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August 15, 2018

Ex-Dallas bishop whose tenure marred by scandal dies at 87

DALLAS (TX)
The Associated Press

August 15, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Dallas says that the Most Rev. Charles Grahmann, whose 17-year tenure as bishop of the diocese was marred by one of the first church sex abuse scandals to explode into public view, has died. He was 87.

The diocese says in a statement that Grahmann died Tuesday in San Antonio following a long illness. He was the sixth bishop of the Dallas diocese and served from 1990 to 2007.

Grahmann was appointed the first bishop of the Diocese of Victoria in 1982 before being named bishop in Dallas, where he was known for his ministry to the poor and marginalized.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:56 PM

Detroit archbishop on sex abuse scandal: Repent or get out

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

August 14, 2018

By Ann Zaniewski

On the eve of Tuesday's release of a scathing grand jury report about church leaders protecting more than 300 "predator priests" in Pennsylvania, Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron said priests who have impure relations with others need to repent or give up the priesthood.

He stressed that all clergy — including bishops like himself — need to be held accountable for their behavior.

Vigneron's remarks came in two similar letters Monday — one geared toward clergy, the other to the faithful at large — issued ahead of the release of the report which accused leaders in six Pennsylvania dioceses for decades of being more interested in safeguarding the church and the abusers than the well-being of more than 1,000 victims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:55 PM

'It's the Same Blueprint': Locals React to Scathing Grand Jury Report on Pennsylvania's 'Predator Priests'

BOSTON (MA)
NBC Boston

August 15, 2018

By Jeff Saperstone and Karla Rendon-Alvarez

A newly-released grand jury report details disturbing allegations of sexual abuse on more than 1000 children at the hands of roughly 300 priests in Pennsylvania

Shocking reports coming out of Pennsylvania detailing decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of Roman Catholic Church priests have hit close to home.

The Archdiocese of Boston, who faced its own share of sexual abuse cover-ups, refused to comment on the scathing grand jury report that was released Tuesday. The disturbing report, which details allegations against roughly 300 priests, comes after two years of investigation by the jury.

"Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg," attorney Mitchell Garabedian said, "There are many, many more victims out there."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:54 PM

Catholic Church Covered Up Child Abuse By 301 Priests In Pennsylvania: Report

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Huffington Post

August 14, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

The grand jury identified more than 1,000 sexual abuse victims over seven decades — and suspects there may be many more.

Pennsylvania’s attorney general released on Tuesday the long-awaited results of a damning grand jury investigation into how six Roman Catholic dioceses in the state covered up sexual abuse by 301 “predator priests” over 70 years.

The 884-page report is the largest, most comprehensive investigation on the church’s sex abuse scandal by a U.S. state, according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro. The grand jury identified over 1,000 victims in the six dioceses examined in the report: Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton. But the jurors suspected the real number of victims could be much higher.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:53 PM

Nerdist Issues Statement Distancing Itself From Chris Hardwick After Restoring His Name to Website

UNITED STATES
IndieWire

August 13, 2018

By Michael Nordine

The statement emphasizes Nerdist's "ongoing support of women and victims."

Chris Hardwick’s name was recently restored the Nerdist website following an investigation into claims of abuse by his ex-girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra, and the change hasn’t gone unnoticed. Writer Donna Dickens announced that she would no longer be contributing to the website, and now Nerdist has addressed Hardwick’s restoration in a tweet emphasizing that he hasn’t been actively involved with the company since last year.

“Last week, our parent company completed its investigation into the allegations against Chris Hardwick and issued a statement on our site that reinstated a mention of Hardwick as the founder of Nerdist, which is factually true,” the new statement begins. “This statement is not intended to imply any change in our ongoing support of women and victims, nor does it change our business relationship with Hardwick, which concluded in 2017.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:52 PM

Times Up gives $750,000 for combatting sexual misconduct

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Associated Press

August 13, 2018

By Juliet Linderman

A fund dedicated to aiding victims of sexual harassment and assault is giving $750,000 in grants to local organizations across the country.

The Times Up Legal Defense Fund on Tuesday announced its first round of grants to 18 groups helping support low-wage and domestic workers.

Among the grantees are organizations working toward increased education and outreach, as well as groups that offer targeted resources and services to specific demographics. Together, the grantees cover all regions of the United States.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:43 PM

#METOO PERSISTS: Hollywood's biggest studios are blatantly still working with men fighting #MeToo accusations

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Week

August 15, 2018

By Kathryn Krawczyk

The #MeToo movement brought what's been widely called a "reckoning" against men accused of sexual misconduct. But some of Hollywood's most powerful still aren't facing any consequences.

Much of the entertainment elite slammed with allegations — Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose — can't find work, and some have even faced legal consequences. Yet for the likes of James Franco, Casey Affleck, and some other men ensnared in #MeToo allegations, not much has changed, The Hollywood Reporter says.

Franco faced five accusations of sexually exploitative behavior in a Jan. 11 Los Angeles Times story. Six months later, it was leaked that he was in talks to direct a Focus Features film about ESPN. And he's still onboard to star in a second season of HBO's The Deuce because "the fact of the matter is that James is in the show," HBO president Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's business as usual. There is no effort to hide the fact that [Franco] is in the show," Bloys continued.

That's not sufficient for activist website Care2. It successfully petitioned director Matthew Newton, accused of domestic violence, off of the upcoming film Eve, and is hoping to do the same with Franco. "Crisis PR," like what HBO has said to justify Franco's continued employment, is growing even more common, Care2 senior director Rebecca Gerber tells The Hollywood Reporter. "In Hollywood, they make business calls about whether people can make a comeback."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:33 PM

Pennsylvania report details decades of sexual abuse by priests

HARRISBURG (PA)
Reuters

August 14, 2018

By David DeKok

Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused thousands of children over a 70-year period and silenced victims through “the weaponization of faith” and a systematic cover-up campaign by their bishops, the state attorney general said on Tuesday.

An 884-page report made public by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro after a two-year investigation contained graphic examples of children being groomed and sexually abused by clergymen. It was largely based on documents from secret archives kept by the dioceses, including handwritten confessions by priests, he said.

“It was child sexual abuse, including rape, committed by grown men - priests - against children,” Shapiro told a press conference.

Representatives of the six Pennsylvania dioceses included in the report could not be reached for comment.

The attorney general said it was the most comprehensive report on Catholic clergy sex abuse in American history, nearly two decades after an expose of widespread abuse and cover-up in Boston that rocked the Roman Catholic church.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:31 PM

Boston Globe’s Michael Rezendes: Sexual abuse in Catholic Church can happen anywhere

BOSTON (MA)
Yahoo View

August 15, 2018

Boston Globe investigative reporter Michael Rezendes and NBC’s Anne Thompson join TODAY to discuss the bombshell Pennsylvania grand jury report claiming the Catholic Church protected more than 300 priests accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:31 PM

Victims speak out in US Catholic sexual abuse scandal [Video]

HARRISBURG (PA)
ABC News Videos

August 15, 2018

A Pennsylvania grand jury released a bombshell report on 300 alleged predator priests, more than 1,000 victims and 70 years of alleged cover-ups in the state's Catholic Church.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:17 PM

Report Reveals Widespread Sexual Abuse By Over 300 Priests In Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG (PA)
NPR

August 14, 2018

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We begin this hour with a report of widespread clergy sex abuse in Catholic churches throughout Pennsylvania. A grand jury investigation released today gives details on 301 priests who allegedly abused more than 1,000 children. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the abuse and the cover-up went all the way up to the Vatican.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:17 PM

Judge approves $20M settlement between diocese and sexual abuse victims

GREAT FALLS (MT)
MTN News

August 14, 2018

A federal bankruptcy judge in Montana approved a $20 million settlement between the Diocese of Great Falls/ Billings and survivors of sexual abuse.

The settlement ended a seven-year lawsuit involving 86 plaintiffs who had they had been sexually abused by Catholic nuns and priests from the 1950s through the 1990s, according to a news release from Tamaki Law Offices, which represents 38 of the victims.

The diocese's insurer, Catholic Mutual, will pay $8 million of the settlement. The remaining $12 million will be divided as follows: $5 million from the Diocese, $4 million from individual parishes, $2 million from the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana and $1 million from St. Labre Indian School.

The Diocese filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2017, just months before multiple jury trials were scheduled to start.

During trial, the victims' attorneys said they were planning to allege that the Diocese knew that Father Joseph Heretick was a danger to children and ignored complaints from parents. Heretick was sent to a treatment center for pedophile priest in the 1980s, which recommended he remain out of the ministry.

Attorneys said they would also argue another alleged perpetrator, Father William Cawley, left the Great Falls Diocese to teach at York Catholic High School in Harrisburg, Pa. Cawley left that position in 2012, shortly after the lawsuit was filed.

This suit marks the 15th filed by a Catholic Diocese in the United States related to alleged abuse by the clergy. The Diocese of Helena, which covers western Montana, filed suit in 2012.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:16 PM

Church helped priest accused of sex abuse get Disney World gig

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Post

August 15, 2018

By Tamar Lapin

A Pennsylvania priest tortured an altar boy for over a year, sexually abusing him and beating him with a metal cross, then left the church for a gig at Walt Disney World — with a reference from the diocese, a grand jury report found.

The Rev. Edward George Ganster is one of hundreds of priests named in the statewide grand jury investigation, which found that 1,000 children were abused in Pennsylvania for decades, as church leaders shielded their tormentors.

Years after being abused, a married 37-year-old man came forward in 2002 to say that Ganster had fondled and groped him for over a year and a half, beginning when he was 14 and an altar boy at St. Joseph in Frackville.

In one instance, Ganster allegedly dragged the boy across the living room, pulling him by his underwear. He also beat the boy multiple times — including once with a metal cross, the report states.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:09 PM

Judge approves $20 million settlement between diocese and sexual abuse victims

GREAT FALLS (MT)
MTN News

August 14, 2018

A federal bankruptcy judge in Montana approved a $20 million settlement between the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings and survivors of sexual abuse.

The settlement ended a seven-year lawsuit involving 86 plaintiffs who said they had been sexually abused by Catholic nuns and priests from the 1950s through the 1990s, according to a news release from Tamaki Law Offices, which represents 38 of the victims.

The diocese's insurer, Catholic Mutual, will pay $8 million of the settlement. The remaining $12 million will be divided as follows: $5 million from the Diocese, $4 million from individual parishes, $2 million from the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Montana, and $1 million from St. Labre Indian School.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:08 PM

New Jersey JCC Camp Counselor Accused of Child Sex Abuse

CHERRY HILL (NJ)
NBC10

August 14, 2018

By David Chang and Cydney Long

Officials with the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey sent a letter to parents Monday informing them of the allegations against a male assistant counselor at the JCC in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

A counselor at a South Jersey Jewish Community Center camp is under investigation for alleged child sex abuse.

Officials with the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey sent a letter to parents Monday informing them of the allegations against a male assistant counselor at the JCC in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Officials told parents a child at the camp was injured about two weeks ago after an interaction with the counselor. The counselor was transferred to the kitchen but officials with a state agency determined the incident was accidental.

A week later, a parent accused the same counselor of inappropriately touching a child at the camp. The counselor was suspended. On Friday, more child sexual assault allegations surfaced against him.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:06 PM

“I don’t know if they will ever reveal why he was murdered”

MADISON (WI)
The Catholic World Report

August 15, 2018

By Joseph M. Hanneman

Some friends believed Fr. Kunz’s work as an exorcist or his investigations of sexual corruption in the priesthood may have been factors in his 1998 murder.

PART TWO [Read PART ONE]

Father Malachi Martin was an exorcist, bestselling author, former aide to Pope St. John XXIII, and onetime professor at the Vatican’s Pontifical Biblical Institute. He was also a friend of Father Alfred J. Kunz, and he believed the Wisconsin priest’s 1998 murder bore the marks of satanic evil.

“He was found at 7 o’clock in the morning with his throat cut from ear to ear,” Martin said on a national radio program in May 1998. “In his own blood, face down into it and with various acts of desecration of his body which are normally associated with satanist-inflicted death.”

The author of Hostage to the Devil, The Keys of This Blood, Windswept House, and more than a dozen other books said Kunz consulted with him on exorcisms. The country priest was “picked off” by someone who wanted to permanently silence him, Martin said. He referred to the murder as the “assassination of Christ’s hero.”

Father Kunz’s efforts to battle evil became a significant part of his still-unsolved, 20-year-old murder case. Some friends and associates were convinced that his work as an exorcist and his investigation of sexual corruption in the priesthood must have been factors in his March 3, 1998 killing at St. Michael School in the village of Dane, Wisconsin. Police have now turned their focus to more common motives for the killing, such as burglary or robbery. But the contentions of Kunz’s associates still hang heavy over the case, showing just how complicated the priest’s life could be.

There is one major problem with the Father Martin’s theory: one of its base premises was false. Kunz’s body did not have injuries that would lead investigators to suspect a ritual or satanic killing, according to Dane County Sheriff David J. Mahoney. Kunz’s throat was not cut “ear to ear,” as many stories claimed. The throat slash was more to one side, and it severed the carotid artery. There were no other stab wounds and no desecration or mutilation of the body, according to Mahoney.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:01 PM

The unsolved murder of Fr. Alfred Kunz

MADISON (WI)
The Catholic World Report

August 8, 2018

By Joseph M. Hanneman

Twenty years ago, a priest was found with his throat slit at a parish school in rural Wisconsin. Today, investigators are urging the public to come forward with any clues that might break the case.

PART ONE
Sheriff’s investigators are exploring the possibility that the man who brutally murdered Father Alfred J. Kunz in March 1998 is dead, and they are urging the public to come forward with tips and clues needed to break the case and solve one of the most vexing killings in Wisconsin history.

After a 20-year investigation involving more than 50 detectives and thousands of interviews, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office has “multiple” persons of interest in the murder of the traditionalist Catholic priest. Dane County Sheriff David J. Mahoney said investigators believe it’s possible the killer himself is dead. This has added urgency to law enforcement appeals for the public to come forward with more information.

“We have to look at the possibility that the person responsible, or others who might have been aware, are dead,” Mahoney said in an interview with Catholic World Report. “If that’s the case, we’ll never solve it unless somebody comes forth with evidence.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:49 PM

Senior Chinese monk resigns amid sexual misconduct claims

BEIJING (CHINA)
The Associated Press

August 15, 2018

Controversy around Buddhist abbot Shi Xuecheng seen as sign of #MeToo’s rise in China

One of China’s most high-profile Buddhist monks has resigned from a national post after reports of sexual misconduct, a religious association has said.

The Buddhist Association of China said on Wednesday its president, Shi Xuecheng, had passed his duties to a deputy.

The case, which has been covered widely in the Chinese press and discussed on social media, is seen as a sign of the #MeToo movement's growing momentum in China. A small but increasing number of academics, civil society activists and one of China’s best known television hosts have been called out for alleged inappropriate behaviour, although the movement has yet to percolate into government circles.

The announcement of Xuecheng’s resignation was included in a report about the Buddhist association’s regular meeting and did not mention the controversy surrounding him. Fellow monks accused Xuecheng earlier this year of harassing and demanding sexual favours from nuns at his Beijing monastery as well as embezzling funds, allegations that Xuecheng has denied on social media.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:49 AM

MSU alumni magazine takes the cheery route despite Nassar scandal

LANSING (MI)
Detroit Free Press

August 15, 2018

By David Jesse

It was supposed to jump off the page at you. A black-and-white shot of a woman, the only color on the page, her teal lipstick and the teal nameplate of the magazine.

Inside would be page after page of stories and essays describing how Michigan State University handled the Larry Nassar case and what it now meant to be a Spartan.

Teal is a color sexual assault survivors use to show support for each other.

But no one ever saw that version of the MSU alumni magazine. Interim President John Engler ordered it all to be scrapped.

Earlier this month, MSU alumni began receiving the replacement issue — this one with a completely different message.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:47 AM

‘Secret archives’ detailed priests’ child sex abuse and cover-ups, Pa. attorney general says [with audio]

HARRISBURG (PA)
PBS News Hour

August 14, 2018

A scathing new grand jury report in Pennsylvania describes decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. At least 1,000 children were molested by more than 300 clergy, the panel found, which also claims a conspiracy of silence extended all the way to the Vatican. Judy Woodruff sits down with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Fr. Thomas Reese of Religion News Service.

Read the Full Transcript

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:45 AM

WATCH: Grand jury report says more than 1,000 children were abused by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 14, 2018

By Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy

More than 1,000 children — and possibly many more — were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses, while senior church officials took steps to cover it up, according to a landmark grand jury report released Tuesday.

The grand jury said it believes the “real number” of abused children might be “in the thousands” since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward. The report said more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period decades, beginning in the mid-1950s.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the two-year probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:43 AM

Chilling 1,356-page grand jury report documents allegations about how the Catholic Church followed 'a playbook for concealing the truth' that 300 'predator priests' sexually abused at least 1,000 children

HARRISBURG (PA)
Business Insider

August 15, 2018

By Ellen Cranley

- A grand jury in Pennsylvania released a 1,300-word report Tuesday detailing allegations about the Roman Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse of nearly 1,000 children by 300 "predator priests."

- The report details what investigators described in the report as a "a playbook for concealing the truth" that was used by officials to cover up 70 years of abuse of children by 300 Roman Catholic priests.

- Across files from six dioceses, special agents identified several patterns using special language and illegitimate investigations to downplay accusations and protect the priests.
A grand jury in Pennsylvania released a 1,300-word report Tuesday detailing allegations that the Roman Catholic Church spent decades covering up sexual abuse claims against 300 "predator priests" who are said to have targeted nearly 1,000 children.

The report covers 70 years of alleged abuse and the lengths that church officials went to cover up the accusations, using what investigators described in the report as a "a playbook for concealing the truth."

Special agents identified several common practices across the files from the six dioceses they investigated that kept the accusations within the church, and avoided recording any criminal identifications in the documents.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:40 AM

Top China Buddhist leader quits in sex probe

CHINA
AFP

August 15, 2018

By Elizabeth Law

The head of China's government-run Buddhist association quit his post on Wednesday amid an investigation into allegations that he coerced several nuns into having sex with him.

Xuecheng, a Communist Party member and abbot of the Beijing Longquan Monastery, is one of the most prominent figures to face accusations in China's growing #MeToo movement.

In a 95-page report that circulated online late last month, two monks accused Xuecheng of sending explicit text messages to at least six women, threatening or cajoling them to have sex with him, claiming it was a part of their Buddhist studies.

The same report also claimed the Beijing Longquan Monastery is in financial trouble.

China's top religious authority launched an investigation shortly after the allegations were made public.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:39 AM

Report: Pennsylvania priests molested over 1,000 children

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 14, 2018

By Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy

Hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania molested more than 1,000 children — and possibly many more — since the 1940s, and senior church officials, including a man who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C., systematically covered up the abuse, according to a grand jury report released Tuesday.

The "real number" of abused children might be in the thousands since some secret church records were lost, and victims were afraid to come forward, the grand jury said.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing. They hid it all," Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference in Harrisburg.

The report put the number of abusive clergy at more than 300. In nearly all of the cases, the statute of limitations has run out, meaning that criminal charges cannot be filed. More than 100 of the priests are dead, and many others are retired or have been dismissed from the priesthood or put on leave.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:38 AM

Trautman Releases Response to Grand Jury Report

ERIE (PA)
Erie News Now

August 14, 2018

By John Last

Bishop Emeritus Trautman says he will stand on his record of addressing clergy abuse and helping victims.

Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman has released a lengthy written statement in response to the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sex abuse. In the statement, Trautman said he stands on his record of addressing such abuse.

Earlier this month. The Office of Attorney General and Trautman reached an agreement in which Trautman would allow the grand jury investigation of the Erie Catholic Diocese to be released without redaction. The attorney general would stipulate that specific questionable actions taken by some bishops across Pennsylvania were not employed by Trautman. The agreement apparently did not cover some allegations against Trautman that Attorney General Josh Shapiro mentioned during his news conference today.

In the case of former priest Chester Gawronski, Shapiro outlined incidents where Gawronski reportedly gave children what Gawronski called "cancer checks." Those incidents occurred in the 1980s and earlier. Shapiro said Gawronski remained in the priesthood under various assignments.

Trautman,in his statement, said Gawronski was serving an assignment given to him by Trautman's predecessor, Bishop Michael Murphy when Trautman became bishop in 1990. The assignment was at a nursing home and included no contact with children. His later assignments were also at nursing homes. Trautman says he kept Gawronski at the nursing homes in deference to Bishop Murphy, but in hindsight, probably would have acted differently.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:36 AM

Report Reveals Widespread Sexual Abuse By Over 300 Priests In Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG (PA)
NPR

August 14, 2018

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim redacted form. The report detailed decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state's eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

The roughly 900-page report, not including exhibits, is thought to be the most comprehensive of its kind and paints a horrid portrait of activity that occurred in the dioceses of Scranton, Allentown, Harrisburg, Greensburg, Erie and Pittsburgh, implicating 300 "predator priests" statewide who committed "criminal and/or morally reprehensible conduct."

One priest in the Diocese of Harrisburg abused five sisters in a single family. Another, in the Diocese of Greensburg, impregnated a 17-year-old girl, married her, then divorced her months later.

A priest in the Diocese of Erie admitted to assaulting at least a dozen boys, yet was later thanked by the bishop for "all that you have done for God's people."

The grand jury said it reviewed a half-million pages of internal church documents and "secret archives" that were readily available to bishops. It found credible allegations by more than 1,000 victims, but it added, "We believe that the real number ... is in the thousands."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:33 AM

August 14, 2018

Catholic Church Covered Up Child Sex Abuse in Pennsylvania for Decades, Grand Jury Says

PENNSYLVANIA
The New York Times

August 14, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein

Bishops and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse by hundreds of priests over a period of 70 years, persuading victims not to report the abuse and police officers not to investigate it, according to a report issued by a grand jury on Tuesday.

The report, which says there were more than 1,000 identifiable victims and covered six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses, is the broadest examination yet by a government agency in the United States of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. There have been ten previous reports by grand juries and attorneys general in the United States, according to the research and advocacy group BishopAccountability.org, but those examined single dioceses or counties.

The report catalogs horrific instances of abuse, including a priest who raped a young girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils out, and another priest who was allowed to stay in ministry after impregnating a 17-year-old girl, forging a signature on a marriage certificate and then divorcing the girl.

“Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability,” the grand jury wrote. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:09 PM

Pennsylvania Report Alleges Child Sex Abuse by More Than 300 Priests

NEW YORK (NY)
The Wall Street Journal

August 14, 2018

By Scott Calvert and Kris Maher

Grand-jury report says Catholic Church officials in the state failed to intervene and covered up crimes

A grand-jury report released Tuesday alleges more than 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused children over the past 70 years, and says Catholic Church officials in the state failed to intervene and covered up crimes.

The scathing, 884-page report details widespread abuse of boys and girls dating to the 1940s that the grand jury said shows a systemic, chronic failure by six of the eight Pennsylvania dioceses to protect young victims.

Prior grand-jury reports found evidence of widespread priest abuse in the state’s two other dioceses in Philadelphia and the Altoona-Johnstown area.

The grand-jury investigation, launched in 2016 by the state Attorney General’s Office, has led to criminal charges against two former priests. One pleaded guilty last month to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy. The other is charged with molesting two boys over years. He waived a preliminary hearing and the case is headed for trial, according to the attorney general’s office.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:53 PM

Report details sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania's Catholic Church

HARRISBURG (PA)
CNN

August 14, 2018

By Daniel Burke and Susannah Cullinane

A new grand jury report says that internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania show that more than 300 "predator priests" have been credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 child victims.

"We believe that the real number of children whose records were lost or who were afraid ever to come forward is in the thousands," the grand jury report says.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades. Monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals have mostly been protected; many, including some named in this report, have been promoted. Until that changes, we think it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal."

The lengthy report, released Tuesday afternoon, investigates clergy sexual abuse in six dioceses dating back to 1947. Pennsylvania's two other dioceses, Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown, were the subjects of earlier grand jury reports, which found similarly damaging information about clergy and bishops in those dioceses.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:50 PM

Report finds hundreds of priests abused more than 1,000 children in PA dioceses

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 14, 2018

Nicole Winfield in Vatican City and Claudia Lauer and Michael Rubinkam in Pennsylvania contributed to this report.

The landmark grand jury report also accused Catholic Church leaders of covering up the abuse.

More than 1,000 children — and possibly many more — were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses, while senior church officials took steps to cover it up, according to a landmark grand jury report released Tuesday.

The grand jury said it believes the “real number” of abused children might be “in the thousands” since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward. The report said more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period decades, beginning in the mid-1950s.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the two-year probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.

“The cover-up was sophisticated. And all the while, shockingly, church leadership kept records of the abuse and the cover-up. These documents, from the dioceses’ own ‘Secret Archives,’ formed the backbone of this investigation,” he said at a news conference in Harrisburg.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:48 PM

301 ‘Predator Priests’ Named In Pa. Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report: ‘They Were Raping Little Boys & Girls’

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA

August 14, 2018

By Andy Sheehan

The long-awaited state grand jury report into sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Pittsburgh and Greensburg, has finally been released.

The 884-page document, two years in the making, shines a light into the dark corners of these dioceses going back seven decades, exposing the predators and the efforts of their bishops to protect them.

“Today, the most comprehensive report on child sexual abuse within the church ever produced in our country was released,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Pennsylvanians can finally learn the extent of sexual abuse in these dioceses. For the first time, we can all begin to understand the systematic cover up by church leaders that followed. The abuse scarred every diocese. The cover up was sophisticated. The church protected the institution at all costs.”

The report begins with the following statement:

“We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this. We know some of you have head some of it before. There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale. For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:47 PM

Hundreds of 'predator priests' listed in Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
TRIB Live

August 14, 2018

By Debra Erdley

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday released a highly anticipated but heavily redacted grand jury report that purports to lift a veil of secrecy that protected more than 300 "predator priests" across six Pennsylvania dioceses for nearly 70 years.

The nearly 900-page report was edited to black out the names of 13 clergy members who filed legal objections, details decades of graphic allegations of sexual abuse and cover-ups in the Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Erie, Allentown and Scranton dioceses.

The report names 301 "predator priests," Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. It includes 20 priests who worked in the Greensburg diocese and 99 from the Pittsburgh diocese, he said.

The grand jury received files on more than 400 priests but didn't name names if the information was "too scanty" to make a reasonable determination, Shapiro said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:55 PM

Scathing Pennsylvania grand jury report accuses hundreds of priests of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

August 14, 2018

By Emily Opilo and Tim Darragh

A scathing grand jury report released Tuesday reveals accusations of sexual abuse against 301 priests, whose actions went unchecked for decades in dioceses across Pennsylvania, including Allentown.

Instead of reporting pedophiles, dioceses routinely shuffled them from parish to parish, enabling them to prey upon new victims, the document shows. The statewide grand jury spent two years on what may be the most exhaustive investigation of the church taken on by a state. It covered allegations in the Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton dioceses, which collectively minister to more than 1.7 million Catholics.

The 23 members of the grand jury took testimony from dozens of witnesses. But it was in the church’s own files — more than half a million pages of internal diocesan documents in “secret archives” — that the grand jury found the names of more than a thousand children who were victimized.

“We believe that the real number — of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid ever to come forward — is in the thousands,” the report noted.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:55 PM

Catholic Diocese of Erie and grand jury report: the latest

ERIE (PA)
GoErie

August 14, 2018

By Ed Palattella and Madeleine O’Neill

The report also covers 5 other Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

The latest on the release of the grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Erie and five other Roman Catholic dioceses statewide:

2:15 p.m.: Grand jury report is released shortly after 2 p.m. The report summarizes the grand jury’s findings on the Catholic Diocese of Erie, and lists 41 offenders. They are as follows, with two names redacted because those individuals are challenging the contents of the report:

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:54 PM

Live: Pennsylvania AG talks about grand jury report on church sex abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

August 14, 2018

Pennsylvania's Attorney General Josh Shapiro talks about the grand jury report on child sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses in the state.

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday released a highly anticipated but heavily redacted grand jury report that purports to lift a veil of secrecy that protected more than 300 "predator priests" across six Pennsylvania dioceses for nearly 70 years.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:53 PM

Clergy abuse of children in Pa: Live coverage of grand jury report

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 14, 2018

By Megan Lavey-Heaton

The long-awaited grand jury report into clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania is being released today.

The office of state Attorney General Josh Shapiro empaneled the grand jury in 2016 to investigate allegations of child sex crimes across six of the state's eight Catholic dioceses: Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg.

The grand jury, which completed its investigation in April, produced a 900-plus page report that names more than 300 members of the clergy by name in connection to sex crimes against children.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:50 PM

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro briefs press on alleged sex abuse by priests

HARRISBURG (PA)
CBS News

August 14, 2018

Catholic leaders are bracing for the release of a grand jury report on child sexual abuse. The investigation covers the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Greensburg and four others in Pennsylvania. Watch live in the player above as Attorney General Josh Shapiro briefs the press on the findings of the grand jury report.

While the 900-page report will contain names and details which have never been released before, not everything will be released. The report names 300 alleged "predator priests," but about a dozen names will be redacted. Some clergy and former clergy are legally challenging the report, which includes their names.

Victims of child sexual abuse within the church are expected to be in attendance.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:38 PM

Chile authorities raid Episcopal Conference in abuse probe

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The Associated Press

August 14, 2018

By Eva Vergara

Chilean authorities raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church’s Episcopal Conference on Tuesday as part of a widespread investigation into sex abuse committed by members of the Marist Brothers order in the South American country, prosecutors said.

The raids by investigating prosecutors and Chile’s equivalent of the FBI took place at one of the most important buildings of the Chilean church in the capital of Santiago. Investigating prosecutor Raul Guzman, who confirmed the raid, is probing more than 35 accusations of abuse committed against former students at schools run by the Marists, who are religious brothers, not priests.

Guzman told local news media that investigators were collecting information to help identify victims.

After leaving the Episcopal Office headquarters, the investigators went to the offices of the Marist order and also collected information there, according to Alejandro Pena, an attorney for the order. He said he hoped the action would help resolve the case.

In a statement sent to The Associated Press, seven of the complainants said, “We feel profound satisfaction at seeing the advance of investigations needed to do justice.”

They noted that there had been suspicions of attempts to destroy or hide documents — an allusion to a previous raid on a diocese where investigators found church workers trying to destroy documents.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:58 PM

Pennsylvania priest sex abuse victims get their stories heard

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

August 14, 2018

By Tim Darragh

Victims of sexual abuse by priests in dioceses throughout Pennsylvania have been waiting years, if not decades, for the day when they could believe their stories were told and heard.

That day is now.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court set 2 p.m. as the deadline for a special master to release a grand jury report detailing decades of priests’ sexual misconduct with minors in six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses, including Allentown.

More than 300 “predator” priests are expected to be identified in the report, which would make it one of the largest single collections of church sex abuse worldwide.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:53 PM

Report will detail sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania's Catholic Church

HARRISBURG (PA)
CNN

August 14, 2018

By Susannah Cullinane

A grand jury's report on sexual abuse by hundreds of Catholic priests in Pennsylvania is expected to be released later Tuesday.

The report is "an honest and comprehensive accounting of widespread sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses," according to the attorney general's office. The Church has said that the grand jury's inquiry dates to 1947.

Court action has delayed the report's publication. A number of individuals named in the report claimed that its findings were false or misleading, that they were denied due process of law and that its release would impair their reputations.

On July 27, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the grand jury report to be released by 2 p.m. August 14 with redactions in sections where litigation was ongoing.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro had written to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, on July 25, requesting that the Pontiff direct church leaders to stop "efforts to silence the survivors."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:41 PM

The Latest: Archbishop defends himself amid critical report

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 14, 2018

The Latest on a grand jury report on clergy abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, is defending himself ahead of a forthcoming grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses.

He says the report will be critical of some of his actions as Pittsburgh's bishop.

Wuerl wrote to priests late Monday, ahead of Tuesday's release of the report. He says he acted diligently to protect children while bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years through 2006.

Court records say the report identifies more than 300 "predator priests" and that grand jurors accuse church leaders of brushing aside victims to protect abusers and church institutions.

Wuerl is already dealing with allegations that a predecessor, disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, allegedly sexually abused boys and adult seminarians. He said last month that archdiocesan records showed no complaints about McCarrick.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:40 PM

Leaders Bracing For Release Of Grand Jury Report On Sexual Abuse In Six Pennsylvania Dioceses

HARRISBURG (PA)
KDKATV

August 14, 2018

Catholic leaders are bracing for the release of a grand jury report on child sexual abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:38 PM

Alleged sex abuse victim to plead guilty to robbing churches

BEGA (NSW, AUSTRALIA)
Bega District News

August 13, 2018

By Cameron Houston

An alleged victim of clerical abuse will plead guilty to breaking into more than 20 Catholic churches during a three-month burglary spree that terrorised priests and parishioners.

Motivated by a deep-seated hatred of the Catholic Church, Stephen Peters, 49, admitted to police that he wanted to create fear among the clergy, often cutting off power as priests slept.

A prosecutor told the County Court of Victoria that Mr Peters had vowed "to continue to offend until he received an apology from the church".

Between February and April 2018, Mr Peters broke into Catholic churches from Swan Hill to Morwell and in more than a dozen Melbourne parishes, where he stole money donated to collection plates, wallets and more than three cars owned by priests.

Mr Peters found more than $14,000 in cash in a filing cabinet during an aggravated burglary at St John the Baptist Church in Clifton Hill on April 9.

Less than a week later, he broke into the presbytery of Our Lady of Victory in Camberwell, where he stole $1500 from a safe.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:35 PM

John Smyth victim calls for independent inquiry after he claims church 'marks its own exams'

ENGLAND
The Telegraph

August 13, 2018

By Victoria Ward and Helena Horton

One of the victims of a Christian evangelist, who was brutally abused as a teenager, has called for an independent inquiry, and accused the Church of England of "marking its own exams".

Andrew Morse, who twice tried to take his own life after years of savage beatings at the hands of John Smyth QC, said he does not trust the Church to do its own investigation, accusing it of not doing enough to stop the abuse and help the victims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:33 PM

Archbishop defends himself ahead of child sex abuse report

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 14, 2018

By Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, says he expects a grand jury report being released Tuesday on the sexual abuse of children by clergy in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses to be critical of his actions as the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh.

Wuerl wrote to priests late Monday, defending himself ahead of the release of a roughly 900-page report that victim advocates call the largest and most exhaustive such review by any U.S. state.

Wuerl contended that he acted diligently to protect children while bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years through 2006.

Despite the criticism of his actions in the report, Wuerl said he hopes "a just assessment of my actions, past and present, and my continuing commitment to the protection of children will dispel any notions otherwise made by this report."

Court records in a largely secret, months-long legal fight over the report indicate it identifies more than 300 "predator priests" and that grand jurors accuse church leaders of brushing aside victims to protect abusers and church institutions.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:32 PM

Judge: Aquilina can hear Nassar appeal

DETROIT (MI)
The Detroit News

August 14, 2018

By Kim Kozlowski

Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was not biased against serial pedophile Larry Nassar, and should stay on his case as he appeals the sentence, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Chief Judge Richard Garcia wrote in his ruling that Nassar pled guilty to criminal sexual conduct against seven young girls, using his medical credentials to assault them and admitted that his procedures served no medical purpose and were for his own sexual gratification. Garcia also noted that Nassar agreed to allow more than the seven named survivors to provide impact statements at sentencing, resulting in more than 150 women and girls to come forward.

Citing case law, Garcia wrote that consideration of victim impact statements by those who testified at sentencing does not amount to "a prejudice or bias that give rise to disqualification."

"In fact, the language of punishment need not be nice," Garcia wrote. "Judge Aquilina clearly understood the importance of righteous indignation. She also understood the role of the court to have this emotion controlled by the judge rather than allow it to run wild in the community. She explained that as she expressed her indignation, there was a palpable decrease in the tension in the gallery. This was a controlled burn."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:28 PM

Churches should lose charity status over child abuse, former tax official says

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

August 12, 2018

By Melissa Davey

Terry Hamilton writes to tax office and charities watchdog about failures royal commission found in Catholic and other churches

It is unacceptable for churches that failed to protect children from sexual abuse to still have charity status nine months after the royal commission delivered its final report, a former assistant taxation commissioner has said.

Terry Hamilton wrote to the prime minister’s office, the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) expressing concern at the number of unchallenged breaches of taxation law by Australia’s religious institutions.

The high court of Australia states for church bodies to qualify as religious institutions the church body must: be instituted for promotion of a religious object; its activities must reflect that character; and its practices and conduct must not offend against the laws of Australia.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:27 PM

Australia archbishop gets house detention for abuse cover-up

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
The Associated Press

August 14, 2018

The most senior Catholic cleric convicted of covering up child sex abuse was ordered by an Australian court Tuesday to serve his 1-year sentence in home detention rather than jail.

Newcastle Magistrate Robert Stone on Tuesday ordered former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson to be detained at his sister’s house for at least 6 months before he is eligible for parole. He will be under strict supervision including having to wear a tracking device that would alert authorities if he left the house.

Wilson, 67, has denied the accusations and had refused to resign pending an appeal. But Pope Francis accepted Wilson’s resignation last month after mounting pressure including from the Australian prime minister for him to be fired.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:25 PM

Larry Nassar's attempt to disqualify sentencing judge denied

LANSING (MI)
MLive

August 14, 2018

By Amy Biolchini

A judge has struck down ex-Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar's attempt to disqualify the judge that sentenced him to decades in prison for sexually assaulting hundreds of girls and women under the guise of medical treatment.

Nassar's lawyers alleged Ingham County Circuit Judge Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was biased against him by allowing 169 people to give victim impact statements during his sentencing and cheering them along. Nassar is asking to be re-sentenced, and was attempting to seek a different judge to do so.

Tuesday, Ingham County Circuit Court Chief Judge Richard J. Garcia denied Nassar's motion to disqualify Aquilina.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:24 PM

Judge Aquilina 'uniquely situated' to keep Larry Nassar case, chief judge rules

LANSING (MI)
Lansing State Journal

August 14, 2018

By Matt Mencarini,

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina will remain on the Larry Nassar case, despite an effort by his attorneys to remove her.

Ingham County Circuit Court Chief Judge Richard Garcia issued that ruling today, strongly defending Aquilina while criticizing Nassar and the attempt to remove her from hearing his motion requesting a new sentence.

"The die was cast in the courtroom and Defendant's sentence was forged by his own words and deeds," Garcia wrote in his seven-page opinion. "Consideration of whether he should be resentenced can be fairly reviewed by the judge uniquely situated to provide justice in this case.

"The judge who heard these survivors is the only one who should properly render any re-sentence."

The matter went to Garcia after Aquilina refused to remove herself from the case on Aug. 3, and Nassar's court-appointed appellate attorneys appealed to him.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:23 PM

Hundreds of accused priests will be listed in Pennsylvania report on Catholic Church sex abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Washington Post

August 14, 2018

By Michelle Boorstein

Catholics on Tuesday were awaiting the release of one of the most sweeping investigations ever on U.S. clerical sex abuse of minors — an 800-page-plus grand jury report detailing 70 years of misconduct and church response across Pennsylvania.

The release is the culmination of an 18-month probe, led by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, on six of the state’s eight dioceses — Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg — and follows other state grand jury reports that revealed abuse and coverups in two other dioceses.

Legal challenges by some of the approximately 300 clergy named in the report have delayed it, after some said it is a violation of their constitutional rights. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled last month that the report must be released but with some redaction. That ruling came after at least 10 news organizations, including The Washington Post, urged its release.

The report has helped renew a crisis many in the church thought and hoped had ended nearly 20 years ago after the scandal erupted in Boston. But recent abuse-related scandals, from Chile to Australia, have reopened wounding questions about accountability and whether church officials are still covering up crimes at the highest levels.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:21 PM

O.C. Fugitive Accused of Sexually Assaulting Choir Boy for Years Extradited to U.S., Held on $60 Million Bail

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
KTLA5

August 13, 2018

By Tracy Bloom, Chip Yost, and Mary Beth McDade

An Orange County man who authorities say fled the country more than a decade ago after being charged with sexually assaulting a choir boy over a four-year period has been extradited back to the U.S., authorities said Monday.

The announcement came the same day that the accused child molester, 43-year-old Roger Alan Giese, made his first court appearance in Santa Ana since returning to California.

He was scheduled to be arraigned on the bench warrant for his arrest, but the arraignment was continued until later this month.

Giese is being held on $60 million bail, jail records showed.

“The return of Mr. Giese to the United States after more than a decade is an example of the FBI’s commitment to returning fugitives accused of state crimes to local jurisdictions where they face prosecution regardless of how much time has passed,” Paul Delacourt, the assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, said in a news release.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:18 PM

Judge dismisses lawsuit against former LDS mission president for alleged sexual abuse

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KUTV

August 13, 2018

By McKenzie Stauffer

UPDATE: The LDS Church released the following statement about the judge's decision to dismiss a lawsuit against a former LDS mission president.

Judge Kimball has dismissed three of the four claims involving the Church. He allowed one claim to remain so the parties can investigate its merits. We remain confident in the legal system to evaluate these claims and determine the truth. As the Church has repeatedly stated, there can be no tolerance for abuse.

A federal judge has formally dismissed a lawsuit against a former LDS mission president Joseph L. Bishop.

The lawsuit against the LDS Church for fraud, however, has been upheld.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:15 PM

Philip Wilson: Ex-archbishop in cover-up to be detained at home

AUSTRALIA
BBC News

August 14, 2018

A former Catholic archbishop will serve a maximum 12-month sentence in home detention for concealing child sexual abuse, an Australian court has ruled.

The decision means Philip Wilson, who resigned as archbishop of Adelaide after his conviction, will avoid jail.

Wilson, 67, is the world's most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of covering up sexual abuse.

His lawyers said they would lodge an appeal on Tuesday.

A magistrate said Wilson would commence his sentence immediately at a relative's home, where he would be monitored by a tracking device. He will be eligible for parole after six months.

As he left court on Tuesday, Wilson did not respond to an abuse survivor who confronted him to demand an apology.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:27 PM

Woman appointed to head battle against sexual abuse in Chilean Church

CHILE
La Croix

August 13, 2018

By Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner

The appointment of Ana Maria Celis Brunet, a lawyer specializing in church law, illustrates Pope Francis’ commitment to ending clericalism

Chile’s Catholic bishops have appointed Ana Maria Celis Brunet, an experienced lawyer and theologian, to lead the fight against clerical sexual abuse in her new role as president of the National Council of the Chilean Church for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Accompaniment of Victims.

Pope Francis received Brunet, a specialist in canon law and the law of religions, in an audience at St. Martha House in the Vatican on Aug. 10, just a few days after her appointment.“

The objective of the meeting was to inform and exchange opinions on the measures taken in Chile to deal with cases of abuse and to stop them from re-occurring,” a Holy See Press Office statement read.

“A significant part of the conversation dealt with the suffering of victims and their need for comfort and compensation,” the statement said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:24 PM

PDI allana oficinas de la Conferencia Episcopal

[Breaking news: PDI raids offices of the Episcopal Conference]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

August 14, 2018

By Carlos Reyes and Leyla Zapata

[This in the framework of the investigation that the South Prosecutor's Office carries out in the case of abuses in the Marist Congregation. The regional prosecutor Raúl Guzmán leads the diligence.]

Esto en el marco de la indagatoria que la Fiscalía Sur lleva adelante por el caso de abusos en la Congregación Marista. El fiscal regional Raúl Guzmán lidera la diligencia.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:02 AM

Cancillería entregó al Vaticano los requerimientos de información por casos de abuso en la Iglesia

[Chancellery handed the Vatican information requests for cases of abuse in the Church]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

August 14, 2018

By C. Reyes

[The purpose of the petition is to be able to access the Scicluna report and canonical files of those investigated in cases of alleged sexual abuse against minors.]

El objetivo de la petición es poder acceder al informe Scicluna y a expedientes canónicos de investigados en casos de presunto abuso sexual contra menores.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:59 AM

Fiscalía y PDI allanan la Conferencia Episcopal en Santiago por caso Maristas

[Prosecutor and PDI raid the Episcopal Conference in Santiago in regards to Marist case]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Biobio.cl

August 14, 2018

La mañana de este martes personal de la Brigada de Delitos Sexuales de la PDI llegó hasta la sede de la Conferencia Episcopal en el centro de Santiago.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:50 AM

Fiscalía allana sede de la Conferencia Episcopal por caso maristas

[Breaking news: Prosecutor's office raids headquarters of the Episcopal Conference for Marist cases]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Cooperativa.cl

August 14, 2018

Diligencia es encabezada por el fiscal Raúl Guzmán.

La Fiscalía Metropolitana Sur llegó la mañana de este martes hasta la sede de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile para allanar sus instalaciones por orden del fiscal regional Raúl Guzmán, en el marco del caso maristas.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:46 AM

Amid Pa. priest abuse scandal, Vigneron says clergy must be accountable

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

August 14, 2018

By Ann Zaniewski

Archbishop of Detroit Allen H. Vigneron on Monday stressed that all clergy — including bishops like himself — need to be held accountable for their behavior, and said priests who have impure relations with others need to repent or give up the priesthood.

His remarks came in two similar letters — one geared toward clergy, the other to the faithful at large — issued ahead of the expected release of a report detailing widespread sexual abuse allegations against clergy in Pennsylvania.

Vigneron told the faithful he shares their pain in facing the news of abuse allegations in the Church. He also said he prays for the victims.

"Even with our renewed prayers and support for our dedicated priests and deacons, I note a temptation to despair among some over whether things can change," he wrote. "However, we know that reform can only happen when hope lives."We must move forward with the conviction that God will not abandon his Church. He wants her purified, cleansed of these sins and brought to new life."

A damning report into allegations of decades of child sexual abuse by clergy members and efforts to cover it up in six of Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses is expected to be released in the coming days, the result of an almost two-year grand jury investigation.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:55 AM

Ex-Australian archbishop avoids jail for concealing child abuse

AUSTRALIA
AFP

August 13, 2018

A former Australian archbishop convicted of concealing abuse by a notorious paedophile priest in the 1970s was confronted by enraged victims outside a courthouse Tuesday after a judge spared him jail and ordered he serve his sentence at home.

Philip Wilson became one of the highest-ranked church officials convicted of covering up child sex abuse when he was found guilty in May of concealing crimes by priest Jim Fletcher in the Hunter region of New South Wales state.

The Newcastle Local Court sentenced the 67-year-old to 12 months' imprisonment, with a non-parole period of six months, but also ordered that he be assessed to serve it in home detention.

Wilson had since been on bail and on Tuesday magistrate Robert Stone decided he will not need to spend time behind bars, with his age and prior good record taken into account.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:54 AM

Former Catholic archbishop Philip Wilson to serve sentence at home; sex abuse survivor called 'rubbish'

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

August 14, 2018

By Nancy Notzon

An abuse survivor has been called "rubbish" by a member of Adelaide's former Catholic archbishop Philip Wilson's entourage, in an exchange played out in front of a media scrum.

Wilson had just been told by a Newcastle magistrate he could serve his sentence for concealing historical child sex abuse in home detention as opposed to prison.

As he left the court, Peter Gogarty — who was a victim of paedophile priest Jim Fletcher — asked Wilson to apologise but the clergyman stayed silent.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:52 AM

Deadline looms for release of Catholic church abuse report

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 14, 2018

By Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy

Time is ticking down to a court-ordered deadline Tuesday afternoon to decide what information to black out in a forthcoming grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses.

A state Supreme Court order issued last month set a timetable to publicly release a redacted version of the grand jury's roughly 900-page report, and justices appointed a county judge to help state prosecutors and lawyers for clergy members named in it to decide what portions to release.

Court records in a monthslong legal fight over the report say it identifies more than 300 "predator priests" and that grand jurors accuse church leaders of brushing aside victims to protect abusers and church institutions.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:50 AM

Judge Won't Toss Claim Against Mormon Church in Rape Case

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Associated Press

August 13, 2018

By Lindsay Whitehurst

A judge is refusing to dismiss a lawsuit by a woman claiming she was raped by a Mormon church leader who was allowed oversee young missionaries despite a history of sexual misconduct.

A woman's lawsuit claiming she was raped by a Mormon church leader who was allowed to oversee young missionaries despite a history of sexual misconduct will go forward, a judge decided Monday.

The decision will allow McKenna Denson's lawyers to investigate whether there are others who claim to be victims of Joseph L. Bishop, who oversaw hundreds of young people as president of the Missionary Training Center in the 1980s, or others in leadership positions, attorney Craig Vernon said.

"The church represented to McKenna and everybody else that he was good guy, he was safe and he was trustworthy, he was not a sexual predator, he was not a sexual addict," Vernon said. "We believe there is evidence the church in fact knew that was not true."

The Associated Press doesn't usually name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Denson has said she wants her story to be public.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:49 AM

Cardinal defends handling of abuse claims ahead of Pa. grand jury report [Video]

HARRISBURG (PA)
CBS News Videos

August 14, 2018

A highly anticipated grand jury report detailing alleged abuses by hundreds of Catholic priests across Pennsylvania is set to be released today. The first statewide report will reveal accusations against more than 300 so-called "predator priests" and reported efforts by church leaders to cover them up.The former bishop of Pittsburgh, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, is expected to come under intense scrutiny for how he handled more than two dozen abuse cases. Nikki Battiste reports.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:45 AM

USA Gymnastics, enveloped by scandal and its sport on fire, reckons with its future

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

August 13, 2018

The eyes of the gymnastics world are turning to Boston, where the US championships begin Thursday at TD Garden. And while those eyes will be delighted by the sights of high-flying bar routines, elegant balance beam moves, daring vaults, and gravity-defying tumbling passes, the backdrop of the event writes a more difficult story for the competition’s overseer, USA Gymnastics. Enveloped by scandal, its sport is under fire. When years of systemic oversight problems culminated in the criminal sentencing of former national team doctor Larry Nassar as a serial sexual abuser, a long, heartbreaking shadow was cast over the sport, fomenting concern about the safety and well-being of the athletes involved.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:29 AM

Seminary investigation to begin in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

BOSTON (MA)
Religion News Service

August 13, 2018

By Eric Berger

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, has placed the rector of St. John’s Seminary in Boston on leave and launched an investigation of the seminary’s culture following allegations of sexual misconduct at the school.

O’Malley said Friday (Aug. 10) he was responding to recent social media posts by former seminarians, adding that he could neither verify nor disprove the allegations.

According to what was claimed in the posts, “they witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood,” O’Malley’s statement said. He also said he is “committed to immediate action to address these serious matters.”

The allegations, which were not specified in the archbishop’s statement, come two weeks after Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, resigned from the College of Cardinals following allegations that he had sexually abused minors and adult seminarians for decades.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:28 AM

Former Canberra Anglican priest jailed for historic rapes

CANBERRA (AUSTRALIA)
The Canberra Times

August 13, 2018

By Michael Inman

A former Anglican priest who raped a young girl on the pew of a Canberra church had a long-history of molesting children.

Justice Michael Elkaim on Monday sentenced John Philip Aitchison, 67, to nine years jail on five charges of sexual intercourse with a young person and seven counts of acts of indecency on a young person.

The ACT Supreme Court heard he had been convicted of offences against children in the United Kingdom, NSW, Victoria, and the ACT.

However, he had only served two years behind bars.

Justice Elkaim said the offender had been "dealt with leniently" in the past, on one occasion a NSW court found he had pyschological issues.

"[This] was incorrect. He is unquestionably a paedophile," Justice Elkaim said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:26 AM

Anglican Priest sentenced to nine years' jail for raping Canberra teenager

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

August 13, 2018

By Bianca Gurra

A woman who was raped by a former Anglican priest 30 years ago has detailed the extensive and long-lasting impact of the abuse in court.

John Philip Aitchison was today sentenced to nine years behind bars for the historical rape.

Earlier this year, a Supreme Court jury found Aitchison guilty of seven acts of indecency and five counts of rape against the woman, then a 13-year-old Canberra girl, which took place over two years in the 1980s.

Aitchison pleaded not guilty to all charges.

He has previously been convicted of other offences involving children in the ACT, Victoria, New South Wales and the United Kingdom, and he served roughly two years at the Junee Correctional Centre in the late 1990s.

The first assault on the Canberra teenager took place at the All Saints' Anglican Church in Ainslie, after the she finished violin practice.

During the trial, the woman told the court Aitchison had told her to look into the corner while he abused her, and pray that she might see her pet dog that had died.

At the same time, Aitchison — then a deacon — prayed to God for forgiveness.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 8:25 AM

August 13, 2018

Grand jury report on clergy sex abuse: What you need to know ahead of its release

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 13, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

The long-awaited grand jury report into clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania is poised to be released on Tuesday . PennLive will provide complete coverage of its release.

By order from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Commonwealth has until 2 p.m. tomorrow to release the report.

The report is widely expected to be one of the most scathing and comprehensive investigations into the worldwide scandal embroiling the 1.2-billion strong church.

Here is a quick primer on what we know so far about the report:

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:59 PM

Chile Debates Legalizing Euthanasia

CHILE
Bloomberg

August 10, 2018

By Eduardo Thomson

- Latin American nation approved abortion in some cases in 2017
- Catholic Church reeling from series of sexual abuse scandals

Chile is fast ditching its reputation as South America’s most conservative and Catholic country, with lawmakers now discussing whether to make it the second nation in the region to legalize euthanasia.

Less than a year after allowing abortion in some cases, a commission of the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that would permit euthanasia for the terminally ill or in cases of extreme suffering, enabling doctors to prescribe lethal medication.

"In the past, this subject was a big taboo,” Vlado Mirosevic, a lawmaker from the Liberal Party who originally presented the bill to Congress, said in an interview Thursday. “This discussion about euthanasia is putting Chile at the forefront in civil liberties.”

Chile has come a long way since emerging from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1990. Back then, divorce was illegal, illegitimate children had less rights than legitimate children and abortion was illegal, even if the mother was likely to die because of the pregnancy. That has now all changed. Divorce was legalized in 2004 and an abortion bill passed in 2017.

The euthanasia bill will now be analyzed article by article and probably will be voted on by the lower house next month, where it already has the votes required for approval, according to Mirosevic. It will then move on to the Senate.

"That will be the test of fire," Mirosevic said.

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church, which railed against the euthanasia bill when it was first presented in 2014, may take a lower profile this year. Chile has been rocked for more than a year by a series of sexual abuse scandals in the Church that have slashed its once untouchable social status.

“It’s one of the factors," said Anne Barrett-Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a research center that tracks clergy sexual abuse cases globally and has built a database of more than 100 cases of abuse in Chile. The disillusion with the church "plays into the willingness of people to think independently and not follow doctrine."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:39 PM

Hermano de Cristián Precht y abusos en la iglesia católica: "Hay una máquina de apetitos para lograr indemnizaciones"

[Brother of accused priest Cristián Precht: "There is a machine of appetites for compensation"]

CHILE
El Mostrador

August 12, 2018

"Junto con víctimas que pueden ser reales, hay víctimas que pueden ser supuestas, que pueden magnificar lo ocurrido o sencillamente que ingresan a la cola del negocio
por venir", agregó, asegurando que las verdaderas intenciones de los denunciantes es obtener
algún tipo de indemnización.

Héctor Precht, hermano del sacerdote Cristián Precht, quien es acusado de abuso sexual a menores, salió a defender a su hermano, asegurando que las verdaderas intenciones de los afectados son en materia económica.

Posted by Laura R at 12:26 PM

Cardinal O’Malley ousts seminary rector amid sex abuse allegations

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

August 11, 2018

By Jordan Frias

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley has ordered the ouster of the Archdiocese of Boston St. John’s Seminary rector for the fall semester and is demanding an investigation into alleged abuse following social media posts by two former seminarians.

Msgr. James P. Moroney has been placed on sabbatical leave and the Rev. Stephen E. Salocks, a professor of sacred scripture, will serve as interim rector while a team appointed by O’Malley investigates any wrongdoing at the seminary.

The team appointed is being led by Assumption College president Dr. Francisco Cesareo, Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. Mark O’Connell and Athena Legal Strategies Group CEO Kimberly Jones.

“I have directed this group to proceed with due seriousness of their assignment,” O’Malley said, “and as soon as possible to submit to me the findings of the inquiry and a set of recommendations to assure appropriate standards of professional behavior in compliance with church teaching at all levels of seminary life.”

O’Malley said he learned of the allegations of wrongdoing through social media sites, including posts made to the Archdiocese’s Facebook page.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:17 PM

UI report recommends efforts to address sexual misconduct

URBANA (IL)
The Associated Press

August 12, 2018

A University of Illinois report is recommending new efforts to support students in the first weeks of school when sexual assaults are most common, especially among freshman.

The university's second systematic survey of sexual misconduct on campus recommends targeting resources at specific groups who have a higher risk of sexual assault, including the Greek system, LGBTQ community and those with disabilities, The News-Gazette reported.

The survey is also recommending doubling down on efforts to reduce alcohol abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:16 PM

Church abuse report, 2 years in works, may soon be released

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 12, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

A damning report into allegations of decades of child sexual abuse at the hands of clergy members and efforts to cover it up in six of Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses is expected to be released in the coming days.

The public disclosure of the findings, the result of an almost two-year grand jury investigation, has been delayed while some of the people named in the report have launched legal challenges, arguing the report is inaccurate and releasing it in its current form would violate their constitutional rights to their reputations and to due process of law.

The state Supreme Court has agreed to consider those claims and scheduled the matter for oral argument in September. In the meantime, the court has ordered identifying information regarding those challenges to be redacted and the nearly 900-page report to be released.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:15 PM

On the immoral cover-up of abuse in Catholic Church

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

August 9, 2018

By John Baer

In anticipation of findings, however redacted, of a statewide grand jury investigation into sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses, I revisited a 2005 grand jury report on the same topic in Philadelphia.

Thirteen years later, it’s as horrific as it was back then.

Findings included “how dozens of priests (at least 63) sexually abused hundreds of children” and “how Philadelphia Archdiocese officials — including Cardinal (Anthony) Bevilacqua and Cardinal (John) Krol — excused and enabled the abuse.”

Details were sickening.

“We mean rape. Boys who were raped orally, boys who were raped anally, girls who were raped vaginally.”

Specifics were worse.

An 11-year-old girl whose priest raped her, and when she became pregnant took her for an abortion.

A boy who woke intoxicated in a priest’s bed to find a priest performing oral sex on him while three other clerics watched.

There was much more.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:14 PM

Clergy abuse case reflects simmering scrutiny of Pa. grand jury system

HARRISBURG (PA)
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

August 5, 2018

By Angela Couloumbis and Liz Navratil

In the spring of 2017, a lawyer representing two Catholic dioceses targeted in a statewide investigation of clergy sex abuse leveled a legal challenge to the grand jury process in Pennsylvania.

The lawyer, Matt Haverstick, questioned a grand jury procedure that prevented attorneys for witnesses from discussing testimony with each other and coordinating strategy. The judge supervising the grand jury in the case rejected the request, noting the rule was designed to preserve evidence and prevent witness tampering.

Weeks later, the state Supreme Court empaneled a new task force to review the scope and powers of Pennsylvania grand juries. The panel members and court officials won’t discuss details of its meetings or progress, but two of its areas of focus — examining gag orders and swearing attorneys to secrecy – paralleled Mr. Haverstick’s arguments.

And in October, a veteran state senator from Montgomery County began pushing for legislation to address “the secrecy of grand juries, the role of the supervising judge, the rights of witnesses, and the rights of the person being investigated.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:12 PM

Supreme Court says grand jury judge refused to comply with order

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 2, 2018

By Peter Smith

The supervising judge of the grand jury investigating sexual abuse by Catholic clergy erred when he “declined to comply” with an order of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to review documents to make sure they didn't violate secrecy provisions, the top court ruled Thursday.

The order, and its criticisms of Judge Norman A. Krumenacker III, shed light on why the court last week appointed a special master, Senior Judge John M. Cleland, to supervise future redactions in public documents filed in an ongoing battle over the sealed grand jury report

The three-page ruling said the judge “was in error.”

At issue are challenges by about two dozen current and former clergy who say the roughly 900-page report violates their constitutional right to their good reputations by naming them critically in a report on decades of sexual abuse and cover-up in six Catholic dioceses.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:08 PM

Sex abuse scandals continue plaguing Catholic Church

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

August 12, 2018

By Chico Harlan (with Stefano Pitrelli contributing)

With revelation after revelation, a new wave of sexual abuse scandals is rocking the Roman Catholic Church and presenting Pope Francis with the greatest crisis of his papacy.

In Chile, prosecutors have raided church offices, seized documents and accused leaders of a coverup. In Australia, top church figures are facing detention and trials. And in the United States, after the resignation of a cardinal, questions are swirling about a hierarchy that looked the other way and protected him for years.

The church has had more than three decades - since notable abuse cases first became public - to safeguard victims, and itself, against such system failures. And, in the past five years, many Catholics have looked to Francis as a figure who could modernize the church and help it regain its credibility.

But Francis' track record in handling abuse is mixed, something some outsiders attribute to his learning curve or shortcomings and others chalk up to resistance from a notoriously change-averse institution.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:30 AM

POPE PLEA

IRELAND
The Irish Sun

August 12, 2018

By Stephen Breen

Brave victim of evil paedo priest Tony ‘Fr Filth’ Walsh demands apology from Pope Francis ahead of Pontiff’s Irish visit

Darren McGavin, 44, has urged the head of the Catholic Church — who is coming to Ireland in a couple of weeks’ time — to acknowledge the trauma of Walsh’s 200 victims during the monster’s reign of terror in the 1970s and 80s

A BRAVE victim of evil paedophile priest Tony ‘Fr Filth’ Walsh last night demanded an apology from Pope Francis.

Darren McGavin, 44, has urged the head of the Catholic Church — who is coming to Ireland in a couple of weeks’ time — to acknowledge the trauma of Walsh’s 200 victims during the monster’s reign of terror in the 1970s and 80s.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish Sun on Sunday, the courageous dad waived his right to anonymity to urge the Pontiff — whose visit to Ireland will cost the State €5m — to meet with the victims of clerical abuse.

And Darren, who was raped by Ireland’s worst paedophile priest over a four-year period — told how he has urged the Catholic Church in Ireland to facilitate a meeting between Pope Francis and other victims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:26 AM

When faith fades: can the pope still connect with a changed Ireland?

IRELAND
The Guardian

August 12, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

In the four decades since the last papal visit, Ireland has embraced divorce, contraception, same-sex marriage and abortion – and the Catholic church appears to be losing its hold on the people. How will Pope Francis deal with these issues when he arrives on 25 August?

In the past four decades Ireland has become a different country, but you wouldn’t know it in Knock. In the small west of Ireland town that is home to the huge Marian shrine complex, it was hard to find a space on the tightly packed pews at 11am mass last week. The rows of the faithful – some women’s heads draped with lace – offered responses to the priest in confident voices.

Outside the chapel, built on the spot where 15 people believed they witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1879, pilgrims filled bottles with holy water at a line of fonts or queued to complete mass cards for loved ones. Priests were available to hear confession. An office across Main Street offered a marriage introduction service – “all applications treated in strictest confidence”.

The facade of the Fairfield restaurant was being repainted in Vatican yellow, and finishing touches being put to a gleaming new piazza opposite the shrine. Souvenir shops were already stocked with “Pope Francis 2018” fridge magnets, alongside rosaries and figurines. “The excitement is palpable,” said Father Richard Gibbons, Knock’s parish priest for the past six years.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:22 AM

Zubik: Claims against some priests not substantiated

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 10, 2018

By Peter Smith

A few of the priests in the Diocese of Pittsburgh being named in a soon-to-be-released grand jury report are still in ministry, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said Friday, because the diocese determined allegations against them were unsubstantiated.

Bishop Zubik reiterated that “there is no priest or deacon in an assignment today against whom there was a substantiated allegation of child sexual abuse.”

But he said he would be busy in the days after the release of the grand jury report, meeting with parishioners whose priest may have been named in it, to explain why the diocese’s own review did not substantiate the allegation.

“We’re ready for that,” Bishop Zubik said. “It’s imperative to be responsible.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 11:20 AM

Why the Vatican continues to struggle with sex abuse scandals

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

August 12, 2018

By Chico Harlan

Vatican City - With revelation after revelation, a new wave of sexual abuse scandals is rocking the Roman Catholic Church and presenting Pope Francis with the greatest crisis of his papacy.

In Chile, prosecutors have raided church offices, seized documents and accused leaders of a coverup. In Australia, top church figures are facing detention and trials. And in the United States, after the resignation of a cardinal, questions are swirling about a hierarchy that looked the other way and protected him for years.

The church has had more than three decades — since notable abuse cases first became public — to safeguard victims, and itself, against such system failures. And, in the past five years, many Catholics have looked to Francis as a figure who could modernize the church and help it regain its credibility.

But Francis’s track record in handling abuse is mixed, something some outsiders attribute to his learning curve or shortcomings and others chalk up to resistance from a notoriously change-averse institution.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:45 AM

'We can't sit back anymore' — Lincoln diocese named in allegations

LINCOLN (NE)
Lincoln Journal Star

August 11, 2018

By Peter Salter

It’s been a turbulent month so far for Lincoln’s Catholic leaders, who are facing fire for their mishandling of three priests accused of sexual assault, moral misconduct and an inappropriate relationship with an altar server.

The allegations span two decades, but they only recently surfaced broadly and publicly in a wave of online articles and Facebook posts.

The fallout has been swift. The allegations led to a police investigation. They prompted the bishop to remove a priest, apologize for a lack of transparency, convene a review board and address a church full of parishioners in a closed meeting.

And they’ve brought uncomfortable scrutiny to a diocese often considered the nation’s most orthodox.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:41 AM

Sexual abuse of parishioner: two priests surrender before police

KERALA (INDIA)
Manorama Online

August 13, 2018

Even though five priests are accused of having abused the woman, the names of only four figure in the harge

Kottayam - Two priests, accused of blackmailing and raping a woman parishioner in Kottayam for years, have surrendered before the police after their bail pleas were dismissed by the Supreme Court. First accused Fr Abraham Varghese, alias Sony, and fourth accused Fr Jaise K George had earlier expressed their willingness to surrender before the investigating agencies as the apex court ruled that the trial court must hear their bail pleas immediately.

The duo is among the five priests accused of sexually abusing and blackmailing a woman parishioner for over a decade after threatening to disclose her church confessions.

Even though five priests are accused of having abused the woman, the names of only four figure in the charge sheet. The last name was omitted for want of evidence. Earlier in July, second accused Fr Job Mathew and third accused Fr Johnson V Mathew had surrendered before the cops after their bail pleas were rejected.

The woman had told the investigating agencies that she was 'systematically abused' by the accused, all closely known to her family. She had made a confession to one of the priests that she was sexually abused by a member of the church fraternity.

According to her statement, the priest who took her confession blackmailed her, threatening to release the information to the public.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:27 AM

What we know so far about the grand jury report investigating six of Pa.'s Catholic dioceses

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

August 13, 2018

By Peter Smith & Liz Navratil

For two years, the 23 members of the grand jury investigating Catholic dioceses heard devastating stories of sexual abuse from victims.

They heard from perpetrators. And they heard testimony and saw documents of how bishops often failed to protect children, even putting them in harm’s way from known abusers.

Then in April, in one of the last sessions of their two-year term in downtown Pittsburgh, they heard from a bishop directly. And they were angry.

“When you sit there for two years listening to victims and also to abusers … that is very difficult on the jurors,” Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico said Friday.


He said it was important for him to face the truth, both for the sake of the victims and the sake of the church. “There are two victims, the victims who are actually sexually abused, but there are also victims in the people of God,” he said. “Everything they believed in, it makes it so difficult for them. Because if you can’t trust your bishops and priests, who can you trust? And we certainly haven’t lived up to that trust.”

The state Supreme Court has set a Tuesday deadline for the release, in redacted form, of the grand jury’s long-anticipated report. It delves into seven decades of sexual abuse and cover-ups in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:24 AM

Priest abused him as boy, man says

GENEVA (NY)
Finger Lakes Times

August 12, 2018

By Steve Buchiere

Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary of Lochland Road was a place where young men considered life as a Capuchin friar.

But for Peter Saracino, it was a place where he said he lost his soul.

Saracino, a retired Marcus Whitman teacher who grew up in Seneca Falls and now lives in Phelps, claims a Capuchin priest abused him when he was 8 or 9 at the former Catholic seminary, which is now the upscale resort Geneva On the Lake.

Meeting with a small group of reporters this past week, Saracino named the alleged abuser for the first time, but the Finger Lakes Times is not divulging the name.

There has been no official acknowledgement by the order of the abuse.

The former Geneva seminary was run by the Capuchin Friars of the Province of the Sacred Stigmata of Union City, N.J.

Saracino, a vocal advocate for clergy abuse victims, said he approached the Capuchins about his allegations, and they concluded “it was my word against his,” and the priest was allowed to continue in the ministry.

He said former Rochester Diocese Bishop Mathew Clark believed him and would not allow the priest to serve the diocese.

Saracino and Robert Hoatson, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, a charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, believe the priest is still alive and somewhere in the New York-New Jersey area.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:17 AM

Richard Sipe helped uncover pattern of clergy sex abuse

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

August 13, 2018

By Michael Rezendes

When the Globe Spotlight team began its investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Richard Sipe was our guide, our teacher, our chief cheerleader.

A gentle man with an easy laugh, he was also a former monk and priest, a psychotherapist, a scholar, and ideally suited to explain that the horrors we were discovering in Boston were not unusual — and quite probably part of a pattern throughout the church.

Sipe, who was 85, died Wednesday in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego.

His groundbreaking work began in 1990 with the publication of “A Secret World: Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy.” Based on interviews with 1,500 priests and others with firsthand knowledge of celibacy violations, Sipe estimated that 6 percent of all priests were having sex with children and young people — at the time a shocking claim that he famously repeated in the movie, “Spotlight.”

My first encounter with Sipe’s work came in the summer of 2001, when I read his expert testimony in the case of the Rev. Rudy Kos, a Dallas priest convicted of sex crimes in the late 1990s.

This was a 75-page document so complete in its understanding of clergy sexual abuse that I immediately called the author, A.W. Richard Sipe, eager to learn more.

Days passed without a reply until my cellphone rang on a warm September afternoon as I was racing down the Mass Pike, trying to get to a Red Sox game after covering a court hearing.

For more than an hour, Sipe patiently explained that, as hard as it was to believe, the appalling sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests was a systemic problem within the church fostered by the culture of celibacy, the promise that every priest makes to live without sex or marriage.

Even though the sun was shining, I had the sensation that all the lights were coming on. I told Sipe that the Globe was going to fly him and his wife from their home in California to Boston so the entire Spotlight Team could hear what they had to say.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:12 AM

August 12, 2018

A Public Voice for Private Grief

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Review of Books

August 10, 2018

By Arthur McCaffrey

THE LATE, GREAT Barbara Blaine founded the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in the late 1980s as an advocacy forum and support group for victims of sexual abuse like herself. A priest in her Catholic parish in Ohio began molesting her when she was 13, and continued until she graduated from high school five years later. Like so many young victims of powerful, prestigious predators, the experience left her feeling confused — in her own words, “very guilty, ashamed, dirty and embarrassed.”

She was traumatized into silence, and another decade would pass before she could confront what had happened to her. After reading a story about another abusive priest that triggered repressed memories and made her physically ill, she began to address her own need for healing, and “learned to care for the wounded child still living in my soul.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:34 PM

Statement on priest standing aside

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Archdiocese of Dublin

August 12, 2018

In line with Church Policy on Safeguarding Children a parish priest of Dublin has voluntarily stood aside from his position because of concerns brought to the Diocese and reported to the Gardai. The information received relates to several decades ago and is not connected to the parish.

Standing aside does not imply the truth or falsehood of what is being investigated. It allows an appropriate investigation by relevant Church and State authorities to take place.

Anyone who, at any time, may have concerns or information regarding the safety of children should contact the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service of the Diocese. 01 8360314

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:36 PM

Defrocked priest in Chile blames bishop, military diocese raided by police

ROME
Crux

August 11, 2018

By Inés San Martín

A former Chilean Catholic priest is denying charges of sexual abuse despite a ruling from the Vatican, insisting that it was his bishop, not him, who had the problem.

Bishop Gonzalo Duarte is trying to “clean his image” at the expense of former priest Jaime da Fonseca, says the defrocked man who was removed from priestly ministry by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy earlier this year.

According to a statement from the Diocese of Valparaiso, the congregation received an investigation in May presented by Duarte, who’s been accused not only of covering up for priests such as Da Fonseca, but also of having himself committed abuse.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:55 PM

A Priest Responds to the Catholic Church’s ‘Summer of Shame’

UNITED STATES
National Review

By Benedict Kiely

August 11, 2018

The ongoing scandals are the bitter fruit of a corrupt clerical culture, marked by a widespread failure to accept traditional teaching on sexual morality.

A few weeks before I was ordained a Catholic priest in the late autumn of 1994, my superior in the seminary told me that, in his opinion, it was probably the most difficult time in a century to become a priest. Yet, he went on, it was also the most exciting time. I really did not take much notice of what he said. In fact, in my overconfidence, I thought he was talking nonsense.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:52 PM

[News Advisory] Global survivors to Martin: Three cardinals should step down from WMOF

DUBLIN
ECAGlobal.org

August 10, 2018

- Global clergy abuse survivors and activists to Dublin archbishop: ask Pope to remove three cardinals linked to cover-up of clergy sex abuse from the WMOF.

- ECA joins public demands that these Cardinals be investigated, not honored

- Irish survivors deserve more respect from Papal visit, organization says

- Organization appreciates Martin’s efforts to get clergy abuse on the Papal agenda

See: Open letter to Archbishop Martin available in:
https://www.ecaglobal.org/open-letter-to-archbishop-martin-from-eca/

Prominent clergy abuse survivors and human rights activists are delivering an open letter to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin today from a global organization focused on holding the Vatican accountable for ending clergy abuse. The activists are urging Martin to ask the Pope to take three decisive actions, including removing from the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) three cardinals facing serious questions about protecting brother bishops who have committed sexual abuse. The cardinals should be investigated, not honored, group says.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:49 PM

Priest stands aside in south Dublin parish pending investigation

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

August 12, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Concerns brought to the diocese and reported to the gardaí, statement says

Dublin Archdiocese statement said standing aside “does not imply the truth or falsehood”

A parish priest in Dublin has voluntarily stood down from his duties due to child safeguarding concerns elsewhere a number of decades ago.

In a brief statement this afternoon the Dublin Archdiocese said that “in line with Church Policy on Safeguarding Children, a parish priest of Dublin has voluntarily stood aside from his position because of concerns brought to the diocese and reported to the gardaí. The information received relates to several decades ago and is not connected to the parish.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:32 PM

Can a papal visit heal the church’s reputation?

IRELAND
The Sunday Times

August 12, 2018

By Justine McCarthy

The pontiff heads to Ireland just after politicians reveal a key Vatican official sought protection for the church over abuse claims

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, while the Vatican’s secretary of state in 2004, had reason to be optimistic when he proposed to the Irish president Mary McAleese and Dermot Ahern, the foreign affairs minister, that Ireland bury incriminating Vatican documents and indemnify the church against legal claims for child sexual abuse.

Ireland was, historically, one of the world’s bastions of Catholicism and its political establishment was generally devout. Though Bertie Ahern had separated from his wife and was in a new relationship, the taoiseach was a mass-goer who annually displayed Lenten ashes on his forehead.

In May 2004, six months before Sodano made his proposition, the taoiseach, McAleese and Royston Brady, lord mayor of Dublin, received Catholic knighthoods from the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George, presented by Mario Pompedda, a Vatican cardinal.

The highest honour was bestowed on McAleese at a ceremony in Aras an Uachtarain in recognition of her work for Irish peace and her “commitment to interchurch and interfaith dialogue”. She had met Sodano the previous year during a state visit to Italy when, McAleese revealed last week, he asked whether Ireland would agree not to seek to obtain the church’s files on child abuse.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 1:24 PM

Megachurch leadership resigns to protest their church’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations

SOUTH BARRINGTON (IL)
Vox

August 9, 2018

By Tara Isabella Burton

Months after Bill Hybels stepped down in disgrace from Willow Creek Community Church, his successors have resigned.

The full leadership team of the Chicago-area megachurch Willow Creek has resigned months after megachurch pastor Bill Hybels stepped down in disgrace due to a series of sexual misconduct allegations. Calling past internal investigations into Hybels’ behavior “flawed,” the committee of church elders said in a Wednesday statement that “Willow needs and deserves a fresh start, and the entire board will step down to create room for a new board.” Heather Larson, one of two co-lead pastors at Willow Creek, also stepped down, saying, “Trust has been broken by leadership, and it doesn’t return quickly....it is the job of a leader to put the team and the organization first, and I am committed to doing that.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:57 AM

Clearwater pastor resigns after admitting inappropriate sexual behavior with woman

CLEARWATER (MN)
Saint Cloud Times

August 11, 2018

By Stephanie Dickrell

A Clearwater pastor has admitted to inappropriate sexual behavior with a woman and resigned, according to the Southwest Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Rev. Steve Timm resigned as pastor of Rejoice Lutheran Church on July 7, Bishop Jon Anderson said in a statement issued by the synod.

Timm confirmed to the Times Saturday the reason for his resignation:

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:54 AM

The #ChurchToo Movement Just Scored a Major Victory for Victims of Sexual Abuse

SOUTH BARRINGTON (IL)
Mother Jones

August 10, 2018

By Becca Andrews

Willow Creek Community Church and Bill Hybels were untouchable. Now the entire leadership team at the iconic megachurch has stepped down, setting a significant precedent.

Earlier this week, in what is the most significant response to sexual abuse allegations in an evangelical church since the start of the #ChurchToo movement—or, arguably, ever—the lead pastor and the entire board of elders of Willow Creek Community Church, a deeply influential nondenominational megachurch in the Chicago suburbs, resigned in front of their congregation.

The moves, which happened in a special congregational meeting Wednesday night, were in response to allegations of sexual abuse and harassment against the church’s founding pastor, Bill Hybels, and to the ways the church had essentially turned a blind eye for nearly five years. In the meeting this week, lead pastor Heather Larson announced to thousands of congregants—Willow Creek is home to some 25,000 members, making it the fifth-largest megachurch in the country—that she would resign immediately, and Missy Rasmussen, an elder, announced that she and eight of her peers were stepping down because, she said, “Willow needs and deserves a fresh start.” Rasmussen apologized to each of the women who reported misconduct.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:49 AM

[VIDEO] La Cofradía: Dos sacerdotes renuncian

[VIDEO The Brotherhood: Two priests resign]

CHILE
T13

August 2, 2018

Dos párrocos, presuntos integrantes de la llamada Cofradía de Rancagua, no tuvieron otra opción que renunciar al sacerdocio, tras ser encarados por el nuevo obispo de la diócesis, Fernando Ramos, quien les hizo escuchar una comprometedora grabación de audio. Otro capítulo más de la investigación "El fin del Silencio".

Posted by Laura R at 10:39 AM

Ricardo Ezzati es dado de alta tras evaluación a su estado cardiovascular

[Ezzati leaves hospital after cardiac evaluation]

CHILE
BioBioChile

August 11, 2018

By Gonzalo Cifuentes and Nicole Martínez

El mediodía de este sábado recibió el alta médica al arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, quien había sido ingresado el jueves pasado al Hospital Clínico de la Red de Salud UC CHRISTUS para realizarle un control de rutina de marcapaso.

Posted by Laura R at 10:20 AM

Abogado de Cristián Precht acusa vulneración de las normas del “debido proceso” y omisión de diligencias

[Cristián Precht's lawyer claims there are serious flaws in Church investigation against priest]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 11, 2018

El defensor del religioso se refirió a la decisión del Arzobispado de Santiago de enviar al Vaticano los antecedentes de presuntos abusos contra menores detectados en el marco de la indagatoria del denominado "caso Maristas".

Luciano Fouillioux, abogado del sacerdote Cristián Precht, se refirió a la decisión del Arzobispado de Santiago de enviar al Vaticano los antecedentes sobre presuntos abusos contra menores en los cuales el presbítero habría tenido responsabilidad, esto por antecedentes aparecidos en el contexto del denominado caso Maristas.

Posted by Laura R at 10:10 AM

Some priests named in clergy sex abuse report remain in ministry, says Pittsburgh bishop

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Associated Press via York Daily Record

August 11, 2018

The bishop of Pittsburgh's Roman Catholic diocese said a few priests named in a soon-to-be-released grand jury report on clergy sex abuse are still in ministry because the diocese determined allegations against them were unsubstantiated.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Bishop David Zubik reiterated to reporters Friday that "there is no priest or deacon in an assignment today against whom there was a substantiated allegation of child sexual abuse."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:03 AM

On Cardinal Sodano and the meaning of ‘accountability’

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

August 12, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

In the mounting conversation about accountability amid the Church’s sexual abuse scandals, one question that often doesn’t get as much attention as it should is what, exactly, people need to be held accountable for - that is, which sorts of actions on the abuse scandals are worthy of sanction, and what proof higher authority needs before consequences ought to be imposed.

To begin with the clearest case, “zero tolerance” obviously implies that the direct commission of sexual abuse requires swift and stern discipline, and we now know that standard holds even for Princes of the Church due to the example of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:00 AM

Richard Sipe -- We lost a giant

UNITED STATES
snapnetwork.org

August 11, 2018

By David G. Clohessy

Our movement has lost a giant.

Precious few current and former church insiders have broken ranks, crossed sides, and actively helped abuse survivors. And virtually none who have bring as much experience and wisdom to the struggle as Richard. He's done so with a huge and generous heart and at great personal cost as well.

He has been a beacon of hope and source of support to thousands of wounded victims and betrayed Catholics, through his advocacy and his compassion. Richard's brilliance - in writings, depositions and court testimony - has helped many a prosecutor and civil attorney expose clerics who commit or conceal heinous child sex crimes, and has enabled many a juror better understand the byzantine structure of the church and the secretive self-dealing of Catholic officials. Richard spend decades doing research and interviews to better understand this on-going crisis and has used his impressive knowledge to help countless others focus on the root causes of abuses and cover ups.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:54 AM

Critic of clergy abuse compensation program: 'It's a virtual black hole'

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz

August 12, 2018

Administrators of a Diocese of Buffalo program to compensate childhood victims of clergy sex abuse will consider whether the diocese had "prior notice" of an alleged abuser's conduct as they determine how much money the victims should get.

But it's unclear if diocesan officials are under any obligation to hand over personnel files that show whether the diocese knew a priest was prone to abuse.

That's one of the compensation program's major shortcomings, according to lawyers for some of the victims.

People who make claims of abuse with the diocese aren't told what information, if any, the diocese provides to program administrators.

"It's a virtual black hole of a protocol," said J. Michael Reck, an attorney who represents more than 30 clients who filed claims with the Buffalo compensation program.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:50 AM

Church abuse scandal: Man campaigns for statute of limitation reform

BUCKS COUNTY (PA)
The Times Herald

August 12, 2018

By Dutch Godshalk for Digital First Media

Mike McDonnell is on a “personal vendetta” against the Catholic church.

It’s a battle he’s been fighting his entire life. He waged it in 2007, when he was 38 years old, but the fight truly started when he was a sixth grader at St. Titus Parish in East Norriton Township. That’s when McDonnell alleges he was sexually abused by two parish priests, Francis X. Trauger and John P. Schmeer. He said the abuse lasted two years – from 1981 to 1983.

(Trauger was defrocked by the Catholic Church and removed from ministry in 2003. Schmeer was removed from ministry in 2012.)

McDonnell said the abuse took place in hotel rooms and rectories and sacristies. It took place during golf trips and fishing trips. It involved situations that, to an outside observer, may have seemed innocent, even enriching. But no matter the venue or the wholesome pretense, these situations often devolved into “sick and twisted” acts of sexual and psychological torture, McDonnell said.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:41 AM

August 11, 2018

Reflections on the abuse saga: It’s not just about McCarrick

ROME
Crux

By Inés San Martín

August 8, 2018

In recent days, I’ve found myself diving deeply into the drama that the Catholic Church is living in Chile amid one of the most colossal clerical sexual abuse crises ever to erupt.

It’s disgusting. It’s criminal. It’s unforgivable. It has the capacity to undermine one’s faith.

Yet time and time again, when I shared what I’ve written about it, including a 4,000-word report on a ring of homosexual predators that make the misdeeds of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick seem mild in comparison, I get messages on social media and in my email with Americans demanding I look into the fallen U.S. cardinal.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:41 PM

Report: Cardinal close to Pope is protecting cadre of gay seminarians in Honduras

ROME
LifeSiteNews (blog)

August 8, 2018

Disturbing new details have emerged regarding Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga’s potential mishandling of a crisis involving widespread homosexual activity at the major seminary in his archdiocese.

Cardinal Maradiaga is an influential confidant of Pope Francis and a member of the C9 Group of cardinals advising him on Church and curial reform.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:37 PM

Vatican newspaper: ‘pitiless’ media coverage of abuse scandals is one-sided but helpful

ROME
CatholicCulture.org

August 10, 2018

L’Osservatore Romano has published a front-page column on media coverage of clerical abuse scandals.

Italian historian Lucetta Scaraffia, a frequent contributor to the Vatican newspaper, said that media coverage typically ignores the Church’s “innumerable” actions to assist sexual abuse victims.

The “implacable and pitiless” nature of the coverage, she continued, is “born from disappointment.” In societies affected by the sexual revolution, this disappointment stems not so much from the discovery of “the sexual infraction or human weakness,” but from the discovery of the abuse of power, cover-ups, and inaction against perpetrators.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:36 PM

Statement of Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap Archbishop of Boston

BRIGHTON (MA)
Archdiocese of Boston

August 10, 2018

By Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap

"Earlier this week I was informed that two former seminarians of St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston had posted allegations on social media sites including the Archdiocese’s Facebook page that during their time at the seminary they witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood.

At this time I am not able to verify or disprove these allegations. As Archbishop of Boston, with responsibility for the integrity of the seminary and its compliance with the Church’s Program for Priestly Formation, I am committed to immediate action to address these serious matters and have made the following decisions regarding St. John’s Seminary.

First, I have asked Msgr. James P. Moroney, Rector of St. John’s, to go on sabbatical leave for the Fall Semester, beginning immediately, in order that there can be a fully independent inquiry regarding these matter

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:31 PM

After McCarrick: An Ex-Seminarian Comes Forward

UNITED STATES
OnePeterFive.com (blog)

August 3, 2018

By John A. Monaco

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to become a priest. My mother, a devout Catholic, was the one who taught me about the faith, the sacraments, and the Church. She brought me to daily Mass since I was an infant, and my earliest memories are of being held in her arms as she knelt on the communion rail to worthily receive the Eucharist. The image of the priest at prayer, offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, hearing confessions, visiting the sick, preaching from the pulpit, proclaiming the Gospel – I admired the priesthood and prayed to God that He would call me to serve Him as a priest.

My family was close with various priests in our home city. All of them knew I had a desire within me to become a priest. Given my solid Catholic upbringing, my participation in our parish life, and my zeal to bring others closer to God, it was a natural conclusion – after high school, I would enter seminary.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:27 PM

Archdiocese of Boston Investigating Allegations of Abuse at St. John's Seminary

MASSACHUSETTS
NECN

August 10, 2018

By Michael Rosenfield and Marc Fortier

An inquiry has been launched into allegations of "sexual deviancy and improper conduct” at St. John's Seminary in Brighton

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, said he is launching an inquiry into allegations former seminarians made this week about their time at St. John's Seminary in Brighton.

An article posted online by ex-seminarian John Monaco led to an inquiry into allegations of "sexual deviancy and improper conduct” at the seminary, including excessive drinking.

”Some priests on the faculty would get drunk with a select group of seminarians and invite them into their rooms late at night,” Monaco wrote. “One night, a priest on the formation faculty got so drunk during a seminary party that he fell out of his chair.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:21 PM

Can Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals still deliver on reform?

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

August 7, 2018

By Ed Condon

By most accounts, Pope Francis was elected with a mandate to reform the Roman Curia- the complex network of dicasteries, commissions, and councils charged with the central administrative work of the Catholic Church- a network that, even to insiders and experts, more often resembles a rabbit warren than a well-defined system of governable offices with clear responsibilities.

From the beginning, there were high expectations for Francis, and widespread belief that he could succeed in reforming the Curia. His informality and disdain for protocol -his ability to think ‘outside the box’- led many to believe that under his leadership, the Curial wilds could be tamed.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:19 PM

Groups want complete report released detailing alleged Catholic sex abuse in Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA
The Tribune-Revew

By Deb Erdley

August 10, 2018

Just as an edited grand jury report is set to be released that details decades of alleged sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses across Southwestern Pennsylvania and the state, two advocacy groups have petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to release the complete document.

On the other side of the aisle, the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers joined about two dozen members of the clergy who are identified in the report but not charged with crimes who oppose having their names included. They say that would violate their rights of reputation and due process of law to defend themselves.

University of Pennsylvania law professor Marci Hamilton, founder of Child USA, and Terry McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org, however, argued the public safety interests of children trump the rights of the clergy wanting their names stricken.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:10 PM

'Irish survivors deserve more respect' - global clergy abuse group calls for removal of three cardinals at World Meeting of Families

IRELAND
Irish Independent

August 10, 2018

By Rachel Farrell

The group has written an open letter to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to request three things from Pope Francis, including the removal of the cardinals

A group of global clergy abuse survivors has called on the removal of three cardinals from speaking at the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) at the end of the month.

A vast line up of speakers are scheduled to speak at the event in Knock and Dublin on August 25 and 26.

The abuse survivors have delivered a letter to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in the hopes of removing Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, Cardinal Kevin Farrell and Cardinal Donald Wuerl from the WMOF speaker line up.

The Ending Clergy Abuse Global Justice Project (ECA) believe the cardinals should be investigated for "protecting brother bishops who have committed sexual abus

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:20 PM

Call for three cardinals to be removed from World Meeting of Families line-up

IRELAND
Irish Times

August 10, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Survivors claim each has questions to answer about known clerical child abusers

A group representing clerical child sex survivors worldwide has written an open letter to Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin seeking the removal of three cardinals from World Meeting of Families (WMOF) events in Dublin later this month.

Archbishop Martin is chairing the WMOF board.

Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA) represents survivors in 15 countries and aims to hold the Vatican to account over clerical abuse of minors.

It says the three cardinals – Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect at the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life which has overall responsibility for the World Meeting of Families, Cardinal Óscar Maradiaga of Honduras and a member of Pope Francis’s Council of Cardinals, and Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl should be “investigated, not honoured”.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:18 PM

OpEd: Catholic Church should lead the charge against sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Sharon Herald

August 11, 2018

By Lynn Saternow

As a former altar boy at Notre Dame Parish in Hermitage, I await the release of the church scandal report with great anticipation.

My brother Paul and I were part of the first altar-boy class at the parish, when church services were conducted in the recently built school gym. It was the Catholic policy to build the parochial schools first, then the church.

Those were the days of the Latin masses. So we didn’t have it as easy as many kids do today; and the late Msgr. Robert Schriefer was a stern taskmaster in the early days of his long tenure.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:15 PM

Editorial: Church Needs to Take Swift Action on Sexual Abuse

REVERE (MA)
Revere Journal

August 11, 2018

By Journal Staff

For the past several days, articles in the national media have reported accusations of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual improprieties with several adults and his criminal violations of the sexual abuse of minors. These alleged actions, when committed by any person, are morally unacceptable and incompatible with the role of a priest, bishop or cardinal.

I am deeply troubled by these reports that have traumatized many Catholics and members of the wider community. In one case involving a minor the Archdiocese of New York, after investigation, has found the accusation to be credible and substantiated. While another accusation concerning a minor is yet to be investigated, the reports are devastating for the victims, their families and for the Church itself. Each new report of clerical abuse at any level creates doubt in the minds of many that we are effectively addressing this catastrophe in the Church.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:13 PM

Richard Sipe, pioneering expert in clergy sexual abuse, dies at 85

LA JOLLA (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

August 10, 2018

By Peter Feuerherd and James Dearie

Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist and former Benedictine priest who warned about the sex abuse crisis enveloping the Catholic Church, died Aug. 8 in La Jolla, California. He was 85.

According to the New York Times, the cause was multiple organ failure.

Sipe's full name was Aquinas Walter Richard Sipe (the Aquinas was added during his years as a Benedictine). He became alarmed at the sex abuse crisis after hearing stories of both abusive priests and their victims in his role as a psychotherapist.

Beginning in the 1960s, he wrote and spoke to bishops and the general public on the topic. The author of scores of articles and books on celibacy and sexuality, Sipe concluded that only about half of priests in the United States were at any one time practicing celibacy, and that about six percent sexually abused children, a number he later raised to nine percent.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:09 PM

A.W. Richard Sipe, expert on celibacy and clerical sex abuse, dies at 85 in his La Jolla home

LA JOLLA (CA)
San Diego Union-Tribune

August 10, 2018

A.W. Richard Sipe, a priest and psychotherapist whose research on celibacy and the Roman Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal earned him popular renown and official scorn, died Wednesday in his Mount Soledad home. He was 85.

His son, Dr. Walter Sipe, attributed the cause of death to multiple organ failure.

Sipe’s work was instrumental in the 2002 Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” reports, which led to a worldwide revolt against Catholic clergy who had sexually assaulted children. After initial denials, church leaders slowly agreed to reforms.

In 2017, though, Sipe argued that the problem persisted, fueled in part by the secret sex lives of Catholic clergy.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:08 PM

Diocese awaits report on clergy abuse

INDIANA
Indiana Gazette

August 10, 2018

By Patrick Cloonan

As it awaits release, possibly in the next few days, of the report by a statewide grand jury investigating allegations of sexual abuse by priests in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses, the Diocese of Greensburg is posting a “Progress Update on Protection of Children” in Indiana, Westmoreland, Armstrong and Fayette counties on its dioceseofgreensburg.org website.

The update touts “Higher Standards of Today’s Catholic Church” as the diocese offered “a sincere and open apology to the survivors of sexual abuse and to all those impacted by the grievous failures of the Catholic Church,” and an update of steps taken over the last 30 years to protect the children, youth and “vulnerable adults” in its care.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 2:57 PM

Crisis de la iglesia católica parece no tener fondo: Diócesis de Talca da a conocer nueva denuncia en contra de un sacerdote

[Crisis of the Catholic Church seems to have no bottom: Diocese of Talca announces new complaint against a priest]

CHILE
Publimetro

August 10, 2018

Se investigan actos de connotación sexual en contra de un menor de edad.

La Diócesis de Talca dio a conocer una nueva denuncia en contra de un sacerdote por actos de connotación sexual en contra de un menor de edad, lo que motivó el inicio de una indagatoria para aclarar la veracidad de los hechos.

Por medio de una declaración pública, la iglesia talquina señaló que “con dolor y preocupación informamos que hemos recibido una denuncia en contra del presbítero Luciano Arriagada Vergara”.

Posted by Laura R at 12:10 PM

Crisis de la Iglesia Católica: 266 serían las víctimas de los casos de abuso sexual hasta ahora

[Crisis of the Catholic Church by the numbers: 266 victims of sexual abuse so far]

CHILE
Publimetro

August 7, 2018

By Consuelo Rehbein

Cifras de la Fiscalía Nacional señalan que hay 144 investigaciones de abuso sexual al interior de la Iglesia Católica que consideran casos con data desde 1960 en adelante.

El día viernes la Conferencia Episcopal pidió perdón una vez más por los casos de abuso sexual al interior de la Iglesia. Pero en la oportunidad, también se comprometieron a facilitar el trabajo de la Fiscalía Nacional con los casos. La iniciativa, fue de hecho aplaudida por el Papa Francisco quien señaló quedar "impresionado por el trabajo de reflexión, discernimiento y decisiones que han hecho".

Posted by Laura R at 12:02 PM

Iglesia investiga nueva denuncia de abusos y anuncia medidas contra Precht

[Church investigates new abuse complaint and announces measures against Precht]

CHILE
BioBioChile

August 10, 2018

By Alberto González

La Iglesia Católica informó este viernes el inicio de una investigación en contra del párroco de Apóstol Santiago, por una denuncia de abusos sexuales en contra de un menor.

Según indicó la entidad religiosa en un comunicado, el pasado lunes se inició una investigación previa por presunto abuso sexual de un menor, en contra del presbítero David Vera Andrade, por hechos ocurridos antes de 2012.

Posted by Laura R at 11:44 AM

Víctima de Maristas y próxima declaración de Ezzati: Veo difícil que preste colaboración

[Victim in Marist case doubts Ezzati's denials]

CHILE
BioBioChile

August 10, 2018

By María José Villarroel

De acuerdo a nuevos antecedente de la investigación que está realizando el fiscal Emiliano Arías, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati habría recibido denuncias contra el sacerdote de la Congregación de los Hermanos Maristas, Jorge Laplagne. Estas denuncias se habrían realizado entre 2011 y 2015, pero Ezzati no habría realizado las sanciones correspondientes.

Posted by Laura R at 11:27 AM

Vaticano investigará por segunda vez a sacerdote Precht

[Vatican will investigate priest Precht for the second time]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 10, 2018

By Leyla Zapata and Sergio Rodríguez

El religioso fue indagado por eventuales abusos a menores, detectado en el contexto del denominado caso Maristas, causa seguida por el Ministerio Público.

La Iglesia de Santiago dio a conocer un nuevo y complejo capítulo respecto del sacerdote Cristián Precht, al informar que esta semana se enviaron al Vaticano los antecedentes de presuntos abusos contra menores en los cuales el presbítero habría tenido responsabilidad.

Posted by Laura R at 11:21 AM

O’Malley orders probe of alleged misconduct at seminary

BOSTON (MA)
The Boston Globe

August 10, 2018

By Travis Andersen and Danny McDonald

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said Friday that he was placing the rector of a Brighton seminary on leave while an outside legal consultant investigates allegations of unspecified misconduct at the educational facility.

In a statement, O’Malley did not provide details of the alleged wrongdoing at St. John’s Seminary but said the accusations came from two seminarians who were enrolled at the theological school, which trains priests for ordination.

O’Malley said he was informed earlier this week that two former St. John’s seminarians posted allegations on social media that during their time at the seminary “they witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:36 AM

Dear Pope Francis: ‘A year after John Paul II came, I was raped by a priest’

IRELAND
Irish Times

August 11, 2018

By Colm O'Gorman
Executive director, Amnesty International Ireland

We invite a range of people to write the Pope an open letter in advance of his Irish visit
about 5 hours ago

Dear Francis,

I won’t lie. It has been a tough few months. I hadn’t imagined that your visit to Ireland would cause me any upset, but to my surprise it has.

It started when the media here began to recall the iconic moments of John Paul II’s visit back in 1979. I was 13 years old then and, like most children of my generation, heavily involved in the church. I had been an altar server; I sang at Mass every Sunday.

I went to a Christian Brothers School and the youth group I attended every week was a Catholic group that met in a convent. The church was a massive influence in my life back then, and central to every part of it.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:28 AM

Wildomar’s Faith Baptist Church perpetuated culture of secrecy allowing sex abuse for decades, alleged victims claim

WILDOMAR (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

August 10, 2018

April Avila said she was 14 when her youth pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Wildomar began grooming her for sexual abuse.

It started out as horseplay with Malo “Victor” Monteiro, who was twice the girl’s age. He would throw a playful jab to her arm, teasingly touch or tug at her hair, call her pet names, and often ask her to help with special projects and work.

Then, things got intimate.

“What was once a friendly punch to the shoulder became a caressing touch. He would often wrestle me to the ground in response to teasing, his hands ending up in the wrong places. He would splash water on my shirt or push me into a pool or the ocean and then stand and watch as I walked out, laughing and ogling the entire time,” Avila, 32, said in an “open letter” she recently posted on Facebook.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:24 AM

Pope meets with Chilean bishop and victims' advocate over Church sex abuse

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

August 10, 2018

By Cassandra Garrison

Pope Francis met in Rome on Friday with a Chilean bishop and a victims’ advocate to discuss the Church sex abuse scandal in Chile and measures being taken to prevent it in the future.

Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez of San Bernardo and Ana Maria Celis Brunet, president of the Chilean National Council for the Prevention of Abuse and Accompaniment of Victims, met with the pope at the Vatican, it said in a statement.

The scandal has rocked the Church in Chile. In June, the country’s 34 bishops were summoned to Rome by the pope after Vatican investigators produced a 2,300-page report alleging that senior Church officials in Chile had failed to act on abuse claims and in some cases hid them.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:19 AM

August 10, 2018

Obispo de Chillán contra la pared: fiscal confirma denuncia por delitos sexuales

[Bishop of Chillán against the wall: prosecutor confirms new complaint for sexual crimes]

CHILE
El Mostrador

August 10, 2018

La fiscal regional de Bío Bío, Marcela Cartagena, confirmó una denuncia en contra del obispo de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrín, respecto a nuevas indagatorias por delitos de abusos sexuales.

El anuncio marca todo un precedente, considerando que -de confirmarse la denuncia- Pellegrín sería el primer obispo que se encuentra en ejercicio en ser acusado directamente por abusos sexuales. Esto, considerando que el arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, por su parte, es indagado por encubrimiento y deberá prestar declaración el próximo 21 de agosto en la investigación que lleva en sus manos el fiscal Emiliano Arias.

Posted by Laura R at 8:45 PM

Cordero de Dios: las huellas de Ezzati que persigue la Fiscalía

[Lamb of God: Ezzati at the center of church abuse investigation]

CHILE
El Mostrador

August 10, 2018

By Alejandro Carmona Lopez

"Lo dejaron caer. A Ezzati ya lo dejaron caer", comenta un sacerdote, intentando explicar la situación actual del arzobispo de Santiago que ya no celebrará el Te Deum. Pocos lo quieren tener cerca y, además, deberá declarar como imputado por encubrimiento el próximo 21 de agosto, ante el fiscal de la Región de O’Higgins, Emiliano Arias. Ezzati está solo, profundamente golpeado por su citación a declarar, pero también porque entendió –desde la visita de los enviados papales Charles Scicluna y Jordi Bertomeu– que Francisco aún lo mantiene en el cargo solamente porque no encuentra a quien lo reemplace. También sabe que las declaraciones de los mensajeros de Roma solo ayudaron a acelerar las denuncias e investigaciones judiciales, que ahora lo tienen en el vórtice del huracán. "Es decir, lo entregaron", comenta una fuente que conoce el caso.

Posted by Laura R at 8:32 PM

Incautación en Obispado Castrense apunta a los cuatro últimos prelados

[Sources say seizure of documents focuses investigation on last four military bishops]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 9, 2018

By L. Zapata, S. Rodríguez, I. Toro, and F. Díaz

El presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal, Santiago Silva, es el actual titular de esta repartición eclesial. Su antecesor, Juan Barros, ocupó el cargo durante 11 años. La Fiscalía de O’Higgins busca antecedentes de posibles casos de abusos recibidos en esta sede y si los jefes, en su calidad de funcionarios públicos, los denunciaron. A las 12.30 de hoy, un equipo del OS-9 de Carabineros y de la Fiscalía de O’Higgins ingresó al Obispado Castrense, en la comuna de Providencia. Así, se concretó la tercera jornada de allanamientos que han realizado estos investigadores a una sede eclesiástica, en el marco de las diligencias en que se indagan presuntos abusos sexuales a menores por parte de miembros de la Iglesia Católica en Santiago y Rancagua.

Posted by Laura R at 8:12 PM

Fiscalía del Biobío abre investigación contra obispo de Chillán tras denuncia de índole sexual

[Biobío prosecutor investigating sex complaint against Bishop of Chillán]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
BioBioChile

August 10, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

La acusación en contra de Carlos Pellegrin llegó a manos del Ministerio Público el pasado 2 de agosto. La fiscal Marcia Venegas encabeza la investigación.

La fiscalía regional del Biobío confirmó este viernes que abrió una investigación en contra del obispo de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrin, producto de una denuncia en su contra por un presunto delito de índole sexual. Según confirmaron desde el Ministerio Público a Emol, la acusación llegó a manos del Ministerio Público el 2 de agosto pasado.

Posted by Laura R at 7:58 PM

Papa pide que se "aclaren todas las interrogantes" de abusos tras reunirse con obispo González y Ana María Celis

[Pope meets with Bishop González and Ana María Celis and encourages them to "continue to clarify all the questions" about abuse in Chilean Church]

VATICAN CITY
Emol

August 10, 2018

Francisco señaló a las dos autoridades eclesiásticas que "sigue con interés cada avance" de las investigaciones.

El Papa Francisco recibió este viernes en el Vaticano a dos miembros de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile y les animó a que "se sigan aclarando todos los interrogantes" sobre los abusos por parte del clero en el país. El Pontífice recibió en su residencia al obispo de San Bernardo, Juan Ignacio González, y a Ana María Celis Brunet, presidenta del Consejo Nacional de Prevención de Abusos y Acompañamiento de Víctimas, organismo perteneciente al episcopado.

Posted by Laura R at 7:49 PM

Social media plays role in breaking Church sex abuse stories

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

August 10, 2018

Magazines and newspapers have long been sources to break big news stories. Now, too, social media is taking its turn.

In a series of tweets, a onetime seminarian who goes by the handle "inflammateomnia" – Latin for "Go set the world on fire," a quote ascribed to St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits – detailed on Twitter sexually abusive behavior he said was directed at him and which he witnessed, as well as the lack of urgency given his complaints by one seminary official.

Inflammateomnia, who does not reveal his name on Twitter, describes himself as a Boston-based graduate student in theology, "seeking the true, good and beautiful." "Guess this is my Catholic #MeToo moment," he began, echoing the Twitter hashtag women have used since last fall to reveal their own tales of abuse and harassment.

Even in the expanded Twitterverse of 280 characters per tweet, it took inflammateomnia more than 20 tweets to tell his story.

Due to his anonymity, and his not naming the seminary and the people involved, his story cannot be independently verified. If it is true, though, it paints a disturbing picture of seminary life.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:48 PM

CHURCH ABUSE VICTIMS TO VOTE SOON ON REORGANIZATION PLAN

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
The Associated Press

August 10, 2018

Hundreds of victims of clergy sexual abuse will likely vote this month on a reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that will compensate them for the abuse.

According to a timetable laid out Thursday at a federal bankruptcy court hearing, some 450 victims will begin to vote Aug. 21, pending judicial approval. Reports say if the plan is endorsed it would go to the judge overseeing the bankruptcy in late September. Then it would be determined how much money each victim gets.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:47 PM

The #ChurchToo Movement Just Scored a Major Victory for Victims of Sexual Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
Mother Jones

August 10, 2018

By Becca Andrews

Willow Creek Community Church and Bill Hybels were untouchable. Now the entire leadership team at the iconic megachurch has stepped down, setting a significant precedent.

Earlier this week, in what is the most significant response to sexual abuse allegations in an evangelical church since the start of the #ChurchToo movement—or, arguably, ever—the lead pastor and the entire board of elders of Willow Creek Community Church, a deeply influential nondenominational megachurch in the Chicago suburbs, resigned in front of their congregation.

The moves, which happened in a special congregational meeting Wednesday night, were in response to allegations of sexual abuse and harassment against the church’s founding pastor, Bill Hybels, and to the ways the church had essentially turned a blind eye for nearly five years. In the meeting this week, lead pastor Heather Larson announced to thousands of congregants—Willow Creek is home to some 25,000 members, making it the fifth-largest megachurch in the country—that she would resign immediately, and Missy Rasmussen, an elder, announced that she and eight of her peers were stepping down because, she said, “Willow needs and deserves a fresh start.” Rasmussen apologized to each of the women who reported misconduct.

“To all the women who have come forward, we are sorry that we added to your pain,” Rasmusssen said. “We are sorry that our initial statements were so insensitive, defensive, and reflexively protective of Bill. We exhort Bill to acknowledge his sin and publicly apologize.”

Hybels has been publicly accused by multiple women of sexual abuse and harassment over the past several months, with some sharing their stories in the Chicago Tribune and Christianity Today. But still, after the stories were published in March, Hybels’ position as something of an evangelical superstar—he’s written several books about Christian leadership, was a spiritual adviser to President Bill Clinton, and created the high-profile two-day Christian confab, the Global Leadership Conference—largely continued without serious challenge from church leadership. And this was not the first time allegations were brought against Hybels; internal inquiries into his behavior actually began about four years ago.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:45 PM

Office of Military’s Catholic bishop raided as Chile digs deeper into sex abuse scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The Santiago Times

August 9, 2018

Authorities raided the office of the bishop to the armed services on Thursday as part of investigations into accusations that senior Roman Catholic Church officials covered up claims of sexual abuse by clergymen in Chile.

The raid on the office of Santiago Silva had been conducted by court order and authorized by the defense minister and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, according to a provincial prosecutor leading the investigations.

Silva is also president of the Chilean bishops’ conference.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:44 PM

Matt Flynn heavily involved in priest abuse cases, but was he part of transferring accused priests?

MILWAUKEE (WI)
PolitiFact

August 10, 2018

By Tom Kertscher

At a debate for the Democratic candidates for governor, the first question posed to attorney Matt Flynn was about his work defending the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in pedophile priest cases.

"I was not part of transferring anybody," Flynn told the audience in Madison on Aug. 8, 2018, six days before the primary election.

Eight Democrats are competing for the right to take on GOP Gov. Scott Walker in the fall. Citing the priest cases, Walker has called on Flynn to drop out of the race.

For years, accused Catholic priests were routinely transferred from one parish or school to another, and many of them continued molesting children. Certainly, transfers were actually ordered by the archdiocese, not by lawyers such as Flynn who were retained by the archdiocese.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:42 PM

A.W. Richard Sipe, a Leading Voice on Clergy Sex Abuse, Dies at 85

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

August 9, 2018

By Sharon Otterman

A. W. Richard Sipe, a researcher, psychotherapist and former priest who spent his life studying the roots of sex abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, becoming one of the subject’s leading experts, died on Wednesday in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego. He was 85.

His wife, Marianne Benkert Sipe, said the cause was multiple organ failure.

Mr. Sipe’s research into celibacy and sexuality within the clergy helped establish a foundation for those studying, investigating and responding to the sexual abuse crisis of the 2000s. Along with describing how celibacy was lived, his work resulted in several striking estimates arrived at in the 1980s.

One was that fully 6 percent of all priests were sexual abusers of children and minors. Another was that at any given time, only 50 percent of priests were celibate — an estimate that the church said was overblown.

But Mr. Sipe’s most far-reaching conclusion was that those two phenomena were linked. Failures of celibacy among church leaders, he argued, even if they happened with adults, created a system of hypocrisy and secrecy in which the abuse of minors could take place.

That link is one that the church is still wrestling with, as suggested by recent disclosures that Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who resigned in July, rose to the highest levels of the church despite warnings that he had been inappropriately touching adult seminarians.

“Sooner or later it will become broadly obvious that there is a systemic connection between the sexual activity by, among and between clerics in positions of authority and control, and the abuse of children,” Mr. Sipe wrote in a letter to Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego in 2016.

“When men in authority — cardinals, bishops, rectors, abbots, confessors, professors — are having or have had an unacknowledged-secret-active-sex life under the guise of celibacy, an atmosphere of tolerance of behaviors within the system is made operative.”

In 1986, Mr. Sipe presented his findings to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, but nothing was done, Dr. Benkert Sipe said. So Mr. Sipe began working on the problem in other ways, becoming active in the early days of clergy-victim advocacy, writing books, consulting or testifying in some 250 trials on clergy abuse as an expert witness, and never backing down from his initial assertions.

“He had such an effect on so many different people in that he was a truth teller, and when people found him, they found a sense of being,” said Paul Livingston, a clergy abuse victim and friend. “He is irreplaceable.”

Walter Richard Sipe was born on Dec. 11, 1932, in Robbinsdale, Minn, as the fourth of 10 children of Walter C. Sipe, who owned several gas stations, and Elizabeth (Altendorf) Sipe, a homemaker.

His family were observant Catholics, and from an early age he was entranced by the church. He attended a high school and a college run by Benedictine monks at St. John’s Abbey in nearby Collegeville and became a monk himself. In 1959 he was ordained a priest. (He added the name Aquinas, after the theologian St. Thomas Aquinas, when he became a brother and then used the initial A. in his name.)

But it was not long before he realized to his shock that just below the surface of the church lay secrets that its hierarchy protected.

In his first posting, to Cold Spring, Minn., to work as a high school counselor, he heard in the confessional about priests who were sexually involved with other priests, priests who had girlfriends, and even priests who were involved with minors, he said in an interview in 2008 for a documentary film, “Sipe: Sex, Lies, and the Priesthood,” which is to be released this year.

He also learned that his predecessor had abused girls. Yet these men remained in good standing with the church, he said.

“So I asked myself, What is this celibacy, and how is it practiced by those people who claim to be celibate?” he said in the interview, giving voice to the research question that would animate his career.

In 1967, he became the director of family services at the Seton Psychiatric Institute in Baltimore, a treatment center where bishops sent problem priests. As he got to know the troubled men, he said, some revealed that they had been abused by clergymen themselves. He also heard stories about how church leaders had been dismissive of reports of abuse.

He began formally collecting data, seeking patterns. Leaving the priesthood in 1970, he married Marianne Benkert, a former nun who was doing her residency in psychiatry at the institute. In addition to her, Mr. Sipe is survived by a son, Walter, who is also a psychiatrist, and six siblings, Thomas, John, Bernadette, Michael, Elizabeth and Rosie.

With Dr. Benkert Sipe’s help, Mr. Sipe published his research in 1990 in a landmark ethnographic study of celibacy and abuse within the Catholic Church.

The book, “A Secret World: Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy,” drew on case files and 25 years of interviews with hundreds of sexually active priests and victims of clergy sex abuse.

Mr. Sipe had naïvely assumed that his study would be welcomed by bishops, Dr. Benkert Sipe said. Instead, he was blackballed in some dioceses.

“When he wasn’t listened to, and wasn’t believed, it was really hurtful to him, because he cared about the church,” she said.

But there were also triumphs. One was the investigation into clergy sex abuse by The Boston Globe in 2002. It exposed widespread abuse and a cover-up in the Archdiocese of Boston and spawned a nationwide reckoning. Mr. Sipe’s finding that the problem was systemic guided the Globe’s Spotlight investigative team of reporters, whose work was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning 2015 film “Spotlight.”

In the movie, the reporters listen to Mr. Sipe, played by Richard Jenkins, as he explains by speaker phone his finding that 6 percent of priests abuse minors. The reporters quickly calculate that that would mean 90 priests in Boston.

“Is that possible?” one reporter asks.

“Yes, that would certainly be in line with my findings,” the Sipe character says.

Since then more studies have come out showing that the 6 percent estimate may be conservative. In 2017, an investigation by the Australian Royal Commission found that 7 percent of priests in the Australian Catholic Church had been accused of sexually abusing children from 1950 to 2010. A study commissioned by the American bishops in 2004 put the percentage at 4 percent.

“He lived long enough to see many of his predictions come true,” said Phil Saviano, a clergy-abuse activist and friend.

Still, accountability for bishops continued to elude Mr. Sipe, frustrating him.

“I defy you to find where the system has changed,” he said in 2008. “Bishops are not accountable, they can — and do — do what they want.”

In recent weeks, a wider swath of the church appeared to be coming around to accepting that statement. Mr. Sipe had been warning on his website about the sexual activities of Cardinal McCarrick since 2008. After a substantiated report of abuse was revealed in June, followed by more allegations, some of the nation’s leading bishops began calling for reforms in how allegations against bishops are investigated.

Though Mr. Sipe had devoted his life to understanding the issues of celibacy and abuse, the deeper question of why the problem could persist unaddressed for so long still eluded him, said the Rev. Tom Doyle, a friend and longtime advocate for abuse victims.

On Tuesday, at Mr. Sipe’s bedside, the two men pondered the moral mystery of how so many clerics could look the other way, putting ecclesiastical ambition above doing the right thing by children.

“ ‘Will we ever find the answer?’ ” Mr. Sipe asked, Father Doyle said. “And I said, ‘You will know it, sooner than I will.’ ”

A version of this article appears in print on Aug. 10, 2018, on Page B13 of the New York edition with the headline: A.W. Richard Sipe, Leading Researcher on Sex Abuse by Clergy, Dies at 85.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:06 AM

Pope Francis under pressure to meet abuse victims in Ireland

IRELAND
Church Times

August 10, 2018

By Gregg Ryan

POPE FRANCIS faces growing demands from individuals and organisations, including the former President Mary McAleese and Amnesty International, to acknowledge publicly the victims of child abuse by Roman Catholic clergy, before his visit to Ireland later this month.

The Pope, who is travelling to Dublin for the World Meeting of Families on 25 and 26 August, will spend only two days in Ireland, and is not expected to visit Northern Ireland.

He is scheduled to hold a rally at Croke Park, Dublin; visit the Marian shrine at Knock, Co. Mayo; and say a papal mass in Phoenix Park, the site of a similar Mass said by St John Paul II in 1979.

Pope Francis is also understood to be paying a visit to the Capuchin centre in Dublin which, under Brother Kevin Crowley, feeds hundreds of the city’s poor daily.

There are conflicting reports on whether the Pope will meet victims of clerical abuse. The RC Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, expressed hopes that such a meeting would happen; but Ireland’s Executive Director of Amnesty International, Colm O’Gorman, himself a victim, has said that nothing short of the Pope, acknowledging the truth of Ireland’s abuse scandals at the hands of churchmen and women, and the Vatican’s cover-up of the same scandals, would suffice.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:04 AM

Report on Catholic Church abuse delayed (again) by objections from clergy

HARRISBURG (PA)
WITF

August 8, 2018

By Katie Meyer

The release of a long-awaited grand jury report on sexual abuse by Pennsylvania’s Catholic clergy has been delayed once again.

A redacted version of the more than two-year investigation could have been released Tuesday. But clergy named in the report have problems with how the attorney general’s office made redactions to it.

The state Supreme Court decided late last month that an interim version of the sweeping report could be released as long as names and identifying information of those who objected were blacked out. That concession came after a series of protests by nearly two dozen anonymous clergy, who say being implicated without being charged with a crime violated their constitutional rights.

In allowing a redacted release, the court added the caveat that concerned parties could file objections to the redactions the attorney general’s office proposed. They’ve now done so, though the specific objections are under seal.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:03 AM

Chilean Prosecutor Raids Office of the Military's Catholic Bishop

CHILE
Reuters

August 9, 2018

By Aislinn Laing

A Chilean prosecutor said on Thursday that the office of the bishop to the armed services had been raided as part of investigations into accusations that senior Roman Catholic Church officials covered up claims of sexual abuse by clergymen in Chile.

Emiliano Arias, a provincial prosecutor leading the investigations, told Reuters that the raid on the office of Santiago Silva had been conducted by court order and authorized by the defense minister and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Silva is also president of the Chilean bishops' conference.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:02 AM

Alleged sexual abuse victim files lawsuit against former Valley priest, diocese

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Daily Item

August 9, 2018

By Rick Dandes

A former altar boy, alleging sexual abuse by a priest over a three-year period beginning in 1999, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against John G. Allen, a defrocked priest who formerly served in the Valley, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg.

The altar boy, now a 29-year-old Maryland man identified only as "John Doe," contends in the lawsuit that former Bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese, William Keeler, "failed to take any meaningful action to prevent Allen from having access to children. ... and was allowed to remain a priest in the Harrisburg Diocese where he continued to sexually assault children over the course of several years."

The lawsuit, filed in Dauphin County Court, comes in advance of a soon-to-be released Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Allen is one of 72 priests and church personnel — some of whom are now dead — already publicly reported by the Harrisburg diocese as having been accused of sexually abusing children.

Asked to comment on the lawsuit, Mike Barley, spokesman for the Diocese of Harrisburg said on Thursday, "We are still reviewing a copy of the lawsuit, so it would not be appropriate for us to comment on it at this time. With that being said, John Allen was included on our list of Clergy & Seminarians Accused of Sexual Assault of a Child released last week. The Diocese of Harrisburg would again pass on our most sincere apologies to the survivors of child sexual abuse, the Catholic faithful, and the general public for any abuses that occurred.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:59 AM

Chestnut Hill priest removed from ministry pending investigation of child sex abuse claim

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philly Voice

August 10, 2018

The Rev. Mark F. Plaushin faces an allegation in Monroe County dating to 1985, before he was ordained

A priest in residence at a Chestnut Hill parish has been removed from ministry after an allegation surfaced that he sexually abused a minor in 1985 before he was ordained.

The Rev. Mark F. Plaushin, a member of the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales, had lived and celebrated Mass at Our Mother of Consolation parish since the summer of 2013. He has not lived at the parish rectory since the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of the Oblates learned of the allegation on July 16.

Our Mother of Consolation Roman Catholic Church on East Chestnut Hill Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.
A priest in residence at a Chestnut Hill parish has been removed from ministry after an allegation surfaced that he sexually abused a minor in 1985 before he was ordained.

The Rev. Mark F. Plaushin, a member of the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales, had lived and celebrated Mass at Our Mother of Consolation parish since the summer of 2013. He has not lived at the parish rectory since the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of the Oblates learned of the allegation on July 16.

MORE NEWS: Priests take the 'good news' to their flock – on social media
The allegation was shared with parishioners by the Rev. Michael Murray, the assistant provincial for the Oblates, in an announcement at Masses the following weekend. In addition, letters were sent by the parish pastor, the Rev. Bob Bazzoli, to all registered parishioners as well as school and PREP religious education families.

A scouting group which Plaushin had served as chaplain also was notified, according to a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Plaushin, who is in his early 60s, is accused of sexually abusing a minor in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, in 1985, four years before he was ordained to the priesthood, according to Murray's announcement.

Plaushin has denied the allegation, according to Murray.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:58 AM

Befriending her on Facebook, Kerala priest under arrest for raping 15-year-old inside temple

CHENNAI (INDIA)
Mirror Now Digital

August 10, 2018

The accused, a priest at Dhanawanthari temple in Kerala's Vaikkom befriended the class 10 student on Facebook. He lured her to the temple where he raped her. A similar case was lodged against him a while back.

Based on a complaint by the victim's parents, Kottayam police on Tuesday arrested a 21-year-old priest for abducting and raping a minor girl inside a temple in Vaikkom. A resident of Alacott Illam near Parassala, Krishna Prasad was serving as a priest at the Dhanawanthari temple in Vaikkom.

According to police statements, Prasad befriended the 15-year-old girl on social networking website Facebook. He then lured the class 10 student into meeting him at his room inside the temple premises in Vaikkom. Reports suggest that once he took the minor, a resident of Ayarkunnam to his room located near the temple's auditorium, Prasad forced himself on her.

The matter came to light after parents of the girl reported her missing which led Ayarkunnam police to Prasad. The temple priest has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) corresponding to kidnapping, criminal intimidation and rape. He has also been slapped with sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act owing to the age of the victim in this case.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:55 AM

PRIEST ACCUSED OF MOLESTING GIRL, 11, SAYS DEVIL MADE HIM DO IT: 'I THOUGHT SHE WAS AT LEAST 15'

ITALY
Newsweek

August 10, 2018

By David Brennan

Catholic priest in Italy accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl has blamed his actions on the influence of the devil.

Paolo Glaentzer, 70, was arrested last month on suspicion of molesting the girl in a car in Calenzano, just outside the city of Florence. He is currently being held under house arrest while the investigation continues.

Despite the allegations, the priest has maintained that the incident was not his fault. In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere Fiorentino, Glaentzer claimed that the devil was tricking him into the sexual acts and that the girl in question seemed much older than she was.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:54 AM

Willow Creek pastor, elders step down, admit mishandling allegations against Bill Hybels

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

August 8, 2018

By Manya Brachear Pashman

Answering critics' calls to let new leaders shepherd northwest suburban Willow Creek Community Church, lead pastor Heather Larson and other church elders resigned Wednesday and apologized for mishandling allegations that church founder Bill Hybels engaged in improper behavior with women.

Larson and the elders announced their resignations Wednesday evening during a packed congregational meeting at the church’s South Barrington campus. Audience members applauded the elders’ decision. But some people audibly groaned over Larson’s announcement, and one even approached the stage in protest.

“It has become clear to me that this church needs a fresh start,” Larson said.

“This is really important,” she said. “Trust has been broken by leadership, and it doesn’t return quickly. There is urgency to move us in a better direction.”

Hybels stepped down from the helm of the megachurch in April following a Tribune investigation that revealed allegations of misconduct with women — including church employees — that spanned decades. Women have continued to come forward with allegations, among them Hybels’ former executive assistant, who told The New York Times [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/us/bill-hybels-willow-creek-pat-baranowski.html] that she was sexually harassed and fondled by the pastor for over two years in the 1980s. Hybels denied those allegations.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:51 AM

OPINION: America’s bishops shouldn’t be investigating one of their own

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Post

August 9, 2018

Post Editorial Board

Well over a decade into the Catholic Church’s abuse scandals, at least one American cardinal still doesn’t understand why the church hierarchy can’t lead an investigation of itself.

Donald Cardinal Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, DC, is calling for a panel of bishops to investigate the full extent of his predecessor ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s long-running sexual abuse of minors and seminarians. Really.

Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger gets it: “To have credibility, a panel would have to be separated from any source of power whose trustworthiness might potentially be compromised,” he wrote. “Our lay people are not only willing to take on this much-needed role, but they are eager to help us make lasting reforms that will restore a level of trust that has been shattered yet again.”

McCarrick’s own record ought to be proof enough. Long one of the most powerful figures in the American church, he initially pooh-poohed the scandals when they first broke in 2002, downplaying the landmark Boston Globe investigation as the media taking an “opportunity to destroy the credibility of the Church.”

Yet as more and more and more stories broke and as it became impossible to deny that the church had a serious problem, McCarrick rebranded himself a reformer. He boldly headed up the bishop-led investigation to reform the priesthood, promising “zero tolerance” to those who abused minors.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:37 AM

Peter Hollingworth urged to forego his entitlements as a former governor-general

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

August 9, 2018

By Richard Willingham and Ben Knight

Former governor-general Peter Hollingworth is being urged to forego hundreds of thousands of dollars from his taxpayer-funded pension and entitlements he receives every year.

Key points:
- Senator Derryn Hinch says Dr Hollingworth should forego his taxpayer-funded pension
- Abuse survivors want former governors-general to be stripped of their entitlements in cases of misconduct
- Dr Hollingworth says no inquiries have recommended action against him

Dr Hollingworth was forced to resign as governor-general in 2003 after a series of scandals over his handling of sexual abuse allegations against priests and teaching staff while he was the archbishop of Brisbane in the 1990s.

As a former governor-general, he receives an annual pension of $357,732, as well as a Commonwealth-funded office and staff in the prestigious 101 Collins St building in Melbourne's CBD.

Documents provided under Freedom of Information show that in 2015-16, Dr Hollingworth spent more than $275,000 on office and travel expenses, on top of his pension for that year of $328,000.

In the six years between 2010 and 2016, his office and travel expenses alone added up to almost $1.5 million.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:35 AM

'I was 13 when the Pope came to Ireland and I was raped by a priest the next year'

IRELAND
The Journal

August 9, 2018

By Colm O'Gorman

Colm O’Gorman says he had believed Pope John Paul II when he said he loved the young people of Ireland – but instead, the pope protected his institution, not children.

WHEN POPE JOHN Paul II came to Ireland I was 13 years old. Just over a year later, I was raped for the first time by a Roman Catholic priest. I am just one of very many victims of such abuse.

Between 1936 and 1970, 137,000 children were detained in industrial schools and reformatories operated by the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse investigated the treatment of children by the religious congregations which ran the institutions.

The Ryan Report details horrific and inexcusable neglect by congregations who were well paid by the state to ‘care’ for those detained in their institutions.

It documents the sexual assault and rape of children. It describes forced labour, depraved and shocking brutality. More than 90% of witnesses to the commission reported being physically abused. In addition to being beaten, they described other forms of abuse such as being flogged, kicked and otherwise physically assaulted; scalded, burned and held under water.

Over 10,000 women and girls were held in Magdalene Laundries from 1922 to the time the last laundry closed in 1996. The Ferns Report documented the cases of over 100 victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of Ferns between the years 1962 and 2002 – the total number of victims in that diocese alone is of course substantially higher.

The Murphy Commission investigated allegations of child sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin over the period 1975 to 2004.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:34 AM

Cottingham vicar Terence Grigg jailed over child sex abuse

ENGLAND
BBC News

August 9, 2018

A former vicar has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually assaulting vulnerable boys and young men between 1983 and 1996.

The Reverend Canon Terrence Grigg, 84, of Norton, North Yorkshire, was found guilty at Hull Crown Court on Wednesday.

He was convicted of 14 counts of indecent and serious sexual assault.

As a rector at St Mary's Church in Cottingham, East Yorkshire, he groomed victims, some just 10 or 11 years old.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:33 AM

Creation festival co-founder sentenced for child sex abuse

MOUNT HOLLY (NJ)
The Associated Press

August 10, 2018

A former pastor who co-founded a Christian music festival before admitting he had sexual contact with children and being branded a “wolf” has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Harry Thomas, who’s 75 years old, was the pastor of Come Alive New Testament Church in Medford and a co-founder of the Creation Festival, billed as the country’s largest Christian music festival. He failed in a bid to withdraw his guilty plea in sexual assaults and other crimes involving five minors and was sentenced on Friday.

As part of a plea agreement earlier this year, Thomas acknowledged sexually assaulting a 9-year-old in 2005, having sexual contact with three girls ages 7 to 9 in 2000 and 2010 and exposing himself to a girl between 2008 and 2010.

Relatives of the victims were in court during sentencing, and in testimony two of them described Thomas as a “ravenous wolf” and a “hypocrite” who professed to be a man of God while victimizing children. Burlington County assistant prosecutor Stephen Eife called Thomas “a devil in disguise.”

Thomas, who had spent the previous 233 days in the Burlington County jail, wept as he expressed remorse and confusion about his crimes.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:32 AM

Vatican newspaper: ‘pitiless’ media coverage of abuse scandals is one-sided but helpful

ITALY
Catholic World News/Catholic Culture

August 10, 2018

L’Osservatore Romano has published a front-page column on media coverage of clerical abuse scandals.

Italian historian Lucetta Scaraffia, a frequent contributor to the Vatican newspaper, said that media coverage typically ignores the Church’s “innumerable” actions to assist sexual abuse victims.

The “implacable and pitiless” nature of the coverage, she continued, is “born from disappointment.” In societies affected by the sexual revolution, this disappointment stems not so much from the discovery of “the sexual infraction or human weakness,” but from the discovery of the abuse of power, cover-ups, and inaction against perpetrators.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:30 AM

Former Madison County investigator sentenced to probation in child molestation case

ALABAMA
Al.com

August 10, 2018

By Ashley Remkus

A former Madison County sheriff's investigator has pleaded guilty in a child molestation case and was sentenced to one year of probation.

Roland Campos, a longtime investigator, resigned after being charged with sexual abuse last year. Campos, 64, pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor sex abuse charge, and prosecutors agreed to dismiss the second charge, which is a felony.

Because Madison County's judges recused from the case, Campos was sentenced by Jackson County Circuit Judge John Graham. Graham sentenced Campos to one year in jail but suspended that sentence for one year of supervised probation, court records show. Campos also is required to register as a sex offender.

One year in the county jail is the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor. The felony, which was dismissed, carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:28 AM

Abuse survivors not surprised by Church 'bid to bury records'

IRELAND
Independent

August 8, 2018

By Cormac McQuinn

Survivors of clerical sex abuse have said they are not surprised at allegations that the Vatican had tried to secure a cover-up of Church records.

Former President Mary McAleese says she received a request in 2003 from a senior Vatican official that Church documents should be protected and the State have no access to them.

At the time there were two inquiries into child abuse involving the Church in Ireland - the Ryan Commission and the Ferns Inquiry.

Ms McAleese said she immediately told the official - the Vatican's then secretary of state Cardinal Angelo Sodano - the conversation had to stop.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:24 AM

Former Irish official: Vatican asked to protect Church from financial claims

LEICESTER (UNITED KINGDOM)
Crux

August 9, 2018

By Charles Collins

Another former official in Ireland has claimed that the Vatican sought a deal to protect the Catholic Church from the legal repercussions of the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

Former foreign minister Dermot Ahern said he was approached by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who was the Vatican Secretary of State, in 2004 asking for an understanding from the Irish government in relation to what might happen with future claims in Ireland against the Catholic Church.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Ahern said the meeting took place during celebrations in Rome marking the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and the Holy See.

“I got the impression he had just come from the United States, that there had been a major settlement costing millions, which, he said, was over and above their moral responsibility,” he told the broadcaster.

“As the conversation went on, it was quite clear he was referring to some sort of an indemnity, or part indemnity, from the Irish taxpayer in relation to anything that might come down the tracks. [He said this was] particularly in the context of the educational connection that priests have with our educational system,” Ahern said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:23 AM

Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse report still not released

HARRISBURG (PA)
Catholic Herald

August 9, 2018

By Rhina Guidos

Persons named in the document are still reportedly challenging its release

A last-minute round of legal manoeuvring to keep some names from appearing in a grand jury report detailing a months-long investigation of clergy sex abuse claims in Pennsylvania may have kept the document from being made public on Wednesday – the earliest date given for its possible release.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper reported that confidential sources said “more than one” person filed a challenge under court seal. Some of those named in the report had been given until August 7 to file a challenge, objecting to their inclusion in the report because they have not had the legal opportunity to defend themselves. They are scheduled to have a hearing with the court in September.

Pennsylvania has until August 14 to release the report, which is said to detail some seven decades of claims of sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy and a reported cover-up by officials in the dioceses of Harrisburg, Allentown, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Erie, according to the Pennsylvania’s Office of the Attorney General.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:21 AM

The Irish Times view on clerical child sex abuse: Vatican must get its house in order

IRELAND
Irish Times

August 9, 2018

Reports indicate little has changed at the Vatican where handling abuse is concerned

It is frequently the case that, though something is strongly suspected to be true, it comes as a shock when it is finally confirmed. Such happened this week for many people on learning that former Vatican secretary of state Angelo Sodano, in discussion with then president Mary McAleese, suggested a concordat with Ireland which would ensure Church documents were beyond the reach of then ongoing Irish statutory child abuse inquiries.

He did so at a private meeting in November 2003. McAleese ended the discussion immediately. Possibly worse was the Cardinal’s attempt at another private meeting one year later, in November 2004. This time he proposed to then minister for foreign affairs Dermot Ahern that the Irish state might indemnify the Catholic Church against legal actions for compensation by clerical child sexual abuse survivors in Ireland.

Months previously the Irish bishops had been told that such compensation could be as high as €50 million over the following decade. As with McAleese in 2003, Ahern rebuffed the Cardinal in clear, unambiguous terms and the matter was not heard of again.

Cardinal Sodano had form in such matters. Vatican secretary of state from 1991 until 2006, he is believed to have stopped a Church abuse investigation into former archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër, who resigned in 1995 following allegations, later proven, that he had abused young students. The Cardinal also successfully ended a 1998 abuse investigation into Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Maciel would later be found to have abused many young men and to have fathered children with a number of women.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:18 AM

As Protestant churches in South Carolina dwindle, Catholic churches flourish. Here’s why

BLUFFTON (SC)
The Charlotte Observer

August 9, 2018

By Kasia Kovacs

The membership of St. Gregory’s Catholic Church in Bluffton has grown by a whopping 70 percent in the past decade and is now 10,000 strong.

Sunday Masses are crowded as latecomers squeeze into pews or stand in the back of the Beaufort County church. Twelve Masses are held Friday evening through Sunday — two of which are in Spanish. And work is underway on a new parish life center for community events.

It’s not the only S.C. Catholic Church experiencing a rebirth. While mainline Protestant churches across the state are shedding members — even shutting down — Catholic churches are flourishing, buoyed by a growing community of Hispanic families and Northeastern retirees.

Statewide, the number of individual Catholics registered with churches grew by about 19 percent from 2008 to 2017, according to a review of S.C. church records.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:16 AM

Church camp counselor accused of sexually abusing child, Kissimmee police say

OSCEOLA COUNTY (FL)
WFTV

August 8, 2018

By Monique Valdes

A 17-year-old camp counselor is accused of sexually abusing a child.

Deputies said they began investigating the allegations against Rafael Delgado, 17, on Friday.

The victim, who attended camp at Centro Cristiano Dios de Pacto Church in Kissimmee, was sexually battered by Delgado more than once, deputies said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:15 AM

Abuse expert: Crisis is call to new vision of priesthood, accountability

ROME
Catholic News Service

August 9, 2018

By Cindy Wooden

A Jesuit priest who has been on the frontline of advocating for survivors of clerical sexual abuse and developing detailed programs to prevent abuse said the crisis unfolding, again, in the United States is a summons to a new way of envisioning the Church and taking responsibility for it.

“I am not surprised” by the new reports of abuse, “I do not think it will stop soon and, at the same time, I think it is necessary and should be seen in the framework of evolving a more consistent practice of accountability,” said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a professor of psychology and president of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

“I know that people are deeply angry and they are losing their trust - this is understandable. That is normal, humanly speaking,” he told Catholic News Service Aug. 7 as newspapers were filled with information and commentary about the case of retired Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, misconduct in a Nebraska seminary and the pending release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse.

The courage of survivors to speak out, the investigative work of both police and Church bodies, the implementation of child protection measures and improved screening of potential seminarians, church workers and volunteers mean that children and vulnerable adults are safer today.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:13 AM

Huge Willow Creek Fallout: 'Blinded' to Suffering of Women Claiming Sexual Abuse by Hybels

SOUTH BARRINGTON (IL)
CBN NEWS

August 9, 2018

By Donna Russell

Another pastor and every single member of the overseeing elder board at Willow Creek Church has resigned.

The months-long fallout at the Chicago-area megachurch began in April after founder Bill Hybels resigned when women within the church, and former members, accused him of repeated sexual misconduct and harassment.

This week both lead Pastors Steve Carter and Heather Larson resigned saying the church needed new leadership.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:12 AM

Chilean prosecutor raids office of the military's Catholic bishop

CHILE
Reuters

August 9, 2018

By Aislinn Laing

A Chilean prosecutor said on Thursday that the office of the bishop to the armed services had been raided as part of investigations into accusations that senior Roman Catholic Church officials covered up claims of sexual abuse by clergymen in Chile.

Emiliano Arias, a provincial prosecutor leading the investigations, told Reuters that the raid on the office of Santiago Silva had been conducted by court order and authorized by the defense minister and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Silva is also president of the Chilean bishops’ conference.

Arias said that a prosecutor accompanied by military officials had seized documents related to complaints made over 20 years to Silva and his predecessor, former bishop Juan Barros, about sexual abuse by clerics operating inside or outside the armed forces.

Silva’s office did not respond to requests for comment and the Chilean bishops’ conference said Silva was out of the country and his office would not be commenting at this time.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:09 AM

Church Needs to Take Swift Action on Sexual Abuse

WINTHROP (MA)
Winthrop Transcript

August 10, 2018

For the past several days, articles in the national media have reported accusations of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual improprieties with several adults and his criminal violations of the sexual abuse of minors.These alleged actions, when committed by any person, are morally unacceptable and incompatible with the role of a priest, bishop or cardinal.

I am deeply troubled by these reports that have traumatized many Catholics and members of the wider community. In one case involving a minor the Archdiocese of New York, after investigation, has found the accusation to be credible and substantiated.ÊWhile another accusation concerning a minor is yet to be investigated, the reports are devastating for the victims, their families and for the Church itself. Each new report of clerical abuse at any level creates doubt in the minds of many that we are effectively addressing this catastrophe in the Church.

These cases and others require more than apologies.They raise up the fact that when charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse.While the Church in the United States has adopted a zero tolerance policy regarding the sexual abuse of minors by priests we must have clearer procedures for cases involving bishops. Transparent and consistent protocols are needed to provide justice for the victims and to adequately respond to the legitimate indignation of the community.The Church needs a strong and comprehensive policy to address bishops’ violations of the vows of celibacy in cases of the criminal abuse of minors and in cases involving adults.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:08 AM

Casey Affleck talks #MeToo: 'I need to keep my mouth shut and listen'

UNITED STATES
Entertainment Weekly

August 9, 2018

By David Canfield

Casey Affleck discussed the #MeToo movement in a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press, his first time addressing the topic at length since skipping this year’s Academy Awards over lingering controversy concerning his own alleged past conduct.

“I think it was the right thing to do just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment,” Affleck said of bowing out of the ceremony, where as the reigning Best Actor winner he would traditionally have presented the Best Actress award; Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster jointly presented in his place. “Having two incredible women go present the Best Actress award felt like the right thing.”

Affleck won his Oscar in 2017 for Manchester by the Sea and dealt with the resurfacing of his alleged sexual misconduct while on the campaign trail. In 2010, he was sued for sexual harassment by two women who worked with him on the film I’m Still Here; both cases were settled out of court. Affleck previously denied the allegations. “It was settled to the satisfaction of all,” he told The New York Times last year. “I was hurt and upset — I am sure all were — but I am over it. It was an unfortunate situation — mostly for the innocent bystanders of the families of those involved.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:06 AM

UK inquiry: Monks hid sex abuse to protect church reputation

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Associated Press

August 9, 2018

By Danica Kirka

A British inquiry concluded Thursday that sexual abuse at two leading Roman Catholic schools in Britain was considerably higher than is reflected by conviction figures, with monks hiding allegations to protect the church's reputation.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse issued a scathing report saying that monks at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset hid allegations of "appalling sexual abuse" against pupils as young as 7. Ten people linked to the schools have been cautioned over or convicted of sexual activity or pornography offenses involving a "large number of children."

"The true scale of the abuse however is likely to be considerably higher," said Professor Alexis Jay, the inquiry chair.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:05 AM

Diocese of Rockville Centre continues paying clergy sex abuse victims

ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
LI Herald

August 9, 2018

By Ben Strack

Reported settlements to victims range from $25,000 to $500,000

Months after the deadline to submit clergy sexual abuse cases, administrators of the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation program continue sifting through a range of cases.

The diocese launched its compensation program last October. Phase One, open to those who had previously reported abuse, closed on March 31. Phase Two of the program, for those with new allegations, closed on April 30. To receive compensation, victims had to agree that they would not pursue legal action against the church in the future.

In all, 292 claims were filed, according to Camille Biros, an administrator for the program. Nearly half came during Phase Two. A total of 161 victims have been paid, Biros said, adding that she and fellow administrator Kenneth Feinberg continue evaluating claims.

Feinberg previously oversaw the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, as well as compensation programs for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Boston Marathon bombing, the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and sexual abuse claims brought against Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State University.

He and Biros decide the settlement amounts based on a number of factors, including the age of the victim at the time of the abuse, and the frequency and nature of the abuse. Some, Biros said, include information about the impact the abuse has had on their lives, such as the therapy and psychiatric care they have sought.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:01 AM

August 9, 2018

Ex párroco destituido de su estado clerical critica a obispo emérito Gonzalo Duarte: "Trata de lavar su imagen"

[Dismissed priest says bishop emeritus Gonzalo Duarte tried "to wash his image at the expense of others"]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

August 9, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

Tras la resolución de la Congregación para el Clero, el ahora ex sacerdote sostuvo que con esto el otrora líder de la diócesis de Valparaíso "consiguió lo que deseaba", y negó haber cometido "cualquier acto que tenga un significado genital".

"Niego en mí cualquier acto que tenga un significado genital". De esta forma, el ex párroco de Quilpué, Jaime Da Fonseca, quien estuvo 31 años liderando dicha iglesia, se defendió tras la decisión que tomó el Vaticano en su contra: quitarle de forma inapelable su estado clerical.

Posted by Laura R at 10:30 PM

Fiscal confirma que incautación en Obispado Castrense se realizó por eventual encubrimiento

[Prosecutor confirms seizure of documents from Military Bishopric]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

August 9, 2018

By Tamara Cerna

Tras inventariar la documentación, el equipo establecerá si hay hechos constitutivos de delito y, de ser así, definir quien era la máxima autoridad en ese entonces. Un posible involucrado podría ser el obispo emérito Juan Barros.

Minutos antes de las 13:00 de esta tarde, equipos del OS-9 y Laboratorio de Criminalística de Carabineros llegaron hasta las dependencias del Obispado Castrense para incautar documentación en el marco de la investigación por abusos sexuales ligados a miembros de la Iglesia Católica.

Posted by Laura R at 10:22 PM

Abogado personal de Luksic y SQM: el defensor de Ezzati para el caso de encubrimientos

[Personal lawyer of Luksic and SQM to defend Ezzati in cover-up case]

CHILE
BioBioChile

August 8, 2018

By Manuel Stuardo and Nicole Martínez

El abogado personal del empresario Andrónico Luksic y SQM, Hugo Rivera Villalobos, será el encargado de representar al cardenal Ricardo Ezzati ante la justicia, en su calidad de imputado por eventual encubrimiento de abuso sexual.

Posted by Laura R at 10:15 PM

Abogado de Ezzati: “Es una mala práctica juzgar antes de la debida investigación”

[Ezzati's lawyer cautions against rush to judgment]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 9, 2018

By S. Rodríguez, S. Vedoya, and D. Astudillo

El penalista Hugo Rivera, quien ya ha defendido al Arzobispado de Santiago, asumió la representación del prelado en causa por eventual encubrimiento.

Han sido días turbulentos para el arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati. El reciente sábado 4 de agosto, y tras presiones de gobierno, anunció que se restaba de oficiar el tedeum de septiembre, y el lunes 6 informó que dejaba sus tareas como gran canciller de la Universidad Católica. Sin embargo, lo más complejo lo espera el 21 de agosto, cuando debe declarar ante la Fiscalía Regional de Rancagua, en calidad de imputado, por el eventual delito de encubrimiento.

Posted by Laura R at 10:01 PM

Abusos sexuales en la Iglesia: Fiscal Arias ordena incautar el archivo eclesiástico castrense

[Prosecutor of church sex abuse wants access to military ecclesiastical records]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 9, 2018

By Ivonne Toro and Felipe Díaz

Son religiosos, pero además son funcionarios públicos y por lo tanto, por ley, tienen la obligación de denunciar a la justicia, con la debida prontitud, los crímenes o simples delitos y a la autoridad los hechos de carácter irregular de los cuales tomen conocimiento. Con este argumento, el fiscal regional de O’Higgins, Emiliano Arias, solicitó al tribunal de Rancagua una orden de entrada, registro e incautación para acceder a los archivos eclesiásticos del Obispado Castrense dependiente del Ministerio de Defensa, a través de la Subsecretaría para las Fuerzas Armadas.

Posted by Laura R at 9:53 PM

Cardenal Ezzati ingresa a hospital clínico de la UC para control de rutina por problema cardíaco

[Cardinal Ezzati hospitalized for routine monitoring of cardiac problems]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

August 9, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

El arzobispo de Santiago permanecerá en observación durante 48 horas debido a la operación que se realizó en Roma.

Para un control de rutina por un problema cardíaco, el arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, fue internado durante la tarde de este jueves en el hospital clínico de la Universidad Católica, según informaron desde la arquidiócesis.

Posted by Laura R at 9:46 PM

A. W. Richard Sipe (1932–2018)

LA JOLLA (CA)
BishopAccountaility.org

August 9, 2018

By Terence McKiernan

Richard Sipe died Wednesday night, August 8, 2018, just before midnight, at his home in La Jolla, California, after a long illness. Sipe was a towering figure in the Catholic clergy abuse crisis and in Catholicism generally. He leaves behind a vital legacy.

A. W. Richard Sipe truly invented the rigorous study of the clergy abuse of children: he created a disciplined method for thinking about the unthinkable. His groundbreaking books – A Secret World: Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy (1990) and Sex, Priests, and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis (1995) – made activism and change possible in the Catholic abuse crisis, and ultimately prepared the way for the #MeToo movement.

Sipe’s work anticipated the convergence that we’re witnessing now in the activism for victims’ rights and child safety. He always saw the molestation of children by Catholic clergy as part of a larger reality in Catholicism and beyond. Sipe’s approach to the abuse of children by Catholic clerics was an unusual one. Beginning as a Benedictine therapist-monk, he helped hundreds of priests and religious with their difficulties in religious life, especially the challenges of celibacy.

Because of those conversations, Sipe viewed the abuse of children by clergy through a wider lens than anyone else. Clergy abuse was better understood, he felt, within broader trends of clergy sexual misconduct, and by the same token, the Catholic system was brought into sharper focus if the clerical abuse of children was acknowledged to be a crisis basic to that system.

Richard Sipe was fundamentally a scholar of clerical culture and the clerical system. His work in the early 1990s created a paradigm for understanding that system and the reasons why the abuse of children by clerics has flourished within it. His books emerged from his therapy practice, and were in a sense anecdotal, yet the statistical conclusions he came to have been borne out by events.

His thinking on celibacy and the abuse crisis were informed by his happy marriage to psychiatrist Marianne Benkert, their parallel and mutual careers in therapy, especially with the victims of clergy abuse, and their experience of family life, raising their son Walter.

Recently the Cardinal McCarrick case has confirmed Richard Sipe's warnings, going back decades, that McCarrick and many other prelates were harassing and abusing seminarians. Sipe had long emphasized the genealogy of clergy abuse. Rectors and staff at seminaries, he insisted, were often guilty of sexual misconduct with their students, who sometimes after ordination offended against young people. The same dynamic plays out in chanceries and the provincial houses of religious orders. Sipe worked to help seminaries teach celibacy as a mindful practice. But too often they remained places where abuse and harassment were countenanced and even encouraged.

Sipe’s tireless work as an expert witness in hundreds of clergy abuse cases, from the 1990s until just a few months ago, showed the careful attention to documents that he developed as a scholar, the empathy for survivors that made him a good therapist, and the innovative thinking that has been a hallmark of his work. Especially valuable was his exploration of the methods that offending priests and their managers used to hide the truth: the bishops’ oaths of secrecy, the technique of mental reservation, and the church’s system of euphemisms and code words.

Sipe’s effectiveness as an expert witness was based on sympathy and love for the survivors whose lives had been blighted by systemic abuse. Richard had a gift for friendship. He kept in touch with many survivors whom he had helped over the years, and was a frequent attendee and participant at the annual conference of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Remarkably, his solidarity with survivors of clergy abuse informed his ever deepening and ever skeptical engagement with the Catholicism of his youth. He was a whistleblower about abuse at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville MN, where he had lived and worked as a monk, but he also retained a fondness for the place and for his former life as a student and a priest there.

As a way of unwinding from long hours devoted to the clergy abuse crisis, Sipe became an accomplished needlepoint artist, and for many years he worked on large needlepoints of the Torcello mosaics – medieval Last Judgment mosaics in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta on the island of Torcello near Venice. The subject of the Last Judgment preoccupied him, as can be seen in one of the poems he wrote late in life, included in his book I Confess. Until the end, Sipe reflected each day on the Bible readings in Living with Christ, to which he subscribed, and he wrote compellingly about New Testament themes in his last book of poems, Courage at Three AM.

Richard Sipe has been a friend to BishopAccountability.org since our founding in June 2003, when he generously agreed to let us feature a quote by him on our original home page: "Secrecy and accountability cannot co-exist."

When my colleagues and I think of our mentor and friend, we remember his kindness, his devotion to justice, his intelligence, his insight, his courage, his impish sense of humor, his balance and also his indignation, his phenomenal memory, his love of books and art, his curiosity about the human mind and heart, and above all his love for community and the company of friends.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 2:13 PM

Saipan resident files sex-abuse case against former Guam archbishop

HAGÅTÑA (GUAM)
Marianas Variety

August 10, 2018

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

A former student at Father Duenas Memorial School on Guam is the latest to file a sex-abuse complaint against the disgraced Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, former head of the Archdiocese of Agana, who was earlier convicted by the Vatican in connection with similar cases.

The new case was filed Aug. 8 in the Guam Superior Court by a Saipan resident — identified in the court document as D.M.— alleging that Apuron sexually abused him in the clergy’s residence in Agana Heights during weekends between 1994 and 1995. D.M was then 14.

The lawsuit details the sexual acts Apuron allegedly performed on D.M. on several occasions. “D.M. wanted to escape from Apuron’s house. He wanted to tell someone but felt he couldn’t. The 14-year-old-old D.M. just cried himself to sleep, the lawsuit states.

Since Father Duenas did not offer weekend boarding, it was arranged between the school and the archbishop that the boy would stay at the residence of Apuron. According to court documents, the first overnight was a frightening preview of what was to come. The lawsuit alleges that Apuron first came into the sleeping boy’s room as if to check on his well being, but instead groped him sexually. Later, the boy awoke to find Apuron on top of him, raping him.

D.M. said he did not know how to handle the situation as Apuron was the head of Church on Guam. “D.M. was alone and scared. He felt like there was no one to talk to about what Apuron had done. He had no one to reach out to for help,” according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Charles H. McDonald II on behalf of D.M.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:05 PM

Former altar boy sues Harrisburg diocese over child sex abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
York Daily Record

August 9, 2018

By Ed Mahon

A former altar boy has sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, saying former Bishop William Keeler failed to protect him from an abusive priest.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Dauphin County court, according to the lawfirm representing the former altar boy.

The lawsuit says the abuse was committed by John G. Allen, a now defrocked priest who served in several parishes in the diocese, including in Lebanon, Gettysburg, Selinsgrove, New Cumberland, Steelton, Lancaster and Harrisburg.

Allen was one of the priests the diocese identified when it released the names of more than 70 clergy members accused of sexual abuse or inappropriate conduct with children.

Mike Barley, a spokesman for the diocese, told PennLive that the diocese was still reviewing a copy of the lawsuit, so it would not be appropriate for the diocese to comment at that time.

"The Diocese of Harrisburg would again pass on our most sincere apologies to the survivors of child sexual abuse, the Catholic faithful, and the general public for any abuses that occurred," Barley told PennLive.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:03 PM

Prominent Anti-Gay Priest Removed from Ministry for Sexually Abusing Patients

PARIS
New Ways Ministry

August 6, 2018

By Robert Shine

A high-ranking priest known for practicing “ex-gay” therapy as well as being a key Vatican consultant on homosexuality has been removed from priestly ministry over allegations that he abused patients while attempting to “heal” them of being gay.

Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris announced sanctions against Msgr. Tony Anatrella earlier this month. The priest was accused of doing “body therapy” with patients under his care for “ex-gay” therapy, acts which were really sexual abuse. La Croix reported on the latest development:

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:55 PM

New lawsuit filed alleging abuse by Brother Stephen Baker

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

August 9, 2018

By David Hurst

The Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese and Third Order Regular Franciscans face a new lawsuit related to Brother Stephen Baker – alleging the parties recklessly and negligently allowed him to sexually assault a boy at two schools in the diocese, beginning when he was 10 years old.

On the heels of an $8 million settlement involving 88 other former students abused by Baker between 1992 and 2001, the latest lawsuit alleges Baker continued the pattern until at least the fall of 2003 with one boy, a fellow former Bishop McCort student.

According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cambria County, Baker – a onetime athletic trainer and religious studies teacher at Bishop McCort – began groping a youth identified as T.B. when he was a fifth-grade football player at St. Patrick's school.

The allegations mirror dozens of others settled in 2014, contending Baker fondled the boy, slid his hand into his pants and, on later occasions later, had him remove his pants so he could manually stimulate him.

"In the summer of 2002, T.B. joined Bishop McCort's football team but when (he) saw Baker at training camp, he quit," Harrisburg attorneys Benjamin Andreozzi and Nathaniel Foote wrote in the lawsuit.

On one occasion afterward, the suit alleges Baker assaulted him in a training room after he fell down stairs on campus.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:48 PM

Greensburg Diocese removes priest accused of sex abuse, vows to release names of others

Harrisburg (PA)
Penn Live

August 9, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

One of the Catholic dioceses at the center of a long-awaited report on predatory priests in Pennsylvania on Thursday announced it had placed on leave a priest accused of child sexual abuse.

In a lengthy report released Thursday, the Diocese of Greensburg said it has removed the Rev. James W. Clark from his ministry post back in June amid allegations dating back 50 years.

The diocese made the announcement about Clark in the release of a report updating its youth protection policies, and it pledged to release the names of priests accused of child sexual abuse on the day the report is made public.

"The same day the grand jury report is made public, we will release a list of clergy in our Diocese with credible allegations against them on our website," the Diocese of Greensburg stated in its report, entitled "2018 Progress Update on Protection of Children: Higher Standards of Today's Catholic Church."

The diocese pledged continued transparency with regards to any allegations of child sexual abuse and aggressiveness towards reporting predatory priests to law enforcement. The Greensburg Diocese also apologizes for past mishandling of abusive priests and allegations from victims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:32 PM

Body of Olivia Lone Bear Found in N. Dakota as Native Women Face Crisis of Murders, Disappearances [Audio]

FORT BERTHOLD RESERVATION (ND)
Democracy Now

August 3, 2018

After an agonizing 9-month search, the body of Olivia Lone Bear was found Tuesday in a pickup truck submerged in a lake right by her house on the Fort Berthold Reservation. The mother of five went missing in late October in New Town, North Dakota. Her disappearance has sparked renewed attention to the disproportionately high rates of disappearance, rape and murder of Native American women across the United States. These already-alarming rates are particularly high in areas of oil extraction, like North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, which is the origin point for the Dakota Access pipeline. We speak with Olivia Lone Bear’s brother Matthew, who spent the last nine months searching for his sister. We also speak with Mary Kathryn Nagle, a citizen of Cherokee Nation and a partner at Pipestem Law, a law firm dedicated to the restoration of tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:54 PM

Major enquiry finds decades of sexual abuse at Ampleforth

ENGLAND
ITV

August 9, 2018

A report has found the prestigious Ampleforth school in North Yorkshire hid appalling abuse to pupils as young as seven, to protect the church's reputation.

It was part of sexual abuse at two leading Catholic schools, over four decades, that was likely to be “considerably” more widespread than conviction figures reflect, a report has found.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) made the claims in a withering report on the English Benedictine Congregation, which has 10 monasteries in England and Wales.

Ampleforth and Downside, in Somerset, the other named school, were linked to the monasteries, run at times by “secretive, evasive and suspicious” church officials who avoided reporting misconduct to police and social services.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:53 PM

Catholic boarding schools 'prioritised monks and their reputations over children's safety', sexual abuse inquiry finds

ENGLAND
Independent

August 9, 2018

By Lizzie Dearden

Inquiry finds children as young as seven were sexually abused at Ampleforth, and 11 at Downside

Two leading Catholic schools “prioritised monks and their own reputations over the protection of children” who were sexually abused, a report has found.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) found that pupils at Ampleforth, in Yorkshire, and Downside, in Somerset, suffered “appalling” treatment stretching over decades.

The inquiry found that children as young as seven were sexually abused at Ampleforth, and 11 at Downside, amid a “culture of acceptance of abusive behaviour”.

Professor Alexis Jay, chair of the inquiry, said: “For decades Ampleforth and Downside tried to avoid giving any information about child sexual abuse to police and social services.

“Instead, monks in both institutions were very often secretive, evasive and suspicious of anyone outside the English Benedictine Congregation.

“Safeguarding children was less important than the reputation of the church and the wellbeing of the abusive monks.

“Even after new procedures were introduced in 2001, when monks gave the appearance of cooperation and trust, their approach could be summarised as a ‘tell them nothing’ attitude.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:51 PM

Culture of sex abuse flourished at Ampleforth and Downside, says inquiry

ENGLAND
The Times

August 9, 2018

By Andrew Norfolk

Two lauded Roman Catholic schools allowed a culture of “appalling sexual abuse” to flourish for decades because safeguarding the church’s reputation was a higher priority than the protection of children, a damning report has found.

Monks at Ampleforth, in North Yorkshire, indulged in open displays of paedophilia. At Downside, in Somerset, a headmaster built a bonfire to burn staff files that may have held incriminating evidence.

Each public school was attached to a monastery run by the English Benedictine Congregation, whose past and current handling of misconduct allegations is under investigation by the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:49 PM

Report damns culture of acceptance of sexual abuse at two Catholic schools

ENGLAND
The Guardian

August 9, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood and Rob Evans

Inquiry says Ampleforth and Downside put own reputations before protection of children

The true scale of sexual abuse at two of the UK’s leading Catholic independent schools over a period of 40 years is likely to have been far greater than has been proved in the courts, a report by the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse has concluded.

Ten people have been convicted or cautioned in relation to sexual offences at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset. The schools “prioritised the monks and their own reputations over the protection of children … in order to avoid scandal”, says the 211-page report published by IICSA on Thursday after hearings last year.

The monks avoided giving information to or cooperating with statutory authorities investigating abuse, it says. Their approach could be summarised as “a ‘tell them nothing’ attitude”.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:48 PM

Thai monk who flew in high style gets prison for fraud

BANGKOK (Thailand)
The Associated Press

August 9, 2018

By Kaweewit Kaewjinda

A former Buddhist monk infamous for a jet-set lifestyle was sentenced Thursday to more than 100 years in prison in connection with funds he fraudulently raised from followers.

Wirapol Sukphol caused a scandal when he appeared in a 2013 YouTube video in his monk’s robes aboard a private jet wearing aviator sunglasses with a Louis Vuitton carry-on by his side. He was defrocked amid accusations that he had sexual relations with several women — a major violation of the precepts guiding monks’ behavior — and had impregnated one. There were also allegations he had sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Because of the furor, he fled to the United States, where he was arrested in 2016 and extradited last year.

The Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok sentenced him Thursday to 114 years in prison, although legal technicalities capped the actual time he must serve at 20 years. He was found guilty of fraud, money laundering and violation of the computer crime act for spending money he had solicited for Buddhist statuary and temple improvements instead on cars and luxury goods.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:39 PM

Child abuse inquiry: School 'reputations put before victims'

ENGLAND
BBC News

August 9, 2018

Two leading Roman Catholic schools "prioritised monks and their own reputations over the protection of children", a report says.

"Appalling" abuse was inflicted on pupils at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset over 40 years, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said.

But, the report said, both institutions attempted to cover up the allegations.

Ten individuals, including monks, have been convicted or cautioned for abuse.

The report, based on evidence heard by the IICSA's investigation of the Roman Catholic Church and the English Benedictine Congregation, said, however, the true extent of the abuse is "likely to be considerably higher" than the number of convictions.

It states many of the perpetrators did not hide their sexual interests from the children and pupils were often abused in front of each other.

"The blatant openness of the activities demonstrates there was a culture of acceptance of abusive behaviour," it said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:37 PM

Catholic school monks 'did not hide sexual interest from young boys', abuse inquiry finds

ENGLAND
Sky News

August 9, 2018

The inquiry found the scale of abuse at Ampleforth and Downside is probably higher than is reflected in the number of convictions.

Monks at two leading Roman Catholic schools did not hide their sexual interest from young boys as young as seven, an inquiry has found.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), led by professor Alexis Jay, has investigated whether Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset failed to protect pupils from predators.

Lawyers representing former students allege the schools turned a blind eye to offending over many years.

Victims were as young as 11 at Downside and seven at Ampleforth.

One alleged offender at Ampleforth is said to have abused at least 11 children aged between eight and 12 over a "sustained period of time", but died before police could investigate.

The inquiry's findings have been published after evidence hearings last year, which lasted weeks.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:34 PM

Willow Creek church pastor, board resign amid sexual misconduct investigation of founder

SOUTH BARRINGTON (IL)
USA TODAY

August 9, 2018

By Ashley May

Board members and a new pastor at a Chicago-area megachurch are resigning, saying they mishandled sexual misconduct allegations aimed at the church’s founder.

Bill Hybels, 66, resigned from his position as pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in April after a series of sexual misconduct claims he described as “flat-out lies” became public. Wednesday, lead pastor Heather Larson announced her resignation and that of other church elders, who she said are sorry for not handling the allegations against Hybels properly.

"In recent days and weeks, it has become clear to me that this church needs a fresh start," said Larson. "The staff, this staff that I dearly love, they also need a clean running lane to heal, to build, to dream."

She read a statement to a full congregation during a meeting at the church’s South Barrington, Illinois, campus, where the news was met with applause and also protest with at least one person approaching the stage, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“We can now see this investigation was flawed. … We viewed the allegations through the lens of trust we had in Bill, and this clouded our judgement,” elder Missy Rasmussen said in a statement posted to the church's website.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:30 PM

The sorry demise of Benedictine education

ENGLAND
The Spectator

August 4, 2018

By Will Heaven

Are two of England's great schools on the brink of closure?

Twenty years ago, Douai, a monastic boarding school in West Berkshire, shocked parents with an announcement that it was ‘no longer viable’. Pupil numbers had fallen through the floor — below 200 — and the sums didn’t add up. So four centuries of history were brought to an end and the boys were sent packing. Now those in the know worry about two more prestigious institutions — Ampleforth, the so-called Catholic Eton in North Yorkshire, and Downside, its more modest Somerset relation.

As a former pupil of the latter I’ve been hoping the rumours are unfounded. The school, like Ampleforth, is a remarkable place that produces nice, well-rounded boys and girls. The monks, for the most part, are decent men, trying to live their vocations faithfully. I followed my two older brothers to Downside and, after the school started taking girls in 2005, my younger sister went too, and flourished. But for all my gratitude to the monks, I fear for them.

The signs are not good. Late last month, the TES revealed that Ampleforth had been issued with an official warning notice from the Department for Education. The government’s letter, dated 11 May, said that if the school did not come up with an action plan to bring its child protection standards up to scratch, and sort out its leadership and management, ‘the Secretary of State may remove the school from the Register of Independent Schools’. In DfE speak, this means shut the place down. Thankfully, the school came up with a plan in time and is ‘implementing agreed actions’ before the inspectors call again.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:29 PM

Willow Creek: Church leaders quit over sexual misconduct scandal

SOUTH BARRINGTON (IL)
BBC News

August 9, 2018

The leaders at one of the biggest megachurches in the US have quit over a sexual misconduct scandal that has already claimed its founder.

A statement from elders at the Willow Creek church said a "new start" was needed, and that they should have handled the allegations better.

Bill Hybels stepped down earlier this year after accusations of inappropriate conduct emerged.

He has denied the allegations but said he had become a distraction.

With more than 25,000 members and locations in Chicago, Willow Creek is thought to be the fifth largest megachurch in the US. Megachurches are defined as congregations with regular weekly attendance of at least 2,000 persons.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:28 PM

Willow Creek Church’s Lead Pastor and Board of Elders Resign

SOUTH BARRINGTON (IL)
The New York Times

August 8, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein

The lead pastor and the entire board of elders resigned on Wednesday night from Willow Creek Community Church, one of the nation’s most influential evangelical congregations, saying that they had made a mistake by failing to believe the women who accused the Rev. Bill Hybels, the church’s founding pastor, of sexual harassment.

“To all the women who have come forward,” said Missy Rasmussen, one of nine elders, speaking to the hushed congregants, “we are sorry that we added to your pain.”

“We have no reason to not believe any of you. We are sorry that our initial statements were so insensitive, defensive and reflexively protective of Bill,” she said, while some in the church’s cavernous auditorium, in South Barrington, Ill., wept openly. “We exhort Bill to acknowledge his sin and publicly apologize.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 12:19 PM

Apuron again accused of sexual abuse

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

August 9, 2018

By Steve Limtiaco

A seventh person has accused Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexual abuse – a man who said Apuron assaulted him in the 1990s when he lived with Apuron and attended Father Duenas Memorial School.

The accusations are spelled out in a lawsuit filed this week by “D.M.”, stating D.M. was a Saipan resident who lived with Apuron on the weekends during the 1994-1995 school year.

A five-member Vatican tribunal in October 2017 found Apuron guilty of “certain of the accusations” of sexually abusing minors and stripped Apuron of his office and prohibited him from living at the Archdiocese of Guam. The verdict was not made public until March 2018.

Apuron appealed, which means the penalties are suspended, pending final resolution by the Vatican.

Archbishop Michael Byrnes, who has been named as Apuron’s eventual replacement, on Thursday said he prays for D.M. and all who have come forward recently with claims of being abused by Guam Catholic clergy.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:10 AM

Reject arguments of clergy, advocates argue in amicus brief filed in high court ahead of grand jury report

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 8, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

Two advocacy groups for victims of child sex abuse on Wednesday jointly filed an amicus brief urging the state's highest court to reject the arguments of clergy seeking to have their names redacted from the upcoming report.

In their filing to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, CHILD USA and BishopAccountability.org noted that as a result of the state's narrowly defined statute of limitations, victims have limited avenues for publicly exposing predators.

"Parents deserve to know who is endangering their children and how. Pennsylvanians only know about the child sex abuse in the Philadelphia and Johnstown/Altoona dioceses, at Penn State, and at the Solebury School, because prosecutors took the lead and issued grand jury reports detailing the dangers that children had suffered," said Marci Hamilton, CEO and a director of CHILD USA.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioning clergy.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:08 AM

Diocese: 30 priests accused of assault served Valley parishes

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Daily Item

August 7, 2018

By Eric Scicchitano

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released an updated list Monday documenting clergy and seminarians accused of sexual abuse of a child, revealing 30 priests served at Susquehanna Valley parishes.

A previous examination by The Daily Item revealed 17 of the priests served in the region.

The updated list includes assignments for all of the accused, something the diocese hadn’t released in the days after its initial report released last week. The assignments are key to showing local connections because some of the accused served as far back as 1926.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:07 AM

Probation but no prison time for Catholic priest who embezzled $200K from California church

VISALIA (CA)
Visalia Times-Delta

August 8, 2018

By Luis Hernandez

No prison time for priest who embezzled $200K

A former reverend at Tulare's St. Rita's Catholic Church was sentenced Wednesday to five years of probation, a recommendation from the county's probation department and a request from the Fresno diocese.

The sentencing was issued despite Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward asking for a stiffer penalty.

Ignacio Villafan, 52, pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand theft of personal property with the special allegation that the financial amount was more than $200,000.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:05 AM

Kerala priest accused in agricultural loan scam asked to step down

INDIA
The News Minute

August 8, 2018

The priest had allegedly acquired loans by forming self-help groups under various names and forged documents to avail the loans from different banks in Alappuzha.

Father Thomas Peelianickal, who is an accused in connection with an agricultural loan scam in Kuttanad in Kerala, was asked to step down from his priestly duties by the Changanassery diocese on Wednesday.

The decision to suspend the former executive director of the Kuttanad Vikasana Samithi(KVS) office in Alappuzha was taken by the diocese lead by the Changanassery Bishop Mar Joseph Perumthottam as the priest was facing investigation in connection with the scam.

Father Thomas, who was earlier arrested on June 19 in connection with the scam, was later let out on bail.

He is accused in six cases of loan fraud,out of which Kerala High Court had earlier granted him anticipatory bail in two cases.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:04 AM

Fort Worth bishop forced Prosper priest to resign for urging fellow priest to end affair, attorne

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

August 9, 2018

By Julieta Chiquillo

A Catholic priest in Prosper was forced to resign under duress for urging a fellow clergyman to stop having an affair with a church worker and to report his actions to church authorities, according to a letter the priest’s attorney has sent to the bishop of Fort Worth that is circulating widely in Catholic circles in the far northern suburbs.

Bishop Michael Olson made the wrong decision to force the resignation of Rev. Richard Kirkham earlier this summer, Kirkham's attorney John Walsh wrote.

“The actions of your office mirror the same destructive actions by other Catholic bishops over the past 40 years that embroiled the Catholic Church in the priest sexual abuse scandal that irreparably harmed the Church’s reputation,” Walsh wrote to Olson in a June 9 letter.

Trial postponed for priest accused of embezzling more than $5 million

OKEMOS (MI)
Catholic Herald

August 8, 2018

By Rhina Guidos

The postponement came after the priest's attorney withdrew

A judge has postponed a mid-August trial for a priest accused of embezzling more than $5 million from a parish in Okemos, in central Michigan, part of the Diocese of Lansing.

Fr Jonathan Wehrle was facing trial on August 13, but his attorney in the criminal case told the Lansing State Journal he was withdrawing, prompting the judge to push the trial to January 2019 to give new defence attorneys time to prepare, the newspaper said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 10:01 AM

Anglican Church faces complaints over Peter Hollingworth remaining a bishop

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

August 8, 2018

By Richard Willingham and Ben Knight

Disgraced former governor-general Peter Hollingworth has been named in several complaints to the Anglican diocese of Melbourne over his continuing status as a bishop in the church.

The complaints have been made by survivors of abuse at the hands of Anglican clergy and teaching staff in the Brisbane diocese, where Dr Hollingworth served as archbishop in the 1990s.

He was forced to resign as governor-general in 2003 after an inquiry found he allowed paedophile priest John Elliot to continue working until retirement, despite Elliot admitting to Dr Hollingworth that he had sexually abused two boys.

Last year, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found Dr Hollingworth made a "serious error of judgement" in allowing Elliot to continue in the ministry, and that Dr Hollingworth failed to take into account a psychiatrist's advice that Elliot was an "untreatable" paedophile who posed a risk of re-offending.

Yet just months after Dr Hollingworth gave his evidence to the royal commission in 2016 — including an apology to an abuse victim — his permission to officiate as Bishop was renewed by Australia's most senior Anglican, Archbishop Philip Freier.

It was the fourth time Dr Freier had renewed Dr Hollingworth's permission to officiate since 2007.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:59 AM

Ampleforth monks hid 'appalling' abuse of young children at Yorkshire Catholic school to protect church - report

LEEDS (ENGLAND)
The Yorkshire Post

August 9, 2018

Sexual abuse at two leading Catholic schools over four decades was likely to be "considerably" more widespread than conviction figures reflect, a report has found.

Monks at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset hid allegations of "appalling sexual abuse" against pupils as young as seven to protect the church's reputation.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) made the claims in a withering report on the English Benedictine Congregation, which has 10 monasteries in England and Wales.

Ampleforth and Downside are two schools linked to the monasteries, run at times by "secretive, evasive and suspicious" church officials who avoided reporting misconduct to police and social services.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:56 AM

'It isn't a federal matter': Lou Barletta dodges when he's asked about church sex abuse report

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 9, 2018

By John L. Micek

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Just about any day now, Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office is expected to drop a bombshell report on clergy sex abuse within Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses that will have repercussions for years to come.

Pennsylvania's two candidates for United States Senate, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Lou Barletta, both Roman Catholics, had very different reactions when a Pittsburgh television station asked them about the report's imminent release.

The station specifically asked the two candidates for their reaction to the abuse report and, critically, the role of government in handling the cases.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:54 AM

This Man Is Running Coast to Coast to Inspire Sexual Abuse Survivors to Break Their Silence

EMMAUS (PA)
Runner's World

August 7, 2018

By Taylor Dutch

Christian Griffith bottled up his trauma for 30 years. Now, he’s encouraging others to speak, too.

From the inside of an RV parked along the road in Ely, Nevada, Christian Griffith took a well-deserved break from running to answer the call from Runner’s World.

He’d already put in some serious mileage during the day, and he wasn’t done yet. Earlier in the morning, he ran 15 miles while climbing a peak through the desert. At 8:00 p.m., he would embark on 16 more. The 30 plus-mile day is one of many since March that has put him closer to completing his cross-country goal: to complete a 3,000-mile run across the United States.

He’s logging those miles for all those who have survived childhood sexual abuse—himself included, from his mother and multiple men when he was in his teens. For over 30 years, Griffith internalized the painful memories of his past. But then, two years ago, he sought treatment, and in doing so, became inspired to help other victims.

And there are a lot out there: Every eight minutes, child protective services finds evidence for a claim of child sexual abuse, according to RAINN. The effects can be long-term. Victims of child sexual abuse are also four times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse, and are four times more likely to experience post traumatic stress disorder as adults.

Griffith is making it his mission to raise awareness to the often-silent issue that affects so many people around the world by running across the entire country. He’s partnered with Help For Children, a nonprofit that works to prevent and treat child abuse. His goal? To raise $1 million for the charity.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:52 AM

Mary McAleese says Vatican tried to block documents on Irish sex abuse

IRELAND
Irish Central

August 8, 2018

By Paddy Clancy

Former Irish President Mary McAleese has revealed an old bid by the Vatican to prevent Ireland accessing Catholic Church documents.

It wasn’t pursued when she expressed the view that the secrecy would place the church “flat on its back.”

She told The Irish Times that the attempt in 2003 was “one of the most devastating moments in my presidency.”

It occurred during a state visit to Italy when she had a private meeting with the then-Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

McAleese said, “He indicated that he would like, and the Vatican would like, an agreement with Ireland, a concordat with Ireland. I asked him why and it was very clear it was because he wanted to protect the Vatican and diocesan archives. I have to say that I immediately said the conversation had to stop.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:46 AM

Former Stanford Swimmer Brock Turner Loses Appeal of Sexual Assault Conviction

STANFORD (CA)
NBC Bay Area

August 8, 2018

By Paul Elias

He filed an appeal in December seeking a new trial, arguing that the evidence presented at his trial didn't support his convictions

An appeals court on Wednesday rejected a former Stanford University swimmer's bid for a new trial and upheld his sexual assault and attempted rape convictions.

The three-judge panel of the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose ruled Wednesday that there was "substantial evidence" that Brock Turner received a fair trial.

In 2016, a jury convicted Turner of sexually assaulting an intoxicated and unconscious woman outside an on-campus fraternity party.

The case got national attention after the victim's powerful statement, which she read in court before Turner was sentenced, was shared widely online.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:44 AM

CA BISHOP JAIME SOTO COVERED UP GAY SEX ABUSE

SACRAMENTO (CA)
ChurchMilitant.com

August 8, 2018

by Anita Carey

Court documents from sex abuse lawsuits are exposing the extent to which several California bishops covered up for serial abusers, while faithful Catholics are outraged that known gay priests are still being protected.

Court documents released in the 2005 settlement show Sacramento Bp. Jaime Soto, Bp. William Johnson, then-auxiliary Bp. Michael Driscoll (all in the diocese of Orange) and Tijuana bishop Emilio Berlie all knew and covered up for priests known to be abusers.

By 2009, the diocese of Orange had the distinction of doling out the third-highest payout to victims of sexual abuse in the U.S. Church, topped only by two other California dioceses: Los Angeles and San Diego. In the mid-2000s, these three dioceses alone were ordered to pay over $1 billion to almost 800 victims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:43 AM

"They murdered something in me": Pennsylvania priest sex abuse survivors share stories

HARRISBURG (PA)
CBS NEWS

August 9, 2018

The first Pennsylvania statewide investigation into abuses by Catholic priests is expected to be released any day now. The grand jury report details allegations against more than 300 priests in six dioceses, covering more than 1.7 million parishioners. Attorney General Josh Shapiro led the 18 month-long investigation.

CBS News' Nikki Battiste spoke with several victims who are sharing their stories for the first time. Survivors and their families tell us they've suffered through decades of trauma, and believe the report's release will be an important milestone in their fight for justice.

Shaun Dougherty, Juliann Bortz, Jim Vansickle, Mary McHale, James Faluszczak and Judy Deaven are among the more than one hundred people who spoke to the Pennsylvania grand jury. Their stories fill a nearly 900-page report.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:41 AM

UK inquiry: Monks hid sex abuse to protect church reputation

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Associated Press

August 9, 2018

A British inquiry has concluded that sexual abuse at two leading Roman Catholic schools in Britain was considerably higher than is reflected by conviction figures, with monks hiding allegations to protect the church's reputation.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse issued a scathing report Thursday, saying that monks at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset hid allegations of "appalling sexual abuse" against pupils as young as seven.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:40 AM

Report on Child Sexual Abuse in Catholic Church Set to Be Released

POTTSVILLE (PA)
WNEP

August 8, 2018

By Carolyn Blackburne

For Catholics around the Commonwealth, the wait will soon be over.

An investigation into child sexual abuse by priests and members of the clergy is set to be released any time between now and next Tuesday.

The report identifies more than 300 “predator priests” across the state.

People in Pottsville said their Diocese is no stranger to the problem.

One man we spoke to didn’t want his face shown on camera, but said his friend was sexually assaulted by a priest in Schuylkill County when he was 12-years-old.

“I said to him, ‘Why don't you say something?’ He said, ‘Well I'm too old now and I don't want to get him in trouble,’” the man said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:37 AM

August 8, 2018

Melbourne Anglican diocese denies ignoring complaints about Peter Hollingworth

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

August 8, 2018

By Melissa Davey

Child sexual abuse survivors’ group asks why Hollingworth was not asked to resign after royal commission report

The Anglican diocese of Melbourne has rejected criticism it is ignoring complaints about Bishop Peter Hollingworth, as questions were raised about the independence of the diocese’s office of professional standards.

Hollingworth admitted to the child sexual abuse royal commission in 2016 that he poorly handled a complaint of sexual abuse by a priest, and he apologised to the victim. He also accepted that he failed to protect child sexual abuse victims within the church. Hollingworth was head of the Brisbane diocese from 1990 to 2001.

A report from the child abuse royal commission found Hollingworth misled the commission when he said he believed a report of abuse made to him about pedophile priest John Elliot at the Church of England Grammar School in 1993 was an “isolated incident”.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:14 PM

Our Mother of Consolation priest on leave after allegation of sexual abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Chestnut Hill Local

August 8, 2018

By Sue Ann Rybak

Rev. Mark Plaushin, a priest at Our Mother of Consolation, was placed on administrative leave on July 16, following an allegation of sexual abuse.

In a statement by The Philadelphia Archdiocese Office of Communications and read to Our Mother of Consolation [OMC] parish by Michael Murray, assistant provincial for the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales, church officials said they were not aware of the allegation against Plaushin.

“Before Monday, neither the leadership of the Oblates, nor Archdiocesan administration, nor Father Bazzoli” were aware of the allegation “that he [Plaushin] sexually abused a minor in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, in 1985, four years prior to his ordination to the priesthood,” the statement reads.

Plaushin, who has been at OMC parish since the summer of 2013, has denied the allegations. He has not been charged with a crime. In a Local profile in December 2017, Plaushin discussed his military service, which included multiple tours as an army chaplain in Iraq and Kuwait in the early 2000s. He retired from the army as a colonel in 2015.

According to the statement from the archdiocese, church officials moved to remove Plaushin from active service as soon as they learned of the allegation.

“The allegation was reported to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office by church officials in the Diocese of Scranton who also notified the Provincial Office of Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales,” the statement reads. “Following that notification, we immediately notified the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Father Plaushin was placed on administrative leave, including loss of his faculties to function as a priest, pending the outcome of this matter.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:12 PM

Clergy sexual abuse victim: 'It’s important for us to also remember the good priests'

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

August 8, 2018

By Susan Blum

Back in the ’60s at the height of the war in Vietnam, my husband was drafted into service. Like his grandfather in WWI and dad in WWII who loves his country, he served in the military for almost five years. He was offered the opportunity to flee to Canada but he is a man of integrity.

Today we thank soldiers for their service, but not so for those coming home during the Vietnam era. It was a confusing and heartbreaking time for those that served. It was not a time to be seen in public in a uniform when the news that other servicemen were responsible for atrocities in which children were killed. The innocent veterans were often spat upon in public

Two years ago, this newspaper featured my story as survivor of childhood clergy sexual abuse. The recent announcement of over 70 priests and deacons who have been accused reopened some of the old wounds. I am still on a healing path. Their sexual violation when we were children killed our souls.

The continued opposition of the church to reform of the statue of limitations for victims continues to protect so many non-clergy perpetrators in our communities is the biggest source of my pain and anger. I have pledged to fight until my dying breath to protect children from theses monsters.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:10 PM

Ex-student sues elite Brentwood School after teacher is charged with sexually abusing him

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

August 7, 2018

By Richard Winton

A former student sued the elite Brentwood School on Monday in the wake of a female teacher being charged with repeatedly having sex with the minor, alleging that other faculty members encouraged the unlawful behavior and failed to report it to authorities.

The lawsuit accuses the private school, whose students include the children of many of Hollywood’s elite and L.A.’s powerful, of acting negligently and allowing Aimee Palmitessa to abuse and batter the teenager sexually.

The suit alleges that the student was abused in summer 2017 after one of the school’s counselors offered words of encouragement to the then-17-year-old, identified in the suit as only John Doe, to engage in an illegal relationship with the teacher.

The school allowed Palmitessa, a teacher with a reputation for inappropriate conduct with students, to groom the teen in 2016 before eventually subjecting him as an 11th-grader to repeated sexual acts on the campus, at an upscale hotel, and his and her homes last year, the lawsuit alleges.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 4:09 PM

FOX43 Investigates: Survivor details priest abuse, accused priest shares his side (Part One)

YORK (PA)
FOX 43

August 6, 2018

By Jack Eble

One Pennsylvania native, who says he testified for the grand jury report on child sex abuse within the six Roman Catholic Diocese in the commonwealth, worries its contents won't be available for the public to read.

He wants to make sure he can share his story.

"This is not an easy story to tell," the source said, choosing to remain anonymous.

He said the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg was a central part of his childhood.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:59 PM

Opinion-Our view: Trust, transparency paramount in church sex abuse fallout

ERIE (PA)
GOErie

August 7, 2018

By the Editorial Board

Retired Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman was right to step away from the secret legal battle to alter the contents of a sweeping clergy sexual abuse grand jury report before its public release.

From court records and what Trautman told reporter Ed Palattella, we now know that Trautman objected at least to a handful of damning statements in the report made generally about Pennsylvania bishops. We understand.

He wanted those claims to be asserted with more precision, making clear, for example, that he specifically did not cover up for or enable offenders and endanger children. State Attorney General Josh Shapiro agreed to a series of stipulations indicating that some general characterizations of bishops’ appalling conduct were not specifically directed at Trautman.

We are glad to hear it. But that is not to say we have any illusions that reading the report, covering the handling of clergy child sex abuse in six Roman Catholic dioceses, including the Erie diocese, will be an affirming experience when it is finally released as early as Wednesday.

Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico, in keeping with the humble, rightly focused leadership he has consistently shown amid this overdue reckoning, has told us it won’t. Persico said the report contains explicit, shocking details and described the anger and hostility he witnessed in the grand jurors who were forced to weigh for two years testimony about the church’s handling of child sexual abuse at the hands of its ministers.

He has let us know also that his own conduct in the Erie diocese and in the Greensburg diocese, where he previously served, is scrutinized. And he has further helped ease the blow by taking the unprecedented step of releasing in advance of the report’s release the names of clergy and laity credibly accused of abuse or other misconduct with minors.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:57 PM

Pope praises Chile bishops for reflecting on their failures

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The Associated Press

August 7, 2018

Pope Francis has praised Chilean bishops for reflecting on their failure to listen to victims of clerical sex abuse.

The pontiff said in a letter to the Chilean church’s Episcopal Conference that he is “impressed by the reflection, discernment and decisions” taken by bishops when they met last week.

“May the Lord reward you abundantly for this communal and pastoral effort,” the pope said in the letter, which is dated Aug. 5. “The decisions (of the bishops) are realistic and concrete. I’m sure that they will decidedly help on this process.”

Earlier this year, Francis publicly denounced a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in Chile’s Catholic Church. He also said he was ashamed that neither he nor Chilean church leaders truly ever listened to victims as Chile’s abuse scandal spread.

In May, 31 bishops offered their resignation to the pope. So far Francis has accepted the resignations of five.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:56 PM

Chilean bishops acknowledge failures in handling sexual abuse of minors

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Catholic News Service

August 6, 2018

By Jane Chambers,

Chile's bishops acknowledged they had "failed to fulfill our duty by not listening, believing, attending or accompanying the victims of grave sins" after a five-day meeting to discuss the clergy sexual abuse crisis rocking the country.

Bishop Santiago Silva of the Military Diocese of Chile, president of the bishops' conference, also apologized to abuse survivors for the bishops' failure to "react in time to the painful sexual abuse and abuse of power and authority" as the general assembly concluded Aug. 3 in Punta de Tralca on the Pacific Coast.

He outlined a series of steps the bishops would take as they released "Declaration, Decisions and Commitments of the Bishops Conference of Chile," a set of national guidelines for responding to abuse allegations. The guidelines were developed during the assembly.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:55 PM

Ex-Irish president: Vatican sought deal to keep church archives closed

IRELAND
The Guardian

August 7, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

Mary McAleese says approach came while inquiries into child abuse involving Catholic church were under way

The Vatican sought a deal with the Irish state in 2003 to keep church archives closed, according to former president Mary McAleese.

The approach from the Vatican came at a time when two statutory inquiries were under way into child abuse involving the Catholic church.

McAleese said the matter was raised with her during a private meeting with a high-ranking Vatican official while she was on a state visit to Italy.

It was “one of the most devastating moments of my presidency”, she told the Irish Times.

According to McAleese’s account, Angelo Sodano, then Vatican secretary of state, “indicated he would like, and the Vatican would like, an agreement with Ireland, a concordat with Ireland”.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:53 PM

Metro youth minister allegedly violated conditions of bond for child sex abuse charges

RAYMORE (MO)
FOX 4

August 7, 2018

By Alana LaFlore

A metro youth minister facing child sex abuse charges violated bond conditions by being around children, court documents say.

Devin Caruthers is charged with two counts of sodomy, one count attempted child molestation and one count domestic assault.

Raymore Police found out about the violation because someone posted photos on Facebook showing Caruthers around children at the Second Missionary Baptist Church in Grandview.

Court records say, as a term of his bond, Caruthers cannot have contact with his alleged victims or any child under 17 expect for his own child.

Raymore Police handed photos over the the Cass County Prosecutor's Office. On Tuesday, that office filed a motion to revoke Caruthers' bond and immediately take him into custody.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:52 PM

What happens when sexual harassers return to work

NEW YORK (NY)
CNNMoney

August 8, 2018

By Julia Carpenter

After an incident of harassment in the workplace, after the complaint is made, after the punishment is handed down, even after a suspension is enacted, what happens next?
With some kinds of claims — singular instances, for example, or non-physical offenses — an accused harasser may be sent to training or put on suspension. But after that, they can sometimes return to work.

Much of the aftermath depends on how the company handles that initial incident, as well as any that came before it, and whether the employer has an explicit policy on harassment, or just figures it out as the need arises.

"I can't emphasize how much the organization sets the tone," says Elissa Perry, professor of social-organizational psychology at Columbia University. "People often like to talk about harassment as though it's only between two people ... the context is so important to understand what dynamic will play out when this person returns."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:50 PM

10 priests accused of child sex abuse served in Franklin County

HARRISBURG (PA)
Chambersburg Public Opinion

August 7, 2018

By Jim Hook

Child sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic church leadership in Pennsylvania include priests who served in parishes in Franklin County.

The Diocese of Harrisburg recently published a list of present and past clergy with allegations of sexual abuse against them. While the claims were substantiated, according to the diocese, the list does not assess credibility or guilt.

Ten priests were assigned to churches in and near Franklin County during their careers. All are deceased. One’s service dates to 1934.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:40 PM

Attorney to bishop who removed DFW priest: ‘I pray you realize how egregious this looks’

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Star-Telegram

August 8, 2018

By Nichole Manna

The attorney for a former Prosper priest who was asked to resign after writing a letter that Bishop Michael Olson deemed intimidating, manipulative and inappropriate says there was no justification for removing the Rev. Richard Kirkham from St. Martin de Porres parish.

Kirkham was also accused by Olson, bishop of the Fort Worth diocese, of not reporting knowledge he had of alleged sexual misconduct and predatory sexual harassment in the workplace regarding a Dallas-area priest.

In June, Olson learned that Kirkham wrote a letter to the Dallas-area priest threatening to turn him in for having an affair with a woman involved in that priest’s parish.

The letter includes explicit details of the priest’s alleged sexual preferences, the woman he was accused of having an affair with and details of the type of sex they reportedly had. The letter also alludes to the priest masturbating at his work desk and having problems with alcoholism.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:38 PM

Indian nun accusing bishop of rape allegedly made complaint to Vatican representative

MUMBAI (INDIA)
Crux

August 7, 2018

By Nirmala Carvalho

A television news channel in India has revealed that a nun who has accused a bishop of rape wrote two letters to the Vatican representative to India about her complaints.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar - in the Indian state of Punjab - was accused in June of repeatedly sexually assaulting the sister belonging to the Punjab-based Missionaries of Jesus religious congregation. The alleged assaults took place on 13 different occasions between 2014-2016 at the nun’s order’s convent in the state of Kerala.

On Tuesday, Mirror Now, an Indian English-language news network, revealed that it had received copies of two letters allegedly sent by the nun to Vatican representatives.

The letters include allegations of threats and intimidation, and said the bishop harassed the nun’s brother (who is a priest) and other members of her family.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:37 PM

OPINION:Priest’s stirring sermon reminds Catholics to fix their hearts on Christ amid Church scandals

NEWINGTON (VA)
St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church

August 6, 2018

By Fr. John De Celles

In today's second reading, St. Paul writes: "I...urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received..."

Each of us is called in Baptism to live a life of love for God and neighbor, and keeping the commandments. Even so, sadly, all of us, from time to time, fail "to live in a manner worthy of the call [we] have received."

But some of us have special callings in the Church, and for the Church. In particular, I think of priests, bishops and popes. Each of these are men have a special obligation to strive to live in a manner worthy of their very special calling, for the good of the whole Church. And when they fail, it has wider effects, and hurts the whole Church, which as St. Paul reminds us today is "one body."

Now all priests will fail in smaller ways, and even larger ways that are not uncommon among men,

ways that may disappoint us, but not cause us to give up on them. But sometimes, some priests fail miserably and in repulsive ways, ways that seem to, as Scripture says, "cry out to God for vengeance."

In the last few weeks we've heard in the news that the former Archbishop of Washington, one of the most powerful Cardinals of the Church, Theodore McCarrick, has been accused of such failures – terrible crimes and reprehensible grave sins. Although the Pope suspended him from public ministry until the investigations are concluded, McCarrick has publicly denied all accusations.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:34 PM

Inside the Tangled Web of NXIVM: The Surprising Players Sucked Into the Alleged Cult's Orbit

UNITED STATES
EOnline

August 7, 2018

By Natalie Finn

When you think of a cult, or at least going by what you've seen on TV and in movies, you think of poor, lost souls who while at their most vulnerable were invited to join a tight-knit community—a community inevitably led by one charismatic person who claims to have all the answers and, if you abide, is going to share them with you.

Paramount TV's recent Waco did an engrossing job humanizing the people who fell under David Koresh's spell in the 1980s (and successfully illustrated how the situation was in no way as simple as "crazy cult vs. law enforcement"), but the series primarily took place once the Branch Davidians were already all living together at their Texas compound in the months leading up to a disastrous 1993 FBI siege in which 76 men, women and children were killed. Much has been written about Koresh and how he was able to convince so many people that his way was the right way, but it was widely concluded that he had preyed on the vulnerable.

And before the tragedy at Waco, no one knew who those people were. The same goes for Charles Manson's "family," and the murderous group—ostensibly lost souls under the sway of a magnetic leader—might have been but a blip on the end-of-the-1960s radar if actress Sharon Tate hadn't been one of their victims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:32 PM

Timeline of Catholic clergy child sex abuse claims: 1985 to now

MECHANICSBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 8, 2018

Pennsylvania is preparing to release a long-awaited, 900-page grand jury report on hundreds of predatory priests.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had set a deadline of Aug. 7 for petitioners seeking to have their names redacted could appeal to the court. An unspecified number of clergy on Tuesday filed challenges to the latest version of the report, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The state now has until Aug. 14 to release the report, per a court order.

According to unsealed excerpts of the grand jury report, more than 300 "predator priests" identified by name are accused of committing criminal or morally reprehensible conduct. The vast majority of those named will be publicly identified in the report.

Victim advocates say it's the most exhaustive review of clergy sex abuse by a U.S. state. The state's other dioceses had previously been the subject of grand jury probes.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:31 PM

14 accused priests served at Assumption BVM in Lebanon

LEBANON (PA)
Lebanon Daily News

August 7, 2018

By Daniel Walmer

Fourteen priests accused of sexual misconduct served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lebanon, according to a detailed list of parish assignments provided Monday by the Diocese of Harrisburg.

That is the highest total for any one church on the list.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:27 PM

Legislative panel advances sexual harassment policy

HELENA (MT)
The Associated Press

August 6, 2018

By Amy Beth Hanson

A Montana legislative panel on Monday advanced a policy prohibiting lawmakers from harassing or discriminating against each other and others participating in the legislative process.

The policy initially approved on a subcommittee's 4-0 vote calls for mandatory training, encourages prompt reporting, sets a process for investigating complaints and would make information about substantiated complaints available to the public.

It allows for an outside investigator, if necessary, and if an investigation turns up any suspected criminal activity, it must be immediately be reported to law enforcement.

The full Legislative Council will consider the policy on Aug. 23.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:25 PM

American pitcher who pleaded guilty to child sex abuse loses pact with Asian team

CORVALLIS (OR)
Fox News

August 8, 2018

By Ryan Gaydos

Former Oregon State star pitcher Luke Heimlich, who pleaded guilty at age 15 to sexually abusing his 6-year-old niece, had his new contract with an Asian team disallowed Tuesday.

Heimlich signed a contract with the Lamigo Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League last week after failing to latch on with a Major League Baseball team.

It would be “truly regrettable if a potential first-round pick player has no place to showcase his talent,” Lamigo general manager Justin Liu said after the signing, according to Focus Taiwan News Channel.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:23 PM

Embezzlement trial postponed until next year for Michigan priest

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service

August 8, 2018

By Rhina Guidos

A judge has postponed a mid-August trial for a priest accused of embezzling more than $5 million from a parish in Okemos, in central Michigan, part of the Diocese of Lansing.

Father Jonathan Wehrle was facing an Aug. 13 trial but his attorney in the criminal case told the Lansing State Journal he was withdrawing, prompting the judge in early August to push the trial to January 2019 to give new defense attorneys time to prepare, the newspaper said.

According to the newspaper, the announcement from Wehrle’s attorney came after Michigan State Police said in a news release that investigators from its Special Investigation Section discovered more than $63,000 in cash stashed above the ceiling tiles of the basement of the priest’s home during a July 17 search. A July 18 news release from Michigan State Police says officers found the words “For deposit only - St. Martha Parish and School,” the name of the parish where he served from 1988 until June 2017, on the cash bundles.

The priest faces six felony counts of embezzlement of $100,000 or more.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:21 PM

#MeToo movement finds unlikely champion on Wall Street with the new "Weinstein clause"

UNITED STATES
The Conversation via CBS News

August 7, 2018

By Elizabeth C. Tippett

Elizabeth C. Tippett is an associate professor at the School of Law at the University of Oregon.

If you were worried that the #MeToo movement might fade away, fear not. It has been carved into one of the most immovable objects in human history.

Legal boilerplate.

And not just any boilerplate. But the language in giant merger agreements, used when one company is buying out another company.

Basically, corporate lawyers have been adding a sentence that forces companies to disclose allegations of sexual harassment. On Wall Street, it has come to be known as the "Weinstein clause."

That's new. In my years as an employment lawyer, I worked on more than 50 corporate acquisitions. The work somehow managed to be both boring and stressful, as I rapidly sifted through masses of personnel documents to figure out what needed to be disclosed.

Although it was common to disclose ongoing lawsuits or threats of litigation, "allegations" or even internal complaints of harassment were not on anyone's radar.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:20 PM

University of Southern California president steps down amid sex abuse scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Good Morning America

August 8, 2018

By Karma Allen

University of Southern California president steps down amid sex abuse scandal originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

University of Southern California President Max Nikias stepped down on Tuesday, effective immediately, amid criticism over how he handled sexual abuse allegations levied against a former campus doctor.

Nikias agreed to resign in May, after at least 200 faculty members signed a petition calling for him to step down, but he hadn't relinquished his duties.

He will transition into the role of president emeritus and life trustee of the university, according to a statement released by the school on Tuesday.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:09 PM

Wave of sexual abuse accusations hits Lincoln diocese

LINCOLN (NE)
LifeSiteNews

August 7, 2018

By Lisa Bourne

Fallout continues from allegations of sexual misconduct leveled recently against clergy in the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Lincoln Bishop James Conley has had to issue a subsequent statement following the diocese’s August 1 acknowledgement of reports of misconduct from the 1990’s against its deceased former vocations director. The statement comes after additional more current allegations surfaced related to a current priest in the Lincoln diocese.

Conley wrote the faithful on August 4 conceding the result of the new abuse stories left many feeling they’d been lied to and asking for forgiveness for “the potential betrayal of the good people of the diocese.”

And following Conley’s second statement Saturday, yet further allegations came to light Monday against another priest in the diocese. All of this is the latest chapter in a component of the Church’s sex abuse crisis illustrating that actively homosexual clergy, sexual abuse, and abuse of power can occur anywhere, even in a diocese known for its orthodoxy and strong vocations numbers.

In his August 4 statement Conley directly named the late Msgr. Leonard Kalin, the diocese’s former vocations director and head of the Newman Center at the University of Nebraska, explaining that the diocese had received just one complaint against him before now, back in 1998.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:36 PM

Diocese of Lincoln admits misconduct by influential former vocations director

LINCOLN (NE)
LifeSiteNews

August 4, 2018

By Lisa Bourne

The Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, has acknowledged reports of misconduct by its deceased former vocations director, after an op-ed published by a former priest alleged the sexual behavior and other scandal involving the director.

The diocese did not address the allegations from Peter Mitchell, posted August 1 at Rod Dreher’s blog on The American Conservative, but said in a statement that the diocese “is aware of past reports of conduct contrary to prudence and moral law by Monsignor Leonard Kalin, deceased in 2008.”

“The diocese addressed these allegations of misconduct directly with Msgr. Kalin during his time in priestly ministry,” the statement said. The diocese added that is not aware that Kalin had broken any civil laws.

“The Diocese of Lincoln is also aware of past reports of conduct contrary to prudence and moral law by former Diocese of Lincoln priest Peter Mitchell,” the statement said further. “The diocese addressed these allegations of misconduct directly with Mitchell during his time of ministry in the Diocese of Lincoln.”

Mitchell was a seminarian in the Lincoln diocese from 1994 to 1999, and eventually transferred to Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. He was laicized in 2017 for breaking his vow of celibacy on multiple occasions.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:22 PM

The Priest Who Molested Him Was His Uncle

LINCOLN (NE)
The American Conservative

August 6, 2018

By Rod Dreher

Stan Schulte, a 37-year-old chiropractor in Lincoln, Nebraska, comes from a sprawling Catholic family that’s a pillar of its Nebraska diocese. The Diocese of Lincoln has long enjoyed a national reputation for vigorous Catholic orthodoxy. He was raised in Blessed Sacrament parish, where his mother was a secretary. He graduated from Pius X High School. His uncle, Jim Benton, 71, is a veteran priest of the diocese.

Father Benton also molested him as a child, according to Schulte, who is revealing it here publicly for the first time. In an emotional phone conversation late Sunday night, Schulte alleged that on a rectory sleepover in Seward, when he was an adolescent, his uncle attempted to sexually assault him.

“I woke up to him grinding up against me with a vise grip over me, dry-humping me. I didn’t know what was going on,” says Schulte, through tears [UPDATE: Schulte writes to say that he was on the rectory floor, not in his uncle’s bed]. “I was able to throw him off, and I sat in a chair in the room all night, staring at him. I couldn’t sleep. My brother was sleeping next to him. I wanted to get my brother and run out of there, but I was a minor. What was I supposed to do? As a kid, you’re taught not to go against priests. You feel like you’re the bad person.

“I buried that,” Schulte says. “I buried it until this year.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:21 PM

The Catholic Church thinks in centuries. There’s a reason Pope Francis is barely touching down

IRELAND
The Avondhu

August 8, 2018

By Donal O'Keeffe

The Catholic Church is simply not serious about confronting its shameful history of abuse. That’s why media-savvy Pope Francis isn’t stopping here long enough to engage in any meaningful way with Irish survivors, says Donal O’Keeffe.

Did you watch Spotlight on RTÉ1 last Wednesday? It’s a powerful, deeply intelligent 2015 film, directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy, and featuring a top-notch ensemble cast.

It dramatises the story of the Boston Globe’s 2001-2002 ‘Spotlight’ investigation into clerical child abuse in the Boston archdiocese, something Irish viewers will watch with a sense of déjà vu.

If Spotlight could be said to have a villain, it’s the Catholic Church, personified by the late Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston (played by Len Cariou).

There’s a scene early on in Spotlight in which Boston Globe reporter Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo) meets lawyer Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci). Garabedian is representing several victims of clerical abuse, and alleges that Cardinal Law had known Father John Geoghan was a serial child rapist and had done nothing to stop him. Garabedian is doubtful the Globe can challenge the Catholic Church.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:17 PM

Democratic candidate Matt Flynn's statements on pedophile priests undermined by 1992 case

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

August 8, 2018

By Daniel Bice

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Flynn has pleaded ignorance about the transfer of pedophile priests during his 15 years as lawyer for the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

"I did not know about it," Flynn said of priest reassignments on a video produced by his campaign. "I was not involved in it. I was not asked about it. I did not condone it."

His boss at the time, then-Archbishop Rembert Weakland, went even further, saying no lawyers were involved in the reassignments.

Strong words.

But a 26-year-old case raises serious doubts about each of those claims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:11 PM

How should priests report sex abuse by priests? N.J. diocese asks after McCarrick scandal

METUCHEN (NJ)
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

August 8, 2018

By Kelly Heyboer

One of New Jersey's Catholic dioceses is bringing together a group of senior advisers to consider changing how priests can report sexual misconduct by fellow priests, church officials said Tuesday.

Bishop James Checchio, head of the Diocese of Metuchen, said the recent resignation of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has raised questions about whether his diocese needs to make big changes.

McCarrick is accused of sexual abuse and misconduct with young seminarians and priests, including some who said they feared retaliation if they reported him to church authorities because he was a high-ranking Catholic leader.

One of McCarrick's alleged victims, a former priest, said last month he endured McCarrick's sexual advances in part because the Catholic Church lacked the type of human resources departments and anonymous reporting systems that exist in the corporate world for those reporting abuse by co-workers.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:04 PM

Countdown begins to release of grand jury report into Catholic priest abuse

MECHANICSVILLE (PA)
Penn Live

August 7, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

The worldwide clergy sex abuse crisis is poised to implode anew in this country as Pennsylvania prepares as early as Wednesday to release a long-awaited grand jury report on hundreds of predatory priests.

Members of the clergy had until Tuesday to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to have their names redacted from the 900-page report. The court had set a deadline of Aug. 7 by which petitioners seeking such a redaction could appeal to the court.

Under the court order, the state can between Wednesday and Aug. 14 release the report. At the time this report was published, it was not clear if any members of the clergy had filed challenges to have their names removed from the report.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:34 AM

Catholic church is in no position to lecture others on criminal punishment

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Morning Call

August 8, 2018

By Paul Muschick

Pope Francis made headlines last week by saying the Catholic Church would work to abolish the death penalty globally. The church should focus on cleaning up its own house before preaching to others how they should dish out punishment.

* * *

But I thought about it again last weekend, after seeing the latest turn in the church’s sex abuse scandal in Pennsylvania. And I concluded the church isn’t in a position to be telling others how to apply justice.

A court filing alleged Pennsylvania church leaders went all out to keep allegations of clergy sexual abuse against children from being investigated by law enforcement authorities or becoming public.

That wasn’t a surprise, either. It still was sickening to see.

“The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid ‘scandal,’’’ the court filing quoted the unreleased grand jury report as saying.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:15 AM

Looking back, looking ahead at Catholic clergy sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

August 7, 2018

By John Baer

[See the 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury report.]

In anticipation of findings, however redacted, of a statewide grand jury investigation into sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses, I revisited a 2005 grand jury report on the same topic in Philadelphia.

Thirteen years later, it’s as horrific as it was back then.

Findings included “how dozens of priests (at least 63) sexually abused hundreds of children” and “how Philadelphia Archdiocese officials – including Cardinal Bevilacqua and Cardinal Krol – excused and enabled the abuse.”

Details were sickening.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:07 AM

Sebastián Piñera sobre la Iglesia Católica chilena: “Jamás debe encubrir un crimen”

[Sebastián Piñera says the Chilean Catholic Church "must never cover a crime"]

CHILE
EFE / The Clinic Online

July 28, 2018

A juicio de Piñera, “es mejor que esto salga a la luz pública para poder corregir esta situación y enfrentarla con más verdad, con más coraje y con más justicia y no seguir barriendo bajo la alfombra”.

El presidente de Chile, Sebastián Piñera, afirmó hoy que la Iglesia católica “jamás debe encubrir un crimen”, en alusión a los abusos sexuales cometidos en el país por miembros del clero y su presunto encubrimiento por parte de la jerarquía eclesiástica.

Posted by Laura R at 8:06 AM

When Two Gay Catholic Tribes Go To (Cold) War

WASHINGTON (DC)
The American Conservative

August 7, 2018

By Rod Dreher

‘You wouldn’t want to fill a seminary with people who’ve had all kinds of sexual experiences in the past, and unless you were very, very sure that they could be chaste’ said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to USA Today in 2002. Gay hypocrite was secretly a molester of seminarians (PBS News Hour screenshot)
N., an exceptionally well-informed lay Catholic, tells me that there are two basic tribes of gay bishops and priests.

The first tribe is the Progressives — some sexually active, others not — who believe homosexuality should be normalized by the Catholic Church, and are pushing openly for the Church to change its teachings to reflect that.

The second tribe are Conservatives who live a double life. Outwardly they advocate for traditional Catholic teaching on homosexuality, but they also live homosocially (in the sense of socializing with other gay conservative priests), and some have gay sex. They therefore live in a state of cognitive dissonance.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:04 AM

Vaticano quita el estado clerical a ex párroco de Quilpué por abusos de poder y conciencia

[Vatican sanctions former pastor of Quilpué for abuses of power and conscience]

CHILE
El Mostrador

August 7, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

El ahora ex presbítero Jaime Da Fonseca fue sancionado por la Santa Sede, luego de una investigación canónica iniciada por el obispo emérito de Valparaíso Gonzalo Duarte. La decisión es inapelable.

Si bien había zafado de la justicia civil, en una causa por delitos sexuales cerrada en 2014, la carrera eclesiástica del sacerdote de la Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Quilpué, Jaime Da Fonseca Hidalgo, llegó definitivamente a su fin. Este martes, el Obispado de Valparaíso comunicó la expulsión de manera inapelable del religioso, después de haber sido investigado por la Congregación para el Clero del Vaticano.

Posted by Laura R at 7:57 AM

Archbishop Fails Upwards In Wine Country

WASHINGTON (DC)
The American Conservative

August 6, 2018

By Rod Dreher

[Note: The link to the schedule no longer functions. See the copy cached by Google.]

An angry Catholic reader writes:

Last week, Timothy Busch, the founder of the Napa Institute put out an article titled, “Our Great Commission: The Call of the Laity to Holiness & Reform in Times of Scandal.”

Busch says that he is “disheartened” by the McCarrick scandal. He invites readers to pray for “the Church hierarchy to find the courage to root out every sin and restore truth, beauty, and goodness to the Church,” and invites ideas for how the Napa Institute can contribute to the reform of the Church.

But look at the Napa Institute’s schedule for the Eighth Annual Napa Institute Conference, held July 11-15, 2018. Disgraced Archbishop John Nienstedt is the celebrant for five of the conference masses.

Archbishop Nienstedt was forced out of office in 2015 for failing to properly handle sex abuse allegations. However, there were also allegations of homosexual activity with adults, including priests and seminarians. Documents released in 2016 revealed that the then-Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, not only quashed an investigation into Nienstedt’s alleged abuse of seminarians and priests, but also ordered investigators to destroy documents.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:45 AM

Obispado de Chillán pone en duda la "certeza moral" de denuncia de abuso contra sacerdote

[Bishop of Chillán questions the "moral certainty" of abuse complaint against priest]

CHILE
BioBioChile

August 7, 2018

By Manuel Cabrera and Wilson Ponce

A través de una declaración pública, el Obispado de Chillán confirmó que concluyó la investigación preliminar en contra del sacerdote Héctor Bravo Merino, quien fue denunciado por presunto abuso sexual a un menor.

Posted by Laura R at 7:43 AM

Pope thanks Chilean bishops for 'decisive' efforts against abuse

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

August 8, 2018

By Devin Watkins

In a handwritten letter sent on Sunday, Pope Francis applauds the Chilean bishops’ efforts to reflect on their failure to listen to victims of clerical sex abuse.

Pope Francis has praised the bishops of Chile for their “decisive” efforts against clerical sex abuse following a recent meeting.

In a handwritten letter sent on Sunday, the Pope says Chile’s bishops have come up with “realistic and concrete” measures against the abuse crisis gripping the Catholic Church in the country.

He thanked the President of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference for the “edifying example” of a united Church community. The Pope also expressed his appreciation for the Chilean bishops’ reflections on their failure to respond to a clerical sex abuse crisis.

‘Concrete response’

In his letter released by the Chilean Bishops’ Conference, Pope Francis said he was “impressed by the work of reflection, discernment, and decisions” carried out to produce a document, entitled “Declaration, Decisions, and Commitments of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference” (in Spanish).

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:42 AM

Vaticano destituye a sacerdote chileno investigado por abuso y acoso sexual

[Vatican dismisses Chilean priest investigated for sexual abuse and harassment]

CHILE
BioBioChile

August 7, 2018

By Yerko Roa and Gonzalo Olguín

La Diócesis de Valparaíso confirmó en un comunicado que el Vaticano hizo oficial una sentencia canónica en contra del expárroco de Quilpué Jaime Da Fonseca, rebajándolo a la condición de laico. El sacerdote fue investigado tras acusaciones de acoso y abuso sexual, además de encubrimiento.

Posted by Laura R at 7:39 AM

Timing is everything in Pennsylvania’s clergy sexual abuse report

COLUMBIA (MO)
Religion News Service

August 7, 2018

By Thomas Reese SJ

After a monthlong challenge by a few of those named in the document, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has approved the release of a grand jury’s report on sexual abuse of minors in six Catholic dioceses across the state. The grand jury, convened in 2016, considered the cases of some 300 priests accused of being predators, as well as bishops accused of covering up the crimes.

The report, expected to be released any day, is not going to be an easy read, and at 900 pages will contain more information than many have time to digest.

Here are a few things that journalists and other interested parties should look for.

First, did the grand jury find any new prosecutable offenses?

The answer is probably no. The statute of limitations, which has protected many abusive priests from prosecution, has likely expired on many of the crimes detailed in the report. Nor is it likely that any bishops can be prosecuted for not reporting priests to the authorities, because that was not required by law until recently in most states.

Second, did the report find any priests credibly accused of abuse who are still in ministry or any bishop currently in office who kept a bad priest in ministry?

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:37 AM

Survivor details priest abuse, accused priest shares his side

YORK (PA)
Fox 43

August 6, 2018

By Jack Eble

https://fox43.com/2018/08/06/fox43-investigates-survivor-details-priest-abuse-accused-priest-shares-his-side-part-one/

One Pennsylvania native, who says he testified for the grand jury report on child sex abuse within the six Roman Catholic Diocese in the commonwealth, worries its contents won't be available for the public to read.

He wants to make sure he can share his story.

"This is not an easy story to tell," the source said, choosing to remain anonymous.

He said the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg was a central part of his childhood.

He described himself as "very involved," and attended church regularly, had his baptism and confirmation there.

He eventually attended St. Patrick School in Carlisle through eighth grade during the 1980s

He achieved something his classmates looked forward to doing: become an alter boy.

"You got to leave and do any sort of funerals that were there. You got a free break from school. Being an alter boy was kind of a good thing."

At an alter boy retreat in a place outside of Carlisle, he said he met a priest within the Diocese of Harrisburg: Father Herbert Shank.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:34 AM

Child sex abuse case allegedly turned over to law enforcement, survivor alleges abuse at priest-owned cabin

YORK (PA)
Fox 43

August 7, 2018

By Jack Eble

https://fox43.com/2018/08/07/fox43-investigates-child-sex-abuse-case-allegedly-turned-over-to-law-enforcement-survivor-alleges-abuse-at-priest-owned-cabin/

One Pennsylvania native, who is choosing to remain anonymous, says he became an "object of abuse" by Herbert Shank, a former priest within the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, when his parents were going through hard times.

He says he was abused at the hands of Shanks for a year and a half, starting when he was 12-years old.

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Harrisburg says Herbert Shank's case was turned over to the York County District Attorney's Office in February 1995.

When reaching out to the York County District Attorney's Office, we received the following statement: "As per policy, The Office of the District Attorney does not confirm or deny whether or not there is an investigation until such time charges are, or are not filed."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:00 AM

August 7, 2018

Opinion: Anuncios de la Iglesia Católica: medidas insuficientes

[Opinion: Announcements of the Catholic Church are insufficient measures]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 7, 2018

By Nicolás Espejo Yaksic
Lawyer and Professor, University of Oxford

Este 3 de agosto de 2018, la Asamblea Plenaria Extraordinaria del Episcopado emitió una declaración en la que se reconoce que la Iglesia Católica ha fallado en su deber al no escuchar, creer, atender o acompañar a las víctimas de graves pecados. Junto con pedir perdón a las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso sexual, la Conferencia Episcopal anunció una serie de medidas, entre las que destacan colaborar más activamente con la Fiscalía Nacional en las investigaciones penales, la disposición de cada obispo para encontrarse personalmente con las víctimas de abusos cometidos por clérigos, un código de comportamiento para cada ministro ordenado y una revisión estructural de las condiciones que han facilitado el abuso sexual.

Posted by Laura R at 6:00 PM

“Eres llorón”: El polémico ataque por Twitter del senador Iván Moreira a víctima de Karadima

["You are a crybaby:" The controversial Twitter attack of Senator Ivan Moreira on Karadima victim]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 7, 2018

By Claudia Soto

El parlamentario UDI utilizó la red social para responder a Juan Carlos Cruz, quien previamente había manifestado un reclamo al matinal de Canal 13 por forzar una discusión entre ambos.

Faltaba poco para las seis de la tarde de ayer, cuando el senador de la UDI Iván Moreira decidió utilizar su cuenta en Twitter para responder a Juan Carlos Cruz, víctima del ex párroco de El Bosque Fernando Karadima, quien había utilizado la misma red social previamente para acusarlo de politizar todo.

Posted by Laura R at 5:55 PM

Comisión del Senado iniciará mañana estudio de proyecto que busca revocar nacionalidad a cardenal Ezzati

[Senate Commission to consider revoking Ezzati's "nationality by grace"]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 7, 2018

La iniciativa parlamentaria fue ingresada debido a los últimos cuestionamientos que pesan sobre el arzobispo de Santiago, debido a su actuar en los casos de abuso sexual al interior de la Iglesia.

Para mañana está convocada la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, Nacionalidad y Ciudadanía para iniciar el estudio del proyecto de ley, presentado por las senadoras Adriana Muñoz y Ximena Rincón, que busca revocar la nacionalidad por gracia que tiene hoy el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati.

Posted by Laura R at 5:44 PM

¿Un extranjero en reemplazo de Ezzati?: Los pros y contras de que el nuevo arzobispo de Santiago venga de afuera

[A foreigner to replace Ezzati ?: The pros and cons of the new archbishop of Santiago coming from outside]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

August 7, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

Restablecer el "prestigio perdido" y "estabilizar lo que se desestabilizó", son parte de las ventajas, según expertos, que podrían existir en caso de que el eventual nuevo líder de la arquidiócesis no provenga de la Iglesia chilena.

No presidirá Tedeum ecuménico de Fiestas Patrias y delegó sus atribuciones como gran canciller de la Pontificia Universidad Católica. Esas son las dos importantes decisiones que ha tomado el Arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, durante los últimos días, en medio de la crisis que atraviesa la iglesia católica nacional.

Posted by Laura R at 5:29 PM

Ezzati delega atribuciones de gran canciller de la PUC en medio de crisis de la iglesia

[Ezzati delegates his powers as great chancellor of Pontifical Catholic University in the midst of church crisis]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
Emol

August 6, 2018

Las atribuciones del cargo quedaron en mano del sacerdote Tomás Scherz, actual vicecanciller.

El cardenal Ricardo Ezzati delegó sus atribuciones de gran canciller de la Pontificia Universidad Católica en su segundo, el vicecanciller Tomás Scherz. Así lo informó hoy el rector de la PUC, Ignacio Sánchez, a la comunidad, solicitando "comprensión y apoyo a la decisión del gran canciller, así como su plena colaboración a la labor del padre Tomás en estas nuevas responsabilidades".

Posted by Laura R at 5:17 PM

Fiscal chileno expresa apoyo a víctimas de abuso de iglesia

[Chilean prosecutor expresses support for victims of church abuse]

CHILE
Associated Press

August 3, 2018

By Eva Vergara

Durante décadas los abusos de religiosos a menores de edad fueron un secreto a voces en el seno de la Iglesia Católica chilena, pero desde que el escándalo estalló hace unos meses la indignación ha corrido como dinamita y hoy no sólo El Vaticano busca respuestas, sino también la justicia de Chile.

Posted by Laura R at 5:10 PM

Peru scandal showcases need for oversight of lay movements

PERU
Crux

August 6, 2018

By Elise Harris

[Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of a three-part series exploring ties between Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz of Chile, a close papal confidante, and Peruvian layman Luis Fernando Figari, who’s now accused of sexual abuse and abuses of power and conscience within the prominent lay movement he founded.]

At the beginning of the sexual abuse scandals in Catholicism, the best-known perpetrators were priests whose names quickly became notorious, such as John Geoghan, Lawrence Murphy and Oliver O’Grady, and the burning challenge was establishing detection and disciplinary systems to prevent such predator clergy from going undetected and unpunished.

Two decades later, those goals remain a work in progress, as the recent case of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick illustrates. However, where the new systems for vigilance established in the years since work, they’re considered state of the art, and many child protection experts now regard the Catholic Church as a pacesetter.

Yet Catholicism is not composed entirely of priests and bishops, nor is the Church’s institutional infrastructure entirely defined by clerical organizations, dioceses and religious orders. There’s also a vast galaxy of lay movements and mixed clerical and lay institutes, which, many observers say, haven’t quite reckoned with the implications of the sexual abuse crisis in the same way as other Catholic institutions.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:03 PM

Grand jury report will not be easy to digest

NEWCASTLE (PA)
New Castle News

August 7, 2018

By Father Frank Almade

Father Frank D. Almade is pastor of the four parishes in New Castle (Mary Mother of Hope, St. Joseph the Worker, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Vitus).

Sometime in the next two weeks Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro will release a version of the grand jury report investigating clergy child sexual abuse in six Roman Catholic dioceses.

The grand jury was convened in April 2016 to review the incidents of clergy abuse in the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton since 1948. Shapiro wanted to release the results in June, but was blocked by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as it heard objections from some priests and others who claim their constitutional rights to a good reputation and the due process of law are being violated. On July 26, the Supreme Court ordered a “redacted” version of the report to be issued sometime between today and Aug. 14, with the names of those challenging the report deleted.

Any public relations consultant will tell organizations to keep their message short and simple. The response of the Catholic Church to this report is and must be complex. Let me offer three brief points of response to this report.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:01 PM

Catholic priest forced to resign after writing sex-fueled letter to another priest, bishop says

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Star-Telegram via The Olympian

August 6, 2018

By Nichole Manna

A priest in the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese has resigned after a letter he wrote to another priest in Dallas was deemed intimidating, manipulative and inappropriate by Bishop Michael Olson.

The Rev. Richard Kirkham, former pastor of St. Martin de Porres in Prosper, is also accused of failing to report knowledge he had of alleged sexual misconduct and predatory sexual harassment in the workplace regarding the Dallas-area priest.

Kirkham submitted his resignation letter on June 4, but later tried to rescind it. Olson said he declined Kirkham’s request.

The Star-Telegram was unable to reach Kirkham for comment.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:59 PM

Bishop says no cover-up in priest's case but admits lack of transparency

LINCOLN (NE)
Catholic News Service

August 6, 2018

Lincoln Bishop James Conley apologized Aug. 4 for failing to be more transparent about a pastor removed from ministry and sent to treatment last year because the priest had developed "an emotionally inappropriate, non-sexual relationship with a 19-year-old male which involved alcohol."

He sent Fr. Charles Townsend, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Lincoln, to the Shalom Center in Houston for treatment.

"My failure at the time was the lack of transparency with the people of God about this incident," Conley said in an open letter to Catholics of the diocese.

"Despite reports to the contrary, I did not oblige anyone to keep silent about this matter. Our priests and the parishioners of St. Peter's were told that he went away for health reasons. I made no effort to 'cover up' any element of this situation, and I tried to address it with integrity," he wrote.

"However, I did not encourage transparency. I did not encourage an open discussion about this situation with our priests, with parishioners, or with those involved," he continued. "Even though we were not legally obligated to report the incident, it would have been the prudent thing to do."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:58 PM

Vatican ‘sought deal’ with Irish State to bury church documents

IRELAND
The Irish Times

August 6, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Mary McAleese called event ‘one of the most devastating moments in my presidency’


Former president Mary McAleese says she refused to discuss an attempt by the Vatican in 2003 to secure an agreement with Ireland that it would not access church documents.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ms McAleese has revealed what she described as “one of the most devastating moments in my presidency”.

It occurred during a State visit to Italy when she had a private meeting with then Vatican secretary of state Angelo Sodano.

“He indicated that he would like, and the Vatican would like, an agreement with Ireland, a concordat with Ireland. I asked him why and it was very clear it was because he wanted to protect Vatican and diocesan archives. I have to say that I immediately said the conversation had to stop,” Ms McAleese said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:56 PM

Pope Francis must speak out on church abuse, says McAleese

IRELAND
The Irish Times

August 5, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Organisers of visit ‘found time to go to Knock’ and should find time too to meet survivors

Pope Francis should not only meet survivors of clerical child sexual abuse on his visit to Ireland but “he also has to address what he plans to do for the future”, former president Mary McAleese has said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:55 PM

Priest, 79, is accused of tying up a woman and raping her during an exorcism in Portugal

PORTUGAL
Daily Mail

August 6, 2018

By Julian Robinson

- Priest Humberto Gama, 79, was held in the town of Fatima in Sanrarem, Portugal
- He was accused of attacking a 55-year-old woman during exorcism at his home
- Priest denies claims and has been released on condition he does not contact the woman

A priest was arrested over claims he raped a woman while performing an exorcism in Portugal.

Priest Humberto Gama was held in the town of Fatima in the Portuguese district of Sanrarem after being accused of attacking a 55-year-old during a ritual at his home.

The 79-year-old, who denies the claims, allegedly tied up and raped the woman when she was lying on a bed during the exorcism. She later needed hospital treatment, it has been reported.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:53 PM

Motions to dismiss charges against local priest accused of sexual assault denied

SAGINAW COUNTY (MI)
WNEM

August 6, 2018

A local priest facing accusations of sexual misconduct appeared in court Monday morning.

A judge heard several motions on Father Robert DeLand's case.

DeLand was arrested back in February on claims of assaulting two men - a then 21-year-old who said he was intoxicated when DeLand made sexual advances towards him, and a then 17-year-old who went undercover for police when he claimed assault.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:50 PM

Harrisburg diocese adds priest's name to list of accused

HARRISBURG (PA)
WHTM

August 6, 2018

By Myles Snyder

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg has named a 38th priest accused of child sexual abuse.

Msgr. Joseph Bradley was accused of sexual abuse after his death, the diocese said Monday.

Bishop Ronald Gainer last week released the names of 37 priests at 34 other members of the church who have had allegations made against them since the 1940's.

The diocese said it added Bradley's name to the list after receiving additional information.

Also, a spokesman said additional accusations have been made against church members who were on the initial version of the list.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:49 PM

AUSTRIAN ABBOT QUITS OVER CLERICAL SEX ABUSE FATIGUE

BREGENZ (AUSTRIA)
ChurchMilitant.com

August 7, 2018

By Stephen Wynne

In Austria, exhaustion over a decades-old clerical sex abuse scandal has forced an abbot to resign.

Depleted after years of trying to restore the Cistercian Territorial Abbey of Wettingen-Mehrerau to spiritual and financial health, Dom Anselm van der Linde tendered his resignation on July 12 and was officially released from his post by Pope Francis on Aug. 1.

At his 2009 appointment by Pope Benedict XVI, the young Cistercian monk was given charge over 21 Cistercian monasteries spread across Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and the United States.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:48 PM

Don’t Use the Sexual Abuse Scandal to Attack Confession

AUSTRALIA
National Catholic Register

August 7, 2018

By K.V. Turley

The new Australian law is not so much a way of protecting children from abuse as an assault upon the Church

Earlier this summer, the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in Canberra passed new laws forcing Catholic priests to break the seal of Confession.

All three political parties in the ACT Legislative Assembly supported the bill to extend a mandatory reporting scheme that would cover churches and include the confessional. The new laws require religious organizations to report to the ACT Ombudsman allegations, offenses, or convictions related to children that have been divulged in Confession, within 30 days so that an investigation can be launched. Needless to say, there are fears that these new laws will be studied by the other States and Territory that make up the Commonwealth of Australia, bringing with it the alarming possibility of their extension nationwide.

Critics of the laws have been quick to claim that the new law is not so much a way of protecting children from abuse as an assault upon the Church. As Archbishop Christopher Prowse of Canberra and Goulburn pointed out: "The government threatens religious freedom by appointing itself an expert on religious practices and by attempting to change the sacrament of Confession while delivering no improvement in the safety of children."

So this law will be of no use to those whom it is seeking to protect and, yet, manages to criminalize those who are doing nothing illegal – in Australia a priest hearing Confession is not yet a crime.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:47 PM

Orangewood Presbyterian Church faulted in report about allegations

ORLANDO (FL)
Orlando Sentinel

August 6, 2018

By Bianca Padró Ocasio

An investigation into abuse and misconduct allegations against a pastor and a school coach reveals a pattern that spans at least two decades of several Orangewood Presbyterian Church and School leaders dismissing the claims, refusing to speak directly with alleged victims and failing to keep appropriate records of employment, according to the report.

“Attempts to discuss this matter over the years have been a twisted, convoluted, and self-aggrandizing attempt to minimize the reality of what actually occurred …,” the 35-page report shows.

One former associate pastor at the Maitland church explained to GRACE in an interview that it handled the claims “by considering it a ‘private sin’ and not a ‘public sin’.”

The accusations against Jeff Jakes — now a senior pastor who denies many of the allegations, according to the report — stem back to 1998 and were made public earlier this year in a post on Facebook by Katherine Snyder, who was 18 when she worked for Jakes. The report validated Snyder’s accusations, adding that Jakes’ assertions that he regrets “confusing” Snyder “marginalizes her dignity and robs her of the honor she deserves in bringing very painful events to light.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:45 PM

Willow Creek to launch another investigation of allegations against Bill Hybels

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

August 6, 2018

By Manya Brachear Pashman

A day after the sudden resignation of its lead teaching pastor, Willow Creek Community Church told members Monday that a council of outside Christian leaders will oversee what the church calls an “independent investigation” of allegations against its founder, Bill Hybels.

“This has been a difficult process because of the public nature of these allegations, but we are working on finalizing this key group of people,” lead pastor Heather Larson wrote to members of the South Barrington megachurch. “This council will have full autonomy and authority to pursue and investigate any and all allegations.”

She added that an anonymous outside donor will fund the cost of the inquiry to ensure that its credibility isn’t called into question. Through a spokesman, the church declined to clarify why another investigation was necessary and whether there were more allegations in addition to those already reported.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:44 PM

Truth Is Needed to Free the Church From Sacrilege of Clergy Scandal

FALL RIVER (MA)
National Catholic Register

August 7, 2018

By Father Roger J. Landry

COMMENTARY: Now is the time to cooperate — and cooperate fully — with God’s cleansing fire for his Church.

The sad revelations about the sins of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, involving the sexual abuse of both male minors and seminarians, have brought the Church in the U.S. and beyond to a second recent phase in the necessary purification of the clergy of the Church. The first phase happened in 2002, after the disclosure that more than 4,000 (out of 110,000) priests had been accused in the U.S. of sexual abuse of minors in the previous half-century.

The U.S. bishops convened in Dallas and adopted what has overall been a heralded systemic response to root out those who have abused minors from the priesthood, protect children and care for survivors.

But there were several major problems with Dallas, however.

First, the phrase “credible accusations” was exceedingly vague and could encompass even accusations that were immediately demonstrably false.

Second, bishops exempted themselves from the policy.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:43 PM

Chilean Bishops’ Efforts to Prevent Sex Abuse Affirmed by Pope Francis

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
CNA/EWTN News

August 7, 2018

The Holy Father on Friday wrote to the Chilean bishops’ conference to express his approval of their newly adopted plan to prevent future instances of sex abuse within the Church.

Pope Francis Friday wrote to the Chilean bishops’ conference to express his approval of their newly adopted plan to prevent future instances of sex abuse within the Church.

“I was impressed by the work of reflection, discernment, and decisions that you have made,” the Pope wrote in his Aug. 5 letter to Bishop Santiago Jaime Silva Retamales of Chile’s military diocese, who is president of the Chilean bishops’ conference.

“May the Lord repay you abundantly in this communitarian and pastoral effort.”

“The decisions are realistic and concrete,” he said. “I am sure that they will help decidedly in this entire process. But what touched me most was the example of episcopal community united in the pastoral care of the holy, faithful People of God. Thank you for this edifying example … because it ‘builds’ the Church.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:42 PM

Pope recognizes 'decisive' measures by Chile's bishops against abuse

CHILE
Reuters

August 6, 2018

By Aislinn Laing

Pope Francis recognized on Monday measures that Chile’s bishops said they would take to assist prosecutors investigating allegations of sex abuse that have plagued the Roman Catholic Church in Chile, including that they would work to reach an agreement with prosecutors on an exchange of information.

The pontiff wrote in a letter released to media on Monday by the Chilean Church that the steps taken at a conclave last week were “realistic and concrete” and that he was confident they would make a “decisive” difference.

After a week-long leadership conclave, the bishops asked for forgiveness, saying in a statement on Friday that they had failed to aid and accompany victims who had suffered “grave sins and injustices committed by priests and clergy.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:41 PM

York County parish home to multiple accused priests reacts to 'disgusting' events

HARRISBURG (PA)
York Daily Record

August 6, 2018

By Brandie Kessler, Ed Mahon and Dylan Segelbaum

At least 31 of the 72 priests who have been accused of sexually abusing or inappropriately touching children have made York County parishes their homes.

Some of the county's dozen or so parishes since the 1940s appear to not have had any of the accused assigned there.

Other parishes were home to several accused priests over the years.

St. Rose of Lima is one such parish, with a total of six.

At least three priests were named by the Harrisburg diocese on Aug. 1, who have been accused of sexually abusing or inappropriately touching children and were assigned there since the 1930s:

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:39 PM

Indian bishop accused of being married, stealing money

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
UCANews

August 7, 2018

Bishop Prasad Gallela of Cuddapah says allegations are false and he welcomes the chance to prove his innocence

A Catholic bishop in southern India is facing multiple court cases over an accusation that he misappropriated diocesan funds to support his "wife" and teenage son, but the bishop has denied the charges.

Bishop Prasad Gallela of Cuddapah (presently Kadapa) has been served notice to appear on Aug. 18 before Lok Adalat, a government-approved forum, to amicably settle cases pending in courts.

He is accused of misappropriating millions of rupees from diocesan social welfare funds to support his "wife" and 18-year-old son by cheating the church's administrative systems.

Two lay Catholics, 40-year-old Mesa Ravi Kumar and 65-year-old Byreddy Chinnappa Reddy, jointly moved a criminal complaint against the prelate two months ago.

A court in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh state asked Bishop Gallela to appear before it on Aug. 2 but the bishop's lawyers pleaded for more time and the case was moved to the last week of August.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:37 PM

‘Mormon Land’: Sex abuse, apostle pay, LDS wealth — a Q&A with MormonLeaks officials and their quest to expose the faith’s secrets

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake City Tribune

August 7, 2018

You probably read about a woman who secretly recorded an interview with her former Missionary Training Center president regarding alleged sexual misconduct he committed. Or maybe you heard that Mormon general authorities are paid more than $120,000 a year in salary. Perhaps you wonder about the LDS Church’s vast wealth. You swear you’ve seen that it has at least $32 billion in stock holdings.

Well, if you know those newsy nuggets, it’s probably because of a website called MormonLeaks, which posts documents, recordings and videos secretly provided by church leaders, employees, sources, whistleblowers or other moles from within the Utah-based faith.

So how did MormonLeaks get its start? What is its goal? Which leaks have been the biggest? And how does it navigate often-tricky ethical waters?

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:36 PM

Joplin man charged with sexual abuse of church youth

JOPLIN (MO)
The Joplin Globe

August 6, 2018

By Jeff Lehr

More charges expected in alleged molestation of church youth

A Joplin man is being held on charges that he sexually abused three boys he knew through his involvement with a church in Miami, Oklahoma.

Matthew D. Galati, 29, was arrested last week when information first surfaced regarding disclosures made by three male members of a youth group at the New Beginnings Life Church In Miami. Joplin police Capt. Trevor Duncan said interviews of the boys were conducted at the Children’s Center in Joplin, leading to the filing of charges Thursday by the Jasper County prosecutor’s office.

Galati is charged with four counts of statutory sodomy with a child under 12 years old and two counts of second-degree statutory sodomy in connection with acts committed in Jasper County. But additional victims have been identified and more charges are anticipated, according to Duncan.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:35 PM

BISHOP SCHARFENBERGER: LAITY ARE “ESSENTIAL,” MUST LEAD ANY INVESTIGATION

ALBANY (NY)
Roman Catholic Diocese of ALbany

August 6, 2018

Statement by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany:

While I am heartened by my brother bishops proposing ways for our Church to take action in light of recent revelations – and I agree that a national panel should be commissioned, duly approved by the Holy See – I think we have reached a point where bishops alone investigating bishops is not the answer. To have credibility, a panel would have to be separated from any source of power whose trustworthiness might potentially be compromised.

It is time for us, I believe, to call forth the talents and charisms of our lay faithful, by virtue of their baptismal priesthood. Our lay people are not only willing to take on this much-needed role, but they are eager to help us make lasting reforms that will restore a level of trust that has been shattered yet again. In speaking with them, we all hear their passion for our universal Church, their devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and their hunger for the truth. They are essential to the solution we seek.

What is needed now is an independent commission led by well-respected, faithful lay leaders who are beyond reproach, people whose role on such a panel will not serve to benefit them financially, politically, or personally. These will be people with a deep understanding of the Catholic faith, but without an axe to grind or an agenda to push. It will not be easy, but it will be worth every ounce of effort, energy, and candor we can muster.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:34 PM

Lay woman’s saga illustrates clerical sexual abuse of adults

ROME
Crux

August 4, 2018

By Elise Harris

Although most attention amid the clerical sexual abuse crisis has been on minors, recent cases of priests and bishops who have taken advantage of vulnerable adults or those under their guidance also have come to light.

One such case involves Theodore McCarrick, the 88-year-old retired Archbishop of Washington and Newark who resigned his post in the College of Cardinals following “credible and substantiated” accusations of sexual abuse of minors and multiple accounts of sexual misconduct with seminarians.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:32 PM

Here's a new list about where Harrisburg diocese clergy accused of abuse served in York County

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

August 6, 2018

By Ed Mahon,Brandie Kessler and Dylan Segelbaum

New information released by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg shows that some parishes had multiple clergy members accused of sexual abuse or inappropriate conduct with children.

At St. Joseph of York, for instance, there were 11 clergy members who served there who had an allegation against them at some point.

The information was released by the diocese on Monday, days after it released the names of more than 70 clergy members with allegations against them. In releasing the names last week, the diocese said it was not making an assessment of guilt. Instead, it says it was releasing a list of everyone with an allegation against them that had not been proven false.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:21 AM

Diocese of Harrisburg List of Clergy & Seminarians Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child

HARRISBURG (PA)
Diocese of Harrisburg

Updated August 6, 2018

[Note: At the end of this list of clergy and seminarians is a list of assignments sorted by parish.]

The Diocese of Harrisburg publishes the following list of clergy and seminarians who served in the Diocese and who were accused of sexual abuse of a child since the 1940s. The term “accused” is emphasized to note that the list below includes summations of accusations; the list does not include assessments of credibility or guilt. For more information regarding what is included and what is not included in this list, please see Bishop Ronald W. Gainer’s letter of August 1, 2018. Further, the following list does not contain those cases where the accusation was deemed not substantiated, meaning it was an accusation which, after review by law enforcement or Diocesan reviewers, was not supported by sufficient evidence to establish the probability that the accused cleric or seminarian committed sexual abuse of a child.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:07 AM

Updated List Released of Names of Clergy and Seminarians Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child

HARRISBURG (PA)
Diocese of Harrisburg

August 6, 2018

On August 1, 2018, Bishop Ronald W. Gainer directed that a list of clergy and seminarians accused of sexual abuse of minors be made available at the Diocese’s new website, www.youthprotectionhbg.com. Accordingly, the Diocese published a link to a list of clergy with allegations of abuse. We again emphasize that this is a list of accusations; we did not make assessments of credibility or guilt in creating this list.

The Diocese has received additional information since the list was originally released on August 1. Accordingly, we have added the name of one additional clergy member to the list, bringing the total to 72 names. The name of Joseph Bradley was added to our list under the heading of “Cases Involving Allegations of Indecent Behavior,” for an accusation of sexual abuse of a child. Additional accusations were made involving individuals who were on the previous version of our list. Those additional accusations have been updated.

An additional document outlining years of service and assignments within the Diocese for all individuals on the list has also been posted online. As with all new allegations, each was reported directly to law enforcement immediately.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:05 AM

An Op-ed on Child Sex Abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Diocese of Harrisburg

August 6, 2018

By Bishop Ronald Gainer

As many of you have read, the Diocese of Harrisburg has released information and policy changes regarding child sex abuse. I wanted to take this opportunity to express my great sadness at the horror that innocent children were the victims of egregious actions committed against them. Many of those victimized as children continue, as survivors, to suffer from the harm they experienced. In my own name, and in the name of the Diocesan Church of Harrisburg, I express our profound sorrow and apologize to the survivors of child sex abuse, the Catholic faithful and the general public for the abuses that took place and for those Church officials who failed to protect children.

As we willingly acknowledge our sinfulness, as we humbly seek the forgiveness of those who have been wronged, we pray that healing will come to the entire Church when we renew our commitment each day to respond to the call to holiness we all share and to the mission of our Church entrusted to us by the Lord Jesus himself.

While we seek forgiveness in the name of our Church, we encourage survivors to come forward so that their healing may begin.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 9:03 AM

Victims recount sexual abuse horrors in Chilean seminary

DENVER (CO)
Crux

August 7, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Rome - “We need for the Church to understand that those of us who come forth are not the enemy. We want to help the Church clean itself, so there are no other Mauricios drugged and raped in the seminary, so there are no other Sebastians forced to massage a bishop so he feels pleasure, so there’re no other Marcelos forced to receive oral sex, and so there’re no other Johns raped by their spiritual directors.”

The stories are real. They belong to Mauricio Pulgar, Marcelo Soto, Sebastian del Rio and a fourth person, who will be described as “John Doe.” He’s asked not be identified because he’s not ready to go public with the allegations, but he represents many others.

Crux spoke with the four victims, and several others, in the past week. All are former seminarians of the Chilean diocese of Valparaiso, some 60 miles from Santiago, the country’s capital. They’ve provided the complaints that they handed to ecclesiastical authorities over a period from 2010 until this June, when a papal representative was in the country to look into Chile’s clerical sexual abuse crisis.

Crux also has obtained a copy of a letter by a Chilean bishop acknowledging that as of 2008, the Holy See had an allegation against a brother bishop. In addition, Crux has also obtained video and audio recordings and an email of one of the priests acknowledging guilt and trying to buy one of his victims’ silence.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:46 AM

Former Catholic priest's sex abuse trials to begin in September

FLINT (MI)
ABC 12 WJRT

August 6, 2018

By Rebecca Trylch

Saginaw - A former Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting three young men appeared in court Monday for a series of legal motions.

Robert DeLand Junior's attorney, Alan Crawford, was trying to get the cases dismissed using a variety of arguments.

"It's our position in this matter that the District Court judge abused their discretion in binding this matter over. And the reason that they abused their discretion is because we're dealing with an alleged victim in this matter who there's questions as to his memory of what occurred on this particular night," Crawford said.

Circuit Court Judge Darnell Jackson denied Crawford's first motion to quash that specific charge.

There were a total of 14 motions between the defense and prosecution.

The Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office asked Judge Jackson to join the cases moving forward.

Police in Tittabawassee Township and Saginaw Township investigated DeLand's actions. The prosecutor decided to issues charges in four different cases, involving three young men.

One of the men was 21 when the alleged actions took place, the other two young men were teenagers.

"All considered collectively demonstrate a common single scheme or plan by the defendant to sexually assault young males," said Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Hoover. "All of these instances involve a certain level of trust in the defendant, based on him befriending his victims, and we have isolation, we have control, and we ultimately have the culmination of all of these with the sexual assaults that result."

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:37 AM

Area Catholic priests offer apologies, ask forgiveness for child sexual abuse allegations

SUNBURY (PA)
The Daily Item

August 6, 2018

By Joe Sylvester

http://www.dailyitem.com/news/local_news/area-catholic-priests-offer-apologies-ask-forgiveness-for-child-sexual/article_82ca4813-a53d-5824-8d1e-f27c188a0e10.html

Area Roman Catholic priests relayed their bishop's apologies to parishioners on Sunday over the child sexual abuse accusations against clergy and seminarians. At least a couple pastors offered apologies of their own.

"I'm so deeply saddened by these terrible sins," said the Rev. Mark Wilke, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Lewisburg, where three of the accused served at various times.

Wilke offered his comments to his congregation after reading a letter from Harrisburg Diocese Bishop Ronald Gainer at the end of Mass.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:33 AM

Pope must admit Vatican disregard for abused on Irish visit

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

August 6, 2018

By Marie Collins

Saying sorry it happened, sorry you were hurt, does not cut it any more

When Pope Francis comes to Ireland in two weeks’ time it will be 39 years since the last visit by a head of the Catholic Church. Since then the status of the church in Ireland has declined dramatically.

Those identifying as Catholic are down by 20 per cent, according to the last census. Mass attendance has fallen away, seminaries and religious houses have closed, and parishes are now often run by a single priest.

The majority of people no longer look to the church for guidance in their everyday lives. When the leadership speaks out on current issues as during the two recent recent referendums many, particularly the young, are antagonistic or indifferent. The church in Ireland has lost respect and credibility.

A main reason for this has been due to actions by the church itself, including the way in which its clerics and religious have abused their power. The guilty are those who destroyed the lives of untold numbers of men, women and children in orphanages, industrial schools, reformatories, Magdalene laundries, mother and baby homes, and through sexually assaulting children in parishes.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:06 AM

August 6, 2018

#ThemToo: Adults, the overlooked victims of clerical sexual abuse

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The San Diego Tribune

August 6, 2018

By Peter Rowe

In 2010, a Catholic priest from the San Diego diocese sexually assaulted Rachel Mastrogiacomo.

This story would be all-too-familiar except for one fact: Mastrogiacomo was 24, a grown woman.

For years, the clergy sex scandal has focused on abused children. Now, the #MeToo movement and a growing recognition of the pervasiveness of sexual power plays is encouraging victimized adults to come out of the shadows.

“Finally,” said Esther Miller, who led an adult victims workshop at last month’s national convention of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), “women are coming together and saying no more.”

Going public, though, can mean facing skeptical questioning. Women and men endure many of the same pressures that discourage children — shame, confusion, the unwillingness to confront a spiritual leaders who are admired and even revered.

Another question is posed only to victimized women and men: why are sexual encounters between two apparently “consenting” adults considered crimes? But in many states, including Minnesota where Mastrogiacomo took her abuser to trial, it’s a crime to have with sex with adults who are incapable of voluntary consent “due to a particular vulnerability or due to the special relationship between the actor (perpetrator) and the victim.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:36 PM

Chilean bishops beg forgiveness over sex abuse scandal

CHILE
La Croix

August 6, 2018

By Mélinée Le Priol

They also promised to involve greater participation of lay people, particularly women, in the decision-making bodies of the Chilean Church

Concluding their five day extraordinary assembly, Chile’s 32 Catholic bishops apologized for “failing in their duties” in managing sex abuse cases.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:30 PM

In our words: Backing civil statute of limitations reform would be the best way bishops could help child sexual abuse victims [opinion]

LANCASTER (PA)
Lancaster Online

August 5, 2018

THE ISSUE

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg held a press conference Wednesday to apologize for the sexual abuse of children by priests and others in the church over decades. The Harrisburg diocese also released a list of 71 clergy members and seminarians alleged to have sexually abused children since 1947. LNP reported Friday that the list included the late Monsignor Francis Joseph Taylor, who served as Lancaster Catholic High School’s principal from 1958 to 1975, and the late Rev. Thomas Ronald Haney, who was the assistant to the principal at LCHS from 1961 to 1964 and directed the school’s athletic program. According to LNP records, Haney previously had served three years as assistant pastor at St. Anne Catholic Church in Lancaster; later in his life, he was known to many local Catholics as the executive editor of The Catholic Witness, the diocesan newspaper, and as a spokesman for the diocese.

In April 2014, soon after he was installed as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Gainer told LNP that the way the Catholic Church had handled child sexual abuse cases in the past was “a disgrace” and “a wound for our church.”

He was right, of course.

Before he took over the Diocese of Harrisburg, Gainer was criticized by SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, for the way he had handled sexual abuse allegations against two priests while leading the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky.

Last week, however, Gainer seemed genuinely intent on reversing the church’s past mistakes.

And he made strides toward that aim when, at his press conference and in a column LNP published on Friday’s front page, he expressed his “great sadness at the horror that innocent children were the victims of egregious actions committed against them.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:26 PM

'It's Going To Be Tough': Bishop David Zubik Tries To Prepare Parishioners For Grand Jury Report Release [VIDEO]

PITTSBURGH (PA)
CBS Cleveland

August 2018

The Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese prepared parishioners Sunday for a scathing grand jury report that's about to be released about sex abuse in the church; KDKA's Bob Allen reports.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:23 PM

Report: Church leaders pressured victims, cops over abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 5, 2018

Church leaders were more interested in preventing scandal than protecting children. That’s the finding of a grand jury investigating clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses according to a court filing. The report also says in some cases leaders discouraged victims from going to police, or pressured law enforcement officials to end or avoid investigations.
The grand jury’s full, nearly 900-page, report is expected to be released in the next two weeks.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:21 PM

Bill Clinton’s Former Spiritual Adviser Was Accused of Sexual Harassment by Another Woman

CHICAGO (IL)
The Cut

August 5, 2018

By Opheli Garcia Lawler

Bill Hybels, the former pastor of the Willow Creek Evangelical Church, has been accused of sexual harassment by a woman named Pat Baranowski, according to a new New York Times report. Baranowski is not the first woman to accuse Hybels of sexual misconduct, though her allegations are the most severe.

Baranowski, now 65, was hired by Hybels in the 1980s as an assistant at his growing Illinois evangelical church, and invited her to live with him and his family. While his wife and children were away for a trip in 1986, Hybels allegedly asked to give Baranowski a back rub.

According to the Times report, Baranowski then endured two years of unwanted touching, inappropriate comments, and other forms of sexual harassment — including an instance when Hybels asked her to watch porn with him.

Hybels, in a statement to the Times, denied that any of the allegations made by Baranowski are true. “I never had an inappropriate physical or emotional relationship with her before that time, during that time or after that time,” he wrote.

In April, Bill Hybels announced an early retirement from his role as pastor of the church. The announcement came after a Chicago Tribune report that detailed years of complaints and allegations against the pastor for unwanted touching, inappropriate comments, and once, an unwanted kiss.

Hybels denied the allegations, but announced to his congregation that for he would move his retirement date up by six months. He reportedly called the allegations “flat out lies” and said that he “placed myself in situations that would be far wiser to avoid. I was naïve.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:19 PM

Teaching pastor resigns over Willow Creek’s handling of allegations against Bill Hybels

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

August 5, 2018

By Manya Brachear Pashman

The lead teaching pastor of Willow Creek Community Church announced his resignation from the South Barrington megachurch Sunday, saying he could no longer serve there with integrity.

Steve Carter, who took over as lead teaching pastor in April when Bill Hybels stepped down from the helm of the church he founded 42 years ago, said he was “horrified” by allegations reported Sunday by The New York Times that Hybels had sexually harassed his former executive assistant for two years.

Carter also said he did not agree with the way elders had handled the first reports by the Chicago Tribune in March that revealed allegations of misconduct by Hybels with women — including church employees — spanning decades.

The alleged behavior detailed by the Tribune included suggestive comments, extended hugs, an unwanted kiss and invitations to hotel rooms. It also included an allegation of a prolonged consensual affair with a married woman who later said her claim about the affair was not true, the newspaper found.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:18 PM

Catholics in Archdiocese of Washington are conflicted over support after McCarrick sex scandal

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Times

August 5, 2018

By Bradford Richardson

Catholics in the District of Columbia are conflicted about how to continue to support the church after the resignation of former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick over reports of sexual abuse.

The former archbishop of Washington stepped down from the College of Cardinals one month after a church panel substantiated a report that, as a priest in New York, he sexually abused a teenage altar boy more than 45 years ago. Pope Francis accepted his resignation on Saturday and ordered him to serve a “life of prayer and penance.”

Scotty O’Connell, who attends the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Northwest Washington, and other members of the diocese are calling for a boycott until Archbishop McCarrick’s enablers are removed from the church. Ms. O’Connell said she had discontinued her weekly offerings at her parish because a percentage of all contributions are given to the archdiocese.

“What I am encouraging people to do is divert their contributions, what they would be giving to their parish, to another charitable organization,” Ms. O’Connell said. “I don’t want any of my dollars, or nickels or dimes, being used by the archdiocese, particularly the Archdiocese of Washington, to settle claims or to get criminals off the hook.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:17 PM

After Sinéad Talley was sexually assaulted, Stanford invited the man back to campus

STANFORD (CA)
SFGate

August 5, 2018

By Nanette Asimov

After Stanford University concluded that one of its students sexually assaulted a classmate, campus officials imposed what they called a very serious sanction: a suspension of two academic quarters.

The victim said it felt like a second assault.

“Providing my rapist with a gracious invitation back to Stanford pending a brief period of ‘reflection’ disrespects myself and the moral stature of Stanford as an institution,” Sinéad Talley wrote on Dec. 20, 2016, in her unsuccessful appeal. She wanted Stanford to expel the man she said had been her friend until he raped her while she was in a drunken stupor.

Stanford reported the assault in 2016 to campus police, as required by state law. But Talley chose not to pursue the case through the criminal justice system. Instead, like many college students who report sexual assault, she turned to her university’s internal justice system.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:13 PM

One of China's highest-ranking Buddhist monks accused of sexual misconduct

BEIJING (CHINA)
The Associated Press

August 3, 2018

By Gerry Shih

One of China’s highest-ranking Buddhist monks is facing a government investigation over accusations of sexual misconduct, in what is seen by some as an indication the #MeToo movement is gaining traction across the world’s most populous society.

Longquan Monastery abbot Shi Xuecheng is accused of harassing and demanding sexual favors from numerous nuns in a 95-page statement compiled by two fellow monks at the storied center of Buddhist learning in Beijing. The statement including testimony from the alleged victims leaked this week on social media, prompting an outcry and unusual coverage by state media before it was censored.

China’s State Administration of Religious Affairs said Thursday it would investigate the claims. Xuecheng and the monastery denied the accusations, which also included claims of embezzlement.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:12 PM

Leading Chinese Buddhist monk accused of sexual misconduct

BEIJING (CHINA)
The Associated Press

August 3, 2018

One of China's highest-ranking Buddhist monks is facing a government investigation over accusations of sexual misconduct, in what is seen by some as an indication the #MeToo movement is gaining traction in the world's most populous nation.

Longquan Monastery abbot Shi Xuecheng is accused of harassing and demanding sexual favors from numerous female nuns in a 95-page statement compiled by two fellow monks at the storied center of Buddhist learning in Beijing. The statement including testimony from the alleged victims leaked this week on social media, prompting an outcry and unusual coverage by state media before it was censored.

China's State Administration of Religious Affairs said Thursday it would investigate the claims. Xuecheng and the monastery denied the accusations, which also included claims of embezzlement.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:11 PM

Texas gymnastics coach arrested, accused of child sex abuse

DALLAS (TX)
The Associated Press

August 2, 2018

An elite Texas gymnastics coach was arrested in Indiana after being accused of sexually assaulting three girls at a Fort Worth gym, police said Thursday.

Skipper Glenn Crawley, described as an elite-level team gymnastics coach, is accused of sexually assaulting the victims at Sokol gymnastics in Fort Worth, police said. Authorities arrested him on Wednesday after executing a warrant at an Indianapolis residence. He is being held at an Indiana jail, pending extradition.

Crawley, a former assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma, had been wanted for the continuous sexual abuse of a child, along with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

"The thing was, he was a great coach," the mother of a victim told TV station WFAA . "And he used that. He's a very sick man."

Court records show that the three victims accused Crawley of touching their genitalia, including one who said the coach touched her while he helped her stretch. That victim also reported the coach would make "inappropriate remarks," commenting that he would want to snuggle or sleep with her, according to an affidavit. She also told authorities Crawley said he wanted to get married and that she was his girlfriend, the affidavit says.

Another victim reported Crawley had inappropriately touched her multiple times and would call her back to his office while other girls were conditioning, according to an affidavit.

The court records say police were notified of the sexual assaults in April.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:09 PM

Top Chinese monk's sexual harassment scandal shows the power of China's growing #MeToo movement

CHINA
Business Insider

August 3, 2018

By Sinéad Baker

- Shi Xuecheng, one of China's highest-ranking Buddist monks, is accused of sexual harassment, including demanding sexual favors from nuns.

- Other monks compiled the document, and one said that he and other whistleblowers had been expelled from the temple since making the accusations.

- But outcry on social media and the launch of a government investigation suggests that the #MeToo movement is gaining traction in the region.

- A whistleblower in the monastery said that Xuecheng, who is a well-known figure in China, had so much power that only the government could protect the nuns.

One of China's highest-ranking Buddist monks is accused of sexual misconduct including demanding sexual favors from nuns — and the launch of a government investigation shows that the #MeToo movement may be gaining traction in the region.

Shi Xuecheng of the Longquan Monastery in Beijing is accused in a 95-document compiled by his fellow monks.

Both Xuecheng and the monastery denied the claims, but the document, which includes testimony from the alleged victims, leaked onto social media last week, resulting in public outcry and state media coverage before it was censored.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:07 PM

Chile prosecutors seek Vatican files of priests in sex scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
AFP

August 1, 2018

Prosecutors in Chile on Wednesday said they have requested the Vatican files of nine Chilean priests being investigated for sexual abuses.

"The National Prosecutor, Jorge Abbott, today signed an official letter addressed to the Vatican (..), requesting canonical records involving accused persons investigated by the Public Prosecutor's Office," the National Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

The petition includes three requests for help in criminal cases of nine members of the church.

In July, prosecutors said Chile was investigating 158 members of the country's embattled Catholic Church -- both clergymen and lay people -- for perpetrating or concealing the sexual abuse of children and adults.

The cases relate to incidents dating back as far as 1960 and involving 266 victims, including 178 children and adolescents.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:05 PM

Former Ohio State wrestling coach pushed Jim Jordan's accusers to recant allegations, per report

COLUMBUS (OH)
Yahoo Sports

August 1, 2018

By Jack Baer

Two former Ohio State wrestlers say they were personally pushed by former Buckeyes coach Russ Hellickson to backtrack on accusations that Rep. Jim Jordan ignored alleged sexual abuse by a team doctor, according to a report from NBC News.

According to the report, both Dunyasha Yetts and Mike DiSabato received messages and phone calls on July 4, a day after Jordan was hit with the accusations from the two and one more wrestler who requested anonymity. Yetts is the only wrestler of the group to say he directly told Jordan about the abuse from Ohio State doctor Richard Strauss. DiSabato also claimed that Jordan had seen frequent inappropriate behavior in the team’s showers while he was an assistant coach at Ohio State.

Ohio State announced that its independent investigation into the matter revealed more than 100 male student-athletes across 14 different sports with first-hand accounts of Strauss’ sexual misconduct. Strauss committed suicide in 2005.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:04 PM

US bishops: Sex claims show US cardinal's 'moral failure'

UNITED STATES
The Associated Press

August 1, 2018

By Gillian Flaccus

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Wednesday that sex abuse allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick dating back decades raise serious questions about how the claims could stay secret for so long as the retired archbishop from Washington, D.C., rose in prestige and power.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo said the allegations against his former colleague reveal a "grievous moral failure" and urged anyone who has experienced sexual abuse at the hands of the church to come forward. DiNardo reminded bishops in the United States to take those reports seriously and contact the police when required.

"Both the abuses themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed for decades, have caused great harm to people's lives and represent grave moral failures of judgment on the part of church leaders," he said in a statement.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:02 PM

Michigan priest's embezzlement trial delayed until 2019

WILLIAMSTON (MI)
The Associated Press

August 2, 2018

An embezzlement trial for a Roman Catholic priest is being delayed because he's getting new lawyers after police say they discovered $63,000 hidden above ceiling tiles in his Michigan home.

The search was conducted in mid-July at the Rev. Jonathan Wehrle's luxury home in Williamston. State police say money was in $2,000 bundles secured with cash bands that said, "For Deposit Only-St. Martha Parish."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 2:01 PM

Royal Commission: Survivors' fury after trio of former bishops not referred for prosecution

AUSTRALIA
ABC Newcastle

Originally published July 13, 2018

By Giselle Wakatama

Three former Anglican bishops heavily criticised by the Royal Commission have not been referred for prosecution, sparking fury among abuse survivors.

The Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in December 2017 accused former Newcastle bishops Roger Herft, Alfred Holland and Richard Appleby of having a "do nothing" approach in response to child sexual abuse allegations.

Survivor Steve Smith fought back tears when he was told the men had not been referred to prosecutors at both state and national levels.

"I am absolutely astounded … it is a kick in the guts, I am lost for words," Mr Smith said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:59 PM

Philip Wilson 'one of the good guys', senior Catholics say, following Adelaide Archbishop's resignation

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

July 31, 2018

Senior Catholics have rallied to the defence of former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, who resigned after being convicted of concealing child sex abuse, saying he did "great good" that should not be forgotten.

"We remember that he is a man who has done so much in child protection areas, that this archdiocese was the first to have a child protection unit, a child protection council, a police check unit, and all at the initiative of Archbishop Wilson," Port Pirie Bishop Greg O'Kelly, who has been acting as Adelaide's Archbishop, said.

"We must not forget the great good he has done in those areas.

"So they are the sorts of things and now he has made this decision and we have to sort of listen and try to rebuild.

"Restore trust, restore confidence in people."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 1:50 PM

Diocese names two Duluth priests as 'credibly accused'

DULUTH (MN)
Duluth News Tribune

August 5, 2018

By Lisa Kaczke

A Duluth priest suing a man who has accused him of sexual abuse has been added to the Diocese of Duluth's list of priests it has determined to be "credibly accused."

The Diocese announced on Sunday that the Rev. William C. Graham, who is arguing in his lawsuit that he has been falsely accused, and the Rev. Roland Antus were found to be credibly accused of sexual abuse following the Diocese's investigation into the allegations.

Graham was credibly accused of sexually abusing a child in the 1970s at St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Duluth and Antus was credibly accused of committing the same crime in the 1980s at St. James Catholic Church in Duluth, according to the Diocese's statement.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 9:08 AM

'I will tell Pope of my concerns over Church sex abuse' - Varadkar

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Herald

By Cate McCurry

August 6, 2018

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will express his concerns to the Pope about the Catholic Church's history of sexual and physical abuse when Francis visits Ireland later this month.

The Taoiseach also said he intends to tell him that Ireland accepts gay parents.

Pope Francis will visit Dublin and Knock on the weekend of August 25 and 26 at the invitation of the World Meeting of Families 2018.

As part of his visit, he will go to the Capuchin Day Centre for the homeless in Dublin and the Knock Shrine.

However, it is not yet clear whether he will meet victims of clerical abuse.

Mr Varadkar said that while his meeting with the Pope could be short, he will express his concerns about issues such as the Church's involvement in Magdalene Laundries.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:51 AM

Catholics in Archdiocese of Washington are conflicted over support after McCarrick sex scandal

WASHINGTON, D.C.
The Washington Times

August 5, 2018

By Bradford Richardson

Catholics in the District of Columbia are conflicted about how to continue to support the church after the resignation of former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick over reports of sexual abuse.

The former archbishop of Washington stepped down from the College of Cardinals one month after a church panel substantiated a report that, as a priest in New York, he sexually abused a teenage altar boy more than 45 years ago. Pope Francis accepted his resignation on Saturday and ordered him to serve a “life of prayer and penance.”

Scotty O’Connell, who attends the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Northwest Washington, and other members of the diocese are calling for a boycott until Archbishop McCarrick’s enablers are removed from the church. Ms. O’Connell said she had discontinued her weekly offerings at her parish because a percentage of all contributions are given to the archdiocese.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 8:42 AM

Debemos conocer el informe Scicluna

[Opinion: We must know the Scicluna report]

CHILE
El Mostrador

August 6, 2018

By Felipe Portales

Como toda gran crisis, representa también una gran oportunidad. La reconstrucción de ella no puede ser solo labor de otros obispos que concentren nuevamente todo el poder. Tanto a nivel nacional como mundial tenemos que aprender que una Iglesia efectivamente cristiana y fraternal debe ser construida con un espíritu democrático, y con la participación responsable y solidaria de todos sus miembros. Y para ello es fundamental contar con la información pertinente. En el caso nuestro tenemos, pues, que conocer el Informe Scicluna en toda su extensión, exceptuando, por cierto, la identidad de las víctimas que hayan declarado bajo condición de anonimato.

Posted by Laura R at 8:06 AM

Iglesia Católica publica nómina de sacerdotes condenados por abusos sexuales contra menores

[Catholic Church publishes list of priests condemned for sexual abuse of minors]

CHILE
Emol

August 3, 2018

By Bárbara Osses

La difusión del documento es parte de las medidas que la asamblea plenaria extraordinaria del Episcopado tomó para prevenir casos de abuso al interior de la Iglesia y para fortalecer la cooperación con las investigaciones que realiza la fiscalía.

Durante la tarde de este viernes, la Iglesia Católica chilena publicó un documento en el que se revelan los nombres de clérigos con sentencias definitivas civiles y canónicas por abuso de menores de edad, como parte de las medidas que la Institución adoptó con el fin de prevenir casos de abuso al interior de la Iglesia y para fortalecer la cooperación con las investigaciones que realiza la fiscalía.


Posted by Laura R at 7:57 AM

With McCarrick scandal, #MeToo arrives for the church

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

August 6, 2018

By Fr. Peter Daly

On July 28, we woke up to front-page news about my former archbishop Theodore McCarrick's resignation from the College of Cardinals. He is the first and only cardinal to resign from the college as a part of the worldwide sexual abuse scandal. While two of McCarrick's victims were minors, it appears that most were adult males. Most often, they were seminarians and priests under his authority. In McCarrick, the child abuse scandal is joined to the #MeToo movement.

It is painful to the whole church to hear the news about McCarrick. It is especially painful to the people of my own archdiocese, Washington, D.C. I have no desire to add fuel to the fire. I always liked McCarrick and appreciated his leadership on many things, especially on social justice issues. But I do have a few things to say about McCarrick and the related scandal, some of them from my personal experience.

First, we knew, or should have known, about some of McCarrick's behavior.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:52 AM

Exclusive: Cardinal Wuerl proposes national panel to investigate allegations against bishops

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

August 6, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl has proposed that the national conference of U.S. Catholic bishops create a new high-level panel to receive and evaluate any allegations or rumors of sexual misconduct by one of its member bishops.

In an NCR interview focused on how the American church should address the wider systemic questions raised by the revelations of sexual abuse by his predecessor, now former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Wuerl also suggested that the Vatican could designate one of its offices to act on the proposed panel's findings.

Although Wuerl said he had not personally been aware of rumors about McCarrick's alleged abuse of young men during the former cardinal's time as a priest and bishop, he acknowledged that others have now brought forward earlier existence of such rumors.

"If there were [rumors], and if people heard them, there needs to be some mechanism by which there can be at least an evaluation and review of them," said Wuerl, speaking in a phone conversation.

"I think it's very important that we ... as bishops enter into that world and say, 'If there is an accumulation of rumors, ought not something be said?' " the cardinal continued.

"Would we have some sort of a panel, a board, of bishops ... where we would take it upon ourselves, or a number of bishops would be deputed, to ask about those rumors?" he suggested.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:49 AM

Cadem: Gestión de Iglesia Católica alcanza una desaprobación de 76% entre chilenos

[Cadem Survey: Catholic Church management reaches a 76% disapproval among Chileans]

CHILE
Emol

August 6, 2018

By Leonardo Núñez

La institución alcanza en Chile los peores registros desde que esta encuesta empezó a medir la crisis que la afecta por los abusos sexuales. Aprobación de Piñera, en tanto, sufre nueva caída significativa y alcanza un 45% de apoyo (39% lo desaprueba).

La crisis que atraviese la Iglesia Católica debido a los casos de abuso sexual repercutió en el apoyo entre los chilenos: un 76% desaprueba la forma en que desarrolla su labor en el país y sólo un 19% la apoya.ml

Posted by Laura R at 7:45 AM

Laicos de Osorno en picada contra Ezzati: "Te Deum debe ser realizado por personas indicadas"

[Laity of Osorno on Ezzati: "Te Deum must be done by right people"]

CHILE
BioBioChile

August 4, 2018

By Emilio Lara and Dennys Salazar

Tras conocer que el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati decidió no presidir el Te Deum de Fiestas Patrias, los Laicos de Osorno salieron a mostrar su aprobación de la medida.

Posted by Laura R at 7:30 AM

Ezzati se margina del Tedeum tras presiones del gobierno y del Vaticano

[Ezzati is marginalized from the Tedeum after pressures from the government and the Vatican]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 5, 2018

By Carla Pía Ruiz and Carlos Pérez

La autoridad de la Iglesia Católica en Chile comunicó ayer que no presidirá la tradicional celebración ecuménica. La carta enviada por el Papa Francisco a los obispos chilenos fue clave en su inédito alejamiento.

Posted by Laura R at 7:27 AM

Santiago Silva, presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile: “Valoro enormemente la decisión del cardenal Ezzati, por razones pastorales”

[Santiago Silva, president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile: "I greatly value the decision of Cardinal Ezzati, for pastoral reasons"]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 5, 2018

By Sergio Rodríguez Garcés

El prelado aborda no solo lo ocurrido con el tedeum, sino también la crisis de la Iglesia Católica criolla, las diligencias hechas sobre archivos destruidos, el rol de los obispos y las críticas a su liderazgo.

Posted by Laura R at 7:23 AM

August 5, 2018

Ezzati en la recta final: los secretos de su expediente que hoy tiene en sus manos el Papa

[Ezzati in the final straight: the secrets of his file that the Pope has in his hands today]

CHILE
CIPER

July 27, 2018

By Pedro Ramírez

Encubrimientos marcan la reunión de la asamblea episcopal en crisis

[Cover-ups mark the meeting of an episcopal assembly in crisis]

Este lunes 30 de julio se inicia una asamblea extraordinaria de obispos, la primera desde que el Papa Francisco recibió la renuncia masiva de los prelados chilenos. La cita estará marcada por las nuevas directrices de Roma sobre los abusos cometidos por clérigos. Las miradas se centran en el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, sobre quien arrecian las acusaciones de omisión y encubrimiento en casos de abusos sexuales. CIPER reconstruyó su historial de actuaciones cuestionadas que se arrastran desde los años 80, y su alianza con el cardenal Errázuriz para ahogar el caso Karadima y desacreditar a sus víctimas.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:38 PM

Catholic Church's response to child abuse Royal Commission set for release

AUSTRALIA
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

August 4, 2018

[AUDIO: Features interview with Brisbane archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference]

By Sarah Sedghi

The Catholic Church will release its highly anticipated response to the child abuse Royal Commission by the end of the month.

The response has been months in the making and was discussed at a special meeting in Melbourne this week.

Church leaders say it's a significant step in the reform process.

But they have ruled out accepting one of the Royal Commission's recommendations: for priests to break the seal of the confessional to report allegations of sexual abuse against children.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:39 PM

Chile archbishop to forgo ceremony amid church sex abuse scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

August 4, 2018

By Dave Sherwood

Archbishop of Santiago Ricardo Ezzati said on Saturday that he would not lead Chile’s Te Deum, an annual religious ceremony attended by the country’s top politicians and clergy, amid a church sex abuse scandal that has sent shockwaves through the conservative Catholic nation.

Ezzati, who has long led the ceremony and is among Chile’s most recognized religious figures, said in a statement he thought it “prudent that he not lead the traditional Te Deum” given the “profound crisis that the Church is undergoing.”

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera praised Ezzati’s decision on social media, saying he “valued the gesture” and that the ceremony should “unite and not divide Chileans.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:37 PM

He’s a Superstar Pastor. She Worked for Him and Says He Groped Her Repeatedly.

SOUTH BARRINGTON (IL)
The New York Times

August 5, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein

Bill Hybels built an iconic evangelical church outside Chicago. A former assistant says that in the 1980s, he sexually harassed her.

After the pain of watching her marriage fall apart, Pat Baranowski felt that God was suddenly showering her with blessings.

She had a new job at her Chicago-area megachurch, led by a dynamic young pastor named the Rev. Bill Hybels, who in the 1980s was becoming one of the most influential evangelical leaders in the country.

The pay at Willow Creek Community Church was much lower than at her old job, but Ms. Baranowski, then 32, admired Mr. Hybels and the church’s mission so much that it seemed worth it. She felt even more blessed when in 1985 Mr. Hybels and his wife invited her to move into their home, where she shared family dinners and vacations.

Once, while Mr. Hybels’s wife, Lynne, and their children were away, the pastor took Ms. Baranowski out for dinner. When they got home, Mr. Hybels offered her a back rub in front of the fireplace and told her to lie face down.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 3:31 PM

Clerical abuse scandals entering disturbing phase, says McAleese

IRELAND
The Irish Times

August 3, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Former president urges pope to make Ireland point at which ‘hope and history rhyme’

The abuse scandals in the Catholic Church were now entering “an even more disrupting chapter,” former president Mary McAleese has said.

She quoted veteran Vatican correspondent Robert Mickens as saying that, in order to solve the underlying problem, Pope Francis will “have to devote the rest of his pontificate almost exclusively to this gargantuan endeavour.”

The former editor of UK magazine The Tablet claimed the abuse issue now theatened “to engulf his papacy and do lasting damage to Francis’s own reputation”, Mrs McAleese recalled.

She continued that “the recent and ongoing scandals and the McAreavey, McCarrick and Wilson resignations are signalling that this issue is now entering an even more disturbing and disruptive chapter”.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:42 AM

Mangueshi priest missing as court rejects pre-arrest bails

PONDA, GOA (INDIA)
The Times of India

August 5, 2018

The additional district and sessions court, Ponda, on Saturday rejected the anticipatory bail pleas filed by Mangueshi temple priest Dhananjay Bhave in two cases. After the development, police said the priest was not traceable and launched a search for him.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:33 AM

Goa court rejects anticipatory bail application of temple priest accused of molestation

GOA (INDIA)
Press Trust of India via Business Standard

August 4, 2018

A local court today rejected the anticipatory bail application of a temple priest accused of molesting two women.

The two women, hailing from Mumbai, had filed a police complaint alleging that they were molested by Dhananjay Bhave, a priest of the famous Mangueshi Temple in Ponda, about 20 kilometres from here, during a visit in June.

Additional District and Sessions Court in Ponda rejected Bhave's application after it was informed by the police that the priest was absconding since the case was registered against him.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:24 AM

La Moneda recibió a víctimas de abusos sexuales en la Iglesia

[La Moneda (Government) receives victims of sexual abuse in the Church]

CHILE
Cooperativa.cl

- Representantes de la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico de Chile entregaron formalmente su solicitud para crear una comisión de verdad.

- La ministra Cecilia Pérez se comprometió a una evaluación del tema junto al Presidente Piñera.

[- Representatives of the Network of Survivors of Ecclesiastical Abuse in Chile formally submitted their request to create a real commission.

[- Minister Cecilia Pérez undertook to evaluate the issue with President Piñera.]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:20 AM

Laicos criticaron conclusiones de la Conferencia Episcopal: "Era una condición mínima"

[Laymen criticize conclusions of the Episcopal Conference: "It was a minimum condition"]

CHILE
Cooperativa.cl

August 3, 2018

- "¿Por qué nos presentan como la gran novedad decisiones y compromisos que no aportan sustantivamente a la solución de la crisis?", cuestionaron.

- En tanto, para Juan Carlos Cruz no son los obispos "los que deben hacerse cargo de solución".

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:17 AM

Conferencia Episcopal entregará antecedentes a la Fiscalía y pide perdón a las víctimas

[Episcopal Conference will provide background information to the Prosecutor's Office and apologize to the victims]

CHILE
Cooperativa.cl

August 3, 2018

"Hemos fallado a nuestro deber de pastores", reconocieron los obispos al cierre de la Asamblea Extraordinaria.

Recalcaron que darán "a conocer públicamente toda investigación previa sobre presunto abuso sexual de menores de edad".

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:13 AM

Sebastián Piñera valoró bajada de Ezzati del Te Deum Ecuménico

[Chilean president Sebastián Piñera praises Ezzati's stepping down from the Ecumenical Te Deum]

CHILE
Cooperative.cl

August 4, 2018

"El gesto del arzobispo, que si bien doloroso en lo personal, contribuye a la paz de los espíritus en nuestra Patria", afirmó el Mandatario.

Si desde el mundo político se agradeció el gesto del religioso, los laicos afirmaron que este no es más que un signo mediático.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:10 AM

Mónica Rincón y los insuficientes gestos de obispos: “Falta reconocer que ha habido encubrimiento”

[Mónica Rincón and the insufficient gestures of bishops: "It is necessary to recognize that there has been a cover-up"]

CHILE
CNN Chile

August 3, 2018

“A veces la justicia tarda tanto que ya no es justicia”, dijo la conductora de MR.

Ezzati renunció a presidir el Te Deum y las víctimas tienen asiento reservado en primera fila. Se estableció ya la obligación de denunciar a la Justicia Civil todo antecedente de abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes. José Andrés Murillo fue llamado a presidir el Consejo para Prevención de Abusos en la Iglesia Católica.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 10:06 AM

Bishop David Zubik Shares Letter Anticipating the Release of the Grand Jury Report

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Diocese of Pittsburgh

August 4, 2018

A letter from Bishop David Zubik is being read at all Masses this weekend in all parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh in order to prepare the faithful for the impending public release of the interim Grand Jury report. A copy of the letter can be found here.

In his letter, Bishop Zubik shares his continued concern for the victims of sexual abuse and sorrow for the harms they suffered at hands of members of the clergy. In addition, Bishop Zubik promises to continue to provide assistance to victims of abuse.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:43 AM

Pittsburgh bishop says he’d release names of accused clergy

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Associated Press

August 4, 2018

[See also: August 4, 2018 letter from Bishop Zubik; and Grand jury report could name 90 offenders in Pittsburgh diocese alone, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 13, 2018]

The bishop of Pittsburgh’s Roman Catholic diocese said on Saturday he will release the names of any members of his clergy who are accused in a state grand jury report of sexual misconduct with a minor.

In a letter being read at all Masses this weekend, Bishop David Zubik said he will go public with the names once the grand jury report has been released. His announcement came days after the Harrisburg Diocese identified 71 priests and other members of the church who had been accused of child sex abuse.

The state Supreme Court disclosed recently that the grand jury had identified more than 300 “predator priests” in the six dioceses that were investigated: Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton. Together, those dioceses minister to more than 1.7 million Catholics.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:35 AM

Bishops to reveal abuse inquiry response

AUSTRALIA
AAP (Australian Associated Press) via Yarrawonga Chronicle

August 3, 2018

Australia's Catholic bishops will reveal their response to the child abuse royal commission later this month after reaching a "common position" on the inquiry's calls for reforms.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on Friday committed to releasing its formal response to the five-year inquiry by the end of August.

While it will be up to the Pope and his advisers to accept many of the royal commission's far-reaching recommendations, the Australian bishops have already rejected its controversial call to break the seal of confession to reveal child sexual abuse.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:33 AM

Breda O’Brien: Church must embrace accountability on sex abuse

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Irish Times

August 4, 2018

By Breda O'Brien

Church and aid bodies wield corruptible power over vulnerable adults and youth

The UK House of Commons International Development Committee published an important and troubling report this week, Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in the Aid Sector. The evil that humans are capable of inflicting on the most vulnerable is truly sickening.

Although this investigation was prompted by revelations about Oxfam personnel exploiting vulnerable people in Haiti, it is clear this was a problem for decades in many aid organisations in all areas of the world.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:28 AM

The Pope and Sex Abuse: Back to Business as Usual When the U.S. Media Isn’t Looking

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle

August 5, 2018

By Betty Clermont

Just this past week, the U.S. media treated Pope Francis as the world’s leading “moral authority.” The New York Times even posted the pope’s declaration that the death penalty is “inadmissible” on its online front page for two days. Yet they, and the rest of the U.S. media, ignored what else happened the past month.

- As of July 24, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, head of the Church in Chile, is under investigation by civil authorities. He covered up clerical sex abuse for decades even before Pope Francis elevated him to cardinal in 2014.

- Letters dated July 12 urged Pope Francis to remove an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun. On July 24, an Indian official called the allegation “true.”

- Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Honduran Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle on July 20. A resignation means that the prelate retains his title, honors, income and benefits. The pope has known that Pineda was accused of sex abuse and financial malfeasance since June 2017. Pineda said he handed the pope his resignation “several months ago.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:07 AM

York Catholic HS acknowledges former teacher left school following allegations of abuse

YORK (PA)
CBS 21 News

August 4, 2018

York Catholic High School is acknowledging that a former teacher was a part of a list of accusations provided by the Diocese of Harrisburg earlier this week.

According to the school district Father William Cawley taught at York Catholic from 1988 until 2012. Cawley was included on the list of priest who's abuse was alleged to have happened at a different diocese.

According to the school district Father Cawley left the Diocese of Harrisburg in 2012 following a lawsuit from Montana accusing him of sexual abuse of a child prior to him joining the diocese of Harrisburg.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:02 AM

August 4, 2018

A Message for the York Catholic Family about the Diocese of Harrisburg Press Conference

YORK (PA)
York Catholic High School

August 3, 2018

As you may have already read, Father William Cawley, who taught at York Catholic from 1988 until 2012, was included on the list of priests with allegations released by the Diocese of Harrisburg on August 1, 2018. The Diocese was clear that this was a list of accusations and they did not make assessments of credibility or guilt in creating the list.

Father Cawley was listed under the section including cases where abuse was alleged to have occurred in another Diocese. In 2012, the Diocese of Harrisburg received a report from a 2012 lawsuit in the state of Montana that Father Cawley was accused of sexual abuse of a child prior to his tenure working in the Diocese of Harrisburg. Father Cawley left the Diocese of Harrisburg in 2012 as a result of these allegations. According to Diocesan and York Catholic records, there were no known allegations before the lawsuit in 2012.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:41 PM

York Catholic: Priest left Harrisburg diocese after abuse allegations surfaced in 2012

YORK (PA)
The York Daily Record

August 4, 2018

By Geoff Morrow

York Catholic High School acknowledged a former teacher's inclusion in last week's Diocese of Harrisburg list of clergy who've been accused of sexual abuse.

In a statement released on its website and labeled Friday night as "A message for the York Catholic family," the school confirmed Father William Cawley taught there from 1988 until 2012.

Reactions to the statement were mixed on the York Catholic Facebook page.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:36 PM

Pittsburgh diocese also plans to name priests and deacons accused of sexually abusing children

PITTSBURGH (PA)
PennLive.com

August 4, 2018

By Teresa Bonner

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh says it too will be releasing the names of clergy against whom allegations of child sexual abuse of a minor have been made.

The announcement was made in a letter to from Bishop David Zubik that was distributed this weekend to be read in all parishes.

Zubik said the names will be made public when the report of a grand jury that has been investigation child sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses is made public.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:33 PM

Honduran Seminarians Allege Widespread Homosexual Misconduct

TEGUCIGALPA (HONDURAS)
National Catholic Register

July 25, 2018

By Edward Pentin

But to date, Cardinal Maradiaga has not responded publicly to the allegations regarding his archdiocesan seminary.

Nearly 50 seminarians in Honduras have protested against what they say is a widespread and entrenched pattern of homosexual practice in Tegucigalpa’s major seminary.

In a letter written to the seminary’s formators that was subsequently circulated in June to the country’s Catholic bishops, the seminarians asserted “irrefutable evidence” exists that a homosexual network pervades the institution and is being protected by its rector.

“Heterosexual seminarians are scandalized and really depressed,” one of the seminarians who drafted the letter told the Register.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:30 PM

Kerala Catholic priest rape case: Was minor victim coerced to say sex was consensual?

KERALA (INDIA)
The News Minute

August 3, 2018

By Dhanya Rajendran

The girl had delivered a baby and DNA tests proved that the priest is the father. Efforts are now on to prove that she was not a minor during the time of the crime.

It was a case that had rocked Kerala. A 48-year-old Catholic priest was arrested for raping and impregnating a 16-year-old girl. The arrest came despite much resistance from the Church and its allied networks. Now, more than a year after Father Robin Vadakumchery of the Mananthavady diocese was arrested, the survivor and the prime witness in the case told the POCSO court at Thalassery in Kannur district that she had consensual sex with the priest.

What has come as a bigger shock for the prosecution is that the survivor claimed that she had attained the age of consent when she had sex with the accused in 2016. The statement by the survivor, who is now an adult, has made the court declare her as hostile. The survivor has also told the court that she was ready to marry Father Robin Vadakkumchery and lead a life with him and their child.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:27 PM

Fort Worth Diocese pastor resigns after hostile, explicit letter threatening to report Dallas-area priest's alleged affair

FORT WORTH (TX)
Dallas Morning News

August 3, 2018

By Marc Ramirez

A pastor has resigned from the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth after sending a hostile and graphically detailed letter to a Dallas-area priest threatening to disclose an alleged affair the priest was having with a woman in his parish.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:25 PM

Two Chilean priests present their resignation amid sex ring allegations

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

August 3, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Two priests from a troubled Chilean diocese, part of the 14 local priests suspended after they were accused of being part of a ring of sexual misconduct that included gay prostitution and sexting with minors, have requested to be removed from the priesthood.

Fathers Hector Fuentes and Freddy Gorigoitia are currently suspended from ministry because of the ongoing investigation against them and other priests who were part of the group calling itself “The Family.” The two requested to be laicized on July 28.

The information was confirmed by Bishop Luis Fernando Ramos Perez, auxiliary of Santiago, the country’s capital, who’s currently serving as apostolic administrator in the diocese.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:23 PM

Priest sex abuse cases put Pennsylvania grand jury rules to test

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

August 3, 2018

By Tim Darragh

The long-awaited grand jury report on sex abuse of children by priests in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania is testing a balance of rights and raising questions about the fairness of secretive grand juries.

On the one hand, sex abuse victims say the release of the report naming more than 300 “predator” priests is a key step in healing and gaining justice.

On the other, people named in the report but not charged with crimes say in court records that the grand jury process failed to give them a fair opportunity to rebut the allegations against them. The two-year investigation covered the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton, and ended in April.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:21 PM

Survivor opens up about priest abuse as a child, accused priest responds

YORK (PA)
WPMT-TV, Fox43

August 1, 2018

By Jack Eble

A Carlisle native, a Pennsylvania university graduate, 30 years of business experience.

One man, who is choosing to stay anonymous, says he is a survivor who wants his story to be told.

"This is not an easy story to tell."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:18 PM

Diocese of Harrisburg’s statement to comments made by former priest Herbert Shank that aired on FOX43

HARRISBURG (PA)
WPMT-TV, Fox43

August 3, 2018

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg issued a statement Friday in response to a story that ran earlier this week on FOX43.

On Wednesday, FOX43 aired a story by Jack Eble with a survivor who said he was abused by a priest when he was 12 years old — the alleged abuse continued for a year and a half.

The accused, former priest Herbert Shank, spoke to FOX43 at his home.

Read the Diocese’s statement to Shank’s comments below:

“As we disclosed in our list earlier this week, Herbert Shank, who was removed from ministry in 1994, was the subject of multiple accusations of child sexual abuse. We watched his recent interview with shock and great sadness as he attempted to rationalize clearly inappropriate behavior with children. We have a zero-tolerance policy as it relates to child sexual abuse. Anyone who is accused of this type of behavior is immediately referred to law enforcement and removed from active duties, employment or volunteering. ...

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:14 PM

What is known about each of the 71 accused Harrisburg Diocese clergy

HARRISBURG (PA)
The York Daily Record

August 3, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released a list of 71 names of clergy members accused of sexually abusing children in cases dating back decades.

The list includes priests, deacons, seminarians and clergy affiliated with an order. The list also includes clergy members from other dioceses and Archdioceses from across the nation.

In the release, the diocese said the list includes those who were accused of abuse of a child since the 1940s, and does not include assessments of credibility or guilt. The church said it was releasing a list of every allegation made in recent decades against clergy in the diocese that had not been proven false.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:11 PM

Bishop asks DFW priest to resign after he wrote intimidating, sex-fueled letter

FORT WORTH (TX)
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

August 3, 2018

By Nichole Manna

A priest in the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese has resigned after a letter he wrote to another priest in Dallas was deemed intimidating, manipulative and inappropriate by Bishop Michael Olson.

The Rev. Richard Kirkham, former pastor of St. Martin de Porres in Prosper, is also accused of failing to report knowledge he had of alleged sexual misconduct and predatory sexual harassment in the workplace regarding the Dallas-area priest.

Kirkham submitted his resignation letter on June 4, but later tried to rescind it. Olson said he declined Kirkham’s request.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 6:39 PM

Accused priest in Mangueshi temple molestation cases absconding, say Goa Police

PONDA (INDIA)
The Hindu

August 4, 2018

By Prakash Kamat

The Ponda police are on the lookout for Dhananjay Bhave, the accused booked in Mangueshi temple molestation cases of two girls after Additional District and Sessions Court in Ponda on Saturday rejected two anticipatory bail applications filed by the priest.

He was booked for allegedly molesting two women inside the temple in June this year.

A senior police official in South Goa District headquarters told The Hindu on request of anonymity that the accused Dhananjay Bhave could not be traced, after the court in Ponda, located in South Goa district, cancelled both his applications for anticipatory bail. “He is absconding.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:46 PM

Fr. Gerald Sheehan, former priest in Southtowns, accused of abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW-TV - 7 Eyewitness News

August 3, 2018

By Charlie Specht

Alleged victim speaks with 7 Eyewitness News

Fr. Gerald P. Sheehan, a deceased priest who served throughout Western New York over a career that spanned 40 years, has been accused of sexually abusing a young girl.

The allegation was recently reported to the diocese by a woman who said she was between 7 and 14 years old and a member of Nativity of Our Lord Church in Orchard Park when she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the priest in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sheehan died in 2006.

“This has affected everything in my life,” the woman told 7 Eyewitness News in a phone interview. “It’s really hard to understand why I wasn’t protected and why he was allowed to function.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:22 PM

Montana plaintiffs vote on $20m sexual abuse settlement

BILLINGS (MT)
Catholic News Agency

August 2, 2018

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings is awaiting the result of a vote by plaintiffs on whether to accept a $20 million settlement offered to 86 people who say they were sexually abused by 27 priests in the diocese. As a condition of the settlement, the names of those priests would be posted on the diocese’s website for at least ten years.

Litigation began six years ago, and in 2017 the diocese filed for bankruptcy protection as it began negotiating the settlement. If the plaintiffs accept the settlement, funds will come from insurance coverage, parishioner contributions, and the sale of diocesan property, the Billings Gazette reported.

The plaintiffs in the case say there were abused by priests between 1943 and 1993.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:18 PM

Is there a sexual abuse reckoning coming for the Latino church?

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

August 3, 2018

By J.D. Long-García

When he was 12, Dominic told his parents he did not want to be an altar server anymore. He had been serving at a parish in Southern California run by the ex-priest Michael Baker, who would later be convicted of molesting children.

“We need to learn to listen to our children,” Dominic’s mother, Virginia Zamora, told America. “They do have symptoms.... My son didn’t want to go to church again. He hated God.”

Her son was abused for years, she said. The ex-priest would tell her son: “No one is going to believe you. Who’s going to believe you over me?” Ms. Zamora said the revelations about Theodore McCarrick should be a wake-up call for Latinos, whom she described as reluctant to speak against the clergy.

“Hispanics believe it’s their cross to bear, that’s how they live with it,” said Ms. Zamora, who works with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP. “But it’s not our cross. We need to speak up.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:16 PM

Iglesia chilena ante casos de abusos: “Hemos fallado como pastores”

[Chilean Church in cases of abuse: "We have failed as pastors"]

PUNTA DE TRALCA (CHILE)
La Tercera

August 3, 2018

By María José Blanco

Al cierre de la 116ª Asamblea Plenaria de la Conferencia Episcopal, los obispos emitieron una declaración en la cual reconocen que “a veces no reaccionamos a tiempo”.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 5:07 PM

Sentencias ejecutoriadas condenatorias en ámbito civil y canónico por delitos contra menores de edad cometidos por personas que eran clérigos al momento de la comisión del delito

[Sentences enforceable in civil and canonical cases for crimes against minors committed by people who were clerics at the time of the commission of the crime]

CHILE
Conferencia Episcopal de Chile
[Bishops' Conference of Chile]

August 3, 2018

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:55 PM

El listado de religiosos sentenciados por delitos sexuales contra menores publicado por la Iglesia Católica Chilena

[The list of religious sentenced for sexual crimes against minors published by the Chilean Catholic Church]

CHILE
La Tercera

August 3, 2018

Esta tarde, la Conferencia Episcopal subió a su página web un documento en el que aparecen los clérigos que han sido condenados tanto civil como canónicamente. La publicación fue una de las medidas tomadas en la 116° Asamblea Plenaria Episcopal que se realizó en Punta de Tralca.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:53 PM

Carta del Arzobispo a la Arquidiócesis de Santiago

[Letter from Archbishop to the Archdiocese of Santiago]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Archdiocese of Santiago

August 4, 2018

From Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati

[The Archbishop of Santiago, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, sends a message to the diocese expressing: "I consider it prudent not to head our traditional Te Deum for the Homeland of September 18".]

El Arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, envía un mensaje a la diócesis expresando: "considero prudente no encabezar nuestro tradicional Te Deum por la Patria del 18 de septiembre".

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:50 PM

Ezzati se baja del Te Deum

[Ezzati gets off the Te Deum]

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
La Tercera

August 4, 2018

By Carla Pía Ruiz

A través de una carta publicada hace solo minutos en la página web del Arzobispado de Santiago, el arzobispo y cardenal Ricardo Ezzati comunicó su decisión de no presidir el tradicional Te Deum, una de las celebraciones más importantes, a la que asisten las mayores autoridades del país.

[Through a letter published just minutes ago on the website of the Archdiocese of Santiago, the archbishop and cardinal Ricardo Ezzati announced his decision not to preside over the traditional Te Deum, one of the most important celebrations, attended by the highest authorities of the country.]

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 4:45 PM

Video: Interview with Tim Lennon on Harrisburg Bishop's Release of Accused Priest Names

UNITED STATES
HLN (Headline News)

August 1, 2018

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:19 PM

U.S. sisters demand action on sexual abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

August 1, 2018

By Michael J. O’Loughlin

A group representing 80 percent of Catholic sisters in the United States is adding its support to other sisters around the world who are calling for an end to sexual abuse and harassment of women religious, an issue brought to light most recently by a story written by The Associated Press.

“We join with all those demanding the end of a culture that ignores or tolerates sexual abuse of Catholic sisters or any other adult or minor perpetrated by those in positions of trust in the church community,” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said in a statement. “Church authorities must take action to end a culture of silence, hold abusers accountable and provide support to those abused. We thank all those Catholic sisters throughout the world who, at great risk, have spoken publicly about their abuse.”

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:14 PM

Letter to the editor: No forgiving an unrepentant church

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Herald

August 3, 2018

By Cyndi MacKenzie (formally Yerrick)

The Vatican seems to choose power over children.

This year marks 25 years since my repressed memories of sexual abuse by Fr. Robert E. Kelley surfaced. With the ongoing news of sexual abusive in many professions at all levels, it seems the awareness of these crimes is front and center. I am never shocked by the news because I know it is possible, and it is not about sex.

The years I spent in therapy, court, sitting across from Mr. Kelley and church lawyers in depositions served their purpose. My perpetrator was held accountable, my discovery led to his re-arrest and ultimate jail time for other brave women he had raped and, above all, I had my voice back, which had been taken from me at age 5.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:10 PM

Erie Diocese bishop emeritus will no longer challenge release of grand jury report into allegations of sexual abuse by clergy

ERIE (PA)
The Sharon Herald

August 4, 2018

By Melissa Klaric

Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman has withdrawn his petition to the state Supreme Court redacting his name from the grand jury report chronicling alleged sexual misconduct within six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses.

Trautman said in a statement released Friday evening that he made the decision to retract his petition for the sake of the victims.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:07 PM

Former Erie Diocese Bishop Trautman Withdraws Appeal to Block Grand Jury Report on Clergy Sex Abuse

ERIE (PA)
WENY-TV

August 3, 2018

[VIDEO]

Former Erie Catholic Diocese Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman has withdrawn his appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to block the grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse, according to a statement Friday.

Trautman initially filed the appeal because the grand jury report did not give a fair, accurate portrayal of his conduct and actions as bishop of the diocese for 22 years, the statement said.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 12:05 PM

Statement of Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman

ERIE (PA)

August 3, 2018

[See also the court document appended to the statement: Joint Stipulation to Dismiss Appeal]

As he has done his entire career, Bishop Trautman sends his prayerful support to all victims of clergy sexual abuse. Bishop Trautman shares the Grand Jury’s and Attorney General’s disgust with clergy sexual abuse and extends a sincere apology to all who have been harmed by clergy abuse. Bishop Trautman has always endeavored to put the needs and concerns of victims of abuse first and his complete record while in office proves this. Today he did that again, even though doing so required him to sacrifice his own personal rights.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:38 AM

Erie’s retired Bishop Trautman drops objections to report

ERIE (PA)
GoErie.com

August 4, 2018

By Ed Palattella

He explains why he filed for a stay of grand jury report under initials D.T., and why he withdrew the challenge. Attorney General Shapiro praises decision; his office agreed to clarify parts of the report that pertain to Trautman.

Bishop Donald W. Trautman, the retired leader of the Catholic Diocese of Erie, said a push for accuracy led him to pursue challenges to the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse in the Erie diocese and five other Catholic dioceses statewide.

After the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office agreed to address some of those concerns, Trautman said, he decided to withdraw his objections to the report.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:35 AM

Bishop Trautman withdraws challenge to grand-jury report

ERIE (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 3, 2018

By Peter Smith

Erie Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman has ended an effort to block references to him in a forthcoming grand jury report on sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

The agreement came after the office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro agreed to stipulate that several of the blistering criticisms in the report — into how the Catholic hierarchy handled predator priests in general — didn’t apply to Bishop Trautman specifically.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Friday granted the bishop’s request to withdraw his petition.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:29 AM

Editorial cartoon with McCarrick and Weinstein

UNITED STATES
The Week

August 3, 2018

By Chip Bok

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 11:26 AM

Report: Catholic Church leaders pressured victims, cops over clergy abuse scandal

PENNSYLVANIA
Associated Press via York Daily Record

August 3, 2018

By Mark Scolforo

A court filing made public on Friday included excerpts from the grand jury's findings on the role of church leaders in the clergy abuse scandal.

A grand jury investigating clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses found that church leaders were more interested in preventing scandal than protecting children, in some cases discouraging victims from going to police or pressuring law enforcement officials to end or avoid investigations, according to a court filing.

The grand jury's full, nearly 900-page, report is expected to be released in the next two weeks.

But a court filing made public Friday, resolving one of many legal disputes over the report, included excerpts from the grand jury's findings on the role of church leaders in the clergy abuse scandal.

According to the document, the grand jury concluded that victims were "brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all."

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:59 AM

Advocates commend, criticize release of sexual abuse allegations in Harrisburg Diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Sunbury Daily Item

August 2, 2018

By Rick Dandes

Individuals and child advocacy groups on Wednesday reacted sharply to the release of a list of priests and other church officials alleged to have sexually abused minors in the Harrisburg Diocese for decades.

The list of 71, including 37 priests, was made public by diocese Bishop Ronald Gainer on Wednesday ahead of next week's deadline to redact names from a grand jury report into sex abuse in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg.

"The Church could have and should have done this five, 10, 15 years ago," said Tim Lennon, president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a support group of survivors of sexual abuse. Lennon said the release of that many names left him "speechless.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:51 AM

August 3, 2018

Declaración, Decisiones y Compromisos de los Obispos de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile Conclusiones de la 116ª Asamblea Plenaria Extraordinaria de la CECh.

[Declaration, Decisions and Commitments of the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Chile]

PUNTA DE TRALCA (CHILE)
Los Obispos de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile
[The Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Chile}

August 3, 2018

“Señor, ¿a quién iremos? Tú tienes palabras de Vida eterna" (Jn 6,68)

Nos hemos reunido los obispos de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile y administradores apostólicos en una asamblea plenaria extraordinaria, para abordar la situación que vive la Iglesia Católica en el país, particularmente a raíz de los graves casos de abuso cometidos por personal consagrado.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:42 PM

Grand jury report for Pennsylvania abuse cases ordered released by Aug. 14

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

August 3, 2018

By Mark Dent

Details about sexual abuse by 300-plus priests are expected

After a court challenge from clergy members that has lasted more than a month, the long-awaited grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church throughout Pennsylvania is finally slated to be released.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 31-page ruling, stated the report must be made public by Aug. 14 and could become available as early as Aug. 7. It is supposed to detail sexual abuse and cover-ups perpetrated by more than 300 priests.

The report was disseminated three months ago to the six dioceses under investigation —Allentown, Altoona-Johnstown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton — and was expected to be released to the public in late June. But more than a dozen people, mostly clergy members, according to the Supreme Court, had challenged its release. They argued the report would harm their reputations and that they had not been given an adequate opportunity to respond to accusations. Most of the challengers were not permitted to provide testimony to the grand jury.

The challenge from clergy came after officials from the Pennsylvania dioceses said they would not oppose the report's public release. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro wrote Pope Francis a letter in late June, indicating two Pennsylvania church leaders, whom he did not name, had orchestrated the challenge.

"Please call on them to 'follow the path of truth' you laid out," Shapiro wrote to Francis, "and permit the healing process to begin."

Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico, who in April released a list of former Erie clergy implicated in sexual assault allegations, has maintained he did not challenge the report.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:38 PM

Wuerl presses bishops to greater accountability on abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Crux

August 3, 2018

By Elise Harris

With much of the US church still reeling from the abuse scandals involving ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, has said that while he believes the church has made progress, bishops must strive for “greater accountability at the level of the episcopacy” in both addressing and reporting abuse allegations.

“Everyone recognizes that words, good intentions, and new policies, while important, are not enough,” Wuerl said in a pastoral letter, published Aug. 3. “We must not only denounce abuse and take steps to stop abusers. We must remove even the appearance of cover-ups as we investigate and address allegations.”

A practical way to do this, Wuerl said, is to cooperate with the pope and his representatives to ensure that bishops are held accountable. Quoting a recent statement from the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo, Wuerl said spiritual conversion is needed in order to “restore the right relationship among us and with our Lord.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:37 PM

Chile's national prosecutor requesting Vatican sex abuse files

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

August 1, 2018

By Aislinn Laing

Chile’s national prosecuting authority said on Wednesday that it had asked the government to submit a formal request to the Vatican for information about nine clergymen and lay workers who have been accused of sexual abuse of children.

The prosecuting authority said in a statement that national prosecutor Jorge Abbott had asked the foreign minister to enact three International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters requests in relation to cases from the capital Santiago, the city of Valparaiso and the southern region of Araucania.

It said it could submit additional requests in the future.

“The document was sent confidentially through the Unit of International Cooperation and Extraditions of the National Prosecutor’s Office to Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that it can send the referral to the Vatican through diplomatic channels,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:35 PM

Pope will meet abuse survivors as part of his visit to Ireland

IRELAND
The Irish Times

August 2, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Abuse survivors to gather at Garden of Remembrance during Pope’s visit

The Pope will meet abuse survivors as part of his visit to Ireland later this month, it is understood, though details of when and whom he will meet will not be released in advance to protect the anonymity of survivors.

Sources indicated the meeting would take place a day after the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin said “time is very tight” for Pope Francis to meet survivors of church abuse during his visit.

Dr Martin had said he was pushing the Vatican to have the pope meet a cross-section of survivors of industrial schools, Magdalene laundries, mother and baby homes and those who suffered from clerical sex abuse. However, he said Pope Francis will spend only 36 hours in Ireland.

Separately, people abused or hurt by the Catholic Church and those who wish to support them have been invited to take part in a solidarity event at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance during the visit of Pope Francis.

In a tweet abuse survivor Colm O’Gorman invited people to attend the event as the papal Mass in the Phoenix Park begins at 3pm on Sunday August 26th.

Mr O’Gorman was founder of the One in Four group, which assists abuse survivors.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:34 PM

Modesto’s CrossPoint Church named in sexual abuse lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
The Modesto Bee

August 2, 2018

By Garth Stapley

Modesto’s CrossPoint Community Church is formally sued by a woman who was sexually abused by a youth pastor when she was a teen 30 years ago.

Jennifer Roach, now 47, alleged sexual battery, negligence, failure to supervise the youth pastor, and infliction of emotional distress when she initially sued nine weeks ago. But CrossPoint, formerly First Baptist, was not specifically named because of a legal technicality requiring that a judge sign off on the analysis of a mental health expert.

The analysis remains sealed from public view, but Judge Harold Kahn of San Francisco Superior Court signed the “finding of reasonable and meritorious cause for filing of action” on July 26, granting Roach “leave to designate (defendants) by their true names.”

Roach’s Sacramento attorney, Joseph George, refiled Wednesday using CrossPoint’s current and former names, and including as a defendant former youth pastor Brad Tebbutt. Roach seeks unspecified damages.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:33 PM

Church music minister accused of sexually abusing teen arrested

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WBRZ

August 3, 2018

A music minister has been accused of abusing a young girl at an area church.

According to the arrest report, Santo Alvarado is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting the victim between February 1, 2015, and February 25, 2018. Authorities say, Alvarado touched the girl's chest and private area over her clothing.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:32 PM

Opinion: The Catholic Church has obliterated its ability to inspire trust

UNITED STATES
The Washington Post

July 31, 2018

By Elizabeth Bruenig

We live in an era of diminished trust and heightened cynicism. It is hard, now, to imagine someone expressing unqualified faith in government, the media, business — or even, for that matter, religious institutions. And the implication of this development is not simply the erosion of trust. It is the increasing difficulty of learning about the world around us, as we lose belief in those who might teach us.

Learning requires risk-taking. It forces us to face what we don’t know with the hope of advancing toward some grasp of it. The smaller the undertaking, the lower the emotional gamble — learning tomorrow’s weather forecast doesn’t entail an interior journey. But learning about the true and important things in life does require trust and dedication and vulnerability — usually under a teacher’s guidance. It is no surprise so many of us come to love the ones who teach us.

Neither is it a surprise, any longer, that some people charged with these roles of profound responsibility abuse them in the cruelest ways. The latest revelation concerns the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, who resigned Saturday from the College of Cardinals. Over several decades, McCarrick is alleged to have sexually abused at least one child and several adult seminarians or young priests, all of whom looked to the charismatic prelate for guidance — moral, vocational, spiritual. Into his den, he drew them.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:30 PM

Bishops to reveal abuse inquiry response

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press

August 3, 2018

By Megan Neil

Australia's Catholic bishops will release their response to the child abuse royal commission's recommendations by the end of August.

Australia's Catholic bishops will reveal their response to the child abuse royal commission later this month after reaching a "common position" on the inquiry's calls for reforms.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on Friday committed to releasing its formal response to the five-year inquiry by the end of August.

While it will be up to the Pope and his advisers to accept many of the royal commission's far-reaching recommendations, the Australian bishops have already rejected its controversial call to break the seal of confession to reveal child sexual abuse.

The bishops held a special meeting in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday to discuss issues raised by the royal commission.

"After two productive days of meetings, the bishops have reached a common position on the royal commission's recommendations relating to the Catholic Church and its various ministries," ACBC president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said in a statement.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:28 PM

Any decision by Pope Francis not to address Church abuse would be "shocking" - Marie Collins

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

August 2, 2018

Abuse survivor and campaigner Marie Collins has suggested that any decision by the Pope not to address those impacted by Church abuse would be "shocking ... and completely untenable."

The former member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Vatican was speaking to Miriam O'Callaghan on RTE radio this morning.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:27 PM

Msgr Kalin & #MeToo Conservatives

UNITED STATES
The American Conservative

August 1, 2018

By Rod Dreher

[Note: Below is an extraordinary opinion essay sent to me by its author, Peter Mitchell, a conservative Catholic and former priest. Mitchell was ordained in 1999 and laicized in 2017. He says that he “is grateful to be a baptized and practicing Catholic.” — RD]

We Catholics ought to thank God that the abuse committed by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick against young men under his authority is finally coming to light. As a former priest, however, I fear that the bishops may be tempted to allow McCarrick to become a scapegoat for abusive patterns – sexual and otherwise – running deep within the hierarchical power structure of the institutional Church. My own experiences and those of others in seminary and priesthood lead me to conclude that there have been and continue to be numerous other such instances – and not only on the “liberal” side of the Church but, astonishingly for some, on the “conservative” side as well.

In other words, McCarrick’s unspeakable behavior and the conspiracy of silence that protects and enables it is sadly not some bizarre anomaly or rare exception but actually much closer to the norm than the Catholic faithful may at first be inclined to believe.

The revelations about McCarrick, as well as reports coming from Honduras of an entrenched homosexual network throughout the seminary system there raise some significant further questions. Given that we know that many other people in positions of ecclesiastical power have been aware of McCarrick’s behavior and yet said and did nothing about it, the question must be asked: How many other bishops, vocation directors and seminary formators have engaged or are engaging in similar behavior with young adult men considering vocations to the priesthood, and how many other bishops and priests have agreed to remain silent about it “for the good of the Church”? My own experience as a seminarian and priest indicates that there may be many.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:25 PM

Popular Minneapolis Rabbi Charged In Underage Sex Sting

Minnesota (MN)
Forward

August 1, 2018

By Ari Feldman

A popular Minneapolis rabbi known for his student outreach work is facing charges stemming from a child sex sting conducted by Minnesota law enforcement in January and early February.

Rabbi Aryeh Cohen was arrested February 1, after exchanging messages with a federal agent posing as a 15-year-old for over a week, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday. The complaint alleges that Cohen discussed a sexual liaison with the agent on Grindr, a popular hookup site for men. He was arrested outside the North St. Paul apartment the agent had invited him to as part of the sting. He was charged with two felonies relating to electronic communication about sex with a minor.

Cohen is one of 17 men who have been charged through the sting in recent days.

“I sort of deserve it,” Cohen said unprompted while being taken to the local police department and before being informed of his Miranda rights, according to the complaint.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:23 PM

GROOMED BY A PREDATOR PRIEST

SAGINAW (MI)
Church Militant

July 31, 2018

Fr. James Bessert of Saginaw accused of preying on vulnerable teen

As part of the #CatholicMeToo campaign, Church Militant has asked adult victims of clerical sexual harassment to write in and share their stories. This is one of the stories.

********

In the early 1980s, when I was 18–19 years old, I lived in the diocece of Saginaw, Michigan and was discerning a vocation to the priesthood. The vocations director (who had a foul mouth, using words like Godd**n and F- bombs, etc. in normal conversation with me) put me in contact with a Fr. James Bessert, whom you have featured in one of your recent stories regarding the diocese of Saginaw and the troubles they have had and are having there.

Father Jim had recently graduated from the seminary, less than a year prior to my being introduced to him. He took me under his wing and showered me with attention, making me feel special. I had come from a troubled background, growing up in a toxic home environment, so the attention from this priest flattered me and I was thrilled to be counted among his friends. We would meet about once a month, eating out, where he would offer me alcohol. He had no problem getting me drunk during our visits.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:22 PM

Job added for judge overseeing priest abuse report redaction

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 2, 2018

The Supreme Court is adding another job for the special master it appointed to help black out names and other identifying information from a grand jury report into child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses.

The justices said Thursday Judge John Cleland will also determine what material should be redacted from a sealed brief filed by the attorney general's office.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:21 PM

How much did the Vatican know about abusive Pa. priests? What the grand jury report could show

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 3, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

Patterns of cover-up and criminality by pedophile priests and their supervisors have been documented in scores of Catholic dioceses worldwide.

Now, ahead of a long-awaited grand jury report into clergy sex abuse across Pennsylvania, a major question remains: Is the 900-page report likely to contain new information about the scope of the problem pervading the church?

Most definitely yes, say some expert observers.

"The shock and surprise of what is revealed is never new, unfortunately," said Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who represented hundreds of victims in lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Boston. "Is Rome going to be connected to this in any way shape or form, other than defrock papers, which speak to Rome's role?"

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 3:17 PM

'A year after the 1979 papal visit I was raped by a priest' - why abuse survivors are gathering during Pope Francis' visit this month

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Independent

August 2, 2018

By Rachel Farrell

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/a-year-after-the-1979-papal-visit-i-was-raped-by-a-priest-why-abuse-survivors-are-gathering-during-pope-francis-visit-this-month-37179560.html

Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty Ireland, calls on survivors of clerical abuse to gather in solidarity during Pope Francis' visit at the end of the month

"Over the weekend I was reading an article that asked readers where they were in 1979 when Pope John Paul visited Ireland. I do remember - I was 13. I went to a Christian Brother's School. I went to Mass in Wexford every Sunday. I went to a Catholic youth group. Everything I did revolved around the church at that time.

"My brother and sister went to see the pope, but I didn’t get to go. At the time, I remember being disappointed that I wasn't going. It was a huge, huge moment.

"A year later when I was 14, I was raped by a Catholic priest for the first time."

These are the words of Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of human rights organisation Amnesty Ireland, and a survivor of clerical abuse.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:22 AM

Sex abuse claim sparks lawsuit against Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX (NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA)
CBC

August 2, 2018

By Jack Julian

Legal action against Halifax-Yarmouth diocese could uncover other allegations, lawyer says

A man who says he was sexually abused by a priest as a boy in Halifax in the 1960s has filed notice that he is planning a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth.

His lawyer believes if certified by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, the class-action lawsuit could eventually involve many more sex abuse claimants.

"It seems likely to me that there are hundreds, perhaps many hundreds, of potential victims out there," lawyer John McKiggan, of the Halifax law firm McKiggan Hebert, said Thursday.

The lead plaintiff in the case is Douglas Champagne, who in court documents claims he was abused by priest George G. Epoch while he was an altar boy at Canadian Martyr's Church on Inglis Street.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:19 AM

These 11 clergy named in Harrisburg Diocese report had Lebanon County connections

LEBANON (PA)
Lebanon Daily New

August 2, 2018

By Daniel Walmer

The Diocese of Harrisburg released a long-anticipated list of clergy members accused of sexual crimes on Wednesday, and at least 11 have connections to Lebanon County.

One was principal of Lebanon Catholic High School for a decade. Five served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lebanon, one pastored Holy Spirit Church in Palmyra, and one served as a deacon at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Annville. At least two face accusations stemming from activity that occurred in Lebanon County.

More: What we know about priests, clergy listed by Harrisburg diocese and accused of abuse

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer wrote that he hopes the list will “salve some of these historic wounds with the healing touch of transparency.” However, one survivor’s attorney told the York Daily Record that it is too late for the church to get credit for transparency.

Gainer emphasized that the list is based on allegations, not proof of guilt.

Information about church officials with a connection to Lebanon County, listed below, was gathered from either information released by the diocese or a recent PennLive report, unless otherwise noted.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:11 AM

What Matt Flynn did to help cover up priest abuse: The Milwaukee Archdiocese’s own files document his involvement

MADISON (WI)
Isthmus

August 1, 2018

By Peter Isely

As survivors of childhood sexual abuse by clergy of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, we are responding to Dave Cieslewicz’s recent Citizen Dave post, “Flynn should stay in the race.” A number of us were sexually assaulted by priests within the Milwaukee Archdiocese during the time Matt Flynn was chief legal counsel to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, from 1989-2004.

We have suffered together. We have sought healing together. And we have fought for the truth together. Our community includes three generations of survivors. Our oldest survivor is 94; the youngest is 16. Both were raped or assaulted between the ages of 5 and 7. In both cases, the priests had multiple, documented notifications or warnings to the archdiocese about their conduct, extending from 1936 to 2014.

Cieslewicz’s column in support of Matt Flynn remaining in the governor’s race has forced on us again the burden of having to speak the truth about the terrible things that happened to us and how it was covered up by church officials with Flynn’s now well-documented help.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:08 AM

A huge clergy abuse probe is about to go public. Could Pa.'s attorney general be on the verge of slaying Goliath?

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

August 2, 2018

By Maria Panaritis

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/maria-panaritis/pennsylvania-grand-jury-report-clergy-abuse-catholic-church-attorney-general-josh-shapiro-maria-panaritis-20180801.html

Photo caption: The Reverend John T. Sweeney, center, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Westmoreland County to sexually abusing a fourth grader. The state attorney general is days away from releasing an investigative report about 300 alleged Catholic clergy abusers just like him across Pennsylvania. And yet, only a few have ever faced criminal charges through the years in this state.

Josh Shapiro is delivering a few lessons this week on the power of the people vs. the power of people with deep pockets.

They’re more like jabs, and they are coming from Pennsylvania’s attorney general ahead of the release of a criminal investigative report, days away, that will disclose clergy abuse by more than 300 predator priests at six of Pennsylvania’s eight Catholic dioceses.

Shapiro’s office over the last year has taken a beating behind closed doors from church-affiliated lawyers who have sought to kill or neuter the report. Shapiro seems willing now, as the finish line approaches, to slap back at them.

It’s about time.

It began on Tuesday, when Shapiro held a news conference to announce a conviction against creep-in-a-collar John T. Sweeney. The priest from Westmoreland County pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy who, now in his 30s, serves in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:03 AM

In Pennsylvania, Shadow of Secrecy Lifting from Decades of Abuse by Priests

WASHINGTON (DC)
NPR

August 2, 2018

By Camila Domonoske

For decades, the Catholic Church has grappled with sexual abuse of children by priests — through quiet reassignments and headline-grabbing scandals, internal investigations and public criminal charges, simmering controversies and settlements with survivors.

Now, some parishes in Pennsylvania are reckoning with the problem through an unusual dose of transparency.

In 2016, Pennsylvania's attorney general launched a grand jury investigation, into allegations of sexual abuse in six of the state's eight dioceses.

The investigation was conducted under "the umbrella of secrecy," court documents note. It came closely after a 2016 grand jury investigation that found evidence that two bishops in the Altoona-Johnstown diocese covered up sexual abuse by dozens of church leaders.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:59 AM

'Suddenly I don't feel like I'm going to Hell': Priest abuse victim reacts to diocese report

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

August 2, 2018

By Brandie Kessler

https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2018/08/02/harrisburg-catholic-diocese-clergy-priest-abuse-victim-learns-others-also-accused-priest-guy-marsico/885015002/

He thought perhaps he was the priest's only victim. Now the York, Pa., man knows others also accused Father Guy Marsico.

For decades, Todd Frey wondered if he was the only child to suffer sexual abuse at the hands of his priest.

“Is there by chance another one? One of my classmates?” Frey asked himself and others over the years. “I’ve really battled with this in ways you can’t imagine.”

On Wednesday, when Frey learned that the Diocese of Harrisburg had released the names of 71 priests and other clergy, he finally got an answer.

On the list, was the name of the priest Frey says abused him in York in the early 1980s:

Guy Marsico.

Next to Marsico’s name, a brief description of the allegations against him:

Multiple.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:49 AM

Catholic sex abuse scandal stretches to South Bend, drawing in Bishop Rhoades, Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

August 3, 2018

By Caleb Bauer

The University of Notre Dame announced Thursday that it will not immediately revoke the honorary degree conferred to Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who recently resigned his position in the College of Cardinals after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused children and adults.

In late June, McCarrick was removed from public ministry, and last week Pope Francis ordered McCarrick to “observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion,” after a New York archdiocese review board found allegations against him to be “credible and substantiated.” McCarrick is still yet to be tried in a canonical trial in Rome, but is accused of sexually abusing a teenage altar boy 47 years ago while serving as a priest in New York, abusing another 11-year-old boy and continuing the abuse for 20 years and sexually harassing and touching men seeking to become priests.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:48 AM

Pope Francis urged to address failures to reform abuse policy

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
RTÉ

August 2, 2018

A prominent survivor of clerical child sexual abuse, Marie Collins, has reacted strongly to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's statement that Pope Francis may not get time to meet victims during his visit here later this month.

The former Vatican adviser urged the pontiff not simply to meet vicitms' representatives but also address his failures to reform Church policy in the area.

Pope Francis is to visit Ireland on 25 and 26 August to attend the Catholic World Meeting of Families in Dublin and to visit Knock Shrine in Co Mayo.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:45 AM

Even before recent revelations, U.S. Catholics gave Pope Francis declining ratings on sex abuse scandal

UNITED STATES
Pew Research Center

August 2, 2018

By Michael Lipka

The long-simmering Catholic Church sex abuse scandal has been back in the headlines following new allegations against Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who resigned from the College of Cardinals last weekend. Pope Francis accepted the resignation — reportedly making McCarrick the first cardinal in church history to resign over allegations of sexual abuse. In addition, some church officials have been accused of having long known about at least some of the allegations against McCarrick.

Even before news stories about McCarrick came to light in recent weeks, U.S. Catholics were increasingly unhappy with the church’s handling of the sex abuse scandal. A January 2018 Pew Research Center survey found that just 45% of U.S. Catholics said Pope Francis is doing an “excellent” (13%) or “good” (33%) job addressing the crisis, down from 55% who said this in 2015, the last time the question was asked. The same recent survey also found that 46% of American Catholics said he is doing only a “fair” (27%) or “poor” (19%) job handling the sex abuse scandal, up from 34% three years prior.

Posted by Anne Barrett Doyle at 7:39 AM

In wake of McCarrick sex scandal, NJ woman recounts alleged abuse by another former Metuchen Diocese priest

BRIDGEWATER (NJ)
Bridgewater Courier News / mycentraljersey.com

August 1, 2018

By Nick Muscavage

https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/faith/2018/08/01/cardinal-theodore-mccarrick-sexual-abuse-scandal-mark-dolak/830121002/

Susan Bisaha Says She Was Molested by a Former Priest in the Diocese of Metuchen While Theodore McCarrick Was Bishop

When Susan Bisaha heard Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was suspended for sexual abuse allegations, she knew what she had to do: Share her story.

Bisaha, a former Fords resident and Diocese of Metuchen congregant, said she was sexually abused by a priest in Central Jersey for nearly a decade.

Some of the instances of alleged abuse, which she said numbered more than 100, occurred in a room down the hall from McCarrick in the rectory of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen, where he was serving as bishop at the time.

“My story dates back to 1979,” Bisaha said. “From 1979 to 1987 I was molested by Rev. Mark Dolak.”

Bisaha, born in 1966, was 13 when the alleged abuse began. It wouldn’t come to an end until she was in her early 20s, she said.

“At the time McCarrick was the Bishop of Metuchen, he was in the same residence as Dolak,” Bisaha said. “There were many, many times where we would walk right past the bishop’s room and get snuck in.”

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 7:38 AM

August 2, 2018

Sex abuse survivors react to release of list of accused priests

HARRISBURG (PA)
WGAL News 8

August 1, 2018

Survivors of sex abuse in the Catholic Church are reacting to the Harrisburg diocese's decision to release a list of names of priests and others who have been accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:42 AM

Harrisburg Diocese releases list of accused priests, lifts confidentiality agreements

HARRISBURG (PA)
WGAL News 8

August 2, 2018

Harrisburg Diocese Bishop Ronald Gainer announced the release of vast amounts of information, previously withheld from the public, having to do with the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Among the information being released are the names of 71 priests, deacons and others within the church who were accused of abuse since the 1940s. Gainer said he thought it was appropriate to release the names, but emphasized that these are just accusations. The list has been posted on a new website just launched by the diocese on Wednesday.

The list says in part:

"The following list does not contain those cases where the accusation was deemed not substantiated, meaning it was an accusation after which, after review by law enforcement or Diocesan reviewers, was not supported by sufficient evidence to establish the probability that the accused cleric or seminarian committed sexual abuse of a child."

Gainer also announced that the diocese will waive any confidentiality rights that were reached as part of civil settlements. He said they were being waived because many victims felt constrained by those agreements.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:40 AM

Harrisburg Diocese identifies 71 alleged sex abusers, cites failure of bishops

HARRISBURG (PA)
CBS/AP

August 1, 2018

The Roman Catholic diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has put out a list of 71 priests and others in the church accused of sexually abusing children in cases going back decades. Bishop Ron Gainer issued a public apology Wednesday for the abuse and said the church's bishops shared the blame, having responded inadequately to all the allegations.

As a result, the name of every bishop since 1947 will be removed from church facilities in the diocese.

The Harrisburg Diocese issued its findings just days after the state Supreme Court said a nearly 900-page grand jury report on sex abuse in six dioceses, including Harrisburg, can be made public later this month.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:39 AM

Harrisburg Diocese releases names of priests accused of child sex abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Morning Call

August 1, 2018

By Steve Esack

Harrisburg Diocese Bishop Ronald Gainer on Wednesday made public the names of 71 priests and other Catholic officials accused of child sex abuse.

The Allentown Diocese plans to soon follow suit.

Gainer stressed that Harrisburg’s list represents only accusations — by making the names public, the diocese is not claiming anyone to be guilty.

The list includes 37 priests, three deacons, six seminarians, nine clergy of other dioceses and 16 from other Catholic religious orders. It excludes cases the diocese found unsubstantiated and does not provide an estimated number of abuse victims.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:36 AM

Diocese outlines two-step process for reporting child sexual abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Hope Stephan

In a lengthy statement released in conjunction with a news conference this morning, Bishop Ronald Gainer said that after reviewing its historic files, the Harrisburg diocese is releasing those child sexual abuse survivors who entered into settlement agreements with the diocese that contained confidentiality clauses from that legal commitment.

Gainer on Wednesday also released the names of 71 people who have been accused of allegations of child sex crimes, just weeks ahead of a grand jury report into clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.

"I take this step about confidentiality so that the survivors can feel free to tell their stories to whomever and whenever they wish," Gainer said. "I hope that this step will further aid those survivors, and perhaps others, in their path to healing."

The church's new website, www.youthprotectionhbg.com, also contains information on how to report child sexual abuse, contact information for the Victim Assistance Office and detailed information on how the church has confronted this issue.

There are two steps to making a complaint, Gainer emphasized:

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:35 AM

Clergy abuse victim-turned-lawmaker calls for reforms in and out of Catholic Church

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Wallace McKelvey

The Diocese of Harrisburg's decision to release a list of 71 priests accused of child sex crimes, which may be a partial accounting, was a good start but further reforms are needed within the Catholic Church and the state at large, state Rep. Mark Rozzi said Wednesday.

"One thing I know about predators is they don't stop abusing children--they look for their next victim," said Rozzi, a Berks County Democrat who was raped by a Catholic priest at 13 years old. "Those predator priests are still out there and they could still be abusing your child."

Rozzi has fought to reform the state's child sex crimes statutes. He's introduced legislation that would expand the statute of limitations in order to give past and future victims greater legal recourse against predators.

"We want the parents of our community to know that, for full transparency, the church needs to release the full list of names," he said, during an interview in the Capitol Rotunda.

Of the 71 names released on Wednesday, 37 were priests of the Diocese of Harrisburg, three were deacons of the diocese, six were seminarians, nine were priests from other dioceses, and 16 were from religious communities. None of the individuals on the list are currently in ministry or in service in the diocese.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:34 AM

Bishop says Catholic Church suffers from 'crisis of sexual morality'

UNITED STATES
CNN

August 1, 2018

By Daniel Burke

The sexual abuse accusations against a prominent American archbishop reveal a "grievous moral failure" within the Catholic Church, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said on Tuesday.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the Catholic bishops conference, also said the conference "will pursue the many questions" about the accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick "to the full extent of its authority."

"Our Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality," DiNardo said. "The way forward must involve learning from past sins."

DiNardo's statement comes as the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis, is facing a quickly escalating sexual abuse scandal that has ensnared top church leaders on several continents.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:32 AM

Pennsylvania Catholic diocese names former Memphis priest in sexual abuse list

HARRISBURG (PA)
York Daily Record

August 1, 2018

By Brandie Kessler and Ed Mahon

The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has released a list of more than 70 of its clergy members, one a former Memphis priest, accused of sexually abusing or having inappropriate contact with children in cases dating back decades.

Walter Emala, who died in 2008 in Baltimore, is cited on the list for allegations of inappropriate behavior, such as kissing.

Church files in the Memphis Catholic Diocese indicate decades of sexual abuse allegations against Emala dating to the 1960s in Nashville-Memphis and Baltimore dioceses. Memphis was part of the Nashville diocese prior to 1970.

Emala in 1967 was accused of taking boys on trips and sleeping with them in the nude, and at other times taking boys to adult movies. He was also accused of child abuse in the Baltimore Archdiocese.

In 2004, Emala was accused of sexual misconduct with minors at his parish near his then-Pennsylvania diocese in Harrisburg. He was reported to the district attorney's office and was warned to stay out of the Harrisburg diocese.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:23 AM

Child abuse prevention expert calls on Catholics for 'zero tolerance' of sexual abuse in the church

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Stephanie Sadowski

The Diocese of Harrisburg's decision to name 71 priests and personnel accused of child sexual abuse since 1940 goes a long way toward reconciling the actions and statements on treatment of both clergy and victims, according to a state leader in child abuse prevention.

"Despite the cost, the Church now must focus on being an example of zero tolerance for the maltreatment of children and that requires a level of honesty and transparency not before demonstrated by this institution," Angela M. Liddle, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, said in a statement Wednesday.

The group also called for other Pennsylvania dioceses to take steps toward transparency.

"PFSA views the release of names today, along with a public apology to those who were sexually abused as children, and those who have been faithful to the Catholic Church, as one step in realigning the Church's behavior with their verbal commitment of care and concern for children and families.

"PFSA calls upon each diocese in Pennsylvania to be vigilant with obtaining child abuse clearance on staff and volunteers, establishing strong child protection policies that limit one adult with one child, and comprehensive training for leadership, staff, and volunteers on child abuse identification and reporting," Liddle said.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:22 AM

'Catholics embrace the need to make this right for survivors,' Pa. Catholic Conference says

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Stephanie Sadowski

The spokeswoman of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference called the Diocese of Harrisburg's decision to name the 71 priests and personnel accused of child sexual abuse "another sobering moment" and encouraged victims to report abuse immediately.

It also shows a commitment to "make this right," said Amy Hill.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is the public affairs arm of the Catholic bishops and the Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

"Today is another sobering moment that further reveals the tragedy that has occurred. It also shows that Catholics embrace the need to make this right for survivors," Ms. Hill said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Every diocese in Pennsylvania has resources available to help survivors and their families pay for counselors and treatment programs of their choice or other support necessary for healing. We encourage anyone who has been abused to report it immediately and seek help by calling the toll-free Pennsylvania ChildLine number at 800-932-0313 or their local law enforcement."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:20 AM

Harrisburg Catholic diocese names 71 priests, clergy accused of abuse. See the list here

Harrisburg (PA)
York Daily Record

August 1, 2018

By Anthony J. Machcinski and Ed Mahon

The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released a list of 71 names of clergy members accused of sexually abusing children in cases dating back decades.

The list includes priests, deacons, seminarians and clergy affiliated with an order. The list also includes clergy members from other dioceses and Archdioceses from across the nation.

In the release, the diocese said the list includes those who were accused of abuse of a child since the 1940s, and does not include assessments of credibility or guilt. The church said it was releasing a list of every allegation made in recent decades against clergy in the diocese that had not been proven false.

Of the 71 names, 37 were priests in the Diocese of Harrisburg, three were deacons of the diocese, six were seminarians of the diocese, nine were clergy of other dioceses and 16 were from religious communities.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:19 AM

Harrisburg Catholic diocese names priests who have been accused of sexual abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
York Daily Record

August 1, 2018

By Brandie Kessler

A Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania released a list Wednesday of more than 70 of its clergy members accused of sexually abusing children in cases dating back decades.

Bishop Ronald Gainer, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, also announced sweeping changes to confidentiality policies and said the names of any men accused of such crimes would be removed from any place of honor in the diocese.

These changes pertain only to the Harrisburg diocese, which covers much of central Pennsylvania.

Gainer apologized profusely for abuses that occurred over many years. He said the church was releasing a list of every allegation made in recent decades against clergy in the diocese that had not been proven false.

Gainer said that when he became bishop in 2014, the diocese began working to verify the status of priests going back to the 1940s. He said the diocese wanted to release this list before, but the Pennsylvania attorney general's office asked them not to, so as not to interfere with its investigation of Catholic clergy abuses across the state.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:13 AM

Unprecedented' removal of bishops' names signals 'they have all been culpable'

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

Over the past decade, the Cardinal Keeler Conference Center, named after the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, has been the site of youth council dinners, seminarian family picnics, World Youth Day events, even funerals.

Now the legacy of Cardinal William H. Keeler, who went on to become Archbishop of Baltimore, is coming to an abrupt end.

On Wednesday, Harrisburg Bishop Ronald Gainer ordered the names of all bishops who preceeded him since 1947 be removed from all diocesan properties, saying they had failed to protect children from sexual predators.

"That is a gutsy move," said Charles Zech, director of Villanova University's Center for Church Management and Business Ethics. "I commend him for stepping forward and showing that the responsibility, the real problem lies with church leadership.

"This is unprecedented. You hear it here and there when someone has been found to not have lived the perfect life, but to remove all of the names is is unprecedented. I applaud him for recognizing that they all have been culpable."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:10 AM

Harrisburg diocese withdrawal of priest honors fails to impress accusers

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By David Wenner

The leader of the Harrisburg Diocese considers it a significant action, and one he expects some will view as going too far. But it doesn't go far enough for Shaun Dougherty, who was sexually abused by a priest as a child.

"Removing the names of priests from buildings is not going to remove the memories from my mind," Dougherty said on Wednesday.

Dougherty was reacting to the announcement by Bishop Ronald Gainer that names of all bishops dating back to 1947 will be removed from buildings, halls and rooms within the diocese. While many of those bishops haven't been accused of a crime, the move is intended as an acknowledgment of their failure to protect children from sexual abuse.

Rather than remove names from buildings, Dougherty said, Gainer should withdraw lobbyists working against a proposed Pennsylvania bill that would lift the statue of limitations for criminal and civil charges against priests accused of sexual assaults.

Also on Wednesday, Gainer released names of 71 Harrisburg Diocese priests and other clergy who have been accused of child abuse.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:09 AM

71 names of clergy accused of child sex abuse in Harrisburg diocese released

HARRISBURG (PA)
Penn Live

August 1, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

In an unprecedented and stunning move, the head of the Diocese of Harrisburg on Wednesday ordered the removal from diocesan property the names of all former diocesan bishops who over the decades failed to protect children from sexually predatory priests.

Just weeks ahead of a bombshell report into clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, Bishop Ronald Gainer on Wednesday said that all names of bishops dating back to 1947 will be removed from buildings, halls and rooms.

Gainer said "anyone accused of sexual misconduct will have his name removed from any place of honor" throughout the diocese.

"The decision to remove names of bishops and clerics may prove to be controversial, but as bishops, I strongly believe that leaders of the diocese must hold themselves to a higher standard and must yield honorary symbols in the interest of healing."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:07 AM

Pennsylvania Diocese Orders Removal of Former Bishops’ Names From Church Buildings

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

August 1, 2018

By Laurie Goodstein

[See the front page.]

Anticipating the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report exposing decades of mishandled sexual abuse cases in the Roman Catholic Church, the bishop of Harrisburg on Wednesday ordered that the names of former bishops dating to the 1940s be stripped from church buildings.

This was the first time a bishop has conducted such a sweeping purge of his predecessors’ legacies, although the names of individual bishops and priests involved in sexual abuse scandals have been excised from church buildings in other dioceses.

Harrisburg is among six dioceses in a heavily Catholic region of Pennsylvania that are bracing for the release of what is expected to be a devastating grand jury report exposing more than 300 priests accused of sexual abuse over seven decades, as well as the bishops who failed to remove them from the ministry. The Harrisburg and Greensburg dioceses had tried last year to end the grand jury’s investigation, according to court records reported by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:54 AM

A Message from Bishop Ronald W. Gainer

HARRISBURG (PA)
Diocese of Harrisburg

August 1, 2018

By Bishop Ronald W. Gainer

[Includes a link to the list.]

The fact that the evil of child sex abuse has occurred in our Church causes all of us great sadness, for once again we come face-to-face with the horror that innocent children were the victims of egregious crimes committed against them. Many of those victimized as children continue, as survivors, to suffer from the harm they experienced. In my own name, and in the name of the Church of Harrisburg, I ask for forgiveness for the sinfulness of those who have committed these crimes and helped create an environment that tolerated or accepted this behavior.

As we willingly acknowledge our sinfulness, as we humbly seek the forgiveness of those who have been wronged, the healing will come to the entire Church when we renew our commitment each day to respond to the call to holiness we all share and to the mission of our Church entrusted to us by the Lord Jesus himself.

While we seek forgiveness in the name of our Church, we encourage survivors to come forward so that their healing may begin.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:48 AM

Statement from Bishop Gainer on Child Sexual Abuse

HARRISBURG (PA)
Diocese of Harrisburg

August 1, 2018

By Bishop Ronald W. Gainer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released information from their own internal investigation on child sex abuse. Bishop Ronald W. Gainer released the following statement:

“With the Grand Jury investigation concluded and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordering a stay of the Grand Jury’s full report pending further review, the Diocese of Harrisburg chose to release our own list of clergy and seminarians who were accused of sexual abuse of minors as we felt it was critical to get this information out to the public and our parishioners as soon as possible. The information we are releasing today is the result of a great deal of work by outside counsel and professional investigators. I wish to emphasize that this list is a list of accusations; we did not make assessments of credibility or guilt in creating this list.

“I read the information used to create this list with great sadness, for once again we come face-to-face with the horror that innocent children were the victims of egregious acts committed against them. I am saddened because I know that behind every story is the face of a child precious in God’s sight; a child who has been wounded by the sins of those who should have known better.

“I acknowledge the sinfulness of those who have harmed these survivors, as well as the action and inaction of those in church leadership who failed to respond to you
appropriately and justly.

“In my own name, and in the name of the Diocesan Church of Harrisburg, I express our profound sorrow and apologize to the survivors of child sex abuse, the Catholic faithful and the general public for the abuses that took place and for those Church officials who failed to protect children.

Posted by Terry McKiernan at 8:47 AM

Suspenden a sacerdote y a un capellán de colegio en Chillán por presuntos abusos sexuales

CHILE
BioBioChile

July 31, 2018

[Priest and school chaplain suspended over sex abuse allegations]

By Manuel Cabrera and Wilson Ponce

El sacerdote Renato Toro Medina y al capellán de un colegio de Chillán, Héctor Bravo, fueron suspendidos por acusaciones de presuntos abusos sexuales.

Posted by Laura R at 8:39 AM

Fiscal Nacional oficia al Vaticano para que entregue información por casos de abuso sexual cometidos por religiosos

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[National prosecutor requests information from Vatican related to sexual abuse in Church]

By Claudia Soto

El fiscal nacional, Jorge Abbott, envió hoy un oficio al Vaticano para solicitar la información contenida en los expedientes canónicos que se han realizado en el marco de la investigación por casos de abuso sexual cometidos por religiosos y miembros de la Iglesia Católica chilena.

Posted by Laura R at 8:19 AM

Obispos chilenos dicen desconocer destrucción de documentos sobre abusos a menores

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[Chilean bishops say they do not know about document destruction in sex abuse scandal]

By EFE [news agency]

Los obispos chilenos reunidos en una asamblea extraordinaria de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile en la localidad costera de Punta de Tralca, aseguraron hoy desconocer una eventual destrucción de documentos sobre abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes a menores.

Posted by Laura R at 8:07 AM

Gobierno recibirá a sobrevivientes de abusos sexuales por parte de la Iglesia

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[Government representative will meet with survivors of Church sexual abuse]

By Fiorella Aste

La ministra vocera de gobierno, Cecilia Pérez, tendrá un encuentro en La Moneda con la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico de Chile. Representantes de la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Eclesiástico de Chile, serán recibidos este viernes a las 11.00 horas por la ministra Secretaria General de Gobierno, Cecilia Pérez.

Posted by Laura R at 7:59 AM

Nacional Defensoría Penal Pública representará a nueve sacerdotes de “La Cofradía”

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[Public Criminal Defense Office will represent nine priests of "La Cofradía"]

By L. Zapata and MJ Blanco

Asimismo, aseguró que el objetivo de la Iglesia es ayudar a que las víctimas tengan acceso a apoyo jurídico. Vocero de la Conferencia Episcopal dijo que defensa de la mayoría de los presbíteros indagados es pagada por sus familiares. Una vez que se hizo público el llamado caso de “La Familia” o “Cofradía” de Rancagua en mayo pasado, dando cuenta de un grupo de 14 sacerdotes de la Región de O’Higgins que estarían presuntamente vinculados a abusos sexuales, la fiscalía ha realizado una serie de pasos para aclarar estos hechos.

Posted by Laura R at 7:51 AM

August 1, 2018

Diócesis de Temuco opta por estrategia a la transparencia: da a conocer los casos de sacerdotes involucrados en abusos sexuales

CHILE
El Mostrador

June 18, 2018

[Diocese of Temuco opts for transparency strategy: reveals cases of priests involved in sexual abuse]

A través de un comunicado, la Diócesis de Temuco hizo públicos los tres casos más bullados de sacerdotes involucrados en casos de abuso sexual contra menores.

Posted by Laura R at 3:19 PM

Confirman nuevas denuncias por abuso sexual en contra de sacerdotes de Puerto Montt

CHILE
BioBio Chile

July 31, 2018

[Confirmed new allegations of sexual abuse against priests of Puerto Montt]

By Nicole Briones and Robinson Cardenas

Confirman nuevas denuncias por presuntos abusos sexuales que involucran a sacerdotes de la región de Los Lagos. El fiscal Marcelo Sambucetti manifestó que hay nuevos antecedentes entregados a la Fiscalía respecto de los hechos constitutivos de delitos y que involucrarían a personas pertenecientes a la Iglesia Católica.

Posted by Laura R at 3:01 PM

Opinión: La hora de los laicos

CHILE
La Tercera

August 1, 2018

[Opinion: The Time of the Laity]

By Soledad Alvear

Mi estado de ánimo a raíz de la crisis de los abusos es una mezcla de sorpresa y vergüenza. No soy una ingenua y he visto muchas cosas en la vida, pero jamás habría esperado algo semejante. Para colmo, la reacción de nuestros obispos ha sido en muchos casos lamentable: “no sabía”, o “no soy investigador” no son respuestas capaces de dejarnos tranquilos. Un pastor debe estar atento a sus ovejas.

Posted by Laura R at 2:53 PM

Emiliano Arias, Fiscal Chileno: “Sabemos que hubo religiosos que destruyeron evidencias sobre abusos sexuales en Chile”

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
El País

July 29, 2018

[Emiliano Arias, Chilean Prosecutor: "We know that there were religious who destroyed evidence of sexual abuse in Chile"]

By Rocío Montes

El principal encargado de perseguir estos delitos cometidos por sacerdotes en el país explica por primera vez su decisión de imputar al líder de la iglesia chilena. “Vamos a hacer un juicio histórico", asegura

El próximo 21 de agosto, el fiscal Emiliano Arias (Chillán, 1972) tendrá enfrente al líder de la Iglesia católica chilena, el arzobispo de Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, al que interrogará como imputado por encubrir abusos sexuales de religiosos a menores. Será un hecho inédito en Chile, un país que en la dictadura de Pinochet tenía una de las Iglesias con mayor reputación del hemisferio —porque ayudó a perseguidos y se enfrentó al régimen—, pero cuya popularidad cayó en picado en las últimas décadas con un resultado evidente: la ciudadanía va camino de la secularización, empujada por la conducta de la jerarquía eclesiástica en los consecutivos escándalos sexuales cometidos por religiosos, que afectan sobre todo a niños, niñas y adolescentes. Un 38% de los chilenos dice no profesar ninguna religión, récord que dobla la media en la región.

Posted by Laura R at 2:31 PM

Chilean cardinal may be next test for Pope on sex abuse reform

CHILE
Crux

August 1, 2018

By Elise Harris

[Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series exploring ties between Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz of Chile, a close papal confidante, and Peruvian layman Luis Fernando Figari, who’s now accused of sexual abuse and abuses of power and conscience within the prominent lay movement he founded.]

Having accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis seems to have passed one important test in terms of his willingness to impose accountability for clerical sexual abuse even on the highest-ranking clerics in the Catholic system.

If Francis is looking around for an opportunity to scale that second mountain in his reform campaign, there’s an increasingly strong case to be made that retired Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz may just be his man.

Errázuriz, 84, is one of the most senior prelates in Latin America, and a clear papal favorite. He was a close friend and ally of then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina, including working together on the Latin American bishops’ 2007 Aparecida document, which many observers consider a vision statement for Francis’s papacy. Errázuriz also serves on the pope’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers from around the world, in effect his chief sounding board.

In recent months, Errázuriz has come under heavy fire over charges that he played a central role in multiple cases of abuse cover-up, the most prominent being allegations that he hid the crimes of Chile’s notorious pedophile priest, Fernando Karadima.

He has also been accused - alongside the current archbishop of Santiago, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, 76 - of covering for Santiago’s ex-chancellor, Father Oscar Muñoz, who has been charged with having abused at least seven children, five of whom are his nephews.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:49 AM

Catholic Church Faces Reckoning in Chile as Sex Abuse Scandal Widens

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
The New York Times

July 31, 2018

By Pascale Bonnefoy

Leer en español

The 20 men and women rose quietly from their pews during Mass at the Cathedral of Santiago one day last week, unfurled a banner and held up signs. “All Bishops Resign,” one read.

Looking back from the altar was Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago and a focal point in a growing reckoning over allegations that leaders of the Catholic Church in Chile repeatedly covered up the sexual abuse of minors by priests.

After Pope Francis this spring acknowledged a “culture of abuse” in Chile and Vatican investigators found a pattern of inaction and concealment, Chilean prosecutors have stepped up their own efforts to investigate scores of church officials.

Special prosecutors, who have been appointed in each of Chile’s 15 regions, are examining cases involving 104 potential victims, half of whom were underage when the reported offenses took place. Nearly 70 clergy and lay people are under investigation, including three bishops.

Cardinal Ezzati, who has denied accusations of covering up abuse, is the highest-ranking church official in Chile under investigation. Next week a congressional commission may consider revoking the Italian-born cardinal’s Chilean citizenship, which was awarded in 2006.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:47 AM

Church of England bishops turn on each other over Lord Carey abuse scandal

ENGLAND
The Telegraph

July 29, 2018

By Harry Farley

Church of England bishops are turning on each other after the lead figure on safeguarding was locked out of discussions about a former archbishop accused of covering up child sexual abuse.

Lord Carey stepped down as an honourary assistant bishop in Oxford last year at the request of the current archbishop, Justin Welby, after a damning report last year accused the Church of colluding with disgraced paedophile bishop Peter Ball in the 1990s.

But just months after being asked to step down, Lord Carey was allowed to return to preaching after the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, reinstated his "permission to officiate" (PTO) earlier this year.

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock, who leads the Church's response to safeguarding, revealed on Sunday he was not consulted about the decision to reinstate Lord Carey.

Despite Bishop Hancock being sidelined, The Telegraph understands that other senior figures in the Church, including at Lambeth Palace, were involved and approved allowing Lord Carey to return to ministry.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:46 AM

Former NJ priest says he was sexually assaulted by two clergymen in Newark

NEWARK (NJ)
NorthJersey

August 1, 2018

By Abbott Koloff

A former New Jersey priest is alleging that he was sexually assaulted decades ago by two clergymen who continued working in the Newark Archdiocese after church officials determined his accusations to be believable but unproven.

The Rev. Desmond Rossi, a Garwood native, made the explosive assertions during a recent interview in which he discussed his experiences decades ago with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, then head of the Newark Archdiocese, when Rossi was a seminary student. He and other seminarians heard about McCarrick's inappropriate behavior at the time, he said, underscoring questions about how church leaders dealt with sex abuse allegations.

In 1988, he said, he considered leaving the Newark Archdiocese because he felt uncomfortable around McCarrick, who resigned from the College of Cardinals last week after allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused boys and adult seminarians over the course of nearly five decades.

That same year, Rossi said, two friends who were about to become priests sexually assaulted him in a Newark church. He then sought to be transferred to the Albany Diocese, where he now works as an associate pastor at a church in Glens Falls, New York.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:45 AM

The Vatican shows an overdue decisiveness on sexual abuse

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Economist

July 31, 2018

By Erasmus

A cardinal loses his rank for the first time in nine decades

TWICE in the past few days, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of senior prelates who were embroiled in abuse scandals. The latest was Australia’s Archbishop Philip Wilson, who had received a criminal conviction for covering up serial abuse by a priest. There had been widespread calls for him to step down, including from Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister. He submitted his resignation on July 20th, but only on July 30th did the pontiff publicly accept it. Mr Turnbull was among many Australians who called the pope’s actions welcome but overdue.

Two days earlier, on July 28th, the Vatican announced that the pope had accepted Theodore McCarrick’s resignation from the status of cardinal. Mr McCarrick, an archbishop emeritus of Washington, DC, was for decades one of the most prominent figures in Catholic America. The news came a month after the archdiocese of New York said it considered “credible and substantiated” an allegation of sexual misdeeds involving a teenager, said to have been perpetrated by the cleric in 1971 and 1972. Now aged 88, he said he has no recollection of the alleged incidents.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:42 AM

'There's going to be a raid': A Chilean prosecutor forces Catholic Church to give up secrets

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

July 31, 2018

By Aislinn Laing, Cassandra Garrison

Two special envoys sent by Pope Francis to investigate a child sex abuse scandal in Chile were meeting priests and Church workers at a university in the Chilean capital last month when aides rushed into the room with an alarming development: police and prosecutors were about to start raiding Church offices.

The envoys were 90 minutes into a seminar on how to investigate allegations of sex abuse committed by fellow clergy following revelations that hundreds of children might have been molested. For decades, the Roman Catholic Church in Chile quietly investigated such allegations without alerting police, but it now stands accused, even by Pope Francis himself, of a cover-up that allowed abusers to operate with impunity.

One of the clergymen listening to the envoys was Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano, the legal adviser to Santiago’s archbishop. The aides rushed to his side and told him, “‘Father, go to the (Church offices) because there’s going to be a raid’,” Ortiz later recounted.

Police and prosecutors were staging simultaneous raids on Church offices less than a mile away from the university and outside the capital, looking for evidence of sex crimes the Church had not reported to police.

The surprise sweeps, ordered by Emiliano Arias, a provincial prosecutor, marked the start of what experts who track sex crimes in the Roman Catholic Church say is one of the most aggressive investigations ever undertaken by a judicial authority anywhere in the world.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:39 AM

As rumors of sexual misdeeds swirled, Cardinal McCarrick became a powerful fundraiser for the Vatican

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

July 31, 2018

By Michelle Boorstein

When Theodore McCarrick arrived in Washingon in 2001 to be the region's Catholic archbishop, it was clear right away that he was something very rare: a celebrity priest.

The vivacious cleric reportedly had spent time with famous Americans such as Bing Crosby and the Hearst family. He was a prolific fundraiser for big-name Catholic groups from right to left, and valued for his connection to Pope John Paul II, who dispatched McCarrick to hot spots worldwide as his diplomat. President George W. Bush, also new in town that January, marked his first private dinner in Washington by going to the home of the new archbishop.

McCarrick's gilded résumé stood in striking contrast to his public demeanor, that of a self-effacing do-gooder who, in a city full of egos and polish, wore rumpled clothes and exhibited a voracious drive to help others.

"I wish I were a holier man, more prayerful, more trusting in God, wiser and courageous," he said at his first D.C. news conference. "But here I am with all my faults and all my needs, and we will work together."

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:34 AM

Woman Says She Was Sexually Abused by Catholic School Teacher in 1970's

ERIE (PA)
Erie News Now

July 31, 2018

By Paul Wagner

Woman Says Catholic School Teacher Sexually Abused Her While She was Student

A woman who says she was sexually abused in the 1970's by a teacher in the Erie Catholic Diocese is speaking out for the first time.

The teacher died several years ago.

Fifty-five year old Leila Said Gutowski said she was abused when she was 12-13 year old, a student at Immaculate Conception School in Clarion.

She said the abused happened in the school when the teacher would take her away from classmates.

After her family moved, the abuse ended.

But she said she continued to live in fear.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:32 AM

Victims of Montana clergy sex abuse vote on $20M settlement

BILLINGS (MT)
The Associated Press

July 31, 2018

Victims of sexual abuse by former members of the clergy in Montana's Diocese of Great Falls-Billings are voting on a proposed $20 million settlement.

The Billings Gazette reports the proposed settlement also would require the Roman Catholic diocese to post on its website for at least 10 years the names of 27 former clergy whose sexual abuse prompted lawsuits that led the diocese to file for bankruptcy last year.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:31 AM

Alleged victim interviewed by diocese a month after priest returns to service

BUFFALO (NY)
Spectrum Local News

July 30, 2018

By Katie Gibas

A priest cleared after accusations of abuse is under investigation a second time a month after returning to service.

A victim was interviewed by diocesan officials Monday, claiming Father Dennis Riter of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Dunkirk abused him years ago.

“You have purportedly the most moral institution in the world acting the most immorally," said Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for alleged victims of priest abuse.

Garabedian says his client was never interviewed by the diocese during their investigation. He and other attorneys also shared a letter a theology student delivered to the former bishops in 1992 after witnessing the after effects of one of this victim’s alleged encounters with Riter.

A spokesperson for the diocese says they sent two letters to Garabedian so they could interview his client, but say he didn't respond until after Riter was returned to ministry.

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:29 AM

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, advocate for victims of sexual abuse, dies at 79

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

July 31, 2018

By Harrison Smith

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, who risked retaliation from the Catholic Church hierarchy to become a tenacious advocate for victims of sexual abuse by the clergy, died July 18 at a rehabilitation clinic in Cincinnati. She was 79.

The cause was viral encephalitis, said Paul Turlish, her brother and only immediate survivor. She was injured in May in a car accident near her home in New Castle, Del., and moved to Ohio for medical treatment, he said.

Sister Maureen Paul long worked in Wilmington, Del., as an art teacher, not an activist. But in 2002, when a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Boston Globe revealed years of sexual abuse in the priesthood and an accompanying coverup by Catholic Church officials, she launched a wide-ranging effort to support victims and bring their abusers to justice.

“At the time, she was the only religious woman that would publicly stand up for this issue,” the Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, a canon lawyer, recently told the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report. “She brought courage . . . she was not afraid to write or call [the clergy] on their duplicity.”

Sister Maureen Paul at first used a pseudonym — Sister M. Immaculata Dunn, drawn from her mother’s maiden name — to write searing letters to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.

Published as letters to the editor, they decried a “lack of moral leadership” among Catholic bishops and called for alleged abusers to be brought to trial.

“We all wondered who she was,” said Robert M. Hoatson, a former priest and an advocate for sexual abuse victims. “She was driving the hierarchy crazy because they wanted to clamp down on her. They were going to write to her religious order, tell her superiors to knock it off.”

Sister Maureen Paul appeared at conferences for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), organized demonstrations outside the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and began publishing articles in her own name in 2005. She said she decided to go public that year after the release of a 418-page grand jury report in Philadelphia, which found that two cardinals concealed the decades-long abuse of hundreds of children by at least 63 priests.

No one was charged, the report noted, because archdiocese officials had successfully buried reports of misconduct and “managed to outlast any statutes of limitations.” Its release marked a turning point for Sister Maureen Paul, who went on to co-found a pair of support groups for survivors, National Survivor Advocates Coalition and — with a group that included Doyle and Hoatson — Catholic Whistleblowers. She also focused her efforts on reforming the law.

“I didn’t realize, not being a lawyer, that statutes of limitation regarding child abuse were different in every state. They were based on nothing and everything — they were arbitrary and discriminatory,” she said in a 2016 interview with the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus.

According to Hoatson, Sister Maureen Paul “played a pivotal role” in the passage of the 2007 Delaware Child Victims Law, which removed the criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse in that state and opened a two-year “look-back” window for survivors to file civil suits against their abusers.

The bill, she said in testimony before Delaware’s House Judiciary Committee, “is definitely not anti-Catholic and it is not Catholic bashing” — but aimed instead to give all victims of child sex abuse their day in court. Its passage resulted in more than 140 lawsuits against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009 amid settlement talks with alleged victims.

Sister Maureen Paul was less successful with reform efforts in Pennsylvania and New York, where she lobbied legislators but faced opposition from church officials and critics who believed she was singling out the Catholic Church for punishment.

Her faith had not wavered, she said, but her belief in the institutions of the church had been shaken to the core.

“No longer am I the person I used to be even 10 or 12 years ago,” she said in a 2011 speech at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. “And although I cannot compare my loss with the loss suffered by victims of childhood sexual abuse, there is nevertheless loss. Something has been taken from me, as it has been taken from every member of the people of God. A part of me has died.”

Maureen Anne Turlish was born in Philadelphia on July 5, 1939. Her mother, the former Mary Immaculata Dunn, was a homemaker; her father, Paul Turlish, was a leader of a local bakery and confectionery union. He took Maureen to her first picket line when she was 9, giving her what she later called an “early education in justice and peace issues.”

Maureen encountered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for the first time while in high school, through an art history teacher who became a mentor, and was told by her father that she could join the order only after she turned 21, assuming her interest persisted.

She did so in 1960, after working as a secretary at a children’s hospital, and changed her name to Maureen Paul to honor her father.

At her first profession of vows she added a coda, promising “a special dedication to women and children.”

Sister Maureen Paul graduated in 1965 from Trinity College, a Catholic women’s school now known as Trinity Washington University, and later received a master’s degree in art education from the University of Maryland. As a teacher, she worked at Catholic schools in Baltimore; Philadelphia; Hyattsville, Md.; and Wilmington, where she was chair of the fine arts department at St. Elizabeth High School.

After she went public with her identity, in 2005, she was reprimanded by members of her order, Hoatson said. “She was basically pressured to stop, but she refused. She said, ‘This is part of my vocation now.’ ”

Sister Maureen Paul served on the board of the Delaware Association for Children of Alcoholics and on committees for Voice of the Faithful, a lay organization that supports survivors of sexual abuse by the clergy. She also contributed analysis of the sex abuse scandal to the National Catholic Reporter.

“I am a Catholic sister,” she said in one talk in recent years, according to an obituary published by her order. “I have been involved in the education of children for over 35 years and I love my faith, but I’m still waiting for church leadership to own up and take responsibility for their failures in protecting children.”

Posted by Pauline Hodgdon at 9:08 AM