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July 18, 2018

ALY RAISMAN TAKES THE FLOOR

UNITED STATES
ESPN The Magazine

July 18, 2018

By Mina Kimes

In her fight to end sexual abuse, the Olympic champion is challenging the very institutions she led to glory.

The first thing you notice when you walk backstage is how many people are hugging. The room is swarming with female activists, politicians and actresses. Most of them have never met, but they're embracing one another like old friends, displaying a level of intimacy that's rarely found among strangers in mixed company. In one corner, Jane Fonda, who is wearing an olive pantsuit with a Time's Up pin, is chatting with a pair of young organizers; Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, holds court down the hall. Amid the frenzy at the conference, called The United State of Women, it takes me a minute to find Aly Raisman, who is sitting in a folding chair near the back of the room, deep in conversation.

She's speaking with Tiffany Thomas Lopez. Like Raisman, who barely tops 5 feet, Thomas Lopez is small and strong, radiating coiled energy. Otherwise, they're very different. Raisman, 24, has won multiple gold medals competing in two Olympics; she now lives with her parents outside Boston and flew to Los Angeles for this event. Thomas Lopez, who played softball for two years at Michigan State before leaving the program and returning home to California, is 37 and married. Their paths probably would not have crossed if they didn't share the deep, terrible bond of having been sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor who in January was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for molesting hundreds of young women.

Raisman, whose stick-straight posture betrays her years of training, sits with her legs crossed, eyes narrowing as she listens to Thomas Lopez recount her story. The former softball player arrived at Michigan State in 1998 and first saw Nassar that year. Raisman does the mental math about how old she was at the time, then glances at me and shakes her head. "I was 4. Jordyn [Wieber] was 3," she says later. "We never should've met him."

Wieber, her teammate at the 2012 Olympics, is standing a few feet away next to Jeanette Antolin, another former elite gymnast (and fellow Nassar survivor). In a few minutes, all four women will go onstage, stand in front of about 1,000 people and talk about their abuse. For Raisman, such work -- and it is work, difficult, draining work that exhausts her physical and emotional resources -- is now routine. Over the past few months, she has traveled across the country, giving interviews and speaking at college campuses and conferences like this one. She listens and shakes hands and poses for pictures, smiling beatifically as she rips the stitches of her wounds. She recounts what happened, then tells us what she wants to happen next.

While Raisman is younger than most of the event's speakers, she exudes a level of composure that can register as stoicism. When she talks, her voice is smooth and as steady as a drumbeat, building only when she wants it to. But Thomas Lopez seems anxious. She pulls out a pen and scribbles in purple ink on her notes, then shuffles the cards. Her hands are shaking. Raisman reaches out, steadying Thomas Lopez's arm, and looks squarely at her. "You're being heard now," she says.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:55 PM

‘Loud Fence’ installed outside Torquay church signifies hope for survivors

GEELONG (AUSTRALIA)
Geelong Advertiser

July 16, 2018

By Olivia Shying

BRIGHT, colourful ribbons fluttering along a purpose-built Torquay church fence signify a rainbow of hope for survivors of historical sexual abuse.

Survivors of institutional abuse have welcomed the installation of a “Loud Fence” out the front of Saint Therese Catholic Church.

While there are no allegations of abuse at the new church, community members wanted a purpose-built place to acknowledge survivors of sexual abuse and ensure the horrors of the past are never forgotten.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:53 PM

Rev. Barry M. Hudock– Assignment History

ERIE (PA)
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Barry M. Hudock was ordained in 1997 for the Diocese of Erie. His first assignment, as an assistant priest at St. Peter's Cathedral, was followed by an unexplained two-year gap, after which he assisted and was then sole priest at St. Anne's in Wilcox. He is not indexed in the Official Catholic Directory beyond 2001.

At some point Hudock was laicized. In July 2018 he was working at Ligurgical Press at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN. He is a published author and maintains a blog. Per his blog's bio, he worked for several nonprofits in Mingo County, WV before settling in Albany MN with his wife and seven children.

Hudock's name was added May 15, 2018 to the diocese's list of credibly accused priests, lay employees and volunteers.

Ordained: 1996

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:52 PM

Rev. Andrew W. Pawlaczyk– Assignment History

ERIE (PA)
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Andrew W. Pawlaczyk was an Erie diocesan priest, ordained in 1962. For nearly a decade he was a Cathedral Prep faculty member and assistant priest at St. Stanislaus parish, followed by five years as an Army chaplain, then two years in residence at St. Patrick's. From 1979 until his death in 1982, Pawlaczyk's status was 'On Duty Outside the Diocese.' The Erie pages of the Official Catholic Directory do not show his whereabouts during this time.

On May 18, 2018 Pawlaczyk's name was added to the diocese's list of clergy, lay employees and volunteers credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Allegations against him were noted to have been reported after his death.

Ordained: 1962
Died: March 8, 1982

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:33 PM

Former wrestlers sue Ohio State over team doctor, alleging he was a 'prolific sexual predator'

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Associated Press

July 17, 2018

Four former wrestlers say in a lawsuit that Ohio State University officials ignored repeated complaints about a now-dead team doctor and failed to stop his “rampant sexual misconduct” that went on nearly two decades.

The lawsuit describes Richard Strauss, who killed himself years after retiring from the university, as “a prolific sexual predator” who might have assaulted 1,500 or more male students at Ohio State.

Athletes who alerted officials about Strauss felt their complaints were futile and that the doctor was above the law in the eyes of the university, according to the federal lawsuit filed Monday.

Among the allegations in the lawsuit is that two wrestlers met with former athletic director Andy Geiger during the 1994-1995 season and complained about voyeurism and lewd acts by Strauss and other men at their practice facility.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:32 PM

Wrestlers file lawsuit against Ohio State, claiming a 'cesspool of deviancy'

COLUMBUS (OH)
Yahoo Sports

July 17, 2018

By Eric Adelson

We may find out how closely Jim Jordan was paying attention.

We will definitely find out how closely other universities are paying attention.

Four former Ohio State wrestlers have filed a federal class-action lawsuit claiming the school knew former team doctor Richard Strauss sexually abused athletes more than 20 years ago, and didn’t do anything to stop it.

The suit goes far beyond wrestling, alleging students in 14 sports were subject to “excessive and medically unnecessary fondling, touching, and groping.” But the attention will continue to gravitate to Jordan, the powerful congressman from Ohio who coached wrestling at the school before his political career took off. Jordan is not named in the suit, however a lawyer for the accusers told NBC News he expected him to be called as a witness.

“If I were Jim Jordan, I would be very concerned about this lawsuit,” says Katie Phang, partner at Berger Singerman in Miami. “The plaintiffs will want to depose him, and if he tries to avoid being deposed, a judge will most likely force him to sit for a deposition.”

It may not come to that, as there’s always a chance Ohio State will settle. However, this is a class-action suit, meaning other plaintiffs could join. That could pile up the testimony saying Jordan and others ignored the alleged abuse, but more importantly it could gather more evidence against Ohio State. Keep in mind the Larry Nassar allegations at Michigan State began with only a few accusers, and that number eventually grew into the hundreds.

The suit brings damning allegations to buttress what has already been reported. It states Strauss was nicknamed “Dr. Jelly Paws” for his “notoriously hands-on physical examinations,” and a former coach described Larkins Hall — a now demolished university recreation center — as a “cesspool of deviancy.” It adds that two wrestlers went so far as to meet with then-athletic director Andy Geiger and offered drawings of the locker room that would help with privacy and safety. According to the suit, Geiger promised to assist and did not follow through. (That meeting is said to have occurred during the 1994-95 season; Jordan was at the school from 1986 to 1994.) One student allegedly complained to the student health center about Strauss as far back as 1978.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:31 PM

Ex-Ohio State Wrestlers Sue School Claiming It Ignored Sexual Abuse

COLUMBUS (OH)
Reuters

July 17, 2018

By Peter Szekely

Four former Ohio State University varsity wrestlers sued the school on Monday, claiming its athletic doctor sexually abused them and others over 20 years and the school failed to stop it.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio, claimed the university ignored abusive behavior by the late Dr. Richard Strauss and said coaches and higher level officials were aware of his abuse.

"The rampant sexual abuse and culture of sexual abuse was reported to Ohio State administrators and to the head of the athletic department," the complaint said. "But these officials turned a blind eye to the abuse."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:29 PM

Sexual assault charge dropped against former Hobbs priest

HOBBS (NM)
The Associated Press

July 16, 2018

The case against a former Hobbs Catholic priest accused of criminal sexual contact has been dismissed.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports the criminal charge against former St. Helena Catholic Church priest Ricardo Bauza was tossed last week just days before he was slated to stand trial.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Dianna Luce declined to comment Thursday about the dismissal.

Bauza voluntarily surrendered to Hobbs police in February more than three months after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:28 PM

#MeToo goes to Jewish summer camp

WAYNESBORO (PA)
The Washington Post

July 15, 2018

By Julie Zauzmer

When Reilly met Melanie, they were 13-year-olds at summer camp who spent the long walk from archery to their bunks talking every day. Reilly wanted to ask Melanie to an end-of-camp dance - but his friend went ahead and asked Melanie on his behalf, before he could get up the nerve to ask her himself.

That was that. Now they're 16, and the teenagers' summer fling is still going strong in a fourth summer together as boyfriend and girlfriend at Capital Camps, a Jewish camp just over the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.

Their youthful love story is just the sort of Jewish relationship many parents hope their children will find when they send them to Jewish camps.

The Foundation for Jewish Camp, with its motto "Jewish summers, Jewish futures," promotes research showing that camp leads to more religiously engaged adults. Compared with demographically similar Jewish peers, adults who grew up going to camp are measurably more likely to attend synagogues, celebrate Shabbat and holidays in their homes and donate to Jewish charities.

Another statistic the foundation touts: Jews who attended camp as children were found to be significantly more likely to marry other Jews.

In a 2010 study, 74 percent of former campers were in Jewish marriages, at a time when such marriages have been becoming much less common.

For many parents and camp leaders, one goal of sending a child to Jewish overnight camp is the hope that the child will someday marry within the faith, perhaps even under a chuppah, or canopy, at the very camp where the pair first met.

But some Jewish adults recall that in years past the pressure to date at camp occasionally took an inappropriate turn when poorly trained counselors - typically in their early 20s - nudged young teens into becoming close not just romantically, but physically as well.

This summer, in the #MeToo era, the Foundation for Jewish Camp is conducting a nationwide training program to prevent sexual harassment at Jewish overnight camps, which about 70,000 children attend each summer.

"There is an encouragement to build Jewish relationships. A lot of people met their spouses," said Marina Lewin, the foundation's chief operating officer. But she added: "There's a difference between appropriate ways to interact and inappropriate."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:25 PM

CPS Requiring Background Checks, Fingerprinting For Employees Amid Sex Abuse Scandal

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS

July 16, 2018

By Jim Williams

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is checking the background of thousands of CPS employees following reports students were sexually abused by teachers and other adults.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports the effort is time-consuming for those who have to be fingerprinted.

“I’ve been here for 45 minutes, going on an hour,” stated Clare McCarthy, who has been a CPS teacher for more than 30 years. McCarthy said she had another hour to wait in order to be fingerprinted on Chicago’s northwest side.

“The last week of school I was notified to say ‘You’re going to have to have this done’, then I got an email saying ‘Nope, you don’t have to have it done, you’re okay’ and I was very excited about it. Then I got another email saying ‘You have to get it done,’” she said.

The background checks for all CPS employees comes after a Tribune investigation found hundreds of students were sexually abused over years.

“Right now we’re on track to complete that before the start of the school year,” stated CPS CEO Janice Jackson.

Jackson apologized to the victims in front of a supportive audience at the City Club Monday.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:24 PM

Many State Lawmakers Accused of Sexual Misconduct Run Again

ATLANTA (GA)
The Associated Press

July 18, 2018

By Christina A. Cassidy

More than two dozen state lawmakers accused of sexual harassment in the #MeToo era decided to run for re-election or for a new legislative seat this year, and many of them are succeeding.

Allegations of sexual misconduct against Kentucky lawmakers have become so common that the statehouse has seemed more like a frat house: Seven have faced accusations, including four who settled secretly with a female legislative aide.

Voters' response? Mostly, keep them in office.

Of the five lawmakers up for re-election this year, three easily made it through their party primaries and will be favored to retain their seats in November. The other two chose not to run.

It's not just Kentucky. An Associated Press review finds that 25 state lawmakers who have been accused of sexual misconduct are running for re-election or another office this year. Of those, 15 have already advanced to the Nov. 6 general election. Seven did not even face a challenger in their primary.

Cassaundra Cooper, who filed a sexual harassment claim against a former Kentucky lawmaker in 2013, wonders why voters would re-elect public officials accused of sexual misconduct, or simply choose to ignore the allegations.

"That shocks me," she said. "Where is the empathy?"

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal — and the extraordinary growth of the #MeToo movement — any assumption that accused office holders would be political pariahs is not borne out on the state level. (Though by comparison, virtually every member of Congress accused of sexual harassment has resigned or opted against running for re-election.)

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:22 PM

1st Comic-Con of the MeToo era grapples with harassment

LOS ANGELES
The Associated Press

July 16, 2018

By Lindsey Bahr

Comic-Con, the annual gathering of over 130,000 fans, artists, collectors and geek culture savants, has already been changed by the #MeToo and Time's Up era, with at least one notable figure stepping aside due to sexual misconduct allegations. But questions remain about its atmosphere and whether convention organizers will take any extra steps to address longstanding allegations of harassment issues during the event which kicks off Wednesday night in San Diego.

The convention has always been a home for comic book and genre enthusiasts, and a refuge for like-minded fans to mingle, but it's also been a place rife with harassment of women and others, whether it's cosplayers (people who dress up in costumes), general attendees or even those hawking merchandise (sometimes called "booth babes").

"I don't think any convention has historically been a safe or inviting space for women," says Cher Martinetti, the managing editor of SYFY Wire's Fangrrls site.

Sexual harassment at fan conventions is a subject that is often raised, but the scrutiny will be even more intense this year with the heightened awareness about misconduct.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:18 PM

MSU's John Engler went against his word, hired Bill Beekman as AD

LANSING (MI)
Detroit Free Press

July 16, 2018

By David Jesse

Michigan State University interim President John Engler was clear: MSU was going to have a national search for a new athletic director and no internal candidates were going to be considered.

But on Monday, MSU officially promoted Bill Beekman, taking away the interim tag from the longtime MSU employee — he's been there since 1995 — and making him the permanent athletic director.

There was no national search. No other candidates were interviewed, Engler said.

"As we started talking about the search, I started hearing from virtually everyone that they loved what Bill was doing," Engler said in a news conference introducing Beekman on Monday in East Lansing. "I had several people tell me that Bill was a calming presence."

Engler said in February he would search nationally and externally for an athletic director. On Monday, he said Beekman posses a wide range of experiences, including "first and foremost" that he is a MSU graduate.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:17 PM

Lawsuit alleges USA Diving ignored sex abuse of divers

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
The Associated Press

July 16, 2018

Two former divers are suing USA Diving, accusing the national governing body of ignoring or obstructing inquiries into allegations that a coach sexually abused them when they were young athletes dreaming of Olympic glory.

The federal lawsuit, filed last week, names Indianapolis-based USA Diving, Inc., the Ohio State University Diving Club and Will Bohonyi.

The suit alleges that Bohonyi, who had coached at the Ohio State University Diving Club and was fired in 2014, coerced and forced the divers into frequent sex, telling them, "You owe me this," The Indianapolis Star reported.

Calls to a telephone listing for Bohonyi's most recent Columbus, Ohio, address went unanswered.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:06 PM

Kerala nun’s rape charge: Church has guidelines on sexual abuse but most Catholics don’t know this

CAMBRIDGE (MA)
Scroll.in

July 17, 2018

By TA Ameerudheen

[See also the Guidelines discussed in this article.]

The Church’s ‘sexual harassment at the workplace’ guidelines issued in September have led to calls for more clarity, awareness.

In the wake of a Catholic nun levelling charges of rape against a bishop last month, various Catholic organisations have accused the Church of failing to ensure justice for victims of sexual abuse. This despite the Church having framed a document titled “Guidelines to deal with sexual harassment at the workplace” in 2017, they say.

On June 27, the nun filed a police complaint accusing the head of the Jalandhar diocese, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. A member of the Jalandhar-based Missionaries of Jesus congregation, the nun claimed the bishop had raped her at a convent in Kuravilangadu, Kerala, where she was stationed. She also said she had no choice but to go to the police after Church authorities ignored her complaints and took no action against the priest. Denying the charges, Mulakkal has accused the nun of taking revenge on him for ordering an inquiry into a complaint that she was having an affair.

The Catholic Church was rocked by a similar controversy in February 2017 when a priest, Mathew Vadakkancheril, from Kannur in Kerala was arrested for raping and impregnating a 16-year-old girl, who later gave birth to a child. The priest is facing trial under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Two nuns were also arrested for allegedly trying to hush up the matter even as the victim’s father accused Church authorities of forcing him to confess to the crime to shield the priest.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:45 AM

Catholic order pays $1m settlement to 8 victims of clergy sex abuse dating back decades

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

July 17, 2018
.
By J.D. Capelouto

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/07/17/catholic-order-pays-settlement-victims-clergy-sex-abuse-dating-back-decades/SbqFIozayO61WbxzwGq3aL/story.html

A Catholic order has paid a total of $1 million to eight people who were sexually abused by two Catholic priests in the 1970s and early ’80s in Massachusetts, the victims’ lawyer said Tuesday.

One of the priests, John J. Gallagher, was the subject of a letter written in 1992 by one of the victims to the late Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who at the time headed the Archdiocese of Boston. The letter, released by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, graphically detailed abuse the woman experienced in Lawrence in the mid-’70s, and serves as further evidence that Law had knowledge of sexual abuse by Catholic priests before it was widely publicized.

Garabedian said negotiations with the Order of Saint Augustine have been ongoing outside of court for two years, with the settlement decided last month.

The eight victims — five men and three women — were abused by Gallagher and another priest in Reading and Lawrence. The men were abused by Father Robert Turnbull at Austin Preparatory School in Reading, while Gallagher abused the women at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Lawrence, Garabedian said. The victims were around 9 to 12 years old at the time.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:32 AM

Priest on leave for allegations of sexual abuse says 'I didn't do it'

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

July 17, 2018

By Daniel Telvock

A Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse of a minor almost four decades ago is denying the charges and fighting a process with the Diocese of Buffalo that his attorney calls “unfair” and “preposterous.”

The Rev. Samuel Venne passed a lie detector test administered by a credentialed professional. In addition, he had a certified psychological assessment that concluded he was “found to be credible in his denial of the alleged sexual contacts” and “failed to reveal” any indication that he had ever engaged in sexual abuse.

The Diocese’s Review Board on June 27 still found the allegations against Venne credible. As a result, on June 28, Bishop Richard J. Malone upheld Venne’s status on administrative leave, pending a decision from Rome.

“I didn’t do it,” Venne said.

“Why should I go ahead and say I did? That’s a lie.”

Venne and his attorney, Michael Taheri, are raising a series of criticisms about the Review Board process. For example, neither had an opportunity to appear before the Review Board or provide a statement contesting the allegations.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:26 AM

U.S. Catholic Church’s former public face on sex abuse crisis faces decades of misconduct allegations

WASHINGTON (DC)
PBS News Hour

July 17, 2018

By Judy Woodruff and John Yang

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/u-s-catholic-churchs-former-public-face-on-sex-abuse-crisis-faces-decades-of-misconduct-allegations

One of the most recognized faces of the American Catholic Church was removed from the public ministry last month, making Cardinal Theodore McCarrick the highest ranking Catholic official in the nation to be removed for sexual abuse of a minor. Now the New York Times reports that McCarrick touched young adult seminarians.

Now, new alleged details about sexual — or, rather, details about alleged sexual misconduct by a Catholic cardinal who was a power broker within the church.

Theodore McCarrick was removed from public ministry last month, making him the highest ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to be removed for sexual abuse of a minor.

As John Yang tells us, a new investigation finds other offenses, and church officials allegedly covered them up for decades.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:22 AM

July 17, 2018

Celebration TODAY of Kathy Shaw's Life

WORCESTER (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

All are invited to a celebration TODAY of Kathy Shaw's life

When

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where

Graham, Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlor
838 Main Street
Worcester MA 01610

Kathy's Story

Our wonderful friend and colleague Kathy Shaw died on Sunday, June 24, 2018 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester MA after a long illness.

Kathy had been a distinguished and award-winning religion reporter at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, as well as a mental health crisis counselor and a union activist. Beginning in 1992 and continuing through 2005, Kathy did groundbreaking reporting on the clergy abuse crisis in the Diocese of Worcester and beyond. In 2002, she started working on Abuse Tracker, the news blog about the clergy abuse crisis created in March 2002 by Bill Mitchell and the Poynter Institute. The byline “Posted by Kathy Shaw” first appeared on June 12, 2002, when the U.S. bishops were meeting in Dallas.

In the sixteen years since, Kathy posted tens of thousands of articles in Abuse Tracker, transforming the news blog into an indispensable resource and record, used by everyone who works on the clergy abuse crisis or cares about it. Thanks to Kathy and Abuse Tracker, every local development in the abuse crisis could be followed by people everywhere. Abuse Tracker was hosted by Poynter for a year, then by the National Catholic Reporter until 2006, and then by BishopAccountability.org, where it will continue.

Kathy Shaw was a steadfast friend, a tireless and generous colleague, an exuberant presence on social media, and a loving advocate for survivors everywhere.

• See Kathy's obituaries in the New York Times and the Boston Globe, an appreciation by Bill Mitchell in the National Catholic Reporter, and a column by Clive MacFarland in Kathy's paper, the Telegram & Gazette.

• Please view a brief video about Kathy.

• See also the bio that Kathy wrote when she and Abuse Tracker joined BishopAccountability.org.

Donations In Kathy's Memory

The family asks that donations in memory of Kathy be made to BishopAccountability.org, which will continue to host Abuse Tracker and preserve Kathy's legacy. Please visit BishopAccountability.org's donations page to donate online or via snail mail.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:10 AM

Here's how much N.J. Catholic dioceses paid to alleged McCarrick sex abuse victims, report says

NEWARK (NJ)
The Star-Ledger / NJ.com / NJ Advance Media

July 17, 2018

By Kelly Heyboer and Ted Sherman

Catholic dioceses in New Jersey paid two former priests a total of $180,000 after they said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually abused them, according to a New York Times report.

The settlements included $80,000 paid to a former priest turned lawyer from New Jersey who said McCarrick would invite him and other young seminarians and priests to a Shore house in Sea Girt where they would be expected to share a bed with the former archbishop of Newark, the report said.

Robert Ciolek, the former priest who said he was abused by McCarrick for years, said he felt unable to say no when the then-bishop would rub his back and touch him in bed.

“In the corporate world, there are ways to report misconduct,” Ciolek, 57, told the New York Times in a story published Monday. “You have an H.R. contact, you have a legal department, or you have anonymous reporting, you have systems. Does the Catholic Church have that? How is a priest supposed to report abuse or wrong activity by his bishop? What is their stated vehicle for anyone to do that? I don’t think it exists.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:21 AM

Grand Jury Report Could Soon Be Released On Sexual Abuse In 6 Pa. Dioceses

PITTSBURGH
KDKA CBS 2

July 16, 2018

By Andy Sheehan

A long-awaited grand jury report on Pittsburgh, Greensburg and four other Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania could be released as early as Tuesday.

The state Supreme Court is considering releasing the 800-page report with the names of some priest and church officials redacted while it hears appeals.

KDKA’s Andy Sheehan has a look at what details the report might contain.

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh became a national leader in reform under now-Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who at the time was the diocese’s bishop. Wuerl defied The Vatican in 1993 by refusing to reassign Fr. Anthony Cipolla, who was the center of a sexual abuse case in the 1990s.

However, the rest of the record is not so stellar, according to victims who carry the scars.

KDKA uncovered the story of Paul Dorsch and several of his former classmates at Quigley High School, who say they were molested by their former headmaster Fr. Jack Hoehl.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:12 AM

Priests, celibacy and sex

COLUMBIA (MO)
Religion News Service

July 16, 2018

By Thomas Reese SJ

Recent news stories about financial settlements with adults who had sexual encounters with a bishop show that the issue of sex abuse in the Catholic Church is not limited to the abuse of minors. When Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was suspended from the priesthood after being credibly accused of abusing an altar boy, it was also revealed that financial settlements for his actions had been made earlier with two adults.

The church has adopted a zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of minors, but how should it deal with other sexual activity by priests?

The requirement of celibacy for priests in the Catholic Church is a topic of debate in the church today. Many, myself included, think that priestly celibacy should be optional, as it is in other Christian churches. Pope Francis has signaled that he is open to considering the ordination of married men but wants the request to come from national bishops’ conferences.

But Francis is also very strong is stating that in the meantime, celibacy must be observed. He would not throw out every priest who violated celibacy; individual lapses can be forgiven. But a priest who is incapable of observing celibacy should return to the lay state, Francis wrote before he became pope, especially if there is a child who has a right to a father.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:03 AM

Duterte vs. God

WASHINGTON (DC)
Foreign Policy

July 15, 2018

The Philippine president likes to pick fights. But can he win against the Catholic Church?

By Emily Schultheis

Manila, Philippines - Outspoken and profane rhetoric is a hallmark of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte: The man, after all, told then-U.S. President Barack Obama to “go to hell,” joked about rape, and counts “son of a whore” among his favorite epithets.

But when he called God “stupid” and a “son of a bitch” in a speech last month, that was a step too far for many in the devout Catholic country. “Who is this stupid God?” Duterte said, criticizing God for the concept of original sin. “This son of a bitch is then really stupid.”

Duterte’s indelicate foray into theology would have been controversial in many countries, but it was venturing into a minefield in the Philippines, where the Roman Catholic Church continues to have a strong, though waning, influence in politics and daily life. Duterte’s long-standing ire for the church is well documented, but this isn’t just about a personal animus: It’s a struggle over the church’s long involvement in Philippine politics.

Duterte’s rhetoric has taken on new intensity in recent weeks as the Catholic Church, which helped topple previous autocrats in the country, steps up its opposition to his brutal war on drugs.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:46 AM

Lawyers submitting opposition to releasing grand jury report on sex abuse claims in Catholic church

LANCASTER (PA)
WGAL News 8

July 16, 2018

New details have been made public in the grand jury investigation into sex abuse claims in the Catholic church.

Lawyers arguing on behalf of current and former clergy are submitting their opposition to releasing the report on six dioceses, including Harrisburg.

Last month, the state Supreme Court blocked the release of the findings after those named in it were allowed to review portions of it.

One of the court filings involves allegations against someone in the Pittsburgh Diocese who lawyers say didn't have a chance to defend himself and wasn't given any other required aspect of due process.

The court documents indicate that in the Pittsburgh Diocese alone, the grand jury report lists more than 90 individuals described as "offenders."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:39 AM

Cottingham priest Terrence Grigg accused of 'grooming and abusing vulnerable boys' - Hull trial

HULL (ENGLAND)
Hull Live / Hull Daily Mail

July 16, 2018

By Simon Bristow

Canon Terrence Grigg is on trial at Hull Crown Court and denies 11 historic sex offences

A retired priest has gone on trial accused of a range of historic sex offences against boys and young men.

Canon Terrence Grigg, 84, former rector of St Mary's Church in Cottingham, is alleged to have carried out the abuse against five complainants in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Grigg, of Grove Street, Malton, North Yorkshire, denies 11 indecent assaults against males and two other sex offences.

Opening the case against him on Monday at Hull Crown Court, Claire Holmes, prosecuting, told a jury of six men and six women: "The Crown say that during those years he identified five separate young men who were all vulnerable in some way, and he went on to use that vulnerability for his own sexual gratification."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:35 AM

Priest 'sex abuse' accuser says he 'was paraded like a trophy in gay bar' - Hull trial

HULL (ENGLAND)
Hull Live / Hull Daily Mail

July 17, 2018

By Simon Bristow

Canon Terrence Grigg is on trial at Hull Crown Court and denies 11 historic sex offences

A man who claims he was sexually assaulted by a Cottingham priest has told a jury he was "paraded" by him in a gay bar "as a trophy".

The complainant is one of five men who allege they were sexually abused by Canon Terrence Grigg, former rector of St Mary's Church, in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Grigg, 84, of Grove Street, Malton, North Yorkshire, is on trial at Hull Crown Court and denies nine indecent assaults and two other sex offences.

The complainant, the first witness to give evidence in the case, gave a DVD recorded police interview two years ago, which was played to the jury on Monday. He told the court on Tuesday that after watching the video this month in preparation for the trial, he then made a further statement to police concerning an out of town visit he made with Mr Grigg when he was a teenager.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:31 AM

Catholic priests raise 5 main objections against grand jury report

MECHANICSVILLE (PA)
PennLive

July 17, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday is expected to release the latest salvo in a last-ditch effort to amend what is expected to be a blistering report on the Catholic Church statewide.

The court is slated to release the response of state Attorney General Josh Shapiro to efforts by at least two dozen priests seeking to revise the report from the 40th Statewide Grand Jury. The priests, current and former, whose names have been redacted from the report, have petitioned the court seeking to revise or block the release of the forthcoming 800-plus page report.

At the very least, the priests argue they should be granted an opportunity to respond to allegations in the report that connect them to child sex crimes.

The report, which represents the findings of an 18-month long investigation by the state Office of Attorney General into clergy sex abuse across six dioceses in Pennsylvania, does not recommend charges against these unnamed priests. However, the priests argue that the report - as currently written - violates their constitutional right to due process and the right to protect their reputation.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:27 AM

Catholic Health Initiatives Helps Lead Campaign to Create New ICD-10 Codes on Human Trafficking

ENGLEWOOD (CO)
Catholic Health Initiatives

July 17, 2018

Catholic Health initiatives helped spearhead an 18-month-long effort to create a diagnostic code that will allow medical professionals to identify victims of human trafficking when they arrive at facilities seeking health care.

CHI, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems, collaborated with the American Hospital Association’s Hospitals Against Violence (HAV) initiative and clinicians at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Human Trafficking Initiative and Freedom Clinic to develop and secure ICD-10 codes that will allow providers to document sex and labor exploitation for the first time.

The 29 human trafficking-related codes, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on June 11, will help providers identify victims and respond appropriately to assist victims. Set to take effect in October, the codes will also provide much-needed data to understand the scope of this problem.

“Like victims of child abuse or elder abuse, victims of human trafficking are coming into emergency rooms and health care facilities on a daily basis – and we have to be ready," said Colleen Scanlon, senior vice president and chief advocacy officer for Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives. “This is a significant step forward. Having these codes will help clinicians adequately classify a diagnosis and plan appropriate treatment."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:21 AM

Priestly Ordination of Salesian Deacons

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Archdiocese of Dublin

July 15, 2018

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

I join in the joy of the Salesian Fathers and the wider Salesian family as today we come to invoke the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of hands and the solemn prayer of consecration, on Dominic and Paul, two Vietnamese candidates for ordination to the priesthood in the Salesian Congregation.

Don Bosco had a missionary heart. He knew how the love of Jesus, that was the inspiration of his own entire life, was a gift that can be brought to any culture and that enriches any culture.

We remember the Church in Vietnam and pray for its members who often in the face of challenges live that message of the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ through a life of service. We pray especially for the candidates and their families some of whom are here with us this morning.

Don Bosco was a remarkable man. His work with young people is legendary. Living in the mid-nineteenth century, he developed his own pedagogy and his own way of reaching out to the most abandoned young people. At a time when such young people were open to being abused in the labour market he stood by them and helped insert them in a healthy working environment. Remarkable for his time, he rejected a pedagogy based on punishment and worked to show how loving care can bring out the unique talent of each individual.

Don Bosco began his work in Turin in what was a time of great economic and cultural change. Industrialization and urbanization were giving rise to a divided society and young people were among the prime victims.

Don Bosco’s work with young people is legendary. He was however also radical in his models of pastoral activity. He realised that young people were missing from parish life so he began to encounter them in new ways. He met reached out to young people and met them where they were. He founded his Oratori that were places where young people could come together, socialize in a healthy manner, and be educated in the faith within the day to day realities of their lives.

The Church in Ireland today is facing similar changes. Irish religious culture is changing. The main body of the membership of Irish Catholicism and its leadership belong to an age and cultural group that is in many ways foreign to the culture of young people. The Irish Church needs to waken itself to the urgency of this situation.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:10 AM

Fortieth statewide investigating grand jury: Selected postings

HARRISBURG (PA)
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

July 17, 2018

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has to date posted 35 pleadings and orders relating to the Fortieth statewide investigating grand jury.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:06 AM

NY Times talks to men who got settlements after alleged abuse by cardinal

NEW YORK (NY)
Catholic News Service via Crux

July 16, 2018

A front-page New York Times article published July 16 detailed the alleged abuse of two seminarians in the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey by then-Bishop Theodore E. McCarrick in the 1980s that resulted in settlements to each man.

For one of the seminarians, the alleged abuse continued after he had been ordained to the priesthood.

The 3,100-word article, written by Laurie Goodstein and Sharon Otterman, said the bishop would invite seminarians to spend time with him on overnight trips away from their seminary, and then, in giving bedroom assignments, direct one of them to his bedroom, where there was just one bed.

The abuse of these two men, according to an interview with one of the former priests by the Times and the examination of the second man’s file by the newspaper on the condition that he - now also a former priest - not be named, took place in the 1980s, while McCarrick served as first Bishop of Metuchen and then as Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:59 AM

Melbourne's new archbishop says promoting the Church as an 'institution' allowed 'great evils' to happen

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

July 17, 2018

By Christopher Lamb

Bishop Peter Comensoli said the abuse crisis was 'paramount' and required a response at every level in the Church

The new Archbishop of Melbourne says that seeing the Church as an institution rather than the “people of God” allowed for “great evils” to be committed and has pledged himself to rebuilding trust in light of the clerical sexual abuse scandal.

Bishop Peter Comensoli, who will take up the leadership of Australia’s largest Catholic diocese on 1 August, said the abuse crisis was “paramount” in everyone’s thinking and required a response at every level in the Church.

Devastating findings by a recent royal commission found that 4,444 people alleged incidents of child sexual abuse against the Church, many of them covered up by bishops who had pursued a strategy of protection of assets against legal claims.

But speaking to The Tablet during a phone interview from Australia, the bishop explained that protecting the institution rather than its people was a counter-witness to the Gospel.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:50 AM

Cardinal McCarrick, seminarians and abuse: how could this happen?

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

July 16, 2018

By James Martin, S.J.

The revelations of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s disgusting predation of Catholic seminarians and young priests over the course of many years makes for truly disturbing reading. Over the past few years, I had heard stories about Cardinal (then Bishop and Archbishop) McCarrick’s summer home, where he would invite (or suborn or force) seminarians to share a bed with him, massage them and invite them to call him “Uncle Ted.” But at the time they were unsubstantiated rumors, and I knew no one with any first-hand knowledge. (Otherwise, I would have reported them.)

For the record, Cardinal McCarrick was also someone whom I, like many American Catholics, admired for both his pastoral work and social justice advocacy. Whenever I met him, he was also unfailingly kind, and I saw him extend that same kindness to others.

On a pilgrimage to Lourdes a decade ago, I watched someone badger him rudely and relentlessly, during a breakfast, about some fine point of theology, for almost a half hour. Cardinal McCarrick treated her with so much patience, dignity and care, as she continued to berate him, that afterward I asked him how was able to be so kind.

By no means does this excuse what he did to the young seminarians and priests. Rather, it shows the mystifying complexity of the human person, or at least this human person.

So how could this have happened?

Here I want to focus on one particular aspect: the way that secrecy in the church shrouds cases of what you might call “adult abuse,” as distinguished from “child abuse.” In the case of child abuse, from what I understand (I’m not a psychiatrist or psychologist), the abused child may be too young, too confused or too frightened to be able to speak about the crimes of abuse, which explains why one often sees reports coming decades after the original abuse occurred.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:45 AM

July 16, 2018

A community at the cross-roads

KERALA (INDIA)
The New Indian Express

July 16, 2018

By Valson Thampu

Of late, the Kerala Christian community has been serially buffeted by tremors of priestly sexual aberrations. Where did the church fail?

The earliest crisis I remember the Catholic Church in Kerala has had to face was the conviction of one Fr. Benedict in the late ‘60s in what was then the most sensational murder case: the Mariakutty murder case. The church and the community pulled their weight behind the condemned. Benedict was later acquitted by the Kerala High Court, thanks to the legendary legal skills of A S R Chari, assisted by the best criminal lawyer of Kerala in those days, K T Thomas. On his acquittal, he was showcased as a scapegoat, and given a hero’s reception into social respectability.

Much water has flowed in the rivers of Kerala since then, and many monsoons of tears rained in the privacy of ruined lives. Of late, the Kerala Christian community has been serially buffeted by tremors of priestly sexual aberrations. A celibate priest impregnated a teenage girl. She gave birth. The matter was hushed up and, worse, her father was coerced to take the cross of the crime upon himself. Four priests, in a recent episode, are accused by a mother of two of raping her for years under blackmail. A Kerala bishop, billeted in Jalandhar, is now accused by a nun of sexually outraging her over a period of time and, further, of her failing to get justice from the church, despite persistent efforts. She, in turn, is being degraded by way of retaliation.

For years now, scandals of priest-perpetrated sexual abuses—especially involving paedophiles—have been tumbling out of ecclesial closets in diverse parts of the world. In an unprecedented turn of events, Pope Francis ordered 34 bishops of the Catholic Church in Chile to resign en masse, all of them having been found guilty of sexual crimes. To me, the greatest failure of the church in the past, until Pope Francis decided to catch the bull by its horns, is to have protected the predators under the mistaken notion that this safeguarded the church from infamy. In this, the church erred grievously.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:20 PM

Angel call on the church to stand against child and women abuse

SOUTH AFRICA
Ridge Times

July 14, 2018

Ms Angel khanyile challenged the Hope Of Glory Family Church to take a stand against women and children abuse.

Ms Angel Khanyile, Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament, visited the Hope of Glory Family Church to raise awareness of women and child abuse on Sunday, 8 July.

Ms Khanyile serves on the portfolio committee of Social Development.

Her visit to the church came after the portfolio committee noted with concern the increase in child and women abuse in the area.

She took it upon herself to spread a message of protection of women and children on every platform that she can.

Ms Khanyile said violence against women and children has become an unprecedented problem and cut across all cultures and every level of society.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:18 PM

Protesters at Jehovah's Witnesses convention in Vancouver demand action against alleged abuse

BRITISH COLUMBIA
CBC News

July 16, 2018

Former member of church claims two-witness rule kept abuse hidden

A small group of protesters spoke out against alleged abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses at one of the religious group's annual conventions in Vancouver on Sunday.

Natasha Peeters was among them. Now 50, she says she was abused by an elder within the church when she lived in Belgium as a youth.

"I was abused... since I was a baby until 13 years old," she said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:17 PM

NOPD launches criminal investigation after church sex abuse allegations

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

July 13, 2018

By Amanda Roberts

A former Catholic deacon accused of molesting young boys is now the subject of a criminal sexual abuse investigation. The attorney who represented one of the alleged victims in a large settlement with the Archdiocese of New Orleans hopes this will create lasting change.

A man who suppressed memories for years claims former Deacon George Brignac raped and sexually abused him at Holy Rosary church.

“Fondled me at the school, at his desk, in his car and in his home,” the man said.

FOX 8 is not naming the man to protect his identity. His attorney, Roger Stetter, landed a half a $500,000 settlement from the Archdiocese three weeks ago. But this week, the attorney and his client sat down with NOPD officers to tell his story again. Stetter says his client's motivation isn't money, but to prevent any child from feeling the way he did years ago.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:16 PM

PRIEST GOES TO REHAB AFTER GAMBLING AWAY MORE THAN $1 MILLION INCLUDING LOANS FROM PARISHIONERS

SWITZERLAND
Newsweek

July 11, 2018

By Jason Lemon

A former Swiss priest will go to rehab after losing more than $1 million to gambling debts, including money loaned to him by some 50 parishioners.

The man, whose name wasn't disclosed, was forced to resign from his religious duties under Switzerland’s Diocese of Chur, accused of abusing his position as a priest to secure loans from unsuspecting churchgoers to fund his addiction. According to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the disgraced vicar’s debts amounted to 1.4 million Swiss francs ($1.1 million).

Although church authorities were long aware of the former priest’s gambling problem, they did not warn parishioners about the issue. Instead, the diocese offered him help to address the addiction before it got out of hand. Swiss media have reported that several church members are considering pressing charges as a result, but until now, no cases have been filed.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:14 PM

Former Haywood Co. priest, already accused of sex crimes, faces 8 more felony charges

HAYWOOD COUNTY (NC)
WLOS

July 12, 2018

A former Episcopal priest in Haywood County already accused of sex crimes is now facing eight more charges related to the sexual abuse of children.

Howard Willard White, Jr., 77, now faces five counts of indecent liberties with a child, one count of second-degree sex offense, and two counts of second-degree forcible sex offense.

He was also previously charged with first-degree forcible rape, second-degree forcible rape, second-degree forcible sexual offense and indecent liberties with a child.

White was the longtime rector of a Waynesville church, serving Grace Church from 1984 to 2006.

In June 2017, White pleaded guilty to child sex charges in Massachusetts. Prosecutors said White assaulted a child during two overnight trips to Boston when the boy was 15 and 16.

At the time, White worked at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:12 PM

Clergy sex abuse revelations stun, anger Catholics in Buffalo

BUFFALO (NY)
National Catholic Reporter

July 16, 2018

By Peter Feuerherd

Catholics in Buffalo, New York, are undergoing their Boston moment on sex abuse, 16 years removed from the events that rocked the wider church in the United States.

On Feb. 27, Michael Whalen, 52, held a press conference at which he accused retired priest Fr. Norbert Orsolits of abuse inflicted when Whalen was a minor. Orsolits, now 78, told a Buffalo News reporter that he was guilty of dozens of such crimes, had undergone therapy at a rehabilitation facility in Canada, and then returned to the diocese as an active priest, until being removed from ministry and forced to retire in 2003. His early retirement was a result of the charter enacted by the U.S. bishops in Dallas in 2002, which prohibited ministry by any priest credibly accused of sex abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:11 PM

November trial scheduled for retired Fort Atkinson priest accused of sexually assaulting altar boy ‘at least 100 times’

JEFFERSON COUNTY (WI)
FOX6

July 12, 2018

By Katie Delong

A retired Fort Atkinson priest, accused of sexually assaulting an altar boy when he was between the ages of 13 and 16, will stand trial in November.

William Nolan, 65, was in court Thursday, July 12 for his arraignment. Nolan “stood mute,” and not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf. A jury trial was scheduled to begin on Nov. 26, with a pre-trial conference set for Sept. 5.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:09 PM

One more Christian priest accused of sexually assaulting Kerala woman arrested

INDIA
The News Minute

July 13, 2018

Crime Branch officials arrested Fr Johnson Mathew, the third accused, from Kozhencherry.

A day after one of the four Orthodox Church priests accused of raping a woman from Thiruvalla surrendered, one more accused priest, Fr Johnson Mathew, has landed in the police net.

The third accused in the case, the Crime Branch reportedly took him into custody from Kozhenchery in Pathanamthitta district on Friday, following which his arrest was recorded.

Fr Johnson Mathew, along with three other priests, has been booked under charges of rape and molestation by the Crime Branch.

According to the survivor's statement, Fr Johnson Mathew sent her sexually coloured messages on WhatsApp and sexually assaulted her in a car. He also allegedly morphed the survivor's face onto a nude photograph of another woman and threatened to circulate it on the internet. According to her statement, Fr Johnson Mathew was her senior in college and got in touch with her on WhatsApp.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:07 PM

Trial date set for Mascoutah priest accused of having child pornography, meth

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

July 12, 2018

By Kaley Johnson

A trial date has been set for a Mascoutah priest arrested on charges of child pornography distribution and meth possession in January.

Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger, associate pastor of Holy Childhood Church and school in Mascoutah, was charged with 16 counts of child pornography and one count of possession of meth in January.

His trial date was set for Oct. 8 at 8:45 a.m. at the St. Clair County Courthouse under Judge Zina Cruse.

On Jan. 8, Hechenberger was arrested at Holy Childhood Church by Belleville Police. Belleville Police Master Sgt. Todd Keilbach said detectives initiated the investigation based on a cyber tip from the organization Internet Crimes Against Children.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:06 PM

Exorcist’s prayer team bless house formerly occupied by Boise priest accused of crimes

BOISE (ID)
Idaho Statesman

July 16, 2018

By Katy Moeller

The house where a retired Boise priest lived for 15 years — until he was accused in February of sharing child pornography online and of drug possession — has been cleaned out, freshened up and blessed by an exorcist, according to the priest preparing the property for sale.

“We bless houses all the time,” said Father John Worster, pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church the past three years. “I had our diocesan exorcist and his prayer team come and pray over the house.”

Exorcism is the warding off of demons or evil spirits. It’s more commonly performed on people than houses.

“The actual rite of exorcism involves prayers in which the priest demands that the demon(s) leave the possessed person’s body,” according to a 2017 article on Newsweek.com. “Those present are sprinkled with holy water and the priest makes the sign of the cross on the possessed person’s forehead, as well as laying his hands on them.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:04 PM

Ex-USC gynecologist retains high-profile criminal attorney

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

July 13, 2018

By Matt Hamilton and Harriet Ryan

Former USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall, accused of sexually abusing young patients, has retained a prominent Los Angeles attorney to represent him amid a widening criminal probe and mounting lawsuits.

Leonard Levine, one of the region’s best-known defense lawyers for sex crimes cases, was recently hired to handle the high-profile case.

Tyndall, 71, has not been charged with any crimes, but a squad of a dozen LAPD detectives is investigating complaints from more than 130 individuals. Last month, investigators raided Tyndall’s Westlake apartment and a nearby storage locker and later executed a search warrant at USC for files and documents.

In an interview Thursday, Levine said he has talked to the Los Angeles Police Department and the county district attorney’s office.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:03 PM

Archbishop says youth alienated by Catholic Church

IRELAND
The Irish Times

July 16, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

‘Catholics must learn new ways in which they can win young hearts,’ says Diarmuid Martin

Irish Catholicism today is “foreign” to young people and needs to wake up to the situation, according to Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin.

“Change is painful; there is, however, no alternative,” he said.

“Irish religious culture is changing. The main body of the membership of Irish Catholicism and its leadership belong to an age and cultural group that is in many ways foreign to the culture of young people. The Irish church needs to waken itself to the urgency of this situation,” he said.

“This will not be easy. There is uncertainty about how to proceed,” he added, noting that there would be “a sort of passive resistance”.

“Change is painful. There is however no alternative. Catholics must learn new ways in which they can win young hearts for what the teaching of Jesus involves,” he said. “The Irish church has to re-learn the ability to speak the language of faith authentically in a world where that language may be alien. The church in Ireland needs a radical overhaul in its outreach in faith towards young people.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:01 PM

Church considers psychometric tests as experts raise fears about clergy narcissism

ENGLAND
The Telegraph

July 13, 2018

By Olivia Rudgard

The Church of England could administer personality tests for trainee priests amid fears it appoints too many narcissists.

The Church is examining ways to analyse the personalities of new priests to in an effort to understand the types of people it is attracting.

New tests set to be considered by bishops next year could also measure how well a trainee copes with stress and being in a position of authority.

Julian Hubbard, director of the Church's Ministry Division, said the tests could also be a "useful tool in helping candidates grow in self-awareness".

He said the church was "considering the use of psychological assessment as part of the process of discernment for those seeking ordination in the Church of England".

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:59 PM

How Pope Francis Is Changing the Catholic Church

VATICAN CITY
Vogue

July 16, 2018

By Jason Horowitz

It’s a June morning at the Vatican, and Pope Francis is wearing a hangdog expression—all watchful eyes and soft apostolic chins. It’s how he looks opposite strongmen in Myanmar or posing with Donald Trump or preparing to berate the Vatican hierarchy for being out of touch and insular. Today, though, we’re in the marble lobby of the Paul VI audience hall, and schoolchildren are preparing to sing songs. I’m a little worried what they might think.

But when the kids ask him questions, Francis brightens dramatically. He suddenly radiates ebullience and avuncular warmth. As a journalist who has covered Francis for years, I’ve seen this shift before—when he’s broken from sermons to share homespun wisdom or embraced a Muslim asylum seeker in a refugee camp or drifted back to the press section of the papal plane to amiably sign books, bless family photos, and accept gifts. I’ve met my share of presidents and prime ministers, and have seen some of the greats at working the press. The time Francis laughed convincingly at my lame joke, I knew I was in the presence of a natural.

He is perched on the edge of his armchair fielding questions: about his first teacher (“Estela; I had her in first and third grade”), where he is from (“the most beautiful city in the world, Buenos Aires”), and what his favorite game was as a child (“We played a lot with kites”). Then one boy stands up and asks him what it felt like when he was elected pope.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:57 PM

Megachurch pastor resigns following sex abuse scandal

HOUSTON (TX)
Premier

July 16, 2018

By Eno Adeogun

The lead pastor of a megachurch in Memphis, Tennessee who publicly backed one of his staff who was accused of sexual assault has resigned.

Chris Conlee from Highpoint Church had previously compared Andy Savage's critics to the devil after it emerged that former teaching pastor Savage had been accused of sexually assaulting Jules Woodson when she was a teenager.

Woodson wrote in a blog post that back in 1998 when she was a 17-year-old high school senior, Savage, aged 22 and youth pastor at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church in Houston, took advantage of her.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:56 PM

Catholic Church finally delivering on promises about clerical abuse | Opinion

UNITED STATES
Sun Sentinel

July 11, 2018

By Mary Sanchez

To even casual observers of recent news about the Catholic Church, it's clear that a new day has dawned.

Finally, after decades of stalling, denials and civil lawsuits, Catholic dioceses seem to recognize their accountability for the criminal behavior of pedophile priests.

Consider the case of retired Bishop Joseph Hart. The former prelate of Cheyenne, Wyo., now 86 years old, could face criminal charges under what the current bishop of Cheyenne has deemed credible and substantiated accusations of sexual abuse.

News of the case traveled ahead of the headlines to Kansas City, where Hart was ordained in 1956. Many believe that is where he first groomed young boys for sexual abuse in the parishes where he served until 1976.

The Kansas City diocese readily restated that Hart had previously been accused of abusing 10 people, which led to multi-million-dollar settlements involving allegations against him and other Kansas City priests, some now deceased.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:54 PM

Denby Fawcett: Survivors Of Childhood Abuse Urge Others To Seek Justice

HONOLULU (HAWAII)
Honolulu Civil Beat

July 16, 2018

By Denby Fawcett

The state has again extended the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits in cases of alleged childhood sexual abuse.

June Johnson Cleghorn, 59, a Kailua mother of two, is urging victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits against their abusers.

Cleghorn did just that — and reached a court settlement in 2016 — after a teacher allegedly sexually abused her over a six-year period beginning in 1971 when she was a 12-year-old boarding student at Hawaii Preparatory Academy on Hawaii Island.

Cleghorn and others spoke at a news conference last week with her attorney, Mark Gallagher, to raise awareness that the state has lifted the statute of limitations to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse until April 24, 2020, to file retroactive civil law suits against their alleged abusers and the organizations that allowed the abuse to continue.

Gallagher says he is glad the governor signed into law the extension, but he wishes the window was open for a longer period.

“I think for certain kinds of crimes such as child sex abuse the statute of limitations should be lifted permanently,” he said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:52 PM

Southern Baptist officials knew of sexual abuse allegations before top SC leader's arrest

FORT WORTH (TX)
Independent Mail

July 16, 2018

By Sarah Smith, McClatchy

The missionary arm of the Southern Baptist Convention knew about allegations against Southern Baptist leader Mark Aderholt more than 10 years before he was arrested July 3 on charges that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl, according to police records, emails and an internal investigation from the organization.

Aderholt rose up to be the associate director and chief strategist of the South Carolina Baptist Convention in 2016.

In 2007, the International Mission Board conducted an investigation into allegations that Aderholt had a sexual relationship with the girl while he was a 25-year-old student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. At the time of the investigation, Aderholt was one of the more prolific missionaries with the Mission Board, which has sent Southern Baptists around the globe for more than a century.

The International Mission Board did not report the allegations to authorities.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:50 PM

Bartlett pastor resigns amid allegations of sexual abuse

BARTLETT (TN)
WREG

July 12, 2018

By Stacy Jacobson

The Travis Avenue Baptist Church sits in the shadow of the skyline of Forth Worth, Texas. It’s where one woman remembers going since third grade.

“I very much loved my church, loved being active in my church," she said.

She didn't want WREG to use her real name or voice because she's still coping with what happened to her when she was a teen in the youth choir at the church, under the direction of youth minister John Finley.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:49 PM

[OPINION] On Duterte's sexual abuse and the washing of the feet

PHILIPPINES
Rappler

July 15, 2018

By Jeremy Simons

Washing his feet will symbolically send a powerful image of subservience rather than prophetic witness, and will be used to coopt your credibility and cause confusion and division within the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches

Editor's Note: The author originally wrote this on Facebook as an open letter to the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC). Rappler is republishing this with the author's permission.

I recently saw a report that PCEC leaders will meet with President Duterte and have offered to wash his feet as an act of humility and healing for the abuse he suffered under a Roman Catholic priest.

Whether this is true or not, it raises important questions that need to be aired. While acts of contrition and solidarity are noble and good, it is the wrong time involving the wrong people for such an effort. The issue of church responsibility for sexual abuse is being used by Duterte to divert attention from his own violence – the killings and his verbal attacks on women and Christianity, mismanagement of the economy, corruption, and more.

Engaging the issue of Duterte's childhood sexual abuse in this context incorrectly shifts the focus away from the justified outrage that people have over Duterte's recent words and actions. Now is the time to channel that outrage into action that will bring Duterte to account for his own foolish and reckless behavior. Washing his feet will symbolically send a powerful image of subservience rather than prophetic witness, and will be used to coopt your credibility and cause confusion and division within the PCEC.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:47 PM

Jury trial scheduled for former priest accused in child sex assault case

MADISON (WI)
WKOW

July 12, 2018

A jury trial is set for a retired priest accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a child.

William Nolan pleaded not guilty on Thursday to 6 counts of second degree sexual assault of a child.

Nolan was arrested in May after the alleged victim, a former altar boy, told investigators about the assaults. The victim claims they happened over a five-year span from the ages of 12 to 17.

The Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP, says this case is an important example of why victim of these crimes should come forward.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:43 PM

Southern Baptist officials knew of sexual abuse allegations 11 years before leader’s arrest

FORT WORTH (TX)
The State

July 13, 2018

By Sarah Smith

The missionary arm of the Southern Baptist Convention knew about allegations against Southern Baptist leader Mark Aderholt more than 10 years before he was arrested July 3 on charges that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl, according to police records, emails and an internal investigation from the organization.

In 2007, the International Mission Board conducted an investigation into allegations that Aderholt had a sexual relationship with the girl while he was a 25-year-old student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. At the time of the investigation, Aderholt was one of the more prolific missionaries with the Mission Board, which has sent Southern Baptists around the globe for more than a century.

The International Mission Board did not report the allegations to authorities.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:41 PM

Recap as trial of former priest Terence Grigg accused of abusing five boys begins

HULL (UNITED KINGDOM)
Hull Live

July 16, 2018

By Simon Bristow

Canon Terrence Grigg denies all the charges

A former Cottingham priest has been on trial today charged with historic child sex offences.

Canon Terrence Grigg, 84, is charged with a range of offences against five boys, which are alleged to have taken place between 1983 and 1996. Mr Grigg, of Grove Street, Malton, North Yorkshire, denies all the charges.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:39 PM

Nuns, Priests Write To Vatican Over Alleged Rape Of Nun By Kerala Bishop

KOCHI (INDIA)
Press Trust of India/NDTV

July 13, 2018

The Nun has charged Kerela's Bishop Mulakkal with rape and unnatural sex multiple times at a small town near Kottayam between 2014 and 2016.

A section of nuns, priests and laity of the Roman Catholic Church has written to the Vatican over the alleged rape of a nun in Kerala by a bishop, urging it "to do what is right" to provide justice to the women in the church.
The letters were written to Giambattista Diquttro, Apostolic Nuncio to India and the Catholic Bishops Conference of India Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

The church authorities were requested to "advise" Pope Francis to "relieve" Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal "of his pastoral responsibilities so that the church is seen to actually practice the zero tolerance it professes to observe in abuse cases."

Saying that they were concerned about the integrity of the Indian church, the letters stated that people's faith in the credibility of the church to implement its policy of zero tolerance in abuse matters would continue to erode if the accused bishop remain in his position at Jalandhar diocese.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:37 PM

2 Kerala Priests Accused Of Rape Seek Shield Against Arrest In Top Court

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
NDTV

July 16, 2018

By A Vaidyanathan, Edited by Nidhi Sethi

Two of the accused priests were arrested after the High Court rejected the bail applications of three of them last week

After two of the four Kerala priests accused of raping and blackmailing a woman were arrested, the remaining two have approached the Supreme Court seeking protection from arrest. The top court has agreed to hear their pleas tomorrow.

Father Sony (Abraham) Varghese had filed his plea on Saturday, while Father Jaice K George submitted his anticipatory bail application today, their lawyers said. Johnson P Mathew, a counsellor, and Father Job Mathew were arrested after the High Court rejected the bail applications of three of the accused priests last week.

A 34-year-old woman has accused the four priests, based at the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kottayam, of using her confidential confessions to force her into having sex with them. The cycle of blackmail and sexual abuse continued for several years, her husband alleged.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:35 PM

Ex-chancellor’s arrest spotlights big picture in Chile abuse crisis

CHILE
Crux

July 15, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

Already the most serious clerical sexual abuse crisis since the United States in 2002-2003 and Ireland in 2009-2010, the unfolding situation in Chile took another turn this week when the former chancellor of the Archdiocese of Santiago, the national capital, was arrested on seven counts of abuse and rape between 2002 and 2018, involving minors between 11 and 17, five of whom reportedly were his own nephews.

The arrest was accompanied by a police raid of archdiocesan offices, which reportedly produced evidence that Church officials were aware of the accusations but did not report them to civil authorities.

What makes the situation especially ironic is that Father Óscar Muñoz Toledo had been the archdiocesan official charged with receiving the testimony of abuse victims who wanted to make a complaint to the Church. Earlier this year, Muñoz reported himself for one count of abuse.

One of the victims who had appeared before Muñoz to tell his story, Chilean philosopher José Andrés Murillo, spoke to a local newspaper on Saturday.

“We are studying what legal actions to follow, because this seems very serious,” Murillo said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:33 PM

In Minnesota, Catholic Charities sues near-bankrupt diocese

ST. CLOUD (MN)
Catholic News Agency

July 12, 2018

By Kevin J. Jones

The fate of a children’s home is the subject of a lawsuit against the Diocese of St. Cloud in Minnesota by the diocese’s Catholic Charities affiliate, which fears the diocese’s planned bankruptcy could disrupt services at the facility.

“We continue to support the mission of Catholic Charities, and we know they continue to support the mission and ministries of the diocese,” Joseph Towalski, director of the Office of Communications at the Diocese of St. Cloud, told CNA July 11. “We believe the complaint will be properly resolved through the judicial process.”

Towalski said the complaint is under review by legal counsel and the diocese would not comment on it at this time.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:32 PM

Malankara church sex abuse case:: Supreme Court to hear anticipatory bail plea of priest tomorrow

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
The New Indian Express

July 16, 2018

By PTI

Father Varghese and three other priests belonging to the same Church were accused of sexually assaulting a woman on many occasions.

The Supreme Court will hear tomorrow the anticipatory bail plea of Father Soni Abraham Varghese in connection with the sex scandal case involving four clergymen attached to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud agreed to hear the plea of the priest after he sought urgent hearing as he fears arrest in the case.

The crime branch had on July 2 registered a case against Father Varghese and three other priests on the basis of statements given by a woman belonging to the same Church accusing them of sexually assaulting her on many occasions.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:30 PM

'I was raped, threatened': Kerala nun who accused bishop tells Missionaries of Jesus

KERALA (INDIA)
The News Minute

July 14, 2018

The nun had said in the police complaint that the bishop, Franco Mulakkal, had sexually abused her since 2014.

In yet another twist in the case in which a nun was allegedly raped by a Catholic bishop, Fr Franco Mulakkal, a letter written by the survivor to the Missionaries of Jesus has surfaced. In the letter written to the Roman Catholic religious order for women, the survivor has accused the priest of raping and threatening her.

According to reports, she has also alleged that even though she had written to the Mother General about the incident, no action was taken and that this is why she had written the letter.

“The Mother General of the convent has instead supported the bishop. The rights and dignity of nuns should be ensured in convents; many have left when they lost both. The situation has become such that only those who please the bishop and the Mother General can continue in the convent. Others are treated poorly,” the letter says.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:07 PM

Clergy abuse survivors finding their voices, and each other

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 15, 2018

By Peter Smith

Jim VanSickle recalls the “long walk” into the room where members the 40th statewide grand jury waited to hear him.

“I was nervous, I was sweating, thinking, ‘Lord, give me the words that I need,’” recalled Mr. VanSickle, 55, of Coraopolis.

He sensed an assurance from that Lord, in whom he has retained faith in spite of the betrayals he felt from its purported ministers: “Just be true to yourself and your story.”

So he told his story. He testified how his trusted priest and high school English teacher mounted a humiliating, life-altering assault on his teenage body and innocence.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:15 PM

Private-school teacher jailed for 17 years for raping student

ENGLAND
The Sun

July 14, 2018

By Paul Sims

A teacher at a top private school was yesterday jailed for 17 years for raping a pupil he had groomed.

James Husband, now 68, told the 16-year-old girl: “It’s OK, I’ve had a vasectomy.”

His victim had been earmarked for a place at Cambridge University but failed to get the grades due to a three-year cycle of sexual abuse, a court heard.

Husband, who taught history at Christ’s Hospital School, West Sussex, was convicted of rape and five sexual assault counts on the girl last week.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:13 PM

St. Paul’s extends victim services offer to former summer program students

CONCORD (NH)
Concord Monitor

July 14, 2018

By Alyssa Dandrea

St. Paul’s School has extended its new victim compensation and therapy programs to New Hampshire high schoolers who were sexually abused while participating in a prestigious summer program held annually on the Concord campus.

The prep school recently followed the lead of other private schools in providing financial assistance for mental health services to former students abused over decades by faculty and staff entrusted with their care. On the heels of the announcement to alumni, St. Paul’s leaders also emailed past students of the Advanced Studies Program to inform them of their eligibility to receive victim services, too.

St. Paul’s has long offered the month-long summer program to students between their junior and senior years. High-achieving high school students throughout the state have the chance to spend part of the summer living and studying on campus, where current St. Paul’s faculty and staff, as well as public high school and college professors, teach.

This summer, 240 students are taking courses taught by 25 teachers, five of whom work for the school.

As civil lawsuits against St. Paul’s mounted this spring, one former student of the Advanced Studies Program contacted a Manchester-based attorney to seek compensation for abuse he suffered in 1967. Attorney Peter Hutchins, known for his work representing hundreds of victims of clerical sexual abuse, said he met for the first time with the victim Monday, and filed a claim with two separate law firms who have worked for St. Paul’s, including Boston-based Casner & Edwards.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:29 AM

He Preyed on Men Who Wanted to Be Priests. Then He Became a Cardinal.

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

July 16, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein and Sharon Otterman

As a young man studying to be a priest in the 1980s, Robert Ciolek was flattered when his brilliant, charismatic bishop in Metuchen, N.J., Theodore E. McCarrick, told him he was a shining star, cut out to study in Rome and rise high in the church.

Bishop McCarrick began inviting him on overnight trips, sometimes alone and sometimes with other young men training to be priests. There, the bishop would often assign Mr. Ciolek to share his room, which had only one bed. The two men would sometimes say night prayers together, before Bishop McCarrick would make a request — “come over here and rub my shoulders a little”— that extended into unwanted touching in bed.

Mr. Ciolek, who was in his early 20s at the time, said he felt unable to say no, in part because he had been sexually abused by a teacher in his Catholic high school, a trauma he had shared with the bishop.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:27 AM

Chris Hardwick Replaced on ‘Talking Dead’ by Yvette Nicole Brown Amid Sexual Abuse Accusations

UNITED STATES
IndieWire

July 14, 2018

By Michael Nordine

She's been a regular guest on the show since 2012.

As it continues its “assessment” of Chris Hardwick, who was accused of sexual abuse by ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, AMC has announced that Yvette Nicole Brown will now become interim guest host of both “Talking Dead” and a preview special of “The Walking Dead” season nine. Brown has been a regular guest on “Talking Dead” since 2012 and starred on “Community” from 2009–15.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:24 AM

Ousted U.S. Cardinal Left a Trail of Abused Recruits

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

July 15, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein and Sharon Otterman

As a young man studying to be a priest in the 1980s, Robert Ciolek was flattered when his brilliant, charismatic bishop in Metuchen, New Jersey, Theodore E. McCarrick, told him he was a shining star, cut out to study in Rome and rise high in the church.

McCarrick began inviting him on overnight trips, sometimes alone and sometimes with other young men training to be priests. There, the bishop would often assign Ciolek to share his room, which had only one bed. The two men would sometimes say night prayers together, before McCarrick would make a request — “come over here and rub my shoulders a little” — that extended into unwanted touching in bed.

Ciolek, who was in his early 20s at the time, said he felt unable to say no, in part because he had been sexually abused by a teacher in his Catholic high school, a trauma he had shared with the bishop.

“I trusted him, I confided in him, I admired him,” Ciolek said in an interview this month, the first time he has spoken publicly about the abuse, which lasted for several years while Ciolek was a seminarian and later a priest. “I couldn’t imagine that he would have anything other than my best interests in mind.”

McCarrick went on to climb the ranks of the Roman Catholic hierarchy — from head of the small Diocese of Metuchen to archbishop of Newark and then archbishop of Washington, where he was made a cardinal. He remained into his 80s one of the most recognized American cardinals on the global stage, a Washington power broker who participated in funeral masses for political luminaries like Edward M. Kennedy, the longtime Massachusetts senator, and Beau Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Suddenly, last month, McCarrick was removed from ministry, after the Archdiocese of New York deemed credible an accusation that he had molested a 16-year-old altar boy nearly 50 years ago.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:23 AM

July 15, 2018

Celebration of Kathy Shaw's Life

WORCESTER (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

All are invited to a celebration of Kathy Shaw's life

When

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where

Graham, Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlor
838 Main Street
Worcester MA 01610

Kathy's Story

Our wonderful friend and colleague Kathy Shaw died on Sunday, June 24, 2018 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester MA after a long illness.

Kathy had been a distinguished and award-winning religion reporter at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, as well as a mental health crisis counselor and a union activist. Beginning in 1992 and continuing through 2005, Kathy did groundbreaking reporting on the clergy abuse crisis in the Diocese of Worcester and beyond. In 2002, she started working on Abuse Tracker, the news blog about the clergy abuse crisis created in March 2002 by Bill Mitchell and the Poynter Institute. The byline “Posted by Kathy Shaw” first appeared on June 12, 2002, when the U.S. bishops were meeting in Dallas.

In the sixteen years since, Kathy posted tens of thousands of articles in Abuse Tracker, transforming the news blog into an indispensable resource and record, used by everyone who works on the clergy abuse crisis or cares about it. Thanks to Kathy and Abuse Tracker, every local development in the abuse crisis could be followed by people everywhere. Abuse Tracker was hosted by Poynter for a year, then by the National Catholic Reporter until 2006, and then by BishopAccountability.org, where it will continue.

Kathy Shaw was a steadfast friend, a tireless and generous colleague, an exuberant presence on social media, and a loving advocate for survivors everywhere.

• See Kathy's obituaries in the New York Times and the Boston Globe, an appreciation by Bill Mitchell in the National Catholic Reporter, and a column by Clive MacFarland in Kathy's paper, the Telegram & Gazette.

• Please view a brief video about Kathy.

• See also the bio that Kathy wrote when she and Abuse Tracker joined BishopAccountability.org.

Donations In Kathy's Memory

The family asks that donations in memory of Kathy be made to BishopAccountability.org, which will continue to host Abuse Tracker and preserve Kathy's legacy. Please visit BishopAccountability.org's donations page to donate online or via snail mail.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:07 AM

Australia's bishops are under increasing pressure to make child abuse reports public after nuns, brothers and friars "favour" release

NEWCASTLE (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
The Herald

July 12, 2018

By Joanne McCarthy

Australian orders of nuns and brothers have broken from Catholic bishops and called for public release of church-commissioned reports responding to the child abuse royal commission.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will hold an extraordinary meeting in early August to discuss its next move after Catholic Religious Australia, representing 150 orders and a partner with the ACBC in commissioning the Truth Justice and Healing Council reports, said members were “in favour of releasing” them.

The CRA was talking with the ACBC “in relation to how to do this”, a spokesperson said, after the orders met in late June for their first chance to discuss the 1000-page, four volume TJHC reports which were presented to bishops in March.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:02 AM

Stalin at the Movies

NEW YORK CITY (NY)
National Review

July 15, 2018

By Kevin D. Williamson

Toward the end of The Death of Stalin, two Communist Party bosses size up Joseph Stalin’s immediate successor, Georgy Malenkov. “Can we trust him?” one asks.

“Can you ever really trust a weak man?” his comrade answers.

Good question.

Last week brought the news that the head of Shambhala International, the largest Buddhist organization in the West (his title, sakyong, translates as “king,” approximately), has been dethroned after confessing to a number of sexual relationships with his followers, some of whom have come forward to accuse him of misbehavior ranging from drunken groping to sexual extortion. He is not the only fallen Buddhist leader, and Shambhala is not the only Buddhist organization that has been obliged to come to terms with allegations of sexual abuse.

The Catholic Church has had its turn in that barrel with its ongoing sexual-abuse scandals, which in many cases were made even more destructive by the efforts of Church authorities to keep things quiet — which is part of the nature of scandals. The Catholic practice of clerical celibacy is an obsession of the kulturkampf Left, and at the height of the revelations of clerical abuse it was common for critics (many of them quite ignorant of Catholic thinking and Catholic practice) to blame celibacy for all that priestly misconduct, the argument being that men denied ordinary sexual outlets will seek out extraordinary ones. But similar scandals have cropped up in Christian communities that do not practice clerical celibacy, in Jewish congregations, in Muslim communities, and in the Buddhist world, too.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:56 AM

Catholic priest faces more historical child sex charges

PERTH (AUSTRALIA)
Perth Now

July 13, 2018

A former Catholic priest is facing more charges of child sexual abuse, relating to incidents dating back to the 1970s.

In April, the 83-year-old man from Subiaco was charged with physically and sexually assaulting seven boys and girls aged between six and 12-years-old while he was the priest at a Catholic church in Shenton Park.

The incidents allegedly occurred between 1979 and 1992.

Police have added three further charges of indecent assault relating to a girl who was seven-years-old at the time of the first offence.

These incidents allegedly occurred during 1970 when the man was a priest at a Catholic church in Carlisle.

The man was due to appear in court on Friday.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:54 AM

New Orleans police open criminal investigation into defrocked deacon George Brignac

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

July 13, 2018

By Jim Mustian

The New Orleans Police Department has opened a criminal inquiry into George F. Brignac, a former Catholic deacon accused of raping an 8-year-old altar boy nearly four decades ago.

The alleged victim, now 46 and living in St. Tammany Parish, recently received a settlement of more than $500,000 from the Archdiocese of New Orleans after church officials determined his sexual assault claim was "credible."

The man met with NOPD sex crimes detectives Thursday and provided a detailed statement, according to his attorney, Roger Stetter.

"They reached out to me," Stetter said of the detectives. "They said that this was a first-degree rape case because the victim was under 10 years old. I think they're going to proceed full speed ahead."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:49 AM

Letters urge Catholic officials to remove Indian bishop accused of rape

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Service via Crux

July 14, 2018

Letters urge Catholic officials to remove Indian bishop accused of rape

New Delhi, India - Catholic and other leaders have urged that a bishop accused of raping an Indian Catholic nun be removed from his position.

Ucanews.com reported that in a July 12 letter to Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, and another of the same date to Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, apostolic nuncio to India, 168 people asked for action against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar.

The unidentified nun, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, complained to police June 29 of being raped in May 2014 and then sexually abused multiple times over the following two years by Mulakkal, ucanews.com reported. The bishop is patron of the congregation.

The letter asked Diquattro to “advise Pope Francis to relieve the bishop concerned of his pastoral responsibilities so that the Church is seen to actually practice the zero tolerance it professes to observe in abuse cases.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:46 AM

Kerala sex scandal: Absconding priest charged with sexual abuse appeals to Supreme Court for relief from arrest

NEW DELHI / THIRUVALLA (INDIA)
FIRSTPOST / India Indo-Asian News Service

July 15, 2018

One of the two Malankara Orthodox Church priests, who are on the run facing charges of sexual abuse of a parishioner, approached the Supreme Court on Saturday seeking relief from arrest, while the other will do so on Monday, said an official.

Speaking to IANS, a key investigating officer seeking anonymity said Father Sony (Abraham) Varghese on Saturday filed his petition in the apex court, which will be heard on Monday, while another accused, Father Jaice K George — currently posted in Delhi — will file a petition on Monday.

The officer said: "We have got information that one of the accused has already approached the apex court and the other will do it on Monday. We are keenly watching the people harbouring these two priests. Such people will definitely run into trouble."

On Friday, the Crime Branch police probing the case arrested Father Johnson V. Mathew from a house near Thiruvalla. Both him and another priest Father Job Mathew, who was arrested on Thursday, have been remanded to judicial custody. "We have gathered crucial evidence with regard to the crime that the two arrested priests have committed. These will definitely help us shape up the case," the officer added.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:40 AM

A Crisis Management Guru Bungles a Crisis

NEW YORK CITY (NY)
New York Times

July 14, 2018

By David Segal

London - When Sir Alan Parker was appointed chairman of Save the Children U.K. in 2008, he must have seemed like the perfect choice. As the founder and head of Brunswick Group, one of the most successful corporate public relations firms in the world, he had connections with chief executives, celebrities and media moguls as well as politicians on both sides of the political divide. Charming and boyishly effusive, he earned millions leading a business that now has 1,000 employees in 14 countries, all of them shaping narratives for companies in the public eye.

But there was one story this consummate spin doctor could not control — his own. In March, BBC Radio 4 reported that Mr. Parker and the charity had bungled sexual harassment and bullying complaints leveled a few years ago by three female employees against two of the charity’s top managers.

A much-publicized petition was soon circulating, signed by 200 current and former Save the Children staff members, urging Mr. Parker to step down. A three-year-old sexual harassment matter quickly spiraled into a fiasco, one that raised very public questions about Mr. Parker’s tenure at a respected institution. In April, the British government’s Charities Commission officially opened an inquiry into Save the Children U.K., one likely to hang over both Mr. Parker and the organization for months. Roughly a week after the inquiry was announced, Mr. Parker resigned.

“It is my view that a change is needed,” he said in a public statement.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:27 AM

On Duterte's sexual abuse and the washing of the feet

PASIG (PHILIPPINES)
Rappler

July 15, 2018

By Jeremy Simons

Washing his feet will symbolically send a powerful image of subservience rather than prophetic witness, and will be used to coopt your credibility and cause confusion and division within the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches

Editor's Note: The author originally wrote this on Facebook as an open letter to the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC). Rappler is republishing this with the author's permission.

I recently saw a report that PCEC leaders will meet with President Duterte and have offered to wash his feet as an act of humility and healing for the abuse he suffered under a Roman Catholic priest.

Whether this is true or not, it raises important questions that need to be aired. While acts of contrition and solidarity are noble and good, it is the wrong time involving the wrong people for such an effort. The issue of church responsibility for sexual abuse is being used by Duterte to divert attention from his own violence – the killings and his verbal attacks on women and Christianity, mismanagement of the economy, corruption, and more.

Engaging the issue of Duterte's childhood sexual abuse in this context incorrectly shifts the focus away from the justified outrage that people have over Duterte's recent words and actions. Now is the time to channel that outrage into action that will bring Duterte to account for his own foolish and reckless behavior. Washing his feet will symbolically send a powerful image of subservience rather than prophetic witness, and will be used to coopt your credibility and cause confusion and division within the PCEC.

There is nothing worse than helping someone avoid the consequences that their actions deserve, and the outrage that has erupted is a necessary part of that corrective process of accountability in the Philippines. The reign of violence and injustice that has mutated under the Duterte regime is only made possible because the Filipino people and key sectors of Philippine society continue to consent and give their support to that regime. To divert Filipinos' righteous anger into an untimely act of reconciliation is to enable impunity rather than advocate for healing, justice, and transformation.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:14 AM

Chile: Investigators Pursue Sexual Abuse Cases in Rectory Raids

CARACAS (VENEZUELA)
teleSUR

July 14, 2018

Santiago, Chile - Police are also looking into the possibility of accomplices, along with a pedophile network involving as many as 14 priests.

Police raids revealed boxes of papers detailing investigations led by the Catholic church against five priests suspected of sexual abuse.

Investigations into alleged sexual abusers within the Chilean episcopacy are escalating after police raids in Temuco and Villarrica led to the confiscation of dozens of documents believed to be connected to additional abuse cases.

Prosecutor Italo Ortega led the raids – which began first in Temuco and then Villarrica – revealed boxes of papers detailing investigations led by the Catholic church against five priests suspected of child molestation and sexual abuse.

"As there was no voluntary delivery then we requested the authorization that corresponds to the Court of Guarantee, we made the presentation of the background and the Court ruled that the seizure proceed," said the prosecutor of Temuco, Roberto Garrido.

Elsewhere in Santiago, former Chilean Priest Oscar Muñoz is being held in preventive detention, accused of sexual abuse and the rape of at least seven minors between the ages of 11 and 17. Muñoz was arrested in Santiago, Thursday and was transferred to Rancagua.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:06 AM

History has caught up with Matt Flynn

MADISON (WI)
The Cap Times

July 14, 2018

By Peter Isely and Sarah Pearson

[See the letter by Bishop Richard J. Sklba quoted in this column.]

Surely, if there is one axiom for public office and public service it is this: It's not OK to be involved in covering up child sex crimes.

In defiance of this simple truth, Matt Flynn, Democratic candidate for governor of Wisconsin, has repeated and ramped up his defense of his work for 15 years while chief lawyer for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1989-2004. Since early May, survivors of clergy sexual abuse, progressive women’s organizations, The Capital Times and Wisconsin Gazette editorial boards, two leading Democratic legislators and others have called on Flynn to withdraw from the race.

Here is why.

Ten-thousand pages of court-ordered released priest abuse files counter every public statement Flynn has made about his work and role. They show, beyond doubt, that he participated in reassigning sex offenders, secretly paid off child molesters through his law firm, actively intimidated survivors, ensured sex offenders were not reported to law enforcement and successfully argued for laws prohibiting survivors from suing the church.

Flynn has accused both the Republican and Democratic Party “elite” of engineering a well-crafted campaign against him. But the indictment against Flynn originates from only one source: the senior management of the archdiocese. The files show a secretive, tight, loyal inner circle engineering the operation. They had a lawyer on their team: Matt Flynn. He was not a befuddled and clueless outside counsel. He was an inside man: giving continual direction, sometimes orders, innovating and strategizing plans, devising means of public misdirection, attacking anyone who threatened to interrupt or reveal the cover up.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:55 AM

July 14, 2018

Celebration of Kathy Shaw's Life

WORCESTER (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

All are invited to a celebration of Kathy Shaw's life

When

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where

Graham, Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlor
838 Main Street
Worcester MA 01610

Kathy's Story

Our wonderful friend and colleague Kathy Shaw died on Sunday, June 24, 2018 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester MA after a long illness.

Kathy had been a distinguished and award-winning religion reporter at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, as well as a mental health crisis counselor and a union activist. Beginning in 1992 and continuing through 2005, Kathy did groundbreaking reporting on the clergy abuse crisis in the Diocese of Worcester and beyond. In 2002, she started working on Abuse Tracker, the news blog about the clergy abuse crisis created in March 2002 by Bill Mitchell and the Poynter Institute. The byline “Posted by Kathy Shaw” first appeared on June 12, 2002, when the U.S. bishops were meeting in Dallas.

In the sixteen years since, Kathy posted tens of thousands of articles in Abuse Tracker, transforming the news blog into an indispensable resource and record, used by everyone who works on the clergy abuse crisis or cares about it. Thanks to Kathy and Abuse Tracker, every local development in the abuse crisis could be followed by people everywhere. Abuse Tracker was hosted by Poynter for a year, then by the National Catholic Reporter until 2006, and then by BishopAccountability.org, where it will continue.

Kathy Shaw was a steadfast friend, a tireless and generous colleague, an exuberant presence on social media, and a loving advocate for survivors everywhere.

• See Kathy's obituaries in the New York Times and the Boston Globe, an appreciation by Bill Mitchell in the National Catholic Reporter, and a column by Clive MacFarland in Kathy's paper, the Telegram & Gazette.

• Please view a brief video about Kathy.

• See also the bio that Kathy wrote when she and Abuse Tracker joined BishopAccountability.org.

Donations In Kathy's Memory

The family asks that donations in memory of Kathy be made to BishopAccountability.org, which will continue to host Abuse Tracker and preserve Kathy's legacy. Please visit BishopAccountability.org's donations page to donate online or via snail mail.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:54 AM

Priests, church officials named in grand jury report on sexual abuse make case for edits

MECHANICSVILLE (PA)
PennLive

July 13, 2018

By Charles Thompson

Lawyers for at least 12 persons named in a forthcoming grand jury report on historic patterns of sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses have asked the state Supreme Court to give them an unprecedented chance to edit the report before its release.

In a common brief for all petitioners released in redacted form Friday afternoon, the attorneys said there are demonstrable errors of fact and interpretation in the report that, if left uncorrected, will deprive their clients of a state constitutional right to defend their reputation.

The lawyers are asking the court to send the report back to the grand jury's supervising judge for, at minimum, a series of evidentiary hearings where the unnamed petitioners can present their cases.

That would be followed, where necessary, by redactions or corrections before the full report is released to the public.

Ordinarily, persons referred to critically in grand jury reports in Pennsylvania are given a chance to review those portions of the report that deal directly with them, and file a written response.

Those responses are released as an addendum to the report.

The petitioners in this case, however, have argued that the subject of matter of child sexual abuse is so horrific, that getting the opportunity to vent after the fact is meaningless.

Especially, they assert, when there are clear errors in the portions of the report that they have seen that can be relatively easily fixed.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:52 AM

Charlie Specht on what it's like to cover the Buffalo priest abuse scandal as a Catholic

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

By Charlie Specht

July 14, 2018

Lifelong Catholic describes the personal toll

I had to break the news. But first I needed to make the call.

Seventy years of secrets were about to spill out in March when the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo finally relented, sending our newsroom a list of 42 priests believed to have committed the ultimate betrayal -- the sexual abuse of a child.

I needed to go on TV and tell our viewers what it meant.

But first I needed to call my Mom.

She needed to hear it from me that Father Basil Ormsby, the priest who had witnessed my parents’ wedding and who played such a huge role in her family’s life, would forever be known as a pedophile.

My Nana was Father Ormsby’s parish secretary. She was a convert to Catholicism but she loved her faith and instilled it in her children. My parents passed it along to my brothers and it’s been the foundation of our lives.

I attended Catholic grade school, became an altar boy. I grew close with the Franciscan Friars at St. Bonaventure University and was married in the church. My daughter goes to Catholic school and loves attending Mass. I beam with pride when my wife, a lector, stands on the altar and reads the word of God.

Like many Catholics, the scandal in the Diocese of Buffalo has shaken me to the core. But I’ve had the opportunity -- some would say the misfortune -- of seeing the ugliness up close. Some of it is too graphic to put on TV.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:49 AM

Allentown Diocese mailing letter on grand jury sex abuse investigation to parishioners

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

July 13, 2018

By Tim Darragh

The Allentown Diocese is mailing more than 80,000 Catholic households an update of its view on the state grand jury report that is looking into the sexual abuse of children by priests and a reiteration of its zero-tolerance policy.

The diocese sent the letter from Bishop Alfred Schlert to the news media Friday.

“The bishop thought it was important to communicate to the people of the diocese during this time when the grand jury report was expected,” said diocesan spokesman Matt Kerr.

In the letter, Schlert says he wants the report reviewing decades of sexual abuse in six dioceses — including Allentown — released as soon as possible.

A grand jury spent two years hearing testimony about abuse by priests and efforts to cover it up in the Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburth and Scranton dioceses. The report it generated is now being held up by a state Supreme Court order, after some unidentified priests argued it violates their due process rights.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:45 AM

A Letter from Bishop Schlert on the Grand Jury Report

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Diocese of Allentown Website

July 13, 2018

By Bishop Alfred A. Schlert

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

As you know, there is a Statewide Grand Jury Report on clergy sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, including the Diocese of Allentown. The release of that Report has been held up because of legal challenges. No one knows how long the Report will be delayed, so I am writing today to provide you with some information on this important issue.

I would like you to know that the Diocese of Allentown has cooperated with the Grand Jury and the Attorney General, and has done absolutely nothing to delay or block the Report, or to support anyone who is trying to do so.

In fact, my sincere wish is that the Report is released as soon as possible. The information it contains will be difficult to hear. However, this information does need to be heard, and it needs to be used by all of us to accomplish our shared goal: the elimination of child abuse in the Church and wherever it occurs in society.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:42 AM

Top Chilean Priest Arrested for Sexually Abusing 7 Children

VIRGINIA BEACH (VA)
CBN News

July 13, 2018

By George Thomas

Months after it was revealed that Chile's Roman Catholic church was embroiled in a culture of abuse and coverups spanning decades, authorities have arrested a top priest for sexually abusing minors.

Oscar Munoz Toledo, once a prominient member of Santiago's archdiocese, was taken into custody Thursday.

"The crimes he is accused of are of repeated sexual abuse and one case of a consenting relationship with an older minor," Chilean prosecutor Emiliano Arias told reporters.

Toledo is among 14 other suspected priests accused of sexually abusing children. Police have charged Munoz with the abuse and statutory rape of seven minors.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:40 AM

One more Kerala church priest held in sexual abuse case

MUMBAI (INDIA)
Times of India

July 14, 2018

Kottayam - Fr Johnson V Mathew, a priest of Malankara Orthodox church accused in the rape and sexual abuse of a married woman belonging to the fold, was arrested by a crime branch team on Friday. Fr Johnson, a Kozhencherry native and third accused in the case, was arrested from his residence at 2pm. On Thursday, Fr Job Mathew, second accused in the case, had turned himself in to the police in Kollam.

Fr Johnson was questioned for around three hours. The accused was presented before Thiruvalla magistrate and was remanded for 14 days in judicial custody. Fr Johnson faces charges under Section 354 of IPC (molestation). Unlike the other three accused priests who were slapped with Sections 376 (rape) also along with 354, Fr Johnson who belongs to the Thumpamon diocese of the Orthodox church has not been charged with rape.

The accused told the probe team that though he knew the woman he had not sexually abused her. The priest and the victim had studied in the same college during the same period. The woman had shared her trauma of being sexually abused by the other priests using her confession as tool for blackmail. The victim had given a statement that it was after this that Fr Johnson had started sending her lewd messages. The Kerala HC was set to pronounce its verdict on the bail plea filed by Fr Johnson on Friday.

The remaining two accused Fr Abraham Varghese (Sony) and Fr Jaise K George are still at large. The probe team searched the house of Fr Abraham in Pathanamthitta district on Friday. The anticipatory bail plea of both these priests were rejected by the high court on Wednesday. The absconding priests are reportedly planning to approach the Supreme Court seeking anticipatory bail. Fr Jaise is suspected to be in Delhi and the probe team will be leaving for Delhi if he doesn’t surrender in two days.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:26 AM

Ex-chancellor of Santiago archdiocese arrested on abuse charges

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

July 13, 2018

By Junno Arocho Esteves

As the Catholic Church in Chile continues to reel from allegations of clerical sexual abuse and cover-ups, police arrested the former chancellor of the Archdiocese of Santiago on accusations he sexually abused minors.

Explore Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment with this free guide.

Chilean prosecutor Emiliano Arias told journalists that authorities arrested Fr. Oscar Munoz Toledo, the former chancellor, July 12 following allegations that he abused seven minors in Santiago and Rancagua since 2002.

In late May, news first broke that Munoz was suspended after he reported himself to church authorities for abuse. The suspension occurred Jan. 2, a little over a week before Pope Francis visited the country.

Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of abuse, expressed shock and outrage at the revelation, given the fact that he had reported the abuse he suffered to the former chancellor.

"The insolence -- to put it mildly -- is astonishing. [Munoz] was the one who took our statements, and nothing happened," Cruz tweeted May 24.

In a statement released the day of the arrest, the Archdiocese of Santiago also confirmed that Arias, accompanied by police, conducted a second search and seizure operation in connection with the charges against Munoz as well as several other pending investigations.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:23 AM

July 13, 2018

Allentown Diocese mailing letter on grand jury sex abuse investigation to parishioners

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

July 13, 2018

By Tim Darragh

The Allentown Diocese is mailing more than 80,000 Catholic households an update of its view on the state grand jury report that is looking into the sexual abuse of children by priests and a reiteration of its zero-tolerance policy.

The diocese sent the letter from Bishop Alfred Schlert to the news media Friday.

“The bishop thought it was important to communicate to the people of the diocese during this time when the grand jury report was expected,” said diocesan spokesman Matt Kerr.

In the letter, Schlert says he wants the report reviewing decades of sexual abuse in six dioceses — including Allentown — released as soon as possible.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:12 PM

Survivors Now Have More Time to Sue for Clergy Sex Abuse

HONOLULU (HAWAII)
Hawaii Public Radio

July 12, 2018

By Ku`Uwehi Hiraishi

A new law in Hawaiʻi now gives survivors of child sexual abuse more time to file claims against their abuser. Reforms to the state’s statute of limitations have been key in exposing the extent of child sexual abuse at various institutions, most notably the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu.

Nearly 60 priests associated with Hawaiʻi’s Roman Catholic Church have been accused of child sexual abuse. That’s according to a recent report by attorneys of abuse victims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:10 PM

Woman alleges nun used crucifix to abuse her in Snyder convent

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

July 12, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

A Grand Island woman on Thursday accused a nun of sexually abusing her with a crucifix more than 60 years ago at a convent in Snyder.

J. Carroll Becker said the nun used the crucifix as punishment after Becker wet her pants at a classroom desk in 1955, when she was five years old.

"She told me it would cure me of defiling God's property," Becker said.

Becker, 68, told the story of the alleged abuse at a news conference on the sidewalk outside Christ the King School on Main Street in Snyder. She was accompanied by Robert Hoatson and James Faluszczak, former priests who now advocate on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:56 PM

'He took from me my childhood': 'Senior of the Year' jailed for child rape

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press

July 13, 2018

The dark past of a man, thought to be a model citizen, has caught up to the 65-year-old and landed him a jail sentence for six child sex offences committed in the late 1980s.

For the past 25 years, Gordon Lloyd Adams had appeared to be a pillar of his Queensland community.

A Gympie Salvation Army volunteer, he was also a supporter of the local rural fire service. Adams was even once the town’s nominee for Australian Senior Citizen of the Year.

But it was revealed in Brisbane District Court on Friday, that he was far from a model citizen, when he was sentenced to six-and-a-half years behind bars.

Adams pleaded guilty in May to the offences committed in Deception Bay, including the rape of a nine-year-old girl, after the victim came forward in 2016.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:54 PM

Torn Between Faith and Profession

ANCHORAGE (AK)
Anchorage Press

July 12, 2018

By Dennis Anderson

I’m a cradle Catholic. I typically avoid movies concerning the church. Hollywood doesn’t always portray Catholics and our faith in the best of lights. When the movie ‘Spotlight’ was released, I had zero interest in watching the film. ‘Spotlight’ tells the story behind the Boston Globe’s investigative journalism team’s efforts to uncover the widespread of child sex abuse by priests in the Boston area. Subsequently, they uncovered that the church not only knew about these priests, but made unbelievable efforts to conceal the epidemic.

All told, there were over 90 priests confirmed to have been involved. The Globe’s investigation revealed that the church, lawyers and some of the faithful went to great links to keep the accusations quiet. The team also exposed the fact that psychologists working with the church believed that these priests could be rehabilitated. Some were declared cured and sent back into parishes only to abuse again. One such priest was John J. Geoghan, and since the mid-1990’s, more than 130 people have come forward with horrific tales of his abuse, according to the original Boston Globe article released in January of 2002. Geoghan was the early focus of the team because the church successfully had the court documents attached to his case sealed.

Released in 2015, the movie was critically acclaimed. Those involved in the movie raked in the awards in 2016 including the Academy Award of Best Picture. I’ll typically search out movies that are this lauded. I just wouldn’t budge on this one. Another shot fired at the faithful, I reconciled in my mind. But I had no idea what the movie was about, other than a scandal that I was personally in denial about.

One evening, while searching through Netflix for something to watch, ‘Spotlight’ appeared in the recently added folder. I checked out the trailer and decided to acquiesce. The trailer had me intrigued because it portrayed that the movie was focused on the passionate efforts of the Spotlight team. So, I watched.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:47 PM

WA priest charged with child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
AAP

July 13, 2018

A former Perth priest, now 83, has been accused of further historical child sex offences after he was charged three months ago with indecently assaulting seven children.

Police charged the man again on Friday, alleging he indecently assaulted a seven-year-old girl in 1970 when he was a priest at a Carlisle church.

The same man was charged in April with a string of offences after he allegedly indecently assaulted seven boys and girls, aged between six and 12 at the time of the first offence, between 1979 and 1992 while he was a priest in Shenton Park.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:31 PM

The Project's Lisa Wilkinson and Waleed Aly clash over proposal to fine priests $10,000 for failing to report admissions of child sexual abuse made during confession

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail Australia

July 11, 2018

By Alex Michael

Lisa Wilkinson and Waleed Aly have had a tense disagreement over the Royal Commission's proposal to criminalise Catholic Church priests who fail to break the confessional seal to report admissions of child abuse.

The debate was sparked after the Victorian Government failed to introduce the recommendation on Wednesday, insisting it needed 'further consideration.'

Lisa, 58, argued the changes were necessary to provide justice for victims of abuse, while Waleed, 39, insisted the proposal presents a catch-22 for priests.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:29 PM

Church raising money for priest's legal defense

WILLIAMSTON (MI)
The Associated Press

July 11, 2018

A Lansing-area priest accused of embezzling more than $5 million from his church is trying to raise $300,000 for his defense just weeks before trial.

The Lansing State Journal says a group called Opus Bono has sent a letter on behalf of the Rev. Jonathan Wehrle. The letter says he's in "dire need."

Wehrle is charged with six counts of embezzling $100,000 or more from St. Martha Church in Okemos. He lived at a property worth more than $1 million in Williamston. Trial is scheduled for Aug. 13.

Joe Maher, Opus Bono's president, says he doesn't believe there was "criminal intent" by Wehrle. The priest's attorney claims he had an agreement with a bishop to use church funds for a home.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:28 PM

Nonprofit is fundraising to help Lansing-based priest accused of embezzling $5 million

LANSING (MI)
Michigan Radio

July 10, 2018

By Maya Goldman

Catholic non-profit Opus Bono Sacerdotii has begun fundraising for Lansing-area priest Father Jonathan Wehrle’s legal and living expenses following last year’s allegations that Wehrle embezzled over $5,000,000 from his church.

According to the accusations, Wehrle—who founded St. Martha Parish in Okemos in 1988—used church money for personal expenses from 1991 to 2017. He now faces federal embezzlement charges, as well as a separate civil suit raised by an insurer for the Catholic Diocese of Lansing.

Wehrle’s legal fees are estimated to amount to $300,000. His assets have been frozen while he awaits trial.

Opus Bono president Joe Maher knows fundraising is not the response most organizations would have to a situation like this. But since 2002, when Maher’s own priest was accused (and later acquitted) of sexual abuse, he has supported thousands of priests all around the world through their legal and personal troubles.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:27 PM

NEW ORLEANS DEACON ARRESTED FOR CHILD RAPE SERVING AS LECTOR AT MASS

METAIRIE (LA)
ChurchMilitant.com

July 10, 2018

By Anita Carey

George Brignac could face new sex abuse allegations

A Louisiana parish was up till last month still allowing a former deacon accused of multiple counts of sex abuse to serve as lector — despite the archdiocese paying out a $500,000 settlement on his behalf.

In May, the archdiocese of New Orleans paid out half a million dollars to settle an abuse claim against George Brignac, a former deacon and teacher from Holy Rosary School. Brignac was accused of grooming and raping a young boy numerous times, starting in 1979 when the victim was 8 years old.

The lawsuit was only filed this year because the victim claimed he repressed the abuse until a chance meeting with Brignac and the boy's mother in a grocery store last year.

Despite this settlement, Brignac was allowed to serve as a lector at St. Mary Magdalen in Metairie, Louisiana for "several years." Church Militant contacted the parish but was told Fr. Chris DeLerno, the pastor, was on retreat and would not be available for a week.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:25 PM

Vatican drafting guidelines on proper uses for sold churches

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

July 10, 2018

The Vatican is drafting guidelines to help Catholic dioceses find appropriate ways to decommission unneeded churches so they don't end up as discos, gymnasiums or gelato shops.

The Vatican's culture ministry is teaming up with Rome's Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University and the Italian bishops' conference to host an international conference in November on managing the sale of churches and handling of their assets. The event already has a title: "Doesn't God Dwell Here Anymore?"

Culture Minister Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi told reporters on Tuesday that many dioceses in Europe, North America and Australia have more churches than they need or can maintain, thanks to an increasingly secularized society, fewer church-going Catholics and financial constraints.

The Vatican wants to ensure the buildings maintain some of the spiritual, cultural and social value they had as consecrated places of worship, Ravasi said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:23 PM

Marrero pastor to receive 20-year sentence for string of sex crimes

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

July 9, 2018

By Matt Sledge

A Marrero pastor's voice was barely audible as he pleaded guilty to a string of sex crimes in state court on Monday in exchange for a 20-year sentence.

Sherman Smith, 58, pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and eight other counts before Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Karen Herman. She is set to formally sentence him under the terms of his agreement with prosecutors after hearing victim-impact statements on July 17.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:20 PM

India Police Arrest Seven in Suspected Rape, Blackmail of Teenage Girl

BHUBANESWAR (INDIA)
Reuters

July 10, 2018

By Jatindra Dash

Indian police arrested seven people on Tuesday, including a school principal and a teacher, on suspicion of raping and blackmailing a teenage girl over several months, the latest case of sexual abuse of minors.

Recent incidents of sexual violence have sparked protests in several Indian cities this year, echoing mass rallies over a fatal gang rape case in 2012, and putting pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has promised action.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:19 PM

Chilean priest accused of sexually abusing minors arrested

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The Associated Press

July 12, 2018

Authorities arrested a priest Thursday on accusations of sexually abusing minors, the latest turn in a scandal engulfing Chile's Roman Catholic Church for having covered up abuses for decades.

Oscar Munoz Toledo, a priest who was once the chancellor of Santiago's archbishopric, was arrested by police on the orders of prosecutor Emiliano Arias, who is investigating 14 other suspended priests in the southern diocese of Rancagua for allegedly participating in a network of abuse.

Munoz is accused of the abuse and statutory rape of seven minors, and Arias did not rule out that there were more victims. Munoz, who reported himself in January for a case of abuse, was scheduled to be taken to court Friday. Authorities are investigating whether he had accomplices.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:17 PM

Police arrest 1 church priest in rape case in southern India

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
The Associated Press

July 12, 2018

Police on Thursday arrested one of the four church priests accused of raping a woman over years in southern India.

The accused surrendered to the police, who arrested him after questioning, the Press Trust of India news agency said. Police also were questioning another priest in Kollam, a city in Kerala state, and looking for two other accused.

They were denied pre-arrest bail by a court on Wednesday. Justice R. Vijayaraghavan said that the evidence indicates the priests acted as predators. "They appeared to have undertaken undue advantage of the position of the complainant," the justice said.

The priests deny the accusation. There was no immediate comment by their Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

The complainant's husband told reporters that he came to know about the abuse in February this year when he noticed a bank statement about a hotel transaction in his wife's email inbox.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:16 PM

Chilean Police Make First Arrest in Church Abuse Scandal

CHILE
Reuters

July 12, 2018

By Fabian Cambero and Aislinn Laing

Chilean police have arrested a former Roman Catholic Church official after he confessed earlier this year to sexually abusing at least five children, a state prosecutor said on Thursday.

The arrest was the first since authorities launched a major investigation this year into cases of abuse within Chile's Catholic Church, which Vatican officials accused in February of "grave negligence" and a cover-up in its handling of sex abuse allegations.

Oscar Muñoz, who served as chancellor of the archdiocese of Santiago, confessed in January to church authorities that he sexually abused at least five children, according to Prosecutor Emiliano Arias, who ordered his arrest in the capital on Thursday.

Ironically, Arias told reporters that Muñoz had been responsible for receiving allegations of abuse within the church.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:14 PM

Henry Cavill says he's scared to date post-#MeToo because he doesn't want to be called a rapist. Is he alone?

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Lifestyle

July 12, 2018

By Korin Miller

The #MeToo movement has called out and torpedoed the careers of several famous men. And now one in particular says he is scared to date because of it.

In a lengthy interview with GQ Australia, Henry Cavill opened up about how the #MeToo movement has had a direct impact on his love life. “There’s something wonderful about a man chasing a woman. There’s a traditional approach to that, which is nice. I think a woman should be wooed and chased, but maybe I’m old-fashioned for thinking that,” he said. But Cavill says it’s “very difficult” to pursue a woman that way “if there are certain rules in place.”

“Because then it’s like, ‘Well, I don’t want to go up and talk to her, because I’m going to be called a rapist or something,’” he continued. “So you’re like, ‘Forget it, I’m going to call an ex-girlfriend instead and then just go back to a relationship, which never really worked.’ But it’s way safer than casting myself into the fires of hell, because I’m someone in the public eye, and if I go and flirt with someone, then who knows what’s going to happen?”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:13 PM

Boston Globe Ends Investigation into Harassment Allegations Against Top Editor

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Magazine

July 12, 2018

By Lisa Weidenfeld

An outside investigator looked into interactions between former Boston.com staffer Hilary Sargent and the Globe's top editor Brian McGrory.

The Boston Globe has concluded its investigation into top editor Brian McGrory’s interactions with former Boston.com staffer Hilary Sargent. According to an email to staffers that was leaked to media analyst Dan Kennedy, although an outside investigator found “a series of exchanges and interactions between Mr. McGrory and Ms. Sargent that were of a personal nature, the investigator found that they were initiated by and reciprocated by both parties, and did not violate our anti-harassment policy.”

Sargent had originally implied in a series of tweets back in May that McGrory had behaved inappropriately towards her, sharing a screencap of a text conversation wherein someone (allegedly McGrory) responds to a question asking for writing advice with a question about what the writer is wearing.

The Globe’s response was swift—it took Sargent to court requesting an injunction to compel her to cooperate with their investigation into the timing of the texts. The Globe then dropped its efforts after Sargent “admitted that she does ‘not recall’ when the messages were sent and it is ‘more likely’ that they were sent after she worked at the Globe,” per their statement.

The email sent to staff today reportedly came from Claudia Henderson, the Globe’s chief human resources officer, and Dan Krockmalnic, the Globe’s general counsel, and can be read in full at Kennedy’s site.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:11 PM

Rev. Donald J. Cooper – Assignment History

ERIE (PA)
Bishopaccountability.org

Summary of Case: Donald J. Cooper was ordained for the Diocese of Erie in 1963. He taught his first year at Bradford Christian High School while residing in a Bradford parish, then assisted in Titusville and Erie parishes until 1975, when he was named pastor of St. Charles' in New Bethlehem. In 1984 he was assigned as Administrator to Mt. Calvary in Erie, followed in 1987 by a leave of absence. During 1988-1989 Cooper was an assistant priest at a parish in Dubois, after which was the lone priest until 2002 in Force Elk, followed by the same role simultaneously in Houtzdale and Ramey parishes. Cooper was a member of several diocesan committees and the Presbyteral Council, as well as the board of directors for Christ the King Manor in Dubois. There is a gap in his assignment record 2005-2006. His status was 'retired' thereafter until his death in December 2011.

Cooper's name was included on the Erie diocese's list released April 6, 2018 of priests, lay employees and volunteers accused of sexually abusing minors. The list includes the notation after his name, 'Forbidden to function as a priest.'

Born: January 27, 1936
Ordained: May 23, 1963
Died: December 16, 2011

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:44 PM

U.S. Olympic Committee Hires Sarah Hirshland As Its New CEO

UNITED STATES
National Public Radio

July 12, 2018

By Bill Chappell

Sarah Hirshland is the new CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, taking control of the organization as it tries to repair the damage from a horrible sexual abuse scandal, in which hundreds of girls and young women were mistreated.

Before being named to the post, Hirshland served as the chief commercial officer for the U.S. Golf Association.

"The USOC is at a critical time in its history and requires an energetic, creative and inspiring leader who is capable of building on past success while making sure that the athletes we serve are protected, supported and empowered in every possible way," USOC Chairman Larry Probst said in announcing the hire on Thursday.

Hirshland said she welcomed the chance to lead the U.S. efforts for the Olympics and Paralympics, calling it "an absolute dream come true."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:48 PM

Michigan State president to testify at Senate hearing

EAST LANSING (MI)
The Associated Press

July 12, 2018

Michigan State University interim President John Engler will testify at a congressional hearing about changes since the Larry Nassar scandal.

Engler will appear before a Senate subcommittee on July 24. His spokeswoman, Emily Guerrant, says the hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:47 PM

Henry Cavill’s Me Too Comments Spark Strong Reactions On Twitter

UNITED STATES
The Huffington Post

July 12, 2018

By Jenna Amatulli

The “Man of Steel” star has since apologized for his remarks in a GQ Australia interview that led to backlash on social media.

Henry Cavill’s recent comments on the Me Too movement were met with significant backlash after the actor suggested that by going up to talk to a woman, he would risk being “called a rapist or something.”

He has since apologized for how his comments were received.

The “Man of Steel” star spoke with GQ Australia and, after parsing through his film career and how he deals with the paparazzi, he was asked about what he’s learned from the Me Too movement.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to not be around the kind of people who behave that way,” he said.

“To my memory there’s been no moments where I look back and think, ‘Ooh, OK, maybe someone shouldn’t have gone through that,’” he said. “I know there have been situations with people I’ve worked with being perhaps overfamiliar with some of the actresses. But, I’ve always walked up to them and said, ‘Hey, are you all right? That’s creepy.’”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:43 PM

Ohio State wrestlers describe abuse by Dr. Strauss in wrenching video

COLUMBUS (OH)
NBC News

July 9, 2018

By Corky Siemaszko

"I never had a physical like this before,” one of the former Ohio State wrestlers said in the video.

A video that was created to spur on the internal university investigation into a former Ohio State University wrestling doctor — and last week led to questions about what Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a former coach, knew about the alleged abuse at the time — is an emotional recounting of what one former athlete has called a "cesspool of sexual deviance."

The heavily edited 11-minute video, excerpted here, features wrenching descriptions of the alleged misconduct by Dr. Richard Strauss from two former wrestlers whom Jordan coached more than two decades ago, and from former head coach Russ Hellickson and a former Ohio State student who worked with Strauss at a clinic and who says he, too, was molested by the doctor.

Jordan, who was the assistant wrestling coach under Hellickson, is not mentioned by name nor referred to in the footage, which was obtained by NBC News from former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato, the initial whistleblower. DiSabato says he created the video in June to collect accusations of abuse against Strauss and turned it over to Ohio State. The video received by NBC News did not include the unedited interviews.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:41 PM

'Now I'm afraid to even talk to women': Taylor Swift groper said life is ruined one year after singer won lawsuit

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Style UK

July 12, 2018

By Hope Schreiber

In August, Taylor Swift won her lawsuit against disc jockey David Mueller, but nearly a year later, he’s claiming that the singer ruined his life.

Mueller, who was found guilty of assault and battery for grabbing Taylor Swift’s bare butt during a 2013 meet and greet, continues to deny that he ever touched her inappropriately.

Swift, 28, claimed that Mueller, 56, grabbed her while she took a photo with him and his then girlfriend. The “Delicate” singer initially reported the incident to his radio station, Denver’s KYGO-FM, and after an investigation, the DJ was fired.

Mueller attempted to sue Swift for defamation in 2015. Swift countersued and won a symbolic $1 in damages. It was one of the first victories of the #MeToo movement and earned Swift inclusion in “The Silence Breakers” in the Time magazine Person of the Year issue in 2017.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:37 PM

"A gauntlet of sexual deviancy": Ex-athletes describe lewd atmosphere at Ohio State

COLUMBUS (OH)
CBS/AP

July 12, 2018

It was no secret that a team doctor now being investigated for sexually abusing male athletes decades ago at Ohio State University liked to linger in the showers alongside those athletes. But he wasn't the only one leering at young men inside the campus recreation center where many teams practiced and university employees exercised.

Wrestlers from that era remember men peeking at them over bathroom stalls and through a sauna window, a culture of voyeurism and "cruising" for sex not unheard of in gyms even today. Some say the same men began showering when team practices ended and would touch themselves while watching athletes.

"A gauntlet of sexual deviancy" is what one former wrestler said he and his teammates faced after practice. Another said Larkins Hall, which has since been demolished, was filled with "creepy people."

Russ Hellickson, the wrestling coach who came to Ohio State in the mid-1980s, says he often caught men having sex in the team's practice room and a nearby stairwell. His wrestlers complained about the men's behavior, Hellickson said.

"It became a real problem because it affected the mental state of a lot of our wrestlers," he said on a video distributed by one of his former team members. "There were times when the athletes themselves would confront people."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:35 PM

Rose McGowan, Patricia Arquette, Terry Crews, More Pen Op-Ed Supporting Asia Argento After Bourdain Backlash

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Variety

July 12, 2018

By Erin Nyren

A number of sexual assault and harassment survivors, including Rose McGowan, Terry Crews, Patricia Arquette, Olivia Munn, and Mira Sorvino penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times defending vocal #MeToo participant and fellow assault survivor Asia Argento after she received backlash over the suicide of her boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain.

Since Bourdain’s death, the op-ed reads, Argento “has now found herself on the receiving end of vicious cyberbullying and repulsive slander at the hands of internet trolls who hold her responsible for Anthony’s death.”

“She has been accused of everything from causing her boyfriend’s suicide to trying to use her ‘survivor status’ and the #MeToo movement to advance her career,” the op-ed, titled “An open letter to anyone who loves Anthony Bourdain and what he stood for,” continues.

The op-ed explains that Bourdain was an active supporter of the #MeToo movement and women in general, and uses that framework to back the authors’ rejection of the “traditional narrative of blaming, vilifying and martyring courageous women” — Argento in particular. The signatories write that coming forward as a victim of sexual assault is “a highly difficult, sometimes traumatizing and humiliating experience,” and not “a badge of honor or career booster.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:33 PM

Corey Sligh: ‘Young & The Restless’ Star Found Guilty Of Child Molestation — 5 Things To Know

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Hollywood Life

July 13, 2018

By Courteney Larocca

Former ‘The Young and the Restless’ actor Corey Sligh has reportedly been found guilty of child molestation. Here are five things you need to know about him and his legal case.

A Georgia court convicted Corey Sligh of child molestation on June 28. If you’re now wondering, “Who is Corey Sligh?” we’ve got you covered. Here are five things that you should know about the former actor and his reported conviction:

1. He’s been found guilty of child molestation. Cherokee County court records obtained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution show that a jury convicted Sligh of one count of child molestation and cleared him of another on Thursday, June 28. He has not been sentenced.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:28 PM

Rev. Chester J. Gawronski– Assignment History

ERIE (PA)
Bishopaccountability.org

Summary of Case: Chester Gawronski was a priest of the Diocese of Erie, ordained in 1976. He assisted at parishes in Oil City, Bradford, Meadville, Sagertown and Erie.

In 1984 a youth told his parents that Gawronski had molested him in the late 1970s, when he was an 11-year-old altar boy St. Bernadette's in Saegertown. He said that the abuse occurred on an overnight trip at a camping lodge in Oil City. The boy's father contacted diocesan officials and was told in a letter that action that would "be helpful to Father Chet," would be taken, to not pursue the matter further, and to keep it quiet. Gawronski was reportedly sent to Maryland for treatment, after which he was placed at St. Patrick's (later St. Patrick's/St. Hedwig/s) followed by St. Ann's in Erie. Per the diocese, Gawronski's ministry was restricted.

In February 2002 Gawronski was working as a chaplain at a facility for the elderly. He was removed the day after the father of the boy allegedly abused in the late 1970s contacted the diocese to inquire as to the priest's status. Gawronski was removed the following day.

Gawronski was laicized in 1976.

Ordained: 1976
Laicized: 2006

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:35 AM

Pennsylvania grand jury, East Penn plagued by secrets

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

July 11, 2018

By Bill White

Pennsylvania grand jury, East Penn controversies all about secrets

"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead." — Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack

This is a column about secrets.

Secrets that the Catholic Church has kept from its parishioners and everyone else about the way some of its priests have preyed on children and the way church leaders covered it up.

Secrets their victims have kept, festering in some cases for decades because they were too frightened, embarrassed or confused to speak up.

Secrets parents try to keep from their children about sexual orientation and other uncomfortable subjects.

Secrets some schools try to keep from their parents.

Certainly there are times when secrecy makes sense. Loose lips sink ships and all that.

But far more often, it's healthy, even liberating, to expose these secrets to the light of day so they can be addressed in the open.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:29 AM

Why is You Can’t Ask That one of the most successful shows on the ABC?

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

By Luke Buckmaster

July 10, 2018

The blunt, unflinching, much-loved show turns inappropriate questions into heartwarming TV. So what’s the trick?

Is You Can’t Ask That the most diverse television program in Australian history? The show – directed and produced by Kirk Docker and Aaron Smith – is built on a simple but empowering premise: to give misunderstood and marginalised people the opportunity to speak for themselves, by responding to a range of blunt questions they read out from printed cards.

The third season, which premieres Wednesday night on ABC TV and will be available to binge watch on ABC iView, kicks off with an episode Smith recently described as “one of the most impactful, relevant and empowering episodes we’ve ever made”.

Focusing on survivors of sexual assault, it begins with an interviewee, Nicole, reading aloud the following question: “How did you get yourself into that situation?”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:24 AM

Statement on Dr Stuart Kidd

ULTIMO (AUSTRALIA)
ABC

July 10, 2018

The ABC and the producers of You Can’t Ask That are saddened by the recent death of Dr Stuart Kidd, who was a key on-screen contributor to the episode featuring survivors of sexual assault, broadcast on 11 July. Stuart’s interview was filmed in November 2017, during which he shared deeply personal insights into the sustained trauma of repeated childhood sexual abuse. Tragically, Stuart took his own life in May 2018, aged 60.

This February, Stuart, a retired assistant orthopaedic surgeon, and his wife Janet viewed the episode before it went to air. Stuart then emailed the producers to thank the ABC for the opportunity to share his story, writing: “WOW! Gobsmacked. Speechless. Brilliant. A.MAZING!… Janet and I are both so very impressed and very grateful. WHAT a special ‘ministry’ you guys have of bringing these stories to everyday Aussies…Thank you.”

Stuart was an advocate for all survivors of abuse and worked with the Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN), a western Sydney-based peer support group for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:19 AM

Vatican opens door to apology for Catholic Church’s role in residential schools

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
The Globe and Mail

July 12, 2018

By Gloria Galloway

The Vatican’s ambassador to Canada says Pope Francis is opening the door to an apology to the country’s Indigenous people for the abuse of children at Catholic-run Indian residential schools.

A papal apology was one of the calls to action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which spent years investigating the schools. And Canada’s Parliament has voted to ask Francis to visit this country and make the requested statement of regret.

At a private gathering for foreign dignitaries and Canadian politicians held late last month at his residence in Ottawa, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, the Papal Nuncio, said the request has prompted a “lively discussion” in civil society and the Catholic community.

“Through the media, opinions have circulated giving the impression that Pope Francis would not be available to listen to the request made by the Indigenous peoples” for an apology, Archbishop Bonazzi said in a speech to his guests, which was shared this week with The Globe and Mail.

“I can assure you that Pope Francis is not against a gesture of reconciliation,” he said, “and he is willing to seek together ways that can foster the desired process of healing and reconciliation with and among the Indigenous peoples in this country.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:15 AM

WNY woman accuses nun of abuse at elementary school

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ

July 12, 2018

The Buffalo Catholic Diocese is dealing with another sexual abuse accusation. This one is against a nun.

The Buffalo Catholic Diocese is dealing with another sexual abuse accusation. This one is against a nun.

Carroll Becker came forward with her attorney Thursday.

She says she was a student at Christ the King Elementary School in Amherst in 1955.

She says a Franciscan nun at the school punished her for wetting her pants when she was five-years-old by penetrating her with a cross.

Becker says she's been shut down by those in the Diocese that she brought her story to first.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:12 AM

Chilean police make first arrest in church sex abuse scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The Santiago Times

July 12, 2018

Police in Chile’s capital city have arrested a former Roman Catholic Church official for sexually abusing children, according to a state prosecutor.

Oscar Muñoz, who served as chancellor of the archdiocese of Santiago, confessed in January to church authorities that he sexually abused at least five children, according to Prosecutor Emiliano Arias, who ordered his arrest in the capital on Thursday.

The arrest was the first since authorities launched a major investigation this year into cases of abuse within Chile’s Catholic Church, which Vatican officials accused in February of “grave negligence” and a cover-up in its handling of sex abuse allegations.

“The crimes he is accused of are of repeated sexual abuse and one case of a consenting relationship with an older minor,” Arias said, speaking outside Santiago’s cathedral. The prosecutor told reporters that Muñoz had been responsible for receiving allegations of abuse within the church.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:08 AM

Nun abuse case: Nuns, priests, laity write to Vatican

SONIPAT (HATYANA, INDIA)
Vision RI / DevDiscourse: Discourse on Development

July 13, 2018

The letters were written to Giambattista Diquttro, Apostolic Nuncio to India and the Catholic Bishops Conference of India Cardinal Oswald Gracias. They also requested Cardinal Gracias to advise bishops in India to publicise and create awareness about CBCI guidelines to deal with sexual harassment in workplace, 2017, and institute the structures and procedures described therein without delay.

A section of nuns, priests and laity of the Roman Catholic Church has written to the Vatican over the alleged rape of a nun in Kerala by a bishop, urging it "to do what is right" to provide justice to the women in the church.

The letters were written to Giambattista Diquttro, Apostolic Nuncio to India and the Catholic Bishops Conference of India Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

The church authorities were requested to "advise" Pope Francis to "relieve" Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal "of his pastoral responsibilities so that the church is seen to actually practice the zero tolerance it professes to observe in abuse cases."

Stating that they were concerned about the integrity of the Indian church, the letters stated that people's faith in the credibility of the church to implement its policy of zero tolerance in abuse matters would continue to erode if the accused bishop remain in his position at Jalandhar diocese.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:04 AM

Wickham witnesses sought for priest’s abuse

PILBARA (AUSTRALIA)
The West Australian

By Alicia Perera

July 12, 2018

Victims and witnesses of a paedophile priest who worked in the parish of Wickham in the 1980s are being urged to come forward by an Australian law firm investigating the extent of his alleged abuse.

Late Catholic priest Denis McAlinden, who died in 2005, was found by a 2014 NSW Government inquiry to have been a serial abuser of girls aged 7-12 during five decades of work in various parts of Australia and the Pacific, often on loan from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle where superiors knew of his offending.

Canberra-based law firm Ken Cush and Associates are now investigating any offences committed by McAlinden in the Diocese of Geraldton, where he served as the Wickham parish priest from November 1981 to late 1983.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:00 AM

Lancaster County man joins legal battle to release report on sex abuse claims in Catholic Church

LANCASTER (PA)
WGAL NBC 8

July 9, 2018

By Susan Shapiro

A Lancaster County man is joining the legal battle to release the grand jury report on sex abuse claims in the Catholic Church.

Todd Frey said he was abused in the 1980s, when he was 13, by a priest in the Harrisburg Diocese. The man Frey said abused him is no longer in the priesthood.

Frey is calling for the state Supreme Court to unseal the grand jury report, and he joins several news outlets and the Pennsylvania attorney general in the request.

A judge stopped the release of the report while he accepts arguments from current and former priests who object to being named in it.

"This report has to be made public, and most importantly, the victims need a voice in it," said David Inscho, Frey's attorney. "And where Mr. Frey came in is that he is a victim who wants to stand up and make sure this report becomes public and that these crimes no longer be kept secret."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:56 AM

Toledo priest supports Pope Francis, his handling of clergy sex abuse

TOLEDO (OH)
WTOL CBS 11

July 12, 2018

By Dick Berry

Sylvania OH - Nobody likes to admit they made a mistake, but that's what Pope Francis has done.

Last month he accepted the resignations of Chilean bishops he robustly defended earlier this year despite claims of a cover-up of clergy sexual abuse.

It's a move that later forced the pontiff into making a public apology.

"Francis is in so many ways a sign of hope, recognizes he made a mistake, made up for it, apologized and it looks like he will take some steps to improve the situation" according to Rev. James Bacik.

Bacik spoke Thursday night at Lourdes University about Pope Francis' handling of the clergy sex scandal.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:52 AM

Two women claim sexual abuse by Buffalo nun and priest

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

By Charlie Specht

July 12, 2018

Victim was five years old at time of abuse

What happened to Carroll Becker at Christ the King School in Snyder more than 60 years ago scarred her for life.

The Grand Island woman said she was picked on in first grade, but not just by her classmates. She said she was also targeted by Sister Pauline Terese, OSF, a Franciscan nun.

“She’d get up in my face and make me stand up yell at me about being stupid and retarded and slow and I was so terrified, I didn’t know what was going on, I wet my pants,” Becker said Thursday at a news conference in front of her former school.

The first two times it happened, the nun sent Becker home to change her clothes. But the third time, Becker said, the nun took her next door to her room at the convent at Christ the King.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:49 AM

Top Chilean priest held over allegations of child abuse

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
RTÉ

July 13, 2018

Prominent Chilean Catholic priest, Oscar Munoz, who held senior positions in the archdiocese of Santiago, has been detained over allegations that he sexually abused seven children.

The alleged abuse by Fr Munoz, 56, took place from 2002 in the capital Santiago and the southern city of Rancagua, prosecutor Emiliano Arias said.

Fr Munoz was vice-chancellor and then chancellor in the archdiocese of Santiago from 2011, before he was removed two months ago after admitting in January, days before Pope Francis' visit to Chile, that he had abused a minor.

He was initially investigated by the Chilean church, which then referred the case to the Vatican.

The abuse was uncovered by Chilean prosecutors when the church's case file was seized during a June operation.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:43 AM

July 12, 2018

Sex abuse survivor took his own life before ABC interview aired

AUSTRALIA
News.com.au

July 12, 2018

By Nick Bond

A SEX abuse survivor who shared horrific details of his story on last night’s episode of You Can’t Ask That died before the show made it to air. WARNING: Confronting.

WARNING: Confronting

A CHILD sexual abuse survivor who shared his story on last night’s episode of the ABC program You Can’t Ask That took his own life before the episode made it to the air.

Dr Stuart Kidd featured heavily in this week’s sexual assault-themed episode of the popular interview-based show, which sees members of the public submit themselves to answer difficult questions on taboo topics.

A statement released by the ABC yesterday explained that Kidd’s interview was filmed in November 2017 — and tragically, he then took his own life in May of this year, aged 60.

The ABC statement included correspondence from Kidd, showing he was happy with how the episode had turned out.

“This February, Stuart, a retired assistant orthopaedic surgeon, and his wife Janet viewed the episode before it went to air. Stuart then emailed the producers to thank the ABC for the opportunity to share his story, writing: ‘WOW! Gobsmacked. Speechless. Brilliant. A. MAZING! … Janet and I are both so very impressed and very grateful. WHAT a special ‘ministry’ you guys have of bringing these stories to everyday Aussies … Thank you,’” the statement read.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:14 PM

Ex-athletes: Creepy people, lewd atmosphere at Ohio State

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Associated Press

July 12, 2018

By Mark Gillispe, John Seewer and Mitch Stacy

It was no secret that a team doctor now being investigated for sexually abusing male athletes decades ago at Ohio State University liked to linger in the showers alongside those athletes. But he wasn't the only one leering at young men inside the campus recreation center where many teams practiced and university employees exercised.

Wrestlers from that era remember men peeking at them over bathroom stalls and through a sauna window, a culture of voyeurism and "cruising" for sex not unheard of in gyms even today. Some say the same men began showering when team practices ended and would touch themselves while watching athletes.

"A gauntlet of sexual deviancy" is what one former wrestler said he and his teammates faced after practice. Another said Larkins Hall, which has since been demolished, was filled with "creepy people."

Russ Hellickson, the wrestling coach who came to Ohio State in the mid-1980s, says he often caught men having sex in the team's practice room and a nearby stairwell. His wrestlers complained about the men's behavior, Hellickson said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:12 PM

Twitter Users Skewer Jim Jordan After He Slams CNN For Doing Its Job

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Huffington Post

July 11, 2018

By David Moye

“How can you ever trust such #fakenews?” the Republican congressman tweeted.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is facing claims that he failed to take action against alleged serial sexual abuse involving an Ohio State University athletic doctor and scores of student athletes. This week, as he attempted to defend himself, he took a page from President Donald Trump’s playbook: attacking the media.

On Wednesday, Jordan claimed in a tweet that CNN is contacting more than 100 “of our former staff and interns” looking for “dirt” on him.

“How can you ever trust such #fakenews?” the congressman wrote.

Although Jordan’s slam attracted some support from followers, many Twitter users decided to exercise their First Amendment rights and school the congressman on how journalism actually works.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:11 PM

New law hopes to give sexual abuse victims an opportunity to expose their abusers

HONOLULU (HI)
KITV

July 12, 2018

By Moanike'ala Nabarro

Shame and secrecy: experts say that's what sex abuse victims who survived molestation as children carry for years. A new law hopes to put an end to that.

"I was having a lot of dreams flashbacks. Yet I was a mom, I am a mom. I had to be healthy to take care of my own daughters," June Johnson Cleghorn, child sex abuse survivor said.

It took Cleghorn 15 years to speak out about what happened to her during her days at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. Cleghorn says she was just 12 years old when her teacher started abusing her and it continued through her senior year in high school.

"It's a long road that will be with me forever and that's the most important thing I had to learn, was how to deal with that and not have it be in control of my life," Cleghorn said.

A new law now gives survivors like June up until April of 2020 to consider filing a case in court. Hawaii's courts have led the nation in permitting victims that remained silent for years a chance to come forward.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:09 PM

New window allows sex abuse victims to file claims from decades ago

HONOLULU (HI)
Hawaii News Now

July 11, 2018

By Lynn Kawano

Adults who were victims of sex abuse as children have another chance to come forward and make claims under a new, two-year window for civil lawsuits.

Similar openings ended with dozens of pedophiles being exposed.

It also revealed "cover-ups" by multiple schools, churches, and non profits.

That's exactly what a new Hawaii report released Wednesday seeks to spotlight, describing in detail 58 men of the cloth recently accused even though the alleged abuse happened decades ago.

Some have died and some are still in the community.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:08 PM

Buddhist leader facing sexual misconduct allegations apologizes to community

HALIFAX (NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA)
The Canadian Press

July 11, 2018

By Brett Bundale

International Buddhist leader Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is apologizing for the "pain, confusion and anger" sweeping through the Shambhala community amid sexual misconduct allegations against the Nova Scotia-based spiritual leader.

Mipham, who has stepped back from his duties pending the outcome of a third-party investigation, said in a letter Tuesday that he takes responsibility for the pain the Buddhist community is experiencing.

"In a state of complete heartbreak, I write to you, humble, embarrassed, and thoroughly apologetic for disappointing you," the 55-year-old guru said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:50 PM

Buddhist leader locked his victim in a bathroom to sexually assault her, report claims

WASHINGTON (DC)
Think Progress

July 11, 2018

By Joshua Eaton

The group's senior leadership reportedly knew about the incident and did nothing.

Sakyong Mipham, a prominent Buddhist teacher who has appeared on stage with the Dalai Lama and Queen Noor of Jordan, allegedly locked a woman in a bathroom and forcibly groped her during a drunken party in Santiago, Chile, in 2002, according to a report published Wednesday by the advocacy group Buddhist Project Sunshine.

Mipham heads a global network of more than 200 Buddhist centers called Shambhala International. The report alleges members of its board of directors knew about the incident in Chile as early as 2002.

“I found this woman very credible,” the report’s author, retired employment lawyer Carol Merchasin, wrote. “She reached out immediately after the incident to others, telling them the same story; her contemporaneous account to the Corroborating Witness further strengthens her credibility.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:49 PM

Leaked notes reveal Buddhist leader coerced female students into sex

WASHINGTON (DC)
Think Progress

July 6, 2018

By Joshua Eaton

Stories of drunken parties and sexual misconduct are emerging from his inner circle.

A senior official in the Buddhist group Shambhala International admitted Monday that its head, prominent Buddhist teacher and author Sakyong Mipham, had coercive sexual relationships with his female students, according to meeting notes obtained by ThinkProgress.

The notes come from a private video call Monday between ground-level Shambhala leaders and its governing body, called the Kalapa Council. They reveal a crisis of leadership, with members calling for Mipham, the council, or both to step down in the wake of a sex scandal that has rocked the organization.

“There is no one holding this body accountable right now,” one person told the council during a question-and-answer session. “That’s not ok [sic]. I want to see some accountability. I want to see members step down.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:48 PM

30 Michigan health professionals punished for sexual misconduct in the last year

LANSING (MI)
Lansing State Journal

July 12, 2018

By Justin A. Hinkley

Thirty health care professionals were disciplined by Michigan licensing boards for sexual assault or misconduct in the last year, a State Journal investigation found.

The Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs received 238 allegations of sexual misconduct by health professionals between 2011 and 2016, state reports show.

One of the offenders was Larry Nassar, the now infamous former Michigan State University doctor imprisoned after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting patients.

Other offenders include an athletic trainer who assaulted high school students and videotaped them in the nude, a massage therapist who inappropriately touched multiple clients over several years and an occupational therapist who tried to put his hand down the pants of a patient with a traumatic brain injury, according to the State Journal's review of disciplinary reports from May 2017 through May 2018.

The list of perpetrators includes men and women who committed crimes against patients and family members ranging from inappropriate relationships to rape.

The list shows Nassar was far from the fluke some defenders of MSU and USAG have said he was.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:46 PM

LA County child services employee charged with child porn

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Press

July 10, 2018

An employee of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography online.

County prosecutors charged 54-year-old Carlos Enrique Castillo with five counts of sending or receiving obscene matter for sale and a felony count of possessing more than 600 images of child or youth pornography.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:45 PM

Religious confessional to stay sacred in Victoria as State Government susses out national approach

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

July 10, 2018

By Danny Tran and Richard Willingham

Admissions of child abuse will continue to be protected by the seal of the confessional in the state of Victoria, after the Andrews Government stopped short of adopting one of the key recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The State Government has indicated it needs more time to consider the proposal from the royal commission, which has called for the sanctity of the confessional to be tossed aside and replaced with powerful new mandatory reporting laws.

The laws would force members of the religious clergy to report any suspicions or explicit confessions of child abuse to police, but their implementation has been met with powerful resistance from the Catholic Church.

The Government has previously agreed to work towards a national approach to the confessional.

The Attorney-General, Martin Pakula, said privilege on religious confessions was set out in Victorian law.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:44 PM

Attorneys for Stan Rosenberg, Bryon Hefner ask judge to reveal accuser's name

BOSTON (MA)
Mass Live

July 11, 2018

By Shira Schoenberg

Attorneys for former Senate President Stan Rosenberg and his husband, Bryon Hefner, argued in court Wednesday that allowing one of Hefner's alleged victims to shield his identity does not allow for a level playing field.

John Doe is a legislative aide who accused Hefner of sexually assaulting him three separate times in 2015 and 2016. Doe says Rosenberg knew about Hefner's behavior and still gave Hefner access to his political contacts. Doe sued Rosenberg and Hefner for civil damages. Hefner is also facing criminal charges.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:53 PM

Trial of French Cardinal Barbarin may be postponed again

FRANCE
La Croix (with AFP)

July 11, 2018

A summons addressed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prefect failed to be delivered in time

Already postponed twice, the trial of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon (France) risks being delayed yet again. The cardinal has been accused by former scouts of having failed to report pedophile assaults in his archdiocese,.

The trial was initially scheduled in the Lyon criminal court for April 4-6, but legal complications have caused it to be postponed.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:51 PM

Cardinal McCarrick and the crisis of episcopal leadership

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Catholic World Report

July 5, 2018

By Christopher R. Altieri

The shock and sadness expressed over the allegations Cardinal McCarrick violated the Charter are no more than a red herring.

Over the past sixteen years, there has been much praise of the reform efforts the Church’s hierarchical leaders in the United States have undertaken in the wake of the clerical sexual abuse scandal that erupted in 2002. Much of that praise has come from the bishops, themselves. From the very start, however, there has been ample reason to take a grim view of the thing, and I confess I have never been too terribly sanguine regarding the prospects for successful reform.

When I have heard it said that the US bishops have made the part of the Catholic Church in their charge the safest place in the world for children, I have inwardly – sometimes privately, but never before now publicly – quipped, “Someone needs to tell them that’s not a selling point.” At best, it’s only a little better than saying: The Catholic Church – Now abusing fewer children.

We have heard little about those successes over the past few weeks, especially since several major sees have been caught up in another abuse scandal – this one dating back more than four decades and involving a man, who in the years intervening became a prominent figure in the US Church: the Archbishop-emeritus of Washington, DC, Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick.

Cardinal McCarrick is accused of abusing a minor this time – hence Church authorities have taken action – though his reputation for license with priests and seminarians, many of whom were his subordinates, has been the stuff of black legend for decades.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:50 PM

Pa. Supreme Court justices got more than $180K in donations from law firms in clergy abuse case, records show

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Inquirer

July 11, 2018

By Liz Navratil and Angela Couloumbis

The law firms and individual lawyers waging a fierce fight over a secret grand jury report detailing sexual abuse by Catholic clergy across the state have together donated more than $180,000 to the campaigns of the Supreme Court justices now weighing whether to release the report, records show.

Justice Debra Todd was the first to publicly disclose her contributions in court. In a filing late Tuesday, she acknowledged more than $23,000 was given to her campaign last year by attorneys, firms, or lawyers tied to them. Todd said she would consider recusing herself from the high-profile case if asked to do so.

Most of her colleagues on the high court have not done the same, despite also having accepted donations from lawyers now arguing before them, according to an analysis of campaign finance records from the Inquirer and Daily News and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (Justice Sallie Updyke Mundy filed a similar disclosure Wednesday, after the newspapers asked about her donations and those to the other justices.)

Legal experts say the justices’ actions are not a surprise. They are not required to disclose the donations in court filings, as each is already recorded in campaign records. And if history is a guide, the money they took in is unlikely to prompt any to step aside.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:47 PM

Another Kerala Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse, 12 Arrests In 18 Months

KERALA (INDIA)
NDTV

July 11, 2018

By Sneha Mary Koshy and Anindita Sanyal

At least 13 priests have been arrested in Kerala over the last 18 months following allegations of sexual abuse.

Thiruvananthapuram - A third woman has accused a priest in Kerala of sexual abuse, adding to the growing scandal that has rocked the state's significant chunk of Christian population. Over the last 18 months, at least 12 priests have been arrested from different churches in Kerala for allegedly sexually abusing and raping minors and women. Last week, a nun and another woman made allegations of sexual abuse which, they said, went on for years. They also alleged that the Church, instead of impartially investigating the incidents, have been trying to cover up the matter.

The 48-year-old nun, a Roman Catholic, alleged that her complaint against Fr Franco Mullickal, the Bishop of Jalandhar, made in January last year drew a blank.

The church officials, she said, had promised action by June 30 this year. Instead, Fr Mullickal filed a complaint against her and five others, accusing them of threatening him. It was after that, on June 27, the nun filed a complaint with the police, alleging that the priest had sexually abused 13 times between 2014 and 2016.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:53 AM

Victoria criticised for delaying decision on reporting child abuse heard in confession

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

July 11, 2018

By Melissa Davey

The Victorian government has been criticised for delaying its decision on whether to abolish the seal of confessional for disclosures of child sexual abuse, in its response to the recommendations of the royal commission.

On Wednesday the state government issued its response to the royal commission’s 409 recommendations, 317 of which apply to Victoria. The state’s attorney general, Martin Pakula, said the government had accepted 128 recommendations, accepted 165 recommendations in principle, and would need to further consider another 24.

Abolishing the seal of confessional for any disclosures of child sexual abuse was one of those recommendations still under consideration, Pakula told ABC radio.

Melbourne archbishop says he'd rather go to jail than report child abuse heard in confession

“It needs a degree of national agreement,” he said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:49 AM

Clerical Sexual Abuse in the Diocese of Honolulu

HONOLULU (HI)
Jeff Anderson & Associates

July 11, 2018

By Jeff Anderson et al.

[Includes a list of accused, several documents, and assignment histories. See also a chart of diocesan officials and a map of origination.]

In 2012, the Hawaii legislature opened a two-year, retroactive window for survivors of child sexual abuse to file civil claims against their perpetrator and the institution that covered up the sexual abuse. In 2014, the legislature extended this window through April 24, 2016. As a result, dozens of survivors came forward to file claims. On July 10, 2018, the Hawaii legislature opened another retroactive window for survivors of sexual abuse in Hawaii. Survivors have until April 24, 2020 to come forward and file a claim.

This report contains the names of clergy associated with the Diocese of Honolulu who have been accused of sexually abusing children. While lawsuits were filed involving many of these alleged perpetrators, the vast majority of the claims against these individuals have been settled or have not been fully evaluated in a civil court. Accordingly, the allegations should be considered just allegations and should not be considered proved or substantiated in a court of law. All individuals should be considered innocent until proven guilty. In some situations, the statute of limitations has expired preventing the cases from being heard in a court of law.

It is believed that the Diocese of Honolulu does not make available to the public the full history, knowledge and context of the sexually abusive clerics. This report is an attempt to compile information already available to the public from various sources in the public media; bishopaccountability.org; and other sources that have attempted to chronicle this information for public use. This report is intended to raise awareness about the important issue of clerical sexual abuse, provide the public with vital information including assignment histories, and provide awareness to survivors. Assignment histories are approximations and were compiled from the Official Catholic Directory, bishopaccountability.org and media reports.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:32 AM

The ‘King’ of Shambhala Buddhism Is Undone by Abuse Report

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

July 11, 2018

By Andy Newman

In a shrine on the sixth floor of a Manhattan office building, a photo of a man in golden robes hangs above an altar. Another photo of him sits upon a throne.

He is the head of one of the largest Buddhist organizations in the West, Shambhala International, a network of more than 200 outposts in over 30 countries where thousands come for training in meditation and mindfulness and some delve into deeper mysteries.

The man is Mipham Rinpoche. He is known as the Sakyong, a Tibetan word that translates roughly as king, and his students take vows to follow him that are binding across lifetimes. These days, they are feeling sad, confused, angry and betrayed.

Late last month, a former Shambhala teacher released a report alleging that the Sakyong had sexually abused and exploited some of his most devoted female followers for years. Women quoted in the report wrote of drunken groping and forcefully extracted sexual favors. The report said that senior leaders at Shambhala — an organization whose motto is “Making Enlightened Society Possible” — knew of the Sakyong’s misconduct and covered it up.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:27 AM

Lawyers for Rosenberg, Hefner say releasing accuser’s name would level ‘playing field’

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

July 12, 2018

By Matt Stout

A Superior Court judge will decide whether to publicly identify the man who sued Bryon Hefner and his husband, former Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, after their attorneys argued Wednesday that publicly unmasking Hefner’s accuser would create a “fair playing field.”

Hefner and Rosenberg’s moves drew a stiff rebuke from the man’s attorneys, who told Judge Robert N. Tochka that they’ve never before had a defendant challenge their request to seal an alleged sexual assault victim’s name from public view.

Hefner already faces multiple criminal counts of sexual assault. The man — identified as John Doe in court papers — is one of the “complainants” whose allegations helped prosecutors build their criminal case, according to his attorney, William H. Gordon.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:23 AM

Stanley Rosenberg, Bryon Hefner push to ID sex abuse accuser: Alleged victim’s lawyer calls it harmful

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

July 12, 2018

By Brian Dowling

Ex-Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg and his estranged husband, Bryon Hefner, want to “level the playing field” by publicly naming the John Doe suing them over sex abuse claims — a rare demand the alleged victim’s attorneys say could lead to disastrous ends.

“If his identity is out there, he may suffer irreparable harm,” said Mitchell Garabedian, the lawyer for Doe who accused Hefner of sexually assaulting the man twice in Rosenberg’s presence, and once at the couple’s North End condo.

Garabedian — who has represented more than 1,000 sex abuse victims — told Suffolk Superior Court Judge Robert N. Tochka that, for some victims, going to the courts for justice opened long-healed wounds and proved too much.

“Some — during proceedings, during the action, during the settlement program — commit suicide,” Garabedian said. “It’s a real concern.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:19 AM

Lisa Wilkinson claims altar boys are just 'prey' for paedophile priests in extraordinary attack on the Catholic church for producing 'generation after generation of damaged humans'

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Daily Mail

July 11, 2018

By Charlie Moore

- The Victorian Government is considering fining priests who don't report abuse
- Lisa Wilkinson, aged 58, argued the changes would provide justice for victims
- Waleed Aly, 39, suggested law would be unenforceable and therefore pointless
- Priests say the law is overreaching of the state and violates religious freedom

Sydney - Lisa Wilkinson last night claimed that altar boys were 'prey' for paedophile Catholic priests.

Supporting a proposal to fine priests who fail to report abuse, she said: 'If altar boys in particular are seen as prey for priests then we have to step in, and in a major way.'

'The church has been a rule unto itself, and we've had generation after generation of damaged humans,' she continued.

Mrs Wilkinson made the comments in a heated discussion with co-presenter Waleed Aly on Channel Ten's The Project.

The Victorian Government is considering fining priests $10,000 if they fail to break the seal of confession to report penitents' admissions of child abuse.

Mrs Wilkinson, 58, argued the changes were necessary to provide justice for victims.

Mr Aly, 39, suggested the law would be unenforceable and therefore pointless.

South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Western Australia have announced plans to introduce the law but the Victorian Government said on Wednesday it needed 'further consideration'.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 11:05 AM

Sex abuse report still considered for release

SHARON (PA)
The Sharon Herald and CNHI

By John Finnerty

Harrisburg - The state Supreme Court continues to weigh whether or how to release a grand jury report detailing allegations of widespread sex abuse by priests in six of Pennsylvania’s Catholic dioceses.

As arguments come in from both sides, the head of a watchdog group that tracks efforts to hold the Catholic Church accountable for covering up sex abuse by priests said he’s unaware of any previous case where an appeals court intervened to consider whether individuals should be named in such court documents.

“This precise situation hasn’t happened before,” said Terence McKiernan, president of Bishop Accountability, a Massachusetts-based group. “There’s a strong case that can be made that we can expect bad stuff,” McKiernan said. “It doesn’t surprise me that people don’t want it released.”

An undisclosed number of people, including current and former members of the clergy, have asked the court to either redact or bar the release of the grand jury report, which deals with allegations in the dioceses in Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton. This report follows a 2016 grand jury report detailing decades of sex abuse cover-ups in the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:00 AM

58 Hawaii priests accused of child sex abuse; deadline to file a civil claim extended

HONOLULU (HAWAII)
KHON 2

By Brigette Namata

July 11, 2018

[See also the report.]

Allegations of Hawaii priests sexually assaulting children date as far back as the 1950s.

A detailed report compiled by law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates PA and the Law Office of Mark Gallagher reveal 58 men associated with the Diocese of Honolulu who have been accused of sexually abusing children.

The report also shows a letter written by a priest with Maryknoll Fathers, dated November 6, 1959, to another priest on the mainland. In the letter, the priest admits Hawaii was considered a "dumping ground" for troubled clerics from the mainland and the Philippines and Guam. He warned against transferring two troubled priests to the islands, adding "these two men might be most dangerous out here."

The letter went on to continue: "If you decide to send them out, I would ask that it is made plain that we will not stand for any nonsense out here."

Lawmakers have now extended the window for survivors of sexual abuse. Victims have until April 24,2020 to come forward and file a civil claim.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:55 AM

Fordham Rescinds Cardinal’s Awards

BRONX (NY)
Fordham Observer

July 11, 2018

By Jordan Meltzer

Fordham University’s Board of Trustees has voted to rescind alumnus Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s honorary degree and “other honors” given to him by the university, according to a statement from University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J. The former archbishop had recently been removed from the public ministry following allegations that he sexually abused a teenager during his time as a priest, the Archdiocese of Washington said in a statement last June.

McCarrick, a graduate of Fordham College at Rose Hill’s class of 1954, served as the Archbishop of Washington from 2000 to 2006.

This is the third time Fordham has revoked an honor it had already bestowed on someone. Last December, Fordham rescinded Charlie Rose’s eponymous award for excellence in broadcast journalism following accusations from eight women that he sexually assaulted them. Similarly, in 2015, Fordham revoked Bill Cosby’s honorary degree from the university. In adding Cardinal McCarrick’s case to this blacklist, all three decisions cite sexual assault or abuse as the reason for action.

The sexual misconduct incidents, which the Associated Press describes as the fondling of an altar boy, allegedly occurred at two Christmas masses in 1971 and in 1972. The Archdiocese of New York, led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and a review board, found that the allegations were “credible and substantiated.” On this basis, Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has ordered McCarrick not to conduct any further ministry or other public activity. However, Pope Francis and the Holy See have yet to make a “definite decision” about a permanent action, according to the Archdiocese of Washington. McCarrick has accepted the decision, but he maintains his innocence.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:51 AM

Inside Chilean abuse survivor's meeting with Pope Francis

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

July 11, 2018

By Brian Roewe

Juan Carlos Cruz recounts pope's apology in address at SNAP event

Chicago - On a snowy Saturday in April, Juan Carlos Cruz was at his Philadelphia-area home enjoying a quiet morning in bed, watching Netflix and eating Honey Nut Cheerios, when his cellphone rang with a call from the Vatican.

The person on the other end of the line said he was contacting Cruz on behalf of Pope Francis, who wished to apologize in person to him and other abuse survivors. Three months earlier during his visit to Chile, Francis had accused them of "calumny" regarding accusations the survivors had raised against Osorno, Chile, Bishop Juan Barros Madrid of covering up and even witnessing sexual abuse of minors by Fr. Fernando Karadima.

The Barros controversy had dominated Francis' January trip to Chile and followed the pope back to Rome. In the months since, intense worldwide criticism spurred a Vatican investigation into the Chilean abuse crisis, which in turn resulted in the resignations of nearly all of Chile's 34 bishops. So far, the pope has accepted five of them, including Barros'.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:01 AM

Theology can’t be same after sex abuse crisis

AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND)
NZ Catholic, Newspaper of the Diocese of Auckland

July 12, 2018

By Rowena Orejana

Given the sexual abuse crisis in which the Church is embroiled, theologians need to rethink a faith-based response to sexual violence.

Systematic theology lecturer at Good Shepherd College Dr Rocio Figueroa said theologians “are conscious that theology cannot be the same following the severe crisis of sexual abuse that has happened in our Church”.

“We must rethink a lot of topics. We must rethink our Christology. We must rethink how we see power and many other issues, pastoral topics,” she said.

Dr Figueroa and Otago University Professor David Tombs (Centre for Theology and Public Issues) organised an April 28 symposium called “The Abused Christ: Theologians Respond to Sexual Abuse”. This was part of a wider project they are collaborating on called “When did I see you naked?”

Sixteen theologians from Otago University, Auckland University, St John’s Theological College, Trinity Methodist College and Good Shepherd College participated in the symposium held at Holy Cross Seminary in Ponsonby, Auckland.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:53 AM

July 11, 2018

Bishop apologizes to abuse victims in statewide message

CASPER (WY)
Casper Star-Tribune via Wyoming News Exchange

July 11, 2018

By Seth Klamann

In a statement read at all Catholic Masses on Sunday in Wyoming, the state’s highest clergyman apologized to victims of priest abuse and provided details to his statewide flock about the allegations facing one of his predecessors.

“The abuse crisis in the Church has been devastating,” Bishop Steven Biegler wrote in his letter, which was also placed in all bulletins Sunday. “As a Diocese, we have made a commitment to protect and heal: to protect the vulnerable from sexual abuse and to heal victims and their families.”

The statement came less than a week after the Diocese of Cheyenne announced that an independent investigation had concluded that former Bishop Joseph Hart had sexually abused two Wyoming boys. He first faced allegations here in 2002, the year after he retired. In an investigation that same year, the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office said that allegation had no merit.

The diocese became aware of Hart’s second alleged victim sometime after December 2017, when it hired a private investigator to look into the allegations. That investigator “acquired new substantial evidence,” according to the diocese’s statement. Last week, a church official declined to elaborate on what evidence that investigator had gathered.

Hart had previously faced allegations in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was a priest for 20 years before moving to Casper in 1976. He served for two years here before moving to Cheyenne — where he currently resides in retirement — and becoming bishop. Hart has denied all allegations, both in Missouri and Wyoming. He did so again last week.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:29 PM

DA: Holding up release of report on Catholic Church sex abuse claims is attack on grand jury process

HARRISBURG (PA)
WGAL News 8

July 10, 2018

By Susan Shapiro

A district attorney said Pennsylvania's grand jury process is under assault as the state Supreme Court holds up the release of a report on claims of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli has joined the legal fight calling for the immediate release of the findings of a grand jury investigation at six dioceses, including Harrisburg.

Morganelli said the court's decision to first allow current and former priests who object to being named in the report to submit written arguments could undermine the entire grand jury process.

"I am concerned about the larger issues," said Morganelli. "Not necessarily the specifics of this report because I'm not privy to the facts of whether it was a preponderance of evidence. What I am concerned about is the overall attack on the whole grand jury statute."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:27 PM

'Acted As Predators': Court On 3 Kerala Priests Accused Of Rape

KOTTAYAM (KERALA, INDIA)
NDTV

July 11, 2018

By Sneha Mary Koshy

Her horrifying story was exposed last month when an audio clip of her husband complaining to a church official was circulated online

Three of the four Kerala priests accused of raping a woman for years failed to get protection from arrest today with the high court observing that the priests appeared to have "acted as predators". The judge said there was no reason for the court to ignore the version of the 34-year-old woman who had given a graphic description of how he was threatened and forced to succumb to the priests.
The four priests, based at the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kottayam, are on the run.

The three priests had filed the petition to seek the shield against arrest as soon as the police registered a case against them.

"Since then, our focus has been on collecting preliminary evidence to challenge their bail petition in court," a senior police officer told NDTV.

Her horrifying story was exposed last month when an audio clip of her husband complaining to a church official was circulated online.

The woman, who also impleaded in the case, said her religious beliefs were misused by the church. The woman's husband said that she was caught in a vicious cycle of sexual exploitation and blackmail.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:25 PM

The Two Recent Sex Scandals That Hit The Catholic Church In Kerala Is Just Tip Of The Iceberg

KERAL (INDIA)
India Times

July 10, 2018

By Bobins Abraham

Two sex scandals in a matter of just a few days, first in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the second one in the Syro-Malabar Church, two powerful Catholic sects in Kerala have opened a can of worms with, many from the community demanding answers from their leaders.

In the first case, five priests of the Orthodox Church were accused of blackmailing sexually abusing a married woman for years. Based on her complaint all the five priests were suspended and the police have booked four of them under various sections. But no arrests have been made in the case so far.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:24 PM

Former Marine Colonel Accused Of Child Sex Abuse Gets Prison Time In Plea Deal

NORFOLK (VA)
The Virginian- Pilot

July 11, 2018

By Peter Coutu

A highly decorated retired Marine entered an Alford plea on Tuesday morning to three assault misdemeanors in exchange for prosecutors dropping or reducing several felony charges of child sex abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:20 PM

PRIEST GOES TO REHAB AFTER GAMBLING AWAY MORE THAN $1 MILLION INCLUDING LOANS FROM PARISHIONERS

SWITZERLAND
Newsweek

July 11, 2018

By Jason Lemon

A former Swiss priest will go to rehab after losing more than $1 million to gambling debts, including money loaned to him by some 50 parishioners.

The man, whose name wasn't disclosed, was forced to resign from his religious duties under Switzerland’s Diocese of Chur, accused of abusing his position as a priest to secure loans from unsuspecting churchgoers to fund his addiction. According to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the disgraced vicar’s debts amounted to 1.4 million Swiss francs ($1.1 million).

Although church authorities were long aware of the former priest’s gambling problem, they did not warn parishioners about the issue. Instead, the diocese offered him help to address the addiction before it got out of hand. Swiss media have reported that several church members are considering pressing charges as a result, but until now, no cases have been filed.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:18 PM

A curious tale of the priest, the broker, the hacked newswires, and $100m of insider trades

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
The Register

July 11, 2018

By Iain Thomson

US, Russian, Ukrainians make big bank with pre-public info

Two former investment bankers, one of whom is also a priest, have been found guilty of an elaborate scam – hacking newswires to read press releases prior to publication, and trade millions using this insider information.

Vitaly Korchevsky, formerly a veep at Morgan Stanley and a pastor at the Slavic Evangelical Baptist Church in Philadelphia, USA, and ex-broker Vladislav Khalupsky were this month found guilty of securities fraud by a jury in New York, and are facing 20 years in the slammer.

According to court documents, the two colluded with a Ukrainian hacking gang and investors in the US, Russia, France, and Cyprus to realized more than $100m in illicit profits. America's financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission, said it has since recovered $53m of the haul.

The scam, carried out between 2010 and 2015 involved Ukrainian hackers getting into the servers of two unnamed newswire services, one in New York and the other in Canada. The miscreants searched for embargoed press releases on companies' quarterly financial figures, which are typically privately submitted to a newswire a couple of days before they are published, and accessed more than 100,000 of them before being caught.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:16 PM

WILMINGTON, DEL | JUDGE APPROVES REVISED WEINSTEIN CO. BANKRUPTCY SALE PLAN

WILMINGTON (DE)
STL News

July 11, 2018

By Rizwan Afzal

A Delaware judge on Wednesday approved a revised plan for the sale of the Weinstein Co., the studio forced into bankruptcy by the sexual misconduct scandal that brought down Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The revised plan calls for Dallas-based private equity firm Lantern Capital to pay $289 million for the Weinstein Co.’s assets, down from an initial sale price of $310 million.

Attorneys negotiated the $21 million price reduction after disputes threatened to torpedo the deal. Among those concerns was who would be responsible for paying potentially tens of millions of dollars owed on certain contracts that may be assigned to Lantern.

As part of the settlement, Lantern agreed to pay at least $8.75 million to satisfy certain contractual claims and pay for the Weinstein Co.’s operating expenses since June 29 in exchange for a lower purchase price.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:14 PM

Financial details disclosed in St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese bankruptcy settlement

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

July 11, 2018

By Brian Roewe

Real estate sales largely will cover archdiocese's $23.5 million portion of $210 million settlement

The St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese will pay roughly $23.5 million as part of its $210 million bankruptcy settlement, court documents filed in late June show.

On June 28, the archdiocese and the unsecured creditors' committee, which represents 450 survivors of clergy sexual abuse, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court their joint plan for reorganization along with a disclosure statement of the archdiocese's finances, including a breakdown of the settlement's funding sources.

The filing represented the next step toward bankruptcy resolution for the archdiocese after it was announced May 31 it had reached a settlement with its creditors totaling $210,290,724 — the largest payout via bankruptcy proceedings in the Catholic Church's clergy sex abuse scandal.

According to the disclosure statement, the archdiocese's portion of the settlement is $23,475,000. More than two-thirds of the funds come from the sale of real estate, including its chancery and Hayden Center administrative building, and of other assets, as well as $6 million from the general insurance fund.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:12 PM

Sisters seek to end gag order in priest sex abuse settlement

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

July 2, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

Two sisters asked a judge Monday to invalidate broad confidentiality agreements other family members made with a Pennsylvania Roman Catholic diocese so they can speak publicly about sexual abuse at the hands of a parish priest more than two decades ago.

The lawsuit in county court in Harrisburg by two adult women said their silence was required in settlements made with the Harrisburg Diocese over sexual abuse of two other sisters in the same family by the Rev. Augustine Michael Giella.

New Jersey court records indicate Giella confessed to fondling one of the girls and taking photos of her unclothed. Giella was facing sexual assault, child endangerment and child pornography charges in Ocean County, New Jersey, when he died in 1993 at about age 72.

A spokesman for the Harrisburg Diocese, Mike Barley, said it no longer enforces nondisclosure agreements in priest abuse settlements.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:11 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – JULY 11, 2018

Road to Recovery, Inc. – P.O. Box 279, Livingston, New Jersey 07039 – 862-368-2800

A courageous victim/survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a religious sister (nun) will speak publicly for the first time about the sexual abuse she experienced and the re-victimization she was subject to during a recent meeting with the abusive sister’s religious order

A Buffalo-area woman will speak publicly for the first time about the sexual abuse she experienced as an elementary school student at an Amherst, NY, Catholic parish school and convent by a religious sister (nun)

“Jane Doe” will reveal her identity and the two-part story of childhood sexual abuse in a Catholic elementary school and convent AND her re-victimization by the religious order which supervised the abusive religious sister (nun)

What

A press conference by a female childhood sexual abuse victim/survivor of a religious sister (nun) when she was a student at Christ the King Elementary School in Amherst (Snyder), NY. Recently, the victim/survivor met with a representative of the religious order of sisters in a Buffalo-area parish meeting room and was re-victimized by the encounter. The childhood sexual abuse and the subsequent encounter with the religious order will be described in detail.

When

Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 11:30 am

Where

On the public sidewalk outside Christ the King Parish, 30 Lamarck Drive at Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226

Who

“Jane Doe,” a courageous victim/survivor of childhood sexual abuse who will reveal her identity; and, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey and advocate for “Jane Doe”

Why

“Jane Doe” was a minor child when she attended Christ the King Elementary School in Amherst, NY. One of her teachers, a religious sister (nun), sexually abused her on the school and parish campus. She was seriously harmed by the sexual abuse. Recently, “Jane Doe” met with a representative of the religious order that supervised the alleged abusive nun and “Jane Doe” was re-victimized by the encounter. She and her supporters will demand that the religious order of sisters treat “Jane Doe” with compassion and justice and that the Diocese of Buffalo intervene in the matter by conducting a thorough investigation of the religious order of sisters and sexual abuse at Christ the King School.

(OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE VICTIM/SURVIVOR, THERE WILL BE NO PRE-INTERVIEWS)

Contact

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

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:47 PM

Victoria criticised for delaying decision on reporting child abuse heard in confession

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

July 11, 2018

By Melissa Davey

Critics say Victorian government is ‘still putting the church ahead of children’

The Victorian government has been criticised for delaying its decision on whether to abolish the seal of confessional for disclosures of child sexual abuse, in its response to the recommendations of the royal commission.

On Wednesday the state government issued its response to the royal commission’s 409 recommendations, 317 of which apply to Victoria. The state’s attorney general, Martin Pakula, said the government had accepted 128 recommendations, accepted 165 recommendations in principle, and would need to further consider another 24.

Abolishing the seal of confessional for any disclosures of child sexual abuse was one of those recommendations still under consideration, Pakula told ABC radio.

“It needs a degree of national agreement,” he said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:08 AM

65-year-old alleges prior sexual abuse by priest

DEDEDO (GUAM)
KUAM News

July 11, 2018

Another clergy sexual lawsuit is filed this week. 65-year-old J.V.C. alleges he was molested by Father Antonio Cruz as a teen boy.

Cruz, who passed away over thirty years ago, was a priest at Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago at the time.

Only identified by his initials to protect his privacy, J.V.C. alleges Cruz asked him to bring him a coconut. When he returned, the priest was allegedly naked and masturbating and performed sexual acts on the teen boy.

J.V.C. is represented by attorney David Lujan.

He is suing for $5 million.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:04 AM

Filings disclose new details on grand jury clergy abuse probe

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

July 10, 2018

By Nathaniel Lash and Craig R. McCoy

New filings in a suit to stop the release of a Pennsylvania attorney general’s report on clergy sex abuse offer a window into who is seeking to keep the report secret and why.

The documents were made public Friday by the state Supreme Court, which blocked the release of the grand jury report until the appeals could be heard.

The filings list 14 individuals, identified only by initials, and the reasons they are opposing the release of the report. In some cases, they provide details of the abuse allegations made against the unnamed individuals in the report.

For instance, a church official identified as D.D. objected to the charge that he should have informed a school district that a priest was previously the subject of an “abuse or sexual misconduct investigation” involving children. The filing in D.D.’s case said the grand jury’s criticism was based on misreading of the relevant law.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:56 AM

Former priest hit with more sex abuse charges

WAYNESVILLE (NC)
The Mountaineer

July 11, 2018

By Kyle Perrotti

A former priest currently being held at the Haywood County Detention Center has been charged with eight more felonies relating to the alleged sexual abuse of children.

Howard White, 76, was charged with the felonies Monday afternoon following an indictment by a Haywood County Grand Jury. According to court documents, the charges relate to two alleged victims, one who claims he was abused in 1984 and the other who claims he was abused in 2004.

Prior to his most recent indictment involving two more Haywood victims, White was facing charges of first-degree forcible sex offense, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, first-degree forcible rape, four counts second-degree forcible sex offense, and second-degree forcible rape.

With the latest round of indictments, he is facing five more counts of indecent liberties with a child, one more count of second-degree sex offense, and two more counts of second-degree forcible sex offense.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:51 AM

New details emerge in dismissed lawsuit in alleged Loyola priest abuse case

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Fox 8 WVUE

July 10 2018

By Rob Masson

A local attorney said the Archdiocese of New Orleans avoided a lot of bad publicity by reportedly settling a case involving a Loyola priest accused of raping a 5-year-old girl over several years.

The dismissal comes shortly after the Archdiocese paid out a $500,000 sex abuse settlement involving a former deacon and an altar boy.

Two years ago a woman identified as Jane Doe sued the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Loyola University and the Jesuit governing organization, claiming priest Ben Wren sexually abused for her seven years.

Court documents obtained by FOX 8 allege that Jane Doe's grandmother, a Loyola staff member, trusted Wren, since he was a Jesuit priest and a university professor.

The lawsuit, dismissed last week, said that "Jane Doe would frequently be called on by Father Wren to assist him on errands," and that "the sexual abuse began slowly with light touching and caressing." The suit alleged "the sexual abuse continued for the next several years...and included forcible sexual intercourse when Jane Doe reached the age of 9 or 10 years old."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:49 AM

Canto XIX: Keep the Faith

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Gustavo Arellano’s Weekly

July 8, 2018

By Gustavo Arelllano

Greetings from Chicago, where the temperature is not triple digits like my Southern California homeland – in fact, it’s a little bit chilly. I’ve been in hotel conference rooms most of yesterday and today, talking about the most important work of my career, work most of you don’t even know about: the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal in Orange County.

I never presume to know why people read my articles, but I’m confident in saying most people – if they even know who I am – know me best for my work about tacos, my former Mexican column, or my time as editor of OC Weekly.

But the real Gs know that 15 years ago, I was essentially a one-man Spotlight as I covered all the pedophile priests that the Diocese of Orange County tried to cover up for decades.

That part of my career is largely forgotten now. But one group remembers: sex-abuse survivors.

That’s why it’s an honor for me to be in Chicago, to be a speaker on the opening night of the annual conference for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. This is their 30th anniversary of them being #metoo before #metoo, and doing it in an era when few dared to tell their stories because the rest of the world dismissed them as lunatics, whores, or just spat upon them.

But SNAP did.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 6:29 AM

July 10, 2018

VIDEO: Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo & Lama Tsultrim Allione: Shambhala's Sakyong Mipham

PAGOSA SPRINGS (CO)
Youtube/Tara Mandala

July 4, 2018 (first recorded on July 1, 2018)

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo & Lama Tsultrim Allione discuss the allegations of sexual abuse by Shambhala head Sakyong Mipham. Recorded at Tara Mandala, July 1, 2018.

Length: 12:34

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:32 PM

Over and Over again

UNITED STATES
Kelly.con

July 9, 2018

By Kelly Conheeney

How did you get to be a professional athlete? It's a question I am asked often. By parents, coaches, fans, etc. It's a common question for any professional athlete... "Tell me how you got here....”

My mind shoots to my 10-year-old self kicking a ball against a wall over and over and over again. I was the little girl who slept with a soccer ball next to her pillow at night, under her Mia Hamm poster and US Women's National Team Calendar hanging on the wall, praying to whatever god was out there, to give me the ability to one day play like these women. It probably went something like, “Hey God, it’s me Kelly. PLEASE let me be Mia Hamm one day.” Just praying to someone I was told would make all my dreams come true. Soccer was life. It's still life. and sometimes I wonder how I got through it all to get to where I am today. Everyone has a "how they got there" story.

It was my first love and my life's work from an early age. It's a beautiful yet unforgiving love; I learned the hard way that playing the game won't last forever. I endured a head injury in college that put a hold on my career for 3 and a half years and during that time I kept asking myself, "who am I without a ball at my feet?" For a while I didn't know who that person was. Those days were some of the hardest of my life. I felt like a prisoner in my own body, unable to do the things I once did so freely. Contained to a dark room and isolated from the world around me. It felt like a part of me died in some ways. I had a hard time coping with the loss of something that meant everything to me and at the time defined who I was. Losing the game forced me to take a step back and look in the mirror. It forced me to face a part of me that was buried deep in the darkest pit of my soul. The part where my heart starts racing and my palms start sweating when someone asks me the "How'd you get there?" question.

All I can think of is my youth coach who taught me how to play the game. His name was Keith. He started coaching me when I was 10. "Recruited" me to come play for his team after watching me play every position on the field during a game where his team beat mine 5-0. I guess he saw something in me. Versatility? Nah, a little Tasmanian devil that never stopped working. He was Brazilian and every practice was about getting maximum touches on the ball. I absolutely loved training with him, learning new things and making him proud. You know how you are when you're 10; When you do something good and your coach praises you, you thrive off of it. I would do anything to make him proud of me. He worked with me everyday and made me feel like I'd be the best to play the game if I stuck around him. He worked his way into my family as the years went on.

At an incredibly influential age, a time when curiosity and a hunger to learn drive you towards a passion, you trust that everyone wants the best for you. You trust the people around you to protect you and help you achieve your dreams. Especially the person who is giving you the tools to succeed. You just trust people at that age, you don’t put up walls. Well, some 10 year olds know what walls are... I didn’t. I don’t remember the specific moment Keith started abusing the power he had. But when I look back on it now, I realize he had been grooming me from the very beginning. He worked with me individually on skills, until I’d master them, and then he would take me to his camps to be the demo girl to show others how to do it. He brought me to play with the older girls he trained, and took me to practice with boys to show them there was a girl out there better than them. And I was, I was fucking good. I was also good at being his puppet. His praise fueled me. Soccer quickly became the single most important thing in my world. It was like nothing else mattered.

By age 13 he had gained control of most areas of my life. Sometimes I thought, maybe it was my fault, because I always did what he said. But thats how it was in America growing up. You do what coach says, so from the outside there wasn't anything unusual about the way he was treating me. Before I knew it I was getting stripped of all the things I called my own until I didn't recognize who I was anymore.

I remember when I would have a bad game and he would tell me I played like shit. Instead of giving constructive feedback as a good coach would have done, he put me down. I always took what he said to heart, because his opinion really mattered to me. It taught me to believe that a good or bad game decided my worth as a human being. He was the one who got to decide my worth.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:27 PM

UPDATED: Buddhist leader steps aside pending sexual misconduct investigation

WASHINGTON (DC)
Think Progress

July 6, 2018

By Joshua Eaton

The news comes after the leadership of his organization resigned Friday.

UPDATE (7/6/2018, 9:20 p.m. ET): Prominent Buddhist teacher and author Sakyong Mipham, the leader of Shambhala International, announced in a letter Friday night that he is temporarily stepping down from teaching and administration pending the outcome of an investigation by law firm Wickwire Holm into charges he coerced and sexually assaulted several female students.

The move leaves Shambhala with no clear leadership structure following the announcement Friday afternoon that its main governing body, the Kalapa Council, will also step aside.

“The Sakyong fully supports a third-party investigation and wishes to provide the time and space for it to properly occur,” said the letter, which referred to Mipham by his religious title. “He will use this time to enter a period of self-reflection.”

ThinkProgress’ original story about the Kalapa Council’s announcement is below.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:21 PM

Rep. Jim Jordan’s “locker room talk” denial: Waving off sex abuse complaints shows limits of #MeToo

COLUMBUS (OH)
Salon

July 9, 2018

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

We need to break down the wall of silence and shaming that surrounds the abuse and harassment of boys and men

Why does Jim Jordan have a job today? Why is working? Why aren't his colleagues demanding he answer accusations that he was aware of alleged sexual abuse at Ohio State University when he worked there as an assistant coach from 1986 to 1994? And where, at a groundswell period in history where individuals who claim they've been abused and assaulted are more united and mobilized than ever, are the claims of boys and men still given only secondary consideration? Why is the male component of #MeToo still so neglected?

Ohio Rep. and founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus Jim Jordan is considered a rising star in the Republican party. A solid supporter of the current administration who's sponsored an Ultrasound Informed Consent Act and believes in "traditional marriage," he's been viewed as a potential front runner to replace Paul Ryan as Speaker if the House remains red in November. But a potential torpedo to his plans first began to emerge in April, when Ohio State announced it was investigating claims of "sexual misconduct" involving former wrestling team doctor Richard Strauss. Strauss, who was the team physician for over twenty years, died by suicide in 2005.

Then early last week, three former team members told NBC News that "It would have been impossible for Jordan to be unaware" that Strauss "showered regularly with the students and inappropriately touched them during appointments."

Ex-student Mike DiSabato said, "I considered Jim Jordan a friend. But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn't know what was going on."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:19 PM

What about the financial side of Shambhala?

HALIFAX (NOVA SCOTIA)
Halifax Examiner

July 10, 2018

By Tim Bousquet

1. Shambhala

In a letter published Friday, the entire Kalapa Council, the highest leadership body in the Shambhala Buddhist community, resigned their positions. The letter reads:

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:16 PM

Shambhala Leaders Step Down After Abuse Allegations Shake Community

NEW YORK (NY)
Tricycle

July 9, 2018

By Matthew Abrahams

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche stops teaching as the governing Kalapa Council resigns

Shambhala International’s leader, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, has announced that he will step aside amid an investigation into his alleged sexual abuse of students, and the organization’s governing body, the Kalapa Council, said that all nine of its members will resign—leaving the community with an uncertain future.

The Sakyong will stop teaching and step away from his administrative duties until an investigation is completed, he said in a statement released on July 6. He has also resigned from the board of trustees at Naropa University and as the Naropa Lineage Holder, according to a statement from the university released a day earlier.

The Kalapa Council, meanwhile, is planning a “phased departure” as they hand over their responsibilities to new leadership, who have yet to be determined.

“We recognize that parts of our system are broken, and need to dissolve in order to make room for real change,” they said in a July 6 statement.

The change in leadership was spurred by a series of sexual abuse allegations against Shambhala teachers over the past few months. The accusations were contained in two reports created by Project Sunshine, a group that Shambhalian and abuse survivor Andrea Winn started over a year ago, initially as a support network for other survivors. The first report, which was released in February, described five accounts of misconduct that included childhood sexual abuse, betrayal by senior leaders, and a male sangha member exposing himself on retreat. “Phase two” of Project Sunshine, released in late June, revealed allegations against the Sakyong himself. Two women described being abused by him during boozy private parties. (He preempted the report with a statement three days before its publication that apologized for harmful “relationships.”)

Winn told Tricycle on Monday that she was encouraged by Shambhala’s leadership shake-up.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:10 PM

Opinion: Who cares about reputations of wrongly accused?

WEST CHESTER (PA)
Daily Local News

July 10, 2018

By Christine Flowers

In this #Metoo era, reputations have been devalued to the point that even if you have one to protect, the avenging angels of society (prosecutors, investigative journalists, tweeting A-List actresses) will run roughshod over it. Now that we’ve decided that pretty much every accusation ever made against a film producer, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a Catholic priest must be true, our collective concern for avoiding slanderous accusations against someone who cannot defend themselves has pretty much evaporated.

Raymond J. Donovan, Secretary of Labor under President Reagan once famously said, after he was acquitted of corruption charges, “Which office do I go to, to get my reputation back?” It was a rhetorical question that was once considered legitimate, but that today is mocked. Who cares about the reputation of the wrongly accused if we can advance a political agenda that comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable, right? Who cares if that film producer never laid a hand on that starlet, enough of them did so let’s not worry about the details of a particular case. Why worry about that Fortune 500 CEO since his accuser makes about a tenth in her entire lifetime what he makes in a month? And that Catholic priest? We know he did something, and if he didn’t, so many of them did that it’s a literal sin to obsess over Father Expendable.

I’ve heard a lot about cover-ups these past few weeks, as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court blocked the release of one in a continuing series of grand jury reports that detail alleged abuse in several Catholic dioceses across the Commonwealth. The high court refused to release the report immediately because of a concern that the interests of many people mentioned in that report could not be adequately protected. The interest, obviously, is what Shakespeare called “the eternal part of myself,” a person’s reputation.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:08 PM

Feminist Apparel CEO Fires Entire Staff After They Learn He's An Admitted Sexual Abuser

UNITED STATES
Refinery29

July 9, 2018

By Sage Lazzaro

The employees of the popular clothing company Feminist Apparel thought they were creating tools for the resistance. The online store’s viral shirts and accessories — which feature sayings like “Cats against catcalls” and “Trans rights are human rights” — became staples at events like the Women’s March and Pride. The brand amassed over 360k followers on Instagram and Facebook and was behind viral moments like the “No Catcall Zone” signs that took over NYC. Plus every item sold helped support an independent artist, and in many cases, a partnering organization that would receive part of the proceeds.

It all came to a grinding halt in June of 2018 when Feminist Apparel staff discovered that the brand’s founder and CEO Alan Martofel had an admitted history of sexually abusing women. In fact, he claims it’s the reason why he started the company in the first place. After asking for his resignation, all nine employees were fired without notice or severance. (Only Martfel and an outside consultant remained.)

“This is the patriarchy and toxic masculinity at its fucking finest,” says Rebecca Green, the company’s now-former art director. “I feel righteous and angry. I feel supported by my coworkers and friends. I also feel tired. I feel incredibly sorry knowing that there are survivors in this office who were led to believe that their contributions to this company were directly going to creating a safe space and platform for survivors, feminists, and marginalized identities. As an artist myself creating work based on my own experiences with the patriarchy, toxic masculinity, and harassment for this company — and by extension this man — I feel used and willfully mislead.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:05 PM

Archdiocese named in $5M sex abuse lawsuit

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

July 10, 2018

By Mindy Aguon

A former Guam resident has filed a sex abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana, alleging he was sexually molested and abused by a priest in 1967.

J.V.C., who used initials to protect his identity, now lives in Oregon and alleges he was sexually molested and abused by Antonio Cruz, who is now deceased.

According to the lawsuit filed by his attorney, David Lujan, J.V.C. was raised in a religious family, whose members were devout Catholics and active parishioners at Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago.

Cruz was a priest at the Chalan Pago parish and lived in the rectory on the second floor.

One day after confession, when he was 14, J.V.C. recalled Cruz asking him to bring him a coconut. The boy went to the rectory to deliver it to Cruz and when he opened the door, he saw Cruz sitting on a chair.

The teen was instructed to step inside the room and noticed Cruz was naked and masturbating, court documents state. When the boy was within reach, Cruz allegedly pulled down the boy's shorts and began sexually assaulting him, the court documents allege.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:04 PM

Church magazine calls rape victims liars, accused priests victims

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
India Today

July 10, 2018

By Niharika Banerjee

Amodern-day Eve finds it convenient to claim that she was raped when she is caught in the act," reads a column in a weekly magazine run by the Catholic Church that has come out in open support of a bishop and a few priests who have been accused of rape.

The article in the latest edition of Indian Currents by columnist AJ Philip claims that there were "no repeated rapes" in either of the two rape cases that have rattled Kerala churches.

The article titled "Villians as victims" tries to whitewash the accused bishop and the priests as Philip mentions a "memorable encounter" with one of the accused priests. "The priest had a reputation as a good counsellor," Philip writes.

A school teacher, in Kerala, has alleged that four Orthodox priests blackmailed and sexually abused her after she confessed to having a premarital affair with a priest.

In his column, Philips asks that if the complainant was really a victim of a "terrible" thing as rape, why did she not inform her parents of the incident.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:03 PM

OPINION: Preaching on #metoo and #churchtoo

UNITED STATES
Baptist News

July 10, 2018

By Doyle Sager

In August of 2017 I made a commitment to preach a series of sermons on rape, abuse and assault. Little did I know that two months later the #metoo movement would explode all over social media as women courageously stepped forward to tell their stories.

In the months leading up to the sermon series, I grew more nervous. What if this approach is too much? Not enough? What if the sermons trigger unanticipated responses? But gut-wrenching personal stories and pervasive data persuaded me to stay the course. One in every four girls will be sexually abused or assaulted by the age of 17. Sixty-three percent of all rapes go unreported. Estimating the size of my congregation, I did the math. My pastoral instincts told me that the issues needed to be addressed, and that words like sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, bullying, domestic violence and harassment needed to be spoken from our pulpit (in later feedback, this proved to be among the most liberating and helpful things).

To prepare the congregation, we sent letters to the parents of all children, birth through high school, explaining the upcoming worship emphasis and its rationale. We also provided parents a resource list of books, online sites and state and national hotline numbers, encouraging them to read ahead and to have conversations with their families. This same resource list was available on our church’s webpage and in our lobby throughout the sermon series.

As an added layer of support, we enlisted several ordained clergy who are members of our church, all trained in clinical pastoral work and with years of experience, to be in the lobby during the most difficult sermon which recounted the rape of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13. I announced that if anyone became uncomfortable during worship, counselors were in the lobby, available to listen and offer support.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:40 PM

Women say ex-Fort Worth youth pastor abused them as teens. 37 years later, he finally resigns

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

July 8, 2018

By Sarah Smith

On April 8, Pastor John Finley stood before his congregation in Tennessee with an announcement. After 31 years at the church, he resigned.

He held a microphone and read from a piece of paper.

“I made some poor choices and was involved with two females in inappropriate behavior,” Finley said. “There was no sex. Both ladies were over 18. In the best interest of our church, I choose to resign immediately.”

But the women who sent a letter that spurred Finley’s resignation from Bartlett Hills Baptist Church near Memphis have a different story to tell.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:35 PM

‘Now is the time,’ witnesses say, to work harder against sexual abuse, discrimination in the church

AUSTIN (TX)
Episcopal News Service

July 5, 2018

By Mary Frances Schjonberg

People of all genders told the Safeguarding and Title IV Committee July 5 that the Episcopal Church must do more to eliminate sexual discrimination and abuse.

“What we witnessed last night was just a beginning,” the Rev. Cynthia Taylor, a Georgia deputy, told the committee, referring to the House of Bishops’ “Liturgy of Listening,” a service of lament and confession centered on stories of sexual abuse and exploitation in the Episcopal Church. “That work is incomplete, my sisters and brothers.”

Taylor said the work is incomplete if “we pat ourselves on the back for being open to discussion of the role of institutional discrimination, harassment and abuse of women.” The church must find a way to continue “not just the conversation but the hard work of seeking the truth, respecting the dignity of all human beings through the restoration of their God-given rights as children of God.”

Since she became the first woman ordained in the Diocese of South Carolina more than 32 years ago, Taylor said she has “had personally experienced gender biases in the form of equality of pay, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and gross misuse of power by ecclesiastical authorities” in clergy discipline cases.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:32 PM

Kerala Orthodox church abuse: Next action in case after court hearing, say police

INDIA
The News Minute

July 9, 2018

Two of the accused priests have filed for anticipatory bail, which will be heard by the Kerala High Court on Monday.

The Kerala Police is waiting for the outcome of the anticipatory bail plea filed in the Kerala High Court by two of the four Orthodox priests, accused of sexually abusing a woman parishioner, before proceeding in the case, officials said.

If the court, which will hear the matter on Monday, turns down the plea, the accused priests of the Malankara Orthodox Church will be arrested, said informed sources.

All four accused are now on the run, but the sources say that police have tracked them down and is waiting for the court verdict, which will come out on Monday, to take further steps.

Police have come under further pressure with the National Commission for Women (NCW) monitoring the case.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:31 PM

Invisible Scars: How the Trauma of Sexual Abuse Is Stored in the Soul and Spirit

WASHINGTON (DC)
Sojourners

July 9, 2018

By Kathy Manis Findley

The #MeToo stories touched me in a place deep inside. The stories of sexual abuse that so many women told brought up persistent memories that I have for years tried to forget.

I was abused multiple times by multiple trusted members of my faith community. I can say unequivocally that this caused me pain in the very core of my psyche. There are scars that never go away, lasting wounds that always hurt, wounds that I describe as invisible scars of the soul and spirit.

My story is not uncommon.

Research shows that 93 percent of sex offenders describe themselves as “religious.” 165,500 mostly Protestant churches reported 7095 claims of alleged sexual abuse by church staff, congregation members, or volunteers between 1987 and 2007.

My years of healing have taught me that childhood sexual abuse creates terrible trauma that is stored in our bodies, hiding in the nooks and crannies of a life, struggling to be normal and free of pain. I learned those truths because I was a victim of sexual abuse in what I believed to be a safe place, my faith community.

The healing journey for me was long and arduous. Over twenty years, I worked through my trauma with counselors, spiritual guides, friends, and mentors. When I was in seminary, a professor helped me see a way to move into my pain with courage and to persistently grapple with every personal demon that was holding me hostage. The colleagues in my chaplaincy training held me accountable for my hidden emotions and fears as I began to discern the origin of those emotions and fears. I began owning my trauma and learned that I found strength and resilience by embracing it.

And as a trauma specialist working with adults and children, I learned even more truth about trauma.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:29 PM

Forcing church to report abuse suspicions would be counterproductive

ENGLAND
The Times

July 9, 2018

By Helen Hall

A regime of mandatory reporting might be attractive at first glance, but prevention would be better than cure

An internal Church of England review into allegations of sexual abuse was flawed, and failed to give a complete picture, concluded Sir Roger Singleton, a former head of Barnados in an independent report.

Although there was no evidence of a deliberate attempt to mislead the public, it appears that the scale of the issue was downplayed to protect the church’s reputation.

As a result, journalists and others have been asking whether it is wise for the church to continue to make its own judgments when it comes to reporting such abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:27 PM

Covenant is Next Step in Response to Abuse and Exploitation

UNITED STATES
Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs

July 9, 2018

Following a special listening liturgy on July 3 to acknowledge the #MeToo movement and hear personal stories of abuse, harassment and exploitation, bishops meeting at The Episcopal Church’s General Convention in Austin adopted a covenant that commits them to seek changes. The document, which applies only to bishops, is entitled “A Working Covenant for the Practice of Equity and Justice for All in The Episcopal Church.”

The stories which were read by bishops during the liturgy had been chosen from more than 40 testimonial letters submitted. Names and identifying information were redacted, but the readings and silence within the liturgy was both dramatic and profoundly uncomfortable for those attending. The Covenant is meant as a first step in the Church’s response.

Bishop Audrey Scanlan of Central Pennsylvania said that plans are underway to create a toolkit to help dioceses create their own kind of listening events to begin the hard work that is needed. “Sexual violence, aggression, exploitation and harassment exist in our church. We can’t let that be the last word,” she said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:26 PM

Hikind Investigating Abuse Allegations Against Noted BP Doctor, Asks Victims To Come Forward

BROOKLYN (NY)
Vos Iz Neias?

July 9, 2018

Allegations of possible improprieties have surfaced against a Borough Park doctor, according to an elected official from Brooklyn.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind took to Twitter this morning to announce that his office is looking into possible instances of abuse perpetuated by “a prominent Boro Park doctor.”

Hikind said that he first began researching the matter after being contacted by two separate people and has spoken with a number of potential victims in alleged instances that took place as far back as approximately ten years ago. All of the reported incidents involve the same physician who Hikind declined to identify at this time.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:24 PM

Ousted Catholic deacon accused of sexual misconduct continued serving 'for several years' as lector

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

July 9, 2018

By Chelsea Brasted

The deacon who prompted the Archdiocese of New Orleans to pay out more than half a million dollars to settle a lawsuit May 11 after he was accused of repeatedly raping an altar boy in the 1970s and '80s continued to serve for years as a lector in the New Orleans metropolitan area.

George Brignac, now 83, was removed from Catholic ministry and education in 1988 after he was accused of fondling a 7-year-old boy after a Christmas party, according to a report in The New Orleans Advocate. By then, Brignac had also been criminally charged with sexually abusing children at least one other time -- in 1977 in Jefferson Parish -- though he was never convicted.

Before he was ordained, Brignac taught at St. Francis Cabrini School, St. John Vianney Prep and St. Matthew the Apostle. Once ordained, Brignac taught at Our Lady of the Rosary from 1976 to 1988, according to Archbishop Gregory Aymond, as well as Cabrini High School "for a time."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:21 PM

Group wants to raise $300K for Fr. Jonathan Wehrle ahead of priest's embezzlement trial

OKEMOS (MI)
Lansing State Journal

July 10, 2018

By Christopher Haxel

An embattled priest accused of embezzling more than $5 million from a local Roman Catholic parish is trying to raise $300,000 to fund his defense.

The Rev. Jonathan Wehrle is "in dire need" of help, according to a letter dated June 11 and circulated on his behalf.

Opus Bono, a charity based in Lapeer County which raises money to assist priests across the country facing criminal charges or other problems, sent the letter to a "short list" of Wehrle's family and friends, according to the letter.

Wehrle, the former pastor of St. Martha parish in Okemos, currently awaits trial on felony embezzlement charges. An insurer for the Catholic Diocese of Lansing has filed a separate civil lawsuit against Wehrle after so far paying out $2.9 million in damages.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:20 PM

Former Marine colonel sentenced to prison for abusing children

UNITED STATES
Stars and Stripes

July 10, 2018

By Nancy Montgomery

The former commander of the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for abusing children.

Former Col. Todd Shane Tomko pleaded guilty the same day to three counts of misdemeanor assault and battery at the Virginia Beach Circuit Court in Virginia.

Tomko, 55, had been charged with indecent liberties, aggravated sexual battery, and child abuse and neglect involving three children related to him beginning in 2002. Tomko had maintained a high profile, meeting with celebrities, politicians and royalty, until he was forced to retire from the Marine Corps in July 2016 due to sexual harassment and other charges.

Tomko, who had become the pastor of the Parkview Church after retiring, has been in custody since his arrest last November in Quincy, Ill., on federal warrants. He has spent the last several months in the Virginia Beach City Jail.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:18 PM

Nun’s kin say she informed Delhi Archbishop of abuse by Bishop

INDIA
The Indian Express

July 10, 2018

By Shaju Philip

CBCI vice-president Bishop Joshua Mar Ignathios said the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India is probing the incident.

Although the Catholic Church has maintained silence on allegations of sexual abuse against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the family of the victim, a nun, said Monday that she had informed Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto about the alleged abuse.

The diocese of Jalandhar comes under the Delhi Archdiocese. Bishop Mulakkal is a member of the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, but the Kerala Church head Cardinal George Alancherry has argued that Bishop Mulakkal belonged to the province of Delhi Archdiocese and “it was up to them to investigate the matter’’.

The nun, who is living at her Missionaries of Jesus’ house at Kuravilangad in Kottayam district, said, “My brother would speak on my behalf,’’ she said.

Her brother, a priest, said: “It was in the first week of May this year. Couto visited the Missionaries of Jesus’ house at Kuravilangad. Then, the nun had directly told the bishop about the incident. Couto stated he would investigate. But, nothing has happened so far,’’ he said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:14 PM

Creating a safe Catholic Church conference

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

July 10, 2018

The Diocese of Parramatta and the Diocese of Wollongong and are co-hosting two days of presentations by Fr Hans Zollner SJ.

The two-day event is being sponsored by Carroll & O’Dea, Makinson d’Apice and Catholic Church Insurance. The event is also being supported by the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, the NSW Professional Standards Office and the NSW Ombudsman. Fr Hans will address the most significant issues facing the Catholic Church today with respect to harmful behaviour, including the theological and spiritual implications arising from the abuse crisis and their impact on victims and survivors, together with members of the Church.

Fr Hans will be providing two distinct and separate presentations on Friday 31 August and Saturday 1 September 2018.

Fr Hans will explore why and how the Catholic Church needs to change to survive, flourish and ensure the safest place for the most vulnerable.

Fr Hans is regarded as one of the leading ecclesiastical experts in the field of safeguarding of minors and on areas concerning sexual abuse both in the Roman Catholic Church and beyond. He has been a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors since 2014 and head of the Centre for Child Protection (CCP) at the Gregorian University, headquartered in Rome.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:12 PM

Former teacher acknowledges sexually assaulting students

AURORA (CO)
The Associated Press

July 9, 2018

A former suburban Denver middle school teacher has acknowledged sexually assaulting multiple students over several years.

The Aurora Sentinel reports Brian Vasquez pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of sexual assault and one count each of sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation. He faces at least 40 years in prison.

Police say that when they went to Prairie Middle School to question Vasquez, they were initially only investigating accusations from one girl who said she had exchanged inappropriate text messages with the teacher. But Vasquez immediately offered the names of four other students and said the relationships included sexual contact.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:10 PM

Catholic Church delivering on longstanding promises about clerical abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

July 6, 2018

By Mary Sanchez

To even casual observers of recent news about the Catholic Church, it’s clear that a new day has dawned.

Finally, after decades of stalling, denials and civil lawsuits, Catholic dioceses seem to recognize their accountability for the criminal behavior of pedophile priests.

Consider the case of retired Bishop Joseph Hart. The former prelate of Cheyenne, Wyo., now 86 years old, could face criminal charges under what the current bishop of Cheyenne has deemed credible and substantiated accusations of sexual abuse.

News of the case traveled ahead of the headlines to Kansas City, where Hart was ordained in 1956. Many believe that is where he first groomed young boys for sexual abuse in the parishes where he served until 1976.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:07 PM

2 Navy SEAL leaders relieved of duty after sexual misconduct allegations

UNITED STATES
Good Morning America

July 9, 2018

By Luis Martinez

2 Navy SEAL leaders relieved of duty after sexual misconduct allegations originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

The commander and the senior enlisted officer of a U.S. Navy SEAL team have been relieved of their duties after investigations into alleged sexual assault and sexual harassment while their unit was deployed to East Africa, officials said.

Both senior leaders had been sent back to the United States in May while the allegations were investigated and could possibly face administrative punishments.

"The commanding officer and command master chief of an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare command were relieved of their duties on July 9," said Lt. Jacqui Maxwell, a spokesperson for Naval Special Warfare Group Two.

"Cmdr. Jarrod Donaldson and Master Chief Jon Franklin were relieved from their position by Capt. Jamie Sands, commander, Naval Special Warfare Group Two," Maxwell added.

"Donaldson and Franklin have been administratively reassigned to Naval Special Warfare Group Two.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:07 PM

Blame the victim and shield the accused: Church’s way of dealing with rape accusations

INDIA
Opindia

July 10, 2018

By Sanghamitra

The weekly magazine Indian Currents, owned by the Catholic church and published under the patronage of the Capuchins of the Krisht Jyothi province of North India, has published a guest column by author AJ Philip. The article, titled ‘Villians as victims’ openly supports the rape accused Bishop Franko Mulakkal and the priests of the Malankara Orthodox Church against whom allegations of rape and abuse were filed recently.

The article starts with hailing the cordial behaviour and sense of humour of Bishop Fanko, with several anecdotes and examples, the author tries to establish that the Bishop was a great man. The author also mentions he knows the bishop personally and how he had inspired them to write an article about the canonization and subsequent sainthood of sister Alphonsa. He also cites how a priest in the US was ‘caught’ by a camera installed by a woman’s husband while he had gone to their house to settle a marital dispute between the two.

On the issue of the rape allegations against the priests of the Malankara church, the author states his mother belonged to that church and thus he has some idea about their traditions.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:06 PM

Louisiana gymnastics coach accused again of child sex abuse

LULING (LA)
The Associated Press

July 9, 2018

A gymnastics coach in Louisiana accused earlier this year of sexually abusing at least six children has been arrested on new child sex charges.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports 26-year-old Jonathan West was arrested Friday by Kenner Police on charges including sexual battery and indecent behavior with a juvenile. The Luling Flipnastics coach is accused of sexually abusing children while giving them rides home and having them send him sexual videos through social media.

West was arrested in May and June by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office, respectively, and charged with similar crimes. West also was rearrested Friday by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office on new charges including sexual battery and indecent behavior with a juvenile.

———

Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:04 PM

Rape Case Filed Against Another Orthodox Kerala Church Priest Binu George

KERALA (INDIA)
CNN-News18

July 10, 2018

By Neethu Reghukumar

The complainant, a 39-year-old married woman, has alleged that the priest Binu Georgee had called her to his office for some discussion and then sexually abused her.

Thiruvanathapuram: A rape case against a priest belonging to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church has been filed in Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district of Kerala.

The complainant, a 39-year-old married woman, has alleged that the priest Binu George had called her to his office for some discussion and then sexually abused her. According to her, the incident happened in the beginning of 2014.

"He called the victim to his office saying that he needed to discuss with her about some family matters. However, he raped her in the office. We registered a case of rape against the father," said Circle Inspector K Sadan.

According to police, her medical examination was also conducted, but will not be of help as the incident happened in 2014 and she is a married woman.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:02 PM

39-year-old Kerala woman files rape case against Malankara Orthodox Church priest

KERALA (INDIA)
First Point

July 10, 2018

A 39-year-old woman has filed a rape case against a priest of a Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala.

The woman accused the priest Binu George of raping her four years ago at Alappuzha district.

George is serving under the diocese at Koypallikaranma. The complainant said George sexually assaulted her at the office of the church when she approached him for help to settle some family dispute in 2014.

In her complaint to the police, the woman said she informed church authorities soon after the incident and was promised she would not face any further harassment. However, when George continued to torment her and spread "baseless gossip" she decided to take legal recourse, police said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:43 PM

Sex Abuse Victim Petitions High Court to Unseal Grand Jury Report

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Legal Intelligencer

July 9, 2018

By Max Mitchell

A sex abuse victim who testified as part of secret grand jury proceedings investigating alleged sex abuse in several Catholic Diocese across Pennsylvania has asked the state Supreme Court to unseal a report outlining the grand jury’s findings.

On July 6, Todd Frey, who was allegedly abused by a Harrisburg priest as a child, petitioned the justices to intervene in the proceedings before the high court, saying that their recent decision to block the release of the report has “exacerbated” the emotional trauma he has suffered.

“For his sake and other victims like him, Mr. Frey now seeks to intervene in order to pursue a lifting of the stay preventing public access to Report No. 1 and to encourage public access to the Supreme Court’s docket sheets and filings,” Frey said in the petition.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:33 AM

Just as Rampant? Adult Sexual Harassment in the Church

NEW YORK (NY)
Commonweal

By Paul Moses

July 9, 2018

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ system for responding to allegations of clergy sexual abuse of children has shown itself effective if it can act decisively on an accusation against a churchman who once stood near the apex of ecclesial power, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. But the cardinal’s downfall also shows the need for better, more transparent ways for responding to what may be just as widespread a problem within the church: sexual harassment of adults.

With the disclosure of the child molestation claim, two New Jersey dioceses McCarrick once led acknowledged that they had received three allegations “purporting that he had engaged in sexual improprieties with adults during his time here; two of these resulted in settlements.” The Newark and Metuchen dioceses added that “all were reported to law enforcement at that time.”

On that basis, mainstream news media began reporting longstanding accusations about McCarrick’s alleged sexual pursuit of seminarians and young priests. Previously, a number of reporters for major newspapers had tried but failed to verify these allegations.

The charge that McCarrick sexually assaulted a teenaged altar boy in the sacristy of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York forty-seven years ago—which a review board at the New York archdiocese found to be “credible and substantiated”—will advance to the Vatican for further review. McCarrick, who at eighty-seven years old has been a sort of international ambassador for the church since his retirement as archbishop of Washington in 2006, is barred meanwhile from publicly exercising his ministry as a priest. He says he is innocent, and he will have a chance to present his case.

It’s all relatively transparent. But the cases involving adults—alleged “improprieties” deemed serious enough for church officials to refer them to law enforcement at the time they were received—remain a matter of secrecy and speculation. The two settlements were reached out of court, before a lawsuit was filed, so there is not an official court record.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:31 AM

Loyola University, church officials settle claims that Jesuit priest raped 5-year-old on campus

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

July 9, 2018

By Jim Mustian

Catholic Church officials have settled a sexual abuse lawsuit that accused a popular Jesuit priest of raping a young girl dozens of times at Loyola University more than three decades ago.

The lawsuit, filed nearly two years ago, claimed the Rev. Benjamin L. Wren sexually assaulted the girl beginning in 1978 — when she was 5 years old — and warned her she would go to hell if she told anyone about their "special secret."

Wren, an eccentric professor who taught Zen Buddhism at Loyola, died of lung cancer in 2006.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:24 AM

Editorial: Release report on Catholic priest abuse allegations now

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

July 10, 2018

For decades, the Roman Catholic Church has gone to extremes to ignore, cover up and downplay the widespread sexual abuse and rape of boys and some girls across the world. So it comes as no surprise that nearly two dozen current and former priests are seeking to block the release of a grand jury report detailing serial sexual abuse in Catholic dioceses across Pennsylvania.

Fight, deny, and delay have been the Catholic Church’s playbook when it comes to clergy sexual abuse. When all else fails, the church quietly pays confidential settlements to sweep cases under the rug.

But the truth must come out if the church and its victims can ever move past this sordid scandal. That is why the Pennsylvania Supreme Court must allow the release of the more than 800-page grand jury report that shines a light on alleged clergy abuse in all of the state’s Catholic dioceses except for Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, which were the subject of earlier investigations.

The report is the culmination of a two-year investigation by Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office, which included grand jury testimony by dozens of sexual abuse victims.

Church officials in the six dioceses that were the focus of the investigation said they would not try to stop the report’s release. But attorneys for nearly two dozen current and former clergy went to court to block the report’s release, claiming it was full of inaccuracies that tarnish the clergymen’s reputations.

It would be good to know who is paying the legal fees for the clergy, who are represented by the high-powered firm of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:20 AM

There are now 74 Catholic priests in Buffalo accused of sexual misconduct

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW ABC 7

July 10, 2018

By Charlie Specht and Christine Streich

[Includes many links to video reports.]

7 Eyewitness News has compiled comprehensive list

To date, 74 current or former Buffalo priests have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct.

The Diocese of Buffalo in March 2018 released a list of 42 "diocesan priests who were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse with a minor." It included deceased priests "with more than one allegation made against them."

That list did not include the names of dozens of additional priests who were members of religious orders, were publicly accused of sexual misconduct with adult women or men, left the diocese and moved to other parts of the country, or were identified in reporting by 7 Eyewitness News and other media outlets since March. The full list of all accused priests is below.

John R. Aurelio (d. 2009) - The 1990s child sex abuse case against Fr. Bernard Mach and Fr. John Aurelio was one of Buffalo's first high-profile abuse scandals involving Catholic priests. Aurelio was suspended in 2003 after admitting to sexually abusing multiple children with Fr. Bernard M. Mach. During his tenure as a priest, Aurelio worked at Cardinal Mindszenty High School (1968), St. Leo in Amherst (1969), West Seneca State School (1970-75), St. Catherine of Siena in West Seneca (1976-81), the West Seneca Development Center (1982-86), St. John the Evangelist in Buffalo (1987-90), and Christ the King Seminary (1991-93). Aurelio is believed to have ceased functioning as a priest and moved to Venice, Florida after being suspended from ministry. On March 20, 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo included Aurelio on its list of priests who "were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:55 AM

Grand jury witness joins legal battle to make clergy-abuse report public

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

July 9, 2018

By Patrick Varine

A Philadelphia law firm representing a man who testified he was abused in the 1980s by a Harrisburg priest has joined in the push to unseal a statewide grand jury report into sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

Kline & Specter joined the Pennsylvania attorney general and members of the news media in the legal battle to make the report public.

The firm represents Todd Frey, who testified before the grand jury and believes he and others have a right to see the more than 800-page report completed by the grand jury. The report is expected to detail clergy sexual abuse in six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses, including those based in Greensburg and Pittsburgh.

“Mr. Frey is one of many victims whose voice must be heard in opposition to those who seek to keep this grand jury report secret. We hope that the court will act quickly to release the entire report,” said firm co-founder Tom Kline, who represents Frey along with partners David Inscho and Charles Becker.

Kline and Inscho only a few weeks ago obtained the largest-ever settlement against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for the family of Sean McIlmail in a case involving his alleged prolonged sexual abuse by a serial pedophile priest at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Northeast Philadelphia. The lawsuit claimed that McIlmail was abused between the ages of 11 and 14 and that the archdiocese knew about more than a decade of allegations against his alleged attacker, Rev. Robert Brennan, who was twice removed from prior parishes. McIlmail died of a drug overdose at the age of 26.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:48 AM

Oregon man sues over alleged priest abuse around 1967

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

July 10, 2018

By Haidee V Eugenio

A former Guam resident now living in Oregon said a now deceased priest sexually abused him at the Chalan Pago church rectory around 1967 and that incident led him to quit being a Catholic, according to a $5 millionlawsuit filed on Tuesday in federal court.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as J.V.C. to protect his privacy, said he was about 14 or 15 when Father Antonio C. Cruz molested and abused him.

The abuse and molestation included fondling the boy and trying to force him to penetrate the priest, the lawsuit said. It allegedly happened on the day the priest asked J.V.C., after confession, to bring a coconut to his room.

"As J.V.C. walked towards Cruz, he noticed Cruz was naked and masturbating. Once J.V.C. was within arm's reach, Cruz pulled J.V.C.'s shorts down and began fondling and masturbating J.V.C.," the lawsuit says. Further abuse allegedly happened in the room.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:45 AM

DA joins push to release priest abuse report at 6 Pa. dioceses, including Allentown

EASTON (PA)
Express-Times and Lehigh Valley Live

July 9, 2018

By Pamela Sroka-Holzmann

https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2018/07/da_all_state_district_attorneys_need_to_support_release_of_of_report_on_priest_abuse_at_6_pa_dioceses_including_allentown.html

Northampton County's District Attorney is calling on all state district attorneys to support the release of a grand jury report discussing the handling of sexual abuse claims involving six Roman Catholic dioceses, including Allentown.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli held a news conference Monday afternoon, saying he wants the state's District Attorneys Association to file an "amicus curiae" brief supporting state Attorney General Josh Shapiro and making it clear the state's district attorneys supports the release of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury report.

Like-minded organizations should also file briefs, Morganelli said.

"Pennsylvania's grand jury practice is under assault," he said. "Pennsylvania's entire grand jury system could be undermined if a group of people are successful in blocking publication of the grand jury report by the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury into alleged sexual abuse in Catholic dioceses across Pennsylvania."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:24 AM

Morganelli seeks release of diocesan sex abuse report from grand jury

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

July 9, 2018

By Tim Darragh

[Includes a video of DA Morganelli's statement.]

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli is calling on the state District Attorney’s Association to petition for the release of a two-year state grand jury investigation into sexual abuse by priests and others in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses, including Allentown.

The Supreme Court on June 20 blocked the report’s release, which was expected at the end of June.

The court’s order came after about two dozen unnamed people, including current and former clergy, challenged the release, arguing that naming people who have not been charged with crimes would damage their reputations in violation of the state constitution. The challenge also questioned whether the report adheres to the grand jury law.

In a news conference Monday, Morganelli said those filings put the grand jury process under assault and if they’re successful, would wipe out the grand jury as a corruption-fighting tool.

“The petitioners’ demands in these cases would essentially eradicate the grand jury report as an instrument of accountability for public and private institutions,” Morganelli said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:19 AM

The church brutalised Ireland. People have a right to protest against the pope’s visit

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

July 9, 2018

By Emer O'Toole

Ireland’s political leaders are calling protests against Pope Francis’s visit ‘petty’. Have they forgotten the decades of abuse?

In 1979, Pope John Paul II visited the Republic of Ireland, and approximately 2.7 million people – 79% of the population – came out to honour him. At the time, contraception, divorce, and homosexuality were illegal, and John Paul II was a god.

On 25 August, when Pope Francis becomes the first pontiff to travel to Ireland in 39 years, he will arrive on the shores of a very different island.

Throughout the 1990s, abuse scandals rocked the Irish Catholic establishment and hastened the process of secularisation. Since then, progressive constitutional and legal change has been slow but consistent, signalling rejection of the church’s moral authority. In 1993 homosexuality was decriminalised; in 1995, a referendum to legalise divorce passed by the slimmest of margins; in 2015, the country voted overwhelmingly to legalise gay marriage; and in June, 66% of the electorate voted to legalise abortion.

The separation of church and state in Ireland is far from complete. For example, the church is still involved in running 90% of state-funded primary schools. It is deeply enmeshed in our medical system. We are still wrestling with the scars of decades of abuse, implemented by the church and facilitated by the state. We are still finding children’s bodies in unmarked mass graves.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:15 AM

Yet another Kerala priest booked over rape allegation

MUMBAI (INDIA)
DNA India

July 10, 2018

A case of alleged rape has been filed against yet another priest of a church in Kerala, where a string of clergymen are facing accusations of sexual misconduct, police said on Tuesday.

Binu George, a priest of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, was alleged to have raped the parishioner in Alappuzha district four years ago. He is currently serving at a church under the diocese at Koypallikaranma.

The victim woman has claimed the priest sexually assaulted her at the office of the church when she approached him for help to settle some family dispute in 2014.

In her complaint to the police, the woman said she had informed the church authorities about the incident soon thereafter, and was promised she would not face any harassment from him in the future.

However, when the priest continued to torment her and spread "baseless gossip", she decided to take legal recourse, police said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:11 AM

July 9, 2018

Deeply Misguided #MeToo Joke Causes Uproar in Miss Massachusetts Pageant

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Magazine

July 9, 2018

By Spencer Buell

Maude Gorman has ditched her Miss Plymouth County title in protest after a dumb joke about the movement at a pageant.

I guess we should have expected that the #MeToo movement’s success over the past year would prompt powerful people and institutions to start lashing out and belittling the movement with boneheaded jokes, and that’s what has apparently gone down at the Miss Massachusetts pageant.

Maude Gorman, a former Miss Plymouth County, attracted national attention this weekend after she announced that she would hand in her crown in protest of a tone-deaf joke about #MeToo in a skit during the June 30 Miss America event. In the skit in question, the pageant’s host plays the role of someone telling God she is confused as to why the pageant will no longer include a swimsuit competition, to which a man playing God responds, “Me too,” and holds up two signs reading, “#MeToo.” Video of the performance, which elicited cheers from the crowd but prompted an immediate backlash, can be found on the Observer’s website.

The 24-year-old Gorman, a rape survivor, shared the rationale behind her decision on Instagram. “As both a survivor, and advocate for victims rights and sexual violence on a whole, I refuse to stand idly by and simply ‘let this go,'” she wrote. “Instead, I will stand up for every individual who has ever had the courage to speak out; and for every person who felt liberated by the #metoo movement.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:02 PM

Rev. Leo Thomas Riley, C.S.S.– Assignment History

WALTHAM (MA)
Bishopaccountability.org

Summary of Case: Leo T. Riley was ordained in 1954 for the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata (Stigmatines). For over then years he taught at Elm Bank, which was the Order's minor seminary in Wellesley, MA, then assisted at a Milford, MA parish. There appears to be a gap in his assignments 1968-1970, after which he was assigned to parishes in Waltham and then Lynn, Milford and, finally, Agawam, MA, where he was the sole priest. He died in 1995. Per Riley's obituary, "He was delegate in several provincial chapters. As a general councillor (1976-1979) he contributed much to insure the stability of the Thailand province."

In 2002 a man informed the Stigmatines that Riley had sexually abused him over a four-year period when the man was a student at Elm Bank and Riley was a teacher. While still a student the man reported the alleged abuse to the Provincial, Rev. Charles Egan. In 2002 Egan acknowledged having received the allegations, and said he did not remember sharing the information with anyone and did not record it.

Ordained: 1954
Died: February 22, 1995

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:59 PM

Assignment History– Rev. Richard J. Ahern, C.S.S.

WALTHAM (MA)
Bishopaccountability.org

Summary of Case: Richard J. Ahern was a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata (Stigmatines), ordained in 1954. He was assigned to Stigmatine parishes in the in the Archdioceses of Boston and New York, and the Dioceses of Richmond, VA and Springfield, MA. Additionally, he was Director in the 1960s of Camp Elm Bank in Wellesley, MA. From 1985 until his death in 2001 Ahern resided at St. Joseph's Hall, which was a retirement home for priests and brothers at the Stigmatine's headquarters in Waltham, MA. He was Administrator of the residence from 1988 on. There are several unexplained gaps in Ahern's assignment history.

The Stigmatines were aware of allegations of child sexual abuse against Ahern at least as early as 1979. Four men are known to have come forward, one alleging abuse as a sixth and seventh-grade altar boy in VA in the 1959-1961, and three others reporting that Ahern sexually abused them at Camp Elm Bank in Wellesley, MA in the 1960s. The boys were said to have been ages 11 to 15, and the abuse allegedly spanned the decade.

By 1988 Ahern's ministry was restricted. He died in February 2001.

Born: April 12, 1927
Ordained: June 12, 1954
Died: February 1, 2001

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:57 PM

Church of England ombudsman to oversee sexual abuse cases

ENGLAND
The Guardian

July 7, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

General synod backs plan for independent body with powers at national or diocese level

The Church of England is to establish an independent ombudsman to deal with complaints over its handling of sexual abuse cases, and will seek other ways of strengthening independent scrutiny of its processes.

Survivors of sexual abuse within the church have repeatedly called for an independent body to oversee abuse cases following evidence of cover-ups and collusion by senior figures.

The C of E’s general synod, meeting in York, voted overwhelmingly to back priorities for action set out by the national safeguarding steering group (NSSG), which could include an independent body being given powers to intervene at national or diocese level.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:46 PM

Massachusetts beauty queen steps down from pageant after #MeToo joke

MASSACHUSETTS
Fox News

July 9, 2018

By Ryan Gaydos

A Massachusetts beauty pageant winner gave up her crown Saturday after a host made a joke about the #MeToo movement.

Maude Gorman, 24, who was the reigning Miss Plymouth County beauty queen and a survivor of sexual assault, resigned from the Miss Massachusetts Miss America Organization competition over a joke made about the women’s movement. The emcee was referencing the removal of the swimsuit competition, according to The Boston Globe.

The host did a skit last week with someone portraying God. The host, a woman, tells "God" she doesn't understand why Miss America officials would get rid of the swimsuit competition. The person then holds up a sign reading “#MeToo.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:40 PM

7th Former Wrestler: Rep. Jim Jordan ‘Definitely’ Knew About Abuse

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Daily Beast

July 8, 2018

7th Former Wrestler: Jordan ‘Definitely’ Knew About Abuse

A seventh former wrestler at Ohio State University has come forward to accuse Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) of turning a blind eye to alleged sexual abuse by the school’s athletic doctor several decades ago. David Range, a wrestler at the school in the late 1980s, told The Washington Post on Saturday that Jordan, the assistant wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995, was present for conversations about the alleged sexual misconduct by Richard Strauss. “Jordan definitely knew that these things were happening—yes, most definitely. It was there. He knew about it because it was an everyday occurrence,” he said. “We talked about it all the time in the locker room” while Jordan was present, he said. Jordan has been accused of covering up the alleged abuse by several former wrestlers, though he has denied ever being aware of the allegations. On Friday, he told Fox News, “Conversations in a locker room are a lot different than people coming up and talking about abuse.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:39 PM

Facing new accusations, Jim Jordan shifts his strategy

COLUMBUS (OH)
MSNBC

July 9, 2018

By Steve Benen

At first, it was three people who alleged that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), during his tenure as a coach at Ohio State, knew about a team physician’s sexual misconduct toward student athletes, but he turned a blind eye at the time. The were soon joined by a fourth witness. And then a fifth. And a sixth.

The Washington Post updated the tally in a report over the weekend.

A seventh former Ohio State University wrestler said Saturday that he believes Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) knew about inappropriate behavior that allegedly took place in the school’s athletic department three decades ago, as two more former team members came to Jordan’s defense.

David Range, who wrestled for Ohio State in the late 1980s, said Jordan had to have known about alleged sexual misconduct by Richard Strauss, an athletic doctor whose behavior is under investigation by the school, because it happened regularly to team members and people talked about it. Jordan has denied he knew, saw or heard about any inappropriate behavior while he was an assistant wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995.

Range told the Washington Post, “Jordan definitely knew that these things were happening – yes, most definitely.”

For his part, the Republican congressman went on Fox News on Friday afternoon, and seemed to take a slightly different posture than he had earlier in the week, saying, “Conversations in a locker room are a lot different than allegations of abuse.”

Asked, however, if he’d heard locker-room banter on the subject, Jordan replied, “No. No. No type of abuse. We did not hear that.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:38 PM

The list of Jim Jordan accusers keeps growing

COLUMBUS (OH)
ThinkProgress

July 9, 2018

By Adam Peck

A seventh wrestler now says Jordan had to have known about rampant sexual abuse, and did nothing.

Over the weekend, a seventh former wrestler at Ohio State University came forward and accused Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) of doing nothing in the face of the largest sexual abuse scandal in U.S. sports history.

For weeks, Jordan has insisted that, while he was an assistant coach for the Buckeyes wrestling team in the 80’s and 90’s, he was completely unaware that team trainer Richard Strauss was systematically abusing hundreds of OSU athletes.

Three former wrestlers told NBC News that Jordan had to have known about the allegations, and did nothing to stop the abuse. Since then, four more former teammates have corroborated those accounts, saying there was simply no way Jordan didn’t know what was going on.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:35 PM

Robin Wright Opens Up About Former House of Cards Costar Kevin Spacey's Sexual Assault Allegations

UNITED STATES
People

July 8, 2018

By Karen Mizoguchi

Robin Wright is speaking out about former House of Cards costar Kevin Spacey, months after sexual assault allegations were brought against him.

In an interview with Today‘s Savannah Guthrie, airing on Monday, the actress, 52, opens up about her interactions with Spacey on set of the hit Netflix series.

“Was there any kind of red flag, or anything that would have made you think this was possible?” Guthrie inquires as Wright recalls, “Kevin and I knew each other between action and cut, and in between setups where we would giggle.”

However, when the cameras were off, Wright says she did not interact with him.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:35 PM

Harvey Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty To New Charges, Won’t Face Home Confinement

NEW YORK (NY)
Deadline

July 9, 2018

By Dade Hayes

Harvey Weinstein was led into a New York courtroom in handcuffs this morning and entered a plea of not guilty to charges of committing a forcible sexual act in the first degree.

Along with the plea, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke heard but did not rule on prosecutors’ demands for a more stringent bail arrangement. The debate about bail took up most of the 15-minute arraignment.

Weinstein, who wore a black suit and tie, has been out on $1 million bail and staying at his longtime family home in Connecticut in recent months. Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, the lead prosecutor, began the proceeding by asking that Weinstein instead be confined to house arrest in Manhattan given the more serious charges he now faces.

Last month, the Manhattan District Attorney hit Weinstein with heavier charges than he had previously been facing in New York, a more serious degree of sexual assault which could potentially put him in prison for life. The charge of committing a forcible sexual act in the first degree pertains to the allegations of a third woman, following the previous case based on the accounts of two other women.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:34 PM

Mother Teresa India charity home 'sold babies'

INDIA
BBC News

July 5, 2018

A woman working at Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand has been arrested for allegedly selling a 14-day-old baby.

Two other women employees from the centre have been detained and are being questioned about other possible cases.

Police took action after the state's Child Welfare Committee (CWC) registered a complaint.

The charity said the incident had "shocked" its members.

"We are shocked to know what has happened in our home... It is completely against our moral conviction. We are carefully looking into this matter. We will take all necessary precautions that it never happens again, if it has happened," Sunita Kumar of the Missionaries of Charity told the BBC.

Police officials said they were widening the scope of their inquiry.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:33 PM

Victims say grand jurors were compassionate during investigation into sex abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

July 7, 2018

By Marc Levy

One after another, witnesses beat back fear of revealing details many had kept largely private and recounted to grand jurors their stories of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests whom they had trusted.

As they spoke, many said they felt compassion from the grand jurors in the sweeping investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse and cover-ups in six Pennsylvania dioceses. And they felt believed.

Now, many are eagerly anticipating the public release of the grand jury report, which is pending clearance from Pennsylvania's highest court as justices sort through arguments by current and former clergy named in the document that releasing it would violate their constitutional rights.

"I was scared and probably, in the first few minutes, visibly shaking because it's big," said James VanSickle, recalling his experience as a witness. "It's like, 'Wow, I've held this secret for so long and now I'm telling you the details and I want to get this right.' There's a lot going through your head."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:32 PM

Stan Rosenberg Files Lawsuit to Reveal Hefner Accuser’s Identity

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Magazine

July 6, 2018

By Hayley Glatter

Last month, Doe filed court documents alleging Rosenberg knew his husband posed a threat to others but did not act.

As Bryon Hefner’s sexual misconduct scandal unfolded, his husband, former Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, lost his powerful position at the State House, the trust of his colleagues, and the respect of his constituents.

And now, it seems, he’s comfortable with losing his polite, wonkish, nice-guy reputation, too.

On Tuesday, Rosenberg’s attorney filed court documents requesting that the identity of Hefner’s unnamed accuser be revealed publicly on the grounds that there’s not a strong enough case to warrant anonymity, the Boston Herald reports.

“[John Doe] fails to advance any grounds sufficient to justify permitting him to continue to level highly public, incendiary, and destructive allegations against Mr. Rosenberg from behind ‘a cloak of anonymity,’” Rosenberg’s attorney, Michael Pineault, wrote in the filings, according to the Herald.

Hefner’s attorney, Tracy Miner, filed court documents to the same effect on Thursday and told the Herald that releasing Doe’s name is necessary because “nobody can challenge his credibility publicly because he is anonymous.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:30 PM

Stanley Rosenberg seeks to publicly identify Bryon Hefner’s sex assault accuser

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

July 6, 2018

By Brian Dowling

Ex-Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg and his estranged husband, Bryon Hefner, want to remove the “cloak of anonymity” shielding the John Doe who has sued them over his sexual assault claims, but a victim’s rights advocate is calling it an “intimidation tactic.”

In a filing made minutes before Suffolk Superior Court closed Tuesday ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, Rosenberg’s attorney argued the alleged victim’s request to remain known publicly as John Doe is not compelling enough to outweigh the court’s default of having parties in a lawsuit reveal their names.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:29 PM

New Australian law requires that all partners must say 'yes' – out loud

AUSTRALIA
Yahoo Lifestyle

July 7, 2018

By Tanya Edwards

The nuances of sexual consent have been on the table recently thanks to the #MeToo movement, and one state in Australia is trying to clarify what consent should actually look like.

The new law states, in effect, that if you want to have sex you must ask for it clearly, and then hear a verbal “yes” back, under new reforms announced by the New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia, the New York Post reports.

The state, which is on the east coast of Australia (Sydney is its capital), has placed sexual consent at the core of a strategy to battle sexual assault after a high-profile rape case seemed to show that the existing laws did not protect victims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:28 PM

[LISTEN] WHISTLE-BLOWER IN SOWETO CHURCH SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL OPENS UP

CAPE TOWN (SOUTH AFRICA)
Eyewitness News

July 9, 2018

Sinethemba Mbuli was employed by the Kingdom Prayer Ministry in 2017.

He exposed child sexual abuse after witnessing an incident at one of the church’s branches in December last year.

“I started experiencing bad things that were happening at the church. In December last year, they had a huge service in one of the community halls in Soweto and that was the first time I saw the prophet sleeping with a minor in one of the pastor's cars.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:27 PM

Hewlett-Woodmere teacher charged with sexual abuse

GARDEN CITY (NY)
LI Herald

July 6, 2018

By Jeff Bessen

Dylan T. Stolz teaches fourth grade at Ogden Elementary School

A fourth-grade teacher at Ogden Elementary School in the Hewlett-Woodmere School District who was working at an upstate summer camp for boys was arrested on July 4 and charged with five counts of first-degree sexual abuse, state police said.

The school district sent a letter to parents on July 5. In part the letter states: The district “has taken appropriate and responsible action to address this matter. The Hewlett-Woodmere School District immediately placed this individual on administrative reassignment pending the outcome of this matter.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:25 PM

Nun at charity founded by Mother Teresa arrested, accused of trafficking babies

INDIA
Fox News

July 7, 2018

By Hollie McKay

A nun and one other employee serving at a Missionaries of Charity center in India founded by Mother Teresa has been arrested and accused of child trafficking.

Acting on a series of complaints, the Indian Child Welfare Committee (CWC) affirmed that they are in the process of investigating the sale of a newborn baby boy from the Nirmal Hriday (Pure Hearts) home to a couple in Uttar Pradesh for 120,000 rupees – around $1,700. The baby was reported to have been born at the charity on March 19 and sold through the black market to a couple on May 14.

The nun at the center of the scandal, publicly identified only as Concilia, was detained on July 4 and the following day was placed under judicial custody by the court. Another employee from the center, set up by the late Mother Teresa -- who was canonized as St. Teresa in 2016 -- was also arrested in connection to alleged trafficking cases.

The charity has expressed shock over the allegations.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:08 PM

SUSPENDED GREENE COUNTY PRIEST PERMANENTLY BARRED FROM MINISTRY

ALBANY (NY)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

June 30, 2018

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger announced today that he has permanently barred Rev.
Jeremiah Nunan, 81, from ministry after the Albany Diocese Review Board found reasonable grounds to believe he had sexually abused a minor in the early 1990s.

Nunan was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese six years ago. He was barred from officiating at sacraments, wearing clerical garb, or presenting himself as a priest. Bishop Scharfenberger accepted the recommendation of the Diocese Review Board following an independent investigation and confirmed Nunan’s permanent removal from ministry. Nunan has denied the allegation.

The Bishop’s actions were taken in accordance with the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Albany Diocese’s zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse of children by clerics. Nunan’s name will be added to the list of known clergy offenders published by Bishop Scharfenberger two years ago on the diocesan website. (www.rcda.org/offices/protecting-children-young-people)

When Nunan was accused of sexual abuse in 2012, the Albany Diocese, consistent with its policy, immediately notified the Greene County District Attorney and announced that Nunan had been placed on administrative leave. An earlier allegation against Nunan, received in 2006 and involving alleged abuse in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was investigated by the Independent Mediation Assistance Program but could not be substantiated.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:07 PM

A year since leader’s death, ultra-Orthodox ‘cult’ hibernates in Central America

GUATEMALA
Times of Israel

July 7, 2018

By Maya Kroth

As elusive as they are radically devout, Lev Tahor, which fled from North to Central America following accusations of child abuse, lays low after chief rabbi drowns in river

It’s been almost a year since Shlomo Helbrans drowned in Mexico, leaving Lev Tahor, the controversial religious sect he founded in Israel in the 1980s, without its charismatic leader.

The flock, which followed Helbrans from Jerusalem’s Beit Yisrael neighborhood to Brooklyn to the snowy suburbs of Montreal before settling in tropical Guatemala, now faces an uncertain future.

Driven by Helbrans’s anti-Zionist beliefs and known for its extreme customs — women and girls are covered head-to-toe by full-length black garments, marriages are arranged and separation by gender is strictly enforced — Lev Tahor has been dogged by legal troubles everywhere it’s gone.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:58 PM

Archbishop Philip Wilson losing faith of Adelaide priests following NSW court conviction

ADELAIDE (AUSTRALIA)
The Advertiser

By Matthew Abraham and Andrew Hough

July 7, 2018

A senior Adelaide Catholic Church priest has publicly called for Archbishop Philip Wilson to resign over his conviction for covering up child-sex abuse, signalling a mounting grassroots crisis of confidence.

Monsignor Rob Egar, a respected and influential cleric, told the Sunday Mail that many, if not most South Australian-based priests, now believed Wilson, 67, should quit.

His public intervention came as the Vatican and Australia’s Ambassador to the Holy See remained silent.

Monsignor Egar, a former Vicar-General in the 1990s and a member of the Council of Priests, said he should offer his resignation to Pope Francis as a clear sign of “compassion” for abuse victims.

“The priests of the archdiocese have great sympathy for Archbishop Wilson in his daunting dilemma and are conscious of his tireless leadership in the area of the protection of children,” he said in a statement.

“However, many priests, if not most, believe that, as a demonstrable sign of the Church’s compassion towards the victims of abuse, it would be most appropriate for the Archbishop to offer to Pope Francis his resignation.”

In his 60 years as a priest, Monsignor Egar has worked in the Croydon, Brighton, Morphett Vale, Salisbury, Glenelg and Seacombe Gardens parishes.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:44 AM

Where does a priest get the money to retain an expensive lawyer?

MECHANICSBURG (PA)
PennLive

July 9, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

When they take their vows, Catholic priests make two promises: to be celibate and to obey. They are expected to lead simple lives. (Only religious order priests take vows of poverty.)

So where does a priest get the money to hire a high-power attorney?

The answer underscores the long-standing patterns that have emerged nationwide and even worldwide in the decades-old clergy sex abuse scandal.

"They are not paying for it themselves. Of that I'm sure," said Charles Zech, director of the Center for Church Management and Business Ethics at Villanova University.

There are several possible funding sources, he said. The dioceses, or religious orders, even pro bono work, but that's not likely.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:07 AM

Police investigating after priest 'spat on and verbally abused' during Orange Walk

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Buzz.ie

July 8, 2018

By Ruairi Scott Byrne

Police in Scotland are investigating after it was claimed a catholic priest had been spat on, verbally abused and attacked as a large Orange parade passed by.

The incident happened outside St Alphonsus’ church in Glasgow at around 4.20pm yesterday as Canon Tom White was meeting parishioners following Mass.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow claims the priest was spat on, 'lunged at' by a man carrying a weapon and pelted with verbal abuse as people congregated for vigil mass.

In a statement on Facebook, the Archdiocese said that both Canon White and his parishioners had been “subjected to vile abuse”.

He wrote: “Yesterday evening after vigil Mass at St Alphonsus, Canon Tom White was meeting and greeting parishioners. An Orange march approached.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:05 AM

Catholic Bishop Says Gay Adoption Is ‘Moral Abuse’ of Children

LA GRANGE (IL)
Catholic Citizens of Illinois

July 8, 2018

By Thomas D. Williams

“Entrusting children to so-called homosexual couples constitutes in the last analysis a moral abuse of children, the smallest and most defenseless,” said Bishop Athanasius Schneider in an interview with Italian media last week.

Mincing no words, the bishop said gay adoption “will go down in history as one of the greatest degradations of civilization. Those who daily combat this gross injustice are the true friends of children and the heroes of our age.”

An auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, Schneider told the Italian daily Il Giornale that the “Catholic Church, just like every human person with good sense and sound reason, has always rejected homosexual activity.”

Handing children over to homosexual couples “is a violation of the fundamental right of every child to grow up and be raised by a dad and a mom,” he said.

The bishop’s words come in the wake of an ongoing battle in the United States over the unwillingness of adoption and foster care agencies run by the Catholic Church to place children in homes with gay couples.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:01 AM

Growing Calls for Australian Archbishop Who Concealed Child Abuse to Resign

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Voice of America

July 7, 2018

By Phil Mercer

The Australian archbishop convicted for covering up child abuse says he will appeal his sentence and will not resign. His defiance has prompted criticism from the Prime Minister and other political leaders, who are urging Philip Wilson to quit. He is the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of concealing child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Wilson has been given a maximum sentence of 12 months in custody, but is likely to avoid jail and serve his time in home detention.

He has said he would only resign if his appeal against his conviction for covering up child abuse fails. It is, however, a stance that has been widely condemned. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was surprised the 67-year old Catholic cleric had decided not to quit immediately, and urged him to do so. There is also mounting pressure within the Catholic Church for Wilson to stand down from a position he has held for 18 years.

Members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, which represents the Church's hierarchy, are also reported to have advised him to resign.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:57 AM

Cheyenne Diocese: Abuse allegations against retired bishop 'credible'

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

July 3, 2018

by Brian Roewe

Joseph Hart, restricted from ministry, served as bishop from 1976-2001

A recent investigation by the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming, found that allegations of sexual abuse of minors against retired Bishop Joseph Hart are "credible and require disciplinary action," challenging a past inquiry by a local district attorney that has now been called "flawed."

Hart, who served as Cheyenne bishop from 1976 to 2001, has been restricted from public ministry since September 2015. He has faced allegations of sexual abuse dating back to his time as a priest (1956-1976) in the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, Diocese.

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The ministerial restrictions will remain in place, said Cheyenne Bishop Steven Biegler, 59, following an outside investigator's report that concluded Hart, 86, as bishop had sexually abused two boys in Wyoming.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our children. We have zero tolerance for sexual abuse of any kind," Biegler said in a statement issued Monday. "If there is ever any indication of abuse brought to our attention, it will be reported to the civil authorities and investigated thoroughly, even when the allegations involve a Bishop."

Hart has repeatedly denied all accusations of sexual abuse of minors.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:52 AM

Pope to Bishops: Do as You Please, But Say Nice Stuff and the Media with Cover for You

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle

July 8, 2018

By Betty Clermont

Some facts withheld by the mainstream U.S. media:

- Pope Francis has sponsored only 6 refugee families although the Vatican owns thousands of apartments in Rome.
- Over 800 U.S faith communities provide sanctuary for immigrants but not the American bishops although they own an estimated 70,000 buildings.
- Pope Francis gives only 20% of billions earmarked for charity to the poor.
- Catholic Charities of Chicago gives only 27% of its revenue to the poor.
- Pope Francis has packed the Vatican with vulture capitalists.
- Many U.S. bishops use “Catholic Foundations” to hide their assets and investments.

Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich is “the American point person for Pope Francis.” Cupich often acts as his mouthpiece, defender and envoy.

Cupich had a private audience with Pope Francis last May 17, less than a month before the U.S. bishops held their spring meeting. Under discussion was the document, “Faithful Citizenship,” a voting guide issued every four years by the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) since 1976, last revised in 2015.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:49 AM

July 8, 2018

Archdiocese of New Orleans pays 'substantial' sum to resolve rape claims against deacon

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

June 20, 2018

By Jim Mustian

[Note: When it appeared several weeks ago, this article was not blogged in Abuse Tracker.]

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has paid more than a half-million dollars to settle claims that a longtime deacon and teacher repeatedly raped an altar boy at Holy Rosary School in New Orleans more than three decades ago.

The settlement, paid this month, brought a swift conclusion to a lawsuit filed earlier this year that accused the archdiocese of allowing a "sexual predator" to work among children in Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and doing "nothing to intervene and prevent such misconduct from occurring."

The lawsuit, filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, claimed the abuse began in 1979, when the boy was 8 years old and in the third grade, and continued until he was in the sixth grade.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:48 AM

Disgraced New Orleans deacon continued as lay minister despite abuse claims; archbishop 'embarrassed'

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

July 7, 2018

By Jim Mustian

Last weekend, a parishioner pulled up to St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church but drove away before walking into the sanctuary.

The woman decided not to attend Mass, she said, because she could no longer stomach the sight of George F. Brignac, a defrocked deacon who as recently as last month served as a lector at the Metairie church — reading Scripture and announcements — despite years of sexual abuse allegations that prompted his removal from the ministry in 1988.

Brignac, 83, remained in this public role even after the Archdiocese of New Orleans this spring quietly paid more than $500,000 to settle claims that he repeatedly raped an 8-year-old altar boy at Holy Rosary School more than three decades ago.

At least a half-dozen other boys accused Brignac of molestation throughout his tenure as a Catholic school teacher — allegations that fell on deaf ears within a church that stubbornly supported him through three police investigations.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:43 AM

Publisher's Notebook: Torn Between Faith and Profession

WASILLA (AK)
The Frontiersman

July 8, 2018

By Dennis Anderson

I’m a cradle Catholic. I typically avoid movies concerning the church. Hollywood doesn’t always portray Catholics and our faith in the best of lights. When the movie ‘Spotlight’ was released, I had zero interest in watching the film. ‘Spotlight’ tells the story behind the Boston Globe’s investigative journalism team’s efforts to uncover the widespread of child sex abuse by priests in the Boston area. Subsequently, they uncovered that the church not only knew about these priests, but made unbelievable efforts to conceal the epidemic.

All told, there were over 90 priests confirmed to have been involved. The Globe’s investigation revealed that the church, lawyers and some of the faithful went to great links to keep the accusations quiet. The team also exposed the fact that psychologists working with the church believed that these priests could be rehabilitated. Some were declared cured and sent back into parishes only to abuse again. One such priest was John J. Geoghan, and since the mid-1990’s, more than 130 people have come forward with horrific tales of his abuse, according to the original Boston Globe article released in January of 2002. Geoghan was the early focus of the team because the church successfully had the court documents attached to his case sealed.

Released in 2015, the movie was critically acclaimed. Those involved in the movie raked in the awards in 2016 including the Academy Award of Best Picture. I’ll typically search out movies that are this lauded. I just wouldn’t budge on this one. Another shot fired at the faithful, I reconciled in my mind. But I had no idea what the movie was about, other than a scandal that I was personally in denial about.

One evening, while searching through Netflix for something to watch, ‘Spotlight’ appeared in the recently added folder. I checked out the trailer and decided to acquiesce. The trailer had me intrigued because it portrayed that the movie was focused on the passionate efforts of the Spotlight team. So, I watched.

At this time, I was in my first year as Publisher of the Frontiersman. As I watched the movie I never felt so conflicted. As the reporters dug deeper and actors portraying victims told their stories, I was riveted. My emotions ranged from disbelief because, after all, it’s just a movie to the embarrassment that I blindly followed my church to the point where it could do no wrong.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:40 AM

Duterte confesses: I stopped as Catholic after priests’ abuse

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Manila Bulletin

July 8, 2018

By Genalyn Kabiling

Under fire for his controversial statements about God, President Duterte has revealed that he stopped being a Catholic after enduring sexual abuse from a priest in high school.

The President said after the “terrible” incident in school, he created his own God who values justice and fairness.

“Something terrible happened when we were young. It’s not really that serious. But fondling while confessing, we were being fondled so when I graduated, hindi na ako Katoliko. Hindi na ako Katoliko [I was no longer a Catholic. I was no longer a Catholic] at that age. I was not even in politics then,” Duterte said during the inauguration of Malayan Colleges Mindanao in Davao City.

“But pag-graduate ko, I created my own God. ‘Yung nakikita kong values na justice [After graduation, I created my own God based on the values I have seen like justice] — what is justice, fairness — I have always said in Davao, ‘My God is my service to the people.’ Period,” he added.

The President earlier bared that the late Fr. Mark Falvey molested him and other high school students while studying at Ateneo de Davao University. The incident allegedly happened during the sacrament of penance or confession in school.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:28 AM

Women’s panel to monitor sexual abuse case against priests

ABU DHABI (UAE)
Gulf News

July 7, 2018

NCW member Rekha Sharma meets victim at her house

Thiruvalla (Kerala) - The National Commission for Women (NCW), which took suo motu cognisance of a woman’s allegation of sexual exploitation by five priests of the Kottayam-headquartered Malankara Orthodox Church, on Saturday said that they will closely monitor the case.

NCW member Rekha Sharma met the victim at her house in the presence of her close relatives and found out from her about the case. She later told the media that it was most unfortunate that these priests have misused their position.

“It’s to be noted that one of the accused passed on the information to the other accused about the victim. I will be calling them as hooligans, as they have misused their position. We will ask the head of the Church why these things are happening,” she said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:25 AM

Witnesses await church sex abuse report with hope for change

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press

July 8, 2018

By Marc Levy

One after another, witnesses beat back fear of revealing details many had kept largely private and recounted to grand jurors their story of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests whom they had trusted.

As they spoke, many said they felt compassion from the grand jurors in the sweeping investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse and cover-ups in six of Pennsylvania dioceses. And they felt believed.

Now, many are eagerly anticipating the public release of the grand jury report, which is pending clearance from Pennsylvania’s highest court as justices sort through arguments by current and former clergy named in the document that releasing it would violate their constitutional rights.

“I was scared and probably, in the first few minutes, visibly shaking because it’s big,” said James VanSickle, recalling his experience as a witness. “It’s like, ‘wow, I’ve held this secret for so long and now I’m telling you the details and I want to get this right.’ There’s a lot going through your head.”

Dozens of witnesses testified in the state attorney general’s two-year grand jury investigation that victim advocates expect will produce the largest and most exhaustive clergy sexual abuse report by a U.S. state.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:22 AM

July 7, 2018

Hunter abuse survivor Peter Gogarty has invited Pope Francis for a talk about Archbishop Philip Wilson's future

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
Herald

July 6, 2018

By Joanne McCarthy

Hunter abuse survivor Peter Gogarty has gone straight to the Pope with a plea for him to sack Archbishop Philip Wilson, and an offer to discuss the reasons why over the phone.

Mr Gogarty has included his mobile phone number in a letter to Pope Francis on Thursday after Wilson refused to resign following a jail sentence after he was convicted of concealing Hunter Catholic priest Jim Fletcher’s child sex crimes. He intends to appeal the conviction.

“As the only person in the world who can take decisive action in this regard, I urge you to dismiss him from his post immediately,” wrote Mr Gogarty, who was sexually abused by Fletcher in the 1970s, and whose calls for Wilson to resign or be dismissed were backed this week by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:28 AM

More allegations against Kerala bishop in abuse case

ABU DHABI (UAE)
Gulf News

July 7, 2018

By Akhel Mathew

Priest claims that complaint against bishop had been brought before church leadership

Thiruvananthapuram - Churches of different denominations in Kerala continued to face allegations of abuse, with a priest being the latest to state that the Catholic Church leadership was in the know of the abuse case involving a nun.

The nun had accused a bishop from the state, now based at Jalandhar in Punjab, of sexually abusing her as many as 13 times during his visits to the church guest house in Kuravilangad near Kottayam.

The bishop has denied the nun’s claim, alleging instead that she had a personal vendetta against him for changing her from her duties.

Giving a different twist to the controversy, a priest based in Jalandhar told a local television channel that the complaint against the bishop had been brought before the church leadership, and that the leadership had “behaved irresponsibly”. He said the church leaders, instead of providing justice to the aggrieved nun, began to threaten her.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:22 AM

Fortieth statewide investigating grand jury: Selected postings

HARRISBURG (PA)
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

July 6, 2018

[The Supreme Court has posted six pleadings supporting and objecting to the media's Application to Intervene Seeking Public Access to Grand Jury Report, Docket Sheets, and Filings. These include AG Shapiro's response, a joint response in opposition and four other responses in opposition.]

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 10:03 AM

Pa. court agrees to hear objections to church abuse report

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press via PennLive

July 6, 2018

By Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy

[Includes video 'It will be the worst': Rep. Mark Rozzi speaking on upcoming Catholic Church grand jury report and on SOL reform in Pennsylvania.]

Pennsylvania's highest court on Friday decided against immediately releasing an investigative grand jury's report into allegations of decades of child sexual abuse in six Roman Catholic dioceses, instead saying it would hear arguments from priests and others that making it public would violate their constitutional rights.

The state Supreme Court gave lawyers for those who object to being named in the nearly 900-page report and want to prevent its disclosure until Tuesday to lay out their arguments in writing, and the attorney general's office until July 13 to respond.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro has said he wants the report made public as soon as possible, noting that unindicted people who were cited in the report in a way that "could be construed as critical" were given an unrestricted right to file responses that are expected to be released along with the report.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:53 AM

Challenging a grand jury is rare, but some legal observers say it might make sense

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 6, 2018

By Julian Routh

The legal battle over the release of a report on sexual abuse has called into question the very nature of the grand jury that investigated and wrote about decades of abuse in Catholic dioceses across Pennsylvania.

The Roman Catholic dioceses of Greensburg and Harrisburg last year sought to shut down the statewide grand jury investigating sexual abuse by priests in six dioceses, including their own, contending that the creation of the grand jury lacked a legal justification. And in filings on behalf of more than two dozen clergy petitioners, lawyers on Thursday challenged the release of the mammoth report, claiming it leaves their clients “wrongly accused and falsely implicated.”

According to two Pennsylvania legal experts, the courtroom maneuvering over this grand jury's report is unprecedented in its strategy, and has triggered a complex discussion about the rights of the accused and the defense of their reputations. The challenges have been both to the validity of the grand jury itself and to the way in which it has done its work.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:43 AM

July 6, 2018

Obispo de Calama suspende a sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual a menor

CALAMA (CHILE)
El Mostrador

July 5, 2018

[Bishop of Calama suspends priest accused of child sexual abuse]

El obispo de Calama, Oscar Blanco, informó que suspendió al sacerdote Jordi Jorba Navarro, de la Parroquia Asunción de la Virgen, luego de recibir una denuncia por abuso sexual en contra de un menor de edad, hecho que habría ocurrido en el año 2003.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:07 PM

Clergy claim false accusations in grand jury report

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 5, 2018

By Peter Smith

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/faith-religion/2018/07/05/Clergy-sexual-abuse-Catholic-priests-grand-jury-attorney-general-Josh-Shapiro-Diocese-of-Pittsburgh-Greensburg-Harrisburg-Allentown-Erie-Scranton/stories/201807050134

Attorneys for more than two dozen people, including current and former clergy members, are challenging the release of a mammoth report by a statewide grand jury of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, claiming Thursday the report leaves them “wrongly accused and falsely implicated.”

The challengers — who also include the executrix for a deceased person named by the grand jury as an offender within the Diocese of Pittsburgh — denounced the report as riddled with “inaccuracies and falsities” and alleged that the supervising judge of the 40th statewide grand jury failed in his duty to ensure the report was based on at least a “preponderance of evidence.”

Attorney General Josh Shapiro defended the report’s integrity in a statement later Thursday.

“The report is accurate and these individuals have had the chance to respond, and their responses will be included in the final grand jury report,” he said. “This legal filing is nothing more than a desperate attempt to stop the public from learning the truth about their abhorrent conduct.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:56 AM

Former priest charged with historic abuse of young boy at a Huddersfield school

HUDDERSFIELD (ENGLAND)
Huddersfield Daily Examiner

July 5, 2018

By Emma Davison

David Crowley allegedly assaulted the child while working at a Catholic primary school in Huddersfield

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A former priest has appeared in court accused of abusing a young boy at a Huddersfield school.

David Crowley, 64, is charged with three counts of indecent assault and three offences of gross indecency with a boy.

The charges are historic, dating between the late 1970s and early 1980s when Crowley was a priest and working at a Catholic primary school in the town.

The victim came into contact with Crowley and other boys during the course of his employment, prosecutor Andy Wills said.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:51 AM

Catholic Church finally cracking down on pedophile priests

EVANSVILLE (IN)
Courier & Press

July 5, 2018

By Mary Sanchez

To even casual observers of recent news about the Catholic Church, it's clear that a new day has dawned.

Finally, after decades of stalling, denials and civil lawsuits, Catholic dioceses seem to recognize their accountability for the criminal behavior of pedophile priests.

Consider the case of retired Bishop Joseph Hart. The former prelate of Cheyenne, Wyo., now 86 years old, could face criminal charges under what the current bishop of Cheyenne has deemed credible and substantiated accusations of sexual abuse.

News of the case traveled ahead of the headlines to Kansas City, where Hart was ordained in 1956. Many believe that is where he first groomed young boys for sexual abuse in the parishes where he served until 1976.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:47 AM

Current and former clergy members behind push to block report on clergy sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

July 5, 2018

By Angela Couloumbis and Liz Navratil

Harrisburg - Nearly two dozen current and former members of the clergy are among those seeking to block the release of a highly anticipated grand jury report outlining decades of alleged sexual abuse by clergy in Catholic dioceses across the state, according to a court document filed Thursday.

The revelation that clergy members are behind the fierce secret legal battle came in response to a push by the Inquirer and Daily News, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and seven other news organizations, which have together asked the state Supreme Court to lift its stay on the report’s release.

News organizations have called the report a “matter of extraordinary public importance.” The more than 800-page grand jury report, which was expected to have been released last month, details alleged clergy abuse in all of the state’s Catholic dioceses except for Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, which already were the subject of similar investigations.

The documents filed Thursday offered a glimpse into the intense legal maneuvering that could result in the report’s being permanently shielded from the public. They also offered the most detail to date about the people who have fought for months to keep their names out of the public realm.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:39 AM

Pennsylvania attorney general, lawyers for clergy, argue over grand jury report release

ALLENTOWN and HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press via Morning Call

July 5, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

[See the docket.]

Pennsylvania's attorney general and lawyers for current and retired priests came down on opposite sides over an effort by news organizations, including The Morning Call, to unseal an extensive report into child sexual abuse and attempts to cover it up in several Roman Catholic dioceses.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a filing to the state Supreme Court supporting the release that his office opposes requests by unnamed parties to present their own evidence, question witnesses and rewrite the grand jury report "in accordance with their preferred view of the facts." He argued the report should not be delayed, calling it a matter of exceptional public interest.

"Hundreds of victims, thousands of parishioners and many members of the community are awaiting the report," Shapiro wrote. "The longer it is held, the greater the risk of undermining public confidence in the judicial system."

Shapiro called the priests' criticism of the report “nothing more than a desperate attempt to stop the public from learning the truth about their abhorrent conduct.”

Lawyers for nearly two dozen unnamed current and retired clergy members filed a group response that described the report as replete with errors and "improper assertions," arguing that without revisions the report will irreparably harm their reputations and deny them the due process the law guarantees.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 5:34 AM

July 5, 2018

Rev. Dozia J. Wilson– Assignment History

ALBANY (NY)
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Dozia J. Wilson was a priest of the Diocese of Albany, ordained in 1972. Early on he was an assistant parish priest in Albany, Diocesan Director of Urban Ministry and Chaplain at the La Salle School for Boys. In May 1976 Wilson was transferred to the Archdiocese of Boston, where he was Administrator of St. Joseph's in Roxbury until April 1979. He was moved to a Rochester NY parish for several months, to St. Ann's in Fort Ann for a short while, followed by a decade at St. Mary's in Hudson. While there he was Chaplain at the Columbia County jail and Columbia-Greene Community College.

Allegations against Wilson are first known to have surfaced in 1976, when some parents complained to the District Attorney that Wilson had sexually abused two boys at an Albany hotel. The diocese was given an ultimatum by the D.A.: either move the priest out of the area or he faces prosecution. Wilson was quietly moved to Boston. In 1997 a young man reported to Cardinal Law in a letter that Wilson sexually abused him over a two-year period, beginning in 1976, when he was a 15-year-old boy. The man said that Wilson had begun giving him alcohol and marijuana in Albany in 1973, and that he and his younger brother were taken by Wilson to Boston, where they lived with him in the rectory of St. Joseph's. The man filed a civil lawsuit which was settled in 2003. In another lawsuit, filed in 2004, Wilson was accused of the sexual abuse of a boy from 1980 to 1985, beginning when the boy was age 14. This accuser said he first met the the priest at St. Ann's at age 14, and considered him a father figure. Wilson allegedly would give the boy gifts and take him on trips, including to Boston and the West Coast, and abused him after plying him with alcohol and marijuana.

Records show that Wilson was sent for treatment in November 1978 and that, in May 1979, he asked the Bishop of Tulsa OK for permission to work in his diocese. Nothing came of that. In 1991 he was sent to a rehabilitation for the treatment of alcoholism, after which he was not reassigned. He resigned from ministry in 1993.

Wilson went on to work for ten years as a spiritual advisor at a residential treatment program for boys in Dobbs Ferry. He was fired in 2003 after being beaten up by an 18-year-old male he had picked up in Manhattan.

Ordained: May 13, 1972

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:33 PM

Rev. Dennis C. Chludzinski– Assignment History

ERIE (PA)
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Dennis C. Chludzinski was a priest of the Diocese of Erie, ordained in 1976. He assisted for a year each at two parishes then, in 1978, went on leave of absence. From 1979 to 1982 he was assigned to St. Mark's Seminary, after which he is no longer indexed in the Official Catholic Directory.

Chludzinski's name was included on the diocese's list released April 6, 2018 of priests, lay employees and volunteers accused of sexually abusing minors. He was noted to have been laicized and living in Erie.

Ordained: 1976

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:32 PM

Rev. Thaddeus T. Kondzielski – Assignment History

ERIE (PA)
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Thaddeus T. Kondzielski was ordained for the Diocese of Erie in 1967. He taught at Cathedral Preparatory High School for twenty years, living most of that time at St. Hedwig parish. He went on leave of absence in 1987 and was assigned the following year to St. Philip's in Crossingsville, where he remained until his retirement in 2013.

Kondzielski's name was included on the Erie diocese's list released April 6, 2018 of priests and lay employees and volunteers accused of sexually abusing minors. He was noted to be not allowed to function as priest, and was living in Waterford, PA.

Ordained: 1967
Retired: 2013

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:30 PM

Republican congressman calls police on former students who say he ignored sex abuse

COLUMBUS (OH)
ThinkProgress

July 5, 2018

By Addy Baiird

"Please leave me out of it."

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) claims he is being “bullied” by former Ohio State wrestlers who accuse the congressman of turning a blind eye to the sexual abuse of hundreds of student athletes while he worked as the assistant wrestling coach from 1986 to 1994.

According to a CNN report Wednesday, Jordan will contact the Capitol police after receiving emails from one of the wrestlers who has accused Jordan of doing nothing about the sexual abuse by the team doctor, Dr. Richard Strauss.

A source in Jordan’s office told CNN that the emails were threatening because of how many had been sent but provided no other details about why the congressman believes he is being “bullied.”

CNN did report that emails between Ohio State wrestler Michael DiSabato and the congressman obtained by CNN show DiSabato sent Jordan an email on April 24 expressing concerns about the sexual abuse scandal, and asked Jordan to help given his knowledge of it. DiSabato told CNN there was no response.

CNN reported that DiSabato has been sending emails for “months” and Jordan didn’t respond because he didn’t want to “encourage the behavior.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:08 PM

Michigan State criticized over head of complaints office

LANSING (MI)
The Associated Press

July 3, 2018

Michigan State University has hired an attorney who defended the school against sexual assault lawsuits to head the office handling sexual assault complaints, sparking pushback from victim advocates.

The university's interim president, John Engler, appointed Robert Kent this month to temporarily lead the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance, the Detroit Free Press reported. The school cited his expertise in such cases as its assistant general counsel.

The move comes in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving former sports doctor Larry Nassar . Hundreds of women and girls have said he sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment, including when he worked for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:06 PM

Theo Fleury can talk to Graham James while abuser serves sentence

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

July 4, 2018

By Paul Cherry

The change to James's parole appears to be based on a request from Fleury, who said in an interview that he wants to speak with James as part of a documentary.
The Parole Board of Canada has modified one of the conditions imposed on former junior hockey coach Graham James to allow the players he sexually abused to communicate with him while he continues to serve his sentence in Montreal.

The parole board recently made the decision while reviewing the conditions it set when James, 64, was released on full parole in September 2016 following a hearing at a federal penitentiary in Laval.

His first sentence, a 42-month prison term, began in 1997 and expired in 2000. One of the victims involved in that sentence was Sheldon Kennedy, who later played in the NHL. James did not reoffend, but other victims of his crimes, including former NHL player Theo Fleury, pursued charges several years later, which ultimately resulted in the seven-year prison term James is still serving.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:04 PM

Kevin Spacey: British police probing new sexual-assault allegations from three accusers

UNITED KINGDOM
USA TODAY

July 3, 2018

By Maria Puente

Kevin Spacey: London police probe new allegations

Kevin Spacey, the Oscar-winning actor who vanished from public view last fall after he was accused of sexually assaulting scores of young men or boys over years, was back in the news Tuesday with word that British police are investigating new allegations linked to him.

Scotland Yard confirmed to USA TODAY that it is investigating accusations of sexual assault made by three men who came forward in February and April, which would bring the known total of Spacey accusers in Britain to at least six.

Meanwhile, Australian actor Guy Pearce, who appeared with Spacey in the 1997 film "L.A. Confidential" (which garnered two Oscars), stunned an audience Down Under Tuesday when he obliquely suggested that Spacey had groped him during filming.

In an interview with chat-show host Andrew Denton, Pearce, 50, said it was "slightly difficult" to star opposite Spacey because he was "handsy." Pearce was hesitant to talk about Spacey when Denton mentioned his name.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:02 PM

BU Garners 16 CASE Awards

BOSTON (MA)
BU Today

July 3, 2018

Earns more honors for creative work than any other school worldwide

Boston University won a record 16 of this year’s CASE Circle of Excellence Awards, an international competition that honors outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing. For the fifth year in a row, the University took more honors than any other college or university belonging to the international organization.

The 2018 awards were announced earlier this month by CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education), one of the world’s largest professional associations for educational institutions.

Stephen Burgay, BU senior vice president for external affairs, says the extraordinary number of awards reflects the professionalism of the University’s staff and is indicative of a vibrant campus, where “faculty, staff, and students have award-winning stories to tell.

“Bringing these stories to life in interesting and compelling ways helps to define our community,” says Burgay. “It puts a human face on it, and it demonstrates the impact BU has in the city and the world at large.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:00 PM

Ex-wrestler says Rep. Jim Jordan witnessed lewd shower acts while a coach at Ohio State

COLUMBUS (OH)
Yahoo Sports

July 4, 2018

By Jason Owens

Multiple former Ohio State wrestlers have accused U.S. Representative Jim Jordan of turning a blind eye to alleged sexual abuse committed by team doctor Richard Strauss while he was was a coach for the Buckeyes.

Jordan, a prominent Republican from Ohio, was an assistant coach at OSU from 1986-94. NBC reported on Tuesday that three former OSU wrestlers described the alleged abuse by Strauss as common knowledge and that he assaulted as many as 2,000 student athletes from 1978-98.

“I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” Mike DiSabato, one of Strauss’s accusers, told NBC. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:58 PM

Retired French bishop to be tried for failing to report sexual abuse

FRANCE
La Croix

June 29, 2018

By Gauthier Vaillant

The former bishop of Orleans is charged with not reporting a priest even though he had been informed of the situation

A retired French bishop is expected to face trial before the end of this year along with the priest whose actions of sex abuse he is accused of having failed to report.

Retired Bishop André Fort, was bishop of Orleans from 2002 to 2010 while the 69-year-old Fr de C. is now accused of sexual assault “by violence, coercion, threat or subterfuge” on minors aged 15 who were in his charge.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:57 PM

L'ancien évêque d'Orléans sera jugé pour non dénonciation de pédophilie

ORLEANS (FRANCE)
France Bleu Béarn, France Bleu Orléans et France Bleu

June 28, 2018

By Eric Normand and Anne Oger

The former bishop of Orleans will be tried for non-reporting of pedophilia

André Fort, l'ancien évêque d'Orléans, est renvoyé devant le tribunal correctionnel d'Orléans pour n'avoir pas dénoncé les agressions sexuelles présumées d'un des prêtres de son diocèse, le père Pierre de Castelet. Six ans après le début de l'enquête, les deux hommes devraient donc être jugés.

Pierre de Castelet, l'ancien curé de Lorris, dans le Loiret est renvoyé devant la justice pour agressions sexuelles sur mineurs de moins 15 ans. Il devrait être jugé avant la fin de cette année devant le tribunal correctionnel d'Orléans aux côtés de l'ancien évêque d'Orléans, André Fort, renvoyé, lui, pour n'avoir pas dénoncé ces agressions, dont il aurait eu connaissance dès 2010.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:54 PM

Pédophilie dans l'église : "briser la culture du secret c'est très lourd dans un département comme le Loiret"

LOIRET (FRANCE)
France Bleu Orléans

June 28, 2018

By Anne Oger

Pedophilia in the church: "breaking the culture of secrecy is very heavy in a department like Loiret"

Après le renvoi devant la justice de l'ancien curé de Lorris, l'abbé Pierre de Castelet, et de l'ancien évêque d'Orléans, Monseigneur André Fort, pour agressions sexuelles et non-dénonciation de celles-ci, les victimes espèrent que cela contribuera à rompre la culture du silence au sein de l'Eglise.

Il y aura sans doute un procès dans l'affaire Pierre de Castelet, l'ancien curé de Lorris, très investi et très présent, jusqu'à une période récente (2016, date à laquelle l'évêque d'Orléans Jacques Blaquart l'a démis de toutes ses fonctions) dans les mouvements catholiques de jeunes, et notamment les scouts d'Europe, dont il a été l'aumônier à plusieurs reprises. Un procès pour agressions sexuelles sur mineurs de 15 ans par personne ayant autorité pour des faits remontant à juillet 1993, lors d'un camp de vacances organisé dans le Béarn par le Mouvement Eucharistique des Jeunes.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:51 PM

Pope Francis names Msgr. Michael Fisher as new auxiliary bishop of Washington

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic Standard

June 8, 2018

By Mark Zimmermann

Pope Francis has named Msgr. Michael William Fisher as a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington. Since 2006, Bishop-elect Fisher has served as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy and Secretary for Ministerial Leadership for the archdiocese, overseeing the recruitment, formation and care of its clergy.

The announcement of Pope Francis’s appointment of Bishop-elect Fisher was made on June 8 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio of Washington.

In a statement, Cardinal Donald Wuerl expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for appointing Bishop-elect Fisher as a new auxiliary bishop for Washington, noting that the priest “has made significant contributions to the pastoral life of this archdiocese.”

“Msgr. Fisher brings to this ministry recognized talent and demonstrated ability,” the cardinal said. “In particular, his concern for his brother priests, dedication to priestly ministry and his kind yet directive leadership will be gifts to this local Church as he serves in this new capacity.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:48 PM

Centenas de brasileiros foram escravizados por igreja evangélica nos Estados Unidos

BRAZIL
Diario de Noticias

First Published on July 24, 2017

By Lusa

Hundreds of Brazilians were enslaved by evangelical church in the United States

Igreja tirava os passaportes das vítimas, que falavam pouco inglês. Brasileiros eram depois forçados a trabalhar 15 horas por dia, sem salário

Centenas de brasileiros foram escravizados pela igreja evangélica Irmandade da Palavra da Fé (Word of Faith Fellowship Congregation) nos Estados Unidos, segundo uma investigação da agência de notícias Associated Press (AP) hoje divulgada.

De acordo com a investigação da AP, a Irmandade da Palavra da Fé utilizava as suas ramificações no Brasil para manter um fluxo constante de jovens trabalhadores -- que viajavam com vistos de turistas ou estudantes -- para o seu território de 14 hectares na zona rural de Spindale, na Carolina do Norte.

Os brasileiros falavam pouco a língua inglesa quando chegavam ao país e muitos viram os seus passaportes apreendidos. As vítimas eram forçadas a trabalhar 15 horas por dia, sem salário.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:38 PM

Editorial: Investigate the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

July 4, 2018

By Buffalo News Editorial Board

Imagine an organization. It’s well-regarded and has a long, storied history. But it has a dark side.

In addition to its many good works, certain members committed some of the worst offenses imaginable – crimes against children. Even worse, imagine that administrators had concocted a scheme to hush it all up in an effort to protect the organization.

A question inevitably arises: What then is the culpability of the organization?

In any setting but a church, the answer would be shouted from the courthouse steps. Should it be different when it is a church?

It shouldn’t, but in Erie County, it appears it is.

It is a matter of record here – and in Catholic dioceses around the world – that a notable minority of priests sexually abused children and that those cases were kept quiet. In some instances, priests were put on leave or, unthinkably, reassigned to other parishes.

Yet neither Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. nor Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood say they can follow the obvious trail and determine what responsibility, if any, extends into the church’s hierarchy. Both claim lack of jurisdiction, though expert observers disagree.

That leaves only a couple of likely explanations: lack of resources or, in a heavily Catholic region, lack of will.

The former is simply unacceptable, given the circumstances. So is the latter, but it also sells Catholics short. People of faith don’t need to be coddled. Strength is inherent in faith.

In other places, public officials have been willing to stand up for decency and accountability.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:49 AM

Evangelical Lutheran synod updating sexual misconduct policy that doesn't follow state law

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

July 2, 2018

By Tim Darragh

While six Catholic dioceses across the state await the release of a grand jury report cataloging decades of sexual misconduct by priests, the local synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church continues to operate under a sexual misconduct policy that doesn’t comply with state law.

The policy, posted on the Northeast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s website, says those who receive complaints about sexual misconduct should “consider whether civil authorities need to be informed when the alleged victim(s) is a minor.”

Elsewhere on the site, the synod lists the state’s child protective services law, which requires all congregation leaders, paid church employees who work with children, volunteers over age 18 who work with children, Sunday school teachers, nursery attendants, vacation Bible school volunteers and youth group leaders to be “mandated reporters.” Contrary to the synod’s policy, mandated reporters must contact law enforcement if they suspect abuse of a minor; the law does not allow them to “consider” whether to report it or not.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:46 AM

Harrisburg Diocese tried to stop grand jury investigating sex abuse claims, court documents say

LANCASTER (PA)
WGAL News 8

July 3, 2018

By Matt Barcaro

Harrisburg - The Harrisburg Catholic Diocese tried to stop a grand jury from investigating sex abuse claims last year, newly released court documents show.

This is the first time WGAL has confirmed details of dioceses trying to halt the grand jury probe.

According to the documents, the Harrisburg and Greensburg dioceses asked the court to stop the grand jury investigating sex abuse allegations at six dioceses in Pennsylvania. They argued that a grand jury can only be convened to investigate allegations of organized crime and public corruption.

A judge rejected that argument in November.

WGAL also learned the prior grand jury investigation into the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese ended without finishing its work. The current grand jury was needed to pick up where the previous one left off.

A spokesman for the Harrisburg Diocese said Tuesday that the diocese has always supported the release of the grand jury report but believes the investigation should have been handled by local district attorneys instead of a statewide grand jury.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:43 AM

Out of the dark, into the light: With abuse reports released, bishop looks to the future of Erie Diocese

SHARON (PA)
The Herald

July 3, 2018

By Melissa Klaric

http://www.sharonherald.com/news/local_news/out-of-the-dark-into-the-light-with-abuse-reports/article_c4b90dce-1dc5-560d-a904-899f7ddb6739.html

With abuse reports released, bishop looks to the future of Erie Diocese

Erie - Bishop Lawrence T. Persico says he didn’t set out to be a trailblazer.

But he has been touted as the first Catholic bishop to release a complete list of names of people accused of misconduct, including not only priests affiliated with his Erie Diocese, but lay people as well. He has also received praise for expanding the role of the office for the protection of children and updating its policy.

“I just wanted to do what was right,” the bishop said.

And that is his intention moving forward, he says, as the grand jury report is about to be made public on its investigation into sexual misconduct allegations by clergy and lay people over the past 70 years. The report covers the Erie Diocese along with five others in Allentown, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton.

Persico has had a chance to read the report on the Erie Diocese, but public release of the report was held up pending the resolution of legal issues. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed legal action Monday to have the report made public.

But now, in addition to looking back, the Erie bishop is looking forward.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:37 AM

State Supreme Court should order release of grand jury report on child sexual abuse in Catholic dioceses

LANCASTER (PA)
Lancaster Online

July 5, 2018

By the LNP Editorial Board

https://lancasteronline.com/opinion/editorials/state-supreme-court-should-order-release-of-grand-jury-report/article_d3a7eb08-7f2c-11e8-af99-03e481700233.html

Those seeking to keep under wraps a grand jury report on child sexual abuse allegations in the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania have until this afternoon to respond to a request to unseal it from The Associated Press, LNP and five other media organizations. As the AP reported, the deadline was set by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which put a stay on the release of the grand jury report last month. The grand jury’s supervising judge signaled his intention to file the report publicly, but its release was thwarted by the Supreme Court, which said it had to review legal challenges filed by individuals cited in the report. The grand jury investigation, which began in 2016, covered six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses (grand jury reports on the Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown dioceses were released previously).

Metaphors of darkness and light are frequently invoked by religious leaders, in religious writing, in the Bible itself.

Sin is believed to dwell in the darkness. Redemption lies in the light.

The metaphor applies here, too: The grand jury report detailing sexual abuse and cover-ups of that abuse in Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses needs to be made public without further delay.

That way lies light and healing for the victims of abuse. And they should be the priority here — at long last, they should be the priority.

The only people served by keeping the report sealed are the alleged offenders and those who enabled them. And they’ve already been given too much time, and much too much slack, to elude accountability.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro took legal action Monday to press for the report's release. He said in a statement that the “people of Pennsylvania have a right to see the report, know who is attempting to block its release and why, and to hear the voices of the victims of sexual abuse within the Church.”

We strongly agree.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:28 AM

Appeal looming over 'abuse' at seminary by Wigan priest

WIGAN (ENGLAND)
Wigan Today

July 4, 2018

By Peter Magill

An appeal is set to be heard later this month for a Catholic priest convicted of repeatedly abusing a teenage boy at a seminary near Wigan.

Law lords will rule upon the case of Father Michael Higginbottom, who worked at St Joseph’s College at Up Holland in the late 70s, after a hearing on July 24.

The 74-year-old, who last lived at West Farm Road in Newcastle, is currently serving a 17-year jail sentence.

Appeal court judges will be asked to consider the verdicts on eight sexual offences, said to involve Higginbottom, between September 1978 and March 1979.

The priest was convicted of abusing his alleged victim while he was a physics teacher at St Joseph’s which trained young boys wanting to become priests.

Earlier this year the Court of Appeal gave the minister leave to appeal after considering submissions from his legal team.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, sitting with Mr Justice Teare and Mr Justice Kerr, ruled that a previous fraud charge relating to the alleged victim, should have been admitted into evidence during the trial.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:22 AM

French priest-therapist removed from ministry for alleged sexual abuse

MONTROUGE (FRANCE)
La Croix International

July 5, 2018

By Céline Hoyeau

Msgr. Tony Anatrella is accused of having practiced 'body therapy' in order to 'heal' homosexuality and of having been involved in sexual abuse

The French Catholic Church has announced sanctions against Msgr. Tony Anatrella, who has been the subject of accusations by his former patients for more than 15 years.

Msgr. Anatrella, 77, is accused of having practiced “body therapy” in order to “heal” homosexuality and of having been involved in sexual abuse.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:12 AM

July 4, 2018

Juez envía a sacerdote a juicio de fondo, excluyen Arzobispado

SANTO DOMINGO (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
Listin Diario

July 4, 2018

[Judge sends priest to substantive trial, excludes archdiocese]

By Santiago Benjamín de la Cruz

Tras considerar que no se daban las condiciones legales para mantener la acusación en contra del Arzobispado de Santo Domingo en el caso del asesinato del menor Fernelis Carrión, por cuyo hecho guarda prisión el sacerdote Elvin Taveras Durán, el Segundo Juzgado de la Instrucción de Santo Domingo lo excluyó del caso y envió a juicio de fondo al acusado.


Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:26 PM

Un sacerdote español, imputado por el escándalo de los abusos en Chile

CHILE
InfoVaticana

July 4, 2018

[A Spanish priest, imputed by the scandal of the abuses in Chile]

En medio del huracán informativo que están suponiendo los abusos sexuales en la Iglesia de Chile, sale a la luz un nuevo sacerdote imputado: el marianista José Lázaro Lara Burgos, de nacionalidad española.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:25 PM

[OPINIÓN] Abusos en la Iglesia: verdad (y mentira) a medias

CHILE
Credochile.cl [blog]

July 2, 2018

[OPINION: Abuses in the Church: truth (and lie) half]

By Credo Chile

Los abusos sexuales a menores y adultos cometidos por sacerdotes y religiosos católicos así como su encubrimiento son injustificables y la Iglesia debe evitar que se repitan, partiendo por separar a los culpables de sus funciones. Los abusadores, sus encubridores y las autoridades eclesiásticas que no hicieron lo suficiente para evitar que estos sucesos siguieran ocurriendo han traicionado la confianza de los fieles causando un daño imposible de dimensionar tanto para las víctimas como para la misión de la Iglesia. Digo esto para que el lector no piense que mi intención al escribir este artículo es defender lo indefendible.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:14 AM

Ex acólito abusado en parroquia de Constitución demandará a la Iglesia

CONSTITUCIÓN, TALCA PROVINCE (CHILE)
Cooperativa

June 30, 2018

[Ex-altar boy abused in the parish of Constitución will sue the Church]

By Jaime Morales Amaya

Cristian Alcaíno llevará a la justicia ordinaria su caso ocurrido cuando tenía 11 años.

El abogado Fernando Leal prepara la acción jurídica que contempla al Vaticano.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:06 AM

OPINIÓN: Abusos en la Iglesia católica: ¿por qué necesitamos una Comisión de Verdad?

CHILE
El Mostrador

June 28, 2018

[OPINION: Abuses in the Catholic Church: Why do we need a Truth Commission?]

By Daniela Bolívar

La Comisión debe ser un espacio de escucha y recibimiento para las víctimas, pero el acto de escuchar no es suficiente: debe reunir los testimonios y analizarlos en un informe que sea de conocimiento público, donde queden plasmados los abusos y las falencias estructurales y sistemáticas que podrían haber facilitado la ocurrencia o el encubrimiento. La Comisión y el documento que puede generar tienen, por lo tanto, un alto contenido simbólico de reconocimiento del daño individual y social causado, así como de las responsabilidades individuales e institucionales.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:02 AM

Catholic church grapples with the high price of clergy sexual abuse

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
MPR News

July 3, 2018

By Kerri Miller and Manda Lillie with Julie Craven and Father Kevin Finnegan

[This is an audio recording of a 50-minute call-in show.]

Should congregants pay the price for decades of priest sex abuse

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will need to pay victims of abuse more than $210 million in a settlement that has brought them to the seek bankruptcy protection.

This money will go to about 450 survivors who are represented in the settlement. About $40 million of the $210 million will be paid by the church; the rest will be paid by insurers.

How does the church move on from this? Do parishioners trust the process? Are they confident that the issue of sexual abuse is over within the church?

Host Kerri Miller spoke to two guests: Julie Craven who is the director of communications Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Minneapolis and Father Kevin Finnegan of Our Lady of Grace in Edina.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:50 AM

Archbishop Philip Wilson to fight conviction for abuse cover-up

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

July 4, 2018

A Catholic archbishop in Australia says he will appeal against his conviction for concealing child sexual abuse.

Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson was found guilty in May of covering up abuse by a paedophile priest in New South Wales (NSW).

He is the most senior Catholic globally to be convicted of the crime.

During his trial, Wilson denied that he knew of the abuse of altar boys by a paedophile priest in the 1970s. He has so far refused to step down.

"I am conscious of calls for me to resign and have taken them very seriously," he said in a statement.

"However, at this time, I am entitled to exercise my legal rights and to follow the due process of law."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:42 AM

Chile prosecutors widen probe into clerical sex abuse

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
MassLive/The Republican

Updated July 3, 2018

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

The clergy sex abuse crisis for the Roman Catholic Church in Chile is widening beyond a Vatican investigation.

On June 13, Chilean police and prosecutors raided Church offices in two Chilean cities for documents related to the Church's probe into the crisis carried out by Vatican investigator Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta.

On June 19, Chilean prosecutors questioned Sciciuna at the airport as he was preparing to depart, according to Reuters, about abuse cases involving 25 Marist brothers and 30 alleged victims that Sciciuna has been investigating during his recent visits.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:39 AM

Allegations against former area priest ‘not substantiated,’ diocese says, as alleged victim’s attorneys protest

BATAVIA (NY)
The Daily News

July 3, 2018

By Matt Surtel and Mallory Diefenbach

http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/bdn01/allegations-against-former-area-priest-not-substantiated-diocese-says-as-alleged-victims-attorneys-protest-20180703

Dunkirk - A former Batavia priest has returned to active ministry after sexual abuse allegations against him were found to be “not substantiated.”

Rev. Dennis G. Riter was placed on administrative leave in March. He returned to his duties at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Dunkirk this past weekend.

The complaints against Riter had been investigated by former Erie County assistant district attorney Scott F. Riordan on behalf of the Buffalo Diocese. Riordan was assistant chief of the Sexual Assault Bureau in the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and is currently a village justice in Kenmore.

Riter was pastor from 2002 to 2009 at the former St. Mary’s Church in Batavia.

Allegations were made against Riter this past spring by two former altar boys and their families at a Buffalo-area church. They did not include Batavia.

The allegations were detailed in a news release issued Monday afternoon by Jeff Anderson and Associates, the firm representing Matthew Golden, one of the two altar boys who accused Riter of molesting him as a child.

In addition to the reports of two sexual abuse survivors, Golden and Nick Caetano, a May 1992 letter from a then-seminarian in the diocese to Bishop Edward D. Head and Bishop Edward Grosz, was uncovered by press reports and details the alleged abuse of another boy at Queen of All Saints in Lackawanna. The 1992 letter from a student at Christ the King Seminary detailed a father’s frantic search for his young son who had gone missing.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:27 AM

Sexual abuse by priests: Woman record statement before Magistrate

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
Times of India

July 3, 2018

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kozhikode/sexual-abuse-by-priests-woman-record-statement-before-magistrate/articleshow/64844670.cms

Kottyam - The sworn affidavit of the woman who is alleged to have been sexually abused by four priests of the Orthodox Church was recorded before a Magistrate on Tuesday. The woman arrived at the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Thiruvalla by around 5.20pm to record the statement. Earlier in the day, the State Crime Branch officials had handed over the copy of the FIR against the four priests to the court and submitted an application for recording the statement of the woman under section 164.

The woman was presented before the Magistrate after conducting her medical tests. Merin Joseph SP was also added to the Crime Branch probe team.

In another related development, Crime Branch IG S Sreejith called on the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church head Catholicos Baselius Mar Thomas Paulose II at the church headquarters in Devalokam here on Tuesday. The officer arrived here around 1pm and spend over one hour in conversation with the church head behind closed doors. While leaving, Sreejith told the media persons that the church head has extended all possible help for the investigation of the case. The officer also apprised the church head of the status of the case and the also the possibility of the arrest of the priests. The Church head gave the go ahead for the officer regarding this.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:23 AM

July 3, 2018

Envían a juicio de fondo al sacerdote Elvin Taveras acusado de asesinar a joven

SANTO DOMINGO (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
DIARIO LIBRE

July 3, 2018

[The priest Elvin Taveras accused of murdering a young man is sent to trial]

El tribunal excluyó del caso al Arzobispado de Santo Domingo

El Segundo Juzgado de la Instrucción de Santo Domingo Este envió este martes a juicio de fondo al sacerdote Elvin Tavera Durán, quien está acusado del asesinato del adolescente y ex monaguillo Fernelis Carrión Saviñón en octubre del año pasado. El religioso fue suspendido por la Iglesia Católica tras darse a conocer el hecho.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:00 PM

Caso Marianistas: fiscalía formalizó a sacerdote acusado de abusos sexuales reiterados contra menor

CHILE
El Dínamo

July 3, 2018

[Marianistas case: prosecutor's office formalized priest accused of repeated sexual abuse against a minor]

Durante la mañana de este martes, la Fiscalía Metropolitana Sur formalizó al sacerdote José Burgos Lara por abusos sexuales en calidad de reiterados en contra de un menor.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:53 PM

A haven for paedophiles: The ultra-Orthodox settlement where Malka Leifer hides

EMMANUEL (ISRAEL)
The Age

June 30, 2018

By Gabrielle Weiniger

Atop the shadow-cast hills at the northern end of the West Bank, in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlement of Emmanuel, abusers of children have found a safe haven.

Malka Leifer, the former Melbourne school principal and accused child molester, came to live here in 2016 after an Israeli judge found she was mentally unfit to face extradition to Australia.

And here, even though she is wanted by Victoria Police on 74 counts of alleged sexual assault and rape involving girls, one resident claims Leifer was able to continue abusing children, including his own teenage daughter, without consequence.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:17 PM

Pope Francis taps 3 new auxiliary bishops for Chicago Catholic archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

July 3, 2018

By Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas

The Vatican on Tuesday announced three auxiliary bishops have been appointed to the Archdiocese of Chicago, replacing two who resigned their positions.

Pope Francis tapped the Revs. Mark Bartosic, Robert Casey and Ronald Hicks as bishops-elect until their episcopal ordination at Holy Name Cathedral, the seat of the Catholic Church in the Chicago area, on Sept. 17, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In 2015, Hicks was appointed vicar general of the archdiocese by Cardinal Blase Cupich, Chicago’s archbishop; since then he has been celebrating Mass at a different parish each weekend. For the last two years, Bartosic has served as pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary church in Little Village and has been director of the Kolbe House Jail Ministry. Casey serves on the placement board of the archdiocese, which involves assigning priests to parishes.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:15 PM

Rep. Jim Jordan denies reports he turned blind eye to sexual abuse by Ohio State wrestling doctor

COLUMBUS (OH)
Fox News

July 3, 2018

By Andrew O'Reilly

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Tuesday denied reports that he “turned a blind eye” to alleged sexual abuse perpetrated against students by an Ohio State wrestling team doctor when the lawmaker coached at the university more than two decades ago.

“Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” Ian Fury, a spokesperson for Jordan, told Fox News.

“He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask, because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:14 PM

Ex-wrestlers say congressman knew of alleged Ohio St abuse

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Associated Press

July 3, 2018

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins

An Ohio congressman isn't being truthful when he says he wasn't aware of allegations that a team doctor at Oho State University was abusing athletes, according to two former university wrestlers.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, a former standout college wrestler at the University of Wisconsin and later a coach at Ohio State, knew when he was at the university that the doctor was groping male wrestlers, said ex-wrestlers Mike DiSabato and Dunyasha Yetts.

The wrestlers' allegations were first reported Tuesday by NBC. Jordan, a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion, denies them.

Jordan, a founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus, is one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress and a potential contender for speaker. He's taken leading roles in fighting the Affordable Care Act and in pushing back against the government's Russia investigation, most recently interrogating Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in committee.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:13 PM

Just one sexual harassment claim can tarnish a company's image, study says

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

July 3, 2018

By Jena McGregor

Even in the #MeToo era, with heightened sensitivity to sexual harassment claims and fears of damaging headlines, companies might take an allegation of sexual misconduct a little less seriously than they do a claim of financial fraud. A new study suggests - at least when it comes to their public image - maybe they should not.

In a working paper reported by the Harvard Business Review, researchers at UCLA and the University of Amsterdam found even a single allegation about sexual harassment can damage the way people view an employer. There does not need to be a Harvey Weinstein on the payroll, with multiple allegations in play, to have an effect.

Even after one alleged violation, said Serena Does, one of the paper's co-authors, "people adjusted their perceptions of how fair the organization was to men and women in much broader terms," she said. "What we show is that a single claim is enough to set that psychological process into gear. When people get cues like this, they adjust their perceptions of inequality."

Across several experimental studies using participants from the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform, the researchers found participants saw organizations with a sexual harassment claim not only as less equitable than those in a control group, where no misconduct was reported, but as less equitable in those with other transgressions, such as those with financial misconduct allegations.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:11 PM

Harvey Weinstein indicted on new sexual-assault charges, could face life in prison

NEW YORK (NY)
The Washington Post

July 2, 2018

By Elahe Izadi

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein faces additional counts of sexual assault that could carry a potential life sentence if he is convicted, prosecutors announced Monday.

A Manhattan grand jury voted to charge the once-powerful movie executive with the two counts of predatory assault, which carry a minimum 10-year sentence, and an additional count of criminal sexual act in the first degree, stemming from what prosecutors said was a forcible sexual act against a woman in 2006.

The three new charges add to three other counts Weinstein was charged with in May that stemmed from encounters with women in 2004 and 2013.

"A Manhattan grand jury has now indicted Harvey Weinstein on some of the most serious sexual offenses that exist under New York's penal law," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement. "This indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:10 PM

Judge dismisses abuse charges against startup tech founder

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
The Associated Press

July 2, 2018

A Northern California judge has dismissed criminal charges against the founder of a startup tech company who was arrested and charged last year with assaulting and sexually abusing a toddler.

Zain Jaffer, the founder of mobile advertising company Vungle, said Monday that he was grateful to the San Mateo County district attorney's office for taking a closer look at the evidence and requesting that the case be dismissed.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said he sees the dismissal as evidence of the judicial system working as intended.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:09 PM

Harvey Weinstein charged with assaulting third woman

NEW YORK (NY)
Reuters

July 2, 2018

By Brendan Pierson

The Manhattan district attorney on Monday announced new criminal charges against film producer Harvey Weinstein, accusing him of sexually assaulting a third woman in addition to the two mentioned in earlier charges.

The new indictment accuses Weinstein of forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in July 2006. The new charges, which include predatory sexual assault, carry a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, according to the office of District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Weinstein, 66, once one of Hollywood’s most powerful filmmakers, has pleaded not guilty to the first set of charges and has denied ever having non-consensual sex. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, could not be reached immediately for comment on Monday.

Vance issued a statement about the new charges saying, “This indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward. Our investigation continues.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:08 PM

Adelaide Archbishop to learn fate in child sex allegations

AUSTRALIA
9News

July 2, 2018

By Ben Avery

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson is hours away from learning if he'll go to jail for covering up child sex abuse by a paedophile priest.

The 67-year-old will be sentenced by a Magistrate at Newcastle Court at 9.30am tomorrow, after already being found guilty of the crime in a landmark verdict on May 22.

Magistrate Robert Stone found Wilson failed to report the repeated abuse of two altar boys by paedophile Priest Jim Fletcher in the 1970s.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:07 PM

Diocese placing restrictions on Bishop after sexual allegations

CHEYENNE (WY)
KGWN

July 2, 2018

By Britney Carter

The Wyoming Bishop is releasing results in an investigation against one of their own.

Bishop Steven Biegler of the Diocese of Cheyenne says he will continue restrictions on Bishop Emeritus Joseph Hart due to sexual abuse allegations. The allegations came from 2 boys from Wyoming.

Hart served as the Bishop of Cheyenne from 1976 to 2001.

In the release, the Bishop says in 2002 the District Attorney in Casper issued a report that there was no evidence to support the allegations. However, after civil claims against Bishop Hart in Kansas, Biegler ordered an internal investigation in December of last year.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:06 PM

Opinion: Clive McFarlane: Kathy Shaw used her craft to enrich the lives of others

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

June 29, 2018

By Clive McFarlane

In 1974, Joseph A. Fredette, a local priest and the live-in manager of a halfway house for juvenile delinquents, fled the country after Worcester police issued a warrant for his arrest on charges that he had sexually assaulted some of the boys in his care.

Years later, as the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal dominated headlines, a dogged pair of Telegram & Gazette reporters, Kathy Shaw and George Griffin, began searching for the fugitive priest. The duo learned that the priest, after fleeing the country, had been writing frequently to one of his victims, who shared the letters with Mr. Griffin and Ms. Shaw.

From those letters they were able to pinpoint his location and contact him in New Brunswick, Canada.

“I called him up, and I thought he was going to crap in his pants,” Mr. Griffin, now an adjunct professor at Worcester State University, recalled.

After the priest hung up and refused to accept further calls, Mr. Griffin said, he and Ms. Shaw flipped a coin to decide which of them would go to Canada to confront him.

Ms. Shaw won the honors, and in her bio she described “walking up and rapping on the front door of his rustic house in the wilderness,” and discovering that “questions had been raised by some area residents regarding young men he had living with him when he served in a nearby parish.”

The pair’s investigative work eventually led to the priest being extradited back to Massachusetts to face trial in 1994.

“It remains the only time one of these pedophile priests has been extradited from another country to stand trial here,” Mr. Griffin noted.

For Ms. Shaw, who died on Sunday, that investigative effort was the start of what would become a lifelong commitment to chronicling the atrocities of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, a commitment she kept up to her death.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:02 PM

Cheyenne diocese says former bishop sexually abused two Wyoming boys, calls previous investigation 'flawed'

CHEYENNE (WY)
Casper Star-Tribune

July 2, 2018

By Seth Klamann

A former Cheyenne bishop sexually abused two Wyoming boys and a 2002 investigation into the claims by the Casper district attorney — which found the allegations had no evidence — was “flawed,” the diocese alleged Monday in an announcement.

Joseph Hart served as the bishop or auxiliary bishop of Cheyenne from 1976 to 2001. Before that, he was a priest in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri for 20 years. He faced allegations of sexual abuse from several men from his time in Missouri. He has repeatedly denied the allegations in Wyoming and Kansas City and did so again Monday in a statement from his lawyer. He said he would cooperate with any investigation related to the claims.

According to a diocese statement, a Wyoming man had accused Hart of sexual abuse by 2002, and a second man came forward recently. Former Natrona County District Attorney Kevin Meenan investigated the claims in 2002 and found “there was no evidence to support the allegations,” according to the diocese.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:44 PM

Texas A&M facing criticism over sexual misconduct cases

COLLEGE STATION (TX)
The Associated Press

July 1, 2018

As Texas A&M University faces backlash from current and former students over its handling of sexual assault allegations, records since 2003 show that 20 students were allowed to continue attending classes after the school found them responsible for sexual misconduct.

A review of thousands of student conduct hearings by the Houston Chronicle comes as Texas' largest public university is under scrutiny after a female student in June accused the school of not doing enough to punish her alleged assailant, who was suspended one semester and allowed to rejoin the swim team.

The cases reviewed by the newspaper included a total of 51 students since 2003 held responsible for sexual misconduct, which can include sexual abuse, sexual contact or sexual assault. Ten students were expelled, and 21 were suspended.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:18 PM

Sex trafficking survivor says he was sold during Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS (IN)
Indianapolis Star

July 3, 2018

By Tim Swarens

One of Matt Sprague's most searing memories, he says, is of being trafficked out of hotel rooms during Indianapolis 500 race weekends

Kelly Sprague knew her husband had a severe problem.

Night after night, he thrashed about violently in their bed. He wandered the house aimlessly in the early morning hours. He cut himself with knives.

All while he slept.

Matt Sprague recalls the exhaustion he felt when he woke up each morning. He also understands now that he suffered from deepening depression, and a lifelong struggle with negative self-talk — which left him feeling worthless after even small mistakes or minor criticisms — had become harder to control.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:18 PM

New Vermont Law Increases Protection From Sexual Harassment

MONTPELIER (VT)
The Associated Press

July 1, 2018

By David Jordan

A new Vermont law inspired by the #MeToo movement strengthen protections for workers facing sexual harassment.

The law taking effect Sunday extends the types of employees protected from sexual harassment, which now includes interns, volunteers and independent contractors.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:17 PM

Alison Brie Says GLOW's #MeToo Scene Made Her Examine Her Own Hollywood Experiences

UNITED STATES
Glamour

June 30, 2018

By Julyssa Lopez

Our favorite ladies in leotards returned to Netflix on Friday with the second-season premiere of GLOW, and, as predicted, there's a ton the characters need to untangle as they duke it out in the wrestling ring. In a candid interview with Mashable, show star Alison Brie went into some of the issues that the new episodes are tackling (no pun intended) and shared that #MeToo figures into one of the storylines—an experience that made her confront her own attitudes about misconduct in Hollywood.

Without spoiling too much, there's an episode where Brie's character, Ruth, has a gross encounter with the head of a TV network. The executive seems interested in talking about Ruth's career ambitions and invites her to his hotel, where an upsetting incident unfolds. The scenes mirrors the many casting couch stories women have come forward with amid the #MeToo movement, and Brie says they made her do some personal reflecting.

"Shooting those scenes did bring up some personal feelings for me—which I sort of didn't expect," Brie told Mashable. "Honestly, when I first read it I was like, 'Is this scene bad enough? Is he really doing anything bad?' And then I had to stop and realize, 'Oh, wow, I've been in a lot of bad situations. And I've really normalized that kind behavior, even for myself.'"

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:15 PM

Prep school sex abuse cases lead to victim therapy funds

CONCORD (NH)
The Associated Press

July 1, 2018

By Holly Ramer

An elite prep school's decision to pay for therapy for sexually abused alumni mirrors an increasingly successful approach taken by other institutions, according to victims and their advocates.

St. Paul's School in Concord recently announced three initiatives to support abuse survivors: an independent arbitration system for those seeking monetary compensation, an alumni-led effort to encourage further discussion and the victims' therapy fund.

Sexual abuse scandals at New England boarding schools in recent years have resulted in investigations, efforts to adopt safeguards for students and requests for alumni to come forward with memories of misconduct. Several schools have created victim therapy funds, including Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut and St. George's School in Rhode Island.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:14 PM

Junot Díaz addresses sexual misconduct allegations in new interview

BOSTON (MA)
Entertainment Weekly

July 1, 2018

By Maureen Lee Lenker

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Díaz has vehemently denied allegations of sexual misconduct and misogynistic verbal abuse leveled against him by three women in May.

In his first interview since he was accused of inappropriate behavior, Díaz told The Boston Globe he was “shocked” by the allegations. “I was, like, ‘Yo, this doesn’t sound like anything that’s in my life, anything that’s me,’” he said.

Díaz also tried to differentiate between his fiction (which often features male characters treating women poorly) and his own life, and between sexual misconduct and consensual relationships gone awry. “There is a line between being a bad boyfriend and having a lot of regret, and predatory behavior,” he said.

In early May, Díaz was accused of cornering and forcibly kissing writer Zinzi Clemmons when she was a grad student, and of verbally bullying two other fellow writers, Carmen Maria Machado and Monica Byrne. The accusations came in the wake of Díaz’s own revelation in an essay that he had been sexually assaulted as a child.

Immediately following the accusations, Díaz issued a statement to the New York Times that said, “I take responsibility for my past. That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath. This conversation is important and must continue. I am listening to and learning from women’s stories in this essential and overdue cultural movement. We must continue to teach all men about consent and boundaries.”

Speaking to the Globe, Díaz lamented that statement. “I’ve written a lot of crap in my life,” he said. “One does when one’s a writer. But, definitely, that statement is the worst thing I’ve written, the worst thing I’ve put my name to. Boy, I wish I’d had the presence of mind to rewrite the damn thing.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:12 PM

Accused priests. Millions in quiet payouts. And it was all kept on a list

LONDON (ONTARIO, CANADA)
The Star

June 28, 2018

By Sandro Contenta and Mary Ormsby

This is how money was paid out in settlements involving the Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ont.

A one-page document filed with London’s Superior Court provides a rare window at how a Canadian diocese dealt with a string of sexual abuse allegations against its priests. The chart was part of a decade-long court battle between the Roman Catholic Diocese of London and its insurance company. The settlement amounts total $15 million, plus legal and other costs. We provide a breakdown.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:11 PM

LDS Church policy on handling sex abuse cases at core of newly filed lawsuit

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Daily Herald

June 28, 2018

By Genelle Pugmire

When Kristy Johnson was just starting first grade in the 1960s, life changed for her at home as well.

Now, decades later, Kristy Johnson, of La Habra, California, has filed a complaint and is seeking a jury trial against her father, Dr. Melvin Kay Johnson, of Lehi, with the U.S. District Court District of Utah, Central Division.

Kristy Johnson is accusing her father of years of sex abuse that occurred in their home, and in other locations. The family are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

While not a defendant in the case, the lawsuit call the LDS Church to task for the way in which members are reportedly counseled to handle sex abuse issues. The case seeks changes to the LDS Handbooks 1 and 2 when it comes to zero tolerance.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:09 PM

Father molested his children for years and Mormon bishops did not report it to police, lawsuit and documentary claim

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

June 28, 2018

By Courtney Tanner and Nate Carlisle
·
Kristy Johnson remembers the routine. Growing up, her father would take her to a basketball game at Brigham Young University, where he worked, and each time, after the final buzzer, they’d walk over to his office. There, she says, he would close the door, lock it and molest her for a few minutes.

They always went out for ice cream when he was done.

Johnson says she was 6 years old when it started. Now, 55, she says it’s time for him to be held accountable.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:08 PM

Nuns’ home in Monastery up for sale

NOVA SCOTIA (CANADA)
The Chronicle Herald

June 29, 2018

By Aaron Beswick

A 193-year-old monastery in northern Nova Scotia has been put up for sale against the wishes of the local diocese and the nuns who live there.

The sale coincides with a lawsuit against the Chicago-based Order of St. Augustine, also known as the Augustinians of the Midwest Province.

That group administers a charity called Augustinian Fathers (Ontario) Inc., which claims to own the monastery.

The Our Lady of Grace Monastery in the community of Monastery, Antigonish County, has been listed for $895,000. The 361-hectare property includes a 60,000-square-foot, three-storey residence, church, central heating plant, a 15,000-square-foot barn/wood shop, house, gymnasium and five nuns who don’t want to leave.

Mother Superior Gloria told The Chronicle Herald that in February the parent order informed her that the monastery would be put up for sale if they didn’t buy it for $790,000.

“But we have no money,” said the Mother Superior.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:06 PM

Records: Diocese of Corpus Christi priest accused of theft

CORPUS CHRISTI (TX)
Corpus Christi Caller Times

June 28, 2018

By Eleanor Dearman

Krzysztof Bauta, a Catholic priest released from his job at a Port Aransas church last year, is accused of stealing at least $150,000 from the diocese, court documents show.

In December 2017, officials from the Diocese of Corpus Christi met with a Texas Ranger. They alleged Bauta "had continuously stolen or defrauded the Diocese out of a large sum of money from July 2013 through December 2017," an arrest warrant affidavit shows.

Bauta was arrested Tuesday by Texas Rangers for theft, a second-degree felony, according to his booking sheet. Sgt. Nathan Brandley, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed the arrest and said "there is still an open and ongoing investigation going on with the Texas Rangers."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:05 PM

Have faith that the Catholic church sex abuse report will be released

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

June 27, 2018

By Paul Muschick

The anger and disappointment over the last-minute hold on a potentially damning grand jury report on priest sex abuse in Pennsylvania is understandable.

The victims, the Catholic faithful and the public have waited too long already for these secrets to be spilled. We want the names. We want to know whether church officials or others tried to cover up their despicable actions.

The legal maneuvering to delay, or permanently block, publication of the report is being viewed as just another attempt to keep these secrets buried. I can see why. History shows the church has not handled these scandals well. Fears of continued cover-ups are warranted.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:01 PM

How did Cardinal McCarrick’s secret last so long?

BOSTON (MA)
Catholic Culture

Jun 20, 2018

By Phil Lawler

At least fifteen years ago, I wrote a confidential email message to a few trusted friends, telling them to brace themselves. Within a few days, I said, a major secular newspaper would break a sensational story about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. To my surprise, the newspaper never ran the story—which finally came out today.

At the time, several reporters had spoken with me about the cardinal. Most had been unable to find anyone willing to go on record with complaints. Rod Dreher, one of the journalists who was investigating the rumors, now writes about the frustration he felt when witnesses refused to go public. I ran into the same brick wall; while I heard multiple accusations, without a willing witness I had only hearsay evidence. But at least one reporter found a former seminarian who was ready to tell his story—or so I was told. Yet that story never emerged— at least not in the mainstream media.

Today Rod Dreher reveals that a delegation had gone to Rome sometime before 2000, to caution Vatican officials against the rumored appointment of then-Archbishop McCarrick as Cardinal-archbishop of Washington. Their advice was ignored. In 2003, as the rumor mill churned, I heard that a bold American bishop had confronted the cardinal, urging him to resign in order to avoid a scandal. Again the plea was dismissed.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:27 PM

McCarrick verdict is the latest marker on the road to conversion

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

June 21, 2018

by Michael Sean Winters

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick resigned from public ministry yesterday after the Holy See determined that allegations of sexual abuse against a minor dating back almost 50 years were "credible and substantiated." The Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen also released information that allegations of sexual misconduct with adults against McCarrick had been made in the past, with two of the three allegations resulting in a settlement.

McCarrick served as a priest for 60 years. He served the church as president of the Catholic University in Puerto Rico, as bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, and as archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, and later of Washington. He became a cardinal and participated in the conclave of 2005 that elected Pope Benedict XVI. McCarrick was a "man of the conference" serving on a variety of committees over the years.

He was one of the church's foremost ambassadors, traveling to countries most of us could not spell and some we had never heard of, building relationships across ethnic and racial and denominational lines. Even in retirement, his schedule would have been daunting to a person half his age, but he kept at it. All for the good of the church.

None of that protected him from the charge of having abused a minor. None of it should have protected him. It is now clear that after years, decades and probably centuries of covering up the crimes of the clergy regarding the sexual abuse of children, now a regime of transparency and accountability is firmly enough in place that no one, not even a cardinal, can be considered above the law. They may get a pass for other crimes and failings, but not this. For all the continued problems — the Chile situation, the curial foot-dragging that led Marie Collins to resign from the Pontifical Commission on Child Protection — the culture at the Holy See has begun to change on this issue. Twenty years ago, such allegations would have been swept under the rug. Not anymore.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 1:24 PM

Iglesia indaga a otro sacerdote acusado supuesto por abuso sexual de hace 30 años

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Nacion

June 28, 2018

[Church investigates another priest accused of sexual abuse 30 years ago]

By Giselle Saure

Mientras dure el proceso de investigación, el clérigo ha sido apartado del oficio sus oficio y no puede realizar actos públicos propios de su ministerio.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:14 AM

Denunciante de ex obispo Duarte: Comenzó "el proceso de purificación de la Iglesia chilena

CHILE
Tele13 Radio

June 13, 2018

[Accuser of former Bishop Duarte: "The process of purification of the Chilean Church" has begun]

[AUDIO]

El ex seminarista aseguró que existe un movimiento anti Papa, el que plantea que se están cometiendo errores doctrinales serios.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:59 AM

Denunciante de ex obispo Duarte: “Hay movimientos ultraconservadores anti Papa que están agarrando fuerza”

CHILE
El Dínamo

June 12, 2018

[Accuser of former Bishop Duarte: "There are ultra-conservative anti-Pope movements that are gaining strength"]

A poco más de 24 horas de que se confirmara que el Papa Francisco aceptara la renuncia de cuatro obispos, el ex seminarista de San Rafael y denunciante del renunciado Gonzalo Duarte, Sebastián del Río, celebró la noticia, pero sostuvo que la Iglesia chilena ha actuado de manera torpe cuando a las denuncias de abuso por parte de religiosos.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:48 AM

Recesan para el martes audiencia preliminar sacerdote acusado de matar monaguillo

SANTO DOMINGO (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
Listin Diario

June 30, 2018

[Preliminary hearing for priest accused of killing altar boy is recessed until next Tuesday]

By Wanda Méndez

El Segundo Juzgado de la Instrucción de la provincia Santo Domingo recesó para el próximo martes, a las 9:00 de la mañana, el conocimiento de la audiencia preliminar seguida al sacerdote Elvin Taveras Durán, acusado de asesinar al monaguillo Fernelis Carrión Saviñón, el 4 de agosto del 2017.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:40 AM

Entrevista Monseñor Gonzalo Duarte

VIÑA DEL MAR, VALPARAÍSO (CHILE)
Quinta Visión

July 2, 2018

[Interview with Monsignor Gonzalo Duarte, former bishop of Valparaíso.]

[VIDEO] A Fondo. Monseñor Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar. Ex Obispo de Valparaíso.
Conduce Rodrigo Oliver.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:35 AM

Ex obispo de Valparaíso acusa a denunciante de abuso sexual de “cambiar la historia”

CHILE
El Dínamo

July 3, 2018

[Former Bishop of Valparaíso accuses complainant of sexual abuse of "changing history"]

A semanas de que el Papa Francisco aceptara su renuncia junto a la de Cristián Caro y Juan Barros, el ex obispo de Valparaíso, Gonzalo Duarte, se refirió a la decisión que lo llevó a presentar su dimisión.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:16 AM

La Iglesia Católica emite segundo comunicado sobre las investigaciones del sacerdote cuencano

CUENCA (ECUADOR)
El Comercio

July 3, 2018

[The Catholic Church issues a second statement on the investigations of the Cuenca priest]

Este lunes 2 de julio, la Arquidiócesis de Cuenca remitió un segundo comunicado –casi en los mismos términos que el del 30 de mayo- sobre las investigaciones que se siguen contra el sacerdote cuencano, César C., de 91 años de edad.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:03 AM

Abuse survivors doubt independence of company running safeguarding standards forum

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
ABC

July 1, 2018

By Giselle Wakatama and Liz Farquhar

Prominent Hunter Valley clerical abuse survivors will boycott a Catholic safeguarding standards forum, saying it is a sham that lacks independence.

A consultation forum will be held in Newcastle today as part of an Australia-wide engagement with survivors of child sexual abuse, advocates, Catholic Church personnel and others to discuss draft national Catholic safeguarding standards.

The standards are being developed by the company Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL), established by the Catholic Church as part of its response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to develop, audit and report on compliance with professional safeguarding standards across Catholic entities.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:36 AM

Abuse survivors react to Archbishop Wilson's sentence

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
ABC via The Guardian

July 3, 2018

[A brief video showing clips from two survivors' statements.]

Peter Gogarty and Daniel Feenan speak outside Newcastle local court after Philip Wilson was sentenced to 12 months' detention for concealing child sexual abuse. The Adelaide archbishop is the most senior Catholic official in the world to be convicted over his failure to report to police the abuse of two altar boys by a paedophile priest in the 1970s. He is likely to be spared time in prison.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:31 AM

'We know it’s not going to be pleasant': Priests ponder when, how to prepare parishioners for report

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 2, 2018

By Peter Smith

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/faith-religion/2018/07/02/Pennsylvania-Roman-Catholic-dioceses-sexual-abuse-report-Supreme-Court-grand-jury/stories/201806260169

At a recent weekday Mass, the Rev. Lou Vallone dealt directly with the looming grand jury report on sexual abuse in Pittsburgh’s and five other Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses.

“We know it’s coming, we know it’s not going to be pleasant, but we know it’s necessary,” said Father Vallone, pastor of St. John of God Parish in McKees Rocks and St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Crescent. As the church teaches about its sacrament of penance or confession, he said, “the sinner has to go in and say, ‘I did this,’ or he’s never going to be on the path of reconciliation.”

As the Pennsylvania Supreme Court considers whether and when to authorize the release of the voluminous grand jury report, some priests are raising the issue with parishioners, but others are waiting until the report comes out to respond to it.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:28 AM

Court seeks input on secrecy of sex abuse grand jury report

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press

July 2, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

[This article provides a link to a docket that lists the media motion, Application to Intervene to Seek Public Access to Grand Jury Report and Associated Docket Sheets.]

A lengthy report into allegations of sexual abuse and related cover-ups within Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic churches remained on hold Monday, as the state’s highest court gave those who wanted to keep the grand jury report under wraps three days to weigh in.

The state Supreme Court, through its filing office, told lawyers for those who have pending appellate challenges to the report’s release that they will have until Thursday afternoon to respond to a request to unseal it by The Associated Press and six other media organizations.

The media organizations on Friday asked to intervene and make the argument to the Supreme Court that the report should be released. They said those who wanted to respond to the report itself had apparently already been given such an opportunity by the judge who supervised the investigative grand jury.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:19 AM

Journalists need to draw distinctions in reporting sex abuse cases

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

June 29, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

The news broke last week that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, had been ordered to abstain from any public ministry because of a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse against a minor. We also learned that two settlements had been made in New Jersey involving adults who alleged sexual impropriety against the cardinal when he served as a bishop and archbishop in that state. Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who is now the archbishop of Newark, also announced that he was lifting the confidentiality requirement those settlements contained, and he said the victims could come forward if they wished to do so. I stand by what I wrote at the time the news broke.

Then, some in the media decided that this information warranted opening a floodgate of rumors and speculations, not only about McCarrick but also about reporters covering the Catholic Church. Phil Lawler, at CatholicCulture.org, wrote "How did Cardinal McCarrick's secret last so long?" He concludes that short essay by suggesting the press was either lazy or biased. "Why were so many journalists willing to let the rumors go unexplored? Or, if they did explore the rumors, why were they willing to drop the story, at a time when so many other allegations were splashed across the headlines?" Lawler asked. "Could it be because, for anyone seeking to influence a cardinal, the threat of disclosure is more effective than disclosure itself?"

Rod Dreher was one of the journalists who tried to nail down the stories about McCarrick's sexual deviancy in the beginning part of the century and he used the new revelation to print now rumors about McCarrick's behavior that he did not print previously. He dismissed McCarrick's claim of innocence, writing at The American Conservative, "Innocence? I believe McCarrick is lying, and that he knows he is lying. I have been waiting for this story to break since 2002." The power of denial in sexual matters is much stronger than Dreher thinks, and McCarrick could well think he is telling the truth if he has repressed this incident.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:08 AM

Abuse Investigation of former Wyoming Bishop results in Restrictions in Ministry and Reports to Rome and Law Enforcement

CASPER AND CHEYENNE (WY)
WTWO

July 2, 2018

By Fr. Carl Gallinger, Vicar General
With comment by Tom Morton

[This article helpfully provides the text of a PDF press release of the Diocese of Cheyenne, and identifies the DA referenced in the release as Kevin Meenan.]

A former bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne, which covers the geographical area of Wyoming, allegedly abused two boys during his tenure, according to a statement from the Bishop Steven Biegler on Monday.

This is the statement verbatim from the diocesan website:

"Bishop Steven Biegler of the Diocese of Cheyenne said that he is continuing restrictions on Bishop-Emeritus Joseph Hart, due to a new investigation of allegations that he sexually abused two boys from Wyoming after he became Bishop of Cheyenne. Hart served as Bishop or Auxiliary Bishop of Cheyenne from 1976 to 2001. From 1956 to 1976, he was a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

"Beginning in 1989 and thereafter, several men alleged that Bishop Hart sexually abused them years earlier when he was a priest in Kansas City and they were boys. By 2002, a Wyoming man accused the bishop of sexually abusing him as a boy. The man said it occurred in a sacramental confession and on outings after Hart had become the bishop in Wyoming. Recently, a second Wyoming man alleged that Bishop Hart also abused him.

"In 2002, the District Attorney in Casper, Wyoming, issued a report concluding "that there was no evidence to support the allegations" originating in Wyoming. The Diocese of Cheyenne now questions that conclusion based upon a recently completed exhaustive investigation.

"As a result of civil claims against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, based on alleged sexual misconduct by Father Joseph Hart and other priests, there were financial settlements in 2008 and 2014. However, there were no trials and no determination of guilt or innocence. Bishop Hart has consistently denied all allegations that he sexually abused minors.

"Since this matter was not resolved, Biegler ordered a fresh, thorough investigation. In December 2017, he retained an outside investigator who obtained substantial new evidence and concluded that the District Attorney's 2002 investigation was flawed and that Bishop Hart sexually abused two boys in Wyoming. The Diocesan Review Board reviewed the investigative report and concurred with the investigator's assessment that the allegations are credible and substantiated.

"In March 2018, the Diocese reported the alleged abuse to the Cheyenne District Attorney as required by Diocesan policy, national Catholic Church policy, and Wyoming law. The Cheyenne Police Department then opened an investigation. The Diocese is cooperating with that investigation. In May 2018, Bishop Biegler sent the Initial Investigation (Investigatio Praevia) report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome.

"Previously, Bishop Paul Etienne restricted Bishop Hart from celebrating public liturgical services in the Diocese of Cheyenne. Bishop Steven Biegler learned of the allegations when he was ordained the Bishop of Cheyenne in June 2017. He continued the restrictions. The Congregation for Bishops in Rome has extended these same restrictions everywhere. After the recent investigation, Bishop Biegler decided that St.Joseph's Children's Home in Torrington should remove Hart's name from a building in the facility.

"Bishop Biegler concluded, 'I hope that our investigation will lead to a final determination by the CDF that these sexual abuse allegations against Bishop Hart are credible and require disciplinary action. Nothing is more important that the safety of our children. We have zero tolerance for sexual abuse of any kind. If there is ever any indication of abuse brought to our attention, it will be reported to the civil authorities and investigated thoroughly, even when the allegations involve a Bishop.'"

___________

The District Attorney referred to in Bishop Biegler's press release was Kevin Meenan. In 2003, Meenan was indicted and later pleaded guilty to forgery and identity theft involving his stepchildren in 2003. Before he left office in 2010, former Gov. Dave Freudenthal pardoned him.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:45 AM

Sex abuse allegations against former KC priest 'credible,' Wyoming diocese says

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Star

July 2, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

A former Kansas City priest who went on to become a Wyoming bishop has been credibly accused of sexually abusing two boys, the bishop of the Diocese of Cheyenne said Monday in a surprise announcement in which he criticized a previous investigation by civil authorities as "flawed."

Bishop Steven Biegler, of the Diocese of Cheyenne, said he was continuing restrictions placed years ago on Bishop-Emeritus Joseph Hart after a new investigation into allegations that he sexually abused two Wyoming boys found the claims to be "credible and substantiated."

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our children," Biegler said. "We have zero tolerance for sexual abuse of any kind. If there is ever any indication of abuse brought to our attention, it will be reported to the civil authorities and investigated thoroughly, even when the allegations involve a bishop."

Hart, 86, served as Bishop or Auxiliary Bishop of Cheyenne from 1976 to 2001. He was a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph from 1956 to 1976.

Starting in 1989 and after, several men alleged that Hart had sexually abused them when he was a priest in Kansas City and they were boys. In 2002, a Wyoming man accused Hart of sexually abusing him as a boy. The abuse, the man said, occurred in sacramental confession and on outings after Hart had become bishop.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:41 AM

Archbishop Philip Wilson Is Sentenced for Sexual Abuse Cover-Up in Australia

NEW YORK CITY (NY)
New York Times

July 2, 2018

By Adam Baidawi

Melbourne, Australia - The highest-ranking Catholic official to have been found guilty of concealing sexual crimes against children was sentenced to 12 months in detention by an Australian court on Tuesday.

The official, Philip Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, was sentenced a month after being found guilty of failing to report child sexual abuse. Archbishop Wilson is expected to serve his sentence under home detention, if a court agrees to the arrangement.

After his conviction, the archbishop gave up his duties but refused to resign. He was convicted of covering up abuse by a priest, Jim Fletcher, in the state of New South Wales in the 1970s.

“We have made history in Australia,” said Peter Gogarty, an abuse survivor, according to ABC News.

There were no immediate indications on Tuesday that the archbishop would resign. Bishop Greg O’Kelly, who was appointed to administer the Adelaide archdiocese after Archbishop Wilson gave up his duties, said in a statement that his role had not changed.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:38 AM

Sisters seek to end gag order in priest sex abuse settlement

HARRISBURG (PA)
Associated Press

July 2, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

[See the complaint.]

Two sisters asked a judge Monday to invalidate broad confidentiality agreements other family members made with a Pennsylvania Roman Catholic diocese so they can speak publicly about sexual abuse at the hands of a parish priest more than two decades ago.

The lawsuit in county court in Harrisburg by two adult women said their silence was required in settlements made with the Harrisburg Diocese over sexual abuse of two other sisters in the same family by the Rev. Augustine Michael Giella.

New Jersey court records indicate Giella confessed to fondling one of the girls and taking photos of her unclothed. Giella was facing sexual assault, child endangerment and child pornography charges in Ocean County, New Jersey, when he died in 1993 at about age 72.

A spokesman for the Harrisburg Diocese, Mike Barley, said it no longer enforces nondisclosure agreements in priest abuse settlements.

“There’s nothing that would prevent them from speaking,” Barley said.

The four sisters’ lawyer, Ben Andreozzi, said he wants to get that in writing before the four women speak publicly about what they endured.

Andreozzi said all four women have appeared before a grand jury that spent two years investigating child sexual abuse in the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton, churches with 1.7 million members.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:31 AM

Catholic sex abuse: 'Guilty priest ignored my story for decades'

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

July 2, 2018

By Simon Atkinson

[Note: This is a 2 1/2 minute video interview of survivor Peter Creigh, who was abused by Fr. James Fletcher. Creigh informed now-Archbishop Philip Wilson twice about Fletcher's crime, but no action was taken.]

Australian archbishop Philip Wilson has become the highest-ranking member of the Catholic Church to be convicted of covering up sex abuse.

On Tuesday, the archbishop of Adelaide was given a maximum sentence of 12 months in detention.

A victim of that concealed abuse tells the BBC how his story was ignored more than 40 years ago - and the destruction that caused.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:23 AM

Kerala: Four priests booked for sexual abuse

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
Indian Express

July 3, 2018

By Shaju Philip

The issue has rocked the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, a prominent non-Catholic Church in Kerala, after the victim’s husband wrote to the Church, alleging that the priests had blackmailed and abused his wife, a school teacher.

Kerala Crime Branch on Monday registered a rape case against four priests of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church who have been accused of sexually exploiting a married woman belonging to their Church.

The issue has rocked the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, a prominent non-Catholic Church in Kerala, after the victim’s husband wrote to the Church, alleging that the priests had blackmailed and abused his wife, a school teacher.

Last week, veteran CPM leader V S Achuthanandan had moved a complaint with the state police chief, seeking a probe into the allegations.

Subsequently, the Crime Branch recorded the woman’s statement, leading to the case against the four priests, three of them married — in Malankara Orthodox Church, priests have the option to lead a married life. The accused priests are Jaise K George, Abraham Varghese, Johnson V Mathew and Job Mathew.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:14 AM

July 2, 2018

Archbishop Philip Wilson sentenced to 12 months' detention for child abuse cover-up

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

July 3, 2018

By Nancy Notzon

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has been sentenced to 12 months' detention for concealing child sexual abuse.

Magistrate Robert Stone adjourned the matter to August 14 while Wilson's home detention order is assessed for suitability.

He will be eligible for parole after six months.

In May, the 67-year-old was found guilty of concealing the sexual abuse of children between 2004 and 2006 at the hands of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher in the 1970s.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:16 PM

Australian bishop sentenced to year’s detention for cover-up

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
Associated Press

June 3, 2018

By Rod McGuirk

The most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the world to be convicted of covering up child sex abuse was sentenced in an Australian court on Tuesday to 12 months in detention.

Newcastle Magistrate Robert Stone ordered Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson to serve at least 6 months before he is eligible for parole.

But Wilson will not immediately go into custody. Stone will consider on Aug. 14 whether Wilson is suitable for home detention. He could live with his sister near Newcastle.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:11 PM

Pennsylvania clergy abuse: Attorney General Shapiro fights to release grand jury report

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

June 29, 2018

By Randy Parker

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro does not intend to let his investigation into child sexual abuse in the Catholic church go unnoticed.

On Friday, Shapiro said that he would take legal action next week to allow him to release a grand jury report on allegations of such abuse.

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court blocked the release of the report that details clergy sexual abuse cases in six Catholic dioceses across the state.

The Supreme Court had invited the attorney general to “lodge an objection to a continued stay” of the report’s release. In a news release Friday, Shapiro said he would do just that on Monday.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:48 PM

Did Attorney General Shapiro petition high court to lift ban on release of grand jury report? We don't know: it's a secret process

MECHANICSBURG (PA)
PennLive

July 2, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro last week vowed to petition the state's high court to allow the release of a long-awaited grand jury report on clergy sex abuse.

Shapiro may have done just that on Monday - or not.

PennLive had no way of confirming either way since all documents pertaining to the report remain under tight seal.

Shapiro on Monday was poised to petition the state Supreme Court to release the findings of a grand jury investigation into the sex abuse of children by priests across the state.

Shapiro last week vowed to file an objection to the court's decision to block the release of the report, noting that residents of the state had the right to see the report. Shapiro even tweeted his intentions to ask the court to make public the names of the individuals who challenged the report leading to the block and the reasons for their objection to the report.

But on Monday, the secret nature of grand jury investigations continued to check any public release of any information - including whether the state's top law enforcement agent had filed the motion he vowed to file last week.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:43 PM

Victims of clergy sex abuse ask court to lift gag order set by Diocese of Harrisburg

MECHANICSBURG (PA)
PennLive

July 2, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

[See the complaint described in this article.]

Two women who were sexually abused by a priest in the Diocese of Harrisburg on Monday petitioned a court to lift a gag order prohibiting them from speaking about their abuse.

Patty Julius and Lara McKeever, who are sisters, filed the motion in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas seeking to overturn an agreement with the diocese that was part of a settlement made with several other sisters years ago.

Julius and McKeever allege that throughout the 1980s the Rev. Augustin Giella sexually molested several members of their family, including they themselves.

Giella served with the diocese in Hanover, but was later assigned to the St. John's parish in Enhaut, in Dauphin County. The complaint identifies Julius and McKeever as residents of Pennsylvania.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:38 PM

VIDEO] Los silencios de Chillán: abusos no investigados

CHILLÁN (CHILE)
T13

June 26, 2018

[VIDEO -- Los silencios de Chillán: abuses not investigated]

El brutal asesinato de un cura diocesano destapó uno de los casos policiales más sórdidos de la región del Ñuble y abrió una caja de sorpresas en la Iglesia: Curas con doble vida, denuncias de abusos que nadie investigó y casos de sacerdotes trasladados o expulsados para evitar escándalos. El Obispo Carlos Pellegrín explica los silencios de Chillán.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:23 PM

Iglesia Católica de Chillán investiga dos denuncias de abuso sexual

CHILLÁN (CHILE)
TVU

June 28, 2018

[Catholic Church of Chillán investigates two complaints of sexual abuse]

El obispo de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrin, informó que están investigando dos denuncias de abuso sexual al interior de la Iglesia local. Entregó detalles solo sobre uno de los casos.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:20 PM

Confirman nuevos presuntos casos de abuso sexual en iglesia de Chillán

CHILLÁN (CHILE)
La Discusión

June 26, 2018

[Confirmed new cases of sexual abuse in Chillán church]

El obispo de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrin, confirmó que la Iglesia Católica local investiga dos presuntos casos de abuso sexual que han sido denunciado durante este mes de junio, y de los cuáles, uno fue constatado el pasado miércoles 27 de junio.


Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:14 PM

Greensburg, Harrisburg dioceses sought to shut down grand jury abuse probe

PITTSBURGH (PA) and PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Philadelphia Inquirer

June 29, 2018

By Peter Smith, Angela Couloumbis, and Liz Navratil

The Roman Catholic dioceses of Greensburg and Harrisburg last year sought to shut down the statewide grand jury investigating sexual abuse by priests in six dioceses, including their own, contending that the creation of the grand jury lacked a legal justification.

But the supervising judge of the 40th statewide grand jury dismissed the argument, according to newly unsealed records.

It’s the first indication that any of the six dioceses under scrutiny actually took steps to quash the investigation, which is looking into seven decades’ worth of allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up in the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Erie, Harrisburg, Allentown and Scranton.

Supervising Judge Norman A. Krumenacker III’s order, originally under seal like virtually all grand jury deliberations to date, was recently unsealed in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:48 AM

As grand jury report looms, diocese postpones anniversary celebration

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

June 29, 2018

By Peter Smith

Facing a grand jury investigation and its biggest internal reorganization in a generation, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has indefinitely postponed its 175th anniversary celebration.

Bishop David Zubik had invited a papal representative to celebrate a July 29 Mass at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland to commemorate the 1843 creation of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

But a massive report by a statewide investigative grand jury is awaiting release. It remains sealed pending challenges before the state Supreme Court from individuals criticized in the report who are seeking to block its publication. The report looks into seven decades of allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up in Pittsburgh’s and five other Pennsylvania dioceses.

At the same time, reorganization efforts are in full swing across the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:40 AM

Op-Ed: Why Flynn Should Withdraw from Race

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Urban Milwaukee

July 1, 2018

By State Reps Chris Taylor and Melissa Sargent

[Note: This op-ed links to a detailed memo by Taylor and Sargent.]

And why two Democratic legislators felt they must oppose Matt Flynn for governor.

Scott Walker’s devastating actions inspired us to run for state office, and we have seen up close the harmful consequences of his agenda on so many of the things we hold dear. We have been his consistent and outspoken critics, and we will work tirelessly to defeat him in November.

It was after much research, deliberation and some hesitation that we recently called for Matt Flynn to withdraw from Wisconsin’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

We took such an unusual step not because we wanted to, but because we had to. Before anything else, we have to act as human beings. If our actions or inactions are solely guided by party affiliation, we are mimicking the trance we often criticize in our Republican colleagues as they cast vote after harmful vote in lockstep.

Media accounts in May that referenced Flynn’s role in one of the largest coverups of priest child sexual abuse in the country by the Milwaukee Archdiocese and his treatment of the victims spurred us to do our own research.

What we discovered when looking at the electronic files of a handful of priests, consisting of hundreds of documents (thousands more remain that we didn’t review, but are publicly available), was that Flynn played a central role in facilitating the coverup of priest sexual abuse of children. As chief legal counsel to the Milwaukee Archdiocese from 1989-2004, Flynn was aware of priests’ sexual abuse of children, assisted in transferring abusive priests to other parishes, failed to—and sometimes prevented others from—reporting instances of child sexual abuse by priests to law enforcement, paid off priests who went on to pursue professions working with families and children, negotiated settlements with victims requiring secrecy, and filed liens against survivors whose cases fell outside the statute of limitations. We drafted a memo detailing just a portion of these findings. Some of our findings were also independently corroborated by media reports.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:26 AM

AG to push for release of report on Erie diocese, others

ERIE (PA)
Erie Times-News

June 29, 2018

By Ed Palattella

Shapiro says he will ask state Supreme Court to lift stay quickly.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said he is tired of waiting for the release of one of the most sweeping reports of its kind in the United States.

Shapiro said on Friday that he will file a legal motion on Monday to make public the grand jury investigative report on child sexual abuse in six of the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses, including the Catholic Diocese of Erie.

“The people of Pennsylvania have a right to see the report, know who is attempting to block its release and why and to hear the voices of the victims of sexual abuse within the church,” Shapiro said in a statement.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:11 AM

As Pennsylvania investigates dioceses, N.Y. prosecutors stay bystanders

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

July 1, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

[Note: This article references two NY grand jury reports - Westchester County (released on June 19, 2002), and Suffolk County (released on February 10, 2003).

Special agents with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office used search warrants and subpoenas last year to seize evidence of a massive cover-up of clergy sex abuse in six Catholic dioceses in the state.

But despite growing revelations of sex abuse by priests in the Diocese of Buffalo, law enforcement authorities in New York aren't investigating whether crimes were committed in keeping the abuses hidden for so long.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn and a spokeswoman for the state attorney general both said that their offices don't have the authority to investigate a diocese for criminal matters, although district attorneys in Westchester and Suffolk counties used grand juries to do that 16 years ago.

"My only jurisdiction is against individual people," said Flynn. "I have no authority to bring a case against an organization. That would be something the attorney general would need to look into."

Amy Spitalnick, spokeswoman for Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood, said investigation of sex abuse crimes falls outside the scope of what the AG's office does and should be handled by district attorneys.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:03 AM

Buffalo Diocesan priest accused of sexual abuse reinstated

BUFFALO (NY)
Spectrum News

July 1, 2018

By Kevin Jolly

Dunkirk, N.Y. - Three months after being out on administrative leave following allegations of sexually abusing at least three boys, Father Dennis Riter was back at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Dunkirk celebrating mass Sunday.

Parishioner Maria Kuschel was outside to welcome him back.

"I feel very happy. The parishioners are all welcoming him back and I think we had him away for too long already and he's a good pastor, a wonderful pastor, and he's done nothing wrong whatsoever," said Kuschel.

Buffalo Catholic Diocese Spokesperson George Richert says Riter was reinstated following an investigation.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:00 AM

Uniontown area priest removed by Diocese of Greensburg

UNIONTOWN (PA)
Herald-Standard

July 1, 2018

By Mike Tony

The Diocese of Greensburg announced Saturday that a vicar for four Uniontown area Roman Catholic churches also serving as chaplain at Uniontown Hospital has been removed from those assignments following an allegation received by the diocese Thursday.

In a statement released Saturday evening, the diocese reported that it had received an allegation Thursday regarding Father James W. Clark dating back to events five decades ago, while Clark was a janitor at the former St. James School in Apollo, Pa. before he entered the seminary and was ordained as a priest.

The Diocese of Greensburg did not go into further details about the allegation, which resulted in Clark being removed from his assignment as chaplain of Uniontown Hospital and as parochial vicar of St. Mary (Nativity) in Uniontown, St. John the Evangelist in Uniontown, St. Therese, Little Flower of Jesus in Uniontown, and St. Joseph Parish in South Union Township.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:51 AM

Vatican City still has no policy to fight clergy sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

July 1, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis has taken measures to address a spiraling sex abuse scandal in Chile, but he hasn’t moved on a problem closer to home: Vatican City itself does not have policies to protect children from pedophile priests or require suspected abuse to be reported to police.

Seven years after the Vatican ordered all bishops conferences around the world to develop written guidelines to prevent abuse, tend to victims, punish offenders and keep pedophiles out of the priesthood, the headquarters of the Catholic Church has no such policy.

The gap in Francis’ oft-pledged “zero tolerance” for abuse is surprising, given that the Holy See told the United Nations five years ago that it was developing a “safe environment program” for children inside the 44-acre Vatican City.

Asked about the promised child protection guidelines, the secretary general of the Vatican City State administration, Monsignor Fernando Vergez, told The Associated Press he couldn’t respond “since the study and verification of the project are still underway.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:44 AM

Lesson from McCarrick case: Pay attention to misconduct with adults

DENVER (CO)
Crux

July 2, 2018

By Charles Collins

When the Archdiocese of New York announced a “credible and substantiated” allegation of sexual abuse against a minor was confirmed against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick - the former Archbishop of Washington, who had served as a priest in New York - it was the first time an American cardinal was personally charged with a crime involving a minor, against the backdrop of a crisis that’s enveloped the Church for nearly two decades.

Yet the most overlooked announcement was from across the state line, when the Archdiocese of Newark, which McCarrick led from 1986-2000, revealed that the cardinal had been accused of having “engaged in sexual behavior with adults,” and that “two of these allegations resulted in settlements.”

It was not that surprising because such rumors have dogged McCarrick for years. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat said on June 23 that journalist friends had told him, “McCarrick or ‘Uncle Ted’ as he urged his paramour-victims to address him, had such a long history of pursuing seminarians and priests that a group of Catholics went to Rome to warn against making him Washington’s archbishop (to no avail).”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:41 AM

PA Attorney General Petitioning For Release Of ‘Clergy Sex Abuse’ Grand Jury Report Involving 6 Catholic Dioceses

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS

July 1, 2018

By Joe Holden

The Pennsylvania Attorney General is petitioning for the release of the “Clergy Sex Abuse” report involving six catholic dioceses.

Victim advocates say keeping the Grand Jury investigation under wraps is protecting the wrong people.

The Attorney General will take his step in the morning to unleash this report and the pressure is growing on the Supreme Court to get their review over with and make this Grand Jury report a public document.

For victim advocate Karen Polesir, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court can’t keep secret the Grand Jury investigation of six catholic dioceses any longer.

“It makes a person feel unheard, and unbelieved,” said Polesir.

In just hours, Attorney General Josh Shapiro will file a formal objection with the high court. The Supreme Court blocked the report’s release two weeks ago.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:37 AM

Legislative support waning for bill giving adults more time to sue for childhood sex abuse

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Morning Call

July 2, 2018

By Steve Esack

Harrisburg - For more than two years, adults scarred by the memory of child sex abuse have sought personal and legal salvation in a pending state grand jury report about sexual misconduct and cover-ups in six Catholic dioceses across Pennsylvania.

They believed that the report’s publication — now delayed by the state Supreme Court — would galvanize lawmakers to pass a bill letting them have their day in civil court, too.

The goal is for the Legislature to pass a bill that will change how courts treat child sex abuse claims. They want the House and Senate to pass a bill that would lift the legal prohibition preventing adults 31 and older from retroactively suing their alleged abusers and enablers who didn’t report the crimes to authorities.

But now support for retroactive lawsuits could be waning, according to the legislation’s prime sponsor, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, who says he was abused as a youth by a Catholic priest.

Rozzi said House Speaker Mike Turzai has told him he no longer supports the legislation. Turzai did in 2016, when it passed the Republican-controlled House and then failed in the GOP-led Senate, where a majority of lawmakers viewed retroactive lawsuits as unconstitutional.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:34 AM

Post-Gazette, other Pa. news outlets petition Supreme Court for access to grand jury report on clergy sex abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

June 29, 2018

By Liz Navratil and Angela Couloumbis

Harrisburg - Seven news organizations went to the state’s highest court Friday to force the release of a long-awaited grand jury report detailing allegations of decades of child sexual abuse covered up by Catholic dioceses across the state.

The news outlets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, are asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to lift its indefinite stay on the report’s release and make public the names of those individuals and organizations waging a fierce but secret court battle to block the document from being disseminated.

Lawyers for the news organizations called the report a “matter of extraordinary public importance.”

“Needless to say, Report No. 1 [grand jury report] is of extraordinary importance to the public in general and to abuse victims in particular,” Eli Segal and Michael A. Schwartz, the Pepper Hamilton LLP lawyers representing the media organizations, wrote in court papers filed Friday. The coalition of outlets also includes The Associated Press, WHYY, LNP Media Group Inc., NBC subsidiary WCAU-TV and Telemundo Mid-Atlantic LLC.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:29 AM

July 1, 2018

Segunda presea de sacerdote cuencano acusado de abusar de niños fue retirada

ECUADOR
El Comercio

June 29, 2018

[Second prize withdrawn from Cuenca priest accused of abusing children]

By Linea Castillo

Ayer, jueves 28 de junio, la Cámara Provincial le retiró una segunda presea al sacerdote cuencano, César C., acusado de abusos sexuales y violaciones a niños, hechos ocurridos hace más de 50 años. En este mismo mes, el Concejo Cantonal ya le retiró una.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:07 PM

“¡También es hombre y puede cometer errores!”: Feligreses defienden a cura acusado de agresión sexual contra menor

EL SALVADOR
La Prensa Grafica

June 27, 2018

["He is also a man and can make mistakes!": Parishioners defend a priest accused of sexual aggression against minors]

By Beatriz Calderón and Ezequiel Barrera

Este día se desarrolló la audiencia inicial contra el párroco de Zaragoza, capturado la semana pasada por abuso sexual contra un menor, al que también remuneraba por los actos. Unos 50 feligreses llegaron al juzgado para defenderlo y justificar su posible crimen.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:05 PM

Envían a la cárcel a cura acusado de violar a niño en parroquia de Zaragoza

EL SALVADOR
Diario1.com

June 27, 2018

[They send to prison a priest accused of raping a child in the parish of Zaragoza]

El sacerdote obligó a la víctima a que le hiciera actos sexuales y a raíz de esos actos, le daba $50, $20 y $10 y finalmente no le daba nada de dinero, informó anteriormente la Fiscalía.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:02 PM

Juzgado de Zaragoza envía a prisión a sacerdote acusado por abusos sexuales contra menor

EL SALVADOR
ElSalvador.com

June 27, 2018

[Court of Zaragoza sends to prison priest accused of sexual abuse against minor]

By Jaime López

La Fiscalía ordenó el viernes pasado la captura del religioso luego de que la familia del menor, quienes encontraron conversaciones en un celular, lo denuciara ante las autoridades.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:57 PM

Envían a prisión a cura acusado de agredir sexualmente a un niño en Zaragoza

EL SALVADOR
La Prensa Grafica

June 27, 2018

By Ezequiel Barrera

[Priest accused of sexually assaulting a child in Zaragoza is sent to prison]

Hoy fue la audiencia inicial contra el párroco de Zaragoza. Varias personas llegaron a apoyarlo afuera del juzgado y algunos hasta justificaron la posible comisión de un delito.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:52 PM

Accused priest returns to pulpit after diocese finds complaints 'not substantiated'

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

July 1, 2018

By Jay Tokasz
SHARE

The Rev. Dennis G. Riter, in his first Mass since being suspended from ministry due to a sex abuse complaint, told parishioners he was happy to be back in the pulpit and acknowledged that "it's been a long three months."

"I am so very, very happy to be with you today," Riter said during the Saturday evening Mass in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Dunkirk. "I certainly felt your prayers and your support over the past three months."

Riter didn't specifically address the abuse claim, reported to the Diocese of Buffalo in March, that resulted in his suspension. Another priest sent to the church by Bishop Richard J. Malone told parishioners just prior to the start of the Mass that an investigation had determined the complaints against Riter "were not substantiated."

Outside the church, on a sidewalk across Washington Street, a former priest who advocates on behalf of victims criticized the bishop's move to return Riter to ministry as reckless. Robert M. Hoatson, who runs a nonprofit organization that works with victims of clergy sex abuse, held signs that read "Shame on Malone" and "Remove Riter."

"We knew some people would question this decision, but that's not a reason to keep someone out of ministry," said George Richert, diocesan spokesman.

The diocese hired Scott Riordan, a former assistant district attorney, to investigate. Riordan then met multiple times with a diocesan review board, which gave a recommendation to Malone.

"The bishop accepted the report of investigator Riordan and the recommendation of the diocesan review board, and as a result Father Riter has been returned to active ministry here at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton," said the Rev. Mark Noonan, who is vicar general for the diocese.

Matt Golden, the man who made the complaint against Riter, continues to allege that the priest abused him on multiple occasions in the late 1990s inside the rectory of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in South Buffalo, according to Michael Reck, Golden's attorney. Golden was between the ages of 10 and 13 at the time, said Reck.

Riordan interviewed Golden, who described his own abuse and witnessing the abuse of another boy who was a childhood friend and is now deceased, said Reck.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:23 PM

Non-profit protests reinstated Dunkirk priest

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ

June 30, 2018

A one-person protest at a Dunkirk church served to remind parishoners that not everyone is happy with the Diocese's decision to reinstate a priest who was recently cleared of allegations.

Dunkirk, N.Y. – A one-person protest at a Dunkirk church served to remind parishoners that not everyone is happy with the Diocese’s decision to reinstate a priest who was recently cleared of allegations.

Father Dennis Riter, who was placed on leave back in March for sexual abuse allegations, was cleared to return to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church on Thursday.

Riter was originally accused by two men who said the priest abused them in Buffalo while Riter was serving at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Buffalo.

Saturday, as parishoners came to and from services, Robert Hoatson held up signs that said “Remove Riter” and “Shame on Malone.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:02 PM

Pa. grand jury report about sexual abuse by priests should be released

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Morning Call

June 28, 2018

Letter to the Editor by Robert T. Corby Sr.

I am a victim of sexual abuse by a priest in 1948. I am now 83 years old. A lot of victims, including myself, testified before the Pennsylvania grand jury looking into sexual abuse in the state's Catholic dioceses.

Some traveled great distances to testify over the past two years. The grand jury report was to come out — all the victims only want accountability from the Catholic Church for the cover-up all these years — and it is hard to believe the state Supreme Court didn't release the report.

Whose side is the Supreme Court siding with — the Catholic Church or the victims? Certainly not the victims. I am so disappointed in the ruling of the Supreme Court.

Robert T. Corby Sr.
Bethlehem

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:57 AM

Por qué el Papa ha tardado 43 días en decidir la salida de primeros 5 obispos

CHILE
La Tercera

June 28, 2018

[Why the Pope took 43 days to decide the departure of the first 5 bishops]

By María José Blanco

Hoy fue el turno de Alejandro Goic, de Rancagua, y Horacio Valenzuela, de Talca. Se habla de falta de candidatos y de un chequeo estricto de los currículum.


Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:23 AM

Iglesia: el contraste de la despedida entre Goic y Valenzuela

CHILE
La Tercera

June 28, 2018

[Church: the contrast of the farewell between Goic and Valenzuela]

By P. Moreno and P. Riquelme

El prelado de Rancagua leyó una declaración en la sede del obispado. Su par de Talca envió una carta.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:18 AM

Obispo Ossandón inicia mesa con denunciantes de abusos

CHILE
La Tercera

June 27, 2018

[Bishop Ossandón starts a meeting with whistleblowers]

By María José Blanco

El administrador apostólico de la Diócesis de Valparaíso se reunió con tres exseminaristas que acusaron de supuestos abusos del obispo emérito Gonzalo Duarte y a otros religiosos.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:15 AM

Nun Accuses Bishop of Sexual Assault; Accused Denies Charges, Files Counter Complaint

KERALA (INDIA)
India.com

June 30, 2018

After Sexual Abuse Allegations Against 5 Kerala Priests, Kottayam Nun Claims Bishop Assaulted Her

Days after five Kerala priests were accused of sexually assaulting and blackmailing a woman, a nun on Saturday filed a complaint alleging that she was sexually abused by a bishop. The Kottayam Police have registered a complaint based on the complaint of the nun. Denying the charges, the bishop filed a counter complaint against the nun alleging that she was taking revenge against him for transferring her, news agency ANI reported.

The alleged assault incident has come a few days after a woman’s husband alleged that his wife’s confession to one of the accused priests was supposed to be a secret but was rather used to blackmail her.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:57 AM

Erie bishop calls abuse findings ‘sobering,’ ‘graphic’

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
Tribune-Democrat

July 1, 2018

By Melissa Klaric

Erie - Bishop Lawrence T. Persico sat in front of 23 angry grand jury members in April and apologized.

“I said that I was sorry that they had to sit there and listen for two years to hear all that,” said the Most Rev. Persico, who heads the diocese of Erie. “Well, they were upset. I can understand that. They are trying to get an understanding of what happened.”

* * *

Persico, 10th bishop of the Erie diocese, was the only bishop of the six to testify face-to-face with grand jury members at the hearings.

“All of the bishops who were subpoenaed by the grand jury were given an option – to appear in front of the grand jury, to plead the Fifth (Amendment) or to submit a written statement,” Persico said. “All of us chose to submit a written statement.”

Then, in April, Persico held a press conference announcing an update to the Erie Diocese policy on protecting children. The diocese also released a list of people in the diocese who have been banned from working with children due to credible accusations of misconduct.

This caught the attention of the state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office asked Persico if he would speak to the grand jury.

* * *

Dye, who was assigned to the grand jury hearings into sexual abuse allegations within the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic diocese, questioned Persico in front of the jury for about 20 minutes. Then, the members asked their own questions for roughly 40 minutes. Next, the bishop left the room for a short time, and was called back and questioned by Dye again.

* * *

Although the report is stalled, Persico has read the findings concerning the Erie Diocese and “other sections,” he said.

“I think it will be very sobering,” Persico said. “The report is not sanitized. It’s very graphic.”

The bishop compared it to the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese report released in February 2016.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:51 AM

Pope replaces Australian prelate who opposes sex abuse norm

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

June 30, 2018

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Melbourne’s archbishop, who said he’d prefer jail to telling civil authorities about any sex abuse of children that might be revealed to him in the confessional.

The Vatican said Friday that the pontiff has appointed Monsignor Peter Comensoli, 54, to head the archdiocese, replacing Archbishop Denis Hart.

At 77, Hart is two years older than the age at which all bishops must offer the pope their resignation.

Last year in an interview, Hart objected to a recommendation from Australia’s Royal Commission on child sexual abuse that priests be required to report cases of abuse heard in the confessional to authorities.

Then head of Australia’s bishops’ conference, Hart defended the special nature of confession as part of religious freedom.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:44 AM

Statement from Diocese of Greensburg

GREENSBURG (PA)
Diocese of Greensburg

June 30, 2018

​Priests in Armstrong, Indiana, Fayette and Westmoreland counties were instructed today to announce to every parish at every Mass this weekend that a priest in active ministry was removed from his assignment Friday. An allegation was received by the Diocese of Greensburg on Thursday, June 28, against Father James W. Clark, which dates to events five decades ago, prior to his entrance into the seminary and ordination as a priest, while working as a janitor at the former St. James School in Apollo, Pa.

The primary reason for this unilateral announcement among all the parishes in the Diocese of Greensburg is to remind any victim that we stand ready to help them.

The Diocese followed a policy that has existed for more than 15 years: The allegation was reported immediately to ChildLine and to the District Attorneys of Westmoreland and Armstrong counties. Less than 24 hours after receiving the allegation, Father Clark was removed from his assignment as parochial vicar of St. Mary (Nativity), St. John the Evangelist, St. Therese, Little Flower of Jesus, and St. Joseph Parishes, all in Uniontown, Fayette County, and as chaplain of Uniontown Hospital.

This was the first allegation the Diocese has received involving Father Clark.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:42 AM

Catholic Diocese of Greensburg removes Uniontown priest

GREENSBURG (PA)
Tribune Review

June 30, 2018

By Matthew Medsger

A priest with the Diocese of Greensburg has been removed from his assignment following allegations of abuse about 50 years ago at an Apollo parochial school.

The Rev. James W. Clark, assigned as parochial vicar for five Uniontown-based parishes, was removed from his positions with the diocese Friday, according to a release issued Saturday evening.

The parishes are St. Mary (Nativity), St. John the Evangelist, St. Therese, Little Flower of Jesus and St. Joseph. He also was removed as chaplain of Uniontown Hospital.

"An allegation was received by the Diocese of Greensburg on Thursday ... against Father James W. Clark, which dates to events five decades ago, prior to his entrance into the seminary and ordination as a priest, while working as a janitor at the former St. James School in Apollo," the release reads, in part.

That school closed in 1998, according to information provided by the Apollo Historical Society.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:37 AM