an interpreter? Because he doesn’t speak English and what little he does is limited,” says attorney William Ware. “I’m curious about the admissions because it’s apparently a big part of the state’s case.”

Ware ways that Nurek also has no history of this type of behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

Mapleton LDS bishop charged with sexual abuse likely to take plea deal

UTAH
Daily Herald

Kurt Hanson
Daily Herald

An LDS bishop charged with sexually abusing two underage males in his ward is expected to enter into a plea deal soon.

The defendant, Erik Hughes, appeared Wednesday in Fourth District Court before Judge Thomas Low with his attorney, John Allan.

Allan told Low he and David Sturgill, Utah County deputy attorney, are prepared to enter into a plea agreement.

“We have a resolution but we’re trying to tie up a few ends,” Allan said.

Allan asked for another hearing in two weeks where it is likely that Hughes, 51, will enter pleas. He was arrested just 49 days ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Request for literature: The scale of online-facilitated Child Sexual Abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Inquiry has commissioned the Secure Societies Institute at the University of Huddersfield to provide us with a review of the most up to date available information that can be used to quantify the scale of online-facilitated child sexual abuse. The findings will help pinpoint areas where further research is needed and help inform the Inquiry's investigation into the Internet and CSA'. They may also inform recommendations for policy and practice. The Inquiry and the University of Huddersfield are asking organisations to let us know about any unpublished literature or ongoing research in this area. Full details of the request can be found in the library on our website.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Second phase of Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry announced

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The second phase of hearings in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is to open with a case study centring on care establishments run by a Catholic order.

The independent inquiry is looking in detail at historical abuse of children in residential care in Scotland.

The inquiry has been separated into a series of phases, the first of which continues on 31 October.

Phase two starts on November 28 with a study of homes run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

Applications to appear in relation to this case study are now open, with a particular focus on Smyllum Park in Lanark and Bellevue House in Rutherglen. The deadline for applications to appear, for people with a direct or substantial interest in the hearings, close on 4 September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Supporters of sex pest accused Pastor Omotoso take to the streets

SOUTH AFRICA
Times Live

10 August 2017

BY BONGANI MTHETHWA

Supporters of sex pest accused Nigerian pastor Tim Omotoso will take to the streets of Durban on Friday in solidarity with the controversial televangelist‚ who has been charged with human trafficking and sexual violence.

The Jesus Dominion International Church and its members are demanding that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) stop delaying Omotoso's case and that he be released on bail. The church has also warned that charges against their pastor could result in xenophobic violence.

“The allegations against him have never been tested in any court of law. As South African members of the Jesus Dominion International we feel that these allegations are politically motivated and have a potential to create xenophobic sentiments and violence‚” the church said in a statement.

Omotoso was arrested in a bathroom at the Port Elizabeth International Airport in April. The 59-year-old father of three is alleged to have molested and raped at least 30 young women who attend his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Opinion: Don't assess Guam's Catholic schools

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

David. J. Sablan Aug. 10, 2017

The sexual abuse of our children by members of our Catholic clergy is the worst violation of trust, when supposedly holy men take advantage of our young for their own pleasure. This is truly sad and our prayers continually go out to the victims and their families.

Archbishop Anthony Apuron's administration of our archdiocese was a disaster.

As a result, many in the community have lost trust and confidence in the leadership of our Church, and it is still at a very low point. People still are hesitant to contribute to the support of the chancery and anything it does until they are sure their money is being put to good use for the well-being and future of our Church.

Assessments

So now comes this announcement from chancery officials that effective July 1, 2017, and monthly thereafter (no end date stated), all 14 Catholic schools on Guam are directed to pay $12 per student per month to cover the annual debt service and old accounts payable owed by two Catholic schools.

Additionally, there’s another $25 per student per year to fund an office in the chancery of the Archdiocese of Agana, established to support the schools with a "system of administrative, accounting and human resource support for our schools."

On the surface, this may seem to be a prudent assessment of students in schools still operating, to cover debts of two other Catholic schools: one which closed and whose debt balance of $2.4 million, plus payables of about $60,000, was assumed by the archdiocese; and the other which fell behind in paying its past-due accounts totaling approximately $180,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Child abuse inquiry to probe Lanarkshire childrens homes run by nuns

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Alan Simpson

THE second phase of the Scottish child abuse inquiry will further investigate controversial children’s homes run by a Catholic Order of nuns.

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

Officials said the first part of the second phase starting in autumn will focus on homes run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, such as Smyllum Park in Lanark and Bellevue House in Rutherglen.

The head of the religious order which ran the controversial children’s homes has already described allegations of abuse as a “mystery”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Child abuse survivors hope to agree interim payments this week

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Legal News

A child abuse survivors’ group has spoken of hope that interim payments for historical child abuse victims could be agreed this week with David Sterling, head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Margaret McGuckin of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA) is on the expert panel meeting Mr Sterling on Friday.

The Panel of Experts on Redress was recently told by Jeffrey Donaldson MP that the DUP would support payments, amid mounting pressure on Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire.

Ms McGuckin, who suffered abuse as a child at Nazareth House children’s home, told The Irish News: “We were over the moon after the meeting with Jeffrey Donaldson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Convicted Moncton ex-priest will face preliminary inquiry on new sex charge next month

CANADA
CBC News

A preliminary inquiry for a former Moncton priest facing another allegation of indecent assault is going to take place in September.

Yvon Arsenault, who is serving a four-year prison sentence for molesting nine boys while he was a priest in the 1970s in the Shediac and Collette areas, appeared in Moncton court Wednesday morning on the latest charge.

The former Catholic priest, who has been behind bars since February, was in handcuffs as he was escorted into the courtroom by a sheriff's deputy and sat down in the prisoner's box.

Arsenault pleaded guilty last year to the sex crimes that put him in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Mediation Conference to be held in September

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves - August 10, 2017

Guam – The Catholic Church has scheduled a conference to finalize the mediation process to be utilized in the sex abuse lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Guam.

According to Court documents, 73 of the Church Abuse cases are participating in the mediation. At this time, all parties are working together to determine how each proposed mediation process differs and ultimately decide on which mediation process they will follow.

Attorney Anthony Perez says, “my understanding from the church’s side is they want to meet September 5th to finalize the process. On my end correspondence has been ongoing. We have already submitted our proposal which is based upon Hawaii mediation order.

Meanwhile, it has been made clear that Archbishop Anthony Apuron will not be participating in the mediation process. Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s currently has four motions to dismiss in the defamation cases before the District Court of Guam which are set to be heard on August 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Tuam site report due next month

IRELAND
Galway Independent

An expert group considering the future of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home burial site is due to complete its final report next month.

The group was appointed earlier this year by Minister Katherine Zappone at the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

Commenting on the group’s work, a spokesperson for the Department said, “There is no precedence for a situation such as this in Ireland, or indeed further afield, and the cooperation of all relevant government agencies is required in moving forward. This is to ensure that the dignity and integrity of the human remains at this location may be acknowledged and respected with their future to be secured as swiftly as possible.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

AUSTRALIA'S BALLARAT DIOCESE ACCUSED OF BREAKING CHURCH SEX ABUSE GUIDELINES BY CHALLENGING COMPENSATION CLAIM

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

10 August 2017 | by Mark Brolly

The Diocese is alleged to be denying the circumstances of the victim's abuse, despite fact it was accepted by the Court three years ago

The Diocese of Ballarat, one of the Catholic bodies most scrutinised by Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has been accused of breaking the Church’s guidelines in resisting a compensation claim by a victim of laicised priest Gerald Ridsdale.

The guidelines state a claimant cannot be required to prove the elements of an abuse case that the Church authority had already accepted to be true.

But lawyer Paula Shelton said the Diocese was challenging parts of her client's claim that were accepted by a court when Ridsdale was convicted of the abuse. Her client was seven years old when sexually abused by Ridsdale, who is now in jail, in 1980.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

August 9, 2017

Dave Sablan to seminary occupants: pay rent or get out

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 09, 2017

By Krystal Paco

One longtime advocate for transparency in the Church speaks out about what he's calling "freeloaders". The property in question is the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona.

Pay rent or get out - that's the sentiment from Concerned Catholics of Guam President David Sablan, who told KUAM News, "We have this property now that is back in the church patrimony. That is the Yona property, where the Redemptoris Mater Seminary is situated. We still have people staying there."

Sablan has written to RMS leadership to find out who's staying in the former hotel and has yet to receive a response. He alleges the group consists of members of the Neocatechumenal Way, including missionaries, seminarians, and presbyters.

Though their operations are no longer financially supported by the Archdiocese, he reports they use the space free of charge. "A free hotel for a bunch of freeloaders from around the world," he strongly stated. Sablan takes issue with this considering 14 Catholic schools and all Catholic parishes are being assessed fees to keep Church operations afloat.

"Here they are, staying at the RMS rent-free, exposing actually the archdiocese and the church to liability risks, on the other hand we're charging our school kids to cough up some money to pay off old debts that is now been assumed by the archdiocese," he said. Sablan added, "In my opinion, this is another type of abuse of our children. If we are going to charge them now to pay our old debts. They should be kept out of this - there should be other ways and means."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Concerned Catholics says Neocatechumenal Way should help pay church debts

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 9, 2017

Concerned Catholics of Guam President David Sablan said the Neocatechumenal Way should start paying rent for using the Archdiocese of Agana's Yona property.

Sablan said it is unfair that Guam's 14 Catholic schools and their students are being assessed to pay for some $2.64 million in church debts, while the Neocatechumenal Way "gets free rent" from the archdiocese.

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 said in previous statements.

The new fees are not for costs associated with clergy abuse cases, church officials have said.

"I questioned why this organization is getting a free ride from the Archdiocese, and the kids in our Catholic schools are being assessed to cover part of the cost of operations of the Chancery, including 100 percent of the debt assumed by the Archdiocese from two schools," Sablan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Temporary stay issued in sex abuse cases

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post

Judge Michael Bordallo of the Superior Court of Guam issued a temporary stay of 20 childhood sex abuse cases that were filed in Superior Court against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America, to see if the parties can agree on the mediation process.

Attorney Anthony Perez, who represents several sex abuse victims, advised the court that his clients agreed to mediation but are still working out concerns they had with the protocol. He anticipates those issues being resolved in the next week or two.

The parties are scheduled to have their first meeting in Hawaii on Sept. 5 to iron out all of the details of the mediation that is expected to begin in Guam on Oct. 30.

A retired federal judge, Michael Hogan, has been selected by the parties to act as mediator and work with the archdiocese, the Boy Scouts of America, other defendants and the victims' attorneys in an effort to resolve the cases through a settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

No action on sex abuse lawsuits...for now

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Aug 09, 2017

By Krystal Paco

No action will be taken on 20 clergy sex abuse lawsuits as well as a defamation lawsuit filed in the Superior Court. At least...for now.

On Wednesday, the local court granted a motion to stay on both matters in light of settlement talks.

"We requested the motion to stay for the same reasons we had in the District Court; hopefully we'll be able to come to a settlement through the mediation process with the victims," said And as Archdiocese of Agana's attorney John Terlaje requested on Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo granted a motion to stay on 20 clergy sex abuse cases.

The stay is only for 30-days - just enough time to give parties who've expressed willingness to participate in settlement talks time to discuss the processes with mediator, Oregon-based retired federal judge Michael Hogan.

That meeting is scheduled for September 5th in Hawaii followed by Hogan's trip to Guam in late October. "We seem pretty confident, as long as everyone comes in good faith. We think that the settlement will happen," Terjale continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Superior Court grants motion to stay church sex abuse and defamation cases

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Jolene Toves - August 9, 2017

The stay will be in effect for 30 days.

Guam – Following a stay granted in the District Court of Guam in the church sex abuse lawsuits–with the exception of the cases involving Archbishop Anthony Apuron–a temporary stay was also issued by the Superior Court of Guam this morning.

When the sex abuse cases against the Archdiocese of Guam were originally filed at Superior Court, all judges recused themselves, including Judge Michael Bordallo. Out of necessity and at the request of District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewoo, however, 20 sex abuse and 4 defamation cases are back at Superior Court where they are now talking about how to proceed with litigation.

There are over 90 sex abuse cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana. With multiple plaintiffs and defendants, the issue of how to proceed with mediation, in particular, what mediation process to follow, has arisen as all parties must be in agreement. In court today, Judge Bordallo issued a 30-day stay to allow all parties to sort out the mediation process.

Attorney Patrick Civille says his client, the Boy Scouts of America, supports the motion to stay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Local court judge postpones further action in $2M libel suit, in clergy abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Aug. 9, 2017

Further action on clergy sex abuse cases filed in the Superior Court of Guam, as well as a libel suit filed against Archbishop Anthony Apuron in Superior Court, has been delayed until at least Sept. 12 because of pending settlement talks.

Superior Court Judge Michael J. Bordallo Wednesday morning held a status hearing for 20 clergy sex abuse cases and the $2 million libel and and slander lawsuit filed by former altar boys against Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana.

Bordallo during the hearing ordered a temporary stay on the libel case and abuse cases until an agreement has been reached on the mediation process for the nearly 100 abuse cases pending in local and federal court. The church had requested the stay.

Apuron’s counsel, Jacqueline Terlaje, told Bordallo that Apuron’s motion to dismiss the defamation case had been filed about a year ago.

Terlaje said Apuron is not participating in the mediation process at this time.

“On the defamation suit, what our grounds are, is that every person has the right to assert their innocence; that they cannot be sued in defamation simply by asserting their innocence,” Apuron’s counsel said after the status conference. “The court has ordered a temporary stay. 30 days is not going to be a huge delay in the matter and I am pleased with that, the court has an interest in moving the case forward.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 PM

Lafayette, diocese has history of sex offenses by priests

LOUISIANA
The Daily Advertiser

Ken Stickney, kstickney@theadvertiser.com Aug. 9, 2017

Accusations of sex crimes involving Roman Catholic priests and Acadiana children might date back some seven decades, court records reveal. They also include two notorious court cases in the past few years.

The case of the Rev. F. David Broussard, whose scheduled Aug. 14 court appearance has been delayed until Nov. 27 in St. Martin Parish, is the most recent occurrence. Broussard is not accused of sexual contact with children, but the former Breaux Bridge pastor, 51, was charged in July 2016 with 500 counts of possession of child pornography. Some 500 images of children were found on his personal computer.

Broussard wrote a public letter of apology after his arrest but pleaded not guilty to the felony charges in May. He remains free on $25,000 bond. Most Rev. Douglas Deshotel, bishop of Lafayette, placed him on administrative leave and he performs no priestly duties.

But the Breaux Bridge case was not the only recent one to land a local priest in trouble. Former priest Mark A. Broussard, convicted in March 2016 of molesting altar boys in the neighboring diocese of Lake Charles in the late 1980s, was arrested in 2012 after a man wrote to Lake Charles Bishop Glen John Provost to reveal accusations against Broussard, who had served as a priest in several Catholic churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

Cops hunt pastor accused of getting teen pregnant

JAMAICA
The Star

A Kingston pastor accused of repeatedly having sex with a 12-year-old girl before impregnating her is now being sought by detectives at the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Law-enforcement sources revealed that the girl, who is now 14 years old, has given a detailed statement alleging that the 52-year-old clergyman first forced himself on to her before he began to reward her after their sexual encounters.

"He would give her money and other gifts so that she would not tell anyone," one source revealed.

Confessed everything

However, according to the source, the alleged sexual relationship came to light in June this year when the 14-year-old discovered that she was pregnant and confessed everything to her mother.

The names of the clergyman and the church he leads are being withheld to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Testimony begins in 2000 indecency case with former Lubbock pastor

TEXAS
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

August 9, 2017

By GABRIEL MONTE A-J Media

Testimony began Tuesday for the trial of a 17-year-old indecency with a child case in which a pastor is accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old parishioner at his church.

Amado Miranda, 68, pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact, which carry a punishment of two to 20 years in prison.

Miranda is accused of sexually molesting the girl in 2000, however, prosecutors said the abuse began in 1999. Police investigated an outcry the girl made in 2004 and Miranda was arrested and indicted in 2005. Prosecutors presented jurors with a timeline to explain the 12-year delay in trying the case.

Court records showed Amado was released on bond set at $25,000 after his arrest. In April 2006, Miranda’s bond was surrendered after he failed to show up for court to enter a guilty plea on the case. Miranda’s scheduled guilty plea was not revealed to jurors during the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Pastor under investigation for alleged sex assault

MICHIGAN
The Times-Herald

Nicole Hayden, Times Herald

The St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing allegations that local Pastor Mitch Olson sexually assaulted a former member of his church.

The St. Clair County Sheriff Department submitted the case against the pastor of Grace Ministry Center to the prosecutor Wednesday morning seeking a criminal sexual conduct charge.

The investigation comes nearly 10 months after the alleged abuse occurred. The 20-year-old female victim from Marysville filed a police report in June. She was 19 years old at the time of the alleged criminal sexual conduct. The Times Herald does not publish names of sexual assault victims.

Olson told the Times Herald Tuesday night that he did not wish to comment for this story. Wednesday morning, Olson said he would provide a statement, but has not done so.

St. Clair County Prosecutor Mike Wendling said his office is currently investigating the case to determine if a crime has been committed. Wendling said his office had been communicating with the sheriff department during its investigation as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Sex abuse victim advocates protest as priest accused of groping NJ girl heads to court

NEW JERSEY
Fios 1 News

[with video]

MORRISTOWN — Protestors are out in full force Wednesday, as the priest accused of inappropriately touching a teenage girl heads to court.

Fr. Marcin Nurek is expected in court for a detention hearing. He is accused of groping a teenage girl.

"It is outrageous that a priest who was ordained for 33 days would be already having the arrogance and the chutzpah, you know, to sexually abuse somebody," said Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery, a nonprofit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.

The demonstration is a result of the arrest of Fr. Nurek who is accused of groping a teenage girl last week in Boonton.

The priest was ordained just last month. He was set to begin his work at St. Catherine of Siena in Mountain Lakes as an associate pastor, but the Diocese of Paterson has revoked his assignment in light of the arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Priest accused of groping teen in Boonton released from jail, can't function as cleric

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

Peggy Wright, @PeggyWrightDR Aug. 9, 2017

MORRISTOWN - A newly-ordained priest from Poland who is accused of groping a 13-year-old girl's buttocks under her skirt in Boonton will be released from the Morris County jail to live at the Bethlehem Hermitage for priests in Chester as soon as he surrenders his passport, a Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday.

Over the objection of Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Meg Rodriguez, Judge Paul Armstrong ruled that the Rev. Marcin A. Nurek, 37, shall be released under special conditions while charges of criminal sexual contact and child endangerment are pending.

The conditions include reporting twice monthly to the Superior Court Pretrial Services unit, having no contact with children, and not serving as a priest - a condition that Diocese of Paterson Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli already mandated following Nurek's arrest on Aug. 3. Nurek also must remain in New Jersey and cannot be transferred elsewhere by the Diocese of Paterson while the charges are pending, Armstrong ruled. ...

Nurek, appearing grim-faced, appeared Wednesday in a jail-issued jumpsuit before Armstrong with defense lawyer William Ware and assisted by a Polish language interpreter. A citizen of Poland, he is in the United States on a religious work visa and was ordained a priest on July 1.

Ware told the judge that the Diocese, while ordering that Nurek cannot function as a priest, is still supportive. The Diocese has made arrangements for Nurek to live at the Bethlehem Hermitage for priests in Chester, and he will be monitored by a monsignor and a deacon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

Youth pastor sues Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church over sexual harassment

CALIFORNIA
San Diego Reader

By Dorian Hargrove, Aug. 8, 2017

A former associate pastor at the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church is suing the church and it's new pastor Bryan Stamper for sexual harassment and for terminating her after she complained to church administrators.

Dawn Neldon was hired in 2008 to serve as a youth minister. After a number of years working for the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church, Neldon was promoted to a "minister of missions and serving" position inside the church.

In March 2017, the church named Bryan Stamper, a pastor from Texas, as its new head pastor. That same month Neldon and Stamper, along with other church staffers, took a bus to a conference in Irvine, California. During the ride, Stamper sat next to Neldon. He told Neldon about a former parishioner, an older lady, who, according to the complaint, liked to grab "his butt every time he saw her." He said he was happy to give her that little thrill.

The story, in addition to his flirtatious behavior, made Neldon uncomfortable. Later at the conference, Stamper addressed Neldon as "honey, baby, and sweetheart." During the ride home Stamper approached Neldon and compared his body to a "Lamborghini" that "couldn’t be kept in the garage."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

Church forced out woman after she complained pastor asked her to take his ‘Lamborghini’ body out of the garage

CALIFORNIA
Raw Story

SARAH K. BURRIS
09 AUG 2017

A church’s youth pastor was forced to resign after she complained about a new pastor who acted inappropriately.

Dawn Neldon is suing Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church in San Diego and its new pastor Bryan Stamper after she said she reported he sexually harassed her and was subsequently fired, The San Diego Reader reported.

She’s worked at the church for nearly 10 years and was even promoted to “minister of missions and serving.” But in March, the church hired the new Texas pastor to lead the congregation. His first month of service, Neldon went with Stamper and other church staff to a conference in Irvine, California. While on the bus, Stamper sat with Neldon and told her a story about an older lady who liked to grab “his butt every time he saw her.” He said that he was always happy to indulge in her desire.

She also said that their conversations has a “flirtatious” manner about them, the complaint claimed. Stamper would call her “honey, baby and sweetheart” and during the ride home compared his body to a “Lamborghini” that “couldn’t be kept in the garage.” There were other incidents in which Stamper asked her to dance with him in his first sermon before the entire congregation. He also commented on her clothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis, Activists Take on Pedophilia in Public Rally

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Religious leaders take on the issue at rare public gathering in Haredi town of Bnei Brak, dismiss rumors of ‘cult’ hunting children on street

Aaron Rabinowitz Aug 09, 2017

In a rare gathering that took place Saturday night in Bnei Brak, ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) rabbis and activists spoke publicly for the first time on the issue of pedophilia (http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.710150) in the community, providing a glimpse into how attackers and victims are dealt with.

The assembly was convened following a wave of rumors about a “missionary cult” that was snatching children, sexually assaulting them, inciting them against their parents and even threatening to murder them. These rumors were making local parents hysterical, especially since dozens of children had complained in recent months about strangers who approached them, grabbed them and sexually assaulted them. An in-depth examination, however, showed that the panic was apparently unjustified; although there had been cases of children being assaulted, these attacks had been perpetrated by pedophiles acting alone and not as part of any network or cult.

The story is also rooted in cases that took place earlier in Jerusalem. In 2011 a number of suspects were arrested in a series of attacks on children in the Nahlaot neighborhood. Residents believed there was a wide network of pedophiles in the area who had attacked dozens of children, but an intensive police investigation uncovered no evidence of this, although there had been a few individual instances.
A few years later there were rumors of a similar network operating in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sanhedria. In August 2016 police arrested a number of people suspected of spreading the rumors about a “missionary cult” and using them to extract hundreds of thousands of shekels from people who contributed to help stop the imaginary cult.

After similar rumors started in Bnei Brak a few months ago, activists and rabbis who intervened determined that these were groundless and that a significant number of the children’s reports could not be proven sufficiently or were outright lies.
As the Saturday assembly was called to calm frightened parents, the phenomenon of pedophilia was discussed. At the start of the conference, however, Rabbi Shlomo Levinstein, who is active in this area because of his position in the Mishmeret Hakodesh Vehahinukh (“Guardians of Holiness and Education”) organization, said, “For reasons of modesty, questions to the rabbis will be allowed only after the gathering on a private basis.” Teenagers were ordered out of the hall.
During his address, Levinstein said, “When we know who the attacker is, there is sometimes an option to deal with it in the community. We know how to do this, either through the Mishmeret Hakodesh or through Rabbi Chananya Chollak [chairman of the Ezer Mizion aid organization]. We have ways of sending people for treatment and we do so with a waiver on medical secrecy. When we don’t know who did it, we call the Israel Police.”

He added, “Our community has all sorts of sensitivities that don’t exist in other populations. When police are called, the detectives don’t know our language and can sometimes ask things that a child wouldn’t know what they want of him. Sometimes we arranged to have children questioned in Rabbi Chollak’s office, and that’s acceptable to the police. But the first thing that must be done is to protect the children – that is, to warn them not to speak to strangers and that you are the sole proprietor over your body.”

Nothing new

Chollak also addressed the gathering, saying, “Unfortunately, assaults on children are nothing new. Almost every week there’s an incident, in our community as well, to our great regret. There was a story in Bnei Brak a while back. Twenty-eight children were assaulted within 10 days, three of them girls who were hospitalized. I couldn’t sit in my office and I went out on ambushes with the police.”

Rabbi Yehuda Sillman, a senior rabbinic court judge, told the gathering, “This story started in the Nahlaot neighborhood in Jerusalem, where there were evil people who did terrible things and they’re sitting in jail. There’s no doubt that in various instances you have to go to the authorities, but in the current case [the rumored missionary cult in Bnei Brak] it’s clear the story isn’t credible. Hysteria and imagination work overtime in these cases and cause even worse damage – people who won’t leave their homes, children who aren’t permitted to play in the park, and more.”

Sillman added, “If there have been cases of assaults on children, they should be reported to the police, in coordination with the rabbis and activists to make sure the attackers indeed get punished and that there’s oversight so that the complaints are checked in a manner suited to the Haredi community. But there’s no need for exaggerated panic.”

In conclusion, the rabbis instructed the parents to repeatedly tell children that they shouldn’t approach or talk to strangers, and that they must explain to them that only they have say over their bodies.

“There are a lot of question marks in this case,” said Eli Schlesinger, crime reporter for the website Bechadrei Haredim, who has been continuously covering the issue of sexual assault in the community. “One city resident collected the information and gave the rabbis a document with 30 instances of assault. Rabbi Yehuda Sillman investigated but could not find evidence of a cult operating in the city.”

Yisrael Cohen, a journalist for the Kikar Shabbat website, which divulged the recordings from the Bnei Brak gathering, told Haaretz, “The rabbis and the Haredi activists work in cooperation with the police, who in certain cases look away and allow treatment within the community. The police understand that the advantages of cooperation with Haredi officials outweigh the disadvantages.”


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 AM

Pfarrer tötet Messdiener durch Hammerschläge und Messerstiche

DOMINIKANISCHE REPUBLIK
RP

[Santo Domingo. A Catholic priest in the Dominican Republic has confessed to the murder of a 16-year-old boy. He had obviously maintained a sexual relationship with the boy for years. As local media reported on Tuesday, the victim had succumbed to the serious injuries caused by hammering and knife-cutting. The priest had buried his victim in a bush.]

Santo Domingo. Ein katholischer Pfarrer in der Dominikanischen Republik hat den Mord an einem 16-jährigen Messdiener gestanden. Mit dem Jungen hatte er offenbar über Jahre eine sexuelle Beziehung aufrechterhalten.

Wie lokale Medien am Dienstag berichteten, sei das Opfer an den schweren Verletzungen erlegen, die durch Hammerschläge und Messerstiche verursacht wurden. Der Priester hatte sein Opfer nach der Tat unweit der Hauptstadt Santo Domingo in einem Gebüsch verscharrt. In seinem Geständnis erklärte der Geistliche, er habe den Jungen getötet, weil dieser gedroht habe, ihn mit kompromittierenden Fotos und Videos aus der Zeit der Beziehung zu erpressen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Pope tells Belgian Brothers of Charity no more euthanasia for patients

BELGIUM
Crux

The Brothers of Charity, which runs 15 centers for psychiatric patients across Belgium, formally implemented its euthanasia policy in June, just weeks after the bishops declared they would not accept euthanasia in Catholic institutions. About 12 psychiatric patients in their care are believed to have asked for euthanasia over the past year, with two transferred elsewhere to receive the injections to end their lives.

Pope Francis has given a Belgian religious order until the end of August to stop offering euthanasia to psychiatric patients.

Brother Rene Stockman, superior general of the order, told Catholic News Service the pope gave his personal approval to a Vatican demand that the Brothers of Charity, which runs 15 centers for psychiatric patients across Belgium, must reverse its policy by the end of August.

Brothers who serve on the board of the Brothers of Charity Group, the organization that runs the centers, also must each sign a joint letter to their superior general declaring that they “fully support the vision of the magisterium of the Catholic Church, which has always confirmed that human life must be respected and protected in absolute terms, from the moment of conception till its natural end.”

Brothers who refuse to sign will face sanctions under canon law, while the group can expect to face legal action and even expulsion from the church if it fails to change its policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Pastor On The Run - Clergyman Flees After Claims Of Sex With Underage Girl

JAMAICA
The Gleaner

August 9, 2017

Livern Barrett

A Kingston pastor accused of repeatedly having sex with a 12-year-old girl before impregnating her is now being sought by detectives at the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Law-enforcement sources revealed that the girl, who is now 14 years old, has given a detailed statement alleging that the 52-year-old clergyman first forced himself on to her before he began to reward her after their sexual encounters.

"He would give her money and other gifts so that she would not tell anyone," one source revealed.

However, according to the source, the alleged sexual relationship came to light in June this year when the 14-year-old discovered that she was pregnant and confessed everything to her mother.

The names of the clergyman and the church he leads are being withheld to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Father Figures

NEW MEXICO
Santa Fe Reporter

The untold financial, emotional and spiritual cost of New Mexico’s Catholic priest sex crimes
August 9, 2017

By Matt Grubs

The two friends had laced up and hit the court together many times before. They’d played on the same team in an Albuquerque recreational basketball league for years. In a Bernalillo County league, too. They were in their mid-20s and their lives stretched out before them, disappearing into a horizon of possibilities.

It was the early 1980s, and Brad Hall was looking to blow off steam. He’d soon start classes at the University of New Mexico law school. The rec-league team, a rotating cast of characters, practiced on Sunday afternoons at the Queen of Heaven Catholic School in Albuquerque’s Quigley Park neighborhood.

Every once in a while a priest would wander through, padding along the court. Hall never had a reason to give him a second thought.

He couldn’t have known, though, what his teammate Clifford Esquibel was thinking at that same moment; the horror and fear he must have felt.

A quarter century after the last time Hall can recall seeing his basketball pal, Esquibel walked into his office. “I was the first person he ever told all about being an altar boy in the archdiocese,” Hall says.

Esquibel revealed that the Rev. John George Weisenborn, a priest at a different parish in Albuquerque who had a history of sexual abuse known to the church, had sexually molested him as a boy over the course of several years.

Then, Hall says, Esquibel walked outside and threw up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Youth pastor already sentenced for filming girls in shower sentenced in second county

MICHIGAN
UpNorthLive

EMMET COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- The former Emmet County youth pastor who was already sentenced to four years in prison was sentenced in a second county.

Benoni Enciso was sentenced Monday in Emmet County to 54 months to seven years on the four convictions of using a computer to commit a crime and two years to five years on the four convictions of capturing an image of an unclothed individual. The sentences for the computer crime will run consecutive to the sentences for capturing an image.

In Charlevoix County, Enciso was sentenced in May to up to four years in prison after admitting to taking videos of underage girls in the shower.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

August 8, 2017

In predominantly Catholic Guam, clergy sex abuse lawsuits near 100-mark

GUAM
Catholic News Agency

Hagatna, Guam, Aug 8, 2017 / 04:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly 100 lawsuits have accused Catholic clergy in Guam of sex abuse over a 50 year timespan, alleging assault, manipulation and intimidation of the alleged victims, according to a new report.

The accused include Archbishop Anthony Apuron, 13 Guam priests, a Catholic schoolteacher, a Catholic school janitor and a Boy Scout leader. The Archdiocese of Agana is a defendant in 96 lawsuits, which concern claims from 1955 to 1994, reports the USA Today Network’s Pacific Daily News.

“We care deeply about every person who steps forward and we look forward to a full resolution of all cases,” the archdiocese said July 28, saying it takes all allegations “very seriously.”

The large number of lawsuits is in part due to the actions of lawmakers in September 2016, when they retroactively eliminated the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits involving child sexual abuse. The criminal statute of limitations, which cannot be applied retroactively, was lifted in 2011.

About 85 percent of Guam’s population of 163,000 people is Catholic, served by 26 parishes. The island is only 30 miles long and about one-fifth the size of Rhode Island. All eight of Guam’s trial judges have recused themselves because they have family or business ties with either the plaintiffs or the defendants in the suits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

Protest planned as newly ordained priest faces sex charges

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

Posted on August 9, 2017

By Rob Jennings rjennings@njadvancemedia.com,
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

MORRISTOWN -- A priest accused of putting his hand under a teen girl's skirt and touching her buttocks, just a month after being ordained, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

The Rev. Marcin Nurek, 37, was charged Thursday with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact, and remains in the Morris County jail. The unidentified girl is described as older than 13 but younger than 16, and the assault allegedly happened in Boonton, officials said.

Nurek was ordained into the priesthood on July 1 and had been expected to start Aug. 15 as Parochial Vicar of Saint Catherine of Siena Church in Mountain Lakes, according to the Diocese of Paterson.

As a judge decides whether to free Nurek, a former Catholic priest plans to hold a protest outside the courtroom.

Ex-priest Robert Hoatson of West Orange said his group, "Road to Recovery," advocates for clergy sexual assault victims and will gather outside Superior Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Man Captured on Video Groping Teen Girl on New Jersey Street Is Newly Ordained Priest: Police

NEW JERSEY
NBC New York

[with video]

By Ida Siegal

Authorities say a newly ordained Roman Catholic priest in New Jersey has been charged with groping a teen girl under her skirt after surveillance video captured him allegedly following a group of girls and grabbing one of them.

Surveillance video obtained by News 4 shows a group of four girls walking down Main Street in Boonton, and then a man with a backpack comes from behind. He grabs the buttocks of one of the girls, then takes off down the street.

The 37-year-old man allegedly told the teenage girl she was "sexy," according to the Morris County prosecutor's office.

The girl told reported the incident to police, and the man with the backpack -- who turned out to be the Rev. Marcin Nurek -- was arrested on Essex Avenue about 20 minutes later, police say.

He's charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact.

Nick Fernicola, who works across the street, said he saw the aftermath.

"Thursday afternoon I came out from my office and looked out the window and saw four young girls with the police, they looked all very upset," he said.

The Diocese of Paterson put Nurek on administrative leave. He remains in jail pending a detention hearing on Wednesday. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney to comment on his behalf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Newly ordained priest arrested for alleged sexual abuse in New Jersey

NEW JERSEY
PIX 11

AUGUST 8, 2017, BY SAMANTHA TATA

BOONTON, N.J. — A priest in New Jersey is accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl and allegedly telling her, “You’re sexy,” less than five weeks after he was ordained.

Rev. Marcin Nurek was arrested Aug. 3 in Boonton and charged with criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Nurek allegedly put his hand under a girl’s skirt and touched her buttocks, officials said. The girl is between 13 and 16 years old.

He allegedly told the child, “You’re sexy,” the Daily Record reports.

Nurek came to the U.S. in 2015 from Poland, and was ordained to the priesthood on July 1 of this year, according ot the Diocese of Paterson.

He was set to begin his assignment this month at St. Catherine of Siena in Mountain Lakes, N.J., the diocese said. But that has been “concluded” in the wake of his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

New priest grabbed teen’s butt, called her ‘sexy’: cops

NEW JERSEY
New York Post

By Tamar Lapin August 8, 2017

A newly ordained Roman Catholic priest is accused of groping a teen girl, calling her “sexy,” as he touched her, authorities say.

New Jersey reverend Marcin Nurek was arrested by Boonton police on August 3 and charged last week with criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, the Morris County Prosecutor’s office said.

The pervy priest is accused of putting his hand under the skirt and touching the buttocks of a girl who is between 13 and 16.

Boonton police said the girl was walking along Main Street with friends last Thursday when Nurek put his hand under her dress and told her she was pretty, according to ABC7 New York.

Cops said the 37-year-old priest also told the girl she was “sexy.”

Nurek was immediately placed on administrative leave by the Patterson Diocese, according to spokesperson Richard Sokerka.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – AUGUST 8, 2017

NEW JERSEY
Road to Recovery

The reported arrest of Paterson, New Jersey, newly-ordained diocesan priest, Fr. Marcin Nurek, for criminal sexual contact of a child indicates that there are not adequate safeguards in place to protect children in Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions

Fr. Marcin Nurek, who was reportedly arrested for criminal sexual contact of a child in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, came to the United States approximately two years ago from Poland, appears to have not been properly vetted, trained, and/or supervised, and instead of being ordained in four years, was ordained in two years

The Diocese of Paterson and the Catholic Church stil