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May 31, 2018

In letter to Chileans, Francis decries church's 'culture of abuse and cover-up'

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

May 31, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

Pope Francis has become the first leader of the Catholic Church to publicly decry a "culture of abuse and cover-up" in the global institution, admitting in a strikingly blunt letter to the people of Chile that clergy sexual abuse has continued because church leaders have not taken victims seriously.

In an eight-page May 31 message addressed to "the Pilgrim people of God in Chile," the pope also says Catholic leaders must work to better respect the voices and opinions of non-clerics "to promote communities capable of fighting against abusive situations, communities where exchange, discussion, confrontation are welcome."

One of the church's "main faults and omissions," Francis writes, was "not knowing how to listen to the victims."

"With shame, I must say that we did not hear and react in time," he adds in the letter, which was sent to the Chilean bishops' conference and made public by it.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:42 PM

Never again: Pope denounces ‘culture of abuse, cover-up’

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

May 31, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara

Pope Francis became the first pope to publicly denounce a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in the Catholic Church, saying Thursday he was ashamed that neither he nor Chile’s Catholic leaders truly ever listened to victims as the country’s abuse scandal spiraled.

“Never again,” Francis said in a pastoral letter to the Chilean faithful on the eve of another weekend he will spend listening to victims of Chile’s most notorious predator priest. The letter was issued on the same day the Vatican announced its top abuse investigators were returning to Chile on a new mission.

In the eight-page letter, Francis once again thanked victims for their “valiant perseverance” in denouncing abuse and searching for the truth “even against all hopes or attempts to discredit them.”

He included himself among the guilty in failing to actually accompany victims, saying, “With shame I must say that we didn’t know how to listen or respond in time.”

And he spoke repeatedly of a “culture of abuse and cover-up.”

“The ‘never again’ to the culture of abuse and the system of cover-up that allows it to perpetuate requires us to work together to generate a culture of care,” in the way we relate to one another, power and money, he said.

No other pope has publicly spoken of a culture of cover-up in the church. The Vatican has focused for the past decade on punishing abusers themselves rather than the bishops and religious superiors who moved pedophiles from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police or removing them from ministry.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:38 PM

Archbishop to return to Chile in connection with child abuse cases

CHILE
Times of Malta

May 31, 2018

Archbishop Charles Scicluna will be returning to Chile at the behest of the Pope, in a trip meant to heal the wounds of abuse victims.

He would be accompanied by Mgr Jordi Bertomeu, the Vatican said on Thursday.

Sources said Mgr Scicluna would probably go to the Osorno Diocese in June while the Pope is planning to meet a group of priests from Chile at the end of this week.

Archbishop Scicluna was first sent to Chile at the end of January by Pope Francis to look into allegations against a bishop accused of covering up clergy crimes against minors there.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:02 PM

Vatican Chile abuse investigators return on pastoral mission

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

May 31, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara

The Vatican team of investigators who exposed wide-scale priestly sexual abuse and a cover-up in Chile’s Catholic Church is going back to the country on a pastoral mission to the divided diocese of Osorno.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Thursday the visit to Osorno by Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu wasn’t investigative in nature but pastoral, part of Pope Francis’ effort to help Chile heal from the scandal.

Osorno has been badly divided ever since Francis in 2015 tapped Bishop Juan Barros to lead the diocese over the objections of some of Chile’s other bishops. Barros had been a top lieutenant of Chile’s most notorious predator priest, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, and had been accused by Karadima’s victims of having witnessed and ignored their abuse.

Barros denied the charge, but he was one of the 30-plus Chilean bishops who recently submitted their resignations to the pope after Scicluna and Bertomeu issued a 2,300-page report detailing decades of abuse and cover-up in the Chilean church.

Francis had initially sent the pair to Chile in February to take testimony from victims and witnesses, after drawing widespread public condemnation for having defended Barros during a trip to Chile. Among the 64 people Scicluna and Bertomeu interviewed were members of a delegation from Osorno, which is some 900 kilometers (560 miles) from Santiago.

Among other complaints, Osorno’s lay Catholics have argued that Barros can’t be trusted to protect children from pedophiles in Osorno today if he claims to have never seen any abuse when it was all around him in Karadima’s community.

Barros’ March 2015 installation Mass in Osorno’s cathedral was marred by violent protests by some of the hundreds of local Catholics who have continued to reject him as their bishop, staging regular protests that have divided friends and even families.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:50 PM

Una decena de acusaciones de abuso sexual en una iglesia católica de Guayaquil sigue sin resolverse

ECUADOR
GK

May 2018

A dozen accusations of sexual abuse in a Catholic church in Guayaquil remains unresolved

Durante más de diez años, el reverendo Luis Fernando Intriago —hoy suspendido del sacerdocio— dirigió grupos juveniles. Al menos diez de los adolescentes que asistieron a ellos pasaron por un ritual físico que no es reconocido por la Iglesia Católica. Ni la justicia ordinaria —que lo investiga por abuso sexual— ni la eclesiástica han resuelto definitivamente el caso.

1.
“Te hacía desnudar. Yo me quedaba desnudo, amarrado, porque te amarraba las piernas y las manos. La idea era hacerte sufrir porque si aguantabas, estabas haciendo una ofrenda. Cuando veía que se le estaba pasando la mano, paraba. En mi caso, me arrastró por una alfombra con los ojos vendados, las piernas amarradas, luego me llevó a la cama vendado. Esto es lo más asqueroso que me ha pasado, me da vergüenza… me trepó encima de él, como en una relación sexual. Nunca me penetró, no me tocó mis partes íntimas, por más que estuve desnudo. Pero me trepó encima de él, y con su barba como que me rozaba el pecho, el abdomen.” Quien habla es Gino P., hoy de 25 años, estudiante de Psicología. De quien habla es el reverendo Luis Fernando Intriago Páez, quien llamaba a estas prácticas la dinámica del pecado.

Por denuncias como esta, la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe del Vaticano ratificó la expulsión del sacerdocio del “Rev. Luis Fernando INTRIAGO PÁEZ, acusado de abuso sexual de diversos menores”. En el decreto en que lo decide, la Congregación dice que este delito debe entenderse —según la Ley de la Iglesia— como el acto cometido por un clérigo contra el sexto mandamiento con un menor que no ha cumplido 16 años. Para la legislación ecuatoriana es el acto de naturaleza sexual —excluyendo la penetración— que se hace contra la voluntad de otra persona, y que si la víctima es menor de 18 años, el que haya consentimiento es irrelevante. En la Fiscalía General del Estado hay dos investigaciones en contra de Intriago: una por abuso sexual y otra por tortura.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:47 PM

Iglesia Católica apoya investigación de casos de abuso sexual en Ecuador

ECUADOR
Andes.info.ec

May 28, 2018

Catholic Church supports investigation of sexual abuse cases in Ecuador

Según cifras del Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef), apenas el 15% de los casos de abuso sexual contra menores es denunciado en el país.

Las noticias sobre casos de abuso sexual contra niños, niñas o adolescentes por parte de miembros de la Iglesia Católica han movilizado a varios sectores del país que exigen procedimientos más rigurosos y expeditos para la investigación de estos hechos, así como el endurecimiento de las sanciones aplicables.

En las ciudades de Cuenca y Guayaquil salieron a la luz relatos de algunas víctimas de dos sacerdotes que, aprovechando su calidad de ministros de la Iglesia Católica, abusaron de niños y adolescentes, defraudando la confianza que las víctimas y sus familias habían depositado en ellos.

"No creo en la justicia, ni en la justicia divina. El padre violador está vivo, yo sí quisiera verle la cara. Le diría que me arruinó mi vida, en nombre de Dios". Es la frase de uno de los denunciantes de supuestos abusos sexuales del padre César C. M., rector vitalicio de una universidad en Cuenca.

Su testimonio se difundió por medio de la radio “La voz del Tomebamba”, luego de que en el canal Teleamazonas salieron las declaraciones de Jorge P., presunta víctima, y otro individuo que prefirió mantener el anonimato. Los tres eran compañeros en la Escuela Miguel Ortiz, de esa ciudad.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:44 PM

SAGINAW CLERIC’S ORDINATION CALLED OFF OVER SEX ABUSE ALLEGATION

SAGINAW (MI)
Church Militant

May 24, 2018

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.

Deacon Jerome Green's faculties removed

A Michigan cleric's ordination to the priesthood is being called off over a sex abuse allegation.

Bishop Joseph Cistone of the Saginaw diocese sent an internal email Thursday announcing he is canceling the ordination of Deacon Jerome Green, pastoral administrator at St. Vincent de Paul parish. Green's faculties have been suspended, and he is being relieved of his duties at the parish.

"Deacon Green has been relieved of his duties as Pastoral Administrator of St. Vincent DePaul Parish, Shepherd; and his faculties to minister as a deacon have been suspended while the matter is pursued," the letter reads.

The letter refers to "some unresolved issues dealing with a time before his coming to the Diocese of Saginaw." Reliable inside sources say this refers to a sex abuse allegation from Detroit. Further details remain unknown.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:42 PM

Harvey Weinstein indicted on charges of rape, criminal sexual act

NEW YORK (NY)
CNN

May 31, 2018

By Darran Simon

A New York City grand jury on Wednesday indicted movie producer Harvey Weinstein on charges of rape in the first and third degrees and first-degree criminal sexual act, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said.

Weinstein, 66, was arraigned last week on the same charges, seven months after women began to come forward with stories alleging sexual misconduct by the famous Hollywood producer.
Weinstein, who intends to plead not guilty, remains free after posting a $1 million cash bail, according to his attorney.
The charges stemmed from incidents with two women in 2013 and 2004 and were the result of a joint investigation between police and prosecutors, according to the Manhattan district attorney.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:40 PM

Harvey Weinstein Will Not Testify to Manhattan Grand Jury

NEW YORK (NY)
Variety

May 30, 2018

By Gene Maddaus

Harvey Weinstein has elected not to testify to a grand jury convened by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, his attorney announced Wednesday.

Weinstein was charged in a criminal complaint on Friday with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act. He is free on a $1 million bail, and restricted from traveling outside New York and Connecticut. A grand jury is convening to determine whether to issue an indictment on the same allegations. Weinstein’s decision not to testify is not a surprise, as it would be unusual to offer his version of events at this stage of the proceedings.

Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, did offer a glimpse of his defense, saying that one of the cases is 14 years old and the second involves a victim with whom he had a consensual relationship. In the statement, Brafman also objected to being denied access to “critical information about this case” that would have aided in his defense before the grand jury.

“Not having access to these materials is particularly troubling in this case, where one of the unsupported allegations is more than 14 years old and the rape allegation involves a woman with whom Mr. Weinstein shared a 10-year consensual sexual relationship that continued for years after the alleged incident in 2013,” Brafman said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:39 PM

9 women who allege assaults by Uber drivers want the right to unite in court

UNITED STATES
CNN

May 30, 2018

by Sara Ashley O'Brien

Nine women who allege they've been sexually assaulted by Uber drivers are pushing back against the ridesharing company for trying to force their proposed class action lawsuit into arbitration.

Two weeks ago, Uber said it would allow survivors of sexual assault and harassment by its drivers to seek justice however they choose, whether that's arbitration, mediation or open court. The updated policy came in the wake of a CNN investigation into sexual assaults and abuse by ridesharing drivers.

But the company said, per its terms of service, it will not allow victims of sexual assault and harassment to join together in a class action lawsuit. Uber's lawyers tried to compel the women to carry out two of the lawsuit claims through arbitration. The claims are related to unfair business practices and consumer legal remedies. Uber said assault related claims need to be handled individually.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:36 PM

Inmate says prison counselor sexually assaulted her after reporting guard for rape

MISSOURI
New York Post

May 30, 2018

By Joshua Rhett Miller

A former inmate in Missouri was repeatedly raped by a prison guard before reporting the attacks to a mental health counselor — who also sexually assaulted her, according to a federal lawsuit.

Karen Backues Keil was released from the Chillicothe Correctional Center in February 2017 after a six-year prison stint for forgery and theft, but she still battles the stress and sorrow associated with “the hell” of being raped more than 20 times by prison guard Edward Bearden, her lawsuit alleges.

“I can’t get over it,” Keil told the Kansas City Star. “It’s there every second of the day. I have to think about it and I have to fight those thoughts in my head that I deserved this. And I didn’t. Nobody deserves what I went through.”

Keil’s lawsuit, which was filed earlier this week, claims Bearden — who still works at the 1,640-inmate, mixed-custody women’s facility — began touching her inappropriately during pat-downs by groping her breasts and backside. That later escalated to repeated rapes between 2012 and 2015, according to her lawsuit.

Keil then sought help from a prison counselor following the alleged sexual assaults, but less than a month after she started therapy sessions with counselor John Thomas Dunn, he too began sexually assaulting her, the lawsuit claims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:33 PM

Ex-MSU president Simon subpoenaed while on vacation in Traverse City

WASHINGTON (DC)
Detroit Free Press

May 30, 2018

By Todd Spangler

Former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon was served a congressional subpoena on Wednesday morning to force her attendance at a subcommittee hearing on the Larry Nassar scandal next week.

Both the Senate Commerce Committee and Simon's attorney, Mayer Morganroth, acknowledged to the Free Press that federal marshals served the subpoena on Simon in Traverse City, where she is on vacation.

Morganroth said she will appear at the hearing, even though he said, "There is not much she can say. ... They know that. She didn’t have any direct contact at all with Nassar."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:23 PM

Vatican team investigating abuse cover-ups to return to Chile

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic News Service via CatholicPhilly.com

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Vatican City - To promote healing after reports of sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis will send Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Father Jordi Bertomeu Farnos back to Chile.

Both will visit the Diocese of Osorno “with the aim of advancing the process of reparation and healing of abuse victims,” the Vatican said in a statement May 31.

Abuse survivors have alleged that Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno — then a priest — had witnessed their abuse by his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima. In 2011, Father Karadima was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

Archbishop Scicluna, who is president of a board of review handling abuse cases within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Father Bertomeu, an official of the doctrinal congregation, will depart “in the next few days,” the Vatican said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:31 AM

Former resident at Catholic orphanage was raped by a priest and repeatedly abused by a nun because ‘she had the devil inside’ her

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Daily Mail

May 30, 2018

By Sebastian Murphy-Bates

Helen Holland says she was raped by the priest to whom she had turned for help
The 59-year-old told inquiry nun held her hands down while the priest raped her
Nun also punched, kicked and hit children with a bamboo cane, inquiry was told

AA former resident at a Catholic-run orphanage has told an inquiry she was raped by a priest after confiding in him about being abused by a nun.

Helen Holland, 59, has waived her right to anonymity to describe years of 'sadistic' treatment at the Nazareth House home in Kilmarnock during the 1960s and 1970s.

She said the abuse began when she was just eight years old as she addressed the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry today.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:24 AM

Young girl 'raped by priest' and 'sexually abused by nun'

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

May 31, 2018

Abuse is alleged to have taken place at Nazareth House

A former resident at a Catholic children's home has told an inquiry that she was raped by a priest.

Helen Holland said she was eight years old when the priest and a nun began to sexually abuse her at Nazareth House in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire.

She told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry the nun held her down during the abuse.

Ms Holland, who has waived her right to anonymity, said she suffered years of physical and emotional cruelty.

She lived at the children's home in the 1960s and 1970s.

She said the nun repeatedly told her "the devil was inside her".

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:19 AM

Bishop Cantú breaks silence on Hobbs priest accused of sexual abuse

LAS CRUCES (NM)
Sun News

May 30, 2018

By Carlos Andres López

Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantú on Wednesday disputed allegations that the diocese conspired to cover up an investigation involving a Hobbs priest who has been charged with sexually assaulting a man. The bishop also maintained that diocesan officials did not receive complaints from Las Cruces parishioners over an eight-year period when the accused priest was at St. Genevieve Catholic Church.

Cantú spoke candidly about what he did — and didn't do — when he learned about sexual abuse allegations involving Father Ricardo Bauza last year.

In October 2017, Hobbs police charged Bauza, 51, the former pastor at St. Genevieve who was relocated to Hobbs in 2014 to serve as the pastor of St. Helena Catholic Church, with one misdemeanor count of criminal sexual contact following an investigation into allegations that Bauza sexually assaulted an adult male in the rectory shower at St. Helena in 2016.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:17 AM

Longtime priest suspended over child sex abuse allegation

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

May 31, 2018

A longtime priest in the Buffalo Diocese has been suspended over an allegation of child sex abuse.

The Rev. Mark Wolski most recently served at SS. Peter and Paul Church in Hamburg. He was also a longtime priest at St. John the Evangelist in South Buffalo.

"After receiving an abuse complaint against Rev. Mark J. Wolski, Bishop Richard J. Malone has placed Father Wolski on administrative leave as an investigation continues," the diocese said in a statement this morning. "Please note that this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination as to the truth or falsity of the complaint."

Rev. Wolski is the 68th former or current clergy member in the Buffalo Diocese to face credible allegations of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:15 AM

Auxilary Bishop Edward Grosz

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

May 30, 2018

By Charlie Specht

Matt Golden and Nick Caetano are alleged victims of Father Dennis Riter, who allegedly abused them while they were altar boys at a Buffalo parish 20 years ago.

Two months ago, when the boys’ stories first came to light, the diocese suspended Father Riter from the Dunkirk parish where he serves as pastor.

But 7 Eyewitness News has now found a third victim -- this one from a church in Lackawanna -- and a secret document that suggests two bishops may have been warned of Father Riter's abuse more than 25 years ago -- and failed to act.

One of those men is Edward Grosz -- the current auxiliary bishop of Buffalo who now plays a key role in the diocese’s response to the sexual abuse crisis. Golden, a former altar boy, had harsh words for the bishop who once presided at his confirmation into the Catholic faith.

“You knew about this...and you did nothing,” Golden said. “Where’s the accountability?”

The secret letter -- obtained exclusively by 7 Eyewitness News -- was written and signed by a student at Christ the King Seminary in 1992. The seminarian says he walked in on Father Riter abusing a six-year-old boy at the rectory of Queen of All Saints Church in Lackawanna. But when he alerted diocesan authorities about what he saw, he said he was given the message to keep quiet.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:11 AM

May 30, 2018

Priest's assignment to St. Louis parish rescinded over parent concerns about past allegations

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

May 30, 2018

By Erin Heffernan

A Roman Catholic priest twice accused of misconduct involving children will no longer be assigned to a new St. Louis parish following an outpouring of concern from parents, officials with the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced Wednesday.

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang had recently been appointed associate pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish, which is in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood and includes a K-8 school.

The priest was previously charged with statutory sodomy in St. Louis and child endangerment in a Lincoln County case, but charges in both were dropped several years ago. Jiang denied the allegations, and a jury sided with him last year in a civil suit tied to the Lincoln County case.

Still, parents voiced concerns to church leaders about the appointment, including speaking out in the Post-Dispatch and other media. Parents were told Archbishop Robert Carlson and St. Gabriel's pastor Msgr. John Shamleffer would take questions about the appointment at a parish meeting Thursday.

But on Wednesday, Shamleffer and Carlson both issued letters on the St. Gabriel's website announcing that the meeting was cancelled and Jiang was no longer assigned to the parish.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:59 PM

Michigan State spent more than $53,000 in legal fees to respond to NCAA

EAST LANSING (MI)
MLive

May 29, 2018

By Matt Wenzel

Michigan State has spent more than $53,000 in legal fees to defend its claim that no NCAA violations occurred from its handling of former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar.

The university paid a total of $53,250.54 to the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King for work in February and March to craft a response to the NCAA, according to documents obtained by MLive via a Freedom of Information Act request.

Mike Glazier, an attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King, sent Michigan State a letter on Feb. 7 confirming the law firm would represent the university in responding to a Jan. 23 letter from the NCAA seeking information about potential violations related to Nassar. It noted his rate is $475 an hour and he will serve as the primary attorney but, if agreed upon, will assign other work to an attorney whose rate is lower to save money.

From Feb. 1 through March 30, Michigan State was billed for a total of 127 hours of work by the firm. Glazier's initials were marked for 75.5 hours while another attorney logged 51.5 hours at an average rate of $295 per hour. There was also a total of $2,195.54 billed in other expenses, including flights, a rental car and travel meals.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:41 PM

Legal hurdles loom for prosecutors in USC gynecologist case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Press

May 30, 2018

By Brian Melley

The University of Southern California has received hundreds of complaints about a former school gynecologist suspected of conducting inappropriate exams for decades, prompting the resignation of the school president and a police investigation.

More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed and police are talking to more than 50 women who complained, so far.

Whether Dr. George Tyndall faces charges, though, depends on if complaints about creepy comments, improper photos in the exam room and uncomfortable probing went beyond dubious doctoring and into the criminal realm.

The university has come under fire since the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that complaints and comments about Tyndall’s care went unheeded by the school for decades and that USC failed to report him to the medical board even after the school quietly forced him into retirement last year.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:39 PM

What Is Sexual Harassment? A Glossary of the #MeToo Movement

UNITED STATES
Glamour

May 30, 2018

By Elizabeth Kiefer

Your most-searched questions, answered.

We partnered with GQ on an exclusive survey of more than 1,000 men about #MeToo, and the results were eye-opening—particularly this one: 47 percent of men said they hadn’t discussed the movement. At all. With anyone. Let's change that, because to keep this conversation going, we need everyone talking. See the full Glamour x GQ survey here, and read all of the thoughtful pieces it sparked—from personal essays to a glossary of key terms—here.

Whether at work, at school, or in some other setting, chances are at some point in your life you’ve sat through a seminar or training session on sexual harassment and assault. Maybe it was one of those in-depth, eye-opening lectures that reconfigured the way you think about those subjects, maybe it was a bare minimum presentation that only reaffirmed things you already know.

Either way, the #MeToo era has given these training sessions an added urgency, especially when it comes to a full understanding of the movement’s key terms (and how to use them correctly). While the fact that we’re having more transparent, nuanced conversations about assault and abuses of power than ever before in history is inarguably a good thing, it’s also a dialogue that will ultimately prove more productive if we—men and women alike—are all on the same page about what we’re actually talking about. If our shared goal is more open and consistent conversation about #MeToo and all it entails, it’s crucial to get on the same page with terminology.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:36 PM

MSU officials were warned about Strampel years ago

EAST LANSING (MI)
The Detroit News

May 28, 2018

By Kim Kozlowski

At least three times since 2004, colleagues of Larry Nassar’s ex-boss alerted Michigan State University’s administration about multiple reports of inappropriate sexual comments he made toward students and others, according to documents obtained by The Detroit News.

The most recent occurrence was in 2015, when a committee evaluating the performance of William Strampel, then dean of the MSU osteopathic medical school, discussed multiple allegations made by students, faculty and staff about unprofessional conduct that Strampel allegedly directed mostly at women.

“Since these are allegations from anonymous individuals, which the committee cannot verify, nor has the power to investigate if there is any substance, we bring it to the attention of the University Administration,” the committee wrote in 2015.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:35 PM

Nassar scandal clogs FOIA office at Michigan State, impeding access to public information

EAST LANSING (MI)
Lansing State Journal

May 30, 2018

By Sarah Lehr

The case of Larry Nassar, a serial sexual abuser and a former physician with Michigan State University, has attracted scrutiny about what MSU officials knew and when.

At the same time, it has become more onerous for journalists and concerned citizens to access public records from the university.

The Michigan Freedom of Information Act allows access to documents from public institutions like Michigan State.

Since news of the allegations against Nassar broke, FOIA requests to MSU have increased exponentially. But, staffing levels have not kept pace with the demand, leading to longer wait times for public information.

And, on average, the university is requesting higher fees to fulfill FOIA requests, although amounts vary based on complexity of the request.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:33 PM

Ex-Michigan State University head to testify to Congress on abuse of athletes

WASHINGTON (DC)
Reuters

May 29, 2018

By David Shepardson

A former Michigan State University President and a former USA Gymnastics President will testify June 5 to a U.S. Senate committee about efforts to protect athletes from abuse following the scandal of the gymnastics team doctor’s sexual assault of gymnasts, the panel said on Tuesday.

Lou Anna Simon resigned from Michigan State in January and Steve Perry from USA Gymnastics in March 2017. Both were criticized for not doing enough to halt abuse by doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted of molesting gymnasts in 2017 and was sentenced to an effective life term in prison.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:30 PM

Prospect and Pariah

OREGON
Sports Illustrated

May 16, 2018

By S.L. Price

He's one of the best college pitchers, a first-round draft talent—and an admitted juvenile sex offender whose crime, if not for a legal glitch, may have stayed secret forever. Watching Luke Heimlich pitch stirs wonder and outrage—and questions about guilt, forgiveness and second chances.

The first thing to understand about a baseball game involving Luke Heimlich—the Oregon State pitcher who in 2012 pleaded guilty to one felony charge of molesting, at 15, his six-year-old niece, who nevertheless claims innocence, who this season leads the nation in wins—is just how normal it can feel. Nestled mid-campus in Corvallis, Goss Stadium hews to game-day rituals seen forever in ballparks big or small, coast to coast: No matter the paycheck or persona or police record, each player comes packaged the same old way. It is one of the sport's charms.

So it was late in the afternoon of April 19, when winter broke, the sun baked the ground and archrival Oregon made its first appearance of the year. The sound of batting practice, lovely even when—kank!—metallic, blended with rock standards blaring from stadium speakers. Heimlich, owner of a nation's-best 0.76 ERA in 2017 and once a lock for early-round money, aired out his left arm, long-tossing on the warning track. Two dozen windbreakered scouts, even those told by their teams not to bother, eyed him. One spoke of Heimlich's command of four pitches, his ability to hit spots at will—despite orders not to discuss him at all.

Of course the sound of scouts parsing talent, muttering under their breath with a crowd—3,692 tonight, a regular-season record—filing in, is a ballyard staple. Soon, too, came the P.A. man announcing the starting lineups; a local braving the national anthem; the ceremonial first pitch. As the Oregon players returned to their dugout, a middle-aged man greeted them from the stands with a resounding, "Go, Beavs! Ducks Suck! Hate Ducks! Ducks Suck!"

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:28 PM

Sports Media Still Don’t Know How To Deal With Sexual Assault

OREGON
The Huffington Post

May 29, 2018

By Jessica Luther

This month, within two weeks of each other, both Sports Illustrated and The New York Times ran long pieces about Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich. Sports Illustrated even went so far as to feature Heimlich, an athlete most people have probably never heard of, on its cover.

The reason these outlets are interested in him is that as a teenager, Heimlich pleaded guilty to a felony charge, admitting to sexually molesting his then-6-year-old niece. He did everything the plea required, including probation, taking classes, writing an apology letter to his niece and registering as a sex offender. After The Oregonian broke the news in 2017 about his past, Heimlich, a star at OSU, voluntarily left the team. But he returned this season, and now he and his family are talking to the press as he prepares to go pro.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:21 PM

AI inspired by the film Spotlight could track down child abusers

LONDON (ENGLAND)
New Scientist

May 30, 2018

By Timothy Revell

Journalists at The Boston Globe searched for patterns in public records to uncover priests in the Catholic church who had sexually abused children. Now, researchers think artificial intelligence could do the same job faster, more accurately and on a much wider scale.

The Boston Globe investigation, depicted in the film Spotlight, involved looking for clues like priests suddenly going on sick leave or moving around a lot. Joelle Casteix at the Zero Abuse Project, a non-profit that aims to help institutions prevent child abuse, and her team have created an AI that looks for similar patterns in thousands of documents from large organisations.

Casteix unveiled the project at the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, last week. “I am a survivor of sexual abuse from a teacher, which was followed by a lot of cover-up,” says Casteix. “This is the first time there is a proactive way to stop the cycle.”

The new initiative, called Project G, can study both digital documents or turn paper scans into machine-readable files for the AI to scour. Depending on the organisation, the documents can include those detailing where different people are based and their roles over time, and news clippings in which they are mentioned.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:18 PM

India Says Boy Victims of Sex Crimes Not Compensated, Ignored

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
Reuters via New York Times

May 30, 2018

Indian states are ignoring boys in compensating child victims of sexual abuse, the federal government said on Wednesday, weeks after the government itself was criticised for overlooking males in a new law mandating tougher punishment for rapes of girls.

"The male child, who is the most neglected victim of child sexual abuse, is being ignored for the award of compensation and needs to be included," the Ministry of Women and Child Development said in a statement, citing letters sent to states on the issue.

States run centrally monitored programmes to compensate victims of crimes including rape and human trafficking, but sexually abused boys were not getting any financial help, the ministry said.

The statement comes at a time when there is a debate around the treatment meted out to boy victims of sexual crimes in a country where, according to activists and police, many cases of abuse of boys go unreported because of the stigma attached to homosexuality.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:48 AM

Perjury Conviction Against Ex-Pennsylvania AG Upheld

HARRISBURG (PA)
Courthouse News Service

May 29, 2018

By Gina Carrano

The Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld the conviction Friday of former Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat who lied to a grand jury that was investigating her leak of information meant to embarrass a political rival.

Daily News reporter Chris Brennan broke the article that had relied on secret grand jury information in June 2014, about three months after the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article that tarnished Kane’s reputation.

As former aides of Kane’s testified at trial, the attorney general believed that the Inquirer’s article relied on information leaked to it by Frank Fina, a former deputy attorney general from the last administration.

Just two years earlier on the campaign trail, Fina had been a frequent target of Kane’s as she focused on the state’s delay prosecuting the decades of child sex abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:42 AM

Will risk of abuse turn the tide on ‘vagabond priests’?

DENVER (CO)
Crux

May 30, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

Back in 2001, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples - by the way, everybody in Rome still calls it by its old name, “Propaganda Fidei” - put out a document which, by Vatican standards anyway, was remarkably on-point and practical.

Propaganda Fidei oversees the life of the Church in so-called “mission territories,” mostly in the developing world, and the text was called, “Instruction on the Sending Abroad and Sojourn of Diocesan Priests from Mission Territories.”

Its main concern was the growing phenomenon of priests from places such as Africa and Asia going to Europe or North America, often allegedly to “study,” and then basically never going home - floating around here or there, usually without any specific assignment or supervision, normally because they’ve become accustomed to first world standards of living and don’t want to go back.

Cardinal Josef Tomko, a tell-it-like-it-is Slovakian, was running Propaganda Fidei at the time, and he described these rootless priests as the leading edge of a bigger problem, one also including priests whose service abroad is completely legitimate.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:30 AM

The Equestrian Coach Who Minted Olympians, and Left a Trail of Child Molestation

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

May 29, 2018

By Sarah Maslin Nir

La Cañada Flintridge, Calif. — There’s no trace of Jimmy A. Williams, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame trainer, at the equestrian club where he was an instructor for nearly four decades, cultivating young riders, some of whom went on to Olympic fame.

The pictures and paintings of Mr. Williams, who died in 1993, and the sterling trophies he won all vanished without a word recently from the clubhouse where he had spent many afternoons tipping back Champagne with some of Los Angeles County’s biggest and richest names: the parents of his young charges. Last month, the club removed his name from the grand show jumping stadium at the heart of the sprawling property at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, once the Jimmy A. Williams Oval. Today it is just Ring 1.

But his former riders cannot forget Mr. Williams. Across the country, in her New Jersey barn adorned with her Olympic medals, Anne Kursinski, one of the country’s most decorated show jumpers, remembered her former coach.

How he tasted of alcohol whenever he pinned her in a horse stall and crammed his tongue into her mouth. And far more. “He penetrated me when I was 11,” Ms. Kursinski said, revealing publicly for the first time the details of what she said became six years of continual rape and molestation. “I was a little kid,” she said. “And he was God.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:24 AM

Retired priest faces sex abuse allegation, denies claim

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
Herald-Star

May 29, 2018

By Matt Saxton

Bridgeport - A retired Belmont County Catholic priest and former schoolteacher has been relieved of active ministry duties after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville received what it says is a credible sexual abuse allegation against him.

Diocese spokesman Dino Orsatti said Monday that Monsignor Mark Froelich, 75, of Belmont, will no longer be able to participate in church-related activities. Although Froelich retired in 2014, he was still helping some churches with activities such as Masses, confessions and church functions.

As of Monday night, Froelich was not facing criminal charges. But Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton decided that the allegation was serious enough to remove him from those duties, Orsatti said.

“Our attorneys felt that the accusations are credible enough that the retired priest should be removed from active ministry,” he said.

“We take every allegation extremely seriously,” said Orsatti who also said the Roman Catholic Church issued a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse allegations in 2002. “We’re just following that decree and taking extra precautions.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:10 AM

Sex abuse - there has been a shift in power

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
The Herald

May 30, 2018

By Tarnya Davis

My first job as a psychologist was with the Lower Hunter Sexual Assault Service. It was the 1990s and the public perception of the prevalence of sexual abuse was vastly out of step with the reality. A visiting politician asked how two sexual assault counsellors managed to keep themselves busy, while the fact was we were overwhelmed.

We carried pagers at night and weekends and too often would find ourselves at the John Hunter Hospital, supporting someone who had just been sexually assaulted. It was an exhausting but incredibly fulfilling role.

In the early 2000s many of the people I saw in my private practice were the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by those from the church. I sat with brave men and women as they told their devastating stories, made statements to the police and as they waited years until they could give evidence in court. The legal process was harrowing and mostly disappointing. At that time experts estimated only one in 10 people would report abuse to the police and of those only one in 10 would progress to charges and a trial. Only a third of those would see a conviction.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:08 AM

Accused priest had been blackmail victim

MARTINS FERRY (OH)
Times-Leader

May 30, 2018

By Matt Saxton

Bridgeport - A retired priest who lost his ministry privileges late last week and previously was the victim of a blackmail scheme also is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Msgr. Mark Froehlich, 75, of Belmont, is facing a Belmont County Sheriff’s Office inquiry into an allegation that the retired Roman Catholic priest sexually abused a minor several years ago. Chief Deputy James Zusack said Tuesday that detective Doug Cruse was leading the investigation but also said he could not make any additional comments because the case is still open.

Church officials also said Tuesday they were aware of that investigation when Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton relieved Froehlich of active ministry duties. The current priests of several churches where Froehlich had once served as a priest read statements to their parishioners during Saturday and Sunday Masses. Although Froehlich retired in 2014, he was still helping with Masses, confessions and church functions in Belmont County.

“We do our (investigation), they will do theirs,” said diocese spokesman Dino Orsatti. “We will work together from there.”

Froehlich has faced a sexual misconduct allegation in the past. Two people served prison time for extorting money from Froehlich when they said they would accuse him of sexual abuse if he didn’t pay.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:05 AM

Gananoque man sentenced to three years in prison for sex abuse

KINGSTON (ONTARIO, CANADA)
the Kingston Whig-Standard

May 29, 2018

By Wayne Lowrie

A former church organist and youth leader, who used his position of authority in the Catholic Church to sexually abuse a 15-year-old boy, was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday.

Brian Joseph Lucy, 70, of Gananoque, started abusing the altar boy and member of the Junior Knights youth group while organist of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and leader of the youth group, the court heard.

Starting in the early 1990s, the abuse, which included oral, anal and group sex, occurred more than 100 times before the victim turned 18, often two or three times a week and sometimes lasting four to five hours, according to a statement of facts read into the record by Crown Attorney Jacqueline Masse. The encounters continued until the victim was in his early 20s.

In an impact statement to the court, the victim, who can't be identified because of a court order, called Lucy a "wolf in sheep's clothing," who used his friendship with his family and his position with the church to cause the boy to trust him. The youth, in Grade 9 when it started, was a troubled teen when Lucy began taking him to his house, plying him with alcohol and persuading him to engage in the sex acts, the victim said.

The victim said the encounters have emotionally scarred him for life and "hurt me more than anyone will ever know."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:03 AM

Catholic Church in Australia joins national abuse redress scheme

MONTROUGE (FRANCE)
La Croix International

May 30, 2018

The Catholic Church is bringing all its religious congregations and dioceses under one company to make it easier to make payouts

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia confirmed on Wednesday that the Catholic Church would join a national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors and share in compensation, reports 9 News.

"We support the royal commission's recommendation for a national redress scheme, administered by the Commonwealth, and we are keen to participate in it," said Archbishop Mark Coleridge, the Australian Catholic bishops president.

The Catholic Church had called for the national redress scheme since 2013, the archbishop said.Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said the scheme, if passed by the Senate, is to begin on July 1.

"The Catholic Church obviously had institutions, churches under its control where terrible, terrible, shocking abuse took place," 9 News reported him telling media people in Canberra.

The Catholic Church was bringing all its religious congregations and dioceses under one company to make it easier to make payouts, he said."We're talking tens of millions of dollars," Tehan reportedly said.

While Sister Ruth Durick, Catholic Religious Australia president said “We are committed to providing redress to survivors who were abused within the Catholic Church,” Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney said "We're determined to bring justice and full redress - healing, if we can - to the victims of this terrible crime.

"Archbishop Fisher, without specifying an estimated amount, said the church expected to be paying out survivors for "many years to come,” the report said.

Legislation to enable the $3.8 billion opt-in scheme passed federal parliament's lower house on May 29.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:55 AM

Australian Catholic Church to enter into redress scheme for sex abuse survivors

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
Reuters

May 30, 2018

The Australian Catholic Church has committed to taking part in a new national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, two top religious groups said on Wednesday.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said if all states and institutions across Australia opt in the scheme could provide support to around 60,000 people.

The scheme will target people sexually abused as children while in the care of a Commonwealth institution and follows a nationwide inquiry that found widespread institutionalized child sexual abuse in Australia.

Redress is offered as an alternative to taking compensation through the courts. It can include access to psychological counseling, a direct personal response such as an apology from the responsible institution for people who want it, and a monetary payment. Payments are capped at A$150,000.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:53 AM

Catholic Church will sign up to national sexual abuse redress scheme

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald

May 30, 2018

By Miki Perkins

The Catholic Church has confirmed it will sign up to the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse once the laws are passed by the Senate.

More than 60 per cent of all survivors of sex abuse in religious settings who gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – more than 2500 people – came from Catholic-managed institutions.

The Catholic Church is the first national non-government institution to officially announce it will join the scheme, which has been criticised because institutions have to opt in and because it does not cover physical abuse.

Federal Social Services Minister Dan Tehan described the church’s announcement as significant, saying it showed the church was remorseful and willing to take responsibility.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:48 AM

Boost for redress scheme as Catholic Church opts in

SURRY HILLS (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

May 30, 2018

By John Ferguson

The Catholic Church will formally opt in to the $4 billion child abuse redress scheme in the first major declaration from the faith’s new head of bishops.

Catholic Church leaders have written to Social Services Minister Dan Tehan declaring the move, which is a significant fillip for the national scheme.

Once all states and territories have opted into the scheme and federal law is enacted, the church will establish an agency to enable all church bodies to interact with the scheme’s national operator.

It is possible that, with so many different branches of the church, the church entities will sign up at various different times during the next two years.

The new Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge was a joint signatory of the letter to Mr Tehan with Catholic Religious Australia president Sister Ruth Durick.

“We support the Royal Commission’s recommendation for a national redress scheme, administered by the commonwealth, and we are keen to participate in it,’’ they said.

“We recognise that redress will not take away a survivor’s pain, but hope that it can provide some practical assistance in the journey towards recovery from abuse.

“Once the scheme is initiated, we are committed to providing redress to survivors who were abused within the Catholic Church.

“Given the diverse structure of the Catholic Church, Catholic officials have been working with the commonwealth government to enable church authorities to work effectively with the independent National Redress Scheme Operator.

“We are grateful for the commonwealth’s support in helping create the best possible solution to simplify the process for survivors who will seek redress from a Catholic institution.’’

Archbishop Coleridge was recently appointed president of the bishops’ conference as his predecessor Denis Hart from Melbourne is due to retire as an archbishop.

The scheme will provide up to $150,000 in redress to proven victims but with a lower burden of proof compared with the courts.

The scheme will require participants to release offending institutions from civil liability for the abuse but in turn will enable them to receive a one-off payment or an additional top-up payment if any original redress were deemed inadequate.

Labor backed a $200,000 cap, in line with the royal commission recommendation, but the federal government and major states believe $150,000 will be as high as the scheme can go.

The key number will be the average cost of each claim, which is likely to be about $75,000.

The scheme bears significant similarities with the original Catholic systems set up in the 1990s and has not been embraced by some victim groups.

The key difference is a greater level of independence and higher payouts, coupled with relatively low standards of proof that abuse occurred.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:40 AM

Catholic church signs up to redress scheme for child abuse victims

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

May 30, 2018

By Melissa Davey

‘Survivors deserve justice and healing’, says spokesman

Catholic church opts in to national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse, following the Anglican church which signed up on Sunday.

The Catholic Church has signed up to the federal government’s national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

The scheme will take effect from July and requires the states and territories as well as non-government organisations such as churches and charities to opt into the scheme and agree to pay victims abused within their organisations up to $150,000 compensation.

Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse found 7% of Australia’s Catholic priests were accused of abusing children in the six decades since 1950. Up to 15% of priests in some dioceses were alleged perpetrators between 1950 and 2015, the commission found.

Almost 2,500 survivors told the commission about sexual abuse in an institution managed by the Catholic church, representing 61.8% of all survivors who reported sexual abuse in a religious institution.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:36 AM

Catholic Church joins sex abuse compensation scheme

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

May 30, 2018

An inquiry into sexual abuse in Australia found institutions had "seriously failed" to protect children

The Catholic Church has confirmed it will be part of a national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse in Australia.

The nation recently held a five-year inquiry into sexual abuse in the country's institutions.

Among harrowing stories, it heard that 7% of Australia's Catholic priests abused children between 1950 and 2010.

Governments and institutions have faced intense pressure to join a compensation programme for victims.

The Church said it was "keen to participate" in the scheme, to be co-ordinated by the Australian government.

"Survivors deserve justice and healing and many have bravely come forward to tell their stories," said Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

The Church is the first non-government organisation to join the scheme, which is scheduled to begin in July.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:31 AM

May 29, 2018

Assignment History– Rev. Samuel B. Slocum

ERIE (PA)
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Samuel B. Slocum was ordained for the Diocese of Erie in 1980. He was a faculty member until 1997 at high schools in DuBois, St. Mary's, Erie and Bradford while residing and ministering in area parishes. From 1990 on he was the sole priest at parishes in Eldred, Shinglehouse, Bradford, then Lewis Run.

In April 2011 Slocum was arrested on charges related to a recent inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old Lewis Run boy. Slocum had been giving the boy expensive gifts and taking photos of him and other boys. The boy's parents forbade the priest from contacting their son, but Slocum did not stop; he lied to the mother and encouraged the boy to be secretive. The mother reported him to the police. Slocum admitted to engaging in inappropriate behavior with the boys. He was placed on leave by the diocese.

Slocum was convicted in 2012 and given two years' probation. His laicization was announced in November 2016.

Ordained: 1980
Laicized: 2016

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:25 PM

“THIS IS BIGGER THAN MYSELF”: HOW THE WOMEN OF THE U.S. GYMNASTICS TEAM FOUND THEIR VOICE

UNITED STATES
Vanity Fair

SUMMER 2018

By Vanessa Grigoriadis

As new accusers continue to emerge in the wake of Larry Nassar’s abhorrent crimes, gymnastics—and the idea of girlhood that the sport perpetuates—is undergoing a revolution.

Few icons of American girlhood are as symbolically complex as elite gymnasts. They appear on the mat as tiny shining birds: gems sewn into their leotards sparkling under bright competition lights, and colorful bows plopped on their French-braided hairdos like feathered crowns. Scouts looking for young gymnasts with the potential to reach the Olympics sometimes spot girls as young as seven. Their careers usually peak before they can vote and end before they can legally order a glass of wine in a restaurant. Yet they are athletes of extraordinary accomplishment and fortitude. They’re strong women, or girls becoming women, who fly through the air seemingly by sheer force of will. As a child glued to the television during the Summer Olympics in the 1980s, I thought of them as real-life versions of Superwoman. Women of steel, lighter than air.

In the past few months, these girls have also become bellwethers for our evolving views on femininity, agency, and sexual abuse. Until recently the story they told about their lives in gymnastics was one of unique powerlessness. As top gymnasts, they were supposed to be silent, sexless, obedient little girls. They had one purpose and one purpose only: to perform fearsome acrobatics. They were never supposed to complain about ragged palms, stress fractures, and excruciating back pain. They didn’t question the sport’s rigid attitudes toward diet, which often veered suspiciously close to starvation. And they certainly never would have told an authority figure that Larry Nassar, the respected osteopathic doctor who was the physician for the U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team and other club and university-level teams, was inappropriately penetrating their vaginas and rectums with his fingers while they lay on his massage table to receive treatment for injuries. Good girls, and good gymnasts, didn’t create waves.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:55 AM

After scandal, head of Chilean Church’s anti-abuse panel resigns

ROME
CRUX

May 27, 2018

By Inés San Martín

A Chilean bishop who’s acknowledged he was slow in investigating allegations of abuse and misconduct in his diocese resigned as president of the Chilean Church’s National Commission for the Prevention of Abuses.

The announcement was made by the Chilean bishops’ conference, which said on Saturday that it had accepted the resignation of Bishop Alejando Goic of Rancagua from the commission. At this point, he continues as the head of his diocese.

Together with most of Chile’s active bishops, Goic presented his resignation to Pope Francis mid-May. The prelates were summoned by the pontiff to Rome to discuss a crisis in the local Church, a product of decades of abuses and cover-ups and which began detonating in early 2015, when the pontiff appointed Bishop Juan Barros, accused of covering up for the country’s most notorious pedophile priest, to the southern diocese of Osorno.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:54 AM

Judge in Brock Turner rape case defends his controversial sentencing ahead of recall vote

CALIFORNIA
CBS NEWS

May 29, 2018

Aaron Persky is speaking out one week before voters decide if he should be removed over his handling of a sexual assault trial. The California judge gave former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner a short jail term after Turner was found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. The sentence generated global outrage and raised questions about judicial independence and politics in the courtroom.

Persky has remained largely silent as the campaign to remove him from the bench has built over nearly two years. But now, in his only television interview, he defended the sentence that has been so widely condemned.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:52 AM

Letter from Rome

VATICAN CITY
UCA News

May 29, 2018

By Robert Mickens

Can Pope Francis fix the clergy sex abuse crisis?

The deeply disturbing scandal of clergy sex abuse in Chile and its cover-up by church leaders in the country continues to go from bad to worse.

After a Vatican-led investigation in February, which prompted Pope Francis to call an emergency summit in Rome of the entire Chilean hierarchy, there has been a seemingly non-stop flow of newly revealed cases of sexual crimes against young people.

First, there was a news report of an organized pedophilia (or at least ephebophilia) ring in a diocese north of the capital Santiago where priests have been involved in exchanging pornographic images of minors and information on how to sexually engage with these adolescents.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:50 AM

Retired priest William Nolan, accused of sexual assault, was a witness in fellow priest’s case

FORT ATKINSON (WI)
FOX6 Now

May 27, 2018

By Suzanne Spencer

There is a twist in a sexual misconduct case against a Diocese of Madison retired priest.

Police say Fr. William Nolan sexually assaulted a former student and altar boy at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Fort Atkinson.

"Is there any prior information the diocese had about him?" asked Peter Isely of SNAP -- the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Isely works with a network devoted to victims of abuse and remembers Nolan's name -- when the retired priest was a witness in a fellow priest's case in 2005 involving Rev. Gerald Vosen. At the time, Vosen was trying to prove the man who accused him of sexual assault defamed him.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:48 AM

#MeToo, earlier scandals mean pending clergy sex abuse report can't be 'a small problem'

PENNSYLVANIA
Penn Live

May 29, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

In the mid-2000s, when then-Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham launched an investigation into clergy sex abuse and cover-up in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, she was assailed for waging a campaign against the Roman Catholic Church.

It was a virtual repeat of what had played out just a few years prior in 2002 in Boston. That year, officials at the Archdiocese of Boston accused The Boston Globe of mounting an anti-Catholic agenda after the paper published a series of scathing reports detailing decades of molestation of thousands of children by priests and its systemic cover up by church officials.

At times, both in Philadelphia and Boston, Catholics rallied behind the church and defended their faith as legions came to terms with revelations of the assaults.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:39 AM

Retired Diocese of Steubenville Priest Faces Sex Abuse Allegation

BRIDGEPORT (WV)
The Intelligencer

May 29, 2018

By Matt Saxton

A retired Belmont County Catholic priest and former schoolteacher has been relieved of active ministry duties after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville received what it says is a credible sexual abuse allegation against him.

Diocese spokesman Dino Orsatti said Monday that Msgr. Mark Froehlich, 75, of Belmont will no longer be able to participate in church-related activities.

Although Froehlich retired in 2014, he was still helping some churches with activities such as Masses, confessions and church functions.

As of Monday night, Froehlich was not facing criminal charges. But Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton decided that the allegation was serious enough to remove him from active ministry, Orsatti said.

“We take every allegation extremely seriously,” said Orsatti, who also said the Roman Catholic Church issued a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse allegations in 2002. “We’re just following that decree and taking extra precautions.”

However, Froehlich said Monday night that he disputes the allegation.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:37 AM

Ozanam Lecture Part 1: Introduction

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

May 29, 2018

“How does the Catholic welfare sector continue with ‘good works’ post the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse?”

PART 1: INTRODUCTION

Dear friends,

I would like to pay my respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which this meeting takes place, and also pay respect to Elders both past and present.

Thank you for the invitation to speak at this forum and to have the opportunity to share the podium with a very distinguished Catholic woman. Two months ago, I was in Rome for a conference on migrants and refugees. It took place at the same time as the Voices of Faith International Women’s Day Conference at which Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland gave a powerful speech on women and the Catholic Church. I was particularly struck by the image she uses to describe the state of the church. She said – practically within the Pope’s earshot – that the exclusion of women from decision-making roles “has left the church flapping about awkwardly on one wing”. And if that wasn’t enough, she went on to say that “the church has long been the primary global carrier of the virus of misogyny.” Whoa! Talk about pulling no punches. I hope Geraldine Doogue is going to be a bit gentler to me than Mary McAleese was to Pope Francis.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:35 AM

Sex abuser gets three years

CANADA
Recorder and Times

May 28, 2018

By Wayne Lowrie

A former church organist and youth leader, who used his position of authority in the Catholic Church to sexually abuse a 15-year-old boy, was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday.

Brian Joseph Lucy, 70, of Gananoque, started abusing the altar boy and member of the Junior Knights youth group while organist of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and leader of the youth group, the court heard.

Starting in the early 1990s, the abuse, which included oral, anal and group sex, occurred more than 100 times before the victim turned 18, often two or three times a week and sometimes lasting four to five hours, according to a statement of facts read into the record by Crown Attorney Jacqueline Masse. The encounters continued until the victim was in his early 20s.

In an impact statement to the court, the victim, who can’t be identified because of a court order, called Lucy a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” who used his friendship with his family and his position with the church to cause the boy to trust him. The youth, in Grade 9 when it started, was a troubled teen when Lucy began taking him to his house, plying him with alcohol and persuading him to engage in the sex acts, the victim said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:33 AM

The wrath of God poured out

CARY (NC)
The Biblical Recorder

May 29, 2018

By Albert Mohler Jr.

The last few weeks have been excruciating for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and for the larger evangelical movement. It is as if bombs are dropping and God alone knows how many will fall and where they will land.

America’s largest evangelical denomination has been in the headlines day after day. The SBC is in the midst of its own horrifying #MeToo moment.

At one of our seminaries, controversy has centered on a president (now former president) whose sermon illustration from years ago included advice that a battered wife remain in the home and the marriage in hope of the conversion of her abusive husband. Other comments represented the objectification of a teenage girl. The issues only grew more urgent with the sense that the dated statements represented ongoing advice and counsel.

But the issues are far deeper and wider.

Sexual misconduct is as old as sin, but the avalanche of sexual misconduct that has come to light in recent weeks is almost too much to bear. These grievous revelations of sin have occurred in churches, in denominational ministries and even in our seminaries.

We thought this was a Roman Catholic problem. The unbiblical requirement of priestly celibacy and the organized conspiracy of silence within the hierarchy helped to explain the cesspool of child sex abuse that has robbed the Roman Catholic Church of so much of its moral authority. When people said that Evangelicals had a similar crisis coming, it didn’t seem plausible – even to me. I have been president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for [25] years. I did not see this coming.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:31 AM

‘More can be done’ for sex abuse victims, says Cathy McGowan

AUSTRALIA
The Border Mail

May 29, 2018

By Shana Morgan

Cathy McGowan has called on churches to show more “humility” to help improve the situation for survivors of child sexual abuse.

The Indi MP spoke in parliament yesterday in support of a national redress scheme for institutional child sex abuse, which will give survivors access of up to $150,000 in compensation.

She said religious institutions needed to improve their culture, so this never happens again, and be transparent in their responses.

“It can’t just be done in private. We need public recognition from our institutions that serious hurt has been caused, that they are going to make appropriate changes to the way they do things and then work with survivors to actually improve the situation,” Ms McGowan said.

“While I understand some institutions have gone some way in this regard, I think there is more that can be done in terms of humility, in practical signs of sorrow.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:29 AM

COUNTERPOINT: Fearful Catholic Church still won’t face the music

HALIFAX (NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA)
The Chronicle Herald

May 28, 2018

By Maryanne McNeil

Since the April 7 publication of my opinion piece about why I was walking away from the Roman Catholic Church, I have read with great interest the many responses it generated.

The great majority of these were unwaveringly supportive; however, there were some critical voices. For the most part, the ensuing debate has been healthy, prompting interested individuals to examine their own beliefs and, sometimes, to state them publicly.

Only a tiny portion of the responses went beyond the bounds of civil discussion into the realm of rather personal attacks. One small example is that, for decrying the lack of opportunity for women to serve in leadership roles in the Roman Catholic Church, I was called “an obvious radical feminist.” That one made me smile; I’m still trying to decide if I should take it as an insult.

I do understand that when criticism is levelled at a cherished institution, emotions will flare and reaction will sometimes be intense. It takes restraint to refrain from hurling personal barbs and it seems that our present social climate has taken enthusiastically to modelling the opposite tactics: maligning, denying and dismissing. It’s far easier to do that than to examine issues through as honest and objective a lens as possible.

I had decided that it was better for me to allow this debate that I’d initiated to play itself out without wading into it again. After all, other opinions, both supportive and in opposition, are as valid as my own.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:27 AM

NCR Podcast: Clergy sex abuse fallout in Chile

CHILE
National Catholic Reporter

May 25, 2018

Under increasing scrutiny about the handling of clergy sexual abuse cases over decades, Chile's Catholic bishops said that Pope Francis' emotional meetings at the Vatican with three abuse victims "shows us the path that the Chilean Church is called to follow." Shortly after releasing this statement, the Chilean bishops in Rome announced they have submitted their resignations to Francis en masse and will await his decision for which of their dismissals he will accept.

On the show today:

- Joshua J. McElwee, Vatican correspondent
- Fr. James Connell, a retired priest in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, canon lawyer, and a founding member of Catholic Whistleblowers

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:25 AM

Kottiyoor rape: Kerala court to begin trial in Catholic priest raping minor case

INDIA
The News Minute

May 26, 2018

By Megha Varier

A court in Thalassery reportedly refused to entertain the plea by three of the accused to quash charges against them.

More than a year since a Catholic priest allegedly raped and impregnated a minor girl in Kottiyoor in Kannur district, the trial proceedings in the case is set to begin.

The police had, in February last year, arrested and booked ten people including the priest Father Robin Vadakkumchery.

According to a report published by Mathrubhumi News, a court in Thalassery refused to entertain the plea filed by three of the accused seeking to drop the charges against them.

With this, the Additional Sessions Court in Thalassery ordered for the chargesheet to be read out to all the accused.

Although the third, fourth and fifth accused in the case, Sr Dr. Tesi Thomas, Dr Hyderali, and Sister Ancy Mathew, had previously approached the Supreme Court with a plea to quash charges against them, the apex court had refused to do so.

The apex court had also dismissed their plea to put a stay on the trial.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:22 AM

Despite warnings, past Buffalo bishops returned abusive clergy to parishes

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

May 27, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

When a mother complained that the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits propositioned her teenage son in a bar, the Diocese of Buffalo quietly sent him away for mental health therapy and listed him as "on leave" in its official 1979 directory.

Then, within months, the diocese reassigned him to a new parish, where he later was accused of molesting at least two boys.

Orsolits isn't the only Buffalo priest accused of sexual abusing children who had been marked as "on leave" and then put back into a parish.

The Buffalo News found that from 1973 to 2000 the diocese assigned 11 priests to work in a parish or other ministry after they were marked as "absent on leave" or "awaiting assignment" in official directories. The diocese this year identified nine of those priests as having been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The two other priests were publicly accused but not part of the diocesan list.

At least three of the 11 priests – while on leave from a parish or otherwise unassigned – were treated at Southdown Institute, a mental health facility near Toronto, for sexual transgressions with minors and then reassigned to parishes.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:20 AM

... and then there’s the archbishop who won’t resign

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Culture

May 28, 2018

By Phil Lawler

While thirty Chilean bishops have submitted their resignation after being accused of covering up sexual abuse, Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Australia, has not resigned after being convicted in a court of law of the same offense.

Following his conviction, Archbishop Wilson said that he would step down from his position, leaving his vicar general in charge of the archdiocese, but would not resign. “He’s standing aside until process has run its course,” said an archdiocesan spokesman, whereas a resignation would be “forever.” The “process” in this case could mean either an appeal of the verdict or a prison sentence of up to two years.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:17 AM

Government to set up Commission of Investigation into response to complaints against Bill Kenneally

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
NewsTalk

May 29, 2018

By Jack Quann

The commission will take up to one year to report

The Cabinet has approved a proposal to establish a Commission of Investigation into the response to complaints or allegations of child sexual abuse made against Bill Kenneally.

The Government also approved the appointment of retired Circuit Court Judge Barry Hickson as sole member of the commission.

The Houses of the Oireachtas will now be required to pass motions so that the commission can be formally established.

This is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

Kenneally, a former basketball coach, is currently serving a 14 year prison sentence in relation to 10 sample counts of indecent assault against minors - which took place in the 1980s.

A number of survivors of that abuse have claimed that the State and other bodies failed to intervene sufficiently in order to prevent him continuing to abuse children.

They allege there was collusion between An Garda Síochána, the Catholic Church authorities and elements within the political system, which prevented Kenneally from being arrested and charged at a much earlier stage.

As a result of these concerns, the Government agreed in principle on May 30th 2017 to establish a Commission of Investigation.

The commission will be called the 'Commission of Investigation (Response to complaints or allegations of child sexual abuse made against Bill Kenneally, and related matters'.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:14 AM

Abortion vote is backlash for sex abuse scandals, say Irish Catholics

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Associated Press

May 27, 2018

Irish Catholics attending Sunday Mass were disappointed with the result of a referendum in which voters opted to legalize abortion and think it reflects the weakening of the Church — a situation that was unthinkable in Ireland a generation ago.

There was no mention of the referendum during the sermon at St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral, but it was weighing heavily on the minds of some worshippers as they left the Mass in central Dublin.

Ireland voted by a roughly two-to-one margin Friday to end a constitutional ban on abortion, and parliament is expected to approve a more liberal set of laws governing the termination of pregnancies.

Some worshippers said the overwhelming victory of abortion rights activists seeking the repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the constitution reflects a weakening of the Catholic Church’s historic influence and fills them with dread for Ireland’s future.

“I think the ‘yes’ vote was an anti-Church vote,” said Annemarie McCarrick, referring to the “yes” vote in favor of ending the constitutional ban.

The 52-year-old lecturer said on the cathedral steps that a series of sex abuse scandals had undermined the influence of the Church in Ireland. She said the Church had in recent weeks taken a “quiet” stand against repeal, but hadn’t been able to sway people.

“I am religious but the Church has definitely lost influence here because of the scandals,” she said. “The people will not take direction from the Church anymore. It’s hard for the Church to have credibility.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:12 AM

Keep eyes on the ball

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

May 29, 2018

Two events last week related to former state Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s tempestuous and truncated term of office offer a lesson for all public officials who have a difficult time separating governance from politics.

Friday, a three-judge panel of the state Superior Court unanimously upheld Kane’s Aug. 15, 2016, conviction in Montgomery County Court for perjury, false swearing, obstructing the administration of law, official oppression and criminal conspiracy. She was sentenced Oct. 24, 2016, to 10 to 23 months in prison, but has remained free pending appeal. And she still can petition the state Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the Superior Court decision.

Earlier in the week, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that bishops of six Catholic dioceses, including Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, had agreed not to contest the public release of an impending grand jury report on sexual abuse by clergy and the dioceses’ handling of those cases.

Kane, who had handled child sexual abuse cases as an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County, launched that important investigation in 2016.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:10 AM

May 28, 2018

Where Did Ireland Go? Abortion Vote Stuns Those on Both Sides

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

May 27, 2018

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura

Dublin - Some were joyous. Others were devastated. But most of all, in the hours after Irish voters swept away a ban on abortion, many were simply astonished.

However they felt about the result of the referendum, they were witnessing, they knew, the culmination of a fundamental shift in Irish society — and one that has come about with stunning speed.

In a remarkably compact span of time, the country has gone from being a bastion of social conservatism in the West to a place that wholeheartedly embraces positions that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.

The culture of silence and deference to religious authority that long dominated Ireland is gone. The country that has emerged is an unlikely leader of liberal values.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:25 AM

Ireland Votes to End Abortion Ban, in Rebuke to Catholic Conservatism

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

May 26, 2018

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura

Dublin - Ireland voted decisively to repeal one of the world’s more restrictive abortion bans, sweeping aside generations of conservative patriarchy and dealing the latest in a series of stinging rebukes to the Roman Catholic Church.

The surprising landslide, reflected in the results announced on Saturday, cemented the nation’s liberal shift at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe and the Trump administration is imposing curbs on abortion rights in the United States. In the past three years alone, Ireland has installed a gay man as prime minister and has voted in another referendum to allow same-sex marriage.

But this was a particularly wrenching issue for Irish voters, even for supporters of the measure. And it was not clear until the end that the momentum toward socially liberal policies would be powerful enough to sweep away deeply ingrained opposition to abortion.

* * *
The church lost much of its credibility in the wake of scandals involving pedophile priests and thousands of unwed mothers who were placed into servitude in so-called Magdalene laundries or mental asylums as recently as the mid-1990s.

The church was, in fact, largely absent from the referendum campaign. Anti-abortion campaigners actively discouraged its participation, preferring to emphasize moral values and human rights rather than religion, possibly to avoid being tarnished by the church-related scandals.

During the campaign, the Association of Catholic Priests urged its members not to preach politics from the pulpit. The guidance came after some priests had threatened their congregations that they would not be able to receive Communion if they voted “yes,” according to people who attended the Masses.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:21 AM

As Ireland Joins Europe’s Sprint From Catholic Fold, Francis Looks South

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

May 27, 2018

By Jason Horowitz

Vatican City - When nearly one-third of Ireland’s Catholic population came to see Pope John Paul II celebrate a papal Mass in Dublin in 1979, divorce, homosexual acts and abortion were all illegal in the country. Ireland, like much of Europe, toed the line on Roman Catholic Church teaching.

In August, Pope Francis will return to Ireland for a World Meeting of Families event attended by the church’s most committed anti-abortion activists. But they will find themselves, after Saturday’s historic repeal of an abortion ban in a landslide vote, in a country that is clearly part of Europe’s secular sprint out of the Roman Catholic fold.

Across Western Europe, the church’s once mighty footprint has faded, in no small measure because of self-inflicted clerical sex abuse scandals and an inability to keep up with and reach contemporary Catholics. Church attendance has plummeted, parishes are merging, and new priests and nuns are in short supply. Gay marriage is on the rise, and abortion is widely legal.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:18 AM

Retired, local priest accused of sexual abuse

WHEELING (WV)
WTRF

May 28, 2018

[See a bio of Msgr. Mark Froelich.]

The Diocese of Steubenville has received what it considers to be credible allegations of sexual abuse against retired diocesan priest Msgr. Mark J. Froehlich.

Due to the allegations, he has been removed from active ministry.

The "Chapter for the Protection of Children and Young People," which are special laws approved by the Holy Father to deal with child abuse, are handling the case.

Any victim or victims harmed by a priest or anyone serving on behalf of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Steubenville can contact the Diocese or authorities.

In the Diocese victims can call Thomas S. Wilson at (740) 282-3631 or email twilson@diosteub.org.

On Sunday night, SNAP, the Suvivor's Network of those Abused by Priests responded to the allegations:

"Church officials wrongly tell us that incidents such as this case can be reported to Diocesan officials or authorities. All incidents of child sex abuse must be reported to the police or child protective services. The church officials are not the proper officials to be investigating child sex crimes as we have seen a history of church authorities covering up clergy who abuse children. If you have been abused or have a reasonable suspicion of abuse, please report to the police."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:08 AM

May 27, 2018

Víctimas de Karadima critican designación de obispo de San Bernardo en Consejo de Prevención de Abusos

CHILE
La Tercera

May 27, 2018

[Karadima victims criticize appointment of Bishop of San Bernardo in Abuse Prevention Council]

By Alejandra Jara

Esta noticia fue criticada por José Andrés Murillo, y Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciantes del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima quienes sostuvieron que González "no tiene empatía".

La Conferencia Episcopal designó ayer sábado al obispo Juan Ignacio González como presidente del Consejo Nacional de Prevención Abusos de la Iglesia Católica, tras la renuncia del religioso Alejandro Goic a la instancia.

Esta noticia fue criticada por José Andrés Murillo, Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciantes del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, quienes mostraron su rechazo a la desginación de González.

“Un tipo con la empatía de una piedra, prepotente, despectivo y con una historia turbia durante la dictadura”, escribió Murillo en su cuenta de Twitter.

[Google Translation: This news was criticized by José Andrés Murillo, and Juan Carlos Cruz, denouncers of the former pastor of El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, who maintained that González "has no empathy."

The Episcopal Conference appointed Bishop Juan Ignacio González on Saturday as president of the National Council for the Prevention of Abuses of the Catholic Church, following the resignation of the religious Alejandro Goic at the instance.

This news was criticized by José Andrés Murillo, Juan Carlos Cruz, denouncers of the former pastor of El Bosque, Fernando Karadima, who showed their rejection of González's desegination.

"A guy with the empathy of a stone, arrogant, derogatory and with a turbulent history during the dictatorship," Murillo wrote in his Twitter account.]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:15 PM

Fiscalía de O’Higgins investigará a excanciller de la Iglesia de Santiago

CHILE
La Tercera

May 27, 2018

[O'Higgins prosecutor will investigate ex-chancellor of the Church of Santiago]

By Leyla Zapata

Ministerio Público abrirá causa de oficio tras la autodenuncia por abuso del sacerdote Óscar Muñoz.

Tras conocerse la autodenuncia por eventual abuso sexual que hizo en el Arzobispado de Santiago el ahora excanciller de la entidad, Óscar Muñoz Toledo (56), el Ministerio Público de O’Higgins abrirá una investigación de oficio para indagar posibles delitos cometidos por el sacerdote, quien también se desempeñaba como párroco de la Iglesia Jesús de Nazareth, ubicada en la comuna de Estación Central.

Esto, porque los hechos en cuestión se habrían cometido en el ámbito familiar del presbítero, en la Región de O’Higgins, hace cerca de 10 años, según trascendió.

La fiscalía, además, agruparía este caso a la indagatoria que inició en marzo pasado contra la llamada “cofradía” de sacerdotes de la zona, que está siendo indagada por la Unidad de Alta Complejidad del Ministerio Público, por eventuales delitos contra menores.

Por este caso, el obispo de Rancagua, Alejandro Goic, suspendió de sus funciones eclesiales a 14 párrocos de la Región de O’Higgins.

[Google Translation: The Public Ministry will open an ex officio case after the self-denunciation for abuse of priest Óscar Muñoz.

After knowing the self-denunciation by eventual sexual abuse that did in the Archbishopric of Santiago the now ex-chancellor of the entity, Óscar Muñoz Toledo (56), the Public Ministry of O'Higgins will open an investigation ex officio to investigate possible crimes committed by the priest, who also served as parish priest of the Jesus of Nazareth Church, located in the commune of Central Station.

This, because the facts in question had been committed in the family of the priest, in the O'Higgins Region, about 10 years ago, according to reports.

The prosecution, in addition, would group this case to the investigation that began last March against the so-called "brotherhood" of priests of the area, which is being investigated by the High Complexity Unit of the Public Prosecutor's Office, for possible crimes against minors.

In this case, the bishop of Rancagua, Alejandro Goic, suspended 14 priests of the O'Higgins Region from their ecclesiastical functions.]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:48 PM

Martin says church cannot compromise its position on abortion

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
RTÉ

May 26, 2018

By Joe Little

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has expressed surprise at the outcome of the referendum, and reiterated that his church cannot compromise on its opposition to abortion.

It follows the declaration of the official result this evening, one which campaigners for a No vote described as a "tragedy of historic proportions".

Dr Martin said that compassion is a Christian concept and that the Catholic Church has to show, in the way it lives and witnesses to the gospel, that it is genuinely compassionate.

"We have to speak with compassion even if what we speak is not acceptable," he said.

He added that above all, the Catholic Church had to revamp all that it does to be pro-life.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:43 AM

Donegal man's Twitter thread explaining county's No vote is garnering a lot of praise

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Independent

May 27 2018

By Aoife Kelly

While the Yes side saw a landslide victory on Saturday with two-thirds of the country voting to repeal the Eighth Amendment, one county stood alone in producing a majority No vote.

Donegal was the only constituency in the country to return a majority No with 51.9 per cent of people voting No compared to 48.1 per cent voting Yes.

There was a 57 per cent turnout.

With many people questioning why the result was different in Donegal to the rest of the country, one Donegal man took to Twitter to offer his take on the result.

Noel Sharkey's thread is garnering praise from people all over the country.

Here it is in full:

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:40 AM

Referendum shows us there is no Middle Ireland, just Ireland

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

May 26, 2018

By Una Mullally

‘The fiction of Ireland as a conservative, dogmatically Catholic country has been shattered’

The handover period is over. The fiction of Ireland as a conservative, dogmatically Catholic country has been shattered. The past is left back there, and a new legacy is being created. A legacy of compassion, empathy, and maturity - a country taking responsibility for the care and health of women and girls. What happened in the referendum vote was seismic, but more seismic still was the realisation that this vote was reflecting change, not just instigating it. “They listened to us. They actually listened to us,” a young woman said to me, crying, in the RDS on Saturday morning.

Together For Yes ran an excellent campaign, from start to finish. As the No campaign scraped the barrel, the Yes campaign always acted with dignity, with facts to the fore, and never once stooped. Together For Yes built an army around the country. An army of Us. In the RDS, people burst into tears when the Together For Yes bosses came into the room.

For many, Ailbhe Smyth’s determination and calmness has been a source of great inspiration for decades. During the campaign she wore herself down so much that she struggled to walk in the final days. Meanwhile, female journalists from competing newspapers hugged each other when they spotted one another. Mary Lou McDonald was cheered by Labour party members, Simon Harris was cheered by people from Sinn Féin. This was a feminist movement; non-partisan, grassroots, non-hierarchical where possible. We were all Together For Yes.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:37 AM

Ireland votes to remove constitutional ban on abortion by resounding two-thirds majority

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

May 26, 2018

By Sarah Bardon

Thirty-five years after its introduction, Eighth Amendment repealed after bitter campaign

The country has voted to remove the constitutional ban on abortion by a two-thirds majority.

Thirty-five years after it was placed into the Constitution, the electorate voted for the Eighth Amendment to be repealed and for provision be made for the regulation of termination of pregnancy. See here for liveblog updates on Saturday on developments as count results on the resounding result became clear across the State.

Every constituency except Donegal, which voted in favour of retaining the Eighth Amendment by 51. 87 to 48.13, passed the referendum by a clear mandate.

There were joyous and tearful scenes in Dublin Castle as the results were announced just after 6pm, showing 66 per cent of the electorate had supported the proposition.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:31 AM

Scouting Ireland faces Pandora’s box of historic abuse cases

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

April 21, 2018

By Jack Power

[Note: This important article was not included in Tracker at the time it was published.]

Audit of hundreds of files not yet begun despite safeguarding expert’s recommendation

Locked away in Scouting Ireland’s national office in Larch Hill, Tibradden, south county Dublin, sit hundreds of past child-protection case files in an alarmed room under lock and key, some dating back decades.

Most staff working in the organisation’s headquarters go about each day without a thought about the ageing folders gathering dust in the organisation’s national office near the Co Wicklow border, which is sheltered by woods and is set amid surrounding campsite fields.

The potential revelations within those safeguarding files about how past cases were handled, which range from minor incidents to more serious allegations of abuse, remain undisturbed.

But an initial look at a small number of serious sexual abuse allegations among the historic files showed they “haven’t been handled well”, according to one senior source.

A full audit of all historic cases of alleged abuse, which five months ago safeguarding expert Ian Elliott recommended should take place, has not started. In January he told Scouting Ireland’s board again the historic review should be a “priority”, given that “past practice has been shown to be suspect regarding alleged abuse” cases.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:17 AM

Historian Speaks on Abuse, Memory, and Religion

BRIGHTON (MA)
Boston College Torch

May 3, 2018

By Jeffery Lindholm

The girl with the pseudonym “Mary Ross” called her experience “my little Hell.” God had abandoned her. Her desire for God endured, and what she desired was His presence. She prayed, “If you [God] really want me, you have to do something to or for me.” The next thing she remembers was waking up with scrapes all over her body. This was her sign—violence as her indication of God’s presence.

Professor Robert Orsi, a scholar in American History and Religious Studies at Northwestern University, spoke of Mary Ross and others in a lecture entitled “Violence, Memory, and Religion.” The talk centered around the clerical sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, which came to light in the Archdiocese of Boston in the early 2000s. Orsi called clerical abuse “the worst crisis in Catholicism since the Reformation.”

A historical basis is important for understanding the stories of abuse survivors. Orsi began with the early 1900s, when child abuse became a national issue. The topic of trauma was introduced into the public discourse in the 1960s and 70s. With sexual experimentation in the 1970s, the modernization of the Church after Vatican II, and overt homosexuality in the priesthood, Orsi argued that the groundwork was laid for clerical abuse.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:14 AM

Deadline nears for compensation in priest abuse cases

SARANAC LAKE (NY)
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

May 26, 2018

By Glynis Hart

A compensation fund for victims of sexual abuse by former priests of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg is approaching the deadline to file a claim: May 31.

Victims of abuse who have already made their complaints known to the diocese may seek confidential settlements, the diocese announced on March 1. The Independent Compensation and Reconciliation Program was voluntarily established by the diocese and will be administered by two independent, private individuals who will determine the amount of compensation for each victim.

The priests

In 2002, to comply with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that American bishops had passed, the diocese reported that since 1950, 56 people, 37 of whom were minors at the time, have made sexual-abuse allegations against 35 of its clergymen. The diocese found allegations against 23 priests credible but has not disclosed all their identities.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:10 AM

May 26, 2018

Cleric in Chile who recorded sex abuse charges reports himself

DENVER (CO)
Crux

May 26, 2018

By Inés San Martín

An ongoing crisis in Chile’s Catholic Church continues to develop, with new allegations, accusations and compromising media reports arising almost daily. Last week, most of the country’s bishops handed their resignations to Pope Francis, who had summoned them to Rome and presented them with a document accusing the Chilean hierarchy of destroying evidence and of a systematic cover up of sexual abuse.

The man registering allegations reports himself

A Chilean priest who was tasked with receiving allegations of clerical sexual abuse against minors was removed from his position in early January, after he reported himself for having abused someone.

Father Óscar Muñoz Toledo, former chancellor of the archdiocese of Santiago, was removed from that position on Jan. 2, days before Francis’s visit to the country.

The information was first reported by Chile’s El Mercurio, and the Chilean newspaper La Tercera received confirmation from the archdiocese through a statement that says that on that date, the priest “reported himself for abuse. After this, cautionary measures were implemented, he was relieved from his position of chancellor in the curia and parish priest.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:36 AM

A Case Review Concerning Jeremy Dowling, His Selection and Employment within the Diocese of Truro

TRURO (ENGLAND)
Diocese of Truro
Church of England

May 25, 2018

The Diocese of Truro today (May 25, 2018) published the findings of a review that looked at the selection and employment of Jeremy Dowling within the diocese.

In June 2015, Jeremy Dowling pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court to a number of charges of indecent assaults on boys between 1959 and 1971 while working as a teacher in a Cornish school.

In September 2016 he was further found guilty of indecent assault on one boy over the period of 1973-1977.

In addition, the Crown Prosecution Service left on file matters concerning the possession of indecent images of children on a computer.

Jeremy Dowling was closely involved with the church during these periods, and latterly employed by the diocese.

This case review was commissioned by the Safeguarding Committee of the Diocese of Truro and was researched and written by academic and magistrate, Dr Andy Thompson.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:31 AM

Four bishops failed to act over abuse by synod member, review finds

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

May 25, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Jeremy Dowling was jailed in 2015 over abuse carried out in the 1960s and 70s

Four former Church of England bishops failed to act over sexual abuse carried out by a former member of the church’s ruling body, the General Synod, in a catalogue of missed opportunities, a review has found.

Among the four was Michael Ball, the bishop of Truro between 1990 and 1997 and the identical twin brother of Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who was jailed in October 2015 for abusing vulnerable young men over a 15-year period.

The review examined the church’s response to disclosures of abuse against Jeremy Dowling, who was jailed in 2015 for indecently assaulting boys while a teacher at a school in Cornwall in the 1960s and 70s.

Dowling, who was also a lay preacher at St Michael’s, Bude, was elected to the General Synod in 1977, and was employed by the diocese of Truro as a communications officer from 2003 to 2009.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:16 AM

Idaho diving coach suspended amid sexual misconduct probe, then wins award

McLEAN (VA)
USA Today

May 25, 2018

bY Brent Schrotenboer

The diving coach at the University of Idaho was suspended for a sexual misconduct allegation less than a week before being named co-diving coach of the year in the Western Athletic Conference, according to records reviewed by USA TODAY Sports.

Jim Southerland, who joined the Idaho staff in 2015, was issued an interim suspension in February by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and USA Diving, the sport’s national governing body. Six days later, the WAC honored his accomplishments, unaware of the case against him as misconduct allegations continue to rock Olympic sports and now have added to similar issues at Idaho, where the athletic director last month was placed on leave.

In this case, the allegation involves an improper sexual relationship between Southerland and a female diver who had been under his tutelage near Seattle prior to 2010. It since has led to him being placed on leave at Idaho in April, enraging a fellow diving coach who said Southerland has fallen victim to “political witch-hunting” after major sex abuse scandals in gymnastics and other sports.

More: U.S. Olympic leaders need to walk the talk after showing zero sense of urgency

“There comes a point where the law swings too far one way,” said Bob Ketrick, a longtime colleague of Southerland who recently bought Southerland's diving club business. “Before, there were no protections for kids. A lot of stuff was unreported. OK, so we made the system better, but (also created) … opportunity for people with vendettas to take advantage of a new system.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:11 AM

Cardinals in the spotlight as Chile’s crisis continues to reverberate

COLORADO (CO)
Crux

May 23, 2018

By Inés San Martín

[Note: This article quotes from a Letter to the Editor by Cardinal Errázuriz.]

Chile’s ongoing Catholic crisis remains fluid, with Pope Francis summoning another group of victims of clerical abuse to Rome, a cardinal accused of covering up those abuses continuing to claim he’s innocent, and yet another Prince of the Church who risks losing Chilean citizenship.

Here’s a rundown of the latest developments, after the Chilean bishops offered Francis their resignations en masse. During a summit meeting in Rome last week, the pontiff didn’t name names, but he did say there’s evidence that at least some covered up cases of clerical sexual abuse, mishandled accusations, failed to protect children, and destroyed damaging evidence.

* * *

A cardinal tries to defend himself [again]

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, emeritus Archbishop of Santiago and a member of Pope Francis’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers, published a letter in one of Chile’s newspapers, La Segunda, on Tuesday. In it, he responded to a story from last week, the headline of which was “What to do with Errázuriz, [Cardinal Ricardo] Ezzati and [Archbishop Ivo] Scapolo.”

The three clerics have been accused by victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest of not providing Francis with accurate information.

Furthermore, both Errázuriz and Ezzati, currently the archbishop of Santiago, have been accused of covering up for Karadima, and his victims want to see both cardinals stand trial for it.

According to Errázuriz, the story from Friday the 18th spreads “falsehoods and defamations,” which led him to write a letter to the editor of the paper, in “respect of the truth and the readers.”

Regarding the accusations that he misinformed the pope on the case of Bishop Juan Barros, whom Francis transferred to the southern diocese of Osorno in 2015, the cardinal said that it hadn’t been him. Accusations arose in April, when the pope sent a letter to Chile’s bishops saying that he’d made grave errors of judgement, in part because he didn’t have accurate information.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:40 AM

Ex-Vatican doctrine czar calls homophobia a ‘hoax’, ‘psycho-terrorism’

DENVER (CO)
Crux

May 22, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

NOTE: Use caution in visiting the link to Costanza Miriano’s blog, which is cited in this article as a source. McAfee Antivirus flags the blog as a potential problem.

In the wake of the May 17 World Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the Vatican’s former top doctrinal official, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, has declared that homophobia “simply doesn’t exist” and is “an invention, an instrument of totalitarian dominion over the minds of others.”

“The homosexual movement doesn’t have scientific arguments, so it’s constructed an ideology that wants to dominate, seeking to construct its own reality. It’s the Marxist scheme, according to which it’s not reality that builds thought, it’s thought that builds reality,” Müller said.

* * *

In the interview, Miriano asked Müller for his reaction to bishops who promote prayer vigils or other events around the World Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

“Some bishops today don’t have the courage to speak the truth, and allow themselves to be intimidated,” he said. “They don’t understand that homophobia is a hoax that serves to threaten people.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:25 AM

The Philly man who survived sexual abuse by a priest, and the pope who asked for his forgiveness

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

May 25, 2018

By Kristin E. Holmes

Juan Carlos Cruz risked upending his life as a Philadelphia executive to speak out about the trauma he had spent decades trying to forget. He went so far as to write an eight-page letter to Pope Francis in 2015 recounting the alleged sexual crimes against him as a teenager and the cover-up that ensued — only to have the pontiff disbelieve him.

The abuse that he claimed he endured while growing up in Chile at the hands of a then-respected cleric, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, was dismissed as “slander” by the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. What hope was there for change in the church, a disheartened Cruz wondered, if the most powerful figure in Christendom refused to listen?

Earlier this year, however, the Vatican dispatched investigators to look into not only Cruz’ accusations but other reports of sexual misconduct roiling the Chilean church. They found even the worst to be true.

So on April 29, in the private papal living room at Casa Santa Marta in Vatican City, Cruz sat face-to-face with Francis, as the pontiff pleaded for forgiveness.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:23 AM

Former Stockton priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor

STOCKTON (CA)
Stockton Record

May 25, 2018

An accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor in 1973, involving the Rev. Louie Ladenburger at Stockton’s St. Mary of the Assumption Church, has been reported to the Diocese of Stockton.

Ladenburger, a member of the Franciscan Friars of California, was at St. Mary’s from 1972 to 1974.

In accordance with diocesan policy, the matter was reported to the Stockton Police Department and the diocese is cooperating with law enforcement. The policy regarding allegations of sexual abuse of minors may be found on the diocesan website, stocktondiocese.org, under Protecting Our Children.

Anyone with information regarding this matter or any sexual abuse of a minor by a church leader should notify Connie Jacob, the diocesan victim assistance coordinator, at (209) 466-0636.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:20 AM

May 25, 2018

'Ellis defence' scrapped as Victorian law change opens church up to abuse legal action

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

May 25, 2018

By Danny Tran and Matt Neal

It was only years later, long after he had been admitted to practise as a lawyer, that John Ellis decided to exercise his legal right to sue the Catholic Church.

As a altar boy, he'd been abused by a paedophile priest. Now an adult, he sought damages.

But Mr Ellis ultimately failed because the church successfully argued it did not legally exist as its assets were held in a trust, and that was protected from legal action.

And in a galling circumstance of fate, Mr Ellis's name was unwittingly shackled to the method the church had used to avoid the legal action. Since then it's been known as "the Ellis defence".

But last night, more than 16 years after the fact, the Victorian Government passed a law closing the legal loophole.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:31 PM

Bishops 'ignored' Jeremy Dowling child sex abuse

CORNWALL (ENGLAND)
BBC News

May 25, 2018

The Church of England ignored child sex abuse carried out by a former member of the general synod, a review has found.

Jeremy Dowling, a lay preacher, teacher and church employee, abused young boys in the 1970s and was jailed in 2015.

A review by the Diocese of Truro said several bishops were told about the abuse and did not take action.

It found there was a "probable misunderstanding" by church leaders over a decision not to prosecute him.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:30 PM

Archbishop Philip Wilson will not resign after child sexual abuse cover-up conviction

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

May 25, 2018

By Melissa Davey

Adelaide archdiocese says standing aside ‘doesn’t necessarily mean it’s forever’

The disgraced archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, officially stood aside from his duties on Friday but has not resigned.

On Tuesday Wilson, 67, was found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse, becoming the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of the crime.

He was found to have covered up the child abuse perpetrated by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher, whose crimes date back to the 1970s while he was working in the Maitland/Newcastle diocese in NSW.

“Standing aside doesn’t necessarily mean it’s forever,” the archdiocese spokeswoman, Jenny Brinkworth, said. “He’s standing aside until process has run its course.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:28 PM

Church abuse victims resigned to being left out of inquiry

NEW ZEALAND
Stock News Caller

May 25, 2018

Church abuse survivors have resigned themselves to being excluded from the upcoming Royal Commission of Inquiry.

The public consultation period about how the inquiry should run wrapped up a week ago and its chair Sir Anand Satyanand has begun going through the 300 submissions.

“At this stage I have not formed any final views or recommendations,” he said in a statement last night.

However, Liz Tonks of the Network of Survivors of Faith-based Institutional Abuse said she got a very different impression from meeting with Sir Anand.

“I asked him who he had received submissions from when he suggested there wasn‘t anyone else except us asking for all survivors to be included,” she said.

“I asked him had they been proactive in the inquiry and approached other churches, had they considered approaching sportsclubs. His response to that was that he didn‘t see it as his job, that the inquiry was public and people knew they could make submissions.”

The commission launched a major public awareness campaign at the start of April, two months into the three-month public consultation period on the inquiry‘s terms of reference which closed last week.

Ms Tonks said her group had trouble getting to see Sir Anand, but he said he had met a wide range of people and groups and canvassed many issues.

“The issues have involved things like clarity of expression, appropriate placement of the Treaty of Waitangi, coverage of Pacific people as well as Māori, and as well the matter of a parallel inquiry financed by the Churches,” he said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:26 PM

'Evil' sex abuse monk 'should spend longer in jail'

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

May 25, 2018

A further complaint has been received in connection with a 90-year-old former monk who sexually abused three boys, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Judges were also told Vincent Lewis made financial contributions towards compensation paid to victims.

The prosecution wants his sentence increased, arguing his nine-and-a-half-year term was unduly lenient.

Lewis was formerly Brother Ambrose of Our Lady of Bethlehem Monastery in Portglenone, Co Antrim.

He pleaded guilty to more than 50 offences committed over a 10-year period up to 1983.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:25 PM

MP to raise church child abuse concerns on behalf of Hartlepool campaigner

ENGLAND
The Northern Echo

May 24, 2018

By Julia Breen

A CAMPAIGNER who wants to overturn a two-witness rule over child abuse within a major religious organisation has enlisted the support of his MP.

Steve Rose, from Hartlepool, a former Jehovah’s Witness, has been protesting against the rule, which stops senior figures in the church from acting against wrongdoing unless there are two witnesses.

Now he has contacted Hartlepool MP Mike Hill, who is raising the issue with Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, who in turn is bringing the debate to Parliament, saying it was an ongoing child safety concern.

Mr Rose, who was once a member of Hartlepool’s Kingdom Hall, said the two-witness rule makes it nearly impossible for action to be taken against perpetrators within the church who are brought to the attention of elders. And he claims anyone who reports the abuse faces being shunned by the congregation.

The church says the two-witness rule does not stop victims reporting allegations to the police. A safeguarding inquiry by the Charity Commission is ongoing.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:23 PM

As a Teen, Emily Joy Was Abused by a Church Youth Leader. Now She’s Leading a Movement to Change Evangelical America.

PEORIA (IL)
Mother Jones

May 25, 2018

By Becca Andrews

#ChurchToo has opened the floodgates.

The #MeToo stories that were flooding Emily Joy’s social feeds for weeks had been nagging at her. Last November, as her own story played on a loop in her mind, she finally texted a group of close friends: “Do I out my high school abuser? Probably, huh?”

Joy’s story is familiar in all the ways we’ve become intimately acquainted with over the last six-plus months. But while the accused was a man in a position of power over his victim, her story also had a key difference: Joy’s abuser was a trusted member of her evangelical church. After talking it over with her friends, the 27-year-old poet decided to post to Twitter her story about Ty Sïlzer, the then-thirtysomething man in her mega-church in Peoria, Illinois, who she says manipulated her into a romantic relationship when she was still a teenager.

“When you’re 16, sometimes you fancy yourself an adult,” Joy tells Mother Jones. “It took me a long time and therapy even to understand, ‘Oh, that’s because I didn’t have an understanding of consent—my church community didn’t have an understanding of consent.'”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:20 PM

Rose McGowan powerfully celebrates Harvey Weinstein's arrest: 'We got you'

UNITED STATES
The Week

May 25, 2018

Women who have accused former movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse and harassment reacted strongly to his surrender to New York police on Friday. A few of the more than 50 women who have alleged misconduct took to social media to address his arrest.

Rose McGowan, who alleges that Weinstein raped her in 1997, appeared on Megyn Kelly Today and Good Morning America and described how his criminal charges made her feel. "We got you," she said in a message to Weinstein. "I have to admit I didn't think I would see the day that he would have handcuffs on him. I have a visceral need for him to have handcuffs on."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:19 PM

Church knew about allegations before Cornish preacher went on to abuse boys, investigation reveals

ENGLAND
Cornwall Live

May 25, 2018

By Martin Freeman

The diocese failed to investigate the accusations against Jeremy Dowling

A leading figure in the Church of England in Cornwall went on to commit child sex offences for several years after allegations about his behaviour with young boys were raised with the diocese and not acted upon, an official investigation has revealed.

The diocese failed to investigate the accusations against Jeremy Dowling, a lay preacher, allowing him to rise to influential positions including communications officer to the bishop, an independent review for the church concludes.

The report, released today, says there were “historic failings” within the diocese in dealing with the allegations, first raised in 1972. There was “ongoing knowledge” of the situation among senior figures in the diocese “well into the 1980s” with references to “a big fat file” on Dowling.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:17 PM

3 Church Leaders Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Teens In Program

FORT WASHINGTON (MD)
Patch

May 25, 2018

By Cameron Luttrell

A Fort Washington pastor, minister and church member were charged for the sexual abuse of members of a church program for at-risk youth.

Police have charged three Prince George's County church leaders for the alleged sexual abuse of four girls who were members of a church program for at-risk youth.

The suspects are a church pastor, his son and his son-in-law. Joshua William Wright, 67, of Brandywine is the Head Pastor of the Oxon Hill Assembly of Jesus Christ. Wright's son is a minister at the church, identified as William Joshua Wright, 46, of White Plains. Wright's son-in-law is a leading member at the church named Donald Jackson, 40, of White Plains.

Court records state William Wright is a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

Police said the suspects allegedly sexually assaulted the girls between 2001-2008, when the girls were between the ages of 15 and 18.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:13 PM

Southern Baptist President Removed Over Language On Sexual Abuse Of Women

FORT WORTH (TX)
National Public Radio

May 23, 2018

By Tom Gjelten

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has removed its president over past advice he gave women regarding sexual abuse. He advised women to pray for their abuses and not report them to authorities.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:10 PM

Maryland Police Charge 3 Church Leaders With Past Abuse Of At-Risk Teen Girls

MARYLAND
The Huffington Post

May 23, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

The victims, who are now adults, were enrolled in a church-run program designed to give troubled teens a safe place to live.

Police in Maryland have charged three church leaders with sexually abusing four teenage girls over a decade ago who were enrolled in a faith-based program meant to help at-risk youth.

Prince George’s County detectives have identified the suspects on Wednesday as Oxon Hill Assembly of Jesus Christ head pastor Joshua Wright, his son and church minister William Wright, and the elder Wright’s son-in-law and church member Donald Jackson. All three men have been charged with child abuse and various other sex offenses.

The men allegedly abused the teens between 2001 and 2008, when the victims were between 15 and 18 years old. The women took their stories of abuse to police as adults.

The victims were placed under the suspects’ care as part of a church-run program called Children Having Overcoming Power (CHOP) that dissolved in 2011. It was designed to provide troubled teens with safe living accommodations in church members’ houses.

The police report alleges that the suspects abused the victims in different locations, including the suspects’ homes, various parks and the church itself.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:08 PM

Women's group calls for Flynn to withdraw from governor's race

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WisPolitics.com via Waunakee Tribune

May 25, 2018

Milwaukee attorney Matt Flynn will remain among the field of candidates for Wisconsin’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, despite calls for him to drop out because of his role defending the Milwaukee Archdiocese in sexual abuse lawsuits.

Women’s March Wisconsin recently called on Flynn to withdraw from the race, but Flynn’s campaign manager, Bryan Kennedy, said the criticism amounts to an attempt “to take someone who is a likely frontrunner out of this race, and to attack him for priest sex abuse when he’s the one who actually cleaned up the problem.”

Flynn is one of nine top Democratic candidates looking to take on GOP Gov. Scott Walker in the Nov. 6 general election. The Democratic primary is Aug. 14.

When Flynn, a retired partner with the Quarles & Brady law firm in Milwaukee, first launched his campaign last fall, he fielded hits from the state GOP regarding his work on behalf of the archdiocese. The party labeled Flynn as a “dirty defense attorney” guilty of “putting Wisconsin families at risk.”

The issue was again brought up again after The Wisconsin Gazette published an article quoting abuse victims who said they were “appalled” by Flynn’s bid.

Then, in a statement on May 6, Women’s March Wisconsin said Flynn should bow out of the race. The call came after Sarah Pearson, the group’s co-chair, approached Flynn following a Democratic debate in Madison. In an encounter filmed live on the group’s facebook page, she asked Flynn about his “involvement in the cover-up and transfer of pedophile priests.”

Pearson pointed to a series of church documents released in 2014 that the group said revealed he “directed and knew of secret transfers of dozens of child-molesting clergy, many of which went on to abuse more children.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:05 PM

Four bishops failed to act over abuse by synod member, review finds

ENGLAND
The Guardian

May 25, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Jeremy Dowling was jailed in 2015 over abuse carried out in the 1960s and 70s

Four former Church of England bishops failed to act over sexual abuse carried out by a former member of the church’s ruling body, the General Synod, in a catalogue of missed opportunities, a review has found.

Among the four was Michael Ball, the bishop of Truro between 1990 and 1997 and the identical twin brother of Peter Ball, the former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who was jailed in October 2015 for abusing vulnerable young men over a 15-year period.

The review examined the church’s response to disclosures of abuse against Jeremy Dowling, who was jailed in 2015 for indecently assaulting boys while a teacher at a school in Cornwall in the 1960s and 70s.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:00 PM

Fight to save churches

AUSTRALIA
The Advocate

May 25, 2018

The quaint country church Patricia Stewart attends is one of her small community’s lasting landmarks.

But now a cloud hangs over its future.

St George’s Anglican Church sits within Moriarty’s fertile farming landscape.

The pretty weatherboard place of worship is one of the properties earmarked for sale by the Anglican diocese to help pay redress to victims of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:52 PM

Reading the red flags of domestic violence

AUSTRALIA
Eternity News

May 25, 2018

By Kylie Beach

It’s time for churches to act

“Men need to speak to other men about what a respectful marriage looks like,” a survivor of seven years of verbal, emotional, spiritual, sexual and physical abuse told about 300 people who gathered on Wednesday night to talk about how church communities can take action on domestic violence.

Attendees at Time to Act held at North Sydney’s Independent Theatre heard journalist Julia Baird and an expert panel discuss the action churches need to take in the wake of a sold-out forum last year, called Time to Listen.

Between the two “Time to” events, much has occurred, notably the #MeToo movement, described by Julia as a “global reckoning” that had begun in the entertainment industry and reached even the church.

Asked what she believes are the most important things for Time to Act attendees to know, the DV survivor stressed the need for men to talk to other men about respecting their wives because she suspected that, even if her husband had heard a sermon denouncing domestic violence, he “wouldn’t have thought it was referring to him.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:49 PM

Domestic violence in the church: When women are believed, change will happen

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

May 23, 2018

By Julia Baird

The white Styrofoam heads stand on shelves in neat, solemn rows in a little-used backroom of the ABC. Their faces are devoid of colour; blank, anonymous, unknown.

These mannequin skulls hold the national broadcaster's collection of wigs; long blonde bobs, smooth brunette locks, ginger beehives, afros, mullets, perms, and shaggy manes.

Over the decades, these wigs have been fixed to the heads of Australian actors and comedians for skits and dramas and children's shows.

Sometimes TV producers also borrow them for stories where interviewees need to keep their identities hidden, for legal, safety or other reasons.

Which is what we did when reporting on women in church communities who experienced decades of domestic violence, and wanted to speak to us but needed their identities protected. They didn't want violent ex-husbands to hunt them down and seek revenge, or to expose their children to shame or suffering.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:46 PM

Catholic churches get grand jury report on sexual abuse before its public release

PENNSYLVANIA
TribLive

May 25, 2018

By Debra Erdley

Mark Rozzi's phone rang relentlessly after an Erie newspaper reported Thursday that a judge released copies of a statewide grand jury report on sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses to church officials more than a month before it is to be released publicly.

Rozzi, a Democratic state representative from Berks County, has been a lightning rod for victims since publicly accusing a priest of molesting him more than 30 years ago and then testifying before the grand jury, which completed its investigation last month.

“To myself and other victims, it's that feeling of outrage again,” Rozzi told the Tribune-Review on Friday. “Why do we always cater to them? They are the ones who committed these crimes, and we're still giving them special treatment.”

Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Monday said he expects to release the report that examined allegations of abuse going back decades in six Catholic dioceses in late June. The probe included the dioceses in Allentown, Scranton, Erie, Greensburg, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.

The same week the Greensburg diocese publicly agreed that the report should be made public, church officials on Friday wouldn't say whether they already have a copy.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:44 PM

Harvey Weinstein surrenders to New York police, is arrested for rape, criminal sex acts

UNITED STATES
The Week

May 25, 2018

By Peter Weber

Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to police Friday morning. "Today, at the NYPD's 1st Precinct, Harvey Weinstein was arrested, processed, and charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse, and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women," the New York Police Department said. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are in the final stages of an investigation into allegations of sexual assault from actresses Paz de la Huerta and Lucia Evans. Weinstein, accused of wide-ranging abuse by more than 50 women, has denied all wrongdoing. After being booked and charged, NBC News reports, Weinstein is expected to be moved to New York County Criminal Court, then likely released on $1 million bail and fitted with an ankle monitor.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:43 PM

Congresswoman: Volleyball coach Rick Butler ‘should have been in jail’

UNITED STATES
Chicago Sun Times

May 24, 2018

By Jon Seidel and Michael O'Brien

The controversy swirling around suburban youth volleyball coach Rick Butler reached the nation’s capital this week, where a local congresswoman declared Butler “should have been in jail” after sexual abuse allegations first surfaced in the 1990s.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky made her comment during a hearing Wednesday held to examine the Olympic community’s ability to protect athletes from sexual abuse. The hearing took place across the street from the U.S. Capitol.

Among those to testify was Jamie Davis, CEO of USA Volleyball, who recounted the lifetime ban his organization recently handed Butler based on allegations Butler sexually abused players in the 1980s. Butler has denied the accusations.

But USA Volleyball had banned Butler once before — in 1995 — only to rescind the ban conditionally five years later. Schakowsky called his reinstatement “just shocking.”

“This really underscores the problem that has occurred over so many years,” Schakowsky said Wednesday. “Anyone in this room, I think certainly the women, know if someone has abused underage girls, reinstating him is so unacceptable. He should have been in jail. And now, in today’s world, I think he would have. I hope he would have.”

Schakowsky, a Democrat whose district spans Chicago’s North Side and several north suburbs, made her comment during the hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:40 PM

Film mogul Weinstein appears handcuffed in court to face rape charges

NEW YORK
Reuters

May 25, 2018

By Alice Popovici, Karen Freifeld

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein appeared in handcuffs in a New York court on Friday to face charges of rape and other sex crimes against two of the scores of women who have accused him of misconduct, ending his reign as a Hollywood kingpin.

Weinstein, the 66-year-old co-founder of the Miramax film studio and the Weinstein Co, intends to plead not guilty to the charges, his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, told reporters outside the Manhattan courthouse.

Prosecutors charged him with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act following a months-long investigation with the New York Police Department. They did not identify the two women, but said the crimes took place in 2004 and 2013. If convicted on the most serious charges, Weinstein could face between five and 25 years in prison.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women, with some of the allegations dating back decades. He has denied ever having nonconsensual sex.

The accusations, first reported last year by the New York Times and the New Yorker, gave rise to the #MeToo movement, in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:37 PM

CEO admits USOC didn’t wield its authority enough to prevent sexual abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
USA TODAY Sports

May 23, 2018

By Rachel Axon

Under pointed questioning before a House subcommittee, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s acting CEO acknowledged the organization had not exercised its authority enough to enforce policies and procedures to prevent sexual abuse.

Before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sport leaders – including the USOC’s Susanne Lyons – on Wednesday explained their efforts to protect young athletes in the wake of sexual abuse scandals in several sports.

Over nearly three hours, the representatives pressed Lyons and the heads of the national governing bodies for gymnastics, swimming, taekwondo and volleyball on the Olympic movement’s failure to prevent abuse.

It also focused on the U.S. Center for SafeSport, a year-old entity set up by the USOC, and its ability to address misconduct with limited resources.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:34 PM

Women accuse Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, harassment

UNITED STATES
CNN

May 25, 2018

By An Phung and Chloe Melas

A young production assistant thought she had landed the job of her dreams when, in the summer of 2015, she started work on "Going In Style," a bank heist comedy starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin.

But the job quickly devolved into several months of harassment, she told CNN. She alleges that Freeman subjected her to unwanted touching and comments about her figure and clothing on a near-daily basis. Freeman would rest his hand on her lower back or rub her lower back, she said.

In one incident, she said, Freeman "kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear." He never successfully lifted her skirt, she said -- he would touch it and try to lift it, she would move away, and then he'd try again. Eventually, she said, "Alan [Arkin] made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn't know what to say."

Freeman's alleged inappropriate behavior was not limited to that one movie set, according to other sources who spoke to CNN. A woman who was a senior member of the production staff of the movie "Now You See Me" in 2012 told CNN that Freeman sexually harassed her and her female assistant on numerous occasions by making comments about their bodies.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:30 PM

George Tyndall Sex Abuse Case: Ex-USC Gynecologist May Have 'Staggering' Number of Victims: Lawyer

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Inside Edition

May 22, 2018

A gynecologist at the University of Southern California is accused of sexually abusing his young patients for years.

A lawsuit filed Monday by four alleged victims accuses Dr. George Tyndall of "forcing [them] to strip naked... groping [their] breasts" and using techniques that have "no legitimate medical purpose and for no other reason than to satisfy his own prurient sexual desires."

Tyndall practiced at the student health clinic at USC for nearly three decades. Now, the university says 200 calls have come in to a hotline set up for any patients who may have experienced inappropriate conduct.

One lawyer says the total number of victims could be "staggering."

At a news conference in Los Angeles Tuesday, another alleged victim held a news conference with her lawyer Gloria Allred.

Daniella Mohazab claimed the doctor watched and smiled as she undressed from the bottom down.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:28 PM

Male Entitlement Is Causing Mass Violence, and Women Are Being Blamed

UNITED STATES
Brit+Co

May 22, 2018

By Kylie Cheung

On Friday, tragedy struck yet again in the form of the 22nd school shooting this year. 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the alleged shooter, killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in Texas with a firearm he stole from his father. One of his possible motives, according to the mother of one of the victims, sounds all too familiar: Pagourtzis had been rejected by one of his female classmates. He had allegedly been “harassing” the victim, Shana Fisher, to be in a relationship with him.

“I know he had pestered her to go out with him,” Fisher’s father told the Daily Mail last week. “She kept telling him no. For one, he supposedly already had a girlfriend. And two, she just didn’t have feelings for the boy.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:25 PM

A Harvard economics researcher has been accused of making “sexually inappropriate” comments

BOSTON (MA)
VOX

May 23, 2018

By Jen Kirby

Roland Fryer is accused of creating a hostile work environment at his Harvard lab.

An influential Harvard economics professor is under investigation by the university and the state of Massachusetts for allegations of creating a hostile work environment through “sexually inappropriate” comments.

A report in the Harvard Crimson said the investigation into Roland Fryer, who founded the university’s Education Innovation Labs (EdLabs), is based on at least one complaint under Title IX, which forbids sex-based discrimination in education; two people claim to have filed such complaints with the university. According to the Crimson, Fryer has not been allowed to enter the research lab he runs since March.

Fryer is one of the most prominent economics researchers working today, conducting studies on the racial achievement gap, the effects of charter schools, and racial disparities in police shootings (a somewhat disputed study). The allegations, part of a broader #MeToo reckoning, are likely to reverberate through academia and the field of economics.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:22 PM

Tiffany Lopez, Who Reported Larry Nassar 19 Years Before His Arrest, Takes Back Her Power

MICHIGAN
Pop Sugar

May 25, 2018

by Lindsay Miller

Twenty years ago, former Michigan State University softball star Tiffany Lopez told three of her trainers that she was being sexually abused by one of the university's team physicians. His name was Larry Nassar.

It would be 19 years before Nassar — who has been accused by at least 265 women with sexually abusing them in his role as a doctor to young athletes at MSU and USA Gymnastics — would be arrested for his crimes.

Lopez says she stopped playing the sport she loved and left MSU after her claims went unheard.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:17 PM

Pedophilia: Bishops thank journalists for their work

MONTROUGE (FRANCE)
La Croix International

May 23, 2018

By Isabelle de Gaulmyn, Deputy Editor

It is rare to hear church leaders thanking journalists and even rarer when it involves cases of clergy sex abuse of minors

In a sign of change in the church, Chilean bishops have thanked journalists for their contribution to exposing cases of pedophilia.

“We thank members of the press for their contribution to serving the truth,” the Chilean bishops wrote in their collective resignation letter last week.

It is rare to hear church leaders thanking journalists and even rarer when it involves cases of pedophilia.

So this is a sure sign that things are changing seriously in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:57 PM

Can Francis fix the clergy sex abuse crisis?

MONTROUGE (FRANCE)
La Croix International

May 25, 2018

By Robert Mickens

The stakes are high and we should hope and pray that the pope gets this right

Vatican City - The deeply disturbing scandal of clergy sex abuse in Chile and its cover-up by Church leaders in the country continues to go from bad to worse.

After a Vatican-led investigation in February, which led Pope Francis to call an emergency summit in Rome of the entire Chilean hierarchy, there has been a seemingly non-stop flow of newly revealed cases of sexual crimes against young people.

First, there was a news report of an organized pedophilia (or at least ephebophilia) ring in a diocese north of the capital Santiago where priests have been involved in exchanging pornographic images of minors and information on how to sexually engage with these adolescents.

Now, there are those in the South American country who claim that this abuse cartel is not limited to one diocese, but involves several other dioceses.

Then this past Thursday the Archdiocese of Santiago publicly admitted that its chancellor, Fr. Óscar Muñoz Toledo, turned himself in to church authorities last January for sexually abusing youths.

What makes this case even more dramatic is the fact that the 56-year-old priest was in charge of handling clergy sex abuse complaints in Santiago – including those against the serial predator Fernando Karadima, who has been the central figure in Chile’s abuse crisis.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:46 PM

Past accusations against priest trouble parents at his new St. Louis parish

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

May 25, 2018

By Erin Heffernan

Parents at a St. Louis Catholic grade school are speaking out after learning a priest twice accused of misconduct involving children will be joining their parish.

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang was recently appointed associate pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish. The priest had been charged with statutory sodomy in St. Louis and child endangerment in a Lincoln County case, but charges in both were dropped several years ago. Jiang denied the allegations, and a jury sided with him last year in a civil suit tied to the Lincoln County case.

Jiang is set to begin work at St. Gabriel, which is in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood and includes a K-8 school.

Katie Schmitt, a parent of two St. Gabriel students and a graduate of the school herself, said she feels the Archdiocese of St. Louis has made the wrong decision both for the students’ safety and Jiang himself.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:03 PM

Letter to the Editor: Where was St. Francis Catholic Church when victims of sex abuse needed their support?

STAUNTON (VA)
News Leader

May 24, 2018

On May 8, 2018, William Kerr, a former Sunday school teacher and member of the Knights of Columbus at St. Francis Catholic Church, was sentenced in Staunton Circuit Court to 17 years and 11 months for maliciously sexually abusing children within the congregation for over 2 decades.

The victims submitted Victim Impact Statements and one of the victims courageously took the stand to give a verbal statement. They all described how the trauma from the abuse had negatively impacted their lives. Although most of them have had years of therapy to cope with the trauma, their lives will never be the same. Someone who they knew and trusted had sexually abused them. Someone who was highly respected within the church had robbed them of their youth. Among the people who came to the sentencing hearing was another member of the Knights of Columbus and who is also well known and respected at the church. He took the stand in support of the defendant. Who was there from the church in support of the victims?

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:32 AM

Michigan House passes 27 Nassar-related bills

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit News

May 24, 2018

By Beth LeBlanc

Lansing -- The Michigan House approved on Thursday more than two dozen bills tailored to address the failings that allowed former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar to sexually abuse hundreds of women and girls over two decades.

Emotions were high as lawmakers debated parts of the scaled-back legislation, but the House eventually passed all of the 27 bills by wide margins. Rep. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, grew emotional as she defended the legislation before the full House.

"I believe that we are taking critical steps to address sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse," Chang said as she fought back tears. "And the legislation that we pass today will make a difference in the lives of countless Michiganders in the years to come."

The legislation, some of which originated in the Senate, has been the subject of hours of testimony in the House Law and Justice Committee over the past six weeks. The panel advanced the legislation Wednesday to the full House.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:27 AM

Statement from ACBC President Archbishop Mark Coleridge on Archbishop Wilson’s Decision to Stand Aside

CANBERRA (AUSTRALIA)
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

May 23, 2018

By Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Archbishop Philip Wilson has today decided to stand down as Archbishop of Adelaide, following yesterday’s verdict in a New South Wales court. We, his brother bishops, believe Archbishop Wilson’s decision, though difficult, was appropriate under the circumstances.

Our prayers are with all those who have felt the impact of this long legal process, including the survivors who shared their stories, as well as with the Archdiocese of Adelaide and with Archbishop Wilson himself.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:20 AM

Statement

ADELAIDE (AUSTRALIA)
Archdiocese of Adelaide

May 23, 2018

By Archbishop Philip Wilson

I have taken the opportunity overnight to consider His Honour’s reasons.

I am still considering those reasons together with my legal advisors. While I do so, it is appropriate that, in the light of some of his Honour’s findings, I stand aside from my duties as Archbishop.

I am now putting in place the necessary administrative arrangements to ensure that the affairs of the Archdiocese are managed responsibly. I therefore intend to step aside as of Friday this week once those arrangements are in place.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:16 AM

Archbishop Philip Wilson stands aside, asked families to 'continue to pray for me' in letter

ULTIMO (AUSTRALIA)
ABC

May 24, 2018

By Camron Slessor

A letter from the Archbishop of Adelaide, who has been convicted of covering up child sexual abuse, has asked families to "please continue to pray" for him.

The closing line was sent in a letter written by Philip Wilson which was sent out to children and parents across Adelaide following his decision to step down from his duties as Archbishop earlier this week.

Wilson is facing up to two years in jail for covering up child sexual abuse — after being found guilty by a New South Wales court in a landmark ruling earlier this week.

The 67-year-old was accused of covering up abuse by priest Jim Fletcher in the NSW Hunter Region in the 1970s.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide released a statement on Friday announcing that Adelaide Vicar General Father Philip Marshall will take responsibility for the affairs of the Catholic Archdiocese in Wilson's absence.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:43 AM

Former Delone Catholic teacher charged with sexual abuse of a student

HANOVER (PA)
Evening Sun

May 24, 2018

By Kaitlin Greenockle

A former Delone Catholic High School teacher allegedly exchanged thousands of texts, which included explicit messages and images, with a female student and gave the student underwear while she was at school, according to police.

Gary Jon Hatez Jr., 31, of the 300 block of Penn Street, Hanover, was arrested and charged May 24 with two counts of sexual abuse of children, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and criminal use of a communication facility, according to a news release from the Adams County District Attorney's Office.

Delone Catholic High School officials contacted McSherrystown Borough Police Chief Michael Woods on March 27 to inform him of alleged inappropriate contact and communication between a 16-year-old student and Hatez, according to an affidavit filed with District Judge Daniel Bowman.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:38 AM

Catholic dioceses receive copy of grand jury investigation report

MECHANICSBURG (PA)
Penn Live

May 24, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

The six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses at the center of a grand jury investigation into the potential child sex abuse of children by priests have received a copy of the findings.

Mark Rush, an attorney working with the Diocese of Erie, on Thursday confirmed his office had received the report. The 884-page report covers the findings across the six dioceses, which, in addition to Erie, include: Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Scranton and Greensburg.

Rush indicated the other dioceses had also received the report, which remains sealed until otherwise ordered by a judge.

Rush, of the Pittsburgh-based K&L Gates law firm, said Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico will now review the findings. By law entities investigated by a grand jury have the opportunity to respond to the findings of any investigation. Responding is not mandatory, however.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:31 AM

Latest Media Statement from the Basilian Fathers

TORONTO (ONTARIO)
Basilian Fathers

May 22, 2018

As an update to our April 27, 2018 statement, the Basilian Fathers will be pursuing an appeal of the judgment rendered April 26 in favour of Mr. Rod MacLeod in relation to the punitive damages awarded and the damages awarded for economic loss. It is believed that those two awards are not legally sound or justified. The Basilian Fathers are not appealing the awards for general and aggravated damages, nor for the amount awarded for counselling costs. Those amounts will be paid to Mr. MacLeod shortly.

When Mr. MacLeod first brought forward his claim in 2012, the Basilian Fathers accepted full responsibility for the actions of Hodgson Marshall, and continue to be committed to providing support to the victims of abuse, as well as ensuring that policies and protocols are in place that support the eradication of sexual abuse.

As Mr. MacLeod made his circumstances known throughout the course of his lawsuit, the Basilian Fathers focused on efforts to fairly compensate Mr. MacLeod. They think the appellate court can best make a final determination of this compensation.

For further information contact:

Father Thomas Rosica, CSB
Media Spokesperson
Basilian Fathers
(416) 879-5766

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:25 AM

Saga of dead pedophile priest, principal continues

SAULT STE. MARIE (ONTARIO)
Sault Star

May 25, 2018

The legal saga of a now dead, predatory pedophile priest who victimized a young Sudbury student more than 50 years ago is not quite over.

In a release posted to its website, the Basilian Fathers said they are appealing certain aspects of a judgment in favour of the student, Rod MacLeod, issued just last month.

The order, which employed Father William Hodgson Marshall, said it will challenge the punitive and the economic loss damages awarded to MacLeod, who now lives in Toronto.

"It is believed that those two awards are not legally sound or justified," the statement said. "The Basilian Fathers are not appealing the awards for general and aggravated damages, nor for the amount awarded for counselling costs. Those amounts will be paid to Mr. MacLeod shortly."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:22 AM

Pope to meet second group of abuse survivors from Chile

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Catholic Herald

May 24, 2018

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Pope Francis will meet five priests who suffered abuse by Chilean Fr Fernando Karadima or his followers, the Vatican said.

Two priests who have accompanied the survivors “in their juridical and spiritual journey” and “two laypeople involved in this suffering” also were invited by Pope Francis, the Vatican said. They will all be guests at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where Pope Francis lives.

The Pope will celebrate a private Mass with the group June 2 and will meet members of the group together and individually, the statement said. In late April, Pope Francis had hosted three laymen who were sexually abused by Fr Karadima.

“With this new meeting, planned a month ago, Pope Francis wants to show his closeness to abused priests, accompany them in their pain and listen to their valuable opinion to improve the current preventative measures and the fight against abuses in the Church,” the statement said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:16 AM

Dioceses receive grand jury report on sexual abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

May 24, 2018

By Peter Smith

Six Roman Catholic dioceses have copies of a Pennsylvania grand jury report critical of their handling of sexual abuse by priests and others over the past seven decades, an attorney for one of the dioceses said Thursday.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office provided the mammoth report based on an investigation by the 40th statewide grand jury of sexual abuse in the church.

Pittsburgh attorney Mark Rush, representing the Erie diocese, said that under court order he could only confirm the receipt of the 800-plus-page report by the dioceses. Officials of the Pittsburgh and Greensburg dioceses would not confirm receipt of the report.

The action followed several days of meetings and behind-closed-doors legal maneuvers in which some dioceses, including Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Greensburg, called for due process in how the report was disseminated. Other dioceses under investigation include Erie, Allentown and Scranton.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:11 AM

Archdiocese: Priest accused of abuse must return to Guam by June 15

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

May 25, 2018

By Haidee V Eugenio

The Archdiocese of Agana instructed Father Adrian Cristobal, who has been accused of sexually abusing three boys, to return to Guam by June 15 or sanctions would be imposed on him.

The sanctions would be in addition to precautionary measures imposed on Cristobal when the first allegation was filed on April 10, such as temporarily banning the priest from celebrating Mass publicly or hearing confession while investigations are ongoing.

Cristobal is believed to be in the vicinity of New York, after leaving the Diocese of Phoenix in Arizona in April.

Tony Diaz, director of communications for the archdiocese, on Friday said the archdiocese has repeatedly communicated to Cristobal, via e-mail, that he is to return to Guam immediately.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:02 AM

May 24, 2018

'Can we just say that I am sick?' How USA Gymnastics covered for Larry Nassar

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
IndyStar

May 24, 2018

By Tim Evans and Marisa Kwiatkowski

USA Gymnastics officials agreed to provide what Larry Nassar's attorney called "false excuses" for his absence from major gymnastics events in 2015, rather than disclose to parents and gymnasts that Nassar was under investigation for child sexual abuse.

Emails obtained by The Indianapolis Star reveal that on two separate occasions, Nassar and a USA Gymnastics attorney negotiated cover stories — first that Nassar was sick and later that he was focusing on his private practice — to explain why the longtime team physician was not attending two major events in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics.

In one of the emails, Indianapolis attorney Scott D. Himsel told Nassar his medical techniques were under investigation, and "it is in everyone's best interest" that Nassar not attend a gymnastics event that weekend.

Himsel said USA Gymnastics would tell people Nassar was not attending for "personal reasons."

Nassar replied: "Can we just say that i am sick? That would make more sense to everyone. Would that be ok?"

Himsel agreed to have USA Gymnastics use that story.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:03 PM

Emails show deception by Nassar, USA Gymnastics

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
The Associated Press

May 24, 2018

USA Gymnastics agreed to use false excuses in 2015 to account for the absence of sports doctor Larry Nassar, who had been accused of sexually abusing female athletes, according to emails obtained by a newspaper.

Nassar suggested that USA Gymnastics tell people that he couldn’t attend two major events that summer because he was sick or needed to focus on his work at Michigan State University, the Indianapolis Star reported Thursday.

“We’ll let Ron know to advise people that you weren’t feeling well and decided to stay home,” Scott Himsel, an attorney hired by USA Gymnastics, replied, referring to Ron Galimore, chief operating officer.

USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, is accused of covering up assault allegations against Nassar. The group didn’t tell Michigan State or elite gymnastics clubs about complaints against him in 2015.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:01 PM

Harvey Weinstein to Surrender to New York Authorities Following Sexual Misconduct Probe

NEW YORK (NY)
The Wrap

May 24, 2018

By Thom Geier and Jeremy Fuster

Indie mogul has suffered a rapid reversal after accusations of misconduct first emerged last October

Harvey Weinstein is expected to be served with criminal charges by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and will turn himself in to authorities on Friday, according to the New York Daily News.

The news of an arrest comes after a months-long investigation by New York law enforcement into accusations of sexual misconduct. According to the Daily News, Weinstein faces charges in connection with accusations made by aspiring actress Lucia Evans, who said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in his Manhattan office in 2004.

A grand jury convened several weeks ago was also presented evidence related to crimes of financial fraud, the paper reported, though it is unclear if he will also be charged for any financial crimes.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:47 PM

Harvey Weinstein will reportedly surrender to the NYPD on Friday

NEW YORK (NY)
The Week

May 25, 2018

By Summer Meza

Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein will surrender to authorities and face charges of sexual abuse on Friday, NBC News reports.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are in the final stages of an investigation into allegations of sexual assault from actresses Paz de la Huerta and Lucia Evans. Weinstein has been accused of wide-ranging abuse by more than 50 women.

Weinstein has denied ever engaging in nonconsensual sex acts, but the New York Daily News reports that he will turn himself in to New York City police. The charges are expected to be brought in state court in Manhattan. A lawyer for Weinstein declined to comment.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:45 PM

USA Gymnastics CEO Perry to apologize to Nassar victims

UNITED STATES
Reuters

May 22, 2018

USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry plans to apologize to the victims of Larry Nassar in her opening statement of a testimony she will give before a House subcommittee on Wednesday.

The testimony will be her first public comments since taking over her position in December. The subcommittee released Perry’s five-page opening statement on Tuesday.

“First, I want to apologize to all who were harmed by the horrific acts of Larry Nassar,” Perry’s statement reads in part. “I was in the courtroom to listen to the incredibly courageous women explain in vivid and painful detail the damage he did to their lives. Their powerful voices will not be forgotten. I commit to you that I will keep their words and experiences at the core of every decision I make, every day, as the leader of this organization. Their stories have broken my heart, but also strengthened my resolve.

“Let there be no mistake; those days are over. USA Gymnastics is on a new path, with new leadership, and a commitment to ensure this never happens again.”

Perry’s statement goes on to detail the changes that USA Gymnastics has made since her hiring in order to “regain the trust and confidence of our athletes, their families, and all who are a part of the gymnastics community.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:42 PM

Lawmakers: Funding, urgency lacking in Olympic abuse crisis

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Associated Press

May 23, 2018

By Eddie Pells 

The tears and anger this time came from lawmakers who spent the day fuming over a growing sex-abuse problem in Olympic sports that leaders have taken too much time to solve while devoting too little money for the fixes.

“I just hope everyone here realizes the time to talk is over, and you need to walk your talk,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said Wednesday shortly after choking back tears while questioning leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

The hearing of the House subcommittee was filled with both substance and spectacle — the latter coming mostly courtesy of a five-minute burst from Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., who told the USOC’s acting CEO, Susanne Lyons, “you should resign your position now,” and tore into USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry and the rest of the panel for not uttering the exact words: “I’m sorry.”

“If you don’t want to say you’re sorry, I don’t want to talk to you,” said Carter, who represents the district where a lawsuit that triggered the mushrooming scandal in gymnastics was filed.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:34 PM

U.S. Olympic leaders need to walk the talk after showing zero sense of urgency

WASHINGTON (DC)
USA TODAY

May 23, 2018

By Christine Brennan

The new post-Nassar leadership of the U.S. Olympic movement was on full display for all to see Wednesday morning at a Congressional hearing focused on the terrible sex abuse scandals in the nation’s Olympic sports.

Everyone was so calm, so measured, so lawyerly, so sorry — and so full of excuses about how they weren’t around when all the bad stuff happened, but now care very much about what has become the worst scandal in U.S. Olympic history and are doing their best to try to put a stop to it.

It was enough to make a normal person scream. One blast-furnace of a politician, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), did just that, verbally lambasting two of the Olympic leaders even though he got more of his facts wrong than right, seriously weakening an otherwise fascinating performance.

But Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), getting her turn near the end after having absorbed about two hours of the conversation, said it just right.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:33 PM

‘Smoke and mirrors’: Congressional hearing on Olympic sex abuse frustrates survivors

WASHINGTON (DC)
Think Progress

May 23, 2018

By Lindsay Gibbs

"I thought the witnesses got off pretty easy."

About two hours into the House Commerce Committee’s hearing on sexual abuse in Olympic sports, decorum was finally thrown out the window.

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) had five minutes to ask questions of the heads of the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, USA Taekwondo, USA Swimming, USA Volleyball, and the U.S. Center for SafeSport. He did not waste that time with pleasantries.

Carter began by going directly after USA Gymnastics (USAG) CEO Kerry Perry, demanding to know whether William McCabe, a convicted sex offender from Carter’s home state who served as a coach for USAG despite the cloud of suspicion that followed him throughout his career, had ever been subjected to a background check. When Perry tried to evade the question by saying that she’d only started working with USAG in December 2017, Carter wasn’t having it.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:27 PM

Students warned USC about gynecologist early in his career: ‘They missed an opportunity to save a lot of other women’

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

May 23, 2018

By Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton

After an appointment with Dr. George Tyndall in 1995, USC undergraduate Alexis Rodriguez wrote a letter of complaint on a typewriter in the English department. The gynecologist, she recalled writing, had a Playboy magazine on his desk, used a scalpel on a vaginal abscess without anesthetic and, when she objected, marked her chart with the word "difficult."

A student health clinic administrator sent back a letter, apologizing and pledging to remove the notation from her chart, Rodriguez said. It would be 21 years before the university forced Tyndall out of the clinic.

"They missed an opportunity to save a lot of other women from his mistreatment," said Rodriguez, now 46 and a federal probation officer in Los Angeles.

The USC Board of Trustees' executive committee announced Wednesday that outside attorneys would conduct an independent investigation into the Tyndall matter. The inquiry is to examine not only the physician's behavior, but also what the trustees called "reporting failures" that allowed Tyndall to remain at the clinic for 27 years and treat tens of thousands of students.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:25 PM

Faculty call for USC president's resignation over alleged sexual abuse by campus gynecologist

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS NEWS

May 23, 2018

The president of the University of Southern California is facing calls to resign in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against a former doctor at the school. Two-hundred faculty members signed a letter Tuesday saying president Max Nikias has "lost the moral authority" to lead USC. That comes as several women filed lawsuits accusing USC of not properly responding to complaints against campus gynecologist George Tyndall.

The university said over the last few days it has received around 200 reports about Dr. Tyndall. Some of his alleged victims are now represented by the same lawyers who represented the victims of disgraced MSU doctor Larry Nassar. Like in that case, there are now questions about who knew what and when, reports CBS News' Bianna Golodryga.

USC master's student Daniella Mohazab said that during an STD test in 2016, Tyndall sexually harassed and molested her.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:23 PM

Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson removed over complaints of 'dangerous' advice to abuse victims

FORT WORTH (TX)
Fox News

May 23, 2018

By Kaitlyn Schallhorn

Paige Patterson, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, has been removed from his position as president of a Texas seminary following allegations that he made abusive and demeaning comments to women.

Patterson, 75, has been heavily criticized over his past comments about women. According to The Washington Post, he encouraged abused women to stay with their husbands, implored female seminarians to look more attractive and commented on an “attractive” teenage girl’s appearance.

Patterson, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, also allegedly told a rape victim to forgive her assailant and not report the assault to police, a woman told The Washington Post earlier this week.

Patterson was removed from his position as president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) in Fort Worth, Texas, by its board of trustees, according to an online statement.

The SWBTS board of trustees said it has appointed Patterson to the position of president emeritus, which includes compensation, after a 14-hour meeting. He and his wife will still be allowed to live on campus at the Baptist Heritage Center as “theologians-in-residence,” the statement added.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:21 PM

Prominent Baptist leader removed as head of Texas seminary

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Associated Press

May 23, 2018

A former head of the Southern Baptist Convention was removed Wednesday as president of a Texas seminary following allegations of "unbiblical teaching" through sexist and demeaning comments to women who he suggests should tolerate abuse.

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary board of trustees said in a statement that 75-year-old Paige Patterson was dismissed following a 13-hour meeting "to move in the direction of new leadership for the benefit of the future mission of the Seminary."

The board named Patterson president emeritus with unspecified pay and will allow him and his wife to continue to live on campus as theologians-in-residence.

The statement does not directly address Patterson's alleged comments. He's accused of remarking on a teenage girl's body, saying female seminarians should work hard to look attractive and that abused women should almost always stay with their husbands.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:18 PM

Southern Baptist Leader Who Said Abused Women Should Just Pray Is Removed From Post

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Huffington Post

May 23, 2018

By Willa Frej

Paige Patterson was demoted to president emeritus after thousands of evangelical women signed a petition calling for his ouster.

A prominent Southern Baptist Church leader who is known to have made inappropriate comments about abuse and women’s bodies was removed from his position early Wednesday after thousands of evangelical women signed a petition calling for his ouster.

Paige Patterson, formerly the head of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, was demoted to president emeritus of the church after a 13-hour board meeting on Tuesday, according to a statement.

He will receive compensation for the position. The statement didn’t refer specifically to his comments about women, but said the discussion about the new leadership direction focused on “challenges facing the institution, including those of enrollment, financial, leadership and institutional identity.”

Dr. D. Jeffrey Bingham, dean of the School of Theology, was appointed as interim president. He currently serves as the vice president of the North American Patristics Society.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:16 PM

The Boston Globe Is Investigating Misconduct Allegations Against Editor Brian McGrory

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Magazine

May 23, 2018

by Lisa Weidenfeld

The move comes after a series of tweets about McGrory written by former staffer Hilary Sargent.

Executives at the Boston Globe are investigating misconduct allegations against the publication’s top editor, Brian McGrory. The move comes after former Boston.com staffer Hilary Sargent sent a series of tweets on Sunday and Monday that included a screenshot of a text exchange that appeared to show McGrory flirting with her in response to a question seeking writing advice.

Sargent initially wrote the tweets in response to a recent 60 Minutes exposé on sexual harassment, discussing how dehumanizing it can feel when young women realize they’re not being seen as professionals. Later that day, she shared the screenshot of the text exchange, and then followed up the next day, saying, “It never occurs to men like @GlobeMcGrory (see text) that maybe we actually *are* looking for advice about WRITING, that maybe we don’t want to be asked what we are wearing while we write, that maybe we want to work, to be journalists.”

The allegations come as the Globe strives to find ways to cover the #MeToo movement, publishing impactful stories about harassment on Beacon Hill. Sargent included the hashtag in one of her tweets about McGrory. It’s only the latest in a series of Twitter broadsides she’s sent in recent months suggesting the Globe was failing to contend with its own harassment issues.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:58 PM

Sacerdote español indaga presuntos casos de abusos

SAN VICENTE (ECUADOR)
El Universo

May 23, 2018

Spanish priest investigates alleged cases of abuse

El vicario judicial de la Arquidiócesis de Santiago de Chile, Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano, llegó ayer a la ciudad para reunirse con familiares de supuestas víctimas de abuso sexual atacadas presuntamente por el sacerdote César C. M., con el cual también prevé un encuentro.

El religioso de origen español investigó en Chile los casos Karadima y Precht.

El arzobispo Marcos Pérez cedió a la presión de parientes que pidieron saber qué labores cumpliría Ortiz de Lazcano. Refirió que escuchará versiones y determinará si “existen o no indicios de culpabilidad para continuar con un juicio canónico en el Vaticano”.

En la Arquidiócesis existe un tribunal eclesiástico que podría tomar las versiones, pero Pérez dijo que se prefirió llamar a un delegado externo para que analice el caso con la mayor imparcialidad y confianza posible.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:56 PM

Olympic swimmer Ariana Kukors files lawsuit alleging USA Swimming covered up alleged sexual abuse by her coach

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Sports

May 21, 2018

By Ryan Young

Olympic swimmer and former world-record holder Ariana Kukors filed a lawsuit on Monday against USA Swimming, alleging that officials knew her coach Sean Hutchinson sexually assaulted her while she was a minor.

The lawsuit, filed in Orange County, California, alleges that USA Swimming covered up the abuse and manipulated its background check system so that Hutchinson wouldn’t fail the test.

“We are here today to force USA Swimming, the national governing body of the sport of swimming in America, to accept responsibility for allowing, and in fact, enabling a known predator coach to sexually molest for almost a decade, my client Ariana beginning when she was just a young child,” Kukors’ attorney Robert Allard told the Seattle Times on Monday.

Kukors, 28, accused Hutchinson of sexually assaulting her starting when she was 16 and continuing to have sexual contact with her until she was 24. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that Kukors alleges that he took nude photos of her when she was a teenager. Kukors told police that Hutchinson sexually assaulted her both on trips and while training in Seattle, and that he used his position as her coach at the Seattle club to “groom her” for sexual assault starting when she was 13.

Kukors said that in 2005, when she was 15 or 16, USA Swimming officials — including former director Chuck Wielgus — knew that she was involved in an inappropriate relationship with Hutchinson, according to USA Today.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:54 PM

USA Swimming covered up for 'pedophile' coach, lawsuit says

UNITED STATES
CNN

May 22, 2018

By Emanuella Grinberg

Former world champion swimmer Ariana Kukors Smith says it was an "open secret" among USA Swimming's leadership that her coach sexually abused her as a teen.

The former Olympian says in a lawsuit that Sean Hutchison sexually molested her for the first time in 2006 when she was 16. Hutchison has previously denied the allegations.

Instead of acting on the information, the lawsuit says, officials engaged in a cover-up to shield Hutchison from consequences.

Hutchison and USA Swimming, the governing body for competitive swimming in the United States, are among those named in a lawsuit filed Monday in California alleging sexual abuse of a minor, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. USA Swimming declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Smith, 28, first went public with her account in January. In the lawsuit, she says Hutchison of kissed, fondled and performed oral sex on her when she was a minor, before they had intercourse for the first time when she was 18. She also accuses him of taking nude photos of her as a minor.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:51 PM

USA Taekwondo tries to prove disciplinary actions with sex abuse cases

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Associated Press

May 22, 2018

Two-time Olympic champion Steven Lopez complained to the U.S. Olympic Committee that he was subject to an "institutionalized witch hunt" designed to undermine his success -- a piece of Congressional testimony offered by USA Taekwondo to undercut the notion that the organization was unwilling to discipline its top athletes for sexual abuse and other cases.

Lopez is currently under suspension while the U.S. Center for SafeSport investigates a case against him. His brother and coach, Jean, has been permanently banned for sexual misconduct.

Lopez wrote a letter last June to then-CEO Scott Blackmun of the USOC referencing three attempts by USA Taekwondo from 2013 to 2015, all overturned in arbitration, to ban Jean Lopez for actions that weren't related to the sex abuse cases.

Lopez said the attempts were designed "to create the best possible conditions for my failure."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:49 PM

USA Gymnastics CEO to apologize to abuse victims

UNITED STATES
ESPNW

May 24, 2018

By Dan Murphy

USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry plans to offer an apology Wednesday to the gymnasts whom Larry Nassar abused when she addresses a House subcommittee tasked with examining the Olympic community's role in recent sexual assault scandals.

In her first public comments since taking over in December, Perry plans to update the representatives on the changes that USA Gymnastics has made in 2018 to repair a culture in which warning signs of abuse went unheeded for years.

The subcommittee started its probe in the wake of a sentencing hearing for Nassar, the former national medical coordinator for USA Gymnastics who admitted to using his position to molest his patients -- most of whom were young female gymnasts. Nassar is serving 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges before he begins a sentence of up to 175 years for sexual assault charges.

"I want to apologize to all who were harmed by the horrific acts of Larry Nassar," Perry wrote in an opening statement that she plans to read at Wednesday's hearing, which was first reported by USA Today. "... Let there be no mistake; those days are over. USA Gymnastics is on a new path, with new leadership, and a commitment to ensure this will never happen again."

Perry says in her statement that the organization hopes to resume settlement talks in August for the hundreds of civil lawsuits it faces from women who say Nassar abused them. USA Gymnastics is one of several defendants in those lawsuits, along with the U.S. Olympic Committee, Michigan State University and Twistars, a Michigan gym where Nassar treated patients on a weekly basis for many years.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:48 PM

Ex-NXIVM Sex Cult Member Reveals Allison Mack’s Role in Gruesome Branding Ceremony

NEW YORK (NY)
The Daily Beast

May 22, 2018

By Amy Zimmerman

In the new A&E series ‘Cults and Extreme Beliefs,’ ex-NXIVM member Sarah Edmondson opens up about a horrific branding ceremony at ex-‘Smallville’ star Allison Mack’s house.

NXIVM, the star-studded sex cult that recently landed actress Allison Mack under house arrest, is already getting the TV treatment. The new A&E series Cults and Extreme Belief is premiering next Monday with an episode on the controversial self-help group. Led by Keith Raniere, NXIVM has been accused of vile crimes within a sub-sorority known as “Dominus Obsequious Sororium,” which loosely translates to “master over slave women.”

The indictment against Mack and Raniere charge the leader and his second in command with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy. In a statement, United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue claimed that, “Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere… The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit. This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting predators who victimize others through sex trafficking and forced labor.”

In a letter on the NXIVM website, Keith Raniere insisted that the sorority “is not part of NXIVM” and denied any association with the group.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:24 PM

Erie diocese reviewing copy of grand jury report

PENNSYLVANIA
GoErie

May 24, 2018

By Ed Palattella

The 884-page document covers investigation of Erie, five other Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania. Public release is set for late June.

The Catholic Diocese of Erie on Thursday received a copy of a statewide grand jury’s investigative report on clergy sexual abuse, giving Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico an opportunity to review and respond to the 884-page document before its expected public release in late June.

The court order authorizing the advanced release of the report to the Erie diocese and others allows for general comments but prohibits the recipients from commenting on the contents of the report until it is made public, said Mark Rush, a lawyer for the diocese, who said he received the report on behalf of the diocese.

With a judge’s authorization, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office on Thursday also provided copies of the report to the other five Roman Catholic dioceses that the office has been investigating since mid-2016 by presenting evidence and testimony to the grand jury, Rush said.

The report covers all six dioceses, Rush said. The other dioceses are those for Allentown, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton. The 40th Statewide Investigative Grand Jury, which met in Pittsburgh, ended its term on April 30, signaling the release of its report would come soon.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:22 PM

A Boise priest abused him and kept him quiet with beer. He was 12. Police never knew.

BOISE (ID)
Idaho Statesman

May 24, 2018

By Ruth Brown

[See also the article as it appeared on the front page of the Idaho Statesman.]

For two decades, Mark Holden kept the secret of the man who abused him: a man he believed was next to God, a man he thought was untouchable.

Holden met the Rev. James McSorley in 1971 at Boise’s Sacred Heart parish. In public, Holden served McSorley as an altar boy. In private, Holden said, the 50-year-old priest soon became exploitive, using secluded time with the children to fondle Holden — and possibly others — on multiple occasions over the course of a year.

McSorley bought Holden's silence with beer, cigars and money. Holden knew the priest's behavior was wrong — he just wasn't sure how to end it.

The 12-year-old couldn't tell his parents, he thought at the time, in part because he'd been drinking beer. Calling police didn’t even occur to him. Only some of the other altar boys knew of the priest's actions, including his older brother.

“They robbed my faith — and everyone’s faith,” said Holden, now 58. “...That person was supposed to be the person I could turn to when I feel in trouble. Yet, he was causing my trouble.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:55 PM

Who's who: People mentioned in the Statesman's report on child abuse by priest

BOISE (ID)
Idaho Statesman

May 24, 2018

By Ruth Brown

The following is a list of people named in the Statesman's May 2018 report on alleged child abuse committed by former Catholic Rev. James McSorley.

Bishops of the Diocese of Boise

Bishop Peter Christensen: Bishop since 2014.

Bishop Michael Driscoll: Bishop from 1999-2014. Died Oct. 24, 2017.

Bishop Tod Brown: Bishop from 1989-1998, now age 81 and a retired bishop in the Diocese of Orange in California.

Bishop Sylvester Treinen: Bishop from 1962-1988. Died in 1996.

Priests

Rev. James McSorley, priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church from 1971-1975. Abused Mark Holden in 1971-2. He died in 2005.

Rev. John Donoghue, priest at Sacred Heart in the early 1970s. He died in 2009.

Rev. W. Thomas Faucher, a priest at Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s in Boise, as well as several other churches across the world. Faucher knew Mark Holden and knew about Father McSorley’s abuse. He’s currently in the Ada County Jail on suspected child porn possession and distribution charges.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 12:53 PM

Todos llegaron jóvenes a la parroquia en El Bosque: Lo que vivieron los ex discípulos de Karadima que ahora serán recibidos por el Papa

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Segunda

They all arrived young at the parish in El Bosque: The lived experience of the former disciples of Karadima who will now be received by the Pope

Priests were victims of the "abusive system": invitation of the Pontiff is a "consolation"

May 23, 2018

Javier Barros B., Eugenio de la Fuente, Sergio Cobo y Alejandro Vial han declarado contra el ex párroco de El Bosque.

Cuatro de los cinco sacerdotes que serán recibidos por el Papa conocieron de cerca de Fernando Karadima, el religioso condenado y recluido por abuso sexual y de poder perpetrado mientras era párroco del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús en Providencia. Javier Barros Bascuñán, Eugenio de la Fuente, Sergio Cobo Montalva y Alejandro Vial Amunátegui encontraron su vocación religiosa mientras eran feligreses en El Bosque. Francisco Astaburuaga, en cambio, jugó un rol clave al apoyar a James Hamilton, una de las víctimas de Karadima, a proseguir con su acusación y lo volvió a conectar con Juan Carlos Cruz para que éste diera su testimonio.

De todos ellos, quizás el que presenció actos de forma más reiterada fue De la Fuente. Actual párroco de Nuestra Señora de la Medalla Milagrosa (Quinta Normal), entre 2001 y 2009 fue vicario de El Bosque y dormía en la pieza contigua a la de Karadima. Más aún, cuando estalló el escándalo en 2010, según aparece en el libro «Los secretos del Imperio de Karadima», de Mónica González, Juan Andrés Guzmán y Gustavo Villarrubia, visitó al empresario Jorge Said a fin de que apoyara económicamente la defensa del acusado sacerdote. Claro que ese mismo año, en agosto, firmó la carta que marcó el quiebre del círculo de Karadima. De la Fuente apoyó ahí a los denunciantes.

Un poco antes de esa carta, en julio, De la Fuente declaró ante el fiscal Xavier Armendáriz - el primer instructor del caso en los tribunales ordinarios - y ahí le contó que "el padre (Karadima) tenía gestos con los jóvenes que íbamos a la parroquia como, por ejemplo, tocar los genitales. Y a veces, al acercarse para dar un beso, como se haría con un padre, él sacaba la lengua y se la pasaba por la mejilla. Y también había un vocabulario ambiguo, como de contenido sexual latente o implícito, como la palabra cueto".

Google Translation: Javier Barros B., Eugenio de la Fuente, Sergio Cobo and Alejandro Vial have testified against the former parish priest of El Bosque.

Four of the five priests to be received by the Pope met closely Fernando Karadima, the religious convicted and held for sexual abuse and power perpetrated while he was pastor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Providence. Javier Barros Bascuñán, Eugenio de la Fuente, Sergio Cobo Montalva and Alejandro Vial Amunátegui found their religious vocation while they were parishioners in El Bosque. Francisco Astaburuaga, on the other hand, played a key role in supporting James Hamilton, one of the victims of Karadima, to continue with his accusation and reconnected him with Juan Carlos Cruz so that he could give his testimony.

Of all of them, perhaps the one who witnessed acts more consistently was De la Fuente. Current parish priest of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (Quinta Normal), between 2001 and 2009 he was vicar of El Bosque and slept in the room next to Karadima's. Moreover, when the scandal erupted in 2010, according to the book "The Secrets of the Empire of Karadima" by Mónica González, Juan Andrés Guzmán and Gustavo Villarrubia, he visited the businessman Jorge Said so that he would financially support the defense of the accused priest. Of course, that same year, in August, he signed the letter that marked the break of the Karadima circle. De la Fuente supported the complainants there.

A little before that letter, in July, De la Fuente declared before the prosecutor Xavier Armendáriz - the first instructor of the case in the ordinary courts - and there he told him that "the father (Karadima) had gestures with the young people who were going to the parish, for example, touching the genitals, and sometimes, when approaching to give a kiss, as would be done with a father, he would stick out his tongue and rub it across his cheek, and there was also an ambiguous vocabulary, latent or implicit sex, like the word cueto ".

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:46 AM

Karadima: el historial de sus abusos sobre sacerdotes y seminaristas

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Ciper

Karadima: the history of his abuse of priests and seminarians

May 23, 2018

By Mónica González, Juan Andrés Guzmán y Gustavo Villarrubia

Full text of Chapter VI of the book Los secretos del imperio de Karadima (The Secrets of the Karadima Empire)

A propósito de la invitación extendida por el Papa Francisco a tres sacerdotes que sufrieron los abusos de Fernando Karadima en la parroquia de El Bosque, CIPER reproduce el capítulo VI del libro “Los secretos del imperio de Karadima” (editado por CIPER en alianza con la UDP y Catalonia)­. El capítulo, titulado “La iglesia de Karadima”, cuenta en detalle cómo el ex párroco aprovechó su condición de guía espiritual para manipular a decenas de sacerdotes y seminaristas. Además de los abusos sexuales a los que sometió a aspirantes al sacerdocio, Karadima utilizó a los miembros de la Pía Unión Sacerdotal para extender sus tentáculos hasta el seminario, promovió el nombramiento de sus leales en diversos puestos de poder, desprestigió a sus críticos y pulverizó -mediante verdaderos linchamientos de imagen en juicios secretos- a aquellos que se apartaban de su influencia.

LA IGLESIA DE KARADIMA

La primera semana de julio de 2011, Juan Carlos Cruz recibió un email de su abogado Juan Pablo Hermosilla en el que le anunciaba que el 18 de ese mes tenía que estar en Santiago. El motivo: carearse con Fernando Karadima. Juan Carlos sintió vértigo. El momento por el que tanto había batallado estaba al alcance de la mano. Se imaginó al cura en el tribunal, acusado, solo. Se imaginó diciéndole «aquí estoy, no me destruiste, cura de mierda», y tantas cosas más que había planeado desde que en agosto de 2009 lo denunció ante la justicia eclesiástica, e incluso desde antes, tal vez desde las mismas noches en que Karadima lo forzaba a besarlo y Juan Carlos se sentía indefenso, atemorizado y se aferraba a la idea de que algo pasara, de que alguien interviniera para que eso se acabara de una vez.

Desde que se inició el juicio civil, Karadima se había negado terminantemente a ese careo diciéndole al fiscal Xavier Armendáriz que su salud no le permitía enfrentar a los denunciantes a quienes, sin embargo, perdonaba. Su abogado, Luis Ortiz Quiroga, en un escrito al tribunal, argumentó además que el sacerdote había sido demasiado maltratado por una prensa sesgada que «ha logrado hacer trizas el prestigio y reputación de un sacerdote que ha dado su vida por la Iglesia». Exponerlo a un careo, aseguraba Luis Ortiz ante el primer juez del caso, Leonardo Valdivieso, «constituye una oportunidad inmejorable para transformar una diligencia judicial reservada en una actuación de carácter público y noticioso, ajena al control del tribunal y sometida a presiones propias de una noticia. El tratamiento público de la diligencia solo ocasionará la humillación de nuestro representado». El juez acogió ese planteamiento en noviembre de 2010 y acto seguido, sorpresivamente, cerró la investigación sin acceder al careo, argumentando que «ya se encontraba extinguida la responsabilidad penal del sacerdote».

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:23 AM

Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson Guilty of Sexual Abuse Cover-Up

NEW YORK CITY (NY)
New York Times

May 21, 2018

By Adam Baidawi

Melbourne, Australia - An Australian archbishop was convicted on Tuesday of covering up a claim of sexual abuse dating back decades, and now faces a prison sentence of up to two years.

Philip Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, is the highest-ranking Catholic official in the world to be convicted of concealing such crimes.

The decision comes in the midst of a global reckoning for the Roman Catholic Church, as it grapples with a history of child sexual abuse and cover-ups. Cardinal George Pell, also an Australian and the Vatican’s de facto finance chief, was ordered last month to stand trial on charges of “historical sexual abuse.”

Archbishop Wilson, 67, was accused of covering up abuse by a priest, Jim Fletcher, in the state of New South Wales in the 1970s.

The case against the archbishop was especially surprising, given his reputation for acknowledging and apologizing to the victims of pedophile priests.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:19 AM

Editorial: The Pope Opens His Eyes to Abuse

NEW YORK CITY (NY)
New York Times

May 23, 2018

The abuse of minors by pedophile priests has been among the most painful sagas of our time, the horror compounded by the knowledge that hierarchs could have stopped the predators if only they had not chosen, for so long, to cover up their actions. Now, at long last, Pope Francis seems to have glimpsed the depth of the global crisis.

The catalyst was a scandal in Chile, one of Latin America’s most staunchly Catholic countries, where for years the church establishment failed to act on multiple complaints of sexual abuse against an influential priest, Fernando Karadima. On a trip to Chile in January, the pope condemned Father Karadima’s actions but then refused to meet with his victims and dismissed allegations of inaction by bishops as “slander.”

In the outrage that followed, the pope appointed two investigators who produced a damning report confirming systematic efforts by the Chilean Catholic hierarchy to conceal clerical sexual abuse. That led to an apology by Pope Francis for the “grave errors” in Chile and an emergency meeting last week with Chile’s bishops at which all 34 submitted their resignations and asked forgiveness for the “pain they caused the victims, the pope, the people of God and our country.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:13 AM

Adelaide Archbishop to stand down after abuse cover-up conviction

SURRY HILLS (AUSTRALIA)
news.com.au

May 23, 2018

By Ally Foster

South Australia’s highest ranking Catholic Church official, Philip Wilson, will stand down from his duties after being convicted of covering up sexual abuse.THE highest ranking official in South Australia’s Catholic Church will stand aside from his duties after being found guilty of landmark charges that he covered up a priest's sexual abuse of altar boys.

The Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Edward Wilson, 67, was convicted yesterday in a Newcastle Local Court for the cover up of child sex abuse during the 1970s in NSW Hunter region.

Magistrate Robert Stone handed down the verdict following a magistrate-only trial, finding him guilty of concealing a serious indictable offence of another person.

In a statement issued by the Catholic Church on Wednesday, Wilson said it was appropriate for him to stand aside in light of Magistrate Stone’s findings against him.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:08 AM

Editorial: Pa. bishops made the right call on transparency

WILKES BARRE (PA)
The Citizen's Voice

May 24, 2018

Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera and bishops of five other Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania will not attempt to block the impending public release of a statewide grand jury’s report on an investigation into sexual abuse among clergy and their dioceses’ handling of it.

The grand jury, which met in Pittsburgh and has been investigating since former Attorney General Kathleen Kane launched it in 2016, ended its term in April. Its report could be released in June. It subpoenaed records and interviewed witnesses from all of the dioceses — Scranton, Erie, Allentown, Harrisburg, Greensburg and Pittsburgh. Investigations of the two other dioceses in the state, Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, were handled individually.

According to state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Greensburg Bishop Edward Malesic and Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer recently changed their minds about filing legal challenges to the report’s release. The other bishops already had agreed.

The report will not be a purely historical document.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:59 AM

Victims of child sex abuse covered up by Adelaide's Archbishop prepare to sue the Catholic Church for compensation

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Daily Mail

May 24, 2018

The Catholic Church faces legal action from multiple child sex abuse victims after one of its most senior Australian leaders was found to have swept past transgressions under the rug.

Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Edward Wilson, 67, was found guilty on Tuesday of covering up priest James 'Jim' Fletcher's sexual abuse of altar boys throughout the 1970s and 80s.

On Wednesday, Wilson announced that he would be stepping down - thought not resigning - from his role.

Now the victims of Fletcher's abuse are seeking to launch legal action against the Church and seek compensation for their trauma, Adelaide Now reports.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:53 AM

Editorial: Catholic Church sex abuse scandals - People’s Pope lacks leadership

BLACKPOOL (CORK, IRELAND)
Irish Examiner

May 24, 2018

As well as being a likeable and accessible Church leader, Pope Francis exhibits all the characteristics of an exemplary human being.

Unlike Benedict, his immediate predecessor, Francis comes across as warm, gracious and truly humble, with a capacity for empathy than not even John Paul II displayed.

Yet his papacy continues to be haunted by clerical sex abuse scandals, largely because he is still unable to grasp the enormity of the problem.

He has yet to respond in any meaningful way to the criminal conviction in Australia of the archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic in the world to be found guilty of concealing child sex abuse.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:42 AM

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, Vatican Conservative, Dies at 88

NEW YORK CITY (NY)
New York Times

May 22, 2018

By Sam Roberts

[See also the 9/8/01 letter from Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos to Bishop Pican.]

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, a vigorous conservative voice in the Vatican and influential figure in the Latin American church who drew attention for seemingly playing down the church’s sexual abuse scandal, died on Friday in Rome. He was 88.

* * *

Before a worldwide reckoning with sexual abuse within the clergy erupted in Boston in 2002, Cardinal Castrillón had suggested as early as 2000 that such abuse was generally an unavoidable fact of life, and that it was being unfairly focused on by lawyers and the media. Was it not contradictory, he asked at a meeting requested by English-speaking bishops, for people to be so outraged by sexual abuse when society also promotes sexual liberation?

A decade later, it was revealed that he had sent a letter in 2001, with the approval of Pope John Paul II, praising a French bishop for facing prison rather than delivering a pedophile priest to civil courts. The priest was later sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment, and the bishop received a three-month suspended sentence.

Cardinal Castrillón also opposed the zero-tolerance standard toward abusive priests embraced by bishops in the United States because, he said, it disregarded a fundamental principle of forgiveness. He described the rapport between a bishop and his priests as “not professional but a sacramental relationship which forges very special bonds of spiritual paternity.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:32 AM

Lawmaker blasts ‘pedophile priest loophole’ in revised Nassar bills

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit News

May 23, 2018

By Jonathan Oosting

Lansing – House panel changes to a measure allowing retroactive lawsuits in sexual assault cases amounts to a “pedophile priest loophole,” a state lawmaker said Wednesday as the legislation advanced to the floor.

Rep. Tim Griemel, D-Auburn Hills, blasted the scaled-back proposal in a statement released by his campaign for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District. Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, is also running for the post and chairs the committee that spent weeks debating bills inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual assault crisis at Michigan State University.

One measure in the 28-bill package would extend the window for childhood sexual assault victims to file lawsuits over future abuse. But the House shortened a window approved by the Senate and virtually eliminated a provision allowing retroactive lawsuits for abuse dating back to 1997 by limiting it to cases involving physicians like Nassar who tried to pass off assault as medical treatment.

“All victims of sexual assault deserve the protections of this bill,” Greimel said, accusing Kesto of caving to Michigan Catholic Conference lobbyists and “putting the interests of priests who’ve been criminally convicted of sexually abusing children over the victims’ ability to seek justice.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:29 AM

Priests appeal $2.5M award in sex abuse case

SAULT STE. MARIE (ONTARIO)
SooToday

May 23, 2018

By Darren MacDonald

Father William Hodgson Marshall was former principal at St. Mary's College

Less than a month after a Toronto judge awarded a Sudbury man $2.5 million for compensation for the abuse he endured at the hands of a Catholic priest, lawyers for the church announced they were appealing the verdict.

In a statement on their website, the Basilian Fathers write they don't believe the monetary award is “legally sound or justified.”

Specifically, they are appealing the $500,000 awarded in punitive damages and $1.58 million in lost income.

“The Basilian Fathers are not appealing the awards for general and aggravated damages, nor for the amount awarded for counselling costs,” the statement said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:20 AM

Parents upset over reassignment of priest formerly accused of sexual abuse

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOV

May 23, 2018

Several parents of students at St. Gabriel the Archangel School are angry over the re-assignment of Father Joseph Jiang.

“It has a lot of parents very upset,” said a parent of a St. Gabriel the Archangel School student.In 2013, the 32-year-old was accused of touching a 16-year-old.

According to police, the victim says the 32-year-old fondled her on four different occasions at her home in Old Monroe, Missouri. In 2015, a woman claimed Jiang sexually abused her son in a bathroom at St. Louis the King Elementary School.

“He’s obviously exhibited horrible judgment," said a parent of a St. Gabriel the Archangel School student.

Criminal charges were eventually dropped in both cases and soon, Father Jiang will be walking the halls of St. Gabriel.

“I absolutely don’t think he belongs here," said a parent of a St. Gabriel the Archangel School student. "He should be assigned a duty that has no children anywhere near it and the Catholic church should know that.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:00 AM

Coverage of Erie priest abuse scandal overblown: Letters to the editor

ERIE (PA)
Erie Times-News

May 24, 2018

I have been a subscriber to the Erie Times-News for more than 50 years, but I am thinking about canceling my subscription. I realize that the local priest abuse scandal is an important story that has to be covered. I have been a Roman Catholic all of my life and the story is very difficult for me and my family. It also brings shame to my church as well as all of the Catholics in our country.

I believe Bishop Lawrence Persico is doing his best to give full disclosure with a complete list of all priests and laypeople who have been involved. The Times-News is doing its job, also going far beyond that to a high degree. For the last week, you have run constant articles, most of which begin with front-page, above-the-fold leads instead of more important stories. On May 19, for example, there was a story about the our bishop adding six new names to the credibly accused list. Yes, that is a story, but not worthy of front-page, above-the-fold treatment when an article about a gunman killing 10 children in a Texas school was on the same page. The school shooting got three paragraphs and the abuse story got a heavy bold headline with a sad-looking photo of Persico and copy running all the way across the top of the page.

There are thousands of good Catholic people in the Erie area who are very hurt by what is happening in their church, but it’s very unfair, and even cruel, that the Times-News keeps overdoing this awful story.

I recently posted some of these thoughts on social media because I felt that my letter to the editor would never be used. I hope I’m wrong.

— Paul Jenkins, Harborcreek

Crime Victim Center offers services to abuse victims

In light of the recent letter to the editor expressing concern for victims of clergy sexual abuse and also the increasing visibility of the #MeToo movement, we at the Crime Victim Center wish to reassure Erie County residents that we are here for all victims of crime, including sexual violence, with free and confidential counseling.

Whether a crime happened yesterday or decades ago, in Erie County or somewhere else, our counselors provide supportive, trauma-focused counseling to help victims work toward recovery. CVC has been Erie County’s rape crisis center for 45 years and as a nonprofit agency, we are dedicated to providing help freely to all who need it.


Our professional counselors and advocates meet victims in local police stations and emergency rooms and accompany them during forensic exams. We provide crisis counseling, restitution and Crime Victim Compensation information, and assistance with filing claims. When victims participate in adult or juvenile court proceedings, our court advocates and counselors accompany them through every step of the court process.

Through partnerships with Gaudenzia Erie Inc., Safe Harbor Behavioral Health of UPMC Hamot, Hope on Horseback, yoga instructor Terry Flynn Henry, and Northwestern Legal Services, CVC is also able to connect victims with programs and civil legal aid directly related to reported crimes. Victims can come to our main offices at 125 W. 18th St., Erie, or schedule appointments at one of our five satellite offices in Corry, Edinboro, Girard, North East or Union City.

Victims of crimes and their loved ones deserve help. They can call our hotline anytime at 814-455-9414 or visit our website at www.cvcerie.org. We are here to listen, to help, and to work with all victims on their paths toward hope, health and healing.

— Paul A. Lukach, executive director, Crime Victim Center

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:56 AM

Swiss arrest Catholic priest on sex abuse allegations

BERLIN (GERMANY)
Associated Press via National Post

May 24, 2018

Swiss authorities say they have arrested a Catholic priest under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct that was brought to their attention by church leaders.

Maurus Eckert, a spokesman for canton (state) prosecutors in Graubuenden, said Thursday that the priest was taken into custody amid an ongoing investigation of alleged sexual abuse of an adult victim. He declined to provide any further details.

The Chur diocese, in eastern Switzerland, said in a statement on its website that it had itself filed a complaint against the priest, who was an administrator based in Tujetsch.

Further details were not immediately available.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:53 AM

A Boise detective looked into a child abuse claim - but couldn't interview the priest

BOISE (ID)
Idaho Statesman

May 24, 2018

By Ruth Brown

The Catholic Church's former habit of moving priests suspected of child abuse apparently stymied a 1990s investigation in Boise.

The account of the Boise Police detective who pursued the case offers an example of how the church's former policies complicated even police efforts to investigate abuse claims.

The Rev. James Worsley was accused of molesting altar boys in the 1970s.

In 1993, Boise Police Detective Bob Mack spoke with one of those boys, who claimed he was abused at St. Paul’s Catholic Center. The victim, by then 27, told Mack of “approximately 100 episodes of genital fondling and fellatio” between 1975 and 1980, according to a copy of the police report.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:48 AM

May 23, 2018

Dromore Diocese knew about priest abuse allegations for weeks

BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
BBC

May 23, 2018

By David Thompson

The Catholic Diocese of Dromore left Canon Francis Brown in ministry for six weeks after it was informed about a serious sexual abuse allegation against him, the BBC understands.

The Nolan Show has spoken to the alleged victim and confirms the allegation relates to a period when the priest was in St Colman's College, a boys' school in Newry.

Canon Brown vehemently denies any wrongdoing.

A police investigation is ongoing.

A Nolan Show investigation has established that when the allegation was brought to a member of the diocese, they failed to record even basic details, as diocesan child safeguarding protocols required.

The complaint was then passed to the Diocese of Dromore's child safeguarding officer, Pat Carville, who informed the police immediately.

However, she could not do anything about the other member of the diocese's earlier failure to record basic details of the allegation, which meant she was only able to pass scant information onto the PSNI.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:39 PM

Michigan lawmakers fight over mandated reporters post-Nassar

LANSING (MI)
Associated Press via Ottumwa Courier

May 23, 2018

Michigan lawmakers are at odds over a decision to scale back the proposed expansion of the state's mandatory reporter law after the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

A House committee on Wednesday is expected to pass a bill that would add physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to the list of professionals who must report suspected child abuse or neglect. House legislators backed away from adding youth coaches, athletic trainers and university employees due to costs and other concerns.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:35 PM

Baltimore priest suspended over allegations of child sex abuse from 1970s

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

May 22, 2018

The Baltimore Archdiocese said May 22 it has removed a 77-year-old priest from ministry after learning of allegations of child sexual abuse against him dating to the 1970s.

Fr. Luigi Esposito, pastor at Our Lady of Pompei Church in Baltimore, was serving as associate pastor at Our Lady of Pompei when the alleged abuse occurred.

The alleged victim claims the abuse began at age 14 and occurred multiple times while the minor was at Our Lady of Pompei. The priest has denied the abuse occurred.

The archdiocese said in a news release it has been cooperating with the civil authorities.

"On May 17, after receiving permission from civil authorities to make contact with Father Esposito, representatives of the archdiocese met with him to discuss the allegations," the archdiocese said in a statement. "He denied all the allegations against him. The archdiocese spoke a number of times with the alleged victim and the allegations were consistent."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:31 PM

Innocent priests also suffered in the abuse crisis

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Catholic Herald

May 21, 2018

By Francis Phillips

If Humanae Vitae was a 20th Century watershed moment in the Catholic laity’s response towards unchanging Church teaching on contraception, the sex abuse scandals which have battered the institution in recent decades have been an occasion for painful self-examination within it. They have brought about heart-searching, shame and humiliation. News that Cardinal George Pell, the most senior member of the hierarchy in Australia, is to stand trial for alleged sex abuse or that the entire Chilean episcopacy has offered its resignation to the Pope over scandals involving the church in Chile indicates that cover-ups and accusations still continue in this long-running explosive area.

I have just been reading The Burden of Betrayal: Non-Offending Priests and the Clergy Child Sexual Abuse Scandals by Barry O’Sullivan, published by Gracewing, a book that reveals another aspect to this painful saga: how the fall-out from the scandals has affected innocent members of the clergy. Ever since the news first broke of criminality and concealment in the Church, my thoughts and sympathy have gone not only to the young victims but to those affected by the collateral damage: all those conscientious, loyal, faithful men who have given their lives to their vocation only to see the priesthood torn to shreds by the media and in the eyes of the public.

Fr O’Sullivan, a priest in the Salford diocese, with long experience as the Salford diocesan child protection coordinator as well as ministering to priests in prison for sexual offences, has tried to address this aspect. Starting in 2012 he conducted lengthy interviews with six randomly selected priests, asking questions such as “Can you tell me about the experience of being a priest in the shadow of the child abuse scandal? And “How do you think the hierarchy dealt with this issue?”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:26 PM

Chile: Fourteen priests linked to sex abuse scandal stripped of duties

BONN (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle

May 23, 2018

A Chilean bishop's office in Rancagua has dismissed 14 priests suspected of covering up cases of child abuse by pedophile priest Fernando Karadima in the 1980s and '90s. The scandal has rocked Pope Francis' papacy.

ourteen priests engulfed in Chile's Catholic church sex abuse scandal were stripped of their priestly duties Tuesday, the bishop's office in the city of Rancagua announced Tuesday.

"Fourteen priests no longer are allowed to carry out their duties... These priests have taken part in actions that may be civilian crimes as well as within the church," the bishop's office said in a statement.

The moves comes after 34 bishops offered on Friday to resign en masse over the child sex abuse scandal after being summoned to meet with Pope Francis in the Vatican — the first time a country's entire senior Roman Catholic prelate has offered step aside all at once.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:24 PM

Former Tulsa priest charged with sexually abusing teen in 2001

TULSA (OK)
Tulsa World

May 23, 2018

[With link to docket and several court documents.]

A former Catholic priest ordained in Tulsa has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy in a suburban Chicago hotel in 2001 after police reopened an investigation that had been dormant for more than a decade.

Kenneth Lewis, 56, of Arvada, Colorado, is charged with felony criminal predatory sexual assault. He posted bail after a court hearing in Chicago on Saturday.

Evanston Police Commander Ryan Glew says the alleged assault occurred when the then-priest accompanied the boy and his family on a trip from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Evanston, Illinois. He says the family reported the incident in 2004 but prosecutors declined to charge Lewis.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:16 PM

Beast priest who abused 12-year-old girl in Lanarkshire now living in isolated cottage after being forced to move home three times

GLASGOW (SCOTLAND)
Scottish Sun

May 22, 2018

By David Meikle

A beast priest who abused a 12-year-old girl in Lanarkshire while her mum was moments away is living in isolation after being forced to move three times.

Father Michael Maher, 74, resigned as parish priest at St Isidore’s in Biggar after confessing his guilt over the sickening crimes.

He is now living in the cottage of an acquaintance in Stobo, Peeblesshire, after being driven away from three previous addresses.

Maher was close friends with the his victim’s parents and regularly called at their Lanarkshire home.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:11 PM

Sex abuse investigation of Pa. Catholic dioceses will be made public

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly Voice

May 22, 2018

By Daniel Craig

The results of a nearly two-year long investigation into alleged sex abuse within six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses will be made public this summer, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Monday.

Shapiro said that church officials in the Greensburg and Harrisburg dioceses reversed their previous positions and will no longer try to stop the results from being made public.

“Now all of the dioceses support the release of the investigation’s findings and results," Shapiro said. "The only thing that could stop these findings from becoming public at that time is if one of the bishops or dioceses would seek to delay or prevent this public accounting.”

The grand jury investigation, which began in 2016, has also probed the dioceses of Allentown, Scranton, Pittsburgh and Erie. Shapiro said he expects to speak publicly about the investigation’s findings around the end of June.

The investigation has already led to the arrests of two priests. Most recently, Rev. David Poulson, a priest in the Diocese of Erie, was charged with indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:08 PM

Geen onafhankelijk onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik bij Jehovah's Getuigen

HILVERSUM (NETHERLANDS)
RTL Nieuws

​No independent investigation into sexual abuse at Jehovah's Witnesses

May 22, 2018

​Geen onafhankelijk onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik bij Jehovah's Getuigen

Er komt geen onafhankelijk onderzoek naar seksueel misbruik bij de Jehovah's Getuigen in Nederland. Dat heeft de geloofsgemeenschap laten weten aan minister Sander Dekker van Rechtsbescherming. Dekker die op een onafhankelijk onderzoek had aangedrongen toen RTL Nieuws meldde dat er meer dan 150 meldingen waren binnengkomen over misbruik, noemt dat 'teleurstellend'.

Bij een meldpunt voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de gemeenschap van de Jehovah's Getuigen kwamen in twee maanden tijd 151 meldingen binnen, meldde RTL Nieuws in januari.

Voorbij aan belang erkenning

Dekker laat vandaag weten niet blij te zijn met de reactie van de Jehovah's Getuigen. "Door het afwijzen van een onafhankelijk onderzoek gaat het bestuur van de Jehova’s Getuigen ook voorbij aan het belang van erkenning voor slachtoffers, dat uit een dergelijk onderzoek kan volgen. Deze slachtoffers willen nu juist worden gehoord door de gemeenschap."

Minister Dekker heeft geen wettelijke mogelijkheid om ze te verplichten mee te werken aan onafhankelijk onderzoek. De Rooms-Katholieke en de sportverenigingen deden na meldingen wel onafhankelijk onderzoek. Slachtoffers kunnen wel gewoon aangifte doen van het misbruik bij de politie, onderstreept Dekker.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:02 PM

Pope Francis to meet with second group of Chilean abuse victims

HOLY SEE
Vatican News

May 23, 2018

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, FSP

The Holy See’s Press Office announces that Pope Francis will meet with a second group of Fr Fernando Karadima’s victims from June 1-3 2018.

In a communication issued on Wednesday by the Holy See’s Press Office, other victims of Fr Fernando Karadima’s abuse, or that of his followers, at the parish of Sagrado Corazón de Providencia (“El Bosque”) in Chile will meet with Pope Francis at the beginning of June.

Members of the group

Among the group are 5 priests who were victims of “abuse of power, of conscience and sexual abuse”, as well as another 2 priests who “have assisted the victims throughout the juridical and spiritual process, and 2 lay people involved in this suffering”. The group will be provided hospitality in the same Casa Santa Marta where the Pope lives

The communique reported that most of those coming also took part in the meetings that took place in Chile with Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Bishop Jordi Bertomeu in February. Others collaborated in the weeks after their visit.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:59 PM

Sacerdote que defendía a Karadima reconoce que se equivocó: "Soy víctima de abuso de poder"

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Tele 13 Radio 103.3 FM

Priest who defended Karadima acknowledges that he was wrong: "I am a victim of abuse of power"

May 23, 2018

Samuel Fernández conversó con Tele13 Radio sobre la invitación que hizo el Vaticano a cinco sacerdotes, quienes fueron víctimas del ex párroco de El Bosque.

El Vaticano dio a conocer ayer martes que cinco sacerdotes de la Iglesia de El Bosque ligados a Fernando Karadima, y que son víctimas de él, van a ir a Roma para encontrarse con el Papa Francisco, en un formato parecido al que los denunciantes de Karadima tuvieron a mediados del mes pasado.

Samuel Fernández fue uno de los sacerdotes del círculo cercano de Fernando Karadima en El Bosque, quien terminó apoyando y validando los testimonios de las víctimas de abusos sexuales de su ex formador.

Este miércoles afirmó en Tele13 Radio que la invitación del Papa es "una gran oportunidad para visibilizar la gravedad del abuso de poder, la manipulación de consciencia, porque efectivamente, dentro de las personas que van, algunos habrán sido objeto de abusos sexuales, pero otros fueron por sufrir de abuso de poder y abuso de consciencia y no abusos sexuales", agregando que el abuso de poder "de una u otra manera, siempre" es la puerta de entrada del abuso sexual.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:54 PM

Obispo auxiliar de Santiago: Karadima lleva una existencia muy dura y dolorosa

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El Dínamo

Auxiliary Bishop [Galo Fernández] of Santiago: "Karadima leads a very hard and painful existence"

May 22, 2018

A raíz de la reunión que sostuvo el Papa con los obispos chilenos para tratar los casos de abuso sexual al interior de la Iglesia Católica, el obispo auxiliar de Santiago, Galo Fernández, se refirió al hecho que resultó ser la hebra de una práctica sistemática dentro del clero chileno.

En conversación con Radio Cooperativa, Fernández aseguró que “Fernando Karadima ha sido condenado y lleva una existencia muy dura y dolorosa. Que la Iglesia no lo haya suspendido absolutamente del Ministerio tiene también una cosa estratégica, porque es para asegurar detenerlo”.

El obispo reiteró que “la Iglesia no tiene cárceles, eso le corresponde al Estado y sin embargo al mantenerlo como sacerdote lo ha mantenido prácticamente recluido en una existencia muy dolorosa, una vida de penitencia y oración por los graves daños que él ha cometido. Tengo certeza de lo dura y amarga que es la vida que tiene hoy día Karadima”.

Hay “miembros de la Iglesia que han dañado a quienes buscaron en ella la palabra de Dios y de algún modo encontraron abuso, encontraron cosas que los dañaron a ellos (…) la asamblea estaba muy conmovida por todo lo que ha aparecido en la prensa”.

Con respecto a la cita con Francisco I en el Vaticano, indicó que “habían muchas preguntas, hacían suyo el dolor, también la rabia (…) El papa nos ha invitado a un proceso, en que todos y cada uno pueda asumir su propia responsabilidad. Ciertamente el papa tiene esta visión de que no basta buscar quien es el chivo expiatorio, quien es el que concentra toda la responsabilidad”.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:51 PM

Iglesia católica chilena desconocía nueva invitación del Vaticano a abusados por Karadima

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
ADN 91.7

Chilean Catholic Church was unaware of Vatican invitation to [priests] abused by Karadima

May 22, 2018

Conferencia Episcopal señaló en conferencia de prensa "nosotros nos acabamos de enterar ahora".

La Conferencia Episcopal de Chile realizó una conferencia de prensa para volver a pedir perdón por su responsabilidad en materia de abusos por parte de sacerdotes como Fernando Karadima, señalando que "no recuperaremos la confianza de un día para otro. Lo tendremos que demostrar con concretas acciones reparatorias".

Cuando le preguntaron al presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal, monseñor Santiago Silva, sobre la nueva invitación del Papa Francisco al Vaticano a víctimas de abusos, el sacerdote respondió que no sabían: "no tenemos antecedentes, nosotros nos acabamos de enterar ahora".

Por su parte el obispo de San Bernardo, Juan Ignacio González, explicó que los obispos pese a poner sus cargos a disposición del Papa, "seguimos todos en plenas funciones en nuestras diócesis" hasta que se conozca la decisión de Bergoglio.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:46 PM

Disciplinary hearing opens for PSU's ex-top lawyer during Sandusky investigation

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

May 22, 2018

By Paula Reed Ward

An expert in grand jury proceedings testified Tuesday that former Penn State University general counsel Cynthia Baldwin violated attorney-client privilege and failed to competently represent three top officials at the school during the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse investigation.

Philadelphia-area attorney David Rudovsky was the first witness called Tuesday as part of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel’s case before the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board against Ms. Baldwin for professional misconduct. The case is being heard in an Allegheny County Orphans’ Court courtroom in the Frick Building Downtown.

If the panel finds that Ms. Baldwin violated the rules, it can recommend to the state Supreme Court discipline ranging from reprimand to disbarment. The court can then accept the recommendation, reject it or change it.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:41 PM

Allentown, Scranton dioceses won't block grand jury report coming out on clergy sex abuse

ALLENTOWN (pa)
Morning Call

May 23, 2018

By Steve Esack and Tim Darragh

The Allentown and Scranton Catholic dioceses will not attempt to stall publication of a statewide grand jury report expected to detail decades of clergy sex abuse.

Officials at the two dioceses made the announcements Thursday, two days after Erie’s bishop said he would not try to prevent the report’s pending release.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is finishing the report of a grand jury investigation started in 2016 into six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses: Allentown, Harrisburg, Scranton, Erie, Greensburg and Pittsburgh. It has not said when it will be released.

“The Diocese of Allentown continues to cooperate fully with the Office of the Attorney General,” spokesman Matt Kerr said in a statement Thursday. “We will not challenge the release of the grand jury report.”

Scranton Diocese spokesman William Genello issued a similar statement.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:35 PM

Critics want Matt Flynn out of governor's race for role in sex abuse litigation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

May 23, 2018

By Marie Rohde

As former Milwaukee Archdiocese attorney, prominent Democrat had role in cover-up, critics say

Matt Flynn, a prominent Wisconsin Democrat running for governor, has come under attack by critics who say he participated in allowing abusive priests to continue in ministry and for aggressively pursuing legal fees against their victims who sued the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

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Flynn was the chief counsel handling sex abuse matters for the archdiocese from 1989 until 2004.

Flynn joined the archdiocesan team shortly after some abuse cases made headlines in the late 1980s. Several were settled in civil court before going to trial. But in 1992, eight former students of the St. Lawrence Seminary preparatory school told The Milwaukee Journal about widespread abuse at the school. Although the school is operated by the Capuchins, a number of priests from the order had served in archdiocesan parishes. One of those abused was Peter Isely, a therapist who went on to become one of the founders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. SNAP kept the matter in the headlines across the country.

A number of lawsuits were in the courts in 1995 when the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed with Flynn's arguments that the archdiocese was not responsible for the actions of its priests. That resulted in a number of cases being dismissed, even though the archdiocese had been earlier made aware of allegations and had not removed the priests from ministry.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:15 PM

Churchgoers shocked to hear additional accusations against former priest

MADISON (WI)
WISC-TV

May 22, 2018

By Jenna Middaugh

People who attend St. John Vianney in Janesville were shocked to hear accusations against a former priest.

Janesville - People who attend St. John Vianney in Janesville were shocked to hear accusations against a former priest.

William Nolan is facing six charges of second-degree sexual assault of a child in Jefferson County after accusations that he assaulted a Fort Atkinson altar boy more than 100 times.

On Monday, the Diocese of Madison released a statement saying the church is investigatingan additional allegation against Nolan that’s reported to have happened in Janesville in 2009.

Nolan served at St. John Vianney in Janesville from 1989 to 1994.

Matthew McDonald said his family has attended the parish for more than 40 years. His siblings went to the Catholic school while Nolan was the priest, McDonald said.

“I really liked him,” McDonald said. “He has always been kind and worked really hard to promote the gospel message of Jesus, love and mercy toward others -- toward everyone.”

According to the diocese, a third party raised concerns about Nolan in 2009. When an official with the diocese contacted the alleged victim, the man said he did not accuse Nolan of any sexual misconduct. The man reached out to the diocese again five years later but still did not accuse the priest.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:00 PM

Erie bishop seen as a reformer by some - but not by clergy sex abuse victims

MECHANICSBURG (PA)
PennLive

May 23, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

Late last week, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie added six names to the list of clergy and staff that have been credibly accused of child sex molestation.

The names joined the list of 51 other names that in April were first made public by the head of the diocese, Bishop Lawrence Persico.

It's become the modus operandi for a cleric fast earning the moniker of a reformer: the idea, that is, of a bishop who offers up a measure of transparency from within an institution known for its historically secretive and guarded confines.

"His philosophy is 'We are going to protect the children of the diocese,'" said Mark Rush, an attorney with Pittsburgh-based K&L Gates law firm, who has been working with the diocese throughout the ongoing grand jury investigation into clergy sex abuse.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:55 PM

One abuse victim’s call to action: The church must change

WATERTOWN (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

May 23, 2018

By Jaime Cook

Alexandria Bay - After receiving an offer of funds from the Diocese of Ogdensburg intended “to assist victims of clergy sex abuse in their healing process,” one recipient says that the Catholic Church must either change or cease to be.

“When I opened it, I thought it was a joke, a cruel joke,” said Jim Cummings, a 58-year-old man who lives in Alexandria Bay with his family. “Prior to me receiving this letter, I was coping quite well, and so was the other victim I know. Occasionally something would remind me, but now, since that letter, every day I cry because they do not get it. The bishop does not get it — at all.”

The letters follow the creation of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program at the Diocese of Ogdensburg March 1. Its two-person panel, Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, will determine if the 38 victims claiming sexual abuse by priests in the diocese should be financially compensated.

Mr. Cummings said he was sexually abused by the Rev. Paul F. Worczak in the early 1970s. The incidents took place when Worczak was a priest at Holy Family Church, Watertown.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:51 PM

Catholic bishop supports release of sexual abuse findings as grand jury probe nears end

LANCASTER (PA)
Lancaster Online

May 23, 2018

By Jeff Hawkes

The bishop for a Catholic diocese that includes Lancaster County says a Pennsylvania grand jury’s findings about sexual abuse by priests and lay leaders should be made public.

The Diocese of Harrisburg has joined five other Pennsylvania dioceses under investigation in saying they won’t challenge the release of the report sometime next month.

A grand jury investigation into widespread abuse began in 2016. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Monday that he expects to announce the findings by the end of June, now that all six dioceses support making a report public.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:37 PM

Critics say diocese secretive about accused Madison priest's past

WISCONSIN
WKOW

By Tony Galli

May 22, 2018

Police report gives new details on interaction between priest and alleged victim

MADISON (WKOW) - Critics of the catholic Diocese of Madison's release of information on the past of a priest accused of child sex crimes say the diocese was secretive about what they knew.

After 64-year old William Nolan was arrested, criminally charged and released on bond in Jefferson County last week for allegedly sexually assaulting a Fort Atkinson altar boy in 2006, a statement from Bishop Robert Morlino on Nolan's past noted "...the Diocese had received no allegations of misconduct connected to any of his assignments."

But after 27 News reported Monday Janesville Police officials contacted the diocese about Nolan in 2015, a new statement from the diocese said the diocese was aware of the man who sparked Janesville's investigation into Nolan, because they had contact with the man twice in the past, but with no representation the priest had harmed the man. Diocese officials said the man had again contacted them Monday, this time with an accusation of sexual misconduct against Nolan.

"Their first statement about him - and it appears he has prior history - and they knew about this, and they didn't say it," says Peter Isely of the Wisconsin chapter of the Survivors Network Of Those Abused By Priests (SNAP). "They should have immediately been transparent," Isely says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

‘Knock it off:’ Democratic candidate for governor refutes claim from priest sex abuse victims’ group

WISCONSIN
Fox 6

MAY 22, 2018

BY THEO KEITH

MILWAUKEE -- Democratic candidate for Wisconsin governor Matt Flynn denied any role in the transfer of sex abuser priests to new assignments within the Catholic church, comparing accusations against him to McCarthyism and telling a survivor of abuse to "knock it off."

Flynn and Peter Isely, a founding member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, had a heated, eight-minute exchange during a forum held in downtown Milwaukee on Tuesday, May 22.

Flynn has been dogged on the campaign trail for weeks about what he knew and did as outside counsel for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1989 to 2004. He is among a crowded field of Democrats vying for the party's nomination in the Aug. 14 primary.

"You have something to show me? Fine. If you think I transferred the priests in the Archdiocese, you’re wrong. Knock it off," Flynn told Isely during the exchange.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Wisconsin Activists Ask Candidates To Commit To Child Sexual Abuse Laws Reform

WISCONSIN
Wisconsin Public Radio

May 22, 2018

By The Associated Press

A group of Wisconsin activists are asking political candidates to commit to reforming child sexual abuse laws this election season — and some candidates have already voiced their support for changes to the statute of limitations.

Peter Isely, founding member of the Midwest’s chapter of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is one of the people leading the push with Women’s March Wisconsin.

Sarah Pearson is the state co-chair of Women’s March Wisconsin, which favors lifting time limits and creating a grace period through the Child Victims Act.

"What that would do is remove the Civil Statute of Limitations for victims of child sex abuse and open a three-year window in which victims of child sex abuse who were previously barred from filing civil claims could do that so they could finally receive justice in court," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Australian Archbishop to Step Down After Being Convicted in Child Sex Abuse Cover-Up

AUSTRALIA
KTLA

CNN

MAY 22, 2018

An Australian archbishop convicted of concealing child sex abuse by a fellow priest will step down from his position.

Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson announced his decision on Wednesday, the day after he was found guilty of concealing the abuse of altar boys by a pedophile priest colleague.

Wilson, who is the highest ranking Catholic official globally to be convicted of the offense and faces up to two years in prison, said he will stand aside on Friday.

“It is appropriate that, in the light of some of his Honour’s findings, I stand aside from my duties as Archbishop,” he said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Vatican needs new means to adjudicate bishops' roles in sex abuse

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

May 23, 2018

by Michael Sean Winters

Only twice in history has a pope asked for the resignation of an entire episcopate: Last week, when the entire episcopate of Chile offered their resignations to the pope, and in 1802, when Pope Pius VII removed both the orthodox, validly installed bishops of France and the rival slate of schismatic bishops never recognized by Rome and installed by the revolutionary regime. In 1945, seven bishops who had collaborated with the fascist Vichy regime were sacked.

Covering up the sexual abuse of children, therefore, has now joined collaborating with Robespierre or Hitler as one of the things that forces a pope to take the extraordinary step of removing a bishop from office. In all three instances, the hierarchy earned the odium plebis, the hatred of the people, which warranted their removal. They had proved themselves to be not shepherds but wolves, or wolf-helpers.

In the Gospel of Luke we read: "Jesus said to His disciples, 'It is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.' " The Holy Father's scorching commentary on the behavior of the Chilean bishops resonates with this kind of fervor. It is a pastoral fervor, to be sure, whipped into righteous indignation.

I do not share the desire that the pope accept all the resignations he was just offered, but I understand why so many sex abuse victims and victims' advocates entertain that desire. Fr James O'Connell told NCR, "If it's an attempt by all the bishops to just be a team together, then it'd be so impractical that the pope cannot really accept all of those resignations," worrying that the mass resignation might be a kind of "ploy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

Sex abuse 'whitewashed' in children's home, inquiry told

SCOTLAND
STV

May 23, 2018

Catherine Sheridan

A man has told an inquiry how the sexual abuse he suffered as a child was "whitewashed" during his time at a children's home.

Whilst giving evidence, the man described how the sexual abuse started during his time at the Nazareth House, Midlothian, when he was seven years of age, and lasted for a couple of years.

He described to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) that when he tried to report the abuse to the nuns at the home, he was beaten or told to "stop telling lies".

The inquiry further heard how the man was abused by older boys, priests, and care assistants during his two year stay at the home in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

HOME HORROR Sex abuse victim ‘would have fled with the devil’ to escape Midlothian’s Nazareth House

SCOTLAND
Scottish Sun

By Hilary Duncanson

22nd May 2018

A SEX abuse victim has told how he’d have fled “with the devil” to escape his kids home hell.

The witness revealed he was molested by priests, helpers as well as older boys at the facility run by nuns when he was as young as seven.

He claimed his complaints were “whitewashed” at Nazareth House in Lasswade, Midlothian.

He added: “If the devil had come and said ‘I’m taking you away from this place’, I’d have gone with him just to get out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Archbishop Wilson stands down following concealing sex abuse conviction

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

May 23, 2018

'If at any point it becomes necessary or appropriate for me to take more formal steps, including by resigning as Archbishop, then I will do so'

Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide has announced he is to stand down – and may resign later after almost 17 years as leader of South Australia’s Catholics – a day after he was convicted in a New South Wales court of concealing child sexual abuse.

The day after Magistrate Robert Stone found him guilty of covering up the sexual abuse of altar boys by the late Fr James Fletcher in the 1970s, Archbishop Wilson said he would stand down on Friday (25 May), having considered the magistrate’s reasons for his decision.

“I am still considering those reasons together with my legal advisors,” the 67-year-old prelate said in a statement issued today (23 May). “While I do so, it is appropriate that, in the light of some of his Honour’s findings, I stand aside from my duties as Archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

May 22, 2018

Greensburg bishop supports public release of Catholic sexual abuse investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
Trib Live

May 21, 2018

By Debra Erdley

A grand jury report on sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses is scheduled to be released in late June.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro led the 18-month investigation that has led to the arrest of one priest each in the Greensburg and Erie dioceses. On Monday, he said the leaders of two holdout dioceses — including Bishop Edward Malesic of Greensburg — joined four other dioceses in supporting the public release of investigation results. Also supporting the release was Bishop Ronald Gainer of Harrisburg.

“I commend Bishop Malesic and Bishop Gainer for doing the right thing,” Shapiro said.

Greensburg diocesan spokesman Jerry Zufelt confirmed Shapiro's comments.

“The Diocese of Greensburg supports the release of the grand jury report with due process,” Zufelt said.

The Rev. Nicholas S. Vaskov, director of communications for the Pittsburgh diocese, said church officials there welcome the attorney general's report.

“Throughout this investigation, the Diocese of Pittsburgh has never acted or even considered taking action to silence the voices of victims. With regard to the grand jury report, our only concern is to make sure the process is conducted fairly,” he said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:05 PM

Pending report on Catholic child sex abuse in Pennsylvania could renew efforts to amend statute of limitations law

PENNSYLVANIA
Trib Live

May 22, 2018

By Debra Erdley

A statewide grand jury report on sexual abuse within Catholic dioceses, including the ones in Greensburg and Pittsburgh, could be an opening for another effort to abolish Pennsylvania's statute of limitations for child sexual assault.

At least that's what state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks County, said he intends to push for when the widely-anticipated report is released.

“It's definitely going to be a battle,” Rozzi said. “There are people who need this.”

The 47-year-old lawmaker, who accused the late Rev. Edward Graff of molesting him in his Berks County Catholic school when he was 13, believes everyone who has lived through sexual abuse deserves more time to take their case to court.

Texas authorities arrested Graff in October 2002 on charges of molesting a teenage boy. He died a month later at age 73.

Rozzi testified before the statewide grand jury that scrutinized records from six Catholic dioceses across Pennsylvania. The panel is expected to release its report in June.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 5:00 PM

Australian archbishop found guilty of covering up child sex abuse

CANBERRA (AUSTRALIA)
The Associated Press

May 22, 2018

By Rod McGuirk

An Australian archbishop on Tuesday became the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the world convicted of covering up child sex abuse in a test case that holds to account church hierarchy that kept silent in the face of an international pedophile crisis.

Magistrate Robert Stone handed down the verdict against Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson in Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney, following a magistrate-only trial.

Wilson, 67, had pleaded not guilty to concealing a serious crime committed by another person — the sexual abuse of children by pedophile priest James Fletcher in the 1970s.

He had made four attempts in the past three years to have the charge struck out without a trial.

The conviction is another step toward holding the church to account for a global abuse crisis that has also engulfed Pope Francis’ financial minister, Australian Cardinal George Pell.

Frank Brennan, an Australian Jesuit priest, human rights lawyer and academic, said Wilson had to stand aside as archbishop of the South Australian state capital.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:57 PM

Pope to meet more survivors of Chile’s most infamous abuser priest

ROME
CRUX

May 22, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Continuing efforts to clean up the Catholic Church in Chile, whose leadership is charged with covering up cases of clerical sexual abuse, abuses of power and conscience, Pope Francis will welcome more victims of the country’s most infamous abusive priest to Rome as papal guests.

On June 1-3, a group of nine people, including seven priests and two lay people, will stay at the Vatican’s Santa Marta residence where Francis has been living since the beginning of his pontificate. The Vatican confirmed the meeting in a statement released late Tuesday Rome time.

“With this new meeting, scheduled a month ago, Pope Francis wants to show his closeness to abused priests, to accompany them in their pain and to listen to their valuable views to improve the current preventive measures and the fight against abuses in the Church,” the statement said.

“This concludes this first phase of meetings that the Holy Father wanted to have with victims of the abusive system established several decades ago in the aforementioned parish,” the Vatican said. “These priests and lay people represent all the victims of abuses by the clergy in Chile, but it is not ruled out that similar initiatives may occur in the future.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:56 PM

Australian archbishop guilty of covering up sex child abuse

AUSTRALIA
CNN

May 22, 2018

By Samantha Beech, Sarah Faidell and Bard Wilkinson

An Australian archbishop is facing up to two years in prison after being convicted of concealing child sex abuse by a fellow priest in the 1970s.

Archbishop Philip Wilson is the highest ranking Catholic official to be convicted of covering up sexual abuse, part of a global scandal which has dogged the Vatican for decades.

The 67-year-old archbishop of Adelaide was found guilty of having concealed the abuse of altar boys by a pedophile priest colleague, James Fletcher, in the 1970s, when he was an assistant parish priest in the state of New South Wales.

Magistrate Robert Stone ruled the "offense proven."

As part of his defense, Wilson's legal team argued that as child sexual abuse was not considered a serious crime in the 1970s, it was not worthy of being reported to authorities, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

In a statement issued by the church on Wednesday, Wilson said he was "obviously disappointed" with the verdict.

"I will now have to consider the reasons and consult closely with my lawyers to determine the next steps ... I do not propose to make any further comment at this stage," he added.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:53 PM

Former priest Andrew San Agustin corrects court filing, denies sex abuse allegation

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

May 22, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

A former Archdiocese of Agana priest on Monday corrected a previous court filing by inserting the word "alleged" in defending himself from an allegation that he sexually abused a girl from Saipan when she vacationed on Guam in 1963.

"While making this correction, defendant takes the added opportunity to again deny the accusation of clergy sex abuse which he supposedly did on 'B.T.', and requests — and looks forward to — a trial by jury at the earliest," former priest Andrew San Agustin said in a May 21 court filing.

San Agustin, who voluntarily left the priesthood and is now known as Joe R. San Agustin, is representing himself in the case. He had said he can't afford legal counsel.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:50 PM

Third abuse lawsuit filed against Father Adrian Cristobal

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

May 22, 2018

By Haidee V. Eugenio

A third child sex abuse lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Father Adrian Cristobal, who hasn't obeyed Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes' repeated directives to return to Guam since the first allegation came out in April.

The latest lawsuit was filed by a former altar boy identified in court documents only as J.E. to protect his privacy.

J.E., in his lawsuit, said Cristobal sexually molested and abused him when he served as an altar boy at San Vicente Ferrer/San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada from about 1995 to 1997. He was about 10 to 12 years old at the time.

Now 33, J.E. said in his lawsuit that Cristobal on numerous occasions instructed him to massage his back. This was at the Barrigada parish and the priest's residence, the lawsuit says.

"Afterwards, Father Adrian would grope, fondle and squeeze J.E.'s private parts, which caused J.E. extreme pain and eventually led to J.E. repeatedly urinating on himself," the lawsuit says.

J.E., represented by Attorney David Lujan, demands $5 million in minimum damages.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:47 PM

Australian archbishop found guilty of covering up child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
National Catholic Reporter

May 22, 2018

by James Dearie

Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Australia, was found guilty of failing to report child sexual abuse in Newcastle Local Court May 22.

Wilson is scheduled to be sentenced June 19. The prosecution is asking for a jail sentence.

"I am obviously disappointed at the decision published today," Wilson said in a statement the morning of the ruling. "I will now have to consider the reasons and consult closely with my lawyers to determine the next steps."

Wilson, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in November but refused to resign, claims that he does not recall a 1976 conversation with a then 15-year-old victim of Fr. James Fletcher in which the victim had detailed abuse allegations, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported the morning of the decision.

Fletcher was convicted on several charges of child abuse in 2004. He died in jail in 2006.

Magistrate Robert Stone said that he was "satisfied" that the victim had made a report to Wilson, who "knew he was hearing a credible allegation of abuse," but "wanted to protect the church and its reputation."

Brian Coyne, the editor and publisher of the online journal Catholica.com.au, told NCR that "this is a hugely significant decision by a civil court. Archbishop Wilson is the most senior Catholic leader in the world to have faced such a conviction."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:44 PM

Making safe churches

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Anglican Communion News Service

May 22, 2018

By Garth Blake SC

The chair of the Anglican Communion’s Safe Church Commission, Australian barrister and Senior Counsel Garth Blake, reflects on its latest meeting.

The second face to face meeting of the Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission has taken place in the South African city of George. The meeting took place against the background of the recent public disclosure of complaints of sexual abuse against clergy in provinces (Southern Africa, Nigeria and Hong Kong) and government inquiries in Australia and England revealing inadequate responses to victims of child sexual abuse by Anglican churches.

There is a growing recognition in many provinces that some clergy and lay church workers have used their power to abuse and then to silence their victims, who are mainly women and children. This abuse has taken a variety of forms such as sexual, physical, emotional and / or spiritual. Sometimes abuse occurs though social media. The resulting harm done to these victims and others such as family and church members, is often far reaching, impacting on an individual’s view of themselves, their relationships and their faith.

Established in May last year, the Commission has 14 members from different parts of the Anglican Communion. Its principal function is to develop guidelines to enhance the safety of all persons especially children, young people and vulnerable adults, within the provinces of the Anglican Communion for consideration by the Anglican Consultative Council at its ACC-17 meeting next year in Honk Kong.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:41 PM

Tasmania allocates $70 million to join national sexual abuse redress scheme

TASMANIA (AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

May 22, 2018

By Peta Carlyon and Rhiana Whitson

Tasmania will opt in to the national redress scheme for the state's survivors of child sexual assault.

Attorney-General Elise Archer made the announcement on the floor of State Parliament this morning.

The national redress scheme comes into effect around the country on July 1.

It was a major recommendation of the royal commission into child abuse and is the first compensation scheme to cover all survivors of abuse in Tasmanian churches, state and non-state institutions.

Ms Archer said the decision had come after months of discussions with the Federal Government.

"The need to ensure that the scheme is best able to achieve its stated purpose has always been at the forefront of my mind," she said.

"It is is to provide support to people who are sexually abused as children whilst in the care of an institution."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:39 PM

Australian archbishop convicted of covering up sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Washington Post

May 22, 2018

By Amanda Erickson

Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson knew, the men told the court.

He knew that the Rev. Jim Fletcher had been sexually abusing young altar servers. He knew because they told him. He knew because they asked him for help.

Now, Wilson is going to jail.

The Roman Catholic leader was convicted of failing to act on reports of child sex abuse. He faces as much as two years in prison. The 67-year-old is the most senior Catholic leader to ever be charged with concealing abuse.

In the courtroom, Peter Creigh testified that Fletcher made him strip and kneel as he masturbated. He was abused at 10, he said, and he told Wilson about it in 1976, when he was 15. Wilson was a parish priest at the time. Another former altar boy said he brought his concerns to Wilson, as well. (Fletcher was found guilty of multiple counts of sexual assault of boys in 2004 and died two years later in prison.)

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:37 PM

Google Under Fire For Revealing Rape Victims' Names

UNITED KINGDOM
Forbes

May 22, 2018

By Emma Woollacott

Google's autocomplete function is causing the company problems once again by revealing information that's legally protected.

The company's been accused of displaying the names of rape victims through its Autocomplete and Related Search functions - even when the victims have been granted anonymity by the courts.

The problem is that both features use data gathered from previous searches to predict what information the user is looking for and make suggestions. If enough people know a victim's name and use it as one of their search terms, Google's algorithm will provide a helpful prompt to those that don't.

In the US, there's no legal prohibition on publishing the names of rape victims, although the media tend to avoid doing so. In many countries, however, it's against the law. And the UK's Times newspaper has uncovered several cases in which Autocomplete and Related Search have revealed the names of rape victims and others who have official anonymity.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:34 PM

Editorial: The Guardian view on papal infallibility: an authoritarian U-turn

UNITED STATES
The Guardian

May 22, 2018

Popes rarely admit their own mistakes. But Pope Francis has now done so, spectacularly, in a case of child abuse

Popes hardly ever pronounce infallibly: in fact they have only ever done so twice; on the other hand it is almost as rare that they admit to making mistakes. Last week all 34 bishops of the Roman Catholic church in Chile sent in their resignations to Pope Francis after he got the report of an investigation into the hierarchy’s attempts to suppress a child abuse scandal there. That’s shocking enough, if not entirely unprecedented: in 1801 Pope Pius VII demanded, and got, the resignation of all the French bishops as part of his deal with Napoleon. What may not ever have happened before is for a pope to admit to freely and so publicly that he himself had been wrong on a matter of great importance. Only five months ago the pope had been outspoken in defence of the bishops.

The church in Chile had been badly damaged, like many others, by sex abuse scandals. A powerful and charismatic priest, Fr Fernando Karadima, preyed for years on young men and boys from the country’s elite. He was protected by Fr Juan Barros. Pope Francis appointed Fr Barros a bishop in 2015, three years after Fr Karadima had been removed from public ministry by the Vatican when the criminal case against him collapsed. This appointment was furiously protested by both laity and clergy, but the pope doubled down on his visit to Chile this year, describing the allegations against Bishop Barros as “slander”, and being photographed embracing him. This led to even greater and more outraged protests around the world so Pope Francis sent the Maltese archbishop Charles Scicluna to investigate the story. Archbishop Scicluna served for many years as the Vatican’s chief prosecuting counsel in child abuse cases, and the 2,300 page report he delivered to the pope was the result of interviewing 64 people.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:22 PM

APNewsBreak: McDonald’s workers file sex harassment claims

UNITED STATES
Associated Press

May 22, 2018

DAVID CRARY

NEW YORK (AP) — Energized by the #MeToo movement, two national advocacy groups are teaming up to lodge sexual harassment complaints against McDonald’s on behalf of 10 women who have worked at the fast food restaurant in nine cities.

The workers — one of them a 15-year-old from St. Louis — alleged groping, propositions for sex, indecent exposure and lewd comments by supervisors. According to their complaints, when the women reported the harassment, they were ignored or mocked, and in some cases suffered retaliation.

The legal effort was organized by Fight for $15, which campaigns to raise pay for low-wage workers. The legal costs are being covered by the TIMES UP Legal Defense Fund, which was launched in January by the National Women’s Law Center to provide attorneys for women who cannot afford to bring cases on their own.

The complaints, filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, are being announced on Tuesday, two days ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:25 PM

Child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church: What you need to know

GLOBAL
BBC News

From Australian country towns, to schools in Ireland and cities across the US, the Catholic Church has faced an avalanche of child sexual abuse accusations in the last few decades.

Recent high-profile cases and harrowing testimony given to public inquiries have kept the issue in the headlines.

Meanwhile alleged cover-ups continue to dog the Church, and victims groups say the Vatican has not done nearly enough to right its wrongs.

Here's what you need to know - in about 500 words.

How did this all come to light?

Although some accusations date back to the 1950s, molestation by priests was first given significant media attention in the 1980s, in the US and Canada.

In the 1990s, the issue began to grow, with stories emerging in Argentina, Australia and elsewhere. In 1995, the Archbishop of Vienna, Austria, stepped down amid sexual abuse allegations, rocking the church there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

‘God Made You This Way,’ Pope Is Said to Have Told Gay Man

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

May 21, 2018

By Jason Horowitz

Leer en español: Dios te ama así’, asegura Juan Carlos Cruz que le respondió el papa cuando le habló de su homosexualidad

Rome - A Chilean survivor of clerical sex abuse has said that Pope Francis told him in a private meeting this month that God had made him gay and that both God and the pontiff loved him that way, a remarkable expression of inclusion for the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

“He said to me, ‘Juan Carlos that’s not a problem,’ ” said Juan Carlos Cruz, the abuse survivor, describing having told the pope he was gay in a long meeting in the Vatican. “You have to be happy with who you are. God made you this way and loves you this way, and the pope loves you this way.”

The Vatican declined to comment on the pope’s private remarks.

Mr. Cruz had already said that Francis had apologized in the meeting for the large-scale sexual abuse scandal involving Chilean clergy members, but over the weekend, he also told the Spanish newspaper El País about the pope’s remarks about his homosexuality. In a separate interview Sunday night, Mr. Cruz, through tears, explained that he had told Francis in their nearly three-hour private meeting that he had maintained his Catholic faith even though Chilean bishops had apparently told the pope that he had left the church “for a life of perversion.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:10 PM

All priests who have been 'credibly' accused of abuse should be named, says victims group INCAS

GLASGOW (SCOTLAND)
The Herald

May 21, 2018

By Stephen Naysmith

Abuse survivors have criticised the Catholic Church for tokenism and a "lack of humility" and called for priests accused of child abuse to be named, as the Bishops Conference attempted to draw a line under the issue.

The comments came as the Church published new guidelines, titled "In God's Image", as a final response to the the 2015 McLellan Commission and its findings.

The independent commission, headed by former moderator of the Church of Scotland the Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan, called for sweeping changes to the church's practices for protecting children and vulnerable people in parishes and demanded a prioritising of support for survivors.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:59 AM

Ex-priest charged with sexual abuse of boy at Evanston hotel in 2001, police say

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

May 22, 2018

A man who was a Catholic priest at the time has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy at a hotel in Evanston in 2001, police announced Monday.

The former priest, Kenneth Lewis, 56, was arrested on a warrant by federal agents earlier this month when he arrived at the Atlanta airport on a flight from Ecuador, according to Evanston police. The Cook County sheriff’s police fugitive unit brought Lewis back to Illinois, and he was taken into custody by Evanston police Friday, authorities said.

The alleged abuse occurred while Lewis, then a priest in Tulsa, was on a trip to the Chicago area with the family of the victim, who was also a resident of the Oklahoma city at the time, Evanston police said in a news release.

Officials said the alleged 2001 assault was reported to Tulsa police in 2004 but that Lewis “could not be charged as part of the initial investigation.”

However, the case was reopened last year by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office and the Evanston police Juvenile Bureau, and authorities were able to secure a warrant for Lewis’ arrest just after Christmas, Evanston police said. They did not elaborate how authorities were able to bring charges this time.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:54 AM

Archdiocese of Baltimore relieves Highlandtown priest accused of abuse in the 1970s

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

May 21, 2018

By Meredith Cohn

The Archdiocese of Baltimore said Monday it has relieved a priest of his duties at Our Lady of Pompei in Highlandtown following accusations by a parishioner of abuse in the 1970s.

The alleged victim was not identified. The person accuses Father Luigi Esposito, 77, of abuse beginning when the alleged victim was 14 and occurring multiple times while the person was a minor.

Esposito denies the allegations, according to Sean Caine, a spokesman for the archdiocese. He said the priest was being cared for per church law at a private location and would not be available for comment.

Caine said the alleged victim made a complaint to the church earlier this month and the church reported it to the Baltimore Police Department. He said church officials did not approach Esposito so they would not interfere with any investigation.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:50 AM

Bishops of 2 Pennsylvania dioceses reverse position on priest abuse investigation

HARRISBURG (PA)
WHTM

May 22, 2018

By Thomas LeClair

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the bishops of two Catholic dioceses are reversing their positions on a sexual abuse investigation.

Shapiro says the bishops of the Greensburg and Harrisburg dioceses have agreed to make public the results of a grand jury investigation of "widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic church."

Shapiro says now all of the dioceses support the release of the investigations's findings and results.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:47 AM

THE CHILEAN BISHOPS CRISIS

UNITED STATES
First Things

by Philip Lawler

5 . 22 . 18

With the mass resignation of 34 Chilean bishops, we have reached the decisive moment of the Francis pontificate. How Pope Francis responds to this unprecedented gesture will determine how history judges him. Obviously, these dramatic resignations test the pontiff’s commitment to resolving the sex-abuse crisis. But there is even more at stake.

The resignations switch the focus of public attention from the Chilean hierarchy—which had clearly failed in its duties—to the pope. The Chilean bishops explained that they had decided to put their future “in the hands of the Holy Father and will leave it to him to decide freely” which prelates should step down. Now, which bishops will the pope dismiss, and which (if any) will he allow to remain in office?

Presumably some of the Chilean bishops are innocent of the “grave negligence” uncovered by the pope’s belated investigation. For now, they share in the general humiliation. Will they be exonerated? And will those who have been guilty of outright dishonesty (the pope cited the “destruction of compromising documents”) be identified and denounced? Or will the pope merely accept some resignations, and decline others, without public explanation?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Third sex abuse suit filed against priest

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

May 22, 2018

Mindy Aguon | The Guam Daily Post

A third complaint alleging sexual abuse against former Archdiocese of Agana Chancellor Adrian Cristobal was filed Tuesday in the District Court of Guam.

J.E., 33, who used initials to protect his identity, alleges he was abused for two years while he was an altar server at San Vicente Ferrer/San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada.

The victim, who now lives in Virginia, said the abuse began when he was 10 years old when Cristobal served as a priest at the parish.

The lawsuit alleges J.E. was instructed to massage Cristobal's back at the parish and at the priest's residence. After the massage Cristobal allegedly groped, fondled and squeezed the boy's private parts causing extreme pain, the lawsuit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Arizona judge accused of sex abuse of underage girl won’t face charges

ARIZONA
KTAR

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

MAY 22, 2018

PHOENIX — Prosecutors said Monday they will not file criminal charges against an Arizona judge who was investigated on allegations that he sexually abused a girl from when she was 13 until she reached adulthood.

Charges will not be filed against Pinal County Superior Court Judge Steven Fuller because prosecutors don’t have the level of evidence needed to win a conviction, said Alan Goodwin, who leads the special victims bureau at the Pima County prosecutor’s office, which reviewed the investigation.

The alleged victim, now 25, told investigators last year that Fuller touched her genitals and buttocks repeatedly and also showed her pornography, according to a police report. Fuller, through his attorney, had vehemently denied the allegations.

The woman said she and the judge knew each other before the alleged abuse occurred but the Associated Press is not identifying her because it generally does not name alleged sexual assault victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Australian Archbishop Found Guilty In Cover-Up Of Child Sex Abuse

AUSTRALIA
NEPR

May 22, 2018

By SCOTT NEUMAN

Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson has been found guilty of concealing child sex abuse by a fellow priest that he first learned of in the 1970s.

Wilson, 67, the senior-most Catholic cleric ever to be charged with concealing abuse, has been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's disease. He denied under oath last month that two former altar boys told him of abuse by another priest, Father Jim Fletcher, in the 1970s, at a church in East Maitland, New South Wales. Fletcher, who was found guilty on multiple counts of sexual assault of boys in 2004, died of a stroke in jail two years later.

Wilson's verdict was handed down by Magistrate Robert Stone in Newcastle Local Court at the conclusion of the eight-day trial.

The archbishop showed no emotion as the verdict was read inside a packed courtroom, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Pope Francis now faces a terrible dilemma over Chile

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

Christopher Altieri

21 May 2018

With their resignation en masse late last week, the bishops of Chile have put Pope Francis between a rock and a hard place. Basically, he has three options: accept all of them; accept some of them; accept none of them.

If he accepts them all, he leaves the Church in Chile headless, while owning utterly every awful thing that may yet emerge as the crisis unfolds – there is a great deal more in the way of awful things that must come out, if the Church in the country is to recover – and the Chilean crisis is far from over.

If he accepts some, his every decision will be scrutinised, and he is bound to make mistakes – and if he takes his time and does it right, as he ought to, the Church will remain paralysed in the meantime and the evil men he has heretofore at least tacitly (though not always tacitly) supported will have time and opportunity to maneuver. A few – like bishops Juan Barros of Osorno, Horacio Valenzuela of Talca, and Tomislav Koljatic of Linares – are no-brainers. These men were protégés of the disgraced celebrity paedophile priest, Fernando Karadima: they were just the sort of men abusers seek systematically to insinuate into power structures for their own protection and advancement. Others are not.

If he accepts none of them, he will have to try some of them. Those trials will presumably take place under the procedural rules laid out in the Apostolic Letter motu proprio, As a Loving Mother, though the dispositions given in that letter remain essentially untried. There will be a learning curve. There will also need to be significant investment in the Vatican court system, which is already overloaded, underfunded, and not exactly bursting at the seams with enthusiasm for the work. Confidence in the ability of the Vatican to administer justice is therefore also very low, indeed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Archbishop convicted of covering up child sexual abuse

AUSTRALIA
CBS News

May 22, 2018

NEWCASTLE, Australia -- An Australian archbishop on Tuesday became the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the world convicted of covering up child sex abuse and faces a potential two years in prison when he is sentenced next month. Magistrate Robert Stone handed down the verdict against Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson in Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney, following a magistrate-only trial.

Wilson, 67, had pleaded not guilty to concealing a serious crime committed by another person -- the sexual abuse of children by pedophile priest James Fletcher in the 1970s.

Stone told the court that Wilson had concealed the abuse of two altar boys in the Hunter Valley region, north of Sydney, by Fletcher by failing to report the allegations to police.

Stone said he was satisfied one of the altar boys, Peter Creigh had been a "truthful and reliable" witness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 AM

New allegations released against retired Fort Atkinson priest

WISCONSIN
Channel 3000

May 22, 2018

FORT ATKINSON, Wis. - A retired priest in residence at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Madison is facing more allegations since being charged with felony sexual assault last week.

According to a release Monday from the Diocese of Madison, William A. Nolan, 64, is being accused of sexual misconduct toward an adult male in 2009, two years after retiring from priesthood in 2007.

Diocese officials said during an initial investigation in 2009, the victim denied the allegations after someone else reported it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Adelaide Archbishop facing two year jail term

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson should be sent to jail for covering up child sex abuse by a pedophile priest, a NSW court has been told.

Wilson, the most senior Catholic official in the world to be charged with the offence, was on Tuesday found guilty in Newcastle Local Court of failing to report to police the repeated abuse of two altar boys in the 1970s.

Magistrate Robert Stone accepted the two boys told Wilson in 1976 that priest James Fletcher had repeatedly abused them in the NSW Hunter region but the clergyman did nothing.

Wilson faces a maximum two years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

Archbishop found guilty of concealing child abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

May 22, 2018

Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson has been found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse by a fellow priest in the 1970s

The Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, has been found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse by a fellow priest.

He was convicted of concealing abuse by Fr James Fletcher in the 1970s, when the Archbishop was a young priest in his home Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in New South Wales.

Magistrate Robert Stone announced his verdict in a 59-page judgement delivered to a packed courtroom at Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney, today (22 May).

Archbishop Wilson, the most senior Catholic cleric to date to be convicted on a charge of concealing child abuse, faces up to two years in jail when sentenced on 19 June. Mr Stone has the option of suspending the sentence, but prosecutors are seeking a custodial sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Church sex abuse findings to be made public

PENNSYLVANIA
Sharon Herald

By DAVE SUTOR The Tribune-Democrat

May 21, 2018

HARRISBURG — Dioceses in Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Pittsburgh had already said they support releasing the findings of the investigation that has been underway since 2016.

“Today, in a reversal of their position, the bishops and dioceses of Greensburg and Harrisburg agreed to make public the results of a grand jury investigation of widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. I commend Bishop (Edward) Malesic and Bishop (Ronald) Gainer for doing the right thing,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Monday.

“Now all of the dioceses support the release of the investigation’s findings and results.”

Robert Hoatson, founder of Road to Recovery, a support group for victims, expects there will be some “very damning conclusions from the grand jury.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Archbishop Philip Wilson abuse concealment case the 'tip of the iceberg'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

May 22, 2018

The verdict in the case of Archbishop Philip Wilson — the most senior Catholic to be charged with concealing child abuse — is already being declared a "landmark" case, with one legal expert predicting it could trigger a flood of other prosecutions.

Wilson — who became the Archbishop of Adelaide in 2001 — was found guilty of covering up abuse by priest Jim Fletcher in the NSW Hunter region in the 1970s.

Magistrate Robert Stone told the court he did not accept Wilson could not recall a 1976 conversation with the victim.

Prominent defence lawyer and co-chair of the South Australian Law Society's criminal law committee Craig Caldicott said today's verdict was important because of the precedent it set.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

May 21, 2018

Shapiro says grand jury report on sex abuse in Catholic dioceses coming in June

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

May 21, 2018

Tim Darragh
Of The Morning Call

The release of a report detailing decades of sexual abuse within six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses, including Allentown, was cleared Monday after two other dioceses gave up legal challenges.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Monday that the dioceses of Greensburg and Harrisburg were backing off legal challenges that could have possibly blocked release of the report.

“Today, in a reversal of their position, the bishops and dioceses of Greensburg and Harrisburg agreed to make public the results of a grand jury investigation of widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic church,” Shapiro said in a statement.

He commended Greensburg Bishop Edward Malesic and Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer “for doing the right thing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Pa. AG: All dioceses now agree to making grand jury sexual abuse report public

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PETER SMITH
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

MAY 21, 2018

EBENSBURG — Two dioceses reversed their position on a statewide grand jury investigating sexual abuse Monday, according to state Attorney General Josh Shapiro. The announcement came after a closed-door hearing before the presiding judge of the grand jury

“Today, in a reversal of their position, the bishops and dioceses of Greensburg and Harrisburg agreed to make public the results of a grand jury investigation of widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. I commend Bishop [Edward C.] Malesic and Bishop [Ronald W.] Gainer for doing the right thing,” Mr. Shapiro said in a statement.

“Now all of the dioceses support the release of the investigation’s findings and results.”

The announcement followed a hearing in which Cambria County Judge Norman Krumenacker III presided. It was just days after statements from the diocese of Greensburg and Harrisburg calling for due process with the imminent release of a grand jury report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

All dioceses - including Harrisburg - now support release of findings from grand jury investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

May 21, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus idejesus@pennlive.com

The Diocese of Harrisburg - one of six dioceses under state investigation for clergy sex abuse - on Monday walked back the suggestion that it might oppose the findings of a grand jury investigation.

In a statement to the media Attorney General Josh Shapiro applauded the decision, which was also taken by the Diocese of Greensburg.

Shapiro commended Bishops Ronald Gainer of Harrisburg and Bishop Edward Malesic of Greensburg for "doing the right thing."

"Victims of this sexual abuse deserve the right to tell their stories to the people of Pennsylvania," Shapiro said. "That is why my legal team and I have worked tirelessly to have each diocese agree to give victims the opportunity to be heard."

The decision from the heads of the Harrisburg and Greensburg dioceses means that all six dioceses are in support of the release of the investigation's findings and results and that the bishops will not stall the process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Argentine priest jailed for 25 years for abuse of minors

ARGENTINA
Yahoo!

AFP

May 21, 2018

Buenos Aires (AFP) - An Argentine court sentenced a Catholic priest to 25 years in jail on Monday for sexually abusing seven children over a period of years.

Justo Jose Ilarraz had initially been held under house arrest until the 25-year sentence was confirmed on appeal.

Ilarraz, 57, carried out the abuse at a diocesan school in the city of Parana, 600 kilometers (400 miles) north of Buenos Aires, where he was in charge of discipline and spiritual guidance.

Prosecutors said the victims, aged 13 and 14, were boarders at the seminary school and cut off from their families, whom they saw once a month.

The boys were sexually abused by Ilarraz at the seminary between 1985 and 1993, the prosecution said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

The Pope's Turnaround on Sex Abuse May Have a ‘Tsunami Effect’

VATICAN CITY
The Atlantic

May 21, 2019

EMMA GREEN

The Vatican is working through an extraordinary series of events related to child sex abuse. Last month, Pope Francis apologized for “grave errors” in the way the Catholic Church handled sex-abuse cases in Chile, where a bishop, Juan Barros Madrid, was accused of covering up the crimes of another priest, Fernando Karadima. On Friday, following an emergency meeting in Rome with the pope, all 34 Chilean bishops offered their resignation over their handling of the allegations, an apparently unprecedented move.

Then, on Monday, the Spanish newspaper El Paīs reported that Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean sex-abuse survivor, had spoken with Pope Francis about his gay identity during a long meeting. “It doesn’t matter that you’re gay. God made you that way and that is the way he wants you to be, and I don’t mind,” Francis said, according to Cruz. “The pope wants you this way, too, and you have to be happy with who you are.”

The quickly unfolding events suggest an aggressive redirection for Pope Francis, who elevated the Chilean scandal into a full-on crisis in January, when he vigorously defended Barros during a papal visit to Chile and Peru. As the Church continues to wrestle with the aftershocks caused by clergy sex abuse around the world, its efforts to make amends in Chile may be a sign of a new approach ahead—or the extreme difficulty of recovering from years of misconduct and mishandled allegations.

The Chilean Church has been publicly grappling with its sex-abuse scandal for more than a half decade. In 2011, the Vatican announced that it had found Karadima guilty of sexually abusing minors. Subsequent developments suggested that Chilean bishops tried to keep the voices of abuse victims from being heard. Leaked emails showed that two cardinals sought to block Cruz, the Chilean abuse survivor, from serving on Pope Francis’s commission for the protection of minors. Victims accused Barros, who spent more than 30 years working with Karadima, of witnessing and covering up the abuse. Yet in 2015, Francis appointed him bishop of a diocese in southern Chile. When protesters objected to the move, the pope called them “dumb,” saying they had no proof against Barros.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Statement of Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Sexual Abuse Investigation Within Catholic Church

HARRISBURG (PA)
Office of the Attorney General

May 21, 2018

“Today, in a reversal of their position, the bishops and dioceses of Greensburg and Harrisburg agreed to make public the results of a grand jury investigation of widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. I commend Bishop Malesic and Bishop Gainer for doing the right thing,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

“Now all of the dioceses support the release of the investigation’s findings and results.”

“Victims of this sexual abuse deserve the right to tell their stories to the people of Pennsylvania. That is why my legal team and I have worked tirelessly to have each diocese agree to give victims the opportunity to be heard.”

“I expect to speak publicly on this comprehensive investigation by the end of June. The only thing that could stop these findings from becoming public at that time is if one of the bishops or dioceses would seek to delay or prevent this public accounting.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 4:15 PM

Pope Francis has made 14 new cardinals. Here’s what you need to know.

VATICAN CITY
America

Gerard O’Connell

May 21, 2018

Pope Francis took many Vatican watchers by surprise on Sunday, May 20, when, after reciting the Regina Coeli and praying for peace in the Holy Land and Venezuela, he announced that he would create 14 new cardinals on June 29.

It had been expected that he would hold a consistory this year since the number of cardinal electors would have decreased from 116 to 115 on June 8 when Cardinal Amato of Italy turns 80. Given that this number would not change by reason of age for the rest of the year, it was logical for the pope to decide to hold it at the end of June. In this way, he ensures that the number of electors will remain close to the full complement of 120. With Sunday’s announcement, that number stands at 126 (125 after June 8).

This will be his fifth consistory since his election as pope on March 13, 2013, and Francis has adopted the same criteria in his choice of men to be cardinals: universality; attention to “the peripheries”; humble pastors with “the smell of the sheep”; reducing the overall number of Europeans and Italians in the electoral college; abandoning the tradition that appointment to certain sees automatically brings with it a red hat; and restricting the number of Roman Curia cardinals by reserving the red hat only for the prefects of congregations (or their equivalent).

Pope Francis is trying to ensure that those who elect his successor are humble men committed to “a church of the poor and for the poor.”

By carefully choosing the new cardinals, Pope Francis is trying to ensure that those who elect his successor are humble, spiritual men committed to “a church of the poor and for the poor,” a church that is “a field hospital” and puts mercy at the heart of its mission. The pope wants “a missionary church” that reaches out to the various peripheries of the world, a church, devoid of clericalism, that involves the whole people of God. Francis has now chosen 59 of the 126 current electors—roughly 47 percent of the electoral college. Benedict XVI named 46 of the others, while St. John Paul II created the remaining 20.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Pope Francis Names 14 Choices for New Cardinals

VATICAN CITY
New York Times

By The Associated Press

May 20, 2018

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he had chosen 14 men to be the newest cardinals in the Catholic Church, among them his chief aide for helping Rome’s homeless and poor, as well as prelates based in Iraq and Pakistan, where Christians are a vulnerable minority.

“I am happy to announce that on June 29, I will hold a consistory to make 14 new cardinals,” Francis said, referring to a ceremony, in remarks to pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square.

“The countries of provenance express the universality of the church, which continues to announce the merciful love of God to all men on Earth,” he added.

The list of new “princes of the church” included names from Africa, elsewhere in Asia, and South America, as Francis continues to make the College of Cardinals less European than it had been in centuries past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

Chilean bishop suspends 12 priests, apologizes for not acting sooner

CHILE
Catholic News Agencyi

By Elise Harris

Rancagua, Chile, May 21, 2018 / 12:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Over the weekend, Chilean Bishop Alejandro Goić Karmelić suspended several priests after allegations of sexual misconduct were raised against them. He apologized for not following up when the accusations were first brought to his attention.

“I would like to ask forgiveness for my actions in this case,” the bishop said in a May 19 statement.

Goić, who heads the diocese of Rancagua, said he “acted without the proper swiftness” when a woman came to him nearly a year ago with concerns regarding the conduct of Fr. Luis Rubio and other priests.

Goić's apology came the day after a program detailing accusations against Rubio was aired on Chile's TV13 channel, the same station that leaked Pope Francis' 10-page letter to Chilean bishops chastising them for a systematic cover-up of clerical abuse and calling them to institute deep changes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Ex-priest charged with 2001 sexual assault in Evanston

ILLINOIS
WGN

MAY 21, 2018

BY BILL KISSINGER

EVANSTON, Ill. — A former priest has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy in an Evanston hotel room nearly two decades ago.

Kenneth Lewis, 56, was arrested after returning to the U.S. from Ecuador on May 9.

Lewis was never assigned to work as a priest in the Chicago area, but he attended the St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in suburban Mundelein between 1987 and 1991.

He served as a priest in Oklahoma where he faced an extensive history of sexual abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

“The Pope apologized to me, he was shocked at the abuse”

SPAIN
El Pais

CARLOS E. CUÉ

May 21, 2018

Madrid

Juan Carlos Cruz is still recovering from the shock. Three months ago, Cruz, who was a victim of sex abuse by a Chilean priest named Fernando Karadima, clashed with Pope Francis during the latter’s trip to the South American nation.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church accused Cruz of making slanderous statements without proof against Bishop Juan Barros, who had once been a protégé of Karadima. According to Cruz, Barros had been present when Karadima abused him in the 1980s, but later tried to hinder an investigation into his mentor.

The pope is taking unprecedented steps, he knows that the whole world is watching

Some time after the public spat, and following a Vatican investigation, the pontiff invited Cruz to spend at week at his own residence in Santa Marta, where he apologized and said that he now believed his story.

Since then, all 34 bishops of Chile have offered to resign over the scandal, marking a milestone in the global fight by victims of Church abuse. In a telephone interview with EL PAÍS, an emotional Cruz said he trusts that Pope Francis’ change of heart is definitive.

Question. How did you take the news about the 34 bishops’ offer to resign?

Answer. I am overcome with emotion after spending a week at the Pope’s house and talking with him for hours, as though we’d been lifelong friends, and then seeing his letter to the Chilean bishops mentioning many of the things that we’d discussed together and which he took very seriously, such as the issue of corruption among the bishops, and how he accused them of concealing documents and minimizing things...I was touched that he took our conversation so seriously. I felt that our time together was not simply a protocol thing or a public relations stunt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Prelate proposed all Irish Catholic bishops resign following abuse reports

IRELAND
Irish Times

May 20, 2018

Patsy McGarry

Ireland’s Catholic bishops considered resigning en masse following the publication of the Ryan and Murphy reports into child abuse in 2009, former president Mary McAleese has said.

“I do remember, at the time of our own problems with the Ryan and Murphy reports in particular, that there was a suggestion from a very senior cleric in Ireland that the Irish bishops might consider something like that,” she said in Dublin on Saturday. “It didn’t happen. I don’t really know if it was discussed.”

Ms McAleese was speaking in the context of the mass resignation by Chile’s 34 Catholic bishops last Friday after they were summoned to Rome to meet Pope Francis in connection with cover-up of clerical child sexual abuse in that country.

In a similar context, Ireland’s Catholic bishops were summoned to Rome in February 2010 to meet Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

LGBT community cheers pope’s ‘God made you like this’ remark

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis’ reported comments to a gay man that “God made you like this” have been embraced by the LGBT community as another sign of Francis’ desire to make gay people feel welcomed and loved in the Catholic Church.

Juan Carlos Cruz, the main whistleblower in Chile’s clerical sex abuse and cover-up scandal, said Monday he spoke to Francis about his homosexuality during their recent meetings at the Vatican. The pope invited Cruz and other victims of a Chilean predator priest to discuss their cases last month.

Cruz said he told Francis how Chile’s bishops used his sexual orientation as a weapon to try to discredit him, and of the pain the personal attacks had caused him.

“He said, ‘Look Juan Carlos, the pope loves you this way. God made you like this and he loves you,’” Cruz told The Associated Press.

The Vatican declined to confirm or deny the remarks in keeping with its policy not to comment on the pope’s private conversations. The comments first were reported by Spain’s El Pais newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

The pope says God made gay people just as we should be – here’s why his comments matter

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Ruth Hunt

21 May 2018 1

It is immensely powerful to hear that Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic church, reportedly told Juan Carlos Cruz, a gay man: “God made you like this and loves you like this.”

Cruz is a survivor of clerical abuse who spoke privately with the pope a few weeks ago, and has since reported his conversation to Spanish newspapers. His abuser, Fernando Karadima, was found guilty of abuse by the Vatican in 2011.

As a practising Catholic, I find it deeply moving to have Pope Francis appear to confirm what many Catholics already know to be true: God made us just as we should be, there are no mistakes.

Lesbian, gay, bi and trans people exist in every community, from every ethnic background and in every religion. However, religion can often be the area of life that people find the most difficult to reconcile with their identity. Some people will say that LGBT people can’t exist in faith communities; that faith communities don’t accept same-sex relationships or those whose gender doesn’t match the one that they were assigned at birth. Some believe that LGBT people can and should be “cured”. As a result of these beliefs, LGBT people often need to find a way to God despite their leaders, rather than because of them. But the pope’s reported words are a striking affirmation that LGBT people of faith belong in church and in religious communities.

I have never felt excluded from the church and have always been made to feel welcome. But I have met many people who have had different experiences; people who have been damaged by being told to deny their sexuality or who feel rejected by God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Baltimore Archdiocese removes priest over allegations of child sexual abuse from 1970s

MARYLAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore

CATHOLIC REVIEW STAFF

MAY 21, 2018

The following news release was issued by the Archdiocese of Baltimore May 21 concerning the pastor of Our Lady of Pompei in Highlandtown:

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has learned of an allegation of child sexual abuse against Father Luigi Esposito, 77, pastor at Our Lady of Pompei Church in Baltimore. The alleged abuse occurred in the 1970s while Father Esposito was serving as Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Pompei. The alleged victim claims the abuse began at the age of 14 and occurred multiple times while the minor was at Our Lady of Pompei.

The Archdiocese has been cooperating and sharing information with the civil authorities and on May 17, after receiving permission from civil authorities to make contact with Father Esposito, representatives of the Archdiocese met with him to discuss the allegations. He denied all the allegations against him. The Archdiocese spoke a number of times with the alleged victim and the allegations were consistent. Pursuant to Archdiocesan policy, the Archdiocese suspended Father Esposito from ministry and removed his faculties to function as a priest, pending the outcome of its investigation.

Yesterday, representatives of the Archdiocese met with parishioners and staff at Our Lady of Pompei to inform them of the allegations and to answer questions. The Archdiocese is working with the parish and staff to provide pastoral care to the Our Lady of Pompei community.

In accordance with Archdiocesan policy, the Archdiocese has offered counseling assistance to those affected.

In 1964, Luigi Esposito was ordained a priest of the Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul, a religious order also known as the Vincentians, in Naples, Italy. He was incardinated, the process whereby a diocesan or religious order priest becomes a priest of another diocese, into the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:44 PM

Archdiocese Suspends Priest After Child Sexual Abuse Allegations

MARYLAND
WBAL

May 21, 2018

Tyler Waldman, WBAL NewsRadio 1090

The Archdiocese of Baltimore on Monday suspended the pastor of a Highlandtown church after someone alleged the pastor abused them multiple times in the 1970s.

Father Luigi Esposito, 77, is pastor at Our Lady of Pompei Church. The alleged abuse took place while Esposito was associate pastor there. The victim told the archdiocese that the abuse began when the victim was 14 and happened multiple times while the alleged victim was at the church.

"The Archdiocese of Baltimore is committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse," archdiocesan officials said in a statement. "We urge anyone who has any knowledge of any child sexual abuse to come forward, and to report it immediately to civil authorities."

In a statement, archdiocese officials said they have been cooperating with authorities and, with permission from investigators, met with Esposito last Thursday, May 17 to discuss the claims. He denied all allegations. Officials also spoke multiple times with the alleged victim, whose allegations remained consistent. Espositio was then suspended from ministry pending the outcome of its own investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Francis names 14 cardinals, surpassing numbers appointed by Benedict and John Paul

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

May 20, 2018

by Joshua J. McElwee

ROME — Pope Francis named fourteen new Catholic cardinals May 20, again diversifying representation in the most elite body of church prelates with selections from places as far-flung as Iraq, Pakistan and Japan and solidifying his influence on the group that will one day elect his successor.

In a surprise announcement at the end of his traditional Regina Coeli prayer with crowds in St. Peter's Square, the pontiff said he would install the new cardinals during a consistory at the Vatican June 29.

As the pope began to give the names of those he would make cardinals, the first pronounced was notable: Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, an Iraqi who often speaks publicly about the suffering his people have encountered after the U.S.-led invasion of their country in 2003.

Others named included Karachi, Pakistan Archbishop Joseph Coutts; Huancayo, Peru Archbishop Pedro Barreto; Toamasina, Madagascar Archbishop Desire Tsarahazana; and Osaka, Japan Archbishop Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Pope's reported comment to a gay man may indicate a new level of acceptance of homosexuality

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By TOM KINGTON

MAY 20, 2018

Pope Francis has reportedly told a gay man that "God made you that way and loves you as you are," apparently pushing the pontiff's acceptance of homosexuality to a new level.

Francis made the comments to Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean victim of priestly sexual abuse who recently spent days with the pope at the Vatican to discuss his ordeal as the pontiff moves to tackle decades of coverups and ostracism of victims in the Chilean church, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Cruz was quoted as having discussed his homosexuality with Francis. "He told me: 'Juan Carlos, I don't care about you being gay. God made you that way and loves you as you are and I don't mind. The pope loves you as you are, you have to be happy with who you are.' "

A spokesman at the Vatican on Sunday declined to confirm or deny Francis' comments, stating, "We don't normally comment on the pope's private conversations."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

TERRORISED Midlothian Nazareth House abuse victim claims staff ‘tied naked to railings’ during physical and sexual abuse

SCOTLAND
Scottish Sun

By Ben Archibald

21st May 2018

AN abuse victim has told how he suffered years of hell at a scandal-hit kids’ home run by nuns.

Paul Dallas, 45, claims he was beaten by the brutal sisters every day from the age of five.

And he revealed he was tied naked to railings during the physical and sexual abuse at Nazareth House in Lasswade, Midlothian.

Waiving his right to anonymity, Paul, of Govanhill, Glasgow, said: “I’ve never recovered.

“You were in constant fear. You’d hear kids screaming and wonder, ‘Who will get beaten next?’.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Two decades later, pastor charged with sexual assault of boy in Evanston hotel

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

May 21, 2018

Nader Issa @NaderDIssa

A former Catholic priest with Chicago ties is facing criminal charges for the first time, nearly two decades after he resigned from his post amid several allegations of child sex abuse.

The case that eventually landed 56-year-old Kenneth Lewis in the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Saturday in Chicago stems from a decade-old allegation of child molestation in an Evanston hotel room, according to a police source in the northern suburb.

In that incident, “Father Ken,” a former pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy on a trip in late July 2001, in a hotel at 1501 Sherman Ave., the Evanston police source told the Chicago Sun-Times. The hotel at that address is now the Holiday Inn Chicago North.

The boy’s parents filed a report with Tulsa police in June 2004, nearly three years after the alleged assault. Authorities in Oklahoma referred the case to Evanston police, and now, 14 years later, Lewis has been criminally charged in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Abuse victim says Pope Francis told him “being gay doesn’t matter”

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

May 21, 2018

ROME - As part of the fallout of Pope Francis’ meeting with 34 Chilean bishops that led to the resignation of all of them, accused or at least suspected of covering up cases of clerical sexual abuse and destroying damning evidence, the survivors who met with him in April continue to share bits and pieces of their encounter with the pontiff.

“Juan Carlos, that you are gay doesn’t matter,” Francis reportedly told clerical sexual abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz. “God made you like this and loves you like this and it doesn’t matter to me. The pope loves you like this, you have to be happy with who you are.”

Cruz is one of three of the victims of Father Fernando Karadima who were in Rome in late April for a weekend meeting with Pope Francis. His comments came in an interview with Spanish daily El Pais.

Cruz was answering a question about his homosexuality, and was asked if he’d spoken with the pope about it and the suffering he was subjected to as a result of it. He answered affirmatively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

'That you are gay does not matter': Pope Francis tells homosexual survivor of church sex abuse '

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail

By CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR MAILONLINE and REUTERS

21 May 2018

Pope Francis allegedly told a gay man: 'That you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and he loves you like that'

Pope Francis told a gay man that 'God made you like that' and that being homosexual 'does not matter', it has been reported.

Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse by bishops in Chile, claims the Pope made the remark during a private meeting at the Vatican three weeks ago.

Cruz was invited to the city and to the Pope's private residence at Sancta Marta along with two other victims so the pontiff could apologise for failing to take their allegations seriously in the past.

During the meeting Cruz told Francis about being abused by Father Fernando Karadima and the fact that his sexuality had been used to discredit him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 AM

May 20, 2018

Pope's reported comment to a gay man may indicate a new level of acceptance of homosexuality

ROME (ITALY)
Los Angeles Times

May 20, 2018

By Tom Kington

Pope Francis has reportedly told a gay man that "God made you that way and loves you as you are," apparently pushing the pontiff's acceptance of homosexuality to a new level.

Francis made the comments to Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean victim of priestly sexual abuse who recently spent days with the pope at the Vatican to discuss his ordeal as the pontiff moves to tackle decades of coverups and ostracism of victims in the Chilean church, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Cruz was quoted as having discussed his homosexuality with Francis. "He told me: 'Juan Carlos, I don't care about you being gay. God made you that way and loves you as you are and I don't mind. The pope loves you as you are, you have to be happy with who you are."

A spokesman at the Vatican on Sunday declined to confirm or deny Francis' comments, stating, "We don't normally comment on the pope's private conversations."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:10 PM

20 años de prisión para sacerdote acusado de violación

GUAYAQUIL (ECUADOR)
El Comercio

May 18, 2018

By Elena Paucar

20 years in prison for priest accused of rape

El sacerdote Pedro G. fue sentenciado a 20 años de pena privativa de libertad. El Tribunal lo declaró culpable de violación contra una menor, según informó la Fiscalía del Guayas este viernes, 18 de mayo del 2018.

El sentenciado fue párroco en una iglesia del centro-sur de Guayaquil, a la que llegó en el 2011. Un año después comenzó el acoso y el abuso sexual contra varias menores que acudían a la iglesia. Parte de sus víctimas eran integrantes de un coro que él ordenó crear.

El 11 de mayo se realizó la última audiencia en el caso denunciado por la madre de una menor, que actualmente tiene 16 años. La niña solo tenía solo 11 cuando fue violada por el expárroco, que tras la denuncia huyó. En el 2017 fue detenido en Quito.

[Google Translation: The priest Pedro G. was sentenced to 20 years of custodial sentence . The Court found him guilty of rape against a minor, according to the Attorney General's Office of Guayas on Friday, May 18, 2018.

The sentenced person was a parish priest in a church in the center-south of Guayaquil , which he arrived in 2011. A year later, sexual harassment and abuse began against several minors who went to church. Part of his victims were members of a choir he ordered to create.

On May 11, the last hearing was held in the case reported by the mother of a minor , who is currently 16 years old. The girl was only 11 when she was raped by the pastor, who fled after the complaint. In 2017 he was arrested in Quito.]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:05 PM

All Of Chile's Bishops Offer To Resign After Sex Abuse Cover-Up

ROME
NPR (The Two-Way)

By Sasha Ingber

May 18, 2018

All 31 active bishops in Chile offered to resign Friday, following a meeting that Pope Francis called to examine the Chilean clergy's failure to protect children from pedophiles.

The bishops started the conference by thanking the pope for his "brotherly correction" and the victims of sexual abuse for their bravery and perseverance in coming forward. Their statement was read aloud to the press in Spanish and Italian.

"We want to ask forgiveness for the pain we caused victims, the pope, the people of God and our country for the grave errors and omissions that we committed," they said.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:46 PM

Pope to Gay Man: 'God Made You Like This'

UNITED STATES
Advocate

May 20, 2018

By Daniel Reynolds

The leader of the Catholic Church gave an affirmative message to a survivor of child abuse.

A gay victim of sexual abuse said he received a moving message of support from Pope Francis.

Juan Carlos Cruz met with the leader of the Catholic Church last week, in order to discuss the abuse he suffered at the hands of Father Fernando Karadima. The Chilean Catholic priest was found guilty of sexually abusing minors by the Vatican in 2011, and Cruz is one of the survivors.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País, Cruz recounted how the subject of his sexual orientation came up during the meeting, because it was used against him by some Latin American media outlets, which sought to smear him as a pervert and a liar about his abuse.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 2:04 PM

Información a la comunidad: Vivir la integridad sacerdotal

RANCAGUA [CHILE]
Diocese of Rancagua

May 14, 2018

[Google Translation: Information to the community: Live the priestly integrity]

[Note from BishopAccountability.org: This is an announcement from the Rancagua diocese about a public admission of "improper conduct" by Rancagua priest Luis Rubio Contreras. In this notice, the bishop admits that he had been notified previously about this priest but had 'investigated the facts without results.' Within a few days, the story had grown, revealing the victim's very different account of Bishop Goic's response as well as a reported sex abuse network involving 17 priests in the diocese.]

[Google Translation: The Bishopric of Rancagua informs the community, that we have become aware on Saturday, May 12 through the diocesan priest Luis Rubio Contreras, that he has incurred in improper conduct to his priestly status. We want to point out:

1.- The Bishopric of Rancagua received in reserve antecedents of these improper conducts, investigating the facts without results. Then the presbyter Luis Rubio recognized this Saturday the Vicar General of the diocese his improper behavior, noting that he had been contacted by a media outlet before which he accepted these facts. Faced with this situation, today, Monday, May 14, the measure to temporarily suspend the exercise of his ministry to the presbyter, as a precautionary measure, while inquiring and delivering to the Holy See the background of the case has been adopted.

2.- We have learned that this same means of communication has also interviewed other diocesan priests about these behaviors.]


El Obispado de Rancagua informa a la comunidad, que hemos tomado conocimiento el sábado 12 de mayo a través del presbítero diocesano Luis Rubio Contreras, de que ha incurrido en conductas impropias a su estado sacerdotal. Queremos señalar:

1.- El Obispado de Rancagua recibió en reserva antecedentes de estas conductas impropias, indagándose los hechos sin resultados. Luego el presbítero Luis Rubio reconoció este sábado al Vicario General de la diócesis su comportamiento impropio, señalando que había sido contactado por un medio de comunicación ante el cual aceptó estos hechos. Frente esta situación se ha adoptado hoy lunes 14 de mayo la medida de suspender temporalmente del ejercicio de su ministerio al presbítero, como medida cautelar, mientras se indaguen y entreguen a la Santa Sede los antecedentes de la causa.

2.- Hemos tomado conocimiento de que este mismo medio de comunicación también ha entrevistado a otros sacerdotes diocesanos sobre estas conductas.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:41 PM

Chile's Bishops Offer To Resign After Sex Abuse Cover Up

ROME
NPR

May 20, 2018

[AUDIO]

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Ines San Martin, a Vatican reporter with the news site Crux, about all 34 Catholic bishops offering to resign following a massive sex abuse scandal in Chile.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:39 PM

Priest steps aside due to historic abuse investigation

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTÉ

May 20, 2018

By Joe Little

A Catholic priest has voluntarily stepped aside from his duties in the Northern diocese of Dromore while police investigate a historical allegation of abuse against him.

A statement from the diocese says that both it and the priest are co-operating fully with the ongoing PSNI investigation and that they will continue to do so.

In February, the Bishop of Dromore, John MacAreavey resigned because of criticism by victims of the paedophile Fr Malachy Finegan of the bishop’s handling of allegations against him.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:35 PM

“El Papa me pidió perdón, está espantado con los abusos, esto es un tsunami”

UNITED STATES
El País

May 19, 2018

By Carlos E. Cué

["The Pope asked me for forgiveness, he is scared with the abuses, this is a tsunami"]

[Google Translation: Juan Carlos Cruz still does not recover from his stupor. Three months ago, this victim of the abuses of the Chilean priest Fernando Karadima carried out a dialectical clash with the Pope, who in full trip to the southern country accused him of launching "infamies" against Bishop Juan Barros, a disciple of Karadima, who according to Cruz was present when he abused him. Afterwards, the Pope took a 180 degree turn, invited him for a week to Santa Marta, his residence, asked for forgiveness and believed him. And now he has seen how the 34 Chilean bishops resigned forced by Francisco . An unprecedented success that marks a milestone in the struggle of victims around the world. Cruz answers by phone to EL PAÍS, very excited and confident that the turn of the Pope is final.

Question. How do you feel about the news of the resignation of the 34 bishops?

Answer. I'm over the top After spending a week at the Pope's house talking to him for hours, as if I had known him all his life, and he was so affectionate, now to see that he in the letter to the Chilean bishops told them many things that we talked about, that he took it very seriously, as when he talks about the corruption of bishops, and accuses them of hiding documents, or of minimizing things. I was thrilled that he took what we talked so seriously. I felt that our visit was not a matter of protocol, of public relations.]

Juan Carlos Cruz aún no se recupera de su estupor. Hace tres meses, esta víctima de los abusos del sacerdote chileno Fernando Karadima protagonizaba un choque dialéctico con el Papa, que en pleno viaje al país austral le acusaba de lanzar “infamias” contra el obispo Juan Barros, discípulo de Karadima, que según Cruz estaba presente cuando abusaba de él. Después, el Papa dio un giro de 180 grados, lo invitó una semana a Santa Marta, su residencia, le pidió perdón y le creyó. Y ahora ha visto cómo los 34 obispos chilenos dimitían forzados por Francisco. Un éxito sin precedentes que marca un hito en la lucha de las víctimas de todo el mundo. Cruz contesta por teléfono a EL PAÍS, muy emocionado y confiado en que el giro del Papa es definitivo.

Pregunta. ¿Cómo vive la noticia de la dimisión de los 34 obispos?

Respuesta. Estoy sobrepasado. Después de pasar una semana en casa del Papa hablando con él horas, como si lo conociera de toda la vida, y él tan cariñoso, ahora ver que él en la carta a los obispos chilenos les decía muchas cosas de las que hablamos, que las tomó muy en serio, como cuando habla de la corrupción de los obispos, y los acusa de esconder documentos, o de minimizar las cosas. Me emocionó que él se tomase tan en serio lo que conversamos. Sentí que nuestra visita no fue una cosa de protocolo, de relaciones públicas.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:23 PM

Mass resignation of Chile's bishops follows crisis talks with Pope Francis

CHILE
France 24

May 18, 2018, updated May 20, 2018

By Nicole Trian

The Catholic Church is facing a widening crisis over claims of child sex abuse and cover-ups that triggered the unprecedented resignation of all 34 of Chile’s bishops on Friday after the pope accused them of “grave negligence."

The decision to resign followed four days of emergency talks with Pope Francis in which the pontiff accused bishops of failing to investigate abuse allegations amid claims that evidence of sex crimes had been destroyed.It is the first time all of the most senior clerics of a country have volunteered to stand down over sex abuse claims. They asked forgiveness from the victims, the pope and all Catholics for their "grave errors and omissions" while vowing to repair the damage.

One of the resigning bishops, Alejandro Goic, apologised again Saturday for failing to respond to reports of cases of sexual abuse in his diocese, including one involving a priest who sent naked pictures of himself to a false Facebook profile in a sting operation.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:18 PM

Obispo Goic denuncia a fiscalía posibles abusos en Rancagua y pide perdón

RANCAGUA [CHILE]
La Tercera

May 19, 2018

Bishop Goic notifies prosecution of possible abuses in Rancagua and asks for forgiveness

By Paola Moreno and Oscar Pérez

[Google Translation: After a story, the prelate suspended about 15 priests, of the 68 that are in the diocese, and acknowledged that he acted "without adequate agility."]

[One by one. From his desk. By phone. This is how the bishop of Rancagua, Alejandro Goic, was today in the afternoon, calling each of the priests allegedly involved in "improper behavior" to inform them that they were suspended from their pastoral exercise while the situation was being investigated. There are 15 priests, out of a total of 68 in the diocese.

[The measures of the bishopric, however, were taken not from the allegations of the alleged victims, but after the broadcast of a report from Channel 13 about a group of priests who called himself "the family" and who, between other practices, they contacted young people online, holding conversations with sexual connotation. According to the complaint, one of the members of the group is the priest Luis Rubio, from the municipality of Paredones.]

Tras un reportaje, el prelado suspendió a cerca de 15 sacerdotes, de los 68 que hay en la diócesis, y reconoció que actuó “sin la agilidad adecuada”.

Uno por uno. Desde su escritorio. Por teléfono. Así estaba hoy por la tarde el obispo de Rancagua, Alejandro Goic, llamando a cada uno de los sacerdotes supuestamente involucrados en “conductas impropias”, para comunicarles que estaban suspendidos de su ejercicio pastoral mientras se investiga la situación. Se trata de 15 presbíteros, de un total de 68 que hay en la diócesis.

Las medidas del obispado, sin embargo, se tomaron no a partir de las denuncias de las supuestas víctimas, sino después de la emisión de un reportaje de Canal 13 respecto de un grupo de sacerdotes que se hacía llamar “la familia” y que, entre otras prácticas, se contactaban con jóvenes por Internet, manteniendo conversaciones con connotación sexual. Según la denuncia, uno de los miembros del grupo es el sacerdote Luis Rubio, de la comuna de Paredones.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:53 AM

[VIDEO] Declaración íntegra del obispo Goic por reportaje de T13 "El fin del silencio"

RANCAGUA [CHILE]
T13 Television

May 19, 2018

[VIDEO] Full statement of Bishop Goic for report of T13 "The end of silence"

El obispo de Rancagua reconoce no haber tenido "la agilidad adecuada" en el proceso indagatorio de las denuncias por conductas sexuales inapropiadas de sacerdotes de su diócesis, reveladas por una investigación periodística de T13.

[Google Translation: The bishop of Rancagua admits he did not have "adequate agility" in the process of investigating the reports of inappropriate sexual behavior of priests of his diocese, revealed by a journalistic investigation of T13.]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:45 AM

[VIDEO] El fin del silencio: denuncian a sacerdotes por supuestos abusos

RANCAGUA [CHILE]
T13 Television

May 18, 2018

[VIDEO] The end of silence: they denounce priests for alleged abuses

En medio de las duras críticas que realizó el Papa Francisco contra la jerarquía de la Iglesia, una nueva denuncia afecta a sacerdotes chilenos. Una investigación de T13 revela las conductas inapropiadas de presbíteros de la Diócesis de Rancagua y da cuenta de la versión de feligreses que aseguran que pusieron hace más de un año -sin resultados- los antecedentes en manos de Alejandro Goic, obispo de la zona y presidente del Consejo de Prevención de Abusos del Episcopado. “Yo no soy detective”, se defiende Goic.

[Google Translation: Amidst the harsh criticisms made by Pope Francis against the hierarchy of the Church, a new denunciation affects Chilean priests. An investigation of T13 reveals the inappropriate behavior of priests of the Diocese of Rancagua and accounts for the version of parishioners who say that they put more than a year ago - without results - the records in the hands of Alejandro Goic, bishop of the area and president of the Council for the Prevention of Abuses of the Episcopate. "I'm not a detective," defends Goic.]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:41 AM

Chile bishop apologizes for not investigating abuse promptly

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press

May 20, 2018

A Chilean bishop apologized Saturday for not promptly investigating a reported case of sexual abuse in his diocese, a day after every bishop in the South American country offered to resign over what Pope Francis said was their negligence in protecting children.

“I want to apologize for my actions in this case,” said Bishop Alejandro Goic, referring to abuse allegations made in a report by Chile’s T13 television against priest Luis Rubio.

In the report, Rubio acknowledges having sent pictures of himself naked to a false profile of a minor set up on Facebook to catch him.

Elisa Fernandez, who worked in the youth ministry in the community of Paredones, told T13 that she repeatedly informed Goic about the abuses, but the bishop always demanded proof.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:29 AM

Juan Carlos Cruz Por Renuncia De Obispos: "Que Preparen Las Maletas Los Que Se Tienen Que Ir"

CHILE
Rio Bueno Noticias (RBN)

May 19, 2018

[Juan Carlos Cruz on the Resignation Of Bishops: "Let Them Pack Their Suitcases"]

Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciante de los abusos sexuales al interior de la iglesia Católica, conversó con 24 Tarde para entregar sus impresiones respecto a la decisión de los obispos que este viernes pusieron su cargo a disposición del Papa Francisco.

Esto, luego que ayer finalizaran las tres jornadas de reflexión desarrolladas en Roma, donde los obispos fueron invitados a reflexionar y rezar los por hechos denunciados por las víctimas de los abusos.

Cruz señaló sentir emoción y tener sentimientos encontrados por lo ocurrido, señalando que sí sostuvo conversaciones con el Papa "y sabía más o menos lo que quería hacer, pero he estado en contacto con él y he estado dándole las gracias porque ha hecho lo que ha hecho, esto es inédito", sostuvo.

En ese sentido, aseguró que el manejo de lo ocurrido no fue una sorpresa para él, agregando que "los obispos son una manga de corruptos que escondieron evidencia, que destrozaron documentos, que cometieron actos verdaderamente criminales".

[Google Translation: Juan Carlos Cruz, a whistleblower of sexual abuse inside the Catholic church, spoke with 24 Tarde to give his impressions regarding the decision of the bishops who made their office available to Pope Francis this Friday.

This, after yesterday ended the three days of reflection developed in Rome, where the bishops were invited to reflect and pray for facts denounced by the victims of abuse.

Cruz said he felt emotional and had mixed feelings about what happened, saying that he did have conversations with the Pope "and I knew more or less what he wanted to do, but I have been in contact with him and I have been thanking him because he has done what he has done. fact, this is unprecedented, "he said.

In that sense, he said that the handling of what happened was not a surprise for him, adding that "the bishops are a bunch of corrupt people who hid evidence, who destroyed documents, who committed truly criminal acts." ]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:23 AM

Northern Ireland priest steps aside as police probe allegation

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

May 19, 2018

By Jonathan Bell

A priest has stepped aside from his position to allow for a police investigation into a historic "safeguarding allegation".

Police said they are investigating a complaint made in April.

The Diocese of Dromore confirmed the priest would be stepping aside in a statement on Saturday evening.

It said both the diocese and the priest were cooperating fully with the police.

"While this allegation is being investigated, and as part of the diocesan Safeguarding Procedures, the priest has voluntarily stepped aside from all public ministry pending the outcome of the investigation," it said.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:56 AM

Pope Francis tells gay man: 'God made you like this'

ROME
The Guardian

May 20, 2018

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

Juan Carlos Cruz, who was sexually abused, says pontiff told him God did not mind that he was gay

A survivor of clerical sexual abuse has said Pope Francis told him that God had made him gay and loved him, in arguably the most strikingly accepting comments about homosexuality to be uttered by the leader of the Roman Catholic church.

Juan Carlos Cruz, who spoke privately with the pope last week about the abuse he suffered at the hands of one of Chile’s most notorious paedophiles, said the issue of his sexuality had arisen because some of the Latin American country’s bishops had sought to depict him as a pervert as they accused him of lying about the abuse.

“He told me, ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are,’” Cruz told Spanish newspaper El País.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:47 AM

May 19, 2018

Los “Karadima” de las otras diócesis de Chile

CHILE
Radio UChile

The "Karadima" of the other dioceses of Chile. During this week, Pope Francis met in the Vatican with the Chilean bishops who finally submitted their resignation. The situation of Juan Barros drew attention after being identified as a cover-up for the sexual abuse of Fernando Karadima. However, the crisis of the Chilean Catholic Church is observed several years ago. After many condemned the analysis focuses on the decisions and signals that have been given from the clerical leadership.

In Chilean criminal justice:
José Andrés Aguirre Ovarre, diocese of Santiago.
Víctor Carrera Triviño, diocese from Punta Arenas.
Jorge Galaz Espinoza, of the Work Don Orione.
Juan Henríquez Zapata, diocesen of Valparaíso.
Jaime Low Cabeza, diocese from Punta Arenas.
Marcelo Morales Márquez, of the Salesian Congregation (condemned for the production and storage of pornography).
Ricardo Muñoz Quinteros, diocese of Melipilla.
José Miguel Narváez Valenzuela, deacon of Ancud.
Eduardo Olivares Martínez, diocese of Valparaíso.
Juan Carlos Orellana Acuña, diocese of San Felipe.

* With canonical sentence:
Gerardo Araujo Sarabia, Peruvian Franciscan.
Jorge Baeza Ramírez, diocesen of Chillán.
Nibaldo Escalante Trigo, diocese of La Serena.
Fernando Karadima Fariña, diocesen of Santiago.
Juan Miguel Leturia Mermod, of the Society of Jesus.
René Benavides Rives, diocese of San Felipe.
José Román Zúñiga, diocese of the Illapel prelature.
Francisco Valenzuela Sanhueza, diocese of San Felipe.

19 de mayo 2018

Durante esta semana, el Papa Francisco se reunió en el Vaticano con los obispos chilenos quienes finalmente presentaron su renuncia. La situación de Juan Barros marcó la atención luego de ser señalado como encubridor de los abusos sexuales de Fernando Karadima. Sin embargo, la crisis de la Iglesia Católica chilena se observa hace varios años. Luego de numerosos condenados el análisis se enfoca en las decisiones y señales que se han dado desde la cúpula clerical.

“Spotlight” ganó el Óscar 2016 a Mejor Película. La cinta recordó la investigación de un grupo de periodistas de “The Boston Globe” que evidenció una serie de casos de abusos sexuales. Esto, remeció a la Iglesia Católica de Estados Unidos. En la ceremonia de premiación, uno de los productores, Michael Sugar, mandó un mensaje al Papa Francisco: “ha llegado la hora de proteger a los niños y restaurar la fe”.

Al cierre de la cinta se presenta una lista de lugares en todo el mundo donde también se revelaron estos casos. Nuestro país aparece citado 5 veces: Cottolengo, Maipú, Melipilla, Quilicura y Santiago.

Luego del escándalo por el Caso Karadima, la Conferencia Episcopal anunció en 2011 la creación del “Consejo nacional para la prevención de abusos contra menores de edad y acompañamiento a las víctimas”. Meses después entregó una lista oficial de sacerdotes condenados por abusos a menores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Anne Barrett-Doyle: "El objetivo del Papa es acallar el clamor público"

CHILE
ADN Radio

[The founder of the organization BishopAccountability.org , Anne Barrett-Doyle, underestimated the meetings between the Chilean bishops and Pope Francis in the Vatican to deal with cases of sexual abuse of minors.

In conversation with La Tercera , the researcher explained that "the meeting will be relevant for the entire Catholic Church, but in a limited extent ."

"I hope that the Pope will finally remove several guilty bishops, and I also hope that he will issue a harsh rebuke to the entire Chilean Episcopate, although very late, those sanctions by the Pope can have a dissuasive effect , at least in the short term," he said.]

16/05/2018

La fundadora de la organización BishopAccountability.org, Anne Barrett-Doyle, le restó expectativas a las reuniones entre los obispos chilenos y el Papa Francisco en el Vaticano para enfrentar casos de abuso sexual a menores.

En conversación con La Tercera, la investigadora explicó que "el encuentro será relevante para toda la Iglesia Católica, pero en una magnitud limitada".

"Espero que el Papa finalmente remueva a varios obispos culpables. Y espero también que emita una dura reprimenda a todo el Episcopado chileno. Aunque muy atrasadas, esas sanciones del Papa pueden tener un efecto disuasivo, al menos en el corto plazo", detalló.

Sin embargo, para Barrett-Doyle "en el largo plazo, pienso que la relevancia del encuentro se va a limitar mayormente a Chile, más que establecer un nuevo patrón para la Iglesia global sobre estos casos".

"El objetivo del Papa es acallar el clamor público generado por sus errores de relaciones públicas en Chile. Se va a esforzar por impresionarnos. Creo que hará mucho para crear la impresión de que está arrepentido y cambió", puntualizó.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Fundadora de BishopAccountability.org: “El Papa buscará crear la impresión de que está arrepentido y cambió”

CHILE
La Tercera

16 MAY 2018

[Founder of BishopAccountability.org: "The Pope will seek to create the impression that he is repentant and changed". Since its founding in 2003 in Boston, following the scandals that led to the departure of the then archbishop of that city, Bernard Law, and marked a milestone in the history of cases of abuse in the Catholic Church, the organization BishopAccountability.org maintains a detailed record of the situation of the issue in the Catholic Church throughout the world. In relation to Chile, the group points to about 80 cases, mostly known from the year 2000 to date.]

Juan Paulo Iglesias / Roma

Anne Barrett Doyle, directora de esta entidad “observatorio” de abusos, se confiesa “escéptica” respecto del compromiso de Francisco para enfrentar el tema de los abusos de modo sistémico y desde dentro de la “cultura vaticana”. Dice que “tomó este paso después de que la primera estrategia, atacar la credibilidad de las víctimas, fracasó”.

Desde su fundación en 2003, en Boston, tras los escándalos que llevaron a la salida del entonces arzobispo de esa ciudad, Bernard Law, y marcaron un hito en la historia de los casos de abusos en la Iglesia Católica, la organización BishopAccountability.org mantiene un detallado registro de la situación del tema en la Iglesia Católica en todo el mundo. En relación a Chile, el grupo apunta a cerca de 80 casos, en su mayoría conocidos desde el año 2000 a la fecha.

Anne Barrett Doyle, una de sus fundadoras y actual miembro del directorio -donde también participan víctimas de abusos que fueron clave para destapar la situación en Boston, como Phil Saviano-, conversó con La Tercera sobre sus expectativas en torno a la reunión del Papa con los obispos chilenos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 PM

Met Opera Accuses James Levine of Decades of Sexual Misconduct

NEW YORK
New York Times

By Michael Cooper

May 18, 2018

Two months ago, the conductor James Levine, having been fired by the Metropolitan Opera for sexual misconduct, sued the company for breach of contract and defamation. Now the Met is suing him back, arguing in court papers filed on Friday that Mr. Levine harmed the company, and detailing previously unreported accusations of sexual harassment and abuse against him.

The filing paints the clearest picture yet of the investigation that led the Met to dismiss Mr. Levine, its longtime music director and its artistic backbone for more than four decades. The company says it found credible evidence that Mr. Levine had “used his reputation and position of power to prey upon and abuse artists,” citing examples of sexual misconduct that it says occurred from the 1970s through 1999, but does not name the victims.

When a 16-year-old artist auditioned for Mr. Levine in 1979, the suit says, Mr. Levine questioned him about his sex life. Two years later, it says, Mr. Levine entered the young man’s dressing room in a bathrobe to discuss an upcoming performance. Mr. Levine made sexual remarks or inappropriately touched the man at least seven times over a period of 12 years, the suit says.

After Mr. Levine offered to drive another singer home from an audition at the Met in 1985, the lawsuit says, he locked the car doors and groped and kissed the man against his will. After the encounter, it says, Mr. Levine placed him in “in a prestigious program” at the Met.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Michigan State Will Pay $500 Million to Abuse Victims. What Comes Next?

UNITED STATES
New York Times

By Nancy Hogshead-Makar

Ms. Hogshead-Makar is the chief executive of Champion Women.

May 18, 2018

On Wednesday, Michigan State University announced it had settled with 332 victims of sexual abuse by Lawrence G. Nassar, a physician who worked with the school’s gymnastics program. The settlement will pay $425 million to 332 victims, or about $1.28 million each; it will set aside an additional $75 million in a trust for any future claims of sexual abuse against Mr. Nassar.

Half a billion dollars is a landmark settlement, one that couldn’t have been achieved without the courage and vulnerability of Mr. Nassar’s hundreds of victims. And it didn’t help that the university chose a strategy of maligning the victims, accusing one of them, Rachael Denhollander, of being in it “for the money.”

Until recently, though, this sort of strategy often worked. The difference this time is both the sheer number of victims and the intersection of the Nasser case and the #MeToo movement. Understanding the Michigan State settlement within that context is critical, because it points to where things need to go next: The #MeToo/#TimesUp movement is not limited to getting victims much-needed compensation and ousting powerful and abusive men from their professional careers; it means changing the systems and cultures that breed sexual harassment and abuse in the first place.

I know the culture of collegiate and Olympic sports particularly well. I am an eight-year veteran of the United States national swimming team, a two-time Olympian and a three-time gold medalist. My 1984 Olympic coach, Mitch Ivey, was barred from the sport for sexually abusing my teammate. He never hid his sexual contacts with multiple underage swimmers; he was open about their “relationship” — common parlance in the swimming community that normalized child molestation. Despite his well-known abuse, it took 30 years before USA Swimming barred him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Popes Have Long Opposed Human Rights and Supported Tyrants: A (Relatively) Brief History

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

May 19, 2018

by Betty Clermont

Most are familiar with the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition. Fewer know about Pius XII’s embrace of fascism, his cooperation with the CIA, John Paul II’s alliance with Reagan in support of dictators, the political consequences of his appointment of right-wing bishops in the U.S. and Latin America – including Pope Francis – and the current pontiff’s unknown history.

It is true that, from the beginning, Christians were recognized for their monumental works of charity and Western Civilization owes much to Catholic education, medicine, art, music, architecture etc. It is also true that popes have obstructed freedom and self-rule while choosing to collaborate with dictators and butchers.

While I was writing about Pope Francis’ obsequiousness towards Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin and his vociferous opposition to women’s and LGBTQ persons’ human rights, I thought that if readers were more familiar with papal history, this would be less surprising.

When asked for his opinion on abortion and same-sex marriage, Pope Francis said his position was identical to that of the Church. “I am a son of the Church,” he explained.

This is part of the tradition from which he emerges – remarkable considering Jesus’ “Great Commission” was only to preach the Gospel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

The Global Fight for Secrecy Continues

UNITED STATES
Jeff Anderson and Associates

5/18/2018

Mike Finnegan

All around the world, from Pennsylvania, to Chile, to Australia, the Catholic Church continues to fight truth and transparency. By now, one would hope that the institution has learned from its past mistakes when it covered up the sexual abuse of children by the Church’s priests, bishops and other clerics. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

In Pennsylvania, the Attorney General is wrapping up investigations involving six Catholic dioceses, including Allentown, Scranton, Erie, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Greensburg. Three of the dioceses have publicly stated they will not challenge the release of the grand jury reports, while three bishops have remained silent, refusing to acknowledge whether they will challenge the release of the grand jury reports. Truth and transparency appear to be at the bottom of the bishops’ lists.

Meanwhile in Australia, Cardinal Pell, the highest ranking Vatican official to be charged with child sexual abuse, is facing two separate criminal trials. Recently, Australian prosecutors announced the filing of a “super injunction” to bar news coverage of Pell’s trial. One possible explanation of this rare and extreme request was to preempt Pell’s lawyers who will likely argue that the publicity of Pell’s case will prevent him from receiving a fair trial. Prosecutors have since narrowed their application for the media ban, but the story remains the same: Keep the dirty secrets and public scrutiny of the trial far away from the public eye.

In South America, sexual abuse survivors in Chile have been speaking out for years against several bishops who were complicit in covering up the child sex abuse scandal, including Bishop Juan Barros. After publicly defending Barros, Pope Francis changed course and finally took some semblance of action and sent Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish Father Jordi Bertomeu, two officials at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to Chile to investigate the alleged cover-up of sexual abuse by Barros. After receiving a 2,300 page report containing interviews of 64 witnesses, Pope Francis did his best to keep the report under lock and key. Again, transparency and truth were at the bottom of the Vatican’s list.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 AM

Cautious hope from victims and advocates following resignation of Chile’s bishops

CHILE
America

Michael J. O’Loughlin

May 18, 2018

Victims of sexual abuse by clergy in Chile are reacting with praise and hope after every Chilean bishop offered to resign over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

José Andrés Murillo, a sexual abuse survivor who earlier this month spent hours discussing the scandal with Pope Francis at the Vatican, called the bishops delincuentes (“delinquents”) who deserve to go.

“For dignity, justice and truth, the bishops should leave,” he tweeted. “They didn’t know how to protect the weakest, they exposed them to abuse and then impeded justice. For this, they only deserve to go.”

In another tweet, Juan Carlos Cruz, the main whistleblower in the scandal, said the mass resignation was “unprecedented and good” and that this “will change things forever.”

“This is the pope that I met during my conversations in the Vatican,” Mr. Cruz told Chilean news site Emol on May 17. “I hope all [the bishops] resign and that the church in Chile begins to rebuild with true shepherds and not with these corrupt bishops who commit and cover up crimes, as the document states.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 AM

More abusive priests to be named as bishops take on contrasting outlooks on abuse investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

May 18, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus idejesus@pennlive.com

As early as next week, Catholics in Pennsylvania could learn the names of additional priests or lay people credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

At least one diocese - that of Erie - is expected to release additional names of priests or staff who face credible accusations of child sexual abuse or molestation.

That is according to an attorney who has been working closely with the diocese and its head, Bishop Lawrence Persico.

Mark Rush, of the Pittsburgh-based K&L Gates law firm, on Friday said the information will be posted to the website, in conjunction to the online announcement made in April by Persico publicizing a list of 34 priests and 17 lay people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 AM

Erie diocese updates list of accused clergy, laypeople

PENNSYLVANIA
Go Erie

Ed Palattella
@ETNPalattella

May 18, 2018

Bishop Persico adds six names to initial list he released April 6. Number of those credibly accused is now at 57.

When he released a 51-name list of accused priests and laypeople on April 6, Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico described the list as a “living document” that the Diocese of Erie would update based on new information.

The first update occurred on Friday.

Persico added six names to a list after “new information came to light,” the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 AM

'A lot of people can't sleep at night': Parishioners react to alleged sexual abuse by retired priest

WISCONSIN
Channel 3000

Diocese releases info on Nolan's background

By: Rose Schmidt

: May 18, 2018

FORT ATKINSON, Wis. - Parishioners in Fort Atkinson used the words "disbelief" and "shock" on Friday to describe their reactions to allegations that a former priest from their area sexually abused a teenage boy.

"Our kids are kind of heartbroken because it's somebody -- it's almost like a teacher -- someone that you trust and you've been taught that you could go to," said Brenda Ciske, who attends St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

William Nolan, 64, is facing felony counts after he allegedly sexually assaulted a boy in Fort Atkinson for years, according to documents filed in court Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint, more than 100 assaults took place between February 2006 and the summer of 2010, when the boy was 13 to 17 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 AM

Rundown of sex abuse within the Catholic church

GLOBAL
Manila Bulletin (Phillipines)

May 19, 2018

By Agence France-Presse

All of Chile’s bishops offered to resign Friday over child sex cover-up claims dating back decades, the latest in a series of abuse scandals facing the Catholic Church globally.

Here is a rundown of other notable cases:

Australia

The third-highest member of the Vatican hierarchy, Australian George Pell was ordered in May to stand trial on “multiple” historical sex charges, which he denies.

His case coincided with an Australian public enquiry that found that seven percent of priests were accused of paedophilic acts between 1950 and 2010.

Austria

Two scandals forced the Vatican to revoke two high-ranking ultra-conservative clerics, Viennese Archbishop Hans Hermann Groer in 1995 and the bishop of Sankt-Poelten, Kurt Krenn, in 2004.

Belgium

In 2010 the bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, resigned after acknowledging sex abuse of two nephews. Since 2012 the Catholic Church in Belgium has received hundreds of complaints and paid almost 4.13 million euros ($4.8 million) in compensation.

Canada

In the late 1980s, a huge scandal broke out regarding the mistreatment of children at an orphanage in Newfoundland in the 1950s-1960s.

Chile

Some 80 members of the Chilean clergy have been implicated in a series of sex abuse affairs over the past few years.

Pope Francis caused outrage during a visit in January by appearing to support a bishop accused of covering up for paedophile priest Fernando Karadima during the 1980s and 1990s. This is the case over which the 34 Chilean bishops presented their resignations Friday.

France

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and six others will face trial in January 2019 for allegedly covering up for a priest, Bernard Preynat, accused of abusing around 70 scouts in the 1980s. Germany

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 AM

May 18, 2018

Dioceses brace for release of report

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

May 18, 2918

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

A report from a grand jury investigation into alleged child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses might soon be released.

Bishops from Erie, Allentown and Scranton said they will not attempt to prevent the information from becoming public. Erie even named 51 priests and other laypersons – both living and deceased – who were accused of abuse or failing to protect children.

Harrisburg and Greensburg issued separate statements saying they support releasing the report, but want to ensure due process. However, both dioceses are making a court challenge to the oath of secrecy placed on lawyers representing grand jury witnesses, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Bishop David Zubik, from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, told the Post-Gazette he does not oppose making the information known, but he wants to “read, review and respond” to the document first.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 PM

SNAP responds: Pope Francis words to Chilean Bishops

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release, May 18, 2018

Statement by: Judy Jones, SNAP "Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests", 636-433-2511,SNAPjudy@gmail.com

Pope Francis has responded to the brave clergy abuse victims of Chile. His harsh words to the Chilean Bishops are resonating loudly with other clergy abuse victims throughout the world.

[CBC News]

This behavior by bishops is not only a happening in Chile. The Catholic church hierarchy in all the dioceses throughout the world follow the same ego centered and callous behavior of enabling and covering up sex crimes against children. We are not aware of one single bishop who has lost his title, lost his job or been publicly denounced for protecting and shielding predators. Even Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City who was criminally convicted of child endangerment did not lose his job.

The historic abuse and coverups by over twenty bishops is well documented by Bishop Accountability: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/bishops/accused/

While we are encouraged by the resignation of the bishops in Chile we urge vigilance. We hope that the Pope will not only accept the resignations, but he will also remove their titles and assign them to jobs without prestige. Cardinal Law left his position of power after the clergy abuse scandal exploded in Boston but was given an even more powerful and prestigious job at the Vatican.

We hope that Pope Francis accepts the resignations of the Chilean Bishops, in keeping with his word to no longer be a "part of the problem" of child sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church. The bishops can always find other employment. The victims of Chile's abuse can never get their innocence back.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Bishop Zubik wants to see, respond to report before its release

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PETER SMITH
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
petersmith@post-gazette.com

MAY 18, 2018

Roman Catholic Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh said he’s not opposed to the imminent release of a grand jury report into sexual abuse in the diocese but wants an opportunity to “read, review and respond” to it before its public release.

“We are not opposed to the release of the report,” Bishop Zubik said Friday in an interview. “We have cooperated fully” with the investigation. “We just want to be able to have an opportunity to read, review and respond to it.”

The 40th statewide grand jury has for nearly two years been investigating sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses as far back as the 1940s.

Three Catholic bishops this week — from Erie, Allentown and Scranton — said they would not contest the release of the report, while two others, in Greensburg and Harrisburg, made similar statements but emphasized the need for due process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

After biggest gaffe, pope demands accountability for abuse

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

May 18, 2018

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Four months ago, Pope Francis dug himself into the biggest hole of his papacy by strongly defending a Chilean bishop accused by sex abuse victims of witnessing and ignoring their abuse.

On Friday, he emerged from that debacle after strong-arming the entire Chilean bishops conference to resign for what he said were their “grave defects” in handling abuse cases. He accused them of destroying evidence of sex crimes, interfering with investigations and negligently placing children at risk of being raped by pedophiles.

By repenting for his original sin with what amounts to an ecclesial nuclear option, Francis has quite possibly ushered in the game-changer in the Catholic Church’s long-running sex abuse crisis.

The mass resignations marked the first time the Vatican has initiated decisive action to hold bishops accountable for covering up sex abuse by priests. And it forced complicit bishops to atone for their misdeeds in the most publicly humiliating way possible.

“This might be Chile right now, but this sets a precedent for every country in the world and every bishop in the world,” said an emotional Juan Carlos Cruz, whose yearslong campaign to expose wrongdoing in Chile’s Catholic hierarchy was responsible for the remarkable developments in Rome this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Survivors, advocates see lessons for wider church in Chile resignations

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

May 18, 2018

by NCR Staff

Survivors of clergy abuse and their advocates praised Pope Francis for his confrontation with Chile's bishops over their handling of abuse cases, which led to a mass resignation today, and the survivors and advocates urged the pope not to allow the momentum for reform to slow.

"We didn't expect it and it is a powerful gesture," said Juan Carlos Claret, spokesperson for Lay Catholic group in Osorno, Chile, who opposed the 2015 appointment of Bishop Juan Barros to Osorno because of his alleged complicity in covering up the sexual abuse of minors.

Claret told CNN Chile that the church is a mother for the community and "today's big message is that they aren't going to protect impunity in the church and this is important as Catholics because we can't accommodate an injustice."

"The en masse resignation of the Chilean episcopacy is as stunning as it is justified," said Anne Barrett Doyle of the U.S.-based abuse watchdog group BishopAccountability.org. "Let's hope Pope Francis accepts all of the resignations and begins to re-build this profoundly corrupt church."

"The renunciation of the entire Chilean hierarchy might serve at least in the near term as a powerful deterrent to complicit bishops and religious superiors around the world," Barret Doyle said in a statement May 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:29 PM

Chilean bishops offer mass resignation over sex abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Crispian Balmer

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - In an unprecedented move, all Chile’s bishops offered to resign en masse on Friday after attending a crisis meeting this week with Pope Francis about the cover-up of sexual abuse in the south American nation.

It is the first time that all the senior Roman Catholic prelates of a country have taken such a step, a Vatican official said, underscoring the damage being wreaked on the church by seemingly never-ending clerical abuse scandals.

It was not immediately clear if the pope would accept all or any of the resignations of the 34 bishops, and a Vatican official declined to speculate on when he might make a decision.

“We have put our positions in the hands of the Holy Father and will leave it to him to decide freely for each of us,” the bishops said in a joint statement read out by a spokesman for them, Bishop Fernando Ramos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Harrisburg bishop signals potential concern with grand jury investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Ivey DeJesus idejesus@pennlive.com

The head of the Diocese of Harrisburg on Friday signaled that he might have concerns with aspects of the grand jury investigation into six dioceses in Pennsylvania, including his.

Bishop Ronald Gainer stressed that the diocese was cooperating with the investigation, however, the diocese is "also concerned about due process rights," he said in a statement released to PennLive.

That marks the first time since the 18-month-long state investigation was launched into potential clergy sex abuse of children that any diocese has suggested that it may have concerns about the process.

Gainer's statement comes one day after three dioceses issued statements indicating they would not launch any legal challenges to the investigation by the state Office of Attorney General.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Backgrounder: What happened before Chile’s bishops resigned

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

May 18, 2018

by Joshua J. McElwee

Jan. 15-18

Jan. 20
Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley, a member of the Council of Cardinals and the head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, releases a statement acknowledging that Francis' defense of Barros was "a source of great pain" for abuse survivors.

The cardinal says expressions of doubt about survivors' testimony "abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity."

Jan. 22
In a press conference on the way home to Rome from Chile, the pope again calls the charges against Barros "calumny." He repeatedly insists there is no evidence tying Barros to Karadima, despite public testimony of at least three abuse survivors.

Jan. 30
The Vatican announces that Francis has asked Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, considered one of the church's foremost experts on the abuse crisis, to go to Chile and take survivors' testimony.

Feb. 17
Before heading to Chile, Scicluna meets Chilean abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz in New York. Cruz praises Scicluna's demeanor and says he acted with "openness and transparency."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

All Chilean bishops offer their resignation over sexual abuse cover-up

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian (UK)

Harriet Sherwood and agencies @harrietsherwood

May 2018

Chile’s bishops have offered to resign en masse over a sexual abuse and cover-up scandal that has embroiled Pope Francis and has been highly damaging to the Catholic church.

Thirty-one serving bishops and three retired bishops signed a letter of resignation on Friday. “We have put our positions in the hands of the Holy Father and will leave it to him to decide freely for each of us,” they said. “We want to ask forgiveness for the pain caused to the victims, to the pope, to God’s people and to our country for the serious errors and omissions we have committed.”

There was no immediate indication of whether the pope would accept their resignations.

The bishops’ move came after Francis said the Chilean church hierarchy was collectively responsible for “grave defects” in handling sexual abuse cases and the resulting loss of credibility suffered by the church.

He accused them of destroying evidence of sexual crimes, putting pressure on investigators to downplay abuse accusations and showing “grave negligence” in protecting children from paedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

A Summer Camp Memoir

MARYLAND
Times of Israel

MAY 17, 2018

Dana Janine Diamond

This is one that is hard to begin. About a week ago, Hannah Dreyfus reported in The Jewish Week (also published in Times of Israel) on suspicions of corruption surrounding Reform Jewish summer camp programs on child sex abuse. For example, it seems that prevention is not actually on the agenda. That’s a head-scratcher. Additionally, they are using educators and leaders who are currently adversely embroiled in a current child sex abuse scandal, stemming from alleged assaults at a Baltimore camp.

Having lived in Baltimore, I know some of the individuals involved in this tragedy. And I understand all too well the power structure and financial influence that ill serves those most vulnerable in the summer camp industry — the children. For more insight, I strongly suggest reading excellent reporting by Hannah Dreyfus linked above, as well as another article she wrote, published several months ago in The Jewish Week.

As a writer, I was asked to sit in on numerous meetings on child sex abuse in Baltimore as far back as eight years ago. I was also following the many emerging stories in the international Chabad community. Suffice to say they related to people (victims) I knew. The preponderance of child sex abuse crimes in the Orthodox Jewish community was but one of the reasons I ultimately left.

I found my home again in Reform Judaism. And yet, in the wake of #metoo, we are seeing that child sex abuse is still not taken seriously enough, nor is rabbinic sexual misconduct — no matter the community. This is upsetting. Because it is all so ubiquitous.

And the cover ups are such a betrayal. It’s like a game of musical chairs, the powers that be keep sending abusers to the next camp, the next school, the next job… to continue abusing in some other city or country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

La transcripción completa del documento reservado que el Papa entregó a los obispos chilenos

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
T13

May 18, 2018

[The complete transcript of the reserved document that the Pope delivered to the Chilean bishops.]

T13 tuvo acceso exclusivo a las duras críticas que emitió Francisco al actuar de la Iglesia chilena frente a los casos de abusos cometidos por algunos sacerdotes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

The Latest: Victims in Chile abuse scandal hail resignations

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

May 18, 2018

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on a sex abuse and cover-up scandal involving the Catholic Church in Chile (all times local):

2 p.m.

Victims of Chile’s most notorious predator priest are reacting with praise and hope after every Chilean bishop offered to resign over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

Jose Andres Murillo, who earlier this month spent hours discussing the scandal with Pope Francis at the Vatican earlier this month, called the bishops “delinquents” who deserve to go.

“For dignity, justice and truth, the bishops should leave” he tweeted. “They didn’t know how to protect the weakest, the exposed them to abuse and then impeded justice. For this, they only deserve to go.”

And in a tweet, Juan Carlos Cruz, the main whistleblower in the scandal, said the mass resignation was “unprecedented and good” and that this “will change things forever.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

Juan Carlos Cruz y documento reservado del Papa: "Espero que renuncien todos"

CHILE
T13

May 18, 2918

[Consulted by T13.cl, one of the victims of Karadima, expressed his happiness for the work done by the Vatican in the cases of abuse within the Church. "This is the Pope that I met in my conversations in the Vatican," he said.]

Consultado por T13.cl, una de las víctimas de Karadima, manifestó su alegría por el trabajo realizado por el Vaticano ante los casos de abusos al interior de la Iglesia. "Este es el Papa que conocí en mis conversaciones en el Vaticano", expresó.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Exclusivo: Documento reservado del Papa a obispos revela fallas que descubrió en la Iglesia chilena

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
T13

May 18, 2018

[Exclusive: The Pope's reserved document to bishops reveals faults that he discovered in the Chilean Church.The ten-page text, which he handed to them in Rome on Tuesday, contains strong criticism of the actions of the Chilean Church in response to accusations of abuse. The pontiff speaks of "criminal acts", "scandal" and "going beyond" the removal of people to solve the crisis.]

El texto, de diez carillas y que les entregó en Roma el martes, contiene fuertes críticas al actuar de la Iglesia chilena frente a las denuncias de abusos. El pontífice habla de “hechos delictivos”, “escándalo” e “ir más allá” de la remoción de personas para solucionar la crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

34 Chilean bishops offer resignation to Pope over sex abuse coverup

VATICAN CITY
CBC News

AP

May 18, 2018

Every Chilean bishop offered to resign Friday over a sex abuse and coverup scandal, in the biggest shakeup ever in the Catholic Church's long-running abuse saga.

The bishops announced at the end of an emergency summit with Pope Francis that all 31 active bishops and three retired ones in Rome had signed a document offering to resign and putting their fate in the hands of the Pope. Francis can accept the resignations one by one, reject them or delay a decision.

It marked the first known time in history that an entire national bishops conference offered to resign en masse over scandal, and laid bare the devastation that the abuse crisis has caused the Catholic Church in Chile and beyond.

Calls had mounted for the resignations after details emerged of the contents of a 2,300-page Vatican report into the Chilean scandal leaked early Friday. Francis had accused the bishops of destroying evidence of sex crimes, pressuring investigators to minimize abuse accusations and showing "grave negligence" in protecting children from pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

All Chile's 34 bishops offer resignation to Pope over sex abuse scandals

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

May 18, 2018

All of Chile's 34 Roman Catholic bishops have offered Pope Francis their resignations in the wake of a child sex scandal and cover-up.

They asked forgiveness from victims and the Church for their "grave errors and omissions".

It was not immediately clear whether the Pope had accepted the resignations.

He had been criticised in Chile for his decision to ordain a bishop who is accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest.

He said in January that he felt "pain and shame" over the scandal, which has rocked the Catholic Church in Chile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

All Chilean bishops offer resignation to the pope over abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
The Local

AFP

18 May 2018

Thirty-four Chilean bishops announced their resignation Friday over a child sex abuse scandal within the Church in Chile after three days of intense meetings with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
"We, all the bishops present in Rome, have tendered our resignation to the Holy Father so that he may decide freely for each of us," the bishops said in a statement read out by a spokesman at the Vatican.

"We want to ask forgiveness for the pain caused to the victims, to the Pope, to God's people and to our country for the serious errors and omissions we have committed," the statement continued.

The striking announcement comes after Francis summoned the bishops to the Vatican over the scandal that has come to haunt his papacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Chilean bishops offer mass resignation to pope over abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

May 18, 2918

Crispian Balmer

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - In an unprecedented move, 34 Chilean bishops said on Friday they had offered to resign en masse after attending a crisis meeting this week with Pope Francis about the cover-up of sexual abuse in their country.

It was not immediately clear if the pope would accept all or any of the resignations from the prelates, who hold all the top jobs in Chile’s Roman Catholic Church.

“We have put our positions in the hands of the Holy Father and will leave it to him to decide freely for each of us,” the bishops said in a joint statement read out by a spokesman for the churchmen, Bishop Fernando Ramos.

He said the bishops would stay in their roles until the pope had made his decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Pastor shocked by child sexual abuse allegations against retired priest-in-residence

WISCONSIN
WKOW

By David Johnson

May 18, 2018

MADISON (WKOW) -- It was four years ago when Msgr. Ken Fiedler asked Father William Nolan to help out at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Madison.

“I invited him to come and stay in one of the houses here. Not knowing any allegations were out there. I certainly would not have if I knew anything,” Fiedler said. "Father Bill has been in residence, he's retired, for the last four years. We have three rectories and he's one of them. I have another retired priest.”

Nolan's duties were mostly sacramental.

“Which means mass every day when they can, confessions, baptisms, occasional funerals. But that's basically it. And I gave him a place to stay,” Fiedler said.

But the arrest of 64-year-old Nolan, accused of multiple counts of child sexual abuse, sent shockwaves through the close-knit church family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Some, not all dioceses join pledge not to oppose grand jury report release

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PETER SMITH
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
petersmith@post-gazette.com

MAY 17, 2018

After Roman Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico of Erie said Wednesday he would “forgo any legal challenges to the grand jury process and its work,” two more Pennsylvania dioceses quickly pledged the same on Thursday.

But two others, the dioceses of Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, would not explicitly rule out a legal challenge. They said they are cooperating with 40th statewide grand jury, which has been investigating sexual abuse by priests and others associated with the church over the past seven decades.

But they are not expressly disavowing some sort of challenge.

“Each diocese is separate and faces a different situation,” said a statement from the Diocese of Harrisburg. “We continue to consider all of our options in law as we move forward.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Shomrim patrol chief accused of raping teen linked to Brooklyn pol

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

REUVEN BLAU
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

MAY 15, 2018

The president of the Shomrim neighborhood patrol accused of raping a teenager also serves as the campaign treasurer for state Assemblyman Dov Hikind's handpicked successor, the Daily News has learned.

Jacob Daskal, 59, is the main money man for Simcha Eichenstein's bid to take over the Borough Park, Brooklyn district, according to state campaign finance records.

Last month, Hikind announced he was stepping down after more than three decades in office. He immediately endorsed Eichenstein, 34, the former director of political and governmental services for the de Blasio administration.

He's considered the front-runner for the coveted position, according to political insiders. The Democratic primary is in September and no challenger has surfaced yet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Former priest charged with six counts of sexual assault of a child

WISCONSIN
WISN

May 17; 2019

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Wis. —
A former Fort Atkinson priest has been charged with six counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child.

The Rev. William Nolan, 64, was arrested Tuesday.

The alleged victim, a former altar boy, told investigators the assaults by Nolan took place over a five-year span from the ages of 12 to 17, beginning in February of 2006.

The incidents occurred in Nolan's office, Nolan's home and the altar boy room at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Fort Atkinson.

The victim reported the sexual assault in last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Sex and the Liberal Politician: A New York Story

NEW YORK
New York Times

The state has sold itself as a standard-bearer of progressive virtue. So why do its
elected officials keep getting in trouble for sexual misconduct and corruption?

By GINIA BELLAFANTE

MAY 18, 2018

In New York, the week of May 7 began with the sudden resignation of the state’s attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, over allegations that he had physically abused four women he had been seeing, and ended with the conviction of Sheldon Silver, the state’s once powerful Democratic Assembly speaker, on federal corruption charges. Although not necessarily an ordinary week, it was certainly a symbolic one.

Abuses of power, sexual and ethical, have supplied the arc of the state’s political narrative for so long that it is hard to know how New York has managed to market itself as a standard-bearer of an imperious kind of liberal virtue — how it has convincingly sold itself as the center of the resistance. For many who oppose the president, of course, there would be very little to resist right now if New York City hadn’t incubated and rewarded the ambitions of Donald Trump for so many years. In the service of policy and his own public persona, Mr. Schneiderman was a Trump antagonist generally, and a feminist specifically; in his private dealings with women he was, according to those he is said to have victimized, a sadist.

Earlier this week, the actress Annabella Sciorra, one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, remarked on Twitter that a while back when she had disclosed that the producer’s spies were still contacting her, Mr. Schneiderman emailed to make sure that she was O.K. This sort of duality, however extreme in Mr. Schneiderman’s instance, is not unfamiliar in American politics.

We have been getting schooled in the mechanics of compartmentalization at least since the sex scandals of the Clinton presidency, and we have been given epic refreshers at the hands of New York Democrats. Eliot Spitzer, the father of daughters, frequently called himself a feminist and championed women’s causes and resigned as governor when it was discovered that he was sleeping with prostitutes. Anthony Weiner styled himself similarly, then left Congress over a nasty texting scandal, and moved on to prison when it was found that his habit included sending pornographic messages to teenage girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

SEATTLE U CALLS FOR RENAMING OF CONNOLLY COMPLEX

WASHINGTON
Spectator

Sarah Haghi

May 17th, 2018

“Aware of Geoghan’s record, archdiocese still shuttled him from parish to parish.”

This is the subheading from the Boston Globe’s famous 2002 article exposing the years of cover-up practiced by the Archbishop for the benefit of a pedophilic priest. Seattle University is entangled in an similar situation as our own former Seattle Archbishop, Thomas Connolly, was revealed to have covered up the sexual misconduct of a priest named Michael Cody in the 1960s.

In 2016, the Seattle Times reported on letters from the 1960s, revealing that Archbishop Connolly knew Cody was molesting children. Instead of removing him—as Dr. Albert Hurley suggested in a letter from 1962—he transferred him to different parishes and kept it under wraps.

Seattle U’s fitness and recreation center has been named after Connolly since 1969. Now, two years after the Seattle Times’ report, the Seattle U Board of Trustees voted on May 4 to rename the Connolly Complex the Redhawk Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

On Chilean abuses crisis, Francis says removing bishops is ‘needed’ but not enough

Ines San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

May 18, 2018

ROME— Heads will roll in the Chilean Church after the summit between Pope Francis and the 34 local bishops who met in Rome this week.

Though this was hinted at in a letter the Vatican made public on Thursday, a leaked document goes further, with the pontiff saying that removing people, though necessary, is not enough.

The problems facing the Chilean church today are not solved by “addressing the concrete cases and reducing them to the removal of people; this – and I say this clearly – must be done, but it’s not enough, we must go further.”

According to Francis, it would be “a serious omission” not to look into the roots and structures that allowed for the abuse – not only sexual, but also of power and conscience – to happen and to continue over time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Diocese of Scranton won't block release of grand jury report

PENNSYLVANIA
Times-Tribune

STAFF AND WIRE REPORT

MAY 18, 2018

The Diocese of Scranton, along with two other Roman Catholic dioceses in the state, won’t stand in the way of a grand jury report expected to detail decades of sex abuse by members of the clergy.

“The Diocese of Scranton continues to cooperate fully with the grand jury and has informed the Attorney General’s office that it will not challenge the release of the report,” Diocese of Scranton spokesman Bill Genello said in an emailed statement Thursday. Genello would not comment further. Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph C. Bambera could not be reached for comment.

The dioceses of Erie and Allentown issued similar statements.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his office are finishing the report, according to a story in The Morning Call of Allentown. The report is expected to outline a grand jury investigation, started in 2016, into six of eight Catholic dioceses that serve communities in nearly every part of the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Chile: Four Bishops Resign Over Sex Abuse as Papal Probe Ends

VATICAN CITY
telesur

17 May 2018

The bishops have so far maintained a stoic silence, but the Catholic church in Chile has confirmed they will comply with the pope's final decision.

Four of Chile's bishops have resigned in connection with the child sex abuse scandal engulfing the country's Catholic church as the emergency Vatican session overseen by Pope Francis comes to a close.

Bishops Juan Barros, Tomislov Koljatic, Horacio Valenzuela and Monsignor Andres Arteaga renounced their episcopal duties under pressure over their roles in covering up Father Fernando Karadima's paedophilia, Clarin reports.

The bishops have so far maintained a stoic silence, but the Catholic church in Chile has confirmed they will comply with the pope's final decision.

In a letter to the Chilean monsignors, Pope Francis said he had some "changes and resolutions" planned for the Catholic church as a result of the emergency sessions, which began May 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Pope accuses Chile bishops of destroying sex abuse evidence

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

May 18, 2018

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has accused Chile’s bishops of destroying evidence of sex crimes, pressuring church lawyers to minimize accusations and of “grave negligence” in protecting children from pedophile priests.

In a devastating 10-page document delivered to Chilean bishops during a summit this week, Francis said the entire Chilean church hierarchy was collectively responsible for “grave defects” in handling abuse cases and the resulting loss of credibility that the Catholic Church has suffered.

The document, reported by Chile’s T13 television and confirmed as authentic Friday by the Vatican, puts mounting pressure on the bishops as a whole to resign given Francis told them that “no one can exempt himself and place the problem on the shoulders of the others.”

The bishops are due to hold a news conference in Rome later Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 AM

Pennsylvania dioceses say they won’t block report on clerical sexual abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Crux

May 18, 2018

Several dioceses in Pennsylvania have said they will not try and block a report from a grand jury investigation into clerical sexual abuse in the state.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is overseeing the grand jury investigation into six of the eight Catholic dioceses in the state: Allentown, Harrisburg, Scranton, Erie, Greensburg and Pittsburgh.

“The Diocese of Allentown continues to cooperate fully with the Office of the Attorney General,” spokesman Matt Kerr said in a statement Thursday. “We will not challenge the release of the grand jury report.”

“The Diocese of Scranton continues to cooperate fully with the grand jury and has informed the Attorney General’s office that it will not challenge the release of the report,” Diocese of Scranton spokesman Bill Genello said on Thursday.

Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico on Wednesday said he wouldn’t try and block the report after meeting with Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Pope vows 'change' in Chile church after pedophile scandal

VATICAN CITY
Rappler

May 18, 2018

AFP

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Thursday, May 17, promised "changes" to the Chilean church to "restore justice" following a child abuse scandal that has come to haunt his papacy.

However in a short letter addressed to 34 Chilean bishops, whom the Argentinian pontiff met in groups from Tuesday, May 15, to Thursday, he gave no indication of eventual consequences for those suspected of keeping silent about the abuse.

"I thank you for the full availability that everyone has shown to adhere to and collaborate in all the changes and resolutions that we will have to implement in the short, medium and long term, necessary to restore justice and ecclesiastical communion," the pope said in a statement in Spanish circulated by the Vatican.

He said the meetings had been a "frank" exchange about "the grave events that have damaged ecclesiastical communion and weakened the work of the Church of Chile in recent years".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Pope Francis sends letter to the Chilean Bishops

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

May 17, 2018

At the conclusion of three days of "fraternal" meetings, Pope Francis hands the following letter to the 34 Chilean bishops with whom he had closely examined the clerical sex abuse scandal that has tarnished the image of the Latin American Church in recent decades:
To the bishops of Chile:

Dear brothers in the episcopate,

I wish to thank you for having accepted my invitation so that, together, we may make a frank discernment regarding the serious events which have damaged the ecclesial communion and undermined the work of the Church in Chile in recent years.

In light of these painful incidents which concern abuse - of minors, power, and conscience - we exchanged views on their seriousness as well as on their tragic consequences, particularly for the victims. For each of them I have wholeheartedly asked for forgiveness, an action to which all of you have united in one will and with the firm intention of repairing the damage done.

I thank you for the total willingness each one of you has shown to join and collaborate in all the changes and resolutions that we will need to implement in the short-, medium-, and long-term in order to restore justice and ecclesial communion.

Following these days of prayer and reflection, I give you a mandate to continue building a prophetic Church capable of giving pride-of-place to what is most important: Service to the Lord in the hungry, the prisoner, the migrant, and the abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

May 17, 2018

Priest extradited from Philippines pleads guilty to 2 counts

NORTH DAKOTA
Cache Valley Daily

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting two boys in North Dakota in the 1990s has pleaded guilty to two counts of felony gross sexual imposition.

Court documents show that Fernando Sayasaya entered the pleas Thursday during a scheduling conference. He's accused of abusing two underage siblings from 1995 to 1998, while he was assigned to the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and St. Mary's Cathedral in the Fargo area.

Sayasaya was returned to the United States in December from the Philippines, where he had been since 1998.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 30. Sayasaya faces up to 20 years in prison

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Reunión con Scicluna y omisiones: La carta completa de monseñor Errázuriz a los obispos

CHILE
La Tercera

[Meeting with Scicluna and omissions: The complete letter of Monsignor Errázuriz to the bishops.
A detailed account of the way he carried out the canonical investigation and process against Fernando Karadima is the one made by Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz in the letter he sent to the Chilean bishops on May 10, a few days before the expected meeting in Rome. with Pope Francisco. This includes the moment in which the accusations against El Bosque's expárroco were credible and their actions before Monsignor Charles Scicluna in 2009, who gave him -as he says- indications for the investigation.]

M. Eugenia Fernández G.

17 MAY 2018

Un pormenorizado relato de la forma en que llevó adelante la investigación y proceso canónico contra Fernando Karadima es la que hizo el cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz en la carta que el 10 de mayo envió a los obispos chilenos, pocos días antes de la esperada reunión en Roma con el Papa Francisco. Este incluye el momento en que las acusaciones contra el expárroco de El Bosque fueron verosímiles y sus gestiones ante monseñor Charles Scicluna en 2009, quien le dio -según dice- indicaciones para la investigación.

En el documento titulado “Declaración testimonial” -a cuyo contenido completo accedió La Tercera PM, luego de que Associated Press publicara algunos fragmentos- el ex arzobispo de Santiago intenta defenderse de las “difamaciones” que ha recibido “en las últimas semanas”, en las cuales se le ha tildado de “encubridor, delincuente, criminal y persona despreciable”

Errázuriz afirma que “me han pedido con insistencia que no guarde más silencio y escriba una aclaración” y que “quienes me conocen personalmente, quienes han colaborado conmigo, y quienes han seguido de cerca o de lejos mi labor como sacerdote, obispo y cardenal, nunca me han calificado de esa manera, porque saben que he querido ser justo y caritativo”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

Pope calls on Chilean bishops to restore justice, care for abused

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

May 17, 2018

by Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — After several days of private meetings with Chilean bishops, Pope Francis called on them to build a "prophetic church" that places care for the suffering, especially survivors of sexual abuse, at its center.

In a letter given to the bishops and released by the Vatican May 17, the pope thanked the bishops for accepting his invitation to discuss "the serious acts that have damaged ecclesial communion and weakened the work of the church in Chile in recent years."

"In light of these painful events regarding abuses — of minors, of power and conscience — we have delved into the seriousness (of the abuses) as well as the tragic consequences they have had, particularly for the victims," the pope said.

The bishops met at the Vatican May 15-17 to discuss with Pope Francis their handling of clerical sex abuse allegations.

Pope Francis invited three sex abuse survivors — Juan Carlos Cruz, Jose Andres Murillo and James Hamilton — to stay at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where he lives, and to meet with him individually April 27-29. They met him again as a group April 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Diocese of Madison statement regarding retired priest’s arrest and court appearance; accusations of sexual abuse of a minor

WISCONSIN
Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison - Catholic Herald

Thursday, May. 17, 2018

MADISON -- The Diocese of Madison offers the following brief statement, regarding the recent arrest and initial appearance in court of a retired priest of the diocese, Fr. William Nolan:

The diocese recently learned that Fr. William Nolan (64) was arrested by the Fort Atkinson police, with charges pending. Today, we were informed that he has been charged with six counts of second-degree sexual assault of a minor (under the age of 16), as documented in the formal criminal complaint, filed today in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

Upon learning of his arrest and pending charges a diocesan representative contacted the Fort Atkinson police assuring them of our full cooperation.

Simultaneously, and although Father Nolan has been retired since 2007 and does not hold any ecclesiastical office or function, Bishop Robert C. Morlino placed him on what is commonly called “administrative leave,” as required by the Essential Norms in force in the dioceses of the USA. This includes a total exclusion from any exercise of priestly ministry while the matter is pending. The diocese also began its own canonical process of investigating these allegations, and the diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board was engaged.

Father Nolan retired from full-time ministry in the diocese in 2007, at his request. His last assignment was as pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Fort Atkinson, from 2002-2007. This is when and where the allegations being investigated are claimed to have taken place. They were brought directly to the civil authorities in Fort Atkinson and were only shared with Church officials as Father Nolan’s arrest was set in motion. This is the very first the diocese has heard of these accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Retired Madison priest faces sexual assault charges in Jefferson County

WISCONSIN
Madison State Journal

May 17, 2018

SHELLEY K. MESCH smesch@madison.com

A retired Madison priest has been charged with several criminal counts relating to sexual abuse allegations during his tenure at a Fort Atkinson church.

Bill Nolan, 64, faces counts of second degree sexual assault of a child, according to court records, and made his initial court appearance through a video conference from Jefferson County Jail.

Nolan is a retired priest-in-residence at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, parish officials told parishioners in an email Thursday.

Judge Jennifer Weston set bail at $50,000 with the stipulation that Nolan not leave the state, have no contact with any children under the age of 18, no presence at St. Joseph's and no contact with the accuser, court documents show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Complaint: Madison priest-in-residence assaulted Fort Atkinson altar boy more than 100 times

WISCONSIN
Channel 3000

May 17, 2018

FORT ATKINSON, Wis. - A retired priest in residence at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Madison is facing felony counts after he allegedly sexually assaulted a boy in Fort Atkinson for years, according to documents filed in court Thursday.

William A. Nolan, 64, of Madison, was charged in Jefferson County court Thursday with six felony counts of second-sexual assault of a child under 16 years old.

Nolan appeared in court via teleconference. The judge ordered a $50,000 signature bond. As conditions of bond, Nolan was ordered not to leave Wisconsin, can't have contact with any children under 18, cannot be at St. Joseph Church or school in Fort Atkinson and can't have contact with the victim.

According to the criminal complaint, more than 100 assaults took place between February 2006 and the summer of 2010, when the boy was 13 to 17 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Pope Tells Chilean Bishops: Serve Christ in Victims of Abuse

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

May 17. 2018

Elise Harris/CNA/EWTN News

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis thanked Chile’s bishops for their “frank” dialogue during a 3-day Vatican meeting on the Chilean abuse scandals, and asked them to focus on serving abuse victims as they return to their dioceses and prepare to implement short and long term resolutions.

“After these days of prayer and reflection I invite you to continue building a prophetic Church, which knows how to put what is important at the center: service to the Lord in the hungry, the prisoner, the migrant and the abused,” the Pope said in a letter to Chilean bishops.

Published May 17, the letter was given to each of the bishops by Pope Francis during their final meeting earlier that evening.

He thanked the bishops for their presence and for the “frank discernment” they carried out in terms of how to face the “serious acts that have damaged ecclesial communion and weakened the work of the Church in Chile in recent years.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

As Vatican meeting on Chilean abuse ends, fate of bishops uncertain

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A crisis meeting between Pope Francis and Chilean bishops about the cover-up of sexual abuse in the country ended on Thursday amid growing speculation among clergy and media that some of them would resign.
In a letter the Vatican said the pope handed to each of the 34 bishops at the end of four days of meetings, Francis said the discussions were “frank” and they had discussed “painful events regarding abuses - of minors, of power and of conscience”.

He said the bishops had agreed to short, medium and long-term changes in order to restore justice and Church unity, but did not elaborate. The meeting ended with “the firm intention to repair the damage done,” the pope said.

One of the bishops is holding a news conference on Friday and there has been growing speculation that he, or the Vatican, could announce the resignation of one or more of the bishops most tainted by the scandal that has shaken the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Following Your Faith -- A Conversation about the Catholic Church

NEW YORK
WKBW

[with video]

Catlin Bogard

May 17, 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The news about the Catholic Church hasn't been especially positive recently, with some calling for the bishop to resign over revelations of sexual abuse among priests dating back decades in the Buffalo diocese.

But what does this news mean to local Catholics? Has it shaken their faith? Do they feel that things are changing in a positive way, despite the negative headlines?

We sat down with local Catholics to have an open and honest discussion.

"It upset me very much," Kelly, a parishioner at Our Lady of Charity in South Buffalo, told us. "I believe my church should always act with decency and candor and having a cover-up let me feel...I felt betrayed by the church. I didn't feel it was handled in the proper way."

"It was disturbing to hear," Lucy, a parishioner at the Blessed Sacrament in the Town of Tonawanda, said. "And it was sad to hear. But my faith never changed and it didn't waiver because the message the Catholic Church teaches and the message of Christ has never changed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:50 PM

Diocese of Erie Bishop meets with Shapiro over grand jury report

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

May 17, 2018

by Matthew Stevens

ERIE, Pa. - Diocese of Erie Bishop Most Rev. Lawrence Persico said he met with state Attorney General Josh Shapiro Wednesday to discuss the grand jury report into child sex abuse accusations within the diocese.

Persico said that he has decided not to seek any legal challenges to the grand jury process and its work.

"I realize that the grand jury report will contain information that will be difficult for all of us to hear, but in order for us to focus on the future, we have to have a solid knowledge of the past," said Persico.

"The grand jury investigation and its report will provide a voice for the victims. We must listen to that voice and learn from it as we move forward."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Pope says change coming for Chile, but so far no specifics

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

May 17, 2018

ROME - After a three-day summit between Pope Francis and 34 Chilean bishops to discuss sexual abuse and abuses of power, the pontiff thanked the Chileans for being open to changes in the “short, medium and long term … to restore justice and ecclesial communion,” but did not describe the content of those changes.

In a letter the pope gave the bishops which the Vatican released Thursday afternoon, the pope called the Chilean bishops to continue working for a “prophetic Church, capable of putting at the center what’s important: the service to her Lord in the hungry, the imprisoned, the migrant, the abused.”

In the text, Francis also thanked the bishops for “welcoming the invitation” to undertake a “frank discernment about the grave events that have damaged ecclesial communion and weakened the work of the Church of Chile in recent years.”

The pope had summoned the bishops to Rome after dispatching Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish Father Jordi Bertomeu to Chile to look into the case of Bishop Juan Barros, accused by survivors of clerical sexual abuse of covering up for his mentor Father Fernando Karadima.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Pope’s Chile abuse summit ends amid signs heads will roll

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

May 17, 2018

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Thursday ended his emergency summit with Chile’s bishops by thanking them for their “full willingness” to do whatever it takes to recover from a sex abuse and cover-up scandal that has discredited the church.

Francis bid farewell to each of the 34 bishops from Chile amid indications that heads will roll after four days of meetings and prayer. Vatican television showed the Chilean bishops thanking Francis as they took their leave. The only one Francis is shown kissing on each cheek and patting on the arm was Bishop Juan Barros, who is at the center of the scandal.

In a farewell letter given to each bishop, Francis said he had already apologized to the sex abuse victims he had discredited. He reminded the churchmen that they had joined in that apology “with the firm aim of repairing the wounds.”

“I thank you for the full willingness each one of you has shown to cooperate in all the short, medium and long-term changes and resolutions that we must implement to re-establish justice and the ecclesial communion,” Francis wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Erie bishop says he won't challenge grand jury findings

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PETER SMITH
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

MAY 16, 2018

Roman Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico of Erie says he will “forgo any legal challenges “ to a statewide grand jury investigating sexual abuse in his and five other dioceses across Pennsylvania.

Bishop Persico met Wednesday with Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office is investigating the dioceses in conjunction with a statewide grand jury.

It is unclear from statements from Bishop Persico and from Mr. Shapiro what sort of legal challenge a diocese could mount to a grand jury proceeding if it chose to do so.

The 40th statewide grand jury, convening in Pittsburgh, is believed to have wrapped up its proceedings last month and to be preparing a wide-ranging report on abuse in most of the state’s dioceses over the past seven decades.

“I realize that the grand jury report will contain information that will be difficult for all of us to hear, but in order for us to focus on the future, we have to have a solid knowledge of the past,” Bishop Persico said Wednesday in his statement. “The grand jury investigation and its report will provide a voice for the victims. We must listen to that voice and learn from it as we move forward.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Alums accuse Catholic school in San Jose for failing to handle past sex abuse claims

CALIFORNIA
KTVU

By: Azenith Smith

MAY 17 2018

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Dozens of people gathered Wednesday night in San Jose over growing concerns an all-girls Catholic high school failed to handle past sexual abuse claims. Former students organized the meeting.

One of the organizers said a teacher touched her inappropriately but the school failed to act. Now, she and other alums are demanding the principal and the president of the school’s board of directors to resign.

The meeting started with a compilation video of former students who said they reported sexual misconduct to Presentation High School administrators and they did nothing.

“After talking to some of the parents and students, it's clear that now everyone knows what's going on,” said Former Student Kathryn Leehane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Allentown Diocese: Grand jury report on clergy sex abuse is coming

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

May 17, 2018

Steve Esack
Call Harrisburg Bureau

The Allentown Diocese has become Pennsylvania’s second regional Catholic administration to announce it will not attempt to stall publication of a statewide grand jury report expected to detail decades of clergy sex abuse.

The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office is finishing the report. It would follow a grand jury investigation, started in 2016, into six of eight Catholic dioceses that serve communities in nearly every part of the state.

“The Diocese of Allentown continues to cooperate fully with the Office of the Attorney General,” spokesman Matt Kerr said in a statement today. “We will not challenge the release of the grand jury report.”

It’s not clear what, if any, legal challenge a diocese or other institution or individual could use to stop a prosecutor’s office from publishing a grand jury investigation.

“Any investigating grand jury, by an affirmative majority vote of the full investigating grand jury, may, at any time during its term submit to the supervising judge an investigating grand jury report,” according to the state law outlining jury rules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

NYS Group Pushing for Vote on Bill to Allow Child Sex Assault Victims to Sue Years After the Crimes

NEW YORK
WAER

By CHRIS BOLT

Public Meeting on Child Victims Act May 21 @ 6:00 pm, CrestHill Suites, East Syracuse.

A bill that would give victims of child sexual assault a window to bring old cases against their abusers is stalled in Albany. A group advocating for the Child Victims Act is raising awareness about the measure in hopes of countering opponents of the bill … and perhaps making New York safer for kids.

Bridie Farrell was a 15-year-old competitive speed skater in Saratoga Springs, when then 33-year-old Olympian Andy Gabel came to town to train. Farrell says the iconic athlete abused here multiple times…and her complaints to Olympic Team officials fell on deaf ears.

He has since admitted an inappropriate relationship and been stripped of membership in the national skating body. But the statute of limitations on such crimes prevents Farrell from bring a criminal or civil suit against Gabel.

Now Farrell is trying to get the Child Victims Act passed to open up cases in which statutes of limitations prevent any action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Cura cuencano es acusado por nueva víctima

ECUADOR
El Telegrafo

[A new complaint is added to the two previous ones against the Cuenca priest César C. The affected one assures that he was a victim of rape by the priest when he was 7 years old.]

16 de mayo de 2018

Una nueva denuncia se suma a las dos anteriores en contra del sacerdote cuencano César C. El afectado asegura que fue víctima de violación por el cura cuando tenía 7 años.

El hombre, de 64 años, que no se identificó, dijo que fue a la escuela Miguel Ortiz, que funcionaba cerca de su hogar.

A los pocos meses, el sacerdote fue a su casa y habló con su madre para que le permitiera asistir a la catequesis.

“Cuando llegué el guardián me llevó hasta un cuarto oscuro y allí estaba el cura que me pidió que escogiera el juguete que deseaba”, agregando que luego le dijo que se sentara en sus piernas y allí fue que, supuestamente, lo violó, pero no fue la única vez que sucedió.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Ex-Fort priest arrested for molestation

WISCONSIN
Daily Jefferson County Union

May 17, 2018

By Ryan Whisner rwhisner@dailyunion.com

Posted on May 17, 2018

A retired former Fort Atkinson Catholic priest is expected to face allegations of sexual assault that occurred during his tenure at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in the community.

The Rev. William A. Nolan, 64, was arrested Tuesday by the Fort Atkinson Police Department at 12:35 p.m. on multiple allegations of sexual assault of a child under 12 and repeated sexual assault of a child.

If those are the charges, he would face a maximum sentence of 60 years on each count, if convicted. The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office determines what the actual charge(s) would be.

Nolan is expected to make an initial appearance in court this afternoon before Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Weston. He currently is in custody at the Jefferson County Jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Nassar victim says MSU donor criticized 'these girls,' a remark he says was misheard

MICHIGAN
Lansing State Journal

Matt Mencarini, Lansing State Journal

May 11, 2018

For the second time this year, a major MSU donor is under scrutiny for comments he's made about Larry Nassar's victims.

While waiting with a crowd to enter a gubernatorial debate held in Grand Rapids earlier this week, Sterling Riethman, one of the 204 women and girls who gave statements earlier this year during Nassar's sentencing hearings on sexual assault charges, says she heard Peter Secchia say, "These girls are going to ruin the state of Michigan. We have to stop them."

Secchia, who has donated millions to Michigan State University over the years and has his name on several university buildings, denied the allegation when the Lansing State Journal contacted him. He said Riethman misheard him and that he said the package of bills would ruin the state. The bills were inspired by Nassar, the disgraced former MSU physician accused of sexually abusing hundreds of patients.

Riethman had testified at a state House committee about why she supports legislation intended to extend the statute of limitations for criminal and civil cases involving sexual assault cases, among other changes. Hours later Riethman was waiting to take her seat to watch the debate between Republican candidates.

A group of men were having a conversation within feet of her and she heard one ask Secchia if he had heard that some of Nassar's victims had been "paraded" in front of the state House Law and Justice Committee to testify in support of the Nassar-inspired bills, Riethman told the State Journal on Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Milwaukee priest jailed for sexual contact served at St. Mark's Parish in Phoenix in 1970s

ARIZONA
azcentral

Anne Ryman, The Republic | azcentral.com

May 17, 2018

A Wisconsin priest with a long history of complaints involving children, and who was sentenced to jail last year on sex charges, was assigned to the Phoenix Diocese in the early 1970s.

The Diocese of Phoenix told The Arizona Republic on Wednesday evening that it recently became aware that Robert Raymond Marsicek, a priest of the Milwaukee-based Salvatorian religious order, is listed as having served at St. Mark’s Parish in south Phoenix in 1974.

"According to our records, there have been no reported incidents or allegations against Father Marsicek in the Diocese of Phoenix," the Diocese said in a statement.

"Anyone who has been a victim of abuse or who may have information concerning this situation is encouraged to call a local law enforcement agency."

Marsicek, 76, was sentenced to one year in jail in December after pleading guilty to three counts of misdemeanor sexual contact with a girl. The incidents occurred at a Catholic school in Wauwatosa between 2007 and 2011, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which covered the case extensively.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Class Action Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Minor Students Who Were Sexually Assaulted By A Former Saint Frances Academy Teacher

MARYLAND
PRNewswire

NEWS PROVIDED BY
Murphy, Falcon & Murphy

BALTIMORE, May 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Murphy, Falcon & Murphy filed a class action lawsuit against Saint Frances Academy, a private Roman Catholic high school located in Baltimore City, on behalf of Jill Doe1, a current Saint Frances Academy student, and all current and former students at Saint Frances Academy who were harassed, sexually assaulted, abused, exploited, and/or inappropriately touched by Ryan Penalver, a former teacher and administrator at Saint Frances Academy. The lawsuit names as defendants Penalver, as well as Saint Frances Academy, Inc. and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore ("Archdiocese"), both of which own, operate and/or manage Saint Frances Academy and employed and supervised Penalver.

In early May of 2018, abusing his position as a member of the Saint Frances Academy faculty, Penalver engaged in sexual relations with a minor student. Worse yet, Penalver had begun grooming this student using his school email account since April. After the student sought his support for emotional and mental distress, instead of helping her, he used his position of trust and authority to sexually abuse, assault, and exploit her, coercing her into exchanging sexually explicit photographs and videos, and forcing her to engage in sexual acts while on school property-- acts to which she could not legally consent.

The lawsuit further alleges that, upon information and belief, Penalver harassed, engaged in inappropriate sexual communications with, and/or sexually abused, assaulted, and/or exploited other students at Saint Frances Academy. Upon information and belief, agents, employees, and/or administrators at Saint Frances Academy knew or should have known about Penalver's propensity to harass and exploit others, yet Saint Frances Academy, Inc., and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore failed to protect Jill Doe and other students and failed to prevent Penalver's unconscionable actions.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Saint Frances Academy administrators knew or should have known that, on or about November 12, 2017, Penalver had been formally charged with criminal harassment in the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City. The lawsuit further alleges that, upon information and belief, prior to Penalver's assault of Jill Doe, members of the Saint Frances school community had knowledge that Penalver had previously engaged in inappropriate communications with other students. Saint Frances Academy, Inc.'s and the Archdiocese's failure to adequately and properly supervise Penalver, failure to adequately investigate complaints and concerns regarding Penalver's conduct and propensities, and failure to terminate Penalver on or before November 2017 exposed Jill Doe and others to a teacher with a propensity to harass, abuse, harm, and assault others. As such, the lawsuit claims that Saint Frances Academy, Inc. and the Archdiocese are liable for Penalver's actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Vatican investigator says pope, Chile bishops making history

ROME
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

May 17, 2018

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with comments from Cardinal Javier Errázuriz.

ROME - Spanish Father Jordi Bertomeu, perhaps the Vatican figure other than Pope Francis who knows the Chilean church best right now, told reporters Thursday that “history is being made” in Rome this week in an extraordinary summit between the pope and 34 Chilean bishops.

“We are at a very particular moment for the universal Church, not only for Chile,” Bertomeu told reporters. “What has happened is not normal, to call [in] an entire bishops conference. If I were you [a journalist], I would deduce that it’s necessary to expect some measures [to be taken[. I believe we’re making history.”

Bertomeu is the lesser-known of the two men Pope Francis tasked with carrying out a deep dive into the situation of the Catholic Church in Chile, originally to investigate the case of Bishop Juan Barros, accursed of covering up for his mentor, who’s been found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing minors.

Due to circumstance, Bertomeu, an official of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ended taking lead after Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna was hospitalized in Chile for emergency gall bladder surgery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Former Gonzaga priest and professor sentenced for child porn possession

WASHINGTON
KXLY

Rachel DeYoung

May 16, 2018

SPOKANE, Wash. - A former Gonzaga University priest and professor was sentenced Wednesday to six months in jail for downloading and viewing child pornography.

Gary Uhlenkott, 67, pleaded guilty in February to viewing depictions of minors engaged in sexual explicit conduct in the 2nd degree back in April 2013.

Uhlenkott had been a Jesuit priest for 25 years at the time and was a professor of music at Gonzaga.

According to court documents, in October 2010, the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Toronto Police Service started investigating a movie production company in Toronto, 'Toronto Company', that was the subject of more than 20 complaints of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Shielding predators: Church leaders oppose measures to benefit sexual abuse victims

NEW YORK
Watertown Daily Times

MAY 17, 2018

In opposing various measures that would benefit victims of child sexual abuse, leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are once again circling the wagons.

And Republican members of the state Senate have helped them. They have for years blocked legislation that would eliminate “the statutes of limitation for prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes and filing civil lawsuits for damages against individuals, public institutions, and private institutions related to child sexual abuse. This act also creates a one-year revival period for previously time-barred civil actions which alleged conduct representing the commission of certain sexual offenses committed against a child less than 18 years of age,” according to language in S809, also known as the Child Victims Act.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who oversees the archdiocese in much of New York City, described the one-year lookback as “toxic” for the Catholic Church, according to an article published March 20 by the New York Daily News. He urged legislative leaders to reject the bill.

And he got his wish. Before the state budget was approved earlier this year, the Child Victims Act was removed from the overall spending plan. While members of the Assembly and Senate could still act on the bill as an individual piece of legislation, it’s obvious that far too many officials lack the will to push it through.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Jury finds Christian missionary from Oregon guilty of abusing Cambodian orphans

OREGON
USA Today

Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press

May 16, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. — A U.S. jury found a Christian missionary from Oregon guilty Wednesday of multiple sex abuse charges for molesting children living at an unlicensed Cambodian orphanage that he operated in Phnom Penh over a period of years.

Daniel Stephen Johnson, 40, was convicted of six counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and one count each of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and aggravated sexual assault with children. He faces a minimum of 30 years in prison when sentenced in August in Eugene, Oregon.

Federal public defender Craig Weinerman did not return calls or e-mail from The Associated Press seeking comment after business hours Wednesday. His co-counsel, Lisa Maxfield, declined comment.

U.S. authorities said nine Cambodian children ranging in age from 7 to 18 have disclosed Johnson’s abuse or past abuse in lengthy interviews with trained child-forensic interviewers. The FBI launched an extensive investigation of Johnson and his potential victims after learning of the case in 2013, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Oxfam chief steps down after charity's sexual abuse scandal

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Kevin Rawlinson

16 May 2018

Oxfam’s chief executive is to stand down from his position with the charity at the end of the year.

Mark Goldring, who took up the post in 2013, was at the head of the organisation when news broke of the by then members of the charity’s staff.

Announcing his decision to depart, he said: “Following the very public exposure of Oxfam’s past failings, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure that Oxfam is a safe and respectful place for all who have contact with us. We are now laying strong foundations for recovery. I am personally totally committed to seeing this phase through.

“However, what is important in 2019 and beyond is that Oxfam rebuilds and renews in a way that is most relevant for the future and so continues to help as many people as possible around the world build better lives. I think that this journey will best be led by someone bringing fresh vision and energy and making a long-term commitment to see it through.”

Oxfam said Goldring had presided over “the biggest annual humanitarian response in its history, encompassing the refugee crisis as well as conflicts including Yemen, Syria and South Sudan”. His time at the head of the charity, it said, was characterised by an increasing focus on tackling global poverty and its causes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Malka Leifer ordered to undergo another psychiatric evaluation

ISRAEL
Sydney Morning Herald

By Gabrielle Weiniger

17 May 2018

Accused child abuser Malka Leifer will undergo another psychiatric evaluation from behind bars after a Jerusalem District Court judge requested her mental state be reassessed once again.

The court is trying to determine whether Leifer is fit to undergo extradition proceedings.

Leifer did not attend Wednesday’s hearing despite being present at the Jerusalem court, after her lawyer Yehuda Fried claimed she was feeling unwell.

She will return to court on May 31 to hear the outcome of the new assessment from a district psychiatrist, as well as a review of the evidence presented against her.

The 54-year-old is accused of 74 counts of sexual abuse during her time as principal of the ultra-
Orthodox Adass Jewish girls' school in Melbourne over a decade ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring to stand down at end of 2018 after Haiti sex scandal

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

May 16, 2018

Lizzie Dearden Home Affairs Correspondent @lizziedearden

The embattled head of Oxfam GB has resigned in the wake of a scandal over sexual misconduct by its staff in Haiti and other disaster zones.

Mark Goldring, who resisted pressure to step down amid outcry in February, said he was “proud” of the charity’s work over the past five years.

“But I think the time is coming for a new leader,” he added. “Following the very public exposure of Oxfam’s past failings, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure that Oxfam is a safe and respectful place for all who have contact with us.

“We are now laying strong foundations for recovery. I am personally totally committed to seeing this phase through.”

Following anger over revelations that Oxfam staff had used prostitutes in Haiti in 2011, Mr Goldring provoked fresh ire by claiming the reaction was “out of proportion”, adding: “The intensity and the ferocity of the attack makes you wonder, what did we do? We murdered babies in their cots?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Criminal sex case of priest put off: His lawyer to challenge evidence

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Stephanie Dickrell, sdickrell@stcloudtimes.com

May 16, 2018

ST. CLOUD — A lawyer representing the Rev. Anthony Oelrich is arguing evidence gathered ahead of a criminal sexual conduct charge is inadmissible at trial.

Oelrich, 51, was charged with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree in February.

Oelrich was scheduled to have a hearing reviewing the evidence to be used at trial this week. Paul Engh, his lawyer, filed several motions challenging various evidence in the trial and the way it was gathered.

The hearing was moved to May 30 to allow counsel and witnesses time to prepare, said Joshua Kannegieter.

Kannegieter is prosecuting the case for the Stearns County Attorney's Office. He said in general, the motions challenge a search warrant, Oelrich's arrest and discussions about evidence that must be available to both sides. Kannegieter refused to elaborate, nor would he comment on possible outcomes of the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Chilean Abuse Victims Demand Justice from Emergency Summit

VATICAN CITY
telesur

May 17, 2018

Abuse victims demanded that the Holy See leave off with the prayers and penance and deliver serious justice to perpetrators.

Pope Francis must acknowledge the crimes, coverups, and the need for compensation, Chilean sexual abuse victims demanded in a statement to the emergency Vatican summit on Wednesday.

In a letter to the Pope, at least six assault victims demanded that the Holy See leave behind the prayers and penance, delivering serious justice to perpetrators for the years of suffering brought on by cover-ups and incredulity.

“We insist on the need for the Vatican to modify its discourse and- in addition to speaking about pain, forgiveness and sins- it is imperative that they recognize crimes, wrongs, and reparations and trust all the information it has to the hands of federal justice," the delegation said, some of whom identified themselves as victims of the Marist Brothers religious order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Modesto police confer with Arizona counterparts in clergy sex scandal

CALIFORNIA/ARIZONA
Modesto Bee

BY GARTH STAPLEY
gstapley@modbee.com

May 16, 2018

Police in Modesto and Scottsdale are in touch for an investigation of clergy sexual abuse, authorities in Arizona said at a town hall meeting Tuesday.

Heather Graves, spokeswoman for Modesto police, on Wednesday confirmed contact between the two agencies, although the Modesto department has taken no reports of abuse at the hands of former pastor Les Hughey.

Hughey, 65, resigned last month from the megachurch he founded in Scottsdale. He stepped down four days after The Modesto Bee published a report about sexual encounters with young women in his charge four decades earlier when he was a youth pastor at a prominent Modesto evangelical church.

Shortly after The Bee's report, four women came forward with stories that Hughey fondled them when he was their youth pastor in the 1980s at Scottsdale Bible Church. That church launched an independent investigation, and hosted Tuesday's meeting featuring authorities with Scottsdale police and Maricopa County prosecutors, attended by about 60 people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Catholic bishop meets with AG amid looming grand jury report on clergy sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

May 16, 2018

By Christine Vendel cvendel@pennlive.com

The Erie Catholic Bishop met with the state's attorney general Wednesday as the diocese braces for the pending release of a grand jury report on clergy sex abuse that is likely to be unflattering.

Bishop Lawrence Perisco said he and Josh Shapiro met in Erie and "discussed in detail" the diocese' efforts to implement a revised policy to protect children, Perisco's testimony before the grand jury and the looming report.

The grand jury that had been studying how six dioceses, including Erie, handled reports of sexual abuse reportedly finished its term April 30, according to goerie.com. That indicates that the report could be released any day.

Perisco said in a news release Wednesday night that he has "chosen to forgo any legal challenges to the grand jury process and its work. I realize that the grand jury report will contain information that will be difficult for all of us to hear, but in order for us to focus on the future, we have to have a solid knowledge of the past."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

AI FOR GOOD 2018 INTERVIEWS: JOELLE CASTEIX, Founding Member, The Zero Abuse Project

GENEVA
YouTube

May 15, 2018

Interview with Joelle Casteix, Founding Member, Board of Directors, The Zero Abuse Project, at the AI for Good Global Summit 2018, ITU, Geneva, Switzerland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Erie bishop meets with attorney general

PENNSYLVANIA
Go Erie

May 17, 2018

By Ed Palattella
@ETNPalattella

Persico says he and Shapiro discussed pending grand jury report, which Persico says will contain ‘difficult’ information.

In the latest example that the Catholic Diocese of Erie is preparing for the release of a grand jury report, Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico met in Erie on Wednesday with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office is conducting the grand jury investigation.

The attorney general’s office has yet to release the grand jury report, though the grand jury’s term ended on April 30, suggesting that the release of the report could come soon.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Persico said he met with Shapiro to discuss the report, and Persico said he will accept its findings and will not block its release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Lawsuit filed against Baltimore's St. Frances Academy, former teacher in sex abuse case

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

May 17, 2018

Christina Tkacik
The Baltimore Sun

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against an East Baltimore Catholic school and a teacher who worked there following his arrest in a sex abuse case.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the student alleges that Ryan Penalver, 27, a history teacher who had worked at St. Frances Academy, used his school email account to prey on the 15-year-old who expressed a desire to harm herself.

“This family [of the victim] is devastated and has asked us to uncover exactly how this happened,” said attorney Hassan Murphy, whose firm, Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, is handling the case.

The lawsuit alleges that prior to his abuse of the victim, listed under the pseudonym “Jill Doe,” Penalver had also engaged in inappropriate communications with other students and that members of the school community were aware of this.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Pat Howard: Trautman not addressing implications of his inaction

PENNSYLVANIA
Go Erie

May 17, 2018

The opening of the former Erie Catholic bishop’s second statement regarding a priest facing sexual abuse charges is curiously worded: “The Erie Times-News stated in its May 14, 2018, edition ‘that the Diocese of Erie engaged in a cover-up of David Poulson’s behavior under the administration of Bishop Donald Trautman,’ according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro.”

Let’s remove Trautman’s emphasis on the messenger and go to Shapiro’s own words concerning evidence the bishop never got around to mentioning in either of his statements.

“I would point out that Bishop Trautman was the leader during this time. ... And this abuse and cover-up occurred largely during Trautman’s tenure,” Shapiro said at a May 8 news conference.

Shapiro’s characterization is drawn from an investigative grand jury’s presentment in the case charging the Rev. David Poulson, 64, with sexually abusing two boys between 2002 and 2010. The presentment cites a confidential memo dated May 24, 2010, in which Trautman references Poulson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

May 16, 2018

Public attention, disdain can push sex offenders to reoffend: expert

CANADA
CBC News

May 16, 2018

An expert in preventing child sex abuse says that while convicted offenders changing their names may raise public concern, scorn from society can increase the risk they will reoffend.

This year, two Saskatchewan men released after serving time for child pornography offences have been thrust back into the public eye after legally changing their names. One of those men has since been charged with new offences.

Jenny Coleman, director of Stop It Now, a U.S.-based organization dedicated to preventing child sex abuse, said supports such as community acceptance, faith-based counselling and proper housing can help past offenders reintegrate into society. On the flip side, attention and disdain from their communities can push them back down a dark path.

"When their life is imbalanced, when it's stressed out, when they're a mess — it's easier for them to cross lines and to cross boundaries," said Jenny Coleman, director of Stop It Now, a U.S.-based organization dedicated to preventing child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Michigan State settles with Larry Nassar victims for $500M

MICHIGAN
New York Post

By Natalie Musumeci

May 16, 2018

Michigan State University has reached a $500 million settlement with the hundreds of women and girls who say they were sexually abused by sicko sports doctor Larry Nassar.

The settlement was announced Tuesday by the university – where the depraved ex-USA Gymnastics doctor was on staff – and lawyers representing his more than 300 victims.

“Michigan State has shown leadership by its willingness to begin closing this dark chapter,” Jamie White, one of the attorneys suing MSU, told the Lansing State Journal. “The victims of Nassar can never be made whole but this is a step in the right direction.”

Nassar, who worked for the Olympic governing body of gymnastics and MSU for decades, has been sentenced to three prison terms — two for his sex abuse crimes and another for federal child pornography charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Michigan State to pay Larry Nassar victims $500 million in settlements

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

David Jesse and Gina Kaufman, Detroit Free Press

May 16, 2018

Michigan State University has settled hundreds of lawsuits filed against it by the survivors of MSU doctor Larry Nassar's sexual assaults.

The settlement will cost the school $500 million. The school will pay $425 million now and hold $75 million in reserve in case other Nassar victims come forward.

MSU will now work on how it will pay the settlement, MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant told the Free Press.

Survivor attorney Jamie White said this is a chance for the women to begin to move forward.

“I don’t think they can ever be made whole, but this is a step in the right direction,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:21 PM

Pastor charged with molesting children arrested again

ALABAMA
WTVY

By Ken Curtis

May 16, 2018

Dothan (WTVY)-- A Baptist pastor charged earlier this year with three counts of Sexual Abuse involving two children is now charged with molesting a teenager.

Besides the earlier cases that investigators say involve boys under the age of 12, Williamson was most recently charged with illegally touching a 16-year old boy.

In the latest case, investigators say he “pushed in on the victim’s private parts in an effort to make him sit down.” He previously was charged with brushing against clothing in the genital area of two boys, one of them twice.

Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said the first three incidents occurred at a summer church camp last year. Investigators say the latest arrest involves molestation that occurred between August and September of 2017.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

More Chilean sex abuse victims speak up during pope summit

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A group of Chilean church sex abuse victims is making its voice heard as the country’s Catholic leadership meets with Pope Francis, demanding that the Vatican recognize crimes, cover-ups and the need for reparation.

A statement from six named victims of the Marist Brothers religious community — and other unnamed abuse survivors — was issued Wednesday on the second day of the emergency summit Francis convened with 34 Chilean bishops.

The scandal within the Marists, who operate schools in 79 countries, exploded in August when the community revealed that at least 14 minors had been abused by a brother. Another brother abused at least five more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Cardinal Nichols should give evidence at sex abuse inquiry, say lawyers

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

16 May 2018

by Ruth Gledhill

It is “vital” that Cardinal Vincent Nichols give evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), a lawyer has told a hearing.

Sam Stein QC, said at a preliminary hearing into the Archdiocese of Birmingham, that he has been pressing “for some time” for Cardinal Vincent Nichols to appear in person. Mr Stein said that whilst he appreciated counsel to the inquiry is “wanting to take a step-by-step process” in terms of potentially calling him as a witness, “it is obvious that where he was the Archbishop of Birmingham from the year 2000 to 2009, he is key to many of these events.”

Setting out details of the hearing, which is taking place in November, counsel to the inquiry, Jacqueline Carey, said that a number of core participants had also requested the Cardinal give evidence; he will be asked to give a statement and after it has been received, consideration would be given to him appearing in person. She added: “It is also anticipated that Cardinal Nichols will be asked to provide a statement in respect of the wider Roman Catholic Church investigation and, again, once received, the inquiry will consider that statement and consider whether he should be called in respect of the wider hearing as well.”

Ms Carey outlined that allegations of abuse had been made against more than 40 people “involving a large number of complainants” and that at least 14 priests have been convicted before the criminal courts. The inquiry will consider several case examples more fully, including those of Fr Samuel Penny and Fr James Robinson both of whom were convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Reform Group Knew About Complaints Against Rabbi, But Didn’t Tell His Synagogue

NORTH CAROLINA
Forward

Ari Feldman

May 16, 2018

he Reform movement’s rabbinical association censured the rabbi of a Durham, North Carolina synagogue after receiving a complaint that was “sexual in nature,” but didn’t tell his congregation, spurring a watchdog group to demand that the movement be more forthcoming about accusations of sexual wrongdoing against its clergy.

“It’s kind of shocking,” said Shulamit Magnus, a professor of Jewish history at Oberlin College who helps lead the Committee on Ethics in Jewish Leadership, a group that has advocated for a standard set of professional ethical guidelines across Jewish organizations. “After all the awareness that’s been raised in the #MeToo era, this is not something that we should be hearing about at this stage.”

The committee’s call for more transparency comes almost a year after the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis admitted it had not widely disclosed that another rabbi had been expelled for violating “sexual boundaries” and for “financial misconduct.” The Conference subsequently released a list of expelled rabbis.

Now activists like Magnus are saying the lack of transparency on the part of the CCAR toward Durham’s Judea Reform Congregation shows that the list is not enough. The CCAR needs to tell congregations about any sexual complaints they receive against their rabbis, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Oheb Shalom Congregants React to Rabbi Fink’s Suspension

MARYLAND
JMore

by Simone Ellin, Associate Editor

May 4, 2018

This article was updated at 10:30 a.m. on May 9.

A letter was recently made public by nearly 40 congregants of Temple Oheb Shalom, expressing support for the synagogue’s board of directors regarding last week’s suspension of Rabbi Steven M. Fink for alleged sexual misconduct.

On the morning of May 3, members of Temple Oheb Shalom were notified in an email signed by the Pikesville congregation’s president, Mina Wender, that the synagogue’s longtime spiritual leader was suspended with pay.

According to the temple’s letter, the suspension came after allegations “of an improper incident of a sexual nature that may have occurred a number of years ago involving Rabbi Fink and a then teenager, who was a minor at the time.”

Also on May 3, an email titled “An Open Letter to Oheb Shalom” was circulated among a select group of congregants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

LDS Church, ex-MTC leader ask judge to dismiss sexual assault lawsuit

UTAH
Fox 13

MAY 16, 2018

BY BEN WINSLOW

SALT LAKE CITY — In a pair of legal motions, both The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the ex-Missionary Training Center leader accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 1984 ask a federal judge to dismiss her lawsuit.

McKenna Denson speaks to reporters at a news conference alongside her attorney, Craig Vernon, over her lawsuit against the LDS Church. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

McKenna Denson filed a lawsuit earlier last month against the LDS Church and Joseph Bishop, accusing him of attacking her inside a room at the faith’s Missionary Training Center when she was a young sister missionary. In their response to those lawsuits, the Mormon church and Bishop say the lawsuit is brought too late.

“Plaintiff McKenna Denson initiated this lawsuit amid a media flourish in early April 2018. At the core of her complaint is the allegation that Defendant Joseph Bishop sexually assaulted her in early 1984,” Bishop’s attorney, Andrew Deiss, wrote in a motion to dismiss.

“The time to prosecute these claims, however, is long past—they are all barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Because the time to bring these claims has expired, the Court should dismiss all claims against Mr. Bishop with prejudice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Senior Buddhist priest resigns over affair

JAPAN
NHK

The chief priest at Yakushiji Temple in Nara City has resigned over what he calls an improper relationship with a woman. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Buddhist temple's chief steward said on Tuesday that the temple had accepted Taiin Murakami's resignation, and allowed him to leave Yakushiji.

Murakami assumed the post in August 2016. He led the project to reconstruct most of the temple's buildings by May 2017. A ceremony was held this month to connect the central pillar of the East Pagoda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Confessions from pedophile priest could help Quebec sex abuse lawsuit

CANADA
Global News

May 15, 2018

By Mike Armstrong
Global National Quebec Correspondent Global News

A convicted pedophile priest has left behind a confession meant to help his victims sue the church.

Paul-Andre Harvey died of natural causes May 3 at a minimum security prison in Laval, Que. He was serving a six-year sentence for the sexual abuse of 39 girls.

Over the last several months, Harvey wrote a series of documents in French, explaining his crimes and laying out how he got away with them for decades.

Harvey blames police for not stopping him, and his superiors for not getting him help.

Harvey writes that when he was confronted by the bishop at the time, there were no consequences. “He told me to be more careful around children in the future and to pray more.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 AM

'Deeply sorry' Pingry School settles lawsuit with 21 alleged sex abuse victims

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

May 15, 2018

By Kelly Heyboer kheyboer@njadvancemedia.com,
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

One of New Jersey's most elite private schools says it will improve programs to protect students on its campus as part of a settlement reached last week with 21 victims of alleged sexual abuse at the school.

The Pingry School also reached a financial settlement with the victims for an undisclosed amount, according to a statement released Friday.

"We are deeply sorry for the abuse the survivors experienced while at our school and the pain they have endured since. Their courage in coming forward is extraordinary," Jeffrey Edwards, chairman of Pingry's board of trustees, said in the statement.

Pingry released a report last year that said a popular teacher and Boy Scout leader at the school was accused of abusing at least 27 boys over six years in the mid 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

In God's Image: Instruction on Safeguarding for implementation in all Catholic canonical jurisdictions in Scotland

SCOTLAND
Bishops' Conference of Scotland

March 2018

1.1 We promote the safe use of Church premises.

1.1.1 The provision of safe environments is an essential requirement for all Church activities that involve children and vulnerable groups.

1.1.2 Where premises are owned, leased or occupied by the Catholic Church and used by parish groups working with vulnerable groups, the group leader must take responsibility for agreeing the use of Church premises with the Parish Priest or with the person appointed by him.

1.1.3 Where a non-parish-based group uses Church premises for activities involving vulnerable groups on a regular basis, the group leader must produce written evidence that the group observes an appropriate Safeguarding policy in their organisation. This must be presented to the person responsible for managing the Church premises, prior to the group using the premises.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:28 AM

Safeguarding in the Catholic Church - Leaflet

SCOTLAND
Bishops' Conference of Scotland

This leaflet outlines the Safeguarding efforts of the Catholic Church in Scotland, in terms of people and policies.

It also provides advice to anyone who has a concern about, or who receives an allegation of, abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Bishop Joseph Toal: Have faith in the church to right the wrongs of abuse

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

16 May 2018

Last month, the Catholic Church in Scotland ­published its new ­safeguarding manual, In God’s Image, offering comprehensive ­guidance and instruction on every aspect of safeguarding in the church.

It has been shaped by the recent experience and developing expertise of those involved in the front line of safeguarding in the church, both in Scotland and internationally.

In signing and ratifying this ­publication, the bishops of Scotland took the opportunity to repeat and renew apologies made to those who have suffered any form of abuse, at any time, by anyone representing the church.

We aspire to the highest standards of care and protection and we are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Alumni Allege Rampant Sexual Harassment

SOUTH CAROLINA
Inside Higher Ed

By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

May 16, 2018

The accusations against Columbia International University President Mark Smith were shocking enough -- a former university general counsel alleging that Smith covered up rampant sexual harassment and bigotry by his son when they were both employed by another religious college.

With the allegations against Smith and his son, Doug Smith, still reverberating at the university, alumni have gone public with other stories about a longstanding climate of sexual harassment and assault. How the former Columbia International president Bill Jones would stroke the hair of students and tickle them without permission. How professors there would do everything from kiss students’ foreheads to pass on rumors they had dated “too many men.”

One faculty member sexually assaulted a student, a graduate alleges.

While the university maintains administrators were ignorant of these allegations, and indeed the graduates said they did not report them at the time, they reinforce an image of religious institutions that many have tried to shake: that sexual misconduct at best goes ignored, and worst, is knowingly dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

He was caught viewing 'inappropriate images' on a church computer. Now he's a pastor in Fort Worth

TEXAS
Star-Telegram

SARAH SMITH
ssmith@star-telegram.com

May 15, 2018

A pastor booted from a megachurch for viewing "inappropriate images" on his church computer in 2016 has found a job as an associate pastor in Fort Worth, according to his website.

Scott Crenshaw had served as a senior pastor at the New River Fellowship Church at the time, which has campuses in Mineral Wells, Benbrook and Hudson Oaks (the corporate office is in Weatherford).

The board of directors removed him and issued a statement: "Leadership confronted him and discussed at length the concern, the nature of which was related to inappropriate images on his church office computer." Crenshaw had agreed to seek counseling, the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

A time for prayer and meditation for Chile’s Bishops

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

May 15, 2018

By Vatican News

Pope Francis has given the Bishops of Chile a series of themes for meditation at their meeting Tuesday at the Vatican.

Addressing the crisis

Chile sex abuse: Pope Francis begs forgiveness for “serious mistakes”
The Holy Father called the meeting with the Chilean episcopate to address the crisis of clerical sexual abuse, and the failure of church leaders to respond adequately to it. The meeting was prompted by the reception of 2300-page report by two special envoys sent to Rome by Pope Francis earlier this year. The envoys, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Fr Jordi Bertomeu Farnós, travelled to the Americas to hear testimony from victims of clerical abuse.

Upon receiving the final report, Pope Francis “humbly” requesting the Bishops’ “collaboration and assistance in discerning the short-, mid-, and long-term measures that must be adopted to re-establish ecclesial communion in Chile, with the goal of repairing as much as possible the scandal, and re-establishing justice.” The meeting in Rome is intended to discuss the results of the envoys’ visit and discuss the Pope’s conclusions.

A time for meditation and prayer

The Pope held the first meeting with the Bishops on Tuesday afternoon in the auletta of the Paul VI Hall. Thirty-four Chilean Bishops were in attendance. According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office, the Pope gave each of the Bishops a text with themes for meditation. “From this moment and until the next meeting, a time is open [which is] dedicated exclusively to meditation and prayer,” the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

May 15, 2018

Civil suit targets NM priest over abuse

NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

May 15, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Since law enforcement never filed rape and molestation charges against former Catholic priest Sabine Griego, seven people who say they are victims of his sexual abuse are now taking up the mission of accountability in a civil lawsuit filed last week.

Documents released under court order by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in a separate civil lawsuit show that by 2017 the archdiocese had reached settlement agreements with 32 New Mexicans who alleged that Griego sexually abused them as children. The Archdiocese faces dozens of suits regarding its role in covering up pedophile priest behavior.

This suit, filed May 9 in 4th District Court in Las Vegas by Albuquerque attorneys Brad Hall and Levi Monagle, targets Griego as an individual. It alleges he raped, abused and molested six male children and one female child at his home, in his car, at the churches he worked at and at his mother’s home in Las Vegas over decades.

The seven plaintiffs, now all New Mexico residents in their 50s, are in addition to victims identified by the church who were abused by Griego and by two other priests, Jason Sigler and Arthur Perrault, who have been named in dozens of civil lawsuits dating to the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Pope gives Chile bishops something to pray on for abuse summit

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN_CORRESPONDENT

May 15, 2018

ROME – After the first meeting between Pope Francis and 34 Chilean bishops to talk about “extraordinary challenges [regarding] abuse of power, sexual [abuse] and [abuses] of conscience” facing the Chilean Church, on Tuesday the Vatican released a statement saying Francis had given the prelates a text on which to “pray and meditate.”

“This afternoon the pope gave each of the bishops a text with some themes on which to meditate; from now on until the next meeting, a moment opens dedicated exclusively to meditation and prayer,” the short statement says.

The statement was released after the first meeting between the pope and the prelates came to an end. Having started at 4:00 pm local, it lasted for about two hours and took place in the auletta of the Paul VI Synod Hall, a room located in the hall where popes hold their weekly audiences during bad-weather months.

There will be three more meetings: One on Wednesday afternoon and two on Thursday.

The bishops were summoned to Rome by Francis in a letter dated April 8. He penned it after receiving a report from Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish priest Jordi Bertomeu. The pontiff had tasked them with looking into Bishop Juan Barros, who’s been accused of covering up for a pedophile priest.

Scicluna and Bertomeu presented a 2,300-page long report that led to Francis acknowledging that he’d made “serious errors.” He also asked three victims of Father Fernando Karadima, who’s been found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing minors, to come to Rome. They did so in late April.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Prosecutor denies threatening Saginaw Diocese

MICHIGAN
Huron Daily Tribune

By Brenda Battel
Tribune Staff Writer

[wtih documents]

May 15, 2018

BAD AXE — A prosecutor handling a sexual abuse investigation involving priests from the Diocese of Saginaw denies threatening the Diocese in a 2004 letter.

Mark Gaertner is a former Huron County prosecutor who now works as an assistant prosecutor in Saginaw County. The Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office is working with law enforcement regarding investigations of prior sexual abuse of minors by priests in the Diocese.

Gaertner was the Huron County prosecutor when Bad Axe Police investigated a former Bad Axe Priest, Jack E. Leipert, following allegations of sexual abuse while serving at Sacred Heart Church in 2000. In that case, the county elected to not file charges against Leipert.

At the time, a 21-year-old Caseville man claimed Leipert sexually molested him.

The Diocese told the Tribune this week that it was that complaint that led to Leipert's removal from the ministry in 2001

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Sisters sexually assaulted at school, Kochi police registers FIR against priest

INDIA
New Indian Express

16th May 2018

By Express News Service

KOCHI: In yet another child abuse case, the Kochi central police on Tuesday registered an FIR on the statements given by three minor sisters. Though a case under the POCSO Act has been registered, the police are yet to name any person. A Christian priest is allegedly involved, they said.

As per the girls’ statement, they and their mother were at a retreat centre at Madukkarai near Coimbatore. During prayer time, a woman at the centre had a revelation the elder girl, around 16 years old, is hiding something from them, the statement said. “When asked, the girl revealed they were sexually abused at their school at Kakkanad. They were also taken to other Christian establishments and subjected to sexual abuse there too,” the FIR said.

The police took the children for medical examination and shifted them to a children’s home. “We have registered an FIR. The allegations are very sensitive and we are probing them in detail,” said a cop.

The police said this may be a tip of the iceberg, and more children might have been lured to the retreat centre. The girls’ father had said Unnieshobhavan authorities were canvassing innocent people, particularly Kerala women, on false promises. Those who run the asylum were dismissed from the diocese for illegal activities and are maintaining the asylum to achieve their ill motives of keeping innocent in their custody in the name of Jesus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Former youth minister accused of sending inappropriate photos, messages to girls at his church

ILLINOIS
WGN

MAY 15, 2018

BY MARCELLA RAYMOND AND NANCY LOO

CHICAGO -- A former youth minister has been accused of sending inappropriate pictures and messages to minors several times since 2014.

Daniel Ramos, 29, of Burbank, was arrested Monday. He appeared in bond court Tuesday and was charged with four felonies including child pornography, indecent solicitation of a child and grooming. The alleged victims are as young as 12 and as old as 17.

Daniel Ramos was the youth pastor at Victory Worship Church on the Northwest Side up until last summer when one of the alleged victims, who was between 14 and 15 at the time of the abuse, told her mother, who told the lead pastor.

Lead pastor Chris Wallace stresses Ramos hasn't worked with the center for many months, and said the church alerted authorities last summer after learning of possible misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

The Ignored Chilean Abuse Case — at a Jesuit High School

CHILE
National Catholic Register

May 15, 2018

Edward Pentin

While Pope Francis meets the bishops of Chile over the next three days to formulate a response to the abuse crisis in the country (see below), a case involving sexual abuse in a Jesuit school for 12- to 17-year-old boys has been making headlines in Chile but receiving little attention outside the country.

The charges relate to abuse perpetrated in the 1980s and 1990s by Father Jaime Guzman Astaburuaga who has been prevented from exercising ministry or being in the vicinity of minors after the Society of Jesus found him guilty in 2012 of a series of abuses.

The abuses included improper touching in the confessional, taking photographs of students in the nude during retreats and displaying the pictures on a school bulletin board, and perpetrating acts of violence against minors. The abuse only became public in January.

While Pope Francis meets the bishops of Chile over the next three days to formulate a response to the abuse crisis in the country (see below), a case involving sexual abuse in a Jesuit school for 12- to 17-year-old boys has been making headlines in Chile but receiving little attention outside the country.

The charges relate to abuse perpetrated in the 1980s and 1990s by Father Jaime Guzman Astaburuaga who has been prevented from exercising ministry or being in the vicinity of minors after the Society of Jesus found him guilty in 2012 of a series of abuses.

The abuses included improper touching in the confessional, taking photographs of students in the nude during retreats and displaying the pictures on a school bulletin board, and perpetrating acts of violence against minors. The abuse only became public in January.

The Colegio San Ignacio at which Father Guzman taught is reputed by local Catholics in Chile to have a history for being “ultra-liberal,” and is located just three blocks away from the conservative and affluent El Bosque parish, once run by Father Fernando Karadima. Found guilty of a series of abuses dating back to the 1980s, Father Karadima is at the center of the abuse crisis in the country, involving charges of cover-up by four of the country’s bishops. at which Father Guzman taught is reputed by local Catholics in Chile to have a history for being “ultra-liberal,” and is located just three blocks away from the conservative and affluent El Bosque parish, once run by Father Fernando Karadima. Found guilty of a series of abuses dating back to the 1980s, Father Karadima is at the center of the abuse crisis in the country, involving charges of cover-up by four of the country’s bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Growing number of children groomed to film own sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
The Guardian (UK)

May 14, 2018

Children are being coerced and blackmailed into live-streaming their own sexual abuse from their own homes, researchers have found.

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which carried out the study, says that large numbers of victims are white girls apparently from relatively affluent backgrounds, often streaming from their bedroom. Their profile contrasts markedly with that of typical offline abuse victims who are often homeless or poor, it points out.

In a three-month period last year, the charity identified 2,082 images and videos of live-streamed child sexual abuse. Of that number, 96% were girls and 98% were children aged 13 and under, with most (69%) assessed to be between 11 and 13. Almost three in 10 (28%) were aged under 10 and the youngest victim was just three years old.

The vast majority (96%) showed a child on their own in a home environment, leading the IWF to conclude they are being groomed, coerced and blackmailed into live-streaming their own sexual abuse over webcams, tablets and mobile phones.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Chile Archbishop Defends Himself as Pope's Summit Opens

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The retired archbishop of Santiago is denying he covered-up for an abusive priest in Chile, but is acknowledging the priest’s popularity and ability to produce seminarians weighed on his decision-making.

Cardinal Javier Errazuriz wrote a letter May 10 to his fellow bishops defending his handling of the case at the center of Chile’s sex abuse and cover-up scandal. That scandal is at the heart of an emergency summit between Pope Francis and 34 bishops that began Tuesday to try to map a recovery strategy from the crisis that has discredited the Chilean church and tarnished Francis’ own reputation.

In the letter, obtained by The Associated Press, Errazuriz insisted that he was only following church law in waiting more than five years before launching an investigation into the Rev. Fernando Karadima. Only in 2009, after he received a third complaint from one of Karadima’s young parishioners, did he start the process.

Errazuriz wrote that it had been “difficult” to reach the Vatican-required standard of being convinced that the accusations were “at least likely,” particularly given Karadima’s popularity.

“They were accusing a priest with a great pastoral calling, whose preaching enriched more than 30 young people who were ordained priests and four priests who were consecrated bishops,” Errazuriz wrote. “They also accused a priest who inspired a youth association that propagated his fame.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Pope crisis talks with Chile bishops over abuse may lead to purge

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

May 15, 2018

Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Thirty-four Chilean bishops summoned to the Vatican over a cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy began crisis meetings with Pope Francis on Tuesday that could result in a purge of Chile’s Catholic hierarchy.

“We feel pain and shame,” Fernando Ramos, an auxiliary bishop of Santiago, told a news conference ahead of the three days of closed-door meetings.

The scandal has devastated the credibility of the Church in the once staunchly Catholic country. It has also hurt the pope’s own image because this year he strongly defended a bishop accused in the alleged cover-up before reversing his position.

Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez of the city of San Bernardo said he could not rule out some of the tainted bishops resigning or being sacked, as many Chileans have demanded.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Prosecutors seek media ban on trial of Papal aide Pell

AUSTRALIA
Yahoo!

May 15, 2018

Melbourne (AFP) - The trial of top Papal aide Cardinal George Pell for alleged historic sexual offences could be held in secret after prosecutors on Tuesday sought a blanket ban on media coverage.

Pell's case returns to the Victoria County Court in Melbourne on Wednesday, when trial dates are expected to be set and the judge is due to rule on the media ban.

Pell will be the highest-ranked Catholic to face a jury after being committed to stand trial a fortnight ago. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

But reporting could be off-limits after prosecutors applied for an order to suppress "any report of the whole or any part of these proceedings and any information derived from this proceeding and any court documents associated with this proceeding".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Chilean bishop admits 'we have made mistakes' in handling abuse cases

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

May 15, 2018

A Chilean bishop has acknowledged the damage inflicted on survivors of clerical sex abuse and the mishandling of cases by church leaders in the country.

"I am not saying that perhaps we have made mistakes. We have made mistakes," said Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo.

Bishop Gonzalez, along with Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos Perez of Santiago, met with journalists on 14 May on the eve of a three-day meeting between Pope Francis and 34 Chilean bishops.

Chile’s bishops are meeting with Francis this week (15 – 17 May) in an attempt to understand the causes of the clerical sexual abuse crisis in their country and the “mechanisms” that led to its cover up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Statue of limitations reform: No clock on this crime

PENNSYLVANIA
TribLive

May 14, 2018

The state Legislature needs to address the statute of limitations regarding child sex cases.

There are far too many cases that cannot be prosecuted because victims did not report these heinous crimes when they were children.

“Children are targeted by predators because they are vulnerable, they are young and they struggle with shame, confusion or fear,” state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “But once a victim finds the courage to come forward, law enforcement must take action.”

Shapiro made his remarks May 1 when announcing charges against a Catholic priest from the Diocese of Erie who is accused of abusing two boys for years. Even more sickening, prosecutors allege the priest forced one of the children to “confess” to the sex acts during confession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Seven men sue former priest, alleging child sex abuse

NEW MEXICO
KOB

Chris Ramirez

May 14, 2018

LAS VEGAS, N.M. -- For the countless victims of clergy sex abuse in New Mexico, many feel let down by police, prosecutors and other adults who should have helped them.

The fight isn't over. In a new lawsuit, seven men allege that former Catholic Priest Sabine Griego raped them repeatedly between 1968 and 1984.

"The goal in these seven survivors in focusing on Griego specifically is to draw attention to the fact that he has escaped any kind of prosecution, even though he has been known as a credible abuser for more than 20 years," said Levi Monagle, who is one of the attorneys in the case.

In November 2017, 4 Investigates found Griego living in Las Vegas and discovered he had taught at a local community college where he had access to minors. When asked about the dozens of people who have accused him of raping them as children, he stormed off.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 AM

Bishop denies knowledge of abuse charges against ‘Archangel’ and followers

ROME
Crux

Claire Giangravè
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

May 15, 2018

ROME - In the ongoing case involving the leader of a lay Catholic association in Sicily charged with the sexual abuse of at least six underage girls, a former bishop of the local diocese in the 1980s has denied having any knowledge of the accusations and said the issue “had been buried.”

“No one came to tell me clearly how things stood,” said Monsignor Giuseppe Malandrino, who was Bishop of Acireale for over 18 years (1979-1998), in an early May interview with local media. “What can I control if there’s nothing? Now everyone speaks, but at the time…”

The lay-led “Catholic Culture and Environment Association,” or ACCA, came under fire in August 2017 when its spiritual leader, Piero Alfio Capuana, 73, was arrested and charged with the sexual abuse of six minors.

Capuana, who denies the allegations, is known as the “Archangel” among his followers. He spent six months in prison, and is currently under house arrest awaiting trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

Chilean Bishops express pain and shame over abuse

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

May 15, 2018

Pope Francis is currently holding a series of closed-door meetings with the Bishops of Chile to formulate a response to the abuse crisis that has rocked the Church in that country. The discussions are being attended by 31 diocesan and auxiliary bishops and 3 emeritus bishops, and will be ongoing until May 17th.

Press conference of two Chilean bishops

On the eve of the meeting, two Chilean bishops held a press conference in Rome. They are Bishop Fernando Ramos, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago and General Secretary of the Chilean Episcopal Conference, and Bishop Juan Ignacio González of San Bernardo.

Called by the Pope

Archbishop Ramos recalled Pope Francis’ letter of April 8th with which he summoned the bishops to the Vatican. He explained how the Bishops have come specifically: “To receive the conclusions of the report by Archbishop Scicluna following his visit to Chile, and also to discern short, medium and long term measures to restore communion and justice”. These, according to the General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference were “the two great themes to which the Holy Father invited us with his letter".

Discerning responsibilities

Speaking at the press conference in Rome, Archbishop Ramos said the content of the meetings with the Pope would include: “The issues of abuse of power, abuse of conscience, and sexual abuse, that have occurred in recent decades in the Chilean Church, as well as the mechanisms that led, in some cases, to concealment and serious omissions against the victims. A second point is to share the conclusions the Holy Father drew from Archbishop Scicluna’s report. And a third point is the Pope's invitation to make a long synodal process of discernment to understand the responsibilities of each and every one regarding these terrible wounds of abuse, and to seek necessary changes so that they are not repeated".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 AM

May 14, 2018

Many of Guam's clergy sex abuse accusers finish church interviews

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

May 14, 2018

About half of the nearly 170 people who filed clergy sex abuse lawsuits have completed giving details and additional information to the Archdiocese of Agana's attorneys during interviews to help evaluate claims for possible settlement.

Attorney David Lujan said 40 of the nearly 120 clergy sex abuse victims he represents had already been interviewed as of last week and interviews will continue in the next few weeks.

More than 40 plaintiffs represented by two other law firms gave their interviews in March and April. A third law firm, representing 10 plaintiffs, also has separate interviews.

Interview is part of pre-mediation process

The interview process is much like a deposition. Each person who filed a clergy sex abuse lawsuit is interviewed for an average of two hours, and those present during the interview are attorneys for the defendants including the archdiocese, along with the plaintiff's own attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Toledo pastor charged with sex trafficking minors pleads guilty

OHIO
The Blade

By Jennifer Feehan | BLADE STAFF WRITER

May 14, 2018

One of three Toledo area pastors caught up in an alleged child sex trafficking scheme admitted in court Monday that he had sex with two minor girls, even at times at his friend's church office.

Kenneth Butler, 38, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to sex traffic children, obstruction of a sex trafficking investigation, and two counts of sex trafficking of children.

Although three of the charges carry maximum possible sentences of life in prison, Butler is to be sentenced to 17½ years in prison as part of a plea agreement. Judge Jack Zouhary scheduled sentencing for Sept. 12.

“This defendant has admitted to crimes that include preying on a foster child who was previously the victim of sexual abuse, and he committed these crimes in a house of worship,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said in a news release. “Butler may hold himself out to the community as a pastor, but in the eyes of the law he is a criminal who pays money to sexually assault children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 PM

Ohio Pastor Had Sex With 2 Underage Girls: DOJ

OHIO
Patch

By Chris Mosby, Patch Staff

May 14, 2018

TOLEDO, OH — A former Toledo-area pastor had sex with two underage girls, including a victim of sexual abuse, according to a plea agreement released by the Department of Justice. Kenneth Butler will now likely spend the next 17 years of his life in prison.

"This defendant has admitted to crimes that include preying on a foster child who was previously the victim of sexual abuse, and he committed these crimes in a house of worship," U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. "Butler may hold himself out to the community as a pastor, but in the eyes of the law he is a criminal who pays money to sexually assault children."

According to Butler's plea agreement, between 2015 and March 2017, the pastor had sex with two girls both under the age of 18. On different occasions, he gave the girls small amounts of cash or rides before engaging in sexual acts.

Prior to coming to Toledo, Butler was a pastor of a Detroit church for five years. His church closed in 2013, and then he moved south and became a member of the Greater Life Christian Center in Toledo. Butler became friends with Anthony Haynes, who was the lead pastor of the church at that time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 PM

Inquiry into child abuse ex Pembrokeshire youth worker to start

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

May 14, 2018

An investigation into how an ex youth worker jailed for child sex offences almost became a foster carer is due to start after almost a year of delays.

Ex youth worker Michael 'Mik' Smith was jailed in 2014 for sexual offences against children.

He was almost approved to become a foster carer by Pembrokeshire council despite concerns about his conduct.

The council said an independent chairman would be appointed in June.

A cabinet inquiry into the council's dealings with Smith was due to begin in June 2017, but it has not yet begun after attempts to start it failed due to issues forming a task and finish group.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 PM

St. Frances Academy teacher accused of inappropriate relationship with student

MARYLAND
WBAL

May 14, 2918

Barry Simms

BALTIMORE —
A former teacher at a Baltimore Catholic school faces child sex abuse charges.

Police arrested Ryan Penalver, 27, after St. Frances Academy received allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old female student. Penalver had been held without bail, but a judge released him Monday on his own recognizance.

Penalver has taught history at St. Frances Academy for seven years. He's charged with sex abuse of a minor, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses, second-degree child abuse and perverted practice.

"We believe the relationship started in April and continued into May. A friend of the victim reported it to the school, who immediately contacted Child Protective Services, and they contacted us," Baltimore police Detective Jeremy Silbert said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 PM

Before meeting with Pope, Chilean bishops vow to end abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

By Elise Harris

Vatican City, May 14, 2018 / 01:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Speaking on the eve of a 3-day meeting with Pope Francis about a massive clerical abuse scandal, several Chilean prelates said they are ready to listen, and to work toward eradicating sexual abuse in the Church.

In a May 14 press conference ahead of their May 15-17 meeting with Pope Francis, two leading Chilean bishops said clerical sexual abuse is “unacceptable” and “intolerable,” and is something they are committed to eradicating.

The bishops said their attitude going into meetings with the pope this week is one of “pain and shame,” and that their main goals are to listen to what Francis has to say and to find a way forward which brings both healing and reparation for victims, as well as stricter prevention measures.

In comments to the media, Bishop Fernando Ramos, auxiliary bishop of Santiago, said he and his fellow prelates feel pain because “there are victims, people, who have suffered these abuses and this causes us great pain.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 PM

Baltimore Catholic school teacher accused of having relationship with student

MARYLAND
Fox Baltimore

May 14, 2018

by Bryna Zume

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - A teacher at an east Baltimore Catholic school has been fired after he allegedly had "an inappropriate relationship with a student," according to a letter sent by the school.

Ryan Penalver, 27, was a history teacher at Saint Frances Academy, on East Chase Street near Greenmount Avenue, since 2012.

He allegedly had a relationship with a 15-year-old student and was arrested Friday, said police.

The school sent a letter to parents and guardians saying: "In accordance with Maryland law and the policies of the school, SFA reported the allegations to Child Protective Services as soon as possible. Mr. Penalver was relieved of his duties immediately, and is no longer an employee of the school."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 PM

Trail of trauma: grand jury report expected to shed more light on sexual abuse in Roman Catholic dioceses

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PETER SMITH
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

MAY 14, 2018

A 1983 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette feature article opens with heart-warming words that — 35 years later — now chill the blood:

“The Rev. Lawrence A. O’Connell, pastor of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin Church in Whitehall, wishes only to live out his remaining years near his beloved elementary school and its children.”

The longtime parish pastor, officially retiring at age 77, said he hoped “to remain here to teach religion and stay active with the children. … I used to greet them all as they came in the door.”

O’Connell died of a heart attack in 1986, his public good name intact.

In 2004, a different narrative emerged.

That year, two women sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to say that in those hallway greetings when they were young students in the 1950s and 1960s, O’Connell would for years put his arms around them, fondle their breasts and force them to kiss him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 PM

Going home at night didn’t stop the abuse

CANADA
Oak Bay News

STEVEN HEYWOOD

May. 14, 2018

Angel Sampson recalls being called “heathen,” “savage,” and “evil.”

She also remembers the fear of attending school, where she experienced not only emotional abuse, but physical harm at the hands of the people entrusted with her education and care.

From 1964 to ‘67, and starting when she was six years old, Sampson attended the Tsartlip Indian Day School in Brentwood Bay. It wasn’t what people might recognize as a residential school — the site of pain and suffering by many of Canada’s Indigenous people — but the conditions Sampson says she faced were not any different.

In fact, the only difference, she said, was that the children got to go home at night.

That still didn’t prevent the abuse from happening, she said. Sampson remembers having her hair pulled, being choked and battered unconscious to the point where other students thought she’d died. As a young child, she said you were afraid to talk about it, and the nuns of the Catholic Church who ran the Day School created an environment where the children were fearful of speaking up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 PM

Chilean bishop says mistakes were made in handling abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

May 14, 2018

by Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A Chilean bishop acknowledged the damage inflicted on survivors of clerical sex abuse and the mishandling of cases by church leaders in the country.

"I am not saying that perhaps we have made mistakes. We have made mistakes," said Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo.

Gonzalez, along with Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos Perez of Santiago, met with journalists May 14 on the eve of a three-day meeting between Pope Francis and 34 Chilean bishops.

The bishops are meeting at the Vatican May 15-17 to discuss with Francis their handling of clerical sex abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

Chilean bishops: We have come to Rome in ‘pain and shame’

ROME
America

Gerard O’Connell

May 14, 2018

The 34 Chilean bishops have come to Rome “in pain and shame” because of the victims who have suffered abuse in their church, and they are conscious that as bishops they have erred. They have come “in a spirit of humility and openness,” willing to hear what Pope Francis has to say to them, and “ready to collaborate with him and do whatever he asks.” That was the message that two representatives of the Chilean bishops communicated to the international press at a conference at the Vatican Radio center on May 14.

The bishops had delegated two of their number to meet the press this evening: Fernando Ramos Pérez, the secretary general of the bishops’ conference and auxiliary bishop in the Santiago archdiocese, and Juan Ignacio González Errázuriz, the bishop of San Bernardo and a member of Opus Dei.

Bishop Ramos said they would have several meetings with Pope Francis over the next three days, starting early Tuesday afternoon, May 15, and continuing until May 17. They would meet him as a group “in a long synodal process,” which may not necessarily conclude in these three days, “to discern the short-, medium- and long-term measures” that need to be taken in the face of the present situation. They did not yet know if they will have individual meetings with him. Nor is it scheduled that they will concelebrate the Eucharist with the pope, he said. They did not know exactly how this whole process will unfold.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 PM

Chilean bishops bring ‘shame’, say they’ll hear pope with ‘humility’

ROME
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

May 14, 2018

ROME - Some might say that the 34 Chilean bishops who are now in Rome to meet with Pope Francis to address the way they’ve handled clerical sexual abuse scandals are like lambs to the slaughter. Two of them projected just that image when talking to journalists on Monday, saying that they’ve come to Rome with “pain,” “shame,” and “humility,” to “listen” and “discern.”

Bishop Fernando Ramos Pérez, secretary general of the Chilean bishops’ conference, said that the bishops who have arrived in Rome have done so with “pain, because there are people who’ve been victims of abuse,” but also with shame, “because the abuses have occurred in ecclesial environments where this type of abuse should never happen.”

“We have made mistakes, many mistakes,” said Bishop Ignacio González, who acknowledged that the Catholic Church in Chile had failed when it comes to protecting children.

The bishop, a member of the Chilean council for the prevention of abuse and accompaniment of victims said he “understood the rage, the anger,” of Chilean survivors of abuse who’ve asked for Cardinal Francisco Errazuriz, the former Archbishop of Santiago, to face trial for covering up abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 PM

Matt Flynn campaign says attacks on his work with Archdiocese are a 'smear campaign'

WISCONSIN
The Cap Times

May 14, 2018

By Jessie Opoien

Milwaukee attorney Matt Flynn's campaign manager said Monday the candidate is the subject of a "smear campaign" as he faces calls from Wisconsin women's groups to drop out of the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Flynn, a former chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, represented the Archdiocese of Milwaukee against victims of sexual abuse by priests during his work with the law firm Quarles & Brady.

His campaign held a call with reporters on Monday to announce a series of videos featuring three supporters of Flynn's campaign, including Karen Gotzler, the former director of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center. Gotzler said as a person who was raised Catholic, she is pleased Flynn worked to "rid our church of these abusers."

The call comes a week after the Wisconsin Women's March and the Madison and Wisconsin chapters of the National Organization for Women called on Flynn to end his campaign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 PM

Former Erie Diocese Bishop: 'There Was No Such Cover-Up' in Sex Abuse Case

PENNSYLVANIA
Erie News Now

May 14th 2018

Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman of the Erie Diocese issued a new statement Monday regarding the charges filed against former priest David Poulson for the sexual abuse of two young boys.

It reads:

The Erie Times News stated in its May 14, 2018, edition “that the Diocese of Erie engaged in a cover-up of David Poulson’s behavior under the administration of Bishop Donald Trautman,” according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro. There was no such cover-up.

Why would I cover up Father Poulson’s behavior when I had reported to several district atttorneys the behavior of other priests? I know of no sexual abuse by Poulson during my time as Bishop of Erie. Why would I cover up Poulson’s sinful behavior when I had removed 22 priests from ministry and sought their dismissal from the clerical state?

Can a bishop be misled? Yes, I was misled, and others were as well. In early 2018, members of the clergy continuing education committee invited Poulson to give the Day of Recollection for the priests of the Erie Diocese. Needless to say, the Day of Recollection was cancelled.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 PM

Chilean bishops open to resignations, reparation for abuse

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

May 13, 2019

NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Chile’s Catholic bishops said Monday they were open to whatever Pope Francis proposes to overhaul the Chilean church, including the removal of bishops, reforms of seminaries and paying financial reparation to victims of a clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

Representatives of the Chilean bishops conference told reporters they were heading into three days of meetings with Francis humbled, pained and shamed for their own errors in handling abuse cases. They said they wanted to listen to Francis and would follow his lead in asking forgiveness of the victims they had discredited.

A conference spokesman, Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez, said “it’s possible” some bishops would offer to resign, but that it was up to the pope. “We’ll respect what he says. If he asks, we’ll do it,” he said.

Francis summoned the bishops to Rome for an emergency summit after receiving a 2,300-page report on the abuse cover-up scandal, which he had helped fuel. During a visit to Chile in January, Francis strongly defended a bishop, Juan Barros, who was accused by victims of Chile’s most notorious predator priest of having witnessed and ignored their abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 PM

Sex abuse probe will NOT look at the claims on an MP rape 'fantasist' after doubts emerged about her story

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Stephen Wright for the Daily Mail

14 May 2018

A woman's claims that she was the victim of a Westminster paedophile plot will not be examined by the public inquiry into child sex abuse after doubts emerged about her story.

Four months after the Daily Mail raised questions about Esther Baker's account of supposed VIP abuse, it has been announced that her allegations will not be investigated by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

Inquiry chairman Professor Alexis Jay described Miss Baker's allegations as 'highly contentious' and added that she is the subject of a complaint to police that she had perverted the course of justice.

'I have decided that the inquiry will not investigate the issues that Miss Baker has raised that relate to her own alleged experiences of child sexual abuse,' Professor Jay said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 PM

It’s time to sunset the scandal-ridden Shomrim

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Post Editorial Board

May 13, 2018

Does New York City — with its once-unimaginable record-low crime rates — still need private (but city-funded) citizen-patrol groups?

The question became more pressing with the arrest Thursday of Jacob Daskal, politically wired president and co-founder of the Boro Park Shomrim, on charges he repeatedly raped a 15-year-old girl over a period of months in his home.

It’s not the Brooklyn group’s first brush with the law, either.

Last year, Shomrim official Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein was sentenced to 32 months in prison for bribing cops on a regular basis to get hard-to-obtain full-carry handgun permits for paying clients, including some with criminal records.

The group itself has been accused of violently beating suspects it apprehends. And Daskal reportedly was able to arrange for Orthodox Jews arrested for minor crimes to avoid being booked through the system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Egypt arrests activist after anti-sexual abuse video

EGYPT
News 24

2018-05-13

Egypt on Friday arrested an activist who posted a video on social media in which she hit out at national institutions and voiced opposition to sexual harassment, security sources said.

In the clip uploaded to Facebook this week, Amal Fathi criticised organisations including state-owned Banque Misr, whose male security staff she accused of being predatory towards women.

She also criticised the government over human rights and economic conditions in the country, as well as accusing it of failing to protect women.

Fathi, a 33-year-old mother, stands accused of "insulting all the institutions of the state" and undermining patriotism, the security sources said.

She would be brought before Egypt's prosecutor general.

London-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International said Fathi was arrested for her criticism of the government "for failing to protect women".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

Maine man learns truth of his past: Nuns stole him as a baby from his mother in Ireland

MAINE
Press Herald

BY PENELOPE OVERTON
STAFF WRITER

May 14, 2018

Kevin Battle was a baby when church officials raided his family home in Ireland and plucked him from the arms of his mother, an unmarried 24-year-old who had run away from the convent where she and hundreds of other Irish girls were sent to give birth to secret children.

After raising the boy she named William for more than a year, his mother couldn’t bear to give him up, so she grabbed her chubby-cheeked boy and escaped home to her family in County Limerick. But the nuns had plans for the boy, so they tracked down the mother and child and forcefully reclaimed him.

Within weeks of seizing the baby, the Catholic Church sold him to an Irish couple in New York grieving the death of their own infant. The price? A $1,000 donation to the church. Records show that the convent, Sean Ross Abbey, secretly exported 438 children like Battle to America.

Yet Battle, a retired South Portland police officer who works as a harbor master and state legislator, grew up knowing none of this. He’d always known he was adopted. He’d searched for his mother, following the paper trail to Ireland in 1978, but the nuns there told him she was dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:00 PM

Shomrim leader accused of raping teen caught on recorded call with victim: DA

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Jennifer Bain, Larry Celona and Laura Italiano

May 11, 2018

The politically connected Shomrim leader accused of repeatedly raping a 15-year-old girl implicated himself in a recorded phone call with his victim, prosecutors revealed Friday.

Jacob “Yanky” Daskal, 59, who helped found the neighborhood Boro Park Shomrim patrol group some 30 years ago, knew his victim prior to the alleged attacks, prosecutors said.

The major campaign donor pleaded not guilty at his Friday arraignment in Brooklyn Supreme Court and quickly posted $75,000 bond.

At the brief hearing, prosecutors said they set up and recorded a phone call earlier this week between Daskal and the young girl he is accused of sexually abusing in the Borough Park home he shares with his wife and family.

“There was a controlled phone call,” said Assistant District Attorney Kevin O’Donnell.

O’Donnell did not describe the call or elaborate on Daskal’s relationship with the girl, except to say “the parties are known to each other.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Cardinal George Pell’s Sexual Abuse Trials May Be Held in Secret

AUSTRALIA
New York Times

By Damien Cave

May 14, 2018

SYDNEY, Australia — An Australian court is to decide on Wednesday whether two planned trials for Cardinal George Pell, the senior Vatican official accused of sexual abuse, will be conducted in secret with the public barred from knowing what took place until the proceedings are over.

On Friday, prosecutors in the state of Victoria applied for a “super injunction” against news coverage of the separate trials. Legal experts described the application as an extreme move aimed at keeping juries in both cases from learning anything that might cause bias.

But a trial held behind closed doors would also limit accountability for the judge, jury and lawyers in the case.

“The proposed order is a blanket ban and is the most extreme form of order that can be made,” said Jason Bosland, deputy director of the Centre for Media and Communications Law at Melbourne Law School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Abused and scarred: Priests sexually assaulting children

WISCONSIN
Blugold Media

[with audio]

Sydney Purpora

May 13, 2018

Peter Isely, a survivor of priest abuse and a founding member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), was sexually assaulted at age 13 at Saint Lawrence Seminary High School in Fond Du Lac county. His story illustrates the struggles he and other survivors faced and how the abuse changed his life.

Documents discussed in the podcast are linked below for listener reference:

* Isely publicized his abuse in the Milwaukee Journal in 1992.
*Victim blaming tactics used by Isely’s offender.
*Court documents and victim testimony involving accused priests at St. Lawrence.

Father Gale Liefeld starting abusing Peter Isely when he was 13. The grooming techniques Liefeld used are recognized in a 2015 research article written by the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire professor and researcher, Jason Spraitz. The tactics priests who abuse children use, make it hard to identify and stop the assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Catholics Head to Church for First Time Since Erie Ex-Priest Charged

PENNSYLVANIA
Erie News NOW

May 14th 2018

Erie-area Catholics headed to mass this weekend, many entering their churches for the first time since new charges of priest sexual abuse were unveiled in the Erie Diocese.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General announced charges Tuesday against former priest David Poulson, 64, related to the sexual abuse of minors.

He also took former Bishop Donald Trautman to task for a secret memo that, if handled differently, may have protected future victims.

Most parishioners did not want to talk. One man who chose not to show his face said he is glad it is now in the open.

"I think that it was a cover up," said a St. Patrick Church parishioner. "I think it needed to start from the Pope all the way down to the bishop, but I also think it's been going on for years. That's my personal opinion. Hopefully, they'll clean it up. Unfortunately, if it came down to alter boys, that's sad that it happened."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Phone call from military chaplain triggered priest case

PENNSYLVANIA
Go Erie

By Ed Palattella

May 14, 3018

The child sex abuse charges filed against the Rev. David Poulson were largely based on evidence the Catholic Diocese of Erie gathered and gave police.

The phone call was from Texas. It rang in the offices of the Catholic Diocese of Erie in late January.

The call set off a series of events that culminated on Tuesday with the arrest of the Rev. David L. Poulson on charges that he sexually abused two boys from 2002 to 2010.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office charged Poulson based on a presentment from a statewide investigative jury that heard evidence in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Confessional seal not ‘linchpin of culture of secrecy,’ Aussie prelate says

AUSTRALIA
Crux

Christopher White
NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT

May 14, 2018

In recent months, the Australian Catholic Church has been in the spotlight, primarily due to news that the former Archbishop of Sydney and the pope’s current finance minister, Cardinal George Pell, will stand trial for “historical sexual offenses” amid continuing fallout from the Church’s clerical abuse crisis.

As the Church attempts to change the narrative about its role in public life, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has been elected as the new head of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Serving as his vice-president will be Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney.

Soon after their election, Bishop Richard Umbers, an auxiliary bishop of Sydney, tweeted that with the election of Coleridge and Fisher, the Australian bishops had “put forward the two most articulate bishops in the conference.”

In an interview with Crux, Coleridge describes how he intends to navigate the tensions between the Church and various political and ecclesial battles in Australia - and in a way that puts Jesus Christ at the center of his work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

President hopeful Kevin Sharkey calls for Pope Francis to say sorry to people of Ireland on behalf of Catholic Church

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

By Sylvia Pownall

14 MAY 2018

Presidential hopeful Kevin Sharkey has called on Pope Francis to apologise to the people of Ireland on behalf of the Catholic Church.

The 56-year-old claimed the Vatican has left us “adrift” in the wake of clerical sex abuse scandals.

The artist and former TV presenter, who wants to become the country’s first black president, was born in a mother and baby home.

He suffered a childhood of abuse after being adopted and sent to an industrial school in Galway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Pope Francis has taken a journey on Chile’s sex abuse crisis

ROME
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

May 14, 2018

ROME - Starting Tuesday, 33 Chilean bishops will meet Pope Francis in Rome for three days to talk about the “extraordinary challenges” created by clerical sexual abuse and abuses of power in the country’s Church “in the last decade.”

The quotes come from a Vatican statement issued on Saturday, ahead of the meeting.

One bit of mini-drama heading in was whether Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, the retired archbishop of Santiago who’s been accused by survivors of covering up abuse cases, would attend. A member of the pope’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers, Errazuriz originally said he would skip the meeting but eventually boarded a plane for Rome on Saturday, saying simply, “I changed my mind.”

Saturday’s Vatican statement, presumably released with the pope’s green light, appeared to leave no room for doubt: At least some in the Chilean hierarchy have been found wanting, even if no actual canonical processes have taken place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:47 AM

Chileans denounce suffering sex abuse by Marists, priests

CHILE
Associated Press

May 14, 2018

EVA VERGARA

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Even as Pope Francis apologized for his failures in connection with Chile’s most famous case of clerical sex abuse, the pope and that country’s deeply discredited Catholic Church are under mounting pressure to address another, even bigger sex scandal.

The blooming scandal of the Marist Brothers, a congregation dedicated to education, has not yet drawn great attention worldwide — unlike allegations that a bishop covered up the crimes of a pedophile priest, Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Francis recently spent several days at his Vatican hotel in talks with three of Karadima’s victims; this week he is meeting with all of Chile’s bishops to address the crisis that has implicated several church leaders and religious orders.

In the Marist case, the accusations of abuse are many.

“It’s a situation of systematic abuse where there are multiple abusers throughout time, within and outside the congregation,” Juan Pablo Hermosilla, an attorney for some of the victims told The Associated Press. He said that there at least 20 cases of abuse, but that there could be more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

May 13, 2018

Outrage after bishop filmed violently dunking baby in baptism water

CYPRUS
9 News

By Ehsan Knopf

May 14, 2018

A bishop at a Greek Orthodox church has come under fire over video showing him forcefully plunging a wailing infant into a basin of water.

The video, captioned "IS THIS YOUR PRIEST!!!?????" and posted to Twitter by user @Miss_Patriciah last week, shows the bishop vigorously dunking the child three times into the water before handing it back to its parents.

The force of the man's movements sends water spraying in all directions. Five girls standing in the background watching the ceremony can be seen recoiling and stepping backwards.

The video has since been viewed more than 14 million times and was filmed in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, The Sun reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Bradford native recounts abuse at BCC

PENNSYLVANIA
Bradford Era

By MARCIE SCHELLHAMMER Era Associate Editor
marcie@bradfordera.com

May 9, 2018

t’s been 36 years since Jim VanSickle spoke to Father David Poulson.

The next time the Bradford Central Christian High School graduate sees the priest, he hopes it will be in a courtroom.

Poulson was arraigned Tuesday on allegations that he abused two young boys in the Cambridge Springs area. It was a story too familiar to VanSickle.

“My abuse happened from 1979 to 1982 while I was a student at Bradford Central Christian,” VanSickle said.

He spoke to Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office, and testified before the statewide investigating grand jury about what had happened to him so many years ago, when Poulson was first ordained. He’s hoping he’ll be asked to testify at his criminal trial, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

These taxpayer-funded Jewish schools are dooming young men to poverty

NEW YORK
New York Post

By Doree Lewak

May 12, 2018

Judaism refers to its followers as “people of the book.” But the children — some 57,000 of them in New York City alone, according to the 2013 census — of the state’s ultra-Orthodox communities are largely being denied an education that includes science, math and English books.

In April, state Senator Simcha Felder (D – Brooklyn) refused to sign off on the state budget unless yeshivas, which accept millions of dollars in government funding, were given more autonomy over curricula. Per a Post editorial, “Felder demanded [legislation] to exempt private yeshivas from state requirements to provide adequate education in basic areas such as English, math, science and history.”

It was announced on Wednesday that Felder secured some $200,000 in discretionary funds for “education access” programs for Agudath Israel, the lobbying force that helped fight state efforts to impose instructional standards on yeshivas.

Advocates who believe Jewish children are being harmed by yeshivas are devastated by the news.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Ed Palattella: Priest case stirs debate over statute of limitations

PENNSYLVANIA
Go Erie

May 13, 2018

In his latest effort, state Rep. Mark Rozzi wants the General Assembly to pass a law that would give the victims retroactive access to the civil courts.

The prosecution of the Rev. David Poulson, the Catholic Diocese of Erie priest charged on Tuesday with child sexual abuse, will take place in Jefferson County, where Poulson owns a hunting camp.

The Jefferson County connection was notable to state Rep. Mark Rozzi.

The Berks County Democrat for years has been pushing to expand the rights of child sexual abuse victims.

In his latest effort, Rozzi wants the General Assembly to pass a law that would give the victims retroactive access to the civil courts. He has lobbied for the change by sharing his story of how a priest raped him in the mid-1980s, when he was 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Our view: Erie bishops face pastoral challenge

PENNSYLVANIA
Go Erie

May 13, 2018

The Rev. David L. Poulson, a Catholic Diocese of Erie priest, was arrested Tuesday on charges he sexually abused two boys in three counties between 2002 and 2010.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Poulson not only assaulted one of the victims in two church rectories, but also defiled the sacrament of reconciliation by making that boy “confess” the sexual abuse to Poulson, his abuser.

Worse, Shapiro asserted diocesan leaders knew of Poulson’s predatory behaviors eight years ago, but did not alert law enforcement or parishioners or remove him from ministry.

Shapiro said a May 2010 diocesan memo showed that after church officials received a complaint about Poulson’s behavior with minors, Poulson admitted to then-Erie Bishop Donald W. Trautman that his text messages with boys were “suggestive to sexual advances” and that he had been sexually aroused while tutoring a boy. Trautman, Shapiro said, admonished Poulson to stop and returned him to ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

As Chile bishops arrive in Rome, recalling 48 hours that shook the Church

UNITED STATES
Crux

John L. Allen Jr.
EDITOR

May 13, 2018

News Analysis

In one of our earliest talks over the years, the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago gave a precocious young reporter a valuable piece of advice: “Be careful about using the word ‘unprecedented’,” he said. “In the Catholic Church, everything has happened at least once.”

Thus it is that as the bishops of Chile arrive in Rome this weekend for meetings with Pope Francis Tuesday through Thursday on that country’s clerical sexual abuse crisis, we can certainly call the summit “extraordinary,” but not a complete novelty. In fact, we’ve seen a version of this show before: April 23-24, 2002, when all the residential cardinals in the United States, along with the top two officers of the U.S. bishops’ conference, were summoned to Rome to discuss the abuse scandals exploding in America.

Looking back, that summit turned out to be a watershed.

It may be difficult to remember now how all-compassing the atmosphere of crisis was in that moment. In early 2002, the Catholic sex abuse scandals, initially centered on Boston and then rippling across the country, appeared on the front page of the New York Times forty-one days in a row, eclipsing the previous record set during the peak of the Watergate scandals in 1974 that brought down the Nixon administration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:28 PM

Pope: 'Chilean Bishops Must Confess Sex Crimes Against Minors'

VATICAN CITY
Telesur

May 13, 2018

"It is fundamental to re-establish trust in the Church," said the pope, reversing his previously dismissive attitude towards the abuse allegations.

Chile's bishops should take responsibility for their actions and make amends for the "devastating wounds" inflicted on the Catholic church, Pope Francis said Saturday, in response to the hundreds of sex abuse allegations faced by the clergy.

Ahead of next week's meeting with the Chilean diocese, the pontiff released a statement warning bishops of his plans to address the Catholic church's handling of sex crimes and their perpetrators.

There is a serious need to deeply examine the "mechanisms," consequences and causes that resulted in scandalous cover-ups and omissions of justice for victims, the pope wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Archbishop expected to be called to give evidence as inquiry probes child abuse at nuns’ home

SCOTLAND
Sunday Post

Written by Gordon Blackstock

13 May 2018

A LEADER of the Catholic Church in Scotland is expected to be called to give evidence at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti may be asked to attend the hearings after witnesses accused him of previously dismissing their claims against the Sisters of Nazareth as “fantasy”.

Since April, the inquiry – led by Lady Smith – has heard evidence from former residents at the Nazareth House home which was run by the Catholic order.

Last week, one witness claimed she was sexually abused by a priest after she went to confession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

May 12, 2018

Carr: Gerry Studds spotlighted in abuse lawsuit

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Herald

Howie Carr

May 11, 2018

It’s beyond dispute that the late Massachusetts Congressman Gerry Studds was a sexual predator. And now, thanks to a lawsuit filed last week, even more details about his unspeakable behavior around young boys are on the public record.

In 1983, Studds was censured by the House of Representatives in a 420-3 vote after he plied a 17-year-old male Congressional page with vodka and then sodomized him. In some states, it would have been statutory rape. In Massachusetts, Studds was easily reelected six times.

Studds felt no shame. As the X-rated details of his sordid conduct were read into the record on the floor of the House, he turned his back on his colleagues.

Before his election to Congress in 1972, Studds was a teacher, a “master,” at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H. Talk about elite — it’s the alma mater of both John Forbes Kerry and Robert Mueller (Class of ’61).

Last week, two alumni filed a 22-page lawsuit in New Hampshire against the prep school, claiming it was “a haven for sexual predators.”

One of whom was identified as future U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds (D-Mass.).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Pope to seek ‘mechanisms’ that led to cover up in meeting with Chilean bishops

ROME
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

May 12, 2018

ROME - Pope Francis will be meeting with 33 Chilean bishops next week to look into the “mechanisms that have led to the cover up and grave omissions towards” Chilean victims of clerical sexual abuse.

According to a Vatican statement, Francis wanted to meet with the bishops “interpellated by the circumstances and the extraordinary challenges that pose the abuse of power, sexual [abuse] and [abuses] of conscience that have occurred in Chile in the last decades.”

The pope, the statement continues, “thinks it’s necessary to look into causes and consequences, as well as the mechanisms that have led to the cover up and grave omissions towards the victims.”

The meetings between the pope and the Chilean bishops will take place in the Vatican May 14-17. Also present will be Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Con la esperanza de una fecunda renovación

CHILE
Conferencia Episcopal de Chile

May 10, 2018

[1. The Holy Father has summoned the Bishops of Chile to meet him to make known the conclusions of the recent visit of His Excellency Charles Scicluna to our country, and his own conclusions in this regard. He also invites us to have an open and fraternal dialogue to collaborate "in the discernment of the measures that in the short, medium and long term, should be adopted to reestablish the ecclesial communion in Chile with the aim of repairing as much as possible the scandal and reestablishing Justice". With humility and hope we come to the call of Peter's successor.]

Fecha: 10/05/2018
Referencia: Prot.57/2008
País: Chile
Ciudad: Santiago
Autor: El Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile

1. El Santo Padre ha convocado a los Obispos de Chile a encontrarse con él para dar a conocer las conclusiones de la reciente visita de S.E. Mons. Charles Scicluna a nuestro país, y sus propias conclusiones al respecto. Nos invita también a tener un diálogo abierto y fraterno para colaborar “en el discernimiento de las medidas que a corto, medio y largo plazo, deberán ser adoptadas para restablecer la comunión eclesial en Chile con el objetivo de reparar en lo posible el escándalo y restablecer la justicia”. Con humildad y esperanza acudimos al llamado del sucesor de Pedro.

2. A pocos días de reunirnos con él, reiteramos nuestra unión con el Papa Francisco en el dolor y vergüenza expresados frente a los delitos cometidos contra menores y adultos en ambientes eclesiales. Reconocemos que, a pesar de las acciones realizadas estos años por la Iglesia, no siempre se ha logrado sanar las heridas de los abusos, las que siguen siendo una llaga abierta en los corazones de las víctimas y para el Pueblo de Dios.

3. Valoramos el reciente encuentro del Santo Padre con tres de las víctimas de Fernando Karadima. La actitud del Papa Francisco al acogerlos marca un ejemplo y nos muestra el camino que la Iglesia chilena está llamada a seguir ante las denuncias de abuso de conciencia, abuso sexual y, en definitiva, frente a todo abuso de poder que pueda ocurrir al interior de nuestras comunidades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Vatican sets harsh tone for pope meetings with Chile bishops

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press

May 12, 2018

VATICAN CITY
The Vatican made it clear Saturday that Pope Francis had summoned Chile's bishops to Rome for a papal dressing-down because of their role in covering up sexual abuse by priests and their "grave omissions" in caring for victims.

In an exceedingly harsh statement that set the tone for next week's meetings, the Vatican said Francis wanted to discern responsibilities for the crisis and map changes in Chilean church to prevent these "devastating wounds" from repeating themselves.

"It is fundamental to re-establish trust in the church through good pastors ... who know how to accompany the suffering of victims and work in a determined and untiring way to prevent abuse," the statement said.

For years, sex abuse victims have blasted the Chilean hierarchy for discrediting their claims, protecting abusers, moving them around rather than turning them over to police and then handing out light sentences when church sanctions are imposed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

EPA: Pruitt's meeting with cardinal charged with sexual assault was not a 'one-on-one' dinner

UNITED STATES
The Hill

BY MIRANDA GREEN - 05/11/18

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is defending against allegations that Administrator Scott Pruitt dined privately with a cardinal accused of sexual assault during his visit to the Vatican last summer.

A spokesman for the agency denied that Pruitt met one-on-one with Cardinal George Pell during his trip to Italy and the Vatican in June, saying that Pruitt dined with a group of 12 to 15 individuals and had no prior knowledge of Pell attending. He added that Pruitt was not aware of the allegations against Pell.

"There was not a private one-on-one dinner with Cardinal Pell, as certain media outlets have portrayed. He was one of 12 to 15 individuals who attended the dinner and EPA had no knowledge that he was coming to the dinner," EPA's Jahan Wilcox said in a statement. "It is incorrect to report that any knowledge of the allegations against Cardinal Pell were raised to Administrator Pruitt’s level."

New York Times reporter Eric Lipton on Thursday tweeted documents, first obtained by the Sierra Club through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, that showed a working timeline before and during Pruitt's trip. Those documents linked Pruitt to Pell and allege that EPA officials were aware of the allegations made against the Cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Local rep sponsors bill to help victims of sexual abuse

RHODE ISLAND
Narragansett Times

By KENDRA GRAVELLE

May 10, 2018

PROVIDENCE—Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee has joined with other advocates for victims of sexual abuse to fight to abolish the statute of limitations for pressing civil charges against alleged sexual abusers.

Introduced in the House by McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett) and in the Senate by Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence), the legislation proposed would eliminate the current seven-year civil statute of limitations (SOL) for injuries suffered as a result of sexual abuse.

“Basically, what happens to these people is when they get abused as a child they’re silenced by their perpetrator,” McEntee said Monday. “Then once they get their voice as adults they’re silenced again.”

The current SOL means victims of sexual abuse have just seven years from the time they experience the abuse—or from the time they turn 18—to file a claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Why George Pell dined with under-fire EPA's Scott Pruitt in secret

UNITED STATES
Sydney Morning Herald

By Rachel Olding

12 May 2018

New York: Cardinal George Pell has emerged as a mystery guest who dined at a lavish Rome restaurant with embattled US environmental chief Scott Pruitt to secretly plan a public debate challenging climate change.

The five-star rooftop dinner, which came three weeks before Pell was charged with historic child sexual abuse, was deliberately removed from four different public schedules released by Pruitt's offices due to the allegations hanging over the Vatican financial chief, it has emerged.

The extraordinary revelations not only add another twist in the tale of the American environmental administrator under fire for excessive spending and dubious ethics, but also pit Pell squarely against the Pope, who has declared that climate change is real.

Pruitt, the administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, is the subject of 11 separate investigations into his lavish travel habits, conflicts of interests and management practices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

SPECIAL REPORT: SAGINAW SMEAR CAMPAIGN

MICHIGAN
Church Militant

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

May 11, 2018

Is the diocese of Saginaw colluding with local media in a smear campaign against the prosecutor pursuing criminal sex abuse charges against priests?

After the launch of a criminal probe into possible sex abuse cover-up in the Michigan diocese, the diocese is returning fire, calling into question the integrity of Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gaertner, who's taken the lead in the investigation.

Gaertner is prosecuting longtime Saginaw priest Father Robert DeLand, arrested in February and charged with sexually assaulting multiple young men. The prosecutor's office has since been flooded with tips implicating multiple other clergy, leading to the launch of a criminal investigation of the entire diocese and even raids on the bishop's home, the cathedral and the chancery.

Now reports of a smear campaign against the prosecutor, with local media trying to discredit him by unearthing an old case and a 2004 letter.

A little background: In 2000, Gaertner was in an election race for prosecutor in Huron County against a man named Tim Rutkowski. Rutkowski is brother to current vicar general of the diocese Father Bill Rutkowski, according to inside sources a well-known homosexual in a long-term relationship with a priest in the Lansing diocese — a charge officially denied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Trooper linked to case of priest in Erie diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Go Erie

Ed Palattella

May 12, 2018

Grand jury: State police sergeant co-owned hunting camp with the Rev. David Poulson and knew Poulson ‘frequented the camp with young boys.’

The statewide grand jury presentment used to charge the Rev. David L. Poulson with child sex abuse is built around the testimony of two men who said Poulson, a former priest in the Catholic Diocese of Erie, molested them as boys in 2002-2010.

As supporting information, the presentment, which is similar to an indictment, cites statements that a Pennsylvania State Police sergeant made about Poulson.

The sergeant, however, did not investigate against Poulson.

The sergeant was Poulson’s friend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Chilean bishops in Rome for likely tense meeting with pope

VATICAN CITY
Lewiston Tribune

By NICOLE WINFIELD Of The Associated Press

May 12, 2018

VATICAN CITY - Chilean bishops are arriving in Rome ahead of an expected brow-beating next week from Pope Francis, who says he was misled about a bishop at the center of the Chilean Church's sex abuse scandal.

One top-ranked churchman is apparently not coming: Cardinal Javier Errazuriz, retired archbishop of Santiago, who sits on Francis' kitchen cabinet. Abuse survivors have laid much of the blame for the scandal on Errazuriz, whom they accuse of discrediting victims and covering up abuse rather than punishing pedophiles.

The executive committee of the Chilean bishops conference said Thursday the 30-plus bishops were coming with "humility and hope." They praised Francis' recent meetings with victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima of Chile.

Francis had invited Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo to the Vatican so he could personally apologize for having discredited them during his January trip to Chile. Francis had said their accusations against a Karadima protege, Bishop Juan Barros, were "calumny" and demanded they present proof of his wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Ahead of pope’s meeting with Chile bishops, laity calling for more power

ROME
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

May 12, 2018

ROME - Days before Pope Francis is scheduled to meet with over 30 Chilean bishops to discuss the clerical sexual abuse crisis in the country, victims are speaking out, and the laity of the diocese at the center of the story are demanding to have a voice in the naming of their bishop.

The laity, more than “mere observers”

A group of laity in the Diocese of Osorno released a statement on Thursday saying that they are “expectantly” awaiting the outcome of the May 14-17 meeting between Francis and the Chilean bishops. They also request that Spanish Father Jordi Bertomeu, a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, be appointed as the “interlocutor” to choose their new bishop.

The statement also demands that the laity be consulted in the decisions that need to be made to resolve the crisis, instead of being “mere observers and receptors of important decisions already taken - either in Rome, the bishops’ conference, or the Apostolic nunciature.”

The statement called for an end to “unilateral decision-making,” adding that the Church is living through a moment which is calling it to a “profound and genuine conversion.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

The strange Vatican silence over Chile’s abuse survivors

UNITED KINDOM
Catholic Herald

by Christopher Altieri

11 May 2018

t’s a bit of a head-scratcher. Just over a week ago, three abuse survivors met Pope Francis, and then gave an important press conference reflecting on the meeting. Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton, and José Andres Murillo said Pope Francis had admitted he was “part of the problem”, and had pledged to do more in future. The news was widely covered – but not by Vatican media. The weekly Spanish-language edition of L’Osservatore Romano that came out last Friday had a piece that took note of the weekend meetings and briefly mentioned the Wednesday press conference. Otherwise, crickets.

Sources inside the Secretariat for Communications, which oversees most of the Vatican’s media and public relations apparatus, including the new Vatican News web portal, suggest the decision not to cover the event -which received worldwide press attention – was in keeping with the Holy Father’s wishes that the meetings be private and reserved. The acting head of the Secretariat for Communications, Mgr Lucio Ruiz, did not respond to repeated requests for a statement, while the Press Office of the Holy See declined to comment.

“It’s a bit surprising,” the Wall Street Journal’s Vatican correspondent, Francis X Rocca, told the Catholic Herald. “After the Pope’s dramatic gesture, and given his willingness to field tough questions, it’s puzzling that his own media apparatus would keep silent on such a major event and an important topic.” Rocca saw both sides of the question. “I can understand the desire to exercise discretion, so as not to be seen to ‘spin’ the event,” he said. On the other hand, the argument could be made that a brief statement acknowledging the presser might have shown the Pope’s willingness to face criticism; it was a judgment call.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

May 11, 2018

Erie Diocese Has Struggled With Clergy Sex Abuse for Years

PENNSYLVANIA
Erie News Now

May 11th 2018

This week's arrest of a former Erie Catholic priest on sex abuse charges came only a month after the diocese released the names of 51 priests and lay people, living and deceased, who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

It is a problem the diocese has struggled with for years.

In 2002, then Bishop Donald Trautman was also dealing with the clergy sex scandal.

He asked then District Attorney Brad Foulk to review the files and documents.

Foulk said because of the statute of limitations, no accused priests could be prosecuted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Pruitt’s Dinner With Cardinal Accused of Abuse Was Kept Off Public Schedule

UNITED STATES
New York Times

By Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman

May 11, 2018

WASHINGTON — Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, dined last year in Rome with Cardinal George Pell, a prominent climate-science denialist and Vatican leader who was also facing sexual abuse allegations. The E.P.A. later released official descriptions of the dinner that intentionally did not mention the cardinal’s presence, according to three current and former E.P.A. officials.

Kevin Chmielewski, Mr. Pruitt’s former deputy chief of staff for operations, said in an interview that top political appointees at the agency feared that the meeting would reflect poorly on Mr. Pruitt if it were made public. Twenty days after the dinner, authorities in Australia charged Cardinal Pell with sexual assault; he has denied the charges.

“It was a no-brainer,” Mr. Chmielewski said of the decision to keep Cardinal Pell’s participation quiet. His account was confirmed by two people who were familiar with the handling of the trip, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern over retribution.

On Friday, Jahan Wilcox, an E.P.A. spokesman, issued a statement confirming the June 9 meal took place while emphasizing that it “was not a private one-on-one dinner” and saying that Mr. Pruitt wasn’t aware of the allegations against Cardinal Pell. He also said the E.P.A. had no knowledge the cardinal would be attending the dinner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 PM

Attacks on defense lawyers because of their clients are wrong

WISCONSIN
Sheboygan Press

Casey Hoff, For USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

May 11, 2018

Most Americans understand and appreciate the vital nature of our adversarial system of justice, where both sides can obtain legal representation. But some lawyers who run for public office are continuously being lambasted for having done their jobs as lawyers.

Matt Flynn, a lawyer who is seeking the Wisconsin Democratic nomination for governor, is being attacked because of his past legal representation of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in the sex abuse lawsuits involving priests.

For many years when Flynn worked for the Quarles and Brady law firm, Flynn was the lead attorney for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in the priest sex abuse case. In 2015, the case was ultimately settled with the archdiocese agreeing to pay $21 million to accusers and their lawyers; an amount per accuser reportedly far lower than many other priest sex abuse cases.

Peter Isely, former Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), called Flynn an “appalling choice for someone who wants to represent the citizens of Wisconsin, including families and children,” according to a story in the Wisconsin Gazette.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

EPA hid Pruitt dinner with cardinal accused of sexual abuse: Report

UNITED STATES
Washington Examiner

by John Siciliano

May 11, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency left out in its official dispatches that Administrator Scott Pruitt dined last year with Cardinal George Pell, a prominent climate-science denier who had been facing sexual abuse allegations, the New York Times reported Friday.

The newspaper cited three sources familiar with Pruitt's trip to the Vatican.

Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt's former deputy chief of staff for operations, told the newspaper that top political appointees at the EPA feared meeting the cardinal would reflect poorly on Pruitt if it were made public.

About a month after the dinner in Rome, authorities in Australia charged Pell with sexual assault. He has denied all charges.

“It was a no-brainer,” Chmielewski said about the decision to keep quiet about Cardinal Pell’s presence. The account was confirmed by two people familiar with the trip.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 PM

Louisville priest 'on retreat' after an 'inappropriate relationship'

KENTUCKY
Courier-Journal

Beth Warren, Louisville Courier Journal

May 11, 2018

A priest is "on retreat" after being involved in an inappropriate relationship with an adult, Archdiocese of Louisville officials said.

The Rev. Shayne Duvall, pastor at St. Raphael Parish, "will be away for a couple of weeks to be on retreat" for "his previous involvement" in the relationship, spokeswoman Cecelia Price said in an email to Courier Journal reporter on Friday.

Price didn't say with whom Duvall had a relationship but said it had ended.

The Rev. Jeff Shooner, vicar for priests for the archdiocese, made the announcement to St. Raphael parishioners last weekend, the email said.

"Father Shayne has fully cooperated with Archbishop (Joseph) Kurtz in addressing this situation over the past months," Price said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Decades After Alleged Abuse, St. Paul's Alumni Explain Why They're Suing

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Public Radio

By LAUREN CHOOLJIAN

Chester Irons' relationship with St. Paul’s School didn’t always feel so complicated.

He’s in his 60s now, yet he can still remember the exhilarating feeling of being dropped off at the Concord boarding school for the first time.

"I stepped out of the car with my parents and said goodbye to them and ran off with a bunch of friends I met literally 20 minutes earlier. It was a new beginning, a new adventure and I was very excited," he recalled in a recent phone interview.

Irons said he flourished at St Paul’s, and he loved it. And decades later, he became president of the alumni association and a member of the board of trustees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

PRUITT DINED WITH CLIMATE-SKEPTIC VATICAN OFFICIAL CHARGED WITH SEX ABUSE, AND THE EPA TRIED TO HIDE IT

UNITED STATES
Newsweek

BY JOSH KEEFE

5/11/18

PA Administrator Scott Pruitt had a $240-per-person dinner at a Rome restaurant with a Vatican Cardinal, who was a climate-change skeptic and under investigation for sex abuse in 2017. The EPA office did not disclose the Cardinal was at the dinner on public records, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.

Cardinal George Pell pleaded not guilty to historical charges of sexual abuse at the end of April in his home country of Australia. But in June 2017, he had dinner with Pruitt, his top aides and others at La Terrazza, a restaurant in Rome. Pruitt’s team knew Pell was under investigation for sex abuse at the time, according to Times reporter Eric Lipton, who told the story in a series of tweets containing links to EPA documents he and colleague Lisa Friedman obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and subsequent lawsuits.

Planning for the dinner with Pell started in May 2017. But as Lipton noted, none of the four calendars released by Pruitt’s office showed that Pell would be attending the dinner. Pruitt’s top aide, Samantha Dravis, sent an email on June 9 saying she was “at dinner with Cardinal Pell and Mr. Pruitt.”

According to that email, the two men were discussing a Wall Street Journal article by a former Obama administration official proposing a process of peer review for climate science that would use opposing teams to argue for and against scientific reports, a system known as “Red Team/Blue Team.”

Pell and Pruitt have both expressed skepticism about climate change. In 2011, Pell gave a speech in which he said carbon dioxide was “not a pollutant, but part of the stuff of life,” and that “plants would love it” if carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased. Increasing carbon dioxide emissions as a result of industrialization are a major cause of global warming.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:16 PM

Documents from the Rev. James A. Spielman File

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

Posted May 10, 2018

[These dozen pages from the Spielman file were made public in a WKBW report on Bishops Head and Trautman and discussed in detail during the broadcast of that report.]

Excerpt from 7/19/93 letter from Vicar General Cunningham to Spielman:

Thank you for meeting with me this morning and for our telephone conversation last Friday. I fully understand that these ar