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September 30, 2017

Statement re: Settlement Agreement with Mr. Ronald Vasek

CROOKSTON (MN)
Diocese of Crookston

September 27, 2017

By Bishop Michael Hoeppner

[Note: See also the 9/28/17 statement, previously posted in Tracker, by the Anderson law firm, attaching Vasek's 2015 letter.]

As you are probably aware, earlier this year, Mr. Ronald Vasek brought a lawsuit against me and the Diocese of Crookston. Mr. Vasek’s lawsuit claimed Monsignor Roger Grundhaus made a sexual advance toward him in 1971 when Mr. Vasek was about 16 years old. He alleges that I tried to keep this claim quiet after he and I visited about the alleged incident in 2011. Mr. Vasek and I have reached a settlement agreement regarding his claims against me. The agreement states that there is no admission of unlawful conduct or wrongdoing on my part. The settlement avoids costly attorney fees and a drawn out legal process. No diocesan funds were used to pay the settlement as the diocesan insurance provider covered the claims. The Diocese of Crookston has sought a dismissal of the remaining claims against it related to this matter and awaits a ruling.

I want to emphasize again that I did not pressure Mr. Vasek to remain quiet when we met in 2011 or when we met again in 2015. Mr. Vasek had indicated to me that he wanted the alleged incident to remain confidential. I attempted to abide by his wishes.

I was willing to ordain Mr. Vasek as a permanent deacon. He attended the final deacon formation weekend in late April, along with the other deacon candidates. Mr. Vasek chose not to be ordained for diaconal ministry. I respect his decision.

Looking back and knowing what I do now, I believe I would have handled my conversations with Mr. Vasek differently. However, please know that I did not pressure Mr. Vasek into making any decision with which he was not comfortable.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:23 AM

Stift Klosterneuburg: Folgen eines vertuschten sexuellen Übergriffs

VIENNA (AUSTRIA)
Profil

September 29, 2017

By Edith Meinhart

[Summary: Detailed summary of the Klosterneuburg case and the allegations of abuse at Klosterneuburg abbey.]

1993* missbrauchte ein Augustiner Chorherr im Stift Klosterneuburg einen minderjährigen Messdiener. Danach wurde er Priester und erneut zum Täter. Ein skandalöses Lehrstück von Vertuschung und falscher Fürsprache.

Eintretende erstarren, Besucher dämpfen ihre Stimmen, wenn der Abglanz von Macht und Glorie auf sie fällt. Im Stift Klosterneuburg herrscht der Prunk von Jahrhunderten. Der Babenberger Leopold, der Heilige, stiftete das geistliche Refugium auf einer Anhöhe vor den Toren Wiens. 1133 holte er die Augustiner Chorherren nach Klosterneuburg. Auch die Habsburger ließen das Kloster nicht darben. 1730 wollte Karl VI. es gar zum Escorial erheben. Neun prachtvolle Kuppeln und vier Höfe sahen seine Pläne für eine kaiserliche Residenz vor. Sie sollte Kloster und Herrschersitz in einem sein. Doch er starb, bevor das imposante Vorhaben umgesetzt war; seine Tochter Maria Theresia baute lieber Schönbrunn aus.

Wer von der Wiege Österreichs spricht, muss Wien und Klosterneuburg in einem Atemzug nennen. Das Stift der Augustiner Chorherren gilt als eines der reichsten auf europäischem Boden. Zinshäuser in Wien gehören dazu, Ländereien in Niederösterreich. Stolz raunen die älteren Chorherren den Jungen zu, dass man alle vier Höfe nach den Vorstellungen Karls VI. ohne einen Euro Kredit vollenden könnte. In der Schatzkammer ist der Österreichische Erzherzogshut zu besichtigen. Vor zwei Jahren bestellte der Orden mit dem bald 75-jährigen Bernhard Backovsky einen Probst auf Lebenszeit, der den Gestus mittelalterlicher Kirchenfürsten in die Jetztzeit mitgenommen hat.

Blicke hinter die Fassade sind unerwünscht. Das Leben der rund 50 Chorherren, die zwischen Touristen über das Areal huschen, bleibt diskret. Nun droht dem Kloster jedoch unliebsame Publizität. Seit Monaten rollt eine "Initiative gegen Gewalt und sexuellen Missbrauch an Kindern und Jugendlichen“ aus dem deutschen Montabaur die verstörende Biografie eines pädophil veranlagten Pfarrers auf. Das Stift und sein heutiger Probst spielen darin eine wesentliche und unrühmliche Rolle. Als M.** 2002 im Bistum Würzburg einem Elfjährigen in die Hose greift, wird in der deutschen Wochenzeitung "Die Zeit“ der Personalreferent für das Seelsorgepersonal mit den Worten zitiert: "So wie es mir scheint, war es das erste Mal.“ Das Bistum schickt den Mann in Therapie und zieht ihn von der Seelsorge ab.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:40 AM

Sexueller Missbrauch: Stift Klosterneuburg wehrt sich

VIENNA (AUSTRIA)
Heute

September 19, 2017

[Summary: Prior Bernhard Backovsky of the Klosterneuburg monastery is defending their handling of a 1993 (not 1991) allegation of sexual misconduct.]

Nach dem Bekanntwerden eines Falles von sexuellem Missbrauch aus dem Jahr 1991, wehrt sich das Stift Klosterneuburg gegen Vorwürfe, man habe den Vorfall vertuscht.

Ein minderjähriger Ministrant war im Jahr 1991 von einem Augustiner Chorherren des Stiftes Klosterneuburg sexuell missbraucht worden. Das deckte das Nachrichtenmagazin "profil" nun auf. Dass der Geistliche nach Bekanntwerden des Falles im Stift zwar suspendiert, aber anschließend dennoch über mehrere Jahre in einer Stifts-Wohnung in Wien untergebracht worden war und später auch noch in Rumänien zum Priester geweiht wurde, sorgte in den letzten Tagen für Wirbel. Der Vorwurf: Man habe den Fall vertuschen wollen. Jetzt wehrt sich Propst Bernhard Backovsky.

"Jeglicher Missbrauch nicht zu entschuldigen"

"Jeglicher Missbrauch, und erst recht der von Kindern oder Jugendlichen, ist nicht zu entschuldigen und gehört geahndet", erklärt der Generalabt in einer Aussendung. Am 2. Oktober 1993 sei dem Stift der Fall zugetragen worden, bereits sechs Tage später – am 8. Oktober 1993 – sei der beschuldigte Chorherr suspendiert worden. "Unmittelbar danach wurde er aufgefordert, aus dem Orden auszutreten", heißt es in der Aussendung.

Und weiter: "Bis zu seinem Austritt, der per Weisung aus Rom erfolgen muss, war das Stift jedoch kirchenrechtlich für seinen Unterhalt verpflichtet und entfernte ihn aus dem Stift in eine Wiener Wohnung. Diese Verantwortung endete mit seinem Austritt im Jahre 1994".

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:35 AM

Canadian police seek recalled Vatican envoy for child porn

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

September 29,2017

Canadian police have issued an arrest warrant for the Vatican diplomat who was recalled from the United States in a child pornography investigation, accusing him of accessing porn over Christmas last year from a church.

Police in Windsor, Ontario, said Carlo Capella, a 50-year-old monsignor from Italy, allegedly uploaded the child porn to a social networking site while visiting a place of worship in Windsor between Dec. 24 and Dec. 27.

The Vatican recalled Capella, the No. 4 official in its Washington embassy, after the U.S. State Department notified it Aug. 21 of a “possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images” by one of its diplomats in Washington.

It never identified Capella by name and provided no details of the accusations, sparking criticism from U.S. church officials who have been under fire for decades of cover-ups of priestly sex abusers.

Windsor police provided the most information about the case in a statement Thursday announcing the arrest warrant, and the archdiocese of London, Ontario, confirmed it had assisted authorities in the investigation of “Msgr. Capella.”

In the statement, Windsor police accused Capella of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography. It said authorities were alerted in February that someone in Windsor had allegedly uploaded child porn using a social networking site.

They obtained records of the internet service provider and determined the dates in question. It said it had issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Capella, though it noted that he had returned to Italy.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:30 AM

Child Molesters and Child Porn in the Vatican Diplomatic Corps

ST. PAUL (MN)
Patrick J. Wall Blog

September 29, 2017

You may have read recently about how the Holy See withdrew Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella from the Nunciature in Washington D.C.

One thing Father Colman J. Barry OSB taught us over and over again: the past is prologue to the future.

So with the Capella case I put the thesis to the test: Is there evidence that fallen priests are assigned to the Holy See’s Diplomatic Corp with prior notice for offending against minor children?

Lo and behold, a simple Google search found Reverend Daniel R. Pater of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Father Pater sexually abused a 14-year-old female in Dayton, Ohio on his first assignment after ordination in 1979.

Fr. Pater admitted to the conduct.

Most civilized countries call this child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk then exercised the geographic solution by sending Fr. Pater out of the jurisdiction to Rome to the Holy See’s Diplomatic Corps.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:25 AM

SNAP founder Barbara Blaine: Fountain of justice

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

September 28, 2017

Barbara Blaine, the founder and former longtime president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, died suddenly a few days ago while on vacation with her husband. Though she had not lived in Toledo for many years, she is one of the great heroes in the history of this city.

Ms. Blaine grew up in Toledo, and it was in a Toledo Catholic school that she was sexually assaulted as a grade school child — by a parish priest she trusted and admired. Years of private pleading with the bishop and other officials of the diocese of Toledo resulted only in broken promises and lies. She got no justice. Barbara Blaine made up her mind that she would devote all her energy, and the rest of her life, to justice. And that is what she did. She had a vocation — a religious one.

SNAP has not been without controversy. And it has sometimes, in its righteousness, painted with brush strokes too careless and too broad.

But, by setting up an international organization on clergy child abuse that has chapters throughout the world, Ms. Blaine and SNAP made it possible for a victim almost anywhere to tell his, or her, story, to get help, and to seek justice.

It has been said that the clergy sex abuse scandal in Boston, tenaciously exposed by fine journalists at the Boston Globe, and famously documented and lauded, could never have been uncovered without SNAP. For abuse victims simply would not have felt safe coming out of the shadows. They would not have felt, or been, supported — legally, psychologically, or emotionally — without SNAP.

And SNAP began as one lonely, wounded, angry woman’s voice.

Barbara Blaine’s was that rare life that left footprints. She knew truth was the fountain of justice.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:20 AM

Vatican diplomat wanted for child porn offences should be sent back to Canada: Lawyer

WINDSOR (ONTARIO, CANADA)
CBC News

Vatican diplomat wanted for child porn offences should be sent back to Canada: Lawyer
'If Pope Francis has been nothing but a PR exercise this will prove it'

September 29, 2017

By Dan Taekema

A London, Ont. lawyer says it's time for the Vatican to "put its money where its mouth is" and send Monsignor Carlo Capella back to Canada where he faces child pornography charges.

"If Pope Francis has been nothing but a PR exercise this will prove it," said Robert Talach with Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers.

Reports in American media state Capella, a high-ranking Catholic priest, was recalled to the Vatican after rumours U.S. authorities were planning to charge him with possession of child pornography began to swirl earlier this month.

On Thursday, Windsor police issued a Canada-wide warrant alleging a 50-year-old man named Carlo Capella committed child pornography offences at an area church during the Christmas holidays.

He is wanted for accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

The Diocese of London has confirmed it assisted in an "investigation around suspicions involving Msgr. Capella's possible violations of child pornography laws by using a computer address at a local Church," according to spokesperson Nelson Couto.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:15 AM

Crookston diocese settles bishop coercion claim

ST. PAUL (MN)
Minnesota Public Radio

September 29, 2017

By Martin Moylan

A Minnesota man has settled his claim that Bishop Michael Hoeppner coerced him into retracting an allegation of clergy sexual abuse against a priest in the Crookston diocese.

Ron Vasek, of Tabor Township, Minn., said the abuse occurred in 1971. He said that in 2010, while he contemplated becoming a deacon in the diocese, he told the bishop he'd been abused by a priest. In his lawsuit, filed in Polk County District Court, Vasek claimed the bishop coerced him to sign a letter asserting that no abuse ever happened.

Vasek said Hoeppner warned him that refusing to sign would hurt his dream of becoming a church deacon and impair the career of his son, who was a diocese priest.

Attorney Mike Finnegan said Vasek got a copy of the letter and an undisclosed monetary settlement this week.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:10 AM

Coalition MPs warn PM against making priests break vows

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

September 30, 2017

By Greg Brown

Coalition MPs have warned Malcolm Turnbull against forcing Catholic priests to break the seal of confession in matters of child sex abuse as legal experts say the proposal is unlikely to have an impact on reducing rates of pedophilia.

With the government to consider recommendations from the royal commission into child sex abuse, the Prime Minister has been warned he could face a backbench protest if he adopted the proposal to make it a criminal offence for priests to hear a confession of child sex abuse and not report it to police.

Nationals MP George Christensen said he would cross the floor if the Turnbull government supported the commission’s recommendation to force priests to break canon law. Mr Christensen said it would contravene religious freedom and was unworkable.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:05 AM

Nine priests have died by suicide

BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
Irish News

Nine priests have died by suicide after false claims of abuse, says cleric who was also wrongly accused

September 29, 2017

By John Monaghan

Nine priests who were wrongly accused of abuse have died by suicide, a cleric who was the subject of false accusations has claimed.

Fr Tim Hazelwood, a priest in the parish priest of Killeagh in Co Cork, was falsely accused of the sexual abuse of a child in 2008.

An anonymous complaint was made about him to the Diocese of Cloyne and forwarded to the Health and Safety Executive and Gardaí.

Fr Hazelwood, who is in his 50s, took a civil case in the High Court in Dublin.

Last year his accuser admitted making up the complaint and made a donation to charity.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:00 AM

Ex parroco condannato per pedofilia evaso a bordo di un taxi

ROME (ITALY)
RomaToday

Ex parroco condannato per pedofilia evaso a bordo di un taxi
Stava scontando una pena di 14 anni e 2 mesi di reclusione: era accusato di aver commesso abusi sessuali su sette ragazzini

September 29, 2017

[Summary: Original article breaking the story of convicted priest Ruggero Conti, who had been serving a prison term of 14 years under house arrest, but had escaped while at a hospital receiving treatment. This article reviews some of the circumstances of his crimes and conviction. Ruggero has since been apprehended in Milan.]

By Mauro Cifelli

E' evaso a bordo di un taxi dalla struttura sanitaria dei Castelli Romani dove era ospite a seguito all'aggravarsi di alcuni problemi di salute. A tornare al centro delle cronache cittadine e nazionali Don Ruggero Conti, ex parrocco della chiesa della Natività di Maria Santissima, nella zona di Selva Candida, condannato in appello per pedofilia nel maggio del 2013 a scontare una pena di 14 anni e 2 mesi. L'ex prelato è stato accusato di aver abusato di sette ragazzini che gli erano stati affidati sia nell'oratorio della chiesa che in alcuni campi estivi.

Evaso a bordo di un taxi

La fuga di Don Ruggero è avvenuta lo scorso 26 settembre, quando i responsabili della struttura sanitaria dove era ospite hanno allertato i carabinieri indicando loro la fuga dell'ex prelato, a quanto sembra a bordo di un taxi preso poco distante da dove era ricoverato. Condannato al regime degli arresti domiciliari, l'ex parroco della chiesa di Selva Candida stava espiando la propria pena nella sua abitazione nel viterbese, dalla quale aveva ottenuto il permesso, per motivi di salute, a trasferirsi temporaneamente nella struttura sanitaria dei Castelli Romani.

Don Ruggero Conti in fuga

Ottenuto il permesso dai giudici del capoluogo della Tuscia, il 63enne ha fatto perdere le proprie tracce prima che i carabinieri gli potessero notificare la revoca del provvedimento cautelare dei domiciliari, con il successivo trasferimento in una casa circondariale.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:41 AM

Police capture ex-priest who fled while serving sex abuse sentence

DENVER (CO)
Crux

September 30, 2017

An ex-Catholic priest serving a 14-year sentence for sexual abuse of seven minors in Rome, and who had been given permission to receive treatment for a health condition in a nearby clinic, surreptitiously left last week and hailed a taxi, escaping detection. On Thursday, police caught up to him in Milan’s San Raffaele hospital and placed him in custody. Now, he'll have to serve the remaining 11 years behind bars.

Rome - A former priest in Italy sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2013 for sexual abuse of seven minors was captured by police in Milan late Thursday, three days after escaping from a clinic in the hills on the outskirts of Rome where he had been taken for treatment.

According to police reports, Ruggero Conti, 64, had been serving his term under conditions of house arrest, and had been given permission to move to the clinic in the castelli, the hills surrounding Lake Albano outside Rome that also contain the papal summer residence of Castelgandolfo, to be treated for an undisclosed health condition.

While there, police say, Conti surreptitiously left the clinic and hailed a taxi, escaping detection. On Thursday, police caught up to him in Milan’s San Raffaele hospital and placed him in custody. Now, reports suggest, Conti will have to serve the remaining 11 years of his sentence behind bars.

Ruggero originally was arrested in 2008, while still serving as a priest, at a time when he was organizing travel arrangements for local youth planning to take part in the World Youth Day to be held in Sydney, Australia. He was charged with sexually abusing seven minors in his care between 1998 and 2008, with the abuse taking place either at an oratory where he served or summer camps he helped to run.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:30 AM

September 29, 2017

Coercion Claim Against Crookston Bishop Hoeppner Settled - Letter Released as Part of Settlement

ST. PAUL (MN)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

September 28, 2017

[See also the letter.]

Ron Vasek settled his coercion claim against Crookston Bishop Michael Hoeppner this week. As part of the settlement, Vasek received a copy of the letter the Bishop coerced him into signing in 2015 retracting his statement that he had been abused by Msgr. Roger Grundhaus when he was 16 years old.

Vasek’s attorney, Jeff Anderson, said for Ron this case was about exposing the truth. “Ron suffered in silence and shame. He brought this lawsuit against the Bishop to reveal the truth: that the Bishop used his powers to conceal clergy abuse and protect priests instead of survivors,” said Anderson.

The attached letter, dated October 21, 2015, is written on Office of the Bishop letterhead and states:

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:57 AM

Minnesota man settles lawsuit alleging bishop blackmailed him over abuse claim

ST. PAUL (MN)
Associated Press/Pioneer Press

September 28, 2017

By Steve Karnowski

A Minnesota man who had wanted to become a Catholic deacon has settled his coercion claims against his bishop in exchange for an undisclosed sum of money and the release of a letter he alleged he was forced to sign.

Ronald Vasek, of Tabor, alleged in a lawsuit filed in May that Bishop Michael Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston in northwestern Minnesota blackmailed him into signing a letter in 2015 that essentially retracted his allegation that a popular priest from the diocese abused him during a trip to Ohio in 1971 when he was 16. Vasek claimed that Hoeppner threatened a few years earlier to block his path to becoming a deacon and to harm his son’s career in the priesthood if word ever got out.

Vasek went public in May, saying the threat to his son had kept him silent until he was called into a meeting with his bishop this past March and was told his pastor had withdrawn his support for his ordination as deacon.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:47 AM

Priest Accused of Porn: 'It's shocking'

BALTIMORE (MD)
Fox 45 News/WBFF

September 28, 2017

By Shelley Orman

Bel Air, Md. - Neighbors in Harford County are still reeling after shocking and disturbing child pornography charges are filed against a former priest.

Fernando Cristancho is charged with creating and possessing child porn.

Court documents detail how the former priest abused three different young boys.

"There was a whole bunch of Bel Air police over here. They were all around the house," said neighbor Chris Kirby.

He and several others living on Hayden Way say 61-year-old Cristancho kept entirely to himself.

"I've never seen him out, and I've been here since April," said Kirby.

He saw Cristancho's arrest last week when police searched his house and took him into custody.

"It's shocking because he is right next door and I didn't know anything about this," the neighbor said.

According to charging documents, investigators found pornographic pictures of children on Cristancho's cell phone, a computer and on an SD card he kept locked up in a safe.

The images were of a 3-year-old boy and two 5-year-old boys.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:43 AM

Priest charged with abusing 15 girls threatened victims with wrath: ‘He thought he was God’

NEW YORK (NY)
Daily News

September 28, 2017

By Graham Rayman

The abusive Catholic priest accused of terrorizing at least 15 girls at a Queens school decades ago once threatened one of his victims into silence with the power of God.

In 1981, Father Adam Prochaski of the Holy Cross Parish in Maspeth allegedly lectured a group of students, including one of his victims, who was then 13, about a woman who was "saying bad things" about him.

“He thought he was God,” the now-49-year-old nurse living in Toronto told the Daily News.

"He said, 'She died in a car accident, her body burned beyond recognition. God punished her for telling stories about Father Adam.' When he told the story, he was looking right at me.”

She said Prochaski, now 75 and living in Queens, sexually abused her at least 60 times between the ages of 11 and 13 between 1979 and 1981 at the church and school. She requested that her name not be used.

He used his involvement in the choir and in the teen club and his general influence in the school to get close to her, she said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:34 AM

September 28, 2017

Pedofilia, aberraciones y heridas por restañar

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
La Nacion

[Summary: An editorial usefully summarizing recent clergy abuse cases in Argentina, in the context of global developments. The movie Spotlight is cited. Ultimately questions zero tolerance, but also criticizes the church for failing to screen men entering the seminary, failing to report priests who abuse, and transferring abusers. The church's mercy should be offered especially to the survivors, but also to the abusers.]

Es necesario revisar los criterios de admisión en los seminarios y casas religiosas, así como todo el proceso de formación de los candidatos

Afortunadamente, los casos de pedofilia silenciados durante tanto tiempo en la Iglesia Católica son cada vez más denunciados a pesar de los años transcurridos en muchos de ellos. Constituyen una de las mayores vergüenzas para la milenaria institución religiosa y minan seriamente su credibilidad ante la opinión pública, pero una mirada renovada, junto a la debida atención jamás podremos hablar de resolución-, permitirá, aunque más no sea, restañar parcialmente dolorosas heridas y reducir las probabilidades de que estas aberraciones se repitan a futuro. El papa Francisco reiteró su determinación de aplicar el principio de tolerancia cero.

Las acusaciones se multiplican en muchos países, y el nuestro no es ajeno a este horror. Recientemente se difundieron casos que afectaron al colegio Cardenal Newman de Boulogne, que fundaron los Christian Brothers en la década de 1940, y al colegio parroquial San Francisco Javier, de Caseros, en la diócesis de San Martín. A ellos se suman los conocidos en 2013 del Colegio San Juan el Precursor, donde el abusador era un profesor laico. Hubo dos más, también en San Isidro, protagonizados por un sacerdote que recibió 14 años de prisión y otro que fue removido dentro del ámbito de la justicia eclesiástica. Y, más acá en el tiempo, la admisión del director general del colegio Champagnat, de Recoleta, Ángel Duples, de haber abusado de un ex alumno de otra escuela hace 38 años, además de otros dos casos ocurridos en ese mismo colegio para la misma época.

* * *

Sirve recordar las escenas del film Spotlight, que narra la investigación del diario The Boston Globe sobre casos de pedofilia en la arquidiócesis de Boston. El cardenal Bernard Francis Law se vio obligado a renunciar por haber ocultado los delitos de numerosos sacerdotes. Sobre el final de la trama se enumeran cinco casos de abuso en la Argentina, en las diócesis de Buenos Aires, Salta, Paraná, Quilmes y Morón. "Queda claro que dentro de la Iglesia hay demasiadas personas que están más preocupadas por la imagen de la institución que por la gravedad del acto", reconoció la teóloga Lucetta Scaraffia en L'Osservatore Romano, el diario de la Santa Sede, al comentar el premio otorgado por Hollywood a la película. Lamentablemente, muchas veces se reitera la acción de priorizar la preservación de la imagen de la institución antes que denunciar e instar a que sean investigados los hechos para defender a tantas víctimas inocentes desprotegidas.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:17 PM

Bischof verdächtigt Ex-Pfarrer des Missbrauchs

SAARBRÜCKEN (GERMANY)
Saarbrücker Zeitung

[Summary: Bishop Ackermann of Trier is sending to the CDF the allegations against a Freisen pastor, after the preliminary investigation confirmed the allegations. The unnamed priest had been removed from ministry on 4/14/15 and then retired. The preliminary investigation began in 5/16.]

By Melanie Mai

Trier - Fast anderthalb Jahre liefen die Voruntersuchungen gegen den ehemaligen Freisener Pfarrer: Am Montagmorgen hat die Bischöfliche Pressestelle das Ergebnis bekannt gegeben: „Das Bistum Trier hat die kirchenrechtliche Voruntersuchung gegen den früheren Pfarrer von Freisen wegen des Verdachts auf sexuellen Missbrauch Minderjähriger abgeschlossen“, heißt es in der Presseerklärung. Der Verdacht gegen den heute im Ruhestand lebenden 63-jährigen Geistlichen habe sich in mehreren Fällen erhärtet. Der Trierer Bischof Stephan Ackermann hat den Untersuchungsbericht mit einem Votum auf Eröffnung eines kirchlichen Strafverfahrens dem Vatikan zugeleitet. Die dortige Glaubenskongregation soll nun über das weitere Vorgehen entscheiden.

* * *

Das Bistum Trier hatte den langjährigen Freisener Pastor zum 14. April 2015 von seinen Aufgaben entbunden. Anschließend ging der Pastor in den Ruhestand. Die Voruntersuchungen wurde im Mai 2016 eingeleitet. Bereits seit den ersten Vorwürfen ist die Gemeinde gespalten. Der Pfarrer lebt mittlerweile in einem Ort an der Mosel. Die Staatsanwaltschaft hat die Verfahren wegen Verjährung eingestellt. Nach Kirchenrecht ist der mutmaßliche sexuelle Missbrauch von Minderjährigen dagegen nicht verjährt.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:49 PM

Verdacht des sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen ehemaligen Freisener Pfarrer erhärtet

TRIER (GERMANY)
Diocese of Trier

September 25, 2017

[Summary: Bishop Stephan Ackermann of the German diocese of Trier, has referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith allegations of sexual abuse by a pastor in Freisen, after a preliminary investigation confirmed the allegations in several cases. The priest has not been publicly identified.]

Kirchenrechtliche Voruntersuchung abgeschlossen – Bischof informiert die Glaubenskongregation

Trier - Das Bistum Trier hat die kirchenrechtliche Voruntersuchung gegen den früheren Pfarrer von Freisen wegen des Verdachts auf sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger abgeschlossen. In der Voruntersuchung hat sich der Verdacht gegen den heute im Ruhestand lebenden Geistlichen in mehreren Fällen erhärtet.

Gemäß den kirchenrechtlichen Bestimmungen und den Leitlinien der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (Nr. 34) hat Bischof Dr. Stephan Ackermann den Untersuchungsbericht mit einem Votum auf Eröffnung eines kirchlichen Strafverfahrens dem Vatikan zugeleitet. Die dortige Glaubenskongregation wird nun über das weitere Vorgehen entscheiden.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:13 PM

Parish Predator: Mum abused by her local priest as a child

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Sun

Parish Predator: Mum abused by her local priest as a child is still haunted by his smell… and it’s ruined her relationships and career

September 27, 2017

Jo Woods, now 45, from Leeds, kept her abuse a secret until 2013 and only came forward after the Jimmy Saville abuse scandal broke – hoping that perhaps she might be believed at last

By Hayley Richardson and Ann Cusack

A mum who was abused as a child by her local parish priest has revealed how the smell of him still haunts her now, ruining her relationships and her career.

Jo Woods, now 45, from Leeds, was preyed on by Father Damien Webb, a Roman Catholic priest, between the ages of six and eight.


* * *

A spokesman for Ampleforth said: “In December 2014, representatives of Ampleforth Abbey were present at all masses in the parish of St Benedict’s, Garforth, in the Diocese of Leeds, where they told parishioners that a woman had come forward regarding allegations of sexual abuse by a monk, Fr Damian Webb OSB, during the time he worked in the parish from 1973-1983.

“He died in 1990. Others were invited to come forward if they had experienced similar issues with independent support offered by a charity at the time.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:47 PM

Pope regrets decision he made about sexual abuse case

WELLINGTON (NEW ZEALAND)
CathNews

September 25th, 2017

Pope Francis has told the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors he has been learning “on the job” better ways to handle priests found guilty of abuse.

He admitted this during his first face-to-face discussion with the Commission on September 21.

The Pope said he has come to regret agreeing to a more lenient sanction against an Italian priest, rather than laicising him as the doctrinal team recommended.

Two years later the priest abused again. The pope said he has since learned “it’s a terrible sickness” that requires a different approach.

* * *

He said he has decided whoever has been proven guilty of abuse has no right to an appeal, and he will never grant a papal pardon.

The experts on the 15-member Commission have made some suggestions to Pope Francis: [list of nine recommendations]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:33 PM

Canadian bishops won’t publish new policy on minor protection till 2018

DENVER (CO)
Crux

September 28, 2017

By Francois Gloutnay

[Note: See the Canadian bishops' previous report, From Pain to Hope.

In June 1992, the Canadian bishops published a report entitled "From Pain to Hope," entirely devoted to sexual assaults by the clergy. The bishops proposed "ways and means both to eliminate in the church the after-effects of past scandals and to prevent new cases of aggression against children." The adoption by the Vatican of new standards for the protection of children made it necessary to revise the standards and policies of the bishops' conference.

Cornwall, Canada - Canadian bishops will not publish their new policy for the protection of minors before 2018, said Bishop Anthony Mancini of Halifax-Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, chairman of the ad hoc committee tasked with drafting this resource in 2012.

“No, it will not be possible,” Mancini told his colleagues during a brief speech at the plenary assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Sept. 25. “I anticipate that the document will be finalized in 2018.”

The bishops first spoke of a publication before the end of 2016. Faced with delays, they then planned to make it public in the first months of 2017. In August, Bishop Douglas Crosby, president of the CCCB, suggested that the document could be published before the end of the year.

Mancini explained that the document has taken on such a scale that it needs to be made more comprehensive. He also said the bishops want to have the text analyzed by professionals before they release it. Fifteen lawyers, psychologists, psychiatrists and insurers were consulted. They “have something to say about the document,” and it would be better to hear the professionals “before rather than after” this report is actually published by the bishops’ conference, he said. “Their remarks are now coming to us.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:20 PM

Pope says not laicizing priest guilty of abuse was a mistake; it will never happen again

DENVER (CO)
Crux

September 21, 2017

By Carol Glatz

Pope Francis told the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors he has been learning “on the job” better ways to handle priests found guilty of abuse, and he recounted a decision he has now come to regret: That of agreeing to a more lenient sanction against an Italian priest, rather than laicizing him as the doctrinal team recommended. Two years later the priest abused again, and the pope said he has since learned “it’s a terrible sickness” that requires a different approach.

Rome - Pope Francis has endorsed an approach of “zero tolerance” toward all members of the church guilty of sexually abusing minors or vulnerable adults.

Having listened to abuse survivors and having made what he described as a mistake in approving a more lenient set of sanctions against an Italian priest abuser, the pope said he has decided whoever has been proven guilty of abuse has no right to an appeal, and he will never grant a papal pardon.

“Why? Simply because the person who does this (sexually abuses minors) is sick. It is a sickness,” he told his advisory commission on child protection during an audience at the Vatican Sept. 21. Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, including its president - Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston - were meeting in Rome Sept. 21-23 for their plenary assembly.

Setting aside his prepared text, the pope said he wanted to speak more informally to the members, who include lay and religious experts in the fields of psychology, sociology, theology and law in relation to abuse and protection.

The Catholic Church has been “late” in facing and, therefore, properly addressing the sin of sexual abuse by its members, the pope said, and the commission, which he established in 2014, has had to “swim against the tide” because of a lack of awareness or understanding of the seriousness of the problem.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:16 PM

Promises, promises: but little progress for papal commission on abuse

BOSTON (MA)
CatholicCulture.org

September 28, 2017

By Phil Lawler

A week has passed since Pope Francis promised to take “the firmest measures” to stop clerical abuse. Then again, you might say that a month has passed, or three years have passed, or maybe a bit longer, since the Pope said essentially the same thing. How many times does the same promise deserve a headline?

Last week the Pope was meeting for the first time with the special commission that he had set up three years ago to take action on sexual abuse. The commission has seen defections by frustrated members, who report that the group was disorganized, underfunded, and widely ignored by other Vatican offices and many national bishops’ conferences. Even now one commission member reports that “many local churches” have established guidelines for handling abuse; some still have not.

It would be an understatement to say that progress has been slow for the papal commission. In his address to the commission, Pope Francis admitted that he regrets having overruled a decision to remove an Italian priest who had been accused of abuse—and who, restored to ministry, promptly collected new complaints. The Holy Father said that he was “learning on the job” himself.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:35 PM

Class action lawsuit approved for alleged sexual abuse victims at Catholic institutions

MONTREAL (QUEBEC, CANADA)
CTV News/The Canadian Press

September 27, 2017

The Quebec Court of Appeal has authorized a new class action lawsuit against a major Roman Catholic organization for alleged sexual abuse committed by some of its members.

The decision overturns a 2015 Superior Court of Quebec ruling rejecting the class action request.

The Congregation of Holy Cross apologized and paid up to $18 million in 2013 to compensate victims for abuse that occurred at three Quebec institutions over a five-decade span dating back to the 1940s.

That agreement stemmed from an out-of-court mediated settlement, spurred by the threat of a class-action lawsuit.

Sebastien Richard, a spokesman for a victims' rights group said the landmark settlement prompted about 40 new alleged victims to come forward.

Gilles Gareau, a lawyer representing the class actions said there could be hundreds more victims. He believes there could be up to 500 victims.

Because they are seeking between $50,000 and $150,000 in moral and punitive damages, the case could be worth as much as $50 to $75 million.

Richard said the current class-action names more institutions, including Montreal's iconic Saint Joseph's Oratory.

In a phone interview, Richard pointed out that the oratory is Canada's largest church and reports directly to the Vatican, which could lead to embarrassment on the church's part if the class-action is successful.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:27 PM

Diocese of Brooklyn Accused of Covering Up Ex-Priest's Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
The Gothamist

September 28, 2017

By Jake Offenhartz

[Includes photo of Official Catholic Directory sick-leave entry.]

More than a dozen women have come forward in recent weeks to accuse a former Queens-based Catholic priest of sexual abuse, and to allege that both Maspeth's Holy Cross Church and the Diocese of Brooklyn worked to cover up decades of his predatory behavior.

According to attorney Mitchell Garabedian, fifteen women now say they were sexually abused by Father Adam Prochaski, who was assigned to the Holy Cross parish from 1969 to 1994. The alleged victims, now between the ages of 37 and 50, claim the abuse started when they were as young as 5 years old, and lasted well into their teenage years. Prochaski is believed to still be living in Queens.

For several years, authorities with Holy Cross were aware of the priest's abusive behavior, but intentionally turned a deaf ear to the children's complaints, according to Linda Porcaro, who served as a teacher at Holy Cross from 1986 to 1991.

"In 1991, about seven girls came to me, most of them Polish immigrants, to say Father Adam was sexually abusing them," Porcaro tells Gothamist. "I went to then-principle Sister Benedict Jankowicz...She said, 'Everybody knows about Father Adam, the whole parish knows about it.' Then she laughed and didn't do anything."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:57 PM

Alleged victims claim sexual abuse in lawsuit against province, church, priest

EDMONTON (ALBERTA, CANADA)
CBC News

Lawsuit alleges Anglican priest Gordon William Dominey sexually abused youth in his care in 1980s

September 26, 2017

[Includes links to earlier stories.]

By Andrea Ross

A B.C. man has filed a lawsuit against the Province of Alberta, the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton and Gordon William Dominey, alleging the priest repeatedly sexually abused him and at least nine other individuals while they were incarcerated at the Edmonton Youth Development Centre in the 1980s.

The plaintiff, whose name is protected by a publication ban, is seeking to have the lawsuit certified as a class action.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages on behalf of the plaintiff and other alleged victims, who were all aged 14 to 16 at the time of the alleged abuse, and were incarcerated at the EYDC between 1985 and 1989.

In February 2016, Dominey was charged with five counts of sexual assault and five counts of gross indecency in relation to the alleged assaults, which were reported to have happened at the facility. Dominey now faces more than 30 sexual assault and gross indecency charges, after more alleged victims came forward.

Dominey was a priest with the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton from 1980 to 1990. He was hired by the Province of Alberta to work with children at the EYDC from 1985 to 1989.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:35 PM

Man reaches settlement with Crookston Diocese

GRAND FORKS (ND)
WDAZ

September 27, 2017

By Kenneth Chase

[Note: See also the Diocese of Crookston's statement, Vasek's lawsuit, and the BishopAccountability.org database entry on Fr. Roger Grundhaus.]

Crookston MN - A local man claiming leadership at the Diocese of Crookston threatened and intimidated him into hiding his sexual abuse by a clergy member back in the 70s has reached a settlement with the Catholic organization.

A statement on the Diocese of Crookston's website said that the church and Ron Vasek reached a settlement.

Vasek sued Bishop Michael Hoeppner for threatening and intimidating Vasek to keep quiet about sexual abuse that Vasek says happened to him as a teenager, at the hands of Roger Grundhaus, Vasek’s priest at the time.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:38 AM

More than a dozen women accuse former Maspeth priest of abusing them as children

NEW YORK (NY)
Spectrum News NY1

September 27, 2017

[With video that includes comment from whistleblower Linda Porcaro, not included on the webpage text.]

More than a dozen women say a former Maspeth priest sexually assaulted them decades ago.

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian says at least 15 women have called his office claiming Father Adam Prochaski (aka Prochalski) at Holy Cross Church sexually abused them as teenagers. They say it happened between 1969 and 19 94. Because his clients are older than 23, Garabedian says they will not be able to charge the priest with sexual assault of a child, but they might be able to receive a settlement from the Brooklyn Diocese.

"He had free reign, again, in the church, in the school, in the homes, in the rectory," said Garabedian.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:21 AM

Several priests in prison for child sex abuse still being paid by Louisville Catholic church

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WDRB News

September 27, 2017

By Gil Corsey

[Note: Includes video. See also the BishopAccountability.org database entries for Fr. R. Joseph Hemmerle and Fr. James R. Schook.]

They stand convicted of committing terrible sins, but pedophile priests are still being paid by the Catholic church in Louisville.

"I think it's absurd," Michael Norris said. "I just don't understand it."

Norris is one of Fr. Joseph Hemmerle's victims, molested at age 11 at camp Tall Trees in Meade County in the 1970's.

"This man is who I was thought is an extension of God," Norris said. "That's what the Catholic church taught me. And here's God doing this to me. It really messes with your spirituality."

* * *

Only the Pope can remove the status of a priest, but the process starts with the Archdiocese. Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz declined WDRB News' request for an on-camera interview on the subject.

Far more often than removing a priest for molestation, the Catholic church orders him to a lifetime of "prayer and penance." That's the case for Rev. James Schook, convicted in Louisville in 2014.

"Priests who are directed to lead a life of prayer and penance may not exercise ministry, say mass publicly, or administer the sacraments," said Archdiocese of Louisville Spokeswoman Cecilia Price. "They may not wear clerical garb or present themselves as a priests."

But they can sill collect a check from the church.

"Priests on prayer and penance receive medical insurance and a reduced salary if not retired or reduced retirement benefits," Price said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:04 AM

Statement from the Diocese of Crookston Regarding Additional Priest Name Disclosures

CROOKSTON (MN)
Diocese of Crookston

September 26, 2017

[Note: As of 9/28/17, the Diocese of Crookston had two lists of accused priests posted on its website; one list includes these "new" priests, and one list does not include them. Both lists delete a laicized priest, Fr. Gerald Foley, who had been added to the list on 10/23/14. Moreover, the diocese's Reporting Abuse page links to the list that does not include Plakut and Strub, and has deleted Foley. See the BishopAccountability.org database entry for Fr. Gerald K. Foley.]

The Diocese of Crookston was notified last week that two religious order priests assigned within the Diocese in the 1940s and 1950s were added by St. John’s Abbey to its list of men “likely to have offended against minors”.

Casimir Plakut was ordained for the Order of St. Benedict in 1938. He died in 1988. Augustine John Strub was ordained for the Order of St. Benedict in 1947. He left the priesthood in the early 1960s and died in 2015.

The Diocese takes any allegation of abuse of a minor very seriously. Plakut and Strub have been added to the list of “priests who have been credibly accused of abuse of a minor” on the Diocese of Crookston’s website.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:36 AM

Statement re: Three Additional Names

COLLEGEVILLE (MN)
St. John's Abbey

September 18, 2017

Saint John’s Abbey is adding the names of three former monks to its list of those likely to have offended against minors. All three former monks are deceased and all three had severed their relationship with Saint John’s Abbey well before their deaths.

Casimir Plakut became a monk in 1932 and was ordained in 1938. He worked at several parishes, including Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Cold Spring, and Naytahwaush, Minnesota. He began the process of leaving Saint John’s in 1958, and finalized his intentions in 1962. He died in 1988.

Augustine John Strub became a monk in 1939 and was ordained in 1947. He served in parishes in Cloquet, Naytahwaush, Callaway, and at St Mary’s Hospital, Duluth, Minnesota. He left Saint John’s and the priesthood in 1961-62. He died in 2015.

James Kelly became a monk in 1936 and was ordained in 1942. He taught and studied music at Saint John’s University and other colleges. He also served in various parishes in the Twin Cities and also at Ball Club, Minnesota. He left Saint John’s and the priesthood in 1973 and was formally dismissed from the priesthood in 1976. He died in 2011.

Saint John’s Abbey, in keeping with its policies and practices, intends to make public documents related to these individuals at a future date. However, those documents must first be redacted to remove the names and other identifying details to protect innocent parties mentioned in the documents.

This brings the number of current and former monks on Saint John’s list to twenty-one, thirteen of whom are deceased and two of whom have permanently left the order. The list and information about Saint John’s response to sexual abuse can be found at: http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/info/safe-environment/.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:41 AM

NYPD opens investigation into Catholic priest sex abuse claims

NEW YORK (NY)
Daily News

September 27, 2017

By Easha Ray and Graham Rayman

Prosecutors and the NYPD have opened an investigation into allegations that a Catholic priest sexually abused 15 victims decades ago at a parish school, officials said.

The Queens District Attorney’s office and the NYPD’s Special Victims squad are looking into the allegations made public Tuesday by the 15 women against former Rev. Adam Prochaski, who once worked at Holy Cross School in Maspeth, police officials said.

The alleged abuse took place from 1974 to 1993.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Brooklyn-Queens said Prochaski abruptly left the priesthood in 1994 after the diocese received allegations against him.

However, the Official Catholic Directory — known as the Kenedy Directory — listed him as absent on sick leave from 1995 to 2000, and then absent on sick leave and absent on leave in 2001 and 2002.

He was no longer listed from 2003 on.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:51 AM

Former priest at Maspeth church accused of sexually abusing 15 women over 20 years

QUEENS (NY)
Queens Courier/QNS

September 27, 2017

By Anthony Giudice

More than a dozen women have recently come forward alleging that a former priest and pastor of a Maspeth church sexually abused them during a nearly 20-year time period.

As first reported in the Daily News, the 15 women claim that Father Adam Prochaski, who served Holy Cross Church between 1969 and 1994 and taught at the now-defunct parish school, sexually abused them between the years of 1973 and 1994.

They’re being represented by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represented sex abuse victims in Boston and was portrayed in the 2015 film “Spotlight” about the Boston Globe’s award-winning investigation into sexual abuse committed by clergymen.

Prochaski’s alleged victims were between the ages of 5 and 16 years old at the time of the alleged abuse, Garabedian told QNS in a conference call on Wednesday. It is further alleged that the sexual abuse took place inside the Holy Cross Church, in the rectory, in the school, in Prochaski’s car, and even inside the homes of some of the alleged victims.

“Where were the supervisors? Why weren’t they protecting the children?” Garabedian asked. “It is time for the Diocese of Brooklyn and Bishop [Nicholas] DiMarzio to step up to the plate and answer these questions.”

Linda Porcaro, a former teacher at Holy Cross who taught at the school from 1986 to 1991, was the first one at the school to take these allegations seriously after seven of Prochaski’s alleged victims alerted her to the abuse near the end of school year in 1990.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:45 AM

4 new lawsuits: Priest took boys' nude photos, groped them

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 28, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

[See BishopAccountability.org database entry on Fr. Louis Brouillard.]

Former priest Louis Brouillard took nude photos of boys, groped them, touched their private parts, and induced them to read adult magazines in exchange for food treats and merit badges, according to four lawsuits filed in local court on Wednesday and Thursday.

Brouillard is accused by plaintiffs identified in court documents only as R.C., L.P., M.M., and F.P., all represented by attorney Michael Berman.

The men, now in their early 50s, demand a combined total of $30 million in minimum damages.

They alleged that Brouillard sexually abused and molested them in the 1970s when they were minors and serving as altar boys and/or members of the Boy Scouts of America. They said Brouillard would walk around them naked.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:19 AM

September 27, 2017

Barbara Blaine, Founder of Abuse Victims Group SNAP, Dies

CHICAGO
NBC-TV Chicago

September 26, 2017

By Mary Ann Ahern

An abuse victim herself, she spoke out on behalf of the men and women who confided in her

Barbara Blaine, the founder of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, died unexpectedly Sunday at 61 years old.

The organization announced on its Facebook page that Blaine died Sunday following a recent cardiac event. She was surrounded by family and friends, the group wrote.

"Barbara was taken far too early, and we may never find rhyme or reason in the manner of her passing, but we can forever find inspiration and purpose through the manner in which she lived," Blaine's family wrote in a statement. "She was a truly remarkable human being, and her spirit will remain with us, shaping our choices for the better, erring us away from petty concerns and encouraging us to lean in towards compassion, that we might honor her memory."

Blaine formed the SNAP group in 1988 with a meeting at a Chicago hotel. She had been abused as an 8th grader by a priest who taught at the Catholic school she attended, according to SNAP's website.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:57 AM

Paedophile priest argued 28 years in jail was too much for a man of his age

ENGLAND
Gazette (Teesside)

September 26, 2017

Former Roman Catholic priest Roy Lovatt, from Redcar, tried to get sentence cut :: Top judges told him he deserved every day of the sentence

A twisted paedophile from Redcar who preyed on young boys at a residential school deserved every day of his 28-year jail term, top judges today ruled.

Former ordained Roman Catholic priest Roy Lovatt, 72, subjected two boys to a string of sexual attacks while working as a housemaster at Thorp Arch Grange, near Wetherby.

During the same period in the 1970s and 1980s, he abused four other young children, three boys and a girl, leaving them badly traumatised.

Lovatt, of Queen Street, Redcar, was convicted of or admitted dozens of sex offences and was jailed for 28 years at Leeds Crown Court in February.

On Tuesday, he appealed against the sentence, but was told by senior judges that the term was richly deserved for the catalogue of offending.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:46 AM

Fifteen women accuse ex-priest of sexually abusing them at Queens Catholic school over two decades

NEW YORK NY
New York Daily News

September 26, 2017

By Esha Ray and Graham Rayman

Fifteen women are claiming Tuesday they were sexually abused by a priest at a Catholic school in Queens over a span of two decades.

The women say they were abused by the Rev. Adam Prochaski at the Holy Cross school in Maspeth between 1973 and 1994, according to their lawyer Mitchell Garabedian and Robert Hoatson of the New Jersey-based Road to Recovery group, which helps victims of sexual abuse.

Garabedian was portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the movie "Spotlight" about the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning series on clergy sexual abuse.

Garabedian said the alleged victims were between the ages of 5 and 16 years old at the time of the abuse.

"The sexual abuse happened here at Holy Cross Church, in the church, in Holy Cross Rectory, in the Holy Cross school, in cars and in homes where Father Prochaski used to visit the children," Garabedian said. "He would sexually abuse them in unimaginable ways according to the allegations."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:18 AM

Woman Claims Abuse Allegations Against Queens Priest Fell On Deaf Ears

NEW YORK NY
1010 WINS (CBS RADIO)

September 26, 2017

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Over a dozen women claim they were abused by a Queens priest over a span of two decades.

Linda Porcano said she never forgot the names of the girls who said they were sexually abused by Father Adam Prochaski in 1990, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.

She said she had reported the abuse to the principal at Holy Cross in Maspeth, but the principal laughed at her.

When she saw a Facebook post with attorney Michael Garabedian, she jumped at the chance to do right by her students.

So far, 15 have come forward.

“There are probably many, many more victims, because Father Adam was at Holy Cross for 25 years,” Garabedian said.

Porcano wants the priest prosecuted, and she wants the church to cooperate.

“They’re hiding it, and they should have reported to the police, and they never reported to the police,” Garabedian said.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:14 AM

3 priests accused of abusing boys in ‘70s

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

September 27, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

Priests accused of abusing boys in '70s

Ten lawsuits filed in the Superior Court of Guam this month allege repeated sexual abuse on church grounds and at Boy Scout outings. One victim alleges he spent a summer off-island with a priest who raped and sexually abused him on many occasions.

Attorney Michael Berman, of Berman, O’Connor and Mann, filed the lawsuits on behalf of 10 clients against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America. The individual complaints separately named priests Louis Brouillard, Raymond Cepeda and Andrew Mannetta as the alleged abusers while they were assigned to parishes on Guam.

F.S.L. alleges the sexual abuse began when he was 12 and serving as an altar boy for the Tumon parish and a Boy Scout in the 1970s.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:06 AM

Former Harford priest accused of making child pornography

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun/ The Aegis

September 27, 2017

By Erika Butler

Former priest faces child porn charges

[See the entry for Cristancho in BishopAccountability.org's database of accused U.S. clergy. See also the entry for Cristancho in the List of Accused Priests and Religious Brothers in the Baltimore Archdiocese as reformatted by BishopAccountability.org for easier viewing and printing.]

A Bel Air man, who years ago served as a priest at St. Ignatius Church in Hickory, has been charged with making and possessing pornographic photos involving young boys, according to court records.

Fernando Cristancho, 61, of the 800 block of Hayden Way, served as a priest from 1999 to 2002 at St. Ignatius Church in Hickory, according to a statement on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s website, www.archbalt.org.

Members of the Harford County Child Advocacy Center, which investigates allegations of child abuse, executed a search and seizure warrant Sept. 19 at Cristancho’s home, according to charging documents.

Detectives found photos of young boys on Cristancho’s electronic devices, including his cell phone, a computer in the house and on a Secure Digital (SD) memory card in a safe, according to the charging documents.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:40 AM

September 26, 2017

Barbara Blaine, Who Championed Victims of Priests’ Abuse, Dies at 61

UNITED STATES
New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
SEPT. 25, 2017

Barbara Blaine, who was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest as a teenager and went on to found the nation’s most potent advocacy group for abuse survivors, died on Sunday in St. George, Utah. She was 61.

The cause was a sudden tear in a blood vessel in her heart, which she sustained on Sept. 18 after going hiking on a vacation, her husband, Howard Rubin, said. She lived in Chicago.

Ms. Blaine, a lawyer with a degree in theology, served for nearly 30 years as president of the group she founded, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP. She stepped down this year and had recently started a new international organization to hold the Vatican and church officials overseas accountable for covering up abuse cases.

Ms. Blaine was an ardent Catholic who spent her years after college serving and living with homeless people in a Catholic Worker house in Chicago, part of a social justice movement for the poor founded by the activist Dorothy Day. Ms. Blaine applied that same activist sensibility to creating a new movement to fight for abuse survivors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

Fourteen (14) women have come forward to allege that they were sexually abused as minor children by their parish priest and pastor, Fr. Adam Prochaski (a/k/a Prochalski) of Holy Cross Parish, Maspeth, Queens, in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. All of the women are represented by Attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, MA - mgarabedian@garabedianlaw.com – who was featured in the movie, “Spotlight” and is working with a licensed New York attorney

Fr. Adam Prochaski (a/k/a Prochalski) was assigned to Holy Cross Parish, Maspeth, Queens, New York, for approximately twenty-five (25) years beginning in approximately 1969 and ending in 1994. He was pastor of the parish for approximately four (4) years

According to reports, Fr. Adam Prochaski (a/k/a Prochalski) left the priesthood in approximately 2003 after being absent on sick leave for approximately seven (7) years

WHAT
A press conference announcing that fourteen (14) courageous women who attended Holy Cross Parish and/or School, Maspeth, Queens, have alleged that Fr. Adam Prochaski (a/k/a Prochalski) sexually abused them as minor children in several locations over numerous years

WHEN
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 11:45 AM

WHERE
On the public sidewalk outside Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church, 61-21 56 Road, Maspeth, Queens, New York 11378

WHO
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston who represents the fourteen (14) women who allege that they were sexually abused as minor children by Fr. Adam Prochaski (a/k/a Prochalski); Linda Porcaro (“Mrs. G”), former teacher at Holy Cross School, Maspeth, Queens, who has courageously assisted many of her former students who allege that they were sexually abused by Fr. Adam Prochaski (a/k/a Prochalski); and, Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

WHY
According to reports, Fr. Adam Prochaski (a/k/a Prochalski) was assigned to Holy Cross Parish, Maspeth, Queens, New York, as a young priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. While at Holy Cross Parish, Fr. Adam Prochaski (a/k/a Prochalski) allegedly sexually abused many minor girls, some of them Polish immigrants or daughters of Polish immigrants. Fourteen (14) women who were minor children at Holy Cross Church and/or School have come forward to allege that Fr. Adam Prochaski (a/k/a Prochalski), known as “Fr. Adam,” sexually abused them in Holy Cross Church, Holy Cross School, Holy Cross parish rectory, private homes, and elsewhere.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Nuns pledge to honour orphans buried in mass grave

SCOTLAND
Premier

Mon 25 Sep 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

Nuns who ran an orphanage where 400 children have been discovered in a secret mass grave have promised to honour the lives of the children.

According to Herald Scotland, the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul have pledged to build a memorial for the "lost children" of Smyllum Park.

Earlier this month, new research revealed 402 children died in the care of the nuns at Smyllum Park in Lanark between 1864 and when it closed its doors in 1981.

It had previously said that 158 children died and were buried in compartments at nearby St Mary's Cemetery. Back in 2004 the nuns erected a headstone which didn't have names engraved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Archdiocese helped sexual abuser teach in Pierce County public school, suits allege

WASHINGTON
The News Tribune

BY ALEXIS KRELL
akrell@thenewstribune.com

A teacher who sexually abused students at Catholic schools across the country did the same at a Pierce County public school, where the church helped him get hired, two lawsuits allege.

The Seattle Archdiocese recently agreed to settle one of the suits for $1.3 million; the other is ongoing.

Both were brought by adults who say they were abused as children at Parkland Elementary School in the 1980s by teacher Edward Courtney. Both suits blame the archdiocese for Courtney being hired at the public school.

Courtney was part of the Christian Brothers religious order, and was on a list the archdiocese released last year of 77 other brothers, priests, deacons and nuns accused of abusing children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

Seattle Catholic Archdiocese Agrees To $1.3 Million Settlement In Sex Abuse Case

WASHINGTON
Northwest Public Radio

By KATE WALTER

The Seattle Catholic Archdiocese has agreed to a $1.3 million settlement with a man who says he was sexually abused at a school near Tacoma.

The man, known only in court documents as M.R., says he was abused by a teacher who had previously molested children at two archdiocesan schools.

M.R. claims the Seattle Archdiocese is liable for his abuse because they knew teacher Edward Courtney posed a risk to children. The lawsuit claims Courtney's abuse at two church-run schools was known. But the church still helped him gain employment in the public school system where he came into contact with M.R.

Jason Amala, M.R's attorney, says his client is pleased with the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Lawsuits Filed Against Priests

NEW MEXICO
Rio Grande Sun

Wheeler Cowperthwaite SUN Staff Writer

In 1986, when John Doe 46 was nine years old, he was selected as one of the altar boys for the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, in Española.

For the next two years, he was allegedly raped by former priest Armando Martinez, who was killed in 1997.

Doe is just one of the many victims of sexual abuse and violence at the hands of Catholic clergy in Rio Arriba County. Because he is a victim of sexual abuse, he is only named as “John Doe” in court documents.

On Sept. 12, the Santa Fe Archdiocese, which covers Rio Arriba County, released a list of 75 priests who were found to have credibly abused children while serving in the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

10 new clergy sex abuse suits include Brouillard bringing 2 boys to US, Canada

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Sept. 26, 2017

Ten clergy sex abuse cases have been filed in local court, including one alleging that former priest Louis Brouillard engaged in group sex with minors and had two altar boys accompany him on summer road trips to Minnesota and Canada, where he continued to sexually abuse and molest them.

Brouillard already has been accused, in dozens of lawsuits, of abusing boys on Guam between 1956 and 1981.

The lawsuit filed by F.S.L. in the Superior Court of Guam states Brouillard, who left Guam for Minnesota in 1981, continued to sexually abuse Guam children by having them flown out to him on the mainland.

The 10 clergy abuse cases were filed through Sept. 26, by attorney Michael Berman of the law firm of Berman O'Connor & Mann.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Vatican Responds to Allegations That Ex-Auditor Was Ousted

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

Elise Harris/CNA/EWTN News

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has issued a response to allegations made by former auditor general Libero Milone, who, three months after mysteriously stepping down in the middle of a five-year mandate, has said he was “threatened” into resignation by an “old guard” opposed to his work.

The Vatican’s Sept. 24 statement voiced “surprise and regret” at the allegations. It said that by speaking out, Milone “failed in the agreement to keep confidential the reasons for his resignation from office,” noting that, according to the statutes of his department, Milone’s task had been to “analyze the budgets and accounts” of the Holy See and its related administrations specifically.

“Unfortunately, the office directed by Milone exceeded its powers and illegally commissioned an external firm to carry out investigative activities on the private lives of representatives of the Holy See,” the statement said.

“In addition to constituting a crime,” the act “irreparably crippled the trust placed in Mr. Milone, who, placed in front of his responsibilities, freely agreed to resign.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

Ex-Vatican auditor says he was forced out by ‘set-up’

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald

However, Vatican officials accused him of spying on the private lives of his superiors

The Holy See’s former auditor general, Libero Milone, has said he was forced to step down earlier this year after uncovering possible illegal activity. Vatican officials have hit back, however, accusing him of spying.

Mr Milone claimed on Saturday he was forced out over false accusations by an old guard opposed to reform. Speaking to a group of reporters, he said he was speaking out because “I couldn’t allow any longer a small group of powers to [defame] my reputation for their shady games”.

‘I wanted to do good for the Church, to reform it like I was asked, but they wouldn’t let me,” Mr Milone added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

Diocese of Crookston - Suit in judge’s hands

MINNESOTA
Crookston Times

Marben has until Dec. 19 to rule on suit brought forth by Vasek against Bishop Hoeppner

A northwest Minnesota judge has less than three months to rule on a lawsuit accusing the Diocese of Crookston and its bishop of covering up abuse of a man who reported being sexually abused by one of their priests more than 40 years ago. District Judge Kurt Marben has until December 19, 2017 to make a decision in the case involving Ron Vasek, a parishioner in the Tabor Area who says he was abused by former Msgr. Roger Grundhaus when he was 16 years old while on a trip to Ohio in 1971.

The lawsuit against Diocese Bishop Michael Hoeppner accuse him of coercion and inflicting emotional distress. Vasek told the Grand Forks Herald that he agreed to drop the coercion charge against Hoeppner in exchange for a copy of the letter Hoeppner asked him to sign in October 2015 that recanted his allegations of abuse against Grundhaus. The remaining count against Hoeppner, accusing him of inflicting emotional distress, has not been settled.

The five counts specifically involving the Diocese, which include two nuisance counts, one count of negligence, one count of negligent supervision and one count of negligent retention will be decided by Judge Marben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 AM

September 25, 2017

Barbara Blaine, founder of sex abuse survivor group SNAP, dies

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Bill Frogameni

Barbara Blaine, the founder and former longtime president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, has passed away at age 61 in Utah, where she was vacationing with her husband.

According to a Sept. 24 statement from Blaine's family, the renowned advocate for victims of childhood sexual abuse by clergy died after falling ill from a sudden, unexpected cardiac condition Sept. 18. By many accounts, Blaine was known to keep herself in excellent physical shape, a fact that made the loss that much heavier for family, friends and fellow survivors.

"I'm just shocked and have profound sadness," said Barbara Dorris, SNAP's current managing director. "The world has lost a very wonderful woman. I'm sad. That's all we can be. She was way too young, wasn't sick. The only word is 'sad.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Barbara Blaine, founder of priest-abuse victims group SNAP, dies at 61

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Manya Brachear PashmanContact Reporter
Chicago Tribune

Barbara Blaine — the founder of SNAP, a prominent activist group in the Roman Catholic Church's clergy-abuse crisis — died Sunday in Utah at 61.

The cause of death was a condition resulting from a sudden tear in a blood vessel in her heart, her family said in a statement Monday.

"Her relentless advocacy enabled millions to eventually accept a long unbelievable reality: that tens of thousands of priests raped and fondled hundreds of thousands of kids while bishops hid these heinous crimes," said Barbara Dorris, the managing director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the group Blaine helped start.

"Her contributions to a safer society would be hard to overstate," she added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

National Conference Announced to Address Educator Sexual Misconduct and Abuse in Public and Private Schools

MASSACHUSETTS
MassKids
Durso Law

September 25, 2017
Contact: Jetta Bernier - jetta@masskids.org - 617-827-5218

PRESS RELEASE

September 18, 20017 Over two hundred education leaders, legal experts, and child abuse prevention advocates from across New England will convene in Boston on October 20th for a national conference on “Innovative Strategies to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse in Public and Private Schools.” Topic areas will cover issues relating to training of staff and volunteers about sexual abuse and how to prevent it, screening prospective employees to eliminate unsafe applicants, developing codes of standards to identify prohibited boundary violating behaviors, and responding to suspected or disclosed cases of sexual misconduct or abuse. Goals of the event will be to gain support for this core set of safe child standards, detail plans to disseminate these standards nationally, and establish post-conference networking and technical assistance for participants once they return to their communities and schools.

“According to the U.S. Department of Education, 10% or 4.5 million school children K-12 report having had inappropriate sexual contact with someone in their school – in a third of cases, by a teacher or coach,” said MassKids director Jetta Bernier, whose group has been leading the effort to address educator sexual abuse and misconduct in Massachusetts. “Because child sexual abuse is significantly under-reported and few states keep publicly accessible records of school personnel disciplined for inappropriate or illegal behavior, these numbers are likely to be conservative.” She noted that in Pennsylvania, where such records are available, half of the 234 teacher licenses suspended or revoked in one year were for sexual misconduct or abuse.

Private schools are not immune from the threat of sexual abuse. Investigative reporting by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team in 2016 and 2017 has documented sexual abuse of more than 200 students in 67 New England private schools over the past 25 years. Abusers included teachers, coaches, administrators, and other staff members. At the time of the Globe’s reporting, at least 90 students or families had filed lawsuits, 37 school employees had been fired or forced to resign, and nearly two dozen employees had pled guilty or were convicted on criminal charges of sexually abusing children.

Jeff Dion of the National Center for Victims of Crime said the conference would also address the practice known as “passing the trash,” - the failing to report a suspected case of sexual abuse, and allowing or encouraging a school employee to resign, often under a confidentiality agreement which neither police, district attorneys nor parents can open. “We can no longer allow those who abuse children in our schools to get a free pass to seek employment in another school district or state where they can continue to pose a threat to children,” said Dion.

Carmen Durso, whose Boston-based law firm has seen a significant increase in cases brought against schools by former students, pointed to another problematic practice. “Too many schools faced with a credible report of sexual abuse choose to conduct their own internal investigation rather than report to the police or to child protective services as mandated by law,” he said. “The disbelief that a member of their staff could sexually abuse a child, concern about the impact of public disclosure, and the fear of legal retaliation from the alleged abuser, should no longer trump what should be a fundamental priority in every school, that is, keeping our children safe from the devastating impact of child sexual abuse.”

###
About MassKids

MassKids is a 58-year-old, private child advocacy organization which serves as State Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and directs the Enough Abuse Campaign to prevent child sexual abuse. It has produced research-based training tools specifically for schools, youth organizations, and parents, as well as policy tools, including “Child Sexual Abuse Safe Child Standards.” It maintains an on-line Resource Bank with over 75 annotated links to a variety of prevention resources for schools. It recently announced “Enough! Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in My School,” a one-hour, interactive online course developed specifically to support schools in addressing sexual misconduct and abuse. www.enoughabuse.org
About The National Center for Victims of Crime

The National Center for Victims of Crime is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization serving victims of all types of crime. Founded in 1985, the National Center has a proven record of accomplishment in working across disciplines to effect changes in public policy and culture. It has crafted substantive tools to combat child sex abuse, including its 2014 publication, “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth-Serving Organizations; Guidelines for Managers and Parents.” As part of its efforts at cross-discipline collaboration, the National Center has convened more than a dozen national-scope conferences. www.ncvc.org

DURSO LAW
LAW OFFICE OF CARMEN L. DURSO
175 Federal Street, Suite 1425
Boston, MA 02110-2287
Tel: 617-728-9123 - Fax: 617-426-7972
carmen@dursolaw.com
www.dursolaw.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Church stoked tithing with unemployment scam, ex-members say

NORTH CAROLINA
WTOP

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — When Randy Fields’ construction company faced potential ruin because of the cratering economy, he pleaded with his pastor at Word of Faith Fellowship church to reduce the amount of money he was required to tithe every week.

To his shock, Fields said church founder Jane Whaley proposed a divine plan that would allow him to continue tithing at least 10 percent of his income to the secretive evangelical church while helping his company survive: He would file fraudulent unemployment claims on behalf of his employees. She called it, he said, “God’s plan.”

Fields and 10 other former congregants told The Associated Press that they and dozens of employees who were church members filed bogus claims at Word of Faith Fellowship leaders’ direction, and said they had been interviewed at length about the false claims by investigators with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The unemployment allegations were uncovered as part of the AP’s ongoing investigation into Word of Faith, which has about 750 congregants in rural North Carolina and a total of nearly 2,000 members in its branches in Brazil and Ghana and its affiliations in Sweden, Scotland and other countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

SNAP founder Barbara Blaine dies at age 61

ILLINOIS
Fox 32

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - Barbara Blaine, the founder of a key group that worked tirelessly to bring pedophile priests to justice, has passed away.

Her organization, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) said on Sunday that she had died after a cardiac event.

"She will be remembered for her tireless efforts on behalf of abuse survivors around the world," SNAP said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Barbara Blaine, SNAP Founder, Advocate For Victims Of Clergy Sexual Abuse, Dies

UNITED STATES
International Business Times

BY SHREESHA GHOSH @SHREESHA_94 ON 09/25/17

Barbara Blaine, who founded the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and was also the former president of the organization, died Sunday in Utah at the age of 61, the support group confirmed.

Last Monday, Blaine suffered a spontaneous coronary artery dissection, her family said in a statement to Reuters. The rare condition involves a tear in one or more blood vessels in the heart of the patient.

The managing director of SNAP, Barbara Dorris, issued a statement Sunday regarding Blaine's contribution and pioneer work for the survivors of clergy sexual abuse. "Few people have done more to protect kids and help victims than Barbara Blaine. Her relentless advocacy enabled millions to eventually accept a long unbelievable reality: that tens of thousands of priests raped and fondled hundreds of thousands of kids while bishops hid these heinous crimes. She started-and for almost 30 years-worked extremely hard to help build the world’s most successful organization of child sex abuse victims. Her contributions to a safer society would be hard to overstate," Dorris wrote on SNAP's official page.

People on social media expressed their condolences for the woman who helped numerous survivors of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

From the Family of Barbara Blaine

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

September 24, 2017

We can now share with you that Barbara has peacefully passed away following an unexpected and rare cardiac event (SCAD) that occurred this past Monday. Her final hours were spent surrounded by her husband, Howard and sisters Marcia and Marian. From the window in her room, she was basked in the bright sunlight cascading off the serene Utah landscape. Barbara loved hiking those rocky climbs with Howard, and her indomitable spirit was in harmony with the unshakable vistas.

From running a homeless shelter that she helped found, to acting as a tireless voice for those sexually abused who might otherwise have been silenced by the Catholic Church, Barbara was a fierce and tireless warrior on behalf of social justice. Her passion for progressive and compassionate advocacy was only matched by the love she felt towards family. Those fortunate enough to have known her are readily familiar with the absolute commitment she felt towards her close circle; we were all lucky to have been graced by her love.

Barbara was taken far too early, and we may never find rhyme or reason in the manner of her passing, but we can forever find inspiration and purpose through the manner in which she lived. She was a truly remarkable human being, and her spirit will remain with us, shaping our choices for the better, erring us away from petty concerns and encouraging us to lean in towards compassion, that we might honor her memory.

A Celebration of Barbara's life will be held at a future date.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Pope's Sex Abuse Advisers Also Look Into Children of Priests

VATICAN CITY
US News

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis' committee of advisers on protecting children from sexually abusive priests is expanding its workload to include the needs and rights of children fathered by Roman Catholic priests.

Committee members told The Associated Press on Sunday that a working group is looking into developing guidelines that can be used by dioceses around the world to ensure that children born to priests are adequately cared for.

"It's a horrendous problem in many cultures, and it's not something that is readily talked about," commission member Dr. Krysten Winter-Green said.

Indeed, the church has tried to keep such children secret for centuries, because of the scandal of priests breaking their vows of celibacy. But it has gained visibility after Irish bishops published guidelines earlier this year that focused on ensuring the wellbeing of the child and the mother, who often suffer psychological problems from the stigma and silence imposed on them by the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Vatican says it terminated auditor general’s tenure for spying on senior officials

ROME
Japan Times

ROME – The Vatican said Sunday it had been forced to oust its former auditor general — who resigned without explanation in June — because he had been spying on senior officials.

In the latest scandal to embroil the centuries-old institution, Libero Milone had accused the Vatican of getting rid of him because his investigations into possible illegal activity had hit too close to home.

Just hours after the story broke, the Vatican issued a furious response.

“Milone’s office illegally appointed an external company to carry out investigations into the private lives of members of the Holy See,” it said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

SNAP founder Barbara Blaine, who advocated for survivors of clergy sex abuse, dies

ILLINOIS
WLS

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Barbara Blaine, who did pioneering work on behalf of individuals abused by priests and founded the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), died on Sunday, the organization said in a statement.

Blaine, 61, who resigned as SNAP president in February, was surrounded by family and friends when she died, the statement said.

Blaine stepped down after three decades of campaigning to force the Catholic Church to recognize the extent of the scandal and compensate thousands of people affected.

Blaine did not say why she resigned from SNAP.

She founded SNAP in 1988, years after she was abused as an 8th grader by a Toledo, Ohio priest who taught at the Catholic school she attended, according to the organization's website. Her pleas for help to Toledo's bishop were ignored. The first SNAP meeting of victims was held at a Holiday Inn in Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Lawsuit: Catholic school student left in closet, abused

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon |The Guam Daily Post

The latest lawsuit to be filed against the Archdiocese of Agana alleges a Catholic school student was punished in the early 60s and left in a closet for several hours and sexually abused by a priest.

R.A.J., 62, who used his initials to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit today against San Vicente Catholic School and the Archdiocese of Agana.

When R.A.J. was 6 years old, he attended San Vicente Catholic School where Zoilo Camacho was a priest.

The civil complaint filed in the District Court alleges that one day R.A.J. snuck out of the school playground and ran down the street to Aguon Store to get some snacks. On his way back, one of the nuns who worked at the school caught him and punished him by putting him in a closet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

News: Barbara Blaine, Founder and former president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has passed away

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Sunday, September 24, 2017

Barbara Blaine, the founder and former president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests passed away today, surrounded by her family and friends.

At this time, the family has asked that you respect their privacy until they make a statement.

The following is a statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP managing director, regarding Barbara's pioneering work on behalf of survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

“Few people have done more to protect kids and help victims than Barbara Blaine. Her relentless advocacy enabled millions to eventually accept a long unbelievable reality: that tens of thousands of priests raped and fondled hundreds of thousands of kids while bishops hid these heinous crimes. She started-and for almost 30 years-worked extremely hard to help build the world’s most successful organization of child sex abuse victims. Her contributions to a safer society would be hard to overstate.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Barbara Blaine, founder of group for clergy abuse victims, dies at 61

ILLINOIS
WHTC

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) - Barbara Blaine, who founded the 'Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests' and led the organization until earlier this year, died on Sunday at age 61 in Utah, her family and the organization said.

Blaine suffered a spontaneous coronary artery dissection last Monday, her family said in a statement. The rare occurrence involves a tear in one or more blood vessels of the heart.

She died on Sunday with her husband, Howard, and her sisters at her side, the family statement said.

The organization she founded in 1988 is a leading advocacy and support group for victims of sexual abuse by clergy. It has thousands of members and works to help people from a range of faith traditions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Barbara Blaine, founder of abuse victims group SNAP, dies

ILLINOIS
ABC News

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHICAGO — Sep 25, 2017

Barbara Blaine, the founder and former president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has died. She was 61.

The organization known as SNAP announced on its Facebook page that Blaine died Sunday following a recent cardiac event.

In a statement, SNAP managing director Barbara Dorris praised Blaine's work with victims of clergy sexual abuse.

"Few people have done more to protect kids and help victims than Barbara Blaine," Dorris said. "Her contributions to a safer society would be hard to overstate."

Blaine founded SNAP in 1988, years after she was abused as an 8th grader by a Toledo, Ohio, priest who taught at the Catholic school she attended, according to the organization's website. Her pleas for help to Toledo's bishop were ignored. The first SNAP meeting of victims was held at a Chicago hotel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Another clergy sex abuse case filed in federal court

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 25, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Another clergy sex abuse case has been filed in the District Court of Guam. 62-year-old R.A.J. alleges he was sexually molested by now deceased, father Ziolo Camacho.

The incident occurred at San Vicente Catholic School when R.A.J. was about 6 or 7 years old.

Court documents state the boy was put in the closet for hours by a nun who caught him sneaking off campus to go to the nearby store.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

From the Family of Barbara Blaine

ST. GEORGE (UT)
The Family of Barbara Blaine

September 24, 2017

We can now share with you that Barbara has peacefully passed away following an unexpected and rare cardiac event (SCAD) that occurred this past Monday. Her final hours were spent surrounded by her husband, Howard and sisters Marcia and Marian. From the window in her room, she was basked in the bright sunlight cascading off the serene Utah landscape. Barbara loved hiking those rocky climbs with Howard, and her indomitable spirit was in harmony with the unshakable vistas.

From running a homeless shelter that she helped found, to acting as a tireless voice for those sexually abused who might otherwise have been silenced by the Catholic Church, Barbara was a fierce and tireless warrior on behalf of social justice. Her passion for progressive and compassionate advocacy was only matched by the love she felt towards family. Those fortunate enough to have known her are readily familiar with the absolute commitment she felt towards her close circle; we were all lucky to have been graced by her love.

Barbara was taken far too early, and we may never find rhyme or reason in the manner of her passing, but we can forever find inspiration and purpose through the manner in which she lived. She was a truly remarkable human being, and her spirit will remain with us, shaping our choices for the better, erring us away from petty concerns and encouraging us to lean in towards compassion, that we might honor her memory.

A Celebration of Barbara's life will be held at a future date.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:26 AM

September 24, 2017

Tools for thinking about the Vatican’s two latest scandals

ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. EDITOR

ROME - Journalists often are accused of reporting only bad news, and there’s often a fair bit of truth to the charge. Experience shows that scandal and controversy sell, while feel-good, uplifting material sometimes struggles to find a market, but that’s not really an excuse for failing to present the whole picture.

At the same time, the press also has an important role to play in bringing hard truths to light, which institutions usually would prefer to keep hidden. If the Catholic Church has learned anything from the sexual abuse scandals, it’s that refusing to confront bad news only makes it worse.

There are two such less-than-edifying stories bubbling in and around the Vatican at the moment, so here I’ll try to offer some resources for thinking intelligently about each - without implying that such situations are the only things the Vatican, or the Catholic Church, has going on at the moment worth knowing.

Vatican diplomat and child pornography

On Sept. 15, the Vatican issued a brief press release announcing that one of its priest-diplomats at the papal embassy in Washington, D.C., was suspected by the U.S. government of possible violation of child pornography laws and had been recalled to Rome.

The Promoter of Justice in the Vatican’s tribunal, it said, had opened an investigation and had requested information from the U.S. government, adding that those investigations are “subject to confidentiality.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Bishop Zubik marking 10 years at helm of Pittsburgh diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PETER SMITH
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
petersmith@post-gazette.com
SEP 24, 2017

Scores of young adults, most of them dressed business-casual for the after-work gathering, chatted over Coronas and nachos on a crowded rooftop bar at the Steel Cactus in Shadyside on a warm spring night.

One arrival didn’t fit the demographic — a tall, slightly stooped, gray-haired man dressed in black, who patiently made his way through the crowd, stopping for short conversations.

Eventually the banter subsided, the participants recited a Hail Mary and an organizer introduced Bishop David A. Zubik as the speaker of the evening’s gathering. The event was one of a series known as Theology on Tap, a casual setting for young and often single Catholic adults to meet, network and talk spirituality over suds.

Taking the Catholic Church beyond its buildings, trying to reach an age group that’s often taking itself out of the church entirely — the evening’s themes neatly captured some of Bishop Zubik’s highest priorities as he approaches the 10th anniversary this Thursday of his installation as bishop of the six-county Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Judge begins decision process in suit against Crookston diocese, bishop

MINNESOTA
Duluth News Tribune

By Andrew Hazzard

CROOKSTON, Minn. — A northwest Minnesota judge has until Dec. 19, 2017, to rule on a lawsuit accusing the Diocese of Crookston and its bishop of covering up abuse and inflicting emotional damages on a man who says his bid to become a deacon was rejected because he reported being sexually abused by a priest more than 40 years ago.

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, Minnesota Ninth District Court Judge Kurt Marben took under advisement a lawsuit from Tabor, Minn., resident Ron Vasek against the Diocese of Crookston and Bishop Michael Joseph Hoeppner. This gives him 90 days to make a decision in the case, according to the Polk County Clerk of Court's Office, meaning a ruling is due by Dec. 19.

The lawsuit accuses Hoeppner of coercion and inflicting emotional distress. It says that in 1971, Vasek was sexually abused by Monsignor Roger Grundhaus while on a trip to Ohio when he was 16 years old. In 2010, his son, the Rev. Craig Vasek, was ordained as priest in the Diocese of Crookston, and Ron Vasek tried to become a deacon. That's when he claims he revealed his abuse and was told by Hoeppner to stay quiet, which he believes is an act of blackmail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Auditor says he was forced to quit Vatican after finding irregularities

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican’s first auditor-general, who resigned without explanation in June, has broken his silence, saying he was forced to step down with trumped-up accusations after discovering evidence of possible illegal activity.

Speaking to reporters from four media organizations including Reuters in the office of his lawyers in Rome, Libero Milone also said he believed that some in the Vatican wanted to slow down Pope Francis’s efforts at financial reform.

He said he could not give details of the irregularities he had found because of non-disclosure agreements. Reuters was unable to independently verify his assertions, which the Vatican strongly contested.

The Holy See’s deputy secretary of state, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, told Reuters in an interview that Milone’s claims were “false and unjustified”.

“He went against all the rules and was spying on the private lives of his superiors and staff, including me,” Becciu said. “If he had not agreed to resign, we would have prosecuted him.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Out of ‘Spotlight,’ the movie, comes the Spotlight Fellowship

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

Today’s report started with the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight.”

The film told the story of the Globe’s groundbreaking investigation of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. In 2016, the movie’s producers won the Oscar for Best Picture.

But the team at one of the companies behind the film — Participant Media, founded by Jeff Skoll and dedicated to entertainment that inspires social change — wanted to do more to champion the work of investigative journalists. So they created the Spotlight Investigative Journalism Fellowship.

Participant Media, along with the film’s partners Open Road Films and First Look Media, fund the fellowship, which provides recipients the opportunity to work on their own in-depth investigative stories alongside The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Father Paul J. Radetski not guilty of sexual abuse of a minor

WISCONSIN
Fox 11

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- A priest has been found not guilty of sexual abuse of a minor according to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican.

That information was released today by the Diocese of Green Bay. Father Paul J. Radetski "has been granted senior priest status, and his restrictions from exercising public priestly ministry have been lifted. He will serve the diocese in a limited capacity in his senior priest status," the Diocese of Green Bay says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

Menasha priest found not guilty of sexual abuse of a child in church trial

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sept. 23, 2017

A Menasha priest accused in 2010 of sexually abusing a minor has been found not guilty through canonical judicial proceedings.

Father Paul Radetski had been placed on administrative leave from his duties at St. John’s, St. Mary’s and St. Patrick parishes in Menasha after civil authorities were alerted to what were said by the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay at the time to be credible allegations.

“Father has been granted senior priest status, and his restrictions from exercising public priestly ministry have been lifted,” a Saturday press release from the diocese states. “He will serve the diocese in a limited capacity in his senior priest status.”

Under canonical proceedings, the ruling was made by three canon lawyers and judges from outside the diocese following a trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

September 23, 2017

In Vatican trial, witness calls spending on cardinal’s apartment ‘anomalous’

ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. EDITOR

ROME - In the latest hearing on Friday of the Vatican’s first-ever trial for financial crimes, an official of the Government of the Vatican City State testified that a remodeling project for the private Vatican apartment of Italian Cardinal Tarcisio bypassed the normal bidding process, and was “singular” and “anomalous.”

That remodeling project is at the heart of the case, since two Italian laymen and former officials of a foundation for a papally-sponsored pediatric hospital in Rome called the Bambino Gesù are accused of diverting roughly $500,000 of the hospital’s money to help cover the costs.

The defendants are Giuseppe Profiti, the former president of both the hospital and its foundation, and Massimo Spina, who served as treasurer during Profiti’s tenure.

The Government of the Vatican State is responsible for the 108-acre physical footprint of the Vatican, and generally approves and oversees all building projects within its territory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

‘Pontifical secret’ in abuse cases needs review, advisers tell pope

ROME
Crux

Carol Glatz CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ROME - Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors believe they have done important work over the past three years, but, because there is so much more to be done, they presented Pope Francis with a list of suggestions, including changing the way confidentiality is imposed during church investigations of child sexual abuse.

Pope Francis had his first face-to-face discussion with commission members Sept. 21 and, during the meeting, members summarized the work they have accomplished and detailed a number of recommendations, including regarding the invocation of “pontifical secret” during abuse investigations and trials.

Vatican norms maintain the imposition of “pontifical secret” on the church’s judicial handling of clerical sex abuse and other grave crimes, which means they are dealt with in strict confidentiality.

Vatican experts have said it was designed to protect the dignity of everyone involved, including the victim, the accused, their families and their communities. Confidentiality, however, is meant to have limits in the relationship with civil authorities as bishops are required to comply with civil law that requires reporting of abuse accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

University report lifts the lid on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
National Catholic Reporter

Sep 23, 2017

by Kieran Tapsell

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — The most comprehensive report ever published on the systemic reasons behind child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has recently been released.

The August 2017 report, Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports, examined 26 commissions of inquiry, scientific research and literature since 1985 to find common features in the culture, history and structures of the church and the psychological, social and theological factors that contributed to the tragedy.

The report, five years in the making, comes from a research team at the Centre for Global Research at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University headed by Desmond Cahill and Peter Wilkinson.

The research team's conclusions in this highly readable 379-page document confirm the view of the psychologist Philip Zimbardo that if you find many bad apples in a barrel, there has to be something wrong with the barrel. The pattern of abuse and cover up was the same all over the world.

Cahill is a psychologist and professor emeritus of RMIT University, and Wilkinson holds a licentiate and doctorate in missiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Both are former Catholic priests, Cahill of the Melbourne Archdiocese and Wilkinson formerly with the Missionary Society of St. Columban.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

September 22, 2017

Lawsuit: Altar boy ‘traumatized’ by abuse

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post Sep 22, 2017

A former altar boy who aspired to join the priesthood alleges he was sexually abused by a priest when he was 11.

R.A.S., 73, who used initials to protect his identity, has accused Louis Brouillard of teaching him to masturbate while in the church social hall at the Mangilao parish in 1956, and nearly drowning the boy when he fought back from being fondled while on a swimming outing.

A civil complaint was filed in the District Court of Guam yesterday alleging Brouillard showed favoritism toward R.A.S. after the altar boy shared his interest in the priesthood. The priest allegedly allowed the boy to drink the wine after Mass and treated him differently than the other altar boys.

When he was 11, R.A.S. states Brouillard came to his home asking his parents' permission to help him move things around the church. While in the church social hall, R.A.S. said Brouillard came out naked wearing only a robe, exposing himself to the boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Lawsuit: Priest tried to drown boy after abusing him

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Former island priest Louis Brouillard tried to drown an altar boy after he molested him while swimming, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court. The lawsuit also states Brouillard abused him on other occasions, purportedly to teach him about sex.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as R.A.S. to protect his privacy, said he was 10 or 11 when he became an altar boy in or about 1955. But it was around 1956 that Brouillard started sexually abusing and molesting him, the lawsuit states.

R.A.S., now 73, said one day, instead of dropping altar boys home, Brouillard took them swimming. R.A.S. told Brouillard he didn't know how to swim, and the priest said he would teach him, the complaint states. Brouillard allegedly told them to swim naked, but R.A.S. refused to take off his clothes.

The lawsuit states R.A.S. started squirming and moved Brouillard's hand away when the priest started groping and touching his private parts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 AM

Decades after testifying on sex abuse in Canada, Indian doctor wanted for sexual assault there

CANADA
Indian Expres

Written by ANANTHAKRISHNAN G | New Delhi | Published:September 22, 2017

As a practising psychiatrist in St John’s in Newfoundland in the 1970s, Dr Omesh Chandra Kashyap had a role in blowing the lid off Canada’s first and the world’s biggest paedophilia scandal, involving the Roman Catholic Church. He returned to India in 1991 claiming threats to life, only to be charged with sexual assault himself. Accusing him of having assaulted his former patients, Canada sought his extradition to stand trial.

A trial court granted the sanction, the Delhi High Court upheld it, but now the Supreme Court has stayed the extradition. Issuing a notice to the government, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha sought to know “why the matter should not be remanded for reconsideration by the Union of India”.

Kashyap’s contention was that the government had not taken into consideration the “circumstances” that had led to the extradition request. Reached for comments, Kashyap, now 77, said, “The case is still sub judice. I cannot comment on it now.” For the “circumstances”, The Indian Express went through records before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM), Patiala House Courts, who had conducted the extradition enquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Former Church of England official jailed for indecent assaults on young girls

UNITED KINGDOM
Boston Standard

A leading Church of England official who carried out sex attacks on young girls was today (Thursday) jailed for six years at Lincoln Crown Court.

John Bailey, 76, who was director of education for the diocese of Lincoln from 1996 until he resigned in 2002 , pleaded guilty to 25 charges of indecent assault some of which dated from more than 60 years ago.

The court heard that his victims complained years ago about his behaviour to the diocese but no action was taken at the time.

Bailey of Ash Tree Park, Kippax, Leeds, admitted 25 charges of indecent assault involving three young girls aged under 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Pope: Firm measures for clergy who abuse minors

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

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

Pope Francis this week said the Catholic church will apply the firmest measures to all those who have betrayed their call as clergy and abused children.

His statement comes as Guam awaits the results of the Vatican's canonical trial of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, who has been accused by former altar boys of raping and sexually abusing them in the 1970s.

The pope on Thursday addressed the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which gathered for its plenary assembly at the Vatican.

"We are ashamed of the abuses committed by holy ministers, who should be the most trustworthy," the pope said in his prepared remarks.

He said the Catholic church irrevocably and at all levels seeks to apply the principle of "zero tolerance" against the sexual abuse of minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

More than a dozen abusive clergy served local parishes

NEW MEXICO
Taos News

By Cody Hooks
chooks@taosnews.com

Armando Martinez grew up in Questa, the village of alfalfa fields and a couple of thousand people at the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Martinez didn't look for work at the nearby molybdenum mine, like a lot of young men from the village. Instead, he went into a Catholic seminary, became a priest and headed parishes from Belen to Tucumcari, Springer to El Rito.

In May 1997, Martinez was found naked and dead, his body left in a ditch near Bernalillo. His murderer turned himself in days later.

The deep, reverberating shock of losing Martinez in such a horrific way was only made more nerve-wracking when then-Archbishop Michael Sheehan revealed in a press conference that Martinez had been restricted from his duties as a priest in 1993 after allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor were made against him.

Sheehan's revelation about Martinez came at the beginning of a tidal wave of allegations of sexual abuse and subsequent lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, in particular.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

New details from man who claims church covered up sexual abuse

NORTH DAKOTA
Valley News Live

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) New information from the man who claims a priest molested him and then the church tried to cover it up.

He's suing the Crookston Dioceses for trying to cover-up the abuse and is worried there could be more victims still out there.

"Right now we're going to be building a cabinet for a gal."

Ron Vasek is the 'Spare Husband.'

"Kind of anything that somebody needs done."

The family-man handyman runs this business with his son.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

An Australian priest is being investigated in Papua New Guinea over confessional allegations

AUSTRALIA/NEW GUINEA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
22 Sep 2017

AN Australian Catholic priest is being investigated by Papua New Guinea police for allegedly touching female students during confession after a bishop denied the priest “caressed their thighs to get some personal satisfaction”.

Vincentian priest Father Neil Lams allegedly held a teenage girl on his lap, “cuddled” some girls and bought gifts for them, touched girls on the thighs during confession, asked them questions about whether they had sex with their boyfriends and “how many times”, slapped some students on the head and called others “sweet baby”.

In an email to the Newcastle Herald Father Lams said an investigation was “currently in progress”, but “the allegations are at present based on gossip and I am not guilty of any criminal activity in any way”. He declined to respond to questions.

Father Lams was ordained in Australia in May, 2011 and served short periods in Sydney and Townsville before Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart appointed him assistant priest to the Victorian parish of Malvern in 2014. After a short term Father Lams requested a missionary appointment and was sent to PNG by the Vincentian order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

CAP sessions announced for October

NEW JERSEY
Catholic Star Herald

by Carmela Malerba September 21, 2017

The Office of Child and Youth Protection is announcing CAP (Child Assault Prevention) sessions. CAP is the safe environment training program for adults who have regular contact with minors.

Attendance is required in order to comply with the USCCB’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The policy of the Diocese of Camden is that adults will attend CAP once every five years.

CAP 1 teaches attendees to recognize child abuse and neglect and how to report to the proper authorities. Adults are taught that children have the right to be safe, strong and free. CAP 1 is for new volunteers and employees.

CAP 2 is called CAP’s Bullying Prevention Program. Cyber-bullying is also presented.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Five appointed to oversight board

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

RUSS O'REILLY
Staff Writer
roreilly@altoonamirror.com

A former chief of staff to a U.S. senator, a former state police criminal investigator, a psychotherapist, a practitioner in spiritual formation and a U.S. attorney for western Pennsylvania have been tapped to create policies to protect children in the local Catholic diocese.

Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song and Bishop Mark L. Bartchak of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown have announced the five people appointed to an Independent Oversight Board for Youth Protection for the diocese.

The diocese created the independent oversight board earlier this year pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between the diocese and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The board will work with a new diocesan director of youth protection, who will be announced in the near future, diocese spokesman Tony DeGol said. The reforms are aimed at preventing child sex abuse and responding swiftly to future allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

September 21, 2017

Pope promises 'firmest measures possible' against pedophiles

VATICAN CITY
Daily Herald

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis is promising to respond with the "firmest measures possible" against priests who rape and molest children and says he'll hold accountable bishops and religious superiors who cover up for them.

Francis met Thursday for the first time with his sex abuse advisory commission, which was created in 2014 to advise him and the Catholic Church on best practices to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood and protect children.

The commission has held educational workshops in dioceses around the world, but has faced such stiff resistance to some of its proposals at the Vatican that its most prominent member, abuse survivor Marie Collins, resigned in frustration in March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Diocese Names Board to Oversee Clergy Sex Abuse Allegations

PENNSYLVANIA
US News

By JOE MANDAK, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Roman Catholic diocese has appointed a five-member board to oversee its handling of child sex abuse allegations against clergy as part of an agreement with the federal prosecutor who oversees western Pennsylvania.

Acting U.S. Attorney Soo Song announced the agreement in March with Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak after a state grand jury alleged a decadeslong abuse coverup. Song's predecessor had threatened to sue the eight-county central Pennsylvania diocese under a federal racketeering statute if reforms weren't enacted.

Song and Bartchak on Thursday announced the names of the board members.

The board will be chaired by James W. Brown, former chief of staff to Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and his father, Democratic former Gov. Bob Casey. The other members are Walter "Pete" Carson, a former state police investigator; Eileen Dombo, a professor and assistant dean at The Catholic University of America; Mary Herwig, an abuse victim turned advocate; and J. Alan Johnson, a former U.S. attorney who is perhaps best known for his prosecution of cocaine trafficking in Major League Baseball in an investigation that centered on the Pittsburgh Pirates clubhouse in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Pope admits church realized sex abuse problem ‘a bit late’

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Nicole Winfield | AP September 21

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday acknowledged the Catholic Church was “a bit late” in realizing the damage done by priests who rape and molest children, and said that the decades-long practice of moving pedophiles around rather than sanctioning them was to blame.

Francis met Thursday for the first time with his sex abuse advisory commission, a group of outside experts named in 2014 to advise him and the Catholic Church on best practices to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood and protect children.

In his prepared remarks, Francis promised to respond with the “firmest measures possible” against sex abusers. He said bishops and religious superiors bore “primary responsibility” for keeping their flocks safe from abusive priests and would be held accountable if they are negligent.

But Francis also spoke off-the-cuff, admitting that the church’s response to the scandal was slow. Indeed, the Vatican for decades turned a blind eye to the problem and local bishops, rather than defrocking abusers, instead moved them from parish to parish, allowing them to abuse anew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Abuse survivor calls for more accountability after Pope Francis promises “zero tolerance”

ROME
Crux

Claire Giangravè EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

ROME - Abuse survivor Marie Collins, former member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors until her resignation in March 2017, told Crux that while she believes that “zero tolerance” the only viable option for perpetrators of the sexual abuse of children, more should be done on the side of accountability not only for abusers, but also for those religious leaders and bishops who were negligent.

Her remarks were in reaction to Pope Francis’s speech to the commission members and their families on September 21.

In a strong statement, Francis stressed the importance of ‘zero tolerance’ on sexual abuse, admitted that the Church was late in answering the abuse crisis and promised to never offer mercy to someone found guilty of sexually abusing minors again.

“Zero tolerance is the way to go, but it’s toothless if there isn’t a sanction for anyone who doesn’t operate it,” Collins said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Pope candidly admits Church 'arrived late' in confronting abuse

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis, in some of his most candid and personal comments on the sexual abuse of children by priests, said on Thursday that the Catholic Church had “arrived late” in dealing with the problem.

Francis, speaking in unscripted remarks to a commission advising him on how to root out sexual abuse, also acknowledged that early in his papacy he had made one bad call in being too lenient with an Italian priest who later went on to abuse again.

He also said he had decided to change current procedures for dealing with abusive priests by eliminating appeals trials in cases where there was definitive proof.

Francis surprised members of the commission by putting aside his entire prepared speech and chatting to them.

“There is the reality that the Church arrived at the consciousness of these crimes a bit late,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Pope admits Catholic Church waited too long to respond to clergy abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Sep 21, 2017

by Joshua J. McElwee

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has admitted that the Catholic Church waited too long before taking reports of clergy sexual abuse seriously, suggesting that the former practice of moving priests accused of abuse to new ministries instead of reporting them to authorities kept the church numb to the scope of the situation.

In his first formal meeting Sept. 21 with the now three-year-old Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the pontiff also called "prophetic" the men and women who urged the church for decades to face the problem.

"I know it has not been easy to start this work," the pope told the members of the commission in off-the-cuff remarks notable for their frankness. "You have had to swim against the current because there is a reality: the church has taken consciousness about these crimes in a delayed manner."

"When the consciousness is delayed, the means for resolving the problem are delayed," said Francis. "I am aware of this difficulty. But it is a reality. I’ll say it so: We have come to this late."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

As 108th lawsuit is filed against church, mediation efforts are stalled

GUAM
Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera - September 20, 2017031

The latest lawsuit once again names Father Louis Brouillard as the alleged perpetrator.

Guam – Although assurances were given that mediation in the scores of sex abuse lawsuits would be completed sometime next month, it looks as though it may not happen until next year. And with that announcement comes more lawsuits being filed against the Archdiocese of Agana.

In a joint filing between Attorney John Terlaje, who represents the archdiocese and Attorney David Lujan, who represents all victims in District Court, the court was notified that mediation efforts may not begin until March of next year.

This timeframe is more realistic, according to the lawyers, given the work that needs to be completed. The parties are also deciding whether they will use retired federal Judge Michael Hogan or sitting Judge Alex Munson to oversee mediation efforts sometime next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

Another $10M suit filed against priest Brouillard

GUAM
KUAM

By Krystal Paco

The clergy sex abuse lawsuits keep on coming. 66-year-old M.S.B. alleges he was sexually molested by Father Louis Brouillard as an altar boy and Boy Scout.

The alleged abuse occurred in the back room at the Mangilao parish where Brouillard took nude photos of him and also at the rectory where the priest would host sleepovers and lay with the boys in bed and fondle them.

M.S.B. is suing for $10 million.

His filing comes after parties have notified the court that they'll need more time for mediation talks for dozens of other clergy sex abuse lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

Retired priest faces judge on child sex abuse charges

PENNSYLVANIA
WPXI

LEECHBURG, Pa. - Channel 11 was there as a retired Westmoreland County priest faced a judge on accusations that he sexually abused a 10-year-old boy.

John T. Sweeney, 74, is accused of abuse in 1991 and 1992 while he was the pastor at St. Margaret Mary in Lower Burrell. He left the Leechburg Magistrate's Office Wednesday without saying a word to Channel 11.

The boy is now 35 years old, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro said when charges were filed in July, they wanted to file more charges but couldn't because of his age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Former Gallup priest on abuser list

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Sept. 18, 2017

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

GALLUP — When Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester publicly released a list of names of credibly accused clergy sex abusers Tuesday, his list shed light on a former Gallup priest who had never before been publicly named as a sex abuser.

The Rev. Roman Pfalzer, OFM, who died in 2011, is listed as the 54th credibly accused clergy sex abuser out of 74 names, according to the archbishop’s news release.

Wester’s list, which includes 66 priests, six religious brothers and two deacons, includes the names of four abusers who worked in both the Diocese of Gallup and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Three of the abuser priests have already been publicly identified by both the media and the Diocese of Gallup: the Rev. David Clark, a member of the Claretian Missionary order; the Rev. Robert Kirsch, a Gallup priest who left to become incardinated into the Archdiocese of Santa Fe; and the Rev. Diego Mazon, OFM, a Franciscan friar who was removed from Gallup’s St. Francis Church because of a sex abuse allegation in 2004.

The fourth is Pfalzer, a Franciscan friar who served as a priest at St. Francis Church in Gallup in the early 1950s. Although never publicly named before, Pfalzer has been on a list of suspected clergy sex abusers maintained by the Gallup Independent for the past 15 years.

Gallup woman’s story

In the months after the national Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted in Boston and spread across the country in 2002, an older woman in Gallup reported troubling stories about Pfalzer’s time in Gallup.

According to the woman, she had been a young, married teenager when a “Father Roman” was assigned to St. Francis Church. The priest made frequent, unwelcome visits to her home, she said, always when her husband was away at work. The woman said Roman visited her with the pretext of inquiring about a disabled family member of hers who lived elsewhere in Gallup. Those visits were uncomfortable, she said, because the priest was always attempting to move physically close to her while she always tried to maintain physical distance from him.

The woman said she believed Roman gave piano lessons to girls at St. Francis Church. When the priest left Gallup, she heard reports that he had inappropriately touched one or more girls, possibly his piano students.

After listening to the woman’s account, a Gallup Independent reporter checked the Official Catholic Directory to see if any priest named Roman was assigned to Gallup during that time. The directory listed the Rev. Roman Pfalzer, OFM, as a priest at St. Francis Church from 1950 to 1951.

The Independent then contacted officials with the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist in Cincinnati, Ohio, in an attempt to verify if credible abuse allegations had ever been made against Pfalzer. Those Franciscan officials would not cooperate by providing any information about Pfalzer.

As a result, for the past 15 years, Pfalzer’s name has been on the Independent’s list of suspected clergy abusers. Wester’s announcement Tuesday was the first official confirmation by church authorities that Pfalzer was a credibly accused abuser.

Likely church discipline

Wester outlined four categories of abusers included on the Archdiocese of Santa Fe list. Since Pfalzer had never been the subject of public abuse allegations prior to his death, it is likely he was subjected to internal church discipline as described by Wester: “In the case of canonical processes, the clerics whose names are included either have been dismissed from the clerical state at the end of the canonical process, or have been assigned to a life of prayer and penance, with no ministry possible.”

Wester’s news release stated the list will be updated soon to include abusers’ ministry assignments.

According to a newspaper article from the Santa Fe New Mexican in May 1972, Pfalzer was originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1947. Before working as an assistant at the cathedral in Santa Fe, Pfalzer was previously assigned to churches in Gallup, Roswell and Clovis.

The Official Catholic Directory in 2006 listed Pfalzer as being a retired priest living in the St. Clement Friary in Cincinnati. Pfalzer’s online obituary states Pfalzer died at the age of 93 Dec. 26, 2011, after 64 years as a priest with the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist.

Because of Pfalzer’s inclusion on Wester’s list of clergy abusers and his time in Gallup as a priest, the Diocese of Gallup is expected to include Pfalzer’s name on its list of credibly accused abusers. The Gallup Diocese, however, does not move quickly on these matters.

In the case of Diego Mazon, the diocese placed his name on the credibly accused list in April — more than eight years after the Gallup Independent reported Mazon had been removed from ministry because of the abuse allegation and sex abuse lawsuit. Eight other priests, who have either been named as credibly accused abusers by other Catholic dioceses or religious orders or who were named as abusers by claimants in the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case, have yet to be added to the diocese’s credibly accused list.

Currently, the Diocese of Gallup’s list includes the names of 34 men: 31 priests, one religious brother, one seminarian and one lay religion teacher.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Sex abuse happens across denominations. Here's how one Protestant minister is helping people heal

UNITED STATES
America

Kaya Oakes
September 20, 2017

A young girl sits in her room as the sounds of physical violence echo down the hall. Her father regularly erupts, a volcano whose rage is fed by the notion that he is the head of a “good Christian family” and that his wife and children must submit to his will. The girl also knows that their church pastor is a pedophile who preys on her sister, but her church has turned inward to protect the pastor instead of reaching out to help her sister. The girl is terrified for her mother, her sister, herself. So she prays, and this offers her peace in the midst of the violence. That peace will sustain her for years to come.

This snapshot from the tumultuous childhood of the Rev. Carol Howard Merritt often leads people to question why she entered ordained ministry. The Southern Baptist Church of her childhood colluded in the violence that surrounded her growing up. In her book Healing Spiritual Wounds, she writes that religion was “complicit in the violence” of her home and church, but she still found hope. Misguided interpretations of Christian teaching, she writes, were “part of the problem,” but the teachings of Christ were also her “cure, solace, and center.” Over time, she came to understand that abusive patterns in religion “did not really represent God,” and after attending Moody Bible Institute, she left the Southern Baptist Church to join the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), where she was ordained and where she began a ministry that focuses on the wounds that can be caused by organized religion and on the spiritual healing that must follow.

For Catholics, the topic of abuse remains a painful one. The recent charges of “sexual offenses” faced by Cardinal George Pell have once again stirred up the debate about the church’s failure to rectify its abusive history, which has caused harm not only to the people abused and their families but to the church as a whole and has resulted in the attrition of many Catholics. A survey by the Public Religion Research Institute in 2015 revealed that half of former Catholics point to the abuse crisis as a primary reason they left the church. Informal conversations with still practicing Catholics often reveal unresolved feelings of betrayal and anger about the abuse crisis. More significantly, abuse has also left a trail of traumatized victims, many of whom are still suffering from physical, psychological and spiritual damage. Spiritual damage, which often means damage to a person’s religious faith or relationship with God, is probably the least discussed and least well understood of these issues, but as Rev. Merritt points out, it can have dramatic effects, especially on deeply religious victims like herself. Yet this damage to one’s faith also offers a unique opportunity for healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

Vasek asks court Wednesday in TRF to deny diocese’s attempts to throw out his claims

MINNESOTA
Crookston Times

Also, three more priests’ names added to list, and two served at the Diocese of Crookston in the 1940s and 1950s

The Diocese of Crookston will appear in court Wednesday in Thief River Falls on public nuisance and negligence claims made by a man who says he was abused in the early 1970s by former Msgr. Roger Grundhaus. Ron Vasek will ask the court to deny the Diocese of Crookston’s attempts to throw out his claims and, according to a media advisory by Jeff Anderson & Associates, in a related hearing immediately afterwards, Vasek, also named Doe 19, will ask the court to sanction the Diocese of Crookston for failing to produce Msgr. Grundhaus’ file in his case in 2015.

According to the advisory, Vasek disclosed the abuse to Crookston Diocese Bishop Michael J Hoeppner in 2009 or 2010 and the Diocese allegedly keep the abuse from the public including threatening his participation in the church and violating a 2015 court order in the case Doe 19 v. Diocese of Crookston, et al. Through Vasek’s lawsuit, he seeks to force the Diocese of Crookston to end their long-standing practice of concealment and protection of child abuse abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:43 AM

Local man fighting Crookston Diocese to reveal past instances of sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
WDAZ

By Scott Cook on Sep 20, 2017

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)—A local man is fighting the Catholic Diocese of Crookston saying they have been concealing information about sexual abuse within the diocese.

On September 20, Ron Vasek and his attorney took part in a hearing at the Pennington County Courthouse.

Vasek said he and his son were threatened and intimidated by Bishop Michael Hoepner to keep quiet about sexual abuse that happened to him in the 1970s.

“The cover up has to end. There is no reason for that. None. This is 2017. They have had 30-40 years to clean this stuff up and they still aren't doing it. Why? And that’s what the people want to know is why is this still continuing?” said Vasek.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

September 20, 2017

Youth minister accused of giving teen alcohol

NEW YORK
News 12

SPRING VALLEY -
A former youth minister in Spring Valley was arraigned yesterday and charged with two misdemeanors for allegedly giving alcohol to a teenager.

Police say Earnest Zalamea has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully providing alcohol to a 16-year-old from the St. Joseph's parish. He was released on $200 bail and ordered to avoid contact with the victim.

Robert Hoaston, a former priest and now an advocate who assists victims of church abuse, tells News 12 that he feels like there is too much secrecy surrounding this case, and he doesn't like how the church is handling it.

"If he's giving alcohol to minors, he is a predator," Hoaston says. "When the church doesn't talk about things, like this guy getting fired, there is trouble."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Ex-Spring Valley church youth minister charged with providing minor with alcohol

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Steve Lieberman, slieberm@lohud.com Sept. 20, 2017

SPRING VALLEY - A 26-year-old Yonkers man faces misdemeanor charges of providing an underage parishioner of St. Joseph's Church with alcohol after he was fired as the church's youth minister.

Ernest Zalamea faces counts of endangering the welfare of a child and first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child for giving alcohol to a person under 21, the legal age to drink in New York state.

Zalamea was arraigned Tuesday in Spring Valley Justice Court and released after posting $200 bail pending future appearances in court.

Zalamea is accused of buying a six pack of beer at the 7-11 store at 63 Kennedy Dr. on July 19 and sharing the alcohol with a 16-year-old boy he knew from the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Catholic school teacher indicted in sexual assault case

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole , jstole@guampdn.com Sept. 20, 2017

A Superior Court of Guam grand jury this week handed up a true bill, indicting a Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School physical education teacher on charges of criminal sexual conduct and child abuse.

The indictment was filed Monday.

Peregrine Corpuz San Nicolas, 53, is accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old female student.

The girl told police that, between January and March this year, after her classmates were allowed to leave, San Nicolas asked her to stay back, walked with her and put his hand on her breast area, court documents state.

She said San Nicolas never touched her under her shirt, according a court complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 PM

Former Lower Burrell priest waives sex assault charge to court

PENNSYLVANIA
TRIB Live

CHUCK BIEDKA | Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017

A former Lower Burrell priest accused of molesting a Catholic school student 25 years ago waived the charge to court Wednesday but his attorney is the insisting that the case will end because the legal statute of limitation has expired.

The former Rev. John Thomas Sweeney ,

denies that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy, who attended St. Margaret Mary Church school between September 1991 and June 1992. Sweeney was church pastor.

Court documents state the alleged victim didn't report the abuse until last year after he watched a “Spotlight,” the Academy Award winning movie about sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

Sweeney, now 74, is charged with one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

Former youth minister at St. Joseph Parish, Spring Valley, New York, Ernest Zalamea, was arraigned in Spring Valley, New York court on September 19, 2017 on charges involving children

The Archdiocese of New York and St. Joseph Parish, Spring Valley, New York have yet to inform parishioners, neighbors, and the general public about the August, 2017 arrest of Ernest Zalamea, and his arraignment on September 19, 2017 in Spring Valley, New York municipal court

According to reports, the Salesians of Don Bosco at the Marian Shrine in Haverstraw, New York hired Ernest Zalamea as youth minister after he was fired from St. Joseph Parish, Spring Valley

What
A press conference alerting the media, parishioners, and the general public of the arrest and arraignment of Ernest Zalamea, former youth minister at St. Joseph Parish, Spring Valley, New York on reported charges involving children

When
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at Noon

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 245 North Main Street, Spring Valley, New York 10977

Who
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
In July, 2017, Ernest Zalamea, youth minister of St. Joseph Parish, Spring Valley, New York was fired by the parish as director of the parish summer camp and director of youth ministry. Shortly afterward, he was arrested on charges involving children. At his arraignment in Spring Valley, New York municipal court, Ernest Zalamea posted $200.00 bail and was released. He was ordered by the judge not to come within 1,000 feet of an alleged victim and have no contact with that victim. He was advised to hire an attorney or accept the services of a court-appointed attorney. Ernest Zalamea has worked in other New York Archdiocesan schools and parishes, and those schools and parishes should be informed of Mr. Zalamea’s arrest and arraignment. Any victims of Ernest Zalamea are urged to come forward and begin their healing. They may contact Road to Recovery, Inc. at the information provided.

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Former school official convicted for explicit messages to student

MICHIGAN
The Macomb Daily

By Jameson Cook, The Macomb Daily
POSTED: 09/18/17

A high school administrator was convicted of two counts and acquitted of two counts related to sending explicit electronic messages to a student at the school.

Joseph P. Sturza, 50, the former admissions officer at Austin Catholic High School when it was located in Ray Township, was found guilty of child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime following a four-day trial in Macomb County Circuit Court, according to court records. The school has since relocated to a new site in Chesterfield Township.

Each charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Sturza, a Macomb Township resident, was acquitted of the lesser charges of accosting a child for immoral purposes, punishable by up to four years behind bars, and using a computer to commit a crime, punishable by up to seven years in prison, records say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

In Vatican trial, question remains: Whose reputations are on the line?

ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. EDITOR

ROME - Let’s be clear. If anyone thinks a Vatican criminal trial is like an episode of “Law and Order,” with dramatic courtroom confessions, barbed verbal crossfires between attorneys, and surprise bombshell revelations, here’s a news flash: This is a different animal altogether.

For the most part, the Vatican follows rules established by a 19th century Italian version of criminal procedure, which does not envision trial by jury but instead a more active role for judges. They aren’t just referees, like in American trials, but they conduct their own examinations of witnesses. Since the main point of a trial is building an evidentiary record to serve as the basis for a decision, the presiding judge spends a painstaking amount of time repeating back witnesses’ answers to questions, trying to get consensus on pretty much every word.

In other words, it’s about as scintillating most of the time as watching paint dry.

On what amounted to the first full day of the Vatican’s latest major criminal trial, after a preliminary motions hearing in July and an opening day Sept. 7 that was quickly suspended due to the emergence of new evidence, Tuesday’s hearing was consumed by the testimony of the defendant ostensibly at the heart of the case: Giuseppe Profiti, a lay Italian financier and academic who served as both the president of the papally-sponsored Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital and the president of a foundation directing the hospital from 2008 to 2017.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Judge denies probation for priest convicted of youth sex abuse at summer camp

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Matthew Glowicki, @MattGlo Sept. 19, 2017

A Meade County judge has denied a probation request by a Roman Catholic priest found guilty of molesting a boy at a summer camp in the 1970s.

Joseph Hemmerle, 75, was found guilty at trial in November 2016 of a single count of immoral or indecent practice with a child and was sentenced to seven years in prison in February.

His accuser, Michael Norris, had testified that at Camp Tall Trees in 1973, Hemmerle told him to report to his cabin one night to treat poison ivy. The priest told him to strip and stand on a stool before touching him sexually with his hands and mouth, Norris testified.

Camp Tall Trees at Otter Creek Park in Meade County was run by the Archdiocese of Louisville until 2002. Hemmerle was a director there from 1970 until about 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 AM

San Leandro teen: Catholic school, church diocese failed to prevent sex abuse by counselor

CALIFORNIA
Mercury News

By MATTHIAS GAFNI | mgafni@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: September 19, 2017

SONOMA — A San Leandro teen sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa and an embattled school for traumatized boys Tuesday, claiming employees failed to prevent his sexual abuse by a counselor who took advantage of his troubled past.

Last fall, school officials discovered 22-year-old school counselor Angelica Malinski hiding inside the boy’s Sonoma dorm room. Malinski was arrested a short time later and charged with misdemeanor unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, as the boy was 17 at the time. Weeks earlier, Hanna Boys Center officials were put “on notice” about the pair meeting at night but did little about it, the lawsuit alleges.

“It’s absolutely appalling that Hanna Boys Center and its executive director had actual knowledge of an inappropriate relationship between an adult employee and one of its students in its treatment center and didn’t stop it,” said attorney Micha Liberty, who is representing the San Leandro student, who is now 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Former Crookston priests identified in sexual assault case

NORTH DAKOTA
WDAZ

By Scott Cook on Sep 19, 2017

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)—Two more priests from the Crookston Diocese have been added to a list of 21 priests and monks who attorneys say sexually assaulted minors throughout the state of Minnesota.

Casimir Plakut and Augustine John Strub, both deceased, served the Crookston Diocese during the 1940s and 1950s. But despite the fact that it was so long ago, he says it's important to raise awareness about the issue of sexual abuse in the church, to stop it from happening in the future, and to shine a spot light on what he said happened specifically at the diocese of Crookston, acc

“It's so important to get the painful truth of the past out. Both the names of the offenders, where they offended and their histories because there are so many survivors who think they are the only ones and are blaming themselves. Suffering in secrecy and silence, and by revealing what has been will protect kids in the future because there is a nuisance we believe being maintained by the Bishop in Minnesota and in the diocese of Crookston,” said attorney Jeff Anderson.

The release of these names and information is timely because tomorrow Anderson will be in Thief River Falls arguing a different issue against the diocese of Crookston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Editorial: Archdiocese’s disclosure a step toward global healing

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

If confession is good for the soul, then the Archdiocese of Santa Fe recently took a significant – and past-due – step toward cleansing the soul of the Roman Catholic Church here. For the first time, the archdiocese last week published a list of 74 clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children in New Mexico. Archbishop John C. Wester also issued an apology to the survivors “for the pain and suffering you have endured.”

In a statement accompanying the list of accused priests, deacons and religious brothers, Wester wrote: “It is my deepest hope that our publication of this list will serve as an important step in healing for survivors, their families, and our Church and communities.” He also pledged “to support and assist you on your road to recovery.”

The public cleansing opens the gates for healing and closure, validating the claims of the then-children and teens who reported they were abused at the hands of men they once revered.

The archdiocese’s list contains the names of the clergy, their order or diocese and whether they are alive or deceased. Of the 74 named, 38 were reported as deceased. The archdiocese says it will be updating its list with names of the parishes where the 74 worked; when it does it should include when they were there as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Cardinal's luxury pad probed in Vatican trial

VATICAN CITY
The Sun Daily

VATICAN CITY: A luxury penthouse occupied by a top cardinal was given a costly renovation so it could hold fundraising dinners, a Vatican corruption trial heard Tuesday.

In a case set to refocus attention on the kind of clerical extravagance that Pope Francis has vowed to eradicate, two former directors of a Foundation linked to the Vatican-run Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) children's hospital in Rome are charged with embezzling €422,000 (RM2.1 million).

The majority of the cash was allegedly used to revamp the spectacular flat occupied by the retired Italian cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a former number two in the Holy See hierarchy.

Spread across hundreds of square metres at the top of the Palazzo San Carlo, the residence boasts a huge terrace with magnificent views over Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Vatican corruption trial: Charity directors 'revamped cardinal's flat with hospital money

VATICAN CITY
The Local

A luxury penthouse occupied by a top cardinal was given a costly renovation so it could hold fundraising dinners, a Vatican corruption trial heard on Tuesday.

In a case set to refocus attention on the kind of clerical extravagance that Pope Francis has vowed to eradicate, two former directors of a Foundation linked to the Vatican-run Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) children's hospital in Rome are charged with embezzling 422,000 euros ($506,500).

The majority of the cash was allegedly used to revamp the spectacular flat occupied by the retired Italian cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a former number two in the Holy See hierarchy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

September 19, 2017

Dark Canyon: Sexual Abuse and Secrecy in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe

NEW MEXICO
KSFR

[audio]

By TOM TROWBRIDGE

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe last week shocked the state by releasing -- for the first time -- a list of 74 names of priests, deacons and brothers that it says have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

In a statement, Archbishop John Wester said he hopes the publication of the list will help victims and their communities to heal, and help rebuild trust in the Church.

It’s a move that other dioceses around the country have turned to after media pressure or after filing for bankruptcy. Victims’ advocates like the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests-or SNAP_-have called for more transparency from the Church for years. They , call this a step in the right direction but say: "The Archbishop and Archdiocse are not making the names public because .. of a desire for transparency or pastoral care.. They are doing so because of a new law in New Mexico that allows victims of child sexual abuse to make these names public through the civil courts.”

But the Church’s sexual abuse crisis in New Mexico - and its responsibility to the public - does not begin and end with this list. For months, a team of reporters for KSFR has been looking into an epidemic perpetrated by an institution deeply embedded in our state’s culture and history.

Today we bring you the first in a special series “Dark Canyon: Sexual Abuse and Secrecy in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.” Ellen Berkovitch has the story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Church mediation may be stalled until March 2018

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post

While mediation discussions in more than 100 child sexual abuse cases was expected to begin as early as next month, the parties have agreed that it will take additional time to complete the discovery and prepare for that to happen.

A stipulation was filed in the District Court of Guam yesterday by attorneys John Terlaje and David Lujan, on behalf of the Archdicoese of Agana and plaintiffs, respectively.

'More realistic' time frame

They informed the judge that the parties are discussing a "more realistic" mediation time frame of March 2018.

The parties are also still discussing and evaluating who they will choose as the mediator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Lawsuit: Priest took nude photos of altar boy

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon |The Guam Daily Post

A new sex abuse lawsuit alleges a priest took nude photos of altar boys and sexually molested them in the 1960s.

M.S.B., who used initials to protect his identity, filed a civil complaint against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and Father Louis Brouillard, alleging he was sexually molested and abused by the priest and scoutmaster when he was 11 years old.

According to court documents, Brouillard allegedly approached M.S.B. after Eskuela Pale at the Mangilao parish, and told him he needed to take pictures of the boy because he was "studying growth of young boys."

The priest allegedly took the boy to the back room of the parish and took nude photos of him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Philippe Barbarin: French cardinal to face trial for not reporting child abuse

FRANCE
Independent (UK)

Will Worley @willrworley

A senior French cardinal, Philippe Barbarin, is to be tried on charges of not reporting historical child abuse, according to reports.

The clergyman, who is also the Archbishop of Lyon, was once tipped as a successor to Pope Francis.

But he and six other priests have been ordered to appear in court for allegedly not speaking out against abuse said to be committed by another clergyman, Bernard Preynat, in the 1980s.

Mr Preynat was dismissed in 2015 and prosecutors say he has admitted charges of child abuse.

His alleged victims have now accused Father Barbarin and others of not reporting the crimes to the authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

French cardinal, Vatican official to stand trial for paedophilia cover-up

FRANCE
Business Standard

French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and a senior Vatican official were today ordered to stand trial for allegedly covering up for a paedophile priest accused of abusing several boy scouts in Lyon in the 1980s.

The most senior French Catholic official to be tried for failing to report a predator priest will go on trial on April 4 next year along with six co-defendants, a court in Lyon said.

Barbarin, who is archbishop of Lyon, is accused of having shielded priest Bernard Preynat from claims of abuse involving scouts in his Lyon parish.

The head of the Vatican's powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Spanish Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, is accused of complicity in the alleged cover-up.

In correspondence with Barbarin about the priest the Vatican's number three had advised the cardinal to take "necessary disciplinary measures while avoiding public scandal" -- seen as a warning to keep the abuse quiet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:36 PM

Italian paper airs story, based on suspect document, of Vatican involvement in kidnapping

ROME
Catholic Culture

September 18, 2017

An Italian newspaper has published a sensational story claiming that Vatican officials played a role in the abduction of Emanuela Orlandi, the teenage daughter of a Vatican employee, who disappeared mysteriously in 1983.

La Repubblica has posted a report based on what is said to be a Vatican document, typed on plain paper, promising to help pay for the abduction of Emanuela Orlandi and to keep her in convents. The document is dated March 1983: several weeks before the girl’s disappearance in June of that year.

However, there is no evidence that the document—which is not signed, includes incorrect names and improper salutations, and is not typed on Vatican stationery—is authentic. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Rei, to whom the document was allegedly addressed, told a reporter that he had never seen it. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke called the report “false and ridiculous.”

The disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, which has never been explained, has been the focus of several conspiracy theories, with some investigators claiming Mafia involvement and others charging that Vatican officials have not revealed what they know about the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Louisville priest denied shock probation on child molestation conviction

KENTUCKY
WDRB

BRANDENBURG, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville priest convicted on child molestation charges is denied shock probation.

Meade County Circuit Court says the motion was denied for Father Joseph Hemmerle. There was no additional explanation for the judge's decision.

Attorneys for Hemmerle argued in court on September 7 for him to be released early from prison. Hemmerle did not appear at the hearing.

Earlier this year, a judge sentenced Hemmerle to two years in prison for sexually abusing a boy more than 40-years ago at summer camp.
In 2016, a jury convicted him of abusing a different boy in the 1970's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

French cardinal to face trial over 'cover up' of priest's sex abuse

FRANCE
The Local

19 September 2017

A French Cardinal will go on trial in April accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children by a paedophile priest in his Lyon diocese over 25 years ago, a court ruled Tuesday.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the most senior French Catholic leader to be tried for allegedly failing to report a predator priest, will go on trial on April 4 next year, a court in Lyon said.

The Cardinal, who has been the archbishop of Lyon since 2002, and six other defendants are suspected of having covered up a priest's child abuse in the 1980s by failing to inform the authorities.

Barbarin has always denied the allegations but last year he came under immense pressure when the sex abuse scandal first emerged.

The then Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged Barbarin to "take responsibility" for the scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Église et pédophilie, le cardinal Barbarin s’expliquera devant la justice

FRANCE
La Croix

Marie Boëton et Marie Malzac, le 18/09/2017

Cité à comparaître pour ne pas avoir dénoncé des agressions pédophiles, l’archevêque de Lyon devrait savoir mardi 19 septembre quand sera audiencée l’affaire. Parallèlement, la procédure canonique visant le père Bernard Preynat a été suspendue pour laisser le temps à la procédure civile de suivre son cours.

Pourquoi une citation directe ?

Il y a un an, l’enquête pour non-dénonciation d’abus sexuels visant sept membres du clergé – dont l’archevêque de Lyon, le cardinal Barbarin – était classée sans suite par le parquet de Lyon. Refusant d’en rester là, les victimes ont choisi une voie de recours peu usitée : celle de la citation directe. Les mis en cause seront donc amenés à s’expliquer, comme lors d’une audience pénale classique, sur leur gestion du dossier Preynat (1). Et ce à une date qui devrait être arrêtée aujourd’hui même.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Exclusive: Accused Vatican diplomat wrote 2003 dissertation on sex abuse church laws

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

September 18, 2017 Joelle Casteix

A Vatican priest and diplomat under suspicion for violating US child pornography laws wrote his 2003 doctoral dissertation on church laws addressing how the Holy See deals with clerics accused of molesting children.

Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, recalled by the Vatican last week, wrote The criminal protection of ecclesiastical celibacy in the canonical laws of 1917 and 1983: historical-juridical study to complete his studies in Canon Law. I took screenshots, in case the link “disappears.”

He finished his degree in 2004 and entered the diplomatic service soon after.

For people not up-to-speed on the importance of this dissertation topic, here’s a primer:

In 1917, Pope Benedict XV wanted to consolidate his problem-solving. Some of his biggest problems had to do with child sexual abuse. He put the jurisdiction of these crimes, or “delicts,” under its own tribunal.

The laws on dealing with the “delicts against the Sixth Commandment,” as they were called (that’s adultery, for those of us who had to look it up), were streamlined into a single code in 1917 and then again in 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 AM

Chabad leaders call for reporting child abuse to secular authorities

JTA

(JTA) — Rabbinic leaders of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement have signed a proclamation calling for the immediate reporting of child sexual abuse and other kinds of abuse to secular authorities.

“We recognize in light of past experiences that our communities could have responded in more responsible and sensitive ways to help victims and to hold perpetrators accountable,” reads the document released Monday.

The proclamation outlines policies that all Lubavitch institutions, including schools and synagogues, should adopt immediately. They include educating staff in identifying, responding and reporting sexual abuse, and teaching “body safety” to students. The document also states that members of communities must be made aware when a sex offender moves in to a community.

In addition to child sexual abuse and other forms of child abuse, the document includes domestic abuse, elder abuse and abuse of the disabled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Pay-out for man who alleged 'sadistic' beatings by a nun at Derry children's home

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish News

A man allegedly subjected to "sadistic" beatings by a nun at a children's home in Derry is to received undisclosed damages.

Karl Roberts will receive the pay-out as part of a settlement reached in a legal action against the Sisters of Nazareth, according to his lawyer.

He claimed that he endured regular violent punishment for failing to collect enough fluff from floors and furniture in the residence.

Proceedings were resolved at the High Court in Belfast today, with no admission of liability by the defendant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

Music director backs out on position at Catholic Diocese of Orlando

FLORIDA
Orlando Sentinel

Stephen Hudak
Orlando Sentinel

The newly appointed music director for the Catholic Diocese of Orlando withdrew from the job before his background check was completed and while the FBI was conducting a child-exploitation investigation in Long Island, N.Y., where he directed youth choirs.

Michael Wustrow was supposed to begin his new job Nov. 1 at St. James Cathedral in downtown Orlando.

Wustrow, 55, who could not be reached for comment, was co-music director for St. Agnes Cathedral in the Diocese of Rockville Centre and had directed adult and children choirs when the FBI seized his work computer, the New York diocese announced Friday on its website.

The diocese relieved him of all duties, and a spokesman said the diocese was cooperating with law enforcement.

Marci Hamilton, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and chief executive of Child USA, an organization that advocates for victims of sexual abuse by religious organizations, was troubled that the Orlando dioceses conducted a background check after hiring Wustrow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

LDS Church faces 3 more sex abuse lawsuits

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Aug. 16, 2017

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

GALLUP — Three more sex abuse lawsuits have been filed against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on behalf of Native Americans who allege they were sexually molested as children in the Indian Student Placement Program.

Two of the lawsuits were filed Friday in Window Rock District Court on behalf of two Navajo women, one of whom was identified as a Gallup resident. The third lawsuit was filed in Chelan County Superior Court in Wenatchee, Washington, on behalf of a member of the Crow Tribe of Montana.

Attorneys Billy Keeler, of Gallup, and Craig Vernon, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, held a news conference announcing these latest lawsuits in Phoenix Tuesday. Keeler and Vernon , along with co-counsel Patrick Noaker, of Minneapolis, have previously filed four other lawsuits against the LDS church.

The first lawsuit was filed in March 2016 on behalf of two adult siblings, a brother and sister, from the Navajo Nation. With these latest lawsuits, a total of six women and two men allege they were sexually abused as children while residing in Mormon foster homes during their participation in the now-defunct Indian Student Placement Program. Seven of the eight plaintiffs are Navajo.

Some of the plaintiffs have alleged they reported their abuse to church or placement program officials at the time of the abuse, but those reports were not forwarded to law enforcement officials.

Alleged disclosure

One of the latest plaintiffs, a Navajo woman identified in court documents as “AH” claims she reported her abuse as a teenager to church authorities. In her lawsuit, AH, who lives in Gallup, states she was taken from her home on the Navajo Nation in August 1978, when she was 15 years old, and placed with a Mormon foster family in Mesa, Arizona.

AH alleges she was sexually molested several times by her foster father, who is named in the complaint.

“AH disclosed the sexual abuse she suffered her sophomore year in high school to agents of LDS defendants while at church,” the lawsuit alleges. “AH was urged to stay silent and not discuss the abuse. She was told that it would be handled. Despite this disclosure, the LDS defendants never contacted the authorities, or inquired on AH’s well-being.” The lawsuit claims AH continued to suffer sexual abuse after this disclosure.

AH, who attended Tuesday’s news conference, issued “a message of hope” for other survivors of sexual abuse in her attorneys’ news release: “Understand that you are not alone. It is not your fault. The shame is not yours, rather the shame belongs to those who abuse, as well as those who allowed the abuse to happen.” AH said she sought legal representation after learning other Navajo individuals had similar experiences.

“I think that’s an important step in healing,” Vernon said. “For some it might not be, but for most people, it is.”

Seeking change

The second Navajo plaintiff in this latest round of lawsuits is identified as “JC.” In her lawsuit, JC states she participated in the placement program during sixth grade with no incident. However, she alleges that in August 1970, at the beginning of her seventh grade year, she was placed in a Mormon foster home in Enterprise, Utah. JC claims she was sexually molested several times by the foster father, who is identified in the legal complaint.

The third plaintiff, from the Crow Tribe, is identified as “Jane Doe 1.” She states she participated in the placement program from third through 10th grade and lived with two different families. In her first foster home in Wenatchee, Washington, Doe alleges she was sexually molested by the foster grandfather three times when she was 9 years old and once when she was 13.

In addition to seeking monetary damages, the lawsuits against the LDS church are seeking a change in church policy regarding the reporting of abuse allegations. They are also seeking the implementation of measures to bring healing to Native people harmed by the placement program.

Eric Hawkins, an LDS church spokesman, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. When responding to previous sex abuse lawsuits, church officials have stated the LDS church has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind and works actively to prevent abuse.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

Editorial: The Gallup bishop’s upside-down priorities

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Aug. 31, 2017

Since James S. Wall was installed as bishop of the Diocese of Gallup more than eight years ago, his lackluster tenure here has been marked by poor leadership and misplaced priorities.

Although his arrival in 2009 was widely welcomed and celebrated, it soon became clear that the leadership sorely needed by the Gallup Diocese was not to be found in Bishop Wall. Instead, Bishop Wall quickly became known particularly among his own priests — not for his leadership qualities — but rather for his lack of communication skills and his frequent absences. Bishop Wall was the bishop who would not answer letters or emails, would not return phone calls, would not meet with people, and would not answer questions from concerned priests or parishioners. Bishop Wall was the bishop who was frequently absent from the diocese. Quite often Bishop Wall was away in Phoenix, the city where he was ordained a priest, where he grew up, where his family lives. The people of the Diocese of Gallup did not seem to be a big priority to him.

Bishop Wall’s poor sense of priorities has become a common theme for the past eight years. To many clergy sex abuse victims and their families, he is “Bishop Stonewall” — the bishop who used lawyers and legal maneuvers to battle them for years. And to many Catholics in the pews, such as the members of Gallup’s St. John Vianney Parish, Bishop Wall is the aloof autocratic bishop who refused to meet with them when it appeared he was trying to shut down their parish in 2015.

This year, Bishop Wall has once again demonstrated his upside- down, skewed priorities by postponing eight healing services for clergy abuse survivors that were mandated by the terms of the diocese’s Chapter 11 reorganization.

One service in February was postponed for more than a year because of an “oversight” by the bishop’s staff, which scheduled the service on the same evening as the bishop’s Mardi Gras fundraiser. The fundraising party was a top priority, and clergy abuse survivors were a low priority.

Two more healing services in July were pushed back to 2018 so Bishop Wall could make an appearance at the national Tekakwitha Conference for Native American Catholics. That was another scheduling oversight by the bishop’s staff. According to the bishop’s spokeswoman, Bishop Wall needed to attend the conference because he “has the responsibility of listening to the voices of Indigenous Catholics” and the conference “provides Native People with a major platform to voice their needs and concerns on a national scale.” So once again, Bishop Wall’s priorities were clear: a national conference was high priority, clergy abuse survivors were low priority. That decision was also steeped in irony since Bishop Wall is not known for “listening to the voices” and the “needs and concerns” of everyday Catholics in his own diocese, some of whom are Native American.

But in this case, Bishop Wall ended up canceling his appearance at the Tekakwitha Conference also. Bishop Wall has postponed five healing services and canceled his attendance at the Tekakwitha event because of illness. Certainly, we are not criticizing Bishop Wall for being ill with vertigo, the medical condition that is causing him to struggle with balance issues. It is apparently a permanent condition, and Bishop Wall has no control over it.

However, Bishop Wall can take practical steps to manage his condition, and he has done this. On at least two occasions, Bishop Wall has had others drive him to healing services. And during some Masses and healing services, Bishop Wall has remained seated. Had Bishop Wall not postponed the July healing services, he could have had someone drive him to the services and he could have remained seated while he conducted the services. His presence — in the face of his illness — would have shown respect to clergy sex abuse survivors and their families by making them his priority.

And what about his two trips to Europe this year? How is it that his symptoms of vertigo haven’t led the Gallup bishop to cancel his trip to Spain and Portugal in March or his trip to Ireland in September? Perhaps Bishop Wall has found a way to manage his symptoms while traveling in Europe? Are European trips a high priority? Can you pretend this diocese is a foreign country and travel to it?

Understand, Bishop Wall, that people watch your example, people pay attention to your priorities. Bishop Wall, after eight years, you have an obligation to step up to the plate and become an authentic moral leader. Bishop Wall, reorder your priorities and place the needs of clergy sex abuse survivors and faithful Catholics in the pews as your top priorities. Trips to Phoenix, trips to national conventions and trips to Europe should be low priorities or non-existent.

If Bishop Wall can’t provide real leadership in the Gallup Diocese, he should request permission to be transferred to another church position like Pinehaven or Chichiltah. Certainly Pope Francis could find someone else whose priorities are in proper order and who has an authentic sympathetic heart for the people of the Diocese of Gallup.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Bishop nixes conference trip cited in healing services delay

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Aug. 18, 2017

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

GALLUP — Bishop James S. Wall, of the Diocese of Gallup, canceled an appearance at last month’s national Tekakwitha Conference for Native American Catholics due to illness, his spokeswoman confirmed this week.

Suzanne Hammons, the director of communications for the Gallup Diocese, declined to answer specific questions about Wall’s cancellation, but indicated it was related to vertigo and problems with balance, a condition the bishop was diagnosed with last year.

Wall had been scheduled to be the principal celebrant for the morning liturgy July 21. This year’s conference was held in Rapid City, South Dakota, July 19-22. The annual conference draws Native Catholics from across the country, along with Catholic clergy and religious order members who serve Native communities.

Earlier this year, Wall’s decision to postpone two healing services for local survivors of clergy sexual abuse in order to attend the Tekakwitha Conference raised the ire of some abuse survivors. Wall postponed the healing services in Overgaard and Snowflake, Arizona, which had been scheduled for July 21 and July 22. Those services have been rescheduled in March 2018.

Hammons later issued an apology on behalf of the diocese, describing the double booked dates as a scheduling oversight.

Vestibular damage

Wall’s ill health in July is the latest in a series of illnesses that have impacted his public schedule. In January, Wall postponed all five of the healing services that had been scheduled for clergy sex abuse survivors that month.

In response to questions about Wall’s cancellation in South Dakota and his vertigo, Hammons referenced an online podcast interview she conducted with Wall in March about coping with illness and suffering. In the interview, the Gallup bishop discussed the two “health scares” he said he has experienced in the past four years.

Wall said he underwent surgery and radiation therapy in 2013 after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Annual checkups have since determined he continues to be cancer free, he said.

However, Wall explained in the March interview, he began experiencing problems with his balance about six months before. Last year, Wall said, he had been hospitalized for an infection and given an antibiotic. That antibiotic turned out to be “ototoxic,” which means the drug can be toxic to the ear, specifically the cochlea, auditory nerve or sometimes the vestibular system. The side effects can be reversible and temporary or irreversible and permanent.

In Wall’s case, he said a neurotologist has determined he has suffered 80-90 percent vestibular damage, which has affected his balance.

As part of a published column to local Catholics at the beginning of Lent, Wall offered the following explanation about his health problems: “If you are unaware, I have been quietly struggling with an imbalance (vertigo) issue for the past year, thinking it to be something that would simply pass. However, it didn’t go away and only seemed to increase, especially toward the end of 2016. Thankfully, through the good care of doctors, I was diagnosed with bilateral vestibular damage, which was caused by antibiotics I had to take for a nasal infection a year ago. The damage is permanent, but the effects are not, as I have been working closely with physical therapists who have helped me get back to some sense of normalcy. It’s a slow process, but if I stay up on my exercises I’ll be back to normal in a month or so.”

Since Wall’s diagnosis, he has sometimes needed to remain seated while celebrating Mass, conducting a healing service or attending an event.

However, as a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Wall travels twice a year to attend biannual conferences, and he frequently travels to meet with fellow bishops in Arizona and New Mexico. This year Wall also led a 10-day pilgrimage tour to Spain and Portugal, and he is scheduled to co-lead a similar tour to Ireland next month.

In an email Thursday, Hammons declined to comment on the current level of Wall’s vertigo symptoms, about how often he is affected by the symptoms and how he manages his symptoms while traveling. Hammons referred to the information released in the March podcast, adding “if there is ever a reason to issue an update on the status of Bishop Wall’s health publicly, he will do so at a time of his choosing.”

“An issue such as vertigo is not cause for any kind of vacation from a leadership role; rather, it is a legitimate and ongoing medical condition which is likely to interrupt the Bishop’s schedule from time to time,” she said. “He will still continue to carry out pastoral activities and care of the diocese.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

Another sex abuse case filed against priest

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 18, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Another clergy sex abuse lawsuit filed in the District Court of Guam. 48-year-old "M.I.Q." alleges he was sexually molested and raped by Father Louis Brouillard.

Like other Brouillard accusers, M.I.Q. alleges the priest would make the boys swim naked at Lonfit River and reward them with McDonald's.

On another occasion, M.I.Q. alleges the priest raped him in the rectory.

As he was putting his clothes on and about to run home scared, he recalls seeing the priest rape another boy too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 AM

Mount Pleasant residents fight housing complex proposal

NEW YORK
News 12

MOUNT PLEASANT -
A Mount Pleasant Zoning Board meeting turned into a heated battle over a proposed housing development Monday night, as residents gave local officials an earful on a project they say will change the neighborhood for the worse.

Residents tell News 12 Westchester that their main concerns about the proposed housing complex on Columbus Avenue are traffic and taxes.

News 12 is told the property is currently owned by religious organization Legion of Christ and that developer Barker Residential has applied to buy the land between 582 and 590 Columbus Ave.

A representative of Barker Residential has confirmed the pursuit of a 73-lot cluster subdivision, along with two additional proposed lots.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 AM

Archdiocese bankruptcy costs so far: nearly $16 million — in legal fees alone

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By SARAH HORNER | shorner@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: September 18, 2017

More than two and a half years after the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy following a torrent of sexual abuse claims made against its clergy, the legal costs are mounting into the tens of millions.

Details on the compensation earned to date by law firms representing parties involved in the bankruptcy proceedings were revealed Friday after the federal judge overseeing the case ordered the disclosures.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel requested financial information on the amounts owed through the end of August to lawyers representing the archdiocese, the committee of parishes and the creditors, including sexual-abuse survivors, which make up the largest class of creditors in the case.

Combined, the legal costs are estimated to be approximately $16 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 AM

September 18, 2017

Call for body to trace forced adoptees' mums in Ireland

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Survivors of mother and baby homes whose children were forcibly put up for adoption have called for the establishment of an all Ireland body to help reunite families.

A campaign group of mothers and adults born in the homes is seeking support from the authorities across the north and south of Ireland to help them find redress.

The group - Birth Mothers And Their Children for Justice NI - warned that mothers and their children are continuing to die before getting the chance to meet up with each other.

Eunan Duffy, who was born in the Marian Vale mother and baby home in Newry before being taken from his mother against her will and put up for adoption, said the system for family tracing needs to be overhauled.

"Only one part-time person currently exists that traces family for two charities and the health and social care trusts (in Northern Ireland)," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

Priest Jonathan Graves jailed for child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Church of England priest has been jailed for 12 years for torturing and sexually abusing two schoolboys in the 1980s and 90s.

Jonathan Graves, 60, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, restrained the children, who were aged between 12 and 14, using belts and chains, and then beat them.

At the time, he was the vicar at St Luke's Church in Stone Cross.

He was convicted on Thursday at Hove Crown Court of 12 offences dating between 1987 and 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Church Abuse Survivor Comes Forward

MASSACHUSETTS
NBC Boston

[video]

Brian Ward said he was sexually abused by the altar boy coordinator at St. Brenda's Parish in Dorchester, Massachusetts for two years while he was growing up. Twenty-seven years later, Michael Walsh - who pleaded guilty to the abuse - had been living down the road from Ward's young relatives. Realizing that proximity is what pushed him to come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

8 Rabbis Obligate Reporting Abuse

COLive

By COLlive reporter

A group of Chabad rabbis signed a proclamation addressing abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community, alluding to its effects that have resulted in multiple deaths due to drug overdoses and suicides over the past year alone in Jewish communities.

"The existence of child sexual abuse and other forms of child abuse which occurs in some of our communities, resulting in a number of tragic suicides as well as other physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences," they wrote.

The rabbis admitted that not enough was done in the past to tackle the issue. "We recognize that in light of past experiences our communities could have responded in more responsible and sensitive ways to help victims and hold perpetrators accountable."

The signatories are Rabbis Yehoram Ulman and Moshe Gutnick, Senior Dayanim, Sydney Beth Din, Australia; Rabbi Yosef Feigelstock, Senior Dayan, Beth Din, Argentina; Rabbi Baruch Hertz, Rabbi of Congregation Bnei Ruven in Chicago, Illinois; Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld, Dean, Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, PA; Rabbi Yosef Shusterman, Senior Dayan and Director, Chabad of Beverly Hills, CA, Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick, Av Beth Din, Melbourne Beth Din, Australia, and Rabbi Sholom Shuchat, Dayan, Bais Din Agudas HaRabanim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 AM

Nuns in Scottish case ran Irish mother and baby home

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, September 18, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

The religious order which ran an orphanage in Scotland where hundreds of children are believed to have died also ran Ireland’s largest mother and baby home.

Research by the BBC and the Sunday Post in the UK revealed that at least 400 children from Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark in Scotland are thought to be buried in an unmarked grave at the town’s St Mary’s Cemetery.

Smyllum Park Orphanage is one of the institutions being examined by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry into historical allegations of the abuse of children in care.

It was run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul and was home to more than 10,000 children between opening in 1864 and closing in 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Lawsuit: Priest abused boys simultaneously, repeatedly

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Sept. 18, 2017

Former Guam priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused multiple boys at the same time and repeatedly, offering them food as a reward, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court.

The lawsuit, which is among dozens accusing Brouillard of child sexual abuse, was filed by 48-year-old "M.I.Q." who, like most plaintiffs, used his initials to protect his privacy.

M.I.Q. alleged in his lawsuit that while Brouillard was swimming naked with him and other boys at the Lonfit River in 1978 or 1979, the priest groped and touched his private parts. M.I.Q. was 9 years old at the time.

The lawsuit says before going into the water, Brouillard instructed the boys to remove their clothes and swim naked, and promised to reward them with McDonald's afterwards. They went to McDonald's after M.I.Q.'s first outing with Brouillard, the lawsuit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

Arthur McCaffrey: Forgiveness must be earned, Bishop Perez

OHIO
Ohio.com

By Arthur McCaffrey
WALTHAM, MASS.: The Beacon Journal recently reported on the formal installation of the new Catholic bishop of Cleveland, Nelson Perez (“ Cleveland rocks,’ new ‘bishop tells the faithful,” Sept. 6). The story highlighted his personal appeal to the laity for forgiveness for the church’s “horrendous” history of child abuse, as if this was a novel gesture after the dour administration of his predecessor Bishop Lennon.

Earlier this year Beacon Journal also published a column, “An innocent man still looks for justice,” about two men spending 16 years in prison for a murder they did not commit. Their $4.9 million settlement from the state didn’t “come close to just compensation for what they lost.”

And when an innocent child looks for justice? What is just compensation for innocence lost after being raped by a priest? Surely it must be more than just a gratuitous plea for forgiveness by the new guy on the job? What compensates for an abuse victim’s lifetime of suffering and PTSD dysfunction, while criminal priests walk free and the bishops and cardinals who colluded and covered up the crimes still get to keep their jobs, titles and privileges?

Instead of cost-free calls for blanket forgiveness, perhaps a more genuine gesture of sympathy and sorrow would be for bishops like Perez to resign out of shame for being associated with such criminality. Another bishop, Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, teaches us a more honest lesson about how to respond to abuse and injustice. After President Mandela appointed him to chair South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1994, Tutu said decades of institutional injustice against victims of apartheid needed to be remedied in four ways: Apology, Punishment, Compensation and Reconciliation.

How does the Catholic Church’s response to its “horrendous” history of child abuse stack up against Tutu’s metrics of reparation? Well, we are knee-deep in church apologies and cash, with billions of dollars paid out for victim compensation, nationally and internationally — compensation not usually freely offered but litigated out of church coffers by civil lawsuits initiated by victims and their attorneys!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

Talks over mediation protocol continue in sex abuse cases

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon |The Guam Daily Post Sep 18, 2017

The parties in nearly 100 clergy sex abuse cases filed in the local and federal courts in Guam have until Tuesday afternoon to advise the court how they intend to proceed with mediation and settlement talks.

Many of the attorneys for childhood sex abuse victims, the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and other defendants met in Hawaii on Sept. 5 to try to come to an agreement on how to proceed with mediation and a possible global settlement for all of the cases.

The parties had hoped to begin those settlement discussions on Guam at the end of October or early November.

But negotiations are ongoing regarding the terms of the mediation protocol, according to an order handed down last Friday by District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

September 17, 2017

Smyllum Park home nuns want to sell land for £6m

SCOTLAND
BBC News

The order of nuns which ran a Lanarkshire orphanage where more than 400 children died want to sell the land around it for £6m.

They hope to sell 40 hectares of land around the former Smyllum Park home in Lanark.

But they are facing mounting calls for a memorial to the children who are believed to be buried in a mass grave nearby.

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul have not commented.

An investigation by File on 4 in conjunction with the Sunday Post newspaper found that at least 400 children are buried in a section of St Mary's Cemetery in Lanark.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Groups speculate on outcome of Apuron church trial

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Sept. 17, 2017

Concerned Catholics of Guam is hopeful Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron will not only be removed as archbishop but also be stripped of his priestly faculties after his Vatican canonical trial.

But the world's largest network of priest abuse survivors is doubtful Apuron will be laicized, or removed from the priesthood, even if the church concludes he sexually abused minors.

Apuron in June 2016 was temporarily stripped of his authority to run the Catholic Church on Guam after being publicly accused of sexually abusing former Agat altar boys when he was parish priest in the late 1970s. Three former altar boys and the family of a deceased former altar boy accused Apuron and later sued him and the church. The Vatican started a secretive canonical trial for Apuron as a result. No findings or conclusions have been announced.

'Damaged goods'

Concerned Catholics and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, agree the Vatican is unlikely to send Apuron back to Guam.

“He’s damaged goods, so to speak, and to reassign him would just cause bad publicity,” said Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director for the St. Louis-based SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

Baltimore archdiocese responds to petition calling for release of 'Keepers' priest Maskell's files

UNITED STATES
The Baltimore Sun

Alison Knezevich
The Baltimore Sun

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has responded to the organizer of a petition that urged the release of personnel files of the late priest at the center of “The Keepers” documentary, saying it treated the request “very seriously” but is still declining to make the documents public.

More than 54,000 people have signed the change.org petition, which calls on church officials to release the records of A. Joseph Maskell. The priest worked as chaplain and counselor at Archbishop Keough High School in Southwest Baltimore during the 1960s and 1970s. Multiple people have accused him of sexual abuse. He denied the allegations before his death in 2001.

The Netflix documentary series “The Keepers” explored possible connections between abuse at Keough and the unsolved 1969 killing of Sister Cathy Cesnik, who taught there.

Kevin Turowsky, a Massachusetts man who watched the series, created the online petition this spring. He said the records could shed light on Cesnik’s death and on how the church handled the abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Church issues guidelines on sexual harassment at workplace

INDIA
The Indian Express

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Published:September 16, 2017

WITH THE Catholic Church facing embarrassment over allegations of sexual assault involving some of its clergymen, the community’s top decision-making body in India has released a set of guidelines to prevent such acts at the workplace, including a code of conduct to be signed by employees in all institutions under its control.

The guidelines, released by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), are to be implemented in every “department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, institution, office branch or unit which is established, owned or controlled, wholly or partially financed by funds provided by the Catholic Church”.

The new measures have been listed in a 30-page document, titled “CBCI Guidelines to Deal with Sexual Harassment at Workplace”, which was issued this week.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas of Gurgaon, chairperson of the CBCI council for women, said that apart from thousands of institutions under the Church, these guidelines should be followed by firms with more than 10 employees that are run or owned by Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

ART EXHIBITION BY PEOPLE WHO GAVE EVIDENCE TO SEX ABUSE ROYAL COMMISSION

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Cathy Stubbs, Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate
September 15, 2017

AS THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues to hear heart breaking testimony from victims, the first ever Australian exhibition of art by survivors has been launched on the Central Coast.

The collection of works was created by men and women who have already given evidence to the commission about their experiences of institutional abuse.

It is being staged by counselling organisation Interrelate which has been funded by the commission to provide support for victims and their families.

Interrelate chief executive officer Patricia Occelli said the artworks were from people across NSW.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

MEDIA RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 16-17, 2017

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

Childhood sexual abuse victim of former altar boy supervisor, former priest, and convicted sexual abuser, Michael Walsh, to speak publicly for the first time about the sexual abuse he experienced and the inspiration he received from deceased childhood sexual abuse victim, Joe Crowley, who died on Easter Sunday, 2017

Brian Ward was a child, altar server, and parishioner of St. Brendan’s Parish, Dorchester, MA, when he was sexually abused by layman Michael Walsh who supervised altar boys at St. Brendan’s Parish and sexually abused Brian Ward in his car, at his Dorchester home, in his parish office, and on a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, between 1988 and 1991.

Convicted pedophile Michael Walsh grew up in Charlestown, MA, was the head altar boy at St. Francis de Sales Church, and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 2002 in Grand Rapids, MI. He is currently serving a prison sentence for sexually abusing Brian Ward. Brian Ward is currently seeking financial compensation from the Archdiocese of Boston and is represented by Attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston, MA

What
A press conference with Brian Ward, childhood sexual abuse survivor of Michael Walsh from St. Brendan’s Parish, Dorchester, who will discuss the abuse he experienced, the prison sentence of Michael Walsh, and the inspiration he received from Joe Crowley, deceased sexual abuse victim.

When
Sunday, September 17, 2017 at Noon

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of St. Brendan’s Roman Catholic Church, 589 Gallivan Boulevard, Boston, MA 02124

Who
Brian Ward, a childhood sexual abuse victim/survivor of convicted altar boy supervisor Michael Walsh; and, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Michael Walsh, former altar boy supervisor at St. Brendan’s Parish in Dorchester, MA, is serving a prison sentence after pleading guilty to sexually abusing Brian Ward, a courageous former altar boy at St. Brendan’s Parish on several occasions and in several locations. Mr. Ward will speak publicly for the first time about the sexual abuse he experienced, the harm it caused, and the inspiration he received to come forward and report the sexual abuse by Michael Walsh from Joe Crowley, sexual abuse victim of Fr. Paul Shanley, who died five months ago. Joe Crowley’s case was featured in the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, “Spotlight.”

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

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Workplace sexual harassment condemned by Church; what it said and did

INDIA
Financial Express

The Catholic community’s top decision-making body in India has released a set of guidelines to prevent sexual assault and also included a code of conduct which is to be signed by all employees of all institutions under its control. Allegedly, the embarrassment that the Catholic church had to go through over the allegations of sexual assault involving some of its clergymen compelled them to take this step. The set of rules which has been released by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) are to be observed in every “department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, institution, office branch or unit which is established, owned or controlled, wholly or partially financed by funds provided by the Catholic Church, ” Indian Express reported.

CBCI issued the guidelines in a 30-page handbook where the measures have been listed titled, “CBCI Guidelines to Deal with Sexual Harassment at Workplace”. Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas of Gurgaon who is the chairperson of the CBCI council for women said that the guidelines are to be followed at any workplace which employs more than 10 people and is run or owned by Catholics. Indian Express quoted Barnabas saying, “There are hundreds of congregations, social service centres and groups as well as thousands of firms run by individuals. This would be applicable to all.”

The document which has been issued by the Catholic Church states that all the institutions or firms a “harmonious” environment at workplace which is free of intimidation, hostility, offence or any sort of abuse or harassment from the authority. It also specifies that there is zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment at workplace. In January 2017, Pope Francis had called for the enforcement of zero tolerance towards sexual crimes in church. Urging all the Bishops in a letter addressed to them, Pope had asked them to take strict actions to contain “the sin that shamed the church” referring to the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 AM

September 16, 2017

Vatican Diplomat Recalled for Child Porn. Usual Media Whitewash Ensues

UNITED STATES
Open Tabernacle

September 16, 2017

By Betty Clermont

Yesterday, the AP reported: “A high-ranking priest working in the Vatican’s embassy in Washington has been recalled after U.S. prosecutors asked for him to be charged there and face trial in a child pornography investigation, Vatican and U.S. officials said Friday.

“The Vatican declined to identify the priest, but said he was currently in Vatican City and that Vatican prosecutors had launched their own probe and sought evidence from the U.S. The State Department said it had asked the Vatican to lift the official’s diplomatic immunity on Aug. 21, and said the request was denied three days later. For the State Department to make such a request, its lawyers would have needed to be convinced that there was reasonable cause for criminal prosecution.”

All the reports that I’ve read got the above facts correct. But all the reports whitewashed the case of another Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, and Pope Francis’ lack of response to clerical sex abuse.

A “dossier” accusing papal nuncio (ambassador) Wesolowski of sex abuse of minors was sent to Pope Francis in July 2013 by Santo Domingo Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez. The pope found the information credible enough to dismiss Wesolowski from the Dominican Republic on Aug. 21 via confidential letter.

Neither the civil authorities nor the public knew about Wesolowski until a local TV program did an expose’ on Aug. 31. The result of a year-long investigation, the broadcast contained testimony that the archbishop solicited sex for money from Santo Domingo’s poorest boys.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:53 PM

Collegium Josephinum: Wissenschaftliches Projekt beendet

KÖLN (GERMANY)
Archdiocese of Köln

September 13, 2017

By Robert Boecker

[Summary: On September 13, 2017, Dr. Claudia Bundschuh presented her final report on the Collegium Josephinum boy’s boarding school in Bad Münstereifel, in the Archdiocese of Cologne. The school was closed in 1998. She found repeated instances of physical and sexual violence at the school. Six priests and another specialist sexually abused students. Four of them, and eight other priests, were also accused of of physical abuse. In addition to ear-pulling, sticks, kicks, and other chastisements caused lasting injuries. This article also provides links to a PDF of the full report:

Sexueller Missbrauch, physische und psychische Gewalt am Collegium Josephinum, Bad Münstereifel: Eine wissenschaftliche Aufarbeitung mit und für Betroffene, Endbericht, Köln im Juli 2017, Claudia Bundschuh.

A link is also provided to Bundschuh’s presentation.]

Bad Münstereifel. Das wissenschaftliche Projekt zur Aufarbeitung von sexuellem Missbrauch, physischer und psychischer Gewalt am Konvikt Collegium Josephinum in Bad Münstereifel hat seinen Endbericht vorgelegt. Wie Projektleiterin Prof. Dr. Claudia Bundschuh heute in Köln erläuterte, hat es an dem Konvikt, einer 1997 aufgegebenen Einrichtung für Jungen, mindestens seit den 1950er Jahren wiederholt Gewalt gegen Minderjährige in unterschiedlicher Form gegeben, einige Aussagen reichen sogar bis in die 1940er Jahre. Der Bericht kommt zu dem Schluss, dass „eine vergleichsweise hohe Zahl an Fachkräften“ ihre Macht missbraucht habe, „um die Befriedigung eigener Interessen und Bedürfnisse durchzusetzen. Es ist daher berechtigt, zumindest bis in die 1970er Jahre von einem ‚System des Machtmissbrauchs‘ zu sprechen.“

Kölns Erzbischof, Kardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, sagte bei der Vorlage des Endberichtes: „Die Gewissheit, dass in Einrichtungen unseres Erzbistums über viele Jahre jungen Menschen schlimmes Leid zugefügt wurde, noch dazu auch von Priestern, gehört zu den schwersten Erkenntnissen, mit denen ich in meinem bischöflichen Dienst umgehen muss, und erfüllt mich mit großer Trauer.“

Das wissenschaftliche Projekt war 2015 auf Initiative von Betroffenen gestartet worden. Oberstes Ziel war es, Ehemaligen mit Gewalterfahrungen in ihrer jetzigen Lebenssituation hilfreich zu sein. Das Projekt war daher so angelegt, dass die Betroffenen mit ihren Anliegen und Interessen maßgebend für die Gestaltung des Projekts und des Endberichts waren. So erklärte die Autorin des Endberichts Prof. Dr. Claudia Bundschuh: „In diesem Endbericht reden die Ehemaligen selbst. Es ist kein Bericht über Betroffene, sondern ein Bericht von den Betroffenen. Alle Ehemaligen mit Gewalterfahrungen kommen zu Wort. Sie leisten damit den entscheidenden Beitrag zur Bewusstmachung der Vielfalt, Folgen und Begünstigung von Gewalthandlungen im Konvikt.“ Finanziert wurde das wissenschaftliche Projekt, das bereits unter dem inzwischen verstorbenen Kölner Erzbischof Joachim Kardinal Meisner begonnen wurde, vom Erzbistum Köln.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:16 AM

Pressemeldung: Kirchliche Voruntersuchung gegen Lohner Priester eingestellt

MÜNSTER (GERMANY)
Diocese of Münster

September 5, 2017

By Ludger Heuer

[Summary: Prosecutors of Oldenburg and Hanover stopped the proceedings against a 74-year-old Lohner priest who was suspected of the sexual abuse of children by presenting pornographic pictures and/or for spreading youthful pornographic writings. Bishop Dr. Felix Genn has responded by ending the church preliminary investigation by decree. The bishop justified his step on the grounds that he could not provide the CDF with evidence of any demonstrable criminal offenses. Genn removed the priest from ministry at St. Gertrud parish in Lohne and announced his immediate retirement.]

Nachdem die Staatsanwaltschaften Oldenburg und Hannover die Verfahren gegen einen 74-jährigen Lohner Priester wegen des Verdachtes des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern durch Vorzeigen pornographischer Abbildungen bzw. wegen Verbreitung jugendpornographischer Schriften eingestellt haben, hat jetzt auch Bischof Dr. Felix Genn die kirchliche Voruntersuchung per Dekret eingestellt. Es lägen keine nachweisbaren kirchenrechtlichen Straftatbestände vor, die eine Weitergabe an die Glaubenskongregation in Rom nötig gemacht hätten, begründet der Bischof seinen Schritt.

Die am 9. August 2016 ausgesprochene Freistellung vom Dienst mit dem Verbot aller mit dem Dienst verbundenen Tätigkeiten wird aufgehoben. Gleichwohl sei ein deutlich unangemessenes Verhalten des Priesters gegenüber den betreffenden Kindern und Jugendlichen zu konstatieren, was die Befunde auf seinen Datenträgern nachweisen. Daher untersagt Bischof Genn ihm jegliche weitere Ausübung aller priesterlichen Tätigkeiten auf dem Gebiet der Pfarrei St. Gertrud in Lohne und versetzt ihn mit sofortiger Wirkung in den Ruhestand.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:31 AM

Authorities confirm death of infamous Philly priest Brzyski

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

September 15, 2017

By Robert Moran

[Note: See the grand jury report referenced in the article, and its sections on Brzyski: case study, pattern study, a 1984 letter to Cardinal Krol about Brzyski, summaries of abuse, and an assignment history. See also BishopAccountability.org's database entry about Fr. James J. Brzyski.]

A Texas medical examiner on Friday officially confirmed the identity of James J. Brzyski, the defrocked Archdiocese of Philadelphia priest and suspected child sexual predator found dead Wednesday in a Fort Worth motel room.

The body of Brzyski, 66, was found dead in a Super 7 motel room surrounded by pills and bottles of vodka. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said the cause and manner of his death were pending the results of a toxicology report.

A 2005 grand jury report released by Philadelphia prosecutors said he may have molested or raped more than 100 children. But the allegations were too old for Brzyski — or any of the other archdiocesan priests named as abusers in the report — to be prosecuted in criminal or civil courts.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:13 AM

Pennsylvania priest jailed over child porn

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Crux and Associated Press

September 16, 2017

[Note: See also BishopAccountability.org's database entry about Fr. John S. Mraz.]

Monsignor John S. Mraz pleaded guilty in June to possessing child pornography and related offenses. Court records say authorities began investigating Mraz last year, after a member of his church discovered a file link named “naked little boys.”

A Catholic priest in Pennsylvania caught with child pornography by someone helping with his computer is going to jail.

The Morning Call of Allentown reported 67-year-old Monsignor John S. Mraz apologized and was sentenced Thursday to six to 23 months. He’ll have to register as a sex offender for 15 years, and cannot have any unsupervised contact with minors.

He pleaded guilty in June to possessing child pornography and related offenses, but had asked for probation or house arrest due to health issues, including diabetes and a heart condition.

Judge Maria L. Dantos rejected this request, but did make a point of clarifying Mraz had not been accused of child molestation.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:02 AM

Catholic priest indicted on 9 counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor waives bond in Jasper County

RIDGELAND (SC)
WSAV

September 15, 2017

By Stassy Olmos

[With video. See also BishopAccountability.org's database entry about Fr. Wayland Yoder Brown, Jr.]

The 74-year-old Catholic Priest Wayland Brown, indicted on 9 counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, appeared in a Jasper County courtroom for a bond hearing Friday morning.

This is the 2nd time in 37 years Chris Templeton has seen the man he says raped him as a child.

“It’s a feeling I can’t even explain to be honest with you… it’s not anger…. I wish I could get angry,” Templeton told News Three afterwards.

Templeton was one of his alleged victims at St. James Catholic School in the 1970’s and 80’s.

“Wayland Brown, a priest at the St. James Catholic Church in Savannah took two children who were students at the St. James Catholic School, at separate times, into Jasper County South Carolina and sexually assault them,” Duffie Stone the Solicitor for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit said in a press conference earlier.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:49 AM

Vatican recalls priest from US as child porn investigation opens

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Angelus News from Catholic News Agency

September 15, 2017

[Note: Provides a more detailed list of Vatican regulations than a version previously posted.]

The Vatican announced Friday that after being informed by U.S. officials of a possible breach of child pornography laws on the part of a Holy See diplomat, it has recalled the priest in question and an investigation has been opened. According to a Sept. 15 Vatican communique, on Aug. 21 the U.S. State Department notified the Vatican Secretariat of State, “through diplomatic channels, of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington.”

* * *

The priest will likely face a canonical proceeding, overseen by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and a criminal trial overseen by the courts of the Vatican City State. The possession of child pornography is considered a “canonical crime” in the Church, and in 2010 Benedict XVI added it to the list of “most grave delicts,” meaning crimes dealt with directly by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and can result in dismissal from the clerical state. According to Article 4 of Law 8 of the Vatican City State, which was instituted by Pope Francis in 2013, child pornography is defined as “any representation, by whatever means, of a minor engaged in real of simulated explicit sexual activities as well as any representation of the sexual parts of a minor for primarily sexual purposes.”

Vatican law establishes six possible penalties, including hefty fines and jail time, for those found guilty of either staging, trading or offering child pornography to others:

1. Whoever stages pornographic shows using a minor, produces child pornography, or recruits or induces a minor to take part in pornographic shows, is punished with six to twelve years imprisonment and a fine from 25,000 to 250,000 euro.

2. The same penalty applies to whoever trades in child pornography.

3. Whoever, outside the cases foreseen in the preceding paragraphs, distributes, disseminates, transmits, imports, exports, offers or sells child pornography, through any means, even electronically, as well as whoever possesses child pornography for those purposes or otherwise distributes or disseminates knowledge or information directed at grooming or exploiting minors for sexual purposes, is punished with one to five years imprisonment and a fine from 2,500 to 50,000 euro.

4. Whoever, outside the cases foreseen in the preceding paragraphs, offers or supplies others, even free of charge, child pornography, is punished with up to three years imprisonment and a fine from 1,500 to 15,000 euro.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:38 AM

Vatican diplomat to the U.S. recalled amid child pornography investigation

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine from Associated Press

September 15, 2017

By Gerard O'Connell

A Vatican priest working in the Holy See's embassy in Washington has been recalled after U.S. officials flagged possible violations of child pornography laws, the Vatican said on Sept. 15.

In a statement issued to the media, the Vatican press office revealed that the U.S. State Department had notified the Vatican on Aug. 21 “of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington.”

The Italian news agency ANSA has named the Vatican diplomat as Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, 50, who was sent to the nunciature in Washington less than a year ago. A New York Times story confirmed the report.

The Vatican has not identified the diplomat, but said Friday he was currently in Vatican City and that its promoter of justice, an office equivalent to a prosecutor or investigating judge, has opened an investigation into possible violation of U.S. laws relating to child pornography.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:30 AM

Statement from President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON (DC)
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

September 15, 2017

Following this morning's bulletin from the Holy See that a Vatican diplomat based in Washington had been recalled to face an investigation for alleged violation of child pornography laws, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston has issued the following statement:

"This is a serious issue. We hope the Holy See will be forthcoming with more details. While we don't know all the facts, consistent with our Charter, we reaffirm that when such allegations occur, an immediate, thorough, and transparent investigation should begin in cooperation with law enforcement and immediate steps be taken to protect children. The protection of children and young people is our most sacred responsibility."

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:24 AM

Vatican diplomat recalled from U.S. during child-porn investigation

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

September 15, 2017

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A member of the Vatican diplomatic corps serving in Washington has been recalled to the Vatican where he is involved in a criminal investigation involving child pornography, the Vatican said.

The Vatican press office said Sept. 15 that it was notified Aug. 21 by the U.S. State Department "of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington."

"The Holy See, following the practice of sovereign states, recalled the priest in question, who is currently in Vatican City," the press office said.

The Associated Press reported that the State Department confirmed it had asked the Vatican to lift the official's diplomatic immunity. It said that request was denied.

The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, signed by most nations of the world, including the United States and the Holy See, stipulates that diplomatic personnel "shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention" in the host country. The host country may, however, ask the sending country to waive immunity or the sending country, in this case, the Vatican, may choose to recall the diplomat and proceed with a criminal investigation and possible prosecution of its own.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:21 AM

Vatican Uses Diplomatic Immunity To Shield Priest From Child Porn Charges

ENGLEWOOD (CO)
Patheos

September 15, 2017

By Michael Stone

Pope Francis protects pedophile priest from prosecution: Vatican uses diplomatic immunity to shield priest from child porn charges.

According to multiple reports, a high-ranking priest working in the Vatican’s embassy in Washington was caught with child pornography, including images of pre-pubescent children. However, after U.S. prosecutors indicated they were ready to charge the pedophile priest for possessing child pornography, the Vatican stepped in, claimed diplomatic immunity, and shipped the pedophile priest to Vatican city, where he is now safe from prosecution for his heinous crimes.

* * *

Let’s face it: Pope Francis is a marvelous showman – a genius at public relations and media manipulation who has successfully hustled the media, and the public at large. He says nice things like all animals go to heaven; he chastises creationists and other science deniers by noting that God is not a magician; and in a good natured gesture he asks atheists for good vibrations.

Yet despite the friendly facade, the occasional superficial liberal rhetoric, and a humorous joke now and then, Pope Francis is guilty of perpetuating the institutional immorality of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:11 AM

What are the Vatican’s next steps in the child porn case?

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency/EWTN News

By Adelaide Mena

What happens when Vatican City State diplomats commit crimes? The recent recall of a Vatican diplomat from the U.S. Nunciature in Washington, following suspicions of child pornography possession brings together both the workings of the criminal justice system at the Vatican and international diplomatic law.

“We are not yet at the conclusion of the criminal investigation, but I think it wise that he’s been recalled now,” said Dr. Kurt Martens, a Professor of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.

According to a Sept. 15 communique issued by the Vatican, the U.S. State Department notified the Vatican Secretariat of State on Aug. 21 of a possible “violation of laws relating to child pornography images” by a member of the Vatican diplomatic corps stationed in Washington, D.C.

The priest was recalled to the Vatican, where he remains. The diplomatic process of collaboration on the case – which remains under investigation – was initiated, and findings from the U.S. State Department were shared with the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice, who also opened an investigation within the city-state of the Vatican. The identity or nationality of the diplomat has not been released.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:58 AM

Vatican Recalls Priest From D.C. Diplomatic Mission, Launches Child Porn Probe

WASHINGTON (DC)
NPR

September 15, 2017

By Merrit Kennedy

The Vatican says it has recalled a priest from its diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., and launched an investigation into allegations of child pornography.

The priest, who has not been named, is currently in Vatican City, according to a statement from the Vatican. It says the U.S. State Department informed Vatican officials on August 21 "of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington."

The Holy See is party to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Immunity, which grants immunity from prosecution to diplomats in foreign countries. A State Department spokesperson tells NPR that the U.S. formally requested that the Vatican's diplomatic mission waive that immunity, which it denied.

The Vatican says it has now launched its own investigation into the issue, and has "already commenced international collaboration to obtain elements relative to the case." It emphasizes that the content of the probe is "subject to investigative confidentiality."

Pope Francis has said he has a policy of "zero tolerance" for abusive priests, and he has established a tribunal specifically for bishops who do not report priests accused of sexual abuse.

In 2013, Vatican law specifically criminalized producing, disseminating, selling or possessing child pornography.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:51 AM

September 15, 2017

Quebec police probe possible cases of child sexual abuse in Jehovah's Witnesses congregation

QUEBEC (CANADA)
CBC.ca

September 15, 2017

Investigators seeking other possible victims of two men, Radio-Canada’s Enquête reports

Quebec provincial police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by two members of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in Mont-Laurier in the Laurentians, Radio-Canada's investigative program Enquête has learned.

Both men have been sanctioned through the church's internal disciplinary process for dealing with allegations of child abuse, but congregation elders did not share their findings with civil authorities.

One of the men being investigated, Michel Courtemanche, who has been expelled from the congregation, was acquitted of charges of sexual assault and indecent assault in 1996.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:01 PM

Amid Pornography Case, Vatican Recalls Priest From Washington Embassy

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

September 15, 2017

By Jason Horowitz

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has recalled a high-ranking priest working as a diplomat in the Holy See’s embassy in Washington after American authorities sought to strip his immunity and potentially charge him with possession of child pornography, the Vatican said Friday.

In a statement, the Vatican said that it had been notified by the State Department on Aug. 21 of “a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images” by a member of its diplomatic corps.

The Vatican said the priest would face an investigation and potential trial in Vatican City. But some critics saw in the Vatican’s move a reflexive step to protect its own by whisking a priest away from a justice system in a foreign land.

The statement did not identify the cleric, but Italian news media reports and an American official familiar with the investigation said it was Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella, who was ordained in Milan in 1993 and entered the diplomatic corps in 2004. He has also worked as a diplomat in Hong Kong and as the Holy See’s liaison to Italy.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:46 PM

UPDATE: Priest accused of sexual abuse will return to SC to stand trial

RIDGELAND (SC)
WSAV-TV

September 15, 2017

Hotline Set up for Priest Abuse Victims

RIDGELAND, S.C. (WSAV) – A former Catholic priest from Savannah who is charged with nine counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor appeared in court today.

Wayland Brown, 74, appeared briefly today to waive his right to bond. In addition, he waived the reading of the indictment in open court.

Brown will stay in Jasper County jail until his trial.

He is accused of sexually abusing two school-aged boys in the late 1970s and 1980s in various places in Jasper County.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:41 PM

Former minister pleads guilty to indecent liberties with child

HAYWOOD COUNTY (NC)
WLOS

September 15, 2017

HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — A former minister from Bryson City has pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a child.

Eric Jones, 49, was sentenced this week to a 30-day active sentence, plus 90 days house arrest and three years probation.

The abuse dates back to 2002 when the victim was 9-years-old.

Jones will also have to register as a sex offender.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:15 PM

Chester vicar jailed for sexually abusing four children

ENGLAND
Chester Chronicle

September 14, 2017

The Rev Rob Peters, who has since resigned as vicar of St Michael's Church in Newton, started the attacks in the 1960s

A Chester vicar who repeatedly sexually abused four children has been jailed for two years.

The Rev Robert Peters, who has now resigned as vicar of St Michael’s in Newton, indecently assaulted two girls and two boys, who were younger than him, when he was aged between 14 and 20 or 21.

One of his victims, now a grown man, choked back tears as he told a court of the impact of the abuse on his life and two other victims also read their moving statements.

One victim spoke of their anger at his arrogance at him officiating at their father’s funeral, saying: “When he turned up to take the service at my dad’s funeral I felt sick.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:52 PM

Woman, 32, accuses former minister of sexually abusing her as a teen

OAK LAWN (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

September 13, 2017

A 32-year-old woman who claims the birth of her child triggered suppressed memories of allegedly being sexually abused by her youth minister as a teenager is suing the minister, the Oak Lawn church and its two owners.

Mary Ellen Wright and her attorney, Robert J. Bingle of law firm Corboy & Demetrio, filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court on Wednesday, claiming Wright’s memories of the alleged abuse had been repressed until about October 2016, when she sought weekly counseling for postpartum depression after delivering a child, and she started to remember.

Wright alleges that she was a member of Hope Chapel Oak Lawn Foursquare Church, in the 9400 block of South 68th Court in Oak Lawn, in Summer 2000 when the church’s youth minister, Charles Price, sexually assaulted her, according to the lawsuit. Wright claims Price made an “unwanted sexual advance” on her, including inappropriate touching, fondling and oral sex.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:48 PM

Opinion: Turn to God when faith shatters

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 15, 2017

By Gerard Bergie (Bishop of Saint Catharines diocese)

This column is called Faith Matters. Its purpose is to discuss matters of faith because faith matters to many.

This is why when faith shatters it is a serious matter.

There are things in life that can rock our faith and cause significant damage. An example from the Bible can be found in Job. He had a very good life and everything seemed to be going well until Job experienced many tragedies, sickness, and appeared to have lost everything.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:40 PM

Former priest Jonathan Graves guilty of sex abuse attacks

SUSSEX (ENGLAND)
BBC News

September 14, 2017

A former Church of England priest has been found guilty of torturing and sexually abusing two schoolboys in the 1980s and 90s.

Jonathan Graves, 60, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, restrained the children, who were aged between 12 and 14, using belts and straps, and then beat them.

At the time, he was the vicar at St Luke's Church in Stone Cross.

He was convicted at Hove Crown Court of 12 offences between 1987 and 1992 and will be sentenced on Monday.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:42 PM

Judge won't let public see files of priests accused of sexual abuse

NEWARK (NJ)
NJ.com

September 15, 2017

By Justin Zaremba, jzaremba@njadvancemedia.com

NEWARK -- The Archdiocese of Newark received a protective order on Friday shielding the personnel files of three priests accused of sexual abuse from being disclosed to the public.

Five men and one woman have alleged the Rev. Michael Walters sexually abused them between 1982 and 1995, and a former member of Sacred Heart Parish who attended Seton Hall Preparatory School claims he was abused by two priests at those institutions, the Revs. Robert Gibney and William Giblin, respectively, in the 1960s.

Gibney and Giblin died earlier this decade, but Walters is still alive.

Avram Eule, the attorney for the Archdiocese, said these cases involved "alleged abuse" requiring extensive discovery on their part, and, as in other cases, they've sought a protective order "to protect the ... alleged priest as well as the reputation of the Archdiocese (of Newark)."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:11 PM

Vatican diplomat in US recalled over 'breach of child sex abuse images law'

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian

September 15, 2017

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner

Church officials are said to have refused request by US prosecutors for priest’s
diplomatic immunity to be lifted

A Vatican diplomat in Washington has been recalled to Rome after the US state department said the priest may have violated laws related to child sex abuse images.

The US state department notified the Holy See last month of a possible violation of laws. American prosecutors said they wanted the Vatican to voluntarily lift the official’s diplomatic immunity so that he could face charges, according to several reports, but the Vatican refused. The request was made on 21 August.

The Vatican said an investigation had been opened and the church was seeking “international collaboration to obtain elements relative to the case”, and it would be handled confidentially on a preliminary basis. It said the priest had already returned to Vatican City.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:03 PM

Former Catholic priest faces sentence for child porn

ALLENTOWN (PA)
WFMZ-TV

September 14, 2017

[VIDEO]

LEHIGH COUNTY, Pa. - A former Catholic priest will spend time behind bars for possessing child porn.

John Mraz was sentenced today to six to 23 months in Lehigh County jail.

Mraz was the pastor at the Church of St. Ann in Emmaus, which is part of the diocese of Allentown.

He was arrested about one year ago after prosecutors say nude photos of children were discovered on his laptop. Court documents say they were found by a friend of Mraz.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:29 AM

Vatican recalls priest from US as child porn investigation opens

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

September 15, 2017

By Elise Harris

Vatican City, Sep 15, 2017 / 06:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican announced Friday that after being informed by U.S. officials of a possible breach of child pornography laws on the part of a Holy See diplomat, it has recalled the priest in question and an investigation has been opened.

According to a Sept. 15 Vatican communique, on Aug. 21 the U.S. State Department notified the Vatican Secretariat of State, “through diplomatic channels, of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:26 AM

Primera condena por abuso sexual eclesiástico en Entre Ríos

ENTRE RIOS PROVINCE (ARGENTINA)
Analisis

September 15, 2017

Primera condena por abuso sexual eclesiástico en Entre Ríos: se incorporó la sentencia completa a la causa Escobar Gaviria

Duro castigo contra el ex párroco de Lucas González

[Google Translate: Hard punishment against former pastor of Lucas González. First conviction for ecclesiastical sexual abuse in Entre Ríos: full sentence was added to Escobar Gaviria case.]

La sentencia completa contra el cura “sanador” Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, se incorporó este jueves al expediente de la causa que se ventiló ante el Tribunal de Juicios y Apelaciones de Gualeguay. El fallo de 304 fojas, al que tuvo acceso ANÁLISIS DIGITAL, desagregó los fundamentos del veredicto que castigó con 25 años de prisión efectiva al ex párroco de Lucas González. Los vocales María Angélica Pivas (presidenta), Darío Crespo y Roberto Cadenas pronunciaron un voto unánime contra la conducta del sacerdote. Consideraron en cuanto al monto de pena que “para graduar la sanción a imponer, debe tenerse en cuenta la naturaleza de las conductas perpetradas, la forma en que las cometió, dado que evidentemente se aprovechó sexualmente del dominio que ejerció sobre los menores víctimas -cuando justamente por su condición, sea como guardador o Ministro de Culto, era de esperar que actuara como tal-, el tiempo durante el cual las llevó a cabo, la modalidad comisiva aprovechando asimismo la situación de autoridad, sino también el poder intimidatorio que les generaba a las víctimas”.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:19 AM

Police reviewing child abuse claims involving orphanage

SCOTLAND
STV News

September 15, 2017

By David Cowan

Allegations over incidents at Smyllum Park, Lanark, first emerged in the 1990s.

Police Scotland are reviewing old cases involving a notorious orphanage, raising the possibility of prosecutions nearly 30 years after it closed, STV News has learned.

Allegations that children were physically and sexually abused at Smyllum Park, Lanark, first emerged in the 1990s, but it's thought no-one has ever been convicted of committing an offence against any of the thousands of children who lived within its walls.

Former residents from the orphanage played a central role in persuading the Scottish Government to set up the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:14 AM

If celibacy is the cause, why do non-celibates have the problem?

UNITED STATES
CatholicCulture.org

September 14, 2017

By Phil Lawler

In Australia, two former Catholic priests have released a report saying that the root causes of sexual abuse by Catholic priests are—the things the two ex-priests don’t like about the Catholic Church. Since what they don’t like about the Catholic Church matches what the secular media don’t like, their report will enjoy plenty of publicity, regardless of its scientific rigor (or lack of same).

Without reading the full report, however, one can make a few observations:

Anglican priests are not bound by a rule of celibacy. Nevertheless the rate of abuse by Anglican priests in Australia is the same as the rate among Catholic priests.

The mayors of 50 different American cities have been accused of sexual abuse of minors. Mayors are not bound by celibacy.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:04 AM

Police find vodka, pills but no answers in death of predator priest Brzyski

UNITED STATES
Philly.com (Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News)

September 14, 2017

By Craig R. McCoy, cmccoy@phillynews.com

[Note: See the entry for Brzyski in the accused priest database on BishopAccountability.org.]

In a celebratory Mass, James J. Brzyski was ordained a Catholic priest on a May day 30 years ago.

Stripped of his collar, he was found dead Wednesday, surrounded by pills and bottles of vodka in a Texas motel where rooms go for $43.99 a night.

Those were among the new details that emerged Thursday, as investigators tried to piece together the final hours or days of a man characterized by Philadelphia prosecutors as one of the region’s most brutal clerical abusers.

Ron Singer, the administrator of the Medical Examiner’s Office in Tarrant County, said authorities found five bottles of “cheap vodka” in the Super 7 room Brzyski rented on Seminary Road in Fort Worth. Several pill bottles were found, at least one of which was empty, Singer said.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:59 AM

Shrewsbury ex-priest, 78, accused of sex offences against young girl

ENGLAND
Shropshire Star

September 14, 2017

By Lucy Todman

Brian Spence, 78, also known as Macduff, a former Church of England priest of Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, appeared at Crawley Magistrates Court in West Sussex to answer a summons alleging that he committed four offences of indecent assault on a girl then aged between 10 and 11 in Warnham, West Sussex, between 1978 and 1980.

He pleaded not guilty to all offences and the case was committed to Lewes Crown Court for a preliminary trial preparation hearing on October 11.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:54 AM

Former West Sussex priest charged with historic sex offences

ENGLAND
Spirit FM

September 15, 2017

A man has been charged with sex offences against a young girl while he was a priest in West Sussex.

On Wednesday Brian Spence, also known as Macduff, a former Church of England priest of Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, appeared at Crawley Magistrates' Court.

The 78-year-old was accused of committing four offences of indecent assault on a girl then aged between 10 and 11 in Warnham, between 1978 and 1980.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:47 AM

Archdiocese names three Taos County priests in list of molesters

TAOS (NM)
Taos News

September 14, 2017

By Cody Hooks, chooks@taosnews.com

[Note: See Archbishop Wester's letter and list.]

At least three Roman Catholic priests who served in Taos County communities in the 1970s and 1980s and were found guilty of sexually abusing children have been publicly named by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

The archdiocese released the list of 74 priests, deacons and brothers Tuesday (Sept. 12). Three of them - Vincent Lipinski, Roger Martinez and Michael O'Brien - served at various points in Taos, Questa and Peñasco.

"The community has known about these allegations for years. The only thing that is different is that names have come out," said Taos Town Councilor Darien Fernandez. "Hopefully it will answer some of the questions that continue to dog the church and will give some clarity or comfort to the victims."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:42 AM

Monsignor Mraz gets jail time for child porn, apologizes in court

September 14, 2017

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

By Laurie Mason Schroeder

Priest's lawyer worries how he'll handle jail.

In a decision that seemed to surprise the 67-year-old Roman Catholic priest standing before her, a Lehigh County judge on Thursday sentenced Monsignor John S. Mraz, formerly of St. Ann Catholic Church in Emmaus, to six to 23 months in jail for viewing child pornography.

Judge Maria L. Dantos rejected Mraz’s request for probation or house arrest due to his many medical ailments, but noted that Mraz’s crimes didn’t rise to the level of what other Catholic priests have been accused of in recent years.

“Any time there is a case such as this and the headlines say ‘priest arrested,’ there are visions of sexual molestation, which we don’t have here,” Dantos said.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:38 AM

A Vatican Diplomat Has Been Recalled From the U.S. Following Child-Pornography Charges

VATICAN CITY
The Atlantic

September 15, 2017

By Emma Green

The allegations come during a turbulent period for the Roman Catholic Church on sex-abuse issues.

The Holy See announced on Friday that a priest who is part of its diplomatic corps has been recalled to Rome following allegations that he violated child-pornography laws. The official had been accredited to serve in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Department of State notified Catholic Church leaders about the alleged crime through diplomatic channels. The Vatican has opened an investigation and is keeping the name of the accused priest confidential. The AP reported that the U.S. government requested that the official’s diplomatic immunity be lifted. The request was denied.

These allegations have come at a turbulent time for the Vatican on issues of sex abuse. Earlier this summer, Cardinal George Pell was charged with multiple sex crimes by the Australian police, and returned to his home country “to clear his name,” according to a statement from the archdiocese of Sydney. Pell has been in charge of the Vatican’s treasury since 2014, and was specifically brought in to implement reforms.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:33 AM

Official at Vatican embassy to United States removed over child porn allegations

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Crux

September 15, 2017

By Charles Collins

The Vatican has confirmed a priest serving at the Holy See embassy to the United States has been recalled to Rome after receiving information he had violated child pornography laws. The priest is now being investigated by the Vatican's Promoter of Justice.

A Vatican diplomat based in Washington has been accused of violating child pornography laws and has been recalled to Rome.

The priest, who has not been identified, is currently in the territory of the Vatican City State, and Vatican prosecutors have opened an investigation.

A statement from the Vatican press office said the U.S. State Department notified the Vatican’s Secretariat of State of the allegations on August 21.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:27 AM

Vatican announces investigation into Holy See diplomat accused of accessing child pornography

VATICAN CITY
The Tablet

September 15, 2017

By Christopher Lamb

The US government notified the Holy See of 'a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images' by a priest

The Vatican has announced a criminal investigation into a Holy See diplomat accused of accessing child pornography while stationed in Washington DC.

On 21 August the United States government notified the Holy See of “a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images” by a priest who was then recalled back to the Vatican.

In a statement the Holy See Press Office explained that the accused is a member of the Church’s diplomatic corps, a select group of priests who serve as envoys of the Pope and Holy See across the world.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:19 AM

Holy See recalls priest from Nunciature in Washington

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

September 15, 2017

(Vatican Radio) The Press Office of the Holy See has released the following statement concerning the possibility that a member of the Holy See’s diplomatic mission to Washington may have violated laws relating to child pornography.

The priest in question, the statement says, has been recalled to Vatican City, in accordance with common diplomatic practice.

STATEMENT

On August 21 last, the Department of State of the United States of America notified the Secretariat of State, through diplomatic channels, of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington.

The Holy See, following the practice of sovereign states, recalled the priest in question, who is currently in Vatican City.

Having received such information from the United States government, the Secretariat of State transmitted this information to the Promoter of Justice of the Vatican Tribunal.

The Promoter of Justice opened an investigation and has already commenced international collaboration to obtain elements relative to the case.

It should be noted that, as provided by the laws in force applicable to all preliminary inquiries, the investigations carried by the Promoter of Justice are subject to investigative confidentiality.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:12 AM

Vatican recalls Washington diplomat amid child pornography investigation

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

September 15, 2017

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican on Friday said it has recalled one of its diplomats from Washington after the U.S. State Department said the priest may have violated child pornography laws.

Prosecutors in the Vatican have opened an investigation into the case and the priest has already returned to Vatican City, a statement said.

The State Department notified the Holy See in August “of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington,” the statement said.

As a member of the Vatican’s diplomatic corps, the priest, whose name was not given, could not be prosecuted in the United States, though he could have been expelled.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:05 AM

Vatican Diplomat Recalled Amid Child Porn Investigation

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

September 15, 2017

By Nicole Winfield and Matthew Lee

Vatican City (AP) -- A high-ranking priest working in the Vatican's embassy in Washington has been recalled after U.S. prosecutors asked for him to be charged there and face trial in a child pornography investigation, Vatican and U.S. officials said Friday.

The diplomat was suspected of possessing, but not producing or disseminating, child pornography including images of pre-pubescent children, a U.S. source familiar with the case said. The source was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Vatican declined to identify the priest, but said he was currently in Vatican City and that Vatican prosecutors had launched their own probe.

If the accusations pan out, the case would be a major embarrassment for the Vatican and Pope Francis, who has pledged "zero tolerance" for sexual abuse. The diplomat would be the second from the Vatican's diplomatic corps to face possible criminal charges for such crimes during Francis' papacy. Any trial in the Vatican would come as Francis' own financial czar, Cardinal George Pell, is on trial in his native Australia for alleged historic sex abuse cases.

The State Department said it had asked the Vatican to lift the official's diplomatic immunity on Aug. 21. It said that request was denied three days later. For the State Department to make such a request, its lawyers would have needed to be convinced that there was reasonable cause for criminal prosecution.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:00 AM

Vatican diplomat in United States recalled due to child-porn investigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (U.S.)
The Washington Post

September 15, 2017

By Julie Zauzmer

U.S. officials found evidence implicating a Vatican diplomat in a child-pornography case, leading the Vatican to recall the official to the Holy See.

The Vatican said in a news release Friday that the U.S. State Department contacted the Vatican’s Secretariat of State on Aug. 21 to report a possible crime involving child pornography, committed by a member of the diplomatic corps based in Washington.

In addition to being the seat of the Catholic church, the Vatican is also a sovereign nation located within the borders of Italy. Pope Francis is both spiritual leader and head of state. Vatican diplomats in the United States have diplomatic immunity from prosecution for most crimes in the United States, like diplomats of all foreign nations.

The Vatican recalled the diplomat in question, whom it did not name in its press release Friday, from the District to Vatican City and opened an investigation there. The Holy See said officials are working on collaborating with foreign investigators to gather evidence in the case.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:56 AM

Diocese addresses child abuse prevention with training

OHIO
WTOV-TV

September 14, 2017

by Anthony Conn

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio — The Diocese of Steubenville held a training for its members, focusing on how to protect children.

For the last 15 years, the Diocese of Steubenville has been taking steps to educate its members of the proper ways to treat children.

On Thursday night, members of the diocese met at St. Mary's Church in St. Clairsville for their annual child protection workshop.

"It's certainly to show them the signs to be concerned about, and also to work with our children and give them the best possible way for them to grow,” said Bishop Jeffrey Monforton.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:58 AM

New study does not reflect Brisbane safeguarding efforts, Archbishop Coleridge says

BRISBANE (AUSTRALIA)
The Catholic Leader

September 15, 2017

By Mark Bowling

BRISBANE - Archbishop Mark Coleridge has hit back at the findings of a new study, which claims the Church in Australia has done less to safeguard children in its care than its counterparts in other countries.

The study, Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church by the Centre for Global Research at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, has for the first time compiled the findings of 26 royal commissions, police investigations, judicial probes, government inquiries, church studies, and academic research from around the world since 1985.

However, Archbishop Coleridge described the 384-page RMIT report released this month and widely reported in Australia and in the New York Times “as not as up-to-date as it might be nor is it the last or even the most authoritative word in this area”.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:56 AM

'I was abused by nuns for a decade' at Smyllum Park

SCOTLAND
BBC

September 15, 2017

A former resident of a Scottish orphanage run by Catholic nuns has described the sexual, physical and mental abuse she suffered at the home.

Theresa Tolmie-McGrane told the BBC she was sexually abused from the age of eight at the Smyllum Park Orphanage, Lanark, in the 1970s.

The care home, run by the Daughters of Charity Order, closed in 1981.

A spokesperson said the order was "shocked and saddened" by the allegations.

Ms Tolmie-McGrane, who is now a psychologist working in Norway, arrived at the South Lanarkshire orphanage in 1968 when she was six years old.

She told BBC Stories: "Every child was beaten, punished, locked in a dark room, made to eat their own vomit and I would say that most of us had our mouths rinsed out with carbolic soap."

Ms Tolmie-McGrane said she was first sexually abused at the home by a priest when she was eight.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:53 AM

Capuchin brother accused of sexually abusing boy in restroom, car

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 15, 2017

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Former Capuchin brother Vernon Kamiaz allegedly sexually abused a boy in the Agana Heights Parish restroom after a choir practice and in a vehicle after a church service, around 1983, a lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday states.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as R.I.C. to protect his privacy, was about 14 years old when Kamiaz allegedly sexually molested and abused him.

At the time, Kamiaz was a Capuchin brother assigned to the Agana Heights Parish, and he supervised and chaperoned many of the youth choir events, the lawsuit states. Kamiaz was also R.I.C.'s religious education teacher.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:49 AM

September 14, 2017

Attorney Jeff Anderson gives Mitchell Hamline Law School $2 million for 'Zero Abuse Project'

ST. PAUL (MN)
Minneapolis Star Tribune

September 14, 2017

By Maura Lerner

Gift will create new law clinic specializing in child abuse litigation.

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson has donated $2 million to the Mitchell Hamline School of Law to create the “Zero Abuse Project,” to help improve the way lawyers and others respond to child abuse.

Anderson, who has made a career representing victims of child sex abuse, announced the gift Thursday.

“This is going to enable us to expand exponentially our work in the child protection area,” said Mark Gordon, the dean of the law school.

The Zero Abuse Project will, among other things, offer online training to lawyers and other professionals in what’s known as “trauma-informed” responses to child abuse cases. The training is designed, in part, to ensure that victims are treated with sensitivity, and are not “re-traumatized” by the legal system, according Prof. Joanna Woolman, who directs the law school’s child protection program.

It will also create a new law clinic that will focus on child advocacy.

“For 35 years, we have helped survivors cope with the ravages of child abuse,” Anderson said in a statement announcing the gift. “We believe child abuse can end and the Zero Abuse Project is pivotal to this mission.”

Anderson, a leading attorney in child sex abuse lawsuits against the Catholic Church and other organizations, is a 1975 graduate of the law school, then known as William Mitchell.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:04 PM

Child Abuse and the Catholic Church

AUSTRALIA
RMIT University (Australia)

September 13, 2017

For the first time in Australia, a ground-breaking research study has analysed the systemic reasons why the abuse of children has plagued the Catholic Church in Australia and worldwide.

In this podcast series, host David Glanz speaks with the report's authors Emeritus Professor Des Cahill and Dr Peter Wilkinson. Kieran Tapsell, who studied for the Catholic priesthood in the 1960s before choosing to become a lawyer and rising to the rank of acting District Court Judge, also features in the discussion.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:12 PM

No Criminal Activity Surrounding Mass Grave at Scottish Orphanage

SCOTLAND (U.K.)
ChurchMilitant.com

September 13, 2017

By Anita Carey

LANARK, Scotland (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Scottish prosecutors and police have exonerated the Daughters of Charity of criminal activity surrounding an unmarked mass grave of children at this time.

The discovery of a mass grave on the grounds of Smyllum Park Orphanage in Scotland sparked a media frenzy of allegations of wrongdoing and child abuse.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Scottish Crown Office said, "Based on the information currently available, there is no evidence to suggest a crime has been committed or that any deaths require to be investigated." They have assured the public that they are keeping a watchful eye on the situation and "any allegations of criminality will be thoroughly and sensitively investigated."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:08 PM

James Brzyski, infamous Philly priest, found dead in Texas motel

FORT WORTH (TX)
Philly.com

September 13, 2017

By Maria Panaritis

[Note: See the entry for James Brzyski in the accused priest database of BishopAccountability.org.]

James Brzyski, a defrocked Archdiocese of Philadelphia priest once described as one of the region’s most monstrous sexual predators, but who eluded prosecution after allegedly abusing dozens of boys in the 1970s and 1980s, was found dead Wednesday at a Texas motel.

Authorities confirmed they were investigating a man’s death at the Super 7 motel on Seminary Road in Fort Worth. They had not officially determined his identity or cause of death but said they did not suspect foul play.

One of Brzyski’s former neighbors told the Inquirer and Daily News she was contacted by police about his death, and a clerk at the motel confirmed that Bryzski had been staying there and that a housekeeper found him dead in his room Wednesday morning.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:03 PM

Who Pays for Sex Abuse?

UNITED STATES
Justia.com

September 14, 2017

By Marci A. Hamilton

Drawing on data from the extraordinary archive of Catholic sex abuse at BishopAccountability.org, the San Diego Tribune recently published the top 10 sexual abuse settlements by the Catholic Church in the United States. The numbers are large in the aggregate: the church paid $1.553 billion total, with $960.94 million paid to 2,458 survivors. On average, each victim received $391,000 after attorneys’ fees.

These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg as many of the victims did not receive full compensatory damages, because the dioceses pooled claims through bankruptcies or other means and avoid individual trials, thereby lowering per-victim recoveries. The cost to the church is actually higher than $1.5 billion, because it has also had to pay for its lawyers (especially for the bishops who take a scorched earth approach against the victims). They also have covered some therapy. Accordingly, Church costs have been estimated at $4 billion. The victims’ expense has not yet been aggregated by social scientists, but it is certainly well beyond $4 billion given that approximately 20-25% of children are sexually abused and the array of negative effects include addiction, alcoholism, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders, among many others.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:58 AM

Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s sexual abuse list brings relief — and questions

SANTA FE (NM)
The New Mexican

September 13, 2017

By Andrew Oxford

As the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal burst into the nation’s collective consciousness in the 1990s, two brothers filed lawsuits against a church order, charging that some of its members had molested them while they were growing up in Santa Fe.

Tom McConnell, a teacher at St. Michael’s High School, had been one of their tormentors, they said, accusing him of repeatedly abusing young boys.

The brothers, full-grown men by the time they spoke out in 1995, depicted in their lawsuits a betrayal by the religious figures their parents had entrusted with their childhoods and their education during the 1950s and 1960s.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:51 AM

The Catholic Church's child sexual abuse tragedy revealed in groundbreaking Australian five-year study

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

September 13, 2017

By Joanne McCarthy

Celibacy a key risk factor in child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, report finds

A groundbreaking Australian study describes child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church as a global tragedy

MANDATORY celibacy, the denigration of women and the Catholic Church’s “deeply homophobic environment” are key factors in the church’s global child sexual abuse tragedy, a ground-breaking Australian research study by two former Catholic priests has found.

Mandatory celibacy “remains the major precipitating risk factor for child sexual abuse”, Dr Peter Wilkinson and Professor Des Cahill of RMIT University’s Centre for Global Research found after a five-year study into systemic reasons for child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:41 AM

Australia's Catholic Church 'behind in protecting children from sexual abuse'

AUSTRALIA
SBS (Special Broadcasting Service)

September 13, 2017

A five-year Australian research project has found the Australian Catholic Church is behind other countries when it comes to safeguarding children from abuse.

The Catholic Church in Australia lags significantly behind other countries in protecting children from sexual abuse, researchers say.

Far from being a leader in child protection, the Australian church has been pushed into acting and needs to do much more work, the study of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church worldwide has found.

The Catholic Church in Australia has lagged significantly behind other comparable countries in developing policies and protocols to safeguard children and vulnerable adults, the researchers from Melbourne's RMIT University say.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:35 AM

Catholic sexual abuse partly caused by secrecy and mandatory celibacy, report finds

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

September 13, 2017

By Melissa Davey

Report examined findings of 26 royal commissions and inquiries from Australia, Ireland, the UK, Canada and Netherlands

Mandatory celibacy and a culture of secrecy created by popes and bishops are major factors in why such high rates of child abuse have occurred in the Catholic church, a comprehensive study has found.

The report, which looked at the findings of 26 royal commissions and other inquiries from Australia, Ireland, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands since 1985, found that while the endangerment of children in institutions has been considerably lowered in Australia, children remained at risk in Catholic parishes and schools and Catholic residential institutions in other countries across the world, especially in the developing world where there are more than 9,000 Catholic-run orphanages, including 2,600 in India.

The patriarchal nature of Catholic institutions meant that abuse went unchallenged and, while a small number of nuns were abusers, the report found the risk of offending was much higher in institutions where priests and religious brothers had minimal contact with women. The report estimated about 7% of clergy had abused children between about 1950 and 2000.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:31 AM

Worst of Catholic sexual abuse scandal still to come in developing world: report

AUSTRALIA
ABC (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

September 13, 2017

By Andrew West for the Religion and Ethics Report

The worst of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal may be over in Australia, but the crisis is likely to hit the church in Asia, Africa and parts of Europe within a decade, a report has warned.

The RMIT study, Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, has for the first time compiled the findings of 26 royal commissions, police investigations, judicial probes, government inquiries, church studies, and academic research from around the world since 1985.

It warns the gravest potential for future abuse of children and teenagers lies in the estimated 9,600 orphanages the church still runs, including 2,600 in India and 1,600 in Italy.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:26 AM

Australian Catholic Church Falls Short on Safeguards for Children, Study Finds

AUSTRALIA
The New York Times

September 12, 2017

By Jacqueline Williams

MELBOURNE, Australia — A study that examines child sexual abuse worldwide in the Roman Catholic Church has found that the Australian church has done less to safeguard children in its care than its counterparts in similar countries have.

The report, released on Wednesday by the Center for Global Research at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, also found that the church’s requirement that priests be celibate was a major risk factor for abuse. And it said that the possibility of abuse in Catholic residential institutions, like orphanages, should be getting more attention, especially in developing countries.

Experts said the report could put pressure on Pope Francis, and particularly the church in Australia, to do more to prevent abuse. The Australian church was rocked in June when Cardinal George Pell, an Australian who is one of the pope’s top advisers, became the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual offenses.

Desmond Cahill, the report’s lead author, said its findings pointed to an urgent need to rethink the priesthood in the 21st century. A professor of intercultural studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, he said the church should reconsider the celibacy requirement for priests.

“The Catholic Church is in a state of crisis, and pressure has to be put on the Holy See to take the necessary steps to change,” Professor Cahill said.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:21 AM

Melbourne study reveals how a global child sexual abuse tragedy occurred

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

September 14, 2017

FORMER Catholic priests Des Cahill and Peter Wilkinson spent five years reviewing 26 studies from around the world on child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church to answer why the abuse occurred.

The studies included the Hunter-focused NSW Special Commission of Inquiry in 2013, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry in 2012 and the ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, established in November, 2012 and due to present its final report in December.

The results of their work – the 384-page Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports – makes sobering and damning reading.

The 26 studies provide evidence that about one in 15 priests committed offences against children. The figure is shocking because those priests had unique access to children because of their roles as God’s representatives on earth.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:49 AM

Celibacy, 'Sexless Virgin Mary' Major Factors in Child Sex Abuse in Catholic Church, Report Claims

AUSTRALIA
Christian Post

September 13, 2017

By Stoyan Zaimov

A major report analyzing the findings of 26 royal commissions and other inquiries on child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has argued that mandatory celibacy for priests is one of the major factors contributing to the epidemic.

The 384-page report, titled "Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports," published on Wednesday by the Center for Global Research at RMIT University, warned that children are "at risk" at more than 9,000 Catholic-run orphanages around the developing world.

It argued that due to the patriarchal nature of Catholic institutions, abuse often goes unchallenged, and said that the risk of offending was much higher in institutions where priests had minimal contact with women.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:41 AM

Church has long way to go on child safety

BRISBANE (AUSTRALIA)
Australian Associated Press

September 14, 2017

Brisbane's Catholic archbishop says the Australian church is acting to protect children from sexual abuse although he concedes it has a long way to go.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge says a lot has been and is being done around Australia to safeguard children.

"But it's very much a work in progress; we still have a long way to go," Archbishop Coleridge said on Thursday.

"Because it's not just a matter of changing procedures and protocols but of building a culture, and that takes time."

A RMIT University report on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church worldwide found Australia is significantly behind other comparable countries in developing policies and protocols to safeguard children.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:35 AM

‘I’m very excited to be getting some proper help’: Sinead O’Connor on Dr Phil Show

LOS ANGELES (U.S.)
TodayOnline.com

September 13, 2017

LOS ANGELES — In Dr Phil’s upcoming exclusive interview with Sinead O’Connor, the Irish songstress will open up about her struggles with mental illness and how it has affected her relationship with her family.

“The fact that there’s such stigma about mental illness means that the illness doesn’t get talked about,” O’Connor said. “It’s not easy for families of mentally ill people,” she continued. “We can be difficult.”

Earlier this month, O’Connor posted a video of herself talking about her battle with mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and feeling abandoned by her family while staying in a New Jersey motel room. ...

... O’Connor rose to fame in 1990 when her single Nothing Compares 2 U became a worldwide number one hit. Since then, she has faced controversy for some of her actions, like tearing up a picture of Pope John Paul II during a performance for Saturday Night Live in 1992 to protest the child sex abuse scandals of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:25 AM

Tributes to the Bishop who said 'sorry'

Politicians and clergy among 1,200 mourners at Westminster Cathedral to mark the death of former Archbishop who 'made no excuses' for child abuse in the Catholic Church

ENGLAND
Daily Mail

September 13, 2017

By Richard Spillett

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales for nine years

He died aged 85 on September 1 having suffered from cancer. His funeral was held in Westminster today

Archbishop speaking at the service said: 'He acknowledged his mistakes. He made no excuses'

Senior clergy joined politicians and mourners today for the funeral of the former Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

The cardinal, who became leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales in 2000 before retiring from his role in 2009, died on September 1 having suffered from cancer.

Around 1,200 mourners, including former Irish president Mary McAleese and Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, filed in to the Westminster Cathedral for a special mass today.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:08 AM

Prosecutors will not appeal friar's child abuse sentence

BRISBANE (AUSTRALIA)
Brisbane Times

September 13, 2017

Queensland prosecutors will not appeal against the sentence of a Catholic friar jailed for molesting a primary school child.

Anthony Colbourne pleaded guilty in May to indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl in the presbytery and his office on four separate occasions in 1974.

Colbourne was charged by police in May 2016 after the woman reported to the Royal Commission into Institutional Response into Child Sexual Abuse.

He was sentenced to 18 months' jail, suspended for three years, after he spent four months behind bars.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions provided advice on the prospect of the success of an appeal against the sentence.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:04 AM

Former leader of Utah Catholics releases list of priests accused of sex abuse in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Associated Press

September 13, 2017

By Russell Contreras

[Note: See the list and letter from Archbishop Wester.]

Albuquerque, N.M. • After years of criticism, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has released the names of 74 priests and religious leaders who were accused or later found guilty of sexually abusing children by state or church authorities.

Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester, former bishop of the Salt Lake City Diocese, announced the release of the names Tuesday in a letter to parishioners after decades of pressure from victims and their family members who wanted a complete tally.

Some of the names of accused priests on the list had been known for years, while others had been secret.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:59 AM

September 13, 2017

Archbishop identifies 74 clergy accused of child abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

September 12, 2017

By Olivier Uyttebrouck

[Note: See the list and letter from Archbishop Wester.]

Archbishop John C. Wester on Tuesday published the names of 74 clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children, together with an apology to survivors “for the pain and suffering you have endured.”

The disclosure marks the first time the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has provided a list of accused priests, deacons and religious brothers since the clergy sexual abuse crisis burst into public view in the early 1990s.

Wester called the move “a critical step” in the archdiocese’s attempt to improve transparency and promote healing.

“It is my deepest hope that our publication of this list will serve as an important step in healing for survivors, their families, and our Church and communities,” Wester wrote in a statement introducing the list.

Brian Gutierrez, an Albuquerque man who sued the archdiocese in 2014 alleging he was sexually abused by a former priest, said he was surprised by the disclosure.

“I’m glad it happened,” Gutierrez said Tuesday. “It’s something we’ve been asking for many years.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:47 AM

Santa Fe Archdiocese finally names priests accused of molestation

SANTA FE (NM)
New Mexican

September 12, 2017

By Andrew Oxford

[Note: See the list and letter from Archbishop Wester.]

In a move that shattered its long-held policy of secrecy, the Santa Fe Archdiocese on Tuesday released a list of 74 Catholic priests, deacons and brothers who it says were credibly accused of sexual misconduct over the last several decades.

Archbishop John C. Wester said he decided to make the names public at last in the hope that their disclosure would help survivors of sexual abuse.

“It is my deepest hope that our publication of this list will serve as an important step in healing for survivors, their families, and our Church and communities. But we will not stop here,” Wester said in a statement.

The list includes 72 priests and two deacons. Thirty-eight of the men listed are deceased.

“It’s about time,” said Diana Abeyta, an Albuquerque woman who says she was in the second grade when she was sexually assaulted by a priest in her parish.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:40 AM

Letter to Introduce List of Accused Priests, Deacons & Religious

SANTA FE (NM)
Archdiocese of Santa Fe

September 12, 2017

By Archbishop John C. Wester

[Note: The new Santa Fe list provides the names of more than 20 persons not previously known to be accused. See BishopAccountability.org's webpage about the Lists of Accused Priests Released by Dioceses and Religious Institutes for more information.]

While we have put good programs in place, we must continue to be vigilant – not only to prevent child sexual abuse but also to help victims of past abuse heal and recover from this tragedy. To the survivors of childhood clergy and religious sexual abuse, their families and loved ones, I am so deeply sorry for the pain and suffering you have endured. The history of this terrible abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to love and protect you is a deep source of sadness and shame for our Church. We as a Church must forever strive to support and assist you on your road to recovery.

Here at the archdiocese, we have been continually working to identify additional ways that we may aid in the healing process. Not long after I became your archbishop, I concluded that a critical step is for the archdiocese to publicly acknowledge and identify those clergy and religious who have been accused of perpetrating child sexual abuse within our archdiocese. We must practice openness and transparency whenever possible, as this is essential for rebuilding trust and healing wounds. While many of the accused names have already been made public or have been identified elsewhere, this is the first time the archdiocese has published such a list.

I have not made this decision lightly or in haste. There are many countervailing principles at stake. First, we must always do right by the victims and survivors of past abuse, whose healing and recovery may benefit from the archdiocese’s public identification of the perpetrators of abuse. We must also do what we can to ensure perpetrators of such abuse never harm anyone else. At the same time, we must be mindful of the rights of the accused, under both civil and canon law, to due process in defending themselves. A clergy or religious member who has been wrongly accused of child sexual abuse may never be able to prove his innocence or repair his reputation. In cases when the accused is already deceased when accusations are made, there is not an opportunity to fully investigate allegations of abuse.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s list of accused clergy and religious includes the following:

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:26 AM

September 12, 2017

Im Beichtstuhl oder auf dem Altar: Australischer Priester missbrauchte jahrelang Kinder

COLOGNE (GERMANY)
RTL

August 31, 2017

[Note: A summary of the Gerald Ridsdale case; he is called "Gerald R." in this article. See also the comprehensive account of the Ridsdale case at Broken Rites.]

Immer mehr Opfer melden sich

Seit 1994 sitzt der ehemalige Priester Gerald R. in Australien im Gefängnis, trotzdem melden sich immer noch weitere Opfer. Damals hatten ihn die Richter wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs an neun Jungen zu 23 Jahren Haft verurteilt. Doch das war nur die Spitze des Eisbergs. Nun stand der pädophile Katholik wieder vor Gericht.

Priester wurde immer wieder versetzt

Zwischen 1961 und 1988 missbrauchte der Priester das Vertrauen der Familien in seinen Gemeinden und verging sich regelmäßig an mindestens 65 Kindern, ohne dass deren Eltern etwas ahnten. Opferverbände gehen davon aus, dass R. noch viel mehr Kinder unsittlich berührte oder vergewaltigte. Die Opferzahlen lägen höchstwahrscheinlich im dreistelligen Bereich. Viele haben sich wohl bis heute aus Scham nicht bei der Polizei gemeldet.

Die katholische Kirche tat nichts, um den Mann aufzuhalten. Immer wenn seine Vorgesetzten Wind von den Missbrauchsvorwürfen bekamen, wurde R. in eine andere australische Gemeinde versetzt. So konnte der Priester sich jahrelang ungestört an Dutzenden Kindern in verschiedenen Orten im Bundesstaat Victoria vergreifen. Dabei war R. offenbar nichts heilig. Einige seiner Opfer missbrauchte er im Beichtstuhl oder sogar auf dem Altar seiner Kirche, berichtete der australische Sender 'ABC'.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:13 PM

Uno por uno, los 9 curas que ya fueron condenados por abusar de menores en Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Clarín

September 6, 2017

[With the recent sentencing of Fr. Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, nine priests have been convicted of the sexual abuse of minors in Argentina. This article provides photos of the priests and a summary of each case: Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, Héctor Pared, Mario Napoleón Sasso, Julio César Grassi, José Mercau, Fernando Enrique Picciochi, Isaac Gómez, Luis Eduardo Sierra, and Ladislao Chomín. See also BishopAccountability.org’s Database of Accused Argentine Priests.]

Tras el caso Escobar Gaviria
Uno por uno, los 9 curas que ya fueron condenados por abusar de menores en Argentina
Todos fueron acusados de crímenes aberrantes. Las sentencias van de 4 a 25 años de prisión.

Con la reciente sentencia al párroco de Entre Ríos Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria ya suman nueve curas condenados por abusos sexuales a menores en Argentina. Estos son los casos.

Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria

​Le dieron una pena de 25 años de prisión, la más alta hasta ahora. De origen colombiano, estuvo por 11 años en la Parroquia San Lucas Evangelista de Lucas González, una localidad de 4.500 habitantes situada en el departamento Nogoyá, en la región central de Entre Ríos. Fue acusado de corrupción de menores contra al menos cuatro chicos.

Héctor Pared

Fue condenado en marzo de 2003 a 24 años de prisión por abuso sexual agravado y corrupción de menores en un hogar de la localidad bonaerense de Florencio Varela.

El cura sólo cumplió pocos meses de la sentencia, ya que en septiembre de ese año murió y fue entonces cuando sus víctimas se enteraron que tenía VIH, un dato que había sido ocultado por el cura y el servicio penitenciario.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:49 PM

States alarmed over $613m abuse bill for redress scheme

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

September 12, 2017

By John Ferguson

An estimated $613 million worth of taxpayer-funded compensation claims have emerged as the key sticking point over a national child sex abuse redress system amid growing angst from the states over who will pay.

The states are demanding a fair deal over what the child sex abuse royal commission estimates is $613m worth of funder-of-last-resort costs facing the nation after institutions that ­failed to prevent abuse ceased to exist. Funders of last resort will also include institutions that still exist but have no assets to draw on to compensate victims, an issue that is possible as the Turnbull government finalises its $4 billion response.

The states, territories and commonwealth are negotiating a deal to share the costs, with Social Services Minister Christian Porter stating that the final details of the funder-of-last-resort bill will not be known until the scheme’s ­architecture is set up.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:39 AM

Child abuse royal commission’s work must continue

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

September 12, 2017

By Robert Llewellyn-Jones

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Julia Gillard launched in 2012 ends soon. As an abuse survivor and a practising psychiatrist treating many abuse survivors, I cannot stress too much how important it is to continue the commission’s work.

It would be a callous betrayal of the thousands who have courageously told their stories if the commission’s recommendations are not adopted, to prevent a repetition of the sordid past and the possibility of abuse echoing down the corridors of history in some other malignant form.

For almost five years, thousands of harrowing stories have finally been heard; stories of institutional denial, obfuscation and cover-ups, of actions and inaction that placed institutions’ reputations ahead of the safety and wellbeing of children.

Some institutions claim they should not be held accountable for the actions of the offending “bad apples”. But these “bad apples” frequently were moved on when their offending was discovered and no action was taken to prevent them reoffending. Chil­d­ren were punished, threatened and intimi­dated when they disclosed abuse to those who were charged with keeping them safe.

Moreover, abuse often took place in institutions that promoted a culture of physical and emotional cruelty or were wilfully ignorant of such brutality. Many cases of historical abuse have been referred to the police, but few convictions have resulted. Many institutions have promised to do better. The reputations of individuals who failed to keep children safe have been tarnished but they have mostly escaped more serious outcomes.

The national redress scheme proposed by the royal commission almost two years ago has yet to be established. The Australian’s John Ferguson reported yesterday the $4 billion scheme is due to be up and running next year. He revealed deep divisions among the states and Canberra about how the scheme should be run and who should fund it.

Most states are refusing to opt in until the Turnbull government explains the scheme’s architecture. Meanwhile, survivors seeking compensation continue to be subjected to gruelling adversarial litigation. Some of them tell me that lawyers acting for some of the offending institutions are privately using aggressive legal tactics even as the institution itself is making public claims of responding to survivors with compassion.

The adverse effects of institutional abuse have been catastrophic. The assault on sur­vivors’ human dignity was often compounded by the searing fusion of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. As adults many survivors have existed in a twilight, unable to give voice to their pain until the royal commission was convened.

Many lives were blighted or destroyed by descent into addiction in attempts to block out the pain caused by recurrent nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks and depression. Many could not hold down jobs or sustain stable relationships. Suicide has not been uncommon.

It is tempting to turn away. As a survivor of child abuse and as a psychiatrist, I do not have that luxury. I felt the searing evil of sexual abuse as a child and with every revelation of abuse that I hear from my patients I again face the challenge of how not to lose faith in the better angels of human nature. What sustains me is the conviction that the work of child protection is never done. It is the work of every generation. It is a narrative as old as the human race.

The capacity for human oppression takes countless forms. Abraham Lincoln’s better angels thrive only when societies establish cultures that respect diversity, eschew all forms of sexual violence, uphold the rights of children, promote equality and have zero tolerance for the powerful dominating the weak.

Robert Llewellyn-Jones is a psychiatrist who assists survivors of sexual abuse and who was abused at Geelong Grammar School.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:34 AM

Secret codes behind holy veneer

HOBART (TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA)
The Mercury

September 7, 2017

By Julian Punch

My studies for the priesthood began at Werribee in Victoria in 1958, four years before the start of the Second Vatican Council and seven years before the papal decree on priestly training, Optatam Totius, radically changed the emphasis from sacrifice to having a pastoral role.

The Corpus Christi campus was a historic property formerly owned by the Chirnside family.

It looks impressive, but the mansion is shrouded in the sadness of insanity and suicide.

Fred Schepisi’s semi-autobiographical film, The Devil’s Playground, which was made there in 1976, tells the story of a boy like me who grew up in a Catholic seminary dealing with temptations of the flesh and all its manifold tensions.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:03 AM

Punch says all plaques of Green must go

HOBART (TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA)
The Mercury

September 11, 2017

By Helen Kempton

A push to remove and destroy a sculpture depicting convicted sex offender Monsignor Philip Green has been broadened to removing all plaques bearing his name in Tasmanian hospitals, schools and churches.

Gay with God author Julian Punch, a former Catholic priest, says he has received messages of support for his push to remove all references to Green. The messages have come from Green’s victims, their loved ones and the broader Tasmanian community.

A member of one victim’s family, who did not want to be named for fear of retribution, said the family supported the proposal wholeheartedly.

“Sex offenders have historically been stripped of honours and awards once convicted,” they said.

Mr Punch has now called on Archbishop Julian Porteous to meet him and others to discuss the issue in a public forum.

“We have been told the statue at St Mary’s Cathedral will be removed this week,” Mr Punch said.

“That is one step but we want it to be destroyed and for other plagues bearing his name — like the one at Calvary Hospital — to be removed as well.”

The Archdiocese of Hobart this week said Archbishop Porteous would deal with any plaque or acknowledgment appropriately when he became aware of them.

In 2004, Green pleaded guilty to groping a grieving 22-year-old man and received a suspended three-month jail term.

In his book, Mr Punch alleges Green had other victims and said he too was sexually assaulted by Green in the late 1960s.

“Having the statue destroyed — perhaps melted down as it is copper — would give great consolation to victims,” Mr Punch said.

“We want to discuss the possible creation of an alternative sculpture to remember the victims of sexual abuse by Monsignor Green ...

“It is timely for a proactive program of apology and reparation to be developed in discussion with Catholics and the clergy.

“The Archbishop needs to provide the public and Catholic faithful with assurances that old threats and intimidation are not the way to deal with this terrible affliction in the Church.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:55 AM

Irish children ‘buried in mass grave at Scottish orphanage’

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Times

September 12, 2017

By Sean O’Driscoll

Dozens of Irish children are allegedly buried in an unmarked grave used by a Catholic orphanage that is under investigation by the Scottish authorities, campaigners have said.

Andi Lavery, who has obtained a list of more than 400 children he believes may be buried at the site near Smyllum Park Catholic orphanage in Lanark, called on the Irish state to help press for further information on the children.

“There was mass migration from Ireland to Scotland for a long, long time. Some of those children ended up in Smyllum. I think that if the Irish government can stand up for Irish children in Tuam and Cork, it should also stand up for them in Scotland,” he said.

Mr Lavery said that he wanted the UN to intervene in the case. The Scottish child abuse inquiry is preparing to investigate the claims.

The alleged high infant mortality rate has raised concerns about conditions at the orphanage, which was operated by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

Researchers pieced together the names of those believed to be buried in the unmarked grave using the same techniques as Catherine Corless, the amateur historian who uncovered the names of hundreds of infants who were buried in an unmarked grave at a Catholic orphanage in Tuam, Co Galway. The Irish Mother and Baby Homes Commission, set up by the Irish government, confirmed earlier this year that it has uncovered an unmarked burial site at the Tuam orphanage.

The BBC has investigated the Smyllum case and has produced a radio documentary on the orphanage. File on 4: The Secrets of Smyllum Park is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 tonight at 8pm. It will allege that severe physical abuse took place there before its closure in 1981. The institution, which looked after children from broken homes, opened in 1864 and closed in 1981.

An estimated 11,600 children stayed at the orphanage from its opening to its closure. Former residents claim they were beaten and kicked by staff.

Learning from techniques used in Tuam, the BBC and Scottish Sunday Post found 402 death certificates for Smyllum Park children. Burial records were found for only two of the children. Based on the death records, an average of one child died every three months at Smyllum. About a third of those who died were aged five or under. Most of the deaths are believed to be from natural causes, mainly from disease such as TB, pneumonia and pleurisy.

A partial list of the children believed to be buried at the nearby site include many Irish émigrés and children born in Scotland to Irish parents. Some of the children have Irish birth certificates or their parents are listed as Irish.

They include Francis McColl, who died aged 13 in 1961 from what was listed by the nuns as a brain haemorrhage, and Catherine Hennessy, who died of a heart attack in 1948, aged ten. Others are five-month-old Margaret Daly, who died of heart failure in 1940; one-year-old James McDermott, who died of pneumonia in 1940; five-month-old Edith O’Hara, who died of malnutrition in 1939; and Margaret McNamara, Ellen McCann and Thomas McCready, all under the age of three, who died of measles in 1938.

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul have confirmed that there is an unmarked grave for the orphanage children at a nearby graveyard, but has not commented further.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:33 AM

Sale libre quien dio muerte a un sacerdote en Saltillo cuando éste abusó de él

SALTILLO (MEXICO)
La Heraldo

September 12, 2017

[Jesus "N", the 23-year-old youth who on January 3 killed priest Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes at Sacred Heart Parish in La Aurora, will be able to recover his freedom. His lawyers, Rodolfo Richards and Anabel Rodríguez, were able to prove that Jesus "N" acted in self-defense, when the priest was sexually abusing him.]

Jesús “N”, el joven de 23 años de edad que el pasado 3 de enero diera muerte al sacerdote Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes en instalaciones de la Parroquia del Sagrado Corazón, en La Aurora, podrá recobrar su libertad este martes de septiembre, toda vez que sus abogados, Rodolfo Richards y Anabel Rodríguez, consiguieron acreditar que Jesús “N” actuó en defensa propia, cuando el sacerdote estaba abusando sexualmente de él.

En la sentencia penal No 281 relativa al proceso penal 21/2017, los Magistrados Oscar Aarón Nájera Davis, Armín Valdés Torres y Juan José Yáñez Arreola determinaron que Jesús “N” cometió el homicidio del sacerdote bajo emoción violenta, por lo cual revocaron la sentencia de cuatro años de prisión dictada el pasado 16 de junio por la Juez de Control del Juzgado de Primera Instancia en Materia Penal, concediéndole en cambio la condena de libertad condicional vigilada, y rehabilitándole además todos sus derechos políticos.

En entrevista con EL HERALDO, el pasado mes de junio los abogados Rodolfo Richards y Anabel Rodríguez, dieron a conocer que la noche en que ocurrieron los hechos, Jesús se encontraba ingiriendo bebidas embriagantes con el sacerdote, cuando posteriormente se quedó dormido en el transcurso de la convivencia.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:16 AM

Que se acuse con pruebas: Vera

SALTILLO (MEXICO)
Zócalo

September 11, 2017

By Rosalío González

[The Bishop of Saltillo, Raul Vera López, said that the allegations of abuse at the Seminary of Saltillo must be proved. He stated that he has not received any complaint other than those already submitted to the Attorney General of the State.]

Saltillo, Coahuila.- El Obispo de Saltillo, Raúl Vera López, se deslindó de las acusaciones realizadas por el exseminarista de Piedras Negras y presunta víctima de pederastia del sacerdote José Manuel Riojas “Meño”, Ignacio Martínez Pacheco, quien acusó que en la década de los 90 una red de presbíteros cometió abusos en el Seminario de Saltillo.

Vera López pidió que quienes acusen se comprometan a probar los dichos, porque él no ha recibido ninguna denuncia a parte de las ya presentadas ante la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE).

Sobre la presunta suspensión de 10 miembros de la Iglesia por “conductas inapropiadas”, el fraile aseguró que quienes se han ido es por voluntad propia “porque sus familias no vivían aquí o porque así lo decidieron”, y descartó que él los haya forzado a abandonar su trabajo.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:09 AM

Incendiaron el auto de un cura, testigo en el caso de abuso de "la congregación de los malos hábitos"

SALTA (Argentina)
TN (Todo Noticias)

September 11, 2017

[Fr. Agustín Rosa, founder of the Disciples Institute of Jesus of San Juan Bautista in Salta, is still under investigation for alleged abuse. Now, the car of one of the whistleblowers has been destroyed by fire "accidentally".]

El principal acusado es el sacerdote Agustín Rosa, que obtuvo la prisión domiciliaria. Avanza la contradenuncia contra una exreligiosa, principal impulsora de la causa, pero hay contradicciones en el testimonio de la supuesta víctima.

El cura Agustín Rosa, fundador del Instituto Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, en Salta, sigue investigado por presuntos abusos después de que TN.com.ar revelara el caso y diera a conocer testimonios de las víctimas. Ahora, apareció incendiado "por accidente" el auto de uno de los denunciantes.

Hace 10 días, la Justicia salteña le concedió al sacerdote la prisión domiciliaria; el mismo beneficio que había obtenido, semanas antes, la exmonja Alicia Pacheco, conocida como "Hermana Micalea", acusada de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante sobre una chica de 13 años. El juez Félix Costas, del Tribunal de Impugnación Número 2, tomó esa decisión pese a las declaraciones de novicios que acusaban al cura de someterlos y proteger a otros sacerdotes que abusaban sexualemente de ellos. Mientras tanto, sigue la polémica por el fallos de la Cámara que pone la lupa sobre la víctima de la exmonja, que habla de una conducta sexual "temprana e impropia" de la denunciante y aseguraba que la "Hermana Micaela", como se la conocía, "no tenía el perfil de la agresora sexual".

"El auto del traidor" (denunciante)

El misterioso incendio, supuestamente accidental, por una falla en el motor, de un automóvil en plena noche en un barrio de la ciudad de Salta, en la esquina de Las Heras y pasaje Alfonso Peralta, sería en realidad una intimidación contra un testigo importante.

Con su declaración en el juzgado, el dueño del coche había convalidado dos de las denuncias de abuso sexual contra Rosa. Se trata de un sacerdote exintegrante de la congregación, que en la madrugada, mientras dormía en la casa de su padre, se despertó con el ruido y advirtió que se estaba quemando el auto. Según le refirieron vecinos que llamaron al 911, escucharon que los responsables del siniestro se movilizaban en motos y decían: "Este es el auto de ese traidor".

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:50 AM

Statement regarding Father Daniel Kresinski

ERIE (PA)
Diocese of Erie

September 10, 2017

Previously, a civil complaint was filed against the Diocese of Erie and St. Joseph Parish and St. Michael the Archangel Parish in DuBois in the U.S. District Court. The parties have reached a resolution of the case, but neither side can comment further because of a mutual confidentiality clause.

To provide the faithful clarity concerning the status of Father Daniel Kresinski, Bishop Lawrence Persico brought the matter to the Clergy Review Board for consideration. The bishop has accepted its recommendation that Father Kresinski refrain from public ministry until further notice for the good order of the Church.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:38 AM

Harassment suit against DuBois priest resolved out of court

DuBOIS (PA)
Courier Express

September 12, 2017

By Katie Weidenboerner

A DuBois priest has been ordered to refrain from public ministry after a civil harassment suit was resolved by both parties out of court.

A civil complaint had been filed against the Diocese of Erie and St. Joseph Parish and St. Michael the Archangel Parish in DuBois in U.S. District Court in May 2016, saying that Fr. Daniel Kresinski had sexually harassed an employee of the church.

The plaintiff, Kathleen A. Clement, 60, said in the suit that Kresinski repeatedly touched himself inappropriately in her presence and that his superiors did nothing to stop his behavior despite her complaints.

Kresinski had been serving St. Michael the Archangel Church and St. Joseph Church, both in DuBois, starting there in March 2013, about the same time as Clement.

Kresinski created “an offensive, sexually hostile work environment” from March 2013 until October 2013, when Clement resigned as a facilitator of religious programs for St. Joseph and two other parishes, according to the suit.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:32 AM

Cold-Case Murder Trial Meets Second Delay

PASADENA (CA)
Courthouse News Service

September 12, 2017

By Erik De La Garza

Edinburg, Texas — A state judge on Monday delayed until early October the trial of the former Catholic priest charged with the 1960 murder of a South Texas beauty queen, because of scheduling conflicts with one of his attorneys.

O. Rene Flores, one of two attorneys representing 84-year-old John Feit, is scheduled for trial next week in another high-profile murder case making local headlines. Prosecutors in that case accuse the daughter of a former Hidalgo County commissioner, Monica Melissa Patterson, of the death of a 96-year-old man who was under her care as director of Comfort House, a hospice facility.

Feit appeared trial-ready at a Monday morning hearing, for the first time out of prison clothes, dressed in a blue blazer, slacks and a button-down shirt. He was expected to face trial as early as this week, with jury selection scheduled for Wednesday.

Instead, Hidalgo County state court Judge Luis Singleterry set an Oct. 3 trial date and considered a proposed 13-page, 61-question jury questionnaire to which attorneys on both sides have agreed.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:25 AM

57 Years After Young Teacher’s Murder, Former Priest Faces Trial

PASADENA (CA)
Courthouse News Service

September 5, 2017

By Erik De La Garza

[Note: See the 1960 Police Offense Report.]

Edinburg, Texas — Unable to shake decades of suspicion for the 1960 murder of a 25-year-old beauty queen from South Texas, former Catholic priest John Feit will finally face a jury next week, more than 57 years after the crime left a community looking for answers.

Opening arguments will come immediately after jury selection begins on Sept. 13, nearly a lifetime after the partially decomposed body of Irene Garza was found in an irrigation canal days after she was last seen receiving confession from the now 84-year-old ex-priest.

As years bled into decades, the mystery surrounding the Easter weekend rape and murder of the devoutly religious schoolteacher from McAllen lingered in silence until the turn of the century brought with it renewed interest, fresh eyes and undying suspicion.

The Early Investigation

Sunset had just fallen in McAllen on April 16, 1960 when Garza drove her father’s car a few dozen blocks from the home she shared with her parents to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, for confession on Holy Saturday, according to a 9-page police offense report that details the early days of the investigation.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:22 AM

Former Priest Back In Court For Pre-Trial Hearing

BROWNSVILLE (TX)
KVEO-TV

September 11, 2017

By Amy Martinez

[Includes video.]

Edinburg, Texas - Former priest John Feit was back in court for a final pre-trial hearing.

The 84-year-old Feit is charged with the 1960 murder of school teacher Irene Garza.

In this highly anticipated trial, more than 3,000 Hidalgo County residents were summoned as potential jurors in this case.

Of those 3,000 residents, over 800 will be summoned this week to narrow down the group moving on to the jury selection phase.

During the hearing, attorneys agreed to have jury selection begin on October 3. While there's no telling how long the selection process will take, the presiding judge says he hopes to have the trial begin on October 9.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:15 AM

Fairfield priest in prison for child sexual abuse loses his chance to appeal

CINCINNATI (OH)
WCPO 9

September 12, 2017

By Paula Christian

[Note: See the entry for Fr Robert Poandl GHM in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

A Catholic priest lost his attempt to appeal a 2013 conviction for taking a 10-year-old Price Hill boy across state lines and allegedly raping him.

Robert "Father Bob" Poandl, 76, is in prison after a jury in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati convicted him of taking an altar boy, David Harper, on a trip to serve Mass at a church in West Virginia and raping him in a rectory bedroom there in 1991.

Poandl’s attorneys filed a motion in May asking the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for a chance to appeal that conviction. He claimed that his attorneys made mistakes during trial, and he questioned whether any Catholic priest accused of pedophilia could receive a fair trial in the aftermath a sexual abuse scandal that rocked the church more than a decade ago.

The appeals court ruled against Poandl on Aug. 31. In a four-page order the court dismissed all of his claims, describing them as “insignificant in relation to the evidence of Poandl’s guilt.” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman praised the appeals court’s decision, the hard work of his prosecutors, and the courage of Harper and his family for testifying at trial.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:59 AM

Lawsuit: Guam priest made altar boy watch as others were sexually abused

GUAM
USA Today

September 11, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Hagåtña, Guam — Father Louis Brouillard sexually abused an altar boy and influenced him to watch other boys being abused, a lawsuit filed late last month in the Superior Court of Guam states.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as R.C. in order to protect his privacy, was sexually abused by Brouillard on church grounds and at Boy Scouts outings during the time he was an altar boy for the Barrigada and Tumon parishes and a boy scout with Troop 13, the lawsuit states.

Now 53 and living in Barrigada, R.C. was around 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged abuse, from 1979 to 1981, the complaint states.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:54 AM

September 11, 2017

Hundreds of children from Scottish orphanage believed buried in mass grave

SCOTLAND
Crux

September 12, 2017

By Charles Collins

The Smyllum Park orphanage is currently undergoing investigation by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, after previous residents accused staff of neglect and physical abuse. A new investigation claims hundreds of children from the institution are buried in an unmarked grave at a nearby cemetery.

Hundreds of children who died at a Scottish orphanage run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul were allegedly buried in a mass grave, according to a new investigative report.

The Smyllum Park orphanage was operated in Lanarkshire, Scotland, from 1864 until it closed in 1980.

A joint investigation by The Sunday Post and the BBC claims up to 400 children who died at the institution in its 116-year existence were buried in a mass grave at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lanark, located about a mile from the orphanage. The cemetery also holds the remains of the sisters and other staff members who died at the institution, although their graves are marked with headstones.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:53 PM

Catholic Montana Diocese abuse settlement concludes without resolution

MONTANA
Great Falls [MT] Tribune

September 11, 2017

By Seaborn Larson, slarson@greatfallstribune.com

Two days of negotiations toward a settlement between the Great Falls-Billings Diocese and 86 victims who were reportedly abused by eastern Montana priests during the 1900s ended last week in a stalemate.

The mediation sessions took place in federal bankruptcy court in Reno, Nevada on Sept. 6 and 7. On Monday, Judge Gregg Zive filed a notice effectively terminating the mediation between the two parties.

Bruce Anderson, an Idaho attorney representing the Great Falls-Billings Diocese in the settlement negotiations did not return calls from the Tribune for comment on the ending of the mediation. Neither did attorneys for the victims who have reported abuse in the case.

[Related: Montana reservations reportedly 'dumping grounds' for predatory priests]

Zive told the Tribune on Monday that settlement negotiations are confidential. Many routes can still be taken toward an eventual conclusion in the federal bankruptcy case, including a return to mediation sometime in the future.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:48 PM

Vatican reform process ‘nearly complete,’ C9 member says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

September 11, 2017

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ international Council of Cardinals — the so-called C9 — is nearly done with its work of advising the pope on a major reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, the secretary of the council said.

Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, secretary of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, told Vatican Radio Sept. 11 that “as far as the reform process of the Roman Curia is concerned, it is even more than three-quarters of the way there — it is almost complete.”

“It is nearly complete at the level of proposals made to the pope,” he said.

The Council of Cardinals was meeting at the Vatican Sept. 11-13. Pope Francis, who returned from his visit to Colombia Sept. 11, did not attend the first day’s meeting.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:44 PM

Former Capuchin brother accused of sexual assault

GUAM
KUAM

September 9, 2017

By Krystal Paco

105 clergy sex abuse lawsuits and counting. The latest case was filed on Friday afternoon in the District Court of Guam naming Vernon T. Kamiaz, a former Capuchin brother assigned to the Agana Heights Parish.

When 50-year-old C.J.I. was 15, he alleges Kamiaz sexually molested him. The alleged incident occurred after a fundraising event for the Agana Heights Youth Organization. Kamiaz reportedly drove C.J.I. home, but not before making a stop at his family's house.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:36 PM

Father Martyn Neale death: Church of England vicar set himself on fire with petrol amid historic sex abuse probe

HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND
GetSurrey.co.uk

September 11, 2017

By Tom Beasley

Father Martyn Neale was arrested by the Met Police eight days before his death as part of an investigation into historic sexual offences, an inquest heard

A Church of England vicar, who was at the centre of a police probe into historic sexual offences, "incinerated himself" in his garden with a can of petrol, an inquest has heard.

The body of Father Martyn Neale, 60, was found by his sister, Janis Chandler, in the garden of the vicarage where he lived.

Mr Neale's body was found on July 25 - just eight days after he was initially arrested by the Metropolitan Police in relation to historic sexual offences committed 20 years ago.

Tributes were paid to Father Neale, who was vicar at Holy Trinity in Hawley, following his death back in July, which police said was not being treated as suspicious.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:21 PM

Former pastor arrested for sexual abuse of four children

NORTH CAROLINA
The Dispatch [Lexington NC]

September 8, 2017

A 40-year old former pastor charged with sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl has been additionally charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse and rape involving the 10-year-old and three additional children, all under the age of 12 years old.

Daniel Gene Little, 40, of 1563 Jerusalem Road, has been charged with 13 counts of felony sexual offense with a child, 11 counts felony child abuse by committing a sexual act, two counts of felony rape of a child, two counts felony incest with a child younger than 13 and indecent liberties with a child.’

Little is the former pastor of Yadkin College Baptist Church in Lexington. In May, he was charged with felony first-degree sex offense sexually assaulting a female juvenile under the age of 17.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:16 PM

Amish bishop admits to covering up sex abuse, sentenced to probation

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive.com

September 11, 2017

By Wesley Robinson, wrobinson@pennlive.com

Six years after failing to report sexual abuse in the Amish community, a local bishop admitted to covering up the allegations.

Christ Stoltzfus was mandated to report the sex abuse allegations under Child Protective Services law but failed to report the abuse in 2011. Stoltzfus, 69, of Roller Road in Mifflin Township, told investigators that he was informed one of the incidents "wasn't really that bad" during an interview in February 2017, according to state police.

A month prior to Stoltzfus' interview with police, a member of Stoltzfus' church told troopers he informed the bishop of the cases of child sexual abuse that occurred in 2011. Both cases involved Daniel Ray Fisher, 44, of Weaver Road in Mifflin Township, records state.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:12 PM

Australians have 'lost trust completely' in the Church, says Zollner

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

September 11, 2017

By Mark Brolly

In the days after the Commissioner's address, General Synod approved rules to protect children that are binding on all clergy and church workers

Australia is a country where “people have lost trust completely” in the Church, according to Jesuit Fr Hans Zollner, a founding member of Pope Francis' Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Fr Zollner, who is also President of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, told church workers in Brisbane that “there seems to be almost nil trust in what the Church says", The Catholic Leader newspaper reported on 7 September.

"This is not true in other parts of the world," he said. "I think you are in a pretty unique situation.”

Fr Zollner said while many countries in Europe and North America had been dealing for some years with effectively safeguarding against sexual abuse, most countries were still yet to grapple with the issue.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:44 PM

Survivors of abuse urged to take positive steps forward with Future Pathways

SCOTLAND (UK)
Daily Record

September 10, 2017

Future Pathways urges survivors of abuse in care to come forward and seek support from a £13.5 million fund set up to help.

Tragically, many children raised in care in Scotland were subjected to abuse or neglect but, with Future Pathways, they can now access support to help them find a more positive path ahead.

Anyone over 18 who experienced abuse while living in care, which includes residential or foster care, boarding school – state or private – a long-term stay in hospital or time spent in a young offenders institution, can apply.

A £13.5 million fund is available until March 2021 to help support people abused when they should have been cared for and nurtured.

It doesn’t matter where you live now, or even if you don’t live in Scotland – as long as the abuse or neglect took place in Scotland, you could still access support from Future Pathways.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:36 PM

Winnipeg priest faces new sexual assault charges

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA (CANADA)
CBC NEWS

September 7, 2017

By Katie Nicholson and Vera-Lynn Kubinec

[Note: See the page devoted to Rev. Ronald Léger on Sylvia's Site, with links and chronology.]

3 men come forward with new charges against Ronald Léger, now accused of sexually assaulting 7 men

A Catholic priest who founded and ran a youth centre in Winnipeg for decades is facing new sexual assault charges from three alleged victims, on top of charges laid last year following accusations from four other men.

Ronald Léger, 79, was charged Aug. 31 with three new counts of sexual assault against three men, who were teenagers at the time of the alleged assaults.

Last October, four other men came forward alleging they were sexually assaulted by Léger in their youth. Léger was charged at that time with multiple counts of sexual assault. A trial date for those charges — which span three decades from 1983 to 2013 — has been set for March 5, 2018.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:24 PM

Sexual abuse victim re-traumatised by Catholic church compensation process

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

September 8, 2017

By Calla Wahlquist, @callapilla

The woman’s ‘extremely difficult’ 13-month ordeal to receive a payout adds weight to calls for an independent redress scheme, says her lawyer

A Victorian woman who was sexually abused as a teenager says the process of getting compensation from the Catholic church was “unnecessarily agonising” and sent her to “an absolute state of unwellness”.

The woman’s revelation adds weight to calls for an independent redress scheme, the final framework of which is expected to be released in the coming weeks, following a proposal put forward by the federal government last year.

Therase Lawless (not her real name) was 14 when she was first approached by a teacher at her school in northern Victoria in the 1980s, who conducted a sexually abusive relationship with her from the ages of 15 to 17.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:20 PM

CCAP cleric convicted for sex with minor: Two men jailed for defilement

REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
Nyasa Times/Mana (Malawi)

September 6, 2017

CCAP Synod of Livingstonia cleric Reverend Chiwawa Banda will on Wednesday be sentenced by Rumphi First Grade Magistrate’s Court after he was convicted for defiling a 13- year-old girl (name shielded for legal reasons.)

The girl claimed Reverend Banda of Chiswamapira Village Traditional Authority Kabunduli in Nkhatabay but based at Luzi in Rumphi, sexually assaulted her three times.

He was accused of taking he girl to woodlot for sexual assualt.

The cleric had also bought a mobile phone for the girl so that he could have more contact with her on Whatsapp.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:09 PM

In the trenches against the church

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 10, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

[Note: See all five articles in this series: The Wolf in Priest's Clothing: Complete series. See also the page devoted to Rev. Donald Grecco on Sylvia's Site, with links and chronology]

Robert Talach knows Donald Grecco.

He knows what the former Catholic priest and convicted sexual abuser did. He knows why other men of the cloth did the same thing.

For 15 years, the London, Ont. lawyer has represented the victims of clergy abuse, including Grecco’s. In that time he has interviewed many priests convicted of sexual crimes against minors. In their explanations and excuses, he sees a repeating pattern.

“(Grecco) was a broken man,” said Talach, who interviewed Grecco in prison in 2010, but said he cannot legally disclose what they discussed. “Those that go into the priesthood in most cases, in my assessment, ain’t always for the right reasons, and when you’ve done that for a decade or more in the priesthood, that is a pretty hollow life.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:58 PM

The Wolf in Priest's Clothing: Complete series

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 10, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

From the age of 9 until he was 12 William O'Sullivan was sexually abused by Catholic priest Donald Grecco. That abuse set O'Sullivan on a path that landed him a Catholic boys school infamous for clergy abuse, and eventually in prison. Decades after it happened, O'Sullivan reported what Grecco did to him as a boy and his one-time priest is now facing a prison sentence.

In this special report, Wolf in Priest's Clothing, St. Catharines Standard journalist Grant LaFleche takes readers through O'Sullivan's journey, from clergy abuse victim to convicted criminal, to a father on a path to recovery.

The Wolf in Priest's Clothing Part 1: Living with the echo of clergy abuse

The Wolf in Priest's Clothing Part 2: The stench of rape in God's house

Donald Grecco sentencing delayed

In the trenches against the church

The Wolf in Priest's Clothing Part 3: No room left for hate

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:47 PM

400 children believed buried in mass grave

SCOTLAND (UK)
The Washington Post

September 11, 2017

By Samantha Schmidt

400 children from Scottish orphanage of ‘horrors’ believed buried in mass grave, media report says

The children taken to the notorious Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanarkshire, Scotland, came from poor, working-class families and broken homes. About 11,600 children passed through the institution from its opening in 1864 through its closure in 1981, left in the care of an order of Catholic nuns.

Former residents have detailed allegations of being brutally beaten, kicked in the head, neglected and publicly humiliated by the orphanage’s staff and being forced to take freezing cold showers, according to British and Scottish news outlets. One former resident’s physical and psychological abuse was described in the Scotsman newspaper as “hideous treatment at the hands of nuns.”

For many years, an unknown number of children were believed to have died in the home, but exactly how they perished — and where they were laid to rest — remained a mystery.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:37 PM

Campaigner completes long 'walk for justice' over alleged child abuse

YORKSHIRE (England)
The (York) Press

September 11, 2017

By Daniel Willers

AN ALLEGED victim of child abuse at a former children's home in East Yorkshire has completed a 255-mile walk to London as he campaigns for a public inquiry into what happened at the school.

Darren Furness, 49, is one of 249 men who claim they were abused as boys at the now defunct St William’s Children’s Home, in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire.

Other campaigners joined him for part of the 'walk for justice' from Market Weighton to London, via York.

The walk, which began on August 4, took Mr Furness about six weeks.

Mr Furness, from Leeds, said: "We got quite good support on the way down from the public.

"I found the walk quite easy. The night time was a bit daunting, staying in a tent, but that was expected."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:28 PM

Bodies of 'hundreds' of children buried in mass grave

SCOTLAND
BBC News

September 10, 2017

By Ben Robinson and Michael Buchanan

The bodies of hundreds of children are believed to be buried in a mass grave in Lanarkshire, southern Scotland, according to an investigation by BBC News.

The children were all residents of a care home run by Catholic nuns.

At least 400 children are thought to be buried in a section of St Mary's Cemetery in Lanark.

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, which ran the home, refused to comment on the findings.

The research by the File on 4 programme in conjunction with the Sunday Post newspaper focused on Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark.

It opened in 1864 and provided care for orphans or children from broken homes. It closed in 1981, having looked after 11,600 children.

A burial plot, containing the bodies of a number of children, was uncovered by two former residents of Smyllum in 2003.

Frank Docherty and Jim Kane discovered an overgrown, unmarked section of St Mary's Cemetery during their efforts to reveal physical abuse which they said many former residents had suffered.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:08 AM

Comunicado del Arzobispado de Paraná

ARGENTINA
Archdiocese of Paraná (Entre Rios province)

September 10, 2017

[Archbishop of Paraná apologizes for crimes of a priest recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing and corrupting children.]

Con la sentencia en primera instancia contra el P. Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria dada a conocer en el día de hoy, la Iglesia en Paraná enfrenta un hecho muy doloroso: la condena de un ministro por uno de los delitos que, con justicia, sacuden la conciencia humana.

Rechazamos con energía este grave delito, y nos llenamos de vergüenza y de dolor cada vez que uno de nuestros sacerdotes es acusado de perpetrarlo.

Pedimos humildemente perdón por el dolor que situaciones como ésta causan al Pueblo de Dios y a toda la sociedad humana. Al mismo tiempo, y más allá del ulterior resultado de otras instancias del proceso que hoy está transcurriendo, renovamos nuestra disposición a colaborar en cuanto nos sea posible con la justicia en el esclarecimiento de los hechos y en la sanación de las heridas provocadas, así como en un cuidado siempre mayor sobre la calidad de nuestros ambientes, en bien sobre todo de las personas más vulnerables.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:49 AM

El Arzobispado de Paraná expresó vergüenza y dolor por los delitos cometidos

ARGENTINA
Diario El Argentino (Gualeguaychú, province of Entre Rios)

September 9, 2017

[Google Translate: The Archbishop of Parana expressed shame and pain over the crimes committed by Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria.]

El arzobispado de Paraná rechazó enérgicamente el delito cometido por el presbítero Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, condenado por la justicia a 25 años de prisión por abuso sexual y corrupción de menores. A través de un comunicado, la Iglesia paranaense expresó vergüenza y dolor por “cada vez que uno de nuestros sacerdotes es acusado de perpetrarlo”.

Al conocerse la sentencia contra el presbítero Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, condenado a 25 años de prisión por el delito de abuso sexual y corrupción de menores, el arzobispado de Paraná envió un comunicado en el que manifiesta un enérgico rechazo a este “grave delito” y expresa vergüenza y dolor por “cada vez que uno de nuestros sacerdotes es acusado de perpetrarlo”. Además, acerca su pedido de perdón “por el dolor que situaciones como ésta causan al Pueblo de Dios y a toda la sociedad humana”.

Priest nabbed in sex trafficking case skips DOJ preliminary probe

PHILIPPINES
GMA News

September 11, 2017

By Virgil Lopez

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday started its preliminary investigation on the qualified trafficking complaint against the priest accused of soliciting sex from a 13-year-old girl.

Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos was a no-show at the closed-door hearing called by Assistant State Prosecutor Karla Cabel regarding the two counts of qualified trafficking filed by "Anna" and her mother "'Marie" last September 4.

The priest, however, was represented by a lawyer, according to complainants' counsel Public Attorney's Office (PAO).

Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also attended the hearing.

Lagarejos and his four co-respondents were given five days to submit their respective counter affidavits. The next hearing was set for September 22.

Lagarejos, who is now under the government's immigration lookout bulletin, was arrested at a motel in Marikina City on July 28 while in the company of the victim, who was allegedly pimped by a 16-year-old friend.

The priest has already been removed by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines from his post at St. John the Baptist Parish in Taytay, Rizal and as president of the Cainta Catholic College. —NB, GMA News

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:26 AM

Lawsuit: Priest influenced altar boy to watch others being sexually abused

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 11, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Father Louis Brouillard sexually abused an altar boy and influenced him to watch other boys being abused, a lawsuit filed late last month in the Superior Court of Guam states.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as R.C. in order to protect his privacy, was sexually abused by Brouillard on church grounds and at Boy Scouts outings during the time he was an altar boy for the Barrigada and Tumon parishes and a boy scout with Troop 13, the lawsuit states.

Now 53 and living in Barrigada, R.C. was around 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged abuse, from 1979 to 1981, the complaint states.

R.C., represented by attorney Michael J. Berman, of the law firm of Berman O’Connor & Mann, demands a jury trial and $10 million in minimum damages.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:21 AM

September 10, 2017

Arkansas inmate files lawsuit after suffering sexual abuse at hands of prison chaplain

ARKANSAS
ArkansasOnline

September 9, 2017

By Jeannie Roberts

Lawyer says filing spotlights trouble

The lawyer for a female state prisoner who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a prison chaplain announced Friday that a civil-rights lawsuit has been filed against the Department of Correction, the chaplain and other officials.

Carolyn Arnett, an inmate at the McPherson Unit, said in the lawsuit that department Director Wendy Kelley and other administrators allowed "rampant" institutional failures and a culture of sexual and physical abuse that enabled former prison chaplain Kenneth Dewitt to abuse several female inmates.

Dewitt, 68, pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse in July 2016 in relation to assaults against Arnett and two other female inmates. He will likely spend five years in prison. He was sentenced to 10 years with five years suspended on each count, all to run concurrently. He is currently an inmate at the Ouachita River Unit. He was originally charged with 50 counts that carried a possible 500 years in prison.

Prison spokesman Solomon Graves declined to comment Friday, citing pending litigation.

[DOCUMENT: Read Arkansas inmate's full lawsuit]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 2:19 PM

Fears $4bn abuse scheme will fracture

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

September 11, 2017

By John Ferguson, @fergusonjw

Plans for a $4 billion national child abuse redress scheme are fracturing, with several states holding out amid deep uncertainty over costs and cash-strapped organisations in fear of being sent broke. At least three state governments are refusing to guarantee they will sign up to the centrepiece of the abuse royal commission, which recommended that a single national redress scheme be implemented.

South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia are either ­opposed to existing plans or are demanding the federal government detail its final position — including costings — ­before stating what they will do.

The Australian has also established that some smaller entities responsible for abuse have privately told government officials they fear being bankrupted by any scheme that requires payments of up to $150,000 for each victim.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 2:16 PM

Smyllum’s Children: Hundreds of orphans laid to rest by nuns in mass grave

SCOTLAND (UK)
Sunday Post

September 10, 2017

By Gordon Blackstock

UP TO 400 children who died at an orphanage run by nuns were buried in a single unmarked grave, we can reveal today.

Our investigation into Smyllum Park orphanage reveals 402 babies, toddlers and children died there between 1864 and when it closed its doors in 1981.

Children sent to live at the orphanage who died were buried in an unmarked mass grave at a nearby cemetery in Lanarkshire.

Headstones mark the graves of the nuns and staff members buried nearby but no stone or memorial has ever recorded the names of the lost children.

The revelation that up to 400 youngsters – and some adults – are buried there today provoked calls for Scotland’s ongoing Child Abuse Inquiry to investigate.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 2:07 PM

Bodies of over 400 children believed buried at orphanage run by nuns

SCOTLAND (UK)
Sunday World

September 10, 2017

The bodies of hundreds of children who died at an orphanage run by nuns are believed to be buried in a mass grave, a BBC and Sunday Post investigation has uncovered.

At least 400 children from Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark are thought to be buried in an unmarked grave at the town's St Mary's Cemetery, research by the paper and the broadcaster's File On 4 programme indicates.

The orphanage, run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, was home to more than 10,000 children between opening in 1864 and closing in 1981.

Former First Minister Jack McConnell told the Sunday Post: "It is heartbreaking to discover so many children may have been buried in these unmarked graves.

"After so many years of silence, we must now know the truth of what happened here."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 2:03 PM

Priest’s punishment for abuse below the minimum, says AG

MALTA
Times of Malta

September 10, 2017

By Matthew Xuereb

Charles Fenech was handed a suspended jail sentence

The punishment meted out to a priest convicted of having sexually exploited a vulnerable woman was below the minimum permissible by law, according to the Attorney General’s office.

This emerged in an appeal it filed on behalf of the police following the conviction of Fr Charles Fenech, found guilty of the violent indecent assault of a woman who was not in a fit mental state.

The former director of the Kerygma Movement was jailed for three months, suspended for a year, when according to the AG, the minimum should have been a six-month suspended jail term.

Fr Fenech was charged in 2014, and it was the Times of Malta that broke the news the priest was facing criminal charges.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:54 PM

Children's Society paid damages to victims of sex abuse

ENGLAND (UK)
The Telegraph

September 9, 2017

By Robert Mendick, chief reporter

[PHOTO: The Children’s Society has now admitted that dozens of vulnerable children were sexually assaulted while they were residents in the homes it ran.]

One of Britain’s biggest children’s charities made a series of secret compensation payments to child sex victims abused in its care, the Telegraph can disclose.

The Children’s Society has now admitted that dozens of vulnerable children were sexually assaulted while they were residents in the homes it ran.

The charity has now issued an unprecedented apology to the children “in our care [who] have suffered harm and abuse”.

In a 700-word statement, the charity admitted: “It is our role to ensure that children and young people are always properly supported to speak out about abuse or make a complaint about the way they are treated, under any circumstances. With enormous regret, The Children’s Society has not always lived up to these fundamental principles.”

The statement went on: “We profoundly apologise to anyone who was abused emotionally, physically and sexually as children while in the care of The Children’s Society.”

The charity, which has strong links with the Church of England, ran more than 100 care homes before closing down its last one in 1997. It trawled its records for legal cases it had settled as part of its submission for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the controversial £100 million inquiry into historic abuse.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:51 AM

El juez Costas minimizó denuncias por abuso sexual contra el cura Rosa

ARGENTINA (Salta province)
El Tribuno

September 10, 2017

By Rubén Arenas

[Judge Costas minimized the seriousness of the allegations of sexual abuse made against the priest Rosa. The judge cites a constitutional basis for his ruling by which he granted freedom to the priest, who is accused of grossly outrageous sexual abuse.]

Se conocieron los fundamentos de la resolución mediante la cual el magistrado otorgó la libertad al sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante.

El camarista Luis Félix Costas justificó la libertad otorgada al cura Rubén Agustín Rosa Torino amparándose en el principio de inocencia consagrado en el artículo 18 de la Constitución Nacional, al tiempo que minimizó el tenor de las denuncias por abuso sexual realizadas contra el religioso. El magistrado recurre a abundante jurisprudencia para justificar la excarcelación y de su resolución surge que la gravedad de los hechos que le imputan y la pena que le podía corresponder (8 años como mínimo), en caso de ser condenado, no son elementos suficientes para mantener la prisión preventiva del cura Rosa, quien estuvo encarcelado desde el 23 de diciembre de 2016.

Si bien el juez Costas se limitó solamente a resolver el pedido de libertad planteado por la defensa, deja entrever que el tenor de las denuncias no tienen la entidad que se requiere para sostener el delito de abuso gravemente ultrajante que se le imputa al sacerdote de 64 años.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:33 AM

Feit, Patterson cases intersect as trial proceedings loom: 800 potential jurors to be empanelled this week in Feit case

Edinberg (TX)
The [McAllen TX] Monitor

September 10, 2017

By Lorenzo Zazueta-Castro

[PHOTO: John Feit, the former priest accused of killing a McAllen teacher 55 years ago, has waived his right to an extradition hearing. That means Texas has 30 days to pick him up from Arizona to face a murder charge.]

EDINBURG TX — Two of the most highly anticipated trials in recent county history are set to begin in the coming weeks.

In the next several weeks, the trials in the Monica Melissa Patterson and former priest John Bernard Feit cases will begin, but their high-profile nature have created delays in the former’s court proceedings due to the national media attention surrounding the circumstances of the latter — a cold case that’s already been featured on CBS’s 48 Hours.

Beginning Sept. 18, jury selection will begin in the Patterson case, which stems from the capital murder charge facing the 50-year-old former director of local short-term hospice facility Comfort House in connection with the January 2015 death of 96-year-old Martin Knell.

Most recently, in late August, a group of potential jurors filled out questionnaires in preparation for jury selection in Patterson’s trial.

Her trial will precede the Feit cold case, which involves the 84-year-old former man of the cloth being accused of killing and dumping the body of Irene Garza, a popular school teacher and local beauty queen nearly 60 years ago.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:22 AM

Hundreds of Scottish orphanage children allegedly buried in mass grave

SCOTLAND (UK)
The Guardian

September 10, 2017

By Owen Bowcott

High infant mortality rate and allegations of abuse raise suspicions of Smyllum Park in Lanark, once run by Catholic nuns

The Scottish child abuse inquiry is to investigate claims that the bodies of at least 400 children from a home once run by Catholic nuns are buried in an unmarked mass grave.

The high infant mortality rate has raised concerns about conditions at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, which was operated by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

The institution, which looked after children from broken homes, opened in 1864 and closed in 1981. More than 11,000 children stayed at the orphanage over that period.

Records reveal that most of the deaths were due to natural causes, mainly from diseases such as TB, pneumonia and pleurisy. About a third of the victims were under the age of five, and the majority of the deaths occurred between 1870 and 1930.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:48 AM

Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S.

SAN DIEGO
San Diego Tribune

September 10, 2017

By Peter Rowe

[Note: This is a five-part feature. It also includes: A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout; Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal's landmark settlements; Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files; and Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:41 AM

Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal's landmark settlements

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Tribune

September 10, 2017

[Note: This is a five-part feature. It also includes: A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout; Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files; Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S.; Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.]

For this week’s Back Story, reporter Peter Rowe discusses his front page story about a painful anniversary. Thursday marked 10 years since the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego settled the sex abuse claims of victims of predatory priests.

Q. What’s changed over the past decade?

A. That depends on who you interview. Diocesan officials, including Bishop Robert McElroy, point to a range of new policies designed to reduce the chances of this happening again. These included a new curriculum for Catholic schools, meant to help students and their parents identify — and stop — suspicious behavior. There are new background checks for every employee, religious or lay. Even visiting missionaries and substitute teachers have to undergo this step.

McElroy says all allegations are now reported to the appropriate civil authorities. The Diocesan Review Board, which existed 10 years ago, has subtly changed. The panel has always reviewed allegations, but the chair says it now takes a more active role in determining the facts of a case. And McElroy added a new member to the panel, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

Q. You interviewed several victims of the abuse. What was the overriding feeling you got from talking to people who went through this incredible trauma?

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:31 AM

Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Tribune

September 10, 2017

By Peter Rowe and Merrie Monteagudo

[Note: This is a multi-part feature. It also includes: A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout; Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal's landmark settlements; Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files; Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S..]

2002

January: The Boston Globe launches an investigative series into allegations of Catholic priests sexually abusing minors and archdiocesan cover-ups. The cases go back decades.

June: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issues “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” declaring a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual abuse. The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego reveals allegations made against 23 priests — 18 in San Diego County and five in Imperial County — since Bishop Robert Brom’s arrival in 1990.

August: Brom reveals that retired Monsignor Rudolph Galindo admitted sexually abusing three boys and urges victims to speak up. Two lawsuits are filed in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of two men who say they were sexually abused by priests when they were minors. [Note: See the entry for Galindo in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

2003

January: California lifts the statute of limitations on civil cases for one year, allowing sexual abuse victims to sue, regardless of when incidents occurred. By the Dec. 31 deadline, the Diocese of San Diego had been named in 99 such lawsuits involving more than 140 victims.

September: The Archdiocese of Boston agrees to pay $85 million to more than 500 people.

2004

February: In a letter to San Diego priests, Brom says that accusations by 128 people against 42 priests in the diocese since 1950 were “substantiated or are credible.” The diocese found 18 priests were either falsely accused or claims against them could not be substantiated.

February: A church-appointed national review board rebukes U.S. bishops for “shameful” failure to stop widespread clerical sex abuse over the past half-century. The tally shows 10,667 abuse claims involving minors lodged against 4 percent of the clergy (about 3 percent in San Diego).

February: The John Jay College of Criminal Justice releases a study sponsored by the U.S. bishops, "The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons, 1950-2002."

July: The Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., becomes the first Catholic diocese to seek bankruptcy protection in the face of sexual abuse claims.

December: The Diocese of Orange in California agrees to pay $100 million to about 90 victims, with payouts ranging from $50,000 to nearly $4 million.

2006

May: A Los Angeles judge coordinating nearly 600 sexual-abuse lawsuits filed in Los Angeles and San Diego says five cases in each city can go forward.

2007

February: The Diocese of San Diego files for bankruptcy protection the day before the first trial is to begin. It is the nation’s fifth diocese to seek Chapter 11 reorganization, and the largest.

March: The Diocese of San Diego releases the names of 38 priests with “credible allegations” of sexually abusing minors, along with their church service records dating to 1928. [Note: For the list of 38 names, see the San Diego entry in Lists of Accused Priests Released by Dioceses and Religious Institutes.]

July: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles agrees to pay $660 million to 508 victims. It is the largest settlement of its kind in the Catholic Church.

September: The Diocese of San Diego reaches a $198.1 million agreement with 144 victims. The diocese also promises to release church documents about abusers’ histories.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:31 AM

Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Tribune

September 10, 2017

By Peter Rowe

[Note: See also Documents from the San Diego Settlement. For more information on the four priests, see entries for Rev. Robert Nikliborc, Rev. Franz Robier, and Rev. Edward Rodrigue in the BishopAccountability.org database and Paul R. Shanley—Assignments and Archdiocesan Documents.]

[Note: This is a multi-part feature story. It also includes: A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout; Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal's landmark settlements; Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S.; Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.]

In 2010, a superior court judge in Los Angeles ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego to release its files on priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

The documents, now curated on the bishop-accountability.org site, make grim reading. A sampling:

Rev. Robert Nikliborc

A Chicago native, Nikliborc was ordained in San Diego in 1955. A year later, he underwent counseling at a church treatment center in New Mexico, following two allegations of sexually assaulting children. In 1957, he was sent to St. Boniface School in Banning. There, he was a accused of sexually molesting a boy from 1963 through ’65. “Johnny G.,” the victim, sued in 2003.

In 1969, while financial director of a Banning orphanage, Nikliborc was convicted on income tax evasion charges. After serving a prison sentence, he began a 30-year tenure as pastor of St. Anne’s Parish in San Diego (1971-2001).

Early in his pastorship, Nikliborc was ordered by Bishop Maher to end a relationship with a church secretary. “The scandal is not only among the parishioners who are complaining,” Maher wrote on April 12, 1976, “but among our clergy. The question is what hold does this woman have on you?”

Nikliborc retired from the priesthood in 2001.

Rev. Franz Robier

An Austrian citizen, Robier worked in the Diocese of San Diego from 1955 until 1982. He died in 1994 at the age of 82.

Robier has been accused or raping or sexually assaulting at least 24 girls in the 1950s and ’60s. Several victims were members of the children’s choir at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in San Diego’s Oak Park. “He’d have me sit on his lap,” said one of the victims, Jane Doe Number 5. “The other girls, he took places.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:05 AM

A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Tribune

September 10

By Peter Rowe

[Note: This is a multi-part feature story. It also includes: Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal's landmark settlements; Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files; Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S.; Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.]

[Note: See also Documents from the San Diego Settlement.]

Whenever Heidi Lynch thinks about priests molesting children, her stomach churns, her head spins and her questions multiply.

“Are they really taking care of the children?” asked Lynch, a 60-year-old San Carlos resident, who between the ages of 8 and 11 was repeatedly raped by a priest. “Are they really taking care of the abusers? Are they still hiding this?”

Ten years ago this week, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed to pay $198.1 million to settle the lawsuits filed by Lynch and 143 other adults. As children, each had been sexually assaulted by a priest or, in one case, a layman supervising altar boys.

This was a landmark moment in one the largest scandals in the church's 2,000-year-old history. From Dublin to Manila, Boston to Portland, Ore., Catholic officials were hauled into court and forced to account for shielding predatory clerics, often for decades.

The San Diego settlement was the nation’s second largest, trailing only the Los Angeles diocese’s $660 million. By at least one measurement, though, San Diego’s settlement was more significant. After legal fees, the 508 victims in L.A. averaged a payout of $780,000. In San Diego, the average was $825,000.

Absorbing these damages led the San Diego diocese to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In the end, insurance paid $76 million and the Diocese of San Bernardino, which had part of this diocese, contributed almost $15 million.

Selling properties and tapping its bank accounts, San Diego paid the remaining $107 million. Seven months after going to bankruptcy court, the diocese’s case was dismissed.

The financial hit had been huge, but nothing compared to the blow to the church’s moral credibility.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:40 AM

September 9, 2017

Church’s handling of abuse scandal blamed for only six men applying to train as priests in Ireland

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Sun

September 7, 2017

By Craig Farrell

The startling figure is the lowest number of wannabe priests applying to study at Maynooth in the 200-year history of St Patrick’s College

Revelations that only six men have applied to train as priests in Ireland has been described as extremely “alarming”.

Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn said the church was in “a sorry state”.

He blamed a lack of leadership for the lowest number of wannabe priests applying to study at Maynooth in the 200-year history of St Patrick’s College.

Mannix, himself a child victim of clerical abuse, said: “These numbers have been declining for a long time.

“The clerical abuse issue and the institutional abuse issue have really impacted on vocation.

“The idea of people having an allegiance to the church and individuals signing up to this vocation right across the globe have dropped.

“As more allegations emerge on a global basis in different countries, people are not only failing to sign up to religious life and the priesthood, but people are also leaving in droves which is very alarming.”

The Dublin native added that the good work undertaken by members of the church in some areas was often overlooked.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:40 PM

Royal commissioner Robert Fitzgerald tells some home truths to a national Anglican synod

NEWCASTLE (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Newcastle Herald

September 7, 2017

By Joanne McCarthy

[Note: See the transcripts of the Royal Commission's hearings on the Anglican diocese of Newcastle and the relevant exhibits.]

The Anglican Church has taken steps to join a Commonwealth redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse only days after a national Anglican synod was warned some clergy and lay people continue to hold on to “long discarded myths” about child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald urged the synod in Queensland to join the redress scheme, in a speech that criticised the church for the lack of a coherent national response to survivors.

It meant some clergy and lay people held on to “long discarded myths including that children are not reliable witnesses, that adult survivors who take a long time disclose abuse lack credibility, that survivors are only after money, that the problem has been exaggerated or is an historic issue which has passed”, Mr Fitzgerald said.

On Wednesday the national synod voted to establish a company as a step towards joining the national redress scheme, while seeking clarifying on “some key issues” from the Federal Government.

A royal commission hearing in 2016 into significant child sexual abuse in the Newcastle Anglican diocese over decades included strong criticism by royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan after a group of prominent Newcastle Anglicans complained about former Bishop Greg Thompson, who challenged a culture of diocese “mates looking after mates”.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:22 PM

Second claim made against catechism teacher

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Septembert 9, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

A second individual has come forward alleging he was sexually abused and molested by a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) teacher at the Agana Heights parish.

C.J.I., a man identified by his initials to protect his privacy, filed a civil complaint against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Capuchin Franciscans, and Vernon T. Kamiaz alleging child sexual abuse, negligence, negligent supervision, negligent hiring, and retention and breach of confidential relationship.

The alleged abuse occurred in the 1980s when C.J.I. was a CCD student and a member of the Agana Heights Youth organization.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:02 AM

Victims of former priest Donald Grecco have their say

THOROLD (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Niagara This Week

September 8, 2017

Two of three victims tell of broken lives in impact statements in sentencing hearing, judge’s ruling delayed to Oct. 24

By Melinda Cheevers

In May, Grecco pleaded guilty to sexually molesting the three young boys in the 1970s and 1980s while he was a parish priest; two of the victims were altar boys within the parish. On Thursday, he was to be sentenced, but after a long day spent in the courtroom hearing victim impact statements from two of the three victims (the third was filed as an exhibit but was not read aloud), and submissions from both sides about proposed sentences, Ontario Superior Court Justice Joseph Nadel agreed to push his actual sentencing decision back to Oct. 24 so Grecco, now 77, can undergo a colonoscopy.

* * *
In his victim impact statement, O’Sullivan told the court that for him, as a young child during the years of his abuse, it was time spent living in secret, confusion and above all else, time spent protecting his mother.

“I was able to keep our little secret well past mom’s passing,” he said to Grecco, looking right at him from the witness stand.

* * *
Assistant Crown attorney Pat Vadacchino read the second victim’s impact statement to the court while the man stood beside her. In his written statement, he said he walked into the church a very happy, healthy, confident, trusting, caring, respectful and self-secure young man with dreams of excelling in sports, graduating from school and perhaps even obtaining a scholarship.

“Your church, in my mind, was supposed to be one of the safest places to be. I was there to assist you and try to become a better person inside and out,” he wrote. “Instead, you took full advantage of your position to prey on young innocent boys and I was one of those boys. In a few short weeks, I walked out of your church for the last time, changed forever.”

* * *
Throughout his time as a priest, Grecco served at St. Mary’s in Welland (1966-70), St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Niagara Falls (1970-78), St. Stephen’s in Cayuga (1978-179), St. Kevin’s in Welland (1979-85), St. Vincent de Paul in Niagara-on-the-Lake (1985-1996) and St. Alexander's in Fonthill (1996-1998).

He left the priesthood in March 2001 after first obtaining a bachelor of science degree in pastoral counselling from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:51 AM

Catholic Church to remove plaque featuring sex offender priest from Tasmanian Cathedral

HOBART (TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA)
ABC News

September 8, 2017

By Stephen Pigram

A controversial plaque on Hobart's St Mary's Cathedral featuring a former Catholic priest convicted of sex offences will be removed after victims of child abuse called for it to be taken down.

The artwork, from the 1980s and attached to an external wall of the cathedral, depicts the late Philip Green, who held the title of monsignor.

In 2004, Green pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a former altar boy and was given a three-month suspended prison sentence.

On Thursday, the Archdiocese of Hobart said it had "no immediate plans" to remove the plaque, which also honours former archbishop Sir Guilford Young.

But Tasmanian Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous has since ordered that it be taken down.

Former Catholic priest Julian Punch, who said he was also assaulted by Green, publicly called for the removal of the plaque in his book, Gay With God.

He welcomed the announcement, but also said it should have been removed years ago.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:27 AM

Victims demand plaque depicting sex offender be removed from St Mary's Catholic Cathedral

HOBART (TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA)
ABC News

September 7, 2017

By Stephen Pigram

[Note: See also the research about Msgr. Philip Green at Broken Rites.]

Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy are demanding that a memorial plaque depicting a convicted offender be removed from St Marys Cathedral in Hobart.

The plaque on the external wall of the cathedral honours former Archbishop Sir Guilford Young and depicts the late Monsignor Philip Green.

In 2004 Green pleaded guilty to assaulting a former altar boy and was given a three-month suspended jail term.

Julian Punch, a prominent former Hobart priest, also claimed he was sexually assaulted by the former Monsignor.

* * *

The Archdiocese of Hobart said the plaque was erected in memory of Archbishop Young, who was until recently buried at the foot of the installation with other Tasmanian Catholic bishops.

In a statement, the church said there were "no immediate plans" to remove the artwork.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:20 AM

No room left for hate

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 8, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

The wolf in priest's clothing: Part 3 of 3

[Note: See Part 1: Living with Echo of Clergy Abuse; and Part 2: The stench of rape in God's house. See also the page devoted to Rev. Donald Grecco on Sylvia's Site, with links and chronology]

A note to readers: For a more than a decade, Catholic priest Donald Grecco sexually abused children in Niagara. He will be sentenced Oct. 24 for the abuse of three boys in the 1970s and 80s. This three part series is the story of one of his victims. Be advised this story contains language that might upset some readers.

For those on the inside, prison can seem like a place that time has abandoned.

The immutable routine and the static surroundings make one day bleed into the next and into the next. Sometimes, the length of a man’s hair is his only reliable watch and calendar.

Still, in a sea of unchanging days, William O’Sullivan remembers when the wailing stopped. In the years following his sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priest Donald Grecco and his repeated rape by a Christian Brother at St. John’s Training School for Boys, O’Sullivan’s life spun out of control.

Drugs, booze and crime were staples for many years. Theft and break and enters earned him multiple prison terms, including stints in the maximum security prison in Millhaven.

It was there O’Sullivan began to see his own pain reflected the faces of the men he shared the prison with. While still years away from recovering his repressed memories of being abused by Grecco as a boy, O’Sullivan was keenly aware of what the Christians Brothers had done to him and how those experiences shaped his life.

“Look, it’s not an excuse, OK? I never use what happened to me as an excuse for my bad choices. Everyone has a choice, and I made bad ones,” says O’Sullivan, who now lives in a small house in St. Catharines and works full time as a painter. “But what you have to realize is that kind of experience changes you. It hurts you in ways you aren’t aware of for a long time.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:05 AM

Ex-Priest Declared Sexually Violent; Fate Yet to Be Decided

CHICAGO (IL)
Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report

September 8, 2017

Judge declares former Chicago priest a sexually violent person; decision to come later on whether he will be held indefinitely in a facility for sex offenders

A former Chicago priest was deemed to be a sexually violent person by a Cook County judge on Friday, but whether he will be held indefinitely in a facility for sex offenders will be decided later.

With Cook County Circuit Judge Dennis Porter's ruling, Daniel McCormack will remain at the state mental hospital in the southern Illinois town of Rushville or another state institution.

"I have no reasonable doubt that you will engage in future acts of sexual violence," the judge said, not looking at McCormack.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:44 AM

Judge rules ex-Chicago priest Daniel McCormack sexually violent

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7 Eyewitness News

September 9, 2017

By Sarah Schulte

Former Chicago priest Daniel McCormack was ruled sexually violent by a Cook County judge on Sept. 8, 2017.

A Cook County judge ruled Friday that former Chicago priest Daniel McCormack is a sexually violent person and should remain indefinitely in a state facility for sex offenders.

Judge Dennis Porter sided with state prosecutors seeking to prevent the convicted child molester from being released.

McCormack's victims also wanted him to remain in custody.

"They know how dangerous he is, they know how cunning he is, how manipulative he is," said Marc Pearlman, a attorney representing several of the victims.

In 2007, McCormack pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five boys while he was a priest at St. Agatha Parish on Chicago's West Side, but court records show dozens of other boys alleged McCormack abused them as well.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:33 AM

Ex-priest Daniel McCormack ruled sexually violent, may be committed

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

September 8, 2017

By Andy Grimm

[Note: See a PDF of the front page, featuring this story.]

A Cook County judge Friday ruled that convicted child molester Daniel McCormack is a sexually violent person, setting up the former Chicago priest for a possible long-term stay at a state facility for sex offenders.

Judge Dennis Porter’s ruling comes some eight years after McCormack finished a five-year prison sentence for molesting five boys while serving as a priest in St. Agatha’s parish, and followed two days of testimony by a pair of state experts on the psychology of sex offenders.

“I have to say, Mr. McCormack, that every one of those dynamic risk factors pushes you up the scale” as a likely offender, Porter said. “I have no reasonable doubt that you will engage in future acts of sexual violence.”

* * *

Porter said he would rule in November on whether McCormack will have to remain in custody at the state facility in downstate Rushville where the ex-priest has been detained since completing his prison sentence in 2009.

* * *

Court records list at least 32 boys who made allegations against McCormack, dating back to 1999. The archdiocese has paid out $10 million in just the last year to settle lawsuits involving claims against McCormack.

“My clients, today, don’t have any love lost for Dan McCormack,” Guth said. “I think they will be pleased with what happened today.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:27 AM

September 8, 2017

Vic clergy abuse trials a year away

WILLOUGHBY (AUSTRALIA)
9 News

September 8, 2017

Court trials for a group of clergy abuse victims suing the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat and now-deceased Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns will not likely begin until late 2018.

The victims, who allege they were abused at the hands of Australia's worst pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, are suing for negligence.

Bishop Mulkearns, who died of cancer last year, allegedly knew that Ridsdale had abused boys.

However, it is claimed he simply moved Ridsdale, who has been in jail since 1994, between parishes and did not take proper steps to protect children.

Judicial Registrar Julie Clayton told the Supreme Court of Victoria on Friday she would book trials for six complainants in a block during September and October next year.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:25 PM

Sanctity of confessional early test of religious freedom

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

September 9, 2017

By Gerard Henderson, Columnist

[Note: See the Royal Commission's Criminal Justice Report, referenced in this commentary.]

It remains to be seen whether legislation to introduce same-sex marriage in Australia would have an adverse impact on religious freedom. This would depend on the plight of institutions or individuals who continued to teach that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, subsequent to any legislative change.

That’s a debate for the future. Right now the only threat to religious freedom in Australia turns on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concerning the sacra­ment of confession. This poten­tially affects Catholic, Anglican and some Orthodox religions.

On August 14, the royal commission released its 2040-page Criminal Justice Report, which contains 85 recommendations. No 35 calls for each state and territory government to introduce legislation criminalising failure to report child sex abuse.

This entails that the proposed legislation “should exclude any existing excuse, protection or privilege in relation to religious confessions to the extent necessary to achieve this objective”. In other words, the Catholic “seal” of confession — that a penitent can confess sin to a priest and receive absolution in total secrecy — would be removed by legislation.

Royal commission staff briefed some journalists on the contents of recommendation 35 prior to the report’s release. This soon became the media’s focus. For example, on August 15, ABC TV’s News Breakfast program interviewed, in quick succession, academics Judy Courtin and Scott Burchill. They agreed wholeheartedly with the royal commission on this issue. Soon after, Francis Sullivan of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council said he would accept the royal commission’s recommendation. This despite the fact Sullivan had put in a submission arguing the secrecy of the confessional should not be interfered with by government.

The royal commission’s focus on recommendation 35 reflects its apparent obsession with the Catholic Church. Certainly, there are an appalling number of historical instances of clerical child sexual abuse in the this church. These predominantly occurred between 1950 and 1989, peaking in the 1970s — about four decades ago.

However, it is not at all clear that there is a causal relationship between the sacrament of confession and the offending of some Catholic male clergy, primarily against boys. According to the royal commission’s own statistics, on a proportionate basis there was a higher level of pedophilia in the Uniting Church (including its predecessors) than in the Catholic Church between 1950 and 2015. Yet the Uniting Church has no sacrament of confession. Moreover, it has married clergy, female ministers and no compulsory celibacy.

The royal commission devoted 15 days to what was termed its “Catholic wrap”. This compares with just half a day for the Uniting Church. Judge Peter McClennan, chairman of the royal commission, ¬interviewed notorious pedophile Gerald Ridsdale, who was a Catholic priest at the time of his offending, in Ararat prison. Subsequently, Ridsdale gave evidence to the commission via video link. He told McClellan that, when a priest, he never went to confession.

Denis Hart, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, has said that in his half century as a priest no one has ever confessed to pedophilia at confession. Jesuit Frank Brennan has said the same about his 30 years as a priest. Both men support the retention of the secrecy of the confessional in the face of possible government intervention. Yet they are from different traditions within Catholicism. Hart is a conservative Catholic who opposes same-sex marriage. Brennan, a more liberal Catholic, supports same-sex marriage.

Yet both have promised to honour their vow to uphold the secrecy of the confessional if this practice is disallowed by government.

Writing in The Sun-Herald on August 27, sneering secularist Peter FitzSimons railed against “the sanctity of the confessional”. He asserted the royal commission had “just revealed” the Catholic Church “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”.
In fact, the royal commission did not even consider the McArdle case. The royal commission’s decision in this instance suggests it does not regard McArdle as credible.

McArdle, whose offending covered the years 1965 to 1987, made his claim in an affidavit to the Queensland Court of Appeal in 2004 during an unsuccessful attempt to have his term of imprisonment reduced. There is no evidence McArdle confessed the sin of child sexual abuse when he offended three decades and more ago. What’s more, it’s highly improbable he would have received what he claimed was exactly the same penance — that is, “go home and pray” — from 30 priests over 20 years.

Sexual abuse by Catholic clerics virtually ceased about two decades ago. Even if the confessional were a factor in such crimes, the fact is few Catholics these days go to confession. Even so, the royal commission is setting up a scenario where the likes of Hart and Brennan could go to prison for proclaiming that they will act in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:05 PM

Former pastor arrested for sexual abuse of four children

LEXINGTON (NC)
The Dispatch

September 8, 2017

A 40-year old former pastor charged with sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl has been additionally charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse and rape involving the 10-year-old and three additional children, all under the age of 12 years old.

Daniel Gene Little, 40, of 1563 Jerusalem Road, has been charged with 13 counts of felony sexual offense with a child, 11 counts felony child abuse by committing a sexual act, two counts of felony rape of a child, two counts felony incest with a child younger than 13 and indecent liberties with a child.’

Little is the former pastor of Yadkin College Baptist Church in Lexington. In May, he was charged with felony first-degree sex offense sexually assaulting a female juvenile under the age of 17.

At that time, Little was placed in the Davidson County Detention Center under a $150,000 secured bond. Since then, Little had posted bond and was out awaiting trial.

According to information provided by the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, on Sept. 5 the sheriff’s office was contacted by the Davidson County Department of Social Services and made aware that three additional juveniles, two males and one female, had come forward and alleged that they were also sexually assaulted by Little.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:51 PM

Sexual abuse victim re-traumatised by Catholic church compensation process

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Guardian Australia

September 8, 2017

By Calla Wahlquist

[Note: See the Royal Commission's Redress and Civil Litigation Report.]

The woman’s ‘extremely difficult’ 13-month ordeal to receive a payout adds weight to calls for an independent redress scheme, says her lawyer

A Victorian woman who was sexually abused as a teenager says the process of getting compensation from the Catholic church was “unnecessarily agonising” and sent her to “an absolute state of unwellness”.

The woman’s revelation adds weight to calls for an independent redress scheme, the final framework of which is expected to be released in the coming weeks, following a proposal put forward by the federal government last year.

Therase Lawless (not her real name) was 14 when she was first approached by a teacher at her school in northern Victoria in the 1980s, who conducted a sexually abusive relationship with her from the ages of 15 to 17.

Lawless, now 50, did not acknowledge her experience as being sexual abuse until she was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder at 35.

“I had no idea that there was even such a notion of sexual abuse,” she said. “I was groomed by him to believe that I was a mature woman from the age of 15 … I did know that he was being horribly, horribly manipulative and abusive, and it was absolutely awful at the time, torturously awful at the time, but I believed it was my choice and I’d invited it and I was in an adult world. This was what an adult world was like.”

The man was investigated after being referred to Victoria police on the basis of Lawless’s evidence to the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in 2014, but the investigation was shelved without charge. He is still employed as a teacher.

Lawless said she sought redress under the church’s Towards Healing scheme as the last available avenue to seek justice and a formal acknowledgement of her abuse.

After a 13-month investigation, she was granted $110,000 in compensation on the grounds that the church did not accept any fault or acknowledge any wrongdoing.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:15 PM

Denuncian a otra exmonja por abuso sexual agravado

SALTA (ARGENTINA)
El Tribuno

September 7, 2017

By Rubén Arenas

[Google Translate: The Justice of Salta took part in another cause for crimes of sexual abuse involving former members of the Disciples of Jesus Institute of San Juan Bautista, directed by Father Rubén Agustín Rosa Torino. This time the person denounced is Valeria Vanesa Zarsa, who last year, together with two former novices of the congregation, accused members of the order of serious sexual abuse.]

Se trata de Valeria Vanesa Zarsa, quien acusó por el mismo delito al cura Agustín Rosa Torino.

La Justicia de Salta tomó intervención en otra causa por delitos de abuso sexual que involucra a exmiembros del Instituto Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, que dirigía el padre Rubén Agustín Rosa Torino. Esta vez la denunciada es Valeria Vanesa Zarsa, la exmonja que el año pasado, junto a dos exnovicios de la congregación, acusó de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante al religioso. Por estos hechos, el cura permaneció detenido desde diciembre de 2016 hasta la semana pasada, cuando fue liberado por decisión del juez Luis Félix Costas para aguardar en esa condición el juicio oral.

El 27 de julio pasado una joven de 18 años, cuyas iniciales son M.S, se presentó en la Fiscalía Penal de Delitos contra la Integridad Sexual Nº 1 y denunció a Zarsa por abuso sexual. La joven declaró que los ultrajes ocurrieron cuando ella tenía 5 años y dio detalles escabrosos de lo que sufrió a esa temprana edad.

Manifestó que conoció a Zarsa en la parroquia Santa Cruz, donde la nombrada era monja de la congregación que dirigía el cura Rosa Torino. Dijo que, por la amistad y confianza que su madre tenía con la entonces religiosa, la autorizaba a que la llevara a pasear, que se quedara a dormir e incluso a viajar con ella. La joven refirió que en una oportunidad Zarsa la llevó a la casa que el Instituto Discípulo de Jesús posee en la localidad de Lumbreras y que allí también fue víctima de abusos sexuales. Por esta situación, la causa se desdobló, al haberse dado intervención a la fiscal penal del distrito judicial Metán, Ana Inés Salinas.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:44 PM

Ex-Catholic priest Adrian Van Klooster jailed over child sex abuse drawings

PERTH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
Western Australian

September 8, 2017

By Tim Clarke

A retired Catholic priest, with a past history of sex abuse against children, has been jailed for a year after disturbing illustrations of children being abused by adults and other children were found on a CD at his home.

Adrian Van Klooster, 75, was already a reportable sex offender and on the national paedophile register after being jailed for eight years in 2003 for the abuse of a group of children who were staying overnight at his parish house in Australind.

Today, in Perth’s District Court, he was returned to prison for another year after pleading guilty to possession of the child exploitation material discovered by police at his Maddington home last November.

The court was told that after failing to notify authorities about his internet use on a Twitter account – a condition of his reportable offender status – police raided his house, and found the CD.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:26 PM

Former Bunbury priest jailed over cartoons featuring child sex abuse

BUNBURY (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
ABC

September 8, 2017

By Joanna Menagh

A paedophile former Bunbury priest has been sentenced to 12 months in jail for possessing comic strips featuring children being sexually abused.

Adrian Van Klooster, 75, was charged after police from the Sex Offender Management Squad (SOMS) searched the room where he was staying in Maddington, in Perth's southern suburbs, in November last year.

The District Court was told the officers found a CD featuring two comic strips Van Klooster had downloaded from the internet showing children being mistreated, abused and subjected to incest.

In 2003, Van Klooster was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually abusing two boys and three girls while he was a Catholic priest in the Bunbury Diocese.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:17 PM

Day 2 of hearings on ex-priest who molested boys wraps up

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN 9

September 7, 2017

By Mike Lowe

Chicago - The trial of disgraced Catholic priest Daniel McCormck has wrapped up a second day of testimony.

A judge will decide if the notorious ex-priest is a “sexually dangerous person” who can be held indefinitely – despite having served his time for a criminal conviction.

In a day of mostly procedural testimony, an expert witness told a judge that he did not see McCormack as a threat to offend again. It was a direct contradiction to what an expert told him the day before. It’s the latest legal chapter in a case that has bedeviled the archdiocese for years.

For a decade, McCormack served in Chicago’s archdiocese, a priest at St. Agatha’s parish on the west side.

In 2007, he pleaded guilty to molesting five boys.

He was sentenced to five years in prison and was paroled in 2009, but has been held in a downstate medical facility ever since.

Now the question before a Cook County judge is – should an admitted pedophile who has served his sentence be released from medical custody?

“I know the history of Daniel McCormack, and I know it from the time he entered the seminary through his time in prison and based on what I know, I beloved there is a substantial risk that he could re-offend," said attorney Marc Pearlman.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:03 PM

Hearing begins to determine fate of ex-priest who molested at least 25 boys

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN 9

September 6, 2017

By Nancy Loo and Tonya Francisco

Chicago - 424 people have been committed for life under the sexually violent persons act since it was enacted in 1998. Prosecutors with the Illinois attorney general’s office are hoping former priest Daniel McCormack will be the next.

McCormack sat stone-faced, occasionally taking notes as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Angeline Stanislaus explained how she reached the conclusion that McCormack suffers from pedophilia disorder and is sexually attracted to young males.

In addition to detailing at least five cases where he fondled young boys, she also explained how she arrived at the conclusion that McCormack should be committed under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons act, despite the fact she never interviewed him but only read reports and other psychiatric evaluations. Attorney Marc Pearlman represents about a dozen men who claim to have been victims of McCormack’s sexual abuse. He says they are all on board with McCormack being committed for life.

"They know how dangerous he is, they know how cunning he is, how manipulative he is and if left to his own devices, I don’t know, if he’s in the public at large, who’s going to monitor him, who is going to watch him," said Pearlman.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:59 PM

Trial delayed for former Aurora priest accused of sex abuse

AURORA (IL)
Beacon-News/Chicago Tribune

September 8, 2017

By Dan Campana

[Note: See the entry about Fr. Alfredo Pedraza-Arias in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

As Kane County prosecutors continue their push to make sure former Aurora priest Alfredo Pedraza-Arias remains in the United States to faces sex abuse charges, the judge overseeing the case agreed to postpone his trial until November.

Arias, 51, is being held in Kane County Jail on allegations he fondled two girls under the age of 6 at Aurora's Sacred Heart Church between 2012 and 2014. Arias is also facing deportation to his native Colombia, an issue that arose in June and has prompted prosecutors to seek increases in Arias' bail amount in an effort to keep him in the country. A third motion to revoke or increase the bail, which suggests Arias asked to be voluntarily removed from the United States in an attempt to avoid prosecution, is scheduled to be heard soon by Kane County Judge Linda Abrahamson.

Arias' attorney, David Camic, wrote in a response to the motion that Arias simply asked for a "voluntary departure status," but a federal judge denied the request and then issued the deportation order. Additionally, Camic said prosecutors have no basis for continually seeking changes to Arias' bail because he hasn't been accused of violating bond conditions or committing any new crimes.

"His status with immigration does not, as a matter of law, bar him from bail," Camic stated in the filing, adding the prosecution's claim that Arias wants to be deported to skip out on his trial "is disingenuous."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:47 PM

Grecco sentencing delayed

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 7, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

Convicted sexual predator and ex-Catholic priest Donald Grecco remains a free man, at least for the next seven weeks.

After an emotional, daylong sentencing hearing in St. Catharines, Justice Joseph Nadel decided to defer his final verdict on Grecco — who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three boys in the 1970s and ’80s — until Oct. 24 so the 77-year-old man can get a colonoscopy.

Nevertheless, Nadel made it clear that Grecco is going to prison and said the former priest “deformed” the lives of his victims through the “grossest form of breach of trust.”

The judge said Grecco turned the parishes he was in charge of into “cesspools of abuse.”

“Today’s headline in the St. Catharines Standard calling you a ‘wolf in priest’s clothing’ is a witty and apt description of your behaviour,” Nadel told Grecco, referring The Standard’s ongoing special report on clergy abuse. “You were supposed to shepherd these boys. Instead, you preyed on them.”

Grecco made a short statement of apology to his victims and the community, calling himself a “fraud” who took advantage of the boys who looked to him for guidance and comfort.

“You came looking for goodness, as you should. What did you get from me? You got evil,” he said, looking across the court directly at one his victims, William O’Sullivan of St. Catharines. “I am truly sorry.”

After the hearing, O’Sullivan said he did not believe Grecco’s apology was sincere, but he needed to hear it nevertheless.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:12 PM

September 7, 2017

The stench of rape in God's house

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 6, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

The wolf in priest's clothing: Part 2 of 3

[See also Part 1: Living with Echo of Clergy Abuse. Both articles provide links to previous Standard stories about Grecco. See also the page devoted to Rev. Donald Grecco on Sylvia's Site, with links and chronology.]

A note to readers: For a more than a decade, Catholic priest Donald Grecco sexually abused children in Niagara. On Thursday, he will be sentenced for the abuse of three boys in the 1970s and 80s. This three part series is the story of one of his victims. Be advised this story contains language that might upset some readers.

It was the smell. It clung to everything. His hair. His clothes. His skin. It seemed to lurk inside his nostrils.

In the halls of St. John’s Training School for Boys, decorated with images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, that stench was the telltale sign that someone had been in Brother Bernard’s room.

It was the stench of rape.

“I will never forget that smell. Even now, just talking about it, I can smell it. I cannot really describe it. I don’t know what he was burning in there. Incense or something. I don’t know. But you couldn’t get it off you,” says William (Sully) O’Sullivan of St. Catharines ,who was incarcerated at the Uxbridge school in 1986 and 1987. “It was such a strong, distinctive smell that if another kid walked by, you knew he had been to see Brother Bernard. And you’d think ‘Oh, did he just get it, too?’”

As a 16-year-old, O’Sullivan spent 18 months in the St. John’s school, an all-boys reformatory school run by the De La Salle Brothers of the Christian Schools.

Backed by Queen’s Park, the school opened in 1956 and the Brothers, who also ran St. Joseph’s Training School for Boys in Alfred, Ont., were to take truants, trouble makers and teens with records and set them on a better path.

“They walked in there and thought they thought this was going to be heaven,” says Darcy Henton, an investigative journalist who wrote extensively about St. John’s and St. Joseph’s and published the book Boys Don’t Cry in 1995 about the sexual abuse scandal.

“They saw the beautiful stained glass windows and the terrazzo tile floors, and they thought this was going to be heaven, and it turned out to be hell.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:36 AM

Winnipeg priest faces new sexual assault charges

WINNIPEG (MANITOBA, CANADA)
CBC

September 7, 2017

Winnipeg priest faces new sexual assault charges
3 men come forward with new charges against Ronald Léger, now accused of sexually assaulting 7 men

By Katie Nicholson and Vera-Lynn Kubinec

[With links to previous CBC stories about Léger. See also the page about Fr Ronald Léger CSV on Sylvia's Site, providing additional links to articles and documents, with a chronology.]

A Catholic priest who founded and ran a youth centre in Winnipeg for decades is facing new sexual assault charges from three alleged victims, on top of charges laid last year following accusations from four other men.

Ronald Léger, 79, was charged Aug. 31 with three new counts of sexual assault against three men, who were teenagers at the time of the alleged assaults.

Last October, four other men came forward alleging they were sexually assaulted by Léger in their youth. Léger was charged at that time with multiple counts of sexual assault. A trial date for those charges — which span three decades from 1983 to 2013 — has been set for March 5, 2018.

* * *

All of the men first encountered the priest at his St. Boniface youth drop-in centre.

Léger started Teen Stop Jeunesse in 1983. Before that, he ran a drop-in centre from his home for several years while he also worked as a teacher.

* * *

Léger is currently on day parole for three previous sexual assault convictions involving three other men who were assaulted when they were young. Léger pleaded guilty to those charges in 2015 and was later handed a two-year sentence.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:21 AM

New priest is accused in Guam sexual-abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

By Haidee V. Eugenio

[Note: This article provides more detail than a related article previously posted on Tracker.]

Hagåtña, Guam — Three new lawsuits have been filed against the Catholic church in two Guam courts in the past two days, and one accuses a priest who previously had not been blamed for molesting a child.

The Rev. Louis William Rink, now dead, of Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo is the 16th Guam clergy member to be accused. A former altar boy, now age 43 and identified in documents as R.R.C. to protect his privacy, was 10 at the time in the 1980s.

* * *

R.R.C. is the 104th person to file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agaña over alleged sex abuse from clergy or others affiliated with the Catholic church. The lawsuit names the archdiocese, the Congregation of Holy Cross to which Rink belonged and up to 50 others as defendants.

Two other suits accuse the Rev. Louis Brouillard, 96, who has been named in 60 lawsuits filed so far in U.S. District Court and the Superior Court of Guam:

• V.F., now 65, accuses Brouillard of repeated sexual abuse in 1963 and 1964 when the child was an altar boy at Santa Teresita Catholic Church in Mangilao. Brouillard also took naked photos of the boy.

• T.P., now 59, accuses Brouillard of fondling him in 1974 at San Vicente Ferrer & San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada. The altar boy had stayed after Mass one day to help put things away.

V.F.'s lawsuit also accuses former scout leader Edward Pereira, now dead, of abusing the child at the parish rectory around the same time. He now has been accused twice, both times in connection with cases also accusing Brouillard.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:06 AM

Judge Expected to Decide Fate of Former Priest Daniel McCormack

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

September 7, 2017

[See the entry about Daniel J. McCormack in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

Disgraced and defrocked Chicago priest Daniel McCormack has spent almost a decade either in prison or walking the grounds of a state mental facility after pleading guilty to molesting five boys from his Near West Side parish.

Whether he will remain — indefinitely— under the watchful eye of state mental health workers will be decided by a Cook County judge.

* * *

Wednesday, his hair close-cropped and wearing an ill-fitting gray-blue shirt, McCormack sat slouched back in a chair beside his lawyers, as a state forensic psychiatrist testified that McCormack was a pedophile, and so sexually fixated on young boys that he continued to molesting children even after he was arrested in 2005 and church leaders assigned someone to monitor him.

Psychiatrist Angeline Stanislaus said McCormack refused to answer questions when she tried to evaluate him for the state in 2009, so she was working from police investigative reports and reports by investigators for the archdiocese. McCormack also did not submit to interviews from experts hired by his own lawyers.

“Even though he had been under the eye of his supervisor at the church and has been arrested, people are looking at him, he continued to engage in this behavior,” Stanislaus said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:48 AM

Defrocked Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting child in Saratoga County

ALBANY (NY)
WNYT NBC News Channel 13

September 5, 2017

By Mark Mulholland

[With video.]

Ballston Spa - A 51-year-old former Catholic priest was in court Tuesday morning, speaking softly. It's a stark contrast to the hard time Michael Hands could be facing.

After he was convicted of sodomizing a 14-year-old in Suffolk County several years ago, Hands was tossed out of the priesthood.

In recent years, he's been living and working at Easton Mountain near Greenwich, a resort that bills itself as a sanctuary and retreat "created by gay men as a gift to the world."

According to their website, Hands was the membership director at Easton Mountain. He's seen in several videos on YouTube promoting the resort's programs. In one, Hands soaks in a hot tub and asks, "What does it mean to be whole? To be fully human and fully alive, I believe is probably the most attractive human being on the planet."

It's Hands' attraction to children that police and prosecutors say has them worried. They say he contacted a child online and engaged in sex with him in Charlton in late July.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:39 AM

September 6, 2017

Trial to Decide If Ex-Priest Daniel McCormack to Be Held for Sex Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

September 6, 2017

By Mike Puccinelli

Chicago — State prosecutors have asked a Cook County judge to declare a former priest sexually violent, and have him committed indefinitely to a state facility for sex offenders.

In 2007, Daniel McCormack pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five boys while he was a priest at two Chicago churches, and was sentenced to five years in prison. After his conviction, he was permanently removed from the priesthood.

McCormick completed his prison term in 2010, but has remained locked up in a detention facility for sex offenders, as prosecutors have sought to have him declared a “sexually violent person” under a controversial state law.

If a judge approves prosecutors’ request, McCormack would be held indefinitely at the state detention center in Rushville. More than 400 people have been locked up indefinitely under the state’s Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, and nearly 200 more cases including McCormack's are pending.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:55 PM

Daniel McCormack Trial Begins: Should Ex-Priest Be Imprisoned Indefinitely?

CHICAGO (IL)
DNAinfo

September 6, 2017

By Erica Demarest

Cook County Criminal Courthouse — A bench trial began Wednesday morning to determine whether Daniel McCormack should be imprisoned indefinitely.

The disgraced Catholic priest was convicted in 2007 of molesting five children during his time at St. Agatha Parish in North Lawndale. He was defrocked the same year and sentenced to five years in prison.

Shortly before McCormack was slated to be paroled in 2009, state prosecutors filed a petition seeking to imprison McCormack indefinitely under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act — which allows authorities to detain convicted sex offenders under the assumption they will strike again if free.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:45 PM

Disgraced ex-priest accused of sexually abusing teen in Saratoga County

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union

September 6, 2017

By Robert Gavin

Ballston Spa – A disgraced former priest convicted in 2003 of sexually molesting a 13-year-old boy on Long Island is facing new allegations in Saratoga County of sodomy, sexual abuse and using a child in a sexual performance.

Michael Hands, 51, who was previously sentenced to two years in jail, also cooperated with investigators at the time in a probe of sexual abuse within the church because he too was a victim.

Now, he is charged in a nine-count indictment which accused him of abusing a new victim on July 24 in the town of Charlton.

The indictment charged Hands with using a child in a sexual performance, a felony which carries up to 15 years in prison; disseminating indecent materials to minors in the first-degree, a felony which carries up to seven years in prison; four counts of committing a criminal sex act, a felony which could each carry up to four years; and promoting a sexual performance of a child, a felony which carries up to four years.

He also faces charges of misdemeanor charges of sexual abuse and child endangerment.

Hands, represented by attorney James Tyner, is being held in the Saratoga County jail on $75,000 bail following an arraignment Tuesday before Saratoga County Judge James A. Murphy III.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:36 PM

DOJ wants priest in child trafficking case included in BI lookout bulletin

MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Philippine Daily Inquirer

September 6, 2017

By Tetch Torres-Tupas

[Note: See PDF of Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order illustrated in this article.]

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to include in its lookout bulletin the priest arrested last July in the act of taking a 13-year old girl to a motel in Marikina City.

In a two-page urgent memorandum released Wednesday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the BI to include Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos in its lookout bulletin.

“Considering the gravity of the offense allegedly committed, there is a strong possibility that he may attempt to place himself beyond the reach of the legal processes by leaving the country,” read the order.

A person subject of a lookout bulletin is not barred from going abroad. He or she only needs to secure permission from the DOJ before leaving.

Lagarejos is facing a complaint for Qualified Anti-Trafficking in Person Act before the DOJ and violation of the Anti-Child Abuse Law. He is facing a separate case for Anti-Trafficking before the Marikina court. But he was able to post bail amounting to P120,000. JPV

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 3:04 PM

Lawyer: Priest accused of groping teen in Boonton rejected plea offer

PARSIPPANY (NJ)
Daily Record

By Peggy Wright

September 5, 2017

[Note: See the entry about Rev. Marcin Nurek in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

Morristown - A recently-ordained Catholic priest who is accused of fondling a 13-year-old girl's buttocks under her skirt in Boonton rejected a plea offer of Pretrial Intervention, a special supervision program under which criminal charges are dismissed if all conditions are successfully met, the defense lawyer said Tuesday.

The Rev. Marcin A. Nurek - who was barred by the Diocese of Paterson from acting as a priest after he was arrested on Aug. 3 - appeared Tuesday with defense lawyer William Ware for a brief, pre-indictment conference before Superior Court Judge Stephen Taylor in Morristown.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Meg Rodriguez said the charges against Nurek - criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child - have been marked for presentation to a Morris County grand jury for possible indictment, the precursor to a criminal trial.

Asked by the judge when the presentation might occur, Rodriguez replied: "Soon. Likely sooner than later."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:42 PM

Hearing today on whether ex-priest who molested boys should be locked up indefinitely

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Megan Crepeau

September 6, 2017

[See Judge McWilliams' punitive damages order, linked from the story. See also the entry about McCormack in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

The accusations against "Father Dan" were seemingly endless.

Court records show more than two dozen boys and young men have alleged Daniel McCormack molested them in their youth, most notably at St. Agatha Parish on Chicago's Southwest Side, where the young Roman Catholic priest coached basketball, taught algebra and delivered eloquent sermons.

The allegations ranged from inappropriate kissing and touching to sexual assault and dated as far back as the early 1990s. According to the court records, one boy said McCormack abused him on the way back from basketball practice, another in the basement of the rectory and still another during the fourth inning of a White Sox game.

In 2007, more than a year after his arrest sent shock waves through the predominately African-American parish in the Lawndale neighborhood, McCormack pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five boys and was sentenced to five years in prison. He was removed from the priesthood.

Now, almost eight years after McCormack completed his prison term, Illinois prosecutors want him declared a sexually violent person under a little-known and controversial state law that could keep the disgraced former priest indefinitely committed to a state facility with other sex offenders.

A hearing is scheduled to begin Wednesday in Judge Dennis Porter's courtroom at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:17 PM

Ex-priest convicted of sex abuse in 2003 is charged again

JOHNSON CITY (NY)
Associated Press via 12 News WBNG

September 6, 2017

Ballston Spa - A former Roman Catholic priest who served prison time for sexually abusing a New York teenager 17 years ago is now charged with abusing a boy earlier this year.

Authorities say 51-year-old Michael Hands, of Easton in Washington County, has been charged with sexually abusing a teenager in neighboring Saratoga County this year.

The former priest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre was convicted in 2003 of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in Suffolk County. He served 15 months in prison and is registered with the state as a Level 3 sex offender.

Saratoga County prosecutors say Hands was charged in July with sexually abusing a local boy he met online. He remained in the county jail Wednesday.

A message left with his attorney wasn't immediately returned.

This story has been corrected to show the priest was a member of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, not the Diocese of Rockville Center.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:59 PM

DA: Former priest charged with sex abuse

ALBANY (NY)
CBS 6 News WRGB

September 5, 2017

By Heather Kovar

BALLSTON SPA, NY -- Michael Hands was arraigned in Saratoga County Court Tuesday, charged on nine counts involving sexual conduct with a minor.

Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen says the alleged crimes happened in July.

"Generally what occurred in this case is that we believe that the defendant allegedly made contact with a minor over the internet, and subsequently made plans to meet with that minor in person," she said.

DA Heggen says they believe Hands met up with the minor in an undisclosed location in Charlton.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:42 PM

Defrocked former priest from Easton jailed in sex case

GLENS FALLS (NY)
Post Star

September 5, 2017

By Don Lehman

[Note: Michael Hands is Priest W from the 2003 Suffolk County Grand Jury Report. See the entry for Rev. Michael R. Hands in the BishopAccountability.org database. This article references a 2003 NY Times story.]

Ballston Spa — A defrocked former Catholic priest who lives at a “retreat” in Washington County was ordered held for lack of bail Tuesday on charges that accuse him of sexually abusing a teenage boy in Saratoga County earlier this year.

Michael R. Hands, 51, a Level 3 registered sex offender from Easton, was sent to Saratoga County Jail for lack of $75,000 cash bail or $150,000 bail bond. He was arraigned before Saratoga County Judge James Murphy on a nine-count indictment for alleged sex crimes with a child in Charlton earlier this year.

Hands is a registered sex offender because of a 2003 sodomy conviction in Suffolk County, which occurred when he was a Catholic priest on Long Island in the early 2000s. He was removed from the priesthood after state records show he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.

His case attracted national media attention at the time, with The New York Times reporting that Hands claimed he was sexually abused when he was studying to be a priest, and that he cooperated with an investigation into the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Center.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:30 PM

Registered sex offender arrested in sex case

GLENS FALLS (NY)
Post Star

September 2, 2017
Updated September 5, 2017

Ballston Spa — A Level 3 sex offender from Easton has been charged with repeatedly sexually abusing a child in Saratoga County, authorities said.

Michael R. Hands, 51, of Herrington Hill Road, has been indicted on seven felony and two misdemeanor charges for alleged sexual contact with a child earlier this summer in Charlton, according to the Saratoga County District Attorney's Office.

He is also accused of using a child in a sexual performance that was videotaped or photographed, and distributing child porngaphy, officials said.

He faces counts of criminal sexual act, use of child in a sexual performance, disseminating indecent material, sexual abuse, promoting a sexual performance by a child and endangering the welfare of a child, records show.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:25 PM

Crusading Lawyer

BOSTON (MA)
Boston University Collegian Alumni Magazine

Summer 2017

By Lara Ehrlich

A Boston lawyer crusades against clergy sex abuse—as told by clients and colleagues, survivors and Secret Files

In 2002, Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian represented 86 people who claimed to have been molested or raped as children by John J. Geoghan, a Catholic priest from Dorchester, Mass. The case led to a $10 million settlement for Garabedian’s clients, and to a Boston Globe Spotlight team investigation that exposed an international epidemic of abuse and cover-up extending all the way to the Vatican. Garabedian (’71, CAS’73) has since represented more than 1,000 victims in 14 countries, and he still gets more than 20 calls a month from alleged victims seeking his help.

The Globe investigation was rewarded with a Pulitzer Prize, and became the subject of the 2015 Academy Award–winning film Spotlight. Actor Stanley Tucci portrays Garabedian in the film with such intensity, the Boston attorney says, that many reporters are now terrified of meeting with him.

People who know him don’t disavow that intensity, but they say there are other sides to the sometimes fearsome lawyer, who grew up on a farm in Methuen, Mass. He is witty, and he is generous, a trait inherited from his father, whose farmhands often came to him for advice. His family attended an Armenian Apostolic church every Sunday.

“It was a very peaceful, kind way to live,” says Garabedian, whose Boston office, piled high with boxes and papers, is just around the corner from Faneuil Hall, where his family once sold vegetables grown on their farm.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:50 AM

El cura Escobar Gaviria fue condenado

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Análisis Digital

September 6, 2017

[Fr. Escobar Gaviria was sentenced to 25 years in prison for effective compliance in child abuse.]

El veredicto se conoció esta mañana
Día histórico: el cura Escobar Gaviria fue condenado a 25 años de prisión de cumplimiento efectivo por abuso de menores

Tras un pormenorizado detalle de los hechos, el Tribunal de Juicio y Apelaciones de Gualeguay integrado por los jueces María Angélica Pivas, Roberto Cadenas y Darío Crespo, condenó al cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria “a la pena de 25 años de prisión de cumplimiento efectivo” por considerar que “fue el autor material y penalmente responsable de los hechos ilícitos que se le imputaron”. Los jueces consideraron que “se encuentran acreditados los componentes subjetivos y objetivos de promoción de la corrupción de menores reiteradas en tres víctimas, agravada por la condición de guardador en perjuicio de los menores RDR primer hecho, ANE segundo hecho, OJC cuarto hecho, y que a su vez concurren con abuso sexual simple agravado por ser cometido por un ministro de culto en un tercer hecho en perjuicio de S.Y.F.F.”. A la condena de prisión “deben adicionarse las accesorias legales del artículo 12 del Código Penal y las costas en su totalidad a cargo del condenado”. Afirmaron además que "Escobar Gaviria actuó con intención y voluntad en todos los casos. Hizo lo que quiso" y consideraron "el peligro de fuga" por lo que se determinó que la prisión “deberá cumplirse en la Unidad Penal N°5 de Victoria o en la que oportunamente se determine perteneciente al Servicio penitenciario de la provincia” y se decidió “disponer la prórroga de la prisión preventiva oportunamente dictada hasta que la presenten sentencia adquiera firmeza, no haciendo lugar a lo solicitado por la defensa técnica”. Los fundamentos de la sentencia se conocerán el 14 de septiembre a las 8.45 horas.

El juicio contra el cura “sanador” de Lucas González, de origen colombiano, llega a su fin este 6 de septiembre. Después de las 8.30, se conocerá el veredicto recaído en la primera causa por abuso sexual eclesiástico que llegó a debate en Entre Ríos. Los jueces de Gualeguay tienen en sus manos una decisión histórica para el Poder Judicial y la Iglesia de la provincia. Sobrevivientes de los abusos eclesiásticos, familiares y la comunidad que trabaja en la concientización de los delitos contra la integridad sexual de niños y jóvenes, están expectantes ante la determinación.

Minutos antes de iniciar la audiencia en la que se conocerá el veredicto del juicio por abuso contra el ex párroco de Lucas González, Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, Nancy, la mamá de Alexis Endrissi, dijo que espera el momento de la sentencia “muy ansiosa y con muchos nervios”. En declaraciones realizadas al programa A Quien Corresponda (Radio De la Plaza), afirmó: “Tenemos mucha fe de que realmente se haga justicia por los chicos; queremos creer en la justicia porque los chicos no mienten”. Del mismo modo, dijo que su hijo “también ha vivido estas horas con muchos nervios”.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:31 AM

Three strikes but he's still on the stairway to priesthood

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald

September 6, 2017

By Madonna King

You tell me whether this wanna-be Catholic priest should be sacked or not.

Five years ago, in 2012, as complaints against the church flooded in and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was announced, he took a fondness to an altar girl.

To her family, it amounted to so much more than that. He had also squeezed her around the hips, and followed, or stalked, her - an accusation amounting to sexual abuse. That’s supported by the wording in the Towards Healing document which defines sexual abuse as any kind of “harassment, molestation, and any other conduct of a sexual nature which is inconsistent with the integrity of a pastoral relationship’’.

No charges were laid, but the impact on his 14-year-old victim was undeniable. She felt scared, and then sick, anxious and then she couldn’t sleep. Her school marks began to plummet. And ongoing psychological sessions were testament to the damage grown-ups can do to our kids.

That was his first strike. Should he have been dismissed from the seminary there? If he was a teacher, wouldn’t he have been in all sorts of strife?

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:56 AM

Living with echo of clergy abuse

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 5, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

The wolf in priest's clothing: Part 1 of 3

[Note: See the detailed page devoted to Rev. Donald Grecco on Sylvia's Site, with links and chronology.]

A note to readers: For a more than a decade, Catholic priest Donald Grecco sexually abused children in Niagara. On Thursday, he will be sentenced for the abuse of three boys in the 1970s and 80s. This three part series is the story of one of his victims. Be advised this story contains language that might upset some readers.

Memory is a precarious construct. Though a storehouse of thoughts and experiences, it can keep secrets from conscious view, locking them behind doors never meant to be opened.

Find the right key, and those doors can be unlocked. Once opened, there is no hiding from what’s inside.

William O’Sullivan found such a key in a Thorold jail cell seven years ago on the front-page of a newspaper. Inside his memory he found a darkness long forgotten. Its rediscovery changed the course of his life.

“One of the guards asked me if I wanted to read the paper. I said yes. I saw it was two days old and I remember saying to him, ‘Oh, come on, this is ancient history,’” says O’Sullivan, known to his friends as Sully.

“Then I saw what was in it.”

It was Dec. 16, 2010, when O’Sullivan read the story on The Standard’s front page from his cell at Niagara Detention Centre.

“Jail for ex-priest Grecco,” the headline read over a Hamilton dateline.

O’Sullivan’s blood ran cold. The world tilted and spun.

“I got sick. Physically sick, vomiting, yeah,” O’Sullivan says. “I got dizzy. I had the sweats. My heart was racing. It was like the worst panic attack you can think of. That was when I remembered what he did.”

O’Sullivan’s life was anything but a storybook. In and out of jail since he was a teenager, a laundry list of poor choices led to five prison sentences — four in a federal penitentiary, one in a provincial prison.

As a young teen, O’Sullivan was sent to St. John’s Training School for Boys in Uxbridge, a factory of horror and abuse run by the De La Salle Brothers of the Christian Schools.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:33 AM

Fate of bankruptcy plans in judge’s hands

ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
The Catholic Spirit (Newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis)

September 5, 2017

The judge overseeing the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ bankruptcy is now considering what he will do with the two competing plans of reorganization before the court.

Counsel for multiple parties with interests in the matter, including representatives of the archdiocese, parishes, insurers and clergy sexual abuse claimants, presented objections to the plans before Judge Robert Kressel in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minneapolis Aug. 29. The objections were previously outlined to the court in written briefs during July and August.

The archdiocese’s plan would provide $156 million to claimants after court approval and would protect parishes and several Catholic high schools from further lawsuits from past claims of sexual abuse. Proceeds from the sale of archdiocesan properties on Cathedral Hill in St. Paul, insurance settlements and parish contributions fund the archdiocesan proposed plan.

The competing plan was submitted by the Unsecured Creditors Committee, which represents creditors, including sexual abuse claimants, in the bankruptcy proceedings. The UCC plan rejects most of the insurers’ settlements in the archdiocesan plan, calls for an $80 million contribution from the archdiocese secured by the Cathedral of St. Paul and several Catholic high schools — and retains the ability of creditors to sue parishes, schools and other Catholic entities. That plan would require years of further litigation during which victims would not receive compensation.

This spring, creditors, including abuse claimants, took a nonbinding vote on the plans to indicate their preference to the court. The majority of abuse claimants voted for the UCC plan. The decision of which plan to implement ultimately rests with the judge.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:18 AM

Obituary: Cormac Murphy-O’Connor: Archbishop who reformed the Church after scandal

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Independent

September 5, 2017

By Olivier Holmey

[Note: See the 2000 BBC report regarding Murphy-O'Connor and Rev. Michael Hill referenced below.]

Despite his efforts to conciliate the Catholic Church with other religions, his inadequate response to a case of paedophilia tarnished his record

Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, a British cardinal who failed to keep an abusive priest away from children and later sought to redeem that failing by overhauling the way clerical child abuse is addressed by the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has died at 85.

The sex scandal that tarnished his career occurred in the Eighties but was only made public in the early 2000s, when a BBC report linked Murphy-O’Connor, then the Archbishop of Westminster, to Michael Hill, a priest who was convicted of sexual abuse.

The report revealed that Murphy-O’Connor was made aware of Hill’s conduct towards children, and was advised that he might re-offend. But rather than inform the police, or transfer him to a post where he would no longer have access to children, Murphy-O’Connor appointed him chaplain at Gatwick Airport. Hill later admitted that four of his many offences happened after his appointment to the airport. Some of the boys he molested were disabled.

Murphy-O’Connor eventually expressed shame and regret at having tried to solve the issue by moving the offending priest to another parish – then a common practice in the Church – though he also continued to evoke mitigating factors to justify his behaviour, and argued that paedophilia was not at the time understood to be addictive. “I should have handed him over to the police,” he said. “But you are talking about the early Eighties. No bishop would have handed over a priest to the police in those days.” In his view, most of the mistakes bishops made came from being “too kind” toward their fellow clergymen.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:00 AM

Former LI priest, convicted sex offender, re-arrested upstate

MELVILLE (NY)
Newsday

September 5, 2017

By Zachary R. Dowdy

[Note: Michael Hands is Priest W from the 2003 Suffolk County Grand Jury Report. See the entry for Rev. Michael R. Hands in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

A former Long Island-based priest who was convicted in 2003 of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy has been indicted on child sex abuse charges upstate.

Michael Hands, 51, of Herrington Hill Road in Greenwich, was arraigned Tuesday on a nine-count indictment that prosecutors said stems from his sexual contact with a child in July.

The charges include four counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, third-degree sex abuse, first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor, promoting sexual performance by a child, use of a child in a sexual performance and endangering the welfare of a child, Heggen said.

Hands was remanded to the Saratoga County jail on $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond. Jail officials said Tuesday that he had not posted bail.

His attorney, James Tyner of Latham, could not be reached for comment.

Heggen said the court had not set a new date for his next appearance because Tyner requested time to prepare for the case.

Hands, a defrocked priest who was once assigned to the Diocese of Rockville Centre, pleaded guilty in February 2003 in Suffolk courts to the sodomy and attempted sodomy in August 2000 of a 14-year-old boy whose family he met while a parish priest, according to state records and media reports.

He also was sentenced in Nassau courts to a 6-month jail term with 5 years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to five counts of sodomy and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in assaults on the same boy he abused in Suffolk.

In exchange for cooperating in a Suffolk County grand jury probe into charges of sex abuse in the Rockville Centre diocese, Hands spent about 15 months in prison and was released in April 2004, serving both terms concurrently.

Officials at the Diocese of Rockville Centre could not be reached for comment.

As a Level 3 sex offender — those deemed most likely to re offend — Hands must register as a sex offender for life. His picture, address and crime of conviction are posted in the New York State online sex offender registry.

With Michael O’Keeffe

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:01 AM

September 5, 2017

Alternative Report to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)

September 5, 2017

Alternative Report
To the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
Regarding the Periodic Reports of the Holy See
Due on 1 September 2017

[Read full report here.]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:50 PM

Press Release: Report to UN Committee Slams Vatican’s Continued Failure to Protect Children from Sexual Violence

UNITED STATES
SNAP and Center for Constitutional Rights

September 5, 2017

Vatican fails to submit its report; survivors and human rights group apprise committee of its lack of progress

September 5, 2017, New York – Today, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) submitted a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child detailing how, after three years, the Holy See has not implemented any of the committee’s recommendations aimed at ensuring the protection of children from sexual violence.

The Holy See was summoned to the committee in 2014 where the Vatican was implored to take concrete steps to remedy decades of institutional complicity and cover-up of widespread sexual violence. While last Friday marked the Vatican’s deadline to submit a comprehensive report on their progress, the committee reports they have not received anything thus far.

“The fact that the Vatican did not submit a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is one more indication that Church officials have not taken this process seriously,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP managing director. “In the three years since they had to answer questions about the widespread sexual violence for the first time in history, they have not implemented any of the committee’s recommendations. And children remain at risk while Vatican officials engage in power struggles, finger-pointing, and deflection.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:41 PM

Warren Jeffs, FLDS Church owe ex-child bride $16 million, judge rules

UTAH
Fox 13 TV

September 5, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has ordered polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and his Utah-based church to pay a former child bride millions in a lawsuit.

In a ruling handed down Tuesday and obtained by FOX 13, Elissa Wall was awarded more than $16 million in damages stemming from her marriage at age 14 to her cousin back in 2001 in a ceremony presided over by Jeffs.

“Warren Jeffs exercised this absolute control, power and authority over (Wall’s) life so that he could require her, as a young girl, to enter into an unlawful spiritual marriage,” Judge Keith Kelly wrote.

Wall was the star witness in Utah’s criminal prosecution of Jeffs. His conviction of rape as an accomplice was overturned by the state supreme court. He is currently serving a life sentence in Texas for child sex assault related to underage “marriages.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:26 PM

Defrocked former priest from Easton jailed in sex case

NEW YORK
Post-Star (Glens Falls NY)

September 5, 2017

BALLSTON SPA (NY) — A defrocked former Catholic priest who lives at a "retreat" in Washington County was ordered held for lack of bail Tuesday on charges that accuse him of sexually abusing a teenage boy in Saratoga County earlier this year.

Michael R. Hands, 51, a Level 3 registered sex offender from Easton, was sent to Saratoga County Jail for lack of $75,000 cash bail or $150,000 bail bond. He was arraigned before Saratoga County Judge James Murphy on a nine-count indictment for alleged sex crimes with a child in Charlton earlier this year.

Hands is a registered sex offender because of a 2003 sodomy conviction in Suffolk County, which occurred when he was a Catholic priest on Long Island in the early 2000s. He was removed from the priesthood after state records show he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:14 PM

Seeking a Path from Pell to a Plenary Council

AUSTRALIA
Commonweal

September 5, 2017

Massimo Faggioli

Arriving in Sydney, Australia, this summer for a round of conferences sponsored by the Broken Bay Institute of the Australian Institute of Theological Education, I found a church confronting events likely to have a profound impact on its future: the Royal Commission’s completion of its work on an “institutional response to child sexual abuse”; the return of Cardinal George Pell from Rome to face charges on sexual abuse cases alleged to have taken place decades ago in the diocese of Ballarat; and the announcement of a Plenary Council for Australia set for 2020—the first since 1937.

The three issues are interwoven. The Pell case frightens the institutional church for the ripple effects the trial might have on other investigations into clergy sexual abuse. It complicates the creative response of the Australian episcopate to the scandal: the creation of the Truth, Justice, and Healing Council launched shortly after the establishment of the Royal Commission and headed by Francis Sullivan, a lay Catholic who for fourteen years was chief executive of Catholic Health Australia. After the expected publication of the Royal Commission’s report at the end of this year, the Truth, Justice, and Healing Council will publish its own report. It will be interesting to see how the episcopate receives it. Created by the bishops, the council has nonetheless maintained an independent attitude; for example, it has refused the request of some bishops to cross-examine witnesses heard by the Royal Commission.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:07 PM

Víctimas de pederastia esperan que visita del Papa les dé consuelo

Hablan familiares de niños que fueron abusados por sacerdotes en Cali y Caldas.

[Google Translate: Victims of pederasty wait for Pope's visit to comfort them. Relatives of children who were abused by priests in Cali and Caldas speak.]

COLOMBIA
El Tiempo

September 4, 2017

Es un drama que viven desde cuando sus hijos eran unos niños. De eso hace ocho años, y el dolor sigue; ahora, desde la capital del Valle del Cauca, piden al Papa apoyo en su situación.

Los hechos se remontan al 2009, cuando el sacerdote William de Jesús Mazo Pérez era párroco de la iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, en el barrio Alfonso Bonilla Aragón, del distrito de Aguablanca, en el oriente de Cali.

Aprovechándose de su situación y la confianza que había depositada en él, abusó de cuatro niños, dos de ellos hermanos, de familias de escasos recursos.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:33 AM

Iglesia reiteró que sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual está suspendido de toda actividad pastoral

URUGUAY
El Observador

August 29, 2017

[Google Translate: Church reiterates that priest accused of sexual abuse is suspended from all pastoral activity. Cardinal Daniel Sturla apologized to the victim and his family "regardless of what the ruling of Justice."]

[El cardenal Daniel Sturla pidió perdón a la víctima y su familia "independientemente de cuál sea el fallo de la Justicia"]

Luego de que se conociera el pedido del fiscal penal Gilberto Rodríguez de procesar con prisión a un sacerdote acusado de abusar sexualmente a un menor desde los 14 años –actualmente la víctima tiene 23-, la Iglesia católica volvió a emitir el mismo comunicado que había publicado en marzo de este año, cuando el caso tomó estado público por primera vez.

Según señala el comunicado, luego de que la denuncia fuera presentada ante la Policía por la presunta víctima en octubre del pasado año, se puso en marcha el Protocolo ante denuncias contra clérigos por abuso sexual, que fue elaborado por la Conferencia Episcopal del Uruguay en 2013. Siguiendo con ese protocolo, el cardenal Daniel Sturla informó al superior de la congregación en Brasil (donde ahora vive el sacerdote), el cual viajó "inmediatamente" a Montevideo para ponerse a disposición de la familia del afectado.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:27 AM

Agustín Rosa, el cura denunciado por abuso sexual: "Me siento un perseguido"

SALTA (Argentina)
TN (Todo Noticias)

September 4, 2017

[Google Translate: Agustín Rosa, the priest denounced for sexual abuse: "I feel persecuted." In an interview, the priest says that the denunciations against him may stem from the envy of the growth of his congregation.]

[En una entrevista, el sacerdote dice que las denuncias contra él pueden estar originadas en la envidia por el crecimiento de su congregación.]

En la amplia y cómoda finca donde fue entrevistado en diciembre pasado por TN.com.ar, y detenido el 21 de diciembre, el sacerdote católico Agustín Rosa aseguró que "se siente perseguido" y que las acusaciones en su contra son "por envidia".

Sentado en el porche, mientras sus cinco perros Doberman lo merodeaban, y liberado pero procesado por abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante, igual que otros miembros del Instituto Discípulos de Jesús del Verbo Divino, Rosa contestó las preguntas del diario El Tribuno de Salta.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:20 AM

Anglican church passes new rules to prevent child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio News

September 5, 2017

Flint Duxfield on PM with Matt Wordsworth

[AUDIO]

The Anglican church of Australia has introduced new rules it says will ensure no more children are sexually abused in its care.

The 'Safe Ministry for Children' canon was passed unanimously today at the church's triennial General Sydnod in Queensland.

But sexual assault survivors and legal experts question whether the new rules go far enough.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:25 AM

Anglicans pass child protection laws

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press

September 5, 2017

Shae McDonald

[Anglican priests across Australia will be required to follow strict new rules to protect children from abuse after legislation was passed by its governing body.]

Clergy and church workers will now be required to abide by a code of conduct which they had previously only needed to treat as recommendations.

"It covers things like transport, no corporal punishment, issues of touch and photographs," Royal Commission Working Group chair Garth Blake said.

Stricter screening of sex offenders in parishes will also apply and could even result in some being turned away.

Mr Blake said core standards like not abusing children had been in place since 2004, but now all of the guidelines would be mandatory unless there was "a good reason" for not following them.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:22 AM

Beatles church vicar promoted AFTER he was caught abusing choirboy

LIVERPOOL (United Kingdom)
Liverpool Echo

September 5, 2017

Henry Vaughan

[Canon John Roberts' victim is now taking action against the Church of England]

A vicar at the “Beatles church”, where John Lennon met Paul McCartney, was allowed to carry on working for 24 year after he was convicted of abusing a choirboy.

Rev John Roberts, who was based at St Peter’s Church in Woolton , Liverpool, was fined £500 when he was sentenced for two counts of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 1989.

But instead of being defrocked, Roberts was eventually promoted to the position of Canon before he retired in 2013.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:16 AM

Cautious optimism in clergy sex abuse pre-mediation talks

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Pre-mediation talks began Monday in Honolulu to discuss settling the more than 100 cases alleging child sex abuse by Guam clergy and others related to the church.

If the parties do not agree to written mediation protocols, formal mediation talks might not happen as planned in October, and the cases could go to trial, according to those attending the talks.

Among other things, the parties have not yet agreed on whether retired Oregon Judge Michael Hogan should serve as the mediator. A meeting with Hogan, originally scheduled for Tuesday in Honolulu won't happen.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:13 AM

Bearing false witness: the defining sin of our era?

UNITED STATES
catholicculture.org

September 4, 2017

Phil Lawler

Could a society have its own defining sin? My wife Leila addressed that question on her own blog recently, and as usual I think she’s right.

By a “defining” sin I don’t mean to suggest that a particular society is prone to only one type of moral failing. All Ten Commandments are at risk every day, in every time and place where fallen human beings are gathered. Rather, I mean one persistent problem that points toward a weakness of the entire culture. ...

... When the sex-abuse scandal came to the forefront 15 years ago, we learned to our horror that many bishops—not a few; many—had deceived the faithful by covering up the misconduct of predatory priests. Worse still, when they were confronted with charges of clerical abuse—charges that they knew to be true—many Church leaders not only denied those charges, but accused the people who lodged them of calumny. In doing so, they bore false witness against honest, faithful Catholics who were asking for justice. Since 2002, dozens of bishops have issued public apologies for tolerating priestly misconduct and for covering up evidence of abuse. But has a single bishop ever apologized to the many good Catholics who were accused of recklessly smearing a priest’s reputation, when in fact they were telling the truth?

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:11 AM

Accuser: Brouillard said fondling is natural

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Father Louis Brouillard in around 1974 sexually abused an altar boy after a Mass in Barrigada, assuring him it was natural, a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Superior Court of Guam states.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only by the initials T.P. to protect his privacy, was an altar boy at San Vicente Ferrer and San Roke Catholic Church when Brouillard allegedly abused him.

T.P., now 59, stayed behind after Mass one day to help put things away, when Brouillard fondled him, the lawsuit states.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:07 AM

Tolerant of Libel? Turning the “Spotlight” on The Boston Globe

UNITED STATES
The Catholic World Report

September 3, 2017

Thomas J. Nash

Veteran reporter Michael Rezendes makes several incorrect—even libelous—assertions in his recent remarks about the scandal of priests’ fathering children.

In a 2002 series of articles, Michael Rezendes and his colleagues on The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team did the Catholic Church—and, by extension, society at large—a great service in bringing greater light to the problem of sexual abuse by some priests in the Church. The Globe’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning coverage ignited investigations that helped facilitate national and international reforms. Some Catholic would strongly reject any affirmation of the Globe, given the newspaper’s general bias against the Church. I recognize that bias, and yet I would argue there’s no doubt that God used the Globe’s talented journalists to help purify the Church, as surely as he employed in Old Testament times ancient Babylon to topple the corrupt Kingdom of Judah and thereby spur the reform of the Jewish people.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:00 AM

Innocence is precious. Childhood is sacred.

UNITED STATES
medium.com

September 3, 2017

Nandini Stocker

[An auspicious birth. An epiphany from my inner voice.]

I was born into the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), otherwise known as the “Hare Krishna Movement”. In fact, I was even born on the “appearance day” (i.e. birthday) of its founder, in the same village in India where its primary deity, Krishna, is said to have been born on Earth some 5,000 years ago. ...

... There is really nothing else to explain the greatest tragedy of ISKCON — what happened to an entire generation of its children. And that’s where I would like to focus. Like the Catholic Church and many other religious groups, ISKCON has suffered from scandal and missteps in managing cases of child abuse. A large group of kids that grew up in my generation and went through the worst of it collectively filed and won a lawsuit against the leaders of ISKCON in 2000. For the kids who either entered the movement with their parents at a young age or were born into the movement in the 70’s and early 80’s, being in the Movement involved every range of abuse. Most kids were enrolled in gurukula ashrams (think parochial boarding schools), hundreds or even thousands of miles from their parents. These schools varied greatly in how stark or miserable they were. Some were just austere but full of fun and adventure, while others were like prisons, in every sense of the word. Children were often deprived of nutritional meals, beaten, molested, “disciplined” with brutal punishments, and for some, things were much, much worse. And by children I mean some as young as 3, but the standard age kids were sent away began at 5.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:42 AM

El fiscal Uriburu adelantó que “es posible que haya dos denuncias más” contra Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria

[The Uriburu prosecutor said that "there may be two complaints" against Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria]

GUALEGUAYCHÚ (Argentina)
Analisis Digital

August 30, 2017

Federico Uriburu dijo que "quedó abierta la posibilidad para investigar posibles casos de abuso en sus destinos anteriores".

El fiscal de la causa que se sigue contra el cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, Federico Uriburu, se refirió a la histórica instancia que se vivió en la justicia entrerriana con el primer juicio contra un miembro de la Iglesia Católica acusado de abusos de menores y deseó que su trabajo haya “aportado algo y sirva para modificar algunas cosas”. Al respecto, destacó el paciente trabajo que se realizó para contener y acompañar a las víctimas para realizar las denuncias y afirmó que “el funcionario judicial atrás del escritorio no sirve; especialmente los fiscales tenemos que estar en la calle, protegiendo a los testigos y a las víctimas, conteniéndolos y dándoles la confianza hasta que llegue el momento del juicio”.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:33 AM

Judge to decide if ex-priest who molested boys can be committed indefinitely

CHICAGO
Chicago Tribune

September 5, 2017

Megan Crepeau

The accusations against "Father Dan" were seemingly endless.

Court records show more than two dozen boys and young men have alleged Daniel McCormack molested them in their youth, most notably at St. Agatha Parish on Chicago's Southwest Side, where the young Roman Catholic priest coached basketball, taught algebra and delivered eloquent sermons.

The allegations ranged from inappropriate kissing and touching to sexual assault and dated as far back as the early 1990s. According to the court records, one boy said McCormack abused him on the way back from basketball practice, another in the basement of the rectory and still another during the fourth inning of a White Sox game.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:24 AM

Dead priest is newest clergyman accused of abuse

GUAM
KUAM.com

September 5, 2017

Krystal Paco

A new priest joins the ranks of those accused. 43-year-old R.R.C. alleges he was an altar boy when he was sexually abused by Father Louis William Rink, who is now deceased.

Among the named defendants is the Congregation of Holy Cross who assigned Rink to serve in Guam.

The alleged abuse occurred in 1983 or 1984 when R.R.C. was an altar boy at Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo.

While in the sacristy, the priest asked the boy where they kept the altar supplies and equipment.

Rink told the boy that "no one needs to know" and said that one of the 10 commandments is "Though shall honor your mother and father" stating that includes a priest.

R.R.C. reportedly told Monsignor Ziolo Camacho what Rink had done, but Ziolo told the boy to keep praying and ask for forgiveness.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:20 AM

16th priest accused in sex abuse suit

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Another Catholic clergy member on Guam has been accused of child sexual abuse, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday.

Father Louis William Rink, who is now deceased, was sued by a former altar boy identified in documents only as R.R.C. to protect his privacy. The lawsuit accuses Rink of abusing the boy, who was 10, in Dededo in the 1980s. Rink is the 16th Guam clergy member accused in court of child sexual abuse.

Rink allegedly molested the boy in the Santa Barbara Catholic Church sacristy and told him that one of the 10 Commandments is "Thou shall Honor your mother and your father," which also includes the priest, the lawsuit states.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:16 AM

Unpacking the ‘strong powers’ insulating lay group charged with abuse

SICILY (Italy)
Crux

September 5, 2017

Claire Giangravè

The leader of a lay Catholic group in Sicily, arrested for allegedly abusing six underage girls, was able to create a system of connections and relationships with high ranking members of the judiciary and political system, which kept himself and the group immune from government and ecclesiastical oversight.

As the saga of a 5,000-member lay Catholic group in Sicily whose leadership has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse against underage girls continues to unfold, a puzzling question hangs over the story.

That question is: How could a group well known for practices that strayed from Catholic orthodoxy, including unauthorized exorcisms and a lay leader referred to by followers as an “Archangel,” as well as suspect behaviors that repeatedly led reasonable people to voice concerns, escape not only ecclesiastical but civil sanction for the better part of forty years?

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:10 AM

September 4, 2017

'The sexual abuse scandals have affected the faith of many'

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Irish News

August 31, 2017

Dr Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin

[Reform of the Irish Church is needed, but there is a stubborn reluctance to tackle issues such as education, says Dr Diarmuid Martin.]

THE Vatican Council was without doubt one of the most significant cultural events of the 20th century for Irish culture taken as a whole, especially through its documents on the Church in the modern world and on religious freedom, and thus on the concept of pluralism.

Was Irish Catholicism ready for radical change? Not only was the Church culture of the time inadequate to face the challenge of change, but that culture was in itself something that made real and realistic change more difficult.

That the once-conformist Ireland changed so rapidly and with few tears was read as an indication of a desire for change, but perhaps it was also an indication that the earlier conformism was covering a shallow faith and a faith built on a faulty structure which people no longer really endorsed.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:18 PM

Obituary: Mavis Arnold, investigative journalist who revealed the abuse of Irish orphans

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
The Independent

September 1, 2017

Marcus Williamson

[Her report on a fire at Poor Clares orphanage, which killed 35 children, led to revelations of widespread abuse at Catholic children’s homes]

Mavis Arnold was the journalist and writer whose investigative work exposed the abuse suffered by children in Ireland’s network of industrial schools. Published in 1985 as Children of the Poor Clares, and co-authored with Heather Laskey, the book was the first to show how orphaned children had been neglected and suffered in the Church-run establishments.

A central theme of the book is a fire which broke out in 1943 at St Joseph’s, an orphanage in County Cavan run by nuns. Thirty six people, including 35 girls and a member of staff, lost their lives as a result of the blaze. A report into the fire issued soon after stated that the deaths were due to lack of emergency procedures and fire-fighting training.

However, based on testimonies of survivors and rescuers, Arnold instead suggested that the nuns’ first reaction had been to keep the girls locked inside the building, so that they would not be seen on a public street in their nightclothes.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:08 PM

Accuser: Pedophile priest took photos

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

Steve Limtiaco

Guam priest Louis Brouillard in 1963 and 1964 repeatedly sexually abused a Mangilao altar boy, according to a lawsuit filed Sunday, which states Brouillard took naked photos of the boy and kept them – possibly in a shoebox.

The lawsuit, filed by “V.F.”, now 65, also accuses former scout leader Edward Pereira, who is deceased, of abusing V.F. at the rectory of the Mangilao parish around the same time. Boy Scouts and altar boys would meet and hang out at the Mangilao parish, the lawsuit states.

Like others who have accused Brouillard of abuse, V.F. stated Brouillard would walk around naked in front of boys at the rectory, and would swim naked and molest them during Boy Scouts swimming outings.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:04 PM

Monsignor charged with child abuse

PHILIPPINES
The Manila Times

September 5, 2017

The Taytay, Rizal parish priest arrested in July while on his way to a motel with a 13-year-old girl has been charged with child abuse and trafficking.

The minor and her mother filed the criminal charges against Msgr. Arnel Lagarejos of the Diocese of Antipolo, assisted by Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta.

Lagarejos, 55, is a monsignor, bestowed the honorific for exceptional services to the Church. Following his arrest by Marikina police, he was sacked as parish priest of St. John the Baptist Parish in Taytay and as president of the Cainta Catholic College.

Aside from Lagarejos, also charged before Acting Prosecutor General Severino Gana were alleged pimps Shaira Pedragoza, Ace Lasaca, Aldrei Roque and Luisa David, as well as several “John Does” said to be the child’s “customers.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:00 PM

Dera Scandal: 'It's Secular Bigotry to Say Religion Provides for Sexual Misconduct'

INDIA
News18.com

September 2, 2017

The conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in rape cases has once again turned the spotlight on the damage that the charlatans, who pass off as godmen, do to the spiritual culture of India. Devdutt Pattanaik, writer of modern Hindu mythology, talks to News18’s Eram Agha on this form of ‘crony spiritualism’, which, he says, has nothing to do with religion but with the nature of secular democracy and vote bank politics as practiced in India. Edited excerpts:

Q: Hinduism is said to be a religion with 33 crore Gods. But do godmen have a place in Hindu scriptures?

A: Godmen is a pejorative term created by the media. Every religion, not just Hinduism, has holy men who claim access to an alternate reality — call it spiritual, mystical, magical, or divine. We call them shaman, priest, yogi, guru, mullah. Some are sincere, others are charlatans. Some try their best to help their tribe, flock or followers; others exploit the power they have.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:17 AM

Keighley church minister faces long prison sentence for sexually abusing women for decades

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

August 31, 2017

A church minister who sexually abused six vulnerable women has been warned by a judge he faces "a very substantial" prison sentence.

Pastor John Wilson, 70, carried out a series of indecent assaults under the pretext of being commanded by God to rid the complainants of evil spirits.

The sexual abuse took place over more than two decades while Wilson served at the Liberty Pentecostal Church in Keighley.

Following a trial lasting more than a month Wilson, of Shann Avenue, Keighley, was today found guilty on more than a dozen charges of indecent assault and further allegations of sexual assault and conspiracy to commit indecent assault after the jury deliberated for about 15 hours.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:09 AM

‘Forgive them Father for they have sinned

PHILIPPINES
The Manila Times

September 4, 2017

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a case against Monsignor Arnel Lagajeros of the Diocese of Antipolo for molesting a minor.

Lagajeros, 55, was caught in an entrapment operation while inside his gray Ford explorer at the parking area of Blue Wave Mall along Sumulong Hi-way in Barangay Sto. Nino, Marikina City, where he and the minor were supposed to meet.

Lagajeros was not the first local prelate in the Catholic Church accused of sexual harassment or misconduct....

[See: Sexual Misconduct among Priests in the Philippines: Key Cases, by BishopAccountability.org]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:03 AM

Man files abuse lawsuit against Church, Boy Scouts

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

September 4, 2017

Another sexual abuse lawsuit was filed against the Catholic Church of Guam and the Boy Scouts, accusing both institutions of promoting a haven for pedophile priests who also served as scoutmasters to access young boys.

The complaint states the victim, V.F., was 11 or 12 at the time he was allegedly sexually abused by former Guam priest Louis Brouillard and a scoutmaster, Edward Pereira, who is now deceased.

The complaint alleges Brouillard and Pereira separately abused V.F. while the victim served as an altar boy at Santa Teresita parish in Mangilao. The lawsuit was filed by David Lujan's law firm.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:00 AM

England mourns death of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (Updated)

LONDON
Catholic News Agency

Hannah Brockhaus

London, England, Sep 1, 2017 / 10:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who served as Archbishop of Westminster for nine years, from 2000-2009, died Friday at the age of 85 after a brief hospitalization. He was well known for his efforts to promote unity between Catholics and Anglicans....

... He was criticized when it was discovered that as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton he had failed to report a priest, Fr. Michael Hill, who was convicted for child sexual abuse in 1997. After this incident, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor invited the judge Lord Nolan in 2000 to investigate the issue of pedophile priests and child protection in the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The Nolan Report was published in 2001. As a result of the report, the Church in England and Wales formed the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults to centrally manage applications through the Criminal Records Bureau ensuring thorough background checks of anyone working with children or vulnerable adults.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:56 AM

Fromme Wünsche: Wie der Basler Bischof vor sexuellen Übergriffen schützen will

[Pious wishes: How the bishop of Basel wants to protect against sexual abuse]

SWITZERLAND
barfi.ch

September 2, 2017

Gleich vier Berater bietet das Bistum Basel gegen sexuellen Missbrauch auf. Bischof Felix Gmür erfüllt damit die Forderung nach mehr sexueller Offenheit in der Kirche. Bleibt die Frage, warum es gleich vier solcher Fachpersonen braucht.

Das Bistum Basel sagt klar, die Kirche sei verpflichtet, Menschen vor sexuellen Übergriffen zu schützen. So steht auf der Homepage: « Die Verantwortlichen des Bistums Basel pflegen einen sorgsamen und achtsamen Umgang mit den betroffenen Menschen. Sie sind bemüht, Wege zu suchen, um die Konflikte zu lösen.» Klar, das klingt nach den Skandalen der letzten Jahre etwas zauderhaft. Tatsächlich zögerte Bischof Felix Gmür beim Fall eines Priesters, der 2012 die Notlage einer jungen Frau sexuell ausgenutzt hatte.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:46 AM

Fiscal pide prisión para sacerdote por denuncia de abuso sexual a un menor

URUGUAY
El Pais

August 28, 2017

El caso involucra a un sacerdote de 55 años de edad, quien abusó sexualmente de un menor desde que tenía 14 años hasta que cumplió los 18, según la denuncia que presentó la víctima.

El fiscal penal de Montevideo, Gilberto Rodríguez, solicitó a la Justicia el procesamiento con prisión de un cura por "un delito continuado de atentado violento al pudor" a un menor de edad.

El pedido del fiscal surge a raíz de una denuncia que un joven de 23 años presentó contra el religioso. En la misma, se establece que cuando la víctima tenía 14 años y concurría a la parroquia fue "compelido por el sacerdote, de 55 años de edad, quien abusando de su condición, le obligó a realizarle sexo oral en la habitación del párroco".

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:38 AM

Sex-trafficked Nigerian teens: Why so little reporting on religious roots of this tragedy?

NIGERIA
getreligion.org

August 24, 2017

Julia Duin

There’s been some amazing articles out there about the modern-day slave trade involving Nigerians who think they’re fleeing to Europe for jobs, but end up getting forced into prostitution or crime.

The British press has been particularly astute in tracking this horrific trend, which involves west Africans, the majority who come from Nigeria, Gambia and Ghana and who head north via Libya only to end up in a tangle of slave markets patronized by Arab buyers. The Guardian, BBC, the Washington Post and many other media are describing how Libya is outdoing India in being the world capital of sex trafficking.

But not enough has been done when you consider there's a bizarre mix of voodoo and Pentecostalism undergirding it all. After all, CNBC calls Libya the “torture archipelago” for poor African migrants. The Guardian asks the world why it’s ignoring this African holocaust in its midst.

Possibly the best story of them all was the New Yorker’s “Desperate Journey of a Trafficked Girl” that ran in April. Now The Times of London did a piece on what happens to the few lucky Nigerian teenagers who get through this hell to reach Italy.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:19 AM

Victoria Police launches new podcast to tackle sexual crime

AUSTRALIA
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

September 4, 2017

David Sparkes

Victoria Police has launched a new podcast about sexual violence, aiming to convince more victims to report their assault.

The six-part series, called Unspeakable: Understanding Sexual Crime, is part of National Child Protection Week and tells true stories, featuring interviews with investigators, victims and their families.

Inspector Everett Moutsidis from Family Violence Command told ABC Radio Melbourne each episode would provide a glimpse into the work done by Victoria Police's Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCIT).

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:00 AM

Fury over religious orders that owe state more than €100 million in compensation

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
The Irish Sun

September 4, 2017

Adam Higgins

FOUR religious orders forming part of a group that owes the State more than €100million in abuse compo got almost €300m in HSE grants last year.

Some 18 orders that ran facilities where children were abused have paid only €95.9m of their promised €226m as a result of the long-running Ryan Inquiry.

Despite this, the Brothers of Charity, Daughters of Charity, Sisters of Charity and Sisters of Mercy have got almost €300m for running medical facilities.

The Irish Sun now breaks down the amount each organisation has paid from the 2015 bill, with the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy footing more than half of the costs paid so far.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:34 AM

September 3, 2017

La Iglesia Católica de Montevideo recordó su postura ante cura acusado abuso sexual

URUGUAY
Montevideo Portal

August 29, 2017

[La institución emitió un comunicado donde recuerda la postura que el arzobispo Sturla tomara ya en marzo, cuando se conoció el caso.]

El 31 de marzo de este año la Arquidiócesis de Montevideo publicó un comunicado acerca de la denuncia recibida sobre un presunto abuso contra un menor, hoy mayor, que habría cometido un sacerdote.

En las últimas horas trascendió públicamente el pedido de prisión del fiscal. "Aún no se conoce la resolución del juez", dice el comunicado, que posteriormente reproduce el emitido por la Iglesia el pasado 31 de marzo, y que dice lo siguiente.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:38 PM

[No Tiene Perdón] Piden prisión para un sacerdote que abusó de un joven

URUGUAY
Montevideo Portal

August 28, 2017

[El religioso fue denunciado por un joven, que afirmó haber sido abusado dentro de una parroquia entre sus 14 y 18 años.]

El fiscal Gilberto Rodríguez pidió el procesamiento con prisión de un sacerdote que abusaba de un adolescente en una parroquia de Montevideo.

De acuerdo al dictamen divulgado este lunes por Fiscalía de la Nación, Rodríguez acusó al sacerdote, de 55 años, de "un delito continuado de atentado violento al pudor".

En su pedido de procesamiento, el fiscal señala que surge del expediente que la víctima, un joven que actualmente tiene 23 años, comenzó a ser abusado sexualmente desde sus 14 años "en la habitación del párroco".

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:30 PM

“Queremos que la Iglesia Católica tome el lugar que le corresponde y se haga cargo del cura Escobar Gaviria

ARGENTINA
Analisis Digital

August 30, 2017

María Pía Taborda, integrante de la Multisectorial de Mujeres de Gualeguay, pasó por los tribunales de esa ciudad para manifestar apoyo a familiares y víctimas de los abusos del cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria. El último día de audiencia, cuando se realizaron los alegatos de partes, desde la organización que lucha por la igualdad de los géneros reclamaron a la Iglesia Católica “que tome el lugar que le corresponde y se haga cargo de Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, porque esta persona forma parte de la institución”. Por su parte, la abuela de Alexis Endrizzi contó a ANÁLISIS DIGITAL que “en Lucas González hay gente que se está acercando a mi nieto y a mi hija a pedirles disculpas”.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:25 PM

El cura de Lucas González acusado de abuso se comparó con Cristo

ARGENTINA
El Dia de Gualeguaychú (Entre Rios Province)

August 28, 2017

La parte acusatoria cree que están acreditados los abusos y pidió 25 años de prisión. La defensa pidió la absolución. El cura habló por primera vez y se victimizó. La sentencia, el 6 de septiembre.

Fiscalía y Querella coincidieron en pedir 25 años de prisión para el cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria. La petición se realizó este lunes en los Tribunales de Gualeguay, donde se llevó adelante la audiencia de alegatos, que finalizó hace instantes.

El sacerdote de Lucas González, Nogoyá, está siendo enjuiciado por haber cometido abusos contra cuatro menores de edad, mientras era párroco de San Lucas Evangelista. Cabe recordar que durante el debate se sumó una quinta denuncia.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:16 PM

Pidieron 25 años de prisión para el cura acusado de abuso de menores en Entre Ríos

ARGENTINA
El Patagónico

El fiscal Federico Uriburu y el querellante Mariano Navarro pidieron ayer, luego de casi cinco horas de alegatos, 25 años de prisión para el cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria en el juicio que se realiza en su contra en Entre Ríos por promoción a la corrupción agravada de menores -tres casos- y por abuso sexual agravado -un caso-.

El juicio se sustanció en los tribunales orales federales de Gualeguay, donde ayer se escucharon los alegatos, y a donde el religioso llegó poco antes de las 9 sin hacer declaraciones, ante la presencia de víctimas y familiares que se apostaron en la zona, y que se identificaron con pancartas y carteles.

Los presuntos abusos se conocieron a partir de una investigación de la revista Análisis, en la que se relató que las primeras en hacer una denuncia fueron dos religiosas del Colegio Castro Barros San José, quienes el año pasado se presentaron ante el defensor oficial de Nogoyá, Oscar Rossi, y acusaron al sacerdote de abusar a una menor de once años. Tras esa presentación, el cura fue suspendido y apartado de sus funciones.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:07 PM

Caso Rosa Torino: recordá los detallados testimonios de las víctimas

ARGENTINA
El Tribuno (Salta province)

August 31, 2017

[Dos exmonjas dialogaron con El Tribuno en aquella oportunidad y aportaron más pruebas contra el cura.]

La noticia sobre las acusaciones contra Rosa Torino por abuso sexual y otros delitos supuestamente cometidos en su congregación del Instituto Religioso Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista cobraron gran repercusión a nivel nacional. El Tribuno siguió de cerca el caso y pudo hablar con testigos que en aquel momento aportabaron pruebas contra Rosa Torino.

Durante la mañana, Valeria Zarsa y María Gracia Ramia Damario, dos exmonjas de la congregación, formalizaron en la Unidad de Delitos contra la Integridad Sexual N§ 3, a cargo de Sodero, las graves denuncias contra Rosa y el sacerdote Nicolás Parma, otro de los imputados en la causa.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:00 PM

Agustín Rosa Torino, cura abusador salteño, esperará su juicio en libertad

ARGENTINA
La Izquierda Diario

September 2, 2017

[Ante la noticia del beneficio otorgado por la justicia al sacerdote abusador de niños, la red de sobrevivientes de abuso eclesiástico emitió un duro comunicado.]

La Justicia concedió ayer la libertad a Rubén Agustín Rosa Torino, sacerdote salteño del instituto Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, acusado de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante. El sacerdote fundador del Instituto, se encontraba detenido desde 2016 con acusaciones por amenazas y delitos económicos por el manejo de fondos de su empresa religiosa, además de los abusos.

El conocido cura “sanador” cuenta con un alto reconocimiento entre la élite política y empresarial salteñas. Sin embargo, su “buena imagen” demostró ser pura hipocresía a partir de la denuncia penal de dos exmiembros de su congregación, quienes lo señalaron por abusos sexuales sufridos. La denuncia también recayó sobre su mano derecha, el cura Nicolás Parma a quien Rosa Torino encubría y apañaba.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:45 PM

[ESCÁNDALO EN LA IGLESIA SALTEÑA] Red de víctimas emitió un durísimo comunicado

ARGENTINA
El Tribuno (Salta province)

September 1, 2017

La red "Sobrevivientes de abusos eclesiásticos" emitió un durísimo comunicado tras conocer la decisión de la Justicia salteña de otorgar la libertad al cura Agustín Rosa Torino. "Hoy la Iglesia Católica medieval, cuna de pederastas, está de fiesta", expresa el grupo que creó una página web en internet para denunciar y dar testimonio de los abusos sexuales cometidos por parte de sacerdotes y al mismo tiempo alertar a futuras víctimas sobre este accionar delictivo.

"Una vez más salen libres, con total impunidad, quienes han hecho de nuestras vidas un suplicio, en el que se incluyen a muchos otros que aún no se animan a denunciar", señala el comunicado. Y agrega: "Quienes lo hicimos entendemos por qué y sabemos por qué".

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:37 PM

Fuerte repudio a la liberación del cura Agustín Rosa, acusado de abuso: "Seguimos atrapados, no podemos vivir"

ARGENTINA
TN (Todo Noticias)

September 1, 2017

[Graves acusaciones de la Red de Sobrevivientes. Un exintegrante de la congregación difundió una carta conmovedora. Radicaron una contradenuncia que afecta a una de las principales testigos.]

Tras a la liberación por parte de la justicia salteña del sacerdote Agustín Rosa y de la exmonja, María Alicia Pacheco, acusados de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante, la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico cuestionó a la "justicia patriarcal", a la "la Iglesia Católica medieval", y pidió terminar con la complicidad de las autoridades eclesiásticas.

"Hoy la Iglesia Católica medieval, cuna de pederastas, está de fiesta. Una vez más salen libres, con total impunidad, quienes han hecho de nuestras vidas un suplicio, en el que se incluye a muchos otros que aún no se animan a denunciar. Quienes lo hicimos entendemos por qué y para qué", afirmó la organización en un comunicado.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:32 PM

Liberaron a la exmonja acusada de abuso sexual a una menor de 13 años

ARGENTINA
TN (Todo Noticias)

August 28, 2017

Nicolas Tillard

La justicia salteña liberó a la exmonja Alicia Pacheco, que había sido detenida en diciembre acusada por abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante por la duración en el tiempo y por las circunstancias de su realización, agravado por ser religiosa. La "hermana Micaela" formaba parte del instituto creado en 1996 por el sacerdote Agustín Rosa, detenido con prisión preventiva. El caso se conoció tras el informe de TN.com.ar, donde los estudiantes de la congregación contaron el calvario que les tocó vivir.

Gracia Ramia había denunciado a Pacheco en la Oficina de Delitos de Integridad Sexual Nº2 de Salta. Tras un recurso de apelación, el Tribunal de Impugnación N°2 le otorgó la libertad hasta que la causa sea elevada a juicio.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:26 PM

Liberaron al cura Agustín Rosa, acusado de abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
TN (Todo Noticias)

August 31, 2017

[Está procesado por abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante. Esperará el juicio en una finca en las afueras de la capital. La exmonja Alicia Pacheco había sido excarcelada hacía horas en la misma causa.]

Primero, la Justicia salteña liberó a la exmonja Alicia Pacheco, conocida como "Hermana Micalea", acusada de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante sobre una chica de 13 años. El fallo de la Cámara ponía la lupa sobre la víctima, hablaba de la conducta sexual "temprana e impropia" de la denunciante y aseguraba que la "Hermana Micaela", como se la conocía, "no tenía el perfil de la agresora sexual".

Hoy, recobró la libertad Agustín Rosa, fundador del Instituto Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, que fue señalado por novicios de someterlos y proteger a otros curas que también abusaban sexualmente de ellos. La decisión fue tomada por el juez Félix Costas, del Tribunal de Impugnación Número 2.

Nicolás Parma, el sacerdote cuya conducta sexual pervertida en contra de menores fue descripta por varios novicios, se encontraba hace meses, cuando fue denunciado, en una parroquia cerca de Barcelona y frecuentaba el Camp Nou y establecimientos gastronómicos de moda, pero se desconoce su paradero actual.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:20 PM

Bishop Bartchak has announced the appointment of new members to the Diocesan Review Board.

ALTOONA-JOHNSTOWN (PA)
Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

August 2017

Review Board - Bishop Mark Bartchak has announced the appointment of an entirely new membership for the Diocesan Review Board, which assists in the assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and a cleric’s suitability for ministry.

The new members are:

Rev. Leo Arnone
Joyce Cunningham
Joseph Grappone
Todd Mahalko
Robert Skelly
Brent Stoltzfus
Rev. Miles Zdinak

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, every diocese is to have such a Review Board in which the majority of its members are Catholic lay persons not employed by the diocese. The Review Board is a confidential consultative body. In the interest of providing for objectivity and transparency, two of the Review Board members are from other Christian Churches.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:20 PM

Sect leader in abuse case refusing to eat, officials say

NEW MEXICO
The Associated Press (appearing in The Washington Post)

August 30, 2017

GRANTS, N.M. — Officials say a leader of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect facing child sexual abuse charges is refusing to eat.

Court documents filed this week say Deborah Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps has not eaten any food or drank water for at least three days.

A motion filed in the 13th Judicial District Court in Cibola County sought to send Green to a hospital for emergency services. The motion was granted, but Green’s medical condition is not known.

Green recently was indicted on various charges including kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration of a child.

Second sect leader accused of child abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Associated Press (appearing in Santa Fe New Mexican)

September 1, 2017 (Updated September 2, 2017)

Russell Contreras

ALBUQUERQUE — Another leader of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect rocked by child sexual abuse allegations was arrested Wednesday, making him the ninth member facing charges in connection with a widespread investigation.

James Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps was taken into custody Wednesday on charges of kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence according to court records. He was ordered held on a $250,000 secured bond.

His arrest comes after authorities raided his secluded Western New Mexico compound last month. Other members and leaders are facing child abuse and child sexual abuse charges, including Green’s wife and co-leader, Deborah, who faces charges of kidnapping and child sexual abuse.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:58 AM

South Korean Pastor Sentenced to 14 Years for Child Sex Abuse

CAMBODIA
The Cambodia Daily

September 1, 2017

Hannah Hawkins and Chhorn Phearun | អានជាភាសាខ្មែរ

A South Korean pastor accused of sexually abusing several girls who lived with him at his Siem Reap City church was sentenced on Thursday to 14 years, an unprecedentedly long jail term for such crimes, according to one NGO worker.

Judge Sam Bunpov convicted 63-year-old Park Youl with purchase of child prostitution and sexual intercourse with a minor under 15 years of age, according to Siem Reap provincial court spokesman Ream Chanmony.

Mr. Park was arrested by anti-trafficking police in October on allegations that he molested nine girls on multiple occasions over several years and bribed them and their families with rice, cash and motorbikes in exchange for silence.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:53 AM

Pope Francis on celibacy, child abusers, same-sex unions, secularism, and traditionalists

FRANCE
aleteia.org

September 1, 2017

Excerpts from 'Politics and Society,' a new book-length interview with the Holy Father.

Here is another selection of excerpts from Politics and Society, a new book-length interview with Pope Francis, in which the pope deals with some of the hot-button issues of our day.

[Read more: Excerpts on migration and refugees, and European and Argentinean identity, including his explanation for why “we are all migrants.”]

Pope Francis sat down for 20 conversations with French journalist Dominique Wolton for a book-length interview that will be released in French on Wednesday. The 432-page volume is titled Politique et société : un dialogue inédit, or Politics and Society: Conversations with Dominique Walton.

Walton conducted the interview sessions over the span of two years, the first time that the pope has given such a lengthy amount of time to a project like this.

**

If a priest is an abuser, he is sick

—Pope Francis: […] Before, the priest was moved, but the problem just relocated with him. The current policy is what Benedict XVI and I have applied through the Commission for the Protection of Minors, created two years ago here in the Vatican: defending all youth. It’s about confronting the problem. Mother Church teaches how to prevent abuse, and how to enable a child to speak about it, to tell the truth to his parents, and to be forthcoming about what has happened.

It is an edifying journey. The Church should not take up a defensive position. If a priest is an abuser, he is someone who is sick. Of every four abusers, two of them have been abused as children. These are the statistics from the psychiatrists.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:43 AM

Connecticut Rabbi Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Assault On Student

CONNECTICUT
Forward

August 30, 2017

A Connecticut judge entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of a prominent Connecticut rabbi charged in the alleged sexual assault of a minor.

Rabbi Daniel Greer, 77, the founding rabbi of the Yeshiva of New Haven, appeared Tuesday in Superior Court in that city. He is charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, and remains free on $100,000 bail.

Eliyahu Mirlis, 29, of New Jersey, claims the rabbi raped and sexually molested him hundreds of times when he was a minor and a student at the religious boarding school from 2001 to 2005. Mirlis has urged media outlets that normally would not identify an abuse victim to use his name.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:38 AM

Exact Vatican Tribunal Charges Against Guam Archbishop Unknown

UNITED STATES
theworthyadversary.com

September 1, 2017

Joelle Casteix

Even I was guilty of assuming that Archdiocese of Agaña (Guam) Archbishop Anthony Apuron was charged with child sexual abuse in his current and highly publicized Vatican Tribunal.

But then I learned:

Charges in a Vatican Tribunal are secret.

Apuron’s replacement confirmed it.

From The Tablet (UK):

"Asked if [Guam] archbishop [Anthony Apuron] was also being charged for financial mismanagement, not just alleged child abuse, Archbishop Byrnes told reporters he did not know what the charges ended up being, but that they would be published eventually after the Vatican judges deliberated. (emphasis mine)"

Guam’s Catholics and the public are under the assumption that Apuron’s Vatican trial is for child sexual abuse. The Vatican and Apuron’s lawyers, I believe, are taking that assumption and running with it.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:27 AM

A disgrace to the church - man admits horrific abuse of three young girls

UNITED KINGDOM
Lincolnshire Live

August 30, 2017

Nicholas Fletcher

A former clergyman has pleaded guilty to 25 charges of indecently assaulting young girls after being exposed by an ongoing investigation into historic abuse at the Lincoln Diocese.

John Bailey from Ash Tree Park in Kippax, Leeds, admitted to offences involving three young girls aged under 14.

The 76-year-old faced 18 charges relating to a single victim between February 1974 and February 1982 when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday, August 29.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:24 AM

Church compares sexual abuse conviction to Christ’s death sentence

COLOMBIA
Colombia Reports

August 30, 2017

Adriaan Alsema

The archdiocese of the Colombian city of Manizales damned local judges and the attorney of a sexual abuse victim after the church was forced to take responsibility for the sex crime of one of its clergies.

In a letter sent to the judges of the Manizales court, episcopal vicar Marcos Fernando Barrientos fiercely rejected a court ruling that ordered the church to pay $35,000 in compensation to the victim of sexual abuse by one of the organization’s priests.

"History repeats itself. God is condemned by jurists, ignorant and cowardly as Pilate and his advisers under pressure of the hoi polloi." - Vicar Marcos Fernando Barrientos

The clergy’s fury was spurred by a court ruling that confirmed the 20-year prison sentence of a local priest for raping a boy and the court order obligating the church to repair the victim.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:27 AM

Today in Victoria: It’s a hard time to be an archbishop, just

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 30, 2017

John Ferguson, Victorian EditorMelbourne, @fergusonjw

It’s a hard time to be an archbishop.

Denis Hart, who runs the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, knows this dynamic better than anyone in Australia.

The Archbishop succeeded George Pell when the now cardinal went to run Sydney and ever since has erred on the side of well mannered community debate when selling the Catholic story.

But there are a few non-negotiables in the church leadership.

Euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage being chief among them.

Rites v rights: the Catholic Church faces a crisis of conscience

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

September 1, 2017

Barney Zwartz

The Catholic Church in Australia is fighting on three fronts – same-sex marriage, euthanasia and education funding – that will test its influence both inside and outside the church, with the people in the pews and the politicians and powerbrokers.

Legalised same-sex marriage seems inevitable, euthanasia is back on the legislative agenda in Victoria and NSW, and the federal government has calculated that it can get away with an attack on funding for Catholic schools.

**
According to a senior lay leader who does not want to be named, sexual abuse scandals have so eroded the church's moral authority that people have stopped listening. But this doesn't apply on euthanasia, where the church has far more credibility because its wide, no-strings attached healthcare services – including being perhaps the largest palliative care provider in Australia – give it real authority.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:04 AM

Catholic Church in Australia unlikely to change, abuse review head says

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet

August 29, 2017

Mark Brolly

Two members of the Truth Justice and Healing Council - the body established by the Australian bishops and religious orders to liaise with the Royal Commission - have spoken out, with Vice Chair Ms Elizabeth Proust telling the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that she was "pessimistic" about the Church's willingness to reform and Council member Professor Greg Craven criticising the Commission and media coverage.

Ms Proust, a businesswoman and former leading civil servant, said she feared the Church would emerge from the Royal Commission 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 once that all dies down, that life will go back to what it was," she told the ABC's 'Religion and Ethics Report' on 16 August. "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."

Ms Proust - who chairs the Australian Institute of Company Directors and formerly was head of the Victorian Department of P

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:58 AM

Concerned Catholics monitor seminary

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

September 3, 2017

Louella Losinio

Members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam conducted a "checkpoint" yesterday at the front gate going into the Redemptoris Mater Seminary to monitor everyone going in and out of the property, insisting that people using the seminary should pay rent to the Church.

The project called "Occupy RMS" involved volunteers of the Concerned Catholics working in shifts at the entrance of the Yona property.

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

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:54 AM

Magistrate's hearing for teacher accused of molesting student

GUAM
Pacific Daily News (USA TODAY Network)

August 31, 2017

[BRIEF VIDEO] Peregrine San Nicolas, a Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School P.E. teacher, appeared in court for a magistrate's hearing Thursday Aug. 31, 2017 in the Guam Judicial Center in Hagåtña. Jasmine Stole/PDN

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:45 AM

Mediation talks to begin in child sex abuse cases

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

September 3, 2017

Mindy Aguon

The first discussions to determine mediation protocol in nearly 100 child sex abuse lawsuits will be held in Hawaii tomorrow, Guam time.

Attorneys for most of the parties flew to Hawaii to meet with retired federal judge Michael Hogan, who will serve as an alternative dispute resolution mediator, to discuss a possible global settlement for the cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America, and numerous members of the clergy.

The Archdiocese of Agana has retained Seattle, Washington-based attorney Michael Patterson as defense counsel for all pending litigation filed against the Catholic Church in Guam.

Attorney David Lujan, who represents the bulk of the victims who have filed child sex abuse lawsuits, confirmed that the settlement discussions will also include several cases that have not been filed in court.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:25 AM

Prosecutor: Pastor's touching was not criminal

MICHIGAN
Times Herald (Port Huron MI)

August 30, 2017

Nicole Hayden

A pastor accused of sexually assaulting a young woman will not face prosecution because the woman doesn’t fall under any classes of victims as outlined by state law, officials said Wednesday.

Pastor Mitch Olson, of Grace Ministry Center in Smiths Creek, was being investigated after the 20-year-old woman filed a police report in June alleging that Olson sexually assaulted her while performing a religious act. The Times Herald does not publish names of sexual assault victims. At the start of August, the St. Clair County Sheriff Department submitted the case to the prosecutor for review seeking a criminal sexual conduct charge.

The prosecutor concluded no criminal activity occurred.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:20 AM

Lawmaker looks to add clergy to sex assault law

MICHIGAN
Times Herald (Port Huron MI)

August 31, 2017

Nicole Hayden

A Senate bill is being drafted in Lansing to address clergy members and sexual assault laws.

The action is being taken after Sen. Rick Jones, Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, read a story in the Times Herald detailing a prosecutor's decision to deny criminal charges against a pastor who put his hands on the breasts, buttocks and genitals of a female member of his church.

“I am angry this could happen and that this pastor could get away and not be charged,” Jones said. “I think that it very inappropriate and in most cases a pastor has just as much power over a person as a teacher or a doctor. I have requested a bill be written by the Legislative Service Bureau to address this situation.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:13 AM

3 new church sex abuse lawsuits filed, 1 dismissed Victim alleges priest physically abused him to comply for sex<

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

September 2, 2017

Mindy Aguon

A former altar boy has come forward alleging a priest repeatedly physically abused him to force him to perform sexual acts when he was a young boy.

R.J.S., who filed the lawsuit using initials to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana naming deceased priest Antonio Cruz as his abuser.

Attorney David Lujan represents R.J.S., who alleges he was physically and sexually abused between the ages of 10 and 16 while serving as an altar boy at Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago.

R.J.S. said the physical abuse began when he was an altar boy and made mistakes during Mass.

Active lawsuits accusing Guam priests of sex abuse now top 100

GUAM
Pacific Daily News (USA TODAY Network)

September 1, 2017

Steve Limtiaco

[The USA TODAY Network’s Pacific Daily News has uncovered nearly 100 lawsuits with stunning accusations against the some of the most revered men on Guam – the priests.]

[Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this report left out a lawsuit.]

HAGÅTÑA, Guam — Two more lawsuits filed Friday in U.S. District Court here bring the number of active suits accusing clergy members and others affiliated with this island’s Catholic Church of sexually abusing children to more than 100.

The two priests named in the lawsuits — the Rev. Louis Brouillard, 96, and Antonio Cruz, now dead — have been named in other suits: Brouillard is accused in 58 cases, Cruz in seven cases although the plaintiff requested an additional one that was filed Monday in federal court be voluntarily dismissed Thursday.

The claim that A.J.A. filed Monday against Cruz can be brought again according to court rules, but if it is dismissed a second time, it cannot be refiled.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:48 AM

UPDATE: Priest accused of sexual abuse will return to SC to stand trial

SAVANNAH (GA)
WSAV

September 1, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Former Savannah priest Wayland Brown waived extradition and will be brought from Maryland to South Carolina to stand trial.

Brown was indicted on nine charges of criminal sexual conduct with a child last week.
Investigators says Brown took two boys, one from 1979-1981, the other in 1987-88 from St. James School in Savannah to several locations in Hardeeville, where he raped them.

Wayland Brown was defrocked as a Catholic priest by the Diocese in 2003

The Chatham County District Attorney’s office and US attorney’s in Georgia were barred from criminally prosecuting because of statute of limitations.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:24 AM

In Sicily abuse saga, doubt surrounds what a bishop should have done


SICILY (Italy)
Crux

September 3, 2017

John L. Allen Jr., Editor

[As more details emerge about a Catholic lay movement in Sicily whose leader and three other top officials have been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of underage minor girls, the questions become: Should more have been done by Church authorities to disown the group, or did local bishops do everything one could reasonably ask?]

I hope you caught the Crux piece yesterday by Claire Giangravé about a lay Catholic organization in Sicily, whose lay leader and three other top officials have been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of minor girls. It’s a powerful tale, part of a series based on original reporting, and cements Giangravé’s reputation as a terrific journalist.

Let me say, we take no delight in telling these stories. However, as Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who heads the pope’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, never tires of reminding us, whenever sexual abuse occurs, inside or outside the Church, it’s a “dark and unremitting truth” that must be confronted.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:15 AM

Lay group’s tale one of exorcisms, power struggles and abuse charges

SICILY (Italy)
Crux

September 2, 2017

Claire Giangravè

[A lay Catholic association founded by an unlicensed exorcist in the small Sicilian town of Aci Bonaccorsi is under scrutiny after its leader was arrested for sexually abusing at least six underage girls. A Crux investigation led to the further discovery of 'bizarre happenings' in the local church of Lavina for more than 40 years, where the lay group was able to act largely without any ecclesiastical or governmental oversight.]

ACI BONACCORSI, Sicily - Aci Bonaccorsi, a small town of about 3,500 on the Italian island of Sicily, is a pious and devout kind of place.

People are said to have been miraculously cured here, citizens swear to have seen demons cast out, and once, it is believed, the Virgin Mary stopped a river of lava from destroying the entire town.

But today the small Sicilian municipality, famous for being a bastion of the kind of traditional Catholicism that characterizes the surrounding diocese of Acireale, is in the eye of a hurricane involving exorcisms, alleged sexual abuse and power struggles.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:09 AM

For archdiocese, full disclosure long overdue

SANTA FE (NM)
The New Mexican

Editorial
September 3, 2017

Public confession can be good for the soul, as well as essential for rebuilding trust in institutions tarnished by years of evasion and half-truths. For the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, a full and public confession naming which of its priests have been credibly accused of sexually molesting children is overdue.

Last week, reporter Andrew Oxford wrote at length describing what other Catholic dioceses around the nation have done to help victims overcome trauma caused by sexual abuse. It is clear that the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has more work to do to help ease the pain of the many victims of religious leaders.

New Mexico, long a center of Catholicism in the Southwest, was at the heart of pedophile priest scandals that hit the U.S. church. Over the past several decades, the faithful learned that trusted bishops failed in their duty to protect children.

Instead, church leaders hid child molesters, moving the accused men from church to church, putting more children at risk. When parents came to report the abuse, they were shunted aside. The focus, it seemed, was always the reputation of the Catholic Church rather than the safety of children. No public scandals, in other words, no matter the private evil that was allowed to continue.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:04 AM

September 2, 2017

Sacerdote español abusó sexualmente y prostituyó a menores

HONDURAS
Debate

September 1, 2017

Tegucigalpa, Honduras.- Autoridades hondureñas informaron hoy de la detención de un sacerdote español solicitado en su país por presuntamente haber abusado sexualmente y prostituir a menores de edad.

De acuerdo con un informe de la Fuerza de Seguridad Interinstitucional Nacional (Fusina), el religioso, identificado como Joan Alonzo Bonal, fue detenido este jueves en el departamento de Gracia a Dios, fronterizo con Nicaragua.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:36 PM

Honduras detiene a sacerdote español solicitado en su país por abuso sexual


[Google Translate: Honduras halts Spanish priest sought in his country for sexual abuse]

HONDURAS
Diario La Tribuna Honduras

September 2, 2017

Autoridades hondureñas informaron hoy de la detención de un sacerdote español solicitado en su país por presuntamente haber abusado sexualmente y prostituir a menores de edad.

El religioso, identificado como Joan Alonzo Bonal, fue detenido este jueves en el departamento de Gracia a Dios, fronterizo con Nicaragua, este de Honduras, según un informe de la Fuerza de Seguridad Interinstitucional Nacional (FUSINA).

Con ello se dio cumplimiento a una “orden de captura con fines de extradición emitida por España” en su contra, señaló la institución hondureña.

Statement Regarding Father Martin Boylan

SCRANTON (PA)
Diocese of Scranton

August 30, 2017

The Diocese of Scranton learned today that the investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police into Father Martin Boylan has been closed because of a refusal on the part of the alleged victim to testify. 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 Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:19 PM

No Charges against Accused Catholic Priest

PENNSYLVANIA
16 WNEP (ABC)

August 30, 2017

Dan Ratchford

SCRANTON -- An investigation into sexual misconduct by a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton is closed after state police say the alleged victim refused to testify.

The person came forward in April of 2016 accusing Fr. Martin Boylan of abuse when the alleged victim was just a child.

Fr. Boylan was serving as pastor of St. Patrick's parish in Scranton when those accusations were made.

No charges were filed against Fr. Boylan.

The allegations were being investigated by state police and the Wayne County district attorney's office.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:15 PM

Pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale ‘likely to die in prison’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Tessa Akerman
@TessaAkerman

August 31, 2017

Australia’s worst pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale could leave prison in just five years after a Victorian County Court judge added three years to his jail term this morning

However, Judge Irene Lawson said Ridsdale had been in custody since August 1994 and it was increasingly likely the 83-year-old would die in prison.

Sentencing Ridsdale over a further 23 charges, Judge Lawson said; “You are now an elderly man with no hope of a productive life.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:05 PM

'I had no idea what sex was or what had happened to me' A survivor

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

August 31, 2017

Australia's most notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale will spend at least another three years behind bars after admitting to sexually abusing more children.

The 83-year-old man now has 161 convictions for abuse against 65 children, but the true figure of how many children he sexually abused, and how many lives he damaged, might never be known.

This is the story of one survivor.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:58 PM

Pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale gets 11 more years in jail for child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Nine News

August 31, 2017

Australia's worst pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale will spend almost 33 years in jail in total for his unprecedented offending spanning three decades.

The former Catholic priest was sentenced today after pleading guilty to abusing a further 12 children during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl on a church altar in Ballarat.

Judge Irene Lawson sentenced Ridsdale to 11 years with a non-parole period of eight years.

Ridsdale is already serving a 28-year sentence with a 25-year non-parole period.

Ridsdale told one ten-year-old victim she’d be a “good girl” if she did not tell anyone, and said “we could be forgiven”.

She was taken to him several times by her father between 1962 and 1988.

The 83-year-old’s earliest possible parole is 2022.

** [Article includes timeline of Ridsdale's life]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:42 PM

Notorious former priest Ridsdale sentenced to 11 more years in prison for child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
AAP - SBS Wires, SBS World News

August 31, 2017

Australia's worst pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale abused his position of trust offending over three decades, says a judge who added another five years to his overall jail term.

The former Catholic priest has been sentenced to 11 years' jail for abusing another dozen children, including a 10-year-old girl sexually assaulted on a church altar.

He has already served 23 years of a 28-year sentence for sexual offences against children in his care across western Victoria.

Victorian County Court Judge Irene Lawson said Ridsdale's appalling pattern of offending was quickly established following his ordination in 1961.

"Each of the complainants were young, vulnerable and were exploited by you for your own sexual gratifications," Judge Lawson said on Thursday.

"Your actions were violent and abusive."

Judge Lawson said Ridsdale abused his position of trust over the victims and the trust of their families.

"You were a revered priest and trusted by devout Catholic families who respected you as God's representative on earth."

Ridsdale has now pleaded guilty in five court cases to abusing 65 children during his three decades as a parish priest in western Victoria, although his true number of victims is believed to be in the hundreds.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:33 PM

Judge rules good cause to open files on 3 ex-priests accused of child sexual abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The New Mexican
September 1, 2017

By Andrew Oxford

ALBUQUERQUE -- A state district judge said Friday there is good cause to open sealed records on three former Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children across New Mexico.

Judge Alan Malott said he will review three binders filled with years-old documents from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, including parts of depositions and personnel files, to decide which records will be released to the public for the first time.

Though dozens of other priests in the archdiocese also have been accused of sexual misconduct during the last several decades, the release of files about at least a few would offer rare insight into how church administrators for years covered up a scandal that went to the heart of one of New Mexico’s most revered institutions.

The hearing followed a request by KOB-TV to review documents accumulated by an Albuquerque lawyer who has represented some 60 survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

Malott has ordered the lawyer for plaintiffs in those cases, Brad Hall, to keep the files confidential.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:22 PM

New Mexico judge could release priests' sex abuse documents

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press

September 2, 2017

A New Mexico judge is reviewing three binders filled with years-old documents on three former Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children to decide what records should and shouldn't be released to the public.

Judge Alan Malott said Friday there is good cause to open sealed records, but that he will review them "with an eye toward what is appropriate for public disclosure."

Malott is reviewing the records in response to a request by KOB-TV, which filed in July as an intervenor in seven clerical abuse cases for the purpose of obtaining court records.

The attorney for the archdiocese, Robert Warburton of Albuquerque, said release of the records would endanger the archdiocese's right to a fair trial, and endangers the privacy rights of victims and their families.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:59 PM

September 1, 2017

Priest who burned crosses as a Klansman never paid court-ordered damages to victims. Now the order has expired.

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Tom Jackman August 31

The $26,000 that a federal judge ordered a member of the Ku Klux Klan to pay in 1982 to an African American couple and two Jewish groups for a series of cross-burnings is no longer legally collectible because the statute of limitations has expired, legal experts say.

The former Klansman, William Marx Aitcheson, is now a Catholic priest in Fairfax, Va., and never paid the $26,000. He pleaded guilty to cross-burnings in Prince George’s County, Md., in 1977, records show, and was sued in federal court in Maryland the following year by some of the victims, including Barbara and Phillip Butler of College Park, Md. In 1982, U.S. District Judge Frank Kaufman of Baltimore granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs, awarding the Butlers $23,000, and $1,500 each to Beth Torah Congregation and B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation of College Park.

All three parties said they never received any money from Aitcheson, and never heard from him again. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1988, and has been serving as a pastor in Virginia since 1993.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Louis Brouillard, Antonio Cruz again accused of sexual abuse

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Steve Limtiaco, Pacific Daily News Sept. 1, 2017

There are now more than 100 lawsuits filed in federal and local court, accusing clergy members and others affiliated with the island’s Catholic Church of sexually abusing children decades ago.

Two lawsuits were filed Friday in the U.S. District Court of Guam, accusing former Guam priest Louis Brouillard and deceased priest Antonio Cruz of abuse.

In his lawsuit accusing Brouillard, “R.E.J.” stated he used to accompany Brouillard, who was a scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America, on outings between 1978 and 1980, although “R.E.J.” was not a member of the scouts.

Like many of those who have accused Brouillard, “R.E.J.” said Brouillard sexually assaulted him during a swimming trip to the Lonfit River. The lawsuit states “R.E.J.” was not a good swimmer, and Brouillard encouraged him to swim in the deep part of the river, where Brouillard then hugged and molested him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Editorial: Retain abuse survivors or risk irrelevancy

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Editorial

It is distressing to learn that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors may be restructured so that survivors of sexual abuse by clergy may have no direct voice in that body. The commission has helped the church make great strides in addressing this global issue, but it is in danger of becoming irrelevant.

Signs of trouble with the commission began to surface in 2016, a year after its inception, when one of two abuse survivors on the commission, Peter Saunders, was suspended. The trouble became acute when the sole remaining survivor on the commission, Marie Collins, resigned earlier this year.

Collins resigned because she felt Vatican bureaucracy was neglecting and stalling the work of the commission. The commission is understaffed, underfunded and not accepted by offices at the Vatican that should be working with it, Collins said. Her statements have been reinforced by fellow commission member Krysten Winter-Green in an interview with NCR.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Three more lawsuits claim sexual abuse by priest

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Sep 01, 2017

By Krystal Paco

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

55-year-old R.J.S. alleges he was not only sexually molested and abused by Father Antonio Cruz, but also physically abused by the priest who would slap him, twist his ear, and hit him with a closed fist in order to pressure him to perform sexual acts.

55-year-old G.M.Q. and 49-year-old R.E.J. allege they were sexually molested by Father Louis Brouillard on swimming trips.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

UPDATE: Priest accused of sexual abuse will return to SC to stand trial

GEORGIA
WSAVi

By Andrew Davis
Published: September 1, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Former Savannah priest Wayland Brown waived extradition and will be brought from Maryland to South Carolina to stand trial.

Brown was indicted on nine charges of criminal sexual conduct with a child last week.
Investigators says Brown took two boys, one from 1979-1981, the other in 1987-88 from St. James School in Savannah to several locations in Hardeeville, where he raped them.

The Chatham County District Attorney’s office and US attorney’s in Georgia were barred from criminally prosecuting because of statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Abuse allegation reported against retired priest

MISSOURI
St. Louis Review

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has announced a recently reported allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against a retired priest, Father John Robert "Jack" Campbell, which occurred in the 1960s at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary South in Shrewsbury.

Father Campbell, 85, has been retired from ministry since 1989 and currently resides in a private residence. Reports of abuse by Father Campbell were first made in the 1990s, prior to the adoption of the U.S. bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. Father Campbell is on permanent administrative leave which prohibits him from engaging in priestly ministry. The Review Board of the archdiocese considers the new allegation to be credible.

An announcement about the allegation will be made in the parishes where Father Campbell served in keeping with the U.S. bishops' charter to ensure transparency in communicating with the public about allegations of sexual abuse of minors and as an outreach to potential victims. Father Campbell was on the faculty of Prep South. He also taught at St. Pius X High School in Festus in the 1980s. Ordained in 1958, his parish assignments included St. Elizabeth in Crestwood, St. Edward in St. Louis, Notre Dame de Lourdes in Wellston and Sacred Heart in Valley Park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM